Mark Reads ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’: Book Two, Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter of the second book of The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo makes a difficult decision when he is confronted by Boromir. All of this could have been avoided if he’d had a sassy gay friend. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.






“I fear that the young hobbit is making a terrible, terrible choice to throw away something so powerful.”


“But my men in Minas Tirith, we are good men, and we can unite in our cause against the Dark Lor-”


“But I don’t want the others to know of my idea. They would become suspicious and think I have poor intentions!”


“You make a fair point, and provide good counsel.”


“So whatever shall I do? I think we are making a grave mistake.”


“You are most wise, my friend. I am thinking I may have avoided other misfortunes had you been around.”





“I think I’ll head into the forest alone to think about the horrific choice I must make.”





“Oh, but I don’t wish to make this choice! I don’t!”


“Well, no, but-”


“But if the orcs arrive, I could just slip on the Ring to avoid capture and-”




“He wouldn’t do that! He is a man of honor!”


“I suppose you’re right. Do you think they’ll help me?”




“Oh, Frodo, where have you gone to? I shall run blindly into the forest without care to seek you out!”


“I must find Frodo! I know him well, and I know he will go on this journey alone to spare us!”


“But the others would have tried to stop me!”


“But this is my best friend we are talking about! If I don’t go after him, he will continue to make bad decisions!”


“Yes! I thought you knew that!”


“Why thank you! And that scarf goes well with your complexion!”




There is still a lot I want to say about this chapter, which has gone in a direction I don’t think I ever could have predicted. Boromir’s behavior isn’t all that surprising because Tolkien wisely seeded that doubt throughout the book, but it’s the tenor of his actions that scared me. He is desperate to get that Ring at first, and then consumed with guilt over what he’s done. Is this what the Ring does to people? I have a feeling this would never have happened if THE Ring weren’t at the heart of it. The effects it has on people have led to the Fellowship splintering, and I bet that’s an intentional thing.

But this feels like the end of a full book, a complete story. This fascinates me! If Frodo made it to Mordor in the next chapter and the book ended not long after, I would be so immensely satisfied. So much has happened! There’s been tons of character development, some brilliant plot twists, a shocking character death, and the constant complication of the main mission. THIS IS SO AMAZING TO ME. HOW ARE THERE TWO MORE “BOOKS” LEFT?????? On top of this, I feel so upset at the fact that the Company has split up. WHEN IS THAT EVER A GOOD IDEA?

Tomorrow, I’ll make a prediction post for The Two Towers, and then press on with the book on Monday. For the sake of experiencing The Lord of the Rings as its own thing, I will NOT be watching the movies until I’m done. We will do live blogs and reviews on three consecutive Saturdays once I am finished! I think that’s an acceptable way to deal with this, no?

Just…….sweet summer child, I am so unprepared.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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407 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’: Book Two, Chapter 10

  1. Becky_J_ says:

    All right. I'm just going to come out and say it. THIS CHAPTER FUCKING BLOWS. But at the same time…. THIS CHAPTER IS SO FUCKING AMAZING. And when we really need to demonstrate super important things, what do we use?? THAT'S RIGHT. LISTS.

    * Things that I really really really hate in this chapter*
    ~BOROMIR'S GLEAMING, FIERY EYES (Hello! Terrifying! And directed at Frodo, too!)
    ~BOROMIR'S GREEDY HEART( why Tolkien whyyyyy)
    ~BOROMIR'S TEARS (because he would be so much easier to hate if he didn't show any remorse)
    ~BOROMIR'S HAT (look, I don't actually think he has a hat, but if he did, I WOULD HATE IT RIGHT NOW OKAY)
    and, of course, the most important….
    ~BOROMIR'S BETRAYAL (This is going to be the title of my band I have just decided this it is happening)

    And now we have come to the breaking point. I mean, the title is called "The Breaking of the Fellowship" (THANKS FOR BEING YOUR OWN WORST TROLL TOLKIEN) and we knew SOMETHING was going to happen…. BUT FUCK. I really liked Boromir, 'till he started being all shifty and creepy and all. I mean, remember when he waded through chest-deep snow to make a path for the hobbits?? And when he carried them when they were hurt?? Gah. Uncalled for. THIS CHAPTER IS UNCALLED FOR.

    Here are a few more things I hate about this chapter:
    ~The mentioning of the smoke at the edge of Lorien. REALLY TOLKIEN. This chapter wasn't quite enough with what you already had without hinting that the most beautiful place ever to exist is burning to the ground??
    ~Frodo has to go to Mordor! I mean, we knew that, but we didn't KNOW that. You know?
    ~And finally…. that Frodo even THINKS of leaving without Sam. I get why he does it, but that doesn't matter, because IT IS SAM and THERE IS NO FRODO WITHOUT SAM. EVER.

    And that brings me to my other list. Okay. Enough hate.
    *Things that I really really really REALLY love about this chapter*
    ~Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, who all want to turn away and go to the safe places but know that if Frodo decides he is going to Mordor, they will follow him to the end. OKAY I'M ABOUT TO START CRYING.
    ~"But the dear silly old hobbit, he ought to know that he hasn't got to ask. He ought to know that if we can't stop him, we shan't leave him." GAH. Pippin. My heart is yours forever!

    ~OH WAIT THAT'S A LIE BECAUSE IT ALREADY BELONGS TO SAM AND IT ALWAYS WILL. Because of the following reasons: 1."Not without Sam? Yes, without even his Sam. That's hard, cruel hard." HIS SAM. ohmygod. That line will never fail to make me cry. 2. "Save me, Mr. Frodo! I'm drownded." Drownded. Can you just imagine this coming from Sam?? It would be SO FREAKING ADORABLE. 3. "I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you." !!!!! no words. I have no words. 4. "Yet we may, Mr. Frodo. We may." *sobs with love for Samwise Gamgee, the best friend a hobbit…. or ANYONE…. could ever have.*

    This is a really long post, I realize that, so I am going to end with this. Yes, Boromir betrayed the Fellowship and Frodo and his friends. The Ring took his heart, and it twisted him. But you know what? IT JUST MAKES WHAT SAM DOES THAT MUCH BETTER. Because we see how corrupting the Ring can be, and we know what it can do to the best of Men, we now understand how true and how pure Sam's heart must be to stand side by side with his best friend and go straight to the heart of Mordor. As someone pointed out to me in the comments a few days ago, Sam has the biggest heart in all of Middle Earth.

    All caps lock and key smashing aside, Samwise Gamgee is what the best of us always strive to be, and what we cannot ever measure up to.

    *Okay. Maybe not ALL caps lock and key smashing aside :D*

  2. Jenny_M says:


    I have no other comments.

  3. ambyrglow says:

    YESSS. Victory for Team One Novel!

    And I think this may be my favorite review yet.

  4. Ryan Lohner says:

    The trailer for the first film. Soak in the epicness, and have fun recognizing some scenes, and struggling to place others due to changes they made.

    • Jenny_M says:

      I don't see any major spoilers in the trailer, since Mark has already figured out that Nentbea naq Nejra ner n guvat. Considering how much Fnehzna jnf va gur svefg zbivr, ur qbrfa'g rira fubj hc urer. Nyfb, Znex unf nyernql ernq nobhg Obebzve'f qrngu, fb V guvax gur Frna Orna pnfgvat vf fnsr abj.

      So, IMHO, this is safe for Mark to watch if he wants to get a taste!

      • blossomingpeach says:

        Of course he may wonder jub ba rnegu gung puvpx evqvat jvgu Sebqb vf. "Vs lbh jnag uvz, pbzr naq pynvz uvz!"

        I dunno, I kind of feel like after I've watched that trailer I've pretty much seen the whole movie.

        • Jenny_M says:

          Well, that's why I said it's safe for him to watch if he wants to get a taste, as in it won't spoil him for major plots in TTT or ROTK. If he wants to experience it all firsthand then he shouldn't watch it.

          • blossomingpeach says:

            True, true. 🙂 Although worse than the trailer itself, I find all the suggested videos on the righthand side spoilery! Is there an embedded version somewhere without all the video suggestions?

            • SGC51 says:

              If its watched on a mobile device it should just pop up to full screen so you wouldn’t have to worry about it. Just watched the trailer on my Droid and it went straight to full screen. No suggested anything to be seen.

      • sixth_queen says:

        I was hoping that Mark would stay away from any visuals for the moment, and finish the book with his own mental pictures instead of being interrupted by PJ's casting. But it's his decision.

    • ljrTR says:

      Trailer seems spoilery to me, but Mark's choice.

      • rabidsamfan says:

        Me too. But as you say, his choice. And if he doesn't watch it, folks have been providing him with such glorious artwork here that he must have an idea of how the story looks anyway.

    • @redbeardjim says:

      And a….slight modification!

      (more spoilery than the regular trailer)

    • eregyrn says:

      Hmm. It's still casting-spoilery, but then, V guvax gur znva pnfgvat fcbvyre va vg vf abj cerggl zbbg? I dunno… I guess I think that if he's made it this far without almost any visual spoilers at all, he's better off remaining that way, but that's just me.

      (If it was me reading the book for the first time, I would WANT to get the visuals in my head. But I do think it's fascinating to observe as someone reads without those visuals. And I can understand how the visuals alone constitute an overall spoiler, since, once you see them, your reading experience from then on is constantly informed by the visuals you've seen and what your mind is trying to guess about what you haven't seen. That is, not "this is how I picture (upcoming location) looking", but a subtle shift to, "having seen the way the film did the things I've read already, how will it do (upcoming location)?")

      • rabidsamfan says:

        Don't you get visuals from all the illustrations we've seen? Or is it a different quality of visual if it's a movie instead of a drawing?

        • eregyrn says:

          I've been kind of wondering about that, actually. I mean, clearly, posting all the pics openly in the threads has been fine, or else… the mods would have discouraged it long ago. But I was initially surprised, since I would have gotten the impression from the site rules that the various illustrations would still fall under the category of spoiler. Clearly not.

          I don't know how it is for Mark. I could understand, though, that for some people, illustrations are different from a movie. For example, I'm always aware when I'm looking at any LOTR illustrations that they are just one artist's interpretation, which may or may not match my inner vision, and that there are a LOT of different interpretations out there. Indeed, people have posted picture-dumps here consisting of various artists' work.

          But it feels like there's something much more monolithic about the visualization created by the movies. Something more definitive? (And for many people, the movies ARE very definitive.) Even though we know that there are a few other filmed interpretations (like the animated ones).

          As I said above, I'm also groping to understand, as I'm the type of reader who's happy to be spoiled by visuals of any kind. Well… okay, *almost* happy. I can remember being much younger and passionately disliking some artists' Tolkien work, and trying to scrub them from my brain lest they take over my personal visuals. And I haven't really tried to do a serious LOTR reread since the films, so I'm not sure what experience will be like.

          I guess the bottom line is — we know that movie spoilers aren't okay, including expressing expectations re. the movies. But illustrations *are* okay, or that would have been taken care of long ago. So that itself suggests to me that there's some difference in Mark's mind? Maybe?

          • Jenny_M says:

            I think, for the most part, relevant fan art has always been a part of the Mark Reads experience. I wasn't around for most of Harry Potter, but I do recall fan art/vids being posted for The Hunger Games and The Golden Compass.

            • notemily says:

              Yeah, there was a lot of HP fanart as well. There are some sites that even organize HP art by chapter, so that was a good way to keep things un-spoilery.

          • rabidsamfan says:

            Oh, you should definitely do a serious reread. Especially if you haven't watched the films in a while, because there are things about the book which are positively visceral.

            I tend to get overwhelmed by moving visuals, unless I have multiple sources to draw on (like with Sherlock Holmes, where there are legions of possibility) but still images and drawings are less likely to influence me (except, perhaps in that I generally prefer the first ones I saw.) But I don't have the kind of imagination that paints pictures in my head. When I close my eyes, I see the back of my eyelids. Visual imagination is sort of a tantalizing suggestion of a ghost of a shadow of an image. Oddly enough, even if I can't see things, I can describe them in words. And the closest I come to actually "seeing" anything is words on a page! (And that's because I hear them, too.)

            • flootzavut says:

              That more or less describes me, too – I can tell you if something doesn't look right to me or not, but I don't tend to "see" the action rolling along in my head if I read…

            • Dreamflower says:

              Oddly enough, I do get visuals from reading– but never of the *characters*! Only of the settings and landscapes– the people are always vaguely out-of-focus unless I've seen some really good illustrations. I can recall myself as a high schooler desperately trying (and failing) to draw Merry and Pippin in their armor.

              One reason I loved the films was that they FINALLY gave me faces/voices for the people.

      • tzikeh says:

        I would WANT to get the visuals in my head.

        Oh, GOD I disagree. The brilliance of reading fiction is that it's a joint production of author and reader. The author sets the stage, blocks the action, etc., but the reader's imagination is what allows him or her to keep up their part of the bargain and engage with the material in the way that he or she can, which is what makes reading a book so personal. I have no problem with seeing a film adaptation after reading, because you can incorporate what you see into your version, or you can choose to overwrite what you see with your version. But if you see the film first, you are locked down into visuals, line deliveries, and expectations of how the book will go, when films are *never* faithful to the novel (nor should they be–they have to be films to be successful, and not dioramas).

        • eregyrn says:

          Oh, I don't disagree. That was a statement of idiosyncratic personal choice, rather than a prescription for anyone else. I can understand all of your points, and think they're a very valid approach for any reader.

          In fact, I think my view on it now is probably out of step with what my view on it was, back in the day. It's easy enough to say that, given all that I know now (obviously, I'm speaking from the viewpoint of having originally read the books without any visual associations besides Tolkien's own book covers; and of having seen ALL the films and knowing in retrospect what my feelings about them are). It's quite possible that my relationship with the books wouldn't have been so deeply personal, had I had any visuals to predispose me this or that way.

          (I certainly became very picky AFTER reading the books, about various visual interpretations. I don't know that I ever found an artist who I thought did justice to what I'd imagined. I think the years have mellowed my acceptance of others.)

          But now I've had enough experiences of going the other way — seeing something filmed and then going on to read fiction based on it — that I know I enjoy that process too. In a different way, perhaps.

        • Eira says:

          I'm with you on this one, though I have to admit that I'm not always good at staying away from the screenplays, but I honestly do try every time the book behind the movie seems worth reading.

          Not that it's my biggest mistake, but I wish I'd read LotR before watching the movie, instead I read the book between FotR and TT, but since I was 12/13, I honestly did not think that I was up for reading the whole book before the first movie anyhow. But luckily I read the Hobbit before being exposed for any movies (except from short glimpses from the Bakshi-movie on television, but at that time, I was too young to enjoy it, and turned it off), and I love the fact that every time I re-read the Hobbit, all my 11-year-old fantasies of how the Middle Earth looked like comes back.

          Great movies are a wonderful thing (I personally was amazed to see how beautiful and esthetic Sofia Coppola's version of The Virgin Suicides looked like, it was totally different from what I'd expected, but then again, I was a thirteen year old girl living in Norway, and had never experienced neither America or the 70s), but reading the book is safest. I can hardly stand to watch the Harry Potter movies, because that world is so much better in my head (except Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid <3).

    • Oh man. Chills all over again every time!

    • shortstuff says:

      Man, I remember back in 2001, before high speed internet, waiting for half an hour for that 2 minute trailer to load. And had a screencap of each clip and detailed summaries or what they thought every scene was. Good times.!

      Mark, you're so lucky you get to skip all the waiting! Even a year between movies was way too long. Imagine if they had filmed them separately?

    • Laurelluin says:

      I think the sight of Nejra evqvat Nfsnybgu vafgrnq bs Tybesvaqry would count as spoilery. The kisses wouldn't be, though.

    • shortstuff says:

      I just went and watched all three trailers. Such epicness! I can't wait til we can talk about the others as well.

