Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
BarbaraN
Posts: 519
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
0 Kudos

TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4-6

TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4-6

June 2-8
Chapters 4-6
4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
5. Window on the West
6. The Forbidden Pool
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

TiggerBear, you will be pleased to know that Smeagol does occasionally get some fresh greens! He says in this chapter:

"He doesn't eat grasses [herbs] or roots, no precious, not till he's starving or very sick, poor Smeagol."

So if a vitamin C deficiency does start to affect him, he does know enough to eat some greens.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

I think Smeagol is showing real friendship and companionship here. It is a scene between him and Sam. Sam is nice to him (for once) and Smeagol helps by catching a couple rabbits for him, rabbits he would probably prefer to eat himself--raw. He fetches water for Sam but draws the line at finding herbs, especially when he feels that Sam is not being nice or fair to him anymore. This is definitely a good Smeagol and a very sane sounding one to me. He admits to being tired and frightened but still he is sticking with the Hobbits.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit



lorien wrote:
TiggerBear, you will be pleased to know that Smeagol does occasionally get some fresh greens! He says in this chapter:

"He doesn't eat grasses [herbs] or roots, no precious, not till he's starving or very sick, poor Smeagol."

So if a vitamin C deficiency does start to affect him, he does know enough to eat some greens.




I think the successful nutrition of animals and more natural living humans is that they are animal eaters. Most of us only eat the choice sections of animals. I noticed that a feral cat in my yard used to catch birds and mice and would eat the whole thing--feathers, fur, bones brains--with the tail of the mouse the last to go down. It would also eat whatever the content of the stomach were since it just ate through the whole animal starting with its head. The "civilized" hobbits considered Gollum's food disgusting but Gollum survived because he was willing to eat what he did and eating it raw probably retained more of its nutritional value as well.
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

"He doesn't eat grasses [herbs] or roots, no precious, not till he's starving or very sick, poor Smeagol."
So if a vitamin C deficiency does start to affect him, he does know enough to eat some greens.
-------------------------------------------
Now I forgotten that part, good spot. But it does seam as when a pet eats grass as medicine.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
I think the successful nutrition of animals and more natural living humans is that they are animal eaters. Most of us only eat the choice sections of animals. I noticed that a feral cat in my yard used to catch birds and mice and would eat the whole thing--feathers, fur, bones brains--with the tail of the mouse the last to go down. It would also eat whatever the content of the stomach were since it just ate through the whole animal starting with its head. The "civilized" hobbits considered Gollum's food disgusting but Gollum survived because he was willing to eat what he did and eating it raw probably retained more of its nutritional value as well
-----------------------------------------------------------
Natural living humans, now I don't want to assume. So be more specific, please.
If I may make a guess that you're referring to things like, the Chinese "Whole Chicken" epicure; organs, beak, meat, blood, and some bones. But in that case they due butcher and cook it. Even west Africans and South American primitives use heat cooking methods. The only creatures I know regularly eaten as a bite chew swallow move would be bugs(shudder).
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

TiggerBear wrote:
Natural living humans, now I don't want to assume. So be more specific, please.
-----------------------------

I actually didn't know how to define them. The more affluent people in the western world tend to limit their diet to prime steaks. Poorer people will supplement their diet with the less prime cuts and make up for it with lots of cooking and turn the stomach or the tongue of the animal into more appealing item by spicing it up. More primitive people will eat the whole animal and relish the rich bone marrow. When was the last time you ate the bones of a fish to get the calcium or cracked open a bone to suck out the rich marrow! And how about those bugs and worms--they are nutritious! I understand caterpillars are especially nutritious. Ask any bird. It also depends on the food you grew up with. Some people might be repelled at the idea of eating slimy snails while others might relish their escargot. I'm rather fond of frog legs but there are some people that might think of them as repugnant. Some people prefer raw stuff. I like raw fresh hamburger, though it is way out vogue in our present hazardous world. Even rare steak seems to be on the no-no list. Raw seafood and shell fish used to be popular before the pollution levels got too high.

