CotW: LotR, Bk. 4, Ch. 4, 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit'

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Al MacLeod

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Oct 11, 2004, 4:26:14 AM10/11/04
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Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
==========================
Summary by Al MacLeod [1]

Frodo, Sam and Smeagol march through North Ithilien on their way to
Cirith Ungol. They are discovered by Rangers of Ithilien, under their
captain Faramir; whilst guarded they witness a terrifying ambush
against Sauron's Southron vassals, and the astonishing sight of a
mighty Mumak of Harad.

-------------------------)o*o(-------------------------

We start in the desolation below the Morannon, where the three awake
and begin to march south. Gollum refuses food, promising good food and
water soon. They march out on the borders of the road, followed for
many miles by a gleaming red light high up in the Towers of the Teeth,
but they pass unseen.

Finally they leave the watchful light behind, and they rest briefly,
with lightened hearts. Gollum is impatient; he reckons it as thirty
leagues from the Morannon to the cross-roads. They march onward
further until halted equally by dawn and exhaustion. They have walked
almost eight leagues[2].

Here we meet the fair land that is Ithilien. The three see a land of
heathlands, full of pines, broom, and other plants; the very air was
fresher. They keep note of their fear, however - the land may look
more pleasant but it is still the land of an enemy.

They pass the day fitfully resting among the heather. When darkness
comes again the three set out, risking travelling on the road for
speed, but again they see and hear nothing.

The road is described in some detail; holding a true course, leaping
rivers on ancient masonry. Even when the only clues to its existence
are a few scattered pillars and paving stones, still it carved its way
through hillsides and "guided them by the swiftest way". They were
walking upon the "handiwork of Men of old"; this road has been used
for thousands of years [3].

The land only gets more pleasant for the hobbits (although Gollum,
once more, is repulsed by the wholesomeness of the place). As day
breaks they climb a bank by the side of the road and look out.

They realise that Ithilien is an alien place to them[4]; they see
strange trees, shrubs, and herbs. The hobbits are hundreds of miles
south of their usual haunts, and we get a lovely description of the
beginning of Spring[5]. They look down into the great Vale of Anduin,
and even Sam is outfoxed by the variety of herbs on offer!

"The grots and rocky walls were already starred with saxifrages and
stonecrops. Primeroles and anemones were awake in the filbert-brakes;
and asphodel and many lily-flowers nodded their half-opened heads in
the grass: deep green grass beside the pools, where falling streams
halted in cool hollows on their journey down to Anduin."

They find a beautiful spot to rest for the day, and the hobbits'
hearts are lifted high; yet we are reminded that this is still a land
belonging to evil - they have seen the handiwork of Orcs; uncovered
pits of filth, and trees cut down and desecrated with evil runes.

Sam, thinking of food, rather rudely asks Smeagol to go find him
something to eat, then to fetch some water to boil. He starts a fire,
much against Smeagol's advice[6], and settles down to making rabbit
stew - again amidst Smeagol's complaints.

"‘Stew the rabbits!' squealed Gollum in dismay. ‘Spoil beautiful meat
Sméagol saved for you, poor hungry Sméagol! What for? What for, silly
hobbit?"

Sam, pushing his luck, demands that Gollum fetches some bay leaves,
thyme, sage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, two pints of milk and a
Sunday paper[7]. Gollum refuses, and criticises Sam's cooking;

"Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty
chips!"

Sam finishes cooking, wakes Frodo, and the two of them eat. While
Sam's at the stream doing the washing up, he realises that he's left
his fire burning, and can see it sending up smoke. On his return they
hear voices - in a moment they are trapped by four men.

The men are wearing green, carrying bows, swords and spears, and
immediately remind Frodo of Boromir. The men wonder what they have
found:

"‘Elves do not walk in Ithilien in these days. And Elves are wondrous
fair to look upon, or so ‘tis said.'

"‘Meaning we're not, I take you,' said Sam. ‘Thank you kindly.'" [8]

Faramir, their captain, challenges them, and asks where their third
member is.[9][10] Frodo says he is not answerable for him.

Frodo reveals their mission, and mentions that they travelled with
Boromir. The men are amazed, and quiz them briefly - but for now
Faramir leaves them under the guard of two men - "for your good and
for mine" - while he goes off to do something violent.

"‘Farewell!' said Frodo, bowing low. ‘Think what you will, I am a
friend of all enemies of the One Enemy. We would go with you, if we
halfling folk could hope to serve you, such doughty men and strong as
you seem, and if my errand permitted it. May the light shine on your
swords!'"

Frodo speaks to his two "guards", and we discover something about who
they are; they are descended from the inhabitants of Ithilien, and
have now taken up geurilla warfare against the invaders.

The hobbits doze, but are awoken by the sound of battle. Peeking out
from their hiding place, the two hear great cries and noise, and "one
clear loud voice was calling Gondor! Gondor!" Some Southrons break
free from the ambush and are chased down by Faramir. Suddenly a
Southron warrior, pierced by arrows, bursts through the bushes; his
bloody body lands beside them.

Sam reflects on the dead man before him. "His brown hand still
clutched the hilt of a broken sword."[11][12]

But there is not much time for reflection! "Big as a house, much
bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad moving hill."[13]
We get a terrifying description of this unstoppable behemoth which
crashes away towards the Anduin, unstopped by man or terrain.

Sam has seen an Oliphaunt - a great Mumak of Harad.

Eventually he gives in to sleep.

-------------------------)o*o(-------------------------

Footnotes:

[1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.
I first borrowed the books from my sister about 16 years ago, when I
was 11 or so (I still have them ;) and have been a fan ever since.
What I love most about all Tolkien's work is the depth of the world -
everything has an explanation, and a history (even if it was never
written down).
I have been lurking on the CotW threads since the closing chapters of
The Hobbit, and finally plucked up the courage to take one on myself.
(Sorry if this is too long, I tend to ramble.)

[2] - 38 km, or 24 miles. A good march, in the dark, off the road, in
unfamiliar terrain!

[3] - Through the middle of Warwickshire - an old Tolkien haunt - runs
the Fosse Way, a mighty road which runs more than 200 miles from
Exeter to Lincoln. For scores of miles it runs straight as an arrow,
and is used by thousands of people daily (I myself drove along a part
of it the night before last!).
It was built nearly 2000 years ago. Roads built by the Romans are
still in use all over Britain, some of them guiding our main arteries.
In the UK, the straigtest roads are usually the oldest!
I am always amazed by the history behind these roads - the parallel
(pun intended) with the roads of Ithilien, and the work of Gondor's
prime, is unmistakable.

[4] - Only a few lines before Sam was reminded of the uplands of the
Northfarthing. In some ways Ithilien is the most similar place to the
Shire they have yet encountered; yet in others it is very different.

[5] - How far south are they? I seem to recall a description that, in
lattitude, the Shire was analogous to the Midlands of England, and
Gondor analogous to Florence - do I remember correctly? That's some
distance; the difference in climate between those two places is quite
large.

[6] - Smeagol, of course, was right. It was the fire that gave them
away. And Frodo agrees that it was dangerous when he wakes. Is Sam,
enlightened by pleasant surroundings, forgetting quite how much danger
they are still in? (And how much of this forgetfulness is denial?)

[7] - I made a few of those up. But come on, Sam! Gollum's walked just
as far as you have, he's saved your bacon, he's looking after Frodo,
and he hasn't tried to kill you in _days_. Can't you cut down on the
death threats just a little?

[8] - How very Sam. ;-) Faced with four large men in a hostile land,
the first thing he says is a rebuttal to perceived insult.

[9] - It is only now that we realise that we haven't heard from Gollum
for a long while. He wasn't around to refuse Sam's stew, and he wasn't
there when they heard voices. Tolkein didn't say "Gollum sneaked off"
or anything - we are just as surprised as the Hobbits when Faramir
points out his absence.

[10] - But then, he can't have gone far - Faramir had seen him, and
assumed they were from the same party.

[11] - T0KL3IN WUZ A RaCI5TTT DUUDE!!!!!!!111!1

[12] - Ahem. More seriously, while this passage is most often (and
correctly) used to rebuff claims of racism in LotR, I think there is
something more profound to be said about it. This chapter - and indeed
the whole story - contains so much of the meeting of cultures. Here we
have met the hobbits of the Shire, Smeagol the lonely murderer, men of
Gondor and Ithilien, the memory of Numenor, the desecrations of Orcs,
and now a tiny glimpse of the Southrons.
I can't help thinking that, given another hundred pages or so, Tolkien
would have told us _exactly_ what lies or threats had led this man on
the long march from his home.

[13] - Compare to Sam's poem in the previous chapter: "Grey as a
mouse, Big as a house. Nose like a snake, I make the earth shake!" Sam
is viewing this; he must be delighted to see how true his song was.

-------------------------)o*o(-------------------------

Other notes:

This chapter is told almost entirely from Sam's perspective. Frodo is
exhausted, and Gollum is still an enigma; it is Sam who takes this
ride through an alien land, and who has the most to offer. I think
this is the first chapter where Sam really takes over from Frodo as
the "prime character" - not the deepest, but the one which we feel we
are "walking with". A clever way, as the three travel, of making Frodo
seem remote, and pitching his descent into the ring.

I was reflecting on why I like this chapter so much. I think it has
something to do with the mundanity of it all - reflected in the title.
We see no wraith kings, no magically dead faces, no wizards, not even
a host of balrogs flying overhead. What we get instead is a journey
through a marvellous and troubled landscape, taken by three central
characters.

-------------------------)o*o(-------------------------

aelfwina

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Oct 11, 2004, 6:20:13 AM10/11/04
to

"Al MacLeod" <nor...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:37ae01c1.04101...@posting.google.com...

> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
> ==========================
> Summary by Al MacLeod [1]
>

(snip)

> Sam, thinking of food, rather rudely asks Smeagol to go find him
> something to eat, then to fetch some water to boil. He starts a fire,
> much against Smeagol's advice[6], and settles down to making rabbit
> stew - again amidst Smeagol's complaints.
>
> "'Stew the rabbits!' squealed Gollum in dismay. 'Spoil beautiful meat
> Sméagol saved for you, poor hungry Sméagol! What for? What for, silly
> hobbit?"
>
> Sam, pushing his luck, demands that Gollum fetches some bay leaves,
> thyme, sage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, two pints of milk and a
> Sunday paper[7]. Gollum refuses, and criticises Sam's cooking;

ROTFL! 8-D

(more snippage)

> Footnotes:
>
> [1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.
> I first borrowed the books from my sister about 16 years ago, when I
> was 11 or so (I still have them ;) and have been a fan ever since.
> What I love most about all Tolkien's work is the depth of the world -
> everything has an explanation, and a history (even if it was never
> written down).
> I have been lurking on the CotW threads since the closing chapters of
> The Hobbit, and finally plucked up the courage to take one on myself.
> (Sorry if this is too long, I tend to ramble.)

Nice introduction, and welcome! Very good summary, too, by the way!


>
> [5] - How far south are they? I seem to recall a description that, in
> lattitude, the Shire was analogous to the Midlands of England, and
> Gondor analogous to Florence - do I remember correctly? That's some
> distance; the difference in climate between those two places is quite
> large.

I've seen this mentioned somewhere as well.

>
> [6] - Smeagol, of course, was right. It was the fire that gave them
> away. And Frodo agrees that it was dangerous when he wakes. Is Sam,
> enlightened by pleasant surroundings, forgetting quite how much danger
> they are still in? (And how much of this forgetfulness is denial?)

I think that is a part of it, but even more so, I think it is due to hobbit
metabolism. Sam, and by extension--to Sam's mind at least--Frodo, have had
no *real* food for ages, only lembas, which does not seem to provide much
for the belly. He tries to convince himself that he can keep the little
fire secret long enough to cook. Short rations must have been one of the
sorest trials the hobbits encountered on their journey. When you consider
that a normal hobbit day in the Shire consisted of six meals--and large
ones, at that, it comes to a meal about every two hours!

>
> [7] - I made a few of those up. But come on, Sam! Gollum's walked just
> as far as you have, he's saved your bacon, he's looking after Frodo,
> and he hasn't tried to kill you in _days_. Can't you cut down on the
> death threats just a little?

I've always thought he was pushing his luck a bit as well, LOL! but that is
Sam, for you. Nothing too good for Mr. Frodo, and perhaps a bit of
justifiable pride in his own ability as a cook.


>
> [8] - How very Sam. ;-) Faced with four large men in a hostile land,
> the first thing he says is a rebuttal to perceived insult.

As you said, "how very Sam"! He is not always as deferential as some people
think him.


>
> [9] - It is only now that we realise that we haven't heard from Gollum
> for a long while. He wasn't around to refuse Sam's stew, and he wasn't
> there when they heard voices. Tolkein didn't say "Gollum sneaked off"
> or anything - we are just as surprised as the Hobbits when Faramir
> points out his absence.

I think it was very clever. In another author, it would have been simple
oversight, but not JRRT.

>
> [10] - But then, he can't have gone far - Faramir had seen him, and
> assumed they were from the same party.
>
> [11] - T0KL3IN WUZ A RaCI5TTT DUUDE!!!!!!!111!1

*Giggle*!


>
> [12] - Ahem. More seriously, while this passage is most often (and
> correctly) used to rebuff claims of racism in LotR, I think there is
> something more profound to be said about it. This chapter - and indeed
> the whole story - contains so much of the meeting of cultures. Here we
> have met the hobbits of the Shire, Smeagol the lonely murderer, men of
> Gondor and Ithilien, the memory of Numenor, the desecrations of Orcs,
> and now a tiny glimpse of the Southrons.
> I can't help thinking that, given another hundred pages or so, Tolkien
> would have told us _exactly_ what lies or threats had led this man on
> the long march from his home.
>

And I would gladly have given him those extra hundred pages, and several
more besides. He was not the only one to think the story too short!

> [13] - Compare to Sam's poem in the previous chapter: "Grey as a
> mouse, Big as a house. Nose like a snake, I make the earth shake!" Sam
> is viewing this; he must be delighted to see how true his song was.

This was one scene I had been certain would get left out of the films;
although I hated some of the other changes around this, I was just as
gratified as Sam to see that oliphaunt!


>
> -------------------------)o*o(-------------------------
>
> Other notes:
>
> This chapter is told almost entirely from Sam's perspective. Frodo is
> exhausted, and Gollum is still an enigma; it is Sam who takes this
> ride through an alien land, and who has the most to offer. I think
> this is the first chapter where Sam really takes over from Frodo as
> the "prime character" - not the deepest, but the one which we feel we
> are "walking with". A clever way, as the three travel, of making Frodo
> seem remote, and pitching his descent into the ring.

Yes, we are gradually beginning to "lose" Frodo. Good observation--I had
not realized that it began quite so early!


>
> I was reflecting on why I like this chapter so much. I think it has
> something to do with the mundanity of it all - reflected in the title.
> We see no wraith kings, no magically dead faces, no wizards, not even
> a host of balrogs flying overhead. What we get instead is a journey
> through a marvellous and troubled landscape, taken by three central
> characters.

It's one of my favorite chapters. It was a much needed respite after the
horrors of the Marshes and the despair at the Black Gate, and a chance to
take a deep breath before plunging into the terror of Cirith Ungol.

Very excellent summary, thank you!
>
> -------------------------)o*o(-------------------------


Joe

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Oct 11, 2004, 10:43:09 PM10/11/04
to
"Stew the tomatoes!!" cried Gollum, "Why, why? They are young, they are
tender. Eat them, eat them!!"

"Now, now." admonished Sam, "Your overripe beafsteaks choke me, and my green
Romas choke you."


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Kristian Damm Jensen

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Oct 12, 2004, 2:28:42 AM10/12/04
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"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote in message news:<10mknjb...@corp.supernews.com>...

> "Al MacLeod" <nor...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:37ae01c1.04101...@posting.google.com...

<snip>

> As you said, "how very Sam"! He is not always as deferential as some people
> think him.

As Faramir points out in a chapter or two: "A pert servant."

<snip>

Regards,
Kristian

AC

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Oct 13, 2004, 2:00:59 PM10/13/04
to
On 11 Oct 2004 01:26:14 -0700,
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

>
> [1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.
> I first borrowed the books from my sister about 16 years ago, when I
> was 11 or so (I still have them ;) and have been a fan ever since.
> What I love most about all Tolkien's work is the depth of the world -
> everything has an explanation, and a history (even if it was never
> written down).
> I have been lurking on the CotW threads since the closing chapters of
> The Hobbit, and finally plucked up the courage to take one on myself.
> (Sorry if this is too long, I tend to ramble.)

Your summary was excellent. It's good to see newer blood cut into CotW.

>
> [2] - 38 km, or 24 miles. A good march, in the dark, off the road, in
> unfamiliar terrain!
>
> [3] - Through the middle of Warwickshire - an old Tolkien haunt - runs
> the Fosse Way, a mighty road which runs more than 200 miles from
> Exeter to Lincoln. For scores of miles it runs straight as an arrow,
> and is used by thousands of people daily (I myself drove along a part
> of it the night before last!).
> It was built nearly 2000 years ago. Roads built by the Romans are
> still in use all over Britain, some of them guiding our main arteries.
> In the UK, the straigtest roads are usually the oldest!
> I am always amazed by the history behind these roads - the parallel
> (pun intended) with the roads of Ithilien, and the work of Gondor's
> prime, is unmistakable.

My understanding is the Roman network was the best there was in the British
Isles until the 17th and 18th centuries.

<snip>

> [6] - Smeagol, of course, was right. It was the fire that gave them
> away. And Frodo agrees that it was dangerous when he wakes. Is Sam,
> enlightened by pleasant surroundings, forgetting quite how much danger
> they are still in? (And how much of this forgetfulness is denial?)

I think Ithilien is a beguiling place. Frankly I think lighting a fire was
foolhardy.

<snip>

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

"My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a
whitish fluid they force down helpless babies." - WC Fields

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Oct 14, 2004, 8:26:50 PM10/14/04
to
nor...@gmail.com (Al MacLeod) wrote in
news:37ae01c1.04101...@posting.google.com:

> But there is not much time for reflection! "Big as a house,
> much bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad
> moving hill."[13] We get a terrifying description of this
> unstoppable behemoth which crashes away towards the Anduin,
> unstopped by man or terrain.
>

I remember being startled by the "appearance" of the oliphaunt
as well, when I first read this chapter. If my sister had
crept up on me at this point, I would have screamed ! As it
was, I was able to maintain my dignity and continue reading.


> Sam has seen an Oliphaunt - a great Mumak of Harad.
>
> Eventually he gives in to sleep.
>

What a day he, Frodo and even Gollum/Smeagol have had !

--
TeaLady (mari)

"I keep telling you, chew with your mouth closed!" Kell the
coach offers advice on keeping that elusive prey caught.

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Oct 14, 2004, 8:22:54 PM10/14/04
to

>

> Sam, thinking of food, rather rudely asks Smeagol to go find
> him something to eat, then to fetch some water to boil. He
> starts a fire, much against Smeagol's advice[6], and settles
> down to making rabbit stew - again amidst Smeagol's
> complaints.
>
>

I can always almost smell the fire, and then the stew. I get
so hungry reading this chapter - the descriptions of how
hungry they all have been for days and days, then finally,
here, rabbit stew.

