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Archive for the ‘5 – The Steward and the King’ Category

This really shouldn’t count as a page, considering it’s not even a full sentence.

Really, by the time you get to the bottom of this post, you’ll see that the “last sentence” contains the “first sentence” from the top here. And here I am getting existential about the meaning and non-meaning of what constitutes a true “page”.

Perhaps I'm even feeling vaguely nihilistic.

Perhaps I’m even feeling vaguely nihilistic.

So, what’s the point?

Well, Aragorn is marrying Arwen. We knew that, but I guess you could say that we officially confirm it today. And that’s about it. Things are good.

Like, so good.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-fulfilment

Don’t you ever get too comfortable, because the English might throw you a word suddenly missing an L, just because they can. Very tricksy.

No one dies today.

“…Arwen Undómiel in the City of the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting and labours was come to fulfilment.”

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I think this tree is just a big metaphor for Aragorn’s family line.

Well, yeah, it definitely is.

Linus is clearly Gandalf.

Linus is clearly Gandalf.

That is, Gandalf explains something along those lines. Aragorn takes the tree gently and has it replanted in Minas Tirith. The old dead one is actually interred in the same houses as the kings of old.

While this isn’t what Aragorn was waiting for exactly, he sees it as a sign. Apparently, the day he was waiting for arrives along with a slew of elves. Every important elf you can think of (Elrond, Galadriel, et al) shows up. They come to marry Arwen off to Aragorn.

You see, there was a minor detail that mentioned that Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir, who had originally come down with the Dúnedain to join Aragorn, had left Minas Tirith at the same time that Éomer led the Rohirrim off. There’s no doubt that they rode up to Rivendell to tell Elrond of the victory. Time has now passed for them to return.

Yes, it’s early June now – late June, in fact. It’s been nearly three months already since the destruction of the ring, and we’ve gone through that span of time in about 20 pages. I may grumble about some of the things we’ve been dwelling on, but time has flown by. Too bad nothing special is happening.

Just that wedding or something.

Just that wedding or something.

Tomorrow’s page is literally the shortest thing.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-sceptre

The specter of the sceptre seemed special since seven specks of spent scent swept skyward.

I like those.

No one dies today.

“And Aragorn the King Elessar wedded…”

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Everything is awesome!

Well, that has nothing to do with Lord of the Rings, but I saw The Lego Movie tonight, and it’s really worth it. Not to plug for totally unrelated stuff, but really. Best movie for me, at least right now.

Anyway, let’s return to Aragorn and Gandalf’s mountain jaunt!

I'm too old for this...

I’m too old for this…

Of course, there has to be a point to this. Gandalf tells Aragorn that his (Gandalf’s) time in Middle-earth is ending, and Aragorn must lead the remaining men well as their king. The lands before him will all be under his dominion. However, Aragorn is waiting for some kind of sign. Gandalf tells him to turn around, and Aragorn sees a single tree growing out of the mountainside. It’s a tree similar to the white tree that Gondor prizes so highly, though it’s impossible to know how it rooted or grew up here.

First Mentions:

-Nimloth: Ancient white tree of Númenor, descended from…

-Galathilion: Ancient white tree made and tended by the Valar, descended from…

-Telperion: One of the great Two Trees, white and shining with a silver light. Yes, there are better records of the ancestry of some trees than of certain family lines.

This is a play by Gandalf to tell Aragorn to get a move on in letting things (read: his friends) go. Aragorn seems to be worried that his line will fail just like all those before him, and somehow this tree signifies for him that it will not. That’s putting a lot of faith in trees, but whatever.

*glorious music*

*glorious music*

Meanwhile, as Gandalf mentions that the Third Age is ending, I have to wonder who decides all these things? What authority is sitting in their towers saying: “Oh, I think it’s time to start a new age. Tell your friends!”? I would assume that it’s actually someone like Gandalf or Elrond, but we don’t get specifics. There has to be some system like the one that Westeros employs with maesters sending ravens here and there to tell people important things.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-unmingled

utúvienyes

-Nimloth

-Galathilion

-Telperion

Believe in yourselves, friends, and you too can rule the reunited kingdoms of men.

Wait, was that what I learned today? Shoot.

No one dies today.

“‘But this is an ancient hallow, and ere the kings failed or the Tree withered in the…'”

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And so it is that the men of Rohan return to their homes. This pushes others to leave Minas Tirith, until the city is left with mostly just its normal inhabitants, rebuilding from the destruction of war.

The Fellowship Company also remains, though it’s getting past time for them to part as well. Though Frodo wants to head back to the Shire, Aragorn is keeping them all there for some day in the future that he’s looking forward to. He won’t say more, and neither will Gandalf, who clearly knows something about it.

Why they gotta keep secrets?

Why they gotta keep secrets?

A day comes when Gandalf leaves the city with Aragorn before dawn. They climb an ancient road up the face of the mountain just behind Minas Tirith, then look back into the dawn to see the lands before them. I don’t know why yet, but it sounds like a nice hike.

