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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The Dead Marshes, Pt. 4 ~ “Wraiths on wings….”

Posted on 2007.04.27 at 18:26
Tags: ,
~*~




I really don't have much to add to this post in terms of commentary. It isn't Tolkien (in the book it is Gollum, not Frodo, who is incapacitated by the coming of the Nazgul overhead), but it's a well-done scene, clearly conveying the sense that the hobbits are still in extreme danger, even in the Dead Marshes.

Sam's care for Frodo is highlighted, too, which makes Sam look a lot better than in previous film scenes in which he is rather brutal towards Gollum (who in the films is shown in an especially sympathetic light).



~*~



Book scene: from The Passage of the Marshes.


It was late in the night when at length they reached firmer ground again. Gollum hissed an whispered to himself, but it appeared that he was pleased: in some mysterious way, by some blended sense of feel, and smell, and uncanny memory for shapes in the dark, he seemed to know just where he was again, and to be sure of his road ahead. (…) But in a little while he stopped suddenly and sniffed the air doubtfully, hissing as if he was troubled or displeased again.

‘What is it?’ growled Sam, misinterpreting the signs. ‘What’s the need to sniff? The stink nearly knocks me down with my nose held. You stink, and master stinks; the whole place stinks.’

‘Yes, yes, and Sam stinks!’ answered Gollum. ‘Poor Sméagol smells it, but good Sméagol bears it. Helps nice master. But that’s no matter. The air’s moving, change is coming. Sméagol wonders; he’s not happy.’

He went on again, but his uneasiness grew, and every now and again he stood up to his full height, craning his neck eastward and southward. For some time the gobbits could not hear or feel what was troubling him. Then suddenly all three halted, stiffening and listening. To Frodo and Sam it seemed that they heard, far away, a long wailing cry, high and thin and cruel. They shivered. At the same moment the stirring of the air became perceptible to them; they heard noise like a wind coming in the distance. The misty lights wavered, dimmed, and went out.

Gollum would not move. He stood shaking and gibbering to himself, until with a rush the wind came upon them, hissing and snarling over the marshes. The night became less dark, light enough for them to see, or half see, shapeless drifts of fog, curling and twisting as it rolled over them and passed them. Looking up they saw the clouds breaking and shredding; and then high in the south the moon glimmered out, riding in the flying wrack.

For a moment the sight of it gladdened the hearts of the hobbits; but Gollum cowered down, muttering curses on the White Face. Then Frodo and Sam stating at the sky, breathing deeply of the fresher air, saw it come: a small cloud flying from the accursed hills; a black shadow loosed from Mordor; a vast shape winged and ominous. It scudded across the moon, and with a deadly cry went away westward, outrunning the wind in its fell speed.

They fell forward, grovelling heedlessly on the cold earth. But the shadow of horror wheeled and returned, passing lower now, right above them, sweeping the fen-reek with its ghastly wings. And then it was gone, flying back to Mordor with the speed of the wrath of Sauron; and behind it the wind roared away, leaving the Dead Marshes bare and bleak. The naked waste, as far as the eye could pierce, even to the distant menace of the mountains, was dappled with the fitful moonlight.

Frodo and Sam got up, rubbing their eyes, like children wakened from an evil dream to find the familiar ngiht still over the world. But Gollum lay on the ground as if he had been stunned. They roused him with difficulty, and for some time he would not lift his face, but knelt forward on his elbows, covering the back of his head with his large flat hands.

‘Wraiths!’ he wailed, ‘Wraiths on wings! The Precious is their master. They see everything, everything. Nothing can hide from them. Curse the White Face! And they tell Him everything. He sees, He knows. Ach, gollum, gollum, gollum!’ It was not until the moon had sunk, westering far away beyond Tol Brandir, that he would get up or make a move.


~*~



Film scene: Gollum and the hobbits hide from the Ringwraith.


Gollum: (Looking up.) Ahh!

Sam: Black Riders!

Gollum: Hide! Hide!

Frodo grasps his shoulder in pain, a vision of his wounding by the Witch King on Weathertop appearing.

Sam: Come on, Frodo, Come on!

Sam urges him, half-drags him under the shelter of a low bush where Gollum has taken cover.

