This is, honestly, not something that I do once I finish a series. I generally just move on to the next series or one-off within a few days, but The Lord of the Rings is a unique book. A whole lot of background and ancillary information is in these appendices. Actually, that’s just what I’m told. I don’t actually even know what they talk about. OMG SPOILER FREE FOREVER.
Because I don’t even know the length of these sections, these three posts will be split up entirely on an arbitrary basis. On top of that, this is not going to be a traditional review. I’m going to do something a little more fun: provide you with my thoughts (in note form) as I read each section. I’ll split them up and note which section I’m in so you can follow, but otherwise, this will be more of a stream of my own thoughts than an organized review.
Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers
This reminds me of George R.R. Martin’s family trees at the end of his books. Oh god, I’m truly not prepared for how much information I’m about to take in, am I?
- “…was probably derive from Gimli the Dwarf, who maintained his friendship with Peregrin and Meriadoc and met them again many times in Gondor and Rohan.” OH MY GOD THEY HUNG OUT THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME.
- Oh my god, there is such an intense dating system in place. WHAT AGE ARE WE IN. IS THIS TECHNICALLY THE FOURTH AGE WE LIVE IN.
- Oh, of course the little cross symbol means “premature death.” You’re going to make me said again, aren’t you, Tolkien?
- Oh man. I just turned the page and got to the “Númenórean Kings” and spent ten seconds on the page before feeling like I wanted to read absolutely none of this. It’s so dry! I can’t help it. It’s like the very worst history book ever.
- Elrond chose to be Elven! Neat.
- Fuck, there is LITERALLY A LIST OF THE KINGS AND QUEENS. Why would anyone want to read this?
- So why are the waters in the West “forbidden”? This is never really explained.
- Holy shit, Sauron is old as fuck. It’s cool that there’s an explanation for why we never really see him and why he doesn’t have a physical body. SEE THIS IS GOOD. MORE OF THIS, LESS LISTS. Wait, I love lists. CRISIS OF IDENTITY.
- Is it totally cool that I see the formations of Rowling’s thoughts on deaths in this? The idea that people fear death, so they do things that are irrational and terrible in order to avoid it. That’s Harry Potter in a nutshell right there.
- Oh god, more names and more dates I AM SKIPPING THIS I DON’T CARE. Oooh, I see Denethor and Faramir!
- I have to be honest with y’all: This is kind of boring.
- Oh god, there are PLAGUES in Middle-earth? WTF.
- THE PALANTÍRI WERE BURIED AT SEA OH SHIT
- “Little now is remembered of them since Elrond departed.” Well, shit, could you be any more passive-aggressive about this? GOD IT’S NOT HIS FAULT.
- Okay, Celebrían gets a poisoned wound from an Orc, and eventually she goes to the Havens, too. Is this a thing? Like, is it a barely-disguised metaphor for HEAVEN or something?
- His [Samwise] daughter Elanor the Fair is one of the maids of Queen Evenstar.” LET ME DIE THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL.
- I think I just turned eight pages without a single interesting thing to say. I’M TRYING, I SWEAR.
- You know, it’s hard to find this interesting because there’s almost nothing familiar here. It’s just new names, new places, new kings, and lots of AND THEN THIS AND THEN THEY DID THIS AND THEN HE REIGNED UNCHALLENGED FOR 87 YEARS AND THEN blah who cares.
- “Soon after a deadly plague came with dark winds out of the East. The King and all his children died…” That’s a very specific plague.
- I still don’t particularly understand the importance of the trees, like the White Tree of Minas Anor. Are kings attached to nature in different ways?
- THE WAINRIDERS. This is pretty cool! God, what a great name.
- Also, it’s super weird to see “IN 1944” because I have to remind myself this did not happen during World War II.
- “Eärnil stormed the camp and set fire to the wains, and drove the enemy in a great rout out of Ithilien. A great part of those who fled before him perished in the Dead Marshes.” OH HOLY SHIT THAT IS PROBABLY WHO FRODO AND SAM SAW OH SHIT.
- Ah, a much more in-depth explanation of the crown of Gondor, and why Aragorn even needed to claim kingship of Gondor. I APPRECIATE THIS.
- AN EXPLANATION OF STEWARDS. Quite helpful!
- HOW MUCH PERIL MUST GONDOR FACE. It’s seriously like that one kid who gets picked on by every social group in school. Oh, wait, so it’s me. I am Gondor. what does this say about me everyone.
- “He said little. He listened to counsel, and then followed his own mind.” Bless you, Denethor.
- Okay, Denethor’s history with the palantír and the death of his first wife is just really sad to me, okay? Oh god, SO MUCH SADNESS.
- OH MY GOD ARAGORN BACKSTORY. OH MY GOD HE WAS TWO WHEN HE WAS TAKEN TO LIVE WITH ELROND. OH MY GOD, ELROND WAS LIKE HIS FATHER. THIS BOOK IS FUCKING OVER, AND TOLKIEN IS STILL BREAKING MY HEART. HELP.
- Okay, Arwen and Aragorn are meeting. Just… I can’t. My heart. MY HEART.
- OH FUCK. NOW I KNOW WHY ARAGORN HAD TO WAIT TO MARRY ARWEN. “You shall neither have wife, nor bind any woman to you in troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it.” AHHHHHHHH THIS IS TOO MUCH TO HANDLE.
- I can’t handle Aragorn’s backstory. I can’t. My god.
- I just love Arwen and Aragorn so much. I kind of wish this was in the book proper, you know?
- I… I just read Aragorn’s death. I’m not okay. I am just not okay at all. What are all these feelings and what do I do with them.
- Arwen just died. No, just stop it, Tolkien. Stop.
- How am I supposed to care about the house of Eorl after Arwen and Aragorn. STOP IT.
- WHOOPS BEREN HELPED SARUMAN WHOOPS.
- oh god more lineage lists whyyyyyy
- THE DWARVES SHIT YEAH
- WHAT THE FUCK DID THE ORCS DO TO THRÓR WHAT THE FUCK!!!
- “….when he had wept and torn his beard…” YOU CAN DO THAT??? OH SHIT I HAVEN’T BEEN CAREFUL ALL THESE YEARS.
- Hahaha oh my god. “But they [Dwarves] were made from their beginning of a kind to resist most steadfastly any domination.” But what about domination from a lone Elf? WHAT ABOUT THAT? Sorry, Gimli/Legolas is this series’ best OTP, everyone else is wrong.
- WHAT TELL ME MORE ABOUT THORIN AND GANDALF HANGING OUT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, TOLKIEN.
- Lol his name is Durin the Deathless and he died LOL
- Oh god, Gimli’s name has “Elf-friend” after it BE STILL MY HEART
- ONLY ONE DWARF-WOMAN IN THE WHOLE HISTORY? NOT FAIR. Though it’s fascinating to me that dwarf-women look just like dwarf-men, so maybe we met one and didn’t know?
- I’m pretty sure the last note in Appendix A, regarding what happened to Legolas and Gimli, is just too much for me right now. Oh god, Legolas took Gimli to the Undying Lands, the first Dwarf to ever make such a journey. My heart. MY HEART.
APPENDIX B: The Tale of Years
- Oh god what is this.
- oh my god is this
- it’s really
- oh my god
- It’s a timeline list.
- I kind of love this?
- LOOK I AM MAKING A LIST ABOUT A LIST FUCK YEAH
- Holy shit, Sauron is SO OLD.
- Oh god, the years reset with each Age? OH MY GOD SAURON IS SO OLD. So is Elrond HOLY SHIT.
- Oh, right, I forgot that Frodo is technically older than Faramir. Weird.
- I skipped to the Fourth Age. TRY AND STOP ME.
- Pippin’s son is named Faramir. Oh my god. Wait, Sam’s daughter is named Goldilocks??? SORRY THIS IS HILARIOUS.
- Omg they’re all hanging out with Aragorn omg.
- SAM IS THE UNENDING MAYOR.
- Faramir and Goldilocks got married? What.
- oh god. Sam left to the Grey Havens. Hold me.
- no please stop describing deaths. Oh my god Merry
- UGH NOW PIPPIN. STOP IT.
- NOW ARAGORN. NOOOOO
- Oh god, Gimli and Legolas visited their beds. HELP THIS IS TOO SAD.
Oh god, TOO MUCH SAD. I can’t do anymore in one post JUST HOLD ME EVERYONE.
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