Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Fellowship of the Ring Discussion, Chapter Two: The Shadow of the Past
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next page Last page  View All

Kim
Valinor


Dec 14 2014, 7:15pm

Post #1 of 227 (5721 views)
Shortcut
The Fellowship of the Ring Discussion, Chapter Two: The Shadow of the Past Can't Post

Welcome to week two! We had a very lively discussion to kick things off with Chapter One (thanks Rem!), so let’s keep up the momentum as we dive into The Shadow of the Past. This chapter contains a lot of the back-story of the Sauron, the Ring and how it came to Frodo, so I’ve broken it up into 3 separate posts.



Part 1

The chapter opens with mention of the talk of Bilbo’s disappearance carrying on for a year and a day, with the blame laid mostly at Gandalf’s door. The Hobbits thought that if he left Frodo alone (which he did), Frodo would “settle down and grow some hobbit-sense”. Instead, Frodo appeared to step into Bilbo’s shoes. On Bilbo’s next birthday, he threw a birthday party, and started a tradition of throwing Bilbo’s Birthday Party every year.

Do you think Gandalf was to blame for Bilbo’s departure? Why do you think Frodo insisted on throwing the party every year? Was it because he assumed Bilbo was alive and wanted to continue to honor him as long as he was? Why didn’t he ever throw the party for himself since it was his birthday also?

Frodo lived alone, but we’re introduced to some of his closest friends Peregrin Took (Pippin) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) and it’s said they tramped around the Shire together, but Frodo often went off by himself, and they suspected he visited Elves. We quickly find that over a dozen years have passed, and Frodo finds himself wondering about the wild lands and mountains he’s never seen.

Frodo appears to have a bit of an adventurous side even this early in the story. Do you think Tolkien set him up to be a contrast to Bilbo at the start of his story? Was Frodo perhaps influenced by Bilbo’s tales and internalized them, making him more apt to seek out adventure vs. Bilbo’s behavior based on his more traditional upbringing?

Next, we hear that “There were rumors of strange things happening in world outside” and that Frodo was frequently talking with strangers, especially dwarves, about troubles to the East and that the Enemy had once again regained strength in Mordor. This sets the stage for the next scene in The Green Dragon where the Hobbits discuss strange happenings, specifically, a conversation between Sam Gamgee and Ted Sandyman.

What did you think of this conversation, especially in light of what we just heard about Mordor? How does Ted’s reaction to Sam’s comments reflect on the general belief of Hobbits?

We next hear that Gandalf has returned, after having been gone for several years. He initially visited Frodo fairly frequently after Bilbo’s departure, but hadn’t been back in nine years. He and Frodo settled in for a long chat, first through the long night, then continuing the next morning, where Gandalf begins to tell him about the ring. We learn that there are Great Rings, or Rings of Power, that when owned by a mortal, can cause them to just exist, not growing old, and if they use the ring to become invisible too many times, they can fade and become invisible permanently.

What did you think of this revelation? Do you remember when you first heard this feeling surprised that Bilbo’s magic ring could do this to someone?

As the conversation continues, we hear Gandalf describe how Bilbo felt restless and uneasy prior to his departure and that his feeling of being “thin and stretched” was actually the impact of the ring, but Bilbo never suspected that. Frodo asks him how long he’s know about this, and Gandalf begins to tell the back-story of the ring.

What did you think of Gandalf’s recollection, especially the part about Bilbo’s story about how he gained the ring, and that later Gandalf got the “truth” out of him? Did you recognize this as Tolkien’s way of reconciling the earlier version of the Riddles in the Dark sequence in The Hobbit that was changed in later publication? How about Gandalf’s comments that he suspected something “dark and deadly was at work”, but he didn’t know until the night Bilbo left?

#OneLastTime


Kim
Valinor


Dec 14 2014, 7:17pm

Post #2 of 227 (5098 views)
Shortcut
Part 2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf then asks Frodo for the ring and quickly throws it in the fire. He closes the curtains until the room is dark, then takes the ring from the fire. Before it went into the fire it was smooth and unmarked, now it shows a flowing script. Gandalf translates the inscription into the Common Tongue:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

He also say that they are actually just two lines of the following verse long known in Elven-lore:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Gandalf then announces “this is the Master-Ring, the One Ring to rule them all.

Wow! What did you think of this revelation? Had you already heard this poem before reading the book? After the seemingly light introduction to the story, and Frodo living mostly quietly in Bag End, this changes the tone of the story in a huge way, don’t you think? What does this poem reveal about the difference between the races in Middle-earth?

Frodo then asks Gandalf how the ring came to him, and Gandalf begins the back-story. He had already told Frodo of Sauron the night before, but expands on that, explaining that he has left Mirkwood and returned to Mordor. He says that, “Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.” The one thing he lacks to give him strength to cover all the lands in a second darkness is the One Ring. He then mentions the rings given to the Elves, Dwarves and Men, and describes the Ringwraiths.

This includes a pretty iconic exchange:
“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.”

How did Gandalf’s comment resonate with you at this point in the story? What did you think of the fact that although Sauron had been defeated, he would always rise again? How did you imagine the Ringwraiths at this point?

#OneLastTime


Kim
Valinor


Dec 14 2014, 7:18pm

Post #3 of 227 (5081 views)
Shortcut
Part 3 [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf then tells the story of Gil-galad the Elven-king and Elendil of Westernesse and how they overthrew Sauron, but died in the fight, and how Elendil’s son Isildur took the Ring, but was killed by Orcs, and the Ring fell in to the Anduin. He then tells of Smeagol/Gollum, how he came to have the Ring, more details of his encounter with Bilbo, and how Gandalf then encountered him. And finally, that it was through Gollum that Sauron learned that the One Ring had been found again, and the terms Hobbits, Baggins and Shire.

And another iconic exchange:
Frodo: “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!”
Gandalf: “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand.” And later “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

What did you think of these disclosures? This was a huge amount of information to fit in to one chapter. Did you find you were able to process all of this the first time? Why do you think Tolkien chose to include so much information in fell swoop? Was it at this point that he had figured out where he wanted the story to go?

