Friday, August 19, 2016

The Fellowship of the Ring

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment in The Lord of the Rings, the great epic written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1944. The story centers around a young hobbit, the nephew of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit (1937) named Frodo who is tasked with destroying an evil Ring that Bilbo brought back from his travels. With the help of the wizard Gandalf and his friends, Frodo is able to make it all the way to the Elven haven of Rivendell. From there he accepts the challenge of bring the Ring all the way to the dark land of Mordor.

Frodo is an especially likable character. He is just a small Hobbit, seemingly insignificant, who is able to achieve great things. He, like Bilbo, is reluctant to leave home. He enjoys his little Hobbit hole and would probably rather stay there. He accepts the burden of the Ring willingly, however,and tries to sneak away from Hobbiton. But Frodo has such strong friendships and bonds that his friends intercept him and refuse to let him continue without them. It is truly delightful to get to know the four Hobbits throughout the course of the story. They are the similar to most humans, and since the story is told (in the third person) from their own experience, they are our link into the truly fantastical world of Middle-earth.

Other characters include Strider, Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel. These are some of the higher and more noble characters whom we can look up to and aspire to be like. But there are other characters like Sam, Pippin, Eowyn, and Boromir whom we can relate more to and see things in them that we can identify with. I think the high number of dynamic characters is one of the strong points of the story.

There are also incredible moments of heroism and sacrifice which are awe inspiring and truly make me want to go do something great.

Tolkien’s style is similar but not as complex as that used in The Silmarillion. It gives the story legendary air and feeling which makes it feel even more like history. The best parts of this book are the characters, epic moments spread throughout, and the writing style.

There are just a couple things that are not perfect about this book. I, for one, do not particularly enjoy two particular chapters near the beginning, namely the two dealing with Tom Bombadil. Do not let this prevent you from reading the book, however, as many people have said that those chapters are their favorites.

This book is a beautiful tale of adventure with wonderful themes and exciting characters. Here are the chapters to give you a taste of what may happen in the story:

Book I

A Long-Expected Party
A Shadow of the Past
Three is Company
A Short Cut to Mushrooms
A Conspiracy Unmasked
The Old Forest
In the House of Tom Bombadil
Fog on the Barrow-Downs
At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
Strider
A Knife in the Dark
Flight to the Ford

Book II

Many Meetings
The Council of Elrond
The Ring Goes South
A Journey in the Dark
The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
Lothlórien
The Mirror of Galadriel
Farewell to Lórien
The Great River
The Breaking of the Fellowship


Finally, some of my favorite quotes:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”


“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”


“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”


“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”


“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”


Have you read The Fellowship of the Ring before? Whom in the Fellowship are you?

Are you planning on reading The Fellowship? What are you expecting?

Comment below :)

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