Discussion:
Chapter Of The Week LOTR Bk1 Ch11: A Knife In The Dark
(too old to reply)
Emma Pease
2004-04-01 01:14:24 UTC
Permalink
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK LOTR BK1 CH11: A KNIFE IN THE DARK
<snip>
-- What are everybody's thoughts on "The Forsaken Inn"? What's it
like, who goes there, does it siphon off any of "The Pony's" traffic,
and ...
I thought it was indeed forsaken - a mere ruin from earlier days when the
land was under the Kings.
I think it was an active inn on or shortly beyond the easternmost edge
of Breeland. Remember the East/West road was the active road with
dwarves moving back and forth on it from the Blue Mountains to the
Lonely Mountain and beyond (Bilbo's early trip was during a time when,
I suspect, the traffic was particularly low since there was no Lonely
Mountain dwarf dwelling to encourage traffic). Aragorn and the
hobbits did not go past the Forsaken Inn because they were cutting off
the loop the road took to avoid the marshes.

I think the Shire inns (such as the Golden Perch) that were
directly on the road saw a fair bit of dwarf traffic (in contrast to
the Hobbiton inns which were not).
--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht
Glenn Holliday
2004-03-31 01:33:21 UTC
Permalink
Belba Grubb from Stock wrote:
Good work Belba. Thanks.
... In one hand he held a long sword, and in
the other a knife; both the knife and the hand that held it
glowed with a pale light. He sprang forward and bore down on
Frodo."
Frodo's reaction to this is a complex one - a terrified hobbit, he
throws himself down on the ground; an Elf-friend, he also cries aloud
the name of the Queen of the Valar, Elbereth Gilthoniel; and resistant
to the last, he strikes at the feet of the Black Rider who is
attacking him. The Witch-king shrieks when the name of Elbereth is
used, but still stabs Frodo in the left shoulder as Strider comes
leaping out of the darkness at him with flaming logs in either hand.
Frodo drops his sword, slips off the Ring, grasps it tightly and
passes out.
A favorite question is how one Ranger managed to outnumber
five Nazgul in this scene. Re-reading it and paying attention
to some of the things you point out, I think Tolkien did
think this through more carefully than the casual scriptwriter
might think.

As far as I can recall, this is the only hint of special properties
in the barrow blades. We don't even know that the two Nazgul
who hesitate were from Angmar. I suspect the blade's value
here is symbolic. But with Tolkien, that counts for a lot.

Aragorn later says the name of Elbereth was more deadly
than the blade. Again, names are important in Middle-Earth.
But here, I think the importance of Frodo's calling on
Elbereth goes beyond symbols.

Though Frodo is Elf-friend, he does not seem to know
deep lore of the Valar. He has heard parts of songs,
but asks more questions than he answers. I don't believe
Frodo called on Elbereth because he knew it would be a
good thing to do. I believe he cried out to Elbereth
under inspiration. That suggests that Elbereth, or other
divine forces, are present here. I believe the Nazgul
are repelled by the inverse of their own aura of fear.
The influence of the Valar is on Weathertop, and the Nazgul
are not in control as is their custom.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't expect Aragorn's attack with fire
to be more than a nuisance. The Nazgul should only need
to shed their black robes to be beyond Aragorn's reach.
Both here and at the Ford, there is a suggestion that
both fire and water are harmful to the Nazgul. Both
are elemental forces, and associated with Valar.

So they are already trying to defy Elbereth, and a
Dunedan who also has a unique blessing on him attacks
with fire. I think that was more than they could cope with.

I am not satisfied with the Nazgul's hanging back then,
and waiting for Frodo to weaken. Their main objective
was the Ring. They almost had it at Weathertop. Waiting
for Frodo to fade gives their enemies more time to bring
the Ring to safety. On the other hand, if the Nazgul can
grab the Ring, then Sauron's victory is assured, and they
can return to snatch Frodo at their leisure.

Tolkien wanted to ratchet up the stakes at this point in
the story by putting Frodo in serious danger. But having
written Weathertop, Tolkien had to solve the problem of
getting Frodo to safety. So the Nazgul hang back until
the company nears the Ford and they must move or let the
Ring go into Rivendell and out of their reach. I think
Tolkien painted himself into a corner here, and I'm not
convinced by his solution.

Given my own interpretation of Frodo's calling on Elbereth,
I can assume that the Nazgul were reluctant to attack again
because they feared the same result. But Tolkien doesn't
seem to think that's the reason, so I can't argue strongly
for it.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Glenn Holliday
2004-04-01 02:29:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
As far as I can recall, this is the only hint of special properties
in the barrow blades.
... until Merry stabs the Witch King with one. D'oh!
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
s***@nomail.com
2004-04-01 02:42:19 UTC
Permalink
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Glenn Holliday <***@acm.org> wrote:
: Tolkien wanted to ratchet up the stakes at this point in
: the story by putting Frodo in serious danger. But having
: written Weathertop, Tolkien had to solve the problem of
: getting Frodo to safety. So the Nazgul hang back until
: the company nears the Ford and they must move or let the
: Ring go into Rivendell and out of their reach. I think
: Tolkien painted himself into a corner here, and I'm not
: convinced by his solution.

This is not too surprising considering that when he wrote that
scene, Aragorn was still a hobbit named Trotter, Frodo was Sam,
Bingo was Frodo, and The Ring was just a Ring. Many key elements
of the story were changed but the account of Weathertop was never
really changed, and it shows when you stop and think about it.

Stephen
Shanahan
2004-04-01 03:09:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Good work Belba. Thanks.
[...]
Post by Glenn Holliday
Frodo's reaction to this is a complex one - a terrified hobbit, he
throws himself down on the ground; an Elf-friend, he also cries aloud
the name of the Queen of the Valar, Elbereth Gilthoniel; and
resistant to the last, he strikes at the feet of the Black Rider who
is attacking him. The Witch-king shrieks when the name of Elbereth
is used, but still stabs Frodo in the left shoulder as Strider comes
leaping out of the darkness at him with flaming logs in either hand.
Frodo drops his sword, slips off the Ring, grasps it tightly and
passes out.
<snip>
Post by Glenn Holliday
Though Frodo is Elf-friend, he does not seem to know
deep lore of the Valar. He has heard parts of songs,
but asks more questions than he answers. I don't believe
Frodo called on Elbereth because he knew it would be a
good thing to do. I believe he cried out to Elbereth
under inspiration. That suggests that Elbereth, or other
divine forces, are present here. I believe the Nazgul
are repelled by the inverse of their own aura of fear.
The influence of the Valar is on Weathertop, and the Nazgul
are not in control as is their custom.
<applause> You just put into words what's been floating around somewhere
in the back of my head. This happens several times to both Frodo and Sam,
that "another voice speaks through theirs", and whose voice could this be
but a Vala's? Elbereth seems to have set herself to be Frodo's special
guardian, as Ulmo was Tuor's. (well, I guess it could be Galadriel, but
I'd rather think it's Elbereth)


- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
Huan the hound
2004-04-01 05:59:10 UTC
Permalink
Glenn Holliday said the following on 3/31/04 9:33 AM:

[snip]
Post by Glenn Holliday
I am not satisfied with the Nazgul's hanging back then,
and waiting for Frodo to weaken. Their main objective
was the Ring. They almost had it at Weathertop. Waiting
for Frodo to fade gives their enemies more time to bring
the Ring to safety. On the other hand, if the Nazgul can
grab the Ring, then Sauron's victory is assured, and they
can return to snatch Frodo at their leisure.
[snip]

The reason Frodo got stabbed in the shoulder was that he was
resisting. If the Nazgul waited and captured him in a few days, he
would be much easier to subdue and carry back to Mordor. It would be
inefficient to make two trips (one for the Ring, one for Frodo). They
wouldn't be able to return for Frodo if Gandalf or Elrond was
looking after him. He's clearly headed for Rivendell.
--
Huan, the hound of Valinor
Glenn Holliday
2004-04-02 04:12:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
Post by Glenn Holliday
I am not satisfied with the Nazgul's hanging back then,
and waiting for Frodo to weaken. Their main objective
was the Ring.
The reason Frodo got stabbed in the shoulder was that he was
resisting. If the Nazgul waited and captured him in a few days, he
would be much easier to subdue and carry back to Mordor.
I understand. I'm just not convinced. How much trouble
will one hobbit give 5 Nazgul? Their decisions must have
been driven by something other than Frodo.

They wanted the Ring. It makes more sense to take the Ring
and leave Frodo. Sauron wants to torture Frodo, but that
is surely a less important objective.
Post by Huan the hound
Post by Glenn Holliday
if the Nazgul can
grab the Ring, then Sauron's victory is assured, and they
can return to snatch Frodo at their leisure.
It would be
inefficient to make two trips (one for the Ring, one for Frodo). They
wouldn't be able to return for Frodo if Gandalf or Elrond was
looking after him. He's clearly headed for Rivendell.
By "at their leisure" I'm thinking after Sauron's conquest of
Middle Earth is complete, when Gandalf and Elrond are no longer
around and Rivendell is ruined.
--
Glenn Holliday ***@acm.org
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-04-04 18:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Holliday
Good work Belba. Thanks.
Thanks, Glenn, but it wasn't work--just re-reading in detail my
favorite chapter of the whole story.
Post by Glenn Holliday
Aragorn later says the name of Elbereth was more deadly
than the blade. Again, names are important in Middle-Earth.
But here, I think the importance of Frodo's calling on
Elbereth goes beyond symbols.
Though Frodo is Elf-friend, he does not seem to know
deep lore of the Valar. He has heard parts of songs,
but asks more questions than he answers. I don't believe
Frodo called on Elbereth because he knew it would be a
good thing to do. I believe he cried out to Elbereth
under inspiration. That suggests that Elbereth, or other
divine forces, are present here. I believe the Nazgul
are repelled by the inverse of their own aura of fear.
The influence of the Valar is on Weathertop, and the Nazgul
are not in control as is their custom.
Ordinarily, you wouldn't expect Aragorn's attack with fire
to be more than a nuisance. The Nazgul should only need
to shed their black robes to be beyond Aragorn's reach.
Both here and at the Ford, there is a suggestion that
both fire and water are harmful to the Nazgul. Both
are elemental forces, and associated with Valar.
So they are already trying to defy Elbereth, and a
Dunedan who also has a unique blessing on him attacks
with fire. I think that was more than they could cope with.
Wonderfully put! I agree, though it can't be proven. Those starry
skies, mentioned twice, just before the Nazgul attack, perhaps are a
veiled reference to Elbereth, especially since JRRT describes Frodo
seeing the Sickle of the Valar in the sky in the previous chapter.
And for some reason that I can't pin down yet, Weathertop's historical
significance as the point where Elendil and Gil-Galad met seems to
work in that regard, too. Elendil's heir is now here. "Gil-Galad,"
we are told, means "Starlight." The atmosphere just feels right
somehow.
Post by Glenn Holliday
I am not satisfied with the Nazgul's hanging back then,
and waiting for Frodo to weaken. Their main objective
was the Ring. They almost had it at Weathertop. Waiting
for Frodo to fade gives their enemies more time to bring
the Ring to safety. On the other hand, if the Nazgul can
grab the Ring, then Sauron's victory is assured, and they
can return to snatch Frodo at their leisure.
Tolkien wanted to ratchet up the stakes at this point in
the story by putting Frodo in serious danger. But having
written Weathertop, Tolkien had to solve the problem of
getting Frodo to safety. So the Nazgul hang back until
the company nears the Ford and they must move or let the
Ring go into Rivendell and out of their reach. I think
Tolkien painted himself into a corner here, and I'm not
convinced by his solution.
I have a little difficulty with that, too. Will save the details for
the next chapter (g).


Barb
Shanahan
2004-04-01 01:05:33 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Mar 2004 23:18:50 -0500,
Tolkien does say that the Orcs reproduced their kind according to the
manner of the Children of Iluvatar, so for the "pure-bred" Orc, at
least, normal mating and birth would occur. I see no reason that
this could not be extended to matings with Men and Elves, since Orcs
were created from Elves, implying a close-enough relation to produce
fertile offspring. Since Men and Elves can also produce fertile
offspring, I would guess that Orcs and Men can as well.
Being closely related doesn't imply that fertile viable young can be
naturally produced. Chimps reproduce exactly the same way we do, but
I'll warrant even with invitro fertilization you couldn't produce
offspring.
Granted. I'm not saying that all species who reproduce in the same
manner, or who are closely related, can automatically reproduce with each
other. Obviously that's not true.

I'm saying that:
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
2) Tolkien says that Elves and Men can cross-breed and produce fertile
young;
3) Tolkien very strongly implies that Orcs and Men have been cross-bred by
Saruman;
4) You therefore have three races of beings, one of which was created from
another of the three; and there has been successful cross-breeding between
two of the three possible crosses.
5) Tolkien says that there are orc-men who vary greatly in their
"orc-like" vs. "man-like" appearance, thus implying multi-generational
breeding.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
the softrat
2004-04-01 04:50:44 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 20:05:33 -0500, "Shanahan"
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
2) Tolkien says that Elves and Men can cross-breed and produce fertile
young;
3) Tolkien very strongly implies that Orcs and Men have been cross-bred by
Saruman;
4) You therefore have three races of beings, one of which was created from
another of the three; and there has been successful cross-breeding between
two of the three possible crosses.
5) Tolkien says that there are orc-men who vary greatly in their
"orc-like" vs. "man-like" appearance, thus implying multi-generational
breeding.
Tolkien also says:
6) Orcs were created from Men.
7) Orcs were created by Morgoth.
8) It is unclear where Orcs came from.

I say:
A) Read ALL the literature before you make half-vast statements.
B) Ptooey on all this speculation.
C) Get a Life.

You say:
x) But, but, but, .....
xx) I didn't know ....


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.
Arkady
2004-04-01 09:48:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
6) Orcs were created from Men.
7) Orcs were created by Morgoth.
8) It is unclear where Orcs came from.
A) Read ALL the literature before you make half-vast statements.
B) Ptooey on all this speculation.
C) Get a Life.
x) But, but, but, .....
xx) I didn't know ....
the softrat
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?

Arky
Pete Gray
2004-04-01 17:59:10 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:48:09 +0000 (UTC), "Arkady"
Post by Arkady
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?
Arky
Because everyone should do what they are best at?
--
Pete Gray
while ($cat!="home"){$mice=="play";}
Jim Deutch
2004-04-01 21:44:15 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:48:09 +0000 (UTC), "Arkady"
Post by Arkady
Post by the softrat
6) Orcs were created from Men.
7) Orcs were created by Morgoth.
8) It is unclear where Orcs came from.
A) Read ALL the literature before you make half-vast statements.
B) Ptooey on all this speculation.
C) Get a Life.
x) But, but, but, .....
xx) I didn't know ....
the softrat
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it, no?

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
I feel sorry for the other rover team exploring Gusev Crater on the
opposite side of Mars... The Spirit is willing, but, to quote Charlie
Brown, "I got a rock". That's all they've found at Gusev Crater --a
bunch of boring basalt. -- Frank Reed
the softrat
2004-04-02 06:28:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete Gray
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:48:09 +0000 (UTC), "Arkady"
Post by Arkady
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it, no?
Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
Nay, Nay, Neigh!

(Excuse me. I'm a little horse today.)

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.
the softrat
2004-04-01 22:09:44 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:48:09 +0000 (UTC), "Arkady"
Post by Arkady
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?
Arky
Why, Thank you, Arky.


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.
Arkady
2004-04-02 10:10:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete Gray
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:48:09 +0000 (UTC), "Arkady"
Post by Arkady
Why do you always have to be such a miserable, nay-saying old git softy?
Arky
Why, Thank you, Arky.
*sigh*

My pleasure...

