Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk2 Ch6 Lothlorien

25 views
Skip to first unread message

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 23, 2004, 11:18:32 PM5/23/04
to
Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien

To read previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
introduce a future chapter, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

Chapter Summary
===============

At the end of the last chapter, the remaining members of the Fellowship
had barely escaped alive from Moria, and: "Gandalf, in battle with a
dreadful spirit of the underworld, fell into a dark abyss. But Aragorn
[...] led the company on from the East Gate of Moria..." (Synopsis in
'The Two Towers')

Aragorn is now the leader of the Company. He holds up his sword in
farewell to Gandalf and briefly despairs at having lost Gandalf's
guidance: "What hope have we without you?" Nevertheless, Aragorn takes
on the role of leadership and says: "We must do without hope." The
Company make ready to leave.
[1]-[3]

Around them, they see the geography of Dimrill Dale, a deep valley
running nearly north-south between two arms of the Misty Mountains. At
the north end is the Dimrill Stair, down which a waterfall flows. This
is the path the Company would have taken if they had managed to travel
through the Pass of Caradhras. Dominating the valley is the lake of
Mirrormere (Kheled-zaram). To the south, the mountains recede into the
distance and far lands are seen to the south and east. This is
Wilderland, and they are now east of the Misty Mountains.
[4]

The Company follow the remains of an ancient road, passing broken ruins
of dwarven stone monuments and green mounds. The road takes them south,
passing near Mirrormere. Gimli and Frodo (and Sam) turn aside, and they
look in Mirrormere at the spot marked by Durin's Stone. They see
reflections of the encircling mountains mirrored in a profound blue,
appearing like a crown, and topped by stars glinting in the sky, even
though sunlight is still in the sky above. This, according to Gimli, is
the crown of Durin, a sight that leaves Sam deep in thought.
[5]-[7]

The Company carry on southwards, finding the spring that is the source
of the river Silverlode (Celebrant). They see, far off, the woods of
Lothlorien, and set off down the western bank of the Silverlode towards
that land. Aragorn leads them at a great pace, fearing the pursuit of
orcs from Moria as the swift sunset brings a near-moonless night. Frodo
and Sam, hurt in Moria, fall behind. When this is noticed, Aragorn
apologises and he and Boromir carry Sam and Frodo to a resting place.
Athelas is used to tend Sam and Frodo's wounds, and Frodo's coat of
mithril-mail is discovered, explaining his surviving the orc-attack in
Moria.
[8]

Later, as the company journey onwards and night has fallen, Frodo hears
and sees something following them. However, Gimli hears nothing but the
night-speech of plant and stone. The night-wind blows chill up the
valley, and a shadow looms up before them as they arrive at Lothlorien.
We hear different stories and reactions from the members of the Company:
Legolas and Aragorn are glad to be here; Gimli doubts that any Elves
still dwell here; Legolas says that there are tales of a secret power in
Lorien and Elves still dwell deep in the woods; Aragorn confirms this;
while Boromir shows his uncertainty and relates tales of the peril of
the Golden Wood. Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
there is only peril for evil people.
[9]-[10]

A short way into the forest, they rest beside a waterfall where a
mountain-stream joins the Silverlode. This is the stream called
Nimrodel. The cold clean waters wash the weariness from Frodo's limbs.
As they rest here, he hears music in the running water. Legolas says it
is the voice of Nimrodel, and he sings a song of the Elf-maiden Nimrodel
who was named after the stream. He tells of the history of Lorien, and
the fate of Nimrodel and her lover Amroth.
[11]

The Company then move deeper into the forest, moving westwards away from
the Silverlode along the stream of Nimrodel. They discover mellyrn
(mallorn) trees and decide to climb them to hide from the orcs. As
Legolas starts to climb one of them, a voice speaks from the trees. They
have been challenged by elves of Lorien, guarding the borders of their
land. Frodo and Legolas are invited up to talk to them. They converse in
Elvish and then the Common Speech, and the Haldir, the leader of these
Elves agrees to lead the Company through their land. The Company climb
and sleep in the trees. During the night, Frodo hears orcs and the
unknown stalker.
[12]

The next day, the Company are told that an army of orcs has passed into
the woods of Lorien, but that Lorien is being roused and none of the
orcs will escape alive. Haldir leads them eastwards across the
Silverlode using ropes to build a walkway. There is then a dispute over
blindfolding Gimli the Dwarf, which is the law of their land. Gimli
protests this treatment. Aragorn proposes that all shall be blindfolded,
and Legolas laments this. As the blindfolded Company walk on into
Lorien, Haldir and Merry talk of Elf-havens near the Shire. Frodo is
overcome by a strange feeling as they walk deeper into the Naith, the
heart of Lorien:

"As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of the Silverlode a strange
feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the
Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of time into a
corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no
more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lorien the
ancient things still lived on in the waking world."

[13]-[15]

The Company march all day and sleep blindfolded. The next day, at noon,
an army of Elves report that the orcs have been destroyed, and the
strange creature had been spotted again. A message from the Lord and
Lady of the Galadhrim (the Elves of Lorien) declares that the Company
shall walk free. The blindfolds are removed from Gimli first. His pardon
is asked, and he is declared to be the first dwarf to see the Naith of
Lorien since Durin's Day.

There is a wonderful description of the beauty of Lorien, a beauty that
makes Frodo catch his breath. He sees a great mound with: "grass as
green as Spring-time in the Elder Days." Haldir declares that they are
come to Cerin Amroth, the ancient heart of the realm of Lorien and
onetime home of Amroth himself. Flowers of white/green and gold
(niphredil and elanor) cover the mound, which is topped with rings of
trees, including the immense mallorn trees. The Company spend the
afternoon here. Frodo is once again caught up in the beauty of Lorien:

"It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked
on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no
name." The shapes and colours are at once fresh and ancient and
mysterious. "On the land of Lorien there was no stain."

Sam, too, is taken aback by the beauty of Lorien: "I feel as if I was
_inside_ a song, if you take my meaning."

Haldir takes pleasure in their reaction, and invites them to climb Cerin
Amroth with him. Frodo experiences yet more wondrous feelings as he
climbs the fair hill:

"Frodo felt that he was in a timeless land that did not fade or change
or fall into forgetfulness. When he had gone and passed again into the
outer world, still Frodo the wanderer from the Shire would walk there,
upon the grass among elanor and niphredil in fair Lothlorien. [...] the
South wind blew upon Cerin Amroth and sighed among the branches. Frodo
stood still, hearing far off great seas upon beaches that had long ago
been washed away and sea-birds crying whose race had perished from the
earth."

[16]

Frodo eventually emerges on the lofty platform on top of the tallest
tree on top of the mound. From there, he is told by Haldir to look first
southwards at their destination, the tree-city of the Galadhrim. Then he
looks eastwards across the Great River, seeing the grey world outside
Lorien, and the heights of Southern Mirkwood, clad in dark fir trees.
[17]

As Frodo descends from Cerin Amroth, he discovers Aragorn standing, lost
in happy memory and holding a bloom of elanor. Frodo sees things as they
once were, and sees Aragorn clothed in white, a young lord tall and
fair. Aragorn speaks words in the Elvish tongue to an unseen person:
"Arwen vanimelda, namarie!" Aragorn returns out of memory and declares
to Frodo: "Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth, and here my heart
dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still
must tread, you and I. Come with me!" Aragorn and Frodo leave Cerin
Amroth, never to return.
[18]

Comments and thoughts
=====================

A) Comments referenced to text

[1] As the Fellowship recover in Dimrill Dale, Aragorn's words ('Alas
that I spoke true!') reveal that his prophecy of danger to Gandalf was
unwitting.

[2] Aragorn holds up his sword in farewell to Gandalf - a mark of
respect that is alien to a non-sword using culture, though there are
doubtless analogs.

[3] The 'we must do without hope' comment by Aragorn is strange. Doesn't
that run counter to Tolkien/Gandalf's whole philosophy of trusting to a
Greater Power to help out as long as you do the 'right' thing?

[4] It is revealed that Dimrill Dale is an important part of the
dwarf-kingdom, and that the kingdom was not just restricted to Moria.
Doubtless wood was needed for fuel for forges, and food had to be grown.

[5] There are several references to ancient monuments in Dimrill Dale,
including the ancient road. There are also green mounds. Are these
burial mounds? And how old is Durin's Stone? It must be truly ancient if
it was erected in the time of Durin I.

[6] There is an extensive description of Mirrormere and what Frodo and
Gimli see in it. Can anyone explain the geology of Mirrormere, and how
the lake's surface can be so still? The description of the colour as
'profound blue' is just lovely.

[7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
into Mirrormere? It certainly leaves Sam lost for words, and explains
the description in Gimli's song in the halls of Moria. Also, was anyone
else reminded of Balin's death when Gimli and Frodo peer into
Mirrormere?

[8] The journey through Dimrill Dale and down the Silverlode to Lorien
has an added urgency due to swift onset of night (and pursuit by the
orcs): as the Sun sinks behind the Misty Mountains, Dimrill Dale (which
is already deep in these shadows) gets dark very quickly.

[9] This is the first of three references to Gollum, though he is not
named in this chapter.

[10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
of plant and stone? What does this mean?

[11] What do you think of Legolas's song of Nimrodel? Both the story in
the song and the prose story that followed it? And what do you think of
the quality of the poetry?

[12] The difficulty in languages (between Frodo and Haldir) brings home
how insular and withdrawn the folk of Lorien are. Compare this to the
Dwarves who probably all spoke Westron and traded widely.

[13] The history of the Elves and Dwarves, and the ban of dwarves from
Lorien, is a major talking point in this chapter and the next. Plus
there is more interaction between Legolas and Gimli, foreshadowing their
friendship.

[14] Haldir's comments on the various Elf-havens, the growing Shadow,
the talk of departing, and the sea, and a lack of reports of mallorns
growing beyond the Western Sea, are all interesting insights into Elvish
thoughts.

[15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of the
most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote Tolkien's
own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a point as the
blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe there is some
effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?

[16] Yet more great writing. The 'great seas' and 'sea-birds' that Frodo
hears from the South Wind upon Cerin Amroth is exactly like the
description of the South Wind in the lament for Boromir.

[17] The contrast between the land of Lorien and the darkness of
Southern Mirkwood will be expanded upon and explained in the next
chapter.

[18] What is the translation of Aragorn's comment when he is standing on
Cerin Amroth: 'Arwen vanimelda, namarie!"? As a final coda to this
chapter, this is the perfect point to read the relevant parts (in
Lorien) of 'The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen' (Appendix A - LotR). And then
the tales of Beren and Luthien ('The Silmarillion' and 'The Biography').

B) General comments

The geography and appearance of the land and trees is extensively
described in this chapter, and with some beautiful writing (though some
find it dull).

The character of Legolas is now being developed _much_ more. In a
similar way to how we learnt more of Gimli, and the Dwarvish culture in
Moria, we now begin to learn of the culture of the wood-dwelling Silvan
Elves, and more about the personality and character of Legolas.

Gimli's character is also being developed as well. His pride in his
heritage and his feelings of justice and fairness are clearly seen.

We see very little of the reactions of the others to their entry to the
land of Lorien. Only the reactions of Sam, Frodo and Aragorn are
recorded, though we do hear Boromir's misgivings.

