March 25th is celebrated as Tolkien Reading Day – something I came to know a few days later. A day marked to celebrate the life and work of JRR Tolkien must be quite something, fans and readers sharing their favorite passages from Tolkien’s work. I was introduced to Lord of the Rings (LoTR) from the movie franchise and right then on I was mesmerized by the characters, the stories, and the magical realm of Middle Earth.
Last year I finished reading the first part of LoTR, The Fellowship of the Ring. There are many things to note in the pages, and something that really stood out was how Tolkien describes the imaginary world of Middle Earth, the myths, and the lives that were, that was, and that will be. I felt as though I was reading a history of a real world. It is almost impossible to imagine the depth of art and work that must have gone into the making of the story.
Fiction isn’t real. The characters aren’t real. And yet there is a touch of truth behind, an invisible line of connection with the characters you’d never meet. That is the mind of the creator, the writer. A mind we marvel at.
Since 2003, Tolkien Reading Day has been celebrated by The Tolkien Society. This year the theme is Hope and Courage. When I lack courage I remember Frodo, when my patience wavers I think of Arwen, when I search for a guardian I look for Gandalf, when hope seems far I pray to be like Samwise, and when I think of life well lived I seek for the tiny yet strong Hobbits.
Here are some of my favorite passages from The Fellowship of the Ring.
‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.Book 1, Chapter 2: The Shadow of the Past
‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’
A poignant line that also features in the movie franchise. It speaks of both hope and courage. All we can do is decide what to do with the time that is with us.
‘But where shall I find courage?’ asked Frodo. ‘That is what I chiefly need.’Book 1, Chapter 3: Three is Company
‘Courage is found in unlikely places,’ said Gildor.
Like Frodo carries the burden of the ring, each of us carries our own. Where do the fires of Mordor lie where we may be able to leave the ring to burn, we cannot tell.Read More »