Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Another LOTR Read-Along: Prologue: Concerning Hobbits

Welcome to Another LOTR Read-Along!  As you know, I'm adapting these posts from the course I'm teaching my niece for high school.  The truth is, I'm actually using a lot of things from my first LOTR read-along to teach her, so if you compare these posts with those, you'll find a lot of similarities.  But I think I've got almost entirely different people participating here from that original foray, so I'm assuming that won't be a problem :-)

Today, November 1, is also the beginning of Nanowrimo.  I know a lot of people are participating in that, myself included.  To make this read-along feasible for several of our participants, I am only planning to do two chapters a week until December.  Then I'll up that to three a week until around Christmas, when it will dip again.  After New Year's, we'll go back to three posts a week (give or take) until we've finished the trilogy.  Hope that works for you!

If you've never done one of my read-alongs before, you might wonder how this works.  I'll post about each individual chapter with my own thoughts and observations, as well as some things I've learned in other books.  I'll always include my favorite lines and a question or two to get discussions going.  You then respond in the comments with your own thoughts, discuss what I've said, and engage each other in conversation.

Let's go!

Ahhh, Hobbits. Aren't they delightful? I love how Tolkien speaks of them as if they're real, saying they "are becoming hard to find." Helps me slip into the fictive world so easily.

Please don't get scared away by all the place names and different breeds of Hobbits listed here. You don't need to remember them; I won't quiz you on them. Anything and anyone important will get brought up again later. 

I don't know about you, but my house is full of mathoms, and I love the description here of them.

Favorite Lines:

But in the days of Bilbo, and of Frodo his heir, they suddenly became, by no wish of their own, both important and renowned, and troubled the counsels of the Wise and the Great (p. 2).

...they were, perhaps, so unwearyingly fond of good things not least because they could, when put to it, do without them... (p. 5).

...they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions (p. 7).

Discussion Questions:

Do you usually read prologues and/or forewords?  Did you find this one useful or enjoyable?


  1. Hey! I am so excited about this!!! Those are great quotes; and yes, I have a lot of mathoms. XD
    I ALWAYS read prologues and forwards. :-) This is one of my personal favorites. :-D
    Does anyone else listen to the song "Concerning Hobbits" while they read the prologue? ;-D

    1. I'm glad you're excited, MEM! I'll be posting the next chapter either today or tomorrow.

      I must admit I do not always read forewords -- if I've never read a book before and don't know what it's about, I won't read forewords because it might contain spoilers. But then I will go back and read them after I finish the book, usually.

      But I always read prologues because they are a part of the story and contain information the author felt the readers needed to know before they began the story, so yeah... gotta read those :-)

      My ringtone for Cowboy on my phone is from the "Concerning Hobbits" cue!

  2. I usually read prologues/forwards, but I ALWAYS read this one. Its my favorite. (naturally)
    Ooh I love that too! I get into the habit of talking about Hobbits and other things Middle Earth as if they were real because Tolkien brings them to life so beautifully. <3

    1. Kendra, yeah, this one is just not skippable, huh? And I agree, they feel so very real and lifelike. Wonderful writing.

  3. Okay, I'm here. Sorry, I haven't had a lot of time for blog reading!!

    I found this prologue pretty nice, but sometimes I do not read them, I just want to skip to the story!!

    I am so excited for this read-along!! :D

    1. MC, not a problem! I am scrounging for time to reply to comments right now, so I know about not having time ;-) Thanks for joining in, though!

  4. Hi there, Hamlette. I no longer remember how I came to your blog but I began following you because of your Lord of the Rings read-along. That trilogy had been on my TBR list for quite some time now and after having reread The Hobbit last Christmas, I'm finally digging in. So I am looking forward to reading your posts and thoughts on every chapter, albeit a bit too late.

    I almost always read prologues and forewords and everything in a book from cover to back. Though, as you also said in a comment, sometimes I leave forewords behind if I haven't read a book before so that I won't get any spoilers, and sometimes I don't mind as I already know much of the story or have seen a film adaptation.

    I particularly enjoyed this prologue, with its fictional history and genealogies. And I had quite a laugh when reading the second part, concerning Pipe-weed.


    1. Hello, Irene! Doesn't matter how you got here, just that you're here, right? So exciting that you're reading LOTR for the first time! Glad you're enjoying it so far :-) This prologue just sets the tone for the first chapter so beautifully, I think.


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