While I overall love this trilogy, there are a few things I don’t like about it. Today I’m sharing those things, mostly spoiler-free. Skip Number Two if you don’t want to be spoiled. The rest aren’t spoilers.
Disclaimer: These are my opinions, and you don’t have to agree with me.
Number 5: The books gloss over some events that are important to the story.
I don’t like that the books skip over some things I feel are important to the story. I talk about these in more detail in my posts on the individual books, which you can find here, here, and here. The movies do a great job of remedying this issue.
Number 4: The books spend too much time on scenes that don’t seem necessary.
It seems like Tolkien chose some of the wrong things to focus on. Granted, it’s his story. He can tell it in whatever way he thinks is best. I just feel like some of the things he includes don’t add to the story. They bore me and make the books harder to read.
Number 3: When the storylines split, they aren’t interwoven.
When Tolkien begins following separate groups of characters, he gives us all the chapters from one group first and all the chapters from the other group second. I don’t like this set-up. It’s hard to keep track of the timeline. I’m also less engaged because I want to skip some characters’ chapters to get to other characters’ chapters because the latter characters are more central to the main plot than the former ones. I love how the movies fix this as well by going back and forth between the two storylines.
Number 2: There’s a lack of agency on Frodo’s part.
Frodo has a lot of agency in the first book; but after that, he loses his proactivity. If it weren’t for Sam, the mission would have failed. Sam is the backbone of that quest, and it makes me dislike Frodo because the Ring is his burden to bear.
Number 1: The villains aren’t well developed.
I don’t like how the villains aren’t well developed. We don’t know their motivations or much of anything about who they are as characters. I’ve read The Silmarillion, so I know it goes into more of Sauron’s background; but those details should be included in The Lord of the Rings. Surely Gandalf knows something of Sauron’s past and would be capable of enlightening the other characters. The villains just don’t seem as realistic and scary when we don’t know anything about them.
Those are the main things I don’t like about The Lord of the Rings. Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy, but these things made it a little less fun to read.
What are your least favorite parts of this trilogy? Do you agree or disagree with any of these points? Let me know in the comments.