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Old 08-28-2004, 02:23 AM   #41
davem
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What is it with Merriadoc Brandybuck? Of course, they're queer folk in Buckland, but this guy is a bit too suspicious! He knows too much, he's too organised, he has wierd dreams, thinking he's someone who died hundreds of years previously. He gets mistaken for a Black Rider at one point, then he goes chasing off after them through Bree, has another wierd dream at that point, goes on to help kill the Witch King, & comes home, becomes one of the three most powerful figures in the Shire, counsellor to King Elessar no less, & then goes on to write BOOKS!!! And not just 'sensible books', either, but even one on 'old words in the Shire' (why this guy's a philologist, for goodness sake!).

I think we should be told!
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Old 08-28-2004, 06:55 AM   #42
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We have to take into consideration the fact that hobbits are not a weak creature. We have Frodo here, willing to take the ring to its doom, his faithful friend (servant) Sam... who would die for Frodo's sake, if he could. And, the two friends that joined them, braver than most I should say.

Merry does know too much, and he is a little sneak, along with his friends. He grew to know that the ring had power, power above all... and that it was also evil. But if you notice, niether Merry or Pippin attempted to take the ring from Frodo, showing the "soft" side that hobbits have.

Anyways, back to buisness... you ask why Merry chased the Wraiths, or why he sneaked on them? In my opinion... I think thats what any of the other hobbits have done... they knew a dear friend (Frodo) was in danger from the 9, and that they could kill him. Sam probably would have done double the work of Merry... and gotten himself killed at that also.

We know that hobbits are small, we know they like songs, they live in holes... they ignore outer life and live in there own bubble of peace. But, (as we will see when we get on with the book) that hobbits are NOT such a gentle creature when angered. Merry must have felt a great anger towards the 9, and took matters into his own hands. It may even be so that he went outside for that matter.

The 4 hobbits act like a family, if one is hurt, they do not leave without them. As we have seen in the Great Forest, when Merry and Pippin were eaten by a big tree... wouldnt you have run for your own life instead of awaiting the tree which acts on its own behalf? I would, but the hobbits, they tried to get the two outside of the tree, and onto solid ground.... then, when all else fails, they called unto the help of Tom.

To answer your question davem, basically, hobbits are not what we know them as. They are a very complex creature that could perform tasks no grown human man could do.
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:05 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mark
Anyways, back to buisness... you ask why Merry chased the Wraiths, or why he sneaked on them? In my opinion... I think thats what any of the other hobbits have done... they knew a dear friend (Frodo) was in danger from the 9, and that they could kill him. Sam probably would have done double the work of Merry... and gotten himself killed at that also.
Well, that's as may be, but I still think he's hiding something! Those Bucklanders are queer, living on the wrong side of the Brandywine, too close to the old forest. That Mr Merry knows more'n is good for a hobbit.

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Old 08-28-2004, 10:02 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by The Perky Ent
Several things in the letter intrigued me. First off, how Gandalf knew Frodo used It. If it's explained in the book, I apologize for my ignorance, but does Gandalf have the ability to sense it, in one way or another?
I like to think that Gandalf was referring to Bilbo’s use of the ring while in the Shire, when he uses the term ‘again’.


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The Enemy has set traps for me before now. As soon as I had made up my mind, I was ready to tell you whatever you asked. But I must admit,' he added with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust & longs for friendship.
I agree with davem that it is altogether too easy to forget the troubles that Aragorn had been facing prior to this point, especially later in the story. But this I believe is directly a result of his commanding presence. Like many I have seen in real life, he seems so ‘in control’, one assumes that all aspects of his life are also in order.

I agree with with Helen that Aragorn generally has a valid reason for being abupt. I was tempted to think in this current instance with Butterburr, that the innkeeper actually slammed rangers first, provoking a negative reaction. But Helen’s remark about Aragorn knowing that he was Frodo’s best hope, seems much more in keeping with the character.

Lalwendë, I think that your comment about the poem being applicable to Gandalf is a interesting observation.

