The final part of JRR Tolkien’s genre-defining work reaches its breathtaking and moving conclusion in this beautifully faithful audio adaptation. With the epic scale of The Two Towers behind us, the listener is asked to join Frodo and Sam on a much more intimate and personal level, as they resolve to complete the quest to destroy the One Ring.
Of all the books this is the darkest, reflected in both the grisly creatures that test the central characters and Frodo’s decent into corruption. Where once we wandered through the peaceful Shire and the magical world of the Elves, most of this book is set in the black, cracked and desolate lands of Mordor. Stephen Oliver’s magnificent score helps set the tone and atmosphere with a deft and understated brilliance, while the vocal talents of Ian Holm and Bill Nighy allow a little light to shine into the most hopeless of situations.
Gollum’s role in the story is finally revealed, and Peter Woodthorpe gives us a taste of what this wretched creature might have been before he was twisted and ensnared by the Ring. And, for those of you who mourned the absence of the Scouring of the Shire from the film adaptation, here you can listen to Peter Howell’s vengeful Saruman get his just reward.