Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 8, 2023
October 1, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
The title of the third volume, The Return of the
King, refers to Aragorn, or Strider, and his return to
claim the throne of Gondor. When the hobbits first encounter Strider
in The Fellowship of the Ring, he is a cloaked
and mysterious Ranger of the North, a mercenary who patrols the
borders of Middle-earth against bandits and evildoers. As the novel
progresses, we learn that Strider is Aragorn, the heir of Isildur,
the last and greatest king of Men who led the forces of Middle-earth
against the armies of Mordor. To the hobbits, Strider appears rugged
yet strangely stately, an ideal combination for the ruler of the
great realm of Gondor. As time passes, however, Strider becomes
quiet and aloof. He increasingly refers to himself as Aragorn, and
his attention is fixed mainly on the throne he will claim if the
quest to destroy the Ring succeeds.
In Books V and VI, Aragorn ceases to be a character who
reveals himself through conversations, personality quirks, or limited knowledge
of events. Aragorn becomes the opposite of the hobbits, who represent
the common individual’s perspective and for whom the quest is a
journey of self-understanding and discovery. Aragorn’s character
reveals itself in the roles he plays, and particularly in the symbolic
actions he performs. Aragorn emerges as a Christ figure—one whose
experiences resemble those of Christ and who performs a sacrifice
that redeems others. Interestingly, Tolkien’s Christ figure does
not sacrifice himself for anyone in the novel. Aragorn heals people,
like Christ in the biblical Gospels, but he suffers no wounds on
their behalf. Tolkien opens the sacrificial role to all characters, particularly
the most humble ones, the hobbits. Aragorn represents the eschatology
of Christ—the belief that Christ will return to establish a kingdom
on earth for his faithful.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Return of the King!