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Old 09-13-2004, 01:43 AM   #41
davem
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Its interesting how Tolkien makes use of folkore - the Beryl in medieval times was considered to have magical powers - to bring health, good luck & long life, & being green, the colour associated with both Elves & nature its a perfect choice.

Also, the Athelas verse is similar to verses found in Anglo saxon & medieval times. A healing herb would not just be used as we use medicine today, there would be a prayer or invocation said over it as it was cut & as it was used.

There's an Anglo-saxon verse - the Nine Herbs charm, which contains the lines:
Quote:
This herb is called Stune; it grew on a stone,
it withstands poison, it resists pain.
It is called harsh, it fights against poison,
drives out the hostile one, casts out poison.
This is the herb that fought with the worm;
this power against poison, this power against infection,
this power against the foe who fares through the land.
trans: Rodrigues 'Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims, & Heroic Legends.
Its interesting to see how Tolkien was using ancient beliefs subtly, & adapting them for his mythology.
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Old 10-22-2004, 09:54 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar
was Frodo the only one who saw Glorfindel shining in the light of Valinor? Was he able to see that because of the influence of the Ring? Could only those who had some connection with the spiritual realm see the light? If so, then there had to be at least some contact between the spiritual realms of light and darkness; apparently the Wraiths saw the light as well. I'm reminded of Biblical accounts of battles between the forces of good and evil, unseen by earthly beings.

....Yup. Pervasive, I think, so much so (to me) that I am surprised it is a matter of question.

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Originally Posted by davem
Athelas is also interesting, as its healing 'power' seems to come as much from Aragorn as from any inherent virtue it may have. (Of course, this is contradicted by a comment made by Tolkien that the healing herb Huan brings to Luthien to cure Beren was also Athelas.)
Not a contradiction, davem! Luthien has plenty of innate power too-- plenty more than Aragorn, I think. Can you imagine Aragorn singing to Melkor! eeeeep.

Seems to me that it's not just the herb (an infusion of which is good for headaches) and not just the man(why did he go looking for the athelas if the power all came from him anyway?) -- but a process involving rest, easing of pain, and immersion in truth and what is good. I'm thinking of the Houses of Healing, where Aragorn first infuses the athelas, then uses osanwe to go after the wandering soul. Again, Aragorn didn't start without the Athelas; but just the herb without the man would have only cured the headache, not the Black Breath.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by davem
If Tolkien is correct in saying that at the end Frodo feels like a broken failure that must affect his expectations of the outcome of his journey West.
...
I am struck by his responses in this chapter to his wounding, because he expresses the extremes of both defiance & despair, hope & hopelessness. ... He is dogmatic, judgemental & condemnatory - towards himself most of all.
This seems unnatural? Really? Everyone doesn't live like this on a daily basis???

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Originally Posted by davem
Once he is able to rest & make a decision he accepts the task of taking the Ring to the fire - but does he make that choice out of defiance or despair? Is there a point when he simply resigns himself to do the task at hand, because he believes it has been ordained that he will do it, &/or die in the attempt, but that either way he has no real say in the matter? .
Again-- yes to both. Why does that surprise? To me it seems like a daily occurence. For instance, today. And yesterday. And the day before that.


To quote another INFP. : I think Frodo is "Very I, very N, very F and very P..." Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver. At least, that's my guess.


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Originally Posted by Aiwendil
I would say neither; rather: he knew that accepting the task was the morally right thing to do, unequivocally, regardless of how he felt about it. I don't know whether he felt despair or defiance or hope or all three; but I think that his decision was made without respect to these things. Later, when he effectively makes the same decision at Amon Hen, Sam correctly analyzes his predicament: he is not trying to make up his mind at all; he knows exactly what he ought to do - he is only working up his courage to actually do it.
"Called, Appointed, Annointed." Three different, but related things. In Frodo's case, the calling was when he inherited It (or before); the appointment was at the Council; and the annointing-- I would say, numerous cumulative, illuminative events, dreams, and encounters along the way.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:41 AM   #44
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Mark12_30 wrote:
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To quote another INFP. : I think Frodo is "Very I, very N, very F and very P..." Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver. At least, that's my guess.
An interesting way to look at it. I suppose I agree. This makes me wonder about analyzing the other characters this way, particularly in the interest of contrasting them with Frodo. Aragorn, for example, strikes me as a definite T (Thinker) and perhaps a J (Judging) - perhaps INTJ or ENTJ.

I suppose one could say that Frodo's character arc amounts to a movement to an even more extreme INFP.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:15 AM   #45
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Tolkien

So, let us move on with the chapter-by-chapter course. Flight to the Ford: the end of the first book. This chapter continues with the scheme of the last chapter, it is a long, epic and quite thrilling chapter.

