Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Book 2, Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter of the second book of The Two Towers, Tolkien makes my stomach hurt. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.


Doubt can be a powerful thing. In just one chapter, Tolkien has made me feel awful. There’s a pit in my stomach that seems to grow with every page, and it’s not getting any better. This journey to Mordor is bad enough, but now I doubt almost every aspect of it. The only character I trust at this point is Sam Gamgee, but we’re at a point where Frodo is going to have to deal with Gollum.

Unlike the last chapter, there wasn’t a second of chapter six that I wasn’t entirely engrossed with the story that Tolkien was giving to me. Something must have been important enough to wake up Frodo, I thought. So where was Faramir taking him? Was I going to start doubting him as well? Once again, the lovely Sam can’t resist doing anything without his master, and it’s just killing me with cute. He’s just so dedicated.

Faramir takes the two hobbits high up to a flat rock near the cascading waterfall, and it’s here that we see the titular pool. In just a few sentences, that sensation of doubt creeps in. Why now? Why wake Frodo up and bring him high above this pool in the middle of the freezing night? What’s so critical about being there at that exact moment?

Presently Frodo was aware of a small dark thing on the near bank, but even as he looked at it, it dived and vanished just beyond the boil and bubble of the fall, cleaving the black water as neatly as an arrow or an edgewise stone.

GREAT. FUCKING FANTASTIC. I knew immediately that this was Gollum, and that his appearance just complicated everything. Gollum followed them to a secret location, one that the Enemy quite possibly doesn’t even know exists. Even worse, it’s clear that Faramir doesn’t think Gollum’s appearance is random, as he asks Frodo whether he should shoot the creature or not. Damn it, you tricked him! Frodo can either let Anborn kill Gollum, or he has to confess that Gollum was actually the guide that led them to Faramir.

What a disaster.

Frodo does his best to try to explain exactly who Gollum is, yet I couldn’t help but laugh at how every attempt made him seem worse. Oh, so you kept him a secret? That’s not good. Oh, he probably doesn’t know much the Men who live here, as he was drawn to the location by the Ring that Frodo is wearing? Oh, that’s because Gollum used to own the Ring himself? Every single detail is another damnation for Frodo and Gollum. I can’t blame Faramir for feeling the way he does about this. How could he possibly understand the complex nature of Gollum?

At the very least, Faramir gives Frodo a choice: retrieve Gollum himself, or Faramir’s man will kill him. Faramir cannot risk Gollum escaping and getting captured or else the location of this secret hideout of sorts will be in danger. Oh, on top of that, if Frodo falls in the pool, Faramir won’t help him get out. Also, he’ll have bowmen trained on him the whole time! Absolutely no pressure at all, Frodo.

As if this situation didn’t need to be anymore stressful and gut-wrenching, Frodo’s retrieval of Gollum is fraught with guilt. Obviously, Gollum isn’t exactly trusting of Frodo, especially since he technically abandoned the creature to go off with Faramir. So Frodo resorts to something he hates: threatening Gollum with the power of his Precious. I’m glad that Frodo doesn’t do this with glee on the mind because it shows us that he knows it’s wrong to treat this creature this way. I understand that Gollum might not be the most dependable, trustworthy being of all time, but Frodo respects him in a way. Gollum did get them through the Marshes alive, and I bet he would have gotten them into Mordor had Faramir not intercepted them. Because of this, he doesn’t want to treat Gollum poorly. I think Frodo genuinely wants to win his trust, but how on earth is he going to do that by tricking him?

Tolkien makes this conflict very explicit in the text, and I think it’s the best part of the chapter. This is a huge moment for Frodo because he’s stuck in this difficult position and is forced to make a decision that he doesn’t like out of the interest of not dying. It’s just so depressing to me that Frodo knows he basically betrayed Gollum’s trust, and then has to keep threatening him in order to keep him alive. That’s the worst, isn’t it? He knows that Faramir or Anborn would slay Gollum without a second thought, so he threatens Gollum in order to keep him alive. MY HEART, Y’ALL. MY HEART.

How fucked up is the dynamic of Faramir’s interrogation of Gollum? There’s so much fear in that scene because Gollum knows he’s not in control. His life is at stake, the closest thing he has to a friend just got him captured, and EVERYTHING SUCKS. Oh my god, I feel bad for Gollum. What has my life become?

Here’s the thing: this is all so upsetting that I don’t even feel good when Faramir ultimately decides to allow Frodo, Sam, and Gollum the power to walk free in Gondor. Technically, this is a victory! They can now leave these Men to pursue their journey with the Ring. But it doesn’t feel like a victory. It feels like when your parents reluctantly agree to let you spend the night at your friend’s house, but they decide to heap on the guilt and doom in the process, making you feel like you just asked them to cut off one of your limbs. Like, for real, Faramir is SO IRRITATED WITH THESE CHARACTERS. He thinks their whole mission is a mistake, even if it’s necessary, and he most certainly doesn’t trust a cell in Gollum’s body. When he bids Gollum and Anborn to leave him with Frodo and Sam, he makes this very clear: that creature is leading them to their doom.

You know what sucks about this? I can’t disagree with either character. I believe Frodo, and I trust that he knows what he’s doing. I am glad that he treats Gollum well! At the same time, Faramir knows far more about Cirith Ungol than Frodo does, so when he warns them that they are walking into the hands of the Nine Riders by going that way, I believe him, too.

Doubt. That’s what this is. Once doubt grabs hold, it’s so hard to shake it off. Who the hell am I supposed to believe? I’m not even in this book and I’m upset. I can’t imagine how Frodo and Sam feel. Hell, Faramir tells them that he suspects Gollum has actually committed murder before. This is a pleasant think to tell someone right before you leave, isn’t it?

What a goddamn disaster. I feel terrible, and I have approximately no hope for this situation whatsoever. DAMN IT.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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171 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Book 2, Chapter 6

  1. Becky_J_ says:

    Oh, Gollum. Didn't anyone ever tell you??

    <img src=""&gt;

    If only he had remembered that, maybe it would have saved a little grief….
    Look, I can't feel anything but pity for Gollum in this chapter. He just seems like a little, lost, starving puppy that found its owner only to be turned over to the pound. WAY TOO SAD.

    I love that Faramir has the courage to do what Boromir could not, and turns Frodo loose, even though he knows that the Ring will bring him honor to his city and his family.

    And I ALSO love that Faramir 'gives' Gollum to Frodo and Sam's just like "NOOOO WHYYYYYYY. We were so damn close to getting rid of him!" For Sam, his audible sigh is pretty much yelling. I love it. I would say that there is no love lost between Gollum and Sam, but I am harboring a secret hope that THEY ARE GOING TO BE BFFS it's totally going to happen you guys I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY

  2. stingingpetals says:

    Oh Mark. *hugs*

  3. Alice says:

    The Forbiden Pool…and Gollum is spotted there!!This is not going to end well!And then even Faramir is afraid of the way they are going….oh,noes…bad feeling…

    The P.S. that follows the pics is just my oppinion…

    <img src="; width="600">
    Ted Nasmith – The Terrace at Hennneth Annun

    <img src="; width="600">
    Hildebrandt Bros – Gollum

    <img src="; width="600">
    John Howe – Faramir

    <img src="; width="600">
    Alan Lee sketch – Henneth Annun

    <img src="; width="600">
    Alan Lee sketch – Gollum

    <img src=""&gt;
    John Howe

    P.S. V sbhaq bhg lrfgreqnl gung gur snaqbz pna or irel fpnel fbzrgvzrf;V sbe bar,qvq abg xabj ng nyy gung fbzr qvssreraprf orgjrra gur zbivrf naq gur obbxf pna oevat fb zhpu synzr (vf gung n cebcre jbeq?!qhaab). Erynk cyrnfr,naq yrg'f whfg rawbl gur jbaqreshyy zntvp bs gurfr obbxf,naq gur ybir gung jnf cbherq vagb gur zbivrf.Jung'f jvgu guvf chevfg qrongr?Gur obbxf ner bar guvat,gur zbivrf nabgure.Vg'f na rkcnafvba naq nabgure ybbx ng gur zlgu gung WEEG vairagrq. Vg vf jung ur uvzfrys vagraqrq jura ur perngrq nyy guvf.Gung ur jvyy ynl gur sbhaqngvba bs guvf zlgu,naq bgure trarengvbaf jvyy pbzr naq pbagvahr vg,jvgu fbatf,zhfvp,neg,bgure fgbevrf naq fb ba.Lbh pna qvfnterr jvgu gur qvssreraprf,lbh unir nyy gur evtugf gb abg yvxr jung jung CW naq uvf grnz qvq jvgu gur zbivrf. (VZUB jung ur qvq jnf GUR ORFG zbivr nqncgngvba bs fhpu n infg obbx.Naq V jvyy tvir bayl bar rknzcyr bs gur jnl bar obbx jnf cenpgvpnyyl ohgpurerq rirelgvzr vg jnf nqncgrq vagb n zbivr.V nqzvg,znlor V nz n yvggyr ovnffrq fvapr vg vf gur SVEFG obbx V'ir ernq ng 10 lrnef byq(naq fvapr gura V'ir er-ernq vg znal gvzrf), Nyrknaqer Qhznf'f Gur Guerr Zhfxrgrref,ohg abg bapr n zbivr nqncgngvba qvq whfgvpr gb guvf obbx.Ohg V jvyy arire fyvtugyl vzcyl gung gubfr jub yvxrq gurfr nqncgngvbaf zhfg or fbzr xvaq bs fvzcyrgbaf. Guvax nobhg guvf guvatf,orsber lbh cnff lbhe whqtrzragf.) Naq V'z ernyyl fbeel vs V bssraqrq nalbar,vg jnf abg zl vagragvba ng nyy. Naq cyrnfr yrg'f abg fgneg jvgu zl pbzzrag nabgure synznoyr qrongr. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jenny_M says:


    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Nyfb, whfg yvfgra gb Sena Jnyfu'f pbzzragnel qhevat guvf irel puncgre, jurer fur fgngrf bhgevtug gung gur crbcyr hcfrg jvgu gurve gerngzrag bs Snenzve unir n inyvq cbvag, naq gurl znl unir pbzr hc jvgu n pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag jnl gb znxr uvz jbex va gur zbivr vs gurl'q unq zber gvzr orsber gur fperracynl unq gb or svavfurq. Fb gurer'f ab arrq sbe crefbany vafhygf gbjneqf CW rg ny, juvpu unir orra unccravat jnl gbb zhpu erpragyl.

