Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk4 Ch5 The Window on the West

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Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 18, 2004, 10:20:51 PM10/18/04
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Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West

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

Sam wakes to find Frodo being interrogated by Faramir, Captain of
Gondor. After a brief interruption by Sam, we learn that Faramir is the
brother of Boromir and believes him to be dead. As they journey to a
secret refuge, Faramir continues to question Frodo about Isildur's Bane.
At the secret refuge (Henneth Annun), Sam and Frodo eat with the Men of
Gondor. Afterwards, Faramir talks about the history of Gondor and the
Numenoreans. The talk turns to Elves and Lorien, and Sam inadvertently
mentions the Ring. Faramir is true to his words about Isildur's Bane,
and assures the hobbits that they need not fear that he will try to take
the Ring. Frodo and Sam sleep safely that night in Henneth Annun.

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

[Sam wakes up]

At the end of the previous chapter, Sam had fallen asleep after seeing
the battle between the Rangers of Ithilien and the Southrons. This
chapter begins as he wakes up and finds that it is now late afternoon.

[Faramir interrogates Frodo]

Sam sees Frodo being questioned by Faramir in front of a semicircle of
200-300 men. These are the surviving rangers that fought under Faramir's
command in the recent battle. Faramir has learnt from his first
encounter with Frodo and Sam that they travelled with Boromir and know
the words of Boromir's dream concerning Isildur's Bane. As Sam listens,
he realises that Faramir wants to know more about Isildur's Bane and is
aware that Frodo is hiding the full truth from him. Further questioning
from Faramir leads Frodo to reveal the lineage of Aragorn, and that he
bears Elendil's sword. This provokes amazement from the gathered men:

"The sword of Elendil! The sword of Elendil comes to Minas Tirith! Great
tidings!"

Faramir and Frodo debate Boromir's reaction to Aragorn's claim. Then
Frodo tells Faramir to let him carry out his appointed errand, and asks
Faramir to return to Minas Tirith to speak with Boromir when he returns.
Faramir finds this strange, and questions Frodo further about Boromir.
Both Frodo and Faramir choose their words carefully, but Frodo falters
when Faramir implies that Boromir is dead. Frodo and Faramir trade a few
more suggestive questions and evasive answers, until Sam can take no
more.

[1-3]

[Sam interrupts]

Sam bursts into the conversation and cuts through the carefully chosen
words of Frodo and Faramir, putting the matter plainly and simply:
Faramir is accusing Frodo of murdering Boromir. Faramir shows restraint
and calmly tells Sam that the questioning is needed to judge fairly
whether he should slay them, as the law demands. He tells Sam that Frodo
has greater wit than Sam, and that Sam should sit in silence and listen.

[Vision of Boromir dead]

Sam sits down with a red face. Faramir then tells the hobbits that
Boromir was his brother, and proceeds to tell them the tale of why he
believes Boromir to be dead. He heard the horn of Boromir blowing 11
days ago. Three nights later he was watching the shores of Anduin:

"But that night all the world slept at the midnight hour. Then I saw, or
it seemed that I saw, a boat floating on the water [...] An awe fell on
me, for a pale light was round it. [...] the boat turned towards me, and
stayed its pace, and floated slowly by [...] it seemed to me as it
passed under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water, from
which came the light; and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep."

Faramir recognised this warrior, pierced with many wounds, as Boromir,
his brother. He cried out after him, but the boat passed on into the
night. Frodo recognises the golden belt of Lorien that Faramir described
on Boromir's body, and says that the boat is also from Lorien. Faramir
laments that Boromir went ever to that Hidden Land:

"Boromir, O Boromir! What did she say to you, the Lady that dies not?
What did she see? What woke in your heart then? Why went you ever to
Laurelindórenan, and came not by your own road, upon the horses of Rohan
riding home in the morning?"

Faramir adds that the cloven horn also returned on the River.

[4-5]

[Journey to Henneth Annun]

Frodo reacts to the news of Boromir's death with dismay, fearing that
the rest of the Fellowship were also slain. Once more he implores
Faramir to let him go:

"Go back, Faramir, valiant Captain of Gondor, and defend your city while
you may, and let me go where my doom takes me."

Faramir attempts to reassure Frodo, and further says that he no longer
doubts Frodo's story. Nevertheless, he defers his full decision until he
can think and question them some more. Frodo and Sam travel with Faramir
and his guards to a secret refuge. During the journey, Faramir and Frodo
talk at length once more.

[Faramir on Isildur's Bane]

Faramir reveals that he avoided questioning Frodo closely about
Isildur's Bane in front of so many men. He then hazards a guess that it
is a mighty heirloom that caused conflict within the Fellowship. Faramir
recounts what he knows of Numenorean lore, straying often into other
matters. He learns from Frodo that Gandalf fell in Moria, and Frodo
learns that Boromir was displeased that the Ruling Stewards still
awaited the return of the King. We hear that Faramir knows of "the Great
Battle that was fought upon Dagorlad in the beginning of Gondor", and
that Isildur took something from the hand of Sauron. Faramir speculates
once more, surmising that Boromir may have been allured by the power of
this Thing. Faramir declares that he does not desire to use the devices
of the Enemy:

"I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas
Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon
of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory."

Following more eloquence from Faramir, Frodo is tempted to trust him
fully and reveal all to "this grave young man, whose words seemed so
wise and fair". But the thought that he and Sam might be all that is
left of the Fellowship holds him back, as well as the memory of Boromir:
"unlike they were, and yet also much akin."

[Blindfolded arrival at Henneth Annun]

They walk on in silence for a while, and the beauty of the surrounding
land is described in detail. Sam has not forgotten Gollum, and once,
looking back quickly, catches a glimpse of him following them. It is
near sunset when they near their destination. Sam and Frodo are
blindfolded and guided to the hidden refuge. Their blindfolds are
removed and they see a waterfall before them, lit up by the rays of the
setting sun. They have come to Henneth Annūn, the Window of the Sunset,
fairest of all the falls of Ithilien.

[Sam and Frodo eat with Faramir]

The hobbits find themselves in a cave in a cliff behind the waterfall.
They rest for a while, and hear Faramir receive a report of skulking
creature that is obviously Gollum. Faramir seems to associate this
creature with the hobbits, but nothing more is said. Frodo falls fast
asleep, but Sam remains awake until they join Faramir for the evening
meal. After a ritual moment of silence, looking westwards, they begin a
meal that they enjoy greatly.

[Faramir talks about Numenoreans and Gondor]

After the meal, Faramir once again talks to the hobbits. The
conversation starts off with tales of the Fellowship's journey,
including tales of Boromir that move Faramir, but soon moves back to the
history of Gondor and the Numenorean realms. Faramir speaks at great
length about the decline of the Numenoreans, their mingling with lesser
men of the mountains and of the North. He talks of the origins of Rohan
and the friendship between Gondor and the Rohirrim. He also speaks of
Men:

"For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the
West, which were Numenoreans; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the
Twilight, such as are the Rohirrim and their kin that dwell still far in
the North; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness."

Faramir's verdict on the Gondorian Numenoreans:

"We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of other
things."

[Sam is indiscreet about the Ring]

Sam is impressed by Faramir's lore, and asks him if he knows anything
about Elves. This provokes another lament from Faramir:

"But in Middle-earth Men and Elves became estranged in the days of
darkness, by the arts of the Enemy, and by the slow changes of time in
which each kind walked further down their sundered roads."

[6]

The conversation turn to Lorien, and Sam, whose tongue has probably been
loosened by the food and drink, eagerly attempts a description of
Galadriel. Faramir observes that she must be lovely, but perilously
fair. Sam agrees, and starts to describe Boromir and the peril of
Lorien, but stops. Faramir prompts him to continue, and Sam, heedless of
the danger, says that he believes:

"...that in Lórien [Boromir] first saw clearly what I guessed sooner:
what he wanted. From the moment he first saw it he wanted the Enemy's
Ring!"

Frodo, who had not been paying attention, is startled and aghast by
Sam's indiscretion. Sam has revealed the nature of Isildur's Bane to
Faramir, who says:

"So that is the answer to all the riddles! The One Ring that was thought
to have perished from the world. [...] here in the wild I have you: two
halflings, and a host of men at my call, and the Ring of Rings. A pretty
stroke of fortune! A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his
quality! Ha!"

[Faramir rejects the Ring]

Faramir stands up, briefly appearing threatening, but then sits down and
laughs. The moment of peril has passed and Faramir reflects that the
trial was too much for Boromir, and then explains that he spoke truly
earlier, that he does not desire the Ring or that he is "wise enough to
know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." Faramir
then goes on to express his admiration for Frodo and Sam. Faramir then
says that he must think about how to help them, and asks one final
question: what do they intend to do with the Ring? Frodo, following the
intensity of the brief danger, is overcome with weariness and resists no
longer, placing full trust in Faramir:

"'I was going to find a way into Mordor,' he said faintly. 'I was going
to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into
the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get
there.'"

[7-8]

[Frodo falls asleep]

Faramir looks at Frodo in "grave astonishment", and then catches him as
he swoons. Frodo is laid in bed and immediately falls into another deep
sleep. Sam bows low to Faramir and praises him for taking the chance and
showing his quality: "the very highest". Faramir returns the compliment,
saying that: "the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards."
After a few more eloquent compliments, they bid each other good night.

[9]

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

A) Comments referenced to summary text

[1] Is this the first time that Sam and Frodo have seen so many Men all
together? The array of men around Frodo and Faramir is 200-300 strong.
This is the first time they have had so many others around them since
Lorien.

[2] Sam listening uninvited to this interrogation reminds me of his
sitting in on the Council of Elrond.

[3] This interruption by Sam, and his plain speech, is a classic Sam
moment.

[4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from myth
and legend. Can anyone think of an example?

[5] The cried aloud rhetorical questions from Faramir to his brother are
quite striking. Offset from the rest of the text, they have great drama
and have a great impact on those watching and reading.

[6] Sam asking after the Elves. Another 'Sam' moment!

[7] Compare Faramir's: "In the morning we must each go swiftly on the
ways appointed to us." to Galadriel's comments in Lothlorien: "In the
morning you must depart for now we have chosen, and the tides of fate
are flowing."

In both cases the person tested tells Frodo and Sam (and both are
present in the two tableaux) that they must leave in the morning, and
that after this brief meeting, they must continue on their 'appointed'
or 'fated' paths.

[8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the Ring and
subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show
his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eyes
glinting. [...] But Faramir sat down again in his chair and began to
laugh quietly, and then suddenly became grave again." to Galadriel's:
"She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and
beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her
hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo!
she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose
gentle voice was soft and sad."

In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a threatening
appearance is seen, and then they laugh and return to normal. There are
differences, but these stem rather from the nature of Faramir as a man,
and Galadriel as an elf.

[9] Frodo's reaction is moving for both us and Faramir, and we are
impressed by Faramir's reaction to Frodo's weariness.

B) General comments

We learn much about Faramir in this chapter (and the next). What is
people's reaction to this character, the brother of Boromir? "...unlike
they were, and yet also much akin".

Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of speech that
uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and 'oft' and 'ere'.

Faramir says that maybe the journey of Boromir was 'doomed'. This use of
'doom' seems to mean 'fate'. What do you think?

We see much interaction between Frodo and Faramir and Sam and Faramir,
and this allows us to get to know the characters even better. The whole
chapter is dominated by the words of Faramir and his conversations with
Frodo and Sam.

This chapter has a heavy emphasis on the Ring and the Numenoreans.
Through the words of Faramir, we hear more of the history and lore of
the Numenoreans. We also learn more of the Ring and the effect it has on
Faramir, and probably had on Boromir.

Quite a lot of proverbs in this chapter: "Night oft brings news to near
kindred"; "murder will out"; "near, but not in the gold"; "fair speech
may hide a foul heart"; "if you are short of sleep, cold water on the
neck is like rain on a wilted lettuce"; "whenever you open your big
mouth you put your foot in it"; handsome is as handsome does"; "the
praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards".

Frodo and Sam are afraid that the rest of the Fellowship are dead. This
must have had quite an impact on them, even though Faramir tries to
reassure them, and might have preyed on their minds in the days to
follow. Do we see any evidence of this in their actions and speech in
the days that follow?

Finally, I have picked out many of my favourite quotes from this chapter
(including the one at the very end of the post), but I have had to leave
out many wonderful bits of speech, especially those of Faramir. Please
talk about anything else in this chapter that you like or find
interesting!

