Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of The Two Towers, the reunited hobbits do a whole lot of info-dumping. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.


The Complete List of Hobbit Info-Dumping

A. “Saruman kept enough wisdom not to trust his Orcs.” No, it’s totally cool that you basically hired an entire species to annihilate other people. Good job, Saruman.
B. Longbottom Leaf is totally the good stuff, man. You want a puff?
C. It has been nine days since Pippin and Merry were kidnapped. NINE DAYS. WHAT THE HELL. It feels like an eternity!
D. The name for the Ents that have become more tree-like over time are the Huorns. They’re sort of more unstable and “wild” than Ents are, and part of that power comes from the fact that they are excellent at hiding.
E. Huorns move in dark shadows, which explains what happened the night before on the road to Isengard. It’s heavily implied that the Huorns were the ones who returned to Helm’s Deep to bury the Orcs, and they may have also attacked them.
F. Most of Isengard was abandoned in a way when Saruman sent off his people to march to Helm’s Deep.
G. The entire group comes to realize that the Southerner in Bree was probably one of the half-orc creations of Saruman. Can I just take a moment to appreciate that the scope of this novel means that I can barely remember Bree? I can’t even begin to comprehend the span of time that has passed at this point, and that’s not a criticism. It’s a lovely thing to experience.
H. There’s a deeply informative bit on the power and tolerance levels of Ents. Their thick bark prevents them from serious arrow harm or poisoning, but axe-strokes are their weakness. Yet it takes many of them to actually to take down an Ent, and Merry brilliant says that no man would ever get a second axe-stroke. “A punch from an Ent-fist crumples up iron like thin tin.” I just want Ents as my best friend, okay? Could you imagine if I had them around during junior high and high school when I was being bullied? I WANT TO GIVE MY LIFE A NEW CANON WITH REVENGE ENTS.
I. The Ents were actually the ones to break down the doors of Isengard.
J. Saruman’s great weakness in the fall of Isengard? He never anticipated the Ents, and he had no idea what to do with them.
K. At one point, Saruman tried to escape like the coward he is, and Quickbeam managed to catch him. Good ol’ Quickbeam!
L. Saruman, that dirty traitor, hides out in Orthanc, and at one point lets out liquid fire from some “devilry” in Isengard, and it kills an Ent. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, SARUMAN.
M. So, all that destruction around Isengard is because of Saruman killing an Ent. The Ents destroyed Isengard and threw the debris at the Orthanc in anger. SWEET BABY GANDALF THAT IS SO TERRIFYING.
N. Actually, I take that back. The image of the Ents keeping watch on Orthanc and disappearing from sight is a whole lot more unsettling to me.
O. I also need you all to know that I am trying to capture every detail I can from Merry and Pippin’s story because I’ve never gone beyond the letter Z in one of these lists and I really want to know what happens then.
P. Treebeard’s plan for Isengard is revealed, and it explains why the waters of the river along the road to Isengard dried up: the Ents purposely blocked off the flow of water in order to flush everything evil out of the city.
Q. Well, before this happens, Gandalf arrives and he’s as sassy as ever. I think he deserves some sort of award for having a counsel with Treebeard and managing to make it only fifteen minutes long. That’s a Middle-earth record as far as I’m concerned.
R. Gandalf secures a group of Huorns to help with the “ten thousand Orcs” he needs to manage in Helm’s Deep. GANDALF, YOU ARE SO BRILLIANT, I SWEAR.
S. WAIT LET ME SORT OF AMEND ITEM P: It’s not just flushing things out; the Ents FLOOD Isengard.
T. Gandalf told Treebeard about Wormtongue and he gets sent across the flood of Isengard to go hang out with his bestie Saruman in Orthanc. STAY PRESSED, WORMTONGUE. y’all need to obey the left-hand evacuation procedure because you and Saruman just got told by a bunch of trees.
U. Okay, so Aragorn is confused about the tobacco from Southfarthing, and I imagine this detail is very important. I don’t know why; Aragorn thinks that Saruman may have been dealing with someone in the Shire. I DON’T LIKE THIS. WHO BETRAYED MY DEAR HOBBITS.
V. Oh fuck, I ran out of things the hobbits info-dumped and I didn’t get to Z.
W. There’s not enough of Gimli and Legolas being all bro-ey and cute and stuff in this chapter.
X. How are they going to get Saruman out of that tower? Go into it themselves?
Y. Seriously, where are Frodo and Sam? What the hell are they up to?
Z. I honestly can’t wait to see this on screen.
A. What????!?!?!?! HOW UPSETTING AND ANTI-CLIMACTIC. I wasted bullet-points for this. Fuck.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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241 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 9

  1. Becky_J_ says:


    While the big guys go off and do whatever they do while we're not reading about them, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli just have a BEAUTIFUL FEAST AND STORYTELLING SESH. And it's beautiful.

    Gimli's all "Well I'm still mad at you guys cause you made me do all that running and stuff" and Pippin's all "Well here, have some food, does that make it better?" and Gimli's all "Yeah, sorta, but I'm still kinda mad" and then Pippin's all "Here, have some tobacco!" and Gimli's all "But I don't have a pipe SAD DAY" and Pippin's all "LOL LOOK I HAVE ONE HERE IN MY POCKET because I always carry two pipes on long, dangerous adventures to save Middle-Earth!" and Gimli's all "YOU ARE THE BEST HOBBIT EVER I FORGIVE YOU NOW."

    Also, this:
    "It is good!" said Merry. "My dear Gimli, it is Longbottom Leaf!"
    <img src=""&gt;
    LONGBOTTOM, YOU SAY??? Well, I guess we knew what he did with all that Herbology!!!

    And then there's a long description of the battle of Isengard and CAN I JUST SAY I'M REALLY UPSET THAT WE DON'T GET TO ACTUALLY WITNESS THIS. But I get over it because I like this chapter a lot. This is how it plays out in my mind:

    Treebeard: *knocks politely on gates of Isengard and requests a friendly parley over a cup of tea*
    Sauruman and associates: LOL NO GO AWAY *shoots arrows*
    Treebeard: Okay. Now I'm kinda mad. I'm just gonna start BREAKING DOWN YOUR STONE WALLS WITH MY BARE HANDS.
    Sauruman and associates: OMG WHAT NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING THAT IS HORRIFYING *sets fire to one of the Ents*
    Treebeard: OKAY NOW I'M REALLY MAD AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS *drowns all of Isengard, locks Sauruman in his little tower, and gives him Wormtongue as a playmate so he doesn't get bored*
    *the end*

    But really. I love this chapter. The Fellowship is reunited (minus Boromir and Frodo and Sam but you know, you can only ask for so many happy things) and EVERYTHING IS AWESOME. Hugs all around!!!
    <img src=""&gt;

  2. knut_knut says:

    You stand still looking at the weather, maybe, or listening to the rustling of the wind, and then suddenly you find that you are in the middle of a wood with great groping trees all around you.
    This is SO terrifying. Imagine if you were just lost, trying to figure out where you are on your map, and then all of a sudden you’re surrounded by trees. AND THEY EAT YOU! Nowhere is safe.

    Did he say: "Hullo, Pippin! This is a pleasant surprise!"? No, indeed! He said: "Get up, you tom-fool of a Took!!"

    So, Ents are the tanks of Middle-earth? They were already pretty amazing as they were, and then Tolkien makes them EVEN MORE AWESOME!! They can tear into rock like it’s bread! They’re pretty much indestructible! WHY AREN’T THEY REAL?

  3. Becky_J_ says:

    I'm not gonna lie, Mark, I got to the SECOND A and thought that you were saying that this chapter was upsetting and anti-climactic and you wasted bulltet-points on it.


    • BetB says:

      I think a lower case "a" would have been more appropriate but who am I to judge? Why am I writing this? I guess I'm just another internet troll. An "A" works as well as an "a".

      • Saphling says:

        I was expecting "AA" or "A2."

        Another "A" entry came as a surprise to me. ^_^

        • BetB says:

          Maybe Greek letters? Nah, too mathematical…

        • Rosepug says:

          I think the "A" surprised Mark too, judging from the content of "A" ๐Ÿ˜€

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            It did! Don't most programs go to AA or a? Mine just repeated from the beginning. NO FUN, PAGES. YOU ARE THE WORST.

            • BetB says:

              Now I get it. Software…..

              • divAndRule says:

                Oh dear .. I am afraid I still don't get. Could someone please explain it to me. I was surprised at the last point and thought that Mark considered the entire chapter anti-climactic

                • AmyAmy says:

                  No, he's using a program to create the list and wasn't sure how the program would deal with getting to point #27, since it was using an alphabet. Turns out the program just looped around to capital-A again, which was surprising and disappointing, as Mark was expecting/hoping for some new marker for the 27th bullet point.

    • Fiona says:

      Maybe he should have gone for Terry Pratchett style footnotes instead :). Those are some of my favourite bits of Discworld, especially when you get footnotes on the footnotes.

      • flootzavut says:

        <3 love pTerry's footnotes!

      • wahlee says:

        Robin McKinley (author of many, many YA fantasy books about Girls Who Do Things, if you don't know) has the most awesome footnotes EVER on her blog. Her footnotes are often much, much longer than the entry itself. I love them.

        • Saphling says:

          Her blog is fantastic! Each entry is an exercise in finding where you were in the post, after reading the footnote and its sub-footnotes. Still, she is awesome. *soapboxes that everyone ever should read The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown and Sunshine for well-written, kickass female characters*

          • clodia_risa says:

            Has anyone suggested her books on Mark’s suggestion page yet? I think “The Hero and the Crown” would be perfect for this site.

  4. Dreamflower says:

    Well, before this happens, Gandalf arrives and he’s as sassy as ever. I think he deserves some sort of award for having a counsel with Treebeard and managing to make it only fifteen minutes long. That’s a Middle-earth record as far as I’m concerned.

    That made me LOL! more than anything else on the list!!

    "Flotsam and Jetsam" is my very FAVORITE CHAPTER IN THE TWO TOWERS!!!

    It's another chapter like the "Council of Elrond", in that it's mostly exposition. But it's lots more fun and interesting, because the expositors are Merry and Pippin, and they make it all sound very exciting.

