A few random observations:
- It's really surprising how well the novel reads, given that it breaks so many of the basic rules of writing: it's got far more description than dialogue; it often tells instead of shows; and it's ultra-heavy on exposition (in fact, the first book starts with about thirty pages of exposition, and you're NEVER supposed to start your book that way). He pulls it off, which is certainly a testament to his skill as a storyteller while standing as a rebuke to his skill as a stylist.
- I know -- I KNOW -- what a lame thing this is to point out, and the last thing I want to do is toss any kind of P.C. filter over the trilogy, but it's a little numbing how often the bad guys are referred to as "dark", "black", "dusky", "slant-eyed" or "swart". Especially when the good guys are simultaneously being referred to as "Whiteskins". OKAY WE GET IT ALREADY. I shouldn't find this so dismaying, but I do.
- I think they should have played up the Gimli/Galadriel relationship more in the movies. Because the "son of Gloin" quite obviously has a big hard-on for Galadriel, and what audience wouldn't like to see a filthy midget dry-humping Cate Blanchette? Am I right? Come on.