Bag End

A blog dedicated to the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, particularily The Lord of the Rings.

Monday, October 10, 2005

or not...

Life has gotten in the way a bit... but it's not forever...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Bloggin

Well I'm back in the land of Aus again and I'll be starting up my regularly scheduled blogging very soon. Can't wait to get back into reading it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Chapter Two / The Council of Elrond / By Beck

Bet your wondering why this chapter nearly ended with me with my very own padded cell huh?? First off , a little bit of stating the obvious. Because this is the first time I’ve read The Fellowship, there’s tons of things I have found that I don’t know about. Pretty much if it wasn’t in the movie, I don’t know it. You knew that I’m sure. The problem is , I hate not knowing what’s being talked about in a book . Let me say that one more time. I HATE not knowing what is being talked about in a book. Now that I got that out of my system, what I decided to do (which in my defense seemed like a good idea at the time) was to look up what I didn’t recognize in my Guide to Middle- Earth. The big problem with that is as soon as I looked up one definition, I found a word or name inside the definition I did not know. So I looked up THAT word next. Then it would happen again! By the time I was done cross checking, I had forgotten what the original word was I started at!! (insert laughter here.) O.K. stop laughing. No I mean it stop laughing!! Lol

I’ll give you one example.( I will save myself the typing of the definitions , as I am very sure it would be pointless because you would know what they are regardless!! )
During Elronds speech he mentioned Gil Galad. In that definition is Noldor. so I looked up that. Which led to Vanyar. To ingwe. On to Orome , and other than a D2 character name of Am’s (Druid if I remember right lol), I didn’t know that one either.

And that’s only one word! Elrond’s speech alone had tons of words and or names unknown to me. Do I have to say how discouraged I got ?? Didn’t think so. Finally Am found out what I as doing and told me to stop it! (thanks for that BTW) She said to not worry about the parts I didn’t know . Only the Frodo - centric stuff After that, Council turned into not a bad chapter at all!
One interesting difference for me, was the members of the Council came to Rivendell for their own reasons. Not like we were lead to perceive in the movie.

Have to agree with T bout Boromir. What a jerk!! If you ask him, Gondor has single handedly protected Middle - Earth. Had to love it when Aragorn showed him what an ass he was thinking that!! Not only showing him up, can you imagine how peeved it must have made him to find out this scruffy Ranger was in actuality his king?! That had to suck!! Lol

I think the relationship between Aragorn and Bilbo was sad. I would loved to have seen it acted out by Ian and Viggo . That would have been something. Loved Bilbo sticking up for Aragorn. Although I was very Familiar to the poem Bilbo recited in the Council, it still was a great moment!

One thing I honestly can’t understand is why Gandalf would risk going to Saruman for help of all things. Wasn’t it Gandalf that spoke to Frodo while still in the Shire about his suspicions of Saruman?? Why risk going when there was already doubt about his loyalty? He had to know how important he would be to the fight against Sauron. That he was going to be needed. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe I missed something.

Looking a little bit further in the books and also of my memory of the movies, is what Elrond said about the destruction of the ruling ring maybe affecting all the fair things the Elves have provided Middle Earth the reason they left ?? I thought that might have been another movie change.

One last thing about the Council, I do think that the Ring’s power over Frodo had everything to do with him volunteering to take the ring. I just don’t think he would have made such a heroic choice if it not for the power. He’s to wimpy for that!! Over all I really did like the chapter if you can believe it ! Its one of the ones that I can’t wait to read again the next time to see how much more I know than the first time I read it. But until then, wow am I glad that chapter is done!!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Many Meetings/ Chapter 1/ By Beck

With the arrival at Rivendell, the group gets a chance to take a breather before the next leg of the journey.

Even in the Hobbit I thought Rivendell would be a wonderful place to visit. I think I would be much like Sam in that way. Totally in awe of the elves. Loved when Sam was describing to Frodo how there are..

“elves here, and there! Some like kings, terrible and splendid : and some as merry as children,”
How wonderful that would be!

