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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Return of the King Part II - the unofficial read through - Book VI onward
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CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 21 2017, 9:05pm

Post #26 of 174 (1559 views)
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Cirith Ungol should have really weighed on Sauron's mind [In reply to] Can't Post

That tower was "defeated by an Elven warrior" while Sauron's armies almost had the upperhand on the Pelennor fields, meaning he should have been sure that he had swept Ithilien clear of all opposing armies, and really, how could an Elf take down that garrison alone? And who/what had wounded Shelob when no one ever had before? Just how did this happen so far behind the battle line? He should have been more worried about that anomaly than anything else. Gandalf was accounted for at Minas Tirith--who was his mysterious Force?


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 21 2017, 9:06pm

Post #27 of 174 (1557 views)
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My guess is he'd prefer orcs over men as servants. [In reply to] Can't Post

Somehow he controlled them all, as seen by the battle at the Black Gate, where they quailed when his mind was turned elsewhere and collapsed when he did, whereas Men had a mind of their own and were able to fight on. That independence would be a threat to his rule, for someone who wanted absolute control.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 21 2017, 11:04pm

Post #28 of 174 (1547 views)
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Orcs do seem to like to have a rumble! [In reply to] Can't Post

And any old excuse seems to do. And the idea of outsiders just seems to increase. At first it is Orcs against anyone else. Then it's Mordor Orcs v Saruman Orcs, cursed traitors. Then it's Mordor Orcs v Morgul Orcs, cursed traitors. Then in Mordor it's various tribes of Orcs v each other. It's probably a good thing from an Orkish point of view that football, soccer for you Americans was never invented. Orckish holliganisum would have been quite an issue!


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 21 2017, 11:06pm

Post #29 of 174 (1547 views)
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Another thing he could be worried about. [In reply to] Can't Post

Was the fact that two bold spies where wondering around in Mordor unescourted. And he was aware of this fact as a close look at the text says.


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 21 2017, 11:23pm

Post #30 of 174 (1546 views)
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There is one thing said in these chapters I wonder about [In reply to] Can't Post

Which was something like that Sauron had taken the bait offered by the men of the west ie the idea that one of them had his Ring and as a result all of Mordor was emptied. I do find this unlikely and I also wonder if there is a way around this statement and if the Ring-bearer might have faced more foes on the way to Mount Doom. I mean would really every creature in Mordor been on the army to face Gondor's? Might there be a few civilians, stay at homes, even in Mordor. Or perhaps Mordor was emptied, officially, but it's client states where not all. Maybe some Men from the south could still be hurrying up to Mordor.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 22 2017, 1:34am

Post #31 of 174 (1532 views)
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When you look at Frodo and Sam's trail it takes them toward danger [In reply to] Can't Post

...more concentrated in the north by the Morannon. The area they crossed would have been jammed with Saurons armies but it appears most had already taken position behind the Black Gate. Sauron over stuffed the forces against the West. But still, looking at the path of Frodo and Sam it certainly makes sense they get caught up on the road. But, off the road the territory is not that hospitable for troop movement so I can understand how they could skirt the more traffic heavy paths. Sauron could never imagine infiltration. He did not plan for it.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 22 2017, 5:05pm

Post #32 of 174 (1471 views)
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Post deleted by Eruonen [In reply to]

 


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 22 2017, 5:14pm

Post #33 of 174 (1472 views)
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The Uruk Hai saw that they were wearing orc helms and shields....so I suppose they looked like [In reply to] Can't Post

small orcs......Red Eye marking. When the Uruk Hai said "your folk" it seemed he may be referring to another kind...human...but it probably seems to have meant orc kind as the usual depictions support.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 22 2017, 5:18pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 22 2017, 6:47pm

Post #34 of 174 (1458 views)
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Mount Doom [In reply to] Can't Post

The climax is approaching - our heroes are facing an almost impossible task of crossing the Gorgoroth plain - little water, little food, enemies potentially around and above, Frodo has the Ring weariness...but Sam, finds his inner resolve and drives both forward. Sam is absolutely a hero, if not the biggest hero of the book. Without Sam, Frodo would have failed, time and time again...and in the end he fails on his own.

The armies of the West are being observed and Sauron has rushed the bulk of his forces to meet them. His thought cannot begin to consider an inside threat - he is focused on Aragorn.

The Winds of the West are blowing - pushing his veil away. Is this the effort of Manwe? He controls the winds, airs and birds were his servants. The Eagles?


No One in Particular
Rivendell


Aug 23 2017, 12:32am

Post #35 of 174 (1451 views)
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"What light through yonder window breaks?" [In reply to] Can't Post

[reply
The Winds of the West are blowing - pushing his veil away. Is this the effort of Manwe? He controls the winds, airs and birds were his servants. The Eagles?


Manwe. or Illuvatar. Or Illuvatar giving Manwe orders. Smile

Without the wind to hasten Aragorn's forces, Gondor falls. Without the cloud cover breaking to lift men's spirits, Gondor falls.

The men (and Eowyn and the Hobbits) still have to put forth maximum effort; whoever is behind the Darkness Breaking didn't just wave a hand and magic the forces of Mordor away into dust-the Armies of the West still had to work-and work hard- to achieve victory. But Whomever did it leveedl the playing field enough to make an otherwise impossible victory possible.

While you live, shine
Have no grief at all
Life exists only for a short while
And time demands an end.
Seikilos Epitaph


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 2:51am

Post #36 of 174 (1438 views)
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It has been fun to read these tidbits that show more "active if undeclared" influences [In reply to] Can't Post

of the powers. These small hints have been throughout from "providence" or "fortune" or "luck" etc.

It is funny to come across dialogue tht you recognize from the film but out of its normal setting in the book. I am thinking of Sam and Frodo on the plain and some of that dialogue...Frodo getting suddenly possessive of the Ring and fearful of Sam (taking place on the Stair of Cirith Ungol in the film.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 6:04pm

Post #37 of 174 (1401 views)
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Another tidbit that supports somewhat the films design for Bara-dur and the Eye [In reply to] Can't Post

Sam and Frodo can see Bara-dur from the slope of Mt. Doom.
"...the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower...there stabbled northward a flame of red, the flicker of the piercing Eye....the Eye was not turned to see them.

Before this, we get maybe another incident of the powers at work...
Sam..."...a sense of urgency as if he had been called: "Now, now, or it will be too late!"


squire
Half-elven


Aug 23 2017, 6:28pm

Post #38 of 174 (1396 views)
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Well, no [In reply to] Can't Post

The full quote, that you have partially cited, actually contradicts the film's design choice. Below in bold are the key missing words:
...the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dur. One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye; - LotR VI.3.
It makes sense that, even if Sauron's eye is far more than an actual physical eye in his body, he would nevertheless activate his power of spiritual vision from a lookout room, with a window of some kind, at the top of his tower.

The equivalent situation on the other side of the conflict, as we've seen, is that Denethor also retreats to a high room at the top of his castle's tower, to use his palantir - so we've already been primed to imagine that Sauron does the same thing only on a much greater scale. It's never made clear, but I believe that his palantir (the Ithil stone) is actually a strong component of his so-called Eye, at least as much as any telepathic power innate to his powerful spirit.



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


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Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 6:38pm

Post #39 of 174 (1393 views)
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I indicated " supports somewhat" - not exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

It does serve to illustrate the red light coming from the topmost portion of the tower in a gaze in a certain direction and uses the Eye imagery.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2017, 8:12pm

Post #40 of 174 (1382 views)
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Why doesn't Sauron sense the Ring when used in Mordor? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hullo all! Back for a quick visit.

My working theory is that the Nagzul are the one's with the ring-sniffing powers, and IIRC, they are all near Pellenor at this point. Do we get any indication that Sauron has anything like the Nazgul's powers to sense the Ring? Sure it has a part of himself/his power imbued within it, but do we have anything to make us think he is tuned to the homing signal it is sending out? I would think that Sauron might have above average sensitivity to the location of the Ring, but the Nazgul are the specialists, used not only as lackeys to do all the leg-work to find and return the Ring, but also to home in on it. Sauron merely holds the leashes and follows the hounds, as it were.

As for Sam's opinion, well, this is dialogue and not omniscient narration. I'm thinking he could well be mistaken. This might be an author's ploy to explain why Sam doesn't hide Frodo, put on the Ring, become invisible, tramp straight to the Cracks, drop it in, then high-tail it out of Mordor to get help for Frodo.

Sing a song of long lament.
The days be past, the years are spent.
The flames of fire, on funeral pyre
The warrior's soul it's wing'd way hath sent.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 8:22pm

Post #41 of 174 (1382 views)
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I don't think the Ring was used "in Mordor" - it was last used by Sam on the edge. [In reply to] Can't Post

Another interesting scene....Sam has a vision of Frodo in white with a ring of fire - and out of the fire spoke a commanding voice to Gollum:

"Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom!"

I suppose has to be Frodo's voice.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2017, 8:33pm

Post #42 of 174 (1392 views)
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'A' for effort [In reply to] Can't Post

I love this fantastic reversal of fortunes! 'Eucotastrophe' as JRRT called it. Some may see it as a convenient Deus ex Machina, but for me, it puts me in mind of something my parents and the good teachers I had did for me.

Like all good parents and teachers, I was pushed to try new and more difficult things. Needless to say, I didn't always like it...Tongue Anywho, I was often given a problem or task I thought was impossible, but I was always told: 'Do your best!' or 'You can do this'. I used to think this was a flippant off-hand encouragement to make me do something I didn't want to do. In the end though, my teachers and parents were more stubborn that I was (and held the keys to the car), so I usually ended up doing whatever it was anyway. After doing it enough times, I discovered a few things:

1. I could often do more than I thought I could. (a.k.a. I didn't know as much as I thought I did.)

2. My parents and teachers were not actually sadists who enjoyed seeing me fail.

3. Whenever it really counted, and I came to the end of my own powers, they were there to help me.

This last realisation meant a lot to me. Whether it was being there to pick me up and dust me off when I fell to try again, or to give me that push I needed to get over the line and succeed, I finally twigged to it that they were actually on my side. They wanted to help me, but they also wanted to see how far I could get on my own, and they wanted me to see it too.

Whenever I encounter the eucotastrophe in LotR, I like to think that I know how the rescued party feels. They thought that they were out there on their own, alone, abandoned by the Valar and the West, only to realise, not only that they had come further than they ever dreamed, but that they were not alone after all; they were not forgotten. There was a wiser power working on their behalf and suddenly, that victory that seemed impossible is within reach because they wanted to see you succeed as much as you do.

Sing a song of long lament.
The days be past, the years are spent.
The flames of fire, on funeral pyre
The warrior's soul it's wing'd way hath sent.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2017, 8:51pm

Post #43 of 174 (1378 views)
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The psychology of a talking Ring... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I do recall some who advocated that the Ring be treated as an independent character, so I suppose it could be argued that it might be the Ring speaking. IIRC, JRRT did write that the Ring was an 'amplifier', so to me, that implies passivity, but this doesn't necessarily imply that it is Frodo speaking either.

Perhaps we can examine it as a 'parasite' or 'virus'.

Perhaps in it's role as an amplifier, there is some residual feedback from the wearer that is appropriated by the Ring to construct it's own self-identity? In this case, it would need a 'host' to act. (Surely, on it's own, the Ring is incapable of movement, and like a virus, requires another to carry on it's own plans.) This might explain the seductive lure of the Ring and its uncanny ability to ferret out the most convincing temptations for each bearer.

To further the metaphor, at the time of the quote you mention, I think that Frodo is so overcome by the parasitic Ring, that at this point he is almost certainly not in full control of his actions or words. If the enslavement of the Ringwraiths offer any clue, he might well be losing his own personal identity, becoming a part of the Ring which, in itself, is a part of Sauron.

