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Old 01-17-2003, 12:19 PM   #1
Aratlithiel
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Sting The Sea-bell (or Frodo's Dreme)

This poem was supposedly written in the margins of the Red Book by Frodo and describes a recurring dream he had in the two years he spent in The Shire before sailing West. It's very beautiful and very sad and I like it very much. However, I've never been able to find a definitive interpretation of it and was wondering if those of you who have read it would share their opinions.

From what I've been able to gather, Frodo sails over West and for some reason, everyone hides from him and won't speak to him and he finally goes insane. He decides then to return to Middle-earth but finds that he's now become a ghost.

I guess I'm having trouble reconciling this with Frodo's experiences and why he would be having "bad" dreams about sailing West...? Is it speculation on what WOULD have happened to him if he had kept the Ring? Is the sea-bell symbolic of the Ring or is it something else?

I'd very much appreciate anyone's feedback. It's been a favorite of mine for years but I've never had the imagination required to understand it fully.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:01 PM   #2
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Sting

Aralithiel,

Thanks for starting this topic! I am also fascinated by The Sea Bell.

Frodo was always fascinated by the sea, so it is not surprising that it would feature in his dreams (it often did, dreams good and bad, pleasant and unsettling.) To me, The Sea Bell symbolizes more the suffering and isolation that Frodo endured as a result of his quest, in the Shire, before he crossed the sea.

I imagine that the loneliness and despair fueled by his experiences caused him to fear that he would never find rest (as he said to Gandalf on the way home.) I think the dream illustrates to us the isolation Frodo felt, and feared that he could never escape.

Hopefully the opposite was true; Tolkien said in his letters that Frodo was going to both a purgatory and a reward, a time of reflection and healing if that were possible. I like to think that he found acceptance, support, and friendship among the elves, until Sam showed up anyway.
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:15 PM   #3
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I have never heard of this poem, does anyone have a link or anything? Because It sounds intriguing and I would love to read it.
Actually when Frodo was at Tom Bombadil's, while he is sleeping he has a dream about fog , mist and a tower, forshadowing that he is going to leave Middle Earth.
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:43 PM   #4
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The Sea-bell
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Old 01-17-2003, 09:30 PM   #5
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Thanks, Aratlithiel, for providing the link to the poem. It was worth reading again.

I don't see the protagonist (if it's Frodo) as a ghost in the last lines. Rather, I see one who is isolated.

Quote:
I heard dancing there, music in the air,
feet going quick on the green floors.
This puts me in mind of Bilbo's and the Dwarves' experience in Mirkwood, and reminds me also of a passage in the final chapter of LotR, where Tolkien describes the Company of the Rings riding off toward the Grey Havens, passing through the Shire, appearing to strangers as nothing more than a moonbeam.

The evocative description of the land across the sea puts me in mind of the description of Faerie in Smith of Wooton Major. It's almost as if the protagonist of the poem has crossed the sea and wanders in Faerie, but is not welcome there, unlike Smith.

I do believe that this is meant to be a description of Frodo's fears. I think that he feared that having had the Ring, and having fallen at last to its temptation, he had forfeited any chance for hope. I think that the grief of having lost the Ring was so heavy on him that he doubted that Tol Eressea could do him any good, even were he accepted by the Elves there, which he seems to have doubted.

Just my thoughts. Thanks for starting this thread!
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Old 01-17-2003, 10:31 PM   #6
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Those are very insightful interpretations, guys. Thanks for sharing them. More, please!

So, what do you think the sea-bell (the white shell) represents? He finds it in the first lines of the poem and carrries it throughout. In the final lines, he casts it away.

Is he casting away hope, as littlemanpoet suggests? Or is he just accepting his fate? Or something else?
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Old 01-18-2003, 07:06 AM   #7
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I struggle to see why Tolkien subtitled this beautiful poem Frodo's Dreme. If it was indeed a dream of Frodo's, then it doesn't seem to have been prophetic, because the events described don't seem to be the same that he experienced when he left the Grey Havens.

The hobbits as mortals would not have been able to return to Middle-Earth after residing in the Undying Lands, probably past their natural lifespans. They would have died, and their f隺r passed to the same place that of men go. Also, the person in the poem is alone throughout, even when they leave, whereas Frodo left with several of his friends or allies.

