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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The Tower of Cirith Ungol Pt. 3: Frodo takes back the Ring (#3 of 3).

Posted on 2007.08.19 at 20:30
Tags: ,
~*~



For this last set I just want to say how much these caps make me sigh for Frodo: partly for the acting, partly for the pathos of his bondage to the Ring (as seen in the bottom shots), and, well, because he's just such a dish in them. I am sure the frames of him dropping the Ring over his head—the contact of the worked metal against his chest sending a rush through him like pure heroin surging through his veins—have inspired more fantasies than can be counted.

The book scene? What is there to say? It is sheer beauty. I want to note that this scene is beautifully acted by Ian Holm and Bill Nighy in the 1981 BBC radio production of LotR. Ian Holm was fifty then, the same age as book-Frodo setting out on the Quest. Ever since hearing it, whenever I read this scene the voice I hear is Ian Holm's. But the face, I confess, continues to resemble film-Frodo's rather closely.



~*~




Film Scene: Frodo takes back the Ring.


Having snatched the Ring and chain from Sam’s hand, Frodo drops the Ring over his head with an expression of intense, euphoric relief. He seems to recover himself and looks up at Sam.


Frodo: You must understand, the Ring is my burden. It will destroy you, Sam.

Sam: Come on, Mr. Frodo. We’d best find you some clothes. You can't go walking to Mordor in naught but your skin.


* my screencaps end here, but I am providing the rest of the scene’s dialogue for those interested.

Outside the tower two figures in orc armour look out over Mordor where all the orcs are encamped.

Sam: We did it, Mr. Frodo. We made it to Mordor.

Frodo: There are so many of them. We'll never get through unseen!

Frodo looks across to Barad-dur in the distance.

Frodo: It's Him! The Eye!

Sam: (Looking down into the valley.) We have to go in there, Mr. Frodo. There's nothing for it. Well, let’s make it down the hill for starters, shall we?

Orc commander: To the gate, you slugs! Move out! To the gate!

Sam: Look, the Orcs! They're moving off. You see, Mister Frodo, some luck at last.


They exchange looks, then descend.



~*~




Book scene: from The Tower of Cirith Ungol, continued.


‘They’ve taken everything, Sam,’ said Frodo. ‘Everything I had. Do you understand? Everything!’ He cowered on the floor again with bowed head, as his own words brought home to him the fullness of the disaster, and despair overwhelmed him. ‘The quest has failed, Sam. Even if we get out of here, we can’t escape. Only Elves can escape. Away, away out of Middle-earth, far away over the Sea. If even that is wide enough to keep the Shadow out.’

‘No, not everything, Mr. Frodo. It hasn’t failed, not yet. I took it, Mr. Frodo, begging your pardon. And I’ve kept it safe. It’s round my neck now, and a terrible burden it is, too.’ Sam fumbled for the Ring and its chain. ‘But I suppose you must take it back.’ Now it had come to it, Sam felt reluctant to give up the Ring and burden his master with it again.

‘You’ve got it?’ gasped Frodo. ‘You’ve got it here? Sam, you’re a marvel!’ Then quickly and strangely his tone changed. ‘Give it to me!’ he cried, standing up, holding out a trembling hand. ‘Give it me at once! You can’t have it!’

‘All right, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam, rather startled. ‘Here it is!’ Slowly he drew the Ring out and passed the chain over his head. ‘But you’re in the land of Mordor now, sir; and when you get out, you’ll see the Fiery Mountain and all. You’ll find the Ring very dangerous now, and very hard to bear. It it’s too hard a job, I could share it with you, maybe.’

‘No, no!’ cried Frodo, snatching the Ring and chain from Sam’s hands. ‘No you won’t, you thief!’ He panted, staring at Sam with eyes wide with fear and enmity. Then suddenly, clasping the Ring in one clenched fist, he stood aghast. A mist seemed to clear from his eyes, and he passed a hand over his aching brow. The hideous vision had seemed so real to him, half bemused as he was with wound and fear. Sam had changed before his very eyes into an orc again, leering and pawing at his treasure, a foul little creature with greedy eyes and slobbering mouth. But now the vision had passed. There was Sam kneeling before him, his face wrung with pain, as if he had been stabbed in the heart; tears welled from his eyes.

‘O Sam!’ cried Frodo. ‘What have I said? What have I done? O Forgive me! After all you have done. It is the horrible power of the Ring. I wish it had never, never been found. But don’t mind me, Sam. I must carry the burden to the end. It can’t be altered. You can’t come between me and this doom.’

