LOTR Read-along: July Post

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Confession: I didn't write a monthly read-along post in June.

Okay, so that wasn't really a confession, because if you are participating in the read-along, you've probably already noticed. (I know that Pepca did a lovely post). I am sorry for my inconsistency as a read-along host and can only beg that my life has been much busier than I anticipated this summer with nursing school. However, with finals approaching, a week off of blogging (and missing it very much!), and plenty of resolve to do better for fall semester, I am back, with thoughts on the end of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Please be aware that there are spoilers in these posts, as they assume that you are reading or have read these books already.

So first of all, my (scattered) thoughts on The Two Towers. Firstly, a very lovely passage that I had to mark with a post-it:
They stood on a wet floor of polished stone, the doorstep, as it were, of a rough-hewn gate of rock opening dark behind them. But in front a thin veil of water was hung, so near that Frodo could have put an outstretched arm into it. The level shafts of the setting sun behind beat upon it, and the red light was broken into many flickering beams of ever-changing colour. It was as if they stood at the window of some elven-tower, curtained with threaded jewels of silver and gold, and ruby, sapphire, and amethyst, all kindled with an unconsuming fire.
I would love to see a painting of this scene. It is one of the most vivid that I have encountered in this re-reading of Tolkien, and definitely the most beautiful. The second I read it I could see it in my mind. Unfortunately, I'm not in any way artistically gifted and have no way of translating that beautiful mental image to something tangible. Does anyone want to paint this for me?

A second post-it regards Faramir. For some reason, in the films his character did not particularly stand out to me. However, in these two final books of the trilogy, he is one of the most compelling characters. He shows what the race of Man has the potential to be (to be fair, Aragorn also shows this throughout the series, but for some reason, he seems above ordinary measurement). Boromir, his brother, is a strong and valiant Man, but he is very susceptible to weakness and failure. Faramir is possessed with much more grace and nobility. In TTT, Sam tells him, "You have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of -- well, Gandalf, of wizards." In TROTK, Denethor, Faramir's father, speaks similar words, although with considerably less admiration - "Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle." I am looking forward to the rest of the story and being reminded of what Faramir accomplishes.

One final scene that I found especially interesting in TTT was stone figure with the red eye painted upon its forehead, graffitied by the servants of Mordor. It was a majestic figure perverted by evil; however, as they walk away from it, Frodo notices that the king's original head is lit up by the sun like a crown. I think that is a particularly elegant symbol of the seeming underdog of Good ready to topple the seeming ruler of Evil.

Overall, The Two Towers still feels like an in-between book, connecting loose ends until the ending can be unfolded. However, I picked up on several symbols and aspects that didn't stand out to me on my first read-through in the sixth grade. I'd forgotten many of the significant events, but having a general knowledge of the plotline, I was able to slow down and appreciate the details of the masterpiece Tolkien created. 3.75 stars for this one (in comparison to the others, not in comparison to works by lesser authors).

I've already touched on one of the main things that has caught my notice so far in The Return of the King - how awesome Faramir is turning out to be - but there is one other thing that I want to mention. Eowyn. Is. So. Awesome. I have always held that Aragorn was a total idiot to not fall madly in love with her, although he seems at least somewhat tempted by her strength and fortitude as he rides away to the Door of the Dead. I don't remember exactly how everything plays out, and I am looking forward to reading more of it.

If you wrote a post for June or July for the LOTR Read-along, please post your links in the linky below.

1 comment:

  1. There are so many wonderful things about LOTR one cannot mention them all! The image of Henneth Annun that Tolkien paints with his words is one of my favourites. Faramir is an extraordinary character and the films did not do him justice. I think you will love it to remember how everything works out for Eowyn, she is such a great heroine. This is a very insightful post and you reminded me of some things I have almost forgotten.

    Thanks for mentioning my June post, I will link it now, and I will link my July post tomorrow.


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