Discussion:
Chapter of the Week, BK 2, Ch. 3, The Ring Goes South
(too old to reply)
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-06 00:44:19 UTC
Permalink
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.

The Ring Goes South

This chapter begins shortly after the end of the Council, with Merry
and Pippin kvetching that not only was Sam allowed into the Council
where he didn't belong, he was chosen as a companion -- indeed, the
only companion currently -- for Frodo's journey. Gandalf tries to
tone them down by commenting about how dangerous the journey is (and
by making rude remarks about Pippin's intelligence), which only makes
them more indignant in the name of Hobbit honor and of their own
companionship with Frodo.

Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before they go
anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to come back, and
they've only just begun leaving. Bilbo laments they'll likely leave
just as winter gets going, and adds a side dig about Frodo letting
the S.B.'s into Bag End on his birthday.

They segue into a discussion about the Ringwraiths, and how they
can't be destroyed by such mundane things as huge flash floods with
imaginary horses and big rolling boulders. It's at this point
Gandalf drops his bomb about coming along on the adventure, at which
Frodo is predictably delighted. I know -I- would be, in his shoes.

We have's Bilbo comment about how he can't count days in Rivendell.
Does time work a bit differently here, as it seems to in Lorien, or
is it just Bilbo's comfort and complacency? We then have the meta-
commentary about Frodo helping Bilbo with his book, and starting on
the sequel. In the discussions of endings, Sam has the most
interesting comment, "And where will they live? That's what I often
wonder." Interesting foreshadowing there, I think.

Two months later, the scouts begin to return. No sign of the Riders,
except for the bodies of eight of their horses and a tattered cloak.
No sign of Gollum. The wild wolves are gathering and hunting along
the Anduin. It's decided they need to take advantage of the slight
time respite, and they pack up to go.

Elrond reaffirms Frodo's oath to go, and Sam's to go with him, then
makes a speech about how he can't offer much help. The companions
are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always seemed pretty
arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one" symbolism, it
seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda pointless. Ten
people wouldn't have made any more of a fuss, and then you could send
along an elf-lord with the might of Glorfindel as well as the two
silly hobbits, but I suppose that would that be unwieldy, story-
external. Story-internal, it doesn't make a ton of sense, but there
you go.

Frodo and Sam decided already. Gandalf is going. Legolas and Gimli
to represent Elves and Dwarves, they they'll go at least as far as
the Mountains. I always thought, "Well, THAT'S not very far, is
it?" Aragorn and Boromir are going to Minas Tirith, so will journey
with the Fellowship along the way. This always seems rather
incidental for Boromir, although Aragorn was more deeply and
emotionally involved. Elrond decides to think about who else to send
in the last two slots, at which point Pippin and Merry clamor to go,
of course. Elrond is very worried, and expresses concern for the
Shire's safety. His heart is most against Pippin's going, while
Gandalf's heart counsel's otherwise. Interesting conflict of
prophetic characters, there. Was Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from
Pippin and the Palantir? Was Gandalf's Foresight poking him about the
bloodshed the two hobbits would prevent? On balance, it seems a good
thing that Gandalf prevailed.

Narsil is reforged, and the new sword, named Anduril, is given a
wonderful description:
"The Sword of Elendil was forged anew by elvish smiths and on its
blade was traced a device of seven stars set between the crescent
Moon and the rayed Sun, and about them were written many runes....
Very bright was made the sword when it was made whole again; the
light of the sun shone redly in it, and the light of the moon shone
cold, and its edge was hard and keen."

Frodo spends as much time as possible with Bilbo before he goes,
perhaps worried he might not have any more time later. Bilbo
presents Frodo with Sting and the mithril mail the day before the
Fellowship leaves. Bilbo sings a mournful song that is very
reminiscent of the end of life with much loneliness in it.

The Company sets out. Boromir and Aragorn carry no other weapons but
their swords, which I always thought was a little odd. You'd think
two such accomplished campaigners would at least carry along bows, in
case they needed to shot a deer for food, or something. Gimli has
ring-mail and his axe, Legolas a bow and knife, the hobbits all have
their swords, Gandalf has Glamdring and his staff, and Bill the Pony
insists he has to go, too, to carry extra burdens. Aragorn is
emotionally strained by the good-bye; Sam laments the lack of rope;
Boromir blows his horn before leaving; Frodo is the only member of
the company to take any oath, despite Gimli's protests.

The Company starts out by going south, for two weeks, mostly doing
their marches at night and with bleak weather. They finally see a
little sunshine when they enter Eregion, or Hollin. Gimli gives the
Hobbits a Dwarvish geography lesson, complete with the names of the
mountains in three languages; Gandalf and Legolas lament the loss of
the Elves that have left for the West. After breakfast, Aragorn is
concerned about the silence and watchfulness in the area. During the
watches that day the first flight of crebain fly over, spying out the
land. The collective noun for crows is "a murder of crows", and "a
murder of crebain" would certainly seem appropriate in this case.
Several murders pass over during the day.

The next night, as they begin to move again along the road from
Hollin to the mountain pass, we get a glimpse of a more ominous
hunter:
"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for
a moment they faded then flashed out again. He shivered."
Gandalf and Aragorn don't see it, but they do both feel it. Is this
our first hint that the Riders are remounted on their Fell Beasts,
and again hunting the Company? But later they aren't supposed to
cross the river yet. I'm getting ahead of myself, but it's an
interesting foreshadowing. (I seem to be saying that a lot.)

Three night later, they finally see Caradhas, the mountain they must
climb over. It's starts out with a nasty description; "...but with
sheer naked sides, dull red as if stained with blood." Evil portent
of things to come, and stained red with the blood of unwary
travelers, no doubt. Gandalf is extremely anxious about the weather
and the fact that they're being watched, and he and Aragorn have a
private debate (overheard by Frodo) about whether or not they should
try the mountain, or pass through Moria, seemingly a discussion
they've had several times before. It's decided to go over the
mountain, but Boromir wisely suggests everyone carry some wood, in
case they get caught in the snow, so they don't all die of
hypothermia.

Off they go, but the road is extremely difficult -- broken and
blocked with boulders -- and Gandalf's fears come to fruition when it
starts snowing heavily. We have a throwaway reference to the delight
the Hobbits in the Shire take in snow, and also a reference to the
dangers the Shire hobbits live in unaware, since Bilbo is the only
one alive remembering invasion by wolves during the Fell Winter.
There is speculation about whether or not Sauron could have caused
the storm to frustrate them, but Gandalf's answer, "His arm has grown
long." is really quite ambiguous on the subject.

The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
So, maybe not such a fanciful tale after all? Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?

They huddle against the cliff together, and the hobbits do indeed
begin to succumb to hypothermia. They are first treated with shots
of miravor, which helps but doesn't last long enough, and then it's
decided fire is necessary. No one can make a fire by mundane means,
so Gandalf is forced to do it, grumbling all the while:
"I have written _Gandalf is here_ in signs that can be read from
Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin."

The snow, the night, and the wood end all at about the same time, and
it's decided retreat off the mountain is the better part of valor at
this time. Legolas comments with light-hearted Elvish teasing, "If
Gandalf would go before us with a bright flame, he might melt a path
for you." Gandalf responds with his delightfully crusty snarking,
"If Elves could fly over mountains, they might fetch the sun to save
us, but I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow." Hee!
Great exchange.

Boromir and Aragorn go off to beat a path through the snow. Legolas
runs on top of the snow to see what's what.[1] It takes an hour for
all of them to come back, where they learn that The Mother of All
Snowdrifts is not far off, but directly after that it tapers off
considerably and becomes nothing more than a slight nuisance down the
slope. Gimli glumly sets the blame on the bad temper of Caradhras.
So, is it really a sentient mountain, or just Dwarvish superstition?
Surely we don't have a snippy Maia out there disguised as a mountain?

As all of them are finally through the path, an avalanche rumbles
down and cuts it off. Gandalf decides they will not stay even on the
low slopes for the night, and the Company staggers off the mountain,
exhausted and defeated, only to be greeted by more crebain spies.
Cheery!

[1] A detail -- Legolas walking on top of the snow -- I was quite
delighted to see in the movie. Although it was subtle enough that
apparently a lot of people missed it entirely.


Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Stuart Chapman
2004-05-06 09:08:25 UTC
Permalink
"Michelle J. Haines" <***@io.nanc.com> wrote in message news:***@news.Qwest.net...


No one can make a fire by mundane means,
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"I have written _Gandalf is here_ in signs that can be read from
Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin."
For some reason I recall this phrase being cited regarding Gandalf's account
of his fight with the Nazgul at Amon Sul, at The Council of Elrond........

Not having the book at hand, can anybody confirm or deny this? Maybe I'm
just misremembering things ;).

Anyway, I always thought it was a great example of Gandalf's dry humour.

Stupot
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-06 13:27:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
No one can make a fire by mundane means,
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"I have written _Gandalf is here_ in signs that can be read from
Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin."
For some reason I recall this phrase being cited regarding Gandalf's account
of his fight with the Nazgul at Amon Sul, at The Council of Elrond........
Not having the book at hand, can anybody confirm or deny this? Maybe I'm
just misremembering things ;).
I think you're misremembering. It's from this chapter. I had to
read it several times to do the recap.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Henriette
2004-05-06 17:12:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
Good initiative, Michelle!
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Bilbo laments they'll likely leave
just as winter gets going, and adds a side dig about Frodo letting
the S.B.'s into Bag End on his birthday.
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?

Bilbo also says: 'nothing was decided beyond choosing poor Frodo and
Sam. I was afraid all the time that it might come to that, if I was
let off'. I quote this, to stubbornly draw attention to the fact that
Bilbo wanted to take the Ring mainly to protect Frodo (instead of to
be once more in posession of the Ring).

(snip)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Was Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from Pippin and the Palantir?
Yes, and Pippin attracting attention to the Company in Moria. That's
what I always understood, but you are right about the point how that
fits in with Gandalf's ESP abilities.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Boromir blows his horn before leaving
He remains his proud self in every detail, as shows this horn blowing
and accompanying words.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Legolas comments with light-hearted Elvish teasing, "If
Gandalf would go before us with a bright flame, he might melt a path
for you." Gandalf responds with his delightfully crusty snarking,
"If Elves could fly over mountains, they might fetch the sun to save
us, but I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow." Hee!
Great exchange.
My favorite exchange in this chapter is the one between Gimli and
Elrond from "You do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you
cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road" up till "Or break
it". Especially these sentences:
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens" and
"Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall".

Henriette
AC
2004-05-06 18:11:18 UTC
Permalink
On 6 May 2004 10:12:22 -0700,
Post by Henriette
My favorite exchange in this chapter is the one between Gimli and
Elrond from "You do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you
cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road" up till "Or break
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens" and
"Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall".
I always found it a little annoying. I think Gimli should have delivered a
sharp blow to Elrond's head with a "I'm right, you half-Elven pansy!" :-)
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Henriette
2004-05-07 18:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On 6 May 2004 10:12:22 -0700,
Post by Henriette
My favorite exchange in this chapter is the one between Gimli and
Elrond from "You do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you
cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road" up till "Or break
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens" and
"Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall".
I always found it a little annoying. I think Gimli should have delivered a
sharp blow to Elrond's head with a "I'm right, you half-Elven pansy!" :-)
IMO that would also have been the appropriate reaction for Boromir.

Henriette
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-06 20:23:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Henriette
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
Good initiative, Michelle!
Yes. And a very good summary as well.
Post by Henriette
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Bilbo laments they'll likely leave
just as winter gets going, and adds a side dig about Frodo letting
the S.B.'s into Bag End on his birthday.
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?
It stands for the Sackville-Bagginses, Lobelia and Otho. Maybe the names
were translated into something different in your edition, and they
forgot to change the initials. Or are you talking about the English
edition?
Post by Henriette
Bilbo also says: 'nothing was decided beyond choosing poor Frodo and
Sam. I was afraid all the time that it might come to that, if I was
let off'. I quote this, to stubbornly draw attention to the fact that
Bilbo wanted to take the Ring mainly to protect Frodo (instead of to
be once more in posession of the Ring).
OK! <concedes point> :-)
Post by Henriette
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Legolas comments with light-hearted Elvish teasing, "If
Gandalf would go before us with a bright flame, he might melt a path
for you." Gandalf responds with his delightfully crusty snarking,
"If Elves could fly over mountains, they might fetch the sun to save
us, but I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow." Hee!
Great exchange.
LOL!
Post by Henriette
My favorite exchange in this chapter is the one between Gimli and
Elrond from "You do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you
cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road" up till "Or break
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens" and
"Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall".
Ooh! Oooh! I've just been discussing that in another thread. It has
'ringbearer' in the subject line. That exchange is a great foreshadowing
of the great changes that _all_ the members of the Fellowship will go
through. I will just point out Gimli's 'crunch' point: when he meets
Galadriel in Lorien. It is an interesting exercise to consider the
defining moments of change and/or challenge for each of the other
members of the Fellowship + Gollum (who I forgot to consider).

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-07 03:17:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Henriette
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an
accidental combination of letters?
It stands for the Sackville-Bagginses, Lobelia and Otho.
Maybe the names were translated into something different in
your edition, and they forgot to change the initials. Or are
you talking about the English edition?
Sons of b...

S-Bs.

Could have been a pun. Perhaps even a reason to have such a
name as Sackville-Baggins. Wonder if it was deliberate, or a
wee bit of a subconcious slip ?
--
mc
the softrat
2004-05-07 05:33:30 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 06 May 2004 20:23:45 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
It stands for the Sackville-Bagginses, Lobelia and Otho. Maybe the names
were translated into something different in your edition, and they
forgot to change the initials. Or are you talking about the English
edition?
Harriette has an overactive and vile mind.

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordnance Corps memo.
Henriette
2004-05-07 19:04:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Henriette
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?
It stands for the Sackville-Bagginses, Lobelia and Otho. Maybe the names
were translated into something different in your edition, and they
forgot to change the initials. Or are you talking about the English
edition?
Thank you and everyone for helping out. I see now that in my attempts
to write ladylike posts, I have been too vague. I was not referring to
SB (which abbreviation I did not know, though I knew SOB), but to BS.
But as you native speakers don't see that, it must be my 'overactive
and vile mind'(thank you softrat, always so eager to help explain).
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Henriette
My favorite exchange in this chapter is the one between Gimli and
Elrond from "You do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you
cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road" up till "Or break
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens" and
"Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall".
Ooh! Oooh! I've just been discussing that in another thread. It has
'ringbearer' in the subject line.
(snip explanation of how this discussion throws shadows of the
changes-to-come).

I looked it up and it is a nice post with indeed exactly the same
great quote (synchonicity? telepathy?)which somewhat annoys AC!

Henriette
Raven
2004-05-06 23:52:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Henriette
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?
If you're referring to the fact that "S-B is a valid enough abbreviation
for "sonofabitch" (though "SOB" is more common), then I suppose it is
accidental. I have a feeling that Tolkien would not purposedly choose the
name "Sackville-Baggins" so that it would abbreviate to "sonsofbitches". He
disliked swearing too much for that.

Raafje.
Michael Cole
2004-05-07 05:42:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raven
Post by Henriette
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?
If you're referring to the fact that "S-B is a valid enough
abbreviation for "sonofabitch" (though "SOB" is more common), then I
suppose it is accidental. I have a feeling that Tolkien would not
purposedly choose the name "Sackville-Baggins" so that it would
abbreviate to "sonsofbitches". He disliked swearing too much for
that.
I would also feel that it is a far more American epithet than a British one,
particularly for that day and age. When Jardine was in town for the
Bodyline series, there were newsstories around that he was getting upset by
the Aussies casting aspersions as to his parent's marital status.

