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Archive for the ‘6 – The Forbidden Pool’ Category

End of chapter. Short page.

Faramir is letting Frodo go. He doesn’t want him to follow Gollum, but he has no choice but to do so. Fully expecting them never to meet again, Faramir wishes that Frodo, one day, will tell him the story of this adventure. Farewell for now.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 24 – “Murder? Faramir smells murder in the air!”

Yes, Faramir believes that Gollum has done some murder in his past. Why, that’s true!

He killed Fake Jack Black that one time.

He killed Fake Jack Black that one time.

Also in truth, Faramir believes that there is no chance that Frodo comes out of this alive. It would be a fool’s hope to think that Frodo could ever be successful in his quest. Even then, only a fool would also believe that he would have the strength to turn around and save his skin after so obstinately sticking to the plan, dangerous though it is. Hey, call me a fool.

I’ve been doing this for so many days in a row…maybe I am a fool.

NEVER.

No one dies today.

“He rose and bowed low to Frodo, and drawing the curtain passed out into the cave.”

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It’s been one heck of a weekend.

Here I am, writing this post from the Jersey Shore (no, not like that), at the end of a very long day. Is this a diary, then? What do I say?

Hello, Diary, let’s talk about some stuff.

No, not like that.

No, not like that.

Where should Frodo go? Faramir will not lead him to Minas Morgul and the passes above. Evil things are said about that place. In fact, Faramir offers little help at all. Whatever can Frodo do?

So…what is life worth? BIG QUESTION DAY. Frodo wants to…needs to get into Mordor. Should he fail, the world will fall, and all may die. Faramir is worried that his only option is to take the mysterious and dangerous road of Cirith Ungol. Faramir believes this will end poorly. But what are the other options? Faramir thinks that if Frodo goes by way of Cirith Ungol, he will die. The only other way in is through the Black Gate. That way, Frodo will die. Faramir could help him, and lead him through the dangers. No, for then Faramir will die. Every route is death. Which way should they go? Is there a correct choice? Does it even matter?

“I am bound,” Frodo says, “by solemn undertaking to the Council, to find a way or perish in the seeking.” Heroic. Duty-driven. Ned Stark would love it. And, as such, is failure a success? Should Frodo die in trying to destroy the ring, does he fulfill his duty? If so, then no risk is too great. He must try. He may fail, but not to try would be the true failure.

I guess Yoda might be wrong in this case. There is some try. There is do. There is always do. There is also try. There is no not trying. Even that little green man might get that.

You have to try. Otherwise it’s not worth it. It’s wrong.

No one dies today.

“‘Then what would you have me do?'”

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Not much time today. Make it quick!

Make it QUACK!

Make it QUACK!

Faramir wants to know what the deal is. The FULL deal. Frodo explains, since Gollum won’t. Faramir is afraid of this pass, Cirith Ungol, but won’t stop them. He wants to, and warns Frodo that he feels like Gollum is leading him into a trap, but he won’t, in good faith, keep Frodo from following where he will.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 43 – “There’s a darkness in there. Stop that.”

Literally, Faramir has one of those moments where he tells Frodo that he wants to stop him, but he won’t. He can’t, as a good and faithful man, true to his word. That’s nice.

He truly wants to give Gollum a safe accompaniment to a location outside Gondor, like, to let him free, away from Frodo, and be shown the way. That’s super nice!

It’s nice.

No one dies today.

“‘For it seems less evil to counsel another man to break troth than to do so oneself, especially…'”

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How many different places have I written this blog? Evanston, sure, where I started. Chicago, where I live now, obviously. But also, out at my parent’s house in the suburbs and a brief weekend in St. Louis. Is that it? Well, now you can add the Philadelphia airport. EXCITING.

Not yet on an airplane proper.

Not yet on an airplane proper.

As such, it’s hard to concentrate. But let’s try.

Faramir seems satisfied with Gollum’s answers, and Frodo is relieved that they look to be holding water. Faramir releases Gollum into Frodo’s care…but Frodo has no idea what Faramir intends to do with him. It hasn’t been established. However, Faramir announces that Frodo is free to go. He must appear before Denethor in Minas Tirith within a year, but otherwise he is good to go. Anyone under his protection (Sam and Gollum), is free as well. Gollum, however, is under more of a agreement. Should he leave Frodo, his life is forfeit once more. Not a lot of room to screw up.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 61 – “You have a second chance. Better shape up.”

Good stuff today. Faramir is nice, Gollum seems to be believable, and Sam…well, Sam stays out of it. Frodo gets exactly what he hoped for. I know Sam didn’t hope for it (he sighs when Frodo accepts Gollum back), but he needs to learn sometime, as we all know.

And Faramir makes the one demand that Frodo must appear in Minas Tirith within a year. You know who made a similar demand? Éomer. Remember that? He let Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli continue to roam the lands of Rohan, but they had to agree to visit Edoras once their hunt was over. They did, and things went well! See, people are good.

No one dies today.

“Gollum made no reply.”

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Gotta keep this short. Another busy day, and I have to catch a flight in 8 hours! (Yeah…not a lot of sleep happening tonight.)

I really just need Lou Ferrigno to put me in a sleeper hold.

I really just need Lou Ferrigno to put me in a sleeper hold.

Faramir questions Gollum. He wants to know basically everything, but Gollum doesn’t tell him much at all. However, Faramir believes something in Gollum, and allows Frodo to loose his bonds. Faramir then asks Gollum if he knows where he is, and if he intends to come back. Gollum shrinks away, cowering. Faramir sees the truth in him. He’ll simply have him swear to keep his word.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 54 – “Honesty? That’s a new one.”

I don’t know what Faramir finds trustworthy. I really don’t. Maybe it’s the moment where he mentions that Gollum’s fish were caught with a heavy price. Gollum then drops the fish (he still had one in his hand) and says that he doesn’t want it anyway. No, Faramir didn’t mean that the fish literally came at a price, but it was kind of funny that Gollum took it to mean all he had to do was renounce the fish. Stinky fishes!

Ah yes, everyone's favorite Pokemon!

Ah yes, everyone’s favorite Pokemon!

So, there was a moment of levity there. Nice. I think I have to call it now.

No one dies today.

“‘What oath will you swear never to return; and never to lead any living creature hither by word or sign?'”

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There are days that writing this is hard. Usually, it’s because there’s just not much to say. Remember all that walking? Other days, there’s just more important stuff going on. As such, I find little interesting about talking about how Frodo coerced Gollum into being caught by Anborn. Frodo returned to the caves, where he and Sam were brought before Faramir. Gollum joined in a moment, tied and very unhappy. That’s what’s there today, but I can’t say much about it.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 37 – “Times are bad, but it’s not all your fault. Try to stay above it.”

It’s a tough spot. Gollum’s trust for Frodo is basically gone, and that doesn’t bode well for anything in the future.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-masster

Anyway, I have a lot to do over the next few days, and posts might be short, delayed, or all out late. I’m unsure of what all will be going on. I’ve laughed at times about how staunchly committed I am to this blog, day in and day out. I haven’t hit anything hard to enough to knock me out of rhythm. It’s weird, like this is my own little public diary, but all I talk about is Lord of the Rings. I find fiction, in general, fascinating. The worlds inhabited and the lives lived by characters so amazingly real and true, even if they’re in a fantastical genre. Life is big, even when fictional. It’s a lens I use, I guess. What am I getting at right now? I don’t know. It’s all important, from the big commitments you make to friends and family, to the little ones you make to yourself to make life richer. This is one of mine, to me. Learning about life from a book I love. I can only hope that it makes me stronger, better, and full of life of all sorts.

In the greatest irony of all, book-wise, anyway…

No one dies today.

Somewhere, every light lit up, and the lines jammed.

Somewhere, every light lit up, and the lines jammed.

“Gollum blinked, hooding the…”

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Nothing with Gollum is ever easy. Frodo has a thought to do the one easy thing…let the men shoot him. With a short jog back to Anborn, he has the power to give the order to take Gollum down. No more hearing him muttering about his mistrust of Frodo and Sam. No more wondering if they’re being tricked. No more Gollum, easy as that.

But, Frodo senses the duty that he has to Gollum. He did lead them through the Dead Marshes, after all. Frodo and Sam couldn’t have done that alone.

You always need someone who knows the dangers.

You always need someone who knows the dangers.

For that reason, Frodo decides to save Gollum. He calls to him, but Gollum won’t come. He’s too busy eating fish and distrusting Frodo. However, Frodo does explain the predicament that he’s in. Gollum suggests running away then and there, but Frodo knows that’s not an option. He tells Gollum that they can’t leave without Sam. It’s a trick, and Frodo knows Gollum won’t take it well when he realizes it.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 32 – “Coming around, I see, but not easily.”

Frodo also uses the ring to coerce Gollum. Its power is useful, though very dark. Look how easy it is for Frodo to use the ring to get Gollum to do whatever he wants. It happened earlier, too. It’s how Gollum was bound into Frodo’s service, by swearing on the ring. Even if Frodo can’t wield it in the proper way, the ring’s ability to bind those to its will is always there.

It's all about the binders. Just like middle school.

It’s all about the binders. Just like middle school.

How long until Gollum figures out the ruse? It can’t be long at all, and that will make him even angrier at Frodo than he already was just a moment ago. Yes, this friendly relationship we had with Gollum earlier is all but dead.

No one dies today.

“It would probably be impossible…”

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Faramir’s curiosity grows with each discovery, and today’s is the fact that this strange creature, Gollum, has been Frodo’s guide. Really? This thing?

It's like having Danny DeVito as a basketball coach.

It’s like having Danny DeVito as a basketball coach.

