Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #1

It’s February 1st, so you know what that means–we’re cracking open our copies of The Fellowship of the Ring as we move forward in The Lord of the Rings readalong! (But don’t crack them open too hard. Respect the book, kids.)

If you’re completely in the dark, Eva, Maree, and Teresa are hosting a readalong of The Lord of the Rings, each one of us hosting a different book in the series. It’s never too late to jump in. If you’d like to join us, sign up over at Teresa’s initial post and grab your copy of The Fellowship of the Ring!

I’m hosting this particular month of the readalong. My duties as host include this post, another post in the middle of the month to see how we’re progressing, and a final post at the end, accompanied by my review of The Fellowship of the Ring. Like Eva said in her first post, you don’t have to finish exactly on the 28th. Take the reading as slowly or as quickly as you’d like; this readalong is about fun!

Unfortunately, my personal The Lord of the Rings set didn’t fit in my luggage on the return to college last month, so I’m reading a library copy. It’s more elegant and literary than my copies, which are movie tie-ins and have Silly Putty smashed into one of the indexes. (I’m not quite sure how that happened. I assume it was my fault.) Here’s the cover.

I like the overwhelming feeling of smallness on the cover, and the vagueness of the Fellowship–you can tell who is who, but not more specific details that would influence how you see the characters. It’s a much neater and subtle way to use the massive amount of work on the film to the book’s advantage. Since there’s so many different covers for The Lord of the Rings, I would love to hear about and see yours! (If you’ve no idea where to start looking for an image of your cover, might I suggest this gallery?)

In order to tell you how I found my way to The Lord of the Rings, we have to go back nine years.

The film version of The Fellowship of the Ring was released in 2001, when I was just a wee lass of ten. The impact was huge. If The Legend of Zelda and Warcraft hadn’t made me enough of a geek, The Lord of the Rings introduced me to the wonders of fandom. (I have not looked back since.) Wee (and not so wee) lasses the world over swooned over Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and 99.9% of them wrote terrible fanfiction about suspiciously American elven princesses hooking up with Legolas. (The only exception is my friend Natalya, who was too busy swooning over Aragorn.) One of my friends in middle school reigned supreme among our nerdy circle because she was teaching herself Quenya and could write a little in Elvish. The Lord of the Rings had turned everybody into geeks.

That was the climate when I picked up The Lord of the Rings with both hands–you see, I had borrowed someone’s all in one collection, which was massive. Since I was a very silly ten year old girl trying to read the mother of all epic fantasies, the entire thing went over my head. I don’t remember all that much from it, save getting bored in the middle of Rivendell and flipping ahead. I loved the movies, but the book was just too much for me at that age.

Things, obviously, have changed. Now, I’m an adult who can actually read it, understand it, and appreciate it. I’m actually sort of happy I don’t remember anything–it gives me a fresh slate to read it.

If you’d like to post about starting The Fellowship of the Ring, here are some discussion questions to start you off. If you’re just joining us with The Fellowship of the Ring, there are some more questions at Eva’s pad about fantasy and and joining the readalong that you might like to answer.

  1. When did you first hear of The Lord of the Rings?
  2. Have you read The Fellowship of the Ring before?
  3. What’s your plan of attack, now that we’re dealing with more “mature” literature?
  4. Have you ever seen the movies? If so, do you think they’ll influence your reading? If not, well, why haven’t you seen them?

Once you’ve written up a post, you can share it below.

Let the reading of The Fellowship of the Ring commence! Happy reading, all!

28 thoughts on “Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #1

  1. I’m so glad it’s February at last! I’ve been chomping at the bit to get started, though I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read the series.

    Love your library cover! Happy reading.

  2. Slow down, everyone, slow down! I’m still not done “The Hobbit” yet, lol! Can I get an extra week of January? 😉 I’ll be caught up soon, I promise (I found the read-along late), then I’ll get to answering these questions and being in step with everyone else. 🙂

  3. I’m so excited to get started on Fellowship! I’ve made my post about it all just now. I’ll be speeding through the book I’m currently reading so I can start on Fellowship as soon as possible.

    Happy reading, everyone!

  4. I’m so thrilled to hop on the readalong train with fellow Fellowshipers! I’ve read the book since before the film came out and I barely remember reading it so really looking forward to revisiting it now and hearing about everyone’s journeys!

  5. Pingback: Fellowshippin’ with the LOTR Readalong Bunch « In the Shadow of Mt. TBR

  6. Pingback: Bidding Bilbo Goodbye « A Striped Armchair

  7. I’m jumping in and going to join in with this, I read The Hobbit about 5 years ago and started The Fellowship of the Rings but never got very far, hopefully the readalong will help me out

  8. Phew! I finally got my post up after eons! Btw, I love the cover of your book, and your analysis of it. yep, the feeling is smallness in a place so large is very well captured! You got one of the best covers I’ve seen. 🙂

  9. I started the Hobbit near the end of February–It felt so good to be reading Tolkien again (I have not read it since the movies release) that I found I could not read it as slowly as the group was. Alas I was finished by the middle of March. I immensly enjoyed my trip back to middle-earth and it was so nice to put events and quotes back in order and nice to have the characters back in their order of importance to the story. All is right again. I did enjoy the movies very much but after this re-read I came to realize that the movies were Peter Jacksons master piece and not Tolkien’s. In fact after reading the forward to the 50th anniversary edition to the Lord of the Rings–I’m not sure Tolkien would have approved of Jackson’s interpretation. Apparently Tolkien was very particular about details and order.

    my thoughts on Volume One “The Fellowship of the Ring”; Book One Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

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