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The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
This topic is about The Fellowship of the Ring
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Archived 2011 Group Reads > Lord of the Rings 07: The Fellowship of the Ring - Book Two, Chapters V-VII

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message 1: by Loretta (last edited Feb 26, 2011 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) Please post your thoughts on this week's section here.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I'm almost done with this section, and think i will just move on to the final week immediately, as it is very short. So look out for that thread a day early this time.

Back with more thoughts later.


message 3: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (kristina3880) I finished the first book of LOTR. I could not help myself. I will sincerely wait to start the second installment with the group.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I'm planning on finishing it tonight too.

Please be sure to post in the weekly threads as well.


Melissa One thing I noticed this time (that oddly, I've never noticed before), is how Legolas and Gimli repeat the phrases found at the end of Book of Records. "They are coming" "We cannot get out!!"

The horror of those lines is well-expressed in the Book of Records and the obvious results that the fellowship can see all around them.


Melissa I am posting my thoughts in separate comments. I hope you don't mind.

I am wondering how you all felt about the Balrog? I've never been able to come up with a satisfactory image in my mind (which I honestly think Tolkien intended). And for those who've seen the movie, does the movie Balrog satisfy? (I don't think he does.)


Melissa I would love to hear what people think of Galadriel's offering of choices.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Melissa,

I didn't notice the repetition of the phrases from the Book of Records. Even without making that connection, though, I found that scene to be particularly effective at illustrating the mood. With the description of the drum beats, first sounding far off, and then getting closer, and closer, I felt incredibly claustrophobic. Somehow the cavernous space, despite being incredibly large, felt very closed-off, with no obvious escape route.

I agree that the Balrog is an incredibly shadowy figure. Not only is it not physically described in a way that allows me to conjure an image of it, but I still also don't really understand what it is. Do you have thoughts or insight into that?


message 9: by Melissa (last edited Feb 27, 2011 03:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa Loretta wrote: "Melissa,
I didn't notice the repetition of the phrases from the Book of Records. Even without making that connection, though, I found that scene to be particularly effective at illustrating the mood. With the description of the drum beats, first sounding far off, and then getting closer, and closer, I felt incredibly claustrophobic. Somehow the cavernous space, despite being incredibly large, felt very closed-off, with no obvious escape route."


I agree - the echoing doom, doom of the drums is very effectively wrought.


Melissa Loretta wrote: "Melissa, I agree that the Balrog is an incredibly shadowy figure. Not only is it not physically described in a way that allows me to conjure an image of it, but I still also don't really understand what it is. Do you have thoughts or insight into that?

"Even as mithril was the foundation of their wealth, so it also was their destruction: they delved too greedily and too deep, and disturbed that from which they fled, Durin's Bane."

First, I think because the Balrog was 'wakened' by the greedy digging for mithril (which it must be noted is not strictly the fault of the dwarves---they did the digging but everyone loved and desired mithril thus there was a demand for it - kind of like the oil in the Middle East). Therefore the evil of the Balrog could certainly be compared to any evil that rises out of selfish greed (which is often the root of war).

I know that I would not compare it to the Devil or Satan or any other primary evil of any religion. However, to say it is a demon of some sort, I think would be fair.

I think the shapelessness might have something to do with allowing it to be the figure of each individual's nightmares if you notice everyone has a slightly different name for it and everyone's response is a bit different but all have the same response to it for it terrifies them into almost immobility.

I think Gandalf's response sheds light on the intentions of Tolkien as a Christian. He says "Over the bridge!...Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you. I must hold the narrow way. Fly!"

The Fellowship had no choice if they were going to fight the evil of Sauron they had to flee the evil of the Balrog and take the narrow way.

To me there are definite echoes of Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) I have finished this section. Just have to add my comments later. Stupid tax season keeping me busy at work!


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I thought the Balrog was done well in the film. Darkness and fire combined in a terrifying way. I certainly wouldn't want to face him!

As far as what he is, if I recall correctly from The Silmarillion and other sources, he is actually about the same level as Gandalf himself; Gandalf is a Maya, which is a kind of demi-God (Sauron is a level above that) and the balrog is kind of what the orcs are to elves, distorted versions of the good. That all goes WAY back in the history of Middle-Earth though, and I don't remember all the details correctly, I'm sure.

I love the way the scene is done with the Book of Records. It's so ominous, especially the way the fearful words are repeated. It's done well in the movie, too, imo.


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