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Beliowen

Seeing it all in a different light

Rating: 8 votes, 3.63 average.
It's been a year since I last jotted my thoughts on a blog. As some of you may know the last year has been pretty hectic for me, and I have been promising myself that when the opportunity comes, I will reread 'The Lord of the Rings'. That opportunity at last presented itself last week, when I got a 3 week break during the course of my Masters degree.

Now, you might think that I was eager to get stuck into the book once again. But much to my dismay I realised that my 12 year old book which has been gathering quite a lot of dust and the pages have turned yellow. As a bibliophile that is one of the worst things that can happen to my book (besides once dropping a mug of tea all over the Fellowship of the Ring). Since I suffer from hay fever, the first attempts at turning a few pages where interspersed with quite a few sneezes.

After 7 days, and a long weekend, an hour ago I finished book 1. And my my, what a journey it has been. I can now read the trilogy with a completely different mindset to the way I read it over a decade ago. In all my previous attempts, I would be at my wits end when it comes to dealing with the Old Forest, I finally understand more about Tom Bombadil.

I was recently asked to answer a few questions for a local magazine about JRR Tolkien. These questions lead me to think more about the impact these works had on my life (besides the plaza and meeting all you lovely people!).

From Book 1 of the Fellowship of the Ring I have had the following thoughts -

1) I am really not so very different from a hobbit! While I am admittedly on the short side, I am obsessed with geneaology, and love giving gifts more than receiving them. I do also care a lot about my food.

2) I found myself feeling sorry for Fredegar Bolger, when I also recalled on experiences I missed. Fatty will not go down in legend as one of the hobbits on the quest, but he did have the opportunity to do so should he have wanted. I have now recalled experiences which I decided to pass on just because I was scared.

3) Just like a hobbit, I am extremely attached to my home country and more particularly my home town. But unless you broaden your mind to beyond the borders you're missing out on quite a lot of things.

4) I envy the elves being able to take a ship and leave all the troubles in Middle-Earth behind. With all these troubles you hear about, close and far away from home, sometimes you just feel letting everything go and seeking pastures new where you know the same kind of trouble can't follow you. A pity it's not possible.

Re-reading the book has been eye opening. There is so much stuff I missed! Have any of you read book 1 recently? Any thoughts about it! Please do share!

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Comments

  1. corlisswyn's Avatar
    I don't re-read the books in the sense of beginning the journey again, but I do find myself going back to favorite passages, and newer favorite passages I hadn't considered before. I always tell people that if they want to truly appreciate the Lord of the Rings, they must read it three times--the first time is about the Ring and its eventual return to the Fires of Mt Doom. The Second is to start getting a real glimpse to the worldbuilding that Tolkien excelled at, and to understand the journey of Aragorn. The third is to find the intricacies of the Rohirrim, the histories and lore of the elves, and to truly fall in love with Middle Earth.
  2. Ista Sharrasi's Avatar
    I think it is time to delve into the mines of Moria again, walk the halls of Rohan, and wonder at the trees of Lothlorien. :) Thank you for reminding me why I love this world, and giving me the thought to read myself into it again!
  3. Gerontian's Avatar
    I just finished re-reading LOTR about a week ago. I first read the books when I was a freshman in college, many years ago. I was enthralled all over, again. I went on to read J.R.R.Tolkein, Author of the Century, and several online articles about Professor Tolkien. I feel as enthusiastic about the stories and their author as ever I was, perhaps even more.

    I. too, have always been a bit of a hobbit. When I first joined the Plaza, years ago, my persona was an elderly hobbit. I think I shall change my name back to what it once was, especially after re-connecting with Bilbo and the rest.

    This is the first time I read the blogs. So much has changed, but the books remain as solid as ever. Thanks for sharing your thoughts..I feel so very much the same.
  4. Beliowen's Avatar
    Corlisswyn - I think that the first experience will always be the best. It is after all eye opening. It's like opening a photo album of a well loved adventure! You start remembering things you may have forgotten, see things that make a lot more sense! I would have to agree with you on the number of times the book needs to reread! The sheer volume of the books and not enough time make it a bit tough!

    Ista- you're welcome!

    Gerontian -an old hobbit persona it is! I think over time, while I may not be as 'fanatical' as I was when I first read them, I've become a lot more appreciative and connected to them.
  5. Finduilas Faelivrin's Avatar
    I recently re-joined the Plaza after a few years' hiatus (our family went through a big change when we moved back to the USA after 21 years of living in Scotland). I took on the job of full time carer for my elderly mother in law after we moved in with her and we took on the challenge of returning my husband's boyhood home back to a place that could be lived in again. Imagine a crippled old lady (her words) living in a house will no help for over a decade. After five years, we're still repairing things, but we haven't seen a mouse for at least six months.

    It's nice to realize that some things change and some things stay the same, no matter where you live or what's going on in your life. There will still be a Fellowship which each of us can be a part of. I will still like the 10th member, as I believe Tolkien somehow meant me to feel. The Council of Elrond will still go on forever. The Ring will still go south. Those nasty Orcs will still turn up at the most inopportune times. Boromir will still die, no matter how many times I hope against all hope that he'll make it this time. Gondor will still call for aid. Rohan will still answer. Sam will still be my hero. Aragorn will still be the King at the end.

    I took a long time to read the books all the way through for the first time, because I had to pause and close my eyes just to picture the scenery that JRRT had laid out. I had to pause and cry over Sam and what a good friend he was. I had to stop and catch my breath many times and wanted to slow down to make the book last longer.

    I've been feeling the same as you - that I should go back and read the books in full again. It's been over 10 years since I've read them (although I do have all of my books by and about the Professor, which I read to keep me in the loop, so to speak). I discovered the story late in life, after the first film came out. I thought it was a beautiful film, but I didn't understand it until I saw the actors' commentary for FotR. It was like the penny dropped and the scales fell off of my eyes! I needed, really NEEDED to go find some quizzes - and I found the Halls of Knowledge on the Plaza.

    I assume you've finished re-reading the books by now, Beliowen? I look forward to your next blog on the subject.
    Updated 02/Apr/2017 at 03:42 AM by Finduilas Faelivrin