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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

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

Posted on 2006.09.20 at 23:29
Tags: , , ,
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


ms_banazira at 2006-09-21 05:47 (UTC) (Link)
Well! That got poem got the waterworks going. I've always suspected that Frodo and Sam never really talked about the Quest after it was over, that they just watched each other, knowing what each was going through; Sam could always work out what his master was thinking. But I like the idea of Frodo talking with Sam, getting Sam's input, and then being able to write with Sam's memories to soften his own. I like that idea alot!
mechtild at 2006-09-21 15:14 (UTC) (Link)
It's a beautiful look at their post-Quest way of being together, isn't it? I suppose they were often past the need to speak, having shared so much, just an exchanged look. But as to the "stuff" of what happened on the Quest, how appropriate -- and plausible -- that Frodo would have asked Sam for help recalling, especially for the times when Frodo himself was not...himself.

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.

Boo hoo hoo! So beautiful.
melyanna_65 at 2006-09-21 10:17 (UTC) (Link)
Poor sweet Frodo, he's so pale and suffering in this scene! Look at those dark circles under his eyes.
It always break my heart seeing him like this!


Thanks again for sharing those wonderful caps, dearest!
mechtild at 2006-09-21 15:17 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the circles do look darker. The look of his face is more stark. I think in post-production they not only changed the palette for this scene to something more leeched of colour, they softened it, giving that "old illustration" look; autumnal, yellowed, almost dreamy.
shirebound at 2006-09-21 11:59 (UTC) (Link)
I feel as though this second set of caps allow me to turn the gem of his performance; different facets, different beauties.

What a lovely way of expressing this, Mechtild. And what a lovely poem.
mechtild at 2006-09-21 15:17 (UTC) (Link)
Yes; two gems. :) Thank you, Shirebound.
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mechtild at 2006-09-21 15:26 (UTC) (Link)
But Frodo is not sad in this poem. He has just begun to write, and he's feeling rather positive. But, it makes me weep anyway, since I know the project will end in his departure, "too badly hurt", with the Shire "saved, but not for me." Perhaps that's what you mean, White Gull.

There are more Jan poems coming up, to illuminate all but one of the end scene screencaps posts. They are all weepy, too. But, I love them to pieces and thought they went together well with the images, each bringing the other out.

Well, you can look at the pictures. :)

Good luck and great pleasure writing your new fic!
pearlette at 2006-09-21 21:46 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so much love! :)

Watching, in these screencaps, sweet bouncy yet thoughful Lij metamorphise once more into that sober, sweet angel Frodo Baggins.

I get all teary-eyed when I watch Elijah's last scene. And PJ ... *meep*

All of Jan-u-wine's poems are really special, but the premise in this one is particularly lovely. How rich her poetry is! She weaves in so much of Tolkien's great themes. How fitting, that Frodo's thoughts would turn to Beren's quest (as Sam's turned to Beren, in the Pass of Cirith Ungol). But as Frodo tries to take refuge in the safety of a tale from long, long ago, the remembrance of Beren's terrible wound is a horribly sharp reminder of his own. He can't escape ...

But what a lovely, healing scenario Jan comes up with. I LOVE that Frodo would seek Sam out, and they would talk softly together, unburdening, in the Bag End garden.

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

Lovely, just lovely.
mechtild at 2006-09-21 21:56 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Pearl, you enrich my appreciation so much. I thought I couldn't love the screencap scene or this poem more, but you have shown me new things to hold close.


This really is the best sort of thing fandom can do: enhance our love and understanding for the text; increase our gratitude for the sheer gift of Tolkien's passion for the story and loving toil creating it, all through this sort of mutual exchange.
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mechtild at 2006-09-22 04:44 (UTC) (Link)
Whenever I think of Elijah as Frodo, it breaks my heart how young he was when he made this journey of sorts that was the making of Lord of the Rings.

It was an awful lot on his shoulders, and a tremendous responsibility to do that role well, but I think he rose to occasion. He probably grew more as an actor -- and as a person -- than anyone his age ever has performing a role in a film. Which is the only thing that makes me sad about the whole thing: that what will probably be his mountain top experience should have happened at such a young age.

Were you able to see the screencap entries that preceded this one? I've been making a huge push to finish all my screencap posts that have been piling up all at once. They had some gems, too.

Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting so graciously, Saber Orlando. :)

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aprilkat at 2006-09-23 05:14 (UTC) (Link)
Came over via mews and have enjoyed all three of your contributions.

I love the way you've taken jan-u-wine's poetry and so artfully engaged it with your screencaps that it tells its own story.
mechtild at 2006-09-23 14:57 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Aprilkat. I had made these caps a while ago, well, most of them, planning to do the whole trilogy when I started making and presenting Frodo caps over a year ago. (I am sure I will never make it, LOL.)

But as I read more and more of Jan's poems, I kept having "Wow!" moments, thinking how well the poems and the caps would suit each other. I had posted some of Jan-u-wine's poetry before, when she wrote a few inspired by some of my Frodo art manips, but I never thought of pairing her poems with screencaps. It's been a fun challenge to design and prepare this long series. I still have seven or so more in the hopper, almost ready to post. Only the next three have no poem to go with them. Tolkien's text and the caps will stand on their own.
julchen11 at 2006-09-24 11:06 (UTC) (Link)
I’m so deeply moved, you left my weeping. I want to say so much but I’m too moved to write.
The way Elijah transforms into Frodo is incredible. The gentleness, the expression on his face … he was simply perfect for this part.
Your quote, the caps and the wonderful poem of jan_u_wine… I don’t know what to say but THANK YOU! I’m crying everytime I’m watching this scene, it’s very touching, though it hurts it’s yet full of hope. And so is Jan’s poem. Heartbreaking and so beautiful.
The best of the quote, the pictures, the poem is not the thought which they contains,but the thought which they suggest. Frodo talking to Sam in Bag End’s garden… I love that imagination to pieces.
What a wonderful silent conversation.

Thank you mechtild, thank you jan_u_wine.

Thank you ever so much.


*wipes tears away*
mechtild at 2006-09-24 20:42 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Julchen. Thanks again so much for posting at length. Your generosity of spirit - and of effort (it can't be convenient to write in a second language, even if you are so good at it) - moves me.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-25 10:10 (UTC) (Link)
The screen-caps are lovely Mechtild. Thank you.
I have seen and enjoyed the documentary too. I must put aside some time to watch it again.

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

who and what I became.

*sob *
mechtild at 2006-09-25 13:34 (UTC) (Link)
*sobs with you in a harem-sisterly manner*

P.S. What became of the Harem? I haven't had a notice in the box for over a week. Maybe it has truly died its final death.
lovethosehobbit at 2006-10-03 16:10 (UTC) (Link)
The first 5 scenes he looks so sad, yet determined. It makes me tear up, the remembrance of sitting through the last movie and knowing it was over. I was depressed for weeks afterwards, especially since they had left out the possibility of Sam traveling into the West at some future moment. These pics bring all of my own memories to the fore and I can't stop looking at the talented actor's lovely, perfect face as he plays his part in what will be, for all of us, a continueing tale.

The prose is so lovely, so telling, of his love for Sam and all that was. I really loved the way she wrote it.
mechtild at 2006-10-03 18:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Lovethosehobbits. It really was a wrench to know there would be no more LotR after RotK. I think that increased my sob-factor, too, all during that time. But the film didn't depress me; I was bursting with love for it and a desire to talk about it non-stop - and cry a lot.
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