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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

‘Ride to the Havens’ in widescreen, plus two poems of young Frodo, by jan-u-wine.

Posted on 2007.11.13 at 07:57
Tags: ,

Below are two poems by jan-u-wine set in the time before Frodo comes to live with Bilbo at Bag End. I had already posted a splendid poem for the fullscreen version of this scene last year (links below), but these two poems inspired me to cap the "Ride to the Grey Havens" scene again, but in widescreen.

Juxtaposing the poems with the caps opens up new possibilities for me, imagining what their thoughts might have been as they rode along. It was a long ride. There would have been much time to think. They would have had their private memories to mull over, of course, but also their shared past, even if they did not speak much about it.

The first poem, A Visit to Hobbiton, is written from Frodo's point of view. It opens with him taking a wagon ride, but a very different one from the ride depicted in the film. The second poem, The Portrait, was inspired by a pencil drawing of Frodo by Alan Lee. In the poem, Bilbo comes to a decision after reflecting on such an image. (To see Lee's drawing, click here.)

Since there is no wagon ride to the Havens in Tolkien, I am only providing the film text, which is posted below.


Film scene:

A wagon, its cover twined by Elvish runes, arrives in Hobbiton. The driver, Gandalf, smiles at the hobbits who are waiting. The wagon travels through green countryside. Inside, Bilbo is resting his head upon Frodo's shoulder. He looks very, very old.

Frodo (voiceover): Bilbo once told me, his part in this tale would end. That each of us must come and go in the telling. Bilbo's story was now over. There would be no more journeys for him…save one.

Bilbo: Tell me again, lad...where are we going?

Frodo: To the harbour, Uncle. The elves have accorded you a special honor. A place on the last ship to leave Middle-earth.

Bilbo: Frodo... any chance of seeing that old Ring of mine again... the one I gave you?

Frodo: I'm sorry, Uncle... I'm afraid I lost it.

Bilbo: Oh... pity. I should like to have held it one last time.

The two rest their heads against each other and close their eyes.



A Visit to Hobbiton

~ by jan-u-wine

When I am older,
I shall have my own pony.

Already, I know
which one he will be:

black as ink'd night
with a star-blaze
upon his forehead,

mane like moon-silvered

He is the one who runs

in the deep grasses of the summer field,
is the one whose soft nose nudges
apple bits from my hands....

Silmë shall be his name.

we shall come here,
riding slow upon the road.

(though, really, he
IS my cousin),
will think me quite grown.

But for now,
I sit beside him,

cart-robes piled over,

around us,
the Road unrolling
like a dark ribbon
under the autumn night-sky.

As if they were silver, pouring from his purse,
he counts the stars for me:


I know him:

The mariner,
gem'd prow
dancing upon the face of night.


flaring and winking,


blue-crystal shadows

like ice crafted of rimed flame.

All these he names for me,
and tells me how they came
to be set within the great
expanse of the sky....

I think on them,
'til sleep takes me,

the little frogs
and cricket-fiddles
leading me to dremes....

When I wake,
it is not to my bed,
all carved about with moon and stars,

or mumma's soft voice and kiss upon my brow.

It is to Uncle's eyes,
and griddle-cakes with bright yellow butter….

it is to tales of gold and adventures,
of dragons and dwarves….

It is to a tree whose very roots

burrow and shine like welcoming arms
above my head.

I can scarce breathe for the wonder of it all.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Uncle has a surprise:

it is his birthday, too.

He wonders aloud
how we should spend
our day.

And I wonder
(within the small frame of my thoughts),

how I might tell him

I love him.

The Portrait

~ by jan-u-wine

‘Tis many a year since I’ve seen the lad.

Many a year,
Winter’s harsh hand opening to Spring,

Spring nodding tender acceptance
of Summer,

Summer finding its heated path to Harvest-fall.


Fields near burnt by swift-dying Sun,
rich burden of green-gold crop

beneath Her heavy gaze;


high-clouded nights,
lit day-bright by full-weighted moon.