Arky
Shanahan
2004-04-01 23:18:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
2) Tolkien says that Elves and Men can cross-breed and produce
fertile young;
3) Tolkien very strongly implies that Orcs and Men have been
cross-bred by Saruman;
<snip>
Post by the softrat
6) Orcs were created from Men.
7) Orcs were created by Morgoth.
8) It is unclear where Orcs came from.
If Orcs were created from Men, then where did all the Orcs come from
before the Sun rose, which was when Men awoke?

My point still stands (and I *know* Orcs were created by Melkor--not
Morgoth yet). Even if Orcs were created from Men, we still have three
closely-related races, two of which have been successfully interbred. So
there, nyah nyah! <G>
Post by the softrat
A) Read ALL the literature before you make half-vast statements.
I prefer to take LotR and Silm. as canon. Yah, I know all the arguments
about Christopher's editing to create Silm.
I love reading HoME etc., and have read nearly all of it, but so much of
it is earlier ideas which were later superseded, that I take it as drafts,
not canon. What, are we supposed to refer to Sauron as Tevildo the Cat,
since apparently we're treating HoME as canon?

Now admittedly I don't know that Morgoth's Ring consists only of earlier
conceptualizations in Tolkien's work, as I haven't read it, so POINT TAKEN
(with reservations).
Post by the softrat
B) Ptooey on all this speculation.
Um, then what's this newsgroup for?
Post by the softrat
C) Get a Life.
Um, then what's this newsgroup for? Weren't you the one who said that if
we had a life, we wouldn't be on usenet in the first place? We all *like*
speculating and nit-picking and niggling. It's our thang. ('ours',
inclusive)

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
AC
2004-04-02 01:31:35 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 18:18:00 -0500,
Post by the softrat
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
2) Tolkien says that Elves and Men can cross-breed and produce
fertile young;
3) Tolkien very strongly implies that Orcs and Men have been
cross-bred by Saruman;
<snip>
Post by the softrat
6) Orcs were created from Men.
7) Orcs were created by Morgoth.
8) It is unclear where Orcs came from.
If Orcs were created from Men, then where did all the Orcs come from
before the Sun rose, which was when Men awoke?
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including the
notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the sun and moon
in existence before the Trees.
My point still stands (and I *know* Orcs were created by Melkor--not
Morgoth yet). Even if Orcs were created from Men, we still have three
closely-related races, two of which have been successfully interbred. So
there, nyah nyah! <G>
Closely related doesn't mean it wouldn't require a little black magic to
make viable offspring.
Post by the softrat
A) Read ALL the literature before you make half-vast statements.
I prefer to take LotR and Silm. as canon. Yah, I know all the arguments
about Christopher's editing to create Silm.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
I love reading HoME etc., and have read nearly all of it, but so much of
it is earlier ideas which were later superseded, that I take it as drafts,
not canon. What, are we supposed to refer to Sauron as Tevildo the Cat,
since apparently we're treating HoME as canon?
Now admittedly I don't know that Morgoth's Ring consists only of earlier
conceptualizations in Tolkien's work, as I haven't read it, so POINT TAKEN
(with reservations).
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Shanahan
2004-04-02 23:41:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>

Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.

However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so much
of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR. And to
Silm., since it was in a more finished state than much of Tolkien's later
work, and because it was a work he intended to publish. Now don't go
postal on me, I know many on this NG disagree with my viewpoint.

- Ciaran S.
_____________________________________
"There is no human situation so miserable
that it cannot be made worse by the
presence of a policeman."
-brendan behan
AC
2004-04-03 00:03:23 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 18:41:11 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so much
of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR. And to
Silm., since it was in a more finished state than much of Tolkien's later
work, and because it was a work he intended to publish. Now don't go
postal on me, I know many on this NG disagree with my viewpoint.
The Silmarillion was not in a finished state. Never. The closest it ever
got was the Sketch of Mythology, which as memory serves, is from 1929 or
perhaps the early 1930s. The published work you see is an amalgam of a
number of different texts. It isn't a matter of disagreement, it is a
matter of fact. The Silmarillion you buy in the store has chunks of the
Grey Annals, the 1930s Silm and the post-LotR Silm (which is what Morgoth's
Ring includes the first half of). CJRT mixed and matched to produce a
coherent narrative.

I'd say that the published Silmarillion ought to be the least canonical of
all of the works, not the most. I think you deeply misunderstand the state
of the myths when Tolkien died.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Tar-Elenion
2004-04-03 00:07:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so much
of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Post by Shanahan
And to
Silm., since it was in a more finished state than much of Tolkien's later
work, and because it was a work he intended to publish. Now don't go
postal on me, I know many on this NG disagree with my viewpoint.
- Ciaran S.
--
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
2004-04-03 00:21:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so
much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been discussing,
apparently.

Just a personal preference, not necessarily based on logic.


- Ciaran S.
_____________________________________
"There is no human situation so miserable
that it cannot be made worse by the
presence of a policeman."
-brendan behan
Tar-Elenion
2004-04-03 00:43:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so
much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been discussing,
apparently.
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Post by Shanahan
Just a personal preference, not necessarily based on logic.
- Ciaran S.
--
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
2004-04-03 20:25:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it,
including the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of
Numenor and the sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the
earlier one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so
much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently.
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Oh, for heaven's sake, I *know* that. You snipped the part where I said I
was assigning more truth value to LotR *and* Silm. Which does strongly
imply the origin of Orcs.


- Ciaran S.
_____________________________________
"There is no human situation so miserable
that it cannot be made worse by the
presence of a policeman."
-brendan behan
Tar-Elenion
2004-04-03 21:07:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it,
including the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of
Numenor and the sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the
earlier one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so
much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently.
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Oh, for heaven's sake, I *know* that. You snipped the part where I said I
was assigning more truth value to LotR *and* Silm.
No, I did not. _You_ removed it. I only seperated the sentences to
respond specifically to one. If you did know that LotR does not define
the origin of Orcs then why, when I asked...:
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
...did you respond:
"Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently."

And what do the later stages of the mythology contradict about LotR?
Post by Shanahan
Which does strongly
imply the origin of Orcs.
As Aaron has pointed out The Silm. is cobbled together from various
stages of the mythology from the earlist to the latest, but that is
irrelevant to my query.
Post by Shanahan
- Ciaran S.
--
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
2004-04-05 05:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it,
including the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of
Numenor and the sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as
canon. Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not
the earlier one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of
the mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read,
but so much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more
"truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently.
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Oh, for heaven's sake, I *know* that. You snipped the part where I
said I was assigning more truth value to LotR *and* Silm.
No, I did not. _You_ removed it. I only seperated the sentences to
respond specifically to one. If you did know that LotR does not define
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
"Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently."
Sorry, I was speaking loosely. Because I had just mentioned LotR and
Silm. in one breath, as it were, I was simply continuing to do so.
Sloppy.
Post by Tar-Elenion
And what do the later stages of the mythology contradict about LotR?
Well, let's see...the part Galadriel played in Feanor's rebellion in
Valinor; whether Celeborn was Sindarin or Teleri; whether Galadriel knew
for sure if she even could return to Valinor. Lots of stuff in the
Galadriel story. Whether or not the Teleri who followed Feanor took an
active part in the first Kinslaying, I think.

And as you said since you've read Morgoth's Ring and some other HoME that
I haven't, there's some contradiction or difference between the origin of
the orc race. I know that isn't LotR, but it's an example of what I mean.
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Which does strongly
imply the origin of Orcs.
As Aaron has pointed out The Silm. is cobbled together from various
stages of the mythology from the earlist to the latest, but that is
irrelevant to my query.
OK, since I've answered it above in a post to AC.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
"I'm too old for this. I should be at home,
playing canasta with Radagast."
-mst3k
AC
2004-04-05 06:20:34 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 01:42:27 -0400,
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it,
including the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of
Numenor and the sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as
canon. Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not
the earlier one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of
the mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read,
but so much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more
"truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently.
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Oh, for heaven's sake, I *know* that. You snipped the part where I
said I was assigning more truth value to LotR *and* Silm.
No, I did not. _You_ removed it. I only seperated the sentences to
respond specifically to one. If you did know that LotR does not define
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
"Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently."
Sorry, I was speaking loosely. Because I had just mentioned LotR and
Silm. in one breath, as it were, I was simply continuing to do so.
Sloppy.
Post by Tar-Elenion
And what do the later stages of the mythology contradict about LotR?
Well, let's see...the part Galadriel played in Feanor's rebellion in
Valinor; whether Celeborn was Sindarin or Teleri; whether Galadriel knew
for sure if she even could return to Valinor. Lots of stuff in the
Galadriel story. Whether or not the Teleri who followed Feanor took an
active part in the first Kinslaying, I think.
LotR says very little about Galadriel and Celeborn's backstory. This is why
we have a chapter in UT on the subject. However, the notes and such in UT
are divergent, which CJRT admits. JRRT's opinion of Galadriel also changed,
as she grew in might after her creation in LotR. There's no indication in
the LotR phase that she was one of the mightiest of the Noldor, and yet
later JRRT seems to have decided that she was a peer of Feanor.
Post by Shanahan
And as you said since you've read Morgoth's Ring and some other HoME that
I haven't, there's some contradiction or difference between the origin of
the orc race. I know that isn't LotR, but it's an example of what I mean.
There are no contradictions with the LotR in Morgoth's Ring in regards to
Orcs. Nor is there any contradictions with previous versions of the
Silmarillion. Since Silm only says "it is said" in regards to Orcs coming
from Elves, this is framed as the opinion of Elvish loremasters. Because of
the nature of the Children of Illuvatar, Orcs being corrupted Children
creates obvious difficulties. In later years, Tolkien tried to sort that
out.
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Which does strongly
imply the origin of Orcs.
As Aaron has pointed out The Silm. is cobbled together from various
stages of the mythology from the earlist to the latest, but that is
irrelevant to my query.
OK, since I've answered it above in a post to AC.
What defines "canon" is, around these parts, a sometimes uneasy problem. I
have a fairly narrow view of canon.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
the softrat
2004-04-05 08:52:35 UTC
Permalink
I have a fairly narrow view of canon.
You have a small bore canon?

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"If somebody's gonna stab me in the back, I wanna be there." --
Allan Lamport (deceased), former mayor of Toronto.
AC
2004-04-05 15:04:02 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 01:52:35 -0700,
Post by the softrat
I have a fairly narrow view of canon.
You have a small bore canon?
I can take sh*t, I can take abuse, I can even take being ignored. But puns
make me crazy!
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
the softrat
2004-04-05 16:57:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 01:52:35 -0700,
Post by the softrat
I have a fairly narrow view of canon.
You have a small bore canon?
I can take sh*t, I can take abuse, I can even take being ignored. But puns
make me crazy!
BUUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"But why, my dear Crito, should we care about the opinion of the many?
Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering,
will think of these things truly as they happened."
-- Socrates to Crito, in "Crito"
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-04-06 01:15:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
I have a fairly narrow view of canon.
You have a small bore canon?
Naw, he's looking out of a porthole on a ship perched on the edge
the canyon. Makes for a mighty narrow view of anything, peering
through a porthole.
--
mc
Shanahan
2004-04-05 23:59:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
and Shanahan et al argued back and forth...
<huge snips 'cause this is getting *way* too long!>
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
LotR does not define the origin of Orcs.
Oh, for heaven's sake, I *know* that. You snipped the part where I
said I was assigning more truth value to LotR *and* Silm.
No, I did not. _You_ removed it. I only seperated the sentences to
respond specifically to one. If you did know that LotR does not
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
"Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been
discussing, apparently."
Sorry, I was speaking loosely. Because I had just mentioned LotR and
Silm. in one breath, as it were, I was simply continuing to do so.
Sloppy.
And what do the later stages of the mythology contradict about LotR?
Well, let's see...the part Galadriel played in Feanor's rebellion in
Valinor; whether Celeborn was Sindarin or Teleri; whether Galadriel
knew for sure if she even could return to Valinor. Lots of stuff in
the Galadriel story. Whether or not the Teleri who followed Feanor
took an active part in the first Kinslaying, I think.
LotR says very little about Galadriel and Celeborn's backstory.
True, but it hints a whole lot, (her farewell song says that she thinks
she is banned from Valinor), and says that Celeborn has dwelt over the
mountains since the "days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years
uncounted. Since before Doriath was ruined or Nargothrond fell..."
(paraphrase, DHTBIFOM). This hints strongly that C. is Sindarin. Which
contradicts the later phases of the G/C story.
Post by AC
This
is why we have a chapter in UT on the subject. However, the notes
and such in UT are divergent, which CJRT admits. JRRT's opinion of
Galadriel also changed, as she grew in might after her creation in
LotR. There's no indication in the LotR phase that she was one of
the mightiest of the Noldor, and yet later JRRT seems to have decided
that she was a peer of Feanor.
Yes, that's my point exactly. The sources from which Silm. and UT are
drawn are divergent both from each other and later stuff and from LotR.
You have to pick something, I choose to pick LotR and Silm./UT as my
Middle Earth. The other writings are scholarly research materials,
perhaps, in my mind. A "legendarium." I'm aware of the arguments against
my position, nevertheless I feel it is my right to choose it. And being
Irish, to stick by it.
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
And as you said since you've read Morgoth's Ring and some other HoME
that I haven't, there's some contradiction or difference between the
origin of the orc race. I know that isn't LotR, but it's an example
of what I mean.
There are no contradictions with the LotR in Morgoth's Ring in
regards to Orcs. Nor is there any contradictions with previous
versions of the Silmarillion. Since Silm only says "it is said" in
regards to Orcs coming from Elves, this is framed as the opinion of
Elvish loremasters. Because of the nature of the Children of
Illuvatar, Orcs being corrupted Children creates obvious
difficulties. In later years, Tolkien tried to sort that out.
Post by Shanahan
Post by Shanahan
Which does strongly
imply the origin of Orcs.
OK, agreed. Hints don't *contradict* later revisionist writing.
Directly. But if that's the case, then why the hell does everyone around
here spend so much time arguing about these 'non-contradictions'? <G>
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
As Aaron has pointed out The Silm. is cobbled together from various
stages of the mythology from the earlist to the latest, but that is
irrelevant to my query.
OK, since I've answered it above in a post to AC.
What defines "canon" is, around these parts, a sometimes uneasy
problem. I have a fairly narrow view of canon.
Mine's pretty narrow too. LotR and Silm. Maybe UT.
We just happen to have different narrow canons.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
"White people love Wayne Brady because he
makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X."
-d.chappell
Tar-Elenion
2004-04-05 14:28:16 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
And what do the later stages of the mythology contradict about LotR?
Well, let's see...the part Galadriel played in Feanor's rebellion in
Valinor; whether Celeborn was Sindarin or Teleri; whether Galadriel knew
for sure if she even could return to Valinor. Lots of stuff in the
Galadriel story. Whether or not the Teleri who followed Feanor took an
active part in the first Kinslaying, I think.
None of those are defined in LoTR. A couple might be implied.
<snip>
--
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.
AC
2004-04-03 04:13:31 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 19:21:43 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
Post by Tar-Elenion
Post by Shanahan
Post by AC
Myth's Transformed has all sorts of troubling bits to it, including
the notion of a round Earth *before* the sinking of Numenor and the
sun and moon in existence before the Trees.
I can't imagine anyone taking the published Silmarillion as canon.
Morgoth's Ring is the later stages of the mythology, not the earlier
one.
<stuph snipped>
Cool, thanks for the info. I do need to fill in those gaps in my
collection.
However, I still view both the earlier and the later stages of the
mythology as non-canon. Fascinating, and wonderful to read, but so
much of it contradicts LotR that I assign more "truth-value" to LotR.
What of the 'later stages of the mythology' contradicts LotR?
Well, the bits about the origin of the Orcs, which we've been discussing,
apparently.
Even the published Silmarillion doesn't give a definitive answer. There are
extremely important issues that weighed upon Tolkien's mind in the later
years, particularly in dealing with the redemption of Orcs.
Post by Shanahan
Just a personal preference, not necessarily based on logic.
There's nothing wrong with having a preference, it's just that you seem to
have some rather incorrect notions about how the published Silmarillion was
produced. Christopher Tolkien didn't have a mostly finished work that
needed tidying up, he had a substantially *unfinished* work that he had to
glue together. What is worse, after LotR, Tolkien suddenly took a grain of
an idea about the world being round from the creation and proceeded to turn
the mythology upside down. He occupied probably the last major creative
period of his life with this round-earth mythology and the 2nd edition of
LotR.

