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 Post subject: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 15th, 2011, 7:03 am 
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Here is the discussion thread for the reading for Meduseld to Isengard (including The Voice of Saruman). I might put up some questions for discussion later if I can think of any. :)

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 15th, 2011, 7:17 am 
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Battle of Helm Deep was much less boring than on the movie. You see, I usually don't like fights and battles because they bore me to death. But this one was quite interesting and even not as long as I thought it will be.
As for the concrets of the battle. I think that Legolas and Gimli cheered it a little and Aragorn with his impossible sword and bravery just made it well...worse. How two humans can throw whole army away?

As for Grima and Theoden...Grima was once normal human but I bet he had something behind his skin. He was to easy to bribe by Saruman. Or do you think that Saruman was treatening him, hmm?
Theoden was much better than in movie...well, he was still old but I didn't like the movie's way to brake the spell. To visual.

I like how Fangorn trees went near Helm Deep, that was epic. The orcs who went through the forest never came back ^^

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 15th, 2011, 7:43 am 
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Yeah, the Battle of Helm's Deep which took so much time in the movie only wore on for a chapter or two in the book. I would say though that I was utterly bored with the battle in the book. I completely failed to follow Tolkien's descriptions of the battle and the logistics of Helm's Deep and the positioning of troops. I was comparing to the movie and still I felt bored for the first time while reading the book. I simply got lost!

Also, I think that in the movie it was slightly unbelievable the things Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli could accomplish but in the book it did feel more natural. There is a power in Andúril and in the Heir who wields it who is believable. The whole idea of great lords and leaders who really are mighty warriors partly because of their training and partly because of their blood and who can inspire their people to fight. And I think it is explained more in the book.

The Huorns... I'm still a bit confused. So they had moved to the Battle of Helm's Deep during night (when Merry and Pippin see them leave Isengard and when Gandalf's company feel them passing by at night) to kill orcs, right? But how did they do it.. where did the bodies go... and how many do you think the trees killed and how many did the Rohirrim kill?

I think Grima was under Saruman's spell. Though not against his own will. I think he might have sought Saruman a long time ago and gradually Saruman poisoned his mind with his sweet but corrups words. Gandalf says that perhaps only Elrond and Galadriel could withstand Saruman if they were face to face with him and only if they knew his designs.. Even Gandalf was caught unaware before he knew what Saruman was really up to. So I don't think Grima had a chance. When this is said, I do think that Grima still sided with Saruman of his own free will. I don't think he was threatened but rather promised a glorious future on the victorious after the war.

I was surprised how small a role Eowyn has in the book. Not that she had much screentime in the movie but her presence is stronger, more visible. Especially, because she has her moments with Aragorn. It didn' bother me much that Tolkien reduced her to just another pretty chick (her time will come :P), but I would have liked a little more recognition or description of how the people loved her, like what did she do or what kind of personality she has. She was appointed steward while the king rode to war after all.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 15th, 2011, 7:53 am 
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Quote:
Yeah, the Battle of Helm's Deep which took so much time in the movie only wore on for a chapter or two in the book. I would say though that I was utterly bored with the battle in the book. I completely failed to follow Tolkien's descriptions of the battle and the logistics of Helm's Deep and the positioning of troops. I was comparing to the movie and still I felt bored for the first time while reading the book. I simply got lost!


For me it was interesting battle, because I could actually follow Tolkien's thoughts. Its usually difficult for me and I skipped the battle when I was younger but it was also surprise for me! I couldn't believe that! Even in A Song of Ice and Fire it isn't that easy :-o

But maybe I was in that special mood ^^

Quote:
Also, I think that in the movie it was slightly unbelievable the things Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli could accomplish but in the book it did feel more natural. There is a power in Andúril and in the Heir who wields it who is believable. The whole idea of great lords and leaders who really are mighty warriors partly because of their training and partly because of their blood and who can inspire their people to fight. And I think it is explained more in the book.


It was explained very well, still, its difficult for me to follow that scheme. I undertand that great leaders and kings can lead people to battle in glory but its very unbeliavable for me. The same was when I was reading Ramses by Christian Jacq, the one person who kill thousands of enemies. But I don't say its not glorious and nitty, because it actually is.

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The Huorns... I'm still a bit confused. So they had moved to the Battle of Helm's Deep during night (when Merry and Pippin see them leave Isengard and when Gandalf's company feel them passing by at night) to kill orcs, right? But how did they do it.. where did the bodies go... and how many do you think the trees killed and how many did the Rohirrim kill?


I think trees killed most of them in the last part of the battle, because it was written that orcs were running to the forest and its possible that a lot of them escaped Rohirrims. Bodies could be closed in trees, like Willow did with hobbits in Old Forest...methinks. But I don't know how tree could go that fast to reach Helm's Deep...

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I was surprised how small a role Eowyn has in the book. Not that she had much screentime in the movie but her presence is stronger, more visible. Especially, because she has her moments with Aragorn. It didn' bother me much that Tolkien reduced her to just another pretty chick (her time will come :P), but I would have liked a little more recognition or description of how the people loved her, like what did she do or what kind of personality she has. She was appointed steward while the king rode to war after all.


Yes, that truth. I was surprised when I was reading her part. She was very short on the pages and disappeared quickly. I didn't even know if I like book Eowyn from this part. I read the books really long ago so I must see ;)

As for the Grima, you may have the point here. Yes, threatening isn't very good idea, because Grima wasn't doing it with fear and let go to Isengard with orcs when Theoden threw him from Edoras.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 15th, 2011, 12:37 pm 
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Just few words more...

Saruman had great power over minds but Theoden and Gandalf were stronger. But you noticed it was easy for people of Rohan to fall under his spell. Now I see why Grima so easily fell as well. How I could forget about that?

Also, Ents are very strong, stronger than you can thought. In fury, they can destroy everything.

I laughed at smoking Merry and Pippin and Gimli too. They are funny bunch who thinks more about plaesures of ordinary days than other :)

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 19th, 2011, 10:23 pm 
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Eä wrote:
I was surprised how small a role Eowyn has in the book. Not that she had much screentime in the movie but her presence is stronger, more visible. Especially, because she has her moments with Aragorn. It didn' bother me much that Tolkien reduced her to just another pretty chick (her time will come :P), but I would have liked a little more recognition or description of how the people loved her, like what did she do or what kind of personality she has. She was appointed steward while the king rode to war after all.


That struck me while reading as well; she's just not as visible in the books. Oh, but I suppose it's because in the movie she went to Helm's Deep with everyone else and in the book she stays at Edoras. I agree that it would be nice to see a bit of her interaction with the people or see why they held her in such high esteem.

Aragorn and Eowyn have a rather poignant connection, don't they? As probably everyone knows, I am an Aragorn/Arwen stan and so don't view it romantically, but it's so heartbreaking. Eowyn is stuck at Edoras, fading away in the dark, watching her country fall to pieces and suddenly this Ranger comes whirling into her life, with this hidden power and charisma and hope springs anew; is it any wonder she fell for him?

This conversation between Hama and some random soldier is intriguing.

Quote:
"What does that mean?" said one of the guard to Hama. "That Gandalf Greyhame has need of haste," answered Hama. "Ever he goes and comes unlooked-for." "Wormtongue, were he here, would not find it hard to explain," said the other. "True enough," said Hama; "but for myself, I will wait until I see Gandalf again." "Maybe you will wait long," said the other.


It seems not everyone in Rohan thought that a) Grima was such a bad idea and b) that Gandalf was such a good idea. I like getting this view into the common people, who weren't privy to all of what happened in the Golden Hall and didn't know much about Gandalf, and thus were a little unsure about all the gung-ho battle charges and secret missions. :happy:

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 20th, 2011, 10:37 am 
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@Morgana: I think you're right that the trees fought and later disposed of the orcs somehow.. A rather nasty end I would say.

It's been a few years since I read the books last so I'm looking forward to the warrior-Eowyn part. So far I didn't see any flirting between Aragorn and Eowyn like in the movies.. and as far as I remember there wasn't any.. or perhaps it was very subtle.