[An explanation for the previous sentence can be provided on request for
non-Commonwealth readers...]
--
Regards,

Michael Cole
Hope
2004-05-07 15:41:41 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: Chapter of the Week, BK 2, Ch. 3, The Ring Goes South
Date: 07/05/2004 06:42 GMT Daylight Time
Post by Raven
Post by Henriette
'the S.-Bs.', it says in my edition. Is this a pun, or an accidental
combination of letters?
If you're referring to the fact that "S-B is a valid enough
abbreviation for "sonofabitch" (though "SOB" is more common), then I
suppose it is accidental. I have a feeling that Tolkien would not
purposedly choose the name "Sackville-Baggins" so that it would
abbreviate to "sonsofbitches". He disliked swearing too much for
that.
I would also feel that it is a far more American epithet than a British one,
particularly for that day and age.
But for someone who'd been in the trenches, the words "Sodding Bastards" might
be a common sound?
AC
2004-05-06 18:09:53 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 5 May 2004 18:44:19 -0600,
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
Thx Michelle!
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Ring Goes South
<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Off they go, but the road is extremely difficult -- broken and
blocked with boulders -- and Gandalf's fears come to fruition when it
starts snowing heavily. We have a throwaway reference to the delight
the Hobbits in the Shire take in snow, and also a reference to the
dangers the Shire hobbits live in unaware, since Bilbo is the only
one alive remembering invasion by wolves during the Fell Winter.
There is speculation about whether or not Sauron could have caused
the storm to frustrate them, but Gandalf's answer, "His arm has grown
long." is really quite ambiguous on the subject.
Yes, we are never quite sure what precisely it was that drove the Fellowship
away. Was it Sauron? Was it some evil will in Caradhras itself?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
So, maybe not such a fanciful tale after all? Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?
Well, as I recall, Khazad-dum was actually founded in the First Age (Durin
was the eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves). It was also Melkor who first
raised the Misty Mountains, so maybe he put something there.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-06 20:15:42 UTC
Permalink
[about Caradhras]
Post by AC
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?
Well, as I recall, Khazad-dum was actually founded in the First Age
(Durin was the eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves). It was also
Melkor who first raised the Misty Mountains, so maybe he put
something there.
Oh phoeey! I was going to say that!! To get over my disappointment I'll
quote huge chunks of text instead....

I think the first rumour of Sauron in Eriador and Wilderland would have
been as Annatar, Lord of Gifts, as he appeared to the Elves of Eregion
and Lindon during the Second Age. But I couldn't find definite dates for
Khazad-dum's founding, one of those mysteries, but definitely in the
First Age, after the awakening of the Elves, and presumably after their
march West.

And it is in that march West that we find the reference to the raising
of the Misty Mountains:

"...the Eldar took their course through a forest [Greenwood the Great -
later Mirkwood], and they came to a great river, wider than any they had
yet seen [it was later called Anduin the Great]; and beyond it were
mountains whose sharp horns seemed to pierce the realm of the stars.
[...] the mountains were the Hithaeglir, the Towers of Mist upon the
borders of Eriador; yet they were taller and more terrible in those
days, and were reared by Melkor to hinder the riding of Orome." [Silm,
III]

I like the idea that Melkor put something there. But it is not
impossible to say that Sauron could alter the weather. I believe Angmar
had a similar effect in Eriador, so it could have been Sauron's
influence causing the generally unseasonable weather. It will probably
remain forever ambiguous. As to whether such localised storms are
possible, I wouldn't know.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-07 03:25:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I like the idea that Melkor put something there. But it is
not impossible to say that Sauron could alter the weather. I
believe Angmar had a similar effect in Eriador, so it could
have been Sauron's influence causing the generally
unseasonable weather. It will probably remain forever
ambiguous. As to whether such localised storms are possible,
I wouldn't know.
The world of weather is wild and wierd, and I wouldn't doubt
that a storm could suddenly erupt on a section of mountains,
or even a single great mountain, and just as suddenly stop.
I'm sure that with seasonal winds, convection currents,
location of bodies of water and etc. a workable model could be
created, but i'm not well versed enough to even start.

A personal cite - My mom lives 1.5 miles from me (as the crow
flies). She'll get 6-8 inches of snow while I get none, and
10-12 inches while I get a dusting with a few drifts. When i
get hit with a big storm and groan about 8 inches of snow, she
laughs and says she has an inch or three.
--
mc
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-09 18:06:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On Wed, 5 May 2004 18:44:19 -0600,
Post by Michelle J. Haines
There is speculation about whether or not Sauron could have
caused the storm to frustrate them, but Gandalf's answer, "His
arm has grown long." is really quite ambiguous on the subject.
Yes, we are never quite sure what precisely it was that drove the
Fellowship away. Was it Sauron? Was it some evil will in
Caradhras itself?
Given the uncertainty generally expressed in this thread, I suppose
that HoMe doesn't help any, but it'd be nice to have some kind of
confirmation. Is there anything more definite in some of the earlier
drafts (e.g. from the time when the Balrog was a Ringwraith)?

We are repeatedly reminded of these evil creatures independant of
Sauron when the talk falls on Moria (e.g. in III,5 'The White Rider';
"Far, far below the deepest delving of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed
by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than
he.")

While certainly not proof either way, this had made me favour the
alternative explanation that this was the evil living on and below the
mountain.
Post by AC
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gimli pipes up that the mountain has had an evil reputation of
it's own for a very long time. "When rumor of Sauron had not
been heard in these lands.", in fact. How far back does it put
that? The First Age?
Well, as I recall, Khazad-dum was actually founded in the First
Age (Durin was the eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves).
Yup. It was swelled by an influx of Dwarves from the Blue Mountains
after the destruction of Beleriand in the War of Wrath. I think that
this is the earliest likely date for 'rumour of Sauron' being heard in
Khazad-dûm.

The latest date I'd be comfortable with is when Sauron came as Annatar
among the Elves of Eregion.
Post by AC
It was also Melkor who first raised the Misty Mountains, so maybe
he put something there.
As Christopher has already noted, Melkor rasied them to hinder Oromë,
and a few monsters might have helped (not by really hindering Oromë,
but by keeping him occupied). As Christopher, I like the idea.
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is <t.forch(a)mail.dk>

"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever," he
said. "Have you thought of going into teaching?"
- (Terry Pratchett, Mort)
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-05-06 20:24:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
Well done.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
We have's Bilbo comment about how he can't count days in Rivendell.
Does time work a bit differently here, as it seems to in Lorien, or
is it just Bilbo's comfort and complacency? We then have the meta-
commentary about Frodo helping Bilbo with his book, and starting on
the sequel. In the discussions of endings, Sam has the most
interesting comment, "And where will they live? That's what I often
wonder." Interesting foreshadowing there, I think.
And a subtle underlining of Sams nature: That *is* what he thinks
important. Not the big stuff.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Two months later, the scouts begin to return. No sign of the Riders,
except for the bodies of eight of their horses and a tattered cloak.
No sign of Gollum. The wild wolves are gathering and hunting along
the Anduin.
I'd forgotten that. Makes a good reason not to cross the mountains
right away and travel along the Anduin.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond reaffirms Frodo's oath to go, and Sam's to go with him, then
makes a speech about how he can't offer much help. The companions
are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always seemed pretty
arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one" symbolism, it
seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda pointless. Ten
people wouldn't have made any more of a fuss, and then you could send
along an elf-lord with the might of Glorfindel as well as the two
silly hobbits, but I suppose that would that be unwieldy, story-
external. Story-internal, it doesn't make a ton of sense, but there
you go.
From a modern point of view you are correct. Any number between (say)
six and twelve would do. But just as words are important (as stressed
in another thread) symbolism is important in Middle-earth. That is to
me the story-internal explanation: symbolism *is* important.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo and Sam decided already. Gandalf is going. Legolas and Gimli
to represent Elves and Dwarves, they they'll go at least as far as
the Mountains. I always thought, "Well, THAT'S not very far, is
it?"
Especially not if they are expecting to take the shortest route to the
mountains. Why they should go only that far I've never understood. If
they are to maybe drop out and return to their homes, then why are
they beginning the journey home with a 150 mile trek to the south,
away from home.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company sets out. <snip> Aragorn is
emotionally strained by the good-bye;
Rather a stretch in interpretation, I would say. The text says:
"Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully
what this our meant to him."
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Three night later, they finally see Caradhas, the mountain they must
climb over. It's starts out with a nasty description; "...but with
sheer naked sides, dull red as if stained with blood." Evil portent
of things to come, and stained red with the blood of unwary
travelers, no doubt.
Unwary travellers blood would have been washed away years ago. I think
it's simply that the stone is reddish, and this may have been enhanced
by the early morning light (note that they are approaching from the
east, and getting ready to go through a pass on the southern side of
Redhorn).
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
Doubtful. That was 150 miles to the north.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
So, maybe not such a fanciful tale after all? Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?
At least. No later than the beginning of the Second Age would refuges
from Beleriand have settled in these parts, carrying with them all the
tales of the ruin of Beleriand, including tales of Sauron.

Regards,
Kristian
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-06 21:14:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company sets out. <snip> Aragorn is
emotionally strained by the good-bye;
"Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully
what this our meant to him."
I always understood that to mean there was emotional strain, but no
that he was incapacitated, of course. The described posture
indicates feeling troubled, to me.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Unwary travellers blood would have been washed away years ago.
I was speaking metaphorically. :)
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
Doubtful. That was 150 miles to the north.
I should say, the same species/type/kind of critter. Not necessarily
those specific giants.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-07 23:06:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company sets out. <snip> Aragorn is
emotionally strained by the good-bye;
"Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully
what this our meant to him."
I always understood that to mean there was emotional strain, but no
that he was incapacitated, of course. The described posture
indicates feeling troubled, to me.
Aragorn is setting out to go with Boromir to Minas Tirith, believing the
dream to be a summoning for him personally.

He is essentially setting out to claim the throne of Gondor, which would
enable him to claim Arnor as well. That is: he was finally embarking on
his quest to fulfill the requirements Elrond had set up for allowing
Arwen to marry him, and that is what I have always believed (well - since
reading the appendices thoroughly for the first time anyway <g>) to be
the basis for this passage.

"Emotionally strained" sounds as about the same as "under considerable
emotional stress," which would probably have been the wording I'd have
used ;-) There were doubtlessly many conflicting emotions running through
him at that point.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off.
- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-05-12 22:34:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo and Sam decided already. Gandalf is going. Legolas and Gimli
to represent Elves and Dwarves, they they'll go at least as far as
the Mountains. I always thought, "Well, THAT'S not very far, is
it?"
Especially not if they are expecting to take the shortest route to the
mountains. Why they should go only that far I've never understood. If
they are to maybe drop out and return to their homes, then why are
they beginning the journey home with a 150 mile trek to the south,
away from home.
Well, "the boys" were fairly untraveled and would have been tempted to
visit the historical sites nearby if they crossed the pass of the
Misty Mountains there: Lothlorien was nearby for Legolas before he
returned home, and surely Gimli might have had some idea of perhaps
coming across Balin and company in the vicinity of Moria and perhaps
joining the colony there, if it still existed, or even just crossing
the Pass and seeing the Mirrormere and the legendary site of the
Battle of Nanduhirion before he went back to Erebor.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company sets out. <snip> Aragorn is
emotionally strained by the good-bye;
"Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully
what this our meant to him."
A subtle point here, but this indicates that even Gandalf wasn't aware
of the understanding between Elrond and Aragorn regarding Arwen and
the throne of Gondor. Since he certainly knows about it after
Sauron's Fall, one wonders at what point Gandalf learned of it.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
Doubtful. That was 150 miles to the north.
They took "giant" steps (g). I like the idea of the stone giants as
an explanation, though Aragorn said that he did call it (the voices)
the wind, which does undermine the theory a little bit.

Barb
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-06 22:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Ring Goes South
[...]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf drops his bomb about coming along on the adventure, at which
Frodo is predictably delighted. I know _I_ would be, in his shoes.
I find it strange that Gandalf initially says "I think I shall come with
you." What was the alternative? Was Gandalf considering running
interference (as he actually ends up doing as Gandalf the White)?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Two months later, the scouts begin to return. No sign of the Riders,
except for the bodies of eight of their horses and a tattered cloak.
What happened to the ninth horse? Was one of the Nazgul still horsed?

The scouts also report that Radagast is not at home? Where is he? Hiding
under his bed? Hugging a tree somewhere?

I also like the descriptions of the long journeys taken by the scouts.
This is one of those moments where you need to look at the maps to work
out what is going on.

Also, during the two months in Rivendell, there is a lovely description
of the passing of the seasons from autumn into winter: "slowly the
golden light faded to pale silver". Frodo describes how "The Hunter's
Moon waxed round in the night sky...but low in the South one star shone
red. Every night as the Moon waned again, it shone brighter and
brighter." And it is described like a watchful eye...

What is 'The Hunter's Moon', is that like the large Moon you can have in
the autumn? (Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)

And is this red star named elsewhere? I think there was a list of stars
in Tolkien and the Real World equivalents, posted here a few months
ago...
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond reaffirms Frodo's oath to go, and Sam's to go with him, then
makes a speech about how he can't offer much help.
I like the way Elrond makes Frodo confirm he will take the Ring, and
only _then_ says "oh, well, I'm afraid I can't really help you very
much, but good luck!" :-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The companions
are then chosen, set at the number nine.
I found the fact that they were _chosen_ to be more strange. I know
Elrond does not lay any bond or oath upon them, but he still says that
he _chose_ the others. Would it not be more correct to say he asked them
and they agreed to go with Frodo?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This always seemed pretty
arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one" symbolism, it
seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda pointless. Ten
people wouldn't have made any more of a fuss, and then you could send
along an elf-lord with the might of Glorfindel
Even Glorfindel "could not storm the Dark Tower, nor open the road to
the Fire by the power that is in him." I feel that Glorfindel might
attract unwanted attention if Sauron heard that a mighty Noldo was
heading towards Mordor with the Ring. But then I suppose you could say
the same about Gandalf...
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo and Sam decided already. Gandalf is going. Legolas and Gimli
to represent Elves and Dwarves, they they'll go at least as far as
the Mountains. I always thought, "Well, THAT'S not very far, is
it?"
Elrond doesn't say which mountains. Maybe he meant to the passes of the
Mountains of Mordor? Unlikely though... :-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Aragorn and Boromir are going to Minas Tirith, so will journey
with the Fellowship along the way.
Aragorn and Boromir appear to have developed a respect for each other. I
notice that no-one rose to my bait at the Council of Elrond, where I
depicted Aragorn and Boromir as steadfast opponents. I still think there
was some initial tension there between the two of them.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This always seems rather
incidental for Boromir, although Aragorn was more deeply and
emotionally involved.
Hence the "bowed head to knees" bit later.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond decides to think about who else to send
in the last two slots, at which point Pippin and Merry clamor to go,
of course. Elrond is very worried, and expresses concern for the
Shire's safety. His heart is most against Pippin's going, while
Gandalf's heart counsel's otherwise. Interesting conflict of
prophetic characters, there. Was Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from
Pippin and the Palantir?
I think he was foreseeing the Scouring of the Shire.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Was Gandalf's Foresight poking him about the
bloodshed the two hobbits would prevent? On balance, it seems a good
thing that Gandalf prevailed.
Doh! :-)

And with the selection of Merry and Pippin: "...the tale of Nine is
filled."

This is a nice archaic use of the word 'tale' to mean a count of things.
I believe the name of the vote-counter at an election: a teller (of the
tale), is the same use of the word. Does anyone know the history of this
meaning of the word 'tale'?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo spends as much time as possible with Bilbo before he goes,
perhaps worried he might not have any more time later. Bilbo
presents Frodo with Sting and the mithril mail the day before the
Fellowship leaves. Bilbo sings a mournful song that is very
reminiscent of the end of life with much loneliness in it.
An absolutely wonderful song. Heartbreaking, but also very affirming as
well. Thinking of the ages yet to be, and people yet to be. Echoes of
eternity <shiver>, but then returning to homely things by listening for
"returning feet, and voices at the door". Something and Recovery. It was
in some essay somewhere... :-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company sets out.
We are told that Aragorn and Gandalf talked long together, and, later in
the chapter, we hear some of what they talked about. What else would
they have discussed? I also noticed that Gandalf and Elrond had one last
discussion moments before the departure. What would they have been
discussing?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Aragorn is emotionally strained by the good-bye
"Only Elrond knew fully what this hour meant to him."

An obvious reference to Arwen, I presume.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Boromir blows his horn before leaving
Elrond shows remarkable foresight when he admonishes Boromir's blowing
of his horn: "Slow should you be to wind that horn again, Boromir, until
you stand once more upon the borders of your land, and dire need is on
you."

I've always been dumbfounded by this. Did Elrond really know what was
going to happen at Parth Galen? Sounds like it!

[Brief archaic linguistic aside: Is 'wind' here pronounced as in 'I wind
up this reel of cotton' or as in 'a cold wind blew from the North'? I've
always thought it should be the former wind (like wined) as in winding
up your lungs with a deep breath to blow the horn, but not winding the
horn itself, as you would wind a crossbow.]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo is the only member of the company to take any oath
In Elrond's command to Frodo regarding the Ring, by 'Council' does
Elrond mean the White Council or the Council of Elrond? If the White
Council, who are they? I think Glorfindel is also a member of the White
Council...

I also liked the contrast between Elrond's (stirring and noble) farewell
and Bilbo's (homely and human) farewell: "don't be too long!" :-)

<phew, we've only just left Rivendell. I thought this chapter was all
about a journey South or something... :-) >
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company starts out by going south, for two weeks, mostly doing
their marches at night and with bleak weather.
Ah! Journeying South... Nice to see Tolkien can do 'fast-forward' over
boring bits as well as any other author!
Post by Michelle J. Haines
They finally see a little sunshine when they enter Eregion, or Hollin.
I liked the description of the old holly trees here. How old can holly
trees be? These ones must be pretty old! I make it about 4500 years
since the Wars in Eregion. Compare with the holly trees outside the
Gates of Moria in the next chapter.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gimli gives the
Hobbits a Dwarvish geography lesson, complete with the names of the
mountains in three languages. Legolas laments the loss of the Elves
that
Post by Michelle J. Haines
have left for the West.
It is nice to see the characters of Legolas and Gimli being used in this
way, and it develops them a bit as well.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Several murders [of crebain] pass over during the day.
Do you think the crebain spotted them then, or later on as they
descended from Caradhras?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for
a moment they faded then flashed out again. He shivered."
Gandalf and Aragorn don't see it, but they do both feel it. Is this
our first hint that the Riders are remounted on their Fell Beasts,
and again hunting the Company?
Undoubtedly.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
But later they aren't supposed to
cross the river yet.
I think that was a mistake by Tolkien.

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
I think so.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
They huddle against the cliff together, and the hobbits do indeed
begin to succumb to hypothermia.
Tolkien's description is wonderful. It makes me quite sleepy reading
about the dreamy bit with Bilbo's comments on Frodo's diary entries
about snowstorms.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
No one can make a fire by mundane means,
"I have written _Gandalf is here_ in signs that can be read from
Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin."
Can anyone translate Gandalf's incantation?

'Naur an edraith ammen!'
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The snow, the night, and the wood end all at about the same time
A nice description of the end of the storm, especially the attention to
detail about the snowflakes becoming larger just before the end of the
storm.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
As all of them are finally through the path, an avalanche rumbles
down and cuts it off. Gandalf decides they will not stay even on the
low slopes for the night, and the Company staggers off the mountain,
exhausted and defeated, only to be greeted by more crebain spies.
Cheery!
I think it is only here that the crebain see the Fellowship (not the
earlier encounter), and this leads to the attack in the next chapter. I
do like the way Frodo sees the dell they are retreating to "far below",
and how "his head was dizzy as he thought of the long and painful march
downhill. Black specks swam before his eyes... [the crebain]. Caradhras
had defeated them."

Anyone up for a 'what if' they had managed to go over Caradhras?

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-06 23:09:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Two months later, the scouts begin to return. No sign of the Riders,
except for the bodies of eight of their horses and a tattered cloak.
What happened to the ninth horse? Was one of the Nazgul still horsed?
I always got the feeling that maybe one of the bodies washed further
down in the flood, but it could easily go either way.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I like the way Elrond makes Frodo confirm he will take the Ring, and
only _then_ says "oh, well, I'm afraid I can't really help you very
much, but good luck!" :-)
Yeah. Nice.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Even Glorfindel "could not storm the Dark Tower, nor open the road to
the Fire by the power that is in him." I feel that Glorfindel might
attract unwanted attention if Sauron heard that a mighty Noldo was
heading towards Mordor with the Ring. But then I suppose you could say
the same about Gandalf...
Even if he couldn't storm the Dark Tower, he'd probably be handy in a
few other situations, like Warg fights, Balrog fights, and Orc
attacks.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Aragorn and Boromir appear to have developed a respect for each other. I
notice that no-one rose to my bait at the Council of Elrond, where I
depicted Aragorn and Boromir as steadfast opponents. I still think there
was some initial tension there between the two of them.
I think there was always tension between them. I found PJ's
interpretation of this to be pretty interesting, in fact, in the EE,
even if it can't be found directly in the text.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Elrond shows remarkable foresight when he admonishes Boromir's blowing
That always felt less like foresight, and more like scolding him for
getting everyone riled up for no reason, and as a caution that he
needs to be more quiet on the journey.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
<phew, we've only just left Rivendell. I thought this chapter was all
about a journey South or something... :-) >
Yeah, that's how I felt recapping the thing. The next one, too. We
don't get to the actual Dark part of the journey until about halfway
through the chapter.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Several murders [of crebain] pass over during the day.
Do you think the crebain spotted them then, or later on as they
descended from Caradhras?
It's open to interpretation. I kind of like your's.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I think it is only here that the crebain see the Fellowship (not the
earlier encounter), and this leads to the attack in the next chapter.
I never made the connection before, but it's a good one.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Anyone up for a 'what if' they had managed to go over Caradhras?
Where they planning to go through Lorien anyway? I imagine so.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-06 23:43:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Even Glorfindel "could not storm the Dark Tower...
Even if he couldn't storm the Dark Tower, he'd probably be handy in a
few other situations, like Warg fights, Balrog fights, and Orc
attacks.
Balrog fights! He'd fall off, just like Gandalf. ROTFL!
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Aragorn and Boromir appear to have developed a respect for each
other. I notice that no-one rose to my bait at the Council of
Elrond, where I depicted Aragorn and Boromir as steadfast opponents.
I still think there was some initial tension there between the two
of them.
I think there was always tension between them. I found PJ's
interpretation of this to be pretty interesting, in fact, in the EE,
even if it can't be found directly in the text.
Oh, I think it is there in the text. You just need to read between the
lines at the Council of Elrond. I think after that though, things are
all hunky-dory. I think PJ is wrong to show the tension continuing
during the journey. I read recently a review of TTT:EE that says that
Boromir's conversation with Denethor makes Boromir's motives for joining
the Fellowship highly suspect.

Denethor: "The Elves have that Ring. Go and get it back." (roughly)
Boromir: "Yes, father."

Sorry. Talking about the film again. Must do better next time....
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond shows remarkable foresight when he admonishes Boromir's
That always felt less like foresight, and more like scolding him for
getting everyone riled up for no reason, and as a caution that he
needs to be more quiet on the journey.
No. No. The bit where he says "you will be in dire need on the borders
of your land and will blow your horn". The Argonath (just north of Parth
Galen) is the ancient border of Gondor. Boromir is attacked by orcs near
Parth Galen, blows his horn, and dies in battle on the borders of his
land. Totally prophetic by Elrond.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
<phew, we've only just left Rivendell. I thought this chapter was all
about a journey South or something... :-) >
Yeah, that's how I felt recapping the thing. The next one, too. We
don't get to the actual Dark part of the journey until about halfway
through the chapter.
Same thing happens in the 'Lothlorien' chapter...
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Anyone up for a 'what if' they had managed to go over Caradhras?
Were they planning to go through Lorien anyway? I imagine so.
Yes, they were. Gandalf says this to Gimli in this very chapter! When he
talks about the "secret woods" in response to Gimli's bit about Dimrill
Dale during the 'dwarven geography lesson'.

But after that, Gandalf had not revealed his plans, if indeed he had
any. That is stealing a quote from Aragorn, of course.

I am thinking more about whether the Caradhras route would have been
safe (they might have run into orcs in Dimrill Dale if they were still
travelling by night), and what good came of the diversion through Moria,
thought that should really wait until the later chapters.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-08 12:07:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Even Glorfindel "could not storm the Dark Tower...
Even if he couldn't storm the Dark Tower, he'd probably be handy in a
few other situations, like Warg fights, Balrog fights, and Orc
attacks.
Balrog fights! He'd fall off, just like Gandalf. ROTFL!
But remember that Glorfindel killed a Balrog at Gondolin
(and was killed by it). I've always wondered if Glorfindel
is introduced in FOTR precisely because Tolkien was thinking of
relying on him to kill the Moria Balrog. Then, when Tolkien
settled on Gandalf's death and resurrection, the reason for
sending Glorfindel on the quest was gone.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-08 12:32:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Even Glorfindel "could not storm the Dark Tower...
Even if he couldn't storm the Dark Tower, he'd probably be handy in
a few other situations, like Warg fights, Balrog fights, and Orc
attacks.
Balrog fights! He'd fall off, just like Gandalf. ROTFL!
But remember that Glorfindel killed a Balrog at Gondolin
(and was killed by it).
Careful! :-)

Ecthelion was the Elf who killed (and was killed by) Gothmog, Lord of
Balrogs, in the square of the King in Gondolin. Glorfindel dies in
battle with a Balrog _outside_ the city of Gondolin, in a situation that
is remarkably similar to the one where Gandalf and a Balrog fight. That
is why I made the connection and found it funny.

In the escape from Gondolin (Silm, XXIII):

"There was a dreadful pass, Cirith Thoronath... where beneath the shadow
of the highest peaks a narrow path wound on its way; on the right hand
it was walled by a precipice, and on the left a dreadful fall leapt into
emptiness."

[...]

"Along that narrow way their march was strung, when they were ambushed
by orcs...and a Balrog was with them."

[...]

"Many are the songs that have been sung of the duel of Glorfindel with
the Balrog upon a pinnacle of rock in that high place; and both fell to
ruin in the abyss."

[...]

"Then Thorondor bore up Glorfindel's body..."

Compare these passages to the ones from LotR (II, V and III, V):

"Suddenly Frodo saw before him a black chasm... the floor vanished and
fell away to an unknown depth... They could only pass across it in
single file."

[...]

"With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged
down and vanished. But... [Gandalf] staggered and fell, grasped vainly
at the stone, and slid into the abyss."

[they eventually emerge on the mountainside and there is a comparison to
the nesting place of eagles, similar to the Encircling Mountains where
Glorfindel fell in battle with a Balrog]

"...a narrow space, a dizzy eyrie above the mists of the world... the
Battle of the Peak... I threw down my enemy and he fell from the high
place and broke the mountainside where he smote it in his ruin."

[...]

"...at last Gwaihir the Windlord found me again, and he took me up and
bore me away."

Tolkien was plainly reworking a theme from his earlier mythology here.
There are other examples in 'The Hobbit' and LotR. Compare the halls of
Thranduil to Menegroth. And compare Galadriel and Celeborn with Melian
and Thingol. Also compare Beren and Luthien, with Aragorn and Arwen. I
am sure there are other examples as well.
Post by Glenn Holliday
I've always wondered if Glorfindel
is introduced in FOTR precisely because Tolkien was thinking of
relying on him to kill the Moria Balrog. Then, when Tolkien
settled on Gandalf's death and resurrection, the reason for
sending Glorfindel on the quest was gone.
It's an interesting idea, and even more interesting given the
similarities in the death scenes, but I think (but can't remember the
references) that Tolkien's reuse of the name Glorfindel was
unintentional, and that he only later decided that the LotR Glorfindel
and the First Age Glorfindel were one and the same. Or maybe I am just
repeating a theory that I heard somewhere...

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-08 19:21:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Glenn Holliday
But remember that Glorfindel killed a Balrog at Gondolin
(and was killed by it).
Careful! :-)
Ecthelion was the Elf who killed (and was killed by) Gothmog, Lord of
Balrogs, in the square of the King in Gondolin. Glorfindel dies in
battle with a Balrog _outside_ the city of Gondolin,
Yes ... I didn't want to consume space with all the details.
Glorfindel heroically saved the refugees escaping after the
descruction of the city.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
in a situation that
is remarkably similar to the one where Gandalf and a Balrog fight. That
is why I made the connection and found it funny.
Or, Glorfindel at Moria:
"Balrogs! Why did it have to be Balrogs?"

You're right about the multiple parallels.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
It's an interesting idea, and even more interesting given the
similarities in the death scenes, but I think (but can't remember the
references) that Tolkien's reuse of the name Glorfindel was
unintentional, and that he only later decided that the LotR Glorfindel
and the First Age Glorfindel were one and the same.
You are correct - I believe that's in the Letters, but I
haven't looked up the reference. It's one of those situations
where intentional or not, Tolkien put everything in the right
place.

