Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by Gnashar_the_orc, Mar 4, 2002.
The other thread can be found at:
I have merged these two similar threads. A moderator's job is never done.
Thanks Grond, I was wondering where it went! I get a little teary eyed when Sam is standing there at the bank, with Merry and Pippin, watching the sea, after they left. That is (I think) the only time Sam is without Frodo. They have just been through so much together, and it seems to me the Shire-folk don't realize the half of what they have been through. Like when Rosie says to Sam, "If you've been with Mr. Frodo all this while, what do you want to leave him for, as soon as things look dangerous?" If only Rosie knew what Sam had been through!
I believe it is a happy ending, because time is argued to flow differently in Valinor, which I believe. If this happens, then Sam, Gimli, and Legolas would have met the rest of The Fellowship (barring Aragorn, Boromir, Pippin, and Merry) in the Undying Lands, which in it of itself is proof that they meet up again.
I always took Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Frodo returning to the Shire and nobody batting one single eyelash towards them even in light of all that's happened to Armed Forces returning home to a mostly thankless world that has no idea of what they've been through.
Just my .2
I've always found it fascinating that the Hobbits of the Shire and the people in Bree had no idea of how close the world as they knew it had almost been destroyed.
I know, right?? How daft can they be??
Ah Hobbits, always a source of fascination...
Do people really not get that ALL of Tolkien's work on Middle-earth is that of a Tragedy, dealing with the Fall of Man, and the corruption of the world by Satan?
I am not terrifically religious, but Tolkien was/is, and those themes were carried into Middle-earth.
And thus, while Good Triumphs (as Eru Ilúvatar says "... nought may be done for ill that does not turn ultimately to my ends"), it's victory is always bittersweet, because it comes at great cost.
As for Gollum/Smeagol's death.... That was his redemption. Smeagol saves Middle-earth from Sauron by doing something that Frodo cannot (even though it was Frodo's curse of Gollum that led to Gollum's fall into the Sammath Nuar). Yet in doing so, Gollum freed himself from the Ring with his death.
Tolkien's work is always so complicated, and one needs always remember the metaphysical underpinnings of everything.
Tolkien's work is crushingly sad, as it is the passing away of the greatest creations known to have existed or been accomplished, and shall not be made again until the Universe is re-made anew without "sin" (The Taint of Morgoth).
But you have to remember that even Morgoth will be ultimately redeemed.
Wow I really liked the ending for not being the ordinary "happy ending" and showing the losses they all get when destroying the ring. But it's terrible that the elves and dwarfs (and ents and whatever kind of tolkiens creations) fade in ME and that only humanity and some reminders of the old days remain.
It's kind of good that Sam isn't going with Frodo, atleast for Rosie and his children, and may he ll sail ther one day...
He does sail there, after Rosie's death.
Unknown to many, LotR was not supposed to end with the famous phrase “Well, I’m back”. Tolkien had foreseen an epilogue to end the book with an image of Sam in later years, among his children and Rose. He is reading for them from the red book, then announces the coming visit of the king from who he had received a letter. His later departure to the Undying Lands is also hinted there.
Tolkien was eventually persuaded not to include the epilogue he had prepared. This explains why the last book ends somewhat abruptly. Whether this decision was right or wrong is obviously a matter of personal taste. Personally, I very much enjoyed reading that epilogue.
You can find this epilogue in its full text (there’s actually more than version, but with few changes) in the HoME (book 9 “Sauron Defeated” - Part one “the End of the third Age” - Chapter IX “The Epilogue”).
Wow! Really? I'm going to have to check that out.
I wish LOTR could have continued and not stopped when it did.
Something that I saw others, at the beginning of this thread saying:
That Gollum/Sméagol is a "Hero."
That is a bit misguided, is it not?
A "Hero" is typically defined as:
• A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
This is from the "New American Standard" dictionary.
And if we refer to Tolkien's dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary, we have the following definitions:
1 A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
‘a war hero’
1.1 The chief male character in a book, play, or film, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.
‘the hero of Kipling's story’
1.2 (in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semi-divine origin, in particular one whose exploits were the subject of ancient Greek myths.
