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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Fellowship of the Ring - unofficial read through concluding chapters
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Eruonen
Valinor


May 31 2017, 6:33pm

Post #1 of 47 (3515 views)
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Fellowship of the Ring - unofficial read through concluding chapters Can't Post

The Great River

The account would make for a Boys Life canoe adventure story with river paddling, rapids, rocks, falls, portages etc. Brings back a memory of such a trip to the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 31 2017, 8:31pm

Post #2 of 47 (3444 views)
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I must admit [In reply to] Can't Post

this isn't a part of LOTR that I re-read a lot. It's fine as it is, but after the drama that's unfolded in Moria & Lorien and will soon unfold at Parth Galen & in Rohan, it seems a lull. Maybe readers need a lull too, but it seems the equivalent of people being on a train, looking at the countryside going by.


Eruonen
Valinor


May 31 2017, 8:47pm

Post #3 of 47 (3441 views)
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A few sight seeing landmarks... [In reply to] Can't Post

Aragorn has his shampoo commercial scene passing the Argonath....dark hair, blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes...makes me think of Fabio. ;)

Behold Tol Brandir!.....Ahmon Lhaw and Amon Hen.......(no foot of man or beast has ever been on Tol Brandir....really? - I take that as a challenge! - bucket list Aragorn)


(This post was edited by Eruonen on May 31 2017, 8:49pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


May 31 2017, 10:13pm

Post #4 of 47 (3428 views)
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The Chapter inspired a majestic Howard Shore song too... [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjOJ4heJ7Wc

I find it hard to believe Aragorn had not gazed upon the Argonath before in his journeying.....odd.

Why do sentences you want to come back to seem to disappear from the text!! I hunt and hunt and can't find it....a reference that stood out where Aragorn says something about his "home"...something like Amon Sul but different I think. Who has an ebook with search function?


(This post was edited by Eruonen on May 31 2017, 10:25pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 31 2017, 11:47pm

Post #5 of 47 (3416 views)
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Look, there's a reference to trade/commerce [In reply to] Can't Post

which we discussed awhile ago:

Quote
No road was made by the Men of Gondor in this region, for even in their great days their realm did not reach up Anduin beyond the Emyn Muil; but there is a portage-way somewhere on the western shore, if I can find it. It cannot yet have perished; for light boats used to journey out of Wilderland down to Osgiliath, and still did so until a few years ago,



CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 1 2017, 12:01am

Post #6 of 47 (3413 views)
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The Argonath is worth quoting in full. It feels impressive. And it scares the hobbits! [In reply to] Can't Post

     

Quote
As Frodo was borne towards them the great pillars rose like towers to meet him. Giants they seemed to him, vast grey figures silent but threatening. Then he saw that they were indeed shaped and fashioned: the craft and power of old had wrought upon them, and still they preserved through the suns and rains of forgotten years the mighty likenesses in which they had been hewn. Upon great pedestals founded in the deep waters stood two great kings of stone: still with blurred eyes and crannied brows they frowned upon the North. The left hand of each was raised palm outwards in gesture of warning; in each right hand there was an axe; upon each head there was a crumbling helm and crown. Great power and majesty they still wore, the silent wardens of a long-vanished kingdom. Awe and fear fell upon Frodo, and he cowered down, shutting his eyes and not daring to look up as the boat drew near. Even Boromir bowed his head as the boats whirled by, frail and fleeting as little leaves, under the enduring shadow of the sentinels of Númenor. So they passed into the dark chasm of the Gates.

Sheer rose the dreadful cliffs to unguessed heights on either side. Far off was the dim sky. The black waters roared and echoed, and a wind screamed over them. Frodo crouching over his knees heard Sam in front muttering and groaning: ‘What a place! What a horrible place! Just let me get out of this boat, and I’ll never wet my toes in a puddle again, let alone a river!’

'Fear not!’ said a strange voice behind him. Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider; for the weatherworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect, guiding the boat with skilful strokes; his hood was cast back, and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.

‘Fear not!’ he said. ‘Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, my sires of old. Under their shadow Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil Isildur’s son, heir of Elendil, has naught to dread!’


It does seem odd that Aragorn knows boats used that part of the river and that there was a semi-hidden portage way, forgotten to the likes of Boromir. How could he have NOT seen the Argonath before? But maybe he meant "Long have I desired to look again..." Tolkien is going for effect here, and it's a moving scene. A little faking that Aragorn saw the Argonath for the 1st time may be artistic license and not the plain truth.

He knows the area so well, he even knows the name of the lawn:

Quote
‘Here we will rest tonight,’ said Aragorn. ‘This is the lawn of Parth Galen: a fair place in the summer days of old. Let us hope that no evil has yet come here.’



(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jun 1 2017, 12:02am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 12:34am

Post #7 of 47 (3404 views)
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Hmm, who was in the Wilderland that would have used the river for [In reply to] Can't Post

very light journeying? Whoever they are, I think of of trappers in the west who lived in the wild and used rivers for travel etc.


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 12:53am

Post #8 of 47 (3405 views)
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The Breaking of the Fellowship [In reply to] Can't Post

We have reached the end of FOTR - timely, as I will be away for two weeks and will resume TTT upon my return.

Aragorn has a very sensitive sleep alarm - he can detect pending disturbances - as with Gollum in the previous chapter and here with a brooding darkness. Not just a sense of anxiety - a more palpable sense seems to be one of his gifts.

Sting is actually employed more as an early warning blade then I recall...which makes sense. The blade glowed dimly indicating orcs in the area but not too close. I wonder what the maximum orcdar range with Sting and why more blades were not so endowed. A nice little effect to have...even if only on a knife.

Tol Brandir had shear cliffs rising from the river so any adventurer would have to be a skilled rock climber.

Ah, Boromir and his hungry eyes!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 1 2017, 2:15am

Post #9 of 47 (3395 views)
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Rivermen [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
very light journeying? Whoever they are, I think of of trappers in the west who lived in the wild and used rivers for travel etc.


I've conjectured that there might have been such Men in Eriador plying the Lune River, west of the Shire. And a few scattered homesteads with maybe a trading post near the estuary emptying into the Gulf of Lune. Though there seem to been no such folk living along that section of the Anduin at the time of the War of the Ring.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 1 2017, 2:17am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 4:13am

Post #10 of 47 (3384 views)
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I think of Jeremiah Johnson and The Revenant types of characters [In reply to] Can't Post

living in the Wilderlands -

https://artofekphrasis.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/jjas-myth.jpeg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/...Johnson_full_600.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/...42_1452490006331.jpg

http://www.i-filmsonline.com/...mages/R/revenant.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/...humb5.png?imgmax=800

https://liatris52.files.wordpress.com/....jpg?w=708&h=497


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 4:18am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 1 2017, 6:49am

Post #11 of 47 (3369 views)
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Funny Thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I can't think of a European or British equivalent other than Robin of Sherwood and his band (whom I don't really associate with river travel).

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 9:39am

Post #12 of 47 (3360 views)
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Lull or build-up? [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot is simmering below the surface in this section.

Aragorn is torn between going to Gondor, as he always intended, or being a surrogate Gandalf and guiding Frodo to Mordor. (Tolkien tells us this when the Fellowship discuss their plans in Lorien and come to no conclusion).

Frodo has a creeping feeling that he ought to go off alone, knows that the rest of the Fellowship is unlikely to allow it, and can't find a moment of both courage and opportunity (Sam's analysis).

Boromir is feeling increasingly isolated. I think his thoughts are always in the first instance about how to benefit Gondor, whence he desperately wants to bring Aragorn. (His remarks that he will leave the company alone and journey home if he has earned no better, and the start of his speech to Frodo head of his attempt to grab the Ring).

I'm reminded of the earlier Weathertop to The Ford section, where the companions plod slowly across a vast landscape, with the threat of pursuit hovering over them as Frodo's condition worsens. Or of the whole of Book IV, trudging around the borders of Mordor while Gollum/Smeagol works up to either betrayal of Frodo or loyalty to him.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


squire
Half-elven


Jun 1 2017, 12:11pm

Post #13 of 47 (3364 views)
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Vikings, peddlers, German merchants, the Silk Road, etc. [In reply to] Can't Post

European trade and travel used to be at least as hairy as any epic from North American history in the European settlement era - only about five hundred to a thousand years earlier.

