Archive for the ‘3 – Mount Doom’ Category

Okay, so today isn’t about walking, which is amazingly different. Sam and Frodo are once again resting after a long day’s march, though Sam can’t sleep much. He sits awake for most of the night, which seems to go on endlessly. When Sam rises, he rouses Frodo, who begins to helplessly crawl up the side of Mount Doom, now looming before them. That won’t do, so Sam plans on carrying Frodo.

*Music swells*

Yeah, the line itself is a little different from the “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” that the movie touts. It’s really “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well!” It just doesn’t have the same, uh…ring to it when you include the ring.

Nevertheless, we’ve noted one more time that this appears to be the end of the journey. Frodo and Sam are now literally at the feet of Mount Doom, though it certainly looks like it will take some time to climb, as well as to find the entrance that they need to use. Sam still has no idea what they really have to do at that point.

Meanwhile, anyone who ever questions who the real main character of this book is needs to take a second read. I’ve been smoldering on this for a while now, but Sam is clearly the one who we’ve truly taken this journey with. We’ve watched him grow, even as Frodo deteriorated. Instead of getting inside Frodo’s mind all this time, we’ve been traveling with Sam. He’s only the gardner, but he’s our hero now. Carry Frodo to victory!

No one dies today.

“‘Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go.'”


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Sam’s thirsty and weary mind plays games with him as he and Frodo take their rest. In short, today’s page is mostly about Sam arguing with himself, trying to both fortify and dash his hopes of reaching Mount Doom. He seems to be willing to give all that it may take, though he still has very low expectations of success. He also has no idea what to do with the ring once they get to the mountain of fire.



A rumble is felt underground from Mount Doom, and the next day’s march dawns. This appears to be the end.

First Mentions:

-the Pool at Bywater: Somewhat of a swimming hole in the Shire. Hobbits don’t much like boats and swimming, though.

-Jolly Cotton: Wilcome “Jolly” Cotton is a friend of Sam’s, and brother to his dear Rosie Cotton.

-Tom: Another Cotton sibling, the eldest of the five.

-Nibs: The youngest Cotton, whose real name is Carl. Carl, Nibs, whatever.

There’s a lot of time spent these last few days in Sam remembering details from the Shire. This is contrasted nicely with Frodo’s dissolution of memory. Sam doesn’t have the same weight that Frodo does, and he’s surviving off of fond memories from his home. If he can complete their task, maybe, just maybe, he’ll get to go back to all of this.

Deep down, we're all just trying to get back to a simpler time in life.

Deep down, we’re all just trying to get back to a simpler time in life.


The end of this page starts off with the idea that Frodo and Sam are on the last leg of their journey. I want it. FINISH IT.

In truth, I’ve come to the realization that the destruction of the ring won’t be even close to the end for me. The post-climax action of this book continues on for quite a while. I’m sure there will be a big release on my part once we hit that big destruction moment, but don’t you ever get comfortable in thinking that the end is in sight.

No one dies today.

“He was in pain, and so parched that he could no longer swallow even a…”

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This was almost the end. I don’t mean of the story. This was almost the first blog post, everyday since July 27th, 2011, that didn’t happen. My internet was nearly the death of me, and I was minutes away from calling it. Thank you, unsecured apartment complex network. Thank you.

I think I have to be the jerk who asks this: If Frodo can’t recall any of these things, then how can he remember them at all?

I’m terrible. Of course, Frodo hasn’t lost all memory of the finer things in life, but he’s so preoccupied with thoughts of the ring that they seem like faraway snippets of a lost life. While he’s dealing with that, Sam goes off to throw their unnecessary belongings into a ravine. They turn towards Mount Doom and begin what should be the last leg of their journey.

Best leg.

Best leg.

The day’s march goes well, as Frodo appears to have new strength. As the day draws to a close, he has struggles again, but one can expect these at this point. We’re so close!

To be brutally honest, most of my thoughts of analysis went out the window when I nearly had a panic attack about missing today’s post. My fear came in stages: first, I thought that everything would be okay. I’ve seen my internet have issues late at night before, and things usually get resolved in a matter of minutes. Next, I got sad, but accepted my loss. Finally, the panic came. I refused to let this be the breaking point. Now, I wouldn’t have ended the blog, of course. I would have just done two posts tomorrow, and felt dirty about it.

But anyway, there was serious panic here. I’ve been thinking a lot about how this is going to feel when it finally draws to a close, and I wasn’t prepared to have to deal with a time when I failed, somewhat, in my mission of writing these each and every day. Sure, I’d get myself to the end, but it would feel incomplete. Heck, I still feel guilty every time I post after midnight, which is most days now. Going to bed before throwing a post together the next day would be blasphemy.

Suffice it to say, I care about this, even though it’s kind of silly. I’m so close. I won’t let this fail.

Hey, here’s some analysis: I’m acting a lot like Frodo and Sam right now. That can’t be a coincidence.

No one dies today.

“He went without himself; and now as once…”

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Time to say goodbye to…pots and pans.

Bye, friends!

Bye, friends!

