Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 2

In the second chapter of The Two Towers, the remaining members of the Company rapidly lose hope in finding their friends. When that hope is returned to them, Tolkien promptly rips it away. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.


I think this chapter is purposely designed to be so long because it’s an exercise in frustration and torment. It’s beautifully written at times, and it takes the three non-hobbit characters that are still alive to an uncomfortable place. So it feels like I am experiencing every moment of irritation and hopelessness that they are. THIS HURTS. Everything is pain and EVERYTHING HURTS.

It’s just so fucked up. I now understand that Merry and Pippin are gone as well, and as freaked out as that makes me, it is such a fascinating choice to narrate from the view of these three remaining characters. I’m eager to find out what the hobbits are up to, but for now, I completely enamored with the story. It is a frustrating read, though, because nothing seems to go as it needs to be. The three characters head northwards to find any sort of sign that the hobbits are alive, and Tolkien slowly drains them of any hope that they will find them at all.

Can we just talk about my favorite sentence?

A cliff frowned upon their right; to their left rose grey slopes, dim and shadowy in the late night.

“A cliff frowned” might be the best sentence fragment ever composed in the English language. It’s so perfect and poetic and I just want to hug Tolkien so much for writing this.

Anyway, the first thing the group comes upon is another pile of Orcs, but these were clearly not slain by their hand. Someone or something else had to have killed them, and Aragorn guesses that the Northern Orcs brought their own enemy along with them without knowing. I’m sort of desperate for any information on the Orcs at all at this point, and I’m way into the idea that there are different tribes or groups of them, distinguishable from one another. I’m curious what their society is like. Do they always just go around doing evil deeds all of the time? Are there Orc marriages? Orc slumber parties? Do Orcs have hair? Are there genders in the Orc community?

Okay, I’m pushing things too far, but Tolkien gives us so much information about every other creature and species in Middle-earth, and we know next to nothing about Orcs. I don’t imagine at this point that we’ll even get an Orc character with a name, but even the tiniest of crumbs would be nice.

Chapter two involves Tolkien’s favorite physical activity to describe: walking. I imagine if he were alive today, he’d join one of those groups who walk around a mall before it opens. I once worked in a mall for two and a half years. Mall walker culture is genuinely one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever observed in my life. They have specialized stretching routines!!!

I do admit to be a bit tired of characters walking, though it is, once again, given a new context. One of the the things I liked about Tolkien’s decision to end Fellowship where and how he did is that it gives an automatic sense of unease to everything because they have an unknown destination. Even if they have a temporary goal – in this case, locating their friends – there really isn’t any sort of stability. This is not like the story in The Hobbit, where there was a place they had to reach and then return from. Every page is telling me that this might very well be a one-way journey.

Every detail seems sinister, and that’s one hell of a feat of storytelling. The eagle in the sky? Totally a spy of Sauron, and you can’t convince me otherwise. The fact that they’re lost? Some sort of spell cast by Saruman. The fact that the Orcs are a day and a half ahead of them? The work of some dark, evil magic. The sign that Pippin quite possibly provided to the Company to show that he was alive at that point? A goddamn dirty trick. It is entirely within reason here to just doubt everything. I mean, even the decision to sleep or continue on that first night is the source of an epic debate. I’m not criticizing that, since it’s an awful decision to have to make. More than ever, I am aware of just how exhausting it is for these characters to keep moving. They’ve been walking and running for nearly twenty-four hours straight without any sort of real pause or respite from physical activity. SERIOUSLY ARE THESE CHARACTERS MACHINES? Actually, that’s another tiny detail about this world I like: nearly every species (is that even the correct term?) has grown up walking long distances.

And then Tolkien proceeds to make things worse, one after another. Aragorn discovers that there are horses oncoming. (By the way, he does this by listening to the ground for hours. HOURS!!!) This affects the pallor of their third day of travel, which is somber and quiet. Oh, right, that’s also because there isn’t a goddamn thing alive in the plains of Rohan. They start losing the trail while simultaneously noticing that there isn’t a living thing anywhere. Oh god, why is that so horrifically creepy to me? I suppose it would be worse if there were strange and deadly beasts roaming the plains, but the silence here is just way more foreboding to me.

‘There is something strange at work in this land. I distrust the silence. I distrust even the pale Moon. The stars are faint; and I am weary as I have seldom been before, weary as no Ranger should be with a clear trail to follow.’

I’ll just state again that I measure my own reaction against that of Aragorn’s. If he’s happy, I know it’s okay for me to be, too. If he is angry, I’m ready to annihilate his enemy with the fire of a thousand burning suns. And when he is upset, bothered, frightened, and suspicious? Then I’m ready to hide under the covers and not come out until everything is okay.

Right, nothing’s okay. That’s the message I get from this chapter. When the fourth day of searching brings about the evidence that the Orcs are A DAY AND A HALF AHEAD OF THEM, it’s when I just lose it. This is beyond being a disaster. This is hopeless. And that word might be used a lot, but I mean it in the most literal sense imaginable: these characters have lost all hope that they will find the hobbits. Or get anywhere they need to be. Or possibly even survive.

Stone-hard are the Dwarves in labour or journey, but this endless chase began to tell on him, as all hope failed in his heart. Aragorn walked behind him, grim and silent, stooping now and again to scan some print or mark upon the ground.

Straight up depressing, y’all. Night falls and the group is at their absolute lowest point. They’re exhausted, without any joy, and without a sign or clue where to go. And that is the moment that Tolkien decides this could all be even worse by bringing in the riders. Aragorn’s fear that riders were in the area is confirmed when a whole host of them (one hundred and five, if Legolas’s count is correct) come riding towards them. There is a tiny bit of hope, though, in the concession that Aragorn gives. He resolves to not run away and hide, mostly due to the fact that he could just not give a fuck about anything anymore. But he (correctly) guesses that these riders are not their enemy, but actually the ones in pursuit of the Orcs. IT IS THE RIDERS OF ROHAN. omg that name sounds so majestic.

I must admit to finding it a tad bit funny that the three of them quietly huddle in the grass at the foot of the hill until the Riders are upon them, and then Aragorn just stands up and says “LOL WHAT’S UP GUYS WHAT’S GOING ON.” Bless that man. Unsurprisingly, this causes the Riders to flip the fuck out. The specific rider who speaks with them is suspicious and rude with the group because WHO THE HELL JUST HANGS OUT IN ROHAN? At least that’s the sense I get from this conversation. People just don’t walk about the plains of Rohan, and they certainly don’t do it just to try and kill Orcs. Then the Rider insults Galadriel and Gimli acts as if he’s Hagrid and Vernon Dursley just spoke ill of Dumbledore. Oh, Gimli, your defense of that Elf is so beautiful I could weep.

But honestly, how awkward and tense is this entire conversation? Aragorn is smart to ask whom the Riders serve because HOW AWFUL WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN? I mean, I would not have been surprised; Tolkien seems to take great glee in bringing about the suffering of these three characters. For now, though, the Riders are certainly not on the side of Lord Sauron, though they aren’t in full-out war with him either.

Then comes the time for Aragorn to reveal whom he is, and he does that weird thing where he seems larger than before whenever he lists out his family history and namesake. Actually, this time, it’s a bit different:

He seemed to have grown in stature while Éomer had shrunk; and in his living face they caught a brief vision of the power and majesty of the kings of stone. For a moment it seemed to the eyes of Legolas that a white flame flickered on the brows of Aragorn like a shining crown.

That’s pretty cool. How can I acquire this power? I could tell people my name, make some reference to being the king of the Internet or something, and then people will look at me with awe! I would probably use this to get free coffee or snacks, though. Maybe I shouldn’t have this power.

Anyway, Aragorn’s conversation with Éomer is yet another vehicle for Tolkien to info-dump to the reader (I initially typed that as “info dump on us” and it sounded like I was saying that Tolkien pooped on us) in which we learn:

  • The Riders have already slain the Orcs.
  • They did not find any hobbits.
  • Right, the Riders of Rohan think hobbits are fairy tales. I totally forgot that there are places where hobbits have never been.
  • The king (Théoden) is not too friendly with Gandalf. He also didn’t believe Gandalf when the wizard told him about Saruman.
  • Oh, also, Théoden doesn’t like Gandalf because he stole Shadowfax, a horse, from him. LOL WHOOPS.
  • The Company traveled forty-five leagues in four days. Assuming this still meant three miles per league….yeah. 135 MILES. WHAT THE FUCK! omg they are beasts.
  • The Riders refused to sell horses to the Dark Lord, and that’s why Orcs were set upon Rohan.
  • Some sort of alliance between Orthanc and the Dark Tower is pretty much confirmed. GREAT.

So, everything is a thousand times more awful and complicated than we all thought. THIS IS PERFECT. THIS IS JUST WHAT WE NEED. Oh, what’s that? Tolkien is going to complicate things even further? Why am I not surprised?

‘I is against our law to let strangers wander at will in our land, until the king himself shall give them leave, and more strict is the command in these days of peril. I have begged you to come back willingly with me, and you will not. Loth am I to begin a battle of one hundred against three.’

AHHHHH SON OF A BEE FART. Aragorn, that fierce warrior, not only namedrops Éomer’s father, and REFUSES TO GO. In just fifteen seconds, he gets the man to LEND HIM THREE HORSES. Seriously, THIS IS SO AMAZING TO ME.

For me, though, it represents something that was lost over the course of this chapter: hope. They have horses now. They can search for the hobbits much more effectively now! THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Also, did anyone else cheer just a little bit when Gimli had to ride on the same horse as Legolas? Oh god, I should ship them just for the entertainment value that would provide. I mean, come on!

Gimli was lifted up behind his friend, and he clung to him, not much more at ease than Sam Gamgee in a boat.

There are few things in the entire world that bring me as much joy as this. I love it, and you cannot change my mind about this.

Unfortunately, I should have known that this moment could not last. Even with horses, all they are able to find are a few Orc tracks and a lot of dead Orcs. No sign of the hobbits, no trace of where they might have gone, and absolutely no hope that this is going to work out as they want it to. When night falls, it’s just heartbreaking that Gimli suggests they give up. They’ve lost Pippin and Merry, and there’s no way to determine where they went. So the group sets up camp in a glum mood, and after much arguing, Gimli starts a fire. Oh, and the tree next to them leans over to warm up from the fire. THAT IS JUST THE MOST AMAZING DETAIL EVER. Well, Aragorn actually kind of ruins it, mentioning how close they are to Fangorn, which is apparently some terrifying forest. Are the trees alive there? Oh god, they’re totally going to go there, aren’t they?

Okay, I’m already getting goosebumps just thinking about this, but as if there really isn’t enough terror in chapter two, one of the creepiest things in this whole book happens when Gimli takes first watch that night.

Suddenly Gimli looked up, and there just on the edge of the firelight stood an old bent man, leaning on a staff, and wrapped in a great cloak; his wide-brimmed hat was pulled down over his eyes. Gimli sprang up, too amazed for the moment to cry out, though at once the thought flashed into his mind that Saruman had caught them. Both Aragorn and Legolas, roused by his sudden movement, sat up and stared. The old man did not speak or make a sign.

FUCK THIS. JUST FUCK EVERYTHING. Are you kidding me? How did Saruman find them? How does he know where they are? HOW DOES HE JUST DISAPPEAR???

Suddenly Legolas gave a cry. ‘The horses! The horses!’ The horses were gone. They had dragged their pickets and disappeared.

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH I AM FULL OF RAGE AND FRUSTRATION! WHY? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? TOLKIEN, I HAVE LIKE FIVE ANGRY LETTERS TO WRITE YOU. STOP DOING THIS TO THESE CHARACTERS. oh my god, this is SO FUCKING AWFUL! Merry and Pippin are gone, possibly dead. We have no clue what Sam and Frodo are up to. And the three surviving members of the Company are out in the middle of nowhere, horseless, and terrified by the threat of Saruman.

Just fuck everything.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

412 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 2

  1. Becky_J_ says:

    *Another brief summary provided by Becky*

    RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING sleeping RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING sleeping cursing RUNNING listening to the ground RUNNING being depressed RUNNING talking with horse-guys and having a weird conversation that varies between animosity and friendship NO MORE RUNNING YAY camping sleeping CREEPY OLD DUDE AND MOVING TREES.

