Tolkien Tuesday #6

11 February 2022

I know, it really should read “Tolkien Friday” but I don’t have a banner for that…Sigh. It’s been one of those weeks…A good week but a busy week, and what better way to thankfully acknowledge the arrival of the weekend than to talk Tolkien…

The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts

This week I started Chapter 3, Three is Company.

And, I started reading from another edition of the book:

This time it is a copy of The Lord of the Rings published by Book Club Associates in 1971. The front cover illustration is by Pauline Baynes.

Frodo has finally left home. I’m always amazed about how these opening sequences are so heavily condensed, time-wise, in the film, without losing very much of the narrative. A testament to a great production, methinks.

The atmosphere of the story changes to one of a darker suspense before even Frodo leaves Bag End. This serves to show us two things: that the Shire, which we had believed up until this point, is safe and beyond danger (even if Story and Rumour of other things have reached it) is neither of those things, and that the peril Gandalf has told Frodo he is in, is very real and close at hand. Combine this with the missing wizard, and the journey before them suddenly feels very ominous. And we’ve not even had our first encounter with a black rider yet…

Middle Earth Musings and Meditations

Procrastination, and putting off things which must be done, was my takeaway from this week’s section of the book.

Frodo makes his decision to leave almost immediately, yet puts off the date by which he plans to leave for months. That’s not surprising in a way. His home is his source of comfort and represents his place in the world up until this point in his life. And Frodo feels an immediate loss on leaving Bag End, and as I read I could sense the power of this homesickness, and his desire, his yearning, to return.

Photo by Kelly L on Pexels.com

The Welsh have a very beautiful word for this sentiment: hiraeth – a perfectly-sounding Elvish word if ever I have heard one!

Elsewhere

I’ve been watching a BBC documentary from 1968: “Tolkien in Oxford”, available to watch online, via their archives. It was made 5 years before his death in 1973.

If you do have a watch of it, let me know what you think. My favourite parts include the idea that Hobbits are bourgeois and watching Tolkien write in Elvish.

Just a note: if you have yet to read / watch The Lord of the Rings but plan to do so, you might not want to watch the interview as it does contain a few minor spoilers!

February’s Reading Schedule

A note on the reading schedule: I can, if others wish it, pause my reading for a week or two, after the conclusion of Chapter 3 to allow others who might wish to, to catch up. Let me know in the comments. And before anyone thinks this would be an imposition, I promise you, it isn’t! I’m so enjoying the conversations we’re having in the comments 🙂

The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week:

The Ivy Bush and The Green Dragon. The two pubs / inns we are told are in the vicinity of Hobbiton. Out of the two, where are you most likely to be found sipping your favourite drink?

My answer depends on my mood…

I always think the Ivy Bush, being on the Bywater road sounds likes it is a good place to hear the news from beyond the Shire. So if I want to hear about giants and trolls and dwarves, etc., or listen to a storyteller regaling an audience with tales from the past, that would be a very good place to go.

Yet, The Green Dragon always conjures up images of a cosy pub, where you could sit quietly in a corner, perhaps next to an open fire, whether alone or in company, and just spend a little time (or a long time) in a place that exudes homeliness.

And I happen to place a premium on being cosy, so The Green Dragon it is…unless I what to hear stories of far off places, which, I suppose is equally possible…

12 thoughts on “Tolkien Tuesday #6

  1. I’d definitely go to the Ivy Bush. Tales of elves and dragons, how can there ever be enough? 🙂

    I’ve caught up with the reading and now can go along at your pace. In fact, I stopped around halfway in chapter 3 and wondered what you would focus on. How interesting to chose the pubs, I’d never even have considered them ‘thoughtworthy’ before.
    What caught my eye when I read this part was the way Sam was treated as a servant. The friends have Frodo’s birthday party before they set out but there is no mention of Sam. He runs errands for them. And when they are on the road, it is completely natural for Pippin to order him around even though he laughs doing it. I’d never noticed that before either, always on the rush to know ‘what happens next’.
    Isn’t Sam a craftsman, a gardener? Sure, he pretends to ‘look after Master Frodo’ and Pippin supposedly doesn’t know that Frodo won’t really settle in Buckland, but really? Apparently class differences are quite strong among hobbits, bourgeois or not. Of course it would fit the ‘medieval-type’ societies of middle earth, but I always thought the Hobbits were more ‘equal and shared efforts’. I’ll pay closer attention to that aspect when we proceed. At the moment my perception of what’s to come is too muddled with the films.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your answer, Gabi! How can there ever be enough! 🙂

      And great points you raise too. I too had notice the way Sam is treated in that section, and it felt a bit jarring, a bit uncomfortable. Yet I also couldn’t quite tell if Pippin was joking, as he quickly goes to do the errand himself, and as you say, laughs about it. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this in latter chapters, as it feels a little unclear as to the intention here, given how we seem to perceive hobbit society.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay. So I finally finished my other book and am starting (again, finally). I am still only at the prologue but shall catch up, without a doubt. I cannot believe I have three books on the go… I refuse to have more than one physical one at a time, which is why I waited to finish my prior book.

    As for the pubs, this is most difficult. While I would love to hear about dragons and elves, yet I do love to cozy up to a corner with a fire (especially as it has been so cold in the Montreal region, lately!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m usually the same. I don’t like have multiple books on the go at the same time as I worry that I’ll end up confusing the storylines, especially if the books are the same genre. 🙂

      I’m starting to think, the best option is to spend one day in one pub and the next in the other. That way you get the best of both worlds 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. They must be of very different genres for it to work!

        I’m finally on chapter 3, slowly catching up so I can properly comment on the weekly!

        Went to a lively pub last night with my bestie 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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