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Beautiful time you have had I can tell. And it makes me happy to know people who are able to appreciate the real things in life- as tenderness, and being with people you love and care about, sharing memories or dreams, or both... Reading your last post- I feel like I was there. And it felt good. Thank you, LeeLee, for sharing hope and happiness around! Be blessed!

well  we finished The Hobbit and are on to LOTR, I have no idea how long it will take us. Strangely this small time each night together in the living room has begun to heal our broken hearts after losing three  members of our family in a year.

But I was thinking of Filli and Killi and I am sure that is not the way to spell them. Here they were, the very youngest of the dwarves with so much to look forward to. They make that incredible frightening and wearying journey all the way to face Smaug with their little 'burglar' and then what happens? Dear Thorin Oakshield, their esteemed and revered leader suddenly becomes overcome by the madness of desire and lust for the jewels and money and such. He loses his usual wisdom and in the end is killed because his pride and unreasonableness has cost him any hope of making things work out with the elves and the people of Dale. Now dead and buried under the mountain with the glorious Arkenstone laid upon his chest and never to enjoy it one bit. And beside him the two youngest, fallen while trying to protect him their leader. How absolutely grief stricken the others must have been. What a waste of three beautiful lives. Deaths that never ever had to happen but for lust of ownership of things. I cried for about half an hour after we read it . Oh well......

Actually, Leelee, I believe the Free Peoples had put aside all other quarrels when the goblins attacked.  So the Battle of the Five Armies was fought for the right to live in that part of Middle Earth.  Thorin and Company were no longer fighting merely for their treasure then.  So Thorin died to defend himself and his friends against the common enemy.  Fili and Kili died defending their uncle, if memory serves me rightly.  You might reread that part of The Hobbit.  Maybe this consideration will make you feel better.


Oh Gandalf, you are absolutely correct. I was in the kitchen making something for after I think when that part was read. That makes me feel better as to the reason dear Thorin and the brothers died, but my heart feels broken that they died at all. If only..................

I sympathize.  I have read that part in the final chapters again and again, and I can never read it without a catch in my throat.  This is something I have to deal with yearly, as I will be reading it to the 9th grade during 4th quarter.

that is amazing that you get to incorporate your love of Tolkien with sharing with the students. I know of no such thing here, I cannot imagine how thrilling that must be for the children. wow.

i expect i will receive not a few shouts of derision upon reading what I am about to, but I shall march forth just the same.

When we think of the wraiths, we naturally recoil and have an aversion to these 'things'. But once they came into Middle-Earth as mere babes, human babes, innocent, full of wonder. They ate, slept, grew, interacted with their mums and dads and had deep feelings, hopes and dreams.

And then, because of avarice and greed, greed for things and money and power, they fell prey to Sauron and all the wonderful dreams of childhood were lost and they became the living dead as it were. Did they at some point before all was lost to them in the circle of the world , ever become grieved at what they had done, their great folly? Did they do you think suffer  a broken heart, any of them?

There is nothing derisive about your train of thought,in fact it is refreshing to see how you have absorbed Tolkien's world.

What you have said reminded me of that very famous tale about Michelangelo.He was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,I guess,and he needed a child's face to model for his baby Christ.He found one angelic baby and did the painting.As the years wore on,he was still working on that gigantic canvas and felt he neede a face for his Lucifer.He chanced upon a brutal,mauled looking man and did his Lucifer.At the end of his sitting the man revealed that as an infant,he was the face of the baby Christ.

There might be facts wrong here.I've heard this tale by word of mouth and have found no such thing in Michelangelo's many biographies but I guess you understand what I'm trying to say.

The wraiths as you have said fell to their greed and this greed drove them on till the very end.If they could worship and obey Sauron,I don't think they had much scope for feeling regret.They were too deep to realize their mistake and all of a sudden they were nothing.

LeeLee & Odette, I am so moved by what you have I wrong to feel compassion even for the Ringwraiths...?...there is a line somewhere that says something like..."so the guards awoke to another day of toil & drudgery in Mordor"...something like that..I dont think i have quoted it you ever have days when it feels like this?....I do...but then I always remember Sam's thoughts when he was in Mordor...."in the end the shadow is only a passing thing...there is a high and ancient beauty , that is forever beyond it's reach"....LeLee & Odette, and all readers..I hope you too can see the light sometimes...


thankyou darling Odette. Namarie Alana. How sad those words are. I have often looked upon those I know had brilliant lives full of family and friends and a fire in their hearts for good for the world. Then something as simple as unemployment and the despair and shame that comes of it somehow turns their joy to ashes and they become indifferent and angry and bitter until you could not recognize them if you tried.

