And so the adventure really begins! Frodo says goodbye to Bag End (sniffle sniffle), and he sets off for Crickhollow. Is that not the coolest name for a house? I was really wishing we had bought a house that was anywhere near a creek and a hollow so we could name ours that. Oh well. Maybe some day.
But I digress. Not only do Frodo, Sam, and Pippin begin their journey, but we get introduced to the Black Riders too! I prefer to call them 'Nazgul,' but 'Ringwraiths' sounds cool too. They are ultra creepy, and I can see why they kind of get copied in other fantasy novels. It amuses me how Pippin fixates on the way the Black Riders sniff after Frodo -- when he says, "But don't forget the sniffing!" (p. 77), I always laugh aloud. Dear, dear Pippin.
If you've seen the movies, did you notice that part of the walking song they sing gets used in Return of the King? The last verse is what Pippin sings for Denethor.
And we meet our first elves! High elves, too, not half-elvish like Elrond and his kin. I have to admit that the Elves are not my favorite Middle Earth race. They're a little too cold or remote or reserved or something. Yes, too reserved. But they fascinate me, nonetheless. And I do like their way of speaking. Not so much Elvish itself, though it's cool, but just their almost oratorical style.
The road wound away before them like a piece of string (p. 72).
They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes (p. 78).
"A star shines on the hour of our meeting" (p. 79).
Sam walked along at Frodo's side, as if in a dream, with an expression on his face half of fear and half of astonished joy (p. 80).
"The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out" (p. 82).
"But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger"
"And it is also said," answered Frodo: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes" (p. 82-83).
"Courage is found in unlikely places" (p. 83).
"...may the stars shine upon the end of your road!" (p. 83).
Possible Discussion Questions:
What do you think of the elves? Who do you like better so far: Frodo, Sam, or Pippin?