Today in Middle Earth

Tolkien alligned the events in Lord of the Rings with a calendar similar to the one we use today. This site tells you exactly what was happening in Middle Earth on any given day of the year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

November 30th BS

T'is time for a Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Tower of Cirith Ungol: The Return of the King

...... "Softly Sam began to climb. He came to the guttering torch, fixed above a door on his left that faced a window-slit looking out westward: one of the red eyes that he and Frodo had seen from down below by the tunnel's mouth. Quickly Sam passed the door and hurried on to the second storey, dreading at any moment to be attacked and to feel throttling fingers seize his throat from behind. He came next to a window looking east and another torch above the door to a passage through the middle of the turret. The door was open, the passage dark save for the glimmer of the torch and the red glare from outside filtering through the window-slit. But here the stair stopped and climbed no further. Sam crept into the passage. On either side there was a low door; both were closed and locked. There was no sound at all.
......'A dead end,' muttered Sam; 'and after all my climb! This can't be the top of the tower. But what can I do now?'
......He ran back to the lower storey and tried the door. It would not move. He ran up again, and sweat began to trickle down his face. He felt that even minutes were precious, but one by one they escaped; and he could do nothing. He cared no longer for Shagrat or Snaga or any other orc that was ever spawned. He longed only for his master, for one sight of his face or one touch of his hand.
......At last, weary and feeling finally defeated, he sat on a step below the level of the passage-floor and bowed his head into his hands. It was quiet, horribly quiet. The torch, that was already burning low when he arrived, sputtered and went out; and he felt the darkness cover him like a tide. And then softly, to his own surprise, there at the vain end of his long journey and his grief, moved by what thought in his heart he could not tell, Sam began to sing.
......His voice sounded thin and quavering in the cold dark tower: the voice of a forlorn and weary hobbit that no listening orc could possibly mistake for the clear song of an Elven-lord. He murmured old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo's rhymes that came into his mind like fleeting glimpses of the country of his home. And suddenly new strength rose in him, and his voice rang out, while words of his own came unbidden to fit the simple tune.

......'In western lands beneath the Sun
........the flowers may rise in Spring
......the trees may bud, the waters run,
........the merry finches sing.
......Or there may be 'tis cloudless night
........and swaying beeches bear
......the Elven-stars like jewels white
........amid their branching hair.

......Though here at journey's end I lie darkness buried deep,
......beyond all towers strong and high,
........beyond all mountain steep
......above all shadows rides the Sun
........and stars forever dwell:
......I will not say the day is done,
........nor bid the stars farewell.'

......'Beyond all towers strong and high,' he began again, and then he stopped short. He thought that he had heard a faint voice answering him. But now he could hear nothing. Yes, he could hear something, but not a voice. Footsteps were approaching."

Monday, November 29, 2004

November 29th BS

It's TIME for some BS

Back to work after a few days off. Usually have meetings on Monday's... so how about a meeting Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen?

From The Council of Elrond: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "The Elves returned no answer. 'Did you not hear me, Glóin?' said Elrond. 'The Three were not made by Sauron, nor did he ever touch them. But of them it is not permitted to speak. So much only in this hour of doubt I may now say. They are not idle. But they were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained. These things the Elves of Middle-earth have in some measure gained, though with sorrow. But all that has been wrought by those who wield the Three will turn to their undoing, and their minds and hearts will become revealed to Sauron, if he regains the One. It would be better if the Three had never been. That is his purpose.'
...... 'But what then would happen, if the Ruling Ring were destroyed, as you counsel?' asked Glóin.
...... We know not for certain,' answered Elrond sadly. 'Some hope that the Three Rings, which Sauron has never touched, would then become free, and their rulers might heal the hurts of the world that he has wrought. But maybe when the One has gone, the Three will fail, and many fair things will fade and be forgotten. That is my belief.'
...... 'Yet all the Elves are willing to endure this chance,' said Glorfindel, 'if by it the power of Sauron may be broken, and the fear of his dominion be taken away for ever.'
...... 'Thus we return once more to the destroying of the Ring,' said Erestor, 'and yet we come no nearer. What strength have we for the finding of the Fire in which it was made? That is the path of despair. Of folly I would say, if the long wisdom of Elrond did not forbid me.'
...... 'Despair, or folly?' said Gandalf. 'It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.'
...... 'At least for a while,' said Elrond. 'The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.'"

Saturday, November 27, 2004

November 27th BS

From Akallabêth: The Silmarillion

...... "...And Sauron urged the King to cut down the White Tree, Nimloth the Fair, that grew in his courts, for it was a memorial of the Eldar and the light of Valinor.

...... At the first the King would not assent to this, since he believed that the fortunes of his house were bound up with the Tree, as was forespoken by Tar-Palantír. Thus in his folly he who now hated the Eldar and the Valar vainly clung to the shadow of the old allegiance of Númenor. But when Amandil heard rumour of the evil purpose of Sauron he was grieved to the heart, knowing that in the end Sauron would surely have his will. Then he spoke to Elendil and the sons of Elendil, recalling the tale of the Trees of Valinor; and Isildur said no word, but went out by night and did a deed for which he was afterwards renowned. For he passed alone in disguise to Armenelos and to the courts of the King, which were now forbidden to the Faithful; and he came to the place of the Tree, which was forbidden to all by the orders of Sauron, and the Tree was watched day and night by guards in his service. At that time Nimloth was dark and bore no bloom, for it was late in the autumn, and its winter was nigh; and Isildur passed through the guards and took from the Tree a fruit that hung upon it, and turned to go. But the guard was aroused, and he was assailed, and fought his way out, receiving many wounds; and he escaped, and because he was disguised it was not discovered who had laid hands on the Tree. But Isildur came at last hardly back to Rómenna and delivered the fruit to the hands of Amandil, ere his strength failed him. Then the fruit was planted in secret, and it was blessed by Amandil; and a shoot arose from it and sprouted in the spring. But when its first leaf opened then Isildur, who had lain long and come near to death, arose and was troubled no more by his wounds."

The Faces of Elanor Gamgee

For our Princess... Alexandra Astin

Happy Birthday! :) (Born November 27th 1996)

...... "'Well, Sam,' said Frodo, 'what's wrong with the old customs? Choose a flower name like Rose. Half the maidchildren in the Shire are called by such names, and what could be better?'
...... 'I suppose you're right, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam. 'I've heard some beautiful names on my travels, but I suppose they're a bit too grand for daily wear and tear, as you might say. The Gaffer, he says: "Make it short, and then you won't have to cut it short before you can use it." But if it's to be a flower-name, then I don't trouble about the length: it must be a beautiful flower, because, you see, I think she is very beautiful, and is going to be beautifuller still.'
Frodo thought for a moment. 'Well, Sam, what about elanor, the sun-star, you remember the little golden flower in the grass of Lothlórien?'
...... 'You're right again, Mr. Frodo!' said Sam delighted. 'That's what I wanted.'

...... Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.

...... Master Samwise and his wife and Elanor ride to Gondor and stay there for a year. Elanor the Fair is one of the maids of Queen Evenstar.
...... She became known as 'the Fair' because of her beauty; many said that she looked more like an elf-maid than a hobbit. She had golden hair, which had been very rare in the Shire; but two others of Samwise's daughters were also golden-haired, and so were many of the children born at this time.

...... Elanor the Fair marries Fastred of Greenholm on the Far Downs.

...... Fastred and Elanor become Wardens of the Westmarch (a region newly inhabited); the take up their dwelling on the slopes of the Tower Hills, where their descendants, the Fairbairns of Westmarch, dwell for many generations.

...... Master Samwise rides out from Bag End. He comes to the Tower Hills, and is last seen by Elanor, to whom he gives the Red Book afterwards kept by the Fairbairns. Among them the tradition is handed down from Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers, and went to the Grey Havens, and passed over the Sea, last of the Ring-bearers."


From the unpublished Epilogue:

......'But I don't want to look at myself, Sam-dad. I want to look at other things. I want to see the hill of Amroth where the King met Arwen, and the silver trees, and the little white niphredil, and the golden elanor in the grass that is always green. And I want to hear Elves singing.'
......'Then, maybe, you will one day, Elanor. I said the same when I was your age, and long after it, and there didn't seem to be no hope. And yet I saw them, and I heard them.'
......'I was afraid they were all sailing away, Sam-dad. Then soon there would be none here; and then everywhere would be just places, and'
......'And what, Elanorellë?'
......'And the light would have faded.'
......'I know,' said Sam. 'The light is fading, Elanorellë. But it won't go out yet. It won't ever go quite out, I think now, since I have had you to talk to. For it seems to me now that people can remember it who have never seen it. And yet,' he sighed, 'even that is not the same as really seeing it, like I did.'
......'Like really being in a story?' said Elanor. 'A story is quite different, even when it is about what happened. I wish I could go back to the old days!'
......'Folk of our sort often wish that,' said Sam. 'You came at the end of a great Age, Elanorellë; but though it's over, as we say, things don't really end sharp like that. It's more like a winter sunset. The High Elves have nearly all gone now with Elrond. But not quite all; and those that didn't go will wait now for a while. And the others, the ones that belong here, will last even longer. There are still things for you to see, and maybe you'll see them sooner than you hope.'
......Elanor was silent for some time before she spoke again. 'I did not understand at first what Celeborn meant when he said goodbye to the King.' she said. 'But I think I do now. He knew that Lady Arwen would stay, but Galadriel would leave him. I think it was very sad for him. And for you dear Sam-dad.' Her hand felt for his, and his brown hand clasped her slender fingers. 'For your treasure went too. I am glad Frodo of the Ring saw me, but I wish I could remember seeing him.'
......It was sad, Elanorellë,' said Sam, kissing her hair. 'It was, but it isn't now. For why? Well for one thing, Mr. Frodo has gone where the elven-light isn't fading; and he deserved his reward. But I have mine, too. I have had lots of treasures. I am a very rich hobbit. And there is one other reason, which I shall whisper to you, a secret I have never told before to no one, nor put in the Book yet. Before he went Mr. Frodo said that my time maybe would come. I can wait. I think maybe we haven't said farewell for good. But I can wait. I have learned that much from the Elves at any rate. They are not so troubled about time. And so I think Celeborn is still happy among his trees, in an Elvish way. His time hasn't come, and he isn't tired of his land yet. When he is tired he can go.'
......'And when you're tired, you will go, Sam-dad. You will go to the Havens with the Elves. Then I shall go with you. I shall not part with you, like Arwen did with Elrond.'
......'Maybe, maybe,' said Sam kissing her gently. 'And maybe not. The choice of Lúthien and Arwen comes to many, Elanorellë, or something like it; and it isn't wise to choose before the time.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