Really, though, it seems like a strange reason to be holding everyone hostage. Neither Aragorn nor Gandalf will say anything, but this seems to be the day that was in waiting. And it’s just a nice hike for the two of them? Something must come of this, or else it’s pointless.

Ah, but that’s just me getting ahead of myself again. An entire page of “you can’t leave yet” doesn’t strike me as a very good use of our remaining time. Am I becoming overly cynical here at the end? Well, it’s been a long time.

No one dies today.

“And standing there they surveyed the lands, for the morning was come; and they saw the towers of the City far below them like white pencils touched by the sunlight, and all the Vale of Anduin was like a garden, and the…”

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It shouldn’t be surprising that Beregond’s punishment is light. Aragorn remarks that the standard punishment for his crimes is death. That won’t be necessary here.

And Carl was getting so excited...

And Carl was getting so excited…

For “punishment” Beregond is told to leave the guard and leave Minas Tirith. Okay, that’s actually something significant, but his next assignment is to be the captain of Faramir’s personal guard in Ithilien. So…it kind of just works out to a promotion. Needless to say, all are pleased.

Afterwards, Aragorn meets with Éomer and Éowyn, who wish to return to Rohan and deal with rebuilding their own kingdom. They will send for Théoden’s remains when they are ready. After Théoden is laid to rest, Éowyn will rejoin Faramir for their happily ever after.

That all seems reasonable. I mean, Éowyn should at least return to get ready for her, um…upcoming wedding, you know?

Meanwhile, we hear that the riders of Rohan are leaving on the 8th of May. It’s been exactly a month since Frodo and Sam awoke at the Field of Cormallen, and a month and a half past the destruction of the ring. That was 16 pages ago.

We ride!

We ride!

Indeed, things are accelerating. That doesn’t mean that the end is quite in sight yet, though. This chapter drones on. I keep reminding myself that we still have a bit of plot left in the Shire, not to mention the true end of the book. We’re also nearing about 40 pages left in all, so there’s less and less time in which to fit everything. A single page more or less devoted to Beregond’s sentencing is very detailed compared to what else we have left to do.

Of course, this is why we jump ahead so suddenly by the end of the page. Almost a month, I would think.

No one dies today.

“So the glad days passed; and on the eighth day of May the Riders of Rohan made ready, and rode off by the North-way, and with them…”

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You know what’s awful? I bonked my finger somehow today at work, and now typing hurts. Couple that with that I have some sort of recurring cramp in my right calf, and I think I’m falling apart.

I'm too young!

I’m too young!

Anyway, today is pretty simple. Aragorn requests that Frodo retrieve the crown and Gandalf give it to him, in respect for their actions in the total victory. Thus the ceremony concludes when Aragorn enters Minas Tirith and walks through the streets up to the citadel. He is now king of Gondor.

Jumping ahead, Aragorn’s reign begins with making judgements on those who have been captured. He makes peace with the wild men of the east and south, and frees the slaves of Mordor. Finally, Beregond is brought to him.

Remember, Beregond apparently did a horrific thing when he killed some guards who were trying to heed Denethor’s wishes and light him on fire. While this was in good faith, disobeying the steward’s orders and shedding blood within the tombs is a worthy crime. Aragorn, however, looks to be a benevolent king. It shouldn’t be too bad.

That's right, Beregond. You sit and think about what you did.

That’s right, Beregond. You sit and think about what you did.

Anywho, we get to know that, in the future, Aragorn is a wonderful king. He brings Minas Tirith to great glory. That isn’t surprising at all.

No one dies today.

“And there were brought before him many to receive his praise and reward for their valour; and last the captain of the Guard brought to him Beregond to be judged.”

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Big flashy ceremony? Check.

Faramir asks Aragorn, as the incoming king, for relief of his stewardship. Aragorn actually declines, saying that the office of the steward will be continued. Faramir asks the people of Gondor if they want Aragorn to become their king. They say yes.

No one wants to be the awkward one who disagrees with the crowd.

No one wants to be the awkward one who disagrees with the crowd.

Faramir then presents Aragorn with his crown, though he does not take it immediately.

Through some of this Ioreth talks again, but she’s cut off a second time. I’m still okay with this. THIS IS IMPORTANT, IORETH. SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

There is some custom presented here which is interesting. A long time ago, the prince was given the crown by his father ere he passed, or else the prince ventured into the tombs to take the crown from his father’s hands. Since it’s not like Aragorn’s dad is around, and the crown hasn’t been used in eons anyway, Faramir went and turned up the body of the man to most recently have held the crown. In fact, he was buried with it as was the tradition. So, basically, Aragorn and Faramir and high-class grave robbers. It’s a good thing that this works out well for the kingdom of Gondor, because some guards are literally carrying a casket out on the fields, and it’s very likely that this old king’s bones are sitting in it. Great.

Hey, man. Here's your crown. I kept it nice and warm.

Hey, man. Here’s your crown. I kept it nice and warm.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-loremasters

Eärello

Endorenna

utúlien

Sinome

marvuan

Hildinyar

Ambar-metta

Ugh, elvish speeches. They just wreck me, you know?

No one dies today.

“‘In token of this I…'”

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