Saturday, January 4, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: The Great River (FOTR Ch. 21)

Oh my goodness.  One chapter left and we'll be done with The Fellowship of the Ring!!!

Okay, anyway, this is not a favorite chapter of mine.  And that's solely because it's where the ring begins to take hold of Boromir and he gets all weird.  Muttering and biting his nails and arguing about everything.  My poor Boromir!  To quote Hamlet, "O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!" (III, 1).  Makes me all sad for him, being seized by the power of this evil thing.

Still, lots of cool stuff going on here.  Especially the Argonath.  I love them in the book, I love them in the movie.  So majestic and grand.

I really like Aragorn in this chapter.  He's the one who fears "that the Dark Lord had not been idle while they lingered in Lorien" (p. 371).  I've been worried about that this whole time, with all the lengthy pit stops they keep making.  Finally, someone else agrees!  Time's a wastin' here, folks!

Also, we learn here from Aragorn how Mordor has been getting horses from Rohan:  he says he's heard that lately, orcs "have dared to cross the water and raid the herds and studs of Rohan" (p. 372).  Why didn't he say so back in Rivendell when Gandalf was recounting Gwaihir's passing along of the scurrilous rumor that Rohan pays a tribute of horses to Mordor?  Back then, Aragorn just said he was sad to hear it, and it was Boromir who stood up for Rohan, saying he would never believe such a thing because "[t]hey love their horses next to their kin" (p. 256).

But anyway, we also have a grand moment here where Legolas shoots one of the Fell Beasts.  Hooray for Legolas!  

And we learn which city Aragorn calls home.  He says here, "How my heart years for Minas Anor and the walls of my own city!" (p. 384).  Back during the Council of Elrond, he just said that such home as he has is in the North.  Just a nice bit of trivia.

Favorite Lines:

"Time flows on to a spring of little hope" (p. 379).

"It is not the way of the Men of Minas Tirith to desert their friends at need" (p. 380).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Does Tolkien ever say what the Fell Beasts are?  Those winged monsters that the Nazgul ride.  In the extras for the movies, Peter Jackson and his helpers call them Fell Beasts, so that's what I call them, but I don't remember if they're ever named in the books.


  1. Boy, it's so hard not to be influenced by the movies when reading! From when the Fellowship boards the boats and departs Lorien until the end is my favorite part of the first movie. I wait the whole movie just for when we get on the river. So, just like when I watch the movie, I sort of sat up and got all excited when I started this chapter. Hee. I'm not sure the chapter itself is a favorite, but I'm so colored by my love of this part of the movie that it's impossible to view it objectively.

    Trying to look at book, I love Gollum floating down the river like a log, and Sam and Frodo watching for him. I love Legolas shooting the Fell Beast! I love their portage around the rapids. The Argonath is always awesome, though I find it fascinating how some of the Fellowship freak out in the book.

    No favorite lines in this section. I didn't jot anything down, anyway.

    1. I've never read them without the movie influence, so yes, I tend to "watch" vast chunks of this as the movie depicts them.

      I do like this part too, but not as well as the earlier chapters when Gandalf was still with them. But I like it a lot better than sitting around doing nothing in Lorien! :-D


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