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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Moon Runes Reading scene?


Sep 11 2013, 7:22pm

Post #1 of 13 (1250 views)
The Moon Runes Reading scene? Can't Post

Seems one of the most SuperNatural scenes.
The Moonlight gathers inside the Crystal Table
and Shines straight UP?
Making the Map transparent?

Is this table used often; as an Observatory?

Does Elrond go there to contemplate the Stars?

Maybe to telepathically communicate with Galadriel?



Sep 11 2013, 7:59pm

Post #2 of 13 (815 views)
By watching it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I came up with the idea that that Crystal could mimic a specific constellation and stand of the moon.
So they could read it.

But accidentally it was the same Day the letters were written.

So this thing doesnt make much sense till now.
Maybe the EE will feature that issue. But I believe there is not more in it then we have seen in the movie already.

Tol Eressea

Sep 11 2013, 8:11pm

Post #3 of 13 (770 views)
table [In reply to] Can't Post

Given that Rivendell was the last "homely house east of the sea" I take that to mean that it is reminiscent of the scholarly houses in Valinor where the elves are taught by the Valar (Though obviously there aren't any Valar in Middle-earth itself).

Given the scholarly nature of Rivendell (I like to think of it as Middle-earth's university lol Wink) I would imagine that the crystal was set up specifically to address moon runes or perhaps be used to trace things over-maybe when documents got too old to be preserved they were copied that way to preserve the original script and handwriting?

I can honestly think of a million uses for a "tracing" table, and given the artistic as well as scholarly nature of the elves and Rivendell, my guess is that it functions as both.

As for telepathic communication, I am honestly not sure if Galadriel's ability is a "natural" one of hers, or if it was taught to her by the Valar, but I am most inclined to think it had to do with the rings, and not the table at all.

I do remember that she was able to "speak" to the members of the fellowship, but she was within her own realm, and the power of her ring still held sway over her realm (hence the "time preservation and purity" aspect of Lothlorien.) Perhaps her ring was also able to make her "speak" within other's minds within her realm freely, but as for the rest of Middle-earth, I cannot see her being able to "speak" to anyone so far away, unless the other was a ringbearer (which Elrond was).

Remember, the elves perceived (from great distance) Sauron's unveiling of "Annatar" and the creation of the One Ring because of the 3, so I can imagine Elrond would be able to perceive Galadriel should the both of them wish it.

I don't think Sauron intended for his complete intentions to be perceived, however since his spell addressed ALL the rings of power created, I would think that it would be him "consenting" in some way for his ring to "connect" with the others, if not for perception then for dominion of them (and possibly to find the bearers).

So, I think crystal table is just a tool for scholarly and artistic work (since you can't very well hold a paper over flame to see through it without it burning Tongue)

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


Sep 11 2013, 10:57pm

Post #4 of 13 (715 views)
I don't think it's accident per se [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the sort of strange 'fate' idea in LOTR, such as when Bilbo was meant to find the ring, and so Frodo was also meant to have it.

It seems as if Thorin and Co were supposed to come to Rivendell on that exact day, despite their ill feeling towards it.

Coincidence-fate if you will!

Tol Eressea

Sep 12 2013, 3:14am

Post #5 of 13 (649 views)
i liked how PJ made it more dramatic and new age [In reply to] Can't Post

the giant crystal lighting up due to the moon was awe-inspiring.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!

Tol Eressea

Sep 12 2013, 2:22pm

Post #6 of 13 (505 views)
Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Wonderful scene


Sep 12 2013, 6:47pm

Post #7 of 13 (483 views)
Really like that idea [In reply to] Can't Post

I would imagine that the crystal was set up specifically to address moon runes or perhaps be used to trace things over-maybe when documents got too old to be preserved they were copied that way to preserve the original script and handwriting?

I really love the idea of using it to trace documents as a way of preserving the script. It would be such a nice alternative use for the table. Perhaps the elves have even used it to help them write their own moon runes whether it be for fun or for serious matters.

Rivendell really does come across as being the place to study Middle Earth history. I thought it was nice in AUJ that Gandalf reveals Elrond reads ancient dwarvish - a sign that he has a broader knowledge of things in Middle Earth and takes an interest in things outside his realm (unlike Thranduil) even dwarven language and artifacts.

I think I would agree that the table was set up primarily to read the moon runes. Do you think over the years he may have collected other documents that have moon runes that are perhaps stored away in the Rivendell library somewhere waiting for the right phase of the moon in order to read them? Imagine that. Do you think that is how Gandalf learnt a little about moon runes, by studying them in Rivendell? He must have had to have studied somewhere about the history of Middle Earth. He could have used Rivendell to study some of it, just like when we watch him visit Gondor in FOTR when he is looking specifically for Gondorian accounts of Middle Earth history and he finds Isildur's scroll.

