Jun 29 2011, 9:06pm
1. Why is he so like Boromir? Are the genetics really that strong, or was it just that Merry hasn't seen that many Men other than Aragorn and the Rohirrim (who are apparently all blonde).
Merry just has typical lateralization of brain function as far as his event-related potential goes, especially regarding his N170 component, along with a pretty standard vertex positive potential.
In other words, they all look alike to him.
2. What does Denethor know about the events in Rohan and Isengard, and how does he know it?
Sauron is giving him a rather slanted view. ďThe glorious armies of Isengard are in victorious retreat while the shattered forces of Rohan are advancing in hopeless disorder.Ē
3. What, actually, did Denethor expect?
Same as in the movie. Personally I think it was Gandalf who suckered Hirgon into bringing the red arrow.
He knows how far Edoras is from Minas Tirith, and what it takes to muster an army.
4. Is Hirgon's sarcasm good diplomacy?
But heís a soldier, not a diplomat. A diplomat would not have made it past the orcs. As it is, Hirgon wonít make it twice.
5. Are you offended by the "Swarthy Men" reference?
A lot of my family have swarthy complexions and what of it? Anyway, Iím sure if Hirgon thought that there was any chance of any pasty faced people feasting in Minas Tirith heíd have mentioned them as well. In fact, Iím kinda surprized he didnít throw them in anyway, along with ninjas, pirates, bears with chainsaws for arms, and anything else he could think of. Yep, poor Hirgon is most definitely not a diplomat.
6. Are the Beacons actually more dramatic than useful?
Denethor seems to have realized that he needed at least to back them up with the Arrow and a messenger to fill in the details, yes?
Actually John Von Neumann would have advocated triple redundancy, and he would have had the mathematics to back him up.
7. Should Denethor have sent his messages a week earlier?
Early can be good, but if it was too early the arrow could have gotten left on Theodenís desk and then covered up by all sorts of stuff and so it would have gotten lost. Thatís why I send out permit reapplications and self-monitoring report packets around a month in advance. Too early and they sit around and get lost, too late and the industry might not have enough time to get them done.
What would have been the consequence if he had done so?
Isengard would have had a walkover with all the troops gone. Such is the importance of maintaining proper liaison between allies.
8. What would be the minimum amount of supplies to sustain 6,000 men and horses during a 5-day forced march?
About 3 pounds of food per day per man, 8 pounds of grain and 10 pounds of roughage per day per horse. (Hobbit requirements are much more, which is a good enough reason for Theoden's decision to leave Merry behind.)
Also a gallon of water per day per man. (Ladies need around half that much.) A horse needs 10-30 gallons of water per day depending on heat and humidity.
How would they transport it?
On their own persons, on the horses, especially the spare horses.
Thereís no doubt plenty of known water sources along the way. But have they been rendered undrinkable by the orcs? A dead body or two could make a water hole too contaminated to drink.
Some of the food can be made up by foraging, but they do need to get there quick, donít they? Besides, again, how much have the orcs ravaged the land between here and Gondor? Burning fields, crops, grasslands, Rick Cottontree, etc. Probably best not to depend on foraging even disregarding the time element.
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.Ē
(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 29 2011, 9:08pm)