Saturday, January 20, 2018

Another LOTR Read-Along: The Great River (FOTR 2, 9)

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 serious 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!

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).

Discussion Questions:

Aragorn says, "How my heart yearns for Minas Anor and the walls of my own city!" (p. 384). We learned earlier that Minas Anor is the original name of Minas Tirith, which is the capitol city of Gondor now, but was once the capitol of the whole realm. Should Aragorn become king, he would sit there on the throne that Boromir's father Denethor has been keeping as Steward.

So my question is this: do you think when Aragorn says "the walls of my own city," he means Minas Tirith/Anor is his home town in a way, and he yearns for it because it's a place he belongs, or does he more mean that he yearns to have a city to call his own? To have his own city?


  1. What an intriguing question! I think he thinks of Minas Tirith as his home town (sort of in the sense like if your entire family except your parents are from a city and all of your family history and family heritage is there, you might consider that city your own).

    Also, I have to say that we have a similar taste in book quotes because I picked up on both of those lines as well.

    1. RM, that does make some sense, even though he didn't grow up there. I was born in Iowa, but haven't lived there since I was three, yet I still call it my "home state."

      Nifty that you liked those lines too!

    2. I haven't read the next two books so I cannot really know what's going on in Aragorn's mind. But based on what happens in Peter Jackson's films, I would say that perhaps he's so scarred by his platonic/broken relationship with Arwen that's he's looking forward to Minas Tirith hoping to find a place where he finally belongs. Besides it's being his ancestral home of sorts, as was already discussed in previous comments.

    3. Irene, that's an interesting take on Aragorn's thoughts here! Although he grew up in Rivendell and looks upon Elrond as a second father, his love for Arwen pushed him away from Elrond and made him go roving in the wild as a Ranger, as Elrond did not approve of their match and said Aragorn could only wed Arwen if he regained his kingdom, basically. So you're probably right that he's wishing for a place where he truly belongs -- but maybe also for a place that belongs TO him?

    4. Oh maybe. See, I didn't know so much of Aragorn's backstory so I could only guess (much like everyone). He's definitely a more interesting character as Strider than it first meets the eye :)

    5. Irene, when you finish reading the book, read the part in the appendices about Aragorn and Arwen. It'll fill in a lot of blanks for you :-)

  2. (I am still doing this; my apologies that it's taking me so darn long. :-Z)
    YES FOR LEGOLAS TAKING DOWN THE FELL BEAST. That's one of my favorite parts. :-)
    I think Aragorn is longing for a city to call his own. :-)

    1. MEM, good for you! I'm actually rereading it again myself, though I'm just starting ROTK.

      Legolas is a superior sort of elf, indeed.


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