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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Elanor is Born, Part I ~ The Naming of Elanor....

Posted on 2006.09.22 at 08:04
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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
for the deep
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

A thrush,
vest of flared fire
denying its somber suit,
lights in spring-burdened

I cannot hear his song
through the closed round
of the window.

creeps upon the
darkened floor....

it seems far

as if I were
a Man,

looking upon it
from a Man's great height.

How long
have I been

A film of prism'd
clings to the basin's face...

the iced water within

As it was then,
so it is


silence so
it echoes
within itself.

I begin to imagine,
that I may be
the only person
to this world.

no fire
glows, winking
in great-room
or kitchen,
no warm welcome
of loaves,
from the sill.

not even a kettle
upon the hearth.

half a round of cheese,
sweating its sharpness
beneath a burden of wax,
lies upon the board.

a cloth of faded red
a heel of poppy-loaf.

this will do.

this will do

the front garden
is bright and comforting.

the anxious song of
my cheery,
red-breasted friend
against my ear.

so many,
the flowers
that wake
in this tumult of spring....
so many,
the songs which rise to greet

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
all this long while?


there is something
cradled in soft yellow,
held safe
in the bend of his arm.

A child.

His child.

I look into his eyes.

they are like ancient streams,
full of little-known light....
hard-won wisdom...

wakening joy.

This is the child
he said
would bear
my name.

Now his eyes are quick
with merriment:

A girl child has graced us this day.

We lean upon each other
and laugh....

great, breathless
followed close
by tears.

I hold this fair,
tiny treasure
to me....

your daughter.

I know, now
is precious.

You remind me,
there is still
the question
of a name.

The stars
would not be good enough
for her.

not good enough,
but too grand,
those lofty names
for such a small flower
to bear.

My eye
from the sweet
warmth of the child.....

there are flowers
like unto
golden, moon-kissed

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.

Listing of all Frodo Screencap entries HERE.

~ Mechtild


Summer aka Summershobbit
summershobbit at 2006-09-22 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
Very beautiful!
mechtild at 2006-09-22 21:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Summershobbit (and so is your screencap - exceptionally lovely!). :)
shirebound at 2006-09-22 13:39 (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely poem. And... The reaction shots of the heirs of the Tooks, Brandybucks and Bagginses are a treat to watch as Sam does whatever he is doing Part of me wishes we'd *seen* what Sam was doing, but part of me enjoys imagining it!
mechtild at 2006-09-22 21:20 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'd love to see it, too. Just because. Maybe they tried showing the scene but Sean just couldn't do it. Remember how much trouble he was supposed to have had giving Sarah McLeod (Rosie) that little sweet peck in the wedding scene? Worrying about how his wife would take it, etc. Just think how challenged he'd be by having to actually stride over there and really kiss her. If that's what he did. That's what I was imagining, anyway. I was imagining that, feeling heroic, even kingly, he'd follow Aragorn's example at his coronation (or with Billy Boyd in that hilarious Extra), and just grab the lass and snog her soundly.
shirebound at 2006-09-22 21:39 (UTC) (Link)
I was imagining that, feeling heroic, even kingly, he'd follow Aragorn's example at his coronation (or with Billy Boyd in that hilarious Extra), and just grab the lass and snog her soundly.

Omigosh, someone should write that as a fanfic scene. Sean all embarrassed but trying to emulate Viggo's example. :D
mechtild at 2006-09-22 22:29 (UTC) (Link)
Do you mean Sean all embarrassed, or Sam? That is, are you picturing a Real Person fic, or a Fictional Person one? Just want to be clear about what you are imagining, Shirebound. :)
shirebound at 2006-09-22 22:33 (UTC) (Link)
Sean! A real-person fic! :D
mechtild at 2006-09-22 23:13 (UTC) (Link)
So when are you going to write it? :D
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-09-22 21:22 (UTC) (Link)
She really was the reason and the reward for the whole thing, her and all the other children born into a better world, because of what Frodo and the Fellowship did.

I said almost exactly that for my next post, Mews (which showcases another "Elanor" poem by Jan, but expressing far more mixed feelings about the birth). Naturally, I agree with you. :)
alyrthia at 2006-09-22 17:52 (UTC) (Link)
Oh Mechtild, what a beautiful combination of pictures and poem!! They leave me with such wistful feelings...

thank you!
mechtild at 2006-09-22 21:23 (UTC) (Link)
Well, get out your hankie, Alyon. I'm posting the poem that details Frodo's darker, sadder feelings shortly.
igraine1419 at 2006-09-22 21:08 (UTC) (Link)
Gorgeous pictures, Mechtild. I do love the fragile beauty of Frodo in that scene, making the smile seem all the brighter when it bursts out. The first one is particularly lovely, and what a very beautiful poem.
mechtild at 2006-09-22 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Igraine. The lighting in the Green Dragon scene is exquisite. That whole scene is beautifully conceived, an example of the writers doing really good things with the limitations of film (i.e. not enough time to do the Scouring of Shire justice, etc.).
pearlette at 2006-09-22 23:57 (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL poem.

