Personally I feel the answer to this has to be no. I noticed a type of weakness, easily mistaken for wisdom, was shown through his conduct and control (or lack thereof) in this council meeting. 'Council of Elrond' seems a little contradictory within its self because it is, in the end, Frodo who saves the day. Perhaps you are of a different opinion but I feel this was further reflected in later chapters when he lacked control over Arwen's decision to stay. I found myself thinking that this was the biggest sign of how out of touch the Elves have become, Legolas being the only one who is, and how with Elrond becoming distant and Galadriel becoming a little tainted by the possibility of taking the ring we see Tolkien pushing Elves from the important matters now throttling Middle Earth.
As each character of the fellowship is introduced we are given the essence of their personality, what do you think of Tolkien's language used when doing this?
Everybody I know who has read Lord of the Rings turns to me when they get to this chapter and asks me how long it drags on. The beginning of LOTR is fairly slow and sadly this Chapter is all too reflective of how matter-of-fact, or overly descriptive, Tolkien's language can become.
I felt, however, that the manner in which he introduced us to these all-important characters was spectacular. He guided us around the Council, one by one, their reaction showing us that this person was going to become more significant. Legolas, in particular, made me smile when he stood up to argue for the King of Gondor. Aragorn is quite quiet until this point when he calms his friend and then speaks wisely to Boromir. Gimli we see with his axe - attacking the ring. We never seperate the two again. This is why I remember this chapter so well.
When Aragorn stands to speak it is to argue against Boromir, we see tension between the two and a bad beginning to a necessary relationship. What differences can we note between them that already label Aragorn heir of Gondor?
A dreadful foot to begin on. Boromir is fiery, unthoughtful and very sterotypical of a man who is too respected in his own lands. The way he tries to sway the Council to his way of thinking is devious and selfish. Yet, despite hatred blooming in the reader, Aragorn stands forth and for the first time we see him in a rather Kingly sense with wise wides soothing the instinctive man who dares not admit that he is King of Gondor. The differences are striking and Tolkien is a genius to have done this because without the extremity of Boromir to compare Aragorn to, we may never have thought him fit for the role.
In the midst of argument Frodo steps forth to take the title of Ring Bearer, we begin to see his character becoming more thoughtful and less happy, what other changes do you notice in him since we met him in the Shire?
This part of the Chapter gnawed at my heart. The wound in Frodo's shoulder and all the malicious experiences since leaving the Shire have dragged down what was a happy hobbit. Of course, Frodo was always quite an introvert but this just intensifies the matter and I was sad thinking about such a lovely character having to face the dangers he would. He is much wiser now and with the aid of Aragorn (or Strider as he is preferred at this point) he has begun to make his decisions with great thought and consideration - not something ever required of the laid back life he led in the Shire.
>When the other hobbits emerge to offer up service Elrond is weary of sending them but caves, how do you feel about our four trusy hobbits going off to fated peril?
I felt similarly as I did with Frodo and I felt it a great shame that none of them would return to try and protect the Shire. But, then again, without the experiences they gained throughout their perilous journeys they never would have been able to return and overthrow Sauron in 'The Scouring of the Shire'. Of course, I couldn't see much use for Pippin and Merry and could only see use for Sam in the sense of emotional support for the Ring Bearer.
How do you feel about the fellowship selected, is it as strong as is needed? If not, where are the flaws?
Tolkien was wise in his creation of the characters; each has their flaws but each provides great strength to the party. All except Boromir, perhaps. But then the taint of men must be represented in order for Frodo to gain the knowledge and experience that he needs to pluck up the guts to leave the Fellowship at the end of this book. I felt Aragorn, Gandalf and Legolas were perfectly selected though I was a little more doubtful about Gimli. Of course, he added the humour and the book couldn't have lasted without that!
I thoroughly enjoy reading this chapter simply because of all the different emotions that it stirs in me. I guess I also love it because it is when the real story begins and we are able to piece more and more together as this Chapter progresses.
Please feel free to bring up any points you wish to discuss, concerning this chapter.