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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lord of the Rings Read-Along, Part 3

Questions found at Kami's Library Thoughts.  See Part 1 and Part 2.

1. Do you like how the book is split? Book 3 is all about Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, and book 4 is all about Frodo and Sam.
You know, I think I might have liked it more if they were interspersed.  I like the suspense that creates, but if one of the narratives was more boring, I might not have liked it.  I think it's ok and I can see why Tolkien did it, but it might have made the whole thing more fast-paced if they weren't separated.

2. What differences between the book and movie do you like?
I love to see more of Eowyn.  I think Tolkien does imply a lot about her from the very brief passages we get about her, and I love how the movie expanded on that.  I like how the book spent much less time with all the gory fighting in Helm's Deep and more time with the Ents.  I love Ents!  One thing I absolutely adore about the movies is the music.  Oh, my goodness, the music for the riders of Rohan is one of my favorites. 

3. What differences between the book and movie do you dislike?
I think I was annoyed, as I kind of mentioned, about how much the emphasis in the movie was on Helm's Deep and the absolute bloodbath that was.  We haven't gotten to the second part of this book, but FARAMIR!!!!! I believe I mentioned this already :)

4. Why do you think Grima Wormtongue threw the Palantir out the window?
I think he had no idea what it was.  I think he was realizing just what an awful situation he got himself into and, as Gandalf (I think it was him) said, he couldn't decide if he hated Saruman or Eomer more.  Definitely didn't know how much it meant to Saruman :)

5. Have you noticed any differences in character from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White?
Absolutely.  I think Jenni Elyse said it best, he has a lot more confidence in his decisions.  He doesn't hesitate as much and he has a lot more power.  When he faces off with Saruman, he knows that he is stronger and he easily takes his staff. 

6. What was your favorite moment or scene in the book?
I loved when the Ents got all hot and bothered and destroyed Isengard.  I think it's awesome how powerful nature can be and they signify that for me. 

7. Magic always has to have constraints. If it didn't, we'd want all the problems to be solved with magic. There is some powerful magic in Lord of the Rings. How do you think it works? What are the constraints? Why doesn't Gandalf just transport the ring to the Mount Doom or wipe out the armies with magic?
One of the things I love about Lord of the Rings is that obviously, there's magic, but it is actually really subtle.  When you try to think of magic things, it's only stuff like magic rings and making fire and elves being elvish.  I thought the part where Th√©oden "wakes up" was much more subtle in the book - the movie tends to make the magic more obvious.  There was no mystical fight with Saruman, instead Gandalf's words had power.  Perhaps that's how the magic works.  Words do seem to have power in the books.  I think the magic is very subtle and it isn't meant to be more potent than what regular people (or hobbits) can accomplish on their own steam. 

8. I feel like Tolkien wasn't a fan of technology or machinery. Did you pick up on any of that?
Yes!  This might be because I read some of what Tolkien thought about the prevalence of factories and technology going on in England at the time.  I think the contrast between Treebeard and Saruman is the most obvious example.  Essentially, nature and trees are the good guys, whereas Saruman "has a mind of metal and wheels" (I think that's the quote - too lazy to look it up :).  His machinery and smokes and all going on in Isengard are the epitome of what's wrong in Middle Earth - at least to Treebeard.  We'll definitely see more of this when they get back to the Shire.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Lord of the Rings Read-Along, Part 2

Part 1 thoughts.

Discussion post found at Jenni Elyse's blog.

Questions

1. Even if you’ve read the books before (or you’ve seen the movies), were you surprised by who Elrond picked for the fellowship?
Nah, I was kind of into the vibe that those who were sent or came to Rivendell at that time were "meant" to go on the quest.  Like they had a calling or something.  I guess I never questioned that kind of thing.

2. How do you feel about Gandalf’s fate in Moria?
I probably cried a bunch the first time I read it, but it's pretty awesome to have him reborn (or whatever it was) into a more powerful wizard and show up and surprise everyone. :)

3. What do you think you would see in Galadriel’s mirror?
Huh, probably stuff I wouldn't want to know like when and how I'd die or something.

4. If you could have any of the gifts the elves from Lothlórien gave to the fellowship, which one would you choose and why?
I do love Sam's gift (it's more than just dirt :), though I think I'll take the vial she gives Frodo.  It comes in pretty handy for him and I'm sure I could find a use for it.

5. Do you think Boromir had any logic in his thinking about using the ring to fight Sauron?
Yes.  I think that he was thinking about saving his kingdom and continuing to protect everyone beyond his land.  But he was also having a classic reaction to the ring - desire it for good purposes and that will eventually lead to corruption ("the very desire of it corrupts the heart" - one of my favorite quotes from the book.) Both Gandalf and Galadriel mention they would take it to do good, but it would eventually lead to becoming a corrupt tyrant of sorts.

6. Do you think Frodo was rash for leaving the fellowship behind?
Yes and no.  I can see his way of thinking, since the ring was already making members of the company a bit crazy, he was smart to try and escape from them.  The other hobbits he was trying to protect and I can see that too.  Still, it was really kind of stupid since he has no clue how to get to Mordor and very little ability to protect himself.

7. Do you have a hard time following the action? Do the movies, if you’ve seen them, make it easier to envision the events taking place?
I don't have a hard time following the action at all.  I love all the descriptions and the excitement (when it happens).  I do also think that the movie helped me see the places a bit better.  I love having those gorgeous movie sets to imagine.  Can't wait for Rohan!

8. Who is your favorite and least favorite character in The Fellowship of the Ring?
Favorite is always going to be Aragorn.  He's just so fabulous! I do love Galadriel too, though she is kind of creepy cool.  And Sam, though I think he's the best in the next two books. And Gandalf (ok, ok that's only four favorites).  Least favorite is harder.  Boromir was kind of a jerk, and Legolas comes off that way as well (though, the movies made me love him more). 

9. What is your favorite and least favorite scene in The Fellowship of the Ring?
I do love the party at the beginning, but I'm really having a hard time picking a favorite.  I also really love both Rivendell and Lothlorien.  Too hard to pick.  I always found the barrow-wight scene to be the most creepy of all - even more disturbing than the black riders.

10. These books seem to be very male-centric. Does this bother you? Do you wish there were more important female characters? How do you think the book would’ve changed if one of the main characters were female?
I do sometimes get mad when I think how few female characters there are.  I used to be annoyed at the role they put on Arwen in the movies, but it makes sense to make a more visible female character.  I feel like there are important female characters, but they don't get nearly the page time as the males.  Still, Eowyn is coming and she is the best of all, I think. 

My baby decided to join in the read-along too:
 
On to the next book! What are your thoughts?
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