It’s been a very long time since I last read (or started to read) The Fellowship of the Ring. I always seemed to get distracted. Then I’d not get back to it until it had been long enough that I needed to start over again. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever finished it until now.
Frodo is the nephew of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo disappears following his 111th birthday party, leaving everything—including his magical ring—to Frodo. Gandalf leaves for an extended period, only occasionally visiting over the next 15+ years. He finally returns, convinced that the ring in Frodo’s possession is the One Ring. The ring forged by Sauron thousands of years before and used by Sauron in his quest to dominate Middle-Earth. So the quest to destroy the ring begins.
The Fellowship of the Ring had interesting characters that became friends as the story progressed. For those counting tropes, Frodo was an orphan boy, raised by his uncle, just like Luke Skywalker, though this story was published almost a quarter century prior to Star Wars. However, Frodo’s a very competent fellow in his early thirties when the book starts, and 50 years old when the quest starts. A very respectable age, that, in the Shire.
I really admire the depth of the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is extremely rare to find a world so thoroughly designed and researched. This really shows through in how the story is written, as it regularly refers to historical events within Middle-Earth, even telling some of the tales in poetry and song. People could (and have) spent their entire lives studying the world of Middle-Earth.
One thing I found especially fascinating, since I recently rewatched the three Lord of the Rings films, was how many differences there were between the film and the book, The Fellowship of the Ring. While the film presented a tighter view of the story, the book allowed more time to get to know the world and the characters (and meet characters not in the film).
The one character I wish they had retained in the films was Glorfindel. Almost everything he did or said in the book was given to Arwen in the film. He was an interesting and powerful character (you don’t find out just how powerful until The Return of the King) who added a lot to the story. I would have loved to learn more about him in the book, too, though his appearances were scattered and brief.
I really enjoyed The Fellowship of the Ring. Rob Inglis was amazing as the narrator. He brought a life to the books that might have been missed if I was reading it myself. He also correctly pronounced all the unfamiliar names of people, places, and things, which added to the experience. I highly recommend this recording, not only because it’s unabridged, but because it is so well done. Bravo!
Digital Release Date: October 9, 2012 (US, UK)
Original Release Date: July 29, 1954 (UK)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief social drinking, some pipe smoking and discussion of tobacco)
Violence: 2 (some fantasy battle violence, death, nothing graphic)