As a sort of New Years Resolution, I’ve decided to elliptical my way from Hobbiton to Mordor, following Frodo and Sam’s path from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Each day, I do a few miles and then read about the same miles the hobbits covered, before writing about the whole thing in the blog. Here’s today’s entry:
Our hobbits peer from a ridge across the Brandywine River toward places they have never been. Naturally, they stop to eat. Frodo recites (mostly) one of Bilbo’s poems. Continuing on, the road straightened and it was getting dark. They heard a rider. Sam and Pippin thought it might be Gandalf. Frodo wasn’t so sure.
Thoughts on the Passage – p 72-73 (of the 50th Anniversary Edition)
This bit contains Frodo’s reinvention of Bilbo’s “The Road Goes Ever On and On” poem, though he recites it absent-mindedly, not realizing it wasn’t his own.
Frodo’s version of the poem is exactly like Bilbo’s from the first chapter except the fifth line. Where Bilbo said, “Pursuing it with eager feet,” Frodo says, “Pursuing it with weary feet.” The entire mood of the poem changes and gives us a wonderful (and obvious) look into both Frodo and Bilbo.
When Tolkien first wrote this chapter, he changed the poem in another way as well. Instead of being in the first person singular (like Bilbo’s), it’s in first person plural. This would turn the fourth line from: “And I must follow, if I can” to “And we come after it, who can.” He also made no indication of who was actually speaking it. Interestingly, when he first wrote it, he scribbled the word “eager” above “weary.” Maybe he batted around the idea of having Frodo simply echo Bilbo, or maybe that’s when he decided to have Bilbo recite the poem in the first chapter (in his original draft of the first chapter, Bilbo doesn’t say it at all).
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
Thoughts on the Exercising
I think that I’m ready to figure out how to do this correctly. About two minutes into today’s tour de force, my legs started to really ache. I kept on going through the pain and it got better (or I learned to ignore it). Now, about three minutes after stopping, my thighs are mighty sore. Stretching certainly helps though. Also today, I don’t think I drank enough water. Maybe that would help too.
I’m not into fitness. I don’t really care about it all that much. I just want to get into shape. I don’t need to be the trimmest fellow in the Shire or cut out doughnuts. I mostly want my heart not to explode when I run. The good news is that aside from my legs, I feel absolutely wonderful! I feel energized and ready to go again.
- Miles today: 5
- Miles thus far: 28
- 35 miles to Farmer Maggot’s
- 107 miles to Bree
- 212 miles to Weathertop
- 430 miles to Rivendell
- 1,751 miles to Mt. Doom
Today’s stopping place: Just off the road to Woodhall and Stock.