FOTR The Ring Goes South: Bk II Chapter III

A chapter by chapter as well as general discussion of Tolkien's masterpiece
Merry
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Post by Merry » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:16 pm

I think, in general, you're right, librislove. The only exception I can think of is the Oath of Eorl, which seems to have worked out pretty well. This could make a great paper--I don't know of any Tolkien scholar who has addressed this question!

(In the books, did Aragorn have a choice of letting Frodo go or not?)
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Airwin
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Post by Airwin » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:26 am

Merry wrote:(In the books, did Aragorn have a choice of letting Frodo go or not?)


In the books, Aragorn didn't have to make that choice as he never found Frodo after Boromir came back to tell the others Frodo had gone.
Namarie,

Airwin

librislove
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Post by librislove » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:38 am

No --Aragorn never found Frodo, but he did make a choice not to go after him--that is what I am referring to. It is not as dramatic as the film, but it's there. :D

"I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end; but if I seek him now in the wilderness, I must abandon the captives to torment and death. My heart speaks clearly at last: the fate of the Bearer is in my hands no longer. The Company has played its part. Yet we that remaiin cannot forsake our companions while we have strength left. "

LOTR, THE DEPARTURE OF BOROMIR


And while I would agree that the Oath of Eorl worked welll over time, by the events of the War of the Ring--it worked only because Theoden kept the bargain of love. Denethor had abrogated nearly all responsibility--expecting Theoden to come just because Gondor deserved it, not because she had truly honored the oath for a very long time. Denethor left Theoden standing alone for much of our story.
Many live who deserve death; some die who deserve life--can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be so quick to deal out death in judgment. Even the wisest cannot see all ends.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:15 am

I don't have anything to add but I do want to say how interesting all these posts about oaths, love and commitment have been. There have been such good points made and it would, indeed, make a great paper!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Post by Merry » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:48 pm

Yes! I think that eventually we could have quite a nice collection of essays here. We should publish them: Essays from the Pages of Middle-earth Journeys! I'm only about half kidding!

librislove, here is what Tyler has to say about the Oath of Eorl:

The reciprocal pledges formed the only substance behind the unshakeable alliance between the two peoples, yet the Oath was valiantly fulfilled several times over the ensuing five hundred years...
(emphasis mine)

I'm not sure that there was much opportunity for love between the two peoples (with the exception, of course, of Theoden's parents! :wink: ) The two populations didn't seem to know each other that well. And while I don't want to defend Denethor too much (all that 'my way or naught' stuff being highly repugnant!), Theoden did not call for Gondor's aid, did he? The Red Arrow and all that?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

librislove
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Post by librislove » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:38 pm

Yes Merry, you are correct--Theoden, especially under the influence of Wormtongue, was not likely to look outward for any other's need. But free of his nefarious adviser, he was ready to help--to honor his committment. Denethor, who fancied himself knowing all that went on in Middle Earth, was either blinded by the influence of Sauron through the palantir , or willfullly ignored what was happening to Theoden's Rohan until he himself was in extremis--then he sent out the Red Arrow. Either way, the Oath of Eorl was nearly lost in the process during the War of the Ring, and it was Theoden who answered for his people in the end, not Denethor. Probably Tolkien used the near-breaking of such an ancient and venerated oath to show how far Sauron had intruded upon what was good in Middle Earth. If I remember correctly Elessar and Eomer went to Halafirion to renew the Oath after the War; this and the marriage of Eowyn and Faramir would have done much to repair the damaged relationships. Aragorn and Eomer considered themselves brother kings, as did the original swearers of the oath, while Theoden and Denethor had turned so far inward and away from the broader concerns of their neighbors that the Oath was almost useless in their time of need. Like so much else good in Middle Earth, though, Tolkien saw it renewed in the end.


ISN"T THIS FUN!!!! :D :shock:
Many live who deserve death; some die who deserve life--can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be so quick to deal out death in judgment. Even the wisest cannot see all ends.

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:41 am

Yes, indeed! :D
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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