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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Gorgoroth Revisited, Pt. 2: ‘Hide!’, plus jan-u-wine's "Where You Are Bound"….

Posted on 2007.09.03 at 17:21
Tags: , ,

This entry—the first of three posts re-visiting Gorgoroth in widescreen (I made fullscreen caps of these scenes last year)—was made to showcase a poem by jan-u-wine, Where You Are Bound. The next two posts will feature poetry by Jan, too, which is the reason I made the new sets of caps.

I chose the book scenes for the series to illustrate both the poems and the caps.

The book passage for this entry, portraying Frodo’s collapse when the Eye from its tower of Barad-dûr is about to fall upon him, obviously inspired the comparable film scene capped below. The scene actually happens later in the book than in the film, but the film shifts a number of scenes around for its Gorgoroth section. For instance, the segment in the film which is marked by the "taste of strawberries......naked in the dark" speeches, takes place earlier in the book.

Both book excerpts are great. The scene in which Frodo pleads with Sam to keep his hands from reaching for the Ring reminds me of how Frodo was able to control that same impulse in the Morgul Vale (when the Witch-king was crossing the bridge), but he can't do it here. He is too worn, physically and mentally, and the Ring too strong on the slopes of Mt. Doom, its forging-place. The part in which Sam restrains Frodo's hands really undoes me. Sam knows what he must do: restrain Frodo's hands as requested. But the manner in which he does it is so gentle, so loving—even reverent—that I love him even more.

The other book passage posted below, the one in which Frodo warns Sam not even to offer to carry the Ring lest he feel driven to attack Sam (“I should go mad”), doesn’t happen in the film at all, unless you want to count Osgiliath. I cite it here because lines in Jan's poem seem pick up on the incident. This gorgeous, wrenching poem follows the caps. I won't go into details about it, praising this or that. That is for you readers.


Book scenes from Mount Doom.

All this last day Frodo had not spoken, but had walked half-bowed, often stumbling, as if his eyes no longer saw the way before his feet. Sam guessed that among all their pains he bore the worst, the growing weight of the Ring, a burden on the body and a torment to his mind. Anxiously Sam had noted how his master’s left hand would often be raised as if to ward off a blow, or to screen his shrinking eyes from a dreadful Eye that sought to look in them. And sometimes his right hand would creep to his breast, clutching, and then slowly, as the will recovered mastery, it would be withdrawn.

Frodo was lying on his back not moving. Sam stood beside him, reluctant to speak, and yet knowing that the word now lay with him: he must set his master’s will to work for another effort. At length, stooping and caressing Frodo’s brow, he spoke in his ear.

‘Wake up, Master!’ he said. ‘Time for another start.’

As if roused by a sudden bell, Frodo rose quickly, and stood up and looked away southwards; but when his eyes beheld the Mountain and the desert he quailed again.

‘I can’t manage it, Sam,’ he said. ‘It is such a weight to carry, such a weight.’

Sam knew before he spoke, that it was vain, and that such words might do more harm than good, but in his pity he could not keep silent. ‘Then let me carry it a bit for you, Master,’ he said. ‘You know I would, and gladly, as long as I have any strength.’

A wild light came into Frodo’s eyes. ‘Stand away!’ Don’t touch me!’ he cried. ‘It is mine, I say. Be off!’ His hand strayed to his sword-hilt. But then quickly his voice changed. ‘No, no, Sam,’ he said sadly. ‘But you must understand. It is my burden, and no one else can bear it. It is too late now, Sam dear. You can’t help me in that way again. I am almost in its power now. I could not give it up, and if you tried to take it I should go mad.’

Sam nodded. ‘I understand,’ he said. ‘But I’ve been thinking, Mr. Frodo, there’s other things we might do without. Why not lighten the load a bit? We’re going that way now, as straight as we can make it.’ He pointed to the Mountain. ‘It’s no good taking anything we’re not sure to need.’


Sam drew a deep breath. There was a path, but how he was to get up the slope to it he did not know. First he must ease his aching back. He lay flat beside Frodo for a while. Neither spoke. Slowly the light grew. Suddenly a sense of urgency which he did not understand came to Sam. It was almost as if he had been called: ‘Now, now, or it will be too late!’ He braced himself and got up. Frodo also seemed to have felt the call. He struggled to his knees.

‘I’ll crawl, Sam,’ he gasped.

