The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > Novices and Newcomers
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-13-2020, 02:44 PM   #1
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 3,978
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Silmaril Your Favorite Things Tolkien

This thread is being created as requested by Boromir88.

Let's have a little lighthearted thread about our personal preferences, shall we?

I suggest we start with The Fellowships of the Ring, and then move through Tolkien’s authorship.

So let us hear, what is your favorite chapter, chapter-title or character in the fellowships, and why (feel free to add other stuff to the discussion)?

At the moment my favorite chapter is “The Council of Elrond”, I think it has to do with the amount of information we are given about current and past events of middle-earth, also we have a quite nice collection of characters. “The Mirror of Galadriel” and “The House of Tom Bombadil” along with “A Shortcut to Mushrooms” are fierce contenders though.


I have to admit that I am a sucker for good titles, sometimes I buy books because of a nicely worded title. When I first read The Fellowship I constantly had my eye fixed on “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, and even to this day it has a special place in my heart. I think perhaps I had some memory of the Balrog scene from Bakshi’s animated movie, even though I at that point wasn’t sure it was the same story (I had only watched the animated movie when I was very young, and not in its entirety).

However my favorite chapter title must be “The Shadow of the Past”. It alludes to something, possibly sinister, but you are not quite sure, but you want to know more.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2020, 03:24 PM   #2
Urwen
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Urwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Meneltarma
Posts: 4,309
Urwen has just left Hobbiton.
Favorite chapter: The Conspiracy Unmasked'.
__________________
Tuor: Yeah, it was me who broke [Morleg's] arm. With a wrench. Specifically, this wrench.

I am suffering from Maeglinomaniacal Maeglinophilia.
Urwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2020, 03:28 PM   #3
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,323
Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
Hey you did it!

As I said to Rune, I think perhaps after 10-15 years for most of us, our favorites and interests have probably changed. Boromir will always hold a place in my heart, but the last time reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, I really found Bilbo being my favorite character.

Not to speak of the dreadful Hobbit films, but part of the reason is I thought Ian Holm was an excellent casting choice in LOTR. A classically trained theater actor, when him and Ian McKellan are just reading their lines in Bag End and going off each other, they are my favorite and best scenes in all of the films. The younger actors struggle to get through a lot of the dialogue rather clunky. Not Ian Holm, perfect tone and delivery. So when I last read the books, I watched the films after, and it was like a match, I thought Ian Holm captured Bilbo in Lord of the Rings near perfectly.

Another factor is I had just bought a home, and found myself when I was working 50 hours/week, a lot of the time spending something like 8-10 days every month in a hotel room, just thinking about my "books and armchair." I don't even have a reading "armchair," but after buying a home, a place that feels like home to you, and being away from that a significant amount every month made me miss it, as Bilbo does.

Hobbits in general, I found myself liking more in the latest re-reading. Farmer Maggot for instance comes off as a rather intimidating presence, and immovable force. He is grounded in his land, and not even the Nazgul showing up to his house is going to move him from it.

As far as favorite chapter in Fellowship of the Ring? I think it has to be The Shadow of the Past. It's that transition point from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. A Long-Expected Party it's still "Bilbo's ring" and Bilbo's story. The most troublesome thing seems to be the potential of bad weather during a party and meddlesome neighbors. In The Hobbit, it's not "The One Ring," it "Bilbo's magic Ring." A Long-Expected Party, while underneath the surface we feel there's more to the Ring, it's still "Bilbo's magic Ring." The Shadow of the Past is mostly dialogue between 2 characters, but we make that transition. It is no longer Bilbo's story, it's Frodo's, and this is "The One Ring."

Favorite title for a chapter... A Knife in the Dark.
__________________
Normalizing "changing your opinion, when presented with new information" one post at a time.
Fenris Penguin

Last edited by Boromir88; 06-13-2020 at 03:32 PM.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 04:33 AM   #4
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,113
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Best FotR chapter title? "Fog on the Barrow-downs" wins for me: there's something of mystery and a hint of menace just in fog (especially if you come, as I do, from an arid clime that experiences it but rarely), and both barrows and downs are older English terms that you don't find in my part of the world--hills, yes; downs, not so much--so it has some of the Tolkienian vocabulary (or, as someone in England might call it, "vocabulary").

ACTUAL favourite chapter?

Either "Three is Company or Strider. The former has a little bit of Gandalf, some Gaffer, and poetry; and it is the first of many chapters to lovingly take you through a landscape. And it has peak Black Rider. And then the Elves bursting on the scene. And that final note of mystery: Gildor's bafflement at Gandalf not turning up and his dark hints about the nature of the Riders.

And Book I might be my favourite of the six books--if I can be said to have one.
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 06:29 AM   #5
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,330
Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.Nogrod is wading through the Dead Marshes.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Of the chapters I have to say that the Council of Elrond is and has been my favorite more or less from the first reading. It kind of opens up a much wider world and explains many of the mysteries the reader has been struggling with that far - and it creates a great anticipation for the possible horizons the story might then lead the reader into.

It may also have something to do with there being different kinds of readers in the first place. For example with history, some people love to read personal biographies while others enjoy large-scale analysis. Or with crime, some love going through the protagonists' feelings and worries outside the case while the others just enjoy the plot. I'm definitively of the latter sort.

Yes, you can like both, but usually people tend to enjoy one more than the other.

~*~

As a child I found all the encounters with the Black Riders awesome, especially that famous first meeting and the scene at the Weathertop - and naturally the Mines of Moria were just cool. On the contrary, I just couldn't bear Tom Bombadil or Goldberry. They felt to me coming from a wrong story, they were kind of breaking the spell of the book, if one can use a very weird idiom here. Nowadays I do find Tom Bombadil a really intriguing character although I' still not a great fan of that "Ring a dong dillo!" -stuff.

Gandalf was naturally my childhood-hero, but I guess both Strider and Boromir were close to my heart already quite early. Merry and Pippin I felt being more like these comic relief characters and wouldn't have minded if they went back to Hobitton after Rivendell (I especially disliked "the fool of a Took" who just messed things up). I haven't turned into a Merry & Pip fan club member even today, but they sure become more alive and relatable during the rest of the story.

I guess Gandalf still is my number one favorite character. I mean many people think that the LotR is a story about Frodo and the Ring, but I'd say its as much, if not even more, a story about one of the Istari fighting Sauron on behalf of the Ainur.

~*~

What comes to just chapter-titles, when I was young A Knife in the Dark sounded ominous and hair-raising (which it surely, kind of, still does). But just as titles go, I'd say ones like Three is a Company and A Shortcut to Mushrooms have always pleased me.
__________________
Upon the hearth the fire is red
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet...
Nogrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 03:32 PM   #6
Pitchwife
Wight of the Old Forest
 
Pitchwife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Unattended on the railway station, in the litter at the dancehall
Posts: 3,147
Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Pitchwife is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
A Shadow in the Dark / In the House of the Past / The Knife of Tom Bombadil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
As far as favorite chapter in Fellowship of the Ring? I think it has to be The Shadow of the Past. It's that transition point from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. A Long-Expected Party it's still "Bilbo's ring" and Bilbo's story. The most troublesome thing seems to be the potential of bad weather during a party and meddlesome neighbors. In The Hobbit, it's not "The One Ring," it "Bilbo's magic Ring." A Long-Expected Party, while underneath the surface we feel there's more to the Ring, it's still "Bilbo's magic Ring." The Shadow of the Past is mostly dialogue between 2 characters, but we make that transition. It is no longer Bilbo's story, it's Frodo's, and this is "The One Ring."
Yep. Well put!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
And Book I might be my favourite of the six books--if I can be said to have one.
I'd say that for FotR as a whole. No coincidence it''s the most worn volume of my old German boxed edition.

As for titles, I think the best have already been named. And rather than chapters, I'd rather give you some of my favourite passages:

Three is Company: first encounters with the Black Riders and Elves under the stars (since I hadn't read The Hobbit before LotR, Gildor & Co. were my first contact with Tolkien's Elves and, not to forget, their language):
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRRT
Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt. The Elves all burst into song. Suddenly under the trees a fire sprang up with a red light.
A Short Cut to Mushrooms:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRRT
They stopped short suddenly. Frodo sprang to his feet. A long-drawn wail came down the wind, like the cry of some evil and lonely creature. It rose and fell, and ended on a high piercing note. Even as they sat and stood, as if suddenly frozen, it was answered by another cry, fainter and further off, but no less chilling to the blood. There was then a silence, broken only by the sound of the wind in the leaves.
Especially evil and lonely, the perfect counterpoint to the cameraderie of the hobbits in the rest of the chapter. Makes me appreciate even more Farmer Maggot's courage in standing up to the Black Rider later: that's a badass hobbit for ya!

