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Posts Tagged ‘Moria’

Some more goodbyes to come, but at least one hello.

That, and weird statuesque mind-reading thought conversations.

Learn from me.

Learn from me.

Now passing into the land just near the gate of Moria, it is time for Galadriel and Celeborn to cut off east and take the road over the mountains to Lothlórien. Before that, however, they sit with Elrond and Gandalf for another week and talk at night. They sit in the darkness and talk without speaking about the ages that have gone by. Remember, they’ve seen quite a lot.

After this week passes, and Galadriel and Celeborn make their farewells, the group journeys on to Rivendell. The four hobbits immediately set out to find Bilbo, and meet him in his little room, looking older and older.

So, what is it that Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, and Celeborn are doing? Well, there’s no doubt that they have a lot to talk about, and I would guess that they’ve reached some other plane in their time on this earth that allows them to commune together like this. The knowledge of all is unfathomable, and rumors have it that Elrond and Galadriel have some powers of the mind that few can grasp. The way I see it, it’s another way in which magic is nondescript in this world. We can’t understand it, and we’re not meant to.

It's not even an illusion.

It’s not even an illusion.

In the best ways, some things are meant to be unexplainable. Argue about that all you want with Tom Bombadil, but I think the mystery of the magic in Lord of the Rings adds an air of true magic, at least as it exists to me.

I’m getting a little weirdly philosophical in my endtimes. Maybe that’s the tired and loopy me at this hour, but what else can I do with conceptual ideas on pages like this? These are my feelings.

No one dies today.

“‘Do you know, I shall be one hundred and…'”

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Things are looking down, in the form of a dark, smelly cave. And I mean smelly.

Thanks Shelob!

Thanks Shelob!

The opening to the horrible lair of the spider that Frodo and Sam have no clue about stands in front of them. The smell is truly awful. Gollum laughs it off, saying that doesn’t mind. Clearly, he has some issues with his sense of smell.

Entering, the cave blots out all light. Very dark. This true darkness hasn’t been seen (or…not seen) since Moria, and that was a special kind of dark. Apparently, this is worse.

First Mentions:

-Shelob’s Lair/Torech Ungol: The name of the cave, further cementing that Shelob is commonly referred to by naming her mother.

-Shelob: Ah, the spider! We haven’t seen her, or much less heard of her yet. Am I spoiling things? Well, this isn’t the blog for people reading along with me for the first time.

Smell of death? Probably. Shelob’s been living here for years uncounted, and feasting on the passing orcs for that long. And I don’t think she’s keen on cleaning up shop. Generally speaking, monstrous creatures don’t smell too nice. Why bother, you know?

Today’s Gollum Meter: 33 – “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine? Sure…”

I had this brief moment of remembering, as I was naming Shelob “she” a few times, that this book really does lack female characters. Here’s one!

Oh…yeah. And Shelob’s not a very good example. No, not at all.

Now there's a strong role model!

Now there’s a strong role model!

Truly, we have the best parts of Éowyn still to come, so that should help that argument. And…yeah, I guess Galadriel’s pretty alright, but very absent in terms of the active plot.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-unshapen

-Torech

-Shelob’s

Rest easy, there’s a bit of action coming up that doesn’t involve walking! But…don’t rest easy, because it’s going to be terrifying.

No one dies today.

“Here the air was still, stagnant, heavy, and…”

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Time for riddles?

Gollum recites one of the riddles from The Hobbit: the one about fish. Of course, this reminds Sam that everyone has to eat. Did Frodo not think about this? Gollum will need to eat, too.

I have yet to learn if rabbits are actually this easy to break.

I have yet to learn if rabbits are actually this easy to break.

But…wait. How did Gollum survive in the wild by himself for so long? It’s not like he’s carrying around a pack. Sam resolves not to let Gollum eat either or him Frodo. Good call.

Day eventually breaks, to Gollum’s dismay. Frodo tries to argue that daylight is a good thing, but Gollum responds that the sunlight opens them up to be seen by orcs. Not a bad thing, darkness is.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 67 – “Hey! That’s pretty smart. Now you’re really being helpful.”

Yeah, Gollum knows a little bit more about hiding in the wilderness, since he did it for so long. Not only did he once run away and hide from his own people, and then live in the deep caves for generations, he’s been secretly following the ring for years, too. He sneaked out after it through Mirkwood, and had been following the Fellowship Company since at least through Moria. He’s basically the Bear Grylls of Middle-earth.

You've got a little something there.

You’ve got a little something there.

So, contrary to the movies, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum will travel only at night. What? Is that so hard to show? Gollum had no fear of the sun in the films. That’s just not true at all.

No one dies today.

“The three of them settled down to rest at the foot of the rocky…”

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I’m pretty sure this page is just about substance abuse. We start by talking about what it was that Merry and Pippin had to drink with Treebeard. All signs point to this being the reason why they look taller.

Look, a tall hobbit!

Look, a tall hobbit!

Naturally, the hobbits digress into talking about ents in general, and how they sent word to Isengard that Théoden was on his way. Gimli is unsatisfied, wanting a full account of Merry and Pippin’s journeys since the last day they were all together. Okay, fine. Merry and Pippin consent, but not until after they smoke for a little bit. They offer some authentic Shire pipe-weed from a barrel they found floating in the floodwater. Sadly, Gimli has lost his pipe. Pippin, however, pulls out a spare from his pocket. You never know when you might find surprise pipe-weed.

First Mentions:

-Longbottom Leaf: The finest weed in the Southfarthing! This would be what Old Toby Hornblower cultivated, now thought very highly of.

If we’re going to talk distribution, the presence of Longbottom Leaf at Isengard is very surprising. I don’t gather that the Shire has a very large export market, with their Monroe-Doctrine-like nature of keeping to themselves. Somehow or another, there was a trade route set up with Isengard. Aided by magic? Saruman would totally be into that sort of thing.

He could just illusion himself some pipe-weed.

He could just illusion himself some pipe-weed.

Meanwhile, I don’t know which is more confusing, that Gimli absentmindedly misplaced his pipe somewhere in Moria, or that Pippin has had a pipe in his breast pocket this whole time. Wouldn’t that get uncomfortable, especially when you’re being carried by orcs for long periods of time? Apparently not.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-brandmarks

These guys are talking about this stuff like I would talk about beer. And I know a lot about beer right now. It makes so much more sense, that way.

“‘I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as Rings to me. Here’s one:…'”

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Quick, we need a messenger speech!

And every actor just winced.

And every actor just winced.

The column rides for a second day while the shadows continue to gather in the distance. At sunset a lone rider appears on the horizon. He meets the riders, looking haggard and tired, and tells of the defeat of Rohan’s army. After Théoden’s son, their commanding officer, was killed, everything went downhill. A leader has taken the remaining men to the fortress of Helm’s Deep. This man wants to see Éomer, but Théoden steps out and reveals himself. This brings strength to the man, Ceorl, and Théoden vows to ride to the aid of his men.

First Mentions:

-Thrihyrne: Tall peaks of the White Mountains. You know those three tall peaks of Moria in the Misty Mountains? I think it’s like that.

-Erkenbrand: An old commander of Rohan, now in charge due to Théodred’s death.

-the Westfold: The western part of Rohan, just east of the Gap of Rohan.

-Helm’s Deep: A mountain stronghold in the Westfold. Very strong. Very…holdy.

-Ceorl: The lone rider who has appeared. Where he is from, nobody knows.

So many new things! A while back I thought that we might be slowly running out of First Mentions. Well, seeing that we’re in a new kingdom, there are tons of new things to find. This will probably happen every time we’re exploring a new region. Well…a new region with people, anyway. Those barren lands earlier didn’t give us much.

So exciting.

So exciting.

Note that every man in Rohan thinks that Théoden is an aging man stuck in a chair. Ceorl doesn’t realize that he’s gained the strength to be out riding to war. Every time a man sees him out and riding for the first time, there’s going to be a moment of realization, and a burst of inspiration. He’s a very powerful force right now, just existing out in the field.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Thrihyrne

-Erkenbrand

-Westfold

-Ceorl

A week from now, I may or may not be lined up at a movie theater. We’ll see.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 8

“‘Let us ride to the help of Erkenbrand!'”

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In the most epic of battles, Gandalf defeats the balrog. They climb a stairway all the way to the highest peak of the Misty Mountains, engaging in battle at the tower on top. Fighting wildly, the balrog falls, destroying the tower and leaving Gandalf with no way to get back down. The wizard passes out, and his soul travels in wide and various spaces.

Naturally.

Ultimately, he gets “sent back”. He lies naked in the snow on the mountain, with nowhere to go. He does so for days, staring into the sky. Eventually, Gwaihir, lord of the eagles, comes for him, sent by Galadriel. He bears Gandalf away.

First Mentions:

-the Endless Stair: The biggest stair of all time. OF ALL TIME. Thought to be legend, it reaches from the lowest depths of Moria to the highest peak.

-Durin’s Tower: Upon that peak, a tower stands. Those dwarves built and built and built. That’s what they do!

There are some First Mentions! I knew they’d come back eventually. And they do come back to us now, at the turn of the tide.

Coolest part: Gandalf wonders if his battle will be told of for ages to come. Thinking again, he decides that it won’t, because if anyone saw it, high up in the mountains above the clouds, it would appear to be thunder and lightning striking the peak repeatedly. Between the fire of the balrog (which is re-lit in the sun outside) and Gandalf’s power, the light is everywhere.

You know, like that.

And Gwaihir, picking up Gandalf like the best cabbie ever, denies that the wizard is a burden. In fact, he’s lighter than ever! That partial death thing must have burned off some fat from the waistline. If only that worked for everyone else…

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 33

“‘ “That indeed is the command of the Lady Galadriel who sent me to look for you,” he answered.'”

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Aragorn basically anoints Gandalf the spiritual leader of the good guys, which is pretty true. He’s the White Rider against the nine Black Riders. Okay, cool.

Aw yeah.

But Legolas isn’t cool with just packing up and going to Edoras until he gets an explanation for what happened to Gandalf in Moria. Gandalf doesn’t want to tell the tale, saying it would take too long, but he caves. I mean, come on, you can’t set that awesome story up and then not deliver.

He fell for a long time. A long time. Then, splashing down in a far underground lake, the balrog’s fire was extinguished, and he ran into the deep tunnels of the earth. Gandalf chased him.

Yep, those deep tunnels, where nameless and ageless scary things have been burrowing since the beginning of time. If you’re from Middle-earth, those things can’t even haunt your nightmares, because no one actually knows what they are. I’m gonna go with badger-moles.

Teach me, ye god of the earth.

Chalk that up to another mystery of this world. This whole underground system of lakes and tunnels is like that, totally unknown. Gandalf, somehow without being killed on impact with the water, gets to walk in this place where few none have tread. And we get to hear about it now! Hooray!

It’s kind of a lame move to say that there isn’t enough time to tell the story, but then go about telling it anyway. Let’s be honest, we’re going to be alright with time. I think we can take a few extra minutes to hear about the coolest thing to happen to one of our favorite characters so far.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-delvings

When’s the next time we’re going to have a First Mention, anyway? Most things have been brought up so far…

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 34

“‘Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report…'”

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