CotW: Book Vi, Chapter VIII, "The Houses of Healing"

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aelfwina

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Jan 23, 2005, 12:32:55 PM1/23/05
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I hope this summary is all right. I had to reconstruct the one I finished a
couple of weeks ago, when my computer ate it--I feel like I may have left
some things out. (And I don't know if the special characters will come out
on the post...)

CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER VIII, "The Houses of Healing"

In which our two younger hobbits are finally reunited beyond all hope; we
learn the value of athelas and of listening carefully to old wives, and
healing is found in the hands of the King.

SUMMARY:

The chapter opens with Merry, wounded, ill, lost, wandering the streets of
Minas Tirith in a dark dream of despair brought on by the Black Breath of
the Ringwraith he had helped to slay.

He is found by Pippin, but rather than rejoice at this sudden reunion, he
seems to still be stuck at that awful moment on the battlefield, as he
wonders where Théoden and Éowyn are, and he falls to weeping.

Poor Pippin scarcely seems to know what to make of this, but he gamely tries
to help his cousin, responding in a brisk and hobbity manner, though clearly
worried. (1)

The two of them have not made much progress when it is clear Merry can go no
further. Fortunately for Pippin, he spies Bergil running errands, and is
able to send a message for help. They are succored by none other than
Gandalf himself, who comes to take Merry back to the Houses of Healing. (2)

We now have one of those "historical" interludes, as the Houses of Healing
are described, and we are told of the marvelous state of Gondorian medicine.
(3) Faramir, Éowyn and Merry are put to bed suffering not only from their
battle injuries but also from the "Black Shadow" which also afflicts many
others. (4) They spend all day from morning to evening growing steadily
worse.(5)

Gandalf spends this time doing as much as he is able for the stricken, but
he grows steadily more worried, until we hear from Ioreth, the old wife, who
comes up with the adage: "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer."
Gandalf is immediately taken by this, and goes out in search of Aragorn.

Now we have a bit of an interlude *outside* the Houses of Healing, as we
find the Captains of the West, Aragorn, Éomer and Imrahil talking outside
the City. Aragorn refuses to enter, wishing to wait for a better time to
declare himself. The other two argue with him a bit, but do not press the
issue. (6)

Aragorn goes back to camp, and Imrahil and Éomer enter Minas Tirith and go
to the Citadel where they find Thé oden lying in state there, but no
Steward, and no sign of Éowyn. Imrahil asks after the Steward (meaning
Denethor) and Mithrandir, and is told the Steward (meaning Faramir) is in
the Houses of Healing. Éomer naturally asks after his sister, whom he thinks
is dead. Imrahil immediately tells him that she is alive, surprised that he
did not know this. They hurry to the Houses of Healing. (7)

At the steps they meet Gandalf and "one cloaked in grey". Now they finally
learn of Denethor's death, and Faramir's wounding. Imrahil once more wonders
about sending for Aragorn, and Gandalf's companion proves to be him. He
still, however, refuses to take up his rule, but defers command of everyone
to Gandalf. And they all agreed upon that. (8)

As they enter, Aragorn is accosted by Pippin, who is delighted to see him,
and greets him with typical hobbit enthusiasm. (9) Aragorn is pleased to see
him, but puts off the exchange of stories for a while. Imrahil is surprised
at the informality of Pippin's greeting, and his calling Aragorn "Strider".
This is when we find out that Aragorn will reign as "Elessar Telcontar".

Now they go in to see the patients, and Aragorn asks after athelas, aka
kingsfoil, of Ioreth. She doesn't know, and they send for the herb-master.
While they wait for the herb master to arrive, Aragorn and Ioreth discuss
Faramir's case. Aragorn is clearly very worried about his condition. Then
the herb master arrives. He bandys words with Aragorn before admitting that
they have no athelas in store. (10) Gandalf completely loses patience at
this point. (And who can blame him for being cross?) He says to send for
some "old man of less lore and more wisdom"--the search is on for the needed
plant.

