Thursday, February 03, 2011

Some Extra Thoughts on The Fellowship of the Ring

Recently, I’ve read some posts from my fellow bloggers concerning The Lord of the Rings, in particular The Fellowship of the Ring, which provoked some thoughts I absolutely need to put down in writing just for the sake of my peace of mind.
Firstly, I feel old. I mean, I managed to read the books before the film trilogy came out. It is quite a shock for me to realise that some people first heard of LOTR in its film version and only later read the book. It is also interesting because they see LOTR from a different perspective.

This is the closest to how I imagine Bag End to look like. 

I first read the book, then saw the films and am totally in favour of the book. Nevertheless, there are a lot of good things about the films, one of them the great way of bringing orcs to life. You can read more about that here.

Next, as many other people I find the Old Forest – Bombadil – Barrow Wights a bit slow because of all the sleeping and resting. But, these parts are a perfect demonstration of Tolkien’s ability to create atmosphere, his language itself creates the suffocating and sleepy mood of the Old Forest, the peacefulness of Bombadil’s house, and gloomy and fearful air of the Barrow-downs.

Someone said the Bombadil and Barrow-downs chapters are pointless. They may seem such, I admit, especially on the first reading. However, Bombadil is a very important person of great strength behind his foolish and careless appearance. In addition, if the hobbits never passed the Barrow-downs, where would Marry get his sword, “a work of Westernesse”, the only blade which could deal “that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will” (The Return of the King, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields)?  

In addition, there are many allusions not understandable to a first-time reader, which can be as several people pointed out nonetheless enjoyable. Such allusions are clarified if a reader makes the effort through the Appendices at the end of LOTR and / or reads The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.

Now when I got these reflections down in black and white I can spend the rest of the day peacefully. Please, don’t blame me for trying to be smart about the theme, but I just couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts.


  1. Great post! I completely understand your point. I cannot really comment on what you wrote because I've only read the books once, but the books are very important and give much more to the reader than the movies. But I suppose the movies are visually stunning, so they attract more attention.

  2. Stopped by from the Hop. I read the Hobbit in the 60s, and the trilogy in the 70s, so I know how you feel about knowing LOTR long before the movies came out.
    The Steel Bookshelf

  3. I guess I belong to the 'seen the movies first then read the books later' crowd. :) As always when faced with film adaptations, I've forgone comparing since both mediums have their respective merits and we're all aware of book vs movie thing. :D Anyway, I'll look into Bombadil's chapter when I revisit LOTR. :D


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