COTW: Book VI, Chapter 5: The Steward and the King

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Gerritt Hooff

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Mar 22, 2005, 1:31:26 AM3/22/05
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The following is a discussion starter in the Chapter of the Week
project. For more info/sign up to discuss a chapter yourself, go to
http://parasha.maoltuile.org!

Lord of the Rings
Book VI, Chapter 5: The Steward and the King

This chapter returns us to Gondor, where the inhabitants of the city are
living in fear and doubt, without any news of the Captains of the West.
It follows the recovery of the Lady Eowyn and the Lord Faramir, and
their meeting and growing relationship. Eventually an Eagle flying from
the west announces to the city that Sauron's reign is ended and the
watch of the Tower of Guard is complete. The city is made ready for the
return of the Captains of the West and the coming of the King. The
Captains return to Gondor and the city is in celebration. Aragorn is
crowned King Elessar by Gandalf and Frodo. After days of waiting,
Gandalf shows Aragorn the seedling of the White Tree, and it is planted
in the Courts of the citadel. Arwen and Elrond, with the people of
Rivendell and many from Lothlorien, finally come to Minas Tirith, and
she and Aragorn are wedded at the close of the chapter.

CHAPTER SUMMARY:

The chapter opens in Minas Tirith, where "Over the city... doubt and
great dread had hung." The people of Gondor are living in fear, their
lord had gone mad and killed himself, and the King of Rohan was killed
in The Battle of the Pellenor Fields. Their King had gone off to fight a
seemingly hopeless war, of which they had had no tidings since the
Captains of the West had left the Morgul Vale. [1]

Two days after the Captains of the West left the city, the Lady Eowyn
says she is healed, and is ready to leave the Houses of Healing. We
learn from the Warden that he feels it is strange that Aragorn hands can
both heal and wield a sword, and that "It is not thus in Gondor now,
though once it was so, if old tales be true." [2] Eowyn has the
brilliant response:

"It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master Warden. And those
who have not swords can still die upon them. Would you have the folk of
Gondor gather you herbs only, when the Dark Lord gathers armies? And it
is not always good to be healed in body. Nor is it always evil to die in
battle, even in bitter pain."

The warden refuses to release her from his care so Eowyn asks to see
whoever is in command of the city. The Warden takes her to Faramir, who
is also in the Houses of Healing. Faramir pities her, and "it seemed to
him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart." She sees
in him a stern and powerful yet tender and gentle man, "and for the
first time she doubted herself." [3] Indeed, Faramir refuses to "cross
[the Warden's] will in matters of his craft." However, he allows (even
requests) her to walk with him in the garden and look to the east.

This is the beginning of the romantic relationship between the Lady
Eowyn and the Lord Faramir, and one of the most detailed descriptions of
any such encounter in this book. He immediately goes to the Warden, who
points him to Merry, to learn more of Eowyn, "and he thought that he
understood now something of the grief and unrest of Eowyn of Rohan." [4]
Faramir and Eowyn grow in friendship and health for five days (March
25th), when he has her robed in his mother's mantle. They stood together
on the wall of the city, and time seemed to stand still, "Then presently
it seemed to them that above the ridges of the distant mountains another
vast mountain of darkness rose, towering up like a wave that should
engulf the world, and about it lightnings flickered; and then a tremor
ran through the earth, and they felt the walls of the City quiver." [5]
With that, Faramir kisses Eowyn. [6]

Soon after an eagle comes bearing tidings from the Lords of the West,
stating that "the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever", that the city's
"watch hath not been in vain", that the "King shall come again", and
that "Tree that was withered shall be renewed". [7] The city erupts into
celebration.

The city begins preparation for the coming of the King and the Lords of
the West, and Faramir takes up his brief Stewardship. Merry and Eowyn
are summoned to the Fields of Cormallen, but Eowyn elects to stay, so
Faramir, hoping she is staying to be near him, goes to her and professes
that he loves her and pities her no longer. She says she returns his
love (sort of). Faramir asks her to marry him, and she agrees (sort of).
Eowyn is released from the Houses of Healing but elects to stay until
Eomer returns.
People from all over Gondor are summoned to the city and all is made
ready for the Return of the King. After several days (May 1) The
Captains return and are assembled in the Pellenor Fields.

The next moment is one of the most significant events in The Lord of the
Rings (Hence the title of the third volume: The Return of the King):
Aragorn is crowned before the gates (well, the barrier where the old
gate stood, anyway) of the city. He asks that "the Ring-bearer bring the
crown to me, and let Mithrandir set it upon my head, if he will; for he
has been the mover of all that has been accomplished, and this is his
victory."

And with that, Aragorn is revealed in all his splendour.

"But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it
seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall
as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of
days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his
brow, and strength and healing were in his hands [8], and a light was
about him."

Hurin of the keys [9] then thrusts back the barrier and Aragorn enters
the city, enters the Citadel, "and the banner of the Tree and the Stars
was unfurled upon the topmost tower, and the reign of King Elessar
began, of which many songs have told."