1.3usually as modifier The best or most important thing in a set or group.
‘jumpsuits are hands down our hottest hero piece right now’
‘the hero of the range is the daily face peel’
Gollum/Sméagol does not fit any of these.
• He is not admired for his courage.
– Indeed, he is a Coward. At every point in his life where he is the least bit threatened he turns into a "Pitiful," shrieking, wailing, crying worm begging for his life; done only so that he might remain alive to recover his "Precious," and then visit a Murderous Revenge upon everyone he thinks has wronged him via cowardly strangling them from behind while invisible, running off if he slips up in the least little bit.
• He has no "Outstanding Achievements."
– His obtaining the 'Ruling Ring' was by an act of Murder.
– His losing the 'Ruling Ring' was due to chance and an act of treachery in which he intended to again commit Murder.
– His leading Frodo and Samwise to Mordor was largely a ruse to stall for time while he figured out how to get the 'Ruling Ring' back again; which he tried to do via an attempted act of Murder and deceit.
– His seizing of the 'Ruling Ring' from Frodo in the Sammath Naur was by biting off Frodo's finger in an attempt to run away with the ring, an act which, had he succeeded, would have delivered the 'Ruling Ring' right into the hands of Sauron, dooming the entire world to Darkness and Evil.
– His Falling INTO the Sammath Naur was due to a curse placed upon him by Frodo when he attempted to Murder Frodo on the slopes of Orodruin. His taking the ring from Frodo wasn't for the purpose of destroying it.
• He has no "Noble Qualities."
– He is absolutely selfish.
– He is dirty.
– He is a liar.
– He is a Murderer.
– He betrays EVERYONE he has ever known or met.
• He is not the "Chief Character."
– Indeed, he is only peripherally pertinent to the main characters, save Frodo and Sam (or Sauron).
– And his ultimate purpose as a character is to bite Frodo's finger off to take his "Precious" back, after which he falls into the Sammath Naur by what is either his Doom, due to the Command Frodo gave him at their last meeting prior to the Sammath Naur, where Frodo uses the power of the 'Ruling Ring' over Gollum/Sméagol: "Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall cast yourself into the Fires of Doom.", or an accident/his doom, where he was fated to slip and fall.
• The Reader does not "Sympathize" with Gollum/Sméagol.
– The reader is largely revolted, or pities Gollum/Sméagol.
– And the reader usually rejoices when Gollum/Sméagol "slips" and falls into the Sammath Naur, destroying the 'Ruling Ring', thinking that Gollum/Sméagol finally "Got what he deserved."
• Gollum/Sméagol is not superhuman or of semi-divine origin. And he is only partially the subject of a "myth."
– The BEST that can be said about him is that his unusually long life, due to the 'Ruling Ring' is "Superhuman."
– But Gollum/Sméagol can never be suspected of being of "Semi-Divine origin.
– If Gollum/Sméagol's presence as a subject of a "myth" makes him a "Hero," then every Orc in Middle-earth is also a "Hero."
And "Heroism" is something that is "intentional," not accidental.
We think of Heroes as people who put themselves in danger, or sacrifice their own lives to save others. And they do so knowing that this is what they are doing:
"I will likely die if I do this, but I cannot sit by while others will be hurt or die when I know that my sacrifice will save countless others."
Gollum/Sméagol spent his entire life making sure that he never accepted responsibility for a single thing, much less risked himself for another's benefit.
He is not the "Hero."
He is the instrument of Doom or Fate. He is an unwilling sacrifice whose own Evil was his undoing and the savior of the world.
But he is no Hero.
Going back to the original post for a moment...
I found the link with our world (the world we live in) something that gives a little bit of that magic to our boring, everyday lives. Yes it is sad that everything from the stories is gone and has faded, but here we are, continuing along the same trajectory...
As has been said above in this thread, all of Tolkien's stories deal with loss over time. It was a prominent feature of the world he created, and it's no less a prominent feature of the world we live in now. I think that's one important reason (of several) why these books resonate with so many people.
Separate names with a comma.