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.
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! 🙂