Gollum had to survive (and the Ring would probably prod him a bit) and pickings were pretty lean. He had to learn to eat everything and anything he could get his hands on and cooking was not an option. After 500 years, I'm sure he developed a taste for these things. Eating Orcs was probably the most distasteful to him. Even Shelob was not too fond of orc!

I don't know how much of this Tolkien actually thought out. In fact he might not have thought about it at all and just decided to make Gollum a repugnant eater. But he did give a lot of attention to even the most minor detail and seemed to have a vast knowledge of just about everything.

On this board we have managed to talk about everything from the present nutritional subject to moving Tectonic Plates--and make it relevant to our reading!!!
Frequent Contributor
Dagor
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎03-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

I have a habit -- picked up long, long ago -- of starting fiction books that I think I am going to greatly enjoy, by opening a volume at random and reading a paragraph or two. A sort of tantalizing foretaste of the author's style and a fragment of his/ her narrative that stays in my mind with all sorts of curious associations. Later as I read up to and through that "preview" section, the passage leaps out at me and I can juxtapose my original reactions with my new understanding of the fuller context. It can produce some quite startling contrasts. Although it actually comes from chapter 2, "The Passage of the Marshes," I think this observation fits in here. For Lord of the Rings, the paragraph I fell upon, my very first image of Middle-earth, was:

"What he was chewing, they did not ask or like to think. 'Worms or beetles or something slimy out of holes,' thought Sam.' "

Taken out of context, it seemed rather a strange thing to find in a purportedly magical fantasy about Elves and wizards, and gave me a definite feeling that the book was not necessarily going to be a safe and comfortable read. You are what you eat?

Getting back to the current section, I found it curious that Gollum, retching at the heavy garden odours of Ithilien should, nonetheless, find the cleaner waters of that province more suited to his taste, and he looks forward to securing better and more abundant food there: " 'Good water runs down in the streams... nice water in the lands we are going to. Smeagol will get food there too, perhaps.' " (TT book IV, chpt 4, p. 256 hb ver.) Though such things as the Elven leaves of Lothlorien's margins "stink" upon his hands, and the magical Elven rope burns his neck, and the flowers of Ithilien make him retch (p. 259), Gollum still desires clean food and water, and, in general, he seems to react most "Smeagolishly" and less like a dreadful Gollum as he passes through the fair fields of this chapter. Is there still some hobbitish part of his mind that responds favourably to this paradisical setting, some change in the food that affects his well-being? He even becomes "helpful," catching and saving a brace of rabbits for Frodo and Sam, then trundling off to fetch them some water while engaging with Sam in a fairly lengthy campfire discussion about fish and taters. Gollum seems to be "normalizing" toward the hobbit side of his character in this richer environment. As Frodo suggests, if Gollum could only bring himself to eat a bit of the Elves' waybread, this particularly wholesome nourishment just might have done him great good toward bringing back Smeagol and banishing Gollum?
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

You know I just noticed something here. It is daytime! This doesn't seem to bother Smeagol at all! Just a few days ago he was cringing under the light of the moon. Now he seems like a relatively normal hobbit, chatting with Sam, and unaffected by the "yellow face".
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 5. Window on the West

I don't know when this happened. Maybe during the Journey down from Rivendell. But this is a very different Frodo than the one we encountered in Barrow-downs and on Weathertop. He fully understands and accepts his fate and his fate, as he understands it, is virtually impossible and it is very unlikely he will survive. He is calm, in control, decisive, can command respect, and be very bold and threatening where necessary. I wonder where the turning point might have taken place? At the Council of Elrond, on Amon hen, Gandalf's death, his vision with Galadriel, his RR at Rivendell when he was healing from his wound? Or maybe it is all of the above. If I were to pick one, I would say Amon hen. I think Boromer was an important catalyst. His behavior made it very clear the danger of the Ring even for "good and well-intentioned" people and that the Ring had to be ultimately destroyed. There was no other option. And he was the only one who could possibly do it.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 5. Window on the West

