CotW: Book VI, Ch. IV, "The Field of Cormallen"

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aelfwina

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Mar 15, 2005, 12:23:09 PM3/15/05
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CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"


In which most, if not quite all, sad things come untrue.

SUMMARY:

This chapter picks up where "The Black Gate Opens" leaves off. The battle is
still raging. The first paragraph is an amazing bit of description. "Upon
the hilltop stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold an no shadow fell on
him. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a wave on the beleaguered hills,
voices roaring like a tide amid the wreck and crash of arms." (1)

Then the Eagles arrive. (2) They attack the Nazgû l, who in turn break and
flee. But the Ringwraiths have been called by their Master; Sauron's
attention is no longer on the battlefield, and the remaining hosts of Mordor
are suddenly in disarray. The hosts of the West begin to press their
advantage, but Gandalf calls on them to wait--he knows that the whole point
of the Quest is on the brink of fulfillment or failure. (3)

And then Sauron is blown away. Literally. (4)

With no time to waste, Gandalf commandeers Gwaihir and his two brothers, and
heads out to fetch Frodo, Sam, and presumably Gollum, as he took three
Eagles.

We return now to Frodo and Sam, at the point we left them in "Mount Doom".
The two of them realize that their situation is pretty hopeless, but Sam can't
make himself give up. He insists that they go down the mountain, delay their
end as long as possible. Just as Gwaihir spies them, they succumb to their
situation, and pass out. (6)

Sam awakens to the scent of Ithilien, and for a brief instant, thinks all
the intervening time has been a dream, until he spies Frodo's hand, with the
missing finger. He speaks aloud, "Where are we?"


He is answered by Gandalf. Sam, of course is stunned. As far as he knew,
Gandalf was dead. In his amazement, he asks the wonderful question in true
Sam-fashion, "Is everything sad going to come untrue?" Gandalf laughs, and
his laughter causes Sam to first burst into tears, and then to laugh
himself. He describes how he feels, and then asks after Frodo.

Frodo himself sits up and laughs as well. He had been awake for some time
before, and then fell back to sleep waiting for Sam. (7) We learn that they
have been asleep for two whole weeks. (8)

Gandalf tells them that they will be taken to the King. Sam seems not to
realize that this must be Aragorn, which is surprising, considering that he
was listening in at the Council of Elrond. They are dressed once more in the
rags they were wearing at the end, though Gandalf says they may have other
clothing later. He also returns the gifts they received from Galadriel.

The hobbits wash and dress, and are led by Gandalf through the grove, and to
a field where the host of the West is assembled to do them honor. There are
trumpets and hymns of praise to them. (9)

They are led forward, and at the sight of Aragorn, the two run to greet and
embrace their friend. (10) Sam seems shocked to see Strider. He is further
non-plussed when the king bows to them, and then sets *them* upon the
throne. They are presented to the host, and once more praised, and then a
minstrel comes to sing the lay of "Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of
Doom". This last is almost too much for Sam, who exclaims "O, great glory
and splendor! And all my wishes have come true!" before bursting into tears.
(11) The host listens to the minstrel until evening falls.

Now Frodo and Sam are led to a tent where they are given new clothing to
wear, and their cloaks and other items are returned to them. Frodo is given
back the mithril shirt and Sting, which he is reluctant to don, and does so
only at Gandalf's urging. Sam is gifted with a coat of gilded mail. And they
are given silver circlets of honor, as well. (12) (13)

They are led to the Royal Pavilion, where they are seated at the High Table
among all the great leaders, and find themselves waited upon by two esquires
in livery--Merry and Pippin. This is Sam's first sight of the two since he
has awakened, and he is flabbergasted by their appearance and cannot get
over their growth spurts. Pippin tells him "We are knights of the City and
of the Mark, as I hope you observe." (14)

The feast ends, and the friends all return to the beech grove. There, Sam is
caught up with the news of all that took place while they were separated,
though he seems to have trouble digesting it all, and Pippin makes the
comment about Frodo writing it all down. Finally, Gandalf reminds them that
they are only newly awakened from their injuries and need rest, and Gimli
reminds Pippin of the same--he's only been allowed up for one day, prior to
this. (15)

We have a brief interlude from Legolas, who is off to commune with the
trees. He sings a lovely song of the Sea, before taking himself off. (16)

They spend almost a month enjoying Ithilien and recuperating, before heading
back to Minas Tirith. There are apparently a few little mopping up
operations to do with some of the remnants of the Enemy, as well. Finally,
they head back to the White City, arriving on the eve of the first of
May--the day before Aragorn returns to become crowned as King Elessar.

QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:

(1) Has Gandalf then, uncloaked his power as a Maia here?

(2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they, as some
claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience of the plot, or
is there more significance to their presence. How important to realizing the
role the Eagles play is a knowledge of the Silmarillion, and the role of the
Eagles there? Are *these* Eagles in particular merely a higher form of
animal, as is Shadowfax for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar?
Gwaihir, at least, talks.

(3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has Gandalf's Ring
alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?

(4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to Sharkey's end
later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then dissipated in
the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West? Is there a reason
for the similarity?

(5) Did he in fact, think he would find them alive? Or was this one more act
of faith (hope)?

(6) Gwaihir's POV is the last in this chapter of anyone but Sam. We do not
get any more of Frodo's POV at all.

(7) What did Frodo do during the morning hours, as he waited for Sam to
awaken? We are not privy to any of this. Not even second-hand.

(8) Why the two week healing sleep? Story external, it serves a number of
purposes--moving the plot along, and enabling JRRT to skip over the messy
medical details of caring for two people suffering from exposure,
dehydration, malnutrition, and any number of smaller cuts, burns, bruises
and abrasions, abuse from orcs and Gollum, not to mention a missing digit
with the attendant blood loss. But what about story internal? Is this
healing sleep some esoteric method used by the Elves that Aragorn is
familiar with?

(9) The hymn of praise: is it a set of verses, that have been disseminated
to the crowd, or is it meant to be simply the outcry of cheering from all
the different folk there assembled? I have always thought of it as an actual
poem or song, but a careful reading of the text here shows there *could* be
another interpretation.

(10) This is, to me, such a hobbity reaction. Their first thought is not
"Here's a King" but "here's our friend." It is one of my favorite things.

(11) Discussion of Eucatastrophe, anyone?

(12) As in the "Mount Doom" chapter, we see again Frodo's reluctance to bear
a weapon. Significance?

(13) So, in two weeks, while the army is yet in the field, they have come up
with new clothes that fit the hobbits, the circlets and the gilded coat of
mail. These things can't be whipped up overnight. Where did they come from?
JRRT gives no hints, here. Wild speculation, anyone?

(14) Another untold bit. So when did these knightings take place? Éowyn
asked Eómer to knight Merry, but there was certainly no time for that before
the host left Minas Tirith. And no hint that Pippin was to be knighted as
well.

(15) Pippin's recuperation is remarkable. According to Gimli, he was taken
for dead when found beneath the troll, so his injuries must have been
serious. Yet here he is, serving feast and appearing chipper only two weeks
later. I have some interesting theories on that score.

(16) Does anyone else think the placement of this is odd? I love the poem,
and think it one of JRRT's sweetest and saddest, but it seems a bit out of
place here.

OTHER QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:


This is one of the sweetest and most poetical of the last chapters, an
interlude that allows for healing and recovery, and for the reader to savor
the Eucatastrophe of the Ring's destruction and the survival of the heroes.

But in some ways, there is a good deal left out. We do not know, other than
sleep, what treatment Frodo and Sam received, we do not know, other than
that it kept him abed for 13 days, what injuries Pippin sustained in the
battle, nor what treatment *he* received. We are not told what Merry did
after his arrival there. And Frodo is strangely quiet. Certainly we get Sam's
POV, but Frodo does not tell him what he was doing before Sam awakened--yet
he does not express any surprise at seeing Merry and Pippin at the feast,
for example. So we are not getting Frodo's POV even second-handedly. There
is, basically, a two-week gap, during which we know *nothing*. Why?

FAVORITE QUOTE:

" And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and
tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men
were hushed. And he sang to them, not in the Elven-tongue, not in the speech
of the West, until their hearts, wounded with words, overflowed, and their
joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out of regions where pain
and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION:

About a year ago, I wrote a fanfic answering a few of these pressing
questions. If anyone cares to know, email me, and I will send you the URL.


Jette Goldie

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Mar 14, 2005, 3:04:09 PM3/14/05
to

"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote

> (8) Why the two week healing sleep? Story external, it serves a
number of
> purposes--moving the plot along, and enabling JRRT to skip over the
messy
> medical details of caring for two people suffering from exposure,
> dehydration, malnutrition, and any number of smaller cuts, burns,
bruises
> and abrasions, abuse from orcs and Gollum, not to mention a missing
digit
> with the attendant blood loss. But what about story internal? Is
this
> healing sleep some esoteric method used by the Elves that Aragorn is
> familiar with?


Even today doctors will sometimes induce a "coma" to allow
severely injured people (especially brain injuries) to recover.


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


Raven

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Mar 14, 2005, 3:52:28 PM3/14/05
to
"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i en meddelelse
news:113bicl...@corp.supernews.com...

> (1) Has Gandalf then, uncloaked his power as a Maia here?

Probably not more than when he used his hand as sort of a beam-rifle to
drive off the winged Nazgûl on the Pelennor on that dreary day of fear.

> (3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has Gandalf's
> Ring alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?

Those two, and somehow sensing Sauron's change of mind, his sudden
consuming fear.

> (4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to Sharkey's
> end later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then
> dissipated in the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West?
> Is there a reason for the similarity?

My guess is that Sauron still tried, though now impotently, to conquer
the west of Middle-earth. He knew that it was an utterly vain gesture but
was unable to help himself, defiantly seeking to fulfill his evil ambition
even in his moment of final and utter defeat. Or possibly he wanted to at
least frighten his enemies for a moment, as the last act of wickedness and
hate that he would ever be able to inflict on anyone. Or perhaps it was
just a last defiant scream of rage and despair, ultimately similar to the
last damp squeak of any field mouse that is picked up by a hunting owl.
"Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast
threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a
great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush
fell."
Saruman, OTOH, seems to have sought Aman in his final despair, but found
rejection, and no forgiveness.