There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR. As
we crossed the Silverlode and entered deep into the Naith of Lorien,
arriving at the fair hill of Cerin Amroth, we truly entered the realm of
Faerie. Although this will be developed further in the following
chapters, this first encounter is truly magical.

Christopher

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

Sam's reaction to Lorien:

"It's sunlight and bright day, right enough. I thought that Elves were
all for moon and stars: but this is more elvish than anything I ever
heard tell of. I feel as if I was _inside_ a song, if you take my
meaning."

AC

unread,
May 24, 2004, 2:17:39 AM5/24/04
to
On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:18:32 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien
>
> To read previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
> introduce a future chapter, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

<snip excellent summary>

> [3] The 'we must do without hope' comment by Aragorn is strange. Doesn't
> that run counter to Tolkien/Gandalf's whole philosophy of trusting to a
> Greater Power to help out as long as you do the 'right' thing?

It may run counter to Gandalf's general philosophy, but I imagine I would be
saying much the same thing at that point.

>
> [4] It is revealed that Dimrill Dale is an important part of the
> dwarf-kingdom, and that the kingdom was not just restricted to Moria.
> Doubtless wood was needed for fuel for forges, and food had to be grown.

I've wondered about that, as far as Khazad-dum is concerned. We know that
the Thorin's folk in the Blue Mountains, and his forefathers in Erebor
traded for food. A massive city like Khazad-dum must have required a lot of
food.

> [13] The history of the Elves and Dwarves, and the ban of dwarves from
> Lorien, is a major talking point in this chapter and the next. Plus
> there is more interaction between Legolas and Gimli, foreshadowing their
> friendship.

It seems very odd to me that Galadriel, a Noldo who obviously had some
understanding and appreciation of Dwarves would have let this silly law
stand.

> We see very little of the reactions of the others to their entry to the
> land of Lorien. Only the reactions of Sam, Frodo and Aragorn are
> recorded, though we do hear Boromir's misgivings.

I find Aragorn's response the most touching. I suppose that's because after
many rereadings the poignancy of that visit to Lorien is well known to me
now.

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

Stan Brown

unread,
May 24, 2004, 10:07:26 AM5/24/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

Thanks, CK! I know you put a lot of work into this.

> Legolas says that there are tales of a secret power in
>Lorien and Elves still dwell deep in the woods;

This I have never understood. Why should Legolas, son of the King of
Mirkwood, have heard only "tales" of the Elf-kingdom in the next
wood over? Rivendell is far less accessible, yet he didn't seem to
find anything wondrous in traveling there.

>Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
>there is only peril for evil people.

And he utters one of my favorite lines: "Perilous indeed, fair and
perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil
with them."

>They have been challenged by elves of Lorien, guarding the borders of their
>land.

A quick bit of comedy that I always like: the Elves telling Sam he
breathes so loud they could shoot him in the dark. By this time he
knows it's not a real threat, but he's embarrassed.

>There is a wonderful description of the beauty of Lorien, a beauty that
>makes Frodo catch his breath.

Advice to readers of LotR: Read this bit aloud, or have it read to
you. At least for me, the printed words just didn't convey the
beauty of the scene the way Rob Inglis' reading did. This is
definitely one chapter where reading fast is a handicap!

>[1] As the Fellowship recover in Dimrill Dale, Aragorn's words ('Alas
>that I spoke true!') reveal that his prophecy of danger to Gandalf was
>unwitting.

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Both Gandalf and Aragorn
frequently feel this or that in their heart -- what modern folks
would call a premonition. I don't think Aragorn had uttered a
prophecy before they went into Moria; rather he told Gandalf (in
modern language) "I have a premonition that if you go in there
you'll die in there."

"Alas that I spoke true" -- I interpret this, simply, as "Oh crap --
of all my premonitions, why must _this_ be one that pans out?"

>[3] The 'we must do without hope' comment by Aragorn is strange. Doesn't
>that run counter to Tolkien/Gandalf's whole philosophy of trusting to a
>Greater Power to help out as long as you do the 'right' thing?

I think there is a subtle difference of emphasis. You must do the
right thing because it is the right thing, but you are not
guaranteed that a Greater Power will intervene. I think
Aragorn's "without hope" means "without promise of help, and without
much probability of succeeding on our own." I think Gandalf meant
much the same when he said later of Frodo's journey that there never
was much hope.

>[4] It is revealed that Dimrill Dale is an important part of the
>dwarf-kingdom, and that the kingdom was not just restricted to Moria.
>Doubtless wood was needed for fuel for forges, and food had to be grown.

We had a similar situation at the west of Moria. The huge holly-
trees marked the border between Eregion of the Elves and Khazad-dum
of the Dwarves. So they did own a little ground surface both east
and west of the gates of Moria.

>[6] There is an extensive description of Mirrormere and what Frodo and
>Gimli see in it. Can anyone explain the geology of Mirrormere, and how
>the lake's surface can be so still? The description of the colour as
>'profound blue' is just lovely.

The lake surface is still because it's a calm day. In a valley like
that, open only on one side, there would be fewer breezes than on
flat land.

Even on flat land, I have seen a lake so still that constellations
could be recognized in reflections: Little York Lake, a few miles
north of where I live. During an intermission at the Cortland
Repertory theater I strolled by the lake shore, and was shocked
(pleasantly) to see the night sky reflected in the still water. I
_did_ think of the Mirrormere. How much more wonderful to see stars
in a lake during the daytime!

>[7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
>into Mirrormere? It certainly leaves Sam lost for words, and explains
>the description in Gimli's song in the halls of Moria. Also, was anyone
>else reminded of Balin's death when Gimli and Frodo peer into
>Mirrormere?

I hear that if you stand at the bottom of a narrow shaft like a tall
chimney, you can see stars even on a sunny day. Either the
surrounding mountains were tall enough and close enough to show this
effect (unlikely), or this was some sort of vision granted only to
select individuals.

>[12] The difficulty in languages (between Frodo and Haldir) brings home
>how insular and withdrawn the folk of Lorien are. Compare this to the
>Dwarves who probably all spoke Westron and traded widely.

I think the Elves of Lórien have reacted to the outside world in the
same way as the Men of Rohan: deliberately turned their backs.
Therefore most speak only their own language as a matter of policy.

>[14] Haldir's comments on the various Elf-havens, the growing Shadow,
>the talk of departing, and the sea, and a lack of reports of mallorns
>growing beyond the Western Sea, are all interesting insights into Elvish
>thoughts.

Relating to another thread, how _would_ they know whether mellyrn
grew in the Undying Lands? Galadriel might have told them, I
suppose, but her information would be 6000 years out of date.

>[15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of the
>most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote Tolkien's
>own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a point as the
>blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe there is some
>effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?

Possible, or maybe Frodo is just attuned to Elvish things, so to
speak, through his long association with Bilbo and Gandalf and his
own study.

I agree with you about the beauty of the writing.

>[18] What is the translation of Aragorn's comment when he is standing on
>Cerin Amroth: 'Arwen vanimelda, namarie!"?

"Namarie" of course is "farewell".

There's nothing in the word list in Silm beginning with "van". I
believe "vanimelda" is related to "beautiful" -- a superlative
perhaps? In Letter #230, Tolkien translates Treebeard's greeting to
Celeborn and Galadriel: "A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!" = "O
beautiful ones, parents of beautiful children."

>There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR. As
>we crossed the Silverlode and entered deep into the Naith of Lorien,
>arriving at the fair hill of Cerin Amroth, we truly entered the realm of
>Faerie. Although this will be developed further in the following
>chapters, this first encounter is truly magical.

Yes. The interlude in Lórien doesn't advance the main line of the
story very much, but it adds so much to the _feeling_ and (as you
say) to the character development. I tended to find it dull
initially, I think because I tried to read too fast and wanted to
rush on to where "things happen" again.

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

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
May 24, 2004, 10:09:48 AM5/24/04
to
In article <cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

>
> Later, as the company journey onwards and night has fallen, Frodo hears
> and sees something following them. However, Gimli hears nothing but the
> night-speech of plant and stone.
> [9] This is the first of three references to Gollum, though he is not
> named in this chapter.

I think this is further indication there is some sort of telepathic
connection between Frodo and Gollum. Perhaps this will be
contradicted later.

> "As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of the Silverlode a strange
> feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the
> Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of time into a
> corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no
> more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lorien the
> ancient things still lived on in the waking world."

> [15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of the
> most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote Tolkien's
> own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a point as the
> blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe there is some
> effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?

I think that may be the case, to some extent. I think, in part, he's
feeling the effects that Galadriel and her Ring have on the land --
it's timelessness -- and perhaps one of the reasons this effect is
more pronounced in Lorien than in Rivendell is that Galadriel is an
Elf who once lived in Valinor. I do think all the Company would feel
it, but that Frodo would have a greater sensitivity, just as he was
(probably) the only one to see her Ring on her hand.

Michelle
Flutist
--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
May 24, 2004, 10:14:55 AM5/24/04
to
In article <slrncb34s3.21k....@alder.alberni.net>,
mightym...@hotmail.com says...

>
> It seems very odd to me that Galadriel, a Noldo who obviously had some
> understanding and appreciation of Dwarves would have let this silly law
> stand.

Yes, but Celeborn has a very strong enmity for the Dwarves, as is
indicated someplace that Galadriel passed through Khazad-dum on a
trip, while he refused to step foot into the place, and they were
therefore separated for a while. I forget exactly where the
reference is. Can someone provide one? While Celeborn often seems
but a backdrop to his powerful wife, it's likely on this issue he
simply refused to budge.

gp.skinner

unread,
May 24, 2004, 10:37:32 AM5/24/04
to
> > [9] This is the first of three references to Gollum, though he is not
> > named in this chapter.
> I think this is further indication there is some sort of telepathic
> connection between Frodo and Gollum. Perhaps this will be
> contradicted later.

I don't think it means Frodo and Gollum had a connection telepathically,
rather Gollum was drawn constantly to Frodo with him being the ring bearer.
Frodo develops an 'understanding' of Gollum because of the ring, but I don't
think that understanding is telepathic in any way.

Graeme

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
May 24, 2004, 10:59:25 AM5/24/04
to
In article <40b2...@212.67.96.135>, gp.sk...@NOSPAM.talk21.com
says...

I felt like there was something of a further connection between them
in Moria, when he catches a glimpse of Gollum while he's on guard,
but when he lays down to sleep, continues to see and hear and feel
him. Not necessarily a telepathic connection like that of Elrond,
Galadriel, and Gandalf, but some sort of mind-to-mind thread linking
them, as tenuous as it may be. Probably due to their connections to
the Ring.

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
May 24, 2004, 12:13:48 PM5/24/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> [3] The 'we must do without hope' comment by Aragorn is strange. Doesn't
> that run counter to Tolkien/Gandalf's whole philosophy of trusting to a
> Greater Power to help out as long as you do the 'right' thing?

Stan has explained this better than I could. I would only like to
add that it is also just an rhetorical "flourish" -- turn the subject
around in an unexpected way.

> [6] There is an extensive description of Mirrormere and what Frodo and
> Gimli see in it. Can anyone explain the geology of Mirrormere, and how
> the lake's surface can be so still?

It's protected from the wind by the form of the valley, and also,
being high in the mountains, there are no other vibrations to disturb
the surface.

> The description of the colour as 'profound blue' is just lovely.

