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Question on the Anor-stone
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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 25 2014, 5:38pm

Post #1 of 31 (441 views)
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Question on the Anor-stone Can't Post

It seems that I read somewhere that after the death of Denethor that the Anor-stone was kept in the Hallows of Minas Tirith.

Am I imagining? If not, could someone point me to the reference?

Thank you, BG Blush

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 26 2014, 2:50am

Post #2 of 31 (256 views)
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The only reference I know of.... [In reply to] Can't Post

is this, from "The Pyre of Denethor":

Quote

Then Denethor leaped upon the table, and standing there wreathed in fire and smoke he took up the staff of his stewardship that lay at his feet and broke it on his knee. Casting the pieces into the blaze he bowed and laid himself on the table, clasping the palantir with both hands upon his breast. And it was said that ever after, if any man looked in that Stone, unless he had a great strength of will to turn it to other purpose, he saw only two aged hands withering in flame.


The roof of the building caved in over Denethor's pyre, so though one may assume that they later dug Denethor out and retrieved the Palantir in the process (or no one would ever have a chance to look in and find out that it only wanted to show one thing) I don't think it's ever stated, nor is it said whether they left the Anor-stone on his grave in the Hallows, or stored it elsewhere.

Silverlode



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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 26 2014, 3:28am

Post #3 of 31 (239 views)
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Thanks Silverlode [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it was just my "imaginings".

I must have got the idea from one of the "not-so-wise" somewhere on the internet. Mad

Although I guess it's not too much of a stretch to say that Elessar had it laid with the scorched bones of Denethor in The Hallows . . .

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


squire
Valinor


Aug 26 2014, 2:21pm

Post #4 of 31 (224 views)
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It seems it was used in later times, not just stored away. Maybe. [In reply to] Can't Post

As usual with the silmarils, Tolkien plays fast and loose here. According to the quote given from the end of that chapter, men continued to use the stone, but only those of 'strong will' were able to wrest it away from its default vision of Denethor's horrific passing.

I have always interpreted 'strong will' here to mean Elessar, whose will bested that of Sauron himself in using the Orthanc stone (at a great cost in spirit, to be sure). Possibly the statement implies that the King's heirs used it also; possibly the statement implies that other strong-willed men, such as Faramir and his kin, managed to make use of it for its intended purpose of seeing something other than burning hands. Who then were the 'other men' who tried but failed to turn the stone to distance-seeing? According to the later-composed and unpublished notes in the Unfinished Tales essay on the silmarils, previous royal practice had included a corps of officials who were 'stewards' of the stones, using them and informing the Kings of what was communicated or discovered. Perhaps Elessar revived this practice only to discover that such men were, as stated, unable to overcome the visual curse.

Near the end of the book, Aragorn cryptically remarks to the hobbits that they would not like what they would see in the Tirith-stone, were they to take it back to the Shire to keep up their relationship with the King. This suggests that he has already discovered the glitch! As he puts it in this later chapter, only the Orthanc-stone is really usable now -- which seems to contradict the above analysis of the "strong wills could use it" comment from the earlier chapter. Maybe he was judging that the effort wasn't going to be worth it, compared to the ease of using Saruman's stone; or that the Tirith-stone would be reserved for emergency communication only (with Eomer? Faramir?), while he would use the good stone continuously as he says, to survey his kingdom.



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Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Aug 26 2014, 11:22pm

Post #5 of 31 (172 views)
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I bet somebody wanted it as a centerpiece on his dining table. [In reply to] Can't Post

We all know that one weird guy, right? He'd love to see burning hands all day. Especially under a black light.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. -Psalm 107


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 27 2014, 12:54am

Post #6 of 31 (201 views)
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More Stone Supposition . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

  

In Reply To
men continued to use the stone, but only those of 'strong will' were able to wrest it away from its default vision of Denethor's horrific passing.


This certainly seems to imply that more than one Man (Elessar) was able to wrest it to his will. But would it be usable to any great extent or be more likened to the fuzzyness of a bad cell phone connection or many dropped-calls. It seems if it was ruined to the average ‘gazer’ it may not, or could not, be returned to its full former power.


In Reply To
Aragorn cryptically remarks to the hobbits that they would not like what they would see in the Tirith-stone, were they to take it back to the Shire to keep up their relationship with the King. This suggests that he has already discovered the glitch!

Yes, the Hobbits would only see the withered hands as no one in the Shire would have the proper “strength of will” to break the Stone’s “curse”. Logically assuming that no Hobbit had looked into the Anor-stone I see no “aha!” glitch discovery here, just a benevolent statement to the Hobbits.


