Chapter Of The Week LOTR Bk.6 Ch.9 (The Grey Havens)

32 views
Skip to first unread message

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Apr 17, 2005, 11:57:28 PM4/17/05
to
Regulars, visitors, and lurkers of AFT and RABT: here is the discussion
thread for the final chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, titled
"The Grey Havens."

For a complete listing of links to the archived discussions of previous
chapters, here is the COTW official website:
http://parasha.maoltuile.org

CHAPTER SUMMARY:
================

The chapter begins with the unhappy work of fixing up the Shire after the
defeat of the Ruffians. Fatty Bolger (no longer fat), the elderly widow
Lobelia Bracegirdle, and Mayor Wil Whitfoot are among the Hobbits let out of
the Lockholes. Lobelia is so grateful to Frodo that she returns Bag-End to
him and makes him her sole heir. Frodo serves for a time as Deputy Mayor and
the remaining Ruffians are rounded up and sent off. The Hobbits, showing an
amazing capacity for diligent work, undo the Ruffian constructions and
alterations before the end of the year.

The Ruffians had also cut the trees, and it is expected those will take
decades to grow back. Then Sam remembers his gift from Galadriel: a box
containing a silver nut and a fine powder. Sam carefully distributes the
powder around the Shire with each tree he plants. The powder turns out to be
a super-fertilizer that causes trees to grow swiftly and beautifully. The
silver nut is a Mallorn seed which takes the place of the Party Oak. The
year after the Scouring (S.R.1420) is an incredibly rich and fertile year in
general, even for children, apparently due to the lasting influence of
Galadriel's powder.

Bag-End is restored, and Frodo invites Sam to move in with his new wife
Rosie Cotton, with whom Sam begins to raise a family. Their first daughter,
Elanor, is named after a Lothlorien flower at Frodo's suggestion. Merry and
Pippin enjoy their popularity as the saviours of the Shire. Frodo, however,
becomes more and more withdrawn from Shire life, and still occasionally
feels ill from his wounding by the Mordor-blade.

In the autumn of S.R.1421 Bilbo reaches the age of 131, surpassing the Old
Took as the oldest Hobbit on record. So Frodo prepares to go to Rivendell
for the celebration, and leaves Sam the Red Book containing the story of the
War of the Ring, the final pages of which Sam is meant to fill. Frodo rides
out of the Shire with Sam riding along to see him off. Then up the road
coming toward them are Elrond, Galadriel, Bilbo, and many of the last
remaining High-Elves of Middle-Earth. Now it is revealed to Sam that Frodo
means to join Bilbo and the Elves on their final journey to the Grey Havens,
then across the water to the Undying Lands where the Valar dwell. Frodo
comforts the grieving Sam with the promise that he too may make the voyage
one day, but not yet, as he has his family to care for.

The group ride west through the Shire under cover of night, unnoticed by the
Hobbits, to the harbour at Mithlond. There Cirdan the Shipwright has a large
white ship waiting for them, and Gandalf is there to join them. Up the road
behind them come Merry and Pippin, at Gandalf's advisement, to join Sam in
seeing the ship off. Frodo says farewell to his three friends, and the
voyagers board the ship, which sails off into the night. Sam, Merry and
Pippin stand at the water's edge for a while, then head for home. Sam
arrives home the next day in time for the evening meal, and simply says to
Rosie and Elanor in typical, humble Hobbit fashion, "Well, I'm back."

SUGGESTED POINTS FOR DISCUSSION:
================================

-Do you feel there were any obvious loose ends in the story that were not
resolved by the end of this chapter?

-The Hobbits apparently found nothing left by the Ruffians worth keeping. In
writing this chapter, did Tolkien show a bias toward the simple country life
and a disdain for the modern industrial world? Was he expressing a secret
wish that everyone could do as the Hobbits did?

-Galadriel's powder is obviously magical, since no chemical fertilizer could
do all that this powder did. She also apparently knew what was happening in
the Shire before the Company left Lorien, since she provided Sam with
exactly what was needed that the Hobbits couldn't quickly do for themselves
(the restoration of the trees.) It was not an inappropriate interference
with Shire life, but an appropriate assist in undoing the unwelcome
interference of others.

-Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but Frodo
never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound seems to be part
of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent longing for adventure, and a
recognition that the quiet Shire life is no longer for him? Or is it a
weariness of the world in general, like the one that drives the Elves to
sail across the sea? Tolkien, as a World War One veteran, was certainly
familiar with the different reactions of himself and other soldiers after
returning home.

-Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice? Is
it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more heavily
than on other Elves?

-Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for death?
Many ancient cultures of our world certainly described death as a water
crossing in their mythology. To the Hobbits of the Shire, it might as well
be the same difference, since they will never see these two Hobbits again.
The fact that they pass through the Shire unnoticed by the Hobbits with
their keen senses seems to add an unworldly quality to this last voyage.

-Anything else you can think of!

================================
And so ends the discussion of the text portion of LOTR. The appendices are
still coming (and I am looking forward to those, being interested in the
"technical" details of Middle-Earth) but this is the end of the story. These
sixteen months have gone by faster than I thought they would. A long overdue
thanks to David Flood and Belba Grubb for maintaining the schedule page, to
each of our chapter presentation volunteers, and to the hundreds of
participants in the weekly discussions. Hopefully this series has given both
old and new LOTR fans an enjoyable way to share opinions and develop a
deeper understanding of the books.

The success and popularity of this series would seem to guarantee that we'll
be doing it again soon. And it's a good sign for the expected discussion
threads for the Silmarillion. As Bilbo says, "the road goes ever on."


aelfwina

unread,
Apr 19, 2005, 4:23:57 AM4/19/05
to

"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message
news:IeG8e.1052907$Xk.560286@pd7tw3no...

(snip of lovely summary)

> SUGGESTED POINTS FOR DISCUSSION:
> ================================
>
> -Do you feel there were any obvious loose ends in the story that were not
> resolved by the end of this chapter?

Oh goodness yes! This chapter covers two whole years, with a paucity of
detail only surpassed by the lack of detail found to cover nearly sixty
years in the first chapter and the seventeen in the second. The years
immediately post-Quest are incredibly full of unanswered questions: How did
the families of Merry and Pippin react to their return home? Why did Frodo
think it necessary to give Crickhollow to his cousins? Why did Frodo stay
with the Cottons while waiting for Bag End's restoration, instead of with
relatives? How did Paladin Took--or indeed the Shire--react to the news
that "the King has come back"? What were the means the two younger
Travellers used to finish off their task of "scouring"? How did Sam's
courtship with Rosie progress?
After a year of nearly day by day detail, this leaves *tons* of unanswered
questions...

>
> -The Hobbits apparently found nothing left by the Ruffians worth keeping.
> In writing this chapter, did Tolkien show a bias toward the simple country
> life and a disdain for the modern industrial world? Was he expressing a
> secret wish that everyone could do as the Hobbits did?

Well, considering that the Ruffians really did leave precious little: the
brick buildings were not only ugly, but were built with Men and not hobbit,
proportions, in mind, so they would have been unusable, and it was clear
that possibly only the first of the mills built actually had a real function
besides pollution. After all Sharkey's (Saruman's) purpose was *not* to
leave anything useful.

On the other hand there is no doubt that JRRT is here indulging his own
distaste for industrialization.

>
> -Galadriel's powder is obviously magical, since no chemical fertilizer
> could do all that this powder did. She also apparently knew what was
> happening in the Shire before the Company left Lorien, since she provided
> Sam with exactly what was needed that the Hobbits couldn't quickly do for
> themselves (the restoration of the trees.) It was not an inappropriate
> interference with Shire life, but an appropriate assist in undoing the
> unwelcome interference of others.

I agree. The hint is that this dust is actually the soil of Lothlorien, and
so is perhaps imbued by something affecting the flow of time. Time within
Lorien seemed slowed; this however seems to speed the passing of time.


>
> -Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but Frodo
> never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound seems to be
> part of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent longing for adventure,
> and a recognition that the quiet Shire life is no longer for him? Or is it
> a weariness of the world in general, like the one that drives the Elves to
> sail across the sea? Tolkien, as a World War One veteran, was certainly
> familiar with the different reactions of himself and other soldiers after
> returning home.

I don't know that Merry and Pippin were necessarily *happier*; they seem
able to adjust better, but note that they did *not* move back in with their
own families; also note that according to later records, they did not end
their own days in the Shire.
I find Frodo's increasing withdrawal also apparent by the very lack of
detail I mentioned in the answer to the first question. If he is considered
to be the one who wrote this in the Red Book, I think that it can be seen in
the rather detached way he writes of himself.
I do not think it is a longing for more adventure, but an increasing sense
that he has lost the best part of himself due to the things that happened to
him.

This is I think very much affected by JRRT's own war experiences.

>
> -Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
> this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice?
> Is it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more
> heavily than on other Elves?

I've always wondered about that myself. I have never been able to come up
with any really plausible answers.

>
> -Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for death?

No, I don't think so; JRRT himself said they did not at that time die.

> Many ancient cultures of our world certainly described death as a water
> crossing in their mythology. To the Hobbits of the Shire, it might as well
> be the same difference, since they will never see these two Hobbits again.

Yes, for those left behind, it was very much as though they were dead. I am
sure they grieved as if they were.


> The fact that they pass through the Shire unnoticed by the Hobbits with
> their keen senses seems to add an unworldly quality to this last voyage.
>

Yet the Elves have been passing virtually unnoticed through the Shire for
ages. Think of the Elves in "Three's Company", and the hint that of hobbits
in the Shire, only Bilbo ever saw any of the other Elves passing through.
That said, there is certainly a dream-like quality to the departure.

> -Anything else you can think of!

Most readers--myself included--find this chapter incredibly sad, moving and
bittersweet. I know I am not the only one moved to tears when I read it.
Yet JRRT himself thought of this as a "happy" ending!
Having lived for so many decades with his creation, it makes me wonder what
he had in store for the hobbits on their arrival in Tol Erresea. He must
have had, at least in his own head, some idea of how they would somehow find
happiness and healing there for a time before departing the circles of Arda.

And all this is then brought back down to earth by Sam's final words: "Well,
I'm back". Does the departure of Frodo finally free Sam to be fully back in
the Shire?

>
> ================================
> And so ends the discussion of the text portion of LOTR. The appendices are
> still coming (and I am looking forward to those, being interested in the
> "technical" details of Middle-Earth)

I'm looking forward to those as well. Especially considering the depth of
scholarship some of our contributors have.

but this is the end of the story. These
> sixteen months have gone by faster than I thought they would. A long
> overdue thanks to David Flood and Belba Grubb for maintaining the schedule
> page, to each of our chapter presentation volunteers, and to the hundreds
> of participants in the weekly discussions. Hopefully this series has given
> both old and new LOTR fans an enjoyable way to share opinions and develop
> a deeper understanding of the books.

Oh, I have enjoyed it *immensely*! Even on those chapters on which I did
not personally comment, I have read the insights of others. It has caused
me to think of things I never thought of before, and notice things I never
saw before.

>
> The success and popularity of this series would seem to guarantee that
> we'll be doing it again soon. And it's a good sign for the expected
> discussion threads for the Silmarillion. As Bilbo says, "the road goes
> ever on."

Oh, yes! I'm looking forward to that, as I hope it will finally enable me
to come to a sense of understanding with The Silmarillion.

Thank *YOU* for coming up with this wonderful idea to start with!
>
>


Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 9:45:36 AM4/18/05
to
"aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message
>news:IeG8e.1052907$Xk.560286@pd7tw3no...
>> -Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
>> this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice?
>> Is it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more
>> heavily than on other Elves?
>
>I've always wondered about that myself. I have never been able to come up
>with any really plausible answers.

Some _partial_ answers:

(1) He was the oldest Elf in Middle-earth, I believe -- at least
the oldest one we know by name, older even than Galadriel who was
born in Valinor. He was part of the Great March westward and was
one of the original Eglath, the Teleri left behind when the other
Elves crossed the Sea. (In some versions of the story, he was told
by the Valar to stay in Middle-earth.)

(2) Many Elves had silver hair naturally. I'm not sure I could tell
the difference between silver hair and grey hair just by looking.
:-)

(3) I always think of our first sight of Elrond in /The Hobbit/ --
he's described among other adjectives as "venerable as a king of
dwarves." That suggests the appearance of age -- you wouldn't
describe a young-looking person as "venerable". And Cirdan had
lived a whole Age longer than Elrond.

These aren't complete or satisfying answers, I feel. Can anyone
improve on them?

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

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 9:49:16 AM4/18/05
to
"aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>And all this is then brought back down to earth by Sam's final words: "Well,
>I'm back". Does the departure of Frodo finally free Sam to be fully back in
>the Shire?

I don't think so. As they set out from the Shire, Frodo speaks of
him as "torn in two" and adds that he won't always be, also that
Sam's "time may come". The implication is that Sam will eventually
cross the Sea as well, though I'm not clear on how this could
happen.

Michael Graf

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 1:57:44 PM4/18/05
to
Guten Abend!

Stan Brown schrieb:

> Some _partial_ answers:
>
> (1) He was the oldest Elf in Middle-earth, I believe -- at least
> the oldest one we know by name, older even than Galadriel who was
> born in Valinor. He was part of the Great March westward and was
> one of the original Eglath, the Teleri left behind when the other
> Elves crossed the Sea. (In some versions of the story, he was told
> by the Valar to stay in Middle-earth.)

If that is correct (I know no other sources than the SIL itself), then
maybe that is a reason for his "ageing". He had been commanded by the
Valar not only to stay in ME, but also to abide near its shores until
"the last ship sails". Maybe this is a kind of (undeserved) torment for
him, as we know from Legolas that the sea-longing, once awake, couldn't
be satuated again in the hearts of the Sindar (and the Nandor).
btw: Does THOME or UT say something about the lineage of Celeborn? Could
it be that his age was comparable to that of Cirdan?

> These aren't complete or satisfying answers, I feel. Can anyone
> improve on them?

No improvement, just ideas. :-)

--
We will dance upon the water
We will walk upon the wind
We will tear down all the borders
Let the holy time begin (SPOCK'S BEARD)

AC

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 2:04:18 PM4/18/05
to
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT,
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

<snip>

> -The Hobbits apparently found nothing left by the Ruffians worth keeping. In
> writing this chapter, did Tolkien show a bias toward the simple country life
> and a disdain for the modern industrial world? Was he expressing a secret
> wish that everyone could do as the Hobbits did?

Very definitely he had a bias to that life, and specifically to his ideal of
the English country life. I do think that he did wish that the idealic life
that he had had as a small boy with his mother was a preferred way to live.

<snip>

> -Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but Frodo
> never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound seems to be part
> of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent longing for adventure, and a
> recognition that the quiet Shire life is no longer for him? Or is it a
> weariness of the world in general, like the one that drives the Elves to
> sail across the sea? Tolkien, as a World War One veteran, was certainly
> familiar with the different reactions of himself and other soldiers after
> returning home.

I think for Frodo that wound and bite, and the mere struggle to reach
Sammath Naur with the Ring had altered him to the point where he was not
really one of the Shirefolk any more. There was no healing for him, no
happy end, not in Mortal Lands. I don't think he retains any longing for
adventure.

>
> -Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
> this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice? Is
> it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more heavily
> than on other Elves?

It caused Tolkien some trouble trying to reconcile it with immortal Elves.

>
> -Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for death?
> Many ancient cultures of our world certainly described death as a water
> crossing in their mythology. To the Hobbits of the Shire, it might as well
> be the same difference, since they will never see these two Hobbits again.
> The fact that they pass through the Shire unnoticed by the Hobbits with
> their keen senses seems to add an unworldly quality to this last voyage.

My understanding is that passing into the Western Sea is a rather old motif
in Northern Europe legend. It is certain that Bilbo and Frodo will die, but
now they have a brief respite in a place as close to heaven as one would
find within Ea.

>
> -Anything else you can think of!

I'd like to mention again how this chapter not only ends LotR, but is also,
in a way, a conclusion of the entire mythos. The time of Men has now come.
Elrond, and likely most of the Noldor left in Middle Earth are now gone.

>
>================================
> And so ends the discussion of the text portion of LOTR. The appendices are
> still coming (and I am looking forward to those, being interested in the
> "technical" details of Middle-Earth) but this is the end of the story. These
> sixteen months have gone by faster than I thought they would. A long overdue
> thanks to David Flood and Belba Grubb for maintaining the schedule page, to
> each of our chapter presentation volunteers, and to the hundreds of
> participants in the weekly discussions. Hopefully this series has given both
> old and new LOTR fans an enjoyable way to share opinions and develop a
> deeper understanding of the books.
>
> The success and popularity of this series would seem to guarantee that we'll
> be doing it again soon. And it's a good sign for the expected discussion
> threads for the Silmarillion. As Bilbo says, "the road goes ever on."

