M00bies reads the b00ks: "The Land of Shadow"

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

M00bies reads the b00ks: "The Land of Shadow"

Postby Teremia » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:09 pm

Call it temporary insanity, if you want, but here's the Thread I woke up this morning longing to see....

The Movies Board reads the books, again (for the first or umpteenth time), and comments, bit by bit, on what it's like, post-Movies, to read the Books (or to read books at all, for that matter).

It's not a books thread, it's a post-Apocalyptic, Sailing to the West, Movies thread on what the books are like.

We could do it section by section.

What fun it would be! Really, I'm serious! I'm hunting down those loose pages and taping my books back together so's to be ready to go! Let's see, where DOES that thing begin -- there's a long Introduction, no..........?

.......sound of mad scurrying, as m00bies people run away in horror from this Thread, the Balrog of its time....

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
Last edited by Teremia on Sat May 06, 2006 4:53 pm, edited 34 times in total.
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Postby The_Angel » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:21 pm

<i>sound of mad scurrying, as m00bies people run away in horror from this Thread, the Balrog of its time....</i><BR><BR>Yeah you wish. I'm gonna start re-reading the books next week.
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Postby Jnyusa » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:32 pm

This was the first year since 1967 that I did not reread the books in November, because I did not want to 'taint' my perceptions of LotR with a lot of (god forbid) source material that would make me a pariah on these boards!<BR><BR>I don't know if I can bear to read them again until some of the movie imagery has faded from my mind. It is a different story. Different, different, different.<BR><BR>I don't know if I want to compare them. Someone else go first. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Jn
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Postby tolkienpurist » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:34 pm

If you want to do such a section by section thing, I'd be happy to join in. It sounds like there are big m00bies plans for next week <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Rebecca » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:17 pm

I don't have my books with me at the moment, so I can't join in, but after seeing RotK I had skimmed through the book when I was bored so I'll share some thoughts. <BR><BR>I don't think seeing the movies changed the books too much for me. I love reading the scenes that didn't make it too the movie and while I do feel a bit of longing to have seen those pieces I still enjoy both the book and movie. But I don't need to separate the two very much, the complement each other. The movie gives me the stunning visuals and the book provides me with the full story the way it's meant to be told. <BR><BR>I definitely picture Elijah Wood as Frodo now when I read, but he was a great Frodo so I don't consider that a bad thing. Part of it may be because I have a bad visual memory- I never had pictures in my head of what I thought the characters looked like. Yes, after years and years of reading LotR I still never could picture Frodo, Gandalf, or pretty much any of it. So maybe that's why I've never had a big problem with the movies, they don't clash with "what I saw" in my head, since there were no real images there. So if for nothing else I love the movies for that. <BR><BR>As I re-read some of RotK I was, if anything, able to enjoy it more because I now have a clearer picture of the characters. The only downfall to re-reading so soon after seeing the movie was when I came up to scenes that weren't included in the movie that I'd almost forgotten about, but now wonder again why they weren't included- which does detract from the movie.
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:20 pm

I've seen the movies so many times, I don't have to read the books any more.
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Postby Berhael » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:23 pm

The Lidless Eye is (going to be) wreathed in flame! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I've only refrained from my annual re-reading of LotR from 2001 onwards, because I wanted to have as "clean slate" of a mind as possible regarding the films. Unfortunately it didn't work very well.<BR><BR>I've just finished re-reading RotK again. I'll be back later with a more elaborate, and to the point, reply. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:29 pm

"Berhael", "clean" and "mind". Not three words I would normally group together.
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Postby Scarlet » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:48 pm

Hey, cool. I've just started reading LotR for the first time since before the first movie came out - I've tried to clear the book from my mind as much as possible so as to give the movies a fair go. Got the super-deluxe, Alan Lee-illustrated volume for Xmas, so I'm ready to go. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>While reading the Foreward I kept hearing the voice of the actor who read parts of it on (I think) the FotR DVD documentary on Tolkien. It'll be interesting to see how the movies have changed my inner visions of the book, if they have at all.
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Postby narsil » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:52 pm

Watching the movies certainly hasn't tainted my enjoyment of reading the books. <BR><BR>I see the former as a homage to the latter, and find myself spotting the bits that weren't in the movies at all (and by thunder, there are a few of them!!) and whose dialogue got changed/given to someone else.<BR><BR>I am just wondering when my brother is going to spot that I have knicked his £50 version of LOTR???
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Postby Mewlip » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:57 pm

I make sure I read LOTR at least twice a year but I will not touch them for a good while yet once I have the whole movie trilogy in my claw like hands. <BR><BR>There is too much Jackson goodness to indulge in that the books cannot give you. It's like delighting in something of the quality of the books but in movie format for the first time. But different...<BR><BR>Just still too wowed by music and new imagery. I have to get it out of my system so I can reconfigure myself to the more sedate, restrained and layered experience of the text and the omissions and alterations that IT will contain compared to the film.<BR><BR>I am looking forward to seeing the old friend that is the books.<BR>The movies is my whore.<BR>The book is my wife.
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Postby Teremia » Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:28 pm

.....Ah, here we are. No cover on this old paperback, and the page with the author's foreword is gone, but decay has stopped there, thus far, leaving the Contents and the Maps intact. I turn to the<BR><BR><b>Prologue</b><BR>The first thing that strikes me, now rereading "Concerning Hobbits," is how <i>small</i> they are! Between two and four feet tall, and rather shy of "big folk" (which has always made me think "like leprechauns," though fortunately the thought fades very fast). One post-movie effect I notice is that hobbits have grown taller in my mind. Notice how in ROTK there was much less effort put into maintaining the size differential between hobbit and man? Once that was (so skillfully) established in FOTR, we were rather left to our own imaginations in that regard (except for occasional shots with the stand-ins, who tended to hold themselves too still). But as I pick up the book again, the hobbits begin to shrink. By the way, "According to the Red Book, Bandobras Took (Bullroarer), son of Isengrim the Second, was four foot five and able to ride a horse." <i>Speaking of dead horses, especially the well-beaten kind</i>, here's where Mr. Jackson is more of a purist than Tolkien -- he knew it would look apocryphal to send Frodo off to the Fords on a horse! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The other odd thing about the Prologue is how much history even hobbits have. All those migrations and dynasties and Dark Plagues and Days of Dearth! Somehow, history seems to belong to big people in the films, and the book-hobbits themselves, I suppose, live in the hope of being "post-historical" -- a hope that is dashed by Bilbo's theft of that ring.<BR><BR>I was always a little discouraged by the Prologue and the "Note on the Shire Records," as a child. It seemed a cold thing to be hearing about the academic research of Meriadoc Brandybuck in later years, or about the final exit of the elves. But that very background of loss is something (as people have noted in various threads recently) which the movies play down. They don't want us always thinking: the magic is leaving -- the magic, no matter what happens, is going to leave! As a kid, I very much agreed that <i>magic leaving</i> is such a terrible thought that we'd better just <i>not talk about it</i>, if that was the way it had to be.... <BR><BR>On to "A Long-Expected Party" next, though perhaps that is really where one should (in the spirit of childhood) have begun in the first place!
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Postby Northerner » Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:37 pm

I'm in Hollin, at the moment, in my latest re-read. Is it just a sign of advancing age, but does anyone else have this problem? If I don't mark my place in the book, I have trouble remembering where I left off. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> The downside of too much familiarity with the material. <BR><BR>I've always liked it that book Frodo and Bilbo share a birthday.
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Postby Rebecca » Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:55 pm

Just a sidenote....<BR>Northerner: <BR><i>If I don't mark my place in the book, I have trouble remembering where I left off.</i><BR><BR>I always have that problem- whether it's the first or tenth time I've read a book. Rereading the 3rd Harry Potter book the other day for the upteenth time and I noticed that I didn't have to mark my place in the book, which I thought was beginning to show my old age- since my mom never marks her spot in books.<BR><BR>Anyway, back to the Lord of the Rings....
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Postby halplm » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:18 pm

I'm in, I'm starting another thread on differences between the book and films, so this will be an interesting parallel...
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Postby EagleChild » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:22 pm

To help you with your "bible study sessions", you can consult <a href='http://www.stupidring.com/fotrscript/' target=_blank>The Stupid Ring, FOTR Script</a>. Click on the place where it says "Click the + to get annotations". This will show the book/movie tie-ins. There is a key at the top of the page. You can also click on "See Special Extended Version" to see the added bits in a different color background.<BR><BR>And this site has LOTR screen shots, arranged in book order:<BR><a href='http://www.quintessentialwebsites.com/lordoftherings/home/index.htm' target=_blank>The Quintessential 'Lord of the Rings' Website</a><BR><BR>Now I need to go find my precioussss, ssssshe sssstole it sssshe did. Where hassss ssshe put it?
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Postby Scarlet » Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:59 pm

<i>If I don't mark my place in the book, I have trouble remembering where I left off.</i><BR><BR>Me too, and I never used to have to mark my place in any book. I leave bookmarks all over the house... luckily my new copy of LotR has a built-in ribbon.<BR><BR>Teremia, I always linger over the description of hobbits and marvel that they could be as small as <i>two feet!</i> That just boggles my mind.
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Postby Teremia » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:18 am

<b>"A Long-Expected Party"</b><BR><BR>Several things really strike me about this chapter that in my pre-TORC, pre-Jackson youth I hardly noticed. We take, for instance, a rather wandering path in towards the main characters. Everything is related through gossip, rumor and legend: "....there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton" is how the first sentence ends, and of course the title itself takes part in this trend (the party is "long-expected" chiefly, it seems, by the peripheral hobbits whose opinions make up the bulk of the chapter). (Bilbo, for instance, wouldn't so much "expect" his own party and departure as he would "anticipate" them, right?) A bit later on we have the Gaffer chatting with acquaintances (more gossip, more history of hobbit scandal).<BR><BR>And another thing: how many more dwarves we see than I remembered! True of this chapter and the next. Some of Bilbo's old dwarf friends come to see him off; dwarves seem to make regular stops in the Shire, bringing news and so on. Jackson's Shire is much more an island, separated from the rest of Middle-Earth.<BR><BR>Third: not only the fireworks are grand, but the toys. I had forgotten the latter. "Made in Dale" or made by dwarves, and thus the highest quality: "There were toys the like of which they had never seen before, all beautiful and some obviously magical."<BR><BR>Fourth: Bilbo has a bit of a Willy Wonka streak in him, don't you think? Ah, right, it would be the other way around! But his classic "like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" is compounded in the book by all those beautifully snide notes accompanying his farewell gifts: For LOBELIA SACKVILLE-BAGGINS, as a PRESENT ("When she arrived later in the day, she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons."<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The elaborate toys, the presents, the gossip -- all go toward creating a much more <i>mathom</i>-oriented hobbit culture than the movies have time to portray.<BR><BR><b>"The Shadow of the Past"</b><BR><BR>Well, reading this chapter, I do have to say I see a lot of the two Ians! And then there are the slightly odd places where Gandalf suddenly starts speaking in Galadriel's voice.<BR><BR>But if there's something here that particularly strikes me, post-films, it's the line about Sméagol: "He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and his eyes were downward." We move from life to death in a sentence -- and that's even <i>before</i> he finds the Ring.<BR><BR>I'm also very sad about Sam "springing up like a dog invited for a walk" and wish Tolkien had thought better of it in time. Oh, well.
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Postby Scarlet » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:37 am

<i>Fourth: Bilbo has a bit of a Willy Wonka streak in him, don't you think? Ah, right, it would be the other way around! But his classic "like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" is compounded in the book by all those beautifully snide notes accompanying his farewell gifts: For LOBELIA SACKVILLE-BAGGINS, as a PRESENT ("When she arrived later in the day, she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons."</i><BR><BR>Reading "A Long-Expected Party" this time I was struck very much by how <i>imperfect</i> the hobbits are, and how much Bilbo and Frodo were irritated by them. Bilbo's notes on the gifts, the mean-spirited gossip about Frodo's parents, the young hobbits caught excavating in Bag End's cellars (and having to be <i>forcibly</i> removed), etc.; not exactly the Utopian society some people seem to think. The movies tried to get some of that across with the grumpy old feller in the garden and provincial views in the pub, but the book is almost contemptuous in an affectionate sort of way... Does that make sense?
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Postby Teremia » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:45 am

<b>Scarlet</b> -- yes, there's definitely something going on with the <i>tone</i> in that first chapter! You said, "almost contemptuous in an affectionate sort of way," and that gets close to the contradictory quality of it. So my question is: whose point of view does this tone reflect? Seems to be, perhaps, a mélange of<BR><BR>-- Bilbo, who has clearly been Sackville-Bagginsed to within an inch of his patience;<BR><BR>-- Frodo, who has the junior-sized version of Bilbo's impatience (see his conversation with Gandalf in "Shadow"<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>;<BR><BR>-- Gandalf, who knows more than the hobbits, obviously, but whose attitude is not "contemptuous," but rather, perhaps, warmly affectionate with a dash, occasionally, of what seems like condenscension but turns out to be respect (or to lead to respect). For instance, he heckles Bilbo mercilessly to get Bilbo to give up the Ring. Seems a bit like the great wizard prodding the poor wee hobbit (<i>condescension</i>)-- until we learn, a few pages later, that Bilbo is the <b>first</b> person ever to be able to relinquish the Ring of his own free will (so we see Gandalf has an enormous <i>respect</i> for him, after all)!!<BR><BR>-- Tolkien, who may have had local Sackville-Bagginsy experiences or who may have read a lot of Jane Austen in his youth...<BR><BR>-- or, more specifically, the Hobbit-author-Tolkien, since the Hobbit has a much lighter, more ironic tone generally.<BR><BR>Would love to hear your thoughts! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>p.s. to the book/film change list thread authors <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> -- how do those changes (along with the existence of the films generally) change your own relationship to the books? That's the question here: a kind of practical application of the very impressive detail-work going on in your threads....<BR>
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Postby Ereshkigal » Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:08 am

My girls are reading the books outloud right now, and we're already to "The King of the Golden Hall" in TTT, so I won't have much to say until you guys catch up with me.<BR><BR>I do love Merry's line in "The Long-Expected Party" when Lobelia insults Frodo by claiming he is not a Baggins and over half a Brandybuck. Merry drolly replies: "It was a compliment . . . and so, of course, not true."<BR><BR>As far as the dual nature shown towards the hobbits, both affectionate and condescending, don't you think that is picked up in the film, especially the EE of FOTR? Bilbo's "Concerning Hobbits" monologue, and the images that accompany it, are both beautiful and mocking. He is celebrating a simple life, as he says, which is no small thing.
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Postby fisssh » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:04 pm

<BR>One thing about the Prologue that I've always enjoyed is the sense that the story we're about to read is a long-forgotten history of our own world. I think the movies managed to capture this idea as much as possible with the narrations addressing the audience, especially Galadriel's "all that once was is lost, and none now live who remember it." And of course the passing on of the Red Book from Bilbo to Frodo to Sam.<BR><BR>So far the only things I've carried over from the movie to the book are the gorgeous Shire setting - which far surpassed anything in my imagination - and Ian McKellen's voice as Gandalf - I find myself hearing his inflections in the lines in my head. I also did cringe a bit when Sam *burst into tears* !<BR><BR>
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Postby Teremia » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:00 am