Even though Sam was surrounded by all the things and people he has spent most of his life wondering about, he still stayed at Frodo’s bedside instead of satisfying his curiosity. Good ole Sam!!

Parts of Many Meetings feels a lot like a filler for the following chapter. Whenever anyone asks for information, the answer is, “not yet.” Frodo asking Gandalf what had kept him, Fodo to Gloin as why he ventured to Rivendell, Gloin to Frodo to why four hobbits were traveling so far from home. Not yet.

I loved Gloin’s tales of the goings on of the other characters of the Hobbit! Have I mentioned how much I enjoy recognizing Hobbit moments in the Fellowship yet?? Lol

What a wondrous place the Halls of Fire must be. A place for peace and thought , and a gathering place for songs and tales. It is small wonder this is were Frodo meets up again with Bilbo. I got all goose bumpy when Elrond tells Frodo ;

“ Now at last the hour has come that you have wishes for, Frodo,” he said. “Here is the friend you have long missed.”

It was new to know Bilbo traveled on to Dale, because I assumed in the movie he traveled to Rivendell only. Don’t know why I assumed that, I just did.
It seems that even now the ring still has some power over Bilbo. He says how he was going to travel to Hobbiton for the ring. Was it to take the ring to Rivendell in a heroic act? Or was it the rings power over Bilbo surfacing again?
I think its power over Frodo is shown a bit here aswell , as he takes the ring out to show Bilbo only to snatch it away as Bilbo tries to touch it. I jumped in my seat in the movie when Bilbos face changed, and did so again when it happened in the book! Lol. I felt bad for Bilbo when he apologized to Frodo for placing the burden of the ring in him .

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”
Poor Bilbo. He did write quite a good song . And very long !! Just imaging how long it would have been had Frodo not fallen to sleep! Lol

Another great part of the chapter to me is , as Frodo and Bilbo exit the Hall of Fire, Fodo glances back to see the Aragorn standing at the side of Awen.

They spoke together, and then suddenly it seemed to Frodo that Arwen turned towards him, and the light of her eyes fell on him from afar and pierced his heart.

Very beautiful. Next up the Council Of Elrond, or as I call it, chapter that almost kicked my slacker ass!! Lol Will be explained later.
Ooh my very own cliffhanger!! (yah I know. I’m a dork!! lol)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Flight To The Ford / Chapter XII / By Beck

Not a whole lot to say you two haven’t covered yet. I too had a heart string pulled when Strider was talking to Sam about Frodo’s wound possibility being fatal. It still seems strange to me though that when the wound was first mentioned seems like it was dire , and indeed it was, but the speed in which it would finally do its worst appeared to be much sooner than it actually ended up being. Think it said 17 days?This most likely is because the movie version is burned into my brain. lol

Again I find another reason I’m glad to have read the Hobbit before starting our journey through LOTR. When they discovered the trolls , I have to admit, caused me to crack a little grin. “Hey I know this!” lol. Hysterical is what I would call Merry and Pips fear of the stone trolls. Lmao funny!! It even makes watching the extended DVD’s now a little more enjoyable. As I watched them the first, second ,third, and fourth time, the added footage of the group finding the stone trolls just was another scene . Now , after reading The Hobbit, it has much more meaning to me. A little off the chapter topic, but this also happened when Bilbo left Bag End. As he was singing , “the road goes ever on….”. It was just another part of the movie till I watched it again since reading the beginning of Fellowship.

Sam’s troll story was a favorite part of the chapter for me. He continually shows more and more surprising parts of himself to the hobbits who had not a clue. How can you not love Sam??

I too think it would have been great for Glorfindel to have had a part in the movie! What a waste. The way his introduction was written was very vivid. His image ws described with a clarity that you imagination had little to do to picture him. Another geat intro. My question would be about the light around him. Is the light something that Frodo is only seeing? Or is it just his presence? I thought it might have something to do with Frodo’s wound, and only he was seeing it. What do you think it is?
Yes I very much adore old Bill the pony!! Like the book mentioned, he must have had one horrible life for what he is doing now to be an improvement! Next once again a very well written description is given. This time to Glorfidel’s horse. I imagine Glorfindel’s horseto be as strikingly handsome as his master, with his gem covered headstall all the way to the small ringing bells on his tack.
But I agree with T about liking the use of Arwen here. Out of the thousands upon thousands of favorite parts of the movies for me, this one is right up near the top. Much prefer the movie version over the book version. Absolutely love when she crosses the river , “if you want him, come and claim him” " I have many skills" (OOPS wait a minute. How'd that get in there!lol) Then the horses appearing in the rushing water! What a visual! Frodo fleeing from the black riders in the book version was indeed a great moment , but Arwen’s trouncing of the black riders was better IMO. Do wish there could have been a ay to include both Glorfidel and Arwen. Heres a question for you. Who would have played him if you could choose??

Hey look at there! I made it to the end of the first book!! One down 5 to go. I’m Greatly looking forward to the next.

Edited to correct many many gramatical errors. I should never write posts at that time of the morning!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

My LOTR pledge/ By Beck

**Raises right hand***
I solemnly swear to :
to no longer re read chapters twelve times.
To stop polishing my posts.
To stop throwing away posts once I have them written.
To ask my personal Tolkien dictionaries for help when I need it.
To no longer look up every other word in my tolkien guide.
O no longer take forever in between posts.
And finally I promise to stop worrying so damn much and just enjoy reading the books.
So help me Sam. (lol)
Sign the hopefully former slacker,

The Breaking of the Fellowship (FOTR) -by Hildie

The last chapter in the Fellowship of the Ring. This chapter, in my opinion, gets back to better Tolkien than the last. It's got a bit more happening in it. We now are to the point where a decision has to be made. As readers, we're also aware that some sort of confrontation between Frodo and Boromir is going to happen before any decision is made.

I don't really like or dislike Boromir, though I think he's likeable enough. I actually feel quite sorry for the fellow as I think the ring has really been trying to get a hold on him, and as we can see here it has succeeded. I wonder if Frodo would have made the necessary decision if Boromir hadn't tried to take the ring?

Sam is a darling! I think this part shows utter loyalty. It's very endearing and very sweet. And as we know, oh how well we know, without Sam the whole quest would have been lost. Sure Frodo is the ringbearer and all that jazz, but I think that the biggest change and the biggest hero is probably Sam. He's not the one that does the "greatest deeds" nor the "greatest warrior" but he is definitely a hero.

The Fellowship is broken and in total chaos. Aragorn, Pippin, Merry, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir are scattered seeking Frodo. Frodo and Sam are off to the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. What is in store for our characters? No one knows!

I think it's an excellent cliff-hanger ending to the first book. I know the movie gives a little bit more with the attack of the orcs and all, and I also like that. Either one leaves the reader/watcher wanting more!

Now I have a little upkeep and housework here at Bag End to finish off with. As everyone knows I'll be away on holiday with the PB for the next five weeks so I won't be able to start posting on the Two Towers until I return. I'm looking foward to continuing this process and reading with you all.

For the future I'd like to continue in the same vein that we've done on this first book. Meaning the four days to post about a chapter etc, but I'd also like to try to make it a little less "formal" at times and create more of a discussion type atmosphere. I know that Beck and I have spoken about post length, topics and questions... I think it's easy to forget that this doesn't have to be an essay but can simply be thoughts or ideas, statements, questions, concerns, definitions... it can be one word or thousands, either is fine and anything is good. It doesn't have to be limited to a single post over the four days.

What do you both think? A little bit more open forum as well as keeping it as it is? Oh and Becker don't forget to use your Tolkien Twinnie resources! Don't worry if you don't quite get something and don't get bogged down, we'll help you out! :D It'll be fun!

Look forward to continuing our Bag End blog together! Cheers everyone and I'll see you here after the holiday!

