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Hall of Fire chat log: The White Rider

May 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm by Demosthenes  - 

Barliman's Chat Last weekend, the Hall of Fire crew delved into the Two Towers chapter the White Rider. Belatedly, for those who couldn’t attend, here’s a log.


Session Start: Sun May 05 07:04:59 2013
Session Ident: #thehalloffire

* Now talking in #thehalloffire
* Demosthenes changes topic to ‘Today: The White Rider | General TORn chat thataway! click –] #theonering.net’
[Demosthenes] Ok do we want to start? People can catch up.
[ChristineGolden] Works for me, Demosthenes.
[miriel] yup, go ahead and start :)
[Demosthenes] I think one of the things that struck me most about this chapter when I re-read it, is how aggressive Gimli is here. All the way through.
[NemuHolopainen] Haha, no Miriel.. I’m Mexican :3
[Puma] this chapter is one of the transition chapters
[Demosthenes] I wonder if that’s not a product of being in an environment that he’s not familiar with.
[Susanita] hi Myra
[Susanita] and Brian
[Puma] i just found gimli to be a typical dwarf
[ChristineGolden] Or perhaps it’s because dwarves are agressive by nature and he finally has a chance to act instead of plodding along.
[Myra] hi hi
[Puma] reacting as any dwarf would
[Demosthenes] I think he’s more considered elsewhere. Here he is clearly nervous.
[Pete_R] Yes, Gimli has an itchy axe finger
[Demosthenes] ‘And do not forget that old man!’ said Gimli. ‘I should be happier if I could see the print of a boot.’
[Demosthenes] ‘Why would that make you happy?’ said Legolas.
[Demosthenes] ‘Because an old man with feet that leave marks might be no more than he seemed,’ answered the Dwarf.
[vari] this was the time when he really started to become friends with legolas…bonding more.
[Demosthenes] And urging Legolas to shoot first.
[Demosthenes] ‘I do not know which daunts me more: Fangorn, or the thought of the long road through Rohan on foot,’ said Gimli.
[ChristineGolden] Well, we know he doesn’t like forests.
[Demosthenes] He is daunted.
[Puma] gday Darkover
[ChristineGolden] Hi, Darkover. :)
[Darkover] Hello, Puma, Chris, and Demosthenes!
[Puma] we do see aragorns skill as a tracker
[Darkover] Hi, all!
[vari] hi
[Myra] hi
[Pete_R] He was definitely on edge–the trees, Saruman, not knowing how Merry and Pippin were doing
[Puma] and the assumptions he made about things were all right.so he has good judgement
[Pete_R] hi, Darkover
[vari] totally out of his comfort zone
[Darkover] Fangorn forest was also rumored to be dangerous, wasn’t it?
[ChristineGolden] yes
[vari] and also…he was still trying to come to terms with all that he saw in Khazad dum
[Demosthenes] Darkover: Celeborn warned them to be wary of it; said it was a strange place.
[Darkover] So Gimli was being sensible
[Pete_R] Gimli: “I’m *freaking out*, man!!” (8-0)
[Puma] celeborn had warned them to stay out of fangorn
[Darkover] And he was right, Demosthenes
[Susanita] I like what Gandalf says about they are all dangerous
[miriel] (will we ever have a Legolas shot first debate, do you think? :P Hope PJ won’t go that way…… sorry for off topic)
[Demosthenes] I guess that’s interesting too: gimli taking an elf’s words to heart.
[Darkover] I always liked that line myself, Susanita
[Darkover] Well, Demosthenes, Gimli was learning
[Pete_R] true, Dems–”the others marvelled at the change…” a while back
[Darkover] as indeed, all of the Fellowship did to some extent
[Puma] we also get to see legolas’s sense of nature…he feels the ents…though sees them not
[ChristineGolden] and growing… becoming less provincial.
[Demosthenes] puma: i think legolas is the one who calms gimli too. Not aragorn.
[Pete_R] haha–Chris, at first, I thought you typed “and growling.” :-)
[ChristineGolden] Well, that, too. ;)
[Puma] true Demz…the friendship between legolas and gimli is fully taking root in this chapter
[Darkover] Is that a pun, Puma?
[Demosthenes] That whole exchange between Gimli and Legolas about the forest feeling watchful and angry is a prime example.
[ChristineGolden] But the dwarves were a closed race, usually separate to themselves. So, this is probably his first real contact with the other peoples of ME.
[Demosthenes] ‘I dare say you could,’ snorted Gimli. ‘You are a Wood-elf, anyway, though Elves of any kind are strange folk. Yet you comfort me. Where you go, I will go. But keep your bow ready to hand, and I will keep my axe loose in my belt.
[Susanita] Nemu: I think vari was saying good night to Phil
[vari] em..i was saying goodnight to phil…wasn’t planning on leaving
[Demosthenes] “yet you comfort me.”
[Darkover] And dwarves would hardly go out of their way, normally, to meet elves
[Puma] well.no.the dwarves were not closed at all…they did work for all the other races
[Darkover] That isn’t the same as being friendly with other races, Puma, or associating with others any more than necessary
[ChristineGolden] They worked for them, but they had little real interaction. It’s not like they went to Rivendell to chat with Elrond.
[vari] indeed…but they couldn’t really be regarded as friends with the other races
[Puma] i am not so sure of that
[Demosthenes] Darkover: So we see Gimli being both argumentative (later with Gandalf) and able to be placated. He’s a little more complex than most credit.
[Darkover] Dwarves won’t even teach their own language to anyone, as I recall, which is a bit isolationist
[Puma] the line of durin was quite cosmopolitan
[ChristineGolden] And there were probably certain dwarves who did the buying, selling, and trading. Others would remain withing their kingdoms.
[Darkover] Demosthenes, I believe book-Gimli was quite complicated in some ways
[LadyK] Good Evening!
[Puma] they had interacted with other races for 1000′s of yrs
[vari] hi
[Susanita] hi LadyK
[Pete_R] Dwarves were very insular. Kept their language secret, didn’t trust anyone. Thorin didn’t fully trust Gandalf. He asked hom for advice because he had no other options
[Darkover] Hi, LadyK
[NemuHolopainen] Uuuu! Sorry :$
[ChristineGolden] Oh, that was one of the things that struck me in this chapter, Darkover.
