Sticking the landing remains one of the hardest elements of storytelling. Setting up a precedence of remarkable quality (that can’t possibly be topped) within a series is the bane of many a writer, musician or filmmaker. Although, J.R.R. Tolkien accomplished the feat 65 years ago with his titanic conclusion to The Lord of the Rings trilogy with The Return of the King; a peerless example of fantasy at its peak.
Embraced by hippie culture in the 1960s (due to the ‘leaf’ smoking hobbits, anti-industrialisation jabs and ‘anyone can have an impact’ philosophy), the immortality of Tolkien’s work has since thrived in the mainstream. Without it there isn’t A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter and, most importantly, there isn’t Bored of the Rings. Considered impossible to film, it is testament to Tolkien’s scope and depth when vast changes of the story had to be edited for the adaptation.
65 years on and it’s good vs evil narrative remains the richest, and most defining one in literature. Its themes continue to resonant and the sprawling world and lore are unrivalled. Bask in its battles, relish in its writing and cry with its characters.
Watch the trailer for the 2003 adaptation of the book below: