Mordor invades Gondor (another huge battle, elephants and all, see film 3), nearly wins, but gets defeated at last gasp by Rohan cowboys and Aragorn, with his elf and dwarf, helped by some dead people. Denethor incinerates himself.
Then it all goes a bit anti-climax really, and still several hundred pages to go. Don’t forget though that Frodo and Sam, and the faithful Gollum, are still crawling towards Mount Doom in Mordor …
‘I know!’ said Gandalf. ‘We’ll ride up to Sauron’s front door and knock and he’ll come out and then and then …’
‘I’d better lead this one,’ said Aragorn.
So they did.
But, just as Sauron’s Wraiths, Orcs, Oliphaunts, Trolls, Wild Men, etc are poised to pounce unexpectedly on Gandalf’s little army, Frodo Sam and Gollum between them manage to drop the Ring (and Gollum) into the Hot Crack of Doom – and then Sauron and all his Orcs and Trolls and Wraiths all just kind of evaporate and die and there’s lots of big hot explosions and only baddies get killed and then Frodo and Sam get rescued by an eagle (don’t ask) and then everyone gets big hugs and it’s all very very lovely with loads of archaic language, thees and thous, and ceremony and then Aragorn gets crowned King and marries his childhood sweetheart and then all the chums set off for home.
‘Hah. You’d forgotten me, hadn’t you? I’m evil wizard Saruman, and you’re not getting away with trashing my Tower and nicking all my blow. Hurry home hobbits!’
‘Oh Saruman,’ says Merry, now a full Hobbit General with feathers and bar. ‘Learn, wizard! Me and my lads can and are gonna whup yo ass.’ And so they do.
Wow, nearly half a page still to go! Right:
Sam marries Rosie and goes back to gardening.
Merry and Pippin swashbuckle around a bit, then settle down and write their memoirs. Reunion album due soon.
Gandalf wanders off somewhere, giggling.
Frodo writes his memoirs and eventually finds a publisher.
All those evil people have evaporated and died, remember, so Middle Earth’s now a nice safe comfortable boring place to live (except for that spider …!)
No-one knows what happens to the elf and dwarf.
In the end, everybody lives happily ever after, except for all the Magical People, who have to sail away to America.