Christopher

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

"...in front a thin veil of water was hung, so near that Frodo could
have put an outstretched arm into it. It faced westward. The level
shafts of the setting sun behind beat upon it, and the red light was
broken into many flickering beams of ever-changing colour. It was as if
they stood at the window of some elven-tower, curtained with threaded
jewels of silver and gold, and ruby, sapphire and amethyst, all kindled
with an unconsuming fire." (The Window of the Sunset - Henneth Annūn -
'The Window on the West')

Odysseus

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Oct 19, 2004, 3:13:07 AM10/19/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West
>
[snip]

>
> [4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from myth
> and legend. Can anyone think of an example?
>
For me it has more of an Arthurian feel than much of Tolkien's work:
I must be thinking of the barge carrying the mortally wounded king to
sleep in Avalon. I'm also reminded of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott":

"Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right--
The leaves upon her falling light--
Thro' the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot ..."

--
Odysseus

Richard Williams

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Oct 19, 2004, 6:36:08 AM10/19/04
to
In article <4174BEA5...@yahoo-dot.ca>,

Odysseus <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote:
>Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West
>>
>[snip]
>>
>> [4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from myth
>> and legend. Can anyone think of an example?
>>
>For me it has more of an Arthurian feel than much of Tolkien's work:
>I must be thinking of the barge carrying the mortally wounded king to
>sleep in Avalon. I'm also reminded of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott":

And in Malory:

http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/c/cme/cme-idx?type=HTML&rgn=DIV1&byte=25794118
http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/c/cme/cme-idx?type=HTML&rgn=DIV1&byte=25993057

(not much like Faramir's vision, but presumably Tolkien knew these
versions).

Richard.

Richard Williams

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Oct 19, 2004, 7:11:11 AM10/19/04
to
In article <7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,

Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West

>Faramir recognised this warrior, pierced with many wounds, as Boromir,


>his brother. He cried out after him, but the boat passed on into the
>night. Frodo recognises the golden belt of Lorien that Faramir described
>on Boromir's body, and says that the boat is also from Lorien.

I wonder if the Sutton Hoo ship burial (excavated in 1939) might have been
a minor influence here? One of the most impressive artefacts from this
site is a magnificent gold belt buckle (now in the British Museum):

http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/ixbin/goto?id=OBJ3924

Richard.

Yuk Tang

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Oct 19, 2004, 10:51:56 AM10/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:
>
> Comments and thoughts
> =====================
>
> A) Comments referenced to summary text
>
> [1] Is this the first time that Sam and Frodo have seen so many
> Men all together? The array of men around Frodo and Faramir is
> 200-300 strong. This is the first time they have had so many
> others around them since Lorien.

Apart from the Black Gate. The main congregation points on their
journey thus far would have been:

1. Bree (village, mixture of little and big folk)
2. Rivendell (Elves)
3. Moria (Orcs and whatnot)
4. Lothlorien (Elves)
5. Black Gate (Men, maybe Orcs).


> [7] Compare Faramir's: "In the morning we must each go swiftly on
> the ways appointed to us." to Galadriel's comments in Lothlorien:
> "In the morning you must depart for now we have chosen, and the
> tides of fate are flowing."
>
> In both cases the person tested tells Frodo and Sam (and both are
> present in the two tableaux) that they must leave in the morning,
> and that after this brief meeting, they must continue on their
> 'appointed' or 'fated' paths.

Doesn't seem unusual; people normally set off on journeys after a
good night's sleep.


> [8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the Ring
> and subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir, Captain of
> Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and
> stern, his grey eyes glinting. [...] But Faramir sat down again in
> his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly became
> grave again." to Galadriel's: "She stood before Frodo seeming now
> tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible
> and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded,
> and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a
> slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was
> soft and sad."
>
> In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a threatening
> appearance is seen, and then they laugh and return to normal.
> There are differences, but these stem rather from the nature of
> Faramir as a man, and Galadriel as an elf.

Might want to include Gandalf upon Bilbo's denial of him at the start
of FotR, and Frodo's domineering of Gollum. Might have something to
do with the appearance of command, as enhanced by the proximity of
the One.


> [9] Frodo's reaction is moving for both us and Faramir, and we are
> impressed by Faramir's reaction to Frodo's weariness.
>
> B) General comments
>
> We learn much about Faramir in this chapter (and the next). What
> is people's reaction to this character, the brother of Boromir?
> "...unlike they were, and yet also much akin".

Until Sean Bean's portrayal in the film, I failed to see the
resemblance between the two.


> Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of
> speech that uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and
> 'oft' and 'ere'.

I wonder how much of that survives in t'broad acres?


--
Cheers, ymt.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 19, 2004, 3:13:21 PM10/19/04
to
Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> news:7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:
>>
>> Comments and thoughts
>> =====================
>>
>> A) Comments referenced to summary text

<snip>

>> [7] Compare Faramir's: "In the morning we must each go swiftly on
>> the ways appointed to us." to Galadriel's comments in Lothlorien:
>> "In the morning you must depart for now we have chosen, and the
>> tides of fate are flowing."
>>
>> In both cases the person tested tells Frodo and Sam (and both are
>> present in the two tableaux) that they must leave in the morning,
>> and that after this brief meeting, they must continue on their
>> 'appointed' or 'fated' paths.
>
> Doesn't seem unusual; people normally set off on journeys after a
> good night's sleep.

Really? I see it more as a "getting rid of temptation" thing ( or at
least a recognition that the crucial moment has passed, so there is no
point in hanging around any more, either in Lorien or in Ithilien.

Remember that Faramir says (just before he says they must go their
separate ways in the morning):

"I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it than I know
(which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I fall lower in
the test than Frodo son of Drogo."

Is it possible that Faramir wants to avoid succumbing to the Ring? He
also says, elsewhere in this chapter:

"I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man
must flee."

Which would explain why, even having learnt of the importance of the
quest that Frodo is undertaking, that he does not give them more help,
such as going with them. That and his short-term obligations to Gondor.

>> [8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the Ring
>> and subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir, Captain of
>> Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and
>> stern, his grey eyes glinting. [...] But Faramir sat down again in
>> his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly became
>> grave again." to Galadriel's: "She stood before Frodo seeming now
>> tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible
>> and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded,
>> and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a
>> slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was
>> soft and sad."
>>
>> In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a threatening
>> appearance is seen, and then they laugh and return to normal.
>> There are differences, but these stem rather from the nature of
>> Faramir as a man, and Galadriel as an elf.
>
> Might want to include Gandalf upon Bilbo's denial of him at the start
> of FotR, and Frodo's domineering of Gollum. Might have something to
> do with the appearance of command, as enhanced by the proximity of
> the One.

The bit missing from those is the laugh. I do agree that Gandalf and
Frodo seem to grow in size, but this is something different from these
"threat and then rejection" scenes.

Returning to the "growing in size" bit, maybe we can even include the
"Strider stood up and appeared taller" bit from Bree? :-)

>> B) General comments

<snip>

>> Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of
>> speech that uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and
>> 'oft' and 'ere'.
>
> I wonder how much of that survives in t'broad acres?

Which area of England are you talking about?

Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most likely
designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic hobbits of the
Shire.

Yuk Tang

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Oct 19, 2004, 3:39:13 PM10/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:lHddd.11567$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:

Fair enough. I missed the 'fated'/'appointed' in the original
passage.


>>> [8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the
>>> Ring and subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir, Captain of
>>> Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and
>>> stern, his grey eyes glinting. [...] But Faramir sat down again
>>> in his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly
>>> became grave again." to Galadriel's: "She stood before Frodo
>>> seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond
>>> enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall,
>>> and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she
>>> was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose
>>> gentle voice was soft and sad."
>>>
>>> In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a
>>> threatening appearance is seen, and then they laugh and return
>>> to normal. There are differences, but these stem rather from the
>>> nature of Faramir as a man, and Galadriel as an elf.
>>
>> Might want to include Gandalf upon Bilbo's denial of him at the
>> start of FotR, and Frodo's domineering of Gollum. Might have
>> something to do with the appearance of command, as enhanced by
>> the proximity of the One.
>
> The bit missing from those is the laugh. I do agree that Gandalf
> and Frodo seem to grow in size, but this is something different
> from these "threat and then rejection" scenes.
>
> Returning to the "growing in size" bit, maybe we can even include
> the "Strider stood up and appeared taller" bit from Bree? :-)

As pointed out a couple of years back, anyone would appear taller if
they stood up. But apart from that, it's a standard thang to
emphasise perceived threat by increasing the perceived size. Just
watch two cats fighting.


>>> B) General comments
>
> <snip>
>
>>> Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of
>>> speech that uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and
>>> 'oft' and 'ere'.
>>
>> I wonder how much of that survives in t'broad acres?
>
> Which area of England are you talking about?

The People's Republic of Yorkshire. Just listen to Fred Trueman or
Geoff Boycott (or Ray Illingworth, Brian Close or any of that ilk)
and you'll hear 'tha', 'thi' and such used in ordinary dia(mono?)
logue.


> Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most likely
> designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic hobbits of
> the Shire.

Echoes of the King James, which is probably the most baneful
influence on fantasy fic (along with the Fellowship) I know of.


--
Cheers, ymt.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 19, 2004, 3:46:18 PM10/19/04
to
Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

<snip>

>> Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most likely
>> designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic hobbits of
>> the Shire.
>
> Echoes of the King James, which is probably the most baneful
> influence on fantasy fic (along with the Fellowship) I know of.

Are you saying that the King James Bible also tries this little trick?
Which peoples are distinguished this way? And how does the King James
Bible have a baneful influence on fantasy? And by Fellowship, do you
mean FotR? And do you mean that the King James Bible influenced FotR? Or
do you mean that FotR had a baneful influence on fantasy?

<deep breath> I think I've run out of questions! :-)

Yuk Tang

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Oct 19, 2004, 4:45:36 PM10/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
news:eaedd.11598$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:
> Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>> Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most
>>> likely designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic
>>> hobbits of the Shire.
>>
>> Echoes of the King James, which is probably the most baneful
>> influence on fantasy fic (along with the Fellowship) I know of.
>
> Are you saying that the King James Bible also tries this little
> trick? Which peoples are distinguished this way? And how does the
> King James Bible have a baneful influence on fantasy? And by
> Fellowship, do you mean FotR? And do you mean that the King James
> Bible influenced FotR? Or do you mean that FotR had a baneful
> influence on fantasy?

The King James Bible, via LotR, has made what were supposed to be the
second person informal seem formal. Outside the Yorkshire brigade
(and I've heard other members of said Republic use them) who uses
'thee' and 'thou' correctly? And even when they're grammatically
correct, their usage is still wrong.

FotR has made the band of misfits (different races, different types)
standard.


--
Cheers, ymt.

John Jones

unread,
Oct 19, 2004, 12:07:30 PM10/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West
>
> Quite a lot of proverbs in this chapter: "Night oft brings news to near
> kindred"; "murder will out"; "near, but not in the gold";

This last is not so much a proverb as a reference to archery. Faramir says,
"Do I not hit near the mark?"
"Near", said Frodo, "but not in the gold."

During the Middle Ages, men shot at 'the mark', which was a piece of cloth
or card pinned to a bank (hence the expression 'wide of the mark' and so
on). 'The gold' is the centre of the modern archery target (nowadays yellow
for easier printing!) which was devised by the Prince of Wales, son of King
George III. Tolkien said that he would have liked to be able to shoot with
the bow; I wonder how much he knew of the subject?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 20, 2004, 3:02:54 PM10/20/04
to
John Jones <jo...@jones5011.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote
>
>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West
>>
>> Quite a lot of proverbs in this chapter: "Night oft brings news to
>> near kindred"; "murder will out"; "near, but not in the gold";
>
> This last is not so much a proverb as a reference to archery.
> Faramir says, "Do I not hit near the mark?"
> "Near", said Frodo, "but not in the gold."

Thanks for that. I had assumed it was a reference to gold as a precious
metal (like hitting the jackpot) but didn't stop to think about it in
any detail. As you say, the "near the mark" bit gives it away.

<snip explanation>

> Tolkien said that he would have liked to be able to shoot with the
> bow; I wonder how much he knew of the subject?

Would be nice to know. Presumably he didn't get the chance to go to
evening archery classes, or anything! He did use archery in his stories
though: Bard the Bowman, Beleg Strongbow, Legolas and his bow, the
description of the bow of Lothlorien that Galadriel gave to Legolas, the
Rangers of Ithilien have longbows, he talks of mounted bowmen when
describing miltary tactics, and using bowmen to assail the mumaks, he
also describes bows of wood and bows of horn, the hobbits of the Shire
have hunting bows, there is the Red Arrow used to summon aid from Rohan,
the Black Arrow used by Bard to slay Smaug, and Beleg's bow gets a name:
Belthronding.

Prai Jei

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Oct 20, 2004, 6:55:11 PM10/20/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

> they see a waterfall before them, lit up by the rays of the

> setting sun. They have come to Henneth Annûn, the Window of the Sunset,


> fairest of all the falls of Ithilien.
>
> [Sam and Frodo eat with Faramir]
>
> The hobbits find themselves in a cave in a cliff behind the waterfall.

An actual example of such a waterfall, where you can walk behind the cascade
of water (not much of a cave though) can be found at Pont Nedd Fechan in
the Neath valley in South Wales. Well worth a visit for anybody interested
in what Henneth Annûn looked like.
--
Paul Townsend
Pair them off into threes

Interchange the alphabetic letter groups to reply

Prai Jei

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Oct 20, 2004, 6:57:12 PM10/20/04
to
Odysseus (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in message
<4174BEA5...@yahoo-dot.ca>:

Sounds more like "shipping the dead" as narrated by Gervase of Tilbury in
the 12th century.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 20, 2004, 7:19:56 PM10/20/04
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>>
>>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>>> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West
>>>
>> [snip]
>>>
>>> [4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from
>>> myth and legend. Can anyone think of an example?

> Sounds more like "shipping the dead" as narrated by Gervase of


> Tilbury in the 12th century.

Any more details? If not an actual quote or description of what he was
narrating, maybe just a bit of background on Gervase, who he was and
where he was?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 20, 2004, 7:22:54 PM10/20/04
to
Someone who shall remain nameless set the follow-up to AFT!
I've reinserted RABT.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 20, 2004, 7:27:05 PM10/20/04
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> An actual example of such a waterfall, where you can walk behind the
> cascade of water (not much of a cave though) can be found at Pont
> Nedd Fechan in the Neath valley in South Wales. Well worth a visit
> for anybody interested in what Henneth Annûn looked like.

You did ask to be reminded about this...
I knew I'd forgotten _something_ !!

I have another example of going behind a waterfall, though I am afraid
it is from the Enid Blyton books, where I believe a groups of children
had an adventure in Wales, or maybe not...

Does anyone know whether caves, or at least ledges, behind waterfalls
are that common? I would have thought they would be, but can't say for
sure.

Shanahan

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Oct 21, 2004, 1:27:38 AM10/21/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:

> Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote

> > > A) Comments referenced to summary text


> <snip>
>
> > > [7] Compare Faramir's: "In the morning we must each go
> > > swiftly on the ways appointed to us." to Galadriel's
> > > comments in Lothlorien: "In the morning you must depart for
> > > now we have chosen, and the tides of fate are flowing."

<snip>


> > Doesn't seem unusual; people normally set off on journeys
> > after a good night's sleep.
>
> Really? I see it more as a "getting rid of temptation" thing (
> or at least a recognition that the crucial moment has passed, so
> there is no point in hanging around any more, either in Lorien
> or in Ithilien.

In terms of the tension in the story arc, I think you're dead on
here, that's exactly what's going on. Once you've resolved a moment
of tension, you've got to get the story moving again.

> Remember that Faramir says (just before he says they must go
> their separate ways in the morning):
> "I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it than I
> know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I
> fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo."

Definitely avoiding temptation. He knows enough as a scholar to be
wise; but mostly, I think, it is his heart that's wise here. And
maybe he feels a little pride as well: he can't let a halfling be
more noble than a descendant of Numenoreans! <g>

<snip>


> The bit missing from those is the laugh. I do agree that Gandalf
> and Frodo seem to grow in size, but this is something different
> from these "threat and then rejection" scenes.
> Returning to the "growing in size" bit, maybe we can even
> include the "Strider stood up and appeared taller" bit from
> Bree? :-)

One thing strikes me here: each of these three moments is followed
by a moment of pain, confessed by the character. Strider
acknowledges "with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to
me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust.'"
Galadriel laughs and then "was shrunken, a slender elf-woman, clad
in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad. 'I pass the
test,' she said, 'I will diminish, and pass into the West...'"
After his laugh, Faramir says "Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a
trial! ... How you have increased my sorrow, you two strange
wanderers from a far country, bearing the peril of Men!"

So the sequence is threat, rejection of temptation, laugh,
acknowledgement of sorrow. The laugh may be a brief moment of joy
following the rejection of evil; the sorrow, a sigh for all that is
lost.

> > > B) General comments
> <snip>
>
> > > Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of
> > > speech that uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and
> > > 'oft' and 'ere'.

He also uses the old name for Lothlorien (Laurelindorinan), which
we only hear from Treebeard, otherwise. While Boromir's speech also
tends towards the old-fashioned -- he tends to use inverted
constructions -- I believe these archaisms of Faramir's are meant
to show his learning. He has spent many hours in the archives of
Minas Tirith with Gandalf! It also, perhaps, links him to the
Elves more strongly.

Ciaran S.
--
Coulrophobia. It's nothing to clown about.


Shanahan

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Oct 21, 2004, 1:33:30 AM10/21/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:

There are many of them in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New
York. Watkins Glen has a couple, and there are many small ones in
the little ravines that cut through the hills that separate the
long lakes. Swimming in these little waterfall pools is absolutely
wonderful (although I keep being tempted to mutter "rocks and pool
/ so wet and cool / so nice for feet").

Ciaran S.
--
It's a grand life, if you don't tire.
- gaelic proverb


AC

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Oct 21, 2004, 11:06:48 AM10/21/04
to
On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 02:20:51 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
> [8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the Ring and
> subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show
> his quality! Ha!' He stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eyes
> glinting. [...] But Faramir sat down again in his chair and began to
> laugh quietly, and then suddenly became grave again." to Galadriel's:
> "She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and
> beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her
> hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo!
> she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose
> gentle voice was soft and sad."
>
> In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a threatening
> appearance is seen, and then they laugh and return to normal. There are
> differences, but these stem rather from the nature of Faramir as a man,
> and Galadriel as an elf.

I believe it was Carpenter who noted that height was important in Tolkien's
writings. I think this is probably more of an archetype than anything
specific to, say, Northern European myth.

>
> [9] Frodo's reaction is moving for both us and Faramir, and we are
> impressed by Faramir's reaction to Frodo's weariness.

It's what makes Faramir one of my favorite characters.

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

"My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a
whitish fluid they force down helpless babies." - WC Fields

Prai Jei

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Oct 21, 2004, 3:42:20 PM10/21/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <dvCdd.12417$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

For a more modern setting of such a scene, try "Planet of Treachery" by
Stefan Goldin, part of a continuation of the "Family d'Alembert" series
begun by Doc Smith. In the opening chapter, our hero chooses such a
location - on a distant planet - as a refuge from the baddie (a robot
double) who's persuing him. The baddie tracks him down, but much of the
energy in his blaster beam goes into boiling the cascading water with the
result that our hero lives to fight another day, expose the double as an
impostor and go on (three books later) to save the Empire of Earth from the
evil machinations of an enemy known only as C.

I can't recall any behind-the-waterfall location in Enid Blyton. The only
book I know of with a Welsh setting is "Five Get Into a Fix" but that book
contains no such scene.

Prai Jei

unread,
Oct 21, 2004, 3:44:41 PM10/21/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <woCdd.12411$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

It's a fairly long article, which you would really need to read through in
full to appreciate the analogies with Boromir. I shall transcribe the story
offline and post to the group later. Watch this space.

Prai Jei

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Oct 21, 2004, 3:58:53 PM10/21/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <woCdd.12411$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:


> Any more details? If not an actual quote or description of what he was
> narrating, maybe just a bit of background on Gervase, who he was and
> where he was?

The attached article is taken from "Rennes-le-Chateau, its Mysteries and
Secrets" by Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe.

GERVASE OF TILBURY'S ACCOUNT OF
"SHIPPING THE DEAD" TO ARLES (CIRCA 1210)

The Anglo-Latin writer, priest, scholar and adventurer, Gervase of
Tilbury, was related to Patrick, Earl of Salisbury. Before 1177 Gervase
taught Law in Bologna. Later he worked for Henry fitz Henry in England, for
William of Champagne (the Cardinal Archbishop of Rheims) and William II of
Sicily. Shortly before 1200 he was employed by Emperor Otto IV, who
promoted him to be Marshall of the Kingdom of Arles, where, despite being
in holy orders, he married a rich and beautiful young heiress.
His Otia Imperialia trilogy was written for the Emperor in 1211. It is a
fascinating mixture of political theory, geography, history and folklore.
Cathars, Templars and the Knights of St. John were all flourishing in the
vicinity of Arles at the time. The famous Venus of Arles was discovered in
the remains of the Roman Theatre there in 1651 during the period when
Poussin was painting. Marie de Negre's tombstone records her as "Dame
d'Arles".
What Gervase says about floating corpses and treasure could be linked to
M. Fatin's ideas about Rennes-le-Chateau being laid out to resemble a "ship
of the dead" bearing a giant warrior.
Gervase's text (Otia Imperialia, Decisio iii, c.90) follows, in both the
original Latin and in an English translation. The authors wish to thank
Father Martin I. Williams, Vicar of the parish of St German, Roath, for
advice on the mediaeval Latin.

[Latin text snipped, available on request]

Most Sacred Prince, let me tell you of a remarkable wonder and miracle of
divine power. The capital of the kingdom of Burgundy (known as the Arlesian
kingdom) is the city of Arles, the recipient of ancient privilege. It was
Trophimus, who had been ordained by the Apostles Peter and Paul, who . . .
determined to set aside a proper cemetery in the central part of the city,
in which the bodies of all the faithful could be brought for burial, that
as the whole of Gaul received the faith initially from the church of Arles,
so also the dead in Christ by being brought there from all over the country
might have the benefit of a common burial ground. The solemn consecration
was therefore performed at the hands of the most holy bishops at the East
Gate, where the church consecrated by them in honour of the Blessed Virgin
now stands. To them Christ himself appeared, as of old he was intimately
recognisable in human flesh; he lavished his blessing on their work,
granting to the cemetery and to its occupants that whoever might be buried
there should suffer in their corpse no mockery of the devil. As a result,
therefore, of this gift of the Lord's benediction, it was borne in upon all
the principal rulers and clergy of Gaul that the great majority of those to
whom they had access had right of burial there. And so some in wagons,
others in chariots, a number on horse back, but the majority borne
downstream on the River Rhone, were brought to the cemetery of the Elysian
Field. It is quite astonishing that no dead person placed in a coffin ever
overshot the outer boundary of the City of Arles (which they call Rocheta),
driven by whatever force of wind or tempest, but remaining close to the
shore, the coffin circles in the water until it lands, or else is borne
into the sacred cemetery by the direct current of the river. Marvels
succeed to marvels which we have seen with our own eyes in the case of
innumerable multitudes of people of either sex. As we have said, the dead
are usually sent in vessels of bitumen and in coffins from distant reaches
of the river Rhone, with figured coinage, which is offered as alms to so
sacred a cemetery. On one occasion, less than ten years ago, a vessel with
its corpse came downstream into that strait which is overlooked on one side
by the camp of the Tarasconians and on the other by that of the
Belliquadri. Some youths of Belliquadri jumped out and dragged the vessel
to shore, and, leaving the dead body, seized the money laid within it. The
vessel having been pushed out again into the river stood still amidst its
fierce currents, and neither the force of the headlong flood nor the
thrusts of the young men could make it go downstream. Turning and turning
about on itself, it circled those same waves of the stream . . . At last,
when the whole sum of money was restored, the body forthwith pursued its
way without the help of anyone impelling it, and within a short space of
time, landing at Arles, was given an honourable burial.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 21, 2004, 5:03:08 PM10/21/04
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

[about waterfalls in 'literature' - and a stupid robot...]

<snip>

> I can't recall any behind-the-waterfall location in Enid Blyton. The
> only book I know of with a Welsh setting is "Five Get Into a Fix" but
> that book contains no such scene.

Um. I think I meant that "Secret Valley" book. I'm not even going to try
and remember the plots of all the different Enid Blyton books. I kept a
few books from my childhood, but threw all the Enid Blyton books away
pretty quickly. The only one I remember clearly is the first amd most
magical one, 'The Faraway Tree' series... :-)

More seriously, I remember a genuine use of a waterfall as a plot
device: Tintin and his companions enter the Temple of the Sun through a
waterfall, in the book 'Prisoners of the Sun'.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 21, 2004, 5:50:34 PM10/21/04
to
Restored RABT. Original article on Gervase in AFT.

Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly
> in message <woCdd.12411$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:
>
>> Any more details? If not an actual quote or description of what he
>> was narrating, maybe just a bit of background on Gervase, who he was
>> and where he was?
>
> The attached article is taken from "Rennes-le-Chateau, its Mysteries
> and Secrets" by Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe.
>
> GERVASE OF TILBURY'S ACCOUNT OF
> "SHIPPING THE DEAD" TO ARLES (CIRCA 1210)

<snip>

Thanks for that. I never for a moment thought that anything like that
would have happened in the real world!

I see what you mean about the similarities. I was hoping you meant a
direct reference to a boat with a pale light all about it and a body
inside lying in water from which the light seems to come (as is
described for Boromir).

But the bit in the Gervase text does contain the idea of a boat with a
dead person in it being sent down a river (in that case to a cemetary,
in Boromir's case to the Sea). And there is the mention, in both cases,
of the boats moving under their own volition. Were these bits what made
you see a similarity between the two stories?

Christopher Kreuzer

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Oct 21, 2004, 8:27:23 PM10/21/04
to
Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:

<snip>

[about Ring 'temptation' scenes]

>> The bit missing from those is the laugh. I do agree that Gandalf
>> and Frodo seem to grow in size, but this is something different
>> from these "threat and then rejection" scenes.
>> Returning to the "growing in size" bit, maybe we can even
>> include the "Strider stood up and appeared taller" bit from
>> Bree? :-)
>
> One thing strikes me here: each of these three moments is followed
> by a moment of pain, confessed by the character. Strider
> acknowledges "with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to
> me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust.'"

Ooh. Another laugh. Good point. Pity it is in the wrong place. The bit
where he appears taller and threatens the hobbits is this:

"'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. [...] 'But I am the real Strider, fortunately,' he said,
looking down at them with his face softened by a sudden smile..."
(Strider)

That smile might be the 'laugh'? In all the cases, the laugh or smile is
a way to resolve the tension, to reveal your true intentions and
reassure those who have been 'threatened'. As such, it may not have any
significance beyond being a repeated literary device.

> Galadriel laughs and then "was shrunken, a slender elf-woman, clad
> in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad. 'I pass the
> test,' she said, 'I will diminish, and pass into the West...'"
> After his laugh, Faramir says "Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a
> trial! ... How you have increased my sorrow, you two strange
> wanderers from a far country, bearing the peril of Men!"

I had noticed Faramir's response, but couldn't quite tie it in with
Galadriel's reponse. You are right: sorrow is the common factor, though
the reasons for the sorrow are different in each case.

> So the sequence is threat, rejection of temptation, laugh,
> acknowledgement of sorrow. The laugh may be a brief moment of joy
> following the rejection of evil; the sorrow, a sigh for all that is
> lost.

I wouldn't say the laughs are joy. They all seem to be a sad kind of
laugh. There are many kinds of laughs, and we have to look at the
context to see which type we have here. Galadriel's laugh, like
Faramir's laugh, seems to both relieve the tension, and precede the
sorrowful comment that follows. The best way I can describe how I see
these laughs is that they are _wry_ laughter, almost sorrowful, a bit
like:

<wry chuckle> "Yeah, right! Me be a Ring Lord!"

Self-deprecating might be another way to describe them.

This talk of growing in size and laughter got me thinking, and I had a
quick look at the Bombadil scene:

"It seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big
brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For
a second the hobbits had a vision, both comical and alarming, of his
bright blue eye gleaming through a circle of gold. " (In the House of
Tom Bombadil)

We still get the same themes here: apparent growth (though funnily
enough it is the Ring itself growing, as if the effect is reflected from
Tom back to the Ring, because the Ring _truly_ cannot affect Tom); a
threat scene (the hobbits are alarmed by Tom's eye) that is mixed with
comedy; and Bombadil laughing (though admittedly Tom does that a lot -
and here it comes over as genuine comical laughter, not wry laughter).
Sadly (pun intended) there is no 'sorrow' bit, unless I am missing
something.

However, this does seem to be the tension-resolving bit of the chapter
that leads to the talk of "departing the next morning".

Message has been deleted

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 22, 2004, 7:32:15 AM10/22/04
to
In message <cl77s...@enews1.newsguy.com>,
"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> enriched us with:

>
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:
>>
>> Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
>>> news:7S_cd.11219$xb.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk:
>>>>

Once more reinserting snipped parts of the conversation ;-)

>>>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>>>> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West

<snip>

>>>> Chapter Summary

And an excellent one at that ;-)

>>>> [Sam wakes up]

I very much like the idea of these tags -- I think I'll borrow it for
'The Stairs of Cirith Ungol' (along with all the other stuff I clutter
my chapter introductions with <G>)

<snip>

>>>> [Sam interrupts]
>>>>
>>>> Sam bursts into the conversation and cuts through the carefully
>>>> chosen words of Frodo and Faramir, putting the matter plainly and
>>>> simply: Faramir is accusing Frodo of murdering Boromir.

I'm very fond of the description of Sam's posture here:

" He planted himself squarely in front of Faramir his hands
on his hips, and a look on his face as if he was addressing
a young hobbit who had offered him what he called `sauce'
when questioned about visits to the orchard."

And it seems that the proud rangers of Ithilien also found it amusing:

"There was some murmuring, but also some grins on the faces
of the men looking on: the sight of their Captain sitting
on the ground and eye to eye with a young hobbit, legs well
apart, bristling with wrath, was one beyond their experience."

Knowing well the hoard of paternal 'advice' Sam has stored away, I
don't think we have to look too far for a source of Sam's posture ;-)

Very much a "Sam moment", as you note.

<snip>

>>>> [Vision of Boromir dead]
>>>>
>>>> Sam sits down with a red face. Faramir then tells the hobbits
>>>> that Boromir was his brother, and proceeds to tell them the tale
>>>> of why he believes Boromir to be dead. He heard the horn of
>>>> Boromir blowing 11 days ago.

"That horn the eldest son of our house has borne for many
generations; and it is said that if it be blown at need
anywhere within the bounds of Gondor, as the realm was of
old, its voice will not pass unheeded."

And it didn't!

What happened? Boromir did blown the horn at need "within the bounds
of Gondor, as the realm was of old", and the voice of the horn did
indeed not pass unheeded -- neither at Amon Hen (where both Aragorn
as well as Legolas and Gimli hurried to come to his aid, though they
failed) nor in Gondor itself, it seems.

So how did Faramir hear the horn (or did he? "as if it were but an
echo in the mind," he says).

I believe that there is some modern research that shows some strange
connections between close kin: was the horn just a way for Faramir's
mind to 'formulate' an anxiety he felt for his brother, or was there
something else at work? The latter would almost have to be something
supernatural, but would it be divine interference (I think that most
believe that the two brothers where sent their dream by Ainur) or was
it some property of the horn itself (Art or magic, I don't know)?

This is one of the cases where I think that the 'mundane' (insofar as
it is even accepted) explanation and the supernatural explanation are
equally likely. Elsewhere in this chapter Tolkien formulates the idea
that close kin will know when something happens ("/Tidings of death
have many wings. Night oft brings news to near kindred, 'tis said./"),
but Faramir's words about the horn imply, to me, a more fantastic
explanation.

Both in this case and when Faramir (and Boromir) had their 'prophetic'
dream, another aspect may have influenced Tolkien is the role of
dreams in Faërie

"It is true that Dream is not unconnected with Faërie. In
dreams strange powers of the mind may be unlocked. In some
of them a man may for a space wield the power of Faërie,
that power which, even as it conceives the story, causes it
to take living form and colour before the eyes."
(OFS, 'Fairy-story')


>>>> Three nights later he was watching the shores of Anduin:
>>>>
>>>> "But that night all the world slept at the midnight
>>>> hour. Then I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat
>>>> floating on the water [...] An awe fell on me, for a
>>>> pale light was round it. [...] the boat turned towards
>>>> me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by [...]
>>>> under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water,
>>>> it seemed to me as it passed from which came the light;
>>>> and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep."


>>>>
>>>> Faramir recognised this warrior, pierced with many wounds, as
>>>> Boromir, his brother. He cried out after him, but the boat passed
>>>> on into the night.

Though it doesn't belong here, chronologically, I'll bring it out
anyway. Faramir has later a startling revelation about this 'vision'
of Boromir in his funeral boat:

" Whether he erred or no, of this I am sure: he died well,
achieving some good thing. His face was more beautiful even
than in life."

We have discussed it earlier, but still: I think this should be read
in connection with both his death (his smile in death coming after
what can, IMO, best be likened to an absolution by Aragorn) and
Gandalf's later statement that "It was not in vain that the young
hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir's sake."

I am quite sure that to Tolkien these descriptions are meant to
demonstrate that Boromir did find redemption for his attempt to rob
Frodo of the Ring (and the faults that this implied to his character).

>>>> Frodo recognises the golden belt of Lorien that Faramir described
>>>> on Boromir's body, and says that the boat is also from Lorien.

>>>> Faramir laments that Boromir went ever to that Hidden Land:
>>>>
>>>> "Boromir, O Boromir! What did she say to you, the Lady
>>>> that dies not? What did she see? What woke in your heart
>>>> then? Why went you ever to Laurelindórenan, and came not
>>>> by your own road, upon the horses of Rohan riding home in
>>>> the morning?"

As Faramir later opines:

"For I deem it perilous now for mortal man wilfully to seek
out the Elder People."

But Faramir also regrets that this is so, "Yet I envy you that have
spoken with the White Lady." Well, at least Boromir didn't "wilfully"
seek out Lórien and its inhabitants.

>>>> Faramir adds that the cloven horn also returned on the River.

"Murder will out."

Were the pieces of the horn 'guided' to return to Gondor, or was it
random chance?

Personally I prefer the 'guided' explanation; in particular as it also
seems to fit the funaral boat's behaviour as it passed Faramir ("the
boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by.")
It has earlier been suggested that it was Ulmo that sent the dream to
Faramir and Boromir (he is known to have done that before -- Tuor
comes to mind) and that would, IMO, seem to fit well with the arrival
of the pieces of the horn and the guiding of the funeral boat.

Another explanation, both here and elsewhere (for instance both
Faramir 'hearing' Boromir's horn and Sam's Elven rope), might of
course be that these things are a natural part of Faërie, that land of
the fairy story of which Tolkien has such a lot to say in /On
Fairy-stories/:

"the nature of Faërie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the
air that blows in that country. I will not attempt to
define that, nor to describe it directly. It cannot be
done. Faërie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is
one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not
imperceptible. It has many ingredients, but analysis will
not necessarily discover the secret of the whole."
(OFS, 'Fairy-story')

Or perhaps such an approach is doomed to fail ;-)

"The magic of Faërie is not an end in itself, its virtue is
in its operations: among these are the satisfaction of
certain primordial human desires. One of these desires is
to survey the depths of space and time. Another is (as will
be seen) to hold communion with other living things. A
story may thus deal with the satisfaction of these desires,
with or without the operation of either machine or magic,
and in proportion as it succeeds it will approach the
quality and have the flavour of fairy-story."
(OFS, 'Fairy-story')

So, magic is not /necessarily/ a part of a fairy-story, but it is
still essential in Faërie:

"Even fairy-stories as a whole have three faces: the
Mystical towards the Supernatural; the Magical towards
Nature; and the Mirror of scorn and pity towards Man. The
essential face of Faërie is the middle one, the Magical.
But the degree in which the others appear (if at all) is
variable, and may be decided by the individual
story-teller. The Magical, the fairy-story, may be used as
a Mirour de I'Omme; and it may (but not so easily) be made
a vehicle of Mystery. This at least is what George
Mac-Donald attempted, achieving stories of power and beauty
when he succeeded, as in The Golden Key (which he called a
fairy-tale); and even when he partly failed, as in Lilith
(which he called a romance)."
(OFS, 'Origins')

>>>> [Journey to Henneth Annun]
[...]
>>>> Faramir attempts to reassure Frodo, and further says that he no
>>>> longer doubts Frodo's story.

So, what convinced him?

Is this because of Faramir's own 'nobility' within the story that he
recognises the nobility of Frodo (like Éomer said, "Yet you speak the
truth, that is plain: the Men of the Mark do not lie, and therefore
they are not easily deceived.")?

>>>> Nevertheless, he defers his full decision until he can think and
>>>> question them some more.

Why?
His obligations towards Gondor? He is, after all, bidden to kill all
he meets in Ithilien who go there without leave from the Steward.

<snip>

>>>> [Faramir on Isildur's Bane]
[...]
>>>> We hear that Faramir knows of "the Great Battle that was fought
>>>> upon Dagorlad in the beginning of Gondor", and that Isildur took
>>>> something from the hand of Sauron.

"Here I thought was the answer to Mithrandir's questioning."

Now that is a pretty darn intelligent guess!