The reason, in my opinion, that HoME exists is as an apologia by CJRT, a way
of explaining why he did what he did to produce a published Silmarillion,
when no entity really existed that was close to that state. But he tells us
right from the beginning, in the introduction to Silm, that this was as much
a work of the son as the father. The Silmarillion was never finished. The
last chapters were little more than the annal entries and the Fall of
Doriath was composed by CJRT and Guy Kay Gavriel, because no actual
narrative form of that chapter existed save the one from the Lost Tales at
the very beginning.

Because the Silmarillion was so disjointed, scattered in time and space,
CJRT did his very best to find out what the final views of his father were.
However, he was still forced to pull together various pieces, to meld a
cohesive whole out of multiple versions from various periods of development.

A few months ago I traced down, during a debate on Elvish immortality, a
passage that CJRT had, with some editing, moved from the Ainulindale to the
published chapter "The Beginning of Days". This is a good example of the
kinds of things that had to be done to massage portions of the text.

Before I go any further, I wish to say that I am criticizing CJRT or that
all the Silmarillion was produced in that fashion (many parts were wholesale
included from the 1930s and post-LotR version with little amendment), but I
think it is important when dealing with issues of canonicity of the
published work to consider how it was constructed. What follows is a
portion of the post in question.

--BEGIN QUOTE--
Just to show you that the notion of Elvish re-embodiment existed from the
very beginning in 1916-1917 to the very end of Tolkien's life, here is a
section from The Music of the Ainur, the earliest version of the
Ainulindale (which was likely written between 1918 and 1920).

"It is however of one with this gift of poewr that the Children of Men dwell
only a short time in the world alive, yet do not perish utterly for ever,
whereas the Eldar dwell till the Great End unless they be slain or waste in
grief (for to both these deaths they are subject) nor doth eld subdue their
strength, except it may be in ten thousand centuries; and dying they are
reborn in their children, so that their number minishes not, nor grows."
BolT I - The Music of the Ainur

Then in the 1930s we see the next version of the Ainulindale which follows
closely the original Music of the Ainur. This is called "B" version by
Christopher Tolkien:
"Whereas the Eldar remain until the end of days, and their love of the world
is deeper, therefore, and more sorrowful. But they die not, till the world
dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief - for to both these seeming
deaths they are subject - nor does age subdue their strength, unless one
grow weary of ten thousand centuries; and dying they are gathered in the
halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence often they return and are reborn in their
children."
The Lost Road - Ainulindale

The essays from Myths Transformed date from the 1950s as well. I think I
have sufficiently demonstrated that Elvish immortality is one that is
constant from beginning to end.

As far as I can tell, the text found in the published Silmarillion appears
to be an edited form of the text that appears in the last version of the
Ainulindale.

Compare the published text to the one above:
"For the Elves die not till the world dies, unless they are slain or waste
in grief (and to both these seeming deaths they are subject); neither does
age subdue their strength, unless one grow weary of ten thousand centuries;
and dying they are gathered in the halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence they
may in time return."
The Silmarillion - The Beginning of Days

So, you see, your interpretation of what happens to Elves when their spirits
come to Mandos is due to editorial compression by Christopher Tolkien, and
not due to any intent of JRRT. It is important to understand that the
published Silmarillion was put together by CJRT from a number of different
versions, and in the interests of narrative and structural unity he was
forced to do things of this kind. This one seems a little odd in that the
text was lifted from the 1948 Ainulindale and placed into this chapter with
some compression, thus editing out a rather important portion of the
original text "whence often they return and are reborn in their children"
and creating the potential for misinterpretation as to what happens to Elves
upon death.

At any rate, it has been an interesting little exploration, since I hunted
right back to the Sketch of Mythology (in the early 1930s) forward looking
for the source of the passage in the published Silm. Now I better get back
to writing the summation of the Prologue of LotR for the Chapter of the
Week.
--END QUOTE--

You can find the entirety of this post at
http://groups.google.ca/groups?selm=slrnbv51sd.r0.mightymartianca%40namibia.tandem
or
http://tinyurl.com/24hxa

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the published work, though a
breathtaking, staggering work in its own right, was the product of
painstaking construction from numerous pieces by CJRT. Tolkien himself
never resolved a number of important issues; never giving us a full
narrative retelling of the War of Wrath or of Earendil's voyages. Nor did
the good professor ever resolve the sticky situation of how exactly the
Dwarves of Nogrod came to ensnare and kill Thingol.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Shanahan
2004-04-03 20:31:29 UTC
Permalink
AC wrote:
<big snip>
Post by AC
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the published work,
though a breathtaking, staggering work in its own right, was the
product of painstaking construction from numerous pieces by CJRT.
Tolkien himself never resolved a number of important issues; never
giving us a full narrative retelling of the War of Wrath or of
Earendil's voyages. Nor did the good professor ever resolve the
sticky situation of how exactly the Dwarves of Nogrod came to ensnare
and kill Thingol.
Yep, thanks, I am aware of all that. As I said in my original post, "Yah,
I know all the arguments about Christopher's editing to create Silm."

- Ciaran S.
___________________________________
AC
2004-04-04 00:02:12 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 15:31:29 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
<big snip>
Post by AC
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the published work,
though a breathtaking, staggering work in its own right, was the
product of painstaking construction from numerous pieces by CJRT.
Tolkien himself never resolved a number of important issues; never
giving us a full narrative retelling of the War of Wrath or of
Earendil's voyages. Nor did the good professor ever resolve the
sticky situation of how exactly the Dwarves of Nogrod came to ensnare
and kill Thingol.
Yep, thanks, I am aware of all that. As I said in my original post, "Yah,
I know all the arguments about Christopher's editing to create Silm."
If you are aware of these issues, then how could the published Silmarillion
be considered a canonical work?
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
the softrat
2004-04-05 01:00:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
If you are aware of these issues, then how could the published Silmarillion
be considered a canonical work?
It's a 'loose canon'.

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"The woman gave to me and I did teunce." -- Adman in the Garbage
of Eating'
Shanahan
2004-04-05 05:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 15:31:29 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
<big snip>
Post by AC
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the published work,
though a breathtaking, staggering work in its own right, was the
product of painstaking construction from numerous pieces by CJRT.
Tolkien himself never resolved a number of important issues; never
giving us a full narrative retelling of the War of Wrath or of
Earendil's voyages. Nor did the good professor ever resolve the
sticky situation of how exactly the Dwarves of Nogrod came to
ensnare and kill Thingol.
Yep, thanks, I am aware of all that. As I said in my original post,
"Yah, I know all the arguments about Christopher's editing to create
Silm."
If you are aware of these issues, then how could the published
Silmarillion be considered a canonical work?
I simply choose to respect Christopher's judgment in choosing what would
make a coherent narrative. Whether the narrative itself is internally
consistent is more important to me than whether the author himself had
intended to alter the entire mythos and had written much to that effect.
Hey, I'm an English Lit major, give me a break. I value the text, result
of picking and choosing among the author's various intentions, or not.
It's just the way I'm made.

(Sheesh, by this time I've long forgotten the original argument. Wasn't
it something about orcs?)

- Ciaran S.
_____________________
Shanahan
2004-04-05 05:25:19 UTC
Permalink
Sorry about the repost, had a hiccup.

- Ciaran S.
_____________________
Shanahan
2004-04-05 05:22:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 15:31:29 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
<big snip>
Post by AC
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the published work,
though a breathtaking, staggering work in its own right, was the
product of painstaking construction from numerous pieces by CJRT.
Tolkien himself never resolved a number of important issues; never
giving us a full narrative retelling of the War of Wrath or of
Earendil's voyages. Nor did the good professor ever resolve the
sticky situation of how exactly the Dwarves of Nogrod came to
ensnare and kill Thingol.
Yep, thanks, I am aware of all that. As I said in my original post,
"Yah, I know all the arguments about Christopher's editing to create
Silm."
If you are aware of these issues, then how could the published
Silmarillion be considered a canonical work?
I simply choose to respect Christopher's judgment in choosing what would
make a coherent narrative. Whether the narrative itself is internally
consistent is more important to me than whether the author himself had
intended to alter the entire mythos and had written much to that effect.
Hey, I'm an English Lit major, give me a break. I value the text, result
of picking and choosing among the author's various intentions, or not.
It's just the way I'm made.

(Sheesh, by this time I've long forgotten the original argument. Wasn't
it something about orcs?) <g>

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
"I'm too old for this. I should be at home,
playing canasta with Radagast."
-mst3k
Chris Kern
2004-04-05 02:58:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
This one seems a little odd in that the
text was lifted from the 1948 Ainulindale and placed into this chapter with
some compression, thus editing out a rather important portion of the
original text "whence often they return and are reborn in their children"
and creating the potential for misinterpretation as to what happens to Elves
upon death.
Wouldn't he have cut that passage because Tolkien eventually (in the
Finwe and Miriel writings, I believe, but it might be something in
PoM<E) decided against the idea of Elves being reborn in their
children? IIRC by Tolkien's late years Elves who were reincarnated
simply took their old bodies and lived in Valinor.

-Chris
AC
2004-04-05 05:07:24 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 11:58:46 +0900,
Post by Chris Kern
Post by AC
This one seems a little odd in that the
text was lifted from the 1948 Ainulindale and placed into this chapter with
some compression, thus editing out a rather important portion of the
original text "whence often they return and are reborn in their children"
and creating the potential for misinterpretation as to what happens to Elves
upon death.
Wouldn't he have cut that passage because Tolkien eventually (in the
Finwe and Miriel writings, I believe, but it might be something in
PoM<E) decided against the idea of Elves being reborn in their
children? IIRC by Tolkien's late years Elves who were reincarnated
simply took their old bodies and lived in Valinor.
I think the removal of the phrase can be seen in that light, but I'm still
not certain as to why the whole passage was juggled right out of the
Ainulindale and into the Quenta Silmarillion proper.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
AC
2004-04-01 19:46:04 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 20:05:33 -0500,
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
2) Tolkien says that Elves and Men can cross-breed and produce fertile
young;
3) Tolkien very strongly implies that Orcs and Men have been cross-bred by
Saruman;
4) You therefore have three races of beings, one of which was created from
another of the three; and there has been successful cross-breeding between
two of the three possible crosses.
5) Tolkien says that there are orc-men who vary greatly in their
"orc-like" vs. "man-like" appearance, thus implying multi-generational
breeding.
One has to be very cautious in your first two points. Tolkien says
something along the lines of "it is said that Melkor bred Orcs from Elves".
In fact, when you actually start reading the material from HoME, in
particular the essays in Myths Transformed (in Morgoth's Ring) you discover
quickly that the origin of Orcs was an open and never resolved question.
They may have come from Elves, the may have come from Men, they may have
been little more than automatons repeating the "tape" (as Tolkien put it)
that Melkor first put in them. Some of the Orcs of legend may have in fact
be Maiar in Orcish form.

It is this uncertainty at the heart of where the Orcs came from that means,
for me at least, one can't really declare any open and shut case on how
Orc-Men were accomplished. In fact, Orc-Men hybrids, however Saruman
accomplished them, only muddy the waters for me.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Shanahan
2004-04-01 21:18:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
<snip>
Post by AC
It is this uncertainty at the heart of where the Orcs came from that
means, for me at least, one can't really declare any open and shut
case on how Orc-Men were accomplished. In fact, Orc-Men hybrids,
however Saruman accomplished them, only muddy the waters for me.
OK, but Orc-Men *were* accomplished, and they are *in the book*, so no
matter how the idea muddies the waters of our minds, it's there.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
AC
2004-04-02 01:28:55 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 16:18:52 -0500,
Post by AC
Post by Shanahan
1) Tolkien says that Orcs were created from Elves;
<snip>
Post by AC
It is this uncertainty at the heart of where the Orcs came from that
means, for me at least, one can't really declare any open and shut
case on how Orc-Men were accomplished. In fact, Orc-Men hybrids,
however Saruman accomplished them, only muddy the waters for me.
OK, but Orc-Men *were* accomplished, and they are *in the book*, so no
matter how the idea muddies the waters of our minds, it's there.
I wasn't disputing that it happened. I'm saying that the whole matter as to
the nature and origins of Orcs is confused.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Shanahan
2004-04-01 02:10:37 UTC
Permalink
Tolkien does say that the Orcs reproduced their kind according to the
manner of the Children of Iluvatar, so for the "pure-bred" Orc,
<snip>
Being closely related doesn't imply that fertile viable young can be
naturally produced. Chimps reproduce exactly the same way we do, but
I'll warrant even with invitro fertilization you couldn't produce
offspring.
All this discussion about breeding has got me thinking about gene creation
and the Valar. I was thinking along the lines that Saruman wouldn't be
able to manipulate the Orcs for breeding on this minute a level, to
actually control the genome. But then I realized that of course the Valar
could do this, so maybe a Maia could as well. Melkor certainly must have,
in order to create Orcs in the first place. One assumes that Yavanna
could as well.

So did the Valar create/manipulate genes on a general "magical" level, or
were they tinkering with the actual little molecules themselves? (brings
up a picture of a querulous Aule, hunched over a microscope, putting down
teeny little instruments, rubbing his eyes, and cursing Heisenberg...<g>)
Yavanna comes by to commiserate, saying the genome of the d*mn Ents is the
lengthiest, slowest structure she's ever had to deal with!

But maybe I'm one of those who "considers only the majesty of the Ainur,
and not their terrible sharpness; as who should take the whole field of
Arda for the foundation of a pillar and so raise it until the cone of its
summit were more bitter than a needle."

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-04-12 12:38:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
So did the Valar create/manipulate genes on a general "magical"
level, or were they tinkering with the actual little molecules
themselves? (brings up a picture of a querulous Aule, hunched over a
microscope, putting down teeny little instruments, rubbing his eyes,
and cursing Heisenberg...<g>) Yavanna comes by to commiserate, saying
the genome of the d*mn Ents is the lengthiest, slowest structure
she's ever had to deal with!
ROTFL!
Post by Shanahan
But maybe I'm one of those who "considers only the majesty of the
Ainur, and not their terrible sharpness; as who should take the whole
field of Arda for the foundation of a pillar and so raise it until
the cone of its summit were more bitter than a needle."
I do like to think of the Valar as omnipotent when they were creating
stuff. They can just do things without any need for explanation. A bit
like the author of a story as he sub-creates...