Regarding Gandalf.. or Saruman. I think the men of Rohan kept very much to themselves. As long as they could ride freely over the plains they didn't seem to care much for anything else in the world. I believe Saruman managed to bind most of the people under his spells - perhaps via Grima and thereby they might have a natural distrust of Gandalf too, since he had broken with Saruman. Also, I think that the ordinary Rohan man or woman really did see Gandalf as the disturber of peace. Whenever he came to the land something happened or change was following. And you don't really want your sons and husbands to go to battle just because an old dude comes along and talks to your king.. I can see why Gandalf might have been seen as an ill omen.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 20th, 2011, 11:45 am 
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Eä wrote:
So far I didn't see any flirting between Aragorn and Eowyn like in the movies.. and as far as I remember there wasn't any.. or perhaps it was very subtle.


I also don't remember such intense flirting in the book. PJ changed it to gain more audience.

Also, I doubt Saruman got people of Rohan under his spell. They just didn't trust Gandalf because he always got a bad news for them but also didn't trust Saruman.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 20th, 2011, 1:49 pm 
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*nods* The interaction and attraction between the two is played up in the movie. I really dislike the way it played out; I think from Eowyn's side, the attraction is about the same in the books and the movie. From Aragorn's side, the movie has him at least more conflicted than he was in the books. The thing is, after playing up Aragorn and Eowyn's story, and deleting Faramir and Eowyn, Eowyn's story arc is left with nonsensical to no resolution. We go from a weeping, heartbroken soldier crying over her uncle's body to a happy, smiling lady, and it just doesn't make sense. :annoyed2:

I do prefer Helm's Deep in the movie to the battle in the book, but I miss having Eomer and Aragorn fight together. Their bond of friendship is one of my favourites, so I always enjoy their moments.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 24th, 2011, 12:37 pm 
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"A shadow passed over Saruman's face; then it went deathly white. Before he could conceal it, they saw through the mask the anguish of a mind in doubt, loathing to stay an dreading to leave its refuge."

I thought this was fascinating. It reminded me of Gollum, and how 'he hates and loves the ring as he hates and loves himself.' In much the same way, Saruman knows what he has become is wrong, but he hates the idea of humbling himself to work with those he previously manipulated. And so he falls. Gandalf says of him: "He will not serve, only command."

Quote:
"A fool, but an honest fool, you remain, Peregrin Took. Wiser ones might have done worse in such a pass."

I've always loved this line. And I was thrilled when it was in the movie. There's much to be said about the word 'fool' in this book - Denethor uses it often to describe Gandalf, and they talk about the 'fool's hope' of destroying the ring. It makes me think that Tolkien was trying to make a case for those who were called fools. Fools they may be, but they have a better grasp for things that can happen than 'wiser' ones may.

Well, regarding Aragorn/Eowyn, I don't think there's flirting because how in the world can these stories have flirting? :P I don't blame Eowyn. Aragorn treats her with honor and respect, and he's a mighty, kingly man. Of course she'll fall in love with what he represents. And that's where the movies made problems. She was in love with his ideas, not with him himself. She truly loved Faramir as he was, and didn't desire him to be anything greater in order to make her happy. I really wish they had put more of that in.

Was I the only one who felt like the the battle of Helm's Deep was better in the book? :teehee: When I saw the movie, I was like, "What is all this battle about?" And then I went back and reread TTT and realized it was that little 4 page thing that I had put to as more of a skirmish rather than an epic thing. I just didn't get the scope of it, or something.

One last thing:
Quote:
"Mercy!" cried Gandalf. "If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?"
"The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-earth and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas," laughed Pippin. "Of course! What less?"

YES. They may be sheltered, they may be creatures who stay in their own little world, but it doesn't mean they're content with everything. They love history! Give them history! Yet another reason I love hobbits. And I want to know all that history too! Why didn't Tolkien write all of it?

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 27th, 2011, 11:06 pm 
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Nurrantiel Mashiara wrote:


Quote:
"Mercy!" cried Gandalf. "If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?"
"The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-earth and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas," laughed Pippin. "Of course! What less?"

