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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Great stuff, soli! Yet another example of how Tolkien wrote material and only later discovered what it really meant!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:13 pm 
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A lot of the material in this chapter might unkindly be described as narrative fluff. Little is vital to the story or the plot. The hobbits leave Bree, meander through the Midgewater Marshes, sing and listen to a couple of songs/poems and then have a scary run in with the Enemy.

Yet, as the author said, in Middle-earth a mile is a mile even as it is in this mundale world. If the readers are really to believe in this secondary world, we have to feel its terrain, its vast distances, its weather. We have to experience with the Company, rather than fast-forward (as a dramatization can do) the plodding along, as well as the exciting bits.

All part of the tale.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:14 pm 
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Geesh. You guys are light years ahead of my knowledge of all things Tolkien. I learn so much reading these discussions. I don't think that I really add anything to the patter.

But I thought of one other thing last night. I don't know if it is true or not. But piggy backing my comment of Lúthien being the first elf to choose mortality for a human...Arwen being descended from her line also makes this same choice. Not that it means much, just another correlation. Was there another who made this choice?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:21 pm 
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No, there were no others who made that choice that were described by Tolkien (at least that I am aware of).

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:29 pm 
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When Tuor, son of Huor arrived in Gondolin, Idril fell in love with him. Because Turgon had grown to love Tuor as a son (as he had his father before), he allowed Idril and Tuor to wed, thus bringing about the second union of Men and Elves, after Beren and Lúthien.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:36 pm 
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But Idril did not choose to become mortal. In fact, just the opposite happened; Tuor became the only mortal to be counted among the elder race.

Edit: Note that the question wasn't whether they were the only Elves to mate with a mortal, but rather whether they were the only ones to choose to become mortal for a human. Elros, of course, choose to be mortal when he could have chosen to be numbered among the elder race, but that choice was not for love a human.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:49 pm 
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And apparently there was some Elven/Human dallying in Dol Amroth ancestry. :P

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Yes, Imrahil's ancestor Imrazór mated with the the Elven-lady Mithrellas, but far from choosing to become mortal for him, she actually abandoned him and their children, slipping away at night after bearing him a son and a daughter.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:18 pm 
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What, really? :shock:

Of course, we know that Elf/Human pairings are common as dirt, in Middle-earth. At least, we know it if we spent any amount of time in an RP-forum, where half-Elven characters abound. ;)

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:05 am 
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Now, the $64 question: Do you buy Tolkien's/Aragorn's explanation for whay the Riders retreated? (and, no, I don't mean because their cloaks were on fire....)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Technically, that question probably belongs with the discussion of the next chapter, since that is where Aragorn's explanation is, but I'll respond to it here, particularly since my response is based on something that Wayne and Christina print at the end of their discussion of this chapter.

Briefly (if I am understanding what you are referring to correctly), Aragorn's explanation for why the Rider's retreat is that the believe that their work is almost finished. However, Tolkien gives a very different explanation for why they retreat in one of the Hunt for the Ring texts that was not published in UT but is cited at length by Wayne and Christina.

In short, they retreat because they, and particularly the Witchking, are dismayed. He was first shaken by Gandalf's fire. He also sees that Aragorn "seems to be a great power though apparently 'only a Ranger'." But most of all, he is afraid of Frodo!

Quote:
But above all the timid and terrified Bearer had resisted him, had dared to strike at him with an enchanted sword made by his own enemies long ago for his destruction. Narrowly it had missed him. How he had come by it - save in the Barrows of Cardolan. Then he was in some way mightier than the B[arrow]-wight; and he called on ELbereth, a name of terror to the Nazgûl. He was then in league with the High Elves of the Havens.

Escaping a wound that would have been as deadly to him as the Mordor-knife to Frodo (as was proved at the end), he withdrew and hid for a while, out of doubt and fear both of Aragorn and especially of Frodo. But fear of Sauron, and the forces of Saruon's will was the stronger.


So that is why the Riders retreated. And that, too, I think goes a long way to demonstrating the importance of this passage at the end of this chapter, when we learn for the first time that our small friend is really in his own way one of the Great.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Oh! That's a great point. I never thought of it, but it's true - Frodo was armed with the same kind of knife from the barrow that Merry had. No wonder WiKi was nervous - assuming he figured out what the knife was. But of course the readers, or the hobbits, don't find out about that until much later.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:02 pm 
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Unfinished Tales gives some insight into the characteristics of the varying ringwraiths while alone and together.

I can't remember who was actually at Bree or their characteristics, nor can I lay my hand on my book. But between that and what was published in LOTR, I think it is a fair enough account of what went wrong with the attack(s) and why.

The whole ringwraith story and their actual effectiveness was not one of Tolkien's strongest devices. I don't think he ever had a totally cohesive idea of what they were all about or how to portray that.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:06 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Oh! That's a great point. I never thought of it, but it's true -- Frodo was armed with the same kind of knife from the barrow that Merry had. No wonder WiKi was nervous -- assuming he figured out what the knife was. But of course the readers, or the hobbits, don't find out about that until much later.

(Emphasis added.)

Notice how Frodo wearing the Ring, and so presumably the wraiths also, sees his sword: "Desperate, he drew his own sword, and it seemed to him that it flickered red, as if it was a firebrand." And notice that the Witch-king comes prepared at their next meeting.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:52 am 
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I guess no one else has anything else to say. What happened to all the people who said that they would participate once we got to this chapter?

Should we move on? Or just leave it be?

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:27 am 
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People seem to get busy and distracted in tidal rhythms. This is a very busy time of year for people with kids in school and for people who teach.

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Maybe moving on to the next chapter would bring interest back?

Just as observation. I am trying to be more active on this website, so I am checking it every day now. Hopefully I can add more to the discussions.

Some days are better than others.

Prim, it is prom, graduation and school year ending for many people, so I think you are right.


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:19 pm 
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What Prim said. Am tidally swamped.

:woohoo: for Rwhen being more active here. :hug:

N.E. Brigand wrote:
Frelga wrote:
Oh! That's a great point. I never thought of it, but it's true -- Frodo was armed with the same kind of knife from the barrow that Merry had. No wonder WiKi was nervous -- assuming he figured out what the knife was. But of course the readers, or the hobbits, don't find out about that until much later.

(Emphasis added.)

Notice how Frodo wearing the Ring, and so presumably the wraiths also, sees his sword: "Desperate, he drew his own sword, and it seemed to him that it flickered red, as if it was a firebrand." And notice that the Witch-king comes prepared at their next meeting.


Come to think, there were FOUR swords like that. What happened to Sam's does anyone remember?

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:36 pm 
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He still had it at the end of the story.

From Book 6 Chapter 4:

Then Frodo took the small sword that had belonged to Sam, and had been laid at his side in Cirith Ungol. ‘Sting I gave to you Sam,’ he said.
‘No, master! Mr. Bilbo gave it to you, and it goes with his silver coat; he would not wish anyone else to wear it now.’


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:43 pm 
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I'll wait and see if there is any more discussion here, and if not, I'll go ahead and start a new thread (unless someone else beat me to it, which anyone is welcome to do).

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