Mark Reads ‘The Return of the King’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of The Return of the King, Gimli, Legolas, Pippin, and Merry spend time together after being separated for so long, while the various captains plan their final move against the Dark Lord. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.

CHAPTER NINE: THE LAST DEBATE

If anything, chapter nine just makes me feel incredibly nervous. It is nice to see all of these characters together. I won’t deny that. But it’s also remarkably unsettling that there’s this moment of calm. I can’t ignore that the true horror of facing Sauron is upon these characters. Hell, and I still have no clue what’s going on with Sam and Frodo. I imagine that the second “book” will deal with them and the events that Gandalf references to the captains in this chapter.

There are two distinct parts to what happens here, and the first of those is the reunion of Gimli and Legolas with their two hobbit companions. I enjoyed the fact that before this happens, both Legolas and Gimli take time to criticize the construction of Minas Tirith, one complaining about the stonework while the other complains about the lack of any sort of significant foliage. For real, I just love these two and their friendship so much. I also can’t deny that despite its foreboding tone, the reunion scene in chapter nine is greatly welcomed by yours truly. Tolkien used the tension created by the separation of these characters to drive the action and make us fear where he was taking us. But this meeting is not mean to make us feel better about the future. On the contrary, I think it specifically exists for Tolkien to say, “Hello, readers! Enjoy this brief moment of happiness because I am going to destroy all of this.”

And that’s something I can’t escape, especially after Gandalf reveals his final plan. This entire group is purposely walking into disaster purely out of hope that Frodo and Sam do what they need to do. BUT SAM HAS THE RING ON PROBABLY AT THIS VERY MOMENT oh my god fuck.

There’s some storytelling on the part of Gimli and Legolas when they finally agree to fill in the two hobbits on the activities of the past ten days or so. Personally, I was interested to know how Aragorn was able to secure the corsairs. I don’t need to recount that whole story to any of you, but there’s a lot to it that was very memorable to me. I can’t get over the mental image of Aragorn leading some sort of procession of the dead to these ships. That just seems so fantastic to me! It’s also fascinating to me that the first time we truly see Aragorn as some sort of king is when he is King of the Dead; now, he’s come to be the king of the living. Legolas makes an interesting point about this: all these characters have now seen the awesome power that lies within Aragorn, and it’s one that could have been used for ruin if the man was not one who was so understanding. We see that in this and the previous chapter when Aragorn refuses to lay claim to Gondor while they are in war, preferring to wait until it’s all over. It’s a key difference between how Aragorn operates and how Sauron operates.

Also, Aragorn uses the ramification of darkness and death to defeat darkness and death. That’s so fucking cool.

But these victories along the way and the reunion these characters are experiencing now are but a brief respite from war. They speak of positive things as a way to lift their spirits, but it’s clear that they’re all bothered by what is to come:

Then the companions fell silent, but a while they sat there in the high place, each busy with his own thoughts, while the captains debated.

I don’t like this. I DO NOT LIKE THIS AT ALL.

Tolkien segues to the debate that the various captains have. I don’t know that I’d actually call it a debate, though; it’s more like a discussion led by Gandalf that everyone agrees with. It might be the nicest debate of all time? FOR REAL. Gandalf basically spends ten minutes dropping massive knowledge on the captains about the Dark Lord, and the portrait he paints is excessively grim. The Stones of Seeing cannot lie, so it’s more likely true than not that there is a massive force being sent by Sauron to confront them. Even worse, Denethor was right: just by sheer numbers and force alone, it will probably be impossible to beat Sauron.

That’s such a fucked up thing, you know? Gandalf straight up tells them that there is little hope for victory. Despite that he says he doesn’t counsel prudence, this really is the most prudent counsel he could provide. They should not expect to win. They should not expect to survive. They should not expect to conquer the odds and reign victorious. Instead, Gandalf proposes another plan: they should distract Sauron into focusing on them so that Sam and Frodo can destroy the Ring. That would dismantle the Dark Lord’s power definitively, and is their only true hope for defeat.

‘Therein lies all our hope. This, then, is my counsel. We have not the Ring. In wisdom or great folly it has been sent away to be destroyed, lest it destroy us. Without it we cannot by force defeat his force. But we must at all costs keep his Eye from his true peril. We cannot achieve victory by arms, but by arms we can give the Ring-bearer his only chance, frail though it be.’

