Hall of Fire chat log: Flotsam and Jetsam
A couple of weekends back in the Hall of Fire, we discussed the events of the Two Towers chapter Flotsam and Jetsam, and the reunion of five of the Fellowship’s members. For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a log.
And remember, tomorrow (July 13 at 6pm EDT (New York time)) we’ll be discussing the next chapter: The Voice of Saruman.
Session Start: Sun Jun 30 07:20:31 2013
Session Ident: #thehalloffire
* Now talking in #thehalloffire
* Demosthenes changes topic to ‘The HOF topic today: Two Towers Bk 3 Ch 9: flotsam and jetsam | General TORn chat thataway! click –] #theonering.net’
[Demosthenes] All right. Shall we get this dog and pony show started?
[ChristineGolden] I’m ready when you are, Demosthenes.
[miriel] more like cat and bunny show 😛
[Birdy] right on
[PippinFTW] hey Thorin!
[miriel] thanks PippinFTW 🙂
[Birdy] and birdy.. dog cat and birdy show…
[Thorin_Oakenshield] this is confusing!
[Demosthenes] Title observation! Flotsam and jetsam is a really clever name at a couple of levels.
[Birdy] AND bunny
[Susanita] and a pony for Dem
[PippinFTW] I never really understood the chapter name. What does it mean?
[sunshower] and…Sam’s not even in this chapter
[ChristineGolden] I thought so, too, Demosthenes.
[Anameleth] I dont recall this chapter
[Demosthenes] Because really, it’s a catch-up chapter on … well … bits and pieces we’ve missed out on.
[sunshower] odds and ends PippinFTW
[Birdsong] oh my goodness im double logged in here…
[miriel] the stuff… that gets left on a beach after ebb and flood?
[PippinFTW] oh ok
[Thorin_Oakenshield] it means wreck.
[Susanita] flotsam and jetsam is what’s floating in the water after a shipwreck
[Demosthenes] And there’s the flood itself and the debris it brings
[ChristineGolden] It refers to the leftovers from a shipwreck. They’re legal terms.
[miriel] oooh, after a wreck
[Demosthenes] And there’s lots of little stuff in the chapter too.
[miriel] now that was news for me
[PippinFTW] ok thanks for the clarification!
[ChristineGolden] No, that’s not flotsam.
[Demosthenes] Flotsam is floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo.
[Demosthenes] Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore.
[Demosthenes] I guess because it has been jettisoned.
[sunshower] flotsam, pipeweed
[Birdsong] awesome ive always heard of flotsam and jetsam but never knew them apart
[Demosthenes] What’s the jetsam? All the orcs Saruman abandons?
[ChristineGolden] No, that’s jetsam, Demosthenes.
[Susanita] they are often used together in the turn of phrase
[ChristineGolden] Flotsam is the ship and cargo in total; jetsam is what is deliberately cast overboard.
[PippinFTW] The jetsam probably refers to all the supplies that Merry and Pippin find
[Ringlordsander] Hi everyone!
[miriel] ! ok, now I will interpret the meaning of that chaptername very differently
[miriel] thanks 🙂
[Birdsong] hello Rig
[sunshower] so Grima is jetsam?
[PippinFTW] hi ringlordsander!
[Thorin_Oakenshield] Hi alll!
[Demosthenes] Maybe Merry and Pippin are the jetsam?
[Thorin_Oakenshield] no i don’t think so.
[Ringlordsander] Merry&Pippin aren’t cast overboard…
[PippinFTW] I was thinking of the palantir, but that’s a different chapter
[Birdsong] maybe they are simly both different types of Sam…
[Pete_R] Jetsam: 1. Cargo or equipment thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress. 2. Discarded cargo or equipment found washed ashore. See Usage Note at flotsam. 3. Discarded odds and ends.
[Demosthenes] ‘And now that the great ones have gone to discuss high matters,’ said Legolas, ‘the hunters can perhaps learn the answers to their own small riddles. We tracked you as far as the forest, but there are still many things that I should like to know the truth of.’
[PippinFTW] Could it be the palantir?
[Demosthenes] Or maybe it’s all of the companions left behind as Theoden and Gandy go off to discuss things.
[Thorin_Oakenshield] slow down!
[Demosthenes] Too early for that I think.
[Demosthenes] It’s not this chapter
[ChristineGolden] It must refer to the content of the chapter, which is mainly about the attack of the ents.
[Esther] I actually have never understood the name and the reason they use the name
[Ringlordsander] Wouldn’t it be the food that Saruman left in his storages when the Ents attacked Isengard?
[Ringlordsander] (the Jetsam)
[sunshower] odds and ends….wrapping up the tidbits of info
[miriel] hi pete
[PippinFTW] But the food was left behind… not thrown out
[Demosthenes] I agree with sunshower. It’s mostly about tying up loose ends.
[Thorin_Oakenshield] yeah Ringlordsander!
[Demosthenes] the companions catching up.
[Pete_R] hi, miriel, how are you? Hi, Demosthenes, and all
[Birdsong] hi Pete
[Demosthenes] ‘And there is a great deal, too, that we want to know about you ‘ said Merry. ‘We have learnt a few things through Treebeard, the Old Ent, but that is not nearly enough.’
[Demosthenes] ‘All in good time,’ said Legolas. ‘We were the hunters, and you should give an account of yourselves to us first.’
[PippinFTW] If it’s about tying up loose ends then the meaning is pretty clear
[Goldberry] Hi pete
[sunshower] I do like the way Legolas sort of separates *his* buddies from the rest for a minute
[PippinFTW] hi pete
[Pete_R] Hey, Goldberry and sunshower
[sunshower] hey Pete_R
[Esther] if this is about loose ends, what loose ends are they referring too
[sunshower] M&P in Fanghorn
[sunshower] where’s Saruman
[Susanita] M&P provide exposition
[Ringlordsander] Hmm. Thrown overboard.. Could it have something to do with the river Isen?
[PippinFTW] Esther the Company is just explaining what happened while they were separated
[Thorin_Oakenshield] bye all!
[Demosthenes] Esther: I think it’s how Merry and Pippin escaped from the orcs and got to Isengard.
[PippinFTW] leaving already thorin? bye!
[ChristineGolden] Could the flotsam be the ent attack and the jetsam, the aftermath?
