camillavirgil:I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself….

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

camillavirgil:

I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys.

lies I am ashamed to have to ask – but is this an actual Tolkien quote? 

It is! It’s from a key moment during the Council of Elrond, just after Frodo has revealed the Ring, and Boromir’s questioning leads to Aragorn revealing some of his backstory.

I love the passage. I was amazed by how successfully the Council of Elrond was condensed for the movie; Peter Jackson has said it was the hardest part of the book to adapt. That they could turn what was, essentially, a 100-page, 20,000-word account of a staff meeting into a compelling scene is mind-boggling to me.

But so much was left out. Anyway, here’s more context for the quote, after a cut for the non-obsessed.

    ‘Behold Isildur’s Bane!’ said Elrond.
    Boromir’s eyes glinted as he gazed at the golden thing. `The Halfling!’ he muttered. `Is then the doom of Minas Tirith come at last? But why then should we seek a broken sword?’
    ‘The words were not _the doom of Minas Tirith_,’ said Aragorn. `But doom and great deeds are indeed at hand. For the Sword that was Broken is the Sword of Elendil that broke beneath him when he fell. It has been treasured by his heirs when all other heirlooms were lost; for it was spoken of old among us that it should be made again when the Ring, Isildur’s Bane, was found. Now you have seen the sword that you have sought, what would you ask? Do you wish for the House of Elendil to return to the Land of Gondor?’
    `I was not sent to beg any boon, but to seek only the meaning of a riddle,’ answered Boromir proudly. `Yet we are hard pressed, and the Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope-if such a thing could indeed return out of the shadows of the past.’ He looked again at Aragorn, and doubt was in his eyes.
    Frodo felt Bilbo stir impatiently at his side. Evidently he was annoyed on his friend’s behalf. Standing suddenly up he burst out:

         All that is gold does not glitter,
           Not all those who wander are lost;
          The old that is strong does not wither,
           Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

          From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
           A light from the shadows shall spring;
          Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
           The crownless again shall be king._

    `Not very good perhaps, but to the point – if you need more beyond the word of Elrond. If that was worth a journey of a hundred and ten days to hear, you had best listen to it.’ He sat down with a snort.
    `I made that up myself,’ he whispered to Frodo, `for the Dúnadan, a long time ago when he first told me about himself. I almost wish that my adventures were not over, and that I could go with him when his day comes.’
    Aragorn smiled at him; then he turned to Boromir again. `For my part I forgive your doubt,’ he said. ‘Little do I resemble the figures of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in their majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys. I have crossed many mountains and many rivers, and trodden many plains, even into the far countries of Rhûn and Harad where the stars are strange.
    ‘But my home, such as I have, is in the North. For here the heirs of Valandil have ever dwelt in long line unbroken from father unto son for many generations. Our days have darkened, and we have dwindled; but ever the Sword has passed to a new keeper. And this I will say to you, Boromir, ere I end. Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only.
    `If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played another part. Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them. But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us. What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?
    `And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. “Strider” I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march of foes that would freeze his heart or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.’

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aestheticgoddess: Claude Monet, The Mount Riboudet in Rouen at…

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

aestheticgoddess:

Claude Monet, The Mount Riboudet in Rouen at Spring, 1872

By 1872, when Monet painted The Hill, the holes had been filled in and the houses were above-ground. It was still pretty, of course, but I missed the tree.

Spring surpassed his wildest hopes. His trees began to sprout and grow, as if time was in a hurry and wished to make one year do for twenty. In the Party Field a beautiful young sapling leaped up: it had silver bark and long leaves and burst into golden flowers in April. It was indeed a mallorn, and it was the wonder of the neighbourhood. In after years, as it grew in grace and beauty, it was known far and wide and people would come long journeys to see it: the only mallorn west of the Mountains and east of the Sea, and one of the finest in the world.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1ndUeWD.

eyrequotes:   This post is full of nope. Not the image;…

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

eyrequotes:

 

This post is full of nope. Not the image; that’s Tolkien. Quoting Tolkiengateway.net:

Not used in the original impression of The Hobbit, 1937, which included no coloured illustrations, this painting appeared in the second English impression of the same year, and in the first American edition, 1938. In the American edition the title ‘Rivendell’ within the decorative border was removed (on which J.R.R. Tolkien commented: ‘I cannot imagine why they have spilt the Rivendell picture by slicing the top and cutting out the ornament at the bottom’), but both reproductions carried the printed caption ‘The Fair Valley of Rivendell’ (‘Hidden somewhere ahead of us is the fair valley of Rivendell where Elrond lives in the Last Homely House’, Chapter 3, A Short Rest). The painting was reproduced in The J.R.R. Tolkien Calendars 1973 and 1974 and in The Hobbit Calendar 1976.