It’s an immense leap of faith. Their plan doesn’t rely on anything that is certain. But what choice do they have? They don’t have the numbers to wipe out the force the Dark Lord is raising against them. So they’re going to put their faith in the hands of two hobbits who are making their way to the Enemy to destroy the one thing that gives him power. If the horrific nature of this wasn’t clear enough to the reader, Tolkien has Gandalf spell it out for us:

‘We must walk open-eyed into that trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. For, my lords, it may well prove that we ourselves shall perish in a black battle far from the living lands; so that even if Barad-dûr be thrown down, we shall not live to see a new age. But this, I deem, is our duty. And better so than to perish nonetheless – as we surely shall, if we site here – and know as we die that no new age shall be.’

They’re walking into a sacrifice. That’s what this is. They will walk right into a trap with the hope that this will save generations to come from the horrors of evil. Fuck. It’s such a horrifying concept, and now I’ve got to prepare for the fact that this is going to happen and soon. Oh fuck, now I have to go back to worrying about who is going to die, aren’t I?

But the march to their death doesn’t happen just yet. Valiantly so, all the captains solemnly agree to Gandalf’s plan. I mean, they’ve all come this far, so why back down now? Still, it’s not an easy decision to make. With just seven thousand troops of various kinds at their disposal, they’re going to be hopelessly outnumbered. They’re just going to have to rely on one another and the workings of a couple of hobbits on the other side of the mountain in order to defeat this force of evil.

This is so fucked up, y’all.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

This entry was posted in The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Return of the King’: Chapter 9

  1. knut_knut says:

    Awww, Legolas and Gimli are redecorating Minas Tirith!! They should get their own interior decorating show.

    I always forget that after the Battle of Pelenor Fields that the war still isn’t over yet, not by a long shot. Tolkien planned these chapters perfectly- we’re still high off the fact that most of our beloved characters aren’t dead and then he takes our happiness and smashes it into a million pieces by reminding us that, oh yea, this battle we just saw was nothing. Everyone is probably going to die :'(

    • flootzavut says:

      OH HOME MAKEOVERS WITH GIMLI AND LEGOLAS! MAKE THIS HAPPEN! <3

      • BetB says:

        "Flip This City" ???

        I can see it now on the DIY network (Middle Earth Edition)

      • Meltha says:

        I can just imagine this on, say, HGTV. Legolas would be the one using elf-made rope and a glue gun to create unbelievably incredible things no one else could possibly replicate, while Gimli's decorating trend would run mainly towards hanging axes on walls and installing mead dispensers in the refrigerator door. Oh, shoot, now I've got a fic bunny.

    • ZeynepD says:

      Well, it's more like environmental design and urban planning than interior decorating, but I'd really like them in that role anyway…

  2. rabidsamfan says:

    You're right, you know. Even when Gandalf is telling the captains to be prepared and all, we're all just sitting here so massively unprepared.

    I'm with Pippin. Let's think about something cheerful while the sun is shining.

    *puts fingers in ears and starts singing*

    LALALALALALALALALALA!

  3. Jenny_M says:

    Summing this chapter up in two words, y'all:

    "N QVIREFVBA!!!!"

  4. Becky_J_ says:

    So, as Sauron is being described by Gandalf as ever-watchful and terrifying, I can't help but picture him like this:

    <img src="http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lq4ev159DV1qbmge6o1_500.jpg"&gt;

    I CANNOT UNSEE IT

  5. Ryan Lohner says:

    Ohg ubj ner jr fhccbfrq gb xabj jung'f tbvat ba jvgubhg Yrtbynf fnlvat "N qvirefvba?"

  6. flootzavut says:

    "On the contrary, I think it specifically exists for Tolkien to say, “Hello, readers! Enjoy this brief moment of happiness because I am going to destroy all of this.”"

    And we'd expect no less from Tolkien, right? 🙂

    • flootzavut says:

      Also:I love Aragorn <3

      He's sooooo noble and all that.

      <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/sarahce/tumblr_lum9wrbjxh1r1t1m2.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

      <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/sarahce/tumblr_lum9wrbjxh1r1t1m2.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

      I really find the bravery of these guys marching off to a war they know they cannot win in hope of giving Sam and Frodo a slender chance. They know they will probably die, they even know that they might die in vain, but they are still going to try.

      Movie Stuffs:

      V nyjnlf rawbl Tvzyv'f yvggyr fcrrpu urer:

      "Pregnvagl bs qrngu, fznyy punapr bs fhpprff… Jung ner jr jnvgvat sbe?"

      V xabj zbivr!Tvzyv nva'g cresrpg, ohg ur unf fbzr jbaqreshy zbzragf naq WEQ qryviref <3

      Nyfb V xabj vg'f abg guvf puncgre ohg vg znxrf zr pel naq V'z whfg zragvbavat vg juvyr V erzrzore: gur zbzrag jura gurl'er whfg nobhggb punetr, gur Rlr vf hcba gurz, guvf vf qrngu be tybel gvzr, naq Nentbea/Ivttb ybbxf onpx naq fnlf, va n svez ohg vaperqvoyl graqre gbar, "Sbe Sebqb." XVYYF ZR RIREL GVZR NYY ZL PERLF :'(

    • Saphling says:

      Who do you think Whedon learned from?

      • flootzavut says:

        Trufax.

        Also: "And better so than to perish nonetheless – as we surely shall, if we site here – and know as we die that no new age shall be."

        I think this is one of my problems with Denethor – Aragorn, Gandalf and co are willing to say, "If necessary, we'll die for the chance of a better future" even though they know that their dying won't even guarantee that chance.

        ETA: Rats, somehow intensedebate just lost two long comments. I'm too tired to re-think them 🙁

      • @MeagenImage says:

        Gbyxvra qbrf nyybj punenpgref gb zneel, frggyr qbja naq unir xvqf jvgubhg cbvagyrff gentrql ng gur ynfg zbzrag.

  7. JustMalyn says:

    They are literally going to walk into gazillions of orcs and plan on not coming back. This is terrifying to me, and what's worse is it's actually not the worst thing that could happen to them (SHELOB/FURYBO and BALROGS)

    But at least Tolkien gives us the brief happiness of seeing Legolas and Gimli be ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE together <3

  8. fantasy_fan says:

    Re-reading this, I was very glad for the easing of tensions of the last few chapters, the chance for old friends to catch up, and the pause before the plunge.

    Favorites:
    Legolas and Gimli discuss architecture. It struck me that at one time they'd have been snarking at each other. Now they've found something to snark at together. Also I noticed that Gimii says, "When Aragorn comes into his own…" while Legolas says, "If". Legolas has the longer view, and is not quite so trusting of the works of men. Gimli is like, "Whatever. Anything more to smite?"

    The Captains in debate:
    Gandalf: "Let's go."
    Aragorn: "I'm ready. But it's up to all y'all if you want to come along."
    Elrohir and Elladan: "Dad said go, we're going."
    Eomer: "Whatever. Anything more to smite?"
    Imrahil: "Just let me put the dog out in the backyard and I'll be ready."

  9. stormwreath says:

    Just to add to the general mood of happiness and joy, notice this dialogue of Éomer's:

    "If we must ride soon, then I cannot hope to lead even two thousands, and yet leave as many for the defence of the City."

    The day before, there were 6,000 riders of Rohan. Now there are less than 4,000 remaining (<2,000 riding out, 2,000 staying behind). And that was a <i>victorious battle.

    ***

    On a lighter note, here's Aragorn:
    "Then he drew Andúril and held it up glittering in the sun. 'You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought,' he said".

    Very dramatic and heroic, but won't it be really inconvenient (and dangerous) having to carry around a drawn sword for the next week or so? 🙂

    • flootzavut says:

      Re: your second point, movie extra spoilers:

      V arire znqr gur pbaarpgvba orsber, ohg V erzrzore gurz fnlvat va gur rkgenf gung gur ersbetrq Naqhevy jnf ERNYYL YBAT. V guvax gurer jnf fbzr ybtvp jvgu gur zra bs Ahzrabe orvat rira gnyyre naq zber vzcbfvat, naq nyfb gur snpg vg ybbxrq Ernyyl Pbby (gz) ba fperra. Ohg vg jnf npghnyyl gbb ybat gb or jbea ba Ivttb'f jnvfg – gur fpnooneq pbhyq or nggnpurq gb gur ubefr'f cbzzry, ohg vg jbhyq trg va gur jnl bs uvz jnyxvat jrer vg ba uvf jnvfg. Fb ur onfvpnyyl eneryl vs rire furngurf vg sebz gur Cnguf bs gur Qrnq bajneqf. Juvpu tvira gur dhbgr lbh whfg fcbggrq znqr zr puhpxyr, V jbaqre vs fbzrbar funec rlrq abgvprq gung be vs vg jnf whfg n unccl nppvqrag!

