Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

Riv. 7 ~ Council of Elrond 1: ‘Bring Forth the Ring, Frodo’, plus "Rivendell Suite 4".


Note: Long opening post with lots of pictures and text. My apologies to dial-up users.

Here begins a five-part presentation of the Council of Elrond. The filmmakers said they worked long and hard trying to make the extended historical accounts that fill this chapter into an interesting film scene. I think they succeeded. They greatly condensed what is a rich, complex collection of tales, and created a scene that tells the story the film needed to tell, establishing key plot points and crucial inter-character dynamics. The pacing of the scene flows, but slows down where it needs to, stopping for crucial beats underscoring dramatic impact.

Almost all of the film dialogue comes from The Council of Elrond, which ends with Elrond’s response to Frodo’s offer to take the Ring to Mordor. Additional dialogue comes from the chapter that follows, The Ring Goes South. But the ordering of the dialogue elements is different. I trimmed a great deal from the book chapter in order to relate the material to the caps, but unless I pulled the book’s sequence to pieces, I could not get the book excerpts to match the screenplay. I was not willing to do that. Still, it’s nice to be able to read the book text while following the film scene, even if it doesn’t always match. The images from the film are wonderfully evocative. For me it’s better still when I can ‘flesh out’ the film scene with what Tolkien wrote.

For instance, when film Frodo obeys the command to bring forth the Ring, I see some but not all of what the text says regarding Frodo’s interior state:

There was a hush, and all turned their eyes on Frodo. He was shaken by a sudden shame and fear; and he felt a great reluctance to reveal the Ring, and a loathing of its touch. He wished he was far away. The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in his trembling hand.

I see and hear the hush in the room; the hairs on my head lift from the suspense as all eyes turn to film-Frodo. I see the Ring gleam as he draws it forth and places it on the stone pedestal. And I see Frodo’s reluctance to rise and step into the spotlight, obviously wishing he were anywhere else. But I do not see his reluctance as ‘a great reluctance to reveal the Ring’. I do not see ‘a loathing of its touch’. Nor do I see Frodo ‘shaken by a sudden shame and fear’.

This is not necessarily a fault, since the filmmakers (and Frodo’s actor) dramatize these feelings elsewhere in the trilogy. But by reading the book text while looking at the caps, I find myself imaginatively completing, or filling in, what I didn’t see on screen. That’s one of the things I’ve come to love about making these posts. It is a way, if a small way, to have my cake and eat it too. I can revel in the dramatization provided in the trilogy, with its unforgettable portrayals, wonderfully imagined visuals and powerful musical score, but let the experience be deepened by the book’s rich text. I hope you find enjoyment in this series, too.


Jan-u-wine has written a fourth installment of her Rivendell Suite for this first set of caps, but also with the book in mind, opened up by her own imagination. I have always wanted to experience this scene from Frodo's point of view at a deeper, more intimate level. Jan has made that wonderfully possible. I think it is magnificent. The poem appears after the last caps.


Book scene: from The Council of Elrond.

[Frodo has woken up feeling “ready for anything”. Outside, talking with Gandalf, he even says he’d like to go for a walk and explore the valley.]

Suddenly as they were talking a single clear bell rang out. ‘That is the warning bell for the Council of Elrond,’ cried Gandalf. ‘Both you and Bilbo are wanted.’

Frodo and Bilbo followed the wizard quickly along the winding path back to the house; behind them, uninvited and for the moment forgotten, trotted Sam.

Gandalf led them to the porch where Frodo had found his friends the evening before. The light of the clear autumn morning was now glowing in the valley. The noise of bubbling waters came up from the foaming river-bed. Birds were singing, and a wholesome peace lay on the land. To Frodo his dangerous flight, and the rumours of the darkness growing in the world outside, already seemed only the memories of a troubled dream; but the faces that were turned to meet them as they entered were grave.

Elrond was there, and several others were seated in silence about him. Frodo saw Glorfindel and Glóin; and in a corner alone Strider was sitting, clad in his old travel-worn clothes again. Elrond drew Frodo to a seat by his side, and presented him to the company, saying:

‘Here, my friends, is the hobbit, Frodo son of Drogo. Few have ever come hither through greater peril or on an errand more urgent.’

[After more introductions, Elrond speaks of Númenor and the Last Alliance, of Gil-galad and Elendil.]

‘I remember well the splendour of their banners,’ he said. ‘It recalled to me the glory of the Elder Days and the hosts of Beleriand, so many great princes and captains were assembled. And yet not so many, nor so fair, as when Thangorodrim was broken, and the Elves deemed that evil was ended for ever, and it was not so.’

‘You remember?’ said Frodo, speaking his thought aloud in his astonishment. ‘But I thought,’ he stammered as Elrond turned towards him, ‘I thought the fall of Gil-galad was a long age ago.’

‘So it was indeed,’ answered Elrond gravely. ‘But my memory reaches back even to the Elder Days. Eärendil was my sire, who was born in Gondolin before its fall; and my mother was Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Lúthien of Doriath. I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and many fruitless victories.’

[Elrond, leading up to the account of the Ring, summarises earlier history. Then Boromir stands to speak. He tells of the trials he and his men have endured defending Gondor, then comes to his reason for attending to the Council.]

'I come to ask for counsel and the unravelling of hard words. For on the eve of the sudden assault a dream came to my brother in a troubled sleep; and afterwards a like dream came oft to him again, and once to me.

‘In that dream I thought the eastern sky grew dark and there was a growing thunder, but in the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote but clear, crying:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur’s Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.

Of these words we could understand little.’ (….)

‘And here in the house of Elrond more shall be made clear to you,’ said Aragorn, standing up. He cast his sword upon the table that stood before Elrond, and the blade was in two pieces. ‘Here is the Sword that was Broken!’ he said.

‘And who are you, and what have you to do with Minas Tirith?’ asked Boromir, looking in wonder at the lean face of the Ranger in the weather-stained cloak.

‘He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,’ said Elrond; ‘and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil’s son of Minas Ithil. He is the Chief of the Dúnedain in the North, and few are now left of that folk.’

‘Then it belongs to you, and not to me at all!’ cried Frodo in amazement, springing to his feet, as if he expected the Ring to be demanded at once.

‘It does not belong to either of us,’ said Aragorn; ‘but it has been ordained that you should hold it for a while.’

‘Bring out the Ring, Frodo!’ said Gandalf solemnly. ‘The time has come. Hold it up, and then Boromir will understand the remainder of his riddle.’

There was a hush, and all turned their eyes on Frodo. He was shaken by a sudden shame and fear; and he felt a great reluctance to reveal the Ring, and a loathing of its touch. He wished he was far away. The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in his trembling hand.


Film scene:

[Gathered together are representatives of the various Free Peoples, listening intently as Lord Elrond presents the situation.]

Elrond: Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you have been summoned to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite, or you will fall. Each race is bound this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the Ring, Frodo.

[Frodo rises and places the Ring on a stone pedestal in the middle of the chamber.]

Boromir: So it is true….

[Frodo returns to his seat beside Gandalf. Whispering is heard as all regard the Ring.]


Note: The screencaps for this series are all taken from the fullscreen edition of the theatrical version, except for the set for the EE extended addition (below). The EE edition only comes in widescreen, so I trimmed off the sides of the frames to make them the same width as the fullscreen caps. The widescreen caps are, however, less high. As usual, all the screencaps have been adjusted for brightness, contrast and focus.














Extended scene continues:

[The Ring is heard whispering, and close-ups of Gimli, Legolas and Boromir show they notice it. Gandalf glances at Boromir. Boromir rises and speaks, moving slowly towards the Ring. Reaction shots of Frodo and others show they notice this.]

Boromir: In a dream, I saw the eastern sky grow dark. But in the West a pale light lingered. A voice was crying: "Your doom is near at hand. Isildur's Bane is found. Isildur's Bane….

Elrond: Leaping up before Boromir can touch the Ring:Boromir!

Gandalf: Ash Nazg durbatulûk... (Translation: "One Ring to rule them all")

[ The council chamber is overshadowed and thunder is heard. Boromir draws back in fear, Gimli shouts, reaching for his axe, Elrond puts his hand to his head, and Legolas shuts his eyes. Frodo looks at the Ring, distressed.]

Gandalf: rising as he speaks...Ash Nazg gimbatul. Ash Nazg thrakatulûk agh Burzum-ishi krimpatul. (Translation: "One Ring to Find them. One Ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them.")

[ The light in the chamber returns to normal.]

Elrond: Never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here in Imladris.

Gandalf: Recovering himself: I do not ask your pardon, Master Elrond, for the Black Speech of Mordor may yet be heard in every corner of the West. The Ring is altogether evil.













Theatrical version resumes:

Boromir: It is a gift. A gift to the foes of Mordor. Boromir rises to address the group. Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him!

You cannot wield it. None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.

And what would a Ranger know of this matter?

This is no mere Ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.










Rivendell Suite 4

~ by jan-u-wine

in the Last Homely House
of the Sea.

leaves falling gold-red and

beyond the rounded

great blue-tumbled sky-bowl

a season-weary Sun.

In another time,

an Age of Adventure simple
and unlooked-for,

I should have walked within
this deep-tangled forest,

wove tales beneath stars


from Elbereth's diadem'd

sought tail-tipped fox
in their dens of night,

parted lofty mist-curtains
with hands

burdened with naught worse


is not the time
given me.


I am fearful

this gathering of the mighty and the wise.

Even the road-scarred and weary Ranger,
a King of ancient House,

even the stone-plain dwarf,
blood-kin to the Seven Fathers.

I listen as the great tale
spins out,

my heart at once joyous and

with the largeness of it all,
the sound of my own blood

in my ears

at the dreaded thought of what my part
might be.

Muted words reach me,

with parts equal

of release
and desperate desire.

He is calling for It.

The Lord of Rivendell
summons forth

the Ring.

Never before
in my small life

have I known such

of spirit,

of thought,
of needful deed.

As if I had been asked to wait,

(and *more* than naked)
before a company of strangers,

I find my feet.

The sweet-dark touch of Its whisper falls upon my ear.

Almost beyond me, the resolve to step forward,
all but impossible,

the will to let go of It,

It to the gaze of these others.

But so I do,
Its voice

twining to me,

Its warm weight
still imagined upon my palm,

desire sharp and prism'd as a
bone-nicked blade

rising alongside loathing.

A voice, then,


born of flesh,
the sound of it

falling heavy
and dull as a blunt'd
sword-stroke upon my ear.

The man of Gondor.

In my heart,
I know:

already It calls him.

It promises

that all shall be as once it was:

his people, bold and bright,
noble, true,

his city,
shining beneath a Sun

of gold,

his father.....
returned to him

healed and whole.

I know what it is to lose a father,
a home,

a life-book.

It does not surprise me
that a warrior's hand,

a *son's* hand,

darkened by the road
and whatever blood it has shed,

driven by despair and desire
in harsh and equal measure,

reaches out.....

The light leaves the world,

foul words
like the wings
of some carrion bird

beating against the doors of my heart,
stripping me of all but horror.

In the midst of it all,
two voices twine,

the forging of my fate captured between them.

Unlooked for,
these words,

erasing even
the memory of

from the world.

Unlooked for,
the mouth which utters them.


the Other voice.....
answering with joy
the evil call of those word-sounds,

Its veiled whispers
running like night
within me,

*starless* night,
foul and triumphant.


There is light
and sound

within this glade of autumn.

From far away, birds call,
their small music

a comfort to me.

The sky is yet cloud-wisp'd
and harvest-tide blue,

the Sun warm and winking in Her place.

Fair autumn stays,
still, in this haven of the Eldar.

The winter-wolves of war
have not yet breached

the amber of these spell-woven gates.

Many words, then,
the endless count of them

bound about by the fury
of an angry pride,

long-held fear
over-borne, in the ending,
by love turned to hope-less



He that my Lord well-named speaks.

Quieted with simple truth,
his words,

with the burden'd inheritance,

the fearful choices
which shall be his.

His destiny,
twined to this *thing* of gold,



There is yet

Previous entry:

Photobucket ~ Riv. 6 – ‘Ready to go home’, plus jan-u-wine's "Soon".

Next entry:

~ Riv. 8 – ‘Never trust an Elf!', plus jan-u-wine’s 'Rivendell Suite 5’.

Other Links:

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

~ Main table for all entries

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

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