This conclusion to Tolkien's epic myth begins with the members of the Fellowship scattering once again as they prepare to withstand the impending onslaught from the Dark Lord Sauron and his Nazgul.
Frodo and Sam continue in their hopeless trek across the devastated and evil land of Mordor, intent on destroying the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. As they struggle to reach their goal, Pippin and Gandalf arrive at the city of Minas Tirith, where the Men of Gondor will soon make a stand against the armies of Sauron. Denethor, Steward of Gondor, strives with Gandalf for power and supremacy as they prepare for Sauron's assault, but his pride comes crashing down as personal tragedy strikes and defeat seems imminent.
Then out of apparent doom rises a new king and new hope. Aragorn and Gandalf risk all, leading an assault on the Dark Lord himself in an attempt to distract him from the Ringbearer and perhaps give Frodo time to destroy the Ring. At the end of it all, can Frodo resist the temptation of the One Ring itself?
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Through J.R.R. Tolkien's tale of fantasy, hobbits, adventure, danger, loyalty, and courage, students will learn:
Author Biography: Learn about J.R.R. Tolkien and the fascinating history behind the author and novel.
Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Characterization, archaic language, rhythm and language, hubris, extended metaphor, images, interlacing, alliteration, assonance, anthropomorphism, irony, foreshadowing, eucatastrophe, comic relief, allusions, parochialism, dramatic structure, static vs. dynamic characters, heroism, narcissism, resolution,
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Choosing between conflicting choices, Christ figure, fallen humanity, dread and despair, deceit, grief teaching wisdom, great deeds, scriptural parallels, temptation, the power of evil, death wish, hope and Psalms, stewardship, pity, endings and changes, wealth and power, moving on, interdependence, just war, nature of evil,
Activities and Writing Assignments: Read/review prequels, mapping character movements, research kings, Middle-earth map, research harrowing, martyrs, feudal system, essay or debate on women in battle, Rohirrim, armor, Denethor and Saul, prophecy, Pippin vs. Merry, duty, light and darkness, facing death, research fortress walls, song/poem of victory, watercolor, crowning of Aragorn, living wills, contemporary coronations, comparison of Minas Tirith, Christ’s second coming, luck, healing, death and immortality, messianic images, growing up, providence patterns, female characters analysis, write a short story, dramatize a scene, PTSD interview/research.
Suggestions for Further Reading: We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books and movies that tie in with, or are similar to, The Return of the King
All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian perspective!
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