Tolkien Top 100 Middle Earth's Top 100
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
 

Topic: LOTR Book Discussion Club - Book I, starting from Chapter 2

Post Info
Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 812
Date: Oct 29, 2014
RE: LOTR Book Discussion Club - all chapters starting from Chapter 2

Strider is one of my favorite characters, and sometimes he is my favorite. This chapter is where the story really takes off in my mind.†

He is the dark and mysterious character that we women are supposed to love. He's the man that every other man wants to be. He's proud (not in the bad sense), humble, strong, etc. All those things are givens for a hero in literature. What I have always admired the most though is his willingness to suffer. To learn the hard way. So many leaders want the power without the pain (Sauron). All Strider's knowledge of the world, of survival, of leadership was learned by doing and suffering. In my mind, those folks who are willing to get their hands dirty make the best leaders (kings) in the end.



__________________
Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 7, 2014
I agree Laurelin,

"He is the dark and mysterious character that we women are supposed to love. He's the man that every other man wants to be. He's proud (not in the bad sense), humble, strong, etc. All those things are givens for a hero in literature." Laurelin.

Well said.

In many tales the King is established and his lineage is deep. So by the time the reader is introduced to most Kings they are already in command. They don't tell you why the King is revered (besides pure respect for the crown) and rarely is the King so well rounded. This King (in Aragorn) has a solid background before he even comes into the quest:

1. Raised by Elves and taught the finer things.
2. Lives as a Ranger; becoming an expert Tracker and Survivalist.
3. Travels all of Middle-earth and back several times. So he knows all of the lands.
4. And he earns his renown by fighting in the biggest battles of that Age.

By the time Aragorn takes his throne; it is more than well-earned and a stronger King, there has not been even while the line of Kings was intact. Very cool.

__________________
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Nov 7, 2014

I thought that Aragorn was the epitome of the archetypal hero ... a heroic warrior and mighty healer ... leads by example ... and makes the hard decisions ... leads after Gandalf falls, gives Boromir absolution, chooses to pursue Merry & Pippin rather than follow Frodo, steps back and gives Gandalf command, takes Paths of the Dead, enters Minas Tirith to heal the wounded, leads the assault on the Black Gates when there is a slim hope for victory, etc, etc, etc.

Where is Teralectus?† Have our egos pushed another member off the Forums?



-- Edited by Bear on Friday 7th of November 2014 05:30:42 AM

__________________

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 7, 2014
Good one Bear,

Aragorn does exhibit suppleness of resolve. He never hesitated to take council or take initiative, the earmarks of a great leader as well...

__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 24, 2014

A nice opening post by JD7, and further developments by other members. I just wanted to add that although this chapter gives us an initial idea on Aragorn, it is not limited to just that, 'not that anyone said otherwise' (cannot resist citing Galin's favorite phrase).

So, a few points.
I was really wondering how Strider knows so much things about the Black Riders? Of course he was told about them in Rivendell but my feeling was that he talked about them very emotionally as if he knew them first-hand. But he didn't encounter them as yet, so what 'distant memory' could he have had?..

Also, when Gandalf in his letter urges Frodo to not use the Ring again, what is meant by that? The letter is written on Midyear day, but Frodo puts the Ring on only during his journey in the fall (twice, at Tom's and in Bree). And interestingly, no special effects (seeng the Unseen world) are mentioned.

I am getting an impression that Aragorn received two messages from Gildor's folk (one that Gandalf was missing, another that hobbits had left their home) but Gildor seems to learn about both of these at once when he encounters Frodo and company, and it is Frodo that tells him that Gandalf didn't come y the appointed time. Why were these messages separated I wonder?

After Merry gives the account of his encounter with the Nazgul, Aragorn demonstrates even more knowledge about them. The Black Breath can be experienced at a close contact as it seems. So it has been observed earlier and remembered...interesting. By Dunedain maybe? And also if Aragorn is right about the habits/customs of Nazgul, that they will not attack a house with many people in it, we have to conclude that the 'evil work' - the attack on The Prancing Pony - is a deed by Ferny and his likes.

And with all this scary stuff, note that Merry is still much impressed by the story of Frodo's 'performance'... he even chuckles at it despite what has just happened to him. Hobbits are tough people indeed.

