I am late to the game when it comes to fantasy epics. I have read and reread Harry Potter more times than I can count, but anything more hardcore than that has historically failed to grasp my attention (looking at you, Game of Thrones). I am so very happy that I decided to embark on my own hobbit-sized journey to read Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, because it has paid off handsomely.
The second part of Tolkien’s trilogy follows the Fellowship after their separation and their respective adventures. The smaller groupings allows for the reader to get to know the beloved characters more intimately. The hobbits Merry and Pippin are more or less side characters in The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1); however, they are a brave and comedic duo in the second installment of the series. I really love these two goobers and their story. I love that they befriend the Ents—TREES! And all along they are minimally but effectively useful. They keep their wit and full hearts throughout their little tale, despite the stinky, gruesome orcs manhandling them across leagues. Merry and Pippin are my precious and I would protect them at all costs.
Which leads me to the love story that is Frodo and Sam. As I mentioned, I am late to this LOTR train, but try and tell me that Tolkien was not writing Frodo and Sam as an epic love story and I will simply turn away and not listen. Sam is this fiercely protective and loyal servant to his ever-weakening but always persistent master, Frodo. I mean, Sam even allows Frodo to sleep in his lap while promising to watch out for his master (and then promptly falls asleep, because it’s Sam and his true love is asleep in his lap—hello!) It’s all very adorable and then nerve-racking following these two simple, lovely hobbits into the depths of Middle Earth hell.
Tolkien’s world-building is absolutely stunning. I admit parts are difficult for me to grasp, but it does not take away from how beautifully woven the land is to the story and the lore within the story itself. I absolutely understand the hype, and cannot wait to read the third and final installment.