      • Erik says:

        Medieval solution for this: the back sheath. Pommel sticks up over your shoulder to be grabbed. It’s not as convenient as a belt sheath, but it’s better than tripping. 🙂

  10. Becky_J_ says:

    Oh, and I also love that Gandalf and all the Men are willing to walk straight to Sauron's gates, and face Death to help Frodo and Sam. No one even really hesitates. They all know what they are doing…. there is no coming back from this one. They all know they have no hope to beat Sauron's forces, and he will crush them. But as Gandalf puts it, it would be better to face the storm head-on and die and know that there is a tiny ember of hope, which you are feeding, than to wait for the storm to come to you, and to die knowing that your children will never see the dawn.

  11. Skyweir says:

    I love this chapter more every time I read it. I have been down on Gandalf lately, but in this chapter he shows he is truely awesome. He lays out what they know, and shows them the only way forward. This has really been a huge chess game, with Gandalf and the White Council on one side and Sauron on the other. The end game is here, and it is a huge gambit with even larger stakes.

    I love all of Gandalf's speech here, but especialy:

    "We must walk open-eyed into that trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. For, my lords, it may well prove that we ourselves shall perish in a black battle far from the living lands; so that even if Barad-dûr be thrown down, we shall not live to see a new age. But this, I deem, is our duty. And better so than to perish nonetheless – as we surely shall, if we site here – and know as we die that no new age shall be."

  12. Becky_J_ says:

    I really love the speech Gandalf gives about doing what you can with the time you are given, and how he compares it to weeding a garden. It's a never-ending job, but you must do your part, whether that is a little bit or a lot. No, you can never rid the world of all the evil, and you can never uproot all the weeds. There will always be more popping up behind your back. But if you do what you can, that's a little more the next generation doesn't have to do. And someday, that may be enough.

    "Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

    Somehow, I suspect Sam would approve of this analogy.

  13. Meltha says:

    Well, at least Mark can feel he's in good company. None of the characters are prepared either.

  14. Becky_J_ says:

    A few more things…. I think this chapter should be called "The Sass of Gimli" because he spends pretty much the whole thing just being snarky and hilarious and I LOVE IT. never stop, Gimli

    Also, I love how everyone's kinda down and Pippin's all "Come on guys! The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we're gonna get out of here!" No one believes him though. I BELIEVE YOU, PIP.

  15. Dreamflower says:

    I think one thing this chapter shows is that hope does not necessarily rely on the expectation that something is going to turn out well.

    These characters display this: they can hope to do the right thing. They cannot hope that everything will end happily because they do it. They can hope that that Frodo and Sam will manage their end, but they have no control over that, and it doesn't change the fact that they need to continue to resist Sauron's evil to the end.

    It's not that these people don't care if they die. They don't want to. But all of them are very much aware that there are things worse than death– and that they must do all they can to protect those who cannot protect themselves. And they have no guarantee that their sacrifice will succeed in protecting anyone.

    But they do it anyway because there is no hope at all if they don't.

  16. JustMalyn says:

    Good point 🙂 Yes, yes it would.

  17. JustMalyn says:

    *Palantír 😉 Orthanc is the tower the Palantír came from.

  18. flootzavut says:

    Yes, he does come across quite uncertain, but I guess it shows wisdom on his part that he will trust Aragorn when he doesn't necessarily have the wisdom himself to know what's best.

    It's easy to forget just how young he is by comparison!

  19. plaidpants says:

    Yes! I don't think I had really caught/appreciated that metaphor the first time I read the books, but it's absolutely perfect. It's a great response to those, well there'll always be "x" in the world, so why even bother getting rid of it?? Gandalf just has some of the most awe inspiring lines in this series.

  20. settledforhistory says:

    Well, Tolkie's moment of distracting-from-the-horrors-of-war-with-cuteness is really fun to read.
    I love that both hobbits are greeted this cheerfully by Legolas and Gimli as they have been mostly treated as a nuisance before and both were quite lonely without the other members of the Fellowship.
    It's also weird how little time has gone by since they've seen each other, but it feels like months.

