Your favourite passages from The Hobbit, Silmarillion and Lord of The Rings

paranoid marvin

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We all have our favourites, those bits that stick in our minds.

I smiled at the mention of Bilbo having his 'second breakfast' in the Hobbit and was delighted when it was very cleverly incorporated into the LOTR movie (one of the few of Jackson's 'modifications' to the story I approve of).

But my two favourite excerpts are from The Lord of the Rings, and both involve Sam. The first is in 'A Knife In The Dark' when Sam, who to this point has seemed quite clumsy, suddenly becomes exquisitely eloquent as he tells the tale of Gil-galad. Now I must admit that I am normally one to whizz over Tolkein's poems and songs, but this one is very short and poignant. and ends with the Elven-king falling into darkness in Mordor.

Which brings me on to my second favourite passage in 'The Tower of Cirith Ungol'. Sam, armed with Sting and a glass phial meets an orc 'and what it saw was not a small frightened hobbit trying to hold a steady sword; it saw a great silent shape, cloaked in a grey shadow , looming against the wavering light behind; in one hand it held a sword, the very light of which was a bitter pain, the other was clutched at it's breast, but held concealed some nameless menace of power and doom. And as the orc flees from this mighty warrior, Sam cries "Yes the Elf-warrior is loose!"

I like to think that Sam, in his attempted rescue of Frodo, is for a brief moment a reincarnation of Gil-galad, wreaking his revenge on his enemies in the Dark Lord's lair.
 
The paragraph beginning “ In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

That line has stuck with me since I first heard it as a young child a very long time ago. One of the most evocative passages in literature for me.
 
I love the passage in The Hobbit in which Bilbo climbs the tall tree in Mirkwood and at last, after such a wearisome journey below, can see sunlight on leaves, feel the breeze on his face, and watch the black butterflies flittering about.
 
Ooh, so many.

The bit where Gandalf describes falling with the balrog to the deep regions where "the earth is gnawed by nameless things". As a child I felt desperate to know what they were and where they came from. (It never occurred to me until much later that Tolkien might not know.)

The chill-inducing bit where Gurthang speaks to Turin (but ONLY the Silmarillion version, not the neutered, modernised abomination in The Children of Hurin).

The lonely cry of the black riders over the Shire countryside.

The Witch-King and Eowyn (WHY didn't they leave the dialogue alone for the film?)

And so on and so on.
 
The Witch-King and Eowyn (WHY didn't they leave the dialogue alone for the film?)
Oh ye gods, yes. One of my absolute favourite scenes danced upon, wearing clogs.
Compare the book:
...Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. ‘But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.’
with the film:
I am no man
And for this alone, the scriptwriters (and Jackson) should be staked out in front of a herd of charging mûmakil...
 
It's just occurred to me that perhaps that more archaic sentence structure (no living man am I) has been rendered unusable for serious purposes by Yoda.
 
My favourite part of the Silmarillion is probably Beren and Luthien.
 
Gandalf confronting the balrog


I have wondered if the Balrog is the most dangerous foe the Fellowship meet on the whole of their journey. "Ai! ai!" wailed Legolas. "A Balrog! A Balrog is come!"; Gimli lets 'his axe fall covering his face' and Gandalf 'faltered and leaned heavily on his staff'.

I do not think that at any other stage in their adventures that the Fellowship are as fearful or despondent about facing an enemy, and this is when they are at full strength together.
 
If you mean physically met, yes, I'd agree. Balrogs were on the same 'level' as the Maiar, as direct servants of the Ainur, and technically as strong as Sauron himself.
If you include the Hobbit as well, though, Smaug must be up near that bracket. I doubt very much that the Eagles, big and powerful as they were, could have played out their deus ex machina roles if he'd still been around.
 
If you mean physically met, yes, I'd agree. Balrogs were on the same 'level' as the Maiar, as direct servants of the Ainur, and technically as strong as Sauron himself.
If you include the Hobbit as well, though, Smaug must be up near that bracket. I doubt very much that the Eagles, big and powerful as they were, could have played out their deus ex machina roles if he'd still been around.

Yes, strength-wise Smaug was a significant force, but I'd take my chances against him if I had Legolas' bow.

I guess the most powerful deus ex machina were the non-corporeal Dead Men of Dunharrow. Although they were perhaps limited in how much power Aragorn held over them, were they undefeatable?
 
Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house. - Aragorn to Eomer

For it is said in old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightful king could ever be known. - Ioreth to Gandalf and the Master of the Houses of Healing
 
I love the moment in The Fellowship of the Ring when Bombadil puts the Ring on and nothing happens, and he peers through its circle.
 
Towards the end of LotR after the scouring of the Shire there is a passage about Sam spreading the earth of Lorien all around the Shire. To bring back life a happyness, and not just on his own land for his own enjoyment and benefit. I makes me feel like that is how people [hobbit included] should act.
 
And then wonder took (Éomer) and a great joy; and he cast his sword up in the sunlight and sang as he caught it. And all eyes followed his gaze, and behold! upon the foremost ship a great standard broke, and the wind displayed it as she turned towards the Harlond. There flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor; but Seven Stars were about it, and a high crown above it, the signs of Elendil that no lord had borne for years beyond count. And the stars flamed in the sunlight, for they were wrought of gems by Arwen daughter of Elrond; and the crown was bright in the morning, for it was wrought of mithril and gold.

Brrr - shivers every time...
 
And another spine-tingling one:

And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
Anyone else forget that Rohan was coming, after getting all caught up in the events on the Pelennor and at the gate of Minas Tirith?
 
The events at the Ford of Bruinen when the Black Riders are swept away.

Yes, the flight to the Ford, Frodo brandishing his sword, defiantly, ineffectually at the Nine, and then the unexpected torrent of water formed into riders on horses with 'frothing manes'. Beautifully done.
 
Also in The Fellowship of the Ring, I relish the sequence in which the hobbits pass into the Old Forest and find they are being compelled deep into the Withywindle valley.

I first read that passage was I was 11 years old or so. Later, I enjoyed Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows," set, as I recall, in the Danube delta region and drawing on a canoeing trip Blackwood had made.

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