C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: What They Did Right

So, I know what you’re all thinking. How can I possibly summarize everything Lewis and Tolkien did right with their books in one post?

Well, you got me. I can’t. But I can try.

Here’s a list of just a few of the things that make the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings some of my favorite books.

  1. Characters – Frodo. Sam. Bilbo. Aragorn. Eowyn. Faramir. Lucy. Edward. Susan. Caspian. Aslan. Susan. Peter. All of these characters are unique and perfect in their own ways. You know what makes them so amazing? They’re normal people, with hopes, fears, and dreams just like the rest of us. And, yes, they have lots of flaws. Frodo was tempted by the ring. Edward betrayed his family for food (um, yeah, Turkish Delight can’t be THAT good, but he changed his mind). That’s what makes them so much more real, though.
  2. Dialogue – While the characters definitely talk in a more fancy way than we would on a regular basis, it’s part of the charm. Wouldn’t you love it if you opened your mouth and out flowed lovely prose, perfectly sarcastic comebacks, or intelligent remarks that no one can deny? Yeah, okay. We can’t be that awesome. But we can enjoy it when they are.
  3. Worldbuilding – This is one of the top reasons! From the Shire, to Rivendell, to the Mines of Moria, Lord of the Rings really captures this with Middle-Earth. And as for the Chronicles of Narnia? Cair Paravel, Miraz’s Castle, the White Witch’s Castle, Omaru, and Archenland are each as varied as the stars in the sky. They really take world-building to a new level, and it shines through in their brilliant descriptions. I wish I had half of the worldbuilding.
  4. Battle Scenes – This one may not be as obvious, but it’s no less important. Normally, battle scenes go something like this for me. ‘Character A swings at Character B with their axe, but Character B deflects it. Then Character B slices at Character A’s head, in return getting stabbed in the thigh by…’ I can feel my eyes glazing over just writing that. Blah, blah, blah, blah. But I never once got that feeling in either of these books. Why? They interspersed the action details with details to make me care, with dialogue and funny remarks and interesting tidbits. So good.
  5. Subplots/Character Arcs – Eowyn facing off the Witch-King, or Sam struggling to help Frodo. Romantic relationships in both.  While the overarching theme in Narnia is that of the four siblings combined, we also get to see Edmund struggle with selfishness and greed. Susan and Peter growing up and maturing into full-fledged adults after struggling with not trusting others. Lucy not being that naive little child anymore. None of these characters stayed the same over the course of the story. They grew and changed, as people are apt to do.

Anyways, please comment down below and tell me if I missed something for what’s so good about these two classics! (And yes, I know what it really should be is a one-bullet list with ‘everything’, but alas, I need more content than that.)

Thanks for reading!

Rebecca M.



One thought on “C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: What They Did Right

  1. I actually tried Turkish Delight last week for the first time, and it wasn’t all that good.

    But yes! These are two of my favorite books/movies!


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