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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Sammath Naur Pt. 4: ‘The Ring is mine’, plus jan-u-wine’s “That Which is My Own”.

Posted on 2007.10.01 at 10:16
~*~



The book text continues here until Frodo, or Sauron’s Ring working through Frodo, reaches his terrible decision. How much, if anything, of Frodo remained at this moment? I believe some corner of his consciousness remained, some pocket of last defiance that could not be extinguished.

I just finished rereading Tolkien’s The Children of Húrin, and this sounds like something Morgoth, and Sauron after him, would relish: rendering his adversary helpless to resist, but letting him live, only to make him the witness of his own ruin and debauch. That there was some part of Frodo left, some corner of his mind still aware of what was happening to him while it happened, overpowered as he was, is borne out by his subsequent feelings. If he hadn’t been somehow “present” as the Ring and its Maker pinned his will to the mat, he would not have remembered what had happened enough to feel the sense of guilt and failure Tolkien said he did, once he was back in the Shire.

Jan-u-wine, proof-reading this post for me, made an observation I want to add here. Speaking of how Frodo being taken by the Ring and Sauron, she wrote,


[N]ot only is it Sauron's pleasure to squash Frodo til he can’t resist, then torture him by letting him live to witness his own degradation, he also must witness Sam's heartbreak: leer at it with Frodo's own face: Frodo taking that in, and Sam's reaction.

Whatever the filmmakers intended to do, they evoked this dynamic very, very well.




~*~





Book scene, continued, from Mount Doom.


The light sprang up again, and there on the bring of the chasm, the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, tense, erect, but still as if he had been turned to stone.

‘Master!’ cried Sam.

Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice, indeed with a voice clearer and more powerful than Sam had ever heard him use, and it rose above the throb and turmoil of Mount Doom, ringing in the roof and walls.

‘I have come,’ he said. ‘But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!’ And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam’s sight. Sam gasped, but he had no chance to cry out, for at that moment many things happened.



~*~




Below, the film scene continues. Sam, having said,
"Just let it go!" waits in suspense, Frodo still turned away from him.























































Frodo: The Ring is mine.





















Sam: No, no!
















































That Which is My Own

~ by jan-u-wine


Yours
is the only
voice
I hear now:

a voice
without
sound,

a river

of crushing
Darkness

running

through
my mind,

carrying
the small
spark
of myself

yet remaining
into nothingness.

It matters not
that I cry

out
against you,

it matters not

if I
fight
until
breath
leaves me.


It matters
not.


No one
will hear -

no one
will save
me
in this
empty
Night.


Your thought
covers
mine,

becomes
mine:

your laughter

spills
bitterness

from my unwilling
lips.


How lost I am:

my foot
stumbles
upon
the finality
of the Road,

my mind

desperately
seeks

death's haven.


Even this
you
will deny me,

even the small,
stark
comfort
that waits
beyond the Sea,

beyond the veil
of bright
Eärendil.


In your

mercy,
you have left me

one

thing:

these tears
are
my own.






~*~







Entries in this series:


~ Sammath Naur Intro: "Why I fell for Frodo” ~ Main essay for series (this essay is friends locked).

~ Sammath Naur 1: ‘I’m here, Sam.’

~ Sammath Naur 2: ‘Throw It in the fire!’

~ Sammath Naur 3: ‘Just let It go!’, plus three poems by jan-u-wine.

~ Sammath Naur 4: ‘The Ring is mine’, plus jan-u-wine’s “That Which is My Own”.

~ Sammath Naur 5: Gollum Bites, plus jan-u-wine’s “Frodo’s Remembrance of Gollum”.

~ Sammath Naur 6: Gollum Falls, plus essay on Gollum’s oath.

~ Sammath Naur 7: ‘Give Me Your Hand’, plus jan-u-wine’s “Within the Chamber”.

~ Sammath Naur 8: ‘Take my hand’, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Claiming".