Gollum: Quick! They will see us! They will see us!

Sam: (Under the bush, to Gollum.) I thought they were dead!

Gollum: Dead? No, you cannot kill them! No.

The Ringwraith swoops, shrieking, its steed bellowing.

Gollum: Wraiths! Wraiths on wings! They are calling for it. They are calling for the Precious.

Unnoticed by Sam and Gollum, Frodo, as if he can’t help himself, slowly reaches for the Ring. Sam sees and takes Frodo’s hand, holding it fast.

Sam: Mr. Frodo! It's alright. I'm here.

The Ringwraith circles overhead and flies off into the distance. Frodo begins to recover.

Gollum: Hurry, hobbits! The Black Gate is very close.



~*~




As usual, the screencaps of this scene have been cropped and adjusted for brightness, contrast and focus.









~ The Ringwraith swoops low over the marshes.


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~*~






Most Recent Entries:


~ The Dead Marshes, Pt. 4: "Wraiths on Wings!"


~ The Dead Marshes, Pt. 3: "Master Knows" (EE scene).


~ The Dead marshes, Pt. 2: 'Who are you?"—Frodo tries to revive Gollum's memory of Sméagol.


~ The Dead Marshes, Pt. 1: "So bright... So beautiful..." plus jan-u-wine's poem of the same name.


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-b ~ "You know the way to Mordor."


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-a ~ “I do pity him.”






Older entries:


~ All Frodo and Elijah screencaps.




~ Mechtild





Comments:


(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-27 23:59 (UTC) (Link)
I thought the hand-holding worked well, Mews, especially in so far as it showed Sam as compassionate. In the book, Frodo *does* urge Sam to hold his hand on the plains of Gorgoroth when the Eye comes upon them, when he knows he will be unable to control his hand on his own. So it's not as though such a scene does not exist.

I only regret that the films did not show Frodo able to resist the Ring on his own at any time. Sam saves him, from the very first call of the Ring under the tree roots. I love that it makes Sam look faithful and capable, but I am sorry that Frodo was not shown as someone who possessed his own very strong will.
Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-04-28 01:55 (UTC) (Link)
and it shows us Sam holding his hand to help him fight off his desperate urge to put on the Ring.

That affected me very deeply, as well.
Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-04-28 01:57 (UTC) (Link)
What an intense scene, and your screencaps really bring us face to face with the hobbits' raw emotions.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-28 03:15 (UTC) (Link)
It is an intense scene, Shirebound, and well-scored, which heightens the scene's power quite a lot. I didn't realise how good Shore's music was for it, made to suit each moment in the scene, until I got the "Complete Soundtrack" CD set for the film for Christmas. He did such an excellent job. Well, he's always excellent, but the music for the approach of the Nazgul was super, just as it is in Osgiliath. Whatever anyone thinks about that scene, the scoring is great.
Prim
primula_baggins at 2007-04-28 14:08 (UTC) (Link)
I always loved how Frodo looked into Sam's face here, as if it was only this way that he could connect back with some form of reality. Your caps are beautiful. Thank you.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-28 14:21 (UTC) (Link)
I agree, Primula. The sense of connection is really good here, more than making up for the disengagement of the "Frodo tosses the lembas" scene.
Mariole
mariole at 2007-04-28 18:05 (UTC) (Link)
You know, he's just so freakingly awesomely amazingly beautiful.

Thank you.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-28 20:25 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he is, Mariole. Have you looked at the other TTT caps? For a film in which Frodo suffered diminishment as a character, it sure didn't hurt his looks any. Wait till you see the Henneth Annun caps (they'll come after "The Black Gate", which is next). He's just *stunning*.
(Anonymous) at 2007-04-28 22:45 (UTC) (Link)

freakingly awesomely amazingly beautiful

Yes he is.

Anne
melyanna_65
melyanna_65 at 2007-04-28 20:27 (UTC) (Link)
I love this scene, one of the most dramatic in TTT and it's the first time we see Sam actually comforting and protecting Frodo. Sam's role in the quest has changed forever.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-28 20:31 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Sam's lovely in this scene, concerned and protective. I love the whole look of the scene: the lighting, the way the Dead Marshes set looks in the low light, the wonderful aerial view from up over the shoulder of the Nazgul as it wheels away, its wings making that huge thrumming-beating sound when they stroke the air.
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-29 12:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Chickenlegs! You are most welcome. And you put it so nicely, comparing to the posts to boxes of very fine chocolates. And his images really are such. Rare, delicious, never palling, and with an aphrodisiac effect.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-05-01 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mechling! This is one of my favourite film scenes. The screen caps are simply beautiful.