When Sam realizes that it’s up to him to get Frodo moving, he does so begrudgingly. Frodo doesn’t have much energy left. He can hardly get up because the weight of the ring is dragging him down. Sam comes up with the idea to ditch their belongings. He has, of course, formed personal connections with everything he’s been lugging around. The pots and the pans are the worst to leave behind.

Yeah, Sam has close and intimate connections to kitchen equipment. I’m just going to leave it at that.

They formed a bond at a young age.

They formed a bond at a young age.

Oh, and Sam vainly tries to help Frodo carry the ring. That backfires horribly as Frodo nearly gets violent. Don’t do that. Don’t try and take the ring from Frodo. That connection Sam had with the pots and pans? Times like a million.

No one dies today.

“‘No taste of food, no feel of…'”

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We’ve reached that point where every other time I’ve said “Times is bad” is just a vast overreaction. Times is bad now. Really, really bad.

Frodo and Sam have reached the point where they haven’t even spoken to each other in a day, in part because they don’t have anything else to talk about, but also because they don’t have the energy to spend having a conversation. They’re resting now, and eventually sleep away the “night” of Mordor.

Mordor daytime: a rendering.

Mordor daytime: a rendering.

Sam is totally parched, and though they found some water along the roadway for traveling orcs, it’s now almost run out. Sam’s dreams are restless.

At this point, the hobbits have traveled some ways east. Mount Doom is now somewhat south of them. This brings up the problem that Frodo and Sam need to cut off the road and go south over the plains, but the land is still very unforgiving. You have to give it a shot at some point, though. Time is running short.

Meanwhile, kudos to Mordor for having a system of, well…water fountains. Naturally, like all outdoor water fountains, they don’t work very well.

When was the last time you saw any of these functioning properly?

When was the last time you saw any of these functioning properly?

If I was there, I’d be trying to drink out of every single one of those, because that’s just how I do. I kind of have an obsession with water fountains. Now you know.

No one dies today.

“Frodo was lying on his…”

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Walking, walking, walking. We walk all day. We walk for four days. We walk.

That was a haiku, kinda.

Totally intentional.

Totally intentional.

So, basically, Frodo and Sam walk for four more days in pain and despair. Sounds like fun? Totally is. We get some images to sync up with Aragorn’s march, too. His forces have reached the crossroads, and, in burning some fields, set Sauron off in anger and fear. He isn’t paying attention to the goings on in Mordor, and so Frodo and Sam can slip by, even occasionally on the roads.

Unfortunately, Frodo continues to deteriorate. Sam watches as Frodo stumbles along nearly blindly.

And this is that part where things are really bad, but there’s nothing much that can be done. Mordor is a featureless land, so there isn’t much to say about it as our heroes pass through.

I’m glad for the update on Aragorn, though. I was so worried that the timing was going to feel really funky, but it looks fine now. I get flustered about things like that.

Many flustered. So president.

Many flustered. So president.

And yet again, it’s really just another page of walking. We always come back to that. Here, at the end, we’re building up to that big explosive finale. Things will feel a bit down until we hit that.

Oh, and then there’s that after-finale denouement-wrecking thing. Don’t forget about that!

No one dies today.

“Anxiously Sam noted how his master’s left hand would often be raised as if to ward off a blow, or to screen…”

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What is there to say? I just spent 15-some hours watching all of these films, then took a few hour break, and I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m Lord of the Rings-ed out, you guys!

Of course, the fun part was noticing all the little parts that I hadn’t thought of as different from the text before, and also noting the point where I am right now in my reading. (There is no moment where Frodo and Sam collapse on the side of the road, by the way. They run into a tent and sneak out the back of it.)

"Hey, kids, want to hear the story of that time two hobbits wandered into our tent?"

“Hey, kids, want to hear the story of that time two hobbits wandered into our tent?”

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, so Sam is looking at Mount Doom and despairing about how far away it still is. He realizes that there won’t be food for a return journey, but it’s best not to plan for one. This somehow makes him feel better. He then realizes that the plains ahead of them are marked with rocks, crags, and various holes. Though that means places to hide, it makes Sam feel…worse.

First Mentions:

-Rosie Cotton: Sam’s big old crush. He wants to see her again, oh so much.

-Marigold: Sam’s sister. I guess he could see her again, too.

Why is the plain marked with holes worse? I don’t know. Hiding places are great, especially when you have something to hide from. Now that the orcs have moved out, all that’s left to dodge is the sight of Sauron, and that’s easy enough if you have all of these hidey-holes. Yeah, journeying is hard right now with Frodo in a terrible state, but you have to look at the positives here.

Though, sometimes, the Positives' perfect life is just annoying.

Though, sometimes, the Positives’ perfect life is just annoying.

Did I learn anything today? I don’t know. Maybe that copious amounts of food pair beautifully with The Lord of the Rings, but that doesn’t seem earth-shattering. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:



Sometimes, your slingstones are filled with food. Those are the good days.

No one dies today.

“Neither man nor orc now moved along its flat grey stretches;…”

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