The start, and most of the chapter, works with the uncertainty of Frodo's fate (and even the end, which is a brilliant and very dramatic, one almost sees the scene moving in front of him - and fortunately, or at least myself, don't see it in the movie adaptation. The whole book, as the others will as well, ends with a cliffhanger). The Morgul-wound is presented at the beginning as something very sinister, of evil nature, and it is emphasised twice (by both Aragorn and Glorfindel) that "not even them" can cure what the would caused. Frodo is slowly becoming more and more disturbed by the wound. He moves slowly closer to the Wraith world, at night everything seems more solid to him, and in the end, without any effort he sees the Ringwraith as they really are. The dreams and hazy visions, especially the one when Frodo walks in his garden at Bag End, seem to me really close to this hazy perception a person has when he is ill and having fevers etc. I actually remembered that the first time I read this chapter, I was ill, and I felt similar to Frodo. It is interesting how a story can strongly imprint the memory of the situation in which you were when you read it (another very strong experience I remember was reading Treebeard when I was eating jelly bears. But about that in due time ).

One important thing in this chapter is the appearance of Glorfindel. Despite being a minor character, he makes the impression of someone really powerful and important. Among all shadowy things, Frodo sees him slightly glowing on the first sight, his touch warms Frodo, and in the end, as we all know, Frodo sees him clearly even in the Wraith world. However, the strongest impact, I believe, would Glorfindel's character have on someone who read Silmarillion. His description of a golden-haired Elf warrior would raise connotations even stronger. I was thinking this time that CT should have attempted to issue the tale of Tuor and Gondolin, because then, eventually, a person might read it first and then start to read more things from Tolkien, and while reading FotR and suddenly seeing (dead) Glorfindel, he would be surely surprised and delighted.

We learn a little more about Aragorn as well - using athelas, and more interestingly, that "his heart remains in Rivendell". Why? What is that supposed to mean, one may ask on first reading? I must say I noticed this part especially this time and I really like it.

Concerning the overall depiction of the journey, I think it's wonderful. One may learn lots of geographical information about the land, but the picture of the journey seems so vivid! I may also note here that I remember I liked much all the hints about Angmar when I read LotR for the first time. I did not particularly know what it is, but I liked it and it was beautifully scary shadow somewhere in the dark.

And last of all, the trolls episode, which provides but a slight relief, but is similar to the relief provided by the tales of Beren and Lúthien in the former chapter (although this one is much more "hobbitish", of course, and is not followed by immediate disaster, like in the former chapter). I would like to point out several little things: like that Frodo says that Sam will end up as a warrior or a wizard, while Sam ends up as a Great Elven Warrior, and Frodo is completely unaware that the more this will apply for the two remaining hobbits. Also, note in Sam's poem that the hero - Tom - although probably a hobbit, has boots. Had this been an old hobbit traditional song, it could signify its ancientry, dating back from the times when the hobbits were still wearing boots. But why would Sam - Sam! The hobbit who practically never left Hobbitton, thus, was not even used to hobbits wearing boots, like the Bucklanders - make his character wearing boots? Yes, one can say "to fit the rhyme", but the thing is that a hobbit would probably not even think about putting in the boots for a rhyme, simply because he does not think about boots normally. Or did Sam simply use an old story and built on it his own song? Maybe.
Another thing which caught my eye this time was what Frodo said about Bilbo giving away all the treasure he got from the Trolls - that he felt it is not rightfully his when it comes from loot. What a groundbreaking approach would that be for many treasure hunters (and I had to think of my RPGing group, that I should promote this idea to them - someone might try to accept that way of acting for his character).

So, what did you find about the chapter? How did you feel about it, now, or when you read it for the first time? Have you anything to comment on something? Does something "stand out" at you?
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:23 PM   #46
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Sting

Apparently, since 2008, this has been the one chapter of Book I that no one had very much to say about. If one takes that fact at face value, it's a bit baffling, because the pre-2008 discussions are vibrant and this is certainly a chapter with some important things going on: most especially the climax of the whole first book, but also the resolution of events at Weathertop and the introduction of a particularly interesting side-character, Glorfindel.

Glorfindel might actually be more interesting post-LotR than he was at the time of writing--or even the time of publication--because Tolkien didn't decide right away that this was THE Glorfindel of "The Fall of Gondolin," though given his characterisation as unusually potent in the other realm, it seems clear that Tolkien was toying with some sort of a connection from the beginning.

