Archive for the ‘3 – The Ring Goes South’ Category

It’s the end of the chapter! And thusly, not much to say. Oh well.

As they descend, they can see the birds in the foothills of the mountain. But press on! Gandalf will not let them stop, no matter what the intentions of these birds may be.

They're angry! Oh no!

Fellowship of the LATE: 19 pages

But actually, I never expected to be waiting on the naming of the Fellowship for this long. Is this something that Galadriel does in the book or something? I mean, that might be the next logical place for it to happen. If that’s true, I’m going to be counting these pages for a while still. I really forgot how that came about in the text.

Le sigh… There’s not a whole lot else to bring up. How are you? How was your day? The weather’s nice here in Chicago. It’s almost feeling like it wants to stay warm! I’m into that.

Oh, I finally have been trying to catch up on all that typing that I lost. I’ve caught up to the end of Book 1, Chapter 10 – Strider. That’s like, page 175. Progress, people. Baby steps.

This is one small baby step for baby, one giant baby step for babykind.

GAH. What else do I say?

I think the world needs more turquoise roses.

“Caradhras had defeated them.”

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Hehe. The word “thrust” comes up a few times on this page, and I can never read it and not laugh like a middle school boy.

This makes some of my theatre-going experiences tough for others.

The hobbits get lazy today, unable to trudge their own way through the snow. One at a time, Aragorn and Boromir each carry one hobbit, while everyone else walks. Well, except for Gimli, who rides on Bill. Legolas, of course, trots quickly along on top of the snow, and is already on the other side of the drift when the first hobbit, Pippin, is dropped off. When everyone is through, the tunnel dug in the drift collapses, which appears to be the mountain’s last gasp. From then on, the snow lessens and the sky brightens as they descend. Eventually, they’re back where they started the trek yesterday.

Fellowship of the LATE: 18 pages

To be honest, I don’t understand why Pippin suddenly blurts out that he must be carried. Sure, the going has been rough for the short hobbits, but they’ve been walking so far as much as we’ve been told. If you may recall, I ragged on Pippin for being lazy earlier, in the Old Forest times. Here he goes again.

Oh here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again.

And we’re basically shown that this blizzard was all the fault of Caradhras, which I really wasn’t expecting. The ambiguity was nice. I could put all my imagination at work thinking about what evil creature was behind this madness. But no, in the end, the mountain just didn’t want to be walked on. Ultimately, it makes sense. Would you want to be walked on? Let’s all give Caradhras a hug, okay?

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:


The Cubs won today, you guys! How rare! In Chicago’s grim humiliation of us all, the White Sox were still allowed to one-up that, and threw a perfect game. Boo.

“He was chilled to the bone and hungry; and…”

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This page offers us two options: strength or agility?

Or Batman.

Aragorn and Boromir plow away, tanking through the snow. It almost looks like they’re swimming through the white. Legolas, left standing with the rest of the team, laughs. He jumps up and runs off past the two men, on top of the snow as light as a feather. About an hour or so later, he returns, while Aragorn and Boromir climb slowly back through the tunnel they’ve bored. There is a wall of snow ahead, unnaturally large. But on the other side, the snow quickly recedes. Escape!


Fellowship of the LATE: 17 pages

I’m not quite sure why Legolas runs off. Perhaps he wanted to show Aragorn and Boromir how silly they were being, or maybe he actually scouted ahead, as he jokes about the sun being too busy in the south to care about the snow on Caradhras. Did he even help Aragorn and Boromir with clearing the snow? That is unclear. He’s kind of being a bratty little kid, which I have no patience for right now.

Act your age, Legolas. You’re probably like 800 years old as it is.

Truth: no one really knows how old Legolas is.

Sometimes, I worry that I sound like a crotchety old man. I’m not. Sorry if I do.

Anyway, this whole snow drift makes Gimli believe that the blizzard was the ill will of the mountain. Is this better than evil beings? I don’t really know, and I’m not a scholar on malevolent mountains. Ultimately, we’ve found the way out, so I don’t think worrying about what caused this snowstorm is worth it anymore.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:


You know, a ploughman. One who ploughs. Apparently that’s not a normal thing. I dare my computer to tell that to the farmers it’s offending. They’re somewhere in Iowa crying right now.

