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...

Postby Athrabeth » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:32 pm

Awwww, Kid. Thanks for bumping this. :angel:

You're right, of course. It really was The. Best. Thread. Ever. :horse:

Still is. :horse: :horse:

And like Cerin Amroth for Aragorn, this is where "my heart dwells ever" at TORC. :heart:

Teremia, Frelga, Eresh, mechtild, Tosh....Saradoc (wherever you are) and everyone else who has shared their love of this incredible and very dear tale.......... :grouphug:
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Postby mechtild » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:51 pm

Isn't that odd? I was JUST in here, literally for the first time in....six months?...today -- copying and pasting the great "Tower of Cirith Ungol" posts. I had been thinking, "What if the messageboard closes one day and I never saved any of m00bies Reads the Books?????" So I decided -- today -- that I would start copying and pasting the highlights into documents for my files (since there doesn't seem to be a "download thread" option at TORc).

Athrabeth, since you are listening, I want to say again how fabulous your posts were on this thread. Your CU post alone was worth the price of admission.

Thanks a gazillion! :)

~ Mechtild
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:56 am

Amazing how one can only read just a few posts before tears come to the eyes.
If this thread is to continue there is a grim path to tread next.
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Postby laureanna » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:59 pm

Well, I had a half-way erudite comment, but the twitchy computer ate it. Actually, it wasn't that good. I've enjoyed reading your comments and lurking.

Mech, go to this site for archiving help. Enjoy. :D
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Postby The-Tennis-Ball-Kid » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:56 pm

It still uses the tolkienonline url though. Does it still work? :|



Well, I guess I'll just try...Edit: it does. :D


Hi laureanna!



ttbk
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Postby mechtild » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:05 pm

Hi, Tosh, Hi, The-Tennis-Ball-Kid!

Thanks, Laureanna (and, Hi!)!

Here's the crucial info. for me to use later (it didn't show when I came here via my notice of reply).

Thread ID ... t=76965

(I'll do this tomorrow and let you know if it worked for me.)

Nighty-night,

~ Mechtild
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Postby mechtild » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:45 pm

Well, I entered the id # in the blank, clicked Go, and away it went for ages and ages until I had to go to work. I came back four hours later and it appeared to be finished. But when I closed it, who knows where it went? I guess I'm back to cut and paste.

Or I'll wait till Nathan Bain adds m00bies reads the b00ks to his downloads. Then I can download it, I hope.

~ Mechtild
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Postby laureanna » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:52 pm

At the bottom of the front page it says:

If you want to see which threads I've already done, click here! (with a link) and it leads you to a lovely treasure trove. I already digested this thread, so it's in there.

***waves back to TTBK***
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Postby mechtild » Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:57 am

Ah, sorry Laureanna. I had scrolled down that list but had expected it to be there under "M". But I see "m00bies" is preceded by the primary title, "The One Ring."

***

I found and clicked "MB thread," but I got this actual thread, not an extracted version of it. I clicked the box called, "Update," and it seemed to start downloading the thread in the same way as when I used Nathan Bain's box on the page you linked, where one is supposed to enter the thread ID number and click the box, "Extract text."

But where is it being loaded to? :? There is never a selection offered, "Save to this-or-that file," along with an opportunity to name it, which normally is an opening choice when I've downloaded other things off the internet. Maybe my machine has actually saved the thread, but I have no idea where it is, since I don't even know its name to find it again with the "Search" function.

Thanks for your help, Laurenna. :)
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Postby laureanna » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:59 am

Click on the title of the thread to bring up the digest, which is stored on his site. Then you can save it to your computer, using a "Save as". It saves as an html document, but you have the option of saving it as a text document if you want just text (you lose smilies, http links, quote boxes, colored text, etc.)

The extractor is a great tool, but it only works some of the time, and only by the good graces of Nathan, who was Turelie_Lurea's boyfriend until they broke up in 2004 (that's all the info I know, they may have gotten together again).

Sorry about the osgilliation.
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Postby mechtild » Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:41 am

Thanks so much, Laureanna! It worked! It worked! It worked! :drink:

I am such a dunderhead about these things. You are most gracious. :hug:

~ Mechtild
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Postby Athrabeth » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:21 pm

mechtild, from one dunderhead to another...... :hug:

And :hug: for your generous words. The feeling is most definitely mutual. :love:

BTW, laureanna, thanks so much for posting that link. What an awesome resource to be able to access........and so many threads that I remember fondly. It's wonderful to know where they are. :)
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Postby Teremia » Sat May 06, 2006 4:52 pm

She drew a deep breath. “Well, I’m back,” she said….

”The Land of Shadow”

Throughout this chapter, a question of scale and point-of-view: we go from the grand scale of the hobbits’ triumph over the Watchers at the end of the previous chapter (chanting in Elvish! Walls crumbling as they pass by!), to the small, human, hobbity scale of small people running from evil into a barren and inhospitable place. At the end of the first little section, Sam says they can’t get off the road they’re on, “not without wings.” That is the scale we now operate in for a while, the scale of mortal creatures, “without wings”; it’s also an echo of the last thing we saw in the previous chapter: “Out of the black sky there came dropping like a bolt a winged shape, rending the clouds with a ghastly shriek.”

