~ 29 June 2022 ~
Only a day late this week…somehow that feels like progress!
The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts
This week we begin Book 2, Chapter 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings.
Frodo wakes in Rivendell, to learn from Gandalf that Elrond has spent days tending to the wound he received on Weathertop. Gandalf then proceeds to tell him that he had started to turn into a wraith like the Black Riders, who are the Ringwraiths, the Nine Servants of the Lord of the Rings. He also explains his absence in the briefest possible terms: he was held captive.
Frodo can’t remember how he got to Rivendell, nor can he recall everything which happened at the ford, and begs Gandalf to fill in the blanks of his memory. The river is under the command of Elrond, and when he requires it to bar the way to those unwelcome in this valley, it rises and floods, as it did that day, washing away their enemies.
Frodo is reunited with Sam, Merry and Pippin, and then they all attend a feast. Frodo is a guest at the high table, and is seated next to Gloin, one of Bilbo’s companions on his adventure to the Lonely Mountain. Frodo also sees for the first time, Elrond’s daughter, Arwen.
I felt this was quite a gentle passage in the story. For the moment they are safe, and the calm atmosphere of Rivendell permeates the text and becomes a tangible thing, even when discussing the difficulties they’ve had to endure since leaving the Shire. Also, Pippin’s humorous side makes a welcome appearance in this first half of the chapter, and I thought here he was closer to how he is portrayed in the movies.
Next week we will conclude Book 2 Chapter 1, Many Meetings.
Middle Earth Musings and Meditations
My musing this week is on the use of the series title in the narrative.
I always feel that this is somehow a momentous occasion when it first appears (in all books, not just this one). And that it’s spotting should be accompanied by an exclamation of something along the lines of “Ah, there it is!”
I’m not entirely sure why I feel it’s an important marker in a story. I wonder if it has something to do with the characters and the readers both being conscious of this same nugget of information contained within the title…I don’t know…
The first time was by Gandalf when he’s explaining to Frodo who the Black Riders are. The second time, Pippin, jesting, calls Frodo “Lord of the Ring” and then when Gandalf pulls him up on it, he quips ironically that the wizard “…has been saying many cheerful things…”
Is it only me who notices things like this? Or do you notice it too?
Jen Goldie kindly left a link to her blog post on Howard Shore on Tolkien Tuesday #22 in which I was discussing the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. And I’m so glad she did!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and listening to some of the YouTube clips (I’ll definitely be returning to listen to the rest!). My favourite was “How Howard Shore brought out the dark side of Middle Earth.”
If you enjoy the soundtrack, head over to her blog and check out this post. I can highly recommend it. However, if you are avoiding storyline spoilers you may want to check back later 😉
The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week:
Tolkien writes of The Last Homely House east of the Sea: “a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.” What would you go to Rivendell for?
I like the idea of going there and just sitting and thinking. We don’t have enough time to just sit and be still. I also like the idea of going there and writing, like someone else we know…
But I don’t doubt that I would also make time to study there: geography and maps as well as history. I wouldn’t say no to listening to a story or two, either.