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Old 12-03-2017, 05:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots Frodo in the Tower of Cirith Ungol

I was recently rereading The Return of the King and came to the part of the Tower of Cirith Ungol where it reads:

They stripped me of everything; and then two great brutes came and questioned me, questioned me until I thought I would go mad
-The Tower of Cirith Ungol
This passage gave me pause for the first time. What would Frodo have told them under the questioning? He clearly did not tell them much of value since Shagrat would (presumably) have told Sauron everything he knew about Frodo before he was (evidently) killed. The information in the possession of the orcs about the "spies" being some kind of strange dwarf-men, which was the closest to accurate information that the Mordor orcs had at their disposal must have come from Shagrat and the Morgul orcs that made it out of the Tower first. We don't have any idea who the Morgul orcs who made it out first were or their status but I don't believe it is safe to assume they would have been present in the interrogation given Shagrat's distrust of Gorbag's "lads".

The fact that the orcs did not glean more useful information out of Frodo is rather incredible.

Clearly, there is no reason to suppose that Shagrat and Gorbag knew the right questions to ask to really get to the bottom of things and Frodo would certainly not want to volunteer any information in that direction.

But that begs the question of what he could have told them to satisfy them. They did eventually leave him alone, which is stated in the passage:

I didn't dare to move when I was left alone, or one of the guards came.
But the questioning did apparently go on for some extended period of time because Frodo describes it as "until I thought I should go mad."

I suppose he may have just refused to speak to them at all, and I would think it would take a long time of this before Shagrat and Gorbag grew bored and frustrated.

However, the timeline is interesting because Frodo's statement implies that some time passed between the end of his questioning and the beginning of the fight. The two captains did not begin the fight right there in front of Frodo.

They did not torture Frodo because of Sauron's orders and Frodo even said that he was not seriously hurt. That might have yielded some useful results...or it might not have. Again, if nothing else Shagrat and Gorbag would not have had the information needed to ask the right questions.

I have a hard time imagining that Frodo didn't say anything to them but I also cannot imagine anything he could have said that would not have raised more questions that I don't think Frodo would have been able to satisfactorily explain away to get them to leave him alone.
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
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