Gandalf and Frodo then discuss what to do with the One Ring and come to conclusion that Frodo must leave the Shire. It’s at this point they realize that Sam has been outside gardening and listening to the conversation.

What did you think of Gandalf’s choice of travelling companion for Frodo, and Sam’s reaction to the news that they would be going away, possibly to see the Elves?

This chapter is a really interesting example of the challenge of book to movie adaptations. It contains a huge amount of information that gets spread out across the movie trilogy. We get the story of the ring and Sauron (FOTR Prologue), Isildur with the ring (EE), and Smeagol/Gollum (ROTK prologue), and how to destroy the One Ring (FOTR Council of Elrond).

Can you imagine if we’d had all of this information in the scene between Gandalf & Frodo in the movie version of FOTR? I know some of you can – for those of you who knew the book well before seeing the movies, were you expecting all of this info to come in one big chunk like this? What did you think when you first heard the FOTR prologue and saw this back story of Sauron and the One Ring as the first scene you saw? How about as the movies progressed and more of this history and the iconic lines were included?

OK, that was a lot of information to cover, and I barely scratched the surface, so feel free to dive into these questions, or pose some of your own!

#OneLastTime


Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 14 2014, 9:31pm

Post #4 of 227 (5060 views)
Shortcut
Part 1 discussion! Thanks Kim! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


Do you think Gandalf was to blame for Bilbo’s departure? Why do you think Frodo insisted on throwing the party every year? Was it because he assumed Bilbo was alive and wanted to continue to honor him as long as he was? Why didn’t he ever throw the party for himself since it was his birthday also?
I think the whole 'Bilbo's Birthday' is a literarily useful, socially obvious point, in Hobbit-culture, of Frodo's 'oddness'. Its a very piquant way of making use of the birthday tradition JRRT went out of his way to create; a sweet sentiment, showing the underlying lack of true avarice among these Hobbits (who give away freely), while also giving them that touch of silliness and whimsy in the childlike wonder of getting small gifts which continues into adulthood. A micro-equation maybe of the whole Hobbit mentality, a simple and soft nature yet having a core of ethic and strength that will come as shock to those not really paying attention. In this equation its almost like Bilbo comes off as the more 'childlike' of the pair, albeit the older; and the younger Frodo as the next step in Hobbit maturity, and something special in his way. A nice inversion on both notes, as JRRT is wont to show us.

As far as blaming Gandalf...well its a benign sort of 'blame' isn't it? More like a guided intervention. Driven by the Ring and its influence, but Gandalf's hand on the tiller, thankfully. Cool


Frodo lived alone, but we’re introduced to some of his closest friends Peregrin Took (Pippin) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) and it’s said they tramped around the Shire together, but Frodo often went off by himself, and they suspected he visited Elves. We quickly find that over a dozen years have passed, and Frodo finds himself wondering about the wild lands and mountains he’s never seen.
Frodo appears to have a bit of an adventurous side even this early in the story. Do you think Tolkien set him up to be a contrast to Bilbo at the start of his story? Was Frodo perhaps influenced by Bilbo’s tales and internalized them, making him more apt to seek out adventure vs. Bilbo’s behavior based on his more traditional upbringing?


You touch here on one of my favorite lines in the entire work..."He began to say to himself: 'Perhaps I shall cross the River myself one day.' To which the other half of his mind always replied: 'Not yet.'
This line made me 'get' this Frodo-chap, and love him. (I had also NOT read TH when I first read LOTR. I 'got' Frodo before I 'got' Bilbo.)
Frodo as the orphaned youth seems to strike a chord here; already singular among Hobbits, and free of the fetters of family, he stands alone and ready to bear the burden of the Ring. I think JRRT uses these restless longings, earlier in Frodo's life than in Bilbo's (which we see contrasted) to set Frodo apart. Its a recipe maybe for the small hero: alone among many, unique, unbound, and raised on a tradition of adventure and of 'otherness' which gave the glimpses of the World beyond Hobbiton.
Frodo's bearing of the Ring and its 'stations' along the trip often remind me of the Stations of the Cross; here I think he's set apart as the singular sacrifice (born of Hobbit yet motherless and fatherless all the same) in the Hobbit, even the Middle-earth, world.

Next, we hear that “There were rumors of strange things happening in world outside” and that Frodo was frequently talking with strangers, especially dwarves, about troubles to the East and that the Enemy had once again regained strength in Mordor. This sets the stage for the next scene in The Green Dragon where the Hobbits discuss strange happenings, specifically, a conversation between Sam Gamgee and Ted Sandyman.
What did you think of this conversation, especially in light of what we just heard about Mordor? How does Ted’s reaction to Sam’s comments reflect on the general belief of Hobbits?

Ted gives us the insularity of the average Hobbit. The foil for both world-wise, Mad-Baggins Bilbo and the untested but restless Frodo.

(BTW I am quite sure, in my head-canon, that that walking tree is a lost Entwife.)

We next hear that Gandalf has returned, after having been gone for several years. He initially visited Frodo fairly frequently after Bilbo’s departure, but hadn’t been back in nine years. He and Frodo settled in for a long chat, first through the long night, then continuing the next morning, where Gandalf begins to tell him about the ring. We learn that there are Great Rings, or Rings of Power, that when owned by a mortal, can cause them to just exist, not growing old, and if they use the ring to become invisible too many times, they can fade and become invisible permanently.
What did you think of this revelation? Do you remember when you first heard this feeling surprised that Bilbo’s magic ring could do this to someone?

I do remember surprise and the expectation of the 'magic' in the story. Only after I had read the Sil did I realize its full philosophical meaning, and that denial of death, and thus humanity (depicted as the 'gift') is such an affront to JRRT's world view.


As the conversation continues, we hear Gandalf describe how Bilbo felt restless and uneasy prior to his departure and that his feeling of being “thin and stretched” was actually the impact of the ring, but Bilbo never suspected that. Frodo asks him how long he’s know about this, and Gandalf begins to tell the back-story of the ring.
What did you think of Gandalf’s recollection, especially the part about Bilbo’s story about how he gained the ring, and that later Gandalf got the “truth” out of him? Did you recognize this as Tolkien’s way of reconciling the earlier version of the Riddles in the Dark sequence in The Hobbit that was changed in later publication? How about Gandalf’s comments that he suspected something “dark and deadly was at work”, but he didn’t know until the night Bilbo left?

