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Yes we only have Legolas' guesswork here

FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 7 2013, 10:02am


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Yes we only have Legolas' guesswork here [In reply to] Can't Post

At the Council of Elrond, Legolas says, "It then seemed plain to us that the attack had been made for his rescue, and that he knew of it beforehand."

But if Gollum did know about it, why would he have cooperated? Legolas' explanation for Gollum refusing to come down from the tree that night was that he knew he was to be rescued, yet we know from what Gollum says to Frodo later that he believes he escaped from Mordor by himself and that he would be brought back there tortured again if he was recaptured. If he thought he was going to be "rescued" by Sauron's minions, you'd think he'd have been begging to be locked up in Thranduil's deepest dungeon, not staying out and waiting for the "rescuers" to arrive! It may be, as I was thinking earlier, that the orcs were only supposed to free Gollum and not recapture him, but I don't see how Gollum could ever have been made to believe that himself.

I guess wha't really going on here is Tolkien trying to come up with a way for Gandalf to know what he does about Gollum's backstory, and yet Gollum to be free to play his part in Frodo's story later. Perhaps he should have gone for the "Treebeard" solution - just letting a prisoner go out of sheer softheartedness - instead of trying to combine the Elves' own softheartedness with a story about a rescue. I think Tolkien says somewhere in the Letters that it's better not to explain too much, and maybe Legolas' "explanation" here is a step too far. Still, as you say, the fact that we only get this explanation via Legolas' theorizing does allow us to doubt his conclusions and come up with some theories of our own!

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From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



(This post was edited by FarFromHome on Mar 7 2013, 10:06am)

Subject User Time
Gollum escapes them all noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 1 2013, 10:05pm
    My theory CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 1 2013, 10:29pm
        Nothing quite adds up.... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 2 2013, 8:01am
            the Mirkwood Minutemen PhantomS Send a private message to PhantomS Mar 3 2013, 9:50am
    Rescuing Gollum wasn't the intention Mim Send a private message to Mim Mar 3 2013, 10:19am
        Legolas thought it was FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2013, 3:27pm
            Fiasco rather than rescue? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 3 2013, 3:37pm
                It's only a fiasco FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2013, 4:59pm
                    True! Success for any rescue (as opposed to capture or recapture). Fiasco for the elves.// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 3 2013, 5:30pm
                        vote for your favourite theory! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 3 2013, 6:44pm
            Legolas asks the right question Mim Send a private message to Mim Mar 3 2013, 11:54pm
                Yes we only have Legolas' guesswork here FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 7 2013, 10:02am
    Mirkwood vs Lorien as a Gollum Prison sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Mar 5 2013, 2:14am
        Lorien is a closed realm. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 5 2013, 8:27am
            Mirkwood was always the intended prison, it seems FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 5 2013, 10:19am

 
 
 

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