Jaime Pincin – Book II, Chap. 1 “Many Meetings”
1) With the explanation from Gandalf that Frodo’s wound would have turned him into a wraith, what do you think the wound symbolizes? Why does Tolkien focus more on the internal activity of the blade instead of the external, physical wound?
2) What is the significance of Frodo seeing Bilbo as a “little wrinkled creature with a hungry face?”
Austin Chang – Book II, Chap. 2 “The Council of Elrond”
1) In this chapter, a lot of new characters are introduced, three of which will enter the Fellowship. Of these three, Tolkien takes great care to make sure one stands out. Pay close attention to how these three characters are introduced. Which one is he pointing out and why?
2) In many ways, Frodo’s decision to take on the ring can be seen as a “call to adventure” in the Hero’s Journey. How is this a typical “call to adventure”? How is it atypical?
Dr B – Book II, Chap. 3 “The Ring Goes South”
1) Who joins Frodo on his journey? Why does Elrond not bind the whole company by oath to go all the way to Mordor? What point might Tolkien be making about oaths and vows in this context?
2) What does Bilbo’s song “I sit beside the fire and think” tell us about the season of life he is in?
3) Have your plans for a journey ever been dramatically changed by … the weather? Is the stormy snowfall on Caradhras caused by malevolent influence? Why is Gandalf at pains to point out that there are more enemies in the world than just Sauron and Saruman? How does the Company survive the storm?
Devon Torres – Book II, Chap. 4 “A Journey in the Dark”
1. Why does the group choose to go through the Mines of Moria? What are their other alternatives?
Elliot White – Book II, Chap. 5 “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum”
1. When Frodo is stabbed by an orc’s spear, he’s unharmed because of the mithril mail Bilbo gifted him. The party doesn’t think too much about it, but why does Frodo continue to keep his armor a secret?
2. What is the Balrog, and what could it symbolize? Why was Gandalf unable to stop the Balrog without sacrificing himself? What does Gandalf’s absence mean for the group’s quest going forward, and (if you had no knowledge of the story) does it seem like Gandalf may return?