To me it seems to be the story of someone who finds a way to Faery, visits there and finds it wonderful beyond their dreams, but at the same time lonely and not quite what they expected. Eventually they travel through great hardships to escape from this place, only to find that when they get back home, not only has their vision of Faery's beauty been sullied, but their own world has become unfriendly as well. Very sad.
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Old 01-18-2003, 08:49 AM   #8
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Sting

I don't think The Sea Bell was prophetic.

Frodo had various types of dreams and visions, not all pleasantly or accurately prophetic. He saw good and bad, and not all came to pass. Even prophets sometimes just have nightmares, and Frodo is described as falling into dark trances and delirium.

I think it was a sad, scary nightmare. In a phrase, basic opression: one of those seductively evil dreams that starts out pleasant and ends in despair or panic (ever had one of those?)

I think this poem was written to show us how much Frodo was suffering, so that we would understand why he was willing to leave Sam and go with Bilbo. We know he wanted to be with Bilbo; but it is a wrench to see him leave Sam; and to me, the suffering partly explains his willingness to go. The other part of the explanation is of course the draw of being with Bilbo, and living in the elvish West with all that entails.
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Old 01-18-2003, 11:11 PM   #9
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You have an interesting perspective on Frodo, Mark, he certainly does seem to be a bit of an odd character with reference to his dreaming. He is in many ways markedly different to Bilbo, and I'm SO glad that he took up the Ring, rather than Tolkien making another Bilbo adventure.

Perhaps prophetic wasn't exactly the word I was looking for. I don't feel that the poem is autobiographical in any way. I believe that its virtue lies in itself, and not in its relevance to Frodo. I think that searching for comparisons between the protagonist of The Sea Bell and Frodo is to devalue its worth.
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Old 01-18-2003, 11:30 PM   #10
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Sting

I like that. And you're right - it would take quite a compelling reason to get Frodo to leave Sam.

I have been having an email discussion with a friend of mine and he came up with a quote from the beginning of "The Tolkien Reader," that I thought was interesting. I must admit that though the pages of my Reader are permanently open to The Sea-bell, it's been about 100 years since I bothered to read the introduction.

For those of you who don't have this particular book, the introduction is written by Peter S. Beagle. I don't know this man's reputation since I've read mostly Tolkien and not scholars ON Tolkien, if you know what I mean. But reputation or not, this rang a bell for me...

"The Lord of the Rings is the tale of Frodo's journey through a long nightmare of greed and terrible energy, of his education in both fear and true beauty, and of his final loss of the world he seeks to save. In a sense, his growing knowledge has eaten up the joy and the innocent strength that made him, of all the wise and magic people he encounters, the only one fit to bear the Ring."

Could it be that the sea-bell that he clings to throughout the poem and then fianlly lets fall is symbolic not of the Ring (which I have for so long leaned toward), but of Middle-earth itself? Is the "...sea-shell silent and dead..." what Middle-earth has become for him? Is this poem about Frodo trying to cling to the last remnants of himself, his home and his former life, even though all of those around him have already (more or less) written him off? They don't seem to want to know Frodo when he returns, nor do they want to hear about his ordeal, preferring to live in their former bliss and ignorance. Perhaps Frodo is now an unwelcome reminder of the frightening world outside ("But whenever I came it was ever the same: the feet fled, and all was still; nver a greeting, only the fleeting pipes, voices, horns on the hill"). You get the feeling in LotR, The Grey Havens that no one (besides his Fellowship members) will really miss Frodo when he's gone, that they may even breathe a sigh of relief when they learn he's left forever. Doesn't Sam remark to himself about the lack of respect and honor Frodo receives from his own countrymen?

If this is the case, then this dream truly is prophetic and doubly sad. Or, it could very well be that it has no symbolism at all and is simply a very beautiful poem about a very bad dream, as Mark opines. I have been accused of trying to read too deeply into things in the past. What say you all?
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Old 01-18-2003, 11:41 PM   #11
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Sting

Quote:
They would have died, and their f隺r passed to the same place that of men go.
You'll have to forgive me, Doug, but I read somewhere that Frodo went into the West and lives there still and being the hopeless romantic that I am, that's what I choose to believe. Please don't disillusion me! LOL [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

and...