    Things I love about it– the Three Hunters foregoing the privilege of joining the "important people", i.e. Gandalf, Theoden and Treebeard, for the privilege of a reunion with their hobbits! Of course they know with hobbits they won't miss out on food, LOL, but really, they want to be with them and find out how they are doing after they've been Orc-dragged across the length of Rohan. I love the "return" of Strider the Ranger; I love Legolas the Fresh Air Fiend who seeks the great outdoors as soon as his friends get ready to light up. I love Pippin, sharing his spare pipe with Gimli; I love the fhogyr ovg bs sberfunqbjvat ol Nentbea: "Bar jub pnaabg pnfg n gernfher njnl ng arrq vf va srggref." V xabj ur jnf gnyxvat nobhg Cvccva'f oebbpu– ohg vfa'g vg oevyyvnag gung vg pna nyfb ersre gb SEBQB? Nyfb gurer vf nabgure yrff fhogyr ovg bs sberfunqbjvat ertneqvat gur Ybatobggbz Yrns– nabgure uvag gung nyy znl abg or jryy onpx va gur Fuver.

    Nyfb, nf V'ir bofreirq ryfrjurer: guvf puncgre vf na vagrerfgvat sberfunqbjvat bs gur shgher bs gurSryybjfuvc. Bapr gur Evatorneref unir cnffrq bire gur Frn, gurfr svir nybar erznvarq va Zvqqyr-rnegu, naq gur sevraqfuvc jnf pybfr rabhtu naq fgebat rabhtu gung Zreel naq Cvccva pubfr gb qvr va Nentbea'f pbzcnal, engure guna
    ng ubzr va gur Fuver. V yvxr gb guvax, gubhtu vg qbrfa'g fnl fb, gung gurl unq gur pbzcnal gurer bs Yrtbynf naq Tvzyv nf jryy.

    And I love, love, love the way Pippin and Merry tell the story of the storming of Isengard by the Ents!

    Here are some links to a few favorite gapfiller fics set in this chapter:

    "Feasting and Idling" by Baylor:

    "Walk Warily" by Anso the Hobbit and Marigold:

    "Half a Sticky Mile" by Slightly Tookish:

    There are a couple of others I like, but can't seem to find at the moment…

    Oh, and a drabble by me:


    • Alice says:

      Lrnu,ohg nsgre Nentbea qvrq,Yrtbynf naq Tvzyv jrag gbb va gur Haqlvat Ynaqf.Naq fb,gurl erhavgrq jvgu gur erfg bs gur Sryybjfuvc jub jrag gurer. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Dreamflower says:

        Jryy, jvgu Tnaqnys ng yrnfg. Ohg Sebqb naq Fnz (naq Ovyob) jbhyq unir orra ybat tbar ol gura. Gur Haqlvat Ynaqf qvq abg pbasre vzzbegnyvgl gb zbegnyf (gung jnf gur zvfgnxr Ne-Cunenmba znqr nsgre yvfgravat gb Fnheba'f yvrf), gurl jrer fvzcyl gur ynaqf jurer vzzbegnyf yvirq. V yvxr gb guvax gung gurl jrer urnyrq bs gur uhegf gur Evat tnir gurz, naq tenagrq n srj rkgen lrnef va crnpr naq genadhvyvgl, ohg gurl jbhyq abg unir yvirq gbb zhpu ybatre guna n uboovg'f angheny yvsr-fcna.

        • glyneth says:


        • Alice says:

          ๐Ÿ˜€ Lrnu,qba'g ehva zl snagnfl! Gur evat-orneref(vapyhqvat Fnz,jub pbhyq or jvgu Sebqb ntnva) jrer urnyrq naq yvirq unccvyl rire nsgre. Naq Yrtbynf naq Tvzyv, jrag gurer naq zrrg gurz,naq gbyq gurz jung unccrarq jvgu gur bguref.Va zl zvaq,guvf vf gur raq.
          Qhaab jul rirelobql fnlf gung gur cnffvat gb gur Inyne'f ynaqf zrnag qrngu. =/ Gb zr gubfr ynaqf jrer fbzrguvat yvxr Rqra,be gur Rylfvna Svryqf. Fher,gurl jrer "qrnq" gb gubfr jub pbagvahrq gb yvir va Zvqqyr-rnegu. V qba'g trg guvf qrngu guvat,V zrna yrg'f gnxr Tnynqevry,sbe rknzcyr: svefg fur yvirq va Zvqqyr-rnegu, gura fur jrag gb gur Haqlvat Ynaqf, gura eroryyrq naq jrag ntnva gb Zvqqyr-rnegu, naq orpnhfr fur ercragrq fur pbhyq unir gur cbffvovyvgl gb erghea gurer,jura fur tbg gverq bs gur lrnef cnffvat. Fb abj Tnynqevry qvrf?:S Fb lbh frr,jul V qba'g oryvir gung gurl ner qrnq abj.:)

          • Alice says:

            Abj,V'z abg fnlvat gung lbh ner abg evtug,bs pbhefr lbh ner,ohg gung vf ZL vagrecergngvba bs guvf fgbel. ^_^

          • Dreamflower says:

            Crbcyr fnl gung orpnhfr WEEG uvzfrys fnvq vg. Frr, ur qvq abg guvax qrngu jnf n onq guvat– ur pnyyrq vg gur tvsg bs Vyhingne. Ryirf (vapyhqvat Tnynqevry) qvq abg abeznyyl qvr: gurl pbhyq or xvyyrq be "snqr" (ernq qvr bs n oebxra urneg) ohg vs gurl qvq gurl jrer er-rzobqvrq (nf gurzfryirf) nsgre n gvzr bs ersyrpgvba va gur Unyyf bs Znaqbf. Zra, Uboovgf naq Qjneirf ubjrire, unq gur tvsg bs orvat noyr gb yrnir gur jbeyq oruvaq (gur tvsg) naq tb "ba nabgure nqiragher" fb gb fcrnx. Ryirf, ba gur bgure unaq, jrer fghpx jvgu yvivat ba naq ba naq ba naq ba… abg arprffnevyl n tbbq guvat.

            Inyvabe jnf jurer gur Inyne (gur znwbe natryf jub urycrq perngr gur jbeyq– xvaq bs yvxr zvabe tbqf) yvirq, naq gurl oebhtug gur Ryirf gb yvir gurer gbb– be ng yrnfg gevrq gb oevat gurz nyy, ohg gung'f nabgure fgbel nygbtrgure. Irel srj zbegnyf rire pnzr gb gur Jrfg.

            V yvxr gb guvax gung nsgre n qrprag nzbhag bs gvzr gb urny naq rawbl, Ovyob, Sebqb naq Fnz jrag ba gb gung ynfg nqiragher, jurer gurl jrer gura erhavgrq jvgu Zreel naq Cvccva naq Nentbea naq Tvzyv naq nyy bs gurve bgure zbegny sevraqf. Gura nsgre Neqn raqf, gur Ryirf jbhyq wbva gurz.

    • msw188 says:

      V arire gubhtug nobhg vg orsber, ohg lbh'er ernyyl evtug nobhg guvf. Gur svir gung unir gurve erhavba urer ner gur erny 'Sryybjfuvc', whfg abg bs gur Evat. Sebqb vf gur Evatornere, naq rira gubhtu nyy 8 gung frg bhg jvgu uvz bevtvanyyl ZRNAG gb uryc uvz (Obebzve znl or dhrfgvbanoyr, ohg V oryvrir ur qvq), va gur raq Fnzjvfr vf uvf bayl gehr pbzcnavba. Ohg gurfr svir unir gurve bja pbzcnavbafuvc, n zber qbja gb rnegu sevraqfuvc guna gur nofbyhgr yblnygl bs Fnz gb Sebqb. Naq Tnaqnys vf frcnengr nf jryy. Ur vf pyrneyl n orvat ba fbzr bgure cynar bs tbbqarff naq jvfqbz, naq gb n terng rkgrag fb vf Sebqb jura ur ergheaf. Ohg lrnu, V yvxr gb guvax gung Tvzyv naq Yrtbynf nyfb fcrag fbzr gvzr jvgu Zreel naq Cvccva naq gur Xvat orsber gurve cnffvat.

      • Dreamflower says:

        Gurer ner "Sryybjfuvcf" jvguva gur Sryybjfuvc, nf lbh abgr: gurer vf gur hggre yblnygl bs gur sbhe uboovgf jub frg bhg gbtrgure gb bar nabgure– n obaq bs enpr naq bs oybbq naq funerq uvfgbel gung rira gur Fhaqrevat Frnf jba'g ragveryl oernx; gura gurer vf gur sbhe bs gurz naq Nentbea, naq gur sbhe bs gurz naq Tnaqnys– juvpu znxr hc gjb qvssrerag havgf jvgu n qvssrerag qlanzvp; gura jr unir zvav-havgf: Sebqb naq Fnz, Zreel naq Cvccva, Yrtbynf naq Tvzyv. Gurer jnf nyfb n fcrpvny obaq orgjrra Obebzve, Zreel naq Cvccva– przragrq jura ur fnpevsvprq uvzfrys sbe gurz. (Naq V qba'g guvax Obebzve'f sevraqfuvc jnf rire dhrfgvbanoyr, rkprcg sbe whfg gung cbvag va gvzr jura ur pbhyq abg erfvfg gur Evat nal ybatre) Naq gurer jrer gur Guerr Uhagref jub nyfb unq n fcrpvny obaq jvgu gur gjb uboovgf gurl'q tbar gb erfphr, naq Tnaqnys jub unq qvssrevat eryngvbafuvcf jvgu rnpu zrzore bs gur Pbzcnal.

        Fbzrguvat gb abgr: Tnaqnys jnf gur bayl crefba jub jbhyq unir xabja nyy rvtug bs uvf pbzcnavbaf orsber gurl yrsg. Jr XABJ ur xarj gur uboovgf, cerggl zhpu nyy gurve yvirf. Jr xabj ur jnf sevraqf jvgu Nentbea, rira juvyr ur jnf jnaqrevat nebhaq va gur jvyq. Ur xarj Snenzve nf n puvyq– juvpu zrnaf ur yvxryl xarj Obebzve nf jryy. Ur xarj Tybva, fb ur cebonoyl xarj Tvzyv. Naq ur xarj Guenaqhvy, fb ur cebonoyl xarj Yrtbynf nf jryy.