[NemuHolopainen] Ops!
[NemuHolopainen] Hi, LadyK
[Demosthenes] suse: we’ll come back to the “dangerous” comment soon.
[ladygaladriel] hi, LadyK
[Puma] i dont recall the noldor doing much teaching of quenya either
[ChristineGolden] After Gandalf gave Gimli Galadriel’s message, he “sang loudly in th strange dwarf tongue…”
[LadyK] I’ve always found the dwarves isolationism fascinating and how Gimln overcame it.
[Pete_R] Let me know when we get to the “black is mightier still” comment, please. :-)
[Darkover] In the dwarves’ defense, their people had been around since early days, and yet, they weren’t always accepted by other races. Some of Feanor’s sons used to sneer at them openly, and I suspect other F.A. Elves did, too
[Pete_R] hello, LadyK
[Puma] the dwarves were not isolationist at all
[Darkover] kind of a chicken-or-egg type question
[vari] and didn’t gandalf speak of the halls of khazad dum in the dwarf tongue? and he knew ‘mellon’
[ChristineGolden] Darkover, I agree, Gimli was far from a buffoon or he wouldn’t have been appointed to go to Rivendell.
[Demosthenes] Another observation: Aragorn is obviously better at tracking than Legolas. Another blow against steretypes?
[Darkover] “Isolationist” might be too strong a word, Puma, but I think they were indeed insular
[Puma] gladriel knew khuzdal also
[Puma] the line of durin was not insular
[Darkover] Quite so, Chris. And IMO, book-Gimli was a better fighter/warrior than book-Legolas
[ChristineGolden] In the Silmarillion, the elves once hunted them for sport, Darkover. That would make me leery of them.
[Puma] those were the petty dwarves
[ChristineGolden] Why, Demosthenes? Aragorn is a Ranger.
[Darkover] Right, Chris, so if the dwarves tend to distrust outsiders, who can blame them?
[Darkover] But the line of Durin weren’t the only dwarves, Puma
[LadyK] I agree it’s an off term, but their pride certainly caused issues. And their creation most likely factored into their hostilities towards other races
[ChristineGolden] They were still dwarves, Puma.
[Pete_R] Yes, dwarves were not very open, most of the time. They kept to themselves. Not just the petty dwarves. In fact, gandalf said that he was surprised that Thorin spoke to him ,when they met by chance
[Puma] Dwarves always depended on other races….for they raised no animals nor grew crops
[Demosthenes] Christine: yeah, but the implication is that the gap in skill is quite large. Not one of degree. And i guess I find that suprising.
[Darkover] True, LadyK, although arguably the pride of all races has always created problems, in different ways
[Puma] so i think the insular view is not well thought thru
[Susanita] hi sly
[Demosthenes] ‘Maybe,’ said the Elf; ‘but a heavy boot might leave no print here: the grass is deep and springy.’
[Demosthenes] ‘That would not baffle a Ranger,’ said Gimli. ‘A bent blade is enough for Aragorn to read.
[Darkover] Of course, Aragorn is the consummate Ranger, too
[Pete_R] Tolken said so much, somewhere. That;s why they kept their languages a secret.
[SlyStrider] hello!
[Darkover] Hi, SlyStrider
[Puma] keeping a language secret was not limited to dwarves
[Pete_R] hi, SlyStrider
[Demosthenes] This is true. Can Legolas read bent blades of grass? I’m not sure from that exchange. Or rather, some doubt is put into my mind.
[vari] hi
[Pete_R] Who else, then, Puma?
[wanderer] hi!
[NemuHolopainen] Hi SlyStrider
[Puma] anyway.race time….bbiab
[ChristineGolden] Perhaps they just have different skills, Demosthenes. Aragorn is a ranger, which would mean highly developed tracking skills and he’s been doing it for decades.
[Pete_R] howdy, wanderer
[Demosthenes] christine: indeed. He tracked gollum after all.
[ChristineGolden] I’ve always thought of Legolas as more of a ninja-type warrior.
[Pete_R] Yes, Legolas knew trees, woods, etc, but Aragorn was trained in tracking, while Leggy wasn’t
[Demosthenes] ‘Here at last we find news!’ said Aragorn. He lifted up a broken leaf for them to see, a large pale leaf of golden hue, now fading and turning brown. ‘Here is a mallorn-leaf of L??n, and there are small crumbs on it, and a few more crumbs in the grass. And see! there are some pieces of cut cord lying nearby!’
[Darkover] I’ve always thought of book-Legolas as being more of a hunter than a warrior. Just my opinion.
[Demosthenes] (easy enough to start)
[LadyK] Me too, sort of a tracker… Forced to defend himself etc.
[ChristineGolden] I would agree, Darkover, except for the growing darkness in Mirkwood and the ‘spread of the Shadow’ across his father’s kingdom. I bet Legolas killed more than his share of orcs.
[Demosthenes] but then Aragorn is able to decipher the blood of the orc (grishnakh) and conclude that they were carried there.
[Demosthenes] Something Legolas is not able to do?
[LadyK] I think that makes him more green peace than green beret. ;)
[Darkover] You have a point, Chris, but I think Legolas became a warrior out of necessity, Gimli because he was inclined to it, and probably raised to it. These are the characters from the books that I speak of, BTW
[vari] the absolute best bit that chapter was discovering Gandalf was alive! I actually wept when I read that (to be fair I was only 11 at the time)
[Darkover] lol, LadyK!
[ChristineGolden] True, Demosthenes, but isn’t orc blood black? if so, not hard to figure that one out.
[Darkover] Don’t apologize, vari, it is a moving chapter
[LadyK] Well he’s also royalty. I don’t see legolas sniffing a lot of Orc blood
[Demosthenes] All blood tends to go dark/black once it dries/oxidises.
[Pete_R] I wonder if the spiders still loved in south Mirkwood at that time, since the Necromancer had been gone for 60 years.
[ChristineGolden] I agree, Darkover, and yes, I’m speaking of the book, too.