Finally, Bergil arrives with six leaves. Aragorn says it will serve and sets
about using them on Faramir. The description of the smell is very evocative.
It leaves the impression that perhaps it has a different smell for different
people. Faramir awakens, and in spite of never having laid eyes on Aragorn
before, knows him immediately for his King. (11)

Now he moves on to É owyn. He observes that her actual *physical* injury
(the broken shield-arm) is in a fair way to healing. But her sword-arm which
took what might be called a *psychic* blow is cold and dead. Then there is a
lovely bit where he acknowledges her infatuation with him, and pays her some
nice compliments. Her brother admits he was aware of it, and says he holds
Aragorn blameless. Then Gandalf makes the nice little speech about how she
feared being caged. (The speech PJ gave to Wormtongue, which gave it a much
more sinister tone.) Aragorn tells her brother that she does not really love
him (Aragorn) so much as what he represents, and that in order to survive,
she must awake to hope and not despair. He calls her, and uses the athelas,
and then leaves before she is fully awake, telling her brother to call her.

Finally they go to Merry. Once more, Aragorn calls his patient, and uses the
athelas. I love the description of its smell here: "like the scent of
orchards, and of heather in the sunshine full of bees."

Merry's first words? "I am hungry. What is the time?" (How hobbity! I love
it) (12) Merry is told he might have anything he wishes if it is available.
He then wonders about a pipe, and briefly is saddened by the thought of
Théoden. Aragorn tells him to smoke and think of Théoden and remember him.
We then have one of my favorite bits in the chapter, where Merry asks after
his pipe, and Aragorn gently teases him about it, as well as lampooning the
herb-master at the same time. This is followed by Merry's admission that
Shirefolk tend to make light of serious things. (13) Aragorn gives Merry a
kiss and leaves with Gandalf, leaving Pippin alone with his cousin.

Pippin lets Merry know his pipe is right there in his pack, which he had
with him. They settle down to a smoke, and Merry gives a beautiful little
speech about "things deeper and higher, and not a gaffer could tend his
garden in peace but for them." (14)

Finally, Aragorn and Gandalf find the Warder of the Houses of Healing, and
Aragorn leaves "doctor's orders" so to speak as to his patients: Éowyn is to
be permitted to get up when she feels like it, but is, if possible to be
kept there for ten days; Faramir is not to be told the full story of his
father's ending until he is completely healed; Merry is to be allowed up the
next day if he feels like it, and to walk about with his friends. I love the
Warden's description of hobbits: "very tough in the fibre".

Aragorn goes to supper, and then, sending for Elladan and Elrohir, the three
of them work on into the night tending to other wounded. The rumor of the
King goes out, but in the morning, there is no sign he was ever in the City.
(15)

QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:

(1) Once more we see the POV from the inside. Merry's despair is so vividly
described, this whole first passage is from *his* POV, then the next passage
begins with Pippin's POV. This is not something that I would have
particularly taken notice of before our discussions about it here. It
certainly lends even more immediacy and poignancy to their reunion.

( And Merry's pitiful little "Are you going to bury me?" makes my eyes sting
every time. This scene is one of the most emotional in the book, and
certainly *the* most emotional one for these two.)

(2) Gandalf says "And yet here is another charge on my hands, while all the
time the battle hangs in the balance." I find this puzzling, as at this
point I thought the battle was all but over, and victory claimed. Was the
battle still in question at this point in time?

(3) We are told that they are "skilled in the healing of wound and hurt, and
all such sickness as east of the Sea men were subject to. Save old age
only." This means their medical knowledge actually surpassed that of
today--cures for *all* sicknesses were available, so I suppose this means
such things as cancer, congestive heart failure, etc. that even today we
cannot always cure. What form did their medical technology take, anyway? I
can't seem to picture such things as I.V.s or chemo-therapy in Gondor, so
what then? Something akin to certain alternative therapies? Healing touch
seems unfamiliar to them, as they seem to be surprised at the way Aragorn
goes about his healing.