        V ybir gur sevraqfuvc qlanzvp bs gur Sryybjfuvc; vg'f irel pbzcyrk naq ynlrerq.

  5. rabidsamfan says:

    Yes, it is a lot of infodumping, but I do love it when the hobbits get to tell the tale, because you get all the little comments they make about what's happened. And I love most Pippin's indignation at Gandalf returning from the dead and then not greeting him with more than "Get up, you fool of a Took!"

    • Becky_J_ says:

      I agree… hobbit infodumping is the best kind of infodumping!!

    • BetB says:

      If there is going to be info dumped on me, it should be a hobbit doing the info-dump. What is amazing to me is how dense the info dump really is. Even the "careless" commentary from Merry and Pippen is loaded. Tolkien does not waste words. Every word is there for a reason.

  6. Alice says:

    The scene with the group eating and smoking is so delightfull ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah,and the battle of Isengard is told through flashbacks XD.ANd it's so awesome,and terrible at the same time.And what Gandalf says when he meets Pippin is soo…precious and funny!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Just 2 images for today, Ted Nasmith-The wrath of Ents and David Wyatt-Ents.

    <img src="; width="700">

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

    • blossomingpeach says:

      I love that first one!

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Oh, look, I just found this John Howe illustration, that was apparently done for the LOTR boardgame.

      <img src=""&gt;

      He says of this one:

      "Another case of not paying attention to format…
      The board itself is much narrower, so the branches of the foremost Ent are cropped. It seemed like such a shame not to draw them, though.
      That Ent, by the way, is somewhat of a self-portrait. (It's how I look without my glasses, especially when my contacts are giving me trouble…) "

      I just discovered his website, and it's a joy to look through his portfolio, where he frequently comments on his illustrations and what he likes/doesn't like about them or his process in creating them. He mentions how hard it is to draw Frodo after his work on the movies, since he now forever sees Elijah Wood. A must-visit!

    • Rosepug says:

      But… Ents don't have knees…

    • Xue says:

      I have that first one on my wall! (It was a pullout from a LotR calendar.)

  7. Katie says:

    Fb guvf vf gur puncgre jurer Nentbea onfvpnyyl erirnyf jub jvryqf gur Guerr Evatf, ol fnlvat gung creuncf bayl Tnaqnys, Tnynqevry naq Ryebaq pbhyq orng Fnehzna.

    • stormwreath says:

      Be gur bgure jnl nebhaq – vg'f orpnhfr gubfr guerr crbcyr ner fgebat rabhtu gb erfvfg guvatf yvxr Fnehzna'f ibvpr, gung gurl pbhyq nyfb or gehfgrq jvgu thneqvat gur Guerr Evatf.

  8. JustMalyn says:

    The hints of bad things in the Shire are too much for me. The pipe weed??? The Southerner being half-orc??? STAY SAFE AWESOME HOBBITS! And Merry&Pippin for president <3 ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. monkeybutter says:

    “Flotsam” and “jetsam” have been two of my favorite words for twenty-some odd years, so I was primed for exicting tales of scavenging Hobbits. Their love of pipeweed (hehe, Longbottom is still the best) has exposed Saruman’s reach. How perfect and Hobbity is that? At the very least, those meddling kids uncovered pipeweed smugglers.

    I was also glad to see Gandalf and Treebeard keepin Isengard sassy. รขโ‚ฌหœรขโ‚ฌหœThe water is not deep,รขโ‚ฌโ„ขรขโ‚ฌโ„ข said Treebeard. รขโ‚ฌหœรขโ‚ฌหœIt is dirty, but that will not harm you, Master Wormtongue. In you go now!รขโ‚ฌโ„ขรขโ‚ฌโ„ข Oh shit, did he just call Wormtongue filth? They should have just punted him over the water into Orthanc; if anyone can do it, an Ent can.

    It has been nine days since Pippin and Merry were kidnapped. NINE DAYS. WHAT THE HELL. It feels like an eternity!

    I know, right? Contrast this to the last book, when chapters would encompass weeks of events. And it’s not like the chapters in TTT are getting any shorter! I’m enjoying the pacing of this TTT a lot better than FOTR.

    • blossomingpeach says:

      That is totally what I see every time I read this chapter title.

      • Saphling says:

        I'm glad I"m not the only one. When I first read LotR, I kept thinking that it'd be fitting if the eels were hidden in waters of flooded Isengard. I'm not sure why I thought this, but then again, I was 12.

        • blossomingpeach says:

          Umm, yeah, I knew what the words meant when I read the book the first time, but I was still waiting for the eels. All that water!

    • knut_knut says:

      I really liked Ursula and co.; I was sad when they died. Not that I didn’t like Ariel and Atlantis and wanted them all destroyed…I just didn’t think Eric was worth it. He was no Ursula.

  10. flootzavut says:

    "Bxnl, fb Nentbea vf pbashfrq nobhg gur gbonppb sebz Fbhgusneguvat, naq V vzntvar guvf qrgnvy vf irel vzcbegnag. V qba’g xabj jul; Nentbea guvaxf gung Fnehzna znl unir orra qrnyvat jvgu fbzrbar va gur Fuver. V QBA’G YVXR GUVF. JUB ORGENLRQ ZL QRNE UBOOVGF."

    Jryy fcbggrq, Znex (V fbf qvqa'g gjvt gung gur svefg gvzr ebhaq), ohg FGVYY FB HACERCNERQ!

    V pna'g jnvg sbe Znex gb frr guvf ba fperra, rvgure – rfcrpvnyylQbz naq Ovyyl terrgvat gur thlf ba neeviny, Tvzyv oneryl znantvat abg gb rkcybqr, rgp. Nyfb, gur Rag jubfr "unve" vf ba sver jub ehaf vagb fubg naq chgf vg bhg va gur sybbq – fhpu n terng qrgnvy.

    • Becky_J_ says:

      Bahahahaha. Gung cbbe Rag, jr ernyyl fubhyqa'g or ynhtuvat orpnhfr UVF URNQ VF BA SVER, ohg V ynhtu RIREL FVATYR GVZR. Bu, naq V, gbb, ybir gur terrgvat ng gur tngrf ol Zreel naq Cvccva. Whfg ybhatva' naq fzbxvat naq rngvat naq "BU. Url thlf. Jung'f hc?? Ubj'f vg tbvat?"

      • flootzavut says:

        Oh I know! Vg'f fb jebat gb ynhtu ohg vg'f yvxr guvf qrgnvy gung vf fvzhygnarbhfyl oevyyvnag naq "npx uvf unve vf ba sver" ohg FHPU n shaal vzntr – vg'f ernyyl pyrire. V nyfb ybir gung gurl unq n qvtvgny Rag (njrfbzr) naq n qvtvgny/SK sybbq (njrfbzr) naq gura unq gur Rag chg uvf unve bhg va gur sybbq (njrfbzr/shaal) naq VG'F ABG RIRA GUR OVT QRNY, ZBARL FUBG BS GUNG ZBZRAG, VG'F WHFG GUVF YVGGYR GUVAT UNCCRAVAT VA N FZNYY CNEG BS GUR FPERRA GUNG LBH JBHYQ ZVFF VS LBH OYVAXRQ! Gur furre rssbeg znqr gb nqq va fghss yvxr gung, gur qrgnvyf, rgp – vg whfg objyf zr bire. V zrna, va zbfg SK zbivrf, gung fubg jbhyq or n ovt qrny, zbarl fubg, url, ybbx ng gur njrfbzr rssrpg jr qvq! JBJ!

        • ARITHMANCER says:

          Va gur rkgenf gurl pynvz gurl qvq guvf yvggyr ovg sbe gur xvqf jub zvtug or jngpuvat. FB gurl'q xabj gur cbbe Rag qvq abg trg ohearq gb qrngu. Ab Rag jnf xvyyrq va gur zbivr irefvba bs GGG.

    • Eber says:

      V qba'g guvax V rire abgvprq gur Fuver pbaarpgvba guvf rneyl!!! Pna'g oryvrir V zvffrq vg yby. Tbbq wbo Znex! :Q V'z fgvyy qvfnccbvagrq gur raq jnfa'g va gur zbivr ohg V thrff crbcyr gubhtug vg jnf ybat rabhtu nf vg jnf.

      • flootzavut says:

        Yeah, I know – vg'f vzcerffvir gung Znex znantrf gb fvzhygnarbhfyl fb hacercnerq naq lrg fbbbb ba gur onyy ng abgvpvat gurfr guvatf!

  11. Zoli says:

    There needs to be a list of rules for Middle-Earth, and on that list (somewhere near the top) should be "DON'T FUCK WITH THE ENTS." They will end you. Srsly.

    I never got the impression that the southerner from Bree was half-orc, I thought he was just a generally sleazy and perhaps ugly guy. Maybe it's just my years of D&D talking here, but orcs (and even half-orcs) look… decidedly not human so if one walked into a tavern full of hobbits and humans I imagine people would be like "Wait, what the hell is that guy?" He'd be too obvious if he was a half-orc.

    Seriously, we are getting way too many hints that there is trouble in the Shire. D: I don't know how many it's been, but we've been hearing about it at least every couple chapters since Elrond suggested Merry and Pippin go back and warn/prepare the other hobbits there. THIS IS WORRYING, SOMEBODY GET ON THAT. Unfortunately, everyone seems to be kind of massively busy.

    • Rheinman says:

      It sounds like one of the classic blunders:
      1. Don't start a land war in Asia.
      2. Don't go in against a Sicillian when death is on the line.
      3. Don't fuck with the ents.

    • castlewayjay says:

      Sberfunqbjvat sbe gur Fpbhevat!

      • Zoli says:

        Bu, V xabj. Frevbhfyl, V erzrzore orvat ernyyl fhecevfrq ol gur Fpbhevat, ohg nf V'z ernqvat vg guebhtu guvf gvzr, zbfgyl V nz fhecevfrq ng UBJ ZHPU sberfunqbjvat gurer vf. Yvxr V fnvq, Gbyxvra unf orra qebccvat uvagf ng hf rirel pbhcyr puncgref fvapr Gur Pbhapvy bs Ryebaq. b_b

  12. stellaaaaakris says:

    Flotsam and Jetsam? I know monkeybutter posted something similar above, but I like gifs and Disney movies.
    <img src=""&gt;

    I love Merry and Pippin's storytelling skills. The part that freaked me out was when that hasty Ent (I forgot his name – ah, Quickbeam!) was described as chasing Saruman and moving like the wind. I'd be terrified if something like this came sprinting at me:
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    • monkeybutter says:

      Flotsam and jetsam should be in every comment, as far as I'm concerned.

      Love the Ent pictures. I wonder if a scare-ent would keep the deer out of my hydrangeas.

    • flootzavut says:

      Yeah, an Ent or Huorn coming at me at speed? No thanks ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • knut_knut says:

      the second one I wouldn't mind because he looks like he's giving me a friendly lecture, but the first one… I'M SORRY I EVER TORE LEAVES OFF TREES AND BROKE OF BRANCHES TO PLAY WITH. JUST PLEASE DON'T DESTROY ME!

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        See, I don't think he's scary but he looks so stern. If he started wagging his finger at me, I'd shrink down and just stop being a person with my own opinions. Kind of like Valancy and Uncle James in The Blue Castle, which is why I included that one.

  13. rubyjoo says:

    I noticed one little thing that Tolkien slips in: "It was a misty, moisty morning when we climbed down," says Pippin. "Misty, moisty" is a phrase I often use to describe the weather and I picked it up as a child from an old nursery-rhyme, just as I bet Tolkien did too.

    One misty, moisty, morning,
    When cloudy was the weather,
    There I met an old man
    All clothed in leather

    All clothed in leather,
    With a cap under his chin.
    How do you do?
    And how do you do?
    And how do you do again?

    He likes these echoes of old English songs and rhymes although usually they are a lot more obvious like the song: The Man in the Moon. But it's often the really tiny things that give me the thrill of discovery and recognition and it makes me wonder just how much I'm missing. That's one of the reasons why I've REALLY enjoyed this read-along because the combined thoughts of this forum have been so wonderful.

    • ADB says:

      When I was but a lad, my father would recite that rhyme and then violently shake my hand (and at 3, my whole arm) in rapid succession with the "HOWDOYOUDOHOWDOYOUDOHOWDOYOUDOAGAIN!"

    • ZeynepD says:

      And that phrase is something I had never noticed. Thank you!

      (I love this reread and Mark's commentary and community joint commentary so much…)

    • castlewayjay says:

      The English folk group Steeleye Span put that verse to music; really well I might add. Now I can't get it out of my head. sorry I don't have a link.

  14. Ryan Lohner says:

    If you look closely during the movie, bar bs gur Ragf vf npghnyyl uvggvat bepf JVGU N GEBYY. Saruman definitely fucked with the wrong species.

  15. Geolojazz says:

    Slightly irrelevant, but…
    If The Lord of the Rings Characters Were Band Instruments. (slight spoilers)

  16. Rheinman says:

    After re-reading the last two chapters, I had an epiphany about Saruman and Wormtongue. Last chapter, it was explained that Sauruman had turned Isengard into a low-rent imitation of Barad-dur in an attempt to imitate Sauron, but he was a cheap knock-off and nowhere close to the real thing.

    We also learn from Aragorn that Saruman’s true power lies in his voice: his ability to persuade and Jedi mind-trick the weak willed. Grima Wormtongue has crafted himself as a cheap imitation of Saruman, trying to imitate Saruman’s power but failing to use it effectively on anyone except Theoden.

    Following this path down the next level, I have no idea what Grima was good at before he decided to imitate his master. Probably his strength is in stalking princesses and writing creepy love poems. Also, how pathetic and useless would a follower of Grima be?

    • MasterGhandalf says:

      You can take it back further, too- going by the Silmarillion, Sauron vf gur purnc vzvgngvba bs Zbetbgu- be nf Gbyxvra chg vg "n funqbj… n tubfg bs uvf znyvpr". Fvapr Zbetbgu vf Zvqqyr-rnegu'f qrivy, zber be yrnff, lbh'ir onfvpnyyl tbg nyy gur yrffre rivyf nf cneg bs n punva gung yrnqf qverpgyl onpx gb gur bevtvany Rivy.

  17. Rheinman says:

    More on Wormtongue: Treebeard said "I saw him crawling up the steps like a draggled rat." I assume 'draggled' is a portmanteau of drowned and frazzled or haggard or both. It is a perfectly descriptive word for what Wormtongue must have looked like after floating and dogpaddling across the flooded valley to the stairs of Orthanc

    • Saphling says:

      More like a shortened form of "bedraggled," meaning to be made wet and dirty by being dragged.

      Online Etymology Dictionary gives us this origin:
      "Draggle": 1510s, frequentative of "drag This led to draggle-tail "sloppy woman, woman whose skirts are wet and draggled" (1590s). Related: Draggled."

      Though wiktionary gives us also "a net dragged along the bottom of the water for fishing."

      • Saphling says:

        Then the Dictionary of English Etymology gives us… a minor essay on the relationship between the words Drabble (to slobber or messily spill food from one's mouth as one eats), Draggle (to make filthy or sloppy ), and Drivel (slobber or worthless talk). Very interesting.

      • ARITHMANCER says:

        More like bedraggled is the long form or draggled…the latter would appear to be an older usage. If you look at "bedraggle" – it has the same origins, but is believed to be of more recent vintage. (1727).

    • Zoli says:

      I thought it might be a derivative of 'bedraggled' but interestingly, it seems to be a word of its own:

      [drag-uhl]   Origin
      verb (used with object)
      1. to soil by dragging over damp ground or in mud.
      verb (used without object)
      2. to trail on the ground; be or become draggled.
      3. to follow slowly; straggle.

    • rubyjoo says:

      Or a shortened form of "bedraggled". I agree – good word.

    • ADB says:

      Now all I can think of is Fraggle Rock.

    • Rheinman says:

      Fascinating. I learn something new every day.

      Grima was definitely ' made wet and dirty by being dragged,' both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Wreched creature.

    • Kudz says:

      I think I always figured it was just short for 'bedraggled'…

  18. Rheinman says:

    I also love Pippin’s commentary about Gandalf’s first arrival at Isengard. Naturally, the Hobbits would be shocked to see him and want an explanation for what happened to him, but he has already been through that with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. He has neither the time nor the patience to continually explain, ‘Yes, I was dead, but I got better.’ So he brushes the hobbits off and Pippin retells it as:

    'Wherever I have been, I am back' he answered in the genuine Gandalf manner.

    LOL Hobbit sass vs. Wizard sass: an epic no holds barred literary smackdown.

  19. Mandy says:

    What more can I say? I just love them so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. rubyjoo says:

    I vaguely remember that verse too, Dreamflower. I reckon you're about my age because you know so much OLD stuff, LOL!

  21. arctic_hare says:

    HOLY INFODUMP, BATMAN. But it is relayed through hobbits, so that's okay. Because hobbits and hobbit commentary are awesome. <3 How perfect is it that Gandalf's first words to Pippin involve calling him a "fool of a Took"? SO PERFECT. Gandalf and Treebeard are super sassy in this chapter, and it's a thing of beauty.

    Longbottom Leaf makes me grin every time. I love that JKR did that tribute to LOTR.

    don't burn the Ents :'( :'( :'( THIS UPSETS ME. GO GET 'IM, TREEBEARD!

    I do not like the idea of anyone in the Shire spying or whatever for Saruman. ๐Ÿ™

    Movie stuffs: "Zl ohfvarff vf jvgu Vfratneq gbavtug, jvgu ebpx naq fgbar." UBJ ONQNFF NAQ JBAQRESHY VF WBUA EULF-QNIVRF' QRYVIREL BS GUNG YVAR? Tvirf zr puvyyf rirel gvzr! V rawbl guvf puncgre, ohg V cersre gur jnl gur zbivr qvq vg, jvgu hf npghnyyl FRRVAT gur qrfgehpgvba bs Vfratneq. Vg'f evqvphybhfyl fngvfslvat. V'yy whfg or bire urer synvyvat nobhg gung fprar naq gur zhfvp naq gur furre njrfbzr ntnva. Cyhf va gur zbivr, gur Rag frg ba sver trgf qbhfrq jura gurl oernx gur qnz. V NZ NYJNLF FB ERYVRIRQ NOBHG GUNG.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Naq abar bs gur pnfg zrzoref jrer gbyq nobhg gur Rag chggvat uvzfrys bhg, fb gurl'q unir n avpr yvggyr fhecevfr ng gur cerzvrer.

    • misterbernie says:

      V npghnyyl ybir gung gur rag ba sver ehaf gb gur jngre gb qbhfr uvzfrys. Vg znxrf zr fzvyr juvpu vf tbbq orpnhfr gur qrfgehpgvba bs Vfratneq znxrf unccl enva snyy ba zl snpr sbe fbzr ernfba.

      • arctic_hare says:

        BZT zr gbb, lbh ner abg nybar va gung. Vg vf whfg fb ornhgvshy V pna'g uryc vg!

        • misterbernie says:

          VG VF. Ohg GG znxrf zr pel n ybg, naljnlf. Gur ynfg punetr bs gur Ebuveevz! Tnaqnys oevatvat gur fha (naq zber evqref, rira gubhtu ubefrf punetvat vagb ynaprf vf abg n tbbq vqrn ohg jungrire vg. vf. njrfbzr)! RAGF QRFGEBLVAT GUR ZNPUVAREL BS PNCVGNYVFZ!

