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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Frodo Returns to Bag End ~ "And All the Small and Simple Things" by jan-u-wine....

Posted on 2006.09.16 at 17:53
Tags: , ,
Now begins the “End Scenes” series, after which I intend to put screencapping aside for a while. I have an ‘addictive personality’ -- and stop-pausing through Frodo film material is highly addictive. So is fiddling with it afterwards, tweaking and trimming and cropping. It’s just as pleasurable as fiddling with Art Travesty manips. (Yes, I used to pick my scabs when I was little.)

This first series of caps is from RotK. Three establishing shots (“How do you pick up the threads of an old life...?”) are followed by a short series of medium shots of Frodo at his desk.


From Tolkien’s text ~ The Grey Havens:
Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvelous year. Not only was there wonderful sunshine and delicious rain, in due times and perfect measure, but there seemed something more: an air of richness and growth, and a gleam of a beauty beyond that of mortal summers that flicker and pass upon Middle-earth….
 

Sam stayed at first at the Cotton’s with Frodo; but when the New Row was ready he went with the Gaffer. In addition to all his other labours he was busy directing the cleaning up and restoring of Bag End; but he was often away in the Shire on his forestry work. So he was not at home in early March and did not know that Frodo had been ill. On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton had found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.
 

‘It is gone for ever,’ he said, ‘and now all is dark and empty.’
 

But the fit passed, and when Sam got back on the twenty-fifth, Frodo had recovered, and he said nothing about himself. In the meanwhile Bag End had been set in order, and Merry and Pippin came over from Crickhollow bringing back all the old furniture and gear, so that the old hole soon looked very much as it always had done.
 
 
 

~*~


As usual, all the caps have been adjusted for sharpness, brightness, and contrast.





~ From the “Red Book” scene in RotK, theatrical full-screen version:


 












~ Same scene, but from the EE version, wide-screen (cropped):


 


 


 


 


 


 




I chose those caps to open this section, but also to complement a poem by jan-u-wine called, “And All the Small and Simple Things”. It’s a poem that looks at the Shire, freshly cleansed and renewed from Sharkey’s debauch of it, through Frodo's eyes.

A scholarly reader of this poem [from a serious Tolkien periodical] loved how it evoked, “such clear and familiar and gorgeous pictures, like exquisite little Vermeers.”
 
I couldn’t agree more. 

The poem is posted below the caps.



~*~



And All the Small and Simple Things (Frodo's impressions of Bag End, back from Quest)

~ jan-u-wine



and all the small and simple things......

________________________

the gate's crooked edge,
bound,
closed
against the night,

tiny frightened
tongues
of the fire
licking
green
and red,
spitting
sudden vehemence
into the sky
of the flue,

the hard,
cracked
ridge
of tile,
dusty by the door....

the door.......

the door.

Defier of darkness,
gateway....

ever-beckoning

gateway,
upon whose kindly face
I rest
my Road-weary head......

the clean rub of linen
folding tight
about me,
the soft wind-smell
of blankets dried in autumn gardens....
the ever-falling drift of sweet/sharp-quilled
mattress...
pillows.....white and deep
as snow-drifts......

lazy amber-eyed sun,
light spilling
slowly
up the length
of the bed.....

ice,
brittle,
sharp as teeth....
cold,
cold upon the blue
face of the basin....

the odd, harsh
comfort
of the water's
shocking
chill.

the summer yellow
of butter,
pooling
into pillowed,
lemony eggs,
lying like daisy-eyes
against the black
of the battered pan.

the wide, white warmth of
milk,
winking
in its pail....
heavy
with scent of honest earth.

the pure
crisp
brown
of honey'd loaves,
steam rising
as they rest on the oven's
open mouth......

sticky-sweetness
of seed-cake,
autumn leaf-smell
of tea
steeping
in the cracked mustard-yellow
pot.

two plain cups,
side-by-plain-side,
fine,
to me,
as any
service for a king,
upon the strewn
plank of the table.

the garden.

the tumult
of the roses,
dizzying
in the blaze of sun,

the tender sweet green
of saplings
entwined
by solemn
unyielding
deep-delving
roots........

and the small
and simple
Master
of it all......


My hand
closes about
the sturdy gnarled
form
of those very same roots,

so close,
so
wonderfully close
above my head....

my eyes open,
it seems,
from faded dream.

There is too much
color....

too much scent....

too much sound

about me.


There is too much
for me
to feel.

I look into the calm
burnished gilt
of the glass:

I touch the face reflected
there.

I have not looked
into my own eyes
for many a lonely day.

I find myself
sitting
behind the study's
high desk.

This room holds
a silence
peopled with purpose,
heavy with life.

My life......

it waited for me,
here,
safe
within this sun-lit
warmth.

carefully,
I pick up the pen that
has lain, untouched
for what seems an age.

The ink is dark upon the gold glitter of the nib.

Elvish letters
spill
in light
and beauty,
silver-starr'd
upon the page.

No less a wonder,
the crystal
drops
that fall
with joy
to lie alongside them.

_________
and all the small
and
simple things.


[the poet's postscript]

No one has ever deserved to come Home more.




~*~



Jan-u-wine's LotR-based poetry may be found here.

Next Entry (Frodo Writes the Red Book, Pt. I) HERE.

Listing for ALL Frodo Screencaps here.



~ Mechtild



Comments:


(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-17 01:27 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Mews, that's it, isn't it? You said, "beauty...so sharp it brings tears".

Thanks so much for commenting.
mammajamma
plaidpjs at 2006-09-17 01:44 (UTC) (Link)
Forgive me, but I found this on my f-of-f list and had to comment.

Yes, oh yes. And the poetry is simply perfect. Thank you.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-17 03:02 (UTC) (Link)
It is a fabulous poem, isn't it?

Hey, welcome, Plaid PJ's (I feel as though I have commented with you somewhere before; your user name is very memorable!). No need to ask forgiveness. *big grin* The door here is wide open to all Frodo and Tolkien fans (and anyone else who drops in!).
Lily Dragonquill
lily_the_hobbit at 2006-09-17 08:04 (UTC) (Link)
I love this scene so much. Frodo's words (how do you pick up...?) have me in tears every single time. This is one of the few scenes where I think that movie Frodo comes close to book Frodo - reflective and wise and so many things more I cannot put into words.


jan-u-wine's poem is really amazing. It took me a moment to get into it and then I was swept away with it. Frodo's voice rings clearly between the lines.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-17 13:30 (UTC) (Link)
Lily, I love this scene, too, for its elegiac quality, the lighting, and the wonderful quality of Frodo's voice-over work here. I don't even have to see the images; I can hear it all in his voice. I have seen other films in which EW's voice-over narration leaves a lot to be desired, so I have wondered if there just wasn't something about Frodo that struck a strong chord for him. He never had read the book, and the filmmakers gave him a slightly altered character to play, but he did wonderful things with it, sinking right into it until EW could not be seen or heard.

I think this is one of jan's very best poems for creating significant, telling visual images in the reader's mind to convey Frodo's mood and insights.
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-09-17 13:05 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely, lovely poem. :) Such rich and sensuous images ... I feel Frodo striving to feel alive again ... when he feels dead inside. :(

One of the incredible things about this film production is the attention to detail given. Look at Bag End. All the joyful clutter and bustling chaos of Frodo-living-with-Bilbo has gone. All the books and maps left untidily about, piled high, testaments to Bilbo's vigorous love of all things Elvish, and history, and story-telling ... signs of the warm and cosy home he made for his nephew.

All gone. Frodo wanders aimlessly around a perfect, polished, empty and sterile Bag End.

:( So sad. And listen to Howard Shore's score here. It's the melancholy minor descant to the Shire theme.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-17 13:33 (UTC) (Link)
All gone. Frodo wanders aimlessly around a perfect, polished, empty and sterile Bag End.

Exactly. I remarked about on its "elegiac" tone, the lighting - autumnal - as if all the plants and trees outside have already lost their leaves letting in that soft white light. But the sheer unlived-in, tidiness of Bag End tells so much. It's as if he never really moved in after Sam and the rest put it back into shape. He just "abided" there, as he geared himself up to do the inevitable: leave.

Howard Shore's scoring! *sobs luxuriously*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-17 13:40 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely, lovely poem. :) Such rich and sensuous images ... I feel Frodo striving to feel alive again ... when he feels dead inside. :(

You know, I think I disagree, there, Pearl. Not about the poem being lovely; it is; but about him feeling dead inside. The film shows him nearly dead to joy in those opening Bag End scenes, prowling the house, but this poem and some other (rare) fics, like the ones just after his recovery in Minas Tirith by Zazinka (Flourish), like "The Boat" (super little fic) do well portraying a Frodo that really still hoped he might be healed, if slowly, by returning to the Shire and its well-loved beauties.

I tend to think that his positive anticipation would still be there when he first returned and reclaimed Bag End, still hopeful when Sam and Rosie moved in, even; but the continuing malaise would reveal to him, by not going away, even intensifying incrementally, that "there was no going back to an old life", when, as Frodo puts it in the film,

when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back. There are some things that time can not mend. Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.”
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-09-18 13:01 (UTC) (Link)
I tend to think that his positive anticipation would still be there when he first returned and reclaimed Bag End, still hopeful when Sam and Rosie moved in, even; but the continuing malaise would reveal to him, by not going away, even intensifying incrementally, that "there was no going back to an old life" ...

