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Pat Swenson, CSUN - The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring - Discussion Guide
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

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Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

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Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring - Discussion Guide



  • Hobbits: Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Merry, Pippin, Gollum
  • Elven: Arwen, Celeborn, Elrond, Galadriel,¬†Legolas
  • Misc. Races: Aragorn/Strider, Gandalf (Maia), Saruman (Istari), Sauron, Dark Lord, Gimli (Dwarven), Boromir (Human)
  • Creatures: Nazgul/BlackRiders, Orcs, Goblins, Demon


  • Person vs. Self: Inner Conflict
  • Person vs. Person: Protagonist vs. Antagonist
  • Person vs. Society: Organizations/Belief Systems
  • Person vs. Nature: Physical/Natural World

Themes & Symbols

  • Nature of Good vs. Evil (Origins of Evil)
  • Seductiveness/Temptation of Power, Greed/Attachment to Power
  • Coming of Age: Hero's Journey Archetype
  • Fate/Destiny, Loss of Innocence, Sacrifice, Fear, Self-Doubt, teacher/student relationship
  • The Council of Elrond & Terms of the Quest: Forming the Fellowship, Honor, Loyalty, Friendship, Courage, Magic & Wizardry, Ring of Power