It may give you some satisfaction to know that grading the exams took an absurd amount of time. That's what I get, I suppose . . .
For this blog post, I'd like you to consider The Fellowship of the Ring as a sequel to The Hobbit. This was, in fact, Tolkien's original purpose, as his letters to his publisher repeatedly demonstrate. Yet, as he pointed out on numerous occasions, the story somehow got away from him. What I’d like to ask is: where do you see the more Hobbit-like moments in the story? In what sense is The Fellowship of the Ring a sequel to The Hobbit, and how does it deviate from that intention? Is there a particular moment when the story takes a turn away from the tone and purpose of The Hobbit, and starts developing a sense of its own story-ness? Are there changes in familiar characters or landscapes that let us know we are in a different sort of story, even if it is set in the same world?