"All the doors of Morannon swung back wide. Out of them streamed a great host as swiftly as swirling waters" (Tolkien 206). A suspenseful tale of good and evil, "The Return of the King", written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published by Ballantine Books, is about a small hobbit, Frodo, carrying the very symbol of corruption, the ring, to the only place it can be destroyed, the mountain of fire. While Frodo attempts to destroy the ring, the armies of two large peoples prepare to wage a final battle in Middle-Earth, with the victor emerging from the wreckage in control of all. All leads to the gigantic climax, where the fate of Middle-Earth is decided. This classic book is a great story because of its character, setting, conflict, foreshadowing, and theme.
As vital to this fable as any, character is a strong tool Tolkien uses to make his book captivating.
There is one example of character that stuck in my mind: one of the heir and his birthright to the royal throne. As I read, what really became apparent was the struggle of Aragorn, a descendant to the throne of Gondor, who had to either claim his kingship or shy away from his birthright. A crucial turning point in his story was when he healed victims of war, provoking from a bystander, "the hands of a king are the hands of a healer" (Tolkien 170). In this Aragorn is finally stepping into his rightful place: the ruler of Gondor. He even further takes leadership and responsibility of his land when he leads them into war, saying, "Keep what honor you may... hold it to the last in defense of Gondor and Rohan!" (Tolkien 199). Tolkien's clever use of character adds to the intrigue of the book.
While a boring story...