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Posts Tagged ‘Rivendell’

Kids! Sam has a kid! Little Elanor Gamgee is welcomed into the world on March 25th, which is odd. It’s also the date that the ring was destroyed. Sam and Frodo note the coincidence.

Life goes on, and Elanor is nearly six months old when Frodo tells Sam that Bilbo’s (and Frodo’s, too) birthday is coming up once again. He’s going to be 131, making him the oldest known hobbit ever to live.

But still awesome.

But still awesome.

Frodo has something up his sleeve. He asks Sam if Rosie will be alright with him going away for a bit, but not for long. Sam assumes that Frodo means to go visit Bilbo in Rivendell.

First Mentions:

-Elanor: Sam’s firstborn daughter! Named after the flowers of Lothlórien.

This, friends, this is our endgame. Frodo’s going away. He finishes writing/editing his and Bilbo’s book, and gives it to Sam. He also gives Sam the keys to Bag End. Just like Bilbo at the very beginning, Frodo’s decided that it’s time to go now. Not much longer, and this is the last plot point.

In happier news, Sam and Rosie wanted to name their child Frodo, but…well, Frodo isn’t a girl’s name. I’m pretty sure that they don’t have the technology yet in the Shire to know if a baby’s going to be a boy or a girl, and I guess the Gamgee family just assumed that a boy was coming. They were wrong. However, Frodo’s the one to suggest that they name her after a flower, as many hobbits do when naming baby girls. Sam picks a beautiful flower from his journey, and one that no other hobbit is sure to know.

Thank goodness they didn't name her after one of these.

Thank goodness they didn’t name her after one of these.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-maildchild

-maidchildren

-beautifuller

Sam, what’s that? Beautifuller? I’ve made concessions for your ruralisms before, calling them quaint or whatever, but this may just be too far. You have a daughter now! Teach your child to speak!

No one dies today.

“At the beginning there were many leaves covered with Bilbo’s…”

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No, no, not the book and everything. We still have two more weeks of that. What’s over? Just this battle. The Battle of Bywater! Epic.

The page begins with the cleanup of the battle. Some 70 (70!) ruffians were killed, along with 19 hobbits. The ruffians are buried unceremoniously in a pit, and the hobbits in a grave that would later be marked with a stone and garden. Hobbits like gardens.

Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin ride back to Bywater with the Cottons, and discuss their next steps over lunch. It’s clear that they must now strike out against Sharkey, and Farmer Cotton prepares an escort to bring them to Bag End. The road there is depressing, with familiar buildings in disarray or completely torn down, and new ones rising bleak from the rugged earth. The Shire is in a bad way.

Sometimes, that one new building just doesn't fit in with the rest.

Sometimes, that one new building just doesn’t fit in with the rest.

First Mentions:

-the Battle Pit: The mass grave of the ruffians, which gets a way cooler name than it deserves.

-the Battle of Bywater: That was this battle! It has a name now, so it’s official.

-the Greenfields: A battle in the Shire some 300 years ago. It was here that, through victory, Bullroarer Took invented the game of golf.

-the Red Book: What a meta moment! The Red Book of Westmarch is the volume in which Bilbo and Frodo’s adventures are detailed. This is the first time we’ve heard about it in a direct, official sense.

-the Old Grange: A granary in Hobbiton that’s been torn down.

As I noted above, the mention of the Red Book of Westmarch is a strangely meta-textual moment. On the page, we’re talking about the way that the hobbits remembered the participants in the Battle of Bywater, which becomes legend. The names of all present are written in the book, and historians vow to commit them to memory. Of course, the book is much more than that. Bilbo’s “first edition” contained his story of the journey to the Lonely Mountain, edited in part to detract from the importance and treachery of the ring, which he was keeping secret from many at the time of his writing. He entrusts this book to Frodo at their last meeting in Rivendell in hopes that he will edit things up a bit. (We saw this not too long ago!) A second edition is created, this time with Frodo’s story added. Numerous other editions are made and passed down, until supposedly the book (or a copy of it) comes into J.R.R. Tolkien’s keeping. He translates it to English, and these great stories are told.

The cover of Bilbo's book is indeed subtly red.

The cover of Bilbo’s book is indeed subtly red.

Of course, this is all a fiction. The stories came from Tolkien’s imagination, not an ancient book in a strange language. However, there’s nothing wrong with finding some magic in it.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Greenfields

I mean, after all, what if it were true?

No one dies today.

