Thursday, January 18, 2018
Another LOTR Read-Along: Farewell to Lorien (FOTR 2, 8)
At the beginning of this chapter, they decide to leave. It takes them eleven pages in my copy to actually do so. Lothlorien must be a very charming place indeed!
I always feel so very sad for Sam here, because he missed out on learning how the Elves make rope. A completely missed opportunity, one he's obviously not going to have again, and one he didn't even have the chance of either accepting or rejecting. It's just, "Oh, you like making rope? Too bad we didn't know." Makes me kind of depressed on his behalf.
Random thing that makes me happy: Boromir says, "I have myself been at whiles in Rohan" (p. 365). I love that he's been hanging out there -- he's such a staunch defender of the Rohirrim too, whenever anyone starts in on the whole "I think the Rohirrim have been sending horses to Sauron" nonsense. You know Boromir is my most beloved character in these books, but I'm not sure I've mentioned that I love Rohan more than the other cultures. Even above the Shire, for the most part. So I'm very pleased that my favorite character has spent lots of time where I myself would like to be. In fact, he borrowed a horse from the Rohirrim, possibly the one he says here that he lost when he forded the Greyflood. He doesn't say here that he borrowed a horse, but Eomer later mentions that they loaned him one, and that it returned riderless (p. 423).
And so everyone has one last Elvish feast, gets presents, and heads off down the river. Back on track, after yet another lengthy stay with new friends.
Last year, I read a book called The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power by Jane Chance, in which I learned that not only did Tolkien follow the classic myth structure (which I'm endlessly fascinated by) for LOTR as a whole (which I could see), but he actually used it within each of the six books as well. I learned from Jane Chance is that each of the two books within each volume (so books 1 and 2 in FOTR, books 3 and 4 in TTT, and books 5 and 6 in ROTK) mirror each other. This kind of blew my mind, because once I read it, I could see it. So the lengthy sojourn here in Lothlorien after the long, dark journey in Moria... mirrors the hobbits hanging out at Tom Bombadil's house for a long time after their long, dark journey in the Old Forest.
Like I said, blew my mind. There are people who can write interesting stories. I can do that. And there are people who can write deep, layered, complex books that are Important, like Tolkien. I stand in awe of him.
"Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them" (p. 359).
"...we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make" (p. 361).
"Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror, be it clear as Kheled-zaram" (p. 369).
Gimli said that when he set out on the quest, he knew there would probably be torment and peril, and the thought of those did not hold him back. But that he "would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy" (p. 369). How can light and joy be more dangerous, or more terrible, or harder to deal with, than torment and peril?