Quote:
I believe that its virtue lies in itself, and not in its relevance to Frodo.
That may very well be (and probably is) but you have to understand - you're dealing with a person who's been in love with a fifty-year-old hobbit for 20+ years so for me, EVERYTHING is relevent to Frodo!! Yeah, pathetic, I know. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 01-19-2003, 05:33 AM   #12
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Sting

AratlithielWho said anything about pathetic? Seems eminently reasonable to me. There's much that is valuable and admirable in Frodo, and the fact that you hold him in high regard says something good about you.

Canonically, the Undying Lands clearly do not confer immortality; but-- since you beg not to be disillusioned, I'll say no more about that here...

Twenty years? Have you visited the Tolkien Coming of Age club? I have a hard time remembering who has and who hasn't... Brain like sieve.
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Old 01-19-2003, 09:29 AM   #13
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LOL, Mark - I feel like I just got a pat on the back. Thanks!

Quote:
Have you visited the Tolkien Coming of Age club?
No, is that on this site? I haven't spent much time navigating around.
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Old 01-19-2003, 09:30 AM   #14
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Sting

There is another angle on this poem which no one has mentioned. The poem was originally written in 1931-2 and published in 1934 under the title "Looney". As such, initially, it could not have referred to Frodo. (There is no doubt that later JRRT made that connection.) But the question remains: initially, what was Tolkien referring to with this bleak poem?

First, the Sea Bell itself is a type of sea shell. As such it is intended to represent Faerie, the sound of the Sea that drives us on to the unknown (the sound you can hear in a large shell if you hold it up to your ear.) It represents the longing to go beyond our hum-drum world to reach the land of Faerie.

Unfortunately I do not have a copy of Looney as it is slightly different than the later Sea-bell. However, Shippey analyzed the two poems in his book "The Road to Middle-earth."
According to Shippey, the two poems are similar in tone but Sea-bell is slightly more despairing than the first. In Looney, for example, the person coming back can at least still hear the sound of the Sea coming from the shell, which is no longer true in Frodo's Dreme.

In understanding the origins of Sea-bell, there are two things to remember. First, there was Tolkien's personality. As Carpenter makes clear, JRRT could swing wildly from joy to sadness. His mother's early death had a profound impact on how he viewed life. There is even one place in the Letters where, in discussing God to his son, JRRT uses the term if God exists, which is very different than his usual tone. Perhaps one reason that JRRT so emphasized the worthlessness of despair in LotR is that he himself was subject to it.

There is a theme running through some of Tolkien's writings that Faerie is a difficult place to break into and a difficult place to come back from and especially to comunicate your experiences to others. This is from "On Fairy-Stories" where Tolkien, in describing Faerie, says there are:

Quote:
pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold
Again, in this essay, Tolkien says:

Quote:
its (i.e faerie's) very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost.
He was obviously speaking about his own feelings--and these are the same themes as in Sea-bell, although stated in a less drastic way.

I believe there's another tale --is it Smith?--where the principal character is shut out of Faerie and passes along the key to a younger child. All of this clearly ties in to the same themes as Sea-bell.

At base, then, Sea-bell is about Frodo and Tolkien and all of us--the difficulty of entering into that magical realm and especially of communicating our experience when we do so.

I have more to say about Frodo, but must run! Will post later.

[ January 19, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 01-19-2003, 10:07 AM   #15
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Aratlithiel,

Look down in the forum labelled "Barrow-Downs". You'll find the Coming of Age thread there. I'm also in that group (and a friend of mark 12_30) and have posted on that thread.

Glad to see you!
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Old 01-19-2003, 04:09 PM   #16
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"Looney", as initially written (1934?), probably contained references to (at least) Tolkien's own post-World War I feelings. I have read that the veterans who came back from that war, who were heroes in it, yet were broken men because of what it did to them, were not honored in Britain because they were not understood. Which sounds a lot like Frodo. The Britain they came back to, I'm told, was a very different place than they'd left. It had changed into a modern society while they were at war, and so they lost what they had gone to war to save; and saddest of all, those who remained behind, being so close to it, couldn't even tell that they themselves were different. I can imagine that, caught off guard, looking in a veteran's eyes, saw their own strangeness, and couldn't stand the sight and so looked away from the veteran. Again, very much like what happened to Frodo. Perhaps this is something like what Tolkien was trying to express in Seabell? It's only a guess.
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Old 01-19-2003, 05:51 PM   #17
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Littlemanpoet,

This is exactly the case. Remember that Tolkien had three close friends in college who all had dreams of setting the world on fire with their writing. Two of the three were killed in the war. He and his other surviving friend stated that, whatever they managed to accomplish in life, would essentially be carrying on and taking up the burden for those who were now gone.