The city was made fairer than it had ever been, with the help of many
peoples, [10] and Aragorn takes up his kingship and pronounces his
judgments. He pardons and makes peace with the Easterlings that had
surrendered and the Haradrim. He gives the slaves of Mordor the lands
about Lake Nurnen [11]. He offers praise and reward to many for their
valour. Lastly Beregond is brought before Aragorn for leaving his post
and spilling blood in the Hallows. However, "All penalty is remitted for
your valour in battle, and still more because all that you did was for
the love of the Lord Faramir." Nonetheless he is forced to leave his
guard and Minas Tirith, but is given a post in the White Company,
guarding Faramir, in Ithilien. At this Beregond is grateful for
Aragorn's justice and mercy. Aragorn then gives Ithilien to Faramir as
his princedom, as Minas Morgul is to be destroyed. [12]

On the eighth of May the Riders of Rohan, including Eomer and Eowyn set
out for Rohan, as they have much work to do there. However, Eomer says
he will return to retrieve Theoden's body, and Eowyn says she will
return after Theoden is buried. Elrond's sons go with them on their way
to Rivendell. Many others returned to their homes after the Riders left.
The members of the fellowship are asked by Aragorn to stay in Minas
Tirith "for the end of the deeds that you have shared in has not yet
come. A day draws near that I have looked for in all the years of my
manhood, and when it comes I would have my friends beside me."

When Frodo asks what day Aragorn speaks of, Gandalf tells him "Many folk
like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who
have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder
makes the words of praise louder. And Aragorn himself waits for a sign."

One day (June 25) Gandalf takes Aragorn up an ancient path at the feet
of Mount Mindolluin to a high hallow where only the kings went. Aragorn
expresses some concern over the white tree still being withered [see 7]
and his own mortality and lack of child: "who then shall govern Gondor
and those who look to this City as to their queen, if my desire be not
granted?" [13] At this Gandalf shows Aragorn a sapling of the white
tree, apparently sprung from a fruit that had been planted ages ago and
had since lain dormant. Aragorn is reminded to plant any fruit the white
tree may produce. The withered tree is uprooted with reverence and
placed in the Hallows, and the sapling is planted and it quickly grows
strong and flowers.

On the day before Midsummer (1 Lithe) Elrond and Arwen, with all the
people of Rivendell, as well as Galadriel and Celeborn and many folk
from Lorien, arrive in Gondor. When Frodo sees Arwen, he says, "At last
I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only
shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all
its fear pass away!"

And so "Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Undomiel in the City of
the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting
and labours was come to fulfilment."


DISCUSSION POINTS:

[1]
Why were no messengers sent to the city? The last messenger came bearing
tidings that occurred on the morning of March 20, and the city heard
nothing until March 25th. Minas Morgul is only about 50 miles from Minas
Tirith, and an entire army can't travel very fast. Surely they could
spare one or two horses to bring a message to the city, even if it was
just to say "we're still alive".

[2]
Is the Warden alluding to the previous Kings of Gondor, further proving
Aragorn's claim to kingship? His statement seems to have the same
purpose as Ioreth's ("The hands of the king are the hands of a healer".
And so the rightful king could ever be known", Book V, chapter 8), but
it could also be referring to the general populace of Gondor at the
height of its strength.

[3]
What is the significance of this?

[4]
Does Faramir learn or guess here from Merry that Eowyn loves Aragorn?

[5]
Faramir states "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." Clearly
Tolkien purposely used the wave description as a reference to Numenor.

[6]
Eowyn says, "I know not what in these days you have found that you could
lose. But come, my friend, let us not speak of it! Let us not speak at
all!" Which seems to me a fairly blunt rejection of Faramir's advances,
but soon after they hold hands and she allows him to kiss her. Why did
Sauron's fall allow her to love him, or was it simply the joy of the moment?

[7]
It would seem as though Aragorn was more confident in this now than when
he was waiting to find the sapling after he is crowned, when he states
"And who then shall govern Gondor and those who look to this City as to
their queen, if my desire be not granted? The Tree in the Court of the
Fountain is still withered and barren. When shall I see a sign that it
will ever be otherwise?"

[8]
Tolkien repeatedly made reference to Aragorn's healing ability in this
chapter. First with Ioreth's phrase (see [2]) and the Warden's
statement, then when Faramir introduces Aragorn as "Aragorn son of
Arathorn... whose hands bring healing...." Why is this so important?

[9]
Who was he? Is there anything more known about him or his lineage or his
position?

[10]
"In his time the City was made more fair than it had ever been, even in
the days of its first glory; and it was filled with trees and with
fountains, and its gates were wrought of mithril and steel, and its
streets were paved with white marble; and the Folk of the Mountain
laboured in it, and the Folk of the Wood rejoiced to come there; and all
was healed and made good, and the houses were filled with men and women
and the laughter of children, and no window was blind nor any courtyard
empty; and after the ending of the Third Age of the world into the new
age it preserved the memory and the glory of the years that were gone."
It would seem the dwarves helped rebuild Minas Tirith, but it is not
explicitly stated whether or not the elves helped. The description
mentions the city being filled with trees, which to me points to their
help, but maybe as their age was drawing to an end they had other
concerns than rebuilding a city in a land they were leaving.

[11]
Lake Nurnen is described as "dark" and "sad" (Book VI, chapter 2). Is
there anything else we know of it? It always seemed to me like a strange
gift on Aragorn's part. This was where the slaves toiled under their
cruel masters. I would think they'd want to live anywhere but there.
Also, given the shape of Mordor and it's natural defenses, I would have
thought Aragorn would want a stronghold there to keep it from being
reinhabited.