I wonder if he reworked so many of his First Age writings
into LOTR because he feared they would never see print
in their original forms?
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Tar-Elenion
2004-05-08 19:46:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Glenn Holliday
But remember that Glorfindel killed a Balrog at Gondolin
(and was killed by it).
Careful! :-)
Ecthelion was the Elf who killed (and was killed by) Gothmog, Lord of
Balrogs, in the square of the King in Gondolin. Glorfindel dies in
battle with a Balrog _outside_ the city of Gondolin,
Yes ... I didn't want to consume space with all the details.
Glorfindel heroically saved the refugees escaping after the
descruction of the city.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
in a situation that
is remarkably similar to the one where Gandalf and a Balrog fight. That
is why I made the connection and found it funny.
"Balrogs! Why did it have to be Balrogs?"
You're right about the multiple parallels.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
It's an interesting idea, and even more interesting given the
similarities in the death scenes, but I think (but can't remember the
references) that Tolkien's reuse of the name Glorfindel was
unintentional, and that he only later decided that the LotR Glorfindel
and the First Age Glorfindel were one and the same.
In first drafts JRRT wrote a note to have Glorfindel tell of his
ancestry in Gondolin (HoME 6).
--
Tar-Elenion

He is a warrior, and a spirit of wrath. In every
stroke that he deals he sees the Enemy who long
ago did thee this hurt.
Shanahan
2004-05-09 01:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Glenn Holliday
But remember that Glorfindel killed a Balrog at Gondolin
(and was killed by it).
Ecthelion was the Elf who killed (and was killed by) Gothmog,
Lord of Balrogs, in the square of the King in Gondolin.
Glorfindel dies in battle with a Balrog _outside_ the city of
Gondolin,
<snip>
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
It's an interesting idea, and even more interesting given the
similarities in the death scenes, but I think (but can't
remember the references) that Tolkien's reuse of the name
Glorfindel was unintentional, and that he only later decided
that the LotR Glorfindel and the First Age Glorfindel were
one and the same.
In first drafts JRRT wrote a note to have Glorfindel tell of his
ancestry in Gondolin (HoME 6).
Since I'm reading the Glorfindel section of PoME right now, I'll
chip in & see if it helps. In 1938, a draft of the Council
chapter has Glorfindel tell of his ancestry in Gondolin. But the
idea was dropped for the final version, and apparently it nagged
at Tolkien, for he returned to it in the very last years of his
life. At that point (1968-70) he did seem to be in doubt as to
whether to make them the same person or not:
"[This name's] use in _The Lord of the Rings_ is one of the cases
of the somewhat random use of the names found in the older
legends, now referred to as _The Silmarillion_, which escaped
reconsideration in the final published form of LotR. This is
unfortunate, since the name is now difficult to fit into Sindarin,
and cannot possibly be Quenyarin. Also in the now organised
mythology, difficulty is presented by the things recorded of
Glorfindel in LotR, if Glorfindel of Gondolin is supposed to be
the same person as Glorfindel of Rivendell."

I guess he decided to ignore the linguistic difficulty in light of
the greater difficulty of having a crucially important and very
unusual name repeated in Silm. and LotR. He also thought that
having both Glorfindels the same person made the story more
compelling. Gotta agree.

- Ciaran S.
Rich Carreiro
2004-05-07 03:18:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[Brief archaic linguistic aside: Is 'wind' here pronounced as in 'I wind
up this reel of cotton' or as in 'a cold wind blew from the North'? I've
always thought it should be the former wind (like wined) as in winding
up your lungs with a deep breath to blow the horn, but not winding the
horn itself, as you would wind a crossbow.]
The latter, as in sending wind through the horn.

From the OED, wind v.2 from wind n.1 (and wind n.1 is

II. From WIND n.1 II. (my note -- WIND n.1 is the noun wind, as
in the movement of air)

[snip]

3. a. trans. To sound by forcing the breath through, to blow (a
wind-instrument, esp. a horn).
In this sense often with pa. tense and pple. wound, by confusion
with WIND v.1, perh. due to vague suggestion from the curved form of a
horn or bugle.

b. To blow (a blast, call, or note) on a horn, etc.
--
Rich Carreiro ***@animato.arlington.ma.us
John Elliott
2004-05-07 09:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for
a moment they faded then flashed out again. He shivered."
Gandalf and Aragorn don't see it, but they do both feel it. Is this
our first hint that the Riders are remounted on their Fell Beasts,
and again hunting the Company?
Undoubtedly.
Could have been a flying Balrog :-)
--
John Elliott
Raven
2004-05-07 01:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
This is a nice archaic use of the word 'tale' to mean a count of things.
I believe the name of the vote-counter at an election: a teller (of the
tale), is the same use of the word. Does anyone know the history of this
meaning of the word 'tale'?
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in German) means
"number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count". The Scand word "tall" is
pronounced with a short vowel and long following consonant, like the English
word "tell" and unlike the English word "tall".

[Nazgûl on the wing]
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
But later they aren't supposed to
cross the river yet.
I think that was a mistake by Tolkien.
Not necessarily. The thing that passed overhead could have been some
other servant of Sauron entirely. It could also have been a Fell Beast
without a rider yet.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Can anyone translate Gandalf's incantation?
'Naur an edraith ammen!'
He uses the same as part of his fire-raising against the wolves later. I
don't remember the precise translation, but it can be found on the
Ardalambion web site ( http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf ). I can give you
this from memory: "naur" means "fire", as in "Sammath Naur". I *think* it
means "fire be for the saving of us", but I won't bet my head on my memory
being accurate here.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Anyone up for a 'what if' they had managed to go over Caradhras?
Gandalf would have remained Gandalf the Grey. But otherwise the story
might have winded up not much differently from the actual one.

Corb.
John Jones
2004-05-08 14:19:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raven
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
This is a nice archaic use of the word 'tale' to mean a count of things.
I believe the name of the vote-counter at an election: a teller (of the
tale), is the same use of the word. Does anyone know the history of this
meaning of the word 'tale'?
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in German) means
"number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count". The Scand word "tall" is
pronounced with a short vowel and long following consonant, like the English
word "tell" and unlike the English word "tall".
The English equivalent is 'tally'. A person who counts is a tallyman.
Odysseus
2004-05-09 19:06:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Post by Raven
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in German) means
"number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count". The Scand word "tall" is
pronounced with a short vowel and long following consonant, like the
English
Post by Raven
word "tell" and unlike the English word "tall".
The English equivalent is 'tally'. A person who counts is a tallyman.
Cf. also "teller" (the bank employee, not the reciter of stories).
--
Odysseus
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-09 20:23:25 UTC
Permalink
{Hey! You snipped what this started from: "The tale of Nine is
complete" - Elrond after selecting Merry and Pippin for the Fellowship}
Post by Odysseus
Post by John Jones
Post by Raven
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in German)
means "number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count". The Scand word
"tall" is pronounced with a short vowel and long following
consonant, like the English word "tell" and unlike the English word
"tall".
The English equivalent is 'tally'. A person who counts is a
tallyman.
Cf. also "teller" (the bank employee, not the reciter of stories).
And ATM (automated telling machine) that counts out your money.
Shanahan
2004-05-10 17:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
{Hey! You snipped what this started from: "The tale of Nine is
complete" - Elrond after selecting Merry and Pippin for the
Fellowship}
Post by Odysseus
Post by John Jones
Post by Raven
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in
German) means "number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count".
The Scand word "tall" is pronounced with a short vowel and
long following consonant, like the English word "tell" and
unlike the English word "tall".
The English equivalent is 'tally'. A person who counts is a
tallyman.
Cf. also "teller" (the bank employee, not the reciter of
stories).
And ATM (automated telling machine) that counts out your money.
It comes from the old way of keeping count, where a tallystick was
notched every tenth item, or a large knot tied in a tallyrope.
The bundle of sticks or strings would then be the official
shipping receipt 'document'.

OEDictionary, on the verb "tale":

[OE. talian to reckon, impute, enumerate, = OS. talôn to reckon
(MDu. tlen to speak, Du. talen to ask), OHG. zalôn to number,
reckon (MHG. zalen, zaln, Ger. zahlen to pay), ON. tala (Sw. tala,
Da. tale) to speak, talk, discourse: OTeut. *talôjan, f. stem
tal-: see TALE n.]

1. trans. To account, reckon, consider (something) to be (so
and so). Obs.
2. To lay to the account of some one, to charge or impute (a
thing) to. Only OE.
3. To reckon, enumerate, relate. Only OE.
4. To count up; to deal out by number.
(In quot. 1626 the sense is not clear: cf. TALLY v.1 1.)
1626 B. JONSON Staple of N. I. iii. Stage Direct., He tales the
bils, and puts them vp in his pockets. 1828 W. IRVING Columbus
(1849) III. 135 He..ordered the brawling ruffian to be rewarded
with a hundred lashes, which were taled out roundly to him upon
the shoulders. 1881 G. F. JACKSON Shropsh. Word-bk., Tale, to
count. 'I tale them ship [= sheep] to forty'ow many bin a?'

- Ciaran S.
(hey, mister tallyman, tally me banana...daylight come an' me wan'
go home)
Jette Goldie
2004-05-11 19:09:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
{Hey! You snipped what this started from: "The tale of Nine is
complete" - Elrond after selecting Merry and Pippin for the
Fellowship}
Post by Odysseus
Post by John Jones
Post by Raven
I can tell you that the word "tall" in Scand ("Zahl" in
German) means "number". "Telle" is the verb form, "count".
The Scand word "tall" is pronounced with a short vowel and
long following consonant, like the English word "tell" and
unlike the English word "tall".
The English equivalent is 'tally'. A person who counts is a tallyman.
Cf. also "teller" (the bank employee, not the reciter of
stories).
And ATM (automated telling machine) that counts out your money.
It comes from the old way of keeping count, where a tallystick was
notched every tenth item, or a large knot tied in a tallyrope.
The bundle of sticks or strings would then be the official
shipping receipt 'document'.
When I was young, the "tallyman" was the guy who
worked for the loans company, who came door to
door to collect the repayments from the householders
(usually the housewife)
--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
***@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
slidge
2004-05-11 19:39:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jette Goldie
When I was young, the "tallyman" was the guy who
worked for the loans company, who came door to
door to collect the repayments from the householders
(usually the housewife)
I thought he was the guy who come to tally me banana?

Hmmm... daylight comes. I want to go home.
Shanahan
2004-05-08 22:51:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
The Ring Goes South [...]
Thank you, Michelle. That was fast!
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
What happened to the ninth horse? Was one of the Nazgul still
horsed?
This teasing loose end always drove me *nuts*. I wanted all Nine
creepies to be taken care of for the moment, so Frodo (and the
reader) could rest!
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
What is 'The Hunter's Moon', is that like the large Moon you
can have in the autumn? (Don't ask me why the Moon can appear
different sizes at different times, that will take pages and
pages to explain...)
At least you *could* explain...far beyond my mathematical
capabilities, I'm afraid. But I'm handy with an anthropological
explanation, so: the Hunter's Moon probably refers back to the
myths about the Wild Hunt that chased across the skies on full
moon nights. They were variously gods, demi-gods, or Elves,
depending on which mythos you're in; once the Church got ahold of
them, they were demons and witches, of course. If you prefer
practical explanations of myth, they were probably inspired by
geese flying at night. If you prefer practical explanations of
names of different moons, I'd bet that the fall full moon is the
best for hunting, since it's dark early, the trees and ground are
bare, and the game is nice and fat.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
to go, of course. Elrond is very worried, and expresses
concern for the Shire's safety. His heart is most against
Pippin's going, while Gandalf's heart counsels otherwise.
Interesting conflict of prophetic characters, there. Was
Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from Pippin and the Palantir?
I think he was foreseeing the Scouring of the Shire.
Maybe Elrond wasn't under a foresight at all, which is why he was
wrong. Perhaps he was having a personal empathic feeling, and that
clouded his clearer foresight?

(Found an interesting note in PoME about foresight, and whether
it's inborn or a special one-time postcard from the Valar. 'Last
Writings' says that Cirdan heard a voice he knew to be from the
Valar, telling him to stay in ME and not sail to Valinor. After
this one-time vision, however, Cirdan suddenly acquired a great
gift of "foresight touching all matters of importance, beyond the
measure of all other Elves upon Middle Earth." So which side of
the discussion does *that* support??)

- Ciaran S.
--------------------------
If you were agoraphobic,
you'd be home by now.
Jim Deutch
2004-05-12 15:50:45 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 06 May 2004 22:42:27 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
What is 'The Hunter's Moon', is that like the large Moon you can have in
the autumn?
"Hunter's Moon", at least in the NE USA, is the October full moon. It
occurs during [deer] hunting season, and it also is at the season when
the moon rises at the shallowest angle of the year, and so spends the
longest time close to the horizon.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
(Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)
Nonsense! It takes one five word sentence: it is an optical illusion.
Of course, then there's a thousand words taking care of people's
objections and misunderstandings... This picture may be helpful:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap031011.html

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
Each launch slows the Earth down slightly, but I haven't yet heard of
hippies standing outside the Kennedy Space Center with protest signs
saying "conserve angular momentum." - Tom Farr
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-12 19:27:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
(Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)
Nonsense! It takes one five word sentence: it is an optical illusion.
Of course, then there's a thousand words taking care of people's
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap031011.html
Thanks! I find the bowl-shaped sky explanation most satisfactory.

http://www.thursdaysclassroom.com/15jun00/ponzo.html

But I hadn't heard about the oculomotor micropsia theory, which is
linked from that page.

http://facstaff.uww.edu/mccreadd/intro4.html

Interesting.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Öjevind Lång
2004-05-13 22:46:56 UTC
Permalink
"Jim Deutch" <***@compuserve.com> skrev i meddelandet news:***@news.compuserve.com...

[snip]
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
(Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)
Nonsense! It takes one five word sentence: it is an optical illusion.
Stuff and nonsense! Every educated person knows that the moon swells and
shrinks all the time. It's due to certain dietary problems it has.

Öjevind
the softrat
2004-05-14 00:36:33 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 14 May 2004 00:46:56 +0200, "Öjevind Lång"
Post by Rich Carreiro
[snip]
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
(Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)
Nonsense! It takes one five word sentence: it is an optical illusion.
Stuff and nonsense! Every educated person knows that the moon swells and
shrinks all the time. It's due to certain dietary problems it has.
For instance, it grows every time it drops its pants.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
Are you still here? The message is over. Shoo! Go away!
Öjevind Lång
2004-05-14 10:02:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
On Fri, 14 May 2004 00:46:56 +0200, "Öjevind Lång"
[snip]
Post by the softrat
Post by Öjevind Lång
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
(Don't ask me why the Moon can appear different sizes at
different times, that will take pages and pages to explain...)
Nonsense! It takes one five word sentence: it is an optical illusion.
Stuff and nonsense! Every educated person knows that the moon swells and
shrinks all the time. It's due to certain dietary problems it has.
For instance, it grows every time it drops its pants.
And shows its gibbous white behind, and act known in the vernacular as
"mooning".

Öjevind
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-05-12 22:35:28 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 06 May 2004 22:42:27 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I think it is only here that the crebain see the Fellowship (not the
earlier encounter), and this leads to the attack in the next chapter.
Does it? All we know now are that the crebain are from Fangorn and
Dunland, per Aragorn, and I've always assumed that meant they were
serving Saruman. One wonders if they were able to bring back any
useful information to him -- after the attempt on Caradhras the
Company saw them from above, after all, and the birds were looking
down. Also, the crebain wouldn't have been flying around at night, if
they followed the patterns of ravens and crows, as they would have
settled down for the night somewhere at sunset, and certainly they
wouldn't have been airborne in the blizzard to have seen Gandalf's
light the previous night.

I would make note of Gandalf's rather vague but dark comment that
Sauron's arm has grown long. And here's a bit of foreshadowing
(readers can do this as well as writers, no?): soon Gandalf will call
the leader of the spectral wolves "Hound of Sauron," but I guess that
should be carried over to next week's discussion.

Barb

PS: Aiyee! I see it's already up. I truly am running behind. Well,
more later in that thread.
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-12 23:04:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
On Thu, 06 May 2004 22:42:27 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I think it is only here that the crebain see the Fellowship (not the
earlier encounter), and this leads to the attack in the next chapter.
Does it? All we know now are that the crebain are from Fangorn and
Dunland, per Aragorn, and I've always assumed that meant they were
serving Saruman.
Yes. I had thought that they alerted the wargs, but I now see that the
wargs were serving Sauron, as you mentioned with the 'Hound of Sauron'
comment.
Post by Jim Deutch
One wonders if they were able to bring back any
useful information to him
Presumably he could then focus his search to either side of the
mountains, and this helps in some way when his orcs track the Fellowship
down at Parth Galen?

