Thursday, 9 January 2014

rereading lord of the rings: notes 3

The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One: The Ring Sets Out.

Chapter 5: A Conspiracy Unmasked
Only now, at the start of this chapter, crossing the Brandywine river. Not a chase, as in film. None of it a chase so far, in fact, rather a journey with lurking danger, which is more interesting.

Fredegar, Fatty, the forgotten hobbit. Would be tortured to death by black riders in modern version. Merry and Pippin's accompaniment not accidental, but the conspiracy of the chapter title.

A low-speed chase.

Chapter 6: The Old Forest
Finally leave the Shire, through the Hedge. Not an action thriller - don't need to be catapulted headlong into events. Let the world unroll, give it time, but without being dull, maintaining interest and momentum.

Reasons for leaving - friendship. Frodo leaving to flee trouble himself, but also to avoid bringing trouble to the Shire.

Seems incurious that the old forest on the doorstep is so rarely visited, but then perhaps unsurprising given magical/living/moving nature.

Necessary for plot movement that Merry, Pippin, Sam knew what was going on, but slightly implausible they knew and kept quiet, or that only they worked out, and Gandalf so indiscreet, especially with Sam's successful and repeated spying.

A sequence of people helping - elves, Maggot, Tom Bombadil. Episodic nature of journey structure shaping up; traditional; Pilgrim's-Progress-like.