TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

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TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Notta Hobbit » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:46 pm

Summary

The three descend the foothills to the edge of the marshes. Frodo offers Gollum some lembas, but he spurns it. Later, while the hobbits sleep, he goes off and catches a fish for himself. Then he leads them through the Dead Marshes. At the center, Sam notices lights all around, which Gollum calls "candles of corpses" and warns them not to look at them. Frodo is frozen behind them doing just that, but Sam gets him going again. Then Sam trips and sees faces in the marsh pools. Smeagol says they're the faces of men who died in battle there. Finally they get to the end of the marshes, and then are terrorized by the passage of a Nazgul, who flies over them and then back to Mordor. The Ring begins to physically weigh Frodo down.

In the slag heaps before the Gate, they fall asleep. Sam wakes to see Smeagol debating with himself over Frodo. He finally decides to wait, as "She might help." Frodo wakes and orders them on toward the Gate, but their fear increases.

Questions
1. Gollum is a reliable guide through the Marshes—why doesn't he try to drown them there?
2. How does Gollum know the story of the Dead Pools?
3. If the Ring is trying to get back to Sauron, and Frodo can feel the presence of Sauron in front of him, why doesn't he feel a pull toward Mordor rather than a great dragging weight?
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Morwenna » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:54 am

I think that Gollum, in the years since he emerged from his undermountain lair, came into contact (even in hiding) with a lot of people from whom he could have gleaned the information. Also, who knows what tales were told in his original community and environs? Middle-earth is a world of storytellers, after all.

Why didn't he try to drown Frodo? Well, for one thing, he'd have had Sam to deal with, and he couldn't fight them both at once. Maybe if he caught them sleeping... Well, he was biding his time. He wasn't certain what they were trying to do. And he did swear an oath, for what that's worth. He wasn't totally corrupted--yet. Give him a few chapters. :)
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby siddharth » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:17 am

Hello! Joining the VTSG now, as I have ample time for a month. And I am relatively new to Tolikien (5 years) so I will get to learn a lot from this.
:D

okay, lets see.

I might try question no. 2.

If you want to know who and what Gollum is then read this paragraph as most probably it will help to understand the answer. But if you want to know it at a later time, then please ignore this. Hobbits have three subdivisions. These are harfoots, fallohides and stoors. No need to know about the harfoots or fallohides now, stoors are the one we are interested in. Gollum was a stoor hobbit. real name Smeagol. The stoor hobbits lived near the Gladden fields (where Isildur died).

The ancient stoors who lived near the Gladden fields would have had the knowledge of the great battle at the marshes (Dead Marshes was not too far away from there) and thus it was passed on to the next generations. And so Smeagol came to know about it too.

question 3. Is really very interesting. I think it's a great topic to start a thread in the Books forums.
EDITED: The Ring wanted to find it's way back into the hands of Sauron's minions. So, it made Frodo's journey difficult by "dragging" him, making it easier for Frodo to loose his control.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Arvegil » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:20 pm

3. If the Ring is trying to get back to Sauron, and Frodo can feel the presence of Sauron in front of him, why doesn't he feel a pull toward Mordor rather than a great dragging weight?

Think less of a magnetic attraction and more like the stations of the cross. Tolkien was a good Catholic, after all.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Morwenna » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:01 pm

Smeagol does make reference to having been told about the battle when he was young, so it had been fairly common knowledge at one time. A few hundred years had elapsed since he heard about it, after all, and the Gladden Fields (and all of Rhovanion) were definitely closer to the battle site than, say, the lands of Eriador.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Notta Hobbit » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:40 pm

Ah, Morwenna, on the money as usual. I had temporarily forgotten how OLD the little %$#(* was.

Sometimes I wonder if Smeagol was cute or nice at all when he was a baby.

Edited to remove a form of "bug" that apparently is too randy for this forum. I would NOT ever call Gollum a "bundle" (which is what the censor changed it to.)
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 2, The Passage of the Marshes

Postby Old_Begonia » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:23 pm

Notta Hobbit wrote:
Edited to remove a form of "bug" that apparently is too randy for this forum. I would NOT ever call Gollum a "bundle" (which is what the censor changed it to.)

:rofl:

Q. 1 My first thought was, as someone else has pointed out: the oath. Swearing by the Precious should have been enough, I should think, to keep him on the straight and narrow. And then, there's Frodo's kindness that nurtures Smeagol. Smeagol was not a nice guy, and was progbably not a nice kid. Not the sort you want at your child's birthday party. :D IMHO

Q. 2 What Morwenna and siddharth said.

Q.3 I think the Ring gets to be more full of itself, so to speak, as it draws near to Sauron, which in part explains why it becomes heavier. I think it becomes more itself, if you take my meaning. The effect of the proximity to Sauron is not iron to a magnet, it's more like a teenage girl and One Direction. :D The closer, the more agitated and insane. :D
"And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen."

There is something profound about standing AT sea level.
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