The Fellowship of the Ring and its Horribly Nerdy Prologue

I have only just started the Fellowship of the Ring, so instead of a review or update I am going to tell you about how Tolkien sets up his story, as well as his intricate worldbuilding.

The prologue is 20 pages long. It is written from the perspective of someone in the world Tolkien has created, who is reflecting on the events of the past(the present during the plot of the book). Tolkien’s books also exist in the universe, written after the events of the stories. So the narrator is a historian-like, unnamed character writing to an in-world audience. This creates the assumption that the reader already knows the basic history of the world. However you, the one actually reading it, probably don’t. The prologue names like 40 characters and 13 different countries, none of which you have to remember because if they end up being relevant they will be explained later. Tolkien was just a nerd who wanted everyone to hear about the tens of thousands of years he had mapped out of his fictional world. The prologue does explain what Hobbits are, and some of their history for context; as well as who Bilbo Baggins is and why he matters even though he is only in the first chapter. Once you get past that part it is a history textbook and can be very difficult to get through, honestly unless you’re super invested in who Meriadoc and Peregrin might be or how the time records of the Shire differ from that of the Elves, skip right to chapter one and save yourself the time.

The Heavy Song of a Heavy Heart

The song is “Brutus” by The Buttress, from the album “My Name Means Heavy (demo version)”. It is inspired by the play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare, in which the character Brutus, a friend of Caesar, conspires to kill him with others. The lyrics portray the thoughts of Brutus, his inner turmoil about what he is plotting. One of the overarching, subtle themes in the song is the concept of heavy. The beat is heavy, and the words seem to flow with it, emphasizing in lines like “I hate the air he breathes,” “This death will be art,” “I don’t want what you had, I wanna be you,”. It also ties into the heaviness of Brutus’ thoughts, of murdering his life long friend and his own raw desperation, as in the line “so with a heavy heart I’ll guide this dagger into the heart of my enemy,”. And it all comes together with his name, Brutus, which he states means heavy. This feeling of heavy is intensified by the slow rise in volume over the course of the song.

Response to The Little Mermaid Group’s Thesis

I agree with this group’s thesis, in that Ursula was shown as evil using negative stereotypes about beauty standards for women. I would like to add that it seems Disney was specifically queer-coding her as a drag queen, with a deeper voice, different body type than all the other women in the movie, and loud makeup. Disney has queer-coded a lot of their villains with subtle stereotypes.