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View Full Version : I finished "The Lord of the Rings," and now I'm in mourning. (Necro'd thread alert.)



Lantern Jack
01-17-2006, 10:42 AM
I finished reading the Lord of the Rings quadrilogy (The Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) last night and now I'm in mourning.

Now, here at last, on the shores of the Sea, comes the end of our fellowship in Middle earth. I will not say: Do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.

So I did, I cried. I admit it, because I'd finished, after a solid month's slogging, the greatest story on stories ever written, and now all stories, forevermore, will pale in comparison.

That's the bittersweet thing about stories. You invest so much of yourself in these worlds and characters, and then, in the end, you're ripped away, and though you can visit from time to time, it's never the same as the first time.

In the words of Nine-fingered Frodo:

There is no going back.

And now the great rain-curtain has dropped back over the green country and the sea of silver and glass, and I am banished to a world of the impossibly mundane once more.

First, I was kicked out of Narnia, then Oz, now I shall never brave Caladhras nor swarm the malorn trees of Lothlorien ever again, nor glimpse the Lady's goodness, nor clap eyes on the Elf or Evenstar.

Already, I am heart-sick for Ent drink and sustaining lembas bread. Even this fudge I'm eating right now is bitter as tablets of aspirin.

But, as The White Rider might say, this is not the end.

It is better that three should ride back, instead of one.

These are his words for Sam after bidding farewell to his master before the Sea, when Merry and Pippin ride up at the last minute.

And though I am now wishing I'd never ventured into Middle earth, so I could see it all anew, another part of me knows that I have gathered a company of comforters in my banishment. That, after I fold up my mourning blacks, I'll have all of the Fellowship as my entourage and constant companions, with me soul and mind, as I move on to lesser worlds.

And though they're but ghosts of the real thing, even ghosts can seem a comfort when they hail from the hearts of Middle earthers:cry:

mkcbunny
01-17-2006, 11:33 AM
When you say "kicked out of Oz," do you mean you read every single one, or you outgrew it. Cuz there's a lotta them books to be read. I can recommend a coupla post-Baum titles that are very good. There is, to my mind, a point where they otherwise all become a bit tediously fantastic. [I'm not a big fan of Ruth P. Thompson.]

Read Philip Pullman. Golden Compass, et al. That'll keep you occupied for a few days. If you've read that, have you read Hyperion by Dan Simmons? It's sci-fi, vs. fantasy, but it's got the scope and epic feel you need. First two books better than the second pair. Hmmm. What else? ...

mkcbunny
01-17-2006, 11:34 AM
I finished reading the Lord of the Rings quadrilogy (The Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) last night and now I'm in mourning.
Forgot to say, "Read 'em again!" That works, too.

Lantern Jack
01-17-2006, 01:16 PM
When you say "kicked out of Oz," do you mean you read every single one, or you outgrew it. Cuz there's a lotta them books to be read. I can recommend a coupla post-Baum titles that are very good. There is, to my mind, a point where they otherwise all become a bit tediously fantastic. [I'm not a big fan of Ruth P. Thompson.]

Read Philip Pullman. Golden Compass, et al. That'll keep you occupied for a few days. If you've read that, have you read Hyperion by Dan Simmons? It's sci-fi, vs. fantasy, but it's got the scope and epic feel you need. First two books better than the second pair. Hmmm. What else? ...

Thanks.

I like your new avatar. Reminds me of that painting of Annabella Sciorra in What Dreams May Come.

When I say, "kicked out of Oz," I mean I read every book in the series, then read the original, saw Return to Oz, then watched the classic version.

My favorite is The Patchwork Girl of Oz, but I own (I should say, I used to own) vintage copies of all the book, save the original.

Actually, what I miss most about Tolkien isn't the epic feel, but the poignancy, which is absent in most other works of fantasy, including the above.

ATP
01-17-2006, 03:00 PM
The LotR series is one that I'd like to read, if I had the time. I have seen the film series, and am watching it again.


One of my long term aims in this life has been to read the complete War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Admittedly, it is not in the same vein as LotR, but it is a long, eventful story, an epic. It is one of the great ones of western literature. Thought about giving it a try?

ATP

Perks
01-17-2006, 05:00 PM
Oh God, Jack! You've outted me! I'm unwilling to say how many times I've read The Lord of the Rings, but I will admit to feeling terribly adrift when it's over. Not sure there's another literary experience like that.

