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In Fellowship

Movies get to do it, so why can’t we?

Welcome to the official preview of the first issue of In Fellowship, the Gathering of the Fellowship journal. It has been a long road for the journal staff, learning how to put a journal together, discovering that volunteers do not fall out of the sky, and merrily reading our way through the many submissions we have received, but from the initial steps of the journal, the staff has unanimously decided to favour quality over speed. To that end, we might have taken a bit longer than anyone expected to produce the first issue, but we can now conclusively say that it is coming, it is coming soon, and it will be amazing.

Included here are short excerpts from some of the non-fiction articles and creative works that will be appearing in the first issue of In Fellowship. Look for the full-length works in June/July when the first issue should be complete!

In Fellowship editorial board and staff

Readers Voices: what does "fellowship" mean to you?

“A true union of creative minds for the achievement of a common goal.”
Howard Shore, Composer

“When something you and others love deeply is made even better when shared together.”
Ed Rodrigues, Gathering of the Fellowship President

“Fellowship is the state of being in the presence (in actuality or virtually) of your peers. It implies a sense of belonging.”
John K. Hall, Software Project Manager

Return of the King: Extended Edition Review
David Schmitt

With these haunting words sung by the incomparable Annie Lennox we truly have come to the end.  With the extended edition’s release we no longer have any new DVD’s to look forward to, and no more speculation on what will be included or added back in come December.  Peter Jackson has given us his polished version (theatrical) and his fan gift version (extended) and we owe him a debt of gratitude for them both.

It was a bittersweet moment for me when I watched this last chapter of the trilogy but as they say, all good things must come to an end. So I have been asked by the editor of this fine publication to write a review for the EE of The Return of the King

So now we’ve come to it.  The epic trilogy of our time is now over.  I must say I haven’t been this excited about a series of movies since the classic Star Wars trilogy.  Indeed these movies stirred up the same feelings of wonder I felt as a child while watching Luke, Han, Leia and company fighting against the Empire.  Although Star Wars never made me shed a tear,  Lord of the Rings was able to touch something deeper in me.  Will we ever see its like again? Well there is always The Hobbit to look forward to, and even if another epic comes along it’s hard to imagine it having the same effect on people and the ability to build a community like these films and books have.

The ‘Ring’ Remains Unfound
Mike Wing

Now that the extended edition DVD of The Return of the King is out, we can fairly assess Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy—the aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece that Jackson understood and captured, and what he missed…

Well, those of us who love the books do care—those of us for whom hearing about the original project loomed less as an event in the history of commerce or pop culture than as a prospect for seeing our own mental movies turned into reality. We relished seeing this slightly guilty treasure of our youth turned into something really BIG. And for reasons that lie hidden in the books themselves, we were, perhaps, hoping finally to find through dramatization the heart of this provocative, addictive, and ultimately incomplete siren's song.

In that regard, the film—and by this I mean the whole eleven-hour shebang—is, finally, a disappointment. Despite its visual brilliance, storytelling drive, techno-gross-out SFX imagination, and editing genius, Jackson and his writers, it turns out, do not understand what matters about the books—or, at least, do not have the chops to capture it.


A tale from the Riddermark and their long fight against Shadow

A cold, cruel wind blew from the West
as ’neath the stars grim shadows crept;
’twas Isengard’s dark minions in the night.
Forth they came to put to sword
both Rider, wife, and newly born,
and greybeard sleeping in their honest beds.

But rose they ere the first stroke fell
to sound the horn and battle-yell;
and bright swords flashed in leaping firelight.
Fierce they fought, but hearts despaired
of what would pass when sunrise bared
the faces of the living and the dead.

For though their walls were stoutly made
and gallant was the fight they gave,
the Enemy pressed ravening and strong.
Thus from the stable standing near
they drew a colt with sharp black ears
and lifted to his back a nimble lad.

“Ride you hard to Erkenbrand!”
A spear was pressed to boyish hand;
“We'll hold ’til aid returns—now fly, be gone!”

Withawill the colt was named,
and to the ways of men untrained,
but now he bore the only hope they had.

The Virtues of Fellowship
Dan Timmons

In William Shakespeare's Henry V, after the battle of Agincourt, where the vastly outnumbered English forces conquered the French, the victorious King Henry ruefully remarks on his adversaries’ “royal fellowship of death” (IV,xii,68). Henry seems to imply that the French noblemen's comradeship and resolve were futile because they died in battle. The French's “fellowship” was ultimately meaningless. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's Fellowship sets out with less expectation of success than did Shakespeare’s French noblemen, who were convinced they had “very little to do” (IV,ii,37) and each would have killed “a hundred Englishmen” (III,vii,78) by morning. Tolkien's Fellowship was not based on such confidence or bravado. The author’s concept of fellowship goes beyond companionship and loyalty, however important these are. The Fellowship represents and reflects all seven of the classical virtues. Sam especially gives Frodo what the long burden of the Ring gradually and relentlessly erodes: Hope. Without Sam’s stout and caring fellowship, the quest would have failed and death would overshadow all in the world…

Tolkien's concept of fellowship can be a guide to personal relationships in our lives. We develop friendships for mutual fun in good times and moral support in bad.  Often, we are better at camaraderie than compassion. We enjoy the glee and avoid the gloom. In difficult circumstances, we might forget the value of Faith, Hope, Charity, Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, and Justice. But if we can emulate the determined, and indeed divine, fellowship that Sam offers freely and lovingly to Frodo, then our lives can become full of grace as well. The fellowship of humanity may be able to destroy the Shadow upon our own world.

A Rhetoric of Fiction: A Camusian Analysis of Frodo in The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)
G.A. Powell, Ph.D.

Peter Jackson’s (2001) The Lord of the Rings (LOR): The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic film that chronicles the travels of nine heroes (Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, and Aragorn) who forge an alliance at Rivendell, the land of the elves, to destroy the Dark Lord Sauron’s Ring of Power and save Middle Earth. At Rivendell, Frodo is beckoned to take the ring to the fiery pits of Mount Doom. With ring around neck, Frodo embarks with the alliance on a daunting journey to Mount Doom to destroy the ring. Along the way, Frodo discovers the value of camaraderie and trust, central principles that aid in his perilous journey.

Although the themes of trust and cultural/human equality are invaluable principles in the film, I primarily focus on Frodo’s philosophical dilemma. In my mind, the appeal of The LOR is its rich philosophical commentary. Bassham and Bronson (2003) coalesced an anthology of essays that reflect the philosophical significance of the film. Issues ranging from Nietzsche’s will, to power, to issues of Stoic morality are discussed. Little, if any, commentary, however, references Frodo’s existential predicament. To this end, I have two objectives:

1. To argue that Frodo’s consciousness is exemplar of the modern man’s lack of being conscious. In doing so, I locate commonalities in psyche between Meursault, the central character in The Stranger (Camus, 1988) and Frodo from The LOR.

2. To show that wielding the Ring of Power is the impetus for Frodo becoming conscious and recognizing his absurdity, thus drawing from Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus.

In Fellowship is published twice a year, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, by the Gathering of the Fellowship, a non-profit organization based out of Texas.

The journal is available to Gathering members at no cost and is available for individual issue purchase by non-members. For more information on Gathering membership, please access the Gathering webpage at

In Fellowship encourages all authors to submit fictional or non-fictional works. For information on submissions, please visit the journal’s web site

The staff of In Fellowship would like to thank the board of directors of the Gathering of the Fellowship for their support, the Gathering members for waiting so patiently for the first issue of the journal, and all those who submitted articles for their willingness to work through the challenges of what has proven to be an exciting beginning to our quest.

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