Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk1 Ch2: The Shadow of the Past

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Elwë Singollo

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Jan 25, 2004, 2:31:39 PM1/25/04
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Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1
Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past


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Chapter Summary :
_____________________

Time passed, and Gandalf visited Frodo several times before disappearing for
more than 9 years. Frodo was almost 50 when Gandalf reappeared one night
looking "older and more careworn".

The following day, Gandalf told Frodo that the ring Bilbo gave him was one
of the great rings of power. Although he was almost certain to know which
one of the great rings he was dealing with, Gandalf still had to conduct a
last test to confirm his darkest hypotheses. Taking the ring, he threw it
into the fire to Frodo's biggest surprise and displeasure. After a while, he
removed the ring from the fire and took it directly in his hand before
handing it to Frodo. The ring was undamaged and cold, and the hobbit noticed
that fine lines of fire "finer than the finest pen-strokes" appeared on the
surface of the ring, forming the following words : "One ring to rule them
all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness
bind them."
His test was positive, and Gandalf told Frodo that his ring was in fact the
Dark Lord's ring, also named the Master Ring or the One Ring. As Frodo
wanted to know how Bilbo came to posses this terrible ring, Gandalf
explained him all he was able to discover during the past few years:

At the end of the second age, during the last alliance of elves and men,
Sauron was defeated and the mighty ring was taken from him by Isildur, son
of the king Elendil. Isildur kept the ring, but was betrayed by it when he
was trying to escape an attack of orcs. The ring slipped from his finger
while he was swimming in the river Anduin. Isildur was killed, and the ring
was lost in the river. There it remained unfound during approximately 2460
years, before a hobbit-like creature named Déagol found it while fishing in
the river. His friend Sméagol wanted the ring for himself and therefore
killed Déagol and took the ring. Affected by this burden, he went hiding
from his people and from the sun into a cave under the misty mountains. The
ring prolonged his life and slowly destroyed him, transforming him into
Gollum, the creature Bilbo met during his quest to Erebor, about 480 years
after the ring was found in the river.

The story of the ring and Isildur was well-known, but until now, nobody knew
what happened to it after it fell into the Anduin. Gandalf explained to
Frodo that he spent much time trying to find Gollum, who was the only one
who could give him the needed information. But finding the creature was a
hard task, for after Bilbo took his precious from him, Gollum left the misty
mountains to try to catch the thief. Gollum was eventually caught by Aragorn
and brought to Gandalf, who questioned him. Besides the important
information about the ring, Gandalf learned that Gollum had been captured
and tortured by Sauron before Aragorn found him.

Because of the information Gollum may have given to the Dark Lord, it is not
safe for Frodo to remain in the Shire, because Sauron probably got from the
creature the names of Baggins and of the Shire. Frodo decides to leave
Bag-End; he is at the same time afraid to leave and excited to start an
adventure as Bilbo did, but he is quite reluctant to travel alone. A travel
partner is unexpectedly found when Gandalf notices that Sam Gamegee heard
the whole conversation that was supposed to remain secret. Sam is excited to
leave with his master and to get the chance to see some elves.
_________________________________________________________

Suggested Topics of disussion :

1) 17 years have passed between Bilbo's disappearance and the action of
this second chapter. Frodo is almost 50 and he feels that this is a number
of importance. Indeed, Bilbo was the same age when he left with Gandalf and
the dwarves. Was Frodo expecting that something important was about to
change his life?

2) Even if it is not mentioned in this chapter, we know that during his
long absence, Gandalf also went to Minas Tirith, where he read Isildur's
scroll, from which he learned that the one ring bore inscriptions that fire
can reveal. Knowing that Gandalf's main concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron
and the lost ring, why did he wait until he thought he had discovered the
one ring before gathering information on how to recognize it? Shouldn't he
have gone to Minas Tirith a long time ago, when the white council decided
that the ring was a matter of importance?

3) About the ring : "It did not seem always of the same size and
weight.", "It felt suddenly very heavy.", "It seemed to have become thicker
and heavier than ever" and so on. Are the changing proprieties of the ring
real or is the ring acting on the mind to make it think it changes shape and
weight? The verbs used in these sentences (seemed, felt.) make me think the
ring was able to trick the mind, but the fact that it was able to slip from
the finger (as it left Isildur for example "It had slipped from Isildur's
hand") would mean that it was really able to change its physical shape,
wouldn't it?

4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems to have
its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to Gandalf, "It
could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If the ring
is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo while he
was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

5) Why did Bilbo and Sméagol want to be considered as the legitimate
owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to lie about what happened
in Gollum's cave? But if he told the truth, what would the difference be?
Bilbo was not afraid to be seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was
hired for that matter). But he wanted to be seen as the legitimate owner of
the ring, why that.

6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the effects of the
great rings than men (and maybe even elves and maiar). Might it be because
of the way of life of the hobbits, who want to live happily and quietly, and
who are not looking for power and domination?

7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was greatly affected
by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring for several
centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time behaviour changed
after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge to crooked and malicious
uses."
Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?

8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why was he
attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he just deducted,
but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did Gollum expect to find
in Mordor?

9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss

Now, let the discussion begin!

Elwë

Kristian Damm Jensen

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Jan 25, 2004, 4:31:14 PM1/25/04
to
Elwë Singollo wrote:

<snip>

> 2) Even if it is not mentioned in this chapter, we know that
> during his long absence, Gandalf also went to Minas Tirith, where he
> read Isildur's scroll, from which he learned that the one ring bore
> inscriptions that fire can reveal. Knowing that Gandalf's main
> concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron and the lost ring, why did he
wait
> until he thought he had discovered the one ring before gathering
> information on how to recognize it? Shouldn't he have gone to Minas
> Tirith a long time ago, when the white council decided that the ring
> was a matter of importance?

I think that is explained satisfactorily in The Council of Elrond: It
was known, that Saruman was the ultimate authority on rings. It is in
a sense a simple matter of not duplicate someelses work. Saruman knew,
Saruman said the ring was lost; no reason to investigate any further.

> 3) About the ring : "It did not seem always of the same size
and
> weight.", "It felt suddenly very heavy.", "It seemed to have become
> thicker and heavier than ever" and so on. Are the changing
> proprieties of the ring real or is the ring acting on the mind to
> make it think it changes shape and weight? The verbs used in these
> sentences (seemed, felt.) make me think the ring was able to trick
> the mind, but the fact that it was able to slip from the finger (as
> it left Isildur for example "It had slipped from Isildur's hand")
> would mean that it was really able to change its physical shape,
> wouldn't it?

The answer, I think, is both. The ring clearly was able to change
form. It could slip of a finger (it "might suddenly slip off a finger
where it had been tight" -- A shadow from the Past), hence it could
clearly change its form. On the other hand Sam didn't feel the immense
weight of the Ring, when carrying Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom
("to his amazement he felt the burden light. He had feared that he
would have barely strength to lift his master alone, and beyond that
he had expected to share in the dreadful dragging weight of the
accursed Ring. But it was not so ... Sam lifted Frodo with no more
difficulty than if he were carrying a hobbit-child pig-a-back " --
Mount Doom).

> 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems
> to have its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According
to
> Gandalf, "It could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned
> Gollum". If the ring is able to foresee its future , why didn't it
> try to abandon Frodo while he was going to Mount Doom? Staying with
> him was pure suicide, wasn't it? Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger
> than the ring's.

How could it? Gollum was wearing the ring on his finger (presumably)
when he lost, as was Isildur. Frodo had it in a chain around his neck.

<snip>

> 6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the effects of
> the great rings than men (and maybe even elves and maiar). Might it
> be because of the way of life of the hobbits, who want to live
> happily and quietly, and who are not looking for power and
domination?

"Not looking for power and domination" is the key point. It is after
all the explanation why Tom Bombadil isn't affected *at all*.

> 7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was greatly
> affected by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring
> for several centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time
> behaviour changed after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge to
> crooked and malicious uses."
> Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?

Smeagol was a rotten egg? If I

remember correctly he wasn't very well liked even before the ring. He
was interested in finding out things. This turned to snooping (using
the Ring). And maybe telling. Etc.

Bilbo on the other hand was a gentlehobbit, and had no use for
anything but what he already had. Except maybe an adventure, and
Gandalf had already provided one to last him a lifetime.

> 8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why
> was he attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he
> just deducted, but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did
> Gollum expect to find in Mordor?

s/Bilbo went/Gollum went/

First of all, Gollum didn't know where the Shire was. Secondly he was
attrackted by the Evil of the place. How did this attraction work in
RL terms. I'm not sure, but it seems to be like the insideus workings
off the ring on your mind. ("wouldn't it be a good idea to go this
way?", "This way or that way, I don't know, but that way looks ...
fishier"), subtly changing your thinking, your purpose.

--
Kristian Damm Jensen
damm (at) ofir (dot) dk


Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 25, 2004, 5:18:07 PM1/25/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote

> 2) Even if it is not mentioned in this chapter, we know that
during his
> long absence, Gandalf also went to Minas Tirith, where he read
Isildur's
> scroll, from which he learned that the one ring bore inscriptions that
fire
> can reveal.

