Coming to the end of The Fellowship of the Rings
Posted September 24, 2011on:
Welcome to our final discussion on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
Over the last 3 weeks, we met Frodo and watched as he discovered the power of the Ring. We witnessed his fleeing of the shire, how his friends made it clear they would help him and go with him every step the way. The further Frodo got from the home, the more dire his quest began to look. At Elrond’s council it was decided that the Ring must be destroyed before its creator can find it. Past Rivendell was the mines of Moria, something deep and dark and dangerous and the loss of Gandalf. And then to Lothlorien, elven city and home of Galadriel. But even the safety of Lothlorien must be left behind if the Ring of power is to be destroyed.
This story started out so bright and happy. Happy little hobbits leading happy little lives enjoy happy little birthday parties. Could Frodo have ever imagined his uncle’s magic ring would take him so far? It’s suddenly become much bigger than the shire, much bigger than Hobbits or Dwarves or Men or Elves. Everything is at stake.
It was my job to come up with discussion questions this week and I ended up just sending out “starters”- thoughts that popped into my head, or parts in the story where I had an emotional reaction. If you got the e-mail, you can pick and choose what to talk about, that way everyone’s posts are a little different.
We’ll be starting the second book in the series in a week or so, so stay tuned!
For my post, I’d like to talk about the two characters who kept getting my attention: Galadriel and Boromir.
We’ll do the easy one first: Boromir.
I didn’t trust from way back at the Council at Rivendell! His conversation with Frodo at the end of Fellowship made him look like a know-it-all with a world view of colonialism and imperialism. Is this Tolkien taking a shot at the old fashioned British world view, or am I reading way, way too much into it? I have vague memories of his character from the movies, and I’m sure for time they edited out most of his storyline.
I was talking to someone else about this, and they laughed at my description of Boromir and then responded with “the Ring is talking to him”. and I said “it he susceptible to his because he is power hungry?”, and my friend replied with “the Ring talks to everyone, offering them what they want. Some choose to listen”.
maybe an accidental political message? that those who come to power were able to because they were power hungry to begin with? what’s that old adage. . . power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. and that Ring? it is absolute power.
Suddenly this whole story is really getting my attention.
Which brings us to Galadriel. Most of you know so far Tolkien’s writing style just isn’t doing much for me. He’s a fine writer, I think I’m just so used to a more contemporary style that it’s taking me a long to time to get into the story. And then I met Galadriel, who quickly became my by far favorite character so far. Not only is she probably one of the oldest elves in Middle Earth, but the power that woman holds is incredible. Remember the lost rings? three rings for the elven kings? well, she’s got one. I don’t think Sauron knows she’s got it.
here’s the kicker: Frodo’s quest is to destroy the Ring. Not only does the Ring not want to die, but should it be destroyed, it will take the power of the other rings with it. Including Galadriel’s ring.
If Frodo’s quest is successful, The Elves will have to choose to leave Middle Earth forever, or forget who and what they are. The success of this quest, the saving of Middle Earth means the banishment of the Elves. It means that future generations of men and hobbits will have only stories and songs and legends. it’s one thing to find a magic ring and destroy it. It’s an entirely different thing to destroy a magic ring and in the process destroy the livelihood of an entire race. That’s so very tragic that it almost breaks my heart the think about it.
eh, or maybe I’m yet again reading between lines that aren’t really there?
Even though the Fellowship leaves Lothlorien at the end of this book, I do hope there is mention of Galadriel later. If you can’t tell, she made the book for me.
There were also discussion starters about Gandalf and the Balrog in Moria, and Sam and his experience learning that Elves aren’t quite as strange or as scary as he thought. And of course, the obligatory question of “what was your favorite part?”
alright folks, discuss!! and tweet! #LOTRreadlong