Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LOTR Read-Along: Many Meetings (FOTR Ch. 13)

This may be one of my favorite chapters.  I love peaceful Rivendell, and would love to spend some time resting there myself.

And I find the relationship between Bilbo and Aragorn so sweet.  How Aragorn, with all the things requiring his attention and time, still willingly pauses to help Bilbo compose a song.  And this is not the first time he's done so.

Random note -- Gandalf's eyes are described as "dark," and not as grey!  But Elrond's eyes "were grey as a clear evening," while Arwen has "bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night" (p. 221).

Did you notice that Frodo has now twice been found lying on his face with a broken sword under him?  Gandalf says that's how he was found after the flood passed, and back when Frodo was stabbed on Weathertop, that's exactly how his friends found him then too.  

Favorite Lines:

Frodo lay down again.  He felt too comfortable and peaceful to argue, and in any case he did not think he would get the better of an argument (p. 213).

"There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil.  Some are greater than I am.  Against some I have not yet been measured.  But my time is coming" (p. 214).

Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea.  That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, 'a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all'.  Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness (p. 219).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Do you think there's any significance in Frodo being found twice lying on his face on top of a broken sword?  Also, Bilbo says, "Don't adventures ever have an end?" (p. 226)  Do you think they do, or do they just lead on to more adventures?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I love this chapter too. It's one of the ones where everything is finally peaceful and you can catch your breath after the intense events in the last few chapters. And Rivendell is such a beautiful place to do it in. I also really like that Frodo gets to see Bilbo again. I didn't know that when we began to read the book, and Bilbo meant so much to him that it's beautiful when they meet again.

    And yes, I love that bit about how Aragorn helps Bilbo with his poems. It brings out a different side of him, a much softer one than the grim, determined one we've mostly seen so far. And the bit where Frodo says that Strider has a lot of names and Bilbo asks why he calls him Strider amuses me for some reason.

    I really like the description of Gandalf's eyes: "His dark eyes were set like coals that could leap suddenly into fire." And as these elves and the Numenorians were descended from the same ancestors (Beren and Luthien), it makes sense for the elves to have gray eyes. :)

    I don't know if there's any significance about Frodo being found on top of his sword twice, though it feels like there might be. But on the topic of adventures -- I am going to wax philosophic here. I think there's a sense in which adventures do end and a sense in which they will never end until Christ comes back. So there's a sense in which the adventure in Middle Earth ends with the conclusion of the War of the Ring, but you don't really get the sense that that's the end of all adventure ever in Middle Earth; in a few hundred years you will probably have more danger and adventures happening. But the whole story of the Ring has been concluded. Or as an example from other literature, when "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" ends, the specific adventure of the Pevensie kids with the White Witch has ended, but it is only the beginning of their adventures in Narnia. Also there is definitely the fact that a person's role in the adventure may end, even before the adventure itself does. Bilbo's part in this story, for instance, ended when he passed the Ring on to Frodo; even though that led to adventures for Frodo, his role was ended. So I think the answer is both, in a way; there is a sense in which the specific adventure has an end, but it may lead to more and different adventures in the future.


What do you think?

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