In fact, in the Council of Elrond, Gandalf reveals that when he was
trying to find Gollum (with Aragorn's aid), he remembered the words of
Saruman to the White Council about the One Ring: "...its maker set marks
upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read." Gandalf then
reasoned that Isildur may have found out what these marks were, and so
Gandalf went to Minas Tirith and found that scroll. It is not entirely
clear why Gandalf did not go to Saruman then. Gandalf seems to think
that Saruman might know what the inscription says, but Gandalf wanted to
find the original documents that Saruman might have used to find out
about the Ring inscription. It looks like Gandalf was wary of Saruman
already...

> Knowing that Gandalf's main concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron
> and the lost ring, why did he wait until he thought he had discovered
the
> one ring before gathering information on how to recognize it?
Shouldn't he
> have gone to Minas Tirith a long time ago, when the white council
decided
> that the ring was a matter of importance?

It seems clear that Ring-lore was Saruman's area of expertise, and that
Gandalf would normally have deferred to him in this area. Indeed,
earlier in the Council he reports that Saruman said the Ring rolled down
the River to the Sea. Gandalf says: "There I was at fault. I was lulled
by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth
sooner, and our peril would now be less."

That's pretty conclusive! Gandalf messed up!!

> 3) About the ring :

The size/weight changes were probably both mental and physical effects.

> 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems
to have
> its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to Gandalf,
"It
> could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If
the ring
> is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo
while he
> was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
> Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

The Ring was IIRC on a chain. Not so easy to slip off! The Ring *did*
make enormous efforts to overcome Frodo's resistance to the Ring, and
eventually the Ring succeeded. Then Gollum and Fate stepped in.

> 7) Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?

The differences between Gollum and Bilbo and Frodo. Gollum was probably
more inclined towards acts of evil. Bilbo and Frodo less so. I like the
suggestion in the film that Deagol also tried to murder Smeagol. Maybe
it is the presence of *two* people when the Ring is unclaimed. Obviously
you have to have someone there to murder and presumably once the Ring is
claimed the effect lessens. Bilbo is alone when he finds it. I presume
Isildur is as well, or at least Elrond and Cirdan don't try to murder
him. Gandalf would have been unlikely to try and kill Frodo to get the
Ring! The fact that Smeagol is capable of murdering Deagol (ie. Deagol
is not strong enough to fend him off) may also be important. If, say, a
man had found the Ring with Smeagol present (unlikely I know), would
Smeagol have been less likely to try and murder this hypothetical man
who has found the Ring?

> 8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why
was he
> attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he just
deducted,
> but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did Gollum expect to
find
> in Mordor?

There is a reference somewhere to the Dark Lord "drawing all evil things
to him." I think Gollum could be included in that. The quote is actually
in this very chapter, just after Gandalf tells of Gollum's capture:

"Alas! Mordor draws all wicked things, and the Dark Power was bending
all its will to gather them there. The Ring of the Enemy would leave its
mark, too, leave him open to the summons." Gandalf goes on to say why
Gollum would go there: to get revenge, presumably on Bilbo.

> 9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss

You forgot the 'Gandalf temptation' scene and the 'Pity' scene!!

10) What does Gandalf's reaction to Frodo's offer of the Ring tell us
about Gandalf and about the Ring?

11) Does Gandalf's sermon on Pity reveal the ending of the story? What
does Frodo's initial attitude towards Gollum tell us about Frodo?


Christopher

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


Raven

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Jan 25, 2004, 5:24:12 PM1/25/04
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"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> skrev i en meddelelse
news:9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com...

> Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past

Eeek! Typpo tyop! :-)

> 1) 17 years have passed between Bilbo's disappearance and the action
> of this second chapter. Frodo is almost 50 and he feels that this is a
> number of importance. Indeed, Bilbo was the same age when he left
> with Gandalf and the dwarves. Was Frodo expecting that something
> important was about to change his life?

I should say so. It is so described in the book. Perhaps not that he
was positively expecting Adventure to fall like sudden rain from the sky,
but that he was approaching his fiftieth birthday with an uneasy feeling, at
least in part because he knew that this was dear Bilbo's age when he had had
his adventure.

> 2) Even if it is not mentioned in this chapter, we know that during
> his long absence, Gandalf also went to Minas Tirith, where he read
> Isildur's scroll, from which he learned that the one ring bore
> inscriptions that fire can reveal. Knowing that Gandalf's main
> concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron and the lost ring, why did
> he wait until he thought he had discovered the one ring before
> gathering information on how to recognize it? Shouldn't he have
> gone to Minas Tirith a long time ago, when the white council
> decided that the ring was a matter of importance?

Judging by Gandalf's own tale, he simply didn't think of it before.
Perhaps because he thought, as Saruman had instructed him, that the Ring had
been lost forever, and therefore didn't bother to seek this ringlore.
Gandalf's concern was Sauron, and only when he suspected that the Ring was
still around did he take a more active interest in it.
He saw how Bilbo's ring affected him, and became uneasy. His suspicions
that Saruman had misled him (in origin he thought that Saruman had done so
unintentionally) grew, and he pondered how to find out more. Then, "Aha!"

> 3) About the ring : "It did not seem always of the same size and
> weight.", "It felt suddenly very heavy.", "It seemed to have become
> thicker and heavier than ever" and so on. Are the changing
> proprieties of the ring real or is the ring acting on the mind to make
> it think it changes shape and weight? The verbs used in these
> sentences (seemed, felt.) make me think the ring was able to trick
> the mind, but the fact that it was able to slip from the finger (as it
> left Isildur for example "It had slipped from Isildur's hand") would
> mean that it was really able to change its physical shape, wouldn't
> it?

I would say both. It is able to change its apparent weight and size, but
it is also able to change its physical size - or we'll have to contend that
it changes the diameter of the finger that it's on. Or perhaps that it
induces the bearer to unwittingly shove it off his finger himself, without
trace of memory of this after. Or is able to become perfectly slippery,
zero friction, at will.

> 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems to
> have its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to
> Gandalf, "It could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned
> Gollum". If the ring is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to
> abandon Frodo while he was going to Mount Doom? Staying with
> him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
> Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

Isildur lost it when he wore it on his finger. So did Gollum. So did
Bilbo at the Back Door of the Goblins, though luckily for him it only
slipped back into his pocket.
Frodo wore it on a chain which he kept around his neck. The Ring was not
able to slip off that, since it was unable to break itself open. If Frodo
had worn the Ring frequently without the chain then rest assured the Ring
would have slipped off, unless Frodo had kept his attention on it
constantly, which would have been impossible.

> 5) Why did Bilbo and Sméagol want to be considered as the legitimate
> owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to lie about what happened
> in Gollum's cave? But if he told the truth, what would the difference be?
> Bilbo was not afraid to be seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was
> hired for that matter). But he wanted to be seen as the legitimate owner
> of the ring, why that.

Bilbo didn't agree that stealing was a legitimate way to aquire true
ownership. He went with the Dwarves as their burglar because he would then
be trying to retrieve items which properly belonged to them in the first
place. If he had succeeded at stealing William's purse, then possibly he
would not really have considered it and its contents properly his own.
Remember how he spent the Trolls' gold so freely in gift - he didn't feel
that it properly belonged to him as it came from robbers.
Nor did Bilbo apparently believe that finder's keeper's. If the Ring
properly belonged to Gollum, which is what he knew (or believed) by the time
he told his lie to the Company, then by rights he ought to have given it
back to Gollum at once. Interesting to see Gollum's reaction if this had
happened - Bilbo giving the Ring back would perhaps have allayed all
Gollum's hate and suspicion that Bilbo would try to steal it, while the Ring
by its nature and the hold it had on Gollum would have sought to inflame him
with a killing-rage against Bilbo.
But Bilbo wanted to own it for himself, and to convince himself and
everybody else who knew about it that this was so. Yes. His very own.
Right. Freely and honestly given in free gift. Quite. No doubt.
Absolutely none. And it might as well have been this that Gollum would have
promised him anyway if he had not guessed that Bilbo also needed to be shown
the way out. Evidently. Quite. Oh yes.

> 6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the effects of the
> great rings than men (and maybe even elves and maiar). Might it be because
> of the way of life of the hobbits, who want to live happily and quietly,
> and who are not looking for power and domination?

I should suppose that it was part of the nature of Hobbits. In their
social life this psychological makeup manifested itself in a lack of
ambition to mind other people's business. Holding the Ring, it manifested
itself in giving the Ring less to work with in its attempt to dominate them.

> 7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was greatly
> affected by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring
> for several centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time
> behaviour changed after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge
> to crooked and malicious uses."
> Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?

Individual difference. Presumably Lotho, had he found the Ring, would
have become much like Gollum, or Sandyman if he had found it. Bilbo and
Frodo, like most Hobbits, were much nicer persons than Sméagol, Lotho Pimple
and Ted Sandyman.
Also, much is made in the book about how Gollum began his ownership of
the Ring, namely by murder, and how Bilbo did, by an act of mercy and pity.
Gandalf more or less flatly states that Bilbo would have turned come off
worse had he slain Gollum in the Goblins' caves.

> 8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why was he
> attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he just
> deducted, but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did
> Gollum expect to find in Mordor?

Apparently he didn't go to Mordor by his own plan and choice. Sauron had
just declared himself there, and become much more active - including at
sending out evil vibes that affected Gollum greatly. This was before he had
learnt from bitter experience the hideous peril that awaited all that
entered Mordor, so after he was permitted to "escape" he would be able to
refuse the subliminal summons.

Eware.


TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Jan 25, 2004, 9:59:21 PM1/25/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in
news:9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com:

> Suggested Topics of disussion :
>
> 1) 17 years have passed between Bilbo's disappearance and
> the action of this second chapter. Frodo is almost 50 and he
> feels that this is a number of importance. Indeed, Bilbo was
> the same age when he left with Gandalf and the dwarves. Was
> Frodo expecting that something important was about to change
> his life?

Frodo was hoping for an adventure, and as he approached 50, he
began to realize that any adventuring he might do should be done
soon. I think he also was feeling the effect of the Ring's desire
to return to Sauron; this may have made itself manifest in an
unconcious "knowing" that he would be going on a venture soon.

>
> 2) Even if it is not mentioned in this chapter, we know
> that during his long absence, Gandalf also went to Minas
> Tirith, where he read Isildur's scroll, from which he learned
> that the one ring bore inscriptions that fire can reveal.
> Knowing that Gandalf's main concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron
> and the lost ring, why did he wait until he thought he had
> discovered the one ring before gathering information on how to
> recognize it? Shouldn't he have gone to Minas Tirith a long
> time ago, when the white council decided that the ring was a
> matter of importance?
>

He had plans to check further, but Saruman told the Council (as we
later find out) that the Ring had long ago gone to the ocean deeps,
swept away by Anduin. It wasn't until a ring that had odd powers
was found that Gandalf really began to think Saruman was wrong.

> 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring
> seems to have its own will and to be able to leave its bearer.
> According to Gandalf, "It could make no further use of him,
> (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If the ring is able to foresee
> its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo while he was
> going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't
> it? Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.
>

The Ring had a will, yes, but not a cognizant, intelligent or aware
will. More like power calling to power; the Ring was part of
Sauron, and without its master was not complete - just as Sauron
was not complete without the Ring.

> 5) Why did Bilbo and Sm‚agol want to be considered as the


> legitimate owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to
> lie about what happened in Gollum's cave? But if he told the
> truth, what would the difference be? Bilbo was not afraid to be
> seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was hired for that
> matter). But he wanted to be seen as the legitimate owner of
> the ring, why that.
>

The lure of the Ring caused each, in his own way, to need to be the
sole owner of it. Smeagol/Gollum and Bilbo probably felt the pull
of the corrupting power of the Ring, and knowing if they were not
seen as legitimate bearers, the Ring would be taken from them, they
each had to concoct a plausible reason as to how they got the Ring.

Smeagol committed 2 evil acts to get the Ring - he stole it from
Deagol, and killed Deagol to get the Ring. His later actions of
using the Ring to spy on his fellows and steal from them, combined
with long years of the the evil influence of the Ring, caused him
to become the wretched creature he was in LoTR.

Bilbo didn't commit an evil act to get the Ring, or keep it. He
didn't actually steal the Ring,although, since he then found out
who the "real" owner was, and could have returned it, he could be
seen as a thief. And as his subsequent use of the Ring was
minimal and fairly innocent the evil influence did not affect him
as strongly.


> 6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the
> effects of the great rings than men (and maybe even elves and
> maiar). Might it be because of the way of life of the hobbits,
> who want to live happily and quietly, and who are not looking
> for power and domination?
>

Could very well be. The Ring seemed to act on the inner desires of
the bearer - fed the inner fires, so to speak.

> 7) But Sm‚agol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was


> greatly affected by the ring. One explanation is that he had
> born the ring for several centuries before Bilbo took it. But

> even his short-time behaviour changed after he killed D‚agol:


> "He put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses."
> Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come
> from?
>

Again, the Ring seemed to act on the inner desires of the bearer -
fed the inner fires, so to speak. Smeagol began with inordinate
desire to have the Ring and the Ring enhanced this; that Smeagol
killed Deagol to get the Ring was part of this influence. Smeagol
used the Ring for getting things he wanted - knowledge and items he
felt should have been his. His actions to get the Ring, and his
lack of remorse afterwards, shows that he no conscience to prevent
him from doing evil if he could get away with it. The Ring just
enhanced his inner badness.

Bilbo didn't have the same inner needs, and he had a conscience
that demanded he do the right thing. The Ring would eventually
have corrupted h im, just as it did Smeagol, and as it was starting
to when he left the Shire (he was nearly unable to leave the Ring
behind).

> 8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived,
> why was he attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire,
> which he just deducted, but he preferred to go towards danger.
> Why? What did Gollum expect to find in Mordor?
>

He started to head to the Shire, then suddenly turned and went
south. It seems to me that Sauron was calling for the Ring, or the
Ring bearer, and Gollum was so very ensnared in the influence of
the Ring that he had no choice.


--
mc

Stan Brown

unread,
Jan 25, 2004, 11:31:05 PM1/25/04
to
It seems "Elwë Singollo" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Knowing that Gandalf's main concern on Middle-Earth was Sauron
>and the lost ring, why did he wait until he thought he had discovered the
>one ring before gathering information on how to recognize it? Shouldn't he
>have gone to Minas Tirith a long time ago, when the white council decided
>that the ring was a matter of importance?

Remember that Saruman was the White Council's investigator into
Ring-lore. While Gandalf had a small doubt about Saruman, at this
point Saruman still seemed to be working for the Council. Also there
didn't seem to be particular urgency because Bilbo was showing no
ill effects. "The lore of the Elven-rings, great and small, is
[Saruman's] province. He has long studied it, seeking the lost
secrets of their making; but when the Rings were debated in the
Council, all that he would reveal to us of his ring-lore told
against my fears. So my doubt slept - but uneasily. Still I watched
and I waited. And all seemed well with Bilbo."

>3)The verbs used in these sentences (seemed, felt.) make me think the


>ring was able to trick the mind, but the fact that it was able to slip from
>the finger (as it left Isildur for example "It had slipped from Isildur's
>hand") would mean that it was really able to change its physical shape,
>wouldn't it?

Yes, I think so.

>4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems to have
>its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to Gandalf, "It
>could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If the ring
>is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo while he
>was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
>Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

Even assuming the Ring has a will, there's not a lot it can do when
a chain is threaded through it and then worn securely around Frodo's
neck. (Movie-Frodo apparently wore it outside his clothes, which
would have been amazingly silly.)

>5) Why did Bilbo and Sméagol want to be considered as the legitimate
>owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to lie about what happened
>in Gollum's cave? But if he told the truth, what would the difference be?

Now you're sounding like a modern person. Even as recently as when
Tolkien wrote, even very bad people worried about their reputation.
The _name_ of thief was a source of deep shame, and neither Bilbo
nor Gollum wanted to bear it even though they both had earned it.

>Bilbo was not afraid to be seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was
>hired for that matter).

That's different, because they hired him to get back their own stuff
and give it to them, not steal it and keep it for himself. Remember
that "burglar" in the sense he used it was explicitly equated to
"expert treasure-hunter" in Chapter 1 of /The Hobbit/.

>6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the effects of the
>great rings than men (and maybe even elves and maiar). Might it be because
>of the way of life of the hobbits, who want to live happily and quietly, and
>who are not looking for power and domination?

I think so. Also Tolkien had to some extent romanticized the "stout
yeomen" of England, and saw Hobbits as similar to them: honest,
slow-thinking maybe but not stupid, and pretty much immovable in
defense of their homes.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech/faqget.htm

AC

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 1:18:16 AM1/26/04
to
["Followup-To:" header set to alt.fan.tolkien.]

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 19:31:39 GMT,
Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1
> Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past

<snip excellent synopsis>

> 3) About the ring : "It did not seem always of the same size and
> weight.", "It felt suddenly very heavy.", "It seemed to have become thicker
> and heavier than ever" and so on. Are the changing proprieties of the ring
> real or is the ring acting on the mind to make it think it changes shape and
> weight? The verbs used in these sentences (seemed, felt.) make me think the
> ring was able to trick the mind, but the fact that it was able to slip from
> the finger (as it left Isildur for example "It had slipped from Isildur's
> hand") would mean that it was really able to change its physical shape,
> wouldn't it?

I think it could both affect the bearer's mind and change it's physical
properties. It had betrayed Isildur and Smeagol. As well it could feel
like a burden, as it did when Frodo entered Mordor, which was obviously a
psychic effect.

>
> 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems to have
> its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to Gandalf, "It
> could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If the ring
> is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo while he
> was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
> Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

I really don't think the Ring was at all sentient. I've described its
actions before as a sort of automatic homing mechanism that Sauron probably
put in the Ring on the off chance that he lost it.

>
> 5) Why did Bilbo and Sméagol want to be considered as the legitimate
> owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to lie about what happened
> in Gollum's cave? But if he told the truth, what would the difference be?
> Bilbo was not afraid to be seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was
> hired for that matter). But he wanted to be seen as the legitimate owner of
> the ring, why that.

I don't think it was quite the overt an effect. In all three cases before
Frodo's inheriting it (Isildur, Smeagol and Bilbo) they wanted to claim it
as their own very clearly. Isildur took it as an heirloom, and Bilbo and
Smeagol claimed it as a gift.

>
> 6) Apparently, the hobbits are more resistant to the effects of the
> great rings than men (and maybe even elves and maiar). Might it be because
> of the way of life of the hobbits, who want to live happily and quietly, and
> who are not looking for power and domination?

