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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-a ~ “Now that I see him, I do pity him.”

Posted on 2007.04.18 at 18:32
Tags: , ,
~*~


There are far too many caps for this scene to present in one post, so I am dividing them up into two entries, also dividing up the film script to go with them. Since the film scene reverses the order of parts of the book’s dialogue, however, the book scene sections won’t perfectly fit with the caps. Just so you'll know.


~*~



In the book version of this scene, the whole discussion about Gollum serving as their guide to Mordor happens directly after the night attack (Sam attacking Gollum, with Frodo lending his assistance).

The tying-up of Gollum (which I will post in the next entry), doesn’t come until he tries to sneak off. It is after Gollum cries pathetically at being tied that Frodo extracts Gollum’s promise to serve him, the “Master of the Precious.” Note, too, that Frodo calls Gollum Sméagol for the first time in this scene, but nothing special is made of it.



Book scene ~ from "The Taming of Sméagol", TTT.


Frodo and Sam have been sleeping in the cold night of the Emyn Muil. Frodo gets up to go on guard when he spots Gollum climbing down the wall of rock, spider-wise. They watch and wait, determined to do something about the creature who has been following them since Moria. When Gollum slips and falls to the ground, Sam makes his lunge. Gollum is too quick and strong, though, and soon has Sam overpowered. Things might have gone ill if Frodo hadn’t sprung up, drawing Sting from its sheath.


‘Let go! Gollum,’ he said. ‘This is Sting. You have seen it before once upon a time. Let go, or you’ll feel it this time! I’ll cut your throat.’

Gollum collapsed and went as loose as wet string. Sam got up, fingering his shoulder. His eyes smouldered with anger, but he could not avenge himself: his miserable enemy lay grovelling on the stones whimpering.

‘Don’t hurt us! Don’t let them hurt us, precious! They won’t hurt us will they, nice little hobbitses? We didn’t mean no harm, but they jumps on us like cats on poor mices, they did, precious. And we’re so lonely, gollum. We’ll be nice to them, very nice, if they’ll be nice to us, won’t we, yes, yess.’

‘Well, what’s to be done with it?’ said Sam. ‘Tie it up, so it can’t come sneaking after us no more, I say.’

‘But that would kill us, kill us,’ whimpered Gollum. ‘Cruel little hobbitses. Tie us up in the cold hard lands and leave us, gollum, gollum.’ Sobs welled up in his gobbling throat.

‘No,’ said Frodo. ‘If we kill him, we must kill him outright. But we can’t do that, as things are. Poor wretch! He has done us no harm.’

‘Oh, hasn’t he!’ said Sam rubbing his shoulder. ‘Anyway he meant to, and he means to, I’ll warrant. Throttle us in our sleep, that’s his plan.’

‘I daresay,’ said Frodo. ‘But what he means to do is another matter.’ He paused for a while in thought. Gollum lay still, but stopped whimpering. Sam stood glowering over him.

It seemed to Frodo then that he heard, quite plainly but far off, voices out of the past:


What a pity Bilbo did not stab the vile creature, when he had a chance!

Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need.

I do not feel any pity for Gollum. He deserves death.

Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.

‘‘Very well,’ he answered aloud, lowering his sword. ‘But still I am afraid. And yet, as you see, I will not touch the creature. For now that I see him, I do pity him.’

Sam stared at his master, who seemed to be speaking to some one who was not there. Gollum lifted his head.

‘Yess, wretched we are, precious,’ he whined. ‘Misery misery! Hobbits won’t kill us, nice hobbits.’

‘No, we won’t,’ said Frodo. ‘But we won’t let you go, either. You’re full of wickedness and mischief, Gollum. You will have to come with us, that’s all, while we keep an eye on you. But you must help us, if you can. One good turn deserves another.’

‘Yess, yes indeed,’ said Gollum sitting up. ‘Nice hobbits! We will come with them. Find them safe paths in the dark, yes we will. And where are they going in these cold hard lands, we wonders, yes we wonders?’ He looked up at them, and a faint light of cunning and eagerness flickered for a second in his pale blinking eyes.

Sam scowled at him, and sucked his teeth; but he seemed to sense there was something odd about his master’s mood and that the matter was beyond argument. All the same he was amazed at Frodo’s reply.

Frodo looked straight into Gollum’s eyes which flinched and twisted away. ‘You know that, or you guess well enough, Sméagol,’ he said, quietly and sternly. ‘We are going to Mordor, of course. And you know the way there, I believe.’

