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BarbaraN
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FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3-5

FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3-5

Chapter 3: The Ring Goes South
Chapter 4: A Journey in the Dark
Chapter 5: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

Well, winter is here in Middle-earth and this is a perfect time to cross the high passes of the Misty Mountains! So I guess it is time to get the next leg of this trip on the road. I can see that we have finally decided that a conventional war won't work, that we don't want to give the Ring to Boromir and no one else wants to touch it, we can't throw it into the deepest ocean because the Ring will find its way back again, and Tom Bombadil will simply throw it away as a meaningless token. So it looks like only one option is left. Poor Frodo must carry it into the impenetrable fortress of Mordor and throw it into the volcano of Mount Doom. But he is small so maybe no one will see him.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

Chapter 3: The Ring goes South

Fan, I didn't realize your "pen" name was a mountain. Goes with your icon. So you are Cloudyhead or Fanuidhol the Grey. Any relation to Gandalf the Grey? How about if we call you Bundushathur or just Shathur for short from now on! :smileyvery-happy:

pp283

'I need no map,' said Gimli.... 'There is the land where our fathers worked of old, and we have wrought the image of those mountains into many works of metal and of stone, and into many songs and tales. They stand tall in our dreams: Baraz, Zirak, Shathur.

'Only once before have I seen them from afar in waking life, but I know them and their names, for under them lies Khazad-dum, the Dwarrowdelf, that is now called the Black Pit, Moria in the Elvish tongue. Yonder stands Barazinbar, the Redhorn, cruel Caradhras; and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead: Celebdil the White, and Fanuidhol the Grey, that we call Zirakzigil and Bundushathur.
----------------------

I think this little quote does a lot to explain one of my problems--I have to learn several different names for the same thing and I have trouble with just one! And then there are all the different people and places with names that are similar.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

After the meeting, scouts are sent in all direction to see if there is any danger ahead and find out what has happened to the Nazguls. Frodo has to wait until they get back but as Sam wisely points out that will put them in the dead of winter.

Too bad I'm not running this show but then I might not do any better job than I did running the war! :smileywink: But what could be a better decoy? All these people fanning out in different directions from Rivendell. To me that would seem like the time to start Frodo on his journey. Who is to know which of these bands, if any, has the Ring. Frodo, three other hobbits and Aragon at this point would seem the least likely. As far as I've been able to tell, Sauron and his Nazguls can't detect the Ring from a distance. They need informants to tell them where the Ring is. Besides, at least some of the Nazguls are unhorsed and they seem to need their full complement to be effective. The longer they wait, of course, the more likely the Nazguls will get home to tell Sauron all that happened so he can get his plan and forces together to make another try at getting the Ring. I don't think this waiting was the best strategy.

So the Fellowship leave on Yule (December 25). I don't know if that has any significance (except being Christmas in our time). According to Appendix D (I beat you to it Fan) Yuledays (the last day of the year and the first day of the new year but not part of a month) was one of the chief two holidays in the Shire.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

The Forming of the Fellowship

Actually, I don't know why Elrond chose the number 8. This really didn't have much to do with the eight Riders. I don't even think 8 is one of Ardo's magic numbers. What is significant is Gandalf supporting the idea of taking along the two other hobbits instead of some one who could help with defense just in case they encountered orcs, wargs or maybe a cave troll! Well, I think this is part of Gandalf foreknowledge of things. It does turn out that Pippin and Merry are critical to certain events that take place later on.

In early versions this number seem to fluctuate between 7 and 9 (much more magical numbers), Glorfindel was for the elves, and the number of Hobbits got as high as five and Boromir was not included until a much later version.

We have met most of the fellowship already and will be learning more about them on this trip. The major new one is Gimli, Gloin's son.

Aragorn and Gandalf seem to be sharing leadership as they privately debate what they should do. Boromir is mainly odd man out and is mostly ignored. He does, however, prove to be a major asset on Caradhras. It is he who suggest they bring firewood with them and that turned out to be a life-saver. And it was he who did most of the snow clearing so the hobbits could get through.

