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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Is there telepathy in Middle-earth? I don't remember encountering it as far as I've read.


If any wanderer had chanced to pass, little would he have seen or heard, and it would have seemed to him only that he saw grey figures, carved in stone, memorials of forgotten things now lost in unpeopled lands. For they did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.

Dave wrote:
I always had the impression that the flood was something Elrond had commanded ahead of time in booby-trap fashion. That he'd simply rigged the river to react that way anytime enemies tried to cross.


How would the river know that they were enemies? What would stop the "booby-trap" from being triggered by a bunch of deer fording the river?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Magic, of course! ;) I don't have the book with me, but doesn't Gandalf actually say something about the river being commanded to rise up in rage against the presence of enemies?

In general, it does seem that in Middle-Earth, nature itself is able perceive evil and rise against it on occasion (though nature perhaps has a somewhat different idea of evil than our heroes do). Maybe Elrond just needed to give it a little extra push.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Voronwë, how could I forget that? It's a lovely image.

However, it appears they were together when they did this; there's no indication that Elves can convey information across long distances this way, or at least there are times when you'd think they'd have done it if they could.

As for the river, maybe the "trap" was specifically for the Nazgûl, since they were known to be abroad. If we're postulating that the presence of an enemy could be sensed, it's only a step further to imagine that the particular evil of the Nazgûl could be sensed differentially. So the deer would be safe crossing the river, and so was Frodo.

Although . . . he was carrying the Ring. . . . :scratch:

Maybe not everything needs an explanation. (I know, heresy. :P )

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Tolkien certainly wouldn't have introduced a bit of deus ex machina, would he?? Certainly not our Tolkien!



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Blasphemer!

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:28 pm 
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There is a fascinating Tolkien essay on Elvish (and Maiarin) telepathy called Osanwe-kenta. It was published in Vinyar Tengwar some years back, not in any of the CRT hardbacks. It goes on at some length about the ability to communicate verbal or pre-verbal thought directly from mind to mind- an ability most strong in those whose hröar or bodies are more attuned and less obstructive (translation- Men stink at it, Noldor of Valinor are the best). This explains both Gandalf's "Voice" at Amon Hen, and Finrod's ability to understand Bëor and his people when first encountered.

I thought about the trip-wire hypothesis, but it has the drawback of all booby-traps: collateral damage. Elrond (one supposes) would have to have known that Frodo was clear of the river first.

Perhaps Glorfindel was the link.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:23 pm 
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That part I always just took as luck (or fate). I always figured the flood was triggered the instant the Nazgûl entered the water, and just took some time to arrive at their position (by which point Frodo had reached the other side). I guess that would mean an especially canny spy could have beat the flood by sprinting across, but no trap is foolproof.

If Gandalf and Elrond did set it up ahead of time, it would probably have been to guard against spies or an attack rather than to protect someone who was being actively chased as he crossed the ford, so that aspect of the timing wouldn't have been a concern.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:30 pm 
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Elrond wore the Vilya, the ring of water, correct? I just assumed that, like Galadriel, he could use it in defense of his land. The fact that it is a river he causes to rise would seem to fit that idea also.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:42 pm 
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My assumption was always that Elrond had control of the river and somebodt (telepathically perhaps) let him know when to make it flood.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Vilya was the Ring of Air.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Ok, so the ring of Air. Still, surely it gave him similar power to guard his realm as Galadriel's did?

Quote:
'But do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elvenbows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against the Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!'

She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its ray glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood."

'Yes', she said, divining his thought, 'it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-Bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.
He suspects, but he does not know - not yet. Do you see now wherefore your coming is to us as the footstep of Doom? For if you fail, then we are laid bare to the Enemy. Yet if you succeed, then our power is diminished, and Lothlórien will fade, and the tides of Time will sweep it away. We must depart into the West, or dwindle to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and to be forgotten.'

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
That part I always just took as luck (or fate). I always figured the flood was triggered the instant the Nazgûl entered the water, and just took some time to arrive at their position (by which point Frodo had reached the other side). I guess that would mean an especially canny spy could have beat the flood by sprinting across, but no trap is foolproof.


That makes sense, without too much of a stretch. Lórien is also defended by its surrounding rivers, although we are never shown as direct an attempt to enter as the Nazgûl demonstrate here. Orcs (and Gollum?) cross the Silverlode, but seemingly cannot enter the Naith.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:56 pm 
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I would imagine that Elrond would have been pretty keenly in tne to their presence.

This chapter is what sealed the deal for me with LOTR. I can still remember the first time I read it and I can still feel my heart racing. It is near impossible after all of these years and readings to look at it the same way, but I do still remember te onderful impact it had on me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:29 am 
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Great post, Holby. I love reading stuff like that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:17 pm 
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It would have been better had I not had keyboard issues or corrected the typos. :roll:
I really should learn to proofread.

To flesh out my Elrond point a bit more, if you look at things from the perspective of the elves in general, it isn't difficult to fathom how they could be so adept at certain things and in tune with their surroundings.

I couldn't possibly explain his power to "control" the river (other than to suggest some tie in with Ulmo or whomever), but I can maybe hazard a guess as to how he knew the black riders were near to him.

He had been around for thousands of years by then. That gave him many many opportunities to hear birds chirp certain ways, see and hear the reactions of whatever being was near to him over and over again, see innumerable sunrises and perform basic things time and again.

He had to be intently in tune to his surroundings and being a part of "both worlds" simultaneously would have made him open to their presence in a land that was governed by him. He wasn't likely to be blindsided by many things, least of all ringwraiths, him being a bearer of a ring and all.

The ringwraiths could feel the presence of the living and I would venture that in Elrond's case, the reverse was true.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:32 pm 
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What a great point, Holby! Of course Elrond would have an accumulated "database" of observation that is thousands of times larger than humans can ever have. That alone would make him more perceptive than Men.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Think about having the time to practice walking a rope across a river a million times or perform whatever feat for decades until you perfected it. All without experiencing physical aging.
They should have been superhuman and they were.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Well said, Holby. (And I didn't notice any typos before; I'm so used to making my own.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
What a great point, Holby! Of course Elrond would have an accumulated "database" of observation that is thousands of times larger than humans can ever have. That alone would make him more perceptive than Men.


A database. Right. I think Elrond just signed up for alerts from Google.

They do have Google in Middle-earth, don't they?

On topic - I agree with Holby, typos notwithstanding. :P Elrond must be very much in tune with his land, and with the ringwraiths through his ring.

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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: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Please forgive my lapse into geekitude, Frelga! :P Fortunately, it's my only character flaw. :blackeye:

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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