Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is company.

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Rhianon_s

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Feb 1, 2004, 4:49:23 PM2/1/04
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Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is
company.
To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

Chapter Summary:

Despite Gandalf's warning of going and going quickly Frodo is dragging
his heels over leaving the shire. It is two-three weeks before he
even discusses how to leave without creating a fuss. Finally Frodo
decides to leave on his birthday and Gandalf tells him to make for
Rivendell.

Frodo arranges to sell Bag end under the pretence that he is running
out of money and the cover story is that he is returning to Buckland.
Despite this there are rumours in Hobbit society that Gandalf is
planning something and up to no good hiding in Bag End. At this point
the truth of the matter is known to only Sam, Frodo and Gandalf.

Two months after this decision Gandalf is still at Bag End, but at the
end of June he leaves the Shire to go 'get some news'. He tells Frodo
he will return by his Birthday and warns him against using the Ring
for any reason. Frodo himself is already feeling homesick (and he
hasn't even left yet), and enjoying one last summer at Bag End.

The Birthday comes, but Gandalf doesn't. After handing over the keys
to Bag End, Frodo decides not to wait for Gandalf and heads off with
Sam and Pippin. Leaving the main road they walk across the fields of
the shire.

After a couple of days of walking across the shire Sam hears a horse
on the road behind them, Frodo is almost overcome with a desire to
hide. The rider is described as a large man dressed all in black and
sniffing around him. Frodo feels an almost desperate desire to use
the Ring, but tries to resist. Just before he can slip it on the
rider gives up sniffing and rides off.

After the incident Sam recalls that his dad saw the rider before they
set out from Bag End, he was asking For "Mr Baggins".

Later that day they again hear the Black Rider hunting for them, once
again Frodo feels the desire to slip on the Ring. The rider is
described as sniffing the ground, but flees as they all hear the
voices of Elves.

The leader of the elves, Gildor, greets Frodo by name and asks him to
make camp with them for Frodo's protection. Gildor hints that he
knows that Frodo is leaving and that the Enemy is pursuing him, but
will not reveal more without Gandalf's say so. He does direct Frodo
to continue to Rivendell.

++++++points to consider+++++++
This is quite an odd chapter full of hints and preparing the ground,
both for the characters and the readers. The thing that struck me
most was how much of a transition chapter this was, it started off
much in the tone of The Hobbit, but got darker before the end. My
first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

Gandalf is in Bag End for quite some time, what is he up to? Or is it
just that he like Frodo is enjoying the Shire for one last time?

Gandalf does hint that it might be Frodo's duty to "find the cracks of
doom". Two things here, is Gandalf preparing Frodo for what he will
have to endure, how much does Gandalf know? Point two "find the
cracks of doom" makes it sound like he isn't sure where they are.
Surely he should say "go to the cracks"?

Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
it's a much darker tone. YMMV

There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
are almost upon him? Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,
and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?

For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
by name. Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
directly through the shire and at just the right time? Why don't they
tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of just hinting
cryptically?

For the reader their is a nice bit of foreshadowing of Scouring of the
Shire when Frodo is asked if he thinks that the Shire can fence out
the world.

Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
messenger birds or other means?

Rhiannon

"The trick is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too
stupid to even write a crime report about them."
Aubrey on remaining at liberty
www.somethingpositive.net

Christopher Kreuzer

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Feb 1, 2004, 7:51:31 PM2/1/04
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"Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote

> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1 Chapter 3 - Three
is
> company.
>


> Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
> me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

It was a very fine summary I thought, and some good comments. Did you
post via Google for the first time to make sure the post reached as many
news servers as possible? Is this a standard or essential thing for
Chapter of the Week? Or maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely and
you switched to posting through Google for another reason?

> ++++++points to consider+++++++
> This is quite an odd chapter full of hints and preparing the ground,
> both for the characters and the readers. The thing that struck me
> most was how much of a transition chapter this was, it started off
> much in the tone of The Hobbit, but got darker before the end. My
> first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
> from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

Not sure. It was somewhere around this point. I think Tolkien wrote the
first three chapters in the Hobbit style, and this may not even have
included the Shadow of the Past chapter. He then extensively rewrote the
early chapters as the story developed, but never quite lost the
Hobbit-style at the beginning. You have to remember that the Ring as the
central element of the story did not emerge until several drafts of the
opening chapters had been written. These obviously then had to be
rewritten. Also, Frodo (or the character that later became Frodo: Bingo
Bolger-Baggins!) was not originally there. In the very first draft,
Bilbo is the hero. But that is more properly discussed in the Chapter 1
discussion, but it is really a bit late for that now. :-(

The whole thing about the early drafts of LotR is actually terribly
confusing. I need to read the HoME volumes dealing with that, as I am
writing based solely on what is in the Biography and scattered comments
picked up on these newsgroups.

> Gandalf is in Bag End for quite some time, what is he up to? Or is it
> just that he like Frodo is enjoying the Shire for one last time?

Replenishing his store of pipeweed.

> Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

This is explained in 'The Council of Elrond':

"At the end of June I was in the Shire, but a cloud of anxiety was on my
mind, and I rode to the southern borders of the little land..."

Gandalf tells of his foreboding of danger and messengers telling him of
war and defeat in Gondor. Then he travelled:

"...east and north and journeyed along the Greenway; and not far from
Bree I came upon a traveller..."

This turned out to be Radagast the Brown. Who bore a message from
Saruman. Gandalf also learnt from Radagast that the Nazgul were abroad
seeking the Shire. Then for some inexplicable reason, despite Gandalf
later saying he would have fled with Frodo at once if Gandalf had known
that the Nine were abroad, Gandalf rides off in answer to Saruman's
summons. Fool! Grey Fool! Wise Fool!

> Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
> book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
> I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
> it's a much darker tone. YMMV

The thinking fox bit is awful! "He was quite right, but he never found
out any more about it." Eck! Blegh!

> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him? Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,
> and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?
>
> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him

> by name?

Gandalf? Bilbo? I like the bit where Frodo greets them in Elvish and
they hail him as Elf-Friend. Though quite why they grret him that way I
don't know. I thought you had to earn that title. The descriptions of
the stars are also nice in this bit with the Elves. We also learn quite
a bit about Elves in this chapter, especially their remoteness and how
they are passing away.

<snip>

Some other bits I noticed in this chapter.

1) I hate the bit where Sam says 'farewell' to the beer barrel! Oaf!

2) There is the first variation on the walking song: "The road goes ever
on...", which first appeared in chapter 1. This will recur several
times throughout the book. This variation replaces 'eager' with 'weary',
and is followed by a nice bit of exposition on Bilbo's 'Road'
philosophy.

3) As you said, there is a lot of foreshadowing in this chapter. One
example that I particularly like is another walking song that has a
stanza beginning "Still round the corner there may wait..." This will be
echoed right at the end of the whole book in the Grey Havens chapter. I
mention it now, because we won't get to that chapter until March 2005,
and I certainly might not remember the reference!

Christopher

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


Ancalagon The Black

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Feb 1, 2004, 9:09:57 PM2/1/04
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Rhianon_s wrote:

> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him? Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,
> and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?
>

Sauron used the battle of Osgiliath to effect the crossing of Nazgul into
the North, without the Wise guessing at the purpose behind the appearance
of the Nazgul.

If the Elves discovered the Nazgul riding through the Shire their purpose
would definitely be perceived, so the Nazgul were very likely ordered to
avoid all contact with the Elves, and besides, the Nazgul couldn't exactly
terrorise the Eldar in order to keep their purpose secret.

Ancalagon
--

L Gray

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Feb 1, 2004, 11:05:45 PM2/1/04
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Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> "Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote
>
>

>>Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
>>book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
>>I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
>>it's a much darker tone. YMMV
>
>
> The thinking fox bit is awful! "He was quite right, but he never found
> out any more about it." Eck! Blegh!
>

Remember that JRRT wrote LotR at the urging of Allen & Unwin as a sequel
to The Hobbit, and he wanted a clear transition point between the two
works. The episode with the fox was intentional. It was a last nod by
the Professor to the child's tale of The Hobbit before plunging into the
much darker and more epic LotR. (Unfortunately, I can't recall where I
read this. In 'Letters,' I think, but I haven't been able to find it.)

--
L Gray

As the Zen Master said to the hotdog vendor,
"Make me one with everything."

AC

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Feb 1, 2004, 11:59:21 PM2/1/04
to
On 1 Feb 2004 13:49:23 -0800,
Rhianon_s <mdde...@aol.com> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is
> company.
> To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
> chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org
>
> Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
> me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

Don't beg, just send cash :-)

<snip excellent summary>

> Gandalf is in Bag End for quite some time, what is he up to? Or is it
> just that he like Frodo is enjoying the Shire for one last time?

I gathered that they were planning the journey ahead, working out Frodo's
plans for getting out of the Shire quietly.

>
> Gandalf does hint that it might be Frodo's duty to "find the cracks of
> doom". Two things here, is Gandalf preparing Frodo for what he will
> have to endure, how much does Gandalf know? Point two "find the
> cracks of doom" makes it sound like he isn't sure where they are.
> Surely he should say "go to the cracks"?