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-07 01:38:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
It's certainly welcome!
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf drops his bomb about coming along on the adventure, at which
Frodo is predictably delighted. I know -I- would be, in his shoes.
Given what we know by the end of LOTR (and of later works)
about Gandalf's purpose and mission, I can't imagine him
missing this mission. Of course, Frodo doesn't know that.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The companions
are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always seemed pretty
arbitrary to me.
Yes. It serves Tolkien's literary purposes, and of course
each one of the nine serves important roles later in the
book. But it does nothing for the needs of the Fellowship
at this point in the story. Why not five? Or twelve?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
and then you could send
along an elf-lord with the might of Glorfindel
The only reason I can think of not to include Glorfindel is
that Gandalf is already in the Fellowship. Perhaps Elrond
insisted on having his best lieutenant on hand in case
Rivendell were attacked. A wise precaution, after we
learn about events around Lothlorien during the War.
I have to wonder if Tolkien considered writing the Moria
sequence with Glorfindel there.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Narsil is reforged, and the new sword, named Anduril, is given a
"The Sword of Elendil was forged anew by elvish smiths and on its
blade was traced a device of seven stars set between the crescent
Moon and the rayed Sun, and about them were written many runes....
Very bright was made the sword when it was made whole again; the
light of the sun shone redly in it, and the light of the moon shone
cold, and its edge was hard and keen."
Yes. This sounds like a quality of the Sword, not just a
description of it reflecting sunlight and moonlight. That
would be a sign of its Elvish background.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Boromir and Aragorn carry no other weapons but
their swords, which I always thought was a little odd. You'd think
two such accomplished campaigners would at least carry along bows, in
case they needed to shot a deer for food, or something.
On the one hand, they are travelling fast and light, so they
are counting on eating what's on their backs. Aragorn commented
on the way from Bree to Rivendell that hunting takes time and
would slow them down. On the other hand, they are also going
into war, and you would think they would want to have more than
one option. On the third hand, they are taking a pack horse,
so they're already slowed down and have the ability to carry
the most important extras.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for
a moment they faded then flashed out again. He shivered."
Gandalf and Aragorn don't see it, but they do both feel it. Is this
our first hint that the Riders are remounted on their Fell Beasts,
and again hunting the Company?
That's the only think I can think of.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
But later they aren't supposed to
cross the river yet.
I wonder if that's a detail that Tolkien overlooked.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
I'm getting ahead of myself, but it's an
interesting foreshadowing. (I seem to be saying that a lot.)
Well, Tolkien does a lot of foreshadowing :-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
I've always thought this is an intentional reference to
The Hobbit.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?
They are pretty far south of the places we know Sauron was in
during the First Age. I thought it meant the stories of
Caradhras go back into the First Age, before Sauron moved south
during the Second Age.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-07 05:36:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
This is rather dashed together quickly, and hopefully Maxie's
offering is better, but here it is, so we can get going.
Thanks Michelle.
Feel free to dash things together whenever the mood catches you ;-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Ring Goes South
This chapter begins shortly after the end of the Council, with Merry
and Pippin kvetching
^^^^^^^^^

There was a new word for me - thanks :-)

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Bilbo laments they'll likely leave just as winter gets going, and
adds a side dig about Frodo letting the S.B.'s into Bag End on his
birthday.
That one always causes me to smile in sympathy with the old Hobbit.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
They segue into a discussion about the Ringwraiths, and how they
can't be destroyed by such mundane things as huge flash floods with
imaginary horses and big rolling boulders.
Which of course begs the question of what exactly Gandalf meant when he
said that they hoped "that the Ringwraiths were scattered, and have been
obliged to return as best they could to their Master in Mordor, empty and
shapeless." In particular in the light of his later statement to Legolas
that shooting the flying mount out under one of them wouldn't kill him.

I have been wavering back and forth on the question of what happened in
detail to the Ringwraiths after they were swept away by the flood, and I
still am ;-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
It's at this point Gandalf drops his bomb about coming along on the
adventure, at which Frodo is predictably delighted. I know -I-
would be, in his shoes.
Me too!
It is, I suspect, no surprise for the reader - Gandalf involvement in
this was disclosed (almost) in full in the preceding chapter, and we
know that he intended to go with Frodo from Bag End (before the
unfortunate side trip to Isengard).
Post by Michelle J. Haines
We have's Bilbo comment about how he can't count days in Rivendell.
Does time work a bit differently here, as it seems to in Lorien, or
is it just Bilbo's comfort and complacency?
I don't think it was just Bilbo, though the effect also seems different
from that in Lothlórien. "The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but
ceased to have any power over the present." Rivendell was a place of
/lore/ - a place where the memory of the Elder Days were kept alive, and
much wisdom was gathered. In Lothlórien the Elder Days lived still - a
quite different effect.

In Lothlórien the time "flowed swiftly for [the fellowship], as for the
Elves", but the effect seems quite different in Rivendell. This loss of
count might be akin to that loss of time-sense felt when deeply absorbed
in a study.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
We then have the meta- commentary about Frodo helping Bilbo with his
book, and starting on the sequel. In the discussions of endings,
Sam has the most interesting comment, "And where will they live?
That's what I often wonder." Interesting foreshadowing there, I think.
Sam has a wonderful approach to stories as evidenced also by the dialogue
between him and Frodo on the stairs of Cirith Ungol.

Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
red star:
"... The Hunter's Moon waxed round in the night sky, and put
to flight all the lesser stars. But low in the South one
star shone red. Every night, as the Moon waned again, it
shone brighter and brighter. Frodo could see it from his
window, deep in the heavens burning like a watchful eye that
glared above the trees on the brink of the valley."

This sounds very much like an evil omen - a portent of war or a reminder
of the Enemy. Is it supposed to be Mars - of old considered an omen of
war and strife? (This goes back to the Babylonians, at the very least.)

I remember that something is said about the constellations and planets in
one of the HoMe volumes, but I don't have them with me. Is there anything
about Mars in that - especially if it was associated with War in
Middle-earth too (Mars, or perhaps one of the red stars - Aldebaran and
Betelgeuze in particular)?

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond reaffirms Frodo's oath to go, and Sam's to go with him, then
makes a speech about how he can't offer much help.
;-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The companions are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always
seemed pretty arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one"
symbolism, it seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda
pointless.
It is, I believe, often seen in fairy-stories that symbols count - they
are extremely important.

I suspect that nine is one of the magic numbers in Middle-earth, and that
this influenced the decision.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Ten people wouldn't have made any more of a fuss, and then you could
send along an elf-lord with the might of Glorfindel as well as the
two silly hobbits,
Merry and Pippin ought only count for one together - being 'halflings'
;-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
but I suppose that would that be unwieldy, story- external.
I don't suppose it would have been much more unwieldy having ten
companions than nine from a story-telling point of view.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Story-internal, it doesn't make a ton of sense, but there you go.
The symbolism does, I think, make some sense. They did have to limit the
number of people in the party, and settling for the symbolism of the nine
would be at least as good a number as any other.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Frodo and Sam decided already.
Indeed as the only ones elected at the council.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf is going.
Predictably ;-)
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Legolas and Gimli to represent Elves and Dwarves,
I can see the sense in choosing Gimli - Glóin was getting on in years,
but why Legolas and not Glorfindel or one of the other members of
Elrond's household he was considering? What spoke in favour of choosing a
Sindarin prince from a Sylvan realm as the representative of the Elves
instead of e.g. a Noldorin lord?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
they they'll go at least as far as the Mountains. I always thought,
"Well, THAT'S not very far, is it?"
I thought something similar - going to "the passes of the Mountains"
wasn't much of a commitment considering the need and obligation of the
Ring-bearer.

Gimli does, I think, reveal a commitment to continue further than that
when they are leaving; "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road
darkens."
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Aragorn and Boromir are going to Minas Tirith, so will journey
with the Fellowship along the way. This always seems rather
incidental for Boromir,
Yes, there is a feeling of 'he's going in that general direction anyway,
so let's use him ...' over the choice of Boromir. On the other hand it
does seem that Elrond was determined that no-one should be allowed to
just tag along - either they would be on of the Nine Walkers, or they
wouldn't be allowed to go that way.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
although Aragorn was more deeply and emotionally involved.
And as he had promised to go with Boromir ...
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond decides to think about who else to send in the last two slots,
at which point Pippin and Merry clamor to go, of course.
I very much like Merry's comment earlier that they (Merry and Pippin)
were not envying Frodo, but Sam, that being left behind if Frodo /had/ to
go would be a punishment.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond is very worried, and expresses concern for the Shire's safety.
His heart is most against Pippin's going, while Gandalf's heart
counsel's otherwise. Interesting conflict of prophetic characters,
there. Was Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from Pippin and the
Palantir?
It is of course impossible to say with certainty, but I am willing to
accept the reasons he gives: that Pippin is the youngest and that he is
foreseeing trouble in the Shire.

Elrond also says that he could 'foresee very little of the road' - in
particular that all beyond the feet of the Mountains and 'the borders of
Greyflood' was under the Shadow and therefore dark to him. This would
certainly include Isengard.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Was Gandalf's Foresight poking him about the bloodshed the two
hobbits would prevent?
At a guess, I'd say that Gandalf was acting upon a hunch, an intuition or
premonition. Something akin to the situation when he was trying to
convince Thorin and company to accept Bilbo - "And suddenly I felt that I
was indeed in hot earnest. This queer notion of mine was not a joke, it
was /right/. It was desparately important that it should be carried out."

I think that Gandalf's nature has something to do with this. As long as
he stayed true to his mission he retained a dim memory of Valinor, and a
great longing for it. A part of this was, I believe, an ability to
recognise beyond doubt the right path, even if he had no other arguments
than that it /felt/ right to him.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
On balance, it seems a good thing that Gandalf prevailed.
"It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for
Boromir's sake." Gandalf in III,5 'The White Rider'

And that was, of course, not the only role they played. They the stone
that set the avalanche of Ents in motion, and their achievements during
the Siege of Minas Tirith and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields were
truly glorious.

<sip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf and Legolas lament the loss of the Elves that have left for
the West.
I have always been oddly moved by Legolas' words: "Only I hear the stones
lament them: /deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they
builded us; but they are gone." This union - or symbiosis even - of the
Elves with the land they occupy has always spoken deeply to me.

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for
a moment they faded then flashed out again. He shivered."
Gandalf and Aragorn don't see it, but they do both feel it. Is this
our first hint that the Riders are remounted on their Fell Beasts,
and again hunting the Company?
It is a curious incident. Is there any indication of what Tolkien
intended with this anywhere?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
But later they aren't supposed to cross the river yet.
Technically this is related by an Orc, who might not know everything (the
restraint might e.g. only apply further south - where the land beyond the
river is inhabited or at least regularly patrolled).

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
There is speculation about whether or not Sauron could have caused
the storm to frustrate them, but Gandalf's answer, "His arm has grown
long." is really quite ambiguous on the subject.
Especially in the light of the discussion a few paragraphs further down
of evil creatures older than Sauron (or rather: 'who have been in this
world longer than he') and not in league with him.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Company is forced to stop by a full-on blizzard, not to mention
what sound like voices on the air and stones crashing into the
mountains near them and boulders rumbling down nearby. Are these the
same mountain giants Bilbo saw during a thunderstorm in The Hobbit?
"... hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them,
and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among
the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang."

Interesting idea.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
So, maybe not such a fanciful tale after all? Gimli pipes up that
the mountain has had an evil reputation of it's own for a very long
time. "When rumor of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.", in
fact. How far back does it put that? The First Age?
Or the first years of the second age.
Moria was, IIRC, founded in the First Age (the Tale of Years [ToY] has
Dwarves from Ered Luin going to Moria about year 40, Second Age [SA]),
and ToY puts c. 500 SA as the date when "Sauron begins to stir again in
Middle-earth" and c. 1000 SA for the commencement of Barad-dûr.

An interesting thing that occurs to me is that the Balrog must have been
hiding under Moria when it was already inhabited, but probably before it
became that great mansion and kingdom of Durin's people that we hear of
in e.g. Gimli's song.

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond
them is more than memory, Farewell!
- Aragorn Son of Arathorn, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Dirk Thierbach
2004-05-07 13:16:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
[...]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I remember that something is said about the constellations and planets in
one of the HoMe volumes, but I don't have them with me. Is there anything
about Mars in that [...] ?
I didn't check HoME, but when we were discussing the moon phases
some time ago I dug out an open source astronomy program (Debian
is nice -- lots of things are just there, if you need them :-)
Besides the correct moon phases, you can also see that Mars is
"low in the South" at this time. So it's very likely Mars, whatever it
is called in ME.

- Dirk
Neil Anderson
2004-05-07 19:30:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
[...]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I remember that something is said about the constellations and planets in
one of the HoMe volumes, but I don't have them with me. Is there anything
about Mars in that [...] ?
I didn't check HoME, but when we were discussing the moon phases
some time ago I dug out an open source astronomy program (Debian
is nice -- lots of things are just there, if you need them :-)
Besides the correct moon phases, you can also see that Mars is
"low in the South" at this time. So it's very likely Mars, whatever it
is called in ME.
There is reference in the Silm (I think?) to Carnil, which is obviously mean
to mean "Red Star".

Then in a couple of places in HoMe (apologies, books stored away), there is
an excursus by CJRT on the names of the stars, brough about by a reader
pointing out the possible connections between the star-name "Lumbar" (from
the root "lumbe" - shadow) that connects the name of this star with Saturn
(Saturn is connected with those of a melancholic ie "shadowy" disposition -
hence "saturnine"). This short piece of writing by CJRT may also shed some
light on whether Mars was equivalent to Carnil.

OK, I have dug out the most easily accessible volume of HoME. In the
foreword of WotJ, towards the end, is the mention of the Lumbar/Saturn
connection, and the reference to the longer star-name excursus is to
Morgoth's Ring p. 434-5).

Neil Anderson
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-08 01:27:37 UTC
Permalink
[all asked about stars and planets in ME, though no-one's explained what
a 'Hunter's Moon' is yet, though I now believe it to be a Full Moon]

So I've trawled Google as I remember Conrad Dunkerson posting a
comprehensive summary of this a few months ago:


http://www.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=jLd0c.8560%24TF2.6668%40nwrdny02.gnilink.net

Hope that helps.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-08 01:48:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[all asked about stars and planets in ME, though no-one's explained what
a 'Hunter's Moon' is yet, though I now believe it to be a Full Moon]
I think it's like a Harvest Moon, where the moon looks really huge
and golden in the fall.


Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
the softrat
2004-05-08 02:07:58 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 08 May 2004 01:27:37 GMT, in alt.fan.tolkien "Christopher
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[all asked about stars and planets in ME, though no-one's explained what
a 'Hunter's Moon' is yet, though I now believe it to be a Full Moon]
Working from my feeble memory ....

The Hunter's Moon is the full moon of October or November, the last
full moon before winter. It occurs a month after the Harvest Moon. It
provides that last light by which a hunter can do his business before
it gets too dark.

It's not just a ME thing.
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-08 12:28:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[all asked about stars and planets in ME, though no-one's explained what
a 'Hunter's Moon' is yet, though I now believe it to be a Full Moon]
This goes back to European agricultural traditions and calendar,
which Tolkien uses heavily in LOTR.

Fall is harvest season. "First fruits" is generally August.
By Fall Equinox (Sept 21) most of the crops are in. The Harvest
Moon is the Full Moon in September (by some accounts, the next one
after the Equinox, though most sources I've seen just count is
as the one that falls in the month of September). Since the night
comes on early now, farmers rely on the light of the Harvest Moon
to finish off their field work for the year.

