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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

Good Afternoon, lorien ---
 
This is just a possibility ( and nothing that is explicit in the text ) concerning Pippin's knowledge of Gollum -
If we go all the way back to "The Shadow Of The Past" ( again ) - it seems pretty obvious that Sam has been outside in the garden, pretending ( at least ) to be working, while the whole time he has been intent on eavesdropping on the conversation between Gandalf and Frodo. He could have have gleaned bits and pieces of the Gollum/Smeagol story - and put some of these pieces together later - and of course - he blabbed everything he knew to Pippin and Merry afterwards - probably even gave a dramatic recital of everything he heard.
On top of that, it does seem like Bilbo himself used to recount the tale of his own adventures - and often included the story of his meeting up with Gollum ( with some "modifications" ) - probably with great relish, himself - imitating Gollum's voice and so forth - at  the very least to Frodo - and Frodo would have repeated these recitals to his friends - Pippin and Merry.
Sam is even sitting quietly on the floor throughout  the Council of Elrond  ( uninvited - but he slips in, anyway ) and must have picked up on the news that Gollum had escaped from captivity.
All this news he would have been sure to share with Pippin and Merry.
And even Pippin and Merry are not totally oblivious to the goings-on around them, as well -
even if they are left out of important discussions - or not always directly privy to the times that say, Gandalf is confiding in Frodo, etcetera - the two of them both have their eyes and ears open much of the time - and are often doing their own share of "news-gathering", and keeping abreast of the latest developments.
( they might have also picked up on some news as to Gollum's whereabouts while the Fellowship was in Lothlorien, as well ) ---
 
At Your Service,
Ardo Whortleberry 
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1,2,3,4

I have been doing this trek using Barbara Stracheys maps from the Journeys of Frodo. I have the book, which is much easier to use, but they are available on line and the book is hard to find:

http://www.fortunecity.co.uk/library/fantasy/11/maps.htm

(Go down the page)

For TTT: Book 3 you will need the following maps:

- Eastemnet and Nen Hithoel
- The Vale of Entwash
- Methedras and Fanghorn
- Edoras
- Nan Curunir and Deeping-coomb
- Helm's Deep
- Isengard
- Fords of Isen and Minas Tirith
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1,2,3,4

Thanks, lorien, these maps are great.
There are some instances where I guess I must not have been reading the story itself close enough - as the maps reveal - for instance - I had always assumed that Tom Bombadil's house was located in some kind of  clearing somewhere in the heart of The Old Forest. Similarly, I had always thought that Cerin Amroth and
Caras Galadhon were more deep in the heart of Lorien...           Ardo
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1,2,3,4

Riddles in the Dark

Riddles seem to be very important to Tolkien. I have noticed reference to them coming up time and time again. Guessing the riddle is often a matter of life or death and certainly of right courses of action. The whole first section of this book seems to hinge on guessing the answer to riddles.

In chapter 2, The Departure of Boromir, Gimili says:

'Well, we have no time to ponder riddles,' said Gimili. 'Let us bear Boromir away!'

' But after that we must guess the riddles, if we are to choose our course rightly,' answered Aragorn.

' Maybe there is not right choice,' said Gimli.

In their pursuit of the hobbits they are constantly referencing riddles and guessing them correctly. The word "riddle" seems to be almost mantra here.

Now I'm jumping a bit ahead in our reading here to the next chapter, but it is related to the earlier ones because our Mini-Fellowship is still tracking the hobbits: (Chapter 5: The White Rider):

'Well, here is the strangest riddle that we have yet found!' exclaimed Legolas. 'A bound prisoner escapes both from the Orcs and from the surrounding horsemen....'

Aragorn: 'There are some other signs near at hand that you have not considered. I agree that the prisoner was a hobbit and must have had either legs or hinds free, before he came here, I guess that it was hands, because the riddle then becomes easier, and also because, as I read the marks, he was carried to this point by and Orc...'

Our expert tracker can obviously tell an awful lot from a few depressions in the dirt! This kind of brings us back to the question of Free Will and Providence. Is Aragorn making these choices based on his skill and then making the right choices based on his judgment, or is the situation vague enough that that the hand of Providence is directing the little group and probably Merry and Pippin as well?
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

I have noted an interesting oddity of these two chapters and some of the others. The book is not written from a single characters point of view nor even from a single character viewpoint. Sometimes we are in in Frodo's shoes, and sometimes just present for the events he knows about, but most often have the viewpoint of the story teller that transcends all the characters. But in these two chapters, Chapters 3 and 4, we are mainly in Pippin's shoes and notably never Merry's, and sometimes back to the storyteller. We are seeing the events transpire as Pippin sees them and we know what is happening in his head.



lorien wrote:
Pippin

Little Pippen turns out to be the hero of this chapter and finally shows his "true qualities." Merry and Pippin are now split off from the Fellowship in the hands of hundreds of orcs. Merry is hurt and unconscious. All along Pippin has been more of bother, has very little courage and confidence in himself, and has been mainly just "luggage". Here he is again "luggage" (carried by the orcs) but the lives of hobbits are now in Pippin's hands and depends on his wit and courage. He shows he has both.

