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Old 05-21-2005, 03:07 AM   #77
Illustrious Ulair
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
'Oh, like, no, man! The King's like dead, dudes! What a bummerrrr!'


This is an epic romance not a modern novel..

Originally Posted by Bb
The battles are described in what I would call stirring but realistic detail. Now, here we have an extemporaneous poem. Can such be written in the heat of battle? It seems implausible. Is Éomer reciting old verse from long ago, such as Tolkien discussed in his essay on "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth"? It doesn't seem quite plausible either, to find a song so suited to the exact situation.
I'm not sure this was 'written in the heat of battle', because it does strike me as 'old verse from long ago'. First of all it does not specifically mention Theoden, secondly, I would expect someone from an oral culture to have a head full of poems & snatches of verse. To my mind its the furthest thing from 'surprising' that Eomer would have a verse like that in mind. He's in battle & probably at that moment has his head full of the old lays - probably during their rest periods on the way to Minas Tirith they would have had bards singing those very lays.

Besides, the all Rohirrim speak in an archaic manner. I actually find it a little more likely that Eomer would find a snatch of that kind of verse in his head at that moment than that Eowyn, on confronting the WK would come out with 'Begone foul Dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion!' But I have to say that is analysing after the fact. When I read that chapter I'm so caught up in the events that none of that occurs. I must say that if you're reading The Battle of Pelennor Fields & find the spell is broken by something as 'trivial' as Eomer reciting a few lines of verse that's something I really don't get at all.

This is the problem with an 'analytical' reading, when you refuse to just let the story grab you and sweep you along - you're always at a 'distance' from what's happening, always weighing it up & asking yourself whether 'this' or 'that' is convincing. Its like watching a movie on dvd & stopping it every few moments to do a critique of it. Its this approach to reading & re-reading that inevitably lessens the magic of the experience.

As far as I'm concerned Eomer recited those lines over Theoden's fallen body in the heat of that battle - & do you know why? Not for the reasons I gave earlier, but because when I read that episode it feels right.
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