It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:51 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 64 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:01 pm 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12821
Location: Out on the banks
It's not a flaw. :spin:

_________________
Image
‘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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:24 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
One of the thing that Tolkien attempted to do in his aborted 1960 revision of The Hobbit was to bring that book into geographical accord with LOTR. There were major differences between Chapter 2 of that book and this chapter, with the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf taking an hour to travel the same distance that it took Aragorn and his charges six days to travel (after they lost their way) .

Wayne and Christina note that the 1960 revision amends this by introducing The Last Bridge, which had not been present in The Hobbit before this. This was not used for the 1966 third edition, but there is a less extensive revision mentioning "an ancient stone bridge" which helps mitigate the difference between the two tales.

In the discussion about Rivendell, we see the first very subtle allusion to Arwen, when Aragorn says "There my heart dwells" although of course only in hindsight does this reference make any sense. This comment does nicely foreshadow Aragorn's later comment to Éowyn in the ROTK chapter "The Passing of the Grey Company" that if he were to go where his heart dwelt he would be wandering far to the north in the fair valley of Rivendell.

Aragorn also lets slip in this discussion that he is himself of the illustrious line of Elendil, though in such a casual remark that it goes right past the hobbit's (and most readers).

Regarding the stone trolls, both Doug Anderson in The Annotated Hobbit and Wayne and Christina note that in 1926 a friend and colleague of Tolkien named Helen Buckhurst read a paper "Icelandic Folklore" to the Viking Society for Northern Research in which she mentions that some kinds of trolls most remain hidden in their caves during daylight or the rays of the sun will turn them into stone. Tolkien followed the Hobbit story nicely here, with the door that Gandalf had opened with the key that Bilbo found still "hanging crookedly ajar on one hinge" and Aragorn and the hobbits finding on the floor many old bones and "some great empty jars and broken pots, whereas in The Hobbit Bilbo and company found bones on the floor and pots full of gold coins. The bones that Bill, Bert and Tom munched on would certainly have become old in the ensuing 75 years, and of course the pots of gold were emptied by the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf.

Sam's Troll song was, of course, originally supposed to be Frodo's song in Bree, and it was based on a song that Tolkien had earlier written that was printed in Songs for the Philologists as The Root of the Boot.

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 30
The scene where the company comes across the three stone trolls has always been one of my favorite passages in the book.

I love the way that Aragorn, despite the gravity of their current situation, and despite his own tendancy to be quite serious, chose to lighten the mood by having a little fun at the hobbit's expense.

For some reason that I can't explain, I am greatly amused by the image of a huge troll wearing a bird's nest behind his ear as a fashion accessory.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:30 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
Me too. :D

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 91
Re: Elrond and the river
Don't forget that Elrond has one of the Elven rings and he definitely knows what's going on on his land, same as Galadriel. No deus ex machina here.

If even the cheerful elves in The Hobbit knew identities and business of all the guests passing through their lands ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 91
For my part, I was always amused that Pippin never "more than half believed" the troll stories. Just another reminder of Bilbo's reputation as "mad old Baggins". If even his young adventurous friends didn't fully believe him, others must have though he was totally nuts :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 30
Primula Baggins wrote:
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.


Perhaps, this type of elven river trap is the reason that most of the Ringwraiths feared water so much.

From Unfinished Tales The Hunt for the Ring:

"All except the Witchking were apt to stray when alone by daylight; and all, again save the Witch-King, feared water, and were unwilling, except in dire need, to enter it or to cross streams unless dryshod by a bridge."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:18 am 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
Other than Teremia's wonderful post early in the thread (and a bit by AJ), we have talked much about the end of the chapter (apart from the issue of how Elrond knew when to raise the river). And yet I think it is one of the real turning points of the whole vast epic. We have Frodo fading fast into the wraith world. Tolkien tells us

He could see them clearly now: they appeared to have cast aside their hoods and black cloaks and they were robed in white and grey. Swords were naked in their pale hands; helms were on their heads. Their cold eyes glittered, and they called to him with fell voices.

No longer do we have the vague, distant figures of the earlier chapters; these are vivid, terrifying enemies. And the difference is due entirely to Frodo's state; he is virtually in their world. Yet the more they seek to dominate him, the more he resists.

The Riders seemed to sit upon their great steeds like threatening statues upon a hill, dark and solid, while all the woods and land about them receded as if into a mist. Suddenly he knew in his heart that they were silently commanding him to wait. Then at once fear and hatred awoke in him. His hand left the bridle and gripped the hilt of his sword, and with a red flash he drew it.

Of course, despite his having almost faded into the other world, Frodo is not alone, and the great Elf-lord orders his horse to bear Frodo away. But the Riders pursuing him are left behind, the others are there to cut off his escape. Yet despite being filled with fear, of "a breath of deadly cold pierce him like a spear" he is an his equine ally manage to cross the Ford. But the Wraiths almost completely control his will at this point, and he cannot resist their command to stop on the other side. Yet still he resists them to the utmost of his last remaining will.

