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Archive for the ‘1 – The Departure of Boromir’ Category

This is a short end to a short chapter. Only eight pages, in total! Really, this isn’t even half a page, so less than that. Let’s hop to it.

Bragging about his endurance, Gimli motions to start after the orcs. Aragorn proclaims them the “Three Hunters”, and springs off, leading Gimli and Legolas into the sunset.

Totally just like that.

Meh. Not a very exciting page.

But do you know what is exciting? I was gifted something very interesting recently. A friend found, among her school’s library, an absolute gem. It was being discarded (“thrown out” in library-speak), and she nabbed it. Being in town this weekend, she brought it for me.

It’s J.R.R. Tolkien, recorded. He reads selections from his works, before they were published. I believe it’s pretty cool stuff. There’s just one problem.

WHAT IS THIS NEW DEVILRY?!

You fools! No one can play a cassette tape anymore!

Thus, I’m looking for a way to play it. Anyone? This is probably the best thing ever, and it’s sitting around, completely useless. Eventually, I’ll get a way to play it, but who knows how long that might be.

Until then, we wait.

“They passed away, grey shadows in a stony land.”

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It’s really quite simple, folks. Frodo and Sam are gone! They took the boat after doubling back while everyone else was running around chasing orcs. Aragorn remains silent as to Boromir’s last words, concerning his aggression towards Frodo. Gimli lays out the choice: they can either take their boat across the river, or track the orcs that have captured Merry and Pippin.

Aragorn makes the decision: they will follow the orcs. He hopes that will be a better course of action than what he’s already tried to do today.

Snoopy: telling it like it is.

They quickly find the orcs’ trail, with all their trampling. I don’t think orcs care much about the environment.

I congratulate Aragorn both on his deduction and his decision. Both were…well, easy.

I guess that’s easy for me to say, what with having been privy to the scene where Frodo and Sam pack up and shove off for the eastern bank of Anduin. Perhaps omniscience breeds arrogance. Is it that easy to figure out where the third boat disappeared to? I’m thinking of cutting Aragorn a little more slack from now on.

Or at least for today. It’s been a bad day for him.

You know it’ll never leave your head now.

In this choice, Aragorn realizes that the Fellowship Company has failed. Frodo is beyond help. In fact, following him would only draw more attention and bring the forces of Mordor down upon him sooner. Thus, counter-intuitive. Chasing after Merry and Pippin will draw the attention that way.

It’s all turning into a wild goose chase. Coming up soon will be the section where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli run around over hills and fields day after day after day. It’s a cross-country runner’s favorite part.

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the LAST page of this chapter! Super short.

“‘But they go with a great speed for all that,’ said Aragorn, ‘and…'”

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Let’s finish singing Boromir off. I have things to do.

Guess what? They finish the song! Legolas sings for a while, then Aragorn ends. Gimli notes that they left the East Wind unspoken for, but Aragorn corrects him: no one wants to know what the East Wind thinks. The East Wind sucks.

Actually, it blows.

Anyway, they move back to the lawn, where Aragorn searches for clues as to what happened to the third boat. The footprints are muddled from earlier, but it’s clear that no orcs were there. Some hobbit-prints wade into the water and back, but their origins are unclear.

Too bad they’re not omniscient like us readers!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

This is about half Legolas and then half Aragorn.

“‘What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me

at eve?

Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.’

‘Ask not of me where he doth dwell – so many bones there lie

On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;

So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.

Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to

me!’

‘O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,

But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea’s

mouth.’

From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the

roaring falls;

And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.

‘What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me

today?

What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.’

‘Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.

His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.

His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;

And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.’

‘O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze

To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'”

Bright and early, I present:

Good Travels (Time Of Your Death) pt.2

(Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day)

Yep, no East Wind. You wouldn’t like what you heard anyway.

I’m very impressed with the ability of Aragorn and Legolas to pull this out of the air. Pretty sure they didn’t plan this one out. Now, it might be a form used for many a funeral, but I wouldn’t know that for certain. I’m just going to chalk it up as an impressive improvisational feat.

These are impressive non-improvisational feet.

I’m leaving it there for today. Tomorrow, I would hope that Aragorn figures out the mystery of the missing boat. It’s not that hard.

“‘How then do you read this riddle?’ asked Gimli.”

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This is a busy weekend for me, so these are going to be a bit to the point. If that’s okay. Is that okay?

Can you say no to these eyes?

With Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli in one boat, they paddle out with Boromir laid out in the other. Releasing him, they watch the boat drift off, and vanish in the waterfall. Supposedly the boat makes it out of the falls, and floats all the way down the river out to sea.

They sing a song of mourning. Boromir has departed.

First Mentions:

-the White Tower: Apex of Minas Tirith. More or less where Boromir lived. Like all important people do.

No funeral ritual is complete without a song, right? That’s like, a vital point of fantasy. Especially if we’re not taking the funeral pyre route, there needs to at least be a song. Here it is.

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

Aragorn sings at first, with Legolas picking up with the last two lines at the bottom of the page.

“Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows

The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.

‘What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to

me tonight?

Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?’

‘I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;

I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away

Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.

The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of

Denethor.’