[12]
I thought Aragorn showed great mercy and wisdom is his first actions as
king.

[13]
It would seem as though Aragorn and Arwen could not wed until the white
tree flowered again. After the tree flowers, Aragorn says "The sign has
been given, and the day is not far off". Why was that?

Raven

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Mar 22, 2005, 4:21:13 PM3/22/05
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"Gerritt Hooff" <n...@spam.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:2ZO%d.754730$8l.200687@pd7tw1no...

> [1]
> Why were no messengers sent to the city? The last messenger came bearing
> tidings that occurred on the morning of March 20, and the city heard
> nothing until March 25th. Minas Morgul is only about 50 miles from Minas
> Tirith, and an entire army can't travel very fast. Surely they could
> spare one or two horses to bring a message to the city, even if it was
> just to say "we're still alive".

Perhaps they wouldn't let messengers pass through perilous lands without
very important messages. Until the army reached the Crossroads any
messengers back to Minas Tirith would pass through lands that were safe for
them. With the Crossroads and Minas Morgul between the army and Minas
Tirith, an ambush out of Morgul Vale could not be ruled out. Even a handful
of orc-spies would be enough, opportunistically, to slay an errand-rider
with arrows. No need to risk the lives of errand-riders just to say "we
ain't dead yet".

Zagh.


Yuk Tang

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Mar 23, 2005, 8:26:21 PM3/23/05
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Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote in
news:2ZO%d.754730$8l.200687@pd7tw1no:
>
> [11]
> Lake Nurnen is described as "dark" and "sad" (Book VI, chapter 2).
> Is there anything else we know of it? It always seemed to me like
> a strange gift on Aragorn's part. This was where the slaves toiled
> under their cruel masters. I would think they'd want to live
> anywhere but there. Also, given the shape of Mordor and it's
> natural defenses, I would have thought Aragorn would want a
> stronghold there to keep it from being reinhabited.

A historical parallel would be the resettlement of the helots in
Messene by Epaminondas after their liberation from Sparta. There was a
reason why the slaves worked the fields beside Nurnen: the lands were
rich and provided food for Mordor's armies. By giving the lands to the
former slaves, Aragorn gave them the bounty of their own labour.


--
Cheers, ymt.

R. Dan Henry

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Mar 25, 2005, 1:59:50 AM3/25/05
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[Once again moving text about while editing to bring notes and
associated text together.]

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 06:31:26 GMT, Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:

>The following is a discussion starter in the Chapter of the Week
>project. For more info/sign up to discuss a chapter yourself, go to
>http://parasha.maoltuile.org!
>
>Lord of the Rings
>Book VI, Chapter 5: The Steward and the King

aka The Chapter With Kissing

>Eventually an Eagle flying from
>the west announces to the city that Sauron's reign is ended and the
>watch of the Tower of Guard is complete.

*cough*

"And before the Sun had fallen far from noon out of the East there
came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the
Lords of the West..."

The Eagle has come from the victorious armies. From the east, not the
west. What you write suggests the Eagle is some messenger of the
Valar, but the truth is (slightly) less lofty. I wouldn't be surprised
if Gandalf composed the announcement himself.

>The chapter opens in Minas Tirith, where "Over the city... doubt and
>great dread had hung." The people of Gondor are living in fear, their
>lord had gone mad and killed himself, and the King of Rohan was killed
>in The Battle of the Pellenor Fields. Their King had gone off to fight a
>seemingly hopeless war, of which they had had no tidings since the
>Captains of the West had left the Morgul Vale. [1]

>[1]


>Why were no messengers sent to the city? The last messenger came bearing
>tidings that occurred on the morning of March 20, and the city heard
>nothing until March 25th. Minas Morgul is only about 50 miles from Minas
>Tirith, and an entire army can't travel very fast. Surely they could
>spare one or two horses to bring a message to the city, even if it was
>just to say "we're still alive".

No point sending messages saying, "We're still on our way to
nigh-certain death, just like when we left. Except this guy we sent
back with this message." As soon as there was any real news, they sent
it by Eagle courier.

>The warden refuses to release her from his care so Eowyn asks to see
>whoever is in command of the city. The Warden takes her to Faramir, who
>is also in the Houses of Healing. Faramir pities her, and "it seemed to
>him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart." She sees
>in him a stern and powerful yet tender and gentle man, "and for the
>first time she doubted herself." [3]

>[3] What is the significance of this?

Her healing of spirit has begun. The doubt is of her wisdom of seeking
death in battle.

"'I would have you command this Warden, and bid him let me go,' she
said; but though her words were still proud, her heart faltered, and
for the first time she doubted herself.' She is concerned with what
Faramir will think of her. If she is not yet beginning to fall in love
with him, she has some feeling, even if only respect.

Shortly after she softens slightly, and even sheds a tear. It is a
small beginning, but the frost around her heart has begun to thaw.

>Indeed, Faramir refuses to "cross
>[the Warden's] will in matters of his craft." However, he allows (even
>requests) her to walk with him in the garden and look to the east.

And she discourages him in words "Look not to me for healing! I am a
shieldmaiden and my hand is ungentle." Still, she agrees to his
request to keep him company.

