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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

‘Thank you’ from Mechtild and jan-u-wine, plus screencap pairs.

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 15:30
Tags: , , ,

Before the Frodo screencap series goes on its little sabbatical, jan-u-wine and I would like to express our thanks to our readers. Who knows? Some of you may not be visiting here by the time it starts up again. I don’t have that much more to do—some scenes in Rivendell, maybe some “pick-ups” from Bree and Weathertop, plus some more of Lothlórien. For the time being, I want to work on some other things.

From Mechtild:

I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but this project began as a sharing of screencaps I’d made while browsing the films for faces to use for ‘Frodo Art Travesties’. I never would have guessed it would have turned into this on-going project. Making the posts—more and more as I have gone on—has greatly increased my knowledge of and love for the book and films, and it had introduced me to jan-u-wine.

Jan has been a devoted fan of LotR since her first reading of the book when she was thirteen, reading it every year until children made her life too busy. A member of the Tolkien Society's Los Angeles smial (Tolkien Forever), Jan has, with that group, presented readings of her work at The Hall of Fire, attended and worked on big fan events like ORC and the L.A party that the non-TORN people put together for the RotK Oscars, "Into the West", and was privileged to attend TORN's Oscar dinner and party afterwards.

I had thought Jan had been caught up in the fan fervour from the first rumours of the films being made, but that is not so. Like me, it turns out, Jan initially stayed away from the film project and its hooplah. She told me, "I was decidedly NOT going to see them. Was not interested, oh, no, precious, not interested." But, "it was the strangest dis-interest that ever there was. It was similar, in fact, to the sort of dis-interest that prompts little boys to dip little girls pigtails in the ink bottle... the desperate ignoring of what one unconciously knows will consume one's life with its power and beauty.... I was there on opening day. And that was the end. Or the beginning, as it were."

I had not known jan-u-wine from my time on LotR messageboards, nor from LJ. Although Jan has been and still is active with the Tolkien group where she lives, she has not been someone who has spent her [very rare] free time on line. She saved that for writing. I met Jan when she emailed me out of the blue with a question about one of my Frodo art manips. From that exchange was born an on-going lively and fruitful dialogue about LotR, fanfic, art, Frodo and Tolkien, a friendship (which finally became face-to-face; we’ve now met twice), and a creative partnership. With her permission, I began to pair her narrative poems with some of my art manips and screencap entries. This, I think, benefited both: the images further brought out Jan’s poems, and her poems added tremendously to the emotional resonance of my screencaps and manips. I think this partnership has benefited fan-readers, too.

I want to say here “Thank you” to Jan for sharing so much talent, friendship, and skill with me, to Muse Frodo who inspired us to it, and to you who have been fans of the series. Although I would enjoy making and presenting the entries even if only Jan read them, knowing there are others of you who still love the book and films (and the best Hobbit in the Shire!), makes a huge difference to me.

Thank you all for your readership and lively, gracious responses. I know I say this to you individually answering your comments, but this is to make sure I don't miss anyone, especially you readers who follow this series but don't comment. Once in a while one of you will come forward, which is great because I forget you are out there. This LJ does not have a hit counter, so I never have any idea how many people read it other than those who comment.

~ Mechtild


From jan-u-wine:

Well. Here we are, at a sort of ending of things.....though not ALL things. And it's time to say thank you to so many people. In checking, I find that I've not replied to any of your very kind comments since May! *Hangs head, is sorrowful*.

My only excuse is that Real Life has been demanding, in both joyful and painful ways. I do hope that you will forgive me for not commenting back to you individually, but in thanking you en masse. Not only have your comments been more than kind, they have, in many cases, brought me to join you in tears. The passion and thoughfulness of your responses only increase my appreciation of the Professor's works. Truly, *we* know a "joy like swords". For that joy, I am indebted to Professor Tolkien. For sharing it with me, I am truly and humbly indebted to each and every one of you. If you don't mind, I'd like to thank you all publicly, here and now.

*clears throat*
(my goodness, this is quite a list. I've made it alpha, just to be 'neat'. If I have left anyone out, or spelled anyone's name incorrectly, I apologize beforehand):

earths daughter
frodo's smile
illyria novia
not alone
starlit woods

Because I'm better (I think) at writing poetry than prose, I've written a sort of poem for all of you, as both a "thank you" and as a "picture" of what it has been like for me to write using the voices of persons who have become beloved to me........

Concerning Hobbits

They were always there, I suppose,


voices so twined and constant
that I took them (merely) for my own.

Always, it seems, we were a part,
me of them,

them, of me...

Not silent,

no, never *that*,


like the sort of rest a note might take,

(a rest speaking more of that which is to come than that which
at present,


binding me to them as we went along.


Images on a screen.


the greens and golds of a place I knew
as well

(and loved better)

as the heat-run asphalt of a city-in-summer street.

Of a sudden, I was Home,

in my heart.

And all the words they'd been holding

(as if words were breath, which, of course, they ARE)
swam like a thousand stars upon my fingers,

dusted themselves upon the white of paper,
danced their fire-fly selves upon the keyboard,

wove ribbons of grace within my mind.

Oh, how I loved them,

loved the words they


to me.

Bemused and sweetly taken,
there was no choice

but to capture each thought,

each fragile word,
tender as a kitten-footed dawn.

It has been my honour
to live

their Song.


Really, I've been blessed to be inside a sort of a song, one voiced by some of the most beautiful spirits that ever there were.

Finally (and I see all of you breathing a sigh of relief!), I'd like to thank Mechtild for inviting me to work by her side. It isn't just her love of this particular subject that *shines*, but her great love for life, her enthusiasm and regard for humans and their condition, her searching for spiritual roads and values.

Of course, we must also not forget her wonderful curiosity about certain.......*bits*........

Thank you all again. I feel rather like I've made a very long speech upon the occasion of my one-hundred-and-eleventy-first birthday. Unfortunately, I've no magik ring, so I'll just say "good-bye" and...........

~ jan-u-wine

Note: The full collection of Jan's LotR poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.


Below are pairs of screencaps to ponder-sort of book-ends-taken from FotR and RotK. I collected images I thought would make evocative sets to make a visual summary of sorts, because the poses resembled each other, and because the situations complemented each other.

For example, I chose images of Frodo preparing to leave the safe haven of Rivendell to embark on the Quest, from which, psychologically, there would be no return. These compare and contrast with images of him preparing to leave Middle-earth to embark on yet another journey from which there would be no return......

In the Woody End, Frodo drifts into sweet repose; on the plains of Gorgoroth, into waking nightmare......

In the opening cart scene, Frodo comically looks his plea to Gandalf (when the children cry for fireworks). In the Sammath Naur, the plea he looks to Sam is not comical at all......

At Bag End, Frodo desperately begs Gandalf to take the Ring, horrified to be its keeper. In the Sammath Naur, he still wishes it away, but for different, more terrible reasons......

Frodo's amused, sweet smile at Gandalf, who has just told Frodo what amazing creatures Hobbits are, is oddly similar to—yet worlds away from—Frodo's little leer as he claims the Ring......

Frodo's light-hearted laugh as he leaps from Gandalf's cart informs his sweet-sad smile as he watches Sam marry, assuming the life he can never have, in the Shire he must leave......

The scene of Frodo and Bilbo in the wagon as they ride to the Grey Havens is that much more poignant if the viewer brings to mind the nearly identically-composed scene in the Party Tent. I have wondered, was this one of Peter Jackson's intentional book-ends? If so, he succeeded brilliantly......

Frodo smiles his affirmation to Gandalf for relenting and setting off the fireworks for the children. His last look to his friends, before he turns to face the West, is another smile of affirmation......

Last of the pairs, Frodo's simple, youthful excitement as he hears Gandalf approaching, hopefully bringing new adventure, makes all the more evocative the soft, wisdom-informed smile that spreads over his face as he accepts his mentor's invitation once more, but to a very different adventure......


Recent entries:

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

~ Ride to the Havens in widescreen, plus jan-u-wine’s “A Visit to Hobbiton” and “The Portrait”.

~ EE Cart Ride with Gandalf, plus jan-u-wine’s 'Halimath 1389'.

~ EE ‘Wood Elves!’ scene, plus jan-u-wine’s ‘Bell’ and ‘Mellon’.

~ Thank-you’s from Mechtild and jan-u-wine, plus screencap pairs.

Other Tables of Links:

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

~ Frodo & Elijah Wood screencap entries


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rakshi at 2007-12-04 21:48 (UTC) (Link)
There are no words that could adequately thank both of you for the treasures you have laid at our feet. I'm 63 years old. I fell in love with 'Lord of the Rings' when I was 15. I've read the books and the Hobbit yearly and listen to them every day in the Robert Inglis audio books. Yet, the two of you have helped me to see my beloved stories and my beloved characters anew... through different eyes.. with a new perspective... and to fall in love all over again.

you will be sorely missed.

Love... and abiding thanks.

Edited at 2007-12-04 09:49 pm (UTC)
mechtild at 2007-12-04 22:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, Rakshi. I always appreciate your visits to this series. But don't worry, it isn't quite over. (I re-did the opening paragraph to make that clearer.) Jan and I were just worried that as the online zeal for LotR and Frodo continues to wane, by the time the series was done, a lot of the people we would have liked to have thanked will have gone.

Isn't Rob Inglis a good reader of Tolkien? I especially like his work reading LotR. I listened to the sets of discs over and over while I was shelving books at work, as well as the BBC radio version on disc.
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maeglian at 2007-12-04 22:44 (UTC) (Link)
Well this reader certainly would like to return the thanks, and manyfold times to be sure!

It's been a privilege to study the lovely caps, enjoy the perceptive and often entirely haunting poems, and to read the comments and essays that have accompagnied caps and poems, creating a captivating and beautiful total. These posts have served to both unite and illuminate film Frodo and book Frodo - and to bring new appreciation and insight. Thank you both, so much.
mechtild at 2007-12-04 23:08 (UTC) (Link)
These posts have served to both unite and illuminate film Frodo and book Frodo - and to bring new appreciation and insight.

What a huge compliment, Maeglian. I am extremely pleased that you got this out of these posts. Thanks for saying so. *smooch*

~ Mechtild
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shirebound at 2007-12-04 22:53 (UTC) (Link)
swam like a thousand stars upon my fingers,
dusted themselves upon the white of paper,
danced their fire-fly selves upon the keyboard,
wove ribbons of grace within my mind.

Oh, how I loved them

each fragile word,
tender as a kitten-footed dawn.
It has been my honour
to live
their Song.

Oh wow. *awestruck*

And my heartfelt thanks to you both.

Edited at 2007-12-04 10:54 pm (UTC)
mechtild at 2007-12-04 23:10 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Shirebound. You have been a faithful body to this series, and a writer of warm comments. I have deeply appreciated it.

Don't those stanzas you quoted just *say* it?

~ M
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The One Mari
marigold6 at 2007-12-04 23:27 (UTC) (Link)
Though my commenting has been minimal at best [more like practically non-existent], I have been overcome many times at both jan-u-wine's beautiful and soulful poetry, and of course mechtild's stunning selection of screencaps accompanying said words. From the bottom of my heart, thank you both for your efforts, done from love. And the only sigh is one of sadness - but we still have the archives to wander through. And thank you, ladies, for your parting poem, sweet words, and all these wonderful pairs of Frodos. *many hugs*
mechtild at 2007-12-05 01:48 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, but we aren't entirely finished (see paragraph 1). We are just taking a break. Thank you, Marigold, for this lovely comment!
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telstar_gold at 2007-12-05 00:18 (UTC) (Link)
The combination of your careful screencaps, insightful comments & jan-u-wine's stunning poetry has been a revelation to me. Through you both, I have come to know the books & films better than ever before.
Thank you!
mechtild at 2007-12-05 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Telstar, for commenting. You are gracious!
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sams_star at 2007-12-05 01:26 (UTC) (Link)
Endless thanks to both of you for all the beauty and insights you have brought to us to enhance our enjoyment of LotR!!
mechtild at 2007-12-05 01:50 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Sam's Star! It's great to see that shining icon. :) (Very Christmas-y, too!)
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mechtild at 2007-12-05 01:52 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, Mews. You have been a tremendous supporter of this series and I appreciate it very much. I'll be back to this eventually, but I want to do some writing and maybe some manips. See you then!
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pebbles66 at 2007-12-05 03:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for such beautiful pictures. I just wanted to let you know that, for me also, the Frodo/LOTR love will never wane. I fell in love with Tolkien's world in 6th grade, and am still passionately devoted nearly 30 years later. It's a magical place, and each time I reread the books, I find something new to love. Thank you for sharing the devotion.
mechtild at 2007-12-05 03:49 (UTC) (Link)
Sixth grade! I envy you readers who have had that much time in reading the book. I didn't read it until I had been in college for a few years. I was 21, I guess. That was 35 years ago. But although I read it about three times through in a row, completely enthralled, when I left college I stopped reading it. I probably only read it once during all the years that followed, until my passion was re-ignited (eventually blazing dangerously, threatening to burn down the house!) by the films. Then the re-reading began again, but with far more understanding and care than when I was young. I also read through the rest of his work, along with a lot of the secondary literature. I couldn't get enough!

Thanks so much for sharing a little of your story, Pebbles.

