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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Frodo and The Fellowship of the Ring



For this, my third year doing the challenge, I am going literary. For every letter of the alphabet I will talk about a book, an author or a character from fiction or myth that made an impression, was inspirational, or caused me to think.




Sometime around 1966 or 67, Rocky, a friend from high school turned me on to The Lord of the Rings. He loaned me all three books, pictured below. The cover art was done by Barbara Remington. This was first edition published in the United States in 1965 by Ballantine Books.

I read the trilogy over a long week-end. It was the first trilogy I ever read. The first high fantasy.


Never had I been I so totally carried away.


I was just about devastated when it became clear the story was going to end. I didn't want it to. I didn't want to leave Middle Earth and all the characters I had come to know. I felt I had travel every step of the way with them. And, I realized, Frodo wasn't the real hero. It was Sam. Without Sam, Frodo would never have made it to Mount Doom.


When my friend joined the Army, he gave me his books, and this poster which I hung on the wall of the house where I lived. The tropics is not kind to things made of paper, and by 1980 the poster was so brittle it fell apart when I tried to move it from where it had lived for so many years. In a tearful ceremony, I burned it. As for the books, they too are gone. Sigh....
 

I knew, even back then, that some day a movie would be made, but I was unsure if they would ever get the characters right. How could anyone possibly see into my head the clear images I had? Except for Elija Wood's continually crinkled eyebrows and worried look, I was totally pleased with the movies.

Here's to J. R. R. Tolkien who made fantasy popular and possible.

Do you have a favorite Middle Earth character? Mine is Aragorn.

F is for Frodo and The Fellowship of the Rings  Other F influences? I can't think of any off hand.

26 comments:

  1. Great post, I've read The Hobbit and loved it. You make me want to try the Tolkien's three biggies.

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  2. All three sit in my bookcase but the covers do not have the feel of those you show. I bought them in the USA!

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  3. I may have to hang my head in shame when I say this, but, I have never read these books...

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  4. I love these first edition covers and that poster!!! WOW!!! I imagine they would be worth a lot of money. I remember my mom saying she was intrigued by the series when she kept seeing "Frodo lives" graffiti on bridges during the late 60's. Wouldn't it be cool to see a resurgence of that sort of graffiti today? I'm a visiting A-Z blogger and apparently already a follower - nice to see you again and will be visiting more because I love literature - great theme to pick!

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  5. I am so ashamed to say I've never read the trilogy. Nor have I seen the movies. I think I need to do something about this.
    karen

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  6. This is my all time favorite story. I was always partial to Legolas in the books, but they gave him too many cheesy moments in the films (skating down the stairs on his shield at Helm's Deep, sliding down an Oliphaunt's trunk at the battle of Pelennor).

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  7. I love The Lord of the Rings, and I love Frodo. He is the gooey center in the awesome that is Tolkien's masterpiece. Great post.

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  8. Aragorn is my favorite as well. And I still have those original books.

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  9. I loved The Hobbit but tried reading LOTR and was never really able to finish it. It was boring! :P

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  10. I knew it! I thought that F would be about Fellowship. I said knowing Bish...I was right. Spot on. *pats back*

    My brother gave me the trilogy after I had a baby and was in the hospital. The movies were pretty close to the books.

    I love Frodo!!!!! :-) My son named his dog after Frodo. Ha.

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  11. My favorite characters? Tom Bombadil and Treebeard. Yeah, I'm a little weird. Oh, and then Faramir.

    Great post!

    Erin

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  12. I am appreciating Lord of the Rings through you. I tried several times but I never could get past the first few pages. But you make it sound so illuminating.

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  13. I agree with above...perhaps I should try again as my husband and kids loved the books. I have been to St. Thomas and loved it...and this summer I will visit my daughter in New Zealand where the Lord of the Rings moives were filmed...another excuse to attempt reading the books again.

    Happy A-Z April!

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  14. I LOVE that artwork! I haven't seen it before. Supercool!

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  15. I read LOTR trilogy when I was young, too, and it was one of my first real journeys into magical storytelling beyond fairy tales. What I think Tolkien accomplished was writing a story with depth and metaphor that could be relished by readers of all ages. The writing is a bit dense by today's standards, but the storytelling is ageless.
    Aragorn, nuff said.

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  16. Great post! I read the hobbit and the actual first LOTR book and I really liked them! By the way I'm a new follower! :)

    My blog is http://www.lifeisgood-forever21.blogspot.com/

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  17. I first read the books in high school and am now reading them aloud to my daughter. For those who "can't get into the books," you might like them best in audio format. Tolkein's style is built so much on fireside storytelling which is all about a great listening experience.

    My favorite characters are Faramir and Eowyn.

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  18. Loved this! My first husband and I were crazy for the books - he would chase me around our tiny basement apartment pretending to be Gollum. Later my second son read The Hobbit about twenty times in a row...

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  19. I have to admit, I never read the books or really payed much attention to them...sorry!

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  20. Heart be still. You've posted three of my all time favorite books. You are wonderful!

    Loved your comment at the Write Game today. I'm putting you down as Bish (no explicative) Denham. :-)

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  21. I have several of Tolkien's books, but I have to admit, haven't read any. :(

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  22. Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books. I never thought of Sam being the hero of the story before, but I now that I'm looking at it from your perspective I can totally see it.

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  23. Thanks for the reminder of the amazing Tolkien. It's been a long time since I read him. I need to do it again!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  24. Those are some exquisite covers, almost collectible!

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  25. I tried to read this at about nine or ten and couldn't get into it. I really should try again.

    And Sam will always be my favourite :-)

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  26. I found your blog while researching a piece of artwork I have- the original illustration by Barbara Remington for this series (although she wrote on the back- The Hobbit- I believe it was originally done for The Hobbit and then Ballantine used it for the trilogy as well). I wish I could show it to you but I don't want to post a link in the comment. It is in Fletcher Gallery's October 20 auction in Woodstock, NY. So cool! Thank you for the info, I never knew it was a poster

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!