Lord of the Rings Read-Along: The Fellowship of the Ring & The Two Towers – A Final Look Back & A Look Forward

I’m going to combine two Lord of the Rings Read-Along posts this week otherwise that’s all you’d be reading about here. Wait, all Tolkien all the time…how can that be bad! 🙂 I do have a few other things I’d like to post this week so here we go with a look back and a look forward.

First, thanks to Clare at The Literary Omnivore for hosting The Fellowship of the Rings discussion in February and to Teresa at Shelf Love for hosting The Two Towers this month.

The Fellowship of the Ring – A Final Look Back

1.Since we’re dealing with a third of a novel, instead of the first novel in a series, do you find anything different? In a way, I have always thought of these books as one big book broken up into sections so I guess I don’t really think about it as the next book so much as the next chapter. Besides, I love big chunky books so I’m happy thinking of it as one ginormous book in the end.

2.Do Books One and Two have significant differences to you? I think of book one as more of a build up and book two as the action. In book one, I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. Frodo and the others are running from something but in many ways they don’t quite know what that is yet or how evil it is. In book two, they know and that makes everything that much more urgent.

3.Who’s your favorite character so far into the novel? I have two major favorites and a few minor favorites. Major favorites — Sam and Aragorn. Sam because he is so loyal and practical. Rope anyone? He’s also the one to give little pep talks to Frodo which at least lifts some of the depression from him. I know Frodo is supposed to be scared and weighed down by the ring but sometimes he depresses me. At least Sam lifts that dreariness a bit. And Aragorn, well, how can you not like him! He’s handsome — in my head he is Viggo Mortensen which doesn’t hurt the image — and strong and fearless and, OK I have a slight crush and I won’t say anymore but I think you all get the point. I also love Merry and Pippen as the comic relief. As a minor character, I really like Galadriel. She just so lovely and exactly how I would envision an elf queen.

4.What surprised you the most? I hate to admit this but I remembered a few scenes better from the movie than the book.

5.What was your favorite scene? It’s more a favorite chapter. I love all the descriptions and the role Galadriel plays in The Mirror of Galadriel. When I finished, all I could think was, “Yes, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

The Two Towers – A Look Forward

1.Where are you in the trilogy right now? What do you think of the books so far? I haven’t started yet but I have taken it down off the shelf so that’s a start!

2.What’s your past experience with The Two Towers? If you’re rereading, how does it stack up against the other two books? I’m light on the details for The Two Towers so I’m looking forward to getting started. The last time I re-read these books, I read them all in a row with no breaks and everything sort of mushed together. My guess is that I will remember more as I get going.

3.If you’re a first-time reader, what big questions do you have at this point? What are you hoping to see Tolkien deal with in The Two Towers? If you’re a re-reader, what are you most looking forward to? I can’t wait to meet Treebeard again. The Ents are some of the most wonderful characters ever imagined.

4.What about the movie? If you’ve seen it, what did you think of it, and how much do you think it will color your experience with the book? I’ve seen all the movies and liked them but I’m also one of those odd people that disconnects movies and books, although I always like to read the book first if there is one! I enjoy them for the separate mediums they are and don’t mind that certain aspects and events of the books have been changed to work in the movie better. I know for a fact though that I like the books better than the movies. 🙂

I plan to read The Two Towers at lunch and maybe a few chapters on the odd night. I’m going to make an effort to make this a month long reading event.

Have any thoughts about the Lord of the Rings?

Lord of the Rings Read-Along – The Fellowship of the Ring, Part II

The Lord of the Rings Read-Along is continuing this month with The Fellowship of the Ring. Clare from The Literary Omnivore is hosting the discussion for this book.  She’s posted a second set of questions for all of us participating.

If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit?

How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through?

If you’ve read this series before, is The Fellowship of the Ring, for the most part, as you remembered? If not, is it what you expected or something else?

Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance- in your book?

On with the show…err, book.

The Fellowship of the Ring

If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit? I actually like the narrator in this book better than in The Hobbit.  It has a more adult feel to it.

