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Archive for the ‘2 – The Land of Shadow’ Category

CHAOS.

CANNOT HANDLE.

CANNOT HANDLE.

Chaos is our friend now. In the chaos of companies meeting and fighting, Frodo and Sam slip off unseen. They hide on the other side of an embankment near the road, preparing for one more crawl to find a place to wait out the orcs’ passage.

So, that was a very short-lived journey with the orcs. Frodo and Sam go a little out of their way north and expend much more energy than they had planned, but it’s not exactly a long detour. If nothing else, they now know that orcs are oblivious enough not to notice that the two hobbits are in their midst. This will prove well for traversing the lands ahead.

To Mount Doom we go! (The next chapter seems to line us right up for that.)

No one dies today.

“Then he pitched down into a shallow pit that opened unexpectedly before them, and there he lay like a dead thing.”

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So, you’ve walked nearly continuously all day everyday for the last few months? How does running with a pack of orcs sound? And if you can’t keep up, you’ll be whipped, beaten, and who knows what else worse. Does that sound like a good time?

Is that so?

Is that so?

For Frodo, the march is a nightmare. He’s so weary from carrying the burden of the ring that he can barely walk, let alone run for his life. Sam notices his trouble, but helping him would only draw the attention of the overseers. They run for some miles in sweat, pain, and stench. Just as Frodo starts to lose it, the company halts as they come to a crossroads where many orc companies are meeting in their marches to the Black Gate. It’s a little bit chaotic.

Still no mention of if the hobbits’ feet are noticeable. Come to think of it, when they’re running in the inner ranks of the orcs, they might just be covered up enough that no one would notice. The orcs in the pack are really too focused on their march to care, anyway. No one will notice unless the slave-driving orcs do.

However, I continue to wonder about the timing of this. We’re past the point where Aragorn has revealed himself to Sauron, and that’s the very reason why these orcs are on the move north. Unfortunately, the passage of time in Mordor is hard to deduce. Day and night don’t function entirely normally, so keeping track of time is harder. Of course, my confusion could also be a result of the fact that the text is deliberately trying to confuse the reader. That’s a good text.

Confuse!

Confuse!

And this chapter is ending tomorrow. I actually believe that we’re almost done with Frodo and Sam’s journey! Yes, there is still more to come. Don’t forget about the end that everyone forgets about.

No one dies today.

“Though the drivers yelled and…”

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Things go well…at least until they go badly. Frodo and Sam’s walk along the road seems to be okay until they hear and see a troop of orcs marching quickly up from behind. Frodo panics and feels utterly trapped. Sam agrees and despairs. They both sit down against a rock wall, hoping against hope that maybe the force will just march on past.

Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

Strangely, this nearly happens. Lines of orcs run by, unaware of anything but their march because they’re too determined to get it over with. However, an overseer does stop and notice the two small figures sitting by the road. Frodo and Sam are sufficiently disguised, but that doesn’t save them from being co-opted into the march. They receive a good talking to.

For reference, a rock wall blocks one side of the road, while the other side plunges down a cliff. There’s nowhere to run, though I had initially figured that there must be somewhere to go.

So, here’s the one thing: Sam covers their feet with their shields so that their hobbit-ness is not given away right off the bat. (Orcs don’t have hairy feet, of course, and won’t go running around bootless.) However, won’t the overseer notice that they don’t have shoes on when they get up to join the march? While Frodo and Sam haven’t stood up yet, I can only imagine that it won’t be easy to hide those feet.

Frodo needs a manicure, too.

Frodo needs a manicure, too.

Is this capture, then? Well, remember that orcs are stupid, and we’ll have a grand old time over the next few days.

No one dies today.

“He took a step towards them, and even in the gloom he recognized…”

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Indeed, all is not barren in the land of Mordor. Sam finds a trickling stream from which to take more water. As he turns to go back to Frodo, he sees a shape climbing about the rocks near where Frodo is sleeping.

Nothing to see here!

Nothing to see here!

Sam runs back, scaring the thing off, but lets Frodo sleep a little more. When Sam can no longer keep himself awake, he rouses Frodo and tells him about the encounter. It was Gollum, of course. Sam falls asleep, waking to see that Frodo fell asleep again instead of staying up on watch.

Okay, sure. So, Frodo was told that he had to stay awake on watch because there was CERTAINLY a creepy little dude out to kill them, but then he fell asleep anyway. Responsible, that one.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 2 – “I fail to even see your purpose at this point.”

What I’m saying is that Gollum only slinks around behind Frodo and Sam. He doesn’t attack them, even though he has every opportunity to do so. He’s been following them for some time, staying just out of sight, but has never made any move. He could have taken the ring at any point, but has chosen not to. A villain without a plan can be very terrifying, though Gollum doesn’t strike many people as terrifying normally.