To a degree I think that is true. There was also a core of indominability
in Hobbits. For the most part they weren't easily daunted or dominated, and
this seems to have been the key to their resistance of its effects.

>
> 7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature,

He wasn't Hobbit-like. He was a Hobbit. The Shire had already been founded
by the time Deagol spotted it in the Anduin.

>and he was greatly affected
> by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring for several
> centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time behaviour changed
> after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge to crooked and malicious
> uses."
> Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?

I don't really see any difference. Unlike Bilbo, but like Lotho Baggins and
a few other Hobbits we see, Smeagol was a bit of a sneaky fellow to begin
with.

>
> 8) After Gollum went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why was he


> attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he just deducted,
> but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did Gollum expect to find
> in Mordor?

As I recall, Gandalf said he was drawn to Mordor. I don't think it was
actually a conscious decision

--
Aaron Clausen

tao_of_cow/\alberni.net (replace /\ with @)

Elwë Singollo

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:41:47 AM1/26/04
to
> > 3) About the ring :
>
> The size/weight changes were probably both mental and physical effects.
>
> The Ring was IIRC on a chain. Not so easy to slip off! The Ring *did*
> make enormous efforts to overcome Frodo's resistance to the Ring, and
> eventually the Ring succeeded. Then Gollum and Fate stepped in.

But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would then be
possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the chain
and then take back its original shape. That would not be in contradiction
with what is written wouldn't it? Maybe the ring did wrongly foresee that
Frodo would fail once in Mordor, and therefore stayed with him, hoping to
get back to his master.

> > 8) After Bilbo went to Dale, and learnt where Bilbo lived, why
> was he
> > attracted towards Mordor? The ring was in the Shire, which he just
> deducted,
> > but he preferred to go towards danger. Why? What did Gollum expect to
> find
> > in Mordor?
>
> There is a reference somewhere to the Dark Lord "drawing all evil things
> to him." I think Gollum could be included in that. The quote is actually
> in this very chapter, just after Gandalf tells of Gollum's capture:
>
> "Alas! Mordor draws all wicked things, and the Dark Power was bending
> all its will to gather them there. The Ring of the Enemy would leave its
> mark, too, leave him open to the summons." Gandalf goes on to say why
> Gollum would go there: to get revenge, presumably on Bilbo.
>

Well, I read this actually :-). But why were the evil things attracted to
him? Apparently, Mordor's call was greater than the ring, so what was the
reason behind this force drawing evil things towards Mordor? I don't think
it was Gollum's intention to put himself to Sauron's service...


> You forgot the 'Gandalf temptation' scene and the 'Pity' scene!!
>
> 10) What does Gandalf's reaction to Frodo's offer of the Ring tell us
> about Gandalf and about the Ring?
>
> 11) Does Gandalf's sermon on Pity reveal the ending of the story? What
> does Frodo's initial attitude towards Gollum tell us about Frodo?

It does not reveal it, but it is a hint. The first time you read the story,
you can not guess the end from Gandalf's words. But if you know what happens
at the end, this sure is a serious hint...

Elwë


Elwë Singollo

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:48:21 AM1/26/04
to

"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> a écrit dans le
message de news:7pXQb.21092$Un6....@news.get2net.dk...
> "Elwė Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> skrev i en meddelelse

> news:9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com...
>
> > Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past
>
> Eeek! Typpo tyop! :-)

Oooops, Sorry!

> > 4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems to
> > have its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to
> > Gandalf, "It could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned
> > Gollum". If the ring is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try
to
> > abandon Frodo while he was going to Mount Doom? Staying with
> > him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
> > Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.
>
> Isildur lost it when he wore it on his finger. So did Gollum. So did
> Bilbo at the Back Door of the Goblins, though luckily for him it only
> slipped back into his pocket.
> Frodo wore it on a chain which he kept around his neck. The Ring was
not
> able to slip off that, since it was unable to break itself open. If Frodo
> had worn the Ring frequently without the chain then rest assured the Ring
> would have slipped off, unless Frodo had kept his attention on it
> constantly, which would have been impossible.

Why is the ring unable to break itself open? If we agree that the ring can
change its physical shape, then that would be possible. It is not possible
to break the ring, but if the ring itself decides to do so, that should be
possible...

Elwė


Henriette

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 3:55:19 AM1/26/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message news:<9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com>...

> Chapter 2 - The S[h]adow of the Past
>
Well done Elwë and very timely, thank you!

> The ring was undamaged and cold, and the hobbit noticed
> that fine lines of fire "finer than the finest pen-strokes" appeared on the
> surface of the ring, forming the following words

here *I* would have added: in the language of Mordor, in Elvish
letters:

>: "One ring to rule them
> all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness
> bind them."

But this is hardly meant as criticism, more to show how different
people have a different focus.
>
> 4) (snip) If the ring


> is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo while he
> was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't it?
> Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.

As for this point, I second what Christopher says in this thread: the
Ring *did* fight to stay away from Mt Doom!

> 7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was greatly affected
> by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring for several
> centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time behaviour changed
> after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge to crooked and malicious
> uses."
> Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?
>

Here I agree with the one who argued that Bilbo was a gentle-hobbit
and Sméagol was someone "whose head and eyes were downward".

> 9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss
>

* "For sport killing nothing that lived", it says about Hobbits in "On
Hobbits", remember? Now what does our Sam say one evening in The Green
Dragon?
"My cousin Hal for one. He works for Mr. Boffin at Overhill and goes
up to the Northfarthing for the HUNTING".

* I thought this quote sociologically interesting about, as Gandalf
calls them, a "little people" presumably "of hobbit-kind":
"There was among them a family of high repute, for it was large and
wealthier than most, and it was ruled by a grandmother of the folk,
stern and wise in old lore, such as they had". This lady, Sméagol's
grandmother, is several pages later explicitly called "Matriarch".

* Gandalf says it is an encouraging thought, something is at work
which makes, Frodo was *meant* to have the Ring, as *Bilbo* was meant
to find the Ring "and *not* it's maker". Frodo does not understand
this, neither do I, but Gandalf quickly changes topic. Bluffing again?

Henriette

Marc Nauwelaerts

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 4:28:59 AM1/26/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> wrote in
news:4014c646$1...@epflnews.epfl.ch:

>
> Why is the ring unable to break itself open? If we agree that the ring
> can change its physical shape, then that would be possible. It is not
> possible to break the ring, but if the ring itself decides to do so,
> that should be possible...
>

> Elwë
>
>

Maybe because it is a far more radical change to break open a ring,
ceasing then to be a ring, than to undergo a small change of size,
allowing it to slip from the wearer's finger.

I have always thought that the ring is more subtle in its influence and
actions than just sprouting wings to fly away, Balrog-like.

Regards,
Marc

Pradera

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 6:23:56 AM1/26/04
to
On 26 sty 2004, "Elwë Singollo" <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> scribbled
loosely:

>> The Ring was IIRC on a chain. Not so easy to slip off! The Ring *did*
>> make enormous efforts to overcome Frodo's resistance to the Ring, and
>> eventually the Ring succeeded. Then Gollum and Fate stepped in.
>
> But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would
> then be possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip
> from the chain and then take back its original shape. That would not
> be in contradiction with what is written wouldn't it? Maybe the ring
> did wrongly foresee that Frodo would fail once in Mordor, and
> therefore stayed with him, hoping to get back to his master.

If it could do that, it could transform itself into a helicopter and fly
to Mordor, as well. It wouldn't be a Ring anymore. It is nowhere written
that in can change _shape_. A ring is a ring, whether small or big. When
broken, it becomes something else. I don't think it's possible.

--
Pradera
---
The Greatest Tolkien Fan Ever(tm)
Books are books, movies are movies, PJ's LotR is crap.

http://www.pradera-castle.prv.pl/
http://www.tolkien-gen.prv.pl/

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:01:13 AM1/26/04
to
in <zgXQb.9615$Z85.10...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> "Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote
>>

<snip>

> It looks like Gandalf was wary of Saruman already...

In 'The Shadow of the Past' Gandalf says about Saruman, "His knowledge
is deep, but his pride has grown with it, and he takes ill any
meddling." Of course he also says about consulting Saruman that,
"something always held me back" but on the conscious level I think it
is likely that Gandalf didn't want to upset Saruman with any "meddling"
(his wariness could, I think, be subconscious - parallel to his
premonition about Bilbo when setting up the Quest of Erebor).

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

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:07:51 AM1/26/04
to
in <4014c4bd$1...@epflnews.epfl.ch>,
Elwë Singollo <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> enriched us with:

>
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> 11) Does Gandalf's sermon on Pity reveal the ending of the story?
[...]

>
> It does not reveal it, but it is a hint. The first time you read the
> story, you can not guess the end from Gandalf's words. But if you
> know what happens at the end, this sure is a serious hint...

There is of course also the incident where Gandalf asks Frodo to throw
the Ring into the fire (where it had already been), and Frodo fails.
And Gandalf's words about Gollum having "some part to play yet, for
good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo
may rule the fate of many - yours not least'.

Taken together I think these statements quite clearly predicts the end,
but, as you say, to the reader who already knows the end.

In the light of what Tolkien has said in various letters about the
roles of Frodo and Gollum at the end, might this be his way of guiding
our interpretation of the ending?

