4) After Middle Earth: Pegrioc

Eoborn stared at Freesia, confused, who was looking quite terrified. “You alright?” he asked her.

“I…uh…who do you have in mind to go with you?” she asked, worrying he might say her.

“Well, I was actually under the impression that I should ask you to come with me.” Oh dear! Her worries had come true. She struggled to come up with an answer when he spoke again. “I feel that your knowledge of Middle Earth history would be quite useful and wise to have with me. I realize it sounds quite terrifying, but all I need from you is your mind.”

My mind? she thought, I’m just a girl! How can I bring anything to his journey that he can’t get from a man? I only just came of age a decade ago. Forty-four years is not very old in hobbit years. 

“I’m unsure. My family is back in the Shire, I don’t know how they would feel about this. I should really run it by them first.” Freesia looked down at her feet.

“Aren’t you quite old enough to make your own decisions?” he asked her.

“Well, somewhat. I am only forty-four and I am a girl.” she thought her answer was quite understandable, but his answer surprised her.

“Forty-four is perfectly old enough to go out on your own!” he said as if he was surprised at her answer, “I myself am only fifty. That is young for an elf-Dunedain hybrid.” he smiled.

Fifty? That is how old Frodo was. But I am still a girl. Girls don’t adventure, they stay home and take care of the family. Eowyn is the only exception. 

“Well, I don’t know why you would want a girl to come with you, but I suppose I could join you if that is what you really want.” she said, still hesitant to get into an adventure she had no way of knowing she would survive. She didn’t even know what exactly they would do to get the throne back.

“Great! Now, obviously we can’t take back Gondor just the two of us. I don’t suppose you know of any other hobbits that would like to join us? Maybe we can find a dwarf to join us.” Freesia could only think of one person that would like to join them.

Pegrioc.

Pegrioc was a descendant to Merriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, a distant relative to Freesia. Peregrin “Pippin” Took had a son who married Sam’s daughter. Merry and Pippin were distant cousins. Thus making Freesia and Pegrioc distant relatives, which isn’t very strange, almost all hobbits are distant relatives.

Pegrioc was very much like Pippin. Reckless, unintelligent, sarcastic and hilarious. It was quite attractive in Freesia’s eyes, though she couldn’t admit it to anyone but her inner thoughts.

“I do know of one hobbit that would enjoy the journey, but I’m not quite certain how beneficial to the purpose of this adventure.” Freesia told Eoborn.

“Well, more is always better. I couldn’t care if he was just there for the sake of the credit, having more people along with us will make the journey bearable. I am certain we will find others who would love to join us.”

Freesia wasn’t sure if she wanted to be excited or terrified. She had always dreamed of going along on Frodo’s adventure, but now that she had the opportunity, she couldn’t decide.

Well, for now they just needed to worry about inviting Pegrioc along without the Scars deciding to join them first.

In that moment, Freesia suddenly realized something inconsistent about Eoborn’s story. Orcrist was supposed to be buried with Thorin. Only a sick villain would dig up the king of Erebor for the sake of getting his sword.

What was she getting herself into?!

Top Hobbit Moments

Well, you heard the top moments from the Lord of the Rings, now it’s time for the top moments from the Hobbit! As we all well know, the Hobbit movies weren’t up to their potential, but that does not mean they weren’t good movies.

For those who are strange and have not yet seen the movies or read the book, there are some spoilers ahead.

10:  Thorin’s farewell

bofa

Yet another moment made great thanks to brilliant acting. Martin Freeman did absolutely FANTASTIC with his acting as Thorin is dying. Straight away we see his denial of the situation. He tries desperately to save him, reassuring him that he will live because the eagles have come to save them. He had gone far past hope and was now just in denial. This is acting!

9: Bilbo encounters Smaug

bilbosmaug

Everyone has got to love when Smaug has his conversation with Bilbo. Almost word for word from the book! Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice was so brilliantly used to create the voice of the dragon. Everyone loves a good dragon, as it was once said, “it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”

Fun Fact: Benedict Cumberbatch memorized the entire dialogue of Smaug from the book and voice acted it through twice, whilst wearing the motion capture suit and crawling around like a lizard (Komodo dragon specifically).

8: Thunder battle

stonegiants

I love this scene because of how cool and intense it looks. It is cool to see what rock giants might look like, thinking of them as if they are actual beings, not just people made of rock. The CGI at this part is one of the only parts that was done well with the animation (the other stuff did not need to be animated).

7: That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates

bilbohates

This song was a commodity that I just thought was necessary. I love to see things added word for word from the book. This song was also up beat and entertaining to follow. I especially love when Bofur is bumping around dishes with his elbow as he is playing his flute. Tolkien had so many songs, it’s obvious he loved music, so it is essential that that is portrayed in his book’s movie adaptation.

