Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Return of the King: Book 5 Discussion Post

Can you believe we are almost done!! Only one more book left!! AH!

Discussion Questions:

I'm going to do something a little different for this post. There are a lot of symbols in The Lord of the Rings, and there a lot of lessons to learn. For example: fighting evil, fighting for what is right, friendship, willpower, one's duty, sacrifice, etc. I would like everyone to pick a topic from Lord of the Rings and write a little something about it. 

My Answer:

I would like to talk about Theoden vs Denethor or in other words Courage vs Despair. Their lives and stories have so many similarities, but their outcomes are so different. Lets list some stuff:

They are both rulers of their lands 
Theoden is King of Rohan while Denethor is the steward of Gondor. 
Both are troubled by the war

They both lost a son
Theoden loses Theodrid, and Denethor loses Boromir.
Both are shaken by the loss of their son.

They are both influenced by the enemy.
Theoden is heavily influenced by Wormtongue/Saruman, and Denethor is influenced by the palantir/Sauron.

They both die
They die in very different ways, but they both die.

There are other similarities, but my mind is drawing a blank. These are the big ones though.

Anyhoo, Gandalf is able to help Theoden regain himself, and Theoden becomes an amazing character! He leads his people with courage and great leadership. He is kind and loving with Eowyn and Eomer. His death is one of my favorites, and his lines are EPIC! "I go to my fathers. And even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed." I LOVE THAT! My favorite line in any movie! There are a lot of lines in books that are awesome, so I can't really say it's my favorite for books. Theoden knows he has done all he can, and he is not afraid to die. He dies in peace. I can only hope of having that kind of peace and knowledge when I die. 

p.s. I think Theoden's death was better in the movie. I like that Eowyn is the last one he sees and speaks to.

Denethor succumbs to grief, anger, and pain. I don't feel like he ever gets over his mourning for Boromir. He doesn't ride out to battle with his soldiers. He gives up. He decides everyone is going to burn, and he wants to commit suicide! AND he wants to take Faramir with him. How sad is that? Denethor could have been a great man like Theoden, but instead he chooses despair. 

Theoden dies leading his people into battle, and facing off with the enemy. He has overcome his grief. He is a mighty man. It is a tragedy that he dies. Denethor dies with the ultimate act of despair, suicide. 

This makes me really think about my life and what I choose. There are always ups and downs in life. I want to face my challenges with courage, not despair. I want to pick myself up and do what I feel is right. 

I look forward to everyone insights on things. Please link up your post!


  1. Great idea! I really liked this and being able to think about this. And, I love your insights on the contrasts between Theoden and Denethor.

    1. Thanks! I think it is one of my best posts.

  2. Great comments on the Denethor/Theoden character arcs! I love these books and films. Like, really love them. (My husband and I watch the trilogy every Christmas. You know, because nothing says jingle bells like a battle with orcs.) But I hadn't consciously compared those two characters and how their decisions define them before. Loved this post!

  3. Drat. My comment just got sucked into the internet void. I'll attempt to recreate.

    Such a great post. Those similarities are so striking when you line them up like that. I love that line as Theoden is dying. It gets me every time too. That and the speech he makes to his people as they ride into battle to help Gondor. He's such a great character.

    I think Denethor is a great character too, though obviously in a different way. I love the tension between him and Gandalf. You can tell that Gandalf really just wants to clock him. (And I found it interesting that Gandalf implies that he could have saved Theoden and Eowyn if his attention had not been drawn away to Denethor and the need to save Faramir.)

  4. I love this post! I remember thinking about those two and how different they are (and how lucky Merry was to have sworn service to Theoden, while Pippin got stuck with Denethor :) Working on my post now, this is a hard question to answer!

  5. "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" on watch32 is the third and final installment of Peter Jackson's adaptations of Tolkien's famous fantasy novels. Once again the makers of the film have taken care with the costumes, sets, scenery, models, CGI effects and Howard Shore's epic score to create a convincing depiction of Middle Earth.
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    Once again the cast delivers expert performances. John Noble joins the cast as Denethor and effectively makes him into a despicable and repugnant character. Three of the performances in the film were particularly memorable for me. Bernard Hill once again brings authority to the role of King Theoden and his inspiring presence on the battlefield left me in awe. Miranda Otto brings strength to the role of Eowyn and makes the character's best moments unforgettable. Ian McKellen once again brought his commanding presence as Gandalf to bear as he tried desperately to hold everything together.
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    This film follows the familiar format of the first two films in taking Tolkien's work and streamlining it to create a well-paced film. The famous battle at Minas Tirith is on an unprecedented scale and the best fantasy battle ever filmed. As with the first two films, I found the added scenes for the extended addition interesting, but they didn't add much above and beyond the already great theatre cut.