To be honest right at the moment I’m pretty excited. Since yesterday I have 10 followers absolutely unknown to me, I’m writing my first post in English (so please excuse my mistakes) and it is about one of my favourite books.
When I first read this grand novel I was just 11 years old, with 3 months to my twelefth birthday. It was January and I talked with my dad about fictious languages. Somehow we also started to talk about middelearth – till then I only knew “the Hobbit” – and we made a deal: I was allowed to watch the movies when I had read the books. Could there be anything more horative? Probably not.
I finished reading with the age of 12 years and a week and since then I’m (a bit) addicted to this novel. I even wanted to learn Elvish! Held one presentation about it in 7th grade and another in 12th grade concerning this brilliant score by Howard Shore. I don’t have to tell you that I also read “the Simarillion”, do I?
For those who have missed this foundation stone of modern fantasy literature until now (ok, C.S. Lewis wrote about the same time, but in my opinion “Narnia” is far to affected by Christian faith to be a basis for books based on northern mythology) comes now a short summary of the complete story of all 6 books (yes, I know, there are only three movies, but they followed the usually published volumes of the novel – not the actual books):
When his uncle Bilbo Baggins (known from “the Hobbit – there and back again”) in the age of 111 decides to travel again, Frodo Baggins does not only inherit his hobbit hole, but also a strange ring, that Bilbo brought home from his journey to the Lonely Mountain. Then 17years nearly nothing happens, until the wizard Gandalf, an old friend of the family, shows up and explains to Frodo that his ring was the ONE RING, made by the Dark Lord Sauron. So Frodo has to leave the Shire, a wonderful place to live like in Southengland about the beginning of last century and to travel to Rivendell where the halfelv Elrond should be asked about what to do with it. Of course his cousins Meriadoc (Merry, later master of leave lore) and Peregrin (Pippin) and his gardener Samwise (Sam) aswell accompany him. On the way they also meet a ranger called “Strider”, actually Aragorn, Arathorns son and therefore rightfull heir the huge kingdom Gondor. But a walk of at least 3 weeks through the wild is far to relaxing, so that they’re also followed by the nine ring wraights, former mortal men (ever damned to die), serving Sauron and searching for the ring bearer.
for all trying to read the novel one advice: Once you come to Bree everything will be easier – if you don’t come to Bree, you’d better forget about your plans
In Rivendell they meet Bilbo again and it’s decided that the ring should be destroyed and nine companions are to accomplish this impossible task: all of the 4 hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn, the stewards son Boromir, the elv Legolas and Gimli the dwarf. And so it goes on with the burdensome meander through middleearth: one have to be aware of orcs, nazgul (ring wraights) and also of Gandalf’s boss Saruman who prefers to cooperate with Sauron – the worst idea he ever had. On their way they lose Gandalf in the mines of Moria, visit the grandparents of Aragorn fiancée in Lothlorien, are followed by Gollum, attacked by orcs and finally break the fellowship of the ring.
From now on Frodo and Sam go to Mordor, have Gollum, addicted to the ring, as their leader, find the black gate closed, meet Faramir, Boromirs younger brother and have a date with a foul big spider when entering Mordor (content of book 4). Meantime Merry and Pippin are hobbitnapped by orcs of Saruman after Boromir’s death, escape, get to know the ent Fangorn, destroy Saruman’s home and are searched by Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, who find Gandalf again and help the Rohirim to survive the attack of Saruman’s army. (book 3).
The rest of the novel are just to big battles (book 5) and the part, which everyone should know: “Throw the ring into the fire”. Happy End. Aragorn becomes king, is allowed to marry Elrond’s daughter Arwen and the hobbits return to the Shire where they live ever happy after.
But no, that isn’t the whole truth: Saruman escapes is imprisonment in his own tower and starts to destroy the Shire, so when they return, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin have to free it – luckily there now quite able to do so.
And this is not the only example. Unfortunately there is quite a lot you would miss, when you don’t read the book:
– Tom Bombadil
– the Pukmen
– the fact, that the only romantic kiss described is actually between Faramir and Eowyn
– many funny scenes and dialogues, for example Merry asking Aragorn for his pipe just after awakenig from his sleep due to killing the king of nazgul
– Merry and Theoden king
By now I’ve read the novel three times and it gets better and better the more knowledge I have and can compare LOR to other fantasy epics. As a fantasy fan you should have read it, too!
But don’t forget:
One book to rule them all, one book to find them,
one book to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
Till then: Try to get to Bree and enjoy a language which brings you more far away from home than you would ever expect…