(This Edition of “See? I do like fantasy!” is brought to you be J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.)
I first started to read The Fellowship of the Ring in Ninth Grade. Life intervened, as always happens when I am trying to read a long(ish) and complex book, and I stopped reading as Tom Bombadil showed up.
The next year, my friends and I in all our geekiness (or nerdiness, depending on who you ask) had a Lord of the Rings themed Halloween party. Two of my female friends at that time grabbed up Arwen and Galadriel. I felt left out. And then one of them remembered Goldberry. So, going on the paragraph of the page after I left off reading, I designed a costume for Goldberry. It was not until this year that I truly discovered her awesomeness.
I made it my mission to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy this year. And, as my brother decided for me as he set down The Simarillion by my copy of The Fellowship, I am reading that one, too.
For me, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry were by far the most intriguing characters. I really enjoyed the rest of the first book (mentally comparing it to the movies) and did like the other characters, but there is something about Bombadil and Goldberry. I want to know more about them. Tom knows tales and I wish to hear them. And Goldberry sounds fascinating– it’s wash day in the rain. She is the daughter of the river. Neither are a standard type of character– even for Middle-Earth– and I just wish there was more about them. No, I do not wish for them to bear the ring, to go on the journey for that would ruin them. But I would like to hear more about their stories– in another book. Anyone know if one exists? I’ll have to wikipedia/google it.
I love Tolkien’s descriptions. I got a bit lost with the names (but there is a map!) and I can most definitely see his Middle-English background with the tales and the names. It’s kind of fun reading it while knowing a bit of history and tales that not everyone knows about. After taking a class and Chaucer and Medieval lit, and a class on the linguistics of the English language, I saw a lot more in the book than I think I would have seen if I had fully read it at the age of 15.
The book reads like a kind, elderly man telling the tale. It’s easy to get lost in it, to get lost in the subtle nuances of letters and rhymes, and the songs of tales (another Medieval thing!) that are scattered throughout the journey’s pages. It may have taken awhile to read, but it was sure worth the effort.
And I know there are few female characters, but the few mentioned are all pretty powerful (the Sackville-Bagginses do not count). Definitely an enjoyable read overall.