Sing a song of long lament.
The days be past, the years are spent.
The flames of fire, on funeral pyre
The warrior's soul it's wing'd way hath sent.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 8:54pm

Post #44 of 174 (1375 views)
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And we will see the words were true - at least in the ending. [In reply to] Can't Post

However, the Ring would not desire a return to the Fire.
I am curious about seeing Frodo in White.....what does that refer to?
How does it square with the Ring?
I don't see it as Sauron's voice...he would be aware.

As you state the Ring and Frodo are merging...maybe this is a vison of Frodo as Ring Lord - he is close.
The Nazgul were enslaved by the gift of their rings. Frodo has The Ring.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 23 2017, 9:01pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 9:05pm

Post #45 of 174 (1360 views)
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Frodo becoming like Gollum...make up shots [In reply to] Can't Post

https://static1.squarespace.com/...lord-of-the-ring.jpg

https://www.langweiledich.net/.../frodo_gollum_03.jpg

https://m.popkey.co/9a57fc/ZLxZ8.gif Fully in thrall to the Ring.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 9:11pm

Post #46 of 174 (1358 views)
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Oh, and Sauron does sense the Ring in Mount Doom [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2017, 9:13pm

Post #47 of 174 (1359 views)
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The Ring's Purpose.. [In reply to] Can't Post

True, the Ring did not desire it's own destruction, however, as you do point out, Frodo was close to Ring Lord (more like Ring-slave in actual fact) status. I think the Ring, with whatever innate or borrowed consciousness it had, was quite satisfied that Frodo would not be able to destroy it. Evil always underestimates the power of Good-- al a the classic: 'IMPOSSIBLE!!!' incredulous villain death cry.

As for the white clothes, I have no concrete answer. There is probably a deeper symbolism here,but all I can think of is the white death shroud from the Barrow Wights' holes. This is Sam's POV, correct? I think he sees Frodo on the edge, and this manifestation is not one of power, but showcasing his extreme weakness and imminent defeat by the power of the Ring.

Sing a song of long lament.
The days be past, the years are spent.
The flames of fire, on funeral pyre
The warrior's soul it's wing'd way hath sent.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 9:18pm

Post #48 of 174 (1354 views)
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Sam's vision on the slope when Gollum confronts them. [In reply to] Can't Post

And, the "Ring consciousness" was able to prevent Frodo from destroying it...it took the wild card of Gollum "touching the Ring" which seems to invoke the words (whose words?) of his doom.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 23 2017, 9:18pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2017, 9:19pm

Post #49 of 174 (1353 views)
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My Opinon ('Cause that's all I got!) [In reply to] Can't Post

I personally believe that Sauron sensed the Ring when it was put on and claimed by Frodo. Until now, Frodo had put no demand on the Ring beyond mere possession. I liken it to Aragorn's wresting of the palantir from Sauron. Frodo is now locked in direct conflict with Sauron for total control. I see this as the struggle Gandalf described when he said he could possibly claim the Ring for himself and become the new Dark Lord. Frodo has revealed himself to Sauron in this challenge, and that is why I think he could sense the Ring at that point.

Sing a song of long lament.
The days be past, the years are spent.
The flames of fire, on funeral pyre
The warrior's soul it's wing'd way hath sent.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 23 2017, 9:46pm

Post #50 of 174 (1344 views)
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It is murky because he does not have the ability to sense its location [In reply to] Can't Post

even when they are in Morder and on the slope of Mount Doom. As soon as it is placed on in Mount Doom he becomes Very Aware and in terror recalls the Nazgul. But yes, Sauron seems to know a halfling is involved...be it Pippen or Frodo....it seems all he knows is Baggins. But he is still focused on Aragorn. There is some confusion that certainly helps Sam and Frodo. To your point, all of that mental time that Frodo has with the struggle of the Ring...the Wheel of Fire, the Eye etc...seems to show a connection between him and Sauron. Yet, Sauron remains blind.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 23 2017, 9:49pm)

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