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Archive for the ‘9 – The Great River’ Category

This chapter ends, rather unceremoniously.

With the sun setting, the Fellowship Company heads towards the three hilltops. It has been ten days of travel on the river Anduin. Now is the time to choose between the eastern and western shores.

And by “business”, we do mean “party business”.

Fellowship of the LATE: 119 pages

So, really nothing to say about that.

On a side note, I’m using a lot of free time right now to grind away at rewriting all those pages that I lost. I’m up to page 240, so there are still 50 pages to go before I catch up with page 290. And just a few days ago, I had only rewritten up to 200, so that’s major progress!

Story-wise, we just met Boromir. That’s too bad.

Now then, if I recall correctly, the next chapter is the LAST chapter in Fellowship! It’s sort of mind boggling that I might actually almost be at Two Towers. I’ve been doing this for so long that it’s always felt so far away.

That’s really all I’ve got today, but I refuse to let Boromir be the only thing tagged in this post. Remember Gandalf, you guys? That guy was cool.

Oh, and the last line of this chapter is laughably inaccurate.

“The last stage of the Quest was before them.”

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Today is big day in Lord of the Rings land! We’re officially going to be graced with another movie trilogy instead of a pairing…which, well, I don’t know how I feel about it. Later.

Oh, and there’s some recasting…

Back in the BOOK, the boats pass through the Argonath and into a black tunnel of sorts. Sam is fearful, but Aragorn, seemingly transformed into the king he should be, comforts him. Out of the darkness, they arrive at the north end of a long lake. Three peaks lie ahead. One is the island, Tol Brandir or the Tindrock, and the two others are hills on either bank.

First Mentions:

-Amon Lhaw: The hill on the eastern bank. Amon Lhaw has acoustical properties that allow one to hear things from far away atop its summit. Thus, it is known as the Hill of Hearing.

Amon Hen, conversely, is known as the Hill of Sight. On a clear day, you can see forever.

Fellowship of the LATE: 118 pages

So, once again, the movie changes things up at the Argonath. There certainly wasn’t some dark tunnel to go through in that vision. Yeah, they took all the fear out of it! Everything needs a touch of fear in Middle-earth, that’s what keeps it all from being fairies and unicorns roaming around in an enchanted forest.

Water oxen, unicorns…whatever.

To more pressing issues!

A third Hobbit movie… This is either going to be a great or terrible idea. Let’s start off with the fact that there just isn’t as much to The Hobbit as there is to The Lord of the Rings. Three movies the first time around? Great, Lord of the Rings has three books. Sure, stuff had to get cut out, but that happens in movies all the time. But three Hobbit movies? There’s not as much there.

Okay, right, we know that they’re adding in things that aren’t directly shown in The Hobbit, but happen at the same time. Gandalf flushes Sauron out of Mirkwood. Yes. This makes sense. In fact, it makes more sense than Gandalf just disappearing for a while for no reason. Although, he’s gotten pretty good at that.

BUT WHAT ELSE IS THERE? We’ve got two titles so far: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again. These make sense, but what is the third going to be? Here’s my thought: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: There, and The Hobbit: Back Again. No?

Truth be told, an entire movie about Bilbo traveling BACK from the Lonely Mountain would be sorry stuff.

And where do we chop these movies up to make three? I won’t guess on the two/three split, but, and you heard it here, my guess is that the first movie ends with Bilbo finding the ring and escaping from Gollum. There, I said it.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-skilful

-Lhaw

Aw, barnacles! I mentioned Gollum.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 43 – “Oops. You’re still creepy.”

“‘But it is said that no foot of man or beast has ever set foot upon Tol Brandir.'”

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Legolas should compete in Olympic archery.

Mirkwood is an IOC-recognized country, right?

But seriously, I’ve watched a lot of archery the last two days, and it makes me think about how hard it is to shoot anything from a great distance. In the Olympics, they’re shooting static targets. In Middle-earth, we’re talking armored bodies, running every which way. Not so easy, is it?

Today’s page has nothing to do with archery.

Nothing happens overnight, and the morning dawns grey and rainy. The river begins to narrow as the cliffs rise around it, and the current quickens. In the distance, two tall stone pillars appear: the Argonath. Wrought in the shape of ancient kings of men, each towering figure holds his left hand out in warning, and wields an axe with his right. Cool.

Fellowship of the LATE: 117 pages

The movie makes this scene out to be full of grandeur. The book? A little terrifying. I mean, the statues inspire awe in all, but the river is rushing headlong towards them, and those things are solid stone. Those boats wouldn’t stand a chance against big old rock feet.

As such.

As cool as those monoliths are, it doesn’t matter one bit if you’re smashed to death by the river. On another note, the movie totally misses the dreary nature of this day. I guess sun and blue sky is a little better for showing off your (CGI-ed) set pieces.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-thrawn

While “thrawn” literally means “twisted” or the like, it is also (when capitalized) the name of one of the most well-regarded military strategists for the Empire in the Star Wars Extended Universe.

He looks so friendly!

Because that was vital information. There will be a quiz.

“Awe and fear fell upon…”

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Portage scene! I’ve been waiting anxiously for this moment!

It’s just as boring as you would expect.

While the boats prove to be light enough for any pair of people (including Merry and Pippin) to carry, the terrain makes everything difficult. Aragorn and Boromir have to carry each of the boats one at a time themselves while everyone else hurries along with the baggage. Once everything is set on the portage path, they move together, and reach the waters downstream of the rapids where the path leads them back to the river. There, they will stay the night.

Fellowship of the LATE: 116 pages

Is that ever going to happen?

But aren’t you glad that we got a whole page of portage? In truth, I’m quite glad that it was confined to a single page. An extended scene of that would certainly get boring. And this left little enough to talk about.

What, the logistics of over-land boat carrying isn’t as wondrous as you’d hoped? Sorry about it.

At least there’s always the magical land of food and wonder.

Thankfully, we’re saved from Grumpy Boromir on today’s page. He suggests that they all stop for the night, and Aragorn agrees. They’re learning teamwork.

I’m sure they all hope that this night will be filled with less rapids, arrows, and terror. Those are the bad times.

“‘Let us rest as much as we can now,’ said Aragorn. ‘Tomorrow…'”

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Today is a special day. Not because of the Olympics. Not because of anything exciting happening on this page.

IT’S BEEN A YEAR! YAY!

This is a plate.

Officially, I started blogging on the 26th of July last year, but my first page post was on the 27th. It’s a year! Huzzah! Let’s have a long-expected party.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

BOROMIR CONTINUES ARGUING. Grumble…

Aragorn and Legolas wander off in search of the ancient path which serves as a portage route around the rapids. While Frodo worries that they might not return, they come back shortly, having found the path easily. However, it’s not the most accessible thing from their current location.

Fellowship of the LATE: 115 pages

Okay, I’m going to be honest: the Olympics are being really distracting right now. Paul McCartney problems.

But…what else is there to add? Boromir’s still causing problems. Aragorn’s trying to push him aside, and then actually manages to get something done. Coming up next must be a thrilling portage scene!

Wooo boat on head!

But Boromir’s main argument is that danger lies ahead should they continue on the river. Sure, he’s right, but Aragorn is MORE right: danger lies on every road. There’s something to be said for acknowledging the peril. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Face your fears.

Or, fear your face.

But, anyway, if you’ve been reading, thanks. I said I would do this everyday until it was done, and I still intend to do so. One year down, roughly two more to go! And we’re still not done with Fellowship yet…

“‘I fear we must leave the River now, and make for the portage-way as best we can from here.'”

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A new day foggily dawns, and with it, conflict.

Navigating the rapids in the fog will be impossible, and Aragorn elects to wait it out. Boromir disagrees.

As Boromir is wont to do.

As always, he wants to head to Minas Tirith, and staying the course of the river does him no good in this regard. Aragorn wants to head east, through the Emyn Muil, and thus wants to stay on the river. Discord! They had agreed to wait on this decision until reaching the Tindrock island, but it appears that the time has come. If nothing else, Aragorn at least wants to stick to the river until reaching Amon Hen, where he can look from the high hill to choose his path. It looks like he’ll get his wish, as Frodo is bound to stay alongside him.

Fellowship of the LATE: 114 pages

Conflict between Aragorn and Boromir? That’s a tale as old as time. These guys have been butting heads since Rivendell, and nothing’s going to stop it short of death.

Oh. Right. Sean Bean.

Anyway, if Frodo wants to stick to the river, we’re going to stick to the river. It’s good to be the king ring-bearer.

Most of the time, anyway.

But this is one of those reasons why we’ve learned to like Aragorn more than Boromir. When Boromir voices his discontent, we agree with Aragorn when he shuts him down. And we like it, too.

It’s like Boromir is a “lesser” hero. We still technically like him, but not as much as the others. Whatever. Not everyone can be the favorite.

“Boromir held out long against this choice; but when it became plain that Frodo would follow Aragorn, wherever he went, he gave…”

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Topics not thought to be broached in the course of this blog: time travel.

WHAA??

But first, we have to gripe about Frodo not wanting to divulge his premonition of the Ringwraith. Yeah, it was a Ringwraith. We all know, but he won’t say it out of fear. LAME.

Meanwhile, Sam wonders how it is that the moon isn’t in the phase that he expected. Coming from Lothlórien, he didn’t expect a new moon in sequence. Does time move differently in Lothlórien? According to Legolas, it doesn’t, but elves feel the passing of time differently because they’re immortal. So…this feels unclear. We’ll get into it more.

Fellowship of the LATE: 113 pages

But, okay, this isn’t Voldemort. No one cares if you speak of the Ringwraiths. I mean, some people do, but it’s not like speaking their name will summon them out of the gloom. They do put off a strong aura of fear, but by now that should pass, right? When something gets shot and falls into a forest, it tends to lose a bit of its power.

You know, because that happens a lot.

She came from the sky!

So…time travel?

Let’s talk about elves first. They’re immortal unless killed in battle. This is known. Because of that, they don’t note the passing of time like other races. “Seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream,” Legolas says. Why bother counting when you’re going to lose count? Elves don’t keep track of age.

Anyway, since elves don’t care about time, the Fellowship’s time in Lothlórien was actually quite extended, and no one noticed. The elves didn’t, so our heroes had no basis to judge by.

It all works out, I think. It doesn’t have to make total sense. Just know that we’ve lost all track of time. But it’s still winter. We know that.

But ultimately, Frodo makes the HUGE faux pas of mentioning Galadriel’s ring. That’s a no-go topic. Party foul.

“‘There time flowed swiftly by us, as for the Elves.'”

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“And now you’re back! From outer space! I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face!”

And by “face” I mean “black pit”.

While the Fellowship gets its bearings on the western shore, a black shape flies in from the night sky. Orcs can be heard across the river, and fear wells up in everyone’s bones. FEAR. Legolas takes aim, and the figure screams, making sounds of a hurried descent to the opposite shore. Success!

Aragorn leads them further upstream, where they make a brief rest to wait out the night.

Fellowship of the LATE: 112 pages

More like the Fellow-BOATS! AM I RIGHT?!

Wokka wokka.

Gimli praises the accuracy of Legolas’ elven bow from Lothlórien, but I’m going to have to give all the credit to Legolas on this one. No matter how well your bow fires, you can’t shoot a darn thing in the dark without good eyesight.

But wait, HOW DO WE KNOW it’s a Ringwraith? That feeling of fear. And, added to that, Frodo feels a chill in his shoulder where he was stabbed all those ages ago. They can sense him, and he them. Kind of like Darth Vader.

Speaking of sense…

But now, they fly! At some point before too long we’ll meet these majestic steeds. For the time being, they’re just terrifying shadows in the night. Enjoy your nightmares.

Gimli even says that it reminds him of the balrog. That’s not a good thing.

“‘Too much it reminded me of the shadow in Moria – the shadow of the Balrog,’ he ended in a whisper.”

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Rapids are bad. Especially for small boats.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Aragorn steers them clear with the boating equivalent of “Pull up!” and they head towards the eastern bank. To make matters worse, black arrows come flying at them.

IT’S A TRAP!

Orcs were lying in wait, and everyone has to pull around again to get out of bowshot. They paddle upstream, and slowly make their way above the rapids and over to the western bank.

Obligatory.

Fellowship of the LATE: 111 pages

That’s right, eleventy-one! I’ve not named the Fellowship half as much as I should like, and the Fellowship is not named half as much as it deserves. Half and half and such and such. Bother, bother.

Smart little orcses, these ones are. Sam thinks that Gollum put them up to this, which very well could be right. Either that, or they’ve just been sitting near the rapids waiting for boats.

Actually, how many boats come this way regularly? Screw it. Gollum did this.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 15 – “Traps are not nice!”

However, I didn’t know that having Aragorn in your party gives everyone +10 to boating. Boromir apparently overrides that bonus somewhat. As he’s yelling at everyone to paddle harder, Frodo feels the rocks scraping his boat. Boromir gives the group -5 to boating. At least it’s still a net gain.

Sorry. NOW it’s a net gain.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-laboured

I blame the English. THEY set the trap.

Well…Tolkien did. So, yes.

“Then half turning they thrust them with all their strength towards the western shore. Under the…”

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If given the choice, I would trade Gollum for birds. In fact, what WOULDN’T I trade Gollum for?

I could probably even get a good return by trading Gollum for a member of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Instead of Gollum trailing them, the Fellowship sees birds flying above. It is unknown whether they are spy-birds or not. Some larger bird flies among them, which looks to be an eagle.

More nights of travel pass, until Aragorn fears that they are coming to the rapids of Sarn Gebir. Sam serves as a lookout, and sees rocks ahead, with water swirling around them. The boats are swept aside, bumping together.

Fellowship of the LATE: 110 pages

Tomorrow is eleventy-one!

All things considered, the eagle is probably a good sign, although everyone seems skeptical. Eagles are good, remember. They’re friends of Radagast, and thus friendly to Gandalf. They like the Fellowship, whether our heroes know it or not.

And NO, they can’t just fly into Mordor and drop the ring into Mount Doom. It doesn’t work that way, haters.

Shirt.Woot, being the best.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 30 – “Haha! You can’t follow them anymore! Can’t touch this! *Hammer slide*”

But we’re coming to the rapids! Look out! Do a barrel roll!

Perhaps traveling by barrel would actually be safer. Bilbo and the dwarves did it. Worked out great. Weee!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-wind-writhen

-eyots

I assume “wind-writhen” to be akin to “windblown/swept”. You know, “wuthered”. As in “heights”.

BRONTË REFERENCE. BOOM.

“‘Hoy there, Aragorn!’ shouted Boromir, as his boat bumped into…”

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