          Vg jnf n ovg njxjneq jura V jngpurq vg jvgu zl (abj rk-)oblsevraq gjb lrnef ntb gubhtu, orpnhfr jr jrera'g ng gur fgntr jurer V sryg pbzsbegnoyr pelvat nebhaq uvz lrg yby znfphyvavgl vffhrf

    • alz says:

      Gura V thrff V'z va gur zvabevgl nobhg gur oheavat Rag. V pregnvayl qvq abg yvxr gung punatr va gur zbivrf. Vf n oheavat Rag fnq? Lrf…ohg gurer ner pbafrdhraprf bs tbvat gb jne, naq gung fubhyq or gur pnfr. Jne vf onq naq gb erzbir nyy pbafrdhraprf znxrf yvtug bs vg va n jnl gung jrnxraf gur fgbel naq gur zrffntr.

      Shegurezber V engure yvxrf gur vqrn gung gur Ragf onfvpnyyl bayl qrfgeblrq guvatf orpnhfr gurl ybfg bar bs gurve bja. Gurl jrer svar jvgu guvf orvat n fgnyrzngr, n fvrtr naq abg qrfgeblvat guvatf orsber gung. Gur zbivr xvaq bs haqrezvarf gurve vqrnyf naq gb na rkgrag gurve vzcbegnapr. Gnxvat ab ybffrf znxrf vg srry yrff vzcbegnag, yrff qnatrebhf, yvxr gurer vf ab guerng. Gurl jnl gur obbx cbegenlf guvatf gur guerng vf irel erny naq va ab hapregnva grezf gung vf orggre rira vs na Rag unf gb qvr gb fubj gur ernqre gung.

      • T.J. says:

        V nyjnlf gubhtug gung gur infg nzbhag bs qrfgehpgvba gung Fnehzna crecrgengrq ba gur gerrf jnf n inyvq ernfba sbe gur ragf tbvat gb jne. Gerrf ner rkgerzryl vzcbegnag gb gur ragf naq vg vf gurve qhgl gb thneq naq cebgrpg gurz naq Fnehzna qrpvzngrq gurz fb V qvqa'g srry yvxr gur ybff bs jne unq orra pnaqlpbngrq. Nyfb, juvyr jr qba'g frr ragf xvyyrq (nf sne nf V pna erzrzore)jr qb frr gurz vawherq. Creuncf gurl qvqa'g jnag gb unir gbb zhpu bs gur ubeebe bs jne va bar zbivr. GGG unf gur Onggyr bs Cryrabe Svryqf naq gur Onggyr bs Uryzf Qrrc nf jryy. V arire sryg gung vg jnf n onq punatr gubhtu V qb frr jurer lbh'er pbzvat sebz.

        • alz says:

          *abq* V urne lbh…vg jnf whfg n punatr gung V erzrzore ohttvat zr jura V fnj vg va gur gurngref. V erzrzore guvaxvat fcrpvsvpnyyl "jul?"

          Vg'f qrsvavgryl n zvabe tevcr (V unir zhpu ynetre barf), V jnf whfg fhecevfrq gb frr crbcyr ernyyl yvxvat gung punatr.

    • Dreamflower says:

      V arire gubhtug jr *qvqa'g* trg gb frr vg, va gur obbxf. Lrf, V xabj vg jnf Zreel naq Cvccva gryyvat vg nsgrejneqf– ohg gurve qrfpevcgvbaf jrer fb ivivq gung vg frrzrq jr jrer fgvyy "frrvat" gur fprar svefg-unaq.

      Guvf vf gur guvat V qba'g haqrefgnaq jura crbcyr pbzcynva gung n puncgre vf whfg rkcbfvgvba. Va n obbx vg vf *nyjnlf* rkcbfvgvba, rira vs vg vf orvat gbyq ol nabgure punenpgre, be vf n synfuonpx, be n zrzbel be vf fvzcyl fgenvtug aneengvir– nf vg vf qrfpevorq, gur ernqre fubhyq or noyr gb vzntvar jung'f orvat qrfpevorq, abg whfg gur crefba jub vf gnyxvat nobhg vg. Be vf gung whfg zr?

      • msw188 says:

        Although I don't think these kinds of exposition are the same thing, I think I agree with the gist of what you're saying. Naq nf V cbfgrq ryfrjurer, gur snpg gung guvf qbrfa'g jbex va svyz sbeprf nal grafvba nobhg gur Ragf naq gur Uboovgf gb or trnerq gbjneq jurgure be abg gurl nggnpx, engure guna jung unccraf qhevat gur onggyr. Jr pna'g trg n puncgre yvxr guvf bar va gur svyz orpnhfr jr UNIR gb xabj jung unf unccrarq gb Vfratneq va erny gvzr, be abg ng nyy.

        • Dreamflower says:

          Bu, V guvax sbe zbivr-irefr, vg jnf gur evtug qrpvfvba. Abg arprffnevyl Gerrorneq'f vavgvny "ab"– V'z fgvyy abg unccl jvgu gung– ohg fubjvat gur nggnpx nf vg unccrarq vafgrnq bs nf n synfuonpx jnf pregnvayl gur jnl gb qb vg va gur zbivrf.

          Ohg V qba'g frr n ynpx va gur obbxf sbe abg qbvat vg gur fnzr jnl.

    • flootzavut says:

      V ybirfrrvat gung yvggyr zbzrag jvgu gur Rag ba sver – fhpu n terng qrgnvy!

    • Alice says:

      Agree on all your rot13 ๐Ÿ˜€ Can't wait for the reviews of them :).

    • msw188 says:

      I'm curious; has JKR ever explicitly stated the Longbottom connection? I don't doubt it, I just have never heard either way. And besides, either way, it's awesome.

  22. fantasy_fan says:

    Movie Stuff: Znex vf nyernql gjvttvat ba gb gur snpg gung abg nyy znl or jryy va gur Fuver. Va snpg, Gbyxvra frgf vg hc ng Eviraqryy, naq ntnva ng Ybevra. Zbfg bs hf jub cnvq nggragvba gb cer-zbivr choyvpvgl xarj gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver jnf phg orsber SBGE jnf rira bhg: jr jrer gubebhtuyl fcbvyrq sbe gung cybg punatr naq unq lrnef gb trg hfrq gb vg orsber jr fnj EBGX. Fbzr crbcyr ungrq vg. Fbzr ungrq vg ohg haqrefgbbq CW'f ernfbaf. Fbzr gubhtug vg vzcebirq gur raqvat(f).

    Znex vf tbvat gb or hafcbvyrq. V jbaqre ubj zhpu vg'f tbvat gb obgure uvz?

    • alz says:

      V ubcr n ybg.

      • msw188 says:

        Lrf, V guvax vs V unqa'g xabja nobhg vg V jbhyq unir orra cerggl cvffrq bss ng gur gvzr bs jngpuvat vg, nygubhtu bapr bar fgrcf onpx naq ybbxf ng gur zbivrf nf n jubyr naq cerpvfryl jung gurl gel gb nppbzcyvfu, V guvax gur punatr znxrf cresrpg frafr.

        • alz says:

          V pna'g nterr. Juvyr V haqrefgnaq naq nz bx jvgu znxvat gur punatr sbe gur gurngevpny eryrnfr sbe cnpvat/oebnq nhqvrapr/trareny sybj ernfbaf…V svaq vg pbzcyrgryl hanpprcgnoyr sbe gur rkgraqrq irefvba. V zrna, ur svyzrq cneg bs vg sbe gur Zveebe bs Tnynqevry…ur fubhyq unir svyzrq gur shyy fprar, crevbq.

          • msw188 says:

            V znqr n irel ybat cbfg nobhg guvf n juvyr onpx, naq V unir ab pyhr ubj gb svaq vg. Orsber V trg vagb guvf, V fubhyq znxr fher gb fgngr evtug njnl gung guvf vf nyy whfg zl bcvavba. V'z abg na rkcreg ba svyz be yvgrengher. Ohg urer tbrf.

            Onfvpnyyl, gur zbivr pubbfrf gb rzcunfvmr pregnva nfcrpgf bs gur obbx, naq qr-rzcunfvmr bguref. Gur rkgraqrq rqvgvbaf qba'g punatr guvf! Zl rknzcyr orsber jnf gur fprar jvgu Zreel naq Cvccva orvat 'nggnpxrq' ol gur gerr va Snatbea, naq Gerrorneq 'fnivat' gurz. Guvf vf n avpr yvggyr gvqovg sbe crbcyr jub unir ernq gur obbx, ohg vg qbrf abg punatr gur snpg gung gur zbivr qr-rzcunfvmrf gur Ragf naq gurve fgbel/gurve ebyr jngpuvat bire Snatbea. Vg jbexf va na rkgraqrq rqvgvba orpnhfr vg'f vapbafrdhragvny rabhtu gung vg qbrfa'g ernyyl qrcraq ba nalguvat ryfr.

            Gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver vf abg yvxr guvf. Vg vf n znwbe cybg cbvag, creuncf gur zbfg vzcbegnag bar bs nyy va gur obbxf. Abg whfg sbe gur culfvpny fnivat bs gur Fuver; gung'f abg ernyyl nf vzcbegnag nf cbegenlvat gur tebjgu bs gur sbhe uboovgf, naq rfcrpvnyyl Sebqb. Vs lbh ernq gur obbxf jvgu guvf va zvaq, lbh pna senzr gur ragver fgbel va grezf bs punenpgre qrirybczrag bire naq nobir gur svtug ntnvafg rivy: jura Sebqb yrnirf gur Fuver, ur vf shyy bs hapregnvagvrf, naq ur syng bhg pynvzf gb Tnaqnys gung ur "srryf ab cvgl sbe Tbyyhz". Nf rneyl nf Ybevra, jr ortva gb frr Sebqb'f tebjgu vagb fbzrguvat zber, naq Tnynqevry erpbtavmrf guvf. Gur ragvergl bs Obbx VI pna or ertneqrq nf abguvat ohg gur shegurenapr bs guvf qrirybczrag. Sebqb svanyyl frrf Tbyyhz, naq unf abj tebja gb gur cbvag jurer ur PNA cvgl uvz. Gbyxvra gnxrf gur gvzr gb unir Sebqb qverpgyl dhbgr uvf bja zrzbevrf bs uvzfrys, naq qrpyner guvf BHG YBHQ. Gura jr frr uvz gehfg Tbyyhz naq rira gel gb fnir uvf yvsr; jr nyfb frr Snenzve fybjyl pbzr gb frr, va uvf bja jnl, gur fnzr guvat Tnynqevry fnj va Sebqb. Ol gur gvzr jr ernpu Obbx IV, Sebqb'f abovyvgl naq fhssrevat vf cenpgvpnyyl orlbaq hf, naq jr ner pbasvarq gb Fnz'f cbvag bs ivrj sbe gur znwbevgl bs gur jnyx va Zbeqbe.