Good on Sam for hustling back, though.

I don't know, but yeah.

I don’t know, but yeah.

If he doesn’t run back, Frodo gets the worst Gollum has, whatever that is.

No one dies today.

“They went first to the little…”

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Flying is hard. I mean that in that it basically takes up all of your day. I guess it’s blog time now!

Walking is hard. I mean that in that it’s kind of boring most of the time.

"Gosh, Janet, isn't this walk we're taking just the bee's knees?"

“Gosh, Janet, isn’t this walk we’re taking just the bee’s knees?”

Unfortunately, today’s walking ends with Frodo and Sam coming to a place where they think they can go no further. The road they’ve been walking alongside leads to a stronghold. That clearly isn’t a place they want to go. Another road leads out from the gate, but using it would mean that they would have a very high chance of being seen. Before attempting anything, Sam forces Frodo to have some food and drink.

Unfortunately once more, Frodo eats and drinks way more than he should. Sam is too nice to say anything, and instead goes off while Frodo sleeps to rummage up some more sustenance, if he can.

First Mentions:

-Durthang: Another one of those castles of men that has been taken over by the forces of evil. Totally not the Scandinavian wizarding school from which Viktor Krum hails, which is Durmstrang.

And so we reach another impasse. How many times can Frodo and Sam overlook a plain and sigh in despair? It seems like this is the place where they’ll finally take a risk, though. It’s certainly better than walking in circles forever.

Unless you're good at that sort of thing in an artistic way.

Unless you’re good at that sort of thing in an artistic way.

That being said, I don’t think the risk needs to be that Sam wanders off while Frodo sleeps. Taking a risk in terms of trying to move forward is worth it. Taking a risk in terms of leaving the most important item in the world vulnerable? Maybe not so much. Again, I’m thankful that I know how this ends.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Durthang

Mordor: it’s a whole lot more than a gate, a tower, and a volcano. People forget that. The tour guides aren’t very good.

No one dies today.

“Sam crept out, and flitting from stone to stone with more than hobbit-care, he went down to the water-course, and then followed it…”

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Are we there yet?

No, really. Sam wants to know, so he asks Frodo. Frodo thinks that there’s still some way to go before the northwestern corner of Mordor, where they might be able to easily cross east towards Mount Doom. Of course, that would put them some ways north of where they need to be. Is it worth going so far out of the way just to be safer? Frodo continually says that it doesn’t matter, really; they’ll just be caught eventually.

Optimism!

Golly, Frodo.

Golly, Frodo.

Brief aside today to say that Frodo was shown some sort of a map of Mordor back in Rivendell. It doesn’t sound like it was the most accurate thing, because no one really likes venturing about in Mordor for orienteering reasons, but I guess it’s better than nothing. And it sure is great that someone showed a map to Frodo, since now he’s running things on his own.

That’s right, this page brought orienteering onto the blog.

Meanwhile, this is really just another page of walking, so I’m going to leave it be. It was New Year’s. I’m tired. Guess what? They keep walking.

No one dies today.

“To meet it there stretched out from the grey and misty northern range of Ered Lithui a long jutting arm; and between the ends there was a narrow gap:…”

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Happy New Year! If you’re reading this from a place where it’s already 2014, happy morning-time! This is the last year. I started in 2011. It’s 2014, and it’s the end of all things.

LOUD NOISES.

LOUD NOISES.

It’s the end of all things today for a certain orc, as the tracker hides behind a rock and shoots the soldier orc in the face with an arrow. That escalated quickly. Frodo and Sam sit in stunned silence. After a scolding from Frodo for talking too loud, Sam offers that he could tell Frodo the story of their separation while they wait out any other possible orc patrols. He does so, and then they move again under darkness.

Once again, we skip over the story time. We heard that already!

And let us mourn soldier orc. Follower of Shagrat. Fighter for the Eye. He loved fighting, arguing, and general orc-ishness. He will not be missed.

All in all, it’s a moment for Sam to learn about the true ways of Mordor. He says that if this attitude spreads, half of the orcs in their way would be taken care of. Well, that’s true, but unfortunately, this is how they act all the time, and are only hardly kept in check. However, if they were to see folks such as Frodo or Sam wandering around, they wouldn’t hesitate to drop their quibbles and attack. Nothing bonds stronger than hate.

Hydrogen ain't bad either.

Hydrogen ain’t bad either.

Now we can resume walking without any excitement. This was just too much!

“It was difficult and dangerous moving in the night in the pathless land; but slowly and with much stumbling the two hobbits toiled on hour by hour northward along the eastern edge of the stony valley.”

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