A couple of words on Aragorn himself. On my part, although I agree with what has been said about him as an archetypal hero and how he takes on himself all the difficult tasks, I cannot be counted among those 'women who are supposed to love him'. Maybe he is too perfect. I don't know. My vision of a hero is perhaps totally perverted but to me a hero is someone who has to battle himself, his own weakness, desire for comfort, doubts/fears... Or more seriously, who has to totally reconsider views and attitudes (or even to forswear an oath that cannot be broken etc)...this sort of requires the presence of choice - and so I am impressed more by Bilbo who is moved solely by a sudden desire for adventure than by Aragorn who cannot get Arwen other than by going through all this trouble. And he gets a kingdom as a reward too. Just an opinion!

And as I mentioned earlier, it is not clear right away how the 'bad news had reached' Gandalf, as he mentions at the opening of his letter to Frodo.



-- Edited by Lorelline on Monday 24th of November 2014 01:14:34 AM

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 29, 2014
I was looking through Appendix A and it does state that Aragorn went in the direction of Mordor and those lands to the East. It is not impossible then that he had some experience with Nazgul or with those who met them. But I didn't see it directly stated, somehow.

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Dec 9, 2014
Chapter 11. A Knife in the Dark

Synopsis

Black Riders at Crickhollow - Fatty Bolger rouses an alarm (Horn-call of Buckland) - Black Riders leave the Shire - Frodo sleeps uneasily at Bree and hears the horn - Strider and the hobbits discover that the bedrooms have been attacked - the ponies are gone - the departure of Strider and the hobbits is delayed - Butterbur pays for a pony acquired from Bill Ferny - the whole of Bree sees the travelers off - waste of a good apple - pleasant walk through Chetwood - Midfewater Marshes - flashing light in the eastern sky - a view of hills and Weathertop - a path hidden from the view leading to the top of Weathertop (aka Amon SŻl) - Strider gives a history of it - Sam sings about Gil-galad - Sam and Pippin and the pony are left in a hollow on the western bank, others climb to the top - they find a sign left by Gandalf (that he was there on Oct 3) - Strider links the flashing lights to Gandalf - a fortnight journey is still ahead of them - They notice 5 Black Riders on the road - they return to the hollow and Strider discerns prints of many heavy booted feet - a discussion of what Black Riders can do - the travelers make a fire and have supper - Strider tells tales, including tale of Tinuviel and other stories of Elder days - moon rises - black shapes approach and terror falls on the hobbits - Frodo cannot resist the desire of putting on the Ring - he sees the Nazgul clearly - the one with crown has a sword and a knife and pierces Frodo's shoulder while Frodo strikes his feet with the sword (while calling upon Elbereth) - Frodo takes the Ring off while Strider drives away the Nazgul.

Questions and comments

1. I keep wondering why the Nazgul didn't attack the house at Crickhollow right away but 'stood , as still as the shadows of stones, while night went slowly on'. They might have got hold of Fatty Bolger that way or maybe not but the way they did it they were wasting time, seemingly.

2. While, according to Strider, the attack on the bedrooms was not done by Nazgul it seems that they were around anyway because the animals have all run away.

3. Gandalf was besieged by Nazgul on Weathertop but what did they wanted to achieve by that?

4. Aragorn demonstrates a very deep knowledge of the Nazgul yet again. Most interesting is that he knows how they perceive the world and the living things in it! How can anyone possibly know unless a Nazgul confided in them?

5. Aragorn mentions Silmarils but doesn't explain right away what they were - only later. Were hobbits supposed to know about them?

6. When wearing the Ring, Ftodo clearly sees the Nazgul and not one is wearing a ring. So indeed Sauron must have had those 9 rings at the time.

7. One can probably speculate indefinitely about the nature of Morgul-blades but the property of making people fade upon injury is interesting.


__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Dec 20, 2014
First off, I must say that if Tolkien had written all of his chapters in the short-form like Lorelline has done, Tolkien' s book would be a 112 page manual...Lol. I like this Cliff's notes version, it helps to put all the poignant events in perspective; great for the response.....And here is mine:

1. I'm not going to make excuses for the Nazgul. it seems obvious now that they should have just come into Crickhollow and taken what they wished. The only thing I would consider, is if all nine were present at the time. We're they waiting for their captain? They were kings at one time and as such, they would have refined knowledge of strategy and tactics. Perhaps they were awaiting some strategic high-point in order to strike. Were there many other houses in Crickhollow? Perhaps they were verifying which house was Frodo's (though I realize, if they were in Crickhollow, they would most likely know the address as well).

2. With Merry's experience with the Black Breath and Nob seeing the Nazgul lifting Merry's body perhaps this was all Strider needed to assume that the attack in the night was the Nazgul' s doing. The exodus of the animals only verified his suspicions.

