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Archive for the ‘4 – The Field of Cormallen’ Category

Jump on forward. Go on, jump!

The following days are spent wandering and recovering around the woods of Ithilien. Sam wants to see another oliphaunt. It ain’t happening.

Gondor found out they were evil douchebags and killed them all.

Gondor found out they were evil douchebags and killed them all.

Meanwhile, the army is made ready to travel back to Minas Tirith. They head down Anduin in boats near the end of May, and set up camp again outside the city, preparing for Aragorn’s entry and coronation to coincide with the turning of the month.

We hear also that some forces drove into Mordor to attack strongholds that were still held by the enemy. Not sure why these didn’t collapse along with all things built with the power of the ring, but whatever. At least this way it makes it a little bit more sense for the army to have lingered in that part of the world for so long.

Nevertheless, another chapter finds its end. Aragorn’s planned entry into Minas Tirith is important because he declined to do so officially when he first came to the city. Remember, his trip to heal Faramir, Éowyn, and Merry was done in secret.

Wait now, I just remembered that Merry was left alone in Minas Tirith when Aragorn rode away to combat at the Black Gate. He must have recovered and come to the Field of Cormallen sometime recently! I get used to thinking in the movie’s terms, where Merry is present at the Black Gate, but that isn’t what happens in the text.

No one dies today.

“And there in the midst of the fields they set up their pavilions and awaited the morning; for it was the Eve of May, and the King would enter his gates with the rising of the Sun.”

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Yes indeed, the telling of stories will take some time. Unfortunately, this day is drawing at an end. Frodo and Sam, only recently having returned to health, must get some rest. Pippin as well, found by Gimli under a pile of bodies at their last battle, only just recovered himself. All go to bed except Legolas, who plans his rest to be walking amongst the trees of Ithilien. I guess that’s like sleep for him.

That dude is basically comatose right now.

That dude is basically comatose right now.

Most importantly to our interest, Legolas sings a song about his love for the sea. Remember how he fell in love with the sea when he glimpsed it earlier during the ghosty times? He’s still into it, and the river nearby reminds him of its waters. This leads to singing.

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

Our songs have been simple, short, and few in number for quite a while now. This doesn’t break from that tradition.

“To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,

The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.

West, west away, the round sun is falling.

Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,

The voices of my people that have gone before me?

I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;

For our days are ending and our years failing.

I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.

Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,

Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling,

In Eressëa, in Elvenhome that no man can discover,

Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!”

Unbelievably appropriately, I present:

I’ll Sail Away

(Come Sail Away – Styx)

Yeah, I couldn’t believe when “Come Sail Away” synced up so well for this. Two songs with a similar theme? I don’t know if that’s happened to me yet. To be honest, my first thought was to use Frozen‘s “Let It Go”, but things didn’t work out. That was predicated on “To the Sea, to the Sea!” being so darn perfect to scan into “Let it go, let it go!” Alas.

Syllables never bothered me anyway.

Syllables never bothered me anyway.

Tomorrow is the last page of this very short chapter. I fully expect that these last bits are going to move quickly through everything they need to tie up. Of course, we’ll still take our sweet time, but I don’t expect the narrative to dwell in any one place for too long. That should keep things interesting, at least.

No one dies today.

“‘Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!‘”

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Let the feasting begin!

Frodo and Sam are led into a great feast along with all the kings, captains, and such. They are the guests of honor. Two small boys, seeming to be servants, appear dressed in the livery of Gondor and Rohan. They are none other than Merry and Pippin, and Sam gapes at their positions. They won’t talk long (things to do, you know), but Sam notices how tall they’ve gotten.

Hey down there.

Hey down there.

After the feast, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Legolas, and Gimli sit around telling their tales. There’s a lot to be caught up on.

I can’t help but feel like Legolas and Gimli have fallen out to be very minor characters. Ever since around the beginning of Return of the King, they haven’t been mentioned much. It very much became Aragorn’s story out of theirs, and they faded away. I do enjoy having them around.

Meanwhile, I can’t imagine how Frodo and Sam must be feeling. If indeed they have been out this whole time, the transition for them from practically dying on the slopes of Mount Doom to this extravaganza must be extreme. One moment your life is failing, and the next you’re living the life of luxury. How can one process that so quickly? For all accounts, they’re handling it well, but inside they must be jolted.

Yeah, like that.

Yeah, like that.

But all Sam can think about is how tall Merry and Pippin are. He’s a simple dude.

No one dies today.

“‘But there it is: you’re three inches taller than you ought to be, or I’m a dwarf.'”

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Okay, okay. So, this is a really big deal. Aragorn motions for Frodo and Sam to come sit by him, and he sings their praises while bowing down before them. A conveniently placed minstrel offers to sing of the hobbits’ deeds, and the entire force listens to his tale for the next few…hours?

Hear ye, hear ye.

Hear ye, hear ye.

When the tale is told, Frodo and Sam are directed to a tent where they finally change out of their rags. Gandalf comes to present them with finer clothes, as well as some of their most treasured belongings.

So, I found it interesting that, when this full story is told, presumably in song, Tolkien doesn’t write it as he has with every other song. Sure, we skip the meat of it, but the minstrel sings just as any other character speaks. Thankfully, I took this as an opportunity to not do a song today. I mean, we’ve heard it already, right?

In addition, how is it that this man knows enough about the journey to sing of it? If Frodo and Sam have been knocked out all this time, it’s not like anyone’s been talking about the finer points of their adventure. Sure, knowledge is there to be had from bits and pieces of the journey, but not all those long days and nights when they were stuck in Mordor more or less alone. Is this guy just making it up, then?

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-greathearts

He made that word up, so his creativity is not to be questioned.

No one dies today.

“‘I do not wish for any sword,’ said Frodo.”

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And so Gandalf leads Frodo and Sam on a short stroll, until they come upon the collected armies of men saluting them.

Woah.

Woah.

Yes, everyone’s turned out to celebrate the two who conquered it all. Praises are flung from all directions and in all tongues. Frodo and Sam walk towards three tall seats, the middle of which contains a familiar face. It’s Aragorn! And all kingly, too!

Finally, Aragorn appears for the first time as a true king. He hasn’t had a coronation yet (he’s been waiting for Frodo and Sam), but there’s been enough time now for all to accept him as their new ruler. Thinking back, Frodo and Sam left him in a precarious position, when he was having doubts about which direction to take the Fellowship Company. He’s a better decision-maker now.

And you have to wonder how long these armies have been assembled, just waiting for Frodo and Sam to arrive. There must have been some word this morning that Frodo had woken, so they had some time, but still, it’s been two weeks, right? And they’ve just been hanging out waiting for this moment?

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

Cuio

Pheriain

anann

Algar’ni

Daur

Berhael

Conin

Eglerio

laita

Andave

laituvalmet

Cormacolindor

tárienna

-swan-prowed

I mean, I did say “all tongues”.

No one dies today.

“‘Strider, or I’m still asleep!'”

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Sam is up, and everything is happy. Frodo wakes up, too, supposedly after he fell asleep earlier waiting for Sam to get up. It’s a game of sleep telephone!

Ban Anna?

Ban Anna?

Gandalf explains that “the King” is waiting for them. He doesn’t say who that is, but..um, it’s Aragorn. He also informs Frodo and Sam that today is now April 8th – though apparently they were rescued on March 25th. Were they in a coma for two weeks?

Seriously, though. The internet failed in its (brief) search to explain this for me. Frodo and Sam are really conked out for two weeks?! I mean, yeah, they’ve been through a lot, but you’d think that somebody might say something or get worried. And Aragorn’s been waiting all this time for them to wake up? You’d think he’d have them transported back to Minas Tirith instead of hanging out in this field. I just find all of this kind of hard to believe. Really, two weeks?

That's, like, double the time of your average Barenaked Ladies hit single.

That’s, like, double the time of your average Barenaked Ladies hit single.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Rethe

That’s March in Middle-earth, and it appears in the footnote. Do footnotes matter to me? Should I talk about them? Well, I have. Rethe is what they call March in Middle-earth. Do what you will with that knowledge.

If you do happen to do anything with it, tell me. I’m curious.

No one dies today.

“They stepped out of the beech-grove in…”

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This was not a dream. If this was all a dream, it would have been a very poor storytelling tactic. Thankfully, these things happened. Now? It’s happening.

Do gifs even work on this site?

Do gifs even work on this site?

Gwaihir flies in to see Frodo and Sam stranded among the rocky hills. Though the two are carried away to safety, they’re both too far gone to know it. Sam wakes up sometime later in a comfortable bed with the fair scent of the Ithilien woods around him. He thinks that he’s just woken from a nap taken back when he and Frodo were traveling through this land. No? He looks to see Frodo beside him, four-fingered hand out, and Sam remembers all. Gandalf speaks to him, and this is more than Sam can handle.

Oh, did you just destroy all evil and nearly die in the process? Did you suddenly wake up in an unfamiliar place? Is that guy you thought was dead standing in front of you? Just a normal day.

Perhaps seeing Gandalf wasn’t the best thing to happen first. After all, that only brings up questions for Sam. Why not have someone else wake him, and explain something like: “Well, something strange has happened. Prepare yourself, because some people can come back from the dead…”? Wouldn’t that have been an easier transition? I know that, if I saw someone I thought was dead in front of me, my reaction wouldn’t be all peaches and cream.

Oh, yum.

Oh, yum.

Inevitably, this is some camp set up by Aragorn away from the battlefield in a safer place. In fact, I believe that this is the Field of Cormallen, though no one’s called it that yet. Since our narrative jumped when Frodo and Sam were asleep, we don’t know yet how long or far we’ve come since their rescue. I would guess, though, that they slept for some absurd amount of time. Saving the world takes a lot of energy, you know.

No one dies today.

“‘A great Shadow has departed,’ said Gandalf, and then he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and…”

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