Considering that "The Fall of Gondolin" was basically the first tale written of the Lost Tales, the first fully-fleshed out story of Middle-earth, and considering also the importance given to the Gondolin legend as a matter of background in The Hobbit, I think it noteworthy that an actual character from that tale gets drawn into the LotR.

Another, far more minor thing, that caught my eye is that, early in the chapter, after tending to Frodo's wound, immediately before he goes in search of the athelas, Strider draws Sam to him and tells him what he knows or suspects happened with the Black Riders and charges him with protecting Frodo.

It's a small thing, but the text definitely says that he sends Merry and Pippin to do one thing and draws Sam over to speak to him quietly. In other words, it could be said that Strider treats Sam like the leader of the three hobbits.

This marks a change, I think. Although Sam has always been the second hobbit from the point of view of the reader, having been introduced as Frodo's travelling companion before the two others unmask their conspiracy, the events previously always put Merry in a position of leadership. It's possible, of course, that Strider isn't deferring to Sam as the senior hobbit (he actually is the oldest after Frodo), but recognises that he's the one with the deepest affection and concern for Frodo. Even if so, however, the way Strider does it still seemed to represent a bit of a shift--it might actually be the first time in the book that presents "Merry and Pippin" as a distinctly junior (more disposable?) pair of hobbits. Previously, if there were pairs at all, it was as much Frodo/Merry and Sam/Pippin as Frodo/Sam and Merry/Pippin.

(Or not--I am sure counterexamples could be found, but knowing the textual history of Book I involved a lot of shifting of hobbit names and roles, I think there could be a shift here, and the previous chapter discussions talked a lot about the hobbit personalities--especially Merry's--and this seems a pertinent addendum thereto.)
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:53 PM   #47
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Quote:
(Or not--I am sure counterexamples could be found, but knowing the textual history of Book I involved a lot of shifting of hobbit names and roles, I think there could be a shift here, and the previous chapter discussions talked a lot about the hobbit personalities--especially Merry's--and this seems a pertinent addendum thereto.)
Interesting because while reading it this time through, I kept saying to myself "this feels like Sam's chapter." Frodo's still the prominent hobbit, as we get a look into the life of a wraith, by Frodo going through the "wraithing" process. But Sam is the hobbit that gets deferred to the most. He's the hobbit that keeps Frodo grounded in the world of the living and away from the wraith-world. The hobbits (and we) are all surprised when Sam makes up his own silly troll poem:

Quote:
'Where did you come by that, Sam?' asked Pippin. 'I've never heard those words before.'

Sam muttered something inaudible. 'It's out of his own head, of course,' said Frodo. 'I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard - or a warrior!'

'I hope not,' said Sam. 'I don't want to be neither!'
This is Sam's chapter. And some funny foreshadowing at Sam ending up by becoming Samwise the Warrior!

Pippin shows his youth and immaturity in this chapter:

Quote:
Pippin, not liking to show Strider he was still afraid, went on ahead with Merry.
Then having no idea they were near where Bilbo encountered Tom, William and Bert, and forgetting that trolls wouldn't be outside in broad daylight.

This little bit that Glorfindel said also caught my attention. First we find out that Gildor did quite a bit more towards helping Frodo by getting messages to Bombadil and Elrond. He was more helpful than I originally considered in past readings, and definitely more helpful than Gandalf just pushing Frodo out the door with very little guidance other than he should make for the Prancing Pony and then Rivendell,

Quote:
"They said that the Nine were abroad, and that you were astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned. There are few even in Rivendell that can ride openly against the Nine; but such as there were, Elrond sent out north, west, and south."
See Jackson might not have taken that much liberty by inserting Arwen. Surely she would have been one that could ride openly against the Nine! In all seriousness though, there were others that Elrond sent out and it just happened to be Glorfindel that found them. Now this just makes me wonder who were the others in Rivendell that went out to search for the hobbits? Erestor? Elladan and Elrohir? All of course just going to be speculation, I would guess his twin sons, seeing as they were the ones who get sent out to scout the road ahead before the Fellowship departs.
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:33 PM   #48
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In The Council of Elrond, did Elladan and Elrohir not just return from a long mission? Book not with me to check details, but I had the impression they were fighting orcs in the north until the day of the feast. In that case I doubt they could have been "sent" in search of Frodo.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:02 PM   #49
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Indeed, as I'm just finishing Many Meetings, it says Elladan and Elrohir weren't present because they were away on errantry as they often would be with the Rangers and hunting orcs. Drat...well I guess these other mysteriously powerful Elves, who were sent out to search for Frodo, will just have to remain a mystery.
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