November 25th BS

It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S. (snowbound where I sit!). A perfect excuse for blowing diets! In the spirit of the holiday of feasting with friends and family... a bit of a Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Flotsam and Jetsam: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "The hobbits led the way; and they passed under the arch and came to a wide door upon the left, at the top of a stair. It opened direct into a large chamber, with other smaller doors at the far end, and a hearth and chimney at one side. The chamber was hewn out of the stone; and it must once have been dark, for its windows looked out only into the tunnel. But light came in now through the broken roof. On the hearth wood was burning.
...... 'I lit a bit of fire,' said Pippin. 'It cheered us up in the fogs. 'There were few faggots about, and most of the wood we could find was wet. But there is a great draught in the chimney: it seems to wind away up through the rock, and fortunately it has not been blocked. A fire is handy. I will make you some toast. The bread is three or four days old, I am afraid.'
...... 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 floods, luckily,' said Pippin, as they came back laden with dishes, bowls, cups, knives, and food of various sorts.'
...... 'And you need not turn up your nose at the provender, Master Gimli,' said Merry. 'This is not orc-stuff, but manfood, as Treebeard calls it. Will you have wine or beer? There's a barrel inside there---very passable. And this is first-rate salted pork. Or I can cut you some rashers of bacon and broil them, if you like. I am sorry there is no green stuff: the deliveries have been rather interrupted in the last few days! I cannot offer you anything to follow but butter and honey for your bread. Are you content?'
......'Indeed yes,' said Gimli. 'The score is much reduced.'
...... 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.
...... '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.'

...... [Merry] '...if you have finished eating---you shall fill your pipes and light up. And then for a little while we can pretend that we are all back safe at Bree again or in Rivendell.'
...... He produced a small leather bag full of tobacco. 'We have heaps of it,' he said; 'and you can all pack as much as you wish, when we go. We did some salvage-work this morning, Pippin and I. There are lots of things floating about. It was Pippin who found two small barrels, washed up out of some cellar or store-house, I suppose. When we opened them, we found they were filled with this: as fine a pipe-weed as you could wish for, and quite unspoilt.'
...... Gimli took some and rubbed it in his palms and sniffed it. 'It feels good, and it smells good,' he said.
...... 'It is good!' said Merry. 'My dear Gimli, it is Longbottom Leaf! There were the Hornblower brandmarks on the barrels, as plain as plain. How it came here, I can't imagine. For Saruman's private use, I fancy. I never knew that it went so far abroad. But it comes in handy now.'
...... 'It would,' said Gimli, 'if I had a pipe to go with it. Alas, I lost mine in Moria, or before. Is there no pipe in all your plunder?'
...... 'No, I am afraid not,' said Merry. 'We have not found any, not even here in the guardrooms. Saruman kept this dainty to himself, it seems. And I don't think it would be any use knocking on the doors of Orthanc to beg a pipe of him! We shall have to share pipes, as good friends must in a pinch.'
...... 'Half a moment!'; said Pippin. Putting his hand inside the breast of his jacket he pulled out a little soft wallet on a string. 'I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as Rings to me. Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another: an unused one. I have carried it a long way, though I don't know why. I never really expected to find any pipe-weed on the journey, when my own ran out. But now it comes in useful after all.' He held up a small pipe with a wide flattened bowl, and handed it to Gimli. 'Does that settle the score between us?' he said.
...... 'Settle it!' cried Gimli. 'Most noble hobbit, it leaves me deep in you debt.'
...... 'Well, I am going back into the open air, to see what the wind and sky are doing!' said Legolas.
...... 'We will come with you,' said Aragorn.
...... They went out and seated themselves upon the piled stones before the gateway. They could see far down into the valley now; the mists were lifting and floating away upon the breeze.
...... 'Now let us take our ease here for a little!' said Aragorn. 'We will sit on the edge of ruin and talk, as Gandalf says, while he is busy elsewhere. I feel a weariness such as I have seldom felt before.' He wrapped his grey cloak about him, hiding his mail-shirt, and stretched out his long legs. Then he lay back and sent from his lips a thin stream of smoke.
...... 'Look!' said Pippin. 'Strider the Ranger has come back!'
...... 'He has never been away,' said Aragorn. 'I am Strider and Dúnadan too, and I belong both to Gondor and the North.'
...... 'Here are some treasures that you let fall,' said Aragorn. 'You will be glad to have them back.' He loosened his belt from under his cloak, and took from it the two sheathed knives.
......'Well!' said Merry. 'I never expected to see those again! I marked a few orcs with mine; but Uglúk took them from us. How he glared! At first I thought he was going to stab me, but he threw the things away as if they burned him.'
...... 'And here also is your brooch, Pippin,' said Aragorn. 'I have kept it safe, for it is a very precious thing.'
...... 'I know,' said Pippin. 'It was a wrench to let it go; but what else could I do?'
...... 'Nothing else,' answered Aragorn. 'One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters. You did rightly.'"

Cheers, y'all :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

November 23rd BS

From The Breaking of the Fellowship: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "The others remained long by the river-side. For some time they had been silent, moving restlessly about; but now they were sitting in a circle, and they were talking. Every now and again they made efforts to speak of other things, of their long road and many adventures; they questioned Aragorn concerning the realm of Gondor and its ancient history, and the remnants of its great works that could still be seen in this strange border-land of the Emyn Muil: the stone kings and the seats of Lhaw and Hen, and the great Stair beside the falls of Rauros. But always their thoughts and words strayed back to Frodo and the Ring. What would Frodo choose to do? Why was he hesitating?
...... 'He is debating which course is the most desperate, I think' said Aragorn. 'And well he may. It is now more hopeless than ever for the Company to go east, since we have been tracked by Gollum, and must fear that the secret of our journey is already betrayed. But Minas Tirith is no nearer to the Fire and the destruction of the Burden.
......'We may remain there for a while and make a brave stand; but the Lord Denethor and all his men cannot hope to do what even Elrond said was beyond his power: either to keep the Burden secret, or to hold off the full might of the Enemy when he comes to take it. Which way would any of us choose in Frodo's place? I do not know. Now indeed we miss Gandalf most.'
......'Grievous is our loss,' said Legolas. 'Yet we must needs make up our minds without his aid. Why cannot we decide, and so help Frodo? Let us call him back and then vote! I should vote for Minas Tirith.'
......'And so should I,' said Gimli. 'We, of course, were only sent to help the Bearer along the road, to go no further than we wished; and none of us is under any oath or command to seek Mount Doom. Hard was my parting from Lothlórien. Yet I have come so far, and I say this: now we have reached the last choice, it is clear to me that I cannot leave Frodo. I would choose Minas Tirith, but if he does not, then I follow him.'
......'And I too will go with him,' said Legolas. 'It would be faithless now to say farewell.'
......'It would indeed be a betrayal, if we all left him,' said Aragorn. 'But if he goes east, then all need not go with him; nor do I think that all should. That venture is desperate: as much as for eight as for three or two, or one alone. If you would let me choose, then I should appoint three companions: Sam, who could not bear it otherwise; and Gimli; and myself. Boromir will return to his own city, where his father and his people need him; and with him the others should go, or at least Meriadoc and Peregrin, if Legolas is not willing to leave us.'
......'That won't do at all!' cried Merry. 'We can't leave Frodo! Pippin and I always intended to go wherever he went, and we still do. But we did not realize what that would mean. It seemed different so far away, in the Shire or in Rivendell. It would be mad and cruel to let Frodo go to Mordor. Why can't we stop him?'
......'We must stop him,' said Pippin. 'And that is what he is worrying about, I am sure. He knows we shan't agree to his going east. And he doesn't like to ask anyone to go with him, poor old fellow. Imagine it: going off to Mordor alone!' Pippin shuddered. 'But the dear silly old hobbit, he ought to know that he hasn't got to ask. He ought to know that if we can't stop him, we shan't leave him!'"

Sunday, November 21, 2004

November 21st BS

Something slightly different for Christopher Tolkien's Birthday.

let us thank him for bringing us the Silmarillion and HoMe and everything else his father created but did not live to see published.

Happy 80th Birthday (Born 21st November 1924)

with words from book and film by linkinparkelf whose birthday was the 19th

“Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is.”
Don’t know if I agree with Mick Jagger. Seems to me that time moves inexorably forward, at an alarmingly faster rate with each candle that I add to my birthday cake. As I look back over the past year I am impressed with how much of it has been dedicated to Tolkien and TORn, time well spent for the most part. The hours spent with cup of tea in one hand and mouse, book or remote control in the other, with this mind melding e-community of bodiless, voiceless yet oh so wonderful, loveable ringers have been a blast. In thanks, and with the thought of how Tolkien wove themes of time throughout his ME writings, I offer this compilation of all the instances the word TIME is used in the three movies, with a quote or two from the book added in at the end.

Fellowship of the Ring

Galadriel: And the Ring of power perceived…it’s TIME had now come.
Galadriel: For the TIME will soon come when Hobbits will shape the fortunes of all.

Bilbo: They spent so much TIME arguing the whether-tos and the why-fors that the sun’s first light crept over the top of the trees and turned them all to stone!
Bilbo: But alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a TIME to live amongst such excellent and admirable Hobbits.
Bilbo: It’s late. The road is long. Yes, it is TIME.
Gandalf: But we still have TIME. TIME enough to counter Sauron if we act quickly.
Saruman: TIME? What TIME do you think we have?
Elrond: The TIME of the Elves is over. My people are leaving these shores.
Elrond: He turned from that path a long TIME ago. He has chosen exile.
Arwen: Your TIME will come.
Arwen: I would rather share one LIFETIME with you than face all the Ages of this world alone.
Bilbo: The blade glows blue when Orcs are close, and it’s TIMES like that, my lad, that you have to be extra careful.
Bilbo: I should very much like to hold it again, one last TIME.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such TIMES. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the TIME that is given us.
Gandalf: Throw yourself in next TIME, and rid us of your stupidity.
Gimli: Nothing, except to look upon the lady of the Galadhrim, one last TIME, for she is more fair than all the jewels beneath the earth.
Frodo: You can’t help me, Sam. Not this TIME.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such TIMES, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the TIME that is given to you.

The Two Towers

Frodo: That was your name once, a long TIME ago.
Gandalf: Darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and TIME; the stars wheeled overhead and every day was as long as a life age of the earth.
Gandalf: Three hundred lives of Men I’ve walked this earth and now I have no TIME.
Aragorn: I was raised in Rivendell, for a TIME.
Theoden: I haven’t seen my niece smile for a long TIME.
Elrond: Our TIME here is ending. Arwen’s TIME is ending.
Treebeard: There was a TIME when Saruman would walk in my woods, but now he has a mind of metal.
Elrond: Arwen, Torenilu (It is TIME).
Elrond: Whether by the sword or the slow decay of TIME, Aragorn will die and there will be no comfort for you, my daughter, no comfort to ease the pain of his passing.
Galadriel: The TIME of the Elves is over. Do we leave Middle Earth to it’s fate? Do we let them stand alone?
Merry: We’re running out of TIME!
Treebeard: Takes a long TIME to say anything in old Entish and we never say anything unless it takes a long TIME to say.
Pippin: No we won’t. Not this TIME.
Theoden: The Horn of Hammerhand shall sound in the Deep, one last TIME.

Return of the King

Gollum: Come on. Must go. No TIME, no TIME to lose, silly.
Aragorn: We have TIME. Every day Frodo moves closer to Mordor.
Pippin: I just want to look at it, one last TIME.
Arwen: If I leave him now, I will regret it forever. It is TIME.
Gandalf: MY Lord, there will be a TIME to grieve for Boromir, but it is not now.
Gandalf: We come to it at last, the great Battle of our TIME.
Gothmog: The age of men is over. The TIME of the orc has come.
Pippin: But we have no songs for great halls or evil TIMES.
Arwen: I wish I could have seen him, one last TIME.
Aragorn: Not this TIME. This TIME you must stay, Gimli.
Theoden: I would have you smile again, not grieve for those whose TIME has come.
Legolas: Long ago the men of the mountains swore an oath to the last King of Gondor, to come to his aid, but when the TIME to fight, when Gondor’s need was dire they fled, vanishing into the darkness of the mountain.
Gimli: You waste your TIME, Aragorn, they had no honor in life, they have none now in death.
Gollum: Got away did it, precious? Not this TIME. Not this TIME!
Gandalf: It’s only a matter of TIME.
Aragorn: He needs TIME and safe passage across the plains of Gorgoroth.
Frodo: There are some things that TIME cannot mend; some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.
Bilbo: Oh, pity. I should have liked to have held it, one last TIME.
Galadriel: The power of the Three Rings is ended. The TIME has come for the dominion of Men.
Gandalf: It is TIME, Frodo.

From the book, a couple of short passages about Frodo and his TIME in Lothlorien:

“As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of Silverlode a strange feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of TIME into a corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lorien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world.”

“They followed him (Haldir) as he stepped lightly up the grassclad slopes. Though he walked and breathed, and about him living leaves and flowers were stirred by the same cool wind as fanned his face, Frodo felt that he was in a TIMELESS land that did not fade or change or fall into forgetfulness. When he had gone and passed again into the outer world, still Frodo the wanderer from the Shire would walk there, upon the grass among elanor and niphredil in fair Lothlorien.”

Galadriel from the prologue,
“Much that once was is lost, for none now live to remember it”,

Saturday, November 20, 2004

November 20th BS

It is Bruce Hopkins Birthday Today

From A Journey in the Dark: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "'The answer to your first question, Boromir,' said the wizard, 'is that I do not know the word—-yet. But we shall soon see. And,' he added, with a glint in his eyes under their bristling brows, 'you may ask what is the use of my deeds when they are proved useless. As for your other questions: do you doubt my tale? Or have you no wits left? I did not enter this way. I came from the East.
...... 'If you wish to know, I will tell you that these doors open outwards. From the inside you may thrust them open with your hands. From the outside nothing will move them save the spell of command. They cannot be forced inwards.'
...... 'What are you going to do then?' asked Pippin, undaunted by the wizard's bristling brows.
......'Knock on the doors with your head, Peregrine Took,' said Gandalf. 'But if that does not shatter them, and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will seek for the opening words.
...... 'I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs, that was ever used to such a purpose. I can still remember ten score of them without searching in my mind. But only a few trials, I think, will be needed; and I shall not have to call on Gimli for words of the secret dwarf-tongue that they teach to none. The opening words were Elvish, like the writing on the arch: that seems certain.'
...... He stepped up to the rock again, and lightly touched with his staff the silver star in the middle beneath the sign of the anvil.

Annon edhellen, edro hi amine!
Fennas nogothrim, lasts beth lammen!

he said in a commanding voice. The silver lines faded, but the blank grey stone did not stir.
...... Many times he repeated these words in different order, or varied them. Then he tried other spells, one after another, speaking now faster and louder, now soft and slow. Then he spoke many single words of Elvish speech. Nothing happened. The cliff towered into the night, the countless stars were kindled, the wind blew cold, and the doors stood fast.
...... Again Gandalf approached the wall, and lifting up his arms he spoke in tones of command and rising wrath. Edro, edro! he cried, and struck the rock with the staff. Open open! he shouted, and followed it with the same command in every language that had ever been spoken in the West of Middle-earth. Then he threw his staff on the ground, and sat down in silence."

Friday, November 19, 2004

November 19th BS

From the Muster of Rohan: The Return of the King

...... "The King turned to Merry. 'I am going to war, Master Meriadoc,' he said. 'In a little while I shall take the road. I release you from my service, but not from my friendship. You shall abide here, and if you will, you shall serve the Lady Éowyn, who will govern the folk in my stead.'
...... 'But, but, lord,' Merry stammered, 'I offered you my sword. I do not want to be parted from you like this, Théoden King. And as all my friends have gone to the battle, I should be ashamed to stay behind.'
...... 'But we ride on horses tall and swift,' said Théoden; 'and great though your heart be you cannot ride on such beasts.'
...... 'Then tie me onto the back of one, or let me hang on a stirrup, or something,' said Merry. 'It is a long way to run; but run I shall, if I cannot ride, even if I were my feet off and arrive weeks too late.'
...... Théoden smiled. 'Rather than that I would bear you with me on Snowmane,' he said. 'But at the least you shall ride with me to Edoras and look on Meduseld; for that way I shall go. So far Stybba can bear you: the great race will not begin till we reach the plains.'
...... Then Éowyn rose up. 'Come now, Meriadoc!' she said. 'I will show you the gear that I have prepared for you. They went out together. 'This request only did Aragorn make to me,' said Éowyn, as they passed among the tents, 'that you should be armed for battle. I have granted it, as I could. For my heart tells me that you will need such gear ere the end.'
...... Now she led Merry to a booth among the lodges of the king's guard; and there an armourer brought out to her a small helm, and a round shield, and other gear.
...... 'No mail have we to fit you,' said Éowyn, 'nor any time for the forging of such a hauberk; but here is also a stout jerkin of leather, a belt and a knife. A sword you have.'
...... Merry bowed, and the lady showed him the shield, which was like the shield that had been given to Gimli, and it bore on it the device of the white horse. 'Take all these things,' she said, 'and bear them to good fortune! Fare well now, Master Meriadoc! Yet maybe we shall meet again, you and I.'"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

