A Fresh Eye on the Fellowship: Chapter 2 - Looking at LOTR from a different point of view

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With a title like "The Shadow of the Past", one would expect that this chapter would focus on the Dark Lord, Sauron. Again, not much to my surprise, Tolkien not only uses this chapter to introduce the lore behind the Ring, but also to fill in some of the gaps between The Hobbit and Fellowship.

What really grabbed me about this chapter is the whole back story on Gollum, or should I say, Smeagol. From what I read in The Hobbit, I didn’t pity Smeagol at all. When Gandalf said that Bilbo didn’t kill him out of pity, I never saw the point where Bilbo actually wanted to. At that point in the story, Bilbo was not at the point yet that he was in Mirkwood with the spiders.

After reading the chapter, especially the Smeagol origin (twice), I did begin to feel pity for him. I also sensed Tolkien used the old adage, “It comes in three’s” where the Ring is concerned. The Ring at that point in time was possessed by Smeagol, then Bilbo, then Frodo. Three Hobbits, of which the Dark Lord knew nothing about.

Anyway, the whole Ring lore was exactly as I remembered it and I, as a fan, would like to see most, if not all, of Gandalf’s speech in the movie. Even if they cut out some of the minor details, but as long as they keep the foreboding atmosphere of the whole history of the One Ring.

It is also interesting that when I compared what I have already read to the Bakshi adaptation (which may have been a mistake in the first place) I noticed that Gandalf had mentioned Aragorn’s name in front of Frodo in the book but not the cartoon. Do you think Peter Jackson will do the same as Bakshi and keep Aragorn’s name a secret until he actually appears? I personally think that Tolkien had the right idea because it made me think that Aragorn was just a name thrown out there by Gandalf when searching for Smeagol, though I really know better.

Just some food for thought,

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