~ Sammath Naur 9: ‘Don't you let go’, plus jan-u-wine’s “In the Garden of the Mind".

~ Sammath Naur 10: ‘Reach’, plus jan-u-wine’s “And I Don’t Mean To".



Other Tables of Links:


~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems.

~ Frodo & Elijah Wood screencap entries



~ Mechtild


Comments:


Shirebound
shirebound at 2007-10-01 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
That there was some part of Frodo left, some corner of his mind still aware of what was happening to him while it happened, overpowered as he was, is borne out by his subsequent feelings. If he hadn’t been somehow “present” as the Ring and its Maker pinned his will to the mat, he would not have remembered what had happened enough to feel the sense of guilt and failure Tolkien said he did, once he was back in the Shire.

That's a great insight. What a powerfully lit, filmed, and acted scene!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
It is a FANTASTIC scene. Everytime I watch it, over and over in the film-fan part of my mind, I can only say, "GUH!" and "WOW!"

Thanks for commenting, Shirebound!
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:26 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, White Gull! :)

P.S. I have not yet read the "lost chapter" (lost to me, not to you!). I hope to read it tonight. I had the afternoon and evening shift today at work and have just got home. (I went to work right after I posted these.)
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:27 (UTC) (Link)
where he first turns to face Sam, and there is Frodo, looking out, agonized, before he's swallowed up

"Swallowed up". That's a vivid way to put it, Mews. Thanks for the image. I'll remember it.
wakerobin at 2007-10-01 16:20 (UTC) (Link)
I always wondered if that brilliant moment where Frodo smiles the exact same smile that Isildur had on his face right before he said "no" to Elrond in the prologue was serendipity, directed, or a bit of individual brilliance on Elijah's part. I'm gonna go with 3 because Elijah is just that amazing. The OTHER (of many) astounding parts of this scene is that it was shot early on, in front of blue screen, with Elijah basically standing on an apple crate. Peter notes in his book that the crew was 'mesmerized' and applauded Elijah when he was done. Believe me, that doesn't happen every day in this business. Oh, and finally, Oscar-wise, he was robbed....
(Deleted comment)
bagma
bagma at 2007-10-01 17:04 (UTC) (Link)
I think that what amazes me the most in this scene is Elijah's (or Frodo's) physical transformation. When I saw RotK for the first time I had my son with me (he was 11) and I remember he was sure Elijah had not acted in that scene. I had difficulty in convincing him Frodo was not played by a stand-by!:) But I can understand his hesitation: Frodo truly is not himself in that scene, and Elijah conveyed this feeling perfectly.

And

In your

mercy,
you have left me

one

thing:

these tears
are
my own.


*cries*




Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:41 (UTC) (Link)
It's just an astonishing scene, Bagma. A tour de force by everyone involved, cast, crew, everyone. But to think EW was SO young!

That's some poem, I know. It gives me a blow to the gut, but I love it.

Thanks for stopping by!
blink back to let me know
bunniewabbit at 2007-10-02 02:43 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, man. It gets me every time.

Anyone who watches this and thinks Elijah's acting is only so-so simply isn't looking.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:42 (UTC) (Link)
I agree, Bunny. He's awe-inspiring in this scene. Sam is flat-out marvelous, too.
verangel
verangel at 2007-10-02 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
Oh...I have stinging tears in my eyes looking at that face...the inevitability...the futility. I wanted to scream when I saw him and knew what was coming. Resolve and he's gone...Frodo was leaving..he looked so vulnerable and confused for one striking moment..then he let go and his face changed and he sneared with that beautiful face.
and we felt so lost.