After the crops are in, hunting season begins. So the next
Full Moon after the Harvest Moon is the Hunter's Moon.
Hunters use it to watch for the deer coming to feed at night.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
becte
2004-05-10 08:50:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[all asked about stars and planets in ME, though no-one's explained what
a 'Hunter's Moon' is yet, though I now believe it to be a Full Moon]
This goes back to European agricultural traditions and calendar,
which Tolkien uses heavily in LOTR.
Fall is harvest season. "First fruits" is generally August.
By Fall Equinox (Sept 21) most of the crops are in. The Harvest
Moon is the Full Moon in September (by some accounts, the next one
after the Equinox, though most sources I've seen just count is
as the one that falls in the month of September). Since the night
comes on early now, farmers rely on the light of the Harvest Moon
to finish off their field work for the year.
Yes, this is correct. I would like to add that what is so
special about the Harvest Moon is that the delay of the Moonrise
between successive nights is at a minimum at this time
of the year. Thus, in late September the (nearly) Full
Moon rises shortly after sunset on a successive number
of nights (in general this will be for only one or two nights).
Therefore the farmers had bright moonlight early in the evening
for several nights which was very useful.
Technically this is because the Moon is at this time close to the
autumnal equinox where the ecliptic is least inclined to the horizon.
This minimizes the delay between successive Moonrises
Post by Glenn Holliday
After the crops are in, hunting season begins. So the next
Full Moon after the Harvest Moon is the Hunter's Moon.
Hunters use it to watch for the deer coming to feed at night.
The Moon following the Harvest Moon exhibits a similar effect,
though not so pronounced and is called the Hunters Moon.
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-08 12:18:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
I didn't check HoME, but when we were discussing the moon phases
some time ago I dug out an open source astronomy program (Debian
is nice -- lots of things are just there, if you need them :-)
Besides the correct moon phases, you can also see that Mars is
"low in the South" at this time. So it's very likely Mars, whatever it
is called in ME.
You mean at that time of year in the year that (we believe)
Tolkien used as his model for the year of this action?
Remember Mars' orbit is a different length than Earth's, so it
does not appear in the same part of the sky on the same date
each year.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Odysseus
2004-05-08 15:59:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Remember Mars' orbit is a different length than Earth's, so it
does not appear in the same part of the sky on the same date
each year.
I believe its synodic period of 780 days is the longest of all the planets'.
--
Odysseus
Dirk Thierbach
2004-05-08 15:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
You mean at that time of year in the year that (we believe)
Tolkien used as his model for the year of this action?
Yes. While I was at this, I checked maybe half a dozen examples of moon
phases, and they all matched.
Post by Glenn Holliday
Remember Mars' orbit is a different length than Earth's, so it
does not appear in the same part of the sky on the same date
each year.
Yes. That's why you tell the program the exact date and time
(including the year), and the place (I used Cambridge, which should be good
enough), and then you get a nice view of the night sky, including stars,
moon, constellations, etc. (The name of the program is 'xephem', BTW).

- Dirk
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-09 10:06:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Yes. That's why you tell the program the exact date and time
(including the year), and the place (I used Cambridge, which should
be good enough), and then you get a nice view of the night sky,
including stars, moon, constellations, etc. (The name of the program
is 'xephem', BTW).
I believe 'Oxford' is the better location for exactness, as that is
where Tolkien was writing, though what difference it makes to moonrise
and things like that I really don't know. If the program is good, you
should be able to type in latitude and longitude for any place on the
Earth.

As for years, 1941 was used for 3018 and 1942 for 3019.

This comment is often quoted from Tolkien's last interview:

"The moons I think finally were the moons and sunset worked out
according to what they were in this part of the world in 1942 actually."

When he is referring to events in 3019, which is when most of the
journey after Rivendell takes place. I'd love to see a collection of all
the moon/star references gathered together with their dates, and
displayed on such a program.

Here's a start:

Frodo sees the Moon waxing and waning in Rivendell.
Frodo also sees Carnil (Mars) in Rivendell.
Sam comments on the Moon's phases before and after Lothlorien.
Earendil (Venus) is seen in Lothlorien.
And there are numerous references in the Frodo/Sam/Gollum storyline.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Dirk Thierbach
2004-05-09 20:42:42 UTC
Permalink
Christopher Kreuzer <***@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
[Astronomy]
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I believe 'Oxford' is the better location for exactness, as that is
where Tolkien was writing, though what difference it makes to moonrise
and things like that I really don't know. If the program is good, you
should be able to type in latitude and longitude for any place on the
Earth.
Yes, but Cambridge was in the database, and I was too lazy to either
lookup the coordinates of Oxford or extract them from a map. The
differences should be neglegible.
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I'd love to see a collection of all the moon/star references
gathered together with their dates, and displayed on such a program.
Here are those I wrote down. Reference is by [book/chapter].

18.09.18 [2/2] "So it was that when summer waned, there came a night of moon"
23.09.18 [1/3] "there was no moon" (leaving the shire)
27.09.18 [1/7] "[Frodo] saw the young moon rising" (at Tom Bombadil's house)
[1/11] "The cold hour before dawn was passing. [...] In the dark
without moon or stars"
06.10.18 [1/11] "The moon was waxing, and in the early night-hours [...]"
06.10.18 [1/11] "The waxing moon"
[2/3] "The Hunter's Moon waxed round" (at Rivendell)
[2/3] "low in the South one star shone red" -> Mars

Maybe those who are interested could integerate it in the "chapter
of the week" series -- just write down any references to the sky
as you read the chapter.

- Dirk
Dirk Thierbach
2004-05-12 09:13:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I'd love to see a collection of all the moon/star references
gathered together with their dates, and displayed on such a program.
Here are those I wrote down. Reference is by [book/chapter].
[...]

Here's another one:

24.09.18 [1/3] (meeting Gildor) "Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the
Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose
glowing like a jewel of fire. [...] there leaned up, as he
climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky,
Menelvagar with his shining belt..."

Orion rose at around 01:00 in that night, so Menelvagar is very likely
Orion. The description also fits. Mars rose around 21:30, so it's
possible that here Borgil (and not Karnil) is Mars. I cannot identify
Remmirath. "High in the East" are for example Aries and Perseus, if I
read the abbreviations in xephem correctly.

- Dirk
Hashemon Urtasman
2004-05-13 10:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
I'd love to see a collection of all the moon/star references
gathered together with their dates, and displayed on such a program.
Here are those I wrote down. Reference is by [book/chapter].
[...]
24.09.18 [1/3] (meeting Gildor) "Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the
Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose
glowing like a jewel of fire. [...] there leaned up, as he
climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky,
Menelvagar with his shining belt..."
Orion rose at around 01:00 in that night, so Menelvagar is very likely
Orion. The description also fits. Mars rose around 21:30, so it's
possible that here Borgil (and not Karnil) is Mars. I cannot identify
Remmirath. "High in the East" are for example Aries and Perseus, if I
read the abbreviations in xephem correctly.
It is 0930 am UTC, and just by chance the star map for Oxford I
generated (http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Yoursky) shows Orion
rising at this moment. But anyways, not that that makes any difference.

To me, the only thing that the Netted Stars could be would be the
Pleides (constellation Taurus). They are usually referenced in the
plural (no other group of stars that I recall is.) If the swordsman is
Orion, then Borgil seems to resemble Beteleuse in color, but it's name
sounds similar to Rigel. Remmirath could be Elnath, but there are other
stars in the area I haven't been able to check (my favourite sky program
is on the windows partition)



Hasan
Odysseus
2004-05-13 10:38:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
24.09.18 [1/3] (meeting Gildor) "Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the
Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose
glowing like a jewel of fire. [...] there leaned up, as he
climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky,
Menelvagar with his shining belt..."
Orion rose at around 01:00 in that night, so Menelvagar is very likely
Orion. The description also fits. Mars rose around 21:30, so it's
possible that here Borgil (and not Karnil) is Mars. I cannot identify
Remmirath. "High in the East" are for example Aries and Perseus, if I
read the abbreviations in xephem correctly.
I think from the description Remmirath is probably the Pleiades
(galactic cluster M45, "The Seven Sisters"); Borgil might also be
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), or even Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis).
--
Odysseus
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-07 13:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Thanks Michelle.
Feel free to dash things together whenever the mood catches you ;-)
:) You're welcome. And, you know, someone had to do it, might as
well be me.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
and Pippin kvetching
^^^^^^^^^
There was a new word for me - thanks :-)
I think a fair amount of Yiddish words and expressions have passed
into regular American English. That's one.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I have been wavering back and forth on the question of what happened in
detail to the Ringwraiths after they were swept away by the flood, and I
still am ;-)
They obviously had SOME form of physical body, which was perhaps
injured and had to be reconstructed? I thought when I was younger
that maybe the robes somehow contained their bodies.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
Several people mentioned this. I confess I entirely missed it in
this read.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Merry and Pippin ought only count for one together - being 'halflings'
;-)
But then Sam and Frodo would only count as one, as well, and you'd
need two more members. :)
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I can see the sense in choosing Gimli - Glóin was getting on in years,
but why Legolas and not Glorfindel or one of the other members of
Elrond's household he was considering? What spoke in favour of choosing a
Sindarin prince from a Sylvan realm as the representative of the Elves
instead of e.g. a Noldorin lord?
Presumably because Legolas was returning home anyway, like Boromir.
That's also probably why the "at least as far as the Mountains" bit,
because after they crossed them, Legolas would have to take a
different path to get home.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-09 19:01:10 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I have been wavering back and forth on the question of what
happened in detail to the Ringwraiths after they were swept away
by the flood, and I still am ;-)
They obviously had SOME form of physical body, which was perhaps
injured and had to be reconstructed? I thought when I was younger
that maybe the robes somehow contained their bodies.
At the very least they still had to travel the physical world from
where they landed after the flood and to Barad-dûr.

The hint of an idea have been slowly forming in my mind for a while
(it's pure speculation, of course), perhaps the were not as much
injured as forced more fully into the Unseen world - enough, perhaps,
to make them unable to e.g. support a robe.

The extension of this idea would probably be that the Barrow-blade, due
to the "spells for the bane of Mordor," was able to actually injure the
Witch-king, not only in the physical world, but in the Unseen as well
(and this wound somehow made him vulnerable to Èowyn's normal blade).

<snip>
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Merry and Pippin ought only count for one together - being
'halflings' ;-)
But then Sam and Frodo would only count as one, as well, and you'd
need two more members. :)
Nah - you can't make the Ring-bearer count for just a half(-ling), and
by extension his servant should also count for a whole member ;-)
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is <t.forch(a)mail.dk>

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
- Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper submitted by a physicist colleague
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-08 12:20:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Another question that arose when I reread this chapter is that of the
"... The Hunter's Moon waxed round in the night sky, and put
to flight all the lesser stars. But low in the South one
star shone red. Every night, as the Moon waned again, it
shone brighter and brighter. Frodo could see it from his
window, deep in the heavens burning like a watchful eye that
glared above the trees on the brink of the valley."
This sounds very much like an evil omen - a portent of war or a reminder
of the Enemy. Is it supposed to be Mars - of old considered an omen of
war and strife? (This goes back to the Babylonians, at the very least.)
I remember that something is said about the constellations and planets in
one of the HoMe volumes, but I don't have them with me. Is there anything
about Mars in that - especially if it was associated with War in
Middle-earth too (Mars, or perhaps one of the red stars - Aldebaran and
Betelgeuze in particular)?
It almost has to be Mars because its brightness is changing.
If Mars was moving closer to Earth at that time, it would appear to
shine brighter each night.

Of the red stars, only Antares is noticably variable. But it is
only visible in the summer.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-05-12 22:39:26 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 07 May 2004 05:36:41 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The companions are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always
seemed pretty arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one"
symbolism, it seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda
pointless.
It is, I believe, often seen in fairy-stories that symbols count - they
are extremely important.
I suspect that nine is one of the magic numbers in Middle-earth, and that
this influenced the decision.
It's probably unlikely that, as a good Catholic, JRRT was familiar
with Tarot cards, but I fiddled with them a little bit when younger
and remember that the 9 of Swords was the worst card of the deck (not
Death, as is commonly assumed); I'm not sure now, but I think the 9 of
Pentacles was considered a very promising card, ensuring success in
all ventures -- ?? whether it could counteract the negative effect of
the 9 of Swords.. (The 9 of Cups and 9 of Wands are also positive
cards, but I don't really remember now that they were felt to be as
good as the 9 of Swords was bad.)

Anyway, the Tarot cards show a hint of some sort of lore existent
about the number 9.

I did a quick google for "numerology" and "nine" and found a
'mystical' site that claims, among many other, rather grandiose
things, that "[t]he Number Nine as a key number is the most powerful
of all the single digit numbers...It contains part of all the numbers
before it and it is the building block of all numbers after it." No
source is offered for this information, but if there is a historical
basis for this belief and given the emphasis on 9 in the Tarot deck,
perhaps there is something traditional about the number 9 in folklore
that JRRT might have been aware of and used. That is to say, it was
already in the Soup, and he pulled it out to serve up in his own dish.
Nice fancy, anyway. Does anybody know any more details?

Barb
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-13 13:30:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
On Fri, 07 May 2004 05:36:41 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I suspect that nine is one of the magic numbers in Middle-earth, and
that this influenced the decision.
<snip analysis>

So it is not me alone ;-)
Thanks.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Does anybody know any more details?
I was, at least in part, inspired by nine being a magical number in
Danish folklore (possibly the three times three - three for the trinity,
but I don't know). When we 'knock on wood' we actually /say/ "7-9-13" -
all of which are considered magical numbers for some reason.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

My adversary's argument
is not alone malevolent
but ignorant to boot.
He hasn't even got the sense
to state his so-called evidence
in terms I can refute.
- Piet Hein, /The Untenable Argument/
Brenda Selwyn
2004-05-14 17:56:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I was, at least in part, inspired by nine being a magical number in
Danish folklore (possibly the three times three - three for the trinity,
but I don't know). When we 'knock on wood' we actually /say/ "7-9-13" -
all of which are considered magical numbers for some reason.
Nine, seven and three are all symbolic numbers in British folklore.
There are a many legends involving these numbers, and a many places
with these numbers in their names.
From "Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain" by Jennifer Westwood:

"Although there (probably) are nine stones in the Nine Ladies circle,
the word 'nine' in names such as this often bears no relation to the
actual number of stones, but is a convention. [.....] Elsewhere we
find 'Seven' in similar situations, as at the Seven Barrows on
Lambourn Down, in Berkshire, where actually there are more than forty.
Probably what we have in all these cases is simply number
superstition. 'I hope good luck lies in odd numbers!' says Falstaff,
and this belief pervades Western tradition, from the Seven Wonders of
the World and the occult powers of the seventh son of a seventh son,
to the fiddlers three Old King Cole called for and the nine lives of
the cat".

Thirteen is also significant, believed to be unlucky, but it doesn't
seem to occur in the names of places or sites.

It therefore seems to me no coincidence that there are 3, 7 and 9
Rings, and therefore 9 Ringwraiths, and 9 members of the Fellowship.

In fact I would never have even thought to question it - just shows
the value of hearing different people's views.

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"

"A wise old owl lived in an oak /The more he saw, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard /Let's all be like that wise old bird".
Troels Forchhammer
2004-05-15 19:01:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda Selwyn
Nine, seven and three are all symbolic numbers in British
folklore.
<snip>

Thanks.
(This won't do anything positive for my OCR, but there you are - it was
a good explanation ;-)
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is <t.forch(a)mail.dk>

Lo! we have gathered, and we have spent, and now the time of payment
draws near.
- Aragorn Son of Arathorn, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Öjevind Lång
2004-05-14 23:07:23 UTC
Permalink
"Troels Forchhammer" <***@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

[snip]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I was, at least in part, inspired by nine being a magical number in
Danish folklore (possibly the three times three - three for the trinity,
but I don't know). When we 'knock on wood' we actually /say/ "7-9-13" -
all of which are considered magical numbers for some reason.
Don't forget that nine was a magical number in Scandinavia back in heathen
times. Oden hung for nine days from the Tree of the Worlds when he
sacrificed himself to himself to gain knowledge; Oden had a golden armring
that dripped nine new armrings every Wednesday; when Thor is killed during
the Ragnarök by the venom from Midgardsworm (after he has killed it), he
takes nine steps before falling down dead; and so on.

Öjevind
Hashemon Urtasman
2004-05-14 23:42:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Carreiro
[snip]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I was, at least in part, inspired by nine being a magical number in
Danish folklore (possibly the three times three - three for the trinity,
but I don't know). When we 'knock on wood' we actually /say/ "7-9-13" -
all of which are considered magical numbers for some reason.
Don't forget that nine was a magical number in Scandinavia back in heathen
times. Oden hung for nine days from the Tree of the Worlds when he
sacrificed himself to himself to gain knowledge; Oden had a golden armring
This event takes place at Urd's well. That is why I chose Urtasman as
my alias, also because it is a bit similar to my own name (Murtaza)
mangled up.
Post by Rich Carreiro
that dripped nine new armrings every Wednesday; when Thor is killed during
the Ragnarök by the venom from Midgardsworm (after he has killed it), he
takes nine steps before falling down dead; and so on.
Öjevind
Shanahan
2004-05-15 00:04:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Carreiro
[snip]
<snip some more>
Post by Rich Carreiro
when Thor is killed during the Ragnarök by the
venom from Midgardsworm (after he has killed it), he takes nine
steps before falling down dead; and so on.
I'm struck by how much this resembles Túrin Turambar's story.

- Ciaran S.
----------------------------------------
comsat melba rubaiyat nirvana
Garcia y vega hiawatha aloo.
O mithra, mithra, I fain wud lie doon!
Valderee, valdera, que sera, sirrah,
Honi soit la vache qui rit,
Honi soit la vache qui rit.
the softrat
2004-05-15 02:41:56 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 14 May 2004 20:04:07 -0400, "Shanahan"
Post by Shanahan
Post by Rich Carreiro
[snip]
<snip some more>
Post by Rich Carreiro
when Thor is killed during the Ragnarök by the
venom from Midgardsworm (after he has killed it), he takes nine
steps before falling down dead; and so on.
I'm struck by how much this resembles Túrin Turambar's story.
Uh, there are a limited number of ways a dragon can kill someone.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"The sad thing is not that we have our price, but how low it
really is." -- Hobbes (of Calvin &)
Öjevind Lång
2004-05-15 12:16:37 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Shanahan
Post by Rich Carreiro
when Thor is killed during the Ragnarök by the
venom from Midgardsworm (after he has killed it), he takes nine
steps before falling down dead; and so on.
I'm struck by how much this resembles Túrin Turambar's story.
Tolkien adapted stuff from several mythologies for his Silmarillion. The
major influence on the story of Túrin was the fate of the hero Kullervo in
the Finnish national epic "Kalevala". The unwitting incest with his own
sister, her suicide and Túrin's own suicide with the help of a sword which
talks to him and says it will gladly help to avenge its former master are
all straight from the "Kalevala".

Öjevind
Hashemon Urtasman
2004-05-14 19:16:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
On Fri, 07 May 2004 05:36:41 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The companions are then chosen, set at the number nine. This always
seemed pretty arbitrary to me. While I understand the "one for one"
symbolism, it seems like limiting it to nine only was also kinda
pointless.
It is, I believe, often seen in fairy-stories that symbols count - they
are extremely important.
I suspect that nine is one of the magic numbers in Middle-earth, and that
this influenced the decision.
It's probably unlikely that, as a good Catholic, JRRT was familiar
with Tarot cards, but I fiddled with them a little bit when younger
and remember that the 9 of Swords was the worst card of the deck (not
Death, as is commonly assumed); I'm not sure now, but I think the 9 of
Pentacles was considered a very promising card, ensuring success in
all ventures -- ?? whether it could counteract the negative effect of
the 9 of Swords.. (The 9 of Cups and 9 of Wands are also positive
cards, but I don't really remember now that they were felt to be as
good as the 9 of Swords was bad.)
Anyway, the Tarot cards show a hint of some sort of lore existent
about the number 9.
I did a quick google for "numerology" and "nine" and found a
'mystical' site that claims, among many other, rather grandiose
things, that "[t]he Number Nine as a key number is the most powerful
of all the single digit numbers...It contains part of all the numbers
before it and it is the building block of all numbers after it." No
source is offered for this information, but if there is a historical
basis for this belief and given the emphasis on 9 in the Tarot deck,
perhaps there is something traditional about the number 9 in folklore
that JRRT might have been aware of and used. That is to say, it was
already in the Soup, and he pulled it out to serve up in his own dish.
Nice fancy, anyway. Does anybody know any more details?
There was a once lot of numerology in most ancient cultures. Horace
even refers to "Babylonian numbers" in one of his odes too
(http://www.lechinois.com/demande/collcarpediem.html). This 'bias'
towards certain numbers seems to partly from ancient Babylon, where they
used number system of base 12, and 60 because they had a large number of
divisors. 12 divides into 1,2,3,4,6 (excluding just "5".)


I was asked a question during a Classical mythology quiz at a conference
years ago: how many wild stag did Aeneas' troops feast on the night they
landed on the shores of Carthage? I knew from studying some of these
things that literary convention always used "special" numbers instead of
any old random (if truer) one. i figured it was either going to be 7
or if not, 12. 7 is used to denote an open "infinity" the way we use
the word "million" or "zillion". So I figured since there was no end to
the appetites of hungry soldiers, Virgil would have to have picked 7 for
his number, and no other. It turned out to be right.

This system of sacred numbers dates back at least to Pythagoras, and
probably even beyond from India and Babylon. Tolkien must have paid
some attention to it--at the least because he was writing an "ancient
myth."


For a more modern and absolutely fascinating anecdote about the
properties of numbers, this one is hard to beat,

Cf. the story of the mathematician Hardy's visit to Ramanujan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1729_(number)

"I remember once going to see him when he was lying ill at Putney. I had
ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me
rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen.
"No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest
number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." I
asked him, naturally, whether he could tell me the solution of the
corresponding problem for fourth powers; and he replied, after a
moment's thought, that he knew no obvious example, and supposed that the
first such number must be very large."

end quote.


Hasan
Igenlode
2004-05-12 01:22:55 UTC
Permalink
[sigh - repost time...]
[snip]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
"... The Hunter's Moon waxed round in the night sky, and put
to flight all the lesser stars. But low in the South one
star shone red. Every night, as the Moon waned again, it
shone brighter and brighter. Frodo could see it from his
window, deep in the heavens burning like a watchful eye that
glared above the trees on the brink of the valley."
This sounds very much like an evil omen - a portent of war or a reminder
of the Enemy. Is it supposed to be Mars - of old considered an omen of
war and strife? (This goes back to the Babylonians, at the very least.)
I was wondering if it could possibly be Mount Doom glaring on the
horizon, but I don't see how this could be the case :-)


[snip]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond is very worried, and expresses concern for the Shire's safety.
His heart is most against Pippin's going, while Gandalf's heart
counsels otherwise. Interesting conflict of prophetic characters,
there. Was Elrond Foreseeing the trouble from Pippin and the
Palantir?
It is of course impossible to say with certainty, but I am willing to
accept the reasons he gives: that Pippin is the youngest and that he is
foreseeing trouble in the Shire.
To me, it comes across simply that he doesn't want Pippin to go because
he is still, by hobbit standards, a child, and too young to be allowed
to put himself into danger.

It does occur to me to wonder why Elrond apparently never did warn the
Shire - judging by what we hear at the end of the book, at least. Even
if he didn't have Merry and Pippin, surely he could have found someone
else to go who would have been reasonably acceptable to the hobbits, at
least in Bree? Perhaps not an Elf, but a Man - one of the Dunedain? I
suppose that, as it fell out, he had other things to think about, as
Butterbur had :-)


[snip]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Especially in the light of the discussion a few paragraphs further down
of evil creatures older than Sauron (or rather: 'who have been in this
world longer than he') and not in league with him.
The overall conclusion I'd draw from the various discussions would be
that Sauron *could* have caused the storm - but in this case didn't.
The malice is attributed fairly frequently to Caradhras itself, and
on no occasion is this contradicted. (This doesn't rule out the
possibility that Sauron did micro-manage the weather systems at extreme
long range, but that none of the characters knew about it; but this
seems untypically convoluted for Tolkien.)
--
Igenlode <***@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

-Yes, it hurts. The trick is not *minding* that it hurts.
Hope
2004-05-14 10:56:47 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: Chapter of the Week, BK 2, Ch. 3, The Ring Goes South
Date: 12/05/2004 02:22 GMT Daylight Time
Elrond apparently never did warn the
Shire - judging by what we hear at the end of the book, at least. Even
if he didn't have Merry and Pippin, surely he could have found someone
else to go who would have been reasonably acceptable to the hobbits, at
least in Bree? Perhaps not an Elf, but a Man - one of the Dunedain? I
suppose that, as it fell out, he had other things to think about, as
Butterbur had :-)
Maybe he did. The question is, who would he warn? Who would have position of
authority in the Shire to recieve the warning and act on it?

The only serious resistance in the shire is with the Tooks, so maybe it was to
them the warning was sent (what with the Thain being the Took), it would
explain how they did organise even local resistance.
AC
2004-05-14 17:47:24 UTC
Permalink
On 14 May 2004 10:56:47 GMT,
Post by Hope
Subject: Re: Chapter of the Week, BK 2, Ch. 3, The Ring Goes South
Date: 12/05/2004 02:22 GMT Daylight Time
Elrond apparently never did warn the
Shire - judging by what we hear at the end of the book, at least. Even
if he didn't have Merry and Pippin, surely he could have found someone
else to go who would have been reasonably acceptable to the hobbits, at
least in Bree? Perhaps not an Elf, but a Man - one of the Dunedain? I
suppose that, as it fell out, he had other things to think about, as
Butterbur had :-)
Maybe he did. The question is, who would he warn? Who would have position of
authority in the Shire to recieve the warning and act on it?
The only serious resistance in the shire is with the Tooks, so maybe it was to
them the warning was sent (what with the Thain being the Took), it would
explain how they did organise even local resistance.
Considering the insular nature of Shire society, who would the Hobbits have
listened to? I guess maybe the Tooks, but one gets the impression that the
Thain's authority was rather like the British Monarch's, there as long as it
isn't used.

There had been troubles in the South Farthing even before Frodo fled. It
was the Shire's wilful desire to ignore the outside world, to believe itself
somehow separate that allowed Saruman's agents to seize control. They had a
way of life, but had cut off any meaningful way to defend it. The Tooks and
probably some of the other larger tribal enclaves may have been able to hold
their turf, but neither did they seek to oust Sharkey's men, when it's
pretty darn obvious that if they had wanted to, the Shire could easily have
risen up in revolt at any moment.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-07 21:10:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
In the discussions of endings, Sam has the most
interesting comment, "And where will they live? That's what I often
wonder." Interesting foreshadowing there, I think.
I think this is one of the earliest clear signs that there's
more to Sam than appears at his surface.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-05-12 22:39:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Post by Michelle J. Haines
In the discussions of endings, Sam has the most
interesting comment, "And where will they live? That's what I often
wonder." Interesting foreshadowing there, I think.
I think this is one of the earliest clear signs that there's
more to Sam than appears at his surface.
Yes -- like Frodo in "Flight to the Ford," we are starting to see that
Sam is a very interesting character indeed:

'I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First
he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by
becoming a wizard--or a warrior!'

'I hope not,' said Sam. 'I don't want to be neither!'

What does this chapter show us about Merry and Pippin?

Barb
Glenn Holliday
2004-05-07 21:24:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Legolas comments with light-hearted Elvish teasing, "If
Gandalf would go before us with a bright flame, he might melt a path
for you." Gandalf responds with his delightfully crusty snarking,
"If Elves could fly over mountains, they might fetch the sun to save
us, but I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow." Hee!
Great exchange.
Here's what I like about this moment.

In the writings about the First Age, Elves are high, noble,
and solemn. They have deep emotions, they intellectually
appreciate Great Art, but they rarely laugh or smile.
With few exceptions, their humor has been worn away by
long years.

In The Hobbit, Tolkien didn't want to explain that weight
to children. So his Elves have personalities that
(forgive me) Disney might have written. They laugh,
sing in the moonlight, and tease Hobbits and Dwarves.
They are carefree.

In LOTR, I think Tolkien tried to show more sides of
Elves than he had in the First Age material. This teasing
by Legolas is very much like the teasing Thorin received
at his arrival in Rivendell.
There's a hint of the same thing in Gildor's meeting with
Frodo on the road. And again, though in a more grim guise,
at the border of Lothlorien.

When I first read this passage as a teenager, I was
surprised that Legolas was picking a fight with
Gandalf. I didn't understand the emotional interaction
that Tolkien was getting at. Now that I do, I like it more.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Huan the hound
2004-05-08 13:29:41 UTC
Permalink
Glenn Holliday posted on 5/8/04 5:24 AM:

[snip]
Post by Glenn Holliday
When I first read this passage as a teenager, I was
surprised that Legolas was picking a fight with
Gandalf. I didn't understand the emotional interaction
that Tolkien was getting at. Now that I do, I like it more.
Legolas often makes amusing comments. My favorite is the
one about Merry and Pippin after he, Aragorn and Gimli
realize that they escaped from the orcs and avoided being
burned.

One thing I didn't like, however, is that he first just
watches the two Men moving snow, then runs on top of it.
Why didn't he help? And later, he could have helped carry a
hobbit or two...
--
Huan, the hound of Valinor
Raven
2004-05-08 18:22:52 UTC
Permalink
"Huan the hound" <***@netscape.net> skrev i en meddelelse news:***@uni-berlin.de...

[Legolas]
Post by Huan the hound
One thing I didn't like, however, is that he first just
watches the two Men moving snow, then runs on top of it.
Why didn't he help? And later, he could have helped carry a
hobbit or two...
Presumably he wasn't strong enough. Gimli was strong enough, but not big
enough.
Well, perhaps if Legolas had carried Gimli on his shoulders...

Kruk.
Emma Pease
2004-05-09 03:05:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Carreiro
[snip]
Post by Glenn Holliday
When I first read this passage as a teenager, I was
surprised that Legolas was picking a fight with
Gandalf. I didn't understand the emotional interaction
that Tolkien was getting at. Now that I do, I like it more.
Legolas often makes amusing comments. My favorite is the
one about Merry and Pippin after he, Aragorn and Gimli
realize that they escaped from the orcs and avoided being
burned.
Boromir also makes an amusing or perhaps self-deprecating comment. He
says it is fortunate that they have doughty men with them but follows
it up by stating that lesser men with shovels might have been more
helpful. Boromir is also the one who recommends they bring firewood
which turns out to save their lives. I think this chapter shows
Boromir's good points. His openess, his strength, his ability to plan
ahead, his willingness to help.
Post by Rich Carreiro
One thing I didn't like, however, is that he first just
watches the two Men moving snow, then runs on top of it.
Why didn't he help? And later, he could have helped carry a
hobbit or two...
Legolas does scout ahead and report back to the men that the snow
drift is narrow but only Aragorn and Boromir have the size and
strength (since they don't have shovels) to move the snow over an
extended period of time.
--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht
Jim Deutch
2004-05-11 20:22:14 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 5 May 2004 18:44:19 -0600, Michelle J. Haines
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before they go
anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to come back, and
they've only just begun leaving.
What was Boromir's motive for staying on so long? Wouldn't he be
eager to get back to Minas Tirith as soon as possible?

