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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Moria Pt. 2 ~ The troll attack, and "I'm not hurt"....

Posted on 2007.02.19 at 12:38
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This is the first of two sets of Balin's Tomb screencaps from the Moria sequence. This one shows the attack on Frodo and his friends in the tomb, the next will show the revealing of the mithril shirt.

I really only planned to make caps of the “Mithril Shirt” sequence, but I so appreciated the sight of Frodo overcoming fear to defend himself and his friends, I decided to make caps of that scene, too, as a lead-in. I love how when the Orcs break through the door and Gandalf sounds the call, not just Frodo but all the hobbits -- who had been paralyzed with terror -- are galvanized, giving their own battle cries, charging into the fray, weapons flailing.

The film does a fine job with the action, although it is already a tremendously exciting scene in the book. The dialogue is not kept, though. There’s no “For the Shire” or admiring quip about "the hobbit's bite". Except for Sam’s line (“I think I’m getting the hang of this!”), there’s mostly shouting, and the calling of each other’s names.



Book scene, abridged, from The Bridge of Khazad-dûm:

(…) There was a blow on the door that made it quiver; and then it began to grind slowly open, driving back the wedges. A huge arm and shoulder, with a dark skin of greenish scales, was thrust through the widening gap. Then a great, flat, toeless foot was forced through below. There was a dead silence outside.

Boromir leaped forward and hewed at the arm with all his might; but his sword rang, glanced aside, and fell from his shaken hand. The blade was notched.

Suddenly, and to his own surprise, Frodo felt a hot wrath blaze up in his heart. ‘The Shire!’ he cried, and springing beside Boromir, he stooped and stabbed with Sting at the hideous foot. There was a bellow, and the foot jerked back, nearly wrenching Sting from Frodo’s arm. Black drops dripped form the blade and smoked on the floor. Boromir hurled himself against the door and slammed it again.

‘One for the Shire!’ cried Aragorn. ‘The hobbit’s bite is deep! You have a good blade, Frodo son of Drogo!’

(…) But even as they retreated, and before Pippin and Merry had reached the stair outside, a huge orc-chieftain, almost man-high, clad in black mail from head to foot, leaped into the chamber; behind him his followers clustered in the doorway. His broad flat face was swart, his eyes were like coals, and his tongue was read; he wielded a great spear. With a thrust of his huge shield he turned Boromir’s sword and bore him backwards, throwing him to the ground. Diving under Aragorn’s blow with the speed of a striking snake he charged into the Company and thrust with his spear straight at Frodo. The blow caught him on the right side, and Frodo was hurled against the wall and pinned. Sam, with a cry, hacked at the spearshaft, and it broke. But even as the orc flung down the truncheon and swept out his scimitar, Andúril came down upon his helm. There was a flash like flame and the helm burst asunder. The orc fell with cloven head. His followers fled howling, as Boromir and Aragorn sprang at them.

Doom, doom went the drums in the deep. The great voice rolled out again.

~*~



The film's battle scene is sketched by the caps below: the four hobbits stand wary, pulling close together as the noise of the drums builds and blows are struck upon the door. They draw their swords. When through the breaking door they see glimpses of Orc faces and their weapons, they stand paralyzed. But at Gandalf's command they rush into the fray. The troll breaks through and the cousins hide behind a pillar. Sam whacks Orcs with his pan, while the troll finds the others in their hiding place. Frodo is hiding behind the pillar again, but the troll sniffs him out, too. Startled, he stumbles back into the corner. The troll grabs him by the right foot and pulls Frodo towards him; he calls for Aragorn as he whacks at the troll's forearm with Sting. Aragorn intervenes, leaping in, and spears the troll. But the troll is tough and dashes Aragorn against a wall, who falls dazed. Frodo runs to Aragorn but the troll follows. Frodo brandishes Sting again, smiting under its forearm, but the troll blocks Frodo with the spear shaft, and he is thrown back. It is then that the troll is able to spear Frodo, pinning him against the wall.


As usual, all the caps have been cropped and tweaked for brightness, contrast and focus.






~ The troll attack in Balin’s tomb, from the EE of FotR:


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~*~




Overcoming one's fear in order to come to the aid of others is a recurring motif, when it comes to combat. I noted that in the book it is when Frodo sees Boromir's assault fail against the troll, his sword glancing aside notched, Frodo surprises himself, yelling, "For the Shire" and lunging in to strike. Similarly in the Barrow downs, it was the sight of his friends in mortal peril that moved Frodo to overcome his intense fear to act.

