So, just as with my last review, I will be sharing my own thoughts, and either agreeing or disagreeing with my peer. So! On to discussing The Fellowship of The Ring. Azhar, my peer stated that, “A general theme in The Fellowship of the Ring is good triumphs over evil; the good guys are destroying the bad guys a lot of the time.” Now, I agree with the statement that a recurring theme throughout the novel is “Good triumphs over evil,” however; the bad guys aren’t exactly bowling pins with a strike headed their way. I found that this occurred most visibly in Moria, where The Company takes a rough blow. I’d say that good triumphs over evil most prominently in Moria too, for while The Company takes that rough blow, they dispel a terrible evil. A good example of a contradictory theme is when the mountain Caradhras turns them away from the pass near its peak. As Azhar provided no evidence, I will: To sum up chapter 5 of “Book 2” in The Fellowship of The Ring, A party of Orcs and an evil presence attack The Company in Balin’s Tomb, Near the exit of Khazad-Dúm (Moria) Gandalf puts up a fight, but is soon knocked down that the stairs the rest of The Company used to escape. They flee down into the earth, but soon run into a large chamber with a very narrow bridge. As they enter, The Company notices the Orcs have caught up with them. Not yet knowing what the evil presence is, under the command of Gandalf, they flee across the bridge. Upon reaching the end, Gandalf turns around and recognizes the evil presence as a Balrog. He steps onto the bridge shouting, “You cannot pass!” He is exhausted from his use of magic at Balin’s Tomb, but breaks the bridge underneath the Balrog. Just as it falls, the Balrog uses its whip to drag Gandalf into the depths of Khazad-Dúm. The Company flees, heeding Gandalf’s last words, “Fly you fools!” with Aragorn leading them to Lothlorién.
I noticed that next, Azhar wrote, “The world described by this book is very immersive, and well detailed; there are even some maps of Middle-Earth at the back!” I have to agree. Although I struggled to find the Shire on the maps, I found that I felt like I was one of The Company, ever present on important occasions. The story is very detailed and the archaic writing style made me feel transported to the past, to the land of Middle-Earth, where events of momentous importance were happening. However, he did not provide any evidence, so I will: “The Company now went down the road from the Gates. It was rough and broken, fading into a winding track between heather and whin that thrust amid the cracking stones. But still it could be seen that once long ago a great paved way had wound upwards from the lowlands of the Dwarf-kingdom. In places there were ruined works of stone beside the path, and mounds of green topped with slender birches, or fir-trees sighing in the wind. An eastward bend led them hard by the sward of Mirrormere, and there not far from the roadside stood a single column broken at the top.” Did you have trouble visualizing that?
Azhar said that, “One small “nit-pick” I have with the book is that I think “said” is a little over-used, but it is only a little issue and it should not get in the way of anything (unless you read to people).” I personally agree with your “nit-pick,” but I found that I could usually filter such things as these out and ignore it. My evidence that “said” is overused:
““Say not unscathed, but if you say unchanged, then maybe you will speak the truth,” said Aragorn, “But lore wanes in Gondor, Boromir, if in the city of those who once were wise they now speak evil of Lothloién. Believe what you will, there is no other way for us – unless you would go back to Moria-gate, or scale the pathless mountains, or swim in the Great River all alone.”
“Then lead on!” said Boromir. “But it is perilous.”
“Perilous indeed,” said Aragorn, “fair and perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil with them. Follow me!””
Azhar wrote, “I think there were some unnecessary details (especially in the beginning), I like to “get to the chase”, but I do appreciate how it really gives a good backbone to the story.” Once more, I am forced to agree. Although the beginning is slow, I found that momentum was picked up on every page and that made me read faster each time. I can understand how the slow 2-3-chapter start could even make someone stop reading, but yes, it does give a good backbone to the story, unlike stories that jump in to the action without any explanation. Your point about unnecessary details I do disagree with. I found every sentence important and strengthening to the story. Here’s my evidence: To sum up the 27 pages of chapter one, Bilbo is holding a party for his 111th birthday. It also happens to be Frodo’s birthday, and much of the chapter is leading up to it. There are lots of bits about gossip about the party and that can get annoying, but it builds characters that can make the story more interesting. At the party, Bilbo gives his speech and as a finale, he puts The Ring on his finger and quietly exits. Being invisible, he flees back to his house, for he intends to leave Bag-End that day. Gandalf convinces him to leave The Ring behind, so that Bilbo doesn’t turn evil. Bilbo leaves the ring to Frodo, and the adventure begins.
“The story is easy to visualize, even if you haven’t seen the movie.” Wrote Azhar. My response is: Oh, yes! The story has the detail of a painting when viewed in your minds eye and you may picture anything with Tolkien’s descriptive language. I don’t remember the movie, so there is no way for me to compare what I saw in my mind and the movie. I will forever have an image in my mind of Gandalf the Grey standing on a small bridge challenging Durin’s Bane, and of Aragorn standing upon Weathertop, examining a stone, and of Gimli and Legolas in an elven boat smiling with a twinkle in their eyes. Read my evidence: “They had gone little more than a mile into the forest when they came upon another stream, flowing down swiftly from the tree-clad slopes that climbed back westward towards the mountains. They heard it splashing over a fall away among the shadows on their right. Its dark hurrying waters ran across the path before them, and joined the Silverlode in a swirl of dim pools among the roots of the trees.”
Azhar stated, “The story is very engaging because it is a huge “myth-like” kind of story; you can forget about real-life here.” Indeed you can. When reading any of the 520-some-odd-pages, you feel as if you were there, seeing the story of The Fellowship of The Ring unfold before you. I agree it is like an Epic, a huge story about great deeds and many details of story. Just read the book, you’ll see what we mean.
At the end of his review, Azhar said, “I recommend this book to people who want to escape this world and enter another, and who have plenty of time to read a long story like this. I would not recommend this book to people who want a quick book to read, this book will take a while, and once you finish it, you’ll probably want to read the other books.” I must second this. If you want a quick read, perhaps an abridged version is better, however, if you want to occupy your mind with the compelling tale of The Lord of The Rings I would definitely recommend the full length editions.