You've been playing one game all these years and you know it too well - and LOTR is notorious for being one of the longest playing games. It's often not used in high level tournaments, and if it is, they make significant modifications (wider posts on the right ramp, lightning flippers, etc).
In arcades, average ball times are around 60 seconds. If you're averaging over 20 minutes per game in LOTR, I'd suggest making it harder. BTW, the game keeps track, so you can see the exact number in your audits.
I find that I can flail more in LOTR without needing to control the ball, because every where you shoot is some smooth shot that returns back to your flipper. MM on the other hand: the moat never returns the ball consistently, shots to the drawbridge will drain regularly, and hitting a troll always puts the ball out of control. There are a lot more dangerous shots on MM. MM does not have 20 minute long average games.
Are you bounce passing or drop catching shots off the castle? Are you just wailing away on the castle while in single ball play? Are you trying to build up a huge multi-ball stack and then falling short? These are things you will learn when you've had more time at it.
Hope you grow to love it. If not, sell it and get a different game with longer ball times - like Spider-man.