Tolkien Geek

Blogging J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and other aimless pursuits.


FOTR: Prologue

Prologue? Why not just start with Chapter One?

As Treebeard would say, "Now don't be hasty." There are some important items to comment on in the Prologue. But first, allow me to digress a the Forward.

I remember one time when I was coming out of a theater after having just seen Peter Jackson's "The Fellowship of the Ring" and I happened to overhear a group of teenagers who were analyzing the story and talking in terms of allegory and symbolism. One of the kids was explaining to his friends that the ring represented the atomic bomb and proceeded to elaborate on the parallels of the story to events that took place during World War II.

This kind of thing really irks me because it's a myth that's been recycled for years. No, the ring does not represent the A-bomb. After all, the bulk of the plot was written prior to August 1945 (as documented in Tolkien's early drafts) before anyone outside the highest levels of the U.S. government had even known about the bomb. And Mordor is not supposed to be Nazi Germany, and Sauron was not Hitler and the Fellowship does not represent the Allies in WWII.

Tolkien himself states in the Forward to the Second Edition (published in 1965) that the events in the book do not correspond to actual historical events and he expressed his annoyance over such theories.
"As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. [emphasis mine] It is neither allegorical or topical."
He also points out that the crucial chapter "The Shadow of the Past" which lays out a sketch of the story's main premise - that of the power of the ring and need for its destruction - was written prior to 1939 and the outbreak of the Second World War. In any event, by his own words, Tolkien was no fan of allegory. As he continues in the Forward:
"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author".
In other words, if readers finds aspect of the story applicable to real history then it is a creation of the reader himself, not the author.

As my friend, Robert, mentions in the comments below, the story in actuality is not nearly as applicable to World War II as one might think. Tolkien explains:
"The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, than certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dur would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves."
It may sound like I'm picking nits here but I don't mind if someone likes to compare the Council of Elrond to the United Nations. However, I can't stand it when they insist that such a comparison originates with Tolkien. Grrrrrrrr.

Anyway, let's turn now to the Prologue. The Prologue is necessary for two reasons:
  1. To bring the reader up to speed if he has not read The Hobbit, and
  2. To clarify some continuity issues caused by the first publication of that work which subsequently led to its revision
Assuming the reader is not familiar with the original adventure of Bilbo Baggins, she would need to acquaint herself with exactly what a Hobbit was, where they lived and what their origins were. Tolkien does this in a way that sets himself up as a "narrator" of sorts who is merely the translator of the story, which is from Bilbo Baggins' chronicle of the War of the Ring called the Red Book of Westmarch. This style allows the reader to view the tale as something out of our own prehistory and helps establish a connection between Middle-Earth and the world we know today.

It is here that Tolkien gives a little back story to the creation of the Shire, the culture of the Hobbits, their general rules of living and their lack of desire to venture out into the larger world around them. The Shire is a pastoral and idyllic society that soon enough will be jolted by major events. But Tolkien begins his epic tale from the point of view of the Hobbits, a race of beings completely at peace and unaware of the danger from which they are sheltered. Perhaps you recall the scene in the Green Dragon from the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring where Ted Sandyman gives a warning to Frodo, Sam and the Old Gaffer: "Well, it's none of our concern what goes on beyond our borders. Keep your nose out of trouble, and no trouble will come to you."

This is the setting into which we enter when we at last arrive at the "long-expected party" in Chapter One.

The other bit of housekeeping that Tolkien deals with is the finding of the Ring. The Ring itself is the linchpin of the entire story and the tale of how it came into Bilbo's possession is critical. However, once the story of Gollum and the riddle game underneath the Misty Mountains is told Tolkien makes a clarification that clears up an inconsistency with the original version of The Hobbit. When the author's first book was published, the story fleshed out in the fifth chapter, "Riddles In The Dark", was much different that the version that appeared in versions published after The Lord of the Rings.

In the original story, while Bilbo does find the Ring and when he encounters Gollum the stakes of the riddle game are quite different. Gollum promises a "present" to Bilbo if he wins - intending that present to be his Ring. When Bilbo does win - on a technicality of course - a disappointed Gollum agrees to give over the Ring but is embarrassed to discover he cannot find it (because Bilbo already has it). As a consolation prize, Gollum agrees to show Bilbo the way out of the Mountains.