Lovely screencaps as always.

(goodness, doesn't Lij look young here? His youth works OK in the film. But compared with Book Frodo post-quest, he does look so very young.)
mechtild at 2006-09-23 00:38 (UTC) (Link)
Well, in my mind, book-Quest Frodo did not look that much older, physically; he'd only just lost custody of the Ring; he wouldn't turn a hobbit fifty in a week (which is not old, by the way, it's still on the young side of middle-age). I imagined, though, that he'd seem older because he'd act older; more grave, more dignified, more world-weary, more sad; without the careless joie de vivre he'd had before.
illyria_novia at 2006-09-23 00:53 (UTC) (Link)
The thing that struck me about these caps of post quest Frodo is the fact that even when he laughs, he still has this air of weariness, of tired resignation, as though a laughter doesn't give him genuine pleasure anymore, just something he does out of habit maybe. Those bags under his eyes gave him a look of tiredness and general unhealth.

And I'm fascinated by the details these closeups give, like the weave of Frodo's weskit. Thanks for posting this, Mechtild.
mechtild at 2006-09-23 01:15 (UTC) (Link)
It is my pleasure, Illyria. Yes, he does look tired around the eyes. Probably from staying up all night writing, even the dull parts.

Thanks so much for your insightful comments; they grace the page.
taerie at 2006-09-24 01:58 (UTC) (Link)
Illyria's right. Frodo's eyes in this one has always kept me from really enjoying this scene. They look darker than usual.. and there is a look in them.. almost a desperate light that hurts to look at even though he is laughing. It doesn't show up so much in these screencaps but it is very striking in the scene itself.
mechtild at 2006-09-24 20:37 (UTC) (Link)
I think you are right, Taerie, although I do see something wistful creep in as the camera moves closer, something that's not there in the initial laugh. No?
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-25 11:53 (UTC) (Link)
Your beautiful screen-caps together with Jan-u-wines's poem move me very deeply.

A tear just rolled down my cheek, even though I know this is a joyous occasion, because I remember reading Jan's 'No Child of My Body'

Imho this is a Once-in-a-fandom moment - Your caps and Jan's poetry.

How does one write such moving poetry? - it is certainly not somthing that you are taught. It is a gift.
mechtild at 2006-09-25 13:59 (UTC) (Link)
How does one write such moving poetry? - it is certainly not somthing that you are taught. It is a gift.

You are right. When have pressed jan-u-wine for more details about how she produces such work, she doesn't know. (Hopefully, I am remembering all this rightly.) The words just come to her, sometimes easily, sometimes with more difficulty. It astounds me, sometimes, though she is completely unaware of what an unusual facility of gift it is. What must it be like to just "see" the words like that? I told her I see images, visual pictures in my head, but then have to translate them into words, so that I experience it as somewhat laborious. In fact, I've been reading a biography of C.S. Lewis and he spoke of his creative writing in a similar way. (I'll quote it below, for posterity.)

His method of writing stories was to assemble the pictures that appeared in his mind. As he explained in a lecture to the Library Association: "With me the process is much more like bird-watching than like either talking or building. I see pictures. Some of the pictures have a common flavour, almost a common smell, which groups them together. Keep quiet and watch and they will begin joining themselves up. If you were very lucky (I have never been so lucky as all that) a whole group might join themselves so consistently that there you had a complete story; without doing anything yourself. But more often (in my experience always) there are gaps. Then at last you have to do some deliberate inventing..."

~ quoted from p. 188 in George Sayer's "Jack: C. S. Lewis and his Times"

But jan's experience sounds very different than this. She sees the words themselves, already there. When I try to imagine it, I think of the words appearing on the Ring, or upon the doors of Moria, made of mithril. Amazing.

Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-26 08:34 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechtild. It's fun to see how different authors approach writing.
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2012-01-10 04:38 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this poem is so wonderful! How Jan takes us through his bleak despair, and turns it with cheese of all things, as he focuses on what's before him, identifies with it unduly, determines it is what will fit the need at hand and turns to live in the spring day to be topped off with the new born Elanor, and the twists and joyful turns of life in the now. The bitter to the sweet. Gorgeous!

he does look as young in those caps as in the beginning pics except for one thing--the lines under his eyes showing the puffiness of one who has mourned. It looks like they put very subtle lighter makeup under his eyes that would pic up the light, and angled the lighting to make the shadows follow those lines. Or they didn't make him up like they usually would, so the lines he was getting from his demanding schedule's lack of sleep would show.
mechtild at 2012-01-10 13:12 (UTC) (Link)
What a careful reader you are, Lavender, the sort of reader any writer values. Thank you for this. I will let Jan know you wrote a comment here. :)
jan_u_wine at 2012-01-11 03:36 (UTC) (Link)
Dear LT.....how glad I am that you enjoyed this. It brought me much joy to write it....I am happy that you could share it with me.
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