Gandalf obviously knew that the Ring must be taken to Sammath Naur. I think
that we see a bit of his foresight that he thought Frodo was the person for
the job.

>
> Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
> book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
> I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
> it's a much darker tone. YMMV

That little passage has always struck me as anachronistic, and it certainly
is a remnant of the somewhat more whimsical nature of the original drafts.

>
> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him?

A bit of providence and/or good luck.

> Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,

These were High Elves, and I suspect that the Nazgul were in no mood for a
confrontation with them.

> and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?

The Nazgul seem to inspire that feeling in him. It happens later as well,
at Weathertop, the Ford and then at Minas Morgul.

>
> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
> by name.

I thought it was explained that they had seen him on his walks with Bilbo.

>Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
> directly through the shire and at just the right time? Why don't they
> tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of just hinting
> cryptically?

This has bothered some. I do admit that Gildor's excuse which amounts to
"we don't give a damn about Middle Earth anymore" is a bit weak, but that's
as good as you're going to get.

> Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
> all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
> messenger birds or other means?

Not Palantir, and I don't think telepathy. It could very well be birds and
other beasts. My hunch is that it was a bit more mundane, just Elves
meeting each other and passing on the word.

--
Aaron Clausen

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

A Tsar Is Born

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Feb 2, 2004, 1:17:39 AM2/2/04
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"Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com...

> My
> first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
> from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

Yes. He said it was much older than the rest of the trilogy, but of course
he later went back over everything and rewrote a lot to accord with what
comes afterwards. But I think the fact that he started in one mode and then
worked through other modes is one of the things that gives the whole book so
much more depth than most fantasy lit.

> Gandalf is in Bag End for quite some time, what is he up to? Or is it
> just that he like Frodo is enjoying the Shire for one last time?

He's keeping an eye on Frodo and the ring, about which he is suspicious.
Two eyes whenever he can spare them.

> Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

Probably to see what Aragorn's come up with lately.

> Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
> book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
> I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
> it's a much darker tone. YMMV

Most of Butterbur is in the Hobbit sort of style.
In fact, it isn't really dropped until the hobbits leave Bree, in obvious
peril.

> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him?

Fate.

Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,
> and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?

The black riders can influence things they cannot see, to enhance the appeal
of the ring, hoping to lure Frodo to make himself "visible" to them.

The Ring is very "attractive." Especially to those who have experienced it
before.

The Black Rider flees from the elves for the same reason other folk and
animals instinctively flee from black riders.

> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
> by name.

They know Bilbo and have seen them together in the woods. They say this.

Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
> directly through the shire and at just the right time? Why don't they
> tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of just hinting
> cryptically?

Again: fate.

If they told it all they'd keep him there for four days and he'd be so
terrified he wouldn't move again.

And, as Tolkien well knew, to tell the whole story all at once is boring. To
tell it in bits and scraps that the reader puts together lures the reader
into the story and makes him more interested.

> For the reader their is a nice bit of foreshadowing of Scouring of the
> Shire when Frodo is asked if he thinks that the Shire can fence out
> the world.

I doubt any reader of the trilogy notices any such thing.

> Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
> all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
> messenger birds or other means?

They have no palantiri nor does elvish telepathy work so far away. (It only
seems to work in the presence.) But they have lots of friends, notably
animals and birds. Tom B knows the hobbits are en route; so does Aragorn.
And word gets back to Rivendell.

Tsar Parmathule


Tar-Elenion

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Feb 2, 2004, 1:41:08 AM2/2/04
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In article <7YlTb.10932$KV5....@nwrdny01.gnilink.net>,
Atsarisb...@hotmail.com says...

>
> "Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com
>
> > Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
> > all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
> > messenger birds or other means?
>
> They have no palantiri nor does elvish telepathy work so far away. (It only
> seems to work in the presence.) But they have lots of friends, notably
> animals and birds. Tom B knows the hobbits are en route; so does Aragorn.
> And word gets back to Rivendell.


According to Osanwe-kenta:
"For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to osanwe."

>
> Tsar Parmathule
>
>
>

--
Tar-Elenion

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Henriette

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Feb 2, 2004, 2:05:00 AM2/2/04
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mdde...@aol.com (Rhianon_s) wrote in message news:<318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com>...


> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him?

LOL. Makes the chapter very exciting! Good summary and points Rhianon,
thank you!

> Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,

One Black Rider against a company of Elves?

> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
> by name.

There have been hints thus far, that Frodo would roam the Shire and
its borders and sometimes meet Elves.

> Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
> directly through the shire and at just the right time?

Gildor says: "In this meeting there may be more than chance".
Providence at work again? Synchronicity?

> For the reader their is a nice bit of foreshadowing of Scouring of the
> Shire when Frodo is asked if he thinks that the Shire can fence out
> the world.
>

Frodo absolutely does not have the third eye (is no seer), because he
says: "I wonder if I shall ever look down into that valley again".

At a certain point the Hobbits sing a walking-song "to a tune that was
as old as the hills". Wonderfully put. I have noticed before that some
centuries old children's songs we Dutch have, also exist in Germany
and Great Britain, but with completely different words dealing with
completely different subjects.

Henriette

Troels

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Feb 2, 2004, 4:51:55 AM2/2/04
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Hello, very nice summary. Thank you for these chapter discussions, I
really enjoy them.

<Snip>

> After handing over the keys to Bag End,

<Snip>

I was wondering, how does the locks in hobbit hole doors work? Is the
keyhole out to the side of the door away from the handle in the
middle? If it is place in or near the handle it would be a quite
complex locking mechanism? Or are they simply using padlocks?

Regards,
Troels Møller

Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 2, 2004, 9:24:18 AM2/2/04
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in <318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com>,
Rhianon_s <mdde...@aol.com> enriched us with:
>

<snipping fine summary>

Thanks Rhiannon - excellent introduction.

> Gandalf does hint that it might be Frodo's duty to "find the cracks of
> doom". Two things here, is Gandalf preparing Frodo for what he will
> have to endure, how much does Gandalf know?

In 'Shadow of the Past' he clearly says that Frodo was meant to get
the Ring. It wouldn't surprise me if this feeling extends beyond what
he tells Frodo - "It may be your task to find the Cracks of Doom; but
that quest may be for others: I do not know. At any rate you are not
ready for that long road yet." He recognised that Frodo wasn't ready
yet, and possibly wanted to prepare Frodo gently.

> Point two "find the cracks of doom" makes it sound like he isn't sure
> where they are. Surely he should say "go to the cracks"?

Find the way to?

> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him?

At the first meeting, when Frodo is wondering if it might be Gandalf, he
gets a feeling that it isn't and "a sudden desire to hide from the view
of the rider came over him."

I'm not going to be crying "Grace!" or "Providence!" at every turn though
the story, but we've previously discussed whether Frodo has some kind of
gift for prophecy, and it struck me that he often do get this kind of
'feelings' about the future (also his feeling of restlessness and omen
at approaching the age of fifty).

I wondered whether this is part of the reason for Frodo (and Bilbo)
being chosen or if this is a gift he has received because he has been
chosen? Or are the two entirely unconnected (I don't really think that)?

> Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,

He is probably not ready to confront a large company of Noldor.

> and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?

I have wondered about this as well. Is this the workings of the Nazgûl
or is it the result of the Ring sensing the nearness of the Nazgûl?

I think that the Nazgûl can feel whenever the Ring is near (e.g. also
the Witch King in the Morgul vale), and I wouldn't be surprised if this
was true the other way around as well - that the Ring can sense the
nearness of a Nazgûl. But whether Frodo's urge to put on the Ring is
caused by the Ring (reacting on the nearness of the Nazgûl) or directly
by the Nazgûl (trying to make the Ring reveal itself - or rather to get
the bearer to reveal himself)? I'm in doubt there.

> Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them directly through
> the shire and at just the right time?

Gildor says about the paths of Elves and Hobbits, "Our paths cross
theirs seldom, by chance or purpose. In this meeting there may be more
than chance; but the purpose is not clear to me, and I fear to say too
much."

It seems that he believes that their meeting was fated, and though he
can't see the purpose, I think that saving Frodo from the Nazgûl and
giving him the advice is purpose enough.

> Why don't they tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of
> just hinting cryptically?

"Then I think it is not for me to say more - lest terror should keep you
from your journey."

We may agree or disagree with Frodo's complaint that he "cannot imagine
what information could be more terrifying than [Gildor's] hints and
warnings," but I think that the reason for Gildor's reticence is fully
explained.

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

Belba Grubb from Stock

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Feb 2, 2004, 1:47:07 PM2/2/04
to
On 1 Feb 2004 13:49:23 -0800, mdde...@aol.com (Rhianon_s) wrote:

>Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
>me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

It worked and was quite well done. JRRT packed so much into many
chapters, it's really a challenge to condense it all.

