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The Messiah comes to Middle-earth
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geordie
Tol Eressea

Dec 5 2017, 10:38am

Post #26 of 47 (4026 views)
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For what it's worth - [In reply to] Can't Post

- depending on how much notice folks take of the author's opinions on this -Wink - when asked in an interview about Frodo = Christ, Tolkien demurred. 'I don't think Frodo was particularly Christ-like, except perhaps in taking on a burden.'

On the possibilty of Gandalf as Christ, Tolkien demurred again - he said, 'Well there have been many stories of people who lay down their lives for others.' (though he didn't mention coming back from the dead).

I'm not aware of anyone asking him about Aragorn, but I expect his reply may have been along those lines.

On the other hand; on one occassion he said that Dec.25th was deliberately chosen as the date for leaving Rivendell, whereas on another he said it was entirely coincidental; so you pays your money and takes your choice.
.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 5 2017, 1:40pm

Post #27 of 47 (4014 views)
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We can't hang on every word of the author's [In reply to] Can't Post

Because he said both that LOTR is a fundamentally Catholic story and he also said it was not explicitly Christian. He's allowed to change his mind; we all do.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 5 2017, 3:26pm

Post #28 of 47 (4012 views)
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Or maybe we can... [In reply to] Can't Post

... at least in this case.


In Reply To
...he said both that LOTR is a fundamentally Catholic story and he also said it was not explicitly Christian


Since Tolkien can be relied on to choose his words carefully, I think it would be fair to make the distinction between what's "fundamental" (deeply ingrained) and what's "explicit" (visible on the surface). In fact that seems like a good way of describing Tolkien's approach to the role of religion in his story in general. My favourite quote to illustrate this is in the words Tolkien gave to Sam about "elf-magic":
'If there’s any magic about, it’s right down deep, where I can’t lay my hands on it, in a manner of speaking.'
And yet, even though there's no "explicit" magic that you can lay your hands on, you can clearly sense it's there:
‘You can see and feel it everywhere,’ said Frodo.


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 5 2017, 4:07pm

Post #29 of 47 (4009 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Some examples:

Hysterical blindness is a common symptom of PTSD:

"All right, all right! I'm here. But I can't see."
Frodo was calling with a weak voice. ,He was not actually very far away. He had slid and not fallen, and had come up with a jolt to his feet on a wider ledge not many yards lower down. Fortunately the rock-face at this point leaned well back and the wind had pressed him against the cliff, so that he had not toppled over. He steadied himself a little, laying his face against the cold stone, feeling his heart pounding. But either the darkness had grown complete, or else his eyes had lost their sight. All was black about him. He wondered if he had been struck blind. He took a deep breath.
"Come back! Come back! ' he heard Sam's voice out of the blackness above.
"I can't," he said. "I can't see. I can't find any hold. I can't move yet."
"What can I do, Mr. Frodo? What can I do? ' shouted Sam, leaning out dangerously far. Why could not his master see? It was dim, certainly, but not as dark as all that. He could see Frodo below him, a grey forlorn figure splayed against the cliff.

-The Taming of Smeagol

Frodo passed his hand over his brow and wrenched his eyes away from the city on the hill. The luminous tower fascinated him, and he fought the desire that was on him to run up the gleaming road towards its gate. At last with an effort he turned back, and as he did so, he felt the Ring resisting him, dragging at the chain about his neck; and his eyes too, as he looked away, seemed for the moment to have been blinded. The darkness before him was impenetrable.
-The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

Dernhelm the young, faithful beyond fear; and he wept, for he had loved his lord as a father. Right through the charge Merry had been borne unharmed behind him, until the Shadow came; and then Windfola had thrown them in his terror, and now ran wild upon the plain. Merry crawled on all fours like a dazed beast, and such a horror was on him that he was blind and sick.
-The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

The first documented case of PTSD is induced hysterical blindness from the Battle of Marathon in 490BC:

In this fight at Marathon there were slain of the Barbarians about six thousand four hundred men, and of the Athenians a hundred and ninety and two. Such was the number which fell on both sides; and it happened also that a marvel occurred there of this kind: an Athenian, Epizelos the son of Cuphagoras, while fighting in the close combat and proving himself a good man, was deprived of the sight of his eyes, neither having received a blow in any part of his body nor having been hit with a missile, and for the rest of his life from this time he continued to be blind: and I was informed that he used to tell about that which had happened to him a tale of this kind, namely that it seemed to him that a tall man in full armour stood against him, whose beard overshadowed his whole shield; and this apparition passed him by, but killed his comrade who stood next to him. Thus, as I was informed, Epizelos told the tale.
-Histories, by Herodotus (440 BC)

Freaked out because his buddy got killed instead of him. Pretty typical.


A few others:

Anxiety caused by noise triggers is very common with PTSD:

But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.
-The Pyre of Denethor


Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a victim has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape. Symptoms include feeling trapped, suffering in silence, emotional coldness, unrealistic perceptions of potential romantic partners, and choosing paths that place one in physical danger:

’My lord, if your sister's love for you, and her will still bent to her duty, had not restrained her lips; you might have heard even such things as these escape them. But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?'
-The Houses of Healing


Another symptom of C-PTSD is the desire to be a “fixer”:

'I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun, she said; and behold the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.'
-The Steward and the King


Yet another symptom of C-PTSD is seeking positions of power:

And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,' she said.
-ibid

Eowyn would seem to be a textbook case of C-PTSD.


Another common symptom of PTSD is the feeling that the everyday world is no longer real and that the sufferer is in a dream-like state:

'Well here we are, just the four of us that started out together,' said Merry. 'We have left all the rest behind, one after another. It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded.'
'Not to me,' said Frodo. 'To me it feels more like falling asleep again.'

-Homeward Bound


Anniversary dates (in the following case Frodo’s captivity in Cirith Ungol) commonly cause someone with PTSD to relive a traumatic experience:

On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.
'It is gone for ever,' he said, 'and now all is dark and empty.'
But the fit passed, and when Sam got back on the twenty-fifth, Frodo had recovered, and he said nothing about himself.

-The Grey Havens


Feelings of alienation from society and withdrawal into isolation are common symptoms of PTSD:

'But,' said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, 'I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too. for years and years, after all you have done.'
'So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.

-ibid

Indeed, consider what people are alienated from all the others of Middle-earth and have isolated themselves in a dream-like forest, some even “going West” to escape the world. Yes, after thousands of years of watching the beautiful things of the world decay and die, Galadriel and the Elves have PTSD.

Denethor is another classic case of PTSD. Among other symptoms he seems to suffer from paranoia, hyper-vigilance, and demands for perfectionism. Also tunnel vision:

'Thus pride increased in Denethor together with despair, until he saw in all the deeds of that time only a single combat between the Lord of the White Tower and the Lord of the Barad-dur, and mistrusted all others who resisted Sauron, unless they served himself alone.
-Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"


Arguably Gandalf, Aragorn, and even Faramir show subtle signs of PTSD.


It’s important to realize that it is not only physical trauma that can induce PTSD, but spiritual and mental trauma as well. Unfortunately many today feel “You didn’t get shot or anything so why are you complaining?” As a result many returning veterans aren’t provided the treatment for mental or spiritual healing they need. (Other than “Hey, get over it.”) As a result, of the 20 US veterans who commit suicide every day, 14 suffered from problems that mental treatment or spiritual counseling could have helped.

Tokien was no doubt familiar with Shell Shock, WWI’s term for PTSD, not only from the trenches and long stays at military hospitals, but from personal experience:

I have at the moment another son, a much damaged soldier, at Trinity trying to do some work and recover a shadow of his old health. 2
-Letter #74

2. Michael Tolkien had been judged unfit for further military service as a result of 'severe shock to nervous system due to prolonged exposure to enemy action'.
-Note to Letter #74


The one question that torments just about every veteran in the dark hours of the night is simply "Why?" And I firmly believe LOTR was Tolkien's attempt to answer that question for himself, and for others.

Of course your mileage may vary.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 5 2017, 5:27pm

Post #30 of 47 (3995 views)
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Splendid list of examples [In reply to] Can't Post

I’d like to add this one:


Quote
It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that be could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would really rather have stayed there in peace..."

TT Herbs and Stewed Rabbit


Tolkien drops this into a battle scene so that the effect on me is that things slow riiiiight doooooown: I see it in hyper-real detail. Then stuff kicks off again with the stampeding oliphaunt.

It could be seen as a generic moment, and perhaps something JRR experienced himself. For me, Tolkien avoids the effect of jumping on a soapbox for an out-of-place.anti-war moment Something about it though makes me believe it’s what replays in Mayor Gamgee’s head when the youngsters ask for war stories, and he tells one only briefly, leaving the audience to go try one of the veterans of the Battle of Bywater for some proper exciting stuff about real war.

Just my take, of course.

~~~~~~
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 Dec 5 2017, 5:29pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 5 2017, 6:19pm

Post #31 of 47 (3991 views)
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Wow. Thank you. And as Wiz said, a splendid list. Not a "trite interpretation" at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

And you give me new perspective on various parts of the book that didn't seem to have a logical flow to them, such as Frodo's inexplicable blindness in the Emyn Muil. And this blindness syndrome goes all the way back to the Battle of Marathon? I'll offer up another "wow."

I had a personal experience with this point last summer:

Quote
Anxiety caused by noise triggers is very common with PTSD:

A woman next to me on a plane clutched her head and put it in her lap, turning absolutely beet-red, just a few minutes after takeoff. I was clumsily offering her whatever I had in my travel bag: ear plugs? aspirin? water?

She recovered in time and calmly explained she had PTSD (she was in her 70s, and I didn't ask the origin of it), and she said the noise of people talking plus the noise of the takeoff set her off, and there was nothing she could do about it, though she had a little therapy dog in her carry-on, which helped once the worst passed, and it didn't happen again on the 2-hour flight. But I must say, for people who dismiss PTSD as wimpiness or attention-seeking or "just get over it," this woman wasn't faking it--she was seriously in pain, her physical symptoms were all way beyond her control, and no amount of "don't worry, be happy" talk was going to make a difference.



CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 5 2017, 6:29pm

Post #32 of 47 (3985 views)
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Hobbits and war [In reply to] Can't Post

I have always appreciated that very "human" insight into war that Sam had when looking at the dead Southron. It stands out starkly in a book that otherwise glorifies war, and that glorification continues, oddly enough, in the Scouring of the Shire, where Merry & Pippin become national heroes for life in that peace-loving land with no army, and hobbit historians commit to memory the names of all those who died in the final Battle of Bywater against the ruffians.

Sam seems somewhere between Frodo's pacifism/reservations about war, and Merry & Pippin's more traditional gung-ho attitude you expect in fantasy stories. I share your view that he was probably a reluctant re-teller of battle stories.

There are plenty of veterans in real-life who learn to deflect the inevitable questions they get ("How many people did you kill?" "Did you see anyone get blown up?"). I had an uncle who lost a leg in WWII, and when anyone brought up the war, he had a stock of funny stories to tell, such as a Belgium town that was overrun so many times by opposing sides that they kept flags from all countries on hand to hoist whenever a new army appeared on the horizon: they supported Germany, and France, and America--whoever showed up. Or how he saw soldiers playing cards in an abandoned house once, and a shell crashed through the ceiling and landed a few feet away. They looked at it, realized it wouldn't explode, and went back to playing cards. He managed to always talk about other people's experiences than his own, but who wants to recount what it's like to have your leg blown offf?


noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 5 2017, 7:00pm

Post #33 of 47 (3981 views)
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Sam’s “bad war” [In reply to] Can't Post

Sam went all the way into Mordor, of course. Stuff of nightmares. And he was on the not very glorious stealth hike, not all the exciting cavalry charges, or livery of the Tower. But he’s the only character to give up the Ring freely, without the efforts of a ??? Level wizard. As usual, hardly anyone notices.

But Sam always had something to come back for. Frodo? I do wonder whether he sometimes wished he could have died a hero’s death at Mount Doom. But fate got his alter ego (“buddy” might be too strong) instead.

That’s, by the way, sooooo much better an ending than having Frodo finally manage the impossible Ring slam dunk, or have Sam push him in.

Nonetheless, I can paraphrase Sam’s last line as either “thank God”, or something really sad (“Well, I’m back - Why?”)

~~~~~~
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 Dec 5 2017, 7:01pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 5 2017, 7:57pm

Post #34 of 47 (3973 views)
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Sam's last line [In reply to] Can't Post

His last line really could be what anyone wanted to interpret it as, couldn't it? I tend to go with both your interpretations, that he's back, and 1/2 happy to be with his wife and child in the mansion he used to be a servant for, and 1/2 devastated to see Frodo leave the world and him behind.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Dec 5 2017, 8:03pm

Post #35 of 47 (3976 views)
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Questionable Example [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Anxiety caused by noise triggers is very common with PTSD:

But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.
-The Pyre of Denethor


Sorry, but that doesn't describe anxiety on Pippin's part. If Pippin is a sufferer of PTSD, we can't use this as an example of a symptom. I'm not really sure that Tolkien had anyone other than Frodo in mind as a victim of shell shock, combat fatigue, etc.

We seem to have strayed a bit from the topic.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 5 2017, 8:07pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Dec 5 2017, 8:55pm

Post #36 of 47 (3952 views)
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Works for me [In reply to] Can't Post

Pippin expects to die, his confidence in Gandalf misplaced.

Horns! Horns!

Maybe he’s not going to die just yet, after all.

So the difficult flashback is about the relief of anxiety, not about the cause of anxiety.

This works for me, recalling as I do a veteran college who found the sound of helicopters difficult (because of the flashback to a cue that extraction was imminent).

~~~~~~
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


Dec 5 2017, 9:10pm

Post #37 of 47 (3948 views)
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Not only does he expect to die, [In reply to] Can't Post

he just came face to face with the #2 ultimate evil supernatural being in ME. Ask Merry how traumatic that can be. And Eowyn. And Faramir.


squire
Half-elven


Dec 5 2017, 9:23pm

Post #38 of 47 (3949 views)
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I'm not sure [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no doubt that Pippin has a flashback reflex, triggered by horns. But as the story is written, are his tears a difficulty for him -- a "stress disorder"? Is Pippin a tragic victim of the War of the Ring, as he is presented in the final chapters and appendices of the book? Are we supposed to feel sorry and sad for him, as we do for Frodo's bi-annual shadowy mourning sessions and general inability to recover a normal life? I would argue, no: "... if [Merry and Pippin] were now large and magnificent, they were unchanged otherwise, unless they were indeed more fairspoken and more jovial and full of merriment than ever before. Frodo and Sam, however, ..." (LR VI.9)

My understanding is that Pippin and Merry, and even to some degree Sam, are representative of those veterans of wars who effectively recover and are able to deal with the traumatic events they've undergone - in contrast to those who are permanently scarred and disabled, like Frodo. As Aragorn says about Merry's extremely traumatic encounter with the Black Breath: ‘His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.’ (LR V.8)

To apply PTSD, or as Tolkien knew it, shell shock, to every character in the book who is changed in any way by their experience of the Darkness, seems to dilute the term and lessen the force of Tolkien's writing.



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'.
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Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 6 2017, 4:19am

Post #39 of 47 (3790 views)
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"You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your pants, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 7 2017, 3:19am

Post #40 of 47 (3748 views)
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I think you nailed it. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think that's very likely what Tolkien meant in that quote. And it's certainly what I've always seen/felt in reading the books.



Bracegirdle
Valinor


Dec 9 2017, 5:03pm

Post #41 of 47 (3586 views)
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Back to thoughts on Fr Martin Flatman's Blog on 'Tolkien Homilies' [In reply to] Can't Post

Link by noWizardme https://frmartinflatman.wordpress.com/...my-tolkien-homilies/

This Blog was a most interesting read and well worth the time. Flatman seems quite Tolkien knowledgeable and my comments are not intended as a criticism, but simply some correction and some personal views (re-views?):
Fr: The wisest, like Gandalf the great wizard, or Elrond the great Elf-King will not even touch the Ring.
Gandalf DID physically touch/handle the Ring (twice at Bag End). I know of no recorded instance where Elrond refuses to touch the Ring. Au contraire, we know that Elrond (just possibly somebody else at Rivendell?) 'touched' the Ring when Frodo was incapacitated at Rivendell. (It was put on a new chain.) It IS recorded that Elrond healed Frodo and could be assumed that Elrond (the healer of Frodo) was the one that removed and replaced the Ring. But it is true that neither Elrond nor Gandalf were ever shown to have a desire to possess the Ring.
Fr: They realise that to defeat evil someone has to enter into the heart of evil, to Mordor itself, to destroy the evil by throwing the Ring of Power into the Fire at Mount Doom. At the Council at Rivendell when Frodo finally offers of his own free will to be that person
-Bold by BG

I have often tried to get into the mind of Frodo at the Council. I have often thought that there were two reasons that Frodo ’freely volunteered’ to take the Ring.

Firstly, here he sits among the Wise and enlightened Counselors. He now knows that the Ring must be taken to the Fire. He now knows that the weak and vulnerable have as much chance on this quest as the strong and mighty. As Elrond says at the Council:


Quote
This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.


Then Bilbo bravely (somewhat jestingly?) makes his offer. And now already rears a hint to the mind of Frodo that he may be involved in this quest. Soon thereafter a short discussion on who will be the ‘messengers’ to take the Ring. And Bilbo asks for some names. And then:


Quote
No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought.


Frodo glances at ‘all the faces’. His glances are not returned. The silence is loud. The non-glances (heads down) are telling. Here (to me) is a semblance of coercion (if slightly covert). A ‘suggestion’ of who should volunteer.

Secondly, Frodo is the possessor of the Ring. (He has been its possessor for seventeen years.) He has it in his hand. (It was never put on a table as the film depicts.) He is the Bearer of the Ring. And as all Bearers/Wearers (save Bombadil) were deeply affected, and loth to ‘freely’ give it up, I believe Frodo is no exception. Samwise in Mordor is for another discussion. Suffice for now that he bore/wore the Ring for a few minutes whereas Frodo was the Bearer for some seventeen years and it had to be his ‘precious’ as it was momentarily Bilbo’s ‘precious’ in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell. The thought of giving it up to someone else had to be in Frodo’s mind. Would not these qualify as reasons for his not quite ‘freely volunteering’ to take the Ring to Mordor? He was compelled not only by the attitude of those in the Council but by the power of the Ring itself. Does he not join the ranks of the truly heroic and make a truly ‘free will’ decision only when he leaves the Fellowship at Parth Galen?
Fr: I pointed out previously that Tolkien only hints at the existence of God in his story, so too he only hints at resurrection.

I believe that most certainly Tolkien was aware of the corollary between Gandalf’s death and rebirth and Christ’s death and resurrection. Although the first, second, even third time reader may or may not make the link.

‘. . . the rule of no realm is mine . . .
But all worthy things that are in peril . . . those are my care.
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?'

Gandalf to Denethor




No One in Particular
Rivendell


Dec 10 2017, 4:21am

Post #42 of 47 (3530 views)
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Pippin and the horns... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, the sound of the horns is not a grief to his heart; rather when, later in life, he hears the sound of horns, it brings him vividly back to that moment of wild joy, knowing that the Rohirrim had finally come, and in the proverbial and literal nick of time. I submit that the horns did not bring him fear and anxiety, but rather re-awakened the savage delight that he felt in that moment.

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


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 12 2017, 2:08pm

Post #43 of 47 (3499 views)
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Dunno [In reply to] Can't Post

As a rule people with PTSD who are sound triggered by ambulance sirens, evacuation helicopters, or cavalry horns are not joyfully flashing back to "Yay! I'm being rescued!" but rather to the anxiety-filled mental state of "Argh!!! I'm back in that terrible life-threatening situation where I need to be rescued!!"

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Dec 12 2017, 3:01pm

Post #44 of 47 (3495 views)
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Does Pippin suffer at all from PTSD? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As a rule people with PTSD who are sound triggered by ambulance sirens, evacuation helicopters, or cavalry horns are not joyfully flashing back to "Yay! I'm being rescued!" but rather to the anxiety-filled mental state of "Argh!!! I'm back in that terrible life-threatening situation where I need to be rescued!!"


I suggest that Pippin does not suffer from PTSD as his reaction to horns is not one of anxiety, but of tears of profound joy.


Quote
But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.


That's the point I was trying to make in my previous post. I think you are misinterpreting Pippin's reaction. If Peregrin Took did develop PTSD then I think we would have to look for evidence of it elsewhere; it is not evident in this passage.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 12 2017, 3:04pm)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 13 2017, 9:36am

Post #45 of 47 (3451 views)
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That reminds me of my mum [In reply to] Can't Post

When the siren sounded in our village to call out the volunteer firefighters, she used to get a flashback to the all-clear siren she heard during the blitz. She was a young teacher at the time, working in a primary school in the English midlands, and she had to get gas masks onto the kids and get them to the shelters when air raids were expected. The fire station didn't use the on-off danger call (that would have definitely have caused a lot of uneasy memories for people), but even the steady all-clear signal, which must have been a great relief to hear at the time, still brought back those intense memories. She used to say it gave her the shivers.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 14 2017, 6:06pm

Post #46 of 47 (3424 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

On April 10, 1979 our city was devastated by a massive tornado.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...ley_tornado_outbreak

The local television stations still televise retrospectives on the storm’s anniversary. Part of the program always details the anxiety and stress people still have as a result of the experience. The sound of tornado sirens is one cause. Unfortunately the city has a network of warning sirens that are regularly tested at noon, the first Monday of every month. (Unless there is a chance of a storm, in which case they are not.) The sound of the testing still causes anxiety in many people that survived “Terrible Tuesday”.

Interestingly enough, for some the *absence* of sound brings back that terrible experience. I recall right after the tornado passed there was an eerie silence. The power lines to the city had been cut so no sounds of televisions, radios, air conditioning, etc. There streets were deserted so no sounds of traffic. The birds were silent, dogs weren’t barking. There were several minutes of utter silence until you started to hear sirens of emergency vehicles. As a result some survivors can’t stand silence. They have to have a radio, television, fan, white noise generator, anything making noise all the time, or they suffer anxiety.

PTSD is very real. Tolkien was well aware of its symptoms, and quite ably portrays such in LOTR. And there is no disgrace for anyone who suffers from it. To think otherwise is despicable ignorance.

BTW, I recall reading that post-WWI the British government was very proactive in educating the public about PTSD, then called “Shell Shock”, so veterans suffering from it would be treated with more understanding upon their return to civilian life. In contrast the US government would isolate sufferers in sanatoriums, adding to the returning servicemen’s feelings of anxiety. Perhaps that explains why even today many American civilians are skeptical about PTSD, and why many veterans feel so ashamed they’d rather commit suicide than seek help.

That needs to stop.

All IMHO.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




CuriousG
Half-elven


Dec 16 2017, 2:55am

Post #47 of 47 (3403 views)
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Ignorance and stigma vs empathy and education [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Perhaps that explains why even today many American civilians are skeptical about PTSD, and why many veterans feel so ashamed they’d rather commit suicide than seek help.


I think we may be near a time where mental illness will gradually lose its stigma. In the past society assumed physical illness was a person's fault, a result of some moral religious failing leading to divine punishment delivered as illness. Most people don't think that way anymore. But I remember when I was younger and there was still a stigma against discussing cancer. I never understood why, unless it was because it was usually fatal and therefore was very scary. But you weren't supposed to talk about it, and it was "brave" when celebrities admitted to having it. So, that stigma went away too, even though it remains a scary disease (or range of diseases).

So maybe we'll get to the point someday where mental illness is no longer any more shameful than diabetes or hypertension, and people see PTSD and other mental/emotional illnesses as natural neurological/physiological phenomena, and the sort of thing people have no more control over than they do the color of their hair or whether they're right- or left-handed. I'm hopeful, anyway.

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