(4) The Black Shadow (aka Black Breath) does indeed seem beyond the
Gondorian medical skill. We discover that many (but not all) of the
defenders are affected. I know this has come up before, but it's a good
place to discuss it again: could the Ringwraiths *control* the strength and
effectiveness of their "terror", could they "aim" it at certain people? If
not, then why was everyone in the City not afflicted?

(5) This is the first time I ever noticed that they spend *all day long*
trying to care for these patients. It makes it seem so much more somber when
you realize this.

(6) At this point in time, none of these Captains are aware that Denethor is
dead. Would this have made a difference in Aragorn's attitude here, do you
think, if he had known there was no one in active opposition to him in the
City?

(7) What do you think of all this conversation at cross-purposes? Everyone
is misunderstanding, because no one is yet in possession of all the facts. I
've always shaken my head at Imrahil's response to É omer, since it was the
Prince who found out she was not dead--if he did not tell her brother
himself, who did he expect would have? What does this say about the
importance of communications in battle and its aftermath?

(8) It is interesting to note that this major decision was not made in any
kind of council or debate at all, but was instead made at an impromptu and
unforeseen encounter on the steps. I'm not sure *what* this says about the
state of things.

(9) How do you suppose Pippin came to guess it was Strider in the corsair
ships? At the time he was separated from them there was no hint of the Paths
of the Dead, or that Aragorn and the others would be taking any other way to
the City than with the Rohirrim. Was this another bit of the kind of
"knowing in the heart" so often found in the books, or just wishful thinking
on Pippin's part that just happened to come true?

(10) This nameless herb-master is another of those minor characters who
flair briefly and vividly to life, before vanishing from the story. His
function seems to be mainly to provide a list of the various names for
athelas in different languages--not one which would have been unimportant to
JRRT. To those of you knowledgeable about his languages, is anything
revealed here?

(11) Any speculation about what was involved in Faramir's healing, and how
he seemed to know the King?

(12) What is it with unconscious hobbits and time? The time is also the
first thing Frodo wanted to know in Rivendell, and Sam, though not quite the
very first thing, wants to know "noon of what day?" when he comes to in
Cormallen.

(13) To those of you who think that in RotK Aragorn is stuffy and pompous,
take note of this bit of wonderfully dry humor. It's gently funny and a bit
wicked, and at a time when he was probably completely exhausted after doing
battle that morning, and now in the evening dealing with the wounded.

(14) Although not the main theme, this is a recurring theme throughout LotR.
Is there some significance to its being stated so boldly here?

(15) Again, Aragorn refuses to take up the kingship yet, even though he
knows that with Denethor gone there is unlikely to be any opposition. Any
ideas as to why?

OTHER POINTS TO PONDER:

--Everyone in this chapter has to be completely exhausted. Gandalf and
Pippin have been up all night dealing with a siege and a madman; Aragorn, É
omer (and presumably Imrahil) have been up all night traveling to and/or
preparing for battle, then they have done battle, and dealt with its
aftermath, and now go to take care of the wounded. All of them are showing
heroic stamina.

--Gandalf pretty much places himself in the background in this chapter,
except for a couple of typically gruff outbursts. Yet he has been placed in
command of the entire War on the steps of the Houses of Healing.

--I wonder where and how young Bergil found the athelas?

FAVORITE QUOTE: "Master Meriadoc," said Aragorn, "if you think I have passed
through the mountains and the realm of Gondor with fire and sword to bring
herbs to a careless soldier who throws away his gear, you are mistaken. If
your pack has not been found then you must send for the herb-master of this
House. And he will tell you that he did not know that the herb you desire
had any virtues, but that it is call westmansweed by the vulgar and galenas
by the noble, and other names in other tongues more learned, and after
adding a few half-forgotten rhymes that he does not understand, he will
regretfully inform you that there in none in the House, and he will leave
you to reflect on the history of tongues


Jens Kilian

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Jan 23, 2005, 1:52:21 PM1/23/05
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"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> writes:
> (12) What is it with unconscious hobbits and time?