“Bagshot Row was a yawning…”

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I WISH I WAS.

HOMEWARD BOUND.

HOME.

WHERE MY THOUGHT’S ESCAPING.

HOME.

WHERE MY MUSIC’S PLAYING.

HOME.

WHERE MY LOVE LIES WAITING.

SILENTLY FOR ME.

Also this.

Also this.

I have very little energy tonight, so this is going to…happen.

Travel! Leaving Rivendell, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Gandalf ride on the road across country! Things would be good except for the fact that Frodo has one day of awfulness to commemorate the anniversary of him being stabbed at Weathertop. What luck! They’re coming to Weathertop just now! The pain and darkness fade, however, and the rest of the journey to Bree is uneventful. When they get there, it’s raining a lot.

I reminded myself today that they’re actually riding on roads, which makes this go so much easier than the first time. Now, they aren’t exactly galloping at full speed, but they don’t have to navigate marshes, hills, and whatnot. Everything is so much easier this time.

And that’s nice. However, it’s also boring. That’s why I opened today’s post with a quasi-shouting version of Simon and Garfunkel’s song, because that’s more interesting, right?

Don’t listen to me ever.

Meanwhile, I think my fingers are actually spent from typing a lot these past few days. I’m mistyping far more often than I’m used to. Perhaps I should’ve just posted an unedited version of this for fun. It would’ve been horrible.

No one dies today.

“It was locked fast; and the rain blew in their faces, and in the darkening sky low clouds went hurrying by, and their hearts sank a little, for they had expected more welcome.”

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What does Bilbo do when he’s done singing? Fall asleep, of course! That’s what Bilbo does now.

Sam offers some quiet criticism of Bilbo while he sleeps, and that perks the old hobbit up to prove that he isn’t asleep quite yet. In fact, he has one last gift: he gives Frodo some notes and his diary, in hopes that he might be able to organize them all together. When next they meet, Frodo can give Bilbo the completed documents.

A glamorous end for Frodo.

A glamorous end for Frodo.

The hobbits and Gandalf set out the next morning. Elrond pulls Frodo aside alone, telling him to look for him and Bilbo in the Shire come fall. This conversation is secret from everyone else.

Why secret? Well, I don’t rightly know. I don’t go around pretending to understand Elrond’s motives. I don’t think I’ve ever tried.

And that’s the end of the chapter! It began in Minas Tirith, brought us to Edoras, Isengard, and Rivendell, and now finally comes to a close. I’m pretty sure that’s the most physical ground we’ve covered in a single chapter so far. Right?

Of course, I guess calling it “physical” ground is sort of a stretch. Fiction…physicality…you know what I mean.

This came up with my search results, so here you go.

This came up with my search results, so here you go.

I think we also learn that Bilbo still isn’t as daft as we might think. I don’t quite think all that sleeping has been fake, but I think he’s taking some tactical naps when he needs to.

Well, maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Perhaps the phrase “tactical naps” is a bit too academic for this discussion. I like the concept of tactical naps, though.

No one dies today.

“These words no one else heard, and Frodo kept them to himself.”

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So, this is as full circle as it gets. It’s not a big deal on the page, which is still pretty mundane, but Bilbo sings a song in farewell to the four hobbits, and it’s a turn on what he sang at the beginning as our first song of all. More on that to come.

As the hobbits are leaving Rivendell, Bilbo goes around giving gifts to all. He gives his mithril and Sting to Frodo (though he forgets that he already did that) along with some books he wrote, Sam gets the last of Smaug’s gold that Bilbo still kept, and Merry and Pippin get some good old-fashioned advice not to get too tall.

Oops.

Oops.

They also get some pipes, because of course they do.

Bilbo also remarks that he’d like to see his ring one last time. He can’t (of course), but at least he remembers that that was the whole reason for the journey in the first place. Movie Bilbo forgets that. It seems odd. Then Bilbo sings that song that will bring us all back.

Let’s get to it.

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

If you’ve been following along, this should look familiar.

“The Road goes ever on and on

Out from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

Let others follow it who can!

Let them a journey new begin,

But I at last with weary feet

Will turn towards the lighted inn,

My evening-rest and sleep to meet.”

