Saturday, November 30, 2013

LOTR Read-Along: The Ring Goes South (FOTR Ch. 15)

Is it me, or have the chapters suddenly gotten way longer?  Hmm.

So the fellowship sets out at last, and I start to feel that the story is truly getting started.  

A lot happens here, and yet I don't have a lot to say.  The bit on Caradhras is very exciting.  I spend a lot of time there being impressed by Boromir.  He's the one who suggests bringing wood.  He's the one who worries that the snow will be "the death of the halflings" (p. 283).  He's the one who suggests creating a path back down through the snow for the others to follow.  And then he suggests carrying the hobbits through the path.  So the last few pages of this chapter in my copy are full of little smiley faces in the margins, and the occasional heart.  And sometimes a heart with a smiley face inside it if I'm particularly pleased.

Favorite Lines:

"Books ought to have good endings" (p. 266).

Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song (p. 267).

"May the stars shine upon your faces!" (p. 274).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Why is Aragorn is so against going to Moria?  I kind of can't remember.  Has he been there before?


  1. You know what I find fascinating is how much dialogue, etc. in the book was given to different characters in the movie. Like the "fell voices on the air" line. I automatically hear Legolas say it... but Boromir says it here. And how they swap stuff around. In the movie Gandalf is the one who doesn't want to go to Moria; here's it's Aragorn. Movie: Frodo figures out the riddle to open the doors; Gandalf does it here. Merry throws the rock into the lake, Boromir does it here... And on and on. I think the changes work fine in the movie, but it is fascinating to ponder why the choices were made.

    I quite love this chapter, as we're finally underway. I particularly love the descriptions of the mountains and terrain, and I always slow down my reading to savor those parts, and the words Tolkien uses.

    1. Yes, that strikes me too, every time I read it. Some of the choices do make sense, just for how different characters are portrayed (Legolas has the keep elf sight and hearing that get accentuated in the movie, so he hears the fell voices), and some seem arbitrary. I think it does make sense for the movie to have Gandalf reluctant to go to Moria, because it foreshadows his meeting with the Balrog.


What do you think?

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