6: Misty Mountains song

hobbitsong

Another song that was necessary. I love love love this song! All the deep voices of these men put together with perfect wording and feeling. This is a song that gets the listener to think about the words, and if you don’t at the beginning, when you look back at it afterward, it is pretty much a summary of their journey to be.

5: Thorin’s Dragon sickness

thorinbofayes

Of all the things that Tolkien wanted to portray with his stories, this is one of the most important. Tolkien was all about symbolism, and with Thorin’s dragon sickness, which we see more clearly with the Balrog in Moria, he was trying to show what greed and temptation does to a person. When Thorin says the exact same thing Smaug said, with Smaug’s voice at the same time, it is super cool. It is interesting to see how all that treasure corrupted even the most noble of dwarves.

4: Bilbo comes back

bilbocomesback

The scene right after the goblin tunnels, when Thorin thinks Bilbo left, is a great scene. I love Bilbo’s little speech about how he does miss his old life and how he realizes that he doesn’t fit in, but what matters is that he is willing to fight with them to win back their home, where they fit in. It is cool to see that even though Bilbo is small and somewhat wimpy, he has the courage to do the right thing and help other.

3: Gollum

bilbo-and-gollum

I almost would leave this section saying, “nuff said,” but it deserves more than that. I love Gollum. Especially thanks to Andy freaking amazing Serkis. His work with Gollum is just pure talent. Everyone loves the scene with Gollum and his riddles. To hear so many done word for word as well was great.

2: Thorin’s acceptance 

bilboandthorin

I know I’m not alone when I say I was so angry at Thorin when he gets up after being saved by eagles and starts talking to Bilbo. We were all almost certain he was legitimately angry at Bilbo for his act of courage. I was almost in tears when Thorin admits he was wrong and gives Bilbo a hug. I was so happy. You could see they had formed a friendship that would last longer than their life times. To admit your fault, especially as a king, takes a huge amount of courage.

And to go right along with this is when Bilbo saves Thorin’s life. You just want to jump out of your seat and cheer him on. I was so happy when this happened. Such a small guy taking on a huge, purely evil orc. Amazing!

1: Bard’s encounter with Smaug

bain

I have to say this was my all time favorite scene. The acting in this scene was perfect! When Bard’s bow breaks, and his son had just come to give him the black arrow, and Bard has to balance the arrow on Bain’s shoulder! Bain’s acting was so perfect! The fear that you could almost feel through his acting as he can hear a huge, deadly dragon coming right toward him. And Bard, you can see how much he loves his son and cares for him. And looking at his son right in front of him as he is preparing to kill the dragon makes you realize that he knows exactly who he is doing this for, he is staring right at the reason!

This was the scene that made me love Bard and Bain! I just love them! They became my favorite characters through one short scene. Their acting was just amazing!

No matter what anyone says, these movies were good. They weren’t 100% accurate, but we already should know that it’s impossible for that to happen. The actors that were chosen provided for an amazing trilogy thanks to their wonderful acting talents. Don’t let the negative critics get you down, these movies are so great!

Top Lord of the Rings Moments

I recently saw a few blogs about the top Middle Earth moments, but was slightly disappointed with them. Yes, they had some good ones, but they left out some of the best parts and the reasons why they are the best. So, I decided to write the best parts of Lord of the Rings and why, mostly regarding the brilliant acting!

11: Gandalf vs. the Balrog

gandalf

Everyone knows the line that happens at this point of the Lord of the Rings movies. We’ve heard tons of jokes and seen tons of memes regarding Gandalf’s line “You shall not pass!” What makes this part so great? Personally, I think this part of the movie is Ian McKellan’s best scene containing his best acting. When he shouts that line, you can feel its power. It’s as if you are there in that moment, in Frodo’s place, witnessing it.

10: Boromir’s death

boromirdeath

This scene contains a lot of character building elements in it for a few different characters. I literally don’t understand why some people hate Boromir so much, it was temptation, it was his fatal flaw, but it did not make him a villain. When he speaks his last words, you see his true honor. It’s amazing he has any honor with a father like his. He was corrupted by what his father wanted.

In this scene, we also see Legolas’ reaction to death. He seems to be confused, looking at Boromir wondering what is happening. He never understood death and how it affects people when it’s someone they care about. Also, Aragorn is characterized even more so than before. We see his true kingliness come out.

9: Eomer finds Eowyn on the battlefield

eomer

This scene has always been one of THE best scenes in the entire trilogy. Karl Urban does some breathtakingly amazing acting. When he finds his sister, thinking she is dead, his cries of pain and despair are so heart wrenching it’s as if my own sister has died. His acting is just so brilliant! The look on his face when this happens is painful.

