Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 "The Forbidden Pool"

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Belba Grubb From Stock

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Oct 25, 2004, 8:01:52 PM10/25/04
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Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 - The
Forbidden Pool

To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

_____________________
What else could he do?-to keep faith, as near as might be, with both
sides. "Come!" he said. "Or the Precious will be angry."
_____________________


CHAPTER SUMMARY :

Frodo is awakened by Faramir, who wishes the hobbit to see moonset
over Gondor and also to ask his advice about something. Sam wakes up
as they leave and follows them up winding stony passages out of the
cave and onto an open ledge overlooking the stream. After several
moments of watching the beautiful moonset over Anduin vale and
wondering where his friends are and if they are still alive or dead,
Frodo's attention is drawn to a dark figure fishing in the pool far
below them. Faramir asks Frodo if they should shoot it, for the
penalty for coming to Henneth Annun unbidden is death. Frodo asks
Faramir to spare the fisherman in the dark, who is clearly Gollum,
because the creature is miserable and unaware of the danger, because
Mithrandir would have bade Faramir spare him and also because Frodo
guesses Gollum is in some way bound up with his errand. Faramir is
amazed to learn that Gollum has borne the Ring himself and has been
serving as the guide for Frodo and Sam. Frodo offers to go down and
get Gollum and to be shot if he fails. Faramir takes him up on it,
holding the bow himself, and bids Anborn to lead Frodo down to the
pool.

Frodo approaches Gollum alone and when he hears the nasssty voice
again, yess, precious, feels that he really wants to have the archers
kill Gollum. But he recognizes that "Gollum had a claim on him now.
The servant has a claim on the master for service, even service in
fear." He also recognizes that Gandalf would not have wanted that.
Frodo talks to Gollum and asks him to come along. Gollum balks and
Frodo commands him via the Ring. Gollum obeys but cautiously and
mistrustfully, and when he senses the presence of the men, the green
light comes back into his eyes and he believes Frodo has betrayed him.
Anborn and other Dunedain grab Gollum, tie him up and put a bag over
his head and they all go back into the cave to Faramir's seat.
Faramir questions Gollum, remits the death penalty as long as Gollum
remains in Frodo's custody and declares Frodo and all who go with him
free to travel in Gondor for a year and a day, after which time he
must present himself before the Steward, where Faramir will ask the
Steward to confirm his action and make it lifelong.

When Faramir discovers that Gollum plans to take the hobbits into
Mordor via Cirith Ungol he dismisses Gollum and warns Frodo not to
follow Gollum or to go that route. He also tells Frodo about Minas
Morgul, which the route approaches very closely, and notes that is the
home base of the Nazgul and a very evil place. But Frodo asks Faramir
where else the Man would direct him, and if he turned back "where then
shall I go among Elves or Men?"

Faramir has no answer to that and notes that "[i]t is a hard doom and
a hopeless errand." He then tells Frodo to at least beware of
Gollum/Smeagol and bids the hobbit farewell until a time when "[i]f
ever beyond hope you return to the lands of the living and we re-tell
our tales, sitting by a wall in the sun, laughing at old grief…or some
other time beyond the vision of the Seeing-stones of Numenor."

DISCUSSION POINTS:
-- There are a great many beautiful descriptions in this work, but the
"dazzling veil of silk and pearls and silver thread: melting icicles
of moonlight" here is my favorite. I wonder why JRRT shows it to us
through the eyes of Sam, who is the least "elven" of the three who
pass by it just now.

-- A secondary character note: Anborn sounds as though he'd really
like to shoot Gollum and his wordless grunt in response to Faramir's
command to lead Frodo down to the pool seems to hint that he
disapproves of Faramir's actions regarding the hobbits and Gollum.
But he obeys. Reminds me of a gruff old sergeant. :-)

-- It's interesting that Gollum calls himself Smeagol while sitting
alone. A measure, perhaps, of the depth of the change effected by
Frodo? He shows an almost personable independence here, too, telling
Frodo rather primly "Master can wait. Smeagol hasn't finished." It's
sort of a natural "I'm hurt that you left me and so the heck with you"
thing anyone would do, indirectly asking for an apology.

