From the heart of the Shire, through the depths of Moria, to the ends of Middle-Earth, it’s The Babylon Bee Reads The Lord Of The Rings! In this episode of The Babylon Bee Reads, Kyle and Dan are joined by Jonathan Watson, creator alongside his two friends of TheOneRing.Com, which can also be followed on Facebook. Kyle, Dan, and Jon are on a quest to joyfully dig through Chapter 2, The Shadow Of The Past, which gives us plenty of exposition about the one ring, the stirring forces of evil in Middle-Earth and explains why Frodo is no longer safe in the Shire.
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Chapter 2 - The Shadow of the Past
Frodo is an oddity like Bilbo was and becomes restless.
He continues celebrating Bilbo’s birthday and shows signs of ‘good preservation’ even as he approaches age 50 the same age when Bilbo left on his journey.
Tolkien is telling history before it happens (the developing of his myth like Mad Baggins)
We hear about his close friends... Fredegar Bolder and Folco Boffin are mentioned but Merry and Pippin are closest and are anxious about him as Frodo takes to taking long walks farther away from home in the hills under the stars and becoming obsessed with maps and dreaming of mountains he has never seen before. “The old paths seemed too well-trodden”
Frodo is seeing the elves going west as they leave M-E for good. And dwarves are coming west to the Blue Mountains. They provide a lot of news from outside the Shire...
“They were troubled, and some spoke in whispers of the Enemy and of the Land of Mordor.” the evil power in Mirkwood had been driven out by the White Council only to reappear in greater strength in the old strongholds of Mordor. The Dark Tower had been rebuilt, it was said. From there the power was spreading far and wide, and away far east and south there were wars and growing fear. Orcs were multiplying again in the mountains. Trolls were abroad, no longer dull-witted, but cunning and armed with dreadful weapons. And there were murmured hints of creatures more terrible than all these, but they had no name.”
Gandalf hasn’t been seen for 9 years, after a time of coming and going and being concerned about Frodo’s health (what does he suspect?), and just as well since the people of the Shire suspect he had something to do with Bilbo going mad and disappearing
"'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.
'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.'"
The discussion of the fall and corruption of Smeagol and a discussion on the pity of Bilbo.
The depiction of Sméagol not being wholly ruined.
A discussion of fate in The Lord of the Rings: Bilbo was meant to find the ring and Frodo was meant to have it. Wills of secondary agents.
Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many – yours not least.
We get introduced to Samwise Gamgee w/ the convo at The Green Dragon at Bywater!! (He believes in “fairies” or at least dragons and ents)
Has a love for elves and has a childlike wonder about the world nurtured by Bilbo’s stories.
“I dare say there’s more truth in some of them than you reckon.”
G.K. Chesterton wrote about the importance of fairytales as did Lewis and Tolkien… “Fairytales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.”
Frodo seems to have some trust issues with Gandalf.
You say the ring is dangerous, far more dangerous than I guess.
It would overcome anyone of mortal race. The ring would possess the possessor
‘A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, walks in the twilight under the eye of the Dark Power that rules the Rings. Yes, sooner or later – later, if he is strong or well-meaning to begin with, but neither strength nor good purpose will last – sooner or later the Dark Power will devour him.’
The ring can also shrink or expand at will to slip of a finger if it wanted.
Gandalf began to think something odd about it right when Bilbo found it and lied about winning the ring from Gollum. He talks about Saruman and whether Bible will be harmed. He voluntarily gave up the ring!
Among the Wise I am the only one that goes in for hobbit-lore: an obscure branch of knowledge, but full of surprises. Soft as butter they can be, and yet sometimes as tough as old tree roots.
Greatness vs Morality
Jonathan’s take on the Movie adaptations