Dancing and drinking,
tithing -


In the midst of all,
‘tween crop and capers,

fierce Sun and lemon-eyed Moon,






Mere happenstance,
I suppose,

my heart

by a forthright gaze
pressed within an oval frame.

(happenstance, I am sure,
that it should arrive in the Post
from the Great Hall upon the very morning

our birthday)

It is as if we stand within the same room.

Clever eyes look back to mine,

clever and curious
and not a little sad.

I shouldn’t wonder at that,
of course,

nor at the mouth which determinedly
does not


There are words there, I deem,
words of humour,

questioning words,
answering words,

words of bright gold,
words of moonlit

My constant lad.

Spirited, he is,
bold as his midnight pony

and twice as eager.

Lively and industrious,


Why, all of those.

Brittle, too,

brittle and like to break
beneath the weal of too-long held sorrow.

None know better than I this sorrow,

none know better the sad folly with counts
grief as wisdom within a shadow’d heart.

I know him, this lad,

the ways he has that others count as

It is no happenstance,

no mistake,
the words which spill from pen to parchment.

He shall come and live beneath the Hill with me.

Next year, and every harvest-tide thereafter,
we shall celebrate our birthdays (comfortably)


I touch the face of the portrait,
and wonder



Screencaps from the fullscreen version*:

~ Ride to the Grey Havens, Pt. I.

~ Ride to the Grey Havens, Pt. II and jan-u-wine's "Now Far Ahead the Road Has Gone".

*These caps have not only been adjusted for focus and brightness, but the colour has been adjusted, too.

Most recent entries:

~ EE Party Tent Scene, plus jan-u-wine’s ‘Dremes and Dragons’.

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

Other Tables of Links:

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

~ Frodo & Elijah Wood screencap entries

~ Mechtild


shirebound at 2007-11-13 14:34 (UTC) (Link)
There's such incredible tenderness -- and weariness -- in those two faces. I love writing stories where they both find joy and healing in the West, as they deserve.

Edited at 2007-11-13 02:35 pm (UTC)
mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:29 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Shirebound! Sorry it's taken so long to reply. Work, then choir, then family stuff.

I was actually hoping you'd see these poems, since I know you have a fondness for portrayals of Frodo (and others) as a child.

Me, I am *sure* they found joy and healing in the West. And that's not being Pollyannish. I just think it's so, that it was the wish of JRRT, even if he wrote "may" and "might have" in his Letters. That was part of his piety, not to explicitly express assurances. But I know in my heart, and even my mind--if I bothered to make a case from his writings--that he believed it would come to pass, that Frodo would pass from the Circles of the World thoroughly ready and prepared after his soujourn in Aman.

Edited at 2007-11-14 04:30 am (UTC)
telstar_gold at 2007-11-13 14:36 (UTC) (Link)
Uterly gorgeous. You have such a gift for lingering on these special moments, and Jan's poems are achingly beautiful. I especially love the ones about (or "by") child Frodo.
*happy/sad sigh*
mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, Telstar. I take "happy/sad sigh" to imply a very high compliment, and appropriate to LotR, which wounds those who love it with sweet pain. :)
rakshi at 2007-11-13 15:49 (UTC) (Link)
As always... your images combined with Jan-u-wine's incredible poems are breathtaking way to start my day. I'm very grateful.

May I ask what software you use to do your screen caps?

Thank you, again, for all you do and give.

mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:45 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Rakshi! It's a pleasure--and that's not just a figure of speech--to make these posts and to host these poems. I really love to see Tolkien's characters and story appreciated.

To make the screencaps I use the screencapping feature included in our Intervideo WinDVD program.

After I make the caps and select the ones I want, I edit them with ACDSee 7.0 program, typically bringing up the lighting and contrast and sharpening the focus. This is entirely unnecessary for actually watching the frames as the DVD is played on the computer. But once caps are made, perhaps because they are smaller, and because the resolution is not as good, they always look dark, and not very crisp. So I tweak them.