      • plaidpants says:

        Lrn, V guvax yvfgravat gb gur pbzzragnel naq urnevat gur rkcynangvbaf sebz gur jevgref gurzfryirf pna znxr nyy gur qvssrerapr. V zrna, V trg orvat hcfrg nobhg obbxf gb zbivrf nqncgngvba naq varkcyvpnoyr punatrf va punenpgre. (V, sbe rknzcyr, trg RKGERZRYL hcfrg nobhg gur punatrf sebz obbx!Eba gb zbivr!Eba va Uneel Cbggre). Ohg gung qbrfa'g zrna gung gurer jnf ab engvbanyr be ernfbavat oruvaq vg. Ntnva, lbh qba'g unir gb yvxr gung ernfbavat ohg gung qbrfa'g zrna gung gur fperrajevgref ner ubeevq/njshy crbcyr jub jnag gb qrfgebl gur fcvevg bs gur obbxf.

      • flootzavut says:

        LRF! Zbzragf yvxr gung whfg tvir zr zber erfcrpg sbe gur svyzznxref, gurl'er jvyyvat gb fnl, vg'f abg cresrpg, ohg jr qvq bhe orfg, naq jr qba'g rkcrpg rirelbar gb nterr jvgu rirel qrpvfvba jr znqr.

        V'ir orra gelvat gb whfg vtaber gur crefbany vafhygf V'ir frra orpnhfr gurl whfg znxr zr fnq. Sbyxf pna nethr gvyy gurl ybfr gur cybg nobhg "qvq gurl qb n tbbq wbo", ohg gurer vf ab nethvat gung gurl jbexrq oybbql uneq naq znqr gur orfg zbivrf gurl pbhyq.

      • Alice says:

        Yes,that was exactly what I was thinking.Vs lbh jngpu gur rkgenf lbh frr jung n avtugzner GGG jnf sbe gurz,va grezf bs rqvgvat naq znxvat gur genafvgvba sebz obbx gb zbivr.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Oh god, I thought the fish in the last one was his extended finger, like he was ET.

    • flootzavut says:

      I totally agree about the mythological nature of the books – I've said so several times. I think (movie spoilers) rira gubhtu V nz fher Gbyxvra jbhyq unir ungrq fbzr bs gur punatrf gurl znqr, ur jbhyq unir orra qryvtugrq gb frr uvf zlgubybtl ORUNIVAT yvxr n zlgubybtl. V oryvrir gung jbhyq tvir uvz rabezbhf fngvfsnpgvba, ertneqyrff bs ubj ur sryg nobhg gur _npghny_ zbivrf ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wheelrider says:

      I'm so sorry you're feeling "flamed," Alice. (Did I miss something yesterday? It seemed like a reasonable and intelligent discussion… gotta go check to see if it changed…)

      So hey, y'all, you can have passionate and intense debates, as we are inclined to do about this subject, but personal attacks have no place here! Remember the importance of being polite!

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        It has been mostly civil as far as I've seen, but there is the occasional nasty comment making personal insults towards the filmmakers (though thankfully none towards actual posters that I've seen).

        • flootzavut says:

          Yes, I'm relieved to say it's mostly been very civil indeed, but I did see some comments about the filmmakers which were IMO… inappropriate and/or went beyond stating an opinion and into just plain throwing insults around, which made me sad.

          • Tauriel_ says:

            I usually just ignore such comments and think "it's only the Internet". People tend to be much harsher online than they would be in real life – that's why I never take any internet flaming seriously. It's just not worth it.

      • Alice says:

        Hey I have nothing against any of you ๐Ÿ™‚ ,and yes,the discussions were mostly civilized.Some things were a little implied.Personally,I wasn't "flamed" or anything because I stayed out of this topics.I think.:S But there were lots of comments that made me a little sad.Like I said,this comment was my opinion,not intended to anyone in particular,and about the use of the word "flame" I think I said it ,that maybe I did not use the proper word. I hope I did not upset you,and I am sorry if I did it unintentionally,and I think I'm always polite. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Wheelrider says:

          Oh you didn't upset me at all! I was concerned you were upset. You have been perfectly polite. That's the problem with internet communication… it's sometimes not very clear.

          "Flaming" usually implies a personal insult, rather than debating a point. Like saying, "you're stupid for thinking that" rather than "I happen to think this other way because of X and Y."

    • ARITHMANCER says:

      Eh, the two-movie 1970s adaptation of The Three Musketeers, starring Michael York, Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Faye Dunaway, and Racquel Welch, comes close enough to being a perfect adaptation. In my opinion, of course. I'd certainly not agree it does more violence to Dumas than Jackson does to Tolkien.__Which might give you some insight into where the purists are coming from.

      • Alice says:

        ๐Ÿ˜€ Yeah,that movie was slightly better than others.But since I saw this movie,I do not have high expectations when it comes to movie adaptations of books."The Three Musketeers" movies I regard them as a separate entity,that only borrowed some names and the conflicts in different degrees from the books. :p

    • Tauriel_ says:

      I don't think there was any flaming in yesterday's discussion. Sure, many people had very strong opinions, but I think despite that the discussion managed to stay pretty civil. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tul says:

      Gurer jnf synzvat lrfgreqnl? V gubhtug rirelbar jnf cerggl pvivy. V'z fbeel lbh srry gung jnl.

      Fbzr pbzzragf qvq fbhaq natel nobhg gur punatrf (zvar nzbat gurz V fhccbfr!), ohg gura V qba'g guvax vg'f jebat gb or natel, vs lbh qba'g tb ehqr nobhg vg. Vg'f whfg ubj crbcyr *srry*, naq vs gurl srry fgebatyl vg vf na nhgbzngvp pbafrdhrapr bs ybivat gur obbx fb zhpu. V qba'g guvax V rire fnvq nalguvat artngvir ba gur svyzznxref rvgure. Bayl ba gur zbivrf gurzfryirf.
      V qb srry cresrpgyl ragvgyrq gb pbzzrag ba gur cnegf V qvqa'g yvxr. Vg'f zl bcvavba. Whfg yvxr bgure crbcyr pna pbzzragf ba cneg bs gur obbxf gurl qvqa'g yvxr.

      V'z fher CW naq Pb chg n ybg bs cnffvba va gur znxvat bs gurfr svyzf, V qb guvax gurl jnagrq gurz gb or terng zbivrf, naq V qb guvax ba znal yriryf, gurl fhpprrqrq. Ohg vs gurl cebonoyl jrer terng zbivrf, V qba'g guvax gurl jrer terng nqncgngvbaf. Sryybjfuvc jnf, GGG naq EbgX? Ab. Gung'f whfg zl bcvavba.

      V ungrq gur punatrf znqr nobhg Snenzve. V nyfb qba'g guvax gurl unq tbbq ernfbaf , naq V qba'g rira guvax gurl jrer zhpu vagrerfgrq va uvz ng nyy, nf n punenpgre naq abg fvzcyl n cybg-qrivpr, hagvy creuncf gurl fnj gurl unq natrerq fbzr snaf.
      Gung qbrfa'g zrna V jvfu gur svyzznxref gb qvr va nyy gur sverf be fbzrguvat. V qba'g rira xabj gurz, naq gurl ner ragvgyrq gb gurve bcvavbaf whfg nf V nz gb zvar! Va snpg, V unir n ybg bs erfcrpg sbe Sena va cnegvphyne, sbe nqzvggvat gurl znqr na reebe j/g Snenzve. Gung whfg znqr guvatf orggre fbzrubj.

      • Alice says:

        Fbzr bs gur ercyl gung V tnir gb Jurryevqre nccyvrf gb lbh gbb.Lrf,bs pbhefr lbh unir nyy gur evtug gb fnl lbhe bcvavba.Fbeel Vs zl pbzzrag znqr lbh srry onq,V nffher lbh vg jnf abg zl vagragvba.V haqrefgbbq nyy bs lbhe cbvagf sebz lrfgreqnl.Cyrnfr,funer lbhe gubhtugf jvgu ab srne.V nyjnlf erfcrpg gur qvssrerag bcvavbaf,orpnhfr ab 2 uhzna orvatf ner nyvxr,naq bs pbhefr gurer ner ab 2 bcvavbaf fvzvyne.V'yy tvir lbh fbzr vagrearg uhtf,ok? ^_^

      • Cakemage says:

        Agreed so much, only you put it a lot more civilly than I would have. Gurer ner n ybg bs guvatf V nqber nobhg gur zbivrf, ohg gurer ner fbzr punatrf gung V jvyy BZT ARINE SBETVIR GURZ SBE. Snenzve'f punenpgrevmngvba vf bar bs gurz, naq Tbyyhz senzvat Fnz sbe fgrnyvat gur yrzonf va EBGX vf nabgure. V jnf n yvggyr zvssrq ng Nejra'f punenpgre punatrf, gbb, abg gb zragvba gur ynpx bs Tybesvaqry. V'z abg tbvat gb synzr nalbar jub qvfnterrf, naq V qb npxabjyrqtr gung CW naq perj qvq gur orfg gurl pbhyq, ohg fgvyy, trrxentr: V unf vg.

        • rabidsamfan says:

          V graq gb sbetvir gur guvatf gung znxr zr jvapr va gur svyzf sbe gur fnxr bs gur jbaqebhfarff bs gur rkgenf gung pnzr jvgu gur Rkgraqrq Rqvgvba. Vg'f cenpgvpnyyl n pynff va ubj gb znxr n zbivr. Naq jr trg gb frr n ybg bs gur qrgnvyf gung tbg zvffrq ol gur pnzren (naq gur pbybef gung tbg punatrq va cbfg cebqhpgvba, gbb.)

  4. Jenny_M says:

    Movie stuff: V qvqa'g guvax nalguvat pbhyq or anfgvre guna Tbyyhz rngvat gur svfu, HAGVY gur guveq zbivr qhevat gur Fzrntby/Tbyyhz genafsbezngvba jura CW tbrf sbe n PYBFR HC BA GUR GRRGU. Fgenvtug hc ibzvg, l'nyy.

    PJ knows my squicks, is all I'm saying.

    • Becky_J_ says:

      Bu, rjjjjjj, V gbgnyyl sbetbg nobhg gung! V qba'g xabj jung ur unq ntnvafg rngvat, ohg V'z cerggl fher gung V qba'g erzrzore n fvatyr vafgnapr bs fbzrbar rngvat gung jnf avpr naq unccl naq abg GBGNYYL QVFTHFGVAT.

      Nf ybat nf jr'er gnyxvat zbivr fghss, guvf fprar ernyyl jerapurf ng zl urneg…. Tbyyhz vf fb urfvgnag, Sebqb ybbxf fb thvygl, naq jura Tbyyhz fzvyrf naq pbzrf bire V srry fbbb sernxvat onq sbe uvz NAQ Sebqb.

      • Jenny_M says:

        Orpnhfr Naql Frexvf vf n TBQ NZBAT ZRA. Unir lbh frra Evfr bs gur Cynarg bs gur Ncrf? Vg'f n cerggl tbbq syvpx, ohg Naql'f cresbeznapr nf Pnrfne gur puvzc vf…ubyl FUVG, V sbetbg V jnf jngpuvat na navzngrq punenpgre nsgre n juvyr.

        • Becky_J_ says:

          YES YOU'RE SO RIGHT. That totally spaced my mind! Amazing. Completely amazing.

        • Ryan Lohner says:

          Also, King Kong.

        • Tauriel_ says:

          Ur fubhyq gbgnyyl trg n Fcrpvny Erpbtavgvba Bfpne sbe uvf jbex ba YBGE naq Xvat Xbat naq EBGCBGN. <3 V pna haqrefgnaq gur Npnqrzl orvat urfvgnag gb vapyhqr cresbeznapr pncgher va gur "Orfg (Fhccbegvat) Npgbe/Npgerff" pngrtbel, orpnhfr vg'f abg ernyyl pyrne phg (sbe vafgnapr, Naql qbrf qrfreir na Bfpne sbe Tbyyhz naq/be Pnrfne, ohg gur PTV grnz NYFB cnegvpvcngrq va perngvat gurfr punenpgref naq znxvat gurz erny – fubhyq gurl trg na Bfpne gbb?). Ohg ur fher nf uryy qrfreirf gb or erpbtavfrq, orpnhfr ur'f n gehr cvbarre va cresbeznapr pncgher. <3

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Lbh'q cebonoyl rkcrpg vg vs lbh'ir frra uvf rneyvre svyzf, gubhtu. "Evpu naq pernzl!" Htu…

      • Jenny_M says:

        Lol yes, I've seen a lot of his back catalog as well. BUT SOMETIMES he is just SURPRISINGLY GROSS. Or, well, not surprisingly, maybe…endearingly and upsettingly?

    • flootzavut says:

      Funny extras moment: Ovyyl naq Qbz ner gnyxvat ng guvf cbvag ba gur npgbef' pbzzragnel, naq V guvax vg'f Ovyyl, fnlf gbgnyyl qrnqcna, "naq bs pbhefr gurl hfrq Naql'f npghny grrgu naq anvyf sbe guvf ovg, orpnhfr nyy Oevgvfu npgbef unir ubeevoyr grrgu"… vg'f ernyyl shaal ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Juliana Moreli says:

      THIS…I second you on that…

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      When it comes to gross things, I don't think anyone understands better than Peter Jackson.

  5. atheistsisters says:

    Orpnhfr vg'f Inyragvar'f Qnl, n yvggyr fvqrgenpx nanylfvf bs Snenzve, nybat jvgu ersreraprf gb Fancr – ubcr lbh rawbl vg!

    N srj zbaguf ntb, nsgre svavfuvat UC sbe gur svefg gvzr, V jnf ybbxvat hc zber nobhg Fancr naq pnzr npebff fbzr negvpyr gung ersreerq gb gur nfgebybtvpny fvtaf bs inevbhf punenpgref va Uneel Cbggre naq ubj Wb hfrq gung gb nqq rkgen ynlref bs zrnavat. Nf n fxrcgvp, V'ir arire orra gur fyvtugrfg ovg vagrerfgrq va nfgebybtl naq gubhtug vg jnf nyy ohax. V qvq guvax vg jnf vagrerfgvat, gubhtu, gung gurl fnvq bar bs zl snibevgr punenpgref, Fancr, jnf n Pncevpbea, fvapr lrnef ntb fbzrbar gbyq zr V jnf bar. Whfg sbe ybym V ybbxrq hc qrfpevcgvbaf bs Pncevpbeaf naq unir, nsgre n terng qrny bs pbzcnevat crbcyr V xabj gb gurve fvtaf, fvapr qrpvqrq znlor gurer vf fbzr culfvpny ernfba fhpu nf ubezbar plpyrf va flapu jvgu zbba, fha, rgp., gung pnhfrf gur crefbanyvgl fghss (fha fvtaf, naljnl) gb unir n snpghny onfvf bs fbzr fbeg.


    • atheistsisters says:

      Ertneqyrff bs jung lbh guvax nobhg gur inyvqvgl bs gung jnl bs tebhcvat crbcyr'f crefbanyvgvrf, Gbyxvra jnf n Pncevpbea nyfb. Jr ner fhccbfrq gb or, nzbat bgure genvgf, frevbhf naq qhgvshy, irel vagrerfgrq va gur onfvpf bs guvatf yvxr sbbq naq zbarl, ohg irel yblny gb sevraqf naq fhecevfvatyl vagrerfgrq va terng neg/fnq cbrgel/tbbrl fragvzragny fghss. Nabgure guvat V jnf irel fhecevfrq gb urne vf gung jr bsgra unir rvgure n irel vqrnyvmrq eryngvbafuvc jvgu bhe snguref be n irel fgenvarq bar – yvxr, ubj jbhyq gung or nssrpgrq ol gur gvzr bs ovegu? Ohg, V qrsvavgryl, qrsvavgryl svg gung – nf qvq Fancr naq Snenzve.

  6. Kiryn says:

    AHAHAHA. YEAH. Just wait, Mark. Shit hasn't even BEGUN to get real yet.

    I do not want to know what's up at the top of Cirith Ungol. No sir, I DO NOT WANT AT ALL. DX

    Well, Mark, at least there's a tiny bright side to all this: Frodo and Sam now have more food, so they'll be able to last a bit longer, and not have to rely solely on the lembas.

    But yeah. I feel you on the doubt. I hate the part where Frodo is forced to betray Gollum's trust so very much. All my sad.

    I don't know why you're surprised that Gollum's murdered before, though. I mean, he was going to EAT BILBO in the Hobbit, so yeah…murder's not that great a stretch, right?

    • TheFormerAstronomer says:

      (I'm rot13'ing this because it's a discussion of something that's already been mentioned in the book, and I know that it's preferred here that we don't point out things that are maybe either missed or forgotton from previously)

      Vg'f nyernql orra zragvbarq fcrpvsvpnyyl sebz evtug ng gur ortvaavat jurer Tnaqnys gnyxf nobhg vagreebtngvat Tbyyhz gung Tbyyhz unf nyernql nqzvggrq gb xvyyvat uvf sevraq (oebgure?) Qrntby jura ur bevtvanyyl sbhaq gur evat. Fb Snenzve vf grpuavpnyyl bayl vaghvgvat fbzrguvat gung Sebqb uvzfrys unf nyernql orra znqr njner bs.

      • Kiryn says:

        True, true. I was sure it'd been mentioned before, but I wasn't feeling in the mood to rot13, so I went with the non-spoilery example. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • BetB says:

        V guvax Znex qvq erznex (jvgu qvfthfg) ba gur "farnxf vagb penqyrf" pbzzrag va Gur Pbhapvy bs Ryebaq. V qba'g guvax vg vf n fcbvyre, ohg V qba'g jnag gb punapr vg rvgure.

    • msw188 says:

      Abg fher vs vg'f gbb yngr, ohg Snenzve tvivat gurz zber sbbq vf grpuavpnyyl n fcbvyre, nygubhtu n irel zvabe bar; V'z cerggl fher guvf vf abg zragvbarq hagvy gur arkg puncgre, nyorvg cerggl zhpu evtug njnl (svefg be frpbaq cnentencu?).