And he is about to learn why this was not, as he thought, "a matter
that concerned only the seekers after ancient learning." He is already
very close to the truth.

<snip>

>>>> [Faramir talks about Numenoreans and Gondor]
[...]
>>>> Faramir's verdict on the Gondorian Numenoreans:
>>>>
>>>> "We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with
>>>> memory of other things."

Another archaism?

I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would it
relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have become"
(the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but not ages ago)
and "we are becoming" (the change is still going on)?

>>>> [Sam is indiscreet about the Ring]
[...]
>>>> The conversation turn to Lorien, and Sam, whose tongue has
>>>> probably been loosened by the food and drink,

And tiredness!
I know he slept a bit during the battle with the Southrons, but how
much has that watchful Hobbit slept since they took up with Gollum?
He must be exhausted.

[Sam]
>>>> eagerly attempts a description of Galadriel. Faramir observes
>>>> that she must be lovely, but perilously fair.

Compare to Tolkien's description of Faërie, the land of the
Fairy-stories as "the Perilous Realm".

>>>> Sam agrees, and starts to describe Boromir and the peril of
>>>> Lorien, but stops. Faramir prompts him to continue, and Sam,
>>>> heedless of the danger, says that he believes:
>>>>
>>>> "...that in Lórien [Boromir] first saw clearly what I
>>>> guessed sooner: what he wanted. From the moment he first
>>>> saw it he wanted the Enemy's Ring!"

"From the moment he first saw it [...]"!

There has been some recent discussion about Boromir's reaction to the
Ring, but I think that we are supposed to believe Sam here. Whether
Boromir was, at that early date, influenced by the Ring itself is, I
think, impossible to say -- he was certainly, according to Sam,
influenced by the thought of the Ring.

<snip>

>>>> [1] Is this the first time that Sam and Frodo have seen so many
>>>> Men all together? The array of men around Frodo and Faramir
>>>> is 200-300 strong. This is the first time they have had so
>>>> many others around them since Lorien.
>>>
>>> Apart from the Black Gate.

I had the same thought. Though there the Men weren't really 'around
them', they did see a lot of Men together. I wonder how many people
watched them leave Bree? Probably not as many as 200-300.

>>> The main congregation points on their journey thus far would have
>>> been:
>>>
>>> 1. Bree (village, mixture of little and big folk)
>>> 2. Rivendell (Elves)
>>> 3. Moria (Orcs and whatnot)
>>> 4. Lothlorien (Elves)
>>> 5. Black Gate (Men, maybe Orcs).

And continuing the story (after this chapter):

7. The Morgul army (Nazgûl, mostly Orcs, some Trolls, maybe Southrons)
8. Cirith Ungol (Orcs)
9. Orc company
10. The field of Cormallen
(I'll stop there)

>>>> [2] Sam listening uninvited to this interrogation reminds me of
>>>> his sitting in on the Council of Elrond.

Nice observation. Tagging along to Galadriel's Mirror has some of the
same sense of 'just being there' until Galadriel and Frodo
acknowledges his presence.

<snip>

>>>> [4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from
>>>> myth and legend. Can anyone think of an example?

Not directly.

I believe that there were some use of funeral ships among the vikings,
but IIRC they torched the ship before putting it out to sea.

I also seem to recall funeral ships in other cultures (other than the
cultures of the North-western part of Middle-earth -- errr -- Europe
<G>) Egypt?


>>>> [5] The cried aloud rhetorical questions from Faramir to his
>>>> brother are quite striking. Offset from the rest of the text,
>>>> they have great drama and have a great impact on those
>>>> watching and reading.

Agreed.

>>>>
>>>> [6] Sam asking after the Elves. Another 'Sam' moment!

I can easily imagine Sam listening eagerly to old Bilbo for 'more
about the Elves, sir' ;-)

>>>> [7] Compare Faramir's: "In the morning we must each go swiftly
>>>> on the ways appointed to us." to Galadriel's comments in
>>>> Lothlorien: "In the morning you must depart for now we have
>>>> chosen, and the tides of fate are flowing."
>>>>

>>>> In both cases the person tested tells Frodo and Sam (and both
>>>> are present in the two tableaux) that they must leave in the
>>>> morning, and that after this brief meeting, they must continue
>>>> on their 'appointed' or 'fated' paths.
>>>

>>> Doesn't seem unusual; people normally set off on journeys after a
>>> good night's sleep.
>>
>> Really? I see it more as a "getting rid of temptation" thing ( or
>> at least a recognition that the crucial moment has passed, so there
>> is no point in hanging around any more, either in Lorien or in
>> Ithilien.
>
> In terms of the tension in the story arc, I think you're dead on
> here, that's exactly what's going on. Once you've resolved a moment
> of tension, you've got to get the story moving again.

Seconded.

Rejecting the Ring and the desire for / promise of power (should that
have been 'Power') that it represents is of crucial all-importance in
the story -- I don't think it can be stressed too much.

This is Faramir rejecting 'the Machine' -- it is his greatest moment.

>> Remember that Faramir says (just before he says they must go their
>> separate ways in the morning):
>>
>> "I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it
>> than I know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay
>> me and I fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo."
>
> Definitely avoiding temptation. He knows enough as a scholar to be
> wise; but mostly, I think, it is his heart that's wise here. And
> maybe he feels a little pride as well: he can't let a halfling be
> more noble than a descendant of Numenoreans! <g>

;-)

>> Is it possible that Faramir wants to avoid succumbing to the Ring?
>> He also says, elsewhere in this chapter:
>>
>> "I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from
>> which a man must flee."

Would he have fallen?

Had he not so forcefully rejected it and deliberately distanced
himself from it ("I do not wish [...]" as you quoted above), would he
then have fallen like his brother did? And in that connection: was it
a mistake by Gandalf to have Frodo show the Ring at the Council, or
was it a calculated risk; the only way to convince everyone present of
the severity of the matter?

<snip>

>>>> [8] Also compare the description of Faramir's reaction to the
>>>> Ring and subsequent rejection: "A chance for Faramir,
>>>> Captain of Gondor, to show his quality!"

[...]


>>>> to Galadriel's: "She stood before Frodo seeming now tall
>>>> beyond measurement,

[...]


>>>> In both cases the person tested appears or is tall, a
>>>> threatening appearance is seen, and then they laugh and
>>>> return to normal.

Yes.

>>>> There are differences, but these stem rather from the nature of
>>>> Faramir as a man, and Galadriel as an elf.

And Galadriel's far greater power.

I think she gives us a glimpse of what she would be like as a
Ring-lady -- far more terrible than most others who are tempted by the
Ring (except, of course, for Sauron). I think that she would be even
more terrible than Saruman who had become deluded with ideas of his
own greatness -- Galadriel knew how powerful she would be.

>>> Might want to include Gandalf upon Bilbo's denial of him at the
>>> start of FotR, and Frodo's domineering of Gollum. Might have
>>> something to do with the appearance of command, as enhanced by the
>>> proximity of the One.
>>

>> The bit missing from those is the laugh. I do agree that Gandalf
>> and Frodo seem to grow in size, but this is something different
>> from these "threat and then rejection" scenes.

Where is Gandalf's moment of rejecting the Ring?

Is it in I,2 'The Shadow of the Past':

" 'No!' cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. 'With that
power I should have power too great and terrible. And over
me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more
deadly.' His eyes flashed and his face was lit as by a fire
within. 'Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like
the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart
is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to
do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to
keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too
great, for my strength. I shall have such need of it. Great
perils lie before me.'"

It lacks the sense of threat, though he did that with Bilbo in the
first chapter, and there is again no laugh.

>> Returning to the "growing in size" bit, maybe we can even include
>> the "Strider stood up and appeared taller" bit from Bree? :-)
>
> One thing strikes me here: each of these three moments is followed
> by a moment of pain, confessed by the character. Strider
> acknowledges "with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to me
> for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust.'"

Is this the moment when Aragorn rejects the Ring?

This scene is begun by his cry of, "If I was after the Ring, I could
have it - NOW!"

[...]


> So the sequence is threat, rejection of temptation, laugh,
> acknowledgement of sorrow.

Something like that, yes.

> The laugh may be a brief moment of joy following the rejection of
> evil;

Or at the dumbfounded Hobbits ;-)

My impression is that of a 'mirthless' laugh -- it is not amusement or
joy, but only a way to release the tension of the situation: "you see,
I laugh, and therefore I cannot be dangerous."

> the sorrow, a sigh for all that is lost.

Yes, I don't think that there is supposed to be any regret of the
things that will not be (because of having rejected the Ring).

>>>> [9] Frodo's reaction is moving for both us and Faramir, and we
>>>> are impressed by Faramir's reaction to Frodo's weariness.
>>>>
>>>> B) General comments
>>>>
>>>> We learn much about Faramir in this chapter (and the next). What
>>>> is people's reaction to this character, the brother of Boromir?
>>>> "...unlike they were, and yet also much akin".
>>>
>>> Until Sean Bean's portrayal in the film, I failed to see the
>>> resemblance between the two.
>>>

>>>> Note that Faramir, like his brother, has an archiac style of
>>>> speech that uses words like 'durst' and 'tis' and 'aught' and
>>>> 'oft' and 'ere'.


Does the archaic linguistic style of the Gondorians help convey as
sense of the age and depth of the Dúnedain culture?

> He also uses the old name for Lothlorien (Laurelindorinan), which we
> only hear from Treebeard, otherwise. While Boromir's speech also
> tends towards the old-fashioned -- he tends to use inverted
> constructions -- I believe these archaisms of Faramir's are meant to
> show his learning.

Good point.

<snip>

>> Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most likely
>> designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic hobbits of
>> the Shire.

I have seen it suggested that the age of the language people speak in
LotR is related to the 'nobility' of the person -- one of the best
pieces of monologue I have come across in Tolkien's writings is Ulmo's
speech to Tuor at the beach of Nevrast, and that would seem to fit
this idea quite well, as far as I can tell.

"Arise, Tuor, son of Huor!" said Ulmo. "Fear not my
wrath, though long have I called to thee unheard; and
setting out at last thou hast tarried on thy journey
hither. In the Spring thou shouldst have stood here; but
now a fell winter cometh soon from the land of the Enemy.
Haste thou must learn, and the pleasant road that I
designed for thee must be changed. For my counsels have
been scorned, and a great evil creeps upon the Valley of
Sirion, and already a host of foes is come between and thy
goal."

etc. ;-)

>>>> Faramir says that maybe the journey of Boromir was 'doomed'. This
>>>> use of 'doom' seems to mean 'fate'. What do you think?

Yes, he is suggesting that the outcome of Boromir's journey had been
decided even before he set out, I think.

>>>> This chapter has a heavy emphasis on the Ring and the
>>>> Numenoreans. Through the words of Faramir, we hear more of the
>>>> history and lore of the Numenoreans.

To a large extent also preparing us for Pippin's arrival in Minas
Tirith. At that point we already know these people and are thus no
longer surprised by their mode of speech or their wisdom. We can then,
when we meet Denethor concentrate on how he compares to his sons (and
they to him).

--
Troels Forchhammer

It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.
- Frodo Baggins, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Oct 22, 2004, 12:20:39 PM10/22/04
to
John Jones <jo...@jones5011.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>> Quite a lot of proverbs in this chapter: "Night oft brings news to near
>> kindred"; "murder will out"; "near, but not in the gold";

> This last is not so much a proverb as a reference to archery. Faramir says,
> "Do I not hit near the mark?"
> "Near", said Frodo, "but not in the gold."

> During the Middle Ages, men shot at 'the mark', which was a piece of cloth
> or card pinned to a bank (hence the expression 'wide of the mark' and so
> on). 'The gold' is the centre of the modern archery target (nowadays yellow
> for easier printing!) which was devised by the Prince of Wales, son of King
> George III.

Interesting. The corresponding german proverb is literally translated
"to hit into the black", so I guess the center must have been painted
black here (and not gold) at some time. (BTW, since there is only this
single idiom, the translation has to cheat when translating the two
expressions "hit the mark" and "hit in the gold").

- Dirk

Jim Deutch

unread,
Oct 22, 2004, 1:47:25 PM10/22/04
to
On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 22:33:30 -0700, "Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com>
wrote:

>Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:
>> Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>> > An actual example of such a waterfall, where you can walk
>> > behind the cascade of water (not much of a cave though) can be
>> > found at Pont Nedd Fechan in the Neath valley in South Wales.
>> > Well worth a visit for anybody interested in what Henneth

>> > Annūn looked like.


>>
>> You did ask to be reminded about this...
>> I knew I'd forgotten _something_ !!
>> I have another example of going behind a waterfall, though I am
>> afraid it is from the Enid Blyton books, where I believe a
>> groups of children had an adventure in Wales, or maybe not...
>> Does anyone know whether caves, or at least ledges, behind
>> waterfalls are that common? I would have thought they would be,
>> but can't say for sure.
>
>There are many of them in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New
>York. Watkins Glen has a couple, and there are many small ones in
>the little ravines that cut through the hills that separate the
>long lakes. Swimming in these little waterfall pools is absolutely
>wonderful (although I keep being tempted to mutter "rocks and pool
>/ so wet and cool / so nice for feet").

There must be hundreds or even thousands that a person can crouch
behind. Many fewer that will fit several people and keep them dry. I
don't know of *any* in the area with an actual cave into which a
couple hundred warriors could hide away.

My favorite is in Labrador Hollow, halfway between Fabius and Truxton,
called Tinker's Falls. The waterfall is (wildly guessing) about 30
feet high, ten feet across, with a semi-circular chamber cut out of
the wall behind: a couple dozen people could stand there easily. You
can't touch the water from behind it because of the slope (the
standing room is almost halfway between the bottom and top of the
falls, and a good fifteen feet behind the falling water), but it faces
the West!

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move a body.

Raven

unread,
Oct 22, 2004, 6:38:55 PM10/22/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> skrev i en meddelelse
news:3d6ed.28457$g4.5...@news2.nokia.com...

> >>>> "We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with
> >>>> memory of other things."

> Another archaism?

> I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would it
> relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have become"
> (the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but not ages ago)
> and "we are becoming" (the change is still going on)?

I read "We are become" as synonymous with "We have become", but the
former is more archaic. Compare with German "Ich bin gewesen " and "Ich
habe getan". One auxiliary verb, the present tense of "to be", is used with
some verbs, while another, the present tense of "to have", is used with
others. And it's the same in Norwegian and, I believe, in Danish: I may say
both "Jeg er kommet" (= "I am come") and "Jeg har kommet" (="I have come"),
but the former has the ancietry, and the latter also feels slightly wrong to
me. In my own dialect I would say "Eg e' komt". I may say "Jeg har gjort
det" (="I have done it"), but "Jeg er gjort det" (="I am done it") is plain
weird. It would appear that the auxiliary "to be" is used with verbs of
motion, while "to have" is used with other verbs.

Hrafn.


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 22, 2004, 8:03:50 PM10/22/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>>>> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>>>>> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
>>>>> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West

<lots of snipping>

>>>>> Chapter Summary

>>>>> [Sam wakes up]
>
> I very much like the idea of these tags -- I think I'll borrow it for
> 'The Stairs of Cirith Ungol' (along with all the other stuff I clutter
> my chapter introductions with <G>)

You may call them sub-headings (TM)
Or chapters within a chapter... :-)

> <snip>

>>>>> [Sam interrupts]

> I'm very fond of the description of Sam's posture here:

> Knowing well the hoard of paternal 'advice' Sam has stored away, I


> don't think we have to look too far for a source of Sam's posture ;-)

Indeed. Like father, like son. :-)

>>>>> [Vision of Boromir dead]

[Boromir's horn]

> So how did Faramir hear the horn (or did he? "as if it were but an
> echo in the mind," he says).

I think this "echo in the mind bit" is merely intended to suggest great
distance to Faramir, that the horn is being blown a long way to the
North. I would say he does actually hear the horn.

> I believe that there is some modern research that shows some strange
> connections between close kin

Surely this is just because we think more about those who are close kin,
and so imagine we were 'strangely' thinking of them at times of great
crisis for them? I've never taken much notice of those stories where
people insist they 'knew' that a close relative had just died. Just a
combination of retrospective significance becoming memory of actual
significance, and forgetting the times when you worried about someone
but they were OK after all.

> was it some property of the horn itself (Art or magic, I don't know)?

I would be happy with this being a Faerie part of the story. A bit like
the horn that Merry blows to rouse the Shire.

> Though it doesn't belong here, chronologically, I'll bring it out
> anyway. Faramir has later a startling revelation about this 'vision'
> of Boromir in his funeral boat:

<snip>

> I am quite sure that to Tolkien these descriptions are meant to
> demonstrate that Boromir did find redemption for his attempt to rob
> Frodo of the Ring (and the faults that this implied to his character).

Absolutely.

>>>>> Faramir laments that Boromir went ever to that Hidden Land:
>>>>>
>>>>> "Boromir, O Boromir! What did she say to you, the Lady
>>>>> that dies not? What did she see? What woke in your heart
>>>>> then? Why went you ever to Laurelindórenan, and came not
>>>>> by your own road, upon the horses of Rohan riding home in
>>>>> the morning?"

I forgot to add here that I find this cry of "Boromir, O Boromir" is
very similar to the heart-rending cries in the laments for Boromir that
are sung by Legolas and Aragorn at Rauros. It is repeated in Faramir's
vision of the dead Boromir in the boat, Faramir cries out after the boat
as it drifts off, but he is powerless to prevent Death claiming Boromir.

Also, Faramir's description of Galadriel is a reminder, not seen very
often in LotR, at least not this overtly, that there is indeed a wide
gulf between Men and Elves, that the two kindreds are estranged by their
differing fates and the mortality and immortality that they suffer:

"..the Lady that dies not..."

Imagine the dread and awe that can be inspired by beings that do not
die, living figures from distant history, remote but present. A reminder
of your own mortality AND the fact that others do not die. How much
harder would it be to come to terms with mortality in the presence of
beings that die not!

This is even more powerful when placed together with a devastating
reminder of mortality, the death of a loved one: "Boromir was my
brother. A shadow of sorrow passed over [Faramir's] face."

> As Faramir later opines:
>
> "For I deem it perilous now for mortal man wilfully to seek
> out the Elder People."

I didn't quote it or mention it, but Faramir mentions (in Henneth Annun)
that every now and again, some people do seek out the Hidden Land
(Lorien) and do not return (sounds similar to the hobbits that leave the
Shire and don't return). Do these wonderers get caught in the
(metaphorical) nets of Faerie?

>>>>> Faramir adds that the cloven horn also returned on the River.
>
> "Murder will out."
>
> Were the pieces of the horn 'guided' to return to Gondor, or was it
> random chance?
>
> Personally I prefer the 'guided' explanation

Whatever, it is a beautifully constructed story, and sometimes I am just
happy to leave it at that and not seek futher answers! If something
feels 'right', I won't always question it further.

> Another explanation, both here and elsewhere (for instance both
> Faramir 'hearing' Boromir's horn and Sam's Elven rope), might of
> course be that these things are a natural part of Faërie, that land of
> the fairy story

Which seems to be another way of saying what I said above. It feels like
a natural thing to happen in a fairy-story.

> "the nature of Faërie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the
> air that blows in that country. I will not attempt to
> define that, nor to describe it directly. It cannot be
> done. Faërie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is
> one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not
> imperceptible. It has many ingredients, but analysis will
> not necessarily discover the secret of the whole."
> (OFS, 'Fairy-story')

Either deeply profound, or ducking the issue...

> Or perhaps such an approach is doomed to fail ;-)

:-)

I think it does depend a LOT on the individual. Different people react
in different ways to this concept of Faerie, and the stories that
contain that quality of Faerie. It might be the different reactions and
the differences in people that defeats an analytical approach? Despite
Tolkien's best efforts in OFS, which do make a lot of sense.

<snip>

>>>>> [Journey to Henneth Annun]
> [...]
>>>>> Faramir attempts to reassure Frodo, and further says that he no
>>>>> longer doubts Frodo's story.
>
> So, what convinced him?
>
> Is this because of Faramir's own 'nobility' within the story that he
> recognises the nobility of Frodo (like Éomer said, "Yet you speak the
> truth, that is plain: the Men of the Mark do not lie, and therefore
> they are not easily deceived.")?

Quite possibly. Faramir also says:

"'But whatever befell on the North March, you, Frodo, I doubt no longer.
If hard days have made me any judge of Men's words and faces, then I may
make a guess at Halflings! Though,' and now he smiled, 'there is
something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe. But more lies
upon our words together than I thought at first.'"

So Faramir trusts his experience at judging men's words. Frodo has
demonstrated that he did know Boromir (the Isildur's Bane rhyme, the
description of the horn). The elvish air bit is a bit fanciful, but
nice, and is echoed at the end of the chapter when Sam says that Faramir
reminds him of wizards, and Faramir says: "Maybe you discern from far
away the air of Numenor."

>>>>> Nevertheless, he defers his full decision until he can think and
>>>>> question them some more.
>
> Why?

See above. The "more lies upon our words together than I thought at
first." quote and the subsequent desire of Faramir to question Frodo
away from the gaze and hearing of the 200-300 men around them.

>>>>> [Faramir talks about Numenoreans and Gondor]
> [...]
>>>>> Faramir's verdict on the Gondorian Numenoreans:
>>>>>
>>>>> "We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with
>>>>> memory of other things."
>
> Another archaism?

Don't think so. The word 'become' is a normal modern word, and can be
used in this sense: 'We have become like them...' Maybe the use of 'are'
instead of 'have' is slightly archaic. Oops. I see you mention this
below. Must read more carefully... :-)

> I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would it
> relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have become"
> (the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but not ages ago)
> and "we are becoming" (the change is still going on)?

You might be even more confused by the full quote:

"Yet now, if the Rohirrim are grown in some ways more like to us,
enhanced in arts and gentleness, we too have become more like to them,
and can scarce claim any longer the title High. We are become Middle


Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of other things."

Faramir switches from "have become" to "are become". I don't really know
what is going on here (other than that the two constructions mean the
same thing), but Faramir also says "are grown" instead of "have grown".
Possibly Tolkien's usage of such archaic style was not 100% consistent,
and he slipped up. Or maybe he only changed some of the sentence
constructions to give a flavour of the style?

More interesting, IMO, is the phrase: "but with memory of other things."
I don't think Faramir is referring JUST to the lore of the Numenoreans
(like the herb lore and historical lore), but to something more subtle:

"'It reminds me of Numenor [...] of the land of Westernesse that
foundered and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and
above the hills, and coming on, darkness unescapable. I often dream of
it." (Faramir talking to Eowyn, The Steward and the King)

>>>>> [2] Sam listening uninvited to this interrogation reminds me of
>>>>> his sitting in on the Council of Elrond.
>
> Nice observation. Tagging along to Galadriel's Mirror has some of the
> same sense of 'just being there' until Galadriel and Frodo
> acknowledges his presence.

Um. Galadriel invites them both along. A place where I get more of a
sense of Sam tagging along is when Gimli invites Frodo to come with him
and look in Mirrormere. Another place where Sam eavesdrops, is of course
the time in Bag-end when Gandalf tells Frodo about the Ring.

> <snip>
>
>>>>> [4] Boromir in the boat seems like a passage taken directly from
>>>>> myth and legend. Can anyone think of an example?
>
> Not directly.

Pity. The imagery of the light shining around the boat and coming from
the water in the boat, is so powerful that I was sure that it must have
been used before. That and the image of the boat full of water, and the
body immersed in the water.

>>> Is it possible that Faramir wants to avoid succumbing to the Ring?
>>> He also says, elsewhere in this chapter:
>>>
>>> "I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from
>>> which a man must flee."
>
> Would he have fallen?

I think so. Imagine Faramir accompanying Frodo into Mordor. Even Faramir
would have fallen in the end, and probably long before the hobbits from
the Shire had succumbed to the Ring.

> Had he not so forcefully rejected it and deliberately distanced
> himself from it ("I do not wish [...]" as you quoted above), would he
> then have fallen like his brother did? And in that connection: was it
> a mistake by Gandalf to have Frodo show the Ring at the Council, or
> was it a calculated risk; the only way to convince everyone present of
> the severity of the matter?

Hmm. Interesting. I hadn't thought that Boromir might not have fallen to
temptation if the Ring had not been revealed at the Council. Maybe it is
not so much the sight of the Ring (though maybe, as it provokes a gleam
in Boromir's eyes much like the gleam in Saruman's eyes when he spoke of
the Ring to Gandalf in Orthanc), but the knowledge (from Elrond and
Gandalf's lore) that the Ring is so powerful.

<snip>

[Faramir and Galadriel's laughs]

> My impression is that of a 'mirthless' laugh -- it is not amusement or
> joy, but only a way to release the tension of the situation: "you see,
> I laugh, and therefore I cannot be dangerous."

Yes. Not totally mirthless, IMO, more a wry laughter - which implies
some sorrow mixed with ironic mirth. This really is in the imagination
of the reader, and is very hard to pin down.