> (13) So, in two weeks, while the army is yet in the field, they have come
> up with new clothes that fit the hobbits, the circlets and the gilded coat
> of mail. These things can't be whipped up overnight. Where did they
> come from? JRRT gives no hints, here. Wild speculation, anyone?

The clothes easily can, if an express order is sent to the royal tailor
shop in Minas Tirith, or if there were tailors with the host. The circlets
likewise. Or the circlets, like the mailcoat, may have been in storage in
Minas Tirith, meant originally for young princelings or stewardlings, just
as Bilbo's mithril coat was originally meant for a boy prince of Elves.

> (14) Another untold bit. So when did these knightings take place? Éowyn
> asked Eómer to knight Merry, but there was certainly no time for that
> before the host left Minas Tirith. And no hint that Pippin was to be
> knighted as well.

Perhaps their "knighthoods" were just their service to Théoden and to
Denethor, and any armed person sworn to service directly to the King or
Steward were, in one usage of the word, a knight. But they may well have
been promoted from "ohtar" to "roquen" in the field: Merry at the urge of
Éowyn, and Pippin for saving Beregond's life by slaying the troll that had
stunned him and would bite his throat.
<and anyway there were pals to the great people(tm)>

Karasu.


Stan Brown

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Mar 14, 2005, 10:01:29 PM3/14/05
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"aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"
>
>
>In which most, if not quite all, sad things come untrue.
>
>SUMMARY:
>
>This chapter picks up where "The Black Gate Opens" leaves off. The battle is
>still raging. The first paragraph is an amazing bit of description. "Upon
>the hilltop stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold an no shadow fell on
>him. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a wave on the beleaguered hills,
>voices roaring like a tide amid the wreck and crash of arms." (1)
>
>(1) Has Gandalf then, uncloaked his power as a Maia here?

I don't see any indication of that. The way I read the passage is
that the hosts of Mordor threatened to obverwhelm the defenders by
sheer numbers, as he sea overwhelms a small hilock in the beach
sand.

> The hosts of the West begin to press their
>advantage, but Gandalf calls on them to wait--he knows that the whole point
>of the Quest is on the brink of fulfillment or failure. (3)

I've never quite understood _how_ he knew that. Perhaps as Gandalf
the White he was using the perceptions of a Maia.

>(3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has Gandalf's Ring
>alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?

Interesting idea, that. Gladriel told Frodo in the "Mirror" chapter
that he would need long practice before he could perceive the
thoughts of those who wore the other Rings. I always asumed he
would also need long practice before he could threaten their
control of their ings, but maybe not.

>And then Sauron is blown away. Literally. (4)

>(4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to Sharkey's end

>later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then dissipated in
>the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West? Is there a reason
>for the similarity?

They were both Maiar. Saruman at least had come from the West;
Sauron had always threatened the Valar, the Lords of the West.
(Sauron was one of the "people of Aule" but I believe he had
already declared for Melkor before the Vala moved to Valinor.)

>Now Frodo and Sam are led to a tent where they are given new clothing to
>wear, and their cloaks and other items are returned to them. Frodo is given
>back the mithril shirt and Sting, which he is reluctant to don, and does so
>only at Gandalf's urging. Sam is gifted with a coat of gilded mail. And they
>are given silver circlets of honor, as well. (12) (13)

>(13) So, in two weeks, while the army is yet in the field, they have come up

>with new clothes that fit the hobbits, the circlets and the gilded coat of
>mail. These things can't be whipped up overnight. Where did they come from?
>JRRT gives no hints, here. Wild speculation, anyone?

The Rangers of Ithilien had various refuges, where they lived for
weeks at a time. Pesumably the larger ones like Henneth Annun
included repair facilities.

--
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

AC

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Mar 15, 2005, 12:43:54 AM3/15/05
to
On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600,
aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>
> QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:
>
> (1) Has Gandalf then, uncloaked his power as a Maia here?

Very likely this is Gandalf v2's big moment.

>
> (2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they, as some
> claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience of the plot, or
> is there more significance to their presence. How important to realizing the
> role the Eagles play is a knowledge of the Silmarillion, and the role of the
> Eagles there? Are *these* Eagles in particular merely a higher form of
> animal, as is Shadowfax for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar?
> Gwaihir, at least, talks.

I agree that the accusation of deus ex machina is probably justified, though
I find it sufficiently stirring, and Gwaihir's previous interventions
sufficently frequent to think the Eagles may not have helped in every cause,
but certainly did in some.

As to the nature of the Eagles, well I think Silm makes it clear enough that
at least the earliest generation were certainly Maiar. We don't have enough
information to go any further, but if we take Melian as an example, there's
no reason to assume that these Eagles of Manwe didn't take forms capable of
reproduction. It still means that Eru would have had to supply a fea for
each descendant, but I can assume He did the same for Ents and Dwarves, who
weren't his direction creations either.

>
> (3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has Gandalf's Ring
> alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?

I have a hunch that any of the other bearers of Rings of Power may have
known this.

>
> (4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to Sharkey's end
> later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then dissipated in
> the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West? Is there a reason
> for the similarity?

I think the reasons are precisely the opposite. I think Sauron was making a
final show of defiance. Saruman was, I believe, hoping that the Valar would
permit him to return. Their ends, I imagine, were the same.

>
> (5) Did he in fact, think he would find them alive? Or was this one more act
> of faith (hope)?

I think it was pure faith.

>
> (6) Gwaihir's POV is the last in this chapter of anyone but Sam. We do not
> get any more of Frodo's POV at all.
>
> (7) What did Frodo do during the morning hours, as he waited for Sam to
> awaken? We are not privy to any of this. Not even second-hand.

I would imagine that he taked with Gandalf.

>
> (8) Why the two week healing sleep? Story external, it serves a number of
> purposes--moving the plot along, and enabling JRRT to skip over the messy
> medical details of caring for two people suffering from exposure,
> dehydration, malnutrition, and any number of smaller cuts, burns, bruises
> and abrasions, abuse from orcs and Gollum, not to mention a missing digit
> with the attendant blood loss. But what about story internal? Is this
> healing sleep some esoteric method used by the Elves that Aragorn is
> familiar with?

My bets are an induced coma! The Numenoreans were, I'm sure, in possession
of vast bodies of medical knowledge subsequently lost, and perhaps knew (or
at least hoped) that such a coma might aid greatly in the recovery.

>
> (9) The hymn of praise: is it a set of verses, that have been disseminated
> to the crowd, or is it meant to be simply the outcry of cheering from all
> the different folk there assembled? I have always thought of it as an actual
> poem or song, but a careful reading of the text here shows there *could* be
> another interpretation.

It's hard to believe people would just start simultaneously singing that. I
bet it was composed prior to the event.

>
> (10) This is, to me, such a hobbity reaction. Their first thought is not
> "Here's a King" but "here's our friend." It is one of my favorite things.
>
> (11) Discussion of Eucatastrophe, anyone?
>
> (12) As in the "Mount Doom" chapter, we see again Frodo's reluctance to bear
> a weapon. Significance?

I think it's yet another example of how Frodo has grown in stature. Every
time I read that passage I feel that it is the sentiment of a wise, sad and
noble soul.

>
> (13) So, in two weeks, while the army is yet in the field, they have come up
> with new clothes that fit the hobbits, the circlets and the gilded coat of
> mail. These things can't be whipped up overnight. Where did they come from?
> JRRT gives no hints, here. Wild speculation, anyone?

Well, we know that Hobbits previously lived in close relationship with Men.
Maybe they are old stock. Of course, I think it's also possible that the
Dunedain still remain such masters of the material arts that they can pull
this off.

>
> (14) Another untold bit. So when did these knightings take place? Éowyn
> asked Eómer to knight Merry, but there was certainly no time for that before
> the host left Minas Tirith. And no hint that Pippin was to be knighted as
> well.

I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm fairly
certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.

>
> (15) Pippin's recuperation is remarkable. According to Gimli, he was taken
> for dead when found beneath the troll, so his injuries must have been
> serious. Yet here he is, serving feast and appearing chipper only two weeks
> later. I have some interesting theories on that score.

It wouldn't happen to involve the drink of a certain tree-like person,
would it?

>
> (16) Does anyone else think the placement of this is odd? I love the poem,
> and think it one of JRRT's sweetest and saddest, but it seems a bit out of
> place here.

I think it's a bit of foreshadowing.

>
> OTHER QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:
>
>
> This is one of the sweetest and most poetical of the last chapters, an
> interlude that allows for healing and recovery, and for the reader to savor
> the Eucatastrophe of the Ring's destruction and the survival of the heroes.
>
> But in some ways, there is a good deal left out. We do not know, other than
> sleep, what treatment Frodo and Sam received, we do not know, other than
> that it kept him abed for 13 days, what injuries Pippin sustained in the
> battle, nor what treatment *he* received. We are not told what Merry did
> after his arrival there. And Frodo is strangely quiet. Certainly we get Sam's
> POV, but Frodo does not tell him what he was doing before Sam awakened--yet
> he does not express any surprise at seeing Merry and Pippin at the feast,
> for example. So we are not getting Frodo's POV even second-handedly. There
> is, basically, a two-week gap, during which we know *nothing*. Why?

I'm not sure we see much of Frodo's point of view ever again. I suspect
that he has grown beyond that, that, in a way, a tale of Hobbits by Hobbits
no longer really fits Frodo, as he no longer fits the Shire, or Middle
Earth. He becomes a more distant figure, one that I suspect most Hobbits
could not relate to at all.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Henriette

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Mar 15, 2005, 5:42:01 AM3/15/05
to
aelfwina wrote:
> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"
>
> (4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to
Sharkey's end
> later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then
dissipated in
> the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West?

IMO this is symbolical and has to do with the interwovenness of the
fate of Sauron and the West.

> (5) Did he in fact, think he would find them alive? Or was this one
more act
> of faith (hope)?
>

Faith, hope, and some clearsightedness.


>
> (12) As in the "Mount Doom" chapter, we see again Frodo's reluctance
to bear
> a weapon. Significance?
>

This fits in with the peaceful gentlehobbit as we have got to know him,
who during his quest and much to his dislike, was up to his ears
immersed in wars, fighting and violence and grew more and more revolted
by them. Eventually he wanted to avoid anything to do with them like a
weapon.

