Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #3

The Fellowship is sundered, Frodo and Sam are heading into Mordor itself, and the shadow of the Enemy grows ever greater… What a note to end our reading of The Fellowship of the Ring on!

I did manage to this week, and, oh, I couldn’t get through it fast enough! I can’t believe I thought this was dense and difficult when I was a wee, silly lass. Spoilers abound under the jump, of course!

I was thoroughly surprised to discover that The Fellowship of the Ring, despite being a third of the novel that is The Lord of the Rings, actually functions much better than some installments in book series that I’ve read over the years. Despite Frodo and Sam heading off into mortal danger, it ends on a clear, almost cheerful note. Book One, I found, was much more cheerful and witty, akin to The Hobbit, than Book Two was, since Book One eased into the more serious tone that the rest of the novel, I think, will follow.

My favorite character so far into The Lord of the Rings is Sam Gamgee. How can he not be your favorite? He’s just the kind of person you want to see in epic fantasy–the most practical man on earth. I’m also fond of Gimli, as I usually am of Tolkien and Tolkienesque dwarves, and it was so lovely to see him come to like Elves over the course of The Fellowship of the Ring. And I have to mention Galadriel–while I can’t wait to get to Éowyn, the scene were Galadriel passes the ultimate test tugged at my heart. Of course, I’m remembering the relieved, almost haunted way Cate Blanchett delivered it, but shush.

My memories of the film actually influenced my reading a little bit, although it was easier than I thought to block it out. I was honestly shocked to discover that The Fellowship of the Ring did not end with Boromir’s death, but a much lighter scene. I was happy to learn that the pacing is much different, especially since it takes half the book to get to the Ford of Bruinen. And I was definitely surprised to see that Lothlórien was a city in the trees, for the most part–it sounds silly, but I always thought of it as being simply in a forest and involving tree trunks instead of actually being partially in the tops of trees.

My favorite scenes so far are Galadriel’s temptation, Bilbo’s birthday speech, and the flight to the Ford, which was even more intense than I remembered it ever being in the film. Frodo alone on a horse too big for him, desperately trying to fight off the evil poison and flee the Black Riders? Absolutely chilling.

I hope I’ve been a suitable enough hostess for this month, despite being awfully late! The next stage in our readalong, The Two Towers, is being hosted by Teresa at Shelf Love. Make sure to keep an eye for the opening post in the next few days.

Here are the questions I’ve just answered for your own reflections on The Fellowship of the Ring–I can’t wait to read your answers! Don’t feel like you’re just limited to just these questions, of course– I want to know what you thought was important.

  1. Since we’re dealing with a third of a novel, instead of the first novel in a series, do you find anything different?
  2. Do Books One and Two have significant differences to you?
  3. Who’s your favorite character so far into the novel?
  4. What surprised you the most?
  5. What was your favorite scene?

Remember to add your post to the Mr. Linky so everyone can see it!

As for the optional (but totally awesome) film rewatch–I’m tentatively scheduling a date of May 8, when my exams are done. It’ll definitely be in the early part of May, as if I could keep myself from a marathon of that kind! In order to whet your appetite, here’s the trailer for the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring.

16 thoughts on “Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #3

  1. Thanks so much for hosting. You’ve been great! And I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book more on rereading.

    And yes, I love Sam, although Merry remains my favorite hobbit. Actually, I love all four of the hobbits and think Tolkien did a great job of giving each one a distinct personality. I’m always surprised when people think of the hobbits as jolly, silly people, when the four hobbits in this book are all different from each other. They like a good meal, sure, but that doesn’t make them silly.

    PS. The film trailer isn’t showing up in your post 😦

    • It’s been fixed- I’m just used to LiveJournal taking the coding instead of requiring something else, heh!

      Yes, Tolkien does a great job of differentiating them, although I feel we’re going to see more difference between Merry and Pippin as we move forward. Hobbits aren’t silly, but I think some people get confused by seeing hobbits, who are so very British and middle-class, in a more “traditional” fantasy setting (never mind that Tolkien invented modern fantasy!).

  2. Yay, I finished this last night, and it was so great! I love Sam too. I forgot from last time I read it how great Sam is. I love it how he frets and frets about not having any rope until Galadriel gives him some.

  3. I gave in one day last week and finished early. The system of a few chapters a night finally broke down. 🙂 I forgot how much I really love this book. Sam is my favorite too. He’s just so practical and loyal. Galadriel is also a wonderful character. I’ll have to type up my thoughts later for a longer post. Thanks for hosting!

  4. I’m not sure who my favorite character was. It was hard reading the book after having seen the movie several times. I thought Gollum was kind of cute in a weird sort of way – I think it was the big eyes and the funny voice. And the Balrog is so totally awesome. I was disappointed that his scene wasn’t more dramatic.

    I found the book somewhat difficult to get into, but then it picked up and turned out to be a surprisingly quick read. I wasn’t planning on reading The Two Towers just yet, but then I found out about this read-along and decided to join. Thanks for co-hosting!

  5. I’m STILL reading The Hobbit, but I’m determined to finish that and catch up on FOTR this week – I’m on holiday from Friday so I really have no excuse. I’ll come back to answer the q’s once I’m done reading Fellowship, so expect a late starter – lol!

  6. Pingback: The End of the Fellowship and The Approach of the Two Towers « A Striped Armchair

  7. You’ve been such a great host, thank you for your time and dedication! I’m a little late, but just now managed to get my post about it all in.

    I do agree with you about Fellowship functioning better than most current first installments in books. It ends on a cliffhanger, sure, but it ends on this sort of bittersweet, perfect holding moment. Along with that, we get a ton of information in the first book to tide us over.

    I think it helps that Tolkien did such a good job in fleshing out the world between The Hobbit and this book, it’s perfectly realized as a first installment.

  8. Pingback: Fellowship, Finished « Jenny's Books

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