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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Old images of Drogo Baggins found?

Posted on 2008.12.09 at 12:05


pearlette at 2008-12-10 00:20 (UTC) (Link)
Bleh. I'm so not a fan of how the Prof writes the deaths of Drogo and Primula. It's bathos, not pathos, and it never sits well with me. Some of the tone of the early parts of FotR is very uneven, and this is a prime example of that.

I should do a post sometime on the little things that irritate me about my Number One Favourite Book. They're only little things, but they really do irritate me ... probably because I'm so dotty about the book.
mechtild at 2008-12-10 03:29 (UTC) (Link)
I can't think of anything that really irritates me, only places where I wonder why he did (or didn't) do this or that. Head-scratching stuff rather than irritating stuff.
pearlette at 2008-12-10 10:16 (UTC) (Link)
Bombadil's rhyming couplets don't drive you up the wall? ;)

Of course, Drogo and Primula's deaths were being gossiped about by Ted Sandyman. So really it says a lot more about Sandyman than it does about Tolkien.

I actually think the writing in the first chapter is very clever. Tolkien is lulling the reader into a false sense of security: ah, it's The Hobbit II! So he has Frodo acting as a sort of follow-up to Bilbo. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Frodo is very different.

Tolkien was told by friends and critics that there was too much "hobbit-talk" in the first chapter. Me, I wouldn't be without it. I like the Hobbits: gossipy, garrulous bunch. You also see how incredibly insular they are: it's infuriating. No wonder Bilbo had got so fed up with them ...
mechtild at 2008-12-10 14:49 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! Yes, Bombadil. Actually, I love the scenes at Bombadil's. And I deeply appreciate the *idea* of his character, his function in the story and in his scenes. The scenes with the hobbits and Goldberry in the house at dinner and before the fire are magical to me. But Tolkien has made him so unneccessarily ... silly. I think it's because he imported him in from elsewhere without tweaking him enough to make him fit. The children's story costume and the silly-sounding poems. Actually, the right actor could pull off the scenes beautifully, playing for an eccentric rather than silly character, wearing the clothes discribed but suitably distressed and aged, so that he didn't look like Santa's cousin. He even could manage the songs if they were sung as the ruminations of an ancient, half-fey character who sort of rumbled and crooned this stuff to himself, the melodies interesting, spare and haunting. Yes, it could work, but it would have to be made to work, going against what's in the text: a character from another source just dropped into LotR without enough tweaking. Well, that's my view, anyway.

Yes, love the gossipy, garrulous bunch as you say. They help show why Bilbo would want to leave, in spite of his comfort there, but also why Frodo could say he wished, at times, a dragon would show up in the Shire, just to shake them out of their ingrained ways and complacency.
pearlette at 2008-12-10 16:02 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, there is much to love about the Bombadil interlude: the mysticism of his house, Frodo's dream of Eressea, etc. The descriptions of the woods and Tom's house are just WONDERFUL. This landscape is also -- IMO -- deeply, deeply English. I've driven along valleys in Devon that could be the Withywindle Valley. I think Tolkien said that Tom represented the 'spirit of Oxfordshire' or some such thing. (And the relevance of that to the plot of LotR is ... what? :p) You're right: Bombadil is dropped into the story purely because Tolkien likes him. He did need tweaking in the story. I agree that the right person could play him well without making him silly.

That's always been one of my favourite Frodo sayings, by the way, about a dragon being good for the complacent Shire-folk. :)
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