The color of mountain lakes (esp. deeper ones) is often a very dark
blue.

> [7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
> into Mirrormere?

I don't know for sure. If for some reason the sun-light from a low sun
is filtered out, you would see the stars. IIRC polarization of the low
sun is quite strong for some reason in the mountains. (Thinner air?
Less dust?), so this could play a role.

We know that Tolkien went hiking in the Alps, so maybe he has actually
seen an effect like this somewhere.

> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
> of plant and stone? What does this mean?

Just a fairy-tale like reference, IMHO.

> [18] What is the translation of Aragorn's comment when he is standing on
> Cerin Amroth: 'Arwen vanimelda, namarie!"?

'Vanima' means 'beautiful'. Material from the Ardalambion site says
that the first edition had 'vanim_a_lda', and explains -lda as variant
of -lya, so literally 'Arwen your beauty, farewell'. However, in the
second edition, with the vowel changed, "Tolkien may have decided to
re-interpret the phrase as *'Arwen, beautiful Elf (Elda)'". Also note
the name 'Tar-Vanimelde' in Appendix A.

In any case, it means something like "Beautiful Arwen, farewell!".

> The character of Legolas is now being developed _much_ more. In a
> similar way to how we learnt more of Gimli, and the Dwarvish culture in
> Moria, we now begin to learn of the culture of the wood-dwelling Silvan
> Elves, and more about the personality and character of Legolas.

Yes. I never noticed the setting in which the characters were developed.

> There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR.

Yes, certainly. "Meeting the elven-queen" is probably a very central
theme of Faerie, and an important one for Tolkien as well. It also
shows up in the "Smith of Wooton Major".

- Dirk

Count Menelvagor

unread,
May 24, 2004, 8:17:01 PM5/24/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien

<snip>

The writing in this chapter is indeed beautiful.

> Sam, too, is taken aback by the beauty of Lorien: "I feel as if I was
> _inside_ a song, if you take my meaning."

I *love* this line. And it wonderfully foreshadows the conversation
Frodo and Sam have in Cirith Ungol, when thye step outside of
themselves and see themselves as characters in a story. Tolkien seems
fascinated with the question what it would be like to be *part of a
narrative*. Though of course, there's far more to it than that.


> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
> of plant and stone? What does this mean?

I'm not sure. It could just be a poetic figure of speech (I don't
recall the passage exactly, or have TBIFOM); but I think it's related
to one of the characteristics of the "mythical" world: the sense that
nature was mcuh more aware than it is (or than we think of it as
being) today. This "awareness" is already rare and fading away in the
Third Age, as part of the loss of the "mythical" world in general -- a
loss that forms the emotional core of LOTR and renders it so poignant.
No doubt this poignancy contributes to the beauty of Tolkien's
writing in this chapter; Lórien represents a fragment of an earlier
world that had elsewhere been lost, and itself would eventually be
lost. (For the language of stones, compare Legolas's remark on the
stones of Eregion, and for the speech of plants, the Old Forest.)

I thought the "-melda" part of "vanimelda" might be related to
"mellon" and mean "beloved? But I could be wrong.

Stan Brown

unread,
May 24, 2004, 9:24:43 PM5/24/04
to
"Michelle J. Haines" <mha...@io.nanc.com> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>I felt like there was something of a further connection between them
>in Moria, when he catches a glimpse of Gollum while he's on guard,
>but when he lays down to sleep, continues to see and hear and feel
>him. Not necessarily a telepathic connection like that of Elrond,
>Galadriel, and Gandalf, but some sort of mind-to-mind thread linking
>them, as tenuous as it may be. Probably due to their connections to
>the Ring.

You're entitled to your opinion, but Occam's Razor is against you.
Gollum's attraction to the Ring is sufficient to explain everything
we see him do; why bring in an extra postulate?

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
May 24, 2004, 9:41:07 PM5/24/04
to
In article <MPG.1b1c6a665...@news.odyssey.net>,
the_sta...@fastmail.fm says...

>
> You're entitled to your opinion, but Occam's Razor is against you.
> Gollum's attraction to the Ring is sufficient to explain everything
> we see him do; why bring in an extra postulate?

*sigh*

I did say it felt like TO ME, and I believe that it'll likely be
contradicted later, like during the scene at Mount Doom, when Gollum
sneaks up on them. Although there's also the additional distraction
of those events.

And I find it interesting because it's not just Gollum being
attracted to the Ring, it's Frodo sensing Gollum when other members
of the Company -- even as perceptive as they often are -- don't
notice him.

No one said you had to care about the idea.

TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
May 24, 2004, 11:11:42 PM5/24/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in
news:MPG.1b1bcbab9...@news.odyssey.net:

>>[6] There is an extensive description of Mirrormere and what
>>Frodo and Gimli see in it. Can anyone explain the geology of
>>Mirrormere, and how the lake's surface can be so still? The
>>description of the colour as 'profound blue' is just lovely.
>
> The lake surface is still because it's a calm day. In a
> valley like that, open only on one side, there would be
> fewer breezes than on flat land.
>
> Even on flat land, I have seen a lake so still that
> constellations could be recognized in reflections: Little
> York Lake, a few miles north of where I live. During an
> intermission at the Cortland Repertory theater I strolled by
> the lake shore, and was shocked (pleasantly) to see the
> night sky reflected in the still water. I _did_ think of the
> Mirrormere. How much more wonderful to see stars in a lake
> during the daytime!
>

Lake Tahoe in Nevada, USA, is an extremely still lake. Mark
Twain had much to say about the clarity and relfective qualities
of Tahoe. There are lakes similar in Canada, as well. Glacial
melt origianlly, I think, and snow melt now, keep the levels up,
and almost no current to speak of exists - they are,
essentially, a very large self contained bowl of water. I
forget the exact term, mayhaps I shall look for it tomorrow, but
you can, I am sure, sometimes see the stars reflected in a
perfectly still high mountain lake during the day.

There are probably quite a few such "pools" of water in Europe,
as well.

--
TeaLady / mari conroy

Henriette

unread,
May 25, 2004, 12:29:44 AM5/25/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>...

A new lay-out, very well! As you also phrase your comments and
questions thus that I don't have to scroll back and forward all the
time, I find this one more comfortable (not sneering on anyone else,
because I used the same scroll-back-and-forward lay-out last time, but
I won't again).

I also appreciate the respect with which you treat the subject-matter,
and the thoroughness (Gründlichkeit:-))with which you work.


>
> [1] As the Fellowship recover in Dimrill Dale, Aragorn's words ('Alas
> that I spoke true!') reveal that his prophecy of danger to Gandalf was
> unwitting.
>

To me, it does not reveal that at all. More like *alas!*, that I spoke
true.



> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
> of plant and stone? What does this mean?

I think that you might need to spend some time in the woods at night,
so you know what JRRT is poetically referring to.


>
> [11] What do you think of Legolas's song of Nimrodel? Both the story in
> the song and the prose story that followed it? And what do you think of
> the quality of the poetry?
>

Poetry is not JRRT's strong point, although I like this one and some
others. In my treatment of the next chapter I was planning on saying
that maybe he felt too restricted by what he thought necessary in the
sense of rhyme, rhythm, form, length and other rules and restrictions
that nowadays we are no longer so strict with, because his *prose* is
very poetic.

The poem contains the word 'mew'. Does that mean 'gull' (Dutch:
meeuw)? (I hope, it does not mean 'Balrog').

> [15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of the
> most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote Tolkien's
> own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a point as the
> blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe there is some
> effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?
>

Why mundane? I think it has everything to do with the blindfolding.
Imagine JRRT even mentioning the sun Frodo felt on his face and hands
when passing through an open glade.

> The geography and appearance of the land and trees is extensively
> described in this chapter, and with some beautiful writing (though some
> find it dull).
>

LOL!

Henriette

AC

unread,
May 25, 2004, 1:58:31 AM5/25/04
to
On Mon, 24 May 2004 19:41:07 -0600,
Michelle J Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com> wrote:
>
> And I find it interesting because it's not just Gollum being
> attracted to the Ring, it's Frodo sensing Gollum when other members
> of the Company -- even as perceptive as they often are -- don't
> notice him.

As I recall, Aragorn later reveals that he noticed him, too.

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

Stan Brown

unread,
May 25, 2004, 7:43:55 AM5/25/04
to
"Michelle J. Haines" <mha...@io.nanc.com> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>And I find it interesting because it's not just Gollum being
>attracted to the Ring, it's Frodo sensing Gollum when other members
>of the Company -- even as perceptive as they often are -- don't
>notice him.

He didn't "sense" him, he heard and saw him. And so did Aragorn, as
he tells Frodo later.

Jim Deutch

unread,
May 25, 2004, 5:00:13 PM5/25/04
to
On 25 May 2004 03:11:42 GMT, "TeaLady (Mari C.)"

<spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>essentially, a very large self contained bowl of water. I
>forget the exact term, mayhaps I shall look for it tomorrow, but
>you can, I am sure, sometimes see the stars reflected in a
>perfectly still high mountain lake during the day.

Nonsense! [1] If you can't see any stars by looking up with your bare
eyes, you can't see any by pointing a telescope towards the sky and
you can't see any by looking at a reflection of the sky.

The reason you can't see stars during the day is because the sky is
brighter than the stars are.

[1] Caveat: near dusk, when stars are _barely_ not visible, they may
be visible in reflections (from water or other smooth non-conducting
surfaces) but not by direct view, because the light from the sky
(especially that from the sky overhead when the sun is just below the
horizon) is polarized, and a reflection from the proper angle can be
polarized the other way, making the reflected sky much darker than the
direct view: the star's light is not polarized, so is not diminished,
and this can be just enough to make the difference between seeing and
not seeing the star.

I see Dirk has also mentioned this.

Caveat 2: you _can_ see Venus during the day, when it is near its
brightest, and of course the moon.

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the ex-physics major)
--
"Invariant" doesn't mean what it used to.

Jim Deutch

unread,
May 25, 2004, 5:00:14 PM5/25/04
to
On Mon, 24 May 2004 10:07:26 -0400, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>I hear that if you stand at the bottom of a narrow shaft like a tall
>chimney, you can see stars even on a sunny day. Either the

You hear wrong. It's a not-uncommon trope (if that's the right word):
Tolkien himself uses it in LotR (but I'm wracking my brains for the
reference -- maybe it's actually in Silm or UT?)

>Relating to another thread, how _would_ they know whether mellyrn
>grew in the Undying Lands? Galadriel might have told them, I
>suppose, but her information would be 6000 years out of date.

I could swear it states in Silm that _every_ species of ME can be
found in Valinor. (grain of salt time, here, but I'm pretty sure
that's what it says... )

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"I find it comforting that things do not depend on whether or not you
believe them." - FX Neumann

Jim Deutch

unread,
May 25, 2004, 5:00:15 PM5/25/04
to
On 24 May 2004 06:17:39 GMT, AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:18:32 GMT,
>Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> [13] The history of the Elves and Dwarves, and the ban of dwarves from
>> Lorien, is a major talking point in this chapter and the next. Plus
>> there is more interaction between Legolas and Gimli, foreshadowing their
>> friendship.
>
>It seems very odd to me that Galadriel, a Noldo who obviously had some
>understanding and appreciation of Dwarves would have let this silly law
>stand.

