Lord of The Rings..a reading group

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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby rwhen » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:33 pm

Sorry so late with my chiming in and it will be brief. I have enjoyed reading all your thoughts of the last three chapters.

I am going to actually do this as a whole. We learn so much in these three chapters that we really never get to see in the movies....it is wonderful that the Professor wrote all the songs that teach others many many eons later. We read of the writing of Aragorn....all that is gold does not glitter......when even by his own reckoning, he just profess' that it goes with his name. But means so much more. The ending "the crownless again shall be king"....one of those foreshadowing things that I wrote of when we first began. We learn of Weathertop, Amon Sul. Elendil waited for Gil-galad at the Last Alliance and then SAM relates the story of Gil-Galad. Just before Weathertop, Strider relates the story of Tinuviel and Beren. The song is beautiful. The story so sad.

While I did love the movies....the flight to the ford was one of the biggest disappointments. Back to book we again learn so much more of what Strider is really made of and what he knows of lore and loam. We learn of Athelas....which really did help to save Frodo's life until Glorfindel arrives. Also again SAM amazes with a tale about trolls that he made up on his own.....for me, with elements of what happened to Bilbo and the dwarves.

Witchie.....what a horse, Asfaloth!!!! I appreciate what you do now even more.


Those are my thoughts and I will read the next three on Friday when I am off.

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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:14 pm

rwhen..you reminded me of why I should actually read through these poems/songs/stories again..I tend to skim over them.

Okay..for the next week,we shall discuss

12. Flight to the Ford

13. Many Meetings

14. The Council of Elrond


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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:29 pm

Flight to the Ford

Here I think we really see the fortitude that is the hobbit strength as Frodo desperately works on keeping himself together as the blade shard starts to work it's way to his heart. We don't know yet what is quite happening, but Aragorn doesn't like the fact that the Black Riders have backed off the area (and are biding their time now)...and right away he suspects more is at work than meets the eye,

We get to meet Glorifindel ..as we mentioned earlier..I think Thor touched on this better than I can achieve here, but his part in this book is small but very significant. Ahhh Asfaloth!! As a girl who never grew out of her love of horses, I just love that Tolkien names many of his beasts of burden. He didn't have to do this, plenty of writers just use their horses as a tool and a prop, but Tolkien manages to give many of them a history and names and I so appreciate this as a horse person. Now as a horse person, it bugged the ever living crud out of me seeing the different horses that Jackson used for Asfaloth..it took me out of the movie a bit...I don't know if this was noticeable to non horsey set. Asfaloth, meaning sunlit foam..so very apt as he races towards his destination and crosses the ford.

Frodo, has his moment..which here again, I liked better than the movies by far. I can see why Jackson gave lines and chose Arwen to assist Frodo..needing to build her character, but we miss Frodo's moxy and bravery when he turns to the Brs and basically tells them to shove it, even though he is quite literally dying.


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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:20 am

Many Meetings

Frodo, at lasts meets up with the missing Gandalf. I love their first meeting, where we see Gandalf's playful side, calling Frodo's adventures absurd and gently chiding him. Then he goes on to boost him up, telling him it was no small feat going through all of that and still bearing the ring. We also learn, just how much danger Frodo was really in with that Morgul blade.

Gandalf also divulges that he was held captive to Frodo, but doesn't go into details, however the line "There are many powers in the world...some are greater than I am. Against some I have not been measured. But my time is coming."...and we all know all the challenges that will soon be on Gandalf's doorstep, from Moria to the Gates of Mordor.

Frodo goes on to display his own prejudice towards big people, always thinking of them as big and slow like Butterbur (before Strider) or wicked like Ferny. I like the fact that Gandalf does not let this pass, he admonishes Frodo, telling him Butterbur was not stupid "on his own ground"...Frodo's pre-conceived notions are falling apart the further he gets out into the world and away from the cloistered Shire. Like Bilbo before him, this little adventure will leave Frodo forever changed. Even without the upcoming trauma, Frodo will not return to the Shire with the same set of eyes and the same beliefs.

In this chapter Gandalf also builds upon Elven history, mentioning the Elven wiselords, who have lived in both worlds (Blessed Realm and ME) live in both the unseen world and in the present, they do not fear Ringwraiths. He we learn that Glorifindel is one of these Firstborn, Elf-lord. I could have spent a long time here with Tolkien delving into this history..right here, in this chapter..but alas, Tolkien, probably wisely, chose to move forward and left the rest in the appendices and other books..thank goodness for that. But Glorifindel, who has been omitted in both LOTR movie versions, is revealed to be much more than a regular elf.