But the quote that’s been added above it… nope. I’m gonna channel my inner ibmiller for a second.

That’s not Tolkien. He never said it or wrote it. Or if he did, there’s no record I can find of him doing so, and certainly not within the text of the Hobbit, LOTR, or The Silmarillion.

That’s a line (with apologies to people who love it, and whose views on the subject are certainly just as valid as mine) that was written by some subset of Boyens/Jackson/Walsh as part of the screenwriting for the movie version of The Two Towers. And in fact (as discussed in the commentary track for the movie), it was written under intense time pressure, as they were struggling to come up with a satisfying ending for the movie, and in desperation finally crafted that speech for Sam, a speech that (again, with apologies to those for whom it works) always felt anti-climatic and vaguely lame to me.

Partly, I suspect, that’s because as a huge book nerd who spent his first few viewings of each of the movies helplessly cataloging every actual Tolkien quote, as part of obsessively noting every inclusion and departure from canon no matter how small, this line immediately jumped out at me and made me say, “That? You’re going to hang the big conclusion of your movie on that? It’s not even Tolkien!?”

So it just bothers the crap out of me to see the line attributed to Tolkien here. And I realize that’s just me, and it’s my problem, not your problem.

But just…

Nope.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1koNwfl.

(From a comment on this.) My own response has evolved….

Monday, February 17th, 2014

(From a comment on this.)

My own response has evolved. There’s the initial shock of learning how actually bad things are going to be, and it’s only human to react strongly and emotionally to that, especially as a parent.

But it’s important to realize, too, that life will go on. Many people’s grandkids who would otherwise have lived will probably either die or never be born because of climate change; many others will have lives that will be deeply unpleasant. But people will still be here. We’re a weedy species. Like cockroaches and starlings, we won’t vanish. An almost unthinkable number of other species probably will, but humans — at least some humans — will remain. They’ll still fall in love, share special moments, tell stories, laugh… Your grandkids probably have as good a shot at that as anyone’s. So there’s that.

Also, after the Sixth Great Extinction has run its course, a few million years from now, there will be a new flowering of species radiating their way into the vacant niches. And through all that, the silverfish probably won’t even notice, except for there having been a brief and unexplained hiccup of warmth and moisture and starchy book bindings, now passed.

For me it comes down to a choice between despair and hope. Tolkien wrote that “by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead.” It haunted him, and he spent his life crafting a story to dramatize what he thought about how a person should respond to seeing things like that. Look at Denethor’s actions after he looks in the Palantir, versus Aragorn’s. Or look at Frodo and Sam, and their responses to Galadriel’s Mirror.

That Guardian piece I linked to isn’t giving you Lovelock’s views directly; like the Mirror of Galadriel, The Guardian is dangerous as a guide of deeds. We need to know what’s coming in order to prepare ourselves and to counter those who would mislead. But we also need to appreciate that if things are going downhill the way they appear to be, we should recognize and honor what we have today. I think that’s the point Lovelock was trying to make in that interview, though I’m not sure his interviewer really understood.

If a version of me had lived in the 1840s, and I could go back in time and talk to him, what would I tell him? Would I show him pictures of the carnage of the Civil War? Or tell him uplifting stories about the beginning of the end of slavery? Talk about the bombing of Hiroshima? Or about the landings on the Moon? What would I want him to know about the future? And if he knew what was coming, how would I want him to respond?

I think I’d want him to go bird-watching. I’d want him to walk through a forest listening for the calls of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. I’d want him to watch Carolina Parakeets at play, or stand beneath a flock of Passenger Pigeons so huge it blocked out the sun.

Everything dies. Individuals, societies, species: all of us are coming to an end. One day life itself will come to an end. It can be comforting to imagine otherwise, but that’s a fantasy.

Climate scientists and magazine writers (and programmers) aren’t necessarily the best people to advise you on how to process that knowledge. I think poets are a better source. So I re-read Tolkien. Also, thanks to despairoftranslators, I’ve been reading Owls and Other Fantasies by Mary Oliver. God, I love that book.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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“Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the…”

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

“Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Èomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first èored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Thèoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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From Out-of-Print U.S. Editions of the Lord of the…

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

From Out-of-Print U.S. Editions of the Lord of the Rings:

BALLANTINE – SECOND ISSUE

This reissue which appeared in 1973, featured Tolkien’s own artwork.  It became a widespread favorite in the U.S., particularly for those who grew up in the 1970s.  The three watercolors are (Vol 1) “The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the-Water,” identified on the copyright page as “The Hills: Hobbiton-across-the-Water; (Vol. 2) “Fangorn Forest” (“Beleg finds Gwindor in Taur-nu-Fuin”), not identified on the copyright page; and (Vol. 3) “Barad-Dûr,” so identified on the copyright page.  The back covers featured promotional blurbs and a portrait photo of Tolkien.