If the caps are from the widescreen version, I trim the sides down to 800 pixels wide, then cut the black bars off the tops and bottoms of the frames.

If the caps really need work I use another of our image-related programs, Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 Editor. I use this program to make the Frodo Art Travesties. It's much easier to use, I think, for doing more advanced fine-tuning, but it is a bore to go from cap to cap with it, since each cap has to be loaded into the prospective project in order to simply browse them, one after another, making the process time-consuming. So I always do my selecting first on ACDSee, even if I end up doing the real editing work on the Microsoft Digital Image program.

Edited at 2007-11-14 04:49 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
you can see the weight of experience and suffering in his eyes and in his face.

Ah, those eyes! In this case it's not because they're so blue, but so expressive.

Thanks for commenting, Mews!
lame_pegasus at 2007-11-13 20:43 (UTC) (Link)
How painfully marvellous. Looking at this sad, cameo-like face makes me strangely silent... and sad.
mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
"Cameo-like". You know, I can *see* that, Belegcuthalion, now that you mention it.
julchen11 at 2007-11-13 22:13 (UTC) (Link)
I love this scene in the movies ... very touching and so tenderly. Old Bilbo's face looks so peaceful and Frodo ... oh Frodo ... I can't find the right words.
Jan's poems hurt so beautifully, they are simply gorgeous.
You ladies are incredible ...
Thank you for this lovingly post, sweetheart!
Another time you both took my breath away ...

*hugs you gently*
mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:52 (UTC) (Link)
They do hurt, the poems, Julchen--but beautifully. I love the way she gets inside the characters, letting not only their minds speak, but their hearts, or even their souls. Her poems allow them to "say" what they would not say, were they actually writing a letter or a journal entry. ("Got a pony. Very happy! Must thank Bilbo.")

*hugs you back*
magpie_2 at 2007-11-14 04:05 (UTC) (Link)
I love these poems from child Frodo

and how can he express so much.. with his eyes closed?

mechtild at 2007-11-14 04:54 (UTC) (Link)
and how can he express so much.. with his eyes closed?

Especially those eyes. Open or closed, they hold their viewers in their spell. Thanks for commenting, Cat. :)
whiteling at 2007-11-14 13:30 (UTC) (Link)
It's quite some time since I commented on your gorgeous screencap/poem posts, Mechtild, but it's not because I would have ignored them, but because I feel that mere words cannot express what this combination of images and words do to me. I speak up today, because Bilbo's reflection over Frodo's portrait touched me especially deeply. I love Alan Lee's Frodo portrait so much! It's wonderful that it prompted Jan to such a marvellous poem.
Lucky Bilbo! Who would not be happy to be related to this beautiful gentlehobbit!

Thank you both. And (((HUGS))) to both of you!
mechtild at 2007-11-14 14:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for commenting, Whiteling! :) Your feelings and thoughts are always welcome and enrich any post.

I love that portrait, too, and still am looking to find a print of it, a real one, not just a copy made from the rather poor images available on the Internet or made as screencaps from the DVD.

"The Portrait" took quite a bit of mulling over, if I recall. Jan and I both loved the drawing, but it kept calling to her, to write something to it. Although the drawing is clearly based on the film character (when compared to Lee's drawings of Frodo before beginning to work on the films), it departs from film-Frodo in subtle ways, much more than the drawing that appears in the end credits, making it all the more evocative (in my opinion).

One of the things that inspired Jan to imagine Frodo younger per the Lee portrait is the slimness of his neck, as if he hasn't finished growing into his collar. Film-Frodo's neck is the neck of a grown man, even if his face is that of a youth.

In any case, it inspired a poem that speaks to the reader beautifully of both Frodo and Bilbo.
frodosweetstuff at 2007-11-15 15:32 (UTC) (Link)
He looks like a porcelain doll in these!! *collects* ;-)

Thank you!
mechtild at 2007-11-15 15:36 (UTC) (Link)
His skin, even without this much makeup, is flawless.

You are really ploughing through these! :)
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