In the Prologue, Tolkien explains to the reader that this version was what Bilbo told to the dwarves and Gandalf and still remains in early versions of the tale (as supposedly written by Bilbo in the Red Book of Westmarch). The real version - he says - is the more malevolent one in which Gollum intends to kill Bilbo using the Ring and curses Baggins as a thief for stealing his "precious".

But the change from the original story does serve a purpose as it lays the foundation for a better understanding of the nature of the Ring's power. The fact that Bilbo lied about the finding of the Ring to his companions illustrates how the desire for the Ring corrupts those who possess it. Bilbo Baggins, a normally honest hobbit, not only resorted to hiding the truth about the Ring but probably rationalized to himself that it was in fact a present from Gollum. He was not really a thief, after all. Tolkien states, in fact, that Gandalf did not believe Bilbo's original story and found it strange enough to begin to take an interest in the Ring. This would begin the wizard's inquiry into its history which led him to his eventual discovery that it was the One Ring.

Needless to say, the hold that the Ring had on Gollum led to his pursuit of it which in turn will lead to his capture in Mordor. The two words that Sauron's minions are able to torture out of him are "Shire" and "Baggins" - which are the only two pieces of information related to the Ring's whereabouts that the Nazgul are able to use in hunting for the Ring. And the rest is history.

One other matter of note is included at the end of the Prologue, in smaller typeset, discusses the evolution of the Shire records. Throughout the passage, there are references to people and events that a new reader would not recognize. This obviously serves as an explanation for the material that is included at the end in the Appendices. Tolkien lays out a bit of the history of the Red Book, how it was copied and the materials preserved to become the book we all know and love today. Having already mentioned Meriadoc Brandybuck and his study of the history of pipe-weed, the author makes mention of the following characters: Master Samwise (Gamgee), Thain Peregrin (Pippin), King Elessar (Aragorn), Steward Faramir, Celeborn and Galadriel. There are also references to Rohan, Gondor and the remaining for some time of Elrond's sons in Rivendell after Elrond departed over the sea. Returning readers share a unique perspective here because of their familiarity with the fates of these characters who have not yet been introduced.

So now that we're all up to speed, we can "jump right in" to Chapter One...

(revised 8/2/06)


Introduction: The Fellowship of the Ring

Every journey begins with a single step. The LOTR represents many things. But first and foremost, it is the tale of a journey (or many journeys, fused together at one point and broken apart at another). Reading this epic story for me has always been a "journey" - one that takes me into Middle-Earth for a couple of months out of each year.

I pursue that journey to a place that seems as real as any other that I'm familiar with. And reading about these same characters each time is like visiting old friends. It's like I'm along for this journey and opening the front cover of "The Lord of the Rings" is like taking that first step. As Bilbo Baggins counseled his heir, Frodo: "It's a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

I think perhaps because the start of the journey is so exciting for me that "The Fellowship of the Ring" has always been my favorite of the three books. It's like dipping your toe into a cold stream to test the waters and then gradually going in deeper and deeper to get used to the temperature. Tolkien starts his "magnum opus" quite slowly. It's easier to savor the experience as he starts in the Shire and introduces the reader to a very small and unique part of the world of Middle-Earth - from the hobbits' point of view.

Soon enough, all hell is going to break loose and the larger picture will become clearer. But at the start, the author is quite content to focus on simpler matters "concerning hobbits". We, the readers, start off blithely unaware and unconcerned about the evil brewing in Mordor (and beginning to fester at Isengard). There is plenty of time for worrying about all that later.

So now it begins...J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"...

We shall begin with the Prologue.

(revised 7/24/06)

Questions and Answers...

Throughout the course of making these entries, I've received quite a few questions about the comments I've made as well as subjects that I hadn't covered. I made an effort to address every one of them and have included all of them (with my answers) here in the order that I got them:

Lord Floppington asks:
Back in Chapter 2, you noted how the personality, or qualities, of an individual may be a factor in how the Ring affects that individual, along with several examples from Tom Shippey. This might square with your notion of Tom [Bombadil] as an infallible ideal type who doesn't have weaknesses to be exploited by the Ring. Therefore, to him it remains just a pretty trinket without any magical powers.

