Thursday, February 12, 2009


A mini-debate with a friend sparked this post:

What do you think about the Lord of the Rings Trilogy?

I don't like it because I feel that J.R.R. Tolken is very longwinded, overly descriptive, confusing, and he drags it on too long. I'm sure this'll light some sparks but I'm interested in what people think to the contrary...


  1. i definitely enjoyed the books, i thought he was a great writer, and i love the stories and descriptions that he writes... but maybe that's just me...

  2. I don't recall if I was the friend who "sparked" this, but you just dropped a match in a gallon of gasoline. :-)
    I adore Tolkien's books. I will freely admit that the descriptions are LONG. But that's a good thing, in my book. To me, they don't drag on, they lay out exactly how things look, what people thought, and sometimes made an otherwise flat character rounder (see Gollum vs. Smeagol.) You'll notice that there were very few qualms when the movies came out with "Frodo looked *nothing* like that," or "Legolas is a blonde elf? Huh..." The reason for that is not that people's imaginations all ran the same course, it's that Tolkien left them little guessing room; he spelled it out for them.

    So, there are the two cents of a Tolkien lover. You asked for it, what can I say. May the hair on your toes never fall out!

  3. I would have to agree with Sean, but to a lesser extent. I have read large chunks of the books, and while I can say they are not the greatest I have read, I still like them.
    The thing that bugs me about Tolkien is his too formal "thou, thee, art" language.

  4. It's not too formal, given the culture in which his characters are set.

  5. Well, I tend to like detail, but sometimes authors can be a little too detailed. Although I haven't read the three books, I did read the Hobbit and enjoyed it. I think I tend to enjoy stories that have some detail but that did have a little too much.
    Anyways, just my initial thoughts! Looking forward to more of your blog Little Dude:)

  6. I loved those books regardless of how long they were, I just enjoyed the story.

  7. Oh my word
    You don't like the LOTR Trilogy???
    and I thought you were my Friend....


  8. LOTR is AMAZING!!!

    I would say that LOTR is probably the best trilogy ever written.

  9. Come on guys, I need more!!! John, Chris, why do you like them? Give specific reasons! I'm interested!

  10. Sean.

    Pray allow me to expound upon my own thoughts concerning Tolkien.

    Tolkien has created a world through his work. He came up with an exhaustive history of this world, including its origin, its inhabitants (which make up numerous civilizations, each with their own story), their languages (which he made up), and their actions (stories of love, war, and the condition of a fallen world). The scope of the work alone is worthy of respect and admiration; he is not dragging things on, he is using the necessary length to tell his story.

    The Trilogy is merely the climax of his story of this world. These three books alone are worth reading for the telling of an epic tale which involves themes such as: the triumph of good over evil; self-sacrifice; patriotism; heroism; hope vs. despair; loyalty; friendship; romantic love; redemption; renewal. Again, the scope alone is worthy of appreciation.

    He combines all of this with a style of writing that I can only describe as noble: his manipulation of words is dignified, thought-provoking, light-hearted when appropriate. Tolkien crafts his words, sentences, and paragraphs into an art form. His writing goes beyond mere words on a page; he truly is able to transport the reader to battlefields, mountains, cities, and oceans...

    Tolkien's descriptions are long, certainly, but that is exactly what makes his works great literature. He is not being a windbag; he is taking full advantage of words as tools to pour emotion (delight, sorrow, etc.), wisdom (the struggle of good vs. evil, the nature of man, etc.), and good longings (heroism, the satisfaction in fruition of long struggles, etc.) into the reader's experience.

    If you're looking for a light read, which you don't have to think to much about, and can read and in a day (and it's completely fine, if you are), then Tolkien is not for you. But if you're looking for a book (series) that has scope, contains deep, thought-provoking themes, and tells an excellent story, I would highly suggest The Lord of the Rings (or The Hobbit; or The Silmarillion; or any other of Tolkien's numerous works).

    Thus, my thoughts. Thanks for listening.


  11. Wow Alex! I don't think I have ever seen a comment that long on a blog before! You practically wrote a paper :)

    I have never read the trilogy myself, but I am not the biggest fan of large amounts of details in books. I love the movies though!!!!

  12. Jojo, the Hobbit is not nearly as long and drawn out as LOTR. I love the Hobbit as well, partially for that reason.

  13. Wow Alex, Thanks for your wonderfully-thought-through comment! Definitely some good reasons for reading it!

    I do love the Hobbit, I wish that the LOTR was more like it. Although it's true that he does leave nothing up to the imagining, I find that the purpose of books! You can imagine things how you want to a certain extent. If you want to be told exactly how to view every person or event, watch a movie! This being said, some people do prefer the details all in one book, so this book is definitely for them!!