A couple of weekends ago, we dived into the big battle of The Two Towers as we discussed Helm’s Deep (Book III, Chapter VII) in Hall of Fire.
For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a log. And a reminder: tomorrow (Saturday June 15 at 6pm EDT) we’ll be moving onto the next chapter as we examine the events of The Road to Isengard.
Session Start: Sun Jun 02 07:33:34 2013
Session Ident: #thehalloffire
* Now talking in #thehalloffire
* Demosthenes changes topic to ‘The HOF topic for this weekend: Helm’s Deep | General TORn chat that-a-way! click –] #theonering.net’
[Demosthenes] Okay, we might as well get started. Latecomers can catch up. 🙂
[ChristineGolden] Okay, back.
[Stozzi] ok boss man :3
[Demosthenes] Was I the only one to note that this chapter is much shorter than the preceding one?
[Puma] all battle chapters in lotr are short
[Demosthenes] Yeah. And that’s really rather interesting.
[esther] I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten to Two Towers yet, so I really only know the movie battle scene
[Puma] i dont think jrr wanted to dwell on the battle itself
[Demosthenes] You get some (pulp) fantasy novelists who base their entire works around battle and hack n slash. But not Tolkien.
[esther] probably not Puma
[Puma] also…..jrr did one battle in detail……the nirnaeth in the sil…i dont think he thought he could top that
[Ingie] nirnaeth is hardly toppable 😉 hello, by the way
[esther] that’s Silmarillion right Puma?
[Puma] and also as a vet….i am sure battles did not bring back good memories
[Demosthenes] Do you think we still get the feel of “war buddies” coming through though?
[Puma] yes esther
[Demosthenes] As in, friendship forged in the crucible of war.
[esther] I have to get some more Tolkien books
[Puma] i think we see that…jrr made that point.big friendships werwe forged in this chapter
[esther] I believe so Demosthenes
[ChristineGolden] I doubt after his experiences in WWI, Tolkien was interested in guts and gore.
[esther] I agree
[Eruanna] I think so, like with Eomer and Aragorn they often say they want to ride into battle together
[Demosthenes] ChristineGolden: i wonder at that also… and that might explain the conciseness of this chapter.
[Puma] yes Eruanna
[Puma] but also eomer and gimli
[Demosthenes] puma: Eomer and Aragorn … Legolas and Gimli?
[Erestel] And of course, Legolas and Gimli with their kill-count game.
[Demosthenes] To some extent Theoden and Aragorn also.
[esther] Legolas and Gimli became fast friends during battle
[Puma] but legolas and gimli were not together in the battle
[Demosthenes] Though perhaps that is more a commander/chief advisor role?
[Puma] they were friends since lorien
[Ingie] the characters don’t really perceive the battles as bloody and gory mess, do they?
[Stozzi] i liked the challenge that legolas and gimli had through out that battle , counting how many orcs they’d killed
[Ingie] it’s more of a simple good/evil contest
[Eruanna] I think their friendship was strengthened in the battle
[Puma] not really.lots of greys
[Puma] legolas and gimli were not together during the battle!!
[esther] Ingie I don’t think they saw the battles as bloody messes, I think they saw it for what it was, saving their world
[Demosthenes] Ingie: no, you see that more from the perspective of the hobbits. Sam with the Easterling. And Merry and Pippin’s perspective at the Pelennor.
[Puma] i dont think they saw it as saving the world……just survive the battle
[esther] I agree with Demosthenes, Ingie
[Demosthenes] And that’s an interesting dualism too. Helm’s Deep gets very much a heroic, broad brush portrayal. Rather than a gritty, realistic one.
* Puma nods
[ChristineGolden] That had to have been a very bloody battle, ester, with axes and swords. I think Tolkien preferred to dwell on other aspects.
[Eruanna] Puma, from memory I think they say to people to tell the other how many they’ve killed and also ask if they have seen them
[Darkover] Mae govannen, Chris and everyone!
[Puma] but did you all notice…..when gandalf left the riders….he knew the ents were at isengard
[Demosthenes] heya Darkover
[Puma] gday Darkover
[Darkover] Hi, Demosthenes and Puma!
[Darkover] What are we discussing?
[esther] of course he wanted to concentrate on something other then the battles
[Puma] legolas saw the shadow coming to isengard.gandalf knew what that meant
[Stozzi] Yes cause gandalf spoke with the ents, when treebread had merry and pippen right?
[Demosthenes] Helm’s Deep. And … the heroic nature of the battle in its portrayal.
[Darkover] Thank you, Demosthenes
[ChristineGolden] Hi, Darkover! 😉
[Puma] also the battles of the fords of isen contribute to this chapter…as the end parts of that in UT.took place at the same time
[Baumbart] Hi everybody
[ChristineGolden] What do you mean by ‘heroic,’ Demosthenes?
[esther] Hi Baumbart
[Darkover] Hey, Baumbart
[Demosthenes] If i wanted to pick some elements that I think reinforce that feeling most, I’d pick the charge of Theoden at the end, and the horn of helm and its effect on the opposing host of orcs.