“‘And doughty Men too, if I may say it; though lesser men with spades might have…'”

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It feels like it’s been a really long time since I wrote one of these. I mean, yesterday’s post was written around 5:30am. Considering it’s 9pm right now, that’s like 40 hours ago. Woah! That’s probably my longest time gone between posts like…ever. And I’ve been doing this for almost nine months!

This blog is a live baby.

The fire warms our heroes, and the night passes. Near dawn, the snow stops, though they all can see that the clouds still cover the heights of Caradhras. Going forward is out of the question. They can only go back down, but the snow is very deep. Several feet have fallen overnight, and the going is just as rough, but without the wind and falling snow. Legolas makes a joke that Gandalf could just burn everything away, which isn’t horribly well received. Boromir instead suggests strength.

Fellowship of the LATE: 16 pages

Feats of strength! So be it.

Lift, man, lift!

I assume that what Boromir proposes is for the strongest of the company to dig and throw snow away from the path, so that the four hobbits may walk without as much trouble. This sounds like when my neighbor would have to dig a path for her dog in the winter to go outside to pee, so I find it kind of silly. Legolas seems to feel that way too. He’s already joking about Gandalf lighting a fire that just melts everything away, when Gandalf is clearly not keen on using this power to send a beacon constantly into the sky.

In truth, apparently the snow didn’t trouble Legolas too much. Maybe that’s a part of being an elf. Or maybe just having “Lego” in your name makes you more awesome than everyone else.

Well this is redundant.

But yes, now the story is taking us through the exciting time of getting down the mountain. Going over them didn’t work, so which preposition will we try on the mountains next? Under? Within? Tangent? My vote is for tangent.

“‘It is no more than a furlong off, I guess.'”

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Mr. Bill, I'm afraid you're right.

Last night, my flash drive suddenly became unrecognizable to my computer, and I thought I had lost EVERYTHING. Of course, in addition to all my files that I use for various other things, I had Lord of the Rings on there. Yes, 289 pages. All gone.

Well, not all gone. I realized that I had a backup on my old drive, although I hadn’t updated it in a while. So, while I had everything else, the only thing I was really missing was the amount of pages between the time I last saved onto that drive. This was in December. I’m back to page 171.

I’m now going back to retype everything that I lost. It’s frustrating, but I’ll make it. In the meantime, these posts might be a bit sparse. I’m concentrating my time towards that right now.

Anyway, today Frodo nearly dies. He starts feeling warm and drowsy, which is kind of the sign of freezing to death. Boromir pulls him from the snow, scolding Gandalf about how they’re all going to die. Gandalf passes around a drink he was given in Rivendell, which cheers everyone up to a point, but the snow is still falling. They try, unsuccessfully, to light a fire. That is, until Gandalf steps in and magics them a fire. BOOM! Blue and green, but a fire nonetheless. Of course, now anyone in like half of Middle-earth knows where they are, but at least they’re warm.

First Mentions:

miruvor: The cordial of Imladris! Good old Rivendell moonshine, making everybody feel better.

Oh, I should also mention that I’m trying to hammer out today’s blog post at stupid-early o’clock because I’m generally busy for the rest of the day. Baseball game!

I'm venturing down to enemy territory.

Fellowship of the LATE: 15 pages

And I already feel like I need to wrap this up. Let’s hit on a few things.

As Frodo lies in the snow, freezing to death, he imagines that he’s having a conversation with Bilbo, who disapproves of his diary. It is not worthy! Because, even dying, apparently Frodo will always feel inadequate and guilty in the eyes of Bilbo. How joyous for him.

Also, when Gandalf starts the fire, he essentially makes an enormous beacon, and calls it a sign saying “Gandalf is here”. So, in many years, this part of Caradhras will feel like a public restroom, with “Gandalf wuz here” scrawled across its cliff-face? Sounds about right.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:







If it’s in italics or ends in “-ings” on this page, we don’t like it. At least we know where spellcheck stands.