Christopher
--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
Shanahan
2004-04-01 03:50:47 UTC
Permalink
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK LOTR BK1 CH11: A KNIFE IN THE DARK
<snip>
Excellent presentation, Barb. Thank you.
<snip>
-- The Horn-Call of Buckland gives us a clue to the martial history
of the Shire just at the very last time we see the Shire until the
end of the story. Is this coincidence or does it further the story
in some way?
It lays the ground, I think, for the resistance in the scouring. It
shows that the courage of Frodo and friends is, perhaps, not as
unique among Hobbits as one might otherwise think, thus making their
spirit of resistance in the end more believable.
I agree. This reminds me of a wonderful conversation between Thorin and
Gandalf in UT, goes something like:
Gandalf, speaking of Bilbo: "He is very brave, after the manner of the
courage of his kind. They are, as you might say, 'brave at a pinch'. You
have to put them in a tight place to find what is in them."
Thorin: "The test cannot be made. They do all they can to avoid tight
places!"
Gandalf: "True. They are a very sensible people."

Great stuff.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
Change for the machines.
-p.cadigan
Huan the hound
2004-04-01 05:52:01 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
They couldn't have possibly done so without expecting to raise a
commotion and possibly meet fierce resistance from the other guests
at the inn and the people of Bree.
That would have been expectable no matter how or by who the inn was
attacked. The Ringwraiths themselves would create even more commotion, and
they did know that a ranger was staying at the inn. If the idea was to
avoid commotion it was better to use some local thugs.
And this was too important a mission to trust to the fighting prowess
of a few ruffians.
I don't think they expected any fighting, no matter who did the job.
Whoever broke in was quiet about it, but how did they expect to keep
the hobbits
quiet when they killed or captured them? Would Bree natives expect
hobbits not
to fight?
Second, and more important, the Witch-king would never under any
circumstances trust anyone with his will not thoroughly enslaved to
Sauron to bring the Ring itself to him,
Who says they weren't?
Aragorn's words suggest that he believed that they were indeed completely
under the domination of the Nazgûl, and could be driven to 'evil work' by
them. I'd say that the terror of the Nazgûl at this point made Ferny,
Goatleaf and the southerner at least as dependable in carrying out orders
as any Orc would have been.
But it would be less efficient to have multiple people handle the
Ring. It would be easier to just ask them to capture Frodo and NOT
search his belongings.

[snip]
Indeed, all of the orcs we meet later have been told to
capture hobbits alive and to preserve and send on all of their
personal effects but have NOT been told what specifically to look
for.
Precisely - and the same orders would have been given to Ferny and cohorts,
who, IMO, could be trusted at least as well as the Orcs with this kind of
instructions.
I agree, it seems possible that they were under orders to capture
Frodo and bring him (including the Ring) to the Nazgul. In
frustration at not finding the hobbits, they tore up the room.
Although these "wretches" wouldn't be able to keep the Ring from the
Nazgul, why would they want to involve an extra step in acquiring the
Ring?

It seems possible that the Nazgul wanted Frodo alive or as a wraith.
Sauron has a thing for revenge. The Witch King might have backed off
at Weathertop because he knew his blade would eventually do its job.
Why face the resistance of Strider and the hobbits when all they had
to do was wait a few days, when it would be easier.

[snip]
--
Huan, the hound of Valinor
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-04-02 01:34:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
I agree, it seems possible that they were under orders to
capture Frodo and bring him (including the Ring) to the
Nazgul. In frustration at not finding the hobbits, they
tore up the room. Although these "wretches" wouldn't be able
to keep the Ring from the Nazgul, why would they want to
involve an extra step in acquiring the Ring?
It seems possible that the Nazgul wanted Frodo alive or as a
wraith. Sauron has a thing for revenge. The Witch King
might have backed off at Weathertop because he knew his
blade would eventually do its job. Why face the resistance
of Strider and the hobbits when all they had to do was wait
a few days, when it would be easier.
What if it was Saruman who sent the "ruffians" after the hobbits
?

Was he aware of where the Ring was at this time ? I thought he
knew about Baggins, and the Shire, by this point, and as he
wanted the Ring for himself, he could have sent his own spies
and brigands to Bree, nosing about and hoping for word and
perhaps even a chance to grab Frodo. Not knowing for sure which
hobbit was which, they'd go for all 4. Tossing the room would
be a sign of anger at being thwarted, or a rough and hasty
search for belongings to take. Perhaps murder was in the plans,
and perhaps it was frustration at being fooled.

I don't think it was the Black Riders, in any case, as they were
rousting Buckland just before dawn, and only then found out that
the Ring, and Baggins, were not still in the Shire area.
--
mc
Huan the hound
2004-04-02 06:15:28 UTC
Permalink
TeaLady (Mari C.) said the following on 4/2/04 9:34 AM:

[snip stuff I can't reply to because my book isn't with me]
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
I don't think it was the Black Riders, in any case, as they were
rousting Buckland just before dawn, and only then found out that
the Ring, and Baggins, were not still in the Shire area.
They were split up. Merry had a close call with a Black Rider in
Bree, remember.
--
Huan, the hound of Valinor
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-04-04 22:03:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
[snip stuff I can't reply to because my book isn't with me]
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
I don't think it was the Black Riders, in any case, as they
were rousting Buckland just before dawn, and only then
found out that the Ring, and Baggins, were not still in the
Shire area.
They were split up. Merry had a close call with a Black
Rider in Bree, remember.
I don't think they knew the Ring, or the Bearer, was in Bree,
until the early morning.

"Let the little people blow! Sauron would deal with them later.
Meanwhile they had another errand: they knew now that the house
was empty and the Ring had gone. They rode down the guards at
the gate and vanished from the Shire."

Seems to indicate that they weren't aware the Ring was at the
Prancing Pony. A Black Rider or several were in Bree, watching
and listening, and sending out spies, but I think the mayhem and
attempted carnage was something Saruman may have had a hand in.
The Black Riders could move swiftly, and probably communicate
over long distances with those eerie wailing voices, and if the
ones in Bree knew the Ring was there, they would have alerted
the ones still in the Shire.

Of course, that is my reading of the matter. And I'm not always
in line with the common interpretations.
--
mc
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-02 14:18:09 UTC
Permalink
in <c4gfi3$2i36ge$***@ID-211710.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Huan the hound <***@netscape.net> enriched us with:
<snip>
Post by Huan the hound
Whoever broke in was quiet about it, but how did they expect to keep
the hobbits quiet when they killed or captured them?
The problem would be to avoid waking the occupants of the room as they
broke the window open. If they could manage that, the problem didn't really
exist - not many people are able to put up a fight when murdered as they're
sleeping.
Post by Huan the hound
Would Bree natives expect hobbits not to fight?
I suppose they would. The Bree hobbits are portrayed as being much alike to
their cousins in the Shire - preferring a quiet life with five meals daily.
Remember also the surprise Ferny displayed when the party finally arrives
back at the Shire.

<snip>
Post by Huan the hound
I agree, it seems possible that they were under orders to capture
Frodo and bring him (including the Ring) to the Nazgul.
I think that silencing and getting the hobbits unseen through Bree
(possibly to Bill Ferny's house) would present an unnecessary complication
to the operation. At least their clothes, packs and other belongings
wouldn't protest ;-)

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address 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
Igenlode Wordsmith
2004-04-03 00:52:49 UTC
Permalink
On 1 Apr 2004 Huan the hound wrote:


[snip]
it seems possible that [Ferny & Co] were under orders to capture Frodo
and bring him (including the Ring) to the Nazgul. In frustration at
not finding the hobbits, they tore up the room.
I have to say that I find it much easier to visualise the 'monstrous'
inhuman Nazgul slicing up the room in a blind fury, rather Bill Ferny
and assorted ruffians. If Ferny failed, I really can't see him ripping a
mat to bits with his bare hands to see if Frodo might be inside it. The
results look like *hatred*, not frustration.
--
Igenlode <***@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

* The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret *
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-04-03 19:35:04 UTC
Permalink
Huan the hound wrote:
<snip>
Post by Huan the hound
Would Bree natives expect
hobbits not
to fight?
*Hobbits* expected Hobbits not to fight, Breelanders or Shirefolk alike.
Anyone knowing a little (and not a lot) of Hobbits would.

<snip>
--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
'When I use a word,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'it means what I choose it to
mean.'
Jamie Armstrong
2004-04-01 14:10:13 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Mar 2004 15:55:27 +0100, Jamie Armstrong
<snip>
I've never seen the need to assume that the Nazgul stop *because*
[...]
I do think it was cause and effect.
[...]
I agree - and not only for the reasons you give, but also because I think
"Desparate, he drew his sword, and it seemed to him that it
flickered red, as if it was a firebrand. Two of the figures
halted."
I'll just point out (as I have before) that Frodo is standing in front
of a blazing fire: it would be surprising if it *didn't* flicker red!
They "halted" which, to me, suggests hesitation (that is also the
connotation given by my dictionary, which, as foreign dictionaries tend to,
usually is a bit old-fashioned).
Not really: they just stopped. Now, if they'd *paused*, then you might
have a point, but I don't think you do. Making such a fuss over the fact
that 2 of the Nazgul stop when the sword is drawn totally ignores the
fact that another 2 had *already* stopped on the lip of the dell: what
are we to make of this? Following your logic there must be a cause and
effect here too, unless maybe they are just proceeding along a
*pre-arranged plan* - 1st couple stop on the dell (to prevent escape);
2nd couple move forward to provide cover for the Witch King, then stop
conicidentally at the same time that Frodo draws his weapon; Witch King
moves forward to stab Frodo, then withdraws along with the others. Now,
you'd have a much stronger case if all 5 Nazgul had stopped when Frodo
drew his weapon, but as the facts stand it doesn't really work, IMO.
especially since another of the barrow blades, at least for the
Witch-king, would cleave undead flesh and break the spell binding his
sinews to his will.
And we know from letter #210 that Sam's barrow blade would have had much
the same result as when Merry stabbed the Witch-king at the Field of
Pelennor.
Proving what exactly? That at least three of the weapons would have
reacted in the same way: nothing more, nothing less. Since we know that
"all blades perish that *pierce* [my emphasis] that deadly king", then
this statement really says nothing about the barrow blades, and we have
no idea how a Wraith would react to getting stabbed with another weapon:
maybe nothing (though I find this hard to believe); my interpretation is
that if *I'd* use my bread knife exactly the same thing would have
happened (unless you want to claim that my knife is also magical)! :)

Jamie
--
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and
every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human
characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the
appearance of either merit or sense."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-02 11:48:29 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Jamie Armstrong
I'll just point out (as I have before) that Frodo is standing in front
of a blazing fire: it would be surprising if it *didn't* flicker red!
I won't debate the colour itself (though reflected fire light is very
rarely red, but Tolkien did compare the light to a firebrand), but the
passage, to me that is, implies that the light isn't reflected, but rather
came from the sword itself.

See e.g. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=halt
In particular the possible meanings for the intransitive verb - "pause" is
one such and "stop" is the other. In particular the use of "halt" implies a
temporary cease of movement with the intention of going further.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
They "halted" which, to me, suggests hesitation (that is also the
connotation given by my dictionary, which, as foreign dictionaries
tend to, usually is a bit old-fashioned).
Not really: they just stopped.
Nope - they /halted/.

My point is that this verb in particular is also used - possible today as a
secondary connotation - to denote hesitation or doubt - to pause; a slow
stopping. Probably derived from the original meaning of 'limping'. My claim
is that it is not unlikely that Tolkien intended this meaning - especially
as the description follows immediately after a possible cause for them to
pause, as if to imply a causal relationship between the two sentences.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Making such a fuss over the fact that 2 of the Nazgul stop when the
sword is drawn totally ignores the fact that another 2 had *already*
stopped on the lip of the dell: what are we to make of this?
That can as easily be turned the other way - as these two didn't stop at
the top of the dell, they clearly intended to go all the way with the
Witch-king ... (the two at the top of the dell were, IMO, intended to cut
off any attempt at escape).
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Following your logic there must be a cause and effect here too,
Nonsense.
If you want to follow my logic there must be a linguistic construction
implying the causality - nothing of that kind is present for the two who
remained at the top of the dell.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
unless maybe they are just proceeding along a *pre-arranged plan* -
1st couple stop on the dell (to prevent escape);
Agreed.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
2nd couple move forward to provide cover for the Witch King, then stop
conicidentally at the same time that Frodo draws his weapon;
Except for the co-incidence ;-)
Oh - and the use of "stop" - I insist that "then pause when Frodo draws his
weapon" is a legitimate interpretation. Especially as, just prior to Frodo
drawing his sword, we learn that "their eyes fell on him and pierced him,
as they rushed towards him." Normally people don't suddenly halt once they
have started rushing towards somebody.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Witch King moves forward to stab Frodo,
He "sprang forward and bore down on Frodo." Again, to me, this implies a
heightened degree of urgency - from their first deliberate advance to their
rush towards Frodo when they see him (after he put on the Ring) and finally
when the two other Ringwraiths halt, the Witch-king alone springs forward.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
then withdraws along with the others.
Are we ever told how it finishes? I know that Aragorn says that they "have
drawn off for the time being," but that is after he has searched the area
for signs of them and so doesn't tell us how the confrontation in the dell
ended.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Now, you'd have a much stronger case if all 5 Nazgul had stopped when
Frodo drew his weapon, but as the facts stand it doesn't really work,
IMO.
I'm not going to argue that you can't be right - that is very obviously
possible, though I read the passage differently. The questions are whether
the flicker of Frodo's blade was for dramatic effect only, or if it was
meant to tell us something; whether "halted" in this place is used as
"paused" or "stopped" and why the two Nazgûl who went into the dell with
the Witch-king arrested their rush towards Frodo.

To me the assumption of causality is more satisfying, that's all.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Proving what exactly?
That these weapons were a threat at least to the Witch-king - presumably
the strongest of the Nazgûl. Nothing more, nothing less.

Whether it suggests anything is an entirely different matter, which is, and
probably always will be, debatable.

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

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it
turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
- Anne Lamott
Jamie Armstrong
2004-04-01 16:03:47 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Though for that matter it might have been the intention
of the attackers only to obtain the Ring, without a clear plan of what to do
with the hobbits, and it was fear of the Nazgûl at failing to bring the Ring
to them that brought the rage that resulted in the mayhem. Then they fell
back on plan B, which was to steal the horses.
But the horses weren't stolen, simply let loose to prevent them from
being used: remember that their ponies simply wander to Tom, who sends
them straight back to Barliman.
I think it must have been the Nazgul,
At the time of the raid on the Pony the Nazgul attack Crickhollow. It
seems unlikely that they would risk mounting two simultaneous attacks.

Jamie
--
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and
every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human
characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the
appearance of either merit or sense."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-04-03 19:46:14 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Though for that matter it might have been the intention
of the attackers only to obtain the Ring, without a clear plan of
what to do with the hobbits, and it was fear of the Nazgûl at
failing to bring the Ring to them that brought the rage that
resulted in the mayhem. Then they fell back on plan B, which was
to steal the horses.
But the horses weren't stolen, simply let loose to prevent them from
being used: remember that their ponies simply wander to Tom, who sends
them straight back to Barliman.
I think it must have been the Nazgul,
At the time of the raid on the Pony the Nazgul attack Crickhollow. It
seems unlikely that they would risk mounting two simultaneous attacks.
Why?

The two attacks might not even be coordinated. In fact I doubt if there
were any contact between the group in the Shire and the group in Bree prior
to the attack.

