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Posts Tagged ‘Legolas’

All our friends are leaving now.

At least not in that way.

At least not in that way.

With Legolas and Gimli off on their way yesterday, and Treebeard literally on the way out at the top of today’s page, Aragorn joins them in absence when the group reaches the Gap of Rohan. I’m still not sure why he came all this way, even after the business at Isengard, but whatever. He’s the king.

This leaves our group as the four hobbits, Gandalf, and the combined parties of Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn. Not gonna lie: that’s a strange group. They’re entering into mostly barren lands, too, so there isn’t much more to note.

I’m mostly lost time-wise, but we do get almost a full week of travel (six days) onward from the departure of Aragorn. And that’s just in the last half paragraph. We saw these lands ever so briefly when the Fellowship (Hey, look at that!) traveled this way long, long ago. It hasn’t gotten any more interesting, but at least the Gap of Rohan has become safe enough for travel. It’s the easiest way to go.

The Gap of Rohan also sells horse armor.

The Gap of Rohan also sells horse armor.

So, yeah. Not much to it. Is it safe to say that this, at least in terms of the journey, is the home stretch? Sadly, I feel like I’ve been looking for a “home stretch” for a while now. Basically, any “last” counts as the beginning of a possible home stretch. But it’s almost March, and that’s where we’re going to find our end.

No one dies today.

“As they came out…”

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Today’s page makes me laugh, but for reasons that have nothing to do with the plot.

The plot itself is, unsurprisingly, mundane. Treebeard offers the travelers a place to rest, but all decline to continue with their journeys. Legolas and Gimli plan to make their way northeast towards home through Fangorn, thus dissolving the Fellowship Company. (MORE ON THAT.) Treebeard bids his farewells, especially to Merry and Pippin. Even he notices that they’ve gotten taller.

Though not quite that dramatically so.

Though not quite that dramatically so.

So here’s the thing: as Legolas and Gimli prepare to set out on their own way, Aragorn says: “Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring.” YES. HE SAYS IT. FINALLY.

If you remember way back when, I was counting the days in which the term “Fellowship of the Ring” was not said. I gave up when the book Fellowship of the Ring came to an end, because it felt silly for the term to never come up in its eponymous section. However, we finally have it, all the way on page 981. I looked back to see that I started my tally, fittingly enough, on page 281, precisely 700 pages ago. That was six days after I felt like “Fellowship of the Ring” was first warranted, so in the end, we’re looking at some 706 pages (give or take depending on some skipped pages) of wait time. That’s a long time. I’m kind of glad I stopped counting.

MEANWHILE, there’s another funny thing.

No forums involved.

No forums involved.

“The world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air.” What’s that from? Oh, do you recognize it as the first lines of the Fellowship film? Yes, so it is, and spoken by Galadriel in narration before the prologue to all these events.

Guess what? That’s a horrible adaptation of this line. Here in the text, that is spoken by Treebeard, today, long after all the conflict of the story has been resolved. In this context, the world is changing for the better, not for the mysterious worse, as Galadriel’s narration implies. Whoops!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

vanimar

vanimálion

nostari

And then we get some random Elvish thrown in there, because why not?

No one dies today.

“And they laughed and drained their bowls.”

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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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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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Well, now we can get over that moment where Frodo almost attacked Sam, and it’s awkward. Frodo recoils from a vision of Sam as a greedy orc grasping for his treasure. He sees Sam again, and he’s hurt by Frodo’s aggression. They both know it’s the ring’s doing, and though Sam wants to help, this is a burden that Frodo must bear alone.

Alone, huh?

Alone, huh?

Sam breaks the tension by offering to go and scrounge up some clothes and gear for the two of them. Frodo needs new clothes, and they might as well go with matching orc attire so as to better blend into Mordor. Thankfully, there’s plenty of stuff lying around on the dead orcs. Sam goes down to look, and leaves Frodo with instructions to keep the ladder up until he hears Sam’s password.

My only quizzical moment is why Sam and Frodo are even worried about orcs sneaking around and surprising them in Cirith Ungol. When Sam pulls Sting out to show Frodo that it also has been kept safe, they notice that the blade isn’t glowing. So…no orcs! Yeah, that’s what that usually means.

But, yeah. I feel like maybe I’m losing steam. Let’s move on to something that I’ve been thinking a lot about.

THIS THE POINT WHERE YOU STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO SPOIL THINGS ABOUT THE NEW HOBBIT MOVIE. BUT IF YOU READ THIS BLOG, YOU MAY KNOW THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN ANYWAY BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BOOK. BUT JUST IN CASE.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, And Why Some Little Things Can Make a Good Thing Confusing: A Special Feature:

So, to start, this is still a good movie. Now, this new trilogy will always fall short when compared to the original Lord of the Rings films, but one can’t be surprised. Overall, I think I liked this movie better than An Unexpected Journey, but I also found more problems with it.

I found the departures from the original story more jarring here. No, Tauriel isn’t my problem. I actually fully support creating another wood elf to hang around with Legolas, because you know what? Those characters aren’t really named in The Hobbit. Obviously, in connecting that story to the canon of Lord of the Rings, Legolas has to be there, because he’s the son of Thranduil, king of the woodland realm. Sure, make up someone like Tauriel, because you need more than just Legolas and Thranduil to connect to when you’re hanging out with the elves in Mirkwood, especially when Thranduil’s being a jerk and Legolas is pretty blindly following his orders, at least at the start. However, it’s the nature of Tauriel’s storyline as it evolves that makes me cringe. Really? She’s falling in love with Kili? What? Add on to that the fact that we now have Fili, Kili, Óin, and Bofur awkwardly staying behind in Lake-town, and suddenly the dwarves are all split up instead of going to gaze upon their treasured lost kingdom. And you know what? I see an easy way to fix this: don’t have Kili get hit by a poisoned arrow and get sick. Newsflash: Fili and Kili die in the end. What’s the point of having Kili fall ill now? I certainly don’t want to see the storyline changed so much that we have dead characters not dying. Legolas and Tauriel still have plenty of reason to follow the orcs to Lake-town, and then that’s not deliberately changing anything from the book. Just because it doesn’t mention that this happened doesn’t mean it necessarily didn’t. I can handle that. However, it does mention that all the dwarves go to the Lonely Mountain. Don’t change that.

But you know who’s gonna die? Tauriel. She gonna die. Why else wouldn’t she show up in some way with Legolas in Lord of the Rings? She’s going to die, and in some way that can be fuel for Legolas to go on this crazy quest later on in his life. And maybe, since she loved a dwarf, he understands the value of befriending them? I don’t know. This is weird.

Filler image to break up the text!

Filler image to break up the text!

Meanwhile, there’s something that worked in the first film that is suddenly complicated here. I had liked the addition of Azog (even though he’s not really around during the time of The Hobbit) to provide a consistent and known antagonist. Suddenly, in this film, he goes away. Instead, he places Bolg in his place to hunt Thorin and the dwarves down. Azog goes and hangs out in Dol Guldur. So, what was the point of building Azog up in the first film if he’s not going to continue in that role? Since Bolg is the orc who actually makes sense in established canon to be the one doing the hunting, why not have him doing that from the beginning? In textual canon, Bolg is Azog’s son, and ends up leading the orcs in the Battle of Five Armies at the end. Sure, have him show up sooner, whatever. Again, known antagonists are a good thing, but having a whole film of Azog and then discarding him is silly. And, truly (again in textual canon), Azog was killed by Dáin long ago. We could still have that happen, because Dáin shows up later at the Bo5A (I made that up just now)! Why not have Dáin kill him then? Ah, but probably not. We’ve established Azog as Thorin’s mortal enemy, so Thorin will probably get the honors. See why this gets confusing? And it could have been avoided if this was all just Bolg from the start. Bah.

Among other things I found jarring were the extended chase and battle with Smaug in Erebor (extended action sequences sell, you know) and the business about Bard having to using some silly contraption with the black arrow (which isn’t really a true arrow – more of a bolt) to fire at dragons. In the book he uses a bow. Bows are simple. A bow shouldn’t be able to bring down a dragon, but it does, and that’s what’s cool. When Bard inevitably shoots Smaug down in the next film with this wind lance thing, it’s not going to be as impressive as if he had done it with his modest bow. Also, Bard in the book is a soldier of Lake-town, not some smuggling miscreant. Why not let him have some honor?

Gosh, I’m going on and on here, but here’s the thing: this move is entertaining. I can live with changes, though these are paining me more than some others have. Thankfully, I still have the wherewithal to be able to separate those feelings from my enjoyment of a film. May that never cease.

And, we all just have to laugh when Bombur presses Z or R twice and barrel rolls a score of orcs down.

In looking ahead, how is the last film going to start?! Smaug is literally seconds away from attacking Lake-town. That’s no place to just jump back into a story. Ball’s in your court, Jackson.

No one dies today.

“Then he got up, drew the grey elven-cloak…”

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We’re caught up now! The remaining bits of Legolas and Gimil’s story concern their journey up Anduin to Minas Tirith, piloting the commandeered corsair ships. Aragorn had freed the slaves and captives of the corsairs, but many of them, being men of Gondor, stayed aboard, willfully helping their new king.

Have I mentioned that it's good to be the king?

Have I mentioned that it’s good to be the king?

Gimli’s spirits wane on the trip, but Legolas tries to cheer him up. The hearts of all the men present get a rise when the wind picks up to carry their sails. And they can see the fires burning at Minas Tirith in the distance.

Okay, okay. I’m actually getting a little tired of all the “Aragorn will be such a great king” moments. In some ways, I think we covered that long ago. Sure, I guess there’s some validity to seeing him in action, but that’s really the only purpose of this story, save to explain how he, Legolas, and Gimli made their way up to Minas Tirith. However, because we already know that they made it (even as first-time readers), there isn’t much tension to build. Aragorn spends a lot of time worrying that they won’t make it in time to save the city, but since the city has already been saved, I don’t really care anymore.

I’m being harsh. But only because I’ve been doing this for so long. And probably also because I get impatient. Reading this all in one go, maybe it isn’t so noticeable.

You know, I’m totally going to go back and read this book again when I’m done, but AT A NORMAL PACE. How weird is that?

As weird as bologna with a face?

As weird as bologna with a face?

Back to the story, we learn that that “wind from the sea” that people were going on about actually did have a positive real affect on the battle. The ships would have arrived much later if not for it!

Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 28

No one dies today.

“‘Much I wonder what counsels they are taking…'”

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