In Pt. 3 we are treated to more fine acting from Elijah Wood, thus more fine screencaps.
Complementing this sequence is a poem by jan-u-wine, That Which Waits. Her deft use of images, particularly, sharpens my sense of Frodo’s moment of realisation in the tunnel. It is posted below the screencaps.
The only other thing I want to lift up in this post is the passage from the book text where Sam remembers the phial of Galadriel. I so appreciated that the filmmakers picked up Sam’s vision and put it into the film, even if in another place, and experienced by Frodo instead of Sam.
Here’s what Sam sees in his mind’s eye:Then, as he stood, darkness about him and a blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw a light: a light in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first, as a sun-ray to the eyes of one long hidden in a windowless pit. Then the light became colour: green, gold, silver, white.
Far off, as in a little picture drawn by elven-fingers, he saw the Lady Galadriel standing on the grass in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands. And you, Ring-bearer, he heard her say, remote but clear, for you I have prepared this.
I think the book moment is beautiful just as Tolkien has described it. I love the notion of Sam seeing the image of Galadriel in Lórien as small, painted with Elven deftness, making me think of Dutch miniatures from the Renaissance, with their astonishing detail and jewel colours. Examining one is like peering into another world. But I think Jackson did marvellously translating the moment to film, transforming it from Sam's enchanted miniature to Frodo's vision of Galadriel in Lórien, huge on the big screen, radiant, otherwordly, stooping to him like the living icon of a great goddess.
For those who never saw the post with the caps of Frodo's vision in the Pass, they are here.
Below is the larger book excerpt, putting Sam's vision in context. It continues directly from the passage quoted in the previous instalment.
Book scene, from Shelob’s Tunnel, TTT.
They had not gone more than a few yards when from behind them came a sound, startling and horrible in the heavy padded silence: a gurgling, bubbling noise, and a long venomous hiss. They wheeled round, but nothing could be seen. Still as stones they stood, staring, waiting for they did not know what.
‘It’s a trap!’ said Sam, and he laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword; and as he did so, he thought of the darkness of the barrow whence it came. ‘I wish old Tom was near us now!’ he thought. Then, as he stood, darkness about him and a blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw a light: a light in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first, as a sun-ray to the eyes of one long hidden in a windowless pit. Then the light became colour: green, gold, silver, white. Far off, as in a little picture drawn by elven-fingers, he saw the Lady Galadriel standing on the grass in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands. And you, Ring-bearer, he heard her say, remote but clear, for you I have prepared this.
The bubbling hiss drew nearer, and there was a creaking as of some great jointed thing that moved with slow purpose in the dark. A reek came on before it. ‘Master, master!’ cried Sam, and life and urgency came back into his voice. ‘The Lady’s gift! The star-glass!’
‘The star-glass?’ muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. ‘Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help us.’
Film Scene: Frodo realises his plight.
There are no lines for this sequence. Frodo runs blindly on, seeing dead things hanging in webs. He stumbles, falling into a mass of web and bones. Distraught and on the edge of hysteria, in his mind he hears the voice of Galadriel.
Galadriel: And you, Frodo Baggins, I give you the Light of Eärendil, our most beloved star. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
~ Frodo perceives the presence of Shelob:
[Scene switches to Sam finding the lembas on the Stairs.]
That Which Waits
~ by jan-u-wine
a black eye,
like a bead
lost between sunlight
glints beneath ragged
shapes of things
and are not....
that should not be here,
here in the fearful silence.
I should not be here,
wrapped in darkness
it is like a slow river
pulling me inside itself.
I am finally
Not just in the darkness
become a living thing.
I had not accounted for
with blackened hands
fear through my mind.
What is it.....
Entries in the Shelob's Lair series:
~ Pt. 1: Entering the tunnel.
~ Pt. 2: Frodo is betrayed.
~ Pt. 3: Shelob perceived, plus jan-u-wine’s “That Which Waits”.
~ Pt. 4: The Star-glass.
~ Pt. 5: Shelob attacks.
~ Pt. 6: Gollum taunts Frodo.
~ Pt. 7: Frodo attacked by Gollum.
~ Pt. 8: Gollum makes his plea.
~ Pt. 9: Frodo resolves to go forward, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Web-ring”.
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