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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Advice for son (finally) starting his LOTR reading adventure

enanito
Rohan

Mar 18, 5:08pm

Post #1 of 10 (424 views)
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Advice for son (finally) starting his LOTR reading adventure Can't Post

So my 25-yr-old son has ordered LOTR via Amazon, and in a few days will begin reading. He is a huge fan of the films, and like all of us is irresistibly attracted to the underlying lore, which we've discussed countless times together.

What thoughts do my fellow RR's have about how he should "best" experience his first reading? The days are long gone where somebody can experience the books with no prior knowledge. But is that necessarily a totally bad thing? Should I encourage him to block out the movies best he can while he's reading, or actively compare the book experience to what's in the movies that he is so familiar with?

I assume you'd all counsel against him reaching out to internet sources to augment his reading as he goes along. But anything you think might be a helpful addition to his reading?

And I'll be reading (remotely, practicing safe social distancing) along with him. I know I'll be receiving innumerable texts and phone calls from him. Should I play the role of the listener, conscientiously abstaining from providing more insight than what Tolkien had himself provided in the story to that point? Or since he already knows the broad strokes of the tale, is it fine to pull details from ROTK into his FOTR reading?

I consider it one of my greatest parental failings that it has taken him this long to translate my love for Tolkien into his own actions Wink But I'm trying to atone best I can!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 18, 8:06pm

Post #2 of 10 (405 views)
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Perhaps advise him to skip the introductory chapter. [In reply to] Can't Post

As he's seen the movies he doesn't need to read that intro, and it can bog people down. He can always read it after he's finished the book, if he wants to.


In Reply To
Should I encourage him to block out the movies best he can while he's reading, or actively compare the book experience to what's in the movies that he is so familiar with?


I'd recommend leaving him to find his own way, as all readers inevitably do. Perhaps just ask him how he intends to approach this, if you're interested.

Let us know what his reactions are as he reads? It'll be interesting to see what his experience is like. Smile

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Eruonen
Valinor


Mar 18, 8:24pm

Post #3 of 10 (403 views)
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Patience with the opening chapters - he may enjoy the Hobbitness though. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 18, 9:49pm

Post #4 of 10 (396 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

I would advise him, since he already knows (most of) the surface plot and needn't rush through to find out what happens next, to take it slow and pay attention to the deeper currents. Answer any questions he might have about Elvish immortality, Beren and Luthien etc etc etc


VoronwŽ_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 18, 10:08pm

Post #5 of 10 (392 views)
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On the other hand [In reply to] Can't Post

We didn't have any answers about Elvish immortality or Beren and Luthien beyond what is stated in the text of LOTR itself when we read, and we got by just fine. Smile

Other than that, I agree with your advice, particularly to take it slow and pay attention.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 19, 1:21am

Post #6 of 10 (382 views)
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Patience and appreciation for characters and landscapes [In reply to] Can't Post

That would be my advice. It takes all of Book One to get to Rivendell, and I think the journey is worth it, if you like the characters and the lands they travel through. And then you need a lot of patience to get through the Council of Elrond--OMG, will those people ever stop talking!??!??!

So maybe part of patience is accepting that you'll forget who Gildor and Glorfindel are when you hit The Two Towers, and that's okay. You may find The Council of Elrond too long and too tedious and decide to skim it, or come back to it later. That's okay too. Focus on whatever aspects you enjoy while reading, and you can always come back and browse later.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 19, 1:46am

Post #7 of 10 (378 views)
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Heh. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved The Council of Elrond - I finally got some answers!! Laugh

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 19, 3:46am

Post #8 of 10 (371 views)
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Oh, trust me, I did too! [In reply to] Can't Post

But I hear a lot of people are turned off by it and will stop reading there, so...


noWizardme
Half-elven


Mar 19, 1:55pm

Post #9 of 10 (345 views)
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Of course, if he wanted to.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, if he wanted to, your son could set up an account here and post his thoughts on chapters as he gets to them. In recent years we had one or two people do that, and I thought it worked well. People here were more than happy to answer questions, or to share in someone else's first reading. After all, those of us who have read it already can't have that particular pleasure again, but it can be lovely to share someone else's fresh experience.

~~~~~~
"Yes, I am half-elven. No, it does not mean that I 'have one pointy ear' "
Sven Elven, proprietor of the Rivendell convenience store.


Lissuin
Valinor


Mar 19, 11:11pm

Post #10 of 10 (332 views)
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enanito, [In reply to] Can't Post

my wish for your son is that he starts and becomes so immersed in Tolkien's world that he won't want to come out until it's finished, as I did and probably many here did. It took years for me to find others to discuss it with me, but having it secretly in my head all that time was a a special thing, just the Hobbits and Gandalf and Elves and brave women and men journeying with me. He'll find a different characterization from the films of some of those folks, which might jar or delight, and will have insights of his own on that and underlying themes. We all bring our own lives to this tale and see other things as the years go by.

He'll be lucky to have a dad to discuss it all with - and you'll probably both get unexpected insights into each other as two adults who share an interest. And there is this forum of folks of different opinions and experiences if he's inclined later on. I'm pretty sure we'll be around for a good while longer.
Smile

 
 

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