Faramir (and his group) are quite unusual. Faramir seems very well educated and knows a lot about his country's lore that it seems Boromir did not know. He is totally different than his brother--thoughtful, perceptive, careful, and doesn't seem to relish his job of having to kill people. They have this curious custom of facing west before eating that is an unknown custom to the hobbits. Which got me wondering if this was just a custom of this band of Faramirs. If it had been a Gondor custom, then I would have thought in all the time they spent traveling with Boromir they would have seen him also practicing the custom, but he apparently didn't.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

Dagor wrote:
Getting back to the current section, I found it curious that Gollum, retching at the heavy garden odours of Ithilien should, nonetheless, find the cleaner waters of that province more suited to his taste, and he looks forward to securing better and more abundant food there: " 'Good water runs down in the streams... nice water in the lands we are going to. Smeagol will get food there too, perhaps.' " (TT book IV, chpt 4, p. 256 hb ver.) Though such things as the Elven leaves of Lothlorien's margins "stink" upon his hands, and the magical Elven rope burns his neck, and the flowers of Ithilien make him retch (p. 259), Gollum still desires clean food and water, and, in general, he seems to react most "Smeagolishly" and less like a dreadful Gollum as he passes through the fair fields of this chapter. Is there still some hobbitish part of his mind that responds favourably to this paradisical setting, some change in the food that affects his well-being? He even becomes "helpful," catching and saving a brace of rabbits for Frodo and Sam, then trundling off to fetch them some water while engaging with Sam in a fairly lengthy campfire discussion about fish and taters. Gollum seems to be "normalizing" toward the hobbit side of his character in this richer environment. As Frodo suggests, if Gollum could only bring himself to eat a bit of the Elves' waybread, this particularly wholesome nourishment just might have done him great good toward bringing back Smeagol and banishing Gollum?
-----------------------------------------------

That is my feeling too. I think Smeagol is coming out and returning back to a somewhat normal hobbit which is quite extraordinary. Not only did he survive many years (like 500) with the Ring as his only companion without becoming a Ring Wraith, but he seems to be readjusting to normal life rather quickly and doesn't even seem to show the normal compulsion to possess the Ring as he did before or that many others seem to have. Biblo didn't even show such strength after only about 60 years with the Ring. It is only when his evil self, Gollum, starts to come forward does he have any difficulty. But right now I think we have Smeagol, a relatively normal hobbit.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 5. Window on the West

The Mistakes of Sam

Now Sam seems to be the biggest problem to completion of the mission. He makes two very striking errors. The first was the fire that brought them to the attention of Faramir and his Rangers. It could just have easily have been the enemy and he did it against the better judgment of Smeagol. Then he reveals the Ring and this after Frodo has been taking great pains to be honest and truthful with Faramir while still not telling him.

Now it might be argued that these were "fortunate" errors in the end. But I'm not sure this little stop off with Faramir and his Merry Men really advanced them toward their goal or added to their chances of success. The hobbits do get a good meal and night's sleep and get a few extra provisions for their trip, but nothing more. So it really hasn't hurt or hindered them.

I like this episode but only because we get to meet the very sensitive and wise Faramir who is in sharp contrast to his brother. I like the character of Faramir very much. And again we have someone who doesn't want the Ring. With the exception of a few people (Boromir, Gollum, Saruman, and of course Sauron), nobody seems to want the Ring!

This is also one of the rest stops that are usual on this journey and we also get a lot of back-story to add to our knowledge. At this point readers might want to read Appendix A: I The Numernorean Kings and II The House of Eorl (background on the Rohirrans) if they haven't done so already.
Frequent Contributor
Dagor
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎03-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 5. Window on the West

[ Edited ]
RE "The mistakes of Sam."