      • Kiryn says:

        V gubhtug Snenzve zragvbarq fbzrjurer orsber nobhg fhccylvat gurz? Naq V unira'g ernq gur arkg puncgre va nobhg gra lrnef, fb V qba'g erzrzore zhpu nobhg guvf rapbhagre (gur zbivr vf pyrnere va zl zvaq, naq gur zbivr'f dhvgr qvssrerag). V whfg erzrzore gur ovt riragf—yvxr jung'f hc ba Pvevgu Hatby, sbe vafgnapr, ohg V qba'g rira erzrzore vs Sebqb yrnirf Fnz oruvaq va gur obbx yvxr ur qbrf va gur zbivr. Fb, fbeel.

        • rabidsamfan says:

          Bu, lbh fubhyq qrsvavgryl unhy bhg gur obbx naq ernq ntnva, orpnhfr vg'f znwbeyl qvssrerag tbvat sbejneq.

          • Kiryn says:

            Don't worry, I am reading along! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was just illustrating my point on how faulty my memory is concerning the finer details.

  7. atheistsisters says:

    Naljnl, Gbyxvra fnvq Snenzve jnf gur punenpgre zbfg yvxr uvzfrys, juvpu vf… nj. Naljnl, V ybir FB ZNAL punenpgref va YBGE, ohg znal bs gurz frrz bhg bs ernpu gb zr. V pbhyq arire or oenir naq enfu yvxr Rbjla, V nz fvzcyl gbb pnhgvbhf sbe gung. V nz abg jvfr yvxr gur ryirf; abe pna V znxr hc eulzrf ba gur fcbg! V pna'g yrnq nezvrf yvxr Nentbea be Gurbqra be inevbhf bguref. V nz abg rira shaal naq nqbenoyr yvxr Zreel naq Cvccva. Sebqb vf fhoyvzr. Fb, jura V ernq YBGE V qb vg jvgu gur ubcr gung va fvzvyne pvephzfgnaprf V pbhyq npdhvg zlfrys nf jryy nf Fnz be Snenzve naq qb zl qhgl yvxr gurl qvq, shyyl, znxvat bguref fgebatre ng gur fnzr gvzr.

    Fb, V thrff gur ernfba V ybir Snenzve fb zhpu vf orpnhfr ur vf jbaqreshy va n jnl gung vafcverf zr va zl bja yvggyr yvsr. Jul qb lbh thlf yvxr uvz?
    Urer vf zl snibevgr Snenzve-gurzrq ivqrb – gur fbat vf FB cresrpg! lbhghor.pbz/jngpu?i=1zvdPN-xAD8 V pbhyq nyjnlf hfr zber fhttrfgvbaf, gubhtu!

  8. castlewayjay says:

    Isn't it brilliant how Tolkien can get us to empathize with Gollum? and to see Frodo and Faramir's points of view? brilliant.

  9. knut_knut says:

    I love this chapter because GAHH THERE IS NO RIGHT ANSWER! I trust Frodo and his decisions, but I also believe what Faramir is saying too. It just drives home the point that no one really knows what they’re doing. In spite of all the doom and gloom they have to go forward and at least try to destroy the ring.

    Movie Spoilers:
    Guvf cneg va gur zbivr- NYY GUR GRNEF!! Gur jnl Tbyyhz ybbxf ng Sebqb jura Sebqb gryyf uvz gb tb jvgu uvz… ur ybbxrq fb vaabprag naq gehfgvat, yvxr n chccl! NAQ GURA GUR ORGENLNY!!! NAQ GURA GUR “VAGREEBTNGVBA” juvpu jnf ernyyl whfg orngvat gur fuvg bhg bs Tbyyhz. V svaq guvf jubyr cneg ernyyl qvssvphyg gb jngpu.

    • castlewayjay says:

      Exactly – "It just drives home the point that no one really knows what they’re doing. In spite of all the doom and gloom they have to go forward and at least try to destroy the ring. " – so like real situations, sometimes. we just have to plod on and do our duty even if we don't truly know WHAT we're doing.

      • Diddle-de-dum says:

        Yeah, this is so almost painfully realistic of the feeling you get when there's no right answer and all the decisions lead to something terrible happening, sometimes by you yourself. All they have to guide them is that they have to do this impossible thing and that's so far out of reach that whatever route they seem to take makes things more complicated and difficult, and in this instance guilty, too.

    • flootzavut says:

      YES YES YES to your ROT13, vg'f rira zber rzbgvbany naq cnvashy naq PEHFUVAT guna va gur obbxf.

    • Juliana Moreli says:

      You took the words from my mouth…I feel just like you when I see that scene….

      Tbyyhz unq fhpu n vaabprag ybbx, yvxr…ur ernyyl jnf Sebqb'f sevraq ol gura…whfg nsgre gung ur qrpvqrq gb gnxr gurz gb Furybo (va gur zbivrf bs pbhefr…

      Naq gur fbat ur fvatf nobhg svfu…vg unf tyhrq va zl urnqq naq vg jvyy arire yrnir…

      Bhe bayl jvfu, gb pngpu n svfu, fb whvpl fjrrg!

      • flootzavut says:

        Lrf, gung vf (VZ B) Tbyyhz'f phgrfg, zbfg vaabprag zbzrag… lbh nyzbfg srry yvxr ur pbhyq gehyl or erqrrzrq… gura JUNZ, fnpx bire gur urnq naq vg'f nyy qbjauvyy sebz gura ba…

    • atheistsisters says:

      Agh, all your ROT13s are going to make me cry…

  10. monkeybutter says:

    Yeah, I love that Tolkien gets you to sympathize with (or pity) three different viewpoints in this chapter. Everyone’s fears are valid, as far as they know. I’ve gotta give a lot of respect to Frodo, too, because he’s far more noble than I would be trying to cajole Gollum into coming along. He feels bad about the trickery and manipulation, but if I was in his shoes furry feet, I’d just be peeved that Gollum wasn’t falling for it. He’s a good egg, Frodo.

    I think my favorite part of the interrogation was that I couldn’t help but imagine Faramir sitting in an overstuffed armchair, with a nice reading lamp off to the side. Turn the hidden cave into a cozy sitting room!

    And finally, I made everyone (except Mark, because I can’t escape the movies’ influence) a hideous card. HAPPY GOLLUMTINE’S DAY. Mark, you can have one of Chris Bishop’s cards. How about Ned? Ned’s cool.

  11. Mandy says:

    I felt so bad for Frodo and for Gollum in this chapter. I remember feeling the doubt you're feeling now Mark, I think this was the chapter that made me go till the end of the book without stoping.

  12. Kudz says:

    I'm gonna be honest – I feel worse for Gollum every time I read this, which in turn makes me more and more irritated with Sam's continual sniping. (Not to mention his barely-kept-back YES, TOTALLY KILL GOLLUM, WE DON'T NEED HIM in this chapter.)

    Sam is great to Frodo, and that's awesome, but I don't think that gives him a free pass for how he treats Gollum, here or elsewhere.

    • castlewayjay says:

      this is one of the many reasons I prefer Frodo to Sam as a character.

    • JustMalyn says:

      Agreed. I still love Sam with all my heart, but I was angry with him here.

    • flootzavut says:

      Yeah… I do like – from a writing point of view – that even Sam isn't perfect.

    • Wheelrider says:

      Keep in mind, though, that even Frodo thought briefly about just letting Gollum get killed. "Only one true shot, and Frodo would be rid of the miserable voice for ever." He does overcome that feeling, but he's not immune to it.

      Such a tangled mess!

      • divAndRule says:

        Vs V erzrzore pbeerpgyl, ng guvf cbvag Fnz unf nyernql bireurneq Tbyyhz cybggvat gb yrnq gurz gb "ure" fb gung fur pna svavfu gurz bss naq yrnir gur evat gb Tbyyhz. Fb vgf abg ernyyl fhecevfvat gung Fnz unf jnl yrff flzcngul gbjneqf Tbyyhz. Ng guvf cbvag ur nyernql xabjf gung Tbyyhz znl frevbhfyl orgenl gurz. Ba gur bgure unaq V oryvrir Gbyxvra uvzfrys unf fnvq gung Fnz'f terngrfg synj vf uvf gerngzrag bs Tbyyhz naq gung vf jung znxrf Sebqb terngre guna Fnz. Nf sybbgmnihg fnvq V whfg yvxr gung Fnz vfa'g cresrpg.

  13. JustMalyn says:

    This is all so tangled. I really enjoy morally ambiguous situations sometimes, so this was fascinating. But at the same time I just want to slap everyone and then hug them. Even though Gollum's so manipulative and…creepy, he's also really pathetic. And you just feel awful for him by the end of the chapter.

  14. rabidsamfan says:

    Fnz fgvyy unf fbzr tebjvat gb qb orsber ur ernpurf gur cbvag jurer ur pna cvgl Tbyyhz (naq gura vg'f bayl ng gur irel Penpx bs Qbbz.) Vg'f uneq gb erzrzore gung va gur obbx ur'f arneyl gjragl lrnef lbhatre guna Sebqb — whfg oneryl na nqhyg va uboovg grezf — naq V guvax gung rkcynvaf n ybg bs gur qvssrerapr orgjrra uvz naq Sebqb ng guvf cbvag.

  15. rabidsamfan says:

    Rereading this chapter, I remembered that this is the point where I like Frodo best, even as he's making the mistake of not just telling Gollum the truth about the danger that he's in. And I can't help but wonder if things might have gone differently if Frodo had petitioned Faramir for a blanket and water bottle for Gollum, given that up to this point Gollum has had no comforts of that sort at all.

    • Diddle-de-dum says:

      Yes, the image of Frodo and Sam sat on stools whilst having wine whilst Gollum is brought to them tied up (at first) and interrogated is a rather horrific one. Whilst I'm glad that Faramir lets Frodo be the one to personally untie Gollum, it's still clear that the hobbits have been treated as superior and with more care and in comfort, when Gollum was probably hungrier and more tired than them to start with.

