March into Middle-earth: Fellowship of the Ring, Part I

Rinn Reads has dedicated March to be March Into Middle-Earth month and she’s got a few great posts coming out for it! She’s also going to publish a great conversation we’ve had so you should show her some love.

Part One of the Fellowship of the Ring

I’m going with Rinn’s format as well and writing a few things I’ve noticed just from these chapters. My posts might be spoilery so if you don’t like that, sorry folks.

  1. Tom Bombadil is bad ass. No but seriously, I love him. He’s hilarious and so weird. So weird. I don’t know what to think of him to be honest and Tolkien doesn’t tell us too much about his character or his origin story in his appearance in FotR. I was very interested in his power- he has a degree of sway over the trees in the forest as well as the animals and the Ring never tempted or swayed him. Plus the way he describes food, ugh, so amazing (yellow cream and white bread and honey, ugh, hungry).
  2. Hobbit Economy: what- how do hobbits make money? I know that for his birthday, Bilbo gave a way a number of gifts and Tolkien described that even some of the poorer hobbits made out well such as Sam’s Gaffer. What I want to know is why are there even poor hobbits? They seem to make much of what they eat so few things need to be actually purchased. Is there hobbit money? Do they use a barter system? I really want to know how the heck they get stuff! I’m terribly curious.
  3. Why are hobbits afraid of water? To me it should be instinctual to them in a way because they, well the Took’s and Brandybuck’s anyway, grow up next to a lake. Why won’t they swim?
  4. I’m so glad that Frodo had Merry, Pippin, Fatty and Sam there with him, he’d literally have died. But beyond that, it is a testament to their friendship and I like that each brings something beautiful and useful to their group. Sam is quiet and a team player, but he is caring about animals and makes sure that provisions are always in order- you need a worrier in a group or you’d all starve. Pippin is the comedic entry into group, you need someone who will make you laugh! Merry brings a lot of wisdom to it- I don’t know how but he’s an undercover smarty pants, he has great knowledge of lore and nature but also a great deal of common sense. He’s a bit different from his film character to say the least! Now we get to the leader of the bunch, Frodo. I’ve got mixed feelings about Frodo, I never know what to do think of him? He’s stoic and smart and uncommonly brave. He also relies on Sam way too much and whines a ton but that’s another can of worms that I don’t want to get into at the moment.

Rewatching Fellowship of the Ring in Tweets

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So these are just a few notes from Part One. Check out Rinn’s page because we have a great and terribly long conversation that I think you’ll like!

NameClaire

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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10 Responses to March into Middle-earth: Fellowship of the Ring, Part I

  1. JUST REPLYING TO THIS SUPER LATE I’M SORRY

    We should write some sort of academic paper on the hobbit economy. I WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER.

    Not all hobbits are afraid of water – there are three ‘types’ of hobbits, and I think it’s the Stoors that like to use boats. Brandybucks are Stoors, which is why Merry knows all about the Ferry and the crossings.

  2. Briana says:

    I love Tom Bombadil. I get maybe he wouldn’t translate well to screen (hard to make those yellow boots seem all serious and epic), but he’s definitely underrated. The One Ring has absolutely no influence on him. That’s amazing willpower, and amazing contentedness with the things and power he already has. i really admire him as a character.

  3. Ah I love Tom Bombadil too!!
    huh- never thought of hobbit money before. I guess a lot of them are farmers and own land.
    I don’t know maybe they’re landlovers- I guess it puts them in contrast to the River Folk.
    great post!!

  4. imyril says:

    Oh, Tom Bombadil. I have such mixed feelings about Tom Bombadil. Tom who was First (and when he talks about it and you map it to the Silmarillion, he’s not kidding), but WHERE DID HE COME FROM? Srsly. Who made you is such a big deal in the Silmarillion, but there’s Tom dancing and singing and picking water lilies la la la. Is he an embodiment of Illuvatar? Because… well, that pretty much makes Illuvatar an asshat. An awful lot goes down on his watch.

    I sort of have him pegged as a Maia who just doesn’t get involved, although other Maiar being pretty damn tempted by the Ring. But if he was First of the Maiar it sort of makes sense.

    But I do have a soft spot for this sequence, even though it gets cut from every dramatisation ever for being inexplicable and weird. I love the atmosphere in the Old Forest (and how Old Man Willow makes sense once you meet Fangorn) and how frigging creepy the Barrow Downs are.

    …I’d forgotten how awesome Merry is in the books. I can understand Mr Jackson wanting comedic relief (and Pippin doesn’t give that much in the text) to offset all the tension, but I miss that all the hobbits are less competent in the film. I also like that Merry could be any gender, and I’m totally rereading this time with Merry as she/her or they/them. I suspect this will change the dynamic with Eowyn a wee bit, but not in a bad way 🙂

    • Claire says:

      That’s TERRIBLY Interesting about Merry. HMMM. HMMMMM. Merry could be read as any gender in a way- I think you’re quite right! He has a sensibility to him that I like and he comes off as kind of daft… fiesty but daft in the films where as Film Pippin is just plain stupid where as in the books he is quite brave if a bit funny and flippant! He can also be a bit mean to Sam in the books too or that might be my sensitivity…

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