And yes, one certainally can make out a connection between Merry and the wraiths. One that I hadn't been aware of until reading through the story again with the benefit of these threads!


One point that I would like to mention is how Aragorn at times speaks of Strider as though he is a different individual.
Quote:
“Well,” said Strider, “with Sam’s permission we will call it settled. Strider will be your guide."
It is as if Aragorn is reaching into his closet and is picking out which hat to wear. And since he has been known by quite a few names, I wonder if he acted similarly when he was known as Thorongil. Like Gandalf, these names seem to be given him, rather than being chosen by him to mark a change, (as Turin seemed fond of doing). Is this to imply that he is always the same, though different people view him one way or another? Golden always, but at times well worn and at others polished.
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Old 08-28-2004, 10:22 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by davem
Well, that's as may be, but I still think he's hiding something! Those Bucklanders are queer, living on the wrong side of the Brandywine, too close to the old forest. That Mr Merry knows more'n is good for a hobbit.
Yes, we know the Bucklanders are a strange and queer kind, as you put it, but you have to understand something. Hobbits appear to be a simple creature, pure at that too, not all hobbits are! Gollum was once considered a hobbit-like creature, but he's a different case.

Even though it appears like Merry has turned too nosey, or is beginning to dig himself into deep trouble, it is not so. For Merry would break his almost childlike look and humerous attitude if he had done so. Merry was probably not just going for a walk, and I dont think anyone who knows that wraiths are circling the town would walk outside. Merry wanted to see them, to get some hints, something that would help Frodo and the others, but, he was not doing anything against his heart... he was doing it out of love for his friend, who has the bigger burden.

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Originally Posted by davem
(Oh, & welcome to the Down's )
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Old 08-28-2004, 10:47 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Mark
Even though it appears like Merry has turned too nosey, or is beginning to dig himself into deep trouble, it is not so.
That's as may be, but all that book-learnin' can't be good for a body, an' I don't see that no good ever come of it. I don't see what cause respectable Shire-folk would have to go chasin black men through the streets at night when they should be tucked up at home in bed, like civilised folk.
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:01 AM   #47
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Just shows that upper class eccentricity can sometimes mask real courage and talent...... in a later age Merry would have been one of those really unlikely people who were actually completely vital to SOE and Bletchley Park......
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:50 AM   #48
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Wecome to the Downs, Mark!

About Merry-- perhaps the fact that he is associated with the Riders is almost a form of foreshadowing towards his "destiny," if you will, to aid in the slaying of the Witch-King (not to get ahead of the discussion again, but it just had to be said.)

Quote:
(Originally posted by Hilde Bracegirdle)
It is as if Aragorn is reaching into his closet and is picking out which hat to wear. And since he has been known by quite a few names, I wonder if he acted similarly when he was known as Thorongil. Like Gandalf, these names seem to be given him, rather than being chosen by him to mark a change, (as Turin seemed fond of doing). Is this to imply that he is always the same, though different people view him one way or another? Golden always, but at times well worn and at others polished.
Makes sense to me. Aragorn's character never really changes all that much; he is always the good, noble man with many facets:

1. the suspicious, mysterious but eventually kindly Strider who "looks foul and feels fair"

2. the wise advisor Thorongil who comes and goes only as he is needed (much, indeed, like Gandalf)

3. Estel, which could possibly be argued to be his more compassionate side, as it does mean "Hope." It could even symbolize Aragorn's innocence, and how this innocence was lost when his real name was revealed to him.

4. the strong leader Aragorn who is a rallying point on the battlefield and a good, trustworthy friend

5. the just King Elessar Telcontar (and with the Telcontar bit he ties it all back to his humble history) who restores peace to Middle-earth
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:09 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by davem
That's as may be, but all that book-learnin' can't be good for a body, an' I don't see that no good ever come of it. I don't see what cause respectable Shire-folk would have to go chasin black men through the streets at night when they should be tucked up at home in bed, like civilised folk.
Who said hobbits were civilized?
Hobbits are nothing near civilized, the whole race is considered strange. You could never estimate what they would do. Thats for the general population, now, for the 4 hobbits. Well, lets look at it this way:

