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The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
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Archived 2011 Group Reads > Lord of the Rings 02: The Fellowship of the Ring - Book One, Chapters III-V

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Loretta (lorettalucia) Discuss this week's reading below.


Nathalie (natjen29) Done! :)

I'm still struck by the apparent differences between the book and the movie. I'm still waiting for that AHA-erlebnis where I can say.. yes I saw that in the movie.. Until now, the only thing remotely close to the movie, is the scene where they hide from the cloaked men, the first time. (Not when he sniffed around).

I'm amazed how little I actually remember the book, even I already have read it once before. It's the movie I keep seeing, so this is a wonderful acquantance to say the least.

I did feel dread while they were traveling in the forest belt, towards his 'new' home. Somehow it felt strange to have danger lurking in what is otherwise such a peaceful stretch of land. I do wonder what will happen to those poor hobbits while we undertake the travels of Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merin (not sure I'm writing their names correctly, reading it in Dutch). I know a little of their becoming, and I feel wretched that a race seemingly so pure has to deal with things beyond their control.

Well, enough pondering. I'm ready to start this trip and I hope that black rider won't cross their path too soon.


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) I kinda hate how the elves wont tell Frodo (and respectively me, the reader) anything, and how Gandalf wont tell anything and how I'm in the dark about so many things!

(in Chapter Four atm, btw)


Nathalie (natjen29) I think it's the privilege of the writer! :)


♥Xeni♥ (xeni) Okay, so I just finished this part (in math class, earlier :P)

It started to really amuse me how the hobbits will just burst into song no matter when. Just to show their happiness and cheer. They really are a charming people!

I want the stupid shadow people to stop hunting them! Also, while we're talking about the shadow riders, how is it that they are so dumb and yet so smart at the same time? They are so close on Frodo's tail, and yet they don't catch him? They see him over and over and then they run off?

I think the Ring is a part of it... like having them around makes the Ring want to expose itself, so it influences Frodo to wear it. I am glad that so far he has not given in, though!!

Otherwise, I'm excited to actually get this journey started!! I love how Merry and Pippin and Sam were in a conspiracy together to go with Frodo; so now I understand why/how they all left their wonderful homes.

Let the fun begin!


Loretta (lorettalucia) A couple quick thoughts on this week's reading that I didn't post before:

- I think this part, although slow, was important for a couple reasons: first, it gives us an opportunity to learn what the hobbits are like before they go through their travails. They're innocent, care-free, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I'm sure this innocence will be affected by what is coming.

- Also, it gave us the opportunity to learn what loyal and true friends Frodo has. Sam, Merry, and Pippin knew what Frodo was up to without his having to tell him and will follow him anywhere. He's really lucky to have them, even though you wouldn't expect them to be so brave and loyal.


Loretta (lorettalucia) One poem that I liked:


The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.



message 8: by ♥Xeni♥ (last edited Jan 29, 2011 05:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♥Xeni♥ (xeni) Hmm, I did enjoy that one too, now that I think back on it. I was pondering the words for quite a while; whereas usally I'll just skip poetry.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Yes, I think Tolkien tries to make the songs kind of whimsical, which makes them seem trite.

This was actually heart-felt, and sad, and I really liked it.


Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) This was a great section. I can't believe how much this differs from the movie.

I was pretty upset when Frodo sold Bag End to those horrible hobbits and then left to "return" to his old home. I didn't see that coming.

I love how the strong bond of friendship becomes clear when they stand up to Frodo and tell him they know they can't stop him from leaving so they are all going with him. What great friends to have!

I really like the part with the farmer and his dogs. Poor Frodo has been traumatized by this man and his dogs for so long, only to realize he truly is a good man with a good heart and he missed out on having a really great friendship with this man.

I was worried that something was going to happen to the poor farmer when he was taking them to the raft, so glad he was safe!


message 11: by Loretta (last edited Feb 04, 2011 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) Gwenyth, I was also upset that Frodo sold Bag End! It sounded like such a comfy, cozy place from The Hobbit, and from what we learned of it here. And his relatives are just horrible!

And I agree... I know these chapters can seem slow, but they're essential to showing what wonderful and loyal friends Frodo has.

I'm glad you're joining us for this read. I can tell you'll be caught up in no time. :)


Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) Luckily I get lots of time on the subway to and from work, especially during the winter when it runs much slower...


Melissa I think a lot of what goes on in the first several chapters can be understood through a couple of quotes from Frodo and Gandalf.

In chapter three, Frodo realizes that he will have to flee the Shire. As he considers the need to flee he says "I should like to save the Shire, if I could-though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words and have felt than an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don't feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again."

Shortly before the preceding conversation, Frodo laments the dangers that are rising up all around them. He wishes that it "need not have happened in my time."

Gandalf's response is given later in the movies but it is a word for word response and I think Ian McKellan delivers it beautifully. He responds 'So do I,' said Gandalf, " and so do all who live to see such times. But it is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.'

I think the quote bears consideration often in our lives.



Oh, I think I will add one more quote...I think the conversation about friendship is excellent and I love when Gildor tells Frodo to "Take such friends as are trusty and willing."


message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 10, 2011 04:58AM) (new)

Melissa wrote: "I think a lot of what goes on in the first several chapters can be understood through a couple of quotes from Frodo and Gandalf.

In chapter three, Frodo realizes that he will have to flee the Shi..."


Melissa I really liked that quote of Frodo in chapter 3. I thought it was a good insight of Frodo's personality.
I thought this section was bit too slow, but this is going to be a long adventure and Tolkien is giving the readers a slow introduction to Middle Earth world, so I'm enjoying it. (Ok, I've never been a "poetry" person so I might be skipping the songs)
I know it's early but I must say I love Sam. I think he's going to be my favourite.

At first I didn't understand why it seems to take so long to Frodo to leave, but now I think "moving" and selling the cave sounds very brave of him. He seems from beginning to asume he won't return. That made me feel moved.


message 15: by Melissa (last edited Feb 10, 2011 08:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa Antía wrote: I know it's early but I must say I love Sam. I think he's going to be my favourite.

Sam is indeed wonderful. I agree.

I think you are right - it took a lot of bravery for Frodo to gather up his life and move on.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Melissa, thanks for pointing those quotes out. I've been tabbing quotes I like throughout the book, but I think somehow I missed those, so i went back and found them. (Though I think they're actually both in Capter Ii...)

I really love the Gandalf one, and also remember it from the movies.

I also think it's interesting to see how quickly the Hobbits lose their frivolity. Although Frodo has this burden that he knows he has to carry, there's still a lightness to his heart (and certainly to Merry's and Pippin's, though less with Sam), evidenced by all the singing and general cmraderie. that gradually goes away as the road gets harder.


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 10, 2011 07:31AM) (new)

Loretta wrote: "Melissa, thanks for pointing those quotes out. I've been tabbing quotes I like throughout the book, but I think somehow I missed those, so i went back and found them. (Though I think they're actual..."

I guess the "frivolity" is because they, apart of Frodo and just slightly Sam, don't know the trouble they are getting into? :) I think one of the themes of book is growing up and maturing, I mean the naive boy that leaves home and go living adventures? I think, anyway, there is an "air" of melancholy in Frodo since the beginning, like asuming the Ring mission is something he must do, not that he wants to.

But I'm enjoying the hobbits frivolous behaviour. Pippin and Merry are funny people.

I do remember that quote of Gandalf, and Ian McKellen saying it on movie.


message 18: by Loretta (last edited Feb 10, 2011 07:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) I can see something of the melancholy you mention, but I do think that there's still some hope in him that his "mission" will be over quickly. It's only when he realizes that it will not be that you really get the sense that that youthful lightheartedness goes away completely.


Melissa I guess the "frivolity" is because they, apart of Frodo and just slightly Sam, don't know the trouble they are getting into? But I'm enjoying the hobbits frivolous behaviour. Pippin and Merry are funny people.

I think a very visual picture of the light-hearted nature of the hobbits is given when we see Pippin running along the grass singing. Frodo sees him and thinks that there is no way he can take him from the Shire. Somehow that image sticks with me.

I've heard it said that Gandalf's view of the hobbits as "full of surprises. Soft as butter they can be, and yet sometimes as tough as old tree-roots. I think it likely that some would resist the Rings far longer than most of the Wise would believe." Is a reflection of Tolkein's view of the English.

If you think about it, a lot of the characteristics of the Shire and the hobbits resembles the bucolic and pastoral areas of England. During WWII the English showed a great deal more resilience than many expected.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Melissa, I've heard an analysis of the various LOTR races that assigns each one to a Western European nation.

The one I heard, though, was the following:
Hobbits = Irish
Men/Big folk = English
Dwarves = Scots
Elves = French

Irish countryside is similarly idyllic.


message 21: by Loretta (last edited Feb 10, 2011 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) Also, and this is complete conjecture here, but given that Tolkien was Catholic, rather than Anglican, might he not have felt some connection with Ireland based on that?