In the film, Frodo wields Sting the first time in self-defense (because the troll is dragging him in for the kill). But the second time he strikes, it's to protect Aragorn. Likewise, when Merry and Pippin are inspired to leap upon the back of the troll, using their swords, it is in response to seeing Frodo fall. These are book-faithful touches and I appreciate them.

The main difference between the book and film scenes is that when Frodo falls, in the book the action continues, the Fellowship still under attack. In the film, everything comes to a hault, time suspended (no doubt meant to be a book-end to the moment when Shelob stings him in RotK). The attack resumes only after a period of extended slo-mo close-ups of Frodo reacting with echoing groans, other voices calling, "Frodo!".

As the following excerpt shows, dialogue that takes place in the film in a quiet moment while Frodo recovers from the spear-thrust, in the book is exchanged on the run. I love that Aragorn thinks he’s carrying a lifeless Frodo over his shoulder until the body speaks up. “I am all right. I can walk. Put me down!” Frodo protests to Aragorn's surprise. As I typed this, I kept thinking of the scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail when one of the plague dead, hoisted over a shoulder, keeps protesting feebly, “I’m not dead yet!"




Book scene continued, abridged, from The Bridge of Khazad-dûm:

‘Now!’ shouted Gandalf. ‘Now is the last chance. Run for it!’

Aragorn picked up Frodo where he lay by the wall and made for the stair, pushing Merry and Pippin in front of him. The others followed (…).

‘I am all right,’ gasped Frodo. ‘I can walk. Put me down!’

Aragorn nearly dropped him in his amazement. ‘I thought you were dead’ he cried.

‘Not yet!’ said Gandalf. ‘But there is not time for wonder. Off your go, all of you, down the stairs.’

(…Gandalf tells about putting the shutting spell on the door as they catch their breath.) ‘And now what about you, Frodo? There was not time to say so, but I have never been more delighted in my life than when you spoke. I feared that it was a brave but dead hobbit that Aragorn was carrying.’

‘What about me?’ said Frodo. ‘I am alive, and whole I think. I am bruised and in pain, but it is not too bad.’

‘Well,’ said Aragorn, ‘I can only say that hobbits are made of a stuff so tough that I have never met the like of it. Had I known, I would have spoken softer in the Inn at Bree! That spear-thrust would have skewered a wild boar!’

‘Well, it did not skewer me, I am glad to say,’ said Frodo; ‘though I feel as if I had been caught between a hammer and an anvil.’ He said no more. He found breathing painful.

‘You take after Bilbo,’ said Gandalf. ‘There is more about you than meets the eye, as I said of him long ago.’ Frodo wondered if the remark meant more than it said.


~*~







~ Pulled up by Aragorn, Frodo revives, assuring the others, "I'm not hurt".


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* Note to opera fans: Doesn't Frodo look as though he's singing a plaintive aria in these caps with his hand to his breast?



~*~




~ Mechtild




Recent Screencap Entries:

Moria Pt. 1: "The Pity of Bilbo", plus jan-u-wine's In Durin's Halls.
Moria Pt. 2: Troll attack and "I'm not hurt".
Moria Pt. 3: The Mithril Shirt ~ A Screen Icon.

Links to all other LotR screencaps: HERE.



Comments:


Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-02-19 19:01 (UTC) (Link)
I love seeing the movie this way. I suspect this battle was very difficult to film.

the next will show the revealing of the mithril shirt.

I can't wait. That's one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-19 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Shirebound, it had to have been difficult to film, moreover difficult to conceptualize in detail, since it had to be created in large part by the just-coming-into-being effects (esp. CGI) team at Weta.

Having read Sibley's book about Peter Jackson, I look on this scene with even greater awe. The special effects team really cut their teeth on this scene; making the troll and all the effects work.

Since I wasn't a film fan until later, I knew nothing about the 20 minute preview -- which included a lot of the Moria sequence -- shown at Cannes that brought viewers to their feet. The footage and the response to it so relieved the producers agonizing at New Line that they were able to take some of the pressure off Peter and his artists. Up to that point, they had been bearing down heavily, terrified that they would end up with nothing to show for all their investments (pulled in from backers all over the world, many of whom were "betting the farm"), that it would amount to an expensive, unfinishable flop.
mews1945
mews1945 at 2007-02-19 20:21 (UTC) (Link)
It's just amazing to see these shots, and realize just how much went into that battle scene, with all the actors doing their individual parts and the cameras filming. It's great editing that cut all those pieces together into a basically coherent whole, so that we can see Aragorn and Boromir working together to save Sam, and Gimli so fearlessly striking with his axe, then the hobbits in mortal peril, but fighting back to defend one another. Lovely work, Mechtild.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-19 21:02 (UTC) (Link)
See my note to Shirebound above, Mews, on how much went into the creation of this scene -- and the whole Moria sequence.

Didn't you just love that little exchange between Aragorn and Boromir when Aragorn launches his sword through the throat of the Orc just about to take out Boromir, and Aragorn seems to be saying, "There. Are we even?"
Mona
lame_pegasus at 2007-02-19 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't Frodo look as though he's singing a plaintive aria in these caps with his hand to his breast?

Ab-so-lu-te-ly. Something from Verdi, I'd say. He would make a marvelous Don Carlos.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-20 03:43 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes, Verdi! So much suffering and passion! And he'd look smashing in the dark, severe costumes. But he'd be wonderful as Prince Tamino in the Magic Flute, too. (I volunteer to play Pamina.)
Mariole
mariole at 2007-02-20 05:50 (UTC) (Link)
I think "listening Frodo" is one of the most gorgeous things ever. *licks him*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-20 06:08 (UTC) (Link)
It's the ears. ;)
Prim
primula_baggins at 2007-02-20 13:57 (UTC) (Link)
Fantastic! I'd never noticed before how much emotion Frodo shows in these scenes, especially in the first group of screep caps. That was some great acting. Thanks muchly for making these.

I remember the first few times I watched the scene where Frodo is "stabbed" by the troll, I was puzzled as to why he acted dead when he wasn't. For some reason it took me a long time to realize that even though not mortally wounded because of the mithril's protection, the blow itself knocked him out and bruised him. Sometimes I can be quite dense! : D
Prim
primula_baggins at 2007-02-20 14:01 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I was going to say too that it still amazes me how well Elijah could act like he was afraid of the troll attacking him when he was probably looking at a tennis ball on a stick or something! :D
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-20 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, "tennis ball acting", lol. All of them had to get it down to an art. In the bio of Jackson it was noted that Ian McKellen found it very exasperating, having to play his Balrog scene ("You shall not pass!") to a tennis ball. He did a pretty fabulous job, too.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-02-20 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
These caps and your commentary are much appreciated. I love especially cap No. 20 where Frodo’s bitten finger-nails are very noticeable.

Regarding opera. I thought of Puccini's 'Tosca', with Frodo singing the part of Mario *sniff-blubber*.

On a happier note:

(“I think I’m getting the hang of this!”),

I remember reading, at the Harem perhaps, with reference to Sam whacking the orcs with the frying pan.

Quote: 'The pan is mightier than the sword'

*guffaw*

If I read it at the Harem I’m almost certain that it was Pearl that said it. It is soooo Pearl (waves to Pearl flap-flap-flap :-D )

--Estë
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-20 14:25 (UTC) (Link)


That's hilarious! And, yes! Tosca! I'd die hearing EW sing Cavaradossi's song in prison (if EW could sing like that, of course)!

I'd love him in Ponchielli's "La Gioconda", too. (What a soap opera epic! - I don't know if it's that popular anymore; it was a tremendous vehicle for Maria Callas. Peaple typically only know The Dance of the Hours from it, the music the hippos and alligators dance to in Disney's Fantasia.) Ah, the heated scene with Enzo on the isle of tombs! I used to play Maria Callas singing her passionate "Suicidio!" aria all the time in the car when Rachel was little and she'd listen to opera with me or watch tapes of them. She'd say, "Play the 'kill herself' song, Mom!"
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-02-20 14:31 (UTC) (Link)
"Play the 'kill herself' song, Mom!"

That is so cute!
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2007-02-20 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
Just a short comment to let you know: you made may day!!!
At work we are in the same situation of the fellowship in Balin's Tomb, but because of your pics now I'm smiling.

Look at the 11th pic: the Beauty and the Beast. :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-20 20:15 (UTC) (Link)
Greetings, Estelanui. Thank you for commenting.

"Beauty and the Beast", indeed! I don't think we'll see any true love budding between these two, though. :)
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-02-20 22:22 (UTC) (Link)
“Doesn't Frodo look as though he's singing a plaintive aria in these caps with his hand to his breast?”

Word to this. He would be perfect for Verdi’s Don Juan. Passionate, powerful, suffering *sigh*
He reminds me on Jose Carreras singing a wonderful song in Ariel Ramirez' Misa Criolla, too... so sad, very touching and sooo emotional *sigh*

I love those shots, though in the films all happens very fast, shouting, fighting …
Frodo-Elijah … perfect acting, so many emotions – I didn’t notice – until now.
Those battle sequence in the book is a great part. And it was surely hard to realise it . Weta and PJ did a great job, don’t you think?
The fellowship fighting all for one the first time …

The caps are gorgeous, I could look at them for hours. There are sooo many details to see. Amazing.
Thank you, lovey, for your fantastic quotes and pictures. It’s always a pleasure to stay here. You made my night.

Hugs tight,
Julchen
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-21 16:58 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to tarry so long in answering, Julchen, but I was thoroughly wrapped up, working through the night and this morning on the last Moria post (about the mithril shirt).

Yes, he'd be great in Verdi. I often think of LotR in operatic terms; the filmmakers seemed to, too, daring to make very bold strokes on the visual and musical canvas.

I, too, think this battle sequence excellently done. It's not just some good bashing about, it really helps highlight the characters and relationships in each and every role. Bravo to the whole film team!
taerie
taerie at 2007-02-20 23:24 (UTC) (Link)
Gosh it is so sweet to be able to SEE what is going on here. You have done a great job of bringing out the detail for the benefit of those of us hungry to gaze upon the exalted face.
That part in the book where Aragorn nearly drops Frodo never fails to make me laugh out loud. I need to laugh right about then.. It is such a relief of tension.
And great minds must think alike.. I always think of that old man in that Monty Python sketch too. "I'm not dead yet. I think I'll go for a walk."
Frodo OUGHT to be good and dead at that point despite the shirt. A hammer and anvil would not deliver anywhere near the blow he took there. Hobbit toughness and Elf magic are amazing things.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-21 16:54 (UTC) (Link)
Taerie! It's good to see you. I didn't answer this when you posted because I have been deeply involved making the Pt. 3 of this series, staying up till all hours then slaving away all morning.

Isn't that just too Monty Python? Well, Tolkien came first, and I am sure all the Pythoners knew LotR.

Frodo OUGHT to be good and dead at that point despite the shirt. A hammer and anvil would not deliver anywhere near the blow he took there. Hobbit toughness and Elf magic are amazing things.

I'm thinking one or two ribs were at least cracked, judging from the sort of pain Frodo was in. And no wonder, having been dealt that kind of blow. Poor laddy! I so love Aragorn for making those pads of soft cloth to put over the area, and for hanging on to that athelas.
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-02-28 14:57 (UTC) (Link)
Mechtild, you make the most wonderful screencaps. A lot of these look like they should be framed and hung in the Louvre. *happy sigh*

Thank you so much for them!!! *hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-02-28 22:37 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you've got Bandwench's icon! I told her I liked it even better cropped like that than as the whole image. It accentuates the feeling of eye contact with the viewer, and makes him look so... I don't know... like some magical creature one came across in a secret wood.

Oh -- you're welcome! (Almost forgot!) And thanks for commenting!
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-03-01 09:26 (UTC) (Link)
*happy* Yes, she kindly let me use it!!! *beams and stares at it more* I, too, think the cropped version brings out something that is easily overlooked in the full version, but I like the big one nonetheless. :) And apparently she is going to post an even bigger version with foothair and all. YAY!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-01 16:36 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I'm waiting for the "full-foot nudity" version, too. We had a little back-and-forth in her thread in which I asked for a BIG version of the crop she made an icon, and a look at her foot work. I have never seen an illustration of their feet that I really liked. If they don't look like they are growing mere pubic hair (hardly thick enough to keep even a pudenda warm, much less bare feet) there, like in the films, the hobbits look like they are wearing toupees on their insteps. If she has a viable furry-foot look, I'd be interested to see it.
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-03-02 14:25 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I am looking forward to finding out how she will do the foothair, too!! Somehow I've always thought it should be wavy and silken and much like fur but also look like it belongs there. I hope she has found a good way to make the hair look realistic. :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-02 14:54 (UTC) (Link)
Maybe she'll post her results on Monday. That will be fun!
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