Can we all just take a minute to discuss the whole conspiracy that is people claiming that this series is good? Because I found it to be incredibly dull. I admit, I didn't quite finish it. I skipped over some of the songs (ugh, all of the singing) and stopped The Return of the King a little early and read the Wikipedia page instead because of all the monotony. The entire series is essentially a series of changing dyads wandering around, meeting new people with names lacking individuality and therefore memorability, and then sometimes dying. I honestly don't remember all of my complaints about the series, but I shall bulletpoint that which comes to mind:
- The lack of women - seriously, there's only one, right? Or two? Galadriel and Arwyn are the only two my husband and I can come up with off of the top of our heads and that is far too few women for an epic.
- The lack of character development. None. There is none.
- The hobbits are children. I'm pretty sure that according to hobbit protocol, all four hobbits are adults but all act and are treated like children. What really got to me was how the other characters would physically pick them up and move them about and that never gave them a sense of shame. Not that it should but come on now - if you were being picked up like that, you'd be embarrassed, right? Yeah you would.
- The strict good/evil dichotomy. Gollum and Boromir complicate this a little bit, but not enough. The world is not so simple.
- None of the good guys die. You could say that Boromir did but he slipped up, so he obviously had it coming. I guess some of the good guys introduced later on, but I couldn't keep track of any of them so they clearly don't count.
I've read some interesting stuff on Goodreads about how the series is technically good, with all the careful world-building and that's all well and good, but without a substantial story it was just one long yawn-fest. All I really liked about it was the friendship between Legolas and Gimli, because they are adorable and rise above prejudices and all that jazz.
At least I can say I've read it and can check a seventh book off of my Classics Challenge list. Please feel free to tell me what people like about this series so much, because I really don't get it.