And again, I would like to thank you. This has been an enormously rich and
rewarding project that revealed seldom considered features even in a book
like the Hobbit. It's a real testament to our group here that we finished
it off with few interruptions. There are darn few newsgroups on the net
that have the kind of contributors we have here.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Michele Fry

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 2:18:00 PM4/18/05
to
In article <slrnd67tl0.4ir....@homo.sapiens.terrificus>, AC
<mightym...@hotmail.com> writes

>Very definitely he had a bias to that life, and specifically to his ideal of
>the English country life. I do think that he did wish that the idealic life
>that he had had as a small boy with his mother was a preferred way to live.

Interesting word - idealic - is that a combination of idyllic and
idealised ? Enquiring mind wishes to know !

Michele
==
Leisure without literature is death, or rather the burial of a living
[person].
- Seneca
==
Now reading: A Question of Time - Verlyn Flieger
Quicksilver Rising - Stan Nicholls

the softrat

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 2:44:21 PM4/18/05
to
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 09:45:36 -0400, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>
>(2) Many Elves had silver hair naturally. I'm not sure I could tell
>the difference between silver hair and grey hair just by looking.
>:-)
>
Yeah: *my* hair is turning silver, not grey.

At least that's what I tell SWMBO.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
I do not have my head in the sand. I prefer having my nose in a
book.

AC

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 2:50:04 PM4/18/05
to
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 19:18:00 +0100,
Michele Fry <mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <slrnd67tl0.4ir....@homo.sapiens.terrificus>, AC
><mightym...@hotmail.com> writes
>
>>Very definitely he had a bias to that life, and specifically to his ideal of
>>the English country life. I do think that he did wish that the idealic life
>>that he had had as a small boy with his mother was a preferred way to live.
>
> Interesting word - idealic - is that a combination of idyllic and
> idealised ? Enquiring mind wishes to know !

How 'bout just bad spleling.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Michele Fry

unread,
Apr 18, 2005, 3:20:43 PM4/18/05
to
In article <slrnd680as.4ir....@homo.sapiens.terrificus>, AC
<mightym...@hotmail.com> writes

>How 'bout just bad spleling.

I was being charitable ! :-D

Actually, I spend 7.5 hours a day, four days a week in correcting other
people's poor spelling, grammar and punctuation, so I am familiar with
nearly all the oddities of typing one can have (including the marvellous
use of the word "simultaneously" for "spontaneously" the other day,
which almost caused me to choke on my laughter and fall off my chair)...

Henriette

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 4:37:28 AM4/20/05
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:
> Regulars, visitors, and lurkers of AFT and RABT: here is the
discussion
> thread for the final chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings,
titled
> "The Grey Havens."
(snip)

Nice to see you again 'Doc', and thank you for wonderfully facilitating
this melancholic chapter. What I have also really enjoyed, where your
conclusive posts at the end of several chapter discussions (in the
'past'). That must have been a lot of work, but it was very insightful!

Henriette

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 7:48:29 AM4/20/05
to
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

<snip>

>-Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but Frodo

>never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound seems to be part
>of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent longing for adventure, and a
>recognition that the quiet Shire life is no longer for him? Or is it a
>weariness of the world in general, like the one that drives the Elves to
>sail across the sea? Tolkien, as a World War One veteran, was certainly
>familiar with the different reactions of himself and other soldiers after
>returning home.

I think JRRT's wartime experience is certainly a very big part of the
matter underlying his depiction of Frodo after the War of the Ring.
It occurred to me, though, that Frodo was 50 when he started out on
his quest (I think; haven't confirmed the exact dates, but he
certainly was around that age). Recently passed that milestone myself
and I do find that one can see more deeply some of the hard things in
the world (as well as better appreciate the many good things it
contains, of course). And one is now old enough to realize that there
are some evils that cannot be cured, good guys don't always win, and
so forth. And one has to deal with that fact and it does make one a
wee bit grimmer, because the realization is beginning to come that
basically in one's own story the point is coming where it will soon be
all downhill:

But yesterday I should have thought me blest
To stand high-pinnacled upon the peak
Of middle life and look adown the bleak
And unfamiliar foreslope to the West,
Where solemn shadows all the land invest
And stilly voices, half-remembered, speak
Unfinished prophecy, and witch-fires freak
The haunted twilight of the Dark of Rest.
Yea, yesterday my soul was all aflame
To stay the shadow on the dial’s face
At manhood’s noonmark!
Now, in God His name I chide aloud the little interspace
Disparting me from Certitude, and fain
Would know the dream and vision ne’er again.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," under
"Yesterday"

JRRT was at about this same age when he was writing this, wasn't he?
I suspect that he was probably making some of the realizations then
that I am now. Certainly there is an element reminiscent of PTSD in
Frodo's pain upon his return to the Shire, but I think also there's
some recognition that he would "fain..know the dream and vision ne'er
again." And this is where JRRT's faith is perhaps revealed most
clearly in "The Lord of the Rings" (and oddly enough also most
obscurely), for Frodo does not have to go down that "unfamiliar
foreslope to the West" that is now stretching before him but through
divine grace is instead allowed to take the same Straight Path that
JRRT's "men before the Fall" have been granted.

So really for him it is a happy ending -- the best in the book
actually, though Sam's is not far behind -- although it is so
difficult to handle for those of us still stuck in the dark,
uncomprehending (and young, as Merry and Pippin still are, and Sam,
too, at the time of the departure), on this near shore.

Barb


aelfwina

unread,
Apr 21, 2005, 9:55:43 AM4/21/05
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:3chs6gF...@individual.net...

> "aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>And all this is then brought back down to earth by Sam's final words:
>>"Well,
>>I'm back". Does the departure of Frodo finally free Sam to be fully back
>>in
>>the Shire?
>
> I don't think so. As they set out from the Shire, Frodo speaks of
> him as "torn in two" and adds that he won't always be, also that
> Sam's "time may come". The implication is that Sam will eventually
> cross the Sea as well, though I'm not clear on how this could
> happen.

It's fairly well accepted that is what JRRT meant, even though he used
"fudge" words to indicate that it was not known for certain. As to how, I
think that grace was obtained for Sam at the same time as Frodo's and
Bilbo's, only he was allowed to delay his departure until he had fulfilled
his life in the Shire. (And after all, Elrond's sons were also allowed to
delay their decision--perhaps Sam left with them? Hmmm...)
Barbara

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 4:07:07 PM4/20/05
to
AC slrnd67tl0.4ir....@homo.sapiens.terrificus creatively
typed:

> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>
> <snip>
> I'd like to mention again how this chapter not only ends LotR, but
> is also, in a way, a conclusion of the entire mythos. The time of
> Men has now come. Elrond, and likely most of the Noldor left in
> Middle Earth are now gone.

I wholeheartedly agree. To me, the conclusion is about magic leaving
the world. To quote tweenage Elanor from the unpublished epilogue:
"'I was afraid they [the Elves] were all sailing away, Sam-dad. Then
soon there would be none here; and then everywhere would be just
places, and...'
'And what, Elanorelle?'
'And the light would have faded.'
'I know,' said Sam. 'The light is fading, Elanorelle.'

Ciaran S.
--
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at?
Guildenstern: Words, words. They're all we have to go on.
- t.stoppard


Shanahan

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 4:01:06 PM4/20/05
to
aelfwina 1166tgb...@corp.supernews.com creatively typed:

> "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

>> -The Hobbits apparently found nothing left by the Ruffians worth
>> keeping. In writing this chapter, did Tolkien show a bias toward
>> the simple country life and a disdain for the modern industrial
>> world? Was he expressing a secret wish that everyone could do as
>> the Hobbits did?
>
> Well, considering that the Ruffians really did leave precious
> little: the brick buildings were not only ugly, but were built with
> Men and not hobbit, proportions, in mind, so they would have been
> unusable, and it was clear that possibly only the first of the mills

But the hobbits did use the bricks, to "line many an old hole".

