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Archive for the ‘5 – The Window on the West’ Category

Conflict resolution, and an end to the chapter. We’re all friends now.

As pictured: Faramir and the hobbits.

As pictured: Faramir and the hobbits.

Frodo, now trusting Faramir, admits that their goal is to take the ring into Mordor, and destroy it in Mount Doom. Frodo, overcome, passes out. Faramir carries him to bed, and has another set for Sam, who tells Faramir that his choice not to meddle is the right one. Faramir reminds Sam of Gandalf, and it’s safe to say that that’s a great compliment.

If you’re comparing a near stranger to Gandalf, it’s quite clear that you’ve become friends. Unless Sam is throwing that around lightly (and we’ve noticed that his decision making isn’t the best sometimes), it’s very high praise for Faramir. For his part, Faramir has remarked that Frodo has a sort of elvish air about him, so the compliments have been mutual. He did also praise gardeners in the Shire earlier, so Sam gets a small piece, too.

And that's all you get.

And that’s all you get.

We can all sleep now in peace, as friends. Friends are good. Hobbits are friends, not food.

Were they ever food?

No one dies today.

“‘Maybe you discern from far away the air of Númenor. Good night!'”

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Not to fear, Faramir isn’t as big a jerk as most other men are. And Sam’s failure can live to fail another day.

He puts on a bit of a show, but Faramir backs down, letting Frodo and Sam know that he has no intent to take the ring from them. He (somehow) understands the peril and evil of this ring, and that he must not be tempted by it. He praises Frodo, and all of hobbit-kind, for being so strong to carry such a horrible thing. Their homeland must be a wonderful and peaceful place.

Not so. The sheep have invaded.

Not so. The sheep have invaded.

They laugh about the esteem of gardeners in the Shire, and all the men in the cave who were alerted to a conflict resolve themselves to assuming that it was just a joke. Faramir bids Frodo and Sam to rest, safely and at peace. No harm will come to them here.

So…Faramir did know about the existence of the ring, eh? He acted so oblivious earlier to what “Isildur’s Bane” could possibly be. Did he really not know? What else could it be? Ah, yes, there was always the possibility that it was a large man in a mask, who once threw Isildur in a prison pit after breaking his back.

When Gondor is ashes, then you have my permission to die.

When Gondor is ashes, then you have my permission to die.

And, ultimately, there’s praise for Sam, and the gardening profession, after his latest mistake. That’s a freebie. How long can he keep doing this before it really catches up with him? If this was a world of karma, he’d have accumulated such bad luck that every step would be more likely to make him trip and break every bone in his body. You can’t live that way. He needs to learn this! Now!

No one dies today.

“‘Go now to rest -…'”

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Today is Sam’s day. Sam’s day to fail, of course.

Every. Single. Time.

Every. Single. Time.

Sam tries to get whimsical about Galadriel, comparing her to wonderful things as best he can. However, he ends up starting a sentence that is clearly about to bash Boromir. Faramir picks up on that right away. Sam then tries to explain himself, and blabs out about Boromir wanting the ring.

Ah, the ring. We didn’t want to talk about that.

Frodo yells at Sam, who begs for mercy, and Faramir starts putting all the pieces together.

For clarity: Sam begs for mercy from Faramir. He understands his mistake, and he just doesn’t want Faramir to turn on them and take the ring away, undoing all their work to try to destroy it.

Thanks again, Sam.

But no thanks for the card.

But no thanks for the card.

Once again, right when you might be thinking that it’s about time for Sam to redeem himself, he goes off and screws it up again. I don’t know how many times I’ve had this discussion. This is a story about Frodo destroying the ring against all odds, but it seems like the odds he’s against are really just Sam’s failings. Every. Single. Time.

Every. Single. Time.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-daffadowndilly

-di’monds

-drownd

AND DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO WRIGGLE OFF THE HOOK WITH YOUR RURALISMS, SAMMY BOY.

Every.

Single.

Time.

No one dies today.

“‘And here in the wild I have you: two halflings, and a host of men at my…'”

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It’s another late-night post, but that’s only because I spent the last 4-5 hours creating a character for my first ever game of D&D. I think that’s a valid reason. He’s a human ranger named Mycall Traeneth.

Like Aragorn, but with a darker backstory.

Like Aragorn, but with a darker backstory.

Anyway, my head is full of ideas for that going forward, and we’ll see where this goes tonight.

In terms of Lord of the Rings (one of the original sources behind D&D, mind you), Faramir finishes talking about the history of Gondor, and the men that inhabit this region. I honestly have a big problem discerning what he says, because his sentence structure is truly bizarre. I don’t like that at all. I especially don’t like being unsure of what’s going on. But, that’s over, so no more worrying for me.

Sam brings up that Faramir speaks kindly of the elves, but didn’t say too much about his dealings with them. In truth, as Faramir replies, he has little dealings with them at all, but men and elves have grown apart. However, there has always been a high esteem for the elves among his people. Time has simply sundered them from each other. Sam likes elves. We’ve been over this.

First Mentions:

-the Edain: The ancient men, in existence before the kingdom of Númenor was even established. They were known as three great houses, and the great kings descended from these lines.

As I said, it’s hard to figure out every little detail that Faramir brings up, because everything is worded very strangely. For example, he says: “Yet now, if the Rohirrim are grown in some ways more like to us, enhanced in arts and gentleness, we too have become more like to them, and can scarce claim any longer the title High.” There’s got to be a better way to say that.

