Monday, January 31, 2011

Fellowship of the Ring Read-a-long: January


Chapters read: Prologue, 1-7
Favorite chapter: "Three is Company," because we see our first real glimpses of Sam and Pippin, and we meet our first Elves, including Gildor Inglorien (he's hot, wise, and provides Elven booze for our heroes).
Looking forward to: meeting Strider!
Things that struck me differently: I used to love "Shadow of the Past" but I was really bored with it this time around. I'm guessing that it's because it's a world-building chapter: very fascinating when you don't know much about the world, but very boring once you know it all. I did enjoy Sam getting caught "dropping eaves" at the end, though.
The runes. I've been learning in my Old English course that the runes that carry into the Old English of the Middle Ages from the pagan past have a lot of significance. They all have a signature word, for example the rune "M" (which doesn't quite look like our "M") means the word "mon," the letter M, and also has various other connotations. I thought about this when I read the part about how Gandalf's fireworks are marked with a "G" rune and with an Elven rune. Tolkien was an Old English scholar; did he assign meanings and connotations and such to his runes?
Further, I'm noticing all of the Old English influences in names and words, or words that are probably derived (like "mathom"). It's NERDY. And distracting.

Character notes: I'm not loving Frodo, but he's never really been a particular favorite. I think Sam is awesome, especially how loyal and protective he is of Frodo. He's determined to follow Frodo even if it's to the death. He's also offended by people who think Frodo is a liar, like Ted Sandyman, and is suspicious of nice guys like Maggot just because he beat Frodo in the past when he was a stupid kid. Dawww.
And I forgot how responsible Merry is! What a dependable chap! The movies have clearly broken my brain, cuz I always think of Pippin and Merry as buffoons. Even Pippin isn't an idiot, he just suffers from tunnel-vision and doesn't take things seriously enough.
As for Gandalf, the more familiar I get with him, the less he impresses me. In these first few chapters he does a good job of extricating Bilbo from the Ring, but then he is just all vague to Frodo, then he info-dumps, and then he disappears. Come on, G...
I have nothing to say about Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. I always sleep-read through their chapters, and the best I could summon this time was forced interest.

Coming up:
BARROW-WIGHTS! STRIDER! NAZGUL!

5 comments:

Snazel said...

I am glad I'm not the only one who is not enraptured by Tom Bombadil. And man, I'm looking forward to watching you read this. :D :D

L.L. said...

Your description of Gildor Inglorien makes me very happy. And what you wrote about runes is interesting - I know nothing about Old English but I would imagine Tolkien knew quite a bit. I really enjoyed reading your post!

Pepca said...

Great post! I think the Bombadil part slow, too, although the cahp himself is funy and I like his tories of the past.

Brad Jaeger said...

Nobody likes Frodo initially; especially if you read The Hobbit first.

He'll likely grow on you :)

kaye said...

Sam has always been my favorite too. Although I'm equally fond of most all the characters.