Photo used with permission from Pixabay by the Creative Commons License.
“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.”
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien is a series that begins with The Fellowship of the Rings. It is a trilogy, with The Two Towers and Return of the King following Fellowship, as well as other books in the same universe. Some of these books are The Silmarillion and The Hobbit, a sort of prequel to The Lord of the Rings. People consider this series to be a great fantasy epic of the 1900s, and rightly so, having made beloved films and many awards. It is a book series that has stood the test of time, still loved today, and especially in times like these.
The Fellowship of the Rings follows the journey of Frodo Baggins after the ring of power comes into his possession. Frodo’s uncle, Bilbo Baggins, has left the ring to him and gone on his journey, and Frodo shortly thereafter embarks on a similar journey. This time he takes three of his friends with him, Samwise Gamgee and Merry and Pippin. He leaves the Shire when Gandalf the wizard reveals that the ring is extremely powerful. If the ring falls into the wrong hands, the world of Middle Earth will fall into the wrong hands.
So begins the story of Frodo Baggins as he leaves the Shire to protect his people and flee from the agents of the Dark Lord, as he makes alliances and enemies, and as his story stretches out wider than he could’ve imagined.
Review of Fellowship of the Rings
When the world seems scary and dangerous, it can be nice to read an escapist book. It’s nice to not have to pay attention to the world’s issues and instead get caught up in dragons and magic, wizards and dangers that can be defeated relatively easily. We are plagued by a pandemic -pun not intended- that is invisible and contagious, dangerous and unnoticeable. It can be a comfort to follow the journey of defeating one being that harnesses all evil. This is why The Fellowship of the Rings is the book I consider a comfort.
I’m not the only person to find comfort in this epic, either. As the Seattle Times says, “I watch the same three movies, [The Lord of the Rings], consecutively on the same Sunday every year… because, especially now, silly rituals are essential.” This series, in book or movie form, is a huge comfort to people. It’s a classic, and classics have a way of impacting us.
It can be tiring to always be online, reading the news and panicked tweets about Covid-19. I know it is for me. Reading The Fellowship of the Rings allowed me to turn off the panicked side of my brain a little. When a story has elves and orcs, that’s much easier to do. At least, it’s easier than reading a book about pandemics. It’s also a hopeful story.
Imbued throughout it is a message about the power a person can have just by caring, no matter how big or small. After all, hobbits are only around three or four feet tall. It is a novel filled with magic and a sense of power through it. We can feel so powerless when we’re battling a virus, so why not feel some power as you journey on with Frodo?
This is a book with equal amounts of hope and danger. It has magic and evil, wizards and orcs. If you are willing to sit down with a trilogy of books, each over 400 pages, you won’t regret it. And why shouldn’t you sit down with a long book? We have quite a lot of time. The Fellowship of the Rings is a must read classic that has survived through the decades.