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**** LOTR Read Through **** Chapter IV.2 of The Two Towers “The Passage of The Marshes”: Conversation 3 of 3
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oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 14 2016, 3:18pm

Post #1 of 42 (1408 views)
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**** LOTR Read Through **** Chapter IV.2 of The Two Towers “The Passage of The Marshes”: Conversation 3 of 3 Can't Post

Chapter IV.2 of The Two Towers “The Passage of The Marshes”: Conversation 3 of 3

Oliphaunt has reached the edge of the Marshes. The hobbits didn't hear, they didn't hear or see anything grey as a mouse. But Oliphaunt saw alot!


/**The last pass of the very brief plot summary**/

Frodo, Sam and Smeagol travel through the night, stopping at dawn. Frodo tries to feed Smeagol lembas, but this attempt fails. Even though Sam wants to keep an eye on the hungry Smeagol, he falls asleep, and doesn't wake up eaten.

Crossing the Dead Marshes, they see dead faces in the water. To make matters even worse, a Nazgul flies over them. Frodo grows weaker from the weight of the Ring and fear of Sauron’s Eye.

Sam overhears a conversation between Smeagol/Gollum and finally understands that Gollum is driven by desire for the Ring. Sam pretends to have just woken up, in order to forestall an attack on Frodo. Gollum behaves in submissive Smeagol-mode for a while. That night, Nazgul fly over two more times, and Smeagol refuses to obey Frodo without the threat of harm.

/*** which is over for good ***/



Here are the last things that Oliphaunt is wondering about along the way:



Frodo and the Ring


Frodo grew in power, as shown in the Taming of Smeagol. Is this due to an increase in his personal strength and wisdom, or is it the influence of the Ring? Does it actually indicate that he is beginning to use the power of the Ring?


Back in Lorien, Galadriel revealed that he had already grown in perception from the Ring. She demonstrated that Frodo could see Nenya, while it remained hidden from Sam. Is Frodo aware of this change, or does he think he's acting on his own strength?


At the end of the chapter Frodo threatens Gollum to gain his obedience. Is this like Frodo? Or like Frodo-with-the-Ring?



Gollum and the Ring


We get a peek into the mind of Gollum via the Smeagol/Gollum dialog overhead by Sam. Gollum's fantasies are according to his measure. His aspirations are to eat fresh fish three times a day and to make Sam suffer. This is a pretty limited vision of power and glory. If he had a more grandiose vision, would it make us pity him less?


Frodo pities Smeagol. Even Sam may feel some pity for Smeagol and some shame for his dislike and suspicion. But Gollum is given over to evil, and has been since he first saw the Ring. Yet Frodo and Sam have to trust themselves to him. Are they trusting Smeagol, or are they trusting in the Power that is guiding their fate?


Smeagol is not a direct servant of the Dark Lord. He wants to keep the Ring from Sauron.

Would an Orc try to keep the Ring? Grisnakh knew about the Ring, when kidnapped Merry and Pippin. But wasn't he just looking for a reward, not to take the Ring for himself?


What would a Nazgul do? It seems to me that Sauron expected they would not try to keep the Ring.


Saruman certainly wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.


Boromir also wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.


What about the Men who are fighting for Sauron? Are they as much under his power are the Nazgul, or the Orcs?


What do Gollum, Saruman, and potentially Boromir have in common? Are they more culpable than the Orcs, who never knew life without servitude to the darkness? Gandalf believed that Saruman could be redeemed, and even Gollum. Boromir was redeemed. But no-one has hope for the Orcs. What is the difference? Is it the possession of free will?




Sam the Odd Man Out


Frodo and Smeagol are akin in an important way: Ringbearing.


How does Sam understand and deal with the relationship between Frodo and Smeagol? Is he purely concerned about Frodo's welfare, or is there an element of jealousy? Does anything we see or hear indicate that Sam is the 'odd man out'?



Three Precious Little Gollums


The companions are described as hiding "like little hunted animals” and as cowering "under a black stone like worms".

Sam fears they will become "Three little Gollums".


Might this hint that Sam recognizes kinship with Gollum on some level? Does he think he and Frodo are at risk of becoming bestial? Is this a de-humanzing (de-hobbitizing?) influence of the marshes? Or of the Ring? Or the danger and fear of approaching Mordor, the weight of the Ring and terror of the Eye?