When the orcs are fighting among themselves, Pippin has the courage to use a dead orc's blade to cut the ropes binding his hands and then making it look as if he is still tied. He showed extraordinary courage breaking away from the group so he could leave his footprints in the soft mud and then threw away his elf broach so that possibly it would be seen by Aragorn--if indeed they are following them. This could have cost him a lot of pain and maybe even death if the orcs had not been in a hurry and had to keep him unharmed. When Grishnakh carried off the hobbits during the attack, Pippin caught on that he wanted something and and tricked him into working out a deal to get it and so he got his and Merry's leg ropes cut so they would have a chance of getting away. At this point Pippin seems to be the responsible one for their safety and escape since Merry, the more natural leader, is not in any shape to do much.

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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

I do like Treebeard. He is one of Tolkien's most original characters. In some ways the Ents are like Tom Bombadil--we don't know who they are, where they came from, or what they represent.

They are also like the elves in that they are decreasing in number, and "fading" from Middle-earth. This fading of fairy and mythic elements from Middle-earth seems to be a theme of Tolkien's also. I assume it is his comment on modern people who are loosing contact with most of the wonderment of the world and becoming obsessed with the world of the concrete and technology.
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

Odd things sometimes pop into my mind as I'm reading. The word "Ent" apparently means "giant" in Anglos-Saxon. Well, Tolkiens obsession with words has caused me to think about them and this got me thinking about how our pronunciation and spelling in English don't always match. So my trivia comment for the day is that when I pronounce the word "giant" I don't pronounce it gi-Ant but gi-Ent. But then I'm from New England and we pronounce a lot of things funny. How do the rest of you pronounce "giant"?
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 2: Riders of Rohan

When reading through this book, I find that I read "through" a lot of interesting passages that Tolkien brings up as ideas to ponder. And this passage might have something to do with his thinking on the concept of time and of the "fairy" and its relationship to the everyday world.

Our Mini-Fellowship has met the riders of Rohan and have been relating their story. It seems "halflings" are only stuff of children's stories to most of the civilized world.
--------

One of the riders remarks: "Halflings! But they are only a little people in the old songs and children's tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?"

Aragorn remarks: "A man may do both...The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!"

"Time is pressing," said the Rider.... Let us leave these wild folks to their fancies...."
-----------

I interpret this as Tolkien saying that we live in both a real and fairy world....or at least we should.
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

Good Morning, Lorien ---
 
 I've always tended to pronounce it  [ Ji-ents ] - with the accent heavily on the [ Ji ] half - and then the [ ents ] part spoken very softly - I don't know what the exact linguistics or phonetics term for it is, but it's sort of where the [ ents ] part "collapses" ( or something like that ) --- Old JRRT would have known the correct term for it, I'm sure.  --- Ardo
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1 and 2

Hi Again, lorien ---
 
This is what always struck me about that exchange between our trio of heroes and the Riders of Rohan...
It's almost like a little "in joke" --- By which I mean, we have been following the hobbits and their companions throughout the story - we have become very familiar ( and empathetic with ) the characters - seen events through their eyes - we started off in the Shire ( and took a long time getting out of it - into the "outside world" ) - Anyway -WE know they are real -at least, they seem VERY real to us ( by this point ) - and then, here we have these mythical men ( the Riders ) in the middle of our mythical world ( Middle-earth ) - referring to our friends ( who we already KNOW are real, right? ) like they are something imaginary or mythical or even simply ficticious ( like out of old songs and children's tales ) --- It's almost like a "trick with mirrors" ( in a way ) - because it makes the whole story, and everything in it, seem much MORE real that way. ---
 
Thinking back to "The Hobbit" - it seemed like Tolkien never did anything like that with that story.
Nobody seems the least bit astonished to see Bilbo, a hobbit, appearing on the scene in faraway places...
( although the Trolls didn't seem to know exactly what he was, and Gollum too wondered what he was - and if he might not be good to eat - and Smaug can't quite place his scent ) - but otherwise - they get all the way over to far Lake Town without anyone gasping in suprise to see a hobbit. Beorn says: "What's this little fellow?" And Gandalf tells him that it's Bilbo Baggins - a hobbit of "good family" - but he doesn't have to explain what a hobbit is. ---
 