    Okay. So it's a little simplified. You get the picture 😀
    Just a few notes about this chapter:

    1. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN RUN SO FREAKING MUCH. Do you know when I run? NEVER. If I had to run for my life, I would probably die. Gross.
    2. Aragorn is like a ninja at tracking. HOW DOES HE DO IT. This is a skill I would like to learn.
    3. Another skill I would like to learn…. Legolas' sleeping trick, where he does it while doing productive things like running! YOU GUYS THIS WOULD BE THE END OF ALL OF MY PROBLEMS EVER.
    4. LOL to listening to the ground. Look. I just don't think it works like that. NOT THAT I KNOW. but still.
    5. "For the sire of their race was the great horse of Eorl that knew the speech of men." YOU GUYS. CAN WE COUNT THIS. CAN WE COUNT THIS AS OUR TALKING PONY. I mean. We don't actually SEE the horse talk… BUT IT IS SAID OUTRIGHT THAT HE COULD TALK. I am wayyyy too excited about this.
    6. Aragorn gets his 8th I mean 9,876th I mean…. okay, look, I LOST TRACK, but Aragorn get's another name! WINGFOOT. woohooo for Million-name Aragorn!! lol look you guys I gave him another one LOL
    8. What is with the creepy forests with the moving trees. Do you guys remember the last one?? Cause in the last one, A TREE TRIED TO EAT MERRY AND PIPPIN. do not want do not want

    and that brings me to my final point

    9. IF I WAS CAMPING AT THE EDGE OF A CREEPY SENTIENT FOREST AND A CREEPY OLD MAN JUST ~APPEARED~ I WOULD LOSE MY SHIT. This is not funny. I would run home crying to my mother instantly. It would be the final freaking straw. THIS IS NOT OKAY. and the ponies are gone

    • Alberthe says:

      Everything in this chapter was completely overshadowed for me by the MENTIONING OF A TALKING PONY (ok, horse, whatevs):D:D:D

      And I also literally laughed out loud when Aragorn got himself another name. And that thing he does with his sword? Pulls it out and dramatically states his name and kin? It's ridiculous. I imagine a huge spotlight coming down from above and a choir of angels singing 'ta-daaaa!' I would have loved to see Buffy's reaction.

      • Jenny_M says:

        Your last paragraph makes me think of something out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

        • rubyjoo says:

          Sorry, you guys, but Tolkien is not referring to a talking horse, LOL! He "knew" the speech of men means that he understood what was being said to him, like many intelligent dogs who understand the word "leash/lead" even when you spell it out so as not to get them over-excited. Yes, I know. I'm such a spoil-sport.

          • Katie says:

            No, I think he really meant "knew" as in "could use". Because other animals in these books understand what is being said to them as well, and it's not a big deal.

            • Tauriel_ says:

              I agree. Especially since you take into account that (rot13'd for Silmarillion spoilers) Rbey'f ubefr – sbetbg uvf anzr ng gur zbzrag – jnf qrfpraqrq sebz Anune, Bebzë'f ubefr sebz Inyvabe. Naq nyy navznyf sebz Inyvabe pbhyq fcrnx. Naq rira fbzr bs gurve qrfpraqnagf va gur Guveq Ntr znantrq gb xrrc guvf novyvgl (gur rntyrf, sbe vafgnapr).

              • rubyjoo says:

                Well, you learn something every day, Tauriel. I've always thought that sentence meant that they merely understood the language of men but your information from the Sil confirms me in my utter wrongness, LOL!

          • Katarina says:

            I'm starting to wonder if, despite the racism and the religious anviliciousness, it is time for some of us to (re)read The Horse and His Boy. Talking horses (and Aravis) make up for a lot.

      • Dru says:

        Here is a talking HORSE (most definitely no pony) to make us all happy:

        <img src="; />

    • Alice says:

      No.5 :yes I think we can count it 🙂

    • ljrTR says:

      Your Number 5 – Yes, that's what I thought on re-reading the chapter – there's the talking pony!

    • Marie the Bookwyrm says:

      5. "For the sire of their race was the great horse of Eorl that knew the speech of men." YOU GUYS. CAN WE COUNT THIS. CAN WE COUNT THIS AS OUR TALKING PONY. I mean. We don't actually SEE the horse talk… BUT IT IS SAID OUTRIGHT THAT HE COULD TALK. I am wayyyy too excited about this.

      When I was reading the chapter last night, this sentence just LEAPT out at me. 🙂 So close to talking ponies!

    • monkeybutter says:

      <img src=""&gt;
      As for number five, I'm definitely willing to count that. He was the ur-talking pony.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Oh god there is a talking horse! No more animal racism, Yes!
      This book is already on good way to equality. Does this mean we can hope for a few more women now? ; )

    • notemily says:

      Do you know when I run? NEVER.


    • flootzavut says:

      I think calling those horses talking *ponies* might actually insult them. But talking creatures of equine nature, yep! 😀

  2. knut_knut says:

    …he could sleep, if sleep it could be called by Men, resting his mind in the strange paths of elvish dreams, even as he walked open- eyed in the light of this world.
    WHAT IS THIS MAGIC SKILL? I want it! Can he still multitask? This would have been sooooo useful while I was in school. Actually, it would still be useful.

    "Feet!" said Gimli. "But we cannot eat them as well as walk on them”
    WAIT. Please tell me I’m reading this incorrectly. Was Gimli implying they could EAT the horses? YOU CAN’T EAT YOUR PONY, GIMLI! IT HAS FEELINGS! IT COULD PROBABLY TALK IF IT WANTED TO

    This isn’t the most exciting chapter of all, since it’s a lot of running, but it fits the hopelessness of the trio’s quest. You really get the sense that they’re not getting anywhere and this whole venture is useless. However, we’ve finally been introduced to the people of Rohan!!! YAY! I think most of the reason why I like them is because they have horses <3 Yea, Eomer insulted Galadriel and threatened Gimli, but he has a horse; it kind of evens out.

    • cait0716 says:

      I definitely got the impression that Gimli was planning to eat the horses. Or at least keep it as an option if they ran out of lembas. Mmmmm, horse jerky.

      Actually, has anyone here eaten horse? I'm a little curious as to what it tastes like.

    • Zetal says:

      WAIT. Please tell me I’m reading this incorrectly. Was Gimli implying they could EAT the horses?

      Possibly, I guess, but my understanding was that they'd left the packs on the horses and therefore the horses ran off with the food.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        No, he definitely meant "eat the horses". The point being that they can carry you and in a time of need you can kill them and eat the meat.

  3. Becky_J_ says:

    Also, you guys, LOOK, they came out with another trailer for the Hobbit!!!

    <img src=""&gt;

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
    (sorry if I got anyone excited by that first line, I just had to)

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Oh, gosh, that gif! It's adorable!

    • ferriswheeljunky says:

      Does anyone know where the whole Martin Freeman hedgehog thing came from, btw? I find it equal parts hilarious, adorable and baffling.

      • platoapproved says:

        I have no idea, personally. It was baffling to me, too, when it started to happen… the random tumblr comments just started to shift from "you have a pet hedgehog? that's pretty unusual!" to "you have a pet hedgehog? JUST LIKE JOHN WATSON". I honestly had no idea what the hell was going on for the longest time.

        /cool story bro

        • ferriswheeljunky says:

          Do hedgehogs make good pets? I kind of want one now…

          • platoapproved says:

            Well, that's a complicated question. Clearly YES, because I have one and adore him, but obviously every hedgehog has a different personality, and the rest depends where you get them and how they were raised, what your lifestyle is and how much time you are willing to put in, things like that. They are illegal in a few states in the U.S., so you'd have to check out whether you CAN have one, first. They require love and patience and attention, but having one can be very rewarding. I mean, look at this face:

            <img src=""&gt;

            • knut_knut says:

              OH MY GOD!! So cute!! I've heard they're kind of high maintenance, but with a face like that I don't think I'd mind.

              • platoapproved says:

                They can be, a bit, though any animal is going to be high maintenance in its own way. IT'S NOT LIKE THEY DO IT ON PURPOSE, hedgies just require a lot of patience and delicate handling, since they tend to be timid and slow to trust. But that only makes me love them more. I can't speak for them as a whole, but I know that mine is very sweet-tempered and affectionate and curious (and a bit mischievous…he really loves chewing on books when he can get his jaws on them) and thoroughly worth it.

                If you want, he has his own youtube channel for silly little videos I have taken of him here. HOW HAVE I BECOME MRS. FIGG I promise I'll shut up now, y'all.

            • flootzavut says:

              SO CUTE AGAIN. I had no idea you could even HAVE a pet hedgehog <3

        • Kore says:

          Hedgehogs occupy about the same place in European culture as bunny rabbits do in the States – "Awww, so cuuute!"

          So John Watson is terribly cute, but a bit prickly? Sounds about right.

          • platoapproved says:

            Yeah, I think it was something like that. The idea that he looks prickly at first glance but underneath it there is a soft fuzzy warm tummy. Or something.

            • Dru says:

              I didn't even know one COULD keep hedgehogs as pets before that!

              (and your Captain Yates just shot my last half hour of productivity to hell)

              • platoapproved says:

                They are still far less common than many other animals, but there's definitely plenty of happy hedgehog owners out there!

                (well, I hope it was an enjoyable half hour at least)

        • notemily says:

          Sort of like Matt Smith and badgers?

    • JustMalyn says:

      so adorable 🙂 I just died of cuteness.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      That hedgehog is the most adorable thing ever. <3 <3 <3

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I CAN'T.


      WITH CUTE.

    • flootzavut says:

      SO CUTE <3

    • Cakemage says:

      Oh Em Gee, so cute! Suddenly I miss my childhood hedgehog, Spike (look, I used up all my creative names on my many, many other animals, okay). He was such a little cutie. I loved how he would eat mealworms right out of my hands and make the most adorable little crunchy sounds in the process. <3

      • platoapproved says:

        I can't feed my hedgehog mealworms out of my hand because he gets really into it and sometimes ends up biting me on accident in his enthusiasm. Plus he likes ~the thrill of the chase~ and prefers if he has to sniff out/hunt them himself.

        (His name is Mike, but he often gets called "Mike the Spike", it is totally a legit name for a hedgehog)

    • tardis_stowaway says:


  4. Jenny_M says:

    This chapter is one of my favorites for establishing sheer distance, and also showing what the three hunters are capable of when they don't have hobbit baggage tying them down (sorry, hobbits, I love you, but you have short legs).

    Movie stuff:

    Zzz, Xney Heona.

    Is this that same motherless bumblebee who is now farting merrily? You do realize that expulsions of gas cannot have children, right? Or did you not learn about the birds and the bee farts?

  6. rabidsamfan says:

    Eomer! And now we have another name we don't have to put in rot13! I've been looking forward to seeing how Mark would take the Rohirrim. And this whole review fills me with delight. I'm with Mark, the sense of dread here permeates everything, but oh, the way Tolkien expresses things. Sam Gamgee in a boat! A cliff frowning!

    And then Eomer goes and adds another bit of confusion to the question of what Orcs look like. I mean, if he can wonder if a Man, a Dwarf, and an Elf might be Orcs, then Orcs must come in more than one shape and size. Did the Elven cloaks disguise them THAT much? The one thing we can be sure of is that they're generally humanoid.

    Actually, Tolkien tends to give us clues that are sort of negative about the majority of Orcs. Gandalf mentions "black Uruks of Mordor" back in the mines of Moria. (I doubt he's using "black" in the old English sense of "black-haired", but perhaps he means it literally — camouflage for a night adapted race?) But he's distinguishing them from the other Orcs there — who seem to live perfectly happy in the dark. Most cave creatures lose color. Are those Orcs pale and ghostlike?

    And then there are the strange bodies among the dead enemies by Boromir in the last chapter. "Four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands." Presumably those are the differences, the majority of orcs being smaller, paler, round-eyed, with skinny legs and small hands? It's also clear from that passage that Aragorn can tell the difference between Orcs out of Mordor and Orcs from the North, although that might be cultural — weaponry and armor.

    They're distorted somehow, that seems clear, but in just what way I guess we'll have to think up for ourselves.

    Va gur zbivr, bs pbhefr, gur Bepf ner pbzcyrgryl qvfgvathvfunoyr sebz nalguvat uhzna, ryira, be qjneira, ohg vg ybbxf yvxr Gbyxvra zrnag fbzr fhogyre fbeg bs qvfgbegvba. V pna'g erzrzore vs gur yvar nobhg gurve univat orra Ryirf bapr vf va gur obbx, ohg vg ernyyl fgehpx zr jura Fnehzna fnvq vg va gur svyz. Tvira ubj znal Bepf gurer ner, gurer zhfg unir orra n ybg bs Ryirf. Naq jung unccraf jura na Bep qvrf? Vf gung Ryira fbhy svanyyl serrq? Be unf vg orra fb pbeehcgrq gung gung Rys unf tbar bire gb gur qnex fvqr naq jvyy fvzcyl prnfr gb rkvfg?

    • alisabet says:

      V qba'g guvax rnpu fcrpvsvp bep jnf perngrq sebz na rys. V guvax vg fnlf va Gur Fvyznevyyvba gung bepf bevtvangrq sebz ryirf jura gur qnex ybeq bs gur gvzr(vg'f orra fb ybat fvapr V ernq vg, V sbetbg zbfg anzrf)jnf znqr pehqr pbcvrf gb unir uvf bja sbyybjref. Fb gurer vfa'g na rys fbhy va rnpu bep vf jung V'z gelvat gb fnl V thrff.

    • ljrTR says:

      ertneqvat Bepf, qbrfa'g Gerrorneq fnl gur qnex ybeq perngrq gurz va vzvgngvba bs Ryirf? qvq n cerggl cbbe wbo, V'q fnl.