[Goldberry] Cya thorin 🙁
[Esther] oh ok, yeah I’ve never understood that part of the story
[Demosthenes] oh .. and this.
[Demosthenes] Once Aragorn returns the two sheathed knives and the brooch from Pippin’s Lothlórien cloak, the hobbits start their tale:
[Demosthenes] the little items that M&P lost along the way
[sunshower] important part: the returning of those knives
[Demosthenes] yes. seemingly tiny tho!
[sunshower] mm hmm
[PippinFTW] Dems so those are the jetsam?
[Pete_R] Flotsam and jetsam are also what’s left after a ship sinks, and the good ship Isengard sure did flounder.
[Demosthenes] PippinFTW: i reckon they could be.
[Anameleth] thats what I think
[Demosthenes] And a gesture of friendship too.
[ChristineGolden] I don’t think Tolkien would title the entire chapter over the return of two knives.
[Goldberry] I find it interesting jrr tells it in a flashback
[sunshower] frankly I was amazed that Pip still had his pipe! and a spare!!
[Demosthenes] Goldberry: that does slow the action down, don’t you think?
[Ringlordsander] sunshower Were you? He’s a Hobbit after all…
[Demosthenes] It’s a more considered chapter after the pell mell pace of Helm’s Deep.
[PippinFTW] I do remember that one of the words were mentioned somewhere… but I forget where
[sunshower] it’s a breather chapter
[Esther] u guys are have more info from the book, I still have to read it so all I have for this scene is from the movie
[Demosthenes] sunshower: very much so!
[Susanita] everybody breathe!
[Pete_R] I think that because Isengard was flooded, Tolkien gave this a tongue-in-cheek nautical title.
[sunshower] yes Ringlordsander–they went thru Orc shakedown I think
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: it’s a theory anyhow!
[ChristineGolden] I’d say using a flashback technique gives the chapter a reflective feeling, esp with the pipes.
[Demosthenes] Ah the pipes. Another gesture.
[Ringlordsander] sunshower. Why would the Orcs care if Pippin had a few pipes?
[PippinFTW] Tying up loose ends over teh pipes, I guess
[Demosthenes] And the hobbits serve lunch quite happily.
[Demosthenes] Aragorn and his companions sat themselves down at one end of a long table, and the hobbits disappeared through one of the inner doors. ‘Store-room in there, and above the woods, luckily,’ said Pippin, as they came back laden with dishes, bowls, cups, knives, and food of various sorts.
[Demosthenes] The three were soon busy with their meal; and the two hobbits, unabashed, set to a second time. ‘We must keep our guests company,’ they said.
[Demosthenes] ‘You are full of courtesy this morning,’ laughed Legolas. ‘But maybe. if we had not arrived, you would already have been keeping one another company again.’
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but that’s just setting the scene.
[miriel] Ringlordsander they might not have known what they were: hobbits were the ones to start the tradition of smoking with pipes, so orcs might not have picked up the habit
[PippinFTW] I never understood how Pippin kept his pipes while in captivity. You’d think the Orcs would take their stuff, right?
[sunshower] I would think that, yes
[ChristineGolden] No, they were undoubtedly told NOT to search the prisoners, only to disarm them.
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: i found it interesting that the flashback is wrapped in a scene of homeliness. A very neat contrast.
[PippinFTW] But then again, the Orc didn’t know whether Pippin had the Ring
[Ringlordsander] I was more surprised the Orcs didn’t take the cloaks from Lothlorien..
[ChristineGolden] Saruman wouldn’t want them finding the ring.
[Esther] yeah that part was strange to me to PippinFTW how could they still have the pipes?
[Demosthenes] juxtaposition i guess.
[miriel] ChristineGolden good point
[Demosthenes] At a technical level.
[PippinFTW] Right, Christine. Good point
[ChristineGolden] Yes, esp among such chaos and filth, Demosthenes.
[Pete_R] Chris is right–they had specific orders not to spoil th prisonres
[miriel] Darkover 🙂
[sunshower] hi Darkover
[Darkover] Greetings, Miriel and sunshower!
[Darkover] Sorry I’m late, all.
[Demosthenes] heya Darkover
[PippinFTW] hi Darkover!
[Pete_R] Hi, Darkover
[Goldberry] Hi darkover
[Darkover] Howdy, Demosthenes and PippinFTW
[Anameleth] hi darkover
[ChristineGolden] running later than usual today, Darkover; glad you made it.
[Darkover] Hi, Goldberry and Pete_R
[Darkover] You’re right, Chris, very sorry, nice to be here!
[sunshower] where/how did Aragorn get the knives?
[ChristineGolden] So, we have the description of a major battle told in flashback over the spoils of war.
[Demosthenes] the barrow blades? they were cast aside by the orcs at Amon Hen.
[ChristineGolden] He found them, sunshower.
[PippinFTW] sunshower they were dropped when Merry and Pippin were taken by the Orcs, when Boromir died
[Demosthenes] Who evidently feared them.
[sunshower] ok, so those were not *taken* off the Hobbits
[Demosthenes] With M&P’s summary, what’s the important stuff we learn?
[miriel] also, they would not have carried the swords with them anyway — extra weight, and probably too small for an orc to wield
[ChristineGolden] Isengard is no longer a threat.
[sunshower] Saruman is there
[sunshower] Grima too
[PippinFTW] We learn all about how the Ents attacked Isengard
[Darkover] And what happened to Saruman
[miriel] ents are rather dangerous 😛
[Susanita] don’t mess with Ents
[Demosthenes] Is there one key thing?
[Demosthenes] Or just many things
[Darkover] an important lesson, Susanita
[PippinFTW] We learn about the Hourns
[Darkover] There is one thing, at the end of the chapter
[miriel] loads of important bits
[ChristineGolden] Gondor no longer has a knife at its back while facing Mordor.
[Darkover] no one understands the significance until later
[Darkover] the presence of Shire-grown pipeweed at Isengard
[Susanita] yep that’s it Darkover
[Demosthenes] Darkover: yes that does become important later.
[Demosthenes] Again, a seemingly trivial detail.
[miriel] and indeed, Darkover, that is very intriguing
[ChristineGolden] It’s a hint, but not crucial to the chapter itself.