Frodo: Inherited the ring from Biblo, which Bilbo stole from Gollum. Biblo was beginning to become crazy, the ring had taken a hold on him and he broke that hold, for good or for bad. Frodo, the peaceful Frodo that is only a youth in hobbittown times, inherits the ring that rules them all. Frodo can feel power at his hands, the whole timeframe of middle earth depends on this one ring, this small golden thing hung around his neck.... and he was sent to distroy it. At this time in the book, we can expect that Frodo might take the ring for himself, afterall, he is just a kid. Frodo, sent on an emmence task with his faithful servant only to learn that he was stuck to go with 2 more. We could go on with Frodo, but to finish his part, lets just say.... he's not what hobbits call "sane".

Sam: Sam the friendly gardener, Sam, the one who spied on his best friend, his buddy. Sam, that little boy, the small and weak one, listening and mendling with the affairs of wizards. Sam, the crazy one, actually wanting to go to mount doom. Sam too, does not fit the discription of a normal hobbit.

Pippin & Merry: Pippin, oh Pippin. Not much is said about Pippin i'm afraid, but we can tell that he has a good sense of humor, along with his best friend Merry. The two convinced Sam to turn "against" Frodo, to spy and collect as much information.
Pippin and Merry, the two stubborn friends that stick to Frodo like melted cheese (Yum!). We can tell that Merry had not alot of fear, having the courage to stand up to the wraiths. Pippin, having the courage to walk fearless into the Great Forest, along with Merry, and the others. From what we know, hobbits like to stick to the places they live in. These two, also do not fit the discription.

As we can see, this group of hobbits are nothing near "civilized", so, we cannot expect them to act as such. Each one of these hobbits has there own advantages and disadvantages, and we know that Merry went out for the "walk" on other buisness. He was trying to get something, something to help the 4 hobbits, we can tell that they were not in any good situation, Merry attempted to take them off gaurd, or get any kind of clue. Perhaps he was looking to find a weakness, something that could end the shrieks and the shivers.
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:53 PM   #50
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Hello and welcome Mark - interesting thoughts you've posted!

I wouldn't say hobbits were uncivilised, but this could start a whole new topic (I have a vague theory about hobbits) so I'll leave it there. But, Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Sam are by no means 'ordinary' hobbits.

Why did Merry go out to 'take the air'? I like to think it was simple curiosity, that he was a very nosy hobbit. I would suspect that hobbits are a nosy race in general, living in villages close to one another, and coupled with the alleged daring spirit that comes with having Brandybuck blood, Merry's behaviour does not surprise me.
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:57 PM   #51
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Despite the fact that Frodo was a bit unusual, being a Baggins, I would not go so far to say that hobbits were uncivilized. They certainly did not consider themselves strange! Frodo was settling in to becoming quite a "normal" hobbit when all of a sudden he was called to go on his quest.

Sam does seem to be more of an exception to what makes a "normal" hobbit in that he loves tales of Elves and far-away places. And Merry and Pippin, being a Brandybuck and a Took, are rather adventurous.

Anyway, I think what davem meant was that the average Hobbiton resident would have looked down upon these particular individuals' tendency to have dealings/interests with the "outside world" and their adventures -- until, that is, they became heroes and saved their country.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:13 PM   #52
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Interesting thoughts on Merry, and I'm enjoying davem's humorous hobbitish take on the issue! I looked back at the last chapter, where he decides not to join them in the common room, to see if there's a clue to his reason. I read:
Quote:
Merry said it would be too stuffy.
Now that sounds just like a reason I'd have for going out to walk instead of joining a bunch of strangers in a smoky barroom! He must have been used to a life in the fresh air and just might have needed some oxygen. He didn't necessarily intend to go outside at first, saying:
Quote:
I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of the air.
As a matter of fact, when he came back he said that he'd stayed indoors for an hour, going out only after realizing that his friends were't coming back to the room soon. That sounds more like a contemplative personality, needing a little time to himself after being surrounded by his (talkative?) friends all day. Someone who can think and plan as he has shown himself able to needs time to settle and organise his thoughts.

What does make me pause to think is when he says that he was "drawn" to follow the Wraith. We've only heard of the terror they inspire - what could have drawn him to them? The terror came later.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:20 PM   #53
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Wasn't Frodo also drawn to them despite his terror? And also, tempted to put on the Ring. I get the impression that their powers of suggestion/ temptation were significant.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:22 PM   #54
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Yes, but I thought Frodo was drawn by the Ring. Merry didn't have that object to channel any attraction.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:34 PM   #55
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Well, I always thought so too, but now I'm having some second thoughts. Maybe what Frodo experienced was partially, or mostly, the Ring's effect.

Perhaps as we read, we can keep an eye out for non-Ring-bearer types being drawn to evil, and any evidence of Frodo's being drawn by something other than the Ring.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:37 PM   #56
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Interesting thoughts on Merry, and I'm enjoying davem's humorous hobbitish take on the issue!
What can I say - I am in fact a hobbit (how many other pipe smokers do we have on the Downs?)

It is quite strange that the Nazgul have both the power to repel & to attract those (supposedly) opposed to them. What exactly draws Merry to them? He is clearly a quiet, thoughtful type - I can't see Pippin getting involved without Merry's influence. I wonder how much of Tolkien there is in Merry - as I said earlier, he is the closest thing we have to a philologist - how many of us could imagine a hobbit writing a treatise on Old Words & Names in the Shire, & more to the point, how many hobbits would be interested in reading it? He seems drawn to the Nazgul (or the Ulairi - I love that word, one of my favourite of Tolkien's words!) almost from the first, & he also seems to have been destined to encounter the Rohirrim - an encounter with 'Anglo-Saxon' which insprired him to become a philologist in the way it inspired Tolkien. What does this say about Tolkien's concept of 'fate'?

So, why is Merry the 'forgotten' hobbit? The more attention we pay to him the more complex he becomes. He seems to be on a quest of his own, one he seeks out - I can't help wondering whether if Frodo hadn't given him the excuse to go off travelling he wouldn't have found some other reason to go off exploring the wide world. Maybe it wasn't just Frodo & Sam who were inspired by Mr Bilbo's tales of high adventure.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:55 PM   #57
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Quote:
The more attention we pay to him the more complex he becomes.
Agreed, davem! This chapter-by-chapter discussion has gotten me thinking more deeply about Merry for the first time! I'm beginning to admire his qualities and am looking forward to finding out more about him in the coming discussions.

Isn't the depth of various characters, not just the heroic few, what makes the book so rich?!
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:48 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar
Isn't the depth of various characters, not just the heroic few, what makes the book so rich?!

I agree with Estelyn on that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
It is quite strange that the Nazgul have both the power to repel & to attract those (supposedly) opposed to them.
We forget the whole concept that the 9 aslo hold rings. Perhaps the rings they hold give them this kind of power? afterall, they are supposed to be the "9 Kings of mortal men" dont you think the rings they hold on to would give them the power to attract or repel any mortal? Its just my opinion

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Originally Posted by davem
What exactly draws Merry to them? He is clearly a quiet, thoughtful type - I can't see Pippin getting involved without Merry's influence. I wonder how much of Tolkien there is in Merry
That proves again, Hobbits are not as we understand them to be, all hobbits are more complex than they seem
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:17 AM   #59
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Just a minor point, concerning hobbits and civilization:

It seems that hobbits are indeed uncivilized - meaning they do not live in big cities, rather townships, and the main population is rustic. As civilization is based on stem civis, they must be uncivilized. That does not mean they are uncultured, ultimately based on the same root as 'cultivate', meaning they have worked out how to till , and hobbits are farmers.

Minor point over.