      Does anyone know if Howard Shore composed the music for the trailers, too? Because on RotK trailer, gur zhfvp, pbzovarq jvgu gur rqvgvat ng gur raq – fgnegvat jvgu dhvpx phgf naq jbexvat qbja gb fybjre barf – znqr vg VZB gur zbfg cbjreshy. Rirelguvat jnf fb njrfbzr, naq vg whfg trgf rira orggre va gur zbivrf. V vzntvar Znex jvyy pel nyy gur grnef obgu ernqvat NAQ jngpuvat gur svany cneg. Here's a link for everyone except Mark

      • @dazyndara says:

        They did use Shore's music for the ROTK trailer and for some of the TT trailers (others used Lux Aeterna from Requiem for a Dream), but the broad release FOTR trailer used "Gothic Power", a piece that is used in quite a few movie trailers.
        Normally movie trailers can't use music from the film as it hasn't all been composed by the time the trailers airs, but that's not such a problem when you're filming all three movies at the same time, hence the awesomeness that is the later LOTR trailers 😀

      • flootzavut says:

        Lbh xabj, V unir frra gung zbivr FB ZNAL GVZRF, naq yvfgrarq gb gur zhfvp, naq ernq gur obbxf, naq vg FGVYY fraqf n fuvire qbja zl fcvar, oevatf grnef gb zl rlrf naq znxrf zr jnag gb jngpu gur zbivr EVTUG GUVF VAFGNAG!

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Actually, the one I remember as the teaser is this one:… Still spoilery, though not as much, but I remember seeing it on a screen in a mall and being utterly entranced, because I could identify every single person in the Fellowship without even being able to hear the sound.

  5. drop_and_roll says:

    Tuxedo t-shirt! Amazing!

  6. Katie says:

    Usually, Mark's reviews are safe for work. This one, not so much…:)

  7. cait0716 says:

    Mark, you make an excellent sassy gay friend. So much heartache could have been avoided if you'd just been there.

    I really love Sam in this chapter. He runs off blindly, but then he's all "no, I need to think." And he goes and finds Frodo just in time and nearly drowns but insists on going with him. They were totally meant to be together.

    And, yeah, Boromir frightens me, too, in this chapter.

    So glad Team One Novel won you over!

    You're not prepared and I can't wait to see your predictions tomorrow.

  8. rabidsamfan says:

    Ah, Tolkien, the alltime grandchampion of enticing cliffhangers. I have lost count of the number of times a kid has turned up at my desk, clutching a copy of Fellowship, and squeaking in wildeyed dismay, "WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE? I NEED THE NEXT ONE, PLEASE!"

    I love this book so much. And reading it again with your reactions is making my whole winter brighter. And thank you for letting us know your decision about the movies. I will be clearing my calendar (if I possibly can.)

    • flootzavut says:

      "I have lost count of the number of times a kid has turned up at my desk, clutching a copy of Fellowship, and squeaking in wildeyed dismay, "WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE? I NEED THE NEXT ONE, PLEASE!""

      That's so cute, I can just see it LOL:D

    • Dreamflower says:

      Reminds me of my first reading. Checked out FotR and TT from the H.S. library. Librarian informs me RotK is checked out.

      Took FotR and TT home over the weekend. Came rushing into the library right after home room on Monday: Has it been turned in yet?

      Not due till FRIDAY!! Repeat this twice a day until Thursday afternoon!


      • rabidsamfan says:

        Oh, yes. With my good readers I try to always hand them the entire trilogy at once. (And generally say, "it's okay to skim the poetry the first time you read this…") But sometimes they pick up the first book without my knowing, and that's when the fun begins. ;D

        • flootzavut says:

          I wish someone had told me that when I first tried to read it! Oh, and "it's OK to skip the prologue" would have helped a lot too 🙁 but it did mean I got to read it for the first time as an adult which was awesome, so it's swings and roundabouts 🙂

          • rabidsamfan says:

            I usually don't have to tell kids to skip prologues or introductions. 😀 Well, except for kids like me, because I read them too! (Which might explain why as a kid I never got past Bree…)

    • AmandaNekesa says:

      Yes! Having these reviews and this community to discuss the books, movies, and (of course) Mark\’s unpreparedness has made the long winter more bearable. I find it hard to believe he has finished FotR already and it is getting close to February! How time flies! 🙂

    • kateydidnt says:

      Lol, yes! naq gur pyvssunatre ng gur raq bs Gjb Gbjref vf rira JBEFR!

      Luckily enough, I checked out all three simultaneously from the library when I read them for the first time.

      However, I was spoiled from the beginning. I grew up watching the old animated Lord of the Rings and Return of the King (which are both so awful they are HILARIOUS) I always knew how things ended.

      My favorite joke I played on a friend who had not read the books was this:
      Jr jrer jnvgvat va yvar gb jngpu EBGX jura vg pnzr bhg naq fur jnf fnlvat fur unq ab vqrn jung jnf pbzvat naq jnf zhfvat ba jung jbhyq unccra. V ybbxrq ng ure naq fnvq, "Lbh zrna lbh qba'g xabj? Sebqb qbrfa'g qrfgebl gur evat!" Fur ynhturq naq fnvq "lrnu evtug!"

  9. misterbernie says:

    …bless you. BLESS YOU FOREVER, GOOD SIR!

  10. plaidpants says:

    A glorious, glorious post. Had you been there Mark, truly things would have turned out differently.

    With a title like this, its no wonder that bad things happen, but I love that the breaking of the fellowship comes from within, not from outside forces – it really shows the power the ring has over otherwise strong and wise individuals. Boromir knew right away that he had done something horrid, but it was too late.

    • flootzavut says:

      I love that Boromir knows he's done wrong. V guvax vg pbzrf npebff va gur zbivrf gbb – ur'f enfu, naq uhatref sbe cbjre, naq gur Evatf ernyyl gjvfgf uvz hc. Ohg ur'f onfvpnyyl n Tbbq Thl (GZ) naq ur qvrf n aboyr qrngu. V ernyyl ybir ubj Frna cynlrq uvz.

      • plaidpants says:

        Bu lrf, uvf qrngu fprar vf fb vaperqvoyl cbjreshy, rfcrpvnyyl orpnhfr ur'f gelvat gb cebgrpg Zreel naq Cvccva, naq ur qvq frrz gb unat bhg jvgu gurz n ohapu va gur ortvaavat bs gur dhrfg.

        • flootzavut says:

          Oh I'm sodding well welling up now :'(

          V pna'g uryc ohg guvax bs Qbz/Ovyyl'f ernpgvbaf gb Obebzve orvat cvaphfuvbarq, naq nyfb Ovyyl jura Cvccva vf gryyvat Qrargube nobhg ubj Obebzve qvrq gelvat gbcebgrpg gurz… JNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!! *nyy zl perlf jung V unir abg hfrq hc nyernql ba nyy gur bgure fnq pbzzragf gurer unir orra gbqnl nyernql…*

      • eregyrn says:

        Word. Va zl lbhgu, V qvq abg unir n ybg bs cngvrapr jvgu Obebzve. Ohg V guvax gur zbivr qvq n terng wbo jvgu uvz, naq ernyyl ghearq zr nebhaq. Frna'f cresbeznapr urycrq vzzrafryl.

        (Cbffvoyl nyfb, vg'f whfg gung nf V'ir tbggra byqre, V pna flzcnguvmr zber jvgu gur qrfcrengvba naq gur jrnxarff gung gur Evat rkcybvgrq, naq haqrefgnaq orggre gur vqrn bs ubj uneq gur Evat vf gb erfvfg. V nyfb unir gb fnl gung V nccerpvngrq gur jnl gur zbivr znqr zr oryvrir zber gung rira Nentbea haqrefgbbq gur Evat'f cbjre naq grzcgngvba. Ur fgvyy erfvfgf vg, bs pbhefr. Ohg V thrff, va gur obbxf, naq jura V jnf lbhat, V arire sbe n zbzrag gubhtug gung Nentbea zvtug or va qnatre bs fhpphzovat gb vg; lrg, V qb xvaq bs guvax gung Gbyxvra zrnag sbe hf gb pbafvqre gung ur pbhyq unir orra, naq guhf gb nqzver uvz gur zber sbe uvf fgeratgu gung ur qvq abg.)

        • flootzavut says:

          Lrnu, V guvax Frna jnf zntavsvprag va gung ebyr.

          Ertneqvat gur fghss nobhg gur grzcgngvba – V guvax lbh'er evtug. V ybir gung Nentbea pbzrf npebff va gur zbivrf nf FB UHZNA naq lrg nyfb FB ABOYR. Xhqbf gb Ivttb sbe gung.

          V nyfb ernyyl haqrefgnaq jul gurl punatrq Snenzve'f fghss gur jnl gurl qvq – V xabj fbzr crbcyr ernyyl ungr gung, naq V pna frr jul, ohg V qba'g xabj ubj va gur zbivrf gurl pbhyq unir ernyyl znqr uvz GUNG cher bs urneg gung lbh oryvrirq ur jbhyq abg or grzcgrq jura nyy gurfr punenpgref lbh unir xabja naq ybirq sbe gjb zbivrf ner grzcgrq – urpx, rira Tnaqnys naq Tnynqevry ner abg gbgnyyl vzzhar, naq lrg Snenzve fnlf, "Bu V jbhyqa'g cvpx vg hc vs V fnj vg qebccrq ba gur ebnqfvqr".

          Vg'f uneq sbe zr gb ernyyl whqtr orpnhfr V'q bayl ernq YbgE bapr, znlor gjvpr, orsber gur EbgX zbivr pnzr bhg, naq V qba'g xabj ubj V jbhyq unir ernpgrq gb gur Snenzve fghss va gur zbivrf vs V'q ybirq jvgu gung punenpgre nf ur vf va gur obbxf sbe frireny qrpnqrf. (Nyfb V pna'g dhvgr guvax jurer gur Snenzve fghss svgf, abg rknpgyl, fb V sbetrg jung V qvq naq qvq abg xabj nobhg uvz orsber V svefg fnj uvz ba fperra.) V guvax Crgre Wnpxfba qrfpevor vg nf gnxvat cbjre njnl sebz gur Evat jura Snenzve fnlf gung, gubhtu, naq V pna gbgnyyl frr jul gurl sryg gung jnf abg n tbbq zbivr ng gung cbvag va gur fgbel.

          • Katarina says:

            Lrnu, V'z jvgu lbh ba Snenzve – ur jnf bar bs zl snibhevgr punenpgref va gur obbx, ohg V fgvyy guvax gur svyz irefvba jbexf irel jryy, naq gung CW unf n tbbq cbvag. Snenzve'f onaq ner gur BAYL crbcyr Fnz & Sebqb rapbhagre ncneg sebz bepf naq Tbyyhz, vs ur erfvfgf gur evat evtug njnl vg'f uneq gb oryvrir gung vg'f nyy gung qnatrebhf. (Gubhtu V guvax gur gvzvat bs uvf punatr bs urneg vf evqvphybhf. "Bu, lbh'er jvyyvat gb tvir gur evat gb gur arnerfg Anmtûy? Jryy, boivbhfyl V fubhyq yrg lbh jnaqre fgenvtug vagb Zbeqbe, gura!")

            Ba Obebzve: Jura V jnf lbhatre, ernqvat gur obbxf, V cerggl zhpu gubhtug ur jnf n wrex naq unq ab cngvrapr sbe uvz. Orna ghearq zr nebhaq, naq ernqvat abj, vg'f cerggl pyrne gung ur JNAGF gb or tbbq – lrf, gurer'f fbzr qrfver sbe tybel va uvf qernzf, ohg zbfgyl whfg n jvfu gb juhc gur nff bs Fnheba naq fnir uvf pvgl. Ebnq gb uryy naq nyy gung. Irel fnq, naq V'z tynq ur tbg uvf urebvp ynfg fgnaq.

          • eregyrn says:

            Lrf, pbhag zr nf nabgure jub pregnvayl yvxrq Snenzve va gur obbxf, ohg jub jnfa'g ernyyl bhgentrq ol gur jnl gur svyzf qrpvqrq gb unaqyr uvz.

            Creuncf gung vf qhr va cneg gb gur snpg gung juvyr V *qvq* yvxr uvz va gur obbxf, V arire YBIRQ uvz, V fhccbfr. Nentbea unq nyy zl ybir, sbe bar guvat. 😉 Ohg sbe nabgure… jryy, vg vf uneq gb gehyl erzrzore onpx gb jung zl gubhtugf jrer, ohg V jbaqre vs uvf hapbzcyvpngrq tbbqarff qvqa'g fbzrjung ghea zr bss, orpnhfr ur jnf GBB tbbq. V'z abg jvyyvat gb tb fb sne nf gb fgngr gung fgebatyl, gubhtu; V ernyyl pna'g erzrzore irel jryy. V QB erzrzore gung ba zl svefg ernq-guebhtu, V pbhyqa'g tebx Nentbea'f cersrerapr sbe Nejra bire Rbjla, naq V sryg n ovg qvfnccbvagrq ba Rbjla'f orunys gung fur unq gb frggyr sbe Snenzve. *fabeg*

            V guvax gung gur rkcynangvba ba CW'f cneg znxrf frafr, rfcrpvnyyl sebz n zbivr-ivrjvat fgnaqcbvag. Lrf, jr ner tbvat gb fcraq GGG naq EBGX jngpuvat gur Evat'f rire-tebjvat gbyy ba Sebqb, abg gb zragvba vgf nssrpg ba Tbyyhz. Ohg… jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs Snenzve, nyy bs gur ovt "Evat vf bssrerq gb crbcyr naq jvgu inelvat qrterrf bs fgehttyr gurl erfvfg gur grzcgngvba… be qba'g, va Obebzve'f pnfr" zbzragf ner va SBGE. Fb abg bayl vf Snenzve'f zbzrag yvxr, "…ernyyl?", vg vfa'g pbagenfgrq jvgu gur cbegenlny bs gur grzcgngvba bs bgure tbbq crbcyr. V pna frr ubj n svyzznxre jbhyq srry gung ur qvqa'g jnag gb pbhag ba gur nhqvrapr'f fgebat zrzbel bs gur vapvqragf va gur cerivbhf svyz gb haqrefpber gur Evat'f cbjre, vs va *guvf* svyz, n zrer Zna erfvfgf vg fb rnfvyl.

            • sporkaganza93 says:

              V fnj gur zbivrf ybat orsber V rire svavfurq ernqvat gur obbxf, naq V yvxrq gur Snenzve cybg va gur zbivr. V guvax vg znxrf uvz whfg nf aboyr gb unir orra grzcgrq fb fgebatyl gb gnxr gur Evat naq lrg va gur raq gb birepbzr vg naljnl naq uryc gur uboovgf ba gur jnl gb Zbeqbe.

              Naq V ernyyl yvxrq gur jnl gurl unaqyrq uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu uvf qnq, naq ubj gung cynlrq bhg va gur guveq zbivr. Vg tnir zr fbzr srryf.

              • Katarina says:

                Lrnu; gur zbivrf jrera'g zl svefg iragher vagb YbgE-qbz, ohg V'z fgvyy jvgu lbh.

                V'ir frra fbzr crbcyr pbzcynva (abg urer, ryfrjurer) gung Snenzve va gur zbivrf vf gbb zhpu yvxr Obebzve, ohg V fgvyy srry gurl'er irel qvssrerag crbcyr.

              • flootzavut says:

                Yes… V nyfb gubhtug Qnvfl Jraunz qvq n sno wbo jvgu Snenzve – ur gehyl pnzr bss nf aboyr naq ubabhenoyr, ohg nyfb tragyr naq abg n glcvpny fbyqvre, ohg oenir… naq nyy fbegf bs guvatf gung tb gbtrgure gb znxr uvz hc. V fnj Qnivq Jraunz va Nhfgenyvn naq vg jnf FB JRVEQ gb frr uvz nf 1) Nhffvr naq 2) rivy! Vg jnf yvxr, abbbbbbbb, abg Snenzve!

                • Eregyrn says:

                  … Qnvfl ????

                  • notemily says:

                    yby gung'f Qnivq Jraunz'f avpxanzr. Vg'f nccneragyl sebz uvf puvyqubbq, ohg uvf cneg va Zbhyva Ebhtr pregnvayl qvqa'g uryc trg evq bs vg :Q

                    • Katarina says:

                      V ybir gung avpxanzr. 🙂 Urnevat vg va gur pbzzragnevrf jnf fb zhpu sha, naq V'z ybbxvat sbejneq gb gur Snenzve qvfphffvbaf ba guvf fvgr fb V pna fnl Qnvfl nf bsgra nf cbffvoyr. (Zl png vf pnyyrq Qnvfl, gubhtu V graq gb guvax bs ure zber nf "Qnvfl, Qnvfl Nqnve."

      • glyneth says:

        Obebzve xabjf, ohg ur xabjf gbb yngr. Vs Snenzve unq orra frag, fvapr ur jnf gur bar univat gur qernzf/ivfvbaf, guvf nyy jbhyq unir ghearq bhg GBGNYYL QVSSRERAGYL. Phefr lbh, Qrargube, sbe xrrcvat uvz sebz tbvat gb Eviraqryy!

        (V pnaabg JNVG hagvy Znex frrf gung Jnygre vf Qrargube.)

    • ljrTR says:

      yes – very good writing by Tolkien – the breaking comes from within, not without.

  11. Becky_J_ says:

    "If Frodo made it to Mordor in the next chapter and the book ended not long after, I would be so immensely satisfied." bahahahah Mark. Oh, you are just so beautifully unprepared.

    Movie Spoilers:

    Fb V whfg jngpurq gur raq bs SBGE, gur cneg jurer Sebqb vf fgnaqvat ba gur fuber jvgu grnef ba uvf purrxf, ubyqvat gur Evat, naq guvaxvat bs gur pbairefngvba ur unq jvgu Tnaqnys nobhg ubj ur jvfurf gur Evat unq arire pbzr gb uvz, naq gura gur zhfvp fgnegf… *puvyyf*. Naq gura Fnz ohefgf bhg bs gur sberfg, lryyvat sbe uvz gb pbzr onpx.

    Naq bar bs zl snibevgr cnegf: "V'z tbvat gb Zbeqbe nybar, Fnz." "Bs pbhefr lbh ner! Naq V'z pbzvat jvgu lbh!" Vg'f nyzbfg yvxr Fnz vf cneg bs Sebqb; gur ryirf qba'g rira zvaq jura ur vf gurer, vg vf whfg nffhzrq gung jurer Sebqb tbrf, Fnz tbrf.

    Naq gura Fnz arneyl qebjaf, naq Sebqb chyyf uvz bhg, naq gur zhfvp trgf nyy vagrafr naq ornhgvshy naq guvf vf jurer V ortva gb pel.

    "V znqr n cebzvfr, Ze. Sebqb. N cebzvfr! 'Qba'g lbh yrnir 'vz, Fnzjvfr Tnztrr.'Naq V qba'g zrna gb! V qba'g zrna gb."

    Vg arire snvyf gb erqhpr zr gb n oyhoorevat puvyq. Arire. Lbh xabj, gur zbivrf pna znlor arire qb whfgvpr gb gur obbxf… ohg gurl znxr n qnza tbbq gel bs vg, V'yy fnl gung.

    • Jenny_M says:

      All the yes to your rot13, dammit.

    • cait0716 says:

      Bar bs zl snibevgr guvatf va gur zbivr vf gung gurl punatrq bar fvzcyr va yvar. Va gur obbx, Sebqb guvaxf "Fnz jvyy haqrefgnaq". Va gur zbivr ur nqzvgf gb Nentbea gung "Fnz jba'g haqrefgnaq". Orpnhfr bs pbhefr Fnz qbrfa'g haqrefgnaq ubj Sebqb pbhyq cbffvoyl yrnir uvz oruvaq.

    • bookworm67 says:

      Agreed with everything. Oh my goodness.

      I think there are some things that just work better in books, and some that just work better on screen, and when you adapt a book to a movie you should play to all its respective strengths. (Naq gurfr zbivrf pbzcyrgryl qb <3 )

      • flootzavut says:


      • roguebelle says:

        V ybir gur fcrpvny srngher jurer gurl gnyx nobhg gur nqncgngvba cebprff, orpnhfr gurl tb guebhtu nyy bs gung — gur fgbel unf gb gnxr n arj funcr sbe n arj zrqvhz, naq V guvax gurl qvq nf tbbq n wbo nf jnf rire tbvat gb or srnfvoyr.

      • redheadedgirl says:


      • Katarina says:

        Yeah – and Tolkien saw his stories as mythology, anyway. Mythology always comes in a variety of different forms. (What happened to Ariadne? What was the names of Christ's disciples? Where does Santa live?)

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Word, word, word.

    • Atrus says:

      Zl ceboyrzngvp eryngvbafuvc jvgu gur zbivrf vf cerpvfryl orpnhfr gurl trg fbzr bs gur fghss FB EVTUG (yvxr guvf fprar) naq gjb zvahgrf yngre gurl trg bgure fghss FB JEBAT. Vg'f yvxr na rzbgvbany ebyyre pbnfgre chg ba gbc bs gur bevtvany fgbel.

      • Are you me? You basically summed up everything I've ever said about my relationship to this movie as a book adaption 😉 Down to some of the exact phrases.

        • Atrus says:

          I don't think so, unless you're me from the future. In which case: where did you park the DeLorean/TARDIS?

          • I could have sworn somewhere safe- this nice little chamber that was carved out of rock with a ray of light coming in and something that admittedly might have been a tomb but the room itself was deserted and there wasn't anything there but a large book with some writing… oh dear.


      • Dreamflower says:


        That said, my mantra is: V pna sbetvir CW whfg nobhg nalguvat fvapr ur pubfr Ubjneq Fuber gb jevgr gur fpber! V ybbx sbejneq gb svaqvat bhg ubj Znex ernpgf gb gur ZHFVP!!

        • roguebelle says:

          Bu tbq. Gur zhfvp. V yvfgra gb vg ng jbex, ohg vg'f n ovg bs n evfx, orpnhfr gurer ner zbzragf jurer gur zhfvp nybar vf rabhtu gb znxr zr jryy hc.

          • shortstuff says:

            Oh I know, same here! The one that always gets me is gur Ebuveevz fgbezvat gur Crynaabe svryqf. Rfcrpvnyyl n pyvc jvgu Gurbqra'f fcrrpu – NYY GUR GRNEF! Naq gura gurl punetr, naq gur ubeaf fgneg tbvat, naq bu, V'z oyhoorevat sbe n tbbq ubhe.

            • roguebelle says:

              Gur Ebuveevp gurzrf ner zl snibhevgr va trareny, gurl'er fb jbaqreshy naq fjrrcvat naq cnvag fhpu n jbaqreshy cvpgher bs gung phygher va whfg n srj abgrf. (Naq zl flzcnguvrf ner nyjnlf jvgu Ebuna gb ortva jvgu; gurl'er zl snirf). Gur genpx gung ernyyl znxrf zr grne hc, gubhtu, vf Gur Yvtugvat bs gur Ornpba. V'z abg rira fher *jul*, ohg gung cvrpr ghtf zl urnegfgevatf va n znfgreshy jnl.

              • redheadedgirl says:

                Sbe zr, ng yrnfg, svefg vg'f gur terngrfg ovg bs Arj Mrnynaq Punzore bs Pbzzrepr sbbgntr rire svyzrq. Frpbaq, vg'f Tnaqnys'f yvar gurer: "Ubcr vf xvaqyrq."

                Gura V fgneg guvaxvat nobhg gur ybtvfgvpf bs gur ornpbaf naq gur ornpba yvtugref naq ubj zhpu jbex vg gnxrf gb xrrc fbzr bs gubfr jbbq cvyrf qel naq crbcyr yvivat va gubfr yvggyr uhgf whfg va pnfr, rire 500 lrnef be fb, Tbaqbe pnyyf sbe nvq (NAQ EBUNA JVYY NAFJRE). Fb V trg bire vg. 😀

              • stefb4 says:


              • Eregyrn says:

                Gur genpx gung ernyyl znxrf zr grne hc, gubhtu, vf Gur Yvtugvat bs gur Ornpba. V'z abg rira fher *jul*, ohg gung cvrpr ghtf zl urnegfgevatf va n znfgreshy jnl.

                Jbeq. V guvax Gur Yvtugvat bs gur Ornpba uvgf n YBG bs crbcyr gung jnl. V pna erzrzore frrvat pbzzragnel ol pevgvpf fvatyvat bhg gung frdhrapr nf n fgnaq-bhg, naq ubj nznmvat gung vf, jura vg'f "whfg" na rkgraqrq frevrf bs fubgf bs zbhagnvaf naq sverf orvat yvg. Ohg vg'f VAPERQVOYL rzbgvbany. Gur snpg gung vg'f fb rzbgvbany vf jung znxrf vg n irel fxvyyrq cvrpr bs svyzznxvat.

            • glyneth says:

              Bu tbq, V whfg trg puvyyf guvaxvat nobhg Gurbqra'f fcrrpu ng Uryz'f Qrrc. RIREL GVZR. V whfg gubhtug bs vg ntnva naq puvyyf fcernq guebhtu zl obql.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Bar bs zl snibevgr nygrengvbaf vf gung Sebqb vf nyybjrq n svany fprar jvgu Nentbea, naq Zreel naq Cvccva. Va cnegvphyne, Nentbea'f yvar va gur obbx "V jbhyq unir tbar jvgu uvz gb gur raq, vagb gur irel sverf bs Zbeqbe" vf n ybg zber cbjreshy jura vg'f npghnyyl fnvq gb Sebqb.

      • Becky_J_ says:

        Lrf, lbh'er evtug! V gbgnyyl sbetbg nobhg gung cneg…. fb fnq, ohg fbbb jryy qbar. Abar bs gurz jnag gb tb gb Zbeqbe, bs pbhefr…. gur jnag gb or fnsr va gurve yvggyr uboovg ubyrf be va Zvanf Gvevgu be sberire va Ybevra. Ohg vs Sebqb jrag gurer, gurl jbhyq, naq gurl jbhyqa'g urfvfgngr.

        Gurer ner qrsvavgryl fbzr cnegf va gur zbivrf gung jrer nyzbfg orggre guna gur obbx. Naq gur zhfvp whfg nqqf gb gur ornhgl naq vagrafvgl bs gurfr zbzragf.

        • tanbarkie says:

          Abg "nyzbfg" orggre guna. V xabj guvf jvyy cebonoyl trg zr oenaqrq nf n urergvp, ohg gurer ner fprarf va gur zbivrf gung ner, shyy fgbc, orggre guna va gur obbxf. Naq gur oernxvat bs gur Sryybjfuvc vf bar bs gurz.

          Nyfb, Obebzve'f qrngu. Gurer'f n ernfba ur'f zl snibevgr punenpgre va gur ragver gevybtl.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Ab, V gbgnyyl nterr jvgu lbh. Sebqb trggvat gubfr ynfg fprarf jvgu Nentbea, Cvccva, naq Zreel, Obebzve'f qrngu, naq rirelguvat V zragvbarq va zl bja pbzzrag… V qrsvavgryl guvax vg jnf rira orggre va gur zbivr.

      • flootzavut says:

        I LOVE that line, naq Ivttb qryviref vg fbbbbbbb fcbg ba gur zbarl. Vg'f ornhgvshy.

        • shortstuff says:

          I am such a fangirl of Ivttb, that I don't even need to cypher that name anymore. Is that bad? I can't wait to see some of Mark's reactions to that character / some of the behind-the-scenes stories that we have.

          • flootzavut says:

            Me too on all counts. I don't think that is a bad thing, but I may not be the best judge.

            Bar bs zl snibhevgr rkgenf vf ba EbgX jura Ivttb fabttrq Ovyyl. Gjb bs zl snibhevgr npgbef/punenpgref va gur jubyr guvat naq vg jnf whfg fb senxxvat uvynevbhf. Gur ernpgvbaf gb vg (rfcrpvnyyl Qbz'f, naq nyfb Ovyyl'f pbzzragf nobhg vg) whfg nyjnlf znxr zr ynhtu. Zbfg bs zl snibhevgr rkgenf rvgure vaibyir Ivttb be Ovyyl, fb bar gung vf ulfgrevpny naq unf obgu bs gurz va vg? v'z nyy bire gung.

            Ubcryrff Ivttb snatvey naq abg rira nfunzrq 😉 :Q

    • flootzavut says:

      THIS to your entire ROT13 comment. SO MUCH.

    • Gur zhfvp va gung cneg vf fb tbqqnza ornhgvshy. Ubjneq Fuber vf n travhf be n qrvgl bs Zhfvp vapneangr. V'z abg ragveryl fher juvpu fbzrgvzrf.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Lbh ner xvyyvat zr jvgu gurfr Fnz naq Sebqb pbzzragf. V'z fgnegvat gb grne hc.

    • ljrTR says:

      agreed – I always cry at that part.

    • platoapproved says:

      V erfreir RIREL FVATYR BAR BS ZL PERLF sbe gung fprar nybar.

  12. Fiona says:

    I've been lurking here and on Mark Watches for a while now but this is the first time I've felt the need to comment. This review actually almost killed me. I was trying to eat at the same time and had to try not to laugh in case I choked. Thank you for that :D.

    Serious comment: oh lord, Boromir. You wait until you see the film, it's going to kill you. I think it was acted pretty much perfectly.

    • flootzavut says:

      I agree – V gubhtug Frna Orna jnf whfg rkpryyrag.

      • tanbarkie says:

        Frna Orna'f cresbeznapr nf Obebzve vf gur fvatyr orfg guvat nobhg gur ragver svyz frevrf. Naq V'z fcrnxvat nf fbzrbar jub shpxvat NQBERF gur svyzf.

        • eregyrn says:

          V guvax gung sbe zr, uvf cresbeznapr vf bar bs gur zbfg eriryngbel naq haybbxrq-sbe va gur gevybtl, naq abg bayl qbrf gur orfg ol gur punenpgre, ohg qbrf ORGGRE guna V rire rkcrpgrq.

          (Juvpu vfa'g n pevgvpvfz bs bgure cresbeznaprf, ohg whfg fnlvat, V gubhtug Frna gbbx n ebyr gung V qvqa'g rkcrpg zhpu sebz naq tnir zr n pbzcyrgryl arj nccerpvngvba bs gur punenpgre gung V unqa'g unq orsber. Nf zhpu nf V ybirq gur bgure cresbeznaprf, gurl jrer nyy sbe punenpgref V nyernql ybirq, fb.)

          • flootzavut says:

            Lrnu, ur jnf snagnfgvp. V nyfb guvax – naq ntnva ABG n pevgvpvfz bs nalbar ryfr, be rira bs Frna, ohg sebz uvf vagreivrjf naq sebz bgure guvatf V'ir frra uvz va, ur pbzrf npebff nf abg ng nyy yvxr Obebzve (jurernf V srry Ivttb, sbe rknzcyr, unf n pregnva Nentbea-arff nobhg uvz rira jura ur'f whfg orvat Ivttb)… Obebzve vf cebhq naq fgrea naq fghss, naq Frna frrzf trarenyyl fb fbsgyl fcbxra naq dhvgr uhzoyr, naq fb… qbja gb rnegu, lbh xabj? Gung vg vf vaperqvoyr gb frr uvz fb shyyl orpbzr guvf punenpgre jub frrzf fb qvssrerag sebz uvz va fb znal jnlf.