-- Frodo's reactions during this sequence are very interesting:
1) He has a very understandable impulse to get the men of Gondor to
kill Gollum;
2) He rejects that impulse because of a feeling that Gollum has a
claim on him for service, which is not one of the reasons he gave to
Faramir just moments earlier, and only secondarily because he feels
Gandalf would not have wanted it. I don't know if there's an answer
to this question, but is Frodo being realistic about this claim Gollum
has on him for service? Could it be argued instead that Gollum's
service was a result of his oath on the Ring held by Frodo, and that
the Ring is really the basis of the connection between the two,
twisting not only Gollum but now Frodo here, though he doesn't realize
it?
3) When Gollum refuses to come with him, Frodo "desperately" orders
him via the Ring and Gollum obeys. Was his desperation natural or
Ring-induced? What would have happened if Frodo, especially without
Sam around, had instead just apologized to Gollum for going off with
the Men?
4) Frodo then feels very guilty and wonders what else he could have
done but try to keep faith as near as possible with both sides. What
two sides? Are they really Gollum and the Men of Gondor, or is Frodo
feeling something internal here, something splitting inside that is
remotely akin to the major personality split in Gollum/Smeagol?

-- What's going on when Faramir stares at Gollum and Gollum returns
the gaze? Is Faramir reading Gollum's mind here? It's very
reminiscent of what Gandalf does with Pippin after that unfortunate
has looked into the palantir, and this sort of underlines Sam's
earlier comment that Faramir reminded him of Gandalf, of wizards.

-- The scene in the cave between Faramir, Gollum, Frodo and Sam is so
well balanced between the comical ("…and take your fish!"), the
dramatic ("Would you have me come to Gondor with this Thing, the Thing
that drove your brother mad with desire?"), and the ongoing close
interaction between Faramir and Frodo ("For it seems less evil to
counsel another man to break troth than to do so oneself, especially
if one sees a friend bound unwitting to his own hard."). That's
excellent writing in any form of literature. And there is also more
information conveyed about the legal customs of hobbits, the history
of Minas Morgul and the Nazgul and

-- Is this the first place where it is clarified that all the Nine
were once Numenoreans? Who then were the fell men whom Sauron had
first dominated and to whom, under the leadership of the Nine, Minas
Ithil finally fell?

-- Your thoughts, comments and questions….

Barb

Glenn Holliday

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Oct 25, 2004, 9:24:13 PM10/25/04
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Thanks for working on another chapter, Barb.

Belba Grubb From Stock wrote:
>
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 - The
> Forbidden Pool
>

> 3) When Gollum refuses to come with him, Frodo "desperately" orders


> him via the Ring and Gollum obeys. Was his desperation natural or
> Ring-induced? What would have happened if Frodo, especially without
> Sam around, had instead just apologized to Gollum for going off with
> the Men?

I've often wondered about this. I understand Frodo's desperation,
yet the resolution of this seems a bit artificial and forced.
I suspect Tolkien had decided the plot needed to turn Smeagol
away from Frodo at this point, and I'm not completely satisfied
with how he got from point A to point B.

I've always thought a reasonable approach would have been
"Smeagol, Men will kill us both now if we don't do as they say.
If Smeagol and Master go with Men now, I promise we will go
free in the morning."

> 4) Frodo then feels very guilty and wonders what else he could have
> done but try to keep faith as near as possible with both sides. What
> two sides? Are they really Gollum and the Men of Gondor, or is Frodo
> feeling something internal here, something splitting inside that is
> remotely akin to the major personality split in Gollum/Smeagol?

I think something is going on. Frodo comes close to cracking
under the pressure here ... at least, he impulsively threatens
Gollum in a way that's suddenly different than his previous
interactions. There's a difference I haven't fully analyzed
"Swear by the Precious" and "The Precious will be angry."
Chalking it up to the Ring beginning to warp Frodo's personality
it the only way I can explain away both the incongruity in Frodo's
behavior and the choppy, unsatisfactory resolution of the episode.

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

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Oct 27, 2004, 11:52:41 AM10/27/04
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Glenn Holliday wrote:

> Thanks for working on another chapter, Barb.

:-) Labor of love, as they say.

(snip)

>>3) When Gollum refuses to come with him, Frodo "desperately" orders
>>him via the Ring and Gollum obeys. Was his desperation natural or
>>Ring-induced? What would have happened if Frodo, especially without
>>Sam around, had instead just apologized to Gollum for going off with
>>the Men?
>
>
> I've often wondered about this. I understand Frodo's desperation,
> yet the resolution of this seems a bit artificial and forced.
> I suspect Tolkien had decided the plot needed to turn Smeagol
> away from Frodo at this point, and I'm not completely satisfied
> with how he got from point A to point B.
>
> I've always thought a reasonable approach would have been
> "Smeagol, Men will kill us both now if we don't do as they say.
> If Smeagol and Master go with Men now, I promise we will go
> free in the morning."