The tone of the 1920s was very different than what came before. Alienation became a common theme in literature for those who rejected the canons of the past, especially for those writers who had participated in the War. Tolkien and his group were different because they sought to express their alienation from modern culture by clinging to the values of the past.

I think the original Sea-bell does, in part, represent the fate of the soldiers who stared into the face of hell, came back changed, but neither their perception or contribution were fully acknowledged by society. As Tolkien grew older, he seems to have extended this feeling of alienation to the creative process itself-- the difficulty of breaking into the faerie realm, and the inability to share this experience with others in its true form.

sharon

[ January 20, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 01-19-2003, 07:58 PM   #18
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This link was requested by several posting on this thread:

Coming of Age Club

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Old 01-19-2003, 11:54 PM   #19
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I am SO glad I asked! I wasn't aware of the history behind this poem - you've all shed so much light on this subject for me. Thanks! I think I'm going to have to find the letters. I've read all of the novels and tales but have only dabbled in the history of the actual writing of them.
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:45 AM   #20
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I have read everyone's posts on 'The Sea-Bell' with great interest.

Aratlithiel wrote in the first post
Quote:
... I've never been able to find a definitive interpretation of it...
I have to say I'm not fond of 'definitive interpretations' of any of Tolkien's writings on Faerie. While 'The Sea-Bell' is also titled 'Frodo's Dreme' and is cited in the Red Book of Westmarch, it reminds me far more of 'Smith of Wooton Major' and 'Leaf by Niggle', where we are brought into direct contact with the realm of Faerie. They differ from his Middle Earth writings, which have a more historical feel (to me anyway).

The reason for wanting to avoid definite statements about the Tolkien works placed in Faerie is that even though they are very personal to him, he regards Faerie as a real place/idea independent of his own thought, which he discovered rather than invented. (See his essay 'On Fairy Stories' referred to by Child of the 7th Age.) If he could discover it, so can his readers. And each person will see/imagine things in Faerie differently - or even find different things in Faerie than he did.

Also Aratlithiel, you asked if the Sea-Bell represented the Ring. I lean more toward your final assessment, that the shell was Middle Earth. For me, the shell is Frodo's own life as he saw it during the years before he left Middle Earth. When he left the Shire with the Ring, he expected to resume his old life again on his return. It would be his pleasant life in Bag End again, filled with happiness. Reality turned out very differently - he was wounded so deeply that even returning to his beloved Shire could not bring him peace. Other hobbits did not recognize his pain and sacrifice and overlooked him. His hope to be whole again was dead; the shell was silent. There was nothing to do but cast it away.

I also liked LMP's thoughts on 'The Sea-Bell' though they are different from mine. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

And about Doug*Platypus' comment that the hobbits would have died, my understanding is that Frodo was permitted to depart with the Elves because Arwen gave her place in the Undying Lands, which she gave up for Aragorn, to him before he left Gondor. And because he agreed to take on the Quest and the suffering it entailed, he would be accepted into the Undying Lands in her place. That, of course, leaves me wondering if it was necessary for Arwen to do this, as Bilbo and Sam were both allowed into the Undying Lands as fellow Ringbearers.

[ January 20, 2003: Message edited by: Alphaelin ]
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Old 01-20-2003, 05:05 AM   #21
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1420!

Quote:
The poem was originally written in 1931-2 and published in 1934 under the title "Looney". As such, initially, it could not have referred to Frodo.
Yeee-es! Haha! Whee-hee!! *does funny little platypus dance* I knew it!

Thanks for your posts, those of you who know more about the history of this poem. Quite depressing, really! I was glad to see a thread about the poem, and this made me go back and read it again with more care. It truly is a wonderful piece of work, the equal of Leaf by Niggle or Smith of Wootton Major, and more poignant and touching because of its form.