[Darkover] Of course, the most immediate consideration is Saruman
[Susanita] good wizard gone bad
[Demosthenes] ‘No,’ said Aragorn. ‘Once he was as great as his fame made him. His knowledge was deep, his thought was subtle, and his hands marvellously skilled; and he had a power over the minds of others. The wise he could persuade, and the smaller folk he could daunt.
[miriel] grima too is of importance, mostly as a start to the tie-up as to what happened to him (even if the end comes much much later)
[Anameleth] Yes, grima is key
[sunshower] Aragorn mentions that Gandalf hinted that the “old man” may have been Saruman
[Demosthenes] That’s an interesting thing that Aragorn says about Saruman
[Demosthenes] Perhaps he had met him personally?
[Darkover] Hadn’t thought of that, Demosthenes, but you’re probably right
[PippinFTW] Do we know for sure if they’ve met?
[Goldberry] Interesting thought…
[sunshower] think he heard about him from Elrond?
[Darkover] Maybe back when he was Thorongil?
[Ringlordsander] I don’t think Aragorn had met Saruman before. Why would he?
[PippinFTW] Until that point, at least
[PippinFTW] Maybe they were both in Rivendell at the same time
[Darkover] Surely Aragorn would have heard of Saruman, but I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to believe they met
[Demosthenes] Just the way that is phrased. it sounds like personal knowledge.
[Demosthenes] Not second-hand.
[Darkover] Aragorn has lived a long time for a Man, under many identities
[Darkover] Seems reasonable to me
[Demosthenes] Darkover: that too. Thoringil, for example.
[PippinFTW] Aragorn was living there while the White Council was held
[miriel] did aragorn ever visit Isengard?
[ChristineGolden] Does it make a difference if they met or not?
[Darkover] We don’t know for a fact that he did–or that he didn’t
[PippinFTW] I think so, miriel…
[miriel] did we not get a description of how people were seldom let in there
[Darkover] Not really, Chris, just intriguing
[Ringlordsander] PippinFTW Yes, but wasn’t Aragorn very young when the White Counsels were held?
[Anameleth] Would it have been possible he met saruman because of his connections to gondor?
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: probably not. Aragorn’s respect for the Saruman of old appears very genuine though.
[Goldberry] 10 years old
[Pete_R] But if Aragorn had met Saruman before seeing the old man in Fangorn Forest, wouldn’t he have known whether it was him or not? Wizards change a *lot* more slowly than mortal men do, so he wouldn’t have changed that much.
[PippinFTW] Yes, Ringlord, but he was there for a long time. Maybe at one point?
[ChristineGolden] I believe it was a fleeting sighting, pete.
[miriel] I dunno if his description “The wise he could persuade, and the smaller folk he could daunt” is all that nice
[Darkover] But it is accurate, Miriel
[miriel] yes, but not very flattering
[Darkover] I doubt if Aragorn was in the mood to be flattering about Saruman
[miriel] 😛 true
[Demosthenes] Present Saruman seems much less grand though. Yes?
[ChristineGolden] the truth often isn’t flattering, miriel. It simply ‘is.’
[Darkover] Besides, it might be a warning as much as anything else
[Goldberry] Not after helms deep
[Darkover] Saruman is still dangerous, I mean
[Pete_R] Not sure how fleeting, tho, Chris. He was there long enough for them to speak to them. It’s not very clear, so who knows. 🙂
[miriel] indeed, he does dems
[Demosthenes] I don’t know what Saruman thought was happening; but anyway he did not know how to deal with it. His wizardry may have been falling off lately, of course; but anyway I think he has not much grit, not much plain courage alone in a tight place without a lot of slaves and machines and things, if you know what I mean.
[PippinFTW] Maybe while Aragorn was in Rivendell he heard so much about Saruman, he felt like he knew him
[Darkover] Saruman has lost a lot of his power, I think, Demosthenes, but he is like a wounded beast–dangerous
[miriel] I was trying to make a point, that even the *old* saruman did not sound all that nice
[Ringlordsander] Darkover. Yes. Dangerous as a man. But he could not let nations rise and fall anymore, so he wasn’t very powerful anymore…
[Demosthenes] and: There was a pale figure hurrying away in and out of the shadows of the pillars, and it had nearly reached the stairs to the tower-door. But it was a near thing. Quickbeam was so hot after him, that he was within a step or two of being caught and strangled when he slipped in through the door.
[Darkover] Oh, sorry, Miriel, I thought you meant Aragorn wasn’t being nice!
[miriel] haha, nope
[ChristineGolden] me, too, miriel.
[Darkover] There is something in what you say, Ringlorsander
[Darkover] sorry, Ringlordsander
[Darkover] bye, anameleth
[sunshower] that sounds pretty weak…pale figuring hurrying
[Demosthenes] Yes it does
[sunshower] no power against the Ents?
[Demosthenes] Saruman is not simply retreating, he is in rout.
[ChristineGolden] I liked the description of the huorns. In the previous chapter, we only got glimpses and hints at what they were.
[Goldberry] Reminds me of descriptions of gollum
[PippinFTW] never thought of that, Goldberry
[Darkover] An ent might have been able to tear Saruman apart before the wizard could bewitch him.
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: And more about /what/ they are.
[ChristineGolden] and what they can do.
[Ringlordsander] Goldberry. Who? Saruman? That kinda reminds me of Gollum as well. He was once a good wizard, just like Gollum was a good person. But because of the Ring, they both went evil…
[Pete_R] A number of people (including me) thought that OMW might be a huorn.
[Darkover] I think it is putting it too strongly to say that Gollum was ever a good person, Rindlordsander, there was just a time when he wasn’t a *bad* person.
[Darkover] But you are right, both turned to evil, although Saruman with less excuse, IMO
[ChristineGolden] I disagree. I believe Saruman always had the seeds of his downfall within him: pride, hubris, arrogance – call it what you will.
[PippinFTW] old man willow?
[PippinFTW] i think
[Demosthenes] christine: They seem fearful things. half-wild. or maybe even 3/4 wild?
[Pete_R] yes, PippinFTW
[Demosthenes] Huorns. Not a pet.
[miriel] not a very nice pet at least 😛
[sunshower] I do like that we get some info on who all was “stationed” at Isengard
[ChristineGolden] Well, if they are in the process of changing from ents to trees, that would involve more than mere physical changes.