In Reply To
Maybe he [Aragorn] was judging that the effort wasn't going to be worth it, compared to the ease of using Saruman's stone; or that the Tirith-stone would be reserved for emergency communication only (with Eomer? Faramir?), while he would use the good stone continuously as he says, to survey his kingdom.

I had always assumed (we are assuming are we not?) that the Anor-stone was used soon after the beginning of the Fourth Age (a very few times/tries) and that the effort to overcome its deficiencies and the result given were just not worth the effort; and that the Stone would be stored away as not worth the energy required to use it to the very few that might be able to break through its imperfections.
And this tidies up the final disposition of all the Stones – and I like that!

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 27 2014, 1:10am

Post #7 of 31 (188 views)
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just a couple of observations about hobbits and strength of will [In reply to] Can't Post

 
just a couple of observations about hobbits and strength of will...

only two individuals -- both hobbits -- were able to voluntarily give away the ring.

and another hobbit was able to carry the ring all the way to mordor, almost without being overcome by it.

perhaps a stout-hearted hobbit or three (or four -- i'm looking at you, lobelia, you of the indomitable will) might indeed be able to see something other than denethor's hands in the seeing stone.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


sador
Half-elven


Aug 27 2014, 3:54am

Post #8 of 31 (165 views)
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A keg of ale, and a barrel of breaded veal cutlets? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Joe-Mathews
Rivendell


Aug 27 2014, 4:01am

Post #9 of 31 (175 views)
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Hobbiton in trouble [In reply to] Can't Post

 


In Reply To
Aragorn cryptically remarks to the hobbits that they would not like what they would see in the Tirith-stone...


Perhaps he also saw something similar to what Sam saw in Galadriel's mirror. A burning Hobbiton would not be comforting to them while they were so far away. And you know Pippin would have peeked again!

Besides, hobbits don't need such magic in the Shire. It would only lead to trouble.And a waste of valuable magic.

'There is some woe that lies upon you... Why will you not tell me more?'
'For that woe is past,' said Galadriel; 'and I would take what joy is here left, untroubled by memory. And maybe there is woe enough yet to come, thought still hope may seem bright.'


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Aug 27 2014, 9:32am

Post #10 of 31 (166 views)
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I've often wondered [In reply to] Can't Post

if "lesser men" or "hobbits" were not meant to use the stones at all. Was Pippin drawn to seek out the stone after picking it up when Wormtongue tossed it out the window because of the power of the stone itself (which is what I think) or because Sauron was plugged into it along with Saruman and it was still in idle waiting to be used? Or did Grima get it powered up when he held it before his game-changing pitch?



6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observation List - May 15, 2014



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 27 2014, 12:24pm

Post #11 of 31 (151 views)
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Some say "Why?" Maciliel says "Why not?" [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if Lobelia left all the silver spoons when she gave Bag End back to Frodo? Unimpressed

 photo SBcartoon-1.jpg

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 27 2014, 12:32pm

Post #12 of 31 (150 views)
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or... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
....or....

a set of silver spoons (if frodo was looking).... with a nod to bracegirdle...


cheers : )

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 27 2014, 12:57pm

Post #13 of 31 (150 views)
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Me too gramma [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've often wondered if "lesser men" or "hobbits" were not meant to use the stones at all.

After all the Stones were originally given to the Numenoreans who apparently had a greater wisdom than that of lesser men (or hobbits). Could a man or hobbit snatch the power of the Orthanc-stone from Sauron as Aragorn did. Doubtful to impossible. I think it would take, at the least, one of the Dunedain.

I think Pippin was drawn to the stone simply because Gandalf snatched it from him and made it clear he didn't want Pippin to look at it. Just the curiosity of a Bad Pippin! Need it be more?

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


acheron
Gondor


Aug 27 2014, 3:11pm

Post #14 of 31 (145 views)
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Right [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems that a lot of the "magic" in Middle-earth depends on the "right" to be "allowed" to use it. Especially with the palantiri.

Why can Sauron more fully corrupt Saruman through the palantir than Denethor? Because Denethor is the rightful steward of Gondor, has a just claim to the palantir, and so Sauron can't completely stop Denethor from using it. Whereas Saruman, missionary from the Valar or no, is basically just some guy who moved into Orthanc, found the stone, and said "mine now!" Sauron has a great amount of worldly power in his nature, but even so he can't overcome the rightful steward (or later, king) from using the devices meant for him.

So I think only Aragorn, as the rightful king of Gondor, could have reclaimed the Orthanc-stone, because his right as king is the only way to overcome Sauron's power.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 27 2014, 4:02pm

Post #15 of 31 (140 views)
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You make sense to me... [In reply to] Can't Post

As an aside: Without checking I think Tolkien mentions in Letters or U.T. that it was sheer luck that Pippin saw anything in the Orthanc-stone; as it was a “lesser” stone and it and the “gazer” both had to be properly positioned.

Cheers

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Aug 28 2014, 12:48am

Post #16 of 31 (127 views)
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Why do I suddenly [In reply to] Can't Post

have the urge to grab a travel guide, a towel, and go hitchhiking? ;)



6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observation List - May 15, 2014



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


Elizabeth
Valinor


Aug 28 2014, 2:46am

Post #17 of 31 (139 views)
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I believe Saruman had the right to his stone. [In reply to] Can't Post

In TA 2759, Saruman was given Isengard by Steward of Gondor, Beren, to be Warden of the Tower and representative of the Steward. I think it's quite reasonable to expect he was entitled to use the palantir to communicate with Minas Tirith. The trouble was that Sauron had apparently taken possession of the Ithil stone in TA 2002, which no one knew at the time.








(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Aug 28 2014, 2:47am)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 28 2014, 3:09am

Post #18 of 31 (134 views)
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However, in the essay on the palantíri in UT, Tolkien suggests otherwise [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
In the case of Denethor, the Steward was strengthened, even against Sauron himself, by the fact the Stones were far more amenable to legitimate users: most of all to true "Heirs of Elendil" (as Aragorn), but also to one with inherited authority(as Denethor), as compared to Saruman, or Sauron. It may noted that the effects were different. Saruman fell under the domination of Sauron and desired his victory, or no longer opposed it. Denethor remained steadfast in his rejection Sauron, but was made to believe that his victory was inevitable, and so fell into despair.


'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Elizabeth
Valinor


Aug 28 2014, 3:22am

Post #19 of 31 (109 views)
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Good point.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 








squire
Valinor


Aug 28 2014, 3:40am

Post #20 of 31 (129 views)
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Suggests, sure, but doesn't explain [In reply to] Can't Post

As you show, Tolkien's note invalidates Elizabeth's point about Saruman having a legitimate right to use the palantir of Orthanc. But Tolkien neglects to explain why Saruman, as Gondor's approved agent in a palantir-equipped tower, was not in fact a "legitimate user" of that stone.

It's almost as if Saruman's treason, imagined and developed by the author well before the palantir was dreamt of, could not be reconciled with the elaborate 'rules' regarding rights and powers that Tolkien conceived of in his later years.

I note the very vague use of 'inherited' to explain Denethor's authority to use the stone and hence his relative immunity from Sauron's domination. 'Inherited' how? The Stewards took over the rule of Gondor as an official trust delegated by the Kings, and they made the office heritable. But that wouldn't seem to give them any inherited right to the personal property of the House of Elendil - the same right that Aragorn claims when he receives the stone from Gandalf and beats Sauron into a quivering panic with it. The Stewards' authority to use the stones would seem to be of the same 'delegated' nature as Saruman's rule over, and use of, Isengard's physical properties.



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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 28 2014, 3:59am

Post #21 of 31 (130 views)
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The bigger the Tale, the more there is to leave unexplained [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing I've noticed is that the more Tolkien tried to provide answers, the more questions he generated. Of course, he never anticipated the internet!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


acheron
Gondor


Aug 28 2014, 1:33pm

Post #22 of 31 (115 views)
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oh, thanks for that quote [In reply to] Can't Post

I was questioning myself when I wrote my post, wondering if I was just making all of it up. Glad to see I was remembering something Tolkien actually wrote. Smile

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 28 2014, 2:33pm

Post #23 of 31 (123 views)
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How about . . [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I note the very vague use of 'inherited' to explain Denethor's authority to use the stone and hence his relative immunity from Sauron's domination. 'Inherited' how? The Stewards took over the rule of Gondor as an official trust delegated by the Kings, and they made the office heritable. But that wouldn't seem to give them any inherited right to the personal property of the House of Elendil (My bold)


To repeat: In origin The Stones were given to the Numenoreans (Dunedain) to look back West to their friends in Valinor. This gift was for the Numenoreans, so:


Quote
When the days of the Kings came to an end and Gondor was ruled by the Stewards descended from Hurin, the Steward of King Minardil, it was held that all the rights and duties of the Kings were theirs ‘until the Great King returns’. (My bold) U.T. Cirion and Eorl


Thus, Denethor being a Dunadan of Numenorean blood would seem to have the ‘right’ to use the Stone. (More ‘right’ than Saruman or Sauron it seems.) Although Sauron duped Denethor with the Ithil-stone this didn’t give him (Sauron) the ‘right’ to use it. Sauron just had the power to overcome and only show what he wished to Denethor, leading to Denethor's hopelessness and eventual madness.