It took a real long time to see Gollum's "human" presentation here as
feeling that somebody he cares for went off with somebody else and left
him. I actually like him more for saying that 'Master can wait, Smeagol
hasn't finished yet.' It's a sign of positive self-esteem (though
perhaps JRRT's use of 'Smeagol' here was a little too subtle). Then
Frodo's use of the Ring hits him like a sledgehammer, perhaps
strengthening the Gollum half and making it easier for him to eventually
decide to turn to Shelob while he's leading Frodo and Sam to the Morgul
Vale from Henneth Annun. Sam's later "sneak" accusation then
administers the finishing blow to the Smeagol half.

I really don't understand Frodo's desperation. Granted, he's in the
dark and Faramir's up there with a bow and so forth and the overall
situation is not an easy one and Gollum is basically a bloody-handed
lunatic...hmmm, maybe I can understand it after all. ;^)

>>4) Frodo then feels very guilty and wonders what else he could have
>>done but try to keep faith as near as possible with both sides. What
>>two sides? Are they really Gollum and the Men of Gondor, or is Frodo
>>feeling something internal here, something splitting inside that is
>>remotely akin to the major personality split in Gollum/Smeagol?
>
>
> I think something is going on. Frodo comes close to cracking
> under the pressure here ... at least, he impulsively threatens
> Gollum in a way that's suddenly different than his previous
> interactions. There's a difference I haven't fully analyzed
> "Swear by the Precious" and "The Precious will be angry."
> Chalking it up to the Ring beginning to warp Frodo's personality
> it the only way I can explain away both the incongruity in Frodo's
> behavior and the choppy, unsatisfactory resolution of the episode.

Well, at first it's easy to resolve it by accepting Sam's comment that
there will be misery wherever Gollum is, and then Faramir neatly takes
over and ends the chapter with a beautiful farewell to Frodo.

It's when you look at it more closely that you begin to see all the
unresolved stuff. There *are* two sides in a sense: Faramir is way
higher and Gollum way lower than any Shire hobbit can be expected to be
comfortable around for long and still retain simplicity and much of his
native "hobbit sense," and too, Frodo does seem to be the sort of
individual who is very strongly influenced by those around him rather
than somebody (say, Aragorn or Gandalf or Treebeard) who can be strong
in himself and just add those two experiences into his whole general
experience and take control, or to be more brief, who can handle it
successfully. Frodo's in over his head. That's perhaps where the sense
of choppiness and dissatisfaction is coming from; but if so, there may
be a purpose to it, i.e., setting us up for Frodo's eventual claim to
the Ring by showing us here how he turns to the Ring to handle Gollum
when it's possible that Gollum was in such a positive mood, despite all
the snarling and reflex resentment and self-pity, that just a simple
apology and some kindness, the sorts of things that would ordinarily
come to Frodo quite naturally, might have worked better.

I wonder, though, if here JRRT perhaps overdid the beautiful and noble
stuff -- all the descriptions, Faramir's remarkable and very attractive
character and how he handles the surprise revelation of Frodo's mission
-- at the expense of basic plot progression and character development.

Barb


Glenn Holliday

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Oct 27, 2004, 4:29:31 PM10/27/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock wrote:
>
> Glenn Holliday wrote:
>
> > I think something is going on. Frodo comes close to cracking
> > under the pressure here ... at least, he impulsively threatens
> > Gollum in a way that's suddenly different than his previous
> > interactions. There's a difference I haven't fully analyzed
> > "Swear by the Precious" and "The Precious will be angry."
> > Chalking it up to the Ring beginning to warp Frodo's personality
> > it the only way I can explain away both the incongruity in Frodo's
> > behavior and the choppy, unsatisfactory resolution of the episode.
...

> successfully. Frodo's in over his head. That's perhaps where the sense
> of choppiness and dissatisfaction is coming from; but if so, there may
> be a purpose to it, i.e., setting us up for Frodo's eventual claim to
> the Ring by showing us here how he turns to the Ring to handle Gollum
> when it's possible that Gollum was in such a positive mood, despite all
> the snarling and reflex resentment and self-pity, that just a simple
> apology and some kindness, the sorts of things that would ordinarily
> come to Frodo quite naturally, might have worked better.