The attack at Crickhollow seems to have been carried out be three nazgûl,
no more.
--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind. -- Terry
Pratchett, Reaper Man
Jamie Armstrong
2004-04-05 12:51:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Though for that matter it might have been the intention of the
attackers only to obtain the Ring, without a clear plan of what
to do with the hobbits, and it was fear of the Nazgûl at
failing to bring the Ring to them that brought the rage that
resulted in the mayhem. Then they fell back on plan B, which
was to steal the horses.
But the horses weren't stolen, simply let loose to prevent them
from being used: remember that their ponies simply wander to Tom,
who sends them straight back to Barliman.
I think it must have been the Nazgul,
At the time of the raid on the Pony the Nazgul attack Crickhollow.
It seems unlikely that they would risk mounting two simultaneous
attacks.
Why?
Because the Nazgul are stronger when they are united, so it makes sense
for them to try to take the Ring jointly. And the Nazgul in FotR are not
as strong as the Nazgul in RotK.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
The two attacks might not even be coordinated. In fact I doubt if
there were any contact between the group in the Shire and the group
in Bree prior to the attack.
Why? They must have been able to communicate with each other since they
meet up at various stages later in the story: to attack Gandalf on
Weathertop, and again to try and stop Frodo reaching Rivendell. They
must have had some system of communication to do this.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
The attack at Crickhollow seems to have been carried out be three
nazgûl, no more.
True, but we only know of two in the immediate vicinity of Bree. 3
against 1 hobbit sounds a bit like being prudent: 2 against a whole inn
full of people sounds highly unlikely, IMO.

Jamie
--
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and
every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human
characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the
appearance of either merit or sense."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-04-05 19:41:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Though for that matter it might have been the intention of the
attackers only to obtain the Ring, without a clear plan of what
to do with the hobbits, and it was fear of the Nazgûl at
failing to bring the Ring to them that brought the rage that
resulted in the mayhem. Then they fell back on plan B, which
was to steal the horses.
But the horses weren't stolen, simply let loose to prevent them
from being used: remember that their ponies simply wander to Tom,
who sends them straight back to Barliman.
I think it must have been the Nazgul,
At the time of the raid on the Pony the Nazgul attack Crickhollow.
It seems unlikely that they would risk mounting two simultaneous
attacks.
Why?
Because the Nazgul are stronger when they are united, so it makes
sense for them to try to take the Ring jointly. And the Nazgul in
FotR are not as strong as the Nazgul in RotK.
It also makes sense to use the opportunity when it's there, rather than
wait for reinforcements and let it slip.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
The two attacks might not even be coordinated. In fact I doubt if
there were any contact between the group in the Shire and the group
in Bree prior to the attack.
Why? They must have been able to communicate with each other since
they meet up at various stages later in the story: to attack Gandalf
on Weathertop, and again to try and stop Frodo reaching Rivendell.
They must have had some system of communication to do this.
Coordinated movements? You go thither, we go there, we'll meet here in two
days?

As for the Ford that is quite simple, once they realize Frodo is heading
for Rivendell. He *has* to cross the Ford, it's easy just to wait there if
you are not actually on his trail.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
The attack at Crickhollow seems to have been carried out be three
nazgûl, no more.
True, but we only know of two in the immediate vicinity of Bree. 3
against 1 hobbit sounds a bit like being prudent: 2 against a whole
inn full of people sounds highly unlikely, IMO.
You think it unlikely. Tolkien apparently didn't.

After much looking, I found the quote I vaguely remembered: HoME7 ToI,
Chapter I Gandalf's Delay includes the following note by Christopher
Tolkien:

Scheme D has a note thet 'Trotter reaches the Shire border Sept. 14 and
hears ill news on morning of 25th from Elves.' This scheme also provides an
account of the movements of the individual Riders, who are identified by
letters A to I. It was D who came to Hobbiton on 23 September, the night on
which Frodo left, and it was D and R who trailed the hobbits in the Shire,
while G H I were left on the East Road and F was to the southward. On the
25th, the day that Frodo reached Crickhollow, D E G H I assembled at the
Brandywine Bridge; G waited there while H I passed through Bree on Monday
26th. On the 27th D and E 'got into Buckland and looked for Baggins'; on
the 28th the 'located' him and went to get the help of G. On the night of
the 29th D E G crossed the River by the Ferry; and on the same night H and
I returned and attacked The Prancing Pony. Pursued by Gandalf from
Crickhollow D E G fled to the King. A B C D E F G 'rode East after Gandalf
and the supposed Baggins' on 1 October; F and G were sent direct to
Weathertop, and the other five, together with H and I, rode through Bree at
night, throwing down the gates, and from the inn (where Gandalf was) the
noise of their passage was heard like a wind. F and G reached Weathertop on
the 2nd; Gandalf was pursued North from Weathertop by C D E, while A B F G
H I patrolled the East Road.

Whew, that was a lot of typing. Someone keep this in a safe place. :-)

It should be noted, that though this timescheme matches that of the LotR
remarkably well it is not concurrent with the final version. Two major
deviations: Trotter is still in existance, though he is now a man, and Ham
is captured in Crickhollow and rescued by Gandalf, who goes on to use Ham
as a decoy (the "supposed Baggins" above).

Make of it what you will. *I* find it noteworthy, that whether or not this
matched Tolkiens final thoughts, he apparently had no qualms about letting
two Riders (H and I) attack The Prancing Pony!
--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for
word what you shouldn't have said.
Een Wilde Ier
2004-04-05 20:31:53 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
After much looking, I found the quote I vaguely remembered: HoME7 ToI,
Chapter I Gandalf's Delay includes the following note by Christopher
Scheme D has a note thet 'Trotter reaches the Shire border Sept. 14 and
hears ill news on morning of 25th from Elves.' This scheme also provides an
account of the movements of the individual Riders, who are identified by
letters A to I.
(Alf, Bill, Charles, Donald, Eddie, Frank, Graham, Harry, Igor?)
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-10 21:01:46 UTC
Permalink
in <c4scqp$2n9h0c$***@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Kristian Damm Jensen <***@ofir.dk> enriched us with:
<snip>
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Make of it what you will. *I* find it noteworthy, that whether or not
this matched Tolkiens final thoughts, he apparently had no qualms
about letting two Riders (H and I) attack The Prancing Pony!
A good point, indeed.
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
- (Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-04-12 11:53:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
After much looking, I found the quote I vaguely remembered: HoME7 ToI,
Chapter I Gandalf's Delay includes the following note by Christopher
Thanks for this. One typo though...
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Scheme D has a note thet 'Trotter reaches the Shire border Sept. 14
and hears ill news on morning of 25th from Elves.' This scheme also
provides an account of the movements of the individual Riders, who
are identified by letters A to I. It was D who came to Hobbiton on 23
September, the night on which Frodo left, and it was D and R who
Replace 'R' with 'E'. Or is this the 10th Nazgul?
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
trailed the hobbits in the Shire, while G H I were left on the East
Road and F was to the southward.
<snip rest>
Jamie Armstrong
2004-04-01 16:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Another question about that blade: when it seems to Frodo that it flickers
red, is this then because of the spells on the blade as seen from "the
other side" or is it an effect similar to Sting's glow at the presence of
Orcs?
In both cases, it's the presence of some sort of spell, so the difference
is probably not so great.
Errr... are you sure?
My guess is that in the "otherworld", one can see the "otherworldly"
or "magical" nature of things more clearly, so the red flicker is
probably an effect of the (magical, or semi-magical) nature of the
sword.
Yet when Frodo is confronted with ALL the Nazgul at the Fords, and while
he is falling into the 'otherworld', he sees no difference in his weapon.
In other words - do the others see this red flickering or not?
It is not mentioned again, even as Merry attacks the Nazgul much later,
So I'd say a good guess is that the others don't see it.
Alternatively, Frodo is standing in front of a fire which is reflected
on his sword. Nothing magical about it.

<snip>

Jamie
--
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and
every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human
characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the
appearance of either merit or sense."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Dirk Thierbach
2004-04-01 19:19:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Another question about that blade: when it seems to Frodo that it flickers
red, is this then because of the spells on the blade as seen from "the
other side" or is it an effect similar to Sting's glow at the presence of
Orcs?
In both cases, it's the presence of some sort of spell, so the difference
is probably not so great.
Errr... are you sure?
Sure about what? About the presence of some sort of spell in both
cases Troels talks about? Yes. Am I sure that these are the only
possibilities? No.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
My guess is that in the "otherworld", one can see the "otherworldly"
or "magical" nature of things more clearly, so the red flicker is
probably an effect of the (magical, or semi-magical) nature of the
sword.
Yet when Frodo is confronted with ALL the Nazgul at the Fords, and
while he is falling into the 'otherworld', he sees no difference in
his weapon.
He doesn't? "His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of his
sword, and with a red flash he drew it." Again the red flicker.

Also "[...] and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving flames, that
flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the world." Now the
hobbits and Strider were wielding "flaming brands", but if the Hobbits
had also drawn there swords, they would fall under this description,
too.

I cannot find a place in the text where Frodo sees the swords of the
Hobbits directly, but doesn't see the "red flicker", but maybe I
overlooked it.
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Alternatively, Frodo is standing in front of a fire which is reflected
on his sword. Nothing magical about it.
That's also a possibility, but I think it's the less probable one.

The description "he drew his own sword, and it seemed to him that it
flickered red, AS IF IT WAS A FIREBRAND" doesn't look like he just
sees the fire reflected in the blade. And it fits nicely with the fact
that the Nazgul fear fire.

Actually, I had overlooked the red flicker on the barrow blades
completely until I read this thread here. But to me, the explanation
that this flicker is somehow special to the barrow blades just seems
to be the right one. It's not made explicit in the text, so we'll
never know for sure, but it makes a lot of sense.

- Dirk
Een Wilde Ier
2004-04-01 22:26:42 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Jamie Armstrong
In other words - do the others see this red flickering or not?
It is not mentioned again, even as Merry attacks the Nazgul much later,
So I'd say a good guess is that the others don't see it.
Alternatively, Frodo is standing in front of a fire which is reflected
on his sword. Nothing magical about it.
I don't have the book to hand, but doesn't something similar happen
again at the Ford?
Brenda Selwyn
2004-04-07 08:08:56 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Jamie Armstrong
In other words - do the others see this red flickering or not?
It is not mentioned again, even as Merry attacks the Nazgul much later,
So I'd say a good guess is that the others don't see it.
Alternatively, Frodo is standing in front of a fire which is reflected
on his sword. Nothing magical about it.
I don't have the book to hand, but doesn't something similar happen
again at the Ford?
"With his last failing senses Frodo heard cries, and it seemed to him
that he saw, beyond the Riders that hesitated on the shore, a shining
figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving
flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the
world."

I've previously assumed the flaring red flames here were the barrow
blades, because I've related it in my mind to the passage about
Frodo's sword appearing to flare red on Weathertop (see below) and
Glorfindel as the "figure of white light". However, reading it now,
it could simply mean they are carrying flaming brands. This would fit
with the idea of using fire to drive the Nazgul into the river. Also,
as Jamie has mentioned, it says nothing here about Frodo's own sword.

Despite this, I still think the glowing of Frodo's sword in the
original passage is Frodo seeing it on "the other side" and (to answer
Troels' question) the others don't see it. However, this is just my
personal interpretation, for which the evidence now seems quite
flimsy.

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure"
Brenda Selwyn
2004-04-07 09:57:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda Selwyn
Post by Een Wilde Ier
Post by Jamie Armstrong
Yet when Frodo is confronted with ALL the Nazgul at the Fords, and while
he is falling into the 'otherworld', he sees no difference in his weapon.
I don't have the book to hand, but doesn't something similar happen
again at the Ford?
"With his last failing senses Frodo heard cries, and it seemed to him
that he saw, beyond the Riders that hesitated on the shore, a shining
figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving
flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the
world."
Since posting this I've realised I was referring to the wrong bit. A
few paragraphs earlier it says:

"The Riders seemed to sit upon their great steeds like threatening
statues upon a hill, dark and solid, while all the woods and land
about them receded as if into a mist. Suddenly he knew in his heart
that they were silently commanding him to wait. Then at once fear and
hatred awoke in him. His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of
his sword, and with a red flash he drew it."

So, Frodo does see his sword glow red again at the Ford. And as he is
seeing the "real" world only dimly at the time, this suggests to me at
least that it is a glimpse of it in the "other realm".

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure"
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-04-08 00:04:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda Selwyn
Despite this, I still think the glowing of Frodo's sword in
the original passage is Frodo seeing it on "the other side"
and (to answer Troels' question) the others don't see it.
However, this is just my personal interpretation, for which
the evidence now seems quite flimsy.
FWIW, I read the passage the same - the sword itself has the
glow, more so than if it merely reflected the fire. It takes
being able to see more than what's on the surface (into the
other-ness of the wraith world, spirit-world) and with the ring
on, Fordo could see what the others couldn't.

I wonder if the elves could see the glow/flame of the sword ?
If I recall (and I could be wrong) they can see at least some of
the other-realm than mankind and hobbit could.
--
mc
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-04-08 00:11:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Post by Brenda Selwyn
Despite this, I still think the glowing of Frodo's sword in
the original passage is Frodo seeing it on "the other side"
and (to answer Troels' question) the others don't see it.
However, this is just my personal interpretation, for which
the evidence now seems quite flimsy.
FWIW, I read the passage the same - the sword itself has the
glow, more so than if it merely reflected the fire. It
takes being able to see more than what's on the surface
(into the other-ness of the wraith world, spirit-world) and
with the ring on, Fordo could see what the others couldn't.
I wonder if the elves could see the glow/flame of the sword
? If I recall (and I could be wrong) they can see at least
some of the other-realm than mankind and hobbit could.
^^^^^^
couldn't.
Sorry. Had to fix that.
--
TeaLady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

"Stated to me for a fact. I only tell it as I got it. I am
willing to believe it. I can believe anything." Sam Clemens
Shanahan
2004-04-08 00:44:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Post by Brenda Selwyn
Despite this, I still think the glowing of Frodo's sword in
the original passage is Frodo seeing it on "the other side"
and (to answer Troels' question) the others don't see it.
However, this is just my personal interpretation, for which
the evidence now seems quite flimsy.
FWIW, I read the passage the same - the sword itself has the
glow, more so than if it merely reflected the fire. It
takes being able to see more than what's on the surface
(into the other-ness of the wraith world, spirit-world) and
with the ring on, Fordo could see what the others couldn't.
I wonder if the elves could see the glow/flame of the sword
? If I recall (and I could be wrong) they can see at least
some of the other-realm than mankind and hobbit could.
^^^^^^
couldn't.
Sorry. Had to fix that.
Only Elves of Aman could see both worlds at once - "those who have dwelt
in the Blessed Realm".


- Ciaran S.
--------------------------------------------
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-10 21:01:44 UTC
Permalink
in <***@news.netacc.net>,
Shanahan <***@redsuspenders.com> enriched us with:
<snip>
Post by Shanahan
Only Elves of Aman could see both worlds at once - "those who have
dwelt in the Blessed Realm".
And what then did Frodo see when he wore the Ring? He could see the
Nazgûl's faces as well as his fellows.

Anyway - the continuation of the quote you give is "live at once in both
worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power."
Nothing about "only".

Speaking of that incidence - at the Ford of Bruinen - Frodo saw Glorfindel
"as he is upon the other side," but he could also see the horses of the
Nazgûl and the rising water (though dimly).

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address 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)
Shanahan
2004-04-11 04:41:26 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Shanahan
Only Elves of Aman could see both worlds at once - "those who have
dwelt in the Blessed Realm".
And what then did Frodo see when he wore the Ring? He could see the
Nazgûl's faces as well as his fellows.
Well, to quote my own post around here somewhere:
When the Ring is stronger, it takes its wearer further into the
wraithworld, so that this world fades and the shadow-world becomes clear.
Now this brings up the question of why it happens on Weathertop... perhaps
because five of the Nine are present, and they give It a power boost?
Anyway - the continuation of the quote you give is "live at once in
both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great
power." Nothing about "only".
True enough, but the implication that some other kind of being *doesn't*
live at once in both worlds, to me indicates the Elves who did not dwell
in Aman. That's the contrast Gandalf is drawing here: Elves who dwelt in
Aman, and Elves who did not. So it seems logical to me to think that this
is a power held only by Calaquendi.