So foot by foot, like small grey insects, they crept up the slope. They came to the path and found that it was broad, paved with broken rubble and beaten ash. Frodo clambered onto it, and then moved as if by some compulsion he turned slowly to face the East. Far off the shadows of Sauron hung; but torn by some gust of wind out of the world, or else moved by some great disquiet within, the mantling clouds swirled, and for a moment drew aside; and then he saw, rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr.

One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye; and then the shadows were furled again and the terrible vision was removed. The Eye was not turned to them: it was gazing north to where the Captains of the West stood at bay, and thither all its malice now was bent, as the Power moved to strike its deadly blow; but Frodo at that dreadful glimpse fell as one stricken mortally. His hand sought the chain about his neck.

Sam knelt by him. Faint, almost inaudibly, he heard Frodo whispering: ‘Help me, Sam! Help me, Sam! Hold my hand! I can’t stop it.’ Sam took his master’s hands and laid them together, palm to palm, and kissed them; and then he held them gently between his own. The thought came to him: ‘He’s spotted us! It’s all up or soon will be. Now, Sam Gamgee, this is the end of ends.’

Again he lifted Frodo and drew his hands down to his own breast, letting his master’s legs dangle. Then he bowed his head and struggled off along the climbing road.


Film Scene from the theatrical version of The Return of the King.

The two walk along through the rubble and vapours, Frodo ahead, waving invisible obstacles out of his way. Sam follows, watching. Suddenly Sam spots the Eye in the tower of Barad-dûr. Like a searchlight in a prison camp, it is sweeping towards them.

Sam: Frodo! Get down! Hide!

Sam drops down. His back to Sam, Frodo falls, too, upon the ash and stones. He lies there like one mortally stricken. Sam sees.

Sam: Frodo!

The Eye sweeps away again. Sam looks up and calls to Frodo.

Sam: It's gone, Mister Frodo! The light's passed on, away towards the North. Something's drawn its gaze.

Sam pulls Frodo up, and together they stumble away.



Where You are Bound

~ by jan-u-wine

Like a broken-limbed doll
you lie before me,

and I wonder what your eyes,
all unseeing,

I know I should not,
dare not
touch you,

that even a hand
held out in comfort
might rouse
something that
still you struggle
to contain.

I cannot let you go,
not like this,
not so alone,

not with the fear
which is not fear
dulling your eyes,

pinning you to the ground
at my feet.

What can I say
to you

what hope can I
give you
which does not
become a lie
upon my broken lips?

Like the water,
my own hope
has run out.

Like the bread,
it has broken
upon the stones
and winds
and endless passes
of these forgotten

My old Gaffer
would have words
for me,

words for us,
if he were by.

He always set a great store
by you, my Gaffer did.

I don't suppose you
remember him,

All the fair things,
the small things....

all the great
and simple folk
you came to this night-drowned
place to save

and you remember
none of them.

Only the evil

taking the last
of you,




giving over,
at last,
to Darkness.

I could bear it

I think:

I could bear it

if you

were only dying.


the body which lies
so light within the circle
of my arms

will not be granted
this peace,

this doubtful gift.

will not find rest
beneath the kind curve
of the earth.

Nor even sleep endlessly upon its face.

are going to Him.

It does not matter that
the ragged pulse
that drives your heart
beats dully against my throat,


where your head rests against mine.

It does not matter that words


like shallow breaths,
from your lips.

It does not matter.

It is all only a lie.

I know all too well now
binds you

you are bound.

Do you know,

I saw a fox once,

running in the wood
beyond the Hill....

all russet-red and swift
he was

and glad he looked,

as if he knew his place
beneath the softened stars.

As quick as thought,

he fell at my feet,

caught, in his flight,
by a hunter's feathered friend.

I could not move
as the light left his eyes

and they turned from clever
to cold in the space of a heart-beat.

His limbs
with the shock of it all,

life pulling sharp and fierce
against the call of death.

I felt a fool,

I touched my hand
to the ruff of his neck

and spoke to him
as his life ran out.

I do not feel a fool,

Only sad in a measure
beyond words.

And I hold to you,
as the ribbon of your
life plays out in jagged

I tell myself
(and you,
though perhaps you hear me not)
there is a whole World
outside this shallow moment...

a world where folk still
sow a glad earth
and sing beneath a harvest sky,

Beneath this sky,
within this day
which has no sun,

I would hold you
against the night,

I would carry you
and hope to find
my fondest wish:

that you shall lie,
not broken,
but at rest




Fullscreen caps of this scene:

~ Gorgoroth Pt. II ~ The Eye Bears Down, plus jan-u-wine's "Last Day".

