Fellowship of the Ring Mid-Point

So, here I am, half way through and seriously I need to stop starting my posts with the word “so”. Anyway, things are calming down a lot here and I am seriously behind on my reading and I’m getting stressed about it, which just seems so wrong. Do I really need stress on top of the stress? Maybe a nice relaxing read-a-thon will help. Too bad the next one that I know about doesn’t start until April. Anyone know of any before then? Like, this weekend perhaps?

Anyway, I was blown away by the first half of the Fellowship of the Ring. So different from the movie, it’s richer and more vibrant and has these deep roots in history and lore. How can this be a fictional world? I love it, I love it, I love it.

If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit?

He’s still there to me, just perhaps a little less winking over the tops of the heads of the characters at us and a little more concerned about immediate happenings in the book. This is a darker tale then Bilbo’s for all that there are no dragons (yet) there is a fate much greater at stake then that of the treasure of some greedy dwarves. Everyone in The Fellowship of the Ring is quietly kermit flailing. Something horrible is about to happen and even those not totally in the know of what exactly is up can still sense that something is going down. The narrator picks up on that and has a more somber tone as a result, I think.

How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through?

The only times I’ve struggled so far is when I’ve been so tired I’m crossing my eyes to keep them open. But, I don’t want to go to sleep! Frodo is still in trouble! Though I guess if I didn’t go to sleep until he was out of it I would be awake for several days across several books. It is a pretty tense and sinister book, and as a result I’ve been pretty much hooked from page one. There is a lot of build up too on the hobbits themselves, getting to know them and understanding them and where they came from and why they think as they do, that I’ve been enjoying and here is one of favorite passages that showcase that:

The morning came, pale and clammy. Frodo woke up first, and found that a tree-root had made a hole in his back, and that his neck was stiff. “Walking for pleasure! Why didn’t I drive?” he thought, as he usually did at the beginning of an expedition. “And all my beautiful feather beds are sold to the Sackville-Bagginses! These tree-roots would do them good.” He stretched. “Wake up, hobbits!” he cried. “It’s a beautiful morning.”

“What’s beautiful about it?” said Pippin, peering over the edge of his blanket with one eye. “Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine! Have you got the bath-water hot?”

Sam jumped up, looking rather bleary. “No, sir, I haven’t, sir!” he said.

Frodo stripped the blankets from Pippin and rolled him over, and then walked off to the edge of the wood.

Ha! Pipowned!

If you’ve read this series before, is The Fellowship of the Ring, for the most part, as you remembered? If not, is it what you expected or something else?

Never read the series before, so just comparing it to the movies. I can’t believe that they totally stripped out Tom Bombadil! And then gave all of his lines to Treebeard! Talk about harsh editing. Other than that just everything that I said before at the start of this post. Richer! Vibrant! Deep! Lovely! Also, totally with the lore, details, songs and history of a real life novel, but with totally fantastical beings and settings. I love it!

Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance- in your book?

Yes! My book seems to reference the last book with all of the appendixes and I don’t seem to have the book with the appendixes in them out, it’s one of the ones languishing in storage right now, but I have been referencing maps. It has been a while since I’ve read an epic fantasy that requires the use of maps to follow along, not since The Belgariad series. I love studying maps and seeing where the characters are and where they are going, it helps to visualize the journey and it just adds a level of fun and realism to the books.

Looking forward to finishing this book up lickety split so that I can get started on The Two Towers. I may be behind the rest of you but I am determined to get all caught up!

4 Responses to Fellowship of the Ring Mid-Point

  1. EL Fay
    5:38 pm on March 1st, 2010

    You’re doing this read-along too? I just happened to be reading The Fellowship of the Ring and found out about the read-along by accident. Talk about good timing.

    Having compared the book to the movie quite a bit too, I can’t say I’m too disappointed that they left Tom Bombadil out. As Peter Jackson noted, Tom really doesn’t do anything to further the plot. He doesn’t help Frodo deal with the ring or offer any aid against Sauron. Plus, his immunity to the ring seems to diminish its power and evilness. Overall, I’m guessing Tolkien included him for world-building purposes. Since movies have more of a time constraint, I think it was for the best that Tom was cut.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to hear you’re behind on your reading. I hate when that happens!

  2. The Literary Omnivore
    6:14 pm on March 1st, 2010

    It’s not about deadlines, it’s about enjoying the books. 🙂 I have to try and pace myself too- I just want to finish them all in go!

    Your website design is seriously gorgeous.

  3. Bitsy
    9:49 am on March 2nd, 2010

    @El Fay – Thanks for commenting! Yeah, I owed my husband a reading of these books so I thought I would hop on the bandwagon, so to speak.

    My husband is in complete agreement with you about Tom Bombadil, his contributions to the story of the Ring are minimal and so he was able to be cut out with no harm done. Though I have to say, after watching the movies and knowing how freaky the ring is to have Tom hold it in his hand for one tense moment and then hold it up to his eye like a monocle and laugh had me both freaking out and in stiches at the same time. Hilarious!

    @The Literary Omnivore – Thanks! I wanted to rush the ending but it turns out you can’t really rush anything with these books. The prose is so rich and wonderful it makes you slow down and savor it. Thanks for the compliment on the site too, I appreciate it!

  4. Eva
    10:32 am on March 3rd, 2010

    Don’t worry about where you are! One of our hosts is still in The Hobbit. 🙂 The point is to enjoy the series, and it certainly sounds like you’re doing that!

    The first movie was the most faithful to the book, so it’ll be interesting to see your comparisons with the next two!

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