Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

Osgiliath: Frodo on the wall, and saying farewell to Faramir....


This entry presents screencaps of Frodo on the walls of before the Nazgûl, and bidding farewell to Faramir at the entrance to the sewers of Osgiliath.

1. Frodo on the walls of Osgiliath.

This scene has been discussed here and everywhere in the LotR fandom. I’ll only say that a brilliant poster in the Movies Forum at TORc (Tolkien Online), Magpie, first helped me get past my sense of affront to see the cinematic genius of the scene, breathtaking in its painterly, apocalyptic visuals, and beautifully scored by Howard Shore.

I have always wanted to see the visual sequence, frame by frame, as Frodo stands there, Sam dashing out to prevent him from putting on the Ring. As a screencapper, I finally could do that. And here they are: two tiny figures set against a huge canvas, Frodo's little cloak floating up, caught in the currents as the great tattered wings of the beast stroke up and down, white and silver clouds boiling up over the ruined city and the dark jagged Ephel Dúath behind it. I only wish the images were larger.

Magpie had said something about how this scene portrayed in a striking image the sheer magnitude and power of what Frodo was up against: portrayed it visually in a way no dialogue scene could achieve. I loved what she wrote, in any case. I always appreciate it when fans help me find new ways to love the films.


As usual, the screencaps for both these scenes, made from the EE of TTT, have been cropped and adjusted for brightness, contrast and focus.

~ The Nazgûl draws near to Frodo standing alone on the walls of Osgiliath:

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2. Frodo bids Faramir farewell at the sewers of Osgiliath.

This scene is, I think, one of the best scenes added to the EE version of The Two Towers. I still don’t like Faramir’s violent handling of Gollum, or the fact that Frodo stands by while Faramir does it, but I think Faramir's treatment of Gollum is more explicable in this scene, since Faramir has just found out where it is that Gollum is leading them.

Gollum’s acting during and after this exchange absolutely wows me. And he’s a CGI character! His performance reduces me to tears when he tells Sam, “No, no. No hard feelings,” suppressed pain, rage and hurt nearly choking him as he trails along behind the hobbits at a limping crawl.

I might add that Frodo in this scene is ravishing almost beyond description. In the first caps, especially, he has the dark, dreamy glamour of a film star of the Great Age of film, like Hedy Lamar or a Greta Garbo: beautiful in a lush, soulful way. How Faramir could let him go, I don’t know. ;) In the close-ups that follow, his fatigue shows clearly; yet his face, pinched with care and worry, is more beautiful than ever.

Film Scene (from the EE): The Sewers of Osgiliath.

Faramir: This is the old sewer. It runs right under the river through to the edge of the city. You'll find cover in the woods there.

Sam: Captain Faramir, you have shown your quality, sir, to the very highest.

Faramir: The Shire must truly be a great realm, Master Gamgee, where gardeners are held in high honour. What road will you take once you reach the woods?

Frodo: Gollum says there's a path near Minas Morgul that climbs up into the mountains.

Faramir: (to Sméagol, taking him by the throat): Cirith Ungol? Is that its name?

Gollum: No, no... Yes!

Faramir: (to Frodo): Frodo, they say a dark terror dwells in the passes above Minas Morgul. You cannot go that way.

Gollum: (to Faramir) It is the only way. Master says we must go to Mordor so we must try.

Frodo: (to Faramir) I must.

Faramir: Go, Frodo. Go with the goodwill of all Men.

Frodo: Thank you.

Frodo and Sam turn away into the sewer; Faramir again takes Gollum by the throat.

Faramir: (softly) May death find you quickly if you bring them to harm.

Gollum crawls after Frodo and Sam, favouring his right hand.

Sam: (to Gollum) Come on, keep up! (Sees that Gollum appears to be in pain.) Mr. Frodo didn't mean for them Rangers to hurt you. You know that, don't you? He was trying to save you, see?

Gollum: Save me?

Sam: So there's no hard feelings. Forgive and forget.

Gollum: No, no, no hard feelings. Gollum, gollum. Yes, master. Nice Hobbits.

Sam: That's very decent of you. Very decent indeed, Gollum.


~ Faramir bids Frodo and Sam farewell at the sewers of Osgiliath:

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The book scene.

The Sewer scene is an invention of the screenwriters, but some of its lines—and lines used in other parts of the Henneth Annun scene—come from the book scene below.

In it, Faramir has already brought the hobbits up to the hideout behind the falls, allowing them to rest before they are invited to join him at the evening meal. After their time of privation, it seems a feast to Sam and Frodo, made even better by wine, convivial talk, and shared lore. Sam becomes so at ease he ends up revealing to Faramir that what Frodo carries is the Ring. “Save me!” Sam cries, blanching then turning red. Frodo is aghast. After admonishing himself soundly, Sam appeals to the better nature of their host-captor.

Slightly related book scene, from The Window on the West.

‘Now look here, sir!’ He turned, facing up to Faramir with all the courage that he could muster. ‘Don’t you go taking advantage of my master because his servant’s no better than a fool. You’ve spoken very handsome all along, put me off my guard, talking of Elves and all. But handsome is as handsome does we say. Now’s a chance to show your quality.’

‘So it seems,’ said Faramir, slowly and very softly, with a strange smile. ‘So that is the answer to all the riddles! The One Ring that was thought to have perished from the world. And Boromir tried to take it by force? And you escaped? And ran all the way—tto me! And here in the wild I have you: two Halflings, and a host of men at my call, and the Ring of Rings. A pretty stroke of fortune! A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!’ He stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eyes glinting.

Frodo and Sam sprang from their stools and set themselves side by side with their backs to the wall, fumbling for their sword-hilts. There was a silence. Al the men in the cave stopped talking and looked towards them in wonder. But Faramir sat down again in his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly became grave again.

‘Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!’ he said. ‘How you have increased my sorrow, you two strange wanderers from a far country, bearing the peril of Men! But you are less judges of Men than I of Halflings. We are truth-speakers, we men of Gondor. We boast seldom, and then perform, or die in the attempt. Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this things was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them.

‘But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils form which a man must flee. Sit at peace…..’

The hobbits came back to their seats and sat very quiet. Men turned back to their drink and their talk, perceiving that their captain had had some just of other with the little guests, and that it was over.

‘Well, Frodo, now at last we understand one another, said Faramir. ‘If you took this thing on yourself unwillingly, at others’ asking, then you have pity and honour from me. And I marvel at you: to keep it hid and not to use it. You are a new people and a new world to me. Are all your kin of like sort? Your land must be a realm of peace and content, and there must gardeners be in high honour.’

‘Not all is well there,’ said Frodo, ‘but certainly gardeners are honoured.’

‘But folk must grow weary there, even in their gardens, as do all things under the Sun of this world. And you are far from home and wayworn. No more tonight. Sleep, both of you—in peace, if you can. Fear not! I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it that I know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo. Go now to rest—but first tell me only, if you will, whither you wish to go, and what to do. For I must watch, and wait, and think. Time passes. In the morning we must each go swiftly on the ways appointed to us.’

Frodo had felt himself trembling as the first shock of fear passed. Now a great weariness came down on him like a cloud. He could dissemble and resist no longer.

‘I was going to find a way into Mordor,’ he said faintly. ‘I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there.’

Faramir stared at him for a moment in grave astonishment. Then suddenly he caught him as he swayed, and lifting him gently, carried him to the bed and laid him there, and covered him warmly. At once he fell into a deep sleep.

Another bed was set beside him for his servant. Sam hesitated for a moment, then bowing very low: ‘Good night, Captain, my lord,’ he said. ‘You took the chance, sir.’

‘Did I so?’ said Faramir.

‘Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest.’

Faramir smiled. ‘A pert servant, Master Samwise. But nay: the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards. Yet there was naught in this to praise. I had no lure or desire to do other than I have done.’

‘Ah well, sir,’ said Sam, ‘you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. But I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of—well, Gandalf, or wizards.’

‘Maybe,’ said Faramir. ‘Maybe you discern from far away the air of Númenor. Good night!’


Recent Entries:

~ Ithilien: Sam sees Oliphaunts, plus jan-u-wine’s “Grey as a Mouse: Mumak of Harad”.

~ On the walls, and at the Sewers of Osgiliath.

~ Black Gate, Pt. 1: Frodo attempts the Black Gate.

~ Black Gate, Pt. 2: Gollum proposes another way.

~ Black Gate, Pt. 3: Frodo and Sam hide under the Elven cloak.

Older entries:

~ All Frodo and Elijah screencaps.

~ Mechtild

Tags: essay, frodo screencaps, the two towers

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