> (15) Pippin's recuperation is remarkable. According to Gimli, he was
taken
> for dead when found beneath the troll, so his injuries must have been

> serious. Yet here he is, serving feast and appearing chipper only two
weeks
> later. I have some interesting theories on that score.
>

Sam, Frodo's and Pippin's recuperation are defenitely remarkable, but
IMO Sam and Frodo's the more, as they have suffered long and beyond
endurance.

> This is one of the sweetest and most poetical of the last

chapters,(snip)

It is wonderfully relaxing after the previous chapter!

> " And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their
merriment and
> tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and
all men
> were hushed. And he sang to them, not in the Elven-tongue, not in the
speech
> of the West, until their hearts, wounded with words, overflowed, and
their
> joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out of regions where
pain
> and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of
blessedness."

Beautiful.

> SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: (snip)
>
LOL!

Henriette

aelfwina

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Mar 16, 2005, 4:17:53 AM3/16/05
to

"AC" <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:slrnd3ctgq.5p0....@aaron.clausen...

> On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600,
> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>> (14) Another untold bit. So when did these knightings take place? Éowyn
>> asked Eómer to knight Merry, but there was certainly no time for that
>> before
>> the host left Minas Tirith. And no hint that Pippin was to be knighted as
>> well.
>
> I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm fairly
> certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.

Denethor took Pippin into his service, but there is no indication that he
honored him with a knighthood at the same time--he seems to have thought of
Pippin along the lines of a page, at least he did not seem to know exactly
what sort of service Pippin was "fit for"; the same for Merry and
Theoden--he was Theoden's esquire, but is not referred to as a knight. And
Eowyn specifically asks her *brother* to knight the young Brandybuck, and
she would have known if her uncle had already done so.
So, to my mind at least, another something that took place during the
mysterious two week gap.

>
>>
>> (15) Pippin's recuperation is remarkable. According to Gimli, he was
>> taken
>> for dead when found beneath the troll, so his injuries must have been
>> serious. Yet here he is, serving feast and appearing chipper only two
>> weeks
>> later. I have some interesting theories on that score.
>
> It wouldn't happen to involve the drink of a certain tree-like person,
> would it?

8-D You read my mind! After all, if the growth spurts and the curly hair
were permanent, then why not the boost to the recuperative powers as well?

Interesting. I've often thought that perhaps it had to do with the idea
that Frodo himself is chronicling this, and he seems to be trying to state
the facts, while keeping his own feelings private. A form of distancing and
denial in keeping with his later melancholy before he left M-e.
It's possible *most* hobbits could not relate to him, true--I think his
experiences ultimately left him among the "Wise". But I think his fellow
Travellers would have had some good idea...


>
> --
> mightym...@hotmail.com


Michele Fry

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 8:56:31 AM3/15/05
to
In article <113doa2...@corp.supernews.com>, aelfwina
<aelf...@cableone.net> writes

>Interesting. I've often thought that perhaps it had to do with the idea
>that Frodo himself is chronicling this, and he seems to be trying to state
>the facts, while keeping his own feelings private. A form of distancing and
>denial in keeping with his later melancholy before he left M-e.
>It's possible *most* hobbits could not relate to him, true--I think his
>experiences ultimately left him among the "Wise". But I think his fellow
>Travellers would have had some good idea...

Take into account also the feeling that the returning survivors of the
FWW had - that the world at home had changed and whilst they had been
changed by their experiences, the two did not necessarily "mesh"... A
good many men who survived the FWW rarely spoke of their experiences to
their families or outsiders because of their feeling that you had to be
there to understand - but also because they wanted to forget the horrors
they'd seen and endured. I think it was easier for Merry and Pippin (and
Sam to a lesser extent) to get on with their lives afterwards because
they hadn't suffered the same kind of wounding and torture (from
carrying the Ring) that Frodo had... Plus, Merry and Pippin were younger
and therefore, psychologically, more like to "bounce back" more easily
than Frodo...

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

- Pliny the Younger
==
Now reading: The Fifth Elephant - Terry Pratchett
==
Commit random acts of literacy! Read & Release at Bookcrossing:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/friend/Sass-80

Stan Brown

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 9:08:37 AM3/15/05
to
"AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm fairly
>certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.

In the Houses of Healing, when Gandalf brings her back, she says to
King Eomer: "And what of the king's esquire, the Halfling? Éomer,
you shall make him a knight of the Riddermark, for he is valiant!"
That wouldn't make any sense if he'd already been knighted by
Theoden. So Eomer must knight him sometime between then and the
Field of Cormallen.

As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.

aelfwina

unread,
Mar 16, 2005, 10:01:32 AM3/16/05
to

"Michele Fry" <mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> wrote in message >

> Take into account also the feeling that the returning survivors of the
> FWW had - that the world at home had changed and whilst they had been
> changed by their experiences, the two did not necessarily "mesh"... A
> good many men who survived the FWW rarely spoke of their experiences to
> their families or outsiders because of their feeling that you had to be
> there to understand - but also because they wanted to forget the horrors
> they'd seen and endured. I think it was easier for Merry and Pippin (and
> Sam to a lesser extent) to get on with their lives afterwards because
> they hadn't suffered the same kind of wounding and torture (from
> carrying the Ring) that Frodo had... Plus, Merry and Pippin were younger
> and therefore, psychologically, more like to "bounce back" more easily
> than Frodo...

This is true. I've recently had it pointed out to me, however, that going
by the Appendices, *none* of the four chose to end his days there in the
Shire among the Hobbits. Frodo left first, and long before, but Sam
supposedly joined him eventually in the Undying Lands, and both Merry and
Pippin chose to leave the Shire and end their days in Gondor. All three of
them seemed to have left as soon as they lost their wives. Lends some
credence to the idea of "no one else can understand unless they were there".
Apparently *all* of them felt a sense of isolation at home.
Barbara

Michele Fry

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 12:35:22 PM3/15/05
to
In article <113dvap...@corp.supernews.com>, aelfwina
<aelf...@cableone.net> writes

>This is true. I've recently had it pointed out to me, however, that going
>by the Appendices, *none* of the four chose to end his days there in the
>Shire among the Hobbits. Frodo left first, and long before, but Sam
>supposedly joined him eventually in the Undying Lands, and both Merry and
>Pippin chose to leave the Shire and end their days in Gondor. All three of
>them seemed to have left as soon as they lost their wives. Lends some
>credence to the idea of "no one else can understand unless they were there".
>Apparently *all* of them felt a sense of isolation at home.

Yes, I've noticed that in the past... I confess - going off on a slight
tangent, that I've always been puzzled by the reference to Merry's sons,
in the ToY, given that there's no reference to his wife in either the
Took or Brandybuck family trees, yet both Pippin's (Diamond of Long
Cleeve) and Sam's (Rose Cotton) wives are listed - and their respective
children (in Sam's case, in exhaustive if not exhausting detail !)
Anyone know who Merry married - or why her name is not given in the
family trees in Appendix C ?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 3:01:09 PM3/15/05
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"

<snip>

>> This chapter picks up where "The Black Gate Opens" leaves off. The
>> battle is still raging. The first paragraph is an amazing bit of
>> description. "Upon the hilltop stood Gandalf, and he was white and
>> cold an no shadow fell on him. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a
>> wave on the beleaguered hills, voices roaring like a tide amid the
>> wreck and crash of arms." (1)
>>
>> (1) Has Gandalf then, uncloaked his power as a Maia here?
>
> I don't see any indication of that. The way I read the passage is
> that the hosts of Mordor threatened to obverwhelm the defenders by
> sheer numbers, as he sea overwhelms a small hilock in the beach
> sand.

I think the question referred to this bit:

"Upon the hilltop stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold and no shadow
fell on him."

Maybe a bit of semi-uncloaking. But more likely just a logical extension
of the rampant metaphors used here. This chapter is an example of
Tolkien at his most elegiac. His 'high' style. Though some call it
overblown. At times I am almost inclined to agree, but most of the time
I absolutely love the effect and style.

For example, the description of Aragorn's eyes that:

"gleamed like stars that shine the brighter as the night deepens"

In fact, the whole first paragraph of this chapter is positively
overflowing with metaphors and wonderful descriptions.

Colour: red (blood), dark (evil), white (good), bright (good).
Time: "lost in thought of things long past or far away"
Metaphors: stars, tides, time, storms, shadows of death.

<snip>

One of the technical points I wanted to bring up in this chapter is the
bit where, at the climax to the story, Tolkien still remains faithful to
his style and describes the history of the eagles. And then spends many
a long and convoluted passage describing the course of the battle and
Sauron's Downfall. Did anyone else find themselves at this point
thinking that they wanted to know what had happened to Sam and Frodo, or
did anyone think they were dead? And, of course, when the Eagles arrive,
are you reminded of Pippin? What has happened to him? Is he dead as
well?

Or is Tolkien's writing so overwhelming that you are just caught up in
the drama of the moment, and forget about Sam, Frodo and Pippin? I think
I reacted this way, and the way that Tolkien then brings Sam, Frodo,
Merry and Pippin back into the story, decending from the high and
elegiac to the low (in the good sense) and ordinary, is seamless and
masterful.

Christopher

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

aelfwina

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Mar 16, 2005, 3:32:54 PM3/16/05
to

"Michele Fry" <mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Ha472aAa...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk...

> In article <113dvap...@corp.supernews.com>, aelfwina
> <aelf...@cableone.net> writes
>
>>This is true. I've recently had it pointed out to me, however, that going
>>by the Appendices, *none* of the four chose to end his days there in the
>>Shire among the Hobbits. Frodo left first, and long before, but Sam
>>supposedly joined him eventually in the Undying Lands, and both Merry and
>>Pippin chose to leave the Shire and end their days in Gondor. All three of
>>them seemed to have left as soon as they lost their wives. Lends some
>>credence to the idea of "no one else can understand unless they were
>>there".
>>Apparently *all* of them felt a sense of isolation at home.
>
> Yes, I've noticed that in the past... I confess - going off on a slight
> tangent, that I've always been puzzled by the reference to Merry's sons,
> in the ToY, given that there's no reference to his wife in either the
> Took or Brandybuck family trees, yet both Pippin's (Diamond of Long
> Cleeve) and Sam's (Rose Cotton) wives are listed - and their respective
> children (in Sam's case, in exhaustive if not exhausting detail !)
> Anyone know who Merry married - or why her name is not given in the
> family trees in Appendix C ?

Her name *did* appear in later editions: he married Estella Bolger, younger
sister of Fredegar Bolger. Also, I have it from a person who once recieved
a letter from JRRT back in the day when he still was willing and able to
answer such questions, that the only reason Merry's son did not appear was
that there was not enough room on the page, and that his son's name would
have been "Periadoc".
Barbara

Michele Fry

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 3:34:38 PM3/15/05
to
In article <9aHZd.4904$QN1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>, Christopher
Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes

>One of the technical points I wanted to bring up in this chapter is the
>bit where, at the climax to the story, Tolkien still remains faithful to
>his style and describes the history of the eagles. And then spends many
>a long and convoluted passage describing the course of the battle and
>Sauron's Downfall. Did anyone else find themselves at this point
>thinking that they wanted to know what had happened to Sam and Frodo, or
>did anyone think they were dead? And, of course, when the Eagles arrive,
>are you reminded of Pippin? What has happened to him? Is he dead as
>well?
>
>Or is Tolkien's writing so overwhelming that you are just caught up in
>the drama of the moment, and forget about Sam, Frodo and Pippin? I think
>I reacted this way, and the way that Tolkien then brings Sam, Frodo,
>Merry and Pippin back into the story, decending from the high and
>elegiac to the low (in the good sense) and ordinary, is seamless and
>masterful.

I confess that the first time I read this I desperately wanted to know
what had happened to Frodo, Sam and then Pippin - I wasn't so caught up
that I'd forgotten them...

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

- Pliny the Younger
==

Now reading: Night Watch - Terry Pratchett

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 6:43:48 PM3/15/05
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>> I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm
>> fairly certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.
>
> In the Houses of Healing, when Gandalf brings her back, she says to
> King Eomer: "And what of the king's esquire, the Halfling? Éomer,
> you shall make him a knight of the Riddermark, for he is valiant!"
> That wouldn't make any sense if he'd already been knighted by
> Theoden. So Eomer must knight him sometime between then and the
> Field of Cormallen.

This seems to settle the Merry being a knight question. But I also think
that people may be taking Merry's statement to Sam a bit too literally.
There might not be any need to take the statement of one hobbit to other
hobbits as a formal statement of rank. It might just be a bit of general
bragging:

"We are knights of the City and of the Mark, as I hope you observe."

This is what Merry says. But the narrator describes Merry and Pippin as
they enter the room (seen from Sam's POV) thus:

"...there came in two esquires to serve the kings; or so they seemed to
be: one was clad in the silver and sable of the Guards of Minas Tirith,
and the other in white and green."

So are they esquires or knights?

Merry says: "as I hope you observe", and we can see that Pippin still
has the attire of a Guard of the Citadel of Minas Tirith. This might be
enough to explain the phrase "knight of the City" (see comments about
Beregond below), but I still favour the 'bragging' scenario.

[Actually, on reviewing the post, the bragging scenario, though still
valid, IMO, is no longer needed to explain the use of the word 'knight'.
I now think that Merry and Pippin genuinely are knights, but of
different sorts and from different cultures.]

> As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
> elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
> would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
> before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
> of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
> acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
> like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
> it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.

But later, we hear this (as the body of Theoden is escorted home):

"...Merry being Theoden's esquire rode upon the wain and kept the arms
of the king. [...] and Pippin rode with the knights of Gondor..."

So here you could say that Merry is an esquire and that Pippin is the
knight. It depends on exactly what 'knight' means in Tolkien's world.
And also, the difference in knights between Rohan and Gondor. Also,
Merry and Pippin would most likely not know the correct usage of the
word 'knight' in Rohan and Gondor. The word 'knight' is used in several
ways:

"...Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded
banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company
of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven
hundreds of men at arms..." (the knights of Dol Amroth are later called
swan-knights)

The Dunedain that ride to meet Aragorn in Rohan are described as knights
by Theoden. Theoden is also said to have knights, especially when he
rides into battle:

"After him thundered the knights of his house..."

But these seem to be more like house-ceorls in the Anglo-Saxon model of
military organisation. A personal bodyguard if you like. That seems also
to be what the Guards of the Citadel of Minas Tirith are, and Denethor
refers to Beregond as a knight:

"Beregond sprang forward and set himself before Faramir [...] 'So!'
cried Denethor [speaking to Gandalf] 'Thou hadst already stolen half my
son's love. Now thou stealest the hearts of my knights also, so that
they rob me wholly of my son at the last."

So if Beregond, a Guard of the Citadel, is described as a knight, what
does that make Pippin? As a final morsel for thought, remember that the
helmet that Pippin wears is _not_ the same as that of the Guards of the
Citadel:

"Pippin soon found himself arrayed in strange garments, all of black and
silver. He had a small hauberk, its rings forged of steel, maybe, yet
black as jet; and a high-crowned helm with small raven-wings on either
side, set with a silver star in the centre of the circlet."

"The Guards of the gate were robed in black, and their helms were of
strange shape, high-crowned, with long cheek-guards close-fitting to the
face, and above the cheek-guards were set the white wings of sea-birds;
but the helms gleamed with a flame of silver, for they were indeed
wrought of mithril, heirlooms from the glory of old days."

So the real Guards got the heirlooms. Pippin got the funny raven-winged
helmet instead, but with the coveted silver star!!

Returning to the knights of Rohan, many of the knights of Theoden's
house are slain on the battlefield of the Pelennor, as you would expect
from their role defending their king to the death, but they are
mentioned in several places. First is when the King leaves the Hold of
Dunharrow:

"The king raised his hand, and then silently the host of the Mark began
to move. Foremost went twelve of the king's household-men, Riders of
renown. [...] Behind him Merry rode on Stybba with the errand riders of
Gondor, and behind them again twelve more of the king's household."

These would all, undoubtedly, be the knights referred to later. These
knights play leading roles in the battle, and gain great honour:

"Then one of the knights took the king's banner from the hand of Guthlaf
the banner-bearer who lay dead, and he lifted it up. Slowly Theoden
opened his eyes. Seeing the banner he made a sign that it should be
given to Eomer."

They are also given the task of bearing the body from the battlefield,
as Eomer says:

"Let his knights remain here and bear his body in honour from the field,
lest the battle ride over it! Yea, and all these other of the king's men
that lie here."

"But the men of the king's household they could not yet bring from the
field; for seven of the king's knights had fallen there, and Deorwine
their chief was among them. So they laid them apart from their foes and
the fell beast and set spears about them."

The symbolism of twelve knights (seen when they ride from Dunharrow) is
repeated in the description of Theoden's lying in state in the throne
room of Minas Tirith:

"...before the dais lay Theoden King of the Mark upon a bed of state;
and twelve torches stood about it, and twelve guards, knights both of
Rohan and Gondor."

Going back to the Gondorian knights, we later hear of Aragorn (after his
crowning) riding about with "his knights", and he says to Pippin, at
their farewell:

"For do not forget, Peregrin Took, that you are a knight of Gondor, and
I do not release you from your service."

As for what role Pippin took on when he swore his oath to Denethor, I
would say that this was at the discretion of Denethor. The oath is very
formal, with the offering and acceptance of a sword. Later, Gandalf says
to Pippin: "you are sworn to his service" and "Peregrin son of Paladin,
soldier of Gondor". Beregond is sent to, for want of a better word,
induct and train Pippin. Beregond also says:

"I do not know to what company you will be assigned; or the Lord may
hold you at his own command."

Beregond also says:

"I am no captain. Neither office nor rank nor lordship have I, being but
a plain man of arms of the Third Company of the Citadel. Yet, Master
Peregrin, to be only a man of arms of the Guard of the Tower of Gondor
is held worthy in the City, and such men have honour in the land."

And remember that Denethor (even if he was possibly mad at the time)
referred to Beregond as one of his knights (see quote somewhere above).

Later, Denethor assigns Pippin to be his esquire and to:

"...wait on me, bear errands, and talk to me, if war and council leave
me any leisure..." [and also to sing]

But Pippin is still, on Denethor's orders, clad in the livery of the
Tower, and I would say that this is enough to make him a "knight of the
City".

Though when he went to battle, he was a man-at-arms, just like Beregond,
and marched with him, but in a company of the Men of the City (not of
the Guard of the Citadel):

"In that same company Pippin was also to go, as a soldier of Gondor.
Merry could see him not far off, a small but upright figure among the
tall men of Minas Tirith."

Oh dear. Looks like Pippin has gone from knight to soldier. But not to
worry, it is the role being described here. It seems that knight is a
sort of title, or sign of honour, rather than a role, in Gondor at
least.

In conclusion, I would say that the livery and the oath is enough to
make Pippin a knight of Gondor. It seems that Merry's oath is not
enough, as the system in Rohan appears to be different. This might
indeed be seen in Tolkien putting in the appeal from Eowyn for Merry to
be knighted. For Merry is indeed now a 'Rider of Renown' (as in the
description of the knights of Theoden's house). We have seen such
spur-of-the-moment promotions and title-bestowing before, from Theoden
himself:

"But hearken all! Here now I name my guest, Gandalf Greyhame, wisest of
counsellors; most welcome of wanderers, a lord of the Mark, a chieftain
of the Eorlingas while our kin shall last; and I give to him Shadowfax,
prince of horses."

So, to answer Stan's concern, I don't really think that this was a slip
by JRRT. Pippin and Merry really were knights of the City and the Mark.
It just means different things, rather than the model of knighthoods we
are used to in the modern world.

Natman

unread,
Mar 15, 2005, 7:40:46 PM3/15/05
to
On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 23:43:48 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>> "AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>> I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm
>>> fairly certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.
>>
>> In the Houses of Healing, when Gandalf brings her back, she says to
>> King Eomer: "And what of the king's esquire, the Halfling? Éomer,
>> you shall make him a knight of the Riddermark, for he is valiant!"
>> That wouldn't make any sense if he'd already been knighted by
>> Theoden. So Eomer must knight him sometime between then and the
>> Field of Cormallen.
>
>This seems to settle the Merry being a knight question. But I also think
>that people may be taking Merry's statement to Sam a bit too literally.
>There might not be any need to take the statement of one hobbit to other
>hobbits as a formal statement of rank. It might just be a bit of general
>bragging:
>
>"We are knights of the City and of the Mark, as I hope you observe."
>
>This is what Merry says. But the narrator describes Merry and Pippin as
>they enter the room (seen from Sam's POV) thus:
>
>"...there came in two esquires to serve the kings; or so they seemed to
>be: one was clad in the silver and sable of the Guards of Minas Tirith,
>and the other in white and green."
>
>So are they esquires or knights?

