Archive for the ‘8 – The Houses of Healing’ Category

I took a lot of time to get to this tonight, since I was stupidly busy all today, and, well…I need some time to chill sometimes. Most times. All of the time. Chill time is good.

Mr. Freeze doesn't always relax, but when he does, it's CHILL TIME.

Mr. Freeze doesn’t always relax, but when he does, it’s CHILL TIME.

But also, today is pretty boring. Again, Merry is healing quickly, and will be up fully soon. Meanwhile, Aragorn sneaks off after healing adoring folk all night. He sleeps in his tent outside Minas Tirith, and Imrahil’s standard flies in the city in the morning.

So, ultimately, Aragorn gets his wish by staying outside the city. He came in and helped out with the healing, but then returned to where he wanted to be all along. However, his cover has been blown, and the people of Gondor know that he’s around. That’s why he had to spend all night going from bed to bed healing. Word gets around.

Strangely enough, since Aragorn was able to get away and instill the appearance that Imrahil is presiding over Minas Tirith for the time being, some people actually think that maybe this whole “the king is here” thing was just a strange after-war dream.

I mean, honestly, I understand this. I’ve had things come and go relatively suddenly enough that they’ve felt dreamlike. In fact, I have recurring dreams actually relating to them, which furthers my strange feeling that it was all a dream in the first place.

Yeah, I know real from dream, but my mind can play tricks in that way. Yours can, too, if you let it. And that’s what the people of Gondor are going through. For once, I understand their oddities. Next chapter!

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 34

No one dies today.

“And in the morning the banner of Dol Amroth, a white ship like a swan upon blue water, floated from the Tower, and men looked up and wondered if the coming of the King had been but a dream.”

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And that’s a history that I’m not getting into.

Let's MOOOOVE on.

Let’s MOOOOVE on.

This is another page that I have trouble following. This may actually just be because I’ve been really busy and distracted lately, or maybe because this chapter really is rougher around the edges.

Merry is up now, anyway, and wanting for food and smoke. Pippin laughs at him, saying that his pack has been at his side all this time, and that he has some in his bag should they need any pipe-weed anyway. Aragorn was probably joking with Merry. (But not about how the herb-master kind of sucks. That was real.) However, Pippin still runs out to request food, and Aragorn and Gandalf go to inform the healers of Faramir, Éowyn, and Merry’s needs. They should all stay in bed and rest for now, even though Éowyn will likely want to be up and about soon. Faramir should be kept from the truth about Denethor’s madness for a bit, though he certainly needs to know of his death. Merry, actually, will be healthy the fastest, it seems. Hobbits: they really are stronger than you’d think.

Tomorrow marks the last page of this chapter, and I’m really not too sad about that. Something about this one didn’t work with me. Maybe it’s the lack of action, or the fact that none of this builds a lot of tension for me, already knowing that these characters would live. Perhaps, in reading this for the first time, a reader could expect that one of the three would die. That would likely have been Merry, being the last in line.

Being third in a sequence is usually the worst.

Being third in a sequence is usually the worst.

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I actually set out to write a rather short post tonight, but here we are. Well, I had thoughts, even if those thoughts were wrought in confusion and fatigue.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 35

No one dies today.

“‘It is likely that he will be fit to arise tomorrow, for a short while,’…”

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There was a real chance that tonight’s post might not have happened. My internet is not happy. But, what else are unsecured apartment complex wi-fi networks for?

100% accurate depiction.

100% accurate depiction.

Surprise, surprise…Aragorn wakes Merry. Merry’s first request is for food. He wants a pipe to smoke, but remembers that Théoden had wanted to smoke together, so he pauses. However, Aragorn suggests that Merry would be better off remembering Théoden by smoking his pipe. Sounds like a plan.

Aragorn ends the page with some deserved joking at the herb-master’s expense. Sure, Merry can request some pipe-weed, but it will be a chore to get it.

Yeah, I’m okay with that. Who does this “master of herbs” think he is, if he doesn’t seem to have that great of a grip on the uses of herbs for healing? It’s only fitting that he gets some ribbing when Merry might be asking him for something to smoke. Heck, with his knowledge, he might think that pipe-weed has medicinal properties.

Well…maybe it does. Some people might argue that.

Whatever, dude.

Whatever, dude.

So we can end with laughs instead of tears and anxiety. Meanwhile, this chapter is drawing to a close shortly, marking yet another short one. Yeah, we’re moving! I could tell (just by simple page counts) that Return of the King was going to be short compared to the first two books. Indeed, the pace has quickened.

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I think that’s a joke. Right? That’s a yolk. Aragorn is yolking.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 36

No one dies today.

“‘And he will tell you that he did not know that the herb you desire had any virtues, but that it is called westmansweed by the vulgar, and galenas by the noble, and other names in other tongues more learned, and after adding a few half-forgotten rhymes that he does not understand, he will regretfully inform you that there is none in the House, and he will leave you to reflect on…'”

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It must be a symptom of my repetitive and drawn-out nature, but this is feeling formulaic.

MATH, y'all.

MATH, y’all.

Aragorn comforts and wakes Faramir. Aragorn comforts and wakes Éowyn. Aragorn moves to Merry’s room. What could happen next?!

I was actually expecting at least some sort of differentiation between Faramir and Éowyn, and I would have allowed for some similarity between Éowyn and Merry. After all, Éowyn and Merry’s states were both triggered by the same event. Faramir was injured in a different way, and suffered from a different malady. However, Éowyn’s recovery is brought about by the same method (steaming kingsfoil and calling her name) as Faramir’s. Similarly, while Beregond and Bergil were left to tend to Faramir, Éomer stays behind with his sister as the rest of the party moves to Merry’s bedside. And, don’t you forget, we have Pippin to fill that very role once Merry wakes up.

So, why did I kind of skip the summary of this page? Well, we’ve done this already.

Woah, deja vu.

Woah, deja vu.

Any new information? Well, Éowyn remembers what happened, and she knows that Théoden is dead. However, she saw in her dreaming a vision that Éomer had died as well. Basically, her condition gave her dark visions, seemingly trying to break her in despair. In fact, Aragorn had mentioned yesterday that even should Éowyn awaken, despair could still claim her life.

This is another one of those things that I don’t entirely understand. Things have actually gotten a little confusing lately. Perhaps this is why this chapter isn’t one that I remember reading previously, and why it isn’t ever one that I hear talked about as a major moment in the text. This is all just very dark and dreamlike. Not easy to connect to that kind of thing.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 37

No one dies today.

“‘I came in time, and I have called…'”

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Hoo boy. This was a really long day, and I’m tired beyond belief. And, in the end, I was really confused by this page. So, this isn’t going to be easy.

I think, ultimately, what this page is trying to get at is that Éowyn, strong-willed though she was, was corrupted somewhat by Wormtongue’s counsels. It sounds like Gandalf thinks that she grew tired of sitting by the aging Théoden and listening to the grim tidings of Wormtongue. However, she had the courage of Éomer, and thus wanted to be a part of the wide world at large.

I don't know. Maybe like that.

I don’t know. Maybe like that.

However, Aragorn says that he sees something else in her, and calls to her much like he did to Faramir. As Aragorn steams some more kingsfoil in the air, Éowyn comes to. Well, somewhat. She doesn’t wake, but breathes ever so lightly.

Breathing is good. Breathing is not dead.

Strong analysis today from yours truly.

But seriously, though, it’s nice to know that Aragorn clearly has the magic touch. I feel like he could do just about anything at this point, and those that he means to heal will benefit. It’s good to be the king.

I want to be the king. Oh, we don’t have kings? Shoot.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 38

No one dies today.

“Once more Aragorn bruised two leaves of athelas and cast them into steaming water; and he laved her brow with it, and her right arm lying cold and nerveless on the coverlet.”

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I guess the kingsfoil makes everyone so happy that they remember or see things pleasing to them. That, or maybe Ioreth is just addled like that. Regardless, Faramir awakens. He immediately sees Aragorn and smiles, recognizing him as the king. How? I don’t know. Probably kingly magic.

Aragorn lets Faramir rest, and moves his efforts to Éowyn. He asks Éomer if he ever saw the inklings of this courage in her, but he doesn’t seem to have ever seen anything. He almost blames Aragorn for lighting a fire in her, but stops short. It’s good to be the king.

First Mentions:

-Imloth Melui: Valley in Lossarnach where Ioreth grew up. Known for its flowers. Funny how Ioreth grew up here, since she knows NOTHING about plants.

Yeah, I’m saying that Éomer has too much respect for the king to accuse him of inspiring his sister to act wildly. That, and who knows how many feminists would jump on him for that? This book is already lacking in women as it is. I’m going to assume that Éomer just didn’t know his sister that well. She was probably always yearning for adventure, but he was too busy actually having adventures to notice.

Horse friend, dog friend...whichever.

Horse friend, dog friend…whichever.

Amazingly, the process to healing Faramir was an easy one. Unfortunately, this could have been averted if only the healers here knew anything about healing. Am I a little bitter? I guess so.

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It really does sound like a nice enough place, except for that whole Ioreth connection.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 39

No one dies today.

“‘But that did not bring her to this pass!'”

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This herbal guy is unhelpful, too! He basically just tells Aragorn that he must be mistaken. Everyone knows that kingsfoil is hardly good for anything other than curing old people of their headaches!

This guy is MY headache.

This guy is MY headache.

So…kingsfoil does have medicinal properties then, if it’s curing headaches. WHY DO THESE PEOPLE SUCK? Aragorn and Gandalf send this man away, and Aragorn continues to do his best to help Faramir in any way possible. It’s Bergil who saves the day, running in with a few leaves of kingsfoil. Aragorn quickly uses it to steam up the room, lightening the air, as well as the hearts of all.

Okay, okay, WHY. Why are the “healers” in the Houses of Healing so terrible at their jobs? They completely dismiss legends, calling them old wives’ tales, even though it was Ioreth’s memory of one that called Aragorn to come and help. These very legends speak of the power of kingsfoil, specifically mentioning “the black breath”, which is EXACTLY the problem right now. Seriously, guys, get a clue. It’s like the Keystone Cops in here.

On a more serious note, kingsfoil seems to have a similar property to eucalyptus. It’s extremely fragrant, and has that hard-to-describe feeling associated with it. I can’t be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if eucalyptus somehow inspired this plant. So…that would make the old people who use it…



Unfortunately, this is all looking pretty poorly for Gondor. They really have a lack of knowledge and leadership, and it’s clear that Aragorn will have work to do here. Thankfully, that’s exactly why he’ll be a good king.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 40

No one dies today.

“‘The weed is better than I thought. It reminds…'”

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