Fellowship of the Ring Section 3 Group Read

Gandalf: I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves... Men... and Orcs.
: What are you going to do, then?
: Knock your head against these doors, Peregrin Took! And if that does not shatter them, and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will try to find the opening words.

Well here we go everyone we have made past some obstacles with Frodo and the Company. This section covers the end of Fellowship of the Ring, and was even more eventful than the last section.  Frodo's quest is suddenly so much bigger than himself, so much bigger than anything he could have imagined. The consequences of failure are dire, yet the consequences of success have their downsides too.

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In this section, much of the journey is spent in the darkness of Mines of Moria. Here this section tests the Gandalf from the start and, continue to test him until the end.There was so much to keep you on edge of your seat with Gandalf battling the Balrog. After both of them fall down, then the Company lead by Aragorn is leading the way through the Misty Mountains. 

This section to me at least supersedes section 2. I cannot believe the amount of action and debate that company id put through especially after that they last Gandalf. 

What what others thought:
 Stainless Steel Droppings
Little Red Reviewer 
Book Den 

Questions or discussion topics from Andrea over at Little Red Reviewer.

Gandalf and the Balrog, just Wow.  Just a short scene, but oh so intense!  With their mentor gone, how will the group go on?  Even when they do reach Lothlorien, no one seems to know how to get where they are going.  They had been dependent on Gandalf making the decisions, and now he is gone.

I think that with Aragorn assuming the command of the company now and helping calling all the shots for the group. There is no Gandalf it is going to be quite something now, but Aragorn was leading the group earlier throughout the book with no Gandalf present. 

I think that group did rely on the great Gandalf a bit to much at times. In this instance, it now shows that the group has to find out and choose which way is going to be the best for the group from the information that the company gathers throughout the quest. Then they have to choose if they will use the info or not.

Galadriel and her Ring. She knows the Ring of power must be destroyed, but with it's destruction comes the de-powering (is that a word?) of her Ring as well. The Elves must leave Middle Earth or forget who and what they are. For her, this is a no win situation. Frodo's success effectively means the banishment of the Elves in Middle Earth. I wonder if that makes him more likely to do everything in his power to succeed, or less?

I think that Frodo knew that there would some people(species) that would not all benefit from success in the quest.It like life basic physics: When every action there is an equal reaction.  Galadriel state that she would prefer the success in the mission.After their discussion Frodo knowsGaladriel would like the see Sauron to be defeated. Rather than see Sauron ruling all of Middle Earth with his ruthless evil.

I do thin that it was admirable that Frodo offered her the Ring. Even she knows the risk of having the Ring in her possession. Galadriel knows that the Ring would corrupt her as the power of Ring clouds Sauron thoughts and agenda.

Boromir - I didn't trust from way back at the Council at Rivendell. His conversation with Frodo at the end of Fellowship made him look like a know-it-all with a world view of colonialism and imperialism. Is this Tolkien taking a shot at the old fashioned British world view, or am I reading way, way too much into it?

It is hard to trust Bormir, it has seemed like that he has had his own agenda since he appeared with the Fellowship. I think it is an old fashion British view as well. It seems like that he want to fight now. In that, Boromir is trying to convince Frodo to use the Ring as a weapon. This is something that Gandalf and the Council advised the ring NOT to be used as by any means.

After spending some time in Lothlorien, Sam realizes the Elves aren’t quite as scary or as strange as he first thought. I wonder if when he gets back to the Shire if he’ll realize the Hobbits in the next town aren’t quite as strange as he once thought.  I really don’t think this is an overt “message” story, but I do wonder if Tolkien didn't mind throwing in a little message of “those folks in the next valley aren’t as different as you think.

I like this thought right here. This is a great life lesson for everyone and not just Sam. Just because somebody is from the otherside of the railroad track does not mean that the person, elf or hobbit should be valued any less. Tolkien did show many people to judge a book by what is inside and not what is outside. 

The individual in which that you are associating with may have more than offer if you would take time to get to know them. I do think if Sam does get back to the Shire will think that Hobbit from the next town over are not any more strange than Shire Hobbits.

I only stared reading fantasy a few years ago, and I keep running into this undercurrent of choice.  Bilbo has to choose to give up the Ring.  Frodo has to choose to take on the quest and be the Ring bearer. Even Boromir is choosing how he feels about the Ring and what it could bring him.  In the end, this is all coming down to how we choose to live our lives from moment to moment. 