Getting back to the meeting with the Riders of Rohan and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, I believe this is also the passage where Aragorn whips out Anduril, and announces who he is... and the Riders also raise their eyebrows at this, in suprise and astonishment - this too, is another case where all the fables they have heard about in their time seem to be coming true, all of a sudden ...
( It's a great scene - one that got left out of the movie, because the story-line got all rearranged - it's almost like Aragorn is pulling back his garments to reveal a big A on his chest - and going: "For, you see, I am not just an ordinary Ranger  - I'm Super Aragorn! Fighter for Truth, Justice, and the Middle-earthian Way!
Here I am to Save The Day!" )
Sorry about that one.     ---    Ardo 
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BarbaraN
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 1 and 2

Ardo said--
Thinking back to "The Hobbit" - it seemed like Tolkien never did anything like that with that story.
Nobody seems the least bit astonished to see Bilbo, a hobbit, appearing on the scene in faraway places...
( although the Trolls didn't seem to know exactly what he was, and Gollum too wondered what he was - and if he might not be good to eat - and Smaug can't quite place his scent ) - but otherwise - they get all the way over to far Lake Town without anyone gasping in suprise to see a hobbit. Beorn says: "What's this little fellow?" And Gandalf tells him that it's Bilbo Baggins - a hobbit of "good family" - but he doesn't have to explain what a hobbit is. ---
++++++++++++++++++++++

Of course The Hobbit was a different book with a bit more "fantasy" in it and Beorn himself was kind of an odd sort with his magical animals but, now that you mention it, Bilbo was taken for granted. I could understand Smaug not knowing how Bilbo smelled. I don't suppose he had many close friends among any of the living creatures. The Trolls were closer to the home of the Hobbits -- but then Trolls are not very bright anyway. Interesting point about Gollum, though, since he was supposed to be a Hobbit himself--at least in LOTR. Might have been a point even Tolkien missed. You certainly seem to have these books memorized! I would not have remembered all this detail!

Probably because of Bilbo's journys, the Hobbits were well known in "the Wilderland" but there doesn't seem to be much communication of the southern lands with any of the land west of the Gap of Rohan. I gather that the Enewaith area was somewhat of a "no-man's-land" and few people traveled in that direction. As I recall (but not with the clarity that you seem to remember things!) Boromir had never even heard of Rivendell and spent a long time getting lost on his way to that destination.
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

Ardo said:
This is just a possibility ( and nothing that is explicit in the text ) concerning Pippin's knowledge of Gollum -
If we go all the way back to "The Shadow Of The Past" ( again ) - it seems pretty obvious that Sam has been outside in the garden, pretending ( at least ) to be working, while the whole time he has been intent on eavesdropping on the conversation between Gandalf and Frodo. He could have have gleaned bits and pieces of the Gollum/Smeagol story - and put some of these pieces together later - and of course - he blabbed everything he knew to Pippin and Merry afterwards - probably even gave a dramatic recital of everything he heard.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

I have a fuzzy memory on this one, Ardo, but as I recall Sam stopped leaking information after he was discovered by Gandalf. But he was a big fan of Bilbo's stories and I agree he probably would pass them on. And Merry and Pippin as young Hobbits probably listened to all his stories as well. Bilbo's tale would have been very popular and well-known by most people in The Shire. I'm sure he played up the sound Gollum made.

It does amaze me that Tolkien did take care of so much detail that we rarely find omissions or inconsistencies in LOTR. And LOTR is one book that has every word examined!
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

Orcs seem to be puzzling creatures but I have always taken the Trolls for granted and accepted them as inhabitants of the world. I was never concerned about where they came from. But as Orcs were designated as corruptions of Elves, Trolls are considered corruptions of Ents--at least by Treebeard. Now that I do find odd. Trolls seem more "man-like" not tree-like. The only thing I see them having in common is they are both big.

In The Hobbit there were giants (I think they were called Mountain Giants) and they didn't seem particularly mean. Trolls could have come from that line. Our Trolls from The Hobbit were not very bright (but brighter than the LOTR Trolls), and not very nice, but I didn't think of them as particularly mean either. Actually, I don't even consider LOTR Trolls as particularly mean -- I think of them as stupid brutes that have been enslaved and brutalized and are only mean for that reason. A dog would behave the same way.

So, in a way, I wish Tolkien hadn't tried to account for the origin of Trolls.

