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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

'An Extra Ordinary Life' ~ a retrospective poem by jan-u-wine, with screencaps from the three films.

Posted on 2007.11.09 at 19:12
Tags: , , , ,

Warning: Many images. My apologies to dial-up viewers.

A month or so ago, talking over the end of the screencap series with jan-u-wine, she suggested this poem, An Extra Ordinary Life, as a sort of final retrospective. I thought using it would be a great idea. So I formatted a practice version of the poem, then went about the business of looking for faces I thought would capture the mood of individual speakers, as well as reflecting the arc of the over-all narrative of the poem.*

I knew I would need new screencaps for the retrospective, because, in Jan’s poem, each member of the Fellowship speaks his feelings for Frodo (Faramir speaking for Boromir). Frodo's piece comes at the end. But even for Frodo, I ended up recapping a scene I'd already done, but in widescreen to match the format for the others.

This is a superb poem. It shows Jan's knack for well-chosen detail, but used within a very wide sweep of story, for multiple characters. I love the way she has used so many of the names and titles Frodo receives during The Lord of the Rings, as the characters reflect on what he has meant to them on the Quest and as a friend.

As originally posted at Jan’s poetry archive, the poem is not broken up into sections the way it appears below. But, since it was going to be presented with screencaps, we decided it would work best to let the images and text complement each other, character by character. I love the way it has turned out. For me, the images make reading the texts that much richer. Likewise, the texts illuminate the images.


An Extra Ordinary Life, with images

~ by jan-u-wine


How I watched him.

From the beginning,
of course,
I knew.....

I watched.

I feared for him.

There are things I am granted to See,
and things
not revealed even to me....

things I may alter,

which must be.

From the day of his
I hoped this might have
some other end....

From the day of his birth,
with sorrow,
I knew it would not.

And when the river
those whom he loved,
shadow muted
his bright spirit,
touched his heart with winter,

stole his laughter.

He never really recovered, you know.

I would see him, betimes,
beloved book in hand,
reading within
the gentled green of a Shire Spring....
mind caught to tales of ancient honor,
finger tracing vined thread of
silver-toned Elvish.

Held fast,
held safe,
by the only Home he knew,
the only Home he wished for:

the past.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He was destined for this.

As if he were forged himself,

his living body
against age-dead, unfleshed evil,

this task was meant for him.

And he,
for It.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I could not See
the ending would be.

Some things are meant to be hidden,
even from the Wise.

I might have fallen,
had I known.....

I might have tried
to save him
from the forfeiture
that saved
us all.

it is well....
it is wise....
that some things
are hidden.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How long he struggled,
with what strength he fought,
not even my Sight

(My heart speaks to what Sight cannot)

We meet upon a different ground,

His gentle mind,
that once
to me of Spring,
rises like a blank wall
before me.

Is the spirit held within as scarred
as his hand?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I gave you over.....

even though I loved you,

I surrendered you to death....
and worse than death....

yet hoped,
(ever hoped)
for life.

Unlooked for,
Hope remained,

held fast
to Light,

denied Darkness......

Hope endured.

Bronwe athan Harthad.

At the end of it all, as Light failed,
that was your name.

My dear hobbit,

it is of you what remains.


Merry and Pippin:


Our Cousin.

Gentle dreamer,

climber of trees.....

laughing leader
of missions
bent on naught
save the pilfering
of close-held mushrooms.....
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you know, Pip,
as we stood there,
so terribly small before the Gate,
and knew we were to

I was not afraid.

Of a sudden,
I heard him,
his voice,
from a summer long gone by,

his voice,
speaking soft
of Beren and Lúthien
(and the stars held within heaven's net)
as I fell towards sleep.

I heard.....
I remembered....
and I was not afraid.


I saw you, Merry,
in that last moment,

I saw you,

dark lying close
about your helm,
so small you might have been kneeling,
sword raised to
ward a blow which did not fall.

Clear, crystalline sunlight, then,
swifting in waves
from the East,
pulling the Dark from the sky,
falling like golden rain upon your face.....

My mind
towards him
with joy.

I felt so proud, Merry.

And young....
I felt young again.

and small.

Very small,
within the wide circle
of the World.

Oh, Merry.

I just wanted to see him,
and hold him safe from the night
as he did for me,
when I was but a child.

I love him.

Dear old hobbit.

Our Cousin.


Faramir (for Boromir):

There is a voice

a voice silenced
for want
of that which you bore.

I told you, once:

I saw his final journey,

the boat,
laden with Light.

He sailed the great River
that runs to the unending Sea...

the same Road
you shall take,
little one.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What would he have
if he but drew breath
this night?

As if his heart were
my own, I know:

He would have
and told you
he loved you.

Can you forgive him
that he loved
Gondor more?


Legolas and Gimli:


How long and dark
the Road you walked.

Only one who had not
a clear view of the ending
might dare a path
forsaken by stars,
abandoned by leaf or whispering stone,

hidden from Light
and the voice of the wind.

Or, perhaps you saw the ending
all too well.

Like an image
twisting within
the Lady's Glass….

all too well…..

all too ill.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, Elendil,
you shall follow the Straight Path.

Elbereth shall guide you still,

Eärendil's silver'd prow
your passage to the paths
hidden beyond the Sun.

In that far green country we shall sing
together beneath the wakened Stars.

Namárië, Iorhael.


Fair words for fair times.

I have no fair words,
Little Master.

No fair words,
not such as may match
your deeds.

Like unto rock you became:

as the ancient bones of the very earth.

Veined with silver light.



It sounds like the marrow of the mountains…..

it sounds like the hammers of dwarvish delving.

It shall be written in runes
upon the doors of my heart.


Noble One.



The Elf-stone:

The ancient, gull-winged
crown of kings
upon my brow.

It speaks of roads
which lead from
(and to)
the Sea.

It speaks of you.

My mind travels back
along the narrow track of time.

It finds the room
in which we met.

I could laugh
at how you sought
to hide your fear,

I could grieve
for the small innocence
without regret,
into the Night.


We are much alike,
Master Periannath.

Our uncertain hearts
were n'er so bold.

Never bold,

only willing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am a King, now,

yet still

only a Ranger…
a wanderer of a long-forgotten line.

I am a King.

By the Sight which is granted me,
the circle of the World opens:
it Sings with joy
beneath the Sun,


beneath the darkling blanket
of the Moon.

Because of you,
for you,
it sings.

Even a mighty King may kneel.

Even a man,
grateful beyond words.

The Road you took
shall find its end
beyond the East:

Ernil en Annûn,
Prince of the West,
I name you.

Into the West
our Hope
shall depart.



Such fine words.

Such large words

these folk have.

After a time,
such become
but sound.

without meaning.

I have
no such words.


None such at all.

They did not see you
as I did.

they did not see,
or they would know:
there are no words.



Face scribed
as much by the
of the mountain
as by your own,
the small Light of your
like the narrow
flame of a candle
that has reached its end.

Near impossible it was
to hold to your hand…..

near impossible
to hold
that last thread of you,
slipping away
(wishing to slip away)
into dark fire.

And now…….

I see again
that which they do not,

that which they can not.

I see
that which was there still,
at the end of all things:


Like silver water


silent under the moon,

it falls from you…..

like the memory of stars held fast
in ancient skies,
it flows
from the crooked
beauty of your hand.


I see the Light,
your hand.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So many words.

Not a one of them
as quick and quiet
as my heart can.

So many words.

In the end,
I may say all that matters,

all that needs saying,
with naught but six:

I love him,
whether or no.



[Finish with the dream, Frodo]

With all my heart,
I wish I could,

with all my heart,
I wish it were
with me.

[It is time, Frodo]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The soft radiance of Light
upon grey sails
fills my sight,

a wind alive with the Sea
lifts with the cries of gulls.

You must understand.


For me,
you must try.

What I did…..


was only what we ought to have done.

I do not know regret.

as certainly
as that Road
led to the Mountain,

this one follows the Sea.

As certainly as I walked
that path for you,

for us

this one I travel for me.

You will let me go,
I know,

you will let me go
into the Light.

As you love me,
you will,

as you love me,

you must.

Think of it
as just
a moment,



in the great River
of time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Once again,
I bear a burden,

once again,

my head bows

with the weight of a promise given:

I bear the glad burden

of your love,

and promise,

beyond the Light
which falls between us,

this is only fare-well,






* Note: Browsing the trilogy for images was made much easier by the existence of the great site, Darth LotR Screencapture. If you never have visited it, it’s a tremendous resource. The images are on the small side, which is why I first started making my own, but it’s wonderfully well-organized and easy to navigate. If you ever find yourself wondering something like, “now, where was it in the films that Frodo (or any major character) looked such-and-such a way?” this site offers the fastest, easiest way of finding it or something close to it. Even browsing Frodo, the images of whom you’d think I’d have memorized by now, I found moments or scenes I’d forgot existed.

Recent entries:

~ The Houses of Healing Pt. 1: Frodo wakes, plus jan-u-wine’s “Naught to Be Forgiven”.

~ The Houses of Healing Pt. 2: Frodo sees Sam, plus jan-u-wine’s “Harthad Uluithiad” and “Bronwe Athan Harthad”.

Other Tables of Links:

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

~ Frodo & Elijah Wood screencap entries

~ Mechtild


primula_baggins at 2007-11-10 01:44 (UTC) (Link)
Argh! You have both succeeded in making me cry! Jan's poem is so touching.

As Sam said in Jan's poem:

So many words.

Not a one of them
as quick and quiet
as my heart can.

mechtild at 2007-11-10 04:14 (UTC) (Link)
It really is an all-encompassing poem, isn't it? Thanks so much for posting, Primula.
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2007-11-10 04:19 (UTC) (Link)
I cry, too. The text, the images, they are all so full. You know after I'd done my near-final draft last night, I decided to take the night off. No one was home, so I decided to watch the EE of FotR. Amazingly, although I've been screencapping from it and all the films, I haven't watched it all the way through, just as a film, in almost a year. What a brilliant film it is, more so even than I remembered. I love what I've seen screencapping, all the nuances and windows onto other ideas and flights of fancy. And I've *loved* what has resulted from the marriage of screencaps and poem texts, but what films they are to have made it all possible. Thanks, Mews, for your comments here and throughout the series. (Not that I've quite finished, as it's turned out... ;)
verangel at 2007-11-10 03:46 (UTC) (Link)
I haven't even posted to the last one..even though I wrote it (choked) at work and sent it home. now this. I am too overwhelmed to focus..its late. I'm in tears looking at the pictures and reading those words.
Its kind of an ending to your magnificent postings too..which makes me sad to think of. xoxoxox hugs...more tomorrow. v
mechtild at 2007-11-10 04:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you so much, Verangel. What a beautiful comment. I appreciate it so much, the words and the feelings they convey.

I have not finished the cap series, as it has turned out. Preparing this "final" entry, I found several moments and sequences in the films I still would like to do. And there are many poems in Jan-u-wine's archives I love that I still have not featured. So, "I will not say that day is done" quite yet.
Gentle Hobbit
gentlehobbit at 2007-11-10 04:42 (UTC) (Link)
I have been enjoying all your screencap posts, but this one really stands out for me. The pas-de-deux between you and Jan-u-wine has resulted in such a heartfelt tribute to Frodo. I especially love Gandalf's part and these lines:

We meet upon a different ground,

His gentle mind,
that once
to me of Spring,
rises like a blank wall
before me.

Is the spirit held within as scarred
as his hand?

Thank you, both of you, for this.