I said previously that there are many different types of laughs. I've
looked into this a bit further. Tolkien does describe laughter in very
striking terms in some places in the tale (Frodo in that chapter you'll
be writing about soon - The Stairs of Cirith Ungol: "a long clear laugh
from his heart", and Gandalf both in Minas Tirith: "a fountain of mirth
enough to set a kingdom laughing, were it to gush forth"; and after
victory has been won: "the sound was like music, or like water in a
parched land [...] It fell upon [Sam's] ears like the echo of all the
joys he had ever known."

Laughter is described in so many different ways in LotR. Bitter, fey,
relief, mirth, sorrow, laughing at despair, grim, shamefaced, for
heart's ease, cruel, deadly, mockery, delight, joy, and so on.

Pippin says of Gandalf after the victory: "He's not so close as he used
to be, though he laughs now more than he talks."

I wonder if laughter has any special significance? Is it mentioned
anywhere in OFS or anything similar?

>>> Faramir's archaisms, like Boromir's and Denethor's, is most likely
>>> designed to distinguish the Numenoreans from the rustic hobbits of
>>> the Shire.
>
> I have seen it suggested that the age of the language people speak in
> LotR is related to the 'nobility' of the person -- one of the best
> pieces of monologue I have come across in Tolkien's writings is Ulmo's
> speech to Tuor at the beach of Nevrast, and that would seem to fit
> this idea quite well, as far as I can tell.

Thanks for this. Not so much for the archiac style (though that is
there), but I reread this passage for the rest of the archaic style and
to recall the description of Ulmo for the "embodying of the Ainur"
thread, and found some absolutely amazing stuff about Doom and Fate and
the Music.

I'll stick that in another thread.

Getting back to the archaic style, the logical extension to the 'more
archiac is more noble' theory is looking at Eru's speeches in the
Ainulindale. Not too suprising to get the same feel there: "I will now
that ye make in harmony together a Great Music."

Prai Jei

unread,
Oct 23, 2004, 9:02:54 AM10/23/04
to
Alison (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in message
<kdhhn059hqj4g84o4...@4ax.com>:

> On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 23:27:05 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
> <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>>> An actual example of such a waterfall, where you can walk behind the
>>> cascade of water (not much of a cave though) can be found at Pont
>>> Nedd Fechan in the Neath valley in South Wales. Well worth a visit
>>> for anybody interested in what Henneth Annûn looked like.
>>
>>You did ask to be reminded about this...
>>I knew I'd forgotten _something_ !!
>>
>>I have another example of going behind a waterfall, though I am afraid
>>it is from the Enid Blyton books, where I believe a groups of children
>>had an adventure in Wales, or maybe not...
>

> I think the book you mean is called either The Island of Adventure or
> The Valley of Adventure. I have vague memories of finding it at my
> grandparents' house and reading it there. I suppose it must have
> belonged to my mother or her sisters.

Definitely not "The Island of Adventure". I have not read the "Valley".

Yuk Tang

unread,
Oct 23, 2004, 12:36:26 PM10/23/04
to
10313...@compuserve.com (Jim Deutch) wrote in
news:417945db....@news.compuserve.com:
> On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 22:33:30 -0700, "Shanahan"
> <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>>Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:
>>> Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>>> > An actual example of such a waterfall, where you can walk
>>> > behind the cascade of water (not much of a cave though) can be
>>> > found at Pont Nedd Fechan in the Neath valley in South Wales.
>>> > Well worth a visit for anybody interested in what Henneth
>>> > Annûn looked like.

>>>
>>> You did ask to be reminded about this...
>>> I knew I'd forgotten _something_ !!
>>> I have another example of going behind a waterfall, though I am
>>> afraid it is from the Enid Blyton books, where I believe a
>>> groups of children had an adventure in Wales, or maybe not...
>>> Does anyone know whether caves, or at least ledges, behind
>>> waterfalls are that common? I would have thought they would be,
>>> but can't say for sure.
>>
>>There are many of them in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New
>>York. Watkins Glen has a couple, and there are many small ones in
>>the little ravines that cut through the hills that separate the
>>long lakes. Swimming in these little waterfall pools is absolutely
>>wonderful (although I keep being tempted to mutter "rocks and pool
>>/ so wet and cool / so nice for feet").
>
> There must be hundreds or even thousands that a person can crouch
> behind. Many fewer that will fit several people and keep them
> dry. I don't know of *any* in the area with an actual cave into
> which a couple hundred warriors could hide away.

Wasb't there a cave of that sort in (the film) Last of the Mohicans?


--
Cheers, ymt.

TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Oct 23, 2004, 11:10:59 PM10/23/04
to
Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:Xns958BB31CFBB80...@130.133.1.4:

snipt

>> There must be hundreds or even thousands that a person can
>> crouch behind. Many fewer that will fit several people and
>> keep them dry. I don't know of *any* in the area with an
>> actual cave into which a couple hundred warriors could hide
>> away.
>
> Wasb't there a cave of that sort in (the film) Last of the
> Mohicans?
>
>

There are a few that might hold a fair number of warriors, but
most seem to be smaller caves/cave systems, at least in a few
moments google-ing

http://www.geocities.com/cccgrotto/Wolfs.htm

http://www.softwareartist.com/andrews-waterfalls.htm (scroll
down until you find Ash Cave)(Further down you'll find Old Man's
Cave, also in Ohio - I was there in 1977, tho I don't recall
going into the cave)

<http://ulink.ourfamily.com/city/cityguides/guiyang.htm#huangguo
shu>

http://www.scottwightman.com/africa/malawi.htm (Manchewe Falls)

http://kapp.intrasun.tcnj.edu/Europe99/nice.html (about 1/3 of
the way down)

http://www.la-tierra.com/djskhalsa/sea/misolha.htm

--
TeaLady (mari)

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

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 6:18:06 AM10/24/04
to
In message <news:y%fed.5416$g54....@news.get2net.dk> "Raven"
<jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:

> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> skrev i en
> meddelelse news:3d6ed.28457$g4.5...@news2.nokia.com...
>>

[Faramir's use of "We are become":]

>> I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would
>> it relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have
>> become" (the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but
>> not ages ago) and "we are becoming" (the change is still going
>> on)?
>
> I read "We are become" as synonymous with "We have become", but
> the former is more archaic.

That's the way I've understood it as well, but I got to thinking that
possibly there was more to it than just that ;-)

> And it's the same in Norwegian and, I believe, in Danish: I may say
> both "Jeg er kommet" (= "I am come") and "Jeg har kommet" (="I have
> come"), but the former has the ancietry, and the latter also feels
> slightly wrong to me.

I have never heard the latter in Danish (which is, of course, not the
same as saying that it isn't used) -- the standard would be the
equivalent of 'we are become' ("vi er blevet"). It would work with
'walk', I think. "Vi er gået" and "vi har gået", but here the
translations, though the same tense of 'walk' is used in both cases in
Danish, would be "we are walking" (or possibly immediately after
stopping to walk) and "we have walked". If you've only just arrived at
the destination you could use both (in Danish) to describe the trip.

It was this, I believe, that prompted my question. If the comparison
holds, I thought that Faramir's usage might imply a process that was
just finished, or in the finishing stages (or something that he had
only just realised).

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

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of
thinking with which we created them.
- Albert Einstein

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 7:34:00 AM10/24/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

> [Faramir's use of "We are become":]
>

> I thought that Faramir's usage might imply a process that was
> just finished, or in the finishing stages (or something that he had
> only just realised).

If that was so, why, in the previous sentences, does he say "we too have
become"?

"...we too have become more like to [the Rohirrim], and can scarce claim
any longer the title High. We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight,


but with memory of other things."

[cue rambling thoughts on tenses, all IMO, and all showing the lack of a
formal education in grammar!]

I think that the 'tense' distinction you are drawing between "have
become" (past tense) and "are become" (present tense) is confused by the
fact that become has some kind of tense as well (present). It is also a
word that describes a process, so the tenses can be confusing.

"we have become"
"we are become"
"we became"

[has happened in the past]

"we are becoming"

[happening now - present tense]

"we had become"
"we were becoming"

[was happening, but no longer happening]

I still see your point that "are become" seems slightly different, in
that it can imply that what has happened is still present, or has just
happened, but in all the cases above, I would say it is the context, the
words before and after the phrase, that determines what the intended
sense is. The phrase does restrict the context though:

"Yesterday, we became..."
"Today, we became..."
"Today, we are become..." [can't say 'yesterday' here]
"Now, we are become..."
"Now, we have become..."

"Then, we were become..."
"Then we are become..."

In these last two cases, 'then' takes a different meaning. In the first
case 'then' refers to the past moment when 'we were become', but the
second use of 'then' is to introduce a statement, a conclusion. The
comma is needed to separate the two cases, which can be made clearer:

"Back then, we were become like them..."
"Then you are right, we are become like them..."

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 9:51:55 AM10/24/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 4, Chapter 5: The Window on the West

<snip>

> After the meal, Faramir once again talks to the hobbits. [...] Faramir
> speaks at great length about the decline of the Numenoreans,

I forgot a question I had about this. I'll quote what Faramir says:

"The Men of Numenor were settled far and wide on the shores and seaward
regions of the Great Lands, but for the most part they fell into evils
and follies. Many became enamoured of the Darkness and the black arts;
some were given over wholly to idleness and ease, and some fought among
themselves, until they were conquered in their weakness by the wild
men."

I was wondering whether Faramir is talking about more than just the men
of Umbar, and whether he is also talking about Arnor? Or maybe is
referring to yet other events? Can you think of specific examples of
those Men who used black arts, those who became idle, and those who
fought among themselves?

Pete Gray

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 8:01:08 PM10/24/04
to
In article <IqMed.14130$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

> Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>
> > [Faramir's use of "We are become":]
> >
> > I thought that Faramir's usage might imply a process that was
> > just finished, or in the finishing stages (or something that he had
> > only just realised).
>
> If that was so, why, in the previous sentences, does he say "we too have
> become"?
>
> "...we too have become more like to [the Rohirrim], and can scarce claim
> any longer the title High. We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight,
> but with memory of other things."
>

This usage does have a deliberately archaic ring to it. One is
reminded of Robert Oppenheimer at the first A-bomb test:

"I am become death, shatterer of worlds."
<http://www.ag.wastholm.net/aphorism/A-1949>

...and it occurs frquently in the King James bible:
"Think not that I am come to destroy." --Matt. v.17.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." -- 1
Corinthians 13

Interesting to note what it says here:
<http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/come>
"Am come, is come, etc., are frequently used instead of have come, has
come, etc., esp. in poetry. The verb to be gives a clearer adjectival
significance to the participle as expressing a state or condition of
the subject, while the auxiliary have expresses simply the completion
of the action signified by the verb."

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

Odysseus

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 8:02:56 PM10/24/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>
> > [Faramir's use of "We are become":]
> >
> > I thought that Faramir's usage might imply a process that was
> > just finished, or in the finishing stages (or something that he had
> > only just realised).
>
> If that was so, why, in the previous sentences, does he say "we too have
> become"?
>
> "...we too have become more like to [the Rohirrim], and can scarce claim
> any longer the title High. We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight,
> but with memory of other things."
>
> [cue rambling thoughts on tenses, all IMO, and all showing the lack of a
> formal education in grammar!]
>
> I think that the 'tense' distinction you are drawing between "have
> become" (past tense) and "are become" (present tense) is confused by the
> fact that become has some kind of tense as well (present). It is also a
> word that describes a process, so the tenses can be confusing.
>
> "we have become"
> "we are become"
> "we became"
>
> [has happened in the past]
>
> "we are becoming"

And, of course, "we become".


>
> [happening now - present tense]
>
> "we had become"
> "we were becoming"

And "we were become".


>
> [was happening, but no longer happening]
>

You can't always distinguish this last group from the first.

[snip]

The choice of auxiliary verb is to a degree separate from that of
tense, and is governed more by idiom than grammar as such. The verb
"to be" used with a past participle generally indicates a passive or
reflexive relation of the subject to the verb, which is usually
transitive. It's hard to generalize about how the meaning of those
intransitive verbs that idiom allows in such constructions will
differ from the form with the present participle.

To illustrate, start with a transitive verb, like "to kick": compare
"we are kicked" to "we have kicked" and "we are kicking". The latter
two forms are both active (with different temporal aspects) but the
first is passive, i.e. the subjects are the patients of the kicking
rather than its agents. Notice also that "we are kicked" can stand
alone, but the others require an object. Likewise, taking "to do" for
another example, compare "we are done" to "we have done" and "we are doing".

