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Greeting The Fellowship (and the midway point)

February 19, 2010

I decided to combine the first two discussions of The Fellowship of the Ring (hosted by Claire of Literary Omnivore into one! I did answer the beginning survey before I started my reread, and now that I’m a touch more than halfway through, I thought this would be a good time to answer the next set of questions and publish the whole thing. :)

1. When did you first hear of The Lord of the Rings?
Um, my mom loved the whole series, so I can’t remember not hearing of LOTR. I know I read The Hobbit w/ her when I was 7-ish, and I knew that there were other books set in the same world.

2. Have you read The Fellowship of the Ring before?
Yep-this’ll be my fourth reread! Funny story though…it took me THREE TRIES to get into it. (And this is coming from a girl who has always loved the classics.) Once when I was 11, once when I was 12, and I finally fell in love at the ripe old age of 14. The first two times, I got bogged down while still in the Shire…all I could remember is being bored to death, and wondering why in God’s name anyone would spend that many pages on a party and Frodo’s post-Bilbo life. Then, I read Carl Sagan’s A Demon-Haunted World. I don’t know how if y’all have read Sagan, but he is such an uber scientific skeptic, that even for my then atheist-heart, I felt like a bucket of ice cold water had been dumped all over me. I needed, I craved, some kind of fantasy with lots of mythology. I ended up read all three of the Lord of the Rings books in one huge marathon-I think I finished them all within 24 hours!

3. What’s your plan of attack, now that we’re dealing with more “mature” literature?
I’m guessing this means mature vs. The Hobbit? I’m not too worried, since I’ve loved both of my rereads. But, for those who find it slow going, especially at first, I hope that my story provides you a bit of hope! It’s possible to love them in the end, even if you get off to a rocky start.

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?
Oh. My. God. Don’t even get me started on this. Now, I’m not the biggest Tolkien geek in the world (I have read The Silmarillion, but only once), but I loathe those movies. Well, actually, I went into the first one with really, really low expectations, so it didn’t bother me. But then, the second one was so God awful that I stormed out in the middle of it, but I didn’t have a driver’s license, so I sulked in the movie theater lobby until it was over because my mom and sister wanted to stick it out. Needless to say, I didn’t even bother seeing the third one in theater…I did see it eventually. I found it awful. My mom and I agree that the movies were an insult to Tolkien and the world that he created, and while I know a bunch of people love both versions, I obviously am not one of them. All of the subtly, the richness, was gone. And the Ents! OMG, the Ents were these poor, skinny looking scrawny trees that weren’t anything like *my* Ents.

Erm. See. I told you should haven’t gotten my started. I’m forcibly cutting myself off now. But trust me: the only way the movies will influence my reread will be that Aragon is extra hot now that Viggo Mortenson plays him in my head. hehe Other than that, I try to wipe all memories of the movies from my brain (have I mentioned that I’ve refused to watch the Oscars since Jackson won an award for screenplay adaptation? I hold grudges like that.).

To end on a more positive note, I’m so excited to revisit the books! And to read about everyone else’s impressions along the way!

So that was written a week ago. :) Now to catch up with me, as I’m currently 50 pages into Part Two of The Fellowship. (And isn’t my cover gorgeous? It matches my edition of The Hobbit and the rest of the LOTR series and The Silmarillion; I love the watercolour paintings on each of my covers.)

1. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, how do you feel about the narrator compared to the narrator in The Hobbit?
I prefer this narrator! Probably because, as an adult, I prefer to be spoken to like one. ;)

2. How’s your pace going? Is it smooth sailing or have you found passages that are difficult to get through?
I’ve been zipping through it, actually. I have to stop myself from picking it back up now, because I want to finish it closer to the end of the month. If I wasn’t consciously pacing myself, I would have finished it in a day. (And yes, I’m still stopping to sing/chant all of the songs/poems out loud.)

3. 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? It is pretty close to my memory, except I’m taken by surprise by just how marvelous it is. (This happens to me whenever I reread my favourite authors, lol) My affection for Tom Bombadil has been totally justified. Also, Frodo isn’t driving me as insane as he usually does. (We’ll see if that lasts into The Two Towers.) I had forgotten he’s a generation older than the other hobbits, though! And Strider is still awesome. :D I might have squealed when they mentioned Rohan in their discussions, since one of my favourite characters ever (Eowyn) lives there.

4. Are you using any of the extra features- maps and indexes, for instance- in your book?
I’m a map junkie, so I like to follow along, but so far they’re at Rivendell, so there hasn’t been that much need for them.

