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Tropes from The Lord of the Rings (the book)
Tropes A-C -- Tropes D-F -- Tropes G-I -- Tropes M-O -- Tropes P-R -- Tropes S-U -- Tropes V-Z

Tropes J-L

  • Jumped At the Call: Sam is even described as "springing up like a dog invited for walk" when Gandalf tells him to go with Frodo.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: the whole War of the Ring is used to distract from the attempt to destroy the Ring.
    • Also Xanatos Roulette declined. The history of the Second and Third Age including the forging of the Great Rings through Sauron's encouragement was a complex attempt to enslave the peoples of Middle-earth.
    • And let's not forget the ring itself. 3000 years of manipulating people to deliver it back into its master's hand. And then a hobbit comes along...
      • Gandalf laid a few of his own as well, some take place offstage: a prime example is that the events of The Hobbit were helped along by Gandalf to A: reduce the strength of the goblins in the north of Middle Earth and prevent Sauron from having a strong ally in Smaug, B: create a strong dwarven nation in the Lonely Mountain to stop Sauron's easterlings from flanking Rohan and Gondor.
  • Karmic Death: Saruman
  • Keystone Army, in part: The destruction of the Ring kills Sauron, which confuses and thus incapacitates the parts of his armies which were more directly controlled by his will (e.g. the orcs), which makes them easy game; the not-magically-controlled human armies had various natural reactions, some surrendering and some keeping on fighting.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Ringwraiths, Shelob. Depending on how you want to look at it, the Balrog inverted the trope.
  • King Incognito: Aragorn for the first part of FOTR.
  • Lady of War: Éowyn
  • Large and In Charge: Aragorn stood at 6'6, which was considered very tall for Men at the end of the Third Age. His ancestor King Elendil was even taller at nearly 8'.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Faramir and Eowyn get together rather abruptly at the end, having spent a week almost constantly in each other's company in the Houses of Healing.
  • Last Stand: Or so everyone thinks at the Battle of the Black Gate.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The Return Of The King is the title of the third book. Tolkien initially insisted on "The War Of The Ring" as a title to avoid the table of contents spoiling the (albeit secondary) story.
    • Although it was also pointed out to him that "The Return Of The King" did not necessarily imply "The Victory Of The King".
    • And Frodo's title for the story was even worse: The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings.
      • Since Frodo was writing contemporary history, most people reading it would already know the basics, such as that Sauron doesn't rule the world.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The chapter "The Uruk-Hai," which focuses on Pippin, includes a line by Merry that Pippin's actions in it were so impressive that there will likely be a whole chapter about them in Bilbo's book.
  • Least Is First: Frodo offering to take the Ring at the Council of Elrond, immediately joined by Sam.
  • Leave Your Quest Test: When Lady Galadriel questions the Fellowship.
  • Lemony Narrator: Mostly in the early chapters in the Shire and till Bree; again in the later chapters on the way back.
  • A Light in the Distance: The will-o'-the-wisps seen in the Dead Marshes.
  • Light Is Not Good: Saruman
    • In the context of Tolkien's mythos, the Sun is not good for the elves, who see it as symbolic of the triumph of men over them (it is outright stated that the Sun symbolises the waning of the elves, and Galadriel implies in The Lord of the Rings that they see the dawn in the same way mankind sees the dusk - as symbolic of the end). The Elves frankly prefer the stars, which at least were already around when they were created.
  • Line in the Sand: Before the battle at the Black Gate.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: The author claims that The Lord of the Rings is translated from the Red Book of Westmarch, which was written by the hobbits (mainly Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise).
    • It seems obvious in retrospect, given the changing nature of the narrator's voice from section to section. The story begins with Bilbo's homely descriptions of the hobbit characters' interaction, gradually changes to Frodo's scholarly and slightly purple narration throughout most of the rest of the book, and ending with Sam's down-to-earth, humble (but still educated) language towards the end -- the second half of Book Six, detailing the Scouring and renewal of the Shire, is directly implied to have been written by Sam ("I have finished. The last few pages are for you"). As for the characters who didn't directly contribute to the writing of the Red Book, Merry has a remarkable eye for detail and consequence that strikes quickly to the heart of matters, and the narrator -- probably Frodo -- takes care to report his and Pippin's dialogue as faithfully as he can.
      • It's entirely possible that Pippin and Merry contributed to the Prologue, "Concerning Hobbits". Both of them seem to be quite swotted up on the history of their families, which are as close to nobility as anyone in the Shire can claim; Merry's interrupted spiel to Theoden on the subject of pipeweed is almost a verbatim copy of some of the prologue's remarks on the Leaf, and he is credited with an exhaustive treatise on the herblore of the Shire.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Some of them with loads and loads of names too!
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The fall of Barad-dûr coincides with Sauron's death. Justified because he created it using the Ring. Once the Ring's power was no longer holding it up, its foundations crumbled and took the rest of the Dark Tower with it.
  • The Lone Dalek: Gollum
  • Losing the Team Spirit: This happens to the fellowship when Gandalf falls in Moria. Even though he's not really dead, they have no way of knowing this -- Frodo and Sam don't even find out until AFTER the quest is over. Aragorn manages to pull them together long enough to get them to safety.
  • Lost in Transmission: The Book of Mazarbul. See Apocalyptic Log above.
  • The Lost Woods: The Old Forest, Fangorn Forest, and Lothlórien
  • Love Epiphany
  • Love Hungry: What Galadriel would become under the influence of the One Ring.
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