>This is quite an odd chapter full of hints and preparing the ground,
>both for the characters and the readers. The thing that struck me
>most was how much of a transition chapter this was, it started off
>much in the tone of The Hobbit, but got darker before the end. My
>first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
>from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

I don't know that "darker" is the best word here: richer, perhaps.
Frodo leaves a "darkened" Bag End, after all, but right after that he
sees that the stars are shining and comments that it's going to be a
good night for a walk. And walk he does, and us with him, often at
night, throughout most of the whole quest; there are often dark and
terrible places, but they are always accompanied by beauty and love.
Sam even sees a star in Mordor and has a good night's sleep, carefree.

It's this depth of vision that is so different from "The Hobbit,"
which was pretty much a 'there and back again' adventure story.

That's very insightful about this being a transition chapter. The
later comment about the fox is quite good (especially compared with
the description of Bill, who "says nothing" just before the Fellowship
leaves Rivendell at some point after Sam has commented that if he
stayed there much longer he would speak).

I would suggest, too, that the whole meal with the Elves above
Woodhall is intended as part of the transition: in "The Hobbit" these
woodland feasts were forbidden to Bilbo and the dwarves and the Elves
were not really major players. It was all quite magical and spooky,
and Bilbo and Thorin were enchanted when they tried to join in. The
Elves in that case were also rather adversarial, taking the dwarves
prisoner. In "The Lord of the Rings," the reader is going to get to
know the Elves as friends and heroes and must actually be brought into
their two most carefully hidden refuges, so the best thing to do, in
order to counter the effect of the descriptions in "The Hobbit," is to
bring the reader quickly into an almost identical woodland feast to
those in "The Hobbit" and to make it a very enjoyable and beautiful
experience. It's also our first introduction to the Noldor, isn't it?

>There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
>the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they

>are almost upon him? Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves...

What others have said. Also, the Elves were singing a hymn to
Elbereth, as Frodo remarked. Later, on Weathertop, Frodo used the
name of Elbereth, and Gandalf or Aragorn, I forget which it was, later
said that it was more deadly to the Witch-king than Frodo's sword
stroke.

>For the reader their is a nice bit of foreshadowing of Scouring of the
>Shire when Frodo is asked if he thinks that the Shire can fence out
>the world.

Yes. That's one of the toughest jobs JRRT had, IMO: to have Frodo
leave a rather pristine Shire only to come back to a mini-Mordor in
the making. He probably used every chance he could to set the reader
up for the final chapter.

>Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
>all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
>messenger birds or other means?

Hard to say because we don't know how many other companies there were
in the area at that time. Certainly Gildor had been in contact with
other travelers, because he was able to tell Frodo that there was
"danger" (read: Nazgul) on all four sides. Perhaps there were more
Elves than usual in the Shire at that point, aiding the Rangers in
their surveillance, while going about their own business at the same
time, by shadowing (no pun intended) the Riders and tracking them. If
so, they might even have had runners going between companies and out
to the Rangers (and to Bombadil, it would seem).

Barb

Elwë Singollo

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 2:51:59 PM2/2/04
to

"Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com...

> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is
> company.
> To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
> chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org
>
> Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
> me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

First time maybe, but excellent summary and discussion points; Thanks!

<snip>

>
> ++++++points to consider+++++++
> This is quite an odd chapter full of hints and preparing the ground,
> both for the characters and the readers. The thing that struck me
> most was how much of a transition chapter this was, it started off
> much in the tone of The Hobbit, but got darker before the end. My
> first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
> from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

As it has already been said, the first chapters have been partially
rewritten by Tolkien. Chapter 2 is already a dark chapter, written in a
completely different tone than the first chapter...


> Gandalf does hint that it might be Frodo's duty to "find the cracks of
> doom".

Yes, but he also adds : "but that quest may be for others : I do not know".
I don't think that Gandalf had a clear idea about what was going to happen
after the ring got to Rivendell at that point. Lots of decision will be
taken later during the council of Elrond


>
> Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

Well, the first two chapters of the second book tells us with precision
where Gandalf went, and why he didn't come at Frodo's farewell party as he
said he would. But my question is : What made him leave Bag-End in a hurry?
"I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking into."
What is he talking about? Was it a message sent by Radagast by an animal?

>
> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
> by name. Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
> directly through the shire and at just the right time? Why don't they
> tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of just hinting
> cryptically?

The elves tell Frodo : "We have seen you often before with Bilbo though you
may not have seen us." And we know that they met Bilbo twice since he left
the shire, so they probably learnt from him that the young hobbit they saw
walking with him sometimes was his nephew, Frodo. So this is not so
surprising that they know Frodo's name and what he looks like. As for the
"whole story", they probably don't know it entirely, and as Gildor says : it
is better if Frodo does not learn the truth about the black riders : "I
think it is not for me to say more -- lest terror should keep you from your
journey."

Elwė


TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 4:14:55 PM2/2/04
to
tro...@e-mail.dk (Troels) wrote in
news:7c108558.04020...@posting.google.com:

I imagine that the keys were symbolic. I never thought that
actually locking up a house (or even the larder) would be necessary
in the Shire, and so the only thing that makes sense to me is the
keys are just a symbol of ownership. (The deed to the house being
the actual proof.)

--
mc

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 4:28:34 PM2/2/04
to
"A Tsar Is Born" <Atsarisb...@hotmail.com> wrote> "Rhianon_s"
<mdde...@aol.com> wrote

> > Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?
>
> Probably to see what Aragorn's come up with lately.


Actually it was a sense of foreboding that prompted him to ride to the
borders of the Shire. He does say he has heard something that has made
him anxious, but I think this may be rumour he has heard from hobbits,
rather than any Rangers. When he reaches the borders of the Shire he
hears more tales of war and defeat in Gondor. I take this to be the
Rangers guarding the Shire. He then journeys north and east along the
Greenway towards Bree. There, he meets Radagast the Brown, and ends up
travelling great distances to meet with Saruman in Isengard. After many
further adventures, he meets up again with Frodo in Rivendell.

All this comes from 'The Council of Elrond'. See my other post in this
thread for quotes from that chapter.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 4:37:17 PM2/2/04
to
"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote
> "Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> a écrit

>
> > Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?
>
> Well, the first two chapters of the second book tells us with
precision
> where Gandalf went, and why he didn't come at Frodo's farewell party
as he
> said he would. But my question is : What made him leave Bag-End in a
hurry?
> "I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking
into."
> What is he talking about? Was it a message sent by Radagast by an
animal?


Probably not, as he meets Radagast later on and there is no indication
that Gandalf was responding to a message from Radagast. The passages in
'The Council of Elrond' make it clear what Gandalf was doing at this
time, as I've quoted in another post in this thread.

I would speculate that Gandalf's "I have heard something", refers to
rumours he has heard among the hobbits and also traders passing through
the Shire. I would have thought that the Rangers guarding the Shire
would mostly remain outside. Indeed, I think this is why Gandalf rides
to the southern borders, to meet with Rangers and get further news.

Gandalf also describes a sense of foreboding that came over him. He
later suggests that this was prompted in some way by the Rising of the
Nine, that the Nazgul had come forth and Sauron was beginning his war.
Again, all told in flashback and narrative at The Council of Elrond.
Ain't Gandalf's hindsight a wonderful thing?!

Conrad B Dunkerson

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 6:04:31 PM2/2/04
to
"L Gray" <ple...@no.mail> wrote in message
news:t0kTb.12405$9a4....@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...

> Remember that JRRT wrote LotR at the urging of Allen & Unwin as a
> sequel to The Hobbit, and he wanted a clear transition point between the
> two works. The episode with the fox was intentional. It was a last nod
> by
> the Professor to the child's tale of The Hobbit before plunging into the
> much darker and more epic LotR.

I'd suggest that it is a bit more complex than this. The first draft of
LotR continues in this same style all the way to Rivendell... though
getting progressively darker and more serious the whole time (just as The
Hobbit did in fact). Tolkien then went back and 'darkened up' the book
from the start... but still kept in many of the lighter features. The fox
was certainly one of these, but I'd say that Tom Bombadil was as well.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 7:02:45 PM2/2/04
to
in <c0ebc13065ce561a...@news.teranews.com>,
Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> enriched us with:

>
> "Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
> 318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com...
>>

<snip>

> But my question is : What made him leave Bag-End in a hurry?
> "I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking
> into." What is he talking about? Was it a message sent by Radagast
> by an animal?

I doubt the animal messenger - Gandalf would have known where to find
Radagast and Radagast would have been expecting him if that was the
case.

My suspicion is that he heard some ominous news that made him think of
the Ringwraiths; perhaps a rumour of the attack on Osgiliath (in which,
according to UT, "the Lord of Morgul was sent forth openly to battle
against Gondor."

The timing doesn't seem quite right for that, though. The attack on
Osgiliath is the 20th June 3018, and Gandalf announced his departure
the following morning "one evening, at the end of June." I can't
quite imagine how a rumour which is sufficiently unclear to require
Gandalf to investigate it could have got all the way to the Shire in
a few days (or could e.g. Galadriel have got a vague rumour of either
the attack on Osgiliath or on Thranduil's realm?)

