97 pages 3 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1955

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Themes

The Power of Songs

The abundance of songs in The Fellowship of the Ring reveals the characters’ values and connection to culture and history. All the members of the fellowship who partake in song are on the side of good. They are literally in tune with their cultural heritage and often use song to express their emotions. Legolas recites a portion of “The Song of Nimrodel” as the Company crosses a stream that bears her name. Aragorn sings with sorrow of Beren and Tinúviel, the star-crossed lovers. Gimli, in the halls of Khazad-dûm, chants the Song of Durin with solemnity. The striking similarity in all three songs is that they are rooted in Middle-earth’s ancient history and tell sorrowful stories of loss. In their recitations, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli display knowledge of their heritage and express their grief and longing. Legolas laments the flight of the Elves from Lórien, Aragorn his postponed union with Arwen, and Gimli the demise of his homeland. The emotional transparency is especially vital in the quest since the temptation of the Ring creates an atmosphere of distrust. Song is a window into their hearts and validates their integrity.

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