It is interesting that Tolkien chose the name "Halfwise" for Sam (Samwise" in Anglo-Saxon = "half-wise" ), and in these episodes Sam certainly lives up to his name. I would have thought that he would have been more careful with the fire, and apparently he knew enough to make a small fire and used properly dried fuel so it would not "smoke" much. But bad luck allowed his fire to creep beyond its pit and ignite the wetter vegetation to produce the fumes Faramir and crowd would eventually see. So Sam did "wisely" take precautions with his fire, but failed to maintain constant vigilance over it, "foolishly" undoing all his clever efforts. I think we can see several other such situations where Sam does something smart, followed by something foolish. But it seems, even as he commits an act of "foolishness," that his good intentions do bring unexpected, beneficial rewards -- their run in with Faramir turns out well in the end, even the revelation that Frodo carries the Ring redounds to their eventual good. They get food/ shelter/ wise counsel from this chance meeting, and [MINOR SPOILER!!!] Sam picks up a heavy staff that he later uses to good purpose in his fight with Gollum!

Message Edited by Dagor on 06-10-2008 03:17 PM
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 6. The Forbidden Pool

Frodo's Betrayal of Smeagol

This was definitely a place where the movie led me to believe that this scene was a pivotal turning point. As I recall from the movie, Frodo tricked Smeagol away from the pool into the waiting hands of Faramir and his men and then was terribly mistreated by them. This gave Gollum the upper hand with an "told you so." I expected something similar in the book and my memory was pretty vague from my first reading.

Well, this did not seem as traumatic in the book. Yes, Frodo did trick Smeagol away from the pond and Smeagol really trusted him. And yes, it was into the waiting hands of Faramir's men. But outside of putting a hood over him and restraining him so he would not escaped, they did not mistreat him. Frodo insisted that Smeagol be treated kindly. Faramir was firm in his questioning but not much more so than he had been with Frodo at their initial meeting. Smeagol was very scared, and I can't blame him considering what he had been through in the hands of various people both good and bad. But he still seems to trust Frodo and clings to him and I think throughout Frodo demonstrates that he is still Smeagol's protector and here, even more than before, shows particular concern for him. I think Smeagol knows this. Now my mind is still dominated by my memory of the movie so I will now how to read on to see how this plays out.
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 5. Window on the West

lorien wrote:
Faramir (and his group) are quite unusual. Faramir seems very well educated and knows a lot about his country's lore that it seems Boromir did not know. He is totally different than his brother--thoughtful, perceptive, careful, and doesn't seem to relish his job of having to kill people. They have this curious custom of facing west before eating that is an unknown custom to the hobbits. Which got me wondering if this was just a custom of this band of Faramirs. If it had been a Gondor custom, then I would have thought in all the time they spent traveling with Boromir they would have seen him also practicing the custom, but he apparently didn't.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
I gave this a little family discussion.
The general conclusion is that Faramir is the second son. Boromir most likely grew up unable to do no wrong in his father's eyes. While Faramir was likely unable to garner the least attention. Can you not just see him constantly excelling and mastering any noble skill, just so his father would notice him.
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

When was the last time you ate the bones of a fish to get the calcium or cracked open a bone to suck out the rich marrow!
--------------------------------------------------------------
Actually I usually save them and make stock. You need marrow for any good stock. And there are several really good recipes that utilize it as well.
------------------------------------------------------------------
I like raw fresh hamburger, though it is way out vogue in our present hazardous world. Even rare steak seems to be on the no-no list.
--------------------------------------------------------------
I you want, I can give you the instructions on how to make it yourself, eliminates nearly all the health concerns.