Melissa Loretta wrote: "Also, and this is complete conjecture here, but given that Tolkien was Catholic, rather than Anglican, might he not have felt some connection with Ireland based on that?"

That is an interesting thought...I don't know. I think this discussion shows what is so fascinating about Tolkein's work. He didn't provide much commentary on it and really and he openly detested allegory yet his work provides so much food for thought and contains so many parallels to the world we know and the history it contains.


Melissa At first I didn't understand why it seems to take so long to Frodo to leave, but now I think "moving" and selling the cave sounds very brave of him. He seems from beginning to asume he won't return. That made me feel moved."

I am scanning some supplemental books that I've read and found this (there is more but it contains a lot of spoilers - I might add it to the background material later today).

In the book Following Gandalf by Matthew Dickerson. Dickerson has a chapter dealing Human Freedom and Creativity. In it he discusses hero literature and the doctrine of free will versus determinism. He talks about the choices that humans (and hobbits and all sentient beings) are allowed to make.

It is not the big battles and exciting brave adventures that makes the hero, but the decision to go on and not turn back. It is a decision that is made not just once, but continuously, even as the chances of turning back come at the hero continuously. It is also a decision that ordinary 'folk' can make and turn those ordinary folks into heroes when they do make them.

I think that your identifying the length of time it takes Frodo to begin his journey and the bravery it took as a great example of Dickerson's hypothesis.


message 24: by Loretta (last edited Feb 10, 2011 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) Yes, I read his Wikipedia page, and I know he criticized The Chronicles of Narnia for being so completely allegorical.

But I suppose you can't help but create characters based on the kind of people you know. Moreover (much as they might hate to admit it), I'd say that Irish and English culture share a lot of similarities, or at least stereotypes, in regards to their love of things such as beautiful countryside, quiet lives, plentiful meals, and flowing beer. :)

Moreover, and I've mentioned this in the past (though I don't recall which particular thread), Tolkien did live through both world wars. That has to have affected his writing, and bled into the plot a little.

LOTR is clearly not an allegory for either of the world wars, but you have to think.... the idyllic life in the west being threatened from the east? That does have some similarity to how the Brits must have viewed both of those wars.


Melissa Loretta wrote: "LOTR is clearly not an allegory for either of the world wars, but you have to think.... the idyllic life in the west being threatened from the east? That does have some similarity to how the Brits must have viewed both of those wars."

I agree. I don't think there is or has been a writer who can separate who he (both his individual identity and his cultural identity) is and what he has experienced from what he is writing (which incidentally is why historical novels tend to reveal more about the writer and the era he or she lives in than the world they are writing about).


Loretta (lorettalucia) Very true, Melissa, which is why I'm trying so hard to actually analyze LOTR and delve deeper, this time, as compared to when I saw the movies, which I basically just viewed as fantasy adventures.

This is of course not to imply that the movies weren't emotionally resonant (they were, very much so), but I just watched them very superficially, without trying to find too much deeper meaning.

Also, I have to say, I'm glad we have such committed/thoughtful readers for this book.

I look forward to continuing the adventure with all of you. :)


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Melissa wrote: " I guess the "frivolity" is because they, apart of Frodo and just slightly Sam, don't know the trouble they are getting into? But I'm enjoying the hobbits frivolous behaviour. Pippin and Merry are ..."

I agree the image of Pippin is a beautiful one.

I didn't consider it before, I barely knew about Tolkien's life (I just knew that he was professor in Oxford and intimate friend of Lewis).. so excuse me if my thoughts are not so interesting.

I don't think the trilogy is an World Wars allegory. But I personally think the idea of joining different "countries"/races as in book to fight for one cause it's one of the reasons book is so powerfull.
I'm also afraid of commenting and maybe go too ahead on the story.

I'll be on trip during next days and will pick the book with me (lot of hours on train) so I think I'll be able to join you back next week on the same point of book as you are.


Melissa Antía wrote: "
I'll be on trip during next days and will pick the book with me (lot of hours on train) so I think I'll be able to join you back next week on the same point of book as you are.
."


Have a good trip!!


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments Some of the idealism of The Shire is also the idea of fighting beyond the borders in order to protect such innocent things. It's like we need a good dose of something beautiful and worth fighting for the in the beginning, so we can look back during the darker times later in the story and go "that's the world we want, where people can be free to live, laugh and love."


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