Right here is a geat case that shows that our lives are greatly impacted with a few choices select. Just look at how Bilibo's and Frodo's lives have been deeply impact from one chose of Bilbo finding and hiding the ring. Frodo deciding to be the Ring Bearer. Frodo is riding out to the end and try to destroy the Ring or all this will be for nothing in the end.

And the obligatory: what was your favorite part of this section?

 I am sure that I am not alone in this one. I liked the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. It was full of action and good verses evil. It is sad that Gandalf technically did win the battle, but the Balrog's whip caught him by the leg to drag him down as well. I know I only choose one this time. This is the one that turns the whole book in a totally different direction. I do think that Tolkien has so many life lessons in just this book.


  1. I love reading all these posts and getting a different perspective - perhaps I shouldn't have read them before I write my own review as they will undoubtedly influence me but I couldn't help it! I loved the balrog scene - so exciting. I know what you mean with your comments about Sam coming to like the elves and how this is reflective of people in everyday life being afraid of what they don't know and so being at first distrustful. It's a good lesson well written.
    Lynn :D

  2. It does seem there are many life lessons in this book. I love that Galadriel prefers Frodo to be successful in his mission despite what it will cost her.

    You are right - Aragorn was leading before Gandalf joined the Fellowship. It seems fitting for him to resume the lead.

  3. I hadn't thought about it that way, but you are correct. With Gandalf along for every step of the journey the group would have continued to look to him first rather than rising up to do what they can do as this journey unfolds.

    I don't quite see the destruction of the ring and what is happening to the elves as completely interdependent. I think the time of the elves was ending anyway, but those who were hanging on will of course be affected more closely by these events with the Dark Lord. It may hasten their leaving or it may convince them that some need to stay and wait things out to see what happens. Galadriel and Elrond and their people who have stayed are of course the ones who are most negatively effected by the Ring...in a way. They are after all returning home. It is actually those left on Middle-earth after the last of the elves depart that will be most negatively affected by their departure. So sad.

    I do like the way both Gandalf and Galadriel were given a chance to take the ring. It was interesting for the reader to see how they would react to it and how in each case they would take it out of pure motives but both knew well enough that the Ring would pervert their motives and cause them to be just as evil as Sauron himself.

    I don't see Boromir's actions as so much the British view as it is the course that all of mankind takes and has taken throughout history. Boromir represents what is most natural, and that is the need to defend oneself in the presence of an enemy. I think he is untrustworthy because he represents the weakness in us all, a weakness that the Ring easily exposes. I think Boromir is genuine in his desire to use the Ring against Sauron, not to become great himself but to defend his people who are already on the front lines of slaughter at the hands of Sauron's forces. But his great weakness is that he doesn't truly grasp the evil of the Ring the way Gandalf and Galadriel do. He isn't as honest with himself about what the Ring will do to him, what it is already doing to him.

    As such I find him to be a complex and fascinating character and on some level is a mirror that none of us want to look into.

    I agree with your thoughts on Sam and on how Tolkien contains deeper messages about what it means to look beyond race and culture. On a more individual level it is about the power of friendship and is one of the reasons I am deeply fond of Tolkien.

    The LOTR is many things, including an effective examination of how the things we do send ripple effects out into the world and change things in ways we cannot always fathom.

    I am with you in loving the Balrog scene. I am so glad you included the link to that scene in your post. I followed the link over to YouTube to watch it again. Love the way they edited all that together.

    I also like how the movie included the "You cannot pass" line first, like it was in the book, before the shouted "You shall not pass!" line that wasn't. I think the "shall not" is more effective and I don't think it tramples on the spirit of what Tolkien wrote.

  4. I am so glad that all of you took time to come over and shoot a comment over here.

    @Lynne-I hope my post did not influence your post to much, but some is okay..:)Glad to see you aboard the read a long

    @Jennifer- I agree and just cannot believe the amount that Frodo is grown in quest thus far in the 1st book or the 3.I am glad that you have caught up on the read a long.

    @Carl-I cannot imagine to have to make a choice that would impact a group of people that Frodo will to the elf race. I am glad that you enjoyed the video that I included in the post.


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