Edited at 2007-12-05 04:45 am (UTC)
frolijah_fan_54 at 2007-12-05 04:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you both SO MUCH for all the beauty and insight you have brought me in both pics and words. This whole series is stunning - and these "bookend" pics present these familiar pics in such a new and though-provoking way. I still have many of the posts to get back and read - these are not things you can skim through but must have the time to savor them like a fine meal in the best of company. But I WILL get the time to enjoy them all - my soul needs that.

I am not someone who read the books when I was young - I came to the fandom in 2002 after stumbling upon FOTR on a cable channel. I fell in love with Frodo (and Elijah) then and read the books because of seeing the movie. And it's brought me here to LJ and the honor of enjoying your pics and words. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.
mechtild at 2007-12-05 04:53 (UTC) (Link)
(GOSH, I love that icon--I know I've told you before.) Thanks for the very gracious comment! One of the things that makes me grateful to the LotR films is the way they inspired so many people to read the book for the first time, people who may never have read it otherwise. It's never too late to become acquainted with the glories of Tolkien's work. It's wonderful that the films were such a great catalyst. Why, if it hadn't been for the films, I wouldn't be here.

And take your time browsing the posts, Frolijah Fan. This LJ isn't going anywhere. As I mentioned up top, I do have some more screencap entries planned, but later, after I work on some other things.
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mariole at 2007-12-05 05:02 (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely post! I could gaze at Frolijah's features forever.

I'm sorry I'm so behind in reviewing these posts. But it's lovely to know they are here waiting for me, to savor anew whenever I can. Thanks so much for all your lovely work.
mechtild at 2007-12-05 13:26 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mariole. Gaze on. Your observant, *highly appreciative* eye is always welcome (sorry there aren't more full-body shots, snort)!
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mechtild at 2007-12-05 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
Shucks, Chickenlegs, you're going to make me all misty. But then I look at you icon and have to guffaw. What *is* going on in that picture. It looks like EW made a surprise on-set visit to Eastern Promises during the shower scene.

Seriously, though, that's a lovely comment, as are all your comments. Thank you for always sharing your love and passion for LotR and its [swoony] hobbit hero.
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mechtild at 2007-12-05 13:31 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so pleased!! I was hoping people might find the effect of justaposing early and late scenes as moving and provocative as I did. Thanks so much for this comment!
earths_daughter at 2007-12-05 11:08 (UTC) (Link)
Dear Mechtild, it is very generous of you to be thanking us when it is we who should be thanking you, and jan-u-wine.
It is very rarely that your posts have not moved me to tears in one way or another, of joy, sadness or enlightenment, as indeed this one has. My heartfelt thanks go to you and jan-u-wine and I look forward to your return.
mechtild at 2007-12-05 13:33 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Earth's Daughter/Brummie, you are welcome. It certain is, literally, my pleasure to make these. So pleasurable I stopped doing anything else! I've not finished with Frodo, Tolkien and LotR, not by a long chalk. When I say I'm doing "other things", I am not talking about other fandoms. I mean this one, but not screencaps--for a little while, anyway. I am so happy that you've enjoyed and appreciated these posts so much.
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addie71 at 2007-12-05 13:43 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you both so much for these wonderful posts. They have deepened my understanding and appreciation for both the books and the films. I will miss them.
mechtild at 2007-12-05 14:22 (UTC) (Link)
[what happened to my comment...?]

You are welcome, Addie. I am so pleased you have got so much out of these entries. I certainly have profited by writing them and making the images. But not to mourn yet. I still have some material left to present, but I won't be doing them for a while, certainly not till after the holidays. Again, thanks!
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golden_berry at 2007-12-05 14:23 (UTC) (Link)
I've been lurking in these brilliant posts, or saving them for later. This last set, of bookends, brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful, fantastic journey this series has been! I can never express adequately my gratitude for the gift you have both given to fans of the films.

So, when is the DVD coming out? :D (I'm only half kidding here. I would gladly pay for a DVD of this!)
mechtild at 2007-12-05 15:11 (UTC) (Link)
What a good idea! You're a genius! I mean, I've been saving the html drafts I make of all these entries, but those are like the "skeletons" of what actually appears on the screen. I've often thought, "I wish I could save these so they'd look the way they look on LJ, so that if Livejournal shut down I'd still be able to look at them." I wonder if there is some sort of program that downloads whole posts? Pictures, backgrounds and all, so that they can be burned onto a disc to play? Maybe I'll ask my far-more-computer savvy husband.

Back to the screencaps, thanks so much for commenting, Goldenberry. Don't despair of it all ending, though. There's still Frodo in the Elvish lands to go. I never did do Rivendell except for the EE farewell, and I didn't do Galadriel's mirror or the bestowing of gifts in Lórien.
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