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Archive for the ‘9 – The Last Debate’ Category

It’s the end of another short chapter, hurtling us on ever forward.

Wheeeeee!

Wheeeeee!

The plans are being set for the “attack” on Mordor, with a force smaller than that which once made up only a small portion of Gondor’s army. Again, it’s all to try to trick Sauron. Imrahil jokes about this being a…well, a joke, and Gandalf and Aragorn chide him for it. See, Imrahil, this is why you can’t have nice things.

In total, seven thousand will march to Mordor and three thousand remain behind to guard Minas Tirith against the army to the north. They’re all divvied up: two thousand to Aragorn, three thousand and five hundred to Imrahil (because I guess he can have some nice things), five hundred horse and five hundred foot to Éomer, and five hundred more horsed men to the twins Elladan and Elrohir. Remember them? When you’re the twin sons of an important elf lord (Elrond), you get to command stuff.

Elfhelm, of Rohan, is the one chosen to stay behind and lead the defense, if needed. That’s a great example of us all working together now! If a man from Rohan can guard Gondor, we must be friends.

FRIENDS.

FRIENDS.

We also have on this page a short metaphor for Sauron and flies. If a fly stings Sauron, will he crush it? No, he will trap the fly, and take its stinger. This is problematic, because I’m not familiar with flies that have stingers.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-warworthy

I have fought off the urge to image search for flies with stingers. I just don’t want to go there at this time of night.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 23

No one dies today.

“‘You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought,’ he said.”

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It’s always annoying having to deal with the particulars. Sure, you can march off to war and distract Sauron all you like, but that won’t change the fact that he has a bigger army than you, and that one is still camped out just north of Minas Tirith. In one quick attack, he could swipe the city away from Gondor. What would be the point of returning to a ruined homeland?

Yeah, that army that the Rohirrim skirted around by hiking through the woods with Ghân-buri-Ghân is still there!

And they're bored.

And they’re bored.

Gandalf counsels all to leave some force behind in Minas Tirith to defend against a counterattack. The force sent to Mordor should be considerably large, but since there’s no hope of really attacking the black land anyway, it only has to look big enough that it might cause Sauron some concern. And they should get ready to go in two days.

At first that seems ridiculous. With all the men injured from this past battle, getting ready to go will be hard. However, Aragorn remembers that scads of men from the southern coast of Gondor are riding or sailing up to Minas Tirith. After he cleared out the corsair ships, he asked those who could not join him up the river to come along as fast as they could. Well, they should be here soon! That will fill out the forces both on offense and defense.

On a side note, Imrahil wonders about the strength of Minas Tirith with its now ruined gate. Aragorn suggests that dwarves may be hired to fix it. Yes, Gimli, your stoneworking laments will pay their dues!

Well, someone's Happy!

Well, someone’s Happy!

Oh, wait, so Aragorn’s going to be a great king because he inspired so many more men to march up to Minas Tirith, and now they’ll come in handy? Gosh, I’d have never guessed! So great he will be! Let’s keep hitting that point over and over and over again.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Erebor

Erebor is another name for the Lonely Mountain, which of course is featured prominently in…

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 24

No one dies today.

“Aragorn should find some two thousands of those that he had gathered to him in the South; but Imrahil should find three and a half thousands;…”

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It’s all a ruse. They can’t defeat Sauron in any way, really. However, they can trick him. Gandalf suggests marching in open war. If Aragorn leads an army in this way, seemingly rashly, Sauron might think that he has the ring. Why? Well, only someone drunk on power like the ring would give them would act in such a way.

So rash.

So rash.

Of course, Aragorn doesn’t have the ring. No one here does. But if they can draw Sauron’s attention, maybe Frodo will have an opportunity to destroy it.

Being this humble king, Aragorn won’t force anyone to go with him on this suicide mission. Unsurprisingly, both Éomer and Imrahil volunteer their forces immediately.

Well, really, Aragorn still isn’t king yet. He won’t assume the throne until this is all over.

And once again, I wonder why Imrahil was so absent from the film adaptation. I wrote him off earlier after he yielded so easily to others’ wishes, but he still remains an important character, leading Gondor as a figurehead for the moment. He’s the one making the decision to go into battle for that entire kingdom right now, not Aragorn.

Heck, if no one else agreed to go with him, Aragorn would probably fight alone. That wouldn’t distract Sauron much, though.

Come at me, bro.

Come at me, bro.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Ringlord

-succoured

Imagine how lame this book would be if it were just called The Ringlord. It just doesn’t have the same…RING TO IT.

Bad pun banana!

Bad pun banana!

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 25

No one dies today.

“‘His wish is to me a command.'”

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Today’s page is an in-depth look at Sauron, everyone’s least favorite nebulous evil dude.

As pictured.

As pictured.

Gandalf is explaining the particulars of Sauron’s possible victory or defeat. If he regains the ring, all is lost so wholly that no one can imagine the consequences. If the ring is destroyed, Sauron stands no chance of ever gaining power again. Should he fall, Sauron will degenerate into being some sort of grumpy ghost, ineffectively haunting places.

Of course, there are greater evils than Sauron. In fact, these evils may come to power with his defeat, but Gandalf is not concerned with this future.