What has never struck me before is how much this moment, the end of the first book of The Lord of the Rings, presages the climatic moment of the book. Here we see Frodo resisting the Wraiths to the utmost of his will, beyond what anyone could expect, yet ultimately failing, and needing to be saved by a "miracle" (the flooding of the river by Elrond and Gandalf). At the climatic moment we see Frodo resisting the power of the ring beyond the limit of his strength, succeeding in bringing it to the very edge of the brink of the chasm in Sammath Naur, but ultimately failing, and needing have the quest saved by a "miracle": Gollum taking the Ring and falling over the edge.

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:29 am 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 9759
Location: the dry land
It sort of makes you wonder why, having all but failed this first and relatively easy test, Frodo was entrusted with the Ring for the rest of the journey. But, then again, would anyone else have done better? I think not.

_________________
When you can do nothing what can you do?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:19 am 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
You've answered your own question.

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
Today's PJ complaint: Tolkien of coures makes no effort to explain the River's rising, at least not until afterwards. PJ's decision to create a 'spell' robs the scene of its mystery and wonder.

But then that's a small nit compared to PJ's converting Frodo to helpless, semiconscious luggage. (No, not Pratchett Luggage). The wimpification of Frodo was one of his biggest miscues, and here, he erased one of Frodo's most heroic moments.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:34 pm 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12821
Location: Out on the banks
Indeed. We watched ROTK last night, and among the things the movie nailed, I count the Cracks of Doom. Except that book-Frodo had, up to that point, been courageous, kind and wise. Movie-Frodo had been whining and moaning and falling down in slo-mo so many times that it rather dampens the shock at the end.

Anyway, before Someone ;) reminds me this is not a movie thread. One of the fascinating things about this chapter was the unveiling of Glorfindel as a mighty Elf-lord who walks in both worlds, as Frodo will learn in Rivendell. It gives a sudden, chilling insight that the Elves are more than just pretty humans with nice voices.

_________________
Image
‘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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:03 pm
Posts: 5199
Location: Green Hill Country
Sorry to come late to the discussion...I've been following it on and off, though.

One of the things that is striking about the scene with Glorfindel is the reference to the relationship between the Elf and his horse -

Quote:
"but you need not fear: my horse will not let any rider fall that I command him to bear. His pace is light and smooth; and if danger presses too near, he will bear you away with a speed that even the black steeds of the enemy cannot rival."


Clearly the Noldor were able to cultivate a connection between horse and rider that surpassed even the skills of the Rohirrim.

On the subject of mounts:

Quote:
"Frodo lay half in a dream, imagining that endless dark wings were sweeping by above him, and that on the wings rode pursuers that sought him in all the hollows of the hills."


This, in hindsight, is clearly a reference to the winged Nazgûl that the reader will meet later on. So this must indicate that Tolkien had already anticipated the loss of the Black Riders' mounts, and their replacements.

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:31 am 
Offline
Aldrig nogen sinde Kvitte
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:19 pm
Posts: 394
Location: Northern Utah Misty Mountains
I am looking forward to the next chapter also as we see a time of healing, insight and reflection ending with the formation of the Fellowship with Frodo showing his unusual quality by accepting the task of ring bearer. Then again, I'm jumping ahead.

Excellent posts by many, I've enjoyed following this discussion in this chapter.

_________________
1. " . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.

2. We have many ways using technology to be in touch, yet the larger question is are we really connected or are we simply more in touch? There is a difference.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:52 am 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
Taking a look at the history of the chapter, it is fascinating how much of the final form was already in place from the beginning. There are minor differences, but despite the differences in the characters present, the form and feeling of the final version is virtually in place. Athelas is present from the beginning, though it is not said that it was brought by the Men of the West (since the "Men of the West" didn't really exist yet), but rather to be known only to Elves (though of course Trotter knows of it from them). The geography is a little bit different. Trotter actually slaps one of the Trolls with his hand, and he calls them by name (William and Bert), which Aragorn doesn't do in FOTR. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the Troll song is not yet present. But Glorfindel's role is largely the same, his greeting to Trotter is not much different than his greeting to Aragorn. And the end of the chapter is largely in place. There is a little bit less of sense of Bingo's fading than we see in the final version, but his futile courage is already in place, as is the terror of Riders, and the final flood in which they meet their temporary end.

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:56 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32716
I guess it is time to start thinking about moving on to the next chapter, yes? Or perhaps just putting the whole discussion on hiatus?

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:15 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38641
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Don't put it on hiatus, Voronwë. This is the kind of discussion that comes and goes in waves, yes, but note how long it's continued (and that the current thread is sometimes very active, and always worth reading).

I've learned a lot from these threads, about a book I thought I knew a great deal about. :oops: And, it's fun.

And, look at the number of views vs. posts for all the threads. There are typically more than 20 times as many views as posts. People are following this discussion who may not have time or inclination to add to it themselves.

_________________
“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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:56 am
Posts: 7
Primula Baggins wrote:
People are following this discussion who may not have time or inclination to add to it themselves.


Guilty, your honour. :oops:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 30
Although I've only contributed to the discussion a few times, I have been following it from the beginning, and I always look forward to seeing what others have to say about each chapter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:03 pm
Posts: 5199
Location: Green Hill Country
Likewise :)

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 64 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group