Here is the bit where JRRT's point about the Sil being a needed companion to LOTR rings true! Certainly one can appreciate LOTR on its own, but so many underpinnings of immense meaning and lore are contained in the Sil tales! I can respect JRRT's self-discipline here...to write LOTR as its own tale and not run into continual side-channels of old lore and confirming the well-personified deities that he had created in the background; granted they were still a work in progress but the knowledge of the greater world was there in his head.


I had NOT read TH before this, so in truth as a first-time reader I skimmed it all but later, after reading TH, I was delighted at the 'inside information' and TH references. It felt very fun to know both stories.











(This post was edited by Brethil on Dec 14 2014, 9:39pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 14 2014, 10:36pm

Post #5 of 227 (5065 views)
Shortcut
That troublesome Ring [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Wow! What did you think of this revelation? Had you already heard this poem before reading the book? After the seemingly light introduction to the story, and Frodo living mostly quietly in Bag End, this changes the tone of the story in a huge way, don’t you think? What does this poem reveal about the difference between the races in Middle-earth? I had heard friends recite the poem before reading the book; it seemed to be powerful from the way they used it in conversation. And they had a singular love of the JRRT world, and referred to it often. Back in the 80's of pre-SPJ-film fame, this stuff was simply not mainstream. I had no sense of its meaning or how much of a contrast it would be within the framework of Frodo's little house. Of course I had also not read TH yet, as I posted above, so the Ring itself was a mystery to me (as was the mechanics of the melding of TH and LOTR).
The poem seems to define the salient points of each race, of their domain and what makes them tick: and of course in the terms of other races. Men seen from the other side of the green grass as it were are all about death. Not just as their fate but in the terms of this poem as their mien and maybe their overriding concern. Obsession maybe. Driving their cultures to war and conquest, and not of lasting sky or stone as are the others. Its a very non-human centric view, which is a subtle nod to the existence of the other races. In a way maybe also marking the other races as older, perhaps? They have concerns in diminishing order of timelessness and resilience, and then at the bottom of the list are those short lived Men, who do not earn any other regard from the older, ancient perspective except for their fate.
I also like the metre of this poem, BTW. Quite a change from Iambic Pentameter. Wink


Frodo then asks Gandalf how the ring came to him, and Gandalf begins the back-story. He had already told Frodo of Sauron the night before, but expands on that, explaining that he has left Mirkwood and returned to Mordor. He says that, “Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.” The one thing he lacks to give him strength to cover all the lands in a second darkness is the One Ring. He then mentions the rings given to the Elves, Dwarves and Men, and describes the Ringwraiths.
This includes a pretty iconic exchange:
“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.”


How did Gandalf’s comment resonate with you at this point in the story? What did you think of the fact that although Sauron had been defeated, he would always rise again? How did you imagine the Ringwraiths at this point?
It resonated in a very 'real' sense to me. Different than a fairy-tale ending of alls-well-that-ends-well and happily-ever-after. I wonder if this contrast was one of the things JRRT disliked about Disney creations, in the complete resolution is always achieved in a very shiny and neat way (not to pick on Disney, it juts seems an obvious contrast.) At this point as a new reader I had no ideas of what a Wraith was!

A point here, about the Ring itself, I like the hint of menace that JRRT implies when Frodo answers Gandalf that he has always kept the Ring on its chain. Very quiet but as a re-reader I appreciate its warning, with the Ring as something dangerous, too dangerous to unchain. But as a first time reader, I think I took this at face-value: a shiny trinket on a chain, to be worn.










a.s.
Valinor


Dec 14 2014, 11:17pm

Post #6 of 227 (5059 views)
Shortcut
the Ring has agency [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
as a re-reader I appreciate its warning, with the Ring as something dangerous, too dangerous to unchain. But as a first time reader, I think I took this at face-value: a shiny trinket on a chain, to be worn.






I understood when reading this point, that the Ring could somehow make itself larger and slip off a finger, but think it took me several readings to really understand what that implied: the Ring has agency. Somehow, the Ring is able to act and "do" things on its own. And now of course I realize just how dangerous that can be, since Sauron "let a great part of his former power pass into it", whatever that exactly means.


But it DOES mean a little piece of Sauron at work in our wonderful, silly, beloved Shire. Yes, scary.


a.s.

"an seileachan"


Through any dark time, I always remember Frodo's claim on the side of Mt. Doom that he "can manage it" because he must.
Sometimes, I have to manage it, too, as do we all. We manage because we must.




CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 14 2014, 11:42pm

Post #7 of 227 (5040 views)
Shortcut
Scary indeed. Why didn't evil come from it? [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't it remarkable that Bilbo didn't become the least bit evil? He didn't even contemplate doing bad things. And while possessive of the Ring, he was generous with his money. Nor did he become a loner the way that Gollum did--he was eccentric and something of a loner, but he had friends, and he adopted Frodo to come live with him. Can you imagine Gollum inviting someone to live with him (without eating them)?

The real evil in the Shire was to come from Lotho, who had no contact with the Ring.

And I suppose to speculate further, even though Frodo was eventually beaten down by the Ring, he didn't become classically evil either. He didn't claim the Ring and say, "Now I'm going to enslave you all and kill your babies and puppies too!" So evil could exist in the Shire via Lotho, but it didn't get there through the Ring or through the Bagginses.


Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 12:03am

Post #8 of 227 (5028 views)
Shortcut
I agree a.s! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
as a re-reader I appreciate its warning, with the Ring as something dangerous, too dangerous to unchain. But as a first time reader, I think I took this at face-value: a shiny trinket on a chain, to be worn.

I understood when reading this point, that the Ring could somehow make itself larger and slip off a finger, but think it took me several readings to really understand what that implied: the Ring has agency. Somehow, the Ring is able to act and "do" things on its own. And now of course I realize just how dangerous that can be, since Sauron "let a great part of his former power pass into it", whatever that exactly means.


