It is January which means it is time to meet my annual challenge, task, resolution or what you will: to re-read the Lord of the Rings and begin the new year with my annual read.

Why do I do this? To be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure. I only know I began doing this a few years back now and it has become my personal New Year’s resolution to begin the new year this way.

And, in my defense, I have to say that each time I re-read this extraordinary book, I come across something new, something that had escaped me on previous reads, even after all this time.

I know a lot of people think I am crazy. How do I know? Because they tell me so! But that is their opinion and they are entitled to it! January in Australia is summer time and normally hot and  nasty. What better way to cope with the heat than with a good book you can lose yourself in totally.

To give an accurate review of this book is beyond this lady’s ability. So I will begin with the first volume and do my best.

The Fellowship of the Rings.

The first book in this trilogy sets the stage for the next two books;  The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

“Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?

Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?

Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?

Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?

They have passed like rain on the mountains, like a wind in the meadow;

The days have gone in the West behind the hills in shadow.

Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,

Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?” (p. 497)

The days in the West have indeed gone.

The Fellowship of the Rings begins with a birthday party –the birthday of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who is celebrating his “eleventy-one birthday” At the end of Bilbo’s birthday speech, the Hobbits of the Shire receive a surprise when Bilbo disappears in front of their eyes! Only two people know the secret of Bilbo’s trick; his nephew Frodo Baggins and the wizard, Gandalf. For Bilbo was the current bearer of “the Ring”

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.” (p. 49)

The Rings are the key focus of this book. They lie at the heart of the Quest, at the heart of villainy, bravery,betrayal, envy, trust, hardship, friendship, love and doom.

It is all these elements which make this book, to me, the most extraordinary book I have ever read. Why? Because the message, so simple, is told in an intriguing and, at times, complexing language that is rich in imagery and though.

And the message throughout the book is also a simple one: even the smallest and most insignificant one among us can perform great deeds and accomplish miracles in the face of apparently insurmountable opposition.

There are many heroes in this book and it is difficult to distinguish between them: Aragorn/Strider, the Ranger from the North; Gandalf the Grey Wizard; the Hobbits, Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Peregrine Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck; Legolas the Wood-Elf, and Gimli the Dwarf. Together, with Boromir from Gandor they set out to take the Ring to Mount Doom, deep in enemy territory of Sauron and Mordor.

Along the way, they are chased by Orks and Black Riders, meet Elrond the Elf-Lord of Rivendell and Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, Elves of Lorien. The Fellowship of the Ring is broken the Company of the Ring falls apart in disarray.

Title: Lord of the Rings

Author: JRR Tolkien

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) 2005


One thought on “LORD OF THE RINGS

  1. Pingback: JAR CITY « HELEN from OZ

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