November 18th BS

From A Knife in the Dark: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "Sam and got up and walked away from the fire. Frodo and Pippin remained seated in silence. Strider was watching the moonlight on the hill intently. All seemed quiet and still, but Frodo felt a cold dread creeping over his heart, now that Strider was no longer speaking. He huddled closed to the fire. At that moment Sam came running back from the edge of the dell.
...... 'I don't know what it is,' he said, 'but I suddenly felt afraid. I durstn't go outside this dell for any money; I felt that something was creeping up the slope.'
...... 'Did you see anything?' asked Frodo, springing to his feet.
...... 'No, sir. I saw nothing, but I didn't stop to look.'
...... 'I saw something,' said Merry; 'or I thought I did—away westwards where the moonlight was falling on the flats beyond the shadow of the hill-tops, I thought there were two or three black shapes. They seemed to be moving this way.'
......'Keep close to the fire, with your faces outward!' cried Strider. 'Get some of the longer sticks ready in your hands!'
...... For a breathless time they sat there, silent and alert, with their backs turned to the wood-fire, each gazing into the shadows that encircled them. Nothing happened. There was no sound or movement in the night. Frodo stirred, feeling that he must break the silence: he longed to shout out loud.
...... 'Hush!' whispered Strider. 'What's that?' gasped Pippin at the same moment.
...... Over the lip of the little dell, on the side away from the hill, they felt, rather than saw, a shadow rise, one shadow or more than one. They strained their eyes, and the shadows seemed to grow. Soon there could be no doubt: three or four tall black figures were standing there on the slope, looking down on them. So black were they that they seemed like black holes in the deep shade behind them. Frodo thought that he heard a faint hiss as of venomous breath and felt a thin piercing chill. Then the shapes slowly advanced."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

November 17th BS

From The Uruk-hai: The Two Towers

...... "He struggled a little, quite uselessly. One of the Orcs sitting near laughed and said something to a companion in their abominable tongue. 'Rest while you can, little fool! he said then to Pippin, in the Common Speech, which he made almost as hideous as his own language. 'Rest while you can! We'll find a use for your legs before long. You'll wish you had got none before we get home.'
...... 'If I had my way, you'd wish you were dead now,' said the other. 'I'd make you squeak, you miserable rat.' He stooped over Pippin, bringing his yellow fangs close to his face. He had a black knife with a long jagged blade in his hand. 'Lie quiet, or I'll tickle you with this,' he hissed. 'Don't draw attention to yourself, or I may forget my orders. Curse the Isengarders! Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob búbhosh skai': he passed into a long angry speech in his own tongue that slowly died away into muttering and snarling.
...... Terrified Pippin lay still, though the pain at his wrists and ankles was growing, and the stones beneath him were boring into his back. To take his mind off himself he listened intently to all that he could hear. There were many voices round about, and though orc-speech sounded at all times full of hate and anger, it seemed plain that something like a quarrel had begun, and was getting hotter.
...... To Pippin's surprise he found that much of the talk was intelligible; many of the Orcs were using ordinary language. Apparently the members of two or three quite different tribes were present, and they could not understand one another's orc-speech. There was an angry debate concerning what they were to do now: which way they were to take and what should be done with the prisoners.
...... 'There's no time to kill them properly,' said one. 'No time for play on this trip.'
...... 'That can't be helped,' said another. 'But why not kill them quick, kill them now? They're a cursed nuisance, and we're in a hurry."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Novermber 16th BS

From The Shadow of the Past: The Fellowship of the Ring

...... "'Well, as for the name, Bilbo very foolishly told Gollum himself; and after that it would not be difficult to discover his country, once Gollum came out. Oh yes, he came out. His longing for the Ring proved stronger than his fear of the Orcs, or even of the light. After a year or two he left the mountains. You see, though still bound by desire of it, the Ring was no longer devouring him; he began to revive a little. He felt old, terribly old, yet less timid, and he was mortally hungry.
...... 'Light, light of Sun and Moon, he still feared and hated, and he always will, I think; but he was cunning. He found he could hide from daylight and moonshine, and make his way swiftly and softly by dead of night with his pale cold eyes, and catch small frightened or unwary things. He grew stronger and bolder with new food and new air. He found his way into Mirkwood, as one would expect.'
...... 'Is that where you found him?' asked Frodo.
...... 'I saw him there,' answered Gandalf, 'but before that he had wandered far, following Bilbo's trail. It was difficult to learn anything from him for certain, for his talk was constantly interrupted by curses and threats. "What had it got in its pocketses?" he said. "It wouldn't say, no precious. Little cheat. Not a fair question. It cheated first, it did. It broke the rules. We ought to have squeezed it, yes precious. And we will, precious!"
......'That is a sample of his talk. I don't suppose you want any more. I had weary days of it. But from hints dropped among the snarls I gathered that his padding feet had taken him at last to Esgaroth, and even to the streets of Dale, listening secretly and peering. Well, the news of the great events went far and wide in Wilderland, and many had heard Bilbo's name and knew where he came from. We had made no secret of our return journey to his home in the West. Gollum's sharp ears would soon learn what he wanted.'
...... 'Then why didn't he track Bilbo further?' asked Frodo. 'Why didn't he come to the Shire?'
...... 'Ah,' said Gandalf, 'now we come to it. I think Gollum tried to. He set out and came back westward, as far as the Great River. But then he turned aside. He was not daunted by the distance, I am sure. No, something else drew him away. So my friends think, those that hunted him for me.
...... 'The Wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, though they never caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birds. The Woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, a ghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find cradles.
...... 'But at the western edge of Mirkwood the trail turned away. It wandered off southwards and passed out of the Wood-elves ken, and was lost. And then I made a great mistake. Yes, Frodo, and not the first; though I fear it may prove the worst. I let the matter be. I let him go; for I had much else to think of at that time, and I still trusted the lore of Saruman.
...... 'Well, that was years ago. I have paid for it since with many dark and dangerous days. The trail was long cold when I took it up again, after Bilbo left here. And my search would have been in vain, but for the help that I had from a friend: Aragorn, the greatest traveller and huntsman of this age of the world. Together we sought for Gollum down the whole length of Wilderland, without hope, and without success. But at last, when I had given up the chase and turned to other parts, Gollum was found. My friend returned out of great perils bringing the miserable creature with him."

Monday, November 15, 2004

November 15th BS

From The Rings Go South: The Fellowship of the Ring

"I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

TIME November 14th

November 14, November 14(ish), 2941

(The Hobbit—no definitive date)
The Company reaches the Lonely Mountain.

...... "...They knew that they were drawing near to the end of their journey, and that it might be a very horrible end. The land about them grew bleak and barren, though once, as Thorin told them, it had been green and fair. There was little grass, and before long there was neither bush nor tree, and only broken and blackened stumps to speak of one long vanished. They were come at the waning of the year...

...... "...There lies all that is left of Dale," said Balin. "The mountain's sides were green with woods and all the sheltered valley rich and pleasant in the days when the bells rang in that town." He looked both sad and grim as he said this: he had been one of Thorin's companions on the day the Dragon came...

...... "The dragon is still alive and in the halls under the Mountain then---or I imagine so from the smoke," said the hobbit.
...... "That does not prove it," said Balin, "though I don't doubt you are right. But he might be gone away some time, or he might be lying out on the mountain-side keeping watch, and still I expect smokes and steams would come out of the gates: all the halls within must be filled with his foul reek."

...... With such gloomy thoughts, followed ever by croaking crows above them, they made their weary way back to the camp. Only in June they had been guests in the fair house of Elrond, and though autumn was now crawling towards winter that pleasant time now seemed years ago. They were alone in the perilous waste without hope of further help. They were at the end of their journey, but as far as ever, it seemed, from the end of their quest. None of the had much spirit left.
...... Now strange to say Mr. Baggins had more than the others. He would often borrow Thorin's map and gaze at it, pondering over the runes and the message of the moon letter Elrond had read. It was he that made the dwarves begin the dangerous search on the western slopes for the secret door."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

November 13th BS

T'is a Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The King of the Golden Hall: The Two Towers

