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Chapter of the Week - LotR Bk1 Ch6: "The Old Forest"

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Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 22, 2004, 7:28:01 PM2/22/04
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<http://parasha.maoltuile.org/> will give you information about previous
and future chapter discussions, as well as how to volunteer.

Summary

Frodo is woken up before dawn by an energetic Merry. As soon as their
preparations are done (and breakfast eaten), Merry leads the party
through the countryside, along the Hedge, and into the Old Forest. Fatty
takes his leave of them, and the Hobbits leave the Shire. The silent
hostility of the forest immediately makes an impression on the party.
A friendly shout from Pippin and a cheerful song by Frodo only seem
to increase this discomfort.

The hobbits lunch on a naked hill above the forest roof, and are given a
lesson in the local geography by Merry. As they leave the hill, they
find that the forest inevitably nudges them in the direction they do not
want to go - southeast, towards the root of the forest's "queerness". At
the bank of the river Withywindle they find a path which they follow
until a sudden sleepiness overpowers them. Sam is the only one who
doesn't find peace against the trunk of a willow, but remains alert
enough to save Frodo from drowning when he falls into the river. The
two then discover that Pippin and Merry are being swallowed by a
willow. Attempts to release them by lighting a fire only leads to the
tree squashing them harder.

Frodo, despairing, runs along the path, crying for help. To his
surprise, he is answered. The person he meets is man-like, yet not quite
a Man, and incessantly singing. He calls himself Tom Bombadil, and
easily makes the willow release the captive hobbits. He then promises
the travellers lodgings at his house and gives them directions on how to
find it. As they are again about to collapse from exhaustion, they reach
a neat garden, and a house emanating song and golden light.

***

Comments & Questions

Feel free to drag writings from this chapter, other Tolkien works, or
your own wild speculations into this discussion.


This is a chapter that leads into the unknown. The hobbits leave the
Shire, locking the gate behind them, and venture into unfamiliar
territory. This is symbolised by the dense mist that envelops them as
they set out, and returns to do so in the evening. However, the mist
doesn't reach Tom Bombadil's, which signals a small respite from the big
wide world. His garden is neat and ordered in an English manner, which
must be very comforting to the hobbits. But why does he have such a
pretty garden? Doesn't he like the forest?

This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
true. Are they?

The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?

They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance into a
place that seemed to be so unwelcoming? Were they just adventurous, or
had they been thinking ahead?

We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
footers?

How do the trees communicate? They seem to be pretty quick, both in
relaying information and in changing their formations.

Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
chosen for them by the Forest?

Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
path just when they needed him the most?

As the chapter begins, Frodo is still shaken by his dream, whereas Merry
is friskily prepared for the journey ahead. Further indications of
Frodo's spiritual personality versus Merry's being a man of action?

"I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch
away."

Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
power song has in Middle Earth? The fact that this power can be both
used and misused?

There is also an interesting contrast in that the tree makes the hobbits
sleep, whereas Tom says the tree should not be waking.

"In their shed they found the ponies; sturdy little beasts of the
kind loved by hobbits, not speedy, but good for a long day's work."

We did it for the dogs, and I believe the ponies deserve no worse. What
kind of modern-day pony would this kind resemble? The extremely small
toy horses, or a more rugged Northern type, such as a Shetland pony?
(guess where my money lies)

"In the midst of it there wound lazily a dark river of brown water,
bordered with ancient willows, arched over with willows, blocked with
fallen willows, and flecked with thousands of faded willow-leaves."

An example of Tolkien's willowy phrases of nature description. In this
case, it's also important for what follows.

We first meet the famous Tom Bombadil. As the author states, what he's
singing is nonsense, and clearly, his rhymes are not meant to be
poetical. However, his songs very much remind me of certain nonsense
lines in British folk songs (for instance "to me ri-fol-lair-ry, fol-
the-diddle-ay" or "must-a-whack-a-row-di-dow-now, right-a-fol-di-
daddy"). If you just listen to Tom Bombadil's singing without trying to
make sense of it, it's actually quite euphonious. Like "cellar door".

I'll leave the biggest question, "Who is Tom Bombadil", to the next
chapter discussion. };8)

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Ents for E-books

Kristian Damm Jensen

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Feb 23, 2004, 6:23:04 AM2/23/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife wrote:

> The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
> saying "Danger. Keep Out"?

No, this is just a natural phenomon. At that time of year spiders are
abundant, and the dew and fog makes their webs very visible in the morning.

I think Tolkien mention it to stress the slight sinister feeling: early
morning, fog, travelling into the unknown.

> Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
> the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?

Nope.

> They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
> iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance
> into a place that seemed to be so unwelcoming?

It would be useful, if the forest once again tried to attack the hedge. how
else would they get near the trees?

> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

Indeed. But as we know (some of us, at least) a million to one chances turn
out nine times out of ten. Which is good for Frodo, since this is neither
the first nor the last time he is helped by a million to one chance.

--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
"He deserves death."
"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some
that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to
deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all
ends." -- Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring

Elwë Singollo

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Feb 23, 2004, 4:21:47 PM2/23/04
to

> The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
> saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
> the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?

I do not think that it was Tolkien's way of saying "Danger". IMHO, he was
rather describing this foggy morning in a very realistic manner : When the
air is so saturated with water that little drops form on the cobwebs. I
don't think the hobbits remembered Bilbo's tale at this time. There is no
indication that these webs were larger than usual, and the poor hobbits
probaly had other things in mind than old Bilbo's stories.

>
> They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
> iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance into a
> place that seemed to be so unwelcoming? Were they just adventurous, or
> had they been thinking ahead?

Stranger : Merry seems to be the only one to know anything about this
passage...

> Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
> chosen for them by the Forest?

I am not sure that the Forest really forced the hobbits to go where it
intended.
In fact, we don't really know whether the trees really moved and spoke. As
you wrote, so are the old stories going, but are they true. Some hints are
given that the trees really have "powers" : there is the story in which the
trees attacked the hedge, and of course, old man willow. But I would rather
think that the forest didn't chose the hobbits way. They thought so, because
they were so freightened by the old stories, that they believed the trees
were up to no good, but save the old man willow, there isn't any direct
action from the forest on the hobbits. To me it gives the impression that
they were so sure the tress had bad intentions towards them, that persuaded
themselves that the forest was playing them trick and they panicked and got
lost.
Now there is still a question : Was the fact that the hobbit panicked a
concious act from the forest (i.e. did the forest make the hobbit panick),
or did they panick only because of the stories they heard about it, and the
trees didn't care at all?

>
> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

First time, but not the last one :-) But hey! isn't that part of Tom
Bombadil mystery?
>

> (guess where my money lies)
>

In a Swiss bank I hope!


Elwë


Raven

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Feb 23, 2004, 6:22:00 PM2/23/04
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"Tamfiiris Entwife" <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> skrev i en
meddelelse news:MPG.1aa3596cc...@news.online.no...

> But why does he have such a pretty garden? Doesn't he like the forest?

Probably he likes them both. I also have a garden; it is rather weedy,
though. Potted plants I do not have, on window-sills or tables.

> This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
> has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
> now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
> true. Are they?

Merry's rumours, somewhat more. Probably not Fatty's tales, referred to
us by Merry.

> We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
> swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
> Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

By Merry's tale it likely was - though probably the trees were trying to
reclaim the lands that once were their possession.

> Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
> hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
> footers?

Judging now by what we read in the following chapter, where Tom he speaks
in more detail about the ancient forest, quite certainly the trees dislike
all that gnaw and hack and burn, walkers and usurpers.

> Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
> chosen for them by the Forest?

Perhaps they could, if they had not brought ponies with them, and if they
had been as crafty in the wood as Aragorn the Strider.

> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

Providence it may have been - again and not the last time.

> We first meet the famous Tom Bombadil. As the author states, what he's
> singing is nonsense, and clearly, his rhymes are not meant to be
> poetical. However, his songs very much remind me of certain nonsense
> lines in British folk songs (for instance "to me ri-fol-lair-ry, fol-
> the-diddle-ay" or "must-a-whack-a-row-di-dow-now, right-a-fol-di-
> daddy"). If you just listen to Tom Bombadil's singing without trying to
> make sense of it, it's actually quite euphonious. Like "cellar door".

There is one thing I didn't notice during my first readings: it is that
even when he talks, Tom he talks in rhythm. Though admitted may it be, it's
sometimes hard to follow.

> Ents for E-books

Maybe Ents are for bidets?

Ramn the Black of Feather.


Count Menelvagor

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Feb 23, 2004, 7:50:58 PM2/23/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa3596cc...@news.online.no>...

> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

It's that Providence business again.

> "I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch
> away."
>
> Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
> but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
> power song has in Middle Earth? The fact that this power can be both
> used and misused?

Song as a creative power is bound with the fabric of Ea, why in the
Ainulindale it brought into being. I think this idea may owe
soemthing to Barfield's "ancient unities" and conveys the notion that
originally there was no distinction made among word, song, and effect,
so that to say a thing could be magical in itself. This could be pure
fancy, but I think it's an interesting idea anyway. (And Tolkien
wasn't above fancy.)

The notion may also owe something to Finnish mythology. If you want a
sampo (whatever the blazes that is), you sing for it.

Compare also the contest between Sauron and Fingon, consisting
entirely of song. "He sang a song of wizardry," etc.

AC

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Feb 23, 2004, 9:00:15 PM2/23/04
to
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 00:28:01 -0000,
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
><http://parasha.maoltuile.org/> will give you information about previous
> and future chapter discussions, as well as how to volunteer.

<snip>

> This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
> has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
> now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
> true. Are they?

Obviously some of them are, as a hedge was planted and there was still a
large clearing where the Bucklanders had burned the trees.

>
> The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
> saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
> the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?

I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I imagine
that represents danger.

>
> They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
> iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance into a
> place that seemed to be so unwelcoming? Were they just adventurous, or
> had they been thinking ahead?

I'm sure thinking ahead was part of it. Perhaps they were also thumbing
their noses at the trees.

>
> We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
> swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
> Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

This seems to have been the case. The Forest was clearly an unwholesome
place, at least to folks that walked on two legs.

>
> Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
> hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
> footers?

Considering that it was a remnant of a wood that had stretched to Dunharrow
(and farther as I recall), and that it seems axes may have been its demise,
I imagine it's a general dislike of two-footers.

>
> How do the trees communicate? They seem to be pretty quick, both in
> relaying information and in changing their formations.

I think we're dealing with something akin to Huorns here. Tolkien never
really explains what is in the Old Forest, and the biggest hint is Bombadil
talking about Old Man Willow being a big player. I'd love to know precisely
what Old Man Willow was. Was he an Ent gone bad?

>
> Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
> chosen for them by the Forest?

Tom Bombadil indicates that all paths lead to the vale of the Withywindle.

>
> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

I doubt there was any coincidence.

>
> As the chapter begins, Frodo is still shaken by his dream, whereas Merry
> is friskily prepared for the journey ahead. Further indications of
> Frodo's spiritual personality versus Merry's being a man of action?

There's no doubt that Frodo is the most introspective and spiritual of all
the Hobbits.

>
> "I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch
> away."
>
> Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
> but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
> power song has in Middle Earth? The fact that this power can be both
> used and misused?

As I recall, song is how Luthien toppled the original Minas Tirith and put
Morgoth to sleep. It seems that song does have potency.

>
> There is also an interesting contrast in that the tree makes the hobbits
> sleep, whereas Tom says the tree should not be waking.

As I questioned above, I'd just love to know what Old Man Willow was.

>
> "In their shed they found the ponies; sturdy little beasts of the
> kind loved by hobbits, not speedy, but good for a long day's work."
>
> We did it for the dogs, and I believe the ponies deserve no worse. What
> kind of modern-day pony would this kind resemble? The extremely small
> toy horses, or a more rugged Northern type, such as a Shetland pony?
> (guess where my money lies)

I'm guessing a rugged, working pony.

--
Aaron Clausen

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

AC

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Feb 23, 2004, 9:00:54 PM2/23/04
to
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 00:28:01 -0000,
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
><http://parasha.maoltuile.org/> will give you information about previous
> and future chapter discussions, as well as how to volunteer.

<snip>

> This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
> has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
> now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
> true. Are they?

Obviously some of them are, as a hedge was planted and there was still a


large clearing where the Bucklanders had burned the trees.

>


> The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
> saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
> the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?

I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I imagine
that represents danger.

>


> They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
> iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance into a
> place that seemed to be so unwelcoming? Were they just adventurous, or
> had they been thinking ahead?

