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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why Thorin, I can read this map at Moon Letter Cliff™!
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stoutfiles
Rohan

Dec 29 2012, 5:05am

Post #1 of 36 (1431 views)
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Why Thorin, I can read this map at Moon Letter Cliff™! Can't Post

The elves have a special waterfall cliff devoted to reading moon letters? I could see how reading moon letters would be difficult holding parchment up to the sky, so they built a special crystal table that appears to absorb moon light and fixate it into the map.

I don't know, I just thought having this weird, perfectly scenic place devoted to something that only Elrond seems to know about...and a code that only dwarves seem to use...is just a little too perfect.


Joe-Mathews
Rivendell


Dec 29 2012, 5:19am

Post #2 of 36 (765 views)
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Odd [In reply to] Can't Post

The only part of it I found odd was that they were behind a waterfall, yet they could clearly see the moon come out from behind a cloud without mist from the waterfall obscuring the view.

The luck of Elrond being able to read the rarely visible moon-letters is a clear device by Tolkien to indicate to Elrond that Thorin's quest is divinely approved - a bit of divine intervention. It wasn't chance but meant to be. The unbelievable coincidence is an intentional Tolkien literary device.

For my part, as far as the crystal table or waterfall cave is concerned, I have no trouble believing that Elrond is terrible at decorating or interior cave design.Cool

'It is ever so with the things that Men begin: there is a frost in Spring, or a blight in Summer, and they fail of their promise.' ... '[Yet their seed] will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked-for.'


Tim
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 5:32am

Post #3 of 36 (811 views)
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Considering the guy's been around for thousands of years [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure he's got all kinds of specialty cliffs by now. What else does he have to do to keep him busy?

I'm sure he even has a nit-pickers cliff, to push them off of.

Arthur: What manner of man are you that can summon up fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: I... am an enchanter.
Arthur: By what name are you known?
Tim: There are some who call me... 'Tim'...?
Arthur: ...greetings, Tim the Enchanter.


pandoraziki
Rivendell

Dec 29 2012, 7:16am

Post #4 of 36 (659 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

You made me laugh out loud.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 29 2012, 10:18am

Post #5 of 36 (594 views)
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There must be a long queue! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

I'm sure he even has a nit-pickers cliff, to push them off of.


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Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 10:24am

Post #6 of 36 (590 views)
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Oh, I don't know. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's such a beautiful set it almost made me forget the Professor's fanciful silliness of putting the dwarves in Rivendell on the exact same day, midsummer's eve, at the exact same phase of the moon as when the runes were written - with the one being in Middle-earth who could read them, no less. It's all very fortunate, wouldn't you agree?Sly


jtarkey
Rohan


Dec 29 2012, 11:24am

Post #7 of 36 (531 views)
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Hahaha! [In reply to] Can't Post

When I saw it with my mom, during that scene, she leaned over and said "well isn't THAT convenient".

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


RalphDamiani
Rivendell

Dec 29 2012, 11:53am

Post #8 of 36 (628 views)
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The altar's true purpose according to Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

You failed to recognize it because they removed the bottles. Here is Lindir in his night job, and the rest of the room:

http://theadventourist.com/...cehotel-1024x768.jpg

What else do you think there is to do in Rivendell between the Last Alliance and Bilbo's arrival?


(This post was edited by RalphDamiani on Dec 29 2012, 11:54am)


Arannir
Valinor

Dec 29 2012, 12:54pm

Post #9 of 36 (502 views)
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100% [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's such a beautiful set it almost made me forget the Professor's fanciful silliness of putting the dwarves in Rivendell on the exact same day, midsummer's eve, at the exact same phase of the moon as when the runes were written - with the one being in Middle-earth who could read them, no less. It's all very fortunate, wouldn't you agree?Sly



Totally agree!

Several of my friends had the biggest issue with this scene and all were 100% convinced this was added by PJ. Some of them were shocked when I reminded them that this is in the book.

Of course, there is the whole thing about "meant to be". But as much as I love our dear Professor, this does not make that a great storytelling-device;)


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 29 2012, 4:09pm

Post #10 of 36 (444 views)
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"meant to be" [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Of course, there is the whole thing about "meant to be". But as much as I love our dear Professor, this does not make that a great storytelling-device;)


It seems to me that setting the scene amidst such stunning natural beauty is a reasonable filmic way to bolster the "meant to be" idea.


dormouse
Half-elven


Dec 29 2012, 5:01pm

Post #11 of 36 (450 views)
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So... how do you know that is all the cliff is designed to do... [In reply to] Can't Post

Since the elves are a people of the starlight, and Elrond has been around a long time and is learned in many things, it makes perfect sense to me that he would have somewhere to observe the night sky, and ways to harness and study its various forms of light. Who says it's only for reading moon letters?

What do you think he does all day (and night) - sit around waiting for Gandalf to turn up with another bunch of escaping travellers? Wink


Rostron2
Gondor


Dec 29 2012, 7:18pm

Post #12 of 36 (387 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for quieting the nit-pickers.


