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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Sacrifice

Just because Middle-earth is a fantasy land coming entirely out of Tolkien's own brain does not mean that it has no rules. Tolkien gives all of his characters limits to their abilities to keep them...

Good vs. Evil

We've been saying throughout our Lord of the Rings learning guides that this series is about the confrontation between Good and Evil. But Frodo's struggles with the Ring on Mount Doom in The Return...

The Home

Ah, home at last. By the end of The Return of the King, the hobbits have returned to their home in the Shire. Despite the miseries that the hobbits have had to endure, and despite the fact tha...

Love

By now, you've probably heard enough about Sam's love for Frodo (which gets the two of them through Mordor), Éowyn's love for Aragorn (which is more like admiration for his power), and Pippin and...

Perseverance

Let's face facts. From the beginning, it seems like a great deal of the characters in The Return of the King are doomed to death. How in the world can a motley band of Middle-earthers defeat t...

Warfare

There are two modes of warfare in The Return of the King. First we've got the widespread civilian destruction that Sauron wants to cause by tossing bombs over the city walls into Minas Tirith....

Women and Femininity

Just one question: where are the women in The Return of the King? While we think it is great that Tolkien gives us a warrior maiden character in the form of Éowyn, and a kind queen in the for...

Language and Communication

There are two sides to this theme in The Return of the King. First, the language the characters use says a great deal about who they are, where they come from, and what they represent. Then, t...
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