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Five Rules of Fellowship (the Questing Kind)

We’ve read ’em, we love ’em, we want more of ’em.  Those books where a rag-tag group of people journey with each other towards a destination, a quest, a mission – an adventure.  These are my favourite kind because we are treated to – not only an epic adventure – but a view of relationships, evolution of mind, heart and spirit and sacrifices made when we enter into these types of stories.  I call these Fellowship stories because they always contain a group of three or more people travelling together towards a goal.  We all are familiar with the Lord of the Rings – probably the most well-known Fellowship story of all. As I’ve read these types of books over the years, I’ve come to notice 5 unspoken rules about Fellowship stories.  But before we get into them, what do I mean by fellowship?

Fellowship is defined as:

1. the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc

So in the case of these stories, the mutual interest is a focused goal, usually to save the world, destroy the one ring, defeat evil, fight zombies, find a cure,  and so on.  The mutual experiences and activities are the challenges the group faces on their journey.  I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love the Fellowship type stories, whether they be a movie or a book.  It is compelling to witness how a group stays strong or dissolves due to circumstances outside of their control.  We see the true nature of character in group dynamics; who is lacking courage, who has malice in their heart, who is loyal, loving and brave.  I am drawn to these types of stories (as I am sure we all are) because let’s face it, we are drawn to each other – we humans need each other.  As an introvert I revel in solitude – but only for so long.  Eventually I will seek human companionship.  We create fellowships for ourselves without our even knowing it – our group of friends/family who we spend the most time with.  We recognize ourselves in these stories, relating to one or two characters within.  Who we cheer for, who we mistrust, who we miss when they are gone from the story can reveal something of our inner selves.

Let’s dive in to the five rules shall we?

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The Five Rules of Fellowship:

  1. There must always be a group of three or more people
    • It can start out as one or two but eventually, a group of three or more is formed along the way
  2. There must be a journey with a mission involved 
    • the journey has to be a physical one towards a destination (with the added bonus of an emotional and spiritual journey developing along the way)
    • the mission usually involves saving the world, kingdom, city, country, another being or soul
  3. The group gets separated along the way 
    • either by choice or by force
    • it can be the entire group splitting or it might just be one or two people who leave the group
  4. Someone in the group eventually (*usually) betrays another 
    • betrays the whole group or an individual
    • this betrayal might be forced (blackmailed or seduced by power)
    • betrayal might also by by choice (they put themselves before the group to save their own ass)
    • * I say usually because not every Fellowship story has a betrayal – though most do
  5. Someone in the group will eventually sacrifice themselves for the group
    • it could be the betrayer who redeems themselves in the end with an unselfish act
    • the sacrifice is usually made so the rest of the group can be saved to finish their journey

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These are the 5 rules I’ve observed that are standard throughout each story.  Is there a rule you have observed that I haven’t listed?  If so, I would love to know.  Write it down in the comment section below.

To end this post I want to list the books of an author who writes a lot of Fellowship stories.  Stephen King.  He loves them and I love him for loving them.  His Fellowship stories are:

  • IT
  • The Cell
  • The Stand
  • Stand by Me
  • The Mist

Other Fellowship stories I’ve read that follow the above rules?

  • The Passage Trilogy – Justin Cronin
  • Dies the Fire – S.M. Stirling
  • Swan Song – Robert McCammon
  • The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
  • The Walking Dead (graphic novels) – Robert Kirkman
  • The Braided Path – Chris Wooding
  • A Song of Ice and Fire series – George R.R. Martin
  • Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle
  • Fire of Heaven Trilogy – Russell Kirkpatrick

I know I’ve read many throughout the years and can’t remember them all – but these are the ones that stick out in my head. What Fellowship stories have you read?  I would love to know so I can add them to my To Read list.

 

This post brought to you by the letter F and the A to Z Challenge.

What Are They Reading? Frodo Edition

When I enter someone’s home and I see a shelf of books, like a moth to a flame, I am drawn towards it.  I must know what people have read – what their tastes are.  It is a constant curiosity I have when it comes to a book.  Just like a cat is unable to stop itself from pouncing on a mouse or chittering at a bird, I am unable to not peruse the titles of someone’s personal library.

In fact I’ve gone to great lengths to see what people are reading – you can read about it at an older post: On Being a Book Ninja

So it wouldn’t surprise you to know that once in awhile, I imagine what books a fictional character might read (this is after I’ve thought about cats and ways to save the world – my life isn’t just about books you know).

I started a new feature on this blog called What Are they Reading and began it with Gandalf.

But now I want to know what Frodo is reading.

frodobaggins reading

As a reader, you don’t go on a long quest without a good book or two or five.  We know Frodo carried at least one book with him on his mission (I’m going off the movie – not the book on this one) so what kinds of books would he be carrying on him?

*On a funny note – look up Mordor on Wikitravel

alice-in-wonderlandAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I can clearly picture this book in Frodo’s bag. He himself is so much like Alice – down a rabbit hole, faced with challenge, obstacles, darkness – heading towards a destination (following the rabbit). Meeting new friends, going on a grand adventure. I imagine this is one of Frodo’s favourites.

Book Summary:
We all know what adventure Alice goes on and if you don’t – are you even from this planet?

 

 

 

Short – Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall At Allshort walking tall by john schwartz

Okay, so maybe not that many Hobbits care about their height but they certainly face more obstacles in Middle-earth than any other species because of it.  Frodo had some confidence issues to work on in the beginning of his journey so it’s no surprise that a book based on how size doesn’t matter would have helped him out some.

Book summary:
When veteran journalist John Schwartz took a close look at famous height studies, he made a surprising discovery: being short doesn’t have to be a disadvantage! Part advice book, part memoir, and part science primer, this fascinating book explores the marketing, psychology, and mythology behind our obsession with height and delivers a reassuring message to kids of all types that they can walk tall—whatever it is that makes them different.
 
 

WildernessSurvival-Davenport.2Wilderness Survival: 2nd Edition

This speaks for itself.  Frodo and Sam are going out into the unknown – you think Frodo is going unprepared?  He’s been in the Shire his whole life – you don’t just go out into the wilderness on an adventure without some survival tips.

Book Summary:
A comprehensive, well-organized, and user-friendly guide to staying alive in the back country.  With concise explanations and detailed illustrations, survival expert Gregory Davenport covers the five basic elements of survival–personal protection, signaling, finding food and water, travel, and health–providing the reader with complete information on how to stay calm and alive until rescue arrives.

 

 

The Real Middle Earth – Magic and Mystery in the Dark Agesthe real middle earth brian bates

One thing that seemed clear about Frodo, was his open mind. He has a healthy curiosity and a longing to know more than just the Shire.  So I think Frodo would want to know the origins of Middle-earth – from a more modern human perspective.

Book Summary:
Tolkien readily admitted that the concept of Middle-earth was not his own invention. An Old English term for the Dark Age world, it was always assumed that the importance of magic in this world existed only in Tolkien`s works; now Professor Brian Bates reveals the vivid truth about this historical culture. Behind the stories we know of Dark Age king and queens, warriors and battles, lies the hidden history of Middle-earth, a world of magic, mystery and destiny. Fiery dragons were seen to fly across the sky, monsters haunted the marshes, and elves fired poisoned arrows. Wizards cast healing spells, wise trees gave blessings, and omens foretold the deaths of kings.  Repressed by a millennium of Christianity, this belief system all but disappeared, leaving only faint traces in folk memory and fairy tales. In this remarkable book Professor Brian Bates has drawn on the latest archaeological findings to reconstruct the imaginative world of our past, revealing a culture with insights that may yet help us understand our own place in the world.
 

Thank you Jelly Pom

I love the name of her blog so I had to put it in the title.  Jelly Pom was nice enough to throw me the Very Inspirational Blogging award.  These blogging awards are great encouragers to keep writing and I appreciate the sentiments behind them.

So the following now has to happen:

  1. thank the person who nominated you – so again, thanks Jelly Pom!
  2. post the award to my page;
  3. list seven things about me;
  4. nominate a few more inspiring blogs and let each of them know they’ve been nominated by posting a comment on their blog.

Okay, here is the award:

7 things about myself?  Oy, I dunno.

1. I’m a woman

2. I’m a speed reader

3. I love Jimmy Fallon

4. I love Survivor

5. For some reason I could never quite picture the Balrog in Lord of the Rings books, I don’t know why.  I just couldn’t see it.  Not until the movie did I go ‘ohhhhhhh’

6. I’m Canadian

7. I have mad love for gorillas

And now for the blogs I want to give the title of Very Inspiring Blogger to are:

http://iamtheinvisiblehand.wordpress.com/ – she says some brave things in her blog, things I have only thought but never said out loud.  Her blog resonates strongly with me.

http://grimmsfurrytail.wordpress.com/ – let’s face it, animals are always inspiring.  I dare you to read the About Grimm section and not fall for that dog.

http://fatimaildefonso536.wordpress.com/ – hers is a voice of a broken heart.  Reading her posts are raw.  I respect anyone willing to just throw their emotions out on the table.

http://renegadehomeschooler.wordpress.com/ – again, another honest voice.  I’ve enjoyed reading her posts on homeschooling as I too have been thinking about homeschooling my kids (when I have them).

All right, that’s it for me.  I only discovered these 4 today and was really moved by their posts so that is why they are getting some blog love here.

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