Orcs now, are a different story. They have personalities and are intelligent so they have to be counted as some sort of "special creation" if you get into the "origins" part of the mythology.
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

Merry and Pippin are certainly casual sort of Hobbits who seem to take everything in their stride. Merry was hurt and being carried by an Orc when he comes to but he can still crack jokes. After escaping from the Orcs and possible torture or death, they still sit around casually and joke. Very different personalities than Frodo and Sam -- they are very serious.
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

Treebeard wasn't always going to be the friendly Ent. He started as something quite different in the earlier manuscripts.

Remember way back to Book 2, Chapter 1, when Frodo first wakes up in the House of Elrond in Rivendell and he discovers Gandalf there? Well, in an earlier version of the book Frodo asks: "Why were you delayed" and Gandalf responds:

"At the moment I will only say that I was held captive...There are many powers greater than mine, for good and evil, in the world. I was caught in Fangorn and spent many weary days as a prisoner of the Giant Treebeard...." (Page 363, HOME: The Return of the Shadow)

Of course back then Strider was a hobbit called Trotter who wore shoes! But it is interesting to note that Treebeard was originally thought of as a conventional giant.

A few other fragments in the history of the writing of LOTR.

------------
(page 384, HOME:The Return of the Shadow)
Frodo meets Giant Treebeard in the Forest of Neldoreth while seeking for his lost companions: he is deceived by the giant who pretends to be friendly, but is really in league with the enemy.
----------

Well, that even changes the geography. Frodo is really lost! He is in Beleriand, which at the time of LOTR, is under the sea.

And in another fragment (page 397):

-----------
"Beware!" said Gandalf "of the Giant Treebeard, who haunts the Forest between the River and the South Mts." Fangorn?
-----------
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

Hi BarbaraN ! ---
 
I completely forgot about "A Conspiracy Unmasked" - where Merry reveals that he had known about the Ring for some time ( he had seen Bilbo disappear once ) - had taken a peek inside Bilbo's ( secret ) memoirs - and that he and his fellow conspirators ( Pippin and Sam ) had been watching Frodo carefully after Gandalf had departed the Shire. It is revealed that Sam "...dried up a lot..." ( as a source of information after he had been caught in the act by Gandalf ( and Sam then considered himself to be on a sort of "parole" ) - As you said - he stopped "leaking information" ( after he had been the conspirators chief spy and source of information before that ) ---
But just considering how much initiative and ingenuity Merry and Pippin had in accomplishing their "investigative" work up to that point - it would seem like they could have gleaned information about Gollum's link to the Ring, and his escape  from the Wood-Elves, after the Council of Elrond, and that Gollum was nearby, during the visit to Lothlorien...
At the same time, this sort of puts the kibosh on my theory about Bilbo relating the Gollum story at the fireside - ( unless when he told the story he always left out the part about the Ring - which is a possibility, because if he had told these stories, he would have still wanted to keep that detail secret ) ---
 
Ardo Whortleberry
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 3 and 4

I'm a bit behind in my read-along. I've been reading the Histories (HOME) and essays in some of my many unread books. I hope to be back on schedule soon.
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard



lorien wrote:
I do like Treebeard. He is one of Tolkien's most original characters. In some ways the Ents are like Tom Bombadil--we don't know who they are, where they came from, or what they represent.

They are also like the elves in that they are decreasing in number, and "fading" from Middle-earth. This fading of fairy and mythic elements from Middle-earth seems to be a theme of Tolkien's also. I assume it is his comment on modern people who are loosing contact with most of the wonderment of the world and becoming obsessed with the world of the concrete and technology.

lorien - I think you have really hit upon something here. This does seem to be a recurring theme in LOTR.
An excellent point.
Ardo
 
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

Good Afternoon/Evening, Everybody ---
 
Just had a couple of quick afterthoughts to add to some ideas I had floated earlier in this Thread ---
 
"Hey Rohirrim! Over here, guys! If you wan't to know if halflings are real - just ask us!
We KNOW they are real!"  
 
Although, this again, is something that is not explicit in the text - it could also be that, although
Sam clammed up ( as a source of "inside information" ) just after  Gandalf caught him in the act ---
Once the "Conspiracy" had finally been "Unmasked" - and Frodo had been brought up to speed - and everyone in the group was now aware that, from then on, they were going to be a "team" - through thick and thin ( for the forseeable future ) - Sam might have then felt more free to share his knowledge with Pippin and Merry - perhaps even Frodo as well. More speculation on my part - but I think it is reasonable speculation. ---
 
Ardo Whortleberry 
 
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TiggerBear
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Re: TTT: Book 3: Chapters 4: Treebeard

To be honest I've never been sure wither Sam's close mouthed towards Merry and Pipen was an age difference or a class difference.
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