Not to stray overly off topic - the given chapter provides interesing fact: the safety of the Shire, the thing considered as built-in, given, 'as it must be' by the inhabitants themselves (and by yours truly after reading the Hobbit but before LoTR and this chapter in particular) is revealed to be no more than 'watchful peace', kept by same much rebuked and scorned at rangers as Aragorn/Strider is:

Quote:
I have often kept watch on the borders of the Shire in the last few years, when he was busy elsewhere. He seldom left it unguarded
Implication is that in recent years Aragorn kept the watch, but there were others, and before recent years too, as we know that Gandalf grew fond of the Shire almost at its foundation time

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Old 01-03-2005, 03:03 PM   #60
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Merry saying that he felt as if he drowned in deep water is one of the very few instances in the book which brings chills of terror down my spine. Deep water (especially deep muddy water) means death or the foreshadowing of death, take for instance --don't laugh now-- Anna Karenina's similar vision before she takes her own life.

But I did not bring this thread up just to say this, (that would have been really flippant of me ) but to ask about this fragment:

Merry and Frodo are talking about Frodo's little 'accident':
Quote:
"But I wish I had been thee to see. The worthies of Bree will be discussing it a hundred years hence."
"I hope so" said Strider.
Maybe a silly question, but why exactly does Aragorn say that? Why would he 'hope' that, when it would have been in their best interest that this incident be forgotten as soon as possible?
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:21 PM   #61
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Maybe a silly question, but why exactly does Aragorn say that? Why would he 'hope' that, when it would have been in their best interest that this incident be forgotten as soon as possible?
I assume he means that he hopes that there will still be a Bree in a hundred years -- that is, that Sauron will not have wiped it out. So right from the get-go it would seem that Aragorn has a full and deep sense of what is at stake in this journey: much more so than the hobbits.

Also interesting that he is hoping for the continued existence, in all of its triviality (i.e. gossip) of a place in which he is regarded as little better than an outlaw!
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:20 PM   #62
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Of Philologists and Golden Rings

Firing up an old thread, are we?

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I wonder how much of Tolkien there is in Merry - as I said earlier, he is the closest thing we have to a philologist - how many of us could imagine a hobbit writing a treatise on Old Words & Names in the Shire, & more to the point, how many hobbits would be interested in reading it?
I think that given that "...hobbits delighted in (elaborate family trees with innumerable branches)..." (Prologue) indicates that this sort of thing might not be so far fetched for them. We have this image of hobbits as a sort of rustic, almost serf-like culture. I think that in truth they are much more sophisticated than that. Let's not let a single example of several "working-class" hobbits talking in a tavern (Chapter 1) influence our image of the entire culture.

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We forget the whole concept that the 9 aslo hold rings.
Not too fast, there. Don't forget that Sauron held the rings of the nine - not the nine.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:28 PM   #63
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In the first billion or so readings of this chapter I just glossed over the following, but subsequent readings/listenings (via audio CD) and the PJ movies made the part about Narsil stick out like the proverbial oliphaunt in the room. In this chapter Aragorn shows the hobbits the shards of Narsil which, obviously, he is carrying around with him. This begs the questions:
  • Does Aragorn carry another sword with which he fights, or prior to the reforging of Anduril did he rush into battle, yelling, "Stubby! Stubby for Elendil!"
  • Why did Aragorn need or desire to carry this heirloom, presumably useless but extremely valuable (saved at large cost when other heirlooms weren't), while walking the wdith and breadth of Wilderland? Was there some benefit that I'm not seeing, or didn't he trust leaving it behind with Elrond, who may have sent it to Gondor just the get the Dúnedain out of his house and away from Arwen ? Did Strider think that the broken sword would be recognized as verification of his identity? was he commanded or honor bound to do so?
  • Did he have any weapon, save fire, at the Fords?
  • Is not then PJ's version of event slightly more logical (did I just write that? ) ?
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:09 PM   #64
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  • Is not then PJ's version of event slightly more logical (did I just write that? ) ?
You did, and may God have mercy on your soul....for you agree with me.
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:13 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Does Aragorn carry another sword with which he fights, or prior to the reforging of Anduril did he rush into battle, yelling, "Stubby! Stubby for Elendil!"


