Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings
By J.R.R. Tolkien
Frodo Baggins leads a quiet life in the Shire, but after inheriting a strange and powerful ring, that is about to change. Dark powers are rising in Middle-Earth, a shadow has fallen across the land, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, wants one thing: Frodo’s ring. Following the advice of Gandalf, his friend and a powerful wizard, Frodo sets off to destroy the ring and keep it from falling into the wrong hands. But the journey is long and fraught with mysterious, evil dangers, and so the Fellowship, a group of nine brave souls determined to destroy the ring and protect its bearer, is born.
The Lord of the Rings is one massive epic that, due to paper shortages in the 1950s, was split into three parts. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first part of the book and is by far the most innocent and boring part as well. The four hobbits’ approach at the beginning is very happy-go-lucky, and they don’t seem to quite grasp the gravity of the situation yet. The characters have only begun to be developed, and there sure is a lot of introduction going on. Tolkien introduces the main characters, introduces the ring, introduces the land, introduces the land’s history, introduces the problem, introduces the solution, introduces more main characters, introduces villains, and so on and so forth.
In fact, had I not realized that this was simply the beginning of one very long book, I doubt I would have made it past the first one. At the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, many of the characters are still flat and largely undeveloped, and there was a lot of walking and descriptions of how the sunrise hit the mountains in the distance. A lot. But while the first part of Tolkien’s story is certainly slow, it’s just the windup before his fastball, The Two Towers.