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Posts Tagged ‘Helm’s Deep’

Onward, bacchae, onward!

All obscure Greek tragedy references aside, that’s really what happens today.

That man in red is wearing turquoise contact lenses.

That man in red is wearing turquoise contact lenses.

By that, I mean that the feast ends. Revelry continues somewhat, but those that have traveled to Rohan start preparing to make their way home or onward in their journey. Arwen shares a private moment with Elrond, in what becomes their final meeting. Éomer and Éowyn gift Merry an ancient horn brought to Rohan by Eorl long ago. It is the only gift they feel fit to give him, and that he also will not refuse. It’s quite the treasure.

With that, those traveling northward set off. They arrive at Helm’s Deep after some time, and Legolas makes good on his promise to visit the caves there with Gimli. He notes that the agreement must be made whole with a walk in Fangorn, and they travel northward still towards Isengard, where the ents still hold fast.

First Mentions:

-Scatha the Worm: A great dragon of the north, killed by ancestors of Eorl before he led them all south to found Rohan.

One item troubles me here: have we seen the last of Aragorn? If they have left Edoras and traveled north to Helm’s Deep and Isengard, did he accompany everyone or return to Minas Tirith? Gondor is in the opposite direction, so it wouldn’t make much sense for him to keep riding north. Unfortunately, not much is said on this front, though it wouldn’t make sense for Arwen to say goodbye to Elrond and then still ride alongside him for some way. It’s awkward when you do something like that. We have joked about that as a society for a while now.

Socially Awkward Penguin understands this phenomenon.

Socially Awkward Penguin understands this phenomenon.

Anyway, the narrative is jumping ahead quickly now. Three settings on one page! I feel like we’re getting that last tour of characters important to the story. In some ways, it’s a lot like David Tennant’s last episode of Doctor Who, but I didn’t like that, so I try not to mention it.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Holdwine

-engraven

-Scatha

I’m excited to see what Treebeard has to say, because he holds the keys to the last little bit of plot we have left.

No one dies today.

“All the stone-circle had been thrown down and removed, and the land within was made into a garden filled with orchards and trees, and a stream ran through it; but in the midst of all there was a lake of clear water, and out of it the…”

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To be truthful, Merry hasn’t been jogging, or “fast walking” as we might call it. He’s been fast animal walking. There’s a difference.

Did you know I'm riding this horse backwards?

Did you know I’m riding this horse backwards?

It’s been three long days, and Merry has spent a lot of time talking to Théoden, swapping stories about their homelands. Unfortunately, this has become a cause of laughter for the riders behind them, though neither party seems to care. Couldn’t Théoden crack some skulls for that?

Anyway, with the group rolling into Dunharrow, Théoden is deciding his next course of action. He plans to ride tomorrow for Edoras, where the warriors of Rohan will gather. Éomer counsels Théoden that perhaps he should return to Dunharrow afterwards, instead of going to war. Théoden is displeased at these words, and accuses Éomer of sounding like Wormtongue. The king will fight, and die if need be.

So, that’s settled. However, what was the reason in coming to Dunharrow first? Let me compare this journey to that of Aragorn. He stopped first at Edoras, for a brief rest, then journeyed on to Dunharrow, had his falling out with Éowyn, and went into the Paths of the Dead from there. Hold on, so the meeting of the Rohirrim is at Edoras, but Théoden is stopping at Dunharrow first. Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go straight to Edoras? Let’s look at a map.

We have those!

We have those!

I make no claim to the veracity of this map (people have feelings about these things), though it looks solid for what we need. Clearly, one can travel directly from Helm’s Deep to Edoras without much problem. However, looking at this reminded me of the first reason why Aragorn and Théoden parted ways – Aragorn needed speed, while Théoden sought the cover of the hills rather than the open fields. Théoden’s been skirting the mountains, taking slower roads, while Aragorn flew straight to Edoras. Naturally, the road north from Dunharrow would be more sheltered. And there’s the reason. Logic!

No one dies today.

“‘One evening of peace at least is left us. Let us ride on!'”

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Short and sweet. Simple sentences. It’s 2:30am.

But I’m in Austin, so that’s cool, I guess.

That's me right there.

That’s me right there.

Everyone’s leaving. Aragorn is troubled.

First Mentions:

-Roheryn: Aragorn’s horse.

-Stybba: Merry’s pony.

Well, that was a summary if I’ve ever done one. Look at it this way: Théoden is leading folks out of Helm’s Deep. Aragorn, newly kingly with all the rangers around him, has some troubling thoughts about what he has to do next.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-weapontake

-Roheryn

-Stybba

Got it?

No one dies today.

“He looked up, and it seemed that he had made…”

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We’re coming to you live from Kirkwood, Missouri, just west of St. Louis! It’s I Am Pierre Menard…moving roadtrip edition!

Our car is less cool.

Our car is less cool.

Our constant roadtripping heroes…are at Helm’s Deep! Merry is invited to sit next to Théoden at lunch, in a kind of cool-kids-table way. Théoden informs Merry that he intends for them to ride together on the next leg of their journey, as an esquire. Merry is floored. He stammers a lot, then pledges his sword to Théoden.

So, that’s a mirror image scene to Pippin pledging to Denethor. Our two hobbit companions (the happier ones) are both in similar situations with neighboring rulers. I’m sure that was intentional!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Dunlendings

-sword-thain

Anyway, I can’t say much tonight. Very tired after packing the truck full of all our belongings, and then driving for six hours. Sleep well, everybody! Tomorrow’s post is likely to be the first in our permanent Austin series – to the end!

No one dies today.

“‘It is near the hour that we set for our going, lord,’ he said. ‘Shall I…'”

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A very, very late post after the end of my birthday/farewell party. Not much energy here. Let’s go.

Gimli wants to show Merry the caves behind Helm’s Deep. No time for that, though. Aragorn, meanwhile, has been in thought and conference with Halbarad in a chamber since their arrival. A summons was heard by the rangers and Elladan and Elrohir, though no such call was sent by Aragorn. Legolas and Gimli speculate whether this was sent by Gandalf, Galadriel, or someone else. No matter. The guys are here now.

Should Legolas and Gimli have called out to their own people? No, Legolas says, war comes to them anyhow. They have no way to help.

Yes, yes, yes. That’s what I have. Things happen. It’s not all that horribly exciting. I have a lot to get to.

Thank you, Chicago. You’ve been fantastic.

My kind of town, Chicago...

My kind of town, Chicago…

No one dies today.

“For a while the three companions walked together, speaking of this and that turn in the battle, and they went down from the broken gate, and passed the mounds of the fallen on the greensward beside…”

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Blah, blah, blah, moving…blah. I could make excuses each and every day for that, but it would get tiresome. Suffice it to say that until the 15th or so, this might be shortened. I say that because they come and install our internet on the 15th. From Thursday (the 7th) until then…we’ll see what happens. The first few days of that are on the road, anyway.

I am specifically dreading this part of the journey.

I am specifically dreading this part of the journey.

Speaking of journeys, Halbarad and company have journeyed a long way. And Elladan and Elrohir (Elrond’s twin sons) are with him. For some reason, they feel that they have been summoned by Aragorn, even though he did no such thing. Curious…

They come with advice from Elrond, and also a black banner of sorts that Arwen has made for Aragorn. He asks that they hold it for him for a while.

After a while, the column rides into Helm’s Deep, where they mean to spend the night. Merry sleeps soundly, but is woken by Legolas and Gimli.

OKAY. WAIT. STOP. If there’s one thing I get to say today, it’s this: Legolas and Gimli tell Merry that a battle occurred at Helm’s Deep three nights ago. THREE NIGHTS AGO. THREE. Yes, that was three nights ago. Do you remember how long ago we were talking about the battle at Helm’s Deep. Do you really?

It ended on page 542. THAT WAS ABOUT 233 DAYS AGO. I blogged about that on December 21st of last year. Yes, oddly enough, the world was supposed to end that day. BUT, in text-time, that was only three days ago. THREE DAYS. We may be living on Earth, but this story has years of Pluto’s length.

What's that? We don't care about Pluto anymore?

What’s that? We don’t care about Pluto anymore?

That’s weird, you guys.

No one dies today.

“‘There was a battle here three nights ago,’ said Gimli, ‘and here Legolas and I played a game that I won only by a single orc. Come…'”

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There are very few caves in Middle-earth that one would consider not evil. Other than the caves behind Helm’s Deep, which Gimli is probably discovering at about this time, there are now these hidden caves to add to the list. Faramir takes the blindfolds off of Frodo and Sam, so they can see the beautiful waterfall in front of them.

*Choir of angels*

*Choir of angels*

The setting sun glows through the water, creating a fleeting fire in the air. After the light dies, Faramir directs the hobbits to where they can spend the night peacefully. A bed is laid out while hundreds of men flit about in the caves.

First Mentions:

-Henneth Annûn: Also known as the Window of the Sunset, this is the waterfall. Oh, so that’s the “Window on the West”? Didn’t see that coming.

Waterfall. Great. That’s how you know the place is nice. Gimli has his glittering caves, but this one glitters because of the light coming through the waterfall.

Oh, but it can’t be too nice, because it’s also a stronghold for the men. They’ve engineered it to be a bit of a prison.

Always best when built into natural rock formations.

Always best when built into natural rock formations.

There’s only one way into the caves, but two ways out. The way in is what they’ve just come in through, and it’s also one way out (of course). Another way out? Jump down the waterfall. Oh, but that won’t end well for you. Again, rocks. No good for jumping on.

So, without an escape, but in probably the best guarded secret in the region, Frodo and Sam have nowhere to go but to sleep. At least there’s a bed. This might just be the best sleep they’ve had in months.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-unconsuming

-Henneth

-Annûn

Elven names: giving us more to list in that feature since forever.

No one dies today.

“This was plain and unadorned for the most part, but all well and fairly made: round…”

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