Bruce Tucker

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 7:12:03 PM2/2/04
to
"Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote

> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him
> by name.

That does seem curious. They probably know of Bilbo, and may know of
Frodo through Bilbo or Gandalf, but how they recognize one Hobbit from
another on sight is a mystery.

> Why don't they
> tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of just hinting
> cryptically?

Frodo's courage hasn't been tested up to this point, and while Gandalf
hopes he's made of the same stuff Bilbo proved to be, as far as anyone
else is concerned they have no reason to think he isn't the same as any
other Hobbit - and as we've seen, most others tend to underestimate
Hobbits' courage, toughness, and resourcefulness. Gildor may think that
telling Frodo more could just scare him into doing something rash or
foolish such as turning around and abandoning his journey.

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


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 7:39:39 PM2/2/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote

> Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> enriched us with:
>
> > But my question is : What made him leave Bag-End in a hurry?
> > "I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking
> > into." What is he talking about?

> My suspicion is that he heard some ominous news that made him think of


> the Ringwraiths; perhaps a rumour of the attack on Osgiliath (in
which,
> according to UT, "the Lord of Morgul was sent forth openly to battle
> against Gondor."

Gandalf confirms, in 'The Council of Elrond', that he went to the
southern borders of the Shire after leaving Frodo, and that "messages
reached [him] of war and defeat in Gondor."

> The timing doesn't seem quite right for that, though. The attack on
> Osgiliath is the 20th June 3018, and Gandalf announced his departure
> the following morning "one evening, at the end of June." I can't
> quite imagine how a rumour which is sufficiently unclear to require
> Gandalf to investigate it could have got all the way to the Shire in
> a few days

Think of it the other way around instead. Work out the time it would
take messages to reach "the southern borders of the Shire" after the
Osgiliath defeat, and you can then date when Gandalf received the
messages. He told Frodo he would be back in September for his birthday
when Frodo planned to leave. Gandalf could easily have spent time
wondering around trying to find out what was happening. The Tale of
Years tells us that Gandalf was imprisoned in Orthanc on 10 July, and
Sauron had attacked Osgiliath on 20 June.

So you have a period of 21 days for the messages to reach Gandalf, for
Gandalf to be found by Radagast, and for Gandalf to journey to Orthanc.
The journey from the Shire to Orthanc down the Greenway might be
relatively quick, remembering that Gandalf encountered Radagast on the
Greenway and might have been part of the way to Isengard already. The
messages from Gondor might have been flown by birds. It all makes sense.

Emma Pease

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 8:52:52 PM2/2/04
to
In article <318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com>, Rhianon_s wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is
> company.
> To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
> chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org
>
> Plea for mercy, this is the first time I've done one of these, forgive
> me. Posted via google. Also used for the first time.

Good job

> Chapter Summary:

...

>
> Frodo arranges to sell Bag end under the pretence that he is running
> out of money and the cover story is that he is returning to Buckland.
> Despite this there are rumours in Hobbit society that Gandalf is
> planning something and up to no good hiding in Bag End. At this point
> the truth of the matter is known to only Sam, Frodo and Gandalf.

I think the conspirators, Merry, Pippin, and Fredegar, also know by
this time.

It might be interesting to look at Pippin's reactions knowing that he
knows more than Frodo suspects.

...


> Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

Among other things, he also checked in with Aragorn who then leaves on
a journey of his own.


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

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Feb 2, 2004, 9:18:49 PM2/2/04
to
"Emma Pease" <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote
> Rhianon_s wrote:

> > Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?
>
> Among other things, he also checked in with Aragorn who then leaves on
> a journey of his own.


Are you sure? We are talking about the summer of 3018. Later in the
year, Aragorn meets Frodo and his companions in the inn at Bree. Where
(in LotR) do we hear about what Aragorn does after he captured Gollum
and before he meets Frodo in Bree?

Also, where (in LotR) do we hear that Gandalf meets with Aragorn between
leaving Frodo and going to Isengard? Maybe you mean the bit where
Aragorn mentions that he was planning to meet Gandalf at Bree?

In the chapter 'Strider', Aragorn says of Gandalf: "we last met on the
first of May ... As I knew he was at your side, I went away on a journey
of my own."

This may be what you mean when you say Aragorn went away on a journey of
his own. However, the original question concerning where Gandalf is
going when he leaves to "get some news", is referring to the moment when
he leaves Frodo at the end of June 3018, not May.

The bit about meeting Aragorn *does* answer the other question, which
is: "what Gandalf was up to in the two months before he left at the end
of June?"

Georg Schönegger

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 2:44:54 AM2/3/04
to

> >
> > I was wondering, how does the locks in hobbit hole doors work?
> > Is the keyhole out to the side of the door away from the handle
> > in the middle? If it is place in or near the handle it would be
> > a quite complex locking mechanism? Or are they simply using
> > padlocks?
> >
>
> I imagine that the keys were symbolic. I never thought that
> actually locking up a house (or even the larder) would be necessary
> in the Shire, and so the only thing that makes sense to me is the
> keys are just a symbol of ownership. (The deed to the house being
> the actual proof.)
>
> --
> mc

the inhabitants of buckland locked their doors at night which was not
the custom among 'ordinary' hobbits.

georg

Troels

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 10:57:18 AM2/3/04
to
"TeaLady (Mari C.)" <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<Xns9483A54...@130.133.1.4>...

> I imagine that the keys were symbolic. I never thought that
> actually locking up a house (or even the larder) would be necessary
> in the Shire, and so the only thing that makes sense to me is the
> keys are just a symbol of ownership. (The deed to the house being
> the actual proof.)

Well, this can't be the case. "In the end she [Lobelia
Sackville-Baggins] departed with Lotho and the spare key and the
promise that the other key would be left at the Gamgees' in Bagshot
Row. She snorted and showed plainly that she thought the Gamgees
capable of plundering the hole during the night." Also, "Frodo shut
and locked the round door, and gave the key to Sam."

So, i think it's really locked. But how...

Taemon

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 2:08:09 PM2/3/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> I have noticed before that some centuries old children's songs
we Dutch have, also exist
> in Germany and Great Britain, but with completely different
words dealing with
> completely different subjects.

I once knew someone from Hungary, who could sing a well-known
Sinterklaasliedje (forgot which one) but in her version, it
wasn't about Sinterklaas at all.

T.


Taemon

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 2:13:05 PM2/3/04
to
Belba Grubb from Stock wrote:

> And walk he does, and us with him, often at night,
> throughout most of the whole quest; there are often dark
> and terrible places, but they are always accompanied by
> beauty and love.

I always wondered how they did that. It isn't that there were
street lights around and when there is no moon or the sky is
overcast, how could you find your way? I once walked in a forest
at night and it was downright scary. I couldn't see the path and
I could hardly see the trees.

T.


Raven

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Feb 2, 2004, 6:14:50 PM2/2/04
to
"TeaLady (Mari C.)" <spres...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:Xns9483A54...@130.133.1.4...

> I imagine that the keys were symbolic. I never thought that
> actually locking up a house (or even the larder) would be necessary
> in the Shire, and so the only thing that makes sense to me is the
> keys are just a symbol of ownership. (The deed to the house being
> the actual proof.)

From the beginning of chapter 5 of the FotR: "The Bucklanders kept their
doors locked after dark, and that also was not usual in the Shire."

Rare.


TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 3:57:41 PM2/3/04
to
Georg Schönegger <g.scho...@aon.at> wrote in
news:401F5176...@aon.at:

>
>> >
>> > I was wondering, how does the locks in hobbit hole doors
>> > work? Is the keyhole out to the side of the door away from
>> > the handle in the middle? If it is place in or near the
>> > handle it would be a quite complex locking mechanism? Or are
>> > they simply using padlocks?
>> >
>>
>> I imagine that the keys were symbolic. I never thought that
>> actually locking up a house (or even the larder) would be
>> necessary in the Shire, and so the only thing that makes sense
>> to me is the keys are just a symbol of ownership. (The deed
>> to the house being the actual proof.)
>>
>

> the inhabitants of buckland locked their doors at night which
> was not the custom among 'ordinary' hobbits.
>

Well, they were on the edges of the Old Forest, after all. And not
technically in the Shire, proper.

In Buckland, and perhaps elsewhere outside the Shire but near to it
(and in hobbit homes, not mannish), I can see, on the insides of
the doors, an old fashioned latch and bolt locking arrangement,
with perhaps a keyed padlock to be used when the inhabitants were
planning on being out for more than an afternoon. Bree would have
more "mannish" locks, with the bolt turned by a key from out and a
knob within ? And maybe a latch and bolt system as well.

--
mc

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 3, 2004, 4:59:37 PM2/3/04
to

> "TeaLady (Mari C.)" <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

Well, that blows my theories right out of the water, and you are
right, he does lock the door.

Hobbit-style dead-bolt ? Would be the easiest answer, and dead-
bolts aren't all that complicated. It's the key-mechanism that is
more complex, and that isn't even beyond a hobbit's abilities. No
need for a square door with a properly fitted deadbolt. And no
messy padlocks to uglify the door.

