Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grima and Gollum

As I was reading the end of the novel, I was struck by how much Grima was depicted like Gollum. It is said that he moved about the ground almost on all fours, like a dog. He followed his master, not out of love but because this was someone that had control in tough situations and could make sure he was taken care of, even if it wasn't the best situation for Grima to be in. It is also stated how thin and drawn Grima had become. The only difference is that Grima chose to kill his master, while Gollum had to fall over a cliff to become free (because, let's face it: Frodo wasn't the master, the Ring was. Frodo just happened to be its keeper). I am of the opinion that Tolkien depicted Grima in this way to give a parallel to Gollum. We've talked a lot about this character being how the other should have been. Is Grima the embodiment of how Gollum should have ended up?

Monday, April 28, 2008

More of the End

Appendix B, which is located at the end of The Return of the King, gives a nice long timeline of events, one of which gives an account of the events following the end of the trilogy, all the way up to the death of Aragorn. I personally enjoyed reading this, because I liked seeing the broad events of the rest of the Company after Frodo left. Does this list of events ruin the novel's ending for you, or are you glad to have that extra information?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Eowyn's love?

I never thought that Eowyn was really in love with Aragorn. I just thought that she was in love with the idea of him and the glory she could attain with him. I believe that in the book, Aragorn actually says that she only loved but a "shadow and a thought" of him. That's why I think that her feelings for Faramir would actually be more true for she sees him as he is and chooses the man rather than a position of glory and honor. In a way, this choice kind of reminds me of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Through the entire book, Scarlett was "in love" with Ashley, but in the end she realized that she really wasn't, but instead she realized that Rhett was who she really wanted. While both instances restore balance with people choosing to be with those who seem more suitable, it also however seems that they are just waking up to realize who they really care about and who's position they only care about.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scouring of the Shire

Every time that I read this chapter it always seems to me to be overenthusiastic fan fiction. While I know that all of the hobbits are going to be changed by their experiences, it seems a little overdone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Return of the Hobbits

I found it interesting that when the Hobbits returned to the Shire, their characters seem so much different than when they left. It is for obvious reasons of course, as they have been through so much.

Before, it seemed to me that they were all simple folk. Minding their own business, never looking for trouble, and tending to their gardens. Now they return with a renewed confidence, able to lead the rest of the Hobbits in an attack of the ruffians. Its interesting to me that none of the other Hobbits (at least up until this point) have noticed or commented on the changes in the Hobbit's personality.

Its also interesting that Rosie commented to Sam that Frodo may be in much danger and Sam should not leave him alone. I liked that Sam found humor in that, as he and Frodo had been through so much together already.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We were talking about how the ring comes to an end. I have an idea for an ending… I always thought it would have been cool if we could change the part where Gandalf and company leave Middle Earth. Right as they leave on the boat, I thought it would be neat if they made Gandalf into a bad guy. Have the camera zoom in on Gandalf’s ring. Then have Gandalf smile as glowing letters appear on his ring. I like it… Gandalf as the bad guy and another movie/book. What do you think… Any ideas for another ending?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Those evil flying devils

I like to pretend that I know what is going on in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but here's one thing that really throws me. If I am thinking correctly, the Nazgul are the dragon like things that the Ringwraiths fly around on. But the characters in the books seem to use the ringwraith and nazgul names interchangeably. What, then, inflicts the paralyzing fear in the men during the battle at Gondor? They all cry "Nazgul" when it flies over, which would lead me to think that they are referring to the mount, but I didn't think they projected fear like the Ringwraiths did. I can see why the soldiers would be terrified of both, but one would think that the more terrifying one would overshadow the other. So, if anyone has any ideas why these two figures seem to be one in the same, it would be interesting to hear your opinions.

Tolkien Reading:

I found this cool clip of Tolkien reading the portion of Fellowship when Gandalf reads the script on the One Ring. It's rather quiet, so turn up your speakers.

- Kelly Huber

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"The grand climax"

A small note that I have enjoyed the way Tolkien wrote Frodo's reactions and actions as influenced by he ring so close to the achieving of their goal. However, I am really surprised in the way that Tokien has written three books centered on one moment which in the end takes only two paragraphs to actually describe the happenings of the ring. Any similar or opposing ideas? Also, any thoughts on Gollum's sudden lack of balance when all through the book he has been able to move with such stealth?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Biding time for kingship

Just another way to look at it but...

We mentioned in class that Aragorn was biding his time, but my question is why Aragorn. Gondor has been kingless for some time now, and apparently the king has been around. Aragorn is proof at least for that. Aragorn’s daddy and his daddy and his daddy all should have been king. Even without the sword being “remade” those people were still descendents and rightful heirs. Plus if the fixing the sword is such a big deal, you would think that it wouldn’t have been too much trouble to be like, “Hey Elrond, want to do me a favor?” I’m just saying that waiting for the world to come to an end or “biding time” doesn’t really sound like all that great and noble.

This brings up a couple of questions. If you look at it that way, is Aragorn still the same type of hero? Was he really trying to be King the whole time and accepting the responsibility, or is he hiding from his nobility and responsibility? (Like his ancestors must have done)

Good search for Tolkien subjects

In the Lovejoy Library webpage, go to humanities then project Muse. Go to Tolkien Studies and poof, there's a lost of information on Tolkien. Also you can search for "the years work in tolkien studies". And you can find a summarized index of the articles the volume has.

Hope this helps.

Midievil Literature and the Bible

I am really enjoying finding things in our readings that are similar to the Bible. I am waundering why that is. Why some of our readings are so similar to Biblical texts. I have a theory, but will keep it to myself, as to not affend anyone.

