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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Journey to the Crossroads: As If a Dream Had Passed

a.s.
Valinor


Aug 5 2008, 11:26pm


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The chapter opens with the hobbits breaking fast with Faramir. Water is brought for them, and water is discussed:



Quote

You will have no lack of water as you walk in Ithilien, but do not drink of any stream that flows from Imlad Morgul, the Valley of Living Death



First time readers must wonder what might happen to a hobbit who drinks Mordor Water; yet our hobbits will be forced to this, in time.

Then Faramir tells them a strange thing:


Quote

This also I must tell you. My scouts and watchers have all returned, even some that have crept within sight of the Morannon. They all find a strange thing. The land is empty. Nothing is on the road, and no sound of foot, or horn, or bowstring is anywhere to be heard. A waiting silence broods above the Nameless Land. I do not know what this portends. But the time draws swiftly to some great conclusion. Storm is coming. Hasten while you may! If you are ready, let us go. The Sun will soon rise above the shadow.




1. What day is this? Is Faramir noting that something portentious is happening at the same time that Gandalf is talking to Pippin about boards being set and pieces are moving and wondering where Faramir is?


2. Why does Tolkien capitalize the word "Storm" instead of saying "a storm is coming"? Or even "A Storm is coming"?


Once again our hobbits take leave of someone who has offered them help and friendship "unlooked for", and once again they are gifted with presents for leavetaking:



Quote

'I have no fitting gifts to give you at our parting,' said Faramir; `but take these staves. They may be of service to those who walk or climb in the wild. The men of the White Mountains use them; though these have been cut down to your height and newly shod. They are made of the fair tree lebethron, beloved of the woodwrights of Gondor, and a virtue has been set upon them of finding and returning. May that virtue not wholly fail under the Shadow into which you go!'

The hobbits bowed low. `Most gracious host,' said Frodo, 'it was said to me by Elrond Halfelven that I should find friendship upon the way, secret and unlooked for. Certainly I looked for no such friendship as you have shown. To have found it turns evil to great good.'




They are joined again by Gollum, who must be blindfolded prior to leaving (the hobbits being released from this requirement by Faramir), and who squeals and raises a fuss until finally Frodo says:



Quote

'Blindfold us all three, and cover up my eyes first, and then perhaps he will see that no harm is meant.' This was done, and they were led from the cave of Henneth Annn. After they had passed the passages and stairs they felt the cool morning air, fresh and sweet, about them. Still blind they went on for some little time, up and then gently down. At last the voice of Faramir ordered them to be uncovered.


They stood under the boughs of the woods again.



Faramir gives them some advice about travelling:



Quote

'Here is the last parting of our ways,' said Faramir. 'If you take my counsel, you will not turn eastward yet. Go straight on, for thus you will have the cover of the woodland for many miles. On your west is an edge where the land falls into the great vales, sometimes suddenly and sheer, sometimes in long hillsides. Keep near to this edge and the skirts of the forest. In the beginning of your journey you may walk under daylight, I think. The land dreams in a false peace, and for a while all evil is withdrawn




Faramir bids farewell to the hobbits, stooping to kiss them on their foreheads and wishing them to "Go with the good will of all good men!". The hobbits bow low "to the ground" in return. Then the green-clad men vanish quickly into the trees.

And Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) are left standing:



Quote

The forest where Faramir had stood seemed empty and drear, as if a dream had passed.




3. There is much to compare (and contrast) here, of course, with Lorien. Thoughts?

4. Other presents the hobbits have received have stood them in good stead, so far. Frodo's mithril coat, for example, and their Elven cloaks. What about these staves? Do we hear about these staves again? They "find", but don't "return"?

5. Are Frodo and Sam going to find any more "friends unlooked for" from this point on?


Any other thoughts or comments on this part of the text welcome.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

Subject User Time
Journey to the Crossroads: As If a Dream Had Passed a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Aug 5 2008, 11:26pm
    Ask Darkstone about the poisonous water. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 6 2008, 3:23am
    Lorien batik Send a private message to batik Aug 6 2008, 4:22am
    Short answers sador Send a private message to sador Aug 6 2008, 3:00pm
        I think "staves" means more than one "staff". Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 6 2008, 3:07pm
            "The woven staves have yet worth in them for woeful hearts." N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 6 2008, 5:28pm
                Do you mean staves, or staves? squire Send a private message to squire Aug 6 2008, 8:29pm
                    I wondered about the alternative meanings for staves as well... weaver Send a private message to weaver Aug 6 2008, 8:53pm
                    Both, apparently. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 6 2008, 9:23pm
                        We are forgetting our family history! squire Send a private message to squire Aug 7 2008, 1:58am
            Didn't Saruman use 'staffs'? sador Send a private message to sador Aug 7 2008, 5:43am
                Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 7 2008, 3:37pm
                    The verse you quoted is very interesting sador Send a private message to sador Aug 7 2008, 11:28pm
                        no shame allowed. a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Aug 10 2008, 1:35am
                No, he just had Grima and some half-orc henchmen. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Aug 8 2008, 2:12am
    a question batik Send a private message to batik Aug 7 2008, 12:59am
    Faramir gave Sam a thong???? Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Aug 7 2008, 4:17pm
        I wonder sador Send a private message to sador Aug 7 2008, 11:38pm
            Do you really want to know? Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Aug 8 2008, 1:41pm
    in dreams a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Aug 10 2008, 1:39am

 
 
 

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