--
mc

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 3, 2004, 5:07:32 PM2/3/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in
news:bvors0$uotg4$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de:

If there is any light at all - moon or stars, or refraction from
clouds, you can do it, even in a forest. The trick isn't to look
for the trees, but the gaps. The trees will suddenly stand out
once you get the trick of it, and paths usually follow the larger
gaps. You just can't look at the ground to "see" where the path
is; your feet should be able to feel it when you leave the path, if
it is well trodden.

The only time it is really damn near impossible to go through a
forest at night is when the cloud cover is such that no light at
all gets through, or the canopy is so dense that no light can get
through. If there is a well-worn path, you can try to trust your
feet to it, but as far as seeing it, well, unless there is
phosphoresence in the mosses and rocks at the edges, you won't.

--
mc

Pete Gray

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Feb 3, 2004, 5:36:17 PM2/3/04
to

Well the door had 'a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle',
which I expect was just that, a knob or handle to facilitate opening
or closing the door, placed in the middle for symmetry. No reason to
imagine it had any connection with a lock placed at the edge. In the
illustration of the hall at Bag-End in the Hobbit, there is some
indication of a lock plate on the edge of the door, but no sign of any
key-hole!

When I was a child I lived in a house built around 1900, and that had
a large knob in the middle of the front door (not, alas, round), while
the lock was in the obvious place near the edge.


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

The Sidhekin

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 9:52:03 PM2/3/04
to
mdde...@aol.com (Rhianon_s) writes:

> Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1Chapter 3 - Three is
> company.

> For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet him


> by name. Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them
> directly through the shire and at just the right time?

According to Frodo, "they wander into [the Shire] in Spring and
Autumn, out of their own lands beyond the Tower Hills," so they are
not on a "path to the sea".

Granted, this was before Frodo "discovered" that they were High
Elves, but since they have seen him twice before, and since said
goodbye to Bilbo at that very spot, it would seems that they are
locals (that is, from the Havens), and not just passing through.


Still, it is lucky, lucky, and lucky all over, how Frodo barely
avoids the lure of the Ring, time and time again. Some explain it
away as Providence acting. I like to think of it as a genre
convention -- it is (slightly) less annoying that way.


-SK-
--
perl -e 'print "Just another Perl ${\(trickster and hacker)},";'

The Sidhekin *proves* Sidhe did it!

The Sidhekin

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 9:35:39 PM2/3/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:

> "Rhianon_s" <mdde...@aol.com> wrote
>
> > Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1 Chapter 3 -
> > Three is company.

> > Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
> > book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
> > I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
> > it's a much darker tone. YMMV
>
> The thinking fox bit is awful! "He was quite right, but he never found
> out any more about it." Eck! Blegh!

This is a Bilboism, all right! Everything up until the Ring left
Rivendell was written by Bilbo. It seems the old Hobbit had some
trouble adopting a darker style ...

I just realized that "(following Bilbo, if he had known it)" was
also written by Bilbo. Funny guy, that mad Baggins.


> Some other bits I noticed in this chapter.
>
> 1) I hate the bit where Sam says 'farewell' to the beer barrel! Oaf!

Oh, I _love_ that bit! It would not be Sam if he did not do that. :-)


"Courage is found in unlikely places." Six words, sounds good, but
says nothing at all, does it? Probably considered good for morale :-)


"I don't keep water in my pockets." Just what is it with Bagginses
and pockets, anyway?


"Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine! Have you got the
bath-water hot?"
"No, sir, I haven't, sir!"
Pippin really deserved to be stripped and rolled over! (Oh my!)


"Oh Fair Folk! This is good furtune beyond my hope." Pippin may be
a "fool of a Took"; he is young, a spoilt child of a rich family, too
much aware that he is the future Thain (the head of state), in no way
a scholar, but he is not a complete oaf -- he probably knows all the
right protocols!


This chapter establishes Pippin as very class-minded -- more so than
Merry and Frodo -- about as class minded as Sam. Pippin is bossing
Sam around, he takes a familiar (even irreverent tone) towards Frodo
(who is not quite of Pippin's class, but older, so somewhat of an
equal), and he shows great respect for the Elves.

Part of this may be that of their different roles -- Sam is a
servant (though not Pippin's), Frodo is a friend (and cousin!), and
the Elves are strangers -- but contrasting Pippin's behaviour with the
others', the effect is to quickly establish that trait of his.

Pippin is also the first to get tired and fall asleep ... three
times ... these youngsters! ... and he is the one singing the loudest,
"interrupting" to ask the Elves about the Black Riders, and his
impression of the Elves centered on their faces and voices (as opposed
to their singing (Sam), or their laughter (Frodo)).

Pippin enters this chapter as a younger, Tookish friend of Frodo, and
he leaves it an established, recognizable character. Of course this
happens in between so much action, including the introduction of the
Black Riders, the (conventional) loss of Gandalf, and the meeting with
the Elves, that you hardly notice.

Which of course is the best way to establish a character. :-)

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Feb 3, 2004, 6:56:40 PM2/3/04
to
On 2 Feb 2004 Belba Grubb from Stock wrote:

[snip]

> I would suggest, too, that the whole meal with the Elves above
> Woodhall is intended as part of the transition:

[snip]


> It's also our first introduction to the Noldor, isn't it?

I found it very interesting as a transition between the
'Hobbit' elves and the 'Lord of the Rings' Elves - these may
be Exiles (read: Noldor), but in their first meeting, they
seem very much akin to the elves who mock Bilbo and the
dwarves on their first arrival in Rivendell:

"This is indeed wonderful!" they said. "Three bohhits in a
wood at night!..." "But we have no need of company, and
hobbits are so dull," they laughed. "And how do you know that
we go the same way as you, when you do not know whither we are
going?"

Indeed, when we first encounter Elrond, the obvious assumption
is, I think, that he is grave and wise not because of his
immortal elven side, but by virtue of the human part of his
descent!

And yet Gildor seems from the start more serious than the
rest, and as we reach the end of the chapter we begin to see
the Elves for the first time as wise, ancient and powerful.
As I said, an interesting transition.
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

Henriette

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 2:22:09 AM2/4/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bvorio$uc1dv$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

>
> I once knew someone from Hungary, who could sing a well-known
> Sinterklaasliedje (forgot which one) but in her version, it
> wasn't about Sinterklaas at all.
>
"O, kom er eens kijken" is in Germany sung as: "Freut euch des
Lebens"(Weil noch das Lämpchen glüht; Pflücket die Rose, Eh' sie
verblüht! ...). Old as the hills.

H.

Taemon

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 5:41:36 AM2/4/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> Taemon:


> > I once knew someone from Hungary, who could sing a
> > well-known Sinterklaasliedje (forgot which one) but in
> > her version, it wasn't about Sinterklaas at all.
> "O, kom er eens kijken" is in Germany sung as: "Freut
> euch des Lebens"(Weil noch das Lämpchen glüht; Pflücket die
Rose,
> Eh' sie verblüht! ...). Old as the hills.

Dat was het! "Oh, kom er eens kijken"! Denk ik. Maybe it was
"Vader Jacob" but that wouldn't have astonished me so much, since
I already knew that song exists in other countries (although it's
"theme" seems to be the same).

T.


Taemon

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 6:00:35 AM2/4/04
to
TeaLady (Mari C.) wrote:

> Taemon:


> > I always wondered how they did that. It isn't that
> > there were street lights around and when there is no
> > moon or the sky is overcast, how could you find your
> > way?

> If there is any light at all - moon or stars, or
> refraction from clouds, you can do it, even in a forest.

But there isn't always any light at all, especially in a
pre-industrial countryside. The going would be very hard and
slow, and that only when you know the terrain very well.
Otherwise me thinks there would be no going at all to speak of.
Do hobbits see better in the dark than we do? Otherwise this
nightwalking sounds like fancy to me.

T.


Jette Goldie

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Feb 4, 2004, 3:20:49 PM2/4/04
to

"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:bvqjcq$uh14o$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...


In a sky without light pollution the moon casts a very strong
light. Still very difficult to walk though a forest, but not
impossible. (very scary though to us modern city dwellers
whose eyes are not accustomed to the lack of light)


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


Christopher Kreuzer

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Feb 4, 2004, 3:53:25 PM2/4/04
to
The Sidhekin wrote:

> Still, it is lucky, lucky, and lucky all over, how Frodo barely
> avoids the lure of the Ring, time and time again. Some explain it
> away as Providence acting. I like to think of it as a genre
> convention -- it is (slightly) less annoying that way.

You could see it as an example of the (weak) anthropic principle. You
wouldn't be reading the story if Frodo had succumbed to the lure of the
Ring. It may be improbable, but as long as it is not impossible, then
there's no reason why it can't have happened that way.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 5:51:11 PM2/4/04
to
in <f5CTb.4943$Ud3.45...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote

>>
>> My suspicion is that he heard some ominous news that made him think
>> of the Ringwraiths; perhaps a rumour of the attack on Osgiliath (in
>> which, according to UT, "the Lord of Morgul was sent forth openly to
>> battle against Gondor."
>
> Gandalf confirms, in 'The Council of Elrond', that he went to the
> southern borders of the Shire after leaving Frodo, and that "messages
> reached [him] of war and defeat in Gondor."

