I began reading The Fellowship of the Ring before I found The List, but I was happy to find that it and it’s counterparts made an appearance. I had tried before to pick up this classic fantasy novel but I couldn’t get passed the first couple chapters. I had also read The Hobbit first which, someone told me, was backwards. “You should read the trilogy first and THEN go back and read The Hobbit.” In my head though, I wanted to read the books in order and since The Hobbit is a prequel to the trilogy that’s how I wanted to start. In retrospect I really should have listened to my friend because if I thought that The Fellowship was hard to get through at first, I thought that The Hobbit was brutal! Call me what you will, but I really didn’t enjoy The Hobbit. The trilogy was a different story. I rather enjoyed it. Did it take me a while to get passed the first few chapters of The Fellowship, yes. But my boyfriend promised me that it picked up after that and it did. I will say that I had seen the movies prior to reading the books so I knew the gist of the story was supposed to go. And yet I was pleasantly surprised to see new characters, characters that I loved in the movies more fleshed out in the books, and a completely different ending that is only hinted at in the movies. One such character is Treebeard. I had a soft spot in my heart for that tree in the movies but now he is imprinted there forever, as dear to me as a close friend. I found myself smiling at the things he said and near to tears when he has to say goodbye to his Hobbit friends.
One other thing. I know there are jokes out there that Sam and Frodo may have been “a little more than friends”, and yes, I’ll admit that while watching the movies I picked up on that feeling too. But, in my opinion, it is in the books where they really start to teeter on the line between friendship and lovers. Whenever Frodo sleeps and Sam stays awake to keep watch, Frodo’s head always ends up in Sam’s lap or their hands are found entwined in the morning. Now, now, before I get strung up for even mentioning this, let me just say that I adore the pair of them. I think it is one of the greatest friendships, if not love stories, that has ever been put to the page.
I enjoyed all three books immensely and I agree with the BBC, everyone should try to read these books in their lifetime. The journey through Middle Earth is one you won’t soon forget.