[Darkover] I assume you meant “lived,” Pete
[Darkover] and those nasty things probably were still around
[Pete_R] vari, I’m 60 years old, and I still bet misty when I read some passages in the books. Just today, reading about their joy when they first realized that Mithrandir had returned made me tear up a bit.
[Demosthenes] I also thought Legolas’s summation of how tyhe hobbits escaped “. After that, I suppose, he turned his arms into wings and flew away singing into the trees.” was a little sarcastic.
[LadyK] Is it odd that I had no issue with the dwarf naturally being a warrior and the elf being reluctant?
[Demosthenes] And that’s another little character development, perhaps.
[Darkover] Why would it be odd, LadyK? If so, I am odd too :)
[vari] Pete_R I’m 43 now…and when I re-read it for the umpteenth time…I still feel a little overwhelmed
[ChristineGolden] I don’t think Legolas was a reluctant warrior. I imagine that he was trained from birth with sword and bow, being the king’s son.
[ChristineGolden] well, almost from birth.
[Darkover] Demosthenes, it could be that sarcasm is just Legolas’ way of reacting to frustration, just as Gandalf and Aragorn both become more short-tempered
[Pete_R] haha–yes, Darkover. My *I* and *O* keys are worn. :-) Though, if the spiders stopped lovong, there wouldn’t be any baby spiders. 0:-]
[Demosthenes] Darkover: or, perhaps, an expression of affection for the hobbits. and perhaps surprise at their ability to rescue themselves.
[Pete_R] I understand, vari :-)
[LadyK] Spider babies –ew!!!
[ChristineGolden] frustration, despair, weariness, hunger will make most people short-tempered.
[Demosthenes] or exasperation. they /walk/ all this way only to find the hobbtis have rescued themselves.
[Pete_R] haha, LadyK.
[Demosthenes] there’s an irony to that.
[Darkover] Could be, Demosthenes. I think Gandalf was the only person who never underestimated hobbits.
[Pete_R] I didn’t think Legolas was beong sarcastic just fantastical
[ChristineGolden] More like letting off steam, to me.
[LadyK] Bwahahaha!! Demosthenes no kidding
[Demosthenes] It seems unusual for an elf of the Third age. But perhaps it’s on account of Legolas’s relative youth.
[Darkover] Chris, I know *I* become short-tempered with much less. I wasn’t criticizing, just trying to say that people sometimes react differently to stress.
[ChristineGolden] But they don’t know that the hobbits are rescued at this point, only that they got away from the orcs.
[ChristineGolden] Aragorn still wants to go into Fangorn to find and rescue them, even if it is only to sit down and starve with them.
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: true mateship is starving together.
[Darkover] Another sign of why he is a good leader. A good leader doesn’t abandon his people.
[dombillyfan] hi sus and ladyk
[ChristineGolden] I didn’t read it as criticizing, Darkover, just chat.
[Darkover] Hi, dombillyfan
[vari] hi
[ChristineGolden] exchanging ideas. ;)
[dombillyfan] hi
[Darkover] Thanks, Chris. That is the trouble with this mode of communication–you can’t see someone’s face, or hear their tone of voice.
[LadyK] I’m on my phone so apologies for repeats/delays.
[Pete_R] hi, dombillyfan
[Darkover] I did like the comment in the book about how Merry and Pippin, being hobbits, of course stopped to eat lembas even as they were escaping.
[dombillyfan] hi :)
[Demosthenes] Even Aragorn does not understand the marks Treebeard left.
[ChristineGolden] That’s why I only take things personally when there’s no other way to interpret them, Darkover. Yes, I love that line, too.
[Demosthenes] I wonder what Ent-tracks might look like.
[ChristineGolden] There was one line, though, that did bother me. a lot.
[Demosthenes] ‘I am almost sure that the hobbits have been up here,’ he said. ‘But there are other marks, very strange marks, which I do not understand. I wonder if we can see anything from this ledge which will help us to guess which way they went next?’
[Pete_R] Size 700 tennies, Demz
[Darkover] Maybe like the tracks of really skinny dinosaurs?
[Susanita] lol
[Demosthenes] lots of fringed roots?
[lunarising] like a tree stood there Dems
[Pete_R] long skinny toes (three or four)…
[LadyK] Really big bird feet??
[Pete_R] hey, lunarising, didn’t see you come in
[ChristineGolden] Treebeard probably taking the hobbits to his den.
[Raurenkili] guess I gotta go
[Demosthenes] later Raurenkili
[Darkover] bye, Raurenkili
[Pete_R] bye, Raurenkili
[Darkover] Hiya, Lunarising
[dombillyfan] is going to have a bath
[Raurenkili] have a nice bath non-Rivendell person :D
[Raurenkili] Goodbye everyone!
[dombillyfan] lol thanks
[Pete_R] Just don’t bather in that enchanted river in Mirkwood…
[Pete_R] bathe
[Demosthenes] Why do they not recognise Gandalf at first? In fact, it takes them /ages/ to figure out who it is.
[Raurenkili] lol
[SlyStrider] I would like to say that I felt like the return of Gandalf was so well contrasted to his departure. Both moments were so integral. When Gandalf fell, it was almost like everyone realized it was time to be independent.
[lunarising] hey darkover!
[dombillyfan] lol pete
[Demosthenes] ‘I see, I see now!’ hissed Gimli. ‘Look, Aragorn! Did I not warn you? There is the old man. All in dirty grey rags: that is why I could not see him at first.’
[lunarising] hi pete
[Raurenkili] he was supposed to look like Saruman…
[Pete_R] They would never suspect it was him, the big hat and hood…
[Demosthenes] Aragorn looked and beheld a bent figure moving slowly. It was not far away. It looked like an old beggar-man, walking wearily, leaning on a rough staff. His head was bowed, and he did not look towards them. In other lands they would have greeted him with kind words; but now they stood silent, each feeling a strange expectancy: something was approaching that held a hidden power-or menace.
[Darkover] Well, for one thing, Demosthenes, they believe he is dead. I generally don’t expect to see people whom I believe are dead, either.
[Pete_R] And, of course, the Saruman voce and face used in the movie :-D
[Darkover] It did seem more reasonable that it was Saruman.
[ChristineGolden] The forest is dark, his battle with the Balrog probably aged him (or at least, changed his appearance), and he was dressed like Saruman.
[Pete_R] And they knew that Saruman looked generally like Gandalf
[Demosthenes] And the voice?
[Demosthenes] And was Gandalf … testing them?
[Pete_R] He had white hair now, not brown and white or gray
[LadyK] I think the book was attempting to reference his age; how long he’d been on ME, assisting its peoples. He might be unrecognized for that
[Pete_R] maybe, Demz.
[SlyStrider] I think their suspicions are warranted, Gandalf probably has the ability to present himself however he chooses.
[Demosthenes] He seems to exert a power (art) upon them.
[Susanita] “Saruman as he should have been”
[Darkover] May be, Demosthenes, but I suspect that Gandalf had not yet quite returned to the persona he’d had in M-E.
[ChristineGolden] What about his voice, Demosthenes?
[Demosthenes] ‘Did I not say that I wished to speak to you?’ said the old man. ‘Put away that bow, Master Elf!’
[Demosthenes] The bow and arrow fell from Legolas’ hands, and his arms hung loose at his sides.
[Darkover] In other words, he needed a bit of time to become “Gandalf” again.
[Demosthenes] Is it his voice that charms them?
[SlyStrider] One of the best concepts, Susanita.
[Darkover] Saruman’s voice, certainly
[Demosthenes] Why don’t they recognise his voice? I’ve always found that puzzling.
[Pete_R] Don’t think it was his voice, it was his Maia power, similar to Melian’s , maybe–at least, locally.
[ChristineGolden] I don’t remember Gandalf sounding like Saruman.
[Pete_R] The Girdle of Gandalf. :-D
[Susanita] oof
[Pete_R] Only on the movies, Chrstine. :-D
[LadyK] I agree sus, his own power coupled with a potential universe with returning from the netherworld would mess anyone up!
[Darkover] Maybe they did recognize his voice, Demosthenes, but they might have assumed it was Saruman, trying to delude them by sounding like Gandalf.
[Demosthenes] That’s not impossible.
[ChristineGolden] Well, since they had never heard Saruman’s voice and thought Gandalf dead, I can see them jumping to that conclusion.
[Pete_R] He even had Leggy fooled, nd elves are more tuned into Valinor vibrations han other people
[Darkover] Anyway, it was a cool passage, and it wouldn’t have been quite the same, had they all recognized him immediately.
[Pete_R] Gandalf!!! What are YOU doing here??? (8-0)
[Demosthenes] I feel that Gandalf was using his Art to cloud their minds; but I’m not sure why.
[Susanita] then he’s all … no worries, guys, you can’t hurt me anyway
[ChristineGolden] They probably would have thought it a trick of Sauron’s or Saruman’s.
[Demosthenes] Like a jedi mind trick, if you will.
[Pete_R] Mybe Gandalf was still adapting to life in a body–readjusting to beng Gandalf, as someone said earlier
[Darkover] Demosthenes, IMO it was possible that if Gandalf just walked right up to them, looking and sounding exactly like his old self, their reaction might have been; “You can’t be Gandalf, he’s dead!” and they would have tried to kill him immediately.
[ChristineGolden] I thought that’s what he did in Lothlorien, heal his body and spirit.
[Susanita] he hardly remembered he’d been Gandalf
[Darkover] Just a thought. That may be why he was “testing” them, he was easing into it.
[Demosthenes] And once he turns away, his hold on them does also…
[Demosthenes] The old man turned away and went towards a heap of fallen stones and rock at the foot of the cliff behind. Immediately, as if a spell had been removed, the others relaxed and stirred. Gimli’s hand went at once to his axe-haft. Aragorn drew his sword. Legolas picked up his bow.
[Darkover] Right, Susanita, which is why personally, I still think Gandalf was easing his way back into his former M-E identity.
[SlyStrider] “Mithrandir!” he cried.” Mithrandir!” Of course Legolas is first to exclaim his findings. typical.
[ChristineGolden] Wouldn’t Gandalf have done that during his stay in Lothlorien, Darkover?
[ChristineGolden] I can’t see Galadriel letting him take off without all of his wits.
[Pete_R] But he didn;t fully, Chris. “Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf”
[Darkover] Maybe, Chris. I don’t know. Since I’ve never been resurrected, I couldn’t say how long it takes to become your old self again.
[ChristineGolden] There’s a quote about that: something about “things I didn’t know and things I knew but have forgotten.”
[Demosthenes] Maybe his struggle with the Eye also left him worn. that was more recent.
[Susanita] yeah Christine
[Demosthenes] That’s soemthing to consider.
[borussia_dortmund] Gandalf struggled with the eye?
[Pete_R] ‘Gandalf,’ the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. ‘Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.’ is the whole quote. He’s still a little like a person waking from a dream
[SlyStrider] It is also interesting that he can see things far, but cannot see those things close.
[Darkover] Besides, when Gandalf explains how he came back to M-E, doesn’t he say something about being “naked?” In Tolkien’s world, when a Maiar says that, it can mean without clothes, or it can mean without flesh/a physical body.
[Darkover] Right, thank you for the quote, Pete_R
[Demosthenes] I had some part in that: for I sat in a high place, and I strove with the Dark Tower; and the Shadow passed. Then I was weary, very weary; and I walked long in dark thought.’
[ChristineGolden] Or maybe he’s struggling to adapt to his transformation to Mithrandir the White.
[Pete_R] SlyStrider, that happens to ALL of us old people :-D
[Susanita] who are you calling old?
[Pete_R] yw, Darkover. Wish I’d written it. :-P
[Susanita] :D
[borussia_dortmund] considering I only read lotr like 2 months ago I dnt remember alot
[ChristineGolden] Well, if he didn’t have a body, Darkover, the eagle wouldn’t have been able to carry him to Lothlorien.
[Pete_R] haha–Myself, susanita :-)
[SlyStrider] haha possibly Pete_R (;
[Darkover] borussia_dortmund, it’s a good idea to read the LotR saga several times. There is so much to be gained from it.
[Pete_R] Yes, he had a body, but a glorified body, for lack of a better term
[borussia_dortmund] true lol
[Darkover] Doesn’t necessarily mean he had his old human body, Chris, although I realize that is reaching a bit.
[borussia_dortmund] I dnt think ill be able to read it again for years lol I dnt like reading that much but lotr was great even tho it was so slow at the start
[Demosthenes] christine: my conclusion is that the form of the Istari was fixed. When Gandalf returned after the Bridge, he was freed from that constraint and able to assume any shape he might desire, like Melian did.
[Darkover] Ever listened to it on CD, borussia_dortmund? It is like listening to a play, and quite enjoyable.
[borussia_dortmund] oh cool :)
[Demosthenes] Aragorn says something to back this:
[Pete_R] I don’t think it was his old body–that was beatn up pretty badly. Thos new body was light, it glowed, and couldn’t be hurt by the trio’s weapons. The old body *could* be killed.
[Darkover] Right, Pete_R. He is now the new and improved Gandalf.
[ChristineGolden] That’s an interesting idea, Darkover, I never thought of that before, but it does make sense.
[Demosthenes] ‘Do I not say truly, Gandalf,’ said Aragorn at last, ‘that you could go whithersoever you wished quicker than I?
[Demosthenes] sorry had to hunt it down
[Susanita] whithersoever…..
[ChristineGolden] Didn’t the eagle say that he was so light that he’d probably float to earth?
[ChristineGolden] oops, I meant Demosthenes.
[LadyK] Fascinating! Literally the new and improved Mithrandir!
[Darkover] He did, and Gandalf got a bit alarmed at that!
[Demosthenes] The bodies of maiar seem to be strange things.
[Darkover] Well, they aren’t human bodies, and therefore outside our human experience.
[sunshower] but…Melian had a baby?
[sunshower] how’d that work?
[Darkover] Except for when they are bodies used for being here in M-E
[sunshower] ah ha
[ChristineGolden] in her assumed form, sunshower. Tolkien didn’t get into the details. Thank God.
[Demosthenes] Maybe it’s like the properties of light: a particle and a wave at the same time.
[Pete_R] susanita, I’ll explain that by private message. Don’t want the bot to kick me. :-D
[Darkover] Sunshower, I suspect Melian “clothed” herself in human flesh to live here in M-E
[borussia_dortmund] who is melian
[Pete_R] Oh, I meany sunshower, not susanita–sorry
[Darkover] She was the mother of Luthien, Borussia, among other things
[ChristineGolden] It’s in the Silmarillion, Darkover, about her assuming a body.
[sunshower] no problem Pete_R–I have done that–2x
[borussia_dortmund] oh lol I dnt no who luthien is either lol
[Darkover] She was also the wife of Thingol, and put the “Girdle of Melian” around their kingdom to protect it
[SlyStrider] I have realized that I am so far behind in learning Maiar and Istari history.
[Pete_R] Meilan is Elrond’s great-grandmother, or something. A Maia, which is sort o like a lower-level angel
[ChristineGolden] Back to the topic… I have a question.
[Darkover] Thank you, Chris, so maybe my suppositions are on the right track.
[Demosthenes] sure christine
[borussia_dortmund] i no what a maia is :p
[ChristineGolden] It’s about Gandalf’s comment about Boromir…
[Darkover] and?
[Pete_R] too bad, tho, sunshower, because it was a good line, but I blew the delivery :-)
[ChristineGolden] that Galadriel warned Gandalf that Boromir was in peril. So why did she let him take off with Frodo and the ring?
* sunshower covers eyes and ears
[Darkover] Chris, that sounds to me like another example of free choice and free will in Tolkien’s writings. Boromir was in peril, but he hadn’t made the wrong choice yet.
[ChristineGolden] “Yes, I fear Boromir may try to forcibly take the ring from Frodo… have a safe trip and see ya if you survive!”
[Pete_R] Maybe because her forsight wasn’t absolute, and anyway, she couldn’t control everybody and everything
[Puma] so where are we?
[Darkover] Well, Chris, it was possible that *any* of the Fellowship might try to take the Ring from Frodo.
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but didn’t she jeopardize the quest?
[Demosthenes] Arguably they were /all/ in peril. And maybe she also felt Boromir had a part to play, but wasn’t certain what that part was. She made that point to Sam when he wanted to go back to the shire.
[Puma] no….galadriel was making way for eru
[Darkover] I wouldn’t say so. Besides, it looks as if what led from Boromir’s attempt on the Ring was meant to happen.
[Demosthenes] Her foreknowledge seems … fuzzy.
[Darkover] Again, Demosthenes put it better than I did.
[Puma] and without boromir the whole mission would have failed
[Pete_R] Also, Christine, like gandalf, maybe Galadriel realized that things had to proceed anyway, even if she didn’t know why. gandalf didn’t know whyhe picked Bilbo, excpet a gut-reaction
[ChristineGolden] Yes, Darkover, but it doesn’t seem to be a good decision on her part if she knew with her second sight that Boromir coveted the ring.
[Darkover] Maybe because the future is always fluid, Demosthenes.
[Puma] why not
[Demosthenes] In a way, Boromir is a little like gollum.
[sunshower] nooooo
[Susanita] “that’s why you play the game”
[Susanita] patterns and tendencies will only tell you so much
[Darkover] Please explain that, Demosthenes. I don’t see it, except how both were tempted.
[Puma] free will as darkover said is of major import
[Pete_R] True, Demosthenes. If Boromir hadn’t chased Frodo away, he might have been taken to Saruman by the Uruks
[Susanita] and it led to another Sean Bean Dies moment
[Puma] boromir saved the mission……so his misdeed had purpose
[Demosthenes] Well, Gandalf says that Gollum may have his part to play. I wonder that, even though Galdriel felt that Boromir was … troubled … he also had a part to play.
[Pete_R] But ChristineGolden, it turned out to be the right choice, even thoug it seemed insane.
[ChristineGolden] Free will is all well and good, but everyone keeps talking about how the ring must be protected.
[Puma] exactly Demz
[Darkover] That does sound reasonable, Demosthenes
[Demosthenes] Also on a more tactical level, keeping Boromir against his will would have had a bad affect on the morale of the fellowship.
[Darkover] Very much so
[Demosthenes] So there may have been a bit of “don’t rock the boat” in it.
[ChristineGolden] Gandalf says that Gollum may have his part to play; nobody says that about Boromir.
[Demosthenes] No, that’s my extrapolation
[Darkover] Arguably, Chris, they all had their part to play
[Demosthenes] i think it makes a kind of sense.
[Pete_R] Anyway, Galadriel knew that the quest was in the edge of a knife, and blah, blah, blah, so thkns had to play out. Boromir was “meant” to do what he did, if Galdriel had intefered, it would have meesed the whole thing up
[Demosthenes] And if elves are reluctant to give counsel, imagine how much more reluctant they might be to stick their paws into the action.
[ChristineGolden] I understand that all’s well that ends well, but it doesn’t seem like a sensible decision by one of the Wise.
[Darkover] Boromir was also much more of an asset than Gollum. I think Gandalf offered his “part to play” comment about Gollum because everyone who met Gollum wanted him dead or at least locked up.
[Demosthenes] That seems to be a “modern” trait of the elves associated with the fading phenomenon.
[Puma] actually Christine.just the opposite
[Pete_R] But Galadriel also knew that Elrond had chosen the Fellowship and Gandalf had agreed. She didn’t have an exclusive on foresight
[ChristineGolden] Everyone keeps saying, the ring must not be used, yet Galadriel sends Frodo off with someone she at least fears will take and use it.
[Darkover] Right, I agree, Demosthenes. Elves seemed to have learned that even when they interact or interfere with the world, it doesn’t necessarily make things any better.
[Demosthenes] Maybe it’s a calculated risk
[LadyK] Elves were planning to leave ME; there’s a strong sense of “hands off” from the elves in consideration of the affairs of the world.
[Puma] which is why she was allowed to return into the west
[ChristineGolden] Galadriel was far from hands-off when it came to the ring.
[Puma] think of what eru said in the great music
[Pete_R] how’s that, Christine?
[Puma] its just an example of galadriel knowing that
[Demosthenes] Just think, Gandalf says they are all perilous in their own way. Aragorn’s power or Legolas’s power or Gimli’s is no different and no less perilous than Boromir’s.
[Darkover] Chris, so long as the Ring continued to exist, it would always be a source of temptation, to anyone who encountered it. There were a number of reasons, which we’ve just mentioned, why it wouldn’t have been wise or useful to come down too hard on Boromir.
[ChristineGolden] Well, if nothing else, she sheltered the company in Lothlorien and helped them on their way, with gifts and advice.
[Darkover] It was just a matter of, He’s really tempted, keep an eye on him.
[Demosthenes] Each carries a danger within them. But that’s also a potential to do great things.
[Demosthenes] Sword of damocles, i guess.
[sunshower] blessings and curses
[Pete_R] Though she did her best to help the ringbearer on her way. I still think she knew at some level that she had to let things proceed. She truested Aragorn, for one thing
[LadyK] But did not prevent anyone from making their own choice, which is hte point
[ChristineGolden] I’m just saying that it seems odd for her to send Frodo and the ring off with a man whom she thought was being tempted to take it.
[Susanita] sword of Demosthenes
[Puma] i dont
[Demosthenes] So if Galadriel worried Boromir was in peril, maybe she also hoped he could overcome it.
[borussia_dortmund] who is she to deny boromir going with them
[Demosthenes] And acheive great renown. Which he kinda did.
[Pete_R] So dig up Tolkien and ask him. :-P
[Darkover] Certainly, he redeemed himself.
[Puma] it does beg the question….what would faramir have done….as he was the one actually meant to be there
[Demosthenes] He both failed and succeeded. Which is very human.
* Puma nods to Demz
[Demosthenes] suse: we’re back to your power comment now. :)
[Susanita] \o/
[Pete_R] Good point, borussia_dortmund, she really had no authority, except to keep Boromir a prisoner. Don’t think circumsatnces warranted that
[LadyK] It’s more of a parent thing; they must make their own choices in response to their own fates; regardless of their advice
[Darkover] I always thought Boromir’s demise, and the way he died, was kind of like what happened to Isildur; it seemed like a tragedy at the time, but it was by no means the worst thing that could have happened.
[vari] faramir is one of my fav characters, Puma. I love the interaction between him and Eowyn. Disappointed they left that out of the films.
[Susanita] it’s in the EE … sort of
[SlyStrider] extended edition!
[Puma] well the movies did not have faramir in them…movies had farfromir
[Demosthenes] ‘Perhaps he also thought that you were Saruman,’ said Gimli. ‘But you speak of him as if he was a friend. I thought Fangorn was dangerous.’
[Demosthenes] ‘Dangerous!’ cried Gandalf. ‘And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord.
[ChristineGolden] True, Darkover, and I’ve always liked him, as much as I do Faramir.
[Demosthenes] . And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gl?? for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion.
[Pete_R] Great question, Puma. Faramir would *nit* have scared Frodo away. The Uruks would have caught Frodo, Saruman or Sauron would have gotten the Ring, and LOTR would have been *two* volumes, not three. :-)
[LadyK] Me too Vari! I was also sad when they do altered the character in the movie. Understandable but sad.
[Demosthenes] Certainly the forest of Fangorn is perilous ? not least to those that are too ready with their axes; and Fangorn himself, he is perilous too; yet he is wise and kindly nonetheless.
[Darkover] Right, Demosthenes! Dangerous isn’t the same as bad or vicious
[Puma] well….actually pete…maybe not….the choices might have been different
[Pete_R] Aslan was dangerous, too–but he was good. :-)
[Darkover] Right, Pete_R! As Lewis used to say; “This is not a tame lion.”
[ChristineGolden] It wasn’t understandable to me, at least not in relation to artistic necessity.
[Demosthenes] Wisdom and kindliness is what tempers the danger that people (and cultures i guess!) can pose to each other.
[Pete_R] Puma, I believe hat Tolkien purposely wrote Faramir as one who would reject the Ring, wherever.
[Puma] remember….pity is what won the war….not battle valor
[Puma] though battle valor had a part
[ChristineGolden] Everyone they encounter has the potential to be dangerous. look at Grima.
[Darkover] Well, battle valor had it’s place, Puma, although I believe I understand your point.
[Demosthenes] puma: and maybe that helped Boromir in the end too.