This comment:
"Not only is it Sauron's pleasure to squash Frodo til he can’t resist, then torture him by letting him live to witness his own degradation, he also must witness Sam's heartbreak: leer at it with Frodo's own face: Frodo taking that in, and Sam's reaction."

is heartbreaking and true. It is what shows the shame Frodo could never relinquish and carried with him to Grey Havens...the boat...looking for release.
You can even see this in Frodo when everyone is bowing to the hobbits..and his look of pale confusion. Not realizing that even in his failure, but not..there was greatness. He was so mighty and so small, so true. No one could have carried this burden but him.
Makes me sigh with a heavy heart.

thank you...and I have the book "Children of Hurin". Just got it but haven't read it yet.
xoxo v
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 03:46 (UTC) (Link)
You can even see this in Frodo when everyone is bowing to the hobbits...and his look of pale confusion. Not realizing that even in his failure, but not..there was greatness. He was so mighty and so small, so true. No one could have carried this burden but him.

Now you have *me* crying, Verangel. He was so beloved, and so unwilling to believe it, still haunted by that sense of shame.
Eandme
eandme at 2007-10-02 12:35 (UTC) (Link)

Thank You!

This post was so moving and terrible and wonderful all at the same time. Thank you for the pictures and thanks to Jan-u-wine for once again bringing me the most intimate and heartwrencing interpretation of these moments.

I want to read all the screencap posts, but it makes me cry so much and I have to take it little by little. I wish there was some way to publish these "meditations" or what you would call them in a compilation form of some sort.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-02 13:01 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank You!

Thank you so much for your comment, Eandme, on mine *and* jan-u-wine's behalf. I'll send her a note.

I wish I could print them out, too. But there's no way I could afford it and get the same look the posts have on a computer monitor. To be effective the images would have to be really big, as big as on the computer. The series would fill volumes of big, "coffee table" size books. One still wouldn't be able to "scroll" through a series to see the way his face changes in the same way, either. A hard copy version would be neat, though, just to have in a solid, holdable form.
Whiteling
whiteling at 2007-10-02 16:57 (UTC) (Link)
I'd say this is simply one of the most powerful and haunting scenes that have ever been captured on celluloid in the history of cinema. Period.

(Have to come back for Jan's poems later; must take my time to read them with due attention)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-03 02:06 (UTC) (Link)
I'd say this is simply one of the most powerful and haunting scenes that have ever been captured on celluloid in the history of cinema. Period.

Amen, sister. :)
Rakshi
rakshi at 2007-10-04 12:08 (UTC) (Link)
Just exquisite. I have friended you. I hope you don't mind. Finding your LJ was like discovering a treasure. Thank you for your amazing posts.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-10-04 18:48 (UTC) (Link)
Rakshi, thanks for commenting. I am always pleased to hear that someone finds things here that help their appreciation and understanding of Frodo, LotR, and Tolkien. Of course I don't mind if you friend the journal. It was created not just as a forum for me to express myself, but as a resource where fans could browse and recharge, find images, etc.

Thanks for commenting!
julchen11
julchen11 at 2008-01-05 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
"I believe some corner of his consciousness remained, some pocket of last defiance that could not be extinguished."

Perfectly said, mechtild.
This scene always gets me when I'm watching it.
Frodo will leave us, now, and the only thing we can do is ... watching ... like Sam...

"In your

mercy,
you have left me

one

thing:

these tears
are
my own. "

So very emotional!
When I was watching the movie in the cinema, a friend of mine asked me - seriously - is this still the same actor? This can't be.
EW always left me stunning - in this special scene you can see a rollercoaster of emotions on his face - and he was sooo YOUNG (I know I said this many times before) ...

Thank you, dearie, for your amazing posts. I'm glad I declared this boring Saturday as mechtild's and jan's day :-))

Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-05 21:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your comment, Julchen. You always like to mull things over, which is why I think you enjoy them the way you do. Me, too (like to mull things over).

You wrote,

When I was watching the movie in the cinema, a friend of mine asked me - seriously - is this still the same actor? This can't be.

I thought so, too. All the more when I did the post pairing images from the first and last parts of the trilogy. What a 'character arc'! I will be so sorry if he never gets a really good role again.
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