>> -Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should
>> he have this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it
>> perhaps by choice? Is it because the troubles of the past Ages have
>> weighed on him more heavily than on other Elves?
>
> I've always wondered about that myself. I have never been able to
> come up with any really plausible answers.

Somewhere in MR (I think), JRRT says that the Elves' fear slowly
'burned out' their hroar, so maybe this is a sign of that happening to
Cirdan. Although, IIRC, the result of this burning out was that the
Elves faded to invisibility, not that they grew grey beards. But maybe
they aged a bit, as Men do, first. Just a guess.

> And all this is then brought back down to earth by Sam's final
> words: "Well, I'm back". Does the departure of Frodo finally free
> Sam to be fully back in the Shire?

Given the quotes about the sound of the waves on the shores of
Middle-earth sinking deep into Sam's soul, especially in the
unpublished epilogue when he hears the waves even seventeen years
later, I'd say no, a bit of Sam always remains with Frodo. There's also
the half-promise Frodo makes to Sam that perhaps his time will come
too, as he was a Ringbearer even if only for a short while.

Ciaran S.
--
Karl Marx's Shopping List:
- Dessert for potluck at Friedrich's
- Party favors for after the Revolution
- Ham and milk
- At pharmacy - find opiate antidote
- Stuff for Everybody


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 6:42:00 PM4/20/05
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:

<snip>

> I think JRRT's wartime experience is certainly a very big part of the
> matter underlying his depiction of Frodo after the War of the Ring.

But maybe not all of it. There seem to be some areas he couldn't bring
himself to write about. At least not in as plain a way as he does with
Frodo and the hobbits returning to the Shire.

> It occurred to me, though, that Frodo was 50 when he started out on
> his quest (I think; haven't confirmed the exact dates, but he
> certainly was around that age). Recently passed that milestone myself
> and I do find that one can see more deeply some of the hard things in
> the world (as well as better appreciate the many good things it
> contains, of course). And one is now old enough to realize that there
> are some evils that cannot be cured, good guys don't always win, and
> so forth. And one has to deal with that fact and it does make one a
> wee bit grimmer, because the realization is beginning to come that
> basically in one's own story the point is coming where it will soon be
> all downhill

<snip nice quote>

This is a point well made, but I wonder where in all this you can place
any response to the tragedy of lost youth? Literally lost youth. People
who die young (for whatever reason), particularly the youth that died in
World War I, and which included two close friends of Tolkien. Those that
didn't reach the age of 50.

Or am I wrong? Does Tolkien anywhere write about people dying young in
war? I can only think of this passage from /The Hobbit/ where the death
of elves is lamented thus:

"Already behind him among the goblin dead lay many men and many dwarves,
and many a fair elf that should have lived yet long ages merrily in the
wood." (The Clouds Burst)

I am reminded of a question that was raised about the fact that Boromir
dies, but none of the other members of the Fellowship die. In
particular, the four hobbits, a fellowship reminiscent in number, if
little else, of the TCBS, the all-too brief literary fellowship that
Tolkien knew in his youth. That was ripped apart by World War I, but
Tolkien brings the four hobbits safely back to the Shire. I remember one
reply that said that Tolkien would almost certainly have been quite
unable to write about the death of one of those hobbits. They all _had_
to return safely. Which makes Frodo's later departure all the more
poignant.

It seems to me that the feelings of Frodo after returning are explicated
more clearly, or at least at greater length, than the feelings of grief
and sorrow that Frodo's departure evoked. The real feeling of loss in
Tolkien's works seems to come from a broader theme that echoes
throughout the book. A permeating sense of loss and change.

Though it is almost impossible not to be moved by the description of Sam
after Frodo's departure:

"...as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that
was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night,
hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of
Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart."

Christopher

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


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 20, 2005, 6:54:02 PM4/20/05
to
Shanahan <pogu...@ITbluefrog.com> wrote:
> AC slrnd67tl0.4ir....@homo.sapiens.terrificus creatively
> typed:
>> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>>
>> <snip>
>> I'd like to mention again how this chapter not only ends LotR, but
>> is also, in a way, a conclusion of the entire mythos. The time of
>> Men has now come. Elrond, and likely most of the Noldor left in
>> Middle Earth are now gone.
>
> I wholeheartedly agree. To me, the conclusion is about magic leaving
> the world. To quote tweenage Elanor from the unpublished epilogue:
> "'I was afraid they [the Elves] were all sailing away, Sam-dad. Then
> soon there would be none here; and then everywhere would be just
> places, and...'
> 'And what, Elanorelle?'
> 'And the light would have faded.'
> 'I know,' said Sam. 'The light is fading, Elanorelle.'

WHAT!! How could Sam have said that! I know it is true, but I bet Elanor
cried herself to sleep for weeks afterwards! It reminds me of an essay
(from 'Meditations on Middle-earth') where someone described the
heartfelt and shocked reaction of his young son (to whom he had just
finished reading LotR) to the final words "Well, I'm back." The son
cried in horror "Nooo!". This is presumably horror at realising that
Frodo _really_ _is_ gone, and the story has now ended. What a shocking
ending if you are unprepared for it and are used to the happy innocent
tales of childhood.

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Apr 22, 2005, 1:09:26 AM4/22/05
to
On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 03:23:57 -0500, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
wrote:

>Why did Frodo stay
>with the Cottons while waiting for Bag End's restoration, instead of with
>relatives?

Probably because Sam would go with him either way and Sam would
certainly be happier with the Cottons.

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

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Apr 22, 2005, 1:09:22 AM4/22/05
to
On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

>The chapter begins with the unhappy work of fixing up the Shire after the
>defeat of the Ruffians. Fatty Bolger (no longer fat), the elderly widow
>Lobelia Bracegirdle, and Mayor Wil Whitfoot are among the Hobbits let out of
>the Lockholes. Lobelia is so grateful to Frodo that she returns Bag-End to
>him and makes him her sole heir.

Not sure how much gratitude had to do with giving up Bag-End. The
place would have some rather unpleasant associations for her now.

> The
>year after the Scouring (S.R.1420) is an incredibly rich and fertile year in
>general, even for children, apparently due to the lasting influence of
>Galadriel's powder.

It also results in fair-haired children all over the place, genetics
be damned.

>In the autumn of S.R.1421 Bilbo reaches the age of 131, surpassing the Old
>Took as the oldest Hobbit on record.

With three witnesses (Merry, Pippin, and Sam) that he was still alive,
in spite of not having been seen in the Shire for ages. (I wonder if
the Shire records required more than one witness and that's another
reason why Gandalf let Merry and Pippin in on things.)

>So Frodo prepares to go to Rivendell
>for the celebration, and leaves Sam the Red Book containing the story of the
>War of the Ring, the final pages of which Sam is meant to fill.

Frodo is halfway through Chapter 80 when he leaves off. If we assume
these correspond to the chapters in our Hobbit and LOTR, we find Frodo
has written well beyond the point where his personal POV disappears in
our narrative. Did Sam rewrite a few chapters, did Frodo write them
impersonally using Sam's recollections as his basis, or should we
assume there is some additional material in there that we missed or
that our chapter count otherwise differs from the source material?

>-Do you feel there were any obvious loose ends in the story that were not
>resolved by the end of this chapter?

Yes.

>-The Hobbits apparently found nothing left by the Ruffians worth keeping.

Bricks. The things they had "gathered" from the Hobbits and neglected
to "share". They didn't really leave much except destruction. They
*didn't* industrialize, they made a half-hearted start and then just
trashed the place on Sharkey's orders.

>In
>writing this chapter, did Tolkien show a bias toward the simple country life
>and a disdain for the modern industrial world? Was he expressing a secret
>wish that everyone could do as the Hobbits did?

If this was meant as a condemnation of industrialization, it would be
a rather poor one, as there is no industrial revolution here. It is,
however, an excellent picture of petty-minded vengeance.

>-Galadriel's powder is obviously magical, since no chemical fertilizer could
>do all that this powder did. She also apparently knew what was happening in
>the Shire before the Company left Lorien, since she provided Sam with
>exactly what was needed that the Hobbits couldn't quickly do for themselves
>(the restoration of the trees.) It was not an inappropriate interference
>with Shire life, but an appropriate assist in undoing the unwelcome
>interference of others.

Or maybe she just gave an appropriate gift for a gardener and it
turned out even better than planned, as seems common enough for the
Wise in Middle-Earth.

