Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Another LOTR Read-Along: Three is Company (FOTR 1, 3)
Now we hit the place where the book begins to be substantially different than the movie. (Or, really, where the movie began to trim things, though the extended edition does have Frodo and Sam seeing elves at one point.)
And so the adventure really begins! Frodo says goodbye to Bag End (sniffle sniffle), and he sets off for Crickhollow. Is that not the coolest name for a house? I would love to have a house some day near a creek and a hollow so I could name it that.
But I digress. Not only do Frodo, Sam, and Pippin begin their journey, but we get introduced to the Black Riders too! I prefer to call them 'Nazgul,' but 'Ringwraiths' sounds cool too. They are ultra creepy, and I can see why they kind of get copied in other fantasy novels. It amuses me how Pippin fixates on the way the Black Riders sniff after Frodo -- when he says, "But don't forget the sniffing!" (p. 77), I always laugh aloud. Dear, dear Pippin.
And we meet our first elves! I have to admit that the Elves are not my favorite Middle Earth race. They're a little too cold or remote or reserved or something. Yes, too reserved for me to be friends with. But they fascinate me, nonetheless. And I do like their way of speaking. Not so much Elvish itself, though it's cool, but just their almost oratorical style.
There's a lot of poetry in this book, as you'll have discovered now. I will tell you a dreadful secret: I read the short poems and skim the long ones. I'm fine with you doing the same if you don't want to read the really long ones (which we haven't gotten to yet, these were all short).
One thing to keep in mind as we read is that Tolkien basically made up what we think of as "fantasy" today. There were fairy tales and "fairy stories" for kids back then (like The Hobbit), but the fantasy genre of today is rooted in The Lord of the Rings. It was pretty much the first fantasy book for adults to be at all successful or taken seriously.
The road wound away before them like a piece of string (p. 72).
They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes (p. 78). "A star shines on the hour of our meeting" (p. 79).
Sam walked along at Frodo's side, as if in a dream, with an expression on his face half of fear and half of astonished joy (p. 80).
"The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out" (p. 82).
"But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."
"And it is also said," answered Frodo: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes" (p. 82-83).
"Courage is found in unlikely places" (p. 83).
"...may the stars shine upon the end of your road!" (p. 83).
What do you think of the elves?
Who do you like better so far: Frodo, Sam, or Pippin?