Regardless, Faramir will allow Gollum to live, if he can be captured. They can’t take the chance of him leaving on his own accord, and being captured or something by orcs who would torture him to find the secret paths to the caves. Frodo volunteers to go down to him, and try to talk him into coming inside. Faramir sends him down with Anborn.

Anborn is a bit grumbly. He doesn’t help Frodo much more than telling him not to fall in the pool. If he drowns, it’s his own problem.

Alone in the dark, Frodo crawls his way towards the sound of Gollum’s voice. He’s murmuring to himself, and it doesn’t sound good. He feels betrayed. Bad news.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 18 – “Ick. You’re back to talk of throttling.”

And Sam? No mention of him. I guess he’s still on the cliff above, vaguely watching. If, that is, he ever approached the edge. He didn’t want to get too close earlier. No railings.

Oddly enough, Frodo’s lack of railings (there aren’t any along the pool, unsurprisingly) make him crawl in a certain way…”Gollum-like”. So, metaphorically, Frodo must become like Gollum in order to level with him and make him come inside to be saved from the aim of the bowmen. It’s all about understanding. Frodo is learning to understand this strange being, even though he talks to himself about killing everyone.

Like that one movie where Gerard Butler said he was going to kill everyone.

Like that one movie where Gerard Butler said he was going to kill everyone.

And finally, Faramir’s reasoning makes plenty of sense. It’s less about Gollum’s ability to sneak into the pool, but the possibility that this information could be discovered and used against the men. Gollum is a liability now. I mean, he always was, but more so now, and to more people.

No one dies today.

“Frodo shivered, listening…”

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Faramir isn’t making this easy. Frodo now has to explain exactly why they shouldn’t shoot Gollum, and the easy way won’t cut it. He first explains that Gollum must have no idea the danger that he’s in. He probably doesn’t even know that he’s wandered into a secret hideout. Also, he’s probably been drawn there, by a great power.

He's been drawn here, too.

He’s been drawn here, too.

The ring? NO! Silly. Fish. Gollum loves him some fish. Frodo explains, to Faramir’s surprise, that Gollum held the ring for a time, but it’s really the fish from the pool that he wants. They watch as he eats.

Still, Faramir is unmoved. Anborn has the shot lined up, and wants to take it, but Faramir continues milking Frodo for answers.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 74 – “Aww, you’re such a simpleton.”

To answer my question from yesterday, Gollum really is just that sneaky. Faramir knew of his existence, clearly, and sent his best trackers after him. They lost him. Only Anborn saw anything, and that was brief. Now, Gollum has turned up in the pool, without anyone realizing that he was coming. Yes, he’s just very, very sneaky, sir.

However, I scoff at the notion that the desire for fish is so powerful as to bring Gollum to this place.

Even as tasty as it is.

Even as tasty as it is.

Can he smell fish from miles away? I’d think then he’d always be smelling it. What brought him here? Come on, it’s the ring. I’m not judging, just being real.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-yesterevening

-froglike

Ye olde compound words, causing all the problems.

No one dies today.

“‘And Gandalf, your Mithrandir, he would have bidden…'”

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Sam tried stealth! It failed.

I am hidden! You cannot see me!

I am hidden! You cannot see me!

Feeling unnerved by the cliffs, Sam mutters to himself (sort of), which easily catches Faramir’s attention. He scolds Sam for following, but doesn’t do anything drastic. He motions for Frodo to come over to look off the edge. Standing there at guard is Anborn, the man who came back into the caves with a strange report of a squirrel or something following them in the forest. He’s found that “squirrel” again, and it’s diving in the pool below. He now awaits Faramir’s orders to fire upon it. Faramir checks with Frodo first…and Frodo begs Faramir to spare this creature. Gollum, of course.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 53 – “And…you’re back. With a blatant disregard for rules? As always.”

Let’s be honest, there’s no point in harassing Sam right now for his mistakes. Until he learns from them, there isn’t a good reason to punish him. Something bad will naturally happen, or at least it should, as the world works things out. Sure, Faramir could have Sam dragged away, or something like that, but I really don’t think it would accomplish anything. What he needs is a solid smackdown from someone who is in the business of doing that sort of thing. Faramir doesn’t want to hurt him, and Sam knows that. So, a good talking to is alright for now. But only for now.

The internet is really, really great...

The internet is really, really great…

But here’s always my question about this part: how did Gollum manage to get into the pool without anyone noticing? This is a highly guarded area, right? And they only see him once he’s in? Sure, I guess a part of it has to do with Faramir knowing that he’s hanging around with Frodo and Sam, so they let it slide a little bit. But still, I don’t understand how, with heightened security following the ambush, anyone could let anything suspicious even slip through for a second. Maybe he’s just that good. Maybe this was Faramir’s plan all along. Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-nightlands

-manwise

If “nightlands” isn’t a word, then where is Khal Drogo riding for eternity? WHERE, I ASK?!

No one dies today.

“If Sam had dared, he would have said ‘Yes,’ quicker…”

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