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Posts Tagged ‘Treebeard’

It’s page 1000! That’s like, cool and all, but let me start on a more somber note.

I was wrong. Guys, I was so sincerely and horribly wrong.

But at least I could get a decent number of points here.

But at least I could get a decent number of points here.

I had 1010 stuck in my mind. 1010 pages. That was my endpoint. And I was wrong. Yes, in fact, there are 1010 pages in total. However, I had (for quite some time, it would seem) misplaced that in my mind as the final page. It is not. Since we started on page 21, and there are still 1010 pages, we will end on page 1031. So…we still have another month. I feel strange about this. While I’m fine with keeping going and I have no intention to stop, I was really ramping up to that ending. I was thinking nearly every day about what I want to write in conclusion. I have some good thoughts, but they’ll have to wait. We’re not ending this month. Give it one more.

Anyway, what actually happens today?

Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin make their way into a guardhouse to spend the night. They’re breaking all sorts of rules, but none of the hobbits seems to want to do anything other than occasionally speak up and voice their apprehension. Hob continues to give some information, about how the pipe-weed has been running short for nearly a year now. Word has it that it was being sent south. Other hobbits keep him quiet, in fear of “the Chief” hearing about tonight’s events.

Well, at the end of the page, we hear that “the Chief” did indeed get some news. Frodo and friends had planned on stopping by their briefly held dwelling at Crickhollow, but instead opt to travel straight to Hobbiton. There are things that need to be done.

I’m a bit reeling from my embarrassment of my error. I don’t have a whole lot of thoughts on this page because I was so concerned with trying to explain all that.

However, it’s important to point out that some hobbits have noticed a significant size difference in Merry and Pippin. If you recall, drinking water from Treebeard gave them a bit more height and strength than the average hobbit, and it’s apparently noticeable.

Muggsy Bogues might have actually been a hobbit.

Muggsy Bogues might have actually been a hobbit.

That’s not much, but I find it interesting when something like that is mentioned again in passing. It really happened. Over the course of the year or so that they were gone, Merry and Pippin grew noticeably.

No one dies today.

“A great cloud of it was going up far away in the direction of the Woody End.”

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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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So, Treebeard, keeping Saruman? How’s that going? Is he still sulking around? Treebeard? Saruman, is he still all locked up tight? All going well? Treebeard? Hey, answer me. Treebeard? Saruman, Treebeard?!

Everything's fine!

Everything’s fine!

Gandalf is dismayed to learn that Treebeard has let Saruman go free. Treebeard hates to see things caged up, and it seemed like Saruman could do no more harm. Why not let him go? Ah, Gandalf believes that Treebeard has been tricked by Saruman’s voice. It is true, Saruman can do little harm to the world, but having him roaming about at large isn’t exactly the best thing. More to come on that later.

As a matter of fact, this means that the tower of Orthanc will have a new owner. It is Aragorn’s by right, and he is given the keys. He will allow the ents to remain at Isengard and tend their works, so long as Orthanc remains locked and empty.

After the discovery of Saruman’s escape, the rest of this page is just procedural business. I can’t find much interesting to say about that. Saruman’s escape, of course, is mildly important, but there isn’t much note to it quite yet. It’s not surprising that Saruman wriggled out of Treebeard’s grasp. In fact, Treebeard mentions boring Saruman with long stories, and I’m sure that it was during those times that Saruman understood what it was that he would have to say to Treebeard to maneuver his release. Listening is where he can learn Treebeard’s weaknesses.

Drought, fire, parasitic insects.

Drought, fire, parasitic insects.

But hey, it’s page 980! 30 more to go, if my math’s right.

No one dies today.

“‘When this valley is filled there is room and to spare west of the mountains, where once you walked long ago.'”

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What happens when the ents find that they have a new playground? Well, they make it as gardenlike and foresty as they can.

By that I mean that they’ve torn down the ring wall of Isengard, filled in the center with trees, other plants, and a clear lake, and generally made the place friendly again.

It wasn't very friendly before.

It wasn’t very friendly before.

Treebeard greets those assembled, and explains what they’ve been up to since we last saw them. Most importantly, the ents happened upon a force of orcs that had crossed the river and was coming down behind Rohan after being held at the borders of Lórien. The battle was deadly for the hordes, as the ents left few alive. They can be nasty when provoked.

Aragorn (Hey! He’s still here!) thanks Treebeard for all that the ents have done. Amazingly, Treebeard already knows of the victory in the south, and welcomes the new age.

Now that I have my answer, I still wonder what this journey holds for Aragorn. He’s not going anywhere of use to him, unless he’s just taking that opportunity like I mentioned yesterday to make a last tour of people and places. Unfortunately, I don’t find that to be a very good motivating force. Well, he’s the king. He does get to do what he wants.

Among other news, Isengard has been renamed. It is now the Treegarth of Orthanc.

Party on, Treegarth.

Party on, Treegarth.

Orthanc, of course, is the name of the tower, and it was built long before Saruman ever took up residence there. It can remain as an ancient structure devoid of his evil.

But get ready, guys.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Treegarth

-evileyed-blackhanded-bowlegged-flinthearted-clawfingered-foulbellied-bloodthirsty

morimaite-sincahonda

WHAT.

I think that’s Treebeard partially translating the name for orcs into the Common Tongue, though he stops because it gets to be too long. What’s more fun is that those last two terms occur in succession, so there’s literally one and a half lines of PURE BLOOD RED UNDERLINE PANIC supplied by my computer. It’s just absurd. Treebeard has given us the best fake words.

No one dies today.

“‘The New Age begins,’ said Gandalf, ‘and in this age it may well prove that the kingdoms of Men shall outlast you, Fangorn my friend.'”

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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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Walking is best when done en masse, so I guess I can’t complain about today. After remarking that it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s going on in Gollum’s head, and making a brief pit stop to say that Sam is starting to really worry about Frodo, the narrative skips ahead TWO WHOLE DAYS.

Still walking, though. No skipping.

Still walking, though. No skipping.

They’ve gotten out of the marshes by now, and the days were filled with trudging through the barren lands dotted by a pool here or there. Nothing too memorable. Now, with the mountains only a few miles away, the hobbits can see out to the wasteland on the borders of Mordor. IT’S HORRIBLE. Nothing is alive. Absolutely nothing. The only water is stagnant and covered with ash, and mounds of rock lie as the only markers other than the mountains. Sounds great.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 72 – “Nothing much to report, other than this road SUCKS.”

Looks exciting, huh? As if the Emyn Muil wasn’t confusing enough, or the Dead Marshes gross enough, we finally get to the worst land yet. It’s just…nothing. When they say (whoever they might be) that the air and water of Mordor are simply poisonous, this is basically what they’re talking about. There’s a volcano, remember? That doesn’t usually translate into a great, flourishing ecosystem. The ash spewed out from Mount Doom has covered this land, and I would imagine that the lands inside the mountains (true Mordor) have it worse off.

Because this kind of thing will do some damage.

Because this kind of thing will do some damage.

Don’t even try to forget about the damage to a land that evil can cause. Not only is there this horrible natural feature that will destroy the land, but there’s this dude sitting in a tower imparting his evil will on everything. Plants don’t seem to like that sort of thing, so they just go away. Do you see Treebeard wanting to come anywhere near this place?

Things aren’t looking too promising for our heroes. But…what else can you do, turn around?

No one dies today.

“They had come to the desolation that lay before Mordor: the lasting monument to the dark labour of its slaves that should endure when all their purposes were made void; a land defiled, diseased…”

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