On the Skipping of Text in Earlier Chapters

I'm just catching up on this week's session (214) after being at work during the recording (as usual unfortunately). About 20 mins in, Corey wonders which paragraph of text was the last one we skipped.

I actually have quite a thorough answer to this! A while ago I was inspired by EvilDrCannon's graphs of how the classes were progressing, and decided to do some analysis of our progress myself. I used an e-copy of the text to highlight which portions of the text were covered in which session, and which were skipped altogether during the earlier sessions. I've done this for all of Book I, but then paused at Book II for a breather. Sometime soon I will pick this back up along with my other work on the web project.

The last paragraph not covered in any episode is in Chapter 10: Strider.

‘A letter for me from Gandalf !’ cried Frodo.
‘Ah!’ said Mr. Butterbur. ‘Then your right name is Baggins?’
‘It is,’ said Frodo, ‘and you had better give me that letter at once, and explain why you never sent it. That’s what you came to tell me, I suppose, though you’ve taken a long time to come to the point.’
Poor Mr. Butterbur looked troubled. ‘You’re right, master,’ he said, ‘and I beg your pardon. And I’m mortal afraid of what Gandalf will say, if harm comes of it. But I didn’t keep it back a-purpose. I put it by safe. Then I couldn’t find nobody willing to go to the Shire next day, nor the day after, and none of my own folk were to spare; and then one thing after another drove it out of my mind. I’m a busy man. I’ll do what I can to set matters right, and if there’s any help I can give, you’ve only to name it.

This one might just be a slide that was skipped accidentally between sessions 55 and 56, as by this point we had long been reading every passage.
Before this, the last paragraph skipped was in session 19, in Chapter 5: A Conspiracy Unmasked.

‘I should think you were making it all up,’ said Merry, ‘if I had not seen that black shape on the landing-stage – and heard the queer sound in Maggot’s voice. What do you make of it all, Frodo?’

There are several other paragraphs skipped during that session, and pretty much every session before then skips over some text.
I figured out the percentage of words skipped per chapter:
1 = 55%
2 = 23%
3 = 39%
4 = 27%
5 = 18%
And from then on we discussed every passage, except that one accidental paragraph in Ch 10.

In all, we have 14,397 words skipped that we need to go back to someday, which for reference is approx 2,000 less than the Council of Elrond. Plenty to look forward to once we finish Return of the King!


Active Member
OK Prof Corey and Smaug the Mighty are both quite off in their recall. Prof Corey a bit too early and Smaug t M a bit too late.
Here is my response to the Session 214's question about pacing....
I have kept a detailed record of which paragraphs were covered in which Session. I have them all marked and labeled in a throwaway copy of LotR. The change from discontinuous excerpts to Read Through Every Word started in Session #19. There were 5 slides for Session 19 covering part of Chapter 4 "A Conspiracy Unmasked" The last (intentionally) skipped words were between Slides c & d (out of a-e)
The last skipped passage (btwn slides) was:
'I should think you were all making it up,' said Merry, 'if I had not seen that black shape on the landing-stage - and heard the queer sound in Maggot's voice. What do you make of it all, Frodo?'
This is somewhere about 100 pages into the book (in the edition I marked up, p. 102).
Of course, at this time the pace was a good deal quicker (hastier?) ;) than it became later. There were 5-7 slides per Session, not 1 or maybe 2.
So the cataclysmic event that led to this Treebeardesque and glacial consideration of the text came with the shock to Frodo to find his fellow Hobbits were all in on a benevolent conspiracy to keep a loving eye on his actions! It is in the two slides after the above missing passage, that the whole subject of the Chapter is revealed. And those two slides are continuous and so will all slides ever thereafter!