    • baruchan says:

      Vs V erzrzore pbeerpgyl, gur svefg bepf jrer ryirf gung Zryxbe gbezragrq naq gjvfgrq vagb n zbpxrel bs jung gurl bapr jrer, gb qrsvyr gur Svefgobea Puvyqera bs Reh Vyhingne, nf n fbeg bs "HC LBHEF!" gb gurve perngbe. V qba'g xabj ubj na ragver enpr jnf fcnjarq sebz gubfr gjvfgrq ryirf, gubhtu, orpnhfr gurl boivbhfyl pbhyqa'g vaurevg npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf. V unir boivbhfyl gubhtug gbb ybat naq uneq ba guvf. Gubhtu va zl urnqpnaba, bepf yvir nf ybat nf ryirf qb, naq gung bep-puvyqera ybbx yvxr ryirf ng svefg, naq ner evghnyvfgvpnyyl gbegherq/vaqbpgevangrq gb ungr ornhgl/rgp. hagvy gurl ybbx naq orunir yvxr gur bepf gung jr'er nyy snzvyvne jvgu. (Fbeel, V unir n gjvfgrq zvaq.)

      • Laura says:

        "orpnhfr gurl boivbhfyl pbhyqa'g vaurevg npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf"

        Jryy, gung jbhyq or gehr va bhe jbeyq. Ohg jr'er gnyxvat nobhg n jbeyq gung jnf perngrq ol fvatvat, nsgre nyy… :C

      • rabidsamfan says:

        Ouch. That's kind of brilliant, actually.

        Ironic that it's Orcs that are making me really begin to want to read the Silm…

      • Dreamflower says:

        V qba'g xabj ubj na ragver enpr jnf fcnjarq sebz gubfr gjvfgrq ryirf, gubhtu, orpnhfr gurl boivbhfyl pbhyqa'g vaurevg npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf.

        Hayrff cneg bs gur gbegher naq gjvfgvat vaibyirq zrffvat hc gurve QAN. Nsgre nyy, bepf, rgp. unir oynpx oybbq. Fhccbfr gur punatr va gur pbybe bs gur oybbq jnf arprffnel gb pnhfr gur Ryirf gb cnff ba gur npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf? (V unir n guvat nobhg gung oynpx oybbq– V pna'g vzntvar vg jnf fvzcyl tvira gb gurz sbe nrfgurgvp ernfbaf. Zbetbgu: "Qba'g lbh guvax vg jbhyq zngpu zl arj bhgsvg orggre vs vg jnf oynpx?")

        OGJ: V nyfb unir n urnqpnaba rkcynangvba sbe gubfr zbivr-irefr Bepf Fnehzna vf rkcrevzragvat jvgu. Gur vzcyvpngvba vf ur unf fbzrubj znantrq gb pybarq gurz…ohg va zl urnqpnaba vg vf sne fvzcyre– gubfr vpxl cbqf be jungrire gurl pbzr sebz ner abg zrnag gb perngr Bepf be Hehx-Unv, ohg gb nppryrengr gurve tebjgu. Jung hfr vf n onol bep? Vg pna'g svtug. Fgvpx vg va bar bs gubfr cbqf naq va whfg n fubeg gvzr lbh unir n shyyl tebja jneevbe. Lbh pna cebtenz vg vagb gur cresrpg svtugre ng gur fnzr gvzr.

        • Zoli says:

          V guvax gung jurgure bepf jrer perngrq sebz ryirf, be whfg va vzvgngvba bs gurz, gurer jnf fbzr frevbhf zntvp tbvat ba. Jr nyfb yrnea yngre gung gebyyf jrer perngrq "va vzvgngvba bs Ragf" fb vg frrzf yvxr Zbetbgu/Fnheba jrer gelvat gb znxr gurve bja perngvbaf, rvgure gb zbpx gur bevtvany fcrpvrf be cbffvoyl gb perngr fbzrguvat "orggre."

        • Feanna says:

          V guvax gur pnaba rkcynangvba sbe gur Hehxf vf gung Fnehzna pbzovarq Bepf jvgu Zra (bs fbzr pregnva cneg bs Zvqqyr Rnegu jubfr anzr V'ir sbetbggra, ohg gur vzcyvpngvba jnf onq zra, ohg fgebat naq jvyq rgp.) nf gb znxr gur Bepf ovttre naq, zbfg vzcbegnagyl, vzzhar gb fhayvtug. Juvpu vf jul gur ubeqrf bs Hehx-unv pna nyfb zbir nebhaq qhevat gur qnl.

          • baruchan says:

            V oryvrir lbh zrna gur Qhayraqvatf? Vg'f orra n juvyr fvapr V ernq GGG, fb V'z abg gb fher nobhg gung.

          • Dreamflower says:

            Bu, V nterr jvgu gung. Gur cneg V jnf guvaxvat bs jnf gur "zbivr-irefr" fubjvat bs Hehx-unv frrzvatyl pybarq bhg bs gur rnegu. V'z fher gung obbx-irefr Fnehzna jnf qbvat fbzr frevbhf zntvp gb pbzovar Zra naq Bepf– vg'f vzcyvrq irel fgebatyl gung ur'f qbar fb. Ubjrire, nf n V fnvq, onol bepf jbhyq or bs ab hfr, fb jul abg hfr fbzr fbeg bs zrgubq gb nppryrengr gurve tebjgu?

      • feanna says:

        orpnhfr gurl boivbhfyl pbhyqa'g vaurevg npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf.

        Npghnyyl, (jvguva yvzvgf) guvf vfa'g gehr, rira va bhe jbeyq. Guvf vf zbfgyl qhr gb rcvtrargvpf. Fjvgpuvat zhygvcyr trarf ba naq/be bss pna unir ovt rssrpgf. Vg'f orra fubja gung pregnva raivebazragny vasyhraprf (yvxr snzvar sbe rknzcyr) pna or vaurevgrq npebff ng yrnfg 2 trarengvbaf.

        Gura gurer'f gur snpg gung jungrire zntvp (naq va gur jbeyq Gbyxvra'f perngrq urer, vg zvtug jryy or n pnfr bs "fpvrapr fb nqinaprq vg YBBXF yvxr zntvp") Zryxbe hfrq zvtug unir vasyhraprq gur QAN vgfrys. Gur Znvne perngrq obqvrf sbe gurzfryirf (gung frrz gb unir orra pncnoyr bs cebperngvat, hayrff jr cbfghyngr gung gurl cebperngr ba na raretl yriry naq gura grnpu gurve xvqf gb fvzhyngr obqvrf gbb (abg gung V qba'g svaq gung vqrn snfpvangvat)) bhg bs raretl naq gurl urycrq Reh perngr nyy bs Neqn. N znwbe cbvag vf gung gurl'er abg npghnyyl gurzfryirf pncnoyr bs perngvat yvsr (frr gur bevtva fgbel bs gur Qjneirf) naq guhf Zryxbe pna bayl gjvfg rkvfgvat perngherf, ohg V guvax gur vqrn gung ur unf sne ernpuvat novyvgvrf va gung nern vf abg greevoyl hayvxryl.

        • flootzavut says:

          See I was gonna mention epigenetics, but I don't have the science knowledge to back it up, I am HAPPY THAT SOMEONE DOES! 😀

        • baruchan says:

          V jba'g nethr jvgu lbh er: rcvtrargvpf, orpnhfr V gbgnyyl sbetbg nobhg gung jura V jebgr zl pbzzrag. Va zl qrsrapr, V erpragyl unq na nethzrag jvgu fbzrbar jub guvaxf gung Ynznepx'f pbaprcg bs vaurevgvat npdhverq punenpgrevfgvpf vf fgvyy inyvq juvyr qvfphffvat gur ribyhgvba bs snagnfl-perngherf jvgu gurz. V thrff vg'f fgvyy n fber cbvag jvgu zr fvapr V oebhtug vg hc va n gbgnyyl qvssrerag qvfphffvba, uru.

          • feanna says:

            (Qbrf guvf npghnyyl fgvyy arrq gb or plcurerq, be vf gur pbagrkg sne rabhtu erzbirq?, ohg naljnlf:)

            VZB vg'f abg rknpgyl yvxryl gung ZNWBE punatrf va nccrnenapr naq jungrire ryfr jbhyq or pneevrq guebhtu rcvtrargvpf, gubhtu V fhccbfr vs lbh uvg gur evtug pbzovangvbaf bs trarf fbzr cerggl ovt fghss pbhyq punatr. V QB guvax gung gb znxr n enpr bs (sbe guvf checbfr pncnoyr bs cebperngvat) bepf bhg bs ryirf Zryxbe cebonoyl unq gb zrff jvgu gurve QAN vgfrys. Ohg gura guvf vf nyy ulcbgurgvpny naljnlf naq lrnu, V'z abg ernyyl snzvyvne jvgu gur cevapvcyr lbh anzrq va vgfrys, ohg V pna frr jul vg jbhyq or sehfgengvat gb frr guvatf yvxr: Bu, zbz ybfg n yrt, xvq jvyy pbzr bhg jvgu n fubeg yrt! be fbzrguvat yvxr gung.

    • Zoli says:

      Most cave creatures lose color. Are those Orcs pale and ghostlike?

      This is totally off-topic, but can I just say the fact that Drow/dark-elves are cave-dwelling AND have pure black skin is one of my biggest fantasy pet peeves? I mean, even besides the black-skinned elves being All Chaotic Evil and all the really unfortunate implications that come with that, it doesn't even make sense! Things that live in caves are usually much paler or have no pigmentation at all, because they don't need it. (Also, they're usually blind, but…) I've seen a few settings handwave it as a "curse" bestowed on the Drow by gods for some evil deed in their past, but most of the settings (like D&D) don't even have that half explanation. WTF. I mean, I guess it's "cooler" for them to have black skin and pure white hair, but the logic of it just fails. D:

      • Sakura says:

        Ha, yes, it does seem like a very convinient curse, just to make them look more striking. Of course, as interesting as their society can be when played/written correctly, their entire premise is pretty cheesy.

        • Zoli says:

          Yeah, I've seen one person who wrote/played a really interesting drow character… but that's outweighed by the hundreds of Drizzt clones out there, not to mention Drizzt himself. (I haven't read the series myself; I struggled through the first five pages of awful infodumping and then gave up.) I guess it's not the worst fantasy concept out there, but it doesn't seem very well thought-out, either.

  7. Trey says:

    By my beard, you are so unprepared.

  8. Becky_J_ says:

    OH, and Mark! Fun fact. After yesterday's art post, I searched google for Boromir (I might have searched for Boromir art or Boromir drawing or Boromir shirtless OKAY DON'T JUDGE ME) and GUESS WHAT. Your beautiful face, one of the pictures from a couple reviews ago, COMES UP ON PAGE FOUR. awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  9. unefeeverte says:

    Just wait until you see the Riders of Rohan in the film. THEY ARE THE MOST AWESOME AND MAJESTIC THING EVER.

    I love Éomer. I love everything about Rohan so much. (THE MUSIC. The fucking HARDANGER FIDDLE, 's all I'm saying.)

    • plaidpants says:

      V gbgnyyl nterr. V'ir fnvq orsber gung gur Ebuna naq Ebuveevz gurzr ner zl snibevgrf. Fb tbetrbhf.

    • Fiona says:

      The music for Rohan makes me cry every time. I'm a sucker for violin music and Howard Shore's score is perfect.

    • atheistsisters says:

      Jura Rbjla fvatf gung shareny fbat, vg znxrf grnef fcevat gb zl rlrf FB SNFG. Lbh pna'g abg pel ng gung cneg, vg'f fb cresrpgyl ornhgvshy naq cresrpgyl fnq.

      • AmandaNekesa says:

        THIS. Vg'f fb ornhgvshyyl zbheashy naq unhagvat.

      • baruchan says:

        V UNGRQ gung gurl phg gung bhg sbe gur gurngevpny irefvba. V'z fb tynq Znex qrpvqrq gb jngpu gur RR, orpnhfr V ybir Zvenaqn Bggb naq ubj fur cbegenlrq Rbjla naq gung fbat oernxf zl urneg gb cvrprf rirel gvzr V guvax nobhg vg.

        Zvenaqn Bggb nyfb fnvq va gur pbzzragnevrf gung gur qvnyrpg pbnpurf jrer rfcrpvnyyl fgevpg jvgu ure cebabhapvngvba bs gur jbeqf sbe gur fbat, naq V'z tynq gurl jrer, orpnhfr gung shareny fprar vf bar bs gur orfg fprarf va zl snibevgrfg zbivr bhg bs gur gevybtl. <3

        • flootzavut says:

          ^ SO MUCH.

          Fbzrbar unf zl GGG RR naq jura V ernyvfrq, jngpuvat gur GR, gung fbat jnfa'gva vg, V ernyyl sryg yvxr V unq zvffrq bhg ovt gvzr.

      • flootzavut says:


        Nyfb Gurbqra fnlvat n cnerag fubhyq abg unir gb ohel gurve bja puvyq. Gurer vf fb zhpu ornhgl naq fnqarff va Ebuna :'(

    • ljrTR says:

      yep – SO well done in the films

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      I really love the story of how Peter Jackson's primary instruction for the Rohan theme was that it should be "hummable." And sure enough, soon after Howard Shore demonstrated it for him, Jackson's wife caught him humming it and said Shore must have succeeded.

    • cretey says:

      Yes. yesyesyes. I have never posted before (although I've been reading since HP) but I made this account during FotR because I knew I would not be able to contain my excitement during this chapter <3

    • Tauriel_ says:

      THIS THIS THIS. <3

    • acityofdoors says:

      I wanna be a Rider of Rohan! Where's my horse? 🙁

    • Clare says:

      that theme is PERFECTION. (totally went to a college where you could major in Hardanger performance)

    • flootzavut says:


  10. cait0716 says:

    The running for days on end really stretches beyond the point of believability for me. I mean, come on. No one can flat out run for 24 hours. With no rest or sleep or anything. Just no.

    I laughed when Legolas pointed out that there were three riderless horses. At that moment I knew they were going to get horses from the Riders. I mean, could you be any more obvious about it, Tolkien?

    Eomer gave Aragorn another name. Just what we need.

    Shadowfax was descended from a horse that could speak the language of Man. We are getting so damn close to talking ponies and Tolkien just keeps pulling it just out of our grasp. Like we're cats and he has a feather on a stick.

    You've stumbled across another great LotR ship: Legolas/Gimli. We can add them to Frodo/Sam. When you have as few women as Middle Earth does, gay characters are bound to be rampant.

    • rabidsamfan says:

      "The running for days on end really stretches beyond the point of believability for me. I mean, come on. No one can flat out run for 24 hours. With no rest or sleep or anything. Just no. "

      Just one word. Yrzonf. At least, that's what I tell myself. ;D

      • msw188 says:

        I don't think that needs spoilered, as its specifically mentioned in the book that they ate the lembas bread and found new strength even while running.

        • rabidsamfan says:

          Gehr, ohg vs V erzrzore evtug gur jubyr qrfpevcgvba bs yrzonf srrqvat gur jvyy vfa'g hagvy gur cynvaf bs Tbetbebgu jvgu Sebqb naq Fnz.

          And I tend to be overcautious…

    • ljrTR says:

      regarding believability – er, it IS a fantasy novel. oh and these are 3 pretty special guys.
      and as for the women, I think there are plenty in Middle Earth. Tolkien just doesn't bother his adventure story with most of them.

    • valmarkont says:

      People have completed The West Highland Way (96 miles) in less than a day so it's really not a stretch at all. 🙂

    • Katie says:

      There are these things called ultra runs or ultra marathons, where people literally run 24h without stopping. I think Haruki Murakami describes his experience with one in his book "what I think about when I think about running". or something like that :). Great book.

    • feanna says:

      Other people have pointed out that the distance is extreme but not impossible. I do think it's made extremer by the fact that they do this while carrying all their stuff (weapons, kinda heavy!) and across terrain without any trails. On the other hand these are not your average guys, even compared to hardcore athletes. Legolas is an elf and they're supposed to be special and generally better at everthing, which I assume includes stregth and endurance. Dwarves also, are supposed to be extremely tough. And Aragorn vf qrfpraqrq sebz gur Xvatf bs Byq (juvpu zrnaf gur orfg uhznaf gung rkvfgrq, cyhf fbzr Ryira oybbq), naq vg'f vzcyvrq gung va uvz nyy gur orfg punenpgrevfgvpf ner erobea, juvpu zrnaf ur'f xvaq bs gur orfg bs gur orfg gung znaxvaq unf gb bssre va Zvqqyr Rnegu ng gung cbvag. (Frr nyfb uvf yvsr-fcna)

      • cait0716 says:

        Yeah, I'm getting this. It's just so far beyond my own experience that my brain can't quite fathom it. I guess there's a reason I'm not a hero

      • @flourish says:

        The terrain is plains, though, not anything particularly rough. The first few miles aren't, but after that they're on grasslands that are good enough ground for horses to gallop on without fear. And horses require much nicer ground than humans to run on, at least when they're being ridden, so…

  11. Tauriel_ says:

    In this chapter: Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas walk 500 miles and then walk 500 more. 😀

    (Okay, technically they run, not walk; and it's only 135 miles, but still…)

    (There should totally be a remix of film clips to this song… I DEMAND IT!)

  12. Tauriel_ says:

    Gimli: "NEVER – INSULT – LADY – GALADRIEL – IN – FRONT – OF – ME!!!"

    <3 <3 <3

    • Becky_J_ says:

      I LOVE THAT PART. He is so protective of her…. and remember all the bad things he had to say before he met her and she complimented him?? haha, oh Gimli.

    • AmandaNekesa says:

      I love Gimli's defense of Galadriel, and especially Eomer's response, essentially: "WTF is going on, that a Dwarf is rebuking me, in defense of an Elf??!?! These are strange times, indeed." <3

    • Laurelluin says:

      Well, he didn’t whip out a pink umbrella and put a pig’s tail on Eomer, but this is quite funny.

      Nyfb “Jr’yy cebonoyl arire trg nal bep’f anzrf…” yby, Tevfuanx, Tbeont, Funteng…

  13. Tauriel_ says:

    In this chapter: We meet a new nation, yay! 😀

    I love Rohan and the Rohirrim. <3 They're basically what Tolkien thought Anglo-Saxons would be if they had cavalry. They're also often portrayed that way – even a bit Scandinavian sometimes. We are told that they're of somewhat "lesser" lineage than the Men of Gondor (who were the descendants of Númenoreans), but they're still portrayed as brave, true-hearted and generous, and having a culture of their own.

    But before we meet any of the Rohirrim, there's a lot of running.

    And running.

    And some more running.

    It's never dull, though – we see more of the geography, and especially Aragorn's tracking skills (and some more doubt on his part). And there's always the sense of urgency as the Three Hunters try to catch up with the party of Orcs.

    There's some good news, at least – Aragorn finds Pippin's brooch, which he takes as a sign that the hobbits are still alive (and it looks like Pippin ran away and dropped it on purpose before being caught again, which is a pretty clever thinking on Pippin's part).

    And so we come to the meeting with the Rohirrim.

    Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. ‘Elendil!’ he cried. ‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!’

    I love it when Aragorn drops his Strider persona and reveals his true lineage and nobility. <3

    (con'd below)

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Anyway. Éomer.

      ÉOMER. <3 <3 <3

      I love him so much. He's so proud and brusque – yet willing to listen and give these three strangers a chance to explain themselves. And he lends them two horses, even though he probably shouldn't (by his nation's law).

      Wide wonder came into Éomer’s eyes. ‘Strider is too poor a name, son of Arathorn,’ he said. ‘Wingfoot I name you. This deed of the three friends should be sung in many a hall. Forty leagues and five you have measured ere the fourth day is ended! Hardy is the race of Elendil!

      Wikipedia informs me that a league was equal to 3 miles – which means the Three Hunters ran 135 miles (216 km) in three days. This is the equivalent of (checks map) running from Marseille to Nice in three days. Or from Santa Monica to San Diego. Now that's pretty impressive.

      ‘And I will come, too,’ said Gimli. ‘The matter of the Lady Galadriel lies still between us. I have yet to teach you gentle speech.‘
      ‘We shall see,’ said Éomer. ‘So many strange things have chanced that to learn the praise of a fair lady under the loving strokes of a Dwarf’s axe will seem no great wonder. Farewell!’

      *snigger* "Loving strokes of a Dwarf's axe"! 😀 I love Tolkien's subtle humour. <3 <3 <3 And of course I love how ready Gimli is to defend Galadriel's honour – he's totally in love with her (platonically, of course). So sweet. <3 And I would totally watch a fight between Éomer and Gimli over Lady Galadriel! <3

      So, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli take the two horses provided by Éomer and set off to look for Merry and Pippin. They arrive at the borders of the forest of Fangorn, where the Rohirrim killed the Orcs and burned their corpses.


    • Tauriel_ says:


      Such a creepy, creepy place – we are told that it's not unlike the Old Forest on the border of the Shire, and we all know how weird and creepy THAT was. And even Celeborn warns them against going to Fangorn – and when an Elf Lord, who has lived in forests his whole life, warns you against going into a forest, then you DAMN WELL LISTEN.

      Legolas mentions something (a people?) called the Ents, but who or what they are, we don't know. Makes it even more creepy and mysterious, I guess.

      And then OMG WTF HOLY SHIT there's an old man in a cloak who comes near and OMG IT'S PROBABLY SARUMAN and their horses run away and nothing is beautiful and everything is creepy and frightening! Aaaargh! 🙁

    • flootzavut says:

      Pippin may be a fool but he can be clever when pressed <3

  14. Ryan Lohner says:

    Lots of fun movie stuff this chapter. For starters, it's Peter Jackson's favorite chapter of the whole trilogy. Also:

    V fgvyy pevatr rirel gvzr, xabjvat gung jr'er npghnyyl frrvat Ivttb Zbegrafra oernx gjb gbrf ntnvafg gung uryzrg.

    Juvyr fubbgvat gur ehaavat fprarf ba n irel gvtug fpurqhyr, Ivttb unq oebxra uvf gbrf, Beynaqb Oybbz unq snyyra bss n ubefr naq oebxra n evo, naq Oergg Orngl (Tvzyv'f fpnyr qbhoyr) unq qvfybpngrq uvf xarr. Fb gurer'f n ybg bs sha qnvylf jurer gur vafgnag Wnpxfba pnyyf phg, nyy guerr bs gurz fgbc qrnq naq tebna va cnva. Abj gung'f fhssrevat sbe lbhe jbex.

    Gurl unq n uhtr pnzcvat gevc sbe n ybg bs gur pnfg naq perj, whfg gb trg gung bar fubg bs gur guerr uhagref ehaavat va sebag bs gur fhaevfr. Naq Ivttb pnhtug guerr svfu qhevat vg!

    Beynaqb, jnf vg ernyyl arprffnel gb ybbx ng gur pnzren juvyr fnlvat "Gurl eha nf vs gur irel juvcf bs gurve znfgref jrer oruvaq gurz"? V xabj vg jnf lbhe svefg zbivr, ohg pbzr ba!

    • Lugija says:

      V'z jnvgvat gb frr ubj zhpu bs gur yviroybtf jvyy or rirelbar fnlvat gurfr guvatf. "Va guvf fprar gurl unq Puevfgznf yvtugf oruvaq gur pnzren" "Gurl unq gebhoyr chggvat gubfr ehvaf bire gur uvyy va cbfg-cebqhpgvba, fb gurl whfg znqr gur jubyr uvyy" "Gurl punatrq guvf fprar gb unccra qhevat gur avtug ol zvkvat gur pbybhef" :C

      Znex jvyy trg n yrffba be gjb va svyz-znxvat, hayrff jr jba'g hfr inyhnoyr jngpuvat gvzr ol jevgvat naq vafgrnq fnl bayl guvatf yvxr "Guvf vf njrfbzr" "Rirelguvat vf fnq" naq "Ab, Snenzve, qba'g!"

      • blossomingpeach says:

        V jnf jngpuvat EBGX naq ol tbyyl, V ubcr jr nyy favttre va gur pbzzragf rirel gvzr Yrtbynf unf n pynffvp Pncgnva Boivbhf zbzrag…juvpu vf cerggl zhpu rirel gvzr ur bcraf uvf zbhgu. "Gur ubefrf ner erfgyrff, naq gur zra ner dhvrg." "N erq fha evfrf." Grr-urr.

        • Ryan Lohner says:

          V'z nznmrq gurl erfvfgrq univat uvz fnl "Nvrr! N Onyebt unf pbzr!"

          Gubhtu gurl npghnyyl gbbx njnl gur pbagrkg gung znqr bar bs uvf yvarf whfgvsvrq evtug va guvf puncgre: "Gurl'er gnxvat gur uboovgf gb Vfratneq" orpbzrf n ybg zber hfrshy vs lbh xabj gurer jrer n srj bgure cbffvoyr qrfgvangvbaf sbe gurz.

          • blossomingpeach says:

            Va nyy snvearff, YBGE pna or pbzcyvpngrq sbe n ybg bs zbivr nhqvrapr zrzoref jub ner arj gb gur fgbel, fb vg znxrf frafr gb unir bar punenpgre fcryy guvatf bhg sbe gurz naq nyfb freir nf gur rkcbfvgvba snvel. Fvapr Yrtbynf vf na rys naq unf gur uvfgbel naq xabjyrqtr bs uvf crbcyr, ur'f cebonoyl gur orfg pubvpr gb hfhnyyl or gur bar pynevslvat be rkcbfvgvba-vat. Ohg fgvyy, vg'f cerggl sha gb ynhtu ng!