...... "'I am the Doorward of Théoden,' he said. 'Háma is my name. Here I must bid you lay aside your weapons before you enter.'
...... Then Legolas gave into his hand his silver-hafted knife, his quiver, and his bow. 'Keep these well,' he said, 'for they come from the Golden Wood and the Lady of Lothlórien gave them to me.'
...... Wonder came into the man's eyes, and he laid the weapons hastily by the wall as if he feared to handle them. 'No man will touch them, I promise you,' he said.
...... Aragorn stood a while hesitating. 'It is not my will,' he said, 'to put aside my sword or to deliver Andúril to the hand of any other Man.'
...... 'It is the will of Théoden,' said Háma.
...... 'It is not clear to me that the will of Théoden son of Thengel, even though he be lord of the Mark, should prevail over the will of Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elendil's heir of Gondor.'
...... 'This is the house of Théoden, not of Aragorn, even were he King of Gondor in the seat of Denethor,' said Háma, stepping swiftly before the doors and barring the way. His sword was now in his hand and the point towards the strangers.
...... 'This is idle talk,' said Gandalf. 'Needless is Théoden's demand, but it is useless to refuse. A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.'
...... 'Truly,' said Aragorn. 'And I would do as the master of the house bade me, were this only a woodman's cot, if I bore now any sword but Andúril.'
...... 'Whatever its name may be,' said Háma, 'here you shall lay it, if you would not fight alone against all the men in Edoras.'
...... 'Not alone!' said Gimli, fingering the blade of his axe, and looking darkly up at the guard, as if he were a young tree that Gimli had a mind to fell. 'Not alone!'
...... 'Come, come!' said Gandalf. 'We are all friends here. Or should be; for the laughter of Mordor will be our only reward, if we quarrel. My errand is pressing. Here at least is my sword, goodman Háma. Keep it well. Glamdring it is called, for the Elves made it long ago. Now let me pass. Come, Aragorn!'
...... Aragorn unbuckled his belt and himself set is sword upright against the wall. 'Here I set it,' he said; 'but I command you not to touch it, nor to permit any other to lay hand on it. In this elvish sheath dwells the Blade that was Broken and has been made again. Telchar first wrought it in the deeps of time. Death shall come to any man that draws Elendil's sword save Elendil's heir.'
...... The guard stepped back and looked with amazement on Aragorn. 'It seems that you are come on the wings of song out of the forgotten days,' he said. 'It shall be, lord, as you command.'
...... 'Well,' said Gimli, 'if it has Andúril to keep it company, my axe may stay here, too, without shame'; and he laid it on the floor. 'Now then, if all is as you wish, let us go and speak with your master.'
...... The guard still hesitated. 'Your staff,' he said to Gandalf. 'Forgive me, but that too must be left at the doors.'
...... 'Foolishness!' said Gandalf. 'Prudence is one thing, but discourtesy is another. I am old. If I may not lean on my stick as I go, then I will sit out here, until it pleases Théoden to hobble out himself to speak with me.'
...... Aragorn laughed. 'Every man has something too dear to trust to another. But would you part an old man from his support? Come, will you not let us enter?'
...... 'The staff in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age,' said Háma. He looked hard at the ash-staff on which Gandalf leaned. 'Yet in doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdom. I believe you are friends and folk worthy of honour, who have no evil purpose. You may go in."

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Faces of Haldir

Here's to Craig Parker and his fantastic portrayal of a very restrained Elf who grew to be a hero. His presence has added so much to the story for me... and his additional contributions to other voices and characters in Peter's film are so much fun to hunt down! And beyond all of that, his fantastic appearances at various conventions and gatherings are one of the highlights of all of these events! Way to go, Craig! Thank you :)

Happy Birthday Craig Parker!

...... "When Frodo came at last up on to the flet he found Legolas seated with three other Elves. They were clad in shadowy-grey, and could not be seen among the tree-stems, unless they moved suddenly. They stood up, and one of the uncovered a small lamp that gave out a slender silver beam. He held it up, looking at Frodo's face, and Sam's. Then he shut off the light again, and spoke words of welcome in his elven-tongue. Frodo spoke haltingly in return.
...... 'Welcome!' the Elf then said again in the Common Language, speaking slowly. 'We seldom use any tongue but our own; for we dwell now in the heart of the forest, and do not willingly have dealings with any other folk. Even our own kindred in the North are sundered from us. But there are some of us still who go abroad for the gathering of news and the watching of our enemies, and they speak the languages of other lands. I am one. Haldir is my name. My brothers, Rúmil and Orophin, speak little of your tongue.
...... 'But we have heard rumours of your coming, for the messengers of Elrond passed by Lórien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair. We had not heard of—hobbits, of halflings, for many a long year, and did not know that any yet dwelt in Middle-earth. You do not look evil! And since you come with an Elf of our kindred, we are willing to befriend you, as Elrond asked; though it is not our custom to lead strangers through our land. But you must stay here tonight. How many are you?'
...... 'Eight,' said Legolas. 'Myself, four hobbits; and two men, one of whom, Aragorn, is an Elf-friend of the folk of Westernesse.'
...... 'The name of Aragorn son of Arathorn is known in Lórien,' said Haldir, 'and he has the favour of the Lady. All then is well. But you have yet spoken only of seven.'
...... 'The eighth is a dwarf,' said Legolas.
...... 'A dwarf!' said Haldir. 'That is not well. We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days. They are not permitted in our land. I cannot allow him to pass.'
...... 'But he is from the Lonely Mountain, one of Dáin's trusty people, and friendly to Elrond,' said Frodo. 'Elrond himself chose him to be one of our companions, and he has been brave and faithful.'
...... The Elves spoke together in soft voices, and questioned Legolas in their own tongue. 'Very good,' said Haldir at last. 'We will do this, though it is against our liking. If Aragorn and Legolas will guard him, and answer for him, he shall pass; but he must go blindfold through Lothlórien.
...... 'But now we must debate no longer. Your folk must not remain on the ground. We have been keeping watch on the rivers, ever since we saw a great troop of Orcs going north toward Moria, along the skirts of the mountains, many days ago. Wolves are howling on the wood's borders. If you have indeed come from Moria, the peril cannot be far behind. Tomorrow early you must go on.
...... 'The four hobbits shall climb up here and stay with us—we do not fear them! There is another talan in the next tree. There the others must take refuge. You, Legolas, must answer to us for them. Call us, if anything is amiss! And have an eye on that dwarf!'"

...... "Immediately afterwards Haldir came climbing swiftly up through the branches. 'There was something in this tree that I have never seen before,' he said. 'It was not an orc. It fled as soon as I touched the tree-stem. It seemed to be wary, and to have some skill in trees, or I might have thought that it was one of you hobbits.
...... 'I did not shoot, for I dared not arouse any cries: we cannot risk battle. A strong company of Orcs has passed. They crossed the Nimrodel—curse their foul feet in its clean water!—and went on down the old road beside the river. They seemed to pick up some scent, and they searched the ground for a while near the place where you halted. The three of us could not challenge a hundred, so we went ahead and spoke with feigned voices, leading them on into the wood.
...... 'Orophin has now gone in haste back to our dwellings to warn our people. None of the Orcs will ever return out of Lórien. And there will be many Elves hidden on the northern border before another night falls. But you must take the road south as soon as it is fully light.'"

......"'Celebrant is already a strong stream here, as you see,' said Haldir, 'and it runs both swift and deep, and is very cold. We do not set foot in it so far north, unless we must. But in these days of watchfulness we do not make bridges. This is how we cross! Follow me!' He made his end of the rope fast about another tree, and then ran lightly along it, over the river and back again, as if he were on a road."

...... "'As was agreed, I shall here blindfold the eyes of Gimli the Dwarf. The others may walk free for a while, until we come nearer to our dwellings, down in Egladil, in the Angle between the waters.'
...... This was not at all to the liking of Gimli. 'The agreement was made without my consent,' he said. 'I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. And I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy. Neither have we done harm to the Elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any other of my companions.'
...... 'I do not doubt you,' said Haldir. 'Yet this is our law. I am not the master of the law, and cannot set it aside. I have done much in letting you set foot over Celebrant.'
...... Gimli was obstinate. He planted his feet firmly apart, and laid his hand upon the haft of his axe. 'I will go forward free,' he said, 'or I will go back and seek my own land, where I am known to be true of word, though I perish alone in the wilderness.'
...... 'You cannot go back,' said Haldir sternly. 'Now you have come thus far, you must be brought before the Lord and the Lady. They shall judge you, to hold you or to give you leave, as they will. You cannot cross the rivers again, and behind you there are now secret sentinels that you cannot pass. You would be slain before you saw them.'
...... Gimli drew his axe from his belt. Haldir and his companion bent their bows. 'A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!' said Legolas.
...... 'Come!' said Aragorn. 'If I am still to lead this Company, you must do as I bid. It is hard upon the Dwarf to be thus singled out. We will all be blindfold, even Legolas. That will be best, though it will make the journey slow and dull.'
...... Gimli laughed suddenly. 'A merry troop of fools we shall look! Will Haldir lead us all on a string, like many blind beggars with one dog? But I will be content, if only Legolas here shares my blindness.'
...... 'I am an Elf and a kinsman here,' said Legolas, becoming angry in his turn.
...... 'Now let us cry: "a plague on the stiff necks of Elves!"' said Aragorn. 'But the Company shall all fare alike. Come, bind our eyes, Haldir!'
...... 'I shall claim full amends for every fall and stubbed toe, if you do not lead us well,' said Gimli as they bound a cloth about his eyes.
...... 'You shall have no claim,' said Haldir. 'I shall lead you well, and the paths are smooth and straight.'
...... 'Alas for the folly of these days!' said Legolas. 'Here all are enemies of the one Enemy, and yet I must walk blind while the sun is merry in the woodland under leaves of gold!'
...... 'Folly it may seem,' said Haldir. 'Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown that in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him. Yet so little faith and trust do we find now in the world beyond Lothlórien, unless maybe in Rivendell, that we dare not by our own trust endanger our land. We live now upon an island amid many perils, and our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp.
...... 'The rivers long defended us, but they are a sure guard no more; for the Shadow has crept northward all about us. Some speak of departing, yet for that it already seems too late. The mountains to the west are growing evil; to the east the lands are waste, and full of Sauron's creatures; and it is rumoured that we cannot now safely pass southward through Rohan and the mouths of the Great River are watched by the Enemy. Even if we could come to the shores of the Sea, we should find no longer any shelter there. It is said that there are still havens of the High Elves, but they are far north and west, beyond the land of the Halflings. But where that may be, though the Lord and Lady may know, I do not.'
...... 'You ought at least to guess, since you have seen us,' said Merry. 'There are Elf-havens west of my land, the Shire, where Hobbits live.'
...... 'Happy folk are Hobbits to dwell near the shores of the sea!' said Haldir. 'It is long indeed since any of my folk have looked on it, yet still we remember it in song. Tell me of these havens as we walk.'
...... 'I cannot,' said Merry. 'I have never seen them. I have never been out of my own land before. And if I had known what the world outside was like, I don't think I should have had the heart to leave it.'
...... 'Not even to see fair Lothlórien?' said Haldir. 'The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.
...... 'Some there are among us who sing that the Shadow will draw back, and peace shall come again. Yet I do not believe that the world about us will ever again be as it was of old, or the light of the Sun as it was aforetime. For the Elves, I fear, it will prove at best a truce, in which they may pass to the Sea unhindered and leave the Middle-earth for ever. Alas for Lothlórien that I love! It would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew. But if there are mallorn-trees beyond the Great Sea, none have reported it.'"

