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Posts Tagged ‘Rohan’

So, there’s two weeks of riding. We jump over that swiftly, with a brief pause in the middle when Aragorn arrives in the forest of Ghân-buri-Ghân and announces that it is to be given to him and his people.

Unsurprisingly, renderings of Ghân-buri-Ghân are quite strange.

Unsurprisingly, renderings of Ghân-buri-Ghân are quite strange.

The ride then lasts for two weeks, followed by a three-day planning period in Rohan for Théoden’s burial. He is interred in a mound among others for the prior kings of Rohan, and his minstrels and knights lead the Rohirrim in song.

First Mentions:

-the Barrowfield: Proper title of the field that contains the burial mounds of the kings of Rohan. No wights here!

-Gléowine: Théoden’s personal minstrel, in charge of writing his funeral tune. He will write no other songs.

It’s a cool tradition, having each king’s minstrel’s final song be for the king’s burial. I’d hope there’s some sort of great retirement package that the minstrel gets once his services are no longer required. Of course, I would also assume that a new minstrel has been appointed for Éomer already. How early do they start work on their final piece? You’ve got to plan well for it, I’d think.

Let’s have the song!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

I like the short ones.

“Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day’s rising

he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.

Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;

over death, over dread, over doom lifted

out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.”

Hoping to be forgiven for the white noise, I present:

Slain

(Hurt – Johnny Cash)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this song was originally done by Nine Inch Nails, but the Cash cover is so much better. I had heard it before today, not realizing that it was a cover, but it truly is amazing. You should listen to it sometime if you’ve never heard it. Heck, listen to it anyway.

In the end, I like Johnny Cash because I can sing his octave easily. No dropping down needed! Too bad I’m not old, grizzled, and rebellious. I need to work on that.

Pictured: not Johnny Cash.

Pictured: not Johnny Cash.

So, we lay Théoden to rest, one of the more likeable characters, in my opinion. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Barrowfield

-Gléowine

BORING.

No one dies today.

Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended; over death, over dread, over doom lifted out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.

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So, then Arwen gives Frodo this jewel that’s hanging around her neck on a chain. WAIT, IS THAT THE SAME THING THAT THE MOVIE MAKES SUCH A FUSS OVER?

Yeah, it probably is.

Yeah, it probably is.

Anyway, Éomer does indeed come in a few days time, and the ride is set out to Rohan. Before that, though, Éomer and Gimli argue over whether Galadriel or Arwen is prettier.

Worthwhile argument…I guess?

First Mentions:

-Merethrond: Minas Tirith’s Great Hall of Feasts. Because every castle/city/stronghold/school for wizards needs one.

Now, there is no true mention of this necklace that Arwen gives to Frodo. She hasn’t been noted to have any special jewelry earlier (I mean, she’s hardly been brought up earlier), and certainly hasn’t had some sort of quasi life-force connection to Aragorn through some loaned necklace. Instead, she gifts this item to Frodo to give him strength when his old wounds give him pain. Seems like a nice thing to do.

Suffice it to say that Frodo is starting quite the collection of elven jewels. Kind of makes up for that horrid other piece of jewelry that he carried around for so long. Remember that?

Poop diamond ring!

Poop diamond ring!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Merethrond

And we soldier on. Every few pages feels like a landmark now. With today being page 975, you think about only 25 more pages to 1000, and then, of course, 10 more after that. We ride.

No one dies today.

“For the other Companions steeds were furnished according to their stature; and Frodo and Samwise rode at Aragorn’s side, and Gandalf rode upon Shadowfax, and Pippin rode with the knights 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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And so it is that the men of Rohan return to their homes. This pushes others to leave Minas Tirith, until the city is left with mostly just its normal inhabitants, rebuilding from the destruction of war.

The Fellowship Company also remains, though it’s getting past time for them to part as well. Though Frodo wants to head back to the Shire, Aragorn is keeping them all there for some day in the future that he’s looking forward to. He won’t say more, and neither will Gandalf, who clearly knows something about it.

