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Week 19- Return of the King Chapters 1 and 2

Discussion in 'Bookclub' started by Shouldabeenadog, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Death Eater

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    Forth Eorlingas!

    So my book has a zoomed in map of south Rohan, east Gondor and west Mordor, and I found myself referencing it heavily.

    Chapter 1- Pippin has places to go and people to meet.
    I really enjoyed the sense of haste that Gandalf's ride engenders. He presses through to Minis Tirith with several different expressions of "great speed". Even Shadowfax is shown to get pushed to his limits.
    We also finally meet Denethor, and I read with dread how he interrogated Pippin. He is clearly intelligent, full of grief, and looking for someone to take it out. And even more terrifying, he is cogent enough to mine pippin for everything he could, and defers the rage. Cold Fury is how I would best describe how he is written, and the fact he is so intelligent makes the interaction with him very disconcerting.
    Then we get Pippin's day on the town, which did a massive service in giving us a common person's perspective on the situation, the dread of impending war, the fear of the lack of soldiers, the hope that there will be enough.
    I also really like how this chapter is done from Pippin's perspective. Its a good harkening back to Fellowship where we start with Bilbo and Frodo and I think it works great.

    Chapter 2- Aragorn is out of fucks.
    While it seemed like this chapter would be Merry focused to counterpoint Pippin, we follow Aragorn instead into the paths of the dead and out again. Gimli's character growth here is a lovely touch, but I wish there had been some Legolas perspective as well. We have Elrond's two sons marching to war and he doesn't say anything. This should be as big of a deal as Harry and William joining the french foreign legion to fight in the Balkans. He should say something, say anything. Instead we get very little about them, and and just a little about the mystery of the Dunedain coming south. (Of course it was Galadriel. She is our queen after all).
    But this has hands down my favorite scene of the entire series so far. Eowen's plea to join Aragon and his refusal is so powerful. She asks him nicely, he says no. She asks again just before they leave, girded in armor and ready to join them. He says no. She then drops to her knees in the most emotion we have seen of anyone, and begs to be allowed to fight, to do great deeds. Aragorn says no, but its clear her words and manner have affected him deeply.

    " 'A time may come soon,' said he, 'when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defense of your homes. Yet the deeds will be no less valiant because they are unpraised.
    And she answered: 'All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more.'
    ...
    'What do you fear, lady?' he asked
    'A cage' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.'"

    Ho. Ly. Shit. Where do you even start? I am just so taken with her response, her demand for glory in battle and demand to be treated as the warrior she has trained to be. The cage commentary is unnerving. Its not being caged, but accepting your imprisonment/limitations/weaknesses that she finds most terrifying. And now I fear it too. 'to have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more' hits so hard, and yet the impotence of it makes it even sharper. Thankfully, she gets her due later.

    Next week is chapters 3 and 4. 3k words less, so it should go easier.
     
  2. Nazgoose

    Nazgoose The Honky-tonk ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    Chapter 1: Minas Tirith
    • Gondor calls for aid without Gandalf's involvement. It seems to be a trend that ppl are more ready for war than in the movies, first with the ents, then Rohan, and now Gondor.
    • Pipin's take on Minas Tirith was fun, though it ends on a darker note with him and the kid seeing the reinforcements trickle in and everyone noting how many more they'd hoped for. Does a good job of setting the stage of a city ready for siege
    Chapter 2: The Passing of the Grey Company
    • Aragorn's kinsmen showing up is such a great moment in the book, I'm sad they cut it in the movies. I get why, but the reminder that he's not just a solo wanderer is a great addition.
    • The note from Legolas that his and Gimli's kin don't need to march to war to meet it was a good note that helps make the scale of the conflict real
    • Aragorn's note that he wandered through Rohan before Eowyn was born was a great moment that reminds us just how old this fucker is
    • That scene in all was great, the bit about her having the men's leave to die in the home after they're all dead and don't need it hit hard
    • The Men of the Mountains swore their oath to Isildur on the founding the Gondor, I wonder if we'll get to see that in Rings of Power. That's be a really cool moment when we know what will come.
    • I was left a bit confused by the valley they pass by before getting to the stone, that seems like living ppl but I thought all the Men of the Mountain were dead.
    • The scene where they follow is significantly less dramatic than in the movie, but not less powerful
     
  3. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Death Eater

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    That is a good point how much more ready people are for war. I wonder if this is just a state of the book vs. movies, or is it a reflection of how we were more on a peace footing than the world was after the 50s, and the idea of just being ready for war to break out at any time making more sense.

    I was more confused by Legola's comment about war coming to them. Does he mean if they lose then the world will be swallowed? It felt more immediate, like Mirkwood was going to rise up and attack them. Which would work but has almost no context to go off of. If Sauron marched from Mordor to the Iron Hills he'd leave his flank open to Galadriel, and as we are seeing, that is a very stupid thing to do.

    I will again say how awesome the Eowen scene is. Goddamn, it still sticks with me. I can hear it in the actress's voice too, and its spooky.

    The living people from my map are regular people, I actually thought they were some of the same people that sent soldiers to minas tirith in chapter 1, and now a small band of cloaked riders comes out of the pathway that everyone who goes through dies. I'd freak the hell out, and with all the fighters gone, run for the house.

    https://www.theonering.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/gondor_map.jpg
    [​IMG]

    You can see the Erech stone on the very far top left, and Dunnharrow just north of it. I think they come out of the pass next to the river Morthond. The people then would be the people of hte plains of Lamedon between the mountains and Erech.
     
  4. Nazgoose

    Nazgoose The Honky-tonk ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    Going by this map there's no need to go by Lorien, there seems to not really be anything of significance between Mordor and the Iron Hills (and the Lonely Mountain) way on the north east, maybe you were looking at the Misty Mountains? We know from the Council of Elrond that Sauron has sent emissaries to them with threats, and I do have vague memories of it being made clear that everyone came under siege, even if the main blow was against Gondor.

    Hmm guess so. They went from a place of the dead in the mountains, out into a valley that still has living people, and then to the stone where the oath was sworn, which on a closer read is actually outside of the mountains, just chilling on a hill no one dares approach. I think I was letting my "movie knowledge" that the place the oath is called upon is within the Paths of the Dead color my reading.
     
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