>This is the beginning of the romantic relationship between the Lady
>Eowyn and the Lord Faramir, and one of the most detailed descriptions of
>any such encounter in this book. He immediately goes to the Warden, who
>points him to Merry, to learn more of Eowyn, "and he thought that he
>understood now something of the grief and unrest of Eowyn of Rohan." [4]

>[4] Does Faramir learn or guess here from Merry that Eowyn loves Aragorn?

He figured out most of what Frodo and Sam were trying to hide. I think
he can work out the obvious from Merry's account. I think he probably
understood as much as we do, maybe more. Our own knowledge must come
primarily from the same witness and Faramir likely took time to get a
more detailed version.

>Faramir and Eowyn grow in friendship and health for five days (March
>25th), when he has her robed in his mother's mantle. They stood together
>on the wall of the city, and time seemed to stand still, "Then presently
>it seemed to them that above the ridges of the distant mountains another
>vast mountain of darkness rose, towering up like a wave that should
>engulf the world, and about it lightnings flickered; and then a tremor
>ran through the earth, and they felt the walls of the City quiver." [5]
>With that, Faramir kisses Eowyn. [6]

>[5] Faramir states "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." Clearly
>Tolkien purposely used the wave description as a reference to Numenor.

Wait a minute. You don't think he's cunningly reminder her Aragorn
isn't the only hot-shot Numenorean left in world, do you?

>[6]
>Eowyn says, "I know not what in these days you have found that you could
>lose. But come, my friend, let us not speak of it! Let us not speak at
>all!" Which seems to me a fairly blunt rejection of Faramir's advances,
>but soon after they hold hands and she allows him to kiss her. Why did
>Sauron's fall allow her to love him, or was it simply the joy of the moment?

They hold hands without realizing. I think they were reaching out in
fear and awe. They didn't know at the time if it was a good thing or a
bad thing they were seeing. And he does only kiss her on the brow at
this point. It's a *bit* intimate, but as much a gesture of comfort
and hope as anything.

>Soon after an eagle comes bearing tidings from the Lords of the West,
>stating that "the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever", that the city's
>"watch hath not been in vain", that the "King shall come again", and
>that "Tree that was withered shall be renewed". [7]

>[7] It would seem as though Aragorn was more confident in this now than when

>he was waiting to find the sapling after he is crowned, when he states
>"And who then shall govern Gondor and those who look to this City as to
>their queen, if my desire be not granted? The Tree in the Court of the
>Fountain is still withered and barren. When shall I see a sign that it
>will ever be otherwise?"

I suspect Gandalf composed this message, so Aragorn's confidence would
have nothing to do with it. Certainly, there's no indication that
Aragorn was predicting he'd find the White Tree.

>The city begins preparation for the coming of the King and the Lords of
>the West, and Faramir takes up his brief Stewardship. Merry and Eowyn
>are summoned to the Fields of Cormallen, but Eowyn elects to stay, so
>Faramir, hoping she is staying to be near him, goes to her and professes
>that he loves her and pities her no longer. She says she returns his
>love (sort of). Faramir asks her to marry him, and she agrees (sort of).

Well, after he answers her objections, she lets him kiss her. I think
this is lips on lips. Still no tongue, though.

>The next moment is one of the most significant events in The Lord of the
>Rings (Hence the title of the third volume: The Return of the King):
>Aragorn is crowned before the gates (well, the barrier where the old
>gate stood, anyway) of the city. He asks that "the Ring-bearer bring the
>crown to me, and let Mithrandir set it upon my head, if he will; for he
>has been the mover of all that has been accomplished, and this is his
>victory."

And we get commentary from Ioreth!

Some swear as Gandalf set the crown upon Aragorn's head, that the
voice of Denethor could be heard from high above saying, "I knew it!"

>"But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it
>seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall
>as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of
>days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his
>brow, and strength and healing were in his hands [8]

>[8] Tolkien repeatedly made reference to Aragorn's healing ability in this

>chapter. First with Ioreth's phrase (see [2]) and the Warden's
>statement, then when Faramir introduces Aragorn as "Aragorn son of
>Arathorn... whose hands bring healing...." Why is this so important?

Because it's the one power the Stewards don't have? Denethor could do
the mind-probe and Boromir was a great warrior and the long life thing
was a common pure-Numenorean trait. (Although Aragorn lived a long
time for his era.) It was the healing that was his sign of kingship.
Probably his PR man Gandalf figured that with "Elendil's heir" it made
a good sound bite.

>Hurin of the keys [9]

>[9] Who was he? Is there anything more known about him or his lineage or his
>position?

Well, he was tall. Or else he had an ironic nickname as "Hurin the
Tall". He is part of the force that exits Minas Tirith to aid the
Rohirrim at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Oh, and he can fight
from horseback, as he's a horseman in the battle.

>The city was made fairer than it had ever been, with the help of many
>peoples, [10]

>[10]


>"In his time the City was made more fair than it had ever been, even in
>the days of its first glory; and it was filled with trees and with
>fountains, and its gates were wrought of mithril and steel, and its
>streets were paved with white marble; and the Folk of the Mountain
>laboured in it, and the Folk of the Wood rejoiced to come there; and all
>was healed and made good, and the houses were filled with men and women
>and the laughter of children, and no window was blind nor any courtyard
>empty; and after the ending of the Third Age of the world into the new
>age it preserved the memory and the glory of the years that were gone."
>It would seem the dwarves helped rebuild Minas Tirith, but it is not
>explicitly stated whether or not the elves helped. The description
>mentions the city being filled with trees, which to me points to their
>help, but maybe as their age was drawing to an end they had other
>concerns than rebuilding a city in a land they were leaving.