I think it fits well with her style of "rule", which is gentle, wise,
and non-interfering. That law was ancient when Galadriel arrived: she
did not and would not abolish it by decree. After all, preservation
of ancientry was the main power of Galadriels Ring! <g>

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--

There are 10 kinds of people; those who understand binary, and those
who don't.

Jim Deutch

unread,
May 25, 2004, 5:00:16 PM5/25/04
to
On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:18:32 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>[7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
>into Mirrormere? It certainly leaves Sam lost for words, and explains

It's Magic. Like the stars visible during the day from the bottom of
a deep ravine, it is something that just doesn't happen in the "real"
world.

>the description in Gimli's song in the halls of Moria. Also, was anyone
>else reminded of Balin's death when Gimli and Frodo peer into
>Mirrormere?

Yes! I'd forgotten, but the first time I read LotR I was certain
Gimli was done for! "Get away from there, you fools!!!!" Maybe this
is a truly masterful evocation of tension on the part of the author.
Maybe it's just an overactive imagination on my part...

>[10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
>Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
>of plant and stone? What does this mean?

I always thought Gimli and Frodo were just talking about the natural
sounds that you can still hear when far away from noisy cities. But
I'm not so sure now, in light of Legolas' statement, way back in
Eregion, about the speech of the stones: "deep they delved us, high
they builded us, but they are gone..." Maybe that's something that
only Elves can hear, but maybe not.

>[15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of the
>most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote Tolkien's
>own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a point as the
>blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe there is some
>effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?

Could be. But try blindfolding yourself for a day -- even for a
half-hour -- and then taking off the blindfold in an unfamiliar and
attractive place. It _will_ seem almost magical.

>The geography and appearance of the land and trees is extensively
>described in this chapter, and with some beautiful writing (though some
>find it dull).

PJ must've been one of those, or he would have gotten at least a
little bit closer in his portrayal...

>There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR. As
>we crossed the Silverlode and entered deep into the Naith of Lorien,
>arriving at the fair hill of Cerin Amroth, we truly entered the realm of
>Faerie. Although this will be developed further in the following
>chapters, this first encounter is truly magical.

I think we got more than a little foreshadowing of this magical
feeling in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell.

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--

Scientists have proved that most people are in the majority.

Michael Cole

unread,
May 25, 2004, 7:45:36 PM5/25/04
to
"Michelle J. Haines" <mha...@io.nanc.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1b1bb14c...@news.Qwest.net

> In article <slrncb34s3.21k....@alder.alberni.net>,
> mightym...@hotmail.com says...
>>
>> It seems very odd to me that Galadriel, a Noldo who obviously had
>> some understanding and appreciation of Dwarves would have let this
>> silly law stand.
>
> Yes, but Celeborn has a very strong enmity for the Dwarves, as is
> indicated someplace that Galadriel passed through Khazad-dum on a
> trip, while he refused to step foot into the place, and they were
> therefore separated for a while. I forget exactly where the
> reference is.

IDHTBIFOM, but when they left Eregion. Galadrial went to Lorien - Celeborn
remained behind due to not wanting to go through Moria.

> Can someone provide one? While Celeborn often seems
> but a backdrop to his powerful wife, it's likely on this issue he
> simply refused to budge.

--
Regards,

Michael Cole


Igenlode

unread,
May 26, 2004, 3:47:08 PM5/26/04
to
On 24 May 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien
>

[snip]

> Athelas is used to tend Sam and Frodo's wounds, and Frodo's coat of
> mithril-mail is discovered, explaining his surviving the orc-attack in
> Moria.

In the description of the Fellowship's leaving Lorien, we catch an
unusually domestic glimpse into the contents of Sam's pack, which
contains among sundry other items spare 'woollen hose' (doubtless stout
stockings) and 'linen' (underwear). So they do (as one would hope) plan
to change their clothing during the journey...

Given this practical necessity, I can't help wondering how Frodo
managed to keep the chain-mail a secret all this time! He's wearing
it under his outer clothing (his 'jacket' and 'tunic') but presumably
not next to his skin (Bilbo specifies "under your outer clothes", not
"under your clothes"). A 'shirt of soft leather' is mentioned as going
underneath, but I'd assume this is an integral part of the mail-shirt
rather than Frodo's customary undergarment - he presumably has an
ordinary woven garment on underneath.

So, unless he hasn't washed or changed his shirt since leaving Rivendell
(which, unless we assume that Sam is more fastidious than the rest of
the hobbits, seems unlikely) one can't help but imagine he has been
having some difficulty in keeping the nature of his garb concealed from
everybody else!

[snip]


> Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
> there is only peril for evil people.

I'm not sure that's quite what he implies: the more relevant part for
the company is that the only evil that is to be found there is the evil
that you yourself bring in with you...

Looking at the map - doubtless highly stylised - it is not clear to me
why Aragorn states that there is no alternative to passing through
Lorien. If they had turned south before the Silverlode met the waters of
Nimrodel, it appears they could have taken a more direct route between
Lorien and Fangorn down into Rohan, and thence, if required, to the
River. Since this would be rough country in the foothills of the
mountains, it would doubtless be slower, and since he is certain of aid
in the woods of Lothlorien it is easy to see why he prefers to follow
the stream; but I cannot help feeling that his desire to revisit the
scenes of his youth causes him to be a little more categorical in his
summary to Boromir than reality warrants :-) They *could* have skirted
Lorien - if the woods had been hostile, for example.


[snip]

> The next day, the Company are told that an army of orcs has passed into
> the woods of Lorien, but that Lorien is being roused and none of the
> orcs will escape alive. Haldir leads them eastwards across the
> Silverlode using ropes to build a walkway.

I note that the Elf on the far side of the river is fair-haired (since
this is picked out for remark, presumably Haldir and his group are not).
If the fair-haired strain comes from the Vanyar, is it not very unusual
to find it among Silvan elves? (But then 'The Hobbit' speaks of 'golden
hair' and 'gleaming hair' with reference to the Wood-elves of Mirkwood,
so possibly the whole 'Elves are dark-haired' concept was a later
development of Tolkien's?)


> There is then a dispute over
> blindfolding Gimli the Dwarf, which is the law of their land. Gimli
> protests this treatment. Aragorn proposes that all shall be blindfolded,
> and Legolas laments this.

Why *are* they blindfolded? What on earth are the Elves afraid they
might see - top-secret military installations? Trees? :-)

When Faramir blindfolds Frodo and Sam, it is for the specific reason of
hiding from them the route into a concealed refuge; but hiding the way
between the trees of Lorien is a little more difficult.

[snip]

> [2] Aragorn holds up his sword in farewell to Gandalf - a mark of
> respect that is alien to a non-sword using culture, though there are
> doubtless analogs.

It's simply a salute, isn't it? Just as duellists (and fencers) are
supposed to salute each other before they begin...

The statement that "we may yet be avenged" (?on a Balrog?) seemed to me
more worthy of remark. But perhaps he has in mind the consequences of
achieving their quest?

>
[snip]

> [11] What do you think of Legolas's song of Nimrodel? Both the story in
> the song and the prose story that followed it? And what do you think of
> the quality of the poetry?

It's a pretty standard ballad-form. Not one of the more memorable
lyrics in the book, to my mind.

I was wondering more *how* sorrow came upon 'Lorien of the Blossom' (is
this what 'Lothlorien' means?) when the Balrog was awakened beneath the
mountains. Obviously, it is far from pleasant to know such a horror to
be lurking within sight of your doorstep, as it were, but how would it
have harmed Lorien directly? Orc incursions in place of dwarf-trading,
perhaps?


>
> [12] The difficulty in languages (between Frodo and Haldir) brings home
> how insular and withdrawn the folk of Lorien are. Compare this to the
> Dwarves who probably all spoke Westron and traded widely.

Haldir states that the Elves of Lorien had not heard of hobbits (from
his phrasing, it is implied that he has previously heard of them under
the name of 'halflings') "for many a long year, and did not know that
any yet dwelt in Middle-earth". This is interesting, since it
implicitly states that they *had* heard of hobbits before, and a long
time ago, too. In what context, one wonders? (They are apparently the
only people south of the Mountains who *are* familiar with hobbits - in
all his thousands of years of life, even Treebeard hasn't seen one.)

When he subsequently refers to the "Dark Days", can we assume that this
was the Elves' term for the era of the coming of the Balrog?


Why was there "a great troop of Orcs going north toward Moria" many
days ago - and from where? All our speculation aside, *could* this have
been the origin of the 'uruks of Mordor' encountered at the Chamber of
Mazarbul? "Many days ago" would seem to rule out this arrival as being
triggered by the observations of the crebain...


[snip]


> [16] Yet more great writing. The 'great seas' and 'sea-birds' that Frodo
> hears from the South Wind upon Cerin Amroth is exactly like the
> description of the South Wind in the lament for Boromir.

That seemed a little odd to me. We learn later that Frodo has never
seen the sea - and since he has never before left the Shire, this is
quite natural. So how does he recognise the sound of sea-birds (Legolas
has apparently never heard them either)? He could have listened to a
shell and been told "this is the sound of the Sea"; though in the
insular Shire, I must admit that such a possibility seems unlikely! But
he could scarcely recognise the call of an extinct sea-bird :-)

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

* It takes self-confidence to be able to accept criticism *

Igenlode

unread,
May 26, 2004, 5:08:57 PM5/26/04
to
On 25 May 2004 Henriette wrote:

[snip]

> The poem contains the word 'mew'. Does that mean 'gull' (Dutch:
> meeuw)? (I hope, it does not mean 'Balrog').

Yes. More usually rendered as 'sea-mew' in English - I suspect Tolkien
is taking poetic liberties :-)


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

** Sometimes change is improvement. Sometimes it is only change. **

Emma Pease

unread,
May 26, 2004, 10:13:58 PM5/26/04
to
In article <20040527003...@riot.eu.org>, Igenlode wrote:
> On 24 May 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien
>>
> [snip]
>
>> Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
>> there is only peril for evil people.
>
> I'm not sure that's quite what he implies: the more relevant part for
> the company is that the only evil that is to be found there is the evil
> that you yourself bring in with you...
>
> Looking at the map - doubtless highly stylised - it is not clear to me
> why Aragorn states that there is no alternative to passing through
> Lorien. If they had turned south before the Silverlode met the waters of
> Nimrodel, it appears they could have taken a more direct route between
> Lorien and Fangorn down into Rohan, and thence, if required, to the
> River. Since this would be rough country in the foothills of the
> mountains, it would doubtless be slower, and since he is certain of aid
> in the woods of Lothlorien it is easy to see why he prefers to follow
> the stream; but I cannot help feeling that his desire to revisit the
> scenes of his youth causes him to be a little more categorical in his
> summary to Boromir than reality warrants :-) They *could* have skirted
> Lorien - if the woods had been hostile, for example.

Aragorn had killed an orc chieftain so it was almost certain that orcs
would pursue them after dark. Going into Lorien might

a. Cause the orcs to turn back for fear of the elves
b. Could gain them allies who could take care of the orcs for them

> [snip]
>
>> The next day, the Company are told that an army of orcs has passed into
>> the woods of Lorien, but that Lorien is being roused and none of the
>> orcs will escape alive. Haldir leads them eastwards across the
>> Silverlode using ropes to build a walkway.
>
> I note that the Elf on the far side of the river is fair-haired (since
> this is picked out for remark, presumably Haldir and his group are not).
> If the fair-haired strain comes from the Vanyar, is it not very unusual
> to find it among Silvan elves? (But then 'The Hobbit' speaks of 'golden
> hair' and 'gleaming hair' with reference to the Wood-elves of Mirkwood,
> so possibly the whole 'Elves are dark-haired' concept was a later
> development of Tolkien's?)

Puzzled me also. One way to justify it is that of the elves who set
out for Valinor only the Vanyar were fair haired but some of those who
never set out were also fair haired. Remember Eldar sometimes
referred to only the three houses who set out.

>> There is then a dispute over
>> blindfolding Gimli the Dwarf, which is the law of their land. Gimli
>> protests this treatment. Aragorn proposes that all shall be blindfolded,
>> and Legolas laments this.
>
> Why *are* they blindfolded? What on earth are the Elves afraid they
> might see - top-secret military installations? Trees? :-)

The law is the law? It seems to have been a compromise by Haldir
between not permitting Gimli at all which the law decreed yet allowing
him to continue which is the sensible thing to do. Maybe the law
stated that no dwarf could _see_ the Naith of Lorien....

> When Faramir blindfolds Frodo and Sam, it is for the specific reason of
> hiding from them the route into a concealed refuge; but hiding the way
> between the trees of Lorien is a little more difficult.
>
> [snip]
>

>> [12] The difficulty in languages (between Frodo and Haldir) brings home
>> how insular and withdrawn the folk of Lorien are. Compare this to the
>> Dwarves who probably all spoke Westron and traded widely.
>
> Haldir states that the Elves of Lorien had not heard of hobbits (from
> his phrasing, it is implied that he has previously heard of them under
> the name of 'halflings') "for many a long year, and did not know that
> any yet dwelt in Middle-earth". This is interesting, since it
> implicitly states that they *had* heard of hobbits before, and a long
> time ago, too. In what context, one wonders? (They are apparently the
> only people south of the Mountains who *are* familiar with hobbits - in
> all his thousands of years of life, even Treebeard hasn't seen one.)

Well hobbits had live in the vale of Anduin (Smeagol's people) so
there may have been some interactions then. This might also explain
how the people of Rohan had heard of hobbits (they had also dwelt in
the vale). As for Treebeard not being familiar with them, I doubt
Treebeard left Fangorn often and I doubt most hobbits went wandering
in Fangorn (unless they were Tooks or Brandybucks and in dire
straits).

> When he subsequently refers to the "Dark Days", can we assume that this
> was the Elves' term for the era of the coming of the Balrog?

> Why was there "a great troop of Orcs going north toward Moria" many
> days ago - and from where? All our speculation aside, *could* this have
> been the origin of the 'uruks of Mordor' encountered at the Chamber of
> Mazarbul? "Many days ago" would seem to rule out this arrival as being
> triggered by the observations of the crebain...

How much interaction did Saruman have with the Orcs of Moria? The
orcs could have come either from him or from Sauron.

> [snip]
>> [16] Yet more great writing. The 'great seas' and 'sea-birds' that Frodo
>> hears from the South Wind upon Cerin Amroth is exactly like the
>> description of the South Wind in the lament for Boromir.
>
> That seemed a little odd to me. We learn later that Frodo has never
> seen the sea - and since he has never before left the Shire, this is
> quite natural. So how does he recognise the sound of sea-birds (Legolas
> has apparently never heard them either)? He could have listened to a
> shell and been told "this is the sound of the Sea"; though in the
> insular Shire, I must admit that such a possibility seems unlikely! But
> he could scarcely recognise the call of an extinct sea-bird :-)

But he has dreamed of it.


--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:10:35 AM5/27/04
to
in <be50318e.04052...@posting.google.com>,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:

>
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:<cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>...
>>

<snip>

>> [11] What do you think of Legolas's song of Nimrodel? Both the
>> story in the song and the prose story that followed it? And what
>> do you think of the quality of the poetry?
>
> Poetry is not JRRT's strong point,

I quite agree.

> although I like this one and some others.

The quality varies, I think. I don't particularly like the long narrative
poems/songs (as poetry, that is) such as the Song of Nimrodel, but
there's a stirring strength in Théoden's staves at the the Pelennor
Fields (and Éomer's - "Mourn not overmuch"), and I'm fascinated by the
beauty of the Elvish poetry.

Some of the more humerous songs - the Old Inn and Sam's song of the
Troll, for instance, work fine, IMO.

> In my treatment of the next chapter I was planning on saying that
> maybe he felt too restricted by what he thought necessary in the
> sense of rhyme, rhythm, form, length and other rules and restrictions
> that nowadays we are no longer so strict with, because his *prose* is
> very poetic.

I'm completely with you on the poetry of his prose, and this chapter is
one of the best examples of that.

You might be right that part of the problem was the restrictions of
metre, rhyme etc. that he imposed upon himself that to some extent makes
his poetry flow less freely than his prose, though it was not all forms
that restricted him like that. In my opinion he was a master at the old
alliterative forms: "spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered./a
sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!" - it's beautiful in my eyes :-)

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off.
- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:10:35 AM5/27/04
to
in <MPG.1b1bcbab9...@news.odyssey.net>,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> enriched us with:

>
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>

<snip>

> This I have never understood. Why should Legolas, son of the King of
> Mirkwood, have heard only "tales" of the Elf-kingdom in the next
> wood over? Rivendell is far less accessible, yet he didn't seem to
> find anything wondrous in traveling there.


Yes it is rather curious, isn't it?
Not so much, I think, that he didn't seem as impressed by Rivendell -
while he was (in part at least) of Sindarin descent himself, his
background was apparently strongly Silvan, and he would naturally feel
more enchanted by Lórien than by Rivendell, but the sundering of the
Silvan kins is puzzling ("Even our own kindren in the North are sundered
from us"). My only guess would be that the journey in the shadow of Dol
Guldur was too perilous for regular travelling between the two realms
(though I'm not sure why that would apply to journeying west of the
river).

>> Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
>> there is only peril for evil people.
>
> And he utters one of my favorite lines: "Perilous indeed, fair and
> perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil
> with them."

Rephrased later by Sam to Faramir, and though Sam says that "It ought to
be sung. You'd have to get Strider, Aragorn that is, or old Mr. Bilbo,
for that." I think that he does extremely well with his "You, you could
dash yourself to pieces on her, like a ship on a rock ..." Sam has a way
to find, even as he seems to be groping about for them haltingly, the
right words ;-)

I don't, however, think that 'those who bring some evil with them'
necessarily is restricted to people we would see as 'evil' as such.
Boromir was not, IMO, 'evil', but he did bring an evil with him; his own
pride.

<snip>

> I don't think Aragorn had uttered a prophecy before they went into
> Moria;

I assume that you mean in this particular case: he definitely had uttered
a prophecy before, as described in appendix A ("Then suddenly the
foresight of his kindred cam to him, ...")

I am not, however, sure of the differences in Tolkien's world: Malbeth
the Seer's words were surely a prophecy, as was probably Glorfindel's
words about the Witch-king, but in the latter case this might be
postrationalisation: how did Glorfindel's statement differ from Gandalf's
sudden realisation that Bilbo /had/ to go with Thorin, or Aragorn's
statement that Gandalf were in danger by entering Moria?

The point is, I think, that characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn and
others get these - shall we call them 'prophetic premonitions':
premonitions that do not derive from the past, so to speak, but are true
revelations of the future, though as a feeling rather than as words.

<snip>

> Even on flat land, I have seen a lake so still that constellations
> could be recognized in reflections:

Nice story - thanks!

> There's nothing in the word list in Silm beginning with "van". I
> believe "vanimelda" is related to "beautiful" -- a superlative
> perhaps?

Possibly a contraction of "vanya", 'beautiful' and "melda", 'beloved' or
'dear' (adjective). The superlative would be "anvanya".

Though I see now that Dick has checked the Ardalambion site and found
another explanation there - I think that Helge's Quenya is to be trusted
over mine any day ;-) (I'm just going by his Quenya course, which I never
got around to finish).

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength. It has been universally
established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white
pigeon or three normal sized billiard balls.
- (Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:10:36 AM5/27/04
to
in <cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:

>
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien

Excellent - as we have come to expect ;-) My thanks.

<snip>

> This, according to Gimli, is the crown of Durin,

I don't think that the Crown of Durin is these reflected stars. These
were doubtlessly the "crown of stars" Durin saw appear, when he looked in
Mirrormere (the song in the preceding chapter), but I don't think that
they are what is referred to in the last two lines:

"There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep."

Nor that it is what Gimli refers to when he says, "There lies the Crown
of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!"

My impression has always been that besides the stars there was also a
regular crown - as on the west door: "an anvil and a hammer surmounted by
a crown with seven stars" - the picture of the door shows the crown, and
the seven stars (the midmost appearing as the crest of the crown).

These tokens ("'There are the emblems of Durin!' cried Gimli") show, IMO,
the two different 'crown' - the standard crown (worn by the Kings of
Moria) and the metaphorical crown of stars that appeared to Durin in
Mirrormere.

> a sight that leaves Sam deep in thought.

I wonder what he saw that made him that thoughtful?

<snip>

> "As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of the Silverlode

[...]


> in Lorien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world."

Beautiful - just beautiful!

<snip>

> The blindfolds are removed from Gimli first. His pardon is asked,
> and he is declared to be the first dwarf to see the Naith of
> Lorien since Durin's Day.

Which Durin, I wonder?
Durin I? As you note elsewhere that would push it far back into the elder
days.
Or possibly Durin VI, who was killed by the Balrog in 1980 TA - a 'mere'
thousand years ago.

> There is a wonderful description of the beauty of Lorien,

Tolkien's description of Lórien here is probably the most beautiful
descriptive prose I have ever read. I always find myself lingering at
this point, rereading favourite passages before moving on.

Tolkien's own love of trees is, I believe, shining through here.

<snip>

> [2] Aragorn holds up his sword in farewell to Gandalf - a mark of
> respect that is alien to a non-sword using culture, though there are
> doubtless analogs.

Don't we still 'present arms' (isn't that the English expression?)

Just because the arms today have been changed from swords to guns does
not, IMO, change the meaning of the action. Also, in Danish military,
when the full-dress uniform includes a sword/sabre, this is inevitably
used to 'salute' with.

> [3] The 'we must do without hope' comment by Aragorn is strange.
> Doesn't that run counter to Tolkien/Gandalf's whole philosophy of
> trusting to a Greater Power to help out as long as you do the 'right'
> thing?

I think it would be an important point for Tolkien also that we (humans,
that is) can't always 'do the right thing' - we are fallible, and even
one as great as Aragorn can fall prey to a moment's despair. But he
recovers, he does continue, hoping without hope. In that respect he still
demonstrates the reaction of the noble person (and serves as the good
example of how to handle despair; the counter to Denethor's suicidal
madness).

<snip>

> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the night-speech
> of plant and stone? What does this mean?

I have always taken that to refer to the natural night-time sounds of a
forest. Rustling of leaves etc.

> B) General comments

I have little to add to these. I agree with what you say, and I don't
find much room for anything to add ;-)

> The geography and appearance of the land and trees is extensively
> described in this chapter, and with some beautiful writing (though
> some find it dull).

This is, to me, one of the wonders of Tolkien's writing. I find that
often his prose flows or feels very appropriate for the general emotional
state of the current (story-internal) narrator(s). When I read of Frodo
and Sam's passage from the Emyn Muil to the Morannon, I find the prose
repetitive and plodding slowly along, while here, in, no let's use the
old name, Laurelindórenan, I find it freely flowing with an almost
timeless air. It might of course also be my own expectations affecting
how I read these chapters.

> The character of Legolas is now being developed _much_ more.

[...]

"It is best to love first what you are fitted to love, I
suppose: you must start somewhere and have some roots,
and the soil of the Shire is deep."
(Merry in V,8 'The Houses of Healing')

It is very appropriate, I think, that we begin to learn more about these
people as we reach the ancient homelands of their peoples - the roots of
their cultures. The same is true for Aragorn (whom we meet and get to
know first in Eriador), and to some extent for Boromir as well: his main
development doesn't occur until he stood "once more on the borders of
[his] land, and dire need [was] on [him]."

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 6:45:02 AM5/27/04
to
in <20040527003...@riot.eu.org>,
Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> enriched us with:

>
> On 24 May 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien

<snip>

>> There is then a dispute over blindfolding Gimli the Dwarf, which


>> is the law of their land. Gimli protests this treatment. Aragorn
>> proposes that all shall be blindfolded, and Legolas laments this.
>
> Why *are* they blindfolded? What on earth are the Elves afraid they
> might see - top-secret military installations? Trees? :-)

It does seem a bit arbitrary. Initially it was only Gimli who had to be
blind-folded, and that seemed to me more a way for Haldir to allow him
entry into Lothlórien at all - sort of a not too harmful way of making
the Dwarf harmless, so that he can cross the Silverlode in spite of the
law against it, a for Haldir to allow for both the plight of the company
and the law of the land. This kind of ridiculous and meaningless
stipulations are not unknown of in political agreements ;-)

" 'A dwarf! ' said Haldir. 'That is not well. We have not had
dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days. They are not
permitted in our land. I cannot allow him to pass.'
'But he is from the Lonely Mountain, one of Dįin's trusty
people, and friendly to Elrond,' said Frodo. 'Elrond himself
chose him to be one of our companions, and he has been brave
and faithful.'
The Elves spoke together in soft voices, and questioned
Legolas in their own tongue. 'Very good,' said Haldir at last.
'We will do this, though it is against our liking. If Aragorn
and Legolas will guard him, and answer for him, he shall pass;
but he must go blindfold through Lothlórien."

Blindfolding the whole company is Aragorn's reaction to Gimli's justified
indignation at being singled out, at which point Gimli sees the comedy of
the situation and suggests that only he and Legolas are blindfolded: I
wonder what his motives are? Is this a way of getting back at the Elf who
made the agreement, or does the humour in the offer take out the sting
and serve instead as another hint of the growing friendship between the
two?

> It's simply a salute, isn't it? Just as duellists (and fencers) are
> supposed to salute each other before they begin...

"Morituri te salutant!" ;-)
(I firir laituvalmelyė!)

> The statement that "we may yet be avenged" (?on a Balrog?) seemed to
> me more worthy of remark. But perhaps he has in mind the consequences
> of achieving their quest?

Or vengeance on the Orcs (as he had just seen the Balrog fall into the
same chasm as Gandalf he probably held the same views on the Balrog's
prospects for survival as he did for Gandalf's).

<snip>

> I was wondering more *how* sorrow came upon 'Lorien of the Blossom'
> (is this what 'Lothlorien' means?)

Thus spake Treebeard:

"Do not risk getting entangled in teh woods of /Laurelindórenan!
That is what the Elves used to call it, but now they make the
name shorter: Lothlórien they call it. Perhaps they are right:
maybe it is fading; not growing. Land of the Valley of Singing
Gold, that was it, once upon a time. Now it is the Dreamflower."

From 'loth' (S) or 'lót(ė)' (Q) "flower" + (possibly) 'lor-' (Q) "to
slumber" or 'lor' (Q) "dream". "Lórien" seems to be derived from Nandorin
(the Silvan Tongue) 'Lórinand' to imply the Quenya meaning of 'lor'
rather than the original (where it means "gold" or "golden light").

<snip>

> This is interesting, since it implicitly states that they *had*
> heard of hobbits before, and a long time ago, too. In what context,
> one wonders?

Halflings lived, as testified by Gollum, near the Gladden about a hundred
miles north of Lothlórien. In one of the versions of The Hunt for the
Ring in UT, Tolkien let a few Hobbits live there still (until the Nazgūl
came along looking for the Shire), while in another the Nazgūl found
their settlements long gone. Taking Haldir's statement into account I
think it unlikely that any Hobbit settlement had existed between Mirkwood
and the Misty Mountains for many years.

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:23:34 AM5/27/04
to
Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:
> Why *are* they blindfolded? What on earth are the Elves afraid they
> might see - top-secret military installations? Trees? :-)

> When Faramir blindfolds Frodo and Sam, it is for the specific reason of
> hiding from them the route into a concealed refuge; but hiding the way
> between the trees of Lorien is a little more difficult.

But it may not be obvious where exactly Caras Galadhon, "the heart of
Elvendom on Earth", is to be found in Lorien. So it might make sense
to conceale it's exact location.

And anyway, it adds to the impression of "we're now seeing things here
that are forbidden to others".

> I was wondering more *how* sorrow came upon 'Lorien of the Blossom' (is
> this what 'Lothlorien' means?)

Yes, *LOT(H) means "flower".

> This is interesting, since it implicitly states that [the elves of
> Lorien] *had* heard of hobbits before, and a long time ago, too. In
> what context, one wonders?

The prologue says that the "earliest tales" of the Hobbits "glimpse a
time when they dwelt in the upper vales of Anduin, between the eaves
of Greenwood the Great and the Misty Mountains." That's close enough
to Lorien for the elves to notice them. And when the Hobbits crossed
the mountains, the elves probably lost track of them.

> (They are apparently the only people south of the Mountains who
> *are* familiar with hobbits - in all his thousands of years of life,
> even Treebeard hasn't seen one.)

Fangorn is more to the south, so that seems to fit.

> That seemed a little odd to me. We learn later that Frodo has never
> seen the sea - and since he has never before left the Shire, this is
> quite natural. So how does he recognise the sound of sea-birds (Legolas
> has apparently never heard them either)?

One could come up with a semi-story-internal explanation: Frodo wrote the
Red Book back in Hobbingen, after he had been to Gondor and Harlond,
where he would have learned how to recognize the sea-birds.

Or, one could simply attribute it to the omniscient narrator, who
describes things for out benefit: After all, we're only told what
Frodo hears, not whether he recognizes it.

- Dirk

Stan Brown

unread,
May 27, 2004, 1:37:01 PM5/27/04
to
"Emma Pease" <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:
[speculating on the anti-Dwarf law of Lorien]

>The law is the law? It seems to have been a compromise by Haldir
>between not permitting Gimli at all which the law decreed yet allowing
>him to continue which is the sensible thing to do. Maybe the law
>stated that no dwarf could _see_ the Naith of Lorien....

Nobody has yet posted what seems to me the most likely explanation:
The law was made centuries ago, and Galadriel and Celeborn had not
thought to revoke it because they didn't expect the situation to
arise.

After all, as soon as they had word that the Fellowship was in
Lorien, the Lord and Lady sent instructions to let Gimli walk
freely.

Stan Brown

unread,
May 27, 2004, 2:07:32 PM5/27/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> enriched us with:
>> And he utters one of my favorite lines: "Perilous indeed, fair and
>> perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil
>> with them."
>
>Rephrased later by Sam to Faramir, and though Sam says that "It ought to
>be sung. You'd have to get Strider, Aragorn that is, or old Mr. Bilbo,
>for that." I think that he does extremely well with his "You, you could
>dash yourself to pieces on her, like a ship on a rock ..." Sam has a way
>to find, even as he seems to be groping about for them haltingly, the
>right words ;-)

I had forgotten about that "echo". It's a minor (and delightful)
motifs of LotR that we keep seeing evidence of Sam _not_ being just
the country bumpkin he sees in himself. He recites poetry, he even
composes it, and he really does show himself to be a deep thinker
from time to time.

>I don't, however, think that 'those who bring some evil with them'
>necessarily is restricted to people we would see as 'evil' as such.
>Boromir was not, IMO, 'evil', but he did bring an evil with him; his own
>pride.

That's how I look at it also.

Stan Brown

unread,
May 27, 2004, 2:09:55 PM5/27/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>I don't think that the Crown of Durin is these reflected stars.

I don't think so either.

Weren't the Seven Stars what we today call the Big Dipper or the
Plough? If so, they could be the Baseball Cap of Durin but hardly
his Crown. :-)

Stan Brown

unread,
May 27, 2004, 2:13:46 PM5/27/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>Blindfolding the whole company is Aragorn's reaction to Gimli's justified
>indignation at being singled out, at which point Gimli sees the comedy of
>the situation and suggests that only he and Legolas are blindfolded: I
>wonder what his motives are? Is this a way of getting back at the Elf who
>made the agreement, or does the humour in the offer take out the sting
>and serve instead as another hint of the growing friendship between the
>two?

I think it's more straightforward: Gimli's resentment of Elves is
still simmering, and he expresses it quite clearly: if Legolas is
humiliated he himself is willing to be humiliated.

You say "another hint of the growing friendship between the two".
Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen any real hints of more than
a grudging tolerance at this point in the story.

I remember seeing friendship between Gimli and Legolas till after
they've run across Rohan together, and then especially after they've
had their friendly rivalry in Orc-killing at Helm's Deep.

Stan Brown

unread,
May 27, 2004, 2:15:37 PM5/27/04
to
"Dirk Thierbach" <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>One could come up with a semi-story-internal explanation: Frodo wrote the
>Red Book back in Hobbingen, after he had been to Gondor and Harlond,
>where he would have learned how to recognize the sea-birds.

Seagulls come quite far inland, don't they? At the risk of having
someone correct me for poor birding knowledge, I'll say that I see
them all the time here in Cortland Country, a couple of hundred
miles from the Atlantic. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that
Frodo would have heard them in the Shire.

the softrat

unread,
May 27, 2004, 2:48:17 PM5/27/04
to
On Thu, 27 May 2004 07:10:35 GMT, in alt.fan.tolkien "Troels
Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>in <be50318e.04052...@posting.google.com>,
>Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
>> news:<cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>...
>>>
>>> And what do you think of the quality of the poetry?
>>
>> Poetry is not JRRT's strong point,
>
>I quite agree.
>
Hmmmmm......

Tastes do differ. Read the poems in _The Book of Lost Tales_ (both
sections) and _The Lays of Beleriand_. Now JRRT is no T.S. Eliot,
which some consider his strong point.

Then read _The Iliad_ and _The Odyssey_, and _The Fairie Queen_.
_Sir Gawain and the Green Knight_ and _Pearl_ aren't bad either.


the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"Never try to impress a woman because if you do, you'll have to
keep up that standard the rest of your life" -- W. C. Fields

Taemon

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:14:02 PM5/27/04
to
Stan Brown wrote:

> Seagulls come quite far inland, don't they? At the risk
> of having someone correct me for poor birding knowledge,
> I'll say that I see them all the time here in Cortland
> Country, a couple of hundred miles from the Atlantic.

It is true they come quite far inland, but I seem to recall this
is a relatively new development, induced by our human habit of
leaving a lot of waste behind everywhere we go. This could be
true of Middle-Earth of course, but the way Tolkien describes
gulls as something special, I don't think so.

T.


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:26:20 PM5/27/04
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote:

> But it may not be obvious where exactly Caras Galadhon, "the heart of
> Elvendom on Earth", is to be found in Lorien. So it might make sense
> to conceale it's exact location.

Good point. Except Aragorn may be referring specifically to Cerin Amroth
as the heart of Elvendom on earth, or Lorien in general. Incidentially,
I know Earth is not capitalized when Tolkien uses it in the sense of
Middle-earth, but it still seems to be a translation from Westron into
colloquial English.

Where they would say "heart of Elvendom on Middle-earth", we would say
"heart of Elvendom on Earth", so Tolkien translates it that way. Or is
that too convoluted an explanation?

Christopher

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

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:32:48 PM5/27/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
> In my opinion he was a
> master at the old alliterative forms: "spear shall be shaken, shield
> be splintered./a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!" - it's
> beautiful in my eyes :-)

Did you mean to your ears? I know you see the alliteration as well as
hear it, but the beauty is from the repetition as heard when read out
aloud. Quite stunning when it is done well.

Incidentially, when reading alliterative verse, does anyone stress the
alliterative syllables, or should you _not_ do this and be more subtle?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 3:47:59 PM5/27/04
to
Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:
> On 24 May 2004 Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

>> Aragorn tells Boromir that there is no other way and
>> there is only peril for evil people.
>
> I'm not sure that's quite what he implies: the more relevant part for
> the company is that the only evil that is to be found there is the
> evil that you yourself bring in with you...

Quite right. I skimped on summarising that bit...

> Looking at the map - doubtless highly stylised - it is not clear to me
> why Aragorn states that there is no alternative to passing through
> Lorien. If they had turned south before the Silverlode met the waters
> of Nimrodel, it appears they could have taken a more direct route
> between Lorien and Fangorn down into Rohan, and thence, if required,
> to the River. Since this would be rough country in the foothills of
> the mountains, it would doubtless be slower

A possible answer to this is on the description of the Great River and
the lands around Rauros in the chapter called 'The Great River'. We hear
that the woods extend beyond the land of Lorien (as shown on the map)
far along the western bank of Anduin, and then the woods fail. On the
east are the Brown Lands, and on the west, rolling meads (huh, what are
these?) and plains of grass (the beginning of the plains of Rohan).
There are also reeds as well, and Aragorn says that around the Entwash
there are many swamps and dangerous fogs descend without warning. So
maybe this would happen around the Limlight as well? Without the boats
and going down the Anduin, they would have taken a _long_ time to cover
this route.

> and since he is certain
> of aid in the woods of Lothlorien it is easy to see why he prefers to
> follow the stream; but I cannot help feeling that his desire to
> revisit the scenes of his youth causes him to be a little more
> categorical in his summary to Boromir than reality warrants :-)

There is that, of course. :-)

Glenn Holliday

unread,
May 26, 2004, 6:52:28 PM5/26/04
to
Stan Brown wrote:
>
> >[7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
> >into Mirrormere? It certainly leaves Sam lost for words, and explains
> >the description in Gimli's song in the halls of Moria. Also, was anyone
> >else reminded of Balin's death when Gimli and Frodo peer into
> >Mirrormere?
>
> I hear that if you stand at the bottom of a narrow shaft like a tall
> chimney, you can see stars even on a sunny day.

That suggestion has been tested experimentally (see, for example,
the very good basic astronomy reference "Nightwatch") and it
doesn't work. Bright stars can be seen in daytime if their light
is amplified enough, and then the color of the sky filtered
enough to reduce the contrast between skylight and starlight.
Surveyors use instruments to sight Polaris in the daytime,
which gives them a reference closer to true North than a compass.

But the Fellowship has no such instruments. So this is a
non-physical effect.

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

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 6:43:31 PM5/27/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
> in <cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>,
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>>
>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>> Book 2, Chapter 6: Lothlorien
>
> Excellent - as we have come to expect ;-) My thanks.

:-) Thanks. We expect no less from you and many others here!

> <snip>
>
>> This, according to Gimli, is the crown of Durin,
>
> I don't think that the Crown of Durin is these reflected stars. These
> were doubtlessly the "crown of stars" Durin saw appear, when he
> looked in Mirrormere (the song in the preceding chapter), but I don't
> think that they are what is referred to in the last two lines:
>
> "There lies his crown in water deep,
> Till Durin wakes again from sleep."

Why would it be anything different?

If you look at the quote in full:

"But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;


There lies his crown in water deep

Till Durin wakes again from sleep."

To me, the 'still' and 'there' link the 'sunken stars' to the 'crown',
which is in 'water deep' - a link to the sunken nature of the stars.
I've never thought of this crown as being anything other than the stars,
with one exception (see below).

> Nor that it is what Gimli refers to when he says, "There lies the
> Crown of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!"

And to quote the full passage here:

"They stooped over the dark water. At first they could see nothing. Then
slowly they saw the forms of the encircling mountains mirrored in a
profound blue, and the peaks were like plumes of white flame above them;
beyond there was a space of sky. There like jewels sunk in the deep
shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above. Of their own
stooping forms no shadow could be seen."
'Oh Kheled-zaram fair and wonderful!' said Gimli. 'There lies the crown
of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!' He bowed and turned away..."

To me it is plain that Gimli is referring to what he and Frodo have just
seen in Mirrormere: the crown of Durin. Together with the passage from
the poem where Durin saw a "crown of stars" appear when he looked in
Mirrormere, it is plain that the stars are the crown. A possible
extension to this, is the fact that the peaks of the "encircling
mountains" might take the form of the spikes of a crown. So the
combination of the stars and mountains give rise to the name: Durin's
crown.

> My impression has always been that besides the stars there was also a
> regular crown - as on the west door: "an anvil and a hammer
> surmounted by a crown with seven stars" - the picture of the door
> shows the crown, and the seven stars (the midmost appearing as the
> crest of the crown).

A regular crown, maybe, but this is not what I take the references to a
crown in Mirrormere to mean. And in any case, I believe that this crown
symbol on the Doors of Moria is referring to the Mirrormere crown. The
appearance of the stars in the 'Durin looking in Mirrormere' tale
should, IMO, be seen as a symbol of the legitimacy of Durin and a sign
to him that this is where he should establish his realm. Hence the fact
that he makes the crown and the seven stars the symbols of his house.
(Though the _seven_ stars also represents a specific constellation, see
my response to Stan's post).

> These tokens ("'There are the emblems of Durin!' cried Gimli") show,
> IMO, the two different 'crown' - the standard crown (worn by the
> Kings of Moria) and the metaphorical crown of stars that appeared to
> Durin in Mirrormere.
>
>> a sight that leaves Sam deep in thought.
>
> I wonder what he saw that made him that thoughtful?

I think it was the sight of those stars.

<snip>

> "It is best to love first what you are fitted to love, I
> suppose: you must start somewhere and have some roots,
> and the soil of the Shire is deep."
> (Merry in V,8 'The Houses of Healing')

Ooh. Nice quote!

> It is very appropriate, I think, that we begin to learn more about
> these people as we reach the ancient homelands of their peoples - the
> roots of their cultures.

Agreed.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 6:55:15 PM5/27/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>> I don't think that the Crown of Durin is these reflected stars.
>
> I don't think so either.

Well, I've addressed this in full in my reply to Troels's post, but
there are a few comments I could make about the seven stars.

> Weren't the Seven Stars what we today call the Big Dipper or the
> Plough? If so, they could be the Baseball Cap of Durin but hardly
> his Crown. :-)

The following quote is from the 'Numbers in Tolkien' thread.

[START QUOTE]

And I've tracked down the origin of the seven stars of Durin:

"[the 7 stars of Durin] represented the Plough" ('star' index entry,
LotR)

"And high in the north as a challenge to Melkor [Varda] set the crown of
seven mighty stars to swing, Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar and sign
of doom." (Silm, 3)

[Here we see a clear reference to these stars as a crown.]

"And in answer [Beren] sang a song of challenge that he had made in
praise of the Seven Stars, the Sickle of the Valar that Varda hung above
the North as a sign for the fall of Morgoth." (Silm, 19)

[Not a relevant quote, but it is nice so I left it in!]

[END QUOTE]

Regarding the shape of the Plough, or Big Dipper, I believe that it is
posible to trace the shape of a crown (or sickle) if you are imaginative
enough, and I believe it may have been called a crown by other times and
cultures.

It is more debatable about whether these stars are exactly the same as
the crown of stars that Durin saw appear in Mirrormere. I would say not.
However, the legend of the crown of stars in Mirrormere might have led
to the dwarves identifying the Plough (or Valacirca) as a crown
constellation, and this would lead to their use in the symbols of
Durin's House, as we see on the Doors of Moria.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:19:44 PM5/27/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>
> Thanks, CK! I know you put a lot of work into this.

Thanks. It was (literally) a pleasure!

>> Legolas says that there are tales of a secret power in
>> Lorien and Elves still dwell deep in the woods;


>
> This I have never understood. Why should Legolas, son of the King of
> Mirkwood, have heard only "tales" of the Elf-kingdom in the next
> wood over? Rivendell is far less accessible, yet he didn't seem to
> find anything wondrous in traveling there.

We are told by Celeborn in the next chapter:

"Welcome son of Thranduil! Too seldom do my kindred journey hither from
the North."

I'd agree with what others have said about Dol Guldur lying inbetween,
and also that it is in fact a heck of a long way. Rivendell is far
closer to Thranduil's kingdom (which is in the far north of Mirkwood)
than Lorien. It is easy to forget just how big Mirkwood is! "Next wood
over" is a slight underestimate...

<snip>

>> [1] As the Fellowship recover in Dimrill Dale, Aragorn's words ('Alas
>> that I spoke true!') reveal that his prophecy of danger to Gandalf
>> was unwitting.
>
> I'm not quite sure what you mean. Both Gandalf and Aragorn
> frequently feel this or that in their heart -- what modern folks
> would call a premonition. I don't think Aragorn had uttered a
> prophecy before they went into Moria; rather he told Gandalf (in
> modern language) "I have a premonition that if you go in there
> you'll die in there."
>
> "Alas that I spoke true" -- I interpret this, simply, as "Oh crap --
> of all my premonitions, why must _this_ be one that pans out?"

Great way of putting it! Premonition is a much better word. But still
not quite right. There is probably slightly more of the seer's ability
than just a mere premonition.

<snip>

>> [7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
>> into Mirrormere? It certainly leaves Sam lost for words, and explains
>> the description in Gimli's song in the halls of Moria. Also, was
>> anyone else reminded of Balin's death when Gimli and Frodo peer into
>> Mirrormere?
>
> I hear that if you stand at the bottom of a narrow shaft like a tall

> chimney, you can see stars even on a sunny day. Either the
> surrounding mountains were tall enough and close enough to show this
> effect (unlikely), or this was some sort of vision granted only to
> select individuals.

The "chimney daytime stars" thing is well-known to be a myth:

http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q241.html

<snip>

>> [18] What is the translation of Aragorn's comment when he is
>> standing on Cerin Amroth: 'Arwen vanimelda, namarie!"?
>
> "Namarie" of course is "farewell".