The story he tells at the council is slightly different from what he
told Frodo in 'Three is Company'. At the council he says, "At the end
of June I was in the Shire, but a cloud of anxiety was on my mind, and
I rode to the southern borders ..." and he then goes on to telling
about the messages that reached him there.
And when he tells of Radagast telling him about the Nazgûl he says,
"I knew then what I had dreaded without knowing it."

In this telling it sounds more like one of his premonitions - did
Tolkien change his mind about what made Gandalf leave Frodo and forget
to update Gandalf's explanation in I:3, or did he think that Gandalf
would spare Frodo the complexity of "a cloud of anxiety"?

Can anything of use be deduced from HoMe?

>> I can't quite imagine how a rumour which is sufficiently unclear to
>> require Gandalf to investigate it could have got all the way to the
>> Shire in a few days
>

> Think of it the other way around instead Work out the time it would


> take messages to reach "the southern borders of the Shire" after the
> Osgiliath defeat,

I've got an even better way ;-)

Gandalf's letter to Frodo which he left with Butterbur was dated
Midyear's day, and according to Butterbur Gandalf left it on the evening
before he went off (I:10 'Strider'). That means that this is the day he
met Radagast ("I stayed the night in Bree" - II:2) and that it took him
11 days to reach Orthanc (the Litheday after Midyear's Day to July 10th)
and that the "messages" (or rumours) of the attack on Osgiliath took
about the same time to reach the southern borders of the Shire - quite
impressive as there must be about 400 miles from Osgiliath to Isengard
and Gandalf hurried on his way to Saruman.

> So you have a period of 21 days for the messages to reach Gandalf,

23 days, actually (Shire calender) ;-)
(30 days per month plus the three Lithedays)

<snip>

> The messages from Gondor might have been flown by birds. It all makes
> sense.

The messages reached Gandalf before he met with Radagast, and so did
"a few fugitives from the South" on whom it seem to him "that on them
sat a fear of which they would not speak." I have always believed that
this fear was the terror of the Witch King, though the fugitives must
have been extremely fast to reach this far from Osgiliath so early
(though Gandalf were a way southwards on the Greenway) for this to make
sense.

I make it about 850 miles from Osgiliath to the point where the road
from Sarn Ford meets the Greenway - how fast can you travel on horse-
back with the terror of a Nazgûl driving you and still keep up the
speed for 10 days - is 85 miles per day really realistic? (Gandalf and
Pippin use four days to get from Isen to Minas Tirith on Shadowfax -
a journey of about 400 miles, but we're speaking ordinary horses,
ordinary humans and 10 days instead of four).

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

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

The Sidhekin

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Feb 4, 2004, 5:16:30 PM2/4/04
to
"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> writes:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
> news:bvqjcq$uh14o$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...
> > TeaLady (Mari C.) wrote:

> > > If there is any light at all - moon or stars, or
> > > refraction from clouds, you can do it, even in a forest.
> >
> > But there isn't always any light at all, especially in a
> > pre-industrial countryside. The going would be very hard and
> > slow, and that only when you know the terrain very well.
> > Otherwise me thinks there would be no going at all to speak of.
> > Do hobbits see better in the dark than we do? Otherwise this
> > nightwalking sounds like fancy to me.

Only when totally overcast, indoors, or under the ground can there
be no light at all, to our eyes. There is always starlight. (Well,
okay, I guess a forest _could_ be sufficiently dense. Or at least a
jungle. But I never saw such a forest.)

> In a sky without light pollution the moon casts a very strong
> light. Still very difficult to walk though a forest, but not
> impossible. (very scary though to us modern city dwellers
> whose eyes are not accustomed to the lack of light)

The full moon gives a very strong light indeed, but a crescent would
not give much more than the stars. As for me, forests are not really
fond of me. At least dense forests. I could get lost in daylight, as
I rely too much on distant landmarks to find my way. Though I guess
it would depend on the quality of the path ...

Out of a forest -- or in a less dense one -- is another matter. I
have been able not just to find my way in starlight, but also to read
pencilled names (and find an empty spot to write my own) in no more
light than that of the stars and the Aurora Borealis (Northern lights,
I believe you call it).

Keep in mind that your eyes need a long time to adjust to starlight.
Those who have never spent more than a few minutes at a time in bare
countryside starlight, are likely to be surprised if they ever have to
spend half an hour in such light.

The Sidhekin

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 5:27:26 PM2/4/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:

> The Sidhekin wrote:
>
> > Still, it is lucky, lucky, and lucky all over, how Frodo barely
> > avoids the lure of the Ring, time and time again. Some explain it
> > away as Providence acting. I like to think of it as a genre
> > convention -- it is (slightly) less annoying that way.

Actually, that is not quite right. I try not to think of it, unless
it is brought up.

> You could see it as an example of the (weak) anthropic principle. You
> wouldn't be reading the story if Frodo had succumbed to the lure of the
> Ring. It may be improbable, but as long as it is not impossible, then
> there's no reason why it can't have happened that way.

Thank you; if you take the Tolkien-as-translator POV, that works out
quite nicely. I doubt I could quite see it that way -- it is too
obvious for me that Tolkien is establishing the Black Riders' special
danger to Frodo. And as soon as I take that point of view, Tolkien is
a composer, not a translator.

Still, it is the least annoying explanation.

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 4:04:00 PM2/4/04
to
On 2 Feb 2004 Troels wrote:

> I was wondering, how does the locks in hobbit hole doors work? Is the
> keyhole out to the side of the door away from the handle in the
> middle? If it is place in or near the handle it would be a quite
> complex locking mechanism? Or are they simply using padlocks?
>

As others have said, I don't imagine the lock has anything to do with
the handle.

Even on room doors with lever handles, the two are totally unconnected;
it's coincidence that the tongue of the mortice lock happens to be
located underneath the non-lockable catch operated by the door-handle.
In a church door, for instance, you will have a vast and ancient locking
mechanism mounted on the back of the door, at a level of technology
easily attained by the hobbits, and a handle that operates no latch at
all and simply serves to pull on the door. Sometimes the handle will be
in the form of a loop that doubles as a door-knocker.

Only in Yale locks does the handle used to open the door actually
operate the locking mechanism!


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

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

Belba Grubb from Stock

unread,
Feb 4, 2004, 9:29:21 PM2/4/04
to
On Wed, 4 Feb 2004 12:00:35 +0100, "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

>But there isn't always any light at all, especially in a
>pre-industrial countryside. The going would be very hard and
>slow, and that only when you know the terrain very well.
>Otherwise me thinks there would be no going at all to speak of.
>Do hobbits see better in the dark than we do?

No, but we are used to brighter lights. Anyone used to candle and oil
lamp and firelight all their life would be blinded by all the lumens
we take for granted in our homes today. Conversely, those of us used
to electric lights, televisions, monitors, etc., would probably have
difficulty even navigating across a level field outdoors at night with
a half or a quarter moon high in the sky.

>Otherwise this nightwalking sounds like fancy to me.

Well, this is not from personal experience and is only a guess, but
for an amateur short story I've been working on I've been studying up
on what Rangers in Vietnam carried with them in the field. As the
military saying goes, 'God provides excellent camouflage for several
hours every day,' and surely the Rangers took advantage of it many
times. So did North Vietnamese, even more frequently. In jungles and
in paddies, too. Yet no one on either side ever carried a flashlight,
for obvious reasons. And this was at a time when night vision
technology was in its infancy (there were 'starlight scopes' but I
don't think anybody used them for walking around).

So night walking is possible, given sufficient need and motivation.
Frodo's motivation was fun, so he was probably quite good at it.

Barb

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 4, 2004, 10:58:56 PM2/4/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in news:bvqjcq$uh14o$1@ID-
135975.news.uni-berlin.de:

Without heavy cloudcover, and little to no pollution, it is really
quite bright at night. Tons of stars and moonlight all create
enough light to see by. Not well, perhaps, and certainly the loss
of colors (not enough light to reflect properly or something) makes
things a bit hard to distinguish, but well enough. And there are
enough reflective surfaces (tree bark, rocks, leaves, anything
shiny in the littlest bit) that increase the ground-light well
enough to see.

I've rarely had trouble in the dark, in the countryside, or in the
woods. Yes, the going is slower, but it isn't a snail's pace. I
used to backpack quite a lot and never had much trouble in the
woods or fields at night. Well, except when someone was waving a
flashlight around. Then the areas it didn't light up were way too
dark, and it would take awhile once the light was turned off for my
eyes to readjust.

Of course, I have no experience in dense pine forests - most of the
areas I'm familiar with are mostly filled with decidous trees,
which allow far more light through. But aside from a few really
overcast and stormy nights, I've not had trouble walking about in
the dark.

