Featuring screencaps from the Green Dragon scene, with jan-u-wine’s The Fairest Flower….
Today is September 22, but I shall celebrate by commemorating another joyous birth....
From The Return of the King, The Grey Havens:
Time went on, and 1421 came in. Frodo was ill again in March, but with a great effort he concealed it, for Sam had other things to think about.
The first of Sam and Rosie’s children was born on the twenty-fifth of March, a date that Sam noted.
‘Well, Mr. Frodo,’ he said. ‘I’m in a bit of a fix. Rose and me had settled to call him Frodo, with your leave; but it’s not him, it’s her. Though as pretty a maidchild as any one could hope for, taking after Rose more than me, luckily. So we don’t know what to do.’
The book scene that Jan’s poem enlarges upon -- the birth and naming of Elanor -- isn’t included in the film, but I have borrowed frames of Frodo laughing from RotK’s Green Dragon scene. I am pretending they are images of Frodo as he learns of Elanor’s birth, an event that brings him joy in the midst of a difficult time.
In the filmed scene, the Four Travellers have returned to an un-scoured Shire, where things are going on as they always have done, war or no war. The heroes go completely unremarked. A large pumpkin causes more of a stir. Not only Frodo's but the efforts of all four go unlauded and their tales unasked for. Raising their mugs, they seem to share a partly-amused, mostly-rueful understanding: “Well, what else did we expect?”
In the frames I chose, Sam has girded his loins and boldly risen from the table. Merry has cued Frodo to watch as Sam, off-screen, presents his suit to Rosie Cotton. This was well-done by the filmmakers, I thought. The reaction shots of the heirs of the Tooks, Brandybucks and Bagginses are a treat to watch as Sam does whatever he is doing (probably snogging Rosie speechless).
When I put aside what I know is coming before I look at Frodo in these frames, he really does look as though he had returned to his pre-Quest self in that moment. No wonder his friends (in the book, anyway) did not to know there was anything still wrong with him.
Even if he could no longer feel happiness for himself, he still could feel happiness for his friends and their better fortunes.
The frames have been tweaked for contrast and focus.
~ Frodo watches Sam at the Green Dragon; RotK, full-screen theatrical version:
The Fairest Flower
~ by jan-u-wine
How very quiet my Home in the hazed grey before true-dawn.
I can scarce move for the deep drift of coverlets that pillow me in forgetful warmth.
Two years ago, this very day....
It is as if it never happened....
it is as if it were happening still.
A thrush, vest of flared fire denying its somber suit, lights in spring-burdened tree.
I cannot hear his song through the closed round of the window.
cold creeps upon the darkened floor....
it seems far away...
as if I were suddenly a Man,
looking upon it from a Man's great height.
How long have I been abed?
A film of prism'd crystal clings to the basin's face...
the iced water within bites.
As it was then, so it is now.
silence so deep it echoes within itself.
I begin to imagine, somehow, that I may be the only person left to this world.
no fire glows, winking in great-room or kitchen, no warm welcome of loaves, honey-glazed, beckons from the sill.
not even a kettle sighs, sweet upon the hearth.
half a round of cheese, yellow, sweating its sharpness beneath a burden of wax, lies upon the board.
a cloth of faded red covers a heel of poppy-loaf.
this will do.
this will do well.
the front garden is bright and comforting.
the anxious song of my cheery, red-breasted friend trills against my ear.
so many, the flowers that wake in this tumult of spring.... so many, the songs which rise to greet them.
I am lost in a confusion of sound and color.
a soft step stirs the grass beside me, a hand, warm as the sunshine, brown as rich earth, falls upon my shoulder.
I smile at him.
Have I really been dreaming all this long while?
there is something wrapped, cradled in soft yellow, held safe in the bend of his arm.
I look into his eyes.
Today they are like ancient streams, full of little-known light.... hard-won wisdom...
This is the child he said would bear my name.
Now his eyes are quick with merriment: dapple-summer-leaves dancing.
A girl child has graced us this day.
We lean upon each other and laugh....
great, breathless laughter, followed close by tears.
I hold this fair, tiny treasure to me....
I know, now what is precious.
You remind me, there is still the question of a name.
The stars would not be good enough for her.
No..... not good enough, but too grand, perchance, those lofty names for such a small flower to bear.
My eye wanders from the sweet warmth of the child.....
flowers.... there are flowers like unto golden, moon-kissed stars
at my feet.
The blessing of the Lady:
It blooms, here, like her, beyond all reason, beyond all hope.
She will be as simple as an earth-held blossom.....
as beautiful as the lights of the distanced sky.
In all my life, there has never been a Spring more golden,
a day more blessed with life.
March 25, 1421, S.R.
Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.
Previous screencap entry ("Frodo Writes the Red Book, Pt. III") HERE.
Next entry (Elanor is Born, Pt. II - Sam's wedding caps) HERE.