When a hobbit wakes up more than usually hungry, the first thing that comes
to his mind is probably how many meals he missed.
--
mailto:j...@acm.org As the air to a bird, or the sea to a fish,
http://www.bawue.de/~jjk/ so is contempt to the contemptible. [Blake]

T.M. Sommers

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Jan 23, 2005, 5:22:23 PM1/23/05
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Jens Kilian wrote:
> "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> writes:
>
>>(12) What is it with unconscious hobbits and time?
>
> When a hobbit wakes up more than usually hungry, the first thing that comes
> to his mind is probably how many meals he missed.

I suspect that every hobbit's first thought on waking is 'When's
the next meal?'.

--
Thomas M. Sommers -- t...@nj.net -- AB2SB

Glenn Holliday

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Jan 25, 2005, 9:58:53 PM1/25/05
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aelfwina wrote:
>
> (3) We are told that they are "skilled in the healing of wound and hurt, and
> all such sickness as east of the Sea men were subject to. Save old age
> only." This means their medical knowledge actually surpassed that of
> today--cures for *all* sicknesses were available, so I suppose this means
> such things as cancer, congestive heart failure, etc. that even today we
> cannot always cure. What form did their medical technology take, anyway? I
> can't seem to picture such things as I.V.s or chemo-therapy in Gondor, so
> what then? Something akin to certain alternative therapies? Healing touch
> seems unfamiliar to them, as they seem to be surprised at the way Aragorn
> goes about his healing.

It may mean that many of these ills were unknown in Numenor.
The Men of the West were robust in many ways. Perhaps their
healers actually knew less, because there were fewer things
they had to know about.

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

AC

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Jan 26, 2005, 1:26:31 AM1/26/05
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 11:32:55 -0600,
aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>
> (15) Again, Aragorn refuses to take up the kingship yet, even though he
> knows that with Denethor gone there is unlikely to be any opposition. Any
> ideas as to why?

Because this has, historically, been an issue of enormous contention for
Gondor. Remember that Aragorn is a descendant of the Northern Line, and
precedent was that this connection was rejected, and that the king of Gondor
must come from the Southern Line.

Gondor is now in the fight for its life, as are all the Free Peoples of
Middle Earth. Aragorn would have been irresponsible to try to assert his
right to rule as the heir of Elendil at this point, as it could have been
quite divisive, particularly with Denethor's heir still so ill.

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

R. Dan Henry

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Jan 29, 2005, 8:12:59 PM1/29/05
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 22:22:23 GMT, "T.M. Sommers" <t...@nj.net> wrote:

>Jens Kilian wrote:
>> "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> writes:
>>
>>>(12) What is it with unconscious hobbits and time?
>>
>> When a hobbit wakes up more than usually hungry, the first thing that comes
>> to his mind is probably how many meals he missed.
>
>I suspect that every hobbit's first thought on waking is 'When's
>the next meal?'.

Well, when a hobbit asks what time it is, it is implied that he wishes
to know what meal he is currently missing, with perhaps just a polite
suggestion that one might remedy the absence of said meal if it isn't
too inconvenient.

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

R. Dan Henry

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Jan 29, 2005, 8:13:03 PM1/29/05
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 11:32:55 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
wrote:

>Imrahil asks after the Steward (meaning


>Denethor) and Mithrandir, and is told the Steward (meaning Faramir) is in
>the Houses of Healing.

Methinks this reply was a way to avoid having to be the one who gave
Imrahil the bad news.

>Gandalf completely loses patience at
>this point. (And who can blame him for being cross?)

Well, really, the "time wasting" conversation isn't long at all, but
Gandalf is under a lot of pressure. And the herb-master *does* include
relevant information. "But old folk still use an infusion of herb for
headaches." Indeed, this is the prompt for Gandalf's line.