8: Hiding from the black rider

rider

This scene is the spark that starts the painful burden Frodo has to carry. As Sauron’s servant is so close, almost touching them, Frodo feels the evil temptation of the ring. He almost puts it on, if it weren’t for his friends by his side. When we see the bugs crawling out and running away because of the ring wraith, it makes you feel almost exactly like the hobbits feel. If even the nasty, crawly little bugs are running from this guy, that is not a good sign. This is also when Merry understands somewhat what is going on.

7: Pippin’s song

pippinsong

This scene has some major character changing elements in it. Pippin used to be a care free, not very smart hobbit. He didn’t understand the danger they were in, he didn’t understand why Frodo had to leave, or why he had to leave his closest friend to go to Minas Tirith. When he is before the father of the man who desperately tried to save his life, resulting in his death, all the understanding and emotion hits him. And this is why he volunteers to work for Denethor.

His character deepens the most in the scene with his song, because he has seen Denethor send Faramir off to his death, not even caring. It breaks Pippin’s heart. As Faramir and his soldiers are riding off toward Osgiliath, Pippin sings a song that basically explains the entire movie’s tone. The words touch my heart every time, not to mention how great of a singer Billy Boyd is! The whole thing is wonderful!

6: Sam’s speech 

sam

Yet another part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that everyone knows. Frodo has almost given up and Gollum has returned into Smeagol’s mind. Everything seems to be over and all hope seems to be lost. They were so close to Mordor and then they were taken to Osgiliath. Sam has to convince Frodo that it’s not over. They can’t give up and they WILL make it to the volcano. He does the one thing he can, he tells Frodo what they are holding on to that is keeping them going.

5: “The way is shut”

ghostking

The scene when Aragorn is trying to get the ghosts to serve their last duty in order to be freed is one that a lot of people think is strange. The fact that there are ghosts causes some people to not be sure how they feel about the movies. For some reason, ghosts put people off.

Nonetheless, this scene is a great one. Aragorn becomes so much more powerful and intimidating when he blocks the ghost’s attack with his sword. The ghost king’s reaction to the remade blade is almost funny, because he is so surprised. Yet, in order to keep himself just as threatening, the ghost king fades away, laughing. Which is yet another cool scene.

4: The beacons are lit

beacons

Again, another scene that is great thanks to Howard Shore’s brilliant music. I love watching, goosebumps forming, as each beacon lights and the music builds up. It’s great.

3: “No parent should have to bury their child.”

theoden

Yet another scene that is great thanks to brilliant acting. When Theoden is finally freed from Sauruman’s control, he finds out that his son died. Just the death of a child alone would break a man, but it is even worse as he realizes that he was not there for his son in his last moments, he didn’t even care because he was being controlled.

When Theoden says this line, and he begins to cry, it is yet another emotional scene that is so powerful. You can feel his emotions. Imagining being in his place, it becomes even more real.

2: The company is formed

Fellowship

The whole part of the first movie, from the forming of the fellowship up to the beginning of their journey is amazing. The hilarious moment when the three uninvited hobbits pop in. Pippin’s stupidity at the situation. It’s all great, but what makes this so amazing is when they, one by one, walk over the hill, the awesome music playing behind them, it’s just great. Music is one of the most powerful tools in provoking emotion.

1: Ride now!

death

It is no secret that this is almost the best part of all the movies. The power in Theoden’s speech is amazing. As he shouts those words, that will always be stuck in my mind, you just want to stand up and start shouting, “DEATH!” It’s almost disturbing…but anyone who has seen it should understand. It is so amazing.

0: Bilbo wants the ring

bilbowantshisring

I put this on here as zero, simply because it is not necessarily a great scene, it’s just hilarious and terrifying at the same time. When Bilbo reaches for the ring and his face turns into an almost Gollum-like face, you want to scream and then laugh your head off. I think everyone is in agreement that this is the scariest part of the entire trilogy.

Obviously, there are many many more great scenes throughout these movies, and don’t think I like any of the movie less than it deserves. The entire thing is amazing, and all the tiniest scenes affect me in different ways. Each character has their share of characterizing mastery, thanks to Peter Jackson and Howard Shore.

Honestly, I don’t really care what anyone now thinks of Peter Jackson after the Hobbit trilogy, he is still amazing and he did what he had to do in order to make amazing movies and form Tolkien’s brilliant literature into a reality. Middle Earth might as well be real, now that you can go and visit many of the areas that are now known as Middle Earth in New Zealand.

The Lord of the Rings will always be the best movie in the universe.

Chapter Three: Three Is Company-Part Two

After the Black Rider trots off into the distance, Frodo states how strange he felt, that the feeling told him he did not want to be found by this mysterious man.

You know when ever someone repeats something in a literary work that they are telling you something important. Frodo repeats the word “felt” many times, this tells us that the way he feels is either important to the story line or important in the symbolism Tolkien was trying to use. Frodo didn’t know the man was bad. He felt it.

Sam speaks up and tells Frodo that he knew where the Black Rider came from. He said that only just the day before his Gaffer saw the man, and the man was asking about a Baggins. He told this to Sam, at the time he thought nothing of it because Gaffer is old and it was dark.