Edited at 2007-11-10 04:42 am (UTC)
mechtild at 2007-11-11 01:31 (UTC) (Link)
Gentlehobbit, thanks so much for commenting. I hadn't realised you were following this series in this way. I think the Gandalf passage is really excellent in the way it addresses Gandalf's love and pity, but also his responsibility as mentor to the Quest, and messenger of the Powers, who might mete out tasks that are very costly to perform, maybe costing more than one has.
pearlette at 2007-11-10 17:42 (UTC) (Link)
This is absolutely WONDERFUL: both this glorious and very moving sequence of screencaps and Jan-u-wine's equally glorious poem. I love the idea of the Fellowship honouring Frodo like this. And how they mourn him, especially those closest to him.

Of course I loved Faramir's tribute. And Sam's. And all of them, of course.

But the one which moved me most ... was Gimli's.

Because we don't often get a glimpse into Gimli's inner workings, do we? In the book, he's reticent, if a little less dour than other Dwarves (he has a wonderful sense of humour). So to read how Gimli felt about Frodo and his friendship and his hobbitish nobility is wonderfully poignant and tear-jerking. It reminds me of the emotion and pathos that Douglas Livingstone injects into his performance as Gimli when he recites The Song of Durin in Moria, in the BBC LotR.

like unto rock you became:

as the ancient bones of the very earth.

Veined with silver light.


Beautiful, beautiful.

The whole thing is. Added to memories.
mechtild at 2007-11-11 01:38 (UTC) (Link)
Pearl, thanks so much for stopping in to comment. And I am so glad you lit upon Gimli's tribute. It really is wonderful, isn't it? I loved his mulling over "Daur", too.

I probably have told you but I, too, love what Douglas Livingston did with the role of Gimli. His recitation of the poem in Moria made me nearly weep with love and gratitude for the way it showed the sonorous gravity, the depth of feeling and memory of the Dwarves, as well as the beauty of their own particular aesthetic, something not so easy to see in film Gimli, assigned the role of comic relief for the most part.

Don't get me wrong. I thought John Rhys Davies did quality work, but it was the scenes in which Gimli was serious, whether moved or merely thoughtful, that made me want to shout "Yes!" How *right* his portrayal was at those moments.

Edited at 2007-11-11 01:39 am (UTC)
magpie_2 at 2007-11-11 03:30 (UTC) (Link)
oh my *wibbles* this is just breathtaking .. and as partial as I am to our dearest I started to tear when I saw Legolas and Gimli I think its the scope of it all (I'm braced for Frodo weeping!) and saying goodbye to them all :( I'm hopeless!
mechtild at 2007-11-11 13:45 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Cat, what a feeling comment, full of sweet pain. Thanks so much for stopping to make it.
stillscarlet at 2007-11-11 05:51 (UTC) (Link)
Still emotionally wrecked, after all. *wipes tears from cheeks*

Thank you, Jan and Mechtild.
mechtild at 2007-11-11 13:49 (UTC) (Link)
Scarlet, you are welcome. I was really pleased that it came out as well as it did. It is a spare piece, but its arrow strikes the heart. I was worried the images would not sharpen but blunt it, if they were not right. Thanks for posting!
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-11-11 11:40 (UTC) (Link)
This is a gorgeous post. The caps and the poetry are perfect. I shed a tear in many places.

Can you forgive him
that he loved
Gondor more?

*is a blubbering heap on the floor*

Gimli’s tribute touched me deeply. I was reminded of the first Tolkien-trooper, Bilbo. :)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Ladies.

mechtild at 2007-11-11 13:52 (UTC) (Link)
Estë, I'm so glad you got to see this. Isn't it a wonderful piece? I wept like an infant when I read Faramir's line, too. Did you read Pearl's comment about Gimli's tribute? I have to agree that it's not often you read something really good [about Frodo] coming from the POV of Gimli, but this sure it it.

Thanks for commenting, Estë! *smooch* (I'll bet the leaves are all gone at the cabin now; has it snowed yet?)
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-11-11 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
It really is a wonderful piece *smooches* you back for giving us this moving LJ-entry.

I did read Pearl's lovely comment (I read all of your LJ-entries and all the comments too. I'm definitely not ready to be cured).

It stormed here a few days ago so almost all of the trees are bare. We had snow this week-end but it, fortunately, melted away. Yes that was just the overture to what we are to expect.

Thank you for this fantastic project, Mechling.

mechtild at 2007-11-11 21:23 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome! It finally sprinkled a few snow flakes here, too, but they were gone in a few hours. Otherwise, it's hard to imagine it will be Christmas in a month and a half. There are still yellow and brown leaves on the apple and birch trees, and the grass is emerald green (after a long drought we had record rain in Sept. and Oct.). It just doesn't look like winter!
(Anonymous) at 2007-11-11 17:10 (UTC) (Link)
I could laugh
at how you sought
to hide your fear,

I could grieve
for the small innocence
without regret,
into the Night.

Ah, Frodo. What emotion he inspires, and how eloquently jan-u-wine captures the sentiments of those who love him. And Frodo himself:

I bear the glad burden

of your love,

and promise,

beyond the Light
which falls between us,

this is only fare-well,





Beautiful, poignant words, and with your wonderful screencaps, Mechtild ~ this presentation really touches the heart. Thank you both.


mechtild at 2007-11-11 21:21 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Blossom, how good to see you! This is a rather all-encompassing presentation, sure to touch some part of each LotR fan. I am so pleased you were able to see it. And thanks for your gracious, thoughtful comments.

~ Mechtild *blows kiss*
frodosweetstuff at 2007-11-15 13:27 (UTC) (Link)
Ooooooh, what a wonderful collection! I managed to extend my woefully small collection of Sam pics!!! :) The Frodo ones were lovely too!!! :) I only had one pic from the Grey Havens goodbye so far so now I'm very happy to have more of them!! :)

Thank you!
mechtild at 2007-11-15 13:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank so much for your comments, Frodosweetstuff. And it was difficult to narrow down the good images of Sam. He's got a great face on film.

As for Frodo at the Grey Havens, if you go to the screencap links list for RotK, you'll see there are many entries for the Grey Havens I made last year, but from the fullscreen version, including all the goodbyes.
frodosweetstuff at 2007-11-16 09:45 (UTC) (Link)
oh, I went to the link list a couple of days ago and I realized that there are a lot of sequences that I never saw! I probably friended you later. Must work my way through them all. Oh, the hardship... :P
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2007-12-19 13:46 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Chickenlegs. I am so glad you found this entry. It turned out quite lovely: thoughtful, moving, and creatively conceived, with its multiple viewpoints. And it wouldn't have been made but for Jan's poem, which was thoughtful, moving, and creatively conceived, with its multiple viewpoints. :)
(Anonymous) at 2007-12-19 14:02 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so very glad that you found the caps and poem(s) moving, chickenlegs. I was touched, yet nervous, when Mechtild decided to make caps for these. I thought that they were so unusual that people might not like them. How wrong I was! The visual framework was truly the "making" of them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. And happy holidays to you!

julchen11 at 2008-08-06 20:47 (UTC) (Link)
"So many words.

Not a one of them
as quick and quiet
as my heart can."

Oh my dear friends... this is a very extraordinary post. The incredible screencaps and jan's amazing and very touching poem...

I could cry for hours and I'm glad I do. So full of emotions... every single line is heartbreakingly beautiful . I could even "hear" their voices.
I could feel the love between the lines.

Thank you ever so very much!

Have an enchanting night and a magical morning,

mechtild at 2008-08-06 21:00 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so glad you got to see this post, Julchen. I have a lot of "favourite posts", but this one is on the list. I love the way the images and poem work together.
(Anonymous) at 2008-08-07 12:28 (UTC) (Link)
dear Julchen: I have to say that I thought this post amazing, as well. Mostly because of Linda's wonderful caps. I found this a very difficult poem to produce and readers found it difficult to understand, until Linda came along and 'framed' it so wonderfully. Thank you, Linda, and thank you, dear Julchen, for your remarks.

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