            Vs lbh ybbx ng gur obbx va guvf jnl, gur pyvznk vf abg qrfgeblvat gur Evat. Abe vf gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver nobhg qrsrngvat gur 'ehssvnaf' va gur Onggyr bs Oljngre. Gur pyvznk bs gur obbx, naq gur cbvag bs gur Fpbhevat, vf Sebqb'f svany pbairefngvba jvgu Fnehzna, naq uvf rafhvat qrpvfvba gb yrnir Zvqqyr Rnegu.

            OHG gur zbivr vtaberf cenpgvpnyyl nyy bs guvf. Gur zbivr vafgrnq pubbfrf gb hfr Sebqb nf n iruvpyr gb rzcunfvmr gur cbjre naq rivy bs gur Evat, orpnhfr gur zbivr vf senzrq nebhaq znxvat gur qrfgehpgvba bs gur Evat gur gehr pyvznk. Gurer'f abguvat jebat jvgu guvf, rkprcg gung gur obbx unq gur cbjre gb unir gur nqqvgvbany ynlre bs gur punenpgre-qrirybczrag bs Sebqb. Vs gur zbivr jnagrq gb unir guvf nf jryy, vg creuncf pbhyq unir orra qbar, ohg vg jbhyq zrna punatvat cenpgvpnyyl gur jubyr zbivr. Gur Rkgraqrq Rqvgvbaf pnaabg qb guvf.

            Zbfg vzcbegnagyl sbe gur pheerag qvfnterrzrag, jvgubhg guvf ynlre gb gur fgbel, gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver qbrf abg ernyyl unir zhpu bs n cbvag. Va snpg, vg gnxrf njnl sebz gur pyvznk bs qrfgeblvat gur Evat orpnhfr vg npghnyyl fubjf gung gung npg jnf abg rabhtu gb fnir gur Fuver. Guvf vf ertneqyrff bs gur cnpvat vffhrf juvpu lbh nyernql unir npxabjyrqtrq.

            Ybat fgbel fubeg: gur fnq guvat nobhg gur svyzf vf gung gurl qvfertneq gur punenpgre qrirybczrag bs Sebqb Onttvaf. Guvf vf gur erny cbvag bs gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver. Gur Rkgraqrq Rqvgvbaf pnaabg fbyir guvf ceboyrz. Va gur nofrapr bs guvf punenpgre qrirybczrag, gur Fpbhevat npghnyyl qrgenpgf sebz gur fgbel gung gur zbivrf ner gelvat gb gryy.

            • alz says:

              V'ir urneq fvzvyne nethzragf va guvf irva orsber, ohg V qb oryvrir guvf vf gur zbfg gubhtug bhg naq orfg fgngrq.

              Gung fnvq lbhe oernxqbja, va n ahgfuryy, vf cerpvfryl jul – juvyr V svaq gur svyzf gb or vzzrafryl ragregnvavat bhgfvqr bs n pbhcyr hasbeghangryl fcrpvny rssrpg fanshf gung ernyyl oht zr – V svaq gurz gb or fvathyneyl greevoyr nqncgngvbaf.

              Shegure, V'q fnl gung gur Fpbhevat fgvyy QBRF unir n cbvag naq jbhyqa'g gnxr njnl sebz gur pyvznk bs gur fgbel…vg'f fgvyy vzcbegnag gb qrzbafgengr gung ab cynpr jnf "fnsr", abg rira gur Fuver. Gurer jnf vzcbegnapr gb naq n pbfg oruvaq gur Uboovgf wbvavat gur sryybjfuvc vafgrnq bs tbvat onpx gb nggrzcg gb cebgrpg gur Fuver nf Ryebaq vavgvnyyl jvfurq naq gurve ubzr erznvavat hagbhpurq haqrezvarf gung. Gur jubyr "guvf jne vf abg zl ceboyrz" nggvghqr orvat jebat vf n fgebat gurzr va gur obbx ertneqyrff bs abg vapyhqvat Sebqb'f tebjgu gur Fpbhevat fubhyq unir orra fubja gb rasbepr gung. Gurl rira gbhpu ba gung gurzr va gur svyz n pbhcyr gvzrf jurer gur Fpbhevat pbhyq unir ernyyl qevira vg ubzr.

              V thrff vs V jnf gur bar nqncgvat gur obbxf V'q jnag gb xrrc nf znal bs gur birenepuvat gurzrf vagnpg nf cbffvoyr. Urer vf n pyrne pnfr jurer gurl snveyl rnfvyl pbhyq unir qbar orggre, ohg pubfr abg gb. *fueht*

              • msw188 says:

                V nterr jvgu n ybg bs gur guvatf lbh ner fnlvat, ohg gurer ner n pbhcyr bs cbvagf V jnagrq gb sbyybj hc ba. Svefg naq sberzbfg, vg vf pregnvayl gehr gung jne vf rirelbar'f ceboyrz va gur obbx, naq abjurer vf fnsr. Vg vf nyfb gehr gung gurl gel gb xrrc guvf gurzr va gur zbivr, rfcrpvnyyl jvgu Ebuna naq gur Ragf. Gur Fpbhevat pbhyq nyfb ervasbepr guvf, ohg hasbeghangryl, orvat cynprq NSGRE gur qrfgehpgvba bs gur Evat uhegf gur rssrpgvirarff bs fhpu n qvfcynl, V guvax. Va gur zbivrf, gb xrrc guvf gurzr vagnpg, gurl rffragvnyyl purng ol univat Tnynqevry'f Zveebe fubj guvf gb Sebqb nf n cbffvoyr pbafrdhrapr bs snvyher. Guhf gur Fuver vf fubja gb or abg fnsr, juvyr fgvyy nyybjvat gur qrfgehpgvba bs gur Evat gb or gur cebcre pyvznk naq gur guvat gung 'fnirf' vg. Nyy bs gur bgure cynprf gung ner "abg fnsr" ner rffragvnyyl znqr fnsr nsgre gur qrfgehpgvba bs gur Evat (Tbaqbe, Ebuna, rgp). Gur znxref bs gur zbivr frrz gb srry gung, fvapr gur cbvag bs gur zbivr vf gung qrfgeblvat gur Evat vf gur tbny, gung fubhyq znxr gur Fuver fnsr nf jryy. Gurl pbafgehpg gur zbivr nebhaq guvf (naq guhf jr qb ABG trg Ryebaq fnlvat gung gur uboovgf fubhyq erghea gb gur Fuver), naq va zl bcvavba guvf pbafgehpgvba ceriragf gur hfr bs gur Fpbhevat gung lbh qrfpevor.

                Svanyyl, V nyfb jnagrq gb fnl gung V qba'g guvax guvf pbhyq unir orra "rnfvyl" qbar orggre. Nsgre cbfgvat zl cerivbhf pbzzrag, V sbhaq zlfrys jbaqrevat ng jung fgntr fbzr bs gurfr qrpvfvbaf jrer znqr. Gur ybtvpny cynpr jbhyq or va cercebqhpgvba naq juvyr jevgvat gur fpevcg, naq lrg jr qb unir n unaqshy bs fprarf naq yvarf gung frrz gb gel gb xrrc fbzr bs Sebqb'f tebjgu vagnpg. Ohg gurfr fprarf ner qr-rzcunfvmrq va gur zbivrf, naq nera'g naljurer arne nf cbjreshy nf gurl ner va gur obbx (gur Gnzvat bs Fzrntby, sbe bar). V jbaqre vs gur fpevcg arrqrq gb or zbqvsvrq jura gurl ernyvmrq gung gurl jrera'g tbvat gb unir n Sebqb jub pbhyq qryvire gur yvarf va gur jnl gung guvf jbhyq unir erdhverq. V xabj gung gung'f ernyyl unefu ba Ryvwnu, ohg V'z abg fher ur (be znal npgbef ng nyy) pbhyq unir orra n oryvrinoyr Sebqb Onttvaf.

                • alz says:

                  Uez…V thrff V qba'g ohl gur nffregvba gung fvapr Ryebaq qbrfa'g gryy gurz gurl fubhyq tb onpx gb gur fuver zrnaf lbh pna'g unir gur Fpbhevat. Creuncf vs gurfr zbivrf jrer znqr lrnef ncneg naq gurl qvqa'g srry yvxr gur pbhyq tb onpx naq "svk vg" V zvtug or zber vapyvarq gb ohl gung…nf vg fgnaqf V qba'g frr vg. Jr'er gnyxvat nobhg n frg bs svyzf gung jrer svyzrq ng bapr fb vg jnf n pbafpvbhf qrpvfvba naq V srry gur jebat bar, naq V whfg pna'g trg gb n cynpr jurer gur fpbhevat qbrfa'g jbex cnegvphyneyl va gur pnfr gung vg'f vapyhqrq va gur rkgraqrq rqvgvba. Nal pbapreaf jvgu sybj be pbagvahvat gur fgbel nsgre gur pyvznk jbhyq or tynqyl jrypbzr ol n ynetr cbegvba bs gur snaonfr gung jnagf vg, srryf vg vf arprffnel.

                  Abj, lbh znl or ba gb fbzrguvat vagrerfgvat gung V arire pbafvqrerq – gur novyvgl bs na npgbe gb chyy bss gur punatr. Gung'f ernyyl vagrerfgvat, naq vg znxrf n qrterr bs frafr. V'yy unir gb guvax ba gung zhpu zber (naq cebonoyl arrq gb er-jngpu gur svyzf)…

                  Nyfb V jbhyq nqq gb lbh fhttrfgvat gung lbh qba'g guvax vg pbhyq unir "rnfvyl" orra qbar orggre…sbe zr vg qrcraqf ba lbhe qrsvavgvba bs "orggre". V fgvyy oryvrir vg zbfg pregnvayl pbhyq unir "rnfvyl" orra qbar ZBER NPPHENGRYL naq – sbe zr, ng yrnfg – gung jbhyq or "orggre".

