It’s the end of the second month of the LOTR Readlong and I’ve finished LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring Vol 1. This month Clare at The Literary Omnivore is hosting, if you want to check others’ progress, but here are my thoughts on the second half …
Just in case you live on a different planet and haven’t read or seen it – rather unavoidable plot SPOILER alert!
In Book Two, the Fellowship of the Ring is both formed and broken on the first leg of the journey to take the ring to Mordor. Winter means they have to go through the mountains via the mines of Moria, and it is here, in just a few pages, that one of the biggest events in Book 2 happens - Gandalf falls to his presumed end holding off a demonic Balrog. It all happens rather too quickly and you could be forgiven for having thought you’d missed it - in fact I read it twice.
The Fellowship have to concentrate on staying alive, and don’t stop to mourn so quickly is Gandalf’s fate relegated to the background. At last the eight arrive at Lothlorien, and meet Galadriel, who is the second-most interesting character so far, (Aragorn is first of course). She is a real fairy queen with telepathic powers; Frodo is a little in love with her and offers her the ring, and she of course, graciously refuses knowing how it would corrupt her.
The Fellowship have to take their leave and on they go, tailed by Gollum whom we don’t meet properly yet, but has been lurking out of sight for ages. Soon they have to make a choice, whether to go via Gondor and help Minas Tirith, or head directly towards Mordor… Frodo as ringbearer gets to decide and retreats to ponder the decision, but Boromir has a funny turn desiring the ring and goes after him. Frodo (gasp!) puts on the ring to avoid Boromir’s nasty intentions and runs for it. Luckily for him Sam is on his tail, but thus the fellowship is broken.
In this first volume there have been moments of great peril and episodes of sheer elven bliss, but, as with all great fantasy arcs, there are greater battles yet to come. It’s one helluva setup! We’re in the early stages of addiction – enough to carry on, but secretly knowing that temptation will keep us reading – even when you’ve read it before and remember the key events that will happen – if anything that makes it even stronger. Knowing that the fellowship doesn’t last and that the narrative will split makes me miss those who will be off doing something else while we follow one half or another already – but the anticipation is greater…
Bring on The Two Towers !