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:18:18 AM1/26/04
to
in <7pXQb.21092$Un6....@news.get2net.dk>,
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:

>
> "Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com...
>>
>> 1) 17 years have passed between Bilbo's disappearance and the
>> action of this second chapter. Frodo is almost 50 and he feels that
>> this is a number of importance. Indeed, Bilbo was the same age when
>> he left
>> with Gandalf and the dwarves. Was Frodo expecting that something
>> important was about to change his life?
>
> I should say so. It is so described in the book. Perhaps not
> that he was positively expecting Adventure to fall like sudden rain
> from the sky, but that he was approaching his fiftieth birthday with
> an uneasy feeling, at least in part because he knew that this was
> dear Bilbo's age when he had had his adventure.

In various letters we learn how Frodo recieved a grace at various
points in the story: to accept the quest and in the end.

In this chapter we also have the motif of some other, supposedly
higher, will meaning Bilbo to find the Ring and Frodo to get it (though
it is no consolation to Frodo).

There are other instances that might be interpreted as Frodo and Sam
getting some kind of help from outside themselves (speaking words they
don't understand etc.)

Could Frodo's growing restlessness be of the same order - a premonition
that something is about to happen delivered by the same will that has
chosen him? His restlessness definitely helps him accept the need to
leave the Shire - we see how, "as he was speaking a great desire to
follow Bilbo flamed up in his heart -"

Stan Brown

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:42:08 AM1/26/04
to
It seems "AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>I really don't think the Ring was at all sentient. I've described its
>actions before as a sort of automatic homing mechanism that Sauron probably
>put in the Ring on the off chance that he lost it.

I have something of the same idea. I think of animals like ants
being attracted to certain scents -- "tropism" is the word, I think.

Rhiannon S

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:49:25 AM1/26/04
to
>Subject: Re: Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk1 Ch2: The Shadow of the Past
>From: held...@hotmail.com (Henriette)
>Date: 26/01/2004 08:55 GMT Standard Time
>Message-id: <be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com>

> "For sport killing nothing that lived", it says about Hobbits in "On
>Hobbits", remember? Now what does our Sam say one evening in The Green
>Dragon?
>"My cousin Hal for one. He works for Mr. Boffin at Overhill and goes
>up to the Northfarthing for the HUNTING".
>

But the shire is a rural economy, they might not hunt for sport, but almost
certainly they would for food. Pheasants, pigeons, deer etc are all still food
items in parts of the UK.
--
Rhiannon
http://www.livejournal.com/users/rhiannon_s/
Q: how many witches does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: depends on what you want it changed into!

Stan Brown

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 10:44:20 AM1/26/04
to
It seems "Elwė Singollo" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would then be
>possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the chain
>and then take back its original shape. That would not be in contradiction
>with what is written wouldn't it?

I think that is pushing "what is written" very far. It's not in
contradiction to say that the Ring could transform itself into a
two- or four-legged creature and walk to Sauron, but that seems
equally far fetched.

The Ring is a ring, magical but still a ring. If it had the kind of
powers you suggest, it would have leaped off Gollum's finger at the
Sammath Naur.

Tamzin

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:40:09 PM1/26/04
to

"Elwë Singollo" <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> wrote in message
news:4014c4bd$1...@epflnews.epfl.ch...

> > > 3) About the ring :
> >
> > The size/weight changes were probably both mental and physical effects.
> >
> > The Ring was IIRC on a chain. Not so easy to slip off! The Ring *did*
> > make enormous efforts to overcome Frodo's resistance to the Ring, and
> > eventually the Ring succeeded. Then Gollum and Fate stepped in.
>
> But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would then
be
> possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the chain
> and then take back its original shape. That would not be in contradiction
> with what is written wouldn't it? Maybe the ring did wrongly foresee that
> Frodo would fail once in Mordor, and therefore stayed with him, hoping to
> get back to his master.

But then you might argue that it could change its form so that it no longer
resembled a ring at all. Or do you envisage a limitation on this ability?

Tamzin

Elwë Singollo

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:36:14 PM1/26/04
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> a écrit dans le message de news:
MPG.1a7effe35...@news.odyssey.net...

> It seems "Elwė Singollo" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would then
be
> >possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the
chain
> >and then take back its original shape. That would not be in contradiction
> >with what is written wouldn't it?
>
> I think that is pushing "what is written" very far. It's not in
> contradiction to say that the Ring could transform itself into a
> two- or four-legged creature and walk to Sauron, but that seems
> equally far fetched.
>
> The Ring is a ring, magical but still a ring. If it had the kind of
> powers you suggest, it would have leaped off Gollum's finger at the
> Sammath Naur.
>
> --

Indeed, I went too far, but if it wanted to, the ring would probably have
found a way to live Frodo. But I think Christopher and Aaron are right : The
ring probably didn't have the power to foresee its fate. It was only able to
feel if it was on its way to Mordor. Therefore, the ring remained with
Frodo, for he was taking it exactly where the ring was drawn to. At the last
minute, when it realized it was in great danger, it influenced Frodo's mind
to be saved. Luckily, Gollum was there.

Elwė


Elwë Singollo

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:55:35 PM1/26/04
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com...

> "Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message
news:<9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com>...
>
> > Chapter 2 - The S[h]adow of the Past

Shame on me...

> Well done Elwë and very timely, thank you!
>
> > The ring was undamaged and cold, and the hobbit noticed
> > that fine lines of fire "finer than the finest pen-strokes" appeared on
the
> > surface of the ring, forming the following words
>
> here *I* would have added: in the language of Mordor, in Elvish
> letters:
>
> >: "One ring to rule them
> > all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the
darkness
> > bind them."
>
> But this is hardly meant as criticism, more to show how different
> people have a different focus.

Actually, I wrote in in my first summary. Then I realized that it was waaaay
too long, and I had to remove sentences in order to keep the length of my
synopsis between acceptable limits. This should not have been cut, though,
together with the fact that Gandalf didn't want to pronounce the words in
the original language...

> > 7) But Sméagol was a hobbit-like creature, and he was greatly
affected
> > by the ring. One explanation is that he had born the ring for several
> > centuries before Bilbo took it. But even his short-time behaviour
changed
> > after he killed Déagol: "He put his knowledge to crooked and malicious
> > uses."
> > Where does this big difference of the effect of the ring come from?
> >
> Here I agree with the one who argued that Bilbo was a gentle-hobbit
> and Sméagol was someone "whose head and eyes were downward".

I must admit that I don't fully understand the meaning of this sentence.
Before your quote, we learn the following about Sméagol :"The most
inquisitive and curious-minded of that familly was called Sméagol. He was
interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed
under trees and growing plants; he tunneled into green mounds; and he ceased
to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening
in the air : his head and eyes were downward" Leaving aside the part you
quoted, this description suggest that Gollum is someone curious and who
wants to learn how nature is working, though rather interested in the
"below-ground science". I don't see anything mean or evil in that behaviour.
Nevertheless, the last part of the sentence sort of imply that this is not a
proper way of behaving. Any thoughts?

Elwë


Jon Meltzer

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:17:43 PM1/26/04
to

"Pradera" <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote in message
news:Xns947C7E18CE430p...@130.133.1.4...

> If it could do that, it could transform itself into a helicopter and fly
> to Mordor, as well. It wouldn't be a Ring anymore.

And, if it did transform itself into a helicopter, the Eagles would pursue
it.

Jon Meltzer

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:21:25 PM1/26/04
to

"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
news:ZY9Rb.7738$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com...

> In 'The Shadow of the Past' Gandalf says about Saruman, "His knowledge
> is deep, but his pride has grown with it, and he takes ill any
> meddling." Of course he also says about consulting Saruman that,
> "something always held me back" but on the conscious level I think it
> is likely that Gandalf didn't want to upset Saruman with any "meddling"
> (his wariness could, I think, be subconscious - parallel to his
> premonition about Bilbo when setting up the Quest of Erebor).

It's Gandalf's own pride, too. He'd rather go to Minas Tirith and do the
research himself than go to Saruman and get lectured to as an inferior; and,
instead, would rather that Saruman ask him for help, which is what later
(via Radagast) did happen.

AC

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 3:57:32 PM1/26/04
to
["Followup-To:" header set to alt.fan.tolkien.]
On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 19:36:14 GMT,
Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote:
>
> "Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> a écrit dans le message de news:
> MPG.1a7effe35...@news.odyssey.net...
>>
>> The Ring is a ring, magical but still a ring. If it had the kind of
>> powers you suggest, it would have leaped off Gollum's finger at the
>> Sammath Naur.
>
> Indeed, I went too far, but if it wanted to, the ring would probably have
> found a way to live Frodo. But I think Christopher and Aaron are right : The
> ring probably didn't have the power to foresee its fate. It was only able to
> feel if it was on its way to Mordor. Therefore, the ring remained with
> Frodo, for he was taking it exactly where the ring was drawn to. At the last
> minute, when it realized it was in great danger, it influenced Frodo's mind
> to be saved. Luckily, Gollum was there.

There is no doubt that the Ring was largely responsible for Frodo's failure.
But I really don't think it was even sentient in that fashion so it could
think "Akk! Going to die. Change mortal's mind and make it claim me!"
which is how I read what you wrote above.

Frodo's failure was due to his long struggle with the Ring. The Ring was
exerting influence, but not in the way you suggest. It wasn't commanding
Frodo, so much as the "aura" for lack of a better word) became so strong
that, after his long rejection of the temptation, he no longer had the will
left to refuse. He did indeed fail, which means that it was more than the
Ring controlling his mind, but his failure was understandable, and there
could have been no other outcome.

Bob F.

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 4:14:13 PM1/26/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> took the time to write
news:7e9c827c518e7504...@news.teranews.com:

.
>
> I must admit that I don't fully understand the meaning of this
> sentence. Before your quote, we learn the following about Sméagol
> :"The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that familly was called
> Sméagol. He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep
> pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunneled into
> green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves
> on trees, or the flowers opening in the air : his head and eyes were
> downward" Leaving aside the part you quoted, this description suggest
> that Gollum is someone curious and who wants to learn how nature is
> working, though rather interested in the "below-ground science". I
> don't see anything mean or evil in that behaviour. Nevertheless, the
> last part of the sentence sort of imply that this is not a proper way
> of behaving. Any thoughts?
>
> Elwë
>
>

I think you could look at this passage as being agnostic about Smeagol's
inherent goodness or evilness. However, I always thought about it in terms
of what Tolkien loved. So, to me, by saying that Smeagol had ceased to
look at the trees and the beauty of those things in the light, he was
casting Smeagol in a negative way. I always felt that the above passage
was clearly pointing to Smeagol's tendency towards anti-social behaviour.
The Ring was able to turn him so quickly because of this.

Bob

Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:15:46 PM1/26/04
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote

> The Ring is a ring, magical but still a ring. If it had the kind of
> powers you suggest, it would have leaped off Gollum's finger at the
> Sammath Naur.


Ahem! Gollum's finger? :-)
Methinks you meant Frodo's lonesome finger.


Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:19:02 PM1/26/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid>

> Could Frodo's growing restlessness be of the same order - a
premonition
> that something is about to happen delivered by the same will that has
> chosen him? His restlessness definitely helps him accept the need to
> leave the Shire - we see how, "as he was speaking a great desire to
> follow Bilbo flamed up in his heart -"


That has always leapt out at me as well. It does seems a possible
candidate as a sort of intervention to strengthen this emotion. YMMV.


Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:28:12 PM1/26/04
to
"Jon Meltzer" <jonNOSPA...@mindspring.com> wrote
> "Pradera" <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote

> > If it could do that, it could transform itself into a helicopter and
fly
> > to Mordor, as well. It wouldn't be a Ring anymore.
>
> And, if it did transform itself into a helicopter, the Eagles would
pursue it.

And the Balrogs!


Raven

unread,
Jan 26, 2004, 2:21:17 PM1/26/04
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com...

> * "For sport killing nothing that lived", it says about Hobbits in "On
> Hobbits", remember? Now what does our Sam say one evening in The Green
> Dragon?
> "My cousin Hal for one. He works for Mr. Boffin at Overhill and goes
> up to the Northfarthing for the HUNTING".

There's a difference between killing animals for sport and killing them
for food, though some might see them as equally bad. Killing animals for
sport is when your objective is the thrill of the hunt or the glory of the
trophies taken. Tolkien stated that Hobbits did not do this; but they did
kill animals for the purpose of eating them. Both as farmers, killing
domestic animals, and as hunters.

Raafje.


Raven

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Jan 26, 2004, 3:59:13 PM1/26/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> skrev i en meddelelse
news:4014c4bd$1...@epflnews.epfl.ch...

> But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would then
> be possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the
> chain and then take back its original shape.

I am able to expand and contract my chest somewhat. I am not able to rip
it open, exposing the innards of my lungs, and then close it again with no
ill effects.
Keep in mind that there is a prefectly reversible process by which any
ring may expand somewhat, then contract. Heating and cooling. We know that
the Ring was able to soak up a lot of heat and not become perceptibly
warmer; after it was taken from Sauron's fiery hand it retained its burning
heat for a long time. It was able to survive heat that would melt iron. It
must have had some special powers as regards heat. This might be tied to
the mechanism by which it changed size.

Holló.


Ian

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Jan 26, 2004, 4:43:33 PM1/26/04
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a7eff571...@news.odyssey.net...

> It seems "AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >I really don't think the Ring was at all sentient. I've described its
> >actions before as a sort of automatic homing mechanism that Sauron
probably
> >put in the Ring on the off chance that he lost it.
>
> I have something of the same idea. I think of animals like ants
> being attracted to certain scents -- "tropism" is the word, I think.

That's the word. So - the Ring, and Smeagol/Gollum are...Saurontropic? Good
term!
-Ian


Count Menelvagor

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Jan 26, 2004, 6:40:47 PM1/26/04
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com>...

> * Gandalf says it is an encouraging thought, something is at work
> which makes, Frodo was *meant* to have the Ring, as *Bilbo* was meant
> to find the Ring "and *not* it's maker". Frodo does not understand
> this, neither do I, but Gandalf quickly changes topic. Bluffing again?

[Take two]

He's referring, somewhat indirectly, to providence. Compare Tom
Bombadil's "if chance you call it" and Elrond's "You have come and are
here met, by chance a it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather
that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must
find counsel for the perils of the world."

zett

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Jan 26, 2004, 8:51:09 PM1/26/04
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com>... [mucho snippo]

> * "For sport killing nothing that lived", it says about Hobbits in "On
> Hobbits", remember? Now what does our Sam say one evening in The Green
> Dragon?
> "My cousin Hal for one. He works for Mr. Boffin at Overhill and goes
> up to the Northfarthing for the HUNTING".

But if Hal ate what he killed, then it would not be killing just for
sport.

[snip]



> * Gandalf says it is an encouraging thought, something is at work
> which makes, Frodo was *meant* to have the Ring, as *Bilbo* was meant
> to find the Ring "and *not* it's maker". Frodo does not understand
> this, neither do I, but Gandalf quickly changes topic. Bluffing again?
>
> Henriette

I think foresight was on Gandalf, I don't think he would bluff about
something so serious. Someone who values the virtues of pity and
mercy so much- it makes sense to me to think he also holds faith in
the Allfather.

Stan Brown

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Jan 26, 2004, 10:01:06 PM1/26/04
to
It seems "Christopher Kreuzer" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

Well, possession is nine tenths of the law. After he bit it off,
Gollum owned the finger. :-)

But you're right, I should have said "Frodo's finger." Somehow I
thought Gollum had triumphantly put the Ring on his biologically own
finger; but the text indicates otherwise.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 27, 2004, 5:22:02 AM1/27/04
to
in <Xns947C86803D5DFli...@130.133.1.4>,
Bob F. <littlem...@yahoo.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> I think you could look at this passage as being agnostic about
> Smeagol's inherent goodness or evilness.

<snipping other comment, which I also agree with>

There's a bit about Sméagol's pre-Ring attitudes in Tolkien's letters:

[Letters #181, 1956]
"The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean
soul of Sméagol. But he would have never had to endure it if
he had not become a mean son of thief before it crossed his
path."

[Letters #214, 1958-59]
"Being a mean little soul he grudged it. Sméagol, being meaner
and greedier, tried to use the 'birthday' as an excuse for an
act of tyranny. 'Because I wants it' was his frank statement
of his chief claim."

The main statement here is of course that Sméagol was "a mean son of a
thief before [the One Ring] crossed his path."

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 27, 2004, 5:25:28 AM1/27/04
to
in <6bfb27a8.04012...@posting.google.com>,
Count Menelvagor <Menel...@mailandnews.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> He's referring, somewhat indirectly, to providence.

<snipping examples>

And Elrond's comment to Frodo in the Council:
'If I understand aright all that I have heard,' he said, 'I
think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and that if
you do not find a way, no one will.'

I think the reference to providence, when taking it all together, isn't
very indirect at all ;-)

Troels Forchhammer

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Jan 27, 2004, 6:50:10 AM1/27/04
to
in <9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com>,
Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> enriched us with:
>
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1
> Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past

<snip>

Excellent introduction, Elwë, thanks.
(This chapter has always, to me, been one of the key chapters to the
understanding of the tale as a whole).

> 9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss

The characterisation of Sam in this chapter:

We meet him on-stage for the first time in this chapter. First in the
Green Dragon in Bywater where he is portrayed as, at least as seen by
the other Hobbits, a dreamer and somewhat gullible (do we here see the
reason why his Gaffer in the first chapter felt the need to assert that
Bilbo meant no harm in teaching Sam his letters?)

In the end of this chapter we meet him again. This time he's been caught
by Gandalf at listening to Frodo and Gandalf's conversation:

"Eavesdropping, sir? I don't follow you, begging your pardon. There
ain't no eaves at Bag End, and that's a fact."

To this Gandalf rightly replies, "Don't be a fool!"

Sam now cries, "Don't let him hurt me, sir! Don't let him turn me into
anything unnatural! My old dad would take on so. I meant no harm, on my
honour, sir!"

And when finally condemned to join Frodo Sam springs "up like a dog
invited for a walk."

All in all I think that Sam is presented here as somewhat foolish and
quite simple-minded (even if he is also a dreamer) while at the end of
the book he has definitely grown - perhaps even more than Frodo (though,
starting from a lesser position he doesn't, IMO, quite reach Frodo's
ennoblement).

