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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Return of the King Part II - the unofficial read through - Book VI onward
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Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 13 2017, 9:24pm

Post #1 of 174 (5067 views)
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Return of the King Part II - the unofficial read through - Book VI onward Can't Post

The Tower of Cirith Ungol


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 13 2017, 10:32pm

Post #2 of 174 (4834 views)
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Sam's wanderings around Cirith Ungol [In reply to] Can't Post

I found the path and tunnel traveling quite confusing and just gave up trying to form a mental image of direction etc. Sam once again puts on the Ring and is able to hear the fighting taking place in the tower. I do wonder why Sauron cannot detect its use this close to his location,


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 13 2017, 11:44pm

Post #3 of 174 (4821 views)
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Some illustrations [In reply to] Can't Post

https://i.stack.imgur.com/IIpjW.jpg

https://i.stack.imgur.com/VmNlQ.jpg

http://tolkiengateway.net/...(and_manuscript).jpg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/...hS189SKD5PWYPG98Fntl


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 13 2017, 11:49pm)


squire
Half-elven


Aug 14 2017, 11:54am

Post #4 of 174 (4792 views)
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Do you like Fonstad's ideas? [In reply to] Can't Post

The uncredited links are all to her Atlas of Middle-earth (except for the manuscript sketch by Tolkien of the Cirith Ungol pass seen from the Ithilien side).

You said you found the written descriptions of the Tower and its environs confusing to follow. She has, as far as I know, produced the most comprehensive set of schematics of the Tower. Do her illustrations and diagrams work for you? Or do they raise more questions about whether Tolkien himself was inventing a plausible or fantastical military structure?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14 2017, 2:08pm

Post #5 of 174 (4785 views)
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I have her book and will have to pull it out - some of the illustrations are helpful but [In reply to] Can't Post

the entire area within Shelobs tunnel to the paths and back down and around was confusing to read. But, those are just details.

Looking at the Lair's East End illustration shows the complexity.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 14 2017, 2:10pm)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Aug 14 2017, 4:27pm

Post #6 of 174 (4767 views)
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Maybe confusing is what it's meant to feel like... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's interesting to see the plans and maps at this point, when we're analysing the story, but I think as readers we are meant to feel as lost and confused as Sam does. Too much information takes away from the atmosphere, maybe, rather than adding to it.

As for Sam putting the Ring on, the implication seems to be that Sauron can sense it but he can't get a visual because Sam is still on the far side of the pass and is out of line of sight of the Eye. He takes the Ring off as he goes over the top of the Pass, apparently sensing that he's now in danger of being seen. The impression here and in other places is that the Sauron's (or the Nazgul's) sense of the Ring is quite non-specific and hard for them to pin down. Without visual confirmation (which they never manage to get) they don't even seem to be able to tell whether or not it was a false alarm.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14 2017, 5:06pm

Post #7 of 174 (4755 views)
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Good points, Tolkien certainly succeeded in the dark confusion felt. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14 2017, 5:55pm

Post #8 of 174 (4750 views)
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As Sam discovers, within Mordor the ring changes - becomes stronger and [In reply to] Can't Post

hence very dangerous to use. He is presented visions of what he could achieve but his common Hobbit sense saves him - "He'd spot me pretty quick, if I were to put the Ring on now, in Mordor."


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 14 2017, 6:21pm

Post #9 of 174 (4759 views)
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But the fit passed. [In reply to] Can't Post

A long 2006 essay by Judith Klinger, which was the subject of a little discussion here (mostly for other reasons), suggests, among many other things, that the description is purposefully ambiguous. As I noted in that discussion, Klinger was trying in part to answer these questions:

- Why do Barbara Strachey and Karen Fonstad differ so much in their drawings of Shelob's Lair?

- Why does Tolkien's own sketch of Shelob's Lair confuse east and west?

- What exactly is the chronology between the Cross-roads and the escape from Cirith Ungol?

- Why does Frodo madly rush toward the pass after escaping the tunnel?

There are four lights.

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Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 15 2017, 2:26pm

Post #10 of 174 (4718 views)
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Tolkien certainly succeeded in creating the lost, confusing path [In reply to] Can't Post

Even to get into the tower was a challenge.

Sam runs into what comes across as an invisible force field projected by the Watchers. Only with the phial do they relent. But forcing his way in triggers an alarm bell. Fortunately, most of the garrison is dead or dying. The orcs suspected some "great elven warrior" was about the area. At first, they see him as such....even if pint sized.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 16 2017, 2:00pm

Post #11 of 174 (4652 views)
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Sam is driven forward, despite fear, to rescue his master Frodo from the horrible fate [In reply to] Can't Post

that awaits him. He shows a remarkable resistance to the Ring - for now. The orc melee and slaughter shows how volatile any "army" of orcs could be and how without a strong Nazgul hand to control them they were unreliable. I wonder what an individual orc "owned" and what kind of "orcish" economy there was. Did they use coin of some kind? Was everything simply provided to them - as rough and foul as it often was? They fight over Frodo's possessions, especially the mithril shirt. Shagrat at least sticks to his duty of bringing it to the Eye.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 16 2017, 2:01pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 16 2017, 3:00pm

Post #12 of 174 (4654 views)
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We also get a small glimpse of how Galadriel may have brought down Dol Guldur [In reply to] Can't Post

Sam, holding the Phial says "Gilthoniel, A Elbereth! then Frodo says "Aiya elenion ancalima"......there was crack, the keystone of the arch crashed.....and the wall above fell into ruin.

Now, imagine the power of Galadriel which amplifies such effects.

**Without jumping ahead, do we know if the Phial was ever returned to Galadriel at the end?

"Upon Frodo's departure from Middle-earth, the light from the phial faded as it reached the shores of Eldamar.[7]"
http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Phial_of_Galadriel


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 16 2017, 3:06pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 16 2017, 10:32pm

Post #13 of 174 (4613 views)
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Communist Orcs? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can imagine that Orcs, when they were on their own and not under Sauron's (or Saruman's) command, might have had an occasional use for coin. They probably had some dealings with evil Men and Dwarves and some tribes might have developed crude economies of their own. It's a subject that Tolkien never really addressed.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 16 2017, 11:10pm

Post #14 of 174 (4603 views)
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Not sure about that Tolkien Gateway quote. [In reply to] Can't Post

The light faded from Sam's point of view on a grey evening as the ship passed out of sight. I don't recall that we're told what it looks like to Frodo. Surely it takes some weeks to sail to Eldamar.

There are four lights.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


squire
Half-elven


Aug 16 2017, 11:23pm

Post #15 of 174 (4601 views)
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Tolkien Gateway is prone to embellishment [In reply to] Can't Post

My observation is that they tend to apply standard Fantasy conventions to Tolkien's world, even if Tolkien's actual text does not support such extensions or additions.

The errors are usually minor or marginal, as in this case. I agree; I had the same reaction. The story says Frodo's light faded out of sight from land as the ship sailed into the dusk, not that the light actually faded in power or luminosity because it was nearing Elvenhome (or Valinor, which is not the same place; Frodo, of course, went to Elvenhome, the island offshore from Valinor). The metaphorical effect is the same - the light of the phial was lost to Middle-earth.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 17 2017, 2:07am

Post #16 of 174 (4580 views)
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A gift is a gift? [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I just don't see Galadriel wanting/expecting the Phial back, nor Frodo feeling any need to return it. As a gift it binds them together, and Galadriel as a Noldo is capable of making other magical things even without her Ring--Feanor and the others needed no Rings of Power to make wonderful things.

It will be interesting to hear what others think.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 17 2017, 2:21am

Post #17 of 174 (4575 views)
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That is a tough one [In reply to] Can't Post

'In this phial,' she said, 'is caught the light of Eärendil's star, set amid the waters of my fountain.'

I don't think she could capture that light again as her proximity to it is now too far.

Yes, she gave this most precious gift to help in the most important mission. I don't think she needs it back...a gift is a gift...but we learn in the end we find out the phial does return with them.

"The words that came to Frodo`s mouth explain the light so very well " Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima" meaning : Praised (or welcome) Ray-of-Light (of ) Western-star (so) Exceedingly bright. That is if you translate the original Anglo-saxon name Earendel which means Ray-of-Light.

If using the Elvish name Eärendil it means Ocean or Sea lover and thus it will be "Greetings Eärendil Sparkling-star of Great Light"

(Would that be...Greetings Sea Lover Sparkling-star...")

http://www.annalsofarda.dk/...Galadriels-phial.htm


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 17 2017, 2:29am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 17 2017, 2:50pm

Post #18 of 174 (4524 views)
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The Land of Shadow [In reply to] Can't Post

I really miss the beautiful landscapes painted by Tolkien's words in the FOTR. The blasted lands are so depressing (as intended)

I had forgotten how close their escape from the tower was with the alarm system, the Nazgul and from somewhere other orcs and mounted (Nazgul?)

Not sure where these forces came from as the fighting in the tower left everyone essentially dead.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 18 2017, 5:34pm

Post #19 of 174 (4357 views)
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I am trying to think of real world influences on Tolkien for Mordor [In reply to] Can't Post

I am thinking that quite near by to him were some mining areas in Wales that had a suitably blasted, rocky look.


https://static1.squarespace.com/...c+for+delve-1-25.jpg

http://www.jarrelook.co.uk/...size/Dinorwic-66.jpg

http://www.penmorfa.com/...zig%20zag%20path.jpg

http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/whats-on/making-mordor/
The Black Country


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 18 2017, 5:36pm)


InTheChair
Lorien

Aug 19 2017, 6:56pm

Post #20 of 174 (4242 views)
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Stuff [In reply to] Can't Post

Well... ... ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijEqz8s57EA&t=17m58s

I suppose the principle is the same


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2017, 7:27pm

Post #21 of 174 (4237 views)
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Well, that happened! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am suddenly reminded of the Discworld II video game (Mortality Bytes!) for the ol' Playstation. No Orcs, though there is an Imp!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIdd55V2-ZY

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 19 2017, 7:37pm)


hatster
Rohan


Aug 21 2017, 8:49am

Post #22 of 174 (4053 views)
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His own mind [In reply to] Can't Post

I also think that Sam's use of the Ring was less dangerous because his mind was less affected or more his own than Frodo's. I need to trace why I think this, but it was my sense that Sauron could, to some extent, see through Frodo's eyes and trace him that way. Frodo's mind had slipped under his control that much.

Just a thought.

The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 21 2017, 2:24pm

Post #23 of 174 (4028 views)
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Sauron is brooding, even disturbed and possibly worried [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien described how Sauron's shadow is present - the veils of Barad Dur - and is thinking about what he has seen and learned - a reforged sword born by a stern and kingly face. He must be wondering if this upstart has the Ring.

We also get a glimpse into the economy of Mordor - basically, it is a slave state and exacts tribute, food, goods. Vast slave fields by Lake Nurnen, vast wagon roads leading from East and South into Mordor.
We also learn that a great bulk of his forces on the Gorgoroth plain are men.

I wonder what Sauron would have done with the orcs had he won. Would they no longer be useful tools and could be eliminated? Men would be so much more entertaining to have as subjects.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 21 2017, 2:26pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 21 2017, 3:25pm

Post #24 of 174 (4012 views)
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Fear and Loathing within Mordor [In reply to] Can't Post

The cumulative effect of major defeats has started to reach the common orc, though they only hear bits and pieces from rumor.

Saruman crushed.
Pelennor crushed and Number One destroyed.

Shagrat may have reported that the tower of Cirith Ungol was assaulted and all killed except him (to cover what happened) so add another major defeat.

Things are not going quite as planned. Yes, the West has marched into his trap...but....something is amiss. It eats at Sauron as he ponders his moves.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 21 2017, 6:07pm

Post #25 of 174 (3986 views)
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Nice paintings [In reply to] Can't Post

https://ritalovestowrite.files.wordpress.com/...lpapermay-com_42.jpg

http://www.kursivom.ru/...16/06/tolkien_49.jpg

Nice map with Frodo and Sam's route - click on paths Frodo and Sam
http://lotrproject.com/...amp;layers=BTTTTTTTT


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 21 2017, 6:10pm)

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