[esther] as the heroic part?
[Puma] i think of aragorn standing on the ramparts…and warning the uruks and dunlendings
[ChristineGolden] Okay, I agree with those ones, but I didn’t really think the chapter was ‘heroic’ in the traditional sense.
[esther] what is “heroic” in the traditional sense
[Puma] that is why jrr was so good.he is not traditional
[Demosthenes] puma: yes, that is an odd parley as well.
[Darkover] I personally like it when Aragorn and Eomer draw swords together–for the first time, I believe
[ChristineGolden] Medieval, ester, as in knights in shining armor, etc.
[esther] well I guess I’m more into non-traditional
[Ingie] also, there wasn’t the conflict of slaughtering the dunlendings (while the haradrim were shown to be real humans worth of pity)… so once again, balck/white heroism here. No ambiguity
[Puma] i know people always think of rohan as medieval.jrr said it was not
[Ingie] because the dunlendings weren’t really mentioned, at least not their deaths
[brennil] we don’t need knights in shining armer…Rangers in cloaks work better
[ChristineGolden] I didn’t sat that Rohan was medieval, Puma. I was speaking of the battle itself.
[Puma] well no Ingie.the dunlendings surrendered and were given terms and released
[Darkover] If we wanted shades of gray, Ingie, we would probably read modern novels. Personally, I like the fact that in a fairy tale, good and evil are pretty clear-cut
[esther] I agree Brennil I prefer rangers over knights
[Erestel] The Silmarillion had plenty of grey characters, but that’s another discussion.
[esther] I agree Darkover, I love fairy tales for being so clear
[ChristineGolden] Me, too, Darkover, with people having to take a stand for one or the other. And nothing does that more than a battle.
[Puma] lotr all the characters are grey
[Darkover] True, Chris and Esther
[Darkover] just the cloaks, Puma 😉
[Ingie] I love lotr and the good/evil contest 😉 simply saying that this is not the case of gritty realistic war
[Darkover] and the occasional wizard
[esther] lol true it is the cloaks that are grey
[brennil] gritty realistic war is more about greed than good/evil
[Puma] so do you all see the contest between legolas and gimli as to who killed the most…an enviable trait
[esther] I agree again Brennil, real war is about greed
[Demosthenes] puma: It has a sort of gallows humour about it.
[ChristineGolden] No, ester, all wars are about power at their roots. Even the one we’re supposed to be talking about.
[Puma] Aragorn never counted
[brennil] nope, Puma. I see the pity and little bloodlust more enviable
[Darkover] Frankly, Puma, I don’t have a problem with it. When the enemy is knocking down your door, trying to kill innocent people, I frankly don’t blame someone who takes a bit of pride in how many he has killed
[Demosthenes] It’s the sort of things soldiers in the trenches might do to try and stop themselves going mad.
[Darkover] If that is bloodthirsty, then pass the Type O
[Puma] just making a point….no person in lotr is “perfect”
[Elemmire] its true though
[esther] well Chris at least there’s a clear line between good and evil in fantasy, the the real world its not so clear
[ChristineGolden] Patton’s men nailed the ears of German soldiers they had killed to posts.
[ChristineGolden] Really, ester? Because I can think of a list of wars that were between good and evil.
[Puma] and was that “good” Christine?
[Demosthenes] I’m thinking of fighter and bomber squadrons that would mark kills on the fuselages of their planes.
[brennil] they were already dead, Xanaseb
[ChristineGolden] I think so, Puma, but ymmv.
[Xanaseb] still brutal.
[Xanaseb] in anycase
[brennil] I think the lack of respect for enemies shown after death is not a good thing
[Darkover] And I’ve heard of soldiers, in many wars, who would put notches on their rifles for every enemy they killed. It doesn’t shock me.
[Puma] i think jrr was making the point that war is brutal…..and people do things that are normally not in character
[Elemmire] I agree with demosthenes, it does seen like a way of keeping focussed on something
[Xanaseb] indeed Puma.
[esther] in the real world, there aren’t any wars nowadays that have a fine line between good and evil, but that’s just my own opinion, no one has to agree with me
[Elemmire] agree, puma
[brennil] good point Puma and Elemmire
[Darkover] Probably, Elemmire
[Demosthenes] No, I’m not at all shocked. How do we know that Von Ritchofen was the best flying ace in WWI? Someone kept count.
[Eruanna] I think that on ships they used to put notches in cannons for how many battles they were in… or something similar
[Puma] oh.its not shocking.thats the point.was is brutal and people do things not really to be proud about
[Elemmire] So, we can conclude lots of people did it
[Puma] war is brutal
[Darkover] It seems to me that in war, people do what they have to do, and never having been in combat myself, I am not going to judge anyone who keeps a tally or the like, if it helps them get through it.
[Demosthenes] That being said, it is possibly more notable that Aragorn /does not/ keep count.
