Rivendell 3 ~ Reunion with Bilbo, with jan-u-wine's "Rivendell Suite".
Where has the year gone? Here it is the middle of fall and I feel as though I have barely posted a thing in my LJ (compared to previously). Events in real life put a halt to my LJ projects for a while, and, when I returned, although I posted some Frodo comparisons, a new manip and a series on Ian McKellen, I did not have the concentration to resume the screencap series. But now it’s back.
Return to Rivendell:
It was in March and April that I posted my last two screencap entries, which were both set in Rivendell. (Links for these entries given below.) The first showed Frodo waking up after his convalescence, the second showed Frodo and Sam walking through the gardens and running into Merry and Pippin. Both featured poems by jan-u-wine. Now I want to continue the series, picking up where I left off, on that terrace in Rivendell, when Frodo sees Bilbo.
I think the fact that it is autumn contributes to my desire to return to the series (Frodo is not the only one who gets restive in the fall). The weather is perfect here right now for thinking about Rivendell. Although it is autumn the weather is still mild, the sunny days recalling the warmth of summer. But the trees—some still green but most of them red or yellow or orange or gold—show that it’s fall.
Yesterday, walking in a nearby park, I thought of the Rivendell scenes constantly. The park is in a residential neighbourhood but runs along both sides of a deep-set creek, which flows swiftly down a cleft in the rocky wooded hillside into Lake Superior. Down in that cleft extraneous sounds are muffled by the dense undergrowth and tall trees. What isn’t muffled is drowned out by the music and noise of running water. The creek trickles here and there, and turns quiet as it broadens and flows into leaf-stained shallows, but mostly it's noisy, rushing and tumbling over stones and falling over breaks in the rocks into frothy-topped pools.
It feels quite remote down there, as though one has left the familiar world behind. It's a secret place, full of bird-song and water-song and moss and rock and leaf. There are red and grey-scored rock faces that the stream has cut away, tall and forbidding, drawing the eye up to the blue sky peeping between the branches. There's an old aqueduct that spans the top of the gorge that reminds me of the ruins of Gondor. There are picturesque little wooden bridges to walk across, old stone stairs to negotiate, and everywhere—at this particular time of the year—yellow leaves. Yellow leaves rattle like pennants overhead where the wind snaps the treetops, yellow leaves trail from twiggy young limbs that drape the path, yellow leaves drift through the air like petals and cover the path in yellow. Yes, this time of year is *very* Rivendell-ish.
Poems by jan-u-wine:
As has been the case in the past, I dearly hoped there would be poems by jan-u-wine that I could feature with these images. Going through old mail all last week (I had clogged up my inbox so badly, gmail was beginning to break down on me), I found a remark that expressed well what I love about her work. Back in 2006 I had written to her,
If someone asked me what is the best fanfic I've read this year (and I've read more this year of procrastinating than in any other!), it would be what you have written. "Oh, but that's poetry," you may protest. It is, but it's very narrative poetry. Reading your poetry is like reading stories, but the insides of stories.
That’s the heart of it for me: they’re like reading stories, but the insides of stories. Beautiful stories, true stories. But not only do I love jan-u-wine’s poems as such, I love the way they work with images (and the way images work with the poems). I find the two complementary.
For this series, I had already chosen a poem jan-u-wine had written for what is going to be Rivendell Pt. 4, but I had nothing for the first three sections. I was *thrilled*, therefore, when Jan said she’d like to write something new for Pts. 1 – 3, three entries that show Frodo and Bilbo together before the Ring comes between them. She has written three poems, one for each section. Like the screencaps they are written to, they go together, and are meant to be appreciated as a whole. The three poems comprise the “Rivendell Suite”.
The Rivendell series will have twelve new entries. After the first three (Frodo sees Bilbo, and looking at the Red Book), there will be a post for the scene between Frodo and Sam on the terrace. Five segments for the Council of Elrond will follow, finishing up with four for the scene in which Bilbo presents Frodo with Sting and the mithril corselet. I will be providing a related book excerpt for each post. The film scenes do not always follow the book’s narrative closely or in the same order, but there are many rich cross-references. Being able to read the book scene while looking at the film caps—and visa-versa—is always a rewarding experience for me.
Once he has recovered, Frodo attends a feast at which he is the guest of honour. Afterwards, he walks with Gandalf to the Hall of Fire for songs and tales.
