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Old 06-19-2007, 07:57 PM   #9
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
The Lord of the Rings can be read and enjoyed on many levels, but from my point of view if one pares down the story to its most fundamental plotline, it is a coming of age tale concerning four naive young Hobbits, who must leave the natal womb of the Shire and travel forth as blind innocents into the cruel world, stumbling and erring along the way, but at last coming of age with the resolution and wisdom one can only accrue through experience and travail. In this context, the 'Scouring of the Shire' is not a denouement but a climax of the story, an integral link in the ongoing progression of Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin.

As others have mentioned in this thread (and Tolkien, through Gandalf's character, stated plainly), the Hobbits were literally trained throughout the trilogy to become the type of leaders and strategists that could instill rebellion and hope among their fellow Hobbits against the usurpation of Saruman and his gang of brigands -- without any outside assistance. This last point is very crucial, and it is certain from reading the text that Gandalf (with his penchant for prescience) understood this point and chose to leave the Hobbits before they entered the Shire for that very purpose. In a sense, Gandalf was much like a father figure who allowed his sons to become men (or adult Hobbits, if you prefer). Certainly, Frodo or one of his companions could have sent word to Elrond, Gandalf or Cirdan and received aid that would have quickly crushed Sharkey and his bullies, but as adults they took responsibility for the situation based on their experiences of the year previous.

A few of you may have read my tirades regarding P.J. Jackson's misinterpretation of the Lord of the Rings, and although I understand the need for time compression (particularly in a project so vast), I believe P.J. missed the boat by undermining a central plot point. There is also the shock value that was eliminated when the Hobbits discovered that war and evil, even of such a petty nature, had consumed even their pastoral and backwater patch of Middle-earth. The Hobbit characters were in a sense deprived of the opportunity to apply their wisdom and valor to defend their homes. Also, Saruman and Grima's deaths at Orthanc in the extended film version was such a waste of drama and intrigue, don't you think?
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Last edited by Morthoron; 06-19-2007 at 08:03 PM.
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