“Well, I’m back,” he said.
I’m finished with The Lord of the Rings.
Can I get a round of applause? Thank you.
I’ll be posting my official review tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you the final passage of the novel.
I guess I should give you a SPOILER ALERT here, though it’s really no spoiler, unless knowing that three main characters are alive at the end of the novel would bother you.
The beauty of the passage is its finality.
At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland and already they were singing again as they went. But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.
After everything you’ve been through reading this massive novel, Tolkien gives you an ending that you can live with. Merry and Pippin continue as normal. Sam settles into family life. And, of course, Frodo is on his way to the Gray Havens to live happily ever after—at least while dealing with the consequences of having been a ring bearer.
The ending is so simple. So plain. And that’s what makes it so good.
My review of The Lord of the Rings is coming tomorrow.