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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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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 30 2017, 10:37pm

Post #101 of 174 (1340 views)
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I know! [In reply to] Can't Post

I wrote the post in Main. Laugh

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


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 9:41am

Post #102 of 174 (1305 views)
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god-duels: Aslan vs. White witch [In reply to] Can't Post

well there's this, from another Inkling:


Quote
"Off my back, children," shouted Aslan. And they both tumbled off. Then with a roar that shook all Narnia from the western lamp-post to the shores of the eastern sea the great beast flung himself upon the White Witch. Lucy saw her face lifted towards him for one second with an expression of terror and amazement. Then Lion and Witch rolled over together but with the Witch underneath; and at the same moment all war-like creatures whom Aslan had led from the Witch's house rushed madly on the enemy lines...

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


So Aslan kills the Witch (it being a children's book the 'camera' turns away from the actual event). The Pevensie children (the human heroes of the book) have done their part, but it's god on god (or in this case probably allegorical God on false-god) for the ending. It's an example of your point that other writers prefer to be less subtle with there fairy-story magical interventions -especially perhaps when the author has a purpose, such as Lewis' wish to make the Narnia stories a Christian allegory.


In the quote, the odd-seeming information that the Witch is underneath as they go down is meant, I presume, to suggest that Aslan is winning. A deconstruction whereby the Witch is an uppity female who is being put in her place by a male-on-top is of course possible and might be interesting, but is probably out of scope for this subthread.

~~~~~~
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 31 2017, 12:47pm

Post #103 of 174 (1305 views)
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CS Lewis adhered to the norms more than his buddy Tolkien; And, what do we do about those powerful women? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's the kind of climactic moment I expect in just about every fairy tale, past or present, including sci-fi stories, and every action movie. (No one really thought Wonder Woman would get through her movie without fighting Aries, did they? --though I did enjoy it, and the fight came about unexpectedly.)

But, oh, perilously dost thou stray close to the brink of sexism in thy thread, Wizard of Sea-earth. Isn't the evil character in fairy stories almost always a witch? Shouldn't powerful women always be put in their place? And what sane man would give them the right to vote, anyway? (Well, um, a certain adaption of another story about a Snow Queen comes awkwardly to mind, but no accusations, you were updating it, not originating it.) :)

On the other hand, I'm not sure gender is always significant--unless the character is a eunuch, they're going to be male or female, there just aren't too many options (unless Ursula LeGuin is writing). In Beowulf, it wasn't enough to kill the male-monster, they had to kill his mom too, so let's say Beowulf was ahead of its time in the anti-sexist crusade.


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 1:51pm

Post #104 of 174 (1292 views)
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A talking Fox in LOTR? Surely not :) // [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 31 2017, 2:16pm

Post #105 of 174 (1292 views)
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She does not have to say a word! ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

But a Transformers / Power Rangers version of LOTR almost demands her notable skills. Maybe some scene driven screaming / shouting or whispered dialogue. I would like to see her heal a LEGO Frodo.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 2:18pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 2:31pm

Post #106 of 174 (1286 views)
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Why did Celeborn say to Aragorn [In reply to] Can't Post

"May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!"

Sounds like he is in a terrible marriage and a looming divorce will reduce his net worth.

Why would he want Aragorn's doom to be different?
Was his destiny so bad that he wished another on Aragorn?
Yes, Celeborn will leave behind "treasure" of a kind in Lothlorien but
he will be going to the "treasured" isle.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 2:31pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 31 2017, 2:58pm

Post #107 of 174 (1280 views)
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"May your doom be other than mine..." [In reply to] Can't Post

Celeborn's treasure is Galadriel. Celeborn seems to be referring to his looming (if temporary) separation from Galadriel as he probably knows that she intends to return to the West while the Elf-lord feels he must remain (at least for a time) with his folk in Middle-earth. If Celeborn remains then he must part with his life-mate, If he sails into the West then he abandons his responsibilities to the remaining Galadhrim of Lórien.

"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 31 2017, 3:00pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 3:06pm

Post #108 of 174 (1272 views)
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"100 years is a mere blink in the life of an elf. I'm patient. I can wait." As Thranduil said. [In reply to] Can't Post

Celeborn will be re-united with his love of the last, though it appears he was the last to leave with the remnant of the Eldar who stayed the longest. A little time away can do good for the balance of their immortal marriage.

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Celeborn


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 3:26pm

Post #109 of 174 (1272 views)
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You realise that this is, of course like asking Merry to comment on pipe-weed.... [In reply to] Can't Post

So many things I like to think about....

A fight certainly provides an exciting point in a story, and can be made to offer a 'winner' and a 'loser'. So perhaps it is not surprising if many stories old and new have ended up with a 'boss battle'. Obviously it isn't obligatory; the Snow Queen (Hans Christian-Andersen's original story) for example has our female hero Gerda get into the Snow Queen's castle to rescue her (male) friend Kai - but the Snow Queen is out at the time and does not show up to resist (for interesting reasons I'll come to later).

Such a 'boss battle' finish does seem nearly obligatory in current action movies. Regarding the film Wonder Woman [and note if you haven't seen the film: this paragraph contains spoilers], personally I found her encounter with Ares rather frustrating: I was finding the explosions and chucking of magic and heavy objects at each other a distraction from what thought was a really good (and possibly quite original idea): Ares thinks that humanity are a mistake because they have free will, and are therefore capable of either evil or good. At least, that was my reading. That interested me more than all the CGI - but that might only go to show that I don't really get action movies or superhero movies.

Is the evil character in fairy stories (and so ending up 'underneath' in the boss battle) really almost always female? I'm not disagreeing with you here, I'm literally saying that I don't know. The Wicked Witch is certainly a folk tale staple, but so are male figures such as the Wolf or the Greedy King, Giant or Ogre.

Certainly when a storyteller invents a human or animal character it will usually have to be a he, she (or possibly nowadays a 'they'). For some readers (both casual and deeply thoughtful or analytical) the character's gender is unimportant: for others that choice is going to lead to a lot of assumptions or conclusions. For example, you may remember that the last 'official' read-through had a good discussion about whether it was significant that Tolkien made Shelob specifically a 'she'. One issue was that most of the LOTR characters (numerically) are male, and so it looks like a deliberate choice.

So - where does this get us:
*The big bad is sometimes (or even often) a female

*To be a big bad you must be a powerful woman (or man) - your role in the story is, after all to prevent the protagonists from getting what they want easily or too soon. For some readers and societies at least, 'powerful woman' is creepy and unnatural anyway, and the storyteller can ride on that.

Which makes me think - stories from cultures that thought 'powerful woman' was creepy might result in us having more female antagonist than protagonists. Again, I don't know, though perhaps someone has done a PhD or two counting these things. Back to Snow Queen again - Gerda is a powerful female, but (in Hand C-A's version) she is powerful in a nineteenth century feminine way that nowadays can seem peculiar. Her power is in being a very Romantic (as in cap. R Romantic Movement) figure. Specifically, I see her as the Eternal Feminine. She doesn't stick a sword in the Snow Queen (c.f. Eowyn), she walks into the SQ's palace barefoot, dispels the demonic guards by reciting the Lord's Prayer, and then releases her friend Kai from the spell binding him by crying. Gerda is all feminine feeling, and Kai has got himself into trouble partly by being all masculine intellect. It's also significant that Hans C-A insisted that Gerda is a child - she and Kai are not lovers, and she does not recover her lover from a romantic (little r) rival. All these themes of feminine (and childhood) innocence and purity risk being weird or even creepy to a modern audience. But perhaps they made Gerda a more acceptable character to Victorian audiences, who might have struggled with an Eowyn or a Luthien.

CS Lewis' Witch bears a resemblance (co-incidental or not) to the Snow Queen. And for Hans C-A's Gerda we maybe have Lucy Pevensie, one of Narnia's best characters, I think. But maybe it is significant that Lucy, like Gerda is a girl (c.f. teenager or woman). Lewis seems to have trouble with writing positive post-pubescent female characters: The White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are out and out villianesses. Susan Pevensie is pushed into the role of worrywort fun spoiler, before being reported to be, in The Last Battle interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations.' We don't get an Eowyn or even a Galadriel. Maybe that is because of CS Lewis' thoughts and experience about women permeating his story; maybe it's how he felt the stories ought to go, for other reasons.

Another clear Lewis/Tolkien difference is that Lewis (I think) quite specifically wants to use Narnia books as a kind of pulpit, whereas Tolkien has understood that the more understated his moral messages are, the more universal they can be.

You ask "what do we do about those powerful women?"
Eowyn for President, perhaps?

~~~~~~
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 31 2017, 3:30pm

Post #110 of 174 (1270 views)
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Additionally, Celeborn has lost Lorien [In reply to] Can't Post

The power to preserve it as a sort of private corner of the First Age has gone along with the One Ring. That's a permanent loss.

~~~~~~
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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 31 2017, 3:45pm

Post #111 of 174 (1264 views)
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Sooner or later. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Celeborn will be re-united with his love of the last, though it appears he was the last to leave with the remnant of the Eldar who stayed the longest. A little time away can do good for the balance of their immortal marriage.


Yes, eventually Celeborn takes ship. But by remaining in Middle-earth he takes the risk that his physical existence could end before then and he might only be reunited with Galadriel in the Halls of Mandos. There was also the option of remaining in Middle-earth indefinitely and fading.

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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 31 2017, 3:45pm

Post #112 of 174 (1264 views)
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Sooner or later. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Celeborn will be re-united with his love of the last, though it appears he was the last to leave with the remnant of the Eldar who stayed the longest. A little time away can do good for the balance of their immortal marriage.


Yes, eventually Celeborn takes ship. But by remaining in Middle-earth he takes the risk that his physical existence could end before then and he might only be reunited with Galadriel in the Halls of Mandos. There was also the option of remaining in Middle-earth indefinitely and fading.

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


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 3:59pm

Post #113 of 174 (1263 views)
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Yes, the loss of the power of Nenya will fade Lothlorien [In reply to] Can't Post

however, I have to imagine the Tol Eresea forests are even more grand. It is like moving from a home you have lived in for most of your life....even if the new home is better in all ways..there is the feeling of loss. That may be similar to what he is feeling...everything Galadriel and him have built is ending.

Aragorn will have his mortal doom.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 4:00pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 4:28pm

Post #114 of 174 (1250 views)
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The traveling company chances upon Saruman and Grima.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman, in defeat, is an interesting character...

He states "You have doomed yourselves, and you know it."

I can only think he is referring to the diminishing of the Rings of Power.
He is mocking Galadriel and Celeborn for the loss of Lothlorien.
I suppose is he is suggesting that Gandalf (really him) had a chance to rule over all and cast it aside.

He then states: "And now, what ship will bear you back across so wide a sea?....."It will be a grey ship, and full of ghosts."

Why does he think the Straight Road is closed to them?
He seems to think the West somehow has lost.

It appears a cast out Istari without a staff is basically powerless - he appears to have lost all of his "magic" ability. But he is still persuasive and is able to cause much trouble as we will soon see.


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 5:25pm

Post #115 of 174 (1242 views)
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"And now, what ship will bear you back across so wide a sea? [In reply to] Can't Post

A nice catch from our lat read-through was a.s. noting that Saruman is quoting to Galadriel a line from her song to Frodo (see http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=915428#915428 ). We discussed various explanations, but personally I prefer squire's the idea that this line is a well-known one from Noldor poetry: a little as if someone IRL were to say sarcastically 'so - climbing a stairway to heaven, are we?'

I don't think Saruman really thinks the way to the West is closed to them; I parse the 'ghosts; as meaning 'regrets', and see Saruman a saying that their dream of finally returning to the West will be spoiled by their regrets. Or at least he hopes so - spiteful man that he now is.

~~~~~~
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 31 2017, 5:47pm

Post #116 of 174 (1235 views)
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Yes, I think Saruman believes that the ship will be a sad journey of regret [In reply to] Can't Post

rather than a return to a long lost home. Yes, there will be sadness and certain regrets but the longing to go over the Sea is still the culmination of an Elven life. To stay is to eventually fade.

I am curious about the path home taken by Galadriel and Celeborn - trekking up and over the mountains. The orcs of the Misty Mountains were still present - so the road could be dangerous. Certainly, to enter Moria (I know the western gate was closed) would still lead to orcs. And farther north Goblin town must still exist. The orcs are free to organize or fight amongst themselves as they see fit now. Trolls still exist. Though I don't think they are likely to come across any as the orcs reside inside their holds for the most part. I wonder if they do any raiding at times until maybe finally defeated?

Gimli will lead folk to the Glittering Caves for a new dwarf kingdom. So they will reside immediately behind the Hornburg.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 5:48pm)


enanito
Lorien

Aug 31 2017, 8:04pm

Post #117 of 174 (1214 views)
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Hunting for Balrog wings? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe G&C still doubted Gandalf's tall tale about defeating the Balrog and wanted to scout it out on the way back home, and see if they really could find the remains where it was cast down "from the high place and broke the mountain-side".