As for telepathic communication, I am honestly not sure if Galadriel's ability is a "natural" one of hers, or if it was taught to her by the Valar, but I am most inclined to think it had to do with the rings, and not the table at all.

I am like yourself more inclined to believe the communication came from the power of the rings which is what I thought was the case when I watched the conversation between Galadriel and Elrond in TTT. However a quote from the book the Lord of the Rings perhaps implies that the elves do have the gift to speak from mind to mind.

Here now for seven days they tarried, for the time was at hand for another parting which they were loth to make. Soon Celeborn and Galadriel and their folk would turn eastward, and so pass by the Redhorn Gate and down the Dimrill Stair to the Silverlode and to their own country. They had journeyed thus far by the west-ways, for they had much to speak of with Elrond and with Gandalf, and here they lingered still in converse with their friends. Often long after the hobbits were wrapped in sleep they would sit together under the stars, recalling the ages that were gone and all their joys and labours in the world, or holding council, concerning the days to come. If any wanderer had chanced to pass, little would he have seen or heard, and it would have seemed to him only that he saw grey figures, carved in stone, memorials of forgotten things now lost in unpeopled lands. For they did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.
The Return of the King / Many Partings

Since this passage includes Celeborn, it raises the possibility that the elves do have a natural ability to some extent to do telepathic communication. What do you think?

Whatever other use for the crystal table, I thought it was very beautiful and it made quite a unique feature. In LOTR Galadriel had her mirror, but we were not shown whether something unique like that existed in Rivendell as well. I thought this was a wonderful feature for Rivendell.Wink

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?

The Shire

Sep 12 2013, 8:45pm

Post #8 of 13 (435 views)
crystal table [In reply to] Can't Post

I hated this scene. It makes no sense to have a crystal table specifically for moon letters. Added nothing to the story.


Sep 12 2013, 10:10pm

Post #9 of 13 (425 views)
Yes "fate" or as Tolkien's prefered to call it, "luck" [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien had most of Bilbo's adventures determined by "luck" in The Hobbit book, such as when he guesses the "time" and the "fish" riddle, when he just misses cracking his head on the exit to Goblin town, when he slips through the Elvenking's gate and so forth. Tolkien was criticized for all of his mention of "luck" in The Hobbit in his own day, but he was actually using it as a literary device to show how Divine Providence was at work in Middle-earth. This is revealed at the very end of the book:

"You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"

"Thank goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.

And like you said, this theme is continued into Lord of the Rings with the whole "meant to have it" scene where Gandalf says "Bilbo was meant to find the ring, and not by its maker." I think its a really cool way for Tolkien to keep Iluvatar in mind throughout the saga, while also displaying his own beliefs in the background. Smile

"I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because Im afraid, and he gives me courage. - Gandalf the Grey.

"Do not be afraid Mithrandir, if ever you should need my help, I will come." - Lady Galadriel.

(This post was edited by burgahobbit on Sep 12 2013, 10:11pm)


Sep 13 2013, 3:51am

Post #10 of 13 (387 views)
Luck/Fate [In reply to] Can't Post

Guided by a higher power IMHO, but it amounts to the same thing.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.


Sep 13 2013, 2:31pm

Post #11 of 13 (353 views)
Elrond's Line just before reading the Runes... [In reply to] Can't Post

"...seems you were meant to come to Rivendell,
seems Fate is with you, Thorin Oakenshield...
The same Moon shines upon us Tonight..."

Also this is 200 years since this Moon shined like
The Crescent Moon, THAT night"

So it is HIS Fate...
Only they need to be at the Doorstep
at exactly the Right day (Durin's Day)
when the Thrush knocks!

Presents itself as a ever-so slim chance to succeed.

Bomby's opinion: Fate with a little Help from Gandalf
and Even Higher powers, made it so.
AND this whole thing is Canon

How cool is THAT!
Thang you very Buch, Professor!


Sep 14 2013, 8:06pm

Post #12 of 13 (299 views)
Enjoyed this Scene [In reply to] Can't Post

And Heart the music accompanying it. In the book Elrond holds the map up to the moonlight. This would have worked in the movie but would not have been as fun. In the film Elrond recognizes that the map contains moon runes before he places it on the table. The table illuminates the runes. So the idea of the table being an all-purpose tracing table is a good one. In the book Gandalf is a little miffed that Elrond discovered the runes. I like that this was not the case in the film.

Grey Havens

Sep 15 2013, 1:03pm

Post #13 of 13 (293 views)
Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they did show that, a little. Gandalf made some comment like "An easy thing to miss", suggesting he at least was miffed at not having noticed himself. But of course he was being tactful and charming (as he explained to Thorin).


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