You can see where Sam (or at least, I can) would risk a fire
here - there are touches of Mordor-work about, but the land is
still fairly free of destruction and hooliganism, and perhaps
it seems much safer than it is because of this.

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Oct 14, 2004, 8:16:25 PM10/14/04
to
"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote in
news:10mknjb...@corp.supernews.com:

>> [5] - How far south are they? I seem to recall a
>> description that, in lattitude, the Shire was analogous to
>> the Midlands of England, and Gondor analogous to Florence -
>> do I remember correctly? That's some distance; the
>> difference in climate between those two places is quite
>> large.
>
> I've seen this mentioned somewhere as well.
>

USAn bias - about as far as from Cleveland, Ohio to Tampa,
Florida ? That's a long day's drive, maybe two days. And a
greater difference in climate, I think.

Things don't seem so far away anymore, when cars and trains
and planes are "normal" modes of transport. What would be a
several month trip on foot is a matter of a day or two in a
car, less in a plane. Takes the romance and adventure out of
traveling, in a way, to make it so easy to get places.

Tolkien has always been a good reminder of just how far apart
places are - his descriptions of the changing weather and
vegetation, the rivers and mountains, all help to remind me
that in between point A and point B is a whole bunch of neat
stuff (and sometimes, scary stuff).

Dirk Thierbach

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Oct 14, 2004, 4:59:32 AM10/14/04
to
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
> [1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.
[...]

> I have been lurking on the CotW threads since the closing chapters of
> The Hobbit, and finally plucked up the courage to take one on myself.
> (Sorry if this is too long, I tend to ramble.)

Not all. And a nice summary, thanks.

> [4] - Only a few lines before Sam was reminded of the uplands of the
> Northfarthing. In some ways Ithilien is the most similar place to the
> Shire they have yet encountered; yet in others it is very different.

The description of Ithilien always reminds me of Italy (maybe because
the name is also similar). The climate is definitely miditerranean.
And IIRC Tolkien did visit Italy at some time.

> It was built nearly 2000 years ago. Roads built by the Romans are
> still in use all over Britain, some of them guiding our main arteries.
> In the UK, the straigtest roads are usually the oldest!
> I am always amazed by the history behind these roads - the parallel
> (pun intended) with the roads of Ithilien, and the work of Gondor's
> prime, is unmistakable.

One thing that is similar in Italy: You can still see remains,
sometimes in ruins, sometimes still in use, of old, very old,
things. "Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair
they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are
gone." One of the things that fascinated Tolkien.

> [5] - How far south are they? I seem to recall a description that, in
> lattitude, the Shire was analogous to the Midlands of England, and
> Gondor analogous to Florence - do I remember correctly?

That's letter 249: He places Hobbiton at the latitude of Oxford, and
Minas Tirith at the latirude of Florence.

> [7] - I made a few of those up. But come on, Sam! Gollum's walked just
> as far as you have, he's saved your bacon, he's looking after Frodo,
> and he hasn't tried to kill you in _days_. Can't you cut down on the
> death threats just a little?

:-)

> [8] - How very Sam. ;-) Faced with four large men in a hostile land,
> the first thing he says is a rebuttal to perceived insult.

:-)

> [12] - Ahem. More seriously, while this passage is most often (and
> correctly) used to rebuff claims of racism in LotR, I think there is
> something more profound to be said about it. This chapter - and indeed
> the whole story - contains so much of the meeting of cultures. Here we
> have met the hobbits of the Shire, Smeagol the lonely murderer, men of
> Gondor and Ithilien, the memory of Numenor, the desecrations of Orcs,
> and now a tiny glimpse of the Southrons.

Yes.

> I can't help thinking that, given another hundred pages or so, Tolkien
> would have told us _exactly_ what lies or threats had led this man on
> the long march from his home.

Another one of those tantalizing hints of an untold story...

> I was reflecting on why I like this chapter so much. I think it has
> something to do with the mundanity of it all - reflected in the title.
> We see no wraith kings, no magically dead faces, no wizards, not even
> a host of balrogs flying overhead. What we get instead is a journey
> through a marvellous and troubled landscape, taken by three central
> characters.

It's a sort of rest, a pause before they have to go into the blackness
of Mordor. Maybe that's why you like it.

- Dirk

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 19, 2004, 7:36:23 PM10/19/04
to
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
> ==========================
> Summary by Al MacLeod [1]

<snipping and rearranging>

> [1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.


Thanks for this. I really enjoyed reading this CotW introduction. A nice
style, and very well done! A few comments to add, and one major addition
of my favourite scene from this chapter...

> They realise that Ithilien is an alien place to them; they see


> strange trees, shrubs, and herbs. The hobbits are hundreds of miles
> south of their usual haunts, and we get a lovely description of the

> beginning of Spring.

I also liked this bit: "Many great trees grew there, planted long ago,
falling into untended age amid a riot of careless descendants..." It
really imparts a sense of old mature woodland, and the passing of time.

> They look down into the great Vale of Anduin,
> and even Sam is outfoxed by the variety of herbs on offer!

I found it ironic that when Sam laughs it is:

"for heart's ease not for jest."

Heartsease is also the name of a herb. I just noticed that because they
had been walking through herbs and breathing in the sweet scent.

> They find a beautiful spot to rest for the day, and the hobbits'
> hearts are lifted high; yet we are reminded that this is still a land
> belonging to evil - they have seen the handiwork of Orcs; uncovered
> pits of filth, and trees cut down and desecrated with evil runes.

Not just filth. Bones as well!

"[Sam] stumbled on a ring still scorched by fire, and in the midst of it
he found a pile of charred and broken bones and skulls [...] [a] place
of dreadful feast and slaughter; but it was not ancient."

I was rather shocked to find this bit in this chapter, which I had
thought was uniformly nice and pleasant.

There is a nice bit soon after this though, when Frodo falls asleep.
This is the 'favourite scene' I was talking about, which also seems to
be a classic depiction of the Sam-Frodo relationship. I'll put that in a
separate post.

> Sam, thinking of food, rather rudely asks Smeagol to go find him
> something to eat, then to fetch some water to boil. He starts a fire,

> much against Smeagol's advice, and settles down to making rabbit
> stew

<snip>

> Sam, pushing his luck, demands that Gollum fetches some bay leaves,
> thyme, sage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, two pints of milk and a
> Sunday paper[7].

LOL!

> [7] - I made a few of those up. But come on, Sam! Gollum's walked just
> as far as you have, he's saved your bacon, he's looking after Frodo,
> and he hasn't tried to kill you in _days_. Can't you cut down on the
> death threats just a little?

I don't think Sam's death threats are serious. On the other hand, Gollum
does seem to resent Sam's attitude, while Frodo is more accepting of
Gollum. Maybe Frodo understands Gollum better than Sam, probably because
both Frodo and Gollum have borne the Ring (and Frodo still does so). The
tension is still there though. These are not contented travelling
companions!

<snip>

[Sam's pert comment about not being fair as an Elf]

> [8] - How very Sam. ;-) Faced with four large men in a hostile land,
> the first thing he says is a rebuttal to perceived insult.

LOL! As you say, classic Sam moment.

<snip>

> Frodo speaks to his two "guards", and we discover something about who
> they are; they are descended from the inhabitants of Ithilien, and

> have now taken up guerilla warfare against the invaders.

It is also interesting that they speak Elvish, and so are "Dunedain of
the South, men of the line of the Lords of Westernesse." We are probably
also meant to associate them calling themselves Rangers (of Ithilien),
with the Rangers (of Eriador) such as Strider (Aragorn).

> The hobbits doze, but are awoken by the sound of battle.

I assume that some of the Men of Gondor fall in this battle. I am just
surprised that we never hear about it from the narrator, other than that
bit about some of them maybe being trampled by the mumak.

> Sam reflects on the dead man before him. "His brown hand still
> clutched the hilt of a broken sword."[11][12]

> [11] - T0KL3IN WUZ A RaCI5TTT DUUDE!!!!!!!111!1


:-)

> [12] - Ahem. More seriously, while this passage is most often (and
> correctly) used to rebuff claims of racism in LotR, I think there is
> something more profound to be said about it. This chapter - and indeed
> the whole story - contains so much of the meeting of cultures. Here we
> have met the hobbits of the Shire, Smeagol the lonely murderer, men of
> Gondor and Ithilien, the memory of Numenor, the desecrations of Orcs,
> and now a tiny glimpse of the Southrons.
> I can't help thinking that, given another hundred pages or so, Tolkien
> would have told us _exactly_ what lies or threats had led this man on
> the long march from his home.

Nice points. I hadn't noticed we see so many different cultures in this
chapter. Mostly we see the cultures of ME in isolation, but usually all
seen through the eyes of a hobbit.

> But there is not much time for reflection! "Big as a house, much
> bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad moving hill."

> We get a terrifying description of this unstoppable behemoth which
> crashes away towards the Anduin, unstopped by man or terrain.

This description of the mumak is great stuff! The size is brought home
by the tiny figure clinging to it: "the body of a mighty warrior, a
giant among the Swertings."

> Other notes:
>
> This chapter is told almost entirely from Sam's perspective. Frodo is
> exhausted, and Gollum is still an enigma; it is Sam who takes this
> ride through an alien land, and who has the most to offer. I think
> this is the first chapter where Sam really takes over from Frodo as
> the "prime character" - not the deepest, but the one which we feel we
> are "walking with". A clever way, as the three travel, of making Frodo
> seem remote, and pitching his descent into the ring.