      Perhaps refusing the stools and wine on that occasion might have been better, as well as to petition Faramir for more to be done for Gollum. Though maybe Gollum would have refused and antagonised the situation further.

    • castlewayjay says:

      still, Frodo seems very mature in these chapters, doesn't he, in how he deals with Faramir?
      V ybir Ryvwnu Jbbq, & guvax ur qvq n terng wbo jvgu jung ur jnf tvira va gur svyzf, ohg V guvax gurl pnfg Sebqb gbb lbhat. Crbcyr jub whfg frr gur svyzf, be frr gurz svefg, znl sbetrg gung Sebqb vf na nqhyg – abg n Cbggre-yvxr lbhatfgre.

      • rabidsamfan says:

        Lrf, cerpvfryl. Sebqb vf svsgl jura ur fgnegf bhg, juvpu znl or rdhvinyrag gb gur rneyl guvegvrf sbe n uboovg, ohg vf fgvyy cyragl byq rabhtu gb unir bhgtebja fbzr bs gur yrff punezvat nfcrpgf bs tvqql lbhgu.

  16. Cereus says:

    Happy Valentines day to all of you!

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    You all are awesome! <3

    Link to more valentines – WARNING contains Movie!Gollum and other spoilers:
    <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  17. My tired old mantra of "this may be one of my favorite chapters" is coming again. Hell, pretty much everything involving Faramir is wonderful, okay? ๐Ÿ™‚ But the first thing that grabs my attention in this chapter is the description. I love, love, love this particular image:
    Far off in the West the full moon was sinking, round and white. Pale mist shimmered in the great vale below: a wide gulf of silver fume, beneath which rolled the cool night-waters of the Anduin. A black darkness loomed beyond, and in it glinted, here and there, cold,sharp, remote, white as the teeth of ghosts, the peaks of Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains of the realm of Gondor, tipped with everlasting snow."
    Just incredible. This is such a beautiful image, the kind you don't usually expect to get out of anything other than a poem- 'white as the teeth of ghosts'? AMAZING. And it's here. One of the things this slower pace of reading is doing for me (thank you for this, Mark ๐Ÿ™‚ ) is that I'm appreciating the power of Tolkien's description and scene setting so much more than when I read the book all at once. I usually get pulled into the action and the characters, but here I'm really appreciating the beauty of Tolkien's language a lot more than I usually do.

    But that doesn't mean I don't like the characters! And Frodo and Faramir here combine to make me a shaking mess because the decision they're faced with is so hard. Frodo's taken Gollum under his care, as he sees it. He can't simply abandon Gollum and allow him to be turned into target practice by the men of Gondor. I always liked his name-drop of Gandalf there, knowing that Faramir respected the wizard and hoping that will convince him to hold fire. And it does. Yet it's not enough- Frodo has to make sure that Gollum can be secured,since he's gone to such a secret place that's so key to Gondor's war efforts. I love that Frodo does his best to make sure that Gollum is treated as well as possible: telling the men of Gondor to be gentle with him and attempting to reassure him when they're in the cave. Frodo himself has such dignity in this scene, and it's a huge sign of how much he's grown. Do you remember back in Fellowship when he was cracking jokes and even singing? We haven't seen that side of him for so long now it feels years in the past. Yet he's still standing, still strong, and still willing to stick to his quest despite the dangers inherent that Faramir keeps warning him of. He does because it's what he has to do, and he does it without the slightest bit of complaining.

    And oh, Faramir. Looking at this scene from his perspective, he truly shows his dedication to mercy. From his perspective, and that of his men, these wanderers in Ithilien are rather suspicious from the start, refusing to tell them why they are there and having a rather vague connection to Boromir, who they know to be dead. Then just after Faramir has taken them in and seems to be on the verge of trusting them, Gollum appears in a way that can poses a huge threat to their security. All the laws of Faramir's country- and as we later find out, his instincts- are telling him that Gollum cannot be trusted and should be disposed of. Yet he still takes Frodo- who's still technically his prisoner- at his word that they should spare him and allows Frodo to go and meet with Gollum to bring him in. And when he sees Gollum himself, it's easy to see why his suspicions would be even greater. At this point, Faramir does have a great deal of respect for Frodo, enough to want to help him and keep them safe, and he finds out that Gollum is leading them to some place where he's not told them nearly enough of what might await them there. You can see how badly he wants Frodo to just wash his hands of Gollum altogether- "It seems less evil to counsel another man to break troth… especially if one sees a friend bound unwitting to his own harm." And I think Faramir means those words. Yet it's because of that respect for Frodo that he ultimately allows Frodo the choice of whether or not to trust Gollum, rather than forcing the issue themselves. And all this trust is given to a prisoner who Faramir had known for less than twenty-four hours. It's incredible.

    I love this book.

  18. msw188 says:

    Well Mark has already addressed most of what I would have brought up about this chapter. What a chapter. The only other thing I might add is that this chapter feels like a turning point. Even though we knew before that following Gollum might not be a great idea in the end, I think the events here put a much worse shadow over the whole journey. I mean, after what just happened, the reader can even somewhat justify Gollum mistrusting Frodo! Also, up until this chapter there were usually small doses of levity here and there, usually from Sam, but even sometimes from Gollum himself (song about fish, song about oliphaunts, POTATOES). One just gets the feeling that that could be over with in this book. The tone has changed, and even if we have some similar moments going forward, there is going to be that shadow of doubt or fear behind it all. Four chapters left to go, and one can only imagine how fucked up it will probably get from here on out (although knowing Tolkien, he'll bring the fucked up slowly and steadily for a bit before taking it to LEVEL TWO).

  19. Dreamflower says:

    I think this particular chapter shows just how well JRRT knew human nature– all of the reactions here are so realistic.

    Faramir's suspicion of Gollum and his threat to slay him goes along with what are clearly his standing orders not to allow someone to just roam around Ithilien; Frodo and Sam, being so unexpected– and clearly NOT creatures of the enemy– got a reprieve. Gollum is unattractive and suspicious looking, and he's not simply "roaming around", he's right at the foot of the Rangers' secret base. Yet even then, he doesn't slay him out of hand, but asks Frodo's opinion.

    Frodo's conflict is inevitable. He KNOWS Gollum will see this as betrayal, and even though it's the best he can do to save the creature's life, he also knows Gollum will never understand. He does what he must to save Gollum's life. He really had no choice in the matter, but that doesn't mean he likes it.

    Sam's disgust that they are not shed of Gollum after all is palpable. In his single-minded focus on his Master's well-being, he thinks Gollum should be slain. And yet, I do think that if he'd seen Gollum shot right before his eyes, he would have felt bad about it and guilty for his wishes. He's just at this point unable to see beyond the threat Gollum poses to Frodo.

    Gollum's reaction is the most consistent of all. He can't see Frodo's actions as anything less than treachery, because he himself is so bound up in treachery that nothing else makes sense to him. What makes him even more angry and hurt over this particular "betrayal" is that in this particular occasion he was simply acting out of innocence and ignorance in catching a fish in a forbidden place.

    For all of them, this chapter is a no-win situation, and all of them know this.

    • Wheelrider says:

      It really strikes me this time around that these sorts of no-win situations, large and small, occur all the time in war.

  20. JustMalyn says:

    This is so AMAZING ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Valentine's to you too! <3

  21. Ryan Lohner says:

    Ol abj V'ir znqr zl trareny fhccbeg bs gur zbivrf' punatrf pyrne, ohg bar guvat V qrsvavgryl guvax pbhyq unir orra qbar orggre vf znxvat vg pyrne jul "gb ragre gur sbeovqqra cbby ornef gur cranygl bs qrngu." Nf vg vf, gung yvar pbzrf bhg bs abjurer naq znxrf vg fbhaq zber yvxr Snenzve'f whfg cvffrq gung Tbyyhz vf hfvat uvf cevingr fjvzzvat cbby.

    • flootzavut says:

      V thrff lbh'er evtug, ohg ubarfgyl V nyjnlf whfg nffhzrq vg jnf sbeovqqra orpnhfe vg jnf gbb pybfr gb gur uvqrbhg! V fhccbfr V'z whfg rnfvyl fjrcg nybat naq vg arire bppheerq gb zr gung jbhyq arrq rkcynvavat *teva*

      • Jenny_M says:

        Oh my goodness, are you me? I spend my life watching things and not picking up on plot holes or other things because I'm like "haha but things seem to be happening!"

        Like, I give very few cares about the "why" or the "how" and more about the general vibe of something, if that makes any sense?

        • flootzavut says:

          Yup, I'm totally like that!!It does depend on the story, etc – the more absorbed I am, the less Icare about gaping plot holes… and if people point them out, I'mlike, oh yeah? Oh, right – didn't notice that LOL. But yes, I tend notto really care if the story/vibe etc are good…I'm tired and not certain I'm making sense myself, but the shortanswer is, yes, that _totally_ makes sense to me.

      • castlewayjay says:

        so why was it forbidden again? I also thought it was because it was close to the 'hideout'

    • msnaddie says:

      Nf vg vf, gung yvar pbzrf bhg bs abjurer naq znxrf vg fbhaq zber yvxr Snenzve'f whfg cvffrq gung Tbyyhz vf hfvat uvf cevingr fjvzzvat cbby.

      LOL at the mental image of this!

  22. Tul says:

    1) Each time I read this chapter, along with the previous one, I'm struck by how *beautiful* they are! The Cave behind the Window of the Sunset is gorgeous, and the passage where Tolkien and Faramir describe Moonset over Gondor here always gives me shivers (just like Frodo and Sam!). The water imagery has something magical about it.