Basically, I’m loving the heck out of my reread, and I’m questioning my sanity on waiting this long to dive back into the Lord of the Rings world!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2010 9:58 am

    Hey Eva – thanks for such great updates on the read-along! I’m one of those people who’s tried before (four times, actually) to get in to the LOTR, but I just haven’t been able to make it stick! Something about Tolkien’s love for detail that kind of slows down the pace for me. But my mom loved them, as do millions of others, and I’m hoping that, one of these times, I’ll pick up the book and fall magically into it’s mystery!

  2. February 19, 2010 10:00 am

    You hated the movies? I dunno if I can continue to read your blog.

    Kidding. I loved those movies. I wore my DVDs out!

  3. February 19, 2010 10:19 am

    You are making me wish I was doing this re-read-along! I love, love love these books so much. I”ve read them probably nearing 10 times. At least.

    Funny you say that you loathed the movies. I generally really hate movies-made-from-books, especially fantasy (poor, poor Golden Compass… such a massacre of an amazing book!). But I actually really enjoyed the LOTR movies. Actually, I like both the way old ones (animated, from the 70s?) and the new ones. While of course I have criticisms of both, I felt like Peter Jackson got the dirtiness and grittiness right, and I loved the scenery. The hobbits did not match the hobbits in my mind, but Gandalf was fantastic, and the orcs were perfect. I know what you mean about the Ents, though. And no Tom Bombadil! Oh well. I still liked it. I didn’t love the Elves, however.

    Anyway. Love your answers, and am jealously re-reading along in my head.

  4. February 19, 2010 10:48 am

    Fourth reread! Wow, that is astounding, considering the size of these books.

  5. February 19, 2010 1:45 pm

    Hmm, I loved the movies but I love the books more. :-) I just started the second half of Fellowship and I’m having trouble keeping myself on my 2-3 chapter a night diet. I think I might be giving in soon…it’s getting too good!

  6. February 19, 2010 7:28 pm

    Wow, you first read The Hobbit when you were 7!? I tried to read it was I was about 12 or 13 but I couldn’t get into it; I found it boring. So then I didn’t read The Lord of the Rings until I was 20, and discovered that I liked it! I’ve read the LOTR trilogy once, but I still haven’t read The Hobbit. Maybe I should give it another try… or maybe I should just re-read the LOTR :)

  7. February 19, 2010 9:03 pm

    The Ents were so awful! I liked the movies, but I was completely disappointed in the Ents! There were all these much bigger trees all around, and the Ents were itty bitty little puny miniature tree dudes. I sympathize!

  8. February 20, 2010 3:28 am

    I’m also just starting the second book of The Fellowship, this is my third attempt to read these books and this is the furthest I have got so far! I have seen the first 2 movies as I was dragged along by an ex, I remember being bored at being stuck in the cinema for such a long amount of time – we queued, watched 30mins of trailers then such a long film and the place was packed with little kids!!!!!!! I think the films were ok but I only really remember Golem and the scenery so they can’t have been all that good

  9. bethfishreads permalink
    February 20, 2010 7:36 am

    We’ve discussed the movies and our favorite characters already :). I like a lot about the movies (Viggo is one!), especially a lot of scenery and costumes. But I didn’t like the plot changes. I haven’t seen the movies in a couple of years.

    This is my second reread since the movies came out, and I’m madder at the movies this time around than I was the first time. It’s the treatment of the hobbits, as if they were stupid children. I know I’m going to get even angrier when I start the Two Towers.

    Okay, enough of that… at least since I’m listening to the CDs, I get hours and hours of images of Viggo as Aragon in my head!

    Can’t wait to start the next audio in March.

  10. February 21, 2010 2:56 pm

    Hm. Thanks for the warning! I am still debating the movies (having avoided them so far for fear they would disappoint). I liked the Theoden scenes I found on You Tube, but don’t care for what I can find of Lorien and Galadriel (which isn’t much). I will have to think carefully about whether to see them or continue to stay away.

  11. February 22, 2010 12:31 pm

    That’s funny about the movies. I don’t think I’d even pick up the novel again (I tried Fellowship long ago and found it horribly boring) if I hadn’t seen the movies and enjoyed them somewhat!

    I just picked it up this morning and the first two pages are actually okay. I’m thinking I’ll make it this time!


  1. The End of the Fellowship and The Approach of the Two Towers « A Striped Armchair

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