We see this in the next chapter as well, though I forgot to mention it.
Frodo falls asleep with weariness many times. Despite being out of the
gaze of the Eye (as he was before the Black Gate), the Ring is, it
seems, still taking a heavy toll on him. Though Frodo talks a lot more
in the next chapter, he spends a lot of time sleeping in this chapter.

> I was reflecting on why I like this chapter so much. I think it has
> something to do with the mundanity of it all - reflected in the title.
> We see no wraith kings, no magically dead faces, no wizards, not even
> a host of balrogs flying overhead. What we get instead is a journey
> through a marvellous and troubled landscape, taken by three central
> characters.

A place where one can laugh for heart's ease. I personally find it
amazing reading about the preparation of a lovely meal in what, for me,
would be a wilderness that I might easily starve to death in. It does
make me hungry though, reading about those stewed rabbits!

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 19, 2004, 7:38:07 PM10/19/04
to
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
> ==========================

<snip>

> They find a beautiful spot to rest for the day

There is a nice bit soon after this though, when Frodo falls asleep.
This is the 'favourite scene' I was talking about in another post. The
scene seems to be a classic depiction of the Sam-Frodo relationship:

"[Sam is reminded of the time he watched Frodo asleep in Rivendell,
recovering from the Morgul wound] ...as he had kept watch Sam had
noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but
now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful,
the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and
beautiful, as if the chiselling of the shaping years was now revealed in
many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the
face was not changed."

This passage caught my attention when I reread it. The inward glow of
light reminds me of Gandalf's comment in Rivendell (that Frodo might
become "like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that
can"). Especially as Sam now thinks the light is stronger and clearer. I
had often thought that Gandalf's comment was foreshadowing some
long-term effect on Frodo, and, finally, this passage seems to confirm
it!

Also, the description of Frodo's careworn face appearing old and
beautiful in sleep, reminds me of the description of Aragorn after he
dies ("long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men
in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world"). I can forgive
Jackson a lot for getting that line into the film!

The other noticeable bit about this passage is that is seems to be
almost a foreshadowing of the Stairs of Cirith Ungol scene, where Gollum
looks at the sleeping hobbits. After the narrator tells us that Sam:

"shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: 'I love him.
He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love
him, whether or no.'"

...we read of Gollum's reaction:

"Gollum returned quietly and peered over Sam's shoulder. Looking at
Frodo, he shut his eyes and crawled away without a sound."

I wonder what Gollum is thinking here?

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Oct 20, 2004, 8:38:49 AM10/20/04
to
in <Xxhdd.11766$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:

>
> Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
>> ==========================
>> Summary by Al MacLeod [1]
>
> <snipping and rearranging>
>
>> [1] - A little introduction, as I am a rare poster here.
>
>
> Thanks for this. I really enjoyed reading this CotW introduction. A
> nice style, and very well done!

Seconded.

<snip>

> I found it ironic that when Sam laughs it is:
>
> "for heart's ease not for jest."
>
> Heartsease is also the name of a herb. I just noticed that because
> they had been walking through herbs and breathing in the sweet scent.

;-)

>> They find a beautiful spot to rest for the day, and the hobbits'
>> hearts are lifted high; yet we are reminded that this is still a land
>> belonging to evil - they have seen the handiwork of Orcs; uncovered
>> pits of filth, and trees cut down and desecrated with evil runes.
>
> Not just filth. Bones as well!

Aye . . .

> I was rather shocked to find this bit in this chapter, which I had
> thought was uniformly nice and pleasant.

. . . there are constant reminders that despite the general loveliness,
Ithilien is now a land occupied by the Enemy.

It has not yet been destroyed like the Dead Marshes, the desolation
before the Morannon or the Morgul Vale, but that is the direction that
even Ithilien is taking. Evil is encroaching on Ithilien, and if it isn't
stopped, this land will end up looking like Mordor: ugly and desecrated.

I am reminded of forested areas that become frequent destinations for
family trips: the filth and trash that litter the forest floor, cut-down
trees and trees with cuts or nails, the remains of fireplaces, complete
with the trash and remains of the meal, not human bones, of course, but
there is some of the same sense of desecration and indifferent
destruction (though weaker, less ominous and without the feeling of
brooding and encroaching evil).

<snip>

>> Sam, pushing his luck, demands that Gollum fetches some bay leaves,
>> thyme, sage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, two pints of milk and a
>> Sunday paper[7].
>
> LOL!

;-)

>> [7] - I made a few of those up. But come on, Sam! Gollum's walked
>> just as far as you have, he's saved your bacon, he's looking after
>> Frodo, and he hasn't tried to kill you in _days_. Can't you cut down
>> on the death threats just a little?
>
> I don't think Sam's death threats are serious.

I'm sure they aren't, and I don't think that even Gollum took them
serious as threats.

> On the other hand, Gollum does seem to resent Sam's attitude,

He appears to take the attitude behind the threats seriously.

> while Frodo is more accepting of Gollum. Maybe Frodo understands
> Gollum better than Sam, probably because both Frodo and Gollum have
> borne the Ring (and Frodo still does so).

That ties in nicely with my comments about Frodo and Gollum in 'The
Taming of Sméagol' a few weeks back. Already there Sam notices that "Yet
the two were in some way akin and not alien: they could reach one
another's minds."

Is some of Sam's resentment towards Gollum borne out of jealousy because
of this understanding between Gollum and Frodo? Is he jealous because
Gollum can understand a part of Frodo that he (as he believes at this
point) will never be able to share?

> The tension is still there though. These are not contented
> travelling companions!

Indeed not.

And following Sam's overhearing of the Slinker and Stinker conversation
('The Passage of the Marshes') as well as Frodo's rebuke of Gollum ("But
I warn you, Sméagol, you are in danger." -- 'The Black Gate is Closed')
and the many overflights by Nazgûl the tension and conflicts are
many-layered.

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the
shoulders of giants.
- Isaac Newton

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 21, 2004, 8:50:07 AM10/21/04
to
in <37ae01c1.04101...@posting.google.com>,
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> enriched us with:

>
> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

<snip>

> Here we meet the fair land that is Ithilien. The three see a land of
> heathlands, full of pines, broom, and other plants; the very air was
> fresher. They keep note of their fear, however - the land may look
> more pleasant but it is still the land of an enemy.

And furhtermore it is slowly being transformed -- the traces of the
Enemy's soldiers, Orcs in particular, are visible in the landscape. It is
not difficult, I think, to guess what is in store for Ithilien if the
present situation is allowed to continue: the trees will be cut and left
to rot, but their rotting will be under the influence of Mordor; it will
not be the healthy composting that is usual, but rather the decay that
will allow the "leprous growths that feed on rottenness", and the decay
of Ithilien will be like the tour from there through the Morgul Vale, on
through the narrow valley between the Morgai and the Ephel Duath and on
to the Plateau of Gorgoroth.

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

My adversary's argument
is not alone malevolent
but ignorant to boot.
He hasn't even got the sense
to state his so-called evidence
in terms I can refute.
- Piet Hein, /The Untenable Argument/

Speaking Clock

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Nov 3, 2004, 6:08:56 AM11/3/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:

> "for heart's ease not for jest."
>
> Heartsease is also the name of a herb. I just noticed that because
> they had been walking through herbs and breathing in the sweet scent.

Heartsease is a delightful little wild flower, otherwise known as Viola,
Wild Pansy, Love-Lies-Bleeding and probably all sorts of other country
names. Although it's small, it's indomitable - just like hobbits!
--
Speaking Clock


Igenlode Wordsmith

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Nov 19, 2004, 7:44:22 PM11/19/04
to
On 19 Oct 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

[only a month behind now! - snip]

> "Gollum returned quietly and peered over Sam's shoulder. Looking at
> Frodo, he shut his eyes and crawled away without a sound."
>
> I wonder what Gollum is thinking here?
>

Yes, that passage struck me as a very odd reaction :-) Especially the
image of Gollum's crawling away with his eyes shut... (why? how?)

If one assumes that he simply 'drops his eyes' (or equivalent)
momentarily, rather than, as stated, shutting them for the purposes of
leaving, a possible guess might be that he sees the Elvish light in
Frodo's face and can't bear it, as he can't bear the Elves' rope or
food. On the other hand, if that were so one would expect, on past
form, a somewhat more violent reaction!

Maybe he can't bear the sight for other reasons - because it awakens
unwanted tender reactions or memories in his own breast which are too
much to take. My own initial reaction, I must confess, was to read it
as a muddled desire, in his confused little mind, *not to disturb* Frodo
- as if he thinks that, if he shuts his eyes, Frodo won't see him
looking.
--
Igenlode Visit the Ivory Tower http://curry.250x.com/Tower/

New cliffhanger adventure story: http://curry.250x.com/Tower/Fiction/Pirates/

Igenlode Wordsmith

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Nov 20, 2004, 6:48:32 PM11/20/04
to
On 11 Oct 2004 Al MacLeod wrote:

> Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
> ==========================
> Summary by Al MacLeod [1]
>
> Frodo, Sam and Smeagol march through North Ithilien on their way to
> Cirith Ungol. They are discovered by Rangers of Ithilien, under their
> captain Faramir; whilst guarded they witness a terrifying ambush
> against Sauron's Southron vassals, and the astonishing sight of a
> mighty Mumak of Harad.

I was wondering if the Mumak was intended (by Tolkien-the-author) to be
a 'folk memory' of prehistoric giant elephants? ("His kin that live
still in latter days...")

> [2] - 38 km, or 24 miles. A good march, in the dark, off the road, in
> unfamiliar terrain!
>

With short legs. Nothing short of incredible, I'd have said.

One thing about Tolkien (as opposed to many modern fantasy writers) -
he really makes a point of stressing how long it takes to cover
country-spanning distances on foot, and how the very seasons have been
changing as they walk...

