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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Gorgoroth Pt. IV ~ "Naked in the dark," plus jan-u-wine's 'All That I Deem Precious'....

Posted on 2006.08.24 at 15:28
Tags: , ,
~*~


In this last section, I will feature jan-u-wine’s poem, All That I Deem Precious. The LotR text continues from “Mt. Doom”, The Return of the King.

Notes: As usual, the screencaps have been altered for more brightness, greater contrast, and sharper focus.


* * *



This set is perhaps my favourite set of caps. Certainly, the first four frames are my favourite screencaps of Frodo I have yet done. The look on his face in these frames as he listens to Sam’s opening remarks (“Do you remember the Shire…?”), almost hurts me to look at. The guileless trust in his face is so vivid it gives me physical pangs. Yet I love to feel pangs brought about by such beauty of face and spirit.

In these four caps, Frodo’s face reminds me of the face of a very ill child being humoured by his mother, who, underneath her sweet calm, is desperate to distract and encourage him to keep him from death. “There once was a king who lived by the Sea...” she might begin, repeating a favourite story. Or, she might promise, “When you are better, we shall ride in a carriage, and have high tea, and order all our favourites....”

The final caps, when Frodo says, “I am naked in the dark, Sam, with no veil between me and the wheel of fire,” give me pangs, too. But that hurt is a different sort of hurt.



In the Tolkien text, night has fallen. Sam, feeling clearer in his mind and more resolved, is watchful. The dark becomes very deep and Sam feels for Frodo’s hand and finds it cold. Frodo, asleep, is trembling and shivering.



* * *




'I didn't ought to have left my blanket behind,' muttered Sam; and lying down he tried to comfort Frodo with his arms and body. Then sleep took him, and the dim light of the last day of their quest found them side by side. The wind had fallen the day before as it shifted from the West, and now it came from the North and began to rise; and slowly the light of the unseen Sun filtered down into the shadows where the hobbits lay.

‘Now for it! Now for the last gasp!’ said Sam as he struggled to his feet. He bent over Frodo, rousing him gently. Frodo groaned; but with a great effort of will he staggered up; and then he fell upon his knees again. He raised his eyes with difficulty to the dark slopes of Mount Doom towering above him, and then pitifully he began to crawl forward on his hands.

Sam looked at him and wept in his heart, but no tears came to his dry and stinging eyes. ‘I said I’d carry him, if it broke my back,’ he muttered, ‘and I will!’

‘Come, Mr. Frodo!’ he cried. ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo, dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go.’



































































































All That I Deem Precious

~ by jan-u-wine


So long.

It takes
so long
to die.

In starless
Night,
I stay
waiting
only
for the small
thread
of my life to run
out.

Grief,
worn to
a sort of strange,
tired
joy,
assails me
at the thought.

You
cannot see
this.

It will
be better so.

We have
failed.

I
have
failed.

Please,
let me
just
lie down
beside
you
and never
see
the broken
light
of day
again.

Maybe,
after I have gone,
you
will find your
way Home.

I cannot remember,
now....
I cannot see,
in this Darkness,
what Home
is like.

Does it shine
with impervious beauty
like
that which lies
secret
within my hand?

Does it whisper
of days
and nights
which I may spend
within its warmth?

You
are weeping.

My friend.

Do not cry.

I remember.

I do.

I remember
what Home
is like.

It is like
this
fair
circlet,
gilded,
within the confines
of my heart,
with all
that I
deem
precious.





~*~~*~~*~




Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.



Back to Pt. III of Gorgoroth screencaps.

Click HERE for table of other Frodo screencap entries.



* * *



I am sure there are dozens of others (I really have not read that much of what's out there), but here are links to three really good fics I’ve read which portray this part of Frodo’s journey, his agonizing trek to Mt. Doom. Most of you have already read them, but some of you, fellow late-comers to fanfic, may not have.


In the Dark by Ariel

Breeze by Illyria

On Gorgoroth Plain by Teasel


* All of these stories are rated G, and have no discernible sexualized or romantic content. Why On Gorgoroth Plain should be housed in WotM’s slash section, I have no idea.


If any of you have read other Gorgoroth fics that have touched you deeply, or which you particularly admire as writing, please mention them below.


~ Mechtild

Comments:


Maeglian
maeglian at 2006-08-24 21:47 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for all the caps entries. I've been remiss in not saying so sooner. They're breathtaking. The beauty! Those luminous eyes in that grimy pained face, in that dreary bleak landscape!

I actually think the "wheel of fire" scene is every bit as powerful and more in these images as I think it is in the film.... I've always thought Elijah was overdoing the drama a bit there - I think a more softer, despairing rendition would have served the scene better.

I still keep wondering whether they filmed a scene where Frodo got that wound on his cheek, and then decided to not include it. The wound is so distinct in all the Mt. Doom scenes, I'm sure there must be a specific backstory to it.

And "On Gorgoroth Plain" remains my favourite LotR fic ever. So simple, yet so beautiful. So painful, yet so brimming with hope!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-24 22:19 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Maeglian! It's great to see you. *smooch*

"On Gorgoroth Plain" remains my favourite LotR fic ever. So simple, yet so beautiful. So painful, yet so brimming with hope!

"On Gorgoroth Plain" was recommended to me by Jan-u-wine! I had never heard of it or read it. It was a very powerful piece with a unique conceit that worked well.

I actually think the "wheel of fire" scene is every bit as powerful and more in these images as I think it is in the film.... I've always thought Elijah was overdoing the drama a bit there - I think a more softer, despairing rendition would have served the scene better.


I thought EW did an excellent job in the Wheel of Fire speech, considering where they'd moved it in the film adaptation (a far more intense a spot than in the book, in which it happens earlier on). But I was sorry he was so choked up that his diction was poor. No one who hadn't read the book (often) knew what he was saying, I'm sure. Only every third or fourth word was intelligible -- which was not enough to make perfect sense of the passage. But audiences could see he was suffering terribly, struggling to speak, and feel for him and with him. But the words Tolkien gave him to utter are so beautiful, I hated to lose them.

The cheek wound. I had thought that wound was supposed to have happened in the Tower. But, no, no cut was on his cheek in those scenes. I had heard he would get the wound in the forced march with the orcs, but, no, he had on a visored helmet. I don't know how it got there. Maybe there was a planned scene for struggling through the briars in the gully in the Morgai, but that would only be a scratch.

Perhaps there was a whole other Cirith Ungol scene, one that was like the book's, with Frodo being whipped by his captors, which they later changed, opting to transform the Tower scene into the temptation of Sam by the Ring?
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-24 23:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting, Mews. I am feeling a little drained. The screencaps, reviewing that section of the book, Jan's poem. And my dear, funny girl (girl? young woman is more like it) is leaving for Hawaii to start college on Saturday. *sob*
(Deleted comment)
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-08-24 23:27 (UTC) (Link)
Frodo's 'wheel of fire' speech is one of the most powerful passages in the book. It moved me tremendously the first time I read it. (The book has never made me cry, you know. Even after all these years, when it's so familiar to me, and I love it so much.)

I just love Ian Holm's delivery of the 'wheel of fire' speech. Some people, on hearing the BBC radio version after seeing the films, were disappointed with Holm's acting in this scene. I can't agree. I thought it was perfect, and I still do. I love Holm's Frodo for his steeliness and maturity ... here he sounds exhausted, drained of life and hope, knowing that the full weight of his grim destiny is about to descend on him, knowing there is no escape and no way out, he must see it through to the bitter end.

I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is nothing between me and the wheel of fire.

Meep meep meep. MEEEEP.

I'm not sold on Frolijah's panting delivery of the speech (I have no objection to his panting in any other context ... *snicker*) Ahem. *cough*

But he does look so very lovely, cradled in Sean Astin's arms.

(Lucky, lucky, lucky Sean.)

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-25 00:54 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmmm. I think I will stick with the story I told Maeglian (above). Except for his poor diction, considering where Fran and Philippa moved the "wheel of fire speech" - all the way to the slopes of Mt. Doom when Frodo could only make croaking sounds, and Sam could not swallow, he really would be panting and a little frantic. In the book, the wheel of fire speech has a much more melancholy, resigned, or regretful mood. As you say so well, Pearl:

"....exhausted, drained of life and hope, knowing that the full weight of his grim destiny is about to descend on him, knowing there is no escape and no way out, he must see it through to the bitter end."

In the book scene, Frodo is still able to walk and talk at that point. But on Mt. Doom, until Gollum's assault gives him his last spurt, he's really far more incapacitated, more the way he appears in the film.

I love Ian Holm in the whole of the Frodo role, and the Mordor scenes are each and every one a masterpiece between the two of them, Frodo and Sam. I remember being one of those listeners who found his Wheel of Fire speech a let-down, emotionally, having come from the film scene (although I greatly appreciated that I could understand every word), but I really did not take into account, then, what different places in the segment that speech came, between book and film.
ms_banazira at 2006-08-25 00:11 (UTC) (Link)
People couldn't make out Frodo's wheel of fire speach in the film?? I'd never heard that, or had any problem with it. But then I'd read the book, so I guess...But Elijah usually has such lovely diction. Well, okay, maybe he rushed that "Elbereth Githoniel..." (or whatever it was he said) bit in the passage of Cirith Ungol, but he had this huge spider breathing down his neck.

So you're seeing your daughter off to college, too. Alyrthia, her husband and their daughter spent the night with us last night; they're driving their daughter south to her college. I guess it's that time of our lives, isn't it?
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-25 01:15 (UTC) (Link)
Why, that's right, Honey. Alyon said she was leaving Tuesday. How super that you and she could get together, and wonderful that she and her family had you to stay with.

No, I could not understand most of Frodo's wheel of fire speech. When I imagined not already knowing the speech, his delivery was so broken, I am sure I would have found it largely indecipherable. "...Can' reca' the taste o'foo'....sou o' wat'...touch o'grass. 'M naked 'i the dar'.... no vei' 'twee' me a' the whee' o' fire. I c'n see'i'-- wi' my wakeen eyes!" I could tell what that meant, but others were clueless -- something about grass; naked; fire; eyes. But whatever it was, they knew it was terrifying Frodo, so I suppose that's what counted. Hey, it worked for me! I was just sorry more viewers didn't catch those great, potent lines.
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-08-25 05:09 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for all the wonderful screen caps! He looks like a painting!

The poem is beautiful and haunting, thank you to you and Jan-u-wine!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-25 11:53 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Starlit Woods. I agree. He's very like a painting. Well, he always is, but in this section the shots and lighting are more painterly than ever.

I hope Jan-u-wine gets over here to see your comment. It's just as you say.
aredhelebenesse
aredhelebenesse at 2006-08-25 06:10 (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear! Your post touched me to tears! The beauty of this angelic little creature seems not to be of this world. To see him covered with all the dirt, almost broken and despaired gives me this certain sort of pain in the stomach. But that all may be bearable, just this poem finally broke my heart! What a wonderful sad and touching piece. Well, in such moments I have always to tell myself "Everything will be good! Everything will be good! Everything will be good!" like a Mantra. If it will help? It never helped so far, but maybe I'll get once used to the picture of this wonderful poor gentle soul being almost broken and his beloved friend in sorrow and fear nearly despaired too. One will never know.
In fact, they both will find their way out and they'll get home again, but to which price! In the end they have the eternity on a sunny island, but that's not the Shire, not their beloved home!

Thank you so much for your lovely post and for those great pictures!

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-25 11:56 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Aredhelebenesse. And thanks for your heartfelt post. This Frodo really does bring all that out, doesn't he? When I become too sad, I think of him waking up in the Houses of Healing (or wherever he's supposed to be in the film version), bathed in golden-white light that almost looks a healing agent in itself, and seeing him wake up in disoriented, amazed joy.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-08-26 16:37 (UTC) (Link)
This is undoubtedly one of my favourite scenes. A perfect choice of caps from so many Mechtild.

This section always brings to mind the telepathic scene from the film, ‘The Two Towers, between Elrond and Galadriel.

Galadriel: "… The strength of the Ringbearer is failing. In his heart, Frodo begins to understand. The quest will claim his life."

Whenever I see that part I think of the Wheel of Fire speech and tear up in anticipation of what is to come.


The following, unselfish, words in Jan-u-Wines’s poem struck me very hard.

Maybe,
after I have gone,
you
will find your
way Home.



* * * *
I wish your daughter every happiness.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-26 22:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Estë. It was lovely to come home to a spate of your comments. (I got back a little while ago from driving my husband and daughter to the Twin Cities (160 miles from here) to take the plane to Hawaii.) I am feeling a little weepy, anyway. I wrote to Jan-u-wine a few days ago that only at the eleventh hour did it begin to sink in that our funny, ornery, lovely girl was really leaving. I'd have little short attacks of weeping or near weeping on and off over the last two days, like bursts of hysterical laughter, very short, but weepy, in stead.

I'm feeling rather melancholy in the house although the windows are streaming with the late afternoon light of the end of summer. See? "End of summer", and it makes me want to cry, just saying the words. It's the end of parental summer, I guess.

I think I need a really good cry tonight. No one is home to see me. It's just me and our lovely cats. I think I'll open a wine, scroll through all these unbearably beautiful but wounding caps, and watch RotK, which I haven't watched all the way through for a whole year.

Jan-u-wine's poem. Yes, it does that (strike one hard). Even before I got to these weepy last few days, while I prepared these entries I kept tearing up re-reading her poems. Heavens, she's got a way with opening up Frodo and his story in such a way that it kills me. Even when her poems are sweet and bucolic, portraying a small moment of joy or contentment (I just read one in which young Frodo is writing while Bilbo is teaching little-lad Sam to write his name for the first time), when she's at the top of her form they kill me anyway. I start weeping for the beauty of them as writing, but also because no matter how lovely the moment is in her happiest poems, you never forget that Frodo is doomed to such suffering, so that he will no longer be able to take joy in his life and land. Because he's that real in her poems.

I should open the rest of the mail. Then I'm opening that bottle of wine!
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-08-27 17:32 (UTC) (Link)
((((Mechtild))))

Don’t be too sad about your daughter leaving. In this modern day and age it is much easier to keep in touch. Eru bless the internet. What is she going to study? If I may be so bold as to ask. Do not feel obligated to answer that question.

I have decided that because I shall have the place to myself, in the evening for a few days, I shall watch the LOTR, TTT and the ROTK. I havn’t seen them since January of this year. I hope nobody calls me on the phone because I shall be using headphones through the stereo system. Can’t beat it and it prevents the neighbours from complaining. I read that you were worried that you would not like them anymore. I understand, but I can’t imagine that happening to you or any other of ‘we’ Frodo Freaks.

Once in love with Frodo, Always in love with Frodo..

‘nough said.

Frodo is such a complex character that it can be no easy task to write such beautiful poetry about him. Jan-u-wine is a marvel.

I read the three stories you linked. The one about the breeze was one of the most original stories I have ever read. I thought that the breeze could, in a way, be interpreted as a guardian angel or even Galadrial watching over Frodo.

‘On Gorgoroth Plain’ was also very moving and imaginative. I love it. There are so many ways to approach the subject, so many points of view.

It reminds me of the story of the ‘Titanic’. There is no end to the stories that could be written because of all the different lives it touched.

Ariel’s’ In the Dark’ is one of my old favourites and well worth several readings. Great stuff! So touching and frightening. I have read Tolkien’s Letters and have a vague memory that the Professor, in a letter to a fan, stated that Frodo would probably have thrown himself, together with the Ring into the fire.

I hope the wine was good. Cheers!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-27 17:50 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Este, I am feeling better today. Already I've spoken to Rachel thrice. Twice last night at her stop-over in Phoenix - forgot her headphones/could I send them - and this morning from Honolulu - suitcase with every bit of her clothes did not arrive with her last night. Will they be able to find it? Oh, no! Dad is a terrible shopper if they have to find time to buy clothes in HI. (They are both awful shoppers, actually, when it comes to clothes - Rachel has always disdained "girly" clothes, but is very picky about having the exactly right jeans and T-shirts.)

You had not read two of the stories? Good, then I am not the only one who had not. I had read Ariel's already, but only hers. It had been recommended in the Harem as a good, wrenching story. I also got the impression that the "breeze" in Breeze was almost anthropomorphic -- and female. I think I thought of it as one of those spirits, the minor-level maiar like Ulmo's water-spirits, but working for Elbereth. Frodo's Vala-protectoress seems to work through Galadriel, too.

So you will be watching the films? I only a got a little way into RotK last night, with Glen and Rachel's phone calls, then a really, really long one from a distressed friend.

Back to cleaning and maybe some film-watching!

*smooches to you*
taerie
taerie at 2006-08-28 18:21 (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I have ever actually seen these scenes clearly. I've always been sobbing uncontrollably.. almost physically ill. Even now. I'm soo certifiable. Nienna must be my patron Valar. If there was a prize for the most cardial hemorrhage produced for a fictional character, I would win. I am certain.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-08-28 19:33 (UTC) (Link)
[I'm re-posting - it didn't post my icon!! *grrrr*]

Awwww, Nienna your patron Vala? Oh, Taerie, that is so sweet and touching and self-revealing. She's an excellent Vala for Frodo. I have thought she was helping Frodo all along, with Elbereth and Manwe at the top, but with Nienna weeping for him, taking away some of his pain, and Ulmo whispering to him in all the waters of the earth, of redemption via the Sea, whether at Tom Bombadil's or on the quay at the Grey Havens.

I am just about to watch this scene this afternoon. I've been watching RotK in parts while I clean and do household chores before I have to go back to work. I'm all geared up, got my Kleenexes, and I'll be thinking of you.

Me, I cry the most when Frodo turns at the end, with that heart-wringing, soul-impaling, beatific smile. I'm a total puddle right there, more than all of Mordor and Mt. Doom.

P.S. I put your painting in an oak frame with a wide cream mat. It looks *fabulous*. It's on the wall in this room, right where I can see it all the time. When Glen gets back with the good camera, I'll have him photograph it. He said the painting was too big to go under their scanner at work. *sniffle*
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