[Pete_R] exactly. Valor was the smoke screen to let Frodo sneak to Orodruin
[Puma] exactly Demz
[Demosthenes] hullo Turgon
[Turgon] hi :)
[Puma] gday Turgon
[Pete_R] Turgon! Wattup?
[Darkover] howdy, Turgon
[Demosthenes] That was a good question, christine.
[wanderer] hi Turgon!
[ChristineGolden] Thank you, Demosthenes. :)
[ChristineGolden] Want another? lol
[Demosthenes] If you have one!
[Demosthenes] I do think there’s a fair few puzzlers in this chapter.
[Puma] remember….all the proceeding action goes back to boromir
[ChristineGolden] Did anyone else notice the sense of decay in this chapter?
[Puma] he was the crux
[ChristineGolden] Always, Pete. :p
[LadyK] Hi turgon
[Demosthenes] That Fangorn is old and musty? That Isengard is not what it once was?
[Pete_R] Not me, Chris-I stink at analysis and stuff
[Susanita] the mystery of the eagle and the fell beast
[Demosthenes] I’m not precisely sure what you mean.
[LadyK] Ooo sense of decay, please expand Christine!
[Puma] i dont sense decay as much as age
[Demosthenes] the destruction of the Endless Stair?
[vari] you mean the atmosphere in the forest?
[ChristineGolden] All through it, from “My very bones are chilled” (implying the weather’s turning) to the piles of leaves on the floor of Fangorn.
[Darkover] Really, Chris? it seemed to be a chapter about resurrection and rebirth to me.
[Demosthenes] That always made me kinda sad. No more durin’s tower
[Pete_R] Really, Tolkien’s world, almost from Dat 1, has been i decay
[Puma] reincarnation.not resurrection!!!!
[Pete_R] Day 1
[Demosthenes] Darkover: one is a flipside of the other. death and rebirth.
[ChristineGolden] What did Legolas say? Fangorn made him feel young? And the closed-in, musty feel of the forest.
[LadyK] No reincarnation without decay I always say!
[Puma] jrr would never have done resurrection!!!
[Darkover] Gandalf comes back–the most obvious–and he mentions that the Dark Lord has forgotten Fangorn and the Ents.
[Pete_R] No, resurrection, Puma. Gandalf was not born, the first time or the second time. :-)
[Darkover] LadyK, ;)
[Puma] gandalf was in human form and could die
[Demosthenes] ‘It is old, very old,’ said the Elf. ‘So old that almost I feel young again, as I have not felt since I journeyed with you children. It is old and full of memory. I could have been happy here, if I had come in days of peace.’
[Pete_R] Right, but reicanation means rebirth, and he wasn’t born
[vari] perhaps the sense of decay was deliberate…to emphasise the impact of stagnation, of the trees growing old and growing roots…an analogy for what would happen in middle earth if the peoples just ignored the happenings outside their doorstep?
[sunshower] that’s a different Legolas there I think
[Puma] yes he was
[LadyK] That’s how I feel some days. Old and full of memory
[Pete_R] even if I cant type :-)
[Pete_R] He was? Who was his mother?
[Puma] gandalf was reborn in the maiar sort of way
[Puma] elves are reincarnated also
[Pete_R] Both times, he was sent fully grown from Valinor.
[Darkover] Puma, I think Tolkien would have gone more for resurrection, being a Catholic, rather than reincarnation
[Puma] without being born again
[ChristineGolden] The answer is in the Silmarillion.
[Puma] jrr said specifically it was reincarnation.not resurrection
[Darkover] don’t recall that, at least not as it pertained to Gandalf
[Puma] no doubt what jrr felt
[Turgon] Puma, why do you say he would never have done resurrection?
[ChristineGolden] If Manwe could send back Beren, a man, then he could do the same with a Maiar.
[Pete_R] Yes, reincarnation means you come back as someobe=ne else. Resurrection means you return as yourself, without any kind of birth
[borussia_dortmund] i no this is off topic but did the necromancer actually ever necromace anything?
[Puma] as a catholic…to jrr only jesus was resurrected
[ChristineGolden] Traditional Roman Catholics do not believe in human reincarnation. Big, big sin.
[Puma] yes marcoreus
[Turgon] but there’s no Jesus on Arda
[borussia_dortmund] like what?
[Demosthenes] No Turgon there is not.
[Puma] off topic for this chat
[Puma] will discuss with you another time
[borussia_dortmund] okie
[Pete_R] I’ll have to try to fund something in “Letters,” though that book gives me a headache. :-)
[borussia_dortmund] its ok jus leave it :)
[Puma] letters has what i was saying
[Darkover] This chapter also fills us in on what has been happening on other fronts, in other parts of M-E
[Susanita] hi Silmarien
[Puma] that is why this is a transition chapter
[ChristineGolden] Another contradiction in the “was it Saruman?” thing was the horses.
[Puma] little happens
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: i think you’re partially right — there is decay. but we also see renewal. and hope. although Gandalf only talks of hope, not of certainty.
[Silmarien] hello
[LadyK] Hahah Pete, me too! I’ve tried 4 times to get through it!
[Darkover] But for all Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli knew, Chris, the horses ran off because the old man was Saruman
[Puma] letters are not bad….some are really interesting
[ChristineGolden] Yes, when Gandalf says, “the tide has turned.”
[ChristineGolden] No, Legolas said that they sounded happy, as though meeting an old friend.
[Susanita] and he can tell that he can’t “see” Frodo anymore
[ChristineGolden] Why would they do that if the first white wizard was Saruman?
[Demosthenes] Gandalf brings hope … but it’s also in others, too. Like Fangorn.
[LadyK] I come back to you know… Sounds like resurrection to me! ;) j/k
[Puma] jrr used this chapter to draw some storyline together.so the action could continue
[Pete_R] LadyK, I read Letters once, took lots of notes, but even my notes give me a headache. :-)
[Darkover] as I recall, the horses ran off because Shadowfax called to them
[Puma] exactly Darkover
[ChristineGolden] But Gandalf said that Shadowfax was away in the South.
[Puma] but had been heading that way Christine
[Darkover] Well, Shadowfax came back, because Gandalf whistled him up.