‘O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,

But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.’

From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the

sandhills and the stones;

The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.”

Feeling emo, I present:

Good Travels (Time Of Your Death) pt.1

(Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day)

Well, part of me wanted to leave it as “Good Riddance”, considering how much Boromir tended to screw things up, but that’s not very nice.

And the animated Ewoks always scold me for that.

I find it interesting that the song (at least so far), uses the wind as a uniting thread. We’ve heard from the west, north, and south winds. What about the east? That’s probably the evil one, so we might not ask what it thinks.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

sandhills

I wear sandals while checking sundials on sandhills.

The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.

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Let’s have an alphabet lesson! S is for…

Slitheen!

No.

What could the S on these orcs’ helmets mean? Sauron is put forth by Gimli, as the obvious answer. But that can’t be true! The S is an elf rune, and he doesn’t like to use those. There’s only one other option: Saruman. He must have news of the Fellowship’s Company’s journey, and now he’s raised an army.

But there’s no time to debate. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli carry Boromir’s body back to the shoreline, and Legolas and Gimli head back to bring the boats to their location. When they return, they tell Aragorn that one of the boats has completely disappeared! And it doesn’t look like the doing of orcs.

Here’s an interesting note: Sauron does not permit his name to be written or spoken. This is part of the reason why the S can’t be for him.

Why not? Fear, I would assume. He probably goes by “the Dark Lord” or something. That’s scarier than plain old Sauron. And that name likely comes from elvish roots. He hates them elves!

They can be a little creepy sometimes…

With today’s page, you can really see how someone (like me) could get confused with Sauron and Saruman. I sure did when I saw the first movie, which, when you think about it, we’re still technically within. I’m not sure why Tolkien decided to have two big villains with vaguely similar names. That sort of thing is generally looked down upon.

But when you’re J.R.R. Tolkien, you get to do what you want.

I wish I was that cool…

“His helm they set beside him, and across his lap they laid the cloven horn and the hilt and shards of his sword; beneath his feet…”

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Quick! What’s the best way to bury Boromir?

Abandon the body? No. Burial in the ground? No tools. Build a cairn? No time. On a boat? Aw, yeah.

As long as T-Pain can come.

Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli decide to do just that, and give Boromir to the river. They will lay him in a boat with all his weapons, alongside the weapons of the orcs he slew in battle. They go about collecting everything, and Aragorn finds the daggers belonging to Merry and Pippin. Meanwhile, Legolas searches for arrows. They discover that these orcs are of various kinds. Some come from the Misty Mountains, others from the north. Others are strange, large, and bear unfamiliar heraldry.

You know what’s a great word? Heraldry.

What? These weren’t the orcs you were looking for?

Oh! I guess not.

I can’t believe it, but the idea of different races (if you could call them that) of orcs was made clear to me by LEGO. As you may recall, I got a new Lord of the Rings LEGO set the other day, and it contained two Moria orcs. These differ from Mordor orcs, or, of course, Uruk-hai. In the simplest terms, the Moria orcs are green, while Mordor orcs (in other sets) are brown, and Uruk-hai red.

While these orcs here probably have greater differentiation than skin tone (plastic tone?), they come from different places nonetheless. Now you know.

Now, in giving Boromir a boat-burial, the three companions are sort of showing how deadly he was. There are quite a few orcs lying dead about, so that’s a lot of weapons to load down the boat with. Maybe that’s partially the point: the more weapons, the more likely the boat will sink instead of drifting listlessly about. There’s no honor in that. Best let it sink down to Davy Jones.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-dishonours

I find it dishonorable to dishonor “dishonor” by spelling it dishonorably.

Word.

“Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of some white metal.”

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Boromir has departed, as only Sean Bean can.

With his last breath, Boromir recounts fighting off orcs from Merry and Pippin, but they were carried away when he fell. They are probably still alive, though. He also asks Aragorn to defend Minas Tirith in his stead. Aragorn grants his request, holding him and asking about whether he saw Frodo and Sam. Boromir is too dead to answer.

You knew that was coming.

Legolas and Gimli arrive, having been hunting orcs until they heard Boromir’s horn. They stand in silence as Aragorn mourns. The Ranger relays Boromir’s last words, and Legolas moves to attend to his body.

RIP Boromir. May House Stark avenge you. Er…you were such a jerk to MI6 and Bond! Um…you weren’t as good as Aragorn, but I guess you were alright.

And that’s the first…er, second major death!

Unfortunately, Aragorn puts it all on himself. He believes that everything going wrong in this day is his fault, and that he was unworthy of leading the Fellowship Company. How could Gandalf ever have trusted him?

Hey…is that another opportunity for character growth I see?

Even a scoundrel such as this can become king.

Character growth is super great, and now that we’re seeing the story from Aragorn’s perspective, it’s his turn. Right now, he’s very unsure of himself. That’s no way to be a king, but he still has a long way to go. He’s only going to be leading Legolas and Gimli now, which is much more manageable. Let’s pay close attention to how he takes control of the group from here on out.

That whole “Frodo and Sam maturing” thing? That can wait.

“‘We cannot leave him lying like carrion among these foul Orcs.'”

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