Frodo admits to having heard Gaffer speaking to a strange talking fellow. Pippin is convinced that there is possibly no connection and they should just get moving. This is further justifying Pippin’s character as the part of us, or the type of person, who doesn’t see what is happening around them. They aren’t aware. They either choose not to, or simply don’t notice what they should.

Frodo says that he wished they had waited for Gandalf, and then Pippin suspiciously asks Frodo if he knows something about this black rider. Frodo tries to simply brush the comment away by saying he doesn’t want to know.

From then on, they kept their distance from the road.

This part with the road seems strangely opposite that of Bilbo’s story about keeping on the path. As Bilbo’s journey required not straying from the path, Frodo’s instead was to be avoided. This could be because the path through Mirkwood was leading them through the bad, trying to keep them on the path to good. Whereas Frodo’s path was covered with evil.

When the three hobbits come upon a hollowed out tree, they climb inside to rest. Tolkien makes a point to mention that the tree is pretty much dead, yet it still produces leaves. This could be a symbolic foreshadowing to the common theme that even things that seem lost and better off dead can still produce good, they still have that potential inside them, even if they can’t gain their full potential back. They have already missed all those many years of potential to do good.

As they continue on the path, they sing a song that Bilbo had written. In among other lines of the song is the words of Pippin’s song in the movies known as The Steward of Gondor on the movie sound track. It is a brilliant song showing that we can’t stay home forever, we have to continue on our adventure in order to become better.

The three run and hide in the shadows when they hear hooves behind them. It was definitely a black rider. It crawls creepily toward Frodo, sniffing. The closer it gets, the more Frodo desires to slip on the ring. It was much more powerful than the earlier time he had felt the temptation. A sound in the near distance scares the rider away. Sam starts to exclaim quietly that it was elves. The other hobbits had to pull him away, or else he would have run to the elves.

The elves are singing, which is what scared the rider away. Frodo knows little of the words sung.

One of the elves sees and recognizes Frodo. They greet, and Frodo says they are traveling in the same direction as they. Because the elves see themselves as superior beings, at first they laugh that Frodo wants to travel alongside them. Pippin interrupts to ask the elves about the black riders. They become interested and decide to take the hobbits with them elsewhere to speak about it.

After Frodo speaks something in the language of the elves, Gildor, the elf leader, calls him “elf friend.” They warn the hobbits that they will become weary for the elves will be walking far and long.

The elves stop and have a party. Kind of strange, but okay. They have a wonderful time until Frodo and Gildor are the last awake, talking.

As they talk, Gildor reads things from the look on Frodo’s face. He knows he is troubled and is unsure if he can succeed. He knows that the Enemy is after him, he doesn’t know why, but nonetheless it’s true. Gildor tells Frodo nothing about the Black Riders, because he believes it is up to Gandalf to tell Frodo. Gildor believes that it is all Gandalf’s responsibility what Frodo knows.

Frodo speaks his fear that Gandalf may not return at the time he had said. Frodo asks if he should wait for Gandalf or continue on. Gildor can only say that it is strange for Gandalf to be late, and that it is Frodo’s choice whether to stay or continue. Frodo jokes that it is said to not go to elves for counsel, because they will tell you both no and yes.

Gildor warns that if Frodo does go on, that he should not go alone. To only bring those who he trusts. Frodo thanks him.

Frodo finally begs to be told what the black riders are. Gildor asks if it is not enough to know they are the enemy. If they are simply the enemy, what does it matter what they are exactly? All Frodo needs to know is that they are simply evil. Frodo is still unsure how he will find courage to continue on. He asks how he can find it. Gildor once more tells Frodo of his friendship, and Frodo drifts into sleep.

Book vs. Movie: Why the Changes?

Let me just get on my soap box for a moment.

First I would like to point out the obvious fact:

Books and movies are two completely different forms of entertainment. Why does that matter? Well, let me tell you.

Before you can criticize the changes made to a story line when put in movie form you have to realize why this previously stated fact is important.

Book: Imagery created by you.

Movie: Imagery created by filming team.

Book: Characters imagined by you.

Movie: Characters picked from real actors (I say real because you have to realize that you can’t find an actor/actress that looks exactly like the character, especially since everyone pictures them differently).

Book: Every detail in a scene has to be explained to a tee.

Movie: Every detail has to be created and is shown in a much shorter space of time than a written out description.

Book: Takes a long time to make a point, considering it is all written out.

Movie: Long paragraphs in a book are only a few seconds in a movie.

Book: Doesn’t need too much action and adventure in order to be a good story line.

Okay, before I say this one, it needs some explaining. This is somewhat more of an opinion, but sort of not. Okay, let me try to make this make more sense.

In today’s society, a movie will not get a good audience, or a good review, or the interest of the viewers unless it has action, romance, and humor. This wasn’t the case even just a decade ago. So, that brings the next point.

Movie: Needs action, romance and humor in order to be a “good” movie.

Need an example?

The Hobbit Movie Trilogy.

Notice,

Action: Would have been there anyway.

Romance: Tauriel and Kili.

Humor: Yeah… I’m pretty sure you can all see how this applied to these movies. Potty humor, funny (and I use that term lightly) trolls, and Bombur. Yes, just Bombur, and a little bit Ori. They were the comical relief of the movies. And sadly, they weren’t even funny. More annoying really.

So, can you see now why some of the changes from books to movie were “necessary?”

You may not have liked (I could almost definitely say didn’t like) the Tauriel-Kili thing, but that in a way is our fault. All the ratings, all the viewers, everything is ruled by our (or I guess, this generation’s) inability to enjoy a good movie without these three things.

I completely understand why Peter Jackson made the changes he did. For all we know, he could have been forced (or I guess required…same thing…) to add those things. I’m not saying I liked the out come of those decisions, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. He has been in the movie business for years, he has seen the developments, the required elements that get good ratings.

And this is also why Lord of the Rings was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better. Because back ten some odd years ago, we didn’t have to have stupid humor. We didn’t have to watch movies that just wasted away our brains. We watched good movies.

I am also not saying that all movies today are stupid. But a lot of them are. Some very few movies (one being the Giver) actually have meaning. Even shows like Doctor Who lost their meaning. It’s all just filler time we need to waste on something other than sitting around.

I miss the good old days when I could watch a movie and think “Oh my goodness! What just happened!?” or “Wow! Mind blown!” or “I get it now!” or “Holy crap that was amazing!” or “I can totally see the symbolism in this!” Okay, okay, I’m done now.

So, next time you want to get angry at Peter Jackson because of the Hobbit movies, get angry at society first.

Chapter Three: Three Is Company-Part One

Even after Gandalf explains to Frodo that the ring is indeed the One Ring, Frodo doesn’t make any sign of leaving for the next two to three weeks. Frodo was very reluctant to go. In fact, the only thing that made it bearable was the thought that he would be following Bilbo and would be able to see him again after Frodo almost doubled his age. He thought little about the ring and the fate of it in the end.

Gandalf explains to Frodo that he is not to tell anyone he is leaving at all. Certainly not where he is going. Frodo himself doesn’t even know where he is to go. In Gandalf’s opinion, he should make for Rivendell, which Frodo would be delighted to do, and Sam even more so.

Quite a bit later, a rumor began to spread that Frodo was selling Bag End. The hobbits were uncertain why he would do so. There were many theories, of course, being hobbits and all. What’s worse is that he was selling it to the Sackville-Bagginses! But everyone had the common belief that Frodo was going back to Buckland.

After two months in Bag End, Gandalf announced he was leaving to take care of some business. He tells Frodo to stick to his plan unless Gandalf sent word for him to change them. Most importantly, he tells Frodo not to use the ring.

Time quickly passes and Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday comes. They celebrate and forget their troubles a little while. Gandalf does not come.

Interestingly, as Frodo spends his last day in Bag End, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins shows up, pridefully grasping what is now hers, and to show that Frodo did not respect her for how rude she is it says, “Frodo did not offer her any tea.” I find it funny that this is the most disrespectful thing one can do to another. Awe, the British and their tea. It’s great.

As Frodo is preparing finally to leave, he over hears Gaffer and someone with a strange voice discussing Frodo’s leave taking. Gaffer tells the person what all the hobbits had believed about Frodo going to Buckland. This makes Frodo hugely paranoid and decides not to take the main road. And thus his adventure finally begins.

Together, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin made their way on foot toward Frodo’s “new home,” where Merry is waiting.

The three hobbits walk for what seems like forever. Frodo finds himself repeating the words of Bilbo’s song, The Road Goes Ever On and On. What Frodo doesn’t realize is that it was Bilbo he heard it from. He feels as though he made it up, in a way, but he thinks that it certainly does sound like Bilbo’s rhyming.

As they continue walking, Sam says he hears a horse galloping far behind them. Frodo hopes that it is Gandalf, but he has a feeling that it is not. Because of this, Frodo suggests that they stay off the road.

The next part is almost exactly like it is in the movie adaptation. Frodo stands in the middle of the road, hesitating to get off the road as his friends are already hiding. Finally he hides with them as a huge, black horse turns the corner. When the horse and it’s hooded rider reach the spot adjacent to where the three are hiding, the rider sits quietly, making a sound as if he is sniffing.

As the rider and his horse stand there, Frodo suddenly feels a fear that he will be discovered. He finds himself thinking about the ring and fingering it. He feels tempted to use it. Bilbo had used it. So why should Frodo not use it? The rider slowly begins to trot away until it is out of sight, and Frodo’s temptation fades.

