The Annotated LOTR - A Knife in the Dark

Discuss Tolkien's masterpieces within the walls of this forum.

Postby MithLuin » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:58 pm

Okay, roac, I'll bite ;)

The main support for the theory of the Nazgul-attack is the description of the Nazgul attack on Crickhollow that immediately precedes the discovery of the slashed bolsters. Since that is the only place where we see things from the Nazgul's point of view, it is rather significant, don't you think? It seems to set up the next scene - once the Nazgul discover that the Ring has left the Shire, what will they do? Will they attack Frodo in Bree?

I think Tolkien leaves this question ambiguous because the hobbits really have no way of knowing what actually happened. If Frodo does not know the answer, he can't write it in his book. It is an unsolved mystery of LotR, if you will ;). Surely the Bree-folk debated it for ages, and came up with various solutions. While the attack by Ferny is what Aragorn expected, it is by no means certain that that is what actually happened.

As an aside, I was surprised by your understanding of the hobbits' rooms. I have always pictured a 'suite' setup, where the bed rooms were connected to a common room, or even all four beds in one room (though clearly that is not correct). I had not pictured 4 separate rooms with four separate windows and doorways into the corridor. One reason why not is because it seems that the damage caused here can be surveyed rather quickly. It is as if they open one door, and see a mess. I don't picture them going to each room in turn and seeing a new mess each time. Of course, the text does not really specify, and I have never been to a real inn ;).
User avatar
MithLuin
Mariner

 
Posts: 8527
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 1999 12:00 pm
Top

Postby roaccarcsson » Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:39 am

A good question about the layout of the rooms.

I have a recollection that in one of the early drafts - before he got all indignant about the idea that the rooms woudl be numbered - JRRT had Butterbur say that he was giving the hobbits "rooms 5 through 8," or something like that. But I don't have HoME here so i can't check right now. Obviously the subject calls for discussion.
User avatar
roaccarcsson
Mariner

 
Posts: 5542
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 6:21 pm
Top

Postby scirocco » Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:01 am

Don't I recall you supporting the pro-Nazgul case a few years back, roacc? :D:D.

The subject was discused in great depth in the old thread Who slashed the beds in Bree? Ferny or Nazy?

Personally, I think that Tolkien originally intended to have the Black Riders carry out the attack, which is why it has a similar "feel" to Crickhollow. Later he decided that Ferny and co. would do it, but in the final drafts left it deliberately ambiguous.
User avatar
scirocco
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2099
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:12 am
Top

Postby roaccarcsson » Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:27 pm

Insofar as everybody constructs their own LotR in their head - in mine, it is certainly the Nazgûl who do the breakin. Mostly for logical reasons as expressed in my post: If you think it was Ferny. what exact instructions do you think the Nazgûl gave him? and what did they plan to accomplish? And also for dramatic reasons - Nazgûl are scary, Ferny is not.

But as far as the Prof's intentions go - which is the only real meaning of the question - I have to conclude from the evidence that Ferny done it. Though the evidence is hardly conclusive. But I may be missing something that changes the picture in one direction or the other.
User avatar
roaccarcsson
Mariner

 
Posts: 5542
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 6:21 pm
Top

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:38 pm

Good man roac!

I've always been pro-Ferny, but more because of the light-hearted tone of the passages when the trashing is discovered: "Good bolsters ruined and all!"

What with that, and Strider saying that the BR were not likely to attack the inn, and the ineffectiveness (let's have it right!) of the BR at this stage of the narrative, I would say the evidence points more towards Ferny than the Nazzies.
User avatar
Queen_Beruthiel
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2921
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:28 pm
Top

Postby Parkingtigers » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:45 pm

'I will tell you the tale of Tinúviel,' said Strider, 'in brief – for it is a long tale of which the end is not known; and there are none now, except Elrond, that remember it aright as it was told of old.

The song of Beren and Luthien as read by Tolkien himself is available at the following location:

http://www.nytimes.com/richmedia/source/2001/11/19/books/tolkien-fellowship.html
User avatar
Parkingtigers
Shield Bearer
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:09 pm
Top

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:30 am

[The Black Riders] rode down the guards at the gate and vanished from the Shire.

In an early version a grey man confronts the Riders at Crickhollow, appearing in a splendour of light to vanquish them with wand and horn at the ready. This early anticipation of Gandalf the White, is abandoned in the later versions, the wand is never heard of again and the horn is given to others. This, surely, is Tolkien playing with and rejecting what he would later deride as “anticipation” and “flattening” when commenting on the Zimmerman script. Here is some more:

But before them all there galloped a white horse. On it sat an old man with long silver hair and flowing beard. His horn sounded over hill and dale. In his hand his wand flared and flickered like a sheaf of lightning. Gandalf was riding to the North Gate with the speed of thunder.


Home: 6, Chapter XVIII
Last edited by Queen_Beruthiel on Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Queen_Beruthiel
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2921
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:28 pm
Top

Postby roaccarcsson » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:53 am

Not to be picky - but I do believe that's vol. 6 of HOME. Not 5.
User avatar
roaccarcsson
Mariner

 
Posts: 5542
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 6:21 pm
Top

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:23 pm

Sorted.
User avatar
Queen_Beruthiel
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2921
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:28 pm
Top

Postby roaccarcsson » Fri May 13, 2005 5:11 pm

”No!” said Strider interrupting. “I do not think that tale should be told now with the servants of the Enemy at hand.”

Among his comments on the Morton Zimmerman film treatment, Tolkien wrote:
Aragorn did not “sing the song of Gil-galad.” Naturally: it was quite inappropriate, since it told of the defeat of the Elven-king by the enemy.

Letter 210, Letters at p. 273.

. . . to be the bride-price of Lúthien to Thingol her father.

A note to Letter 257 says that “bride-price” was “[m]isprinted as ‘bride-piece’ for many years, and only recently corrected.” Letters at p. 451. Letters came out in 1981.
User avatar
roaccarcsson
Mariner

 
Posts: 5542
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 6:21 pm
Top

Re: The Annotated LOTR - A Knife in the Dark

Postby bluegoatwoods » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:00 pm

Allow me to suggest one possibility.

Maybe Bill Ferny and the southerner were sent by the Nazgul to kidnap Baggins, to be delivered to the Nazgul. As a poster above suggested, the southerner might not have been above violence against some inoffensive person if it suited his own purposes.

Bill Ferny, though an obvious jerk, probably didn't have a history of real criminality. Otherwise he'd have met some bad end at the hands of the Bree-landers by then. But I can imagine him being driven to something as awful as kidnapping or murder out of terror of the Nazgul.

This does not address the question of why, then, would the Nazgul also frighten off the horses. The one incident wouldn't seem to have any connection with the other. But if we imagine the Nazgul as being pretty crafty, then it wouldn't be illogical to think that denying the party, plus some others, their horses would be something like "Plan B" if the kidnapping didn't work out.

And we might imagine Ferny and the southerner trashing the room in something like a tantrum of terror at the thought that they had to go back to the Nazgul empty handed.

I have nothing from Tolkien himself to support this. But it might logically explain much of the break-ins of the Inn and the stables.
bluegoatwoods
Petitioner to the Council
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:06 pm
Top

Re: The Annotated LOTR - A Knife in the Dark

Postby scirocco » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:58 am

I think we got the issue resolved (or as close as we're likely to) back in 2005 in the dedicated "beds in Bree" thread we had running back then. New, previously unpublished information had just come out. To cut a long story short, it seems about 90% sure it was the Black Riders:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=8446&start=73
User avatar
scirocco
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2099
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:12 am
Top

Re: The Annotated LOTR - A Knife in the Dark

Postby bluegoatwoods » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:48 am

scirocco wrote:I think we got the issue resolved (or as close as we're likely to) back in 2005 in the dedicated "beds in Bree" thread we had running back then. New, previously unpublished information had just come out. To cut a long story short, it seems about 90% sure it was the Black Riders:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=8446&start=73


Ooh, cool. Thanks. More material to ponder.

I don't have time to read it right now. Gotta go to work. But I'll be back.
bluegoatwoods
Petitioner to the Council
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:06 pm
Top

Previous

Return to The Books (Tolkien)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests