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Posts Tagged ‘One Ring’

Don’t worry, there’s still some antagonism to be had!

Our heroes come across two beggars trotting along in the barren lands. Riding by them, Gandalf notices Saruman. Gandalf begins a conversation with him, and there’s no doubting that it goes poorly.

Those eyes don't look like they want a friendly chat.

Those eyes don’t look like they want a friendly chat.

Gandalf and Galadriel offer help to Saruman, now that he has no power to himself. He isn’t interested, and will actually change directions so that he isn’t traveling the same way as the people he despises. There’s bitterness there for being taken down a peg, but also still a streak of mockery that never goes away. He laughs at the elves for destroying their very own power by destroying that of others. He whips a weary Wormtongue into action to try and move on.

I actually don’t think that Saruman makes his point very clearly here, but he’s talking about the fact that the Rings of Power are weakened with the destruction of the One Ring. This hasn’t ever been a connection I’ve fully understood, but Saruman likes to laugh at those who throw away power, even though they destroyed something much greater and more threatening to their interests. Most people would be able to live with that tradeoff. Not Saruman.

Suffice it to say that Saruman remains selfish even to the end. He’s too proud to accept help of any kind or admit that he has been wrong. It’s not a good look for anyone, especially one so defeated.

Wormtongue seems to want to get away, but he’s a follower, not a leader. He’ll never be free to make his own decisions.

Step one: don't follow Saruman.

Step one: don’t follow Saruman.

Each day forward is another day closer to the end. Even if it ends with Wormtongue being a whiner.

No one dies today.

“But Wormtongue only shot a glance of his bleared eyes full of…”

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Take a quick look now to notice that this chapter’s title is a direct response to Book Two, Chapter 1 of Fellowship of the Ring, “Many Meetings”. That was back towards the beginning, and this is where we’re starting (if we haven’t already) to tie up loose ends towards the conclusion.

In short, today Frodo goes to Aragorn to request that he be given leave to return home. Aragorn and Arwen sit and talk with Frodo. Aragorn says that they will leave in one week, as Éomer will be returning shortly to retrieve Théoden’s remains. Aragorn intends to ride back to Rohan with Éomer, and since that will be the direction that Frodo will take, it only makes sense for him to leave along with them.

Logic!

Because I guess the only people who care about logic puzzles also are the only people who care about horse racing.

Because I guess the only people who care about logic puzzles also are the only people who care about horse racing.

Arwen remarks that she actually has a gift to give to Frodo. Since she won’t be traveling across the sea with Elrond and all the rest of the elves, she allows Frodo to take her place. It’s a small note here, and totally skipped over in the movie, but WAIT. Is that something that actually makes the character of Arwen important? Oh, it is!

You see, Frodo’s ultimate decision (um, spoilers, I guess?) to leave Middle-earth is only made possible because Arwen gives him this chance. Seeing as Frodo never truly heals from his hurts suffered at the behest of carrying the ring, traveling to Valinor is one of the few things that can give him rest. And it wouldn’t be possible but for this small moment.

Aragorn has nothing to give Frodo, so I guess he’s a terrible friend.

And so this note sits on Aragorn's desk for the rest of forever.

And so this note sits on Aragorn’s desk for the rest of forever.

To be fair, Frodo admits that his chief desire is not to return immediately to the Shire. He wants to head to Rivendell to see Bilbo. For some reason, he expected Bilbo to arrive with the rest of the elves from Rivendell, but he did not make the journey. Bilbo’s health is deteriorating with the destruction of the ring that gave him long life. Sad to say, but the silly hobbit who started most of this doesn’t have much time left.

In slightly unrelated news, I was given a link tonight to a survey that might be of interest to some of you. Some universities are doing a study on the reception of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. So, if you’ve seen it, you might want to help out. It’s not the shortest survey (maybe took 20 minutes), but if you’re interested, the link is here:

http://flashq.rcc.ryerson.ca/Hobbit2/

I don’t care if you feel one way or the other. This is just something that I feel is worth putting opinions forward for. Say all that you like. I probably said too much.

No one dies today.

“‘If your hurts grieve you still and the memory of your burden is heavy, then…'”

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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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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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At the very moment when defeat seems imminent, victory is won.

No, I’m not talking about how Frodo and Sam manage to destroy the ring right as all their friends are surrounded and outnumbered. Éowyn looks to Faramir for comfort, and they hold hands, right after she calls him “my friend”.

Middle school me would've felt so uncomfortable.

Middle school me would’ve felt so uncomfortable.

They stand facing northward, the very direction that Aragorn marched away. It’s been a week since he left, and Faramir remarks that meeting Éowyn has both encouraged and scared him in that time. Now, as darkness draws down upon them, he has something to lose.

All is silent and still, eerily so. A darkness looms above the mountains, and a sudden tremor shakes all of Minas Tirith. Faramir tells of the old kingdom of Númenor and its fall, but he doesn’t believe that such an evil is happening now.

Yeah, this very much appears to be the moment that the ring is destroyed. Of course, from Minas Tirith, where no news has come in a week, no one has any clue what’s going on. Something big has happened, but that’s about all you can know. Not knowing is just as terrifying as knowing of some doom, because people are all terrible pessimistic beings.

And that makes this puppy sad.

And that makes this puppy sad.

And so, Faramir and Éowyn stand, fingers intertwined, falling in love at the possible end of the world. Can you picture it any other way? Just the most romantic.

No one dies today.

“‘But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are tight, and a hope…'”

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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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We shift perspective. Let’s go back out to the battle, shall we?

We’re arriving with Aragorn just slightly earlier than we left Frodo and Sam. The battle still rages around him, and the eagles are just arriving to do battle with the Nazgûl. Suddenly, all forces turn tail. The Nazgûl fly off, and the ground armies see their peril. This is a valuable moment to regroup for the armies of men, and they charge forward with new hope.

Now, wait just a minute...

Now, wait just a minute…

First Mentions:

-the Field of Cormallen: Wood-lined plain southwest of the Black Gate where Aragorn is going to head after the battle. Seems like an odd name for this chapter. Oh, well.

-Landroval: Brother of Gwaihir, Windlord of the eagles. Gwaihir may be the lord, but Landroval is bigger.

-Thorondor: Great father and lord of all eagles, distantly related to Gwaihir and Landroval. We hear about him now because why not?

-the Encircling Mountains: Mountains that once stood around the hidden city of Gondolin. Thorondor lived here.

Getting some history of the eagles isn’t bad, even though it does feel out of place. Now, even though we’re talking about eagles, let’s never mention that horrible argument that the eagles should have just flown the ring to Mount Doom. That’s an argument for people who like shortcuts and clearly DON’T LIKE THIS STORY AT ALL. I have strong feelings about that.

NO NO NO NO NO.

NO NO NO NO NO.

Of all the times we’ve jumped back in time a little bit when we’ve shifted point of view, this is definitely the closest. By the end of this page, we’re caught back up to where we were, with everything in Mordor crumbling down. Now, how long until someone makes a plan to go and get Frodo and Sam? I don’t know, but that needs to happen.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-CORMALLEN

-Landroval

-Thorondor

Will Cormallen show up again when it’s not all caps? Important questions.

“But Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice:…”

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