Entries in the ‘Gorgoroth Revisited’ series:

~ Gorgoroth Revisited 1a: “None Left”.

~ Gorgoroth Revisited 1b: ‘No Return Journey’.

~ Gorgoroth Revisited Pt. 2: Frodo falls, plus jan-u-wine’s “Where You Are Bound”.

~ Gorgoroth Revisited Pt. 3a: ‘Do you remember the Shire’, plus jan-u-wine’s “Another Sunless Dawn”.

~ Gorgoroth Revisited Pt. 3b: ‘Let us be rid of it’, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Last Hours”.

Other tables of Links:

~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems

~ Frodo and Elijah screencaps Main Page.

~ Mechtild


Claudia's Cove
claudia603 at 2007-09-03 22:58 (UTC) (Link)
These are hard pictures to look at. Frodo is suffering so very much in them. That poem is just beautiful!
mechling at 2007-09-03 23:43 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Claudia. Isn't it g-r-e-a-t???????

~ Mechtild
(Deleted comment)
mechling at 2007-09-03 23:45 (UTC) (Link)
I see Frodo's speechless suffering and watch him fall as though struck down by an arrow himself.

Gosh, that's so intense an image, Mews. Wow! Thanks for putting your thoughts into words.

~ Mechtild
verangel at 2007-09-04 00:52 (UTC) (Link)
First off...this momen "And sometimes his right hand would creep to his breast, clutching, and then slowly, as the will recovered mastery, it would be withdrawn."
This moment truly struck me when I read it because even in a different place, Elijah showed it perfectly in the film. It was like he was acting the words. The suffering and the arms and hands swatting at something biting into his soul...not visible. He was beyond exhaustion. It tore me apart when I saw the movie.
The poem" I would carry you
and hope to find
my fondest wish:

that you shall lie,
not broken,
but at rest


Is one of many incredible moments in the poem but the finality of it is so beautiful.
I love Sam through all this and reading again the part of him holding him "palm against palm" and kissing them..so beautiful and tender.
Sam was so strong because he could be. He was there to be strong because Frodo was carrying a burden that was meant for no one but him. I will never think of one stronger than the other. Frodo sacrificed himself to bare this burden..and only he knew how bad it was..and Sam did also from the outside, as he saw his beloved friend fall and suffer and not be himself any more. It is heartwrenching.
Sam honored Frodo in all ways because he knew that Frodo was doing what no one else could or should have to do. Frodo took it and had to live with it. Without Sam he most likely would not have made it. One needed the other and in the end, to me...Frodo was still magnificent for realizing no one else need suffer this burden but him, and Sam was the most beautiful of friends.
xoxo v
mechtild at 2007-09-04 13:11 (UTC) (Link)
Verangel, thanks so much for commenting and commenting so fully.

This moment truly struck me when I read it because even in a different place, Elijah showed it perfectly in the film. It was like he was acting the words. The suffering and the arms and hands swatting at something biting into his soul...not visible. He was beyond exhaustion.

I was struck by the way the film made this visual, too. I had forgotten this passage, you know, until I typed it out for these screencap entries. I felt one of those "Ah ha!" moments, the resemblance between word of the page and images on the screen was so strong.

I think this poem is pretty awesome, too. In fact all the Gorgoroth poems are terrific. Jan has a gift, and I think it literally is a gift, for seeing into the characters' souls in a states tribulation. Well, she's wonderful at catching their spirits just looking at leaf-fall in autumn, or listening to the notes in the song of a bird when the trees are budding in spring. Heck, she's got an all-around gift, I guess, for portraying the inner lives of these characters.
earths_daughter at 2007-09-04 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful book passages, wonderful pictures, wonderful poem, so sparse in its intensity. They all tear my heart apart.
mechtild at 2007-09-05 00:55 (UTC) (Link)
They all tear my heart apart.

But in a good way, I hope. :)
elwenlj at 2007-09-05 10:03 (UTC) (Link)
I enjoy reading your thoughts and the screencaps are great.

But I think that poem nearly killed me. That lady has some talent.
mechtild at 2007-09-05 11:17 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't she do fabulous work? I just wish she had the spare time to write more.

Thanks for commenting, Elwen!
frodosweetstuff at 2007-09-12 12:19 (UTC) (Link)
Again only flying by and trying to catch up with everything but wanted to say thank you for the lovely screencaps!

One day I'll come back and actually READ all your posts, too!! :)
mechtild at 2007-09-12 13:02 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
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