But it DOES mean a little piece of Sauron at work in our wonderful, silly, beloved Shire. Yes, scary.


a.s.


I concur, and to me as a reader the unknown element of this agency is highly effective. I like that it is never entirely spelled out, the nuts and bolts of it. That sense of semi-conscious? half-conscious? reflective? sentience lends an air of character to the Ring. And a nice to get the idea of its unknown agency out there early in this work - nicely paralleling its jump off Bilbo's finger in the Goblin tunnels.








Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 12:11am

Post #9 of 227 (5060 views)
Shortcut
A most important sentence... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Isn't it remarkable that Bilbo didn't become the least bit evil? He didn't even contemplate doing bad things. And while possessive of the Ring, he was generous with his money. Nor did he become a loner the way that Gollum did--he was eccentric and something of a loner, but he had friends, and he adopted Frodo to come live with him. Can you imagine Gollum inviting someone to live with him (without eating them)?

The real evil in the Shire was to come from Lotho, who had no contact with the Ring.

And I suppose to speculate further, even though Frodo was eventually beaten down by the Ring, he didn't become classically evil either. He didn't claim the Ring and say, "Now I'm going to enslave you all and kill your babies and puppies too!" So evil could exist in the Shire via Lotho, but it didn't get there through the Ring or through the Bagginses.





...tucked away in Gandalf's explanation: it gives power according to one's stature. I always feel like this should have a row of asterisks in front of it, for its import in grasping the workings of the Ring, and of Sauron himself! I think it is a great concept, and one that JRRT was impressively authorially consistent upon as well. 'Stature' used here, there's an interesting semantic... (Thoughts?)
I think there was simply no evil in Bilbo to be had...if anything, a touch of crotchety and mildly anti-social codgerdom was the closest he would get to 'evil' per se. All due as merit to the bearer, either counteracting or bending to the will of Sauron.








CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 12:11am

Post #10 of 227 (5031 views)
Shortcut
Strange happenings and xenophobia [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for leading this chapter, Kim! All these great questions and thoughts for me to plow into like eggnog and cookies.

Do you think Gandalf was to blame for Bilbo’s departure?
What I see with this hobbit-perspective is the xenophobia that pervades Middle-earth. Something is wrong, so blame the foreigner! It comes up every time you change locale: in Hobbiton they say Bucklanders are queer, and you get to Farmer Maggot, and he says the same thing about Hobbiton hobbits. Bree is critical of the Shire, and Elves don't trust anyone anymore (but they'll make exceptions). Arrive in Lorien, and Celeborn blames them all for awakening the Balrog. Rohan doesn't want to speak Westron to foreigners anymore since they all stir up trouble, and the Dunlendings believe Saruman when he tells them the Rohirrim kill their war captives without mercy. No one in Rohan or Gondor trusts Lorien even though it's on their side. The list goes on and on.

But I'll go out on a limb and say Bilbo left for his own reasons and his own good. He needed to leave the Ring behind, and he may have known subconsciously that to stay in the Shire where it was he would always want it, so he had to stay far away. I also think he had become a worldly person and found his countrymen too provincial, so it was a matter of taste too. He didn't fit in there, and he knew it.

Frodo was frequently talking with strangers, especially dwarves...
I know it's wrong to take Tolkien literally, and the point of saying he was talking to strangers is a literary way of showing that he was becoming a nonconformist, worldly hobbit like his uncle, but don't you wonder who these strangers are when Tolkien brings them up? Strange hobbits? Men? Variags of Khand? Who? Even with the suspicion that he consorted with Elves, Frodo doesn't recognize Gildor, and I'm left wondering if Frodo really did talk to Elves.

How does Ted’s reaction to Sam’s comments reflect on the general belief of Hobbits?
Ted may be a jerk, but he seems to be speaking for mainstream hobbits, and Sam seems mostly alone in his point of view.

What did you think of this revelation? Do you remember when you first heard this feeling surprised that Bilbo’s magic ring could do this to someone?
This was a shocker to me after The Hobbit, where the Ring was as useful and benign as Sting. I really did wonder if the mithril coat and Sting would later turn out to be cursed for Frodo too.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 12:23am

Post #11 of 227 (5025 views)
Shortcut
That's probably the strand of hope running through this distraught tale. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, a call for asterisks *******. Smile

As a thought experiment, think of Lotho getting the Ring and claiming it for his own, and pretend that Saruman and Sauron don't know he has it. Wouldn't the Shire have been so much worse? I don't see Lotho becoming a Dark Lord of Mordor, but I can see the Ring feeding his mean-spirited, greedy nature the way it fed Gollum's. The difference is that Gollum was driven out by his people, but Lotho had wealth and power over his own kind, and a simple family shunning wasn't going to put an end to him.

For me, the overall tone of LOTR is that time is running out, Sauron is winning most of the time, the West is tottering, and things are pretty scary.
Glorfindel will say at the Council of Elrond:

Quote
'What power still remains lies with us, here in Imladris, or with Círdan at the Havens, or in Lórien. But have they the strength, have we here the strength to withstand the Enemy, the coming of Sauron at the last, when all else is overthrown?’
‘I have not the strength,’ said Elrond; ‘neither have they.’

Countering that feeling is the virtue of the principal hobbit characters that makes them basically immune to evil and thus immune to Sauron's influence in the Ring. I suppose it also helps to have a King Arthur-type on your side along with a White Rider who comes back from the dead. But without the hobbits, none of it would have worked.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 12:27am

Post #12 of 227 (5027 views)
Shortcut
It's the mystery that makes it scarier, I think. [In reply to] Can't Post

We know the Ring is treacherous, but we don't know exactly what it's capable of. If it were all spelled out and we knew the rules, we'd have a better sense of keeping it under control, or knowing what to expect. By not knowing, there's a vague sense of unease that it's like some snake hidden in your drawer, possibly asleep, possibly going to strike you when you go fishing for your socks and underwear. [*stifles sudden desire to go clean out drawers, preferably with a shotgun*]


a.s.
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 12:39am

Post #13 of 227 (5031 views)
Shortcut
could Bilbo have been happy in the Shire, if he never claimed the Ring? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
What's remarkable about Bilbo isn't so much that he didn't become the least bit evil (neither did Frodo), but that he was able to let the Ring go after claiming ownership of it.


