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The Return of the King

(The Lord of the Rings #3)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  782,466 ratings  ·  13,801 reviews
Alternate cover edition here.

The Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escaped into Fangorn For
Mass Market Paperback, Media Tie-In Edition, 404 pages
Published 2003 by Del Rey (first published October 20th 1955)
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Jeff Wheeler
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Yelp! Dear Linh,

I have a possible answer. Namely, in heroic literature, such as the Lord of the Rings, and in classic literature in general, authors always…more
Dear Linh,

I have a possible answer. Namely, in heroic literature, such as the Lord of the Rings, and in classic literature in general, authors always strive towards some kind of moral symmetry. Sins must be atoned for, and the proper form of atonement for the gravest sins is a hero's death. Boromir had to die for his sins, and (if you've read the Hobbit) so did Thorin Oakenshield.

Frodo committed serious sins by the end of the story, as the ring overpowered him and he coveted it for himself and himself alone. However, it seems that Tolkien could not simply kill him off. Not because he is the main protagonist, but because he is such an unlikely protagonist - a hobbit willing to go into the very mouths of hell to save his friends - and if in this he was overpowered - so what! So, we cannot just kill him off.

However, the "Undying Lands", while not death (in fact, the opposite) do represent a departure from this world. So, for Frodo the atonement is not merely complete, it is actually transformed in to a reward. He sinned, but the burden was not meant for him, and in taking it on voluntarily (and playing a large part in quite literally saving the world) he went farther than anyone could have expected. The departure must take place, that is the way of things, and the scales of justice must find balance in all things, but for Frodo, punishment is turned into reward - and this reward must be accepted, or the scales will not find their balance.

Please tell me what you think of this interpretation!

Ethan It is not necessary to read them but it provides much backstory and also what happens after the books. I would suggest that you do read them.
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Average rating 4.55  · 
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 ·  782,466 ratings  ·  13,801 reviews

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mark monday
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

a rousing climax to the most ravishing love story of the modern age. tempestuous, tormented Frodo at long last learns to accept the love of his lifemate - the loyal and submissive Samwise Gamgee, bottom-extraordinaire. this is truly a tale of love's labour hard-won, and at such a cost! but love conquers all in the end, and even bitter, militantly hetero villain Sauron cannot stand in the heart's path for too long. in this third book of the torrid trilogy, Frodo's love-hate relationship
Sean Barrs
Tolkien is the master of world building. With his writing comes generations of detailed history and lore. Middle Earth did not simply spring up overnight. Instead it is firmly established with the most thorough groundwork that is simply unmatched. And here his epic trilogy comes to an end. I’ve read it many times over the years, and reviewing it is no easy task. So, like my reviews of the first two books, I’ve picked out ten things I really love about the book. Spoilers ahead.

1.The blade that w
The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings,#3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

What can I write about this epic tale? It's the final part of the great work of fantasy. And it is impossible to convey to the new reader all the qualities of this series. It's just epic, monstrous, and the tale develops amazingly. Characters, even in an imaginary world, stood absolutely convincing in their details. This story tells- how even insignificant people can change the course of the future through love and doing the right de
Mario the lone bookwolf (is on a longer vacation)
I´ll just wear the ring one more, last, short time, and then really go to rehab

Letting the established storylines collide in an epic culmination
That´s what most fantasy, no matter if high, science, or dark, series keep doing, no matter if it are 3, 5, or 10 parts. Tolkien accelerates the story engine towards an end that has already been prepared and enabled in the first 2 parts of the series, letting it feel like one, big piece. Another genre milestone that escalates to ridiculous lengths and p
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

It’s over. I have finally finished reading The Return of the King, the third and final part of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; This means that I am officially done with Tolkien’s main novels in The Middle-Earth universe, and I’m proud of myself for it. I’ve read plenty of epic fantasy series mor
Mike (the distracted librarian)
EXTENDED EDITION MOVIES MARATHON TIME!!!!!! 😍😃😃😃 my place at 5 am. Bring snacks.

❗️Note: there are much more scholarly reviews available out there, so if that interests you, I would refer you to reviews like this one:
or the official Tolkien Society:
That being said, I hope my layman approach is enjoyable for most 😉

Aragorn: "For Frodo."

Holy Gimli son of Glóin, I loved this book! Tolkien is a demigod when it comes to worldbuildi
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 494 from 1001 books) - The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King: Sauron sends a great army against Gondor. Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith to warn Denethor of the attack, while Theoden musters the Rohirrim to ride to Gondor's aid. Minas Tirith is besieged. Denethor is deceived by Sauron and falls into despair. He burns himself alive on a pyre, nearly taking his son Faramir with him.

