No book is perfect, so today I’m sharing the seven worst things in The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. Unfortunately, I can’t discuss my least favorite parts of the book without including spoilers, so if you don’t want the book spoiled, you shouldn’t read this post.
Disclaimer: These are my opinions, and you don’t have to agree with me.
Number 7: Frodo sold Bag End.
I was really sad when Frodo sold Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses. I feel like Bilbo didn’t want it in their possession, which is why he left it to Frodo; and Frodo sold it to them anyway. It’s also really hard to let go of the home you grew up in and have so many fond memories of, and it’s hard to see it go to someone else. I can see why Frodo sold it, but I don’t like that he does it.
Number 6: There’s no character diversity.
I have this same issue with The Hobbit. All of the main characters are male. I find it hard to believe there aren’t any women in Middle Earth who have skills and abilities that would make them quality members of the Fellowship.
Number 5: Arwen isn’t mentioned very much.
Building on the previous point, I don’t like the minimal mentions of Arwen. Given how important Aragorn is to the story, one would expect his love interest to get more page time. Since I watched the movie before I read the book, the lack of Arwen scenes was a little shocking. Including more of Arwen would have helped add at least a little character diversity.
Number 4: Tolkien skips over the reforging of Narsil.
The movies make a big deal out of the reforging of Narsil, so it was again a little shocking for it to be glossed over in the book. Aragorn’s possession of the legendary sword is such an important part of his story and arc. I’m surprised it doesn’t have more page time.
Number 3: Tom Bombadil and the events in the forest seem unnecessary.
As much as I like Tom Bombadil, I don’t think he or the events in the forest near his home add much to the story. I feel like they unnecessarily draw out the story. I wanted to read more about the Ring and the attempt to destroy it, and instead I was waylaid with all these events and people in the forest near the Shire.
Number 2: Too much time passes in the beginning of the story.
Many years go by between when Frodo inherits the Ring from Bilbo and when he actually sets out on his journey to Rivendell. I felt like the story is really drawn-out because so much time passes in between those two major events.
Number 1: There are too many descriptions of the characters’ travels.
Tolkien describes the characters’ travels a lot, and I find those descriptions boring. I don’t want to hear about their journeys from Point A to Point B unless something exciting and meaningful happens along the way.
These are my least favorite parts of The Fellowship of the Ring. While none of them ruin the story for me, they certainly affect my overall impression. In particular, they make the beginning of the novel slow and hard to get through.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with me on any of these points? Let me know in the comments.