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Thread: Frodo's Mithrill Vest

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I was just wondering, but in the Return of the King Frodo gets "stung" by Shelob.
How did Shelob's "stinger" go through Frodo's Mithril vest?
Hi Cbernui, welcome! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> This is somewhat of a nit-pick, but Frodo had more of a shirt than a vest. In any event, there are two explanations. First, in the book, Frodo was stung in the neck, above the edge of the shirt. In the movie however he was [url=http://www.framecaplib.com/lotrlib/html/episodes/images/rotk/rotk1426.htm:3nec7hrp]clearly[/url:3nec7hrp] stung lower (see also the next image on that site). It seems that Frodo was stung somewhere on the upper chest above the rather low neckline of the movie-shirt (see the link in the next post).
[url=http://www.framecaplib.com/lotrlib/html/episodes/images/rotk/rotk1880.htm:7rtovufk]Frodo, wounded[/url:7rtovufk]. (Posted separately since I can only have one link per post.)
Thanks. I know it was a nit-pick but I had always kind of wondered how that happened. I am in the middle of the Two Towers book sow I haven't quite gotten that far. Thanks again!
Glad I could help, Cbernui. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Hope to see you around here!
I have to agree Eldorion. The film's error does present a (very) minor problem.

Of course, in true Marvel tradition, I am sure we could invent a reason to logically and retroactively fill the plot gap. How can we make Shelob stinging Frodo through the Mithril shirt work?

We could posit that Shelob's venomous stinger also oozes some sort of acid. Or that Shelob's stinger poked through a gap in the chain mail. Any ideas Eldo?

[b:26oyr7ll]GB[/b:26oyr7ll]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":22zvu5ez]How can we make Shelob stinging Frodo through the Mithril shirt work?

We could posit that Shelob's venomous stinger also oozes some sort of acid. Or that Shelob's stinger poked through a gap in the chain mail. Any ideas Eldo?[/quote:22zvu5ez]

I think the easiest way would be to say that it had slipped or had a low neckline so that the stinger went above it. Oozing could possibly work if it were acid but there's not really a sign of any acid burning on Frodo's skin later on. It wouldn't poke through the maille though since (1) it was Mithril which was established as very tough in Moria and (2) there wasn't a hole in it later.
Thanks Eldo, that's what I was leaning towards also. But I haven't checked my DVD yet to see what's actually depicted.

[b:1fksx632]GB[/b:1fksx632]
You're very welcome GB. That's the best I can think of for a story-internal reason.
The movie, like certain other artistic portrayals of Shelob, falls down on a misreading of Tolkien's deliberately archaic English. In older parlance, a "sting" could mean an envenomed bite as well the application of a literal stinger. In fact it usually meant the former more than the latter, which could lead to some meditation on the development of scientific terminology. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Shelob, being a diabolical spider, attacked like a spider, which in this case meant a bite behind the head. Frodo got the paralyzing venom injected into him, went stiff as a board, and dropped. Frodo's mail coat, although wonderous strong, didn't cover his neck. In fact, no historical mail shirts had a high neck, in order to facilitated donning them. The coif (mail hood) was supposed to remedy that deficit.
I didn't know that Zeonista; thanks for the additional perspective. :mrgreen:
No problem. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Not to say the movie version of events is unfounded, since the scene, technicalities of sting aside, is supremely dramatic, creepy, and downright traumatic to anyone who has any degree of fear regarding spiders. I also suspect a back hit cut down on the need for a complex f/x shot, too. The things they do to make a movie work. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />