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TIME - January 3
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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 3, 11:53am

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TIME - January 3 Can't Post

This is a long Birthday Spoiler to celebrate a very special birthday. If I've learned nothing else from the Good Professor, it's to never skimp on words when you're creating a moment... and our Master deserves no less in this special moment of Tolkien-zen :)

From A Long-Expected Party: The Fellowship of the Ring


..."After the feast... ...came the Speech. Most of the company were, however, now in a tolerant mood, at that delightful stage which they called 'filling up the corners'. They were sipping their favourite drinks, and nibbling at their favourite dainties... ...They were prepared to listen to anything, and to cheer at every full stop.
...'My dear People,' began Bilbo, rising in his place. 'Hear! Hear! Hear!' they shouted, and kept on repeating it in chorus... ...Bilbo left his place and went and stood on a chair under the illuminated tree. The light of the lanterns fell on his beaming face; the golden buttons shone on his embroidered silk waistcoat. They could all see him standing, waving one hand in the air, and the other was in his trouser-pocket.
...'My dear Bagginses and Boffins... ...and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots.'
...'ProudFEET!' shouted an elderly hobbit from the back of the pavilion. His name... ...was Proudfoot, and well merited; his feet were large, exceptionally furry, and both were on the table.
...'Proudfoots,' repeated Bilbo. 'Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End. Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!' 'Hurray! Hurray! Many Happy Returns!' they shouted... ...Bilbo was doing splendidly. This was the sort of stuff they like: short and obvious.
...'I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am.' Deafening cheers. Cries of YES (and NO). Noises of trumpets and horns, pipes and flutes, and other musical instruments.... ...Hundreds of musical crackers had been pulled. Most of them bore the mark DALE on them; which did not convey much to most of the hobbits, but they all agreed they were marvellous crackers. They contained instruments, small, but of perfect make and enchanting tones. Indeed, in one corner some of the young Tooks and Brandybucks, supposing Uncle Bilbo to have finished... ...got up an impromptu orchestra, and began a merry dance-tune. Master Everard Took and Miss Melilot Brandybuck got on a table and with bells in their hands began to dance the Springle-ring: a pretty dance, but rather vigorous.
...But Bilbo had not finished. Seizing a horn from a youngster near by, he blew three loud hoots. The noise subsided. 'I shall not keep you long... ...I have called you all together for a Purpose.' Something in the way that he said this made an impression. There was almost silence, and one or two of the Tooks pricked up their ears.
...'Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits.' Tremendous outburst of approval.
...'I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.' This was unexpected and rather difficult. There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.
...'Secondly, to celebrate my birthday... ...I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today.' Some perfunctory clapping by the elders; and some loud shouts of 'Frodo! Frodo! Jolly old Frodo,' from the juniors. The Sackville-Bagginses scowled and wondered what was meant by 'coming into his inheritance'.
...'Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression.' No cheers... ...Many of the guests, and especially the Sackville-Bagginses, were insulted, feeling sure they had only been asked to fill up the required number, like goods in a package. 'One Gross, indeed! Vulgar expression!'
...'It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid... ...though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say "thag you very buch". I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party.' Obstinate silence. They all feared that a song or some poetry was now imminent; and they were getting bored... ...But Bilbo did not sing or recite. He paused for a moment.
...'Thirdly and finally... ...I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT.' He spoke this last word so loudly and suddenly that everyone sat up who still could. 'I regret to announce that—though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you—this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!'
...He stepped down and vanished. There was a blinding flash of light, and the guests all blinked. When they opened their eyes Bilbo was nowhere to be seen. One hundred and forty-four flabbergasted hobbits sat back speechless. Old Odo Proudfoot removed his feet from the table and stamped. Then there was a dead silence, until suddenly, after several deep breath, every Baggins, Boffin, Took, Brandybuck, Grubb, Chubb, Burrows, Bolger, Bracegirdle, Brockhouse, Goodbody, Hornblower, and Proudfoot began to talk at once."





a toast
Happy Birthday, Dear Professor Tolkien. Thank you for creating and sharing this wonderful world.




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dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 3, 5:39pm

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*raises mug* The Professor! [In reply to] Can't Post

"And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."

Thank you, Mr. Tolkien. Heart


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 4, 12:56pm

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It's time for some BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a Book Spoiler celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien who called his wife, Edith, his Luthien... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Of Beren and Lúthien: The Silmarillion


..."It is told in the Lay of Leithian that Beren came stumbling into Doriath grey and bowed as with many years of woe, so great had been the torment of the road. But wandering in the summer in the woods of Neldoreth he came upon Lúthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian, ...under moonrise... ...she danced upon the unfading grass in the glades beside Esgalduin. Then all memory of his pain departed from him, and he fell into an enchantment; for Lúthien was the most beautiful of all the Children of Ilúvatar. Blue was her raiment as the unclouded heaven, but her eyes were grey as the starlit evening; her mantle was sewn with golden flowers... ...her hair was dark as the shadows of twilight. As the light upon the leaves of trees, as the voice of clear waters, as the stars above the mists of the world, such was her glory and her loveliness; and in her face was a shining light.
...But she vanished from his sight; and he became dumb, as one that is bound under a spell... ...he strayed long in the woods, wild and wary as a beast, seeking for her. In his heart he called her Tinúviel... ...for he knew no other name for her....
......There came a time near dawn on the eve of spring, and Lúthien danced upon a green hill; and suddenly she began to sing. Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars... ...and the song of Lúthien released the bonds of winter... ...and flowers sprang from the cold earth where her feet had passed.
...Then the spell of silence fell from Beren, and he called to her, crying Tinúviel; and the woods echoed the name. Then she halted in wonder, and fled no more, and Beren came to her. But as she looked on him, doom fell upon her, and she loved him; yet she slipped from his arms and vanished from his sight even as the day was breaking. Then Beren lay upon the ground in a swoon, as one slain at once by bliss and grief; and he fell into a sleep as it were into an abyss of shadow... ...and his heart barren and forsaken. And wandering in mind he groped as one that is stricken with sudden blindness, and seeks with hands to grasp the vanished light. Thus he began the payment of anguish for the fate that was laid on him; and in his fate Lúthien was caught, and being immortal she shared in his mortality, and being free received his chain; and her anguish was greater than any other of the Eldalië has known.
...Beyond his hope she retuned to him where he sat in darkness... ...she laid her hand in his. Thereafter often she came to him, and they went in secret through the woods together from spring to summer; and no others of the Children of Ilúvatar have had joy so great, though the time was brief."





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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 5, 2:15pm

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It's time for some more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the 1st of a 3-part journey with Frodo and Sam on the cliffs of Emyn Muil… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

The Taming of Sméagol: The Two Towers


... "The hobbits stood now on the brink of a tall cliff, bare and bleak, its feet wrapped in mist... ...behind them rose the broken highlands crowned with drifting cloud. A chill wind blew from the East. Night was gathering over the shapeless lands before them...
......South and east they stared to where, at the edge of the oncoming night, a dark line hung, like distant mountains of motionless smoke. Every now and again a tiny red gleam far away flickered upwards on the rim of earth and sky.
...'What a fix!' said Sam. 'That's the one place in all the lands we've ever heard of that we don't want to see any closer; and that's the one place we're trying to get to! And that's just where we can't get, nohow. We've come the wrong way altogether... ...We can't get down; and if we did get down, we'd find all that green land a nasty bog, I'll warrant. Phew! Can you smell it?' He sniffed...
...'...Yes, I can smell it,' said Frodo, but he did not move... ...his eyes remained fixed, staring out towards the dark line and the flickering flame. 'Mordor!' he muttered under his breath. 'If I must go there, I wish I could come there quickly and make an end!' He shuddered. The wind was chilly... ...heavy with an odour of cold decay. 'Well,' he said, at last withdrawing his eyes, 'we cannot stay here at night, fix or no fix. We must find a more sheltered spot and camp once more; and perhaps another day will show us a path.'
...'Or another and another and another,' muttered Sam. 'Or maybe no day. We've come the wrong way.'
...'I wonder,' said Frodo. 'It's my doom... ...to go to that Shadow yonder, so that a way will be found. But will good or evil show it to me? What hope we had was in speed. Delay plays into the Enemy's hands... ...here I am: delayed. Is it the will of the Dark Tower that steers us? All my choices have proved ill. I should have left the Company long before... ...down from the North, east of the River and of the Emyn Muil, and so over the hard of Battle Plain to the passes of Mordor. But now it isn't possible for you and me alone to find a way back, and the Orcs are prowling on the east bank. Every day that passes is a precious day lost. I am tired, Sam. I don't know what is to be done...'
......I wish we could get away from these hills! I hate them. I feel all naked on the east side, stuck up here with nothing but the dead flats between me and that Shadow yonder. There's an Eye in it. Come on! We've got to get down today somehow.'
...But that day wore on, and when afternoon faded towards evening they were still scrambling along the ridge and had found no way of escape."



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jan 5, 2:15pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 5, 4:35pm

Post #5 of 57 (2107 views)
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Frodo and Aragorn, crises of faith [In reply to] Can't Post

They both doubt their judgment, with Frodo's coming after Aragorn's. And Merry & Pippin are orc captives. It's a dark time all around. What next, a plague of locusts? But somehow, they muddle through it all.


Quote
...'I wonder,' said Frodo. 'It's my doom... ...to go to that Shadow yonder, so that a way will be found. But will good or evil show it to me? What hope we had was in speed. Delay plays into the Enemy's hands... ...here I am: delayed. Is it the will of the Dark Tower that steers us? All my choices have proved ill. I should have left the Company long before... ...down from the North, east of the River and of the Emyn Muil, and so over the hard of Battle Plain to the passes of Mordor. But now it isn't possible for you and me alone to find a way back, and the Orcs are prowling on the east bank. Every day that passes is a precious day lost. I am tired, Sam. I don't know what is to be done...'



Quote

‘Alas!’ said Aragorn. ‘Thus passes the heir of Denethor, Lord of the Tower of Guard! This is a bitter end. Now the Company is all in ruin. It is I that have failed. Vain was Gandalf’s trust in me. What shall I do now? Boromir has laid it on me to go to Minas Tirith, and my heart desires it; but where are the Ring and the Bearer? How shall I find them and save the Quest from disaster?’

He knelt for a while, bent with weeping, still clasping Boromir’s hand. So it was that Legolas and Gimli found him.



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 6, 11:10am

Post #6 of 57 (1998 views)
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It's time for even more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the 2nd of a 3-part journey with Frodo and Sam on the cliffs of Emyn Muil… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

The Taming of Sméagol: The Two Towers


..."The bottom of the gully... ...was rough with broken stone and slanted steeply down.... ...Frodo stooped and leaned out.
...'Look!' he said... '...It's much lower here than it was, and it looks easier too.'
...Sam knelt beside him and peered reluctantly over the edge... '...Easier!' he grunted. 'Well, I suppose it's always easier getting down than up. Those as can't fly can jump... ...Ugh! How I do hate looking down from a height! But looking's better than climbing.'
...'All the same,' said Frodo... '...we had better try at once. It's getting dark early. I think there's a storm coming....'
......Frodo sniffed the air and looked up doubtfully at the sky. He strapped his belt outside his cloak and tightened it, and settled his light pack on his back; then he stepped towards the edge. 'I'm' going to try it,' he said.
...'Very good!' said Sam gloomily. 'But I'm going first.'
...'You?' said Frodo. 'What's made you change your mind about climbing?'
...'I haven't changed my mind. But it's only sense: put the one lowest as is most likely to slip. I don't want to come down atop of you and knock you off... ...no sense in killing two with one fall.'
...Before Frodo could stop him, he sat down, swung his legs over the brink, and twisted round scrabbling with his toes for a foothold. It is doubtful if he ever did anything braver in cold blood, or more unwise.
...'No, no! Sam, you old ass! ...You'll kill yourself for certain, going over like that without even a look to see what to make for. Come back!' He took Sam under the armpits and hauled him up again. 'Now, wait a bit and be patient!' he said. Then he lay on the ground, leaning out and looking down... ...light seemed to be fading quickly, although the sun had not yet set. 'I think we could manage this... ...I could at any rate; and you could too, if you kept your head and followed me carefully.'
...'I don't know how you can be so sure,' said Sam. 'Why! You can't see to the bottom in this light. What if you come to a place where there's nowhere to put your feet or your hands?'
...'Climb back, I suppose,' said Frodo.
...'Easy said,' objected Sam. 'Better wait till morning and more light.'
...'No! Not if I can help it,' said Frodo with a sudden strange vehemence. 'I grudge every hour, every minute. I'm going down to try it out...'
......Gripping the stony lip of the fall with his fingers he let himself gently down, until when his arms were almost at full stretch, his toes found a ledge. 'One step down!' he said. 'And this ledge broadens out to the right. I could stand there without a hold. I'll---' his words were cut short."



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 6, 11:21am

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True [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought of the parallel, too. Signs of great leaders to question themselves.



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 7, 11:09am

Post #8 of 57 (1913 views)
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It's time for a bit more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the 3rd of a 3-part journey with Frodo and Sam on the cliffs of Emyn Muil… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

The Taming of Sméagol: The Two Towers


..."The hurrying darkness, now gathering great speed, rushed up from the East... ...Then came a blast of savage wind... ...mingling with its roar, there came a high shrill shriek. The hobbits had heard just such a cry far away in the Marish as they fled from Hobbiton, and even there in the woods of the Shire it had frozen their blood. Out here in the waste its terror was far greater: it pierced them with cold blades of horror and despair, stopping heart and breath. Sam fell flat on his face... ...Frodo loosed his hold and put his hands over his head and ears. He swayed, slipped, and slithered downwards with a wailing cry.
...Sam heard him and crawled with an effort to the edge. 'Master, master!' he called. 'Master!' He heard no answer... ...he was shaking all over, but he gathered his breath, and once again he shouted: 'Master!' The wind seemed to blow his voice back into his throat, but as it passed... ...a faint answering cry came to his ears:
...'All right, all right! I'm here. But I can't see.'
...Frodo was calling with a weak voice... ...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... ...He steadied himself... ...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 see. I can't find any hold. I can't move yet.'
...'What can I do, Mr. Frodo?' shouted Sam, leaning out dangerously far. Why could not his master see? It was dim... ...He could see Frodo below him, a grey forlorn figure splayed against the cliff....
...'...I'm coming down to you,' shouted Sam, though how he hoped to help in that way he could not have said.
...'No, no! Wait!' Frodo called back, more strongly now... '...I feel better already. Wait! You can't do anything without a rope.'
...'Rope!' cried Sam... '...Well, if I don't deserve to be hung on the end of one as a warning to numbskulls! You're nowt but a ninnyhammer, Sam Gamgee: that's what the Gaffer said to me often enough, it being a word of his. Rope!'
...'Stop chattering!' cried Frodo, now recovered enough to feel both amused and annoyed.... '...[Have you] got some rope in your pocket...?!'
...'...Yes, Mr. Frodo, in my pack and all. Carried it hundreds of miles, and I'd clean forgotten it...!'
......Quickly Sam unslung his pack and rummaged in it. There indeed at the bottom was a coil of the silken-grey rope made by the folk of Lórien. He cast an end to his master. The darkness seemed to lift from Frodo's eyes... ...He could see the grey line as it came dangling down, and he thought it had a faint silver sheen... ...Leaning his weight forward, he made the end fast round his waist, and then he grasped the line with both hands. ...Sam stepped back and braced his feet against a stump a yard or two from the edge. Half hauled, half scrambling, Frodo came up and threw himself on the ground."



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 8, 11:50am

Post #9 of 57 (1829 views)
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TIME - January 8 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

January 8, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The company reaches Hollin.
(from the appendices)
..."They had been a fortnight on the way when the weather changed. The wind suddenly fell and then veered round to the south...
......Away in the south Frodo could see the dim shapes of lofty mountains that seemed now to stand across the path that the Company was taking...
......Gandalf stood at Frodo's side and looked out under his hand. 'We have done well,' he said. 'We have reached the borders of the country that Men call Hollin; many Elves lived here in happier days, when Eregion was its name. Five-and-forty leagues as the crow flies we have come, though many long miles further our feet have walked. The land and the weather will be milder now, but perhaps all the more dangerous.'
...'Dangerous or not, a real sunrise is mighty welcome,' said Frodo, throwing back his hood and letting the morning light fall on his face...

......they lit a fire in a deep hollow shrouded by great bushes of holly, and their supper-breakfast was merrier than it had been since they set out. They did not hurry to bed afterwards, for they expected to have all the night to sleep in, and they did not mean to go on again until the evening of the next day. Only Aragorn was silent and restless... ...he left the Company and wandered on to the ridge; there he stood in the shadow of a tree, looking out southwards and westwards, with his head posed as if he was listening. Then he returned to the brink of the dell and looked down at the others laughing and talking.
...'What is the matter, Strider?' Merry called up. 'What are you looking for? Do you miss the East Wind?'
...'No indeed... ...But I miss something. I have been in the country of Hollin in many seasons. No folk dwell here now, but many other creatures live here at all times, especially birds. Yet now all things but you are silent. I can feel it. There is no sound for miles about us, and your voices seem to make the ground echo. I do not understand it.'
...Gandalf looked up with sudden interest. 'But what do you guess is the reason... ...Is there more in it than surprise at seeing four hobbits, not to mention the rest of us, where people are so seldom seen or heard?'
...'I hope that is it,' answered Aragorn. 'But I have a sense of watchfulness, and of fear, that I have never had here before.'
...'Then we must be more careful,' said Gandalf. 'If you bring a Ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him, especially if the Ranger is Aragorn. We must stop talking aloud, rest quietly, and set the watch.'

...It was Sam's turn that day to take the first watch, but Aragorn joined him. The others fell asleep. Then the silence grew until even Sam felt it. The breathing of the sleepers could be plainly heard. The swish of the pony's tail and the occasional movements of his feet became loud noises... ...Dead silence was around him, and over all hung a clear blue sky, as the Sun rode up from the East. Away in the South a dark patch appeared, and grew, and drove north like flying smoke in the wind.
...'What's that, Strider? It don't look like a cloud,' said Sam in a whisper to Aragorn. He made no answer, he was gazing intently at the sky; but before long Sam could see for himself what was approaching. Flocks of birds, flying at great speed, were wheeling and circling, and traversing all the land as if they were searching for something; and they were steadily drawing nearer.
...'Lie flat and still!' hissed Aragorn, pulling Sam down into the shade of a holly-bush; for a whole regiment of birds had broken away suddenly from the main host... ...flying low, straight towards the ridge. Sam thought they were a kind of crow of large size. As they passed overhead, in so dense a throng that their shadow followed them darkly over the ground below, one harsh croak was heard.
...Not until they had dwindled into the distance, north and west, and the sky was again clear would Aragorn rise. Then he sprang up and went and wakened Gandalf.
...'Regiments of black crows are flying over all the land between the Mountains and the Greyflood... ...they have passed over Hollin. They are not natives here; they are crebain out of Fangorn and Dunland. I do not know what they are about; possibly there is some trouble away south from which they are fleeing; but I think they are spying out the land. I have also glimpsed many hawks flying high up in the sky. I think we ought to move again this evening. Hollin is no longer wholesome for us: it is being watched.'
...'And in that case so is the Redhorn Gate,' said Gandalf; 'and how we can get over that without being seen, I cannot imagine. But we will think of that when we must...'
...'...Luckily our fire made little smoke, and had burned low before the crebain came,' said Aragorn. 'It must be put out and not lit again.'
...'Well if that isn't a plague and a nuisance!' said Pippin. The news; no fire, and a move again by night, had been broken to him, as soon as he woke in the late afternoon. 'All because of a pack of crows! I had looked forward to a real good meal tonight; Something hot.'"

[league = 3 miles]



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 9, 11:33am

Post #10 of 57 (1742 views)
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TIME - January 9 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

January 9, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Fellowship travels through Hollin.
(not from the appendices)

..."Guided by Aragorn they struck a good path. It looked to Frodo like the remains of an ancient road, that had once been broad and well planned, from Hollin to the mountain-pass. The Moon, now at the full... ...cast a pale light in which the shadows of stones were black. Many of them looked to have been worked by hands, though now they lay tumbled and ruinous in a bleak, barren land.
...It was the cold chill hour before the first stir of dawn and the moon was low. Frodo looked up at the sky. Suddenly he saw or felt a shadow pass over the high stars, as... ...they faded and then flashed out again. He shivered.
...'Did you see anything pass over?' he whispered to Gandalf, who was just ahead.
...'No, but I felt it, whatever it was,' he answered. 'It may be nothing, only a wisp of thin clouds.'
...'It was moving fast then,' muttered Aragorn, 'and not with the wind.'"



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 10, 12:19pm

Post #11 of 57 (1704 views)
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Pre-January 11, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
There's a lot going on over the next couple of days; so let's spread it out a bit since there's nothing specific to January 10th.

Tomorrow in Middle-earth.

January 11, 3019 (S.R. 1419) pt.1
1. The journey to Caradhras.
(not from the appendices)
..."Gandalf snuffed the air and looked back.
...'Winter deepens behind us,' he said quietly to Aragorn. 'The heights away north are whiter than they were... ...Tonight we shall be on our way high up towards the Redhorn Gate. We may well be seen by watchers on that narrow path, and waylaid by some evil; but the weather may prove a more deadly enemy... ...What do you think of your course now, Aragorn?'
...Frodo overheard these words, and understood that Gandalf and Aragorn were continuing some debate that had begun long before. He listened anxiously.
...'I think no good of our course from beginning to end, as you know well, Gandalf... ...And perils known and unknown will grow as we go on. But we must go on; and it is no good our delaying the passage of the mountains. Further south there are no passes, till one comes to the Gap of Rohan. I do not trust that way since your news of Saruman. Who knows which side now the marshals of the Horse-lords serve?'
...'Who knows indeed!' said Gandalf. 'But there is another way... ...the dark and secret way that we have spoken of.'
...'But let us not speak of it again! Say nothing to the others... ...not until it is plain that there is no other way.'
...'We must decide before we go further,' answered Gandalf.
...'Then let us weigh the matter in our minds, while the others rest and sleep,' said Aragorn.

...In the late afternoon, while the others were finishing their breakfast, Gandalf and Aragorn went aside together and stood looking at Caradhras... ...Frodo watched them, wondering which way the debate would go. When they returned to the Company Gandalf spoke, and then he knew that it had been decided to face the weather and the high pass. He was relieved. He could not guess what was the other dark and secret way, but the very mention of it had seemed to fill Aragorn with dismay, and Frodo was glad that it had been abandoned....

......Laboriously they climbed a sharp slope and halted for a moment at the top. Frodo felt a soft touch on his face. He put out his arm and saw the dim white flakes of snow settling on his sleeve... ...before long the snow was falling fast, filling all the air, and swirling into Frodo's eyes. The dark bent shapes of Gandalf and Aragorn only a pace or two ahead could hardly be seen.
...'I don't like this at all,' panted Sam just behind. 'Snow's all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed while it's falling. I wish this lot would go off to Hobbiton! Folk might welcome it there.' Except on the high moors of the Northfarthing a heavy fall was rare in the Shire... ...regarded as a pleasant event and a chance for fun. No living hobbit (save Bilbo) could remember the Fell Winter of 1311, when white wolves invaded the Shire over the frozen Brandywine."



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CuriousG
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Jan 10, 3:38pm

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I'm with Sam: "'Snow's all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed while it's falling." // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


grammaboodawg
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Jan 11, 12:16pm

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Today in Middle-earth

January 11, 3019 (S.R. 1419) pt.2
1. Snow on Caradhras.
(from the appendices)

..."Gandalf halted. Snow was thick on his hood and shoulders; it was already ankle-deep about his boots.
...'This is what I feared... ...What do you say now, Aragorn?'
...'That I feared it too,' Aragorn answered, 'but less than other things. I knew the risk of snow, though it seldom falls heavily so far south, save high up in the mountains. But we are not high yet; we are still far down, where the paths are usually open all the winter.'
...'I wonder if this is a contrivance of the enemy,' said Boromir. 'They say in my land that he can govern the storms in the Mountains of Shadow... ...He has strange powers and many allies.'
...'His arm has grown long indeed,' said Gimli, 'if he can draw snow down from the North to trouble us here three hundred leagues away.'
...'His arm has grown long,' said Gandalf.

......The wind whistled and the snow became a blinding blizzard. Soon even Boromir found it hard to keep going. The hobbits... ...toiled along behind the taller folk, but it was plain that they could not go much further, if the snow continued. Frodo's feet felt like lead. Pippin was dragging behind. Even Gimli, as stout as any dwarf could be, was grumbling as he trudged.
...The Company halted suddenly, as if they had come to an agreement without any words being spoken. They heard eerie noises in the darkness round them. It may have been only a trick of the wind... ...but the sounds were those of shrill cries and wild howls of laughter. Stones began to fall from the mountain-side, whistling over their heads, or crashing on the path beside them. Every now and again they heard a dull rumble, as a great boulder rolled down from hidden heights above.
...'We cannot go further tonight,' said Boromir. 'Let those call it the wind who will; there are fell voices on the air, and these stones are aimed at us.'
...'I do call it the wind,' said Aragorn. 'But that does not make what you say untrue. There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs... ...yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own. Some have been in the world longer than he.'
...'Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name,' said Gimli... '...when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.'
...'It matters little who is the enemy, if we cannot beat off his attack,' said Gandalf.
...'But what can we do?' cried Pippin miserably. He was leaning on Merry and Frodo, and he was shivering.
...'Either stop where we are, or go back,' said Gandalf. 'It is no good going on.....'
...'...And it is no good going back while the storm holds,' said Aragorn. 'We have passed no place on the way up that offered more shelter than this cliff-wall we are under now.'
...'Shelter!' muttered Sam. 'If this is shelter, then one wall and no roof make a house.'"

[league = 3 miles]



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CuriousG
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Jan 11, 3:57pm

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'Shelter!' muttered Sam. 'If this is shelter, then one wall and no roof make a house.' // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


grammaboodawg
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Jan 12, 1:38pm

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Today in Middle-earth

January 12, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Snow on Caradhras—it's unrelenting!
(from the appendices)

..."A great sleepiness came over Frodo; he felt himself sinking fast into a warm and hazy dream. He thought a fire was heating his toes, and out of the shadows on the other side of the hearth he heard Bilbo's voice speaking. I don't think much of your diary... ...Snowstorms on January the twelfth: there was no need to come back to report that!
...But I wanted rest and sleep, Bilbo, Frodo answered with an effort, when he felt himself shaken, and he came back painfully to wakefulness. Boromir had lifted him off the ground out of a nest of snow.
...'This will be the death of the halflings, Gandalf,' said Boromir. 'It is useless to sit here until the snow goes over our heads. We must do something to save ourselves.'
...'Give them this,' said Gandalf, searching in his pack and drawing out a leathern flask. 'Just a mouthful each—for all of us. It is very precious. It is miruvor, the cordial of Imladris. Elrond gave it to me at our parting. Pass it round!'
...As soon as Frodo had swallowed a little of the warm and fragrant liquor he felt a new strength of heart, and the heavy drowsiness left his limbs. The others also revived and found fresh hope and vigour...

......though they had brought wood and kindlings by the advice of Boromir, it passed the skill of Elf or even Dwarf to strike a flame that would hold amid the swirling wind or catch in the wet fuel... ...reluctantly Gandalf himself took a hand. Picking up a faggot he held it aloft for a moment, and then with a word of command, naur an edraith ammen!, he thrust the end of his staff into the midst of it. At once a great spout of green and blue flame sprang out, and the wood flared and sputtered.
...'If there are any to see, then I at least am revealed to them... ...I have written Gandalf is here in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin.'

...'...If Elves could fly over mountain, they might fetch the Sun to save us,' answered Gandalf. 'But I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow.'
...'Well,' said Boromir, 'when heads are at a loss bodies must serve... ...The strongest of us must seek a way. See! Though all is now snow-clad, our path... ...turned about that shoulder of rock down yonder. It was there that the snow first began to burden us. If we could reach that point, maybe it would prove easier beyond. It is no more than a furlong off, I guess.'
...'Then let us force a path thither, you and I!' said Aragorn.
...Aragorn was the tallest of the Company, but Boromir, little less in height, was broader and heavier in build. He led the way, and Aragorn followed him... ...and were soon toiling heavily. In places the snow was breast-high, and often Boromir seemed to be swimming or burrowing with his great arms rather than walking.
...Legolas watched them for a while with a smile upon his lips, and then he turned to the others. 'The strongest must seek a way, say you? But I say: let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf, or over snow—an Elf.'
...With that he sprang forth nimbly, and then Frodo noticed... ...though he had long known it, that the Elf had no boots, but wore only light shoes, as he always did, and his feet made little imprint in the snow.
...'Farewell!' he said to Gandalf. 'I go to find the Sun!' Then swift as a runner over firm sand he shot away, and quickly overtaking the toiling men, with a wave of his hand he passed them, and sped into the distance, and vanished round the rocky turn."

[furlong = .125 miles or 220 yards]



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CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 12, 2:50pm

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Silly Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

I've thought this was silly of him since first read. It's night time on an unpopulated mountain in the middle of a snowstorm. Who cares if he reveals his presence by lighting a little fire? Who's going to see, anyway? A stray yeti?


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'If there are any to see, then I at least am revealed to them... ...I have written Gandalf is here in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the Mouths of Anduin.'


Then when they're back at lower altitudes, he has no problem revealing himself by conjuring a firestorm to fight off the Wargs attacking them. Now THAT was revealing.


grammaboodawg
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Jan 13, 3:43pm

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Evil never sleeps! [In reply to] Can't Post

I always thought he was speaking from experience ;)



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grammaboodawg
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Jan 14, 12:17pm

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Today in Middle-earth

January 13, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Attack by Wolves in the early hours.
(from the appendices)

..."'Since our open attempt on the mountain-pass our plight has become more desperate, I fear. I see now little hope, if we do not soon vanish from sight for a while, and cover our trail. Therefore I advise that we should go neither over the mountains, nor round them, but under them. That is a road at any rate that the Enemy will least expect us to take....' [said Gandalf]

......The hobbits said nothing. Sam looked at Frodo. At last Frodo spoke. 'I do not wish to go... ...but neither do I wish to refuse the advice of Gandalf. I beg that there should be no vote, until we have slept on it. Gandalf will get votes easier in the light of the morning than in this cold gloom. How the wind howls...!'
......Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet. 'How the wind howls! ...It is howling with wolf-voices. The Wargs have come west of the Mountains!'
...'Need we wait until morning then?' said Gandalf. 'It is as I said. The hunt is up! Even if we live to see the dawn, who now will wish to journey south by night with the wild wolves on his trail?'
...'How far is Moria?' asked Boromir.
...'There was a door south-west of Caradhras, some fifteen miles as the crow flies, and maybe twenty as the wolf runs,' answered Gandalf....
...'...I wish I had taken Elrond's advice,' muttered Pippin to Sam. 'I am no good after all. There is not enough of the breed of Bandobras the Bullroarer in me: these howls freeze my blood. I don't ever remember feeling so wretched.'
...'My heart's right down in my toes, Mr. Pippin,' said Sam. 'But we aren't eten yet, and there are some stout folk here with us. Whatever may be in store for old Gandalf, I'll wager it isn't a wolf's belly.'"

2. The Company reaches the West-gate of Moria at nightfall.
(from the appendices)

..."'Well, here we are at last!' said Gandalf. 'Here the Elven-way from Hollin ended. Holly was the token of the people of that land... ...they planted it here to mark the end of their domain; for the West-door was made chiefly for their use in their traffic with the Lords of Moria. Those were happier days, when there was still close friendship at times between folk of different race, even between Dwarves and Elves.... ...The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better. Night is at hand...!'

...'...I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs, that was ever used to such a purpose. I can still remember ten score of them without searching in my mind... ...The opening words were Elvish, like the writing on the arch: that seems certain.'
...He stepped up to the rock again, and lightly touched with his staff the silver star in the middle beneath the sign of the anvil.

Annon edhellen, edro hi amine!
Fennas nogothrim, lasts beth lammen!


he said in a commanding voice. The silver lines faded, but the blank grey stone did not stir.

...Many times he repeated these words in different order, or varied them. Then he tried other spells, one after another, speaking now faster and louder, now soft and slow. Then he spoke many single words of Elvish speech. Nothing happened... ...the doors stood fast.
...Again Gandalf approached the wall, and lifting up his arms he spoke in tones of command and rising wrath. Edro, edro! he cried, and struck the rock with the staff. Open open! he shouted, and followed it with the same command in every language that had ever been spoken in the West of Middle-earth. Then he threw his staff on the ground, and sat down in silence.
...At that moment from far off the wind bore to their listening ears the howling of wolves. Bill the pony started in fear, and Sam sprang to his side and whispered softly to him.
...'Do not let him run away!' said Boromir. 'It seems that we shall need him still, if the wolves do not find us. How I hate this foul pool!' He stooped and picking up a large stone he cast it far into the dark water.
...The stone vanished... ...at the same instant there was a swish and a bubble. Great rippling rings formed on the surface out beyond where the stone had fallen, and they moved slowly towards the foot of the cliff.
...'Why did you do that, Boromir?' said Frodo. 'I hate this place, too, and I am afraid. I don't know of what: not of wolves, or the dark behind the doors, but of something else. I am afraid of the pool. Don't disturb it...!'
...'...Why doesn't Gandalf do something quick?' said Pippin.
...Gandalf took no notice of them. He sat with his head bowed, either in despair or in anxious thoughts. The mournful howling of the wolves was heard again. The ripples on the water grew and came closer; some were already lapping on the shore.
..."With a suddenness that startled them all the wizard sprang to his feet. He was laughing! 'I have it!' he cried. 'Of course... ...Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you see the answer.'
...Picking up his staff he stood before the rock and said in a clear voice: "Mellon!"
...The star shone out briefly and faded again. Then silently a great doorway was outlined, though not a crack or joint had been visible before. Slowly it divided in the middle and swung outwards inch by inch...

......He strode forward and set his foot on the lowest step. But at that moment several things happened. Frodo felt something seize him by the ankle, and he fell with a cry. Bill the pony gave a wild neigh of fear, and turned tail and dashed away along the lakeside into the darkness. Sam leaped after him, and then hearing Frodo's cry he ran back again, weeping and cursing. The others swung round and saw the waters of the lake seething, as if a host of snakes were swimming up from the southern end.
...Out from the water a long sinuous tentacle had crawled... ...Its fingered end had hold of Frodo's foot, and was dragging him into the water. Sam on his knees was now slashing at it with a knife.
...The arm let go of Frodo, and Sam pulled him away, crying out for help. Twenty other arms came rippling out....
...'...Into the gateway! Up the stairs! Quick!' shouted Gandalf leaping back. Rousing them from the horror that seemed to have rooted all but Sam to the ground where they stood, he drove them forward.
...They were just in time. Sam and Frodo were only a few steps up, and Gandalf had just begun to climb, when the groping tentacles writhed across the narrow shore and fingered the cliff-wall and the doors...."

3. Gollum begins to trail the Ring-bearer.
(from the appendices)

..."Frodo began to hear... ...something else; like the faint fall of soft bare feet. It was never loud enough, or near enough, for him to feel certain that he heard it; but once it had started it never stopped, while the Company was moving. But it was not an echo, for when they halted it pattered on for a little all by itself, then grew still."



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grammaboodawg
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Jan 14, 12:21pm

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Today in Middle-earth

January 14, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. During the night and into the day in Moria.
(not from the appendices)

..."Pippin felt curiously attracted by the well. While the others were unrolling blankets and making beds against the walls of the chamber, as far as possible from the hole in the floor, he crept to the edge and peered over... ...Moved by a sudden impulse he groped for a loose stone, and let it drop. He felt his heart beat many times before there was any sound. Then far below... ...there came a "plunk," very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft.
...'What's that!' cried Gandalf. He was relieved when Pippin confessed what he had done; but he was angry, and Pippin could see his eye glinting. 'Fool of a Took!' he growled. 'This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance. Now be quiet!'
...Nothing more was heard for several minutes; but then there came out of the depths faint knocks: tom-tap, tap-tom.... ...They sounded disquietingly like signals of some sort; but after a while the knocking died away and was not heard again.
...'That was the sound of a hammer, or I have never heard one,' said Gimli.
...'Yes,' said Gandalf, 'and I do not like it. It may have nothing to do with Peregrin's foolish stone; but probably something has been disturbed... ...better left quiet. Pray, do nothing of the kind again! Let us hope we shall get some rest without further trouble. You, Pippin, can go on the first watch, as a reward,' he growled, as he rolled himself in a blanket.
...Pippin sat miserably by the door in the pitch dark; but he kept on turning round, fearing that some unknown thing would crawl up out of the well. He wished he could cover the hole, if only with a blanket, but he dared not move or go near it, even though Gandalf seemed to be asleep.
...Actually Gandalf was awake, though lying still and silent. He was deep in thought, trying to recall every memory of his former journey in the Mines, and considering anxiously the next course that he should take; a false turn now might be disastrous. After an hour he rose up and came over to Pippin.
...'Get into a corner and have a sleep, my lad,' he said in a kindly tone. 'You want to sleep... ...I cannot get a wink, so I may as well do the watching.'
...'I know what is the matter with me,' he muttered, as he sat down by the door. 'I need smoke! I have not tasted it since the morning before the snowstorm.'
...The last thing that Pippin saw, as sleep took him, was a dark glimpse of the old wizard huddled on the floor, shielding a glowing chip in his gnarled hands between his knees. The flicker for a moment showed his sharp nose, and the puff of smoke.
...It was Gandalf who roused them all from sleep. He had sat and watched all alone for about six hours... '...And in the watches I have made up my mind,' he said. 'I do not like the feel of the middle way; and I do not like the smell of the left-hand way: there is foul air down there, or I am no guide. I shall take the right-hand passage. It is time we began to climb up again.'"



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grammaboodawg
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Jan 15, 12:22pm

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Today in Middle-earth

January 15, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Bridge of Khazad-dûm, and the fall of Gandalf.
(from the appendices)

..."… there came a great noise: a rolling BOOM that seemed to come from depths far below, and to tremble in the stone at their feet. They sprang towards the door in alarm. DOOM, DOOM it rolled again... ...Then there came an echoing blast: a great horn was blown in the hall, and answering horns and harsh cries were heard further off. There was a hurrying sound of many feet.
...'They are coming!' cried Legolas.
...'We cannot get out,' said Gimli.
...'Trapped!' cried Gandalf. 'Why did I delay? Here we are, caught, just as they were before. But I was not here then. We will see what----'
...DOOM, DOOM came the drum-beat and the walls shook.
...'Slam the doors and wedge them!' shouted Aragorn. 'And keep your packs on as long as you can: we may get a chance to cut our way out yet....'