3. I think Gandalf chose to be a willing distraction. Also he may have seen the Nazgul, or they him, upon the road and Gandalf elected to lead them away knowing as long as the nine weren't together Frodo would have a far better chance.

4. This knowledge of Fear and Hroar can only come from Valinor. I heard it said that even Elves can see light or unlight, or the auras of living things. Perhaps the Maia explained it to them...Mandriva has keen knowledge and perhaps he shared with them. Or perhaps Glorfindel had much to say on the topic since he went to "the other side" and returned. The Nazgul were unique in that they were thrills, and held back from the natural processes of death, but still souls no different than Glorfindel or others were at one point. And if the Elves have any knowledge it would be passed to Strider, especially since his life on Are a was tied to the legends.

5. I don't remember about the Silmarils part, maybe Lorelline can PM me with the details of that portion of the story. My books are now in the care of my son's....

6. I think your assumption is fairly accurate.

7.I think the Morgul blade is cursed with devices or runes. even in a world without magic a blade that old would be barbed and fragile along the edges and riddled with rust and all sorts of impurities. Perhaps the wound just introduced Frodo's system with a nasty case of Tetanus along with these barbs. Also when the blade left the Nazgul' s hand his own enchantment were severed and the spell holding the ancient metal together was undone, thus the crumbling or disappearing of the blade.

__________________
Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 4, 2015

Hello friends,

It has been some time and I have missed you all, sorely.†† Now I return to you, at the turning of the tide....lol.Ahem.Let's dispense with the funny schtuff and pick up where we left off, so many months ago.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † † † † Chapter 12

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Flight to the Ford.

Last, we had left Frodo on Weathertop, fighting for his very life against 5 of the most wicked spirits/ undead creatures in The Enemy's arsenal, The Nazgul.††In the beginning of the Chapter 12, The Flight to the Ford, Frodo regains consciousness after his harrowing ordeal.His last memory was of Strider breaking into the ring of "White Kings" (to paraphrase Frodo), brandishing a torch and wielding it wildly at the assailants, not before Frodo could take some wild swings "at the feet of his enemy." Then he gets stabbed with the Morgul blade in his shoulder for his efforts.

1.Topography-One of the first things that strikes me about this chapter is the detail in which he (Professor Tolkien) describes the lands in the traveling, from Weathertop to Rivendell.I, like most of you, have poured over the maps.††Knowing these maps well, gives one a good sense of seeing the topography through the characters eyes.

"The land before them sloped away southwards, but it

was wild and pathless; bushes and stunted trees grew in dense

patches with wide barren spaces in between. The grass was

scanty, coarse, and grey; and the leaves in the thickets were

faded and falling."

"Weathertop slowly sank, and

before them the distant mountains loomed a little nearer."

"At the end of the fifth day the ground began once more to

rise slowly out of the wide shallow valley into which they had

descended.† Strider† now† turned† their† course† again† north-

eastwards,† and† on† the† sixth† day† they† reached† the† top† of† a

long† slow-climbing† slope,† and† saw† far† ahead† a† huddle† of

wooded† hills.† Away† below† them† they† could† see† the† Road

sweeping round the feet of the hills; and to their right a grey

river gleamed pale in the thin sunshine. In the distance they

glimpsed† yet† another† river† in† a† stony† valley† half-veiled† in

mist."

2.Strider gives a big clue in one of the sentences as the Hobbits ask him questions about the land that they are traveling in (just west of Rivendell) near the Trollshaws.

Have you often been to Rivendell? said Frodo.

I have, said Strider. I dwelt there once, and still I return

when I may. There my heart is; but it is not my fate to sit in

peace, even in the fair house of Elrond.

Upon the first read, I did not think this meant much.I remember thinking that the words were just padding to give the book a little more depth when, in fact, it is teeming with information.† These little tidbits that Tolkien illuminates, give us a real sense of depth and experience from these characters and leaves an overwhelming sense that we are reading about a world that actually existed.†

3.The Trolls

††††††††††††††† This was the first time since the Shire that Tolkien brings us into a familiar spot in Middle Earth.For me, a reader who was fortunate enough to read the Hobbit first, I found this portion of the tale to be a surprise and a welcome one at that.

