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The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings, Part 3: Dramatized

The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings, Part 3: Dramatized

Written by J. R. R. Tolkien

Narrated by Full Cast


The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings, Part 3: Dramatized

Written by J. R. R. Tolkien

Narrated by Full Cast

ratings:
4.5/5 (161 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Feb 6, 2002
ISBN:
9781598874525
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The original American dramatization as broadcast on National Public Radio.

War rages in the west—a titanic battle of will and strategy between the great wizard Gandalf and Sauron, the Dark Lord. Meanwhile, eastward in Mordor, Frodo and Sam approach the end of their improbable quest, bearing the One Ring ever closer to the Cracks of Doom—and to a final confrontation with the very essence of evil.

While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. The way is impossibly hard and, weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, Frodo is weakening.

The awesome conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien’ The Lord of the Rings, beloved by millions of readers around the world.

Released:
Feb 6, 2002
ISBN:
9781598874525
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.

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4.5
161 ratings / 99 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    The third and final volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King brings the story to a close as many of the original fellowship fight the war for Gondor against the evil of Sauron, eventually Gandalf, Aragorn and the other Captains of the West lead their army right to the Black Gate of Mordor where a messenger of Sauron displays Frodo and Sam’s belongings and demands their surrender. Gandalf sees through the deception and the battle begins. Sam and Frodo, meanwhile escape from the orcs that had captured them and although they are extremely tired and the ring is taking it’s toll, they continue on with their quest. Unknown to them, is the fact that they are being shadowed by the Gollum determined to get his “precious” back. It is now a question of timing. Can Frodo stand against the lure of the ring and destroy it? Thank heavens he has the loyal Samwise at his side watching out for him.The Return of the King is a great ending to this tale and I was pleased with the satisfying closure that Tolkien gave his characters. All the loose threads were gathered but not tightly tied, there were some floating ends that could be expanded upon if he so desired. I can now fully appreciate the love that this treasured tale has generated since it’s original publication. With it’s adventurous story, descriptive narrative, and fascinating characters Lord of the Rings is indeed fantasy at it’s best.
  • (5/5)
    This is the most amazing book series ever written. I am sad to be at end of this journey, and I wish I could go back to the start. Alas i cannot, but i am glad that all is well in Middle-Earth. I love you so much and goodbye.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely brilliant!!
  • (4/5)
    Seemed like it would never end. Still much better than the movies though.
  • (4/5)
    I read the Lord of the Rings series as a buddy read on Litsy. I had these books on my shelves for a while not, but honestly wasn't sure I'd ever pick them up. I have seen the movies and enjoyed them, and sci-fi is not my typical reading genre. I can't believe how much I enjoyed this series. It added so much depth and dimension to the story and characters that you don't get from the movies. I actually didn't like Sam, Merry or Pippin in the movies, but the books made me love them so much! I liked that they were actually the main focus of the books, where I did not feel that was always the case in the movies. So much happens in these books and it has such a different tone at times than the movies. LOVED!
  • (5/5)
    Here is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that is 'The Lord of the Rings' and what a conclusion it was. Of course, I knew what was to happen as I had watched the films before reading the novels, however, not everything is the same between the two and parts here and there have been found to be missing from the films. (The near-destruction of the Shire was a particular shock to me!!)
    I found Tolkien to be, though at times a little childish in his telling, a truly grand storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed the movement away from dirt and grime that is constant in the film, to a lighter more easier going fairy-tale. I also have to say that I actually quite enjoyed reading about Gollum in the book, he seemed a much more rounded character than I had previously thought him.
    I know it was cheeky of me to have incorporated all three books into my reading challenge but I simply couldn't help it! I simply had to finish them, it is little wonder that these books can be listed under an assortment of genres - they really do fit into most types of people's preferred readings. I recommend all of them! :D
  • (5/5)
    One of my bes-loved books!
  • (3/5)
    I don't know, I think I'd just lost interest by this point. It is such a fascinating and complex story, but I found the writing so dry that sometimes it was hard to force myself to continue. I kept picturing how much better the story would sound if it was written in a different way. Ah well. Can't love them all!
  • (5/5)
    is this the best book i've ever read? yes, yes it is. this series is too good for words, it was so much more than i expected and now i can't wait to re-read it. this last one did make me shed a few tears, as i knew it would but not because it's sad, it's just such a wonderful journey and it made me feel so many things at once it is absolutely incredible.
  • (5/5)
    For my Year of Nostalgic Rereads, this is a must. I don't recall the last time I read all the appendices, though. I ate those up as a kid in the 1970s, marveling at the incredible breadth and depth of his imagination. I still do 40 years later. I cringe slightly now, at his treatment of romance and how a king intuitively knows how to govern because of his blood, but I can overlook it because of my emotional attachment to the stories.