I'm sure thinking ahead was part of it. Perhaps they were also thumbing


their noses at the trees.

>


> We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
> swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
> Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

This seems to have been the case. The Forest was clearly an unwholesome


place, at least to folks that walked on two legs.

>


> Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
> hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
> footers?

Considering that it was a remnant of a wood that had stretched to Dunharrow


(and farther as I recall), and that it seems axes may have been its demise,
I imagine it's a general dislike of two-footers.

>


> How do the trees communicate? They seem to be pretty quick, both in
> relaying information and in changing their formations.

I think we're dealing with something akin to Huorns here. Tolkien never


really explains what is in the Old Forest, and the biggest hint is Bombadil
talking about Old Man Willow being a big player. I'd love to know precisely
what Old Man Willow was. Was he an Ent gone bad?

>


> Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
> chosen for them by the Forest?

Tom Bombadil indicates that all paths lead to the vale of the Withywindle.

>


> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

I doubt there was any coincidence.

>


> As the chapter begins, Frodo is still shaken by his dream, whereas Merry
> is friskily prepared for the journey ahead. Further indications of
> Frodo's spiritual personality versus Merry's being a man of action?

There's no doubt that Frodo is the most introspective and spiritual of all
the Hobbits.

>


> "I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch
> away."
>
> Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
> but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
> power song has in Middle Earth? The fact that this power can be both
> used and misused?

As I recall, song is how Luthien toppled the original Minas Tirith and put


Morgoth to sleep. It seems that song does have potency.

>


> There is also an interesting contrast in that the tree makes the hobbits
> sleep, whereas Tom says the tree should not be waking.

As I questioned above, I'd just love to know what Old Man Willow was.

>


> "In their shed they found the ponies; sturdy little beasts of the
> kind loved by hobbits, not speedy, but good for a long day's work."
>
> We did it for the dogs, and I believe the ponies deserve no worse. What
> kind of modern-day pony would this kind resemble? The extremely small
> toy horses, or a more rugged Northern type, such as a Shetland pony?
> (guess where my money lies)

I'm guessing a rugged, working pony.

Glenn Holliday

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Feb 23, 2004, 10:30:23 PM2/23/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife wrote:
>
> ... However, the mist

> doesn't reach Tom Bombadil's, which signals a small respite from the big
> wide world. His garden is neat and ordered in an English manner, which
> must be very comforting to the hobbits. But why does he have such a
> pretty garden? Doesn't he like the forest?

But Bombadil's home life is rather more anarchic than most English
houses. This aspect of Tom is emphasized more in Tolkien's two
poems about him. So I don't see any conflict. Tom is at home
in his garden, in the forest, out boating, in Farmer Maggot's
kitchen, or anywhere else his whim takes him.

Also, the garden might reflect Goldberry more than Tom.

> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?

Put this together with his appearance at the barrow, which I
find even less likely. I have a criticism about that, but I'll
save it for that chapter :-) Tom's appearance doesn't quite
work as well as other examples of providence in LOTR because
Tom seems to operate more by chance than by providence.

> Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
> but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
> power song has in Middle Earth?

Sure. This is something I like about Tom. He's always singing,
even when he's talking. It's an image of song bubbling up
out of Nature. And Tom's nonsense is a refreshing contrast
to Tolkien's High Elvish poetry.

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 23, 2004, 10:34:37 PM2/23/04
to
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote in
news:6bfb27a8.04022...@posting.google.com:

> The notion may also owe something to Finnish mythology. If
> you want a sampo (whatever the blazes that is), you sing for
> it.
>
>

It's magic - a magical mill that grinds out what you tell it to.
Gold, salt (a precious commodity way back before when), etc.

--
mc

Henriette

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Feb 24, 2004, 2:44:18 AM2/24/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa3596cc...@news.online.no>...

> Summary
(snip)


> A friendly shout from Pippin and a cheerful song by Frodo only seem
> to increase this discomfort.

Here we differ somewhat on the emotional background. I would call
Pippin's shout fearful, at this point and Frodo very much
try-to-sound-cheerful: "but his voice sank to a murmur".


>
> Feel free to drag writings from this chapter, other Tolkien works, or
> your own wild speculations into this discussion.
>

Wild speculations, LOL! I would like to add how I am moved by Sam's
brave loyal perseverence in wanting to free Merry and Pippin from Old
Man Willow: "I'll have it down, if I have to gnaw it".

>(snip) doesn't reach Tom Bombadil's, which signals a small respite


from the big
> wide world. His garden is neat and ordered in an English manner, which
> must be very comforting to the hobbits. But why does he have such a
> pretty garden? Doesn't he like the forest?

Several questions you ask, are eleborated upon in the next chapter.
This is one of them. I will probably leave it for the moment, as I
don't think at this point we're supposed to know.


>
> This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
> has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
> now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
> true. Are they?
>

As is usually the case with rumours: some are and some aren't. If
Fatty is more frightened of the Old Forest than of Black Riders, the
rumours he heard were probably over-the-top.

> We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
> swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
> Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

My feeling is: defence was necessary, but this war seems to me to have
been unnecessarily harsh.

> Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
> hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
> footers?

This is told in the next chapter.


>
> Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction than the one
> chosen for them by the Forest?

No. (Next chapter)


>
> Wasn't it a marvellous coincidence that Tom came wandering down that
> path just when they needed him the most?
>

Elaborated upon in the next chapter.

> As the chapter begins, Frodo is still shaken by his dream, whereas Merry
> is friskily prepared for the journey ahead. Further indications of
> Frodo's spiritual personality versus Merry's being a man of action?
>

I would say Frodo's spiritual personality/melancholy character,
definitely very different from the cheerful hobbit of action Merry.

> "I'll sing his roots off. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch
> away."
>
> Song is very important in this chapter. The hobbits are lulled to sleep,
> but also saved by it. What does this reflect, if anything - the magical
> power song has in Middle Earth?

It reflects the power song has in Middle Earth, on this earth and in
the Silmarillion.

> The fact that this power can be both used and misused?
>

Definitely.

> We did it for the dogs, and I believe the ponies deserve no worse. What
> kind of modern-day pony would this kind resemble? The extremely small
> toy horses, or a more rugged Northern type, such as a Shetland pony?
> (guess where my money lies)

Shetland pony, same as mine?


>
> An example of Tolkien's willowy phrases of nature description. In this
> case, it's also important for what follows.

Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?

>
> If you just listen to Tom Bombadil's singing without trying to
> make sense of it, it's actually quite euphonious. Like "cellar door".

"Cellar door"?

> I'll leave the biggest question, "Who is Tom Bombadil", to the next
> chapter discussion. };8)

Why thank you! };8)
Brava Tamf! Excellent summary and points!

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 24, 2004, 2:57:25 AM2/24/04
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc3lc1f.2ac....@alder.alberni.net>...

> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 00:28:01 -0000,
> Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:

> > The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the author
> > saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits remembered
> > the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other premonitions?
>
> I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I imagine
> that represents danger.

You would make a good detective. I never thought of that!


>
> > We are told about the Forest encroaching on the Hedge, threatening to
> > swallow it. Would the trees actually have entered the Shire if the
> > Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?
>
> This seems to have been the case. The Forest was clearly an unwholesome
> place, at least to folks that walked on two legs.

Couldn't they have built a wall like the Israelian, and have refrained
from all the hacking and destroying?


>
> As I questioned above, I'd just love to know what Old Man Willow was.

As you probably recall, Tom spends quite some time talking about him
in chapter 7.

Henriette

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 24, 2004, 3:12:25 PM2/24/04
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help! Elwë Singollo has fallen in the water!

> I am not sure that the Forest really forced the hobbits to go where it
> intended.

a very good point. how much of the atmosphere in the forest is real, and
how much imagined? we keep being told how the hobbits feel steadily
worse in it, but the trees are never proven to do something - until they
meet the willow, that is. on the other hand, they *do* walk in a
direction they clearly wish to avoid, and they do meet the willow.

> In fact, we don't really know whether the trees really moved and spoke.

we don't, but Merry seems to think they do. ("Well, well!" he said.
"These trees do shift. There is the Bonfire Glade in front of us (or I
hope so), but the path to it seems to have moved away!"). now, he could
just remember the location of the path wrongly, but there's no reason
why he should have lost his head this early on.

> As
> you wrote, so are the old stories going, but are they true. Some hints are
> given that the trees really have "powers" : there is the story in which the
> trees attacked the hedge, and of course, old man willow. But I would rather
> think that the forest didn't chose the hobbits way. They thought so, because
> they were so freightened by the old stories, that they believed the trees
> were up to no good, but save the old man willow, there isn't any direct
> action from the forest on the hobbits. To me it gives the impression that
> they were so sure the tress had bad intentions towards them, that persuaded
> themselves that the forest was playing them trick and they panicked and got
> lost.

well, both human and hobbit minds work in mysterious ways, and
imagination is always the most likely reason for supernatural events.
Pippin is the first to give in, impressionable youngster that he is.
Frodo, worried about his dangerous quest, is next. but wouldn't Sam and
Merry be more levelheaded than letting themselves believe that the
forest was out to get them if it wasn't?

> Now there is still a question : Was the fact that the hobbit panicked a
> concious act from the forest (i.e. did the forest make the hobbit panick),
> or did they panick only because of the stories they heard about it, and the
> trees didn't care at all?

i'm still thinking that the trees cared quite a bit, but as we've seen,
it's very difficult to prove what they did or did not do.

> > (guess where my money lies)
> In a Swiss bank I hope!

in a swiss CHOKLIT factory, more likely...

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;
What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 24, 2004, 3:12:26 PM2/24/04
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help! Raven has fallen in the water!

> Probably he likes them both. I also have a garden; it is rather weedy,
> though. Potted plants I do not have, on window-sills or tables.

and do you have a wild forest just outside your garden fence?



> > Hobbits hadn't fought it so fiercely? Was this a "necessary war"?

> By Merry's tale it likely was - though probably the trees were trying to
> reclaim the lands that once were their possession.

the trees remind me a little of American Indians, actually - all the
land was theirs once, and now they're enclosed in this pitiful, fenced
reservation.

> > Could the hobbits possibly have gone in any other direction

> Perhaps they could, if they had not brought ponies with them, and if they
> had been as crafty in the wood as Aragorn the Strider.

they should have brought a dwarf!

> > Ents for E-books
> Maybe Ents are for bidets?

that would be the end of the ents...

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 24, 2004, 3:12:27 PM2/24/04
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help! AC has fallen in the water!


[forest rumours true]

> Obviously some of them are, as a hedge was planted and there was still a
> large clearing where the Bucklanders had burned the trees.

if the tree-war "long ago" was indeed long ago, a normal forest would
have reclaimed the glade by now. maybe the trees consciously stay away
from a place where they suffered so many losees. maybe the hobbits put
poison in the ground.

or perhaps it's Tolkien's normal way of marking that something happened
here, once (aren't there several places in his works where things never
grow after something terrible happened there?).

> > The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs.

> I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I imagine
> that represents danger.

indeed, the hedge is described as "looming" at this point, and the whole
passage gives me a feeling of unease. the cobwebs certainly don't make
it more cheerful.

[gate into forest]

> I'm sure thinking ahead was part of it. Perhaps they were also thumbing
> their noses at the trees.

they wouldn't be the first to think they could lock out the rest of the
world...

> I think we're dealing with something akin to Huorns here. Tolkien never
> really explains what is in the Old Forest, and the biggest hint is Bombadil
> talking about Old Man Willow being a big player. I'd love to know precisely
> what Old Man Willow was. Was he an Ent gone bad?

he certainly has more abilities than your average weeping willow. on the
other hand, he's clearly well rooted in his spot, and quite tree-like.
he must have gone treeish for a long time, if he's an ent.

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Hunting is no fun
when the rabbit has the gun.

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 24, 2004, 3:12:28 PM2/24/04
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help! Henriette has fallen in the water!

> Wild speculations, LOL! I would like to add how I am moved by Sam's
> brave loyal perseverence in wanting to free Merry and Pippin from Old
> Man Willow: "I'll have it down, if I have to gnaw it".

it would have created a beautiful contrast if he did: tree devours
hobbits, hobbit gnaws down tree.


> Several questions you ask, are eleborated upon in the next chapter.
> This is one of them. I will probably leave it for the moment, as I
> don't think at this point we're supposed to know.

this is why i asked for wild speculations! }:8)

> > (guess where my money lies)
> Shetland pony, same as mine?

yes. now, which colour?

> Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?

the willow was seen as a very powerful tree, as it would pop up again
even if you cut down most of it - i've seen this happen myself, with a
willow tree bordering the road. it was reduced to a stump by the road
authorities, but it's now back and sprouting as never before. because of
this power, i assume, it was used in witchcraft. (more here:
<http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.mythwillow.html>)

so maybe Old Man Willow symbolises the almost-beaten forest fighting
back?

in addition, the willow was often used as an emblem of sorrow and
mourning. someone who had lost their lover was said to "wear the
willow". although i doubt this is relevant, i find it most interesting.

> "Cellar door"?

it was a sound combination Tolkien really liked, without thinking about
the meaning. see <http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/vice.htm> for more.

> Brava Tamf! Excellent summary and points!

i get points for this? woo hoo!

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Away from home, I was longing for news
Winter after winter, spring after spring.
Now, nearing my village, meeting people,
I dare not ask a single question. (Li Pin)

Raven

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Feb 24, 2004, 3:55:33 PM2/24/04
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"Tamfiiris Entwife" <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> skrev i en
meddelelse news:MPG.1aa5c06df...@news.online.no...

> the willow was seen as a very powerful tree, as it would pop up again
> even if you cut down most of it - i've seen this happen myself, with a
> willow tree bordering the road. it was reduced to a stump by the road
> authorities, but it's now back and sprouting as never before. because of
> this power, i assume, it was used in witchcraft. (more here:
> <http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.mythwillow.html>)

I cut one of the thin willow-branches off a tree outside in a previous
place that I lived. I planted the branch in a bottle of water on my sill,
taking care that the lower end was kept dark: the bottle was of dark glass,
and I wrapped paper thickly around it. Hey ho! didn't take long for the
branch to sprout roots down there, and after re-potting it I soon had a
small willow-bush framing my window.
You don't do that with any old species of tree. Or leastaways I don't.

Hrafntje.


Raven

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Feb 24, 2004, 4:15:29 PM2/24/04
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"Tamfiiris Entwife" <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> skrev i en
meddelelse news:MPG.1aa5b1a4a...@news.online.no...

> > Probably he likes them both. I also have a garden; it is rather
> > weedy, though. Potted plants I do not have, on window-sills or tables.

> and do you have a wild forest just outside your garden fence?

A wildwood in Denmark? I think they have a small one over there -----> ;
otherwise they grow forests like crops in this country, well-tended and for
a purpose. But my point was that he could cherish both, a wild forest and a
tidy garden.

> > Maybe Ents are for bidets?

> that would be the end of the ents...

So long as the end of the Ents doesn't coincide with the end of Men, both
may be glad.
<this may be fertile ground for the tamil conspiracy>

Ravnur.


AC

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Feb 24, 2004, 4:41:35 PM2/24/04
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On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 20:12:27 -0000,
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
> help! AC has fallen in the water!
>
>
> [forest rumours true]
>
>> Obviously some of them are, as a hedge was planted and there was still a
>> large clearing where the Bucklanders had burned the trees.
>
> if the tree-war "long ago" was indeed long ago, a normal forest would
> have reclaimed the glade by now. maybe the trees consciously stay away
> from a place where they suffered so many losees. maybe the hobbits put
> poison in the ground.
>
> or perhaps it's Tolkien's normal way of marking that something happened
> here, once (aren't there several places in his works where things never
> grow after something terrible happened there?).

I think your first explanation most likely. The trees either feared the
place, or at least it invoked bad memories of when folk on two-feet got the
better of them.

>
>> > The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs.
>
>> I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I imagine
>> that represents danger.
>
> indeed, the hedge is described as "looming" at this point, and the whole
> passage gives me a feeling of unease. the cobwebs certainly don't make
> it more cheerful.

This is another point at which Tolkien shows his skill at setting the mood.

>
> [gate into forest]
>
>> I'm sure thinking ahead was part of it. Perhaps they were also thumbing
>> their noses at the trees.
>
> they wouldn't be the first to think they could lock out the rest of the
> world...

No, and it also seems to be a constant feeling with the Hobbits, that they
were seperate and untouchable. Any interference from the outside was far
beyond even in the eldest hobbit's memory, and created a society that I
think took navel gazing to new heights.

>
>> I think we're dealing with something akin to Huorns here. Tolkien never
>> really explains what is in the Old Forest, and the biggest hint is Bombadil
>> talking about Old Man Willow being a big player. I'd love to know precisely
>> what Old Man Willow was. Was he an Ent gone bad?
>
> he certainly has more abilities than your average weeping willow. on the
> other hand, he's clearly well rooted in his spot, and quite tree-like.
> he must have gone treeish for a long time, if he's an ent.

He seems a little too aware to be a Huorn, and a little too rooted to be an
Ent. My hunch is that he was an Ent that had become somewhat treeish. He
must have been one formidable Ent to be able to dominate so much of the Old
Forest.

Jon Hall

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Feb 24, 2004, 5:19:41 PM2/24/04
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In message <MPG.1aa5c06df...@news.online.no>
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:

> in addition, the willow was often used as an emblem of sorrow and
> mourning. someone who had lost their lover was said to "wear the
> willow". although i doubt this is relevant, i find it most interesting.

All around my hat....

--
jgc....@tiscali.co.uk
www.argonet.co.uk/users/jghall/

Belba Grubb from Stock

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Feb 24, 2004, 6:36:39 PM2/24/04
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On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 00:28:01 -0000, Tamfiiris Entwife
<fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:

>Feel free to drag writings from this chapter, other Tolkien works, or
>your own wild speculations into this discussion.

This isn't a comment or a wild speculation, but ever since reading
that they went through a spinney behind the house as they made their
way across the fields, I've wondered: what is a spinney?

>This is a chapter that leads into the unknown. The hobbits leave the
>Shire, locking the gate behind them, and venture into unfamiliar
>territory. This is symbolised by the dense mist that envelops them as
>they set out, and returns to do so in the evening. However, the mist
>doesn't reach Tom Bombadil's, which signals a small respite from the big
>wide world. His garden is neat and ordered in an English manner, which
>must be very comforting to the hobbits. But why does he have such a
>pretty garden? Doesn't he like the forest?

He doesn't fear the forest, clearly, as he knows the song for Old Man
Willow, and his very circumscribed territory does include the forest,
or at least that part along the Withywindle where he meets the hobbits
(and long ago found Goldberry) and exits somewhere into the Shire
either along the Withywindle or through the forest itself (and the
hedge) so he can occasionally meet Farmer Maggott.

I think he must go in the forest, too, because of Merry's comment here
that something makes paths there. The trees wouldn't do that, and the
Old Forest must be a biological desert in terms of animals that might
do so (as is true of many old forests). Also, Bombadil occasionally
tends toward autumn leaves for headgear, as we'll see in the next
chapter. As for the garden, well, vegetables are part of a balanced
diet (g) -- what sort of things could he get from the forest besides
nuts, twigs to brew tea with, some mosses and mushrooms, wild honey
and, of course, autumn leaves?

>This chapter is called, and takes place in, the Old Forest. The forest
>has already been mentioned several times in the previous chapter, and
>now both readers and hobbits will find out if the rumours about it are
>true. Are they?

Merry was probably correct in saying generally that it was very much
more alive, more aware of what is going on. But as for the rest of it
-- their driving the hobbits toward the Withywindle -- well, perhaps,
though I always wondered about those deep folds in the ground that
helped force the hobbits down to the Withywindle -- how could the
trees achieve that without Ents?

>They enter the forest through a tunnel and gate, made out of brick and
>iron. Why would the Brandybucks create such an elaborate entrance into a
>place that seemed to be so unwelcoming? Were they just adventurous, or
>had they been thinking ahead?

They have the tunnel there for when the fit takes them to go in
(Brandybucks must be very moody), and what better response to a
perceived threat from the living, green world than cold brick and hard
iron. A surprisingly mordorish touch there from the hobbits.

>Was this conflict the only reason the Forest resented the
>hobbits, or did the trees have a general reason for disliking two-
>footers?

Doesn't Treebeard say later that he can believe there is a remnant of
the Darkness (of Morgoth) in the Old Forest? Clinging to that
darkness, with the tendency unified and strengthened to palpable
levels under the will of Old Man Willow, whatever he was, would be a
general reason.

>How do the trees communicate? They seem to be pretty quick, both in
>relaying information and in changing their formations.

It's been shown that some trees and vines communicate, hasn't it?
Something to do with insect infestations. (Time out to google: Aha!
See "Do Trees Communicate For Mutual Defense?" at
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF7/762.html )

I know of four hobbits who would answer that question with a heartfelt
"yes!" As for the Old Forest, the best bet would be communications
via chemicals, through the leaves and root systems. Or maybe they're
just all pawns, robotically following Old Man Willow's intense will.

Barb

_____
Keep behind me. There's no sense in getting killed by a plant.
-- Tom Goodwin
_____

AC

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Feb 24, 2004, 6:33:33 PM2/24/04
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On 23 Feb 2004 23:57:25 -0800,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc3lc1f.2ac....@alder.alberni.net>...
>>
>> As I questioned above, I'd just love to know what Old Man Willow was.
>
> As you probably recall, Tom spends quite some time talking about him
> in chapter 7.

Unfortunately Tom really doesn't answer the question there either.

Henriette

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Feb 25, 2004, 3:10:49 AM2/25/04
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Jon Hall <jgc....@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message news:<f3e0f5854...@tiscali.co.uk>...

> In message <MPG.1aa5c06df...@news.online.no>
> Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
>
> > in addition, the willow was often used as an emblem of sorrow and
> > mourning. someone who had lost their lover was said to "wear the
> > willow". although i doubt this is relevant, i find it most interesting.
>
> All around my hat....

Lovely song, isn´t it? But I never knew that the fact she was wearing
"the green willow" "for a 12 months and a day" around her hat, was a
sign of *mourning*. I thought it was a sign she was getting over "the
false deluding young man", because she started to dress up again:-)

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 25, 2004, 3:18:02 AM2/25/04
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc3nnqd.2ig....@alder.alberni.net>...

> On 23 Feb 2004 23:57:25 -0800,
> Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc3lc1f.2ac....@alder.alberni.net>...
> >>
> >> As I questioned above, I'd just love to know what Old Man Willow was.
> >
> > As you probably recall, Tom spends quite some time talking about him
> > in chapter 7.
>
> Unfortunately Tom really doesn't answer the question there either.

He does for me. I do not mean this to be a nasty answer, just to
indicate a difference for us to ponder upon.

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 25, 2004, 4:37:56 AM2/25/04
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Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa5c06df...@news.online.no>...

> help! Henriette has fallen in the water!

I haven´t and I´m glad glad I haven´t, as it´s snowing cats and dogs
right now.


>
> > Wild speculations, LOL! I would like to add how I am moved by Sam's
> > brave loyal perseverence in wanting to free Merry and Pippin from Old
> > Man Willow: "I'll have it down, if I have to gnaw it".
>
> it would have created a beautiful contrast if he did: tree devours
> hobbits, hobbit gnaws down tree.

You are *definitely* one of AFT´s funniest posters.


>
> > Several questions you ask, are eleborated upon in the next chapter.
> > This is one of them. I will probably leave it for the moment, as I
> > don't think at this point we're supposed to know.
>
> this is why i asked for wild speculations! }:8)

One has to be a brave person to make wild speculations on AFT.



> > > (guess where my money lies)
> > Shetland pony, same as mine?
>
> yes. now, which colour?

Partly white and partly light brown?


>
> > Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?
>

(snip nice info on my favorite tree)
> <http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.mythwillow.html>)

Nice link! I do not find the "sad" willow sad, just because it let its
branches hang down, because the branches always dance and make soft
music. I did not know my clogs are made from willow-wood either:-)


>
> so maybe Old Man Willow symbolises the almost-beaten forest fighting
> back?

I´m always hoping for rainforests, willows and redwoods to fight back.


>
> > "Cellar door"?
>
> it was a sound combination Tolkien really liked, without thinking about
> the meaning. see <http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/vice.htm> for more.

Nice info again! I´m also fascinated by the mysterious looking Welsh,
Celtic and Finnish languages.


>
> > Brava Tamf! Excellent summary and points!
>
> i get points for this? woo hoo!

Yes, and a Shetland pony made of white and brown CHOKLIT.

Henriette

Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 25, 2004, 7:18:16 AM2/25/04
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in <slrnc3lc1f.2ac....@alder.alberni.net>,
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> enriched us with:

>
> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 00:28:01 -0000,
> Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
>>

<snip>

>> The forest Hedge is covered in cobwebs. Is this a sign from the
>> author saying "Danger. Keep Out"? Do you think any of the hobbits
>> remembered the spiders of Mirkwood at this stage, or had other
>> premonitions?
>
> I think it's more a sign that the woods are rarely entered, and I
> imagine that represents danger.