‘Ach! sss!’ said Gollum, covering his ears with his hands, as if such frankness, and the open speaking of the names, hurt him. ‘We guessed, yes we guessed,’ he whispered; ‘and we didn’t want them to go, did we? No, precious, not the nice hobbits. Ashes, ashes, and dust, and thirst there is; and pits, pits, pits, and Orcs, thousands of Orcses. Nice hobbits mustn’t go to—sss—those places.’

‘So you have been there?’ Frodo insisted. ‘And you’re being drawn back there, aren’t you?’

Frodo makes Gollum admit that he has been there, implies that he was tortured there, shakes his hand against the Dark Lord in the East, and falls to the ground whimpering, telling "him" to “Go away!”.


’He will not go away or go to sleep at your command, Sméagol,’ said Frodo. ‘But if you really wish to be free of him again, then you must help me.’ (…)

Gollum sat up again and looked at him under his eyelids. ‘He’s over there,’ he cackled. ‘Always there. Orcs will take you all the way…. Don’t ask Sméagol. Poor, poor Sméagol, he went away long ago. They took his Precious, and now he’s lost.’

‘Perhaps we’ll find him again, if you come with us,’ said Frodo.

‘No, no, never! He’s lost his Precious,’ said Gollum.

‘Get up!’ said Frodo.

Gollum stood up and backed away against the cliff.

‘Now!’ said Frodo. ‘Can you find a path easier by day or by night? We’re tired; but if you choose the night, we’ll start tonight.’

‘The big light hurts our eyes, they do,’ Gollum whined. ‘Not under the White Face, not yet. It will go behind the hills soon, yess. Rest a bit first, nice hobbits!’

‘Then sit down,’ said Frodo, ‘and don’t move!’



~*~




On the film scene.

I do think, with one reservation (saved for the next post), the scene of their first dealings with Gollum is very well-done in the film. It accomplishes a lot with not very much dialogue, strongly setting up the “triangle” dynamic that is so important for the film’s portrayal of these three. It’s not the dynamic that’s in the book, but it works for the films.

Sam in the book is protective and concerned for his master, and he nurses his suspicions and grievances—but primarily in silence. He does not openly call Frodo’s decisions into question—and he does not physically bully Gollum. Book Gollum is scheming and pathetic, but truly pathetic, more obviously wretched and careworn. And since he has never laid hands on the hobbits, when he struggles with Sam it’s really in self-defense. Therefore he is far less deserving of harsh treatment than his film counterpart. Frodo in the book scene feels pity for Gollum in his wretchedness, and shows mercy, but he is clear-eyed and sharp in his assessment of him.

In the film, Sam is protective but also jealous, his roiling emotions continually bursting forth in heated protests to Frodo, as well as bullying Gollum. Film Gollum is scheming and pathetic, but he has an almost winsome charm. Viewers of TTT said they “just loved” Gollum, he was “so cute”. Few readers have found Gollum cute or lovable. But, like Frodo, they might feel true pity for him, however loathsome and untrustworthy he was.

The character most changed from the book in this scene is probably Frodo. Film Frodo, portrayed with an intense empathic identification with Gollum, is not only merciful, but eventually credulous. Sam, fearing it, and goaded by jealousy, keeps attacking Gollum, verbally or physically. And every time Sam attacks, Frodo, from empathy and pity, takes Gollum's part, with Sam coming back with more protests. The foundation for everything that happens later in the films between these three, culminating in the “Go home, Sam” scene, is laid here. As the screenwriters said, they wanted to "up the ante" in the Frodo-Gollum-Sam scenes, letting Gollum be a wedge to drive between the two hobbits, creating heightened dramatic tension.

As I said, it’s not the book, but the story of this dysfunctional ménage makes for a fascinating story on film. (It fascinated me, anyway.)



On the way Frodo is moved to show mercy in the book.

I want to make one other little note. It is concerning the moment in the book that prods Frodo into showing mercy to Gollum.

In the Emyn Muil scene itself, it’s clear that Frodo is not under any misconceptions about Gollum. “You’re full of wickedness and mischief,” he says plainly. When Sam suggests they tie Gollum up and leave him, and Gollum protests that it would kill him (which it would), Frodo does not say, “Sam! How could you suggest such a thing?” He says, “If we kill him, we must kill him outright.” That is, such a decision would not be out of the question. But Frodo goes on to say, “But we can’t do that, as things are.” As things are does not mean because Frodo has suddenly developed warm feelings for Gollum. "Poor wretch," Frodo adds, "He has done us no harm." They can't kill Gollum because it wouldn't be fair. (In the book, Sam and Frodo first attack Gollum, not the other way around.)