Zonk
01-17-2006, 06:59 PM
I have read LOTR once a year for the last 15 years, at least. As far as I'm concerned it is the best high fantasy ever written.

And I still feel sad at the ending. Every time.


:D:D:D

Shadow_Ferret
01-17-2006, 07:07 PM
I hate to say it, but LOTR has never captured my interest. Took me 5 tries to just slog through The Hobbit and I just don't have the patience or inclination to attempt the rest of it.

Even the movies couldn't hold my interest.

And I love fantasy. :(

Perks
01-17-2006, 07:13 PM
I don't want to completely geek out on you, but The Lord of the Rings is an entirely different animal. The Hobbit? Eh. It's fun after you've read LotR. But it doesn't compare in scope, heart or lyric quality.

The movies were exciting and, with some notable and infuriating liberties, reasonably true to the book. But there's no way, even in three loooong films, you can capture the pacing. The adventure and swashbuckling were tempered with humor and character development that had to be deleted for time's sake in the films. And it was a grand disappointment, even as pretty as it was.

SC Harrison
01-17-2006, 07:22 PM
I hate to say it, but LOTR has never captured my interest. Took me 5 tries to just slog through The Hobbit and I just don't have the patience or inclination to attempt the rest of it.

Even the movies couldn't hold my interest.

And I love fantasy. :(

While I found it extremely entertaining, The Hobbit had a very different effect on me than the trilogy. You become more invested in the characters reading LOTR, and there is much more at stake.

I also suffered a profound feeling of loss when I finished the trilogy (age 12), and immediately read it again (and again) before I was able to take a break. I recently read it again, and it was even better than I remembered.

Medievalist
01-17-2006, 07:42 PM
Well . . . there is The Silmarillion, the mythic background to LOTR, and then the twelve volumes of The History of Middle Earth.

Jaycinth
01-17-2006, 07:43 PM
1) Silmarillion

2)David Eddings......"The Belgariad" to start. Eddings, in my opinion, is very good at the epic fantasy genre.

Lantern Jack
01-17-2006, 07:52 PM
Just like people, I believe books have soul mates, too. I think I've finally found mine, and, yes, the parting is bittersweet, but it's not a lasting sorrow, as Gandalf might say.

What's your literary soul mate?

Shadow_Ferret
01-17-2006, 08:44 PM
What's your literary soul mate?
Conan. I remember reading the Lin Carter/L. Sprague deCampe versions of these stories back in the early 70s. They had 12 planned novels, based in part chronologically on what Robert E. Howard had created. They used his stories, they edited stories by his that weren't Conan, and they added their own stories.

I read them religiously, waiting as they came out and when the final novel came out, I remember feeling empty and sad, too, that I had lost a friend.

Mike Coombes
01-17-2006, 11:13 PM
So I did, I cried. I admit it, because I'd finished, after a solid month's slogging, the greatest story on stories ever written, and now all stories, forevermore, will pale in comparison.


You seriously need to get out more.

And read more. Not even Tolkein would have claimed that LotR was the greatest story ever written. There's plenty better.

WVWriterGirl
01-17-2006, 11:51 PM
I know how you feel, Jack. I have the last book of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, but I haven't finished it, and I won't. I want to feel like I'm traveling with Roland forever; to finish the book would feel as though I've been jerked out of that world as violently as being thrown through the windshield in a car accident.

If I don't finish, I'll always be there, amid all that beauty of decay and forgetfulness. I don't want to lose the emotional attachment I have to that world so much like our own, but not quite.

Call me crazy, call me strange, but I don't wanna leave. I can't, not yet, at least.

aka eraser
01-18-2006, 12:08 AM
I remember that sense of loss and longing Jack. I've read the trilogy a few times over the last 30-some years.

You might try Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. I re-read it and enjoyed it lots even the second time through. It's not everyone's cuppa but you might enjoy Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion. I found it worth a re-read as well.

Robin Hobb has knit three different trilogies, all loosely related, that are read-worthy. (Start with the Farseer trilogy.)

There's lots of dreck clogging fantasy shelves but lots of good work too.