Sure, the Sword that was Broken would have some hold on him: he
doesn't really want to let Aragorn out of his sight, for fear of being
supplanted as heir to the rule of Minas Tirith, but it's not clear
that he really takes that seriously, at first, anyway.

He's been away from home a long time: why doesn't he hot-foot it back
and get there in plenty of time to undermine Aragorn's claim? Is it
the lure of the Ring already taking hold of him, keeping him in the
Ringbearer's company?

He doesn't really have any idea at this point that:

- he might be chosen to go with the Ring
- Aragorn is going with the Ring, too
- their route will allow him to tag along for awhile, then scoot off
home

So, why is he hanging out in Rivendell for months???

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." Ambrose Bierce
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-11 20:32:41 UTC
Permalink
So, why is [Boromir] hanging out in Rivendell for months???
I like your Ring-lure theory.
Shanahan
2004-05-12 02:34:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before
they go anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to
come back, and they've only just begun leaving.
What was Boromir's motive for staying on so long? Wouldn't he
be eager to get back to Minas Tirith as soon as possible?
<snip>

It depends on what mission his father had charged him with. Had
he been charged to get to Imladris, define the mysterious words in
the dream, and get back home to the war as soon as he could? I
think his mission was much deeper than that. The importance
Denethor placed on it is indicated by the fact that the heir to
the kingdom was sent on such a long perilous journey. Boromir had
to stay there and represent Gondor in whatever momentous events
were about to occur. Obviously Denethor would not have been happy
if Boromir had rushed back to report that: Isildur's Bane is
Sauron's Ring of Power, and a little 3-foot-tall dude has it,
they're going to take it to Mount Doom to destroy it, and oh by
the way, there's this guy who claims to be the Heir of Elendil...
Post by Jim Deutch
Is it the lure of the Ring already taking hold of him,
keeping him in the Ringbearer's company?
Definitely a possible influence.
Post by Jim Deutch
- he might be chosen to go with the Ring
- Aragorn is going with the Ring, too
- their route will allow him to tag along for awhile, then
scoot off home
He doesn't *know* this, but it's a pretty reasonable assumption
for him to make. It's also reasonable to assume that there was a
lot of talk in Rivendell over those months as people got to know
each other and bonds of friendship were made, and much of that
talk must have been about the shape the quest would take, and who
might accompany the Ringbearer.

- Ciaran S.
Jim Deutch
2004-05-12 20:44:49 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 11 May 2004 22:34:45 -0400, "Shanahan"
Post by AC
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before
they go anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to
come back, and they've only just begun leaving.
What was Boromir's motive for staying on so long? Wouldn't he
be eager to get back to Minas Tirith as soon as possible?
<snip>
It depends on what mission his father had charged him with.
I'm not sure he had been charged with a mission at all. IDHTBIFOM,
but IIRC Faramir, having had the dream, begged leave to search out
Imladris and was denied. Only after Boromir joined in, and took on
the mission for himself, did Denethor acquiesce, and then (I get the
impression) only grudgingly.
Post by AC
Had
he been charged to get to Imladris, define the mysterious words in
the dream, and get back home to the war as soon as he could?
I suspect that was Boromir's original intention, yes. Probably was
the only way he could get Denethor to agree at all was by promising to
return as soon as possible.
Post by AC
I
think his mission was much deeper than that. The importance
Denethor placed on it is indicated by the fact that the heir to
the kingdom was sent on such a long perilous journey.
I picture it more as Boromir pulling some sort of "my honor requires
it" kind of leverage on his father...
Post by AC
Boromir had
to stay there and represent Gondor in whatever momentous events
were about to occur.
Yes: once he found that momentous events were afoot, he would feel
obliged to participate. That "honor" thing again...
Post by AC
Obviously Denethor would not have been happy
if Boromir had rushed back to report that: Isildur's Bane is
Sauron's Ring of Power, and a little 3-foot-tall dude has it,
they're going to take it to Mount Doom to destroy it, and oh by
the way, there's this guy who claims to be the Heir of Elendil...
tee hee. Agreed, there. OTOH, I don't see why Boromir's honor would
not require him to hurry home with this news, despite the certainty of
a poor reception when he told it...

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"Grok - To savor the drink of knowledge so that it soaks into your
spirit." - The Wanderer
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-12 20:55:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
On Tue, 11 May 2004 22:34:45 -0400, "Shanahan"
[about Boromir in Rivendell]
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Shanahan
It depends on what mission his father had charged him with.
I'm not sure he had been charged with a mission at all. IDHTBIFOM,
but IIRC Faramir, having had the dream, begged leave to search out
Imladris and was denied. Only after Boromir joined in, and took on
the mission for himself, did Denethor acquiesce, and then (I get the
impression) only grudgingly.
"I took the journey upon myself. Loth was my father to give me leave."

Boromir at the Council of Elrond.
Shanahan
2004-05-13 02:48:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
[about Boromir in Rivendell]
Post by Jim Deutch
Post by Shanahan
It depends on what mission his father had charged him with.
I'm not sure he had been charged with a mission at all.
IDHTBIFOM, but IIRC Faramir, having had the dream, begged
leave to search out Imladris and was denied. Only after
Boromir joined in, and took on the mission for himself, did
Denethor acquiesce, and then (I get the impression) only
grudgingly.
"I took the journey upon myself. Loth was my father to give me
leave."
Boromir at the Council of Elrond.
Oh, okay, you bunch o' nitpickers, you! <g> Delete that entire
sentence, and posit that Boromir's mission was in his own mind and
of his own will. There's still a mission, and the rest of my post
still makes sense: Gondor was sending the highest ambassador the
kingdom could muster to discover matters of apparently grave
import. When he discovers that these matters are absolutely
critical to the survival of his realm, and new developments will
be forthcoming, he can't just embark on a journey of months to
report his incomplete info to his father.

He couldn't take the Ring and run. He couldn't go home without
it. Gondor had to have a representative on the spot at all times
until this matter was resolved.

Better?

- Ciaran S.
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-13 20:20:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
He couldn't take the Ring and run. He couldn't go home without
it. Gondor had to have a representative on the spot at all times
until this matter was resolved.
Better?
Yes. :-)

FWIW, I agreed with that part of your post, though I would add in Emma
Pease's argument that there were practical reasons as well.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Emma Pease
2004-05-13 01:01:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
On Wed, 5 May 2004 18:44:19 -0600, Michelle J. Haines
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before they go
anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to come back, and
they've only just begun leaving.
What was Boromir's motive for staying on so long? Wouldn't he be
eager to get back to Minas Tirith as soon as possible?
Well he did have the slight problem of supplies. Boromir arrived at
Rivendell having lost his horse at Tharbad and probably at the end of
any supplies he carried. Going with the company meant he would be
going with a group (safety in numbers) and would be provided with
supplies. He would also be going with people who knew the land. If
he went on his own he would have to carry all his supplies assuming
Elrond provided him with supplies (or else stop to hunt along the way)
and would be going over land that he did not know. He probably
calculated that it would be faster to wait and go with the group.

More importantly he wanted to return with Aragorn. My guess is that
Boromir had mixed feelings about the heir of Isildur returning but in
Rivendell was in favor. Faramir was probably right that Boromir
revered Aragorn highly though his feelings might change once they were
back in Gondor. Boromir probably saw himself as returning to Gondor
bringing back the heir and sword of the king who had defeated Sauron
the last time. He would be bringing back hope to his people.
--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht
Igenlode
2004-05-12 01:40:43 UTC
Permalink
[repost]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
The Ring Goes South
[snip]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf tries to tone them down by commenting about how dangerous the
journey is (and by making rude remarks about Pippin's intelligence),
which only makes them more indignant in the name of Hobbit honor and
of their own companionship with Frodo.
One thing that struck me is that there's a lot of humour in this
chapter, one way or another; more than there has been for some time, I
think, or will be again.
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Gandalf then points out it will likely be some time before they go
anywhere, since they have to wait for the scouts to come back, and
they've only just begun leaving.
Thinking about it, I'm not quite sure what the point of this strategy
is. If the Riders *are* destroyed, then the best thing to do is set off
as soon as possible before Sauron can get information by other means.
If the Riders are scattered but have survived, as Elrond fears, the
longer the delay the more likely it is that they will regroup and come
after Frodo and party. If they leave at once, by the time the Riders
are in a position to give chase the party may have made their escape.
If the scouts do discover the Riders, they can't very well destroy them,
after all - what *would they have done? - and if they delay long enough
for the Nine to start prowling round Rivendell the Ring-bearer will never
be able to get away at all. It seems to me that the only case in which this
strategy works is the one that in fact transpires, in which the Riders are
found to be destroyed, in which case it isn't needed!

To take a horror-movie analogy: if you set up a booby-trap for the
villain, the sensible thing to do when it goes off is to make an
immediate bolt. *Not* to go back and check whether he is momentarily
incapacitated or disposed of for good, since the odds are he'll wake up
and make a grab for you at that precise moment if he isn't already
coming :-)


[snip]

I was slightly perplexed by the statement 'such was the virtue of the
*land* of Rivendell'. It seems to have expanded since it was the last
Homely House :-)

Radagast disappears entirely from the story at this point, doesn't he?
I don't think he is ever seen again. What becomes of him?

I note that Caradhras does not appear to oppose the crossing of the
Dimrill Stair in the opposite direction (the messengers use it - the
first mention of this pass)! Is it perhaps the power of the Ring that
stirs the malice of the mountain, waking sleeping evil, or is it just
chance which parties achieve the pass and which are played with?
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Two months later, the scouts begin to return. No sign of the Riders,
except for the bodies of eight of their horses and a tattered cloak.
Eight of the *horses* are definitely dead. But why assume that this
means eight of the nine *Riders* are destroyed? If they were living
men, they could easily have become separated from their steeds in the
flood and suffered a different fate - just because a man's horse
survives, for example, doesn't mean that he hasn't drowned!


[snip]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Elrond reaffirms Frodo's oath to go, and Sam's to go with him, then
makes a speech about how he can't offer much help.
When Elrond says "you may find friends on your way when you least
expect it", is there anyone specific he probably had in mind here?
Galadriel, for example? Treebeard? Or is it a premonition, e.g. of
Faramir?



[snip]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Three night later, they finally see Caradhas, the mountain they must
climb over. It's starts out with a nasty description; "...but with
sheer naked sides, dull red as if stained with blood."
Makes me think of Ayers Rock. Red sandstone, perhaps?

[snip]
Post by Michelle J. Haines
It's decided to go to over the mountain, but Boromir wisely suggests
everyone carry some wood, in case they get caught in the snow, so they don't
all die of hypothermia.
In fact, Boromir saves everyone's life here - with the possible
exception of Gandalf, I suppose! As it turns out, without the fire they
would all have died...
--
Igenlode <***@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

-I never shot anybody before... -This is one hell of a time to tell me!
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-12 23:05:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Igenlode
Radagast disappears entirely from the story at this point, doesn't he?
I don't think he is ever seen again. What becomes of him?
He turns into a moth...
Rich Carreiro
2004-05-13 15:07:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Igenlode
I was slightly perplexed by the statement 'such was the virtue of the
*land* of Rivendell'. It seems to have expanded since it was the last
Homely House :-)
Imladris/Rivendell is the entire valley, not just the House of Elrond.
--
Rich Carreiro ***@animato.arlington.ma.us
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-05-12 22:29:55 UTC
Permalink
What does Elrond mean by saying

The Shadow has crept now to the feet of the Mountains, and
draws nigh even to the borders of the Greyflood; and under the
Shadow all is dark to me.

Is this a reference to the news he gets from travellers, and the
reduction in travel as Eriador has grown more dangerous, as well as
the new presence of the Nazgul in the land (even though they have been
temporarily set back at the Battle of the Ford)? Does it refer rather
to long sight, as Galadriel indicates later on (which I've always
attributed to her Mirror), and if so, how does he do it (i.e., where
or what is his equivalent of the Mirror of Galadriel)?

Barb
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-12 23:25:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
What does Elrond mean by saying
The Shadow has crept now to the feet of the Mountains, and
draws nigh even to the borders of the Greyflood; and under the
Shadow all is dark to me.
Prosaically, this is just a poetic way to refer to the influence of
Sauron. Taking a more 'elvish' interpretation, this does seem similar to
Galadriel's Mirror, as you say.

Then there is that theory going round that the darkening in Rivendell as
Gandalf speaks the Black Speech Ring Verse is actually the Shadow of
Sauron. This has been extended to explain the shadow that Frodo
experiences on the journey South in this chapter:

"Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as if for a
moment they faded and then flashed out again."

Only Gandalf feels anything, other than Frodo. Compare this to the
moment when Frodo is on Amon Hen and Sauron tries to find him:

"A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen
and groped out west, and faded."

The most common explanation for the first shadow is that it was a
Nazgul, though the counter-arguments are that Frodo does not react in
the same way as he does to the winged Nazgul above the Anduin (when
Legolas downs the Fell Beast), and that there is a comment by an orc
that the Nazgul have not yet crossed the River (Anduin). Some say that
Tolkien made a mistake, but I think that having this first shadow being
a focused part of the Shadow of Sauron saves the day.

There is also reference, in the 'Lothlorien' chapter, to the 'dark
cloud' that hung over Dol Guldur, and references to dark shadows.

Finally, getting back to your point, I think that Elrond's comment,
combined with Frodo seeing this Shadow west of the mountains, links the
two, and that Elrond means that Sauron's actual Shadow (maybe only
visible to Maia, High Elves, and Ringbearers - all with a connection to
the world of the Unseen) is roaming about the lands and is growing in
size and influence, blocking his (Elrond's) sight.

And as for how Elrond can see things, I don't have a clue, except to
wave my hands and mutter stuff about that Ring he has, plus also his
undoubted gift of foresight.

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Michelle J. Haines
2004-05-13 14:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Only Gandalf feels anything, other than Frodo. Compare this to the
Aragorn feels it also, because he says, "It was moving fast then, and
not with the wind." which suggests something physical.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-05-13 20:28:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Christopher Kreuzer
Only Gandalf feels anything, other than Frodo. Compare this to the
Aragorn feels it also, because he says, "It was moving fast then, and
not with the wind." which suggests something physical.
I did notice that, but I thought that Aragorn was merely speculating on
something he did not see or feel. That doesn't really stand up to close
scrutiny though. The 'it was moving fast' bit could just be a reference
to the fact that this thing that only Frodo saw and Gandalf felt, is now
gone. However, the 'not with the wind' bit seems to imply that Aragorn
saw the direction of this shadow. My only hope is to resort to wild
speculation (not in the book) that Aragorn saw Frodo move his head to
follow this shadow. From this, Aragorn could deduce that it was not
moving with the wind.

In the cold light of day though, it looks like the 'Shadow of Sauron'
theory to explain the forbidden Nazgul flight, has bitten the dust. :-(

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
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