                  • msw188 says:

                    V pna nterr gb qvfnterr ba gur Fpbhevat znxvat frafr sbe gur Rkgraqrq'f; vg fbhaqf yvxr jr whfg unir qvssrerag bcvavbaf ba jung jbhyq unir orra "orggre" sbe gur svyz nf n svyz. Ubjrire, V jvyy fgvyy qvfnterr jvgu lbh ba gur jbeq "rnfvyl". Ncneg sebz gur culfvpny arrq gb pensg gur fprarf (jevgvat, svyzvat, cebqhpgvba, rgp), vg jbhyq unir zrnag fbzr rqvgvat bs gur bevtvany svyz nf jryy. Sbe rknzcyr, vg jbhyq unir zrnag gung Tnynqevry fubhyqa'g or gryyvat Sebqb gung gur ehva bs gur Fuver vf jung unccraf vs ur snvyf. V thrff V'z xvaqn whfg ervgrengvat jung V'ir fnvq orsber – gur pubvpr nf gb jurgure be abg gb vapyhqr gur Fpbhevat vf, gb zr, n pubvpr gung fubhyq nssrpg zber fprarf va gur zbivr guna whfg gur Fpbhevat vgfrys. Sbe gung ernfba, gurer vf ab "rnfl" jnl gung gur Rkgraqrq'f pna vapyhqr gur fprar. Ohg V thrff gung'f cerpvfryl gur angher bs bhe qvfnterrzrag, fb jung lbh'er fnlvat znxrf frafr. Vs fvzcyl vapyhqvat gur fprar znxrf gur svyz zber npphengr, naq guhf gb lbh orggre, guna lrf V fhccbfr vg'f fbzrjung "rnfl". Ohg ubj jbhyq gur fprar raq? Jbhyq Fnehzna or gurer? Vs fb, jub qrsrngf uvz? V qba'g guvax gur Sebqb cbegenlrq va guvf zbivr pbhyq oryvrinoyl qb fb. Vs Fnehzna vf abg gurer, jung vf gur erfbyhgvba? Qb jr gnxr gur gvzr gb frr gur Fuver 'urnyrq'? Ubj vf guvf oryvrinoyr vs vg qbrfa'g ynfg sbe n ybat gvzr, nf vg qvq va gur obbx?

                    • alz says:

                      Lbh nfx n ybg bs vagrerfgvat dhrfgvbaf, naq vg whfg fb unccraf gung gurer vf n ybg V'q yvxr gb punatr, unir n srj ubhef gb fvg qbja naq unfu fbzr guvatf bhg?


                    • msw188 says:

                      Sorry I missed this, I was on my way to a seminar at the time of the last posting, followed by a Smash Bros Brawl session with the lil bro. I'm back now though, and making dinner, so if you're still around and wanna bullshit about some of this, I'm down. Or anyone else, for that matter.

                • fantasy_fan says:

                  Lrf, gur shaqnzragny punatrf va punenpgrevmngvba bs Sebqb, (naq Nentbea, naq Snenzve, naq gb fbzr rkgrag Qrargube, Gurbqra, Ryebaq) ner gur guvatf gung jrnxra gurfr zbivrf nf nqncgngvbaf gur zbfg, naq qverpgyl erfhyg va gur ybff bs fbzr bs gur vzcbegnag gurzngvp ryrzragf Gbyxvra pensgrq. Aboyr gurzrf ner uneqre gb cbegenl jura punenpgref zhfg or pbasyvpgrq. Naq nygubhtu gur punatrf gb Nentbea'f punenpgre, sbe vafgnapr, jrer qrfvtarq gb tvir uvz n zber fjrrcvat punenpgre tebjgu nep orpnhfr vg jnf sryg gung zbqrea nhqvraprf qrznaqrq vg, gur punatrf gb Sebqb'f punenpgre qvzvavfurq uvz. V qba'g xabj gung gung jnf gur snhyg bs Ryvwnu'f npgvat. Ur cynlrq gur punenpgre gung jnf jevggra sbe uvz, naq gur fpevcg pubvprf unq orra znqr orsber ur jnf pnfg. Ur whfg jnfa'g cynlvat gur Sebqb bs gur obbxf, jub pubfr bire naq bire gb or gur jvyyvat fnpevsvpr naq jnf chevsvrq va gur sverf bs gur Zbhagnva hagvy ur jnf bar jub Fnehzna pbhyq erpbtavmr nf abj tebja nzbat gur terng.

                  Va gur zbivrf CW znqr, gur fpbhevat jbhyq unir sryg gnpxrq ba gb n zbivr gung unq nyernql raqrq n pbhcyr bs gvzrf naq jbhyq arrq gb raq ng yrnfg gjvpr zber. Vafgrnq bs gur fpbhevat, jr trg gur cbvtanag jbeqyrff fprar va gur Terra Qentba jurer gur uboovgf ernyvmr gurl unir punatrq, rira juvyr gur Fuver unq abg. Naq gung fubegunaq frghc jnf nyzbfg nyy gurer jnf gvzr sbe, gung naq gur obbx fprar, gb gel gb rkcynva jul gur Terl Uniraf jrer arprffnel sbe Sebqb ng nyy. (Jura gur Bfpnef jrer orvat naabhaprq, V jnf pbaivaprq gung gur "Orfg Nqncgngvba" Bfpne jbhyq or gur bar EBGX jbhyq abg jva, sbe gurfr irel ernfbaf.)

                  Vg jvyy or vagrerfgvat gb frr nyy gurfr nethzragf pbzr onpx bhg ntnva, jura gur yviroybt zbivr cbfgf ner znqr.

                  • alz says:

                    "Va gur zbivrf CW znqr, gur fpbhevat jbhyq unir sryg gnpxrq ba gb n zbivr gung unq nyernql raqrq n pbhcyr bs gvzrf naq jbhyq arrq gb raq ng yrnfg gjvpr zber."

                    V fhccbfr V whfg unir gb npprcg gur snpg V nz va gur zvabevgl va oryvrivat gung gur rkgraqrq rqvgvbaf tvir lbh n YBG bs serrqbz.

                    V ybbx ng ubj pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag gur qverpgbe'f phg bs fbzrguvat yvxr, fnl, Oynqr Ehaare vf…be gur bevtvany Yrba (if gur greevoyr Nzrevpna irefvba Gur Cebsrffvbany) naq whfg srry orggre naq zber pbzcyrgr. Pregnvayl – nf cerfragrq gurngevpnyyl – gur Fpbhevat jbhyq unir orra "gnpxrq ba" naq qrsvavgryl zber fprarf guna whfg gur Fpbhevat arrq gb punatr, ohg lbh unir gung serrqbz va n Qverpgbe be Rkgraqrq phg.

                    Vzntvar ubj zhpu zbarl Arj Yvar pbhyq unir znqr vs gurl UNQ svyzrq gur fpbhevat naq eryrnfrq gur gurngevpnyf ba QIQ…gura eryrnfrq gur rkgraqrq phgf ba QIQ…naq sbe, fnl, gur 5 be 10 lrne naavirefnel (be creuncf gur vanhtheny Oyh Enl vapneangvba) gurl unq n "Qverpgbe'f Phg" gung svkrf n ybg bs gurfr vffhrf.

                    V frr vg nf na bccbeghavgl jnfgrq. *fueht*

                    • sporkaganza93 says:

                      V haqrefgnaq jul lbh frr vg gung jnl, ohg senaxyl, nygubhtu V ybir univat zber zngrevny, vs gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver puncgre unq npghnyyl orra nqncgrq naq cynprq nsgre gur jubyr qrfgeblvat-bs-gur-Evat guvat, V jbhyq unir orra oberq bhg bs zl FXHYY ol vg. V'z abg va gur "gbb znal raqvatf" pnzc, ohg vs gung puncgre unq orra nqncgrq, gurer ernyyl JBHYQ unir orra gbb znal raqvatf. Lrf, rira va gur Rkgraqrq Rqvgvba V guvax vg jbhyq unir orra obevat.

    • Dreamflower says:

      V qvq abg trg gur srryvat gung gur Rag jub qbhfrq uvzfrys jnf gur bayl pnfhnygl– gurer jrer bgure Ragf orvat chyyrq qbja naq n ybg bs punbf va gur fprar, fb V qba'g guvax gur Ragf tbg bss fpbg serr rira va gur svyzf. Ohg creuncf V nz jebat. Gung fprar zbirf fb dhvpxyl, naq vf fb punbgvp gung V pna'g or fher. Gur bar guvat V qb yvxr nobhg vg va zbivr-irefr vf frrvat Zreel naq Cvccva guebjvat gurve fgbarf.

      Naq bs pbhefr va gur obbx gurer unq orra frireny Ragf frg ba sver. Orrpuobar jnf abg gur bayl bar. Ohg vg jnf gur sver gung gehyl natrerq gur Ragf, nf lbh cbvag bhg.

  23. Eefje says:

    Man, I would love to hang out in the rubble with these guys and eat and talk and be merry. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Castlewayjay says:

    Seeing on the big screen is great, but the book is better – for me.
    This was always one of my favorite chapters. Loved hearing about what the ents did – never thought of it as an info dump.
    Yeah – this book has a huge scope. (why I once finished it & started it over again right away, I think..)
    What an imagination Tolkien had!

    • rubyjoo says:

      Yes, I enjoy the hobbits telling us about what happened at Isengard although I know that some people would prefer that Tolkien told us all about it himself because this makes the battle more "immediate". But I think that having the story told by "witnesses" rings the changes a bit and prevents it from sounding like "Oh, no, not ANOTHER battle." Told through Merry and Pippin, we also get the twist that their characters give it and suddenly makes their characters more significant. Iit's lovely to see them take the floor.