How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through? It’s smooth sailing.  I have skipped a few songs though — some are just too long for me.  I did read them in The Hobbit and most of the ones in this book too, but sometimes I gloss over them or flip past them entirely.  I know there are a lot of people out there that really love the songs, but, I’m not one of them.  Please don’t hate me for it.  🙂

I haven’t found any passage difficult to get through. Although, I did find The Counsel of Elrond to be a bit windy but wouldn’t really say I got bogged down, just a little bored with all the speeches.  In fact, the most difficult thing I’m dealing with in my reading is not reading the whole book in one sitting!  I’m trying for only 2-3 chapters a night but will admit that it’s not working out exactly as I planned.  I’m finding it very hard NOT to keep reading.

If you’ve read this series before, is The Fellowship of the Ring, for the most part, as you remembered? If not, is it what you expected or something else? I was surprised to find that I didn’t remember as much as I thought I did.  I actually had to laugh at one point because what I remembered was from the movie and not the book.  SPOILER ALERT *****  For instance, in the chapter A Short Cut to Mushrooms, the scene where the Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam are on their way to cross the Brandywine River on the ferry and they end up crossing old Farmer Maggot’s turnip field. After a little dinner and some nice conversation, he takes the four hobbits down to the ferry in his wagon.  I remember this being a huge chase scene with the Black Riders just missing the little hobbits a they make a run for the boat.  Not so!  It’s completely different in the book, and in a way, so much better.  The scene is still tense and you are worried if they will make it, but it fits better.  ***** ALERT OVER

Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance- in your book? No, I don’t really look at the maps while reading. I’ll sometimes skim over them after though.

Clare, our host for The Fellowship of the Ring, has mentioned doing a movie marathon after we finish the read-along and I’m in.  I need to find how how much I remember from the books and the movies!

Are you joining us in the read-along?  Any thoughts on The Fellowship of the Ring?

Lord of the Rings Read-Along – The Fellowship of the Ring

I’m a little late posting and a little late starting but better late than never, right? The Lord of the Rings Read-Along is continuing this month with The Fellowship of the Ring. Clare from The Literary Omnivore is hosting the discussion for this book and has posted the first set of questions for all of us participating.

1.When did you first hear of The Lord of the Rings?

2.Have you read The Fellowship of the Ring before?

3.What’s your plan of attack, now that we’re dealing with more “mature” literature?

4.Have you ever seen the movies? If so, do you think they’ll influence your reading? If not, well, why haven’t you seen them?

As I said, I haven’t started yet but that will be changing tonight. We’re going to be getting another 10+ inches of snow here in DC and it seems like a good evening to curl with a book. 🙂

On with the adventure…

The Fellowship of the Ring

I first heard about the Lord of the Rings in high school. I remember reading the books but I don’t remember being all that impressed. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that now! I absolutely loved The Hobbit which I read in grade school but just didn’t get into the following books. I did pickup the series in college again after an English professor mentioned the books in class and I loved them the second time around. I re-read the series a few years ago when the movies came out as well.

My plan of attack is going to be different this time — I plan to take my time and savor this re-reading. I flew through most of The Hobbit in one afternoon and I plan to take things slowly and meander through this time. A quick look at my book tells me there are 22 chapters and I plan to read 2-3 a night. I’m going to give myself a little leeway because I know I will probably read more than my allotment each night. 🙂 I have trouble stopping sometimes when I get into the story. Middle Earth is a captivating place isn’t it? The characters are just amazing and once I start, I sometimes don’t stop until I find myself at the end. I’m going to try for a slower pace but we’ll see…

Yes, I have seen the movies and I did enjoy them all. But, for me, the books are still better. (This is almost always the case with me. :-)) Oddly, and I’m sure a lot of people have the same problem, all of the characters in the book now look like the characters from the movies in my head. I don’t find this to be much of a problem but the people I imagined and used to know in this book are gone now having been replaced by everyone from the movie — just to clarify, this is only in the way they look. I don’t think the movies have influenced my reading, other than the whole new people to imagine while reading though.

How about you? Have you read The Fellowship of the Ring? Any thoughts you’d like to share?

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