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 Post subject: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 5:24 pm 
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This week's reading takes us to Meduseld.

Here are a couple of questions you might ponder while you read and comment on:

What does Frodo see from the high seat on Amon Hen? And what does Aragorn see?

Why is Saruman the chief concern of the Rohirrim?

Why does Aragorn choose to follow the Orcs and not go after Frodo? Why is that choice so painful? In what ways might our more difficult and painful choices be the most important?

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 6th, 2011, 12:34 pm 
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*cracks her knuckles* I was in the car for 15 hours yesterday and have over 4 pages of notes. But don't worry, I won't put them all down.

I think I might have found it trying to travel with Legolas; while they're chasing the hobbits, Aragorn and Gimli are tired and depressed and weary and Legolas is bouncing merrily along all "Hey, let's climb a hill!"

I love that when Merry and Pippin are in Treebeards' home they eat lembas even though they don't feel hungry; "more because they felt that eating was a necessary part of breakfast than from any real hunger." That seems so hobbity, but I also find it kind of heartbreaking (I know, I know, weird) because it's this little piece of normalcy in all the chaos around them. It's like that's one so,[;e thing that they can control.

Also, Treebeard is older than Tom Bombadil. Or at least, he's been in Middle-Earth for longer than Tom. I find that rather surprising. Also, the Ent-wives and the Ents are probably the saddest love story in the whole thing; they loved each other but they were always so different and couldn't agree on anything, and the Ents kept making these attempts to please the Ent-wives and the Ent-wives were just like 'Aw, you're cute, but no.' And 'we lost them, and now, we cannot FIND them." :'-(

When Legolas is talking about the song Aragorn sings before Meduseld (where now is the horse and the rider) he says that it is "laden with the sadness of mortal men." I found that such a weird thing to say because we always think of the Elves as the sad ones; with their long life and the sea-longing and the longing for the past. But here Legolas views men as having this inner melancholy. It ties into Legolas being still quite a young elf; he doesn't have that age old weariness yet, and he hasn't seen the Sea. It kind of reminds me of what Sam said in Lothlorien, that he "thought Elves were all for stars and moonlight, this [the sun and the flowers and the greenery] seems more Elvish than anything I ever heard." The Elves focus on the depression they see in men and the men do the same with the Elves. :huh:

Grima is a very strange character; I can't help but pity him, he was 'once a man of Rohan' so how did he get caught up with Saruman? And his story ends so sadly. Then I remember him stalking Eowyn and planning to take her if Rohan fell and if she survived its fall and my pity kind of dies.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 10th, 2011, 4:13 pm 
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^Yup, Legolas must be so annoying, and like I said I don't understand why they don't put him to better use and takes advantage of each person's skill. The only thing they use Legolas for is "Oh, Legolas, tell me what your keen elf-eyes see in the distance". And they have Aragorn do all the tracking.. I think Tolkien owe it to Legolas to have had something he could do too!

Also, I was wondering about Gimli's age (I could probably look it up somewhere). We hear about Aragorn who looks old and sometimes he feels old even compared to Númenorians and Legolas talks about if he should ever meet Treebeard he should feel young again. We never hear anything about Gimli.. again.. I really don't see why Tolkien put a dwarf in the company - I mean when he's not making a point of it...?

Yeah, I think you're right about the breakfast that has to be solid food and that the poor hobbits need some familiarity. I think I'd have done the same. But also, even after having read TTT 2-4 times now I don't think I fully understand how much Merry and Pippin suffered. It's like.. they were carried by foul orcs, they were forced to run, they were injured. And they escaped. End of.. I mean Tolkien seems to describe the landscape and Aragorn and Legolas' and Gimli's pursuit so much more detailed than when we're with the hobbits. But imagine having to run at that pace with injuries in the head driven by a whip towards torture and death... man, they must have been terrified. But I just don't really feel it...

Funny, I never really cared much for the story of the Ents (and Entwives). They are such a strange part of the story.. even stranger than Tom Bombadil. When I read the chapter again (after having the movie-Ents so clear in mind), I think I imagine them looking more.. human-ish than the ents in TTT... I don't think they're spot on.. but then again they're difficult to picture.. Like how tall are they and what do they look like..
Hmm.. yeah, they are older than Tom Bombadil and Treebeard says he remembers when the Firstborn awoke and when the first ships passed into Middle-earth from the West, and the coming of wizards.. so I guess the old ents must have been in Middle-earth from the beginning of time.


