The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings

The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings

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The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien, the third and final volume, brings to a close his magnificent epic masterpiece of Middle-earth. Which brings to an end the great epic of war and adventure begun in The Fellowship of the Ring and continued in The Two Towers. The Return of the King is the towering climax of J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy. In this concluding part, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron.

As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard and takes part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest, where they encounter the Ents. Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman.

Throughout these three volumes, which form one continuous narrative, the author has created the epic saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the Great War of the Rings. Let’s delve into the story; The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.

The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien

Related Post: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings

The Return of the King
The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Return of the King: Summary

“The Return of the King,” is when the plot comes to a dramatic conclusion. When Frodo and Sam arrive at Mount Doom, the effect of the Ring’s corruption has taken a toll. The twisted creature Gollum, who has his own sinister aspirations for the Ring, is crucial to the conclusion. In the city of Minas Tirith, the epic Battle of the Pelennor Fields takes place as numerous factions band together to take on Sauron’s massive armies.

The story begins as Pippin is in Rohan, reunited with the remnants of the Fellowship of the Ring. He steals Saruman’s palantír and sees that Sauron will attack Minas Tirith. Then Gandalf delivers news to the steward of Gondor that war is imminent. Gandalf brings Pippin with him, who enters the service of the steward. Aragorn by his courage and leadership, he proves himself a worthy ruler of men. He is destined to find a lost army of men now dead yet entrapped in a curse set forth long ago by their own disobedience, in the place known as the Paths of the Dead.

The people of Middle-earth unite to make one last fight against Sauron’s armies when Aragorn is revealed to be the legitimate heir to the kingdom of Gondor. The characters must make difficult choices and engage in titanic battles that will determine how the conflict is resolved while the fate of the world hangs in the balance. As characters muster the fortitude to face impossible challenges, the subject of hope is forcefully stressed.

The remnants of the Fellowship led the forces of Gondor and Rohan in defence of Gondor’s capital city, Minas Tirith, resulting in the cataclysmic Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Those characters that manage to survive the battle are led by Aragorn on an assuredly suicidal feint-attack against the Black Gate of Mordor, partly to distract Sauron from defending his other borders so that Frodo and Sam can gain a clear passage into Mordor. Aragorn’s company now surrounds the Black Gates of the Morannon, exchanging idle words with the Mouth of Sauron.

In the meantime, the brave and loyal Samwise Gamgee (who, for a short time, has himself become the Ring-bearer) enables the long-suffering Frodo to navigate the barren wasteland of Mordor. For part of the way, they are captured by a company of orcs and must pretend to be orcs before they are able to escape. The company, tired and half-alive, finally reaches the Cracks of Doom, where the One Ring is destroyed along with Gollum, freeing Middle-earth from Sauron’s power forever.

This happens when Frodo, at the last moment, decides to keep the ring rather than destroy it, and is attacked by Gollum, who bites off Frodo’s finger to take the ring, trips, and falls into the lava while still holding the ring. Frodo and Sam are rescued by the giant eagles that Gandalf rides to Mount Doom, from the Black Gates of Morannon. After Sauron is defeated, his armies at the Black Gates flee, and the men of Gondor and Rohan are victorious in the battle. Aragorn is crowned High King of the Reunited Kingdom at Minas Tirith.

After a series of goodbyes, the hobbits return home, only to find the Shire under the control of ‘Sharkey’, who they find out is Saruman, diminished in power but not in malevolence. Merry and Pippin, now experienced warriors of Rohan and Gondor, respectively, take the lead in setting things right again, and lead an uprising of Hobbits against Saruman, freeing the Shire. Time passes. The Shire heals, but Frodo does not.

Eventually, Frodo departs for the Undying Lands to find healing, along with Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the Elves. Sam, Merry and Pippin watch them depart and return home in silence. Sam is greeted by his wife Rose and his daughter, Elanor. In the last line of the book, Sam says to Rosie; “Well, I’m back”.

The trilogy’s climax displays the effects of the conflict and the protagonists’ individual resolutions. Sam and Frodo’s enduring friendship and the numerous people’s sacrifices are touched heartedly acknowledged. Middle-earth begins to heal as Aragorn assumes his rightful throne, and the wounds of the past are gradually healed.

The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings

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