...... "'Also,' said Haldir, 'they bring me a message from the Lord and Lady of the Galadrim. You are all to walk free, even the dwarf Gimli. It seems that the Lady knows who and what is each member of your Company. New messages have come from Rivendell perhaps.'
...... He removed the bandage first from Gimli's eyes. 'Your pardon!' he said, bowing low. 'Look on us now with friendly eyes! Look and be glad, for you are the first dwarf to behold the trees of the Naith of Lórien since Durin's Day!'"

...... "'Behold! You are come to Cerin Amroth,' said Haldir. 'For this is the heart of the ancient realm as it was long ago, and here is the mound of Amroth, where in happier days his high house was built. Here ever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor, and the pale niphredil. Here we will stay awhile, and come to the city of the Galadrim at dusk.'
...... The others cast themselves down upon the fragrant grass, but Frodo stood awhile still lost in wonder... ...He turned and saw that Sam was now standing beside him, looking round with a puzzled expression, and rubbing his eyes as if he was not sure that he was awake. 'It's sunlight and bright day, right enough,' he said. 'I thought that Elves were all for moon and stars: but this is more elvish than anything I ever heard tell of. I feel as if I was inside a song, if you take my meaning.'
...... Haldir looked at them, and he seemed indeed to take the meaning of both thought and word. He smiled. 'You feel the power of the Lady of the Galadrim,' he said."

...... "After their morning meal the Company said farewell to the lawn by the fountain. Their hearts were heavy; for it was a fair place, and it had become like home to them, though they could not count the days and nights that they had passed there. As they stood for a moment looking at the white water in the sunlight, Haldir came walking towards them over the green grass of the glade. Frodo greeted him with delight.
...... 'I have returned from the Northern Fences,' said the Elf, 'and I am sent now to be your guide again. The Dimrill Dale is full of vapour and clouds of smoke, and the mountains are troubled. There are noises in the deeps of the earth. If any of you had thought of returning northward to your homes, you would not have been able to pass that way. But come! Your path now goes south!'"

November 12th BS

It's time for some BS

Stumbled across this Book Spoiler and thought I'd share it... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Taming of Sméagol: The Two Towers

...... "'What a fix!' said Sam. 'That's the one place in all the lands we've ever heard of that we don't want to see any closer; and that's the one place we're trying to get to! And that's just where we can't get, nohow. We've come the wrong way altogether, seemingly. We can't get down; and if we did get down, we'd find all that green land a nasty bog, I'll warrant. Phew! Can you smell it?' He sniffed at the wind.
...... 'Yes, I can smell it,' said Frodo, but he did not move and his eyes remained fixed, staring out towards the dark line and the flickering flame. 'Mordor!' he muttered under his breath. 'If I must go there, I wish I could come there quickly and make an end!' He shuddered. The wind was chilly and yet heavy with an odour of cold decay. 'Well,' he said, at last withdrawing his eyes, 'we cannot stay here at night, fix or no fix. We must find a more sheltered spot and camp once more; and perhaps another day will show us a path.'
...... 'Or another and another and another,' muttered Sam. 'Or maybe no day. We've come the wrong way.'
...... 'I wonder,' said Frodo. 'It's my doom, I think, to go to that Shadow yonder, so that a way will be found. But will good or evil show it to me? What hope we had was in speed. Delay plays into the Enemy's hands—and here I am: delayed. Is it the will of the Dark Tower that steers us? All my choices have proved ill. I should have left the Company long before, and come down from the North, east of the River and of the Emyn Muil, and so over the hard of Battle Plain to the passes of Mordor. But now it isn't possible for you and me alone to find a way back, and the Orcs are prowling on the east bank. Every day that passes is a precious day lost. I am tired, Sam. I don't know what is to be done. What food have we got left?'
...... 'Only those, what d'you call 'em, lembas, Mr. Frodo. A fair supply. But they are better than naught, by a long bite. I never thought, though, when I first set tooth in them, that I should ever come to wish for a change. But I do now: a bit of plain bread, and a mug—aye, half a mug—of beer would go down proper. I've lugged my cooking-gear all the way from the last camp, and what use has it been? Naught to make a fire with, for a start; and naught to cook not even grass!'"

Thursday, November 11, 2004

November 11th BS - TTT 50th Anniversary 2004

A BS & Cheer-Happy 50th Anniversary to The Two Towers!

Fifty years ago today in England, Tolkien's second installment to The Lord of the Rings was published. In honour of that day, I offer this Book Spoiler (one of my favourites) for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Thank you Professor Tolkien!

From The Stairs of Cirith Ungol: The Two Towers

...... "...a Rider, all black, save that on his hooded head he had a helm like a crown that flickered with a perilous light. Now he was drawing near the bridge below, and Frodo's staring eyes followed him, unable to wink or to withdraw. Surely there was the Lord of the Nine Riders returned to earth to lead his ghastly host to battle? Here, yes here indeed was the haggard king whose cold hand had smitten down the Ring-bearer with his deadly knife. The old wound throbbed with pain and a great chill spread towards Frodo's heart. Even as these thoughts pierced him with dread and held him bound as with a spell, the Rider halted suddenly, right before the entrance of the bridge, and behind him all the host stood still. There was a pause, a dead silence. Maybe it was the Ring that called to the Wraith-lord, and for a moment he was troubled, sensing some other power within his valley. This way and that turned the dark head helmed and crowned with fear, sweeping the shadows with its unseen eyes. Frodo waited, like a bird at the approach of a snake, unable to move. As he waited, he felt, more urgent than ever before, the command that he should put on the Ring. But great as the pressure was, he felt no inclination now to yield to it. He knew that the Ring would only betray him, and that he had not, even if he put it on, the power to face the Morgul-king---not yet. There was no longer any answer to that command in his own will, dismayed by terror though it was, and he felt only the beating upon him of a great power from outside. It took his hand, and as Frodo watched with his mind, not willing it but in suspense (as if he looked on some old story far away), it moved the hand inch by inch towards the chain upon his neck. Then his own will stirred; slowly it forced the hand back and set it to find another thing, a thing lying hidden near his breast. Cold and hard it seemed as his grip closed on it: the phial of Galadriel, so long treasured, and almost forgotten till that hour. As he touched it, for a while all thought of the Ring was banished from his mind. He sighed and bent his head.
...... At that moment the Wraith-king turned and spurred his horse and rode across the bridge and all his dark host followed him. Maybe the elven-hoods defied his unseen eyes, and the mind of his small enemy, being strengthened, had turned aside his thought. But he was in haste. Already the hour had struck, and at his great Master's bidding he must march with war into the West.
...... Soon he had passed, like a shadow into shadow, down the winding road, and behind him still the black ranks crossed the bridge. So great an army had never issued from that vale since the days of Isildur's might; no host so fell and strong in arms had yet assailed the fords of Anduin; and yet it was but one and not the greatest of the hosts that Mordor now sent forth.