So, is Gandalf like that conservative ideology that has no time for bothering with anything that affects future generations? He has a sort of “let them deal with it” mentality. Well, I can’t say that’s helpful, but what does it matter? There’s a reason that there isn’t much ever known about Middle-earth post-War of the Ring.

Meanwhile, Sauron is watching our heroes, especially since Aragorn revealed himself through a palantír. Gandalf thinks that this is to their advantage. Sauron thinks that some powerful man, probably Aragorn, will try to wield the ring against him. He can try to strike before Aragorn can master the ring, while it may still be loyal to its original master. This might provide a distraction.

Yes, the ring can be won over. However, since Sauron’s power over it has been so strong for so long, it always acts in a way to suit his needs. Until someone with a somewhat equal power can claim it, the ring will always be his. That’s why the ring itself is evil!

I find this image confusing.

I find this image confusing.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Sauron’s

Bottom line: everything’s evil. And most ideas are bad. Wait and defend against another attack? Bad idea. Wield the ring in attack? Bad idea. Parlay? Always a bad idea. Come up with new ideas? Might be alright.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 26

No one dies today.

“‘He studies the signs: the Sword that robbed him of his treasure re-made; the winds of…'”

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I have no words today. My day was mediocre. My evening was fantastic. My (late) night was unfathomably preposterous.

"Preposterous" may be the only word that I have.

“Preposterous” may be the only word that I have.

We flip the narrative to the counsel in the tents outside Minas Tirith. Gandalf counsels Aragorn, Éomer, and Imrahil that they must somehow take the fight to Sauron. They cannot spend any more time waiting and building defenses. Another assault will come, and it will be stronger still.

This is predicated on the fact that a palantír cannot lie. Sauron may be able to manipulate his somewhat, but the visions that Denethor saw of an army in Mordor could not have been faked. That army exists. There’s no escaping that.

However, Gandalf turns the conversation to the ring. Yes, that ring that has been pushed so far aside lately. Their strategy will depend upon it, even without knowing a thing about its whereabouts.

Does that mean we will jump to Frodo and Sam next chapter? I’m dying to get back to them.

That’s all I’ve got. I wish for a night of no dreams. Just sleep.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 27

No one dies today.

“‘Concerning this thing, my lords, you now all know enough for…'”

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We’re caught up now! The remaining bits of Legolas and Gimil’s story concern their journey up Anduin to Minas Tirith, piloting the commandeered corsair ships. Aragorn had freed the slaves and captives of the corsairs, but many of them, being men of Gondor, stayed aboard, willfully helping their new king.

Have I mentioned that it's good to be the king?

Have I mentioned that it’s good to be the king?

Gimli’s spirits wane on the trip, but Legolas tries to cheer him up. The hearts of all the men present get a rise when the wind picks up to carry their sails. And they can see the fires burning at Minas Tirith in the distance.

Okay, okay. I’m actually getting a little tired of all the “Aragorn will be such a great king” moments. In some ways, I think we covered that long ago. Sure, I guess there’s some validity to seeing him in action, but that’s really the only purpose of this story, save to explain how he, Legolas, and Gimli made their way up to Minas Tirith. However, because we already know that they made it (even as first-time readers), there isn’t much tension to build. Aragorn spends a lot of time worrying that they won’t make it in time to save the city, but since the city has already been saved, I don’t really care anymore.

I’m being harsh. But only because I’ve been doing this for so long. And probably also because I get impatient. Reading this all in one go, maybe it isn’t so noticeable.

You know, I’m totally going to go back and read this book again when I’m done, but AT A NORMAL PACE. How weird is that?

As weird as bologna with a face?

As weird as bologna with a face?

Back to the story, we learn that that “wind from the sea” that people were going on about actually did have a positive real affect on the battle. The ships would have arrived much later if not for it!

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 28

No one dies today.

“‘Much I wonder what counsels they are taking…'”

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We’re still listening to this tale. Gimli’s picked it up now, but the story’s the same.

Aragorn has driven the Haradrim before him in retreat to the ships waiting for them. Fear of the ghost army has run rampant, and some ships have even retreated away before anyone arrived. The battle is a quick one. When Aragorn calls the ghosts to fight, they sweep over the Southrons, driving them away with fear and slaughter.

Yeah, you know.

Yeah, you know.

There isn’t much for the men behind to do to clean up. Aragorn leads them onto the remaining ships, freeing slaves, and begins preparation for the journey up the river. He then releases the dead from his service.

So, that’s when that happens. They don’t make it all the way to Minas Tirith. The movie just added them there, probably because the Dúnedain aren’t shown meeting up with Aragorn before taking the Paths of the Dead.

Completely unrelated to anything, I stumbled upon a keyboard shortcut for accents and such today. It had made me very happy. Só. Vëry. Hâppy. This means you might notice me talking about Éomer and Éowyn more often, or the Dúnedain, Glóin, Barad-dûr…you know. It would have been really helpful to know during those chapters where Merry and Pippin were hanging out with orcs all the time.

Meanwhile, don’t forget, just for framing purposes, that Merry and Pippin are the ones listening to this whole story right now.

I heart frame.

I heart frame.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-foretellings

Four tellings? Only once, please.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 29

No one dies today.

“‘And thereupon the King of the Dead stood out before the host…'”

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