>-Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but Frodo
>never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound seems to be part
>of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent longing for adventure, and a
>recognition that the quiet Shire life is no longer for him? Or is it a
>weariness of the world in general, like the one that drives the Elves to
>sail across the sea?

Not adventure, no. He had physical wounds and more-than-physical
wounds. He had been partly wraithed by Morgul knife, stung be Shelob,
and the Ring had totally got its claw into him and he was suffering
withdrawal. Not to mention guilt, disappointment as the lack of
recognition in his homeland, not fitting in, missing Bilbo (a large
part of his even wanting to leave the Shire in the first place),
missing finger, and tendency to shudder at the mention of 'birthday
presents'.

>-Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
>this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice? Is
>it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more heavily
>than on other Elves?

Bah. That really-old stuff is a *ruse* I tell you! I know why he has a
beard. Galadriel wasn't the first Elf to think Dwarves are sexy and
Cirdan's the result.

>-Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for death?

No. I think it has its roots in similar mythological journeys which
are metaphors for death, but I don't think it plays that part in
Tolkien's world at all.

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

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 22, 2005, 2:50:42 AM4/22/05
to
R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
> <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

<snip>

>> So Frodo prepares to go to Rivendell for the celebration

I wondered where this came from. The bit about Frodo preparing to go to
Rivendell. I remember a discussion where my impression that the journey
from the Shire to the Grey Havens being only a day or two was corrected
to a week or so (especially given Frodo's words to Sam: "Tell Rose you
won't be away very long, not more than a fortnight"), and I now realise
(from looking at the map of the Shire in /Fellowship/) that they set out
south and east from Bag End and Hobbiton, but I always thought, despite
Sam saying "I wish I could go with you all the way to Rivendell"
(implying that the journey would take longer than a fortnight), that
Frodo knew all along that he was not going to Rivendell.

And I'm not even sure that Sam really thought they were going to
Rivendell. After all, there is a comment "Sam did not ask where they
were going: he thought he could guess". Though what Sam is guessing, I
have no idea. It does not seem he had thought of the Grey Havens, given
the later comment: "though at last [Sam] understood what was happening".

>> and leaves Sam the Red Book containing the
>> story of the War of the Ring, the final pages of which Sam is meant
>> to fill.
>
> Frodo is halfway through Chapter 80 when he leaves off. If we assume
> these correspond to the chapters in our Hobbit and LOTR, we find Frodo
> has written well beyond the point where his personal POV disappears in
> our narrative. Did Sam rewrite a few chapters, did Frodo write them
> impersonally using Sam's recollections as his basis, or should we
> assume there is some additional material in there that we missed or
> that our chapter count otherwise differs from the source material?

Hmm. /The Hobbit/ has 19 chapters. /The Lord of the Rings/ has 62. That
is a total of 81. So it looks like Frodo stopped halfway through the
Scouring chapter. Which seems wrong. I don't have any explanation. One
obvious chapter for Sam to add would be the "Choices of Master Samwise"
chapter. It would make sense that he wouldn't add that until later. I
wonder if he ever told Frodo what happened in that chapter, and the
choices he made?

<snip>

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2005, 7:25:26 AM4/22/05
to
R. Dan Henry wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" wrote:

> > The
> >year after the Scouring (S.R.1420) is an incredibly rich and fertile
year in
> >general, even for children, apparently due to the lasting influence
of
> >Galadriel's powder.
>
> It also results in fair-haired children all over the place, genetics
> be damned.

LOL!


> >-Do you feel there were any obvious loose ends in the story that
were not
> >resolved by the end of this chapter?
>
> Yes.
>

LOL!
(snip)


> missing finger, and tendency to shudder at the mention of 'birthday
> presents'.
>

This is a very funny post!

Henriette

aelfwina

unread,
Apr 23, 2005, 12:38:54 PM4/23/05
to

"R. Dan Henry" <danh...@inreach.com> wrote in message
news:a1dg61pr6ta8ip5d4...@4ax.com...

> On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 03:23:57 -0500, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
> wrote:
>
>>Why did Frodo stay
>>with the Cottons while waiting for Bag End's restoration, instead of with
>>relatives?
>
> Probably because Sam would go with him either way and Sam would
> certainly be happier with the Cottons.

Also Bywater was closer to Hobbiton, and the work involved in restoring Bag
End and its environs, as well as being more centrally located than Buckland,
since Frodo was now interim Mayor. (And in spite of what he says about it
in the Red Book, I suspect he had a deal more work to do than just restoring
the Post and firing Shirriffs. But by this time he has become more
self-effacing than Sam.)
Barbara

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


Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 23, 2005, 1:56:20 PM4/23/05
to
"R. Dan Henry" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
><eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>> The
>>year after the Scouring (S.R.1420) is an incredibly rich and fertile year in
>>general, even for children, apparently due to the lasting influence of
>>Galadriel's powder.
>
>It also results in fair-haired children all over the place, genetics
>be damned.

Perhaps the dust (or the mallorn pollen) contained recombinant DNA.

We'll have to wait for HoME LXVII to find out.:-)

TT Arvind

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 5:39:03 AM4/24/05
to
Wes ğu aelfwina hal!

> > -Cirdan is described as a grey-haired, old-looking Elf. Why should he have
> > this unique appearance among the immortal Elves? Is it perhaps by choice?
> > Is it because the troubles of the past Ages have weighed on him more
> > heavily than on other Elves?
>
> I've always wondered about that myself. I have never been able to come up
> with any really plausible answers.

The notes to the Shibboleth of Feanor (published in Vinya Tengwar 41)
states that some Elves grew beards in the third stage of their lives.
Cirdan *is* the oldest Elf we see, so it is quite possible that all old
elves look like he does. Could elves possibly age faster in Middle
Earth than in Valinor?

Incidentally, Feanor's father-in-law is also mentioned as having a
(reddish-brown) beard, which was apparently quite exceptional for an elf
as young as he then was (in the second stage of his life).

--
Arvind

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four
tellers?

Taemon

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 7:45:50 AM4/24/05
to
TT Arvind wrote:

> The notes to the Shibboleth of Feanor (published in Vinya
> Tengwar 41)
> states that some Elves grew beards in the third stage of their
> lives.
> Cirdan *is* the oldest Elf we see, so it is quite possible that
> all
> old elves look like he does.

It doesn't make sense for immortal beings to grow old. It means
you'll be old for practically your whole life. Beard, alright,
but old? No.

T.


TT Arvind

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 7:45:07 AM4/24/05
to
Wes ðu Taemon hal!

Why is being old in appearance for most of your life (but not physically
less able in any way) any worse than being young in appearance for most
of your life? Elves start off looking like children, but they don't
stay that way for their entire lives either.

If I were to launch into utterly unsupported speculation, I might say
that an elvish hroa as it "aged" settled into an appearance that most
suited the evolved personality of the fea. Cirdan's appearance is more
suggestive of wisdom and dedication to a task than of weariness ("his
eyes were keen as stars"), and reflects what he has done and will
continue doing with his life. A foppish elf in the third stage of his
or her life would, OTOH, still look like a fop.

--
Arvind

Parker's Law: Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

Taemon

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 11:58:13 AM4/24/05
to
TT Arvind wrote:

> Wes ðu Taemon hal!
>> TT Arvind wrote:
>>> The notes to the Shibboleth of Feanor (published in Vinya
>>> Tengwar 41) states that some Elves grew beards in the third
>>> stage of
>>> their lives. Cirdan *is* the oldest Elf we see, so it is
>>> quite possible that
>>> all old elves look like he does.
>> It doesn't make sense for immortal beings to grow old. It
>> means
>> you'll be old for practically your whole life. Beard, alright,
>> but old? No.
> Why is being old in appearance for most of your life (but not
> physically less able in any way) any worse than being young in
> appearance for most of your life?

Note the parentheses!

> If I were to launch into utterly unsupported speculation, I
> might say
> that an elvish hroa as it "aged" settled into an appearance
> that most
> suited the evolved personality of the fea.

That I like. Like you assume your "own" age.

T.