I like that thought.

I've thought further about just what is different in Frodo's
behavior.

Gollum swearing by the Precious - Frodo uses the Ring as a tool.
Frodo threatening the Precious will be angry - Frodo permits
the Ring to act as an agent with its own motives.

I think this is a significant turning point in Frodo's relationship
to the Ring.

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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 31, 2004, 5:18:10 PM10/31/04
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Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:

> I wonder, though, if here JRRT perhaps overdid the beautiful and noble
> stuff -- all the descriptions, Faramir's remarkable and very
> attractive character and how he handles the surprise revelation of
> Frodo's mission -- at the expense of basic plot progression and
> character development.

Not quite sure what you mean here. Can you think of a few more examples
of this sort of thing?

Christopher

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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 31, 2004, 5:18:05 PM10/31/04
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Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org> wrote:

<snip>

> I've thought further about just what is different in Frodo's
> behavior.
>
> Gollum swearing by the Precious - Frodo uses the Ring as a tool.

That was in the 'Taming of Smeagol' chapter wasn't it?

"Swear by it, if you will. For you know where it is. Yes, you know,
Smeagol. It is before you."

[Here, Frodo refers to the Ring as 'it']

> Frodo threatening the Precious will be angry - Frodo permits
> the Ring to act as an agent with its own motives.

"Precious will be angry. I shall take Precious, and I shall say: make
him swallow the bones and choke. Never taste fish again. Come, Precious
is waiting!" (Frodo speaking to Gollum, The Forbidden Pool)

[Here, Frodo calls the Ring 'Precious' - but maybe this is because he is
talking to Gollum]

I like this distinction. It is tempting to look at the other uses of the
Ring by Frodo, though maybe there is only one: the famous 'wheel of
fire' incident (on the slopes of Mount Doom). Though there is is
extremely difficult to be sure whether the Ring or Frodo is speaking,
though that is undoubtedly the point.

"I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is no veil between me and the
wheel of fire. I begin to see it even with my waking eyes, and all else
fades."

and later:

"Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall
be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom." (Mount Doom)

[Here, Frodo refers to the Ring as a 'wheel of fire' and also, possibly,
he refers to the Ring as 'me']

It looks like a logical step further along the road of succumbing to the
Ring, leading to the final moment at the Cracks of Doom, where it is
definitely Frodo speaking. Or is it...

> I think this is a significant turning point in Frodo's relationship
> to the Ring.

Definitely.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 31, 2004, 5:18:18 PM10/31/04
to
Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org> wrote:
> Belba Grubb From Stock wrote:
>>
>> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 - The
>> Forbidden Pool
>
>> 3) When Gollum refuses to come with him, Frodo "desperately" orders
>> him via the Ring and Gollum obeys. Was his desperation natural or
>> Ring-induced? What would have happened if Frodo, especially without
>> Sam around, had instead just apologized to Gollum for going off with
>> the Men?
>
> I've often wondered about this.

<snip>

> I've always thought a reasonable approach would have been
> "Smeagol, Men will kill us both now if we don't do as they say.
> If Smeagol and Master go with Men now, I promise we will go
> free in the morning."

What reason would Gollum have to believe Frodo? He might think that
Frodo is being forced to do this to trap Gollum. I agree that this might
have avoided Gollum's sense of betrayal, but there is a greater danger
that Gollum might just bolt if Frodo tells him that there are Men about.
That might have fatal consequences for Frodo and Gollum, though it is
moot whether Faramir would actually have shot either of them, and also
whether _Frodo_ believes that Faramir will shoot them. I think that
Faramir would _not_ have shot them (else why did he take the bow from
Anborn), but that Frodo believes that Faramir _will_ shoot Gollum (but
maybe not himself).

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 31, 2004, 6:16:13 PM10/31/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 - The
> Forbidden Pool

Thanks for this, Barb. Some interesting stuff here.

> CHAPTER SUMMARY :
>
> Frodo is awakened by Faramir, who wishes the hobbit to see moonset
> over Gondor

I love the description of that scene:

"The world was quiet and cold, as if dawn were near. Far off in the West
the full moon was sinking, round and white. Pale mists shimmered in the
great vale below: a wide gulf of silver fume, beneath which rolled the
cool night-waters of the Anduin. A black darkness loomed beyond, and in
it glinted, here and there, cold, sharp, remote, white as the teeth of
ghosts, the peaks of Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains of the Realm of
Gondor, tipped with everlasting snow."

If you've ever seen snow-tipped mountains in the moonlight, you'll know
what this scene is describing.

Frodo also wonders:

"Why was he brought here out of forgetful sleep?"

I find the reference to 'forgetful sleep' interesting, as if Frodo is
trying to escape from the torment of his journey and burden into
"forgetful sleep".

<snip>

> Faramir is amazed to learn that Gollum has borne the Ring himself

And Frodo says that:

"I think he is allured here by a mastering desire..."

> Frodo approaches Gollum alone and when he hears the nasssty voice
> again, yess, precious, feels that he really wants to have the archers
> kill Gollum.

This mental discussion does remind me of the verbal discussion we hear
in an earlier chapter from the two sides of Gollum.

> when [Gollum] senses the presence of the men, the green


> light comes back into his eyes and he believes Frodo has betrayed him.

This green light is interesting, if a bit fantastical.

<snip>

> Faramir [...] declares Frodo and all who go with him


> free to travel in Gondor for a year and a day, after which time he
> must present himself before the Steward, where Faramir will ask the
> Steward to confirm his action and make it lifelong.

I remember this 'year and a day' stuff from Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight (Gawain must present himself to the Green Knight within a year
and a day). Is this a common mythological or fairy-tale motif?

<snip>

> Faramir [...] bids the hobbit farewell until a time when "[i]f
> ever beyond hope you return to the lands of the living and we retell
> our tales, sitting by a wall in the sun, laughing at old grief [you
shall
> tell me then. Until that time] or some other time beyond the vision
> of the Seeing-stones of Numenor, [farewell!]"

This is my favourite quote from the chapter. Just lovely. I added in the
bits you snipped, as I'm not quite sure why they were snipped.

This quote does remind me very strongly of a book I've just finished
reading. It is called 'Tolkien and the Great War' (by John Garth). I
highly recommend it to anyone. It tells of Tolkien's experiences in
World War One and the influence this may have had on his writings. It
gives a very strong sense of the feelings of those fighting in the war,
and how they sometimes felt that surviving the war (ie. to tell tales
and laugh at old grief) was 'beyond hope'. In many cases, sadly, this
was true.

> DISCUSSION POINTS:
> -- There are a great many beautiful descriptions in this work, but the
> "dazzling veil of silk and pearls and silver thread: melting icicles
> of moonlight" here is my favorite. I wonder why JRRT shows it to us
> through the eyes of Sam, who is the least "elven" of the three who
> pass by it just now.

Least elven? What does that have to do with appreciating beauty? Maybe
this just shows that there is more to Sam than we realise?

<snip>

> -- What's going on when Faramir stares at Gollum and Gollum returns
> the gaze? Is Faramir reading Gollum's mind here? It's very
> reminiscent of what Gandalf does with Pippin after that unfortunate
> has looked into the palantir, and this sort of underlines Sam's
> earlier comment that Faramir reminded him of Gandalf, of wizards.

It reminds me also of Galadriel's stare-a-thon in Lorien.

> -- The scene in the cave between Faramir, Gollum, Frodo and Sam is so
> well balanced between the comical ("and take your fish!")

I particularly like this bit of humour:

Faramir: But tonight you have come where it is death to come. The fish
of this pool are dearly bought.

<Gollum hurriedly drops the fish>

Gollum: Don't want fish.

LOL!

> the dramatic ("Would you have me come to Gondor with this Thing,
> the Thing that drove your brother mad with desire?")

"What spell would it work in Minas Tirith? Shall there be two cities of
Minas Morgul, grinning at each other across a dead land filled with
rottenness?"

<shiver of horror>

> and the ongoing
> close interaction between Faramir and Frodo ("For it seems less evil
to
> counsel another man to break troth than to do so oneself, especially
> if one sees a friend bound unwitting to his own hard.").

I do find it slightly hard to believe that Faramir would talk so
revealingly and honestly to Frodo, someone he has only just met. But
maybe that is what Faramir is all about.

> That's excellent writing in any form of literature.

Indeed.

> And there is also more
> information conveyed about the legal customs of hobbits, the history
> of Minas Morgul and the Nazgul and

And what? :-)

You seem to have been cut off in mid-sentence there!