......There was a blow on the door that made it quiver; and then it began to grind slowly open, driving back the wedges. A huge arm and shoulder, with a dark skin of greenish scales, was thrust through the widening gap. Then a great, flat, toeless foot was forced through below... ...Boromir leaped forward and hewed at the arm with all his might; but his sword rang, glanced aside, and fell from his shaken hand. The blade was notched.
...Suddenly, and to his own surprise, Frodo felt a hot wrath blaze up in his heart. 'The Shire!' he cried, and springing beside Boromir, he stooped, and stabbed with Sting at the hideous foot. There was a bellow, and the foot jerked back, nearly wrenching Sting from Frodo's arm. Black drops dripped from the blade and smoked on the floor. Boromir hurled himself against the door and slammed it again.
...'One for the Shire!' cried Aragorn. 'The hobbit's bite is deep! You have a good blade, Frodo son of Drogo!'
......but even as they retreated, and before Pippin and Merry had reached the stair outside, a huge orc-chieftain, almost man-high, clad in black mail from head to foot, leaped into the chamber... ...With a thrust of his huge hide shield he turned Boromir's sword and bore him backwards, throwing him to the ground. Diving under Aragorn's blow with the speed of a striking snake he charged into the company and thrust with his spear straight at Frodo. The blow caught him on the right side, and Frodo was hurled against the wall and pinned. Sam, with a cry, hacked at the spear-shaft, and it broke. But even as the orc flung down the truncheon and swept out his scimitar, Andúril came down upon his helm. There was a flash like flame and the helm burst asunder...
......DOOM, DOOM went the drums in the deep....
...'...Now!' shouted Gandalf. 'Now is the last chance. Run for it!'

...Aragorn picked up Frodo where he lay by the wall and made for the stair, pushing Merry and Pippin in front of him. The others followed; but Gimli had to be dragged away by Legolas: in spite of the peril he lingered by Balin's tomb with is head bowed. Boromir hauled the eastern door to... ...it had great iron rings on either side, but could not be fastened.
...'I am all right,' gasped Frodo. 'I can walk. Put me down!'
...Aragorn nearly dropped him in his amazement. 'I thought you were dead!' he cried.
...'Not yet!' said Gandalf. 'But there is no time for wonder. Off you go, all of you, down the stairs! Wait a few minutes for me at the bottom, but if I do not come soon, go on! Go quickly and choose paths leading right and downwards.'
...'We cannot leave you to hold the door alone!' said Aragorn.
...'Do as I say!' said Gandalf fiercely. 'Swords are no more use here. Go!'

...'...I am afraid Balin is buried deep, and maybe something else is buried there too. I cannot say. But at least the passage behind us was completely blocked. Ah! I have never felt so spent, but it is passing. And now what about you, Frodo? There was no time to say so, but I have never been more delighted in my life than when you spoke. I feared that it was a brave but dead hobbit that Aragorn was carrying.'
...'What about me?' said Frodo. 'I am alive, and whole I think. I am bruised and in pain, but it is not too bad.'
...'Well,' said Aragorn, 'I can only say that hobbits are made of a stuff so tough that I have never met the like of it. Had I known, I would have spoken softer in the Inn at Bree! That spear-thrust would have skewered a wild boar!'
...'Well, it did not skewer me... ...though I feel as if I had been caught between a hammer and an anvil.' He said no more. He found breathing painful.
...'You take after Bilbo,' said Gandalf. 'There is more about you than meets the eye, as I said of him long ago....'

......The ranks of the orcs had opened, and they crowded away, as if they themselves were afraid. Something was coming up behind them. What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it....
...'...Ai, ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
...Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
...'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
...'Over the bridge... ...Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you. I must hold the narrow way. Fly!' Aragorn and Boromir did not heed the command, but still held their ground, side by side, behind Gandalf at the far end of the bridge. The others halted just within the doorway at the hall's end, and turned, unable to leave their leader to face the enemy alone....
...'...You cannot pass... ...I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.'
...The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward... ...and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm.
...From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.
...Glamdring glittered white in answer.
...There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still.
...'You cannot pass!' he said.
...With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed...
......Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.
...With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered, and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone."

2. The Company reaches Nimrodel late at night.
(from the appendices)

..."'Lothlórien!' cried Legolas. 'Lothlórien! We have come to the eaves of the Golden Wood. Alas that it is winter...'
...'...Lothlórien!' said Aragorn. 'Glad I am to hear again the wind in the trees! We are still little more than five leagues from the Gates, but we can go no further. Here let us hope that the virtue of the Elves will keep us tonight from the peril that comes behind....'
...'...Here is Nimrodel!' said Legolas. 'Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago, and still we sing them in the North... ...All is dark now and the Bridge on Nimrodel is broken down. I will bathe my feet, for it is said that the water is healing to the weary.' He went forward and climbed down the deep-cloven bank and stepped into the stream.
...'Follow me!' he cried. 'The water is not deep. Let us wade across! On the further bank we can rest, and the sound of the falling water may bring us sleep and forgetfulness of grief.'
...One by one they climbed down and followed Legolas. For a moment Frodo stood near the brink and let the water flow over his tired feet. It was cold but its touch was clean, and as he went on and it mounted to his knees, he felt that the stain of travel and all weariness was washed from his limbs."

[league = 3 miles]



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CuriousG
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Jan 15, 9:13pm

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A sort on non-action hero moment [In reply to] Can't Post

This passage is a favorite for most book readers:

Quote
..The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward... ...and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm.
...From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.
...Glamdring glittered white in answer.
...There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still.

