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Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:15 pm
by Beren
Lindariel wrote:Terrific Beren! I was so excited to see that you came to the same conclusion that "eldest of all our race" refers to the descendants of Melian/Luthien. Like you said -- great minds think alike!
In which I did mean you ofcourse...
Luckely i'm a bit like Tolkien and always make drafts before putting together letters and articles, and on a mac it is so easy to recover old stuff. Basically I was interested in the use of Athelas by the king, which reminded me of old sagas, where kings do have "God"ly powers and I wished to find out if Tolkien had used this in the books. I never managed to finish the article. One day I hope to succeed in this. It was in this quest that I encountered that Aragorn was actually doing different actions with Athelas and that it depended on the state of the person he was using it. Secondly I saw you forgot some healing scenes, there for I digged up my old stuff to make it complete!

Interesting subject by the way...

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:20 pm
by Merry
Iolanthe, I love that line, too. I see Tolkien's religious faith in it.

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:51 pm
by Lindariel
"My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command? . . . . For who would lie idle when the king has returned."
Hee, Iolanthe! That's my signature line over at Writers of Rohan, where I am known as Chantal!

I just LOVED that moment of Faramir's complete acceptance and acknowledgment of Aragorn as King. He KNEW him immediately. "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer." Indeed!

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:37 pm
by Merry
My fault: we should probably wait until we get to the Houses of Healing chapter to discuss this further.

In the meantime, let's discuss mallorn trees! Tolkien's practice of inventing fictional plants is really interesting to me. He does this while also referring to the existence of plants we know in the present day. Since the idea was that Middle-earth was our own world in the distant past, do you think he meant us to imagine that mallorns and elanors and niphredels, etc., have gone extinct?

I also think that he thought that trees and other plants are healing to the soul.

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:40 am
by Beren
Just received a new book on this topic - the plants of Middle-earth. Will have a look what is inside on Mallorn trees and come back to tell!

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:34 pm
by Merry
I'd love a review of the book as well, Beren. Is it worth ordering?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:25 am
by Iolanthe
Merry wrote:Since the idea was that Middle-earth was our own world in the distant past, do you think he meant us to imagine that mallorns and elanors and niphredels, etc., have gone extinct?
That's what I've always thought. Or rather that they have passed away to some other plane of existence like the elves, the ents, the hobbits and dwarves. 'Extinct' to our eyes but not really gone. That would be unbearable.

Cerin Amroth holds the best about trees all in one spot. The white leafless trees showing us the beauty of trees in winter and the mallorns arrayed in pale gold leaves, still poised in their autumn glory. Beautiful!

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:54 pm
by Lindariel
Ah! Cerin Amroth! I LOVE the description of Frodo's experiences climbing the hill with Haldir, his awareness of the life within the tree, his vision of the world from the top of the flet, and then his beautiful encounter with Aragorn after coming down from the tree:
At the hill's foot Frodo found Aragorn, standing still and silent as a tree; but in his hand was a small golden bloom of elanor, and a light was in his eyes. He was wrapped in some fair memory: and as Frodo looked at him he knew that he beheld things as they once had been in this same place. For the grim years were removed from the face of Aragorn, and he seemed clothed in white, a young lord tall and fair; and he spoke words in the Elvish tongue to one whom Frodo could not see. Arwen vanimelda, namarie! he said, and then he drew a breath, and returning out of his thought he looked at Frodo and smiled.

"Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth," he said, "and here my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I. Come with me!" And taking Frodo's hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man.
I remember the first time I read LOTR, that last phrase frightened me terribly, because I thought the Professor was indicating that Aragorn would be the next of the Fellowship to die! Needless to say, I was very relieved when this proved not to be the case. Still, it seems terribly sad to me that Aragorn never returned to Lothlorien in his lifetime, although I suppose this should not be so surprising, since after Galadriel leaves for the West, the remaining inhabitants of Lothlorien do not remain very long when the magic of Nenya begins to fade. Celeborn eventually relocates to Imladris to be with his grandsons. The others either depart for the West, or go to live with Legolas and his people in Ithilien.

The next time we hear of Cerin Amroth, it has become Arwen's "green grave" in the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen in the Appendices:
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.
How very sad! At least the Professor has seen to it that she will never be forgotten!

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:47 am
by Iolanthe
For some reason reading that brought tears to my eyes, although I've read it many times. I'd forgotten for the moment that Cerin Amroth was Arwen's grave and it makes Aragorn's words even more poignant:
"Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth," he said, "and here my heart dwells ever..."
I need a hankie :cry: .
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.
So they are still blooming somewhere!

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:36 pm
by Lindariel
I know, Iolanthe! I was tearing up as I typed that post. The place where Aragorn's heart dwells forever, "the heart of Elvendom on earth," becomes Arwen's grave! Sniff . . . I'm doing it again . . .