            V thrff gur rnfvrfg jnl bs chggvat vg vf gung jurarire V jngpu gur rkgenf, Frna nyjnlf fhecevfrf zr, orpnhfr ur'f fb ha-Obebzve-vfu, jurer V nyzbfg rkcrpg uvz gb or zber yvxr uvf punenpgre. Netu. V qba'g xabj ubj gb fnl jung v nz gelvat gb fnl – fbbbbbbbbbbb gverq! – ohg lrnu, snagnfgvp jbex sebz uvz. Naq pna'g jnvg sbe Znex gb frr vg.

            • eregyrn says:

              V guvax gung vf n tbbq bofreingvba. V guvax lbh'er evtug gung bs nyy gur Sryybjfuvc npgbef, Frna cerfragf gur terngrfg pbagenfg jvgu gur punenpgre, jura lbh frr Frna orvat uvzfrys. V srry yvxr V graq gb frr gur bgure punenpgref zber rnfvyl va gurve npgbef, jura gurl'er va vagreivrjf naq fb ba.

              V orpnzr n sna bs Frna orpnhfr bs gur Funecr frevrf, naq gurer, jvgu irel srj rkprcgvbaf, ur VF gur punenpgre naq gur punenpgre vf uvz. (Snzbhfyl, gur punenpgre bs Funecr va gur obbx frevrf vf n gnyy, qnex-unverq, ybjre-pynff Ybaqba glcr. Nsgre Frna fgnegrq cynlvat gur punenpgre, gur jevgre bs gur obbxf, Oreaneq Pbeajryy, jub jnf fgvyy jevgvat gurz, fnvq gung Frna'f cresbeznapr — Lbexfuver npprag naq nyy — biregbbx uvf bja zragny vzntr bs gur punenpgre. Fhofrdhrag obbxf jrer jevggra jvgu Frna'f cbegenlny va zvaq. (Gur gi frevrf vaqrrq ergpbaarq gur punenpgre gb tvir uvz npghny Lbexfuver bevtvaf jvgu, V oryvrir, zber bs n oevrs fgbcbire va Ybaqba. V qba'g erpnyy gung Pbeajryy jrag dhvgr gung sne, gubhtu.))

              Creuncf orpnhfr V'z cerqvfcbfrq gb frr vg, V qb frr n ovg bs Frna va uvf Obebzve. V guvax creuncf V frr vg zbfg va Obebzve'f jnezgu. (Ur oebhtug gur fnzr guvat gb uvf cbegenlny bs Arq Fgnex, V gubhtug.) Ohg, ur'f na byq unaq ng cynlvat punenpgref zber oenfu naq neebtnag guna ur vf uvzfrys, naq ur qbrf n tbbq wbo gheavat gung ba jura ur unf gb.

              • stefb4 says:

                V'ir bayl frra gur svefg gjb Funecr zbivrf fb sne, ohg Frna Orna va gurz, naq va havsbez…*fjbba* Unaqfbzr, unaqfbzr zna.

                • eregyrn says:

                  Buuuuu lrffffff. :Q Vg orpbzrf irel rnfl gb haqrefgnaq ubj gung frevrf vf jung ernyyl fubg uvz gb fhcrefgneqbz va Oevgnva.

                  GUNG HAVSBEZ. HAATTU.

                  (V npghnyyl guvax gung fbzr bs gur fhofrdhrag zbivrf ner n ovg orggre guna gur svefg gjb. Ur naq bguref ner zber pbzsbegnoyr va gur ebyrf, rgp. Gevivn: ur jnf abg gur svefg pubvpr gb cynl Funecr. Npgbe Cnhy ZpTnaa jnf bevtvanyyl pnfg va gur ebyr — znal crbcyr xabj uvz nf gur Rvtugu Qbpgbe, gur bar sebz gur gi-zbivr. ZpTnaa npghnyyl jbhyq abg unir orra nf gnyy nf Funecr fubhyq or; ohg ur jbhyq unir orra na npghny Ybaqbare. Naljnl… abg sne vagb svyzvat gur svefg "frnfba" bs 3 "zbivrf" va gur Pevzrn, ZpTnaa naq bguref sebz gur pnfg naq perj jrer cynlvat n cvpx-hc tnzr bs sbbgonyy… naq ZpTnaa oebxr uvf yrt, ERNYYL onqyl. Frna Orna jnf pnyyrq hc naq rffragvnyyl nfxrq, "Qb lbh jnag gb gnxr bire nf Funecr naq pna lbh or ba gur arkg cynar gb gur Pevzrn?" Bar bs gur vagraqrq 3 rcvfbqrf jnf phg sbe gvzr, fb gur svefg frnfba raqrq hc bayl orvat Evsyrf naq Rntyr. Gurersber, V guvax rcf 3-4-5 ercerfrag Frna jura ur jnf n ybg zber pbzsbegnoyr va gur ebyr, "bjavat" vg n tbbq ovg zber. Ubjrire, vg'f n grfgnzrag gb ubj jryy ur svg gur ebyr gung ur jnf noyr gb snyy vagb vg fb dhvpxyl!)

                  (Uru. Znffvir Funecr trrx urer, pna lbh gryy? 😉

      • CynicalNymph says:

        Yep. Absolutely. Frna Orna naq gur fperrajevgvat/qverpgvat oenva gehfg jrer noyr gb oevat bhg fb zhpu bs Obebzve'f uhznavgl gung V guvax vf ernyyl naq gehyl gurer ba gur cntr (va zl bcvavba) , ohg gung trgf ybfg (vagragvbanyyl, Gbyxvra?) nzvqfg rirelguvat ryfr gung'f tbvat ba nebhaq Obebzve, naq tbvat ba *sbe* uvz. Vs gung znxrf frafr.

        Naljnl, pbhyqa'g nterr zber gung Frna Orna nf Obebzve vf whfg…. *ybir vg*

    • platoapproved says:

      Yes, eating or drinking while reading Mark reviews can be a perilous undertaking.

  13. Becky_J_ says:

    Also, I came across this and …well, remember how Balrogs exist in real life??

    Well…. NOW SO DO NAZGUL.

    I call this, 'Nazgul: Business Casual'
    <img src=""&gt;

  14. Mariska says:

    Yes! Thank you Mark for this review and for staying true to The One Novel! 😀

  15. LongStrider says:

    It is a VERY good decision to not watch the movies before finishing all the books if you don't want to get spoiled. Stuff is moved back and forth from the beginning of one book and to the preceding movie and generally juggled around. Lots of things are spoiled by moving exposition around to different places.

    Which movie version are you planning to watch? Single disc or two disc special editions?

    • Jenny_M says:

      IIRC he's confirmed he'll be watching the extended editions.

      • Anzel89 says:

        YES! Quiet frankly it's the only way to watch these movies. I saw them extended once, and never went back. It's really sad how much they had to cut out because of time constraints.

        • Cassie5squared says:

          *squee!* I love the extended editions; they do add in so many little things that the theatricals had to cut. *pets her super-duper special editions with extra behind-the-scenes discs*

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            i am SO EXCITED TO WATCH THEM

            • tigerpetals says:

              Then I'll have to rent them/see if I can afford the bluray extended set when the time comes, because except for the last one I only own the theatrical editions.

              Though I do admit that after getting the extended edition I do have, I never went back even though it was so long.

          • JustMalyn says:

            It's weird, I've watched them all like 4 times and only ever the extended editions. Someday I'll watch the "regular" versions just to see….Quite excited for Mark to watch them!!!! 😀

    • ljrTR says:

      I still contend the theatrical versions are better films, but to each his own; I'm glad we have both

      • wahlee says:

        I think they're better films for those who have never read the books. But for those of us who miss the little moments that got added back in, the EE are the way to go.

      • clodia_risa says:

        I think there’s a few spots where the extensions actually detract from the story (yvxr jura Nentbea, Yrtbynf, naq Tvzyv ner tbvat vagb gur zbhagnva. Vg’f nyy perrclperrclperrcl RKGRAQRQFPRAR BS TVZYV ORVAT PBZVP ERYVRS perrclperrclperrcl. Ehvaf gur zbbq sbe zr, naq V gubhtug vg jnf cresrpg va gur gurngevpny irefvba.) Beyond that one scene, I can’t think of an addition that bothered me.

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        Peter Jackson himself says in the commentary for film one that he was perfectly happy with the theatrical versions, which is why he used the term "extended edition" rather than "director's cut." The EEs are just little extras for the really big fans who don't mind the extra length.

    • CynicalNymph says:

      In addition to the juggling around, some of the outright changes are… well… some of the changes they make in TTT, particularly, might be problematic for how one perceives a certain character ( Snenzve ) if one were to read TTT, then watch it, and only *then* read ROTK.

  16. Juliana Moreli says:

    Sam is trully an amazing mate, he really knows his master Frodo!!!!
    This chapter was such an mindblowing thing. You ought to imagine that the member in the fellowship are loyal and mentally stable, and then Boromir just do that…I got so desperate with the ending of the…really…where are the others? What happened…and then I started to read The Two Towers, and then rirelguvat whfg tbg jbefr….

    Frodo's vision while with the ring was something really creepy…imagine the fear and horror of those visions to him…a person who lived an intire life of glee and green fields…

    Mark, now we need your predictions to the next book!!!

  17. Atrus says:

    I can't embed this because of movie!Sauron spoilers but it fits perfectly (don't click, Mark!):

  18. ljrTR says:

    Hi Mark – My sassiest gay friend lives in Kentucky and I'm in Wisconsin. I miss him.
    Anyway – I love this chapter & I love that you are going to watch the movies AFTER you have read the books. The movies will still be there.

    Regarding this chapter – Why do I feel sorry for Boromir, who fell to the powere of the Ring? Because I do.
    Frodo's vision of the War coming to Middle Earth – Wow. and imagine how Frodo must feel, knowing he carries the thing that will determine the outcome of that War. Wow. and how torn he was when he felt the Eye – yet he still makes the decision to press on, alone. Frodo is my hero in these books.
    I love Tolkien's choices in his storytelling.

  19. bookworm67 says:


    Mark, I never knew 😛

    Also, I nearly did a food spit-take when I saw the first picture and had to stop eating for the rest of the review.

    • hpfish13 says:

      Speaking as someone who has seen every season of America's Next Top Model (*is mildly ashamed*), I would love to see Mark as a judge on that show!!!!!

    • Dru says:


      Now I want to see Mark's face watching Tyra tell someone to "smize". NO REALLY.

  20. knut_knut says:

    AHAHAH I love this review!! Your face is glorious! (Is that a creepy thing to say? It’s kind of creepy…)

    And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his grey hood.
    He heard himself crying out: Never, never! Or was it: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell.

    WELL, THIS IS TERRIFYING. I’m really surprised that right after having this experience Frodo pops the ring on again. If this happened to me I’d probably just give it to Boromir and walk home. He can deal with this nonsense.

    SAMWISE GAMGEE! <3 <3 <3 I don’t have enough words to explain why I love him so much. He’s the friend we all want to have and to be. I can’t believe Frodo tried to leave without him *shake head*

  21. guest_age says:

    This is the best review ever. And I will never be able to get Sam as Frodo's Sassy Gay Friend out of my head now. I'd post the many examples that have burst into life in my brain, but they're all spoilery so those who have already read the book: you know what I'm talking about. Oh yeah.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      "Ab bafynhtug zber svrepr jnf rire frra va gur fnintr jbeyq bs ornfgf, jurer fbzr qrfcrengr fznyy perngher nezrq jvgu yvggyr grrgu, nybar, jvyy fcevat hcba n gbjre bs ubea naq uvqr gung fgnaqf nobir vgf snyyra zngr."

    • platoapproved says:

      We'll just have to bring it up in the comments any time in the future Sam acts as a Sassy Gay Friend.

  22. Saphling says:

    Mark, this review is a thing of beauty that probably just salvaged my day from being an utter wreck. Now it's only mostly a wreck, with a really bright spot of awesomeness on it. Thank you.

    I find the creepiest thing about this chapter to be that Boromir has been having these thoughts for a while now, and they've been amplifying as they've bounced around inside his head. This is just the moment when Boromir finds his opportunity to let those thoughts out. As he grows more desperate, you can see how the Ring has twisted his thoughts. He wants to save his city, the Ring is powerful, Frodo is weak, Boromir things he's strong enough to control the Ring, if Frodo would just let him "borrow" it. Surely Frodo wants what's best for the world, just like he does… and eventually his argument twists further, the most telling moment being "I could've been mine! It should be mine!"

    Mine mine mine, my precious, my birthday present, mine, my own… while Sauron is all "…No, actually it's mine, remember?" >:D

    • flootzavut says:

      Yes, when it becomes "mine" to Boromir you know he's flipped. Creepy.

      • Saphling says:

        Essentially, this is what the Ring turns people into:

        <img src="; alt="Mine?" />

        • monkeybutter says:

          When I saw Beauty and the Beast, I found out that they're rereleasing Finding Nemo (and every other movie ever, ugh) in 3D, and I'm pretty sure seeing that scene in 3D would cause a lifelong fear of seagulls.

          • Saphling says:

            One night a few years ago, I was home alone and found an Alfred Hitchcock marathon on tv, celebrating his birthday.

            Needless to say, watching The Birds at 2am has already instilled that fear into me.

            • monkeybutter says:

              lol I sympathize. I saw that movie when I was about 7, and it weirded me out badly enough on its own, but I was then divebombed by a seagull not long after. Plus there were the ridiculously large flocks of crows (probably crebain, since I grew up near Tea Party Mordor) always roosting or flying over our neighborhood during the fall. The din walking to the school bus was terrible. I had completely justified suspicion of wild birds as a kid!

    • ljrTR says:

      Poor Boromir – couldn't withstand the Ring for very long. We begin to realize how strong Frodo has to be.

      • eregyrn says:

        I don't know about "(not) very long". Think about how much time passed between Rivendell and this point. LOTS OF WALKING.

        I also tend to think that we have to figure in the Ring itself as an actor, here. Who is to say that the Ring's attempts to win over other members of the company simply existed in a constant state the whole time? In contrast, I mean, with the idea that this was a point at which the Ring stepped up its game, "deciding" that right there represented its best chance to make a move back towards its master.

        As Mark noted, the Fellowship had just acknowledged that now was the point of decision — to turn directly for Mordor or to go to Minas Tirith first. Now we might wonder why the Ring wouldn't "think" that the direct-for-Mordor route would represent its best chance of reuniting with Sauron. But it seems like the desire of the Ring was to go from a bearer who still wanted nothing but to destroy it (Frodo), to one who had doubts about the ability or wisdom to destroy it, and who had underlying reasons to desire to use it, even if he himself knew it would be risky.

        The Ring's desire also seems to be to have a bearer who thinks he can master it, rather than a bearer who knows he can't and thus won't use it. A bearer using it draws the attention of Sauron and of the Nazgul, making it easier to locate and take back.

        So, long reasoning short: I guess I always saw this as a turning point where the Ring amplified its background influence, and chose Boromir as the most likely to respond, based on various factors (his being a Man, given that Men are generally weak; his preoccupation with the plight of Minas Tirith and his people).

  23. settledforhistory says:

    This is the review of all reviews!
    You Mark are a wonderful person, I can't get over how beautiful this is.
    All the capslock reactions are just so right.
    All I could think while reding this chapter "What are you doing people? There are monsters, why are you running alone in the forrest? Is this a bad horror movie?
    And Boromir that nasty little Man, how can you play the height and strength card with our Frodo?
    Now they split up, which was clear from the chapter title, but Frodo and Sam are alone?
    How is this going to end? There are still two books and I already have so many feelings for all of this.
    There is no turning back now, I want to read everything I can by Tolkien, no info dumb can stop me!

  24. unefeeverte says:

    V unir gb fnl, V irel zhpu cersre gur svefg cneg bs gur gevybtl raqvat nsgre gur svefg puncgre va GGG vs lbh qb qvivqr gur jubyr fgbel vagb guerr cnegf, yvxr gurl qvq va gur zbivrf. Gung’f n punatr V gbgnyyl fhccbeg. Lbh’yy frr, Znex. 😉 (Be lbh jba’g, ohg lbh’yy cebonoyl haqrefgnaq jul V guvax fb.)

    V guvax gur svefg puncgre bs GGG whfg znxrf n tbbq raqvat: Sbe bapr, vg frgf n ernyyl rkvgvat gbar sbe gur arkg obbx, jvgu Nentbea naabhapvat gur terng uhag. SbgE whfg xvaqn yrnirf gur jung unccraf gb erfg bs gur pbzcnal unatvat va gur nve juvyr Sebqb naq Fnz yrnir. Guvf jnl jr xabj jurer rirelbar vf naq jvyy or nf jr fgneg obbx 2.
    Nyfb, V srry yvxr vg’f obgu n ovg jrveq naq GBGNYYL RIVY gb fgneg n obbx ol xvyyvat bar bs gur znva punenpgref. ;_;

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Crgre Wnpxfba fnlf va gur Gjb Gbjref pbzzragnel gung ur jnf jbeevrq gur raqvat jbhyqa'g or nf cbjreshy nf Sryybjfuvc'f, fvapr nyy gur urebrf fheivir naq ur pbhyqa'g unir n fprar yvxr Obebzve'f qrngu gb ernyyl enzc hc gur rzbgvba. Ubjrire, gur npgvba pyvznk ol vgfrys jbexf cerggl qnea jryy.

    • Katie says:

      V qvfnterr. V guvax nyy bs gur fvk “obbxf” raq ng cerpvfryl gur evtug cbvag. Pnaabg jnvg gb frr Znex rkcybqvat bire jung vf vapyhqrq naq jung vf rkpyhqrq sebz “obbx 3”. (obbxf nf cre Gbyxvra’f bevtvany qvivfvba, abg gur guerr-ibyhzr gevybtl gung jnf neovgenevyl vairagrq ol gur choyvfure)

      • msw188 says:

        V nyfb qvfnterr. Gur zbivr’f raqvat jbexf svar va vgf bja jnl, ohg V qba’g svaq vg fhcrevbe gb gur obbx’f raqvat. Urer, jr sbphf ba gur obaq orgjrra Sebqb naq Fnz, naq nf gur puncgre cebterffrf, vg’f senzrq va n jnl jurer gur ernqre vf yrnivat gur Sryybjfuvc, nybat jvgu Sebqb naq Fnz. Va nqqvgvba gb gur vzzrefvba, guvf nyfb urvtugraf gur fhfcrafr, nf jr unir yvgrenyyl AB PYHR jung vf tbvat ba jvgu gur erfg bs gurz. Va snpg, gurl qba’g rira xabj jung’f tbvat ba? Nyy gurl xabj vf gung Obebzve cvffrq bss Sebqb, naq Nentbea xabjf gung Sebqb jrag gb Nzba Ura, naq Fnz jnf fhccbfrq gb or sbyybjvat uvz nybat gur jnl. V ybir vg.

    • rabidsamfan says:

      V'yy qvfnterr, orpnhfr V'ir frra guvf jbex fb jryy, ohg nyfb orpnhfr vs Obebzve unq qvrq ng gur raq bs gur svefg obbx V guvax V jbhyq unir orra gbb urnegoebxra gb xrrc ernqvat, rkcrpgvat abguvat ohg n pbagvahvat pbhagqbja bs qrngu.

    • Whoa, this changed into ROT-13 while I was watching. Bizarre.

      I actually managed to spoil my cousin for the end of the first movie because she'd only read to the end of the first book, and I forgot that Obebzve qvrf va gur svefg puncgre bs GGG engure guna gur ynfg bs SbgE. (Fb boivbhfyl V gubhtug gur zbivrf znqr gur evtug aneengvir pubvpr!)

  25. drippingmercury says:

    sweet and sour jesus this review. yes. thank you.

    the only thing more amazing than this review is your face. or maybe your hair. and your bow tie tuxedo shirt.

  26. flootzavut says:

    “But the dear silly old hobbit, he ought to know that he hasn’t got to ask. He ought to know that if we can’t stop him, we shan’t leave him.”

    Peregrine Took I love you <3

    Sam! oh, Sam <3 ROT13 because I don't recall what is movie dialogue and what's from the book, also I am working from memory and may misquote:

    V'z tbvat gb Zbeqbe nybar, Fnz.

    Bs pbhefr lbh ner, naq V'z pbzvat jvgu lbh!


    Fantastic review, Mark… can't wait to predictions post and YAY The Two Towers arrives on Monday *woot* Znex vf tbvat gb unir n pbj jura Obebzve qvrf, naq whfg syvc bhg jura ur ernyvfrf gung ur unir ab vqrn jung'f tbvat ba jvgu Sebqb naq Fnz sbe N JUBYR OBBX!

    I also deeply approve of reading all three books then watching all three movies.

    Oh, and unprepared? Mark, you have NO idea…

    • Laurelluin says:

      V sernxrq bhg jura V fnj gurer jnf ab Fnz naq Sebqb va gur jubyr bs Obbx Guerr! Va snpg, ba zl svefg ernq-guebhtu V fxvccrq obbxf guerr naq svir naq bayl ernq gur ovgf nobhg Sebqb naq Fnz. Xvaq bs fcbvyrq gur cneg ng gur Oynpx Tngr jura gur Zbhgu bs Fnheba unq Sebqb'f zvguevy pbng naq gur bguref gubhtug Sebqb zhfg or pncgherq. Orpnhfr V'q nyernql ernq ubj Fnz tbg Sebqb bhg bs Xvevgu Hatby (Fnz lbh ner zl ureb sberire)!

  27. Shiyiya says:


  28. msw188 says:

    If I had to pick a favorite chapter out of the whole "book", this might be it. But first of all, when I read Mark's opening blurb, I thought he was referring to Gandalf. OR IS MARK GANDALF???

    But look, this is, as Mark said, an absolutely satisfying ending in and of itself, regardless of where the story might go next. We see Boromir's character come full circle, and it's totally believable, scary, and heartbreaking all at once. "It is by our own folly that the Enemy will defeat us." This is how it looks to him!

    "I do not say 'destroy' it [the Ring]. That might be well, if reason showed any hope of doing so. It does not."

    Seriously, I think this is heartbreaking. What Frodo is trying to do is so absurd on so many levels. Remember, one does not simply walk to Mordor! What I'm trying to say is that Boromir's reasons for trying to persuade Frodo are perfectly reasonable, and that's what makes his fall a tragedy. Because we can sympathize with his reasoning and his situation. But the power of the Ring ultimately overrides all of this, and reminds us of what that path ultimately leads to.


    • msw188 says:

      We also finally see a more full realization of the bond between Frodo and Sam, even above the bonds Frodo has with the other hobbits. Sam KNOWS Frodo, as only a best friend can. The sheer idea that Frodo is delaying purely out of fear, and fear alone, is heartbreaking. That Sam can read this in Frodo does not feel like a literary device at all. It feels real, and it is beautiful beyond words. And not only is it important to the characters, it's important to the plot. Only Sam really understands Frodo, and only Sam can pause and realize that Frodo is headed for the boats. Again, this does not feel like a plot device to force Sam and Frodo to go alone. It feels real.

      The moment when Sam tries to reach the boat is passed over somewhat comically, as he doesn't even come very close. But if you pause for a moment, you realize that this is Sam's character. He would rather die by 'drownding' than see his master go off on his own into danger. And Frodo, despite wanting to go alone, knows deep down that he wants Sam with him, and is wise enough to acknowledge this, aloud even. What more can be said?

      Oh, well, a lot I guess (continued…)

      • msw188 says:

        We get a bit less out of the other characters, since they are left out of the narration as the chapter progresses. Aragorn is interesting in his own way. He is wise, but he is not Gandalf. We already had the feeling that his respect has grown for the hobbits, especially Frodo, and here he is quick to realize and acknowledge that only Sam really understands what is going on. In short, Aragorn realizes that on this day, he is only a secondary player, as are all the rest of the Fellowship ("There are other powers at work far stronger").

        We also get an amazing visual passage when Frodo looks out from Amon Hen with the power of the Ring. I don't know what other people think, but I always interpreted this as Frodo seeing more than he would have been able to with the naked eye because, as Galadriel says, "his sight has grown keener" with the Ring. The enormity of the situation is revealed, and the power of the Enemy. But there is also the reminder that Good works in mysterious ways as well, and a Voice helps Frodo to avoid detection. Only Frodo can receive these sorts of revelations. We heard Aragorn mention that standing atop the Amon Hen might give a sign for guidance, but we can only guess that if he were in Frodo's place there, we would have perceived much less. Naq bs pbhefr, jr trg pbasvezngvba bs guvf va gur svefg cntr be gjb bs gur arkg obbx.

        Okay, that'll do for now. Suffice it to say, I could talk about this chapter forever.

    • Dent_D says:

      Thank you for your words about Boromir. I know a lot of people feel he is creepy, but I disagree. He is misguided, yes, and the Ring twists all thoughts around to instill a desire to 'protect' it. But I find it incredibly easy to sympathize with him. No, the others did not creep on Frodo like a thief. But the others have not seen the face of battle against the forces of Mordor like he has.

      I might just have a love of well intentioned but seriously flawed characters, so perhaps I am biased! But Tolkien makes me fall in love with all of these characters.

      • tanbarkie says:

        I'm right there with you! Boromir is a beautiful illustration of the terrible power of the Ring. Naq uvf raq vf fb tbetrbhfyl gentvp, vg znxrf zr tvqql. Hu, vs gung znxrf nal frafr.

      • Dreamflower says:

        Obebzve guerj bss gur Evat, ernyyl, gubhtu gbb yngr naq nsgre gur qnzntr jnf qbar. Jura vg pbzrf qbja gb vg, ur erterggrq uvf npgvbaf– ur qvq abg gehyl haqrefgnaq jung vg unq orra qbvat gb uvz hagvy ur npghnyyl qvq jung ur qvq. Ohg vs ur unq abg unq gur fgeratgu bs punenpgre gb guebj vg bss, ur jbhyq unir tbar nsgre Sebqb, vaivfvoyr be abg. Ur jbhyq abg unir sryg thvygl be erzbefrshy

        Naq bs pbhefr va gur hcpbzvat puncgre ur qbrf uvf orfg gb znxr vg hc gb Sebqb ol fnpevsvpvat uvzfrys va na nggrzcg gb fnir Sebqb'f pbhfvaf…

      • ljrTR says:

        agreeing w/ you and msws188 re Boromir. He is a tragic figure, and one of the reasons it makes me mad when people say Tolkien only wrote one-dimensional characters.

      • bugeye says:

        Yes and yes. Hope is such a major Tolkien theme and Boromir's is gone. His only hope of victory is to use the ring. It is "madness" to throw away the only hope there is. He really is a tragic character.

    • ljrTR says:

      I love this chapter too, and Boromir's tragic fall breaks my heart.

    • notemily says:



  29. Oh man, this chapter. As soon as you see the title, you know things are going to be bad. And they are. Oh Mark, if only you'd been there, it all could have been prevented 😀

    Boromir's sudden attack is always so unnerving to me. The fact that he's been acting strange in regards to the Ring has been strewn throughout the story, but given how he's so consistent in his honor throughout, it's frightening to see him attack Frodo the way he does. None of his words or speech up to that point are terribly out of character for him, they're just being spoken now with that desire for the Ring at the forefront- but the actual physical attack is so out of place for him when up to this point he's been seen as the hobbits' protector. And now that's rather terrifyingly not the case.

    The other really freaky thing about this is: "A sudden panic or madness seemed to have fallen on the Company." Up to this point, they've been able to stick together and count on each other, and now all of a sudden everything is scattered and they can't keep in touch, arguably the most important member of their quest has vanished, and absolutely nothing is beautiful (except Sam) and everything is really unbearably tense.

    I cannot wait to see your Two Towers predictions. I enjoy laughing at your complete unpreparedness. And as regards the movies: I'm on the side of Team One Novel, so I'm really glad you're going to do the movies at the end. There are spoilers for Two Towers AND Return of the Kings in the first movie alone and guvatf ner zbirq nebhaq naq svqqyrq jvgu naq punenpgref punatrq (naq ol punatrq V zrna va fbzr pnfrf gurl'er pbzcyrgryl jebat). This way you can get the full story and then see how the movies took it as a whole.

    This whole thing has been such a blast- have I mentioned I love that you're doing this? 🙂 I love seeing someone else read this through the first time; it's ridiculously exciting and fun.

    • rabidsamfan says:

      I so agree with your ROT13, there…

      You know, it never occured to me before, but could the Fellowship be acting so foolishly, running in all directions because they're being influenced by the Eye as it hunts for Frodo and its searching grows closer? Because you're right, they do kind of lose it there, don't they?

      • That's always been kind of my take on it, that there was some sort of influence on what caused them all to scatter this way and the Eye watching them is as good an influence as any- after all it was quite possible that the blizzards on Caradhras were caused by it/him. My own theory is that it was the Ring responding to the eye as it was searching and contriving to twist all of the Company's good instincts for it's own ends, since it sort of has a history of that, but is somewhat limited by the goodness of the people it deals with.

      • Dreamflower says:

        I always thought it was the Ring's fault, but the search might have intensified the Ring's power nf vg qenjf pybfre gb Zbeqbe, vg tebjf fgebatre naq fgebatre.

        Nyfb, Znex zvffrq n yvggyr ovg bs sberfunqbjvat gung V ernyyl gubhtug ur'q cvpx hc ba: "Sbby! Gnxr vg bss!" Rira nf n svefg gvzr ernqre lrnef ntb gung cuenfr znqr zl urneg yrnc hc: Tnaqnys!

    • ljrTR says:

      I think it is very realistic of Tolkien to show them just panicking. They're only 'human'! It IS such fun to re-read this with people who don't know the story of my favorite book. Call it 'unprepared' but that simply is the best way to enjoy many stories, like LOTR. Oh – and I agree with your ROT13 bit too

  30. Noybusiness says:


    Hobbit, it does a body good.

  31. TreasureCat says:

    Mark this review is perfection. You have taken up Gandalf's sassy mantle and everything is beautiful.

    Oh and only one piece of art to catch up on this time I think:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Now I love me some Galadriel, I do, but I'm not so much of a fan of this one. I put it down to the fact she looks too much like the fairy we have on top of our tree every Christmas who to this day creeps me out (I have to angle her facing into a corner, otherwise I feel like she's watching me >.>).

    Excite for your Two Towers predictions, as always you are SO unprepared and it is SO precious <3

  32. mandy says:

    Oh God, I just read your review and I keep imagining your reaction on the review of the movie, and how beautiful everything is going to be, and I can't wait. I think until that day comes I'm gonna watch the movie several times.

  33. BetB says:

    My comment today will be all about Sam. Sam is a gardener, a lover of trees. He's not the smartest Hobbit in the land but his heart is true. We get a glimpse of just how special this guy is right here. He has enough sense to know he can't keep up with Aragorn so he makes his brain work for him on a no nonsense level. He follows his heart and his heart is with Frodo,where ever he leads. There isn't a braver or truer soul I can think of in literature. He's following Frodo into darkness, doubt and probably death, without complaint. After all, one does not just walk into Mordor!

    Bless you Sam Gamgee. You are the best friend a Hobbit could have. Galadriel knew what she was doing by letting you look into her mirror.

    • JustMalyn says:

      Sam is my favorite <3 <3 <3 aside from maybe Rbjla, orpnhfr fur whfg xvpxf nff naq qbrfa'g gnxr nal penc naq V ybir ure. But yeah ^.^ he's so adorable 🙂

  34. Tauriel_ says:

    Some lovely art from Karina Chmiel:

    Amon Hen
    <img src="; width="600">

    "And they tell us to throw it away!
    <img src="; width="600">

    Amon Hen II
    <img src="; width="600">

  35. Tauriel_ says:

    Tauriel's Linguistic Corner

    Just a couple of names today:

    Parth Galen – "Green field". Sindarin origin: parth – "field", "enclosed grassland"; galen is a lenited form of calen – "green".
    Barad-dûr – "Dark Fortress", but also "Fortress of Power". Sindarin origin: barad – "tower", "fortress"; dûr – "dark", "sombre", but also (in unlenited form tûr"mastery", "power", "control".

    • msw188 says:

      Wait, so Sauron named his house after Tower of Power? Does Sauron know what is hip?

    • floppus says:

      That's really interesting – it didn't occur to me there could be a dual meaning there. It seems a little unclear, though; a noun in that position normally would not be lenited, but an adjective would be. Perhaps the interpretation should be "tower of darkness" rather than "tower that is dark".

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Sorry, I was a bit unclear there – the adjective meaning "dark" or "sombre" is dûr (lenited form is dhûr). But the word tûr which means "power" or "control" or "mastery" has a form with definite article i dûr.

        Gah, Sindarin. I'm much more comfortable with Quenya, to be honest. 😀

        • floppus says:

          Yeah, that's what I meant; I was confused by the complexity of Tolkien's languages, not trying to criticize your post. 🙂

          According to Helge Fauskanger:
          "[T]he form Barad-dûr instead of *Barad-dhûr for 'Tower-Dark' may be explained by the fact that the words are here practically a compound, as indicated by the dash – though the second element of compounds are often lenited as well, see below."

          • Tauriel_ says:

            Ahh, right. 🙂 Thanks for pointing that out. I really like Helge's analyses and detailed explanations. <3

  36. Tauriel_ says:

    Oh man, this chapter. :'(

    Frodo goes off to think about things and decide where to go next (not an easy thing, but I appreciate that Aragorn didn't try to take Gandalf's place as the main decision-maker, and left it to the Ringbearer). Boromir sneaks off after him, and his weird behaviour from previous chapters suddenly makes perfect sense.

    He's being tempted by the Ring. He wants it.

    Oh, Boromir. I think at the beginning of his speech to Frodo he's trying to convince himself, too, that he doesn't want to keep the Ring forever, just to use it against Sauron. Oh, Boromir, who are you kidding?

    True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted.

    And there you are so wrong, Boromir – Men are TOO EASILY corrupted. Have you forgottena how the Nazgûl came into being? And have you forgotten (rot13'd for Silmarillion spoilers) gur uvfgbel bs Aúzrabe naq ubj gur Aúzrabernaf jrer pbeehcgrq ol Fnheba gb gur cbvag jurer gurl npghnyyl NGGRZCGRQ GB NFFNHYG INYVABE naq Reh uvzfrys punatrq gur funcr bs gur Jbeyq orpnhfr bs vg? Naq gur Zra bs Tbaqbe ner abj ohg n cnyr funqbj bs gur Aúzrabernaf ng gurve cevzr.

    Frodo, naturally, wasn't fooled for a second – he knew right from the start that there was something wrong with Boromir and didn't trust him. At the end when the madness took Boromir, he put on the Ring and ran away.

    Good thing is, though, that Boromir realised what a foolish and terrible thing he'd just done, that it was the Ring who drove him out of his senses momentarily, and he begged Frodo for forgiveness. Too late, however – Frodo was already gone. But it's nice to see that Boromir wasn't EVIL evil, just briefly under the evil influence of the Ring.

    And so Frodo sees the armies of Mordor getting ready for the war – and he decides to go off alone, to protect the rest of the Fellowship from the Ring's evil power. BLESS YOUR VALIANT HOBBIT HEART, FRODO BAGGINS! <3 <3 <3


    • Tauriel_ says:

      Meanwhile, Aragorn and the others realise that Frodo's been gone for too long, so when Boromir appears and hints at Frodo's disappearance, they split up and search for him. Aragorn takes Sam, but Sam can't keep up, and this is where one of my favourite bits appears:

      ‘Whoa, Sam Gamgee!‘ he said aloud. ‘Your legs are too short, so use your head! Let me see now! Boromir isn’t lying, that’s not his way; but he hasn’t told us everything. Something scared Mr. Frodo badly. He screwed himself up to the point, sudden. He made up his mind at last to go. Where to? Off East. Not without Sam? Yes, without even his Sam. That’s hard, cruel hard.’
      Sam passed his hand over his eyes, brushing away the tears.
      ‘Steady, Gamgee!‘ he said. ‘Think, if you can! He can’t fly across rivers, and he can’t jump waterfalls. He’s got no gear. So he’s got to get back to the boats. Back to the boats! Back to the boats, Sam, like lightning!‘

      Excellent deduction, Sherlock Samwise! 😀 Indeed, you're proving your name wrong ("Samwise" means "half wise", "simpleton"). You might be physically less able than Aragorn, but that doesn't mean you can't use your head! Clever Sam. <3

      And so Sam races back to the boats and catches up with Frodo just as Frodo is about to leave on a boat.

      ‘But I am going to Mordor.’
      ‘I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.’

      HHNNNNNNNGGGGGG!!!! <3 <3 <3 BLESS YOU AND YOUR LOYALTY, SAMWISE GAMGEE!!! <3 <3 <3 In moments like this, everything is beautiful and nothing hurts, even though they're about to go to the worst place imaginable. FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY FTW!!!

      And thus we come to the end of the Fellowship of the Ring.

      I know this has been said several times already, but I'll repeat it just the same:

      Mark, please read TTT and ROTK (and the Appendices) first before watching any of the films! Most of us agree on it, and both your book-reading experience and film-watching experience will be better if you read the whole book first and watch the films afterwards.

    • ljrTR says:

      "Boromir wasn't EVIL evil, just briefly under the evil influence of the Ring." exactly

  37. clodia_risa says:

    [dead from Mark’s sassy gay friendness]


    Frodo! What are you doing?! You never split the party!! Ever! It never ends well! How many exclamation points do I need to add before you believe me?!!!

    • Geolojazz says:

      Because when you split the party, they take all the best gear. Sigh. At least unequip them first so you can sell their gear later…

      • clodia_risa says:

        I know!! Or, even worse, the GM planned a combat for four adventurers and by hell or highwater he’ll run that combat no matter who takes the left path or the center path. The other team will be lucky if there are corpses left to loot.

  38. floppus says:

    The Map of Middle-Earth (So Far)

    As before, no spoilers; I've edited out place names that haven't been mentioned yet. The blurred version doesn't show any details of places we haven't yet "seen."

    Normal Version

    Blurred Version

    There isn't much travelling in this chapter: Frodo climbs to the top of Amon Hen, and back down, and then he and Sam row across the river. But there's a lot to see, and this is precisely where a map is most helpful. 🙂 While Frodo is wearing the Ring at the top of Amon Hen, he is able to see things happening literally hundreds of miles away, in every direction. (Is this just because of the Ring, or does Amon Hen have some power of its own?)

    In addition to everything else, this is the first time Frodo actually gets to see the land of Mordor. The first time I read this I was surprised to realize just how close they are to their goal, and we're only at the end of Book II. But now Frodo and Sam are on their own, without Aragorn or Gandalf to guide them, and as we all know, entering Mordor is not simply a matter of walking in.

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Now you've got me wishing we had similar maps for the previous chapters, if only so I can see your blue line in each one.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Oh, well done! 😀 Nice to see where everything is, and there's no spoilers for the upcoming locations and stuff. *applauds*

      Mark, feel free to use this!

      Oh, and Amon Hen probably DOES have certain power to enhance sight, hence its name – and also the kings of Gondor had some sort of power as well, probably…

    • ljrTR says:

      t;hanks for this

    • Tauriel_ says:

      I've transposed this map of Middle-earth over the map of Europe, according to scale (I'm assuming the miles Tolkien used are the standard US/UK miles used today, i.e. 1 mile = 1.6 km).

      Some interesting facts I learned:

      – The distance from Hobbiton to Rivendell is approximately the distance from Paris to Stuttgart. Imagine walking from Paris to Stuttgart. Frodo did this in 27 days, and he was wounded and sick half of the journey!

      – Sailing Anduin from Lothlórien to the Falls of Rauros is like sailing the Danube from Vienna to Belgrade (almost), distance-wise. The Fellowship made it in 9 days.

      – The journey from Rivendell to Lothlórien is about the same distance as going from Berlin to Prague via Leipzig. The Fellowship made it in 23 days.

    • kateydidnt says:

      Nzba Ura vf Fvaqneva sbe "Uvyy bs gur Rlr" vg jnf nyfb pnyyrq gur "Frng bs Frrvat." Vg vf gur zntvp bs gur cynpr vgfrys gung nyybjf gubfr frngrq ba gur uvyy gb frr sne naq jvqr. Gurer vf nyfb nabgure uvyy pnyyrq Nzba Yunj juvpu jnf gur "Uvyy bs gur Rne" juvpu vzcyvrf naq npbhfgvp nanybthr gb Nznba Ura.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        I don't think this is a spoiler – I explained the meaning of Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw in my Linguistic Corner for the last chapter. 🙂

  39. rubyjoo says:

    Yay! PREDICTIONS!! I shall prepare myself for a very entertaining afternoon, LOL!

  40. Ryan Lohner says:

    Because this deserves more than to be buried deep in another thread:

    Not embedded, as it uses footage from a certain other show on Mark's list.

  41. James says:

    This might be my favourite review you've ever done.

  42. wahlee says:

    For the sake of experiencing The Lord of the Rings as its own thing, I will NOT be watching the movies until I’m done.

    My work here is done.

    (Seriously, Mark, I am SO GLAD. Because I love the movies like woah and I love the books like woah and they should be enjoyed on their own terms. Yes!!)

  43. Dreamflower says:

    Ubjneq Fuber vf n travhf be n qrvgl bs Zhfvp vapneangr.

    He's both.

  44. @MeagenImage says:

    Mark the Sassy Gay Best Friend is my new favourite "original character that joins the Fellowship".

    (Yes, there is a whole genre of fanfics like this. Most often, they completely ignore Elrond's "Nine Walkers against the Nine Riders" thing.)

    He can be chilling at Lorien and join the Fellowship from there to try to make up for the loss of Sassy Gay Best Friend Wizard Gandalf.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      And there's a whole fanfic series about people entering those fics to kill the OC (more often than not based on the author).

    • Jenny_M says:

      I haven't read a lot of LOTR fanfic, but I can only imagine that most of the OCs are giant Gary Stu/Mary Sue types?

      • Rheinman says:

        Help stamp out mary sue fan fics! Join the battle with the Protectors of the Plot Continuum!

        • sudden_eyes says:

          Isn't she the one who has a bunch of mini-Balrogs running around, which are generated each time a character's name is misspelled? So: Gimil, Argarn, Gadnalf …

          (Can't look it up right now b/c work. Must go behave self now. Sigh.)

      • obsidianjg says:

        There are lots of those. But there are also some very thoughtful and hilarious stories, that try to do the girl-falls-into-Middle-earth genre justice without being a Mary Sue.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Yep, and they usually have Aragorn or Legolas or Boromir fall in love with them (depending on their preference). :p

        Good God, when LOTR fanfiction is bad, it's REALLY BAD.

        But I've read some FANTASTIC stories – but I think the best ones are from Silmarillion (people tend to take it more seriously than LOTR).

  45. JustMalyn says:

    I LOVE SASSY MARK GAY FRIEND. Enough said. This is a lovely review, and lfffuykhwgejqwajhasdvb Boromir djkslweffewjahlvsjk WHY.

  46. ravenclaw42 says:

    BEST. REVIEW STYLE. EVER. I was crying into my coffee with laughing so hard. You almost made me forget what a depressing, nothing-is-beautiful-everything-hurts chapter this is.

    I keep trying to write something intelligent and non-rot13'd about this chapter and failing. I'll hold off until other things have happened. In the meantime, movie talk: "Gur Oernxvat bs gur Sryybjfuvc" genpx ba gur zbivr fpber: fnqqrfg guvat rire be fnqqrfg guvat RIRE. Hagvy gur arkg gjb zbivrf naljnl. V yvxr gur yvggyr favccrg bs fbat va guvf genpx orggre guna Raln'f fbat, GOU? Nyfb lbh pna svg cneg bs Tnynqevry'f snerjryy fbat vagb gur ghar cresrpgyl, sebz "Gurer ybat gur tbyqra yrnirf unir tebja" gb "gur Evire sybjf njnl."

    Also YAAAY Team One Novel! Plus almost a month's extension of MRLotR awesomeness after the book reviews are over! I see no flaw in this plan. 😀 (Are you still planning on doing the animated Hobbit movie at some point? Just curious.)


    ALSO? Are you a Timelord? Bow tie, scarf, cool hair, specs of awesome… THESE THINGS ADD UP YOU KNOW.


  48. MsSméagol says:

    Heh, a sassy gay friend is pretty much the only thing that's missing from the LotR-books.

    And speaking of gay friends, I hope no one has missed Cassandra Claires "The Very Secret Diaries":
    It was written years ago, but it's still a true LotR-internet-classic, and some of the funniest stuff I've ever read. Lots of spoilers of course, so only read if you've read the entire LotR-saga!

  49. VoldieBeth says:

    Awesome review!!! I can't say best because there have been many amazing reviews (caps lock parties, bed time stories with Tolkien, and more) But I laughed pretty hard at this one!! I'm glad you saw Boromir's immediate guilt over trying to take the ring, I just feel sorry for him to fall under it's power.

    I can't wait for more!

  50. Hotaru_hime says:

    I'm pretty sure it's the Ring that appeals to everyone's hearts. There's a reason why Gandalf recoiled from it and why Galadriel was glad she had resisted it.
    Poor Boromir! He's a noble fellow, but quite proud. He's used to being the leader and knowing where he's going and why and how and he's been a bit of a hanger-on hasn't he?
    Poor Frodo! But seriously, that was a terrible idea. Just go behind a tree and tell everyone to leave you alone.
    Also, you make a perfect sassy gay friend. Just beautiful.

  51. Dreamflower says:

    For the sake of experiencing The Lord of the Rings as its own thing, I will NOT be watching the movies until I’m done.

    YES!!!!!! YES!!!!! YES!!!!! *dances gleeful dance of gleefulness!!!*

    I love your review, Mark, this is the coolest thing ever, because it is just about everybody's reactions to what's going on in the story. In fact, I think YOU should feature as a Tenth Walker! If you had been in the Fellowship they would all have behaved much more REASONABLY!!!!!!!

    V pna'g oryvrir Znex qvq abg thrff jub gur Ibvpr jnf lryyvat: "Sbby! Gnxr vg bss!"

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Thank you! omg i love how excited your comment is.

      • Dreamflower says:

        I have been having SO MUCH FUN reading with you! It is almost as good as getting amnesia and getting to read it for the first time myself!!!! (((virtual hugs)))

  52. I think this might be your best review ever. EVER.

  53. Suzannezibar says:

    Okay, oftentimes, because I am a busy college student, I will read these reviews on a computer terminal in the library. I AM SO GLAD I DID NOT DO THAT TODAY, BECAUSE THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY I COULD HAVE CONTAINED MY LAUGHTER.


    And…oh my goodness, I can't believe you're done with the first book already!! ONWARDS.

  54. Alice says:

    Wonderful review…and hurray for your decision to read first the books and then watch the EE versions of the movies. A good and wise choice sir!
    Here is 2 pictures by Ted Nasmith: Tol Brandir and Boromir being a total stalker behind Frodo

    <img src="">="&quot; http:="""&quot; lotr1="" tn-tol_brandir.jpg="" <img="" tn-boromir.jpg<="" div=""></img="">

  55. jenesaispas21 says:

    *DIES LAUGHING AT THIS REVIEW* …I do sincerely hope that sassy gay friend makes a reappearance. Because now that I've seen it, omg, cannot do without…

    That is all.

