Tolkien Reading Day 2006

On March 25, 2006, the founding members of Wellinghall, the new Toronto Smial of the Tolkien Society (UK) held our first Tolkien Reading Day in a cozy booth at a local restaurant, The Pickle Barrel in Yorkdale Mall, a well known Toronto Shopping Centre. After a delicious lunch and delightful conversation the following passages from JRR Tolkien’s writings were read.

The Fellowship of the Ring, The Shadow of the Past: the climax of this chapter when Frodo draws the Ring out of his pocket as Gandalf continues to convince Frodo as to the utmost seriousness of what he now possesses. Because Paulina lives in Texas, this passage was read by Laura.

The Fellowship of the Ring, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony: we got quite a kick out of hearing Gerda read that wonderful, fun-loving poem The Man in the Moon.

The Return of the King, The Tower of Cirith Ungol: the passage when Sam is wondering if the others think of them at all. In this paragraph Tolkien describes what the rest of the Company is facing at that same hour. And despite all the challenges and fears their thoughts are always turning towards Frodo and Sam.

The Book of Lost Tales I: Lara, in her captivating voice, gracefully shared with us Tolkien's beautiful and other-worldly description of the vessel of the Moon.

The Hobbit, Riddles in the Dark: Richard, who is Lara’s eight year old son, read the Wind riddle. It was posed to Bilbo by Gollum in one of the best known chapters of The Hobbit. Richard deserves many kudos for behaving admirably while six grown women chatted, read, and laughed for nearly five hours around our cozy table!

The Two Towers, Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit: Vicki got us all chuckling as we listened to her read the famous and well-loved taters conversation between Gollum and Sam.

The Fellowship of the Ring: Laura is especially drawn to the poetry. She read the prophecy poem referring to Aragorn - 'All that is gold does not glitter'. We all tried to recite it together and, with a few stumbles, finally got through it. Another poem read by Laura—a very moving one—takes place a short while before the Company leaves Rivendell on their long journey south. Frodo and Bilbo are having a special farewell together and, with much emotion, Bilbo turns to the window and quietly recites poignant verses, ending with

'But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.'

A favourite prose section of Laura's is when Frodo passes his journal on to Sam: "I have quite finished, Sam," said Frodo. "The last pages are for you".

The Return of the King, The Land of Shadow: Jo read a passage that has enveloped her deeply for years. On the edge of despair and utterly weary, one forsaken night Sam sees a single white star twinkling high above Mordor. Hope returns to his heart reminding him that there is light and beauty beyond Shadow’s reach, giving that faithful brave hobbit cause and hope to press on with Mr. Frodo.

Many more well-loved passages were read, these are a few highlights. As a very fitting end Lara read that final poignant scene at the Grey Havens in The Return of the King that invariably causes everyone's emotion to well up to overflowing. Lara's amazing reading talent drew us in, spellbound.

Thanks to The Pickle Barrel for allowing us to spend four hours in one of their comfy booths. Have a look at our photos

By: Jo & Gerda


johobbit said...

A very special day. :)


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