Gandalf begins to explain the sinister ring Frodo preciously holds.
Chapter 2

The Shadow of the Past

So, the adventure begins! And now, it gets interesting.

In April of last year, Jon and Ted named their website ** so I knew that there was “the One Ring” and that it was an important part of the story, but I never suspected that it was the ring Bilbo found. How astonishing and unlikely–really drives home that whole *purposeful luck* thing from the Hobbit. To think how dangerous and evil the ring is throws a whole new light on The Hobbit. Do you all cringe each time Bilbo puts on the ring when you re-read the Hobbit? And just think that Bilbo wore it constantly for days at a time while holed up in the Wood-Elf King’s mountain palace.

The tale of the ring is so epic that it pales the Hobbit and reminds me of the grandeur of the Silmarillion. I’d like to read about Gil-Galad’s overthrowing Sauron, for he only was mentioned at the end of the Silmarillion.

The peace that Bilbo helped bring about at the end of the Hobbit seemed great at the time, but given the evil that now walks middle-earth, the deed seems less…and the worldseems larger.

Moving on, Gollum’s story, how Smeagol became Gollum and what happened to him post-Bilbo is great. Not great meaning good, but rather well-done. I pity him all themore even as he seems more wretchedly evil. Knowing that he started out as a normal mortal hobbit-like creature changes my thoughts about what he looks like, though. Did Tolkien ever do a drawing of Gollum? I know, I know, visit the art gallery.

I have a slightly ominous feeling about the future of the Shire, now that the Enemy has taken notice of hobbits. I won’t be surprised if the Shire is ravaged and hobbits slaughtered before the books conclude.

As for Tolkien’s constant foreshadowing, now I also expect Bilbo to reappear at a crucial moment in the future to do some good thing for, “the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.”

And finally the adventure is set: Frodo must take the ring to the Cracks of Doom to destroy it, and Sam Gamgee will go with him.

till next time, keep thinking,


August 2000

Kanazawa, Japan