    Legolas and Gimli criticising Minas Tirith for its lack of plants and its lousy stonework is hilarious.
    In the middle of a war the two can take time to analyse why Men don't built their cities like they did in the old days.
    I could imagine them distracting their opponents with well-meant critic of their weapons "Now I know this sword is very sharp, but it is also rather unadorned and seems a bit brittle. If you had any of the ancient swords of the golden age of Gondor you would have surely defeated me"
    I would love a book with just these wonderful entertainers, sightseeing through Middle-earth.

    There is only one thing I can say about the last debate:
    These captains, who are willing to play bait for the Enemy so that Frodo and Sam can destroy the Ring without being discovered, they are all brilliant, badass heroes!
    Not one of them tries to get out of this or really criticises Gandalf's plan. They go to their not-uncertain deaths to help two hobbits, even though there is no guarantee for success. They could all die in vain, but they go without complaining in order to give the generations after them a better future.
    I was never much of a fan of war movies or stories, nonetheless I have to admit that this is really beautiful and amazing.
    Though I will have to worry now that not even one of the Fellowship will come out of this alive.

  21. castlewayjay says:

    Love this ! – Those lines you quoted from Gandalf are some of my favorites from the entire book. So wise – just because evil will pop up again does not mean we don't do all we can to fight it anyway. Because it's the right thing to do.
    Great post – by you and Ganalf

  22. ZeynepD says:

    It really is. I hadn't read it that way until it was pointed out here. But he really is young and inexperienced, and yet has wisdom enough to listen to the wisdom of those who aren't. Theoden chose his heir well.

  23. flootzavut says:

    Buuuuu lrf, gung'f n ornhgvshy!

    V guvax bar bs gur guvatf V YBIR nobhg gung yvar naq ubj Ivttb qryviref vg vf gung vg ernyyl vf nabgure zbzrag bs "n qrrc oerngu orsber gur cyhatr" – vg'f guvf zbzrag bs fgvyyarff naq bs gurve qrqvpngvba gb gur gnfx nzvqfg nyy gur genfu gnyx naq svtugvat. Whfg guvaxvat nobhg vg tvirf zr fuviref naq znxrf zl rlrf jryy hc <3

  24. flootzavut says:

    YBY njjj. Jryy V thrff gur guvat vf, gur jubyr ohfvarff, vapyhqvat Fnz'f cneg va vg, vf gb trg gur Evatornere gb Zbhag Qbbz. Rfcrpvnyyl tvira gung gur svyzznxref qrpvqrq gb znxr Sebqb gurve sbphf sbegur jubyr zbivr – vg'f uvf fgbel!

    Vf vg onq gung abj V nz vzntvavat Ivttb fnlvat "Sbe Sebqb naq Fnz"… vg qbrfa'g unir dhvgr gur fnzr evat… :$

  25. ZeynepD says:

    Yes, this. Maybe another way to put it: It is not so much that they hope overmuch; it's that they refuse to give in to despair. "We can't do everything. We can't even, maybe, do this one thing either. But if we do not try our friends will surely be lost and our doom will follow shortly thereafter, therefore we will attempt this thing."

    Compare and contrast with Denethor, who saw everything in the television [1], realized that there was no hope of victory with arms, made the mistake of thinking the Ring could be mastered and used for victory if only it got to Minas Tirith, and broke under the load of his despair when it became clear that the Ring had gone beyond his reach. He didn't come to the point of suicide until his son came back on death's door from the disaster he himself had sent the boy on to, but I believe that he had already cracked to send Faramir out that way at any rate.

    [1] It has never failed to amuse me that that is the literal translation of "palantir" == far-see == distance-see == tele-vision.

  26. Katie says:

    parallel with JKR #12,345: the hero(es) must walk open-eyed to their doom, in order to save everyone else.

  27. monkeybutter says:

    I think that should be amended to say “The Sass of Gimli and Gandalf” because this right here

    ‘Then you would have us retreat to Minas Tirith, or Dol Amroth, or to Dunharrow, and there sit like children on sand-castles when the tide is flowing?’ said Imrahil.

    ‘That would be no new counsel,’ said Gandalf. ‘Have you not done this and little more in all the days of Denethor?’

    made me giggle. Oh, Gandalf. Just a little sassiness before he tells them they’re going to be doing something imprudent and marvelous. 😀

  28. Alice says:

    Aww…half of the fellowship is reunited yet again ^_^ . The yearning for the Sea has been awaked in Legolas 🙁 ,just as Galadriel predicted and we also find out about Aragorn's adventure with the ghost warriors :D. Do I need to say how amazing it is that these men decide to attack Sauron,just to help 2 little hobbits?

    It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

    <img src="http://www.dana-mad.ru/gal/images/Alan%20Lee/The%20Lord%20of%20the%20Rings/alan_lee_the%20lord%20of%20the%20rings_iii-5-09_the%20last%20debate.jpg"width="600"&gt;

  29. Alice says:

    Aww…half of the fellowship is reunited yet again ^_^ . The yearning for the Sea has been awaked in Legolas 🙁 ,just as Galadriel predicted and we also find out about Aragorn's adventure with the ghost warriors :D. Do I need to say how amazing it is that these men decide to attack Sauron,just to help 2 little hobbits?

    It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

    <img src="http://www.dana-mad.ru/gal/images/Alan%20Lee/The%20Lord%20of%20the%20Rings/alan_lee_the%20lord%20of%20the%20rings_iii-5-09_the%20last%20debate.jpg"width="600"&gt;

  30. @redbeardjim says:

    "As if it matters how a man falls!"

    "When the fall is all that remains, it matters very much."

  31. Leah-san says:

    I'm sorry, this chapter is just too adorable for me to handle. Sure, it has some pretty gloomy foreshadowing, but reunited friends, Gandalf the being the sassy wizard he's always been, and more cute and hilarious interaction between Legolas and Gimli, it just makes me happy again.
    "Heavy would my heart have been, for all our victory at the havens, if Legolas had not laughed suddenly."
    STOP. JUST STOP YOU GUYS. MY HEART CAN'T TAKE THIS.

  32. rabidsamfan says:

    Me too!

  33. Ryan Lohner says:

    Naq bs pbhefr, guvf cneg bs gur zbivr unf gur terngrfg qverpgbe pnzrb rire, nf gur thlf ur'f orra chfuvat nebhaq trg gb xvyy uvz! Nyfb cerggl sha vf gur OGF fghss, jurer nsgre ur'f nyy znqr hc nf n cvengr, Wnpxfba fnlf "V qba'g xabj jung jr'er fubbgvat gbqnl, ohg guvf unf orra dhvgr sha."

  34. evildevilgirl02 says:

    Unrelated question: Mark, in Cleveland, you said that you like Garth Nix. Which books of his have you read?

    Also: I’ve recently started reading Battle Royale because you kept mentioning it in your THG reviews. I can’t. I can’t even.

    • Iamwinterborn says:

      My reaction to Battle Royale:

      Oh, so this is like a book about High School students in a tournament or something. Sounds interesting.

      First/Second Chapter:

      Ummmm. Ummmm. UMMMMMM. WHAT AM I READING. OH GOD. OH GOD. IT GOT REAL. IT GOT VERY FRAKKING REAL VERY QUICKLY.

      Later:

      Must… turn… one… more… page. What time is it? Oh, it's only 8, that's not…. why is it sunny out?

      • evildevilgirl02 says:

        I’m taking notes on the 42 students so that I don’t mix them up. That’s just so many characters for me…

  35. Becky_J_ says:

    Also, this really has nothing to do with LOTR…. but I just discovered Firefly, and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE. I am so in love.

    Damn you, Fox, I curse you to the ends of the earth!!

  36. Jenny_M says:

    HEY NOW. CRASH WAS THE CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE OF A GENERATION.

    (This is…obviously sarcastic.)

  37. Dreamflower says:

    Exactly.

    Denethor allowed himself to be swayed by the facts he knew, never taking into account that there were things he did not know; in addition, he simply failed to do his duty, since he had no guarantee of the desired outcome.

  38. I…I loved both those movies?

  39. arctic_hare says:

    LEGOLAS AND GIMLI'S ONGOING BROMANCE IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS CHAPTER. <3

    Also, I like the contrast here between the commanders and Denethor: instead of giving in to the despair, they choose to make a desperate last stand in the hopes of helping Frodo and thus future generations. They know they're likely to die either way, so they pick the more valiant option that actually has a shot at helping others through their sacrifices.

  40. Ryan Lohner says:

    Well, now you can understand a certain comment of mine last week.

  41. manybellsdown says:

    Viggo is just plain fabulous. I saw him talking about the movies, and Jackson and some of the other characters are talking about how he broke two toes, and a tooth, and almost drowned while they were filming. The camera cuts to Viggo who just shrugs and says "You're only hearing about it because I'm an actor. Some of the stuntpeople got hurt much worse."

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