The Old Forest:
All the buildup to our heroes being snared by Old Man Willow; the strangely active and resentful trees, the hot stifling air, how they keep losing their way and being herded towards the Withywindle against all efforts. Tom Bombadil's arrival comes as a relief but is a little jarring (I'm no big fan of Ring-a-ding-dillo either); he doesn't come into his own until the next chapter.

In the House of Tom Bombadil:
This is where Ol' Tom gets interesting - the enigma, the outlier, the non-combatant, self-contained Master of his circumscribed world, the Zen-master whose koans are silly verses. There's also Goldberry, whom I see as kind of a more accessible prefiguration of Galadriel:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRRT
'Fair lady Goldberry!' said Frodo at last, feeling his heart moved with anjoy that he didn not understand. He stood as he had at times stood enchanted by fair elven-voices; but the spell that was now laid upon him was different: less keen and less lofty was the delight, but deeper and nearer to mortal heart; marvellous and yet not strange.
Fog on the Barrow-Downs:
The whole chapter up to Tom's intervention is among the scariest stuff Tolkien has ever written, and I'm not sure anything we see in Moria or Mordor tops it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRRT
Out of the east the biting wind was blowing. To his right there loomed against the westward stars a dark black shape. A great barrow stood there.'Where are you?' he cried again, both angry and afraid.
'Here!' said a voice , deep and old, that seemed to come out of the ground. 'I am waiting for you!'
'No!' said Frodo; but he did not run away. His knees gave, and he fell on the ground. Nothing happened, and there was no sound. Trembling he looked up, in time to see a tall dark figure like a shadow against the stars. It leaned over him. He thought there were two eyes, very cold though lit with a pale light that seemed to come from some remote distance. Then a grip stronger and colder than iron seized him. The icy touch froze his bones, and he remembered no more.
Also of course the Barrow-Wight's verse, which should by rights be our national anthem!

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony/Strider:
Some comical relief painted on a background of mounting danger, and a new character who will become central to the story, but nothing that stands out prose-wise in my memory.

A Knife in the Dark:
The first page and a half, where the Black Riders attack Crickhollow and are scared away by the Horn-call of Buckland. (Years ago I wrote a post about how the cock-crow and horns here prefigure the arrival of the Rohirrim at the Siege of Gondor; it's somewhere in Chapter-by-Chapter). I'm not sure the attack on Weathertop later tops this, but I love this from Strider:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRRT
They themselves do not see the world of light as we do, but our shapes cast shadows in their minds, which only the noon sun destroys; and in the dark they perceive many signs and forms that are hidden from us: then they are most to be feared. And at all times they smell the blood of living things, desiring and hating it.
Flight to the Ford: Everything from meeting Glorfindel to Frodo confronting the Riders at the ford and the flood sweeping them away, underpinned by the signs of Frodo fading, is riveting.
Quote:
The wind began to blow steadily out of the West and pour the water of the distant seas on the dark heads of the hills in fine drenching rain. By nightfall they were all soaked, and their camp was cheerless [...] Frodo was restless. The cold and wet had made his wound more painful than ever, and the ache and sense of deadly chill took away all sleep. [...] He lay down again and passed into an uneasy dream, in which he walked on the grass of his garden in the Shire, but it seemed faint and dim, less clear than the tall black shadows that stood looking over the hedge.
(TBC, it's getting late)
__________________
The 21st century is when everything changes, you've got to be ready.
Pitchwife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 09:19 AM   #7
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,323
Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.Boromir88 has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
Fog on the Barrow-Downs:
The whole chapter up to Tom's intervention is among the scariest stuff Tolkien has ever written, and I'm not sure anything we see in Moria or Mordor tops it.

Also of course the Barrow-Wight's verse, which should by rights be our national anthem!
Agreed! The Cold be heart and hand and bone is probably my favorite poem (more like an incantation but still) in Lord of the Rings.
__________________
Normalizing "changing your opinion, when presented with new information" one post at a time.
Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 01:05 PM   #8
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,844
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
I quite like The Shadow of the Past.

