Educational Value - 3/5 - There is a whole lot to learn about J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is far more complex than his prequel "The Hobbit". He intends to follow the plot with riddles and poems and songs, and his language makes you think of which and what would occur then. Maps, histories, family trees, and languages are detailed here. Even a history event from hobbits is in the prologue.
Positive Messages - 4/5 - Good vs. Evil is at the heart of the trilogy. The stakes here are very high, many races, the most innocent and smallest, must battle against evil for the one ring. Even the hobbits have to carry the burden. Gandalf teaches Frodo a message about the suffering of Gollum. Tom Bombadillo informs both Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, about an ecosystem lesson, beginning with "The trees and grasses and all things growing and living in the land belong each of themselves."
Positive Role Models - 4/5 - Frodo, at first, becomes reluctant to go on his beginning for his quest. Sam is very royal and friendly to Frodo, and doesn't trust anyone else. Gandalf and Aragorn are good protectors of the fellowship. Merry and Pippin seems wise and always very curious. Boromir intends to battle against the ring for 1000 men and to curse himself with the ring instead of following the plans.
Violence - 4/5 - About as grim as the movie. The company have to battle orcs, wolves, and a large creature covered with fire (the Balrog). A tooth-like squid tries to eat the heroins. Gollum is describedd about getting tortured, and at first strangled someone since his friend had found the ring.
The Nazgul is described as fear overcoming the darkness. The peril from the Nazgul can be overwhelming. Little bloodshed is described, even though the book describes beheadings of orcs and wolves. Bows, daggers and swords are used as weapons.
Sexual Stuff - 0/5 - None.
Language - 1/5 - One use of A*s.
Drinking/Drugs/and Tobacco - 3/5 - Drinking and Pipe-weed are shown frequently, even by Gandalf, the hobbits, and Strider (the prologue says all about pipe-weed). Drinking is described on social meetings, and some say the think about it lovingly.
Consumerism - 2/5 - Hard to forget the movies, video-games, even a Lego game was made here, action figures, toys, and costumes.
Why I liked this - This book was determined one of the best. And I think it is. The description was vividly detailed, and Tolkien's writing seemed to have a style to appeal thought-provoking tales. This is very much an adult tale, but it would appeal to young readers. Tolkien was perhaps the first one to create a fully-realized, authentic-seeming world. Brimming with various engaging cultures and creatures to accept the magic, that seems as fully realized as our own. But first, how did this story be names 'epic'? Epic battles: yes. But inner-turmoil too. Overwhelming forces of the Nazgul's and other evil, show temptation and greed to one self. But perhaps so of the magic of friendship and loyalty and devotion. This is where the word "epic" was created from. From it's simple narrative it deserves it's true power.