This set was marketed as a 4-book boxed set, packaged with The Hobbit which was also reissued at this time to match the LOTR set, and featured Tolkien’s painting “Bilbo Comes to the Huts of the Raftelves,” on the cover.  There were two styles of boxes, both of which were adorned with Tolkien’s Heraldic Devices of the First Age (Pictures No. 47) on either a gold foil or red background.  The gold foil box was another feature that made this set memorable.  This and the first Ballantine edition are both highly sought after among collectors.

Sometimes I remember something that the Internet reveals to be a complete fabrication of my big, squishy brain. That happened to me yesterday, when I went looking for information about the New Year’s Eve concert Devo did at the Long Beach Arena, which I remember fondly as my first real rock concert. I discovered that I did not attend that concert on December 31, 1978 (the New Year’s Eve of my junior year in high school), as I had long remembered it. Instead, I attended it on December 31, 1979 (during my senior year).

With that proof of my memory’s fallibility fresh in my mind, I was a little concerned that I might have misremembered which edition of LOTR I read in junior high. Maybe the one I was remembering was actually a later edition, the covers of which I’d mentally grafted onto the earlier memory?

Thankfully, the Internet confirms that I remembered correctly. I still had those books until not too long ago. Like the Skin Horse, the covers had long since been loved off. But they were definitely Real.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/69746868229.

windandwater: But either in his dreams or out of them, he could…

Friday, December 6th, 2013

windandwater:

But either in his dreams or out of them, he could not tell which, Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver, until at last it was rolled back, and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise.

—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 8

(in which Tolkien directly foreshadows the end of the trilogy, and one of my favorite passages)

I always loved Frodo’s dream. I was happy when Philippa Boyens found a way to use Tolkien’s language in the movie, but I’ve always been a little wistful about the particular way she used it. It’s fine, and in fact makes for one of my favorite moments in the film. But in the way it takes the multiple possibilities of Tolkien’s passage and shoehorns them into one particular interpretation it also bothers me just a teency bit.

But that’s the movie. Maybe movies (movies by people like Peter Jackson, at least) are pulled in the direction of specific, unambiguous meaning by their reliance on visual images. The actual passage from the book isn’t lessened by the movie’s repurposing of it. I still have it.

Thanks for posting it.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/69177559429.

To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional…

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.

— Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/62849337959.

Tolkien and Fangirl

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I’ve mentioned before how some parts of Fangirl remind me of Tolkien. I know it’s a silly comparison; they’re apples and oranges. But this is about my response to the book, not anyone else’s. LOTR was my Harry Potter. It was the fantasy world I wanted to live in growing up, then followed into online fandom when the movies happened. So maybe I couldn’t help being reminded of it by Fangirl.

Anyway, I was. One similarity I noticed was the multi-layered nature of the story, and the way I responded to it. (I’m sure there’s a better term for what I’m describing, but I don’t know what it is.) On first reading, the songs and poems in LOTR bothered me with how they slowed things down, interrupting the main narrative. I was impatient. I wanted to skip them. On some of my umpteen readings, especially early on, I actually did skip them.

Fangirl’s extended quotations from the Simon Snow novels, and the fanfiction based on them, felt the same way to me. At least on my first reading, I wanted so badly to find out what was going to happen next that I felt frustrated with Simon and Baz for getting in the way. I wanted to skip those parts (though I didn’t).

But then an interesting thing happened. Just as with Tolkien, I found on subsequent readings (I’m on my third reading of Fangirl, plus some bunnyhops through my favorite parts) that the extra material really added to my enjoyment. There was so much more to the world in those extra passages. There was all this room for speculation: Fleshing out the Simon Snow novels from the excerpts, analyzing the departures from canon Cath and Wren made in their fanfiction and the differences in the fic they wrote together versus what Cath wrote alone, and then the excerpt from Cath’s story. All of it was related, interwoven with and commenting on the main story, and just like Tolkien’s songs and poems, they made the world more complete, more real, because like the real world, there were all these deeper layers to dig through.

Rainbow isn’t Tolkien, and Tolkien isn’t Rainbow. Their strengths and weaknesses are in different areas. But as Tolkien was to landscape, Rainbow is to characters. In completely different ways, each of them has imagined and conveyed a world that feels so real that it hurts that it’s not.

I want to live in that world.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/62792888027.