Tom's immunity to the Ring begs the question of why he didn't just keep it or destroy it himself, and put an end to all the suffering that follows. Of course, then we wouldn't have the books to enjoy, but do you have thoughts on other reasons?

Tolkien Geek:
That's a very good question. First, because he has no desire for power I don't think it holds any attraction for it. And Tom seems to care little for ornate things like jewelry - seeing them merely as trinkets. He probably understands - as Gandalf does - that he can't just take it from Frodo. And Frodo never offers it to him. Tom seems to have his focus on things of the natural world - like his water lillies for Goldberry.

It did come up at "The Council of Elrond" as an idea to give the ring to Tom for safekeeping, but Gandalf expressed his concern that Tom would not understand the need to guard it safely and he wouldn't be able to withstand an attack by the forces of Sauron.

As for destroying it, he had no means to do so - save throwing it into the fires of Mt. Doom. It is unlikely that he - even with his powers - would be able to accomplish this.

Glorfindel also remarks that "I think that in the end, if all else in conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First; and then night will come (FOTR, p. 279).

No, the irony is that despite Tom's seeming to be superfluous to the whole story, his presence does make a significant difference in the end. As we see in Chapter 8.

Lord Floppington asks:
At that time of one of the Nazgul coming to Dain, had Sauron already captured Gollum? Hadn't he learned about the involvement of a hobbit that way? Or I guess if I read more carefully, was it that the Nazgul/Sauron already knew a hobbit was involved, and were asking instead, with hobbits in mind, if the dwarves knew any. I don't recall if Gollum knew Bilbo had been traveling with dwarves, or how long after Bilbo made off with the ring Gollum managed to leave his caves to search for it.

Also, the info from Elrond, involving the Witch-king defeating Arnor, gathering the other Nazgul, taking them south to Mordor, capturing those cities and killing the king of Gondor in that challenge, was all of that stuff in the chapter and I missed it, or is that information from other materials that you're using to help us fill in the blanks with a little more detail?

Tolkien Geek:
In Book 1, Chapter 2 (The Shadow of the Past) Gandalf recounts his encounter with Gollum and how he sweated out of him as much as he could concerning his finding of the Ring. He doesn't say how long Gollum waited before looking for the it after Bilbo "acquired" it. But remember it is a period of seventeen years between Chapters 1 and 2. It seems Gollum searched far and wide but was ultimately drawn to Mordor where - under duress - he revealed his encounter with a "Baggins". Sauron now knew for sure that the Ring has been found and somehow learned that this Baggins was a hobbit - a race which he was not yet at all familiar. Gollum did not know of Bilbo's association with the dwarves, (see update) but Sauron likely puts Gollum's info together with other bits and pieces that he had learned from Orcs, perhaps. Then he sends out a Ringwraith to make some inquiries.

[UPDATE: P.A. Beault points out the following regarding Gollum's knowledge of Bilbo's association with the Dwarves:

"In Chapter 5 of The Hobbit, Bilbo mentions the dwarves and Gandalf (though not by name) when he first encounters Gollum:

'What iss he, my precious?' whispered Gollum...

'I am Mister Bilbo Baggins. I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don't know where I am; and I don't want to know, if only I can get away.'"

Good call! - END UPDATE]

From The Tale of Years (Appendix B):
- all dates Third Age -
2941 - Bilbo meets Gollum, leaves Misty Mountains with Ring
2944 - Gollum leaves the Misty Mountains to search for "Baggins", the "thief"(so he held out for three years)
2951 - Gollum turns toward Mordor
2980 - Gollum reaches the outskirts of Mordor, becomes acquainted with Shelob
3001 - Bilbo's farewell party
3009 - Gollum actually enters Mordor
3017 - Gollum is released from Mordor
3017 - 3018 - At some point not specified, a messenger from Sauron contacts Dain and the Dwarves
October 25, 3018 - Council of Elrond

With regard to the fall of Arnor and Gondor, Elrond gives a general overview at the council but not much as much detail as I wrote. That is stuff from Appendices A & B (as well as other resources).

