Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tolkien reading day

Yes, we have another special day today. It is Tolkien Reading Day. So grab your favourite Tolkien book and share your favourite quote or moment.

Mine is towards the end of Lord of the Rings. Sam just got Frodo out of the hands of the orcs. And both little hobbits are struggling on their way to reach mount Doom. The rest for the evening. And than Tolkien writes this:

Frodo sighed and was asleep almost before the words were spoken. Sam struggled with his own weariness, and he took Frodo's hand; and there he sat silent till deep night fell. Then at last, to keep himself awake, he crawled from the hiding-place and looked out. The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel DĂșath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking to himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master's, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo's side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

And why is this my favourite part of the story? First of all the description of it. I think that anybody wherever in the world has seen this scene. The clouds breaking in the night and that one bright star twinkling there. And besides that, it is such a strong scene. Surrounded by ugliness and despair, in a land where there is no hope, no beauty. And the one ruling that land is trying to destroy all that you believe in and see as beauty. But in that land, when all hope is gone, there is that one moment, showing there is still beauty, there is still reason to hope. Giving Sam the courage to take a rest, so he will be strong enough to help Frodo with that hopeless task of destroying the ring. A little spark that will turn evil into good, the eucathastrophy, as Tolkien himself described it.

So now it is to you, what is your favourite part of Tolkiens writing? 

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