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Originally Posted by Evisse the Blue
Merry saying that he felt as if he drowned in deep water is one of the very few instances in the book which brings chills of terror down my spine. Deep water (especially deep muddy water) means death or the foreshadowing of death, take for instance --don't laugh now-- Anna Karenina's similar vision before she takes her own life.
Isn't it interesting that Merry in particular should feel like he was drowning in deep water? Hobbits are notorious for their dislike of swimming, and Merry was the only one of the four who had experience with water, except for Frodo's early and tragic encounter.

What would Pippin, or Sam, or Frodo have felt if they had gotten close to the Ringwraiths (ignoring for the moment the fact that they would have attacked Frodo and taken the Ring)? None of them would have known what it feels like to be caught in deep water. Would the instinctive hobbit fear of it have supplied the sensation anyway, or would they have felt something else that frightened them? And if the former, why did Merry feel like he was drowning-- does this indicate that the Brandybucks, despite their close proximity, have the same instinctive fear of water deep down?
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:25 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by alatar
Why did Aragorn need or desire to carry this heirloom, presumably useless but extremely valuable (saved at large cost when other heirlooms weren't), while walking the wdith and breadth of Wilderland?
Ordinary swords would not have been much use against the Nine. Maybe Aragorn felt that Narsil, as a symbol of Sauron's earlier defeat, would have a powerful effect on them, although, when it came to a fight, he decided that fire would be more useful.

I assume that he carried other weapons; there could be enemies more mortal than the Nazgul between Bree and Rivendell, who would not be awed by a broken sword.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:48 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Selmo
Ordinary swords would not have been much use against the Nine. Maybe Aragorn felt that Narsil, as a symbol of Sauron's earlier defeat, would have a powerful effect on them, although, when it came to a fight, he decided that fire would be more useful.

I assume that he carried other weapons; there could be enemies more mortal than the Nazgul between Bree and Rivendell, who would not be awed by a broken sword.
.
Exactly, but as far as we know, he'd spent all of those years wandering Middle Earth with the Shards and no other sword of worth. Maybe that's why he was the best warrior of the age - after fighting all of those years with a broken sword, he was deadly with a full-sized one. Anyway, isn't it fortuitous that Aragorn needs no sword until he acquires Anduril? Does he put away his other sword, trusty (rusty) and faithful all of those years in some off-stage ceremony? Or was he the master of improv, taking advantage of the environment, picking up (and making) weaponry as he went?
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:00 AM   #68
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Or was he the master of improv, taking advantage of the environment, picking up (and making) weaponry as he went?
McGyvagorn!!
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:40 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Selmo
I assume that he carried other weapons.
We are not given all the details of Aragorn's life.

We're told that he ate, but we are not told that he coped with the inevitable (and smelly) consequences of eating.
We can safely assume that he did.

We're told that he was a great warrior, but we're not told that he carried weapons.
We can safely assume that he did.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:11 AM   #70
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When I reread the chapter now, I wonder a bit about the broken sword - was Aragorn really lugging that around everywhere? "not much use" as a weapon, indeed... But I guess it came in handy in this scene to prove he was the real Strider!
As you see, I had wondered about this too in 2004, but no one else seemed interested in this question then.

I quite agreee with Selmo!
When Aragorn was (As Thorongil) in the service of Thengel and of Ecthelion II , he must have had another sword!
For the scene in Bree the broken Narsil was necessary for the plot to identify Aragorn, and I just guess that for once Tolkien didn't think of the consequences...

As for PJ having the better idea by showing Narsil being kept in Rivendell, I agree, but from then on, Aragorn should have carried Anduril. Elrond later traveling all the way after him to bring the sword is just ridiculous!!
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:25 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selmo
We are not given all the details of Aragorn's life.

We're told that he ate, but we are not told that he coped with the inevitable (and smelly) consequences of eating.
We can safely assume that he did.

We're told that he was a great warrior, but we're not told that he carried weapons.
We can safely assume that he did.
I'll give you your biological assumption, as these are purportedly humans and that's a requirement for all life. Can't agree that we can assume that he carried another weapon, as it's never mentioned (or if it is, someone will note it), and the only weapon that he displays to the Hobbits (and that they note) is the broken Narsil. He may have, when serving in Rohan, Gondor and other realms, carried weapons that completed his disguises, but when guiding the Ringbearer and company from Bree to Rivendell we know of no other weapons.