No one else--certainly not Frodo--can give up the Ring once claiming to own it. Bilbo was some kind of remarkable someone!


But the Ring corrupts. Did it spoil the Shire for Blibo, did it forever work on the longings to be elsewhere to the point where Bilbo had no happiness in his own home?


a.s.

"an seileachan"


Through any dark time, I always remember Frodo's claim on the side of Mt. Doom that he "can manage it" because he must.
Sometimes, I have to manage it, too, as do we all. We manage because we must.




Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 1:20am

Post #14 of 227 (5039 views)
Shortcut
Part 3, lots of info [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Gandalf then tells the story of Gil-galad the Elven-king and Elendil of Westernesse and how they overthrew Sauron, but died in the fight, and how Elendil’s son Isildur took the Ring, but was killed by Orcs, and the Ring fell in to the Anduin. He then tells of Smeagol/Gollum, how he came to have the Ring, more details of his encounter with Bilbo, and how Gandalf then encountered him. And finally, that it was through Gollum that Sauron learned that the One Ring had been found again, and the terms Hobbits, Baggins and Shire.
And another iconic exchange:
Frodo: “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!”
Gandalf: “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand.” And later “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.”
What did you think of these disclosures? This was a huge amount of information to fit in to one chapter. Did you find you were able to process all of this the first time? Why do you think Tolkien chose to include so much information in fell swoop? Was it at this point that he had figured out where he wanted the story to go?
Its hard to remember back...not sure if I can honestly say that I did get all of this at first!; partially perhaps because it was all new and partially because I was already reading very fast, already taken up with the story. My guess is that JRRT at this stage had realized he had to compact so much of the unseen FA and SA of the Sil and sublimate it to the Hobbit intro and this TA story setting...so not a bad combination ,maybe, technically. I know for myself I would prefer to have a thick, dense backstory that I have to refer back to than a thin history that you never have to really mull over (we have discussed this before, the love affair of detail-oriented and JRRT. Our Affectionate Scrutiny, and all).


Gandalf and Frodo then discuss what to do with the One Ring and come to conclusion that Frodo must leave the Shire. It’s at this point they realize that Sam has been outside gardening and listening to the conversation.
What did you think of Gandalf’s choice of travelling companion for Frodo, and Sam’s reaction to the news that they would be going away, possibly to see the Elves?
I think Sam passed a test, in a way. I read Gandalf's sudden laugh and lightening of mood at Sam's mention of Elves to have put a mark of distinction, of something higher, on Sam; a good contrast to insular, sludgy-minded Ted. Sam and his looking at the larger world, even in a simple way, and longing for the ancient good that Gandalf knows so well within the Elves (yet is not necessarily seen by most Hobbits) - that this would appeal to Sam I think is what seals his fate as Frodo's companion; and thus because of the worth of Sam, in truth, seals the fate of Sauron in the end. With JRRT's love of the faerie, I think we have a bit of authorial confession here (?). And maybe a summation in his world-view on how that vision in the mind and looking beyond the hedge can change fate, and us. (?)

This chapter is a really interesting example of the challenge of book to movie adaptations. It contains a huge amount of information that gets spread out across the movie trilogy. We get the story of the ring and Sauron (FOTR Prologue), Isildur with the ring (EE), and Smeagol/Gollum (ROTK prologue), and how to destroy the One Ring (FOTR Council of Elrond).
Can you imagine if we’d had all of this information in the scene between Gandalf & Frodo in the movie version of FOTR? I know some of you can – for those of you who knew the book well before seeing the movies, were you expecting all of this info to come in one big chunk like this? What did you think when you first heard the FOTR prologue and saw this back story of Sauron and the One Ring as the first scene you saw? How about as the movies progressed and more of this history and the iconic lines were included?
Well I think they did a decent job of it, film-wise, simply from a pacing standpoint its a whole different animal. My guess is that in an auditory setting, and one linear view, more would have been lost in translation. Reading is just a slower medium, and one's eyes can return to a line, ponder it, then read on. If Gandalf's line was to be moved, I thought the justice they did it, as a highlight and really character keynote scene for Gandalf in the dark of Moria, was very effective. That too can accent the differences between written word and film; as a line in a book that piece stands out no matter where it is. In spoken dialogue I would hate it to be lost. It needs a setting in that case.









Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 3:18am

Post #15 of 227 (5007 views)
Shortcut
An excellent question [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What's remarkable about Bilbo isn't so much that he didn't become the least bit evil (neither did Frodo), but that he was able to let the Ring go after claiming ownership of it.


No one else--certainly not Frodo--can give up the Ring once claiming to own it. Bilbo was some kind of remarkable someone!


But the Ring corrupts. Did it spoil the Shire for Blibo, did it forever work on the longings to be elsewhere to the point where Bilbo had no happiness in his own home?


a.s.


My reader's response, without consulting text, is yes. The proximity to the Firstborn could quell the unhappy restlessness (again, back to Bilbo's stature and the version of 'corruption' of his placid soul) but I think indeed the Shire was lost to him, as it would later be lost to Frodo. Which is really tragic.








Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 3:20am

Post #16 of 227 (4998 views)
Shortcut
Note to self: never leave valuable surprise gifts in CG's underwear drawer. // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[*stifles sudden desire to go clean out drawers, preferably with a shotgun*]









Kim
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 4:06am

Post #17 of 227 (4982 views)
Shortcut
thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
You touch here on one of my favorite lines in the entire work..."He began to say to himself: 'Perhaps I shall cross the River myself one day.' To which the other half of his mind always replied: 'Not yet.' This line made me 'get' this Frodo-chap, and love him. (I had also NOT read TH when I first read LOTR. I 'got' Frodo before I 'got' Bilbo.)



