I am planning to write a few posts about The Lord of the Rings. This one explains how I plan to read it. From there, I’ll move on to a discussion of the books and then the movies, so this will be a series. I am aiming for three posts (because a trilogy for this would be cool, right?) but it may be that I have more to say about LOTR than I can fit into three posts. We shall see. Here are some assumptions that are important to my reading:
The One Ring is a character. It is not a mere object and it is not simply an appendage of Sauron. It has its own personality and its own interests. The motive of all the other major antagonists – including Sauron – is to gain the ring.
The trilogy is a series of encounters between the Ring and other characters. This series of episodes is the only narrative structure that matters to me here. Even though there are other things going on and there are characters who are never really involved with the ring, this part of the story gets enough page-time to make my reading work.
Next, I break the characters into categories and look at how different categories of characters relate to The Ring.