Since the index page I threw up for my “Decisive Battles” pulls in a good bit of traffic, I figure I should do the same for my Chapter by Chapter reviews of The Lord of the Rings.
Note: While I like to have fun with the chapter descriptions here, I feel honor bound to say that this series isn’t comedic, for the most part.
The Fellowship of the Ring
Chapter One: A Long-Expected Party – Where we find out that the Ring can turn people both invisible and into an asshole.
Chapter Two: The Shadow Of The Past – Gandalf explains the plot to the rea…I mean Frodo.
Chapter Three: Three Is Company – The most epic journey in English literature begins. Oh, and a talking fox turns up at one point.
Chapter Four: A Shortcut To Mushrooms – Where I start reading way too much into Frodo’s “troubled” childhood.
Chapter Five: A Conspiracy Unmasked – That’s right. Fatty Lumpkin was on the grassy knoll.
Chapter Six: The Old Forest – Frodo snaps under the pressure. Luckily, the most rational character imaginable is there to save him.
Chapter Seven: In The House Of Tom Bombadil: I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something very strange about this couple…
Chapter Eight: Fog On The Barrow-Downs – The hobbits get sleepy. Tom gets exasperated. Frodo gets some balls. The reader gets confused.
Chapter Nine: At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony – Having resolutely decided to be more careful from now, the group decide to get drunk with no regrettable consequences.
Chapter Ten: Strider – A scruffy, suspicious looking vagabond turns up the hobbits room. Frodo and Pippin make him feel at home, while Sam slams his head of a table.
Chapter Eleven: A Knife In The Dark – Aragorn tries leading the group to safety, belatedly realising he’s doing the exact opposite.
Chapter Twelve: Flight To The Ford – Slouching towards Rivendell, then the banjo music starts.
Chapter One: Many Meetings – “Hope you didn’t have any problems getting here Frodo!”
Chapter Two: The Council Of Elrond – The Galactic Senate’s got nothing on these guys.
Chapter Three: The Ring Goes South – Elrond is unhelpful, Gandalf is grumpy, Sam is stupid and the mountains are angry.
Chapter Four: A Journey In The Dark – Actually, a lot of this chapter takes place in the light. Also, wolves!
Chapter Five: The Bridge Of Khazad Dum – “Western Road doesn’t sound so stupid now, huh?” thinks Boromir.
Chapter Six: Lothlorien – We interrupt your quest to bring you this trippy detour through the hippy forest.
Chapter Seven: The Mirror Of Galadriel – Maybe she’s on something. Maybe she’s into Frodo. Either way, she’s very odd.
Chapter Eight: Farewell To Lorien – Good guests know when to leave. Better hosts know when to make them.
Chapter Nine: The Great River – Rapids, wasteland, Orcs, Gollum, “Fell Beasts”…What’s so great about this damn river?
Chapter Ten: The Breaking Of The Fellowship – Boromir says: “Give me the Ring. Aww, come on, just for a sec. I’ll be your friend…”
The Two Towers
Chapter One – The Departure Of Boromir: Aragorn and Legolas have some mad freestyle dirge skills.
Chapter Two – The Riders Of Rohan: You know what would explain how the three guys can run non-stop for three days? A Rocky montage.
Chapter Three – The Uruk-Hai: Mordor and Isengard trade “Er we go, er, we go, er we go’s” for a while. Merry and Pippin just watch and trade lembas instead.
Chapter Four – Treebeard: “That’s right fellow Ents, Saurman has WMDs! We have to intervene!”
Chapter Five – The White Rider: “Gandalf! How the hell…” “No time for explanations Aragorn, the plot calls!”
Chapter Six – The King Of The Golden Hall: Black clothes? Pale? No eyebrows? Perving on that guy’s sister? Weird nickname? Probably evil.
Chapter Seven – Helm’s Deep: He writes such meaningful poetry.
Chapter Eight – The Road To Isengard: It’s paved with good intentions. And Uruk corpses.
Chapter Nine – Flotsam And Jetsam: The Ents get their inner Hulk on.
Chapter Ten – The Voice Of Saruman: Like Chocolate Rain, its both nice and creepy to hear.
Chapter Eleven – The Palantir: Magic objects should come with a Surgeon-General’s warning.
Chapter One – The Taming Of Smeagol: Frodo takes in a stray and begs Sam, “Can we keep him?”
Chapter Two – The Passage Of The Marshes: The bogs are so exciting that Gollum decides to talk to himself.
Chapter Three – The Black Gate Is Closed: Too late, Frodo and Sam remember it’s a bank holiday in Mordor.
Chapter Four – Of Herbs And Stewed Rabbit: Thankfully, the chapter contains slightly more than a recipe for cheap stew.
Chapter Five – The Window On The West: “A Ring? Why the hell would I want a Ring?”
Chapter Six – The Forbidden Pool: It’s where the Gondorians go skinny-dipping.
Chapter Seven – Journey To The Cross-Roads: It’s a left, second right, then straight on to the decapitated King.
Chapter Eight – The Stairs Of Cirith Ungol: Frodo (emo), Gollum (openly treacherous) and Sam (insightful, yet dumb) take a break from walking to climb a little.
Chapter Nine – Shelob’s Lair: Luckily, Sam has a really big glass and a sheet of paper.
Chapter Ten – The Choices Of Master Samwise: Yeah. He “chooses” to kick the giant spiders ass.
The Return Of The King
Chapter One – Minis Tirith: Scared Pippin, Brave Pippin, Serious Pippin, Rascaly Pippin, Depressed Pippin…
Chapter Two – The Passing Of The Grey Company: Grey not just in colour, but in mood.
Chapter Three – The Muster Of Rohan: Not as good as the “ketchu” of Rohan. Geddit. Ugh.
Chapter Four – The Siege Of Gondor: The Witch-King comes by to see Denethor, but the Steward is too busy going “Bibble”.
Chapter Five – The Ride Of The Rohirrim: If they had taken running tips from Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, they wouldn’t even have needed horses.
Chapter Six – The Battle Of The Pelennor Fields: I suppose Merry could have been given a slightly more heroic moment then stabbing the bad guy in the calf.
Chapter Seven – The Pyre Of Denethor: I suppose Pippin could have been given a slightly more heroic moment then telling someone else to go and save the day.
Chapter Eight – The Houses Of Healing: Aragorn decides not the press his claim to the throne, then does it anyway. Not that Faramir, Eowyn and Merry are complaining.
Chapter Nine – The Last Debate: With the election only days away, Gandalf goes down the “insane plan” route to win. All the other candidates just seem to nod.
Chapter Ten – The Black Gate Opens: Sale now on! All Orcs must go! Free Emissary with every purchase, now with extra creepiness!
Chapter One – The Tower Of Cirith Ungol: The Orcs, uncharacteristically, kill each other, allowing Sam to blunder towards success.
Chapter Two – The Land Of Shadow: Mordor really needs a better tourism tagline.
Chapter Three – Mount Doom: Frodo has an inappropriately timed change of heart while Gollum’s clumsy feet literally save the world.
Chapter Four – The Field Of Cormallen: Party time! Cheer up Legolas…
Chapter Five – The Steward And The King: “Aragorn’s a bum Eowyn, ditch him!”
Chapter Six – Many Partings: Goodbye Gondor. Goodbye Eomer. Goodbye Faramir. Goodbye Eowyn. Goodbye Rohan. Goodbye Arwen. Goodbye Gimli and Legolas. Goodbye Aragorn. Goodbye Elves. Goodbye Bilbo. Goodbye Elrond. I guess that is “many”.
Chapter Seven – Homeward Bound: Gandalf drops all pretense and just stops trying.
Chapter Eight – The Scouring Of The Shire: Wherein the Shire becomes a police state and for some reason everyone is surprised when Saruman is behind it.
Chapter Nine – The Grey Havens: Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry….