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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Gorgoroth Part I ~ EE scenes, plus jan-u-wine's 'There is Light Which Does Not Fail'.

Posted on 2006.08.21 at 13:52
Tags: , ,
~*~


Here begins a new Frodo screencap series from scenes on the plain of Gorgoroth. This set, “Part One”, features caps from the seqence that appears in the EE of RotK.

Note: *Added 8/23/06 to this entry is jan-u-wine's very fine There is Light Which Does Not Fail. Written to the scene in which Sam sees the star, it expresses the second set of caps well.


~*~



I always thought the film *lacked* in the section between Cirith Ungol and Gollum’s attack on Mt. Doom. Sean Astin and Elijah Wood did superb jobs, but it was just too short. Reading the book, the sense is almost physical: the sheer length of the ordeal Sam and Frodo underwent, starved and parched, as they scrambled then trudged then crawled across the wasteland of Mordor. In the film, even with the EE additions, it all seems to go by very quickly, as if the they stumbled and crawled for a day or two rather than agonizing weeks.

Making these caps I had a much better sense of the book’s world. As I went through the scene frame by frame, it was as if I had recovered a reader’s pace. Looked at slowly, I had a much better sense of what Sam and Frodo endured, letting it the images proceed as if step by step, laboured breath after laboured breath.


~*~



The filmmakers did not see fit to include the famous scene in which Sam sees the star through a rent in Sauron’s gloom over Mordor in the theatrical release of RotK. Many of us book fans missed it. Peter Jackson restored it in the EE version, although it was moved to much later in the story, after they had thrown away their orc gear (rather than up in the Morgai before they were forced to march with the orcs).

In the film scene, Frodo and Sam are resting against a heap of rocks. Both look exhausted. Frodo is shivering, his eyes -- when they flicker open -- bleak with despair. Next to him, Sam looks grim. Then Sam looks up and sees the star, and speaks lines from the book. Frodo closes his eyes and sleeps a fitful sleep, his cheek against the rock.

The film scene does double duty. It allows Sam to speak the star line, but also gives a tiny taste of the physical closeness noted in the book elsewhere. Although Frodo’s head does not actually touch Sam, when the camera pans around for the close-up, it appears to be against Sam’s arm, so that physical closeness is effectively implied. There are moments of physical closeness portrayed in RotK; I just wondered why they were so circumspect here. On the slopes of Mt. Doom, Sam cradles Frodo’s head on his lap while Frodo listens to Sam ask him if he recalls the taste of strawberries. In the midst of the lava, facing death, Frodo hugs Sam in a prolonged, comforting embrace. They hug feelingly and at length at the end of the Grey Havens, and Frodo bestows a farewell kiss upon Sam's head. Maybe the Art Department just liked the way Frodo's face looked against that jagged rock.

The book depicts physical closeness, too, but in different scenes and not always the same way as the films. In the book, Sam is not even with Frodo when he sees the star, so there is no physicality there. When Frodo gives the “taste of strawberries"/"I'm naked in the dark” speech in the book, Sam and Frodo appear to be standing, having just cast off their Orc gear. But then Sam kisses Frodo’s hand. “Then let us be rid of it”, he says, gathering up the discarded gear (and his pans), throwing it all down a fissure before he cuts a length of rope to make Frodo a girdle to bind his Elven cloak about him. Frodo’s hand is never kissed or held in the films, in this scene or any other, except in Rivendell -- at Ian McKellen's urging. Perhaps they thought it looked too servile, keen as they seemed to minimize the master/servant dynamic between them.

In the book, Frodo’s head is cradled in Sam’s lap, but not during the “naked in the dark” scene. It happens in The Two Towers, on the Stairs, a scene not in the film at all, in which Frodo sleeps with his head in Sam’s lap.

There is no film scene of the two hobbits spooned up together, something Sam does for his master when Frodo is freezing, trying to sleep in Mordor. In the film of TTT, in the Emyn Muil, Frodo and Sam are shown sleeping near each other, but not touching, and not spooned. Neither is there any film scene that approximates the power and pathos of Sam tenderly cradling Frodo's beaten body in the tower of Cirith Ungol (naked or otherwise). Like the kissing of Frodo’s hand, this intimacy was something the films did not attempt to portray.

This brings me to hand-holding. The holding of hands seems an innocuous, innocent thing to me, almost child-like. All the incidents of book hand-holding were cut. Sometimes they were cut because their reason for being was no longer there. In Shelob's tunnel, Sam had already been sent home, so there would be no desperate reaching for each other’s hands as they went forward in the stinking, dreadful darkness. Other times, I don't know why the hand-holding was cut. I can only guess.

On that rock in the midst of the lava, the two film hobbits hugged and wept as they awaited their fate, but there was no hand-holding. Gandalf and the eagles made a stunning, unforgettable entrance as they swoop-floated down, but the two hobbits were lying apart from each other. In the book, Gwaihir looks down upon “two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill” I would have traded twenty film embraces to see the tiny figures hand in hand: a lone, last, perhaps unconscious binding together of loyalties in the face of the world’s ending, a last homely example of "keeping each other company" even to the end.

I suppose hand-holding is too against the grain for most modern folk, at least in this part of the world. Men can hug, even pat each other’s bottoms, but not hold hands. I thought it was an irreplaceably moving and powerful image, those two lost souls, hand in hand. It was an image as old and as powerful as that of Hansel and Gretel, two unwanted children left to die in a deep, dark, dangerous wood. It is an image of the secret, inner state of many of us, I suspect.

My favourite hand-holding moment in LotR happens right after Sam and Frodo have escaped the Tower and have scrambled away, hiding in the ravines of the Morgai. This moment really wouldn’t have had the same impact as it did in the book, even had it appeared in the film, because film Sam and Frodo were so familiar with each other. From the beginning, they were depicted more as "pals" than as master and servant, their arms around each other’s shoulders as they came home from the tavern. At Bilbo’s party, Frodo handles Sam -- literally -- like an old buddy. In the book, physical demonstrativeness does not characterize the early relationship of Frodo and Sam. Therefore, when physical displays do appear, they stand out.

In the book moment I so love, Frodo is listening to Sam’s tale....


There the hobbits sat under the cover of the thorny bush, while the drear light of Mordor faded slowly into a deep and starless night; and Sam spoke into Frodo’s ear all that he could find words for of Gollum’s treacherous attack, the horror of Shelob, and his own adventures with the orcs. When he had finished, Frodo said nothing by took Sam’s hand and pressed it. At length he stirred.

That’s all. Frodo gets up and says they should be off. Up to that point, except for holding each other’s hands in the blackness of Shelob’s tunnel, it’s the only time Frodo is depicted as initiating a physically affectionate act towards Sam. Sam, as Frodo’s servant, has touched Frodo quite a lot; caring for him, helping him in physical difficulties, or saving his life. But Frodo never has touched Sam in a way that crosses the master/servant boundary line. Not until this moment.

It’s such a spare detail, that little hand-press, held in silence because there are no words. But it is, oh, so very beautiful to me. I never noticed it in my younger readings, eager to press on to Mt. Doom. But as a more mature reader, less in a hurry, I saw it as the companion image to the star Sam saw in the heavens. As the star is a little sign of hope in their despair, and beauty that evil cannot touch, so that hand-press is a sign of love forged in the midst of their dire situation, love which evil cannot touch, and beyond expression.


~*~



The screencaps below are from the EE sequence on the plains of Gorgoroth. The first set of images come right after the two have escaped from the party of orcs. Frodo has stumbled and fallen. Pulling off his helmet, he pants, “I can’t manage the Ring, Sam. It’s such a weight to carry. Such a weight.” (These lines come from the opening of the [utterly ravaging] book scene in which Frodo thinks Sam’s trying to take the Ring, which was partially re-inserted in the film’s tower scene.) As per usual in the films, Sam is the one to take the lead and verbalize their plan. “We’re going that way,” he says, pointing his sword at Mt. Doom (apparently down the block), “straight as we can. There’s no point carrying anything we’re not sure to need.”

I was terribly sorry Frodo had to be side-lined by Sam once again, and sorrier still that he didn’t get to utter his last cry of defiance, “I’ll be an orc no more!” before casting off the hated gear himself, Sam following suit. Still, it was nice to see some semblance of the scene back in.


Technical note: Because these frames were from a widescreen edition, it meant cropping each frame of its thick black bands, top and bottom, then re-sizing it larger. Other than that, I did the usual tweaking, brightening, increasing the contrast, and sharpening the focus of each cap.







~ Frodo stumbles, “It’s such a weight to carry….”






























For the set of caps for the scene in which Sam sees the star, I am including an excerpt from the book's version of the scene, from "The Land of Shadow":



When Sam thought of water even his hopeful spirit quailed. Beyond the Morgai there was the dreadful plain of Gorgoroth to cross.

‘Now you go to sleep first, Mr. Frodo,’ he said. ‘It’s getting dark again. I reckon this day is nearly over.’

Frodo sighed and was asleep almost before the words were spoken. Sam struggled with his own weariness, and he took Frodo’s hand; and there he sat silent till deep night fell. Then at last, to keep himself awake, he crawled from the hiding-place and looked out. The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far about the Ephel Dúath in the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.


They awake together, hand in hand. Sam was almost fresh, ready for another day; but Frodo sighed. His sleep had been uneasy, full of dreams of fire, and waking brought him no comfort. Still his sleep had not been without all healing virtue: he was stronger, more able to bear his burden one stage further.




~ Sam sees the star:















































~*~






There is Light Which Does Not Fail


There is Light
behind
the Shadow,
you know....

Distanc'd,
unyielding,
softly spilled
Light.

Light
tempered to fine radiance by trial,

stubborn and sure
at its source,

unfaltering,
unfailing


Light held apart,

free of Shadow,

unsuborned
by
Darkness.

Light
born

and

borne

from that very
Shadow

that sought
to end it.

I see it,

unbroken,

running with
silent ease,

endless grace.


Even at the very end
of despair,

it is there,

unwavering,

shining like unsullied Eärendil,
glancing bright
(a joy amidst my sorrow)
like the Sun upon a vast
Sea.

You
are the bearer
of the Light.





~*~







Tables of Links:



~ Gorgoroth, Pt. II ~ The Eye Bears Down, plus jan-u-wine's "Last Day".


~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems


~ Frodo and Elijah screencaps Main Page.



~ Mechtild


Comments:


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Shirebound
shirebound at 2006-08-21 20:42 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you really can get a more heart-rending and slower look at these scenes through your caps. Thank you.

I suppose hand-holding is too against the grain for most modern folk, at least in this part of the world. Men can hug, even pat each other’s bottoms, but not hold hands. I thought it was an irreplaceably moving and powerful image, those two lost souls, hand in hand. It was an image as old and as powerful as that of Hansel and Gretel, two unwanted children left to die in a deep, dark, dangerous wood. It is an image of the secret, inner state of many of us, I suspect.

I adore that, Mechtild. I agree completely.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-21 21:27 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Shirebound. I am glad it resonated with you. I could not get over how much looking at the screencaps moved me compared to watching the actual scenes, good as they were. If I put on Shore's score, too (can't wait for the complete set, like they made for FotR last year, which I have played non-stop ever since), it KILLS me.

I thought of Hansel and Gretel as soon as I first read the scene in Shelob's tunnel. Hansel and Gretel made a big impact on me as a child, and the version I had of it (kiddy book, with lovely illos by Garth Williams) is imprinted on my brain.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-08-21 20:52 (UTC) (Link)
A beautiful and touching mini essay Mechtild.

There are so many moments in the books and films to weep over.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-21 21:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Este. *smooch* Yes, but pleasurable weeping, weeping that informs and sweetens the soul. No?

Are you seeing fall coming yet where you live? Our first leaves are beginning to fall. More from lack of rain, though (I suspect), than the turning of the seasons.
(Anonymous) at 2006-08-21 20:53 (UTC) (Link)
I'm reading the book again, and really enjoying watching Frodo learn who Sam is, and come to value him as a friend as well as a faithful servant. I miss that in the films. And it irks me that practically every instance of physical affection in the films is initiated by Frodo; it diminishes Sam's role as care-taker somewhat, IMVHO.

Just last night I read the bit from "Many Meetings" where Frodo arises from his sick-bed for the feast. There is actually one other instance of Frodo initiating contact. He's just dressed for dinner, Sam comes in and grabs his hand, then blushes and turns away. Then Sam begins talking about the Last Homely House, and how large and confusing it can be; he says you never know what you'll find around a corner. But then he adds that he's not had that much time to explore, as he's been busy with other things. Frodo says "I know what you've been doing, Sam." (Watching Frodo on his sick-bed, with Bilbo there, too.) Then he takes Sam's arm, and says "Guide me around the corners, Sam!" Which I loved, as it indicates that Frodo is beginning to realized how much he's going to have to rely on Sam on their journey, and foreshadows the deepening of their friendship.
ms_banazira at 2006-08-21 20:54 (UTC) (Link)
Dang it! I do that all the time! That was me!
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-21 21:53 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mews, for your appreciative comments.

I can only imagine how upset people like her would have been if they had actully let them hold hands, however innocently it was portrayed.

I would agree, if I had not entered fandom. I think hand-holding could have been carried off; it was the "looks" that set critics off.

When I first entered the LotR internet world, I didn't know a thing about "fandom", fandoms of any kind, the world of fanfics, or slash. I knew about gay people; I was a theatre person and had had many gay friends. It wasn't ignorant about homosexuality, a fact of real life, but I was ignorant about the imaginative world of "slash." I never had thought of Frodo and Sam as lovers. I'd read the books, I saw the films. I even saw the "looks of affection", but had thought, "Shees! Kind of sappy!" -- Not -- "Kind of homoerotic."

Once I started coming onto the messageboards (when RotK was coming out), I realized why the critics (and many fans) of the "long, loving looks" were getting exercised. They simply knew a lot more about the fandom than I did. They only saw in those looks what an awful lot of fans saw.

Me, I didn't see it. I had to be told. But now that I've been told, it's hard to not see it. Now I have to wonder if those looks weren't little offerings from the filmmakers, to what turns out to be a healthy segment of LotR fans.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-21 21:55 (UTC) (Link)
Do you mean the EE scene, before they throw away their armour? Or do you mean the scene in which Frodo falls when the Eye comes upon him? Or the one when he falls and then crawls up the mountainside (culminating in the "Naked in the dark" speech?
(Deleted comment)
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2006-08-21 21:53 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful mini essay, Mechtils! Reading and looking at your post it’s a delight!

I agree with you: the movie hardly depicts physical closeness between Frodo and Sam, but their ‘closeness’ is often shows by means of looks and physical positions.
As you pointed out, in this part of the world two men can perhaps touch each other, but provided that emotions are not mixed up.

There is no film scene of the two hobbits spooned up together, something Sam does for his master when Frodo is freezing, trying to sleep in Mordor.

I remembered the scene before the Forbidden Pool in TTT where Frodo and Sam are sleeping close, but they don’t touch each other.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-21 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
That's right, Estelanui. They sleep close, but not touching, in the Emyn Muil, too. I forgot about the Ithilien scene.

But even in the book, it's shown as a decision on Sam's part to spoon up behind Frodo when Frodo is shivering on the ground in Mordor. If it were something Sam did routinely, surely it would not have been mentioned.
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-08-21 22:41 (UTC) (Link)
Yay for Mechtild Screencap Fests!

Frodo and Sam's agonising journey across Mordor is a tremendously powerful and moving part of the book. Le sigh.

On my first viewing of the film, I was disappointed with the Mordor section. It felt soooo rushed. *pout* Subsequent viewings helped me feel better about the monumental - and impossible - task PJ had set himself. Because no film could ever really do this book justice. PJ came as close as anyone is ever likely to do. The films give me much to enjoy, even if they don't quite touch the depths that the book does.

The scene in the film as Frodo and Sam wait to die is simply beautiful.
'I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee ... here at the end of all things.' And this time it is Frodo who comforts Sam as they wait for death. For that alone - and the Eagles' rescue, simply one of the most magnificent things in cinema I've ever seen - I forgive PJ much!

As for Frodo and Sam's physicality in the film, I really do think that PJ got it pretty much right. I really don't think the hand-holding would have worked particularly well. Instead, Film Sam and Film Frodo indulged in long, schmoopy looks. :p This may well have been a nod to the slash fans. But a lot of people just took the Look simply as a token of deep friendship. So PJ ended up in pleasing everybody, in that regard at least. :)

The BBC LOTR much more successfully captures the shifting master/servant dynamics of Frodo/Sam, and also the deep love between the two hobbits.

I get something from both adaptations. The BBC LOTR is much more faithful to canon - it achieves this with considerable aplomb. But PJ's films gave me a gorgeous Frodo and a lovable Sam (let's forget about Film Sam's bossiness for a moment.) As I said, I can forgive PJ much. :)

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-22 01:52 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Snagged you! I was hoping to reel you in with one of these posts.

The scene in the film as Frodo and Sam wait to die is simply beautiful.
'I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee ... here at the end of all things.' And this time it is Frodo who comforts Sam as they wait for death. For that alone - and the Eagles' rescue, simply one of the most magnificent things in cinema I've ever seen - I forgive PJ much!


*forgives all*

I don't know; I think the hand-holding could have worked. But they couldn't have the hand-holding and the long, drawn-out schmoopy looks. ONe or the other. I'd have preferred the former. Not that I didn't enjoy the schmoopy looks, I just thought they were ... *long*.

Well, you know how I love the Mordor section in the BBC LotR. How fabulously Ian Holm and Bill Nighy do every scene.

The film eagles were definitely an improvement, though. *hysterical laughter from all BBC LotR listeners.
sams_star
sams_star at 2006-08-22 03:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the beautiful essay and the discussion that followed on "sam_star's favorite scene!"
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-22 03:35 (UTC) (Link)
Your favourite scene in RotK, or in the whole trilogy? Either way, I am glad to have got to the part you love best, sam_star.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
julchen11
julchen11 at 2006-08-22 07:01 (UTC) (Link)
“I saw it as the companion image to the star Sam saw in the heavens. As the star is a little sign of hope in their despair, and beauty that evil cannot touch, so that hand-press is a sign of love forged in the midst of their dire situation, love which evil cannot touch, and beyond expression.”

I couldn’t have said it better Mechtild. I absolutely agree. I love that chapter in the books and in the movies, though watching the movie the first time there was a feeling as if there’s something missing. I missed the little touches but … we got the gazes *sigh* … and both .. hmmm…maybe it would have been too much for some ‘close-minded’ people. It seems nobody is affronted by the books when Frodo and Sam are handholding … but to see it … I have to say I would have loved it. Friends are touching another, there’s nothing bad in doing it because it’s ‘normal’.

I’m with mews

“I am able to look at Frodo and Sam and see friends who are bonded so powerfully by the suffering they endure together, and on the other hand to see a pair of beautiful lovers who are meant to be together in every conceivable way possible”

And I’m with all friends above


Thank you my dear for those wonderful screencaps and your lovingly report.
Friends said it all and I have to say friends are always the most wonderful gift you can get!

*hugs you tight*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-22 12:39 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Julchen. Yours is a heart suited for such as Frodo and Sam; no wonder you are such a fan!
Mona
lame_pegasus at 2006-08-22 07:54 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for those marvelous screencaps, Mechtild! And about the "hand-holding and touching"-issue... you see I think Tolkien's source is very "innocent" when it comes to matters of eros or sexuality (asude from Gríma, perhaps, whose desire for Éowyn is thratening even in the shortness it is mentioned).

Sadly enough the fact that this fandom is rather "sexualized" (more Slash than Het I guess) often keeps people from seeing thing as they were originally meant. I thought of your (stunningly beautiful and flattering *blows a kiss*) MEFA-review for Breath of Winter. You said something in that direction when you wrote about the scene under the tree (Frodo stripping himself and the snow-soaked hobbit-children) - and thank you for the "Good Shepherd"-image! I didn't think of it when I wrote it, but it makes perfect sense.

And of course this is a scene of perfect innocence - as the last one in the tale when Merry, Pippin and Sam get rid of their clothes in the cold October night to warm their wounded cousin. You said something about "reading this with a wink" - of course many readers would, but the intention I had was to show a bone-deep, loving connection without any sexual hint.

There are many different sorts of love, and this is IMHO what Tolkien meant - same as in all those intense, emotional moments between Frodo and Sam. Tolkien himself complained more than once about the fact that showing our emotions physically is considered as a strange and "wrong" thing in modern society; he himself hadn't no such restraints... at least when it came to family and close friends.
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-08-22 11:06 (UTC) (Link)
*agrees with Mona*

There is an innocence in LOTR about sexuality, I agree. The story works pretty well without sex! I also agree that Grima's hits on Eowyn may be only briefly alluded to, but they pack a punch.

Sadly enough the fact that this fandom is rather "sexualized" (more Slash than Het I guess) often keeps people from seeing thing as they were originally meant.

*nods vigorously*

I have no objection to Fanon whatsoever - I enjoy it enormously and have contributed plenty to Fanon myself - but I've never allowed it to obscure canon.

Indeed, rather like the books and the movies, I can keep Canon and Fanon separate, and that's fine. :)

 Paulie
not_alone at 2006-08-22 16:38 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful screencaps as usual, Mechtild - and I found your essay extremely moving. I'd certainly have liked more hand-holding in the films. But the two scenes I was really longing for were Sam cradling Frodo in the tower of CU and the scene in TTT where Frodo sleeps with his head in Sam's lap & Gollum finds them like that - and actually reaches out to touch Frodo. Both those passages in the books move me to tears. If only we could have had all those tender moments from the books included in the films. However - I must say that we do have in the films I love also:)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-22 20:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Not Alone. Of the two you mentioned, I reeeeeaaally missed the presence of the scene in which Gollum has his "moment of grace". I love the Sam and Frodo part of it, of course, *sniffle*, but there really was no moment in the movie that took over the function of that "grace moment" for Gollum. I missed the C.U. scene of the book quite a lot, which they seemed to change into a scene from later on, which I mentioned, when Sam offers to carry the Ring when they are down in the Morgai and makes Frodo lose it. I did think they managed to get some sense of the C.U. scene in the "Do you remember the taste of strawberries?" scene, which is not set up that way in the book at all. I appreciated that they finally had a scene in which we see Sam cradle and comfort a broken, nearly delirious Frodo. But the moment for Gollum, so important for the "mercy theme" in the larger story, really had no substitute.
Julie ... five more minutes
bagendbabe at 2006-08-22 21:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh Mech, this is so, so strange ... I was watching the second disc of the extended ROTK only earlier this evening - I have not watched it thru since I can't remember when, and actually watched this bit three times! Do you know, I couldn't remember seeing this bit before.

I can't believe you have posted these caps just after I "found" this scene!

You truly did read my mind!

How moving they are - the poor, sweet darling. I also had a good cry tonight about it. Can't believe the coincidence :-)

Thanks so much XXXXX
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-22 22:20 (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh, Bangendbabe.... *pets you and joins you sniffling over retrieved EE scene* Seriously, that really was a coincidence!

I just posted Pt. II, by the way, with great bits of text and an absolutely SMASHING poem by jan-u-wine.
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2007-08-24 03:46 (UTC) (Link)

What a BEAUTIFUL post! wow

I love that EE scenes and you indeed said it when you thought they cut too much of the heart-rending scenes away from the movies... i indeed though that there could've been more struggles to Mt. Doom but i guess it wouldn't work as the film.

Interesting thoughts you said about the closeness that Sam and Frodo had in the movies versus that of the books. For one thing, the modern audience already thought too much into the Sam and Frodo relationship in thinking that they're "more than friends" type deal, not really understanding the master/servant relationship. So i think if they were to be more physical in the movies, that'll be surely more slash and talk about them being gay than there is already. :p Obviously, they have a platonic master/servant relationship but unfortunately many fail to see that but i think you have awesome points in which you talk about the importance in showing the closeness of their friendship ...
Tolkien indeed experienced a lot of that brotherly contact and experienced hardships in the war and was mostly in a male-"dominated" world which saw a lot of close male relationships... it's clear that when he was writing the Mordor chapters, he showed the relationship that must be have in order for two exhausted, fatigued, parched hobbits to be like.

In the book, Gwaihir looks down upon “two small dark figures, forlorn, hand in hand upon a little hill” I would have traded twenty film embraces to see the tiny figures hand in hand: a lone, last, perhaps unconscious binding together of loyalties in the face of the world’s ending, a last homely example of "keeping each other company" even to the end.
I agree with this a lot. I find it very touching if the End of All Things scene ended with this because it's so darn appropriate since they thought they were going to die... that they would grasp onto whatever life there is and to whatever bonds they have. Very awesome point.

And Januwine's poem is amazing as always.

I loved this post so much since that EE scene is one of my faves!!!

Thank you, mellon nin!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-24 04:21 (UTC) (Link)

Re: What a BEAUTIFUL post! wow

Well, thank you, Perientari! I didn't expect to see a comment on this. You certainly have splashed a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, on an older post. I agree that the filmmakers' were very aware that physical closeness between Frodo and Sam might make audiences interpret it as meaning they were lovers or wished to be. There is certainly a large group of Frodo and Sam fans who wish it were the case, and who believe it is so in the book, even if Tolkien couldn't bring himself to write it explicitly. Personally, I don't think Tolkien intended to do so, and I don't see it in the text. But what looks one way in print looks another way acted out for the eyes to see, especially from a contemporary perspective.

However, granting that the filmmakers' probably gave a thought to toning down the moments of physical tenderness Sam expressed many times in the book, they left in a lot that would be food for speculation, so I think they were pretty brave. They even added body contact, in the case of the opening scenes, that gave the impression Frodo and Sam were peer pals (horsing around at the party, arms around each other coming home from the inn, etc.), as if they were close cousins or school friends who had grown up together. This was not their book relationship, but, well, the films are the films. Making Sam less servant-ish, Frodo less master-like, and Merry and Pippin less "upper class", was part of their general portrayal.

Thanks again for commenting at length. It was a pleasure to read your response.
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2007-08-24 05:15 (UTC) (Link)
Such a weight to carry
Movie-verse dialogue but brilliant anyways...
ok..i'm going to reread RotK tonight ...
so darn so much so much SO MUCH love.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-25 02:08 (UTC) (Link)
You're going to reread RotK TONIGHT???? Boy, are you a fast reader! But more power to you. I have loved poring over the chapters again in order to present these posts. Such a beautiful, beautiful gift Tolkien gave to us.
Elwen
elwenlj at 2007-08-24 07:41 (UTC) (Link)
I popped in here via a friend's page and oh my . . .

I love your thoughts on the scenes and I too wish there had been some hand holding. It's a sad comment on our world today that such an innocent gesture had to be removed from the movie.

Thank you for posting this.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-25 02:06 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for dropping by, Elwenlj! It's too bad about the loss of such moments, but thank goodness the films are so great. There is still excellence abounding in them. I still love them better than any other films I've seen.
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