Archive for the ‘6 – The King of the Golden Hall’ Category

Say what now? Those aren’t words!

Regardless of whether or not you can understand what’s going on, things are moving better now. Théoden asks for Gandalf’s counsel, and it has already been done: put more trust in Éomer. They must also ride out and attack Saruman. Only after that threat is vanquished can they focus their energy on the war with Sauron.

Théoden commands that a room be set up for Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, but it is declined. Sleep is for the weak, and they plan to ride along with Théoden’s men.

Together, we ride!

Gandalf advises that Théoden lead the rest of his people to safety in the mountains. However, Théoden’s not having any of that. He wants to ride to battle, too. And if he dies, so be it.

First Mentions:

-Dunharrow: A stronghold of Rohan, high in the White Mountains. Send the people here! But not now!

You have to admire Théoden’s resolve. He understands his age, but his heroic morality is strong. He’s the king; he has to do something. If he fights with his riders, they are more likely to stand their ground. Yes, Aragorn and company will probably offer some resolve themselves, but nothing stirs warriors up more than their own king. The only worry Gandalf has for the moment is that Théoden has no heir, and no line of successors. He says that will get ironed out soon.

These things are important to think about.

Oh, and what is Éomer saying there at the top of the page? I don’t know, but it’s probably something like “Hail, Théoden!” Sure, that makes sense to me.

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And finally, today, I got all caught up with those pages I had to re-type. Something like 8 months later, I finally did it. It was a good moment. AND NOW MY ELECTRONIC COPY IS COMPLETE AGAIN.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 17

“‘Here comes my counsellor.'”


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I hope you didn’t expect this to be too easy. All this excitement has tired Théoden out, and he needs to sit down. But wait! You must grab your sword, says Gandalf, to truly feel alive.

What’s going on?

But where is Théoden’s sword? Ah, it’s in storage, because Wormtongue has these wonderful ideas sometimes. Instead, Éomer suddenly arrives, and he lays his sword at Théoden’s feet to prove his loyalty. This surprises everyone, Théoden most of all, and really just ends up with more scolding for Háma. Nevertheless, Théoden takes the sword, lifts it high, and screams a battle cry, startling every guard around.


(And that’s actually how it’s spelled.)

First Mentions:

Eorlingas: Translating to “Sons of Eorl”, it’s really just another term for the people of Rohan, but with added emphasis on their heritage.

Let’s all collectively get off Háma’s back now. Yes, he just gave a recently released prisoner his sword back, but I’m going to look past that because the imprisonment of Éomer was really just a misunderstanding due to the machinations of Wormtongue. Also, does anyone else notice that, here in the book, Éomer isn’t riding away north? What’s the point of Gandalf riding off to find him during the battle at Helm’s Deep now?


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I should probably mention that I returned home tonight to find my girlfriend listening to The Hobbit on tape. This is why we’re friends.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 18

“‘Command us!’ they said.”

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With Théoden back in the fold, Gandalf can actually tell him what’s going on. He wants Éomer sent for, and Théoden sends Háma, now labeled untrustworthy as a guard, out to find him.

Sorry about your job, Háma.

Gandalf also explains that Wormtongue isn’t exactly beloved by everyone else. In fact, while everyone calls him Wormtongue behind his back, Théoden never uses that title. That trust was ill placed. Gandalf takes the opportunity to catch Théoden up on Middle-earth news, and he secretly informs him of Frodo’s quest. Everyone gazes out east.

First Mentions:

-Brego: Eorl’s son, and builder of the high hall at Edoras. Not Aragorn’s horse. I repeat, he is NOT Aragorn’s horse.

No one has any clue why they named Aragorn’s horse Brego in the movies. If you’re going to name it, and you’re not going to use the name conveniently offered in the book, why not make up another name? Using one that’s already taken doesn’t make any sense. But, everyone’s a critic. Especially people who know their sources.

Maybe Prego had a partial sponsorship.

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We leave our heroes looking out into the distance. Especially Legolas. On a clear day, elves can see forever. Look! Look with your special eyes!

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 19

Less than 20!

“It seemed to Legolas, as he strained his farseeing eyes, that he caught a glint of white: far away perchance the sun twinkled on a pinnacle of the Tower of…”

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Come out into the light, Théoden. It’s warm here.

But not today in Chicago!

Gandalf has coaxed Théoden outside, and they open the doors to the terrace. Gandalf takes care of the old man, shooing off a serving woman who is actually the best ever. Aragorn notices her, and finds her pretty…


Meanwhile, Théoden looks out on the land, and gains strength. He throws his cane aside and straightens up. Youth comes back to him.

First Mentions:

-Éowyn: Théoden’s niece and caretaker. She’s pretty, subdued, and blends easily into the background. Then she kills you.

So you see, Théoden isn’t actually that old. I never quite understood the nature of the spell cast on him, and I think the book does a better job of showing it than the movie does. In the movie, he’s immeasurably old, and the age wears away after Gandalf works his power against it. Here in the text, Théoden’s age is more of a physical state. He’s bent over, leaning on a staff, and seems distant. Coming outside, he’s able to stand up straight and focus his eyes on the land. Gandalf also implies that Théoden has been told of his age repeatedly, which has made him believe his weakness.

Not to say that being old is a weakness.

Shall I rag on Aragorn for making eyes at Éowyn? Yes, I shall.

What’s this guy doing, smoldering at every girl that passes by? There aren’t many women in this story, and he can’t have them all for himself! Yes, he’s supposed to be the king, but good moral-abiding characters don’t typically go around doing this sort of thing. We’ll keep an eye on that. I thought their relationship (flirtatious-wise) was mostly contrived for the movies. I guess not entirely so.

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Éowyn is already plotting her takeover of everything.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 20

“‘Dark have been my dreams of late,’ he said, ‘but I feel as one…'”

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The accusations are flying, and Wormtongue believes Gandalf to be allied with the evil witch of the Golden Wood!

She be cray.

This makes Gimli angry, but Gandalf holds him back. Singing an incantation, he tells Wormtongue off, then speaks directly to Théoden. Raising his staff, Gandalf brings darkness upon the room. Only he can be seen, but he points out a bright spot in the sky through a window. He wants Théoden to come outside. Too long has he been cooped up in this hall.

First Mentions:

-Gálmód: Wormtongue’s father, and probably a jerk. Only jerks have more than one accent in their name. How does that even work?

Is it a spell? Is it a song? The text says that Gandalf “softly sang”. So I say it’s a song. A song, I say!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

I like these one-page songs.

“In Dwimordene, in Lórien

Seldom have walked the feet of Men,

Few mortal eyes have seen the light

That lies there ever, long and bright.

Galadriel! Galadriel!

Clear is the water of your well;

White is the star in your white hand;

Unmarred, unstained is leaf and land

In Dwimordene, in Lórien

More fair than thoughts of Mortal Men.”

Full of leftover turkey, I present:

All My Lives

(All My Life – Foo Fighters)

Yeah, the joke is that Gandalf has lived multiple lives. You totally got that, right?

Don’t you raise your eyebrow at me!

So, what is he doing? Well, the song seems to be a defense of Galadriel, saying that Wormtongue has no concept of her power and beauty. Meanwhile, he’s trying to circumvent Wormtongue and talk to Théoden. Gandalf feels that some fresh air would be good for him, and maybe then he’ll listen to the warnings. Maybe even by looking outside he’ll learn something about the land he’s been neglecting.

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Dwimordene is another name for Lothlórien, because something needs more than three names to be officially recognized in Middle-earth.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 21

“‘Too long have you sat in shadows and trusted to twisted tales and crooked promptings.'”

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Early morning Thanksgiving edition!

Gobble, gobble.

This will be a rather quick hit today, seeing as I have to get ready and head out to my parents’ house. Onward!

The debate between Théoden, Gandalf, and Wormtongue has begun. Théoden and Wormtongue believe that Gandalf only comes to seek aid for himself, trying to profit from the shortcomings of those at war. As such, they don’t want to give him a warm welcome and fall into his traps. Gandalf, of course, denies this. Wormtongue replies, saying that Gandalf is quite the beggar, at least from looking at his clothing. His mysterious three companions are woefully clad as well. Their worth, Gandalf shoots back, is not in their looks.

First Mentions:

-Théodred: Théoden’s son, and Second Marshal of the Mark. Recently deceased. Oh no!

-the West Marches: The western fields of Rohan, and I would presume the Second Marshal’s land.

There is some talk of Éomer here, and thus it sounds like he did return with news from Aragorn to Edoras. However, he didn’t seem to have been received well. Wormtongue laughs at the news that he had brought of Gandalf’s demise, now clearly false. There’s also some question of whether Éomer had tried to take power for himself. “Few men would be left to guard your walls,” says Wormtongue, “if he had been allowed to rule.” Was that ever up in the air?


There are two more nicknames for Gandalf on this page as well! First, “Stormcrow”, referring to how he brings ill tidings often. Second, “Láthspell“, which means “Ill-news”, referring to…the same thing.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 22

“‘Grey is their raiment, for the Elves clad them, and thus they have passed through the shadow of great perils to your hall.'”

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Our four heroes enter a long hall. It would probably be a nice place, if there weren’t some impossibly old dude sitting on a throne at the end. They approach him, and Gandalf hails Théoden. The reply isn’t as warm as you’d like.

Face it: he’s too cool for you.

First Mentions:

-the Battle of the Field of Celebrant: A battle long ago between the men who would later found Rohan, those from Gondor, and vicious Easterlings. The good guys won. Rohan was established shortly thereafter.

-the Field of Celebrant: That’s where the battle took place! Southeast of Lothlórien, on the western banks of Anduin.

It looks like Théoden isn’t the biggest fan of Gandalf, and this is going to be difficult. Don’t forget that, the last time he was here, Gandalf stole the best horse in Rohan. However, you’d think that wouldn’t be all that bad. Apparently, Gandalf just brings trouble wherever he goes.

Okay…that’s not all that wrong. He kind of does. BUT, the reason it feels that way is because Gandalf tends to stay ahead of trouble, and goes places to warn people. The trouble isn’t his fault, but it will follow him if people don’t listen.

And you know what? Théoden isn’t listening. To be honest, at his apparent advanced age, it would probably be hard to hear anyway.

Say what now?

It’s too bad that Théoden has to go and ruin the mood of this hall. It otherwise looks great. Lots of sun, nice tapestries… Seems like a good place for good people. Stinks to be a jerk.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 23

“‘Troubles follow you like crows, and ever the…'”

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