[Puma] thought him up
[Demosthenes] I think both Saruman and Gandalf were there. Gandalf in this chapter says that he was there and saw Treebeard but was spaced out. In … the Hunt for the Ring in UT, one of the outlines says that Saruman went to the forest’s edge, but found nothing except corpses.
[Demosthenes] If i recall correctly.
[Puma] yes Demz
[Puma] saruman had been there
[Puma] or a phantom of saruman
[Demosthenes] So quite possibly Gandalf is being truthful that it was not him that Gimli saw.
[ChristineGolden] I’ll have to concede the point to you, Demosthenes; it’s been awhile since I read UT.
[LadyK] The white wizard was no more; Saurman was corrupt. I saw the return of Gandalf as an equilibrium of sorts. To restore the balance?
[Susanita] hi lady c
[Darkover] If Saruman was there, was he some kind of projection? Because I get the impression that he couldn’t leave Orthanc bodily, not while it was surrounded.
[ChristineGolden] Oh, I think Gandalf was telling the truth – hence, my confusion.
[Susanita] was it surrounded at that point?
[Demosthenes] We can always argue about whether UT is a “true” history. whatever that might mean. ;)
[Puma] yes lady K….the valar interceded
[Lady_Celebrian] hi Susanita
[Puma] as did eru
[ChristineGolden] That’s what I said earlier, Puma, about Manwe and Beren.
[Puma] the valar are very active in lotr
[Puma] this is just an example
[Demosthenes] How did Gandalf know that the trio would be/were headed to Edoras eventually?
[Darkover] Don’t recall, Susanita, but I do believe it wasn’t a good time for Saruman to be taking any walks.
[Susanita] he wanted to know where his orcs were
[Turgon] I don’t think the forest would welcome him
[Puma] i think form gwaihir Demz
[ChristineGolden] But Gandalf said that he was there, Darkover, to see why his orcs hadn’t returned.
[Susanita] but I still think it was Gandalf and he was pulling their leg
[Darkover] Good point, Turgon
[Demosthenes] . Your next journey is marked by your given word. You must go to Edoras and seek out Th?en in his hall. For you are needed. The light of And?must now be uncovered in the battle for which it has so long waited. There is war in Rohan, and worse evil: it goes ill with Th?en.’
[Darkover] Did he? Sorry, I need to read the chapter more thoroughly, Chris
[Puma] it was not gandalf
[sunshower] how did Gandalf know Aragorn said they’d go to Edoras?
[ChristineGolden] Yes, he’s very specific about it. i re-read it when I hit the point about the horses.
[Demosthenes] Gandalf asks all these questions at the beginning, but I reckon he already knows all the answers.
[Puma] aragorn had told of the whole journey
[Darkover] Maybe their horses talked to Shadowfax, who told Gandalf
[sunshower] ah, ok
[sunshower] lol, Darkover
[ChristineGolden] I think it goes back to his remark about “many things forgotten and many things now known.”
[Puma] we dont see that convo.its just mentioned.as it would be a repeat for readers
[Demosthenes] The companions sat on the ground at his feet, and Aragorn took up the tale. For a long while Gandalf said nothing, and he asked no questions. His hands were spread upon his knees, and his eyes were closed.
[Susanita] hi Legolas
[ChristineGolden] Good point, Puma!
[Legolas] hi
[Demosthenes] Altrhough i guess that might explain it.
[LadyK] GTG. Thanks all I enjoyed. :)
[wanderer] hi Legolas
[Puma] so aragorn had brought gandalf up to speed
[Darkover] Goodbye, LadyK
[sunshower] bye LadyK
[Demosthenes] Hmmmm, are we up to final points?
[Puma] stay safe ladyK
[wanderer] Bye, LadyK
[Demosthenes] Anything we’ve missed in our discussion pertaining to the chapter?
[ChristineGolden] I did like the small detail of Gandalf sitting with his hands on his knees, upward, and looking as though they were filled with light. Metaphor?
[Puma] this chapter both answers questions we had….and prepares us for the further action
[Darkover] I think we’ve covered about everything
[Susanita] I was confused about the dark riders not allowed to cross the river
[Pete_R] ChristineGolden, in re: of something u asked about earlier. Fro “Letters”: “Galadriel’s power is not divine, and his [Gandalf's] healing in Lorien is meant to be no more than physical healing and refreshment.”
[Puma] excellent Pete
[ChristineGolden] That’s how I interpreted it, Pete, with the ‘refreshment’ being spiritual.
[ChristineGolden] Like going on a Catholic retreat.
[Demosthenes] suse: I guess that Sauron was holding them back as a “surprise”. It does seem that when Gandalf battled Sauron (the Tower) he did gain something of its plans.
[Susanita] ah ok
[Puma] although the wk had flown over anduin and caused the snow on caradhas
[Pete_R] I know, Christine, but the Professor said that it wasn’t spiritual. I had forgotten that. Thanks, Puma :-)
[ChristineGolden] Sauron was massing his forces in Mordor, preparing to assault Gondor. So of course, he’d want his most powerful weapons there.
[ChristineGolden] Oh, okay, Pete. Thanks, I didn’t know that.
[Pete_R] me neither :-)
[ChristineGolden] I really need to re-read Letters.
[Puma] also sauron was not ready to go to war….aragorn would later force his hand
[Darkover] Give the Dark Lord something to think about besides the Ring
[Pete_R] Sauron sorta panicked
[Demosthenes] But they have not yet been allowed to cross the River, and Saruman does not know of this new shape in which the Ringwraiths have been clad. His thought is ever on the Ring. Was it present in the battle? Was it found? What if Th?en, Lord of the Mark, should come by it and learn of its power?
[Puma] and Demz….you can post pics of my jrr bookshelf for people to see
[Demosthenes] Yes after we’re done here
[Puma] okie
[Pete_R] brb
[ChristineGolden] So, are we done here?
[Demosthenes] I think so!
[Puma] i think we covered it well
[Darkover] I agree. What’s on for next week?
[Puma] great job Demz
[Demosthenes] Aragorn and Arwen next weekend.
Session Close: Sun May 05 09:47:18 2013

Posted in Barlimans, Green Books, Hall of Fire, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Two Towers, Tolkien on May 11, 2013 by

Daggers of Tauriel