    Now on to one I've not read since 1978 - The Silmarillion
  • (5/5)
    no hay nada que pueda decir.estupendo!! para siempre
  • (5/5)
    A must-read... I need to go back to Oxford to see more of the places he lurked writing...

    I will say that if you thought the endings of the movie were long, you should read the book... Saruman isn't adequately dealt with in the film, but he is in the book ;)
  • (5/5)
    This three-volume edition with illustrations by Alan Lee is a pleasure to hold and a pleasure to read. After 20-some-odd readings, I'm still amazed by Tolkien, and in fact find myself more enamored with his language and the power of his story every time through. There is good reason I keep coming back to these.
  • (5/5)
    While this book details the eventual triumph over evil, there is a real sense of loss. The different members of the fellowship are witness to great destruction and sacrifice in the pursuit of destroying Sauron. Even after the end of the war, many things have changed and been lost. I think that Mr. Tolkien captures in a very real way the consequences that come of war and of the battle between good and evil. The appendices are full of tidbits of knowledge - little bits of history and follow-up, as well as things like explanations of the different languages and notes on translation - all amazing when considering that the whole thing was created in Mr. Tolkien's head!
  • (4/5)
    Once again a fantastic story, but not such a great book. The overall tale is wonderful and crafted in a complex and detailed fashion. But Tolkein writing style makes the experience of reading it sometime not all that enjoyable. There are sections where the writing is brilliant, in this book the final journey of Frodo and Sam through Mordor really tugs at the heart strings and was quite moving. But this is counteracted by sections such as at the end of the book when the hobbits return to the Shire to find that all is not well. This section felt a bit tagged on to the end of the book and a little unnecessary to me. Thankfully there were far less songs to wade through in this book, although there were still a few to irritate me.I still enojyed reading the trilogy despite it's flaws and as already stated it's a great story. I am however looking forward to something more readable.
  • (3/5)
    I wanted to love this series, I truly did. I went into LoTR expecting it to be the best thing I had ever read. Not so much.I feel like Tolkien tried to shove too much into too little and sacrificed a lot of the action and adventure as a result.The Scouring of the Shire was probably the single worst part of the final book. It felt like it was shoved in as an afterthought. Almost like it was a fanfiction companion piece that somehow found its way into the book.
  • (5/5)
    One of the most amazing books that I have ever read. The imagery was wonderful, and it made the book a joy to read. This was a beautiful conclusion to the series.
  • (5/5)
    Re reading after watching the Peter Jackson films (which I love), and finding them infinitely more moving. Cannot recommend highly enough.
  • (5/5)
    one of the most epic and brilliant books I've ever read
  • (5/5)
    As much as I adore the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Christ but does he drag out the ending of this book. Most of this book is just as amazing as the previous two installments, I especially loved the main battle chapters as Tolkien just has this amazing ability to draw you so well into the story you can really feel all the emotions! The chapters with Sam and Frodo once again I found tedious at times and Frodo just gets on my nerves more and more as the story progresses. I love Sam and wish he'd get more credit towards the end as really he was the only reason the ring was eventually destroyed. The final few chapters I found hard going this time round as I just find at times that a lot of the book could have been shortened as most of the happenings along the road on their journey back to the shire were unneccessary to the actual storyline. Sometimes I wonder was it just filling to bulk the book up abit compared to the other two. However despite these few flaws I love LOTR and they will remain always in my top ten favourite books list!
  • (5/5)
    This book ends The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The final battle draws near. The endless hordes of orcs arrive at Gondor where man must make his final stand against them. As the battle draws near Aragorn, Gimili and Legolas try to ask for the help of the ghosts. The ghosts have been cursed, by the former king of Gondor, to never pass on. Since Aragorn is the heir tothe throne of Gondor, he has promissed to lift the curse if the ghosts help them fight the orcs in Gondor. Meanwhile, Smegle leads Sam and Frodo into a trap. He leads them into the den of a gant sider. The spider raps Frodo in its web,but hen Sam fights it off. Orcs come and take Frode (still wrapped in spider webbs) and Sam follows them. As the Gondorians fight their battle, the Rohirins come to help them. The ghosts eventually come and kill the remaining orcs. Aragorn lifts te curse, and they pass on. Aragorn, Gimili, Legolas and Gandalf discover there is one more battle to betaken place at the Black Gate (entrance to Souron's kingdom.) Know man must finish one more battle to save Middle Earth,.This book was my favorite in the series. The two big battles where amazing to read about. The author adding ghosts made the book more exciting. After the humans one the first big war, I thought the book would be over, but then they discover there are more enemies to kill. That part just blew my mind. The giant elephants made the bookmore interesting as well. I liked how Aragorn finally became king. I recomend this book to readers who want action packed books with mystical creatures.
  • (4/5)
    There is much to love in Tolkein, and also a lot that is seriously annoying. But the thing I always hated most about this story, and which is even worse in the book than in the movie versions, is how Frodo makes it all the way to the Crack of Doom only to fail in his resolve to destroy the ring, which is only accomplished by Gollum biting off his finger and then accidentally falling in with it. In the crucial moment, the story is ultimately about original sin and redemption by some ineffable "higher" power. This seriously undercuts the story's drama and heroism.
  • (5/5)
    This book on tape version includes songs sung a cappella with melodies by the narrator, Rob Inglis, and Recorded Books studio director, Claudia Howard. The final cassette has Tolkien's preface to the trilogy with some prior history of Middle Earth.
  • (4/5)
    If you were to rank the members of the Fellowship of the Ring based on interest, who's at the top? Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf? Regardless of who wins, you probably had Merry and Pippin in eighth and ninth place, so it's a red flag when the entire first half of this conclusive volume focuses on them. Merry and Pippin manage to maneuver into the inner circles of Rohan and Gondor, though they have to break character and participate in really contrived situations in order to do it. It was heartwarming when the two scamps wouldn't be denied from helping out their friend Frodo, but now that they're swearing fealty to any old asshole in a crown, the effect is diminished, and less believable. Merry chooses to serve Denethor, who had just bent him over for hours of interrogation and guilt-tripping, for the sake of Boromir? Pippin serves Theoden for...well...I can't even remember the made-up reason? Okay, I'm getting too caught up in this. Anyway, Merry and Pippin's big sections of this book are essentially tours of Rohan and Minas Tirith and descriptions of the gathering armies, which wore on me quickly. These are like those beginning books of The Iliad that no one ever reads. My interest in the by-the-wayside aspects of Tolkien's world has waned as the series has dragged on. By the five-hundredth time I have to look up a place name, I'm tired of doing it. The same complaints I had with Two Towers re: the invincibility of Aragorn, Gandalf, & co. repeat themselves here, and in even greater degree. Aragorn takes the scenic route to Minas Tirith and picks up a conveniently placed army of the undead. He and Gandalf continue to blather endlessly about the coming of a new age, the sword reforged, the crownless kinged, and whatnot, and of course they march on to inevitable victory. There's a curious division between the protagonists talking all kinds of trash and braggadocio, and just generally ruling at life, and the narrator insisting on how dire and hopeless the situation is. But the real saving grace for me, also like in Two Towers, was the story of Frodo and Sam and their relationship and struggles. It's so nice, after Aragorn and all them, to meet somebody that, for example, gets tired. Who can't run up a stellar kill/death ratio on Sauron's army. With these vulnerable heroes, feeling like real stakes are in play, these chapters are so much more thrilling, and of course the final confrontation with Gollum is an absolute classic. It's such an amazing moment when, at the Crack of Doom, Frodo decides, after all their horrible struggle, Fuck that, I'll take the Ring after all, totally overcome by the Ring's power, and it requires a heap of luck and a severed Frodo-finger for this quest to come to its successful conclusion. It feels like if Aragorn had