So we see how humble the hobbits are, in comparison with the grand winged foe! But like the surprising trickle of water coming down the rocky ledges of Mordor, there are whispers and rumors throughout this chapter suggesting that this vision of “scale” is not the final one, that in the final analysis it will not all be about who has wings and who doesn’t.

After the Elvish of the previous chapter, the very language of Sam and Frodo seems homely and hobbit-like (see Sam on the topic of thorns: “Bless me, Mr. Frodo, but I didn’t know as anything grew in Mordor! But if I had a’known, this is just what I’d have looked for. These thorns must be a foot long by the feel of them…”). But these small-scale concerns (thorns, thirst, fatigue) become signs that the hobbits haven’t given up yet, that little things can still matter: the very basic component of hope, even in this rather hopeless place. Sam falls asleep because he’s tired, which Frodo notices with “amazement”; but the word might as well have been “wonder.” It is a miracle on the small scale that Sam keeps marking the basic rhythms of life. Again, the miraculous nature of these things is something Sam himself remarks on: “If only the Lady could see us or hear us, I’d say to her: ‘Your Ladyship, all we want is light and water: just clean water and plain daylight, better than any jewels, begging your pardon.’” And when light (even a slightly bleary sort of light) and water (even a rather oily sort of water) appear, the hobbits are truly thankful (as I’m sure we should all be more often! :))

The question of scale stretches with the coming of the light: “dim light leaked into Mordor like pale morning through the grimed window of a prison.” Not just light but messages pass through prison windows sometimes, and Sam reads the light as a message: “’Look at it, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam. ‘Look at it! The wind’s changed. Something’s happening. He’s not having it all his own way. His darkness is breaking up out in the world there. I wish I could see what is going on!’” Here the narrator chimes in to remind us of what is happening in the outside world: “It was the morning of the fifteenth of March, and over the vale of Anduin the Sun was rising above the eastern shadow, and the southwest wind was blowing. Théoden lay dying on the Pelennor Fields.”

Now these lines work as a kind of shock on the reader, a taking-in of breath: Théoden! Éowyn! Merry! It comes back to us. And reading it this time, I had to stop and wonder what it would be like if the only messages we could have about the well-being of our most beloved friends could only be had, as Sam takes the message here, by looking up and trying to gauge the general course of the world. It’s like looking for a memory of the butterfly’s wings in the storm that arises out of them far later and far away!

When they find water, and walk on, and then finally sleep, Tolkien gives us one of the images that stays with a person long and deep, that brings us back to the book again, eventually, no matter how far away we may have wandered.

“Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him…..”

Here is a moment when Sam – representative of the smallest of scales, the mercies of the everyday – gets a glimpse not just of how things are going “out in the world there” (as when the light suggests to him the course of the battle), but the higher perspective of the stars, beyond this world. The name of the chapter is “The Land of Shadow,” but of course shadow suggests the presence of light somewhere, light that is being temporarily blocked.

“They woke together, hand in hand.” That is the human equivalent of the sweetness of starlight.

When Sam and Frodo look out over the valley, at the vast military camps there, the narrator pauses to hint to us that the world is larger than we have yet suspected: “Neither he nor Frodo [nor the reader!] knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Núrnen….” (I almost typed “Lake Lachrymose” there, so sure am I that Lemony Snicket’s Lord of the Rings would take place all entirely There and skip over Rohan, Lothlorien, and Gondor.) I’m sure I’m not the only one who used to study the map of Middle-Earth and wish to know more about all the obscurest places!

Frodo and Sam overhear one of those informative orc conversations that ends with the orcs (who are supposed to be tracking our heroes) coming to blows. I’ve always liked listening to those orcs. Their lives are clearly not pleasant ones. We never see what an orc would look like, “redeemed,” but they are so human in their bickering that some tiny part of me begins to wonder about their stories. I also (however) like Sam’s comment once one of them has put an arrow in the eye of the other and run off: “If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over.”

They plod and plod for the rest of the chapter, and another shadow – Gollum – scurries around them, too. The plodding is very dear to my heart, and in the movies I missed the sense of vast and grueling effort, grueling, thirsty effort, this part of the book so well describes. The nightmare of being caught by the marching orcs and being made to march with them, mile after mile; all through those pages our worry is that of Sam: what happens if Frodo collapses? He can’t handle this, can he? And then Sam sees the moment to roll with Frodo off the road and away again. Frodo crawls his twenty yards, and “then he pitched down into a shallow pit that opened unexpectedly before them, and there he lay like a dead thing.”