- Ciaran S.
----------------------
Brenda Selwyn
2004-04-09 19:24:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
FWIW, I read the passage the same - the sword itself has the
glow, more so than if it merely reflected the fire. It takes
being able to see more than what's on the surface (into the
other-ness of the wraith world, spirit-world) and with the ring
on, Fordo could see what the others couldn't.
Having read on and been reminded that the same effect happens again at
the Ford: "His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of his sword,
and with a red flash he drew it.", I'm now more convinced that this is
correct.

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"
Jim Deutch
2004-04-01 21:44:16 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Mar 2004 07:44:29 -0600, Belba Grubb from Stock
unobserved. They find the path and while following it to Weathertop,
learn from Strider, who is remarkably knowledgeable about the history
of the old days, that it was made to serve the forts atop the Weather
Hills long ago during the days when the Dunedain of the North held
them against Angmar for a while. Sam surprises everybody by reciting
a few stanzas of "The Fall of Gil-Galad," which he thinks Bilbo wrote,
but which Strider says Bilbo actually translated from an elven lay.
The NPR show "Song and Spirit" has done a show of "songs from
Tolkien". For the most part, the music failed to move me, but one was
really very excellent: Sam's song about Gil-Galad. I forget who sang
it, alas. I think it was to a traditional tune. I can really
"picture" it: the tune fits perfectly.

Gil-Galad was an elven king
of him the harpers sadly sing
the last whose realm was far and free
between the mountains and the sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen
his shining helm afar was seen
the countless stars of heaven's field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away
and where he dwelleth none can say
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor, where the shadows are.

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"Grok - To savor the drink of knowledge so that it soaks into your
spirit." - The Wanderer
Igenlode Wordsmith
2004-04-01 22:10:16 UTC
Permalink
[repost]
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK LOTR BK1 CH11: A KNIFE IN THE DARK
[snip]
Afterwards, as it grows dark and cold around them,
Strider tells them many tales "of Elves and Men and the good and evil
deeds of the Elder Days" to keep their minds from fear, including part
of the Lay of Leithian, which is the story of Beren and Luthien.
The interesting thing is that this *isn't* the Lay of Leithian that
Tolkien actually wrote (unless my memory misleads me - I don't have a
copy, but I did learn large chunks of it by heart at one point and don't
recognise the rhyme-pattern and metre). This is a more 'rippling' and
less 'heroic' mode, and I think it's also more compressed in the
timespan covered.

That means that Tolkien made at least three versions on the same subject
- or two, if one counts the large-scale rewrite of the 'Lay of Leithian'
as part of the first attempt!

The thought that came to me on reading this passage, given the current
thread on 'Silmarillion films', was that Aragorn here manages to
summarise all the necessary preliminary matter to the story of Beren
and Luthien for us in only a sentence or two: "the Great Enemy, of whom
Sauron of Mordor was but a servant, dwelt in Angband in the North, and
the Elves... made war upon him to recover the Silmarils which he had
stolen; and the fathers of Men aided the Elves."

[snip]
-- We learn a lot about the Black Riders in this chapter. Strider
tells us of them, and Frodo sees them as they are on the other side.
And at Crickhollow we learn that fear and terror aren't their only
weapons: they might not attack a crowded inn but they have no qualms
about attacking an isolated resident;
I was a bit puzzled by that earlier statement, actually, seeing how
they later terrorize the large, flaming and populous city of Minas
Tirith. But I suppose they have gained a lot in power by then.

Also, why do the Riders stand outside the house until the hour before
dawn before breaking in, thus allowing Fatty Bolger to escape? If Frodo
had really been inside he too would have escaped then, and their search,
if carried out earlier, would not have been disturbed by the horn-calls.

The only reason I can come up with for the deliberate delay is that
perhaps in the darkest hour before the dawn evil things hold the most
power, and they had to wait until then before they were capable of
breaking the door down. It seems unlikely, though!

[snip]
-- The Horn-Call of Buckland gives us a clue to the martial history of
the Shire just at the very last time we see the Shire until the end of
the story. Is this coincidence or does it further the story in some
way?
It's a foreshadowing of the way that the hobbits *can* be roused from
their placidity - and of the manner in which it will happen. Having
Eowyn's horn magically turn the bucolic inhabitants into fighting
machines wouldn't be so effective as evoking a little bit of history
that has been previously mentioned (but probably, by that point,
forgotten!)

[snip]
-- What are everybody's thoughts on "The Forsaken Inn"? What's it
like, who goes there, does it siphon off any of "The Pony's" traffic,
and Y..
Well, I wondered if Bilbo stayed there with the dwarves :-)


[snip]
-- And your thoughts and commentsY..?
Who stole the one horse of all those that were taken from the stables,
and why? An unhorsed Rider? - surely not. Was it the squint-eyed
Southerner, to ride back to his master and report? But he is seen
hiding in Bill Ferny's house the next morning, and presumably someone
would have noticed if Ferny had a stolen horse in his garden when the
missing beasts were being searched for all over Bree...

(When reading this chapter, I managed to read right through to the end
of "Flight to the Ford" without even noticing the chapter break, such
was the tension; then wondered why you'd broken off your summary in the
middle, and had to go back and check!)
--
Igenlode <***@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

** I 'grew up' once. Didn't like it, so I gave it up. **
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-04-04 19:36:11 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 01 Apr 2004 23:10:16 BST, Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The interesting thing is that this *isn't* the Lay of Leithian that
Tolkien actually wrote (unless my memory misleads me - I don't have a
copy, but I did learn large chunks of it by heart at one point and don't
recognise the rhyme-pattern and metre). This is a more 'rippling' and
less 'heroic' mode, and I think it's also more compressed in the
timespan covered.
That means that Tolkien made at least three versions on the same subject
- or two, if one counts the large-scale rewrite of the 'Lay of Leithian'
as part of the first attempt!
And the one version already being more than 4000 lines of very complex
construction...I want to know what vitamins JRRT took.(g)
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The thought that came to me on reading this passage, given the current
thread on 'Silmarillion films', was that Aragorn here manages to
summarise all the necessary preliminary matter to the story of Beren
and Luthien for us in only a sentence or two: "the Great Enemy, of whom
Sauron of Mordor was but a servant, dwelt in Angband in the North, and
the Elves... made war upon him to recover the Silmarils which he had
stolen; and the fathers of Men aided the Elves."
That hadn't occurred to me. One of the most beautiful features of
"The Lord of the Rings" is its tightness of construction, and here we
have one of the best examples of how much was conveyed in very few
words.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Also, why do the Riders stand outside the house until the hour before
dawn before breaking in, thus allowing Fatty Bolger to escape? If Frodo
had really been inside he too would have escaped then, and their search,
if carried out earlier, would not have been disturbed by the horn-calls.
As I see their deployment, one of the front and one on either side of
the house, no one fleeing the house would have been missed. Remember
that the lawn circled the house and was surrounded by a belt of trees
inside an outer hedge. The two Nazgul on the side might not have been
able to see a portion of the back lawn, but they would reasonably have
expected anyone leaving the back of the building to come slinking
around toward the front where the gate was. And all three would
certainly have heard anybody trying to get through the trees and hedge
back there, too, and been on them in a flash. Four watchers would
have been ideal, of course, but they did pretty well with three.

Fatty Bolger fled right after he closed and locked the front door,
before the three ghouls arrived and took up their positions; he
wouldn't have stood a chance, had he waited until they got there. The
wraiths waited there for hours before entering, and all that time
Fatty was struggling to cross "more than a mile" of land to the
nearest house. That's a little unbelievable, but Fatty was terrified,
he was fat and also no cross-country rambler, and it was dark. It
probably took him a while just to get through the trees and hedge out
back (he had seen the gate move on its own and knew better than to try
to leave by the front).

It reminds me a little bit of how JRRT had Mr. Bliss run all night and
not get very far at all:

"...He ran all night without knowing where he was running
to, jumping over hedges, falling into ditches, tearing his
clothes on barbed wire. When dawn came came he was
dead tired, and he found himself sitting on the top of a hill.
He ought to have been miles and miles away, but he was
looking down into his own village...."

Fatty probably had a similar nightmarish experience, but it seems to
have helped him develop backbone, considering that he ended up as an
outlaw up at Scary within a year.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The only reason I can come up with for the deliberate delay is that
perhaps in the darkest hour before the dawn evil things hold the most
power, and they had to wait until then before they were capable of
breaking the door down. It seems unlikely, though!
Well, that's a good point. They waited until the time when there is
no moon, no star and no sun shining -- the time when despair is
greatest and resistance least. In other words, until what physical
power they had was supplemented by the greatest degree of hopelessness
in their intended victim. And maybe there was some magic inherent in
that hour of dark: reference above discussion on Elbereth's possible
presence at Weathertop. No stars, a little more leeway for the
Nazgul.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
-- The Horn-Call of Buckland gives us a clue to the martial history of
the Shire just at the very last time we see the Shire until the end of
the story. Is this coincidence or does it further the story in some
way?
It's a foreshadowing of the way that the hobbits *can* be roused from
their placidity - and of the manner in which it will happen. Having
Eowyn's horn magically turn the bucolic inhabitants into fighting
machines wouldn't be so effective as evoking a little bit of history
that has been previously mentioned (but probably, by that point,
forgotten!)
Perfect!
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
-- What are everybody's thoughts on "The Forsaken Inn"? What's it
like, who goes there, does it siphon off any of "The Pony's" traffic,
and Y..
Well, I wondered if Bilbo stayed there with the dwarves :-)
Probably. I always liked the symmetry, with "The Prancing Pony" being
about a day's journey to the east for adventuresome Shire hobbits and
"The Forsaken Inn" being a day's journey east for similar-minded Bree
residents, little and big. But the Pony was really better for that,
or would have been in the good old days, because it sat at a
crossroads.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Who stole the one horse of all those that were taken from the stables,
and why? An unhorsed Rider? - surely not. Was it the squint-eyed
Southerner, to ride back to his master and report? But he is seen
hiding in Bill Ferny's house the next morning, and presumably someone
would have noticed if Ferny had a stolen horse in his garden when the
missing beasts were being searched for all over Bree...
That's an interesting question. We could guess that Ferny traveled in
the outlands a bit, as he knew he was no match for Strider in the
woodcraft, and maybe he had a secret place out there, reserved for
stolen items, where he could keep the horse either for himself or the
spy. The spy was the only missing southerner, so it wasn't any one of
the others, and he would be the most likely one to have a use for the
stolen animal, as you point out. This isn't Conan Doyle's "Silver
Blaze" story (g), and so it could never have be seen in the Breeland
again without its thief being known.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
(When reading this chapter, I managed to read right through to the end
of "Flight to the Ford" without even noticing the chapter break, such
was the tension; then wondered why you'd broken off your summary in the
middle, and had to go back and check!)
It does carry all the way through to the Ford, doesn't it. The
account of the attack is so intense, the reader needs a break at that
point, but perhaps it would have been better to end the chapter a
little later, oh, perhaps where they cross the Road and hear the cold
voices calling and answering one another?

Barb
Igenlode Wordsmith
2004-04-09 17:59:21 UTC
Permalink
[repost - is my stuff really disappearing, or is it just me who can't
see it? :-(]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The interesting thing is that this *isn't* the Lay of Leithian that
Tolkien actually wrote (unless my memory misleads me - I don't have a
copy, but I did learn large chunks of it by heart at one point and don't
recognise the rhyme-pattern and metre)
[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
That means that Tolkien made at least three versions on the same subject
- or two, if one counts the large-scale rewrite of the 'Lay of Leithian'
as part of the first attempt!
And the one version already being more than 4000 lines of very complex
construction...I want to know what vitamins JRRT took.(g)
I actually located 'my' copy of the poem last night... fourteen cantos
compiled together from A-, B- and C-texts, and copied out lovingly by
hand with a dip-pen, with a cautionary note: "This version is in no way
definitive, consistent or even correct - it is merely intended to
combine the most beautiful parts..."

I suppose it was an act of piracy. But I can't help being impressed by
the sheer labour that must have gone into it, before the book went back
to the library... plus another few thousand words copied out from the
Silmarillion to end the story!

The relevant portion seems to be the end of Canto III. And however
confused the sources (mainly C-text at this point, with occasional
interpolation from the B-text where I evidently preferred the original
reading) there is a clear correspondence to the 'Lord of the Rings'
version; but equally clearly not a direct relationship. The same
events, occasionally similar phrasing - but not in any sense a rewrite
of the same poem!

(Doesn't Christopher Tolkien say somewhere that his father was fond of
'retelling' things?) :-)

[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
The wraiths waited there for hours before entering, and all that time
Fatty was struggling to cross "more than a mile" of land to the
nearest house. That's a little unbelievable, but Fatty was terrified,
he was fat and also no cross-country rambler, and it was dark.
Also, that includes the time taken to convince his uncomprehending
neighbours that something really was afoot, calm Fatty down
sufficiently to get a coherent tale out of him, and decide what they
were going to do about it :-)

[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The only reason I can come up with for the deliberate delay is that
perhaps in the darkest hour before the dawn evil things hold the most
power, and they had to wait until then before they were capable of
breaking the door down. It seems unlikely, though!
Well, that's a good point. They waited until the time when there is
no moon, no star and no sun shining -- the time when despair is
greatest and resistance least. In other words, until what physical
power they had was supplemented by the greatest degree of hopelessness
in their intended victim.
I have to say I don't quite see why they'd *need* to, though - either
for story-internal or story-external reasons. It's not as if Tolkien
had to fit the raid at Buckhollow in with a closely-related parallel
time-scale, in which some other event had to be given time to happen
first ;-)

I think he just found the image of the silent horror waiting endlessly
outside the door to be one that tapped irresistibly into childhood
nightmares - how many of us have woken up convinced we were being
observed by nameless monsters just out of sight, but terrified that if we
went to see or even stirred a muscle, it would trigger the attack? :-)
--
Igenlode <***@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

* Never assume malice when ignorance is a possibility *
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-04-10 19:02:29 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 09 Apr 2004 18:59:21 BST, Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
[repost - is my stuff really disappearing, or is it just me who can't
see it? :-(]
I didn't see it until now (April 9-10), but my server drops a lot of
stuff. It may have actually appeared on time for others.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The interesting thing is that this *isn't* the Lay of Leithian that
Tolkien actually wrote (unless my memory misleads me - I don't have a
copy, but I did learn large chunks of it by heart at one point and don't
recognise the rhyme-pattern and metre)
[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
That means that Tolkien made at least three versions on the same subject
- or two, if one counts the large-scale rewrite of the 'Lay of Leithian'
as part of the first attempt!
And the one version already being more than 4000 lines of very complex
construction...I want to know what vitamins JRRT took.(g)
I actually located 'my' copy of the poem last night... fourteen cantos
compiled together from A-, B- and C-texts, and copied out lovingly by
hand with a dip-pen, with a cautionary note: "This version is in no way
definitive, consistent or even correct - it is merely intended to
combine the most beautiful parts..."
I suppose it was an act of piracy.
More like an act of love. JRRT would have been glad to hear of it!
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
But I can't help being impressed by
the sheer labour that must have gone into it, before the book went back
to the library... plus another few thousand words copied out from the
Silmarillion to end the story!
The relevant portion seems to be the end of Canto III. And however
confused the sources (mainly C-text at this point, with occasional
interpolation from the B-text where I evidently preferred the original
reading) there is a clear correspondence to the 'Lord of the Rings'
version; but equally clearly not a direct relationship. The same
events, occasionally similar phrasing - but not in any sense a rewrite
of the same poem!
I am very HoME/etc challenged and so don't know where this all came
from: A, B and C? I would enjoy reading all three.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
The wraiths waited there for hours before entering, and all that time
Fatty was struggling to cross "more than a mile" of land to the
nearest house. That's a little unbelievable, but Fatty was terrified,
he was fat and also no cross-country rambler, and it was dark.
Also, that includes the time taken to convince his uncomprehending
neighbours that something really was afoot, calm Fatty down
sufficiently to get a coherent tale out of him, and decide what they
were going to do about it :-)
Yes, that would take a while, wouldn't it? Nobody else was expecting
any trouble, and people would be half-asleep and have to go wake up
other people (a Pratchett-Gaiman line comes to mind here, something
about the most important thing that someone who's been woken up in the
middle of the night by an emergency needs to know is that he's not
alone) and so forth.

