Notes on Return of the King Themes

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Return of the King Topic Tracking: Love and Loyalty

Book 5, Chapter 1

Love and Loyalty 1: Pippin's thoughts turn constantly to his friends wherever they may be. He is always worried about their trials. Denethor had an immense love for his son Boromir and does not seem to want to live on without him. His son Faramir is not enough for him and he does not think that he is loyal enough to him.

Book 5, Chapter 2

Love and Loyalty 2: Aragorn's kindred ride many days and many miles to be with him at this last battle. They are prepared to follow him wherever he goes. Gimli and Legolas have this same sort of love, a fact that Eowyn points out. Her love for Aragorn is so strong that she wants to follow him into the paths of the dead and meet whatever end will come to her. When she cannot follow him, she is grief-stricken.

Book 5, Chapter 3

Love and Loyalty 3: Theoden makes his niece and Merry remain at Edoras to care for the people while he and Eomer go out to honor their alliance with Gondor. Rohan's people are immensely loyal and they raise one of the largest armies to be seen

Book 5, Chapter 5

Love and Loyalty 4: Faramir returns to his father and immediately seeks his advice and affection even though he knows that he was not his father's favorite. Because his son is interested in Gondor over his family, Denethor doubts his loyalty and accuses him of being more loyal to Gandalf.

Book 5, Chapter 7

Love and Loyalty 5: Theoden fights and dies for his allies. Eowyn gives her life for two reasons: she wants to avenge her uncle and she feels life is meaningless because Aragorn does not love her. Merry is moved by the sacrifices of those around him and he fights to protect Eowyn.

Book 5, Chapter 8

Love and Loyalty 6: Beregond's loyalty undergoes the ultimate test. He must decide whether to follow the direct order of his master and allow him to kill himself and his son or to disobey and challenge the other servants. Beregond's compassion and rationale overcome his sense of duty and he stops Denethor from killing his only surviving son.

Book 6, Chapter 1

Love and Loyalty 7: Sam's love for Frodo is one of the most powerful forces of loyalty in the book. For Sam, it is so potent that it overcomes the intoxicating strength of the ring and gives him the strength and courage to enter Minas Ithil and face the terrible orcs to save his companion. When they are reunited they think only of each other. Sam wants to keep Frodo warm and Frodo wants Sam to eat.

Book 6, Chapter 2

Love and Loyalty 8: Their affection for each other keeps them moving through the darkest of lands. Sam is always willing to stay awake and search for water while Frodo sleeps because he is aware of how great a burden his companion carries.

Book 6, Chapter 4

Love and Loyalty 9: Frodo and Sam were ready to die in each other's arms, but Gandalf saves them. He returns them to their companions and they all eagerly share their stories with one another. The entire army honors them.

Book 6, Chapter 5

Love and Loyalty 10: Aragorn fell in love with Arwen at a very early age. He was eager to find out all he could about her and spent all his time with her. After many adventures and being proclaimed king, Aragorn is finally wed to his life-long love, Arwen.

Book 6, Chapter 8

Love and Loyalty 11: The hobbits are intensely loyal to one another and they immediately trust the scores of hobbits arriving to help them. For years, Saruman has mistreated Grima, despite his persisting loyalty. At the last moment, when Saruman has fallen as low as Grima, Grima kills him after such great frustration.

Book 6, Chapter 9

Love and Loyalty 12: Frodo is a respected member of the community when he returns, but as he drops out of the public life, Sam, Merry and Pippin become great figures. Sam falls in love with Rose and marries her. When he leaves Frodo, he feels an irreparable loss. It is not until he gets home that he finds that Frodo did not leave him alone: he has his children and his wife. This alone is what he could not give or get from Frodo.

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