The readings for today from the Pros Eda made reference to apples. The Gods would eat them when they started to get old to regain their youth. This reminded me of Adam and Eve and the apple. The difference would be that Adam and Eve were told not to eat from that tree because they would die. When they did eat the apple they gained knowledge only god had.

I also saw many references to olive branches in Song of Roland and they are supposed to represent peace. In the story of Noah and the Arc it is part of an olive branch that is brought back when the flood is over, signaling peace!

I have found many many more. I deffinitely would like to do some more research in this area.

Existential Villain?

So we've been talking a lot about heroes and their expectations. I was wondering what anyone thought of the villains. I know we've talked about certain characters like the orcs, urk-hai and Saruman, but do they follow the same patterns of expectations as our heroes? What are everyone else's thoughts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Apocalypse Now

After watching that video in class today, I couldn't help but think of one of the greatest films ever...Apocalypse Now. I guess it has the same idea as Excalibur with the music. Great scene.


Beowolf Movie

I actually watched the movie before reading the poem. Did anyone get the idea that Grendal was King Hrothgar's son? I was surprised when I read the piece, because I had the idea that King Hrothgar had succumb to temptation and slept with Grendal's mother and therefore was the father of Grendal. This is why Hrothgar could not kill Grendal, he could not bring himself to kill his own son. There was a scene when Hrothgar had the opportunity to kill him but did not.

Also Hrothgar's wife would not sleep with him, because he had touched "her". I took this to mean Grendal's mother. When Beowolf killed Grendal, Hrothgar seemed to be relieved on many levels. It was as if someone had cleaned up his mess and his contious had been cleared.

Later it was implied that Beowolf slept with Grendal's mother to give her a child to replace the one that he had killed. I got the impression that Beowolf succame to temptation in the same way that Hrothgar had, therefore coming full circle. Now there was a Dragon, hence Beowolf's son.

I have never seen a movie ADD themes that did not appear in the story. I actually thought the themes in the movie were better. I will have to go back and reread Beowolf and compare the two.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oliver and roland

I just thought it was funny and I woundered if any one else would to. I could not help but, laugh when they were talking about oliver not taking the time to pull out his sword. Oliver said he just did not have time to because he was to busy fighting. I felt like roland was teasing his friend so I thought it was funny. I wounder if you would realy have time to have a conversasion whild in battle?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Honor vs Loyalty

The betrayal in the Song of Roland just reminds me of all the previous texts we've read and it makes me wonder. How is honor and loyalty valued? Even the betrayer is loyal, just not to the betrayed. One loses honor in the act of betraying, but is honored by those whom the betrayal is for, or is he? Just something to think about...

Y Gododdin

I actually enjoyed this piece, after I looked up a translation I could understand. It reminds me of a eulagy, each piece a seperate eulagy for a slain warrior. As we discussed in class they seem to have a "form" to use when writing eligies that discribes the ideal warrior for that time. So we may not get a clear picture of what these men were really like but we certainly get a picture of what a warrior of the time was supposed to aspire to.

I don't think we discussed in class the role the mead played in this whole thing. The poem eludes to the fact that the mead may have actually been the poison that lead to the deaths of many of the warriors.

"Because of wine-feast and mead-feast they charged, men famed in fighting, heedless of life."

"Men went to Catraeth, mead-nourished band"

"Pale mead their portion, it was poison"

"For a feast of mead they gave their lives,"

These are just a few of the lines taken from "Y Gododdin" that mention mead.
I am curious how others interpret the role/purpose of the drinking of the mead.

Was it the mead that gave them the courage to go fight so bravely? Or did the mead cause them to be really stupid in taking on so many soldiers? And why in the world would they drink and party for a whole year before getting down to business.

Was this a lord/thane thing, where they were being buttered up (so to speak) so they would owe allegiance. If they drank this stuff everyday for a year, I wounder how their health, strength and mental health were when they went into battle

Monday, April 7, 2008


Today, near the end of class we talked a little about what the Pagans were going to send to King Charles. When I first read that part I couldn't believe it. I thought that it was really weird when Blancandrin said that they would rather their children loose their heads than to forfeit honor and possessions, or being reduced to begging. What is that about? The king and all the higher ranking guys would gladly send their children to die. They have already lived long enough, or long enough to have kids, so wouldn't you want your children to live on for the sake of family?


So it's probable that we'll cover this in class today, but I thought that I would go ahead and share my thoughts on how our reading from The Song of Roland reminded me of the Council of Elrond from LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring. Emperor Charles holds a type of council to determine who should be sent out to journey to meet with the pagan king. Several volunteer, but each argues that the other should not be sent or cannot be trusted. It just reminded me when Elrond and company were trying to decide who should be sent to bear the Ring. Elves mistrusted dwarves, and dwarves mistrusted the elves, and men were too prone to fall into the temptation of the Ring's power. I think between the two accounts there are striking similarities.

confused about gondor help!!!

I am confused in th difference between gondor and ministirith. Are they the same thing or two seperate things. Osgillith is a city out side of gondor correct.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Battle Scenes

Its kind of ironic how the LOTR trilogy was on television this weekend. While I watched some of it, I realized that reading the battle scenes just isn't as good as watching them.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Show of Hands Ladies

How many of you cheered when Dernhelm reveals their true identity and kicks a little Ring Wraith butt?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wisdom and Traveling

Although it is a simple note, I have been somewhat intrigued by the progression of the four hobbit's characters. I feel that Tolkien has done a great job at improving their apparent wisdom gained through traveling. We mentioned wisdom (minimally learning from experiences) and traveling at the very beginning of this semester and I have really enjoyed the character development as reading progresses. Yes, they do still have a few slips in their decisions, but I was wondering if any one else felt the same way.