I missed this in my first read through as I too skimmed a lot, so I didn't really "get" Frodo. And I had read TH so I definitely felt more of a connection to Bilbo and remember asking "who is this Frodo character? Why can't we have more Bilbo?"




Quote

(BTW I am quite sure, in my head-canon, that that walking tree is a lost Entwife.)


I was thinking it was an Ent, but didn't think about a lost Entwife! Laugh

#OneLastTime


Kim
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 4:22am

Post #18 of 227 (4999 views)
Shortcut
lots of info indeed [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
This chapter is a really interesting example of the challenge of book to movie adaptations. It contains a huge amount of information that gets spread out across the movie trilogy. We get the story of the ring and Sauron (FOTR Prologue), Isildur with the ring (EE), and Smeagol/Gollum (ROTK prologue), and how to destroy the One Ring (FOTR Council of Elrond).
Can you imagine if we’d had all of this information in the scene between Gandalf & Frodo in the movie version of FOTR? I know some of you can – for those of you who knew the book well before seeing the movies, were you expecting all of this info to come in one big chunk like this? What did you think when you first heard the FOTR prologue and saw this back story of Sauron and the One Ring as the first scene you saw? How about as the movies progressed and more of this history and the iconic lines were included?
Well I think they did a decent job of it, film-wise, simply from a pacing standpoint its a whole different animal. My guess is that in an auditory setting, and one linear view, more would have been lost in translation. Reading is just a slower medium, and one's eyes can return to a line, ponder it, then read on. If Gandalf's line was to be moved, I thought the justice they did it, as a highlight and really character keynote scene for Gandalf in the dark of Moria, was very effective. That too can accent the differences between written word and film; as a line in a book that piece stands out no matter where it is. In spoken dialogue I would hate it to be lost. It needs a setting in that case.



Reading this chapter, I found myself really impressed by how all of this information was disseminated throughout the trilogy, and how they managed to emphasize those iconic lines. I do think they did a great job of not overwhelming the viewer with a lot of information all at once, and allowed it to inform and enrich so many scenes.

#OneLastTime


Kim
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 4:35am

Post #19 of 227 (4979 views)
Shortcut
Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Frodo was frequently talking with strangers, especially dwarves...
I know it's wrong to take Tolkien literally, and the point of saying he was talking to strangers is a literary way of showing that he was becoming a nonconformist, worldly hobbit like his uncle, but don't you wonder who these strangers are when Tolkien brings them up? Strange hobbits? Men? Variags of Khand? Who? Even with the suspicion that he consorted with Elves, Frodo doesn't recognize Gildor, and I'm left wondering if Frodo really did talk to Elves.



Why do you say it's wrong to take Tolkien literally? I haven't been involved in any discussions on his works yet, so forgive my ignorance if this has been discussed frequently. It seems like it would make sense for Frodo to speak to dwarves and elves given his growing up on Bilbo's tales and interest in the world beyond the Shire's borders.




Quote

What did you think of this revelation? Do you remember when you first heard this feeling surprised that Bilbo’s magic ring could do this to someone?
This was a shocker to me after The Hobbit, where the Ring was as useful and benign as Sting. I really did wonder if the mithril coat and Sting would later turn out to be cursed for Frodo too.


Ooh, that's an interesting thought, it never occurred to me to think that of the mithril coat and Sting!

#OneLastTime


squire
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 4:39am

Post #20 of 227 (5024 views)
Shortcut
The Gathering Storm [In reply to] Can't Post

The chapter opens with mention of the talk of Bilbo’s disappearance carrying on for a year and a day, with the blame laid mostly at Gandalf’s door.
A. Do you think Gandalf was to blame for Bilbo’s departure?
No, but you can see why the hobbits do. From their point of view, no hobbit can possibly be interested in the Wide World (as Tolkien puts it), so any who are must be the victims of outside agency. That this is not reasonable (Gandalf, we later learn, helped the Shire during its time of need; Tooks wandered off on Adventures with no known intercession by Gandalf) is in perfect keeping with the essential humanity of the hobbits, in which Reason plays little or no part.

B. Why do you think Frodo insisted on throwing the party every year?
He cherished Bilbo’s memory, and believed he was continuing a “Bag End tradition”. The funny thing about the entire passage picks up on the discussion we had last week: why does the Shire assume that Bilbo is dead as soon as he vanishes in a flash? Why does Frodo inherit Bag End in a “will” that can’t possibly be probated until a lengthy legal process of declaring Bilbo dead is completed? When in the story was Bilbo actually declared dead?
Tolkien avoids all this because it’s not really important to the basic plot he’s building. But to those who say Tolkien is impeccable in his construction of ‘mock-history’, this is yet another example that what he really excelled at was building what I like to call ‘stage-scenery’ – it looks brilliant, and enables the reader to suspend disbelief. But stop and think a bit… ask a few awkward questions… and it all turns to muslin, chicken-wire, and stage paint under colored lights.

C. Was it because he assumed Bilbo was alive and wanted to continue to honor him as long as he was?
As above.

D. Why didn’t he ever throw the party for himself since it was his birthday also?
I think that’s implicit in the very act of giving the party, since they had always shared birthdays. It’s what Frodo called it, not what it actually was, that is important here.

Frodo appears to have a bit of an adventurous side even this early in the story.
E. Do you think Tolkien set him up to be a contrast to Bilbo at the start of his story?
Good question. I think that it presumes too much acquaintance with the story of The Hobbit. For the usual reader of The Lord of the Rings, Frodo here is an echo of Bilbo, not a contrast with him. Both are non-conformists; both like to wander and meet foreigners, especially Elves; both are doomed to leave the Shire eventually.

F. Was Frodo perhaps influenced by Bilbo’s tales and internalized them, making him more apt to seek out adventure vs. Bilbo’s behavior based on his more traditional upbringing?
From the perspective of the larger legendarium as it evolved, of course that’s what Tolkien is doing here. After all, Frodo’s adventure is larger than Bilbo’s in every way.