In probable finale, I present:

Little Hobbit Man (Reprise)

(Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons)

When I saw this song coming, I knew immediately what to do. Honestly, I don’t know if this is the last song in the book, but it sure would be a fitting end, wouldn’t it? Bilbo sings this song as he walks out from Bag End, and now he sings it as Frodo sets out for a last time, knowing full well that he has no more journeys left in him. The subtle changes in the lyrics bear this out. “And I must follow, if I can,” becomes “Let others follow it who can,” “Pursuing it with eager feet,” becomes “Let them a journey new begin,” and so on and so forth. This is Bilbo’s farewell. He’s finally not as young anymore.

For myself, this isn’t getting me emotional, but it’s certainly feeling like a retrospective on all that I’ve done here. The most interesting fact has to be going back to listen to my first version of this song. (Do it if you want! Page 35!) Originally, I was just learning to play ukulele. In fact, this feature was partially meant to get me playing regularly to get some practice in. Well, it’s gone pretty well.

This is what I look like when I record now.

This is what I look like when I record now.

You can also hear back and see how bad my recording equipment was back in the day. I have a much better setup now, though sometimes I can’t use it when I have to record late at night. Thankfully, this got the good treatment. On a side note, though I’ve occasionally used my (still relatively new) mandolin, I’m just not very good at it. I need another project to get me working on that.

And this is becoming a long post! I’m only talking about the songs, really, so I can’t imagine how long this is going to get when I go back and look at the whole thing. Gulp. I’m almost there. And I already have so many things to say.

No one dies today.

“‘My evening-rest and sleep to meet.‘”

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And so it is March. And so it will end.

We sit at page 986, some 24 pages from the end. There will be no blog in April.

Who knows that feel? This guy.

Who knows that feel? This guy.

Today’s page relays the stay of the four hobbits in Rivendell. Yes, by the end, they’re already thinking about leaving. And they stay for a few weeks!

First off, they celebrate Bilbo’s birthday (and also Frodo’s), which happens to be the day following their arrival. They spend the following days and nights telling Bilbo of their journeys, keeping track of where they leave off every time he falls asleep. After some time of this, Frodo begins to realize that it’s time to go home. He consults with Elrond, who agrees. Gandalf also has the itch to leave, and will travel with them.

And as far as I can see, there is only one leg of the journey left. The Shire is all that awaits.

Gandalf, meanwhile, has other reasons for leaving. He wants to see Butterbur in Bree, and I’m looking forward to the moment that I’ve heard quoted often where he makes a note of Tom Bombadil. The hobbits just want to go home, as anyone would after so long away. Events are always centered around Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, and this year makes it 18 since the very beginning of our tale. (Bilbo has turned 129.) Eighteen! Indeed, though many of those years were spent while Frodo lived peacefully in the Shire, time has gone by very quickly.

CA-CAW.

CA-CAW.

And what will they find in the Shire when they return? Peace and happiness, right? Right? RIGHT?!

No one dies today.

“Then he gave Frodo his mithril-coat and Sting, forgetting…”

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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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It just wouldn’t be Saruman without some never-ending quips and threats, which he delivers when he passes by the four hobbits. He asks, somewhat, for some of their pipe-weed, which Merry obliges him, since, after all, it did come from his ruined stores. Saruman takes it, but continues to chide them for stealing his possessions.

So much for Saruman the White.

So much for Saruman the White.

Merry tries to swipe his pouch back (since it wasn’t Saruman’s to begin with), but Saruman just laughs and takes it. He then offers some vague threat about the harvest being poor in the Shire.

This sets the hobbits off, and they wish to head home. Not so, says Frodo, who wants to head to Rivendell and see Bilbo.

First Mentions:

-the Swanfleet: I’m amazed that there’s still a river we haven’t met yet in this region, since it feels like that’s all we talked about the first time through. Well, here’s a river, and swans live on it!

The argument here is that, though Merry and Pippin did in fact “steal” that pipe-weed from Isengard, it was Saruman who had them captured and slogged across the countryside for a few days. Up to that point, Merry and Pippin hadn’t done anything to wrong Saruman, so why should he feel so injured? He started it!

Always a wise defense.

Always a wise defense.

And there’s no doubt that Saruman intends to screw with these hobbits for as long as he can. I don’t know why he directly places so much hate on them. After all, it’s not like they were really driving events against him. Frodo had the ultimate victory, to be sure, but it was never in opposition to Saruman. He really hardly knew of Saruman’s treachery at all. Why so angry, buddy?

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Swanfleet

That would be a great name for an army of beautiful boats, or something…

No one dies today.

“Far to the west in a haze lay the meres and eyots through which it wound its way to the Greyflood: there countless swans housed in a land of reeds.”

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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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