The Great River (FOTR) - By Hildie

With Lothlorien behind I am always a bit depressed. This chapter isn't one of the great memorable chapters but it does have a few moments. Frodo frosts my cookies in it of course, as he always does. This time he says aloud, not long after an attack by the enemy, that Galadriel wields one of the elven rings of power. I mean seriously, HELLO HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING? Anyone with half a brain would know that speaking of those rings is forbidden. Honestly, Elrond said it, Galadriel said it, didn't one of the other elves say it, and even perhaps Gandalf? Anyway, who said it is beside the point, if he'd heard it once he should know better. Especially since she may not have wanted the others to know about the ring, she only showed Frodo and didn't announce it to the whole Fellowship. *kicks Frodo* He frustrates me in his stupidity.

Okay so they're in the boats, going down the Anduin river. Their major choice is coming up: Which way will they go? Boromir is trying to con them into going with him, from little hints Tolkien gives you can still tell he's coveting the ring for himself. I mean the way he's staring at Frodo, it's kinda creepy. Someone needs to smack him about the chops!

I do enjoy the descriptions of the terrain here, but I can see that some non-Tolkien nuts might find it a bit tedious. It does take a lot of words and a long time to get there in this chapter.

The one bit of action and excitement comes with the orc attack and Legolas shooting the beast out of the sky. While Frodo doesn't come out and say it outright we get the idea that this possibly could be one of the Black Riders but on a beast that can fly. It describes how Frodo felt cold and pain in that old wound on his shoulder etc. Go Legolas is all I have to say! He rocks! And the Bow Of Lothlorien sounds brilliant! I love it!

We also see Gollum here, and find out that it was indeed him that Frodo heard in Moria and saw in the talan in Lorien. At least we know that someone with half a brain Sam knows about him and find out that Aragorn also knew. As if Frodo would notice something that Aragorn hadn't... yeah right.

So finally they're almost to where they have to be to make the decision for the finale of this book. They can hear Rauros, and the first bit of the quest is over. Now they've go to decide Minas Tirith or Mt. Doom? In my opinion there never was any question, especially with CREEPY Boromir eyeing up Frodo every chance he gets. The only question is who goes with whom? Do they all go together, split the fellowship or what? By the title of the next chapter we do have a good idea, we just don't know quite how it'll be done.

Only one more to go and we're done with Fellowship of the Rings!

Farewell to Lorien (FOTR) by Hildie

This is a short chapter but I always dread it as much as I'd assume the Fellowship dread it. I don't like to leave the beauty of Lothlorien, it's always like a breath of fresh air in the writing after dark times. Oh well, it's time to press on.

Here we find out that the company is going to be travelling by boat rather than by land. The Lady and Lord have given them elven boats to use to travel down Anduin until they meet their destination. I think that this is definitely a good slow start to get back into the adventure of the story. It gives the reader a chance to think through some of the options presented to the Fellowship as well as "giving the characters time" to decide on a course.

I love the part where they see the Swan Boat of the Lord Celeborn and the Lady Galadriel. It's always beautiful. I think it's the Brother Hildabrant (sp) that did a painting of that for one of their calendars but it always sticks in my mind. The farewell feast is always sad for me, and the gifts very touching. I was so bummed out that the parting gifts didn't make it into the movies in the cinema. I thought that the moments in this chapter are some of the most important in all the time in Lorien. Sam's gift and Gimli's gift were the sweetest in my opinion.

I think the friendship between Legolas and Gimli is awesome as well.

Not much more to say about this chapter, it's pretty self explanatory. I always enjoy the Lothlorien chapters, but they always seem to go so quickly.

What will the Fellowship decide? We don't have much left of Fellowship of the Ring, only two more chapter!

Happy Reading.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Mirror of Galadriel (FOTR) by Hildie

Have I mentioned I love Galadriel before? She rocks! So this chapter is one of my favorites just for her. I think the description of Caras Galadhon is stunning, and in fact one of Tolkien's best. Good stuff!

I've never been overly impressed with Celeborn. I always scoff a bit at the whole "he is the wisest of the elf lords" especially considering that, even in their first brief meeting, he jumps to rash decisions about Gimli and the Fellowship after hearing about the Balrog. Seems he's a bit hasty and doesn't really think before words pour out of his mouth. Who can say?

I actually liked the way that they did this bit in the movie. I think that the way she "spoke and looked at their souls" was spot on.

The singing songs of mourning for Gandalf again makes me feel a bit sad. I believe I'd be more like Legolas. Frodo does give it a go though I think Sam would have done better. I'm biased though.

I find Galadriel to be very interesting (especially after reading The Sil and UT). She's very intelligent and wins Gimli over quickly. I love that bit and don't think we saw enough of it in the movie.

The part with the Mirror of Galadriel is brilliant. She is definitely awesome and I love the way that the elven ring, Nenya, is revealed to Frodo, and what Sam saw. I think her speech is one of my favorite ever written:

"And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! in place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning adn the Night! Fair as teh Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightening! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!"

Actually I never quite understood her statement of "I pass the test, I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel." until I'd read The Sil and UT. I mean I had an idea what was going on and it wasn't confusing or anything really, but now I really understand and it makes much more sense. (Even if this sentence doesn't.)

I think that Celeborn is only intelligent because Galadriel always tells him what he should really be doing... she should be the one to get all the credit!

It always happens too soon that they leave, and unfortunately there isn't ever nearly enough of Galadriel! Great chapter all the same!

Book 2 Chapter 2 - 'The Council of Elrond' (by T)

Bloody hell this is a long chapter filled with stuff.

I'm not sure what to say about it after reading it, 'cos I'm not going back and looking at it bit by bit. So this will be a general thing.

Oooooooo!!!! Get that Boromir. Has he got a chip on his shoulder or a bag of spuds??? Just how many different ways can he say ' if it wasn't for Gondor.....' , also our hackles rise when he disses Aragorn and shows him no respect!!!!

Awwwwwww!!! Bless old Bilbo...he is tops, and makes his light weight nephew finally show a bit of spirit and backbone. Plus you gotta love the last part where Elrond tells Sam that at least he can go with Frodo.

This is quite like the film in places, but thank God the film is quicker...I must admit that after reading the book x times that I tend to flit through this chapter. Just a little too much 'jaw-jaw' and not enough 'war-war'.

I like the idea that they have all come together by 'chance', or not as the case maybe.

Anyway. I had best get on with more, since it looks like Hildie has gone and run off to Lothlorien already!!!

Lothlorien (FOTR) by Hildie

With Gandalf gone our remaining 8 members are having to decide the course of their journey for themselves alone for the first time. I always find this part of the book to be distressing, I think I'm channelling some of their emotions possibly. I always feel a bit lost and unsure. I know Aragorn is quite capable to make decisions, especially since he and Gandalf often discussed directions and all, but still... he was GANDALF!

I thought it very touching that Gimli wanted Frodo to see Kheled-zaram and that he still wanted to look. He even admitted that there was no good left in Moria, a land he so wanted to be as the dwarves of old had hoped. Poor fellow, what a disappointment and what a tragedy to happen to someone he cared about there. Very sad all round! I remember wondering what type trouble they could possibly get themselves into after Moria, and now we have a chapter called Lothlorien. What is Lothlorien, or who is it? It is very intriguing!

I think that they are completely right in trying to get as far away as possible before the dark. I know that they were hoping that they'd scared the orcs badly enough that they wouldn't follow to seek vengence, but even in the last chapter they mentioned the fact that there were orcs from Mordor. Those orcs would surely follow Frodo on their own evil errand even if the Moria orcs didn't seek to destroy the invaders of their new home. And as we've all learned many times over those orcs definitely prefer to travel at night, and are nearly tireless in pursuit! How are they ever going to be able to get away from them as tired, exhausted, depressed and injured as the party is... Lothlorien must be their only choice.

At last the company finally finds out about the mithril shirt that Frodo is wearing. I found Gimli's reaction very cool. It's always quite impressive that Thorin would have given something worth so much to Bilbo, he must truly have cared for the hold Hobbit. It's just another flashback to The Hobbit and the events there. I always enjoy those.

We see Boromir's reaction here and hear that Aragorn and Legolas are saying the opposite. I know that I would definitely trust Aragorn and Legolas over Boromir (he's a turd), he seems to disagree with wise decisions fairly often actually (remember the Council of Elrond when he wished to use the ring in Minas Tirith? How great Gondor was yadayada...).

So now we see that Frodo really had been hearing feet, and now we're seeing eyes. It's obvious who it is to me through the writing now and I honestly can't remember if I could tell who it was the first time I read it. I'm just wondering, Beck can you tell who it is on a first time reading? I know you'll know who it is from the films but from the descriptions did you suspect who was following etc? I'd like to know a first time readers opinion here, that would interest me greatly actually.

Nimrodel sounds beautiful. I've always loved streams and creeks. I love the sound of running water and it always makes me smile. If the weather is warm enough and I can I always enjoy walking in the stream and playing in the water. I know I'd have loved the sound of Nimrodel. Legolas' song is very pretty, I wish I knew what melody Tolkien had in mind for it. It is, as most elven stories are, very mournful and sad. They often don't get happy endings do they... look at Beren and Luthien as well (Beck if you're interested in reading the rest of the Beren and Luthien story the full one is in The Sil).

I thought the tree thing was cool, the talans or flets I mean. I have to say I'd agree with the hobbits about not really enjoying sleeping at heights without some sort of rail to stop them from rolling over, though if I were tired enough that wouldn't cause me to stay awake!

This chapter is where we really start to see (other than Legolas in the snow of course) the gracefulness of the elves and the fact that they are so much more than human with their movements. Here we also see the beginnings of the problems between the Dwarves and the Elves. It doesn't carry on, and doesn't last long, but it does give the reader something to wonder about.

Just a side note, the talan and the screen sound very much like the platforms that some turkey and deer hunters use now in the US. Totally off topic I know, but still, since I'm familiar with that particular type of platform it is easier to imagine exactly what the talans in the book may look like and what the screen would look like as well.

I don't know how the hobbits can sleep through everything (except Frodo that is). I'm sure that if I'd heard the orcs, especially knowing that I was on the run, I would have been awake with sword drawn ready for the worst. The elven word Yrch is very descriptive to me, I thought that was brilliant when the elf warned Frodo. Again we see the creature at the bottom of the tree. Eek! What it is? At least Halidar has seen it too. I think that those descriptions always manage to creep me out.

The rope bridge across the river and the elven dress/costumes/clothes I've always loved. What great descriptions. I thought it was cool that Pippin was so good at going across. I've crossed those type bridges myself and I remember always thinking, wouldn't it be wonderful if I was going to Lothlorien now! Truthfully, they're not that hard to cross. Have either of you ever tried one? I reckon I could do it with only two ropes, but I was still making sure to hold both though I didn't have to grip or push on them to keep my balance. I'd love to see what the elven ropes feel like, I think they sound cool.

ARGH! They were going to blindfold Gimli only. I thought that was pretty crappy considering I thought that Elrond had said that he sent messengers to those that were friends. Obviously in his message he would have said who was in the company etc.; It made me mad on Gimli's behalf to be honest. I thought it was good when Aragorn said that they would all have to be blindfolded to be fair. He is a good leader. At least they didn't have to remain blindfolded very long, that's a plus.

The ending of this chapter is awesome as well. One of my most favorite descriptions and sayings in this chapter is "As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of the Silverloade a strange feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked nito the Naith: it seemed to him taht he had stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lorien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world." Isn't that amazing.

I love Cerin Amroth. I have a place of my own that reminds me of the flowered hillside where Aragorn was walking. It brings tears to my eyes to be quite honest. Also there is the very last sentence in this chapter... it makes you think about why it was so endearing to Aragorn, it also always brings a complete lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. In fact S asked me about what I was reading because she noticed my emotional state. Yes, I'm a big softie.

All in all, I thought this was an excellent chapter. While not as action packed as the Moria chapters it still manages to convey strong emotions and give enough action that it's pace was going quite quickly. Very interesting reading excellent descriptions. I can't wait for the next Chapter either. Galadriel is, and has always been one of my favorite characters ever, and I have a little known fact for you... I was nearly named after her, my father loved the name. Happy Reading!