been the ring-bearer, he would have simply strode into the Sammath Naur over piles of mangled orc carcasses and flung the ring in. So, so much better this way. To me, Frodo's weakness is really the ONLY THING that gives this whole series any dramatic weight at all. Frodo also bears the burden of being the only person in all Middle-Earth to take any sort of hurt away from the War of the Ring. Gandalf is all giggles after his task is completed, Aragorn chills on the throne, Legolas and Gimli retire to wherever they came from, Merry and Pippin come back heroes, Sam marries (after he gets over being gay for Frodo) and becomes lifelong mayor of the Shire (which, even after Saruman's attack, is restored to complete hunky-doriness by Galadriel's seeds), but Frodo is left with nobody and a bitchin' case of PTSD, and so decides to just go off and end it all by sailing to the Undying Lands. (Tolkien's insistence that Valinor is just another elf-kingdom is total bullshit...why then have Bilbo survive throughout all this and bother to take that trip, when the point has been made that he's totally unfit for travel, if he's just going to keel over on the boat ride, or two days after landing? Yes, sailing to the Undying Lands is a metaphor for going to heaven.) I'm sorry to say that my opinion of The Lord of the Rings has fallen somewhat over the course of my reread -- not that I don't recognize its quality and thoroughness of imagination, but the total lack of suspense (not only because I've heard the story before) really killed it for me this time. As for my favorite of the three books, it is undoubtedly Fellowship. In the beginning of this quest, there's fear, wonder and the awe of the hobbits experiencing this cold, dangerous outside world for the first time. As the novels proceed, the wonder wears away, and everything is the muster of armies, and the old powers being regained, and utterly trampling the ancient enemy, and playing out the string of this thing. I know I keep harping on this, but I just can't get behind a band of heroes that saws through every obstacle with 100% efficiency, that completes every stage of the game with the highest score ever. Frodo's struggles and the depth of Tolkien's creation seem to me the only compelling aspects of the books. Because those two things are so strongly realized, the books succeed.
  • (4/5)
    The first thing I should say for those unfamiliar with it, is that The Return of the King isn't a self-contained book, one of three in a trilogy, but the third volume of what was conceived as one novel--thus when you look to the table of contents you'll see it starts with "Book V" and in some editions the page count starts at over 700.The Lord of the Rings is a "must-try" for anyone who likes fantasy if not a must-read. Not everyone I know who has tried it loves it, but as someone who has read widely in the fantasy genre, I can tell you no novel is more influential in post-World War II high fantasy and there are authors, particularly Brooks and Jordan, whose fantasy novels come across as cheap imitations--especially having tackled both those authors recently. The work repays second and third readings because of the depth Tolkien gives his world of Middle Earth. According to the introduction, Tolkien had worked out an entire history for Middle Earth before he'd ever written the first volume and it shows. Other made-up worlds seem like painted trees on a drape--Tolkien's trees have roots. At the end of Return of the King, you'll find appendixes including notes on language, maps, and family trees as well as an index.Some complain of Tolkien's style. And I remember once seeing his prose as stiff, although this time I was mostly impressed with its readability and the glints of humor, at least in Fellowship of the Ring. But when the fellowship splits after Fellowship of the Ring and especially when the hobbits disappear from the narrative, Tolkien often goes into heroic saga mode. Out of characters' mouths come out words like: verily, alas, forsooth, ere, aught, oft, nay, yonder, thee and thy. This only increases in the first book of Return of the King much of which reads like the love child of the King James Bible and Beowulf. I think that is what contributes to the reputation of The Lord of the Rings as stiff (and those songs--which I skip over.)There are antique touches even in Fellowship of the Ring--like Gimli's adoration of Galadriel and how female characters are depicted--notable for their beauty than any other quality. (Although Galadriel is certainly more than a pretty face.) But then there's Eowyn. According to the index at the end of the last book, she can be found on 44 pages of this thousand-plus page novel--and that's more than any other female character