So our adventurers, meet up and make merry. Frodo sees the power before him, in Elrond, Glorifindel and Gandalf..and is the first time that Frodo realizes there is something much more to Gandalf, seeing him the company of Elrond and Glori?

I want to go on more, about Frodo's poignant reunion with Bilbo..but I will come back..I just love this particular chapter, it is so full and rich.



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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:52 am

I love Many Meetings - I'll have to read this chapter in-depth, because there are so many little details and fun tidbits, as you mentioned.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby rwhen » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:11 pm

Again, apologies for the delay. But I am caught up.

I think that you've covered "Flight to the Ford" very well and I touched on it in my last writing as well, so I'll move on to "Many Meetings". I love this chapter. So much great dialogue between Gandalf and Frodo and we learn so much. (I recall reading this for the first time so many many years ago now and how this chapter really broadened my thoughts on the Kings, Firstborn, Elves, Elrond, Gandalf, Strider/Aragorn, Glorfindel and more..) Also for the first time in the books we get to know of the immortal and beautiful Arwen...(*my namesake), how Tolkien describes her beauty, is it any wonder that Aragorn fell for her so long ago? Not thinking of the movie....it is hard to remember sometimes when reading these three books that Tolkien also was a bit of a romantic...no?

So much in this chapter, catching up on what happened with the dwarves, meeting with old Bilbo again and his adventures since leaving the Shire. Then it happens...when Bilbo sees the ring again...turning into a horrid creature for just that moment, then back to his old self again. He recites the story of Earendil......I love reading all the old verses that Tolkien wrote to teach of the past of Middle Earth. Also the song to Elbereth of the Blessed Realm. Though it was in Elvish...it is lilting and lovely just the same to my mind.

The Council of Elrond.

This is a massive chapter where we meet all of the Fellowship, but also learn of "the ring" from time beginning really. I often forget just how old Elrond was and what he knew. He was with Isuldur when the ring was cut from Saurons finger. But this chapter tells us of everything that really shapes the whole rest of the book. The linage of Aragorn and his place in the thick of it really. He must redeem the doom of Isuldur and the ring must be destroyed and not fall back into the hand of Sauron. These are two sentences that encompass a large chapter but for me that is the crust of the biscuit. We also learn of the imprisonment of Gandalf by Saruman and know that he has turned to the dark. Again I have to stress that re-reading this and having read this so many times, of course, this is all old news to us. But I am trying to read this as if it were my first time reading and I am just as enthralled as I ever was, though I understand everything that I am reading. I certainly didn't the first few times through, did you?

Then after all the discussion of how and what should be done with the ring.....Frodo says that he will take it. Can you imagine....after listening to all that about the history of the ring and the deaths and the treachery and the knowledge that Sauron and Saruman and the Nazgul and all evil are looking for you....Frodo knows it has to be him and he steps up. What courage. I love Frodo.

I'll leave off at this point. I hope that there is still interest in reading and posting on the group. I still am in for the whole thing.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Otaku-sempai » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm

In "Many Meetings", I like how we learned so much about recent events in Wilderland from the conversation between Frodo and Gloin. I recall being sad to learn of the passing of Beorn; at least we found out that he wed and had at least one child, his son Grimbeorn (now Grimbeorn the Old). And, of course, there is the heartwarming reunion of Frodo and Bilbo.

One thing that always bugged me a bit from "The Council of Elrond" was the story of Balin's expedition to Moria. I know that King Dain was against the project, but it still seems strange that he let a quarter of a century pass without word from the colony and never sent anyone to check up on them? If he did send such scouts (who perhaps never returned), Gloin certainly doesn't say. Surely the other survivors of the company of Thorin--especially the brothers of Balin, Oin and Ori--must have been very worried about their missing companions.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:12 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:One thing that always bugged me a bit from "The Council of Elrond" was the story of Balin's expedition to Moria. I know that King Dain was against the project, but it still seems strange that he let a quarter of a century pass without word from the colony and never sent anyone to check up on them? If he did send such scouts (who perhaps never returned), Gloin certainly doesn't say. Surely the other survivors of the company of Thorin--especially the brothers of Balin, Oin and Ori--must have been very worried about their missing companions.


Same here - I always wondered about that.