Chapter Two: The Shadow of the Past-Part One

For a long time after Bilbo left, all over Hobbiton his disappearance was discussed. Most believed he had finally cracked and gone mad. Frodo turned out to be much like Bilbo; always keeping to himself, acting strange. He continued to throw birthday parties for Bilbo, although many had presumed him dead. They all blamed Gandalf for the way Frodo and Bilbo acted. They didn’t seem to realize that Gandalf was giving them both the essential push towards a prosperous and wonderful life. If the hobbits never know evil, they will never grow to understand good.

After Bilbo left, Frodo became very distant. He spent most of his time with only three people. Often he would wander off alone, which Pippin and Merry theorized as him going off with the elves as Bilbo had. He had become more and more like Bilbo. He even showed no signs of aging as Bilbo had. This means also that Frodo would have started carrying the heavy temptation at a much younger age, but yet still old enough to be responsible, seeing as he had just become an adult.

Frodo began to wish that he had gone with Bilbo; he dreamt about mountains and lands he had never seen before. He wanted badly to see them, but part of him kept telling him it was not yet time for him to go. It is much like waiting for our turn to come to earth. Obviously, we didn’t all come at the same time, so that tells us there was some amount of time we had to wait before we came down to earth.

Quick side note:

We find out by the fact that the ring makes one invisible that something about the ring is magic. We can see through Tolkien’s stories that Sauron does not, in fact, turn invisible. Why? Because the ring doesn’t actually turn you “invisible.” It actually, essentially, pushes the wearer into the unseen “Wraith World.” Because Sauron can dwell in both worlds at once, the ring can’t put him in a world he is already in. As the wearer uses the ring, they fade more and more because of the effects the other world has on mortals.

So, with that, we can infer that simply carrying the ring could be dangerous. After all, are we to assume that just having the magical metal on a specific part of the body is the only way we are affected by magical objects? No, of course not! Touching it, carrying it, is enough to have some extent of effect on us.

This effect pushes Frodo away from others to an extent. Just as wearing it willingly with the intent to use its power pushes you into the other world, carrying it for other purposes pushes you away from your social world. This is why Frodo is so far from his friends.

The Hobbits only heard rumors of what was happening in the world. Elves were leaving, never to come back to Middle Earth. Creatures of unknown decent we heard of. Mordor was being rebuilt. It was very strange for Hobbits to even hear about Mordor. For such a far away safe haven, it is very rare for any news of Mordor to reach the ears of Hobbits. That foreshadows the story, telling us that we haven’t heard the end of Mordor in the plot line.

Next we hear a conversation involving Sam and some other Hobbits. The Shire is a place of so much ignorance that the people start to think that not even dragons-despite Bilbo’s tales-exist. They have heard a witnesses account and yet still don’t think it ever happened. This could almost be compared to how some people in real life don’t believe certain world events happened.

Take the Holocaust for example. Many people refuse to believe the Holocaust ever happened. They like to think that it was made up and there was no suffering of the Jewish people. We know that that is obviously wrong. We also know that these Hobbits are wrong about the non-existence of magical creatures. Perhaps the near to last chapter of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy makes sense of why Tolkien would have the events of the chapter happen (which I will get to when I reach that chapter. If I forget to mention it, remind me).

Eventually, Gandalf turns up for the first time since the party. He only stays a little while and leaves again, returning occasionally to speak with Frodo. Sam sees and knows of this. I wonder what that will provoke Sam to do? Hmm. Maybe drop some eaves? Maybe, maybe.

Gandalf returns once more, one day, and speaks to Frodo about the ring. Frodo is somewhat confused at first. Gandalf told him the ring was dangerous. Frodo asks him what he means by it. Frodo is terrified as Gandalf goes on to tell him about the rings of power and how they affect mortals. He tells Frodo that those who have one for too long don’t die, but don’t grow either. They simply exist. And slowly they begin to fade into the darkness of the world they are in as they wear the ring.

Sam can be heard out cutting the grass.

Frodo asks Gandalf how much Bilbo knew of the ring. Gandalf proceeds to tell him that he knew no more than what he told Frodo. Bilbo had thought it was just a nifty little tool. He did, however, notice that it changed. It needed looking after. The ring became constantly on his mind. He hadn’t realized that the ring itself was to blame. He even noticed that the ring would change size. He had no idea what the true power of the ring was.

Gandalf explains what Bilbo had said in the last chapter. How he was “thin and stretched.” Gandalf says that it means the ring began taking control.

At this point, Gandalf still doesn’t even know if the ring really is the ring of power. There is only one last test to be sure, and Gandalf doesn’t doubt much the guess he made. Gandalf made this guess not long after Bilbo found the ring. He had acted strangely about it and even had similarities to the way Gollum had acted. There is a little bit of foreshadowing when Gandalf says, “I might perhaps have consulted Saruman the White, but something always held me back.” Now, why could that be? Why would Gandalf have a feeling he shouldn’t talk to Saruman about it?

Gandalf didn’t want to believe the ring was the One Ring. He had thought many times about the possibility. He noticed connections, but tried to justify them. Perhaps Gandalf didn’t want to believe his dear old friend was in the sort of trouble he was. Think about it like this. Think of a friend you have had for many years. Imagine they got into some stuff that seemed great to them at first, but then took a wrong turn, resulting in many complications in their life. The ring is meant to represent temptation. Maybe Gandalf didn’t want to believe that Bilbo had fallen to such a horrible temptation. Or maybe he didn’t want to have to find a way to fix it. After all, he knew how difficult it would be.

Frodo begins to worry about what the presence of the ring means for the rest of the hobbits. Gandalf says that Sauron had completely over looked hobbits. Years he has not taken notice of them. He seems to underestimate the power we each have in ourselves to have control over him and his temptations.

The last test to be sure that the ring is the one he thinks it is is to place the ring in the fire. Frodo takes out the ring and does so. The magical properties causes it to be cool upon taking it out of the fire. When the inscription appears, Gandalf relays the meaning. “one ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.” (This is the only part he says aloud.) He then tells the little riddle about the rest of the rings. This ring is in fact the One Ring.

Upon hearing this, Frodo becomes saddened and afraid. He doesn’t want this ring. He wishes it had never come to him. Maybe this is like us coming to earth. In heaven we were all so excited to come to earth and experience life and a body. We didn’t quite understand what it meant. All we know is that it is God’s plan and we want to be a part of it. But when we get here, we experience trials, challenges, and feel so much pain. We hadn’t expected pain to be such a terrible thing. And yet we find ourselves having to experience it. What we don’t realize at this time is that it will be for the better. It will end and we will have conquered it.

On the bright side, Sauron doesn’t have the ring. As long as the ring is in Frodo’s possession, Sauron can not have his full power. Gandalf explains what happened to the other rings. The three elves hid and have not been touched by Sauron’s power. The rings of the dwarves were all taken from them. Three were taken by Sauron, the rest were taken by dragons, which might as well be eternally lost for all the gold dragons take and care not for individual pieces. The nine, as we know, were not only taken, but used to control the men, making them into the ring wraiths.

And yet with all those rings, he still needs the one to bring him back his power. After all, he did purposefully make it so that he could have that one to control the others. One to rule them all.

We discover that Sauron is not quite as skillful and powerful as he would have them think. He hadn’t even known his ring wasn’t destroyed. This shows us that he doesn’t have the connection to the ring in order to know whether or not it is still around. The important part of this being he is not connected to the ring.

Gandalf explains how the ring came to Frodo. It was actually Elendil and Gil-galad who had been together fighting Sauron. After Elendil died, Isildur, his son, took his father’s sword and cut the ring from Sauron’s hand. He explains that Isildur kept the ring and was then killed, losing the ring into the river. The ring passed from legend, and was never thought of again.

And where the ring’s story continues can finally be put together after all of Gandalf’s research in the library of Gondor. The story is finally put together and can now be given an end.

Meriadoc: The Responsible Hobbit

Merry is the logical Hobbit between him and Pippin. He is constantly trying to keep Pippin out of trouble. Merry’s best attribute is his desire to fight for what is right. He sees all this fighting and death around him and all he wants is to help his friends.

The instant the black riders come after the Hobbits just outside of Hobbiton, Merry knows that there is something Frodo has that they are after. In the book, Merry actually knew about the ring, or rather saw what it did. One day, Merry saw Bilbo put on the ring, after that, he sent Sam to go investigate and listen to what happens in Bag End (that means Sam really was dropping eaves! 😉 ). Merry had an idea what was going on from the very beginning. It isn’t until later that he realizes the magnitude of the situation.

We get a clue at how ignorant he starts off. When at Weathertop, he foolishly lights a fire with his buddies, not realizing that he can’t have all the many regular meals whenever he wants anymore, especially when there are nine evil Sauron’s servants tracking them.

When Merry sees Frodo leaving the fellowship at Amon Hen, he immediately understands and tries to lead the orcs away from him. He completely disregards his own safety for the sake of his friend. He realizes later that his carelessness in his attempt to save one friend resulted in the death of another. This could be one of the reasons he was so fixated on helping his friends in battle, because he doesn’t want to feel as though he can’t do any good.

When Hobbits are with Treebeard, Merry is trying to convince Treebeard to fight with them. He figures that the size of the ents would be the perfect strategic advantage. When Treebeard takes an entire day, completely disregarding something that is so important to Merry, it frustrates him to the point where he feels that he really can’t do any good in this war that has taken over normal life. He pretty much gives up. Thankfully for him, Pippin managed to convince Treebeard to head toward Isengard, where he sees the destruction Saruman has caused.