It is at this point that Frodo remembers Gandalf’s words from the past about the "Pity of Bilbo". What he remembers seems to confirm his judgement, that it would not be right to kill Gollum. Interestingly (to me), what he remembers is not exactly the same as what Gandalf said to him back in the parlour of Bag End.

“He deserves death!” Frodo remembers saying as he stands looking at Gollum. And this is how he remembers Gandalf’s words:


Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.

In “The Shadow of the Past,” after Frodo declared that Gollum deserved death, Gandalf actually had said:


‘Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.’

Tolkien was such a careful writer, and because this sequence stresses one of his most important themes, I have to think that Tolkien created this discrepancy intentionally. The original saying was more general, with Gandalf admonishing Frodo (or anyone), "do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” Killing the wicked, even if deserved, should not be resorted to rashly. But Frodo remembers the saying as, "be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety."

It’s as if Frodo has subtly altered Gandalf’s words to apply precisely to his present situation. To kill Gollum there in the Emyn Muil would be to kill him in cold blood, killing an enemy because it was convenient. Such a killing could never be done “in the name of justice”. I think this alteration of wording shows an important advance in Frodo’s sympathetic imagination, and a maturing of his moral thinking.

In past readings, I always wondered if these words of Gandalf in their altered form were coming to Frodo the way Gandalf's words came to him on the Seat of Seeing, on Amon Hen. There Frodo heard a voice in his mind, striving with Sauron's, urging him to take off the Ring. But in this instance Frodo has already reached the conclusion that it would be wrong to kill Gollum simply because it was expedient, and call it justice. Gandalf's remembered words—in their altered form—only confirm the decision Frodo has already made.


~*~



Film scene: The Emyn Muil ~ Frodo is moved to pity at the sight of his pathetic captive.


The night scene in which Frodo holds Sting to Gollum’s throat turns now to day. In that scene, the vanquished Gollum has let out a frustrated wail. The wail builds as the scene segues into a long shot of the Emyn Muil, until it is a series of howls and screams echoing from the rocks. Gollum emerges, the Elven rope tied like a leash around his neck, pulled along roughly by Sam.


Gollum: It burns! It burns us! It freezes! Nasty Elves twisted it. Take it off us!

Sam: (To Gollum.) Quiet you! (To Frodo.) It's hopeless! Every Orc in Mordor's going to hear this racket! Let's just tie him up and leave him!

Gollum: No! That would kill us, kill us!

Sam: It's no more than you deserve! (Gollum moans and flails about on the ground.)

Frodo: Maybe he does deserve to die. But now that I see him, I do pity him.

Gollum: (Hearing this, Gollum perks up.) We be nice to them if they be nice to us. Take it off us. We swears to do what you wants. We swears.

Frodo: There's no promise you can make that I can trust.

Gollum: (Kneeling before Frodo.) We swears to serve the master of the Precious. We will swear on... on the Precious! gollum, gollum!

Frodo: The ring is treacherous. It will hold you to your word.

Gollum: Yes... on the Precious. On the precious.



~*~




As usual, the screencaps of this scene have been cropped and adjusted for brightness, contrast and focus.

I must say I think these caps are particularly good in terms of demonstrating the acting. The script pares away most of the words, but an astonishing amount of substance remains, played out in the features of Frodo's face.








”Now that I see him, I do pity him.”


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~*~





Recent Entries:


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 1 ~ “We’re not alone.”


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 2a ~ "Catch it, Mr. Frodo!"



~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 2b ~ "A Little Bit of Home", essay,
plus jan-u-wine's "A Gardener's Gift".


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-a ~ “I do pity him.”


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-b ~ "You know the way to Mordor."




Other tables of links:


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


~ Entries with Frodo & Elijah Wood screencaps.


~ Art Travesty LJ entries.


~ ALBUM of all Art Travesties (images only).



~ Mechtild



Comments:


Claudia's Cove
claudia603 at 2007-04-18 23:52 (UTC) (Link)
I think you're absolutely spot on that book!Frodo has no illusions whatsoever about Gollum. But he pities him and sees him as so wretched. Guh, I do so love Frodo!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 00:46 (UTC) (Link)
Guh, I do so love Frodo!

Me, too. *trembly chin*
Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-04-19 00:06 (UTC) (Link)
Tolkien was such a careful writer, and because this sequence stresses one of his most important themes, I have to think that Tolkien created this discrepancy intentionally

Oh my, how facinating. You always give me something to think about.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 00:47 (UTC) (Link)
That's my job: nit-picker.

Seriously, thanks for commenting, Shirebound. :)
Notabluemaia
notabluemaia at 2007-04-19 01:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mechtild. This is another of my favorite scenes, even back all those years ago. I agree, JRRT is such a careful craftsman that the subtle difference in moral point is intentional. I love it that Gandalf's voice is an echo of the conclusion that Frodo reached first - his moral compass is innate, though his understanding of its subtlety and failing is destined to expand beyond his capacity.

These caps are glorious - the interplay between Frodo and Sam, the clear expression of their different reactions to this. Surely in this film for the ages, the ages will acknowledge that this is some of the finest acting and storytelling ever.

Thank you for the pics and for your (always) insightful post.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 01:30 (UTC) (Link)
his moral compass is innate, though his understanding of its subtlety and failing is destined to expand beyond his capacity.


That is an astute, super expression of what is the case. Frodo grows a great deal throughout the Quest, but it's not as though there wasn't plenty to work with.

It's a splendid scene, I agree, Nota. It's great in the book and great in the film, although with very different stresses.

As for the caps, I only wish they were clearer. I did my best, for the grading is murky and the focus soft, as if the Emyn Muil had been inundated with fumes the colour of cigarette smoke. It looks super on the big screen, but the images don't have the clarity I would like on a small computer screen. Still, the images show what a great scene it is.
(Anonymous) at 2007-04-19 02:13 (UTC) (Link)

Beautiful, beautiful screencaps, and what writing!!

The combination of the screencaps and the essay(s) is like some sort of incredibly uplifting 1-2 punch, if one may mix a bunch of metaphors...

Frodo's intense beauty (and he's just as beautiful covered in dirt and dust etc. as he is when he's cleaned up!) paired with his intense mercy is something that translates (for me) into INTENSE LOVE FOR FRODO -- and an intense desire to be more like him. To be non-judgemental, to be forgiving even when no one else is.. to have pity for someone as wretchedly wretched as Gollum is.. that takes a sort of love I have pondered, but have not developed (although I know it is required of me to learn it, to the best of my ability, in this life... so I'd best get started, eh? But it's hard, so hard. So hard that I shy away from it. But it's on my mind often, and comes immediately to the forefront when I read such inspiring words-- thank you, Mech. You are SOMETHING ELSE. (I just dated myself, I know, lol.) The whole essay (and the pix) reminded me also of Frodo's forgiveness of Saruman. How sad I was (and still am) that those very-important post-Quest scenes were not in the film!!! Frodo has been for all intents and purposes *transfigured* by his ordeals, to such an extent that he is almost a completely new creation. He has grown and changed and grown again, from a hobbit who doesn't want the grief of having to leave his lovely home to fight some nameless, bizarre Evil. He practically whines, in those early chapters. He's not all that different from most of the hobbits... he's better educated, it seems, etc. But he is quite reluctant to leave his home, esp. in order to have to FIGHT Something/Someone.

At the end of the third book, he is so changed from the original hobbit we knew in book one.. it's making me sigh, just to think on it. He FORGIVES Saruman, forgives everyone. It boggles the mind and the spirit.

Thank you for your amazing essays, Mech. (and I love the caps, too...)... you catch insights I've never dreamed of catching. I hadn't noticed how his memory of what Gandalf had said to him (re others deserving death) differs from what G. originally said. And yes, JRRT was so very picky about WORDS that that simply HAD to have been quite purposeful. Even if the dear Prof. did it 'unconsciously', for him, nothing about WORDS was truly unconscious. I'm just guessing at that, but if anyone was a master of language/words, it was certainly Prof. Tolkien.

What amazing stuff. So inspiring. Thank you.

And thank you to the dear little bird who told me to come to see the new essay/caps(her name starts with jan, lol).

BTW, I saw for the first time the manips of Frodo at St. Sebastian, and nearly lost it... beautiful doesn't begin to describe it, and esp. the one of "Ioreth" tending his wounds... brilliant. The idea, and the manip. And the original paintings, as well. ..they don't call these masterpieces for nothing. Lord. Caravaggio's Lute Player was also incredible, so well done. Brava!!

