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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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Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29 2017, 8:29pm

Post #76 of 174 (1863 views)
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This image does a fine job of fitting her to my mind [In reply to] Can't Post

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Ioreth

Or

http://d1nr5wevwcuzuv.cloudfront.net/...dor_100_original.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 29 2017, 8:31pm)


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 29 2017, 9:55pm

Post #77 of 174 (1856 views)
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I do seriously think [In reply to] Can't Post

That Tolkien himself got a bit bored with the entire Frodo, Sam, Gollum story arc and possibly even with Hobbits and wanted to get back to the heroic Gondor and lost kings and shinning knights bit as quick as he could! Almost like Sauron in that respect, he prefered the big battles and the mighty armies and kings as opposed to the little people. Though I suppose we do get back to the little people a bit later.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29 2017, 11:49pm

Post #78 of 174 (1851 views)
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The Many Partings chapter does read as a sequential list of necessary [In reply to] Can't Post

hello and goodbye, farewells and until we meet agains. It was unavoidable but I sense he rather flew through the chapter - but it has some nice gems in it.

We have Faramir and Eowyn set up within their own garden like principality.
I like the small horn that Merry is given as a gift.
Treebeards cursing of the orcs is a nice long run of pent up words!
Frodo and Sam certainly had some time to recover physically with plenty of rest, food and drink.
Arwen tells Frodo that he can take her place on the ship to The West.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 1:57am

Post #79 of 174 (1837 views)
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As the story winds down I also get the impression Tolkien wanted to use some [In reply to] Can't Post

words and places that he had created and found places to use them:

marimaitesincahonda -Treebeard - Ent curse word for orc?

willow-meads of Tasarinan (sunken Beleriand...rising again?)
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/t/tasarinan.php


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 10:18am

Post #80 of 174 (1813 views)
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Nudge or luck? [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting subthread! These days I assume that there are Higher Powers nudging our heroes a little closer to success, but any such interventions are subtle. Subtle enough that a reader of LOTR can also choose to see it as luck: the weather changes, and the characters regard this as of metaphysical as well as military significance, but a reader usually doesn't have to accept the metaphysical angle if they don't want to.

Why would benevolent Higher Powers nudge (changes in the weather; a fortuitous find of drinkable water in Mordor) rather than wrench with overt miracles? Partly of course the drama of the story is spoiled if some Higher Power is bound to come along and fix things. But I think it's also consistent with hat we see of the Valar in the Sil. They seem a very hesitant and unsure bunch of divines, not at all clear about how to deliver Eru's vision and when their actions might do more harm than good. So maybe they wait, see what appears to be 'meant' to happen, and give things a very careful push.

~~~~~~
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


enanito
Lorien

Aug 30 2017, 1:14pm

Post #81 of 174 (1805 views)
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Journey vs Destination? [In reply to] Can't Post

I rather agree about the denouement of the whole Ring storyline.

Trying to imagine why it might have been presented this way - could it be the sense that many real-life dramatic things are "over in a flash", as opposed the drawn out Hollywood style imaging?

Or perhaps Tolkien was more interested in the journey as opposed to the destination? Meaning that the changes that occur during the Quest meant a lot more than actually what happened at the very End? Hence the Ring's actual destruction is mentioned almost in passing, while its effect on everything up to that point is much more detailed?


enanito
Lorien

Aug 30 2017, 1:43pm

Post #82 of 174 (1801 views)
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Involved in things that "Really Matter"? [In reply to] Can't Post

Stretching...

Another way to look at this would be that the Higher Powers only involve themselves in matters that are truly important. From any one person's POV, what happens to them is indeed truly important -- but the Valar definitely have different ideas about what is and isn't important. The vagaries and fluctuations of individual or community destinies doesn't seem to much rise to the level of DefCon5, requiring heavenly intervention.

Giving the Valar the benefit of the doubt (i.e., assuming they're not lazy, uncaring, and aloof!), Eru's plan seems to allow for a lot of internal fluidity. Choices are made for good and for bad, and sometimes events are constrained by forces outside individual or group control. But since that's all accounted for in Eru's plan, no intervention is needed.

But if there's something that 'must happen', like Sauron's destruction, then the Valar might just nudge things here and there, otherwise the point would come when they'd need more than just a subtle push.

OK, that was quite a stretch trying to justify the Valar, and I'm sure there's plenty of holes in what I just wrote...


(This post was edited by enanito on Aug 30 2017, 1:46pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:00pm

Post #83 of 174 (1791 views)
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I wasn't seeing the Valar as being lazy or disengaged [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't seeing the Valar as being lazy or disengaged - just as being very cautious about intervening. Either they are cautious because they only work on a really big scale, or because they are very aware of intervening in the wrong way. As far as I remember, it's not all that clear how much they know about how Eru's plan is to be brought about. Evidently it can sometimes involve a lot of mayhem and misery, at least in the short term. Perhaps they know that Sauron is 'meant' to be defeated now, or perhaps he's meant to rule for a while and that isn't clear to them until they see how things are going?

~~~~~~
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


Aug 30 2017, 2:15pm

Post #84 of 174 (1789 views)
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Valar conversations [In reply to] Can't Post

Manwe: Ok, I will help them with some wind so at least they can see and have some inspiration....nobody do anything else.
Tulkas: Hmm......that little guy on the edge...just a nudge....done!
Varda: Tulkas! What did you do?! We were to only inspire them!
Tulkas: I finish things, that is my purpose, cracking his knuckles.

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tulkas

Eru: I close my eyes for one Age and look what happens!
Oh well, the music has completed a cycle, let us start anew.


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:20pm

Post #85 of 174 (1783 views)
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oh, I don't know... [In reply to] Can't Post

I quite like the way it is done.
Sam drags the wounded Frodo away but escape is impossible and they end the chapter composing themselves for death. Cut to Aragorn et al, arriving back with them the moment after Pippin has been submerged under a troll, also composing himself for death. Brief but dramatic scenes of Barad-dur toppling, orcs going mad etc. The eagles Pippin spotted have come not so much as an air force, but as a medivac mission.

In an action movie remake perhaps we get Sam bundling Frodo into a (wondrously insulated) wheelbarrow and off they barrel down a surging river of lava, while the nazgul and eagles dog fight overhead. Just when the hobbits seem to have brought the barrow to the bank, Golumn floats up from the lava, not dead after all, and he and Sam have a fight as technically accomplished and as dull and drawn-out (to me) as a prog rock drum solo (or Thorin vs. Azog in BOTFA).

Wink
Not an improvement from my POV. But it's OK if others would prefer it that way....

Personally, I think it's important that Frodo does not only expect death (as he has done for some time) but seems almost to get to the point of welcoming it or needing it. There has to be no escape except by miracle for this to work. Waking, and saved by a miracle, Frodo has to struggle (and eventually fail) to fit into a new life: this seems to me to be the point of what would otherwise be an overlong denouement of the story. If it was just the good old-fashioned 'weddings and promotions', you'd have thought Tolkien could have got it done in just a chapter or so.

~~~~~~
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

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Aug 30 2017, 2:21pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:23pm

Post #86 of 174 (1777 views)
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valar dohaeris :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
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


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:25pm

Post #87 of 174 (1778 views)
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Just goes to show - discretion is the better part of Valar... // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
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


Aug 30 2017, 2:27pm

Post #88 of 174 (1776 views)
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LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:30pm

Post #89 of 174 (1776 views)
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Visions of Terminator.....Gollum rises from the lava....... [In reply to] Can't Post

The ending had to come and it is going to feel swift once it happens..it must...it is just that the journey was so full events, places etc. that the ending is necessarily abrupt.....it is not a criticism but just a reaction.


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 2:58pm

Post #90 of 174 (1770 views)
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Certainly the story has to manage a big change of gears here... [In reply to] Can't Post

We go from intense excitement and high stakes to smaller-scale stuff. As a younger, more action-hungry reader, I used sometimes to skip the rest. Now I've come to quite like it - or at least to have more ideas about why it shouldn't just have been drastically reduced y an editor...

~~~~~~
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


Aug 30 2017, 3:01pm

Post #91 of 174 (1769 views)
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The old saying that one should enjoy and treasure the journey rather than just the destination. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 30 2017, 3:05pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 30 2017, 4:28pm

Post #92 of 174 (1762 views)
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I think it also matters how personally attached you are to the characters [In reply to] Can't Post

I quite liked the principal ones and didn't want the story to end, even if it meant more uneventful chapters like the very first one, where hobbits gossip in inns and plan birthdays. But most people expect the story to wind up and let them move on to other things, so wrapping up is the way to go.

You bring up a good point about Frodo being on the verge of death, even wanting it. That's a new plot point, actually, and something that frames the remaining chapters, all the way to the goodbye scene at the end (spoilers! Wink). None of that would have had much impact if things had gone Star Trek style:

"Mount Doom is going to blow in 5 seconds."
"How long will it take to teleport Frodo to safety?"
"Four seconds." [Do you even have to ask?]
"Oh, look, it's Frodo safe and sound, and we all live happily ever after."