Aragorn, accompanied by Legolas, Gimli and the Rangers of the Nor
Tharindu Dissanayake
"Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

"Pride would be folly that disdained help and counsel at need;"

Sometimes, When one starts reading a book of a series, there's always this urge read through the whole thing as fast as possible. Then, when we're done with all of the series, it's very hard not to wish that it doesn't end here - but will go on f
The last stand for the control of Middle-Earth!


That’s the message in a t-shirt that I got in a tourism travel (and I still have it!). I thought that it was appropiate to begin my review about the third part and final of Lord of the Rings.

All that fuzz about a ring that can turn you invisible? You may think, but that was the least of its properties. Its major use was being able to control of the rest of ring-bearers with it, and if
28/25 (112%) 6 stars.
A stellar ending to this trilogy by one of the most exciting young voices of the genre. Almost nothing of this is original, but it's still nicely written. I mean, come on, the author is obviously a fan of George R.R. Martin. Or why did he put all of those 'R's in his name? Well, at least he has finished his trilogy - other than Martin. It'd be nice to read a sequel, though. Regarding the plot, that's a blatant copy of Terry Brooks' original and breathtaking The Sword of Shan
I was living with my uncle 20 years ago and he is a vast reader in many genres. I was looking for something new to read when he told me to read this series. He had these beautiful hardback books with fold-out maps. I had heard of the hobbit and saw the cartoon as a kid. I thought it was an okay movie, but it didn't really impress me. He convinced me that I needed to read this. So, I started with the hobbit and read one book after the other until I was done with this book.

I remember being awed b
Hannah Greendale
The Return of the King takes about a hundred pages to sink one's teeth into, but persevering is worth it for the glint of sunrise on a victorious maiden's hair, for the show of willpower against all odds in the eleventh hour, and for the golden bloom of a happy ending. ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
The end of an epic! The Return of the King brings a conclusion to the wonderful Lord of the Rings trilogy and is one of the most satisfying conclusions to a long tale that has ever been written.

In this book, we leave Frodo and Sam in Mordor and rejoin Pippin and Gandalf, Merry and Theoden, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli as the suspense builds towards the final battle. Gandalf has a hard time explaining the death of Boromir to the grieving father Denethor who will have a sad ending himself as thi
Well, I've come to the end of the road once more... This was my tenth reading of Tolkien's saga of Middle Earth (the first time I visited was in 1986) and it's pointless trying to write a balanced review of my favourite books. Suffice it to say that these books are a part of me; written into my DNA, if you like, and I love them dearly.
I'll be back in a year or two, Bagginses, to do it all over again...

Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray.


And I did co
Merphy Napier
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, classics, fantasy
here's the video where I did a review ...more
Aug 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've hear dozens times that Tolkien is the father of fantasy genre and now I've finally witnessed it myself. In The Lord of the Rings you can really see a lot of plot-lines, character, world-building and races used later in various fantasy stories. Although for a modern reader these books might seem to be a bit boring and archaic, it's a definite must-read for genre fans. ...more
J.G. Keely
Writers who inspire a genre are usually misunderstood. Tolkien's reasons for writing were completely unlike those of the authors he inspired. He didn't have an audience, a genre, and scores of contemporaries. There was a tradition of high adventure fairy tales, as represented by Eddison, Dunsany, Morris, MacDonald, Haggard, and Kipling, but this was only part of what inspired Tolkien.

His writing was chiefly influenced by his familiarity with the mythological traditions of the Norse and Welsh cul
The Return of the King is the final part of the trilogy where the fellowship marks its victory over the Dark Lord, Sauron. The one ring that rules, and the one ring that binds the world in darkness has met its end in fire of the Mount Doom where it was made. The quest is completed, and Sauron is completely defeated. He will never bind the Middle-Earth with his spells of darkness and evil forces. The King of the West is crowned and thus begins the Third Age where men dominate and glorify the eart ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Return of the King, the third book in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, written in 1955, by J.R.R. Tolkien. After reading the first two books in this series, how can you not finish it with this one? I knocked them back between 9th and 10th grades, loving every minute of the imagination and struggle between good and evil. When I got this this final one, I already knew I'd be sad to say goodbye to all the characters I'd fallen hardcore for over the 1500 pa
Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, The Return of the King. The end of a sweeping epic, one which held me firmly in its grasp as a child and still holds a place in my heart as an adult.

Everything is in motion and actually coming to an end almost from the first page of this last book in the trilogy. Frodo is ever so close to completing his quest. Aragon, Gandalf and the others are nearly at the end of their rope. Indeed, the end is nigh!