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"


squire
Valinor


Aug 29 2014, 2:08am

Post #24 of 31 (120 views)
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Rights and duties extend down the line to fiefs and councilors, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Good points about Tolkien's definite intentions that the Stewards, as regents, acted as the Kings and so were more entitled to use the palantirs than anyone else in their time. I would note, as an aside, that the palantirs were not a general gift to the Numenoreans, but to the father of Elendil and so were the possessions of that line of the Dunedain only. The Stewards descended from Mardil certainly shared some of the Elendil bloodline due to aristocratic marriages in the history of Gondor, but their right to the stones must derive more officially and not by 'blood'. And in any case we read in Tolkien's later notes that not only the Kings used the stones; as I noted earlier, the Kings' deputies were empowered and entitled to use the stones and did so probably more than the Kings did, with little consideration as to their bloodline or rights of inheritance.

Which leads me back to Saruman, since we're thumbing through Unfinished Tales looking for clues. In the final paragraphs of the 'Fords of Isen' chapter, Tolkien explains the circumstances of Saruman's takeover of Isengard. For many years the fortress had been in the territory of Rohan, yet the Stewards who deeded Rohan to the Eorlingas refused to entrust the Tower of Orthanc to the horsemasters; instead they locked the tower, took the keys back to Minas Tirith, and entrusted the surrounding works (the Ringwall, etc.) to an increasingly undependable dynasty of local warlords ("an hereditary Gondorian chieftain and his small people, to whom were joined the old hereditary guards of Aglarond" - UT 281). These folk eventually were infiltrated by and allied with the hostile Dunlendings to the west, and Rohan had to fight a drawn-out war with Isengard, because Gondor was too busy in the East to help out with its renegade outpost.

As Tolkien then narrates: "It can thus be readily understood that when Saruman offered to take command of Isengard and repair it and reorder it as part of the defences of the West he was welcomed both by King Fréaláf and by Beren the Steward. So when Saruman took up his abode in Isengard, and Beren gave to him the keys of Orthanc, the Rohirrim returned to their policy of guarding the Fords of Isen..." (UT 282).

So that's the primary basis of my complaint about Tolkien's note a few posts earlier. He said that Denethor had a more legitimate claim to use the stones than Saruman did, and that that claim by itself helps explain Saruman's fall to Sauron's brainwashing via the stone. But as detailed here, from the beginning of the Third Age it seems clear that the palantir of Orthanc was almost never used by the Kings or Stewards themselves, being in the most remote station of all the six active stones. It must have always been entrusted to someone of integrity and native power, perhaps a royal cousin or the like; when anyone less than fully trustworthy was assigned the care of Isengard, such as happened when Rohan took over the surrounding province, the Stewards forbade the use of the stone at all by locking it up and taking the key home to Minas Tirith. Then Saruman showed up, offered to help, and was given the key and implicitly the use of the stone. He was, clearly enough or so it seems to me, simply another agent of Gondor's ruling dynasty who took on the 3000-year-old responsibility of aiding the ruler of Gondor by monitoring and communicating events via the Stone of Orthanc.

The evil uses he eventually put it to were illegitimate, clearly. Tolkien notes elsewhere the likelihood that the Stone was one of the primary reasons Saruman sought the position in the first place, yet he readily admits the fall itself came later: "There can be little doubt that Saruman made his offer in good faith, or at least with good will towards the defence of the West..." (ibid.)

Saruman's 'right' to use the stone can only be described as just slightly less than Denethor's, at best; at least that's how I see it.



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'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Elizabeth
Valinor


Aug 29 2014, 6:42am

Post #25 of 31 (93 views)
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Thank you, squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is what I was thinking in my post, but I didn't present the argument nearly as thoroughly. VtF's quote from Tolkien ascribing a cause of Saruman's fall to somewhat (at least) illegitimate use of the stone seems a bit inconsistent with his assertions of orderly transitions of power and rights through the line. But as VtF says later, "The bigger the Tale, the more there is to leave unexplained."







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