[PippinFTW] Not an active pet, I guess
[Ringlordsander] ChristineGolden. I think those ‘seeds of his downfall’ started to get within him at the moment he became obsessed with the Ring…
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: it seems to be a mental process too.
[miriel] I agree Ringlordsander
[Darkover] And Merry and Pippin were useful to the war effort–if not for those two hobbits, the Ents wouldn’t have joined the war, and taken Isengard
[Demosthenes] Which links with an overarching theme of LOTR — it’s about magic fading from the world.
[Demosthenes] In this way Huorns are less than Ents.
[ChristineGolden] Yes, Demosthenes, or psychological – either works. But they seem to be in the process of losing the moral values of the ents, replacing it with anger.
[brennil] the Huorns were changing the Ents into trees? Did I here that right?
[Demosthenes] (although they may be fiercer)
[miriel] tolkien did love to write about the ending of things
[PippinFTW] But he never had it, Ringlord. That’s probably the biggest difference. If Saruman had the Ring, would he become like Gollum?
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: gmta
[Goldberry] More like Sauron, pippin
[miriel] brennil: the hourns are ents, changing into trees
[Darkover] No, Gollum was too weak to wield the One Ring
[ChristineGolden] So, replacing positive values with negative ones would mean a moral degradation, Demosthenes.
[Darkover] Saruman would have become like Sauron, I think
[brennil] thanks, miriel
[PippinFTW] Probably, Goldberry. Forgot about that option
[Ringlordsander] PippinFTW. With ‘because of the Ring’ I mean with Saruman that he would’ve been prepared to do anything to get in possession of the Ring when he would’ve gotten the chance..
[Darkover] I always got the impression that the huorns weren’t big on rational thought–they were like Ents turned animalistic
[ChristineGolden] which would be symbolized by the huorns becoming ‘lesser beings.’
[Demosthenes] it could do. Or amorality. Which is slightly different. and more appropriate to nature i think?
[selinahh] :syes he would
[PippinFTW] Oh, ok Ringlord
[Pete_R] ChristineGolden, I don’t remember reading that huorns actually *become* ents and vice-versa. It seemed more that ents can become tree-ish, and huorns can wake up and become a little entish. Of course, I’m old, so my brain doesn’t work so well, any more. 😀
[brennil] PippinFTW: perhaps. Maybe he wasn’t like gollum because he only thought of the ring and still had some of his own power
[ChristineGolden] Hmm, amorality is the absence of values – not sure anger would fit in that definition.
[ChristineGolden] That’s how they are described in this chapter, Pete.
[Darkover] I think Saruman’s biggest sin, where he really started to go wrong, was thinking that because he was one of “the Wise,” that meant he had a right to rule everybody, tell them how to live
[Pete_R] If I ever meet an ent, I’ll ask him. 🙂
[Darkover] Just my opinion, but that is the impression I get.
[PippinFTW] Saruman of Many Colours, Darkover!
[Darkover] Right, and the white (purity) was broken, PippinFTW!
[Goldberry] I think so too darkover
[ChristineGolden] Saruman’s biggest sin was Tolkien’s “favorite,” pride.
[Darkover] Thanks, Goldberry
[Pete_R] Saruman was prideful even before the istari were sent to ME, Darkover. It was hs downfall, eventually
[Darkover] Agreed, Chris and pete
[Pete_R] Pride goeth before destruction. 🙂
[thorin_oakenshield] hey guys and gals, i’m drawing Orthanc i’ll be back to show you, ok!
[PippinFTW] Probably too much pride because he is an Isatari, which goes back to the opinion of how superior he sees himself
[Darkover] and a haughty spirit before a fall
[miriel] Pete_R: true, he resented that gandalf was the one given a ring, not himself
[Pete_R] k, thorin_oakenshield
[ChristineGolden] He believe he could control the ring where others couldn’t because he was the smartest cookie in the box.
[Darkover] And lord knows, Saruman was haughty, although we have to wait for the next chapter to see how much.
[Ringlordsander] Pete_R. I think Saruman’s downfall was his desire to have the Ring for his own. Not his pride…
[Darkover] Hey, I had forgotten that fact, Miriel. You’re right!
[miriel] I wonder if his want to have a ring himself might have been triggered by that event
[PippinFTW] But Ringlord he thought he could get the Ring easily because of his immense power
[Susanita] next chapter is one of my faves in the whole trilogy
[Pete_R] True, Miriel, and Saruman also resented that Galadriel wanted Gandalf to lead the White Council. And that Gandalf got all the best chocolate.
[Darkover] Ringlordsander, Saruman thought he had a right to the Ring, and to wield it, to rule everyone. How is that not a blatant manifestation of pride?
[Darkover] Mine too, Susanita
[miriel] indeed pete
[Darkover] lol, Pete
[PippinFTW] haha Pete. true
[miriel] often those best suited for power are those who do not seek it
[Pete_R] I disagrre, Ringlordsander, he even told Gandalf that he and they were better than everyone else. besides the two factors that Miriel and I just mentioned.
[Darkover] I’ve never been sure about that, Miriel, but Saruman definitely overreached himself.
[Susanita] Saruman good at false flattery
[Demosthenes] Pride leads to complacency. and this is what brings down Saruman.
[PippinFTW] Saruman just didn’t know when to stop because he didn’t think that he needed to.
[brennil] agreed miriel
[Darkover] Well put, Demosthenes and Pippin
[Pete_R] Grat point, Miri
[Demosthenes] He’s too busy looking at the big picture that he doesn’t see his own footings being eaten away
[PippinFTW] thanks Darkover
[Demosthenes] Until it’s too late.
[Demosthenes] So I agree there, i think.
[brennil] he lost his moral compass, seen when he began cross-breeding orcs
[idril] sorry just got on where r we in the chapter?
[Demosthenes] brennil: oh. you put me in mind of something.
[Darkover] I think he lost it long before that, brennil, but that act definitely confirmed it!
[Demosthenes] And there were battalions of Men, too. Many of them carried torches, and in the flare I could see their faces. Most of them were ordinary men, rather tall and dark-haired, and grim but not particularly evil-looking.
[ChristineGolden] supposedly, flotsam and jetsam.
[Demosthenes] but not particularly evil-looking
[Darkover] So they were indeed Men, not orcs?