>(3) We are told that they are "skilled in the healing of wound and hurt, and
>all such sickness as east of the Sea men were subject to. Save old age
> only." This means their medical knowledge actually surpassed that of
>today--cures for *all* sicknesses were available, so I suppose this means
>such things as cancer, congestive heart failure, etc. that even today we
>cannot always cure.

Well, "skilled in the healing" doesn't mean they could always cure,
either. It does mean that there were no untreatable ailments that they
could distinguish from the aging process.

>What form did their medical technology take, anyway? I
>can't seem to picture such things as I.V.s or chemo-therapy in Gondor, so
>what then? Something akin to certain alternative therapies? Healing touch
>seems unfamiliar to them, as they seem to be surprised at the way Aragorn
>goes about his healing.

I expect a certain amount of preventative medicine and their lifestyle
would naturally lead to less of the ills of the modern industrialized
nations, where sedentary lifestyle and exposure to toxic byproducts of
our technology are significant factors. Also, the pipeweed doesn't
appear to have been popular in Gondor, either. Certain things we
classify as diseases would have been considered "old age", I expect.
For the rest, herbal therapies and surgery would have been their
tools. A certain amount of Numenorean resiliency may have been a
factor, as well.

>(6) At this point in time, none of these Captains are aware that Denethor is
>dead. Would this have made a difference in Aragorn's attitude here, do you
>think, if he had known there was no one in active opposition to him in the
>City?

No. Moving in while the Steward is unconscious and deathly ill would
have been tacky.

>(11) Any speculation about what was involved in Faramir's healing, and how
>he seemed to know the King?

Clearly, Aragorn thought that drug-induced hypnosis was the key to
sealing his position. :-)

>--Gandalf pretty much places himself in the background in this chapter,
>except for a couple of typically gruff outbursts. Yet he has been placed in
>command of the entire War on the steps of the Houses of Healing.

Uh, huh. If Denethor's spirit stuck around to watch things for awhile,
he must have been thinking "I told you so".

>--I wonder where and how young Bergil found the athelas?

One of those old men who use it for headaches, as the herb-master
informed us while being "useless". [1]

>FAVORITE QUOTE:

"Alas! For she was pitted against a foe beyond the strength of her
mind or body. And those who will take a weapon to such an enemy must
be sterner than steel, if the very shock shall not destroy them. It
was an evil doom that set her in his path. For she is a fair maiden,
fairest lady of a house of queens. And yet I know not how I should
speak of her. When I first looked on her and perceived her
unhappiness, it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing
straight and proud, shapely as a lily, and yet knew that it was hard,
as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel. Or was it, maybe, a frost
that had turned its sap to ice, and so it stood, bitter-sweet, still
fair to see, but stricken, soon to fall and die?"

[1] I think the herb-master gets an unfair reputation because of our
sympathy for our heroes, Gandalf and Aragorn, getting all snippy with
him while highly stressed and tired. I expect he is very good at his
job. His position is probably the highest in the land for his
profession and it isn't at all unusual for a technical person to go
into more detail than is strictly necessary, due to a genuine
enthusiasm for his field. Indeed, it is standard for contemporary
sci-fi to have the practical person telling the nerd to cut the
exposition to the minimum necessary facts. Given that the herb-master
provides the information as to how to go about finding some athelas in
the city and spends less than a minute (read at a reasonable rate and
time it yourself) with his learned apology for not having any in
stock, the idea that he is long-winded and unhelpful is very unfair.


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

Emma Pease

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Jan 29, 2005, 8:24:28 PM1/29/05
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In article <etonv0hqmpvdtcg0b...@4ax.com>, R Dan Henry wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 11:32:55 -0600, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
> wrote:
>>--I wonder where and how young Bergil found the athelas?
>
> One of those old men who use it for headaches, as the herb-master
> informed us while being "useless".

Except most of the old men were evacuated from the city. It was
probably an younger man whose granny had given him some just in case
he got a headache.