    • flootzavut says:

      Ivttb qrzbafgengvat uvf gbgny njrfbzrarff gurer. Vg znxrf zr jvapr rirel gvzr gbb. Vafbsne nf npgvat pna or urebvp (nf pbzcnerq gb, fnl, fnivat yvirf be fvzvyne), gubfr thlf jrer urebvp.

    • Juliana Moreli says:

      Ivttb vf njrfbzr thlf. Ur oebxr uvf gbr naq fgvyy xrcg ba punenpgre…gung vf fbzr cerggl frevbhf npgvat…

      Nyfb, gur orybj yvax vaf sebz gur pnfg gnyxvat nobhg Beynaqb Oybbz oernxvat uvf evo…vg'f gur shaavrfg guvat rirrrre!!!! Ryvwn'f vzcerffvba ba uvz jnf cevpryrff!!!

      Nyfb, thlf, cyrnfr jngpu gurfr ivqrbf sebz gur pnfg gnyxvat nobhg gur zbivr, gurl'er terng!!!

    • drekfletch says:

      Gung fhaevfr jnf n fhafrg. Gurl whfg syvccrq gur vzntr nsgrejneqf gb zngpu gur bguref/ xrrc gurz ehaavat va gur fnzr qverpgvba.

  15. plaidpants says:

    We've turned Mark into a shipper guys, he's shipping everything!! 🙂

    But this chapter is one heartbreak after another. You think Aragon, Legolas, and Gimli are coming up close on the orcs? Nope, day and half behind? Oh they've got horses to help on their search? Nope, horses on gone.

    Movie discussion (behind the scenes stuff): V'ir orra jngpuvat gur oruvaq gur fprarf fghss sbe EbgX naq whfg tbg gb gur cneg jurer Frna vf svyzvat uvf jrqqvat fprar gb Ebfvr, naq fnj gur cneg jurer Ivttb tenoorq Ovyyl naq xvffrq uvz. V ynhturq sbe n tbbq 20 zvahgrf, Ivttb'f snpr jura ur gnyxf nobhg vg, Qbz'f snpr jura ur'f vasbezrq nobhg vg sbe gur svefg gvzr. Vs nalbar unfa'g frra nyy gur nccraqvprf fghss ba gur rkgraqrq rqvgvbaf, lbh ernyyl arrq gb jngpu gurz.

    • flootzavut says:

      GUNG VF ZL SNIBHEVGR ZBIVR RKGEN BS NYYYYYYYYY GVZR, VG'F ULFGREVPNY! Rira whfg orvat erzvaqrq bs vg penpxf zr hc. Bgure pynffvp zbzragf – Ovyyl fnlvat ur sryy va ybir naq gura sryg fvpx, naq uvf pbzzragf nobhg gbathr… Qbz'f ernpgvbaf ner cevpryrff, nyfb uvz fnlvat ubj znal zrzoref bs gur Sryybjfuvc Ovyyl unq xvffrq… Ovyyl fnlvat ur'f abg shffl naq jvyy xvff nalobql. V guvax Qbz fnlf "qvegl ohttref" naq V'z fb tynq gurl tbg uvf trahvar ernpgvba ba svyz. Ivttb naq Ovyyl ner gjb bs zl snibhevgr npgbef va vg cynlvat gjb bs zl snibhevgr punenpgref, fb V unir n senaxyl haurnygul xabjyrqtr bs gung rkgen, vg whfg penpxf zr hc FB ZHPU. V nyfb ybir gung nccneragyl gung jnf gur gnxr gurl hfrq.

      Whfg znxrf zr ynhtu rira guvaxvat nobhg vg – gunax lbh. Qbrfa'g vg whfg znxr lbh jvfu lbh jrer cneg bs vg nyy? Gurl unq fhpu sha naq tbg fb pybfr, vg'f n ybiryl guvat gb jvgarff rira whfg ba fperra.

  16. Saphling says:

    My favorite bit of this chapter is when Legolas spots the Riders of Rohan in the distance, and Aragorn is all, "Yay for elf-vision!" And Legolas is like, "How is it impressive? They're only five leagues distant." Despite being able to count individual riders, count how many horses are not being ridden, and tell that the riders are all tall blonds with spears, from fifteen miles away. (This is why I always hear Legolas as being smug all the time.)

    • baruchan says:

      As Mark said, Legolas is the most Diva elf of all. 😀

    • Darth_Ember says:

      Side effect of living in Mirkwood? All the creepy spiders and stuff tend to keep the visitors away. So pretty much all of the people Legolas has known would be Elves.

      No wonder he's getting moments of "…Wait, seriously, you guys can't do that? I thought everybody could do that.":p

    • flootzavut says:

      I guess it's also partly an extension of the Elf thing of "Magic? We don't use magic!"

  17. AmandaNekesa says:

    "SHPX GUVF. WHFG SHPX RIRELGUVAT. Ner lbh xvqqvat zr? Ubj qvq Fnehzna svaq gurz? Ubj qbrf ur xabj jurer gurl ner? UBJ QBRF UR WHFG QVFNCCRNE???"
    V jnf fb tyrrshy gb frr Znex'f erfcbafr gb gur byq zna. Ur gbgnyyl guvaxf vg'f Fnehzna, fb vg'f tbvat gb znxr gung erirny rira orggre!

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    I love this passage:

    There is something strange at work in this land. I distrust the silence. I distrust even the pale Moon. The stars are faint; and I am weary as I have seldom been before, weary as no Ranger should be with a clear trail to follow. There is some will that lends speed to our foes and sets an unseen barrier before us: a weariness that is in the heart more than in the limb.

    The Riders of Rohan, by Ted Nasmith:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    "Give me your name, horse-master, and I will give you mine, and more besides."
    I will always love Gimli's sass in this chapter, especially when, later in the chapter, Eomer says this:

    "So many strange things have been chanced that to learn the praise of a fair lady under the loving strokes of a Dwarf's axe will seem no great wonder." <3 Gimli <3

    “Wingfoot I name you” – Eomer
    Oh, look, another name for Aragorn! How many is he at now?

    “There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.” Love this quote from Aragorn. <3

    • wahlee says:

      Npghnyyl, guvf gvzr, vg *jnf* Fnehzna. Gur arkg zbeavat, vg'f Tnaqnys, ohg gurl nfx uvz nobhg gur zna ol gur sver gur avtug orsber naq ur fnlf gung vg qrsvavgryl jnfa'g uvz.

      • AmandaNekesa says:

        Bu, lrnu V sbetbg nobhg gung. Jryy, rvgure jnl, gur nccrnenapr bs Fnehzna jvyy znxr Znex vavgvnyyl oryvrir gung vg'f Fnehzna va gur puncgre jvgu Tnaqnys'f erirny.

    • notemily says:

      Dude! Nasmith! ELVES ARE TALL.

      • AmandaNekesa says:

        Haha…yeah, and you can't even explain it away that Legolas is just walking behind Aragorn, because he's maybe one step behind him. Meh, you know it could be worse! xD

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Taller than humans, actually.

        But yeah, my rule with Nasmith's art is: Ignore the characters, admire the landscapes. 😀

      • Zoli says:

        Also, Gimli is way too short there. He's like hobbit-sized! And I always thought the dwarves were short, but still considerably taller than hobbits (more in the 4-5' range, rather than the 3- 3 1/2' the hobbits seem to average.)

        Although I read somewhere that Aragorn was supposed to be 6' 6" (!) so maybe even Legolas wouldn't be taller than him. :O

  18. Darth_Ember says:

    In this chapter: Mark's rapid descent into rampant paranoia. I love it. xD

    Seriously though, I like this chapter. Tolkien works his usual magic with the introduction of the Riders of Rohan; throughout this chapter we do get that clear sense of history and culture that makes them feel very real. It's one of my favourite things about Tolkien that we get so much of a sense that the action is happening against a backdrop of countless years of these lands; they are there and have a history far beyond the current plot. Not all writers could pull that off, but Tolkien does.

    Each land is a land marked with the footsteps of folk our heroes may never have known; each culture has its songs, its customs, and its own distinct feel. And the individual people… Well, we sort of take it for granted in the real world, but it's far more significant in fiction that we get a sense that the people have been born of their culture and their parents, and have had past accomplishments and life that extends beyond turning up as a plot device. They may move the plot along, but in Tolkien's work, they also feel like real people.

  19. BetB says:

    Whee!! It is soooo much fun to watch Mark flip out! This chapter is full of toil, gloom, angst and despair. Thank you, Tolkien, for bringing out the doubts and fears in our esteemed reviewer. I can remember feeling the same things reading it for the first few times. Even now, after reading the story dozens of times the feeling of depression comes through.

    Oh, I can't let this one go: "Aragorn actually kind of ruins it, mentioning how close they are to Fangorn, which is apparently some terrifying forest. Are the trees alive there? "

    Well, I'd rather be in a forest of live trees than dead trees. Dead trees seem more spooky to me 🙂

    Awaiting the next chapters with glee (evil cackling!!!)

  20. Jenny_M says:

    Oh, and since it hasn't been said yet, regarding future things to do with other things in this chapter and also Mark:

    Ubj zhpu vf Znex tbvat gb ybir gung gurl'er "Evqref bs gur Znex?"

  21. atheistsisters says:

    V qba’g vzntvar ng guvf cbvag gung jr’yy rira trg na bep punenpgre jvgu n anzr – jryy, npghnyyl…

    Ah, the Riders of Rohan! I love horses and that phrase just fills me with SO MUCH JOY every time I read it!

    LOLZ at how surprised the Riders are that hobbits exist, though! Somehow it seems rather meta that the Riders basically feel like they stumbled into a fairy tale.

    NNNTU, V nz fb rkpvgrq sbe gur jvmneqyl erirny!!!

    • ljrTR says:

      Remember how Aragorn says that people in the future make up the legends, so that they ARE living in a legend, a tale. that's kind of a recurrent thought with Tolkien, and I like it.

    • Katarina says:

      Vg'f avpr jura Znex bayl unf gb jnvg n puncgre gb trg uvf jvfu. 🙂

  22. ljrTR says:

    Actually my favorite parts of this chapter are 2 things a new reader can forgiven for overlooking –
    1) How cool Eomer is. He instinctively trusts Aragorn and helps the 3 hunters, even though he wasn't "supposed" to. I like Eomer.
    2) Eomer asks Aragorn how we judge what to do in such hard, strange times. Aragorn answers, judge as you always have. Good and Bad do not change. I love this exchange. It could provide pages of discussion. or you could just love it.

    oh yeah – I love the dialogue when Eomer threatens Gimli, then Legolas threatens Eomer. (Fortunately Aragorn calms things down).

    about all the walking – I guess it does bother some readers. but how else could we have this folks travel distances in a pre-industrial world? (Until./if they get horses, I mean). Middle Earth would have been a smaller, less interesting place if it didn't take a long time to walk around in.

    V zhfg fnl vg'f vebavp gung Znex jnagf gb xabj zber nobhg bepf, naq ibvyn, Gbyxvra'f arkg puncgre vf nyy nobhg gurz!

  23. @MeagenImage says:

    We can make up something for you, Mark.

    "I am Mark Oshiro, the Eternally Unprepared. I am he who walks forth through modern legends. I have faced the Twilight Saga and lived. I have read of Rowling, and Collins, and Pullman. I have seen the wonders of Mike&Brian, and Moffat, and Whedon. I have endured countless heartbreaks and become all the stronger. If you seek to spoil me, stand aside!"

    Now you need a cloak to throw back and a sword to draw and hold aloft (one of those Nerf swords, they're awesome) and you're set.

    (Disclaimer: Will not cause people to give you free coffee and snacks outside of fantasy conventions.)

  24. Alice says:

    Wohooo!!!Yay!!!The Riders of Rohan…and Eomer….I have so much <3 for them. Naq gur zbivrf qvq fhpu n terng wbo ng cbegenvat gurz.Abj rirelgvzr V ernq nobhg gurz va zl urnq V uhzz gur gurzr bs Ebuna. Yvxr,ernyyl,ubj terng vf gung? 😀 Rira Rbzre'f anzr unf fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu gur ubefrf,yvxr Ivttb Zbegrafra fnvq va bar bs gur qiq'f fcrpvnyf,gung gb Gbyxvra gur zbfg vzcbegnag guvat jnf gur Anzr,naq sebz vg ur ortna gb jevgr rirelguvat ryfr. An now,finally you meet them too. ^_^
    And,of course…here comes the art of this chapter:

    The rohirrims by Ted Nasmith and Angus McPriders

    …and I really didn’t want to post this but …Tbyyhz znqr zr qb vg! :p So here it is,courtesy of Mr. Nasmith – “Pursuit in Rohan”

  25. Suzannezibar says:

    Mall walker culture is genuinely one of the most fascinating things Ive ever observed in my life. They have specialized stretching routines!!!

    Wait, WHAT?!? What is this phenomenon??? Why have I never heard about it and where do I learn more about it????? (lol I love walking EVERYWHERE, even if it's way too far to be reasonable, and I think this is part of why I love LOTR much more than the average Joe.)