Why they gotta keep secrets?

Why they gotta keep secrets?

A day comes when Gandalf leaves the city with Aragorn before dawn. They climb an ancient road up the face of the mountain just behind Minas Tirith, then look back into the dawn to see the lands before them. I don’t know why yet, but it sounds like a nice hike.

Really, though, it seems like a strange reason to be holding everyone hostage. Neither Aragorn nor Gandalf will say anything, but this seems to be the day that was in waiting. And it’s just a nice hike for the two of them? Something must come of this, or else it’s pointless.

Ah, but that’s just me getting ahead of myself again. An entire page of “you can’t leave yet” doesn’t strike me as a very good use of our remaining time. Am I becoming overly cynical here at the end? Well, it’s been a long time.

No one dies today.

“And standing there they surveyed the lands, for the morning was come; and they saw the towers of the City far below them like white pencils touched by the sunlight, and all the Vale of Anduin was like a garden, and the…”

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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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Ugh. Feelings.

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

Éowyn says a lot about that she wished she had died in the battle. She wants to die in battle because, I guess, she doesn’t think there’s anything left for her. Faramir counters that that may be the case yet. Again, a huge army of evil could be marching this way any day now. If that’s going to be the case, why don’t they just stick tight?

There’s one problem: Éowyn really wants a room that has an east-facing window. Why? I don’t know, but at least she’ll be able to look out at the ominous clouds over Mordor. Faramir laughs, because that’s a really easy request to fill. Great! Get her a room with an eastern view! Then he professes that he has feelings for her. If she’s going to get this window she wants, she might as well stay in the Houses of Healing with him and make him happier.

Aw…bargaining for love. Isn’t Faramir cute?

Éowyn says that she really doesn’t want to talk much with anyone. She’s clearly in that denial phase. For her, she’d be much better off if she could just sit in her room and stare out at the blackness, emo/goth-style. Faramir’s more of the hippie-type right now. Come on, girl, why don’t we just walk in the garden and talk? Everything is great!

Don't ever dress your kid like this.

Don’t ever dress your kid like this.

Let’s not forget, though, that Faramir is a trained warrior. Éowyn notices on yesterday’s page that he looks like he could put any of Rohan’s riders to shame. So…maybe not a peace-loving hippie, but something of one nonetheless.

No one dies today.

“‘For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.'”

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We’re jumping back even more. More? Yeah, more.

Let’s go back in time to only a few days after Aragorn departed from Minas Tirith. Messengers returned to report of the force’s passage from Minas Morgul, but no news has come since then. Everybody basically thinks that Aragorn is riding to his doom. Not only that, but their Steward (Denethor) has recently burnt himself to an insane crisp, and Théoden, king of Rohan, lies in state in their great citadel. Things aren’t looking good in Gondor, and they’re just waiting for another army to come marching their way.

Magic 8-ball understands.

Magic 8-ball understands.

Meanwhile, Éowyn grows restless with her recovery. She demands to be dressed, and rises to confront the warden of the Houses of Healing. This man finally admits that the healers in Minas Tirith aren’t very good at healing. They have become too accustomed to dealing with your average sword wounds so that they don’t know much about anything else. They were told to keep Éowyn in bed, even though she’s clearly doing pretty well. She doesn’t like that.

Of course, Gondor is just falling back into its bad habits developed under Denethor: stagnancy and ignorance. With no news to be heard, everyone assumes the worst and just waits around for the other shoe to drop. Little do they know that things are going well. When Aragorn arrives eventually (where the narrative got to at the end of last chapter), it must be a huge shock. Oh! He isn’t dead?! Yeah, maybe you should pay attention to things sometimes.

Denethor's political platform.

Denethor’s political platform.

How long until we catch up? I don’t know for sure, but I really don’t want to stay in this place long when we just came from a wonderfully happy and uplifting section. We already know the big things that happen to turn this around!

No one dies today.

“‘And it is not always good to be…'”

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