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Avox in Arcadia [userpic]
Tom Bombadil Appreciation Thread
by Avox in Arcadia (perpetual)
at January 18th, 2011 (11:33 am)

current location: The Old Forest
current mood: hyper
current song: Moby - Signs of Love

I would like to take this moment to talk about Tom Bombadil (WHAT THE HELL IS HE I DON'T KNOW) and his foxy lady Goldberry, the River Daughter (BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?).

It is an indisputable fact that Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow. It is also known and accepted that his jacket is bright blue, and his boots are yellow. He has apparently been around since the beginning of time, but doesn't really seem to do much except carry water lilies around and cuss out angry trees. I love him and I think we have a real future together.

For quite some years now I've been desperately desiring a pony, so I could name it Wise-nose.

What do you love about Tom Bombadil? Go!

Avox in Arcadia [userpic]
We're still in the Shire. What could possibly happen?
by Avox in Arcadia (perpetual)
at January 13th, 2011 (12:25 pm)

current location: Crickhollow
current mood: geeky
current song: Reel Big Fish - Beer

Okay, I've been reading slowly. I'm embarrassed to admit I'm kind of out of the habit, which is exactly why I need this. Also, where did my three nice little paperbacks go? Lugging around this complete hardcover volume is not helpful, although it does serve as a nice weapon of self-defense...

Anyway, it's a long book, sure, but five chapters and a hundred pages in, you generally expect to have a good assessment of what the book is going to be like. Here's what I want to talk about: do we have that?

I'm trying to separate myself from my familiarity with the story, and at the same time I'm remembering far-off jokes about how it takes forever to get going. The trick of this is that a good story isn't necessarily an eventful one. I'm enjoying it, but has anything actually happened yet, aside from the set-up of our protagonist being in possession of an evil ring?

We don't have a Fellowship, and won't for some time. Frodo says he's running from danger into danger, to lose a treasure, but he thinks he's simply headed for Rivendell, and we know that's not at all the real course of his journey. Much of what the hobbits have experienced so far could just be cut right out (as the movie showed us, by cutting it right out). Is Tolkien deliberately meandering with this part of the tale? If so, why?

I have some thoughts on this but first I'd like to hear if anyone else does, or if the slow pace even caught your attention, now or on some previous reading.

taaroko [userpic]
Chapter III-Chapter V
by taaroko (taaroko)
at January 7th, 2011 (07:33 am)

current location: Crickhollow
current mood: touched

 Wow, this is a very late post. But anyway, here we go.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice any hobbitisms in these chapters, although I was somewhat aggrieved to learn of their strong preference for mushrooms, which I loathe. 

However! We did get two particularly excellent quotes, the former of which I knew but didn't remember came from Lord of the Rings and the latter of which I had completely forgotten about:

"Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."


"Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."

I found the second one particularly delightful. It's so true.

Chapter III: Three Is Company

The journey begins! Even though I've read this part twice before and seen the movies many more times than that, I was still very worried for Frodo, Sam, and Pippin when the Black Riders started popping up. That was scary, and such a near miss! *shudder* I was also struck by how different Pippin's introduction to the journey was, because the movies are fresher on my mind. Frodo and Sam set off with him from the start, rather than running into him and Merry by chance as they tried to escape the wrath (and hounds) of Farmer Maggot. I like that the other two's participation in the adventure began more deliberately than in the movie. They still might not have known exactly what they were getting into, but they had some idea, and they had planned to go with Frodo from the start in spite of the danger and uncertainty.

That one little passage where a fox stopped by the sleeping hobbits to sniff at them and marvel how odd it was to encounter three of them sleeping under a tree was so awesome. Now, the Elves were rather more aloof than I remembered--not that I remembered this encounter with them at all. So far, they're giving me no reasons to change my mind and prefer them instead of hobbits. The way Frodo talks to them while the other two fall asleep (or pretend to) helps to illustrate how much more mature he is than they are. The movies didn't really do anything to indicate that he's actually a bit older than his fellow hobbit companions.

Chapter IV: A Shortcut to Mushrooms

This chapter was even scarier! Goodness! I was suspicious of Maggot right up until he offered to drive them the rest of the way to the ferry, but then he won my trust (though not necessarily Sam's--his mistrust of him was rather amusingly endearing), and I became convinced that he was going to die while helping them. (This is all your fault, Joss Whedon.) And then the figure they met in the fog turned out to just be Merry! Phew. I was so sure that he was one of the Black Riders that I even read his first line in a Nazgul voice, but then I got a bit further and realized who it really was. My brother and I laughed, and I reread the line. (Okay, seriously, mushrooms? They can't prefer...I don't know, carrots or potatoes or something? This is gonna bug me more than it should.) I love how it turned out that Frodo was the notorious mushroom thief, rather than Merry and Pippin. It's good to know he had a bit of mischief in his younger years.