[sunshower] dunland men?
[Susanita] Aragorn talked about half-orcs
[Demosthenes] indeed. Dunlending I imagine.
[brennil] yep, demosthenes, that’s definitely interesting
[Demosthenes] just “ordinary men”
[ChristineGolden] I thought it interesting that the Ents allowed the men to escape.
[Ringlordsander] brennil: Not only by cross-breeding Orcs, also by deciding to cut down parts of Fangorn Forest. He was so arrogant that he had forgotten about the power of the Ents. That was one of the many factors that led to his downfall…
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: more “led astray” and “redeemable”? perhaps?
[Pete_R] The ents’ business was with Saryman and the orcs, I guess, Chris
[brennil] though, or is this just in the movie, he did breed half-orcs plus the dunlendings
[Goldberry] I didnt understand the half orcs
[Demosthenes] The ents and the huorns are certainly making moral judgements on culpability there.
[PippinFTW] Right, Ringlordsander! He didn’t even think that the Ents would rebel
[sunshower] half orc, half…..what?
[ChristineGolden] No, I think Fangorn’s fight was with the orcs only, Demosthenes.
[Darkover] Well, why shouldn’t they? I like that about LotR–right is right, wrong is wrong
[sunshower] or are they orcish men?
[brennil] moral judgements are so confusing…
[Demosthenes] But there were some others that were horrible: man-high, but with goblin-faces, sallow, leering, squint-eyed. Do you know, they reminded me at once of that Southerner at Bree: only he was not so obviously orc-like as most of these were.’
[Demosthenes] ‘I thought of him too,’ said Aragorn. ‘We had many of these half-orcs to deal with at Helm’s Deep.
[Pete_R] Good point, Ringlordsander
[Goldberry] Orcs= corrupted elves, half orc= ?
[Darkover] It is not one thing among Men, and another among Elves and Dwarves, as Aragorn says elsewhere.
[Demosthenes] ^^ the “half-orcs”
[ChristineGolden] After the ents and huorns deal with the orcs, remember, they go home. Not to Gondor, etc., but home.
[Susanita] Aragorn talked about half-orcs
[sunshower] is half orc, like half elf? not the DNA but the ….something else?
[ChristineGolden] There was a discussion about it in Barliman’s the other night. Trust me, you don’t want to know what little canon exists on this one.
[Darkover] I think it is a matter of DNa, Sunshower, but you might be right.
[PippinFTW] Is a half-orc half orc, half Uruk-hai?
[Darkover] Half-orc, half-man, I think, PippinFTW
[ChristineGolden] Or possibly half-orc and half-elf.
[Ringlordsander] Darkover: but there’s no certainty about that point, mind you…
[brennil] the Uruk-hai were the half orcs, I’m pretty sure
[Demosthenes] sunshower: i don’t know. and like christine says, i don’t think there are any definitive answers. my opinion is that our protaganists ideas are unreliable at this point and they’re guessing.
[Darkover] Demosthenes, want to weigh in on this? You would know, if anyone does
[ChristineGolden] Now, wanna talk about how that happened?
[Susanita] I thought Uruk-Hai were basically orcs on steroids
[Pete_R] I think half man, half orc
[Susanita] figuratively speaking
[Demosthenes] I don’t think we can take Aragorn’s statement at face value.
[Demosthenes] it’s a best guess
[Demosthenes] He’s not a wizard?
[Pete_R] yes, kinda, Susanita
[Demosthenes] I’d give Gandalf more credence.
[sunshower] so….orcish in look and manner, maybe?
[brennil] but he has seen a lot…
[brennil] so what do we know Gandalf said?
[Darkover] Probably. I doubt if even Aragorn has made an in-depth study of orcs and half-orcs
[Susanita] there were those creepy guys in Bree
[ChristineGolden] Orcs were originally corrupted elves which means they were capable of having sex. Shall I continue?
[Demosthenes] just like he is not versed in Ring-lore.
[selinahh] half orc, half elf?
[Darkover] Please, don’t, Chris, I agree, let’s talk about other aspects of the chapter.
[Demosthenes] Shall we move to Grima?
[Ringlordsander] Darkover: How could he have? Half-Orcs were bred by Saruman right? So Aragorn couldn’t have known their origins, because they were just created by the very person who is locked up in a tower and is not going to say a word…
[Demosthenes] And his appearance
[brennil] did Aragorn get much of his learning from Gandalf?
[Radagast] A half orc is a being that is half orc half human. These half orcs or “goblin men” were used to breed with orcs of various breeds to make the Uruk-hai
[ChristineGolden] So, there goes elrond’s wife and Galadriel’s daughter traveling between Rivendell and Lorien when she is waylaid by orcs. Shall I continue?
[Susanita] Tolkien never talked about sex
[PippinFTW] It says on the LOTR wiki that half-orcs were used to breed Uruk-hai
[Pete_R] from Tolkien Gateway: “The origin and nature of the half-orcs is unknown. Saruman’s servants also included creatures known as Goblin-men who appeared to blend the traits of Men and Orcs. It is unclear if these beings are related to or synonymous with the half-orcs”
[Susanita] or … other things
[Darkover] Yeah, Ringlordsander, I doubt if Saruman is giving interviews at this point 😉
[ChristineGolden] “Breed” being the operative word.
[Susanita] yeah I think we get the point
[brennil] bye guys. nice discussion.
[Pete_R] Birdsong, are you a “Get Smart” fan? 🙂
[Birdsong] Pete_R, yep haha
[sunshower] “draggled rat”
[ChristineGolden] A detail in the chapter I found interesting:
[Pete_R] I should have said, “Don’t tell me that you’re a ‘Get Smart’ fan.”
[Darkover] yes, Chris?
[ChristineGolden] It was Pippin, not Merry, who commented about Theoden being a good and lordly man.
[Birdsong] in any case Im guilty as charged
[Goldberry] That is interesting…
[PippinFTW] Okay, Cristine. So…?
[Pete_R] “I *asked* you not to tell me that you’re a “Get Smart” fan!
[ChristineGolden] Well, it was Merry that ended up thinking of him as a father and who was with him when he died.
[Birdsong] lol in any case let’s stick to the topic [3
[Darkover] Pete: 🙂
[Demosthenes] Pippin is more outspoken than Merry. so in that sense it’s not surprising?
