The Fellowship of the Ring is Tolkien’s first in his classic Lord of the Rings trilogy. We star out in the Shire where Frodo lives with his uncle Bilbo. Gandalf comes to the party and lights off rockets for the Hobbits. We find out later in the book that Samwise Gamgee really loves the rockets that Gandalf sets off at the parties for the Hobbits. We hear about this ring that Bilbo discovered in his adventure in The Hobbit. It is the Master Ring. The “one ring to rule them all”. There are 20 rings in all. 3 for the elves, 7 for the dwarves, and 9 for the humans. They have to do something about the ring that has power over these other rings.
As a fantasy geek, I have to say that I loved this book. I mean, it’s a classic. If you go into it though watching the movie first, I don’t think that you’ll enjoy it as much. For instance, Boromir does not have that “one does not simply” line that the movie has at The Council of Elrond. In addition to that, Boromir does not die in the book version. This is something that the movie altered. I was reading it in anticipation for that but then I got to the first chapter in The Two Towers and Boromir was still alive at this point. If I am not mistaken, the books record his death there. Tom Bombadil was edited out of the movies.
Nevertheless, the balrog scene with “Professor” Gandalf is still memorable. You would absolutely hate to have Gandalf as one of your professors telling you that “You cannot pass!” as he does when squaring off against the balrog. This is indeed a classic moment for all of fantasy in general.
I mentioned that I was a fantasy geek. I’ve read the Harry Potter books, The Chronicles of Narnia books, Star Wars books, and Dragonlance books. As with all fantasy, the goal is to capture an emotion for your readers. Sometimes to establish a history. Tolkien does both here. What emotion was Tolkien trying to bring out? The scene at the end of the book where Boromir confronts Frodo about the ring gathers the emotions as to how the forces of Middle Earth are going to war over one ring. One simple ring. This is showing us that greed is powerful and often times hard to overcome.
Throughout the book, we hear of an “Enemy”. The “Enemy” is generally portrayed by all as Sauron, an evil wizard. But Sauron was once a good wizard. Like Sarumon as well who was also corrupted. They were corrupted and consumed by their own greed. The “Enemy” throughout this book is not Orc, ringwraith, or balrog. It is greed. Boromir nearly becomes the “Enemy” at the end of the book by giving into his greed.
This book contains a great lesson about the realities of human existence. That we would go to war over things so small. I cannot say for certain if that is why Tolkien wrote it, but the meaning is there nonetheless.