NickDangr
01-18-2006, 12:09 AM
I have to say I was left with a similar depression when the series of books by Lloyd Alexander about Taran (the Prydain Chronicles) ended too.

I think the part I find most depressing is how magic departs to some degree and one is left feeling more in this world. I want to stay in my escaped reality, not be dragged back into this one.

On the other hand, I believe the author's did it on purpose... just my 2c.

B/ND

My-Immortal
01-18-2006, 03:12 AM
LJ - I too am a fan of LOTR / The Hobbit. I haven't read them as often as others, but there is something special about those books. Though some say Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara is a pale copy of LOTR, I found it and the following thirteen books in the Shannara series to be an enjoyable read.

Take care all -

mkcbunny
01-18-2006, 12:07 PM
I like your new avatar. Reminds me of that painting of Annabella Sciorra in What Dreams May Come.
Thanks. As far as I know, I am still alive.


When I say, "kicked out of Oz," I mean I read every book in the series, then read the original, saw Return to Oz, then watched the classic version.

My favorite is The Patchwork Girl of Oz, but I own (I should say, I used to own) vintage copies of all the book, save the original.

How about Magical Mimics in Oz? My favorite post-Baum title.

Inspired
01-18-2006, 03:10 PM
I love/hate it when that happens. I read books that are in the MG/YA group more often, and get so emotionally invested without even realizing it! Then, I get to the end of the book or the trilogy and BAM! I realize it as I get to the last chapter. I always tell myself to put the book down and prolong the "sweetness" of the book, but I never can. I can never put a good book down at that point. It ends in tears for me.

Gehanna
01-18-2006, 09:18 PM
The part about the movie that I didn't like is that Sam should have received more consideration!

If not for Sam, Frodo would never have made it.

Hooray for SAM !!

I've not read the books but, from having seen the movies, Sam is my favorite character of them all so far.

psy7ven

bluejester12
01-19-2006, 09:02 AM
Though some say Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara is a pale copy of LOTR, I found it and the following thirteen books in the Shannara series to be an enjoyable read.




I'm one of those who found it a very pale copy. Ugh. Cant speak on any beyond the first.

I'll second Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

watcher
01-19-2006, 09:55 AM
Poignancy is the perfect word!

My-Immortal
01-19-2006, 09:16 PM
I'm one of those who found it a very pale copy. Ugh. Cant speak on any beyond the first.


I actually read The Sword of Shannara all the way through before I read LOTR so I was able to enjoy the story without looking for/finding the comparisons. I believe LOTR is a beautiful story and it is understandable why there are so many similar books.

Take care all -

Yeshanu
01-20-2006, 05:27 AM
What's your literary soul mate?


Um, doesn't my avatar give you a clue? How about the calendar above my computer, the set of cards by my bed, the day planner, the bookmark, the...

Oh. Where am I?

Right.

I'm another one of those who reads the book every year. Um, let's see. I was 17 the first time I read it and I'm 45 now, so that's, um...

<Ruth frantically counts on fingers and toes>

... at least 28 times, and counting. It's January, and time for my annual re-read. That's about the only way I can deal with the pain of ending, is to re-read. (And I'm going to the musical in March!!!!! :hooray: ) I saw each of the movies about 20 times in the theatre, own the theatre editions and extended editions of all three movies, and watch them on a regular basis. New Year's day, we borrowed a digital projector, and watched all three movies back to back, projected on the basement wall.

And I write. Terry Brooks is a pale copy, David Eddings a little better, but neither of these authors was able to do what Tolkien did -- make the setting itself a character in the book. In my own way, I'm trying to dissect what it is that makes LoTR work for me, and put that into my own work.

A fascinating read for me was a book called Meditations on Middle Earth. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C4SNYE/sr=1-1/qid=1137719987/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-5638624-3895323?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Ursula K. Le Guin has a chapter in the book where she looks at the rhythmic patterns in just one chapter of Fellowship. Reading that essay left me in greater awe (if that's even possible) of Tokien's writing, and didn't hurt Le Guin's reputation, either.

It is better that three should ride back, instead of one.


LJ, I'll ride back with you... :cry:

Lantern Jack
01-20-2006, 10:33 AM
Um, doesn't my avatar give you a clue? How about the calendar above my computer, the set of cards by my bed, the day planner, the bookmark, the...

Oh. Where am I?