[Darkover] Yes, but both hobbits could admire him.
[Demosthenes] He shoots from the hip as it were.
[Susanita] Birdsong needs the cone of silence?
[ChristineGolden] I just thought it interesting, and wondered if perhaps it was deliberate on Tolkien’s part in light of later events.
[PippinFTW] I guess Merry was just in the right place at the right time
[Demosthenes] Merry is a bit more considered.
[PippinFTW] He did stay in Rohan, after all, so he became familiar with Theoden
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but most authors would have gone for the obvious: having Merry praise Theoden.
[Darkover] Which one mentioned that the King of the Mark was very polite? I always found that amusing.
[ChristineGolden] Pippin, that’s the comment I meant.
[Demosthenes] that was the end of the last chapter
[PippinFTW] At the end of “the Road to Isengard”
[Demosthenes] The hobbits bowed low. ‘So that is the King of Rohan!’ said Pippin in an undertone. ‘A fine old fellow. Very polite.’
[Darkover] Thank you, Demosthenes 🙂
[Pete_R] Seemed strange that Pippin, not Merry, would say that
[PippinFTW] First impressions!
[ChristineGolden] Oh, sorry, I always read the last few pages of the last-read chapter to get my bearings. I must have mixed it up with this one in my head.
[Demosthenes] Another strange thing, though really it shouldn’t be. Gandalf beats Grima to Isengard.
[Pete_R] Strange because?
[Darkover] Not really, IMO, Pete_R. Pippin is the younger one, probably less impressed by all the important folk he meets–Gandalf even warns him later, when they go to Gondor, against “hobbit pertness.”
[PippinFTW] Not too surprising since Gandalf has Shadowfax
[Birdsong] Maybe Grima dallied a bit somewhere?
[Goldberry] Shadowfax is pretty fast
[Demosthenes] I dunno. I mean yes, shadowfax.
[Darkover] I doubt if he dallied. I just think Shadowfax was faster.
[ChristineGolden] Well, Gandalf is riding Shadowfax and I assume Grima was given some old nag. The Riders of the Mark were hardly going to give Grima one of their best horses.
[Demosthenes] And maybe Grima was in no real hurry?
[Darkover] Maybe no horse would bear him, as Eomer suggested.
[Birdsong] It’s probably the case but I just wanted to throw in an extra option!
[Demosthenes] ie: reluctant to rejoin Saruman
[Pete_R] But Merry ended up staying with Theoden, Darkover, that’s why I thought it was odd that Tolkien would write it that way (not so much that Pippin might think it)
[PippinFTW] But you’d imagine that all Rohan horses were top-notch
[PippinFTW] Even the scrawny ones aren’t bad
[Pete_R] Grima was on that swayback horse.
[Darkover] That is a thought, Demosthenes. I mean, Grima had nowhere else to go, but I doubt if he wanted to report his failures to Saruman/
[ChristineGolden] No, I think Grima would have beat a path to Saruman – remember, he didn’t know about the defeat at Helms Deep.
[Darkover] Well, Pete, as Chris observed, Tolkien didn’t always go for the obvious.
[Demosthenes] Darkover: and when he gets there he says “all my messages are useless now”
[PippinFTW] But maybe Grima spent a lot of time thinking whether to tell Saruman in the first place
[Pete_R] I don’t think tha Grima wanted to be in Rohan *or* in Ortanc, at the time
[Darkover] Right. What if Saruman said, so *you* are useless now?
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but Grima’s a coward; he wouldn’t want to be out in the wild, unprotected. He would seek safety.
[Demosthenes] ‘”Let me go away!” he whined. “Let me go away! My messages are useless now.”
[Demosthenes] ‘”They are indeed,” said Treebeard. “But you have only two choices: to stay with me until Gandalf and your master arrive; or to cross the water. Which will you have?”
[Pete_R] Right, Chris. Like going to the dentist, even though you don’t wnt to
[Darkover] Didn’t Tolkien state elsewhere that Grima ran into the Nazgul along the way, or am I thinking of another occasion?
[sunshower] Grima shoulda stayed
[Darkover] If so, Wormtongue might have wanted to reach Saruman, in the hope the wizard could protect him.
[PippinFTW] Or maybe Grima spent a lot of time avoiding Rohirrim, so if he did have a path, he couldn’t use it in case he crosses paths with people
[ChristineGolden] Not in this chapter, Darkover, although it may be mentioned elsewhere.
[Pete_R] He did write that somewhere, Darkover.
[Goldberry] I always thought saruman might have had a kind of hold on grima
[idril] that was a different time, Darkover
[Darkover] If Grima was the type to stay, Sunshower, I doubt if he would have turned traitor in the first place.
[Pete_R] It’s not in LOTR, though
[Demosthenes] Darkover: yes. that is in Hunt for the Ring. but happened far earlier than these events.
[Darkover] Thank you, idril
[Goldberry] Like mental hold
[Darkover] Sorry, my mistake then.
[ChristineGolden] The strong-willed can always control the weak, Goldberry.
[Demosthenes] I wonder where Wormtongue would have gone. Had Treebeard not forced him to the choice.
[idril] no prob. i think it was when the nazgul were telling him to tell Saruman that he should mind his own business about the Dark Lord’s affairs. i think.
[Darkover] It wasn’t as if anyone wanted grima at this point
[Pete_R] Good point, Demz. I have no idea
[Demosthenes] I dunno either. Bree?
[Demosthenes] far, far away?
[ChristineGolden] Did anyone really ever want him, Darkover? 😉
[Darkover] lol, Chris
[Susanita] good point CG
[Darkover] Certainly not Eowyn!
[Pete_R] Prett far away, on a swayback horse, with no survival skills is Bree
[Goldberry] Saruman must have wanted him once
[Goldberry] To use him
[Yavanna] Nahh he didnt really want him, as he found him
[ChristineGolden] Saruman may have found him useful when he was a counselor to Theoden, Goldberry, but that’s probably as far as it went.
[Goldberry] As a?
[Yavanna] Useful servant that was stupid enough to believe he would grt power and follow orders
[Demosthenes] What is Grima’s use to Saruman now?