> -- Is this the first place where it is clarified that all the Nine
> were once Numenoreans?

No. This is contradicted elsewhere:

"Yet Sauron was ever guileful, and it is said that among those whom he
ensnared with the Nine Rings, three were great lords of Numenorean
race." (Akallabeth)

Looking back at the quotes in this chapter, we have:

"But [Minas Ithil] was taken by fell men [...] It is said that their
lords were men of Numenor who had fallen into dark wickedness; to them
the Enemy had given rings of power [...] Nine Lords there were..."

The bit before "Nine Lords there were" does not specify numbers, and
this could refer simply to the original three Numenorean ringwraiths who
were lords over the fell men (obviously not Numenoreans). Later, the
number could have been expanded to nine. A simpler way of putting this,
is to say that I think 'lords' might be different to 'Lords'.

Either that, or it is a contradiction.

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Nov 1, 2004, 9:47:23 AM11/1/04
to
On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 16:29:31 -0400, Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org>
wrote:

>I've thought further about just what is different in Frodo's
>behavior.
>
>Gollum swearing by the Precious - Frodo uses the Ring as a tool.
>Frodo threatening the Precious will be angry - Frodo permits
>the Ring to act as an agent with its own motives.
>
>I think this is a significant turning point in Frodo's relationship
>to the Ring.

Yes, and so eventually when they're both in Mordor Sam can go back to
his memories of their brief time with Faramir in Ithilien and find
comfort, but all Frodo can say is that he knows such a thing happened
but he can't see them. The Ring had already bitten very deeply.

Barb

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Nov 1, 2004, 9:51:04 AM11/1/04
to
On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 22:18:10 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
>
>> I wonder, though, if here JRRT perhaps overdid the beautiful and noble
>> stuff -- all the descriptions, Faramir's remarkable and very
>> attractive character and how he handles the surprise revelation of
>> Frodo's mission -- at the expense of basic plot progression and
>> character development.
>
>Not quite sure what you mean here. Can you think of a few more examples
>of this sort of thing?

This is the first place I've noticed it, and that only because I was
looking into it in depth to do a chapter summary. Overall, JRRT was
very well balanced and always in control of the development of the
plot. I did read somewhere, though, that the Faramir character
surprised him one day, just walked out of the wood at him, so to
speak. JRRT wisely kept him, but maybe he fell in love Faramir and so
gave him a bit more development here than was necessary, given
Faramir's place in the overall story, and obscured the strongest point
of this chapter that Glenn has pointed out, the turning point in
Frodo's relationship with the Ring.

Barb

Jette Goldie

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Nov 1, 2004, 3:29:40 PM11/1/04
to

"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote

> I remember this 'year and a day' stuff from Sir Gawain and the Green
> Knight (Gawain must present himself to the Green Knight within a year
> and a day). Is this a common mythological or fairy-tale motif?


Common in fairy-tale and mythology, but it was also used
in medieval legaly terms - the length of service for hired
hands was often "a year and a day".


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


John Jones

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Nov 1, 2004, 1:45:09 PM11/1/04
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Kwdhd.3573$up1....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

> What reason would Gollum have to believe Frodo? He might think that
> Frodo is being forced to do this to trap Gollum. I agree that this might
> have avoided Gollum's sense of betrayal, but there is a greater danger
> that Gollum might just bolt if Frodo tells him that there are Men about.
> That might have fatal consequences for Frodo and Gollum, though it is
> moot whether Faramir would actually have shot either of them, and also
> whether _Frodo_ believes that Faramir will shoot them. I think that
> Faramir would _not_ have shot them (else why did he take the bow from
> Anborn), but that Frodo believes that Faramir _will_ shoot Gollum (but
> maybe not himself).
>

I thought that Faramir took the bow so that Anborn could climb down more
easily, and that he (Faramir) would then shoot Gollum if necessary.
Speaking as one who once fell into a lake holding a bow ... :o(

John Jones

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Nov 1, 2004, 1:42:02 PM11/1/04
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1nehd.3611$up1....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

> I remember this 'year and a day' stuff from Sir Gawain and the Green
> Knight (Gawain must present himself to the Green Knight within a year
> and a day). Is this a common mythological or fairy-tale motif?
>

No - it's a bit of legalese. They always say 'a year and a day' instead of
a year to stop you arguing about whether the year is up on the same day
(i.e. 1 Nov 2004 to 1 Nov 2005 or 31 Oct?). This is a custom which dates
back centuries.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 2, 2004, 5:08:00 PM11/2/04
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Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 4, Chapter 6 - The
> Forbidden Pool

A few extra comments...

