Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Fellowship of the Ring -- Book Two

by J.R.R. Tolkien
 Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky;
Seven for the Dwarf-lords, in their halls of stone;
Nine for mortal Men, doomed to die;
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them;
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
  
   From the brink of destruction at the Fords of Bruinen and against the fearful odds, Frodo Baggins has at last come to Rivendell of Elrond Halfelven. But what will they do with the One Ring of Power? Frodo has within his grasp release from this poison, yet he knows within himself that it his appointed task to journey to Mordor--or die trying, and give up the Ring to Sauron in the process. And so with eight others--three Hobbits (Sam, Merry, and Pippin), two Men (Boromir and Aragorn), one Dwarf (Gimli), one Elf (Legolas), and one Wizard (Gandalf)--he sets out on the long, dark journey to the evil plateau of Gorgoroth.
   The main characters here are basically the Nine Walkers, as listed above. In this second half of The Fellowship of the Ring we are allowed to know Aragorn as who he is--the son of kings and the heir of Isildur. We are introduced to Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli in this half: Boromir is a proud giant of a Man who hails from Minas Tirith, and cannot come to terms with the fact that the only reasonable thing to do with the Ring is destroy it. Legolas is of the Elves, and thus fair of face and of speech--and is not very cordial with Gimli the Dwarf, who is stubborn, Dwarfly emotional, and strong. The more that I think about Tolkien's characters, the more I am inclined to believe that I was completely wrong in ever stating that they weren't very individual (which I did in my review of The Hobbit). They all have their little differences, hard pasts, and human faults--except perhaps Aragorn, who doesn't seem to have anything wrong with him beyond the fact that he is a mortal. If, reader, you disagree with that statement and think I've overlooked something, do please share it.
   As with The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One, the style of writing and descriptions are excellent. Sometimes, yes, Tolkien doesn't give all the characters different voices; sometimes his descriptions can be a bit minute; but I think that once you've read The Lord of the Rings several times, the long-winded places stop getting to you. Eventually your mind is hard enough that it doesn't really notice--and sometimes doesn't even get bored. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 9, The Great River:
   Frodo looked up at the Elf standing tall above him, as he gazed into the night, seeking a mark to shoot at. His head was dark, crowned with sharp white stars that glittered in the black pools of the sky behind. But now rising and sailing up from the South the great clouds advanced, sending out dark outriders into the starry fields. A sudden dread fell on the Company.
    And again, in spite of some instances of magic and uncanny beasts and creations which would not be in our world, I can see nothing wrong morally with this book. It's such a lovely piece of literature. My advice: Curl up on the couch or by the fire and take The Fellowship of the Ring with you!

3 comments:

  1. I recently read the second part of "The Fellowship of the Ring", and I must say I was so enthralled, I could barely put it down! J.R.R. Tolkien is such an extraordinary author!

    if I hadn't read the book before, after reading your review, I would not waste any time in finding a copy and jumping in :)

    Blessings,

    Audrey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is definitely extraordinary, and one of my biggest inspirations! And I'm glad you think this review would have inspired you to read it if you weren't already :) Thanks!

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