Tolkien Tuesday #23…on a Thursday

~ 23 June 2022 ~

It’s been one of those weeks and truly I have no idea where my time has gone these past few days. But here we are, about to finish Book 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring, and conclude the first part of our journey. Can you believe we’ve been on this slow re-read for half a year? So grab a mug of something nice – as always, I’m drinking tea – and let’s begin…

The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts

This week we finish Chapter 12: Flight to the Ford, and Book 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring!

Frodo, Sam and Strider follow Merry and Pippin further along the path to where they spotted the trolls. But it isn’t long before Strider, teasing the younger hobbits, shows that the trolls were the very same ones turned to stone while Bilbo was on his own adventure. Sam recites a poem he made up about trolls and Frodo declares he is learning a lot about Sam Gamgee.

The company continue on their journey, all in better spirits than they have been for some time and with Frodo feeling a little better. They come across a runestone marking where the dwarves and Bilbo hid their treasure and Frodo declares Bilbo gave all his treasure away.

Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

Now back on the Road they are once more uneasy. As they are looking for a safe place to make camp, they hear the sound of hooves on the Road behind them. Hiding, they fear the approach of Black Riders, but it turns out to be Glorfindel, an Elf-lord that lives in Rivendell.

Glorfindel shares all the news he knows. Gandalf has still not arrived at Rivendell. There are five Black Riders chasing the company down and he suspects the other four may be lying in wait ahead. Knowing the danger they are in, Glorfindel, now taking over the role as guide from Strider, urges them on. He insists Frodo rides his horse, Asfaloth, who has the best chance of bearing him to safety should they encounter the enemy.

For the next couple of days, Glorfindel pushes them on, even though they are weary and exhausted. Concern for Frodo and his wound, and the peril he fears both in front and behind them, drives him.

They are a mile from the Ford when the sound of pursuit reaches them. Glorfindel tells his horse to swiftly bear Frodo away, as five Black Riders come into sight. As the horse does as it has been commanded, another four Black Riders appear ahead of Frodo, but Asfaloth outpaces them all and crosses the Ford.

Frodo, now delirious with exhaustion and the effects of his wound, is only barely conscious to see the river rise up against the Black Riders and their horses and carry them away. After that, he knows no more.

I loved this part of the story, especially with the crossover with The Hobbit. Strider really gets to show his humorous side with the trolls and this injection of levity amid so much danger is welcome. The tone in this scene with the trolls also reminds me more of The Hobbit. I’ve been thinking a lot over recent weeks of the opening stage of both Frodo and Bilbo’s journey, and I’m sorely tempted to begin reading the opening chapters of The Hobbit again.

Next week: Do we look back and reflect on Book 1 or do we jump straight into Chapter 1 of Book 2? If no-one states any preferences in the comments, we will just carry on reading 🙂

Middle Earth Musings and Meditations

Glorfindel has always been one of my favourite characters from The Lord of the Rings (and beyond), and every time I read this section of the book, I relive the disappointment I felt the first time I saw The Fellowship of the Ring and realised he wasn’t coming to help rescue the hobbits and Strider from the Black Riders. And although I’ve loved the films since that very first time seeing them, this slight change to the story has stayed with me, more so than not getting to see the Barrow-Downs in the movies.

I understand why his role is taken over by Arwen for the film, and I think she does a great job of it, and of course, it’s great to see a female character doing wonderful things in such a male-dominated story (though to be honest, this doesn’t bother me in the least). After all, we have to remember that Tolkien and Peter Jackson were producing a different end product for a different audience who had different expectations.

If you could have a character, scene or setting which was not included in the film, included in it, who, what or where would it be?

Elsewhere

In last week’s Tolkien Tuesday #22 post, I mentioned that I stumbled across a DVD in a charity shop called “Creating The Lord of the Rings Symphony: A composer’s journey through Middle Earth”.

Since posting that, I have watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved listening to the music, hearing the explanations given by Howard Shore, and seeing the artwork which was chosen to accompany it. And as we’ve mentioned before regarding the films, you can take one element from it, in this case the music, and feel very much connected to the story and see it play out in your mind’s eye. All the elements are just so wonderfully interconnected.

If you’re a fan of the film soundtrack, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week:

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

What’s your favourite quote (or one of your favourite quotes) from Book 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring?

Like every other reader, no doubt, I have so many favourite quotes from what we have read so far. I shared a couple of them along our journey, but thought it would be good to share one I haven’t yet mentioned.