They have been making do on very little. But there has BEEN that “little,” those trickles of potable water, those small moments of luck and good fortune, those thin brown bushes to hide behind so that the arguing orcs don’t spy you. The land of shadow is a good place to count your blessings, and to be reminded of what really counts as a blessing. As Sam says when he spies the “little falling streamlet”: “If ever I see the Lady again, I will tell her! Light and now water!” It is a something of a cosmic antidote for Shelob’s pestilent femininity to have these moments of grace marked as the Lady’s (the star, too, reminds us of her). Light and now water! A good toast, and I lift my glass with it to all of you who made this thread such a wonderful thing, all those many ages ago!
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Postby Frelga » Sat May 06, 2006 5:16 pm

She's back! Praise her with great praise, she's back!

I have no other response to make, but I am filled with Sam-like joy that this thread returns.
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Postby mechtild » Sat May 06, 2006 6:01 pm

Heavens to Betsy! Teremia!

:hug: :happydance: :clap: :drink:

What a thrill and surprise! But, alackaday, you find me all unprepared. I haven't read "The Land of the Shadow" since we were finishing up "The Tower of Cirith Ungol". I must refresh myself. It might take a few days, though.

Land sakes, but it was a thrill to get the "Notification of Reply."

~ Mechtild
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Postby mechtild » Sat May 06, 2006 6:15 pm

So excited was I, I posted my ecstasy without first reading your post.

Oh, Teremia, I could eat your post on bread or lap it out of my hands. How I have hungered and thirsted for posts like these! I have tried to make do writing little snippets of this and that, in threads or in my LJ. And, like Eliza Dolittle trying to teach the things Henry Higgins taught her, they aren't bad or blatantly incorrect, but they aren't what Henry Higgins taught -- or could teach.

'My ear is open like a greedy shark
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.'

Well, 'divine' with a small "d". :D

~ Mechtild
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Postby Athrabeth » Sun May 07, 2006 10:54 pm

Hail Teremia, of writers most renowned, the looked for that cometh at unawares, the longed for that cometh beyond hope! Hail Teremia, bearer of the light before Jackson and Boyens. Splendour of the Children of TORC, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the forums!

:angel:

Well, I'm obviously going to have to collect myself...........and savour another read through of that wonderful summary.......but I too, will be back!

:horse:
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Tue May 09, 2006 2:26 am

*mops eyes*
But not all tears are evil.

Say it loud sistahs!

Not of course on the first readings but reflecting on this part of the journey; the water, the daylight, the star told me that Frodo and Sam are not quite alone. Grace follows them, not doing things for them but sustaining their strength and spirit.
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Postby AlatarVinyamar » Wed May 10, 2006 4:31 am

Wonderful as usual Teremia.
:thumbsup:
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Postby mechtild » Wed May 10, 2006 5:48 am

OT for Excuse-Making:

Hi! I'm still not able to reply; just wanted you to know I'm out here. Added to the other things, we're doing a pile of high-school-graduation-and-getting-into-college-related stuff here at my house these days. :shock:

Whew! How these things have changed from the Olden Times (when my husband and I, old parents of a teenager, did these things)! What do people do who have more than one child? *shudders to think* :P

~ Mechtild
Last edited by mechtild on Wed May 10, 2006 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Teremia » Wed May 10, 2006 9:03 am

OT for joyful jumping up and down:

So touched to see these beloved old faces! :)

And congratulations to Mechtild's high school grad -- I know something of how strange the feeling is, since I have a kid graduating into high school, and that seems very odd to me.

<counts feet she has to stand on on the matter of timely reply: comes up with zero :D>

Take your time, friends. I am so glad to hear your voices.
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Postby ceefour » Wed May 10, 2006 1:44 pm

Teremia's back! :happydance:

'I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!'
C4
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Postby ngaur » Sun May 14, 2006 9:01 am

Yes! She's going to see it though! Hurra and huzzah!

For she is a wonderful girl,
she is hurra for the wonderful girl,
and it is it is a glorious thing to be a wonderful girl, (it is too!)
it is hurra for a wonderful girl,
and hurra for a wonderful girl.

Or mayeb a women. But I don't mind! This is still one of the most joyous feelings I've had since I discovered the benefits of combining a full-breasted woman with whipped cream!

Anyway, with this and the upcoming release of the unaltered Star Wars trilogy it feels almost as if the wirld has returned to normal. And I'm as happy as a puppy. Maybe two.

Not that I have anything of matter to add.
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Postby ngaur » Sun May 14, 2006 9:02 am

Incidently. Don't drink and spell.
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Postby Frelga » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:12 pm

This thread should not die, so fair, so desperate! At least, it should not die alone, unaided.

* shuffles off to brush up on the Mordor trek *
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:14 pm

For those who may be interested, this journey has been resumed here
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Postby ceefour » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:57 pm

Many thanks, Voronwe_the_Faithful.

C4
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Postby Frelga » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:07 pm

If there is any thread that should be brought back for delectation of friends new and old, it's this one. Alas, it does not seem that the journey will be finished now.
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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