May 7, 2018

Intro to the Appendix A, kicking off FIRST AGE WEEK

Pages To Read:
-RK.AppendixA: “Concerning the sources” (p.1) – “the event is not always included” (~p.1)
**every reading from the Appendices may contain spoilers to some degree

– Short introduction to the information in the appendices.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– When Lord of the Rings was first published there were no other sources in which one could find the ‘extensive’ legends, histories, and lore referred to. Tolkien originally planned to have these stories, which he viewed as his opus, published as The Silmarillion. However, there was never a time where both he and the publisher were satisfied with the book before he died, so his son compiled, edited, and published the book four years after his death.
– The First Age really is ancient. As we will see with the Tale of Years, the First Age ended nearly 6500 years before the beginning of LOTR, which as you remember is Third Age 3018. (The Second Age was nearly 3500 years long).

Links to Other Content:
A cool blog, with a fun concept of how to make the stories from the first age into a multi-season TV show.

Notes: Of course, any serious Tolkien fan should get around to reading The Silmarillion at some point, but I think reading the appendices will give a fun and brief introduction to the material.

Here’s an outline for the rest of the summer: This week we will look at the (admittedly small) section about the First Age, then after a break we will look at the Second Age, which does has more to do with LOTR. Then we will return to The Shire to read about Gandalf’s departure and travels. Starting at the end of July we will cover the appendix material that has to do with the Third Age, up until mid September when the main events start. ~Tom


March 31, 2017

Frodo deals with the aftermath of Bilbo’s departure

Pages To Read:
FR.Party “Night slowly passed” (~p.16) – (end)

– Frodo gives out the many presents that Bilbo left behind. Unfortunately rumour spreads that the entire Hobbit-hole is free for the taking, so Frodo and his friend Merry have to fight off opportunistic hobbits.
– Today’s featured art is Frodo, by TheAngelCookie, perhaps relaxing after a hard day of arguing with annoying relatives.
– Gandalf arrives and tells Frodo abruptly that he is leaving. The chapter ends with the words “Frodo did not see him again for a long time.”

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– The scene with presents bearing ironic messages from Bilbo (as well as most of this chapter) goes back to the very first draft. However the context was very different then: with Frodo not having been introduced, the story was going to follow one of Bilbo’s descendants. (That’s right Bilbo got married!)
– Merry is properly introduced! And true to form, one of his first lines is a joke, saying that any compliment aimed at Frodo must be a lie. As I noted with Frodo, Merry is a very different character in Peter Jackson’s movies, so be sure to pay attention to the details given about this Merry, who is introduced first as Frodo’s close friend.

Links to Other Content:
A tiny matchbox Bag End, by suwi!!
A funny comic parodying Gandalf’s line at the door. (Warning: language)
Beautiful recap of yesterday’s party, by breath-art. The artist does wondering depictions of many big scenes, and I will often include them the day after as a review.

Notes: Done with the first chapter! Over the next two-ish weeks I’ll cover a few pages of the next chapter, as well as quite a bit of fun Shire art, and some other stuff. Mark your calendars for April 12, as that is when the “real time” reading will begin and things get exciting! Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. Later in April I’ll run out of content and you’ll have time to catch up 🙂 ~Tom