I'm not sure the Hobbits remembered Bilbo's tales, but there is, IMO,
a chance that the readers were supposed to remember Mirkwood.

<snip>

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

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience
- Piet Hein, /Omniscience/

Belba Grubb from Stock

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Feb 25, 2004, 9:32:00 AM2/25/04
to
On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 01:24:21 +0000, Alison <news....@ntlworld.com>
wrote:

>According to my dictionary:
>
>A small wood or copse, esp. one planted or preserved for sheltering
>game-birds; a small clump or plantation of trees.

Thanks! It wasn't in my dictionary, and over the years I've just
imagined some sort of a rotating gate that people could go through
(and their animals, if the people wished to bring them through) but
livestock couldn't.

I like that contrast -- the Brandybucks building a hedge against the
Old Forest and yet planting spinneys on their own lands.

Barb

Jon Hall

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Feb 25, 2004, 9:39:41 AM2/25/04
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In message <be50318e.04022...@posting.google.com>
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

> Jon Hall <jgc....@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message news:<f3e0f5854...@tiscali.co.uk>...
> > In message <MPG.1aa5c06df...@news.online.no>
> > Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > > in addition, the willow was often used as an emblem of sorrow and
> > > mourning. someone who had lost their lover was said to "wear the
> > > willow". although i doubt this is relevant, i find it most interesting.
> >
> > All around my hat....
>
> Lovely song, isn´t it? But I never knew that the fact she was wearing
> "the green willow" "for a 12 months and a day" around her hat, was a
> sign of *mourning*.

No - it's for her true love who is 'far far away'
Think 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon'....similar concept.
Jon.


--
jgc....@tiscali.co.uk
www.argonet.co.uk/users/jghall/

TT Arvind

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Feb 25, 2004, 10:06:55 AM2/25/04
to
žus cwęš Tamfiiris Entwife:

> we don't, but Merry seems to think they do. ("Well, well!" he said.
> "These trees do shift. There is the Bonfire Glade in front of us

Could it be possible that the trees were, perhaps, huorns or one of the
trees that were becoming entish? I think it rather unlikely that an
'ordinary' tree could move around.

--
Meneldil

Defend the right to keep and arm bears.

TT Arvind

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Feb 25, 2004, 10:12:56 AM2/25/04
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žus cwęš Tamfiiris Entwife:

> in addition, the willow was often used as an emblem of sorrow and
> mourning. someone who had lost their lover was said to "wear the
> willow". although i doubt this is relevant, i find it most interesting.

Do you? The idea of 'sorrow' fits in quite well with the "feel" of the
forest as regretting its decimation and domination by men who care
nothing for it or its trees as an end in itself.

You know, the general feel which Tolkien describes the Old Forest (and
for that matter Fangorn forest) as having is somewhat similar to that
which places like the remnants of the East Anglian fenlands give - a
sense of ancientness and untamable wildness. Does anyone feel similarly?

--
Meneldil

Zymurgy's Law of Volunteer Labor: People are always available for work
in the past tense.

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 25, 2004, 5:02:57 PM2/25/04
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help! Henriette has fallen in the water!

> I haven´t and I´m glad glad I haven´t, as it´s snowing cats and dogs
> right now.

i see, the water would be too crowded for you?

> > hobbits, hobbit gnaws down tree.
> You are *definitely* one of AFT´s funniest posters.

woo hoo! <makes a badge and wears it proudly>

> One has to be a brave person to make wild speculations on AFT.

the world needs more courage.

[Shetland pony]

> > yes. now, which colour?
> Partly white and partly light brown?

that's my favourite colouring, but my female intuition says these ponies
were mostly brownish all over.

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Tamfiiris Entwife

unread,
Feb 25, 2004, 5:02:23 PM2/25/04
to
help! Troels Forchhammer has fallen in the water!

[cobwebs on hedge]

> I'm not sure the Hobbits remembered Bilbo's tales, but there is, IMO,
> a chance that the readers were supposed to remember Mirkwood.

well, i did - at least when reading the chapter and trying to think deep
thoughts about it - and it would make me very happy indeed if my
thoughts were following the Path That Tolkien Intended.

hmm, he's a bit like the Old Forest in that respect...

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 25, 2004, 5:02:33 PM2/25/04
to
help! Belba Grubb from Stock has fallen in the water!

> This isn't a comment or a wild speculation, but ever since reading
> that they went through a spinney behind the house as they made their
> way across the fields, I've wondered: what is a spinney?

i wondered too, enought to look it up in the dictionary. however,
Alison's definition is better than mine.

> Merry was probably correct in saying generally that it was very much
> more alive, more aware of what is going on. But as for the rest of it
> -- their driving the hobbits toward the Withywindle -- well, perhaps,
> though I always wondered about those deep folds in the ground that
> helped force the hobbits down to the Withywindle -- how could the
> trees achieve that without Ents?

yes, the fact that the hobbits never see any movement on the part of the
trees is a good argument they are just imagining the trickery of the
forest.

of course, the landscape could already be formed that way with the trees
- which no doubt must have known the terrain well - taking advantage of
it. still, it does seem a little unbelievable that the trees in such an
ominous, still forest would go waltzing around the way the hobbits seem
to think they did.

> They have the tunnel there for when the fit takes them to go in
> (Brandybucks must be very moody), and what better response to a
> perceived threat from the living, green world than cold brick and hard
> iron. A surprisingly mordorish touch there from the hobbits.

so much for Tolkien the racist - i think he wants to show that every
race is capable of doing evil. the bad acts of the hobbits may not have
been very huge, but then, very few of their acts were.

[communicating trees]

> I know of four hobbits who would answer that question with a heartfelt
> "yes!" As for the Old Forest, the best bet would be communications
> via chemicals, through the leaves and root systems. Or maybe they're
> just all pawns, robotically following Old Man Willow's intense will.

i always imagined they'd be talking through leafy whispers in the air,
but there wasn't enough sound in the Old Forest when the hobbits were
there for that to have been the case. this explanation makes much more
sense. (thanks!)