If it weren’t for this tender mercy, Merry wouldn’t have ever made it into battle, defending what he believes in and helping his friends. Merry is an example of our willingness and drive to do what’s right and help others. We all want something, we all should want what’s best for those we care about.

Merry realizes fully the extent of the damage Sauron has brought to the world when he sees his closest friend forced to leave him. Seeing Pippin struggle against such evil, suffer from such a trial, he realizes how much he cares for Pippin and doesn’t want him to have to ever suffer at the hands of such evil.

Imagine. Remember the way Pippin reacted when he was holding the Palentir? He struggled, he couldn’t even let go. If this were your brother, sister, closest friend or relative, how would that make you feel? Personally, it would scare me to death! I would never want to see anyone, let alone my closest friend have to deal with such a thing.

You could compare this to seeing your family members go through trials. Maybe you have a family member struggling with addiction, or health problems, or maybe even lost someone you loved to a disease or an accident and it hurt someone you care about to the point where you don’t know what will happen to them or if they will recover from such hardships.

When you see your family suffer, it changes what is important to you. When once you only cared about all your meals and having a good laugh or pipeweed, you now want only to save your friends and family and get rid of what things cause them pain.

We see Merry’s enthusiasm best when he is with Eowyn on the way to Pellenor. He is training, practicing, and preparing to fight for his loved ones. His enthusiasm grows dramatically as he gets better and better and sees that he does have the potential to do good. When Theoden tells him that he cannot come to battle, it’s as if he is reliving the moment when he thought Treebeard would just take him home. Only this time he doesn’t have Pippin to say something clever to help him. He realizes how much he needs Pippin in his life only to feel like he will never see him again.

Eowyn becomes his next tender mercy. When he feels like no one will take him with them to fight, Eowyn sweeps in to give him his chance.

Through Merry’s characterization, we can see that we do have a chance to help our loved ones. We may feel like there is no way we can do anything for them. What can I do to stop someone from using drugs or alcohol? I can’t just tell them to stop or take it from them. I have no control over their choices. While some of that is true, we still have the power to be an influence and example in their lives. They know what they are doing is not right, but without you by their side, they might never stop or get better. Simply being there for them can do a lot. We just have to support them and help them when they ask for it.

Even though it isn’t likely for someone who is struggling to ask for help, we can still do something. Maybe drop a comment here and there. Mention little things that touch lightly on the subject and try to spark a conversation that will get them realizing they need help or asking for help. It is never too late.

Merry shows us that we should want what’s best for our family, biological or otherwise. There is always something we can do. We can’t give up on them. And even when we feel like it’s over, God will help us get back on the saddle. He will provide those tender mercies that will keep us going. And we will never have to worry about waiting on the edge of a battle we can’t escape.

Eomer: Ultimate Older Brother

Eomer is yet another one of my favorite characters. When we first meet him, he is not a very likable character. The three hunters are the first to encounter him and the riders of Rohan. You can tell that there is something on his mind that is troubling him, and he covers it with anger. The encounter is a short one, the three hunters simply wanted to know if they saw Merry and Pippin.

We soon find out that Eomer has been banished from Edoras, at the hands of his own uncle, who we know is not in his right mind. When Gandalf goes to Edoras, Theoden is liberated. Eomer now is free to return, though he doesn’t know it.

One of the best scenes is when Gandalf brings the Riders of Rohan to Helms Deep. As Eomer rides down the mountain, his face is terrifying! It’s no wonder the orcs started to panic and want to run away. Eomer is so passionate about saving his people.

Eomer’s role in the story is strengthened on the path toward Minas Tirith. Eowyn has put faith in Merry, whom she sees herself in. Eomer tells her that she and Merry know nothing of war. Eomer says this because he never EVER wants his sister to ever have to see the pains, horrors, and death of war. He hides his loving intentions with anger because he truly cares for her. He does what all men did at the time, showed his strength and manliness by hiding emotion.

My favorite, most heart wrenching scene is when Eomer finds his sister on the battlefield at Pellenor. He screams his lungs out, thinking she is dead. The emotion in that scene is massive. You can feel his pain. I love that scene! Acting done right! In this scene, he disregards the manly emotion hiding that he has stayed true to. It shows that love for family is more important than status.

As Eowyn is healing, Eomer is worried beyond belief. He is concerned for the health and safety of his only sister. And now that his uncle is dead, he is forced to take his place as king. To see him spending most of his time watching over his sister instead of tending to his new duties as king tells us that family is his first priority. He learned this when he thought his sister had died. He realized that his pushing her away only provoked rebellious actions.

Eomer represents our tendency to push others away in order to protect them. We learn from him that our families need our love and not our pushing. He also shows us that our families always love us, no matter how we treat them or they treat us. No matter what, we are loved.

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