Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

Rivendell 1 ~ Anniversary of March 25th, featuring Jan-u-wine's "They All Imagine".


This post is to commemorate March 25, the Fall of Barad-dûr, showcasing jan-u-wine’s poem They All Imagine. In the poem, Frodo recalls the day from the perspective of many years spent in Tol Eressëa.

The film scene.

In the scene from which these caps come (fullscreen theatrical version), there is no dialogue. Frodo has already woken up, talked with Gandalf, been greeted by Sam, and introduced to Lord Elrond. "Welcome to Rivendell, Master Baggins," he says. Then the filmmakers show us what Frodo is being welcomed to.

In one of the most glorious moments in Howard Shore's score, the music swells into the first full-blown statement of the Rivendell theme as the viewer is brought into the mountain gorge where the Last Homely House is nestled. Waterfalls—many and varied—first catch the eye as they spill over ledges and foam down clefts. The camera sweeps in nearer, to the edge of a high terrace onto which Frodo Baggins steps. The light is soft and golden. The music is like a sound version of Celtic art. Like the border of a gold-threaded wall hanging, or a page of illuminated manuscript accented with gold leaf, the closely-woven tonal colours twine in a design that is rich and dense, yet shimmery and translucent at the same time. The chords are otherworldly, but the rhythms are natural, building and receding, rising and falling like waves surging and swirling against a sea wall. I find it utterly intoxicating. Frodo seems to feel it, too, as he absently buttons his shirt, looking about him, coming to stand at the balcony rail, trying to take it all in.

About the entry.

For the purposes of my post, I have put jan-u-wine’s poem directly after the caps on the balcony. Jan’s poem, as I mentioned, is not set in Rivendell, or even on Middle-earth, but across the Sea on Tol Eressëa, on a March 25th many years after the Quest. There are no film scenes set in Tol Eressëa, of course, but the film’s depiction of Rivendell—more than its depiction of any other place, including Lórien—evokes for me what that world might be like. The filming, the music, the way the shots are lit, all make magic for me. Jan-u-wine, looking at these caps for the draft, remarked that when she watches the Rivendell scenes she doesn’t feel like she’s watching a movie, she’s there, in the film's world.

I said in a post last year that, in terms of mood or "feel", the films turned Rivendell into Lórien. Film-Lorien is a beautiful place, but it is also dark, mysterious, and foreboding, quite unlike the place of deep refreshment depicted in the book. Film-Rivendell, instead, becomes such a place. (No wonder Frodo is reluctant to go back home when Sam asks him about it.) Film-Rivendell, not Lórien, is the place of golden light, where art and nature meet; a place that is timeless yet full of time, ancient yet possessed of a “poignant freshness”. It is in film-Rivendell that viewers are offered a glimpse of what book-Frodo perceives in the Golden Wood: a heightened awareness of the beauty and aliveness of the natural world, and a sense of his place in it. This is what is described in the Lórien chapters. In the film, it happens when he walks out onto the balcony (accompanied by that *amazing* music), and in the scene that immediately follows. In that scene, he and Sam walk in slow motion through a golden landscape, in golden light, while golden leaves fall like stars around them. The sequence only last seconds, but that little moment establishes Rivendell as a place in which the hours are truly golden.

Which is why I chose the “welcome to Rivendell” screencaps for jan-u-wine’s poem. Of all the scenes in the three films, I think this sequence gives the best sense of what the Undying Lands would be like for Frodo, visually, and as an experience.

Because in Jan’s poem Sam has not yet arrived in Tol Eressëa, I put the caps of Sam and Frodo walking after the poem. In my mind, the images give a sense of them enjoying together the bliss and peace of Eldamar, with many years (I hope) of golden hours, rich with joy and quiet beauty, before the time when they would pass beyond the Circles of the World.



They All Imagine

~ by jan-u-wine

They all imagine,


that I do not remember.

I remember.

Even here,

held between the Song of the Sea
and the velvet pull of the stars,



I remember.

And I cannot truly say


it is thus,

here, where Ages might pass
like moments

and moments
run like amber-honey
to Ages.

I know not
if a year has flown,

or ten,

or a thousand.

I only know I wake

still'd with fear,
the memory
of a cry


in my throat.

Even here.

In another world,
it is Spring-time,
in another world,
fire touches me with careful

runs its lash through me….

In another world,

it is March 25.

My bed-chamber
(for I cannot, for all my trying,

nor think of it,
as a smial)

lies almost in silver clouds.

Fair towers,

pearl'd rose and ivory
in morning light,

surround me,

and the blue eye of the Sea
waits below.

the Sea has comforted me,

always the twin voices
of Ossë and Uinen
called to me.


I know peace,
held here
in this place
where time seems


more upon
the wheeling of the gulls
than that of the stars,

more defined by the sudden

of a gentle rain
than the bright journey of the Sun
between horizons.

But not this day.

This day,

something beyond the Sea-gate
calls me,

stills my heart,

folds tight fingers of not-quite-desire
about my throat.

If I were Home,

and all the years turned back,
as if they were but days,

if I were Home,

it would be Spring,


caught soft between Rethe and Astron
(Astron, which always I loved for its
tender bringing-back-to-life).

and there would be naught
(in that which caught me)

which speaks to

nor gentle Spring.


fire and fear,

lost pain,
madness and desire.

Even now,
my mind cannot,

will not
call forth that day.

Even now,
in muted memory,


of sound remain…..


smells, sights,

confused and terrible,

like slivered glass
flung upon the floor,

pressed like rotting leaves
held eternal by gold-amber.

In the still rooms of my mind,

(or is it, in truth,
the truth,

and this isle
but my hopeful dreme?)

my hand finds a circlet
of heated gold….

It sings to me……

There is other singing,


all about me.

Its gentle pull leads me back to myself.

The Fair Folk,

bidding the day farewell,

welcoming the blue-lavender
of night.

I go down to them,

walk among them,
feel their Song

through me like light,

into moon-shadowed darkness.

It follows the gentle line of the shore,

where waves lace salt-bitter

upon unyielding rock….

Wrapped around by its mystery,

the ancient paths of its beauty,

I forget what day it might be,


on the other side of the Sea.

Next year,

I shall remember again.


Next year,
assuredly, I shall remember.

Next year,

in a moment shared out
betwixt remembrance
and regret,

between joy and pain

I shall see home


Related entries:

~ jan-u-wine's "Frodo's Journal", posted to commemorate March 25, 2007, with screencaps from the fall of Barad-dûr.

~ "Not So Easily Mended" by jan-u-wine (after Frodo has sailed, Sam reflects in Bag End), screencaps from Sam's rescue from the Anduin.

~ “Across So Wide a Sea” by jan-u-wine (Sam arrives in Tol Eressëa), painting by Nanette-Rosie Gagnon.

Other Tables of Links:

~ All entries with jan-u-wine's poems.

~ Main table for all screencap entries

~ Mechtild
Tags: fellowship of the ring, frodo screencaps, jan-u-wine

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