Tuesday, January 7, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: The Breaking of the Fellowship (FOTR Ch. 22)

Here we are, at the end of the first book.  Wow.  That took longer than I'd expected.  But it has also been a lot of fun, so if it takes us three months per book, instead of the two I was expecting, who cares?

But anyway, this is such a sad chapter.  Boromir falls under the ring's power entirely, and Frodo spends most of the chapter being afraid to do what he must.  Gloom and doom, doom and gloom.

I was rather surprised that, when everyone is giving Frodo some thinking time, Legolas not only announces he wants the decision to go to a vote, but declares that he would vote for going to Minas Tirith!  I had completely forgotten that, and it just... I don't know.  It feels somehow out of character, to me.  Legolas is usually sort of aloof from the whole affair, just going along to help however he can, and now he's calling for votes and getting almost bossy.  Is this another instance of "the evil of the Ring [being] already at work even in the Company" (p. 392), as Frodo put it?  Or what?

But I love Sam at the end of the chapter, when he explains to everyone just what Frodo's struggle really is, and then figures out Frodo's plan to leave alone and thwarts it.  Dear, dogged Sam.  I especially love this part:  "I'm coming too, or neither of us isn't going.  I'll knock holes in all the boats first" (p. 397).  I so want to hug him there.

As promised, I'm holding a small giveaway to celebrate this milestone!  Please don't enter it, so I can keep the prizes myself.  No, I'm kidding, go here to enter :-)  I'll probably wait until it ends in a week to start in on The Two Towers, but I've got a guest post or two lined up to fill the gap!

Favorite Lines:

"Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing?" (p. 388)

Possible Discussion Questions:

Which two towers do you think the title of the next book refers to?  There's this whole section in this chapter, where Frodo is seeing the world from Amon Hen, and he sees Minas Tirith, "beautiful:  white-walled, many-towered, proud and fair upon its mountain seat" (p. 391).  And then it says that "against Minas Tirith was set another fortress, greater and more strong" (p. 391), which turns out to be Barad-dur, Fortress of Sauron.  And I kind of feel like those are the two towers.  What do you think?


  1. I've always had two versions about the towers:

    1) It's Barad-dur and Orthanc: in the second book the war is against both and they are the two dark powers dominating Middle-Earth.

    2) It's Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul. They are not only mirroring each other, but are also in confrontation, as the Nazgul are based in Minas Morgul.

    Minas Tirith and Barad-dur I've never paired :)

    1. I always kind of assumed it was Barad-dur and Orthanc too, probably because they're in the movie artwork a lot and both feature heavily in the movies. And this section does say "fortress" not "tower," but with it coming right before this book ends and TTT begins just made me go, "Hmm."


What do you think?

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