The Return of the King
In this seminar, Dr. Corey Olsen – also known as The Tolkien Professor – will discuss the third volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale of adventure and heroism in Middle-earth, The Return of the King. The seminar will consist of eight sessions, meeting once per week and spending three sessions each in Books V and VI, with the last two discussions focusing on the Appendices.
Return of the King tells the conclusion of the hobbits’ journeys throughout unknown lands and the culmination of the War of the Ring, in which the surviving free peoples of Middle-earth move boldly against Sauron in an attempt to distract him long enough for Frodo and Sam to slip through the dark lord’s defenses and complete their mission. Like its predecessor, however, there is also a “back again” portion of the story, in which the four hobbit friends – now much grown in both stature and experience – discover that even a their journeys have changed them, the home they left behind has also changed, and not for the better.
This seminar is the first of the series of open classes made possible by the generosity of all the good people who contributed to our recent and successfully completed fundraising. The Return of the King, along with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales, were nominated as finalists by the Mythgard council, and the campaign contributors voted in a very exciting election in which over 1,300 votes were cast and which saw The Return of the King edge out Ender’s Game by a single vote. It was like Florida 2000, except fun (no chads were hanged in the election of these books). These seminars are free and open to the public; the first 100 registrants will be able to participate live in the class discussion, and both video and audio recordings of the classes will be made available to everyone through this website, the Mythgard Academy podcast feed, on YouTube, and iTunes U.
If you missed our fundraising campaign but would still like to take part in this wild and bracing electoral process to decide what other open courses we will hold over the rest of the year, it isn’t too late! You can join in the action by donating to Signum today!
Schedule for The Return of the King
The Return of the King seminar originally took place from October 24 – December 12, 2013, on Thursday evenings (and a couple Fridays).
Class 1: The Board is Set
Read: Book V, Chapters 1-3
Class 2: Wrath, Ruin, and a Red Nightfall
Read: Book V, Chapters 4-6
Class 3: Hope and Ignorance
Read: Book V, Chapters 7-10
Class 4: The Hero of the Age
Read: Book VI, Chapters 1-3
Class 5: The Very Wine of Blessedness
Read: Book VI, Chapters 4-6
Class 6: Good Endings
Read: Book VI, Chapters 7-9
Class 7: The Necessary Background of History
Read: Appendix A
Class 8: The Perception of Depth
Read: Appendix B-F
Class 9: Open Q&A on the LOTR
Artwork for The Return of the King
Artwork for The Return of the King seminar was adapted from “Departure at the Grey Havens” by Ted Nasmith. Used with permission.