[Susanita] not much
[Demosthenes] ‘”Well, he has gone in,” he said when he returned. “I saw him crawling up the steps like a draggled rat. There is someone in the tower still: a hand came out and pulled him in. So there he is, and I hope the welcome is to his liking.
[Darkover] Being his footman, I guess, as Gandalf says in the next chapter
[Susanita] no more Rohirrim intel
[sunshower] grima’s new job: whipping post
[TolkienGirl] Guys? What are we talking about?
[Demosthenes] Grima mostly.
[Susanita] we are talking about the chapter in TTT
[Yavanna] Sunshower: or commanding the orc pooper scooper 😉
[Susanita] “Flotsam and Jetsam”
[Darkover] If I can shut up and stay on topic
[idril] lol Yavanna
[TolkienGirl] Oh okay.
[FreeLOTR] which chapter?
[Goldberry] Lol darkover
[Demosthenes] ‘He was,’ said Aragorn; ‘and also Saruman’s spy and servant in Rohan. Fate has not been kinder to him than he deserves. The sight of the ruin of all that he thought so strong and magnificent must have been almost punishment enough. But I fear that worse awaits him.’
[Susanita] “Flotsam and Jetsam”
[Susanita] it’s in the topic 😀
[FreeLOTR] love that one 🙂
[Demosthenes] I think that Aragorn has a lesser opinion of Grima than of Saruman.
[Demosthenes] That’s not very flattering at all.
[idril] bye guys! good discussions
[Darkover] Well, Saruman did abuse his power more, IMO
[Darkover] bye, idril
[Yavanna] Yeah, well at least saruman has a little dignity
[Susanita] Grima is your classic sycophant (sp?)
[FreeLOTR] Grima was almost like an animal
[Darkover] Yeah, Susanita, he is
[Darkover] hence the nickname, “wormtongue
[Demosthenes] I imagine the tongue of the serpent tells big big fibs
[ChristineGolden] Reminded me of Peter Pettigrew in HP.
[Birdsong] I think the title also impies that he is persuasive
[Yavanna] Oh i thought wormtongue came fftom the fact that everything that came out of his mouth was as low as dirt
[Susanita] or Crabb and Goyle
[Darkover] maybe also, his nickname indicated he was like a dragon, when it came to speech that deceives and ensnares
[Birdsong] implies* ].[
[Demosthenes] (could even be a ref to Paradise Lost)
[Darkover] bye, TolkienGirl
[Birdsong] Bye, TG
[ChristineGolden] Or it could be a play on words, Yavanna: wormtongue and wormwood.
[Susanita] man with no eyebrows
[Goldberry] Worming his way out of trouble
[Yavanna] Yes goldberry
[Demosthenes] Did we talk about how even Ents can get angry?
[Darkover] There are a lot of possibilities in that nickname
[ChristineGolden] Ah! good one, Demosthenes!
[Susanita] and how!
[Demosthenes] Like, really furious.
[Darkover] It takes awhile, but when they are roused, they are fearsome indeed
[Susanita] Don’t Mess with Entsas
[Demosthenes] An angry Ent is terrifying. Their fingers, and their toes, just freeze on to rock; and they tear it up like bread-crust. It was like watching the work of great tree-roots in a hundred years, all packed into a few moments.
[Goldberry] Kinda berserk
[Demosthenes] One of them, Beechbone I think he was called, a very tall handsome Ent, got caught in a spray of some liquid fire and burned like a torch: a horrible sight.
[Demosthenes] ‘That sent them mad. I thought that they had been really roused before; but I was wrong. I saw what it was like at last. It was staggering. They roared and boomed and trumpeted, until stones began to crack and fall at the mere noise of them.
[Demosthenes] Goldberry: beserk Ents. Yes.
[Yavanna] I wonder what would happen in a fight between them and their long lost ent women??
[Darkover] That sounds too “smackdown” for me
[ChristineGolden] The ent husbands would have lost the fight, of course. 🙂
[Demosthenes] It also shows us how Orthanc is different
[Yavanna] Hahaha christinegolden. Exactly 😉
[Demosthenes] Many of the Ents were hurling themselves against the Orthanc-rock; but that defeated them. It is very smooth and hard. Some wizardry is in it, perhaps, older and stronger than Saruman’s.
[Demosthenes] Numenorean wizardry.
[ChristineGolden] I think it’s an interesting contrast that the stonework of Saruman, the great wizard, can be destroyed by the ents, but…
[Demosthenes] Same as the first wall of Minas Tirith.
[Darkover] Good magic, not bad
[ChristineGolden] Orthanc, built by the Numenoreans cannot even be marred.
[Demosthenes] Unless the earth itself was to twist, i think.
[Demosthenes] I think that’s what’s said later about MT.
[Yavanna] Is the same true for Barad-dur, i wonder?
[Goldberry] What was it that galadriel said about good&bad magic?
[Birdsong] The stone itself losing virtue as virtue is lost?
[Darkover] Something about how Men seemed to use the same word to describe the power of the Enemy
[Demosthenes] Yavanna: I don’t think so. though the foundations seem linked to the One Ring.
[Goldberry] Oh yes
[Darkover] So she wasn’t sure how to answer the question of whether or not the Elves used “magic.”
[Goldberry] Thats right, i remember now
[Darkover] I think to Elves, especially the older ones, magic is as natural as breathing, or using tools is to Men
[Demosthenes] In some ways magic seems to be a technique. I guess that’s what we have here.
[Darkover] So they are puzzled when someone who doesn’t have that experience, requires an explanation.
[ChristineGolden] Or perhaps what may have once simply been extraordinary engineering skills later appeared to be magic, like people in the Dark Ages looking back at the remnants of Rome.
[Darkover] Also a possibility, Chris
[Demosthenes] Mmmmm. Apparently roman concrete was very different. And better. Damascene steel.
[sunshower] Any standout Tolkien lines in this chapter for anyone?
[Demosthenes] Lots of examples of that sort of thing in history.
[Yavanna] Well yes, butthis implies the same thing, that magic used to be natural and easy, but for new generations, its impossibly hard
[Demosthenes] Mayan/Incan stonework.
[Demosthenes] Like with the dwarves of Durin, many techniques that seem to be superior have been lost to time.
[Goldberry] Sunshower: havnt read it in a while…
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but I still think that there was real magic in ME, things like Gandalf using his staff to “permit a little light.”