The key phrase is "from Sam's POV". Since Sam was hardly expecting to
see Merry and Pippin, he ASSUMED that the two short guys must be
esquires. The words "or so they seemed to be" is a tip-off.
>

Michele Fry

unread,
Mar 16, 2005, 12:58:04 AM3/16/05
to
In article <113ehnb...@corp.supernews.com>, aelfwina
<aelf...@cableone.net> writes

>Her name *did* appear in later editions: he married Estella Bolger, younger
>sister of Fredegar Bolger. Also, I have it from a person who once recieved
>a letter from JRRT back in the day when he still was willing and able to
>answer such questions, that the only reason Merry's son did not appear was
>that there was not enough room on the page, and that his son's name would
>have been "Periadoc".

Oh right... Thanks for that. I guess my anniversary p/b edition is based
on an earlier edition then...

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

- Pliny the Younger
==

Now reading: Night Watch - Terry Pratchett

Stan Brown

unread,
Mar 16, 2005, 1:19:32 AM3/16/05
to
"aelfwina" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> both Merry and
>Pippin chose to leave the Shire and end their days in Gondor. ...

>Apparently *all* of them felt a sense of isolation at home.

It's not that -- just that they couldn't get any clothes in the
Shire to fit them. :-)

CleV

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Mar 16, 2005, 4:22:11 PM3/16/05
to
On 15 Mar 2005 05:43:54 GMT, AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600,
>aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:

>> QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:

>> (2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they, as some

>> claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience of the plot, or
>> is there more significance to their presence. How important to realizing the
>> role the Eagles play is a knowledge of the Silmarillion, and the role of the
>> Eagles there? Are *these* Eagles in particular merely a higher form of
>> animal, as is Shadowfax for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar?
>> Gwaihir, at least, talks.

>I agree that the accusation of deus ex machina is probably justified, though
>I find it sufficiently stirring, and Gwaihir's previous interventions
>sufficently frequent to think the Eagles may not have helped in every cause,
>but certainly did in some.

>As to the nature of the Eagles, well I think Silm makes it clear enough that
>at least the earliest generation were certainly Maiar. We don't have enough
>information to go any further, but if we take Melian as an example, there's
>no reason to assume that these Eagles of Manwe didn't take forms capable of
>reproduction. It still means that Eru would have had to supply a fea for
>each descendant, but I can assume He did the same for Ents and Dwarves, who
>weren't his direction creations either.

From Chapter 2 of the Quenta Silmarillion (Of Aulė and Yavanna), it
seems pretty clear to me that the Eagles are the shepherds of the
animals in the same way the Ents are the shepherds of the trees.

Yuk Tang

unread,
Mar 16, 2005, 8:16:40 PM3/16/05
to
clJU...@balcab.ch (CleV) wrote in
news:4238a31c...@news.hispeed.ch:
>
> From Chapter 2 of the Quenta Silmarillion (Of Aulė and Yavanna),
> it seems pretty clear to me that the Eagles are the shepherds of
> the animals in the same way the Ents are the shepherds of the
> trees.

Actually, animals didn't need guardians as they could run away if
threatened, whereas plants could not, hence Yavanna's desire for
shepherds of the trees to protect them from Aule's children. The
Eagles were Manwe's way of keeping an eye on ME, AFAIK with no specific
brief beyond observation.


--
Cheers, ymt.

JimboCat

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Mar 17, 2005, 12:47:12 PM3/17/05
to

Michele Fry wrote:
> Anyone know who Merry married - or why her name is not given in the
> family trees in Appendix C ?

Merry married Mary. The Chronicler was too embarrassed and confused by
this coincidence of names to even mention it.

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
"When ideas fail, words come in very handy." - Goethe

JimboCat

unread,
Mar 17, 2005, 12:52:49 PM3/17/05
to
>As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
>elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
>would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
>before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
>of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
>acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
>like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
>it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.

I see it rather as a bit of Hobbit-y exaggeration by one "fool of a
Took". It fits his personality. He may not have been, actually, a
Knight of Gondor, but he had the fancy clothes and the title sounded
real good and anyway, he's gotta keep up with cousin Merry, doesn't he?
A pardonable offense. Most places, anyway. I expect he got away with
it in Gondor only because his buddy Strider got the Kingship.

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
We may have lost our moral compass but we still have our chaste
sextant, our modest flashlight, our ethical pen knife, and our
virtuous canteen. -- jwkinraleigh

Stan Brown

unread,
Mar 17, 2005, 8:44:21 PM3/17/05
to
"JimboCat" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
[quoting me but, alas, without attribution]

>>As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
>>elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
>>would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
>>before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
>>of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
>>acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
>>like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
>>it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.

http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/unice.htm#attrib

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Mar 18, 2005, 9:32:02 PM3/18/05
to
On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 09:08:37 -0500, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>"AC" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>I thought Pippin was pretty much knighted when by Denethor, and I'm fairly
>>certain that Merry's came when Theoden was still alive.
>
>In the Houses of Healing, when Gandalf brings her back, she says to
>King Eomer: "And what of the king's esquire, the Halfling? Éomer,
>you shall make him a knight of the Riddermark, for he is valiant!"
>That wouldn't make any sense if he'd already been knighted by
>Theoden. So Eomer must knight him sometime between then and the
>Field of Cormallen.
>
>As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
>elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
>would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
>before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
>of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
>acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
>like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
>it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.

Aragorn might have asked Imrahil to do it, when Pippin was recovering
and could have used the morale boost. OTOH, Christopher has me at
least half-convinced that a member of the Guard of the Citadel may be
called a knight.

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

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Mar 18, 2005, 9:32:05 PM3/18/05
to
[Once again moving questions to stand with relevant summary material.]

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
wrote:

>CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"

>Then the Eagles arrive.

>(2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they, as some

>claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience of the plot, or
>is there more significance to their presence. How important to realizing the
>role the Eagles play is a knowledge of the Silmarillion, and the role of the
>Eagles there? Are *these* Eagles in particular merely a higher form of
>animal, as is Shadowfax for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar?
>Gwaihir, at least, talks.

The Eagles are big, very special birds. I think they do a good deal of
keeping an eye on things on their own and would likely have shown at
this big a battle in any case, although there may also have been an
official notice by the Valar that they might want to go do the deus ex
machina thing.

>They attack the Nazgū l, who in turn break and

>flee. But the Ringwraiths have been called by their Master; Sauron's
>attention is no longer on the battlefield, and the remaining hosts of Mordor
>are suddenly in disarray. The hosts of the West begin to press their
>advantage, but Gandalf calls on them to wait--he knows that the whole point
>of the Quest is on the brink of fulfillment or failure. (3)

>(3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has Gandalf's Ring

>alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?

I expect the first thing the Ruling Ring does when brought back
"on-line" as Frodo actually seeks to master it, is ping all the other
Rings. Gandalf would know from this, but this also would explain why
Sauron only noticed so late -- he would have known then when the
Ruling Ring made contact with the Rings he already held (all survivors
but the Three and the One). Sauron probably never thought to build in
long-range communication between the One and himself, because it was
supposed to be on his finger.

>And then Sauron is blown away. Literally. (4)

>(4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to Sharkey's end

>later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West, and then dissipated in
>the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning to the West? Is there a reason
>for the similarity?

Once again, I'm going to offer a prosaic explanation: his will was
already bent westward when he died, focused on Mount Doom and his
Ring.

>With no time to waste, Gandalf commandeers Gwaihir and his two brothers, and
>heads out to fetch Frodo, Sam, and presumably Gollum, as he took three
>Eagles.

Eh, he may have known Gollum was dead, as the One was broadcasting on
the Ring network "Brings uss fissssssssh!" just before going silent.
:-)

>He is answered by Gandalf. Sam, of course is stunned. As far as he knew,
>Gandalf was dead. In his amazement, he asks the wonderful question in true
>Sam-fashion, "Is everything sad going to come untrue?"

Gandalf tactfully avoids telling him "No, don't be silly."

>Frodo himself sits up and laughs as well. He had been awake for some time
>before, and then fell back to sleep waiting for Sam. (7)

>(7) What did Frodo do during the morning hours, as he waited for Sam to

>awaken? We are not privy to any of this. Not even second-hand.

Eating, drinking, using the latrine. Maybe chatting a bit with
Gandalf. I don't think he'd be up for much more.

>We learn that they
>have been asleep for two whole weeks. (8)

>(8) Why the two week healing sleep?

They needed a lot of bed rest. Even uninjured, they'd likely have
slept for two or three days.

>Gandalf tells them that they will be taken to the King. Sam seems not to
>realize that this must be Aragorn, which is surprising, considering that he
>was listening in at the Council of Elrond.

Give him a break. That was months ago, he just got out of a coma, and
he's had a lot of other stuff on his mind. Plus, Gandalf coming back
from the dead and all, Sam probably doesn't feel like trying to make
assumptions about anything.

>The hobbits wash and dress, and are led by Gandalf through the grove, and to
>a field where the host of the West is assembled to do them honor. There are
>trumpets and hymns of praise to them. (9)

>(9) The hymn of praise: is it a set of verses, that have been disseminated

>to the crowd, or is it meant to be simply the outcry of cheering from all
>the different folk there assembled? I have always thought of it as an actual
>poem or song, but a careful reading of the text here shows there *could* be
>another interpretation.

It may a formulaic set of salutations, but I read it as a sample of
things being called out, not any sort of choral reading. After all, if
it was meant to be a poem, it's far below JRRT's usual quality.

>This last is almost too much for Sam, who exclaims "O, great glory
>and splendor! And all my wishes have come true!" before bursting into tears.

>(11) Discussion of Eucatastrophe, anyone?

Uh, that's what koalas eat, right? :-)

>Now Frodo and Sam are led to a tent where they are given new clothing to
>wear, and their cloaks and other items are returned to them. Frodo is given
>back the mithril shirt and Sting, which he is reluctant to don, and does so
>only at Gandalf's urging. Sam is gifted with a coat of gilded mail. And they
>are given silver circlets of honor, as well. (12) (13)

>(12) As in the "Mount Doom" chapter, we see again Frodo's reluctance to bear
>a weapon. Significance?

He's both saintly and scarred. The saint foregoes violence and the
scarred hobbit has no heart left for the romance of "adventure" and
fears emblems of power and dominance that remind him of his loss and
his "failure".