<b>"Three is Company"</b><BR><BR>When I read this chapter now, I suffer from post-movie whiplash. The chapter before (Gandalf explaining things to Frodo) is now saturated for me with movie images and sounds. But then comes "Three is Company" -- Frodo, Sam, and Pippin finally heading away from Hobbiton and towards Crickhollow -- and I have to regain my "book-legs." Notice how Merry and Pippin are differentiated here: Merry, more responsible, goes ahead to open up the new house. Pippin gets to walk along with Frodo and Sam (and stumbles on his feet from fatigue as the Elves hustle them to safety). <BR><BR>There's a TORC hero in this chapter, too: the famous fox ("Hobbits! What's next!"<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>. I will always think of messageboards when I get to page 108.<BR><BR>Here are some things I noticed or was reminded of, this time through: <BR><BR>-- One of the aspects of LOTR that most drew it to me long ago, and that still draws me, is the way it convinces you that you are on a Very Long Journey. I'm not sure that a movie can truly replicate this feeling; or perhaps movies do it in different ways. But here, when Frodo complains of feeling like a "snail" because he has so much stuff on his back (though the narrator makes it clear that the uncomplaining Sam carries more), when they walk, step by step, through the Shire and into the woods, it really feels like you're walking along with them. None of those pretty little knapsacks that grace the book! Those are more ergonomically sound, but these book-hobbits, even in these early chapters, are on a real Hike. <BR><BR>-- The Black Riders are scary but as yet undefined -- a child's nightmare in the making. Nothing like having something sniffing for you! The scariest point in the movie for me is the moment when the road's perspective shifts before Frodo's gaze: a very nice visual analogy for the way fear can suddenly change the architecture of the world. In the movie the physical presence of the Rider then eases the fear (for me). Here (in this chapter) the Riders are as yet a kind of malevolent presence seen mostly from the corner of one's eye.<BR><BR>-- Our early Elves! These Elves are more like the elves of the Hobbit than our later LOTR elves, whereas the FOTR:EE takes the scene in the other direction, by making the elves glimpsed on their way to the Sea a wholly ethereal (very lovely!) vision. I missed some of the earthier activities of book-elves in the movies: wished we could see them, at least at Rivendell, feasting and laughing. These elves eat and laugh! Do we see any elf in the movies eat? Ever? [pause while I scratch my head] Or laugh? Does Legolas laugh, or just smile? (Oh, yes, Galadriel laughs, that's right.) <BR><BR>-- An absolutely C. S. Lewis moment can be found in this chapter: "Sam could never describe in words, nor picture clearly to himself, what he felt or thought that night, though it remained in his memory as one of the chief events of his life. The nearest he ever got was to say: 'Well, sir, if I could grow apples like that, I would call myself a gardener. But it was the singing that went to my heart, if you know what I mean.'" <BR> Every time I read this, I think, 'Well, that's rather nice, but a bit near the edge: much more of that and the literary soufflé would collapse, if you know what I mean.'<BR> Then I reread it and I think, 'That was <i>one of the chief events of his life</i>? That's what the writer thinks will have been the case <b>now</b>, but boy will he see later!' There's a distinct impression for me of time travel that's a bit disconcerting: as if the narrator is describing Sam's life AS IF the rest of the book never happened. Or maybe it's just the "literal factual truth," and this little brush with elves, because it was the first brush with them, ever afterwards trumped Lothlorien. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>-- When I was a wee child, I went through the book writing music for the songs, and when I read these poems now, my old child-tunes come popping back into my head as if some microchip were contained in the book's pages, remembering the past for me. Ah, I was pretty serious about "We still remember, we who dwell/In this far land beneath the trees/Thy starlight on the Western Seas..."<BR>
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Postby halplm » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:04 am

I'll just stop in briefly to say that The Fox rules.
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Postby Teremia » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:12 am

<i>"Hobbits!" he thought. "Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There's something mighty queer behind this." He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.</i><BR><BR>He needed a messageboard.<BR>And the homoerotic thread.<BR>Then he would Know All.<BR><BR>edited to add: or not.
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Postby Mummpizz » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:17 am

I think the length of the journey is captured (to an extent) in Sam's reluctance to go "one step further". But anyway, the pace of movement is at an all-time low, compared with the rides of Shadowfax and the Rohirrim later in the book, and even more Aragorn's blitz through the mountains to Pelargir and back to Minas Tirith again.<BR><BR>This, however, is not paralleled in the movies, where we see Gandalf on a racehorse storming to Isengard, black (armour-clad, and not offering any bribes) riders racing through the dark, etc.<BR><BR>Btw. a great thread, Teremia!
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Postby fisssh » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:25 am

<BR>I savor the leisurely beginning to the journey in the books. It gives readers a chance to immerse themselves in the world of Middle-earth and feel like they're taking the first cautious steps of a great journey along with the Hobbits. I agree completely that it had to be cut from the film both for time reasons as well as to convey the urgency of the mission, but I'm glad the books have the luxury of a slower start.<BR><BR>Here the one thing I carried over from the films was Billy's lovely voice singing the walking song! <BR><BR>An aside about the fox: On the FotR commentary track, they mention considering different animals walking by when Frodo and Sam are sleeping outdoors. Strange that they didn't think to put the Fox there!<BR><BR>
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Postby Teremia » Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:41 am