[snip]


> even Sam is outfoxed by the variety of herbs on offer!

I'd assumed lots of people would have asked this, but apparently not...

I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?

> Sam, pushing his luck, demands that Gollum fetches some bay leaves,
> thyme, sage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, two pints of milk and a
> Sunday paper[7]. Gollum refuses, and criticises Sam's cooking;

I like the detail that Gollum eats herbs "when he's very sick" -
clearly he knows enough herblore to self-medicate ;-)

> Sam finishes cooking, wakes Frodo, and the two of them eat.

I was slightly puzzled by the statement that Frodo had awakened from
*another* dream of peace. What does this refer back to?


> This chapter is told almost entirely from Sam's perspective. Frodo is
> exhausted, and Gollum is still an enigma; it is Sam who takes this
> ride through an alien land, and who has the most to offer.

Sam gets a lot of nice lines in this one: "Elves are wondrous fair to
look upon-" "Meaning we're not. Thank you kindly."
"Well, if that's over I'll go and have a bit of sleep" - after the
narrowest of escapes from a stampeding elephant!
"If I've got and brought trouble, I'll never forgive myself. Nor won't
have a chance, maybe!" - a wry death-reference along "Alice in
Wonderland" lines (which is full of them...)

On the other hand, as has been pointed out and as struck me in
reference to the last chapter, he is unnecessarily and probably
counter-productively unpleasant to Gollum, who is actually in one of
his helpful moods... at least to start off with. (But if Sam hadn't driven
him off, would Gollum have been captured along with Frodo and Sam? And would
this have affected the course of the future plot?)

Michele Fry

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 1:51:08 AM11/21/04
to
In article <2004112101423...@riot.eu.org>, Igenlode Wordsmith
<Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> writes

>I'd assumed lots of people would have asked this, but apparently not...
>
>I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
>what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
>briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?

Cornel is a tree of the Cornus family which includes dog-wood, spotted
laurel and the cornelian-cherry; terebinth is a turpentine tree and
primerole is a type of primrose. And yes, so far as I can find out,
rose-bramble is rose bushes growing like a bramble patch.

Michele
==
"When ideas fail, words come in very handy." - Goethe
==
Now reading: Unfinished Tales - J R R Tolkien
==
Counter-Attack web site: http://www.sassoonery.demon.co.uk

Jette Goldie

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Nov 21, 2004, 7:09:46 AM11/21/04
to

"Igenlode Wordsmith" wrote

> I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
> what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
> briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?


rose-brambles - wild roses. They have small rather shaggy flowers,
climb and ramble much like a bramble patch and LOTS of thorns.
We used to have them in the garden when I was a child. Their scent is
heavenly but they don't look much like the elegant long stemmed
rose we expect to see today.


--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/


Odysseus

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 3:41:01 PM11/21/04
to
Jette Goldie wrote:
>
> "Igenlode Wordsmith" wrote
> > I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
> > what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
> > briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?
>
> rose-brambles - wild roses. They have small rather shaggy flowers,
> climb and ramble much like a bramble patch and LOTS of thorns.
> We used to have them in the garden when I was a child. Their scent is
> heavenly but they don't look much like the elegant long stemmed
> rose we expect to see today.
>

Our "wild rose", sometimes also called the "wood rose", is the
province of Alberta's floral emblem; from your description the
British one doesn't sound quite the same, though. Its stem does bear
many fine thorns, I believe in some species densely enough to give it
a hairy appearance. However, I wouldn't call the flower "small", at
least not in comparison to other wildflowers, although it's quite
simple and flat, nothing like the 'cabbages' borne by domestic roses.
The five petals are usually pink, sometimes very pale or even white.
The fruit-pod is called a "rose-hip" and resembles a globe with five
horns from the dried remains of the attached sepals; although too
fibrous and tart to eat, it's high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and
other nutrients, and makes a very nice jelly.

See

<http://www.griggscounty319.com/Wild%20Flowers/Images/flower%20wild%20rose%20red.jpg>

(or <http://tinyurl.com/6t6m7> in case it wraps),

<http://www.tarleton.edu/~range/New%20Photo%20Slides/Photo%20Slides%20138+/shoot%20tip%20of%20wood%20wild%20rose.jpg>

(or <http://tinyurl.com/4lqe5>), and

<http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/take.me/image/wildrose.jpg>,

for a few examples turned up by a Google Images search.

--
Odysseus

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 21, 2004, 4:25:46 PM11/21/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:
> On 19 Oct 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> [only a month behind now! - snip]
>
>> "Gollum returned quietly and peered over Sam's shoulder. Looking at
>> Frodo, he shut his eyes and crawled away without a sound."
>>
>> I wonder what Gollum is thinking here?
>>
> Yes, that passage struck me as a very odd reaction :-) Especially the
> image of Gollum's crawling away with his eyes shut... (why? how?)

I think (we can only really speculate here), that he shuts them, turns
away, opens them, and starts crawling away. An actor might add various
grimaces and head shaking, depending on how they interpret the emotion.

> If one assumes that he simply 'drops his eyes' (or equivalent)

That is the impression I get. Though if so, it does seem strange that
Tolkien didn't simply say "averted" his eyes. The simplest explanation
is that the author doesn't want to belabour this point, and it is the
overall emotional arc of Gollum at this point that matters. He comes, he
sees, and he goes; all very quietly.

> momentarily, rather than, as stated, shutting them for the purposes of
> leaving, a possible guess might be that he sees the Elvish light

It is not clear that it is Elvish. It is probably only Elvish in the
sense that it is not normally visible or so strong in anyone other than
Elves.

> in Frodo's face and can't bear it, as he can't bear the Elves' rope or
> food. On the other hand, if that were so one would expect, on past
> form, a somewhat more violent reaction!

Good point.

> Maybe he can't bear the sight for other reasons - because it awakens
> unwanted tender reactions or memories in his own breast which are too
> much to take.

I suspect that Gollum sees something of himself in Frodo at this point,
and he has bitter memories of what he _could_ have been if he had been
noble enough in spirit.

The only other alternative (IMO) is that Gollum sees something that we
don't: namely Frodo becoming like Gollum. And Gollum is shying away from
this because he is beginning to like Frodo and doesn't wish his
(Gollum's) fate on Frodo.

> My own initial reaction, I must confess, was to read it
> as a muddled desire, in his confused little mind, *not to disturb*
> Frodo - as if he thinks that, if he shuts his eyes, Frodo won't see
> him looking.

Someone else in this thread thought that Gollum was trying not to
disturb Frodo, which is indeed what we are told. That doesn't fully
explain the shutting of the eyes, which in the most general terms could
be seen as an emotional and mental adjustment.

Imagine closing your eyes, heaving a deep sigh, and then opening them
again. That is what I imagine Gollum doing here.

Jette Goldie

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 5:19:07 PM11/21/04
to

"Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message
news:41A0FD7B...@yahoo-dot.ca...

> Jette Goldie wrote:
> >
> > "Igenlode Wordsmith" wrote
> > > I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
> > > what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
> > > briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?
> >
> > rose-brambles - wild roses. They have small rather shaggy flowers,
> > climb and ramble much like a bramble patch and LOTS of thorns.
> > We used to have them in the garden when I was a child. Their scent is
> > heavenly but they don't look much like the elegant long stemmed
> > rose we expect to see today.
> >
>
> Our "wild rose", sometimes also called the "wood rose", is the
> province of Alberta's floral emblem; from your description the
> British one doesn't sound quite the same, though. Its stem does bear
> many fine thorns, I believe in some species densely enough to give it
> a hairy appearance. However, I wouldn't call the flower "small", at
> least not in comparison to other wildflowers, although it's quite
> simple and flat, nothing like the 'cabbages' borne by domestic roses.
> The five petals are usually pink, sometimes very pale or even white.
> The fruit-pod is called a "rose-hip" and resembles a globe with five
> horns from the dried remains of the attached sepals; although too
> fibrous and tart to eat, it's high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and
> other nutrients, and makes a very nice jelly.


What I'm talking about is sometimes called the "briar rose".
Picture here
http://www.majesticforum.com/forums/showthread/t-180.html
Gran had them growing all around our garden, along with
a collection of other older rose types - the yellow climbing
rose had the MOST gorgeous scent of any rose I've ever
met. (those very pretty ones you get from the florist are
such a disappointment to the nose!)

Yep, produces rose hips. "Rose hip syrup" used to be give to
children as a Vit C suppliment when I was little. I loved the
taste - I've found that Swedish "lingonberry" juice tastes
similar.

Actually the bramble (blackberry), raspberry, apple and rowan
are all from the same plant family - rowan berries look like miniature
apples; bramble briars and briar roses look similar (when bare
of flower and fruit).


--
Jette Goldie
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
Life is not a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather...
to skid in sideways, thoroughly used,
totally worn out and loudly proclaiming...
"Daaaaaamn... what a trip!"


Shanahan

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 8:50:57 PM11/21/04
to
Jette Goldie <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> declared:

<snip>


> Actually the bramble (blackberry), raspberry, apple and rowan
> are all from the same plant family - rowan berries look like
> miniature apples; bramble briars and briar roses look similar
> (when bare of flower and fruit).

"'There were rowan-trees in my home,' said Bregalad, softly and
sadly, 'rowan-trees that took root when I was an Enting, many many
years ago in the quiet of the world. The oldest were planted by the
Ents to try and please the Entwives; but they looked at them and
smiled and said that they knew where whiter blossom and richer fruit
were growing. Yet there are no trees of all that race, the People of
the Rose, that are so beautiful to me.'"

