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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Shelob’s Lair Pt. 5 ~ Shelob attacks (#5 of 9).

Posted on 2007.08.05 at 20:28
Tags: ,
~*~



Here are more gorgeous shots of Frodo with the Star-glass, plus his moment of bravery when he strikes at Shelob. It’s a terribly exciting sequence, with Frodo barely escaping, then getting caught in the web. Elijah Wood is riveting.

But forgive me if I say there is no contest, not the slightest, with the book scene. Like film Frodo, book Frodo (with Sam) tries to run for it, but he stops. He sees it’s no good. They must make a stand. He turns, calls upon Galadriel, and advances, amazingly, utterly brave and desperate, towards his adversary. It makes me melt every time I read it—for Frodo, and for Tolkien, for writing such an unforgettable scene.

Here’s the passage that particularly thrills my soul:


Then Frodo’s heart flamed within him, and without thinking what he did, whether it was folly or despair or courage, he took the Phial in his left hand, and with his right hand drew his sword. Sting flashed out, and the sharp elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at its edges a blue fire flicked. Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes.

Frodo’s heart “flamed within him” back in Bag End, too, when he was first possessed by a sudden desire to follow Bilbo, in spite of the dreadfulness of the Quest. Reading it made my own heart flame up, wanting to follow Frodo. In this context, it fills me with admiring love. But it's the last line that delivers the final blow, the one about "Frodo, hobbit of the Shire", walking steadily down to meet his doom. It's like a microcosm of the way book Frodo responds to the challenge of the Quest throughout the story, always to the best of his ability, with every fibre of his being, persevering, without expectation for himself, even beyond hope.

Below, the excerpt is shown in context.



Book scene, cont’d, from Shelob’s Tunnel, TTT.


Frodo and Sam, horror-stricken, began slowly to back away, their own gaze held by the dreadful stare of those baleful eyes; but as they backed so the eyes advanced. Frodo’s hand wavered, and slowly the Phial drooped. Then suddenly, released from the holding spell to run a little while in vain panic for the amusement of the eyes, they both turned and fled together; but even as they ran Frodo looked back and saw with terror that at once the eyes came leaping up behind. The stench of death was like a cloud about him.

‘Stand! stand!’ he cried desperately. ‘Running is no use.’

Slowly the eyes crept nearer.

‘Galadriel!’ he called, and gathering his courage he lifted up the Phial once more. The eyes halted. For a moment their regard relaxed, as if some hint of doubt troubled them. Then Frodo’s heart flamed within him, and without thinking what he did, whether it was folly or despair or courage, he took the Phial in his left hand, and with his right hand drew his sword. Sting flashed out, and the sharp elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at its edges a blue fire flicked. Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes.

They wavered. Doubt came into them as the light approached. One by one they dimmed, and slowly they drew back. No brightness so deadly had ever afflicted them before. From sun and moon and star they had been safe underground, but now a star had descended into the very earth. Still it approached, and the eyes began to quail. One by one they all went dark; they turned away, and a great bulk, beyond the light’s reach, heaved its huge shadow between. They were gone.


‘Master, master!’ cried Sam. He was close behind, his own sword drawn and ready. ‘Stars and glory! But the Elves would make a song of that, if ever they heard of it! And may I live to tell them and hear them sing. But don’t go on, master! Don’t go down to that den! Now’s our only chance. Now let’s get out of this foul hole!’



~*~




Film Scene (there are no lines for this section):


Frodo scrambles to his feet and holds the Phial aloft as he faces Shelob. She advances and Frodo falls backwards, but he strikes her with Sting. She rears back. Frodo gets up and pelts along the passage, Shelob pursuing. Looking back, Frodo runs into a giant net of spiderwebbing that blocks the tunnel. He is trapped and is held suspended in the web.




~*~














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~*~









Entries in the Shelob's Lair series:



~ Pt. 1: Entering the tunnel.


~ Pt. 2: Frodo is betrayed.


~ Pt. 3: Shelob perceived, plus jan-u-wine’s “That Which Waits”.


~ Pt. 4: The Star-glass.


~ Pt. 5: Shelob attacks.


~ Pt. 6: Gollum taunts Frodo.


~ Pt. 7: Frodo attacked by Gollum.


~ Pt. 8: Gollum makes his plea.


~ Pt. 9: Frodo resolves to go forward, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Web-ring”.





Tables of Links:



~ Frodo and Elijah screencaps Main Page.



~ Mechtild


Comments:


Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-08-06 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
‘Master, master!’ cried Sam. He was close behind, his own sword drawn and ready. ‘Stars and glory! But the Elves would make a song of that, if ever they heard of it! And may I live to tell them and hear them sing.'

What a magnificent scene. Sometimes it's what happens in the dark, that no one knows about, that is the true measure of a person, and Samwise and Frodo truly 'show their quality' here... and everywhere else.