Now let's have a look at some intransitive verbs. "To speak": while
"we have spoken" and "we are speaking" are perfectly natural, one
just doesn't say "we are spoken". Likewise for "we are been", "we are
run", ... -- the same applies to the majority of intransitives, but
there certainly are exceptions, mostly verbs of motion, I think,
whether literal or figurative. "To go": comparing "we are gone" to
"we have gone" and "we are going", it seems that the past participle
in effect becomes an adjective, describing "our" state or condition
more than saying how or when "we" arrived at it. "To fall": unlike
"we have fallen" and "we are falling", "we are fallen" is very rare
in the literal sense, almost always describing (from a Catholic
viewpoint) a condition of sinfulness, alluding to "the Fall".

Anyway, without further rambling, I think the best model for "we are
(be)come" _vs_ "we have (be)come" is "we are gone" _vs_ "we have
gone": describing a state of being rather than the action of getting
there. The usage has at least a whiff of 'elevated' archaism; cf. the
famous line from Vedic scripture, "I am become Death, the destroyer
of worlds."

--
Odysseus

Emma Pease

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 8:55:13 PM10/24/04
to
In article <Xns958BEBD...@130.133.1.4>, TeaLady (Mari C.) wrote:
> Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote in
> news:Xns958BB31CFBB80...@130.133.1.4:
>
>> 10313...@compuserve.com (Jim Deutch) wrote in
>> news:417945db....@news.compuserve.com:
>
> snipt
>
>>> There must be hundreds or even thousands that a person can
>>> crouch behind. Many fewer that will fit several people and
>>> keep them dry. I don't know of *any* in the area with an
>>> actual cave into which a couple hundred warriors could hide
>>> away.
>>
>> Wasb't there a cave of that sort in (the film) Last of the
>> Mohicans?
>>
>>
>
> There are a few that might hold a fair number of warriors, but
> most seem to be smaller caves/cave systems, at least in a few
> moments google-ing

IIRC Henneth Annun was partly artificial which could explain the size
of the cave behind.

Emma


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

the softrat

unread,
Oct 24, 2004, 9:27:45 PM10/24/04
to
On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 10:18:06 +0000 (UTC), Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

>In message <news:y%fed.5416$g54....@news.get2net.dk> "Raven"
><jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:
>
>> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> skrev i en
>> meddelelse news:3d6ed.28457$g4.5...@news2.nokia.com...
>>>
>
>[Faramir's use of "We are become":]
>
>>> I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would
>>> it relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have
>>> become" (the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but
>>> not ages ago) and "we are becoming" (the change is still going
>>> on)?
>>
>> I read "We are become" as synonymous with "We have become", but
>> the former is more archaic.
>
>That's the way I've understood it as well, but I got to thinking that
>possibly there was more to it than just that ;-)
>

"We are become" is an attempt to form, a true perfect tense in
English, denoting a current state based on past action. "We have
become" is the normal English perfect which is really not a perfect,
but denotes a past completed action. (The simple past in English, "We
became", denotes only past without noting whether the action was
completed or not.) Most of these subtleties are difficult to express
in all of the Germanic languages. Tolkien probably called upon his
knowledge of Attic Greek.


the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"Hear the pulse, and vibration, and the rumblin' force;
someone is out there, beating on a dead horse."
--bob

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 3:21:59 AM10/25/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Pete Gray <pe...@petergray.com> wrote:
> In article <IqMed.14130$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...
>> Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

>> > [Faramir's use of "We are become":]

> This usage does have a deliberately archaic ring to it. One is

> reminded of Robert Oppenheimer at the first A-bomb test:
>
> "I am become death, shatterer of worlds."
> <http://www.ag.wastholm.net/aphorism/A-1949>

That might also just be a "Germanism": "Ich bin der Tod geworden".

> ...and it occurs frquently in the King James bible:
> "Think not that I am come to destroy." --Matt. v.17.
> "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
> charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." -- 1
> Corinthians 13

So maybe the old usage "are" was similar to the German (or Anglo-Saxon?)
usage, and later changed to "have"? Any linguist here? What's the
corresponding Anglo-Saxon expression?

- Dirk

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 7:05:02 AM10/25/04
to
in <61lon01hv7dgv2q8m...@4ax.com>,
the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> enriched us with:
>

. . . an explanation of 'We are become'.

And so did Odysseus.

To both of you: thanks.

--
Troels Forchhammer

Men, said the Devil,
are good to their brothers:
they don't want to mend
their own ways, but each other's.
- Piet Hein, /Mankind/

Pete Gray

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 3:18:12 PM10/25/04
to
In article <61lon01hv7dgv2q8m...@4ax.com>,
sof...@pobox.com says...

> On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 10:18:06 +0000 (UTC), Troels Forchhammer
> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>
> >In message <news:y%fed.5416$g54....@news.get2net.dk> "Raven"
> ><jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:
> >
> >> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> skrev i en
> >> meddelelse news:3d6ed.28457$g4.5...@news2.nokia.com...
> >>>
> >
> >[Faramir's use of "We are become":]
> >
> >>> I'm confused by the temporal sense of this statement: how would
> >>> it relate, temporally, to more modern phrases such as "we have
> >>> become" (the change is already done -- possibly a while ago, but
> >>> not ages ago) and "we are becoming" (the change is still going
> >>> on)?
> >>
> >> I read "We are become" as synonymous with "We have become", but
> >> the former is more archaic.
> >
> >That's the way I've understood it as well, but I got to thinking that
> >possibly there was more to it than just that ;-)
> >
> "We are become" is an attempt to form, a true perfect tense in
> English, denoting a current state based on past action. "We have
> become" is the normal English perfect which is really not a perfect,
> but denotes a past completed action. (The simple past in English, "We
> became", denotes only past without noting whether the action was
> completed or not.) Most of these subtleties are difficult to express
> in all of the Germanic languages. Tolkien probably called upon his
> knowledge of Attic Greek.
>

Since it was common enough in English texts which would have been
well-known to Tolkien, not just the Bible, I don't think he needed to
call on any knowledge of Greek. I think your analysis of the implied
meaning is spot on though.

Some other examples, which I think indicate that, while it is a
relatively rare construction, it is by no means unheard of in standard
English:

"I assure you I am become quite a grave old matron"
'Agnes Grey' by Anne Bronte

"In a short time I shall make my assertion good that I
am become suddenly as I was at first..."
A letter of William Blake, 1804

"And here, to do you service, am become
As new into the world, strange, unacquainted"
Troilus & Cressida, Shakespeare

"When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible"
Walt Whitman 'Full of Life, Now'

"I am become a sort of writing automaton"
Walter Scott

"I am become most deeply interested in the way facts fall into groups"
Charles Darwin, letter to his cousin.

"I should rather choose, did it admit of a choice, to sleep in some of
the caves of the rocks, for I am become better reconciled to them
since I climbed their craggy sides last night"
Mary Wollstonecraft, 'Letters written during a short residence in
Sweden, Norway and Denmark'

"Oh, Colonel, I am become so used to troubles, so used to failures,
disappointments, hard luck of all kinds, that a little good news
breaks me right down."
Mark Twain, 'The Gilded Age'

"...you are become the object of her bitterest scorn by now."
Jeffrey Farnol, 'My Lady Caprice'

" they have no other place to go, as all Nations else are become the
subjects of Great Britain."
George Croghan, Journal, 1760.

"they have landed at New Orleans and are become subjects of the French
King"
A petition from the citizens of Baltimore, 1767

The meaning is similar perhaps to the Stative in Ancient Egyptian (in
which 'we are become' would be _xpr=wyn_ AFAICR)

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 4:30:06 PM10/25/04
to
Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote:
> TeaLady (Mari C.) wrote:

[about other 'cave behind waterfall' systems]

>> There are a few that might hold a fair number of warriors, but
>> most seem to be smaller caves/cave systems, at least in a few
>> moments google-ing
>
> IIRC Henneth Annun was partly artificial which could explain the size
> of the cave behind.

That's sounds reasonable, though I don't think Faramir says precisely
that, only saying that "workmen of old" redirected the flow of the water
and sealed the "grot" (presumably an old word for cave) to prevent any
water from getting in.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 4:39:55 PM10/25/04
to
the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote:

<nice explanation of 'we are become'>

> Most of these subtleties are difficult to express
> in all of the Germanic languages.

Why? And what do other languages have instead?

> Tolkien probably called upon his
> knowledge of Attic Greek.

This is the first of three cryptic references in this subthread that
shows my lack of a Classical or Egyptian education:

1) "his knowledge of Attic Greek" {softrat}
2) "and so did Odysseus" {Troels Forchhammer}
3) "similar perhaps to the Stative in Ancient Egyptian" {Pete Grey}

What are you all on about?!? :-)

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 4:57:10 PM10/25/04
to
Odysseus <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote:


[snip grammar lesson, thanks]
[reinserting Faramir's quote on Middle Men]

"Yet now, if the Rohirrim are grown in some ways more like to us,

enhanced in arts and gentleness, we too have become more like to them,


and can scarce claim any longer the title High. We are become Middle
Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of other things."

> [...] it seems that the past participle


> in effect becomes an adjective, describing "our" state or condition
> more than saying how or when "we" arrived at it. "To fall": unlike
> "we have fallen" and "we are falling", "we are fallen" is very rare
> in the literal sense, almost always describing (from a Catholic
> viewpoint) a condition of sinfulness, alluding to "the Fall".

This would seem particularly relevant to Faramir talking about the
'Fall' of the Numenoreans from being High Men to being Middle Men.

<snip>

> The usage has at least a whiff of 'elevated' archaism; cf. the
> famous line from Vedic scripture, "I am become Death, the destroyer
> of worlds."

Maybe Faramir's use of "are become" here is meant to imply a dramatic
declaration, almost a sermonising. You can almost imagine the dramatic
pause and intake of breath after the mundane language of the explanation
(we _have_ become), leading to the elevated language of the concluding
flourish: "We are become Middle Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of
other things."

That at least would explain the lapse back into "have become", which is,
as far as I can see, describing the same thing. I see no reason at all
as to why Tolkien should not have written:

"Yet now, if the Rohirrim are grown in some ways more like to us,

enhanced in arts and gentleness, we too are become more like to them,


and can scarce claim any longer the title High. We are become Middle
Men, of the Twilight, but with memory of other things."

[I changed 'have' to 'are' about halfway through]

All the explanations of "are become" don't quite explain the switches
between the styles. Or maybe I've failed to understand what people are
going on about?

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Oct 25, 2004, 7:11:03 PM10/25/04
to
In message <news:vwdfd.15083$xb....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> This is the first of three cryptic references in this subthread that
> shows my lack of a Classical or Egyptian education:

I hesitate to speak on behalf of the other two, very learned gentlemen
who has helped here, but I can attest to my own meaning and my
assumptions regarding theirs (giving me a chance to be corrected <G>)

> 1) "his knowledge of Attic Greek" {softrat}

I assumed that this referred to a tense used in Attic Greek. This made
me look at Helge Fauskanger's Quenya course where he describes the
Quenya aorist and the Quenya perfect tenses:

"The Quenya aorist, like the Greek one, can be used to express
'general truths'."
[...]
"It seems, however, that the Quenya aorist is not only used to
describe "timeless truths". In some cases Tolkien himself
seems to waver in the choice between the aorist and the present
tense, the latter more typically describing an ongoing here-and-
now situation."
(Lesson 7, 'Future tense and Aorist')

"Linguistically speaking, English has no perfect tense, just
as English has no future tense. However, just as the language
quite regularly expresses the idea of futurity by involving
extra verbs like 'shall' or 'will', so the meaning of a true
perfect tense is typically achieved by means of a circumlocution
involving the verb 'have'. For instance, some typical English
constructions doing the job of a perfect tense are seen in
these sentences: 'Peter has left', 'the guests have eaten' (as
opposed to a mere past tense: 'Peter left', 'the guests ate').
The perfect tense thus describes an action that itself is past,
but by using the perfect tense one emphasizes that this past
action is somehow still directly relevant for the present
moment: 'Peter has left [and he is still gone]', 'the guests
have eaten [and they are hopefully still satiated as we speak]',
etc. - In English at least, such constructions may also be used
to describe an action that started in the past and still goes on
in the present moment: 'The king has ruled (or, has been ruling)
for many years.'
(Lesson 8 'Perfect tense. Pronominal endings . . .')

The course is available from Helge's Ardalambion site:
<http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/qcourse.htm>

I can highly recommend this course also for people with a very
rudimentary knowledge of grammar (though an interest in grammar is
needed) -- I have learned a lot not only about Quenya (enough to know
that there is far, far more to learn), but especially about English and
general Germannic grammar.

The relevant parts for this discussion are in lessons 7 and eight,
which can be found in .rtf format in this document:
<http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/less-b.rtf>

<