Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

Frodo Writes the Red Book, Pt. III.....

Frodo Writes the Red Book, Part Three ~ featuring screencaps from the RotK EE Extras desk scene, and The Tale of the Tale, by jan-u-wine....


As soon as I knew I was going to be presenting screencaps for all the end scenes, I also knew there were poems of jan-u-wine’s I wanted to feature with them. (The problem was not finding poems to suit, but limiting myself to just one poem per entry!)

The film scene of Frodo writing at his desk writing in Bag End not only reminded me of Pearl’s story, but also a poem by jan-u-wine, The Tale of the Tale. It focusses more on Frodo beginning to write his story, not the part when he is in the midst of it.

In order to have another series of images to go with this poem, I took a look at the RotK Extras from the EE, remembering that there was a very moving sequence in Cameras in Middle-earth, which recorded Elijah Wood filming his last takes as Frodo: the desk scene. This scene was the last filmed on of the last day of filming for the entire trilogy.

Dominic Monaghan recalled thinking, “Come on Pete, you’ve got it,” referring to the repeated takes Peter Jackson made of this scene. PJ himself said that it was hard for him to finally say, “O.K. Check the gate.” He knew he would be saying it for the last time. This wasn’t the end of principle photography, this was the end of the pick-ups that continued long after principle photography had finished.

I don’t know which take of the scene was included in this DVD Extra, but I don't think it's the one that made the cut. It's not just the different camera angle; Elijah’s performance seems just a little differently nuanced. His range of facial expression while speaking to Sam seems a little broader; he seems to manage more of a smile when he says, “There’s room for a little more.”

Whatever take it was, it produced beautiful caps, slightly different in inflection and taken from a different angle. I feel as though this second set of caps allows me to turn the gem of his performance; different facets, different beauties.

Also of note, because this take was not used for the film, none of it has been digitally graded. The colours in the frames are what would have appeared in the camera lens according to the lighting actually on set. These screencaps have only tweaked for focus and contrast.


Although the first five caps are not part of the played scene, I have included them because of the way they show the actor at work. He shambles across the sound stage as himself, then begins to change gears as he listens to Peter’s direction. I am sorry there is no clear footage of the moments just before Pete says "action". I would like to have seen that moment, especially on this occasion.

To act this scene -- aware that this would be his last scene as Frodo after three intense, sometimes gruelling but also wonderful years -- had to have produced an indescribable mix of feelings in Elijah Wood. I think these feelings were put to use in the performance. A beautifully played and shot scene, I only wished they had let us see more of Frodo in this sequence than they did. Happily, scrolling slowly through these caps gives me the feeling they did.

The Tale of the Tale follows the screencaps, which I hope will set it off, for quite a tale it is.

~ Elijah Wood gets ready to perform Frodo’s last scene on the last day of pick-ups, 2003:

~ Frodo at his desk, from "Cameras in Middle-earth", ROTK EE Extras:

The Tale of the Tale

~ by jan-u-wine

it would
help me
to write it
all down.


dear Bilbo

anxiously awaits
the conclusion
to our tale.

on a morning
sweet with
summer heat,
heavy with
the insistence
of bees
about their work
in sun-drowsed garden,
I begin.

how far away
it all seems,
and yet,
so close,

like the sharp
facets of a blade,
flashing bright,
through the edges
of my dreams.

the pen grows
in my hand.....

it would please me
if I might tell
the story of
fabled Beren
or of the deeds
of brave Eärendil.

that would sing
with the sweet flow
of Elven script....
that would please me...

something burnished
by time
so that it does not
hurt so,
something that in the telling
brings only tears
of remembrance,
not of too-closely-held

and so my mind
to nights
when the world was new
and there were none of these strange folk
called hobbits,
no, nor a
country called the Shire.....
and those lands
now sleeping
beneath the wave
were newly
bright with tender Spring....

my mind turns there,
but does not stop.
it is carried forward
by those very waves
it touches,
across all the ages,
that which is still there
for it to touch.

I see it now,
as if it were
a faded print
upon a wall....:

The Quest......

something which
cannot have
concerned me,

something veiled
by time and ages
of shadow'd regret.....

touched me
at all.....

it was not me
whose feet
walked that long
and terrible
it was not me whose
saw things too
horrible to think upon....
it was not me whose hand....



my hand bears
silent witness
to who and what
I was....

who and what I became.

How is it that
that empty space
threads pain,


into the blank
wall of my mind?

I look down:

there are
standing large
and darkly
against the whiteness
of the page:

Graceful Elvish script
the foulest words
that ever there were.

I do not know why,
but I am laughing.


it does not feel
like laughter,
in my breast.

it hurts......
like a cold hand
my heart,
it hurts.

there is a fire
its small life out
in the grate....

little eyes watching
with fierce red wakeful

there is only my own
upon the wall
as I feed the whiteness
of the paper,
to the anger waiting in the round

I cannot get the sense of what it all means
I feel peaceful,
I feel at rest.

Outside the window,
the sound of half-hearted
not at all busy at their work,

knowing eyes,
a year and more older,
a year and more wiser,
meet mine.

Dear Sam.

I recall the
of his last
an open window.

I am laughing now,
my hand
to the sturdiness
of his.

this time,
it is I
who journeys
over the sill.

Elvish words
come just as readily
in the sun-hazed
study of my garden,
by the soft touch
of the wind.

there is no pen here
to distress my hand....
only words,

and a friend
to hear them.

the stars
and the slivered
of a moon
find us,
upon the ground.

I never knew
there were so many

And you
sat quiet
and bore them all.

when I had done,
your voice
spoke in the
fleeing darkness.

within the threads of my tale,
the embroidery of yours....
all those moments
I did not see....
could not see....
those bits of my life.....
our lives....
you saved for me.


we have tea
in the homely
echoed silence
of the kitchen.

sharp black tea
and bits of bread
toasted upon the grate
and running with Mari's jam.

I hum one of Bilbo's walking songs
down the hall-way and into the study.

I wait for the sound of shears.

The fresh whiteness of the page smiles at me.

I take up the pen and begin to tell our tale.


Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.

Previous screencap entry HERE.

Next Entry (Birth of Elanor, Pt. 1 - caps from Green Dragon) HERE

Listing of all Frodo Screencap entries HERE.

~ Mechtild
Tags: behind the scenes, frodo screencaps, jan-u-wine, return of the king

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