The main question for me is, what was JRRT getting at when he altered it and attributed it to Frodo? Maybe Frodo's Dreme is a dream of people who will come later, who will have the experience of the Smith or the protagonist. Frodo may be dreaming this on someone else's behalf, and imagining himself in the shoes of a person who comes along in modern (at the time of writing) England.

Some of you may have read The Clan of the Cave Bear, and noted that there is a similar prophetic, shamanic vision in that book in which the participants see far into the future, into our own time. After all, the world we share with these tales is the same except for time. This vision, and perhaps Frodo's Dreme, reach across the barrier between the worlds, helping to connect them.

This thread also discusses the link between the worlds.
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Old 01-21-2003, 11:13 AM   #22
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This may have been said already on this thread, but scanning, I don't see it so here goes:

Part of Tolkien's creative process was a historicization (I think that's a word) [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] of the world he had created. Therefore, when he turned to his poems, I can imagine him as having decided that "this one" might serve as one that Bilbo wrote, and "that one" as something Frodo could have written based on a bad dream after returning to the Shire. And so he assigned them such feigned historical linkages. All part of his world building.
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Old 01-21-2003, 03:26 PM   #23
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Yes, I agree with you, littlemanpoet! I think you hit the nail on the head.

Btw, in the preface to "The adventures of Tom Bombadil", Tolkien wrote about "The Sea-Bell" :

"Nr15, certainly of Hobbit origin, is an exception. It is the latest piece and belongs to the Fourth Age; but it is included here, because a hand has scrawled at its head "Frodos Dreme". That is remarkable, and though the piece ist most unlikely to have been written by Frodo himself, the title shows that it was associated with the dark and despairing dreams which visited him in March and October during his last three years. But there were certainly other traditions, concerning Hobbits that were taken by the "wandering-madness", and if they ever returned, were afterwards queer and uncommunicable. The thought of the sea was ever-present in the background of hobbit imagination; but fear of it and distrust of all Elvish lore, was the prevailing mood in the Shire at the end of the Third Age, and that mood was certainly not entirely dispelled by the events and changes with which that age ended."
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:05 AM   #24
Lotrelf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug*platypus View Post
I struggle to see why Tolkien subtitled this beautiful poem Frodo's Dreme. If it was indeed a dream of Frodo's, then it doesn't seem to have been prophetic, because the events described don't seem to be the same that he experienced when he left the Grey Havens.

The hobbits as mortals would not have been able to return to Middle-Earth after residing in the Undying Lands, probably past their natural lifespans. They would have died, and their fëar passed to the same place that of men go. Also, the person in the poem is alone throughout, even when they leave, whereas Frodo left with several of his friends or allies.
Yes, he left with many friends. Gandalf, Galadriel and Bilbo went with him, when he left "really." But isn't this poem is about his dream(s)? The only place where I find it hard to believe that the protagonist is Frodo, is where he sees himself as "King of this land." Other things, in my opinion, make perfect sense. I'm not sure if the poem's about Frodo or not, but I want it to be about him. It gives me a better understanding of his guilts and torments that he still went through; and that in the book isn't much clear.
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:55 PM   #25
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Hi guys, I love The Sea-Bell, and all the answers I抳e read here. Even though it抯 been a while since 2003, I will write my take on it, because I have found a different angle that doesn抰 seem to appear in any other answer. I am going with the Frodo angle as a basis for my interpretation, but that doesn抰 mean I dismiss the relevance to Tolkien抯 experiences of alienation, etc. I think it all works together that way - but I also find there is much more to Tolkien抯 abilities to enter Fa雛ie than just a recounting of his war experiences (or indeed any autobiographical detail) in a fantasy setting. I actually accept that he did these travels through his Dreams, and that he used his life experiences as keys to other worlds - or others worlds. Of these, the legend of Atlantis in England is especially important... because of what it mysteriously stands for: 揳 mythology for England.

The sense of guilt in the dream is quite obvious so I will not be insisting on it, other than to say that Frodo抯 subconscious indeed works with this inner guilt to project the isolation as the only possible reality, far into the future. This has nothing to do with prophetic abilities, in the sense of imparting any type of 揾igher truth (as in him 揹eserving to feel that way).... we know that his future was different, but not yet why that was.
I will link a beautiful article about the poem, which describes it as Frodo抯 wish to be seen and acknowledged, for someone to reach for him and for him to feel that he抯 been reached. https://vorpalizer.tumblr.com/post/5...-or-frodos/amp

The fact that the title involves 搑oots and beginnings is significant here, because the moment in which the reaching happens in LotR is when Frodo and Gollum can see each other抯 minds. If you check the last lines of the poem, it is as though they have exchanged places or roles, with Frodo talking to himself and living in isolation, a kind of social death. His connection to Gollum is revealed as deeper and more significant than expected.

This is difficult to accept for many, who see this connection as a sort of moral failure. Apart from Sam抯 perspective, they often identify with Frodo抯 personality in the book, which due to hinging on perfectionism, ends up making him feel that his efforts go unnoticed. Gollum therefore proves unworthy of such trust, someone who just 揵etrays Frodo as expected all along. But the efforts don抰 go unnoticed. Remember Gandalf telling Frodo that his treatment of Gollum will ultimately decide his own fate not just the fate of Middle-earth? Never truer words spoken... Frodo has been resisting the connection Gollum-hobbits and he has also been terrified of Sauron for a long time - these things inform his perspective of events. Yet by living the nightmare they represent for him, he is the one who gives them back their humanity - and begins to accept his own.

In traditional tribal cultures, the figures of Sorcerer and Healer are viewed as totally akin, and equally lonely and vulnerable. That抯 possibly why Gollum gave no answer to Sam抯 question of which role he preferred. The Sorcerer is there to keep people in line when they infringe on the moral rules of reciprocity that govern life. So while there are periodic 損urges of the sorcery and ritual destruction of the power artifacts - much like in LotR - it is accepted that a Sorcerer抯 power could grow again at any time. It all depends on humans; but human morality is limited by focusing on everyday practical matters. In other words, the social conditioning - especially as regards gender - ultimately gives rise to the unwanted, rejected situation.

Likewise, the poem opens up an unexpected vista of N鷐enor抯 downfall reaching into Middle-earth抯 present day. Their unique knowledge of the 揵ent road (as in tilted axis vs the primordial upright axis) is suppressed in Frodo抯 time - except for the Path of Dreams he is destined to reveal.
I suggest that Frodo抯 strange dreams, trances and delirium are following Sauron抯 journey in relation to N鷐enor just as Frodo抯 main transformations are mirroring Sauron抯 deaths and 搑esurrections. This type of reciprocity follows the mandates of traditional healing cults (aka of the Serpent).

What is remarkable here is that in doing so, this poem shows us that Gollum and Sauron are actually the same person torturing himself, divided into several aspects by the loss of N鷐enor, where the Secrets (of unity) were once taught by him in the earlier stories. He never stopped teaching 揷reatures in their holes while looking for that elusive true connection himself. The connection in the book is made through the suggestion that if one could see Gollum in a dream he would be an old weary hobbit - carrying a burden that makes him unreachable, but re-awakened by the sound of Frodo laughing from something Sam has said. 揝uch a sound had not been heard in those places since Sauron came to Middle-earth - i.e. following the downfall of N鷐enor, the return to Middle-earth that happens to the Dream-Frodo, now weary and old.

I remember back in 2003 it was a very different world and people were reluctant to even conceive of queer hobbits, for feat that it might 搑uin the meaning of friendship... I think that fear is unfounded, and I hope everyone can see why. It is through trusting Gollum that Frodo can then finally be reached in his own inner 揹ark secret that made him unreachable, prior to the re-eroticization of his relationship with Sam as it is openly portrayed in the book.

I leave you with a quote from another article on Howl抯 Moving Castle, which I think applies beautifully:
The residents of the Castle all seem to have committed to something they don抰 fully understand. They don抰 get each other抯 motives, they don抰 even get their own. Yet it is through the genuine caring they develop for one another that they are saved. Not through power, knowledge or any other transaction. The magic existing around Howl is ambiguous: to his enemies, it is a sinister curse in need of purging by the righteous; to his friends, it can heal a broken heart, or give flight to the grounded.
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