      • castlewayjay says:

        Tolkien's changing up the ways he tells the story helps to keep the very long tale so interesting

  25. I must say, it's a lovely turnaround for the hobbits to be the ones giving info-dumps, instead of waiting for everyone to tell them what happened. This has been great character development, where Merry and Pippin are truly contributing to events instead of being "baggage", as poor Pip put it. Bravo, hobbits!

  26. bugeye says:

    Yeah, Tolkien is so trolling us. In the first chapter of FotR Sam is in the tavern where a couple of hobbits are talking about walking trees. In Bree we get a lot of talk about strangers passing through. I like that we have this reminer of other places in this chapter. We have turned our interest from The Shire, Bree, Rivendale, Lothlorien and the things we learned about there. Tolkein reminds us that we cannot forget what is behind even as we go forward.

    Forget Nothing, and just know that you are never prepared.

    • shadydave says:

      My favorite theory is that since Ents still don't know who Hobbits are, what they actually saw were Ent-*wives*. IT'S A STRETCH BUT I'LL TAKE IT.

  27. msw188 says:

    " I’ve never gone beyond the letter Z in one of these lists and I really want to know what happens then."

    This makes me think of playing the original Super Mario Bros back in the day, and trying to do the infinite 1-up trick where you keep hopping on the turtle shell against the staircase. And then when we finally pulled it off, and just sat there grinning at the screen while the 1-ups racked up, we looked up and saw that our number of lives had started USING LETTERS!!! That was a mindblowing moment for five or six year old.

    "y’all need to obey the left-hand evacuation procedure because you and Saruman just got told by a bunch of trees."

    I laughed out loud when I read this. This is awesome.

  28. anobium says:

    I found that picture of radio Treebeard I mentioned a couple of chapters ago, where you can see the thing he wore around his neck to make the sound of leaves rustling when he moved.

    Richard O'Callaghan (Merry), David Collings (Legolas) and Stephen Thorne (Treebeard):
    <img src=""&gt;

    Also: Ian Holm (Frodo), Michael Hordern (Gandalf), and John Le Mesurier (Bilbo):
    <img src=""&gt;

    Here is a link to the article the pictures are from (some spoilers)

  29. Dru says:

    This is THE BEST. I love the fact that hobbits and wizards are such stoners.

    (between Frodo's yen for mushrooms, Gandalf's "pipe-weed" – who are you trying to fool, JRRT?- and now the LONGBOTTOM LEAF, I think it's safe to say that stuff is not in doubt any longer)

  30. jaccairn says:

    Mark – Quickbeam nearly caught Saruman. If he had I suspect things would have been over much more quickly and with less destruction.

  31. notemily says:

    "It is difficult to see them moving. But they do. They can move very quickly, if they are angry."

    The Huorns are fast. Faster than you can possibly imagine. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.

    Hee hee, I love your alphabetical discovery.

    [V UNQ AB VQRN gung gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver jnf sberfunqbjrq guvf sne va nqinapr! Guvf ovg oyrj zl zvaq.]

  32. Hotaru_hime says:

    Did he say: "Hullo, Pippin! This is a pleasant surprise!"? No, indeed! He said: "Get up, you tom-fool of a Took!!"
    Bless, I love everyone in this story.
    *goes and cries*

  33. SecretGirl127 says:

    Someone, what is the "left-hand evacuation procedure " because I've been reading this blog long enough and I still haven't figured it out!

  34. Nathan L says:

    My favourite part of the chapter was probably when Treebeard decided to just casually destroy some stone and masonry while waiting for Gandalf, just to keep his hand in ๐Ÿ™‚

    I remember there were a few people wondering why Fangorn had such a bad reputation. I'd say the last couple of chapters have probably answer that question for them! I definitely wouldn't want to run into a Huorn without Treebeard or another Ent around.

  35. nanceoir says:

    Basically, my takeaway (mmm, takeaway…) from this chapter is that I just want to hang out with hobbits, like, all the time. They're seriously the best, right? In fact, except for the whole hobbits being in the country around nature and stuff (nature — well, grass and stuff — makes my skin break out; stupid allergies), being a hobbit is totally my goal in life. Who's with me?

    • jne says:

      Being a hobbit for a day (without telling anyone) is pretty good for the soul. You wake up and take a long walk after second breakfast, commune with some trees (in the absence of actual ents), think about some presents (old and new) you want to give to your pals, support your friends in their endeavors, mess about in boats for awhile (if you are a Brandybuck), talk to your pony (if you are a Took), and take everything that comes in the most positive way possible.

    • Dreamflower says:

      *imagine me singing badly*

      People, people who love hobbits
      Are the loveliest people in the world!
      Hobbits needing other hobbits,
      never letting their pride
      hide all the looooove inside!!

      Best I can do on the spur of the moment.

    • flootzavut says:

      Totally ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Opal says:

    I wish I could upvote this more than once!

  37. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Mauve_Avenger-only-gets-ebooks-to-use-their-handy-search-function, Lord of the Rings edition, part two:

    "He emptied Isengard. I saw the enemy go: endless lines of marching Orcs; and troops of them mounted on great wolves. And there were battalions of Men, too. Many of them carried torches, and in the flare I could see their faces. Most of them were ordinary men, rather tall and dark-haired, and grim but not particularly evil-looking. But there were some others that were horrible: man-high, but with goblin-faces, sallow, leering, squint-eyed. Do you know, they reminded me at once of that Southerner at Bree: only he was not so obviously orc-like as most of these were."

    Does Tolkien love the descriptor 'squint- or slant-eyed' more than Philip Pullman loves the [non-] descriptor 'presently'? Possibly not (I don't have the stats on Pullman anymore), but it seems Tolkien definitely loves 'squint- or slant-eyed' more than Tolkien loves 'presently.' There have been seven presentlies so far, only one of them in this book. In contrast, we've had nine squint- or slant-eyes (I missed two of them in my earlier post), four of which come from this book. In addition, there are about five swart or swarthies (I missed one of them earlier; it was in one of the missed slant-eyed quotes) so far.

    Presently the slant-eyed reader finds herself missing the overuse of the word 'presently.'

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Can't help with the slants, but according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "squint-eyed" refers to someone with strabismus, which is a condition where the two eyes don't (or don't appear to) look at the same thing together. Like a person who is cross-eyed or wall-eyed. It would be disconcerting in effect if the difference of the axis of the eyes were enough to notice but not so severe as to be immediately obvious.

      (Which is interesting, because I've always thought of squinting as what I do when the light is too bright or I can't find my glasses.)

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        He does prefer 'squint-eyed" to "slant-eyed" (five versus three; I accidentally counted one non-instance in Fellowship in my first comment) but think it's evident in context that he's using the two terms interchangeably. All but one of the "-eyed" references are either to orcs or to people who're suspected of being part-orcs, both of which are described using both terms.

        The only thing that's described as having "squinting eyes" without also being called "slant-eyed" is the hideous carved face on the orc-knife the Three Hunters found in the fifth chapter, and I think it's fair to assume that the carving is supposed to be an orc's face.

        ETA that "squint-eyed" as strabismus doesn't really "help," since it's just replacing the conflation of evil and "ugly" non-whiteness with the conflation of evil and "ugly" disability.

        • rabidsamfan says:

          It is problematic, I agree. How very frustrating.

          I tend to take a Watsonian view when I read, so I read the Orcs, Uruk-hai and half-orcs as mismade, in which case things that should match not matching makes a certain sense now that I'm aware of it. Having known a couple of folks with mild strabismus (my uncle was one) I know it doesn't always indicate a deficiency in vision, too, so on a personal level I don't necessarily associate it with disability or ugliness, but I can see where someone could take it that way.

          I got the impression when Aragorn examined the dead Uruk-hai out of Isengard way back in The Departure of Boromir that the slanted eyes were one of the differences from the Orcs Aragon already knew about. Like the large hands and thick legs. Later on, the Mordor orcs are specifically described as crook-legged. But it's only an impression, and I don't recall where the other uses of "slant" fall in the story. I swear, by the time we get done reading this through I'll end up having to get an e-version and make a study of orc descriptions, because now my curiosity is piqued. Claw-like hands or actual claws? Is Tolkien using a term I only think I know what it means, or is he using an archaic definition? Gah! I'm confused!

          • Mauve_Avenger says:

            I compiled a lot of the quotes about orc appearance in the review for the third chapter (that's what I was referring to when I said "earlier post"), and I think Tolkien definitely implies some physical differences between the orc groups, but is somewhat unclear if the slanted/squinting eyes is one of them. He definitely uses that description the most when referring to the Isengarders, but on the other hand Frodo identifies the Southerner's eyes as being orc-like without ever having seen an orc before, which implies that he knows the general description from Bilbo (so Misty Mountain/Moria orcs, probably).

            I was thinking that the carved, squint-eyed orc-knife Gimli found was from an orc in Grishnakh's group out of Mordor, but rereading it looks like the carved knife was initially taken by Pippin from the corpse of a random orc nearby, with no indication of where the orc was from.

  38. Nyy V pbhyq guvax bs sbe guvf puncgre erivrj vf gung Znex vf tbvat gb or hggreyl qrfgeblrq jura ur ernqf gur Fpbhevat bs gur Fuver.

    • Dreamflower says:

      I know I was.

      Jura V ernq bs Fnz ohefgvat vagb grnef bire gur Cnegl Gerr, V npghnyyl unq gb chg gur obbx qbja naq trg hc naq jnyx nebhaq naq qb fbzr qrrc oernguvat. V qba'g V npghnyyl ohefg vagb grnef, ohg V qrsvavgryl grnerq hc, naq V *sryg* yvxr fboovat.

    • flootzavut says:

      True dat.

      (Apparently I'm channelling Leonard Hofstader…)

  39. Nerdfoxy says:

    "Many of those trees were my friends creatures I had known from nut and acorn; many had voices of their own that are lost for ever now. And there are wastes of stump and bramble where once there were singing groves. I have been idle. I have let things slip. It must stop!"

    I can't remember which chapter this is in, but this quote is one of my favorite ever, ever, especially as an environmentalist who has campaigned against strip-mining and strip-logging and seen many dead fields were there used to be singing groves. And wanted to cry my eyes out forever. I really, really, really, really wish we had Ents around.

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