...... Frodo stirred. And suddenly his heart went out to Faramir. 'The storm has burst at last,' he thought. 'This great array of spears and swords is going to Osgiliath. Will Faramir get across in time? He guessed it, but did he know the hour? And who can now hold the fords when the King of the Nine Riders comes? And other armies will come. I am too late. All is lost. I tarried on the way. All is lost. Even if my errand is performed, no one will ever know. There will be no one I can tell. It will be in vain.' Overcome with weakness he wept. And still the host of Morgul crossed the bridge.
...... Then at a great distance, as if it came out of memories of the Shire, some sunlit early morning, when the day called and doors were opening, he heard Sam's voice speaking. 'Wake up, Mr. Frodo! Wake up!' Had the voice added: 'Your breakfast is ready,' he would hardly have been surprised. Certainly Sam was urgent. 'Wake up, Mr. Frodo! They're gone,' he said.
...... There was a dull clang. The gates of Minas Morgul had closed. The last rank of spears had vanished down the road. The tower still grinned across the valley, but the light was fading in it. The whole city was falling back into a dark brooding shade, and silence. Yet still it was filled with watchfulness.
...... 'Wake up, Mr. Frodo! They're gone, and we'd better go too. There's something still alive in that place, something with eyes, or a seeing mind, if you take me; and the longer we stay in one spot, the sooner it will get on to us. Come on, Mr. Frodo!'
...... Frodo raised his head, and then stood up. Despair had not left him, but the weakness had passed. He even smiled grimly, feeling now as clearly as a moment before he had felt the opposite, that what he had to do, he had to do if he could, and that whether Faramir or Aragorn or Elrond or Galadriel or Gandalf or anyone else ever knew about it was beside the purpose. He took his staff in one hand and the phial in his other. When he saw that the clear light was already welling through his fingers, he thrust it into his bosom and held it against his heart."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

November 9th BS

It's time for some BS

Got a Book Spoiler for ya... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Ride of the Rohirrim: The Return of the King

...... "There was a silence as Merry crept nearer, and then the Wild Man began to speak, in answer to some question, it seemed. His voice was deep and guttural, yet to Merry's surprise he spoke the Common Speech, though in a halting fashion, and uncouth words were mingled with it.
......'No, father of horsemen,' he said, 'we fight not. Hunt only. Kill gorgûn in woods, hat orc-folk, You hate gorgûn too. We help as we can. Wild Men have long ears and eyes; know all paths. Wild Men live here before Stonehouses; before Tall Men come up out of water.'
...... 'But our need is for aid in battle,' said Éomer. 'How will you and your folk help us?'
...... 'Bring news,' said the Wild Man. 'We look out from hills. We climb big mountain and look down. Stone-city is shut. Fire burns there outside; now inside too. You wish to come there? Then you must be quick. But gorgûn and men out of far-away,' he waved a short gnarled arm eastward, 'sit on horse-road. Very many, more than Horse-men.'
...... 'How do you know that?' said Éomer.
...... The old man's flat face and dark eyes showed nothing, but his voice was sullen with displeasure. 'Wild Men are wild, free, but not children,' he answered. 'I am great headman, Ghân-buri-Ghân. I count any things: stars in sky, leaves on trees, men in the dark. You have a score of scores counted ten times and five. They have more. Big fight, and who will win? And many more walk round walls of Stone-houses.'
...... 'Alas! he speaks all too shrewdly,' said Théoden. 'And our scouts say that they have cast trenches and stakes across the road. We cannot sweep them away in sudden onset.'
...... 'And yet we need great haste,' said Éomer. 'Mundburg is on fire!'
...... 'Let Ghân-buri-Ghân finish!' said the Wild Man. 'More than on road he knows. He will lead you by road where no pits are, no gorgûn walk, only Wild Men and beasts. Many paths were made when Stonehouse-folk were stronger. They carved hills as hunters carve beast-flesh. Wild Men think they ate stone for food. They went through Druadan to Rimmon with great wains. They go no longer. Road is forgotten, but not by Wild Men. Over hill and behind hill it lies still under grass and tree, there behind Rimmon and down to Dîn, and back at the end to Horsemen's road. Wild Men will show you that road. Then you will kill gorgûn and drive away bad dark with bright iron, and Wild Men can go back to sleep in the wild woods.'
...... Éomer and the king spoke together in their own tongue. At length Théoden turned to the Wild Man. 'We will receive your offer,' he said. 'For though we leave a host of foes behind, what matter? If the Stone-city falls, then we shall have no returning. If it is saved, then the orc-host itself will be cut off. If you are faithful, Ghân-buri-Ghân, then we will give you rich reward, and you shall have the friendship of the Mark forever.'
...... 'Dead men are not friends to living men, and give them no gifts,' said the Wild Man. 'But if you live after the Darkness, then leave Wild Men alone in the woods and do not hunt them like beasts any more. Ghân-buri-Ghân will not lead you into trap. He will go himself with father of Horse-men, and if he leads you wrong, you will kill him.'
...... 'So be it!' said Théoden."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

November 7th BS

From Appendix A: III : Durin's Folk: The Return of the King

...... "After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves. He and his people did great works in Gondor and Rohan. For Minas Tirith they forged gates of Mithril and steel to replace those broken by the Witch-king. Legolas his friend also brought south Elves out of Greenwood, and they dwelt in Ithilien, and it became once again the fairest country in all the westlands.

But when King Elessar gave up his life Legolas followed at last the desire of his heart and sailed over Sea.

............... Here follows one of the last notes in the Red Book.

We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli Glóin's son with him because of their great friendship, greater than any that has been between Elf and Dwarf. If this is true, then it is strange indeed: that a Dwarf should be willing to leave Middle-earth for any love, or that the Eldar should receive him, or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel; and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him. More cannot be said of this matter."

Saturday, November 06, 2004

November 6th BS

We've heard from LotR and the Sil... how about a bit of The Hobbit Book Spoiler for our moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Roast Mutton: The Hobbit

......"It was just then that Gandalf came back. But no one saw him. The trolls had just decided to roast the dwarves now and eat them later---that was Bert's idea, and after a lot of argument they had all agreed to it.
......"No good roasting 'em now, it'd take all night," said a voice. Bert thought it was William's.
......"Don't start the argument all over again, Bill," he said, "or it will take all night."
......"Who's a-arguing?" said William, who thought it was Bert that had spoken.
......"You are," said Bert.
......"You're a liar," said William; and so the argument began all over again. In the end they decided to mince them fine and boil them. So they got a great black pot, and they took out their knives.
......"No good boiling 'em! We ain't got no water, and it's a long way to the well and all," said a voice. Bert and William thought it was Tom's.
......"Shut up!" said they, "or we'll never have done. And yer can fetch the water yerself, if yer say any more."
......"Shut up yerself!" said Tom, who thought it was William's voice. "Who's arguing but you, I'd like to know."
......"You're a booby," said William.
......"Booby yerself!' said Tom.
......And so the argument began all over again, and went on hotter than ever, until at last they decided to sit on the sacks one by one and squash them, and boil them next time.
......"Who shall we sit on first?" said the voice.
......Better sit on the last fellow first," said Bert, whose eye had been damaged by Thorin. He thought Tom was talking.
......"Don't talk to yerself!" said Tom. "But if you want to sit on the last one, sit on him. Which is he?"
......"The one with the yellow stockings," said Bert.
......"Nonsense, the one with the grey stockings," said a voice like William's.
......"I made sure it was yellow," said Bert.
......"Yellow it was," said William.
......"Then what did yer say it was grey for?" said Bert.
......"I never did. Tom said it."
......"That I never did!" said Tom, "It was you."
......"Two to one, so shut yer mouth!" said Bert.
......"Who are you a-talkin' to?" said William.
......"Now stop it!" said Tom and Bert together. "The night's getting' on, and dawn comes early. Let's get on with it!"
......"Dawn take you all, and be stone to you!" said a voice that sounded like William's. But it wasn't. For just at that moment the light came over the hill, and there was a mighty twitter in the branches. William never spoke for he stood turned to stone as he stooped; and Bert and Tom were stuck like rocks as they looked at him. And there they stand to this day all alone, unless the birds perch on them; for trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again. That is what had happened to Bert and Tom and William."

Friday, November 05, 2004

November 5th BS

From The Land of Shadow: The Return of the King

......"'We have come to a dead end, Sam,' said Frodo. 'If we go on, we shall only come up to that orc-tower, but the only road to take is that road that comes down from it—unless we go back. We can't climb up westward, or climb down eastward.'
......'Then we must take the road, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam. 'We must take it and chance our luck, if there is any luck in Mordor. We might as well give ourselves up as wander about any more, or try to go back. Our food won't last. We've got to make a dash for it!'
......'All right, Sam,' said Frodo. 'Lead me! As long as you've got any hope left. Mine is gone. But I can't dash, Sam. I'll just plod along after you.'
......'Before you start any more plodding, you need sleep and food, Mr. Frodo. Come and take what you can get of them!'
......He gave Frodo water and an additional wafer of the waybread, and he made a pillow of his cloak for his master's head. Frodo was too weary to debate the matter, and Sam did not tell him that he had drunk the last drop of their water, and eaten Sam's share of the food as well as his own. When Frodo was asleep Sam bent over him and listened to his breathing and scanned his face. It was lined and thin, and yet in sleep it looked content and unafraid. 'Well, here goes, Master!' Sam muttered to himself. 'I'll have to leave you for a bit and trust to luck. Water we must have, or we'll get no further.'
......Sam crept out, and flitting from stone to stone with more than hobbit-care, he went down to the water-course, and then followed it for some way as it climbed north, until he came to the rock-steps where long ago, no doubt, its spring had come gushing down in a little waterfall. All now seemed dry and silent; but refusing to despair Sam stooped and listened, and to his delight he caught the sound of trickling. Clambering a few steps up he found a tiny stream of dark water that came out from the hill-side and filled a little bare pool, from which again it spilled, and vanished then under the barren stones.
......Sam tasted the water, and it seemed good enough. Then he drank deeply, refilled the bottle, and turned to go back. At that moment he caught a glimpse of a black form or shadow flitting among the rocks away near Frodo's hiding-place. Biting back a cry, he leapt down from the spring and ran, jumping from stone to stone."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

TIME November 4th

Today in Middle-earth.