The gardening fulfills Legolas's promise, just as the stonework
fulfills Gimli's promise, so I think it is fairly safe to say the
Elves provided the trees, if nothing else.

> He gives the slaves of Mordor the lands
>about Lake Nurnen [11].

>[11]


>Lake Nurnen is described as "dark" and "sad" (Book VI, chapter 2). Is
>there anything else we know of it? It always seemed to me like a strange
>gift on Aragorn's part. This was where the slaves toiled under their
>cruel masters. I would think they'd want to live anywhere but there.

Well, dark lakes can be quite nice. Probably seems a lot less sad
without Sauron brooding away to the north, too. The area is fertile
enough to feed Sauron's armies with excess from what's keeping the
slaves alive to work, so they'll be able to eat and probably start
exporting crops. If they were removed, where exactly would they go?
How would they be fed? Into what society could they be integrated with
less trouble than they could form their own? Some from nearer areas
and recent capture probably did return to their homelands, but those
who stayed had an opportunity to build a new land with their labor
with all the personal opportunities that come with a rapidly (socially
and economically) developing area.

>Also, given the shape of Mordor and it's natural defenses, I would have
>thought Aragorn would want a stronghold there to keep it from being
>reinhabited.

Ex-slaves who hate the servants of Sauron and would naturally alert
their liberators to any troubles would be a good defense. They'd
probably be happy to have a few Gondorian towers on their northern
border to watch for any trouble.

>One day (June 25) Gandalf takes Aragorn up an ancient path at the feet
>of Mount Mindolluin to a high hallow where only the kings went. Aragorn
>expresses some concern over the white tree still being withered [see 7]
>and his own mortality and lack of child: "who then shall govern Gondor
>and those who look to this City as to their queen, if my desire be not
>granted?" [13]

>[13]


>It would seem as though Aragorn and Arwen could not wed until the white
>tree flowered again. After the tree flowers, Aragorn says "The sign has
>been given, and the day is not far off". Why was that?

One of those prophesy deals, I'd guess.

FAVORITE QUOTE

And Eowyn said to Faramir: 'Now I must go back to my own land and look
on it once again, and help my brother in his labour; but when one whom
I long loved as father is laid at last to rest, I will return.'

Could Faramir hear happier words? This is the chapter where, if I
didn't know better, I might be suckered into thinking the ending was
going to be all happy-happy.

PARTING THOUGHTS

Faramir's a silver-tongued fellow, isn't he? Bottle me a little of
that. Hmmm... Faramir, cologne for men.

White Trees appear to transplant very well and without much
difficulty, which is good considering how rare they are.

Is the fruit of the White Tree edible?

How much trouble would you be in for testing to find out?

Faramir loses supreme authority and gains Eowyn. Good trade. Heck he
even gets to be Prince of Ithilien.

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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Mar 25, 2005, 7:59:48 AM3/25/05
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R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
> Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:

>> Hurin of the keys [9]
>
>> [9] Who was he? Is there anything more known about him or his
>> lineage or his position?
>
> Well, he was tall. Or else he had an ironic nickname as "Hurin the
> Tall". He is part of the force that exits Minas Tirith to aid the
> Rohirrim at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Oh, and he can fight
> from horseback, as he's a horseman in the battle.

And he was a lord, sayeth the Warden of the Houses of Healing:

"There is a marshal over the Riders of Rohan; and the Lord Hurin, I am
told, commands the men of Gondor. But the Lord Faramir is by right the
Steward of the City."

Christopher

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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Mar 25, 2005, 8:21:09 AM3/25/05
to
R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
> Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:

>> Eventually an Eagle flying from
>> the west announces to the city that Sauron's reign is ended and the
>> watch of the Tower of Guard is complete.
>
> *cough*
>
> "And before the Sun had fallen far from noon out of the East there
> came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the
> Lords of the West..."
>
> The Eagle has come from the victorious armies. From the east, not the
> west. What you write suggests the Eagle is some messenger of the
> Valar, but the truth is (slightly) less lofty. I wouldn't be surprised
> if Gandalf composed the announcement himself.

The Eagle has come from the East. And he does bear tiding about what
happened to the armies. But the description by Tolkien of the tidings
coming from "the Lords of the West" is a bit strange.

The title: "Lords of the West" _is_ reserved for the Valar. The leaders
of the host that went to the Black Gate to do battle with Sauron's
forces, are called the "Captains of the West". This is used with
complete and relentless consistency throughout the chapters: 'The Last
Debate'; 'The Black Gate Opens'; 'The Field of Cormallen'; and 'The
Steward and the King'.

Though Gandalf and others do refers to the Captains as 'lords' and the
heralds do say that "The Lords of Gondor have returned", I suspect that
Tolkien would normally have avoided conflating the phrases "Captains of
the West" and "Lords of Gondor" into "Lords of the West".

In much the same way that the Numenoreans considered it ill-omened for
one of their Kings to name himself "Lord of the West", I would say that
the Captains of the West would _not_ style themselves "Lords of the
West".

