“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of the door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
I was amazed by how quotable The Lord of the Rings can be; there are little nuggets of wisdom for virtually every situation. And from all the quotes I noted down I think the one opening this post perfectly describes my reading experience with The Fellowship of the Ring. Or any other book. In fact, I think it is a great quote because it refers as much to adventures and journeys as it does to books, and life in general.
But I digress.
I think that, by now, everyone knows what The Lord of the Rings (TLOTR) is about, so I’m not going to elaborate much into its argument and characters. But just in case you don’t know, I’ll tell you that The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien’s big epic in which a hobbit named Frodo is endowed with a mysterious ring which turns out to be THE one Ring of power that must be destroyed in order to avoid greater destruction and misery. In order to do that, Frodo leaves his home behind and journeys into the unknown, having many adventures along the way and meeting all kind of people and creatures, some good and some not so good.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in TLOTR trilogy, although, apparently, it would be more accurate to consider TLOTR a whole book that has been split into three for editorial convenience. Actually, the story is split into six books and The Fellowship of the Rings contains the first two. Book One introduces Frodo and tells of his adventures as he leaves the Shire until he arrives to Rivendell. And Book Two follows with the meeting of many disparate travellers and what they learn from one another and how they decide to travel further together to help Frodo, having more adventures on the way until their fellowship breaks by the end of the book.
As I had already watched Peter Jackson’s film several times, I was already familiar with most of the story, the Middle-Earth and the different creatures that live there. And although sometimes I wished I could have been more surprised by the twists in the story (like when Strider first appears) I still enjoyed this book very much. I really liked the films and I think they’re very well done but the books might be even better. The books have definitely more depth than he films and the main story is intertwined with many minor stories which were later expanded by Tolkien, making his universe more believable. Besides, characterisation is great in the books.
Funnily enough, my favourite part in the books was the part I liked least in the films and it’d be when Frodo and the Fellowship arrive in Lórien and are greeted by the otherworldly Galadriel. I had always thought her eerie and now I see her as a wise and kind. Also, I was mesmerised by Lórien’s complex tree architecture – I would love to visit a forest like that some time. Plus it sounded like a very relaxing place.
And again funny how my least favourite part was totally cut off in the films. I was totally puzzled by Tom Bombadil and whatever happened to Frodo and co. while they were lost in his forests. I wondered for a long time who Tom Bombadil was and what could possibly mean Tolkien when he wrote him. Alas, we’ll never know for sure but we can speculate as much as we want. I am planning on writing a more detailed post about my thoughts on him soon, so I won’t say much more in here.
TLOTR had long been in my tbr list and I’m happy that I finally started reading it. Happy to cross something off my list and happy to enjoy this journey so much. I had only read The Hobbit and Letters from Father Christmas until now and I was pleasantly surprised to see how different The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit are and yet, how good they both are. It might be that the themes of TLOTR are more universal, the writing more serious, and the poems not so playful. But both of them are just delightful.
I already told you that I found plenty to quote in The Fellowship of the Ring, so it makes sense to end this post with another quote. This time by Gandalf.
“Take care of yourself! Look out for me, especially at unlikely times.”