‘That’s all right, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam, rubbing his sleeve across his eyes. ‘I understand. But I can still help, can’t I?’



~*~




















































































































~*~








~ Pt. 1: Frodo awakes, plus jan-u-wine’s “In Dremes”.


~ Pt. 2: Sam rescues Frodo, plus main essay for this series.


~ Pt. 3: Frodo takes back the Ring.






Table of all screencaps:


~ Frodo and Elijah screencaps Main Page.



~ Mechtild


Comments:


verangel
verangel at 2007-08-20 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh God..his eyelashes...thud..sorry couldn't help myself. Elijah was so beautiful as Frodo in this moment. You could feel it when the chain went back to his neck.
When I read the text and screen they were amazingly similar...enough that it fit perfectly in this moment. But I would have loved this said:

‘O Sam!’ cried Frodo. ‘What have I said? What have I done? O Forgive me! After all you have done. It is the horrible power of the Ring. I wish it had never, never been found."

I think those words would have been more powerful on screen.

hugs you again..v
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-21 02:26 (UTC) (Link)
‘O Sam!’ cried Frodo. ‘What have I said? What have I done? O Forgive me! After all you have done. It is the horrible power of the Ring. I wish it had never, never been found."

I think those words would have been more powerful on screen.


I agree, Verangel, those were super, terribly moving lines. But since there was no scene of Frodo seeing Sam as an Orc and behaving terribly to Sam, what was there to prompt his beautiful heartfelt apology?

I commented to Not Alone on the previous entry, I really agree with you that the film did a disservice to the sense of Frodo as a character and to his storyline by so greatly downplaying what happened to him in the Tower.
verangel
verangel at 2007-08-20 03:29 (UTC) (Link)
ps..I don't think I had ever noticed how angry his wound from the witchking was. His skin is horribly reddened and sore from the knife wound.
pearlette
pearlette at 2007-08-20 12:48 (UTC) (Link)
His skin is horribly reddened and sore from the knife wound.

I would love to kiss it better ...

pearlette
pearlette at 2007-08-20 12:56 (UTC) (Link)
"Only Elves can escape. Away, away out of Middle-earth, far away over the Sea. If even that is wide enough to keep the Shadow out."

Those words never fail to move me deeply. And, OMG, the way Ian Holm says them in the BBC LOTR ... *squees and worships* Oh, it's just awesome.

These screencaps are simply INCREDIBLE.

The eyelashes!
The EYELASHES!!

But it's not just about the eyelashes. It's the INTENSITY in his eyes, in his expression: it's the way in which Film Frodo seems to be resuming, once and for all, his role as Ringbearer, accepting his destiny ...

... to whatever end.

I find Film Frodo very beautiful and very tragic here.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-21 02:29 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I have to agree with you and Verangel, the eyelashes are outstanding. And also the etc. ("Etc." being everything else about Frodo in these caps.)

But it's not just about the eyelashes. It's the INTENSITY in his eyes, in his expression: it's the way in which Film Frodo seems to be resuming, once and for all, his role as Ringbearer, accepting his destiny ...

Again, I just love this notion, Pearl, and I thank you so much for voicing your thoughts. I feel as though you have voiced something I have thought, but not clearly or consciously. That is definitely a reason to love this scene.

pearlette
pearlette at 2007-08-21 12:10 (UTC) (Link)
Again, I just love this notion, Pearl, and I thank you so much for voicing your thoughts. I feel as though you have voiced something I have thought, but not clearly or consciously. That is definitely a reason to love this scene.

It struck me really forcibly the very first time I saw this scene in the cinema. :)

Instant, instant love. :)

Here, in fact, were my precise reactions in December 2003, watching this:

"Hmph, Cirith Ungol trauma not nearly as traumatic as in book. OMG LOOK AT FRODO'S TUMMY SQUEE. And he's bound. Heh. Ah, here comes Sam! Yay, go Sam!
Ooooh, Sam's tempted by the Ring. Frodo can see it. Ah. There is the Frodo I love. There he is. Yep. The Ringbearer, accepting his destiny, accepting what must be, to achieve the Quest. LE SIGH."
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-08-20 13:52 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for these! :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-21 02:30 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome!
 Paulie
not_alone at 2007-08-20 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
For this last set I just want to say how much these caps make me sigh for Frodo: partly for the acting, partly for the pathos of his bondage to the Ring (as seen in the bottom shots), and, well, because he's just such a dish in them

