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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The End of All Things Part 1 ~ "It's Done"....

Posted on 2006.03.20 at 15:19
Tags: ,
~*~



As some of you know, in the interests of perhaps producing an erotic illustration of Frodo, I had been looking through swoony face shots from The Return of the King. You know the sort I mean, the ones with him lying on the rock in the midst of the lava flow, after they have escaped from the Sammath Naur: Frodo has lost the Ring and a finger, but he experiences massive relief just knowing the Dark Tower has been destroyed and his sanity restored. As many fans have noted, these screencaps seen out of context also look like someone undergoing the extremities of erotic pleasure.

Maeglian, and one of my betas, Scarlet, were showing me some effects that could be made from screencaps. They used "Frodo on the rock" caps to demonstrate. I asked Scarlet, could she do me a pencil-drawing version of some caps with her program, if I picked a few out? Sure, she said, just send some nice, big, clear screencaps with good contrast.

O.K.!

But I didn't really have any. All the caps from "The End of All Things" scene that I had gleaned from LotR galleries were just like the scene in the film -- very atmospheric: dark, almost murky, and lit with a lot of red. Well, I'd just have to go ahead and cap the scene and apply the adjustments I had used on the other series of dark caps I've done (like the "Under the Tree Roots" scene and the ones from Bree).

I had meant to keep doing my screencaps in narrative order (I'm rather compulsive about chronological sequence), but, what the heck. The caps are done so I may as well post them....

* * *

Last night I made a whopping 178 caps. With great effort, I have pared it down to 96. As you will see, all of these caps have been brightened, colour-corrected, and sharpened. The result is that the lighting and colour look a lot like the famous RotK poster of "Frodo the Martyr" in Mordor: bloody-necked, exhausted, filthy, sweaty, and beautiful.

The other result is that the expressions of Frodo (and Sam, when he comes on screen) are much easier to see, especially on a small computer screen. But, please remember that they are not like the real movie screencaps (which were probably digitally graded in post-production for the darkness and red lighting). So don't toss any "regular" screencaps you may have. Think of this set as supplemental.

Here's an example of an unretouched cap from this scene:




Curiously, one of the things that happened while I was making these caps was that I lost almost all interest in making erotic Frodo illustrations. Which was why I was bothering to make them at all!

Number one, how could the faces in these shots ever be improved upon by any drawing of mine? Number two, scrolling through these was like watching the scenes, but with even more impact. The narrative line came back to me so strongly I was too moved by the real scene to respond to them in my usual smutty way. (It'll come back, though, never fear.)

What a beautiful scene this is in every way: the art design and the visual conceptualizing of every shot; in the wafting breeze that keeps their hair (and the scene) moving; in the superb, heart-rendingly-perfect scoring, and, of course, in the performances of these two actors. I know they did a great job in scene after scene of the trilogy, but, for me, it is in this scene -- brought to fruition when the eagle bears Frodo up and away to Renee Fleming's heavenly singing of Howard Shore's music -- that the heart of the film and the story resides. The beauty of it makes me weep. The world is falling down around them, and these two friends, who have experienced so much together -- the sublime (in Rivendell and Lorien) and the most horrifically evil (in Mordor, and, for Frodo, in himself) -- will here lay down to die.

* * *

The scene itself.

Up until this moment, Sam has been utterly engrossed with keeping Frodo alive (from love, and in order to complete the Quest). He hasn't had the liberty to pay any attention to his own feelings and needs. Suddenly, in the after-shocks of the Ring's destruction, he finds his own sense of personal loss and sorrow welling up inside him. Tired to death, with nothing left to accomplish, it overcomes him.

Frodo, his mind free (for the time being) of the domination of the Ring, and no longer consumed with bearing up under his terrible ordeal, can now be the one who bolsters up and consoles. He was not able to do this service for Sam before this. But, now, when Sam is in need, he can rise to the occasion. A few words of loving affirmation, an embrace, and tears shed together ease their hearts and soothe their spirits.


Why do I love this story, and this part of it in particular? Again, it's just so true to the heart of what matters in life. It's a story about two hobbits in Middle-earth, but it's a story about any of us, when the time comes for us to face our own "end of all things."

May each of us be given such a friend with whom to meet it.



* * *



Part One

Screencaps #'s 00 - 11:



In this set of screencaps, Frodo and Sam have just escaped the Sammath Naur, barely getting away over a river of lava gushing out onto the plain of Gorgoroth. They scramble up onto a rocky outcropping. Frodo looks back towards where Barad-Dur had stood, the tower of the Eye. Ecstatic and amazed, he exclaims, "It's gone.... It's done!"

"Yes, Mr. Frodo," Sam answers, "It's over now." Sam shows a surprising lack of zeal.

There is another volcanic explosion which shakes the ground beneath them. They scramble up higher and throw themselves onto the rock. The camera comes close to show Frodo lying back, breathing deeply as he recovers.

In some of these, there is only the slightest difference, but I just couldn't make the decision to toss any of them. Each and every one is like a masterwork of painterly art.











































(--cont'd…)


Next entry here.


