Buddy Read

March into Middle-earth: The Fellowship of the Ring Buddy Read, Part Three

March Into Middle-earth

Welcome to the third part of my re-read/buddy read of The Fellowship of the Ring! If you’ve missed the previous discussions, you can find Chapters I – V here and Chapters VI – XI here. The buddy read is also taking place on my Goodreads book group, Dragons & Jetpacks if you’re interested in joining over there.

This discussion will cover Chapters XII – XVI of The Fellowship of the Ring, and will contain spoilers for the book.

  • I don’t fault Peter Jackson’s decision to add more urgency and speed up time, for example during ‘Flight to the Ford’. What is about 17 days in the book seems like less than 1 in the film, and it adds more excitement and peril – there’s not that much sense of Frodo’s life being in any particular danger otherwise.
  • I never noticed this before, perhaps because it only appears once and in passing – but Tolkien mentions that there are werewolves in Middle-earth. Are they linked to Beornings, the men who can turn into bears?
  • I forgot that Gloin was at Rivendell! It’s fun finding all the links between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are others too, like mentions of Bard the Bowman and Beorn.
  • It’s also funny to imagine the father-son dynamic between Gloin and Gimli. Gimli as the teenage son who is dragged, reluctantly, onto this road trip… and comes out of it as one of the Fellowship, as well as with a beautiful friendship.
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  • There’s also a mention of Bombur… and how he is now so fat that it takes six dwarves to lift him!
  • There was a bit of foreshadowing of what was yet to come in Moria, when it is mentioned that the dwarves do not know what has happened to Balin, Ori and Oin.
  • It was mentioned that Aragorn was not at the feast in Rivendell. My immediate thought was that he was… ‘catching up’ with Arwen, but it is later explained that he was in fact receiving news from Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond. Oh well.
  • There is a mention of Celebrimbor, one of the forgers of the One Ring, who is also a playable character in the video game Shadow of Mordor – one I’ve recently been playing. It’s quite fun to link the game into the book a bit more, rather than just the setting of Mordor and presence of orcs.
  • I remember skipping the chapter ‘The Council of Elrond’ on some read-throughs, and I now I remember why. It does drag quite a bit, and is packed full of exposition.
  • One of the bits that really made me laugh – the Council talk of how lucky it is that Gollum is safely locked away in Mirkwood, and then Legolas is like ‘Oh yeah by the way guys, he escaped! Whoops, lol’. Oh Legolas…
  • Probably what he was doing instead of sharing the important news.
    Probably what he was doing instead of sharing the important news.
  • Once again, time goes super slow and the Fellowship actually spend TWO WHOLE MONTHS in Rivendell.
  • One bit that completely disappear from my memory – the Fellowship fighting Wargs just before entering Moria! I remember this happening in the film of The Hobbit, but can’t think if it’s in the book. Was it lifted over?

How are you enjoying the book so far? Are there any parts within these chapters that you really loved?


8 thoughts on “March into Middle-earth: The Fellowship of the Ring Buddy Read, Part Three”

  1. I totally missed the werewolf reference! But I guess it’s not a big stretch from werebears.

    Bilbo and the Dwarves also fight Wargs in the book of the Hobbit – the chapter title is a reference to Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire if I recall aright 🙂

    I loved the Council of Elrond. I’m so inconsistent: usually I’m all sneery at Basil Exposition, but I totally forgive it in the Lord of the Rings 🙂

    …given I’m doing the Silmarillion cross-over, I also love that Celebrimbor is a grandson of Feanor. So he’s not only Noldor royalty and an amazing craftsman, but perhaps the Elf least willing to let some sodding Maiar gone Bad ruin his craftwork. No dice, Sauron. The sons of Feanor wouldn’t let Morgoth off the hook. Don’t expect Celebrimbor to quietly acquiesce.

    1. It’s just one tiny thing, and I bet it’s not in the other two books.

      Ah yes, that one! I think our introduction to the Wargs worked well in the films, as they come over the hill and attack the people of Rohan on the way to Helm’s Deep, so it’s probably good that they left that bit out.

  2. I always found the werewolves tidbit intriguing and wish we knew more! And I always wanted more of Elrond’s sons. They seem cool, like they should get their own spin-off.

    And the time that passes always bothers me. You have the One Ring and it needs to be destroyed and you decide to wait for two months? I realize that they were waiting for all the representatives to arrive and confer about the fate of the Ring, but it seems like there should be more urgency involved.

    1. I have a feeling that you can read more about them in one of the Histories or perhaps Unfinished Tales?

      YES EXACTLY! It’s like taking a leisurely holiday instead of a quest. 😛

  3. I totally do not remember the werewolf reference but that’s fascinating! Now I want to re reread to jog my memory! And Elladan and Elrohir -would love to know more of them. I remember running into them in LOTRO lol. But when you think about it- them, Elrond himself of course, Glorfindel- there’s some serious elven power at Rivendell.

    I’ve always like The Council of elrond, it was fascinating to hear about the machinations and the White Council and all that, although it is pages and pages of exposition. Normally I would not be cool with that. 🙂 And two months at Rivendell- you’re right, they do kinda take their time don’t they? I mean it sorta makes sense because I always got the impression that such big things were afoot that it didn’t really matter, so many pieces in motion, and they were maybe cloaked while at Rivendell in a sense (that might just be me), but then again two months is a bit of time.

    1. It’s well hidden 😉 Yes, and Rivendell seems so peaceful and almost sleepy that at times you wouldn’t really realise.

      That chapter is interesting, but when you know the history well it just gets repetitive, particularly because it’s telling, not showing.

  4. Ooh, I didn’t know you were doing a read-along! How cool!

    I’d like to hear more about the werewolves, too! I think Tolkien would have a very interesting take on werewolves, and I could take them more seriously, rather than thinking of Twilight and other paranormal romances!

    1. Yep, and I will most likely do ones for the other two books as well. 🙂

      Werewolves need their street cred back after Twilight, for sure…

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