I feel uplifted. Needed it, with all the sadness swirling about us, these days. Heartfelt thanks.

Mary
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 02:39 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Beautiful, beautiful screencaps, and what writing!!

Wow, Mary! How'd you know to come here? Jan? That's great--but did you get to see the previous caps and essay ("Emyn Muil Pt. 2-b")? I'm guessing *that's* what she was pointing you to. She hasn't even seen this post yet.

I'll have to email my reply to you, since I know you won't be getting a reply notice. But just for the record, thanks so much for the passionate, thoughtful reply.

That is an excellent point how the mercy towards Gollum, someone Frodo knows is his enemy, and with evil intentions towards him, points towards the mercy he will show to Saruman. He does not look at either through rose-coloured glasses, yet he sees that they should not be killed out of hand, simply because they are dangerous and ill-intentioned and might do something to him. Really, this sequence, and especially the part that follows (those caps will be in the next post) are the closest the films come to showing what Frodo's mercy to Saruman might have looked like. Again, thanks so much for putting the idea out there.

And I'm so glad you finally saw the Francesco del Cairo's St. Sebastian manip and entry. Did you see the poem that went with it? It's FANTASTIC. Jan outdid herself on that one. I just am not sure whether you opened the link that just shows the images, or the one that shows links to the LJ entries that present them. Only those have discussions and poems, if any.
Lily Dragonquill
lily_the_hobbit at 2007-04-19 08:59 (UTC) (Link)
Tolkien was such a careful writer, and because this sequence stresses one of his most important themes, I have to think that Tolkien created this discrepancy intentionally

I didn't even realise there was a slight alteration, yet I agree: Tolkien wouldn't have been so careless as to create a mistake. I don't believe though that it is Gandalf's voice as he hears it on he Seat of Seeing. I think it's more an unconscious alteration he made himself to, like you said, make it fit exactly to his situation.

*sighs*
I so need to read the books again. It's almost three years now. The next spell of rainy wheather will shamelessly be used to start again. LotR just isn't a book for hot and sunny summer days.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 13:24 (UTC) (Link)
That's very interesting, Lily, about Gandalf's voice at the Seat of Seeing. I have always read others saying it was meant to be Gandalf's voice in comments and commentary, but it really could be meant to be read as an internalization of what Frodo *knew* would be Gandalf's words, if Gandalf were there. And that is even more valuable to a person maturing, since a real person can't count on receiving actual mind-speech at crises in their lives.
Scarlet
stillscarlet at 2007-04-19 11:51 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my. I keep staring at #12. What a face!

I just love Gollum's speech mannerisms; he's such a unique character. Coincidentally, I'm re-reading The Hobbit at present, and have just finished 'Riddles in the Dark'. I'm enjoying the book even more than I did when I first read it at the age of eight. Tolkien was indeed a master of language.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 13:32 (UTC) (Link)
I've just finished listening to my second time through of Rob Inglis' narration of the complete LotR (checked it out of the library - each is about 16 CD's!). I listen to them at work while I shelve.

I was struck each time I listened, though, by how much more nuanced and witty Gollum is in the book than in the films. I think Peter Woodthorpe brought that it out in the BBC radio production, more so than Andy Serkis did, but so many lines were cut in the radio programme, of course a lot of Gollum's talk went, too. He has wonderful sarcasm. The things he says to Frodo and Sam at the Black Gate are just so on target. He must have been quite a hobbit once, even if he was also a scamp. "Delving under the roots of things"; I always thought of that as going beyond the literal meaning of Gollum digging about in the earth or under stones, but that he was unusually curious for a hobbit, curious about beginnings, about the "why" of things, curious in a mental way.

I now have Rob Inglis' "The Hobbit" narrated book on order. I can't wait! I am sure I already told you, but I had not thought much of The Hobbit when I first read it, thinking it a poor babyish thing compared to LotR. But I read it again more recently and thought it both hilarious and keenly-observed. And moving, when it got to the end. Dear Bilbo! No wonder he had so many loving fans. Better late than never when it comes to giving credit where it's due. I am hoping Bilbo's forgiven me by now.
pearlette
pearlette at 2007-04-19 12:12 (UTC) (Link)
Film Frodo is deliciously gorgeous in this scene. Not least for all the emotions that play out across his face. *swoon* How I'd love to run my fingers through those soft, dark curls ...

This scene was well done in the film, I agree, despite the changes made to all three protagonists. Film Gollum is very pitiful (and also kind of cute) but he's also very funny, too. ("Nice hobbit!" :D)

There's nothing cute about Book Gollum, who alternates between being pitiful, savage, scary and sometimes downright hilarious.

Peter Woodthorpe's Gollum in the BBC LOTR is a tour de force: deeply pitiable, but also deeply malevolent - one just doesn't know when he might turn. Sam's deep suspicions of him are so very understandable and yet the reader is enabled to see Gollum through Frodo's eyes: to see this poor wretch could actually be redeemed. Frodo, of course, has learned to see with Gandalf's eyes.

I really love this scene in the BBC radio LOTR. It's awesome. Ian Holm's Frodo is magnificent: so stern, so commanding, and yet so ... so ... compassionate and wise, able to see Gollum for what he is, and pity him deeply. You really hear Frodo grow, spiritually, in this encounter!

Mechtild, I had never noticed before that Frodo's memory of Gandalf's words differs from the actual words spoken to him at the time. That is fascinating. I agree with you that it must have been intentional.

I have problems with the antagonism that PJ set up between Frodo and Sam in the film. As you know. Sigh. Sam is sometimes bullying (and even cruel in his treatment of Gollum, which Book Sam never is) and ... well, I've said it all before. Yes.

There was a poster at Imladris who used to be incredibly aggravating about this whole thing. She loved Sam and didn't care much for Frodo - which was her prerogative as a reader, of course! Not all Tolkien fans are Frodo fans! But she would deliberately use Film Frodo's credulousness re: Gollum to cast aspersions on Book Frodo. Grrrrrr!

It was unbelievably irritating. :D
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-19 13:45 (UTC) (Link)
Great response, Pearl! I have to go to work this minute (GAH!), but I want to say a few things to this when I get back.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-04-20 10:13 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechling!

Your beautiful caps and engaging essay are much appreciated. I love it when you point out the subtle, meaningful differences in Tolkien's writing. Which I usually miss. For instance. I did not notice the change of one of the words in the following: (Until it was pointed out to me, of course).

I guess that you already know this but it might be of interest to others.


Bilbo version in A Long-expected Party

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


Frodo’s version in Three is Company

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

I have added the following for comparison.
Bilbo’s version in Many Partings

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.


Life is but a journey.

Enjoy your Week-end lass!



Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-20 13:38 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Este, that's great! I knew about the differences but have never been able to look at them together. Don't forget Frodo's poignant version of it, too.

In Three is Company the first part of the second verse went,

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.

He re-styles the second verse in The Grey Havens thus:

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

What a writer Tolkien was. Talk about subtle, but introducing the tone of portent.

Hey, Este, looking for a quick way to copy and paste these (didn't find one in time) I did find this on Google, at Wikipedia. You'll love it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Goes_Ever_On_(song)

I hadn't realised this walking song went all the way back to "The Hobbit". I guess this song really threads the whole saga together, both books!


julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-04-21 21:58 (UTC) (Link)
This is amazing. The caps, your essay – it Mr. Tolkien is the Master of Words, then you MUST be his little niece. No doubt.
Frodo. Isn’t he beautiful here, with all the dust and dirt. I nearly lost my breath when I watched this scene first.
And Sam. Lovingly home-bound Sam.
Reading the wonderful comments above, friends said it all, there's nothing left to say for me.
Thank you, mechthild. Thank you ever so much. This post is so uplifting, just what one needs every day.

Love,
Julchen
mechling at 2007-04-21 23:10 (UTC) (Link)
Greetings, Julchen! I was beginning to think the Two Towers caps were ones most people weren't keen to see. I love them, myself. But people who've posted have said some really insightful things about the film and book, which I appreciate since generating discussion--on Frodo and LotR and Tolkien--is always a chief aim. You encourage me, Julchen. Thanks!
Mariole
mariole at 2007-04-22 04:04 (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* See what happens? You post gorgeous caps and interesting commentary, and you get this wealth of wonderful discussion! Oh, you are a queen. Thanks so much. *big hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-22 12:04 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Mariole, for commenting.

You post gorgeous caps and interesting commentary, and you get this wealth of wonderful discussion!

Well, I try. I miss the messageboards. I write for myself, but I also always try to stimulate discussion, making the entries more clearly-written than I might if I were just journaling, and addressing replies fully. But there's no replacing the messageboards.

I might check out TORc now that "Children of Hurin" is being released (still haven't received my copy from Amazon-grrr); maybe people will strike up a discussion over it.
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