Omigosh, Elijah's face and acting. Astonishing.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 02:30 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, your quote from the text made me laugh with happiness to read again. Yes, they DEFINITELY showed their quality in Shelob's Lair, the both of them. And yes, Shirebound, can't agree with you more about EW's acting (and face) in these sections: "astonishing".
verangel
verangel at 2007-08-06 01:54 (UTC) (Link)
oh so much different from book to screen. Each done well in their own. The book is gloriously mesmorizing, as a book needs to be since it is words to hit your soul.
But, in having to transcribe to film, it was an exciting scene and also beautifully done.
I don't know why they felt they had to divert from text but I think they really tried, in the time limitations that had, to do what they could and make it exciting to the public at the same time.
It worked.
hugs you...I love this and what you so beautifully give us with these observations and sequences.
xoxoo v
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 02:28 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the scenes are very different, and both work splendidly in their contexts. I love the film's Shelob's Lair scene, but what pleases me in it is very different from what pleases me in the book's version.

But even for fans who didn't like the scene at all (and there are some, amazingly), they'd have to admit Elijah Wood did a sensational job in it.
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 02:24 (UTC) (Link)
I did love the scene where Gollum taunted him and he used Sting to cut himself free.

Me, too!!! *rubs hands* That's next, although I'll probably have to wait to finish those sections. My weekend's almost over!
alyrthia
alyrthia at 2007-08-06 06:05 (UTC) (Link)
Bravo, Mechtild!! I think it's time for me to re-read the books!! I have started confusing some of the details!! Lovely passage!!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 16:43 (UTC) (Link)
Alyon! Thank you. I hope your summer has been going well. Has your daughter been home much, or is she doing a summer session or working somewhere? Ours has been home, hanging out at the lake, working out at the gym, doing part-time work at the library, and enjoying herself very much. She flies back to school Sept. 1.
alyrthia
alyrthia at 2007-08-10 02:27 (UTC) (Link)
Hiya!!

Yeah, I've had a great summer with daughter, and I am soooooo sad realizing just yesterday that she will drive away from us two weeks from today!!! She is taking a friend to Mills in Oakland first, and that girl has to be at school by August 25th. So my daughter will be leaving a couple of days earlier than she would have, but they will have a blast on the road trip--and that also means I won't be worried about booking a flight in the next couple of days, for me to get back. I'd either have gone all the way to L.A. with her, or just to HoneyElf's place in Northern CA. Yeah--daughter has been working and going to concerts and hanging out. Great company. I miss her already. Is your's looking forward to sophomore year????
mechling at 2007-08-10 02:43 (UTC) (Link)
Two weeks! Whaaah! But it's three for us, so I suppose that's not much different. Yes, she's looking forward to going back to HI, although she's really enjoyed her summer.

~ Mechtild
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2007-08-06 06:05 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for doing all these pictures Mechtild, it's hard to see Frodo's face in the movie during this part and it's amazing to see all his expressions in the pictures you've worked on! *hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 16:45 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Starlit! Yes, it is great to slow down the scene and be able to see the frames individually, but in sequence. I especially liked being able to see what exactly Frodo was doing in the action sequences.
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Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 16:48 (UTC) (Link)
You make me love Tolkien, Frodo and Elijah all the more if that's at all possible.

Chickenlegs, this made my day. I love to think that this LJ helps people love and appreciate Frodo, and Elijah Wood's work, all the more, and especially to want to understand and read Tolkien all the more. His work is like a deep well that is never empty, no matter how many times you draw water from it.
Claudia's Cove
claudia603 at 2007-08-06 11:42 (UTC) (Link)
I've been mesmerized by Frodo bathed in phial light...

That's to take my attention away from the big, scary spider! :-)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-06 16:49 (UTC) (Link)
The people at Weta knew what they were doing lighting Elijah Wood, and no mistake. I wonder if they ever got tired of finding ways to bring out his wonderful face? Naaaah.
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2007-08-06 21:11 (UTC) (Link)
Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes.
*sighs* Oh, the unrivalled epic quality of the book!!

But speaking of Elijah acting in RotK, Shelob’s Lair scenes are my prefered after the Cracks of Doom where he changes his espressione every two frames.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-07 03:06 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you'll love the Mt. Doom screencaps when I ever get to them. Not that you don't already have a gazillion of them, Estelanui, I'm betting. *g*
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-10-31 05:47 (UTC) (Link)
This scene in the book made me shiver when I read it first a couple of years ago. Very touching and thrilling, too.

"Stars and glory! But the Elves would make a song of that, if ever they heard of it! And may I live to tell them and hear them sing. But don’t go on, master! Don’t go down to that den! Now’s our only chance. Now let’s get out of this foul hole!’

So typical book Sam. I love it.

The movies ... Elijah is astonishing here, there are so many facets of emotions on his face. He's incredible. Imagining how your he was at this time ...

The screencaps make my heart melt.

Thank you, my dear. You know how much I enjoy your posts.

Have a wonderful day!
Meet me in the stars ...

Love,
Julchen
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-31 06:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, Julchen. Your posts are so encouraging, and I really appreciate them. :)
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-10-31 06:06 (UTC) (Link)
I wish my English wouldn't be so poorly, but I'm glad you are feeling what I want to say.
Shouldn't you be in bed? It must be late at your side of the world.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-31 12:48 (UTC) (Link)
Your English is fine; it is not poor! And yes, I was supposed to be in bed (Good morning!). But I stayed up last night to post the next entry. Out of town over the weekend, I couldn't finish my work on it until then.
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