Ciaran S.
--
And suddenly they knew that the mystery of the hills,
and the deep enchantment of evening,
had found a voice and would speak with them.
- dunsany, /The Blessing of Pan/


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 6:24:14 PM11/21/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:

> I was wondering if the Mumak was intended (by Tolkien-the-author)
> to be a 'folk memory' of prehistoric giant elephants? ("His kin that
> live still in latter days...")

Possibly. But I have a vague memory (possibly wrong) that Tolkien's
Mumak (and the oliphaunts in the film) are too large to be realistic.
That the woolly mammoths of the Ice Age were not that much larger than
the elephant of today. Okay, I had better look this one up!

Ah. Here we go:

http://www.crystalinks.com/wooleyanimals.html

"It is a common misconception that mammoths were much larger than modern
elephants, an error that has led to "mammoth" being used as a adjective
meaning "very big". The largest known species, the Imperial Mammoth of
California, reached heights of at least 4 meters at the shoulder.
However, most species of mammoth were about as large as a modern Indian
elephant, and fossils of a species of dwarf mammoth have been found on
remote islands off the east coast of Siberia."

Still, 4 metres at the shoulder is not bad! Though for comparison, the
largest-ever land animal is considered to be the dinosuar
Argentinosaurus. It was up to 37 metres long (and that is absolutely
enormous, even though it includes the tail and neck) and 21 metres high
(though this might again include the neck). Some of the vertebrae
(backbone bones) that have been found are 5.5 feet high, the height of
some humans! It could reach as high as a six-storey building, and was as
long as three buses.

<snip>

>> Sam finishes cooking, wakes Frodo, and the two of them eat.
>
> I was slightly puzzled by the statement that Frodo had awakened from
> *another* dream of peace. What does this refer back to?

"The day passed uneasily. They lay deep in the heather and counted out
the slow hours, in which there seemed little change; for they were still
under the shadows of the Ephel Duath, and the sun was veiled. Frodo
slept at times, deeply and peacefully, either trusting Gollum or too
tired to trouble about him; but Sam found it difficult to do more than
doze, even when Gollum was plainly fast asleep, whiffling and twitching
in his secret dreams." (Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits - peaceful sleep 1)

"Gollum disappeared. He was away some time, and Frodo after a few
mouthfuls of lembas settled deep into the brown fern and went to sleep.
Sam looked at him. [...] Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear


and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the
chiselling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that

had before been hidden [...]" (Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits - peaceful
sleep 2)

[Sam cooks rabbit stew]

"When he thought all was ready he lifted the pans off the fire, and
crept along to Frodo. Frodo half opened his eyes as Sam stood over him,
and then he wakened from his dreaming: another gentle, unrecoverable
dream of peace." (Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits - peaceful dream 2)

<tearful sniff>

Just beautiful!

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 6:27:16 PM11/21/04
to
Shanahan <pog...@NOTbluefrog.com> wrote:
> Jette Goldie <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> declared:
>
> <snip>
>> Actually the bramble (blackberry), raspberry, apple and rowan
>> are all from the same plant family - rowan berries look like
>> miniature apples; bramble briars and briar roses look similar
>> (when bare of flower and fruit).
>
> "'There were rowan-trees in my home,' said Bregalad, softly and
> sadly, 'rowan-trees that took root when I was an Enting, many many
> years ago in the quiet of the world. The oldest were planted by the
> Ents to try and please the Entwives; but they looked at them and
> smiled and said that they knew where whiter blossom and richer fruit
> were growing. Yet there are no trees of all that race, the People of
> the Rose, that are so beautiful to me.'"

Wow! That is so appropriate, and heart-breakingly beautiful as well!

Raven

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 7:59:56 PM11/21/04
to
"Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> skrev i en meddelelse
news:41A0FD7B...@yahoo-dot.ca...

> Our "wild rose", sometimes also called the "wood rose", is the
> province of Alberta's floral emblem; from your description the
> British one doesn't sound quite the same, though. Its stem does bear
> many fine thorns, I believe in some species densely enough to give it
> a hairy appearance. However, I wouldn't call the flower "small", at
> least not in comparison to other wildflowers, although it's quite
> simple and flat, nothing like the 'cabbages' borne by domestic roses.
> The five petals are usually pink, sometimes very pale or even white.
> The fruit-pod is called a "rose-hip" and resembles a globe with five
> horns from the dried remains of the attached sepals; although too
> fibrous and tart to eat, it's high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and
> other nutrients, and makes a very nice jelly.

So *these* are the rose-brambles. Rosehip, that we call "nyper" in
Norwegian and "hyben" in Danish. I agree that they make a *very* nice jelly
or soup. They grow in abundance near the beach below where I live, and the
season is just ending. I still have some in my freezer, but I should prefer
to be able to make some twice a week round the year, the jelly tastes so
good. Though only one helping per day, or my stomach will be slightly
upset. Both a coarse sieve and a fine sieve are involved when I make it.

Marghvran.


Larry Swain

unread,
Nov 21, 2004, 11:44:40 PM11/21/04
to

Perhaps some of both? After all, Frodo's fate increasingly at
this point hangs on a mere thread of choice...to become like
Gollum, or to make it to Cracks.


>

Al MacLeod

unread,
Nov 22, 2004, 10:29:05 AM11/22/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in message news:<2004112101423...@riot.eu.org>...

> On 11 Oct 2004 Al MacLeod wrote:

> > ... they witness a terrifying ambush


> > against Sauron's Southron vassals, and the astonishing sight of a
> > mighty Mumak of Harad.
>
> I was wondering if the Mumak was intended (by Tolkien-the-author) to be
> a 'folk memory' of prehistoric giant elephants? ("His kin that live
> still in latter days...")

This is more of a constant theme I find in all Tolkien's work - that
things were greater long ago, and will be paler in the future.

From the terrifying might of the Dragons of Angband to the beauty of
the Elven realms which the Noldor try in vain to maintain ... all
shall fade, lost like leaves in the wind ...

*ahem* sorry.

> One thing about Tolkien (as opposed to many modern fantasy writers) -
> he really makes a point of stressing how long it takes to cover
> country-spanning distances on foot, and how the very seasons have been
> changing as they walk...

And each stage of the journey is described in great detail. It's rare
to read "They travelled south for three weeks, and nothing of note
happened until ..."

Al .-.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Nov 22, 2004, 5:19:35 PM11/22/04
to
Al MacLeod <nor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Igenlode Wordsmith wrote

>> I was wondering if the Mumak was intended (by Tolkien-the-author) to
>> be a 'folk memory' of prehistoric giant elephants? ("His kin that
>> live still in latter days...")
>
> This is more of a constant theme I find in all Tolkien's work - that
> things were greater long ago, and will be paler in the future.

Yes. You've hit the nail on the head!

> From the terrifying might of the Dragons of Angband to the beauty of
> the Elven realms which the Noldor try in vain to maintain ... all
> shall fade, lost like leaves in the wind ...
>
> *ahem* sorry.

"Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling.
The voices of my people that have gone before me?"

>> One thing about Tolkien (as opposed to many modern fantasy writers) -
>> he really makes a point of stressing how long it takes to cover
>> country-spanning distances on foot, and how the very seasons have
>> been changing as they walk...
>
> And each stage of the journey is described in great detail. It's rare
> to read "They travelled south for three weeks, and nothing of note
> happened until ..."

Well.... :-)

"The hobbits had been nearly two months in the House of Elrond..."
"They had been a fortnight on the way when the weather changed."

Both quotes from 'The Ring Goes South'.

But lines like this do stand out because they are so rare.

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Nov 26, 2004, 2:25:47 PM11/26/04
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> skrev i meddelandet
news:pubod.10061$Yb2...@news.get2net.dk...

> "Odysseus" <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:41A0FD7B...@yahoo-dot.ca...
>
> > Our "wild rose", sometimes also called the "wood rose", is the
> > province of Alberta's floral emblem; from your description the
> > British one doesn't sound quite the same, though. Its stem does bear
> > many fine thorns, I believe in some species densely enough to give it
> > a hairy appearance. However, I wouldn't call the flower "small", at
> > least not in comparison to other wildflowers, although it's quite
> > simple and flat, nothing like the 'cabbages' borne by domestic roses.
> > The five petals are usually pink, sometimes very pale or even white.
> > The fruit-pod is called a "rose-hip" and resembles a globe with five
> > horns from the dried remains of the attached sepals; although too
> > fibrous and tart to eat, it's high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and
> > other nutrients, and makes a very nice jelly.
>
> So *these* are the rose-brambles. Rosehip, that we call "nyper" in
> Norwegian and "hyben" in Danish.

And "nypon" in Swedish - another Scandinavian language. I love this return
of an old favourite theme. HAA HAA HAA HAA.

Öjevind


Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Dec 5, 2004, 1:49:10 PM12/5/04
to
On 11 Oct 2004 01:26:14 -0700, nor...@gmail.com (Al MacLeod) wrote:

>Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
>==========================
>Summary by Al MacLeod [1]

And well done!

>We start in the desolation below the Morannon, where the three awake
>and begin to march south. Gollum refuses food, promising good food and
>water soon. They march out on the borders of the road, followed for
>many miles by a gleaming red light high up in the Towers of the Teeth,
>but they pass unseen.

I haven't been keeping close track, but this is the second mention of
a watcful red light like an Eye, isn't it (after Frodo's noticing a
star on the edge of Rivendell's surrounding cliffs months earlier).
It is a useful technique, and an elegantly simple one, to keep the
awareness of evil present in the reader's mind as other events of the
story go on.

>Finally they leave the watchful light behind, and they rest briefly,
>with lightened hearts. Gollum is impatient; he reckons it as thirty
>leagues from the Morannon to the cross-roads. They march onward
>further until halted equally by dawn and exhaustion. They have walked
>almost eight leagues[2].


