March 25th is Tolkien Reading Day! So to celebrate the brilliant writer, poet, philologist, professor, and creator of the magnificent world of Middle Earth, I’d like to share one of the quotes I love most from The Fellowship of the Ring:
ICYMI, the quote is a variation of the same song that Bilbo sings during his journey back to the Shire in The Hobbit, then he sings it again upon his departure in The Fellowship of the Ring, after giving the One Ring to Frodo. Later, Frodo sings a variation of the same song when he leaves the Shire for the first time. Finally, it Bilbo sings it one last time in The Return of the King.
Another thing I love: The connection between the chapter titles of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Both involve parties, and they are parties at Bilbo’s. The hobbit loves his festivities. Such a people-person. Or hobbit-friendly? Dwarf-friendly? Ha! We all know how the parties go down.
Just look at how the titles tie into one another. It’s so simple, and that’s what makes it ingenious! There’s the sense of continuity, and it’s poetic as fuck.
To be quite honest, I love The Hobbit more than The Lord of the Rings trilogy. No, not because I imagine Sherlock and Watson, since they are in the film adaptation. Not because I visualize Richard Armitage or Luke Evans either.
Sure, I probably shouldn’t compare them since the trilogy is longer and more complex, but even if I hate the fact that Fili and Kili die in The Hobbit, I enjoy the storytelling. It is light, humorous, and easy to follow. It has traces of fairy-tale tropes. More importantly, The Hobbit got me into appreciating Smeagol, despite previously disliking him from of the trilogy. Also, the book was published in the same year I was born, so there’s my other bias.
BONUS: Here is a short compilation of Tolkien himself reading passages from The Lord of the Rings. I found this on Soundcloud. What’s Tolkien Reading Day without actually listening to J.R.R. Tolkien read? Hearing him recite some of the poetry in his novels gives me goosebumps.