(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
“But in the days of Bilbo, and of Frodo his heir, they suddenly became, by no wish of their own, both important and renowned, and troubled the counsels of the Wise and the Great.”
I admit these are sometimes the hardest posts for me to write. All I want to do is say how much I loved it and then list a bunch of quotes :). It’s the balance of not writing out a dissertation and having a worthy discussion! But it’s not my fault Tolkien and Lewis were geniuses right? Moving on…after reading this delightful book again (years after my last reading of it), I have been reminded of the age old truth: the book is always better. I love the LOTR movies, but man! There is so much more that awaits in the book! You can’t understand Tolkien’s true greatness without reading the book.
For me, some of the biggest themes are courage, bravery, sacrifice and friendship. Take this interaction:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
I also was a huge fan of the brotherhood and friendship of the hobbits. The commitment and loyalty to follow Frodo, knowing it would be dangerous, made my heart happy. Plus the forming of the Fellowship? Awesome all around.
Other tidbits worth noting:
- Hobbits are sometimes feisty and witty fellows and it had me cracking up. When Gildor (an elf) didn’t answer Frodo’s question one way or the other, his response was “And it is also said ‘Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.'”
- Glóin was at Rivendell and we got all the details on our dwarf friends from The Hobbit 🙂
- Aragorn has pretty much been everywhere in Middle Earth approx. 100 times.
- Lady Galadriel – love her character. From “tempting” each member of the fellowship to her gifts. Everything done with a purpose; to make each one stronger. The gift to Sam? His garden-in-a-box? Loved it!
- The story of Beren and Lúthien..sigh. That’s worth reading The Silmarillion for.
“Courage is found in unlikely places…be of good hope!” (Gildor to Frodo)
As always, here’s a few questions to get the discussion going. Feel free to answer some, none or all and of course be sure to include any other insight and thoughts!
1. Which Hobbit do you identify with at this point in the book?
I appreciate Pippin’s love of food :). I understand Frodo’s reluctance to have people come with him, as he didn’t want them hurt. Merry has courage in him and Sam, well Sam is amazing. I’ll say this – I want to be the type of person Sam is.
2. If you could be one in Middle Earth, which would you pick: Hobbit, dwarf, elf, wizard or man?
An elf! They are wise and know how to handle their weapons.
3. What’s something you wished would have been added or done differently in the movie?
Two words: TOM BOMBADIL. Also Glorfindel deserved better.
4. What were some quotes that really stuck out to you?
This statement. Frodo is not only vulnerable, to me he shows such courage.
“I will take the Ring,’ he said, ‘though I do not know the way.”
I want to memorize this in elvish:
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.”
Just because I love how Tolkien writes:
“The bow of Legolas was singing.”
One more quote on friendship:
“You do not understand!’ said Pippin. ‘You must go – and therefore we must, too. Merry and I are coming with you. Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragon’s throat to save you, if he did not trip over his own feet; but you will need more than one companion in your dangerous adventure.’ ‘My dear and most beloved hobbits!’ said Frodo deeply moved. ‘But I could not allow it. I decided that long ago, too. You speak of danger, but you do not understand. This is no treasure-hunt, no there-and-back journey. I am flying from deadly peril into deadly peril.’ ‘Of course we understand,’ said Merry firmly. ‘That is why we have decided to come. We know the Ring is no laughing-matter; but we are going to do our best to help you against the Enemy.”
I love much of the new fantasy stories out there (looking at you Potter), but Tolkien really was the master and I see Tolkien influence in so many of these stories. But that’s okay because Tolkien was a genius. Times a billion.
I also need to mention I was reading the part of the CREEPY CRAWLING BLACK RIDER BY MYSELF. Any sound that night was clearly a creature fixin to attack me. So that was neat. But not really.
Can’t wait to hear from y’all!