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Old 01-03-2008, 10:20 AM   #18
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alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
If it were only for the terrain, it would not make sense in the way it is mentioned. Why would Tolkien say it the way he says?
He wanted to give us something to talk about?

My comment regarding the terrain is that, by this time of the chase, Uglúk and his boys were near Fangorn, it was hilly (uphill) and there were trees. Maybe not the best place in which to fight from horseback.

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A) there was no need to dismount because of the terrain;
See above.

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B) no wounded horse or anything - first, Éomer's house is mentioned in the books by name and he is not mentioned to be wounded; second, Tolkien could slip in an input sentence to say that he was wounded or why Éomer dismounted
Agreed. But we do not know if Eomer chose to leave his horse behind, as maybe he thought that his horse was already overtired and so risked the chance of death due to the terrain.

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C) the fact Tolkien does not mention why Éomer dismounted can mean only one thing:
We'd have something on which to speculate?

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that he explains it in the sentence. Follow my thoughts, please. If Tolkien did not care to explain to us why Éomer dismounted, why even mention that he dismounted?
Heroes can rack up points dispatching numerous unnamed faceless bad guys, but really cool heroes have to take down the 'Boss' baddie as well. Didn't Aragorn slay a less-than-nameless orc in Moria? Though pleased to meet him, Aragorn didn't catch his name, but this particular orc was bigger and badder than the others. Also, by having a rider dismount, we add some texture to the story. Makes you remember (somewhat) Eomer's deeds more. As we'd spent all of that time running alongside Ugluk, surely we have to read of his spectacular end, and for the same price, learn that Eomer sans horse is tougher than this mean old head-lopping orc. It's, as we say, a two-fer.

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He could have ended the sentence by the words "Third Marshal of the Mark". Now, he does not say why Éomer dismounted - at least not explicitely. Yet what follows in the sentence after the information that Éomer dismounted? And fought him sword to sword. We could easily replace the "and" with "to": meaning of purpose, Éomer dismounted to fight Uglúk sword to sword. So this tells us why Éomer dismounted. Yet the "and" gives it sort of a different level - Tolkien did not say "to", therefore making the other sentence just a bonus information to the previously mentioned fact (he dismounted), but making it connected in the way that both the parts of the sentence have the same level. Uglúk was slain by Éomer. And what else do we learn about this? Éomer dismounted and fought him sword to sword. Both these actions are connected by the same origin, or purpose: the reason why he dismounted was the same to the one why he fought him sword to sword, yet we don't learn any third reason, it is still hidden inside these few words. And the words sword to sword imply only one thing: equality. Whatever the case, Éomer saw Uglúk as someone who has the same level as himself. And that's not, in my opinion, only about taking down enemy leader: or at least not in Éomer's case. He must have realised that who stands in front of him is not only a nasty Orc, a nameless face in the crowd, but someone who theoretically could switch place with him, the Third Marshal of the Mark, as the text itself says and therefore, emphasises. The message is clear, even shocking: Uglúk can be compared to Éomer. And if I go to the extreme, recently there appeared the thread about Anti-Dwarves: if you want me to be shocking and provocative, I could say that Uglúk is Anti-Éomer - and Éomer is Anti-Uglúk. Hm, looking at this I might even make a little study of this.
But for now, enough of the language analysis
That's a lot to read into so short a text - not that I can argue with it. Okay, let's say that Eomer sees this big orc with a name tag and says, "Hey, he's an important character just like me, and so the bylaws indicate that I can fight him man-to-orc instead of shooting him from a far and safe distance, if I so choose." Now, Eomer has fought orcs before, and seemingly has some sense about him. He rings them in to keep them from getting into the forest where his horses will be less effective (see above), and continually harries them until dawn, when he and his men will have yet another advantage. So, knowing this about him, how fey do we allow him to be? Will this future King willy-nilly decide to duel any big orc that looks important? Does need drive him, or does he simply enjoy the combat, regardless of the risk and implications of his possible loss? Is he that macho?

I see him as fighting Ugluk out of necessity, not honor, as orcs have none.

And just who is the anti-Eowyn then?

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But this one is about individual examples that can eventually be applied on others, so let's stay on topic, please.
Sorry. My point was that the number of orcs who may be individuals might be small; of these, the number that have the traits that you are considering may just be those that have had contact with humans.

Did Azog show a moral flaw when he let Nár live to tell of the humiliating death of Thrór? Instead of simply killing the two, Azog had to pridefully boast (easy to do when a Balrog has your back), and this led to his eventual downfall.
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