But I think that as Sam makes it clear over and over, you have the choice of deciding just what to do with the grief and sorrow. You can turn it inward and decide it is dog eat dog and throw all gentleness and nobleness and right away, or you can do what Sam says in the movie, you can behave like the heroes in the stories of old who went right on doing good because doing so stood for something , something high and good and noble that was worth fighting the good fight for. The wraiths took the pathof self service and injury to others and fell , fell forever.  I could weep until I fall asleep for their choices. It truly does make my heart feel so broken, so very broken, for in my mind all mankind is like precious stones that should be able to skim across the water without a ripple. Only when a rock falls hard everything is shaken up and never settles the same again.

Oh LeeLee, you are so right...I guess we have all known darkness in our past....and wished we had never lived to see such times...but as Gandalf said "that is not for us to decide...all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us......"    I think one of the most important themes of these books is friendship...I feel we are all friends here, LeeLee, Odette....may our friendship "be laight that shines when all other lights go out"

Love you

Elen Sila Omientielvo....(May a star shine on the hour of our meeting.......

How beautiful and kind and yes, our hearts are knitting in friendship that I hope will last forever.

I have dim recollections of the party of Strider as the Hobbit folk knew Aragorn, Merry, Pippin , Sam and Frodo coming upon certain areas that were clearly under the dreadful curses and weariness of Morder; places that had once been fresh and alive and green and peaceful as illuvatar had intended, but were now hot, acrid burnt out shells; and I remember sentiments being  said by Aragorn and also Gandalf in other situations. They would mention how, although the earth and flora and fauna there were now all but gone and forgotten, still there was a sort of imprint from what had been, a ghost if you will of the beauty and honor and nobility of the place that still clung to the area so that one could almost glean hope and rest when they had to camp there.

My point is, do you think that Middle-Earth herself had a sort of broken heart, a grieving for what was and was lost, until the curses were broken and healing had begun once more?

Faramir is really getting to me as of late. His father's rejection and his response before he leaves for battle and his almost doom, you can feel his heart breaking but keeping it together to lead his people into war. Then he seems like a broken spirit in the House of Healing, like a boy again, and so broken in pride. But if we're talking ALL the books, what about Turin? Having this destiny for greatness, and yet a parallel fate for inevitable sadness, defeat. His story has everlasting anguishes tragedies are meant to have.

Arijuanna, just reading your post gave tears and an ache in my throat. You make good points and I agree.

Well, your forums challenge my heart to feel intensely what the characters are facing, and that is a journey I love taking. But isn't it so true? Like the many spectacularly neglected truths in life that Tolkien brings out in his novels, the fact that I can feel the burn of a father's displeasure toward his son, as if I am the son that he would rather have been dead, or during a re-reading understand the remorse in a steward's clouded, hopeless heart, and the resonating weight of pending destruction of a beloved, ancient city; all of this proves a belief that we are all summoned to see risings and wrenching, dismissive failures, carry appointed burdens, yet regret being the ones whom they landed upon, to experience bittersweet sunsets, we're all here man and woman, young and old, born here or there, but all that we are to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. We are who we are, and that does not disclude us from other's perils if we don't allow it to. As it is, we are equals, and Tolkien proves that no one is exempt from a good story's heartbreak. Probably didn't make sense. It's 3:16 am and my head is jumbled with thoughts of another world.

It did make sense.  Tolkien wrote from the perspective of truth that transcends the trappings of the story and resonates in our lives.  This is what makes great literature.


The image I would have of a broken heart comes from the DVD extended version of the Lord of The Rings.

The revelation of his son's(Theodred) death after King Theoden is freed from the power of Saruman.  After the rituals and burial of his son, Theoden is alone with Gandalf, to reflect on what might have been.

To me this is revealing a broken heart of a father lamenting the loss of an only son.

Thank you for your comments. I have noticed on this site that, even the comments of those participating in this thread are so filled with emotion and understanding that i seem to be able to feel sorrow just from the comments.

Hello Everybody,

Sorry I have not posted for a while....I have just found out the husband of a very dear friend has cancer, and he probably will not make it.....Life is so unfair...but then as The Professor said..."some people live who deserve to die, and others die who deserve life...."

Your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated...then we would not feel so alone.....

As someone who lost her little sister to cancer at Christmas I totally relate to your grief. I have prayed for him and I will continue.