The logic of your first point applies to both Barliman and Aragorn (if human, then...), but your second point does not (the Innkeeper carried a cudgel/club methinks, and not a sword or shards of one, and even the club was only a later addition). Maybe he was a master of empty-handed combat?

Without any other evidence I would assume that Aragorn made due with what he carried or picked up when serving in whatever army. And we still haven't answered the question of why he was taking Narsil out for a walk .


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For the scene in Bree the broken Narsil was necessary for the plot to identify Aragorn, and I just guess that for once Tolkien didn't think of the consequences...
Narsil verifies Aragorn to us, the readers, but does it really convince the Hobbits? The rhyme in Gandalf's letter regarding the reforging of Narsil does not say that the broken sword shall show the real Aragorn. Sam sees the evidence and still doubts. And what if this Strider were a play-acting spy? If he carried the broken sword and a real unbroken sword, how would one know that he didn't slay the real Aragorn to steal Narsil? What better way for the enemy to infiltrate the councils of the Free Folk then for someone to get Narsil than show up looking like Aragorn? Saruman could do it.

The conspiracies grow like weeds in my yard...
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:27 AM   #72
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As for PJ having the better idea by showing Narsil being kept in Rivendell, I agree, but from then on, Aragorn should have carried Anduril. Elrond later traveling all the way after him to bring the sword is just ridiculous!!
Trust me. PJ's 'getting it right' moments don't last very long.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:51 AM   #73
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I wonder: what if Frodo had listened to Sam and not chosen to go with Strider. Would he have forced himself upon them?
I dont think so. I think he would have followed and watched over them. Any other ideas?
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:56 PM   #74
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Eye I hope you like rambling...

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Originally Posted by Alatar
And we still haven't answered the question of why he was taking Narsil out for a walk
Some athletes have a lucky pair of socks. One sprinter always had a piece of paper in his shoe with the World Record time written on it. A friend of mine kept in his baseball bag a 2nd place trophy from his little league days, as it reminded him that had he gotten a hit his last time at bat in the championship game he would've had a 1st place trophy instead of a 2nd. It was there to motivate him and drive him to work harder so as to avoid yet another failure.

Narsil is the ultimate reminder. It reminds Aragorn that his ancestors had overcome Sauron and taken his Ring. It says to him, "They did it and I can too."

Narsil also reminds Aragorn that Elendil was killed by Sauron. It says to him, "Avenge me!"

Narsil could also serve as a reminder about Isildur, who fell to the temptation of the Ring. It says to Aragorn, "Don't make the same mistake."

And don't forget that Aragorn has no child to leave his heirlooms to. If Aragorn perishes, the sword might as well perish with him. Aragorn has no children because he will have no one but Arwen, and Arwen he cannot have until he retakes Middle Earth and renews Gondor, and Narsil broken and then reforged could be said to represent the breaking and then reestablishing of the line of Kings. What I mean to say is, the line of Kings and destiny of Gondor lies completely in his hands the same way Narsil does. He cannot push off his fate on another just as he cannot pass Narsil to any other. It is his burden.

Now, I'm not saying Aragorn carried Narsil with him his entire life, but at this point in the story the final chapter has begun- the quest to destroy the Ring as well as the war that is coming to a head. It makes sense to me that this would be the time that Aragorn would, for motivation and symbolism, not allow Narsil to leave his side. Aragorn is about to actually set out for the purpose of renewing Gondor. He is completely shouldering the burden at this point in his life. And in my mind the burden of Narsil goes hand and hand with that.

Or maybe everything I just said is a load of rambling garbage dredged up by an extremely sleepy brain.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:14 PM   #75
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the phantom has provided the clue that remained obscure to me all of these years. Whether or not Aragorn carried another weapon or fought more like Jackie Chan, I'll leave for another day. The reason, now obvious, that Aragorn was carrying Narsil was that he and the rest of (what will make up) the council were in an endgame. Sauron's Ring had reappeared. Either Sauron would be vanquished, or he would overrule all of Middle Earth. Sure, Narsil might increase the number of visitors at Michel Delving, but it might be of better service in the hands of the heir of the Sauron-bane. Why not? Was the idea to see how the Sword would react (and vice versa) to the Ring when the two were proximal? That's an experiment I'd like to see.

And, as stated, who would get the shards if Aragorn died? He would begat no heir unless he destroyed Sauron. Elrond, sooner or later, was leaving Middle Earth, as was giving away those things that were to remain in the east. What a yard sale that would be!

It all makes sense now. And PJ didn't have the better idea...phew!
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Old 06-13-2006, 12:25 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
And, as stated, who would get the shards if Aragorn died? He would begat no heir unless he destroyed Sauron. Elrond, sooner or later, was leaving Middle Earth, as was giving away those things that were to remain in the east. What a yard sale that would be!
Presumably his next-of-kin, or the next rightful descendent of Isildur.

That descendent may or may not have been as pureblooded a Númenorean as Aragorn, and he (making a presumption here) may have been of a rather less elder line, but Aragorn was NOT, I deem, the only descendent of Aranarth, I would deem. His mother's father, Dírhael, was a descendent of Aranarth, and it would seem likely to assume that he was not the only one.

Now, that does not mean that there wouldn't have been a good deal of strife amongst the Dúnedain of the North, nor that the next in line would have been clear, or that the next in line would have been a good leader- but, assuming all things of that nature were sortable, there would have been a next-in-line, and he would have been the next rightful heir to Narsil.

It is possible, of course, that Elrond would have retained Narsil after Aragorn's death, but upon his departure into the West, Narsil would (with the other heirlooms of Arnor) have been, in proper conduct anyway, returned to the Dúnedain.

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It all makes sense now. And PJ didn't have the better idea...phew!
Never for a minute worry that he did.
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:23 AM   #77
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Couple of debates on this very subject:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...e397336bec6522
&
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...317473c3a291cb
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:38 PM   #78
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the phantom has provided the clue that remained obscure to me all of these years. Whether or not Aragorn carried another weapon or fought more like Jackie Chan, I'll leave for another day. The reason, now obvious, that Aragorn was carrying Narsil was that he and the rest of (what will make up) the council were in an endgame. Sauron's Ring had reappeared. Either Sauron would be vanquished, or he would overrule all of Middle Earth. Sure, Narsil might increase the number of visitors at Michel Delving, but it might be of better service in the hands of the heir of the Sauron-bane. Why not? Was the idea to see how the Sword would react (and vice versa) to the Ring when the two were proximal? That's an experiment I'd like to see.
Aragorn told Boromir at the Council of Elrond, "For the Sword that was Broken is the Sword of Elendil that broke beneath him when he fell. It has been treasured by his heirs when all other heirlooms were lost; for it was spoken of old among us that it should be made again when the Ring, Isildur's Bane, was found." I imagine Aragorn began carrying Narsil when he learned from Gandalf that the ring *had* been found.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:43 AM   #79
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Aragorn told Boromir at the Council of Elrond, "For the Sword that was Broken is the Sword of Elendil that broke beneath him when he fell. It has been treasured by his heirs when all other heirlooms were lost; for it was spoken of old among us that it should be made again when the Ring, Isildur's Bane, was found." I imagine Aragorn began carrying Narsil when he learned from Gandalf that the ring *had* been found.
Does Elrond know that the Ring of Bilbo truly is the One Ring until the Council? Aragorn does have the benefit of Elrond's wisdom and foresight, and so even if Elrond wasn't sure if the Ring was the Ring, he most likely could read the signs and figure that Aragorn was either going to be King or the last of that line, and so he (Aragorn) might as well have Narsil as it might play some part unlooked for.

And though there might have been other Heirs, with the return of Sauron, the days and numbers of the Northern Line would be limited.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:43 PM   #80
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Aragorn had spent a bit of time with Gandalf hunting for Gollum and watching the borders of the Shire. So he would know of Gandalf's suspicions and probably learned that Gandalf had confirmed them when he agreed to meet at Bree.
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