YES. They may be sheltered, they may be creatures who stay in their own little world, but it doesn't mean they're content with everything. They love history! Give them history! Yet another reason I love hobbits. And I want to know all that history too! Why didn't Tolkien write all of it?


HELLO. HISTORY. :surprise: I knew they loved family history, but I never connected that with loving, actual history. Hobbits are history nerds. Hobbits are history nerds. I love you Nurr. I love you Pippin. I love you Tolkien.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 29th, 2011, 5:32 pm 
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Minuialwen wrote:
*nods* The interaction and attraction between the two is played up in the movie. I really dislike the way it played out; I think from Eowyn's side, the attraction is about the same in the books and the movie. From Aragorn's side, the movie has him at least more conflicted than he was in the books. The thing is, after playing up Aragorn and Eowyn's story, and deleting Faramir and Eowyn, Eowyn's story arc is left with nonsensical to no resolution. We go from a weeping, heartbroken soldier crying over her uncle's body to a happy, smiling lady, and it just doesn't make sense. :annoyed2:

True.. the non-relationship between Eowyn and Aragorn in the movie is very out of character for especially Eowyn. But I suppose that's what it takes to please a modern audience.


Regarding Saruman, he is one of the Wise who came out of the West. He knows what path he was meant to take but now he has been tempted and deviates from his true way. I wish Tolkien had written more of Saruman before and after he got corrupted.

Good observation on the word fool. I never thought of it other than being an expression of well if someone did something stupid. The way you put it, I think you're right though.. that what the wise ones can foretell is the predictable, because they see the bigger picture but chance and fate and things that can't be controlled are left to the fools.
Spinning off of this it's interesting to think that the wise predict the future and then they might bend their will towards it so that what they predicted in fact comes true. Whereas the rest of us will just go along, and that is why a single 'insignificant' person can change the course of the future, simply because he or she will do what is not expected.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: July 29th, 2011, 6:04 pm 
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Eä wrote:
True.. the non-relationship between Eowyn and Aragorn in the movie is very out of character for especially Eowyn. But I suppose that's what it takes to please a modern audience.


Well, I don't think that the way Eowyn responded to Aragorn in the movie was out of character (I actually thought it was played fairly true to the books in regard to her side of the relationship; if anything, it was Aragorn who they showed to be more interested in the movie than he was in the book.) I just think that after spending so much time building on the A/E relationship, spending no time on the resolution to Eowyn's story arc (her relationship with Faramir and her change of spirit that resulted from that) was a great disservice to the character and really made no sense. One can't understand her story and how it ended without the Houses of Healing chapter, which was left out in the theatrical edition of the Return of the King.

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 Post subject: Re: ESRR: Meduseld to Isengard
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2017, 4:43 am 
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Eä wrote:
I think Grima was under Saruman's spell. Though not against his own will. I think he might have sought Saruman a long time ago and gradually Saruman poisoned his mind with his sweet but corrups words. Gandalf says that perhaps only Elrond and Galadriel could withstand Saruman if they were face to face with him and only if they knew his designs.. Even Gandalf was caught unaware before he knew what Saruman was really up to. So I don't think Grima had a chance. When this is said, I do think that Grima still sided with Saruman of his own free will. I don't think he was threatened but rather promised a glorious future on the victorious after the war.


When I first read through the books, I got the feeling that Grima and Saruman befriended each other in hopes of furthering their own agendas, and in the process Grima was 'empowered' by Saruman's wizardry that enhanced Grima's already fair ability to be cunning and smooth and convincing in his words of counsel to King Theoden. Grima in effect became Saruman's 'in-house mole', using his subtle, convincing, yet powerful voice in the king's ear.

The PJ fanfic in my opinion got Grima right, brilliantly portrayed by Brad Dourif, but blew it all on the whole 'possession' spell routine. Gandalf didn't "fight" with Saruman through King Theoden, but he did break the proxy spell Saruman had on Theoden via Grima, and Theoden's eyes were opened.

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