I was just going to look at how some of the battle scenes are rendered, but of course I got sucked right back in. I’m reading this differently every time–on my last pass two years ago, I was down on Tolkien’s writing and only respected him as an inventor of what’s probably the most solid alternate reality ever conceived. This time through, I did find some very strong prose, and even “The Scouring of the Shire” (informally known as The Hobbit Ass Kicking) fits beautifully into the narrative. I’m also struck by how skillfully Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens wove some of Tolkien’s best writing into the movies. There are many examples of this, but the most striking to me were a bit from the appendices that ended up as Elrond’s dialog in “Two Towers,” and the last we see of Frodo, which was given to Gandalf in Minas Tirith. The power of Tolkien’s mythology is undeniable, and there are exquisite moments all throughout the heroic prose.