This sets the stage for the next scene in The Green Dragon where the Hobbits discuss strange happenings, specifically, a conversation between Sam Gamgee and Ted Sandyman.
G. What did you think of this conversation, especially in light of what we just heard about Mordor?
This is one of the scenes in the book that led it to be called an allegory for World War II, I think – no matter Tolkien’s mock-horror at such thoughts, such as he notes in his Foreword to the second edition. Sam, c. 1937 or -38, is acknowledging that ominous and evil powers are prevailing in Continental Europe and even on the fringes of English society. Ted – bluff, ignorant, and drunk – rebuts Sam with sloppy logic and bigoted memories of traditional English isolationism.
Such musings aside, I noted that Sam uses the locution “They do say…” twice. I wonder if that is an Anglicism more common in Tolkien’s experience than my own?
I also notice that Sam refers to the “Tree-men” or giants in the plural. Most fans focus on the subsequent story of Hal seeing one on the North Downs, but the text suggests that such sightings were common enough that hobbits believed there were many, not one, of the giants in the vicinity. That would hardly be compatible with the romantic notion of one last Ent-wife, and might correlate more exactly with Gandalf’s reference in The Hobbit to a “more or less decent giant” that one might find in the vicinity of the Misty Mountains. By this line of reasoning, the giants on the northern borders of the Shire are just another example of folk fleeing to the west from troubles in the east – and also might correlate with the giants (etten, in Old English) who lived in the Ettenmoors which are the country north of Rivendell on the map. The fact that the Ents and even Ent-wives were later invented from the same traditions, does not mean that that is what Tolkien really had in mind when he wrote (and kept in revision) this passage.
I also wondered why Hobbiton doesn’t have a pub. As far as I could guess, it’s because Hobbiton didn’t exist in The Hobbit, but the Green Dragon in Bywater did. So for continuity’s sake, Tolkien put Sam and Ted drinking and gossiping in the next town over from where they actually lived and worked.

H. How does Ted’s reaction to Sam’s comments reflect on the general belief of Hobbits?
Ted is clearly meant to stand for the general hobbit population in contrast to both Sam and Frodo. It’s interesting that Tolkien chooses to let the commoners – Sam and Ted – battle it out over the validity of ‘fairy tales’, instead of Frodo and.. who?

We next hear that Gandalf has returned … Gandalf begins to tell him about the ring.
I. What did you think of this revelation?
It all sounds quite arbitrary. There are rules: Lesser Rings, and Greater Rings. “Magic” means “Elven”. Dangerous and Perilous are not the same thing. Mortals are stretched by a Ring of Power, but not.. what? Not Elves, or not by a lesser Ring? Is it the frequent wearing, or the possession itself, that leads one to being enslaved to the Dark Lord? If the end result is inevitable, why add the condition that wearing it frequently hastens the process?

J. Do you remember when you first heard this feeling surprised that Bilbo’s magic ring could do this to someone?
I really cannot remember what I thought when I first read this (actually, it was read to me by my mother when I was about 8). Now, today as a reader – and I think Tolkien’s gift is that it’s easier than it should be to read his book for the umpteenth time as if it’s the first time – I am not surprised at this revelation. That’s because of the foreshadowing we saw in the previous chapter, where Bilbo explicitly says that he feels obsessed by the Ring and ‘thin and stretched out’ in general, and where Gandalf, after seeing Bilbo’s reluctance to give it up, warns Frodo not to use it at all. In other words, the less one brings of The Hobbit and its ring of invisibility to this story, and the more one works from the information given in this narrative and not the earlier one, the more sense it all makes.

Gandalf begins to tell the back-story of the ring.
K. What did you think of Gandalf’s recollection, especially the part about Bilbo’s story about how he gained the ring, and that later Gandalf got the “truth” out of him?
It’s easy to conflate the account in the story we are reading, and the more detailed and critical account that is found in the Prologue. The Prologue, coming first in order in the published book, was clearly written second in an attempt to fortify the relatively flimsy transition between fable and myth that we read here. This version in the main text is, simply, “I could not believe it. When I at last got the truth out of him,…” But really, why is the original story so unbelievable? Gollum had a magic ring, and promised to give it to Bilbo if he won the riddle game. Works for me; worked for me when I was a kid being read the first edition, and works now when I re-read the first edition of The Hobbit as I prefer to do. It’s no more unbelievable than Jack trading a cow for a handful of ‘magic beans’ in the fairy tale of the bean stalk. Gandalf’s raising the stakes – declaring a fairy story ‘unbelievable’ – is practically the very moment when The Lord of the Rings in all its epic glory arises from the late and unlamented corpse of the 1937 children’s tale, The Hobbit (first edition).

L. Did you recognize this as Tolkien’s way of reconciling the earlier version of the Riddles in the Dark sequence in The Hobbit that was changed in later publication?
I only recognized what was happening after I read a new edition of The Hobbit to my kids in the 1990s, and realized the book had been changed from when I read my mother's first edition as a child in the early 1960s. Before that paternal revelation, I had simply glossed over this part of LotR as a kind of speeded-up double-talk on Gandalf’s part; now I see that he is trying to account for the two editions of The Hobbit, one pre-1951, and one post-1951.

M. How about Gandalf’s comments that he suspected something “dark and deadly was at work”, but he didn’t know until the night Bilbo left?
I have never been happy with this part of Gandalf’s legend. Everything he says, starting with knowing that Bilbo’s ring was a “Great Ring” from the moment he learned about it during the events of The Hobbit, suggest a massive dereliction of duty, knowledge, and conscience. There is just no explaining it, and Gandalf digs a deeper hole for himself every time he tries to justify or explain his inaction. I’ve had fun with this in the past, but kidding aside, there’s a very good reason why Tolkien quickly changes the subject whenever Gandalf begins to thrash and sweat.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Kim
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 5:47am

Post #21 of 227 (4995 views)
Shortcut
Thanks for that link! [In reply to] Can't Post

Love the conversation between Gandalf and Scott Evil. Laugh


Thanks for those thoughts on magic rings. So when Gandalf said, "there are many magic rings in this world, none of which should be taken lightly", was that more of the same blustering? (sorry, can't remember if that line is actually in the book, or just the movie). I always thought that meant that there were magic rings that could make one invisible, but weren't necessarily tied to the One, so that's why he didn't immediately know Bilbo's ring was the One. Or is that just more of the arbitrary rules?