>
> There's nothing in the word list in Silm beginning with "van". I
> believe "vanimelda" is related to "beautiful" -- a superlative

> perhaps? In Letter #230, Tolkien translates Treebeard's greeting to
> Celeborn and Galadriel: "A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!" = "O
> beautiful ones, parents of beautiful children."

I'm glad someone mentioned that quote. Another of my favorites!

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:28:16 PM5/27/04
to
TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>I wrote:
>>> [6] There is an extensive description of Mirrormere and what
>>> Frodo and Gimli see in it. Can anyone explain the geology of
>>> Mirrormere, and how the lake's surface can be so still? The
>>> description of the colour as 'profound blue' is just lovely.

> Lake Tahoe in Nevada, USA, is an extremely still lake. Mark
> Twain had much to say about the clarity and relfective qualities
> of Tahoe. There are lakes similar in Canada, as well. Glacial
> melt originally, I think, and snow melt now, keep the levels up,
> and almost no current to speak of exists - they are,
> essentially, a very large self contained bowl of water.

Which is probably what Mirrormere is, especially as it is presumably fed
only by the water coming down the Dimrill Stair, which could be
meltwater. And the Silverlode rises from a spring further south, so
there appears to be no southwards flow outwards from Mirromere (unless
the flow is underground).

I believe another example of a snowmelt lake is Crater Lake in Oregon.

http://www.nps.gov/crla/

This site has some nice pictures:

http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/north_america/crater_lake.html

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:30:38 PM5/27/04
to
Jim Deutch <10313...@compuserve.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 24 May 2004 10:07:26 -0400, Stan Brown
> <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>
>> I hear that if you stand at the bottom of a narrow shaft like a tall
>> chimney, you can see stars even on a sunny day. Either the
>
> You hear wrong. It's a not-uncommon trope (if that's the right word):
> Tolkien himself uses it in LotR (but I'm wracking my brains for the
> reference -- maybe it's actually in Silm or UT?)

I was wracking my brains as well, but couldn't think of anything. Maybe
you are thinking of Sam's star in Mordor, which he sees at evening?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:38:31 PM5/27/04
to
Michelle J. Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com> wrote:
> In article <cQdsc.981$P_3....@news-text.cableinet.net>,
> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

>> [15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of
>> the most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote
>> Tolkien's own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a
>> point as the blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe
>> there is some effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?
>
> I think that may be the case, to some extent. I think, in part, he's
> feeling the effects that Galadriel and her Ring have on the land --
> it's timelessness -- and perhaps one of the reasons this effect is
> more pronounced in Lorien than in Rivendell is that Galadriel is an
> Elf who once lived in Valinor.

Oh sure. And not just in part. Without Galadriel and her Ring, Lorien
would be little different from a jaunt through Thranduil's kingdom in
Mirkwood. It really is 'elf magic' at work here, and everyone feels it.

And changing the subject slightly, without the blindfolding, Tolkien
wouldn't get as much of a chance to emphasise the other senses as he
does. So the blindfolding is important for that reason as well, no
matter how weak the story-internal reason might be.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:51:05 PM5/27/04
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

<snip>

>> [7] And how on Middle-earth can this star-effect happen when looking
>> into Mirrormere?
>

> I don't know for sure. If for some reason the sun-light from a low sun
> is filtered out, you would see the stars. IIRC polarization of the low
> sun is quite strong for some reason in the mountains. (Thinner air?
> Less dust?), so this could play a role.

The only explanation I have been able to come up with is to invoke
optical effects with sunlight. There are many such phenomenon, such as
sun halos and sun dogs (these involve high ice clouds in the atmosphere
refracting sunlight). Also, the description of the mountains crowding
around ("encircling") seems to be more than just the natural shape of
the mountains circling Dimrill Dale. Possibly there is some sort of
mirage/fish-eye lens effect happening here. This might also, in some
way, lead to reflected sparkles of light in the sky or maybe only in the
water, giving the appearance of stars.

> We know that Tolkien went hiking in the Alps, so maybe he has actually
> seen an effect like this somewhere.

Possibly. He would almost definitely have seen mountain waterfalls and
deep blue lakes, and mountains reflected in lakes. But I think the star
effect he just made up as a nice "fairy-tale" touch.

<snip>

>> [18] What is the translation of Aragorn's comment when he is
>> standing on Cerin Amroth: 'Arwen vanimelda, namarie!"?
>

> 'Vanima' means 'beautiful'. Material from the Ardalambion site says
> that the first edition had 'vanim_a_lda', and explains -lda as variant
> of -lya, so literally 'Arwen your beauty, farewell'. However, in the
> second edition, with the vowel changed, "Tolkien may have decided to
> re-interpret the phrase as *'Arwen, beautiful Elf (Elda)'". Also note
> the name 'Tar-Vanimelde' in Appendix A.
>
> In any case, it means something like "Beautiful Arwen, farewell!".

Thanks! That has explained a lot for me.

<snip>

>> There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR.
>
> Yes, certainly. "Meeting the elven-queen" is probably a very central
> theme of Faerie, and an important one for Tolkien as well. It also
> shows up in the "Smith of Wooton Major".

IMO, that is a rather strange story. But I see the similarities.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:55:33 PM5/27/04
to
Count Menelvagor <Menel...@mailandnews.com> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote

<snip>

>> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to


>> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the
>> night-speech of plant and stone? What does this mean?
>

> I'm not sure. It could just be a poetic figure of speech (I don't
> recall the passage exactly, or have TBIFOM); but I think it's related
> to one of the characteristics of the "mythical" world: the sense that
> nature was much more aware than it is (or than we think of it as
> being) today.

I like that idea. I was also hoping someone might come up with some sort
of meteorological justification for a wind arising at dusk, maybe
something to do with the loss of the Sun's heat. This would be the
night-wind effect.

I find it strange that Tolkien does not refer to the night-speech of
animals. He does refer to birds later on, and we had a talking fox many
moons ago, but I can't think of any other examples. I guess he was more
a tree/flower person.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 7:58:25 PM5/27/04
to
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I also appreciate the respect with which you treat the subject-matter,
> and the thoroughness (Gründlichkeit:-))with which you work.

Thanks! What does Grundlichkeit mean?

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

<snip>

>> [10] When Gimli and Frodo talk as they fall behind on the journey to
>> Lorien, there are references to the night-wind and to the
>> night-speech of plant and stone? What does this mean?
>

> I think that you might need to spend some time in the woods at night,
> so you know what JRRT is poetically referring to.

:-) I get scared of the dark... :-)

<snip>

>> [15] Frodo's reactions to entering Lorien are recorded with some of
>> the most beautiful writing in LotR. I can do no better than quote
>> Tolkien's own words. I almost hesitate to bring up so mundane a
>> point as the blindfolding, which enhances Frodo's senses, but maybe
>> there is some effect of the Ring/Morgul wound also at work here?
>>

> Why mundane? I think it has everything to do with the blindfolding.
> Imagine JRRT even mentioning the sun Frodo felt on his face and hands
> when passing through an open glade.

Thank-you for pointing that out. It is very important.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 8:04:20 PM5/27/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

<snip>

> there's a stirring strength in Théoden's staves at the
> the Pelennor Fields (and Éomer's - "Mourn not overmuch")

Have you read 'The Homecoming...'? It has a good explanation of the
Northern values that I think are also expressed in the Rohirrim.
Something like "Stronger be heart, bolder..."
(can't remember the rest :-( )

> and I'm
> fascinated by the beauty of the Elvish poetry.

Do you mean the stuff in Quenya? The paens to Elberath and Galadriel's
song of Eldamar?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 8:16:35 PM5/27/04
to
Jim Deutch <10313...@compuserve.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:18:32 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
> <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>> Also, was anyone else reminded of Balin's death when
>> Gimli and Frodo peer into Mirrormere?
>

> Yes! I'd forgotten, but the first time I read LotR I was certain
> Gimli was done for! "Get away from there, you fools!!!!" Maybe this
> is a truly masterful evocation of tension on the part of the author.
> Maybe it's just an overactive imagination on my part...

[WARNING: insiduous fanfic treatment]

Just imagine:

"They stooped over the dark water [yadda, yadda, beautiful sight]...

<twang> The sound of a bowstring rang out.
<thwack> Gimli arched as the arrow hit him.
<splosh> And he collapsed with a sigh into Mirrormere.

"But it is I that must hasten away, and he that must remain"

[uh, uh, that's wrong Gimli: _you_ are staying as well now...]

But at least I let him have the joy of the sight...

[END FANFIC]

<snip>

>> There are deeper feeling of Faerie here than anywhere else in LotR.

>> As we crossed the Silverlode and entered deep into the Naith of
>> Lorien, arriving at the fair hill of Cerin Amroth, we truly entered
>> the realm of Faerie. Although this will be developed further in the
>> following chapters, this first encounter is truly magical.
>
> I think we got more than a little foreshadowing of this magical
> feeling in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell.

Of course. That is also a truly magical moment. If anything, that is
more real than this one, because it is so deeply related to
storytelling. The beauty of Lorien can sometimes seem a little unreal, a
bit too alien, and ultimately 'wrong' in trying to hold back the ravages
of time. It would be interesting to explore in more detail the
differences and similarities between Rivendell and Lorien.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 8:26:38 PM5/27/04
to
Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:

[on Haldir's dialogue]

> When he subsequently refers to the "Dark Days", can we assume that
> this was the Elves' term for the era of the coming of the Balrog?

It could mean the time when Sauron attacked the Elves of Eregion, and
when the Doors of Moria were shut. I belive that the coming of the
Balrog happens much later. This would also shed light on which Durin is
referred to.

> Why was there "a great troop of Orcs going north toward Moria" many
> days ago - and from where? All our speculation aside, *could* this
> have been the origin of the 'uruks of Mordor' encountered at the
> Chamber of Mazarbul? "Many days ago" would seem to rule out this
> arrival as being triggered by the observations of the crebain...

Ooh. Good point. Though if there were reports of a company going over
Caradhras, then the logical place to intercept them would be at the
Dimril Stair, which emerges just north of the East Gate of Moria. It
does seem like these orcs might have entered Moria and had trolls put
down those stone bridges across the chasm of fire.

> [snip]
>> [16] Yet more great writing. The 'great seas' and 'sea-birds' that
>> Frodo hears from the South Wind upon Cerin Amroth is exactly like the
>> description of the South Wind in the lament for Boromir.


>
> That seemed a little odd to me. We learn later that Frodo has never
> seen the sea - and since he has never before left the Shire, this is
> quite natural. So how does he recognise the sound of sea-birds

I like Emma's idea that he dreamt of sea-birds in those dreams he has
been having.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 8:29:53 PM5/27/04
to
Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote:

> Aragorn had killed an orc chieftain so it was almost certain that orcs
> would pursue them after dark.

As Gimli says, "to avenge a fallen chieftain."

> Going into Lorien might
>
> a. Cause the orcs to turn back for fear of the elves
> b. Could gain them allies who could take care of the orcs for them

Only b, as the orcs didn't seem to be afraid of the elves. I found that
a bit strange, that the orcs quite happily went into Lorien. Of course,
none of them ever returned.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
May 27, 2004, 8:36:20 PM5/27/04