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following the Fellowship, TWO TOWERS begins post 281 - Page 16

post #301 of 318
Thread Starter 
You googled "Orc Redemption"? It does sound like a band or something...
post #302 of 318
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
You googled "Orc Redemption"? It does sound like a band or something...

SOMEONE has to have written a fanfic or something about a good Orc. Or someone should. But it won't be me because 1) I am surrounded by income tax receipts and paperwork right now to the point that I have to delay reading and responding to the posts on this chapter for a bit and 2) Orcs still really just gross me out.

What if we just muddle along week by week until we finish the TT or Wombatclay needs a break, whichever comes first?
post #303 of 318
Thread Starter 
It's not exactly a "good orc" story, but there is a series of books (starting with Orcs) that comes at the topic from the perspective of the Orcs.

I haven't read it (though I've flipped through it at the local B&N) and it tends to collect negative reviews, but I guess it proves there are Orc sympathizers out there!
post #304 of 318
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
You googled "Orc Redemption"?
yep. me lurve google.

Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
What if we just muddle along week by week until we finish the TT or Wombatclay needs a break, whichever comes first?
sounds good to me. there's a chapter somewhere that's shorter... maybe we could squeeze in two one week? lessen the time in orc land?

Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
... but I guess it proves there are Orc sympathizers out there!
lol. there would kinda have to be, i'd guess... wonder what they're like?

ever think about having to smell one?? (an orc, not an orc sympathizer....)
post #305 of 318
Thread Starter 
The White Rider
Book Three, Chapter Five

I think it was The X-Files that brought the phrase "Nothing Every Dies" into the modern era. This chapter is Tolkien's version of the same idea, loooooong before the 90s.

We're back with Strider, Legolas, and Gimli and we're not too far from Merry and Pippin. But the two groups (Merry/Pippin vs the Three) are in very different places. The silly thing is that the forest reunion would have taken place earlier if the Fellowship's departure from Lorien had been delayed just a little. Different reunion, different forest, possibly a different path choosen.

It makes you wonder at Galadriel's "surprise" over the death of Gandalf, as well as her willingness to speed the company on it's way. I'm not saying there was an ulterior motive, or anything like that, but it's hard to believe she didn't know what was going on (given her knowledge of the Maiar, her access to the Mirror and her prophetic visions, and the connection between the three elven rings).
post #306 of 318
yeah, but... trees are notoriously hard to convince of anything, and sometimes things are more easily believed when heard from the mouths of innocuous-seeming, small, furry-footed creatures as opposed to tall and ominous, hooded-and-bearded creatures..... from a tree's perspective, at any rate... :
post #307 of 318
Ok, I'm back!

My brittle old paperback copy of Two Towers actually finally disintegrated and I finally got to the bookstore this weekend and bought myself a new set (Mothers Day treat ).

I'm feeling a lot more energized about reading this book than I did before. Funny what a difference new paper and a different font can make. :

Thanks for the references on Orc books, Wombatclay. I will look them up some day. (Now can anyone suggest a novel written from the point of view of zombies? I am sensing a book club theme coming on here....)

The banter between Aragorn and Gandalf about how "long explanations needed by the young are wearying" made me smile. Poor Gandalf. As someone who frequently feels herself wearied by the long explanations required by the young, I feel sympathetic. I never thought of him as trying to save the world while wrangling a gaggle of talented but immature youngsters of different species...a wonder he's not even crabbier than he is.

The shadowy figure of Saruman is creepy. And oddly ineffectual.

I love the moment when Aragorn and Gandalf stand facing each other, Aragorn alliteratively "stern as stone" with "hand on hilt" and Gandalf "white, shining," "stooped" and "laden with years". Did anyone else think `Arthur and Merlin!" ? I am flashing on Tennyson's Idylls of the King, I think, though it has been probably 20 years since I read it. One thing I remember about Tennyson was his loathing for Guinivere and the betrayal that destroyed the kingdom, and his sense of the tragedy of the failure of Camelot. A very morally conservative, Christianized take on the legend, without much sympathy for human weakness....I am rambling a bit but I just had a moment reading this scene with Aragorn and Gandalf of thinking here is a relationship out of Arthurian legend but without the weaknesses. Aragorn doesn't have a Mordred, or a best friend in love with Arwen. Gandalf doesn't have a weakness like Nimue to trap him in the oak. I know I'm simplifying the beauties of the Arthurian story. I can't imagine Tolkein writing a story of romantic infidelity.

"And this I also say: You are our captain and our banner....We have one, mightier than they: The White Rider. He has passed through fire and the abyss and they shall fear him. We will go where he leads."

Aragorn is dangerous, for sure, in himself, but he is very happy to put his support under Gandalf's leadership again. And this is a turning point in the story, too, I think. If I were trying to argue for LOTR as Christian allegory (which I'm not actually really interested in doing) I think I'd start with this chapter and this scene....

Yeah, the question of whether Galadriel could have managed the reunion better bothers me too. Her messages aren't as useful as they could have been, either, as Legolas rather bluntly points out "Dark are her words and little do they mean to those who receive them."

There isn't really a Guinivere in LOTR, but Galadriel could definitely stand as a figure of Morgan le Fay/the Lady of the Lake, I think!

Gotta go now. DD just picked up my shiny new copy of the Fellowship and wants me to read some with her :
post #308 of 318
Thread Starter 
I've been slacking a bit... but here we go!

The King of the Golden Hall
Book Three, Chapter Six

We've reached the Hall of the King so to speak... our footsore but reassured heros and their reborn and ready to kick bum wizard have reached Edoras and King Theoden's sticky situation.

IMO this chapter draws very heavily from Tolkien's love of and deep understanding of the Norse/Icelandic Sagas as well as the classic AngloSaxon tale of Beowulf. One of Tolkien's "master works" was a translation of Beowulf that restored that tale to a real, live, sit round the fire story instead of a dry academic work and I think that Beowulf influenced this chapter's flavor a lot.

In the saga, Hrothgar King is under a sort of guerilla attack in his hall of Heorot... in the night something attacks and whittles away at his strength. By the time Beowulf arrives the king has lost his military, emotional, and to some extent sacred/spitirual strength. Now while this is a more open/bloody threat, the "monster" in the original tale is a social outcast who cannot participate in the singing/socializing of the king's hall... sounds a lot like Wormtongue.

In this chapter we have a king who has lost hope (Tolkien's big sin) and as a result lst power and standing. He listens to the "outcast" who whittles away at his strength. And it takes the intervention of the still hopefull, still powerful, outsider (Aragorn and Gandalf) to restore what once was.

Now, I don't like the heavy handed way the film addressed this (Jackson showing his horror moie roots ) but when you look at just the books and what Tolkien wrote at least for me the ties to the Norse/Icelandic Sagas (their ways of thinking, ruling, interacting, socializing, arguing) and to the AngloSaxon tale of Beowulf are very clear.
post #309 of 318
A~ interesting comps with merlin/arthur. i've been re-re-re-re-re-reading HP, so i'm seeing things in a more HP/dumbledore light, so to speak... but typically i'd be prone to see thru the merlin light. have you read jc's hero of the thousand faces? (i'm guessing yes, but your post made me think of it, so i thought i'd ask)....

C~ ahh, yes. i "see" that. i acutally really dislike this chapter. it was the first time (well, on this back tracking re-reading i'm now doing, lol) that i really got the desire to skip ahead.....
post #310 of 318
Ok, I don't have my Two Towers again because dd has taken it to school with her for free reading. So no quotes today....

The chapter titles in Two Towers would make great titles for fantasy novels.

I can see the Beowulf analogies, totally, but agree that this is not a particularly fun chapter to read, either.

I bought the dvd of the most recent Beowulf, but haven't had an evening to watch it yet. I assume that is the movie with horror elements that you are referring to, Wombatclay?

Aragorn seems unnecessarily attached to that sword of his and I want to type something stereotypical about boys and toys. Eowyn's attraction to Aragorn is pretty uninteresting as written, too. Jackson improved on that for sure.

Gandalf casts out the serpent and Theoden joins Aragorn under his leadership. I wonder if this would be more fun if it were expanded? Maybe it happens too quickly for me. I'm sure I've read this scene a few times in fantasy since Tolkein. My favorite version is Robin Hobb's King Shrewd in the Assasin's Quest books with his good bastard grandson doing his best to outmaneuver his evil wormtonguey son.

It concerns me that Wormtongue seems to share my suspicions about Galadriel. He is such a nasty perverted character that I don't want to align myself with him in any way. Galadriel must therefore be fair and good beyond question, then. It is my bad to ever have thought otherwise. (This happens to me every time I read LOTR, .)
post #311 of 318
Thread Starter 
Actually, I was thinking about how Jackson portrayed the "cleansing" of Theoden... the sort of heavily decayed king shifting and squirming into a younger, cleaner shaved, vital king. And the fact that Jackson's Wormtongue is so obviously slimy. I mean, literally slimy as well as figuratively... I believe he kind of drips and drools his way past Eowyn? In the movie extras there's even a comment by Brad Dourif (a really fun actor btw) about how "obvious" the character is. And it's almost like Jackson gave in to his roots... don't even get me started on the Paths of the Dead!

My favorite film adaptation of Beowulf is 13th Warrior... which is sort of an adaptation twice removed since it's the film adaptation of a book based on the tale of Beowulf. But if you haven't seen it (or read Crichton's Eaters of the Dead) I recommend it. Especially the technique used to shift from unknown to known language (same film dude did Hunt for the Red October which has my other favorite language shift moment). Though of course there are some BIG problems with 13th Warrior (like "where do they keep the horses and how do they care for them on an island?", "where did they get the forged metal stirrups and tack?", "how on earth did they get that many bear pelts?", etc) but overall it's fun and a better adaptation of Beowulf than some of the more literal tale to film translations.

Sometimes I wonder what Tolkien was thinking during Two Towers... it sometimes seems like these middle passages are closer to his own personal religious world view than they are to the internal logic of the written saga. I mean, while everything in the saga "makes sense" to a certain extent, portions seem a bit "too easy" or "too coincidental" or "too simplistic". They fit when you read quickly, but if you stop to dig a little there isn't the depth of reasoning you find in other portions of the story. I mean, even the Old Forest is given more backstory than the King's Hall of Edoras and while I appreciate the role of the Old Forest in getting the hobbits on their way you'd think that the King's Hall and what had happened there would get more attention.

Not complaining really, just curious if anyone else feels like this or if I'm just crazy!
post #312 of 318
i'll catch up later, but i just had to share a dream i had last night.....

gollum gave aragorn some feng shui prayer flags (i'd taken mom's down to wash them, go figure)... then he (gollum) went to go meditate on his chakras. meanwhile, the rest of the fellowship were sun-bathing (nekked). i didnt sleep much after that dream. gollum was especially concerned with his thrid eye chakra (one can guess why, interestingly...), and this really worried me, in my sleepless haze........

post #313 of 318
my brain has just about completely left the building for the summer, ladies... i'll still check the thread and try to make sense of your brilliant musings, but other than dreams about the fellowship, i'm <clearly> not gonna be much contributing. it's a good fall and winter read in my neck of the woods i've decided.
post #314 of 318
If/when the thread is here, I will follow along and post, but I'm fine with taking a break until fall, if that is fine with you, Wombatclay.

I am going to be away from the computer a lot this summer, esp, July, it is looking like.
post #315 of 318
yeah, i saw that coming... we're gone for most of july, too... and i'm not on the 'puter much from now til then.

i will share that dh, ds, and i went to a cave the other day, and our tour guide was very elfish... i pointed out the irony of that to dh who got a kick out of it.
post #316 of 318
Thread Starter 
Me three... I'm swamped and it's just going to get crazier as the babe arrival date approaches! I usually zip through the trilogy (start in Sept, am done by Halloween) so this has been a really fun adventure, forcing me to sort of mediate on and digest scenes and relationships that I've previously been able to sort of skip over. And I love the discussion! But I agree... summer is not the time for deep thought of a literary nature!
post #317 of 318
Ok, well, hopefully we'll see this thread back in the fall then.... I'll be stalking you for baby news, Wombatclay, as the summer wanes! Take care of yourself and have a glorious summer, the both of you!

I really do want to finish this reading, in honor of my friend who passed away, as I said in the start, and because I've really been enjoying it. Thanks for the conversation thus far! Looking forward to more.
post #318 of 318
same here!

i figure i'll be drawn to it again in september...
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