other than Galadriel. All but 7 of those pages are in Return of the King where she's the most prominent female character. At first she shapes up to be a kick-ass heroine. Aragorn asks her what she fears and she answers "a cage." She wants to fight--to do "great deeds." And she does. And certainly when she faces an enemy who tells her no living man can hinder him, her answer, "But no living man am I. You look upon a woman," my inner feminist wanted to cheer. But in the end, her ambition and courage is seen as a sickness, and she's healed and "tamed" by the love of a man and declares she "will be a shieldmaiden no longer" but a healer. Goodness knows in this novel war is shown to do damage--and those words wouldn't be out of place having come from Frodo's mouth. And it could be seen as healthy to turn from death to life, from war to peaceful pursuits. But something in the context--of an ambitious woman now "tamed" and happily caged, made me gag, maybe all the more because Eowyn is the only female character with a heroic dimension.On the other hand, some of the most memorable and powerful passages come from Return of the King (including Eowyn's heroic deed). Particularly chapters such as "The Pyre of Denethor" and the first three chapters of Book VI dealing with Frodo, Sam and Gollem in Mordor are striking. And though it's not a favorite chapter and might seem out of place to some, I rather appreciate what I think is the message of "The Harrowing of the Shire" (beyond the anti-industrial message.) Tolkien doesn't end with martial triumphalism, but with the displacement and damage of war--of how a veteran feels to find his home changed on return and that not all wounds heal.Not everything is equally engrossing. Generally, I liked the choices of cuts and compressions the film made. My eyes glazed over at the frequent songs and I skipped over them. So yes, I have my share of criticisms. But so much shines in this novel--not all of which riches you're going to get by watching only the movie.
  • (5/5)
    Book one of The Return of the KingAs Aragorn and his party comes out of Isengard, the Rangers of the North come and tell Aragorn that he neads to hurry to stop the war that is raging in Minis Trieth. As he leaves the king Theoden with Merry, Gandalf and Pippin are ariving into Minias Trieth as Sarons army marches twords the Capitol of Gondor. Aragorn and the few men that went with him rode all the way to the Rohan to take the fastest way, and to gather an army of dead soldiers to take the rivers back. King Theoden then rides to Minas Triethand charges the advancing army. The army recoils for a little wile, but they lose their leader as he is stabbed in the head by Eowin. As the armies charge each other again, the sails of the corasairs come and attack with their crew with Aragorn in the lead. After the war, Aragorn takes a Army of six thousand to come and fight aginst the armies of Saron at the black gate.I liked this book because it was breath taking how detailed all of the seans were and how graet the battles were.Book two of The Return of the King
  • (5/5)
    Superb. Anyone who has a pulse needs to read this book(s).
  • (5/5)
    Tolkien wraps up the final volume in the Lord of the Rings "Trilogy" (technically it should not have been a trilogy) rather quickly. The majority of this book is appendices to help flush-out and enrich the world of Middle-Earth. It includes histories, songs, genealogical trees and the various languages through Middle-Earth to help strengthen one of the most fully complete and interesting worlds of fantasy. But more importantly, it finalizes the epic journey to Mordor and the defense of Middle-Earth from Sauron. One very interesting aspect of LotR is how a reader may perceive certain characters if she re-reads the trilogy at different junctures of her life. Faramir really caught my attention, this time around, as did his father Lord Denethor. The actions of other characters seem weaker or just out-right goofy (Aragorn yelling his fifteen names every time he meets someone). But the last time I read the books my thoughts were different - and they will be the next time, I am sure.Regardless of any downfalls - the very few of them there are - this is an epic journey that no one should go without reading. It is a fantastic story of adventure, courage, compassion, morality and out-right fun. Absolutely fantastic.
  • (5/5)
    I was very pleased with the Return of the King. So much is revealed in this book. The ending was perfect. I could not imagine it any other way.
  • (5/5)
    The Age of Elves comes to an end after the greatest evil the World faced has been destroyed. Could Tolkien have been acknowledging the decline of Britain and the rise of America after World War II?