Gandalf's dark exposition to Frodo at Bag End, the most peaceful, pleasant locale for it, makes his words that much more jarring. It's like sudden thunderheads on a day that had been sunny.

Also, The Old Forest and Fog On the Barrow-Downs, in a similar vein, start to physically immerse the reader, with the innocent hobbits, in the wider, more dangerous world outside the Shire.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 02:06 PM   #9
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 3,978
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Best FotR chapter title? "Fog on the Barrow-downs" wins for me: there's something of mystery and a hint of menace just in fog (especially if you come, as I do, from an arid clime that experiences it but rarely), and both barrows and downs are older English terms that you don't find in my part of the world--hills, yes; downs, not so much--so it has some of the Tolkienian vocabulary (or, as someone in England might call it, "vocabulary").
I completely agree with this, and I thought of naming it amongst my favorites. I guess it doesn't do any harm that we also associate it with this sinister forum.

I actually think the Danish translation manages to achieve something similar with "Tåge over Dyssehøjene". You very seldom here the word "dysse" being used, "gravhøj" or "jættestue" is much more common. Dyssegæst (barrow-wight) has a very unsettling ring to it, but not if you translate it literally back to english "barrow-guest"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
ACTUAL favourite chapter?

Either "Three is Company or Strider. The former has a little bit of Gandalf, some Gaffer, and poetry; and it is the first of many chapters to lovingly take you through a landscape. And it has peak Black Rider. And then the Elves bursting on the scene. And that final note of mystery: Gildor's bafflement at Gandalf not turning up and his dark hints about the nature of the Riders.

And Book I might be my favourite of the six books--if I can be said to have one.
In some way I think that a Short Cut to Mushrooms is peak Black Rider, I was never more scared of them than when the Hobbit saw one on the hill they had just climbed down. Though "A Conspiracy Unmasked" is a close second, Merry's appearance at the Bucklebury Ferry gave me a good scare, and it was downright creepy when the hobbits looked across the river seeing the black (bundle) rider there.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2020, 02:11 PM   #10
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 3,978
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post

As a child I found all the encounters with the Black Riders awesome, especially that famous first meeting and the scene at the Weathertop - and naturally the Mines of Moria were just cool. On the contrary, I just couldn't bear Tom Bombadil or Goldberry. They felt to me coming from a wrong story, they were kind of breaking the spell of the book, if one can use a very weird idiom here. Nowadays I do find Tom Bombadil a really intriguing character although I' still not a great fan of that "Ring a dong dillo!" -stuff.
They are out of place, and it annoys me that we never really get to know Goldberry.
And yes "ring a dong dillo" is a bit off putting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post

I guess Gandalf still is my number one favorite character. I mean many people think that the LotR is a story about Frodo and the Ring, but I'd say its as much, if not even more, a story about one of the Istari fighting Sauron on behalf of the Ainur.
I would say so. Gandalf is the one person that makes everything tick, and has a clear strategy for achieving his goals. Aragorn too I guess, but the rest are just along for the ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
(TBC, it's getting late)
Please do continue. Yours was a fantastic post, and I think you manage quite brilliantly to find words that fit my own ideas, but that I had not actually articulated.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2020, 10:02 PM   #11
Merrymatt
Pile O'Bones
 
Merrymatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Old Saybrook, CT
Posts: 14
Merrymatt has just left Hobbiton.
After many months of vexing college work and drivers studies, I have returned once more to the foggy barrow downs to discuss Tolkien amongst like minded individuals.

To address the topic of favorite chapter title in Fellowship, it would probably be “The Ring Goes South”. I feel like the name is very simplistic and very straightforward in itself, almost as if the title is following the hurried pace of the Fellowship with every step.

My favorite chapter would be a combination of “The Ring goes South” and “A Journey in the Dark”, both very excellent presentations of the fellowship bickering and interacting with each other during their mission. From the discussions on the evils of Moria to Pippin getting on Gandalf’s nerves with his foolishness, this chapter in terms of character interaction and bonding is one of my favorites.

In terms of favorite characters in Fellowship, it would definitely be Boromir, his relationship with Faramir and subtle moments of caring actions with the hobbits definetly warmed him up to myself.
Merrymatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:34 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.