[Demosthenes] Why do you think?
[Darkover] Maybe he stopped counting long ago, Demosthenes
[Puma] and aragorn probaly killed more than legoalas and gimli
[brennil] he is quite old
[esther] that was interesting to me, that Aragorn never kept count
[brennil] and Legolas and Gimli were having “friendly” competition
[Puma] Aragorn is way younger than either legolas or gimli
[Demosthenes] Darkover: that’s one possibility. he seems to have fought for both rohan and gondor in his youth.
[Darkover] And has fought many battles, for Gondor, Rohan, and the Dunedain
[Darkover] Right, Demosthenes
[brennil] :s oh. miscaculation.
[Darkover] Is Aragorn younger than Gimli?
[Elemmire] well, we don’t know that he never counted…he just didn’t make light of it as legolas and gimli did
[Puma] by many yrs
[esther] yes everyone in all the realms seem to know Aragorn way before the time of LOTR
[Elemmire] it is probable that legolas has been in many battles, given how old he is
[Erestel] Yes, Darkover. I think Gimli was around 160 years old during The Lord of the Rings.
[Puma] gimli was 62 in 2941 when aragorn was 10 in the hobit
[Xanaseb] I know this might sound silly, but maybe it is done in a more humorous way?.. that they are counting usually brings a smile to the reader’s face.. .. I think we might be thinking a little too much into this
[Darkover] Possibly, Xanaseb
[Puma] agreed Xana
[Demosthenes] Aragorn also has more of a commander’s responsibilities here.
[Elemmire] Yeah, I think that it can be seen either way
[Erestel] My mistake, Gimli was 140.
[Demosthenes] He virtually acts as Theoden’s second in command
[Darkover] Also very true, Demosthenes
[Puma] well…..no.he was just a knight serving theoden
[Demosthenes] Eomer defers to him
[Darkover] And Aragorn props up Theoden’s morale, as I recall
[brennil] mutual respect?
[Puma] again aragorn and eomer were separated at the major part of the battle
[Demosthenes] Darkover: yes he does seem to do that.
[Elemmire] A lot of that, of course being Aragorn being who he is
[Darkover] Agreed, Elemmire
[Elemmire] if anyone understood that…
[Eruanna] Perhaps Theoden sees him as a king or a rightful one and therefore respected him and saw him as an equal
[Elemmire] Aragorn does have tha bility to make people follow him but would they have, if they didn’t know who he was
[Darkover] I understand it to mean that Aragorn is a leader, and that is obvious in his conduct, although he never tries to overrule or overreach King Theoden
[Puma] this chapter also forges what will be a lifelong bond between aragorn and eomer
[Elemmire] *the ability
[Darkover] Right, puma
[Demosthenes] Darkover: he does defer to Theoden’s right to command his men. One wonders whether he doubted Theoden’s decision to ride out at the dawn.
[Puma] Aragorn understood the minds of the rohirrim.as he had been among them b4
[Elemmire] uh…I have a question
[Darkover] If he did doubt it, he seems to have kept it to himself
[ChristineGolden] fussy baby – maybe I’ll have better luck next week. gotta go~ ~ ~
[Darkover] bye, Chris
[Darkover] ask away, Elemmire
[Xanaseb] go ahead Elemmire.
[Erestel] We’re all ears.
[Elemmire] The men of Rohan are referred to as many things, Rohirrim, Eorlingas etc. Is there any difference in these terms and, if so, can someone explain please?
[Puma] they all mean horse people
[Darkover] Didn’t rohirrim mean “horse lords,” and Eorlingas mean the people of Eorl the Young?
[Demosthenes] Eorlingas is something like sons of Eorl.
[esther] good question Elemmire, I’ve been wondering what each one meant
[Erestel] Rohirrim is the general term for a man of Rohan. Eorlingas is a term used for men descended from Eorl the Young. There are also Helmlingas, men descended from Helm Hammerhand.
[Puma] but eo means horse
[Darkover] I think Rohan was the name of their kingdom that was given them by the people of Gondor–the name, that is
[Eruanna] I think they have different linguistic origins, but i may be wrong
[Darkover] and I think their name for themselves was Eorlingas
[Puma] in rohan their country was called the riddermark
[Stozzi] arent the people of rohan known as the horse people ? (cant think of correct name for this XD)
[esther] all I know is that Rohan is the realm of the horse-lords
[Stozzi] THERE we go thanks esther :’D
[Jenniearcheo] Hey, sorry I’m late. I was on an archaeological dig at a Late Woodland Indian village with the Fell Beasts
[Demosthenes] Helmlingas would probably be specifically used FOR and ABOUT the men of Westfold.
[esther] you’re welcome Stozzi
[Puma] roch is horse in sindarin
[Demosthenes] That’s my guess anyhow.