“Their hearts were rejoiced to see the light of the fire. The wood…”

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It’s too bad that our heroes can’t enjoy a good snow. If they weren’t walking in it, this would be awesome.

Every hobbit dreams of making a Snow Valar.

After trudging along for way too long, the Fellowship stops, unable to go any further tonight. Their options are to push on, go back, or take shelter here for the night. Aragorn shoots down going on, as the path opens up, with no shelter at all. Going back is also folly, since no shelter will be better than the cliff face they stand under currently. So, fearing what may be dumping snow and rocks their way, they huddle beneath the overhang. Sam scoffs at the cliff’s “shelter”, and rightfully so. The wind finds them easily.

Fellowship of the LATE: 14 pages

Yes, rocks are now falling. Boromir suggests that something is calling out in the wind, and Aragorn and Gimli add that there are other evil things in the world who would wish them ill, not just Sauron. Always the wisest one, Gandalf puts in that it does not matter what is attacking, some beast or just the weather, they’re basically screwed.

Oh noes!

So, clearly the best choice is to hunker down against a mildly-covered wall of rock. And why not light that emergency fire now? You know, fire or death? Things are leaning more to the death side of that equation right now. And death is bad.

Wow, I’ve gotten to saying axioms like “death is bad”. Does this mean I’m running out of things to say? NEVER!

But, in reality, I’m making such a concerted effort to keep these funny. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Only like, you know, 700 something more pages.

“They huddled together with their backs to the wall. Bill the pony…”

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As a perspective check, the next time I pick up Game of Thrones, I’m going to pass the page number of where I am in Lord of the Rings. I started reading, when, on Wednesday? Yep, and I’m on page 283 already. And how long has that taken me in Lord of the Rings? Oh right, going on close to NINE MONTHS now.


On today’s page, the Fellowship begins their hike up Caradhras! The going is fast at first, and by midnight they’re high up, with cliffs on one side and a sheer drop-off on the other. A light snow begins to fall. As the snowfall grows, Frodo loses track of Gandalf and Aragorn ahead of him, and walking becomes a chore. Everyone is covered in snow, and Gandalf brings the march to a halt. He and Aragorn wonder if this is work of Sauron, if even his reach has grown this long to trouble them this far away. They try to start again, but the snowfall becomes a blizzard.

Fellowship of the LATE: 13 pages

Yep, in the book, we wonder if Sauron is causing the blizzard, instead of seeing Saruman cast it. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the things that people didn’t like about the movie.

However, the shots from that scene made for a great mashup with Tro Lo Lo.

What boggles my mind is how quickly the storm takes over. At first, it really just sounds like an average snowfall, but all of a sudden our heroes are bent double and covered in flakes, as if they’re hanging out on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago Snowpocalypse 2011. Even Aragorn is taken aback by how suddenly the storm hits. I mean, it’s only on this singular page. That’s fast.

So, how long can we take this battering? Both Gandalf and Aragorn don’t seem to like it, but they’re pressing on. Is this going to turn into one of those arguments where no one wants to admit they’re wrong? That would be frustrating. Let’s be grownups now, and admit failure. Then we can move on to the next bad idea.

“The hobbits, bent nearly double, toiled along behind the taller folk, but it was plain…”

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Choices, choices! As you would expect, there are multiple ways for the Fellowship to find their way across the mountains, but which is the least dangerous?

Life is never this easy.

Frodo eavesdrops on the argument between Gandalf and Aragorn. Neither of the two really feels good about the prospects of the Redhorn Gate, but it’s a better option than the Gap of Rohan, in close proximity to Isengard, or some other, secret way. They plan to think it over.

As everyone else is getting ready to go, Gandalf announces that the decision has been made: they will make for the Redhorn Gate as quickly as possible. Frodo is relieved. Boromir suggests that they collect some wood, to use in the case of extreme cold to make a fire.

Wait, Boromir has a good idea? Well, I guess he knows best that winter is coming…

Fellowship of the LATE: 12 pages

In reality, Boromir’s reasoning is that he was born near mountains. As if that gives him the highest authority. I still don’t like that guy, but he’s mostly right. Freezing to death would be a bad thing.

