December 13th, 2003


RotK - the Book

Here's an odd thing. Before I reread the first half of Return of the King (i.e., Book Five), the only thing I remembered about it was that there was a Big Battle outside of Minas Tirith. That's it. Now granted it's been twenty-five years or so since I last read the books, but I remembered the general plots of the other five books of LotR, and even snippets of dialogue and songs. Not so this one. Didn't even remember who killed the Witch King. As I said, it's odd.

Maybe it's because it goes by so quickly. Early on you have Mippin's tale is told, then repeated, as both are taken to capital cities, swear allegiance to their respective lords, become their confidants, and then meet new friends. For all the build-up, the journey through the Paths of the Dead takes only a couple of pages, and then we don't hear anything more about what happened until we get a very abbreviated version of events after the battle. Much of the early action around Minas Tirith is told from a distance, again usually after the fact. The battle proper isn't nearly as hard to follow as Helm's Deep, and there's a good map of the area to help keep track of the locations of everyone. The action never drags.

Of course, it could just be that my memory sucks. Case in point. I was thinking about veejane's interesting analysis of book!Faramir versus movie!Faramir as I was reading the debriefing of Faramir by Denethor and Gandalf, and something so struck me about the scene that I put an extra bookmark at the spot, and made a mental note to go back and compare it to Vee's analysis. Unfortunately, I never did it, and a couple days later the extra bookmark fell out of the book, and when I went back to look for the passage that struck me, I couldn't figure out which one it was. Sigh...

I'm a couple of chapters into the last book now, and I'm hoping to finish it this week, before I actually go see the movie.
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