  56. hilarius11 says:

    Mark, you continue to be the most fabulous sassy gay friend any of us could ever want. Anytime I'm about to make a bad decision, I will think of your reaction!

  57. Eira says:

    Yey! I'm so happy that you are waiting to watch the movies! Don't know why, but since I read the three books AFTER I saw the first film, I am really excited to continue to read about the Middle Earth-experience of someone who's not familiar with Peter Jackson's version(s). Not that I don't like the movies, but it is so rare to "meet" someone that doesn't have a relationship to them.

    AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR FACE. This is why Mark Reads never gets boring!

    I think you've summed up this chapter pretty fine. Boromir's actions is not a surprise, but it's still kinda freaky to read. But could have been worse, I guess.

    And I can't wait to hear your predictions for Two Towers. You are not prepared. 🙂

  58. arctic_hare says:

    omg I can't breathe

    laughing too hard

    Mark you are utterly amazing and so is this review


    quite possibly the best review yet. although I hesitate to say so because I know you'll somehow top yourself, and there have been so many others I've loved too that I'm indecisive as fuck anyway. BUT KNOW THAT I ADORE IT BEYOND ALL MEASURE, OKAY? <3

    <3 <3 <3


    Other stuff in rot13, because I'm going to mention movie stuffs.

    1) Gur fbat anzrq nsgre guvf puncgre nyjnlf znxrf zr jnag gb phey vagb n onyy naq pel. Bsgragvzrf V qb whfg gung.

    2) "Bs pbhefr lbh ner! Naq V'z pbzvat jvgu lbh!" Bu tbq, V pna urne Frna Nfgva'f qryvirel bs guvf yvar va zl urnq naq vg oevatf sbegu NYY GUR GRNEF. Jul vf ur fb cresrpg sbe zl orybirq Fnz? Gur jubyr fprar jvgu Sebqb naq Fnz nf gurl yrnir vf fb urnegoernxvatyl ornhgvshy.

    3) Ernyyl, V whfg ybir gur jubyr jnl guvf puncgre vf qbar va gur zbivr, jvgu gur nqqvgvba bs fghss sebz Gjb Gbjref. Sebqb erzrzorevat Tnaqnys'f jbeqf naq qenjvat erfbyir sebz gurz vf cbvtanag naq ybiryl, naq nabgure cneg gung trgf zr vf gur fnqarff ba Yrtbynf' snpr naq gur jnl Wbua Eulf-Qnivrf fnlf "Gura vg unf nyy orra va inva. Gur Sryybjfuvc unf snvyrq." Gura Nentbea trgf fhpu na nznmvat yvar gb fnl nf gur Sryybjfuvc gurzr xvpxf va: "Abg vs jr ubyq gehr gb rnpu bgure." NTU lbh nyy xabj ubj V nz nobhg sevraqfuvc gebcrf, fb guvf whfg trgf zr rirel gvzr. Gur Sryybjfuvc znl or fhaqrerq, ohg abg gur obaqf orgjrra gurz, naq vg jvyy abg gehyl snvy nf ybat nf gurl erznva yblny naq fgvpx ol rnpu bgure. Vg'f fb ornhgvshy na vqrn naq fgevxrf evtug gb zl urneg.

  59. Katarina says:

    …and is anyone else tempted to make fantasy names off rot13? 🙂

    • eregyrn says:

      Maybe. >_>

      It's also starting to scare me that I'm starting to recognize various words in their rot13'd form, before I've translated them…

      • flootzavut says:

        Oh I'm doing that all the time now. Words I recognise include but are not limited to:

        Ururur & ununun
        Frna Orna
        Furybo (I love how cute that sounds…)

        I think by the time we get to the end of the appendices I'm just not going to have to bother with cipher rot13 at all LOL!

        • Majc says:

          “Furybo” vf Furybo’f sevraqyl fcvqre pbhfva jub abar bs gur bgure tvnag rivy fcvqref yvxr gb gnyx nobhg ng snzvyl erhavbaf.

      • Dreamflower says:


        Some of the names I don't even need to take to the cipher.

    • Rheinman says:

      Yes, although you have to add some extra vowels or consonants to make them pronouncible. I have also been checking how the names of typical items rot13, such as sword or saber. I 'can't say i'm completely enthused with the results. I'ts much more satisfying to spot a rot13'ed word and then follow it back to see what it really is

  60. kasiopeia says:

    I wanna talk about Boromir now, and how awesome he is in all the wrong ways for this mission.

    I think Boromir's betrayal is an important step in figuring out how the One Ring's power work. To me it seems like Boromir is a strong and noble person. He's a great defender of his people, and a guy I'd want on my side in a war. He can fight and stay strong against any threat he can see. And I think that's the point, he doesn't see the Ring as a threat, when the Ring starts to work on his thoughts, he doesn't understand what is happening before it's too late. The Ring grips hold of that part of him that desperately wants to save his people, and he doesn't want to disappoint them in any way. I think what beats Boromir is that the Ring is a physiological threat, not a physical threat, and it's not something he can attack head-on.

    I really, really like Boromir's character, if only because he shows us that even the most noble of people can fall for the power of the Ring. So far Tolkien has only told us that the Ring is dangerous to everyone, but now we get to see it. And for me the most interesting characters are always the conflicted ones 🙂

    Guvf vf ernyyl n qvfphffvba sbe n yngre qngr, ohg gung'f nyfb jurer V guvax jr frr gur pbagenfg orgjrra Obebzve naq Snenzve. Obebzve vf fb nsenvq bs qvfnccbvagvat uvf crbcyr, uvf oebgure naq zbfg bs nyy uvf sngure, juvyr Snenzve ybat fvapr unf yrnearq gb yvir jvgu orvat n qvfnccbvagzrag. Ur ab ybatre penirf jung gur Evat pna oevat uvz, ur bayl xabjf vg gbbx Obebzve.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think this is a really good comment.

      • kasiopeia says:

        Thank you 🙂

        • Tauriel_ says:

          But on second reading I think you meant "psychological" and not "physiological" – or am I wrong? 😀

          • stefb4 says:

            I believe physiological is more having to do with the body–organs, cells, chemical functions and stuff (hence why my anatomy class in high school was actually "anatomy and physiology") and psychology has to do with the mind. It's understandable to mix them up though.

            • Tauriel_ says:

              You're right, and that's precisely what I was pointing out – the threat of the Ring was psychological, it messed up with your mind, it wasn't a physical threat. 🙂

          • kasiopeia says:

            Wow yes *facepalm* That's what I get for writing long comments late at night. There's no way to edit that, right?

    • Laurelluin says:

      Vg jbhyq unir orra irel qvssrerag vs Snenzve unq tbar gb Vzynqevf vafgrnq bs Obebzve. Snenzve uryq gb gur gehgu gung gur Evat jbhyq pbeehcg, naq jnf abg sbe uvz.

      • Dreamflower says:

        Naq Sebqb arrqrq gung vzcrghf gb fgevxr bss ba uvf bja, bgurejvfr gur Dhrfg jbhyq unir snvyrq.

        Naq V guvax gur Evat qvq abg gnxr Obebzve pbzcyrgryl– nf fbba nf gur fubpx bs uvf orunivbe uvg uvz, ur jnf noyr gb guebj bss vgf vasyhrapr orpnhfr ur JNF na ubabenoyr naq aboyr zna.

        Snenzve jbhyq unir erpbtavmrq gur Evat'f oynaqvfuzragf sbe jung gurl jrer, ohg nyfb, ur jbhyq abg unir qbar nalguvat gb qevir Sebqb njnl, rvgure.

        Bar bs Gbyxvra'f gurzrf vf ubj onq guvatf pna unir tbbq erfhygf va fcvgr bs gurzfryirf. V guvax gung cynlf bhg urer.

    • ljrTR says:

      me too – I liked this comment a lot, entire thing

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Very thoughtful comment! Very interesting point about Boromir being defeated psychologically by the Ring.

      Va nqqvgvba gb jung lbh nyernql fnvq nobhg Obebzve if Snenzve, vg znqr zr guvax bs guvf:

      Bs gur gjb bs gurz, Obebzve jnf gur jneevbe naq Snenzve jnf gur bar jub penirq yrneavat sebz Tnaqnys. Nyernql jr unir gur frrqf cynagrq va obgu bs gurve punenpgref bs ubj gur evat jbhyq grzcbenevyl pbeehcg Obebzve naq ubyq ab fjnl bire Snenzve. Snenzve unf ab qrfver sbe cbjre, naq tvira gung ur unf fghqvrq uvfgbel sebz Tnaqnys, ur cebonoyl nyfb xabjf n yvggyr ubj cbjre pna or qnatrebhf uvfgbevpnyyl.

      • blossomingpeach says:

        Oops in the rot13 left off one tiny thing I meant to say:

        Jr pna thrff gung Snenzve vf cebonoyl gur zber vagryyrpghny bs gur gjb. Fb nf fhpu, ur vf n sbvy sbe Obebzve'f zber culfvpny angher. (Va grezf bs ubj lbh jrer qvfphffvat uvz.)

      • kasiopeia says:

        Lrnu, V nterr gb rirelguvat urer. Snenzve qbrfa'g unir gung qrfver sbe cbjre gung Obebzve unir. Naq ur nyfb unir n ybg zber xabjyrqtr, V pna vzntvar Obebzve arire jnf bar sbe ernqvat.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      I think what beats Boromir is that the Ring is a physiological threat, not a physical threat, and it's not something he can attack head-on.

      Perfect analysis of Boromir's character. Well done. 🙂

    • This is a really spectacular study of both Boromir and the Ring. I wish I could upvote this more than once.

      • kasiopeia says:

        Thank you 🙂 I think it's interesting to look at the two, because this is really the first time we can see the Ring working on someone to this extent.

    • Eregyrn says:

      Very well put.

      I remarked elsewhere, too — though it is only my reading of things, and not necessarily a fact of the world — that I always took it that the Ring itself has agency. It's not just a malevolent temptation that is sitting there passively. It wants to be found by its master and it can, IMO, increase its influence at opportune moments, towards those it views as likelier to achieve its goal.

      The Fellowship was on the point of deciding what to do next, and where to go. It makes sense that the Ring chose that point to strike at someone who would do what it wanted, and who was vulnerable to its blandishments. Boromir's strong desire to protect his city and his people is in contrast to Galadriel's moment of temptation, which she resists, and accepts that it means a kind of doom for Lothlorien and Elves (or at least, diminishment as the best-case scenario). It's hard to blame Boromir, a Man, for not (yet) being able to accept that the total destruction of Gondor might be another price the heroes have to pay to see the Ring destroyed. And the Ring plays on this.

      This is not to say that Boromir wasn't at fault. I'm not trying to explain his action away. Just to consider the idea that what he gave into was a desperate attempt by the Ring to prevent what happened anyway — it remaining in the possession of a bearer who so far largely refuses to USE it (when using it would make it much easier for Sauron and his servants to find it, as the Ring wants).

      • kasiopeia says:

        Thank you 🙂

        Yes, I agree with you. I think the Ring is always working on getting back to it's master. We can see it way back in the Hobbit where it chooses to leave Gollum, I don't think he would have just left it laying around 🙂 And I agree with you that this was the time to strike because it clearly got nowhere with Frodo. I think it's really interesting that you compare Boromir and Galadriel, I hadn't thought about that, but they have the same dilemma, and makes different choices.

        What I don't quite understand about the Ring's actions it this: While someone using the Ring would make it visible, Boromir (and Gondor) using the Ring would have made them really strong. I'm sure Sauron would have beaten them in the end, but wouldn't it take more effort than other solutions? Of course the Ring didn't have many choices at this point, and it perfectly possible I overestimate the Ring's power of thinking long-term and logical 😛 It might just have wanted a change 🙂

        • Dreamflower says:

          But Boromir would not have had the strength to wield the Ring– it's made clear that there were very few other than Sauron who could have actually used and mastered it. Galadriel tells Frodo this when he asks her why he can't see the thoughts of the bearers of the Three in Lothlorien.

          Va bar bs uvf Yrggref, Gbyxvra gnyxf nobhg gur srj jub pbhyq unir znfgrerq vg. Ur zragvbaf Tnaqnys, Ryebaq, Tnynqevry, Fnehzna naq cbffvoyl Nentbea. Ohg ur nyfb fnlf gung nalbar jub gbbx vg jbhyq arrq gvzr gb gehyl oraq vg gb gurve jvyy, gvzr juvpu gurl jbhyq abg or tvira, orpnhfr Fnheba jbhyq vzzrqvngryl ubzr va ba vg naq srgpu vg onpx orsber gurl pbhyq trg hfrq gb vg. Rira Vfvyqhe, jub unq vg sbe n juvyr jura Fnheba jnf arjyl qrsrngrq pbhyq abg znfgre vg, naq sbhaq vg cnvashy gb rira gel, nppbeqvat gb HG.

          Ur rira gnyxf nobhg jung jbhyq unir unccrarq unq Sebqb pynvzrq gur Evat nal fbbare– vg jbhyq unir yhyyrq uvz vagb oryvrivat ur unq znfgrerq vg, hagvy bar bs gur Anmthy neevirq gb srgpu uvz njnl. Guvf jnf jung gurl unq *gevrq* gb qb jvgu gur Zbethy oynqr ng Jrnguregbc, naq jul gurl gevrq gb trg uvz gb chg ba gur Evat.

          • kasiopeia says:

            Good point! I didn't think of that. If Boromir started to 'use' the Ring at once, he wouldn't have gotten as far as Gondor at all, would he?

            V unqa'g ernq gung, naq vg'f ernyyl vagrerfgvat! Gunaxf sbe funevat. Vg'f nyjnlf snfpvangvat gb ernq jung Gbyxvra gubhtug bs uvf fgbel naq punenpgref 🙂

  61. eregyrn says:

    Lbhe frpbaq cnentencu'f ortvaavat vf cerggl zhpu jbeq sbe jbeq jung V'ir fnvq ryfrjurer urer. 🙂 Bu, V jnf fb vzcngvrag jvgu Obebzve va gur cnfg. Ohg V'z fb tynq gung CW, naq FO, qvq abg tvir vagb gur grzcgngvba gb cynl hc gur "wrex" dhbgvrag, juvpu V guvax jbhyq unir orra irel rnfl gb qb. Jung gurl tnir hf, vafgrnq, jnf zntavsvprag.

  62. Mauve_Avenger says:

    "He heard himself crying out: Never, never! or was it Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell."

    This is probably one of my favorite little details from this book, yet somehow I always manage to misremember it as happening during the Ringwraigth confrontation in "Flight to the Ford."

    Naq bs pbhefr gur arkg cneg bs gur cnentencu vf "Gnxr vg bss! Gnxr vg bss! Sbby, gnxr vg bss! Gnxr bss gur Evat!" juvpu Znex frrzf abg gb unir abgvprq, yrg nybar erpbtavmrq nf Tnaqnys. ^_^ V yvxr ubj gur jbeq "ibvpr" vf pncvgnyvmrq urer; gubhtu qrsvavgryl abg fbzrguvat V pbhyq'ir ernyvmrq va zl svefg ernq, V guvax vg'f n uvag gung Tnaqnys unf gnxra gur cynpr bs Fnehzna (jubfr fbyr erznvavat cbjre nsgre uvf qrsrng vf uvf Ibvpr, VVEP).

    • ljrTR says:

      Gung Tnaqnys, pnyyvat crbcyr 'sbby' ntnva

    • Dreamflower says:

      Naq bs pbhefr gur arkg cneg bs gur cnentencu vf "Gnxr vg bss! Gnxr vg bss! Sbby, gnxr vg bss! Gnxr bss gur Evat!" juvpu Znex frrzf abg gb unir abgvprq, yrg nybar erpbtavmrq nf Tnaqnys.

      V qvq abgvpr vg ba zl svefg gvzr ernq. Nf fbba nf V fnj gur jbeq "Sbby!" V gubhtug "Vg'f TNAQNYS! Ubj pna ur or nyvir?" Ohg gura V gbyq zlfrys znlor V jnf ernqvat gbb zhpu vagb gung bar jbeq…V'z fb tynq V jnf evtug…

  63. stefb4 says:

    Let me start this comment by saying that from page 477 to p. 527 (the end of my copy), the pages are completely unattached to the actual book. I have to take them out when I read otherwise they’d just slip out all over the place. So I read this last chapter sort of like a pamphlet. Also, I have NO ORGANIZATION WHATSOEVER, so this may seem to jump around a bit?

    If I had an Elvish blade that warned me when orcs were near, I’d have that thing drawn at all times. I don’t care if it would be an inconvenience or not I WOULD LIKE TO BE AS PREPARED AS POSSIBLE.

    Every single line coming from Boromir I can hear the actor’s voice. They were delivered so perfectly.

    This chapter also perfectly emphasizes how the Ring corrupts: we have Boromir, a valiant warrior who loves and wants to protect his home, who has looked after the hobbits, and the Ring drives him to do this betrayal. Except I believe that Boromir truly thinks that the Ring will help save his land and others, that it is possible to use it against the Enemy if it is in the hands of a valiant man. And Boromir has no reason to not believe that his men, his warriors/soldiers/etc, are those who are above corruption: they have fought against Mordor bravely and are above such corruption—in his mind.

    It takes him tripping over that root to jar him back into reality, and it seems that he regrets what he has done. The entire rest of the chapter he just seems so sad and I can’t help but want to give him all the hugs. Frodo too. Hobbit hugs!

    The vision that Frodo has is scary: is he seeing things that are actually happening? Or what COULD happen? It’s almost like Galadriel’s Mirror. And these places—Mirkwood and the land of the Beornings—are important places to us. We have seen and experienced them in The Hobbit. Are they being ravaged by war too? I would hope not, but my hope isn’t very high. The Elves and Men need a break fighting any sort of enemy—they are good people and deserve peace.

    I love that the rest of the Fellowship are unwilling to leave Frodo, even if he doesn’t choose to go to Minas Tirith. Such loyalty! I love how well Merry and Pippin know Frodo, to know that he is thinking of not bringing his friends into danger (and the hobbits being the only ones he thinks he can fully trust now—he can’t bear to risk their lives). And of course Sam is the best!

    I will admit to laughing when Aragorn is trying to organize a Buddy System but no one listens.

    • stefb4 says:


      Ever since Gandalf died the Fellowship needed a sassy gay friend to keep them in line.

    • ljrTR says:

      Lrc jne vf pbzvat rireljurer va Zvqqyr Rnegu. Sbe ernyf.
      naq V pna arire ernq Obebzve'f yvarf abj jvgubhg urnevat Frna Orna'f ibvpr. Ur jnf fb tbbq va gung ebyr.

    • notemily says:

      I will admit to laughing when Aragorn is trying to organize a Buddy System but no one listens.

      Right? he sounds like a frustrated kindergarten teacher 😀

  64. @sparklylulz says:

    I laughed so loud reading this that I woke my roommate up. Jfc this was more flawless than usual.

  65. fantasy_fan says:

    But wait, Sam pna'g or gur fnffl tnl sevraq sberire, orpnhfr evtug ng gur raq bs gur obbx ur zragvbaf fbzrobql anzrq Ebfvr Pbggba naq zneevrf ure.

    (Jung. Ure anzr qbrfa'g rira pbzr hc hagvy gur Zg. Qbbz puncgre. Jba'g Znex or fhecevfrq! Qvfnccbvagrq?)

  66. kateydidnt says:

    You know, even though I read LOTR long before Harry Potter came out, once I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, V sbhaq vg rnfvre gb guvax bs gur Evat nf n Ubepehk. Naq yvxr gur ybpxrg jbexrq ba Eba, gur Evat jbexf ba Obebzve. Gubhtu gur bhgpbzr jnf qvssrerag, gur zrpunavfz vf irel fvzvyne.

    • Dreamflower says:

      Gung'f shaal. Jura V ernq UC, V gubhtug bs gur Ubepehkrf nf fbeg bs yvxr gur Evat– bayl va zhygvcyrf…

      Gura V fnj n ernyyl shaal pnegbba: UC naq Sebqb snpvat bss bire juvpu bar unq n uneqre gvzr bs vg, naq UC gryyf Sebqb: "Ohg lbh bayl unq gb qrfgebl BAR ubepehk!" YBY!

  67. Nekesa says:

    Mark, this review is wonderful for several reasons:

    1. SAM!!!!!!!!! Enough said. <3 <3

    2. Yay for Team One Novel! I fully support the liveblog schedule, and it makes me excited because this will be my first liveblog for Mark Reads/Watches! *flail*

    3. OMG YOU HAVE FINISHED FOTR, YOU HAVE COME SO FAR…but you are still so unprepared! :p

  68. Chris Lucas says:

    It's reviews like this that convince me completely how in need of a Mark vlog we all really are.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Hahahahaha. I have considered this, especially since I have free time now. That, and a podcast. I WILL CONSIDER SUCH THINGS.

      • fantasy_fan says:

        There definitely needs to be streaming video when the movies are watched.

      • Shiyiya says:

        Mark pretty pretty pretty please if you do something like that have transcripts? There are so many cool-seeming podcasts and vlogs and I can't watch/listen to them because I suck at audio parsing and I would have ALL THE SAD if you did one and it was inaccessible 🙁

        • Tauriel_ says:

          There are many wonderful folk in this community – I'm sure someone (if not Mark himself) will find time to do transcripts, if Mark ever decides to do vlogs or podcasts. 🙂

  69. @dazyndara says:

    So much <3! Aah Mark you are amazing, those pictures are the most perfect things ever! Cannot unsee (in the best of possible ways :D)
    Plus tuxedo bowtie shirt!

  70. Green_Dragon says:

    My only problem with this chapter, as Mark hilariously points out, is that Frodo is given an hour to be on his own. His OWN. The Ring-Bearer, on whom so much depends, is wandering about with a sword glowing faintly about the edges…and Gollum's obviously been keeping tabs on the Company. He could've given up his floating log disguise and is now disguised in the forest as a fallen log. Who knows? Frodo doesn't, that's for sure.

    What is for sure is that Boromir meets up with Frodo in the forest, where the ring's power really ramps up its effect on Boromir's mind. Boromir leaps for Frodo, intending to take the Ring. My question is: had Frodo really strayed so far away from the Company that, instead of putting on the Ring, he couldn't call for help? After Frodo puts on the Ring and sits in the high seat of Amon Hen, he then returns to "the lawn where Boromir had found him. Then he halted, listening. He thought he could hear cries and calls from the woods near the shore below." So, if Frodo could hear them, then surely they could've heard him if he had cried out for help.

    I wonder what it was about that particular time and place for the Ring to cause such madness in Boromir, leading Frodo to actually put on the Ring? Why then? Was it because it felt its master searching for it? Because the Eye did indeed come very close to locating the Ring. Or did it perceive the Orcs prowling the borders of the Rauros as simply its best shot of getting back to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

    Whatever its purpose, Frodo believes the Ring will eventually corrupt the other members of the Company as it did Boromir, so he decides to strike out for Mordor on his own. Brave, brave, brave, wonderful hobbit!

    What gets me right here *places fist over heart* is that while Frodo knows what must be done, he is scared to death of going alone to Morder. Sam, on the other hand, is ONLY SCARED OF BEING LEFT BEHIND. It's just a given to Sam that wherever Frodo goes, Sam will be right by Frodo's side. That's all there is to it. Could there BE any more beautiful example of the love between two friends? One would spare the other what is sure to be a long, terrifying journey where death most likely awaits them at the end, while the other friend feels that certain death would come from being left behind.

    *wipes eyes*

    Honestly, this is such an amazing chapter, and while Boromir displayed a noble pride made fierce and arrogant, corrupted as it was by the Ring, Samwise Gamgee stood up and displayed honest love, fierce loyalty, and positive optimism. For me, it was such a heart-warming way to end the book amid all the confusion and fear for the future of the Company.

  71. Elisa says:

    You should watch the movies with breaks in between, suffer as we suffered Mark!! B) We had to wait years!! Hehe.

  72. t09yavosaur says:

    To those who are interested: LEGOlas exists now. (Legolas made out of LEGOs). I don't know if this is a spoiler so here is the link:

    And the link it is from which has spoilery information:

  73. MrsGillianO says:

    I'm delighted you chose to finish the novel first. The films are awesome too, but intermingling the two media would detract from both.

    This is such an upsetting place to end the volume – and the next volume wasn't published till November, after the first book came out in July. Imagine waiting that long to find out what happens next!

    • Dreamflower says:

      And then the long wait for the third one.

      I love JRRT's Letter #170 written to his publisher after TT came out. Here it is, in it's entirety:

      From a letter to Allen & Unwin 30 September 1955

      When is Vol. III likely now to appear? I shall be murdered if something does not happen soon.

      Short, and to the point, LOL!

  74. notemily says:

    Gb zr ur fgvyy ybbxf cerggl njrfbzr va gur zbivr. Ur'f tvira gur fnzr pubvpr uvf oebgure qvq, jvgu rira zber cerffher orpnhfr ur'f gur aba-snibevgr fba naq ur jnagf fb onqyl gb unir uvf sngure'f nccebiny, cyhf ur'f gur bayl fba yrsg va gur snzvyl–naq lrg ur'f fgvyy noyr gb pubbfr gur evtug cngu. V xabj vg'f qvssrerag sebz obbx-Snenzve, ohg gur jnl gurl frg gur zbivrf hc, V guvax vg jbexf.

    • Tilly says:

      Naq gung natyr jbexf ernyyl jryy jvgu gur rkgen qrirybczrag bs gung fgbelyvar va gur RR ohg ybfrf zbfg bs vgf cbjre va gur gurngevpny. Gunax gur fgnef sbe gur RRf!

  75. hymnia says:

    Bravo on that facial-expression acting, Mark! You're right up there with Freeman and Cumberbatch. 😉

    And hooray for Team One Novel! <3

    Looking forward to your TTT predictions (and laughing and how unprepared you are)! XD

  76. Christina says:

    LOVE this blog post with all the pictures and dialogue. It made me laugh out loud at work. Thanks Mark!

  77. Patrick721 says:

    I'd just like to post this quote, but I'm Rot13ing it just in case. Sums up my love for Samwise Gamgee.

    "Gura lbh xabj gung Fnz jnf gur gehr ureb bs gur gnyr," Fnaln fnvq. "Gung ur snprq sne terngre naq zber greevoyr sbrf gura ur rire fubhyq unir unq gb snpr, naq qvq fb jvgu pbhentr. Gung ur jrag nybar vagb n oynpx naq greevoyr ynaq, fgbezrq n qnex sbegerff, naq erfvfgrq gur zbfg greevoyr grzcgngvba bs uvf jbeyq sbe gur fnxr bs gur sevraq ur ybirq. Gung va gur raq, vg jnf uvf npgvbaf naq uvf npgvbaf nybar gung znqr vg cbffvoyr sbe yvtug gb birepbzr qnexarff."
    -From Changes, by Jim Butcher.

    • Dreamflower says:

      Oh I love all the LotR references in the Dresden Files! One of the few conventionally published book series I've continued to enjoy in recent years.

  78. Patrick721 says:

    Ok, I just found this video and I had to post it because Sir Christopher Lee is awesome. He knew JRR Tolkien!
    [youtube 46j6-5gSZY0&feature=related youtube]

  79. Bard says:

    For my money, Sam is straight and Frodo is gay. But for some reason, nobody else seems to agree.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  80. Caravelle says:

    Sam is Frodo's sassy gay friend… Now that's some insight ! *goes off to ponder the implications*
    (that whole bit was incredibly awesome)

    But this feels like the end of a full book, a complete story. This fascinates me! If Frodo made it to Mordor in the next chapter and the book ended not long after, I would be so immensely satisfied. So much has happened! There’s been tons of character development, some brilliant plot twists, a shocking character death, and the constant complication of the main mission. THIS IS SO AMAZING TO ME. HOW ARE THERE TWO MORE “BOOKS” LEFT??????

    It's funny you say this. I haven't read the books in forever, but in my memories of them, the point you're at now is JUST THE BEGINNING. Like seriously, nothing happened up to now right ? How could it POSSIBLY end now, when we haven't yet… and there hasn't been… the most important bit is… AAAARGH.

  81. tigerpetals says:

    And they didn't even notice Boromir was gone, and then they just went off without listenting to Aragorn!

    I love Sam, and how well he knows Frodo. I was scared Frodo'd try to leave again while Sam was getting his things, though I guess he wouldn't have had time anyway without a repeat of the drowning.

    I do feel sorry for Boromir. I think he gave in partly because of what he keeps talking about, how they're at the borders of Mordor practically and he's been fighting the way that really brings down his morale. Of course he's wrong and the Ring would just betray him at the most incovenient moment, but he sounds just like Galadriel except she got over her temptation quickly, while he's been resisting it for a while and tried to forcibly take it from Frodo.

    Vg erzvaqf zr bs uvf sngure Qrargube, jub sebz jung V erzrzore fhssrerq sebz gur fnzr ceboyrz, nygubhtu ur qvqa'g unir gur Evat gb grzcg uvz. Ng yrnfg Obebzve jrag orggre guna ur qvq, vs jung V erzrzore vf pbeerpg.

    • Dreamflower says:

      Lrf, lbh erzrzore evtugyl! Qrargube pbirgrq gur Evat onqyl, naq vg vf n irel TBBQ guvat vg arire jrag arne Zvanf Gvevgu, nf Sebqb rkcynvaf gb Snenzve yngre ba.

      And I just thought of something: perhaps the confusion among the Fellowship was also Ring-induced, either deliberately to enable it to make its move on Boromir, or perhaps as a side effect of all the bad thoughts it was sending Boromir's way it also clouded the judgment of the others? I never thought of that before! It would certainly explain why normally reasonable people would suddenly act like that (story-internal, of course, since really JRRT needed them to be that way for plot purposes, story-externally).

      • tigerpetals says:

        Good thought! They all knew they would have to get to Mordor, and the suffering they went through plus the Ring's influence wore them down until they were willing to delay that and easily panicked.

  82. Andrew says:

    So this chapter was where I fell completely in love with Samwise Gamgee at the age of 13 and knew that there could never, in my entire life, be a character that would supplant him as my favourite.

  83. sweetpea616 says:

    Not watching the movies until the end? Good choice! Now, the REAL question is….

    Theatrical or Extended versions? (Please say Extended. Please.)

    Frodo went a little sad and angsty in this chapter, but with reason. He's lost Gandalf, been on a long journey that's taken him far from home, and carries something super-duper evil that puts his life in danger the whole way. If nothing else, he has to feel emotionally exhausted. I feel like that when my finals roll around, and those only last a week and most definitely are not life-threatening. Poor Frodo! And go sassy gay friend Sam!

  84. Saint Mercy says:

    Best Review EVER!!!!!!

  85. banabou says:

    THIS IS AMAZING. DEAR GOD. I had to be away from computerlandia for a couple of days and I come back to this? SUH GOOD.

    Mark, for reals, this is the most delightful review I have ever read. Please continue being amazing and I will carry on astrally projecting delicious vegan pie to you.

  86. Smurphy says:

    This review. I'm just. AND I GET TO MEET YOU IN ALMOST A MONTH… and… and…

    I have been telling myself I need to reread this damn book for 8 years now. Thank you Mark for… this. This. I just.


  87. Tavyan says:

    Best. Review. Ever. I laughed SO HARD. <3

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