The Fellowship of the Ring celebrates 60 years!

Tengwar

The Fellowship of the Ring – the first title of the epic story, The Lord of the Rings – was unleashed on the world way back on 29th July, 1954.

Published by Allen & Unwin, J.R.R. Tolkien’s complex creation made its way to readers, who were introduced to a grander, more sinister (yet more beautiful) Middle-earth since first glimpsed in The Hobbit, in 1937.

Although we’re constantly informed that The Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy – but rather a single novel in three volumes, a particularly nasty question always arises above the rest, which Tolkien readers are not always so prompt in answering.

Which is your favourite volume?Fellowship of the Ring book cover (1st edition)

It’s a curious thing that, going through each volume respectively, one discovers the elegance, the sophisticated writing and the detail with which the story progresses.

Suffice to say, after reading either one of the three, I find myself saying the same thing: This is the one I prefer from the lot!

Yet, there’s an indescribable thrill whenever I pick up a copy of The Fellowship of the Ring and flip through the first introductory pages.

Perhaps it is the intricate prologue (brimming with historic details), or the alluring peace of the Shire – still oozing with vibrancy from the equally-captivating events of The Hobbit, or quite simply the thrills of the Fellowship on a quest.

Whatever it is, one cannot ignore the overwhelming attraction towards Middle-earth itself: within less than 10 pages into the story, it is teeming with life, history and – most important of all – realism.

I’ve said this already, but some of the best moments of The Lord of the Rings are contained within the first few chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring: Frodo’s discovery of the One Ring, his flight from the Shire and encounters with the Ringwraiths, meeting Strider in Bree. These remain some of the most captivating reading experiences from the book (not Trilogy!).

And what better way to celebrate such an important date, than to start re-reading Tolkien’s masterpiece again?

Let us know why The Fellowship of the Ring is so special to you … (or not so special)

Till next time! 🙂

 

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8 thoughts on “The Fellowship of the Ring celebrates 60 years!

  1. For me, one of the parts of the Fellowship that stands out is Gandalf talking about the shadow from the past. I came to Middle Earth through the hobbit and heard there was a sequel with his nephews in it. And it was probably this bit, where Gandalf talks about the growing shadow of Mordor, where I first experienced coming into the ‘bigger’ story of Middle Earth as LOTR grew in its majesty and also gave us little glimpses of the history of Middle Earth (especially the First Age). It was in that first reading of LOTR, l lost my heart to Luthien Tinuviel; Beren, he got there first! 😦

    • Beautiful, Bob! You are so right and that chapter really introduces us to a deep, denser, more complex mythology to be found in The Silmarillion. 🙂

  2. For me, I read “The Hobbit”, and then “The Lord of the Rings”, and it was ultimately those two books that set me on a path to be a published author. I still reread “The Hobbit” every year, and am about to again this year, and “The Lord of the Rings” every couple of years, which I admit I am overdue on. I have to remedy this soon.

    • Heh, right you are E.J.! I try – as much as possible – to keep up with my yearly reading of all 3 major Tolkien works: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

      Somehow, it’s always an invigorating reading experience – even after the nth read 🙂

  3. For me, it’s a close contest between FOTR and ROTK, but FOTR is definitely the best! Partly because it was my first exposure to LOTR, and also because the worlds were so diverse. There was the Shire, and Rivendell and Moria. And it was the only volume in which all members of the fellowship were together. When the story branched out as in TTT and ROTK, I found myself reading one or two chapters for Frodo and Sam, and then moving on to a couple for the rest of the Fellowship and then back to Frodo and Sam.

    • Well said! What I like most about ROTK is the “homecoming” and how our heroes, having gone through much trouble and sacrifice, meet each other and recount their adventures and recall their experiences together.

  4. Fellowship is so special because it establishes the world that they fight for in the rest of the books. It gives you the Shire, Rivendell, Tom Bombadill – it’s feasts and family, hearth and home at it’s core, and without it, the rest has less meaning.

    • You hit the nail on its head, Michelle 🙂 That idea of home, comfort and friendship is perhaps what is most appealing to me in Fellowship …

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