    V'z nsenvq gb tb vagb qrgnvyf bs jul V ybir Ebuna fb zhpu orpnhfr bs fcbvyref, ohg tbq gurve phygher snfpvangrf zr fb zhpu naq V ybir gur ragver Ubhfr bs Rbey gb qrngu. V pna'g jnvg sbe hf gb trg zber bs gurz!!

    • Jenny_M says:

      It tends to be relegated to senior citizen-types, who go to malls a couple of hours before they open and, well, walk around them. I think it's good for people who might not be able to deal with especially cold or hot weather, and a lot of malls encourage the walking clubs and open early to cater to them. It was a big phenomenon in the 80s and 90s, I don't know if it's still as active now.


    • Suzannezibar says:

      Also, forgot to mention, guvf erivrj unf nyfb erzvaqrq zr gung Gur Gjb Gbjref vf *nofbyhgryl* zl snibevgr obbx bs gur guerr. Bu zl tbq. Jr trg gur jbeyq'f zbfg rcvp punfr ol gur Guerr Uhagref, jr trg Ebuna, Tnaqnys pbzrf onpx, jr trg Gerrorneq, NAQ Uryz'f Qrrc, abg gb zragvba rirelguvat jvgu Sebqb naq Fnz naq Tbyyhz naq Snenzve. NAQ GURA GUR ORFG PYVSSUNATRE RIRE. GUVF VF FHPU N SHPXVAT SNAGNFGVP OBBX UBJ PBHYQ V UNIR SBETBGGRA SBE N FRPBAQ.

  26. blossomingpeach says:

    Everything seems so bleak and scary and exhausting in this chapter. At least in the last book, the goal was clear: get the ring to Mordor. Now everyone is all split up and the best course forward isn't clear and I weep afresh for Gandalf's death. His wisdom would have been helpful right now.

    We are really unprepared.

    "V qba’g vzntvar ng guvf cbvag gung jr’yy rira trg na Bep punenpgre jvgu n anzr…"

    …be znlor lbh jvyy, va gur irel arkg puncgre!

  27. Araniapriime says:

    "I could tell people my name, make some reference to being the king of the Internet or something, and then people will look at me with awe! I would probably use this to get free coffee or snacks, though."

    Well, duh! If you were revealing yourself as King of the Internet, you'd probably be doing so at a place where Internetites gather, such as Starbucks. What other tributes could they render unto you besides coffee and snacks?

  28. Ryan Lohner says:

    Now that we're getting into Rohan: "Eoh" is the Anglo-Saxon word for horse, so naturally it appears all over the place here. Spend all your time thinking about language, and this is what happens.

    • Fiona says:

      Anglo-Saxon is a cool language. It's fun to see how much of it filtered into english and the links between things. I always wish I had more time to learn about languages as they're so interesting.

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        And expanding on that, Eomer's name literally means that he's someone who's famous for his horsemanship. Though that gets into parents who must have been psychic.

        • atheistsisters says:

          Okay, I am now EVEN MORE in <3 with Eomer.

        • blossomingpeach says:

          Or maybe it was wishful thinking that turned out to be true. How embarrassing would it have been if Eomer was deathly afraid of horses or just a really bad horseman? The kids at Rohan Elementary would have had a field day when Eomer started school. I'd say his parents were rolling the dice with that one.

          Of course, good horsemanship is probably practically an inherited trait in Rohan and something of a given.

          • Rheinman says:

            Especially if you are part of the nobility. You probably grew up on a horse.

            Names can also be aspirational: Victor, Chairity, Prudence, etc. A good name can set you up with an advantage for the rest of your life if you remorely resemble your virture.

            On the other hand, most of the girls I knew named Chastity turned out to be rather promiscuous. ;D

          • Zoli says:

            Yeah, I don't think you're allowed to be awful with horses in Rohan? It's pretty unlikely anyway, as I always pictured Rohan as one of those cultures where you're on a horse as soon as you can walk or even beforehand. Like the Dothraki.

          • cait0716 says:

            I don't know, the way these people accumulate names, I wouldn't be surprised if "Eomer" was bestowed upon him at some sort of coming-of-age ceremony.

        • Tilly says:

          My Anglo-Saxon lecturer once told us that sons were named with the same initial letter/sound/morpheme as their father wherever possible just so that they'd sound good if they got put into poems. To this day I'm not entirely certain whether he was pulling our legs or not, but 'Eomer son of Eomund' is definitely in that tradition!

  29. PrefectSarah says:

    "I’ll just state again that I measure my own reaction against that of Aragorn’s. If he’s happy, I know it’s okay for me to be, too. If he is angry, I’m ready to annihilate his enemy with the fire of a thousand burning suns. And when he is upset, bothered, frightened, and suspicious? Then I’m ready to hide under the covers and not come out until everything is okay."

    Yes!! I agree 100%! Aragorn is like a barometer for how well everything is going. If Aragorn ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

    And he's uber sexy 🙂 And amazing… and that always helps too. I'd follow him anywhere.

  30. JustMalyn says:

    ROHAN. The land of the horse-warriors. This is pretty much my favorite culture (aside from hobbits!) in Middle Earth. Also, so many fewer things to rot-13. And Eomer is brilliant 🙂 Also SON OF A BUMBLEBEE FART made my day a lot brighter 😀

    • Zoli says:

      Yes! The Shire would be my #1 pick to live in Middle Earth, but Rohan comes a close second.

      • eregyrn says:

        This has become my conclusion as well. I would probably be best-suited to the Shire (as a moderately-eccentric hobbit), but secondarily, Rohan, if anywhere.

        • JustMalyn says:

          I love the Shire to bits and pieces, but I think I'd find it too tranquil after awhile 🙂 So, living in Rohan with the occasional vacation to Lothlorien or the Shire 🙂 THIS IS MY NEW LIFE PLAN.

    • Suzannezibar says:


      • JustMalyn says:

        Especially in the movies. Gur jnl gur ohvyqvatf ybbx yvxr byq Abejrtvna/ Ivxvat unyyf, naq GUR ZBGUREYRFF OHZOYR-ORR YBIVAT UNEQNATRE SVQQYR, naq gur ynathntr naq gur tbetrbhf ubefrf rireljurer naq Rbzre naq Rbjla. Cnenqvfr.

  31. settledforhistory says:

    My favourite thing while reading or watching any kind of fiction are grey characters (not Grey as in Gandalf , though he is awesome). It simply fascinates me how hard it is to fully figure them out and that you never know which way they go until the end.
    The Riders of Rohan (which I agree sounds impressive) provide a neutral side, one that I belive any fiction needs, because people do not immediately decide to fight alongside the heroes or the villains. Éomer does help them out with horses, but he has no intention to go along with them and he asks the Fellowship to return when they find their friends, because Rohan after all has laws. (I love laws in fiction, too. After all, just because you are on a heroic journey, does not mean you can simply walk into Mordor.) I love that the Riders are suspicious and do not invite the three friends two share a barrel of elf-wine (or what ever Middle-earth has in the drinks department) with them because they all together hate Orcs.


    • settledforhistory says:

      It's also a lot of fun to read about other charcters we've met as fictional charchters for the Riders of Rohan (I kind of love writing that). Hobbits live so far away form them, that noone has ever met one and so they simply becaome a myth. Our Fellowship is not imune to that either, as all three know tales about Fagorn, but non of them is sure how much truth they contain.

      The details in this chapter are wonderful, too. We know now, that Elves don't need to sleep (or sleep different from Man) and can see for miles, that dwarves can walk for days and that Rangers can hear movents on the earth. I love all of this so much!
      I won't even try to speculate what happend at the end of this chapter (I've learned my lesson), I'm confuced about the trees and the old guy, but the only thing that helps is to read on.

      • ljrTR says:

        I just noticed – this must be your first time reading LOTR? What fun to read your comments as well as Mark's

    • ljrTR says:

      I just noticed on this re-read that Saruman is pretty much at war with Rohan. No wonder the Riders are wary!

  32. floppus says:

    The Spoiler-Free Map of Middle-Earth

    Normal version, blurred version.

    In which our heroes travel 45 leagues (135 miles) or so, on foot, in the course of three days and a night. Lembas is powerful stuff. It makes me wonder what the Orcs are eating. (No, on second thought, maybe I don't want to know.)

  33. Opal says:

    This chapter contains one of my favourite sentences of the whole book:
    'I am called Strider,' answered Aragorn. 'I came out of the North. I am hunting Orcs.'

    Not that's how you introduce yourself in a completely unsuspicious and formal way! 😀

  34. monkeybutter says:

    Also, did anyone else cheer just a little bit when Gimli had to ride on the same horse as Legolas? Oh god, I should ship them just for the entertainment value that would provide. I mean, come on!

    Do it. Please. I would find it highly diverting.

    I love how they've bonded, how they defend Galadriel and each other, and that they really got a chance to shine in this chapter. Just listen to Gimli:

    ‘Then Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of Riddermark, let Gimli the Dwarf Glóin’s son warn you against foolish words. You speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you.’

    <img src=""&gt;
    Oh shit. I think the elvish sass is rubbing off on him.

    And Eomer. You're talking to an elf, a dwarf, and the heir of Isildur wielding a legendary sword, while there are orcs traipsing across your land, driven by dark powers, and you doubt the existence of hobbits. You're adorable. And jeez, did you have to give Aragorn another name? I like that Eomer admits his ignorance about Galadriel, and willingness to take it back. It's so nice to see people apologizing for their offenses, especially someone who came off so brashly at the beginning.

  35. Hotaru_hime says:

    There's a lot of running done in this chapter. If you think our hearts hurt, imagine their legs! Poor Gimli is probably the least acclimated to it, being a dwarf and probably spending time underground. I'm pretty sure Legolas could skip faster across Rohan alone.
    But there! Pippin or Merry dropped their brooch and "leaves of Lorien" don't just decide to drop because they're just not that into this stuff.
    Rohan! Horses! Creepy Old Men in Woods!
    That last one is probably the worst, but hey, at least the Orcs are dead?

  36. floppus says:

    With Gandalf gone, Aragorn seems to have taken over the role of Wise Old Man. A couple of great quotes from this chapter:

    Éothain: Halflings! But they are only a little people in old songs and childen's tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?
    Aragorn: A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!

    Éomer: The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields, and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live, and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?
    Aragorn: As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.

    • ZeynepD says:

      Yes, this, to both of them. The green earth being a mighty matter of legend is in a line tossed off just like that, but when you think about it…

      As for the second: Is it a spoiler to discuss some of the philosophical (and moral) themes Tolkien wove into the fabric of the _Lord of the Rings_? Certain things come up again and again, although they did not really spring at me until several rereads in. Anyway, this is the hammer-on-forehead quote for one of them. Tolkien was not impressed by the idea of ethical relativity.

    • flootzavut says:

      Aragorn is made of awesome.

  37. rissreader says:

    I just started re-reading along.
    Unfortunately, I have to admit I found this chapter fairly tedious. I guess I'm used to a bit more action in my reading. However, I am impressed with the physical feat of the chase. The three companions have nifty, but not terribly flashy enhanced abilities. The 135 miles in four days sounds exhausting.

    I walked 30 miles in one day when I was a teenager. Towards the end I was sort of in a daze, had blisters, and I needed a hot bath and the next day off to recover. Of course, I didn't have any lembas either. (It sounds so yummy.)

  38. AmandaNekesa says:

    "Zreel naq Cvccva ner tbar, cbffvoyl qrnq. jr unir ab pyhr jung Fnz naq Sebqb ner hc gb."

    V'z tynq gb frr gung Znex ab ybatre guvaxf Sebqb naq Fnz ner nyfb pncgherq ol gur bepf, nybat jvgu Zreel naq Cvccva. vg qbrfa'g frrz gb unir orra n znwbe eriryngvba, rvgure, juvpu vf vagrerfgvat, orpnhfr vg frrzrq dhvgr pyrne gung Znex oryvrirq (be jnf ng yrnfg hapregnva) vs nyy gur uboovgf jrer pncgherq.

    Nyfb: V whfg xrrc pnpxyvat rivyyl bire urer, xabjvat gung Znex vf fgvyy hanjner gung jr'er abg tbvat gb trg gb Sebqb & Fnz'f fgbel yvar hagvy jr svavfu nabgure 9 puncgref. Rfcrpvnyyl jvgu jung ur fnvq nobhg univat ab pyhr nf gb jung Fnz & Sebqb ner hc gb, ur vf fb hacercnerq.

  39. stellaaaaakris says:

    "Riders of Rohan" is sooo much fun to say. Repeatedly. And majestically. Riders of Rohan!

    V qba’g vzntvar ng guvf cbvag gung jr’yy rira trg na Bep punenpgre jvgu n anzr, ohg rira gur gvavrfg bs pehzof jbhyq or avpr.

