It finally happened: the Tolkien Heads sat down and watched the extended edition of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
In what we hope to be an exciting and engaging final episode before a brief winter hiatus, the Heads delve into every aspect of this transformation from book to big screen. We make some criticisms about the film adaptation, but also manage to deem some changes from the book as improvements.
Do you agree with our reactions? Let us know in the comments!
Not even the Ring can hide Frodo from the all-seeing eye of the reader as we follow him out of a dangerous situation to the top of Amon Hen. The Heads discuss temptation and free will as they pertain both to Middle-Earth and to our own world.
The Fellowship is fractured (inevitably?), and only time will tell what awaits them in Book Three …
This chapter calls us to vigilance, even—or especially—in the midst of intense monotony. All remaining members of the Fellowship appear to be weary, despite their recent sojourn at Lórien, and their fatigue is made worse their constricted circumstances in the boats as they make their way down the Anduin. And what is going on with Boromir?
As our Fellowship drifts away from Lothlórien—or is it Lothlórien that drifts away from the Fellowship?—the Heads focus the discussion on mirrors and memory, prompted by a poignant exchange between Legolas and Gimli at the close of the chapter.
After the Fellowship is tacitly “tempted” by Lady Galadriel, Frodo and Sam peer into her watery mirror. The Heads—with Patricia from Comparative Literature as special guest—ponder how it may be that the fate of Lothlórien is bound up with Frodo’s task. We also discuss why the notion of a forest-city is a tantalizing etymological contradiction.
Doom, doom! We delve deeper and deeper into Moria after Gandalf and Gimli piece their way through a tattered historical text. We focus in particular on Gandalf’s humanity as he squares off with a foe that may be his match.
As the Fellowship suddenly finds itself safely in daylight again, but without its leader, our lectio section deals with the shocking dissonance we face when we encounter a calm for the first time after tragedy or trauma—the cruelty of normalcy.