    2) "[…] though as for you, Samwise, you were not brought, and you do but pay the penalty of your watchfulness. A draught of wine shall amend it. Come, look now!'
    "Faramir turned to the man at his side. ‘Now what would you say that is, Anborn? A squirrel, or a kingfisher? Are there black kingfishers in the night-pools of Mirkwood?'"
    "Faramir laughed softly. ‘Fish!' he said.’ It is a less perilous hunger.'"
    "Leave us now and take your fish!"

    I think Faramir does have some humor in this chapter, despite the situation. I find how he makes fun of Anborn's Black Squirrel of yesterday especially funny, Faramir of course new from the start it was Gollum!
    Also, I think he really likes wine! ๐Ÿ™‚

    3) About Anborn, don't you think he sounded rather *eager* to shoot Gollum? He grunts when Faramir orders him otherwise! And then “‘Go on!’ he breathed in Frodo’s ear. ‘Have a care to your right. If you fall in the pool, then no one but your fishing friend can help you. And forget not that there are bowmen near at hand, though you may not see them.’” Is that a warning or a threat?

    4) Gollum by turn utterly disgusts me in this chapter of makes me pity him awfully. His murmuring about ‘Throttle them all, yes’ is horrid, but then he begins *weeping*, and later he’s so miserable before Faramir that you can’t help feeling sorry for the poor thing.

    5) Frodo is so wise here, I find him wonderful in this two last chapters where he can show us how much he grew up. I feel so bad for him when he feels guilty about betraying Gollum. Was there really no other way he could have convinced him to follow without using the Ring? Would Gollum have panicked if he had explained about the archers?

    6) “If Sam had dared he would have said ‘Yes’, quicker and louder.” Oh Sam! (I am the only one chocked that he is the same age as Faramir? He seems so much younger!)

    7) “I would do much for you, Frodo” I love the trust and respect Faramir has for Frodo. He *bows* to him at the end of this chapter. Is he the first to do this? I think it must have been really helpful and encouraging for Frodo to have someone he respects so much, basically a Prince of Minas Tirith, recognizes what he has gone through and his courage in pursuing this hopeless quest.
    Also, did you notice how both Frodo and Faramir here think of Gandalf and what he would have done?

    8) ‘Would you have me come to Gondor with this Thing, the Thing that drove your brother mad with desire? What spell would it work in Minas Tirith? Shall there be two cities of Minas Morgul, grinning at each other across a dead land filled with rottenness?’ Frodo, since when do you have such a way with words? This is terrific! (and coming just after Faramir’s ugly story of what happened at Minas Ithil!)

    9) “If ever beyond hope you return to the lands of the living and we re-tell our tales, sitting by a wall in the sun, laughing at old grief, you shall tell me then. Until that time, or some other time beyond the vision of the Seeing-stones of Númenor, farewell!” This is full of impossible hope and just beautiful!

    I’m so happy because I have 9 points!

    • Wheelrider says:

      Oh yes, there is some black humor among all the tension that's easy to miss when you're racing through.

      And yet more wine-slinging! But of course there's more interrogation to do! But you're right, I think Faramir just likes his wine. It reminds me of soldiers in the trenches of WWI – "smoke 'em if you got 'em."

      That line of Frodo's is one of those that has always stuck with me: "Shall there be two cities of Minas Morgul, grinning at each other across a dead land filled with rottenness?" It's entirely possible.

    • Wheelrider says:

      Oh and you're right about Anborn — the same probably goes for most of the other archers there. Shoot first, ask questions later. They are probably wondering what the hell's wrong with their Captain, but trusting him still.

      • Tul says:

        I wonder how the whole situation must look like to the men! The poor guys must be really confused !

        Two halflings suddenly show up in Ithilien with some big secret and news of the late Captain-general, and accompanied by some sneaky ugly unidentified creature that found her way into their long hidden refuge. They have some secret conference with their Captain and then he just lets them go against some very important law. What's going on there ??

        Yep, they must really trust him!

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Fnz vf gur fnzr ntr nf Snenzve, ohg va uboovg grezf ur'f whfg oneryl na nqhyg. Jurernf Snenzve unf cebonoyl orra rkcrpgrq gb qb onggyr naq yrnq zra fvapr ur jnf va uvf grraf. N erny qvssrerapr va rkcrevrapr!

      • Tul says:

        Gehr rabhtu! Gung fheryl rkcynvaf vg.

        Gubhtu V jbaqre jung jbhyq or pbafvqrerq gur "znwbevgl" va Ahzraberna grezf. Gurl qb yvir ybatre guna zbfg…(V gubhtug V znl unir ernq fbzrjurer gung vg jnf nobhg 25 be fbzrguvat ohg V'z abg fher ng nyy)

    • castlewayjay says:

      V guvax gurfr puncgref ner jurer jr frr gur ynfg bs fgebat-Sebqb. Nsgre Tbyyhz'f orgenlny naq Furybo'f fgvat, Sebqb vf arire, rire fubja nf fgebat ntnva (gubhtu ur jvyy unir uvf zbzragf.) fnqarff.

      • Tul says:

        V qb guvax ur fubjf fbzr terng zragny fgeratgu naq pbhentr jura ur vf *penjyvat* gb trg ba Zbhag Qbbz! Gung'f gur zbfg cbjreshy zbzrag va na ragver obbx bs cbjreshy zbzragf sbe zr. Jura ur vf penjyvat.

        Ohg lrf, V trg lbhe zrnavat. Jr ab ybatre frr uvz fgebat naq svg va gung frafr nsgre Snenzve…*Jnaan pel*

        Gbyxvra nyfb ortvaf gb fgbc fubjvat hf Sebqb'f gubhtugf nsgre gurfr puncgref. Jr zbfgyl frr uvz guebhtu gur rkgrevbe sebz abj ba. Gung hfrq gb obgure zr orpnhfr V ernyyl yvxrq Sebqb naq V zvffrq uvz, ohg abj V guvax V xvaqn haqrefgnaq jul ur qvq vg.

        • castlewayjay says:

          Bu tbfu lrf! Gur zbzrag V jnf ybbxvat sbejneq gb gur zbfg va gur svyzf jnf frrvat Sebqb penjy hc Zg. Qbbz. Sebqb'f zl ureb. naq ur unf gung terng zbzrag bs cvgl gbjneq Fnehzna, naq uvf cnpvsvfz jura ur qbrf abg jnag n jrncba ntnva.
          Ohg juvyr ur unf gung vagrevbe fgeratgu ur arrqf gb penjy hc gur zbhagnva, gur rkgrevbe yvsr vf fgevccrq njnl sebz gur punenpgre. naq lbh'er pbeerpg – Gbyxvra eneryl jevgrf Sebqb'f gubhtugf nsgre gurfr puncgref. Jr pna bayl bofreir uvf bhgjneq qrgrevbengvba.

  23. elyce says:

    You missed all the humor in this chapter, Mark! I love when Gollum drops the fish and is like, "don't want fish," as though he hadn't just been diving in a forbidden pool specifically to catch fish.

    The fishing pool is nice and cool.
    We only wish to catch a fish
    So juicy sweet!

  24. Ryan Lohner says:

    Fun bit of movie trivia: Naql Frexvf unqa'g ernq gur obbxf jura ur jnf pnfg, ohg dhvpxyl qribherq gurz, naq vg jnf ur jub vafvfgrq ba hfvat Tbyyhz'f svfu fbat. Juvpu raqrq hc onpxsvevat n ovg, nf ur jnf hanoyr gb qb nf onq n wbo fvatvat vg nf Crgre Wnpxfba jnagrq, fb gur fbat lbh urne va gur zbivr unf tbar guebhtu fbzrguvat bs n cebgb-nhgbghar.

    • Juliana Moreli says:

      Naql Frexvf vf n gehyyl gnyragrq zna!!!! Ur ernyyl znqr qr qvssrerapr va gur zbivrf!!!

      Nyjnlf tbvat na rkgen zvyr sbe gur zbivrf…yvxr, whzcvat va sebmra evirf jvgu bayl n "pbynag"

  25. notemily says:

    Stories with people losing their trust in others always make me uncomfortable. Like Faith in "Revelations," over on Mark Watches. So I hate that Frodo saves Gollum's life but in the process seems to betray his trust by getting him taken captive. Master is not tricksy and false, Gollum! He's doing the best he can!

    • Jenny_M says:

      Tolkien really does set it up in a wonderful way that reminds me of, well, my dog. Like, sometimes she's trying to eat something nasty on the ground that would hurt her and I have to pull her away and she gives me these big puppy eyes like "WHY MOM, WHY?" and I have no way of explaining to her that I did it because I love her. And I think Tolkien continually using dog similes and analogies for Gollum is the perfect way of describing EXACTLY how he acts with Frodo.

      On the other hand, V qba'g guvax zl Yhpl jnagf gb srrq zr gb n tvnag fcvqre. Ng yrnfg V ubcr abg.

      • notemily says:

        Yeah, I mean, my cat thinks I'm condemning her to some sort of special torture when I take her to the vet. Same with my foster kittens when I have to force medication down their throats. Poor guys.

  26. arctic_hare says:

    This is so tense and sad. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ I feel so bad for poor Gollum, and for Frodo. I wish there was a way to make Gollum understand that Frodo was only trying to help him and save his life and that there wasn't another way to do it, but. ๐Ÿ™ Now Gollum feels betrayed, because Frodo had to betray his trust and deceive him in order to save him and it's just awful all around.

    Movie stuffs: Nf unf orra qvfphffrq ryfrjurer va gur pbzzragf, vg'f rira zber urnegoernxvat va gur zbivr, jvgu gung YBBX ba Tbyyhz'f snpr. Va obgu, guvf vf jurer vg nyy tbrf nfgenl naq vg'f fb fnq. V pna'g orne gb jngpu jura ur trgf xvpxrq naq orngra, rvgure.