>
>Here we meet the fair land that is Ithilien. The three see a land of
>heathlands, full of pines, broom, and other plants; the very air was
>fresher. They keep note of their fear, however - the land may look
>more pleasant but it is still the land of an enemy.
>

>They pass the day fitfully resting among the heather. When darkness
>comes again the three set out, risking travelling on the road for
>speed, but again they see and hear nothing.

Interesting that with all this caution they are still on a convergence
course with the approaching band of Southrons. The Men seem to be
traveling by day, though; had the ambush not happened, perhaps the
hobbits would have evaded detection because they were traveling at
night. Still, any paths and roads near the Evil Land are much more
dangerous at night, if only because of Orcs.

(snip)

>[3] - Through the middle of Warwickshire - an old Tolkien haunt - runs
>the Fosse Way, a mighty road which runs more than 200 miles from
>Exeter to Lincoln. For scores of miles it runs straight as an arrow,

>and is used by thousands of people daily (I myself drove along a part
>of it the night before last!).


>It was built nearly 2000 years ago. Roads built by the Romans are
>still in use all over Britain, some of them guiding our main arteries.
>In the UK, the straigtest roads are usually the oldest!
>I am always amazed by the history behind these roads - the parallel
>(pun intended) with the roads of Ithilien, and the work of Gondor's
>prime, is unmistakable.

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the
shire...
-- GK Chesterton, "The Rolling English Road" at

http://www.dur.ac.uk/martin.ward/gkc/books/rolling.html

>[4] - Only a few lines before Sam was reminded of the uplands of the
>Northfarthing. In some ways Ithilien is the most similar place to the
>Shire they have yet encountered; yet in others it is very different.
>

>[5] - How far south are they? I seem to recall a description that, in
>lattitude, the Shire was analogous to the Midlands of England, and

>Gondor analogous to Florence - do I remember correctly? That's some


>distance; the difference in climate between those two places is quite
>large.

They're roughly 300 miles further south of the point on the River
where Aragorn told them that they hadn't journeyed far south yet and
that they might yet have snow again. Keen observer that JRRT was, he
made sure that Ithilien was sheltered by mountains (Emyn Muil and
Ephel Duath) and open to the Sea airs that Aragorn had said kept the
area around Belfalas warm and merry. This, too, is similar to Italy's
position, isn't it?

>[6] - Smeagol, of course, was right. It was the fire that gave them
>away. And Frodo agrees that it was dangerous when he wakes. Is Sam,
>enlightened by pleasant surroundings, forgetting quite how much danger
>they are still in? (And how much of this forgetfulness is denial?)

A good point! Quite a bit of it, as is Frodo's going to sleep and
dreaming "another gentle, unrecoverable dream of peace." But Sam,
though he is aware of the dangers of the area and Gollum's
propensities, as shown by his decision to hide the scene of slaughter
near the pool and move their camp further uphill away from the site,
also seems generally to be out of his reckoning, as we will see in his
interactions with the Dunedain, and his expectation that they'll just
go off and leave him and Frodo free to go on their way after the
battle is done.

>[8] - How very Sam. ;-) Faced with four large men in a hostile land,
>the first thing he says is a rebuttal to perceived insult.

Yep. (g)

>[9] - It is only now that we realise that we haven't heard from Gollum
>for a long while. He wasn't around to refuse Sam's stew, and he wasn't
>there when they heard voices. Tolkein didn't say "Gollum sneaked off"
>or anything - we are just as surprised as the Hobbits when Faramir
>points out his absence.
>
>[10] - But then, he can't have gone far - Faramir had seen him, and
>assumed they were from the same party.

I hadn't noticed that til now -- it is a nice bit of writing.


>[11] - T0KL3IN WUZ A RaCI5TTT DUUDE!!!!!!!111!1
>

>[12] - Ahem. More seriously, while this passage is most often (and
>correctly) used to rebuff claims of racism in LotR, I think there is
>something more profound to be said about it. This chapter - and indeed
>the whole story - contains so much of the meeting of cultures. Here we
>have met the hobbits of the Shire, Smeagol the lonely murderer, men of
>Gondor and Ithilien, the memory of Numenor, the desecrations of Orcs,
>and now a tiny glimpse of the Southrons.
>I can't help thinking that, given another hundred pages or so, Tolkien
>would have told us _exactly_ what lies or threats had led this man on
>the long march from his home.

I don't know. I think the WWI veteran JRRT accomplished here
precisely what he intended and had indeed foreshadowed by inserting
that "place of dreadful feast and slaughter" into his description of
beautiful Ithilien: the reality of war and the very human reaction to
it. A bold thing to do in a story that is in many ways a very heroic
war epic, to insert the raw reality of the actual fact. The presence
of the hobbits allows him to do that, and it's very effective.
Perhaps the stomping fantastic Mumak then brings us quickly back back
to the fantasy level again.

>This chapter is told almost entirely from Sam's perspective. Frodo is
>exhausted, and Gollum is still an enigma; it is Sam who takes this

>ride through an alien land, and who has the most to offer. I think
>this is the first chapter where Sam really takes over from Frodo as
>the "prime character" - not the deepest, but the one which we feel we
>are "walking with". A clever way, as the three travel, of making Frodo
>seem remote, and pitching his descent into the ring.

An excellent point -- hadn't noticed that before either.

>I was reflecting on why I like this chapter so much. I think it has
>something to do with the mundanity of it all - reflected in the title.
>We see no wraith kings, no magically dead faces, no wizards, not even
>a host of balrogs flying overhead. What we get instead is a journey
>through a marvellous and troubled landscape, taken by three central
>characters.

I like it because Ithilien is so beautiful, and so perfect a setting
for very lovable Faramir, whom we will get to know in the next
chapter.

Barb
Where will wants not, a way opens.
-- J.R.R. Tolkien

CleV

unread,
Dec 7, 2004, 6:41:25 PM12/7/04
to
On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 06:51:08 +0000, Michele Fry
<mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>In article <2004112101423...@riot.eu.org>, Igenlode Wordsmith
><Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> writes

>>I'd assumed lots of people would have asked this, but apparently not...

>>I know most of the plants and trees referred to in this chapter - but
>>what are cornel, terebinth and primerole? And what are rose-brambles -
>>briars growing thickly in the manner of a bramble patch, perhaps?

>Cornel is a tree of the Cornus family which includes dog-wood, spotted
>laurel and the cornelian-cherry; terebinth is a turpentine tree and
>primerole is a type of primrose. And yes, so far as I can find out,
>rose-bramble is rose bushes growing like a bramble patch.

Childhood memory: doesn't Lewis have a country called Terebynthia in
the Narnia books?

aelfwina

unread,
Dec 7, 2004, 9:51:10 PM12/7/04
to

"CleV" <clJU...@balcab.ch> wrote in message
news:41b63f6f...@news.hispeed.ch...

Not as far as I know, but there is a children's book *not* by Lewis called
"A Bridge to Terebynthia" (do not recall author).
Barbara


Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 8, 2004, 12:22:08 PM12/8/04
to
In article <10rd07j...@corp.supernews.com>, aelf...@cableone.net
says...

>
> "CleV" <clJU...@balcab.ch> wrote in message
> news:41b63f6f...@news.hispeed.ch...
> > Childhood memory: doesn't Lewis have a country called Terebynthia in
> > the Narnia books?
>
> Not as far as I know, but there is a children's book *not* by Lewis called
> "A Bridge to Terebynthia" (do not recall author).
> Barbara
>
Yes he does, an island WSW of Cair Paravel -- it's on the map in
'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'. Reepicheep mentions a 'Terebinthian
pirate' and there's a 'Terebinthian agricultural labourer' being sold
in the slave market on the Lone Islands.

--
Pete Gray
while ($cat!="home"){$mice=="play";}

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 8, 2004, 6:25:06 PM12/8/04
to
In article <MPG.1c214896c...@news.zen.co.uk>,
pe...@petergray.com says...
Duh! make that ESE. <sigh>

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Dec 8, 2004, 7:48:48 PM12/8/04
to
Pete Gray <pe...@petergray.com> wrote:

>>> "CleV" <clJU...@balcab.ch> wrote:
>>>> Childhood memory: doesn't Lewis have a country called Terebynthia
>>>> in the Narnia books?

<snip>

>> Yes he does, an island WSW of Cair Paravel -- it's on the map in
>> 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'. Reepicheep mentions a 'Terebinthian
>> pirate' and there's a 'Terebinthian agricultural labourer' being sold
>> in the slave market on the Lone Islands.
>>
> Duh! make that ESE. <sigh>

Don't have a map in my PB copy of 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'. I can
only find a map of the Lone Islands.


Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 9, 2004, 2:04:35 PM12/9/04
to
In article <QhNtd.33348$up1....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
It's in the front of the 1997 hardback edition.
<http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/books/default.aspx?id=-1049>

Now I'm wondering what exactly is 'extra' in the Chronicles of Narnia
(Adult Edition)? The mind boggles.
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/glance/-/kids/00
60598247/ref=br_lf_k_h_b_cs_6/026-6228265-8536468>

Jim Deutch

unread,
Dec 17, 2004, 11:14:30 AM12/17/04
to

Just *had* to post this.

Saw the following in a review of the SF channel's universally panned
version of LeGuin's _Earthsea_ (note: Vetch was the hero Sparrowhawk's
best (nearly only) friend):

"Too many changes and major omissions from the books to recount.
They Faramired Vetch."