Right.

I'm another one of those who reads the book every year. Um, let's see. I was 17 the first time I read it and I'm 45 now, so that's, um...

<Ruth frantically counts on fingers and toes>

... at least 28 times, and counting. It's January, and time for my annual re-read. That's about the only way I can deal with the pain of ending, is to re-read. (And I'm going to the musical in March!!!!! :hooray: ) I saw each of the movies about 20 times in the theatre, own the theatre editions and extended editions of all three movies, and watch them on a regular basis. New Year's day, we borrowed a digital projector, and watched all three movies back to back, projected on the basement wall.

And I write. Terry Brooks is a pale copy, David Eddings a little better, but neither of these authors was able to do what Tolkien did -- make the setting itself a character in the book. In my own way, I'm trying to dissect what it is that makes LoTR work for me, and put that into my own work.

A fascinating read for me was a book called Meditations on Middle Earth. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C4SNYE/sr=1-1/qid=1137719987/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-5638624-3895323?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Ursula K. Le Guin has a chapter in the book where she looks at the rhythmic patterns in just one chapter of Fellowship. Reading that essay left me in greater awe (if that's even possible) of Tokien's writing, and didn't hurt Le Guin's reputation, either.


LJ, I'll ride back with you... :cry:

You're sweet.

P.S. I've been gorging your horse on copious cans of Beefarino, so you're taking up the tail of our little procession.

Shadow_Ferret
01-20-2006, 11:16 PM
Um, doesn't my avatar give you a clue?

Um. No. I have no clue what your avatar is. Some weird blue girl.

clintl
01-20-2006, 11:45 PM
If you want to try something similar in scope, but not an imitation, give Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun a try.

Celia Cyanide
01-21-2006, 12:27 AM
What's your literary soul mate?

Alice in Wonderland, but I think you knew that, didn't you Little Jack? :)

My-Immortal
01-21-2006, 07:35 AM
Um. No. I have no clue what your avatar is. Some weird blue girl.

It's from the LOTR movies...

mkeyth
07-16-2012, 02:56 PM
Do what I do, You read, watch the extended version of the movies and play the games, Battle for MIddle Earth goes along with the movies and War in the North is also good.

thothguard51
07-16-2012, 03:43 PM
As great and enduring as LOTR is, there are so many others that I have enjoyed and did not want to see end...

I am surprised no one has mentioned, Stephen Donaldson's, The Chronicles of Thomas Convenient, The Unbeliever. When he first came out, he was called the American Tolkien. 9 books in this series.

There is also Weis and Hickman's Dragonlance Series. Who could ever forget Tasselhoff Burrfoot.

How about Ann McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern. I wants a Fire Lizard...

There are so, so many good series

Alessandra Kelley
07-16-2012, 04:26 PM
I didn't weep at the ending, melancholoy as it was. I bawled like a baby when the fellowship came to Lothlórien and there was the sound of long-dead races of seabirds on the shores of long-gone seas, or something like that. I had to put the books down and stop reading for weeks after that; it really hit me hard, I don't know why.

But books can always be read again.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-17-2012, 12:08 AM
Dead thread rising! :)

That said... I still want a palantir. They missed a wonderful marketing opportunity there.

Alessandra Kelley
07-17-2012, 12:12 AM
Dead thread rising! :)

That said... I still want a palantir. They missed a wonderful marketing opportunity there.

Good lord, I didn't realize this thread was from ... 2006!? Wow.

That would explain why Yeshanu's avatar comment made so little sense.

Komnena
07-17-2012, 06:04 AM
You might like Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising books. There's also Patricia McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed.

Death Wizard
07-21-2012, 06:24 AM
Oh God, Jack! You've outted me! I'm unwilling to say how many times I've read The Lord of the Rings, but I will admit to feeling terribly adrift when it's over. Not sure there's another literary experience like that.

I've read it every spring for the past 35-plus years.

Chasing the Horizon
07-22-2012, 12:42 AM
There's a good story in LotR. I finally realized that when I watched the movies. But I've given up on ever reading the books. Tolkien's writing style just does NOT work for me, at all.

Tad Williams, Ann McCaffrey, David Eddings, and Peter Hamilton have all created worlds I never wanted to leave, though. I was also sorry to see His Dark Materials end.