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This is it. The movies based in Middle Earth have finally ended. This brings up a similar feeling to what happened over ten years ago, when Return of the King ended, and fans were left feeling bittersweet, as they had just witnessed a great movie but didn’t think they would see another movie based on Tolkien’s works, as there was a lot of doubt for a while whether The Hobbit would ever see the big screen. Well, it made it, with its own trilogy of movies, and brought us back into the world, but overstayed its welcome. The new trilogy, a combination of a cash grab and a tribute to fan wishes, takes a small book and adds so many things that these movies barely resemble it in both tone and content. The Hobbit was originally a child’s book, and Lord of the Rings a sequel asked for by the publishers. The Hobbit films tried to make more links to The Lord of the Rings where none existed, but the simple tale of a small man looking for treasure got lost in the movies. And out of the three, this last one could possibly be the most egregious in that.

In the book, the battle of the five armies took relatively few pages. After the death of Smaug, anything else seemed anticlimactic. Yet it gets its own movie. One where the whole last half is one big battle scene. And the first half is the preparation for that. Definitely the darkest of the three, with several character deaths, the whole thing feels more bleak. The battles follow other Peter Jackson ones, with some attempts to inject humor, but eventually become one on one battles for revenge, with typical deus ex machina, more forgivable in the child’s book than this movie. In the end, it leaves more of a bitter than sweet taste, from all the deaths, a lonely Bilbo, and the end of an era.

Lord of the Rings will be missed, and looked on with fondness. I doubt this trilogy will ever garner as much love as the original. It distracted us from our loss, and had its moments, but will never replace the adventures of Frodo.


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