This summer our “Tolkien Virgin”, Mark-Edmond, made a bold move–he stuffed his clothes in a suitcase, packed The Lord of the Rings in his backpack, and slung his guitar over his shoulder and headed over to… Japan! Now at long last, after a bit of a “summer vacation” you could say, he is settled and ready to go headlong into what we’re all anticipating: his first foray into J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

So now, with no further delays, I present for your reading pleasure the first entry in Mark-Edmond’s virgin journey through The Lord of the Rings.


Maybe I was a little too anxious to get started reading the story, but the Silmarillion-esque prologue was deadly boring.

The only interesting piece of information was that Bilbo lied to everyone about how he obtained the ring. So, maybe it was Gollum’s ring. But, taking something like that from such a monster as Gollum seems okay to me…justifiable and honest. Gollum would only use the ring for evil anyway!

Chapter 1

A Long-Expected Party

Gandalf arrives at Bag-end to watch over Bilbo’s departure.
I wonder how many people who read this first chapter know the title is a play on words from the title of the first chapter in The Hobbit, “An Unexpected Party”.

Well, that’s neither here nor there. Unfortunately, the chapter itself wasn’t that spectacular. Bilbo pulls off his party and elaborate prank and suddenly he’s out of the story. There were some good parts, but overall it almost felt like the point of the chapter was to get rid of Bilbo and shift the focus to Frodo.

The funniest moment in this chapter was the “scattered clapping” and general confusion following Bilbo’s statement, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like half of you half as well as you deserve.” I actually laughed.

The most interesting part of this chapter was by far the difficulty Bilbo had with leaving the ring. And when he called it “my Precious” the ring seemed truly sinister and evil for the first time.

What a startling thing to discover! And what a relief he was able to part with it! So, as the first chapter ends, my expectations are slightly lowered and I also wonder how long before Frodo puts on the ring.

till next time, keep thinking,


August, 2000

Kanazawa, Japan