[Darkover] Hello, jennie! Hope you and the fell beasts had a good dig
[Elemmire] There’s so many different terms, thank you
[Puma] eo is horse in rohirric
[Elemmire] hey jennie
[Elemmire] I’m less confused now
[Puma] gday jennie
[Xanaseb] Jennie hey 🙂
[Xanaseb] Lasak hey 🙂
[esther] I’m not confused anymore either about the different names of the horse-lords
[Jenniearcheo] I missed it. But I’ll live
[Demosthenes] Perhaps at this point it might be good to return to the chapter, and the intelligence that draws Gandalf away.
* Puma nods
[Demosthenes] And leads him to tell Theoden to head for Helm’s Deep
[Puma] Leolas saw the shadow decending towards isengard.gandalf knew what that meant
[Demosthenes] first this: ‘Many miles lie between,’ said Legolas, gazing thither and shading his eyes with his long hand. ‘I can see a darkness. There are shapes moving in it, great shapes far away upon the bank of the river; but what they are I cannot tell. It is not mist or cloud that defeats my eyes:
[Darkover] One of the men of the guard made a crack about Gandalf’s abrupt departure
[Demosthenes] there is a veiling shadow that some power lays upon the land, and it marches slowly down stream. It is as if the twilight under endless trees were flowing downwards from the hills.’
[Elemmire] How does he know?
[Elemmire] I love the description in that part of the chapter btw. And of the sunset as well
[Puma] legolas could not see the ents.just the shadow they caused
[Elemmire] Sorry, how does Gandalf know?
[Puma] gandalf knew what that meant
[Demosthenes] That is a good question. How does Gandalf know?
[Puma] gandalf knew merry and pippin were with the ents
[esther] I thought Elves could see anything
[Demosthenes] And for what degree of know?
[Lasak] So he kinda used the people of Rohan as a bait?
[Puma] and had also seen treebeard
[Puma] so knew that the ents would have to react
[Darkover] no, Lasak, he just got the Rohirrim–and Theoden–moving, which had to be done
[Demosthenes] Well, that’s not /know/, that’s an educated guess surely?
[Puma] and gandalf also knew that ents move in “shadows”
[jamie] just a question does anyone know if the nre Desolation of smaug trailers arriving soon? as it must be
[Elemmire] ok puma
[Demosthenes] jamie: dunno.
[esther] I heard its arriving on June 14th Jamie
[Stozzi] ok one battle i really like was battle of pelenor (off topic but just saying :3)
[Puma] i dont think it was an educated guess…..gandalf knew
[Xanaseb] Greeny 😀
[jamie] its arriving with the man of steel film I heard the same
[Demosthenes] Then how did he know?
[esther] I agree Stozzi, I loved that one too
[esther] right Jamie
[Darkover] Whether he knew for a fact or not, Gandalf realized this was something that needed his attention
[jamie] right anywaqy thanks bfn
[Demosthenes] Darkover: the arrival of Ceorl seems to have tipped the balance
[Puma] gandalf knew what a bunch of ents and huorns looked like when on the move
[Darkover] Much of this book involves Gandalf encouraging people at one front, only to set off for another and do the same
[esther] who is Ceorl?
[Demosthenes] Things have gone evilly since Théodred fell. We were driven back yesterday over the Isen with great loss; many perished at the crossing. Then at night fresh forces came over the river against our camp. All Isengard must be emptied; and Saruman has armed the wild hillmen and herd-folk of Dunland beyond the rivers, and these also he loosed upon us.
[Jenniearcheo] Hey, LL
[Xanaseb] LL! 🙂
[Elemmire] Gandalf gets people to do stuff, they do it, he gets other people to do other stuff.Basically
[Demosthenes] then gandalf says:
[lorienslady] Hiya Jennie and Xana 🙂
[Demosthenes] ‘Ride, Théoden!’ he said. ‘Ride to Helm’s Deep! Go not to the Fords of Isen, and do not tarry in the plain! I must leave you for a while. Shadowfax must bear me now on a swift errand.’ Turning to Aragorn and Éomer and the men of the king’s household, he cried: ‘Keep well the Lord of the Mark, till I return. Await me at Helm’s Gate! Farewell!’
[Elemmire] hey lady
[Darkover] Right, Elemmire
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[Puma] it was gandalfs job to unite all the parties
[Demosthenes] It’s more Ceorl’s new that prompts Gandalf.
[Stozzi] hmm most of the things gandalf has done has influenced a lot through out of the books if you thing about it
[Darkover] And it was also his job, had been from the beginning, to encourage people to resist Sauron–and in this context, Saruman, too
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[esther] I really need to get to reading the books lol
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[Puma] well.no….when ceorl arrived with the news.gandalf knew not to bother with the fords anymore
[Demosthenes] esther: one of Erkenbrand’s soldiers. A survivor of the battle of the fords of the isen.
[Darkover] You won’t regret it, Esther 🙂
[esther] oh thanks Demosthenes
[Elemmire] Yeah, I agree with puma.
[Jenniearcheo] Me, too
[Puma] and then gandalf also knew..that he needed the ents help…….as b4 he had no idea of the numbers saruman was sending
[esther] Darkover, I’ve been trying to get through the first one
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[Demosthenes] Could the Rohirrim have defeated the orcs in a field battle?