    Jryy, ur'yy cerggl zhpu trg n srnfg gbzbeebj. Anzrf, fbzr onpxtebhaq, n ovg bs ovpxrevat. Jung ryfr pbhyq ur jnag?

    I also love that we're getting other characters' POV. Frodo is great and all that, but it's nice have an entire chapter, rather than just snippets, of other people's feelings.

    • Mandy says:

      Naq arkg puncgre jr unir nyy bs vg whfg va Cvccva'f CBI! Ubj V ybir vg! V unir gb fnl gung Ovyyl Oblq jnf snagnfgvp ba gur zbivr gevybtl, naq gung npprag vf whfg jbaqreshy.

    • Rheinman says:

      IT IS THE RIDERS OF ROHAN. omg that name sounds so majestic.

      Rohan just sounds bad-ass. But does it work with other descriptors?
      It is the Blacksmiths of Rohan! (yes)
      It is the Librarians of Rohan! (strangely, yes)
      It is the Cost Accountants of Rohan! (not so much)
      It is the Telephone Sanitizers of Rohan! (Now we are B-Arking up the wrong tree)

    • flootzavut says:

      Unun V'ir whfg erzrzorerq gur qvnybthr va gur zbivr vf fbzrguvat yvxr, "Evqref bs Ebuna, jung arjf sebz gur Znex". Znex vf VA YBGE naq ur qbrfa'g rira xabj vg lrg.

  40. Ryan Lohner says:

    I forget if this is ever made clear in the book itself, but this chapter features a nice hint that Nentbea, nf n Qharqna, vf zhpu byqre guna ur ybbxf, nf ur gnyxf nobhg uvf byq nqiragherf jvgu Gurbqra, juvpu Rbzre vf gbb lbhat gb erzrzore. Vg'f jrveq gb xrrc erzvaqvat zlfrys gung gur thl vf npghnyyl 87 lrnef byq.

  41. MidnightLurker says:

    And now I can finally unspoiler the line that inspired MUPPET LORD OF THE RINGS:

    "What business do a pig, a frog, and a bear have in the Riddermark?"

  42. Dreamflower says:

    Oh this is such a wonderful chapter! The Three Hunters!

    This is just full of so much wonderful descriptions. I love that Mark found one of my own favorites, "a cliff frowned"– it's so darn expressive, you know just what it means.

    Also I always snicker over Legolas when he says:

    "Gur Bepf jvyy or qbhoyl ba gurve thneq fvapr gura, naq gur cevfbaref rira jrnevre," fnvq Yrtbynf. "Gurer jvyy or ab rfpncr ntnva, vs jr qb abg pbagevir vg. Ubj gugn vf gb or qbar pnaabg or thrffrq, ohg svefg jr zhfg biregnxr gurz."

    Oh Legolas! You are so UNPREPARED!

    Uboovgf ner fb qnea njrfbzr!

    BTW, I've written a short fic about this chapter:

    The Three Hunters:…

    Only the epilogue is spoilery.

    • DrummerWench says:

      Va whfg n pbhcyr puncgref jr'yy frr jurer lbhe anzr pbzrf sebz. Jbaqre vs ur'yy cvpx hc ba vg…

  43. Opal says:

    The lower part of the picture might be a little spoilery, don't you think?

  44. monkeybutter says:

    Yeah, this picture is spoilery. Sorry, I have to delete it!

    • hpfish13 says:

      Oh no!!! I'm sorry! It was the picture in this chapter of my book! My book is trying to spoil Mark!

      • monkeybutter says:

        Really? I didn't know it was from this chapter! Guvf vf gur frpbaq gvzr guvf cvp jnf cbfgrq, naq va gur svefg fcbvyre ercbeg, fbzrbar fnvq gung vg jnf n fcbvyre sbe gur arkg puncgre — naq V nterrq orpnhfr jr qba'g xabj jung pbaqvgvba Cvccva naq Zreel ner va. Vg'f shaal gung gur vyyhfgengvba jbhyq erirny gung jura gurer'f fb zhpu grafvba nobhg gurve jryy-orvat va guvf puncgre!

        It's a great pic, though, so y'all can race to post it tomorrow!

  45. Tauriel_ says:

    I think they'd totally do it. 😀

    Damn, why don't we have a TARDIS???

  46. msw188 says:

    Mutha-fuckin Ruff Ryders of Rohan…

    This was my cousin's calling card while playing an epic game of RISK on the Lord of the Rings board, and he managed to own Rohan and eventually conquer all. No DMX rapping in the background while he rolled triple sixes on my poor holdouts in Rhovanion though.

  47. xpanasonicyouthx says:


    holy shit, so many IntenseDebate reported comments this morning. Please think about what you're going to post before you do.

  48. Katie says:

    Regarding the maps of Middle Earth and all the debate of whether Mark should read them or not: can we have a post after LOTR is finished for "Mark reads the maps of Middle Earth and understands how unprepared he has been about the geography or where places are relative to other places" post? I think that would be super fun

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      • MidnightLurker says:

        In addition to the classic maps by Tolkien and Chris Tolkien, I recommend you find a copy of Karen Wynn Fonstad's "The Atlas of Middle-Earth" (the expanded later edition, for preference). She does an excellent job of showing landforms, journeys, town and castle layouts, and all kinds of nifty things. …It has spoilers for the Silmarillion, though, so maybe delay until after that?

  49. Rheinman says:

    Rohan's desire to keep their head down and not get involved is a macrocosm of Frodo's desire that the ring had not come to him. No one is looking for a fight, but as Aragorn tells Eomer, a fight is coming and they will soon have to pick a side or be run over.

    I was all ready to hate on Rohan for not liking Gandalf, but being a horsethief is a big deal in pre-industrial cultures. Just look at all the walking you have to do if you don't have one. 🙂

    This goes back to the gray on gray discussion earlier. No one is obvously a good guy or a bad guy at first, it depends on your point of view.

    Gandalf: "Look, I need to take your horse to go save my friend from the Ringwraiths, sorry I couldn't ask permission."
    Rohan: "Hey! that's my horse!"

    • notemily says:

      Well to be fair, Gandalf did say that Theoden told him he could take any horse… he just didn't expect him to take THE BEST HORSE. Also, I love that nobody else can tame Shadowfax now. He's like LOOK I BELONG TO GANDALF AND GANDALF IS GONE SO I'M A FREE FUCKING HORSE NOW.

  50. Katarina says:

    Legolas/Gimli are my LotR OTP. I can accept people not shipping them, but I get growly whenever one of them is shipped with anyone else. (Or, well, when Legolas is, because let's face it, that's who fans are lining up to ship away.)

  51. threerings13 says:

    Yay, Rohan! When I was first reading LOTR at age 11-12, I was horribly bored throughout the part with the Rohirrim, but when I reread it at age 18, it became one of my favorite sections.

  52. redheadedgirl says:

    …when a whole host of them (one hundred and five, if Legolas’s count is correct)

    Are you implying that Legolas is not perfect at ALL THINGS? OF COURSE his count is correct. 😛

    • Dreamflower says:

      Well, Legolas was wrong about one thing in this chapter!

      Ur fnvq gung Zreel naq Cvccva jbhyq abg rfpncr jvgubhg gurve uryc. *teva* JEBAT!!

  53. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I was reading the first half of this chapter while severely tired*, and as a result my brain started conflating the Three Hunters with the Princess Bride scenes where Prince Humperdinck is tracking Buttercup. It helps that they follow pretty much the same structure: Long section of the party chasing after the captured person(s), shorter section of the leader stopping at the sight of a major clue and telling the others about it, single dramatic line of dialogue just before the section break, repeat. All it needs is the instrumental flourish right before they take off in pursuit after each new revelation.

    And now it seems that Merry and Pippin, assuming they are still alive, are probably somewhere in the dreaded Fire Swamp Fangorn Forest?

    *Vg jnf va n fvzvyneyl fyrrc-qrcevirq fgngr gung zl oenva orpnzr nofbyhgryl pbaivaprq gung Fzrntby fbhaqf yvxr Ryzb.

  54. elyce says:

    Aw, Eomer! Another of my favorite characters pops up! Rohan is the place I want to live if I can't live in the Shire. You're right, Mark, their name is totally majestic. The Riders of Rohan, the Rohirrim. And Eomer is their captain. 😀

  55. eregyrn says:

    Erserfu zl zrzbel, gubhtu — qvq Tnaqnys gnxr nal byq ubefr, be vf gur jubyr "Tnaqnys vf n Ubefr Guvrs" guvat eryngrq gb Funqbjsnk?

    Orpnhfr V'q nethr gung va guvf jbeyq, gurl npghnyyl nera'g gur fnzr guvat. V'ir nyjnlf tbggra gur vzcerffvba gung nf gur puvrs bs gur Zrnenf, Funqbjsnk vf ernyyl na ragvgl hagb uvzfrys, abg cerpvfryl "bjarq" rira ol gur xvat bs Ebuna. Funqbjsnk znxrf uvf bja qrpvfvbaf!

    Guhf, V xvaq bs unq gur vzcerffvba gung gur jubyr "ubefr-guvrs" guvat jnf fbhe-tencrf ba Gurbqra'f cneg, Tnaqnys univat frqhprq-njnl gur ubefr. Creuncf V zvferzrzore?

    Ohg gura, boivbhfyl, jr unira'g "zrg" Funqbjsnk lrg, rvgure.

    • Rheinman says:

      Tnaqnys zragvbarq uvz ng gur Pbhapvy bs Ryebaq, ohg lbh ner evtug, jr unir abg orra sbeznyyl vagebqhprq.

      Nyfb Gurbqra fubhyq unir xabja orggre guna gb fnl, "Whfg gnxr jungrire ubefr lbh jnag naq trg ybfg." Gung'f whfg nfxvat gb trg cjarq.

  56. stefb4 says:

    If Éomer ever gets tired of riding horses…well, he can ride me ~anytime~

  57. notemily says:

    oh my god, several years ago they built an outdoor mall here in Milwaukee and I was like WHY, YOU GUYS THIS IS NOT CALIFORNIA.

  58. Leah-san says:

    Mark ships Legolas and Gimli

    • JustMalyn says:

      LRF. V nyfb fuvc Sebqb/Fnz: Gurl eha bss gbtrgure naq gurer'f n evat vaibyirq…

    • Cakemage says:

      Well, ch-yeah. They're even more obvious than Sam/Frodo. Frankly, I'm not entirely convinced that Tolkien himself didn't ship them at least a little bit. Okay, probably not, all things considered, BUT STILL.

  59. Noybusiness says:

    "Oh god, they’re totally going to go there, aren’t they?"

    "Go there" physically to the forest, or "go there" in the sense of having living trees?
    Actually, all trees are alive, come to think of it.

  60. flootzavut says:

    "I’ll just state again that I measure my own reaction against that of Aragorn’s. If he’s happy, I know it’s okay for me to be, too. If he is angry, I’m ready to annihilate his enemy with the fire of a thousand burning suns. And when he is upset, bothered, frightened, and suspicious? Then I’m ready to hide under the covers and not come out until everything is okay."

    This is wise behaviour.

    Also – Rohirrim at last!

    "Then the Rider insults Galadriel and Gimli acts as if he’s Hagrid and Vernon Dursley just spoke ill of Dumbledore. Oh, Gimli, your defense of that Elf is so beautiful I could weep."

    Bwahahaha I love that comparison, and <3 – bless Gimli forEVAH.

    "That’s pretty cool. How can I acquire this power? I could tell people my name, make some reference to being the king of the Internet or something, and then people will look at me with awe! I would probably use this to get free coffee or snacks, though. Maybe I shouldn’t have this power."



    I shall be soooo tempted to steal this…

    And… V nz fbbbbbbbb tyrrshyy nobhg gur snpg gung Znex unf AB VQRN lbh-xabj-jub vf ergheavat (V vzntvar gur t-zna jvyy unir cbccrq hc va ybgf bs EBG13 pbzzragf naq V nz ybngur gb nqq, V fb pnaabg jnvg sbe Znex'f hafcbvyrq ernpgvba guvf vf tbvat gb or NJRFBZR!) naq ab vqrn gung TBBQ GUVATF ner tbvat gb unccra naq gung Fnehzna vf va OVT GEBHOYR. V NZ FB RKPVGR!

  61. arctic_hare says:

    "Are there Orc marriages? Orc slumber parties?"

    I want fanart of this.

    ROOOOOOOOOOHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN. <3 I love Rohan. Hi, Eomer! I like him a lot so far. He's pretty rude at first about Galadriel and Lorien, but he's willing to learn more about them from Gimli and he loans them horses even though he probably shouldn't according to the laws of his land, taking it on faith that the three of them will come back and help out Rohan. He seems pretty cool. I love his conversation with Aragorn where he asks how a man should judge what to do in such times, and Aragorn tells him to judge the same as before, because good and evil do not change. Such beautiful words of wisdom.

    I too also love the descriptions here of the cliff frowning and Gimli being as uneasy on a horse as Sam in a boat. FLAWLESS. <3 And I'm pretty sure we all ship it, Mark. 😀 You are in good company!

    Silmarillion note: Abj gung V xabj gur bevtvaf bs gur Ragf naq gurve checbfr, gurl unir zber zrnavat gb zr, nf qbrf gur zragvba bs gur Ryqre Qnlf naq gurve terng sberfgf. V'z fb unccl V fgnegrq ernqvat gung obbx. Nyfb, gur bevtva bs gur Bepf vf cerggl shpxrq hc.

    Movie stuffs: Zzzz Xney Heona. Nyfb V ybir gur yvar ur trgf va gur zbivr: "Ohg qb abg gehfg gb ubcr, sbe vg unf sbefnxra gurfr ynaqf."

    Naq n cerrzcgvir "Zzz, Zvenaqn Bggb", sbe V pnaabg jnvg gvyy Znex trgf gb Rbjla. V YBIR URE FB ZHPU.

    • stefb4 says:

      Yes yes yes to your rot13 movie stuffs.

    • JustMalyn says:

      ORC SLUMBER PARTIES. If I could draw in any way, I would produce a picture of this. Someone out there with art skills, DO IT 😀

    • Rheinman says:

      Be careful what you wish for (Rule 34)

    • Dreamflower says:

      "Are there Orc marriages? Orc slumber parties?"

      I'm trying to imagine an Orc-maiden on "Say Yes to the Dress" or "Bridezilla". And I certainly would not want to be at a slumber party with Orcs– I hate to imagine an Orcish version of "truth or dare"!

  62. rubyjoo says:

    I know this topic has been discussed briefly in some responses but it would be nice to discuss it on a main post: Do the Riders of Rohan reflect a specific culture in real history?

    When I first read LotR years ago, I immediately recognised the culture of the Shire as being that of English country communities, especially before the Industrial Revolution. Then, when I got to the Riders of Rohan, I was so excited that I could hardly breathe. I was studying Anglo-Saxon at the time and so much about them screamed "Anglo-Saxons" that I was more than thrilled. I'm not quite sure if I knew that Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon, but he seemed to be tipping his hat to his favourite culture. The Anglo-Saxons invaded and settled in England in the 5th/6th centuries and are seen as the original "English". It's always seemed to me that The Shire shows one face of English culture and the Riders another. Thank you, Professor Tolkien, for introducing the Anglo-Saxons to so many people through this story. Even the English aren't taught much about them except for a brief, passing reference to Alfred the Great. In our schools, history seems to start with the arrival of the Normans in 1066, and I believe that this is what Tolkien also objected to when he decided to write his English mythology.

    • stefb4 says:

      In my English literature to 1500 class, we read quite a few stories like "Dream of the Rood" or "The Warrior" that I think was before the Norman invasion. My professor read out loud "Caedmon's Hymn" as it was originally written and it was the most beautiful thing ever. If she just read everything to us like that I would've been very happy.

      Umm…if any of those weren't Anglo-Saxon let me just crawl into a hole and die.

      • rubyjoo says:

        You're OK, stef. They're Anglo-Saxon poems. I remember studying The Dream of the Rood (the Cross) and our professor stalled our expected giggling by saying: "The Dream of the Rood – that's R – O – O – D!"

        Anglo-Saxon poetry is very beautiful, full of sadness and yearning for the passing of all things (a feeling that Tolkien captures throughout LotR, and not just in the Rohan sections). And it's full of alliteration too. Alliteration is an early English tradition – rhyming verse was brought back from the Crusades. But we still enjoy alliteration a lot in regular English – rock and roll, bed and board, I'll have your guts for garters. Even Riders of Rohan, LOL.

        • flootzavut says:

          I love the description I read of how the alliteration generally works… bang bang bang CRASH! LOVE that 😀

      • Steve Morrison says:

        I know a site called Anglo Saxon Aloud with recordings of a professor reading all the surviving Anglo-Saxon poems. BTW, someone yesterday mentioned a poem where Christ is depicted as a drighten and the Twelve Disciples as his thanes? I suspect that is Crist, by Cynewulf; if so, a translation is at and this poem is the one with the lines (rot13ed just in case)

        ényn! éneraqry ratyn orbeugnfg bsre zvqqnatrneq zbaahz fraqrq

        which inspired Tolkien to create one of his characters.

        • rubyjoo says:

          Thanks, Steve, for the links. The poem by Cynewulf might be The Dream of the Rood where Christ is presented as an Anglo-Saxon warrior stripping for battle and the personified Cross is seen as one of his loyal thanes, bearing him up, as are those who take him down from the cross. Like warriors who receive gifts of arm-rings and gold for their loyal service, they will get their rewards in heaven.

    • wahlee says:

      Rohan is purposely and explicitly modeled after Anglo-Saxon culture, yes. And that is way cool. V rfcrpvnyyl ybir gurve nyyvgrengvir irefr. Fb ornhgvshy!

    • Rheinman says:

      1066 and all that. Just a bunch of Frenchified Norman gits leading the last successful invasion of England. No wonder Tolkien wanted to go back and show off pre-Norman English (Anglo Saxon) culture and myths.

      Hey, why is there no love for the Jutes?

      • rubyjoo says:

        Yes, I wonder why they get so little mention, Rheinman. I do remember as a child being taught that England was invaded by the Angles, the Saxons and, in parenthesis, (the Jutes). I'm sure there was another tribe, but that one has really taken a back seat and has slipped from my memory. Since these were tribes from northern Europe, I can understand why so many other nationalities feel a connection with Tolkien's work. The LotR films really seemed to go down well in Germany and Scandinavia.

        • baruchan says:

          The LotR films really seemed to go down well in Germany and Scandinavia.

          Vg nyfb urycf gung n ybg bs gur qrfvta pubvprf gurl znqr sbe gur Ebuna frgf va gur svyzf jrer vafcverq ol Fpnaqvanivna phygher naq nepuvgrpgher. Abg gb zragvba gung rcvp Uneqnatre (Abejrvtvna) svqqyr!

      • stormwreath says:


        <img src=""&gt;

        There's probably a reason everyone forgets about the Jutes. 🙂

      • notemily says:

        Actually, I was reading in the Companion that the three original Hobbit "tribes" of Eriador can be compared to the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, with the Jutes corresponding to the least numerous Hobbit group, the Fallohides (meaning "fair skinned"). The other two Hobbit groups are the Harfoots ("hairy feet") and Stoors (larger and heavier in build). I'd look up the paragraph that talks about it, but I had to take the book back to the library today 🙁 and I'm waiting on another copy.

        • rubyjoo says:

          Thank you, notemily. That's really interesting. Mark's read-along has been a fascinating experience, not least because so many posters have made such great contributions.

          • notemily says:

            That's one of my favorite parts about Mark's sites. Without all the other commenters, I might never know the origins behind some of the words or see all the wonderful art that people have made for each chapter. It's the best book club ever.

  63. Flowerry Pott says:

    Mark, you are so right about the cliff frowning upon them being a great sentence. Here's one that's just a phenomenal. It's from Edgar Allen Poe: "While from a proud tower in the town / Death looks gigantically down". Yeah.

  64. Icarus says:

    In Rivendell, Gandalf already told us about taking Shadowfax, so we get to see how it's getting twisted around here: The king told Gandalf to take whatever horse he would, but Gandalf took one that that "was little to the king's liking" for he need of great speed. Shadowfax.

    He didn't exactly steal Shadowfax. But he did know the king likely didn't intend to offer this most prized of horses.

  65. teaspooncapacity says:

    Hehe, just wait until the next chapter, Mark. You are so not prepared.

    Urur, vg'f abg Fnehzna, Znex! V'z cercnerq gb frr uvz syvc bhg yvxr ab bgure.

  66. eyelessgame says:

    Something I have noticed on rereading: note that when we're following Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, that the narrator is mostly-omniscient, but in the very rare bits when there's a viewpoint character, it's Gimli – "There was a silence in the empty fields, and Gimli could hear the air moving in the grass", for instance.

    Guvf pbagvahrf gb or gur pnfr yngre ba, va cynprf yvxr Zrqhfryq naq gur Cnguf bs gur Qrnq (gubhtu abg Uryz'f Qrrc, juvpu vf nyy bzavfpvrag-aneengvba). Gurer ner ernfbaf sbe guvf, vs bar pbafvqref Gbyxvra'f pbaprvg gung guvf vf nyy n genafyngvba sebz gur Erq Obbx: gur uboovgf gbyq gurve fgbevrf gbtrgure gb Fnz (be cbffvoyl bar be zber bs uvf puvyqera), jub ynetryl jbhaq hc chggvat gur fgbel gbtrgure, jvgu bppnfvbany vachg sebz bgure fheivibef, zbfg abgnoyl Tvzyv.

    Abar bs guvf fhssvprf gb rkcynva gur aneengvba fuvsgvat gb gur cbvag bs ivrj bs gur sbk va obbx 1, puncgre 3, gubhtu.

    • Dreamflower says:

      Jryy, vg nyfb znxrf gur ener nccrnenapr bs fbzrbar ryfr'f CBI zber vzcnpgshy.

      • DrummerWench says:

        Gbyxvra fubjf hf zbfg rirelguvat sebz na "Rirelzna" CBI. Guvf zrnaf gur Uboovgf jura ninvynoyr, Tvzyv jura gurl'er abg. Nyfb, jr riraghnyyl trg xvpxrq creznaragyl bhg bs Sebqb'f CBI–ur prnfrf gb or Rirelzna, naq vg'f nyy Fnz nsgre gung. V qvferzrzore rknpgyl jura guvf bpphef; V vqragvsvrq vg bapr, ohg qba'g unir gur gvzr gb ybbx vg hc. Fbzrjurer nebhaq Pvevgu Hatby, znlor?

        • rabidsamfan says:

          Lrf, nebhaq gura. Gurer'f n tbbq ovg sebz Sebqb'f natyr jura gurl rapbhagre Furybo, ohg nsgre gung vg'f zbfgyl Fnz.

          Not many authors use the omniscient third person anymore, I think, but it comes naturally to Tolkien. And you need it, given how overarching the story is.

  67. RJM says:

    Do ship Legolas/Gimli, Mark. They are the best team and jura Yrtbynf urnqf bss gb gur jrfg jvgu gur erfg bs gur ryirf, Tvzyv PBZRF JVGU UVZ. Gurl ner fb zneevrq ba Zvqqyr Rnegu.

  68. Diddle-de-dum says:

    Yay, the RUNNING chapter! (And admittedly walking from time to time, and at one points horse-riding, but still a lot of RUNNING!)

    I think I've yet to be able to read this chapter whilst sat down, I usually have to get up and make a few skipping circuits of the room myself whilst yelling at the book. Also when I was a kid for some reason reading this chapter always made me get my plastic pennywhistle out and improvise what I thought at the time were exciting, folk-ish tunes.

    I love the epic chase in this. Whilst Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli don't have a set destination they are really more purposeful than they've been for ages. For a while now they've had this vague, overwhelmingly impossible quest and now it's been taken out of their hands with a much simpler – if still very difficult! – one, to save their friends. It's a great change of pace. I've never found it miserable so much as tense and exciting!

  69. Reading your reviews reminds me just how HUGE Midde Earth is. They walk hundreds of miles and still aren't at their destination and that is some great worldbuilding, to have it mapped out so you can get those kinds of distances in the story and keep it relative to all the locations and just… gah, I love LotR.

    Also, Gimli/Legolas FOREVER. I ship those two even more than Frodo/Sam.

  70. tardis_stowaway says:

    The specific rider who speaks with them is suspicious and rude with the group because WHO THE HELL JUST HANGS OUT IN ROHAN?

    Silly macro containing the movie version of Eomer. No spoilers unless you don't want to know his face or costume, but linked rather than embedded to be safe.

  71. Mikan says:

    Random factoid to creep an unsuspecting reader out: last night I had a dream where Meyer wrote something that involved adult men ogling at eight year old Bella Swan in skimpy clothes. Thankfully Mark called her out with much MANRAGE, but I still wish my brain hadn't made this up for me.

    I miss the dreams where I was a mushroom.

    That aside, I love how far you've come from distrusting Aragorn initially. He's so dependable! No wonder his ancestors were kings if they were anything like him.

  72. Seumas the Red says:

    Well, the Anglo-Saxon version of the Rohirric name. I like it. 😀

  73. Tiffany says:

    Dear Mark,
    Uh, I hope your confusion about Frodo & Sam’s whereabouts is not longlasting, good sir. Also, isn’t Boromir the greatest?! He’s my favorite character in the series. Aw man, I can’t wait to see your reaction to the films (proud New Zealander is proud).
    P.S. Totally unrelated to this, but I just wanted to link you to this;
    It’s a video and link (neither were created by me) to the petition to stop forced sterilization of transgendered people in Sweden. Not trying to be spammy, I just really thought you’d be interested and may like to take a peep. Cheers Mark. Keep being awesome (seriously mate, I can’t WAIT until you hit book 3, you are SO UNPREPARED).

Comments are closed.