We are forgetting our family history! These must be the very three that were caught by Gandalf, quarrelling over the right way to cook thirteen dwarves and one hobbit.---Frodo

4.Glorfindel

††††††††† 'The riders cloak streamed behind him, and his hood was thrown back; his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed. To Frodo it appeared that a white light was shining through the form and raiment of the rider, as if through a thin veil.'

††††††††† Was Tolkien merely describing the pristine and almost holy visage of the Elves in his narrative or was he further illustrating (through Frodos eyes) that Frodo was gradually fading or becoming wraith-like?

†††††††††† Why did Tolkien feel that Glorfindel was to be so easily passed over in this tale?In most regards he is more infamous than Lord Elrond. Then after his short stint in the Fellowship of the Ring he returns to obscurity..why?Anyone?

5.The actual Flight to the Ford--Just as Frodo and company come within a mile of the Ford of Rivendell the wind whips up and Glorfindel listens to the road behind them for a moment before hearing (or sensing) the Black Riders coming.He springs forward and with a loud cry:Fly! he called.† Fly! The enemy is upon us!

††††††††† This portion of the book reminds me of a popular (and quite frankly, ridiculous) fan-fic viewpoint.The other time we hear:Fly!† as in "Fly, you fools!" is during the infamous scene at the Bridge of Khazad Dum.The fan-fic opinion is that Gandalf is hinting that the company utilize the Eagles to reach their quests ultimate goal; preposterous, of course.I only bring this up to shed a conquering light on the fact that Tolkien used the term Fly clearly to mean Flee or run.



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Thursday 5th of November 2015 03:48:23 PM

__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 7, 2015
This is what comes to mind, initially...

"Was Tolkien merely describing the pristine and almost holy visage of the Elves in his narrative or was he further illustrating (through Frodos eyes) that Frodo was gradually fading or becoming wraith-like?"

I think it could be both. We are given only the Frodo's impression, and his perception of things obviously differs from that by others at that moment. But objectively Glorfindel wasn't like most Elves in Middle-earth - he is said to have become, after reincarnation, 'almost an equal' to the Maiar, as 'his spiritual power had been greatly enhanced by his self-sacrifice' (as stated in HoMe vol. 12). Another text (Laws and Customs among the Eldar) mentions that the Eldar call the spirit "fŽa... of which the ancient significance seems to be ... 'radiance'. For though the fŽa in itself is not visible to bodily eyes, it is in light that the Eldar find the most fitting symbol in bodily terms of the indwelling spirit, 'the light of the house'... And those in whom the fŽa is strong and untainted, they say, appear even to mortal eyes to shine at times translucent (albeit faintly), as though a lamp burned within". Looks similar to how Glorfindel is described. To Frodo this should be more obvious as he is being driven to the Unseen world (Glorfindel is said to be in both at once - which likely means that he is visible to the Nazgul and they to him).

On my part I was wondering whether the One Ring had any additional effect on Frodo's 'fading' caused by the Morgul-blade. Conceivably it could only hasten it - then Frodo is indeed made of a sterner material than he seems.

"Why did Tolkien feel that Glorfindel was to be so easily passed over in this tale? In most regards he is more infamous than Lord Elrond. Then after his short stint in the Fellowship of the Ring he returns to obscurity..why? Anyone?"

Maybe because Glorfindel would not be best suited for this secret quest, his very visibility to the Nazgul being one of the factors? One would then ask, how about Gandalf who too should be 'in both worlds', Seen and Unseen (even if 'clothed' in a human form)? As to Glorfindel being more infamous than Elrond - indeed Elrond wouldn't even come to exist without Glorfindel's self-sacrifice.


__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 9, 2015

What Lorelline says about the "radiance" of the Fea...makes sense of these words from Chapter 3:

"Before long the Elves came down the lane towards the valley.† They passed slowly, and the Hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes.† They bore no lights, but as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about their feet."-----LOTR Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3, Three is Company.

Could have this been the Fea emanating from within them?† That would be the only option at this point.†

††† Arguably the same that Glorfindel emanates.† However, the glow that Frodo notices is during the daytime, while the light that Gildor and his Elves emanated was at night.† My thought is that Frodo is extra sensitive to the light that the Elves possess due to him succumbing to the "fading" process.† He was slowly entering the "shadow realm" without the use of the Ring (Slowly dying by the poisoning of a enchanted blade).† While using the Ring, the Wraiths become unclad and Frodo can see them in all their terrible glory.† At the same time he could see The Fea of someone as renowned at Glorfindel in the light of Day.

††††††† Lorelline says:† "On my part I was wondering whether the One Ring had any additional effect on Frodo's 'fading' caused by the Morgul-blade. Conceivably it could only hasten it - then Frodo is indeed made of a sterner material than he seems."

††††††† I think that a hobbits main power against the influence of the Ring lies in their lack of desire for power.† The Ring seduces with a promise of power.† I think the Hobbits like trinkets and well-crafted things and the Ring most certainly was that.† So it had a draw to the eye and could possibly make hobbits admire it and consider it a rare thing in their world of simple things.† But as to the power thing, Hobbits could care less. It wasn't food (which they love) or had no bearing on their crops.† They have no love of machines or complex machines.† Therefore there was really no draw to it besides it's beauty and rarity.† I don't think the ring had any affect on Frodo's "Fading" process.† I think that the Morgul Blade did all that.† It would've killed the Hobbit quicker had it not been for Aragorn's methods of staving off the spread of infection.† But the Morgul blade that dissolves in the wind must have done a number on Frodo's bloodstream.† I think this is why the Nazgul had sway over Frodo as he passes the Ford.† The closer to Death he came the more influence the Nazgul had on him....because of the Ring.† But I don't feel that the Ring hastened the "Fading"...just aided in giving the Ring-Wraiths more control over the bearer at that point.†

As to:† "One would then ask, how about Gandalf who too should be 'in both worlds', Seen and Unseen (even if 'clothed' in a human form)?"†

I can only say that if A wraith can be seen, brightly in the shadow realm (by one who wears the Ring) then an Elf of Glorfindel's status would definitely be seen brightly and even more so a Maiar.†



__________________
Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 812
Date: Nov 11, 2015
The family history part is one of my favorite scenes in the books. Mostly because I love Sam's poem. But also because, as noted, it ties The Hobbit in with current events. Plus, it had always amazed me that there seems to be only one way into Rivendell. As for Glorfindel, can elves choose to appear as the are on the other side? I mean is this form something they can turn on and off like a light switch?

__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 18, 2015
Laurelin said:
"As for Glorfindel, can elves choose to appear as they are on the other side? I mean is this form something they can turn on and off like a light switch?"

It didn't seem that Glorfindel could make himself appear on just one side. One might wonder about this ability of Elves, given, for example, Gildor-and-company's words (to Frodo): 'We have seen you often before with Bilbo, though you may not have seen us', but I think they refer rather to their hiding skills. Yet it appears that 'faded' Elves (when 'the body becomes ... a mere memory held by the fŽa', and 'may no longer be seen by us mortals, or seen only dimly and fitfully') could deliberately stay invisible or reveal their forms to a chosen mortal 'through his mind working outwardly, maybe', so that 'he will behold them in their beauty'. (Morgoth's Ring, Of the Laws and Customs among the Eldar [Laws B], Of Re-birth and Other Dooms...; it looks like the views on the rebirth were completely revised but the concept of fading stood).


Jaidoprism7 said:
"Could have this been the Fea emanating from within them?† That would be the only option at this point.†"

I actually think that this has been explicitly stated somewhere, that this radiance is caused by the fŽa. Plus, like Glorfindel, Gildor and his company came from over the sea. It was mentioned (although I am having trouble finding an exact reference) that there was light of Aman in the eyes of the Exiles. It is interesting that Gollum (much later in the book) talks of 'terrible Elves with bright eyes'...did all Elves appear to him like that, I wonder?

Jaidoprism7 said:
"Therefore there was really no draw to it [the One Ring] besides it's beauty and rarity.†"

I respectfully disagree, even Bilbo wasn't all that eager to part with it, let alone Gollum, and neither beauty nor rarity was the cause. And I think we cannot really know whether the Ring hastened the fading process or not. Pity we know too little about those Morgul blades.


__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 18, 2015

That is an interesting thing brought up by Laurelin and what Lorelline states after.

Laurelin says: "As for Glorfindel, can elves choose to appear as the are on the other side? I mean is this form something they can turn on and off like a light switch?"

To which Lorelline responds: " Yet it appears that 'faded' Elves (when 'the body becomes ... a mere memory held by the fŽa', and 'may no longer be seen by us mortals, or seen only dimly and fitfully') could deliberately stay invisible or reveal their forms to a chosen mortal..."


So are we essentially saying that the "ghosts" of the Elves can stop and reveal themselves to any other creature that they choose and aren't totally whisked away to the halls of Mandos upon death? Are they required to make the journey across the lands and to the Halls? Or do they have the choice to linger? Interesting.



__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 20, 2015

These issues are discussed in detail in the same text I referred to previously - Morgoth's Ring, Of the Laws and Customs among the Eldar [Laws B], Of Re-birth and Other Dooms... Briefly, yes, there was a choice for the fŽar of Elves (but not Men). The fŽar of dead Elves were summoned to Mandos, and the summons could be refused. A fŽa could wander houseless; but 'the refusal of the summon is in itself a sign of taint', and it is said that to communicate with such fŽar is not altogether safe - in the worst case the fŽa might try to take someone else's body unlawfully. There is, however, a big difference between these unbodied fŽar and Elves who faded because their fŽar have consumed their hroar. These latter are referred to as Lingerers - in the sense that they are not departing to the West where there is no fading [those that could depart; Avari could not go there] but stay in Middle-earth instead. They are not dead, just their bodies are no longer clearly visible, but they can reveal them at will, while Houseless 'have no form to reveal', they might 'counterfeit elvish forms', but 'such visions would be marred by the evil of their intent'.



-- Edited by Lorelline on Friday 20th of November 2015 03:37:54 AM

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 20, 2015
Some further thoughts...

So, Elves who faded retain their bodies, and likewise Men who faded because of the Rings of Power (Nazgul) also retain their bodies (and of course they wouldn't be able to stay in Middle-earth without bodies, as Mannish fŽar once houseless must leave Arda, maybe after a stay in Mandos). The Nazgul are said to be driven to the 'other side', to the Unseen world that is. Perhaps that is the same Unseen world where the fŽar of the faded Elves are (and perhaps the houseless fŽar too); Elves didn't start fading by the time of the events occurring in LOTR so it is hard to tell, but seems likely from the notion that Elves who came from the West are in both worlds at once.

It was tempting for me to trivially assume that their hroar (bodies) are in the Seen world and the fŽar in the Unseen. This however should be true for all Elves and Men. But as I mentioned in a previous post, 'fŽa in itself is not visible to bodily eyes' (which supposedly should place it in the Unseen world), but if it is 'strong and untainted', it makes the elvish body 'shine at times translucent' as seen by mortal eyes, so in a way it is the fŽa that becomes visible and is therefore in the Seen world - in addition to the Unseen (was Gandalf referring exactly to that?).

Very interestingly Glorfindel appears to Frodo as a 'shining figure of white light'. I am still wondering if it is just the fŽa he sees that takes the same shape as the hroa (as if filling it with radiance), or is the hroa itself shows in the Unseen world?

As to the fading Lesser Elves and the Nazgul, it seems that their hroar too are moved to the Unseen world...

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 23, 2015

Lorelline said: "but seems likely from the notion that Elves who came from the West are in both worlds at once."

†††† This seems more than obvious to me...and that may be due to a misconception on my part. If one believes that we humans possess a spirit that goes on to spiritual realms after it is released from our fragile mortal coils, then it is easy to believe that we too exist in two worlds at once. But we can only perceive one reality. I believe the Elves do as well....but unlike us, they know of the other realm (the spirit world or afterlife, to put it simply). So it is like a more firm belief system that we have that there is actually an afterlife and a real heaven-like place to which we can actually travel towards, willfully.

Lorelline says: Very interestingly Glorfindel appears to Frodo as a 'shining figure of white light'. I am still wondering if it is just the fŽa he sees that takes the same shape as the hroa (as if filling it with radiance), or is the hroa itself shows in the Unseen world?

†††† To this I say: The Hroar or Body is the Vessel. The Spirit or the Fea, is like water or vapor that fills the inside of this vessel. I would say it takes the shape of the body well enough just as the circulatory system might be recognized as a human if it was plucked out of a human body and displayed somehow. Weve all seen the drawings. But the circulatory system is as vital as I deem the Fea is to every fiber of a being and must occupy the same space as a singular being.

I really dont know if this gets close to what you are sayingI hope soif not, I misunderstand the actual questions..and I apologize for that.



__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 25, 2015
My impression wasn't that the Unseen world is equated with afterlife. Thinking of the Unseen world, it appears that whoever is mentioned as being there is not really dead and is not therefore at the afterlife stage. The Nazgul, Glorfindel, Frodo (or others) with The Ring on - they all are alive and have bodies. Maybe the notion of the Unseen world should apply to the visibility of the hroar after all. Interestingly it is just the visibility. The hroar/bodies drawn into the Unseen world do not truly disappear - they can still be felt and make sounds/noises in the usual Seen world.