[esther] I’ve watched the movies over 100 times just haven’t gotten through the books yet
[Darkover] The first starts out slow, Esther, give it time
[Puma] to few for a field battle
[Darkover] I doubt it, Demosthenes
[esther] what do u mean by that question Demosthenes
[Stozzi] yet the ents decided to sit and debate on it for ages , until merry and pippen convinced treebeard to pass isengard ?
[Elemmire] I think it depends how many
[Elemmire] Not the whole host
[Elemmire] there were waaaaaay to many
[esther] you are right Darkover, I need to be motivated to read it lol
[Demosthenes] esther: well, Helm’s Deep is essentially a seige battle.
[Puma] merry and pippin did no such thing
[Puma] that is just movie Stozzi
[Puma] which is wrong
[Lasak] helms deep is a strong castle
[Jenniearcheo] which is different
[Puma] the hornburg is the fortress
[Stozzi] Ah but they did have a meeting at the entmoot though right? (need to read book again)
[esther] ok well I think the rohirrim could defeat the orcs no matter where they are
[Puma] the entmoot itself decided to atack
[Darkover] They did. And Merry and Pippin did serve a purpose
[Elemmire] Yeah, but pip and merry werent there
[Eruanna] I don’t think they would have won, the uruk hai managed to break the deeping wall which had stood strong over many seiges
[Elemmire] they were off with the ;hasty’ ent
[Puma] actually after the entmoot began merry and pippin went off with brealad
[Darkover] Maybe, Esther, but I think that if the Rohirrim had fought the Orcs in the field, even if the Rohirrim won, I fear it would have been a Pyrric victory
[Jenniearcheo] Well, . . . at this point, it’s moot
[Jenniearcheo] ar ar
[Darkover] lol, jennie
[esther] Darkover, Pyrrick?
[Puma] theoden only had 1000 men.not enough for an open field battle
[Puma] gamling had another 1000 at hornburg
[Darkover] Esther, that means that the price the Rohirrim would have had to pay in lives, in order to “win,” would have been so high that it wouldn’t have been worth it
[Demosthenes] Alexander the great often fought outnumbered
[Demosthenes] and won.
[Puma] so enough to defend.not to attack
[Eruanna] Pyrric is a victory when the cost of the victory makes it worthless ie the death of eveyone
[esther] oh ok yeah that is true I guess
[Demosthenes] Eruanna: “another such victory shall be the end of us”
[Darkover] Lots of leaders have fought outnumbered and won, Demosthenes, Just as lots have fought outnumbered and lost
[Lasak] well i think they could have met them in open fields
[Darkover] or had a Pyrrhic victory–thank you, Xanaseb
[Demosthenes] Darkover: true enough!
[Lasak] with archers on horses
[Lasak] running close and away again
[Puma] Theoden went to helms deep.cause he knew he had no chance in the open
[esther] I agree Darkover, there have been many victories no matter the count of men in the victor’s camp
[Elemmire] probab;y killled the horses with exhaustion though lasak…
[Demosthenes] Well, he went there cuz Gandalf told him to.
[Elemmire] yeah darkover
[Puma] and knew it was correct
[Lasak] damn.. i forgot about the horses couldn’t run forever
[Puma] gandalf is an advisor.not ruler
[Elemmire] and gandalf know everything…
[Demosthenes] Would Theoden have rejected bad advice?
[Lasak] even if it is the horses of the people of rohan
[Demosthenes] Interesting thought.
[Darkover] I think Theoden had learned by this time that Gandalf did not give bad advice.
[Elemmire] Uh…Theoden listened to Wormtongue for however long it was…not so good with distinguishing bad advice
[esther] well he didn’t reject Wormtongues advice, although yes he was under Saruman’s spell
[Lasak] and would have followed that advice no matter what it was
[Puma] yes true.they had ridden all day.it was nearing dusk….hardly good conditions for horses to fight
[esther] I agree Lasak
[Demosthenes] puma: yes. they did ride hard. they feared to be too late to help Erkenbrand.
[Lasak] at the end of the chapter you see how they follow Gandalfs advice even if it seems like stupidity
[Lasak] when they ride to isengard
[Puma] also besides the ents….gandalf was gathering the men of rohan who had scattered at the fords
[Puma] all would be needed
[Jenniearcheo] Which apparently takes 10 hours
[Darkover] Although in this chapter, the Rohirrim didn’t have a tremendous number of options
[Demosthenes] puma: i thought mostly that he went to find Erkenbrand tbh. And that the visit to Isengard was a secondary affair.
[Puma] at the fords of isen.isengard was delayed…..which was of major import
[Lasak] i’m going to sleep now, must playing a chess tournament now so have to sleep
[Jenniearcheo] Night Lasak
[Demosthenes] night lasak!
[Xanaseb] ciao Lasak 🙂
[Darkover] Goodnight, Lasak, and good luck with your tournament!
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, good luck!
[Stozzi] bye lasak
[Lasak] thanks 🙂
[Stozzi] i best be off to actually work tomorrow yay =-= Enjoy the discussion =D bye
[Darkover] bye, Stozzi
[Demosthenes] The good thing for Theoden was that Erkenbrand’s forces had mostly been routed and scattered, not killed.
[Jenniearcheo] Bye Stozzi
[Puma] when gandalf was out and about……he met both elfhelm and grimbold
[Darkover] Right, so they lived to assemble and fight again
[esther] by Lasak and Stozzi
[Puma] gandalf sent elfhelm back to edoras
[esther] I know Grimbold but not Elfhelm
[Puma] many characters were left out of movies esther
[esther] which means I REALLY need to read the books lol
[Darkover] Or the movies would have been three times as long
[esther] I wouldn’t have minded if they were longer lol
[Demosthenes] The orcs are actually not terribly strategic if you think about it. although they do flank at the Isen in order to make Erekenbrand’s defence untenable.
[Puma] the actual lotr is too complex to be made a movie
[person] true story
[Demosthenes] But at Helm’s Deep they use only overwhelming numbers.
[esther] I agree Demosthenes
[Darkover] well, the orcs seem to be vicious, but not stupid
[esther] I don’t know if i can agree with you on that Puma
[Darkover] Hi, person
[Demosthenes] Darkover: they are very … fierce … in their parley with Aragorn.
[person] Hi 🙂
[Demosthenes] what can we conclude from their words if anything?
[Elemmire] thats one way of putting it demos
[Demosthenes] The Orcs yelled and jeered. ‘Come down! Come down!’ they cried. ‘If you wish to speak to us, come down! Bring out your king! We are the fighting Uruk-hai. We will fetch him from his hole, if he does not come. Bring out your skulking king!’
[Darkover] Indeed, Demosthenes. And the Uruk-hai even have a sort of martial pride and courage, which would be admirable among other circumstances
[Demosthenes] ‘What of the dawn?’ they jeered. ‘We are the Uruk-hai: we do not stop the fight for night or day, for fair weather or for storm. We come to kill, by sun or moon. What of the dawn?’
[Darkover] That is just what I mean. Unlike most Orcs, they don’t fear the sun. It is as if they are the orcs with true martial ardor.
[Darkover] I mean, they seem to take a sort of pride in themselves, like combat soldiers who take pride in their Company or Division
[Demosthenes] Yes, I’d agree with that.
[esther] yeah its interesting that there are different versions of the orcs, ones who don’t like the light and ones who don’t give a damn lol
[Demosthenes] They have a togetherness and a sense of … loyalty? … that is absent from other orcs we meet, both earlier and later.
[Puma] i think we see later that the orcs of minas morgul and cirith ungol have martial ardor
[Demosthenes] puma: but seem more likely to fall out with each other. they have less discipline i guess.
[Darkover] Maybe, Puma, but it seems to me there is a difference between bragging, “We are the fighting Uruk-hai!” and fighting because you will be whipped or otherwise punished if you don’t.
[Puma] i am not sure
[Jenniearcheo] And as you can see, it’s a pretty low threshhold
[Puma] but good point to ponder
[Jenniearcheo] Where there’s a whip, there’s a way? lol
[Darkover] Sick but funny, Jennie
[Jenniearcheo] Well, it’s from Rankin/Bass. That’s the classic Mordor orc perspective
[Demosthenes] Orcs are not as cookie cutter as they appear. Is that because of Saruman? Treebeard described him as having a mind of metal and machines and wheels. And that goes very well with rigid order.
[Puma] rigid order is what sauron was all about Demz
[Demosthenes] Saruman seems more so.
[Elemmire] thats a goos point demos
[Jenniearcheo] Dems, it seems like Saruman would like them to be _more_ cookie cutter
[Demosthenes] I have a different question: what precisely is the devilry of saruman that allows the uruk-hai to destroy the wall?
[Jenniearcheo] Dems, if they had been more rigid and predictable, the fracas wouldn’t have happened when they were taking the hobbits to isengard
[esther] the bombs Demosthenes
[Elemmire] Good point jennie
[Jenniearcheo] It’s all about what’s on the list, esther. It’s just a program
[Darkover] Demosthenes, I always got the impression that the movie got that detail right–that it was probably gunpowder in some form that Saruman used.
[Elemmire] its a bomb/mine in the film
[Eruanna] I think the devilry is explosives, perhaps something similar to gunpowder
[Puma] it was gunpwder
[Puma] saruman sauron and gandalf all had gunpowder
[esther] all I’m saying is its wrong to hold people back that’s all
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, radagastthebrown. Near Washington, D.C.
[Puma] DC.my old college town
[Elemmire] well, unless wizards have magic exploding spells…
[Jenniearcheo] Surely Saruman would have had to be there in person for that . . .
[Darkover] And since gunpowder hadn’t been used before in M-E, it probably did seem like magic to the Rohirrim
[Elemmire] yeah…true darkover
[Puma] sauron used blasting fire.gunpwder..gandalf did fireworks.gunpowder
[Demosthenes] That’s very Arthur C Clarke.
[Darkover] Oh, yes, Puma, you’re right–I forgot Gandalf’s fireworks
[Darkover] Much more delightful than weapons
[Puma] now gandalf also had rocketry
[Jenniearcheo] Which is interesting
[Puma] but he did not use gunpwder for war
[Demosthenes] Did Gandalf get the fireworks from
[Demosthenes] The fireworks of Gandalf came from Dale/Erebor.
[Jenniearcheo] So . . . the rings, magic, whatever, is neither good nor evil, and neither is gunpowder
[Jenniearcheo] It’s just the wielder?
[Elemmire] 3Smaug makes fireworks!lol
[esther] really? the fireworks came frome Erebor/Dale
[Puma] its an interesting concept how the various maiar.had gunpwder….but gandalf did not use his for war.he surely knew it could be
[Jenniearcheo] With the exception of the One Ring
[esther] lol true Elemmire
[Demosthenes] jennie: there is that magic/art dichotomy though.
[Demosthenes] Does gunpowder count here as a “magic”?
[Jenniearcheo] It counts as power
[Puma] not to us….but to people there it would seem magic
[Darkover] Well, you mentioned Arthur C. Clark, Demosthenes, I assume alluding to his comment that once you reach a certain point, science is virtually indistinguishable from magic.
[Elemmire] 3gandalf’s fireworks-werent they described as magical at one point…
[Demosthenes] I mean in its effect.
[Puma] and gandalf had it and used it not for power
[Darkover] and since gunpowder had never before been used as a weapon in M-E, the rohirrim probably didn’t know what it was, and it seemed like dark magic to them.
* Puma nods
* Elemmire agrees
[Puma] same for when sauron used it to blast holes in the rammas
[Jenniearcheo] Was The Shire the only place Gandalf ever set off his fireworks?
[Darkover] Even in the movie “300,” there is a mention of how when weapons failed, “they used their magic,” i.e., gunpowder-based grenades
[Elemmire] theyre never mentioned anywhere else
[Demosthenes] jennie: the only place we know of.
[Puma] the outer wall around the pelennor.not in the movies.though of great import esther
[esther] oh ok thanks Puma
[Jenniearcheo] To the lobbers of the grenades, it might still be magic. If you didn’t know how they were made, but were just lobbin’ ’em.
[Demosthenes] It’s interesting that the dwarves of Erebor don’t think to take the technology any further.
[Elemmire] nice argument youre building here, darkover
[Darkover] But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Aragorn pointed out to one of the hobbits that Gandalf spent a lot of time in a lot of places, that hobbits didn’t know about
[Darkover] Thank you, Elemmire
[Puma] true Darkover
[Darkover] But I imagine Gandalf saved the best for hobbit parties
[Jenniearcheo] But presumably if he’d gone to Rohan and set off a fireworks display . . .
[esther] I agree Darkover
[Jenniearcheo] Well, then again, perhaps Tolkien is implying that good people wouldn’t think of such a use
[Puma] to the hobbits the fireworks were magic
* Elemmire agrees with jennie
[Demosthenes] magia in Tolkien can be used for both good and bad. it’s not good or bad in itself.
[Darkover] Maybe so, Jennie. Tolkien tended to frown on technology, anyway, as he seemed to think it was frequently put to bad uses
[Puma] and its the same with middle earth magic.intent has a big part in if it is “good or bad”
[esther] I agree Demosthenes
[Jenniearcheo] In The Hobbit, he goes out of his way to describe orcs, and how they may be behind our weapons of mass destruction.
[Darkover] I was recalling the same thing, Jennie
[Demosthenes] I’m thinking that this is essentially a kind of magia.
[Puma] jrr said goetic
[Puma] as opposed to magia
[Puma] but even jrr had a hard time distinguishing the 2
[esther] doesn’t everyone have a hard time distinguishing what magic really is
[Puma] jrr makes it complex
[Darkover] He makes it seem like a natural force
[Demosthenes] “the enemy’s operations are by no meas all goetic deceits, but magic that produces real effects in the physical world. but his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goetia to terrify and subjugate.
[esther] u know what I’m still confused about, it sort of has to do with my personal life as well as Tolkien
[Puma] yes Demz.from letters
[Puma] and what is that esther
[Demosthenes] I had to find the reference and type it out. but … Saruman’s and Sauron’s explosive devices that breach walls, and Gandalf’s fireworks all seem to fall inside this magia category.
[Demosthenes] It’s letter 155.
[Jenniearcheo] So with magia you blow up walls and lob rocks. With goetic power you scare people into submission
[Jenniearcheo] Like the black breath
[Demosthenes] I guess so!
[Jenniearcheo] And, presumably . . . the Ring
[Puma] it was a bit more complex than what Demz quoted
[Demosthenes] Or deceive them, like Sauron does with Barahir’s companion.
