Author : Harshita Hiya
For many of us, the fellowship of nine always had one more member. We travelled with Frodo, and we stayed with him, from The Shire to Mordor, through breathtaking Rivendell and the perilous mines of Moria. Nothing could have been a better escape for lonely souls with walls and books for company. It was easy to fall in love with that trilogy, which is why it is no mystery that it still manages to capture hearts more than sixty years after its first edition.
The level of attachment I personally feel for this series is above any other fantasy novel I’ve read.
Dark nights on the terrace alone as a kid, and the first thought to enter my mind would be, “what if there’s a NAZGUL standing behind me?”
Making silly excuses not to go to school, and suddenly jumping and rushing to get ready as soon as my father sincerely encouraged, “wake up, you’re a soldier of Gondor”. Not to mention staring creepily at every old man on the street with a long beard hoping to see Gandalf winking back at me.
This though, is a fandom in the shadows. Be it conversations with friends or trending topics on social networks, when it comes to fantasy, more often than not, discussions revolve around Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire.
The kind of popular appeal enjoyed by these two series of books, of course well- deserved, nowadays makes The Lord of the Rings a thing of the past. A classic, no doubt, but no longer a must-read. At least in my circle, the trilogy hasn’t found many takers. Opinions in discussion forums are that it is more of a travel account than a story, with pages and pages of walking and wandering. Less relatable due to its setting and black and white characters, and hard to comprehend due to its language.
For me, it has always been more than that, because all that wandering was not for nothing. It taught me that to achieve what we want we might have to take a long dreary road, and there is nothing wrong in making the most of this ‘adventure’. In fact, the beauty of the whole series lies in the fact that it takes its time to lay out in flesh all of its fantastic locations and legends, instead of rushing through everything just to keep the pages turning.
It is a tale of how loyal companions can make even the worst of journeys a memory to cherish. I have seen many grey characters in the trilogy, but even if one claims its too black and white, that isn’t a thing I would ever complain about, as I confess it is one book I always turn to whenever I need to reaffirm my faith in humanity.
For a long long time, I have waited for a write-up or article to pop up in my newsfeed which somehow, some way, acknowledges the epic that is LOTR.
Then again I thought, why keep waiting?
This is, hence, a tribute to that pipe smoking, badass, grey and white wizard who brought magic into the lives of many like me, for I hope I’m not alone in my adulation of this immortal tale.
To Frodo, who taught me that giving up is not an option.
To Sam, who taught me loyalty is priceless( and that rope is very, very important).
To Legolas and Gimli and their friendship, which rose above all norms and a history of hostility.
To Merry and Pippin, who showed us that we needn’t take ourselves way too seriously.
To Aragorn and his humility.
To Boromir, who proved that it is within us to make right our wrongs.
This is a tribute to Tolkien, and to the Lord of The Rings, from the tenth member of the Fellowship (ah wishful thinking). I am still waiting for my fiftieth birthday.