Igenlode Wordsmith

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Feb 25, 2004, 2:50:25 PM2/25/04
to
On 24 Feb 2004 Henriette wrote:

> Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?

To be boringly prosaic - because ancient willow-trees do indeed have
great cracks running back into the heart of the trunk, just as
described, which flex and groan in the wind like open mouths as if the
tree is alive...

(I wonder if this passage had its origin in some childhood nightmare of
Tolkien's? It's the sort of thing a small boy confronted by a gaping
willow-trunk might very well dream of.)
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

Those jaded in their emotions demand monstrous things to arouse them

Igenlode Wordsmith

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Feb 25, 2004, 3:00:19 PM2/25/04
to
On 23 Feb 2004 Tamfiiris Entwife wrote:


> Summary
>
> Frodo is woken up before dawn by an energetic Merry.

I've only just noticed that this ties in to the end of the chapter
before - he is 'shaken and bewildered' from his troubled dream, and
the bright light and noise of thunder turn out to be Merry with a
candle banging on the door, not a premonition of Gandalf on Weathertop
at all ;-)

[snip]

> The hobbits lunch on a naked hill above the forest roof, and are given a
> lesson in the local geography by Merry.

What *does* make the semi-permanent tracks through the Forest
("something makes paths")? Is it Tom Bombadil? Is it the trees
themselves, and if so why?

Why is this one hill not wooded, and why does the path from the Bonfire
Glade lead directly there, and then down (had they followed it) into
the Withywindle valley? Would they have met Tom earlier if they had
taken it?

[snip]

> We first meet the famous Tom Bombadil. As the author states, what he's
> singing is nonsense, and clearly, his rhymes are not meant to be
> poetical. However, his songs very much remind me of certain nonsense
> lines in British folk songs (for instance "to me ri-fol-lair-ry, fol-
> the-diddle-ay" or "must-a-whack-a-row-di-dow-now, right-a-fol-di-
> daddy"). If you just listen to Tom Bombadil's singing without trying to

> make sense of it, it's actually quite euphonious. Like "cellar door".
>

Tom's nonsense syllables remind me of the hobbits' impression of
Ent-speech - and the lookout hill reminds me of the hill on which they
first meet Treebeard... Given the theories about Old Man Willow, is it
possible that all Ent-forests have a spot where the tree-herds can look
out over their flocks?


--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

- I don't want to 'fit in' any more... - That makes two of us!

Bruce Tucker

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Feb 25, 2004, 7:21:25 PM2/25/04
to
"Igenlode Wordsmith" <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote

> On 24 Feb 2004 Henriette wrote:
>
> > Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?
>
> To be boringly prosaic - because ancient willow-trees do indeed have
> great cracks running back into the heart of the trunk, just as
> described, which flex and groan in the wind like open mouths as if the
> tree is alive...
>
> (I wonder if this passage had its origin in some childhood nightmare
of
> Tolkien's? It's the sort of thing a small boy confronted by a gaping
> willow-trunk might very well dream of.)

Boy howdy, a Freudian could take that and run a mile or two with it...

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


Henriette

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Feb 26, 2004, 12:19:05 PM2/26/04
to
TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa6ca59f...@news.individual.net>...

> žus cwęš Tamfiiris Entwife:
>
> > we don't, but Merry seems to think they do. ("Well, well!" he said.
> > "These trees do shift. There is the Bonfire Glade in front of us
>
> Could it be possible that the trees were, perhaps, huorns or one of the
> trees that were becoming entish? I think it rather unlikely that an
> 'ordinary' tree could move around.

Even when a strong will wanted it? I think they moved, under the
influence of Old Man Willow, with a little help of their own
resentment. IMO not less likely than a Ring making one invisible....

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 26, 2004, 12:25:56 PM2/26/04
to
Jon Hall <jgc....@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message news:<9b994f864...@tiscali.co.uk>...

Well, at least he gave the lady in the Willow-hat "a fine diamond
ring". Maybe the man from the Yellow Ribbons did likewise, but did not
*buy* the ring, so he was locked up.

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 26, 2004, 12:32:09 PM2/26/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa70ee8b...@news.online.no>...

> help! Henriette has fallen in the water!
>
> > I haven愒 and I惴 glad glad I haven愒, as it愀 snowing cats and dogs

> > right now.
>
> i see, the water would be too crowded for you?

Yes. Cats, dogs, and all the people you pushed into it!


>
> [Shetland pony]
> > > yes. now, which colour?
> > Partly white and partly light brown?
>
> that's my favourite colouring, but my female intuition says these ponies
> were mostly brownish all over.

Yes, so does mine:-)

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 26, 2004, 12:41:40 PM2/26/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in message news:<2004022600065...@gacracker.org>...

> On 24 Feb 2004 Henriette wrote:
>
> > Why is the Bad Tree a willow, my favorite of trees?
>
> To be boringly prosaic - because ancient willow-trees do indeed have
> great cracks running back into the heart of the trunk, just as
> described, which flex and groan in the wind like open mouths as if the
> tree is alive...

In the city our young willows don't get a chance to grow ancient. So I
simply wasn't aware of the cracks and the flex... Thank you for
explaining.

> (I wonder if this passage had its origin in some childhood nightmare of
> Tolkien's? It's the sort of thing a small boy confronted by a gaping
> willow-trunk might very well dream of.)

In any case he had a special connection with trees.

Henriette

Henriette

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Feb 26, 2004, 12:48:36 PM2/26/04
to
Tamfiiris Entwife <fighti...@a-spamfree.world.invalid> wrote in message news:<MPG.1aa70de18...@news.online.no>...

> help! Belba Grubb from Stock has fallen in the water!
>
> [communicating trees]
>
> > I know of four hobbits who would answer that question with a heartfelt
> > "yes!" As for the Old Forest, the best bet would be communications
> > via chemicals, through the leaves and root systems. Or maybe they're
> > just all pawns, robotically following Old Man Willow's intense will.
>
> i always imagined they'd be talking through leafy whispers in the air,
> but there wasn't enough sound in the Old Forest when the hobbits were
> there for that to have been the case. this explanation makes much more
> sense. (thanks!)

Which explanation, because Barb gives two? I think the Old Man Willow
may accomplish a lot through his will (as we all may), but I still
think the trees also talk through leafy whispers, mainly in the night.

Henriette

Tamfiiris Entwife

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Feb 26, 2004, 2:36:32 PM2/26/04