Plus, the value on the black market for Balrog wings is quite expensive, from what I hear, so if they could just pluck a couple of souvenirs...


(This post was edited by enanito on Aug 31 2017, 8:05pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 31 2017, 8:33pm

Post #118 of 174 (1215 views)
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Even counting fairy tales for a tally of male/female evil opponents can be fraught with discord [In reply to] Can't Post

Do we take the most popular/well-known? Or every one of them that's ever been recorded, no matter how obscure & unknown?

I was mentally scanning through the former: Hansel & Gretel vs Wicked Witch; Dorothy in Wizard of Oz + 1 good witch vs 2 Wicked Witches; the Narnia stories I could remember, and anything else that came to mind. (That's not counting wicked stepmothers, a stock character as in Cinderella. The term "wicked stepfather" really isn't cliche, is it?)

Though I was also joking to some degree. There have always been female rulers in real life history, with the implication that male-dominated societies accepted them as such, even if they didn't want them to become the norm 50% of the time.

And sexist roles affect both genders equally: what if boys don't want to grow up to be swashbuckling warriors but would rather be poets, musicians, or librarians? Don't all these warrior-hero stories make them feel as oppressed as stories preaching that a women's "real place" is raising children and making meals?


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 31 2017, 8:45pm

Post #119 of 174 (1212 views)
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Feminine power according to the era [In reply to] Can't Post

Your reference to Gerda's feminine power got me thinking about how each era will have its own standard. She wasn't a 2017 Amazon-fighter type, though she was strong in a Frodo/Sam way of being incredibly loyal and resolute--she never ran home for help or gave up along the way.

What we see now in popular films are "strong women" who fight physically/martially as well as men.

I was thinking of what if we fast forward c. 200 years, and it's much more common than now for women to run countries and corporations at all levels. Then I would think that people in the future would look back at our peculiar female fighters and say, "Why didn't she do what any strong woman would do, and delegate that fight to a champion?" Because that is what kings often did, and it wasn't cowardly. Kings had countries to rule with many diverse responsibilities and couldn't stake everything on a fight, though of course at times they did in legends. So, imagine future heroic women delegating, like any powerful person would rather than doing all the heroic stuff herself. Our contemporary powerful women could seem just as peculiar as a strong but non-violent Gerda.

Just some speculation about how gender roles can change and expectations can change with them.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 9:27pm

Post #120 of 174 (1203 views)
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Since they can walk on snow it makes the journey less taxing. [In reply to] Can't Post

http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_of_the_Peak

It is possible the pass was closed due to the falling mountain.

Then again, they went up there for some path maintenance...clearing the debris....she can move great stones.

Out of the way rock!
http://s3.gatheringmagic.com/.../2016/01/21/MJ_8.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 9:30pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 9:35pm

Post #121 of 174 (1202 views)
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I was thinking about this side story.....I wish it had been more developed. [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.theonering.net/...white-council-fails/

Dol Guldur’s destruction. Why Galadriel succeeds where the White Council fails.

APRIL 20, 2013 at 8:23 AM BY DEMOSTHENES -

So, did Galadriel learn the words of power that could undo the fortress or did her ring actually play a role....or just her innate power and a use of magic? Who would have divulged the words of power?


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 31 2017, 9:49pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31 2017, 11:53pm

Post #122 of 174 (1191 views)
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We also have another scene where telecommunication is directly indicated [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Celeborn etc. sit and without saying anything aloud communicate via mind to mind.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 1 2017, 1:16am

Post #123 of 174 (1191 views)
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He has also lost [In reply to] Can't Post

his daughter, Celebrian, and is losing his granddaughter Arwen, who is the treasure he is hoping Aragorn can keep. It's easy to forget that he, as well as Elrond and Galadriel, is saying goodbye to her forever.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Eruonen
Valinor


Sep 1 2017, 2:43am

Post #124 of 174 (1179 views)
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Ah yes, good points. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sador
Half-elven


Sep 1 2017, 10:14am

Post #125 of 174 (1155 views)
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Well, if that's what you prefer - [In reply to] Can't Post

You can have a blues extended drum solo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dD0Es7ANsU

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