Chapter V: A Conspiracy Unmasked

Hobbits really are wonderful creatures. I had to stop reading a bit to just admire how loyal and brave they are. It probably shouldn't have come as such a surprise, but they did hide their conspiracy well, after all. I love that Merry found out about the Ring through observation and clever deduction. He really doesn't get enough credit in the movies. In fact, none of the hobbits come across as being nearly as clever and wise as they were written, except perhaps Sam. When they told him all about the plans they had been working on for months, so that they'd all be able to leave together the night after they reached Crickhollow, was so touching. Frodo's exclamation of gratitude for knowing such excellent hobbits actually made me teary. And we have a fifth hobbit friend! Fredegar Bolger. Now I'm terrified he'll die after they leave. Staying behind and pretending to be Frodo will be extremely dangerous. :(

And they certainly do love to sing. I wasn't in a whimsical enough mood when I was reading it to my brother to try making tunes for all the songs, but they were still really fun. They have a bath song! Hah! That just cracks me up. I was disappointed back in the prologue to find that hobbit holes seemed to be a somewhat antiquated type of dwelling, and that regular houses were becoming more common. But this chapter put me at ease there, because those "regular" houses are pretty much artificial hills with hobbit holes in them.

taaroko [userpic]
Prologue-Chapter II
by taaroko (taaroko)
at December 27th, 2010 (11:09 am)

current location: Hobbiton
current mood: amused

Okay, I'm not sure this will resemble anything like a proper discussion opener, but this is the first discussion opener for a discussion concerning books that I've attempted.

Hobbit word of the week: mathoms--objects with no practical use but which nevertheless tend to accumulate in houses. I, for one, will be incorporating this word into my vocabulary, as there are quite a few mathoms lying around my parents' house (and I'm sure I've got several in my dorm as well).


So this seemed mainly to be the encyclopedia entry on hobbits. I loved it. I had forgotten a lot of this stuff, like that there are three types of hobbits: stoors, harfoots, and fallohides. (Which type do you think you'd be? My brother thinks he'd be a harfoot, but I think we'd more likely be fallohides, as we're blonde and eccentric.)

Chapter I

This was delightful. Hobbits are such endearingly ridiculous creatures. And Bilbo's antagonism with the Sackville-Bagginses is hilarious. Also, could Gandalf's fireworks be any more awesome? I think not. One thing I particularly appreciated was the emphasis on Bilbo and Frodo's friendship with Gandalf. In the movie, that isn't illustrated nearly as clearly, so that Frodo's reaction to Gandalf's fall in Moria seems like an overreaction, especially compared with how little grieved everyone else seems to be. But no, this is a very close and enduring friendship. Oh, and another excellent hobbitism: "filling in the corners". Which I certainly did at Christmas dinner.

Chapter II

This chapter was a bit slower and less light-hearted, but very significant. Apart from further proof of the strength and depth of Frodo and Gandalf's friendship, we got a great deal of backstory for the Ring and Sauron (my voice got very tired reading all of that in as close an approximation to Ian McKellen's voice as I could manage). The plot has certainly thickened. And now Sam is part of the story. I'm so used to the movies that I was surprised to find the friendships as they are here in the beginning of the book. Merry and Pippin are Frodo's best friends, but Sam is pretty much just his gardener, even if they are fond of each other. Also, I'm starting to get the impression that Tolkien wrote a rather livelier Frodo than Elijah Wood portrayed. Movie Frodo seemed to be mainly quiet and thoughtful, but without the same spirit he had in the books.

taaroko [userpic]
Speak, friend, and enter.
by taaroko (taaroko)
at December 24th, 2010 (11:00 pm)

current mood: cheerful

And so, on this fine Christmas Eve, it begins! Welcome to the reread of The Lord of the Rings here in the Hobbiton Reading Society! Before we get to the actual discussion, though, I do believe introductions are in order. Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you first encounter the series? Is this your first time reading, or are you a seasoned veteran? 

I'm here with my little brother, to whom I'll be reading this out loud until I go back to school for the spring semester. I'm a little ashamed to say that I hadn't even heard of the series until I saw the preview for the first movie, but I was only ten or eleven then, so perhaps that's adequate justification. As the movies came out, I tried to read the books, but I couldn't make it all the way through, and a second attempt a couple of years later also failed. I'm determined to make this third time the charm, however. So far, so good, and being in the company of such excellent hobbits (or members any other race, of course) will certainly help!

Merry Christmas, all! Expect an official discussion thread on the prologue and first two chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring soon.

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