But this is not a quick finish. Tolkien dragged things out. There is a mini-battle after th
Anish Kohli
“So we come to it in the end, the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away. But at least there is no longer need for hiding. The board is set, and the pieces are moving. And now all realms shall be put to the test, to stand, or fall – under the Shadow.”
People: *looking at the 3 star rating causes wincing and face spasms* What fuckery is this? You rated Tolkien 3 damn stars?
Anish: Guys, take it easy! This book was...
People: You rated the last one 4 stars bcz of tha
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
***NEW LAWSUIT UPDATE BELOW (6-30-11)...Lone reviewer continues fight with corporate ASSCLOWNS powers in epic 1st Amendment battle royale.***

4.0 stars. FULL REVIEW (hopefully) to follow after resolution of the lawsuit* filed against this reviewer in the District Court of Narnia by, among others: 20th Century Fucks Fox, Lucasfilms, the Tolkien Estate and Robert Van Winkle (aka Vanilla AsshatIce) in order to prevent the release of an allegedly offensive but in reality just knee-slappingly funny PA
Zitong Ren
“Rohan had come”

The first half of this book is epic and full of grandeur and forever legendary battles. The second half of this book begins with the climax rather quickly before our heroes journey all the way home and find out how their lives are changed evermore. The ending is honestly so very beautiful and I couldn’t help but tear up slightly up some parts, not cry, I do that very rarely when it comes to books, but the tears were certainly there here and again as we reached ever closer to the
Will Byrnes
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The conclusion to my favorite series of all time. Will Frodo be able to complete his mission? Will such completion cost him his life? Can Middle Earth be saved? Ok. I know. You've seen the wonderful Peter Jackson films. But there is nothing like reading it for yourself. It is the difference in feeling between seeing it on TV and being there. Read the trilogy. Be there. You won't regret it. ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witches-wizards

Well, there really IS no greater compliment...
Roly Chuter
May 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
I’m sure glad Stevie didn’t bother to read this one:
Sam and Frodo wake up in some swamp/heath/mountain pass
Frodo: We’re lost, oh its awful, I’m hungry, we only have 3 pieces of elfin bread left
Sam: Don’t worry Frodo I’m here for you, you have the bread
Sam and Frodo walk around a bit looking dirty and lost and miserable
Frodo: oh the ring, it’s so heavy, how will I cope?
Golem: Myyy presssciousss [and all that nonsense]
Sam: Don’t worry you have a nice sleep, things’ll look better in the morning you
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Review of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, by Sauron

[Oprah Winfrey voice-over]: We all remember him. Sauron, the displaced Lord of the Rings. Once feared by millions, Sauron has been living in relative squalor in what he prefers to remain an undisclosed location.

[Video shows unidentified heap of garbage behind a Wal-mart. In front stands a mailbox with the word "Nameless Enemy" printed on the front. The flag is down.]


Oprah: Today, we'll be joined by someone that many of you kn
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, tolkien
Analyzing my writing and reading has diminished my capacity to rest and enjoy without the hindrance of ambition. I've broken through after several years and want to keep this flow. I can then come back next year and escape to Middle Earth with my little buddies with ginormous hearts and hair-rug feet.

2020: Eight:
This read impacted me stronger than any previous journeys. I said over and over in my heart, "I want to stay here. I don't want to leave this place." So, I'm seeking to stay there. That
May 13, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And finally my journey through Middle Earth ends.

I really enjoyed The Return of the King up until the end of the action. Once everyone was reunited post battle, I was surprised to see there was still a large chunk of the book left to go.

The following chapters spent far too long on long goodbyes and small incidents of little consequence as the Fellowship separated at different points on the way back to the Shire. It was then interesting to see what had become of the Shire during the years the jo
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010); TFG100 Most Favorite Books; Time 100; Metalist 100 by Newsweek; Guardian's 100
What else can I say? I enjoyed all these three books included in
The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (5 STARS), The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (5 STARS) and now
The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien (5 STARS).

It has the most tight interesting plot, memorable characters and universal unending theme: the triumph of good over evil. In fact, in the closing scene of the book, Frodo gives the book he wrote to Sam, the world's greatest gardener. The title of the book is The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King. The "lord" refers to the
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: writer, artist, scholar, linguist. Known to millions around the world as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at the University of Oxford where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His creativity, confined to his spare time, found its outlet in fantasy works, stories for children, p ...more

Other books in the series

The Lord of the Rings (4 books)
  • The Hobbit
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)

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