The epic tale, and epic blogging, comes to an end, although not quite(the reading part), as I am still reading the appendices. I forgot about these, but as I read them, I realized that I most certainly read them before. They fill in a lot of blanks, especially filling in the history of Gondor and Rohan that seemed glaringly missing in the story. I’m enjoying them and will be finally reading ‘The Simalrillion’ soon. That is, I’ll start reading it soon, it’s gonna take a while. 😉
I’ve very belatedly decided that rather than try to go over all the events, I’ll just pick one.
What stuck out for me most for me at the end was the quick, violent death of Saruman. I found it pretty shocking. Saruman is a bad guy, obviously, but Tolkien really, really doesn’t like him, it seems. His portrayal is quite broad and cartoony. He really comes off as childish and petulant, ridiculous and foolish. It is hard for me to believe that this character was ever considered wise, and had accomplished the many, many horrible things that he had. He is held in such obvious contempt by the author himself, that I wonder if he was based on an actual person Tolkien knew. It seems so… personal. He really, really wants to get across that Saruman has not one microscopic shred of decency in him. And then Grima, Saruman’s even sorrier companion, having had enough abuse, slits his throat. I was not prepared for that. There is plenty of death and violence in this tale, but that is the single most violent moment in the entire book. It’s just kind of blipped over in a couple of lines, I suppose that’s why I forgot it, but …Jeez. Really? I think that if I could discuss one thing with Tolkien, at this point in time, it would be this event.
I theorize that Tolkien really wanted this character dead, but none of his good characters were up to such a deed. Destroying the Shire was the last straw, I guess, and Saruman just had to go. Outside of this specific event, I find myself doubting that all these things could have possibly happened in the Shire in a years time. I mean, it was a long year for everyone in middle-earth, but it’s still just a year, right?
All in all, I found this a very satisfying read, and the Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog event an interesting way to go about it. With the exception of my brief attendance of a college course and watching a couple of the movies in the theater with friends, this tale has been exclusively in my head, and this is the most I’ve been exposed to other peoples opinions and takes on the story. I think more highly of these books than I did before, and I always though highly of them.:)
Here is a page with links to everyone who participated in this project.