Anonymous asks:
At the end of [Chapter Six], Aragorn says something like: "Arwen vanimelda, namarie!" (I don't have the text in front of me). I know who Arwen is, and I have namarie figured out- what does "vanimelda" mean?

Tolkien Geek:
According to this website:, "vanimelda" means Lady Beloved, dear.

On this site:, if you scroll down to common adjectives - vanima means "beautiful, fair", so I would take the first translation as pretty much right on.

P.A. Breault asks:
It's been a while since I've read those books, but weren't the Undying Lands sundered from the world because the Numenoreans (counseled by Sauron)defied the Valar's ban and set foot on the Land?

Tolkien Geek:
Yes, you're right. During the Second Age, the Numenoreans grew jealous of the Elves immortality and were "seduced" by Sauron into rebelling against the ban that the Valar imposed on them going to Valinor. Sauron assumed a much more pleasing form back then.

Lord Floppington asks:
Could/did Galadriel foresee Boromir's falling to the lust for the Ring? Did she suspect him? You would think she would take action if she did, but a lot of store seems to be placed in fate or doom or destiny, such as in the case of pity for Gollum leaving him alive to finish the Ring at the end. I guess I wonder if she knew or suspected, but as the wisest also knew that it would be better to let things play out.

Tolkien Geek:
Tolkien never explicitly states the Galadriel "knows" whether or not Boromir will try and take the Ring. Although Peter Jackson certainly believed that to be that case. In the film, Galadriel says to Frodo "He will try to take the Ring. You know of whom I speak."

I think we can assume that because Galadriel is able to read the minds of the Fellowship, she certainly knows that the idea of taking the Ring has entered Boromir's mind. His mind is focused on it. But perhaps even Boromir does not yet suspect that he will go to such lengths. Boromir, I believe, is a good man at heart and rationalizes to himself that he can yet persuade Frodo to come with him to Gondor.

Clint asks:
So, what's going on here with Sam and the Ring??

(1) After all of Frodo's unwillingness to use it, and Sauron's attention being drawn accurately enough to send orcs and the Nazgul when Frodo puts it on briefly after the confrontation with Boromir, I would have thought that wearing it this close to Sauron would, at least, give the game away -- sending all the hordes of Mordor marching for Cirith Ungol.

(2) What's with understanding orcish? Part of the Ring's (unused) power of Command? Some sort of affinity with Sauron? Something to do with how he twisted elves into orcs (did he use the Ring for that?)?

(3) If Sam had simply spoken and commanded the orcs to do something, while wearing the ring, what would have happened??

Tolkien Geek:
There's an especially good website that fields particularly difficult questions such as this. With regard to Sam's wearing of the Ring in such close proximity to Mordor, this is their take on it:
"Frodo had grown, and his wearing the Ring was a *Significant Event* in Sauron's eye. By contrast, Sam, who had never been tempted by the Ring, was humble and seemingly nearly immune to the Ring's corruption. He is almost like Bombadil, in the sense that both are uninterested in Power – Sam dismisses his brief daydream of Samwise the Strong with little effort, and yields the Ring relatively easily to Frodo, hesitating only because he is unwilling to burden Frodo with it again. So Sam probably was no more visible to Sauron than if a rabbit had accidentally eaten the Ring."
The link
is here.

As far as the ability to understand Orcish by wearing the Ring, it's not out of the realm of possibility that this is part of it's power. Remember, putting on the Ring puts you in the "wraith" world where your sense's are altered. Here Sam's hearing is intensified and as is his ability to "see" what is around him. Tolkien does not address this topic in any of his letters or writing notes, so we can only speculate. If you want my personal opinion, I think Tolkien created this ability out of necessity. How else would Sam find out that Frodo is still alive and that they are taking him to the top of the tower?

Anonymous asks:
How is it that Sauron could show Denethor Frodo trapped in the tower, yet not find the ring? It would seem that if he knew Frodo was trapped, he would have sent the Nazgul there right away, and when they did not find the ring on Frodo, would have found Sam eventually...just seems impression was that Sauron did not know about Frodo/Sam until it was much too late.