    Sil stuffs: V qrsvavgryl qb abg arrq gur yvathvfgvpf cbfg gb gryy zr jung "Hatby" zrnaf, bzt. *fuhqqref*

    • castlewayjay says:

      The Frodo / Gollum dynamic makes me sad here also. Frodo feeling guilty, Gollum feeling betrayed. just sad.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      V qrsvavgryl qb abg arrq gur yvathvfgvpf cbfg gb gryy zr jung "Hatby" zrnaf, bzt. *fuhqqref*

      Lrnu, gung'f jul V'ir ersenvarq sebz cbfgvat gur genafyngvba – "Gur Fcvqre'f Cnff" – orpnhfr vg jbhyq or n znffvir fcbvyre bs jung znl or yhexvat gurer…

  27. Tul says:

    “‘We are lost, lost,’ said Gollum. ‘No name, no business, no Precious, nothing. Only empty; yes, we are hungry. A few little fishes, nasty bony little fishes, for a poor creature, and they said death. So wise they are; so very just.’
    ‘Not very wise,’ said Faramir. But just: yes perhaps, as just as our little wisdom allows. Unloose him Frodo!’”

    You know, I never know what’s going on with Gollum. At first, he really seems just pathetic and sincere (for once!). But then, I think he sounds like he just wants to move Faramir to pity and guilt. His last line is sarcastic, isn’t it? Anyway, if that was his goal, it worked, because Faramir may presents an impassive face but he still lets him loose!

    I like Faramir’s line about wisdom BTW. Somehow it makes me think of Socrates’ “I know one thing, and it is that I know nothing” and his “A man would rather suffer an injustice than commit one” (both paraphrased from memory). I don’t necessarily agree (with the second one!), but I understand the idea.

  28. Icarus says:

    No doubt someone else has already mentioned it, but oh yes, Gollum has committed murder before. Frodo is well aware of it. Gandalf told him in the info-dump chapter back in the Shire, The Shadow of the Past.

    Worse, Smeagol murdered a friend, Deagol, to gain possession of the ring. It was Deagol who found it. Smeagol called it his "birthday present" because Deagol found it on Smeagol's birthday and Smeagol convinced himself his friend *ought* to have given it to him.

    It's amazing how much Gandalf taught Frodo about the ring in that chapter. When I first read the Lord of the Rings, I kept going back to that chapter, thinking, "Didn't Gandalf say that– yes, he did!" Again and again, Gandalf has told Frodo what he needs to know. It's like Gandalf took no chances. He not only gave Frodo all he could so Frodo could make an informed decision, he also gave Frodo everything he needed to be able complete the Quest on his own. He even told Frodo about Aragorn–yes, in the Shire, not just in the letter in Bree.

    But like all infodumps, we don't know what we know. Like Frodo, the reader doesn't know what's important in what Gandalf said.

    No doubt the sassy Wizard would say, "All that I told you was important."

  29. flandre says:

    Frodo threatening Gollum with his "precious"…

  30. Harper E. says:

    Bu tbq V pna'g jnvg hagvy ur trgf gb gur ynfg srj puncgref, rfc Gur Pubvprf bs Znfgre Fnzjvfr. Gung'f bar bs zl snibevgr puncgref sebz nal obbx rire, naq vg'f tbvat gb grne uvz gb cvrprf jura ur trgf gurer wsp. *ovgrf anvyf nakvbhfyl*

    • Juliana Moreli says:

      V jnf ernqvat vg gbqnl naq V whfg gubhtug gur rknpg fnzr guvat…jura Znex trgf gb guvf puncgre, ur jvyy pel va ntbal naq qrfcnve…

  31. Ashley says:

    I think this chapter has the prettiest description of the Window!

    • JustMalyn says:

      Ohhhh gosh yes. If I could be a member of t

      • JustMalyn says:

        Cut off for whatever reason ๐Ÿ™ If I could be a member of the Rohirrim, and vacation at Rivendell and The Shire and the Window, I would be happy forever ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Tul says:

    Some quotes:

    “‘Loose us! Loose us!’ he said. ‘The cord hurts us, yes it does, it hurts us and we’ve done nothing.’
    ‘Nothing?’ said Faramir, looking at the wretched creature with a keen glance, but without any expression in his face either of anger, or pity, or wonder. ‘Nothing? Have you never done anything worthy of binding or of worse punishment?’”

    “‘Look at me! Do you know the name of this place? Have you been here before?’
    Slowly Gollum raised his eyes and looked unwillingly into Faramir’s. All light went out of them, and they stared bleak and pale for a moment into the clear unwavering eyes of the man of Gondor. There was a still silence. Then Gollum dropped his head and shrank down, until he was squatting on the floor, shivering. ‘We doesn’t know and we doesn’t want to know,’ he whimpered. ‘Never came here; never come again.’
    ‘There are locked doors and closed windows in your mind, and dark rooms behind them,’ said Faramir. ‘But in this I judge that you speak the truth.’"

    "‘Is not that its name?’ said Faramir turning to him.
    ‘No!’ said Gollum, and then he squealed, as if something had stabbed him. ‘Yes, yes, we heard the name once.’"

    "‘Malice eats it like a canker, and the evil is growing.’"

    "‘He has done murder before now. I read it in him’"

    Faramir obviously cannot *read thoughts*, or he wouldn’t need to ask questions. But it does seem like he can *see inside the mind* or something, doesn’t it? He looks Gollum in the eyes for a while, and then can say he *read in him* that he did murder before. He also seems to know when Gollum is lying to him (and what’s going on with this mental stabbing?).

    Also, this is unrelated, but:
    Frodo: ‘- a path near to Minas Ithil.’
    Faramir: ‘Minas Morgul.’
    I sort of find it funny he corrects him. It makes me think he’s the character most like Tolkien – lover of language!

    • readerofprey says:

      I think it's more that he's reminding Frodo how dangerous that path is. It's not Minas Ithil anymore, and he would do well to remember that before he goes there. Using it's old name doesn't change the fact that it's now the city of the Nine, possibly the most dangerous place for a Ring-bearer to go near.

      • Tul says:

        Oh yes! But I found it funny he used the *name* of the place to remind him! ^^

        But, yes, I agree, it's definitively a warning.

    • Wheelrider says:

      Very interesting question — I've wondered the same thing.

      I think it's somewhere in between just knowing how to "read" people (like the "tells" in poker) and the power that Galadriel demonstrated, but far less potent. A more receptive ability than an aggressive power, if that makes any sense. I think it's actually fairly simple (but not necessarily easy) to guess what someone is thinking — it's a matter of setting aside one's ego enough to really observe, being free of preconceived notions or desires. Kind of a focused or extended mindfulness, to use the Buddhist term (possibly incorrectly).

      But it also seems to hurt Gollum, sort of like the Elvish rope, when he tries to lie.

      Note that this power or ability or whatever to “read minds” is dependent, I think, on the setting-aside-of-ego part, and not being too invested in the answers… guhf vg tbrf evtug bhg gur jvaqbj va n pregnva yngre puncgre, naq Snenzve unf gb eryl ba vafvqre vasb naq qverpg dhrfgvbaf! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It’s another of those details in this book that is left somewhat ambiguous, and so is all the more interesting!

      • Tul says:

        I rather agree it’s somewhat like that ability Galadriel had in an attenuated form (there are lots of interesting parallels between Galadriel and Faramir).
        And really interesting thoughts about the ego-thing, I hadn’t seen it that way.

        I do think it’s more than just “observation” though, and that there is an “aggressive” side to it. Faramir really seems to “enter” inside Gollum’s head through his eyes for a moment, and sort of see the state of things here.
        Nyfb, vg frrzf ur vaurevgrq gung cnegvphyne novyvgl sebz uvf sngure, naq va EbgX Qrargube unf nyy gurfr zragny svtug jvgu Tnaqnys, juvpu frrzf gb tb jvgu gur “fgnoovat Tbyyhz” cbjre. Vf gung novyvgl frcnengr sebz gurve “zvaq ernqvat” be qb lbh guvax gurl ner yvaxrq?
        (Note how often I use quotation marks – that means I no longer know what I’m talking about!)

        About Gollum, I had that theory that the light in his eyes is the “Gollum” side of him, and, when Faramir tried to look, it disappeared and sunk back *inside*. That would explain why Faramir seems to find him harder to read than normal – he is hiding behind the closed doors.

        Nobhg Rbjla, va gung fprar jurer ur nfxf sbe ure unaq… sbe n juvyr ur xrrcf nfxvat ure vs fur ybirf uvz, ohg qbrfa’g fnl vs ur qbrf va ghea. Gura ur nfxf ure gb ybbx ng uvz “Naq Ébjla ybbxrq ng Snenzve ybat naq fgrnqvyl”. Nsgre *gung,* ur gryyf ure ur ybirf ure. V qba’g xabj jung ur fnj rknpgyl va ure rlrf, ohg V jnf guvaxvat creuncf ur unq orra ybbxvat sbe fbzr fvta gung fur ybirq uvz onpx, fbzr rapbhentrzrag orsber qrpynevat uvzfrys.

        Very interesting take on it anyway! And, yep, I love how Tolkien keeps things like this ambiguous. Let the mystery lives! (and it gives us famished readers something to puzzle out!)