> CHAPTER SUMMARY :
>
> Frodo is awakened by Faramir

Actually, Frodo awakes and finds Faramir bending over him. I take this
to mean that Frodo is sleeping lightly and wakes up as Faramir bends to
wake him up. We also read that Frodo is seized by "old fears". I once
thought that this was Frodo fearing Faramir in the previous chapter
(when the hobbits draw their swords against him), but someone suggested
that Frodo thinks (as he wakes from sleep) that Faramir is Boromir.

What did you first think? Which is the better explanation?

> who wishes the hobbit to see moonset
> over Gondor and also to ask his advice about something.

<snip>

> When Faramir discovers that Gollum plans to take the hobbits into
> Mordor via Cirith Ungol

There is an interesting point here, concerning Gollum:

"[Faramir says] 'It is called Cirith Ungol.' Gollum hissed sharply and
began muttering to himself. 'Is not that its name?' said Faramir turning
to him.
'No!' said Gollum, and then he squealed, as if something had stabbed
him. 'Yes, yes'..."

What is this thing 'mentally' stabbing Gollum? His conscience?

> he dismisses Gollum and warns Frodo not to
> follow Gollum or to go that route. He also tells Frodo about Minas
> Morgul, which the route approaches very closely, and notes that is the
> home base of the Nazgul and a very evil place. But Frodo asks Faramir
> where else the Man would direct him, and if he turned back "where then
> shall I go among Elves or Men?"

Frodo also says that Faramir has said that he cannot go with them. I
must have missed that. Where does Faramir say this?

> Faramir has no answer to that and notes that "[i]t is a hard doom and
> a hopeless errand." He then tells Frodo to at least beware of
> Gollum/Smeagol and bids the hobbit farewell until a time when "[i]f
> ever beyond hope you return to the lands of the living and we re-tell

> our tales, sitting by a wall in the sun, laughing at old grief.or some


> other time beyond the vision of the Seeing-stones of Numenor."
>
> DISCUSSION POINTS:

<snip>

> -- What's going on when Faramir stares at Gollum and Gollum returns
> the gaze? Is Faramir reading Gollum's mind here?

It sounds like it. It is also interesting that the light in Gollum's
eyes goes out when he looks into Faramir's eyes. Is the
Gollum-personality retreating into Gollum's mind, leaving the pale eyes
of the Smeagol-personality?

Remember what Faramir says: "There are locked doors and closed windows
in your mind, and dark rooms behind them..."

Is Gollum hiding behind those locked doors and closed windows?

This all sounds like a flavour of mind-reading to me. Note that later
Faramir says: "He has done murder before now. I read it in him." (right
at the end of this chapter).

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Nov 6, 2004, 5:37:12 PM11/6/04
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:4zThd.5313$up1....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:

> It sounds like it. It is also interesting that the light in
> Gollum's eyes goes out when he looks into Faramir's eyes. Is
> the Gollum-personality retreating into Gollum's mind,
> leaving the pale eyes of the Smeagol-personality?
>
> Remember what Faramir says: "There are locked doors and
> closed windows in your mind, and dark rooms behind them..."
>
> Is Gollum hiding behind those locked doors and closed
> windows?
>

I've read, and heard, the term "The eyes are the windows of the
soul" - I'm thinking that all this eye-gazing that goes on,
especially this round, with Faramir doing the active looking, is
a literal use of the adage.

In fantasy and fairy-land, it wouldn't be too hard to believe
that you could look into a being's eyes and see what all is in
there, if you were strong enough to pierce the initial "steel
door" and then not get caught in the twists and turns of the
mental defenses an non-cooperative being could/would have.

For a creature with longs years to practice hiding - both from
the physical world and from less-than-pretty memories, the
windows and doors of the soul would not only be many, but a good
deal of those windows and doors would be shuttered, dim or
closed.

> This all sounds like a flavour of mind-reading to me. Note
> that later Faramir says: "He has done murder before now. I
> read it in him." (right at the end of this chapter).
>

To me, it is more of a "magic" of insight and character
assessment. In Tolkien's world I think it would be close to
mind reading - but not really reading thoughts, more like seeing
the inside of the character, or all the stuff hidden in pockets.
You can get a good idea of the beings motives, desires, secrets
- but not "Oh ho, so you wish to stab me in the back with your
short sword as I lean over to pick up the shield, eh ?" kind of
mind reading.

--
TeaLady (mari)

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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Nov 7, 2004, 6:16:24 PM11/7/04
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TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote

[about Gollum]

>> Remember what Faramir says: "There are locked doors and
>> closed windows in your mind, and dark rooms behind them..."
>>
>> Is Gollum hiding behind those locked doors and closed
>> windows?
>>
>
> I've read, and heard, the term "The eyes are the windows of the
> soul"

And what a nice expression that is!

> I'm thinking that all this eye-gazing that goes on,
> especially this round, with Faramir doing the active looking, is
> a literal use of the adage.

Sounds like it.

<snip>

>> This all sounds like a flavour of mind-reading to me. Note
>> that later Faramir says: "He has done murder before now. I
>> read it in him." (right at the end of this chapter).
>
> To me, it is more of a "magic" of insight and character
> assessment. In Tolkien's world I think it would be close to
> mind reading - but not really reading thoughts, more like seeing
> the inside of the character, or all the stuff hidden in pockets.
> You can get a good idea of the beings motives, desires, secrets
> - but not "Oh ho, so you wish to stab me in the back with your
> short sword as I lean over to pick up the shield, eh ?" kind of
> mind reading.

I agree. Mind-reading is not the right expression, which is why I
qualified with the word 'flavour', but I should have rejected the
expression outright (though I think I was responding to the initial
question that used the phrase). Character assessment, as you say, might
be a better way to describe it, though I do wonder what sort of world
allows someone to tell if someone is a murderer just by looking at
them...

[Silly me, it is the world of Faërie of course!]

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Nov 8, 2004, 5:30:57 PM11/8/04
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I've heard of not running while carrying scissors -- how 'bout not
swimming while holding a bow and arrows.

;^)

John Jones

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Nov 9, 2004, 12:43:55 PM11/9/04
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"Belba Grubb From Stock" <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote in message
news:rrsvo01k2hq35trpe...@4ax.com...
I can't swim; it was just carelessness. My companion had just shot a boat
(this is all true) and I was looking to see if he had made a hole (no) and
stepped on a slippery bit of wood. :o(
The lake wasn't deep; I didn't let go of the bow!

R. Dan Henry

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Dec 24, 2004, 3:28:34 AM12/24/04
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On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 22:18:18 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>I think that
>Faramir would _not_ have shot them (else why did he take the bow from
>Anborn)

Because if it were necessary to shoot, he felt he should do it
himself.

Because Anborn was going to a place where he wouldn't have as good a
spot to shoot from, so the bow was more functional in Faramir's hands.

Because Faramir just wanted a bow and he's the boss.

If he doesn't trust his archers to follow his orders, disarming one of
them isn't going to keep poor Smeagol alive anyway.

And as to Frodo, I think a combination apology/truth approach would
have worked just fine on Smeagol, but maybe the Ring was getting its
hooks into him a little by this point so he thinks of coercion by the
Precious first.

R. Dan Henry
danh...@inreach.com

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Jan 3, 2005, 10:56:48 AM1/3/05
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On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 00:28:34 -0800, R. Dan Henry
<danh...@inreach.com> wrote:

>On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 22:18:18 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
><spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>I think that
>>Faramir would _not_ have shot them (else why did he take the bow from
>>Anborn)
>
>Because if it were necessary to shoot, he felt he should do it
>himself.
>
>Because Anborn was going to a place where he wouldn't have as good a
>spot to shoot from, so the bow was more functional in Faramir's hands.

Yes to both.

>Because Faramir just wanted a bow and he's the boss.

Well, no. Frodo and Faramir have been having an emotional sort of
interaction (male bonding? G) all along here, Frodo being quite
impressed by Faramir's nobility and wisdom and Faramir, now aware of
Frodo's task, being very impressed by what the hobbit is attempting
and his will to not use the Ring (as far as Faramir can see, that is;
we do know Frodo has used the Ring to control Gollum). Frodo has just
said that Faramir can shoot him if he fails, and Faramir is taking him
up on it.

Would Faramir have really shot Frodo if Gollum had escaped?

Barb

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