Bernhard Hirsch hen the days of rejoicing were over at last the Companions thought of returning to their own homes" (RK, VI, vi, 252)-- with this opening sentence of Book VI, chapter vi, the sustained climax of The Lord of the Rings is brought to an end. Tolkien's quest-romance culminates in the destruction of the One Ring and the downfall of Sauron, the celebration at the field of Cormallen, the happy union of Éowyn and Faramir, and the coronation and wedding of Aragorn. After this series of events, it is time for the last stage of the travelers' journey: the long road home to the Shire. Frodo's announcement of the "end of all things" (RK, VI, iii, 225) on Mount Doom, which he made in the face of imminent death, is put into perspective by this final part of the text. While the destruction of the Ring is clearly the pivotal event in the liberation and the rise of the kingdoms of Men, the waning of the Elvish realms, and the "transition from the enchanted Third Age to the disenchanted Fourth Age" (Hiley 66), its seeming finality is relativized by the concluding chapters that turn away from the
Tolkien Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Nov 27, 2014
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