#OneLastTime


noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 11:41am

Post #22 of 227 (4976 views)
Shortcut
I like the way the Ring is ambiguous (and treacherous) from the first [In reply to] Can't Post

Does the Ring have a will, or agency (it can want things, or try to achieve things); or is that actually a reflection of the characters around it (or 'both of those', of course)?
Prof. Tom Shippey is good on this:


Quote

The Ring's ambiguity is present almost the first time we see it, in 'The Shadow of the Past', when Gandalf tells Frodo, 'Give me the ring for a moment'. Frodo unfastened it from its chain and, 'handed it slowly to the wizard. It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant for Gandalf to touch it.
Either it or Frodo.... The difference is the difference between the world views I have labelled above as 'Boethian' and 'Manichaean'. If Bothius is right, then evil is internal, caused by human sin and weakness and alienation from God; in this case the Ring feels heavy because Frodo (already in the very first stages of addiction, we may say) is unconsciously reluctant to part with it. If there is some truth in the Manichaean view, though, then evil is a force from outside which has in some way been able to make the non-sentient Ring itself evil; so it is indeed the Ring, obeying the will of its master, which does not want to be identified.Both views are furthermore perfectly convincing. ...The idea that on the one hand the Ring is a sort of psychic amplifier , magnifying the unconscious fears or selfishnesses of its owners, and on the other that it is a sentient creature with urges and powers of its own, are both present from the beginning..."

Prof. Tom Shippey' in "JRR Tolkien, Author of the Century”


We don’t get to decide whether one of these possibilities is true or whether both are. In fact not telling us is quite a successful treatment in itself :


Quote
“What is shown instead of the actual power of the Ring is the reaction of characters to it. Bilbo lies to maintain his right to it, and cannot freely give it up. Gandalf is afraid of it, Galadriel tempted by it, Boromir is corrupted by it (as is Denethor who has never seen it), Grishnakh covets it, and Saruman loses his wisdom and his position as head of the White Council for it. We see all these manifestations, and we refer them back to the Ring. It is we, not Tolkien, who confer power on the Ring, and he was wise enough to know that we would, and to let us do it”.

Veriyln Flieger, “Fantasy and Reality: JRR Tolkien’s World and the Fairy Story Essay” in Green Suns and Faerie Kent State University Press 2012


~~~~~~

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

This year LOTR turns 60. The following image is my LOTR 60th anniversary party footer! You can get yours here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=762154#762154


noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 11:45am

Post #23 of 227 (4987 views)
Shortcut
Mad Baggins, his narrator, and his heir [In reply to] Can't Post

Society in the Shire doesn’t seem too sorry to see Bilbo gone, do they - the reaction right at the start of the chapter is rather as if he’d been something of an annoyance and embarrassment, and at least that’s over. The I like the way that he transitions into the legend of “Mad Baggins”: that sounds pretty likely to me. (I also wonder who is this narrator at this point who can report that Mad Baggins was a popular legendary figure “long after all the true events were forgotten”?

Frodo does become a bit eccentric though, and also “well preserved”. All seems well and yet:


Quote
“Frodo himself, after the first shock, found that being his own master and the Mr Baggins of Bag End was rather pleasant. For some years he was quite happy and did not worry much about the future. But half unknown to himself the regret that he had not gone with Bilbo was steadily growing. He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams. He began to say to himself ‘Perhaps I shall cross the River myself one day’. To which the other half of his mind always replied: ‘Not yet.’


We’re establishing that Frodo is not as comfortable as he outwardly seems. His wish to follow Bibo, especially in the Autumn, will later be important as both something that makes leaving home bearable, and decides the timing (autumn) at which he can bear to do it (Frodo’s remarks start of Ch 3). I Note we get the first mention of Frodo’s dreams - are the “strange visions of mountains he had never seen” magically or supernaturally induced? or are they psychological? (Bilbo’s adventures, which Frodo knew well, involved mountains: so maybe thinking of Bilbo would bring mountains up quite naturally).

~~~~~~

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

This year LOTR turns 60. The following image is my LOTR 60th anniversary party footer! You can get yours here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=762154#762154


noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 15 2014, 11:51am

Post #24 of 227 (4976 views)
Shortcut
It's Chapter 2: time for an infodump! [In reply to] Can't Post

A chapter of heavy-duty exposition follows a chapter mostly about relationships: the same pattern will repeat in Book 2 (Many Meetings then The Council of Elrond). But then the openings of the remaining books aren’t like that, so maybe this is a co-incidence.

Infodumps are hard to do without seeming just like infodumps and risking alienating readers (we discussed some of that last week in discussions of Ch1) . Here we have lots of exposition from Gandalf. Tolkien has done well, I think, to stop it getting too much like a school lesson- see how Frodos reactions (and at one point Gandalf’s irritation with Frodo) allows there to be emotional heft in the chapter (so it isn’t a constant Middle-earth lore lecture, with some wanderings into philosophy.)

~~~~~~

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

This year LOTR turns 60. The following image is my LOTR 60th anniversary party footer! You can get yours here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=762154#762154


sador
Half-elven


Dec 15 2014, 11:58am

Post #25 of 227 (4998 views)
Shortcut
Digging the archives. [In reply to] Can't Post

Like with the first chapter, I'll add links to the previous discussions - just in case anyone wants to read them. I will try to get to your very interesting questions, perhaps tomorrow.

When Inferno looked through her archives, she found links the first discussion of 2000 - but only beginning with The House of Tom Bombadil. So this chapter is unfortunaely missing.
In 2002, this chapter was the subject of a mammoth 28-thread discussion led by Curious (interrupted by another question by Inferno); a week later, he added the 29th thread, with additional questions he apparently forgot to ask.
In 2005, an seleichan - there she is! (waving) led a discussion of 15 threads, and in 2007 Saelind did it in ten. In 2010, Curious did not of course condense all of his previous 29 threads into one, but he reimagined the chapter as a Wagnerian overture - highly recommended!


First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.