My own sentiments exactly!! And these beautiful screenscaps really bring home to me how brilliantly Elijah played this scene:)

Many thanks Mechtild - and to Jan for the wonderful poem in the first entry:)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-21 02:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Not Alone. Frodo really does show wonderfully in these caps. *triple sighs*

And thanks so much for your carefully-expressed thoughts. And I'm pleased you appreciated Jan's poem for Pt. 1. I thought it expressed Frodo's point of view in the situation with real perception.
Maeglian
maeglian at 2007-08-20 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
Great caps as always. :-)

I must admit that my mind veered off for a moment to the experiences of the person who had the responsibility of preparing and putting on the spider bite and the dagger wound and all the general grime and dirt. I bet all those make-up effects took a lot of time to get *just* beleivably right. tough luck!

Aargh! The utter irreverence of such thoughts! *blushes*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-21 02:36 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha ha! Antoher poster pointed out (I think it was Verangel) how bad Frodo's shoulder wound from Weathertop looks. I assumed they did that to help the audience remember that he *had* been wounded on Weathertop. I believe the book noted that it was just a pale white scar, making it all the more perplexing to his friends that the wound continued to bother him so much. But a pale white scar wouldn't look like much on screen, especially in such dark frames.

Personally, I would very much like to have been the artist who applied those wounds to film Frodo as he sat in his chair in the make-up trailer. I am sure we would have shared many an interesting discussion. About the role, of course. :)
pearlette
pearlette at 2007-08-21 10:01 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear Eru. Imagine that. Imagine being that makeup person.

*dies*
(Anonymous) at 2007-08-22 20:32 (UTC) (Link)
For this last set I just want to say how much these caps make me sigh for Frodo: partly for the acting, partly for the pathos of his bondage to the Ring (as seen in the bottom shots), and, well, because he's just such a dish in them. I am sure the frames of him dropping the Ring over his head—the contact of the worked metal against his chest sending a rush through him like pure heroin surging through his veins—have inspired more fantasies than can be counted.
_______________________________________________________

I'm sure you're right, Mechtild! He's very sensual here, isn't he?

And oh, those last few caps - watching the moving film, it always seems to me as if the initial rush of relief, grim pleasure, gratification of getting the Ring back is subsiding here, and that now he feels the pull of weight on the chain as a heavy physical burden once again. It's a burden he now craves, and accepts, of course, but that doesn't make it any less agonizing for him to bear.

It is such a pity that the book Tower of CU material didn't make the film, but it's still a very powerful scene.

Wonderful screencaps and commentary, as usual, Mechtild. Jan-u-wine's 'In Dremes' is beautiful, though heart-breakingly so. Thank you both.

Blossom
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-23 00:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting, Blossom. It really is a good scene, although it falls short of the book. I think Jan's poem opens up Frodo's POV in this scene faithfully and movingly.

And oh, those last few caps - watching the moving film, it always seems to me as if the initial rush of relief, grim pleasure, gratification of getting the Ring back is subsiding here, and that now he feels the pull of weight on the chain as a heavy physical burden once again. It's a burden he now craves, and accepts, of course, but that doesn't make it any less agonizing for him to bear.

I think you are very, very right. Those bottom caps show "reality" making itself felt. But I never thought of it until Pearl (I think) mentioned it above, that a big part of the "reality" shown in those images--or could be shown if you saw it there--is the "reality" that is the Quest: Frodo simply shouldering the burden of performing the mission he promised to try his utmost to accomplish.

Gosh, I love him in those frames!
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2007-08-24 03:58 (UTC) (Link)
Gosh, I love him in those frames!

Frodo =Eternal Love. ♥ =)
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2007-08-24 03:57 (UTC) (Link)
ELijah did an awesome job in this scene-- i really liked what he did there. I really appreciated also how you placed the movie script with the book passage so that we can easily compare them. I really like the book passage but i think the words were adapted pretty well into the movie. =)
awesome post!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-08-24 04:34 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much, Periantari. I think he was great in this scene, and I thought the scene worked excellently in the film's narrative. I can't help missing the sublime book scene, but if I'd never read it, I wouldn't have known anything was missing.
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2007-08-27 12:18 (UTC) (Link)
Just a lot of missing lines from the dialogue Frodo and Sam had there... but i guess the movie got the gist of what was happening there.
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