The Americans wrote about it in a Romantic way, because it was the Romantic era, which looked back to Medieval-style adventures with a wistful appreciation of a time before more civilized ways. The Europeans of 1000 AD, braving rapids, cliffs, robbers, fogs, and general upsets on a regular basis, didn't have time for what we now call Romance.



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 2:07pm

Post #14 of 47 (3348 views)
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Just looking at our world type landscapes [In reply to] Can't Post

The Wilderland comes across as a type of rough, hilly, mainly grassland - so for Europe I think of more Eastern areas similar to steppe ... Viking Rus, Slavic lands

http://www.egminiaturas.com/Fotos%20Galeria/Rus.jpg

Eurasian steppe river
https://upload.wikimedia.org/...Park_Donskoy_001.jpg

Mordor fits into the Hungarian / Carpathian basin - http://www.hunsor.se/.../carphatianbasin.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 2:12pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 6:43pm

Post #15 of 47 (3314 views)
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By the 3rd Age, most of ME is severley de-populated. [In reply to] Can't Post

Prior wars....loss of the North Kingdom etc. took a huge toll on the human population. Most of what was left was concentrated in Dale, Bree, Rohan and Gondor. There were some scattered communities ln the hinterlands like "woodmen" and Dunland.

Most of the old river locations were in ruins....Tharbad is a prime example. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tharbad

I do get the impression the populations may have been higher among the men under Sauron - Easterlings, Khand, Southrons, Umbar etc.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 6:51pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 7:13pm

Post #16 of 47 (3313 views)
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Regarding Boromir and Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

In reading Boromir's impassioned plea to Frodo I cannot but help think that most of use would agree with him (not having foresight etc) that the plan of sending Frodo into Mordor is supreme folly.

If the world hung in the balance, and if the idea of divine powers was absent (as most of the secular world sees things) would people take a risk on faith (in what?) or hoped for luck? Would a million to 1 shot be worth the risk?

I think some would say, a "good man" armed with the ring could accomplish our near term goals and then we can destroy it (assuming the "good man" allows it). This of course, does not take into account the "addictive nature of the ring" and that no ultimate victory is possible as long as it remains....just a postponement. Some would settle for that and take the risk of having an Isildur.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 7:14pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 9:56pm

Post #17 of 47 (3293 views)
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The damaged lands [In reply to] Can't Post

On one level, I think we can look to pseudo-historical explanations, such as poor land husbandry leading to ecological disaster, and events such as wars and plagues. Squires notes about the Rus' and other medieval traders of the silk roads reminded me that slaves were very often a trading item: maybe that's where the people went.

I suspect there's also a mythical thing where the land and the King are one, and the land can't recover without a proper king. This might be something to do with the Fisher King stories? But my ideas about those are only vague- I'd be delighted to learn more.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


squire
Half-elven


Jun 1 2017, 9:56pm

Post #18 of 47 (3299 views)
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The calculus of using the Ring is more fraught than that [In reply to] Can't Post

Asking a "good" Ring Lord to accomplish our "near term goals" is something to examine more closely. He must and will assemble a giant army from all the Free Peoples, a la the Last Alliance, and then assault Mordor in a massive offensive war. In the course of doing so he will corrupt all the other leaders of the Free Peoples into being his armed subordinates, thinking only of military victory and putting the surviving slaves of Mordor to work in the service of ... what? Or rather, of ... whom? Whom indeed? The new inhabitant of the Dark Tower, of course, whether that Tower is now Minas Tirith or Barad-dur.

This is the "short term" problem of using the Ring, as warned about at the Council of Elrond, and expanded upon by Boromir as he raves to a terrified Frodo.

Needless to say "then we can destroy it" is not going to be on anyone's agenda at that point.