So either Gandalf did compose the message and boobed. Or Tolkien himself
missed this. Or the Eagle boobed. But more likely, Tolkien used the
phrase intentionally to say the message is from the Lords of the West
(the Valar) or rather, from their representative in Middle-earth,
Gandalf. In fact, given the role of the Eagles viz a viz Manwe, and the
content of the message, I would say that this is the obvious
explanation.

From the index to 'The Silmarillion', the entry for Valar:

"Valar 'Those with Power', 'The Powers' (singular Vala); name given to
those great Ainur who entered into Ea at the beginning of Time, and
assumed the function of guarding and governing Arda. Called also the
Great Ones, the Rulers of Arda, the Lords of the West, the Lords of
Valinor."

And there are many references in 'Quenta Silmarillion', 'Akallabeth' and
'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age', to the Valar as "Lords of the
West":

"...before the Children awake there shall go forth with wings like the
wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West."

"Earendil was sorrowful, for he feared the anger of the Lords of the
West upon any of Middle-earth that should dare to pass the leaguer of
Aman."

"...from Valinor there came the host of the Lords of the West."

"Then men grew afraid. 'Behold the Eagles of the Lords of the West!'
they cried. 'The Eagles of Manwe are come upon Numenor!' And they fell
upon their faces."

"Then the Eagles of the Lords of the West came up out of the dayfall,
and they were arrayed as for battle..."

"But afterwards it was said among the Elves that they [the Istari] were
messengers sent by the Lords of the West to contest the power of
Sauron..."

Now, I know that there should always be room for mundane answers, and it
is easy to say that the Eagle came from the victorious armies, but the
way Tolkien presents it is very much in the tradition of the voice from
the West (Boromir and Faramir's dream), and the way in which the Eagle
prophesises what will happen is also very much like the dream.

I suspect that rather than Gandalf composing the message, it was rather
the Eagles and Gandalf who said to the Captains of the West: messages
have been sent to Minas Tirith. The composition of the message is
ultimately, as Tolkien says, "from the Lords of the West", ie. the
Valar.

Christopher

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

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West.
Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued
food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier
world." - Thorin's farewell (The Return Journey, The Hobbit)

Odysseus

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Mar 25, 2005, 5:50:03 PM3/25/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
> > Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:
>
> >> Eventually an Eagle flying from
> >> the west announces to the city that Sauron's reign is ended and the
> >> watch of the Tower of Guard is complete.
> >
> > *cough*
> >
> > "And before the Sun had fallen far from noon out of the East there
> > came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the
> > Lords of the West..."
> >
<snip>

>
> So either Gandalf did compose the message and boobed. Or Tolkien himself
> missed this. Or the Eagle boobed. But more likely, Tolkien used the
> phrase intentionally to say the message is from the Lords of the West
> (the Valar) or rather, from their representative in Middle-earth,
> Gandalf. In fact, given the role of the Eagles viz a viz Manwe, and the
> content of the message, I would say that this is the obvious
> explanation.
>

IIRC Olórin originally belonged to Manwë's host as well, so it seems
fitting that Gandalf and the Eagles should cooperate as often as they do.

--
Odysseus

John Jones

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Mar 25, 2005, 9:23:35 AM3/25/05
to
"R. Dan Henry" <danh...@inreach.com> wrote in message
news:km47415dudenem7aq...@4ax.com...

> Faramir loses supreme authority and gains Eowyn. Good trade. Heck he
> even gets to be Prince of Ithilien.
>

Well. Aragorn owed him big time; he (Faramir) could have caused considerable
trouble for Aragorn's accession, but instead he recognised Aragorn's
kingship straight away.
Secondly, someone was needed to rebuild Itilien, and who better, with the
most authority with the people, than the Steward? By the bye, Faramir would
really need a wife with Eowyn's abilities for this work; she wouldn't be
declining into a hausfrau as some have thought.
Thirdly, and more cynically, Aragorn would need to get him out of the way
for a while until he (A) had consolidated his own rule. He wouldn't have
wanted to have a demoted Steward looking over his shoulder all the time, and
having a party of refuseniks forming about him.

Yuk Tang

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Mar 26, 2005, 2:49:05 PM3/26/05
to
"John Jones" <jo...@jones5011.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in
news:d23suu$hlq$1...@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk:
>
> Thirdly, and more cynically, Aragorn would need to get
> him out of the way for a while until he (A) had consolidated his
> own rule. He wouldn't have wanted to have a demoted Steward
> looking over his shoulder all the time, and having a party of
> refuseniks forming about him.

If LotR: FA were written according to Chinese dynastic history, and
that of many other empires (notably Persian and Ottoman), both
Faramir and Imrahil would be in for the chop, unless they retired to
private life pretty sharpish. Helping someone to found a dynasty and
taking titles and estates was a pretty good way to shorten one's
life; the reasoning being, presumably, that someone who'd help topple
the previous regime would be capable of toppling the new one.
'Emperor and the Assassin' (Chen Kaige) has a subplot describing
something fairly similar, and AFAIK all the Chinese dynasties, with
the exception of Tang, started off by eliminating all the leading
generals who could vie for prestige with the new ruler. And even the
effective founder of the enlightened Tangs, Li Shimin, murdered his
brothers to leave him as sole heir, although the other leading
figures enjoyed both material rewards and natural deaths.

A modern instance, of course, would be the birth of the Soviet Union.
How many of the higher ranks survived Stalin's purges?


--
Cheers, ymt.

AC

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Mar 26, 2005, 11:30:35 PM3/26/05
to
On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 06:31:26 GMT,
Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:
>
> [1]
> Why were no messengers sent to the city? The last messenger came bearing
> tidings that occurred on the morning of March 20, and the city heard
> nothing until March 25th. Minas Morgul is only about 50 miles from Minas
> Tirith, and an entire army can't travel very fast. Surely they could
> spare one or two horses to bring a message to the city, even if it was
> just to say "we're still alive".

I dunno. By this point, they've already lost a chunk of their army. Maybe
the Captains feel they need all the men they can keep, particularly cavalry.

>
> [2]
> Is the Warden alluding to the previous Kings of Gondor, further proving
> Aragorn's claim to kingship? His statement seems to have the same
> purpose as Ioreth's ("The hands of the king are the hands of a healer".
> And so the rightful king could ever be known", Book V, chapter 8), but
> it could also be referring to the general populace of Gondor at the
> height of its strength.

I joked a while back that RotK could almost read like some post-Steward
propaganda! Aragorn seems to set up very neatly for the kingship.

>
> [3]
> What is the significance of this?

Well Eowyn was obviously a very strong-willed woman and that could be
construed as stretching into stubborness. I'm assuming that's what the
passage refers to.

>
> [4]
> Does Faramir learn or guess here from Merry that Eowyn loves Aragorn?

I would assume that Merry would have been quite forthright with Faramir.

>
> [5]
> Faramir states "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." Clearly
> Tolkien purposely used the wave description as a reference to Numenor.

Tolkien seemed to like that imagery considerably. He does it explain it,
though:

"For when Faramir speaks of his private vision of the Great Wave, he speaks
for me. That vision and dream has been ever with me - and has been
inherited (as I only discovered recently) by one of my children."
Letter #180

"...for I have what some might call an Atlantis complex. Possibly
inherited, though my parents died too young for me to know such things about
them, and too young to transfer such things by words. Inherited from me (I
suppose) by one only of my children, though I did not know that about my son
until recently, and he did not know it about me. I mean the terrible
recurrent dream (beginning with memory) of the Great Wave, towering up, and
coming in ineluctably over the trees and green fields. (I bequeathed it to
Faramir.) I don't think I have had it since I wrote the 'Downfall of
Numenor' as the last of the legends of the First and Second Age."
Letter #163

As well, the Lost Road itself is a fascinating unfinished story that is
obviously modeled on JRRT and CJRT's shared Great Wave dream.

>
> [6]
> Eowyn says, "I know not what in these days you have found that you could
> lose. But come, my friend, let us not speak of it! Let us not speak at
> all!" Which seems to me a fairly blunt rejection of Faramir's advances,
> but soon after they hold hands and she allows him to kiss her. Why did
> Sauron's fall allow her to love him, or was it simply the joy of the moment?

I've known a few people who have thought this passage a rather quick turn of
face, though as I recall Tolkien himself defended it.

<snip>

> [8]
> Tolkien repeatedly made reference to Aragorn's healing ability in this
> chapter. First with Ioreth's phrase (see [2]) and the Warden's
> statement, then when Faramir introduces Aragorn as "Aragorn son of
> Arathorn... whose hands bring healing...." Why is this so important?

This is, as I understand it, a rather older layer of real mythology, that a
King has a healing touch.

<snip>

> [11]
> Lake Nurnen is described as "dark" and "sad" (Book VI, chapter 2). Is
> there anything else we know of it? It always seemed to me like a strange
> gift on Aragorn's part. This was where the slaves toiled under their
> cruel masters. I would think they'd want to live anywhere but there.
> Also, given the shape of Mordor and it's natural defenses, I would have
> thought Aragorn would want a stronghold there to keep it from being
> reinhabited.

I would think that for many of these people, the shores of Lake Nurnen had
been their home for generations, and while it might not have been a pleasant
place, it was their home. It might be much easier for them to continue
their existence than to risk migrating elsewhere.

>
> [12]
> I thought Aragorn showed great mercy and wisdom is his first actions as
> king.

Aragorn is indeed the image of the ideal Medieval king.

>
> [13]
> It would seem as though Aragorn and Arwen could not wed until the white
> tree flowered again. After the tree flowers, Aragorn says "The sign has
> been given, and the day is not far off". Why was that?

I guess it was the last bit of the old legend that had to be fulfilled.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

AC

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Mar 26, 2005, 11:31:28 PM3/26/05
to
On 24 Mar 2005 01:26:21 GMT,

And made sure that there wouldn't be a group of people forced to move
elsewhere, possibly sparking wars that might directly or indirectly involve
Gondor.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Michele Fry

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Mar 27, 2005, 12:45:01 AM3/27/05
to
In article <slrnd4cdnb.1gn....@aaron.clausen>, AC
<mightym...@hotmail.com> writes

>Tolkien seemed to like that imagery considerably. He does it explain it,
>though:
>
>"For when Faramir speaks of his private vision of the Great Wave, he speaks
>for me. That vision and dream has been ever with me - and has been
>inherited (as I only discovered recently) by one of my children."
>Letter #180
>
>"...for I have what some might call an Atlantis complex. Possibly
>inherited, though my parents died too young for me to know such things about
>them, and too young to transfer such things by words. Inherited from me (I
>suppose) by one only of my children, though I did not know that about my son
>until recently, and he did not know it about me. I mean the terrible
>recurrent dream (beginning with memory) of the Great Wave, towering up, and
>coming in ineluctably over the trees and green fields. (I bequeathed it to
>Faramir.) I don't think I have had it since I wrote the 'Downfall of
>Numenor' as the last of the legends of the First and Second Age."
>Letter #163
>
>As well, the Lost Road itself is a fascinating unfinished story that is
>obviously modeled on JRRT and CJRT's shared Great Wave dream.

