TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

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TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby Notta Hobbit » Sat May 25, 2013 7:25 am

Summary

In near-total darkness, the trio approach Shelob's cave, which stinks unbearably. Gollum leads them in. It is pitch black inside. Gollum disappears and the hobbits get lost and trapped. Sam reminds Frodo of Galadriel's vial, which blazes forth to show them Shelob. Frodo loses his nerve, lowers the vial, and they run. Finally they stop, and Frodo advances on Shelob with the light and Sting. She turns and leaves! The hobbits find a way out, blocked by a cobweb, but Sting cuts through that. Shelob, however, catches them out, and Gollum grabs Sam. Sam bests him in the ensuing fight, but this leaves Frodo unprotected.

Questions

1. When the hobbits get out of the lair Frodo runs like crazy toward the tower. Isn't the Ring weighing him down any more? Or is it helping to pull him on?
2. Raise your hand if you wish Gollum had gotten trapped by Shelob as well.
3. Assuming that they really did have to go this way, could they have gotten through even if Gollum hadn't tricked them?
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby siddharth » Sat May 25, 2013 7:43 am

Ah, one of the most suspenseful chapters for me. :D


1. What I thought while reading, that the terror of Shelob was so great that the Ring's dragging was not an immediate concern for him. Shelob is far more ancient than even Sauron. A spawn of Ungoliant, whom even Morgoth feared (incidentally who was Sauron's master as well). So Shelob was as great a threat, I feel, as was Sauron. And the immediate danger of Shelob was more terrifying than the One Ring. Probably I got a few things wrong here and I'm ready to be corrected. :D

2. Gollum wouldn't have been entrapped by Shelob. They were comrades in hunt. I think it's stated in the chapter itself, that once when he was trapped by Shelob she let him be to fetch better food for her. That's why Gollum was so confident of his plan. And he knew the paths in the cave better than others.

3. I believe so. Galadriel's phial is the handiest thing for them here. Are you stating if Gollum had become good and hence wouldn't trick them? Well then he'd have shown them the secret ways through the cave and they'd be out. In any case, if Shelob had stalked them, I believe Galadriel's light would have saved them from her wrath. If they'd totally forgotten about the phial. Oh well, that's a different case then. :roll:
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby Morwenna » Sat May 25, 2013 3:57 pm

I think they'd have had it easier, even with Shelob, if Gollum hadn't attacked Sam. Sam would have been there to help Frodo.

OTOH, Frodo wielded Sting at that point. If she had still stung Frodo, even with Sam there, Sam's blade might not have been as much help (though, later, Merry's brother-blade was good enough to hobble the Nazgul). And Frodo still would have been unconscious from the sting.

If they found the pass, totally without Gollum? I don't know. Without Gollum, they'd probably have sought another way--and taken infinitely longer to do so. There wouldn't have been much left of Gondor if that had happened.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby Notta Hobbit » Sat May 25, 2013 8:44 pm

Yeah, what I was wondering was, what if Gollum had actually been a good little guide, told them about Shelob and tried to sneak them past her? I know in the past Shelob let Gollum be free, but she doesn't strike me as especially trustworthy or likely to overlook trespassers, whether she used to know them or not. Maybe especially if Gollum had promised to bring her nice hobbit morsels and then changed his mind.

I guess I think they could have made it if they all worked together, using the phial and the elf-swords and Gollum's own cunning. But that's like writing a different ending to the story.

Siddharth, that's a good thought about Frodo's terror overcoming the Ring. That hadn't occurred to me, but it makes sense.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby oikeroi » Tue May 28, 2013 4:54 am

1. I think that to regard the "weighing of the ring" in the pure physical aspect is a mistake. For me, the idea was always something more mental than physical. Otherwise, one cannot explain the flactuation in the ability of Frodo to carry it (heavy at the dead marches and near the black gate, lighter in ithelian, heavy again at the morgul vale...). So, there is no really physical limitatiom on Frodo, beside the understandable weakness from the long journey. By the way, what happened to Frodo near critith ungol is similar to the scene near minas morgul, when he and Sam were "pulled" toward the tower and were saved by gollum.
2. I think that shelob did cought gollum and she did let him go. Why? I have an interesting idea.... Remember morgoth and Ungoliant? At the darkening of Valinor. She came because she craved the light of the trees. Later after she and Morgoth fought because she wanted the silmaril and their light. Right?
So.... what if Gollum promised the same thing (jewels) to shelob? the phial of Galadriel? Maybe this convinced her to let him go and to wait for Frodo and Sam?
3. I think yes. To what end I do not know, but they would be at least two against her.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby Morwenna » Wed May 29, 2013 7:29 am

That's an interesting idea. I figured he just promised her juicier meat to eat than he himself was (he was pretty scrawny, after all). But then there's the fact that the light from the phial drove her back; evidently it hurt her eyes. Could she have wanted the light but found it to be too much? I think, though, that Ungoliant wouldn't have bothered to pass along the concept of devouring the Light. She wouldn't have been so dynastically aware.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby oikeroi » Wed May 29, 2013 11:44 am

Morwenna wrote:That's an interesting idea. I figured he just promised her juicier meat to eat than he himself was (he was pretty scrawny, after all). But then there's the fact that the light from the phial drove her back; evidently it hurt her eyes. Could she have wanted the light but found it to be too much? I think, though, that Ungoliant wouldn't have bothered to pass along the concept of devouring the Light. She wouldn't have been so dynastically aware.


Lets take it a step further, shall we?...
Shelob in this tale is like Ungoliant in the darkening of valinor. Gollum will take the part of morgoth, as the one that contacts with shelob (like morgoth was able to communicate with Ungoliant. And last but no least, the phial of Galadrial as the silmaril!! and so another link that tie Galadriel and the silmarilion with the lord of the rings.
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Re: TTT, Book 4, Chapter 9, Shelob's Lair

Postby Arvegil » Thu May 30, 2013 3:18 pm

2. Raise your hand if you wish Gollum had gotten trapped by Shelob as well.

You can't really want that. Gandalf dumped in a foreshadowing about how important Gollum would be, before the end, back in Book I.
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