Monday, December 18, 2017

Another LOTR Read-Along: Flight to the Ford (FOTR 1,12)

Once again, I'm astonished at the amount of time that elapses in this section of the book compared to the movie. I've seen the movie more often than I've read the book (though I've read the other two books just as often than I've seen the other two movies, I think), so I'm used to all this going much more quickly and Frodo's wound being more quick-acting. It's the end of their twelfth day out from Weathertop that they meet up with Glorfindel, and they travel with him for another day before Frodo crosses the ford to reach Rivendell.

Speaking of Glorfindel, I so wish he was in the movies. I understand the cinematic need to reduce the staggering number of characters, and the modern need to give the women more to do. But Glorfindel gets totally excluded, while Haldir's role got expanded a lot. And Haldir's only in the Lothlorien part of the books, while Glorfindel is one of the few who can ride openly against the Nazgul. And not just ride against them, but actually drive them away from a bridge and chase them! So unfair.

Okay, enough grousing. The movies can't be perfect. I love them anyway.

The little section with the trolls makes me laugh. With Merry and Pippin terrified, and Strider just walking up to one and hitting it with a stick -- I like this little light-hearted interlude to lessen the oppressing doom of Frodo's wound.

Speaking of Frodo, I love it when he refuses to ride Glorfindel's horse to Rivendell and leave his friends behind in danger. Of course, Glorfindel rightly points out that if Frodo isn't with them, his friends won't be in much danger, but still, it was very noble of Frodo.

Favorite Lines:

"I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard -- or a warrior!"
"I hope not," said Sam. "I don't want to be neither!" (p. 203)

He almost welcomed the coming of night, for then the world seemed less pale and empty (p. 207).

Discussion Question:

Frodo has "an uneasy dream, in which he walked on the grass in his garden in the Shire, but it seemed faint and dim" (p. 197). Do you think this is just because he's wounded, or has the ring already changed him so much that, even if he gave it up at Rivendell and went home like he expected to do, he would no longer belong in the Shire?


  1. Eww, that's a scary thought. I didn't think of that - of Frodo being removed from the Shire BECAUSE OF his connection to the ring. I suppose I only thought he was longing for home.

  2. Ooh, I'd never thought of that. I'm going to be optimistic and say it was primarily his wound and that, if given enough time in Rivendell and rid of the Ring, he would've recovered fairly happily in the Shire (perhaps never quite as carefree as he had been, but happy nevertheless).

    You make a fair point with Glorfindel--he would've been nice to keep around in the story, rather than Haldir. However, I think that they were right to give Arwen a larger role in the movie. So much of her and Aragorn's love story is prior to the book that I think she needed a bigger role for moviegoers to root for them as a couple.

    On a side note, The Martian (movie version, at least) has a great reference to Glorfindel in it.

    1. RM, it occurred to me because of the description of the Shire as looking "faint and dim" which is how the world looks to Frodo when he's wearing the ring. Something I still have to think about! I do usually feel like, when he's at Rivendell, he's still got a chance of going back to home and living a pretty ordinary Hobbity life.

      Yeah, Arwen needed more to do, so I'm not too vexed that she got Glorfindel's big rescue. Just annoyed he got totally written out.

      LOVE that moment in The Martian!!! I busted up so much the first time I saw it because... they're talking about the Council of Elrond with Sean Bean right there, who was actually AT the Council of Elrond. It's just tooooooooo funny. One of the main reasons I want to read the book is to find out if that's in the book too. If it is, then I will forever suspect that they cast Sean Bean in the movie just to have that moment.

  3. I think that it was both his wound and the beginning effects of the Ring that caused that dream. We know that the Ring can affect people really early, and he'd been carrying it for several weeks. That's my opinion. :-)
    I also love that part with the trolls. XD And yes! Glorfindel is awesome. I wish they'd had him in the movie too, although I like Arwen being in this part. :-D

  4. Glorfindel is cool, but all his coolness happens outside our actual narrative. Chasing the black riders away is not something we see, only hear about. Other than giving Frodo his horse and accompanying them for a short time, he does very little that could have been shown in a movie version. I've gotten so used to the movie version, I forgot Frodo crosses the ford by himself. No one aids him as he stands alone against all nine of the black riders. That to me is more powerful than Glorfindel's (or Arwen's) presence. Though the movie choices all make sense for cinema and I would not change them.

    I like this chapter a lot too. I'm fond of traveling chapters, I suspect! LOL

    1. DKoren, well, I still wish he was in the movies. He could've been at the Council of Elrond or something.


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