Actually it wasn't Christopher who shared that dream with Tolkien,
though he's the "obvious" person to have done so - it was Michael, as
footnote 4 to Letter #163 makes clear...

Michele
==
There is no book so bad that it is not profitable on some part.

- Pliny the Younger
==
Now reading: Tolkien and the Critics - N D Isaacs & R A Zimbado
==
Commit random acts of literacy! Read & Release at Bookcrossing:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/friend/Sass-80

AC

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Mar 27, 2005, 3:56:20 AM3/27/05
to
On Sun, 27 Mar 2005 06:45:01 +0100,
Michele Fry <mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> Actually it wasn't Christopher who shared that dream with Tolkien,
> though he's the "obvious" person to have done so - it was Michael, as
> footnote 4 to Letter #163 makes clear...

You're right of course! Bad slip on my part.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Yuk Tang

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Mar 27, 2005, 4:34:36 AM3/27/05
to
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:slrnd4cdp0.1gn....@aaron.clausen:

Aragorn didn't mind the migration of Elves to Ithilien. Mind you, he
knew that Elves were fading anyway, so he may have figured that they
wouldn't be around for long, nor would they be numerous enough to
cause significant friction.


--
Cheers, ymt.

Michael Ikeda

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Mar 27, 2005, 6:19:23 AM3/27/05
to
Yuk Tang <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:Xns96266B981FBD7...@130.133.1.4:

More importantly, Ithilien is mostly unpopulated at the start of
Aragorn's reign. No one for the elves to displace.

--
Michael Ikeda mmi...@erols.com
"Telling a statistician not to use sampling is like telling an
astronomer they can't say there is a moon and stars"
Lynne Billard, past president American Statistical Association

Michael Ikeda

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Mar 27, 2005, 6:19:45 AM3/27/05
to

> AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in

More importantly, Ithilien is mostly unpopulated at the start of

R. Dan Henry

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Apr 3, 2005, 7:04:14 PM4/3/05
to
On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 13:21:09 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
>> Gerritt Hooff <n...@spam.com> wrote:
>
>>> Eventually an Eagle flying from
>>> the west announces to the city that Sauron's reign is ended and the
>>> watch of the Tower of Guard is complete.
>>
>> *cough*
>>
>> "And before the Sun had fallen far from noon out of the East there
>> came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the
>> Lords of the West..."
>>
>> The Eagle has come from the victorious armies. From the east, not the
>> west. What you write suggests the Eagle is some messenger of the
>> Valar, but the truth is (slightly) less lofty. I wouldn't be surprised
>> if Gandalf composed the announcement himself.
>
>The Eagle has come from the East. And he does bear tiding about what
>happened to the armies. But the description by Tolkien of the tidings
>coming from "the Lords of the West" is a bit strange.
>
>The title: "Lords of the West" _is_ reserved for the Valar.

Yes, I thought of this after I posted.

>Now, I know that there should always be room for mundane answers, and it
>is easy to say that the Eagle came from the victorious armies, but the
>way Tolkien presents it is very much in the tradition of the voice from
>the West (Boromir and Faramir's dream), and the way in which the Eagle
>prophesises what will happen is also very much like the dream.

>I suspect that rather than Gandalf composing the message, it was rather
>the Eagles and Gandalf who said to the Captains of the West: messages
>have been sent to Minas Tirith. The composition of the message is
>ultimately, as Tolkien says, "from the Lords of the West", ie. the
>Valar.

Well, I think that Aragorn would have wanted to send a message right
away and probably asked the Eagles to send someone; the Eagle would
already know the news Aragorn wanted delivered (Sauron fallen, West
victorious), while the Valar would have provided the prophetic bits.

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

Shanahan

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Apr 6, 2005, 7:28:01 PM4/6/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> creatively typed:

> So either Gandalf did compose the message and boobed. Or Tolkien
> himself missed this. Or the Eagle boobed. But more likely, Tolkien
> used the phrase intentionally to say the message is from the Lords
> of the West (the Valar) or rather, from their representative in
> Middle-earth, Gandalf. In fact, given the role of the Eagles viz a
> viz Manwe, and the content of the message, I would say that this is
> the obvious explanation.

Or, perhaps, the phrase is meant to be understood in a new way, from
this very moment forward. This is a moment that marks the shift from
the days of magic and legend, to the days of the dominion of Men. From
now on, Men will indeed comprise the 'Lords of the West', certainly
insofar as the people of Gondor are concerned. Perhaps Gandalf meant to
mark this great shift in this manner.

Ciaran S.
--
'That's a really nice coat you've got there.' - marv


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