Quote:
What does Frodo see from the high seat on Amon Hen? And what does Aragorn see?

The reason why I put this question is that I'd like to hear your opinions on the saet of Amon Hen. What is it? Frodo saw a lot of things but it seems like Aragorn didn't see anything (maybe because he didn't have time to focus properly before he was interrupted).


Quote:
He stretched himself on the ground with his ear pressed against the turf...."The rumour of the earth is dim and confused. Nothing walks upon it for many miles about us."

Why does Aragorn have a gift of listening to the earth that not even Legolas seems to have?


Quote:
'It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.'

Treebeard about old Entish.. I really like it. :)


Quote:
Gimli: 'Gandalf!' he said. 'But you are all in white!'
Gandalf: 'Yes, I am all in white now', said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.'

This always puzzled me. And this:
Quote:
'I am Gandalf , Gandalf the White, but Black is mightier still.'

Like the colours of a wizard's robes are like a rank, something that can be obtained.. So, if Gandalf is Saruman as he should have been, what does that make Saruman now? And why is Black mightier?


And the last thing is about Gandalf's Fall and how he returned after the fight:
Quote:
'Naked I was sent back - for a brief time, until my task is done.'

So he fought the Balrog and he finally defeated it.. but lost his own life, so to say. He was sent back.. who sent him back? The Valar? I don't doubt that Tolkien meant this in a symbolic way, that Gandalf was reborn as Gandalf 2.0, much whiter and much wiser too. But why was he given a second chance?

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 13th, 2011, 7:04 am 
Istari
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Frodo had Ring on the finger, therefore, he saw more than Aragorn. He saw what Sauron was seeing (methinks). And then...Sauron saw him. He had real struggle with himself to take it off the hand.

Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn did good not following Frodo. That was the best thing Aragorn did in this time (despite real fact that they did good staying for the night in one place, because if the follow orcs and meet them actually, they could die...). It was harsh choice; Frodo was almost alone and he had a Ring, but Merry and PIppin were in the hands of orcs and the danger was closer for them than invisible danger from Sauron.

I love the part about the interior fights of the orcs. Between those from Mordor and Isengard. I think best part of the book. Pippin has brains, really, to take adventages of Grishnak's greed.

Also, the sad part about Ent-wives and Ents...I love the elven song about them, its so heartbreaking...
I love also Treebeard, he is soooo old...it talks to me somehow. I like ages passing and the fact that he didn't change at all, like most Ents.


Quote:
He stretched himself on the ground with his ear pressed against the turf...."The rumour of the earth is dim and confused. Nothing walks upon it for many miles about us."

Why does Aragorn have a gift of listening to the earth that not even Legolas seems to have?


Maybe Legolas as well has this gift but isn't master in it and Aragorn is a Ranger so he may possess gifts that were trained.


Quote:
'It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.'


I laso love that. The "council of ents" was very...interesting thing :)


Quote:
Gimli: 'Gandalf!' he said. 'But you are all in white!'
Gandalf: 'Yes, I am all in white now', said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.'


I think he was on mind that Saruman was the White Wizard and should be as fair as Gandalf is now...methinks...


Quote:
'Naked I was sent back - for a brief time, until my task is done.'


That also makes me think. I think that it was some greater force but why Tolkien didn't write about it before?

Also, I think that fight between Balrog and Gandalf was EPIC. I mean, the gulfs of darkness, slimy and haunted by creatures older than Sauron. Just think about it...

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 20th, 2011, 2:07 pm 
Gondorian
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Eä wrote:
^Yup, Legolas must be so annoying, and like I said I don't understand why they don't put him to better use and takes advantage of each person's skill. The only thing they use Legolas for is "Oh, Legolas, tell me what your keen elf-eyes see in the distance". And they have Aragorn do all the tracking.. I think Tolkien owe it to Legolas to have had something he could do too!


I read a quote somewhere in the appendices that said that Legolas definitely achieved least of all the members of the Fellowship. I don't know if Legolas would have been such a great tracker, though; living in Mirkwood all his life, I don't know if he would have picked up that skill in particular.

Quote:
What does Frodo see from the high seat on Amon Hen? And what does Aragorn see?


Well, Frodo sees all the signs of gathering war and chaos. He sees that all of Middle-earth is getting drawn into this battle, that it really is the last desperate stand against Sauron. When he sees Minas Tirith, it's like he gets a little hopeful that maybe Gondor can stand against Mordor, and maybe his task isn't so desperately necessary after all. But then his gaze is drawn towards Mordor, and he knows that no, Gondor can't resist that. He's still, at this moment I think, trying to get up his nerve to leave them all behind and charge off into Mordor, and this is the moment when he fully realizes that if he doesn't find a way, no one will. That destroying the Ring really is the only hope.