(…) Frodo looked with delight upon the many fair faces that were gathered together; the golden firelight played upon them and shimmered in their hair. Suddenly he noticed, not far from the further end of the fire, a small dark figure seated on a stool with his back propped against a pillar. Beside him on the ground was a drinking-cup and some bread. Frodo wondered whether he was ill (if people were ever ill in Rivendell), and had been unable to come to the feast. His head seemed sunk in sleep on his breast, and a fold of his dark cloak was drawn over his face.
Elrond went forward and stood beside the silent figure. ‘Awake, little master!’ he said, with a smile. Then, turning to Frodo, he beckoned to him. ‘Now at last the hour has come that you have wished for, Frodo,’ he said. ‘Here is a friend that you have long missed.’
The dark figure raised its head and uncovered its face.
‘Bilbo!’ cried Frodo with sudden recognition, and he sprang forward.
‘Hullo, Frodo my lad!’ said Bilbo. ‘So you have got here at last. I hoped you would manage it. Well, well! So all this feasting is in your honour, I hear. I hope you enjoyed yourself?’
‘Why weren’t you there?’ cried Frodo. ‘And why haven’t I been allowed to see you before?’
‘Because you were asleep. I have seen a good deal of you. I have sat by your side with Sam each day. But as for the feast, I don’t go in for such things much now. And I had something else to do.’
‘What were you doing?’
‘Why, sitting and thinking; I do a lot of that nowadays and this is the best place to do it in, as a rule. Wake up, indeed!’ he said, cocking an eye at Elrond. There was a bright twinkle in it and no sign of sleepiness that Frodo could see. ‘Wake up! I was not asleep, Master Elrond. If you want to know, you have all come out from your feast too soon, and you have disturbed me—in the middle of making up a song. (…) I shall have to get my friend the Dúnadan to help me. Where is he?’
Elrond laughed. ‘He shall be found,’ he said. ‘Then you two shall go into a corner and finish your task….”
~ from Many Meetings.
Frodo walks around Rivendell with Sam. They meet Merry and Pippin. After they embrace, Frodo looks down a stone path and sees Bilbo sitting on a bench reading a book.
Frodo: Bilbo! Bilbo begins to rise.
Bilbo: Hello, Frodo, my lad! They embrace.
The screencaps in this series have been taken from the fullscreen edition of the theatrical version. They have all been adjusted for brightness, contrast, and focus.
I am not a lad anymore.
Not a lad who
the sun is especially
or the sky danc'd
or the stars
holding to their stations
with twinkled abandon.
Not a lad who counts
the mud of a country lane, clinging
fast to road-weary feet,
as something of a prize,
nor a night spent within the forest's
bold roots, an earnest of grand adventure.
But my heart
has not forgot those small
nor a voice,
its slow cadence threading me
with wonder, the echoes of it
holding me quietly in place,
yet placing my feet
with simple surety upon a larger
And when I see him, there,
so small (or have I grown
*that* much larger?)
I see him....
Nearly do I break
beneath the weight of memory.
Age *has* caught him up,
and I cannot smooth away with my hand
the lines of it upon his face, nor calm my own fear
at the fragile beat of his heart against mine
as he holds me as he used to.
When I was a lad, he held me
when I was a lad, frightened and oddly alone.
I am but a lad
Screencap lovers should know that the talented Blossom has capped these first Bilbo-Frodo scenes to create an animated gif and slideshow (with music and bits of dialogue), plus a gallery of selected caps. If you don’t know Blossom’s work, it’s stunning. Her caps are all from the widescreen version, and are beautifully, expressively tweaked. Each one is a work of art. To show the difference, here is one of her caps from the same series I posted above. It’s just gorgeous.
If you would like to see her slideshows and caps for this scene, go to her Frodo website, In Dreams. Go to the slideshow called “My Dear Boy”. The animated gif and the gallery of caps are accessed with links provided. You won’t be disappointed!
~ Riv. 4 – The Red Book: ‘This is wonderful!’, plus Pt. 2 of jan-u-wine’s ‘Rivendell Suite’.
Other related entries:
~ Riv. 1 – Frodo recovered in Rivendell, with jan-u-wine’s “They All Imagine”, in honour of March 25th.
~ Riv. 2 – Reunion with the cousins, plus jan-u-wine’s “The Gifts of the Three Hobbits”.
~ Riv. 16 – Farewell to Rivendell: caps from the widescreen EE version.