Actually, I think that's what I meant. :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-18 13:20 (UTC) (Link)
Oh. D'uh. Well, then. I suppose I made myself clearer in my own mind, anyway. *grin*

You are next up, Pearl. I hope to get those posts up today. I'm still figuring out the screencaps (which, where, etc.). *hugs self in anticipation*
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-09-18 19:18 (UTC) (Link)
ooooooooh. :)

*smiles broadly*
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-18 11:25 (UTC) (Link)
To me the beauty and emotion of this scene are beyond words – the caps are stunning – thank you Mechtild.


My life......

it waited for me,
here,
safe
within this sun-lit
warmth.


*Sob*

How am I to get through this day? I too have ’crystal drops that fall’ whilst reading Jan-u-wines devastating poetry.

I wonder what my life would have been if I had not left England behind. This poem is very poignant. It speaks to me.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-18 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, Este. I am glad you were able to drop in and read this poem. It is quite exquisite and so moving.

Does this poem make you think of Home, with the same warm thoughts as Frodo? I suppose the look and "feel" of your present country is very different from England, when I come to think of it. I only know its look from films and photographs, since I haven't visited the country where you live, but it usually looks more strictly north-woods; more evergreens and aspen and birch -- like here in Minnesota. English landscapes and interiors in paintings and films tend to look quite different. More lush, the plants more various. The impression its land and little villages and crofts makes is serenely bucolic. "Pastoral"; "idyllic". Or so Tolkien makes his homeland seem. Would that be true for the most part?
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-19 09:50 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, Este. I am glad you were able to drop in and read this poem. It is quite exquisite and so moving.

Does this poem make you think of Home, with the same warm thoughts as Frodo?

Oh yes, Jan’s poem really increased my longing to visit England more often than I do at present. I feel I can identify with those warm thoughts of Frodo’s.

I suppose the look and "feel" of your present country is very different from England, when I come to think of it. I only know its look from films and photographs, since I haven't visited the country where you live, but it usually looks more strictly north-woods; more evergreens and aspen and birch -- like here in Minnesota. English landscapes and interiors in paintings and films tend to look quite different. More lush, the plants more various. The impression its land and little villages and crofts makes is serenely bucolic. "Pastoral"; "idyllic". Or so Tolkien makes his homeland seem.

Would that be true for the most part?


Yes that is so.

I have been told that the Swedish settlers chose to set-up-shop in Minnesota, because it was almost identical to the Swedish countryside they had left behind.

I get the impression that Canada and the wooded parts of Sweden are very similar. I have never been to Canada but I am a ‘Discovery Channel’ fan, so I get the idea.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-19 21:26 (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'd rather live in England than Minnesota ANY day. :)
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-18 14:51 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it's a beaut, White Gull.

As to the switching of hands that lost the finger, I have no idea why the filmmakers did that, none at all. And I have never read anything anywhere telling why. It's a strong film image, though, so much so that an icredibly book-loving, book-drenched friend of mine, writing a post-Quest fanfic about Frodo (an excellent one) portrayed the missing finger as being from Frodo's left hand. How abashed she was when a reader commented, erm, didn't she mean his right? She changed it at once. But it showed us both how strongly the films have influenced what we see when we think we are remembering the book. I hadn't caught it, either, and I had proof-read it for her several times.
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-18 15:44 (UTC) (Link)
I am a reader who never did pay attention to which hand it was, but that it had been the ring finger, not the index finger. I assumed the filmmakers thought it didn't matter which hand it was missing from or which finger. But they already had had establishing shots of Frodo putting on the Ring or trying not to, always with him putting the Ring on his left index finger.

Perhaps what happened was that in the very first hobbit shoot, which was the one in which they are frightened to death under the tree roots, Elijah Wood simply did it that way, not knowing which hand it was supposed to be. They liked the shot, didn't reshoot, and when making all subsequent Ring/ Ring temptation shots, repeated that choice. Or, because PJ is keenly into visual "bookends", because his Sauron on the battlefield wore the Ring on the first finger of his left hand, so should everyone else. Isildur slipped it on that finger of that hand, so Frodo would have to, too, to keep the image consistent. That's just a guess, of course.
julchen11
julchen11 at 2006-09-18 22:23 (UTC) (Link)
Oh dearie, what a wonderful post. It brought tears into my eyes, the gorgeous screencaps, the heartbreaking poem, the postscript. I love this scene so very much, the poem fits so very well. This all makes my heart beat a little faster.
Thank you Mechtild and thank you Jan-u-wine for your incredible jobs.
*hugs you both very tight*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-19 01:05 (UTC) (Link)
Julchen, as usual your comments make me feel very warm and appreciated, as a person (although you do not know me), and as a fan-artist. I hope Jan drops by and sees your comments.
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