But you are right. It is all a matter of culture and affluence, what food is considered acceptable. Though hey, there is a reason why Gout is a rich man's disease.
Frequent Contributor
oldBPLstackdenizen
Posts: 633
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapter 6. The Forbidden Pool

A Very Fine & Good Evening To You All...
 
lorien ...  I am still woefully way behind in my actual re-reading "chores" - much ( if not all ) of my comments are still coming out of recollections of the stories ( that which one might say I have almost "memorized" -
practically "by heart" ) but - I think coming up shortly after Gollum/Smeagol's "betrayal" ( or what he percieves as his betrayal ) by Frodo unto the hands of Faramir and his Men, there does come a definite change in his attitude - he talks to himself about "...nasty, tricksy hobbitses..." and formulates his plan to draw Frodo and Sam into perilous danger ( and, after their eminent "diposal" - he would then swoop down and collect the Ring for himself ),,,
              This could also just be rationalization on Gollum/Smeagol's part, as well...After all, the closer the
"Hobbits and Gollum Crew" gets to actually have a chance to realize their mission - perhaps then, the more the "Gollum Side" starts to panic - realizing what the actual result of this quest ( if it somehow turns out to be successful ) will actually be...and so, the "Gollum Side" asserts all its power, and manages to emerge as the victor in the struggle between these two personalities in one...I feel that we see little more ( or even no more ) of the "Smeagol Side" show itself after this point...
 
^^^^^^ MORE SPOILERS^^^^^ SPOILERS ^^^^^ SPOILERS ^^^^^^
 
Another "side-benefit" of Frodo and his companions meeting up with Faramir is that this is the only way that Gandalf is later able to recieve some news of the progress of the companion's journey - at least, up to the point where Faramir and Frodo had parted ways - when otherwise, there may have been no way to know of anything of how they were "getting along" out there in that dangerous land...
 
Ardo            
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
Frequent Contributor
oldBPLstackdenizen
Posts: 633
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

^^^^^^^ Concerning Smeagol and "Yellow Face" ^^^^^^^
 
I think at these times in the story, even though they might be travelling at times in the daytime ( I think possibly they still prefer to do most of their travelling at night, and sleep in the morning - perhaps start their travels again in the late afternoon? ) - they are still travelling in the "shadow" of the mountains - and still are trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as they can to remain "hidden" - for instance, trying to stay
concealed under the tree-growth or in small caves or where-ever they might be less conspicuous...
certainly I can't picture them strolling down the "open road" under a full, bright noon-time sun, for sure...
a situation which would still have been totally disagreeable to our shade-favoring friend, Smeagol...
 
Ardo  
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4-6

In focusing on Book 4 as opposed to the second volume The Two Towers, it is quite obvious which two towers are being referred (though I'm sure many people will prefer their "favorite" choices). In Book 4 Minas Ithil (Tower of the Moon) and now known as Minas Morgul is right there front and center. It is talked about, described, we learn the history of it, the army emerges from it, our hobbits must travel in the shadow of it, and it was their destination through most of this book. Barad-dur and any of the other possible candidates are barely reference.

I don't think there is usually much dispute over Isengard being the focus tower of Book 3.
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: TTT: Book 4, Chapters 4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

I think at these times in the story, even though they might be travelling at times in the daytime ( I think possibly they still prefer to do most of their travelling at night, and sleep in the morning - perhaps start their travels again in the late afternoon? ) - they are still travelling in the "shadow" of the mountains - and still are trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as they can to remain "hidden" - for instance, trying to stay
concealed under the tree-growth or in small caves or where-ever they might be less conspicuous...
certainly I can't picture them strolling down the "open road" under a full, bright noon-time sun, for sure...
a situation which would still have been totally disagreeable to our shade-favoring friend, Smeagol...
-------------------------------------------------------------
Wasn't the sky overcast anyway? Ever seen footage of an active volcano? Awful look of smoke and gas in the surrounding country side, especially if there is no prevailing wind.

I just doubt it was a bright sun shinny day.
Users Online
Currently online: 4 members 311 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: