Questions arising from the Council of Elrond

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:37 am

This is one for the lore masters.
I was reading the Council of Elrond, a favourite chapter, but there are things in it which I have never been 100% certain about.
Heres some of them for Lore heads to ponder over for answers.

1. Is the messenger sent to Dain a Black Rider (seems unlikely as they should all have been elsewhere) the Mouth of Sauron, or a generic ambassador of Mordor?

2. According to Gloin the dwarves fear King Brand may yeild because 'war is gathering on his eastern borders'. Who borders Dale on the east? And has a large enough force?

side observation- shame PJ left out Gil-Galad and Sauron kiling him with his burning hand. But in all the trilogy the only time a spear is seen used as a weapon outside of from horseback is by Elrond in the prologue- wonder if that was meant to be the Spear of Gil-Galad?

3. Aragorn, in retort to Boromir, says "'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that woud freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruins, if he were not guarded ceaselessly."- the fat man is clearly Butterbur and his little town Bree but to whom else is he referring? What force is within a days march of Bree capable of sacking the entire town ((and presumaby Archet and the Chetwood along with it)?

4. Who attacked the inn at Bree? In PJ's and Bakshi's version it is the Riders. I had always thought it was Ferny and cohorts, but at the Council Gandalf explains how he arrived in Bree the afternnon or evening of the day the hobbits set out from there with Strider. Gandalf says, "for only of two (riders) had there yet been any news in Bree, it seemed. But in the night we heard more. Five at least came from the west, and they threw down the gates and passed through Bree like a howling wind....It seems clear to me that this is what happened. Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree, while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded the Shire. But when those were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow, they returned to their Captain with tidings..'

As the raid on the Pony and the attack on Crickhollow were the same night, probably at the same time, it is clear there were 2 riders in Bree, but Gandalf says the two 'rode ahead through the village', not that they raided the inn. So who did?

side observation- PJ misses a lot of great cinematic, dramatic lines out of the Council he probably should have used, such as this from Boromir; 'Valour needs first strength, and then a weapon. Let the Ring be your weapon, if it has such power as you say. Take it and go forth to victory!'
Not to mention all Boromirs little digs at Aragorn, where he keeps saying things like "the Sword of Elendil would be a help indeed'- the sword, not Aragorn! Lovely bit of crabbit that.


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Post by Elthir Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:59 pm

Well, hmmm... have at it loremasters... for myself, I plan to rest on my award, cozy in my new tower.

Lenition!
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Post by Amarië Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:18 pm

Elthir wrote:Well, hmmm... have at it loremasters... for myself, I plan to rest on my award, cozy in my new tower.

Lenition!
lol! Brilliant reply! Nod

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:25 pm

Shocked What sort of attitude is that from the Resident Lore Master and Keeper of the Keys of the Tower of Lore?!! Extremely Crabbit

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Post by Elthir Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:47 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: Shocked What sort of attitude is that from the Resident Lore Master and Keeper of the Keys of the Tower of Lore?!! Extremely Crabbit

To pick an adjective, the sort of attitude is: new!

Thanks Amarie! And I love your new artwork incidentally Very Happy
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Post by Amarië Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:15 pm

Thanks, Elthir. ^_^

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:23 pm

Extremely Crabbit You can lose that award and the Tower in a years time you know Elthir!!!

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Post by Amarië Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:39 pm

Perhaps he might help you if you call: Elthirzel, Elthirzel! Let down your... er... lore? Suspect

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Post by Elthir Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:27 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: Extremely Crabbit You can lose that award and the Tower in a years time you know Elthir!!!

I likely will lose both... but then I'll adopt another attitude: an award can be a burden (or something); although I shall miss a tower's view, no doubt.

Amarie wrote: Perhaps (...) Elthirzel, Elthirzel! Let down your... er... lore?

Worth a try, but depending upon the height of the topmost chamber and the thickness of the walls, I can't promise I'll hear that entirely; and recently a total stranger went out of his way to imperatively 'suggest' that I never cut my hair! Hmm.


Wink
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Well it seems I am not going to get a serious answer to any of my questions around here then Evil or Very Mad - come back Eldo!!!

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Post by Norc Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:22 pm

no one bothered to try to send a descent reply.. LOL ! XD

well.. POOP!

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:55 pm

And here I thought that maybe I'd be able to skip this thread since we have a new Loremaster in town. Razz I'll try to answer to the best of my ability, though of course I may be mistaken.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:1. Is the messenger sent to Dain a Black Rider (seems unlikely as they should all have been elsewhere) the Mouth of Sauron, or a generic ambassador of Mordor?

I've always assumed that the messenger was a Black Rider without really thinking, largely because of the sense of trouble he gave and the "fell voice" he is described as using. The messenger is also described as follows: "his breath came like the hiss of snakes, and all who stood by shuddered". This seems to me in line with the description of the Nazgul, whereas I can't find a similar description of the Mouth's voice.

As to where the Nazgul should have been, Dain states that the messenger first appeared "about a year ago" from the Council (which was on 25 October 3018, so the messenger would have first appeared in late 3017). The messenger then returned twice and claimed that he would return for a final time before the ending of the present year (3018). In Unfinished Tales, The Hunt for the Ring it is stated that the Black Riders first openly issued forth from Mordor in June 3018 and then under the guise of the new War began their hunt for the Ring. Thus one of the Nazgul would have had time to make trips to Erebor, especially if they set out from Dol Guldur, and still be back in time for the opening moves of the War. Since the messenger at Erebor was also seeking the Ring, I think it's a reasonable conclusion to say it was probably a Nazgul.

2. According to Gloin the dwarves fear King Brand may yeild because 'war is gathering on his eastern borders'. Who borders Dale on the east? And has a large enough force?

In the chapter "Many Meetings", Gloin states that Brand "is a strong king, and his realm now reaches far south and east of Esgaroth". With the map of Wilderland and some knowledge of the history of the Northmen from UT, I think we can assume that this description means that Brand's realm stretches south down the River Celduin and also east towards the Iron Hills and the River Carnen (reference: Map of Middle-earth) which were lands traditionally inhabited by the people of Rhovanion, akin to the Men of Dale.

Just a short jump east from there is the lands to the north of the Sea of Rhun and the Sea itself was immediately south-east. Those lands were inhabited by Easterlings under the dominion of Sauron and they ultimately did invade Dale and besiege Erebor during the War of the Ring. As Appendix B puts it: "a host of the allies of Sauron that had long threatened the borders of King Brand crossed the River Carnen, and Brand was driven back to Dale.... the Easterlings had the victor. But they could not take the Gate, and many, both Dwarves and Men, took refuge in Erebor, and there withstood a siege" until news of Sauron's defeat came and the Dwarves and Men broke the siege.

side observation- shame PJ left out Gil-Galad and Sauron kiling him with his burning hand. But in all the trilogy the only time a spear is seen used as a weapon outside of from horseback is by Elrond in the prologue- wonder if that was meant to be the Spear of Gil-Galad?

I don't think prologue!Elrond had a spear. According to the companion book Weapons and Warfare Elrond was wielding an ancient sword of Gondolin that he later passed on to Arwen and that she then used when rescuing Frodo in Fellowship. However, Gil-Galad is glimpsed very briefly in the EE prologue here and here. Wink

3. Aragorn, in retort to Boromir, says "'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that woud freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruins, if he were not guarded ceaselessly."- the fat man is clearly Butterbur and his little town Bree but to whom else is he referring? What force is within a days march of Bree capable of sacking the entire town ((and presumaby Archet and the Chetwood along with it)?

I suspect he means the Barrow-wights, particularly because of the reference to "freez[ing] his heart", but I admit I'm not sure of this. However, most of the other lands around Bree had been empty of both good and evil creatures since the falls of Arnor and Angmar, so I think the Barrow-wights must be it by process of elimination unless Aragorn knows something about Tom Bombadil that we don't. Razz

...As the raid on the Pony and the attack on Crickhollow were the same night, probably at the same time, it is clear there were 2 riders in Bree, but Gandalf says the two 'rode ahead through the village', not that they raided the inn. So who did?

This is actually a question that has had a LOT of debate over the years, but I'm generally convinced by the Ferny side. I think you've done a fair job of demonstrating that the Nazgul were busy elsewhere except for two, who were not stated to have slashed the bolsters. At the same time, there are a few quotes that suggest Ferny and friends were the culprits. In the chapter "Strider" we get perhaps the clearest indication of what the Riders were up to in Bree after Merry is brought back to the inn:

'I fond him, sir,' put in Nob.... 'Just nigh Bill Ferny's house I thought I could see something in the Road. I couldn't swear to it, but it looked to me as if two men were stooping over something, lifting it. i gave a shout, but when I got up to the road there was no signs of them,and only Mr. Brandybuck lying by the roadside. He seemed to be asleep. "I thought I had fallen into deep water," he says to me, when I shook him. Very queer he was, and as soon as I had roused him, he got up and ran back here like a hare.'

'I am afraid that's true, said Merry, 'though I don't know what I said. I had an ugly dream, which I can't remember. I went to pieces. I don't know what came over me.'

'I do, said Strider. 'The Black Breath. The Riders must have left their horses outside, and passed back through the South-gate in secret. They will know all the news now, for they have visited Bill Ferny; and probably the Southerner was a spy as well. Something may happen in the night, before we leave Bree.'

'What will happen?' asked Merry. 'Will they attack the inn?'

'No, I think not, said Strider. They are not all here yet. And in any cases that is not their way. In dark and loneliness they are strongest; they will not openly attack a house where there are lights and many people - not unless they are desperate, not while all the long leagues of Eriador still lie before us. But their power is in terror, and already some people in Bree are in their clutch. They will drive these wretches to some evil work: Ferny, and some of the strangers, and, maybe, the gatekeeper too....'

Apologies for the long quote, but I wanted to try to give a full explanation. Anyway, I think that responsibility for the widespread notion that the Riders were the ones to attack the inn (which I'll admit I had before reading up on the debate more) lies with Ralph Bakshi. He had the riders be the attackers in his film, which was PJ's first introduction to Middle-earth and which inspired a number of other parts of the trilogy. This last part is speculation, however.

(((Here's hoping I haven't lost it entirely! Very Happy)))
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:19 pm

1. I'm happy with it being a Rider, as I had assumed this too, just wasn't sure if the timing worked out.

2. Easterlings yes, but was hoping there might have been some more detail hidden somewhere. The name of a kingdom east of there or something.

side-observation- theres a shot where Elrond plunges something down into a dead orc- looked spear like to me but cant say I've paused it on it to check, couldbe a very big sword I suppose.

3. Can't really see Barrow wights attacking Bree somehow- they inhabit the bodies of the dead- youd think tombs would suit them fine.

4. I always thought it was Ferny, mainly because of the stuff you quote- but there is a bit where Butterbur says he and his men watched all night, that he hadnt closed his eyes, but heard and saw nothing- which always seemed to me like either he was lying and they hadn't kept much of a watch at all-which seems out of character for Butterbur- or there was something unearthly going on to so that they didnt see anything.

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:35 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:2. Easterlings yes, but was hoping there might have been some more detail hidden somewhere. The name of a kingdom east of there or something.

Sorry, I can't recall Tolkien naming any specific kingdoms of the Easterlings in the Third Age.

side-observation- theres a shot where Elrond plunges something down into a dead orc- looked spear like to me but cant say I've paused it on it to check, couldbe a very big sword I suppose.

Check the screenshots I linked to of Gil-Galad. I think you're confusing him and Elrond (granted, they do look rather similar). Gil-Galad definitely has a spear in the prologue and he is plunging it down. Wink

3. Can't really see Barrow wights attacking Bree somehow- they inhabit the bodies of the dead- youd think tombs would suit them fine.

I don't see them doing it on their own, but if they were roused by the Witch-king (who created them) or Sauron himself, I could see them causing quite a bit of mayhem in Eriador.

4. I always thought it was Ferny, mainly because of the stuff you quote- but there is a bit where Butterbur says he and his men watched all night, that he hadnt closed his eyes, but heard and saw nothing- which always seemed to me like either he was lying and they hadn't kept much of a watch at all-which seems out of character for Butterbur- or there was something unearthly going on to so that they didnt see anything.

It was stated before the Hobbits went to sleep that there would be a watch upon the doors, but the principle danger of the room that was ransacked was that the windows were too close to the ground. It is also noted the morning after that the windows had been forced open. Given that the Pony was just an inn and wasn't being watched by people with any training, I don't find it hard to imagine that Ferny and friends could have snuck into the room and the stable unnoticed in the middle of the night without alerting anyone to their presence.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:41 pm

I had in fact always thought that bit of the prolugue was Elrond, possibly because it comes at end of a bunch of Elrond shots.
Interesting, I cut it from my edit because at that point in my edit the focus had to be on Isildur and having a lot of Elrond shots in it as going against the narrative, so I cut it back to one, and dumped that believing it to be Elrond (they are hell of alike, even the circlet thing they are both wearing!) I should now perhaps reinstate it.

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:45 pm

Actually, Elrond doesn't wear his circlet thing during the Last Alliance (reference image), which I suspect may have been a design reference to show that he had in some way succeeded Gil-galad as de facto leader of the Noldor even though the kingship had ended. But yes, they do look very similar, and Gil-galad is given so little screentime (and not a single line of dialogue acknowledging him) as to be inconsequential in the films. I wouldn't lose sleep over cutting that shot, though it wouldn't hurt to add it if you were going to re-edit Book 1 of the mega-edit. Smile
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:49 pm

It might have to stay out as that shot with the spear comes at the peak of a piece of music, a peak whose build up has been cut- so would be tricky to blend in.

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:56 pm

That makes sense to me. It's not a particularly crucial shot anyway. To anyone who hasn't read the book Gil-galad is just a random elf warrior. Of course, most people who see the mega-edit will have read it, but I think any adaptation should try to be accessible to those who are unfamiliar with the source material as well. Smile
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:59 pm

Well if you download and watch Book1 you could see for yourself! Wink

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Post by Elthir Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:54 pm

There's a relatively 'new' text published by Hammond and Scull...

... reached Bree at dusk (on 29 Sep) and soon learn from the Isengard spy of the events in the Inn, and guess the presence of the Ring. One is sent to the Witch-king, waylaid by the Dunedain and driven away does not reach the Witch-king until the next day... The other two, foiled in their attempt to capture Merry, make plans for attack on the Inn at night... The Inn attacked by the two Riders in early hours before dawn . Crickhollow attacked at about the same time... Both attacks fail...

... which might shake up the Ferny notion. The date is (generally) probably late 1954 or early 1955, given it seems included in The Hunt for the Ring texts.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:31 pm

And that Elthir is why you have the big tower! Very Happy Does fit the line about Butterbur staying up all night on watch yet seeing nothing.

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Post by Tinuviel Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:37 am

I never would have thought that was Gil-Galad! He looks just like Elrond!

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Questions arising from the Council of Elrond Empty Re: Questions arising from the Council of Elrond

Post by Tinuviel Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:38 am

WHOAH! Holy Buckie you're right! Shocked

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Questions arising from the Council of Elrond Empty Re: Questions arising from the Council of Elrond

Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:45 am

Glad Im not the only one who thought that was Elrond Tin. Especially given how many times I've edited the bloody thing!

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Questions arising from the Council of Elrond Empty Re: Questions arising from the Council of Elrond

Post by Elthir Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:20 pm

Looking at the 'foes of Bree' question, there's a number of theories floating about: a possible remnant of a draft idea, trolls, the Barrow-wights as Eldorion noted, and so on -- and incidentally, if the poetry of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is considered as a reliable source (as some might quibble whether or not it's reliable enough), it's there written that a Wight comes to Tom's house* in any case.


Of course if they are going to meet in some way Tom would hardly go to a barrow-mound for tea, but still.

Anyway, although not necessarily in correction of the Barrow-wights idea, I would yet add a suggestion for the seemingly too convenient notion of nameless things -- even though I think Aragorn could be speaking somewhat collectively here -- for example trolls, it might be (and has been) argued, are likely not meant because 'freezing' one's heart at least seems to speak to something beyond the fear even of trolls -- but arguably they could wreak much ruin in a village, so 'or lay his little town in ruins' might speak to another kind of foe as well.

First, there are things with no name generally introduced somewhat early in the tale...

'The Dark Tower had been rebuilt it was said. From there the power was spreading far and wide and away far east and south there were wars and growing fear. Orcs were mutliplying again the mountains. Trolls were abroad (...) And there were murmured hints of creatures more terrible than all these, but they had no name.'

The Shadow of the Past

And in The Council Of Elrond Aragorn explains:

'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.'

Dark things that can come from hill or wood are noted, and then Aragorn will soon say...

''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 ruins, if he were not guarded ceaselessly.'

And 'freeze his heart' seems to match up well with blood running cold, noting Butterbur much later in Homeward Bound:

'You see, we're not used to such troubles, and the Rangers have all gone away, folk tell me. I don't think we've rightly understood till now what they did for us. For there's been worse than robbers about. Wolves were howling around the fences last winter. And there's dark shapes in the woods, dreadful things that it makes the blood run cold to think of.'

Again I would agree this doesn't necessarily rule out the Barrow-wights, but if they seem problematic, or even if not, perhaps 'dark things, and general nasties including wandering trolls' might be enough, especially if 'a day's march' is given a little room, with the meaning being: 'not that far away', or similar.


Of course one could simply say 'dreadful things'! but I think there's some text upon which to hang that seemingly convenient hat Very Happy

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*Dark came under Hill. Tom, he lit a candle;
upstairs creaking went, turned the door-handle.
'Hoo, Tom Bombadil! Look what night has brought you!
I'm behind the door. Now at last I've caught you!
You'd forgotten Barrow-wight dwelling in the old mound
up there on hill-top with the ring of stones round.
He's got loose again. Under earth he'll take you.
Poor Tom Bombadil, pale and cold he'll make you!'
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