[Yavanna] Stonehenge, the pyramids, easter island, etc
[Demosthenes] We see a lot of that when we arrive in Gondor.
[Darkover] “It is difficult with these evil folk to know when they are in league, and when they are cheating one another.” That linfe of Aragorn stands out for me, Sunshower.
[Susanita] I kinda think of Elf magic as super heightened awareness
[ChristineGolden] The mirror of Galadriel and the Girdle of Melian.
[Darkover] Or a super-kinship with nature, Susanita
[Demosthenes] And Orthanc is an example. A marvellous construction that people look at and go “how did they do that?”
[Susanita] that too
[Darkover] Maybe both
[ChristineGolden] The phial Galadriel gave to Frodo, “to be a light when all others go out.”
[Pete_R] Gotta go. Bye, all. Thanks, Demosthenes
[Demosthenes] Those things are becoming fewer though. Like the ents? Rarer, maybe.
[Susanita] I love that phial
[Goldberry] Me too, bye!
[Darkover] bye, Pete_R!
[Darkover] see you next time, Goldberry!
[Yavanna] Are we talking about quotes from the whole trilogy, or from flotsam and jetsam?
[Goldberry] Cya all!
[ChristineGolden] Perhaps it’s another difference between men and elves.
[Susanita] mostly just the chapter……
[ChristineGolden] I think F&J went out the window awhile ago, Yavanna.
[Yavanna] Bye goldberry!
[Susanita] but we sometimes get further afield as the convo continues
[Demosthenes] I think we’ve covered most of the chapter?
[Darkover] I think so
[Demosthenes] Points we’ve missed?
[Demosthenes] Did we talk the longbottom leaf over enough?
[sunshower] “We understand it all perfectly now”–Gimli
[Susanita] I liked the “Strider was always here” bit
[Susanita] as an aside
[Darkover] Only Aragorn picked up on the significance of finding that leaf at Isengard.
[ChristineGolden] Oh, I’d like to raise a point about that longbottom leaf when the regular discussion is over, Demosthenes, if you don’t mind.
[Demosthenes] suse: oh yes. i did like that too. like i mentioned early on, there is a feeling of (hobbity) homlinessto thgis chapter.
[Yavanna] What? That the scouring of the shire had begun?
[Darkover] He decided to mention it to Gandalf, and I think that is why–many chapters later, when the wizard and the hobbits are traveling back to the Shire–Gandalf mentions that things might not be what the hobbits expect.
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: sure.
[Demosthenes] ‘All except one thing,’ said Aragorn: ‘leaf from the Southfarthing in Isengard. The more I consider it, the more curious I find it. I have never been in Isengard, but I have journeyed in this land, and I know well the empty countries that lie between Rohan and the Shire. Neither goods nor folk have passed that way for many a long year, not openly.
[Demosthenes] Now this is somewhere Aragorn /does/ have expertise.
[Darkover] And, like a King, he is thinking ahead, and about the meaning of facts.
[Demosthenes] ‘Ah well, whatever evil was afoot is over now, I hope; or else it is beyond our reach at present,’ said Aragorn. ‘Yet I think I shall mention it to Gandalf, small matter though it may seem among his great affairs.’
[ChristineGolden] But he’s not really thinking ahead because events are already happening in the Shire, Demosthenes.
[ChristineGolden] darkover. sorry.
[Demosthenes] And this. Is that forshadowing For Gandalf leaving the hobbits just before the scouring?
[Susanita] I always wonder about G leaving them to that
[Darkover] I would say so, Demosthenes. I did, in fact, a moment ago.
[Demosthenes] It’s a thoery!
[ChristineGolden] No, I think it’s a device for the remaining Fellowship to catch up with each other and fill in the blanks for the reader.
[Susanita] but we’ll get there some time next year 😉
[Demosthenes] you beat me too the punch 🙂
[Yavanna] How did i not notice this foreshadowing??
[ChristineGolden] After all, they could hardly sit around and chitchat with the “high and mighty” there.
[Darkover] Well, this chapter does cover a lot more immediate things, Yavanna. It’s easy to do
[LadyInvisible] Hey Susanita, I remember you from a long time here 🙂
[Demosthenes] And there are little things dropped along the way that get picked up later
[ChristineGolden] So, get rid of Gandalf, Theoden, Eomer, etc., and let the old friends catch up.
[Susanita] likewise 🙂
[LadyInvisible] Hey yhere Darkover 🙂
[Yavanna] And possibly its just so unnatural to imagine anything bad happening to the shire
[sunshower] more F&J demz?
[LadyInvisible] Hey Lady 🙂
[Demosthenes] there’s rubbish everywhere in this chapter 🙂
[ChristineGolden] Yes, but Tolkien does that throughout the book, Demosthenes.
[Darkover] Probably, the Shire does seem like the safest place in M-E. It is so conventional.
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: i think the title makes us think of it more here.
[Darkover] But of course, that doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen.
[Susanita] and sheltered … almost cloistered
[Yavanna] What about the different hobbit calanders?
[Demosthenes] it’s a wink and a nudge, perhaps.
[Darkover] I always thought the title of this chapter referred to Merry and Pippin, as much as anything.
[Birdsong] lgbt Hobbits might not be so safe there, then
[ChristineGolden] I don’t know, Demosthenes, I think we’re also supposed to think about wreckage and destruction, not just the cargo, odds and ends.
[Darkover] They were the “flotsam and jetsam” of the battle–carried along by the current, but not unimportant.
[Darkover] And of course, this is a title that ties up a lot of loose ends.
[ChristineGolden] That is an [ahem] very good point, Darkover.
[Yavanna] I thought it meant the turning of the tides between Gandalf and saruman
[ChristineGolden] That doesn’t come until the next chapter, Yavanna.
[Demosthenes] That is indeed next chapter. And that might be a good note to conclude on?
[Yavanna] Oh oops :s
* Birdsong chirps inside of Susanita ‘s pockets
[Darkover] Sounds good. I think we’ve discussed everything.
[Demosthenes] Sweet. Thanks for a great chat everyone. 🙂
Session Close: Sun Jun 30 09:52:37 2013 Posted in Barlimans, Green Books, Hall of Fire, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Two Towers on July 12, 2013 by Demosthenes