'The Fellowship of the Ring' is the first part of JRR Tolkien's epic masterpiece 'The Lord of the Rings'. This paperback edition has the classic black cover featuring Tolkien's own design and includes the definitive edition of the text. In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task,. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil purpose. JRR Tolkien's great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail. Part of a set of three paperbacks, this popular edition is once again available in its classic black livery designed by Tolkien himself.This is the third, and final week, of the read-along for The Fellowship of the Ring. I am very happy that I managed to finish this reread. I am hoping to read the other two books in the trilogy in the following months. This is something I have been trying to do for a while now, so hopefully I can finally accomplish. I actually have to say that I probably enjoyed this book upon a reread than I did originally. I think I understand where it fits into the larger picture, so it works a lot better for me now. This is the first time I have read the books since the movies came out, too, so it is a very different reading experience.
This week Andrea came up with some talking points and told us to answer some of them. I was tempted to answer all of them, but it does make sense that every post will be different. This read-along is hosted by Andrea and Clint.
Galadriel and her Ring. She knows the Ring of power must be destroyed, but with it's destruction comes the de-powering (is that a word?) of her Ring as well. The Elves must leave Middle Earth or forget who and what they are. For her, this is a no win situation. Frodo's success effectively means the banishment of the Elves in Middle Earth. I wonder if that makes him more likely to do everything in his power to succeed, or less?
This is an interesting question. I hadn't even really thought about this larger implication before. I had even forgotten about it until I read the book. In the movies it doesn't really get mentioned, but then I was rereading the book and was reminded that her ring falls under the domain of his ring. The thing with it, though, is I don't remember it ever really being mentioned again. It was sort of like once Galadriel is out of the story, her story is largely forgotten. And, I was thinking that certain elves wait and leave Middle-Earth after the ring is destroyed, but that might be something that I am remembering from the movies and not true with the books. The elves seem to accept their fate if it means the destruction of evil, so I am not sure it really bothers Frodo at all or that he even really thinks about it.
Boromir - I didn't trust from way back at the Council at Rivendell. His conversation with Frodo at the end of Fellowship made him look like a know-it-all with a world view of colonialism and imperialism. Is this Tolkien taking a shot at the old fashioned British world view, or am I reading way, way too much into it?
Yes, Boromir always seemed a bit of distrustful. There was obvious fore-shadowing leading up to the moment when he turns against Frodo and wants the ring for himself. I think that a lot of this book is political in nature and represents the world views of the time, so I think it is entirely possible that Tolkien was using this platform to think against things he didn't agree with. It is hard to entirely judge, though, because it took Tolkien many years to actually write this book to completion and it went through many changes. I would be curious to see what his son says about this scene in the History of Middle-Earth books, actually.
After spending some time in Lothlorien, Sam realizes the Elves aren’t quite as scary or as strange as he first thought. I wonder if when he gets back to the Shire if he’ll realize the Hobbits in the next town aren’t quite as strange as he once thought. I really don’t think this is an overt “message” story, but I do wonder if Tolkien didn't mind throwing in a little message of “those folks in the next valley aren’t as different as you think”.
This is an interesting idea, too. I do believe that Tolkien is trying to make certain points. He was involved in the war, so he did see the other folk. I know that it was hard to kill people that didn't really seem all that much different than you. It is hard for his experiences to not influence his writing after the fact and this could easily be a good example of that. It also works well with Sam living most of his life in a small area and never going outside it, so he makes certain 'assumptions'. When you actually come face-to-face with the people, though, you can quickly learn that not everything you think is correct.
And the obligatory: what was your favorite part of this section?
I always enjoyed the scenes from Lothlorien. The elves and the world that Tolkien creates for them has always fascinated me. I never really felt this part of the book transformed well on the screen, so it was nice to revisit it as Tolkien imagined it.
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