        • Wheelrider says:

          As to your first question – yes, I think they're linked, and probably aspects of the same power, or characteristic, or whatever. (as we talk about more below)

          As to the second – well! I've thought about that one a whole lot. Your observation is a good one. Vg'f urer gung zl vzcerffvba bs gur rtb-yrff nfcrpg bs ernqvat crbcyr pbzrf va. V guvax ur qbrf trg fbzr pyhr nf gb jung fur'f guvaxvat, ohg pna'g ernyyl eryl ba gung "ernqvat" novyvgl, orpnhfr ur fb jnagf gb oryvrir gung fur qbrf ybir uvz. Va guvf pnfr gur rlr pbagnpg — naq gur jbeqf — ner zber nobhg ynlvat bhg uvf srryvatf, naq vaivgvat ure gb pbafvqre uref. Nyy nybat ur qbrfa'g trg n qrsvavgr "lrf," ohg abg n qrsvavgr "ab" rvgure, fb ur whfg tbrf sbe vg. N fprar gung unf orra cynlrq bhg guvf jnl nq vasvavghz, nf ybat nf jbzra naq zra unir orra trggvat gbtrgure!

          Fb V qba'g xabj ubj lbh srry nobhg snasvp, ohg ng guvf cbvag V unir gb chg va n funzryrff cyht sbe n fgbel bs zvar: uggc://jjj.gbyxvrasnasvpgvba.pbz/Fgbel_Ernq_Urnq.cuc?FGvq=1148
          Onfvpnyyl n jubyr ybg bs jbeqf gb znxr gur fnzr cbvag nf nobir. Srry serr gb vtaber vs lbh'er abg vagb gung fbeg bs guvat.

          Jurj, jr whfg pna'g uryc qvfphffvat guvf fghss, naq jr'er abg rira ng GUNG puncgre lrg! Pbzzragf ner tbvat gb rkcybqr jura jr qb svanyyl trg gurer.

          • Tul says:

            Jryy, V jnf fher V unq frra gung cfrhqb fbzrjurer! V nyernql ernq "Arrqyr-Cbvag" ng ss.arg, naq V ybbbbirq vg! Yvxr, ernyyl ! V'q unir yrsg lbh fbzr ybat obevat tybjvat erivrj gbb, ohg V jnf njshyyl ohfl ng gung gvzr (naq abg ernyyl fhccbfrq gb or ernqvat snasvpgvbaf!).

            Nobhg Snenzve naq Rbjla – lrf, gung znxrf frafr!
            V ybir ubj fur qbrfa'g gryy uvz "lrf" nf fhpu, ohg hfrf n ebhaqnobhg jnl gb rkcerff gur fnzr trareny vqrn. ^^ Vg *vf* njshyyl uneq gb fnl "V ybir lbh" jura lbh ernyyl pner (jryy V svaq vg fb naljnl), naq Rbjla fgevxrf zr nf gur glcr bs crefba jub jbhyq ybir svrepryl ohg jbhyqa'g arprffnevyl or *bireyl* qrzbafgengvir nobhg vg, ng yrnfg ng svefg. Lbh xabj, erfreirq.

            Naq lrf, V pna'g uryc zlfrys. Znepu 13gu, pna'g jnvg!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

            "Nf gb lbhe svefg dhrfgvba – lrf, V guvax gurl'er yvaxrq, naq cebonoyl nfcrpgf bs gur fnzr cbjre, be punenpgrevfgvp, be jungrire. (nf jr gnyx nobhg zber orybj)"
            Ohg guvaxvat nobhg vg, V'z abg fher univat bar arprffnevyl zrnaf lbh unir gur bgure. Nentbea sbe rknzcyr frrzf gb unir fbzr "zvaq cbjre", be fbzrguvat, juvpu zrnaf ur pna tvir lbh "gur eribyire ybbx", ohg ur qbrfa'g frrz gb or noyr gb qb "zvaq ernqvat" va gur jnl Tnaqnys, Tnynqevry, Qrargube naq Snenzve nyy qb. Ur arire fubjf vg va nal pnfr (hayrff V zvffrq fbzrguvat!) rira jura vg jbhyq or hfrshy.
            V fhccbfr V guvax gung lbh arrq gur "zvaq-fcnevat" guvat gb unir gur "zvaq-ernqvat" bar, ohg abg gur pbagenel.

    • Dreamflower says:

      V oryvrir gung Tnaqnys fnlf gung Snenzve, yvxr uvf sngure Qrargube, unf gur novyvgl gb "ernq zra'f urnegf"– urnegf, abg zvaqf– juvpu gb zr zrnaf ur pna whqtr gurve trareny ubarfgl naq gehgushyarff, gung ur pna gryy vs fbzr jrvtugl pevzr vf uvqvat oruvaq gurve rlrf naq jurgure gurl unir ernfba gb srry thvygl. V nyfb guvax gung vg'f yvxr vg vf jvgu Nentbea– vs lbh unir fbzrguvat gb uvqr, vg'f abg n tbbq vqrn gb ybpx tnmrf jvgu uvz. Guvf frrzf fbzrjung gvrq gb gurve urevgntr sebz Ahzrabe, ohg nyfb gb jvfqbz.

      Lbh'yy abgr gung gur snegure nybat va gur Dhrfg Sebqb tbrf, gur uneqre vg vf sbe Tbyyhz gb raqher uvf tnmr, gbb. (Naq V qba'g guvax vg'f *whfg* orpnhfr bs gur Evat, gubhtu gung'f n cneg bs vg.)

      • Wheelrider says:

        Lrf, vg vf zber bs n pnfr bs urnegf guna zvaqf, naq vg qbrf frrz gb or Ahzraberna, naq nyfb pbzvat sebz Ryivfu vasyhrapr. Vg'f gur whqtvat nfcrpg gung vf cnvashy gb Tbyyhz, jura ur unf gb pbasebag uvf bja thvyg, rira vs vg'f orarsvpvny sbe uvz gb qb fb. Ovggre zrqvpvar.

      • Tul says:

        V guvax “urneg” naq “zvaq” ner zhpu gur fnzr guvat. Tnaqnys fnlf gb Cvccva Qrargube pna “creprvir, vs ur oraqf uvf jvyy guvgure, zhpu bs jung vf cnffvat va gur zvaqf bs zra”, ohg va gur Nccraqvprf vg vf fnvq Snenzve “ernq gur urnegf bs zra nf fuerjqyl nf uvf sngure”. Snenzve uvzfrys hfrf “zvaq” urer.
        Ohg lrf, gung frrzf gb or ubj vg jbexf, V nterr.

        V gubhtug creuncf Sebqb naq Nentbea univat na haareivat tnmr vf fbzrguvat qvssrerag sebz Snenzve’f “urneg fpnaavat” be jungrire vg vf. Fbzrguvat yvxr cherarff (be lbhe “jvfqbz” V fhccbfr) nybat jvgu vagreany cbjre oyraqvat gbtrgure va gurve rlrf fb gung gubfr jvgu n qvegl pbafpvrapr pna’g fgnaq vg – yvxr gbb zhpu yvtug nsgre orvat va gur qnexarff. Qbrf gung znxr frafr?

  33. GamgeeFest says:

    "Once again, the lovely Sam can’t resist doing anything without his master, and it’s just killing me with cute. He’s just so dedicated."

    'Killing me with cute' is my new favorite phrase EVER! Sam is just the best. Why can't we all have Sams?

    This is a difficult chapter for everyone, characters and readers alike and sets the tone for the rest of the book. Is Gollum leading them true? Will that change now? Can Frodo possibly make him understand. Was there another way to get Gollum away from the pool? Someone suggested Frodo simply telling Gollum the truth about the men, but I don't think that would have worked. Gollum is a survivalist and after so many centuries living alone, he's isn't prone to trusting others, especially strange men with sharp weapons pointed at him. I think he would have bolted, or tried to, and that would have been worse than what eventually came about.

    Tolkien does a brilliant job of showing all sides of the situation here, and it's clear that everyone is right in their own way, even while they're wrong. It's masterful that he can do this and still keep the reader caring for these characters.

    • JustMalyn says:

      Everyone should indeed have their own personal Sam/hobbit buddy. The world would be a better place if everyone got to eat second breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚ Despite Sam being mean to Gollum this chapter, I still love him so much <3

  34. bugeye says:

    More vows. Promises were not made lightly and there was a personal integrity involved. Even Gollum cannot totally ignore his promises. Your word really was a bond a binding, breaking it was hard, difficult and had consequences. An Unbreakabable Vow, if you will. You could really count on someones word.

    • Tul says:

      Naq bs pbhefr, vs lbh oernx lbhe ibj, lbh pna nyfb pbhag ba fbzrbar cynlvat Vfvyqhe naq phefvat lbh…

      Juvpu znxrf zr guvax – Snenzve phefrq Tbyyhz guvf puncgre qvqa'g ur? "Znl qrngu svaq lbh fjvsgyl, jvguva Tbaqbe be jvgubhg, vs lbh qb abg jryy freir uvz."
      Bs pbhefr, gung qbrfa'g zrna vg'f jung znqr Tbyyhz snyy…(vg jbhyq or fpnel vs Snenzve pbhyq phefr crbcyr yvxr gung). Ohg ur tbg uvf jvfu nafjrerq!

      • Dreamflower says:

        Bu, jbj! V'q ybat gubhtug nobhg Sebqb'f jbeqf gb Tbyyhz, gryyvat uvz ur jbhyq or pnfg vagb gur sver vs ur qnerq gb gel gb gnxr gur Cerpvbhf ntnva. Ohg V unq arire orsber gubhtug bs Snenzve'f.

        Vaqrrq. Bs pbhefr, arvgure Sebqb abe Snenzve jrer vagraqvat gb phefr Tbyyhz, ohg pyrneyl "Fbzrbar" urneq naq erpbeqrq gubfr jbeqf.

        • Tul says:

          Naq abj gur dhrfgvba vf jub gung "Fbzrbar" znl or V fhccbfr!

          Reh? Gur Inyne? Fbzr zntvpny sbepr va ZR jvgu arvgure anzr abe njnerarff?

      • Wheelrider says:

        Oh wow indeed — didn't catch that either!

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