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

pippa...@gmail.com

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Jan 30, 2005, 2:11:39 AM1/30/05
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AC wrote:

> Remember that Aragorn is a descendant of the Northern Line

But which branch? Via Charing Cross or via Bank?
:-)

Öjevind Lång

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Jan 31, 2005, 10:24:46 AM1/31/05
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<pippa...@gmail.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:1107069099.2...@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

LOL

Öjevind


Shanahan

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Feb 7, 2005, 1:30:15 AM2/7/05
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aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:

> I hope this summary is all right. I had to reconstruct the one I
> finished a couple of weeks ago, when my computer ate it--I feel
> like I may have left some things out. (And I don't know if the
> special characters will come out on the post...)

It's excellent. I hope my comments aren't too late, I'm catching up
after a 2-month hiatus.

> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER VIII, "The Houses of Healing"

<huge snip>


> QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:
>
> (1) Once more we see the POV from the inside. Merry's despair is
> so vividly described, this whole first passage is from *his* POV,
> then the next passage begins with Pippin's POV. This is not
> something that I would have particularly taken notice of before
> our discussions about it here. It certainly lends even more
> immediacy and poignancy to their reunion.

It shows the absolute intentionality of every word Tolkien wrote,
doesn't it? He knows with such precision exactly when he is going to
show us something through a hobbit's eyes. And exactly when we will
move even deeper, to hear their thoughts and know their minds.

> ( And Merry's pitiful little "Are you going to bury me?" makes my
> eyes sting every time. This scene is one of the most emotional in
> the book, and certainly *the* most emotional one for these two.)

<sniffle>

> (6) At this point in time, none of these Captains are aware that
> Denethor is dead. Would this have made a difference in Aragorn's
> attitude here, do you think, if he had known there was no one in
> active opposition to him in the City?

Interesting question! Even if he knew of Faramir's illness also, as I
suppose he would, I still don't think he'd do anything. He really
wants to get the main goal accomplished first and destroy Sauron; his
own fate depends on that. I think he'd have done much what he did:
take practical control, listen to Gandalf's advice, and let Imrahil
and Eomer rule their respective armies under his and the wizard's
guidance.

> (9) How do you suppose Pippin came to guess it was Strider in the
> corsair ships? At the time he was separated from them there was no
> hint of the Paths of the Dead, or that Aragorn and the others
> would be taking any other way to the City than with the Rohirrim.
> Was this another bit of the kind of "knowing in the heart" so

> often found in the books? <snip>

Oh, definitely.

> (11) Any speculation about what was involved in Faramir's healing,
> and how he seemed to know the King?

I think they 'met' in Faramir's mind, when Aragorn went to seek him
and called him back. He recognizes Aragorn's soul, more than his
person.

> (13) To those of you who think that in RotK Aragorn is stuffy and
> pompous, take note of this bit of wonderfully dry humor. It's
> gently funny and a bit wicked, and at a time when he was probably
> completely exhausted after doing battle that morning, and now in
> the evening dealing with the wounded.

*This* bit always makes *me* cry! It is Elessar at his best: both
Strider and Aragorn, king and ranger.

Ciaran S.
--
Complicate the self-evident

james rich

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Feb 7, 2005, 5:13:58 PM2/7/05
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"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message
news:cu6ng...@enews4.newsguy.com...

> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:
> > I hope this summary is all right. I had to reconstruct the one I
> > finished a couple of weeks ago, when my computer ate it--I feel
> > like I may have left some things out. (And I don't know if the
> > special characters will come out on the post...)
>
> It's excellent. I hope my comments aren't too late, I'm catching up
> after a 2-month hiatus.
>
> > CHAPTER OF THE WEEK: BOOK VI, CHAPTER VIII, "The Houses of Healing"
> <huge snip>
> > QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:
> >
> > (1) Once more we see the POV from the inside. Merry's despair is
> > so vividly described, this whole first passage is from *his* POV,
> > then the next passage begins with Pippin's POV. This is not
> > something that I would have particularly taken notice of before
> > our discussions about it here. It certainly lends even more
> > immediacy and poignancy to their reunion.
>
> It shows the absolute intentionality of every word Tolkien wrote,
> doesn't it? He knows with such precision exactly when he is going to
> show us something through a hobbit's eyes. And exactly when we will
> move even deeper, to hear their thoughts and know their minds.
>
> > ( And Merry's pitiful little "Are you going to bury me?" makes my
> > eyes sting every time. This scene is one of the most emotional in
> > the book, and certainly *the* most emotional one for these two.)
>
> <sniffle>

I have to admit, I find this one of the more inexplicable changes in the
movie. That line would have been totally appropriate when Pippin found
Merry, even though the circumstances were different, and it would have had
much more impact than the lines they actually used.


>
> > (6) At this point in time, none of these Captains are aware that
> > Denethor is dead. Would this have made a difference in Aragorn's
> > attitude here, do you think, if he had known there was no one in
> > active opposition to him in the City?
>
> Interesting question! Even if he knew of Faramir's illness also, as I
> suppose he would, I still don't think he'd do anything. He really
> wants to get the main goal accomplished first and destroy Sauron; his
> own fate depends on that. I think he'd have done much what he did:
> take practical control, listen to Gandalf's advice, and let Imrahil
> and Eomer rule their respective armies under his and the wizard's
> guidance.

It does seem so, yes. And in the event, it really worked out the same
anyway.


>
> > (9) How do you suppose Pippin came to guess it was Strider in the
> > corsair ships? At the time he was separated from them there was no
> > hint of the Paths of the Dead, or that Aragorn and the others
> > would be taking any other way to the City than with the Rohirrim.
> > Was this another bit of the kind of "knowing in the heart" so
> > often found in the books? <snip>
>
> Oh, definitely.
>
> > (11) Any speculation about what was involved in Faramir's healing,
> > and how he seemed to know the King?
>
> I think they 'met' in Faramir's mind, when Aragorn went to seek him
> and called him back. He recognizes Aragorn's soul, more than his
> person.
>
> > (13) To those of you who think that in RotK Aragorn is stuffy and
> > pompous, take note of this bit of wonderfully dry humor. It's
> > gently funny and a bit wicked, and at a time when he was probably
> > completely exhausted after doing battle that morning, and now in
> > the evening dealing with the wounded.
>
> *This* bit always makes *me* cry! It is Elessar at his best: both
> Strider and Aragorn, king and ranger.
>

As I said, my favorite quote in the chapter. You can see his deep affection
for the hobbits, his pride in Merry (calling him a "careless soldier" shows
that he knows the hobbit was, in fact, a soldier) his amusement at the
herb-master's pretensions, his own deep knowledge of lore, and a bit of
self-deprecating humor as well. It also shows his understanding of what
"speaking lightly" means among hobbits, and his own care and concern beneath
it. All that in just a few, short witty sentences.
As Pippin said, "Was there ever anyone like him?"
Barbara

Shanahan

unread,
Feb 8, 2005, 12:25:12 AM2/8/05
to
james rich <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:

> "Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message

> well. It also shows his understanding of what "speaking lightly"


> means among hobbits, and his own care and concern beneath it. All
> that in just a few, short witty sentences.
> As Pippin said, "Was there ever anyone like him?"

Except Gandalf, of course. I think they must be related.

james rich

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Feb 9, 2005, 8:53:36 AM2/9/05
to

"Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message
news:cubqg...@enews1.newsguy.com...

> james rich <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:
> > "Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message
>
> > well. It also shows his understanding of what "speaking lightly"
> > means among hobbits, and his own care and concern beneath it. All
> > that in just a few, short witty sentences.
> > As Pippin said, "Was there ever anyone like him?"
>
> Except Gandalf, of course. I think they must be related

8-D

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