Saturday, September 10, 2011

LOTR Read-along Response

I'm (sort of) participating in the Lord of the Rings Read Along hosted over at Little Red Reviewer and Geek Daddy. I'm saying sort of because I've read the books so many times that I don't actually have to be re-reading them at the same time. It makes answering some of these questions a bit more difficult, because I'm coming at the story from a perspective where I know the whole thing. There are few surprises there for me any more. Although, I did re-read the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers fairly recently.

This week's questions are:
1. Hobbits seem to have songs for everything!  I didn't realize this was a musical. . . . how are you liking all the songs?
I actually like the songs quite a bit. Besides, they're not the only ones with poetry and songs - Tom Bombadil is a classic example. It seems as though half of his lines are in the form of poetry.
2. I love that we learn about Gollum and his past so early on. It gives a dark and foreboding (dare I say, perilous?) feeling to the whole thing. Were you surprised that the story took a dive towards the dark and scary so quickly?
I actually can't remember if it surprised me or not - I've more or less forgotten my reactions from the first time I read the Fellowship of the Ring. Now, it just seems to fit the story and I can't imagine it being any other way. Besides, as I understand things, a book needs some kind of a "hook" to pull the readers in. This seems to be that hook.
3. Tom Bombadil!  what and who is he???  If you met him in a forest, would you trust him?

Now, this is a can of worms you've opened. Everyone has a theory as to who Tom Bombadil is, and nobody has an answer. I certainly don't. I've seen discussions where one party claims he's really Iluvatar, and others that claim other things. There's a fairly comprehensive listing in this thread over at the LOTR Fanatics Forum.

I don't know that I would 'trust' him if I met him under the circumstances that the hobbits did, but I'd definitely accept his help - there don't seem to be any other options at that point in the story.
4. What did you think when Pippin, Merry and Sam told Frodo about their "conspiracy", and that they pretty much knew what he was planning from the beginning?
Loyal friends who really don't know what they're getting in to at this point. They'll find out though. And, they're friends that I'd be glad to have.
5. What's your favorite part of the book so far?
I'd have to say the bit where the horn call of Buckland rang out. That little hint of what's happening in The Shire after Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin have gone left a number of unanswered questions and hints. My true favourites though lie much farther along in The Lord of the Rings.


Carl V. Anderson said...

Yes, there are definitely a lot more favorite things to come.

I too like all the theories about Tom Bombadil. He is a character that, like you said, I would take the help from but I don't know if he is one I could trust to be there for me unless it was more to his convenience. He certainly seems to have his own agenda and it is very different from the rest of the characters in Middle-earth.

The example of the friendship of the Hobbits is one of my favorite things about this series as a whole. Especially as a male, seeing males be able to bond like that and have those kind of friendships is inspiring to me. Society has in some ways minimized the importance of those kind of relationships for men.

I'm glad you are participating with us even though you aren't reading the books this time.

Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting, Carl. Bombadil having his own agenda sums things up very well - and the fact that it's rather unknown keeps him a mystery. One that I think will never be solved.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I like that Tolkien left us with a few mysteries. His work is so fun to analyze and speculate about and it wouldn't be as fun if everything was handed to us neatly packaged.

Unknown said...

There's enough there to provide for years of speculation to come. And, a lot of it will never be definitively solved.

redhead said...

I don't feel like I have an intelligent guess as to who or what Tom Bombadil is, but I certainly didn't mind him as a character. He's a bit of a lunatic tho!

Learning about Gollum and the Ring certainly was a good "hook" for me. I love those dark creepy bits.

Unknown said...

That he is, redhead. And it makes for an entertaining read. One that's just full of riddles and foreshadowing.

I love those bits too.

J.G. said...

I like the Buckland horns, too. "Let the little people blow -Sauron would deal with them later" is such a great line! Lots going on in just a few words (hubris, for one). I'm sure I didn't appreciate it the first time I read it, but now it is choice.

I also like the mental picture of Fatty Bolger heading straight out the back door of the house as soon as he gets a glimpse of the Black Riders at the front. He knew better than to stick around, but he raised the countryside along the way. Terrified but spunky and useful, that's a hobbit for you.

Unknown said...

It's also one of the first real glimpses of the outside world. Thanks for commenting, J.G.


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