Stan Brown

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Jan 27, 2004, 9:51:32 AM1/27/04
to
It seems "Troels Forchhammer" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>in <9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com>,
>Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> enriched us with:
>> 9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss
>
>The characterisation of Sam in this chapter:

Thanks for pointing this out, Troels. I always tend to focus on the
"lore", but I think you're exactly right: this is where Sam's
character is set up, the humble beginnings from which he grows very
great.

Bill O'Meally

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Jan 27, 2004, 1:22:49 PM1/27/04
to


"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message

news:eZqRb.7808$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com...

> [Letters #181, 1956]
> "The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean
> soul of Sméagol. But he would have never had to endure it if
> he had not become a mean son of thief before it crossed his
> path."

<snip>

> The main statement here is of course that Sméagol was "a mean son of a
> thief before [the One Ring] crossed his path."

Do you have a translation of _Letters_? It states he's a mean *sort* of
thief in my book, without going into detail about his parents'
occupation. :-)
--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--


Henriette

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Jan 28, 2004, 12:18:30 AM1/28/04
to
"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message news:<Z%xRb.116626$fq1....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
> news:eZqRb.7808$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com...
>
> > The main statement here is of course that Sméagol was "a mean son of a
> > thief before [the One Ring] crossed his path."
>
> Do you have a translation of _Letters_? It states he's a mean *sort* of
> thief in my book, without going into detail about his parents'
> occupation. :-)

Bill, you write this because you do not pay attention to our
Scandinavian language threads. In Denmark someone like Gollum is
called a "mean son of a thief" ( I know English has it's own
expressions), so the translator gave credit to that.

Henriette

Henriette

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Jan 28, 2004, 12:31:42 AM1/28/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message news:<7e9c827c518e7504...@news.teranews.com>...

> (snip)This should not have been cut, though,


> together with the fact that Gandalf didn't want to pronounce the words in
> the original language...

Yes, that I always found a creepy line: "the language of Mordor which
we will not utter here"......
>
> (snip), we learn the following about Sméagol :"The most


> inquisitive and curious-minded of that familly was called Sméagol. He was
> interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed
> under trees and growing plants; he tunneled into green mounds; and he ceased
> to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening
> in the air : his head and eyes were downward" Leaving aside the part you
> quoted, this description suggest that Gollum is someone curious and who
> wants to learn how nature is working, though rather interested in the
> "below-ground science". I don't see anything mean or evil in that behaviour.
> Nevertheless, the last part of the sentence sort of imply that this is not a
> proper way of behaving. Any thoughts?
>

Objectively, I cannot find fault with Gollum in this quote either, but
"my heart tells me" that "ceasing to look up at the hill-tops, or the
leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air" and directing
one's head and eyes downward, is meant to mean a "low" form of
behavior.

Henriette

Bill O'Meally

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Jan 28, 2004, 12:36:54 AM1/28/04
to


"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.0401...@posting.google.com...

O...kay. <scratches head> I'm not sure if you're joking. I guess if
Tolkien had written that Smeagol was a mean "son of a bitch" it might be
translated that way. Does it really say "mean son of a thief" in the
Danish version???

Henriette

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Jan 28, 2004, 12:42:33 AM1/28/04
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<0ufRb.3966$_g.2...@news.get2net.dk>...
But cousin Hal had a regular job at Mr. Boffin's at Overhill ,now
didn't he, so he had money to go to a supermarket. So what did he go
a-hunting for, if not for the glory of shooting some bullets into some
scared furry animal?

> Raafje.

Oh shaddap (pulls a *big* feather out of Raafje).

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Jan 28, 2004, 12:50:23 AM1/28/04
to
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote in message news:<6bfb27a8.04012...@posting.google.com>...

> held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com>...
>
> > * Gandalf says it is an encouraging thought, something is at work
> > which makes, Frodo was *meant* to have the Ring, as *Bilbo* was meant
> > to find the Ring "and *not* it's maker". Frodo does not understand
> > this, neither do I, but Gandalf quickly changes topic. Bluffing again?
>
> [Take two]

? To tango?


>
> He's referring, somewhat indirectly, to providence. Compare Tom
> Bombadil's "if chance you call it"

I never dreamt I would live to see the times that *you* would quote
Tom Bombadil.

> and Elrond's "You have come and are
> here met, by chance a it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather
> that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must
> find counsel for the perils of the world."

This shows how far I have drifted away from my Christian upbringing,
because I hadn't considered this. But now that you mention it, I see
no other explanation.
Amazing how Providence works It's will in mysterious ways, when all It
had to do was look at the Ring and will it, and the Ring had crumbled
to ashes.

Henriette

Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Jan 28, 2004, 1:20:30 AM1/28/04
to
Henriette wrote:

<snip>

> Bill, you write this because you do not pay attention to our
> Scandinavian language threads. In Denmark someone like Gollum is
> called a "mean son of a thief" ( I know English has it's own
> expressions), so the translator gave credit to that.

He is? I didn't know that!

I've never heard that expression used

--
Kristian Damm Jensen
damm (at) ofir (dot) dk


ste...@nomail.com

unread,
Jan 28, 2004, 1:42:47 AM1/28/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@thisisfake.invalid> wrote:
: We meet him on-stage for the first time in this chapter. First in the

: Green Dragon in Bywater where he is portrayed as, at least as seen by
: the other Hobbits, a dreamer and somewhat gullible (do we here see the
: reason why his Gaffer in the first chapter felt the need to assert that
: Bilbo meant no harm in teaching Sam his letters?)

: In the end of this chapter we meet him again. This time he's been caught
: by Gandalf at listening to Frodo and Gandalf's conversation:

<snip>

: All in all I think that Sam is presented here as somewhat foolish and


: quite simple-minded (even if he is also a dreamer) while at the end of
: the book he has definitely grown - perhaps even more than Frodo (though,
: starting from a lesser position he doesn't, IMO, quite reach Frodo's
: ennoblement).

He is also presented as someone who does not change in 14 years.
The Sam we see in the Green Dragon is 14 years younger than the
Sam Gandalf catches eaves-dropping.

Stephen

Taemon

unread,
Jan 28, 2004, 4:23:01 AM1/28/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> Amazing how Providence works It's will in mysterious
> ways, when all It had to do was look at the Ring and will it,
> and the Ring had crumbled to ashes.

Obviously you have no idea of the Greater Plan in which all the
hurt and suffering is a necessity because it provided (!) the
participants with knowledge that the Allmighty could have given
them for free since It is all-powerful - wait. That wasn't how it
worked. You twisted everything, you daughter of a thief!

T.


aelfwina

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Jan 28, 2004, 4:56:29 AM1/28/04
to

"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
news:_caRb.7741$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com...
> in <7pXQb.21092$Un6....@news.get2net.dk>,
> Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:
> >
> > "Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> skrev i en meddelelse
> > news:9355844effebebcd...@news.teranews.com...
> >>
> >> 1) 17 years have passed between Bilbo's disappearance and the
> >> action of this second chapter. Frodo is almost 50 and he feels that
> >> this is a number of importance. Indeed, Bilbo was the same age when
> >> he left
> >> with Gandalf and the dwarves. Was Frodo expecting that something
> >> important was about to change his life?
> >
> > I should say so. It is so described in the book. Perhaps not
> > that he was positively expecting Adventure to fall like sudden rain
> > from the sky, but that he was approaching his fiftieth birthday with
> > an uneasy feeling, at least in part because he knew that this was
> > dear Bilbo's age when he had had his adventure.
>
> In various letters we learn how Frodo recieved a grace at various
> points in the story: to accept the quest and in the end.
>
> In this chapter we also have the motif of some other, supposedly
> higher, will meaning Bilbo to find the Ring and Frodo to get it (though
> it is no consolation to Frodo).
>
> There are other instances that might be interpreted as Frodo and Sam
> getting some kind of help from outside themselves (speaking words they
> don't understand etc.)

>
> Could Frodo's growing restlessness be of the same order - a premonition
> that something is about to happen delivered by the same will that has
> chosen him? His restlessness definitely helps him accept the need to
> leave the Shire - we see how, "as he was speaking a great desire to
> follow Bilbo flamed up in his heart -"

Could this "great desire" have been Gandalf's ring at work? Perhaps it's
the "flamed up in his heart" phrase that makes me wonder...
Barbara

TT Arvind

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Jan 28, 2004, 5:32:51 AM1/28/04
to
žus cwęš Henriette:

> > and Elrond's "You have come and are
> > here met, by chance a it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather
> > that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must
> > find counsel for the perils of the world."
>
> This shows how far I have drifted away from my Christian upbringing,
> because I hadn't considered this. But now that you mention it, I see
> no other explanation.

Not even synchronicity? <gapes in wonderment>

--
Meneldil

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

Troels Forchhammer

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Jan 28, 2004, 9:04:34 AM1/28/04
to
Bill O'Meally wrote:
>
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
> news:eZqRb.7808$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com...
>>
>> [Letters #181, 1956]
[...]

>> "if he had not become a mean son of thief before it crossed his path."
[...]

> Do you have a translation of _Letters_? It states he's a mean *sort* of
> thief in my book
[...]

No, my copy is in English and it also says "sort" - my finger must have
slipped (Freudian slip? ;-) and I failed to notice it when I copied it
to the next paragraph - sloppy!