<b>"A Short Cut to Mushrooms"</b><BR><BR>Here's a -- yes, short -- chapter that my post-Movie self reads with a sense of some surprise. In FOTR the hobbits' (relatively) leisurely amble to the Ferry, complete with a stop for dinner at the friendly home of the Maggots, was understandably nipped, tucked, and "sped up" for increased drama (and to provide the great leap of Frodo onto the Ferry that as I recall appeared in many trailers).<BR><BR>But there are some interesting things going on in the leisurely book version. First and foremost, I notice how grown-up everybody seems. Frodo says over the elf-provided breakfast: "leave me in peace for a bit! I don't want to answer a string of questions whle I am eating. I want to think!" (to which Pippin says "Good heavens! At breakfast?" <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> ) And in fact Frodo really does want to think, and his thinking sounds quite like mature, thoughtful thinking, reminding us that this book-Frodo is quite a bit more of an adult than the movie Frodo was, at least at this point. "It is one thing to take my young friends walking over the Shire with me until we are hungry and weary, and food and bed are sweet. To take them into exile, where hunger and weariness may have no cure, is quite another -- even if they are willing to come." (Notice, especially, the "<i>my young friends</i>"!)<BR><BR>Sam, likewise, is in a thoughtful mood. In the book, it is here that we get the "don't you leave him" phrase that becomes the hallmark of all Sams, textual and cinematic alike. "'Don't you leave him!' they said to me. 'Leave him!' I said. 'I never mean to. I am going with him , if he climbs to the Moon; and if any of those black Riders try to stop him, they'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with' I said. They laughed."<BR><BR>The "they" is the Elves. The fact that book-Sam has a serious conversation with Elves so early on is something I regularly forget between rereadings. [It strikes me now that in fact Frodo does, in a sense, "climb to the Moon": a foreshadowing of all the stairs leading up from Minas Morgul, former moon-tower, perhaps?] Frodo himself is "rather startled" by this new version of Sam...<BR><BR>Now, about those Black Riders: definitely not yet Nazgûl. All that stooping to the ground and sniffing is as creepy as can be, but a bit more like beasts than fallen kings. I have to say I prefer the Black Riders when seen at a certain distance, when hinted at and shown on the horizon rather than <i>up too close</i>. They're scarier at the edges of the story.<BR><BR>There's a very cinematic moment in this chapter, too, when Merry appears on a pony, looking for them, and they think at first he might be a Black Rider: "As he came out of the mist and their fears subsided, he seemed suddenly to diminish to ordinary hobbit-size." I can pretty much hear the music accompanying that shot...<BR><BR>Last but not least: Y'all can keep your <i>lembas bread</i>! Of all the food in these books, the dish that most makes me lick my lips is the "mushrooms and bacon" of Mrs. Maggot! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Teremia
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Postby Teremia » Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:05 am

<i>....Teremia's subtle -- nay, practically <b>sotto voce</b> -- campaign for a Best Threadkiller TORCie in 2005 continues....</i><BR><BR><b>"A Conspiracy Unmasked"</b><BR><BR>A sweet interlude, dominated by the splashing sounds of bathwater and the friendly conversation. Frodo, Pippin, and Sam arrive at Frodo's "new home," Crickhollow, which has been set up very nicely -- three tubs and all -- by Merry and the almost apocryphal hobbit, Fatty. Merry explains to Frodo that they all know what he's up to, and are Coming With (except Fatty, who gets to wait for the Black Riders to arrive at the house -- lucky, lucky Fatty)! The decision is made to go into the Old Forest.<BR><BR>Most striking? The description of Buck Hill and Brandy Hall, with all those numerous round windows glowing in the night. The warmth of the friendship between all these nice young hobbits; I like the fact that Frodo keeps discovering he has underestimated his companions -- and keeps rediscovering their great affection for and loyalty to him! And, eerily out of place somehow, Frodo's dream at the end of the chapter:<BR><BR><i>"Eventually he fell into a vague dream in which he seemed to be looking out of a high window over a dark sea of tangled trees. Down below among the roots there was the sound of creatures crawling and snuffling. He felt sure they would smell him out sooner or later. Then he heard a noise in the distance. At first he thought it was a great wind coming over the leaves of the forest. Then he knew that it was not leaves, but the sound of the Sea far-off; a sound he had never heard in waking life, though it had often troubled his dreams. Suddenly he found he was out in the open. There were not trees after all. He was on a dark heath, and there was a strange salt smell in the air. Looking up he saw before him a tall white tower, standing alone on a high ridge. A great desire came over him to climb the tower and see the Sea. He started to struggle up the ridge towards the tower: but suddenly a light came in the sky, and there was a noise of thunder."</i><BR><BR>What do you make of this, friends? It's a very elf-like dream, for so early in the story....<BR>
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Postby Lembas_Junkie » Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:47 pm

Great thread, Teremia. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I read the books just before the movies came out, and it's so nice to read these. I did the same thing in Books when I started The Silmarillion, but since I started school I had to put that book aside. I look forward to more of your posting here.
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