November 4, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
(not from the appendices-no text)

......The partially formed Fellowship rests in Rivendell and prepares for their journey while waiting for scouts to return from searching the lands. Frodo grew stronger in both heart and body through the grace of Rivendell. He would walk with his friends and explore the rich culture and craft of their refuge and spend time visiting and speaking with the Elves to Sam's sheer awe and delight; but much of his time he spent with Bilbo in his room. They spoke of many things from years gone by and their adventure on the road, yet they were always careful to avoid mention of the Black Riders and the darkness that followed after Weathertop.

November 4, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)
The healing of the Shire begins.

......"The clearing up certainly needed a lot of work, but it took less time than Sam had feared. The day after the battle Frodo rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings up in the Brockenbores by the hills of Scary.
......'You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!' said Pippin, as they carried him out too weak to walk.
......He opened an eye and tried gallantly to smile. 'Who's this young giant with the loud vice?' he whispered. 'Not little Pippin! What's your size in hats now?'
......Then there was Lobelia. Poor thing, she looked very old and thin when they rescued her from a dark and narrow cell. She insisted on hobbling out on her own feet; and she had such a welcome, and there was such clapping and cheering when she appeared, leaning on Frodo's arm but still clutching her umbrella, that she was quite touched and drove away in tears. She had never in her life been popular before. But she was crushed by the news of Lotho's murder, and she would not return to Bag End. She gave it back to Frodo, and went to her own people, the Bracegirdles of Hardbottle.
......When the poor creature died next Spring—she was after all more than a hundred years old—Frodo was surprised and much moved: she had left all that remained of her money and of Lotho's for him to use in helping hobbits made homeless by the troubles. So that feud was ended.
......Old Will Whitfoot had been in the Lockholes longer than any, and though he had perhaps been treated less harshly than some, he needed a lot of feeding up before he could look the part Of Mayor; so Frodo agreed to act as his Deputy, until Mr. Whitfoot was in shape again. The only thing that he did as Deputy Mayor was to reduce the Shirriffs to their proper functions and numbers."

[There won't be many TIME installments in November. Both in Rivendell and in the restoration of the Shire, there isn't much activity in November and the first half of December. It seems to be a period of rest and regrouping throughout the years. This is the last regular TIME post until nearly Christmas (December 25) when the Fellowship sets out on its quest (there may be one or two highlights, however)]

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

TIME November 3rd (Sharky's End)

Today in Middle-earth.

November 3, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(from the appendices)
Battle of Bywater, and Passing of Saruman. End of the War of the Ring.

......"...a messenger from the Tookland rode in. He was in high spirits. 'The Thain has raised all our country,' he said, 'and the news is going like fire all ways. The ruffians that were watching our land have fled off south, those that escaped alive. The Thain has gone after them, to hold off the big gang down that way; but he's sent Mr. Peregrin back with all the other folk he can spare.'
......The next news was less good. Merry, who had been out all night, came riding in about ten o'clock. 'There's a big band about four miles away,' he said. 'They're coming along the road from Waymeet, but a good many stray ruffians have joined up with them. There must be close on a hundred of them; and they're fire-raising as they come. Curse them...!'
.........The ruffians came tramping along the East Road, and without halting turned up the Bywater Road, which ran for some way sloping up between high banks with low hedges on top. Round a bend, about a furlong from the main road, they met a stout barrier of old farm-carts upturned. That halted them. At the same moment they became aware that the hedges on both sides, just above their heads, were all lined with hobbits. Behind them other hobbits now pushed out some more waggons that had been hidden in a field, and so blocked the way back. A voice spoke to them from above.
......'Well, you have walked into a trap,' said Merry. 'Your fellows from Hobbiton did the same, and one is dead and the rest are prisoners. Lay down your weapons! Then go back twenty paces and sit down. Any who try to break out will be shot.'
......But the ruffians could not now be cowed so easily. A few of them obeyed, but were immediately set upon by their fellows. A score or more broke back and charged the waggons. Six were shot, but the remainder burst out, killing two hobbits, and then scattering across country in the direction of the Woody End. Two more fell as they ran. Merry blew a loud horn-call, and there were answering calls from a distance.
.........At last all was over. Nearly seventy of the ruffians lay dead on the field, and a dozen were prisoners. Nineteen hobbits were killed, and some thirty were wounded.... ...The fallen hobbits were laid together in a grave on the hill-side, where later a great stone was set up with a garden about it. So ended the Battle of Bywater, 1419, the last battle fought in the Shire, and the only battle since the Greenfields, 1147, away up in the Northfarthing....
.........When the fighting was over, and the later labours were ordered, Merry, Pippin, and Sam joined him [Frodo], and they rode back with the Cottons. They at a late midday meal, and then Frodo said with a sigh: 'Well, I suppose it is time now that we dealt with the "Chief."
......'...This is worse than Mordor!' said Sam. 'Much worse in a way. It comes home to you, as they say; because it is home, and you remember it before it was all ruined.'
......'Yes, this is Mordor,' said Frodo. 'Just one of its works. Saruman was doing its work all the time, even when he thought he was working for himself. And the same with those that Saruman tricked, like Lotho.'
......Merry looked round in dismay and disgust. 'Let's get out!' he said. 'If I had known all the mischief he had caused, I should have stuffed my pouch down Saruman's throat.'
......'No doubt, no doubt! But you did not, and so I am able to welcome you home.' There standing at the door was Saruman himself, looking well-fed and well-pleased; his eyes gleamed with malice and amusement.
......A sudden light broke on Frodo. 'Sharkey!' he cried.
......Saruman laughed. 'So you have heard the name, have you? All my people used to call me that in Isengard, I believe. A sign of affection, possibly. But evidently you did not expect to see me here.'
......'I did not,' said Frodo. 'But I might have guessed. A little mischief in a mean way: Gandalf warned me that you were still capable of it.'
......'Quite capable,' said Saruman, 'and more than a little. You made me laugh, you hobbit-lordlings, riding along with all those great people, so secure and so pleased with your little selves. You thought you had done very well out of it all, and could now just amble back and have a nice quiet time in the country. Saruman's home could be all wrecked, and he could be turned out, but no one could touch yours. Oh no! Gandalf would look after your affairs.'
......Saruman laughed again. 'Not he! When his tools have done their task he drops them. But you must go dangling after him, dawdling and talking, and riding round twice as far as you needed. "Well," thought I, "if they're such fools, I will get ahead of them and teach them a lesson. One ill turn deserves another." It would have been a sharper lesson, if only you had given me a little more time and more Men. Still I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo in your lives. And it will be pleasant to think of that and set it against my injuries.'
......'Well, if that is what you find pleasure in,' said Frodo. 'I pity you. It will be a pleasure of memory only, I fear. Go at once and never return!'
......The hobbits of the villages had seen Saruman come out of one of the huts, and at once they came crowding up to the door of Bag End. When they heard Frodo's command, they murmured angrily:
......'Don't let him go! Kill him! He's a villain and a murderer. Kill him!'
......Saruman looked round at their hostile faces and smiled. 'Kill him!' he mocked. 'Kill him, if you think there are enough of you, my brave hobbits!' He drew himself up and stared at them darkly with his black eyes. 'But do not think that when I lost all my goods I lost all my power! Whoever strikes me shall be accursed. And if my blood stains the Shire, it shall wither and never again be healed.'
......The hobbits recoiled. But Frodo said: 'Do not believe him! He has lost all power, save his voice that can still daunt you and deceive you, if you let it. But I will not have him slain. It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. Go, Saruman, by the speediest way!'
......'Worm! Worm!' Saruman called; and out of a nearby hut came Wormtongue, crawling, almost like a dog. 'To the road again, Worm!' said Saruman. 'These fine fellows and lordlings are turning us adrift again. Come along!'
......Saruman turned to go, and Wormtongue shuffled after him. But even as Saruman passed close to Frodo a knife flashed in his hand, and he stabbed swiftly. The blade turned on the mail-coat and snapped. A dozen hobbits, led by Sam, leaped forward with a cry and flung the villain to the ground.
......Sam drew his sword.
......'No, Sam!' said Frodo. 'Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.'
......Saruman rose to his feet, and stared at Frodo. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. 'You have grown, Halfling,' he said. 'Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more. But do not expect me to wish you health and long life. You will have neither. But that is not my doing. I merely foretell....'
......'...Worm killed your Chief, poor little fellow, your nice little Boss. Didn't you, Worm? Stabbed him in his sleep, I believe. Buried him, I hope; though Worm has been very hungry lately. No, Worm is not really nice. You had better leave him to me.'
......A look of wild hatred came into Wormtongue's red eyes. 'You told me to; you made me do it,' he hissed.
......Saruman laughed. 'You do what Sharkey says, always, don't you, Worm? Well, now he says: follow!' He kicked Wormtongue in the face as he grovelled, and turned and made off. But at that something snapped: suddenly Wormtongue rose up, drawing a hidden knife, and then with a snarl like a dog he sprang on Saruman's back, jerked his head back, cut his throat, and with a yell ran off down the lane. Before Frodo could recover or speak a word, three hobbit-bows twanged and Wormtongue fell dead.
......To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill. For a moment it wavered, looking to the West; but out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing....
......'And that's the end of that,' said Sam. 'A nasty end, and I wish I needn't have seen it; but it's a good riddance.'
......'And the very last end of the War, I hope,' said Merry.
......'I hope so,' said Frodo and sighed. 'The very last stroke. But to think that is should fall here, at the very door of Bag End! Among all my hopes and fears at least I never expected that....'"