Tolkien Geek:
Why should Sauron send a Nazgul to Cirith Ungol to find the Ring? It never occured to him that the captured hobbit would have it. The idea of someone bringing the Ring to Mordor and destroying it never entered his mind. When the Orcs captured Frodo, they were looking for "spies" that may have secretly entered Mordor, not a hobbit who might have the Ring.

When Sauron showed this vision to Denethor (among all the others), he thought he was showing him that one of his "spies" had been captured. It was just another in a series of visions designed to drive the Steward of Gondor to despair. Denethor assumed that Sauron now had the Ring because he knew of his quest. But Sauron didn't.

Lyndsey asks:
Tolkien Geek, you seem to know the film versions of this book pretty well too, so I wonder if you could help me? I've been trying for ages to notice if anyone in the new line films has eyes that are not blue or green (I've been looking but always get distracted) if they are all blue can you tell me if this is something that occurs in the books? I've not read them of late and I don't have the time at present. You'd be solving a great puzzle for me and possibly providing me a topic for my Master's dissertation... thank you very much. :) Lyndsey

Tolkien Geek:
Lyndsey, it does seem odd that so many of the actors in the films have "fair" eyes. Not all do, however. Christopher Lee (Saruman) and John Rys-Davies (Gimli) have brown eyes (to name two off the top of my head). I'm sure there are others.

I think part of the explanation has to do with the fact that most of the actors hail from Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Each of these countries are highly populated by people of Northern European stock. As such, there is naturally an over representation of green and blue eyes among the inhabitants. As I recall, in the commentaries of one of the films, either Peter Jackson or Phillipa Boyens made reference to this but only in that it was a coincidence.

To my knowledge there is no mention of particular eye color for any specific characters in the books - though Elves in general are mentioned as having grey eyes (see next question below). As a topic for a dissertation, I'm afraid that this would be fruitless. Sorry

Anonymous asks:
Does any canonical book about the middle earth say anything about elves having pointy ears?

Tolkien Geek:
It seems the only place that Tolkien describes the physicality of Elves in general is in Appendix F towards the end:
"They were a race high and beautiful, the older Children of the world, and among them the Eldar were as kings, who now are gone: the people of the Great Journey, the People of the Stars. They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finarfin; and their voices had more melodies than any mortal voice that now is heard."

Nary a word about the ears.

However, Tolkien does have a passage in Letter No. 27 of "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" (page 35 of the paperback edition). In the second paragraph, Tolkien says in describing Hobbits:

"A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'..."

Now the questions remains if his description of Hobbit ears as "elvish" related to Elves as they have been generally accepted or "elvish" as it relates to the Elves of Middle-Earth.

Most of the more famous illustrators drew Elves with pointed ears but this was after Tolkien's death in 1973. My instincts tell me that when he conceived of Elves he was thinking in terms that resembled humans. But you'd think he would ascribe some specific quality that distinguished them from the race of Men. Seeing as he clearly envisioned hobbits with "slighty pointed" ears, it stands to reason that if he did not intend his Elves to have pointed ears then he would have explicitly "pointed" that out (pun intended).

So the short answer is no there is no specific canonical reference to pointy ears for Elves. But by the same token I see no reason to think that he didn't see Elves as pointy eared in his own vision of that race.

Rob asks:
Why can't Sauron and the Nazgul detect Bilbo's use of the ring? I have not read the books in quite a while--can they even do this at all in the books? I remember them being able to but perhaps I am mistaken.

Tolkien Geek:
I take your question to mean why can't Sauron or the Nazgul tell when Bilbo puts the Ring on at his birthday party (or even prior to this event). It's a simple question that can only have a complicated answer.

In neither Tolkien's "Fellowship of the Ring" nor Peter Jackson's film version is there an explicit indication to the reader/audience that Bilbo's brief use of the Ring at the party was detected by Mordor. That doesn't necessarily mean that this went unnoticed. In both cases, it was more of a case of effective story-telling.

First, the book. One major deviation between Tolkien's and Jackson's version is the beginning of "Fellowship". In the book, Bilbo's party takes place seventeen years prior to Frodo's striking out for Rivendell with the Ring. In Appendix B, the date of the party is September 22nd in the year 3001, Third Age. Frodo begins his journey exactly seventeen years later in September 3018. Now let's consider what happens in the gap.

In 3001, though Sauron had regained much of his former strength and it had become common knowledge that he had reoccupied Mordor and was rebuilding Barad-Dur, he still had no real knowledge of the Ring's fate since it had been cut from his hand by Isildur. He had no reason to believe for sure that the Ring still existed. When Bilbo slipped on the Ring at his party and removed It upon entering Bag End (a span of only a few minutes), it is likely that Sauron stirred and thought "Oh my, is that my Ring I detect...or is it just gas?". It certainly would have caught him off guard. But then, Tolkien could not report on anything like this because in Chapter One we still do not yet realize the Ring's true importance. All the details of Its history would come in Chapter Two "Shadows of the Past".

It was only some years later, when Gollum entered Mordor (around 3009, according to Appendix B), that Sauron was able to confirm that the Ring had in fact been found and was in the possession of someone named "Baggins". Not until the summer of 3018 did Sauron release the Nazgul on a reconaissance mission to find the Ring's whereabouts. Tolkien was big on dragging things out over years and even decades.

Now, the film. For cinematic purposes, it was necessary for Jackson to yank that seventeen year gap out of the story. But again, our first hint that Sauron is aware of the Ring is when Gandalf discusses with Frodo the fact that Gollum had knowledge of Its existence and likely spilled the beans to Sauron under conditions of extreme duress - the whole "Shire" "Baggins" routine. So, again, if Sauron had detected Bilbo's wearing of the Ring at his party it would have seemed strange without having all the other info. It would have seemed kind of incongruous.

Actually, Peter Jackson introduced the whole concept of Sauron's awareness of the Ring much earlier in the story than Tolkien did. In the movie version, Frodo falls into the "wraith world" at the Prancing Pony in Bree and we see the great Eye staring at Frodo with a disembodied voice saying "I see you". In the book, Tolkien makes no mention of this. Frodo simply disappears (unintentionally) and then reappears. Tolkien implies in the book that Frodo's putting on the Ring attracted the Nazgul to Bree but he doesn't really go into the details. He never had a Frodo/Sauron moment until Frodo puts on the Ring to escape from Boromir and climbs to the top of Amon Hen. This is described in Chapter Ten of Book Two "The Breaking of the Fellowship":

"And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of this gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was."

Keep in mind, at this point he is much closer geographically to Mordor than Bilbo was when he was in the Shire - a land of beings (hobbits) that was virtually unknown to the outside world.
So now the short answer: Sauron and/or the Nazgul may very well have been aware of Bilbo's use of the Ring. We just don't read about it or see it because it wouldn't have been the right time to introduce Sauron. Or it could well have been that because the existence of the Ring was still unknown to the Dark Lord and his minions that It was not so easily detectable. I'll let you be the judge.

Next Question...


Abbreviation Guide...

For the sake of brevity (and laziness) I will often abbreviate certain names and terms in the posts. Hope the following eliminates some confusion:

LOTR = The Lord of the Rings
FOTR = The Fellowship of the Ring
TTT = The Two Towers
ROTK = The Return of the King

Bk = Book (as in Book One, Book Two, etc...)
Ch = Chapter
App = Appendix

JRRT = J.R.R. Tolkien
PJ = Peter Jackson

This list will grow as the need arises.


So how exactly do you "blog" The Lord of the Rings?

Good question. Basically, I'm going to read each chapter and reflect on a number of things that come to mind and write them down. It's going to be a very personal account of my reading of the books that will include what I like most and least about the story, the characters, the pacing, etc.

I plan on bringing in other materials from writings by Tolkien as well as writings about Tolkien. I'll probably even discuss interesting details from the History of Middle-Earth series about the book's development and how everything came to be in its final form.

It's a tall order, I know. And the audience is limited. But first and foremost it'll be chronicle of my experience reading it. My two biggest hopes are that the task doesn't turn out to be more pain than pleasure and that it won't consume so much of my time that I neglect the other important things in family, my other blog and the NFL season.