We also have a symbolic transfer of responsibility: Isidur's sword is reforged and given to Aragorn which he renames Anduril, Flame of the West. Bilbo bestows on Frod his mithral shirt and his sword Sting. The other hobbits still have their special swords from the Barrows.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

Gimli

This is the first time we actually get to meet Gimli and he surprised me. In the movie he was the boasting comic relief, but even this early, I find him a very thoughtful and wise dwarf full of appreciation of the lore and the accomplishments of dwarfs rather than boastful. He is a sensitive dwarf and even quotes some dwarf lore: "Dark is the water of Kheled-zaram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-Nala. My heart trembles at the thought that I may see them soon."

He also has a strong sense of honor and loyalty. Before they leave he does a bit of sparing with Elrond who doesn't want the members of the Fellowship to feel any obligation to the Fellowship (why I do not know) and Gimli responds: 'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,' and also 'Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart.'
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

The Trip South

The first part of the trip is pretty uneventful. The only threat are flocks of crows that seem to be spying out over the land. At the end of the chapter is the disastrous attempt to cross Caradhras in a snow storm and having to turn back. At this point we don't know if it was a chance event of the season, the mountain was "angry", or there was some sorcery involved. The movie went for the sorcery option and put it in the hands of Saruman instead of Sauron. The book leans towards an angry mountain but leaves the options open.
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Fanuidhol
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South



lorien wrote:
Chapter 3: The Ring goes South

Fan, I didn't realize your "pen" name was a mountain. Goes with your icon. So you are Cloudyhead or Fanuidhol the Grey. Any relation to Gandalf the Grey? How about if we call you Bundushathur or just Shathur for short from now on! :smileyvery-happy:


 
Cloudyhead will do.... :smileywink:
Fan
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Fanuidhol
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South



lorien wrote:

So the Fellowship leave on Yule (December 25). I don't know if that has any significance (except being Christmas in our time). According to Appendix D (I beat you to it Fan) Yuledays (the last day of the year and the first day of the new year but not part of a month) was one of the chief two holidays in the Shire.

 
Very good, Lorien! 
 
When you only have LotR in front of you, Dec. 25th can seem to have a symbolic meaning.  At least one Christian author of Tolkien criticism that I have read, (can't remember if it was Joseph Pearce or Bradley Birzer) made a big deal out of this date.
 
But, having The History of LotR, I found that Tolkien shifted the start out date for timeline purposes, not for symbolism.  I'll have to do some research in those books to find out the "when's" and "what's" and "therefore's".
Fan 

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Fanuidhol
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South



lorien wrote:
The Forming of the Fellowship

Actually, I don't know why Elrond chose the number 8. This really didn't have much to do with the eight Riders. I don't even think 8 is one of Ardo's magic numbers. What is significant is Gandalf supporting the idea of taking along the two other hobbits instead of some one who could help with defense just in case they encountered orcs, wargs or maybe a cave troll! Well, I think this is part of Gandalf foreknowledge of things. It does turn out that Pippin and Merry are critical to certain events that take place later on.

In early versions this number seem to fluctuate between 7 and 9 (much more magical numbers), Glorfindel was for the elves, and the number of Hobbits got as high as five and Boromir was not included until a much later version.

We have met most of the fellowship already and will be learning more about them on this trip. The major new one is Gimli, Gloin's son.

Aragorn and Gandalf seem to be sharing leadership as they privately debate what they should do. Boromir is mainly odd man out and is mostly ignored. He does, however, prove to be a major asset on Caradhras. It is he who suggest they bring firewood with them and that turned out to be a life-saver. And it was he who did most of the snow clearing so the hobbits could get through.

We also have a symbolic transfer of responsibility: Isidur's sword is reforged and given to Aragorn which he renames Anduril, Flame of the West. Bilbo bestows on Frod his mithral shirt and his sword Sting. The other hobbits still have their special swords from the Barrows.

 
Lorien, there are 9 in the fellowship and 9 Black riders...
 
Boromir does prove to be a major asset on the mountain.  This seems to be a throwback to early versions of the story when Aragorn was a Hobbit named Trotter. 
 
Did you happen to notice that Bilbo stuck his sword Sting into a wooden beam for Frodo to pull out?  A nod to the Arthurian legend, perhaps?
Fan

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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South


Fanuidhol wrote:


lorien wrote:

So the Fellowship leave on Yule (December 25). I don't know if that has any significance (except being Christmas in our time). According to Appendix D (I beat you to it Fan) Yuledays (the last day of the year and the first day of the new year but not part of a month) was one of the chief two holidays in the Shire.

Very good, Lorien!
When you only have LotR in front of you, Dec. 25th can seem to have a symbolic meaning. At least one Christian author of Tolkien criticism that I have read, (can't remember if it was Joseph Pearce or Bradley Birzer) made a big deal out of this date.
But, having The History of LotR, I found that Tolkien shifted the start out date for timeline purposes, not for symbolism. I'll have to do some research in those books to find out the "when's" and "what's" and "therefore's".
Fan






I learning the Tolkien's logic was totally internal to his world so he probably didn't have Christmas in mind at all but the Hobbit calendar which considered Yule as the start of the New Year--a good time to start a quest symbolically. Astronomically, he stays pretty close (I think exactly) to our own so his New Year was probably marked as starting right after the Winter Solstice.

The large number of "people-types" in the group may have also been significant. This is the beginning of the eventual ascent of people as the dominant species in Middle-earth and the beginning of the end of the era of the elves.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

Lorien, there are 9 in the fellowship and 9 Black riders...

Boromir does prove to be a major asset on the mountain. This seems to be a throwback to early versions of the story when Aragorn was a Hobbit named Trotter.

Did you happen to notice that Bilbo stuck his sword Sting into a wooden beam for Frodo to pull out? A nod to the Arthurian legend, perhaps?
Fan
--------------------

I think I am the "Cloudyhead" now! Of course, I miscounted. :smileysad:

I missed that "Sword in the Beam" touch. Very good! I like it. Not only Arthurian but Norse as well especially with the "tree" type symbolism:

Volsung Saga

In the Volsung Saga, Signy marries Siggeir, the king of Gautland (modern Västergötland). Volsung and Sigmund are attending the wedding feast (which lasted for some time before and after the marriage), when Odin, in the guise of a beggar, plunges a sword into the living tree around which Volsung's hall is built. The disguised Odin announces that the man who can remove the sword will have it as a gift. Only Sigmund is able to free the sword.

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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South

lorien
Yule is actually a very symbolic time to start a quest. At the height of the Winter Kings reign - the height of darkness/evil/dread
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3: The Ring Goes South


TiggerBear wrote:
lorien
Yule is actually a very symbolic time to start a quest. At the height of the Winter Kings reign - the height of darkness/evil/dread




Of course, sometimes I literally don't see the forest for the trees! It is the shortest day of the the year and the longest night--a very dark time especially if they are pretty far north in Middle-earth. Also it marks the time of the returning sun.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapters 3-5: The Three Elvin Rings

The Three Elvin Rings

When we started this book I mentioned that it was structured around the Three Elvin Rings as well as the One Ring. The first two chapters belonging to Elrond and their pondering the fate of the One Ring with his guidance. His Ring was the Ring of Air or of Mind.

These next three chapters I feel focus on Gandalf. Gandalf is key to many chapters and certainly puts into motion many events. But in this group of chapters he is tested and must make a most difficult decision that is contrary to his intitial plan.

---SPOILER ALERT---

Beware! There may be spoilers here. But I actually don't think they are significant at this point in our reading.

-----------------------------------------------
A little history on the Elvin Rings from Appendix B pp 1085.

The Rings originally were held by Gil-galad (a name that means very little to me right now), Galadriel and Cirdan. Before he was killed Gil-galad gave his Ring to Elrond. Cirdan gave his Ring to Mithrandir (Gandalf). "For Cirdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth....Take this ring, Master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that your have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill."

Now one side benefit we have seen of these three rings is they seem to give the gift of foreknowledge. Elrond has this ability and we have seen numerous instances of it, but because of the rise of Sauron, things are are getting hazy for him: pp 275 "I cannot help you much, not even with counsel,' said Elrond. 'I can foresee very little of your road; and how your task is to be achieved I do not know. [But he did know that Frodo had to be the one to do it.] The Shadow has crept now to the feet of the Mountains, and draws nigh even to the borders of the Grayflood; and under the Shadow all is dark to me."

Later we will see that Galadriel seems to also have this power of foreknowledge but predominantly in water (She has the Ring of Water). We will talk more of it when we get to her chapters.

Now knowing that Gandalf has the Ring of Fire, we can assume he also has this limited power of foreknowledge and it has probably been guiding him all along. But the Shadow is probably darkening his vision as well. This also seems to be a general gift and not that specific.

So hold that thought as Gandalf must go through his trial by fire with a fading gift of foreknowledge. He knows, and apparently has told Aragorn, that the only way through is via Moria and Moria holds something evil and will be Gandalf's doom. It was Aragorn who initially insisted they try the pass over Caradhras first. But they could not avoid the inevitable path.

pp 297

[Aragorn]
"It is not of the Ring, nor of us others that I am thinking now, but of you, Gandalf. And I say to you: if you pass the doors of Moria, beware!"
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 4: A Journey in the Dark

I was really sorry when I got to the part about Balin being dead and some of the others in the original group that went with Bilbo on his first adventure. If I have not miscounted I think there are only 6 of the original 13 left right now and they all died tragically in battle. I keep thinking of the merry group of the first chapter of The Hobbit--singing and playing instruments and clearing away dishes with a song. Just a happy-go-lucky group. I especially liked Balin--he was a very special friend to Bilbo.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 4: A Journey in the Dark

It had not occurred to me when I first read this section that when the Watcher barred the west door, they were indeed trapped. I just didn't realized that there were only two doors into Moria--one on the east side and one on the west side of the Misty Mountains. They had the same situation at Eredor and that back door couldn't be used by just anyone. In neither case did this limited access serve them well. I felt very claustrophobic this time through.

Is there anywhere a story of how The Watcher got to be there? You can't exactly lead such a creature up a mountain trail. Or who put him there? Some one had to have dammed the stream to create the lake in the first place and then urged the attack of the Orcs from the east side. I don't think Orcs were bright enough to work this all out for themselves.

I gather, though, that in Durin's time, Balin time and this current time, they were actually defeated by the Balrog who lived down deep in the minds and was released by the mine tunnel operations.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 5: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

I know hobbits are small but are they that small that they only attack feet? In this battle Frodo stabs the foot of the cave troll and does him in. Later Merry will do the same thing in his battle. I wonder if there is something symbolic about this but nothing comes to my mind.

I also wonder how the orcs got trapped on the western side of the fissure in the lower hall. since they had to have come in via the east gate would have had to cross over to the other side somehow.
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lorien
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 5: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

The Battle on the Bridge of Khazad-dum

This is certainly one of the major high points of the LOTR and probably one of the most traumatic and tragic. I have not read the silm but I gather that the Balrog and the Wizards are of equal power and type. The Balrog is the evil force and the Wizard, at least Gandalf, is the good force. So this is the classic battle of good and evil both in actuallity and symbolically.

Certainly the most dramatic moment is when Gandalf takes his stand:

pp 330
'You cannot pass,' he said....'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

It is possible Gandalf is evoking the power of his Ring Narya (the Ring of fire) when he says "servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor". And that the "flame of Udun" is the dark fire. But the terms Anor and Udun do not mean anything to me.

Gandalf's actual plunge to his death seems almost like an anticlimax. His last words are not too inspiring: "Fly, you fools!"
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 5: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

But the terms Anor and Udun do not mean anything to me.
--------------------------------------------
*possible spoilers*
Yeah I've been looking, but so far no matches with those spellings. Near as I can figure it might be a Maiar language terminology. Both the Balrog and Gandalf being Maiar, one dark one light.
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Dagor
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Re: FOTR: Book 2: Chapter 5: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

[ Edited ]
Anor should be easy to find, it occurs in such compounds as Minas Anor (the original name of Gondor's fortress, now capital, Minas Tirith). Udun is a bit harder to locate, it is a rarely used version (in the Sindarin speech) for Morgoth's great citadel of Utumno. The opposition is then between Anor, flame in the sky vrs Udun, dark flame of the underworld. The Balrogs were creatures of combined darkness and fire. I believe Gandalf was just telling the Balrog that its firey nature was useless against his own wizardly connection with a higher, purer flame.

Gandalf also mentions "the Secret Fire," which may be a third type of flame altogether, "The Flame Imperishable," which animates the universe (see Ainulindale, hb ver. p. 21). In seeking to find the source of this flame of creation/ life, Melko searches in all the wrong places, the dark voids, he does not seem to ever realize that this flame is only "with Eru."

"He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar." (Sil. Ainulindale, p. 16)

"'Therefore I say: Ea! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the hearty of the World, and the World shall Be; and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be...' " ( Sil., Ainulindale, p. 20)

Message Edited by Dagor on 04-09-2008 11:07 AM
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