Saturday, October 19, 2013

LOTR Read-Along: The Old Forest (FOTR Ch. 6)

This is one of my least-favorite chapters of all the books.  I find the Old Forest really creepy, for one thing.  But also, considering how much danger befalls Merry and Pippen, it's kind of a boring chapter.  For me, anyway.  It makes me sleepy!  It honestly does -- I'm getting a bit yawny just thinking about it now.  Is that due to some crazy good writing, to actually put me under the forest's spell, as it were?  Or is it kind of boring?  Okay, that's your Possible Discussion Question for the day.

Favorite Lines:

Sleepiness seemed to be creeping out of the ground and up their legs, and falling softly out of the air upon them (p. 114).

6 comments:

  1. I often have wondered if this is a discrepancy between people who read the books first or the movies first? I always love getting to this chapter, because I love the old Forest (yes, it is creepy, but in a good way), and because we're finally on our way! Thank goodness. No boredom or sleepiness here. This is the chapter I start liking Merry in, as he's their guide. And this is where Tom comes in too. I love that the hobbits are barely out of the shire... and already in need of help. I think this chapter shows 1) how old and alive parts of Middle Earth are, and 2) sets a baseline for the Hobbits' growth as independent and able to handle themselves. Because they're still seriously in need of rescuing.

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    1. Yeah, that might be part of it. I actually quite dislike all the walking-through-Mirkwood parts of The Hobbit too, though. Creepy forests give me the wiggins.

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  2. The Old Forest intrigues me because it is a glimpse into the depths of Middle Earth, a glimpse at the things that have always been here and likely always will be. It gives the story a scope beyond the struggle with Sauron, a sense that there is more here than is ever completely developed. And I find the personality of the forest interesting. But I've never minded strange forests all that much, and I can fully understand how you would dislike this chapter if you dislike them.

    It was in this chapter that I first started liking Sam. He is the only hobbit to keep from falling asleep, and he saves Frodo when the tree throws him in the river, not to mention he's fiercely determined to rescue Merry and Pippin. I started to admire him.

    Your discussion question made me grin. I have no idea whether Tolkien's writing is what puts you to sleep, though.
    ~Marcy

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    1. Marcy, it's definitely an inventive and cool place -- I just don't like it AT ALL. My best friend and I are amused by each other, because she likes forests where she can skulk around under cover, and I like the vast open plains like Rohan where I can see bad guys coming for miles and prepare for them.

      I actually do like some forests in real life, though -- just not this creepy one! Same with the forest in The Hobbit. Ick.

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    2. Interesting. I'm far more inclined to put forests in my stories for my characters to skulk in than send them onto open plains, so that may have something to do with my not disliking the Old Forest.
      ~Marcy

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    3. I've written a fair number of forests in my C! stories, and a certain kind of forest, I do love -- I really love hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains because they are friendly forests. But unfriendly forests... ::shivers::.

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What do you think?

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)