In the previous chapter we were given a glimpse into the Nazgul's perception of 'the world of light' - 'our shapes cast shadows in their minds, which only the noon sun destroys; and in the dark they perceive many signs and forms that are hidden from us'. Nothing is directly said about the fŽar (of this company of mortals). The Nazgul did perceive Gildor and his company somehow and perhaps it was their hroar (those were the Exiles supposedly present in both worlds) that the Nazgul saw, and likely filled with radiance, to their dismay.

So unless 'strong and untainted', were fŽar visible in any world, Seen or Unseen? Seems not very clear... The statement from Laws and Customs might not clarify much but I still find it relevant:
"...[when the body of an Elda is destroyed] the fŽa is, as it were, houseless, and it becomes invisible to bodily eyes (though clearly perceptible by direct awareness to other fŽar)". So the houseless fŽa isn't in the Seen world any longer (as if it was before death!) but whether that moves it into the Unseen world is not obvious...am tempted to add 'remains to be seen'...it just becomes funny.

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Nov 28, 2015

I would say that most of this theory gets destroyed when it comes to the Nazgul after all. Or even Glorfindel for that matter. When Glorfindel is killed or dies due to his fight with the Balrog his body is taken to Valinor by an Eagle. But when the Nazgul get vanquished or hindered by the Ford's magic Foam Steeds...do they simply get washed down shore then get up...wring their shrouds and make the long and lonely trek back to Mordor?

How would Glorfindel have made his way to the Halls of Mandos without the help of the Eagles if he and his body (broken or less than full of vital essence) could make the trip?

There is a small clue in Lorelline's words that gives me the impression that the Fear is the spirit and cannot be seen just like our spirits here and now: "[when the body of an Elda is destroyed] the fŽa is, as it were, houseless, and it becomes invisible to bodily eyes (though clearly perceptible by direct awareness to other fŽar)".

I would say that confirms it, yes?† No?



__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Nov 29, 2015
According to the original Fall of Gondolin (and the compressed Sil's account), Glorfindel's body is, yes, brought from the abyss by Thorondor but not to Valinor, just back from where he fell, and is buried in a cairn. He gets reincarnated - is given a totally new body in Valinor; his original body isn't used for that purpose. As stated in Laws and Customs on the matter, when the original body/hroa (of an Elf) is destroyed [in Middle-earth],
"...the fŽa departs from it, and its [hroa's] function being at an end its coherence is unloosed, and it returns to the general hron of Arda" (the matter or substance of Arda that is).

An interesting question about the Nazgul. Their faded bodies (my impression) seem way more immune to damage than a usual human body. Coincidentally or not, faded Elves (but not houseless fŽar) are described (in the same source, Laws and Customs) quite similarly:
"As ages passed the dominance of their [Elves'/Eldar's] fŽar ever increased, 'consuming' their bodies... The end of this process is their 'fading', as Men have called it; for the body becomes at last, as it were, a mere memory held by the fŽa; and that end has already been achieved in many regions of Middle-earth, so that the Elves are indeed deathless and may not be destroyed or changed".
The time mentioned in this passage must be our present time I believe.

How the Nazgul got to Mordor we are apparently not told (seems not even in Unfinished Tales?). But evil spies could have informed Sauron and he might have sent the aviation to their rescue? Idk...


__________________

LůrellinŽ

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Dec 1, 2015
Laurelin said:
"The family history part is one of my favorite scenes in the books. Mostly because I love Sam's poem. But also because, as noted, it ties The Hobbit in with current events."

I just thought it curious to note that I always had an indeterminate feeling that it takes Frodo-and-Aragorn's company too long to get to the trolls' place as compared to Bilbo and the Dwarves, but not until I read The Annotated Hobbit was I able to realize why. I will just borrow a piece from there:

"[In The Hobbit] the dwarves have just crossed the River Hoarwell, and they see the light of the trolls' fire 'some way off', surely a very small distance... [In the LOTR] Aragorn and the hobbits take almost six days to reach the trolls' clearing".

It is further stated that Tolkien was aware of the discrepancy but never got to fully reconcile it.


__________________

LůrellinŽ

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Dec 3, 2015
Concerning the time it takes to travel to the Troll clearing from one account (The Hobbit) to the next (FOTR) I think that it was the same distance but more happened on the route with Aragorn and the Ring Bearer and therefore there was more to write about, which made it seem like a longer journey. Not to mention that the party in FOTR was hunted and had to take longer more hindered routes. Tolkien wouldn't have written every step of the Dwarves journey because, quite frankly, there wasn't much to say about it.