All ice and no warmth makes Jack a dull boy.

Sam volunteers for Bill (the pony) to carry extra wood, and Bill actually looks back at him in disgust. Ponies have feelings too! I don’t know how he feels about having to trot up a freezing and blustery mountain, but maybe he doesn’t know that yet. I can’t imagine it’s going to be easy. At least we can be thankful that Bill has gained so much strength since being bought in Bree. Back then, he was just a near-dead wisp of a horse.

In the end, Gandalf reminds everyone that they should only use the wood in the case of a choice between fire and death. This reminds me of Eddie Izzard, and I laugh.

“‘But we must not use the wood – not unless it is a choice between fire and death.'”

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They’re on the road again, and I feel that tension building… Something will happen soon. You can just tell.

Something more than walking, at least.

While the birds pass over a few more times, the Fellowship lays low. They move again once night falls. The path turns toward the mountain Caradhras. As they walk, Frodo sees something pass over them in the darkness. Gandalf and Aragorn both sense it too.

Two more days go by, and the weather gets colder. The road is also rising, slowly headed in the direction of the great peak ahead. Frodo overhears a conversation, and it seems that Gandalf and Aragorn have been arguing about their intended path. Spies must be watching the Redhorn Gate, but the greatest danger might be the weather.

After all, winter is coming…

But actually, why is this book happening in the exact same season as Game of Thrones? It’s almost confusing. And once I start watching the TV series, Sean Bean isn’t going to help matters.

Fellowship of the LATE: 11 pages

These few days are uneventful, but for the dark shape passing in the sky. What is it? Though Gandalf comforts Frodo by calling it a wisp of cloud, Aragorn points out that it moves against the wind. Not a cloud then, right?

Perhaps a malevolent, sentient cloud?

In the meantime, Gandalf and Aragorn can argue all they want. They’re both intelligent, and they each have their own ideas on which is the best way to cross the mountains. What Gandalf’s idea is, I don’t know, but it doesn’t appear that he’s excited about the Redhorn Gate. However, what other option is there other than Moria? I know Gandaf doesn’t want to go in there.

*cough* Eagles? *cough*


Nonetheless, they’re headed for Caradhras as it is, and we’ll see what happens! That’s why we read.

“He listened anxiously.”

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This would be Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite page.

Prometheus would hate it.

The black cloud is made of crows! They swoop in quickly, and Aragorn pushes Sam flat to the ground. Once they are long gone, Aragorn rouses Gandalf. They decide that these birds must be spies. This land is watched, and likely too is the Redhorn Gate. Instead of resting for the night, they must get moving again, much to the dismay of Pippin, who moans about it. Sam, meanwhile, shows a marked disability with maps.

First Mentions:

-Fangorn: The ancient forest south of here, near Isengard. We’ll learn so much more about it, but for now, know that the birds are from here.

There’s a special name for these crows: “crebain”. I thought of giving that a First Mention, but in reality it’s just the word for “crows” in the elven tongue. Not worth it!

Fellowship of the LATE: 10 pages

Oh, we’ve hit double digits. This is real.

Now, what’s the deal with Sam here? He apparently can’t read a map for beans.

What IS this madness?

He’s expecting to see Mount Doom any minute now. In fact, he quite reckoned that one of these great peaks before them would be it, until Gimli starting talking about them. But they’re totally close, right? Sam has no concept of distance, although you would think he’d at least be able to look at a map and see that they would have to cross at least two mountain ranges before even coming near Mount Doom. That’s not distance, it’s just logic.

To boot, he takes a dig at the dwarven language, calling it “a fair jaw-cracker”. In fairness, the hard consonant sounds probably constitute the backbone of his argument, but he doesn’t seem to be able to appreciate the beauty of it. I do, but mostly because I’m a huge nerd. Zirakzigil!

How about a fair jawBREAKER?

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:



Onward, Fellowship! Over the Misty Mountains cold!

“All that day the Company remained in hiding. The dark birds…”

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