Fortunately the meaning doesn't change all that much ;-)

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

Troels Forchhammer

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Jan 28, 2004, 9:11:18 AM1/28/04
to
ste...@nomail.com wrote:
>

<snip>

> He is also presented as someone who does not change in 14 years.
> The Sam we see in the Green Dragon is 14 years younger than the
> Sam Gandalf catches eaves-dropping.

No. The episode with Sam and Ted Sandyman in the Green Dragon
happen on the same night Gandalf reappears.

Sam's home trip from the Green Dragon is described. "He walked home
under the early stars through Hobbiton and up the Hill, whistling
softly and thoughtfully."

The next paragraph starts, "It was just at this time that Gandalf
reappeared after his long absence." Sam probably reaches Bag Row
three when Gandalf is sitting in Bag End chatting away with Frodo
(eventually - probably after Sam had got to bed - scaring Frodo
with strange hints only to say that "such matters were best left
until daylight" ;-)

--
______ | Troels Forchhammer
___/L_][_/(__ | Valid mail is t.forch(a)mail.dk
(___{__{__{___7 |
`(_)------(_)-' | My other .sig is a Rolls ...

Jette Goldie

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Jan 28, 2004, 1:10:45 PM1/28/04
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.04012...@posting.google.com...

> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
> > There's a difference between killing animals for sport and killing
them
> > for food, though some might see them as equally bad. Killing animals
for
> > sport is when your objective is the thrill of the hunt or the glory of
the
> > trophies taken. Tolkien stated that Hobbits did not do this; but they
did
> > kill animals for the purpose of eating them. Both as farmers, killing
> > domestic animals, and as hunters.
> >
> But cousin Hal had a regular job at Mr. Boffin's at Overhill ,now
> didn't he, so he had money to go to a supermarket. So what did he go
> a-hunting for, if not for the glory of shooting some bullets into some
> scared furry animal?


Hobbits don't have supermarkets and some foodstuffs are
only available in the wild. I sincerely doubt that any Hobbit
farmer was raising venison or grouse, pheasant or quail -
even hare. Sam seems to have had a liking for "coney" -
factory farmed rabbits or hunted?


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


ste...@nomail.com

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Jan 28, 2004, 2:11:01 PM1/28/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@thisisfake.dk> wrote:
: ste...@nomail.com wrote:
:>

: <snip>

:> He is also presented as someone who does not change in 14 years.
:> The Sam we see in the Green Dragon is 14 years younger than the
:> Sam Gandalf catches eaves-dropping.

: No. The episode with Sam and Ted Sandyman in the Green Dragon
: happen on the same night Gandalf reappears.

: Sam's home trip from the Green Dragon is described. "He walked home
: under the early stars through Hobbiton and up the Hill, whistling
: softly and thoughtfully."

: The next paragraph starts, "It was just at this time that Gandalf
: reappeared after his long absence."

I think I have always read that passage incorrectly. It says


"It was just at this time that Gandalf reappeared after his long absence.

For three years after the party he had been away."
I had read this that the long absence was the threes years after the
party. The paragraph then continues to describe Gandalf visiting
Frodo on and off over a period of years.

Stephen

Bruce Tucker

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Jan 28, 2004, 2:46:44 PM1/28/04
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote

> It seems "Elwë Singollo" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:


> >But if we admit that the ring can change its physical form, it would
then be
> >possible for him to "open" itself (ie locally melt) to slip from the
chain

> >and then take back its original shape. That would not be in
contradiction
> >with what is written wouldn't it?


>
> The Ring is a ring, magical but still a ring.

Absolutely. And the shape of a ring is a very significant one, beyond
the fact that it makes it convenient for wearing. It is a closed circle,
and the closure is vital: it is what allows the power in the Ring to be
bound up and contained within it. If the Ring ceased to be a ring, even
for a moment, it would destroy its own essential nature and unmake
itself.

And further, I think that even if it could reform itself afterwards, and
even if it possessed the consciousness to do such a thing and the
foreknowledge to know that it was possible, all of which are extremely
doubtful, it would no more do it than Gandalf, had he had a similar
foreknowledge, would have leaped off the pinnacle of Orthanc to his
death to escape from Saruman, hoping that his body would be tossed
outside on a rubbish-heap and he would then be sent back as Gandalf the
White to complete his mission.

--
Bruce Tucker
disinte...@mindspring.com


Bruce Tucker

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Jan 28, 2004, 3:00:22 PM1/28/04
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote

> >4) "The ring left *him*" (Gandalf about Gollum). The ring seems
to have
> >its own will and to be able to leave its bearer. According to
Gandalf, "It
> >could make no further use of him, (.)so(.) it abandoned Gollum". If
the ring
> >is able to foresee its future , why didn't it try to abandon Frodo
while he
> >was going to Mount Doom? Staying with him was pure suicide, wasn't
it?
> >Apparently, Frodo's will was bigger than the ring's.
>
> Even assuming the Ring has a will, there's not a lot it can do when
> a chain is threaded through it and then worn securely around Frodo's
> neck.

That's the immediate, physical reason, but I think there is a thematic
one as well. The Ring betrayed and abandoned two previous owners, Gollum
and Isildur. Both of them claimed it as their own, used it, and, to a
degree, trusted it to keep them safe from their enemies. The Ring left
Gollum despite this trust, mostly because he had grown careless with it,
and killed Isildur precisely because of his trust in it.

Bilbo claimed, used, and trusted the Ring as well, but he resisted the
Ring's power long enough that he was able to give it away before it
betrayed him. Frodo never really claimed it as his own (it was, IIRC,
"Bilbo's ring" until he discovered its identity, and then "the Enemy's
Ring," the object of the quest) or trusted it, and used it only very
infrequently, until the end. Without his trust, there was no opportunity
for betrayal, for betrayal can only come with trust. When, in the end,
he did claim the Ring, and attempt to use it to defeat his enemy
(Gollum), and trust that it would enable him to do so, it betrayed and
abandoned him at once, costing him a finger and nearly his life and the
fate of all Middle-earth as well, but for the intervention of
Providence.

--
Bruce Tucker
disinte...@mindspring.com


Igenlode Wordsmith

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Jan 28, 2004, 12:58:38 PM1/28/04
to
On 25 Jan 2004 Elwë Singollo wrote:

> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1
> Chapter 2 - The Sadow of the Past

[snip]

> 5) Why did Bilbo and Sméagol want to be considered as the legitimate
> owners of the ring? Did the ring persuade Bilbo to lie about what happened
> in Gollum's cave? But if he told the truth, what would the difference be?
> Bilbo was not afraid to be seen as a thief by the dwarves (actually he was
> hired for that matter).

He certainly didn't want to consider that he might have 'stolen' the
Arkenstone. He also tried to repay the Elvenking for the food he stole
while hiding in his halls. Bilbo doesn't seem to have been at all happy
with the idea of being called a thief...


[snip]


>
>
> 9) Please feel free to add any topics you'd like to discuss

Other thoughts:

Frodo assumes Bilbo is still alive because he has heard no news to the
contrary(?) But Bilbo was already elderly, in years if not in figure,
at the time when he left. In the natural state of affairs, the more
time that elapsed since he was last heard of the more probable it would
become that he had indeed died - of sheer old age. At what point, if he
had not left the Shire, would Frodo have been forced to decide that
Bilbo probably was dead after all?


Frodo is suspected of visiting Elves (as was Bilbo, apparently). Not in
Rivendell, clearly. What Elves? How did he know where to find them?


Seventeen years after the Birthday Party, when Frodo is 50, Pippin has
still not reached his majority. Surely he must have been very juvenile
to be a walking-companion for his older cousin at the start of this
chapter?


Many hobbits are literate (and enjoy a comprehensive postal service).
But they apparently don't employ either the elven-letters seen on the
Ring or the Dwarf-runes encountered in Moria. What script, one wonders,
*do* they use? (Presumably that of men in this Age... although I would
have assumed that Gondor, at least, kept its records in an elven hand.)


Birthday-presents: hobbits give other people presents on their
own birthdays. Yet we learn that Deagol has already given Smeagol a
present on the occasion of *Smeagol's* birthday. Customs have evidently
changed...


Why is Frodo, possessing the actual Ring, not drawn to Mordor like
Gollum, who retains only a memory of its possession? Or <evil thought>
- could it possibly be that *this* is the source of Frodo's increasing
restlessness, which he attributes to thoughts of Bilbo? The call of the
Ring? <grin>
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

When men are jaded in their emotions they demand monstrous things to arouse them

Henriette

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Jan 28, 2004, 4:08:31 PM1/28/04
to
"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message news:<WTHRb.117390$fq1....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:be50318e.0401...@posting.google.com...

> > Bill, you write this because you do not pay attention to our


> > Scandinavian language threads. In Denmark someone like Gollum is
> > called a "mean son of a thief" ( I know English has it's own
> > expressions), so the translator gave credit to that.
>
> O...kay. <scratches head> I'm not sure if you're joking. I guess if
> Tolkien had written that Smeagol was a mean "son of a bitch" it might be
> translated that way. Does it really say "mean son of a thief" in the
> Danish version???

I'm sorry Bill, I'll put :-) next time. I thought it was an obvious
joke, which you started with talking about "his
parents'occupation".....! But on re-reading my post I admit, it looks
almost serious to someone who does not realise I know not one word of
Danish....

Henriette