It is a good idea to steer clear of areas where cows and sheep
graze, though, as you can't see the fresh fertilizer steaming away
on the ground. Manure doesn't reflect starlight very well.

Hobbits, and elves and men in Tolkien's world, probably do have
better eyesight than us mere Earthly mortals - but I think they
also had brighter stars and moon than we do.

--
mc

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 4, 2004, 11:10:57 PM2/4/04
to
The Sidhekin
<Sidhekin@remove-spam-and-and-and-
remove.allverden.nospam.invalid>
wrote in news:7xvfmmq...@laptop.dav:

> Only when totally overcast, indoors, or under the ground can
> there
> be no light at all, to our eyes. There is always starlight.
> (Well, okay, I guess a forest _could_ be sufficiently dense.
> Or at least a jungle. But I never saw such a forest.)
>
>

Old and dense pine forests would be that dark - I don't know that
there are many left in the USA, or in the world as a whole, but
I've been in young and not so dense stands of pine that were
pretty dark. Not so dark that no light got in, or not enough to
travel by, but not as much as gets through say, a forest that is
of decidous trees.

Not everyone gets along well with the dark, though. We had a
blackout here last August (NE Ohio, USA, big major humungous
power outage that included most of NE USA and some of Canada)
that lasted a few days and many of neighbors found it hard to
navigate the street without lights, and thought I was nuts for
walking about in the dark. To me, the neighborhood was well lit
and almost bright.

--
mc

Henriette

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Feb 5, 2004, 2:03:37 AM2/5/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bvqi8u$v5959$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>
> (snip) Maybe it was

> "Vader Jacob" but that wouldn't have astonished me so much, since
> I already knew that song exists in other countries (although it's
> "theme" seems to be the same).
>
I actually learnt "Frère Jacques" during French lessons (dormez-vous,
dormez-vous, it is exactly the same text). I remember singing it (in
canon, I think in English that is called in rounds)in French, with a
friend singing "Vader Jacob", a Finnish girl sang something we could
not understand in Finnish to the same tune, and our American friend
sang something in American, but I can't remember what. We all knew the
tune. Older than the hills.... (I like that expression).

H.

Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 5, 2004, 3:25:03 AM2/5/04
to
in <be50318e.04020...@posting.google.com>,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>


<snip>

> I actually learnt "Frère Jacques" during French lessons (dormez-vous,
> dormez-vous, it is exactly the same text).

> with a friend singing "Vader Jacob", a Finnish girl sang something we


> could not understand in Finnish to the same tune,

I'm told that the text of the (or at least "a") Finnish version is
basically the same ("Jaakko Kuulta" or something close - I won't swear
to the spelling ;-)

> and our American friend sang something in American, but I can't
> remember what.

Are you sleeping / Brother John?

>We all knew the tune. Older than the hills.... (I like that expression).

I've heard it (and tried to learn it ;-) in Polish, Slovakain,
Greenlandic and Danish (the latter didn't present any problem), and I
think it exists in several more languages.

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

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
- Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper submitted by a physicist colleague

Jeffrey Johnson

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Feb 5, 2004, 3:03:49 PM2/5/04
to
Embark, dear reader, on a tour of the wisdom of Belba Grubb from Stock:

>On Wed, 4 Feb 2004 12:00:35 +0100, "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
>>But there isn't always any light at all, especially in a
>>pre-industrial countryside. The going would be very hard and
>>slow, and that only when you know the terrain very well.
>>Otherwise me thinks there would be no going at all to speak of.
>>Do hobbits see better in the dark than we do?
>
>No, but we are used to brighter lights. Anyone used to candle and oil
>lamp and firelight all their life would be blinded by all the lumens
>we take for granted in our homes today.

Well, not really. Daylight is about 1000 times brighter than the indoor
lighting that we use today, and they weren't blinded by that now, were
they? Typical luminance levels, in cd/m^2:
Sunlight: 100,000
Indoor lighting: 100
Moonlight: 0.1
Starlight: 0.001

>Conversely, those of us used to electric lights, televisions, monitors,
>etc., would probably have difficulty even navigating across a level field
>outdoors at night with a half or a quarter moon high in the sky.

If we would, it wouldn't have anything to do with electric light, which
falls about halfway between sunlight and moonlight in intensity. The
visual system is able to adapt across about 6 log units of sensitivity -
which would correspond roughly to the difference between sunlight and full
moonlight (though in the lower light levels sensitivity to color is
largely lost). Below that it starts getting more difficult to see, but
it's not downright impossible.

So try this - find a totally dark place and go out there on a moonless
night. Wait about 30-40 minutes for your visual system to fully adapt.
While it isn't going to be like walking around in the daylight, you might
be surprised at how well you can see.

-Jeffrey Johnson

Taemon

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 3:37:27 PM2/5/04
to
Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

> So try this - find a totally dark place and go out there
> on a moonless night. Wait about 30-40 minutes for your
> visual system to fully adapt. While it isn't going to be
> like walking around in the daylight, you might be
> surprised at how well you can see.

So, it is possible. But it's definitely not very convenient and
there _was_ a bit of a hurry, especially when the
colourly-challenged types showed up. And it was autumn, when sky
is overcast more usually than not. No?

T.


Christopher Kreuzer

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Feb 5, 2004, 3:58:44 PM2/5/04
to
TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> which allow far more light through. But aside from a few really
> overcast and stormy nights, I've not had trouble walking about in
> the dark.

But when it _is_ overcast and raining, on a moonless night, miles from
anywhere, without a torch, in a forest, strange animal sounds all
around, then *boy* are you in trouble! Try navigating by the occasional
flash of lightning...

TeaLady (Mari C.)

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Feb 5, 2004, 11:22:14 PM2/5/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:88yUb.7464$BE.68...@news-text.cableinet.net:

> TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> which allow far more light through. But aside from a few
>> really overcast and stormy nights, I've not had trouble
>> walking about in the dark.
>
> But when it _is_ overcast and raining, on a moonless night,
> miles from anywhere, without a torch, in a forest, strange
> animal sounds all around, then *boy* are you in trouble! Try
> navigating by the occasional flash of lightning...
>

Nah, that's when you hunker down in the tents and sip tea and cocoa.
And tell ghost stories. Or scare others in the area by making those
strange animal sounds.

The great story tellers can punctuate their tales with the thinder
and lightening.

--
mc

Belba Grubb from Stock

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Feb 6, 2004, 12:52:37 PM2/6/04
to
On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 12:03:49 -0800, Jeffrey Johnson
<ez04...@mailbox.ucdavis.edu> wrote:

>Daylight is about 1000 times brighter than the indoor
>lighting that we use today, and they weren't blinded by that now, were
>they? Typical luminance levels, in cd/m^2:
>Sunlight: 100,000
>Indoor lighting: 100
>Moonlight: 0.1
>Starlight: 0.001

OK, "blinded" was an overly dramatic and inaccurate word to choose.
"Disadvantaged" and "uncomfortable" would have been better.

Consider how much exercise those muscles that dilate and contract the
iris in the eye get, and compare the work load they would have in a
world like Middle-earth in the Third Age and in our own. Those that
contract the iris would be much more developed in us, as we are used
to extended periods of light: both natural daylight and artificially
lit periods of morning and evening darkness, especially in winter.
The longer and/or more consistently a muscle is exercised, the
stronger it is; the infrequently/inconsistently exercised, the weaker.
Thus, our iris contraction muscles are very strong while our iris
dilation muscles are underexercised, and our eyes are therefore
"muscle-bound" and at a disadvantage in a dark environment.

In the world of Middle-earth, where quite a few would "go to bed with
the sun," as Farmer Maggot put it, the iris contraction muscles would
get their chief exercise during the day. Not everyone would go to bed
with the sun, of course -- Rivendell comes to mind -- but even
Rivendell or Minas Tirith at night would only be lit with candles and
lamps and fire light; there would be plenty of darker areas where the
muscles that dilate the iris would get more exercise consistently. I
don't know that it would be sufficient to overdevelop those muscles as
much as our own iris contraction muscles have been; what would be more
developed in Middle-earth than in our own world for most of us would
be perception of visual cues and mental "fill-in-the-blanks"
capabilities, if that makes any sense. That is, people would be more
used than we are to having to struggle to see things and would
therefore be more sensitive to things that we would easily miss during
a night-time ramble.

>So try this - find a totally dark place and go out there on a moonless
>night. Wait about 30-40 minutes for your visual system to fully adapt.
>While it isn't going to be like walking around in the daylight, you might
>be surprised at how well you can see.

I agree.

This is totally off topic, but "a totally dark place" triggered recall
of an interesting online essay I once read: "Why Is The Sky Dark At
Night?" at http://www.arachnoid.com/sky/ A totally dark place is
surprisingly difficult to find in the natural world (and in most
man-made places, too).

Barb

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

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Feb 6, 2004, 3:01:11 PM2/6/04
to
> in <be50318e.04020...@posting.google.com>,
> Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>> I actually learnt "Frere Jacques" during French lessons (dormez-vous,

>> dormez-vous, it is exactly the same text).
>> with a friend singing "Vader Jacob", a Finnish girl sang something we
>> could not understand in Finnish to the same tune,
>> and our American friend sang something in American, but I can't
>> remember what.

Interesting. Here's a link...

http://www.laukart.de/multisite/songbook/french.php

It has the original French and some translations.

It's interesting that (if I understand the other versions
correctly) in the original French and in some of the Romance
language translations, the monk is being asked to ring the
bells, I suppose because that's his duty. In contrast, in the
English and Dutch versions, the bells are already ringing, I
suppose to show him that he's slept too late. I guess it's
whatever works in the metre of the song.

--Jamie. (nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita)
andrews .uwo } Merge these two lines to obtain my e-mail address.
@csd .ca } (Unsolicited "bulk" e-mail costs everyone.)

Henriette

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Feb 6, 2004, 3:49:12 PM2/6/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message news:<z5nUb.8644$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com>...
> > Henriette wrote:

> > and our American friend sang something in American, but I can't
> > remember what.
>
> Are you sleeping / Brother John?

The Father changes into a Brother?

It is funny to hear what the bells say in the different languages. In
Dutch it is "bim-bam-bom" and in French it is "ding-dang-dong".


>
> >We all knew the tune. Older than the hills.... (I like that expression).
>
> I've heard it (and tried to learn it ;-) in Polish, Slovakain,
> Greenlandic and Danish (the latter didn't present any problem), and I
> think it exists in several more languages.

Isn't that nice? Maybe that goes for a lot more songs, of which we are
not aware. Could you please write down what Frère Jacques is in
Greenlandic and in Slovakian?

Henriette

Troels Forchhammer

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Feb 6, 2004, 6:28:39 PM2/6/04
to
"Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message" wrote:
>

<snip>

> http://www.laukart.de/multisite/songbook/french.php
>
> It has the original French and some translations.

Great, thanks ;-)

>
> It's interesting that (if I understand the other versions
> correctly) in the original French and in some of the Romance
> language translations, the monk is being asked to ring the
> bells, I suppose because that's his duty. In contrast, in the
> English and Dutch versions, the bells are already ringing, I
> suppose to show him that he's slept too late.

In particular the Scandinavian versions (we do seem to get back to
that regularly, don't we ;-) where the bell line translates to
"don't you hear the bells" (the site lists two versions in Swedish -
one like the above and one like the original "ring your bells").

It might be interesting to know where each version is in use ...

> I guess it's whatever works in the metre of the song.

I can, on the spot, imagine at least two different ways of doing that
line in Danish which would both fit the metre and have the original
meaning of "you must ring your bells". I have a suspicion that the
cause should be sought elsewhere

The Spanish version has the "ring your bells" meaning at least.

While I can't claim to understand all the versions, those that I do
understand (however hesitantly ;-) seems to follow a certain pattern.
The countries that are predominantly Roman Catholic seems to have the
"ring your bells" meaning while the countries which are predominantly
protestant seems to have a "the bells are ringing" meaning.

I'm going to look around for translations of some of the other
versions to see if this pattern stays.

I suspect that there is a reason to this pattern - the protestant
countries wanted the monk portrayed as a lazy fellow, sleeping late
(probably after too much feasting and womanizing).

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

"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent
whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into
teaching?"
-- (Terry Pratchett, Mort)

Graeme

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Feb 6, 2004, 6:30:33 PM2/6/04
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mdde...@aol.com (Rhianon_s) wrote in message news:<318d6aec.04020...@posting.google.com>...
> Despite Gandalf's warning of going and going quickly Frodo is dragging
> his heels over leaving the shire. It is two-three weeks before he
> even discusses how to leave without creating a fuss. Finally Frodo
> decides to leave on his birthday and Gandalf tells him to make for
> Rivendell.

Somehow, the idea of Gandalf living on at Bag End for several weeks,
with nothing in particular going on is a mind-boggling one. What was
day to day life like? Did Gandalf help with the dishes?


>>Frodo arranges to sell Bag end under the pretence that he is running
out of money and the cover story is that he is returning to Buckland.
>>

And I've never understood what the point was of turning Bag End over
to the Sackville Bagginses. That idea goes back to very early drafts
in Return of the Shadow, long before it was even decided what the new
book was going to be about. If he has to sell out, why to them, of
all people?

As far as running out of money, you wonder what Bilbo's means of
support had been even before TA 2941. He seemed to have no job and no
responsibilities. Apparently he was living off an inheritance from
Bungo, but how can anyone accumulate whopping wads of cash in a system
like the Shire's? The Tooks are rich, of course, but they're a clan,
and they apparently do farming, but Bilbo did nothing.


> Two months after this decision Gandalf is still at Bag End, but at the
> end of June he leaves the Shire to go 'get some news'. He tells Frodo
> he will return by his Birthday and warns him against using the Ring
> for any reason. Frodo himself is already feeling homesick (and he
> hasn't even left yet), and enjoying one last summer at Bag End.

Considering that the initial plan seemed to be to get the Ring to
rivendell, where its fate could be decided by wiser heads, it's
especially odd that nothing was said about Frodo's plans for returning
to the Shire. Was he thinking of handing over the ring and coming
back to live at Crickhollow? Or staying at Rivendell and freeloading
off Elrond (like uncle, like nephew). He really should have found
some way to retain Bag End, and just told people that he was buying a
SECOND house in Buckland, and going to live there for a while. That
would have caused less talk than this whole "Frodo is running out of
money" ploy.



> After a couple of days of walking across the shire Sam hears a horse
> on the road behind them

Actually, I think that happened on September 23rd, the next day.


> ++++++points to consider+++++++
> This is quite an odd chapter full of hints and preparing the ground,
> both for the characters and the readers. The thing that struck me
> most was how much of a transition chapter this was, it started off
> much in the tone of The Hobbit, but got darker before the end. My
> first question is, is this the chapter that Tolkien decided to upgrade
> from a direct sequel to the Hobbit to the darker LotR?

Not really. In Return of the Shadow, it's still pretty light after
this point. It's never too dark as long as Bingo Bolger-Baggins and
Trotter were around.


> Gandalf is in Bag End for quite some time, what is he up to? Or is it
> just that he like Frodo is enjoying the Shire for one last time?


"Have I ever told you about the time I fought off a hundred orcs
with a piece of broken glass?"
"No, but really Gandalf, I've GOT to get to bed now!"

(You anticipated me on this question).


> Gandalf does hint that it might be Frodo's duty to "find the cracks of
> doom". Two things here, is Gandalf preparing Frodo for what he will
> have to endure, how much does Gandalf know? Point two "find the
> cracks of doom" makes it sound like he isn't sure where they are.
> Surely he should say "go to the cracks"?

Frodo has never been there. He has to find them. He'll have maps and
things to help, but this usage seems good enough to me. (Now his use
of "betray", on the other hand...)

>>Where is Gandalf going when he leaves to "get some news"?

He goes to Bree. We learn that later. Probably to check with the
Rangers who have been watching the Shire, and listen to the gossip at
the Pony. And also probably to find his first full-sized lavatory in
several months.



> Halfway through the chapter we have the last of the children's type of
> book. We are privy to the thoughts of a fox. This is the last point
> I can find where the style of The Hobbit is used, from there on in
> it's a much darker tone. YMMV

The whole bath sequence 2 chapters later, replete with comic parody of
"Far over the misty mountains old", seems pretty "The Hobbit-like" to
me.


> There are three almost meetings with the Black Rider, but if these are
> the enemy's crack search troops, why do they miss Frodo each time they
> are almost upon him?


Because they only got that close by luck. They can't really sense
either Frodo or the Ring directly. They know that the Ring is
somewhere in the general area, but they don't have a little geiger
counter that tells them whether they're getting hotter or colder.

>>Why does the Black Rider flee from the elves,
>>

Who knows what kind of alarm they might sound? His mission is an
undercover one. If he'd known that the Ring was that close, he might
not have run, but he had no reason to stay.


>>and why is Frodo drawn to the Ring?
>>

The Ring is planting suggestions in his mind, apparently.


>>For that matter, why do the elves recognise Frodo enough to greet
him by name.
>>

That is a very good question. No idea.

>>Isn't it lucky that their path to the sea takes them directly
through the shire and at just the right time?
>>

They seem to be taking a very roundabout route, and just enjoying one
last look at Middle-earth, much the same way Frodo enjoyed one last
look at the Shire. Isn't Gildor still there, a couple of years later,
at the Havens?

>>Why don't they tell Frodo the whole story that they know, instead of
just hinting cryptically?
>>

To avoid scaring him, they said. They botched that pretty royally.


> Final question from me, Frodo is told that Gildor will send word to
> all the other wandering companies of elves, how? Palantir, telepathy,
> messenger birds or other means?

Probably by passing the word on to anyone else he meets.

Een Wilde Ier

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Feb 6, 2004, 6:38:21 PM2/6/04