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Archive for the ‘Book Five’ Category

Pretty pedestrian page again today…because it’s a lot of walking!

Rise up and unite, pedestrians of Middle-earth!

Rise up and unite, pedestrians of Middle-earth!

There’s a short skirmish, won easily by Aragorn’s forces, but he believes that it is but a feint by Sauron to draw Aragorn on with an easy victory. I can’t say I understand that thinking, but I see it more as a scouting opportunity. The Ringwraiths are now circling the army as well. Eyes are on them.

After a few more days, they reach the desolation before the gates of Mordor. That’s right, we jump ahead quite quickly, and their journey is almost at an end.

The chief enemy for this army now is not so much orcs or other foes, but despair. Many men have not seen Mordor in person, and its presence is disheartening. Some men refuse to go on. Aragorn allows them to go back if they wish, and he asks them to help defend Cair Andros, a stronghold on an island of Anduin. Some do, and others are shamed enough to continue. Good leadership, I guess.

If nothing else, this march puts into perspective the distance between Minas Tirith and the Black Gate. It’s hard to know otherwise, but it’s taken almost a week to march between the two, even if it may be a fast march.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-enhearten

Things will get more interesting tomorrow, or at least I would think so.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 19

“And so, since many men had already been left at the Cross-roads, it was with less than six thousands that the Captains of the West came at last to challenge the Black Gate and the might of Mordor.”

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There will come a day when I tell myself that I have to stop writing these at stupid hours of the night, but that is not this day.

I shall face it head on.

I shall face it head on.

However, it is almost the day when it will be “not this day”, although I’ve heard that that day is not a day that will be this day. Okay?

To sum it up, the army is moving very quickly northward up along the road. After a brief rest at the crossroads, they’re on the move again. Time passes, and a small battle is joined around the very place where Faramir and his men ambushed the southerners.

In the briefest of asides, Aragorn and Gandalf take some time to look down the valley at Minas Morgul while the rest of the army is catching up. There’s a moment of reflection on the city that once was a part of Gondor, and the evil stillness that envelops them. Then they burn the road, bridge, and fields.

Wait…what? Yeah. All of a sudden, in one swift sentence, Aragorn and Gandalf set the countryside (if you can call it that) alight.

Take THAT, Mordor!

Take THAT, Mordor!

It seems out of character for the two of them to destroy things just because they can. They’re only passing through! Whatever, I guess this is character development.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-ghylls

What. Whatever these things are, I’d hate to see one called Bear Ghylls. Sounds like a rough place all around.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 20

No one dies today.

“For a strong force of Orcs and Easterlings attempted to take their leading companies in an ambush; and that was in the very place where Faramir…”

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I’ve written more than you today.

Seriously, I think I might be pushing 10,000 words right now. I wish it was because of something cool like NaNoWriMo, but it’s just my stupid side job, which is eating up more and more of my time.

You work, little man. You work.

You work, little man. You work.

As such, tonight will be short and sweet.

Merry’s left behind! Oh, no! Bergil comforts him.

We fly over to the army, marching away from Minas Tirith! I was right! We’re not getting anyone’s point of view specifically, yet. They make it across the river through Osgiliath and over to the crossroads by evening. There Aragorn has heralds blow, and men work to restore the broken statue there. Others, Imrahil among them, debate whether or not to simply attack Minas Morgul, and sneak into Mordor through the pass of Cirith Ungol.

Gandalf hates this idea. He has reasons.

Ring reasons, of course! If that’s where Frodo is, we don’t want to start a battle on top of him. Imrahil is sucking more and more by the day.

And he's stealing the dog's bed!

And he’s stealing the dog’s bed!

Nonetheless, it’s nice to see that defiled statue getting a facelift…literally. We spent so much time there with Frodo and Sam, there HAD to be a moment where we’d return. Here we are.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 21

No one dies today.

“But against this Gandalf had spoken urgently, because of the evil that dwelt in the valley, where the minds of living men would turn to madness and horror, and because also of the news that Faramir…”

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Before you look back thinking: “Didn’t we have a chapter with this title already?” Well, almost. Chapter 3 of the second half of Two Towers was “The Black Gate is Closed”. That was when Frodo and Sam showed up at the gate to Mordor, only to see it heavily guarded and impassable. Now, the force is marching to the gate with the express purpose of seeing it opened. No spoilers here…it will be.

I see that River Song is good friends with the Bad Pun Banana.

I see that River Song is good friends with the Bad Pun Banana.

This chapter begins from the perspective of Merry, left to watch on the walls of Minas Tirith as the army marches off. He has been forbidden from leaving Minas Tirith, as he is still healing up. So instead, he stands bitterly watching everyone he cares about march away. This sadness brings the pain still welling in his arm to his mind.

Bergil is there for comfort, though! Beregond is leading a force, so he’s left behind with Merry. Though Bergil had only so far formed a friendship with Pippin, I think it’s safe to say that he and Merry will get along just fine.

In other news, the northern army was rounded up and dispatched rather easily. They fled once they saw the attack coming their way. Not too smart without a leader or backup plan, are they?

How hard is it to search "retreat" and not get images of people relaxing and team-building?

How hard is it to search “retreat” and not get images of people relaxing and team-building?

I do think, though, that this chapter might skip around a bit. Stay tuned to see if we ride along with Pippin or someone, considering the title of the chapter wouldn’t make much sense if we just stayed with Merry the whole time. Few chapters have done that, but this might be one.

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 22

No one dies today.

“As if recalled by his mood of despair, the pain in his arm returned,…”

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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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