Mahtion
Rivendell

Dec 29 2012, 7:22pm

Post #13 of 36 (377 views)
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Elrond means star dome among others [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe I read that Elrond has an observatory and falconry which didn't make it in the film. The ithil cliff is an extension of the observatory if I'm not mistaken. The Eldar are aptly suited to stargazing and it is an art among their people. Considering Elrond has been alive nearly six millennia it makes perfect sense for many parts of Rivendell to be uniquely customized to specific functions.

Also yes it is quite convenient for Thorin to be with Elrond at the required Pharr of the moon but then Tolkien was writing the book for children. Elrond even said in the movie it was meant to be read now. There is definitely a sense of prophecy with Thorin and Balin talking about the signs being right to retake Erebor. Even the details about the thrush are supposed to be viewed as a good omen. Tolkien uses subtle influences of Catholic predestination but more so the concept of the wryd of pagan mythology.


Loresilme
Valinor


Dec 29 2012, 7:41pm

Post #14 of 36 (379 views)
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ROFL [In reply to] Can't Post

That was great!

And now we know why there are no guard rails anywhere in Rivendell.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:51pm

Post #15 of 36 (361 views)
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nit pickers cliff.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

I'm sure he even has a nit-pickers cliff, to push them off of.


SlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySly

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:52pm

Post #16 of 36 (333 views)
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crystal caves.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You failed to recognize it because they removed the bottles. Here is Lindir in his night job, and the rest of the room:

http://theadventourist.com/...cehotel-1024x768.jpg

What else do you think there is to do in Rivendell between the Last Alliance and Bilbo's arrival?

SlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySlySly

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:54pm

Post #17 of 36 (331 views)
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meant to be [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
It's such a beautiful set it almost made me forget the Professor's fanciful silliness of putting the dwarves in Rivendell on the exact same day, midsummer's eve, at the exact same phase of the moon as when the runes were written - with the one being in Middle-earth who could read them, no less. It's all very fortunate, wouldn't you agree?Sly



Totally agree!

Several of my friends had the biggest issue with this scene and all were 100% convinced this was added by PJ. Some of them were shocked when I reminded them that this is in the book.

Of course, there is the whole thing about "meant to be". But as much as I love our dear Professor, this does not make that a great storytelling-device;)



This is a continuing theme in Tolkien's works, and shows his faith in a Larger Power orchestrating things. It is not coincidence at all.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2012, 8:55pm

Post #18 of 36 (334 views)
Shortcut
omens [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I believe I read that Elrond has an observatory and falconry which didn't make it in the film. The ithil cliff is an extension of the observatory if I'm not mistaken. The Eldar are aptly suited to stargazing and it is an art among their people. Considering Elrond has been alive nearly six millennia it makes perfect sense for many parts of Rivendell to be uniquely customized to specific functions.

Also yes it is quite convenient for Thorin to be with Elrond at the required Pharr of the moon but then Tolkien was writing the book for children. Elrond even said in the movie it was meant to be read now. There is definitely a sense of prophecy with Thorin and Balin talking about the signs being right to retake Erebor. Even the details about the thrush are supposed to be viewed as a good omen. Tolkien uses subtle influences of Catholic predestination but more so the concept of the wryd of pagan mythology.



HeartHeartHeart

Go outside and play...


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 9:26pm

Post #19 of 36 (329 views)
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Yup [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And now we know why there are no guard rails anywhere in Rivendell.

Or in Star Wars...


GoodGuyA
Lorien

Dec 29 2012, 10:02pm

Post #20 of 36 (306 views)
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Still doesn't make it good [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the same reasoning as "God told me to". That's not engaging or enthralling, since it takes all controls out of the characters' hands. It certainly does not serve as a justification for Gandalf doing as he did (throughout both books) and really draws me out of having any appreciation for the storytelling techniques at play. People laud Tolkien for being so agonizingly realistic at times, yet he pulls this stuff and gets away with it? I find that just blinded.


stoutfiles
Rohan

Dec 29 2012, 10:02pm

Post #21 of 36 (332 views)
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It's not nit-picking [In reply to] Can't Post

It's an honest observation. Elrond has a cliff that is seemingly devoted to an art that the elves don't partake in. Moon letters are a dwarf thing. It would have been better had he just walked outside and held the map up in line with the moon.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 29 2012, 10:05pm

Post #22 of 36 (314 views)
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Who says it only has one use? [In reply to] Can't Post

And Elrond is partial to a bit of star gazing - I'm sure he sees its benefit(s).

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stoutfiles
Rohan

Dec 29 2012, 10:09pm

Post #23 of 36 (293 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a cliff with just a table. The table enhances moonlight. There is nothing else on this cliff.

If it were for stargazing, why would they want their stargazing obstructed by the rock wall and a waterfall? That makes no sense.

Sorry, but the movie clearly shows this as Moon Letter Cliff, which is just silly. They should not have areas devoted to dwarven arts, especially arts that aren't in use anymore.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 10:19pm

Post #24 of 36 (295 views)
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Maybe Elrond takes his [In reply to] Can't Post

second breakfast on this table?


dormouse
Half-elven


Dec 29 2012, 10:44pm

Post #25 of 36 (282 views)
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So Elrond can have no possible reason.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... for exploring or delighting in the properties of moon (and star) light except reading dwarf runes? Really?

I'm sorry, but this is only a problem if you want it to be one.

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