[esther] I know my mom has her tastes but I really thought she’d want to read the books after I told her that Tolkien was a devout Catholic and my mom is a devout Christian
[Demosthenes] By imitating the dead.
[Puma] but in the end.both good and bad people use both.intent is the key
[Darkover] true, Puma
[Jenniearcheo] Well, esther, it is a matter of taste. Some people are uncomfortable with questioning reality at all. Even in fun.
[Demosthenes] It’s pretty clear that Saruman is into bulldozing here.
[Darkover] does your mom like fantasy, Esther?
[esther] I dunno Darkover she watched a movie once that had fairies in it and didn’t seem to mind
[Puma] i think we have covered this chapter well
[Demosthenes] Yeah, lastly I’d like to flip to the conclusion, and touch on the Huorns. This is the Macbeth rewrite?
[Darkover] We do seem to have covered all points
[Darkover] yes, the moving forest!
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, as I understand it.
[Puma] many scholars think so Demz
[Darkover] A moving, *angry* forest
[Puma] nature rising to protect itself
[esther] ah yes the forest that attacked the fleeing Uruk Hai
[Demosthenes] I always figured this was the moving shadow that Legolas perceived at the beginning of the chapter.
[Puma] it was
[Demosthenes] And later we find out that the Huorns follow the orcs of their own accord? Not by any instruction from Treebeard.
[Darkover] Certainly, those who passed under that shadow never came out again. That implies huorns, or at least *really* angry Ents
[Puma] the movie esther did not show the import of the ents and huorns
[Puma] without them.helms deep would ahve been lost for all the valor of the defense
[Darkover] Although there is a part in the movie where Eomer shouts, “Stay away from the trees!” I assume that is meant to be this moment, that we are discussing.
[Demosthenes] So we see Saruman’s “devilry” and the counterpoint … the revenge of nature that destroys that which would destroy/change it.
[Puma] it was the huorns that killed most of the uruks
[Jenniearcheo] crunchings and munchings
[Demosthenes] One brings about the other.
[esther] um ok Puma you’ll have to explain how they didn’t
[Puma] the huorns were the deciding factor in the battle
[Demosthenes] Forces that are outflanked or surrounded usually lose. Badly.
[Puma] without nature on your side.all the valor will still fail
[esther] the huorns?
[Darkover] Plus, evil trees would be sort of freaky, IMO
[Puma] so treat nature with respect
[esther] I agree Darkover lol
[Jenniearcheo] or else
[Puma] the huorns were the moving trees esther
[Demosthenes] I’m not sure the huorns even after this are particularly on anyone’s side other than their own.
[Puma] agreed Demz
[esther] well I only know one thing, until I’ve read the books, I love the movies more. and I thought the moving trees were called Ents
[Darkover] Well, I doubt if the huorns were drawing many distinctions at that point
[Puma] no.ents were treebeard and ilk
[esther] oh ok
[Demosthenes] Wonder if the Rohirrim had anything to fear.
[Puma] the books are way more complex than movies esther
[Darkover] Ents were the “shepherds of the forest,” esther. Huorns are trees that have gone bad, so to speak, presumably from being mistreated by humans for so long.
[Darkover] Huorns weren’t mentioned in the movies.
[Puma] or also ents that had grown treeish
[Jenniearcheo] Not by name
[Jenniearcheo] But the forest does appear and chew up the Uruk Hai in the EE
[Demosthenes] An odd in-between thing.
[esther] I guess I just like seeing them visually rather than having to picture it in my head Puma
[Darkover] I bet the Rohirrim would have had plenty to fear, Demosthenes, if they had gone too near that “shadow”
[Puma] old man willow was probaly a huron
[Darkover] True, Puma
[Demosthenes] They did take wood from the forest to burn the orcs.
[Darkover] Well, I think they were allowed to do that, so long as it was not living wood
[Puma] ents understand the use of woood.not the useless destruction saruman was doing
[Elemmire] yeah, aragorn legolas and gimli take wood earlier
[esther] I agree Puma
[Puma] it is one of jrr’s green themes
[Demosthenes] Like the Dead (later on) they perform one act to assist the free people’s and then disappear.
[Puma] respect nature
[esther] agreed Puma
[Jenniearcheo] The Grateful Dead do one act? Oh, the armies . . . never mind
[Puma] although the ents did more than one act
[Puma] they defeated a horde of orcs in the wold….
[Darkover] So, have we covered all the aspects of this chapter?
[Puma] that had failed to get into lorien
[Puma] i think so darkover
[Demosthenes] Darkover: i think so. I can’t think of anything else.
[esther] I can’t say so cuz I haven’t actually read the chapter yet
[Puma] good job people
[Darkover] We’ve had a good discussion, as usual 🙂
[Puma] i would encourage you to read lotr esther
[Demosthenes] thanks everyone!
Session Close: Sun Jun 02 09:49:36 2013