But even if I find the Ring-ending too brief as a reader, the hero-ending is emotionally raw and disturbing as the they seem to be caught up in the same fate as the Ring & Gollum:


Quote
Frodo and Sam could go no further. Their last strength of mind and body was swiftly ebbing. They had reached a low ashen hill piled at the Mountain’s foot; but from it there was no more escape. It was an island now, not long to endure, amid the torment of Orodruin. All about it the earth gaped, and from deep rifts and pits smoke and fumes leaped up. Behind them the Mountain was convulsed. Great rents opened in its side. Slow rivers of fire came down the long slopes towards them. Soon they would be engulfed. A rain of hot ash was falling.
...
And so it was that Gwaihir saw them with his keen far-seeing eyes, as down the wild wind he came, and daring the great peril of the skies he circled in the air: two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill, while the world shook under them, and gasped, and rivers of fire drew near. And even as he espied them and came swooping down, he saw them fall, worn out, or choked with fumes and heat, or stricken down by despair at last, hiding their eyes from death.

Especially that part in bold. This is mercifully so much better than Gollum emerging from the lava for one last fight. Instead the characters are fighting death itself, physically and emotionally, and they appear to have gone over the brink.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 30 2017, 4:39pm

Post #93 of 174 (1762 views)
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Points well made, but at the same time, this is a fairy story [In reply to] Can't Post

and I would almost expect more magical intervention, and for it to be much less subtle, given the norms of fairy stories, instead of lucky weather changes and ambiguous nudges here and there. Not saying they are needed, and in fact it makes it more fun as a reader to look for clues of divine providence/valar discretion or not, but I can easily see another writer having Sauron emerge from Barad-dur as a 200-meter tall warrior-demon striding to Mt Doom to stop what's happening there, and Tulkas emerging suddenly as another 200-meter tall angel champion to fight him in an epic duel to thwart him, with lots of sparks from sword clashes, etc. That is just so Hollywood. And actually, it would fit within the genre.

We're lucky Tolkien thought otherwise, but I think deep in his writer blood he was going to make this a story about how little people can shape the world, and his thematic dogma would have prevented any towering god-duels. (Let's just hope the next movie gives us god-duels and gets it right. Wink)


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 5:24pm

Post #94 of 174 (1761 views)
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Arrgh- now you have me imagining "the Power Rangers ending" :o [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I can easily see another writer having Sauron emerge from Barad-dur as a 200-meter tall warrior-demon striding to Mt Doom to stop what's happening there, and Tulkas emerging suddenly as another 200-meter tall angel champion to fight him in an epic duel to thwart him, with lots of sparks from sword clashes, etc.


Power Rangers Middle-earth: the eagles are of course robots that assemble into Tulkas, and Arwen gets to be the Pink Ranger....

~~~~~~
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


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 30 2017, 8:42pm

Post #95 of 174 (1748 views)
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Now you're talking! [In reply to] Can't Post

All we need is some financing, and we'll remake the LOTR movies the way they should have been made all along!


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 9:00pm

Post #96 of 174 (1748 views)
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Arwen must be played by Megan Fox of course. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 30 2017, 10:03pm

Post #97 of 174 (1731 views)
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Nooo! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Arwen must be played by Megan Fox of course.


Must...not...kill...tornsib.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 10:18pm

Post #98 of 174 (1728 views)
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Absolutely, there can be no substitutions for such a Transformer LOTR. [In reply to] Can't Post

Ye of little faith in the awesomeness of Ms. Fox.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...e88a6ec010be82aa.jpg

http://www.develop-online.net/...d%20the%20scenes.JPG

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...1448ff3dc98aef53.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 30 2017, 10:25pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 30 2017, 10:26pm

Post #99 of 174 (1722 views)
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Well, you're right about that! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have very little little faith in the awesomeness of Megan Fox. Evil

On the other hand, I might be able to get behind Lily Collins (just announded as signed on to play Edith Bratt in the Tolkien biopic) for Arwen:



"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 30 2017, 10:31pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 30 2017, 10:33pm

Post #100 of 174 (1713 views)
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That is news....slight thread diversion but it came up....see in Main [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/...lkien-biopic-1033539

Lily Collins Joins Nicholas Hoult in J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 30 2017, 10:35pm)

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