So I picked this one, which I find very moving, from the first half of Chapter 12, when Frodo asks Strider if he has often been to Rivendell:

“There my heart is; but it is not my fate to sit in peace, even in the fair house of Elrond.”

28 thoughts on “Tolkien Tuesday #23…on a Thursday

  1. Again, my lack of familiarity doesn’t help with the comments regarding book vs movie. (Now I’m disappointed Glorfindel doesn’t appear in the movie! I have the DVDs of the movie and am sorelly tempted to watch them now.

    I loved Sam’s poem (and this one I could sing-song along as I read it 😉 )

    Jeez… I didn’t take note of any quotes but the one you have shared is one that I remember reading and re-reading because I loved the way it was phrased.

    As for the reading and next week’s TT – Let us move forward!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Favorite quote is easy. It’s from Sam: If I take one more step, I’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been. I like because it ties all the stories together – the power of the journey and how every step is another step on the journey.

    Preference on moving on? I kind of have to. I’ve never been able to put down the end of Book 1 and not rush to Book 2 to check on Frodo.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I like Glorfindel too, but he didn’t make it into either the Bakshi film (which used Legolas instead) or the Jackson version… He’s an interesting character and has a rather long history. He died fighting a balrog in the fall of Gondolin during the First Age, and is the only known case of an elf that has died and been reborn in Valinor and then returned to Middle-earth. A lot of people (including me) assumed he was just named after the First Age Glorfindel, but it was confirmed in the Peoples of Middle-earth (vol. 13 of A History of Middle-earth) that it was the same elf.

    I’ve always found the moment when they leave the bridge and still hear the echoing of footsteps, and then realising the Ringwraiths are riding behind them as quite chilling.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A quote: “Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will both say no and yes.” I like this because I am very similar when people ask me for advice. I tend to look at all sides and hesitate to give one course of action. And I’m always mindful of this quote when people do come to me for counsel. As Gildor says: “Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I really enjoyed the scenes in this chapter, especially how the tension dropped during the troll scene, with a relaxing familiarity reminding us of The Hobbit, and that set the stage for an even greater tension increase as we’re suddenly in danger again.

    I’ll admit that I had forgotten Glorfindel, but apparently my memories from the book and the movie had merged: I thought that someone (not Arwen) had carried Frodo over the river on a big horse. But I was pleasantly reminded of something that you didn’t mention, Sammi: although Glorfindel *did* help by showing up and putting Frodo on his fast horse, Frodo actually escaped on his own (well, with the horse’s help, but still). Then he stopped on the other side, and despite being exhausted and injured, he shouted defiance at the Black Riders. What courage! I later listened to the Legendarium podcast about these chapters and they had a guest who said this really peeved her off about the movie, that it stole this important scene of bravery from our little hobbit hero and gave it to Arwen instead. I agree, so I’m passing that point on, but didn’t want to take credit for thinking of it.

    Another line I noticed was after Sam said his poem about trolls and Frodo said that he’s learning a lot about Sam (as are we), that he is a conspirator and a jester, and maybe will end up becoming a wizard or a warrior. And Sam replies, “I hope not, I don’t want to be neither!” I thought this was a nice touch of modesty on his part, that he doesn’t aspire to being the big hero, especially knowing how the adventure that he is facing will bring out his strengths.

    I also noticed and liked the additional signs about how the ring tries to command Frodo, how it made him pause instead of immediately running away from the riders. And also how Frodo resists that, how it angers him that they’re trying to control him that way. So we get more sign that this modest little hobbit has the internal fortitude to stand up to this evil force that has taken down so many before him.

    To your questions — I say, let’s keep going! I can’t wait to read what happens next. And I can’t think of a good quote (other than those I’ve already mentioned), so I will simply second all of those that have been offered. They are all good!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great observations, Joy. I’m glad you pointed out that Frodo escaped on his own, which is such an important point to make. The book really does allow for Frodo to shine and prove his worth, whereas the film sort of undermines that. And that happens once more (that I can remember) later in the trilogy…I’m trying not to post spoilers so will have to make a note to mention it when it occurs…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always loved Glorfindel, he is like a shining beacon in the darkness of the company’s fears. But with this reread I realised, maybe for the first time, how strong and powerful he is, being able to confront the Black Riders as only few elves can. My bad for rushing through these scenes and not realising what later the movies taught me loud and clear: that world is brimming with magic and the elves are powerful magical warriors.
    My favourite quote is actually Gandalf reciting the words on the ring. Each and every time I read it, the hairs stand up on my neck.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.