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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

March 25: The fall of Barad-dûr, featuring jan-u-wine's "Perhaps", with screencaps.

Posted on 2009.03.25 at 07:39
Tags: , , , ,
~*~


To go with jan-u-wine's poem are screencaps, and passages from The Return of the King. They include Frodo and Sam's scenes, from the entry into the Sammath Naur to their rescue by the Eagles. A selection of caps made from the widescreen version of RotK is followed by the featured poem.

Jan-u-wine actually wrote "Perhaps" last year, for the 2008 anniversary of March 25. But real life intervened and she wasn't able to finish it in time to be posted on that date. Instead, I posted Jan's brilliant "They All Imagine" (see link below), written after the Quest, from Sam's point of view. "Perhaps" is a completely different sort of poem, going inside Frodo's experience during the claiming and after. When I first read the poem last year, I thought it was a shame I'd already posted all the caps in my Sammath Naur series. It went so well with those images. I hope the brief selection I made will do it justice.

At last, then, here is jan-u-wine's "Perhaps", in honour of the ordeal of the Ring-bearer on the day the Dark Tower fell.






~ A "Frodo Lives" button from the sixties, made by Ned Brooks,
using a design drawn by Nancy Lebovitz.

~*~




Book scenes.

From Mount Doom:


The path climbed on. Soon it bent again and with a last eastward course passed in a cutting along the face of the cone and came to the dark door in the Mountain’s side, the door of the Sammath Naur. Far away now rising towards the South the sun, piercing the smokes and haze, burned ominous, a dull bleared disc of red; but all Mordor lay about the Mountain like a dead land, silent, shadow-folded, waiting for some dreadful stroke.

Sam came to the gaping mouth and peered in. It was dark and hot, and a deep rumbling shook the air. ‘Frodo! Master!’ he called. There was no answer. For a moment he stood, his heart beating with wild fears, and then he plunged in. A shadow followed him.

At first he could see nothing. In his great need he drew out once more the phial of Galadriel, but it was pale and cold in his trembling hand and threw no light into that stifling dark. He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-earth; all other powers were here subdued. Fearfully he took a few uncertain steps in the dark, and then all at once there came a flash of red that leaped upward, and smote the high black roof. Then Sam saw that he was in a long cave or tunnel that bored into the Mountain’s smoking cone. But only a short way ahead its floor and the walls on either side were cloven by a great fissure, out of which the red glare came, now leaping up, now dying down into darkness; and all the while far below there was a rumour and a trouble as of great engines throbbing and labouring.

The light sprang up again, and there on the brink of the chasm, the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, tense, erect, but still as if he had been turned to stone.

‘Master!’ cried Sam.

Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice, indeed with a voice clearer and more powerful than Sam had ever heard him use, and it rose above the throb and turmoil of Mount Doom, ringing in the roof and walls.

‘I have come,’ he said. ‘But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!’ And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam’s sight. Sam gasped, but he had no chance to cry out, for at that moment many things happened.

Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside, striking his head against the stony floor, as a dark shape sprang over him. He lay still and for a moment all went black.

And far away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath Naur the very heart of his realm, the Power in Barad-dûr was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him, and his Eye piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were at last laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung.

From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his stratagems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and despaired. For they were forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Mountain. At his summons, wheeling with a rending cry, in a last desperate race there flew, faster than the winds, the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, and with a storm of wings they hurtled southwards to Mount Doom.


Sam got up. He was dazed, and blood streaming from his head dripped in his eyes. He groped forward, and then he saw a strange and terrible thing. Gollum on the edge of the abyss was fighting like a mad thing with an unseen foe. To and fro he swayed, now so near the brink that almost he tumbled in, now dragging back, falling to the ground, rising, and falling again. And all the while he hissed but spoke no words.

The fires below awoke in anger, the red light blazed, and all the cavern was filled with a great glare and heat. Suddenly Sam saw Gollum’s long hands draw upwards to his mouth; his white fangs gleamed and then snapped as they bit. Frodo gave a cry, and there he was, fallen upon his knees at the chasm’s edge. But Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring, a finger still thrust within its circle. It shone now as if verily it was wrought of living fire.

‘Precious, precious, precious!’ Gollum cried. ‘My Precious! O my Precious!’ And with that, even as his eyes were lifted up to gloat on his prize, he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail Precious, and he was gone.

There was a roar and a great confusion of noise. Fires leaped up and licked the roof. The throbbing grew to a great tumult, and the Mountain shook. Sam ran to Frodo and picked him up and carried him out to the door. And there upon the dark threshold of the Sammath Naur, high above the plains of Mordor, such wonder and terror came on him that he stood still forgetting all else, and gazed as one turned to stone.

A brief vision he had of swirling cloud, and in the midst of it towers and battlements, tall as hills, founded upon a mighty mountain-throne above immeasurable pits; great courts and dungeons, eyeless prisons sheer as cliffs, and gaping gates of steel and adamant: and then all passed. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down; vast spires of smoke and spouting steams went billowing up, up, until they toppled like an overwhelming wave, and its wild crest curled and came foaming down upon the land. And then at last over the miles between there came a rumble, rising to a deafening crash and roar; the earth shook, the plain heaved and cracked, and Orodruin reeled. Fire belched from its riven summit. The skies burst into thunder seared with lightning. Down like lashing whips fell a torrent of black rain. And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that pierced all other sounds, tearing the clouds asunder, the Nazgûl came, shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in the fiery ruin of hill and sky they crackled, withered, and went out.


‘Well, this is the end, Sam Gamgee,’ said a voice by his side. And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire.

‘Master!’ cried Sam, and fell upon his knees. In all that ruin of the world for the moment he felt only joy, great joy. The burden was gone. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free. And then Sam caught sight of the maimed and bleeding hand.

‘Your poor hand!’ he said. ‘And I have nothing to bind it with, to comfort it. I would have spared him a whole hand of mine rather. But he’s gone now beyond recall, gone for ever.’

‘Yes,’ said Frodo. ‘But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.’


From The Field of Cormallen:

And even as [Aragorn] spoke the earth rocked beneath their feet. Then rising swiftly up, far above the Towers of the Black Gate, high above the mountains, a vast soaring darkness sprang into the sky, flickering with fire. The earth groaned and quaked. The Towers of the Teeth swayed, tottered, and fell down; the mighty rampart crumbled; the Black Gate was hurled in ruin; and from far away, now dim, now growing, now mounting to the clouds, there came a drumming rumble, a roar, a long echoing roll of ruinous noise.

‘The realm of Sauron is ended!’ said Gandalf. ‘The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.’ And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lighting-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell.

The Captains bowed their heads; and when they looked up again, behold! their enemies were flying and the power of Mordor was scattering like dust in the wind.

(...)

Then Gandalf, leaving all such matters of battle and command to Aragorn and the other lords, stood upon the hill-top and called; and down to him came the great eagle, Gwaihir the Windlord, and stood before him.

‘Twice you have borne me, Gwaihir my friend,’ said Gandalf. ‘Thrice shall pay for all, if you are willing. You will not find me a burden much greater than when you bore me from Zirak-zigil, where my old life burned away.’

‘I would bear you,’ answered Gwaihir, ‘whither you will, even were you made of stone.’

‘Then come, and let your brother go with us, and some other of your folk who is most swift! For we have need of speed greater than any wind, outmatching the wings of the Nazgûl.’

‘The North Wind blows, but we shall outfly it,’ said Gwaihir. And he lifted up Gandalf and sped away south, and with him went Landroval, and Meneldor young and swift. And they passed over Udûn and Gorgoroth and saw all the land in ruin and tumult beneath them, and before them Mount Doom blazing, pouring out all its fire.


‘I am glad that you are here with me,’ said Frodo. ‘Here at the end of all things, Sam.’

‘Yes, I am with you, Master,’ said Sam, laying Frodo’s wounded hand gently to his breast. ‘And you’re with me. And the journey’s finished. But after coming all that way I don’t want to give up yet. It’s not like me, somehow, if you understand.’

‘Maybe not, Sam,’ said Frodo; ‘but it’s like things are in the world. Hopes fail. An end comes. We have only a little time to wait now. We are lost in ruin and downfall, and there is no escape.’

‘Well, Master, we could at least go further from this dangerous place here, from this Crack of Doom, if that’s its name. Now couldn’t we? Come, Mr. Frodo, let’s go down the path at any rate!’

‘Very well, Sam. If you wish to go, I’ll come,’ said Frodo’ and they rose and went slowly down the winding road; and even as they passed towards the Mountain’s quaking feet, a great smoke and steam belched from the Sammath Naur, and the wide of the cone was riven open, and a huge fiery vomit rolled in slow thunderous cascade down the eastern mountain-side.

Frodo and Sam could go no further. Their last strength of mind and body was swiftly ebbing. They had reached a low ashen hill piled at the Mountain’s foot; but from it there was no more escape. It was an island now, not long to endure, amid the torment of Orodruin. All about it the earth gaped, and from deep rifts and pits smoke and fumes leaped up. Behind them the Mountain was convulsed. Great rents opened in its side. Slow rivers of fire came down the long slopes towards them. Soon they would be engulfed. A rain of hot ash was falling.

They stood now; and Sam still holding his master’s hand caressed it. He sighed. ‘What a tale we have been in, Mr. Frodo, haven’t we?’ he said. ‘I wish I could hear it told! Do you think they’ll say: Now comes the story of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom? And then everyone will hush, like we did, when in Rivendell they told us the tale of Beren One-hand and the Great Jewel. I wish I could hear it! And I wonder how it will go on after our part.’

But even while he spoke so, to keep fear away until the very last, the sky far off was clear, as the cold blast, rising to a gale, drove back the darkness and the ruin of the clouds.


And so it was that Gwaihir saw them with his keen far-seeing eyes, as down the wild wind he came, and daring the great peril of the skies he circled in the air: two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill, while the world shook under them, and gasped, and rivers of fire drew near. And even as he espied them and came swooping down, he saw them fall, worn out, or choked with fumes and heat, or stricken down by despair at last, hiding their eyes from death.

Side by side they lay; and down swept Gwaihir, and down came Landroval and Meneldor the swift; and in a dream, not knowing what fate had befallen them, the wanderers were lifted up and borne far away out of the darkness and the fire.



~*~















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Perhaps

~ by jan-u-wine


Perhaps

you imagine

it was dark
within

the Chamber,

dark
and filled with more

horror
than ever

anyone might have thought.

Perhaps
you

imagine wrongly.

Even now
I recall

that over-balanced moment
of terror

giving way to sweated bliss,

the heat
and tumult

of the place
replacing the stilling murmur of my heart,

the hot bite of sulphur in my nostrils
become

sweeter than any honey-laden Spring.

No one can know the fury of my joy then,

my desire,
my...........



love.

My......love,

taken and taking,

there,
upon the very edge of forever.

And I left myself,

became this
*thing*

of ancient beauty,
{of untellable evil},

all the clamouring voices

that ever were
speaking within me,

the great golden river
of them carrying me away.

The wonder
ends

almost before it has rightly begun,

the very air like liquid fire within my lungs,
the pain of my hand

nothing
in compare to this other loss.

And my blood sprays up
upon the walls,

drying even as it touches them,

jagged finger-bone
glistening white in the sullen red light.


I am cold now,
cold by compare,

trembling
still

with need,

already desiring
the foul sanctuary

I shall never know again,

already
finding the world lessened

by Its leaving.

Some part of me wakes:

Sam is here,

dear
to me still,

(or perhaps,
again).

There is a certain
comfort

in the touch of his hand,
a certain grim

surety
in the pain'd contact between
flesh and flesh:

we live.

We live,
still.

Sam,

being Sam,
is not content

to
await here

our certain (and momentary) ending.

At least he might see

the sun and sky
one last time,

at least,
a wind,

freshened by
evil's departure,

might softly touch
his face.

It is a small thing to step through the door.

A small thing,
to leave behind the echoes of a golden call

and the warm resonance of It taking me
beyond myself.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Perhaps you imagine it was dark within the Chamber.

Never so dark as that which
remains

within *me*.
















Previous entries for March 25:


~ Riv. 1 – Frodo recovered in Rivendell, with jan-u-wine’s “They All Imagine”, for 2008.

~ The Fall of Barad-dûr, with jan-u-wine's "Frodo's Journal", for 2007.


Previous Mt. Doom screencap entries:


~ Sammath Naur 1: ‘I’m here, Sam.’

~ Sammath Naur 2: ‘Throw It in the fire!’

~ Sammath Naur 3: ‘Just let It go!’, plus three poems by jan-u-wine.

~ Sammath Naur 4: ‘The Ring is mine’, plus jan-u-wine’s “That Which Is My Own”.

~ Sammath Naur 5: Gollum Bites, plus jan-u-wine’s “Frodo’s Remembrance of Gollum.

~ Sammath Naur 6: Gollum Falls, plus essay on Gollum’s oath.

~ Sammath Naur 7: ‘Give Me Your Hand’, plus jan-u-wine’s “Within the Chamber”.

~ Sammath Naur 8: ‘Take my hand’, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Claiming".

~ Sammath Naur 9: ‘Don't you let go’, plus jan-u-wine’s “In the Garden of the Mind".

~ Sammath Naur 10: ‘Reach’, plus jan-u-wine’s “And I Don’t Mean To".

~ Sammath Naur Escape Pt 1: Leap over the lava, plus jan-u-wine’s “They Are Here".

~ Sammath Naur Escape Pt 2: ‘It’s done.’

~ ‘I can see the Shire’ in widescreen, plus jan-u-wine's “March 25”.

~ The End of All Things Pt. I: "It's Done..."

~ The End of All Things Pt. II: "I can see the Shire..."

~ The End of All Things Pt. III: "Rosie Cotton, dancing..."

~ The End of All Things Pt. IV: "If ever I was to marry someone..."

~ The End of All Things Pt. V: "I'm glad to be with you..."

~ Frodo borne by the eagle, plus jan-u-wine’s "There and Back Again".


Other Links:

~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems.

~ Tables for all screencap entries



~ Mechtild




Comments:


Shirebound
shirebound at 2009-03-25 13:45 (UTC) (Link)
The poem is so poignant and moving, as always.

What a scene! Our poor, dear hobbits.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-25 14:42 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, poor, dear hobbits. But the tower has fallen.

Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!
Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!
Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!
Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annûn! Eglerio!
Praise them!
Eglerio!
A laita te, laita te! Andave laituvalmet!

Praise them!
Cormacolindor, a laita tárienna!
Praise them! The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!


[ETA - sorry for the typos; I copied and pasted this quote from a website; hope the Elvish is properly spelled!]

Edited at 2009-03-25 02:43 pm (UTC)
Prim
primula_baggins at 2009-03-25 16:38 (UTC) (Link)
When I saw ROTK the first time, it was the scenes inside Mt. Doom that moved me the most. I'll never forget Frodo turning to look at Sam, yanking the ring from the chain and saying "The Ring is mine!" It still gives me chills to think of it.

Jan's poem is so powerful.

Thanks to you both.

Happy Ring destruction day! lol!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-25 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
Let us raise a glass and toast the Ring-bearers! I guess we should throw in a toast to the rest of the Fellowship, and the armies of the West, and the Eagles, as well as the Elves and Dwarves battling up in the north, all distracting the foe, while we're at it.

That calls for a lot of drinking. Yeah!
The One Mari
marigold6 at 2009-03-25 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful as always, ladies. The pictures are a perfect fit to the poem...and the last lines are heartbreaking, revealing that underneath his concern and love for Sam, Frodo is broken in spirit as well as body now.

Edited at 2009-03-25 08:51 pm (UTC)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-25 21:22 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome, Marigold. Yeah, that jan-u-wine has way with creating a verse narrative. I am always pulled right in until I feel as though I am deep into the characters.
 Paulie
not_alone at 2009-03-25 22:02 (UTC) (Link)
Another incredibly moving post - thank you so much - both of you:)

I have some catching up to do on your recent posts but, believe me, all your posts will be revisited by me many times as long as they remain here:)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-25 22:14 (UTC) (Link)
Not to worry, Not Alone (Paulie). I won't be carting my LJ off elsewhere. I figure just as a screencap resource for people, it's worth leaving up. :)
golden_berry
golden_berry at 2009-03-26 12:40 (UTC) (Link)
I can't think of a more moving tribute to Tolkien, and to Frodo and Sam, Elijah, Sean, PJ, and...on and on.

Thank you, Mechtild and jan-u-wine.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-26 13:01 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Goldenberry. Thanks for stopping by to hail the hobbit heroes. :)
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2009-03-26 13:49 (UTC) (Link)
*sniffles* I read the exact same passage yesterday, both in English and German.

Happy Ring Day! And thank you for the moving screencaps!

*hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-26 14:35 (UTC) (Link)
I wonder how you could get through your reading without choking on tears. I get very emotional whenever I try to read it aloud, with only myself as hearer. When there's an audience, I tend to be nervous enough not to weep. Perhaps it is so for you.

I hope Reading Day went well there. Did you do it as members of the Tolkien Society or as another, more informal group? Did many people participate?
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2009-03-26 16:13 (UTC) (Link)
Happy belated Ring Day, mechtild!

Oh, that poem is chilling. Poor Frodo. ;; Thanks to you both for this tribute.

PJ really does catch the scene beautifully, with the little added Fro going overboard bit to make the hand grasp circular with his end of FoTR. That frightening orange light! Though he doesn't add the smokey hand reaching out in the sky and then dissipating--that would have been a cool effect to have captured, too.

I just got back late Tuesday night and am still catching up from my trip and have much to post, but I will get back to the entries I missed here and the riches you bring us therein.

I did manage to do a reading for read_lotr_aloud yesterday that lbilover organizes for us to celebrate the day. I think that's what frodosweetstuff is referring to above. It's a really great little community.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-26 19:10 (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back, and I hope you are settling in. I'll bet a certain kitty was thrill to see you.

Though he doesn't add the smokey hand reaching out in the sky and then dissipating--that would have been a cool effect to have captured, too.

He preferred the Tower crumbling and crashing to dissipating smoke effects. He's such a kid, PJ. But sometimes his kid tastes are tastes shared by many. I liked the crumbling effect that started off the fall of the tower a lot.

You went to a read aloud? Maybe it's something like the "Reading Day" jan-u-wine went to. Reading Day is sponsored by chapters of the Tolkien Society. I think that's what Frodosweetstuff's event was called, too, although I don't know hers was related to the Tolkien Society. I hope the reading day you went to was enjoyable!

(Deleted comment)
Illyria
illyria_novia at 2009-03-27 10:18 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear. I'm in tears by the time I come to the end of Jan's poem. Such poignant portrayal of corrupt joy and power, like a volcanic eruption, leaving a dry crater of emptiness behind. Is it any wonder that Frodo had to leave for the Undying Land afterward?

Thank you for the marvelous caps, Mechtild, and thank you for posting Jan's poem.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-27 12:59 (UTC) (Link)
I am so glad Jan's portrayal of the goings on inside the Inner Chamber moved you, Illyria. I think it would be a sullying thing for Frodo, to have felt and remembered that "corrupt joy" (love your term). Perhaps it is what fretted at his mind so long afterwards. It would be sort of like a good, kindly, honorable man who had volunteered to be a soldier finding himself compelled to torture a prisoner -- and finding he enjoyed doing it.

Thanks for stopping by to read and to comment. :)
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2009-03-28 17:53 (UTC) (Link)
*Heart clench*

Thank you both.

--Estë
Mechtild
mechtild at 2009-03-28 20:39 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome, Estë.
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