>(13) So, in two weeks, while the army is yet in the field, they have come up
>with new clothes that fit the hobbits, the circlets and the gilded coat of
>mail. These things can't be whipped up overnight. Where did they come from?
>JRRT gives no hints, here. Wild speculation, anyone?

They have been waiting nearly six hundred years to be used, fulfilling
the Quartermaster's Prophecy which foretold the need.

>Finally, Gandalf reminds them that
>they are only newly awakened from their injuries and need rest,

"Ah, Gandalf, can't we stay up just another hour?"
"No! To bed, all of you!"

Gandalf would be a great babysitter.

> and Gimli
>reminds Pippin of the same--he's only been allowed up for one day, prior to
>this. (15)

>(15) Pippin's recuperation is remarkable. According to Gimli, he was taken

>for dead when found beneath the troll, so his injuries must have been
>serious. Yet here he is, serving feast and appearing chipper only two weeks
>later. I have some interesting theories on that score.

Well, Gimli remembered to check if Pippin were still breathing (didn't
want another embarrassing "Eowyn incident"), but I don't think he
likely had much in the way of visible injury -- having a huge troll
fall on you would mostly threaten internal injuries. He likely
suffered some impact, but more shock and suffocation under the pile of
bodies than anything else.

>We have a brief interlude from Legolas, who is off to commune with the
>trees. He sings a lovely song of the Sea, before taking himself off. (16)

>(16) Does anyone else think the placement of this is odd? I love the poem,

>and think it one of JRRT's sweetest and saddest, but it seems a bit out of
>place here.

Well, that's very appropriate as the key point here is that *Legolas*
is now out of place in Middle-Earth!

>OTHER QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:

>But in some ways, there is a good deal left out.

I guess even Tolkien wanted to put some limit on how much story he put
after the climax.

>FAVORITE QUOTE:

I think for me it's a tie between the description of the coming of the
Eagles and Sam's musings on missing the Oliphaunts at the siege of
Gondor.

And one last question of my own: What's the deal with the men who went
to destroy the remaining fortresses in Mordor? Anything that's solid
enough to withstand the massive upheaval Mordor just went through
isn't going to be knocked down easily. They didn't take siege engines,
nor are materials going to be available in Mordor, nor is there any
practical way to get them moved into Mordor that quickly. Did they use
explosives? I suppose Gandalf could have made some for them or did
they still retain some such knowledge in Gondor, elsewhere
unmentioned? Or perhaps Gandalf located some explosives among the
abandoned Orc-gear and instructed them in its use? I think I favor
that explanation, speculative as it is.

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

R. Dan Henry

unread,
Mar 18, 2005, 9:32:03 PM3/18/05
to
On 17 Mar 2005 09:52:49 -0800, "JimboCat" <10313...@compuserve.com>
wrote:

>>As for Pippin, it's clear that the guards of the White Tower are an
>>elite unit, but I don't think that qualifies as knighthood. Who
>>would there have been to knight him, anyway? Denethor was dead
>>before Pippin showed anything worthy of knighting, Faramir was out
>>of commission, and Aragorn had not yet assumed the kingship. As
>>acting Steward, Imahil would have the authority but it doesn't seem
>>like the sort of thing a caretaker ruler would do. I hate to say
>>it, but this seems like a small slip by JRRT.
>
>I see it rather as a bit of Hobbit-y exaggeration by one "fool of a
>Took". It fits his personality. He may not have been, actually, a
>Knight of Gondor, but he had the fancy clothes and the title sounded
>real good and anyway, he's gotta keep up with cousin Merry, doesn't he?
> A pardonable offense. Most places, anyway. I expect he got away with
>it in Gondor only because his buddy Strider got the Kingship.

Hey, according to the Gondorians (Gondorites? Gondormen? No wonder
Tolkien liked "Men of Gondor"), Pippin is a *prince* -- he's taking a
step down by being a knight.

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

John W. Kennedy

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Mar 18, 2005, 11:22:56 PM3/18/05
to

No, royals must earn knighthood, like anyone else. (Back in 2002, at the
NJ Renaissance Kingdom <URL:http://www.NJKingdom.com>, my character,
Pellinore de Gales, got to knight King Arthur.)

---
John W. Kennedy
Read the remains of Shakespeare's lost play, now annotated!
http://pws.prserv.net/jwkennedy/Double%20Falshood/index.html

Troels Forchhammer

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Mar 19, 2005, 5:36:52 AM3/19/05
to
In message <news:tiim31lsaktpusjuh...@4ax.com> R. Dan
Henry <danh...@inreach.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

[Pippin the knight]

> Aragorn might have asked Imrahil to do it, when Pippin was
> recovering and could have used the morale boost. OTOH, Christopher
> has me at least half-convinced that a member of the Guard of the
> Citadel may be called a knight.

Knight was, I believe, first merely used for a man at arms in the
service of some kind of ruler -- related, I believe, to Scand 'knægt'
or German 'knecht'.

Théoden, speaking of the Northern Dúnedain said, ", thirty such knights
will be a strength that cannot be counted by heads."

We hear often of "the knigts of Dol Amroth" and when the Rohirrim
charge at the Pelennor Fields we hear:

" Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang
away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse
upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him
thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before
them."
(LotR V,5 'The Ride of the Rohirrim')

More convincingly, perhaps, is Denethor's designation of Beregond as
one of his knights:

" 'So!' cried Denethor. 'Thou hadst already stolen half my

son's love. Now thou stealest the hearts of my knights
also, so that they rob me wholly of my son at the last."

(LotR V,7 'The Pyre of Denethor')

And

" Then all the Captains of the West cried aloud, for their
hearts were filled with a new hope in the midst of
darkness. Out from the beleaguered hills knights of
Gondor, Riders of Rohan, Dúnedain of the North, close-
serried companies, drove against their wavering foes,
piercing the press with the thrust of bitter spears."
(LotR VI,4 'The Field of Cormallen')

I don't think that 'knight' should be understood in the more modern
sense, as the members of some honourary order (e.g. The Knights of the
Garter, the Knights of Dannebrog), but rather in the older sense of a
soldier in a personal or elite company.

Being a member of Théoden's personal household troops qualifies as a
knight, being a member of the guard of the White Tower does, IMO, also
qualify.

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

Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and
beyond them is more than memory, Farewell!
- Aragorn Son of Arathorn, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Michael Ikeda

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Mar 19, 2005, 6:35:34 AM3/19/05
to
R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote in
news:lqjm31db2q8l2qfkc...@4ax.com:

(snipped)

> And one last question of my own: What's the deal with the men
> who went to destroy the remaining fortresses in Mordor? Anything
> that's solid enough to withstand the massive upheaval Mordor
> just went through isn't going to be knocked down easily. They
> didn't take siege engines, nor are materials going to be
> available in Mordor, nor is there any practical way to get them
> moved into Mordor that quickly. Did they use explosives? I
> suppose Gandalf could have made some for them or did they still
> retain some such knowledge in Gondor, elsewhere unmentioned? Or
> perhaps Gandalf located some explosives among the abandoned
> Orc-gear and instructed them in its use? I think I favor that
> explanation, speculative as it is.
>

Although possibly the upheaval seriously weakened anything that was
still left standing and they just needed to give things a final push.
And they DID have about a month to finish the job.

Or maybe Gandalf zipped to the future and recruited some trolls from
the internet. The advantage of this method is that there's a endless
supply of potential recruits. :)

--
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

Christopher Kreuzer

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Mar 19, 2005, 7:32:25 AM3/19/05
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote

> R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> enriched us with:
>
> <snip>
>
> [Pippin the knight]
>
> > Aragorn might have asked Imrahil to do it, when Pippin was
> > recovering and could have used the morale boost. OTOH, Christopher
> > has me at least half-convinced that a member of the Guard of the
> > Citadel may be called a knight.

Hey, thanks!

This is a reference to a post I made here:

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.arts.books.tolkien/msg/ea6761427bcd55e7

> Knight was, I believe, first merely used for a man at arms in the
> service of some kind of ruler -- related, I believe, to Scand 'knægt'
> or German 'knecht'.

It would be interesting to trace this back to the earlier civilisations
that had personal bodyguards for their rulers, and what they were
called. Such as in Roman times and Anglo-Saxon times. I _think_ the AS
term was house-ceorls, but I may be misremembering. I do remember that
King Harold, at the Battle of Hastings, had a bodyguard like this.

> Théoden, speaking of the Northern Dúnedain said, ", thirty such
knights
> will be a strength that cannot be counted by heads."

<ahem> A slight feeling of deja-vu? Did you see my post, quoted above? I
also quote several of these uses of the word 'knight'... ;-)

So, jesting in the spirit of an childhood card game:

Snap!

> We hear often of "the knigts of Dol Amroth" and when the Rohirrim
> charge at the Pelennor Fields we hear:
>
> " Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang
> away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse
> upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him
> thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before
> them."
> (LotR V,5 'The Ride of the Rohirrim')

Snap!

> More convincingly, perhaps, is Denethor's designation of Beregond as
> one of his knights:
>
> " 'So!' cried Denethor. 'Thou hadst already stolen half my
> son's love. Now thou stealest the hearts of my knights
> also, so that they rob me wholly of my son at the last."
> (LotR V,7 'The Pyre of Denethor')

Snap!

> And
>
> " Then all the Captains of the West cried aloud, for their
> hearts were filled with a new hope in the midst of
> darkness. Out from the beleaguered hills knights of
> Gondor, Riders of Rohan, Dúnedain of the North, close-
> serried companies, drove against their wavering foes,
> piercing the press with the thrust of bitter spears."
> (LotR VI,4 'The Field of Cormallen')

Ooh. I didn't quote that one, but that was because it didn't really fit.
I suppose the distinction being made here is that these three companies
(Gondorian knight, Riders of Rohan, and Dunedain of the North), they all
appear to be _mounted_ soldiers, using spears. It doesn't seem to
support any use of the word 'knight' in relation to Pippin.

I refer you back to my post (link above), for further quotes on knights.
Particularly Merry's role as Theoden's esquire to bear his arms on the
wain, and the swan-knights of Dol Amroth, and further thoughts on the
knights of Theoden's household, and the spontaneous title-giving seen
among the Rohirrim. :-)

> I don't think that 'knight' should be understood in the more modern
> sense, as the members of some honourary order (e.g. The Knights of the
> Garter, the Knights of Dannebrog), but rather in the older sense of a
> soldier in a personal or elite company.
>
> Being a member of Théoden's personal household troops qualifies as a
> knight, being a member of the guard of the White Tower does, IMO, also
> qualify.

