i'm liking the looks of this community. intelligent conversation is much needed among all the fangirly things in the LOTR fandom. not that i don't like fangirly, but sometimes you just need a break, y'know?
right, so i've read LOTR i dunno how many times (i'm reading up ROTK at the moment, actually) and i've read The Hobbit twice. I want to read The Silmarillion next. I tried reading it a couple years ago, but it was too difficult, so i want to try again soon. I was hoping to do so this summer but it seems i have no time surprise surprise *sigh*. I'm holding off reading Unfinished Tales or the History of ME until i've read The Sil, so i'm afraid i'm useless for conversations that deal with anything besides The Hobbit or LOTR...though of course those two could be plenty to keep us busy for months! :)
yeah, so, i'm looking forward to discussing LOTR with you all!!
in fact, i've got a discussion question now if you guys wanna get started. It might be one of those questions that's already been discussed to death, but we need to get this community up and running! :)
Why did Tolkien include the chapter(s) with Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Downs? Of what purpose are they (besides the fact that Merry gets his oh-so-useful sword there)?
In my opinion:
Perhaps it has something to do with the hobbits' innocence, and it represents their transition from Shire hobbits to beings fighting for the whole of Middle Earth. They lose their clothes and gear, they are stripped of everything they know, and Frodo especially has to force himself to fight (which is new for him b/c he's such a scholarly hobbit). Then when they are freed by Bombadil, it's a sign that they can't do it alone, that they need the cooperation of everyone around them. Running naked across the grassy Downs could be like a rebirth. They have no burdens, they're being recreated for a new task, they're given a fresh start.
yeah, so that's my two cents :)