--Estë
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-05-01 18:04 (UTC) (Link)
Completely OT:

I've just noticed how prominent a certain part of Frodo's anatomy is in the third cap down. *blush*


--Estë the naughty

Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-05-01 19:31 (UTC) (Link)
Film Frodo rodo was far too stricken at that particular moment to have any amorous notions, I am sure. That's just cloth, alas, but it was fun staring at it. :)

Thanks for posting, Este. Yes, it's a great scene. I was listening to TTT complete score again today, admiring all the more the way Howard Shore scored that moment when the Nazgul is sighted. Even if nothing much were happening on screen, the music would nearly make up for it. But a great scene combined with great music? Wow.
pearlette
pearlette at 2007-05-01 21:52 (UTC) (Link)
*quickly scans third cap down* :p

Ah yes, just cloth. Oh well, always worth looking. :D

Frolijah's acting is really phenomenal. All the expressions that flicker over his face. Astonishing, really, how he inhabited this role.

Like you, Mechtild, I wish that Film Fro had been shown resisting the Ring by his own strength and volition, as Book Fro does. All the same, that cap of Sam clutching Frodo's hand, his face wrung with agonised sympathy and love, is tremendously moving.

I love the slow whump-- WHUMP of the fell beast's wings in this scene. Awesome sound editing, w00t!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-05-01 23:34 (UTC) (Link)
Hi! I'm on my way out, Pearl, but I wanted to say, yeah, the sound editors on LotR deserved their Oscar. The whump whump was great. But listen to Howard's scoring of this moment (the onslaught of the Ringwraith in the marshes) on someone's copy of the complete TTT. It is SO good.

Yes, just cloth. But if he were excited, it would be more than cloth, yessirree bob.

Yes, it's a shame he couldn't be the silent-but-valiant hobbit from the book scene here, but he was wonderful. And, as you say, his moment with Sam was extremely moving and involving. *sob*
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-05-09 12:34 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Enjoyed your lovely screencaps! :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-05-17 01:34 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Frodosweetstuff! (Sorry I'm so late seeing this!)
julchen11
julchen11 at 2007-05-16 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
I love this scene, I really love it. It shows Sam’s strength and care for Frodo.

“and it shows us Sam holding his hand to help him fight off his desperate urge to put on the Ring.”

The hand-holding works so very well (sometimes – it’s my opinion – the filmmakers didn’t take much care of “touching” scenes like this … sorry, I don’t know how to say it better *sigh* ) Sam’s role has changed from now on.
The way Frodo is looking at Sam – oh my, he’s soooo beautiful ..
Great caps, dearie – another lovely post which made my night.

Thank you a lot, mechtild! So many time you put in this treasures and so much love
For the books, for the movies, for Frodo …

*big tight hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-05-17 01:46 (UTC) (Link)
[Julchen, I reposted this comment because I left out your quote.]

Julchen, I'm so glad you are pleased. I thought this scene worked really well, too. All the characters connect, and the music is great.

The hand-holding works so very well (sometimes – it’s my opinion – the filmmakers didn’t take much care of “touching” scenes like this … sorry, I don’t know how to say it better *sigh* )

Except for the lack of the Tower of Cirith Ungol scene (what was there was quite abbreviated and different), and a few other moments, I thought the film makers put in more signs of affection between Frodo and Sam than many filmmakers might, worrying that modern audiences would think the two were having an affair.

Some viewers did and do think they were having an affair, and continue to think so in spite of declarations by those involved in the scenes. So while I'm glad PJ put as much of the book demonstrativeness in as he did, I think he needn't have worried about being bolder. People who see the two as lovers will see them that way no matter what PJ showed or didn't show. People who don't think of them as lovers would have been able to watch all the physical marks of affection and devotion from the book portrayed on the screen, and still never think it meant anything eroticised.
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