Quote:
Quote:
Gimli: 'Gandalf!' he said. 'But you are all in white!'
Gandalf: 'Yes, I am all in white now', said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.'

This always puzzled me. And this:
Quote:
'I am Gandalf , Gandalf the White, but Black is mightier still.'

Like the colours of a wizard's robes are like a rank, something that can be obtained.. So, if Gandalf is Saruman as he should have been, what does that make Saruman now? And why is Black mightier?


Well, Saruman was supposed to be a good guy; Saruman the White, the head of the White Council, the head of the Wizards. He was supposed to be a powerful force for good, but he became corrupted. Gandalf, as Gandalf the White, is going to be a force for good, so he's kind of stepping up to the plate when Saruman didn't. Taking over Saruman's responsibility.

Regarding 'Black is mightier still', I think Gandalf might just be acting a little pessimistic. If he means the Witchking, they're pretty evenly matched. If he means Sauron, then yeah, Black is mightier still than Gandalf, but not the mightiest (if the Valar wanted to take him down, I'm pretty sure Sauron would be screwed.)

The only reason I can think of Tolkien adding in Gandalf's death and resurrection is to have a parallel to Christ's death and resurrection. I'm trying to think of other people who have come back, and I think Luthien managed to persuade the Valar to let Beren come back, after Beren died. So there are a couple instances of people being sent back. But I don't really know why he chose to write that particular storyline for Gandalf. Maybe it was the only realistic way of turning Gandalf the Grey into Gandalf the White.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Parth Galen to Meduseld
PostPosted: July 24th, 2011, 12:04 pm 
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Regarding Legolas - I think he, out of all of them, is the most hopeful. He sort of keeps the company going. Aragorn and Gimli get weary and downtrodden, but Legolas takes delight in grass and says hope often comes with the dawn. It is possible that without him, they would have despaired quicker and wouldn't have wanted to keep going.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Gimli: 'Gandalf!' he said. 'But you are all in white!'
Gandalf: 'Yes, I am all in white now', said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.'

This always puzzled me. And this:
Quote:
'I am Gandalf , Gandalf the White, but Black is mightier still.'

Like the colours of a wizard's robes are like a rank, something that can be obtained.. So, if Gandalf is Saruman as he should have been, what does that make Saruman now? And why is Black mightier?


Well, Saruman was supposed to be a good guy; Saruman the White, the head of the White Council, the head of the Wizards. He was supposed to be a powerful force for good, but he became corrupted. Gandalf, as Gandalf the White, is going to be a force for good, so he's kind of stepping up to the plate when Saruman didn't. Taking over Saruman's responsibility.

Regarding 'Black is mightier still', I think Gandalf might just be acting a little pessimistic. If he means the Witchking, they're pretty evenly matched. If he means Sauron, then yeah, Black is mightier still than Gandalf, but not the mightiest (if the Valar wanted to take him down, I'm pretty sure Sauron would be screwed.)

The only reason I can think of Tolkien adding in Gandalf's death and resurrection is to have a parallel to Christ's death and resurrection. I'm trying to think of other people who have come back, and I think Luthien managed to persuade the Valar to let Beren come back, after Beren died. So there are a couple instances of people being sent back. But I don't really know why he chose to write that particular storyline for Gandalf. Maybe it was the only realistic way of turning Gandalf the Grey into Gandalf the White.


I think Gandalf is very much taking over where Saruman should have been, helping with council and action to fight against Sauron. I don't think the wizards had names for themselves, so when Gandalf says he "is Saruman" he is who the people named this wizard at the beginning - Saruman, the person who was supposed to be their greatest defender.

When he says Black is mightier, I think he's thinking of the entire force against them, Sauron and Saruman. He's saying it as a way of saying "Yes, you've got me back, and that's good. But there's still a lot of work to be done if we ever want to hope to win." And, in essence, Black was mightier still. They only beat off the siege of Minas Tirith because of the army of the dead, and they only won at the black gate because Frodo destroyed the ring. It wasn't due to their strength of arms.

Gandalf being sent back also could have parallels to baptism, in a way. The idea of dying to your old self, and being reborn as a new person with the power of Christ in you. You can take it multiple ways.

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