Click HERE for complete table of Frodo and Elijah Wood Screencaps.


ETA: I was given the heads-up that tgshaw had done an excellent screencap entry on "The End of All Things." It is at her fine website for looking at Elijah Wood's acting by examining his screencaps (not just from LotR). She also has written good essays and has a gallery for work she has done on caps with Photoshop.

Here is a link to her site, Frodo Lives ... Within Us Now. The page for her analysis of "The End of all Things" is HERE.

Reading it last night, I see that tg and I have said a lot of the same things, but she says more. Her caps have not been altered, either, preserving the film's original look. She has some Sam reference shots, too.



~ Mechtild

Comments:


Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-03-21 10:05 (UTC) (Link)
May each of us be given such a friend with whom to meet it.

Please God.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-03-21 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, please. (((Este)))

And I know just who it is I want to show up on my rock, too. Pathetic, isn't it? But these scenes just go to prove how good he is at it.
taerie
taerie at 2006-03-21 20:56 (UTC) (Link)
Well, if that's pathetic you have a lot of company, my dear.

Ever see the very beautiful old Twilight Zone episode where Death comes to this old lady in the person of a youthful Robert Redford playing a wounded policeman that she helps?
My Mr.Death won't be Robert Redford.

I think it was someone in the Harem that wrote something very dramatic with Frodo that was very evocative of that Zone episode.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-03-21 23:45 (UTC) (Link)
That was me. I might even have mentioned the Twilight Zone episode. I have been thinking about that episode ever since I fell for film-Frodo. I have had dreams where he is my angel of death. I wonder if there is a sign-up sheet?
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous) at 2006-09-15 15:05 (UTC) (Link)

angel of death


I am beginning to know
that
it is possible
to die of love.

In all the long hours
of the day,
my heart measures
its slow beat
in the room of my ears.

The phantom press
of your fingers
uncurls
the hard fist
of my hand
there
where it
rests
against my eyes,
closing them so they need
not see
you are not here.

even though
it is
bright day
without,
still within
my darkened room
I stay,
watching light
shadow
itself
into
inevitable night.

It is more seemly
somehow
to wait
thus.

It cannot be long
now.
the thin
thread
of my life
runs
out like water
falling from
my fingers.

I am so weak
with
need
I cannot
rise.

It is an ache,
a hurt
nothing
can touch,
nothing
can heal.

I bow my head
and cry
in
the dark.

Not because
I know
that I am dying.

No.
Because
I yet
live.

silence grows
around me,
encircles me,
deadens the sound
of my heart.

I hear the ocean.

It is playing
among
grey-fogged
rock.

I am smiling.
It is too hard to keep
my eyes open to the world
any longer.

I see you there,
as my vision,
like a candle
snuffed to let in the night,
flees.

You hold out your hand.

For once,
I cannot hear what you are saying.

I kiss your forehead.
Hot tears
run down my cheeks.

I am so tired.
May I rest
awhile
within the sanctuary
of your kindly spirit?

At last.
At last, I am Home.

~ jan-u-wine
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-03-25 00:32 (UTC) (Link)

Re: angel of death

This brought tears into my eyes ... Thank you, Jan.

Even Angels Feel the Pangs of Love


Even angels feel the pangs of love.
(Vicariously, of course - their love is pure.)
Each finds a human love to serenade,
Leaving its perfection in the shade,
Yearning for the pain it must endure,
Near ecstasy with what it knows not of.

Nicholas Gordon
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-03-25 00:27 (UTC) (Link)
"May each of us be given such a friend with whom to meet it."

I'm sure we won't be alone ...

Thank you, mechtild, for those fantastic screencaps and your quotes. At the end of all things - one of the most touching scenes (for me) in the trilogy.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-25 01:24 (UTC) (Link)
Julchen! You visited the old "End of All Things" caps. Aren't they moving! What a magnificent film scene, what acting, and what beautiful love-able characters. Everytime I watch this scene I am brought to my knees.
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-03-25 01:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, I don't know how many times I watched especially this scene... it hits me all the time. Frodo looks sooo gorgeous, it's so easily to love him, isn't it?
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-25 01:36 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, very easy. Ask Elbereth Star-kindler. Ask Sam or Merry or Gandalf or Pippin. Or Aragorn or Faramir or Arwen. Or Elrond or Galadriel or Legolas or Gimli. Maybe even Goldberry and Tom. And maybe -- no, surely, not "maybe" -- Boromir.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-25 01:37 (UTC) (Link)
And Biblo! I forgot Bilbo, for heaven's sake!!!!!
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-03-25 01:39 (UTC) (Link)
I see, I only had to ask you :-)
Boromir, hmmm... I think Frodo is very dear to him, too, even Boromir doesn't show it from time to time
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-03-25 01:50 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Sean Bean convinced me that Boromir really did think the world of Frodo and hold him dear, but the Ring got the best of him, and played upon his weaknesses.

I am sure Boromir suffered more from having assaulted the hobbit he'd sworn to protect, and whom he'd come to know and care for, than from all those Orc arrows.
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