On second thought, let's not try.

On second thought, let’s not try.

I feel wrong questioning Tolkien’s word choices, but hey, I guess that’s what I’m here to do! I wish it were a little easier to figure this backstory out. There’s a reason it’s in there, and I’m missing parts of it.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Edain

Perhaps I just need to get out of this talky-talking space and into some more action. Faramir’s been grilling Frodo and Sam for a long while now. The break for dinner was nice, but we’re right back at it.

No one dies today.

“‘I am only a hobbit, and gardening’s my job at home, sir, if you understand me, and I’m not much good at poetry…'”

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It’s a history lesson today, and one that we’ve heard parts of before. The history of Gondor!

Part 1!

Part 1!

Basically, it’s been a failure of past-thinking kings. Ancient Númenóreans concerned themselves with trying to live forever, or at least leaving a great legacy. They didn’t think to foster strong future generations. Slowly, childless kings brought about the end of the line. The stewards took over from there, making friends with northern men who aided them in battle. These people became the Rohirrim when Gondor granted them the lands just to the north of Gondor, now Rohan. Though not descended from the men of Númenor, these men think of themselves just as powerful.

First Mentions:

-Cirion: The 12th steward of Gondor. Denethor is 26th, for reference. Cirion first allied with the men who now live in Rohan.

-Calenardhon: The region to the north of Gondor, now known as Rohan. Rohan is a better name, anyway.

Yes, we heard some of this history earlier with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimil visiting Rohan. It had more of a Rohan skew, but it was much the same. In fact, it might even be happening right now. Parallels!

It's plane to see.

It’s plane to see.

It’s an interesting trick of writing like this, where two stories are happening simultaneously. Which half did Tolkien write first? Did he work on both at once? It’s very possible, unsure of which was to go first, he put this bit of history in both perspectives. With a little editing, they turn out not to be the exact same histories, but they’re undoubtedly similar.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Cirion

-Calenardhon

-Goldenhaired

Oh, a surprise word there! That was thrilling.

No one dies today.

“‘For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West, which were Númenóreans; and the Middle Peoples,…'”

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Let’s be real here: nobody stays awake simply because they don’t want to lose their appetite. If I’m tired, I’m going to sleep. Being unconscious makes me forget my hunger.

The right dream can solve that problem entirely.

The right dream can solve that problem entirely.

After joking about Sam’s lack of sleep, Faramir asks for a bit of storytelling. Frodo tries to tell the story of the Fellowship’s Company’s journey from Rivendell, with a skew to make Boromir more heroic. Faramir seems to like that, even though Frodo dodges all questions about specifics. Eventually, Frodo turns the tables and asks about Gondor. Faramir becomes very depressing, and talks about the shortcomings of the world of men.

It sounds like Frodo is making to out to sound like Boromir was a secondary leader of the Fellowship Company, on par with Aragorn. We all know that wasn’t true, but Faramir doesn’t. He wishes that Boromir had died in a blaze of glory like Gandalf did, instead of hanging on until whatever befell him at Amon Hen. He scoffs at the thought of Boromir running away from orcs at all.

You know, sometimes, running away is the best option. Especially when there are THOUSANDS of orcs EVERYWHERE.

Like here. Run now.

Like here. Run now.

Faramir is exhibiting the pride that made his brother insufferable. You don’t always have to be the toughest around, even if you do have the practicality to note that you’re probably fighting a losing war. You’d never hear Boromir say that.

But, the men of Gondor are failing. Obviously.

No one dies today.

“‘Many became enamored of the Darkness and the black arts; some where given over wholly to idleness and ease, and some fought among themselves, until they were conquered in their weakness by the wild men.'”

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As a general rule, food is always good, and especially so when you’ve been roughing it on lembas and very little else for the last few weeks. Faramir has Frodo and Sam woken up (well, just Frodo, really) to eat dinner. To the two hungry hobbits, it’s a feast.

More food than you know what to do with.

More food than you know what to do with.

Sam gets laughed at for washing his whole head before eating, but he’s just tired of being dirty all the time. At dinner, the hobbits feel awkward for not having a cool custom like standing and looking west to honor ancient Númenor and the lands beyond. Their only custom, bowing for their hosts and thanking them, isn’t all that special. Faramir says that the men do that too. After the embarrassment, the hobbits eat. They don’t refuse seconds.

Who does refuse seconds, anyway?

It’s something that’s been long forgotten since we’ve spent so much time with this group of people, but hobbits are slightly under-cultured. It’s cute, in the beginning, and part of the reason why hobbits are endearing as a race. Their innocence is sometimes their biggest strength. Instead of brooding over lost lands like these men are, hobbits live in peace and ignorance. Some get grumpy about knowing too much, even. Not Frodo, though, ever.

How do I get my hands on this?

How do I get my hands on this?

What will keep a hobbit from being grumpy? Food. And there’s plenty of it today. Again, another reason why Faramir isn’t a bad guy. Bad guys don’t feed their prisoners well. Do I need to keep proving that we can trust him? He’s okay.

No one dies today.

“‘You may soon desire to sleep,’ he said, ‘and especially good Samwise, who would not close his eyes before he ate – whether for fear…'”

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