Fellowship, Finished

I am so late writing this post!  But the Lord of the Rings Readalong is continuing, and I am combining the end-of-Fellowship questions from Clare and the start-of-Towers questions from Teresa all in one post.  I can do that.

Since we’re dealing with the first third of a novel, instead of the first novel in a series, do you find anything different?

The pacing would be sort of whack if this were the first novel in the series.  Book 1 of Fellowship spends all this time being hobbits and getting the hobbits out of the Shire, and then in Book 2 they go lickety-split through Rivendell and Moria and Lothlorien, and then Frodo and Sam ditch everyone else, and you have no clue what the rest of the Fellowship is doing while Frodo and Sam are ditching them (fighting Orcs, it turns out, or if you are Boromir, getting shot repeatedly while redeeming yourself for your previous naughty behavior).  I think the film of Fellowship found a pace that was far more first-in-a-series than first-third.

Do Books One and Two have significant differences to you?

Book Two went much faster, but I enjoyed Book One more (apart from horrible, horrible Tom Bombadil).  To me, the time the characters spend in places-not-the-Shire is ridiculously short, compared with the time they spend in the Shire.  I kept thinking, Sheesh, slow down, people.  Moria’s not that bad.  It’s atmospheric.  Enjoy it. So Book 2 felt rushed in a way that Book 1 didn’t.

Who’s your favorite character so far into the novel?

I actually felt very fond of Bilbo in this book.  I know he’s not around much, but he’s a darling.  The bit in the Council of Elrond where he offers to take the ring to Mordor is the sweetest moment.  After Bilbo I love Sam, of course, who could fail to love Sam, and I like Boromir a lot.

What surprised you the most?

DID Y’ALL KNOW that Legolas is one of those MEAN ELVES?  Remember those MEAN ELVES from The Hobbit, those elves from Mirkwood that were MEAN and they imprisoned the gang and Bilbo had to pull a cunning trick with his ring and some barrels in order to get them out?  Legolas is one of those MEAN ELVES!  Those elves, they are not only MEAN, but they are also incompetent, because they first let thirteen dwarves walk out of their prisons, and then they lost Gollum.  Nice going, mean incompetent Mirkwood elves.  Elrond should have sent a Rivendell elf for the Fellowship.  Mirkwood elves are plainly no good.

What was your favorite scene?

I always enjoy Bilbo’s birthday party.  The Council of Elrond, maybe my favorite scene in the Fellowship movie, is super boring in the book, apart from the mind-blowing revelation (seriously, I was so surprised) that Legolas is Legolas Mirkwood of the Mean Elf Mirkwoods.

So much for Fellowship.  On to Two Towers.

What’s your past experience with The Two Towers?  If you’re rereading, how does it stack up against the other books?

Last time I read Lord of the Rings, which was in high school or early college so it’s been, ah,  a few years, I liked The Two Towers best.  I love it the best, including the fact that it ends on a wretchedly despairing note.  I like The Empire Strikes Back best out of the Star Wars movies too.  That is just my taste.  I am hoping The Two Towers lives up to my memory.

If you’re a rereader, what are you most looking forward to?

Frodo and Sam in Mordor.  I love those parts.  Love.  I cannot wait for Gollum to show up.

What about the movie?  If you’ve seen it, what did you think of it, and how much do you think it will color your experience with the book?

I liked Fellowship of the Ring best of the films, though it’s my least favorite of the books.  I don’t know whether this is, in fact, an accurate reflection of the respective merits of film and book, or a prejudiced assessment based on my encountering the film of Fellowship before the book, and the books of the other two before the films.  Whatever the case, The Two Towers is not my favorite of the films.  I hate what they did to Faramir, and I do not like the guy they got for Wormtongue, and that foolishness with Aragorn and the Warg and the horse was just totally unnecessary.  On the other hand, Eomer is wonderful (nice teeth on the man), Aragorn continues to be amazing, I love the actor who plays Faramir, and Rohan is bloody gorgeous and so its is violin theme song.  Oh, and I cry every time at the end of the film during the Battle of Helm’s Deep.

There!  Finally!  I managed this post at last.  Now to start reading The Two Towers.

14 thoughts on “Fellowship, Finished

  1. Oh dear… I don’t think I’m ever going to stop laughing at Legolas Mirkwood of the Mean Elf Mirkwoods. In fact, I’m probably going to think that every time I pick up the book now.

    And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who likes the Frodo and Sam in Mordor parts, particularly the awesomely dark ending. (Can you believe I know two people who gave up on the series at that point? It was too dark, they said. To which I said, but Sam has the ring and Frodo is alive and Han is encased in carbonite, and HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THEM THERE LIKE THAT??!!??)

    Okay, I’m calm now.

    • WHAT? THEY GAVE UP?

      I will jettison the caps lock but only for the sake of readability. How could they stop there? Frodo was alive but in the clutches of the enemy! That is like my friend who read The Knife of Never Letting Go but then stopped before the end because a certain event caused her to conclude that it was too grim. And she was all, Why did you give me that depressing book? and I was all, WOMAN. How could you not finish it??

  2. I support you in your estimation of the goodness of the Fellowship movie and the book, and I loved the books long before I saw the movies.

    Also, it’s so weird how different you and mom are from me: I dislike the parts in Mordor. Yech. I mean, I don’t hate them, but I’d much rather be back in Gondor or Rohan with the others.

    • I know! I just read someone else’s blog where she said she hated the Mordor parts. Do you not like Gollum, or something? I get sick of all the relentless ruggedly handsome heroism that they have all up in Gondor and Rohan. Faramir and Gollum, two of my most favorite characters, are both in the Mordor sections. Thus, love.

      I appreciate your validation of my movie taste though! I will think of you when we are doing our LOTR Extended Editions marathon later on this month!

  3. Fellowship is my favorite of the movies too, though I think ROTK is my favorite of the books (it’s been a few years since I’ve re-read the trilogy).

    Legolas of the Mean Elves! ha ha!

    Have you seen the Star Trek movie that came out last year? People I talk to are always amazed that the actor who played Dr. McCoy in Start Trek is the same actor who played Eomer (he of the nice teeth).

    • I haven’t seen the Star Trek film! Everyone said it was good, but I am a big completist and I feel like I can’t see the movie, until I’ve seen all the TV shows. Which is a massive endeavor that exhausts me to even think about, but maybe if I focus on Eomer and his nice teeth, I will be able to get started.

  4. I could not disagree with you more on some points, but I LOVE that you make them so emphatically. And I totally support your take, even if I don’t see things that way. This is why discussing books often takes the fun of reading books to a whole new level.

    I never paid much attention to the failings of the Mirkwood elves, but you are right. They don’t seem particularly able or trustworthy. (Do I remember correctly that they are a separate, perhaps lesser branch of the elves? It’s been years since I read the histories.)

    Of course, losing Gollum turns out to be part of the larger picture. And he’s great with Faramir and by far the most interesting part of the walk into Mordor.

    • I’m in support of Gollum escaping, of course. He’s my favorite character! But I do think since the Mirkwood elves were entrusted with his care, they should have seen to it more reliably. I am still of course holding a grudge over their unfriendly behavior in The Hobbit. :P

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