The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
First of all, Happy Hobbit Day! Bilbo and Frodo Baggins both were born on the 22 of September in the Shire, Middle Earth and had many memorable adventures. I know several people enjoy beginning a re-read of what might be Tolkien's most popular work to coincide with Hobbit Day, so... welcome to the NarniaWeb thread dedicated to discussing the first part of The Lord of the Rings!
Some questions to get things started:
1) Are you a first time reader, or is this a book equivalent of comfort food?
2) What is a favorite line? Is it a turn of phrase, a bit of dialogue, or an entire paragraph?
3) Is there a character who stood out to you for some reason?
Feel free to chime in with answers and questions of your own.
avy by Djaq
Thank you. At your service and your family's! *deep bow
I first read LOTR the year after Tolkien died, and since 2001 I've read it every year, usually from autumn to spring (in the southern hemisphere). I like to finish before Hobbit Day. However my first annual read began on 22 September, when I was staying in a beautiful part of northern England, which looked like The Shire.
I'm very fond of hobbits, identifying more with Bilbo as I age. The special lines i love are often the words or thoughts of Samwise Gamgee. I love that he wont give up, even when hope seems gone.
There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."
Happy Hobbit Day! I actually started reading the book tonight. I only got part of the way through Concerning Hobbits. Too much background noise. This book is definitely comfort food. I come back to it again and again. I will post quotes as I come across them. I doubt I can limit myself to one favorite line / section though.
Mae Govannen! I look forward to discussing this book with everyone! I’m not quite a first time reader, but I’m not well acquainted with the book either. I’m hoping to get new insights.
Movie Aristotle, AKA Risto
I think I have read The Lord of the Rings all the way through only twice. I really like the book, although I find that Lewis is easier to read. Frodo is probably my favorite Tolkien character since he is very down to earth and his journeys with Sam are so compelling. Tolkien is a slower paced author than Lewis so reading his books requires some patience (he is like Dickens in that way), but his books are never disappointing since they have interesting characters and complex plots. I have actually listened to the radio dramas of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit more often than I have reread the books. I guess that the condensed version appeals to me more, although the books are of course better than any adaptations of them. But I do recommend the radio versions more than the movies since they are closer to the books. 🙂
@narnian78, when you say the radio versions, do you mean the BBC ones with Ian Holm? I ask because there's a 1970s American adaptation from Minds Eye. I'm rather fond of the earlier one myself, despite its, uh, quirks... (which include fascinating pronunciation, wrong family trees, and dated sound effects )
I've lost count of how many times I've read Lord of the Rings or sections thereof... I know last time I started a reread I didn't get all the way through Two Towers. I started Fellowship back in January, and am only now approaching the Mines of Moria. But it's been nice to take the leisurely way through Middle Earth, despite the looming danger Sauron presents. I find myself appreciating how clearly the landscape is described. If one were to find oneself in the Shire, with a copy of FotR, one would have little difficulty in going, "Here I am! This is where Frodo and co. had breakfast on their way to Crickhollow!"
avy by Djaq
Yes, in fact that is the version of The Lord of the Rings that I own on audio CD. I remember hearing it many years ago on NPR (my local radio station here in Michigan.). I liked it so much that I bought the CD’s along with those of The Hobbit, which was also broadcast on NPR. And now I prefer both of these dramas over Peter Jackson’s movies since they are more faithful to the books. The stories are shortened, but you will always have that in adaptations of books. Lewis’ books are not shortened as much in the audiobooks such as Focus on the Family, but then he could tell a story in fewer words than Tolkien, which may have been to his advantage. I like Tolkien’s old fashioned ideas and his love of the medieval world, which was something that he shared with Lewis. It was no wonder that they were friends. 🙂
1. I don't know if it's a comfort food, more like a decadent dessert I partake in every so often.
2. "I don't know half of you half as well as I would like, but I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
3. Frodo. He's incredibly wise and brave and stubborn, and I love his interactions with other characters. Interestingly enough, I'm not the biggest fan of Samwise in the books until Return of the King *dodges tomatoes* but I love Frodo. The movie reversed my feelings for these two characters.
If we're talking about JUST Fellowship of the Ring, I've read it multiple times (I often get stuck on Treebeard in the Two Towers and fail to finish the series Ha!). I really enjoy this story, and the older I get, the more I like it (Hobbit was my most favorite book of all time for years.) But there is a problem with LotR as a whole. When I do finish the whole story (maybe 4 times in my life?) I can't read anything else after it for a while because it's so exceptionally good that everything else pales in comparison.
As an aside, Fellowship of the Ring remains my favorite movie of all time.
One of my favorite quotes: "I wish it need not have happen in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But it is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
It is a good reminder about what we can and cannot control. It acknowledges the dark but encourages one to decide one's actions.
I've been meaning to re-read Lord of the Rings for quite some time so maybe this my chance to actually do it
However, I did recently finish listening to the BBC radio drama (yay for listening to audiobooks at work!) so I suppose that that counts for something?
I can't think of a quote that stood out to me at the moment but I don't think it's too difficult to figure out who my favorite character is
See the armies so arrayed,
Line on line, ten thousand strong.
See the Dragon King’s sharp blade,
Rising to a song!
See his enemies laid low!
Hear our voices sing:
Let glory crown the victor’s brow,
In the Hall of the Dragon King!