Shhhhhhhhhhhhh

At chapter end:


“they walked in silence with bowed heads, seeing nothing, and hearing nothing but the wind hissing in their ears.”

(now you know for sure they did not hear or see Oliphaunt!)


When the Taming of Smeagol ended:


"Over all the leagues of waste before the gates of Mordor there was a black silence"


Why so quiet? Is this just reinforcing the sense of isolation? Does Sauron have something to do with the silence?


How did the fair vision break through the black silence to reach Frodo?


****************************



enanito
Lorien

Jan 14 2016, 4:14pm

Post #2 of 42 (1340 views)
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Gollum never sought out the Evil of the Ring that was thrust upon him [In reply to] Can't Post

Gollum and the Ring

I continue to differentiate between Gollum and the others you mention in that the true evilness of the Ring was something he never sought out, and never fully embraced. We've discussed the latent 'badness' in his heart, but I don't think he ever purposed to use the Ring for the intent it was created (one Ring to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them). Gollum was content to have the Ring, his precious, in the most remote of hiding places under the Misty Mountains. Even in this chapter, after all the long years for the Ring to work its effects on him, his glorious vision of power as Gollum the Great is ... to have more fish to eat, and maybe torment Sam who had been mean to him.

When he found the Ring, he had no idea of its power. But I imagine that even if Deagol had told him "Hey Smeagol, I found Sauron's great ring of power that was cut from Isildur's hand, it's the most powerful thing in Middle Earth", that Gollum would still have ended up hiding out in isolation.

Gollum was a "take my ball and go home" type, whereas Saruman and Boromir seem like types who wanted to "take possession of the ball and tell everybody else the new rules of the game".


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 14 2016, 4:27pm

Post #3 of 42 (1339 views)
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To each, according to his measure. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gollum's evil was petty evil and the Ring only gave him power in proportion to that. But I suspect that he was already a bit of a weasel, a sneak and a thief even before he acquired his Precious.

Gandalf in his mortal form is old enough that I wonder if he ever actually encountered in his wanderings the River-folk that would have been the Stoors of the Anduin Vales? He does seem to know more about them than can be accounted for by his interrogation of Gollum.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 14 2016, 4:28pm)


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 14 2016, 4:31pm

Post #4 of 42 (1331 views)
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Is Smeagol a bit Hobbity [In reply to] Can't Post

When he found the Ring, he had no idea of its power. But I imagine that even if Deagol had told him "Hey Smeagol, I found Sauron's great ring of power that was cut from Isildur's hand, it's the most powerful thing in Middle Earth", that Gollum would still have ended up hiding out in isolation.


Do you think that's kind of 'hobbity'? Not to want to be a controller?


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 14 2016, 4:37pm

Post #5 of 42 (1326 views)
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Peaching Sneakthief [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the term is "cursed peaching sneakthief"!

Gandalf in his mortal form is old enough that I wonder if he ever actually encountered in his wanderings the River-folk that would have been the Stoors of the Anduin Vales? He does seem to know more about them than can be accounted for by his interrogation of Gollum.

No-one seems to remember much about hobbits. Presumably he didn't learn it from Men, Elves or Ents?



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 14 2016, 4:56pm

Post #6 of 42 (1323 views)
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Hobbits of the Anduin Vales [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
No-one seems to remember much about hobbits. Presumably he didn't learn it from Men, Elves or Ents?


Definitely not the Ents (although maybe the Ent-wives). Treebeard knew nothing of Hobbits before meeting Merry and Pippin.

Wood-elves might have occasionally encountered the River-folk, but I doubt that Thranduil would have taken special note of them.

They might have only been rumor and legend to most Men of the Anduin Vales and very rarely seen.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 14 2016, 5:29pm

Post #7 of 42 (1321 views)
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Ring-wanting [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Smeagol is not a direct servant of the Dark Lord. He wants to keep the Ring from Sauron.

Would an Orc try to keep the Ring? Grisnakh knew about the Ring, when kidnapped Merry and Pippin. But wasn't he just looking for a reward, not to take the Ring for himself?


What would a Nazgul do? It seems to me that Sauron expected they would not try to keep the Ring.


Saruman certainly wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.


Boromir also wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.


What about the Men who are fighting for Sauron? Are they as much under his power are the Nazgul, or the Orcs?


If I recall, Tolkien provides some useful material in The Hunt For The Ring (Unfinished Tales). Sauron's reason for sending the Nazgul after Frodo is that they are the only ones of his servants who would not immediately start to covet the Ring for themselves. This is what causes Sauron to choose the Nazgul for finding the Ring, even though they are unsuitable for doing so in many other ways (in particular, it will prove very difficult for the to find the Ring without being detected themselves).

So I think the idea is that apart from the Nazgul everyone is at risk.

~~~~~~
The Reading Room read-through of The Two Towers Book IV has started!

Just one chapter left needing a leader: 07-Feb-16 # VI # The Forbidden Pool # Could you do it?

If you are potentially interested in leading, but not sure what leading a chapter involves, see here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=884122#884122

Links to earlier posts in this read-through:
week starts # Chapter # Chapter name # leader # URL of thread
03-Jan-16 # I # The Taming of Smeagol # noWizardme Part 1: http://goo.gl/wvyAOx 2: http://goo.gl/6ks0JV 3: http://goo.gl/l0iuEz 4: http://goo.gl/7ket5o
10-Jan-16 # II # The Passage of the Marshes # Oliphaunt Part 1: http://goo.gl/eUEV4u


A set of links to our Book III discussions can be found here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=886383#886383

A wonderful list of links to previous read-throughs is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 14 2016, 9:10pm

Post #8 of 42 (1300 views)
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Hobbits and Anduin Men [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
They might have only been rumor and legend to most Men of the Anduin Vales and very rarely seen.

Yes, when Theoden first meets Merry & Pippin, he says his people--originally from the northern Anduin Vales--had stories about halflings that they no longer believed were true. So there was some folklore out there. Maybe Men closer to the Gladden Fields had more accurate information about Smeagol's people.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 14 2016, 10:02pm

Post #9 of 42 (1298 views)
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What a little gold can do to you [In reply to] Can't Post

"Frodo grew in power, as shown in the Taming of Smeagol. Is this due to an increase in his personal strength and wisdom, or is it the influence of the Ring? Does it actually indicate that he is beginning to use the power of the Ring?


Back in Lorien, Galadriel revealed that he had already grown in perception from the Ring. She demonstrated that Frodo could see Nenya, while it remained hidden from Sam. Is Frodo aware of this change, or does he think he's acting on his own strength?


At the end of the chapter Frodo threatens Gollum to gain his obedience. Is this like Frodo? Or like Frodo-with-the-Ring?"

Fun questions, Oliphaunt! Shall we toss you some peanuts, or is that specist? :)

I think Frodo is changing for 2 reasons: 1) like any follower thrust into a position of leadership, he's trying to grow into the role, and 2) as he approaches Mordor, the Ring's influence over him grows, making him perhaps more aggressive but not necessarily more powerful. Maybe it gives the illusion of power? Certainly Gollum respects his power. And much later on the slopes of Mt Doom, Sam will behold Frodo as a powerful, fantastic being with the Ring as a wheel of fire when he curses Gollum to leave them alone, and Gollum recoils then too, but Frodo isn't really stronger himself, he's caving into the Ring's power then. So that's a wordy way of getting to the point that the Ring is getting more powerful too, and that comes through Frodo.

But I also think post-Lorien that Frodo is a more powerful person. There are really a lot of forces going on here.

Do you think Sam is more powerful too? Is that why he's less a servant now, and more an advisor and comrade-at-arms? He's much less the clown or naive guy he was in the Shire and takes on more responsibility himself.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 14 2016, 10:35pm

Post #10 of 42 (1298 views)
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To pity or not to pity [In reply to] Can't Post

"If he had a more grandiose vision, would it make us pity him less?"

I really like this question too, but don't worry, no more mention of peanuts.

I had to think back & forth on this one. Partly because my pity with Gollum is mixed with my anger at his much-later betrayal, and it's hard to isolate just what I think of him here. But to spare you more soul-searching, I'll conclude that I would have pitied him less if he wanted to supplant Sauron. There is something very *damaged* about Gollum that his appearance and behavior only scratch the surface of. It's like you could x-ray him and see hollow places where his soul, emotions, and innate personality ought to be.

On Mazlow's hierarchy of needs, he's at the very bottom, thinking only of hunger and food and maybe the rare luxury of personal revenge. But basically he's a walking void that can never be filled even if he met his dietary caloric requirements. For that reason, I pity him. If he'd aspired to anything more, like slaves, palaces, concubine dancers, then he'd seem more normal and less pitiable. But he also frightens me, this skinny, gnarled embodiment of Hunger. I think I fear him more than pity him.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 14 2016, 10:43pm

Post #11 of 42 (1293 views)
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If they'd seen u, Oliphaunt, u can be sure they'd have snapped a selfie with u [In reply to] Can't Post

The absence of photos alone is proof of your successful stealth.

Is Sam jealous? Yes. Does Sam ever bond with anyone else in the Fellowship, including the other hobbits? It's hard to see how. He's a hobbit of few ties: his father, his boss, and his forgotten girlfriend. Gollum is a natural threat to his bond with Frodo, and I think that perilous dynamic was built in from the start.


What would happen if a non-Nazgul got the Ring? I'm with Sauron and Wiz on this one, only the Nazgul could be trusted to deliver it to Sauron. That's the funny thing about the Ring, or I should say the sinister thing about it, that it wants to get back to its maker, but not by any noble means. It wouldn't inspire an Orc to take it to Sauron. It would corrupt the Orc to think he's King Orc of Mordor and stupidly challenge authority, revealing himself, and having the Ring taken from him in torment and defeat. The Ring is sadistic enough to enjoy that scenario, I suppose because its maker would too.


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 15 2016, 1:19am

Post #12 of 42 (1272 views)
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Yes I like peanuts, by the bushel [In reply to] Can't Post

..Frodo isn't really stronger himself, he's caving into the Ring's power...
That's where I was going, but couldn't verbalize. Sauron released his power into the Ring, but it really only answers to him.
For sure Frodo and Sam (and Merry and Pippin) all grow themselves. In a way, Sam makes the biggest leap - from a gardener to Mayor and friend of the King.


And, yes I like peanuts, but you'd better toss them by the bushel.




oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 15 2016, 1:38am

Post #13 of 42 (1271 views)
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Sam's relationships [In reply to] Can't Post

Is Sam jealous? Yes. Does Sam ever bond with anyone else in the Fellowship, including the other hobbits? It's hard to see how. He's a hobbit of few ties: his father, his boss, and his forgotten girlfriend. Gollum is a natural threat to his bond with Frodo, and I think that perilous dynamic was built in from the start.

I suppose Sam didn't fit in well with the other 'rustic' hobbits of his social class. Mr. Bilbo encouraged him to learn to read and recite poetry, and to dream about elves and well, about oliphaunts. Still, he wasn't fully accepted by the 'gentry' hobbits. Not until after he helped save Middle Earth, anyway.


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jan 15 2016, 2:21pm

Post #14 of 42 (1256 views)
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Gollum's evilness [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Gollum's evil was petty evil and the Ring only gave him power in proportion to that. But I suspect that he was already a bit of a weasel, a sneak and a thief even before he acquired his Precious.


I submit that Smeagol had a severe growing evilness far beyond being a ‘bit of a weasel’ (perhaps somewhat latent in its fullness) in him before the Ring, as he . . . dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees, and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air; his head and his eyes were downward.

He killed his good fishing buddy Deagol before he (Gollum) even touched the Ring. He, with the Ring, used his invisibility for maliciousness and soon became shunned by his people, and began gurgling earning the name “Gollum”, and was kicked out of his hole soon thereafter by his grandmother.

Here I add that those who argue that many were affected by the Ring without ever having touched it is true only to a point. But to put Gollum and Boromir in the same basket is despicable IMO.

'When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock.
So I stopped wearing socks.'

- Albert Einstein


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 15 2016, 3:24pm

Post #15 of 42 (1248 views)
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Boromir? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Here I add that those who argue that many were affected by the Ring without ever having touched it is true only to a point. But to put Gollum and Boromir in the same basket is despicable IMO.


Well I drew no parallel at all between Gollum and Boromir nor did I mention Boromir at all. Sméagol murdered for the Ring out of sheer envy and the seed must have been there from the start. Boromir started out wanting the Ring as a weapon against the Enemy, but it preyed upon both his fears and his ambitions. In the end, Boromir overcomes the Ring's influence and is redeemed much the same way that Thorin Oakenshield overcomes his dragon-sickness (and pays the same price).

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 15 2016, 3:36pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 15 2016, 6:40pm

Post #16 of 42 (1241 views)
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“I'm really very sorry for you all, but it's an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.” [In reply to] Can't Post

"The Ring was a million dollar promise worth two cents on delivery,”
-Bang the Olog-hai Drum Slowly

Frodo and the Ring

Frodo grew in power, as shown in the Taming of Smeagol. Is this due to an increase in his personal strength and wisdom, or is it the influence of the Ring?


It’s the ring.


Does it actually indicate that he is beginning to use the power of the Ring?

Either that or the Ring is beginning to use the power of Frodo.


Back in Lorien, Galadriel revealed that he had already grown in perception from the Ring. She demonstrated that Frodo could see Nenya, while it remained hidden from Sam. Is Frodo aware of this change, or does he think he's acting on his own strength?

He knows he’s in the elite! Stick another stanza in the Ring Verse about “One For The Hobbit of Bag End/ Where the Taters Fry”!


At the end of the chapter Frodo threatens Gollum to gain his obedience. Is this like Frodo?

Naahh, Frodo wouldn’t do that!

'I shall have to go. But' – and here he looked hard at Sam – 'if you really care about me, you will keep that dead secret. See? If you don't, if you even breathe a word of what you've heard here, then I hope Gandalf will turn you into a spotted toad and fill the garden full of grass-snakes.'
Sam fell on his knees, trembling.

-The Shadow of the Past

Er, wait….


Or like Frodo-with-the-Ring?

Yeah, that’s it! The Ring made him do it!


Gollum and the Ring

We get a peek into the mind of Gollum via the Smeagol/Gollum dialog overhead by Sam. Gollum's fantasies are according to his measure. His aspirations are to eat fresh fish three times a day and to make Sam suffer. This is a pretty limited vision of power and glory.


“If more of us valued fish and spite above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”


If he had a more grandiose vision, would it make us pity him less?

If it wasn’t too malicious, and it failed.


Frodo pities Smeagol. Even Sam may feel some pity for Smeagol and some shame for his dislike and suspicion. But Gollum is given over to evil, and has been since he first saw the Ring. Yet Frodo and Sam have to trust themselves to him. Are they trusting Smeagol, or are they trusting in the Power that is guiding their fate?

Kinda like putting your trust in a used car salesman, or a lawyer, or a politician: You’re just hoping they’re not going to cheat you too much.


Smeagol is not a direct servant of the Dark Lord. He wants to keep the Ring from Sauron.

No doubt he did before the Ring awoke, but who’s to say the Ring wouldn’t be powerful enough now to force him to take it to Sauron? Perhaps at the end Gollum *deliberately* threw himself into the Cracks of Doom with the thought “If I can’t have you, nobody can!”


Would an Orc try to keep the Ring?

Doubt it. Their will is Sauron’s:

As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.
-The Field of Cormallen


Grisnakh knew about the Ring, when kidnapped Merry and Pippin. But wasn't he just looking for a reward, not to take the Ring for himself?

Yeah. As they say, “Will Evil shall mar evil oft” or “Shall oft evil evil will ” or just about anything within reason.


What would a Nazgul do?

Fall into a river, get shot out of the sky, or wander aimlessly through the Wild stabbing random hobbits.


It seems to me that Sauron expected they would not try to keep the Ring.

Well, yeah, but they ended up losing their own rings so why would Sauron trust them with his?


Saruman certainly wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.

Yeah, he’d be sitting slack-jawed in Orthanc clad only in his shorts using the Ring to change channels on the palantir while occasionally yelling at Grima to warm him up another Hot Pocket.


Boromir also wanted to keep the Ring from Sauron and for himself.

’What could not a warrior do in this hour, a great leader? What could not Aragorn do? Or if he refuses, why not Boromir? The Ring would give me power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner!'
Boromir strode up and down, speaking ever more loudly: Almost he seemed to have forgotten Frodo, while his talk dwelt on walls and weapons, and the mustering of men; and he drew plans for great alliances and glorious victories to be; and he cast down Mordor, and became himself a mighty king, benevolent and wise.

-The Breaking of the Fellowship

Yeah, Boromir would still be striding up and down Amon Hen bloviating about all the great wonders he’d do at least until an orc snuck up from behind and cleaved his horn, head, and hauberk.


What about the Men who are fighting for Sauron?

Possible.


Are they as much under his power are the Nazgul, or the Orcs?

Nope.

But the Men of Rhun and of Harad, Easterling and Southron, saw the ruin of their war and the great majesty and glory of the Captains of the West. And those that were deepest and longest in evil servitude, hating the West, and yet were men proud and bold, in their turn now gathered themselves for a last stand of desperate battle. But the most part fled eastward as they could; and some cast their
weapons down and sued for mercy.

--The Field of Cormallen


What do Gollum, Saruman, and potentially Boromir have in common?

Jealousy: Of Deagol, of Gandalf, and of the long absent kings of Gondor respectively.


Are they more culpable than the Orcs, who never knew life without servitude to the darkness?

The orcs are victims of violent abuse and traumatic bonding and thus morally speaking far less culpable.


Gandalf believed that Saruman could be redeemed, and even Gollum. Boromir was redeemed. But no-one has hope for the Orcs. What is the difference?

Well, they were traitors to Eru! (No, wait…) They practiced cannibalism! (Ah, no…) They beat up on those smaller and weaker than themselves. (Dang, that’s not it…)

Got it!: Everybody says so!

Fifty million Westrenesse can't be wrong!


Is it the possession of free will?

Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded.
-Sheng-Ji Yang


Sam the Odd Man Out

Frodo and Smeagol are akin in an important way: Ringbearing.


How does Sam understand and deal with the relationship between Frodo and Smeagol?


Domesticity.


Is he purely concerned about Frodo's welfare, or is there an element of jealousy?

Yes.


Does anything we see or hear indicate that Sam is the 'odd man out'?

Sam is the symbiote, Gollum is the parasite.


Three Precious Little Gollums

The companions are described as hiding "like little hunted animals” and as cowering "under a black stone like worms".

Sam fears they will become "Three little Gollums".


“Three little hobbits all unwary,
Off on a trip uncustomary,
Likely an ending funerary.
Three little hobbits on a fool’s…
Three little hobbits on a fool’s errand!"


Might this hint that Sam recognizes kinship with Gollum on some level?

I think he takes Gollum as the measure of the bottom of the barrel.


Does he think he and Frodo are at risk of becoming bestial?

An interesting contrast: Wild beasts sleep in holes, as do civilized hobbits. Stepping up from snug Shire holes to bare ground seems a step down beast-wise.


Is this a de-humanzing (de-hobbitizing?) influence of the marshes?

They ain’t hobbits anymore:

Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt.

Even in ancient days they were, as a rule, shy of 'the Big Folk', as they call us, and now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find. They are quick of hearing and sharp-eyed, and though they are inclined to be fat and do not hurry unnecessarily, they are nonetheless nimble and deft in their movements.

Their faces were as a rule good-natured rather than beautiful, broad, bright-eyed, red-cheeked, with mouths apt to laughter, and to eating and drinking. And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily, being fond of simple jests at all times, and of six meals a day (when they could get them). They were hospitable and delighted in parties, and in presents, which they gave away freely and eagerly accepted.

-Concerning Hobbits


Or of the Ring?

One does wonders what grandiose visions with which the Ring tempted Frodo

Give the Ring’s treacherous nature I’d suggest it offered to resurrect his beloved Gandalf.


Or the danger and fear of approaching Mordor, the weight of the Ring and terror of the Eye?

I note Aragorn dared not bring the Dead to the Pelennor. Too close to the Evil of Mordor and he might lose control of the Evil Dead.


Shhhhhhhhhhhhh

At chapter end:

“they walked in silence with bowed heads, seeing nothing, and hearing nothing but the wind hissing in their ears.”


Like a procession of monks. I could almost hear them singing Ave Maria except they don’t.


"Over all the leagues of waste before the gates of Mordor there was a black silence"

“Black Silence, White Noise”. Good title.


Why so quiet?

If you don’t have anything nice to say you really shouldn’t say anything at all and they *are* in Mordor!


Is this just reinforcing the sense of isolation?

Sauron is giving invading spies a chance to think. And curl up into a little ball and cry.


Does Sauron have something to do with the silence?

He loves it when his guards say “It’s quiet.” “Yeah, too quiet.” Then he has his Olog-hai burst out in the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore.


How did the fair vision break through the black silence to reach Frodo?

Galadriel uses Firefox, Sauron uses Internet Explorer. There is a difference.

******************************************

Fimbrethil, Warrior Entwife



Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jan 15 2016, 7:09pm

Post #17 of 42 (1230 views)
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Here I add that those . . . etc. Boromir [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to put that last thought in my reply to you.

It should have been a separate posting but I was rushed (first breakfast date) and hoped that it would be taken as a general postscript.

Yet I hold that Boromir was not the despicable bad guy that many seem to judge, and should not be equated with Saruman, or Gollum.

Apologies OS Angelic

'When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock.
So I stopped wearing socks.'

- Albert Einstein


noWizardme
Valinor


Jan 15 2016, 7:34pm

Post #18 of 42 (1224 views)
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Gollum goals, Sam goals [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
We get a peek into the mind of Gollum via the Smeagol/Gollum dialog overhead by Sam. Gollum's fantasies are according to his measure. His aspirations are to eat fresh fish three times a day and to make Sam suffer. This is a pretty limited vision of power and glory. If he had a more grandiose vision, would it make us pity him less?


Is Gollum's modest vision of an ideal life a sort of dark reflection of what Galadriel uses to tempt Sam? From memory, she seemed to offer him that he could turn aside from the quest and have a hobbit hole and a bit of garden of his own.

~~~~~~
The Reading Room read-through of The Two Towers Book IV has started!

Just one chapter left needing a leader: 07-Feb-16 # VI # The Forbidden Pool # Could you do it?

If you are potentially interested in leading, but not sure what leading a chapter involves, see here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=884122#884122

Links to earlier posts in this read-through:
week starts # Chapter # Chapter name # leader # URL of thread
03-Jan-16 # I # The Taming of Smeagol # noWizardme Part 1: http://goo.gl/wvyAOx 2: http://goo.gl/6ks0JV 3: http://goo.gl/l0iuEz 4: http://goo.gl/7ket5o
10-Jan-16 # II # The Passage of the Marshes # Oliphaunt Part 1: http://goo.gl/eUEV4u


A set of links to our Book III discussions can be found here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=886383#886383

A wonderful list of links to previous read-throughs is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


enanito
Lorien

Jan 15 2016, 7:35pm

Post #19 of 42 (1223 views)
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Boromir in a basket or a Venn Diagram? [In reply to] Can't Post

What do Gollum, Saruman, and potentially Boromir have in common?
I thought Oliphaunt posed a good question about what commonalities Boromir might share with a couple of arguably more truly-evil characters. In "The Window on the West", Faramir shares quite a lot of details about his brother, and we get quite a contrast between Boromir and Faramir's natures (of course just as history is written by the winners, we might want to be a bit circumspect in Faramir's glowing description of his own saintly nature Wink )

So I'd consider Boromir and Gollum to share portions of the same Venn Diagram, just as Boromir and Saruman might share other portions of the Diagram -- while there exist very important differentiators that prevent them from being in the same basket. I expect in a couple weeks Boromir's character will be explored in much more depth.

That's where I enjoy these discussions, seeing people draw parallels between things I haven't noticed before, and then others identifying differences where before I had only seen similarities. And more-than-once, finding my previous understanding of something was quite flawed. So counterpoint away! :)


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 15 2016, 7:35pm

Post #20 of 42 (1227 views)
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Good answer! Good answer! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

What do Gollum, Saruman, and potentially Boromir have in common?

Jealousy: Of Deagol, of Gandalf, and of the long absent kings of Gondor respectively.






Good answer! Good answer!

The Survey says:

Jealousy 82
Hammertoe 18

Thank-you


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 15 2016, 7:57pm

Post #21 of 42 (1223 views)
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Envy, if anything. [In reply to] Can't Post

Jealousy isn't the same as envy. Although we could say that Denethor was jealous of the influence that Thorongil and Gandalf had with his father, Ecthelion II, especially after he suspected that the pair of them were conspiring against the Stewardship of Gondor.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Jan 15 2016, 8:01pm

Post #22 of 42 (1215 views)
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Sun-faced hobbit/Moon-faced hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
We get a peek into the mind of Gollum via the Smeagol/Gollum dialog overhead by Sam. Gollum's fantasies are according to his measure. His aspirations are to eat fresh fish three times a day and to make Sam suffer. This is a pretty limited vision of power and glory. If he had a more grandiose vision, would it make us pity him less?


Is Gollum's modest vision of an ideal life a sort of dark reflection of what Galadriel uses to tempt Sam? From memory, she seemed to offer him that he could turn aside from the quest and have a hobbit hole and a bit of garden of his own.





That's interesting to consider. Another commonality for Sam and Gollum.

Was that how Galadriel measured-up Sam? Maybe she underestimated him a bit.

When Sam was tempted by the Ring, it was a more heroic vision. He didn't fall for that either.

Both offers did play to Sam's desires. Sure he wanted to get back to the Shire and Rosie Cotton, but he loved the 'great tales' and wanted to have a place in one.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 15 2016, 10:02pm

Post #23 of 42 (1208 views)
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Jealousy, more apt. [In reply to] Can't Post

ENVY

Envy is the culpable sadness or displeasure at the spiritual or temporal good of another. In popular usage envy is often not distinguished from jealousy, but jealousy implies a sense of right on the part of the jealous person to the exclusive possession of something. Jealousy, in spite of the pejorative connotation that is usually attached to the term, is not necessarily evil, so long as the right is well founded and the reaction to its violation is expressed in a reasonable manner.

-New Catholic Encyclopedia (2003)

******************************************

Fimbrethil, Warrior Entwife



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 15 2016, 10:14pm

Post #24 of 42 (1203 views)
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You make a compelling argument. [In reply to] Can't Post

I came in in the middle of the debate involving Boromir and don't have a lot invested in it. As I see it, it could go either way. I'm bowing out.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 15 2016, 10:15pm)


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jan 15 2016, 11:36pm

Post #25 of 42 (1199 views)
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Boromir: “His face was more beautiful even than in life.” [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So I'd consider Boromir and Gollum to share portions of the same Venn Diagram, just as Boromir and Saruman might share other portions of the Diagram -- while there exist very important differentiators that prevent them from being in the same basket. I expect in a couple weeks Boromir's character will be explored in much more depth.


I have stuck up for Boromir before and will continue to do so, as he seems to have few supporters.
Boromir spent the adult years of his forty years defending the Free Peoples of the West on the front lines battling the greatest threat that Middle-earth had known in the Third Age. He was a noble, honorable, and formidable warrior and was accounted the best man in Gondor because of his integrity and martial deeds.

He had the same dream/verse that his more sensitive younger brother had: Seek for the sword that was broken; although he admitted to having it but once whereas Faramir had the dream several times. He decided to do this seeking himself rejecting for a time glory on the front lines. Now he finds himself in the company of eight strangers, one of whom he has accepted as the usurper of his father (and his own heir to the Stewardship). He finds himself on what he (rightfully) considers a fools quest with little to no favorable possible outcome.

He initially and rightfully (in his mind) wants the Ring to be used against Sauron – he cared not who wielded it as long as it was used against the threat of Mordor. His role in his portion of the Quest continually showed his bravery, honesty, and integrity.

Some say Boromir tried to kill Frodo and take the Ring showing a lack of character, even evilness – Balderdash! In a short fit of anger at Frodo’s irritatingly indecisiveness (and possibly the call of the Ring) he attempted to take the Ring, but **immediately** repented of this action.

Boromir showed his morality many times on the Quest. Who went to the aid of Gandalf on the bridge – only Boromir with Aragorn, freely risking his life for a new-found friend. Not the actions of a cowardly murderer but of a caring, sensitive, brave person. Although Boromir delighted in arms and battle for a true cause I believe he was a reasonable prudent man who desired peace for the West; and to repeat: “He was accounted the best man in Gondor” because of these qualities, and gave his life in defense of the innocent to prove it.

To put this man on some Venn Diagram with Gollum or Saruman just disgusts me.

(“a couple of weeks” have arrived?)
Attackers may now commence. I shall lurkingly thag you! Smile

'When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock.
So I stopped wearing socks.'

- Albert Einstein

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