Plus, here's a comment from the books' author, ranting about the movie
(and specifically about the producer's comment quoted at the end of
this quote):

I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings
had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever
after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..."
would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"?
--- Ursula K. Le Guin 13 November 2004

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
Verbing weirds language

AC

unread,
Dec 18, 2004, 1:17:19 AM12/18/04
to

I always thought Tolkien's observation on movies made from his books. "Cash
or kudos." I hope she was paid a goodly amount of money.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

"Will you kindly explain to me the reasons to debar individuals in certain
branches from rising by merit to commissioned rank? If a cook may rise, or a
steward, why not an electrical artificer or au ordnance rating or a
shipwright? If a telegraphist may rise, why not a painter? Apparently there
is no difficulty about painters rising in Germany!" - Winston Churchill

the softrat

unread,
Dec 18, 2004, 12:39:17 PM12/18/04
to
On 18 Dec 2004 06:17:19 GMT, AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>I always thought Tolkien's observation on movies made from his books. "Cash
>or kudos." I hope she was paid a goodly amount of money.

Great Eru, so do I!

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada." --
Britney Spears

Shanahan

unread,
Feb 2, 2005, 4:46:37 PM2/2/05
to

Just a niblet of info I came across in an absolutely mad and lovely
book, _The White Goddess_ by Robert Graves:

"Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He renders
"quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the rowan are the
quicken, or the mountain ash.

Just thought that was cool, considering Quickbeam's love for his
"People of the Rose".

P.S. -- Hi, folks, I'm baaaaaack!

- Ciaran S.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Feb 2, 2005, 6:33:27 PM2/2/05
to
Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:

<snip>

> Just a niblet of info I came across in an absolutely mad and lovely
> book, _The White Goddess_ by Robert Graves:
>
> "Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He renders
> "quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the rowan are the
> quicken, or the mountain ash.

Hey! Never knew that. Is there a reason for that?
Why would 'quick' be associated with rowans?

> Just thought that was cool, considering Quickbeam's love for his
> "People of the Rose".
>
> P.S. -- Hi, folks, I'm baaaaaack!

Good to see you back! :-)

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Feb 2, 2005, 6:42:07 PM2/2/05
to
"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> skrev i meddelandet

[snip]

> P.S. -- Hi, folks, I'm baaaaaack!
>
> - Ciaran S.

WB. :-)

Öjevind


Larry Swain

unread,
Feb 2, 2005, 11:36:40 PM2/2/05
to

quick=alive, living (as in the old rendition of the creed, "when he
comes again to judge the quick and the dead"), Tolkien is having another
linguistic joke playing on the two meanings of quick in modenglish

Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 4, 2005, 5:12:47 PM2/4/05
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In message
<news:1107380797.4...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>
"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> P.S. -- Hi, folks, I'm baaaaaack!

Good!

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is <t.forch(a)email.dk>

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to
(a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
- (Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites)

Shanahan

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Feb 7, 2005, 5:55:01 PM2/7/05
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Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:
> Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>
> <snip>

>> "Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He
>> renders "quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the
>> rowan are the quicken, or the mountain ash.
>
> Hey! Never knew that. Is there a reason for that?
> Why would 'quick' be associated with rowans?

As Larry notes, Tolkien is punning. But as to why 'quicken' might be
associated with the rowan, I don't know. Perhaps they bud or blossom
earlier in the spring than other fruit trees?

Ciaran S.
--
Use the word /post-modern/ without being quite sure
whether it is the dominant logic of late capitalism
or pop-culture shorthand for messy-looking buildings


TT Arvind

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Feb 7, 2005, 4:17:53 PM2/7/05
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Wes ğu Shanahan hal!

> As Larry notes, Tolkien is punning. But as to why 'quicken' might be
> associated with the rowan, I don't know. Perhaps they bud or blossom
> earlier in the spring than other fruit trees?

It comes from Anglo-Saxon "cwicu", meaning life-giving ("quickening").
I think the rowan was also called "cwictreow" in OE, which became
"quicken-tree" in Middle English, and eventually just "quicken".

--
Arvind

If the good Lord had intended us to run Windows, he would have made Bill
Gates a programmer from Finland instead of a contract lawyer from hell.
- Nicholas Petreley

Larry Swain

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Feb 8, 2005, 12:05:50 AM2/8/05
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Shanahan wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:
>
>>Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>>"Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He
>>>renders "quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the
>>>rowan are the quicken, or the mountain ash.
>>
>>Hey! Never knew that. Is there a reason for that?
>>Why would 'quick' be associated with rowans?
>
>
> As Larry notes, Tolkien is punning. But as to why 'quicken' might be
> associated with the rowan, I don't know. Perhaps they bud or blossom
> earlier in the spring than other fruit trees?
>

Well, its a multiple layer pun, if I read Tolkien's description
correctly. Quickbeam would be "living tree" in Old Englishesse--quick
meaning alive, beam being a tree. There is also the fact that QB made
up his mind in a hurry, is hasty as ents go, and so he's a "quick (fast,
hasty) tree. Finally, in Old English is cwicbeam (quickbeam) which is
an aspen or juniper =. Enough for now!

Derek Broughton

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Feb 8, 2005, 8:37:21 AM2/8/05
to
Larry Swain wrote:

> hasty) tree. Finally, in Old English is cwicbeam (quickbeam) which is
> an aspen or juniper =. Enough for now!

Does that mean that aspen and juniper are the same tree, or that both have
been known as quickbeam? I swear, common names are more trouble than
they're worth. To me an Aspen is a quick growing deciduous shrub,
generally the first thing to grow in logged over areas. Juniper is a very
slow growing, evergreen, cypress.
--
derek

Larry Swain

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Feb 8, 2005, 6:19:07 PM2/8/05
to

No, just that the word seems to be used of more than one type of tree or
to translate the Latin of more than one type of tree--either scribal
error, or had a larger application as a "tree" word than the surviving
literature lets us in on. For me, an aspen is a deciduous (?) tree that
grows in the mountains with white/grayish bark with black flecks, the
bark is smooth, and very nice, light green leaves. The bark also makes
a good writing material.

Shanahan

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Feb 9, 2005, 2:31:02 AM2/9/05
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TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com> creatively typed:
> Wes đu Shanahan hal!

>
>> As Larry notes, Tolkien is punning. But as to why 'quicken' might
>> be associated with the rowan, I don't know. Perhaps they bud or
>> blossom earlier in the spring than other fruit trees?
>
> It comes from Anglo-Saxon "cwicu", meaning life-giving
> ("quickening"). I think the rowan was also called "cwictreow" in
> OE, which became "quicken-tree" in Middle English, and eventually
> just "quicken".

Thanks - interesting. Does "wick" come from the same root?

But this is a real linguistic association, not just one Tolkien made
up. So why is there an historical assocation between the rowan tree,
and the meaning of 'quicken/quickbeam'? That's what I'd like to
know.

Ciaran S.
--
Write texts that undermine their own authority


Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 9, 2005, 4:19:57 PM2/9/05
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In message <QoGdnSKdBvo...@rcn.net>,
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> enriched us with:
>


<snip>

> Well, its a multiple layer pun, if I read Tolkien's description
> correctly. Quickbeam would be "living tree" in Old Englishesse--quick
> meaning alive, beam being a tree. There is also the fact that QB made
> up his mind in a hurry, is hasty as ents go, and so he's a "quick
> (fast, hasty) tree. Finally, in Old English is cwicbeam (quickbeam)
> which is an aspen or juniper =. Enough for now!

The Danish translator found herself unable to translate the pun -- quite
understandable, IMO, but I don't think her choice was the best possible
even in Danish -- 'Lynstråle' translates as "Lightning Ray"

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is t.forch(a)email.dk

The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.
- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Jette Goldie

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Feb 9, 2005, 4:22:36 PM2/9/05
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"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote

> Just a niblet of info I came across in an absolutely mad and lovely
> book, _The White Goddess_ by Robert Graves:
>
> "Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He renders
> "quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the rowan are the
> quicken, or the mountain ash.
>

Ooops, you mean that it's not common knowledge?


--
Jette
Never bet on Star Trek trivia if your opponent speaks Klingon.
- Ancient Kung Foole Proverb
je...@blueyonder.co.uk


Jette Goldie

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Feb 9, 2005, 4:22:37 PM2/9/05
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"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message
news:cudjg...@enews1.newsguy.com...


The rowan tree is reputed to be a tree of "good magic" - it's
traditionally planted in Scottish gardens to protect the house
from evil and from witches and curses. A token of rowan wood
is supposed to be a potent talisman.

--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/


the softrat

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Feb 9, 2005, 6:53:36 PM2/9/05
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On Tue, 8 Feb 2005 23:31:02 -0800, "Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com>
wrote:

>
>Thanks - interesting. Does "wick" come from the same root?
>
Which 'wick'? As in 'Berwick'? No.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--

I really shouldn't talk to you about my theological doubts. I
might shake your otherwise perfect faith and then where in Hell
would I be?

the softrat

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Feb 9, 2005, 6:56:04 PM2/9/05
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On Wed, 09 Feb 2005 21:22:36 GMT, in alt.fan.tolkien "Jette Goldie"
<j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:

>
>"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote
>> Just a niblet of info I came across in an absolutely mad and lovely
>> book, _The White Goddess_ by Robert Graves:
>>
>> "Quickbeam" is actually another name for the rowan tree! He renders
>> "quickbeam" as "tree of life", and other names for the rowan are the
>> quicken, or the mountain ash.
>>
>
>Ooops, you mean that it's not common knowledge?

As far as I know, there are no rowans in the New World. However we do
have junipers, cypresses, and ashes: three different species of
plants, growing in very different habitats.

Shanahan

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Feb 10, 2005, 2:19:15 AM2/10/05
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the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> creatively typed:

> On Tue, 8 Feb 2005 23:31:02 -0800, "Shanahan" <