Snap! I agree!

Larry Swain

unread,
Mar 19, 2005, 12:23:59 PM3/19/05
to

Troels Forchhammer wrote:

I agree with you Troels. "cniht" originally was a youth, a young man,
and could be used as a "warrior" in general rather than as a specific
word for a specific order or class of fighting man--that meaning
developed later. Tolkien seems to use the word both in the general
sense (the Rangers who come to Aragorn) and perhaps in a more specific
sense (Imrahil and his knights). As applied to Pippin though I'm
inclined to think that he's a knight because he's a warrior, a fighting man.

aelfwina

unread,
Mar 20, 2005, 9:17:08 AM3/20/05
to
Except then, we have Eowyn's request of her brother which makes knighthood
seem a special honor and reward.
Barbara


the softrat

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Mar 19, 2005, 8:54:26 PM3/19/05
to
On Sun, 20 Mar 2005 08:17:08 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
wrote:

>Except then, we have Eowyn's request of her brother which makes knighthood
>seem a special honor and reward.
>Barbara
>

That is, make him a regular soldier, not just an esquire......

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
A man without a woman is like a bicycle without a fish.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 7:44:24 PM3/22/05
to
R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
> [Once again moving questions to stand with relevant summary material.]
>
> On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
> wrote:
>
>> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"
>
>> Then the Eagles arrive.
>
>> (2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they,
>> as some claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience
>> of the plot, or is there more significance to their presence. How
>> important to realizing the role the Eagles play is a knowledge of
>> the Silmarillion, and the role of the Eagles there? Are *these*
>> Eagles in particular merely a higher form of animal, as is Shadowfax
>> for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar? Gwaihir, at least,
>> talks.
>
> The Eagles are big, very special birds. I think they do a good deal of
> keeping an eye on things on their own and would likely have shown at
> this big a battle in any case, although there may also have been an
> official notice by the Valar that they might want to go do the deus ex
> machina thing.

The presence of the Eagles at the battle is not a deus ex machina. The
battle would have been won or lost without the Eagles. The only way the
West is going to win is if the Ring is destroyed.

The deus ex machina bit for the Eagles is the way they rescue Sam and
Frodo. That is a genuinely unexpected and providential way to rescue Sam
and Frodo, and is what brings up the whole "why didn't they fly to Mount
Doom" threads. But really, the Eagles are there for one purpose only, to
rescue the two heros. Almost divine intervention. Some would say not
even "almost".

There are parallels with 'The Silmarillion', when Beren and Luthien are
rescued from the gates of Angband by the Eagles:

"Thus the quest of the Silmaril was like to have ended in ruin and
despair; but in that hour above the wall of the valley three mighty
birds appeared, flying northward with wings swifter than the wind." (Of
Beren and Luthien)

Back in the Third Age, we have the same number of Eagles (3) that rescue
Frodo and Sam. Which is strange. There seems to be one Eagle too many
for Beren and Luthien, and one Eagle too few for Frodo, Gollum and Sam.
Maybe Gollum's Eagle ended up in the wrong Age of Middle-earth? Luckily
it wasn't needed!

Gwaihir also talks about flying swifter than the wind (as in the
description in 'The Silmarillion') when he promises Gandalf that:

"The North Wind blows, but we shall outfly it..."

Frodo says to Sam that:

"We are lost in ruin and downfall, and there is no escape."

And this is vaguely similar to Beren and Luthien in despair at the gates
of Angband. Funnily enough, both Beren and Frodo have bite wounds to
their hands. One has lost a finger, the other has lost the whole hand.

So far then, we have the following correspondences:

Gwaihir = Thorondor
Frodo = Beren
Sam = Luthien (!!!)
Ring = Silmaril
Gollum = Carcharoth

Sadly, Gollum does not "burst with ruin upon the North".

We even (gasp) have Frodo going West, and Sam following later, much as
Beren (later in the Silmarillion story) dies and goes West, followed by
Luthien.

Hmm. I wonder if Sam managed to move Mandos to pity?
Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase: "Frodo Lives!"

>> They attack the Nazgūl, who in turn break and


>> flee. But the Ringwraiths have been called by their Master; Sauron's
>> attention is no longer on the battlefield, and the remaining hosts
>> of Mordor are suddenly in disarray. The hosts of the West begin to
>> press their advantage, but Gandalf calls on them to wait--he knows
>> that the whole point of the Quest is on the brink of fulfillment or
>> failure. (3)
>
>> (3) Is it merely the reaction of the armies of Mordor, or has
>> Gandalf's Ring alerted him to Frodo's claiming of the One?
>
> I expect the first thing the Ruling Ring does when brought back
> "on-line" as Frodo actually seeks to master it, is ping all the other
> Rings.

There is textual evidence for this:

"For in the day that Sauron first put on the One, Celebrimbor, maker of
the Three, was aware of him, and from afar he heard him speak these
words, and so his evil purposes were revealed." (The Council of Elrond)

You can just imagine Gandalf's reaction to Frodo's words at the Crack of
Doom. Oh. Wait. There is a problem with this. Frodo's words to claim the
Ring are _before_ he puts is on. Presumably it is only _after_ this that
Sauron (as we are told in the text) and the bearers of the Three are
aware of what is happening.

> Gandalf would know from this, but this also would explain why
> Sauron only noticed so late -- he would have known then when the
> Ruling Ring made contact with the Rings he already held (all survivors
> but the Three and the One). Sauron probably never thought to build in
> long-range communication between the One and himself, because it was
> supposed to be on his finger.

But did the fact that Sauron had the 9 rings make him aware of Frodo? I
would have thought that the power of the Sammath Naur alone would be
enough:

"...as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath
Naur the very heart of his realm, the Power in Barad-dur was shaken..."

Note the _even_ in Sammath Naur bit. The claiming of the Ring would seem
to have brought the Sammath Naur online as well...

"The fires below awoke in anger, the red light blazed, and all the
cavern was filled with a great glare and heat."

The destruction of the Ring then makes everything erupt, literally!

>> And then Sauron is blown away. Literally. (4)
>
>> (4) Sauron's end (on a somewhat vaster scale) seems similar to
>> Sharkey's end later: a shadow reaching high, leaning to the West,
>> and then dissipated in the wind. Interesting. Why was Sauron leaning
>> to the West? Is there a reason for the similarity?
>
> Once again, I'm going to offer a prosaic explanation: his will was
> already bent westward when he died, focused on Mount Doom and his
> Ring.

This is actually rather convincing!

>> With no time to waste, Gandalf commandeers Gwaihir and his two
>> brothers

Two brothers? Only one is said to be Gwaihir's brother. Meneldor is not
said specifically to be related to the two brothers.

>> and heads out to fetch Frodo, Sam, and presumably Gollum,
>> as he took three Eagles.

Actually, Gandalf was riding one of those Eagles, so there is only room
for Sam and Frodo. If you assume one hobbit per Eagle and use the claws,
rather than riding on their backs.

> Eh, he may have known Gollum was dead, as the One was broadcasting
> on the Ring network "Brings uss fissssssssh!" just before going
silent.
> :-)

LOL!

<snip>

>> The hobbits wash and dress, and are led by Gandalf through the
>> grove, and to a field where the host of the West is assembled to do
>> them honor. There are trumpets and hymns of praise to them. (9)
>
>> (9) The hymn of praise: is it a set of verses, that have been
>> disseminated to the crowd, or is it meant to be simply the outcry of
>> cheering from all the different folk there assembled? I have always
>> thought of it as an actual poem or song, but a careful reading of
>> the text here shows there *could* be another interpretation.
>
> It may a formulaic set of salutations, but I read it as a sample of
> things being called out, not any sort of choral reading. After all, if
> it was meant to be a poem, it's far below JRRT's usual quality.

I agree it is just a set of salutations. The different languages is the
thing here. Tolkien is showing off his languages, and conveniently
providing translations. Well, sort of.

"'Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!
Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

[I _think_ those two correspond]

Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!
Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annūn! Eglerio!

[Not sure what this means]

Praise them!
Eglerio!

[Another matching pair]

A laita te, laita te! Andave laituvalmet!

[Huh?]

Praise them!

[I get this]

Cormacolindor, a laita tįrienna!

[Huh? What does this mean?]

Praise them! The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!'"

[I'm guessing the non-English bits are variants on this sort of stuff]

[The lay of Frodo of the Nine Fingers]

>> This last is almost too much for Sam, who exclaims "O, great glory
>> and splendor! And all my wishes have come true!" before bursting
>> into tears.
>
>> (11) Discussion of Eucatastrophe, anyone?
>
> Uh, that's what koalas eat, right? :-)

Tsk! :-)

I think the moment of great joy and tears qualify it as eucatastrophe,
though I vaguely remember that Tolkien talked about it being unexpected
as well. The scene on Mount Doom is an unexpected twist (with Gollum
saving the day) from catastrophe to joy.

Ah, here we are, Tolkien in 'On Fairy-Stories':

"But the 'consolation' of fairy-tales has another aspect than the
imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the
Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that
all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that
Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the
opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a
word that expresses this opposite - I will call it /Eucatastrophe/. The
/eucatastropic/ tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest
function.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more
correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous "turn" (for there
is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things
which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially
"escapist," nor "fugitive." In its fairy-tale-or otherworld-setting, it
is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It
does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure:
the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it
denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final
defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy,
Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete
kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the
adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the "turn"
comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to
(or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of
literary art, and having a peculiar quality."

Do you think this applies to Sam bursting into tears at the lay,
remembering that Sam burst into tears after he woke up and spoke to
Gandalf. I would say that appears more eucatastrophic to me:

"...as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard
laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count.
It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known.
But he himself burst into tears. Then, as a sweet rain will pass down a
wind of spring and the sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased,
and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from his bed."

Though the question should be applied to each individual reader - if you
burst into tears or get a "beat and lifting of the heart", then you have
(according to Tolkien) experienced a eucatastrophic moment.

Christopher

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

"None saw her last meeting with Elrond her father, for they went up into
the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was their parting
that should endure beyond the ends of the world." - Arwen's farewell
(Many Partings - RotK)

Raven

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:08:48 PM3/23/05
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
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If you want to know the Sindarin bits, then of course
http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf is your friend. I don't remember all of it,
but I can offer tentative translations of some of it.

> Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

I know that "aglar" is something with "shine" or "glitter" - see
"Aglarond" = "The Glittering Caves".

> [I _think_ those two correspond]

> Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annūn! Eglerio!

"Frodo and Samwise, Princes of the West".

Rabe.


Raven

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Mar 23, 2005, 5:43:53 PM3/23/05
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
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The translations are given in Letter 230. Three languages are present
here: Westron (represented by English, of course), Sindarin and Quenya.

> "'Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!
> Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

Sindarin: "May the Halflings live long! Glory to the Halflings".
"Periain" (pronounced as "Pheriain" because of some peculiar consonant
mutation rules - the nasal mutation in this case, where a nasal apparently
first induces the mutation p -> ph, and then is itself
mutated-and-then-assimilated: without these mutation rules it would seem to
be "Cuio in Periain") is the simple plural of "Perian", while "Periannath"
(ditto) means the whole Halfling-people.

> Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!
> Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annūn! Eglerio!

Sindarin: "Frodo and Sam, princes of the west! Glorify!

> Praise them!
> Eglerio!

Sindarin: "Glorify!"

> A laita te, laita te! Andave laituvalmet!

Quenya: "Bless them, bless them! Long will we praise them!"

> Praise them!

> Cormacolindor, a laita tįrienna!

Quenya: " The Ringbearers, bless (or praise) them to the height!"

> Praise them! The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!'"

Karasu.


Christopher Kreuzer

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Mar 23, 2005, 7:40:45 PM3/23/05
to
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> skrev i en
> meddelelse news:IZ20e.3650$Ab....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
>
> The translations are given in Letter 230. Three languages are
> present here: Westron (represented by English, of course), Sindarin
> and Quenya.

<snip>

Thanks for those! I thought I had seen them translated somewhere. That
nasal pronunciation rule was interesting as well. Just one quibble,
despite what Tolkien himself says, does Berhael mean Sam or Samwise?
I've changed it to Samwise below, as otherwise it looks strange.

So now we can present the entire 'glorification' in English (though I
don't really know how much of the non-Westron bits Sam or Frodo would
have understood - Frodo some of it maybe):

"Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!

May the Halflings live long! Glory to the Halflings!
Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!
Frodo and Samwise, princes of the west! Glorify!
Praise them!
Glorify!


Bless them, bless them! Long will we praise them!
Praise them!

The Ringbearers, praise them to the height!


Praise them! The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!"

But it looks much better in the different languages in the book. The
fully translated verision does, however, help us understand a bit more
the reaction of Sam and Frodo, and the insistence of Gandalf that they
should observe some of the formalities (such as wearing a sword):

"...the red blood blushing in their faces and their eyes shining with
wonder..." (The Field of Cormallen)

Raven

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Mar 24, 2005, 6:58:29 PM3/24/05
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
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> Thanks for those! I thought I had seen them translated somewhere. That
> nasal pronunciation rule was interesting as well. Just one quibble,
> despite what Tolkien himself says, does Berhael mean Sam or Samwise?
> I've changed it to Samwise below, as otherwise it looks strange.

"Daur" is the lenited form of "Taur", which means "lofty" or "noble", and
is an honorary epithet and not the translation of Frodo's name. "Berhael"
is the lenited form of "Perhael", which means "half-wise", and is just a
translation by sense of Samwise's name into Sindarin. They are lenited
because they are the object of a verb, or so it says on the Ardalambion
site. To me this indicates that Sindarin, tentatively, in effect has
regained an Accusative case, although it becomes a lot more complicated than
that.
In a later published text Aragorn sends a letter to Mayor Sam, written in
Sindarin, where he opines that "Perhael" should be called "Panthael"
Full-wise.

Hraban.


Jette Goldie

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Mar 27, 2005, 3:25:44 PM3/27/05
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"JimboCat" <10313...@compuserve.com> wrote in message
news:1111081632.4...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

>
> Michele Fry wrote:
> > Anyone know who Merry married - or why her name is not given in
the
> > family trees in Appendix C ?
>
> Merry married Mary. The Chronicler was too embarrassed and confused
by
> this coincidence of names to even mention it.
>


you're American, aren't you? Only Americans can make
the two words sound the same.

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


R. Dan Henry

unread,
Mar 31, 2005, 12:12:58 AM3/31/05
to
On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 00:44:24 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>R. Dan Henry <danh...@inreach.com> wrote:
>> [Once again moving questions to stand with relevant summary material.]
>>
>> On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:23:09 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER IV, "The Field of Cormallen"
>>
>>> Then the Eagles arrive.
>>
>>> (2) Good place for a discussion of the role of the Eagles. Are they,
>>> as some claim, merely a deus ex machina, there for the convenience
>>> of the plot, or is there more significance to their presence. How
>>> important to realizing the role the Eagles play is a knowledge of
>>> the Silmarillion, and the role of the Eagles there? Are *these*
>>> Eagles in particular merely a higher form of animal, as is Shadowfax
>>> for horses, or are they emissaries of the Valar? Gwaihir, at least,
>>> talks.
>>
>> The Eagles are big, very special birds. I think they do a good deal of
>> keeping an eye on things on their own and would likely have shown at
>> this big a battle in any case, although there may also have been an
>> official notice by the Valar that they might want to go do the deus ex
>> machina thing.
>
>The presence of the Eagles at the battle is not a deus ex machina. The
>battle would have been won or lost without the Eagles. The only way the
>West is going to win is if the Ring is destroyed.

But their *appearance at the battle* is either arbitrary or logical.
If it is logical, then it is logical that they should be used to
attempt to extract the ring quest survivors. If their presence is
arbitrary, using them to extract the survivors is still logical, but
takes on a deus ex machina feel because it is arbitrary that they were
available for such a mission.

>Back in the Third Age, we have the same number of Eagles (3) that rescue
>Frodo and Sam. Which is strange. There seems to be one Eagle too many
>for Beren and Luthien, and one Eagle too few for Frodo, Gollum and Sam.
>Maybe Gollum's Eagle ended up in the wrong Age of Middle-earth? Luckily
>it wasn't needed!

I suspect Gandalf guessed that Gollum wasn't going to need a flight
out of Gorgoroth. Or perhaps Frodo wasn't. The Ring wasn't going to go
into the Fire on its own. Gandalf may even have been able to sense
Gollum retaking the Ring given it was active when Smeagol reunited
with his precious.

>And this is vaguely similar to Beren and Luthien in despair at the gates
>of Angband. Funnily enough, both Beren and Frodo have bite wounds to
>their hands. One has lost a finger, the other has lost the whole hand.

So... you're saying Frodo's a wimp? :-)

>So far then, we have the following correspondences:
>
>Gwaihir = Thorondor
>Frodo = Beren
>Sam = Luthien (!!!)

"Try on your wife's dress *one time* and they never forget..."

>Ring = Silmaril
>Gollum = Carcharoth
>
>Sadly, Gollum does not "burst with ruin upon the North".

He's mixed in with the lava and it bursts with ruin upon all
directions, although East would seem more likely given where Gollum
went in.

>> I expect the first thing the Ruling Ring does when brought back
>> "on-line" as Frodo actually seeks to master it, is ping all the other
>> Rings.
>
>There is textual evidence for this:
>
>"For in the day that Sauron first put on the One, Celebrimbor, maker of
>the Three, was aware of him, and from afar he heard him speak these
>words, and so his evil purposes were revealed." (The Council of Elrond)
>
>You can just imagine Gandalf's reaction to Frodo's words at the Crack of
>Doom. Oh. Wait. There is a problem with this. Frodo's words to claim the
>Ring are _before_ he puts is on. Presumably it is only _after_ this that
>Sauron (as we are told in the text) and the bearers of the Three are
>aware of what is happening.

Well, the fact that the Ring was active was enough to tell Gandalf
that things weren't going as well as they could. Sauron could just
look out his window. ("You damn kids! Get out my yard!") Unlike those
Elves, they didn't need expository verse to know what the signal
meant.

>> Gandalf would know from this, but this also would explain why
>> Sauron only noticed so late -- he would have known then when the
>> Ruling Ring made contact with the Rings he already held (all survivors
>> but the Three and the One). Sauron probably never thought to build in
>> long-range communication between the One and himself, because it was
>> supposed to be on his finger.
>
>But did the fact that Sauron had the 9 rings make him aware of Frodo? I
>would have thought that the power of the Sammath Naur alone would be
>enough:

It may have been overdetermined. Wearing the Nine or looking to see
why his volcano was belching would both be a sufficient alarm.

>Note the _even_ in Sammath Naur bit. The claiming of the Ring would seem
>to have brought the Sammath Naur online as well...
>
>"The fires below awoke in anger, the red light blazed, and all the
>cavern was filled with a great glare and heat."

I agree this would also likely do the trick; even without a special
link, Sauron could probably notice the sudden light from his window.

>>> With no time to waste, Gandalf commandeers Gwaihir and his two
>>> brothers
>
>Two brothers? Only one is said to be Gwaihir's brother. Meneldor is not
>said specifically to be related to the two brothers.

Well, he's a "brother in wings". Together they have fought the dark
forces.

Seriously, I doubt he was another brother, but it doesn't say he
wasn't, either.

>>> and heads out to fetch Frodo, Sam, and presumably Gollum,
>>> as he took three Eagles.
>
>Actually, Gandalf was riding one of those Eagles, so there is only room
>for Sam and Frodo. If you assume one hobbit per Eagle and use the claws,
>rather than riding on their backs.

I think if they could manage Gandalf the Grey, they could manage two
half-starved hobbits at a pinch. Especially what was left of poor
Smeagol in the Land Of No Fish and Watchful Orcses. Failing that, one
of them could carry Sam while Sam carried Frodo.

>> Eh, he may have known Gollum was dead, as the One was broadcasting
>> on the Ring network "Brings uss fissssssssh!" just before going
>silent.
>> :-)
>
>LOL!

Well, it's an open question whether or not any of the exchanges in the
Sammath Naur were transmitted through the Rings. I wouldn't be at all
surprised if Gandalf got a series of images like "Ruling Ring active
-- Frodo the Ringlord! -- OW!!!!! -- Precious! -- My beautiful
evil!..." followed by more conventionally sensing the big volcanic
upheaval.

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

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