I’m hoping that I won’t scare too many people off with this, because I am more than a little obsessed, but I’m figuring that I might as well show my true colours immediately so that nothing happens which is altogether too unexpected. The only thing I can say is that this fangirls, contains spoilers, and is nothing like me in real life. I mean, that was actually three things, but I’ll ignore that and just get to the review.

Now this is what I call an epic.

I can’t really say much more about it than that to be honest. Gripping, thrilling and unputdownable are all words which spring to mind, but at the same time, none of them quite describe the genius that is The Lord of the Rings. This review is for the entire trilogy, and contains spoiler, so don’t read it unless you know what happens.

To start with, there is just so much detail it’s unbelievable. Everything ties together, and as a reader it was a pleasure to work things out alongside the Fellowship. The detail is actually amazing: you have complex mythologies and cultural trivialities which make it seem almost as though you could go to some of the places and actually understand the customs of that specific place—although Mordor is hardly what I would call a great holiday destination. Can you imagine the advertisements for a ‘challenging hike up Mount Doom, with fully authentic Orc hunts and Dark Lords to give you a real taste of the land’? Not exactly a quiet get-away. Obviously if you wanted somewhere a little more relaxing you could always visit Rivendell or Lothlórien for a meeting with Elrond or Galadriel. Now there are some good influences for book characters (I unashamedly admit to using Galadriel as the physical basis of a character in one of my short stories). I wouldn’t advice stopping in at Mirkwood though—especially not if you happen to be a dwarf—due to certain areas of hospitality being somewhat lacking.

Now on to the characters. Superb. I want to meet every single member of the Fellowship, and a couple of others besides, starting with but not limited to Galadriel and Éowyn, because this is not a trilogy which is lacking in strong female characters. Also Legolas, but that goes without saying I think. Don’t judge. In all seriousness though, I want to visit Middle Earth far more than I want to visit anywhere that exists on the physical plane—and in saying this I don’t rule out the possibility of it actually existing—and I really want to meet the people in it. Whether or not it would be a tearless meeting is uncertain, because I have a bad habit of getting emotional over these books (and the films, but we won’t go into that) and I think that if I met a much-loved character who happens to no longer be with us I would cry—and not just because I would be seeing a ghost. I also want to meet Sam and Rosie’s children—yes, all thirteen of them, and their respective spouses and children—because…well just because.

I’m now going to go into a brief stint about The Hobbit, because no LOTR review would be complete without at least one reference to the stunning prelude to the trilogy. I admit I liked the films better than the book—what can I say? I’m a sucker for forbidden love and untimely deaths—but when I adored the book already, there’s still a lot to be said for it. Action packed and full of both mildly comedic and heavily tragic moments, there isn’t much that can be said against The Hobbit. (Also—and I’ve just realized this—‘Hobbit’, ‘Rivendell’, ‘Galadriel’ and ‘Mordor’ haven’t come up as incorrect spellings!) I laughed, I cried, I laughed again, and then I sat down and pretended that my heart hadn’t just broken. Also, listen to these songs from the soundtrack of The Desolation of Smaug—they are perfection. Back to the book. Read it, read it again, read it again, make someone else read it, then read it again yourself. Then watch the films, fall in love with Kili and Tauriel, cry yourself to sleep, then torture yourself by watching clips on YouTube. If anyone has already done these things, please contact me so that I can have someone to talk to about it, because I am literally dying here.

And finally—this isn’t actually necessary, but I feel like it’s a must—put up quotes from the books on your walls, and make a door hanger with the sides ’You shall not pass’ and ‘Speak, friend, and enter’ because that way if someone says Mellon you know that you have found a brilliant one (ten points if you understand this!).

Well, that’s me done, after nearly eight hundred words on the perfection that is The Lord of the Rings, so I’ll leave you with this little gem of wisdom:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

My thanks to Master Bilbo Baggins, not only for this poem, but also for giving me the opportunity to follow him on the Quest for Erebor, which opened my eyes to the pure brilliance of Middle Earth.