The nature of the Ring only makes it a feasible weapon against the Enemy for those who are willing to become the Enemy. It has no - zero - nada - zilch - value as a weapon for any leader or people who wish to be free of the Darkness of Sauron. (Denethor, we will see, has some perception of this; unlike his son, he proposes to store it rather than use it - except, even for him, at the "last resort"(!). But Gandalf notes how unlikely even this is as a plan, since the desire for the Ring inevitably 'burns away' any strong leader's idea of not using 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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 10:07pm

Post #19 of 47 (3286 views)
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"Some would settle for that" [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreeing with all that squire says, I wanted to go on to say:

In his Foreword, Tolkien demolished the idea that he'd intended the story as an allegory of the Second World War. One of his arguments is that in such an allegory the Ring would certainly have been used as a weapon, with the predictable bad consequences. So we're dealing with fantasy here: the Ring is more extreme an evil than any real-world thing, and the plan of disposing of it rather than using it is perhaps wiser than could be managed in the real world.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 10:09pm

Post #20 of 47 (3291 views)
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In reality, with the Ring on the "good man or woman's" hand (Galadriel for example) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron can never be defeated because his will just operates through them.....the players change but in actuality he just uses them as pawns. Boromir does not understand this in his madness.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 10:10pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 10:18pm

Post #21 of 47 (3283 views)
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If one looks at the life of Isildur, however, [In reply to] Can't Post

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Isildur

Isildur did not always wear the ring and he seems to have operated normally while possessing it....at least until his death. What the future would have brought is conjecture. I assume he would have started to wear it more and more and finally succumb to Sauron.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 1 2017, 10:40pm

Post #22 of 47 (3276 views)
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Yes, I fully understand that. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Prior wars....loss of the North Kingdom etc. took a huge toll on the human population. Most of what was left was concentrated in Dale, Bree, Rohan and Gondor. There were some scattered communities ln the hinterlands like "woodmen" and Dunland.

Most of the old river locations were in ruins....Tharbad is a prime example. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tharbad

I do get the impression the populations may have been higher among the men under Sauron - Easterlings, Khand, Southrons, Umbar etc.


As a gamer, I think about the more interesting possibilities for isolated homesteads and small settlements that might have persisted outside of Bree-land. East and south of Bree, the Lone-lands are pretty much abandoned other than the hidden remnants of the Dúnedain and the Hill-men scratching out a living north of Rivendell; there isn't even anything left to keep the interest of bands of bandits. However, to the west, the lands between the Hills of Evendim and the Blue Mountains might attract the kind of loners and pioneers who are not content to remain in safe, settled lands. And Tolkien did not write much about those regions during the later part of the Third Age after the fall of Angmar.

I can see some of the more adventurous Men of Eriador trying their luck in the lands that the Elves abandoned with the rise of Angmar, trapping in the Lune and Little Lune rivers, maybe panning for gold, and trading with the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains. Some such Men might bring their families with them to found farmholds and perhaps a few isolated thorps; a few might even take brides from among the Lossoth to the north. I posited a trading post that I dubbed Anthorp, near the confluence of the Lune and the rivulet that flows out of the Hills of Twilight. I freely admit that I am romanticizing more than a bit.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 1 2017, 10:48pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 1 2017, 10:59pm

Post #23 of 47 (3260 views)
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Go West young man! [In reply to] Can't Post

In real terms, the farther west one went the farther from harm -

I would consider a move to Harlindon - some nice real estate there.

http://merp.wikia.com/...don?file=Harlind.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 1 2017, 11:00pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 2 2017, 1:09am

Post #24 of 47 (3245 views)
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U.S. history was likely an inspiration for me. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In real terms, the farther west one went the farther from harm -

I would consider a move to Harlindon - some nice real estate there.

http://merp.wikia.com/...don?file=Harlind.jpg


Maybe in the Fourth Age. I don't think any real estate was available for Men in Harlindon or Forlindon in the Third Age.

The maps produced for MERP did add some lovely, crinkly details that we don't get in Christopher Tolkien's maps of Middle-earth, including many streams and rivulets.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 2 2017, 1:12am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 2 2017, 3:27am

Post #25 of 47 (3228 views)
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Both areas seemed to be pretty open for settlement [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to have been basically abandoned since the 2nd age.

Other than the Grey Havens and some possible dwarf communities in the mountains it seems to be wide open.

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