As for "Many Meetings", I've always loved the chapter because of how beautifully it describes the Last Homely House - without describing it at all. I know that Tolkien wrote that good things don't make good stories, but I am completely certain that I could spend endless hours simply reading about Rivendell - its people, its culture, its history. And despite how much time we spend in Rivendell, we actually learn surprisingly little about it: it's one of the few places in Middle-earth in The Lord Of The Rings that Tolkien doesn't describe in extreme detail. Now whether that was a conscious choice on his part (perhaps he wanted to suggest that it's almost indescribable), I don't know, but it's always struck me as a notable - and regrettable - decision. But the more I think about it, the more I do wonder if Tolkien intended for it to be that way: because when you think of any other notable location in Middle-earth, you instantly have a picture in your head of what it looks like, because Tolkien describes them all so well: from the towering trees of Lorien to the seven-walled city of Minas Tirith - but when you think of Rivendell (or, at least, when I do), you only see pictures of feelings, of emotions: warmth, comfort, welcome. And perhaps that's enough. Has anyone else noticed that in their rereads?
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:20 am

Otaku..I thought that as well!

Thor, I didn't really think about the lack of description until you mentioned it here...and you are correct, Lothlorien, Minias Tirith, hell even old ruins are described well, down to cracks in the stone...not so much Rivendell. Interesting to think if this was intentional and to what purpose if any...like you said maybe he was going for more of a feeling

Okay..tomorrow we move on? I know we are going slow..but it gives everyone a chance. I kind of go back and re read the chapters, since I'm way ahead..thought I'd pause before going on to the TT book..and do a little catch up.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:27 am

Before we move on...I'd just like to say one thing..I like the way PJ treated Narsil in the movies, keeping it in an honored place in Rivendell. It seems rather silly to me that a ranger, roaming far and wide would pack a broken sword around with him for year on end...just sayin :D

The Ring Goes South
A Journey in the Dark
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Otaku-sempai » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:41 am

Witchwench wrote:Before we move on...I'd just like to say one thing..I like the way PJ treated Narsil in the movies, keeping it in an honored place in Rivendell. It seems rather silly to me that a ranger, roaming far and wide would pack a broken sword around with him for year on end...just sayin :D


Well, I can understand Elrond presenting Aragorn with the relics of his heritage when he came of age. But I also must question the wisdom of trying to travel anonymously while carrying a weapon of renown that is particularly associated with your forebears--especially when it is a blade that is broken. I would have at least expected Aragorn to carry a more serviceable sword at his side. The broken blade was just too symbolic for Tolkien to resist using the image.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Vanaladiel » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:24 pm

I could not wait and am headed back to the Shire in Return of the King. I have seen some really eye opening things this time through the books. Things I missed or did not pick up the significance of. But truly great to get now.

I too find it odd that Strider would be carrying a broken weapon of renown with him everywhere he goes. I love it in the place of honor at Rivendale.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby rwhen » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:56 pm

Sorry Witchie....I wasn't able to read while down....but I will get caught up here in the next day or so and comment on those three chapters. Promise. I have missed my dear world of Middle Earth and the Professors cunning too. :)
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Otaku-sempai » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:57 pm

Witchwench wrote:The Ring Goes South
A Journey in the Dark
The Bridge of Khazad-dum

We can discuss what might have become of Radagast the Brown. Did Saruman have him murdered? Did Radagast come to realize how he was being used and manipulated by the head of his order, only to go into hiding or exile? Perhaps he place himself into a magical sleep, to re-emerge centuries later as the wizard Myrddin (or Merlin).

The journey through Moria gets very creeping, even hinting at almost Lovecraftian horrors when Gandalf mentions the unknown things that gnaw at the foundations of the world.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Witchwench » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:12 pm

Radagast murdered behind the scenes? Please expand!!

rwhen, van..not worries chime in whenever, I've been amiss a bit myself, got caught up with another book and put down the two towers..however, we can go back and forth, I sure don't mind, it's not like we haven't read these books before..and if we wish to discuss something that reaches into other works or other books..I'm all for that..lets just keep it loose shall we? :D


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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Otaku-sempai » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:47 am

Witchwench wrote:Radagast murdered behind the scenes? Please expand!!

The ultimate fate of Radagast is one of the unanswered mysteries of The Lord of the Rings. In the weeks following the Council of Elrond, scouts from Rivendell find Radagast's house of Rhosbogel abandoned and can discover no sign of the Brown Wizard. Radagast is never mentioned again in the annals of Middle-earth.
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Re: Lord of The Rings..a reading group

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:31 pm

Interestingly, I always felt the same way - I imagine that, once Saruman learned of what had transpired with Gandalf's escape, he would have sent agents to kill Radagast or capture him. Who knows? I mean, it would certainly be ironic if the nature-loving Radagast were brought back to the dungeons under Isengard and ended up being drowned during the Ents' siege! :lol:
But the extent of Saruman's power is quite clearly seen in this chapter. The crebain, and Gandalf's reluctance to head into the Gap of Rohan. The servants of the White Hand were very active during this point in the timeline, so it wouldn't surprise me any if Radagast did fall victim to them.
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