What strikes me is the description of Gandalf: after his short, threatening speech using words we don't understand, he doesn't bluster, and he doesn't do the action-hero thing of throwing off his cloak to reveal his armor and brawny limbs while swirling his sword around and taunting the Balrog with how he'll chop him into little Balrog bites for Sauron's cat to nibble on. Instead he sways, steps back, and stands still. There's something very understated in Gandalf's heroism that is just as compelling as a theatrical hero's.


grammaboodawg
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Jan 16, 11:27am

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TIME - January 16 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

January 16, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The Fellowship makes its way through Lothlórien
(not from the appendices)

..."The morning was still young and cold when the Company set out again, guided now by Haldir and his brother Rúmil. 'Farewell, sweet Nimrodel!' cried Legolas. Frodo looked back and caught a gleam of white foam among the grey tree-stems. 'Farewell,' he said. It seemed to him that he would never hear again a running water so beautiful....
......They went back to the path that still went on along the west side of the Silverlode... ...But soon Haldir turned aside into the trees and halted on the bank of the river under their shadows.
...'There is one of my people yonder across the stream... ...though you may not see him.' He gave a call like the low whistle of a bird, and out of a thicket of young trees an Elf stepped, clad in grey, but with his hood thrown back; his hair glinted like gold in the morning sun. Haldir skilfully cast over the stream a coil of grey rope, and he caught it and bound the end about a tree near the bank.
...'Celebrant is already a strong stream here, as you see... ...and it runs both swift and deep, and is very cold. We do not set foot in it so far north, unless we must. But in these days of watchfulness we do not make bridges. This is how we cross! Follow me!' He made his end of the rope fast about another tree, and then ran lightly along it, over the river and back again, as if he were on a road.
...'I can walk this path,' said Legolas; 'but the others have not this skill. Must they swim?'
...'No!' said Haldir. 'We have two more ropes. We will fasten them above the other, one shoulder-high, and another half-high, and holding these the strangers should be able to cross with care....'
......The Company passed over, some cautiously and slowly, others more easily. Of the hobbits Pippin proved the best for he was sure-footed, and he walked over quickly, holding only with one hand; but he kept his eyes on the bank ahead and did not look down. Sam shuffled along, clutching hard, and looking down into the pale eddying water as if it was a chasm in the mountains.
...He breathed with relief when he was safely across. 'Live and learn! as my gaffer used to say. Though he was thinking of gardening, not of roosting like a bird, nor of trying to walk like a spider. Not even my uncle Andy ever did a trick like that...!'

...'...Now, friends,' said Haldir, 'you have entered the Naith of Lórien... ...a spearhead between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great. We allow no strangers to spy out the secrets of the Naith. Few indeed are permitted even to set foot there.
...'As was agreed, I shall here blindfold the eyes of Gimli the Dwarf. The others may walk free for a while, until we come nearer to our dwellings....'
......This was not at all to the liking of Gimli. 'The agreement was made without my consent,' he said. 'I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. And I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy. Neither have we done harm to the Elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any other of my companions.'
...'I do not doubt you,' said Haldir. 'Yet this is our law. I am not the master of the law, and cannot set it aside. I have done much in letting you set foot over Celebrant.'
...Gimli was obstinate. He planted his feet firmly apart, and laid his hand upon the haft of his axe. 'I will go forward free... ...or I will go back and seek my own land, where I am known to be true of word, though I perish alone in the wilderness.'
...'You cannot go back,' said Haldir sternly. 'Now you have come thus far, you must be brought before the Lord and the Lady. They shall judge you, to hold you or to give you leave... ...You cannot cross the rivers again, and behind you there are now secret sentinels that you cannot pass. You would be slain before you saw them.'
...Gimli drew his axe from his belt. Haldir and his companion bent their bows. 'A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!' said Legolas.
...'Come!' said Aragorn. 'If I am still to lead this Company, you must do as I bid. It is hard upon the Dwarf to be thus singled out. We will all be blindfold, even Legolas... ...though it will make the journey slow and dull.'
...Gimli laughed suddenly. 'A merry troop of fools we shall look! Will Haldir lead us all on a string, like many blind beggars with one dog? But I will be content, if only Legolas here shares my blindness.'
...'I am an Elf and a kinsman here,' said Legolas, becoming angry in his turn.
...'Now let us cry: "a plague on the stiff necks of Elves!"' said Aragorn. 'But the Company shall all fare alike. Come, bind our eyes, Haldir!'
...'I shall claim full amends for every fall and stubbed toe, if you do not lead us well,' said Gimli as they bound a cloth about his eyes."



sample

We have been there and back again.


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 16, 12:41pm

Post #23 of 57 (1307 views)
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One of my favourite moments [In reply to] Can't Post

It still gives me goosebumps... so incredible. All moments like this are so heroic because they're vulnerable and seemingly beyond their ability:


"…he staggered to his feet and was Samwise the hobbit, Hamfast's son, again.
'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master, you brute, and you'll pay for it. We're going on; but we'll settle with you first. Come on, and taste it again..!'
…Sam came on. He was reeling like a drunken man, but he came on. And Shelob, cowed at last, shrunken in defeat, jerked and quivered as she tried to hasten from him."

and here:

"'Stand! stand!' he cried desperately. 'Running is no use.'
Slowly the eyes crept nearer.
'Galadriel!' he called, and gathering his courage he lifted up the Phial once more. The eyes halted. For a moment their regard relaxed, as if some hint of doubt troubled them. Then Frodo's heart flamed within him, and without thinking what he did, whether it was folly or despair or courage, he took the Phial in his left hand, and with his right hand drew his sword. Sting flashed out, and the sharp elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at its edges a blue fire flicked. Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes."

and here:

"…Yet one stood there still: Dernhelm the young, faithful beyond fear; and he wept, for he had loved his lord as a father...

'…Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!'
A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'
A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. 'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'
The winged creature screamed at her, but the Ringwraith made no answer, and was silent, as if in sudden doubt… …There some paces from him sat the great beast, and all seemed dark about it, and above it loomed the Nazgûl Lord like a shadow of despair. A little to the left facing them stood she whom he had called Dernhelm… …A sword was in her hand, and she raised her shield against the horror of her enemy's eyes...

…Suddenly the great beast beat its hideous wings, and the wind of them was foul. Again it leaped into the air, and then swiftly fell down upon Éowyn, shrieking, striking with beak and claw.
Still she did not blench: maiden of the Rohirrim, child of kings, slender but as a steel-blade, fair but terrible."



sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 16, 5:40pm

Post #24 of 57 (1300 views)
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What secrets? A bunch of trees? [In reply to] Can't Post

Seriously, it is hard to understand the Lorien paranoia here requiring blindfolds. They don't even have bridges over the river--that would be a tactical thing to spy on--and the only thing the group has seen is a forest. So, what secrets?

In Reply To
...'...Now, friends,' said Haldir, 'you have entered the Naith of Lórien... ...a spearhead between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great. We allow no strangers to spy out the secrets of the Naith. Few indeed are permitted even to set foot there.




CuriousG
Half-elven


Jan 16, 5:47pm

Post #25 of 57 (1299 views)
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All wonderful moments [In reply to] Can't Post

Isolated, scared (or Dernhelm should be scared), and up against super-foes far beyond their ability to fight, at least to a rational observer. It seems like the best courage brought out in the heroes is to help someone else rather than themselves: Sam avenging Frodo, Dernhelm avenging Theoden and saving his body from being mutilated/eaten, Gandalf at the bridge.

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