Shanahan

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 12:14:09 PM4/24/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer typed:
> Shanahan <pogu...@ITbluefrog.com> wrote:
>> AC typed:

>>> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>>>
>>> I'd like to mention again how this chapter not only ends LotR, but
>>> is also, in a way, a conclusion of the entire mythos. The time of
>>> Men has now come. Elrond, and likely most of the Noldor left in
>>> Middle Earth are now gone.
>>
>> I wholeheartedly agree. To me, the conclusion is about magic leaving
>> the world. To quote tweenage Elanor from the unpublished epilogue:
>> "'I was afraid they [the Elves] were all sailing away, Sam-dad. Then
>> soon there would be none here; and then everywhere would be just
>> places, and...'
>> 'And what, Elanorelle?'
>> 'And the light would have faded.'
>> 'I know,' said Sam. 'The light is fading, Elanorelle.'
>
> WHAT!! How could Sam have said that! I know it is true, but I bet
> Elanor cried herself to sleep for weeks afterwards! It reminds me of
> an essay (from 'Meditations on Middle-earth') where someone
> described the heartfelt and shocked reaction of his young son (to
> whom he had just finished reading LotR) to the final words "Well,
> I'm back." The son cried in horror "Nooo!". This is presumably
> horror at realising that Frodo _really_ _is_ gone, and the story has
> now ended. What a shocking ending if you are unprepared for it and
> are used to the happy innocent tales of childhood.

Ah, but remember, happy innocent tales of childhood were a Victorian
invention, a perversion of what folktales have historically taught
children (and adults): that there is evil, and that bad things do
happen.
To quote JRRT from /On Fairy Stories/ :
"They should not be spared it - unless they are spared the whole
story until their digestions are stronger."

(Besides, don't worry, Sam doesn't leave it there. He goes on to
comfort his daughter with the realization that the light is fading only
slowly, and there will be plenty of time for her to see both magic and
Elves in her lifetime.) Pity us, who live wholly without either. A
woman asked me once if LotR had "a happy ending", and I couldn't answer
her.

Ciaran S.
--
"Technically, a cat locked in a box may be alive or it may be dead
You never know until you look. In fact, the mere
act of opening the box will determine the state
of the cat, although in this case there were three
determinate states the cat could be in:
these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious."
- t. pratchett, /Lords and Ladies/


the softrat

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 6:23:22 PM4/24/05
to

Ha!

What do you know, you Child, you?

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--

Chairman: Animals for the Ethical Treatment of People

Tamf Moo

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 5:42:19 PM4/24/05
to
Shanahan wrote:

* Tolkien


>>>'And what, Elanorelle?'
>>>'And the light would have faded.'
>>>'I know,' said Sam. 'The light is fading, Elanorelle.'

> (Besides, don't worry, Sam doesn't leave it there. He goes on to


> comfort his daughter with the realization that the light is fading only
> slowly, and there will be plenty of time for her to see both magic and
> Elves in her lifetime.) Pity us, who live wholly without either. A
> woman asked me once if LotR had "a happy ending", and I couldn't answer
> her.

wholly without magic? what book have we been discussing for the last few
years? imagine what life would have been like *without* LOTR, and then
tell me there is no magice left!

tamf

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Apr 24, 2005, 8:32:21 PM4/24/05
to

Shanahan wrote:

> Ah, but remember, happy innocent tales of childhood were a Victorian
> invention, a perversion of what folktales have historically taught
> children (and adults): that there is evil, and that bad things do
> happen.
> To quote JRRT from /On Fairy Stories/ :
> "They should not be spared it - unless they are spared the whole
> story until their digestions are stronger."
>
> (Besides, don't worry, Sam doesn't leave it there. He goes on to
> comfort his daughter with the realization that the light is fading
only
> slowly, and there will be plenty of time for her to see both magic
and
> Elves in her lifetime.) Pity us, who live wholly without either. A
> woman asked me once if LotR had "a happy ending", and I couldn't
answer
> her.

tolkien, fwiw, thought it didn't. he said he knew someone who only
read it at lent, "because it it so hard and bitter" (somewhere in
Letters).

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 1:51:28 AM4/25/05
to
Count Menelvagor 1114389141....@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com
creatively typed:
> Shanahan wrote:
>
<snip>

>> only slowly, and there will be plenty of time for her to see both
>> magic and Elves in her lifetime.) Pity us, who live wholly without
>> either. A woman asked me once if LotR had "a happy ending", and I
>> couldn't answer her.
>
> tolkien, fwiw, thought it didn't. he said he knew someone who only
> read it at lent, "because it it so hard and bitter" (somewhere in
> Letters).

A similar quote also from Letters:
"My work has escaped from my control, and I have produced a monster: an
immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and very terrifying romance,"

The woman was so thrilled with the rush of first reading, just about to
reach Fangorn Forest and the Ents, enthusiastic about the FotR movie --
I just couldn't bring myself to tell her just how much bitter is mixed
with the sweet in the ending. So I evaded her question, best she
eventually answer it for herself.

Ciaran S.
--
"My hideous progeny..."
- Mary Shelley on /Frankenstein/

pippa...@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 6:57:02 AM4/25/05
to
Taemon:

>It doesn't make sense for immortal beings to grow old. It means
>you'll be old for practically your whole life. Beard, alright,
>but old? No.

You've never read Gulliver's Travels then?

aelfwina

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 9:28:56 AM4/26/05
to

"Shanahan" <pogu...@ITbluefrog.com> wrote in message
news:d4i0e...@enews3.newsguy.com...

> A similar quote also from Letters:
> "My work has escaped from my control, and I have produced a monster: an
> immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and very terrifying romance,"
>
> The woman was so thrilled with the rush of first reading, just about to
> reach Fangorn Forest and the Ents, enthusiastic about the FotR movie --
> I just couldn't bring myself to tell her just how much bitter is mixed
> with the sweet in the ending. So I evaded her question, best she
> eventually answer it for herself.
>
I love to read about Alternate Universes where somehow Frodo finds healing
in Middle-earth, and have even played with one myself. It's an occasional
brief anodyne for angst. But...
The truth is, it is the bitterness mixed with the sweet that makes it such a
great work. We need that knowledge of the sadness in the background to
appreciate the joy as well. JRRT knew this. I think of what Haldir says in
Lorien, that "though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows
perhaps the greater." And that gorgeous passage in the Cormallen chapter,
where "joy was like swords" and "pain and delight flow together and tears
are the very wine of blessedness."
That kind of truth and beauty has staying power.
Barbara

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 1:57:16 PM4/25/05
to
TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

> The notes to the Shibboleth of Feanor (published in Vinya Tengwar 41)
> states that some Elves grew beards in the third stage of their lives.

Even the women?

> Cirdan *is* the oldest Elf we see, so it is quite possible that all
> old elves look like he does. Could elves possibly age faster in
> Middle Earth than in Valinor?

Just imagine: Galadriel gets back to Aman, only to find that all those
youthful Adonis-type elves she remembers from many age ago, have now all
grown old and have beards...

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 2:34:55 PM4/25/05
to
Shanahan <pogu...@ITbluefrog.com> wrote:
> Count Menelvagor 1114389141....@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com
> creatively typed:
>> Shanahan wrote:
>>
> <snip>
>>> only slowly, and there will be plenty of time for her to see both
>>> magic and Elves in her lifetime.) Pity us, who live wholly without
>>> either. A woman asked me once if LotR had "a happy ending", and I
>>> couldn't answer her.
>>
>> tolkien, fwiw, thought it didn't. he said he knew someone who only
>> read it at lent, "because it it so hard and bitter" (somewhere in
>> Letters).
>
> A similar quote also from Letters:
> "My work has escaped from my control, and I have produced a monster:
> an immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and very terrifying
> romance,"

Wasn't there also an interesting quote in /Letters/ about how Tolkien
(looking back after several years) talked in the third person about his
younger self writing LotR, and commented along the lines of: "I don't
know how he wrote that!"

Taemon

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 3:02:17 PM4/25/05
to
the softrat wrote:

> On Sun, 24 Apr 2005 13:45:50 +0200, "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl>
> wrote:
>> It doesn't make sense for immortal beings to grow old. It
>> means
>> you'll be old for practically your whole life. Beard, alright,
>> but old? No.

> Ha!
>
> What do you know, you Child, you?

That I'm not immortal? I know, I know, so far, so good... My love
is immortal, or so I'm told. I like that.

T.


Taemon

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 3:03:06 PM4/25/05
to
pippa...@gmail.com wrote:

I did, but very, very long ago. What about Gulliver's Travels and
immortality?

T.


R. Dan Henry

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 4:08:38 PM4/25/05
to
On Mon, 25 Apr 2005 17:57:16 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>> The notes to the Shibboleth of Feanor (published in Vinya Tengwar 41)
>> states that some Elves grew beards in the third stage of their lives.
>
>Even the women?

Why do you think Gimli found Galadriel so beautiful?

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

Taemon

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 4:15:07 PM4/25/05
to
R. Dan Henry wrote:

I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel for
Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and half
as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.

T.


Raven

unread,
Apr 25, 2005, 5:08:47 PM4/25/05
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> skrev i en meddelelse
news:3d51egF...@individual.net...

> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel for
> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and half
> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.

Gimli was a little one. From my own childhood I remember this: to a
little boy, the beauty of a girl lies in her face and her hair. Her ass is
ignored, except potentially as a source of embarassment.
But this facetious comment is not wholly in jest, though it applies to
bigger folk than Gimli. I suspect that those who admired Galadriel for her
beauty admired primarily her face and her hair. It wasn't the sight of her
cleavage or her curving hips that they pined for, like pimpled youngsters
asking autographs from the hottest porn stars from the video stores; they
didn't debate with each other how she would serve in bed, in the
hypothetical situation that she became a widow and retained the appetite of
her gonads. If also her shapely figure pleased eyes, as it would not if she
had been fifty kilos overweight, her figure would still be of secondary
importance to her face and golden hair, and her clear and melodious voice,
and the strong and smiling gaze of her eyes.
But perhaps I'm merely projecting from my own boyhood, even though my
tastes as a grown man have shifted somewhat since then, expanding downwards,
as it were.
And inwards, of course: a woman increases in beauty as I discover her to
be smart and nice.

Raaf.


Steve Morrison

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 12:18:53 AM4/26/05
to

Presumably the Struldbrugs (who were immortal but perpetually senile).
Text of that chapter at www.ibiblio.org/ais/sllgt310.htm - they also
reminded me of Tithonus in Greek mythology (who was given the gift
of immortality by a goddess, but not that of perpetual youth, so she
eventually had to turn him into a grasshopper out of pity).

Henriette

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 6:35:49 AM4/26/05
to
Taemon wrote:

> R. Dan Henry wrote:
>
> > Why do you think Gimli found Galadriel so beautiful?
>
> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel for
> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and half
> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.
>
I don't think JRRT had Popeye's anorexic Olive in mind. Nor Cate
Blanchet, for that matter!

Henriette

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 7:17:58 AM4/26/05
to
In message <1166tgb...@corp.supernews.com>,
aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> enriched us with:
>
> "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message
> news:IeG8e.1052907$Xk.560286@pd7tw3no...
>>
>> SUGGESTED POINTS FOR DISCUSSION:
>> ================================
>>

<snip>

>> -Galadriel's powder is obviously magical, since no chemical
>> fertilizer could do all that this powder did. She also apparently
>> knew what was happening in the Shire before the Company left Lorien,
>> since she provided Sam with exactly what was needed that the Hobbits
>> couldn't quickly do for themselves (the restoration of the trees.)
>> It was not an inappropriate interference with Shire life, but an
>> appropriate assist in undoing the unwelcome interference of others.
>

> I agree. The hint is that this dust is actually the soil of
> Lothlorien, and so is perhaps imbued by something affecting the flow
> of time. Time within Lorien seemed slowed; this however seems to
> speed the passing of time.

A good point that deserves to be investigated further.

In Lothlórien the rate of change was slowed, but here it is speeded up.
Galadriel worked, in Lothlórien, according to the ages-old strategies of
the Elves, as it was epitomized by the Three Ring of which she was the
bearer of one: "the prevention or slowing of /decay/ (i.e. 'change'
viewed as a regrettable thing), the preservation of what is desired or
loved, or its semblance -- the is more or less an Elvish Motive."
(Letter #131)

In this case we see the Gift of Galadriel to accelerate change --
admittedly a change aiming at restoring that which was loved ('or its
semblance'), but I think this Gifts contains motives that are both in
accordance with, and contrary to, the Ring that Galadriel wore, and the
motives that are symbolized by that Ring.

In some ways I think the gift that she made to Sam is made in
acknowledgement of the change that is about to come -- or at least that
it symbolizes (in its application) her acceptance of the new situation:
that now has come the age of Men, and that she "will diminish, and go
into the West and remain Galadriel."

This, I think, is the more profound alteration of the flow of time. What
happened when the Fellowship visited Lothlórien was that their
perception of time was altered: they felt that less time passed than
what actually did pass. In this case, however, the rate of change
(growth of trees, introduction of blond hair in Hobbit families etc) was
much accelerated -- not just a perception, but the actual change in the
growth-rate of actual trees.

I tend to see Galadriel's gift to Sam as more than that: I see it as her
parting gift to Middle-earth. One might argue that Arwen should also
qualify here, but if she can be called a 'gift' at all (the expression
doesn't sit very well with me), she would be a gift from Elvendom in
general, and Elrond in particular.

<snip>

>> -Merry and Pippin seem happier than before they left the Shire, but
>> Frodo never seems to completely readjust to Shire life. His wound
>> seems to be part of it. Does he also perhaps have a permanent
>> longing for adventure, and a recognition that the quiet Shire life
>> is no longer for him? Or is it a weariness of the world in general,

>> like the one that drives the Elves to sail across the sea? Tolkien,
>> as a World War One veteran, was certainly familiar with the
>> different reactions of himself and other soldiers after returning
>> home.
>
> I don't know that Merry and Pippin were necessarily *happier*; they
> seem able to adjust better, but note that they did *not* move back in
> with their own families; also note that according to later records,
> they did not end their own days in the Shire.
> I find Frodo's increasing withdrawal also apparent by the very lack of
> detail I mentioned in the answer to the first question. If he is
> considered to be the one who wrote this in the Red Book, I think that
> it can be seen in the rather detached way he writes of himself.
> I do not think it is a longing for more adventure, but an increasing
> sense that he has lost the best part of himself due to the things
> that happened to him.
>
> This is I think very much affected by JRRT's own war experiences.

<snip>

>> -Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for
>> death?
>

> No, I don't think so; JRRT himself said they did not at that time die.

On the other hand -- even if they did not die there, mortality /is/ a
major theme in the book, and Tolkien does, IIRC, somewhere call their
sojourn in Aman a purgatory.

The symbolism of death is there, I'd say, and whether or not it was
intended as a metaphor of death (and I agree that Tolkien didn't -- at
least consciously -- intend it that way), their departure can certainly
be read as such by the reader. One must, however, distinguish between
the metaphorical death and any actual death -- Bilbo and Frodo (and
later Sam) were, when they had set sail, effectively dead to
Middle-earth.

<snip>

>> The success and popularity of this series would seem to guarantee
>> that we'll be doing it again soon. And it's a good sign for the
>> expected discussion threads for the Silmarillion. As Bilbo says,
>> "the road goes ever on."
>
> Oh, yes! I'm looking forward to that, as I hope it will finally
> enable me to come to a sense of understanding with The Silmarillion.
>
> Thank *YOU* for coming up with this wonderful idea to start with!

Hear! Hear!

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

Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo


TT Arvind

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 8:30:16 AM4/26/05
to
Wes ðu Taemon hal!

>
> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel for
> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and half
> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.

In Sanskrit women are often described as "madagajagamini", which
translates to approximately "she whose walk is like that of a she-
elephant in heat". Modern translations often render this as "graceful
as a gazelle."

I strongly suspect Tolky did something similar with Galadriel, and
substituted 'slender' for the original Westron "hippo-like waist".

--
Arvind

Zymurgy's Law of Volunteer Labor: People are always available for work
in the past tense.

aelfwina

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 8:55:44 AM4/27/05
to

"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
news:Grpbe.248$f4....@news1.nokia.com...
(snip)

> In some ways I think the gift that she made to Sam is made in
> acknowledgement of the change that is about to come -- or at least that
> it symbolizes (in its application) her acceptance of the new situation:
> that now has come the age of Men, and that she "will diminish, and go
> into the West and remain Galadriel."
>
> This, I think, is the more profound alteration of the flow of time. What
> happened when the Fellowship visited Lothlórien was that their
> perception of time was altered: they felt that less time passed than
> what actually did pass. In this case, however, the rate of change
> (growth of trees, introduction of blond hair in Hobbit families etc) was
> much accelerated -- not just a perception, but the actual change in the
> growth-rate of actual trees.
>
> I tend to see Galadriel's gift to Sam as more than that: I see it as her
> parting gift to Middle-earth. One might argue that Arwen should also
> qualify here, but if she can be called a 'gift' at all (the expression
> doesn't sit very well with me), she would be a gift from Elvendom in
> general, and Elrond in particular.