I just noticed that the first horn was blown "among the trees nearby,"
i.e., much closer than 'more than a mile' away. Somebody perhaps had
already gathered a group and headed to Crickhollow to check Fatty's
story out? That would take time, too.
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
The only reason I can come up with for the deliberate delay is that
perhaps in the darkest hour before the dawn evil things hold the most
power, and they had to wait until then before they were capable of
breaking the door down. It seems unlikely, though!
Well, that's a good point. They waited until the time when there is
no moon, no star and no sun shining -- the time when despair is
greatest and resistance least. In other words, until what physical
power they had was supplemented by the greatest degree of hopelessness
in their intended victim.
I have to say I don't quite see why they'd *need* to, though - either
for story-internal or story-external reasons. It's not as if Tolkien
had to fit the raid at Buckhollow in with a closely-related parallel
time-scale, in which some other event had to be given time to happen
first ;-)
I think he just found the image of the silent horror waiting endlessly
outside the door to be one that tapped irresistibly into childhood
nightmares - how many of us have woken up convinced we were being
observed by nameless monsters just out of sight, but terrified that if we
went to see or even stirred a muscle, it would trigger the attack? :-)
Yes! That's it -- I had a dream like that once about a great big
silver ghostly wolf. B-r-r-r-r-r!

And the nightmare scenario would fit right in with Fatty's nightmares
of the Old Forest.

Barb
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-04-12 12:47:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Afterwards, as it grows dark and cold around them,
Strider tells them many tales "of Elves and Men and the good and evil
deeds of the Elder Days" to keep their minds from fear, including
part of the Lay of Leithian, which is the story of Beren and Luthien.
The interesting thing is that this *isn't* the Lay of Leithian that
Tolkien actually wrote. This is a more 'rippling' and less 'heroic'
mode, and I think it's also more compressed in the timespan covered.
There is an interesting essay on this poem in a book called 'Tolkien's
Legendarium'. I had the fortune to be able to review this essay once and
said the following:

" 'Three Elvish Verse Modes' by Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter, is
exemplary in its clarity of explanation, as the linguistic origins and
meanings of the elvish terms are elucidated. Of even greater interest to
the lay reader interested in Tolkien's poetry is the detailed analysis
of Strider's tale of Tinúviel as chanted to the hobbits in a dell on
Weathertop. If on the other hand you think that discovering that the
magical effect of the poetry arises from feminine line endings using
trisyllabic present participles ending in '-ing' rather spoils the
effect, this essay might not be for you. For your reviewer, though, this
essay was the highlight of the book so far."

I believe this trisyllabic effect is the 'rippling' mode you mention,
ending lines 4 and 8 of each of the verses of this poem.

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

"He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not
even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a
glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can." - Gandalf on
Frodo's fate (Many Meetings, FotR)
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-04-02 01:16:25 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Mar 2004 06:18:05 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK LOTR BK1 CH11: A KNIFE IN THE DARK
<snip>
Excellent presentation, Barb. Thank you.
Thank you, Troels. :-)
-- We learn a lot about the Black Riders in this chapter.
[...]
And yet they shriek at the very name of Elbereth and fear fire.
I suppose that the "shrill cry" might have been some kind of battle cry -
it does remind me of the "long-drawn wail" the Hobbits heard in the Shire.
The effect of Frodo's invocation of Elbereth's name on the Witch-king has
been much discussed here and often called in question (how could the
Ringwraiths hold such a great terror if all you had to do was to cry "/O
Elbereth! Gilthoniel!/" to scare them off?)
Well, in Middle-earth, if you cried out the name of Elbereth, chances
were the Star-Kindler would hear you and might even respond,
especially if you were taking her name in vain. It wasn't a
triviality. It's also of interest that Strider didn't use her name
and instead stayed with the old tried and true favorite: flaming logs.
Why wouldn't he, of all Mortals, call on Elbereth in such a dire
strait?
Personally I prefer to believe Aragorn's assertion that "more deadly to him
was the name of Elbereth," though I am uncertain of how large the effect
was - possibly it was just the surprise at the unexpected opposition, but
at the other end of the scale it might also have had a banishing or
expelling effect when Frodo used it (some kind of grace or providence?)
A grace, perhaps, especially since Frodo could only have an
intellectual knowledge of who Elbereth was -- unlike Glorfindel or
Gildor, he had never seen her in person. Or perhaps it was just a
little secondary inspiration from having heard the hymn to Elbereth
that Gildor's company was singing when they met in the Woody End?
We learn in UT about their fear of water, and though Tolkien noted that the
idea was difficult to sustain, I think it is necessary to explain both the
events at the Bucklebury Ferry and at the Ford of Bruinen. In particular I
think that the passage, "He knew of nothing that would prevent them from
crossing as easily as he had done" implies that such reasons actually do
exist even if Frodo knows them not - and as the Nazgûl stopped "at the the
water's edge" before the flood, it seems that something did make them
hesitate there.
So Strider made a strategic error at Weathertop by not camping out
next to or in the spring. ;^)
My impression is that Frodo does see the primary world when he's wearing
the Ring, but unclearly - "as through a swirling mist" as his glimpse of
Strider is described. I think it's quite normal - he also sees Merry
"staring blankly at his chair" when he slips on the Ring at Tom Bombadil's.
That makes sense.

Barb
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-06 21:41:19 UTC
Permalink
In message <news:***@4ax.com> Belba
Grubb from Stock <***@dbtech.net> enriched us with:
<snip>
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Well, in Middle-earth, if you cried out the name of Elbereth,
chances were the Star-Kindler would hear you and might even
respond, especially if you were taking her name in vain. It
wasn't a triviality. It's also of interest that Strider didn't
use her name and instead stayed with the old tried and true
favorite: flaming logs. Why wouldn't he, of all Mortals, call on
Elbereth in such a dire strait?
I am as yet undecided with respect to this question. I do think that
Frodo's words had some effect, but whether that was merely the effect
of a particularly repulsive expletive (in the ears of the Witch-king)
or more than that, I can't say.

The strongest argument in favour of 'special grace' is, IMO, not story-
internal, but rather story-external. We are told that, "/The Lord of
the Rings/ is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work;
unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." (Letter
#142). That prayers are sometimes, when the circumstances are right,
answered is, AFAIK, a fundamental part of Christian beliefs, and it is
a concept which I think was used in other places in LotR more clearly
than here (e.g. Sam's rope) and likewise the idea of 'inspiration' (the
cries in Elvish in Cirith Ungol). It therefore does not seem to me that
this interpretation is inappropriate or inconsistent with the story.
--
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
Flame of the West
2004-04-02 01:34:44 UTC
Permalink
Many and horrible were their instruments of torture: the rack. The tea. The
comfy chair. I bet Aragorn had been sitting in it, and that's why he went
pale when he spoke of them.
The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that his face was drawn
as with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair. His feet were
slightly elevated as if resting on some unseen footrest. He stared with
unseeing eyes as if in some dark memory. He made what sounded like a
soft sipping sound. "There!" he cried after a moment, drawing his hand
across his brow. "Perhaps I know more about these persuers than you do.
You fear them, but you do not fear them enough yet."

"You look agitated," said Pippin helpfully. "Would you like a cup of tea?"

"NOOO!" cried Strider, "NOT THAT!" He seemed to the hobbits to be in
deadly fear, but then he calmed down and said, "I mean, no, thank you."


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.
Öjevind Lång
2004-04-02 22:10:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Flame of the West
Many and horrible were their instruments of torture: the rack. The tea. The
comfy chair. I bet Aragorn had been sitting in it, and that's why he went
pale when he spoke of them.
The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that his face was drawn
as with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair. His feet were
slightly elevated as if resting on some unseen footrest. He stared with
unseeing eyes as if in some dark memory. He made what sounded like a
soft sipping sound. "There!" he cried after a moment, drawing his hand
across his brow. "Perhaps I know more about these persuers than you do.
You fear them, but you do not fear them enough yet."
"You look agitated," said Pippin helpfully. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
"NOOO!" cried Strider, "NOT THAT!" He seemed to the hobbits to be in
deadly fear, but then he calmed down and said, "I mean, no, thank you."
And then Merry tried to make him feel *completely* a ease by patting a
cushion and trying to place it behind his head...

Öjevind
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-02 14:09:16 UTC
Permalink
in <c4fdah$ir8$***@mailgate2.lexis-nexis.com>,
Bruce Tucker <***@mindspring.com> enriched us with:
<snip>
That terror doesn't seem to have lasted though - when Ferny and the
Southerner are seen later, they seem smug, not terrified.
I assume that the Ringwraiths were satisfied with their work, having now
"all the long leagues of Eriador" in which to attack the party (who would
now be forced to walk all the way).

And of course they went back to work for Saruman a few months later.
Maybe, but I'd think they'd have to work up to it. I suppose it could
be that the terror was more recent on them at the time of the attack,
and had faded by the next day.
In view of how quickly the terror faded from the Hobbits after their
encounters with the Ringwraiths in the Shire and at Weathertop, I think
it's a reasonable assumption that these local brigands could get over it in
a night, provided, I suppose, that the Ringwraiths were satisfied with
their effort.
It's not to avoid commotion, it's to avoid the uncertainty of a fight
which their ruffians might lose.
Ah, sorry.
I don't think they expected a fight - the instructions, IMO, would have
been to bring all the possessions of the dead Hobbits. The southerner
(whether half, quarter or one-eighth Orc) could probably be expected to be
best suited to do the dirty work, and to fight off a couple of frightened
guests if the need arose.
The Nazgul wouldn't get a fight, except from Strider, whom they didn't
know about.
I suppose that they knew that "a ranger" was in the Pony, but not who he
was (unless they knew who "Strider" was - I think Bill Ferny's comments as
they leave town show that he knew Aragorn as being Strider).

But yes - he was the only one they could have expected to withstand them.
The commotion they caused would be people fleeing from them in abject
terror. I can't see Bree putting up resistance to them.
Agreed.
Dependable enough to murder is one thing, dependable enough to trust
with the Ring is another.
Of course.
I doubt, though, that it would be much of a problem for the Nazgûl even if
one of the ruffians had taken the Ring. They could sense it, and if he wore
it, they would even be able to see him. He would, IMO, not have any idea of
what it was, and thus wouldn't be able to use it against the Nazgûl.
As it turns out, orcs were a poor choice for the latter as well, since
every time they even thought they might have it, without even knowing
exactly what it was they might have, they took to murdering each other
and trying to loot the captives on the sly.
Yup. It seems as if the Sauron didn't have all that many dependable
servants and had to get by with what he got.
True. That is a strong argument in favor of the proposition - although
that could just show that Sauron (foolishly) trusted his orcs more
than the Witch-king did. ;-)
;-)

The Witch-king did apparently trust the Orcs enough to just order an Orc
patrol to Cirith Ungol when he suspected spies on the stairs. I don't think
he suspected the presence of the Ring at that point, though.
And I'm not sure Ferny & company could be trusted as well as orcs.
Terror of the Nazgul or no,
[...]
Bandits from Eriador press-ganged into Mordor's service simply haven't
had this obedience bred into them over a hundred generations.
In general, I agree. What I meant was that the wretches, under the
immediate impression of the Nazgûl (we know that one was in Bree that
evening) would, for a short while (a night at least) be as dependable as
average Orcs working without direct supervision.
Well, the three of you have convinced me it's a possibility.
;-)
But I still have a tough time swallowing the proposition that the
Witch-king trusted any mortal, especially a freelance thug, to bring
the Ring to him.
That is the weak point, I agree. Whether it is weaker than the assumption
that Aragorn was wrong in his assessment of the Nazgûl is another question.
As it is I think the strongest argument in favour is Aragorn's statement
about the Nazgûl driving these brigands to some evil work - not that he
couldn't be wrong, but rather because I think Tolkien wrote that with a
purpose; that of foreshadowing the attack on the inn.

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

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the
shoulders of giants.
- Isaac Newton
Peter Mason
2004-04-03 10:05:34 UTC
Permalink
When I think about this in detail, it is extremely
creepy...breeding
dens, captives, rape, monstrous offspring <shudder>.
Heeewww, right!
To me this brings up a question. Assuming that Men and Orcs can be
bread together, when Orcs raid villages, so they rape the women
there? If so could it be possible that there are many Orc-Men all
over Middle Earth. Likewise does this mean that these Orc-Men would
be evil when born or would they be simple children of the parents
who look a little odd to the neighbors?
I'm sure all that sorcery used in their creation might not exactly
have improved their fertility especially in relation with their
attempts to breed with the other races.

Out of curiosity were there any dwarf-orc hybrids?
I wonder if human soldiers would be raping Orc women...
No one is that desperate.
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-04-03 18:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Aragorn's words seem to contradict this, to me: "You may escape from
Bree...They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place where
there is no help...No, I think they will not [attack the inn]. They
are not all here yet. And in any case that is not their way."
True... but he could have simply been wrong. ;-)
Seriously, he was occasionally wrong about other things - like the
hardiness of hobbits. I don't think the Nazgul were a subject of
particular expertise for him - if he had ever faced them before, I
don't think we're told of it.
Maybe not, but it is strongly implied:

Strider. ... They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place where
there is no help. Do you wish them to find you? They are terrible!"
The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that his face was
drawn as if with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair. The
room was very quiet and still, and the light seemed to have grown dim. For
a while he sat with unseeing eyes as if walking in distant memory or
listening to sounds in the Night far away.
"There!" he cried after a moment, drawing his hand across his brow.
"Perhaps I know more about these pursuers than you do. You fear them, but
you do not fear them enough, yet."
-- LotR, Strider

To me this passage suggests that Aragorn has met them previously. He seems
to contemplate a memory, that makes his face drawn and "hand clench the
arms of his chair".
And certainly there was no precedent in
the tales he would have heard for their behavior when the Ring was
within their grasp.
That at least is true.
--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open
sewer and die. -- Mel Brooks
Shanahan
2004-04-03 20:36:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Aragorn's words seem to contradict this, to me: "You may escape from
Bree...They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place where
there is no help...No, I think they will not [attack the inn]. They
are not all here yet. And in any case that is not their way."
True... but he could have simply been wrong. ;-)
Seriously, he was occasionally wrong about other things - like the
hardiness of hobbits. I don't think the Nazgul were a subject of
particular expertise for him - if he had ever faced them before, I
don't think we're told of it.
Strider. ... They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place
where there is no help. Do you wish them to find you? They are
terrible!" The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that
his face was
drawn as if with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair.
The room was very quiet and still, and the light seemed to have grown
dim. For a while he sat with unseeing eyes as if walking in distant
memory or listening to sounds in the Night far away.
"There!" he cried after a moment, drawing his hand across his
brow. "Perhaps I know more about these pursuers than you do. You fear
them, but you do not fear them enough, yet."
-- LotR, Strider
To me this passage suggests that Aragorn has met them previously. He
seems to contemplate a memory, that makes his face drawn and "hand
clench the arms of his chair".
"I know these Riders. I know their number."

- Ciaran S.
Emma Pease
2004-04-04 17:51:36 UTC
Permalink
Aragorn's words seem to contradict this, to me: "You may escape from
Bree...They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place where
there is no help...No, I think they will not [attack the inn]. They
are not all here yet. And in any case that is not their way."
True... but he could have simply been wrong. ;-)
Seriously, he was occasionally wrong about other things - like the
hardiness of hobbits. I don't think the Nazgul were a subject of
particular expertise for him - if he had ever faced them before, I
don't think we're told of it.
I think somewhere Aragorn states that he has been in Morgul Vale
(possibly while looking for Gollum) and that is where most of the
Nazgul live.
--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-04-04 20:21:47 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 17:51:36 +0000 (UTC), Emma Pease
Post by Emma Pease
Seriously, he was occasionally wrong about other things - like the
hardiness of hobbits. I don't think the Nazgul were a subject of
particular expertise for him - if he had ever faced them before, I
don't think we're told of it.
I think somewhere Aragorn states that he has been in Morgul Vale
(possibly while looking for Gollum) and that is where most of the
Nazgul live.
Using "The Tale of Years" and the excerpt from "The Tale of Aragorn
and Arwen" as guides, he set "his face...towards the Mountains of
Shadow" at the end of his service to Ecthelion, which would have been
in 2080. One would guess that he became fully acquainted with many of
Sauron's people and things during that time. In 3009, he and Gandalf
began their hunt for Gollum, which continued for some 18 years until
Aragorn caught Gollum in the Dead Marshes in 3017, just a year before
he met the hobbits in Bree. It isn't spelled out in these two sources
that Aragorn went into Morgul Vale during that hunt, but during the
Council he does say that he did "tread the deadly flowers of Morgul
Vale" during the search. Exactly what he did there is unspecified,
and JRRT only says that Aragorn "perhaps" could have told Frodo the
name and significance of Cirith Ungol. Or perhaps not. But Aragorn
must have had some knowledge of the Nazgul to be able to walk into
Morgul Vale and walk out again alive, unscathed and most likely
undetected.

Barb
the softrat
2004-04-05 01:00:02 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 15:21:47 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
But Aragorn
must have had some knowledge of the Nazgul to be able to walk into
Morgul Vale and walk out again alive, unscathed and most likely
undetected.
Actually, he just smoozed with his cousin, the Black Numenorean,
Ralph.

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"The woman gave to me and I did teunce." -- Adman in the Garbage
of Eating'
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-04-03 19:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Raven wrote:

<snip>
Oh, they knew well enough that Frodo was an Elf-friend. It was
how he had escaped one of them, Khamul as we learn in UT, in the
Woody End: Gildor and his company had turned up just in time to
prevent one of the Nazgûl from discovering the Ringbearer, and they
had protected him until the next morning, permitting him and his
companions to escape the pursuit for that time.
Khamul knew, but there were scarsely time to get that information to the
Witchking. In order to do that, he would have had to get from the western
landing of the Bucklybury Ferry to somewhere around Bree, locate the
Witchking and then return to make the attack in Crickhollow. All within 5
days. Possible, but unlikely.

I seem to remember a quote once, describing the movements of the black
riders. I assume it to be in either UT or HoME6: RotS, but I can't find.

<snip>

I think we should be a little cautious in assigning knowledge to the black
riders. They hadn't been out and about for centuries (or even millennia,
presumably they hadn't been heard of since Saurons Fall) so all their
knowledge would be based on what spies brought back to Mordor.
--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
If you pray hard enough you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why
hard enough to make water run uphill, of course. -- Robert A. Heinlein
Raven
2004-04-03 20:20:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Oh, they knew well enough that Frodo was an Elf-friend. It was
how he had escaped one of them, Khamul as we learn in UT, in the
Woody End: Gildor and his company had turned up just in time to
prevent one of the Nazgûl from discovering the Ringbearer, and they
had protected him until the next morning, permitting him and his
companions to escape the pursuit for that time.
Khamul knew, but there were scarsely time to get that information to the
Witchking. In order to do that, he would have had to get from the western
landing of the Bucklybury Ferry to somewhere around Bree, locate the
Witchking and then return to make the attack in Crickhollow. All within 5
days. Possible, but unlikely.
With steeds that could make the journey from Bree to Weathertop in two or
three days? And remember that they could communicate without being in
eye-to-eye distance of each other. After the hobbits scrambled down the
bank they heard a cruel wail with words in it, practically certainly from a
Nazgûl and probably from Khamûl to one of his companions. As for locating
the Witch-king, one version of the story that is presented in UT has him
establishing a camp on the Greenway, somewhat south of Bree, and visiting
the Barrow-downs for a few days. He would be reachable there by Khamûl's
messenger. Or there might have been a relay of them. Certainly the Road,
as it passed north of the Old Forest, must have been watched by at least one
Ringwraith, and quite possibly also the passage south of the forest..
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
I think we should be a little cautious in assigning knowledge to the black
riders. They hadn't been out and about for centuries (or even millennia,
presumably they hadn't been heard of since Saurons Fall) so all their
knowledge would be based on what spies brought back to Mordor.
Except for what they learned on their way northward. In more than one
version of the story they overtake one of Saruman's spies near Tharbad, and
in his extremity of terror he tells them all that he knows, giving them a
map of the Shire, and then is press-ganged into the Witch-king's service
rather than Saruman's.

Ravn.
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-04 21:39:42 UTC
Permalink
in <c4n37n$2kosbo$***@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Kristian Damm Jensen <***@ofir.dk> enriched us with:
<snip>
black riders. They hadn't been out and about for centuries (or even
millennia, presumably they hadn't been heard of since Saurons Fall)
The Witch-king of Angmar ...

They were perhaps not overly active except for that excursion by the
Witch-king, but Khamul had spent some 67 years at Dol Guldur with one or
two companions (I think one of the three mentioned in the Tale of Years got
sent back at some point - UT?).

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

"He deserves death."
"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some
that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to
deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
- Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring
Brenda Selwyn
2004-04-07 08:08:48 UTC
Permalink
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK LOTR BK1 CH11: A KNIFE IN THE DARK
As Frodo and friends go to sleep in Bree, Fatty Bolger back at
Crickhollow has had a growing sense of dread all day, and when he sees
dark shapes in the yard at dusk, knows he must run for it or perish.
Three Black Riders attack Crickhollow, but just as they break down the
front door and enter, the Horn-call of Buckland sounds for the first
time in over a hundred years: Fatty has escaped and made it to a
neighboring house, and although incoherent with fear, has alerted
Buckland to "some strange invasion from the Old Forest." The alarm
spreads and the Black Riders flee, riding down the guards at the North
Gate, having learned that the Ring has left the Shire.
I always wonder, when the conspirators depart the Shire, and again
here, what steps Merry and Pippin had taken to cover up their absence,
assuming things had gone according to their original plan. We know
Fatty was to stay at Crickhollow to try to make it look as though
Frodo & Sam were still living there, but there's no mention of
covering for the other two. Pippin could, I suppose, have told his
family he was going to stay with Cousin Frodo, and Tuckborough was far
enough away for this to have worked for a while. But assuming Merry
was still living at Brandy Hall, only a shortish distance away, surely
his absence would have been noted fairly quickly? This seems a flaw
in his otherwise well-thought-out plan.

I also always think at this point how Merry, Pippin and Sam's families
must have felt when they heard the news of Fatty's account of their
departure (and the subsequent attack on the house). Frodo is an
orphan with no dependents; it's easy to forget the other three leave
family behind. It may not be a huge deal for a Took to disappear,
though Pippin is still very young. But Sam's family at least must
have been very worried. It is also not just a matter of personal
feelings; two of the adventurers are heirs to the major hereditary
titles of the Shire. As things turn out, however, it's not long
before the families have more immediate worries of their own...

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure"
Brenda Selwyn
2004-04-07 08:09:02 UTC
Permalink
indecisive
My impression is that Frodo does see the primary world when he's wearing
the Ring, but unclearly - "as through a swirling mist" as his glimpse of
Strider is described. I think it's quite normal - he also sees Merry
"staring blankly at his chair" when he slips on the Ring at Tom Bombadil's.
Does he even see it unclearly at this point? Bilbo never mentions
such an effect, and neither does Frodo's account of what happens at
Bombadil's or in the bar of the Pony. In fact, at Bombadil's, Frodo
doesn't even seem to be sure it is his own Ring until he sees Merry's
reaction; if his senses were affected surely he would have known
straight away. Even here, it says that, apart from being able to see
the Nazguls' true form, "...everything else remained as before...".
When he sees Strider "as through a swirling mist", he has been stabbed
and is fainting with pain. The mist could be due to the magical
nature of the wound, or it could even just be the pain itself.
This, to my mind, raises another question. Who broke into the Prancing Pony
and slashed the Hobbits' beds? Was it Ringwraiths or Ferny and cohorts?
Frodo wakes up "in the early night", but he doesn't seem to feel the fear -
or terror - which is normally associated with the Ringwraiths, and the
other Hobbits continue their sleep.
Until recently I assumed it was the Nazgul, no other alternative
having ever occured to me. However, (thanks as usual to this ng), I'm
now not so sure.

Given the way the Nazgul perceive living creatures, and even more so
the Ring, they are not going ot be taken in for one second by a bunch
of bolsters. Surely they would have known on barely entering the room
there was no-one, and particularly no Ring, there. That they might
then have ripped the place up in frustration is possible, but my
impression of them is as very controlled. Lashing out like that
doesn't seem their style. They are also persistent. They might not
have been willing to openly attack a busy and well-lit inn, but would
they have been unwilling to search a dark one after everyone had gone
to bed? Would they not then have been quickly drawn to the Ring?

I'm now tending towards the view that the attack was carried out by
Ferny and his friends (if Ferny was not physically present he must at
least have given information about the layout of the inn) under the
orders and supervision of the Nazgul, who were fairly close at hand.

Brenda
--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure"
Jim Deutch
2004-04-07 20:50:36 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 09:09:02 +0100, Brenda Selwyn
Post by Brenda Selwyn
This, to my mind, raises another question. Who broke into the Prancing Pony
and slashed the Hobbits' beds? Was it Ringwraiths or Ferny and cohorts?
Frodo wakes up "in the early night", but he doesn't seem to feel the fear -
or terror - which is normally associated with the Ringwraiths, and the
other Hobbits continue their sleep.
Until recently I assumed it was the Nazgul, no other alternative
having ever occured to me. However, (thanks as usual to this ng), I'm
now not so sure.
We're never actually told whodunnit, but I have always taken Aragorn's
opinion as gospel: the Nazgul wouldn't attack the Inn, but "might
drive some of these wretches to some evil work" (IDHTBIFOM, but I
think that's a close paraphrase).

I recall this as the scene where I began to lose all hope for the
Bakshi animated movie. The Shire had been pretty good, if overly
cartoonish, but the Prancing Pony was not so good. And in the middle
of the night, when a bunch of Nazgul materialized (waitaminnit: what
does a wraith do? perhaps they "immaterialized") in the hobbits' room
and stabbed, stabbed, stabbed at the bolsters I thought to myself
"that's just all wrong!" And, of course, it was downhill from
there...

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
Troels Forchhammer
2004-04-10 21:01:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda Selwyn
indecisive
My impression is that Frodo does see the primary world when he's
wearing the Ring, but unclearly - "as through a swirling mist" as
his glimpse of Strider is described. I think it's quite normal - he
also sees Merry "staring blankly at his chair" when he slips on the
Ring at Tom Bombadil's.
Does he even see it unclearly at this point? Bilbo never mentions
such an effect, and neither does Frodo's account of what happens at
Bombadil's or in the bar of the Pony. In fact, at Bombadil's, Frodo
doesn't even seem to be sure it is his own Ring until he sees Merry's
reaction; if his senses were affected surely he would have known
straight away. Even here, it says that, apart from being able to see
the Nazguls' true form, "...everything else remained as before...".
When he sees Strider "as through a swirling mist", he has been stabbed
and is fainting with pain. The mist could be due to the magical
nature of the wound, or it could even just be the pain itself.
Good points.

I'm not sure how much emphasis we should put on Bilbo's experiences in TH,
the Ring evolved quite a lot between that book and LotR.

However, there is no mention of any dimness of vision when Frodo puts on
the Ring at Tom Bombadil's or in the Prancing Pony (where he is able to
crawl away under the tables to Aragorn ("who sat unmoved, giving no sign of
his thoughts") or, as you note, at Weathertop.

When Frodo puts on the Ring again on Amon Hen, however, he does, when he
reach the summit see "as through a mist a wide flat circle ..."

The clearest description is from IV, 10 'The Choices of Master Samwise':
" The world changed, and a single moment of time was filled
with an hour of thought. At once he was aware that hearing was
sharpened while sight was dimmed, but otherwise than in
Shelob's lair. All things about him now were not dark but
vague; while he himself was there in a grey hazy world, alone,
like a small black solid rock and the Ring, weighing down his
left hand, was like an orb of hot gold. He did not feel
invisible at all, but horribly and uniquely visible; and he
knew that somewhere an Eye was searching for him."

Here it is clear that the Ring does affect his vision.

<snip>
Post by Brenda Selwyn
I'm now tending towards the view that the attack was carried out by
Ferny and his friends (if Ferny was not physically present he must at
least have given information about the layout of the inn) under the
orders and supervision of the Nazgul, who were fairly close at hand.
I agree. While I don't think it's a certain thing, I'm leaning also to the
view that the attack was carried out by the ruffians, "the wretches" as
Aragorn puts it, which the Nazgûl had "in their clutch."

--
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)
Christopher Kreuzer
2004-04-12 12:23:13 UTC
Permalink
Troels Forchhammer <***@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

[about effects of putting on the Ring]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
However, there is no mention of any dimness of vision when Frodo puts
on the Ring at Tom Bombadil's or in the Prancing Pony (where he is
able to crawl away under the tables to Aragorn ("who sat unmoved,
giving no sign of his thoughts") or, as [Brenda] noted, at Weathertop.
When Frodo puts on the Ring again on Amon Hen, however, he does, when
he reach the summit see "as through a mist a wide flat circle ..."
The clearest description is from IV, 10 'The Choices of Master
Samwise': " The world changed, and a single moment of time was
filled with an hour of thought <snip>"
Here it is clear that the Ring does affect his vision.
I think you also have to see it as a function of both distance from
Mordor and Sauron (or any Ring servants of the Enemy like the Nazgul),
and the activity and/or awareness of Sauron (explaining away the Hobbit
bits if you want to include them).

An additional factor, which I hadn't thought of before, was the fact
that Bilbo never got stabbed by a Morgul blade. I know Frodo does see
this effect just before he gets stabbed, but that is surely due to the
proximity of the Nazgul. Afterwards, you could at least think of the
effect as being strengthened after he got stabbed, due to a lingering
effect of the Morgul wound. We do know that the wraithing effect got
stronger as Frodo came close to succumbing during the Flight to the
Ford. We also know that the effect lingers, as the wound forever pained
him afterwards. Also, maybe due to the effect of the Ring as well,
Gandalf says the following in 'Many Meetings': "[Frodo] may become like
a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can."

So does anyone agree that being stabbed by a Morgul blade made Frodo
more 'in tune' with the Ring and this 'other world' of the Unseen, even
after Elrond had healed him?

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