Book Review: Weapons and Warfare
One of the best “The Return of the King” movie tie-in books I have found is “Weapons and Warfare” by Chris Smith. It is one of the most amazingly detailed, visually pleasing and impressively researched books on the LOTR movie trilogy that you will find. This book reconstructs the history and events surrounding the epic events and battles found in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
What is commendable about this book is the amount of information it contains and the obvious, painstakingly research the author Chris Smith has done to create this book. He has clearly done his homework. Not only has he researched the available “Lord of the Rings” books but also collaborated closely with WETA (the special effects wizards), director Peter Jackson and the crew. Throughout the book there are references to “The Hobbit,” “The Unfinished Tales” and “The Lord of the Rings” (including the appendices).
This terrific book covers all of the notable warriors (good and bad), battles and skirmishes that took place throughout the history of the trilogy. Included as well is the respective armor, weapons, cultures, fighting styles and even some battle plans that we have seen in the movies. For the warriors, everyone from Aragorn, Boromir, Isildur, Théoden, Éomer, Denethor, Gandalf, Legolas, the hobbits and Gimli to the Corsairs of Umbar, the Haradrim, Sauron, the Army of the Dead, the Easterlings and the various types of orcs and uruk-hai are found in this awesome book. There are detailed descriptions of weapons, names, pictures and inscriptions. From the graceful elven soldiers to the horrific war machines of the Dark Lord, each culture’s approach to combat is explained – how they fought, why they were fighting, what armor they wore and what weapons they used against their enemies. The book explains the differences between the various orcs such as the berserker uruk-hai, Mordor orcs and Moira orcs, and their specific roles and uses are detailed. The Rohirric and Gondorian cultures are discussed in detail ranging from emblems, flags, and origins to weaponry and their uses. There is a battle plan for the Battle of the Second Age, the flight and skirmish at Helms Deep, and the Battle of Pelennor Fields. The book has even included the skirmish in the Mines of Moria.
Even the pickiest Lord of the Rings fan will enjoy this book. Just when you think you know everything there is to know about the books or movies, you will surely find a few facts or images in this book that will surprise you. The book is pretty substantial at over 200 pages and is simply loaded with information, however, it is not all text. There are hundreds of beautiful, full-color pictures and illustrations that alone make the book worth having. It has something for everyone and is a book that every Lord of the Rings fan should own.