It is just like a director's technique of the "Jump cut". Example: A character driving a car says: "What's the worst that can happen?" then the very next scene opens to a crowd of emergency service vehicles surrounding a tall tree with a car stuck in it. There was plenty that happened in between but it didn't serve the pace or mode of the story....

__________________
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
Status: Offline
Posts: 562
Date: Dec 9, 2015

Karen Fonstad noted the problem in her Atlas: "The Troll's fire was so close to the river that it could be seen "some way off", and it probably took the Dwarves no more than an hour to reach; whereas Strider led the Hobbits north of the road [turning off a mile beyond the bridge], where they lost their way and spent six days reaching the clearing where they found the Stone-trolls. Lost or not, it seems almost impossible that the time-pressed Ranger would have spent sx days reaching a point the Dwarves found in an hour."

Tolkien was aware of this and tried to fix things in the 1960 Hobbit: he introduced the Last Bridge at this same point in the narrative, but made the river passage occur in the morning, and the camp from which the Troll's fire was seen was made at the end of the day and many miles further east. Thus Aragorn would have†led the Hobbits north of the road†into the wild†"many miles" before the Dwarves reached the spot where they (now later) saw the Troll's fire.

According to Tolkien's notes "Timeline And Itinerary" the bridge here is broken, but†it's noted: 'Bridge to point where troll fire seen: 20 miles' (Timelines And Itinerary, History of The Hobbit part II) and a bit later Tolkien†writes:†"Episode of the Trolls occurs night of May 19, at a point about 25 miles from the Bridge. 55 miles to go to Ford of Bruinen." So, the Dwarves here see the Troll's fire 24 miles east of where Aragorn went north [taking away one mile as Aragorn turned off a mile beyond the Bridge].

Would this amount, plus the companions getting lost, have been enough to satisfy readers†(if I read these notes correctly, that is)? Hard to say...

... but in any case†Tolkien never finished this 1960†revision, and for the third edition (1966)†he introduced the bridge but failed to incorporate the rest of the idea, which didn't solve the problem of course.



__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 383
Date: Dec 10, 2015
I was just about to make a reference to The Atlas but I wasn't aware of the additional notes by Tolkien on the matter... Very interesting - thanks, Galin. And I too am not sure if even that revision would have fully solved the discrepancy.

A few further notes...

Laurelin said:
"Plus, it had always amazed me that there seems to be only one way into Rivendell."

However, Frodo (and others) get to Rivendell by crossing the Ford of Bruinen while Bilbo and the Dwarves cross the river by a narrow bridge.

Apart from that, one thing to note is that the hobbits, who should be about the size and weight of a 5-6 year old child (at least not too fat at the moment), are not carried by Glorfindel and Aragorn, although that would have sped up their journey?

And in this chapter we clearly observe the hesitation of the Nazgul when they need to cross the water, the substance generally free from the evil of Morgoth.

__________________

LůrellinŽ

Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 812
Date: Jan 4, 2016
I thought there was only one way because Strider and company passed the trolls. Could the Nazgul reluctance have been from not wanting to be on Elvish land?

__________________
Tom Bombadil
Status: Offline
Posts: 1886
Date: Jan 10, 2016
I know I am way late. But can I still jump in? Sorry for having abandoned you guys.

__________________

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 753
Date: Feb 12, 2016
RE: LOTR Book Discussion Club - Book I, starting from Chapter 2

Lady ArwenLegolas

Hello...so very good to hear from you.....Feel free to jump in anytime.

I think we are on Book Two right now.....Lorelline took the first chapter but you are more than welcome to take the second.....I think it's probably easier when someone volunteers for it...so it doesn't go cold....

It would be an honor to have you along on this one.


__________________
 
«First  <  1 2 3 | Page of 3  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Chatbox

Please log in to join the chat!

Previous poll results (What is the 'Mightiest' weapon in Tolkiens myth?): Gurthang, blade of Turin - 28%, Narsil, sword of Elendil - 12%, Anduril, Sword of King Ellesar Aragorn - 23%, The Mace of the Witch King - 5%, Grond the dread hammer/hammer of the underworld -19%, Black axe of Gothmog - 4, Glamdring of Gandalf - 7%, Orcrist of Thorin - 1% A NEW POLL HAS BEEN ADDED TO TOLKIEN FORUMS Tolkien Forums - The Mythical world of J.R.R Tolkien