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Thread: Tolkien General Discussion II

  1. #3281
    IBSXYPNTS's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Another question. In the ROTK when Sarumon took over the shire, why didnt the elves or basically anyone do anything to help? I mean after destroying the ring you would think that Elrond or the powers that be would be keeping an eye on the shire and known what was happening.

    Im not saying bear down with all the fury of the eldar, but like why didnt a small group of like fifty come from mithlond and help the poor hobbits???? Is there a narrative reason Tolkien did this? or was it just an oversite?

  2. #3282
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    My own opinion on it is twofold. Firstly there's a narrative reason; while the hobbits have been away, their own country is ravaged by war, Frodo's quest to save the Shire almost, almost failed. Secondly, all of the rangers defending the borders joined Aragorn in Erech. Elrond doesn't have a palantir or Galadriel's mirror, so how would he know? (I also recall he was somewhere else at the time? Plus most of the elves in Rivendell had already sailed west iirc?) And the elves of Lorien were fighting in the Mirkwood (weren't they?) together with Thrainduil's elves, so it's fair to assume Galadriel couldn't do anything either.

  3. #3283

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Same reason Gandalf ducked out before getting to the Shire. It was for the Hobbits to do for themselves.

  4. #3284
    IBSXYPNTS's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Mhaedros View Post
    My own opinion on it is twofold. Firstly there's a narrative reason; while the hobbits have been away, their own country is ravaged by war, Frodo's quest to save the Shire almost, almost failed. Secondly, all of the rangers defending the borders joined Aragorn in Erech. Elrond doesn't have a palantir or Galadriel's mirror, so how would he know? (I also recall he was somewhere else at the time? Plus most of the elves in Rivendell had already sailed west iirc?) And the elves of Lorien were fighting in the Mirkwood (weren't they?) together with Thrainduil's elves, so it's fair to assume Galadriel couldn't do anything either.
    Well I was just curious sinc ein the Fellowship the hobbits ran into Gildor and his few. I kinda ssume that even though this great quest is happening much of the world goes on as it had. I figured with the rangers, sing Halbarad said he could only find so many in haste. I just figured that since they kept watch and guard on the shire/breeland area that someone would have noticed and tried to aid them in some way.

    @Infidel : I am inclined to agree but it would have been kinda nice to know why. I cant really remember why Gandalf did not accompany them, chances are you are correct.

  5. #3285
    Veteraan's Avatar TATW local moderator
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Apart from logistics preventing friendly forces to keep the Shire out of trouble, it was necessary IMO to illustrate that the Hobbits that returned to the Shire were not the same that had left it. They all had "grown" (some even literally) and were able to sort things out themselves.

    Saruman rose to his feet, and stared at Frodo. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. 'You have grown, Halfling,' he said. 'Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy.

    Return of the King, The Scouring of the Shire
    The only thing that they could not "repair" themselves (at least not in a few years) was the damage to the trees and that is of course the issue that they had gotten a solution to in advance. In fact Galadriel had done something.

    Edit: Just realized I overlooked Infidel's much shorter version of this.
    Last edited by Veteraan; May 19, 2016 at 05:11 AM.

  6. #3286

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by IBSXYPNTS View Post
    @Infidel : I am inclined to agree but it would have been kinda nice to know why. I cant really remember why Gandalf did not accompany them, chances are you are correct.
    The chapter always held great significance storywise, even if it is of not significant to Middle-earth at large, and it was planned from the outset:
    Or to take a less grievous matter: it has been supposed by some that 'The Scouring of the Shire' reflects the situation in England at the time when I was finishing my tale. It does not. It is an essential part of the plot, foreseen from the outset, though in the event modified by the character of Saruman as developed in the story without, need I say, any allegorical significance or contemporary political reference whatsoever.
    - JRR's foreword to LotR
    In many ways the entire trek to save Middle-earth was their tranining for their home coming, saving what was most important to them and the reason to why they pushed on through during all their adventures in far off lands.
    Gandalf originally was meant to follow them to the Shire, it seems, from a draft in HoME 9, but it was rejected at the point.
    In LotR Gandalf instead explain the thematic importance quite well, prior to leaving the Hobbits who are to go to the Shire:
    [Gandalf concerning odd news from the Shire:] ‘You have forgotten Saruman. He began to take an interest in the Shire before Mordor did.’

    ‘Well, we’ve got you with us,’ said Merry, ‘so things will soon be cleared up.’

    ‘I am with you at present,’ said Gandalf, ‘but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. Grown indeed very high; among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.'
    - RotK; Homeward Bound
    Indeed it should be said, that the Hobbits probably did not need the four 'prodigal sons' either. They probably could driven off Saruman and his lackeys themselves already, but they needed Frodo & C/O to come and give them a 'nudge out of the door', making it an 'examination test' for all involved, hehe.
    The Scouring presumably goes hand in hand with a deeper level of world view, as expressed in Letter 181;

    "Yes: I think that 'victors' never can enjoy 'victory' – not in the terms that they envisaged; and in so far as they fought for something to be enjoyed by themselves (whether acquisition or mere preservation) the less satisfactory will 'victory' seem."
    Last edited by Ngugi; May 19, 2016 at 11:01 AM.

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  7. #3287
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Yo guys, we all know Led Zeppelin made a few LotR themed songs, but is "Stairway to heaven" one of them?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Theres a lady whos sure
    All that glitters is gold
    And shes buying a stairway to heaven.
    When she gets there she knows
    If the stores are all closed
    With a word she can get what she came for.
    Ooh, ooh, and shes buying a stairway to heaven.

    Theres a sign on the wall
    But she wants to be sure
    cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
    In a tree by the brook
    Theres a songbird who sings,
    Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it makes me wonder.

    Theres a feeling I get
    When I look to the west,
    And my spirit is crying for leaving.
    In my thoughts I have seen
    Rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of those who standing looking.
    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

    And its whispered that soon
    If we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn
    For those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter.

    If theres a bustle in your hedgerow
    Dont be alarmed now,
    Its just a spring clean for the may queen.
    Yes, there are two paths you can go by
    But in the long run
    Theres still time to change the road youre on.
    And it makes me wonder.

    Your head is humming and it wont go
    In case you dont know,
    The pipers calling you to join him,
    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,
    And did you know
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How evrything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.


    It seems to me one way of interpreting this is that its about Galadriel.

    Theres a lady whos sure
    All that glitters is gold
    And shes buying a stairway to heaven.
    So first LotR reference, a reverse of the "All that is gold does not glitter" referencing either Aragorn or the Ring. Her "stairway to heaven" being a return to Valinor.


    With a word she can get what she came for.

    Ooh, ooh, and shes buying a stairway to heaven.

    Theres a sign on the wall
    But she wants to be sure
    cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
    In a tree by the brook
    Theres a songbird who sings,
    Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
    And the word being "no" a denial to take the ring from Frodo.

    Theres a feeling I get
    When I look to the west,
    And my spirit is crying for leaving.
    In my thoughts I have seen
    Rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of those who standing looking.
    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it really makes me wonder.
    Here's when it gets kind of obvious. She looks to the west and want to leave (West to valinor) She has seen rings of smoke through the trees, referencing Gandalf, and the voices of those who stand looking, referencing the Valar who can end her exile if she passes the test.

    And its whispered that soon
    If we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn
    For those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter.
    Again the "new day will dawn" and referencing the forests, it seems the piper is Frodo.

    If theres a bustle in your hedgerow
    Dont be alarmed now,
    Its just a spring clean for the may queen.
    Yes, there are two paths you can go by
    But in the long run
    Theres still time to change the road youre on.
    And it makes me wonder.
    "Bustle in the hedgerow dont be alarmed" is a pretty distinct reference to Sam and Gandalf being very much alarmed. "Two paths" referencing Galadriel and the choice she have to make.
    Your head is humming and it wont go
    In case you dont know,
    The pipers calling you to join him,
    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,
    And did you know
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.
    Frodo is calling her to join him. And the stairway lies on the whispering wind. Elves in the book reference the sea and the sea breeze as something they cannot stand as it is the call to Valinor for them. And her stairway to heaven is a boat to the west.

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How evrything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.
    Yeah. Lady shines a white light and wants to show how everything still turned to gold. Might be about the mallorn tree Sam got which was golden.

  8. #3288

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    "All that glitters is gold" might not be a direct LotR reference, since LotR's phrase is in itself a reference to Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice:

    «All that glisters is not gold;
    Often have you heard that told:
    Many a man his life hath sold But my outside to behold:
    Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
    Had you been as wise as bold,
    Young in limbs, in judgement old
    Your answer had not been inscroll’d
    Fare you well, your suit is cold.»

    I honestly think you're reading too much into it. Yeah, sure, Robert Plant is an admirer of Tolkien's work and there's quite a few mentions in some of their songs (Ramble On might be the most explicit), but to think both Plant and Page wrote those lyrics with the intention of writing a song about Galadriel is widely exaggerated, in my opinion.

    Furthermore, if that was the case, it would directly contradict the only statement Plant ever made about Starway To Heaven (Plant and Page never liked to go in detail about their lyrics), in which he said the song was "a cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration". I personally can't see how Galadriel's character can fit into this description.

  9. #3289

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Aye; I see this as a neat and creative application of the song to fit Galadriel, even if not a revelation of the lyrics being based on her.

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  10. #3290
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Oh yes, had too many pints that night. Sorry. Dunno what I was thinking.

  11. #3291

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Don't be sorry, it was a neat application of the song upon Galadriel, irrelevant of the original theory it was founded upon

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  12. #3292
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Should have just googled it

  13. #3293
    AntonisTheGreek's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    2 questions about the ring:
    1.How was Arwen's fate connected to that of the One Ring?
    2.What would happen if Galadriel obtained it?

  14. #3294
    alreadyded's Avatar Work up a #6 on 'em!
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonisTheGreek View Post
    2 questions about the ring:
    1.How was Arwen's fate connected to that of the One Ring?
    2.What would happen if Galadriel obtained it?
    Arwen's fate isn't directly connected to the Ring, but if Sauron got the ring back all ME would be screwed along with her, and the Elves would probably leave if they still could which means she doesn't get to be with Aragorn (really the only point of the character in the books is for her to get with Aragorn). When the ring was destroyed the Elven rings all lost their power (which made Rivendell and Lothlorien so 'magical' and 'timeless') so Elrond (and others) got all super weary and left over the sea. The Elves are destined to 'fade' before the ring was ever even made so even though she stayed behind the ring, or its destruction had no impact on her directly, just people she cared about (Elrond and Aragorn, and she has to give one up either way which is the main development of the character).

    If Galadriel was able to master its power (I don't think she or any Elves can, only demi-gods and above like Sauron, Gandalf, Saruman, etc.) she would become another version of Sauron and try to take over Middle-Earth, though she would rationalize it as a 'good' thing for everyone's benefit (much like Sauron probably does) even though it would ultimately turn to 'evil' in the end. The ring is bad, it doesn't do good things ever and changes/conquers those who try to do good things with it. Frodo for example couldn't even make use of the ring's true power and if he tried it would kill him (according to Galadriel). I am guessing it would kill her too even though she is one of the most 'able' Elves still around.



    Separate question; does Tolkien ever explain (try to, really no good explanation I can think of other than to further the plot) why the Nazgul didn't just take the Ring on Weather Top? I get that the Nazgul had to lose some way or another without making them look like total pusses (like the movie does with Aragorn effin em all up solo), but I assume there is some lore reason for it other than the Witchking being stoopid and waiting for Frodo to turn into a wraith, which is a waste of crucial time and also a useless gesture since they have no practical use for a Hobbit wraith, it would just slow them down in returning to Mordor with the ring.
    Last edited by alreadyded; July 27, 2016 at 06:21 AM.

  15. #3295

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Here's a summary on the Weathertop debacle: http://tolkien.slimy.com/faq/History.html#Weathertop
    ^^


    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonisTheGreek View Post
    2.What would happen if Galadriel obtained it?
    Quote Originally Posted by alreadyded View Post
    If Galadriel was able to master its power (I don't think she or any Elves can, only demi-gods and above like Sauron, Gandalf, Saruman, etc.) she would become another version of Sauron and try to take over Middle-Earth, though she would rationalize it as a 'good' thing for everyone's benefit (much like Sauron probably does) even though it would ultimately turn to 'evil' in the end. The ring is bad, it doesn't do good things ever and changes/conquers those who try to do good things with it. Frodo for example couldn't even make use of the ring's true power and if he tried it would kill him (according to Galadriel). I am guessing it would kill her too even though she is one of the most 'able' Elves still around.
    Best described by Tolkien here, I think; the first line concerns Sauron, and while Saruman is not included in name he's included as being a spirit as well:
    Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him – being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form.
    In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord. If so, so also were the other guardians of the Three, especially Elrond. But this is another matter. It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power. But this the Great had well considered and had rejected, as is seen in Elrond's words at the Council. Galadriel's rejection of the temptation was founded upon previous thought and resolve.

    In any case Elrond or Galadriel would have proceeded in the policy now adopted by Sauron: they would have built up an empire with great and absolutely subservient generals and armies and engines of war, until they could challenge Sauron and destroy him by force. Confrontation of Sauron alone, unaided, self to self was not contemplated.
    One can imagine the scene in which Gandalf, say, was placed in such a position. It would be a delicate balance. On one side the true allegiance of the Ring to Sauron; on the other superior strength because Sauron was not actually in possession, and perhaps also because he was weakened by long corruption and expenditure of will in dominating inferiors.
    If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever. But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.
    - Letter 263
    Last edited by Ngugi; July 27, 2016 at 07:37 AM.

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  16. #3296
    Araval's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Found this:
    Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth transcribed



    http://www.tolkiensociety.org/2015/1...h-transcribed/

  17. #3297

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Nice.

  18. #3298

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Nice x2
    Last edited by Ngugi; August 09, 2016 at 06:09 AM.

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  19. #3299

    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by alreadyded View Post
    Separate question; does Tolkien ever explain (try to, really no good explanation I can think of other than to further the plot) why the Nazgul didn't just take the Ring on Weather Top? I get that the Nazgul had to lose some way or another without making them look like total pusses (like the movie does with Aragorn effin em all up solo), but I assume there is some lore reason for it other than the Witchking being stoopid and waiting for Frodo to turn into a wraith, which is a waste of crucial time and also a useless gesture since they have no practical use for a Hobbit wraith, it would just slow them down in returning to Mordor with the ring.
    Tolkien states that not only do the Ring Wraiths have most of the classical weaknesses of undead, such as not being able to cross running water, they also cannot touch the ring, thus they have to convert someone to a wraith to carry it to Sauron.

    Someone else asked why Gandalf did not help in Scouring the Shire; Gandalf only ever directly fought Maia such as the Balrog or undead, who were not part of Iluvatar's natural world.
    Last edited by Veteraan; August 10, 2016 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Fixed the quote

  20. #3300
    atthias's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by decourcy View Post
    Tolkien states that not only do the Ring Wraiths have most of the classical weaknesses of undead, such as not being able to cross running water, they also cannot touch the ring, thus they have to convert someone to a wraith to carry it to Sauron.

    Someone else asked why Gandalf did not help in Scouring the Shire; Gandalf only ever directly fought Maia such as the Balrog or undead, who were not part of Iluvatar's natural world.
    I disagree whit the balrog not being part of iluvatar world he was a maia after all
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