Ch. o/t Wk: LoTR Bk 1 Ch. 10: "Strider"

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zett

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Mar 21, 2004, 9:47:08 PM3/21/04
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Chapter o/t Week: LoTR Ch. 10 "Strider"

To host a chapter discussion, or for more information, go to:
http://parasha.maoltuile.org/

I see this chapter as maintaining a "waves of suspense" effect, which
began in the previous chapter-I sense it particularly surrounding the
uncertainty as to Strider's motives.

After Frodo's table mishap and the clearing of the Common Room (as
told in the previous chapter) he, Pippin, and Sam return to the
darkened parlor. (Merry had gone out for ‘a sniff of the air.') Upon
replenishing the fire, they are surprised to find Strider calmly
sitting there. Is Strider a Ninja? ;)

An uneasy discussion between Frodo and Strider ensues, where each
warily and grudgingly divulges knowledge of the Ring plot (broken by
one comic interlude by Barliman Butterbur). Finally, when the aura of
distrust has just begun to decompress with the revelation of Gandalf's
letter, it is ramped up once again by Sam's remaining doubts - it
crests when Strider says:

"If I had killed the real Strider, I could kill you. And I should
have killed you already without so much talk. If I was after the
Ring, I could have it – NOW!"

He stood up and seemed suddenly to grow taller. In his eyes gleamed a
light, keen and commanding. Throwing back his cloak, he laid his hand
on the hilt of a sword that had hung concealed by his side. They did
not dare to move. Sam sat wide mouthed staring at him dumbly. (Was
this Strider's Ring temptation moment?)

It subsides when he says:

"But I am the real Strider, fortunately," he said, looking down at
them with his face softened by a sudden smile. "I am Aragorn son of
Arathorn, and if by life or death I can save you, I will."

[I sigh and get all verkempt every time I read that]

The tension gets put back in place but is of a different kind (no
longer confrontational strangers, but cohorts worrying over a common
cause- especially concern over a missing Gandalf). They talk of him,
and Strider admits that he is troubled for the first time since he has
known him. Then the crest in this secondary tension occurs when a
frightened and breathless Merry arrives. He has seen Black Riders in
Bree! And he was nearly kidnapped!

The chapter ends with this new level of unease maintained. Knowing
the Riders are about, they have decoys put in their bedrooms,
barricade themselves in the parlor, and bed down on the floor with
Strider taking on the role of guardian as he sits up to keep a
sleepless watch.

Questions (only a couple) and Comments (mostly)

Well, first of all, an admission: I took this chapter mostly in order
to have an excuse to kick against a pet peeve of mine – the attitude
some have that Aragorn is a cardboard character. I guess I am just a
sucker for outsiders (and mystery) and that may make me see that which
is not there, but I think there are many layers to Aragorn. As these
weekly discussions go on, I hope to continue putting in my .02 about
Aragorn- if schoolwork permits. (go ahead and groan, if you wish) ;)

All though this chapter we are told about his expressions. He curls
his lip and sneers; he is alternately harsh and friendly; he pushes
Frodo's fear buttons, testing him, ensuring that he is not falling in
a trap set by the Enemy, but also testing Frodo's wisdom and mettle.
This tells me he is cautious and smart. But there is another side:

"Drink, fire, and chance meeting are pleasant enough (read: I wish I
could hang out in bars with friends) but, well – this isn't the Shire.
There are queer folk about. Though I say it as shouldn't, you may
think," he added with a wry smile, seeing Frodo's glance.

Then there's

"…But I must admit," he added with a queer laugh, "that I hoped you
would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of
distrust and longs for friendship and to be taken on trust. But
there, I believe my looks are against me."

While he is able to smile wryly at his outsider status, the fact that
he refers to his supposedly untrustworthy looks more than once tells
me that he doesn't like his lack of acceptance. It gives a sense of
burden about the character.

I see in Strider's sad and wry smiles, the desire of the young man
Estel (who had a home, a place) to show forth, but who is in conflict
with the older man who has a greater responsibility and burden that
holds him away from others. It gives me a very lonely and sympathetic
feeling for the man.

Then there is his sarcasm-

After Frodo's screw up in the Common Room:

"Well? Why did you do that? Worse than anything your friends could
have said. You have put your foot in it! Or should I say your finger?"

And to Barliman Butterbur:

"Then who would you take up with? A fat innkeeper who only remembers
his own name because people shout it at him all day?"

IMO, one who is sarcastic is never boring.

Questions:

Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.

Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?

Oh, and about the broken sword: I always laugh a bit nowadays (after
reading the 'why was Strider running around with a broken sword' type
threads) when even Strider admits: "Not much use is it, Sam?" I
almost expect him to look around for Tolkien and say "Why the hell
*do* you you have me running around the Wild with a broken sword?
Dammit, man! Gimme a dagger, a shiv, something!" Heh.

Other, more technical questions, I leave to the NG because I just
don't have any.

Stan Brown

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Mar 22, 2004, 12:16:59 AM3/22/04
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Thanks for the shorter subject line! It makes it easier for me to
keep track of the threads.

--
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

Stan Brown

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Mar 22, 2004, 12:25:07 AM3/22/04
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"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>After Frodo's table mishap and the clearing of the Common Room (as
>told in the previous chapter) he, Pippin, and Sam return to the
>darkened parlor. ... they are surprised to find Strider calmly
>sitting there.

I really envy people who are reading LotR for the first time. That
initial thrill of suspense is only a dim memory for me. Was Strider
a Black Rider, or working with them? I remember his menacing of Sam,
and the danger of Frodo deciding the wrong way, and how Frodo's "I
think one of [Sauron's] spies would - well, seem fairer and feel
fouler."

>Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
>really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
>when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.

Yes, I really did. When the figure climbed over the gate in the
preceding chapter I assumed it was a Black Rider. On first read of
LotR, at this point the Black Riders are just vague menaces -- we
don't know what they are or whether the have the ability to look
normally human. Frodo was the only one in his party with a bit of
sense, so he had no one to turn to for advice. And he had no
experience of the wide world. Strider could easily have been a
confidence man or trickster, just out to rob Frodo on his own or
even worse to sell him to the Black Riders. Or he might have been a
Black Rider himself, for all I knew then.

>Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
>besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?

I never got that impression. Red-faced, and blustering, is about all
I got. I pictured him in a white chef's-style apron (not too clean
by the end of the day), but I don't think I ever had any idea about
his hair, moustache, or beard.

Erucolindo

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Mar 22, 2004, 1:18:02 AM3/22/04
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On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 00:16:59 -0500, Stan Brown wrote:

> Thanks for the shorter subject line! It makes it easier for me to
> keep track of the threads.

Yeah, but no thanks for changing it all the time, as it defeats my
scorefile. :)


Henriette

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Mar 22, 2004, 4:16:34 AM3/22/04
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yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.04032...@posting.google.com>...

(snip excellent summary: thank you, zett!)

> Well, first of all, an admission: I took this chapter mostly in order

> to have an excuse to kick against a pet peeve of mine ? the attitude


> some have that Aragorn is a cardboard character.

LOL. I took the Bombadil chapter partly in order to stand up against
the attitude some have that Tom is a Fool.

> "?But I must admit," he added with a queer laugh, "that I hoped you


> would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of
> distrust and longs for friendship and to be taken on trust. But
> there, I believe my looks are against me."
>

That I find a moving quote.

You have done a great job in the unraveling of our first acquintance
with Aragorn. As for myself, I never understood, like Frodo, why
Aragorn never said he was Gandalf's friend in the first place, but the
solution to that riddle may partly be found in your creative
assumption that he is testing the hobbits to see if they are a trap of
the Enemy.

> Questions:
>
> Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
> really could have been a rascal?

I have often wondered what my first thoughts were, but I really can't
remember, having read the book ten times since then.


>
> Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?
>

No, never. Why do you? I hope not because he is confusedly running
around, talks without end and is a caring type of person:-)

Henriette

AC

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Mar 22, 2004, 10:54:27 AM3/22/04
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On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800,
zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
> really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
> when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.

I expected something troublesome from him. He didn't seem as bad as Black
Riders, but Tolkien did a fairly good job of writing him up as a shadey
character.

>
> Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?

I never really thought of him being effeminate. I always sort of pictured
him like some sort of Victorian English baker, fat with bright red cheeks.

>
> Oh, and about the broken sword: I always laugh a bit nowadays (after
> reading the 'why was Strider running around with a broken sword' type
> threads) when even Strider admits: "Not much use is it, Sam?" I
> almost expect him to look around for Tolkien and say "Why the hell
> *do* you you have me running around the Wild with a broken sword?
> Dammit, man! Gimme a dagger, a shiv, something!" Heh.

Probably one of the silliest parts of LotR. I know Tolkien was using it for
effect, and probably never really looked back at the notion of Aragorn
running around Eriador and the Wilderland with a busted sword.

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

AC

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Mar 22, 2004, 10:58:10 AM3/22/04
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On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 10:27:41 +0000,
Alison <news....@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800, yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote:
>
>>Chapter o/t Week: LoTR Ch. 10 "Strider"
>
>>All though this chapter we are told about his expressions. He curls
>>his lip and sneers; he is alternately harsh and friendly; he pushes
>>Frodo's fear buttons, testing him, ensuring that he is not falling in
>>a trap set by the Enemy, but also testing Frodo's wisdom and mettle.
>>This tells me he is cautious and smart. But there is another side:
>
> This bit has always bothered me. We are explicitly told in RotK that
> Sauron had no inkling that there was an heir of Isildur wandering
> around. Why then should he lay traps for Aragorn?

Sauron must have known about the Rangers, and while he may not have known
that their chieftain was in fact the heir of Isildur, he still would
consider him a foe.

>
>
>>IMO, one who is sarcastic is never boring.
>

> Hmm, I was taught that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the
> height of vulgarity, and that one who is habitually sarcastic is
> invariably boring.
>
> But I agree with your general point. Strider as presented in this
> chapter is an interesting character. Potentially sympathetic, but
> still with a possibility of being a wrong 'un. Unfortunately, as the
> book progresses he becomes less and less interesting.

I never found Aragorn less interesting. Though once Gandalf joins the
company, Aragorn takes a second seat, he comes out again in the final
chapters of FotR. Quite frankly I've never understood the accusation.

<snip>

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

AC

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Mar 22, 2004, 12:19:50 PM3/22/04
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On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 00:25:07 -0500,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>After Frodo's table mishap and the clearing of the Common Room (as
>>told in the previous chapter) he, Pippin, and Sam return to the
>>darkened parlor. ... they are surprised to find Strider calmly
>>sitting there.
>
> I really envy people who are reading LotR for the first time. That
> initial thrill of suspense is only a dim memory for me. Was Strider
> a Black Rider, or working with them? I remember his menacing of Sam,
> and the danger of Frodo deciding the wrong way, and how Frodo's "I
> think one of [Sauron's] spies would - well, seem fairer and feel
> fouler."

I do remember the Bree chapters as being nail-biters. The first time I read
them, I stayed up late at night from the Barrow Downs all the way to the
Ford of Bruinen. That whole set of chapters kept me captivated. Action.
Fear. Magic.

--
Aaron Clausen

mightym...@hotmail.com

Taemon

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Mar 22, 2004, 1:01:08 PM3/22/04
to
zett wrote:

> Other, more technical questions, I leave to the NG
> because I just don't have any.

A very silly one: in his letter, Gandalf writes about Frodo that
he is "fairer than most <hobbits>". What do you think, fairer as
in lighter of hair or fairer as in better looking?

T.


Jamie Armstrong

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Mar 22, 2004, 1:34:58 PM3/22/04
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AC wrote:
> On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800,
> zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
>>really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
>>when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.
>
> I expected something troublesome from him. He didn't seem as bad as Black
> Riders, but Tolkien did a fairly good job of writing him up as a shadey
> character.
>
This is interesting. AFAICR, I never expected any trouble to come from
Strider: he just never seemed bad enough, so I, like Frodo, was willing
to trust him. However, I did expect the hobbits to be betrayed by
*Pippin*! I was concerned that in the time he'd been outside, wandering
around Bree and then almost kidnapped by the Riders (which always seemed
a strange thing: they could have taken him, yet when Nob called they ran
and left him - maybe they should have taken Nob along instead :) ), he
had either had a spell cast upon him so that the Riders could control
him, or else the Riders had done something to allow them to more easily
track him (and so the others). That would have been a very interesting
story.

Jamie

--
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and
every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human
characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the
appearance of either merit or sense."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

zett

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Mar 22, 2004, 1:50:03 PM3/22/04
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yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.04032...@posting.google.com>...
[snip]

"Why the hell *do* you you have me running around

Why the hell couldn't I have noticed the 2 yous *before* I hit send?
:sigh:

aelfwina

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Mar 22, 2004, 4:37:00 PM3/22/04
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:c3n9lb$29teg1$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

I always thought of it as being better looking, and maybe paler of
complexion. I have to say that when EW was cast as Frodo, my mind said
"Perfect!" as far as physical appearance went, all the way to the cleft in
the chin.
Barbara

>
> T.
>
>


jojo

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Mar 22, 2004, 5:45:31 PM3/22/04
to
> Questions (only a couple) and Comments (mostly)
>
> Well, first of all, an admission: I took this chapter mostly in order
> to have an excuse to kick against a pet peeve of mine - the attitude

> some have that Aragorn is a cardboard character. I guess I am just a
> sucker for outsiders (and mystery) and that may make me see that which
> is not there, but I think there are many layers to Aragorn. As these
> weekly discussions go on, I hope to continue putting in my .02 about
> Aragorn- if schoolwork permits. (go ahead and groan, if you wish) ;)
>
> All though this chapter we are told about his expressions. He curls
> his lip and sneers; he is alternately harsh and friendly; he pushes
> Frodo's fear buttons, testing him, ensuring that he is not falling in
> a trap set by the Enemy, but also testing Frodo's wisdom and mettle.
> This tells me he is cautious and smart. But there is another side:
>
> "Drink, fire, and chance meeting are pleasant enough (read: I wish I
> could hang out in bars with friends) but, well - this isn't the Shire.

> There are queer folk about. Though I say it as shouldn't, you may
> think," he added with a wry smile, seeing Frodo's glance.
>
> Then there's
>
> ".But I must admit," he added with a queer laugh, "that I hoped you

> would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of
> distrust and longs for friendship and to be taken on trust. But
> there, I believe my looks are against me."
>
> While he is able to smile wryly at his outsider status, the fact that
> he refers to his supposedly untrustworthy looks more than once tells
> me that he doesn't like his lack of acceptance. It gives a sense of
> burden about the character.

>
> I see in Strider's sad and wry smiles, the desire of the young man
> Estel (who had a home, a place) to show forth, but who is in conflict
> with the older man who has a greater responsibility and burden that
> holds him away from others. It gives me a very lonely and sympathetic
> feeling for the man.

I read this for the first time a million years ago, but as I recall, this is
where I
fell in love with Strider. I have loved him ever since. My terrible crush
turned into
respect when I learned his secrets. When I later learned of his relationship
with Arwen, I came to understand that she was the only person alive that
could
fill the role as his queen. Certianly not a teenage peasant girl like
myself. I was 16
and very easily impressed by older men when I read LOTR for the first time.
;-)
That was 25 years and 12 readings ago. Still love it and him! My King!
jo

Shanahan

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Mar 22, 2004, 7:29:26 PM3/22/04
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AC wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 10:27:41 +0000,
> Alison <news....@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>> On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800, yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote:

>>> Chapter o/t Week: LoTR Ch. 10 "Strider"
>>>

<snip>

>> But I agree with your general point. Strider as presented in this
>> chapter is an interesting character. Potentially sympathetic, but
>> still with a possibility of being a wrong 'un. Unfortunately, as the
>> book progresses he becomes less and less interesting.
>
> I never found Aragorn less interesting. Though once Gandalf joins the
> company, Aragorn takes a second seat, he comes out again in the final
> chapters of FotR. Quite frankly I've never understood the accusation.

Perhaps not so much an accusation as an impression...I become less
interested in Aragorn as the story goes on, but I certainly don't get any
satisfaction out of feeling that way. Been thinking about this aspect of
Aragorn the past few days, and I think it has to do with the tone of the
language Tolkien uses, the level of formality and archaicism.

In the beginning the tone is informal and more modern. As the novel
progresses, the tone of the writing becomes more and more "high", more
formal (by the use of archaic terms and syntax). More remote. As suits
the dignity of the latter passages of the story, of course, and of course
this was completely intentional on Tolkien's part. When the story is
being told from any of the hobbits' points of view, Tolkien reverts to a
more casual tone, again appropriate and intentional.

Also as the depth and dignity of the story increases, so does Aragorn's
depth and dignity as a Man. And so the tone used to describe his
character/actions is increasingly formal and remote as the story goes on.

I believe that it's this formality and remoteness that has made me (and
maybe others) "like" Aragorn less in the later books. Not so much that
he's less likeable, as that he's described in more remote terms and so
becomes less reachable.

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________
"Who is this gentle stranger, with pecs
like melons and knees of fringe?"
-mst3k

Shanahan

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Mar 22, 2004, 7:03:27 PM3/22/04
to

In reality (i.e., the book), I think the phrase refers to Frodo's hair
color (see other thread discussion about Aragorn's hair color). But in my
own little private head, after seeing EW as Frodo, I grin and think of it
as referring to his beauty.

zett

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Mar 22, 2004, 8:09:25 PM3/22/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.1ac842bf4...@news.odyssey.net>...

> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >After Frodo's table mishap and the clearing of the Common Room (as
> >told in the previous chapter) he, Pippin, and Sam return to the
> >darkened parlor. ... they are surprised to find Strider calmly
> >sitting there.
>
> I really envy people who are reading LotR for the first time. That
> initial thrill of suspense is only a dim memory for me.

Most of it is only a dim memory for me as well, but this chapter (and
the previous one)were my introduction to Tolkien, so somewhat more of
them remain for me. I also envy people readng Tolkien for the first
time, but I also enjoy it when they come back to me going on about how
great it is. Only yesterday I had an OL friend thank me for
encouraging her to read Tolkien. So I still get to live it
vacariously...

Was Strider a Black Rider, or working with them?

I wondered that too, but was afraid to include it in my post, for fear
folks would think I was nuts. LOL Now I'm relieved.

>I remember his menacing of Sam, and the danger of Frodo deciding the
wrong >way,

Yep. I was all like "Argh! What should Frodo do?!"

[snip]


>
> >Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
> >really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
> >when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.
>
> Yes, I really did. When the figure climbed over the gate in the
> preceding chapter I assumed it was a Black Rider. On first read of
> LotR, at this point the Black Riders are just vague menaces -- we
> don't know what they are or whether the have the ability to look
> normally human. Frodo was the only one in his party with a bit of
> sense, so he had no one to turn to for advice. And he had no
> experience of the wide world. Strider could easily have been a
> confidence man or trickster, just out to rob Frodo on his own or
> even worse to sell him to the Black Riders. Or he might have been a
> Black Rider himself, for all I knew then.

And I, like Sam, never *completely* trusted Strider until he came back
with the Athelas at Weathertop.


>
> >Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> >besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?
>
> I never got that impression. Red-faced, and blustering, is about all
> I got. I pictured him in a white chef's-style apron (not too clean
> by the end of the day), but I don't think I ever had any idea about
> his hair, moustache, or beard.

I pictured him looking rather like Henry the VIII, except without any
facial hair, and of course without the kingly get-up. A definite yes
on the less than pristine apron. I don't know why I think of him as
effeminate, unless it is in comparison to so many warriors, or at
least farmers. Butterbur is one of the few "merchant class"
characters we meet in M-e. That and the impression that he acts
almost like he is going to scream when Strider talks to him about the
Black Riders/leaving Bree. And his chattering...I guess it is just my
impression.

[sig snipped]

zett

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Mar 22, 2004, 8:21:22 PM3/22/04
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held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.04032...@posting.google.com>...

> yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.04032...@posting.google.com>...
>
> (snip excellent summary: thank you, zett!)
>
> > Well, first of all, an admission: I took this chapter mostly in order
> > to have an excuse to kick against a pet peeve of mine ? the attitude
> > some have that Aragorn is a cardboard character.
>
> LOL. I took the Bombadil chapter partly in order to stand up against
> the attitude some have that Tom is a Fool.

All right! You and I together will set them straight, eh? ;)
[snip]

>
> You have done a great job in the unraveling of our first acquintance
> with Aragorn.

Thank you. :)

As for myself, I never understood, like Frodo, why
> Aragorn never said he was Gandalf's friend in the first place, but the
> solution to that riddle may partly be found in your creative
> assumption that he is testing the hobbits to see if they are a trap of
> the Enemy.

I wondered, just like you did. And I never came up with the solution
I did until I agreed to host this chapter. I had also wondered why
Aragorn acted so sneaky-hiding in shadows and all. I thought to
myself, if he wanted the Bree people/Butterbur to treat him like a
normal person, he should have acted more normal.
[snip]

> > Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> > besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?
> >
> No, never. Why do you? I hope not because he is confusedly running
> around, talks without end and is a caring type of person:-)

Not because he is caring, but yeah, the cofusedly running around and
the chattering definitely takes Butterbur off of the Stud-o-meter for
me. ;)

[sig snipped]

zett

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Mar 22, 2004, 8:29:02 PM3/22/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<c3n9lb$29teg1$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

I always took it to mean fairer in complexion and better looking.
Probably a reference to his "elvish air."

zett

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Mar 22, 2004, 8:39:59 PM3/22/04
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AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<slrnc5u31j.3g4....@alder.alberni.net>...
[snip]

> > Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> > besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?
>
> I never really thought of him being effeminate. I always sort of pictured
> him like some sort of Victorian English baker, fat with bright red cheeks.

I'd say you're right. Somehow that seems more like what T would
probably have had in mind.
> >
> > Oh, and about the broken sword: [snip]


>
> Probably one of the silliest parts of LotR. I know Tolkien was using it for
> effect, and probably never really looked back at the notion of Aragorn
> running around Eriador and the Wilderland with a busted sword.

Heh. I am ashamed to admit this, but I never thought about how goofy
it was until I started reading this newsgroup. I got totally caught
up in the "poetic" or "sadly noble" or whatever effect JRRT was
creating. From his POV (if he were still alive to have one) I would
qualify as his perfect reader, 'cuz I never think to question anything
on a pragmatic/plot point level. I get totally caught up in the
emotion of the story and off I go...

BaronjosefR

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Mar 22, 2004, 11:31:15 PM3/22/04
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>As for myself, I never understood, like Frodo, why
>> Aragorn never said he was Gandalf's friend in the first place, but the
>> solution to that riddle may partly be found in your creative
>> assumption that he is testing the hobbits to see if they are a trap of
>> the Enemy.


Knowledge is power. As well, I always liked to think that he was testing the
hobbits and their capability of discerning the attentions of strangers while
travelling in foreign lands, knowing that there mightbe a long road ahead.


Glenn Holliday

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Mar 22, 2004, 10:26:08 PM3/22/04
to
zett wrote:
>
> Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
> really could have been a rascal? I remember thinking he was a creep
> when he admitted he hid behind the hedge and spied on the Hobbits.

I thought this chapter was set up like a classic mystery novel.
I kept asking myself "Is Strider the villain? Is the the red
herring? Is he the good guy who looks like the villain?"
I had no idea until they got to Gandalf's letter. And then
I wondered if enough of the clues matched up. Is this person
really the Strider that Gandalf means, or is he impersonating
Strider to deceive Frodo?



> Oh, and about the broken sword:

Among other things, I've always thought it unbelievable because
Narsil was a priceless heirloom. Keeping a priceless heirloom
with you if you're weilding it is one thing, but carrying the
shards around to spill out of the scabbard in the middle of
the night and be lost forever? It still makes no sense to me.

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

Troels Forchhammer

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Mar 23, 2004, 3:35:11 AM3/23/04
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in <405f8662$1...@news.netacc.net>,
Shanahan <pog...@redsuspenders.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> Also as the depth and dignity of the story increases, so does
> Aragorn's depth and dignity as a Man. And so the tone used to
> describe his character/actions is increasingly formal and remote as
> the story goes on.

I never had any problem with the change of tone - I thoroughly enjoy the
more archaic and formal language (which is, IMO regrettably, almost
completely absent from the Danish translation).

The observation, however, is interesting, and this change is also observed
by the characters - Pippin comments on it in III,9 'Flotsam and Jetsam':
" 'Now let us take our ease here for a little!' said Aragorn.
'We will sit on the edge of ruin and talk, as Gandalf says,
while he is busy elsewhere. I feel a weariness such as I have
seldom felt before.' He wrapped his grey cloak about him,
hiding his mail-shirt, and stretched out his long legs. Then
he lay back and sent from his lips a thin stream of smoke.
'Look!' said Pippin. 'Strider the Ranger has come back!'
'He has never been away,' said Aragorn. 'I am Strider and
Dúnadan too, and I belong both to Gondor and the North.'"

While Pippin may comment on Aragorn's appearance, it is, I believe, also a
comment on the general development of the character.

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

The idea of being *paid* to govern is terribly middle-class :-)
- Igenlode on AFPH

Jamie Armstrong

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Mar 23, 2004, 7:55:25 AM3/23/04
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Alison wrote:

> On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 18:34:58 +0000, Jamie Armstrong
> <j.d.ar...@durham.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>>This is interesting. AFAICR, I never expected any trouble to come from
>>Strider: he just never seemed bad enough, so I, like Frodo, was willing
>>to trust him. However, I did expect the hobbits to be betrayed by
>>*Pippin*! I was concerned that in the time he'd been outside, wandering
>>around Bree and then almost kidnapped by the Riders (which always seemed
>>a strange thing: they could have taken him, yet when Nob called they ran
>>and left him - maybe they should have taken Nob along instead :) ), he
>>had either had a spell cast upon him so that the Riders could control
>>him, or else the Riders had done something to allow them to more easily
>>track him (and so the others).
>
>
> Or *Merry* even.
>
Oh yeah!

Stan Brown

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Mar 23, 2004, 9:06:29 AM3/23/04
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

I don't think it was in a letter, but rather was Gandalf's spoken
description or Frodo to Butterbur. Butterbur, speaking to Frodo, is
quoting Gandalf.

I assumed it meant hair and possibly skin color.

Stan Brown

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Mar 23, 2004, 9:09:41 AM3/23/04
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"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> I don't know why I think of him as
>effeminate, unless it is in comparison to so many warriors, or at
>least farmers. Butterbur is one of the few "merchant class"
>characters we meet in M-e. That and the impression that he acts
>almost like he is going to scream when Strider talks to him about the
>Black Riders/leaving Bree. And his chattering...I guess it is just my
>impression.

I just chalked that up to physical cowardice.

An isolated community like Bree, with no soldiers or even any
permanent police force, would be always at risk to anything roaming
in the empty lands all around. Maybe Butterbur's mother had told him
scary stories to keep him in line when he was a kid!

Stan Brown

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Mar 23, 2004, 9:12:43 AM3/23/04
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"Glenn Holliday" <holl...@acm.org> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>zett wrote:
>> Oh, and about the broken sword:
>
>Among other things, I've always thought it unbelievable because
>Narsil was a priceless heirloom. Keeping a priceless heirloom
>with you if you're weilding it is one thing, but carrying the
>shards around to spill out of the scabbard in the middle of
>the night and be lost forever? It still makes no sense to me.

You have to wonder what the editor was doing when Tolkien submitted
the manuscript. Surely this hole in the plot's logic should have
been questioned. Back in the 1950s, after all, editor actually
_edited_. Tolkien was not then the giant of publishing that he later
became, and I would have thought whoever edited the book would have
asked him for an explanation.

Jamie Armstrong

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Mar 23, 2004, 10:21:22 AM3/23/04
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I think Gandalf meant he doesn't cheat at Monopoly.

Pete Gray

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Mar 23, 2004, 1:18:23 PM3/23/04
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On Tue, 23 Mar 2004 09:12:43 -0500, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>"Glenn Holliday" <holl...@acm.org> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>zett wrote:
>>> Oh, and about the broken sword:
>>
>>Among other things, I've always thought it unbelievable because
>>Narsil was a priceless heirloom. Keeping a priceless heirloom
>>with you if you're weilding it is one thing, but carrying the
>>shards around to spill out of the scabbard in the middle of
>>the night and be lost forever? It still makes no sense to me.
>
>You have to wonder what the editor was doing when Tolkien submitted
>the manuscript. Surely this hole in the plot's logic should have
>been questioned. Back in the 1950s, after all, editor actually
>_edited_. Tolkien was not then the giant of publishing that he later
>became, and I would have thought whoever edited the book would have
>asked him for an explanation.

I've got some more questions: how many 'shards of Narsil' were there?
Somehow I always imagined it was just snapped in two (kind of like at
the beginning of 'Branded' -- anybody else remember that
<http://www.fiftiesweb.com/tv/branded.htm>?). Is there any indication
that Aragorn is carrying round all the pieces, or does he just have
the top bit? Is it indicated that he has no other weapons?

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

aelfwina

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Mar 23, 2004, 1:28:50 PM3/23/04
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"Jamie Armstrong" <j.d.ar...@durham.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:406055F2...@durham.ac.uk...

> Taemon wrote:
> > zett wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Other, more technical questions, I leave to the NG
> >>because I just don't have any.
> >
> >
> > A very silly one: in his letter, Gandalf writes about Frodo that
> > he is "fairer than most <hobbits>". What do you think, fairer as
> > in lighter of hair or fairer as in better looking?
> >
> I think Gandalf meant he doesn't cheat at Monopoly.

*snicker*
Barbara

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

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Mar 23, 2004, 3:03:42 PM3/23/04
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In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "Glenn Holliday" <holl...@acm.org> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>Among other things, I've always thought it unbelievable because
>>Narsil was a priceless heirloom....

> You have to wonder what the editor was doing when Tolkien submitted
> the manuscript. Surely this hole in the plot's logic should have
> been questioned....

Here I go shooting off my mouth again without the books,
but there has been so much discussion about this that I have to
ask some questions.

Is there any indication that Narsil is Aragorn's *only*
weapon on this trip? That he carries no other knife, bow,
arrow, etc.? IIRC he mentions to Sam that his broken sword is
not much use against the hobbits, and he attacks the Nazgul with
burning brands, but I don't remember any categorical statement
that he has no other weapons. (Now watch as someone pulls out a
direct quote of Aragorn saying "I have no other weapons; Narsil
is enough for me")

Even if so, is there any indication that Aragorn *always*
carries only Narsil? He may have done so on this trip, for
instance, because he expected Gandalf to mention it to the
hobbits and wanted to show his bona fides; or because he sensed
that when they got to Rivendell it would be reforged; or because
he expected that it would actually be effective, even if broken,
against the kinds of enemies he would be facing.

I doubt that Aragorn carried only Narsil when he was
Thorongil. Pretty much a dead giveaway.

--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.)

Jim Deutch

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Mar 23, 2004, 4:41:15 PM3/23/04
to
On Mon, 22 Mar 2004 18:34:58 +0000, Jamie Armstrong
<j.d.ar...@durham.ac.uk> wrote:

>This is interesting. AFAICR, I never expected any trouble to come from
>Strider: he just never seemed bad enough, so I, like Frodo, was willing
>to trust him. However, I did expect the hobbits to be betrayed by
>*Pippin*! I was concerned that in the time he'd been outside, wandering
>around Bree and then almost kidnapped by the Riders (which always seemed
>a strange thing: they could have taken him, yet when Nob called they ran
>and left him - maybe they should have taken Nob along instead :) ), he
>had either had a spell cast upon him so that the Riders could control
>him, or else the Riders had done something to allow them to more easily
>track him (and so the others). That would have been a very interesting
>story.

/sPippin Merry

I don't remember much about my first reading of LotR, but this topic
brought up a very clear memory: I had the same experience as you. I
kept waiting for the ball to drop and for Merry to betray everyone.
And it never happened! I suppose I eventually forgot about it
entirely: certainly once the Fellowship had broken up it was too
late...

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
For escape velocity at one gravity of horizontal acceleration, one
radian is needed. - John Stockton

Emma Pease

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Mar 23, 2004, 9:17:15 PM3/23/04
to
In article <c3q56u$2abgnn$1...@ID-193590.news.uni-berlin.de>, Jamie
Andrews; real address @ bottom of message wrote:
[snip]

> Even if so, is there any indication that Aragorn *always*
> carries only Narsil? He may have done so on this trip, for
> instance, because he expected Gandalf to mention it to the
> hobbits and wanted to show his bona fides; or because he sensed
> that when they got to Rivendell it would be reforged; or because
> he expected that it would actually be effective, even if broken,
> against the kinds of enemies he would be facing.
>
> I doubt that Aragorn carried only Narsil when he was
> Thorongil. Pretty much a dead giveaway.

Especially since he would have had to have had a regular sword.

My supposition is that the journey he took after meeting Gandalf in
May was to pick up Narsil from wherever he kept it (possibly at a
settlement of the northern Dunedain, perhaps that of his maternal kin)
because he knew that with the ring found, Narsil would be reforged.

Failing that, where did he go on his journey?

Other thoughts on the chapter, Aragorn does seem to look down a bit at
the hobbits. His comment that Pippin would have to be made of sterner
stuff than he looked if he was to live long enough to be weathered
like Strider. He also doesn't think that highly of Barliaman (in
contrast to Gandalf several chapters in the future). Perhaps part of
Aragorn's growth in the book is a greater appreciation of the worth of
folk like the hobbits.

Emma

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

Igenlode Wordsmith

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Mar 23, 2004, 6:54:28 PM3/23/04
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On 22 Mar 2004 AC wrote:

> On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800,

> zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
[snip]

> > Oh, and about the broken sword: I always laugh a bit nowadays (after
> > reading the 'why was Strider running around with a broken sword' type
> > threads) when even Strider admits: "Not much use is it, Sam?" I
> > almost expect him to look around for Tolkien and say "Why the hell
> > *do* you you have me running around the Wild with a broken sword?
> > Dammit, man! Gimme a dagger, a shiv, something!" Heh.

Well, he probably *did* have a dagger - to serve as an eating-knife if
nothing else...


>
> Probably one of the silliest parts of LotR. I know Tolkien was using it for
> effect, and probably never really looked back at the notion of Aragorn
> running around Eriador and the Wilderland with a busted sword.
>

He carries it, like Boromir's horn or Thor's ring, because it is an
heirloom of his house - more or less a statement of who he is. And of
course, while he's carrying that, he doesn't have a spare slot for an
unbroken sword as well :-)

More seriously: I don't actually get the impression that the Rangers
went in much for sword-fighting in the course of their ordinary
'duties', to be honest. This novel predates the D&D school of fantasy:
Gandalf has described Aragorn as a great traveller and huntsman, and he
himself says "I have hunted many wild and wary things and I can usually
disappear, if I wish". A hunter doesn't go round swinging a sword.
Aragorn son of Arathorn is trained in the use of a blade, and in the
arts of war; but I'm not sure Strider the Ranger has much use for either
in his daily life in Arnor and Eriador.

(Did he carry the Broken Sword when he was in the South? Presumably
not, because he was trying to avoid being recognised, and it would be a
pretty clear assertion of identity.)

Thorin and the dwarves manage to get all the way to the Lonely
mountain, through some pretty hair-raising adventures, without once
raising an axe in anger, if I remember correctly. Bilbo gets to use
Sting on the spiders along the way, but that's about it. Aragorn
proposes - and as it turns out, succeeds - guiding the hobbits through
the dangers of the Wild all the way to Rivendell while pursued by
Nazgul, without any resort to weapons. His sword wouldn't have done any
of them much good if he'd had one. He's obviously experienced in coping
without :-)

The implication of 'Ranger' - again setting aside the D&D
agglomerations - is of 'boundary-keeper', 'game-warden' or 'survival
expert' rather than 'knight' or 'warrior'. In the public inn, Strider
takes care to keep his sword-hilt hidden rather than exposing it openly:
the implication, to me at least, is that Rangers weren't normally seen
with swords at all. Aragorn was carrying an extra, symbolic, burden,
rather than depriving himself of a weapon-slot.

(The *wisdom* of lugging around - and potentially losing - such an extra
encumbrance is of course quite another matter! But of course your true
Heir of Isildur wouldn't turn a hair at that sort of thing...)
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

* Ain't never gonna stop the rain by complainin'... *

ste...@nomail.com

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Mar 24, 2004, 12:32:10 AM3/24/04
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In rec.arts.books.tolkien Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote:

Aragorn seems to disagree with you.
"Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright
swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your
bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have
known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them.
But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep
from sunless woods, they fly from us."
Why would evil things fly from unarmed Rangers?
"'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march
of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town
in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly."
Again, how do the Rangers guard Bree from foes that could lay it
in ruins? Surely they are armed for this, and prepared for combat
with armed foes.

Stephen

Troels Forchhammer

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Mar 24, 2004, 3:25:18 AM3/24/04
to
in <2004032405112...@gacracker.org>,
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> enriched us
with:
>

<snip>

I pretty much agree with this: the that Aragorn carried Narsil around
as an heirloom giving him a sense of identity (and purpose, I'd guess),
and that the rangers, as a rule, didn't have much use of swords (though
bows and knifes probably often came in handy).

I think it's likely that Aragorn did carry other weapons, though possibly
not another sword - he could probably get hold of one fast enough if he
needed it.

> Thorin and the dwarves manage to get all the way to the Lonely
> mountain, through some pretty hair-raising adventures, without once
> raising an axe in anger, if I remember correctly.

Only because Thorin used Orcrist to fight back the goblins in the tunnels
when the party was escaping ;-)
I suppose the tunnels were too narrow for the other Dwarves to fight - at
least, IIRC, it is only Thorin and Gandalf that turn to fight them (their
swords of course had a special effect on the goblins).

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

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which
they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Troels Forchhammer

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Mar 24, 2004, 3:39:55 AM3/24/04
to
in <veft50prc5obt9c6o...@4ax.com>,
Alison <news....@ntlworld.com> enriched us with:

>
> On 21 Mar 2004 18:47:08 -0800, yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote:
>>
>> Chapter o/t Week: LoTR Ch. 10 "Strider"
>>

<snip>

> This bit has always bothered me. We are explicitly told in RotK that
> Sauron had no inkling that there was an heir of Isildur wandering
> around. Why then should he lay traps for Aragorn?

Whether Sauron knew of the continuation of Isildur's line or not, I think
it's quite natural that he knew of the rangers, the remaining Dúnedain of
the North, and that he would set traps for their leader no matter what his
descent was.

> Hmm, I was taught that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the
> height of vulgarity, and that one who is habitually sarcastic is
> invariably boring.

I suppose that culture has much to do with that - Danish humour often makes
use of irony and sarcasm (and there is even variations within the country),
while others focus more on other kinds of humour.

> But I agree with your general point. Strider as presented in this
> chapter is an interesting character. Potentially sympathetic, but
> still with a possibility of being a wrong 'un.

Certainly.

> Unfortunately, as the book progresses he becomes less and less
> interesting.

I don't really agree with that. He comes clearer into focus, and for the
last half of the book he doesn't develop much, but I don't think he becomes
less interesting (except from a character development PoV).

<snip>

> The image of the broken sword works better at a poetic level than at a
> realistic one. I think Jackson made the right decision for the film on
> that point.

I suppose you're right. It would at least have taken another kind of film
to show Aragorn with the broken stump of Narsil; one that focused far more
on the poetic side of the book.

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

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men
are almost always bad men.
- Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887.

Troels Forchhammer

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Mar 24, 2004, 4:03:00 AM3/24/04
to
in <4bb40450.04032...@posting.google.com>,
zett <yze...@yahoo.com> enriched us with:

>
> Chapter o/t Week: LoTR Ch. 10 "Strider"

<snip>

> Well, first of all, an admission: I took this chapter mostly in order
> to have an excuse to kick against a pet peeve of mine - the attitude


> some have that Aragorn is a cardboard character.

;-)

I'll admit that I never had much patience with that attitude either - I see
him as being one of the most complex and deepest characters in the book.

He, or rather our perception of him, develops quite a lot until about
halfway into the book when he declares himself openly as the heir of
Isildur. But even then he doesn't become just a cardboard character, IMO.

<snip>

> I see in Strider's sad and wry smiles, the desire of the young man
> Estel (who had a home, a place) to show forth, but who is in conflict
> with the older man who has a greater responsibility and burden that
> holds him away from others.

I don't think it's a conflict as much as a duality - one which is shown
forth at his death where "a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all
who after came there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace
of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of
his age were blended together."

He is at the same time Estel, Strider, Aragorn and King Elessar - not in
conflict with himself, but a deep and complext person.

> It gives me a very lonely and sympathetic feeling for the man.

Agreed.

<snip>

> IMO, one who is sarcastic is never boring.

It depends, I think, upon how it is used. Sarcasm can easily be overdone
and become, perhaps not boring as such, but seem boorish and become a
nuisance. Used with moderation, however, it works excellently.

> Did you think, the first time you read this chapter, that Strider
> really could have been a rascal?

The ambiguity here is played for all it's worth for as long as possible ;-)

> Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like?

He is introduced as "a short fat man with a bald head and a red face." He
wears a white apron, "and was bustling out of one door and in through
another."

> And did anyone besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?

Never that, no.

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

If no thought
your mind does visit,
make your speech
not too explicit.
- Piet Hein, /The Case for Obscurity/

Taemon

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Mar 24, 2004, 4:55:51 AM3/24/04
to
Tolkien wrote:

> "'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's
> march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little
> town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly."

What foes are we talking about anyway? Orcs? Trolls?

T.


aelfwina

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Mar 24, 2004, 6:58:13 AM3/24/04
to

"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:c3rlvh$28jb2a$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

Orcs. Trolls. Barrow Wights. Wargs. Brigands.
You name it.
Barbara

>
> T.
>
>


Henriette

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Mar 24, 2004, 10:12:05 AM3/24/04
to
yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.0403...@posting.google.com>...
>
> (snip) I had also wondered why

> Aragorn acted so sneaky-hiding in shadows and all. I thought to
> myself, if he wanted the Bree people/Butterbur to treat him like a
> normal person, he should have acted more normal.
> [snip]

Yes. So he was probably testing the Hobbits. But also, this way JRRT
creates great tension, which is fun.

> > > Besides being fat, what did Butterbur look like? And did anyone
> > > besides me think he seemed, well, sort of effeminate?
> > >
> > No, never. Why do you? I hope not because he is confusedly running
> > around, talks without end and is a caring type of person:-)
>
> Not because he is caring, but yeah, the cofusedly running around and
> the chattering definitely takes Butterbur off of the Stud-o-meter for
> me. ;)
>

LOL. Well, at least when you had a date with Butterbur, you would not
have to worry about who would keep the conversation going, that is, if
he managed to sit still for a while.

But ofcourse, we know well who comes first on your LOTR
Stud-o-meter:-)

Henriette

Henriette

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Mar 24, 2004, 10:22:10 AM3/24/04
to
"jojo" <cgv_2000*yourhat*@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<f0K7c.1253$Kq4...@newssvr23.news.prodigy.com>...
> > Questions (only a couple) and Comments (mostly)
> >
(snip)

> > I see in Strider's sad and wry smiles, the desire of the young man
> > Estel (who had a home, a place) to show forth, but who is in conflict
> > with the older man who has a greater responsibility and burden that
> > holds him away from others. It gives me a very lonely and sympathetic
> > feeling for the man.
>
> I read this for the first time a million years ago, but as I recall, this is
> where I fell in love with Strider. I have loved him ever since. My terrible
> crush turned into
> respect when I learned his secrets. When I later learned of his relationship
> with Arwen, I came to understand that she was the only person alive that
> could fill the role as his queen. Certianly not a teenage peasant girl like
> myself. I was 16
> and very easily impressed by older men when I read LOTR for the first time.
> ;-)
> That was 25 years and 12 readings ago. Still love it and him! My King!

And he is obviously also first on Jo's Stud-o-meter:-)

Henriette

AC

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Mar 24, 2004, 10:30:59 AM3/24/04
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On Tue, 23 Mar 2004 23:54:28 GMT,
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[> wrote:
>
> More seriously: I don't actually get the impression that the Rangers
> went in much for sword-fighting in the course of their ordinary
> 'duties', to be honest. This novel predates the D&D school of fantasy:
> Gandalf has described Aragorn as a great traveller and huntsman, and he
> himself says "I have hunted many wild and wary things and I can usually
> disappear, if I wish". A hunter doesn't go round swinging a sword.
> Aragorn son of Arathorn is trained in the use of a blade, and in the
> arts of war; but I'm not sure Strider the Ranger has much use for either
> in his daily life in Arnor and Eriador.

I don't know. When Narsil is reforged as Anduril, Aragorn doesn't seem to
have much of a problem swinging and hitting targets. I can only assume he
was a skilled swordsman, and that means he must have had practice in the
art.

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

Treetop

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Mar 24, 2004, 11:06:54 AM3/24/04
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> I doubt that Aragorn carried only Narsil when he was Thorongil.
>

I always had the impression that he, like other men had knives that he
carried, for cutting meat after a hunt / cutting up fruit / ......

Likewise I think that it shows the true qualities of his abilities,
that he is able to survive in the 'wilderness' without any major
weapons, other than his mind.


zett

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Mar 24, 2004, 1:56:20 PM3/24/04
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m...@privacy.net (Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message) wrote in message news:<c3q56u$2abgnn$1...@ID-193590.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> > "Glenn Holliday" <holl...@acm.org> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >>Among other things, I've always thought it unbelievable because
> >>Narsil was a priceless heirloom....
> > You have to wonder what the editor was doing when Tolkien submitted
> > the manuscript. Surely this hole in the plot's logic should have
> > been questioned....

[snip]



> Is there any indication that Narsil is Aragorn's *only*

> weapon on this trip? [snip]

No. No indication of that. It just seems like it would have been nice
if Tolkien had mentioned another weapon for him. The way I deal with
it is I assume he carried at least a dagger. It is just the necessity
to assume something like that about a character who is charged with
leading/protecting the Ringbearer that seems not quite right.

> Even if so, is there any indication that Aragorn *always*
> carries only Narsil? He may have done so on this trip, for
> instance, because he expected Gandalf to mention it to the
> hobbits and wanted to show his bona fides; or because he sensed
> that when they got to Rivendell it would be reforged; or because
> he expected that it would actually be effective, even if broken,
> against the kinds of enemies he would be facing.
>
> I doubt that Aragorn carried only Narsil when he was
> Thorongil. Pretty much a dead giveaway.

I have nothing to say to this except I agree with it totally. I think
Narsil was with him *at this one certain time* as a sort of Id badge.

[sig snipped]

zett

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Mar 24, 2004, 2:07:14 PM3/24/04
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Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote in message news:<slrnc61rt...@munin.Stanford.EDU>...

[snips]

> Other thoughts on the chapter, Aragorn does seem to look down a bit at
> the hobbits. His comment that Pippin would have to be made of sterner
> stuff than he looked if he was to live long enough to be weathered
> like Strider. He also doesn't think that highly of Barliaman (in
> contrast to Gandalf several chapters in the future). Perhaps part of
> Aragorn's growth in the book is a greater appreciation of the worth of
> folk like the hobbits.

[snip]

I had the same thoughts; but I felt that I had run my mouth (or I my
keyboard rather)long enough in my original post. When we get to the
Council of Elrond chapter, I hope to have the time to post my thoughts
about his attitude as a defender of the Free Peoples vs Boromir's
attitude.