I see Galadriel's motives as possibly even more than that; I think of
Gandalf's words to Denethor about if anything good can be preserved, his
work will not be in vain, and I consider Galadriel's feelings: her millenia
of preserving Lorien are coming to an end and the Golden Wood and its
mallorn trees will also fade. But by her gift to Sam, she does insure that
*something* good will also remain of her work. A mallorn will bloom in the
Shire, and the soil of Lothlorien will benefit others, not Elves, but
mortals who will be able to appreciate the benefits for generations to come.
And she knows that Sam is a worthy person to convey that gift, after her
examination of the hobbits. And so, in a way, though she does diminish and
go into the West, a part of her is left behind.

As to Arwen, if she was a gift, she was a gift of herself. I realize the
implications for the relationship of the First- and Second- born, but
ultimately this came down to her love for Aragorn and his for her. Without
that, there was no gift.
>
(snip)


>>> -Is Bilbo's and Frodo's departure across the water a metaphor for
>>> death?
>>
>> No, I don't think so; JRRT himself said they did not at that time die.
>
> On the other hand -- even if they did not die there, mortality /is/ a
> major theme in the book, and Tolkien does, IIRC, somewhere call their
> sojourn in Aman a purgatory.
>
> The symbolism of death is there, I'd say, and whether or not it was
> intended as a metaphor of death (and I agree that Tolkien didn't -- at
> least consciously -- intend it that way), their departure can certainly
> be read as such by the reader. One must, however, distinguish between
> the metaphorical death and any actual death -- Bilbo and Frodo (and
> later Sam) were, when they had set sail, effectively dead to
> Middle-earth.

Yes, this is something I have often observed. However long or short the
time left to the Ringbearers once they reached the Blessed Realm, for the
ones left behind grieving on the shore, they might as well have been dead.
Even for Sam, with the hope of rejoining his master--it was going to be a
long lifetime without him. And for Merry and Pippin, it would not be in this
life at all.
So: as you said, effectively dead to Middle-earth.

Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 12:04:21 PM4/26/05
to
TT Arvind wrote:

> Wes ðu Taemon hal!
>> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel
>> for
>> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and
>> half
>> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.
> In Sanskrit women are often described as "madagajagamini",
> which
> translates to approximately "she whose walk is like that of a
> she-
> elephant in heat". Modern translations often render this as
> "graceful
> as a gazelle."

A gazelle in heat?

> I strongly suspect Tolky did something similar with Galadriel,
> and
> substituted 'slender' for the original Westron "hippo-like
> waist".

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!

T.


Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 12:02:46 PM4/26/05
to
Steve Morrison wrote:

> Taemon wrote:
>> pippa...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> Taemon:
>>>> It doesn't make sense for immortal beings to grow old. It
>>>> means
>>>> you'll be old for practically your whole life. Beard,
>>>> alright,
>>>> but old? No.
>>> You've never read Gulliver's Travels then?
>> I did, but very, very long ago. What about Gulliver's Travels
>> and
>> immortality?

> Presumably the Struldbrugs (who were immortal but perpetually
> senile).
> Text of that chapter at www.ibiblio.org/ais/sllgt310.htm -

Thank you.

> they also reminded me of Tithonus in Greek mythology (who was
> given the gift
> of immortality by a goddess, but not that of perpetual youth,
> so she
> eventually had to turn him into a grasshopper out of pity).

That's nice. An immortal grashopper?

T.


Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 12:06:43 PM4/26/05
to
Raven wrote:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:3d51egF...@individual.net...
>> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel
>> for
>> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and
>> half
>> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.

<snip>


> I suspect that those who admired
> Galadriel for her beauty admired primarily her face and her
> hair.

Still - it wasn't at all what a dwarf would seek in a spouse, one
might presume. Can you imagine an elf falling in love with very
beautiful dwarf? I think Tolkien was projecting :-)

> And inwards, of course: a woman increases in beauty as I
> discover
> her to be smart and nice.

There is that. But he talks about her looks, mainly.

T.


Derek Broughton

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 1:05:33 PM4/26/05
to
Taemon wrote:

Are you implying Gimli was thick?? Where's that guy with the axe?!
--
derek

Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 1:13:08 PM4/26/05
to
Derek Broughton wrote:

> Taemon wrote:
>> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel
>> for
>> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and
>> half
>> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.
> Are you implying Gimli was thick?? Where's that guy with the
> axe?!

Nonono. I'm implying that Galadriel was skinny as a lamp post.

T.


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 3:24:52 PM4/26/05
to
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote:
> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:3d51egF...@individual.net...
>
>> I've always found that suspicious. What is there in Galadriel for
>> Gimli to find beautiful? Imagine someone twice as tall and half
>> as thick as you are. Beautiful? Spaghetti, more like.
>
> Gimli was a little one. From my own childhood I remember this:

<snip>

I've never understood why people see the dwarves as children? Hobbits as
representing children I can (sometimes) understand, but dwarves?

aelfwina

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 4:42:50 PM4/27/05
to

"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:3d778qF...@individual.net...

> There is that. But he talks about her looks, mainly.
>
> T.

The only part of her looks that seems to appeal to him is her golden
hair--that's what he speaks of, and is appropriate in a dwarf, LOL! But he
did not "fall" for her until she spoke kindly to him of the Halls of Khazad
Dum, using the names in the Dwarf speech. So it seems to me it was her
voice and her kindness that attracted him.
And I for one don't see it as a physical attraction anyway. It's more the
idealized notion of courtly love, where the female is put on a pedestal to
be admired from afar.
Barbara

>
>


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 5:59:45 PM4/26/05
to
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1113986248.3...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
<pins>
> Nice to see you again 'Doc', and thank you for wonderfully
> facilitating
> this melancholic chapter. What I have also really enjoyed, where your
> conclusive posts at the end of several chapter discussions (in the
> 'past'). That must have been a lot of work, but it was very
> insightful!

Thank you, Henriette. Sorry I couldn't join every thread this year. I'll
try to comment more often on the Appendix and Silmarillion discussions.
You have been a faithful participant in the series.

--
Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Lord Pęlluin,) Ph.D., Count of Tolfalas


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 6:03:43 PM4/26/05
to
R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote in message
news:njbg6155hbtnmsr83...@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:57:28 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
> <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
<pins>
>> The
>>year after the Scouring (S.R.1420) is an incredibly rich and fertile
>>year in
>>general, even for children, apparently due to the lasting influence of
>>Galadriel's powder.
>
> It also results in fair-haired children all over the place, genetics
> be damned.
<pins>

I once wondered if the Ruffians could be to blame for this? There's no
indication that these children are taller than the average Hobbit, but
they're still babies, so it's too early to tell. On the other hand, I
suppose if these babies were hybrids, birth would have been difficult or
impossible.

the softrat

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 9:17:03 PM4/26/05
to
On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:06:43 +0200, "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
>Still - it wasn't at all what a dwarf would seek in a spouse, one
>might presume. Can you imagine an elf falling in love with very
>beautiful dwarf? I think Tolkien was projecting :-)
>
NEVER!

What an idea!

What would Edith say???


the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried slamming a
revolving door.

the softrat

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 9:19:04 PM4/26/05
to
On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 13:30:16 +0100, TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
>In Sanskrit women are often described as "madagajagamini", which
>translates to approximately "she whose walk is like that of a she-
>elephant in heat". Modern translations often render this as "graceful
>as a gazelle."

Uh.......

Exactly how does a 'she-elephant in heat' walk?

All AFT/RABT wants to know!

Michele Fry

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 1:22:32 AM4/27/05
to
In article <s1qt61p2u0897ddt1...@4ax.com>, the softrat
<sof...@pobox.com> writes

>Uh.......
>
>Exactly how does a 'she-elephant in heat' walk?
>
>All AFT/RABT wants to know!

Exactly how she likes - have you ever tried arguing with an elephant in
heat ?!

Michele
==
Leisure without literature is death, or rather the burial of a living
[person].
- Seneca
==
Now reading: A Question of Time - Verlyn Flieger
Judi Dench - John Miller

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 2:33:59 AM4/27/05