Oh,,,LeeLee, I am so sorry...I had no idea....Thank you so much for your prayers....You are a sister to me....I wish I could hug you...big hug across the internet....

A hug back Alana.

I have mentioned him before, but lately images of Elrond, having to leave all he built up and was so fond of in Middle-Earth at Imladris, and the absolute horrible grief of losing his only beloved daughter, knowing she was now a vulnerable mortal and would lay down and die and leave the circle of the earth, while he and her mother and grandmother would go on and on across the sea, the images of his care-worn face, the sorrow in his eyes nearly haunts me.

Oh, LeeLee, you make me cry.....yes, for the Elves to lose  a loved one, is even worse than for humans; because, being immortal, they expected to have that person forever; or at least as long as the "world" lasts....i guess nothing is "forever".....

You know, i wondered...when i watched the scene in the movie...when Smeagol is murdering Deagol for possession of the was like he was so single minded; focussed on what he wnted..that it seemed like he was feeling; you know, it doesn't matter what i do to get this ring...once i have it, it wont matter,,,because everything will be alright then.....and what scares me is,,,I have felt like this myself....but in the end of course the ring betrayed him....I suppose , to quote Sirius, from Harry Potter; "The world is not divided into Good People & Bad people; we all have Light and Darkness within is the part we choose to act on; that's what decides who we really are ?"

What do we think ?....

I think that is a good description of Smeagol in that moment or that space of time, single minded. I tnink evil is like a seed. Any thing can plant it in you, trauma, fear. lonliness, hate, jealousy, whatever. But it takes oneself to water it and tend it. It is sort of a covenant if you will. You either covenant to do good or evil and then you steadfastly water that seed planted good or evil . And I noticed that it said somewhere that he preferred looking up, always looking down . The earth , the good earth is down, but if you begin to dig deep and then deeper, if you never again look up and behold the sun and the sky , the breathtaking and  pristine beauty of it for say a long long time, well then, when you do you are too dazzled, perhaps even frightened and it gets harder and harder to face the light. And then you become just a destructive force that could only be rescued by great power, and only if you let it. I think Illuvatar, who gave this creature life and did not suffer him to be destroyed by mordor or elves or men, but extended him mercy after mercy, chance after chance, well I think HE even more than any suffered a broken heart over this.

Yes, I think you are right...but the ultimate irony is, that without Gollum; the whole thing would have failed; ultimately Frodo was conquered by the ring; it was only Gollum's intervention that, unwittingly , saved Middle Earth.

Is this an example of how Ilyuvatar brings Good out of Evil ?.....The Professor coined a new word...."Eucatastrophe"...the sudden turn from despair to hope.......

Do you think , at the end, Frodo's heart was that why he could only find healing in The Blessed Realm...?

I hope he found peace there....

There is something about 'death' in the world of we elves that puzzles me and I am hoping someone with knowledge greater than mine can help. We have seen through the eyes of our professor the total and hopeless and hideous grief suffered by Men when a loved one was taken, and even in the movie each and every time King Theoden asks Aeowyn to let him go to be with his kin after she brokenheartedly says she will save him, well her grief always makes me cry too; well what of the Elves. Because they can come back, there is some sort of reincarnation, not as the world outside the Church that was the heart and soul of Tolkien teaches against, but the Elves could come back as themselves. So, did they actually have anything like Men's sort of grief with the knowledge their loved ones could come back to the circle of the earth?

Further to my post above, since I dont know how the elves felt about death or being slain since they could come back, I will say that I believe for them separation was terribly terribly painful and caused the deepest broken heart. Now I know that at least those like Elfrond and Galadriel, and perhaps though I would have to look it up, Gandalf, could communicate telepathically as it were, with no audible speech to one another, I dont know if Arwen could or if any of those could over long distances. I don't know what the rules of Illuvatar were concerning this. Because if they could, surely they would 'talk' to those in the Blessed Realm and keep up with whatever was going on. But the point I am making is that even if they could, the pain of never seeing some of their beloved who had chosen a mortal's life , never beholding their dear faces and knowing they could not come back must have been almost unbearable. To me that is worse than death. That is like when I was a child being told that 'no matter, you can talk to so and so on the phone.'That did not comfort me in the least because the one loved was not there to put my arms about.'

I was considering Eowyn a few minutes ago and her young cousin Theodred and I wondered, along with Eomer, I never remember how to spell the names; I was wondering what sad conversations they would have in the night when many were sleeping including their uncle. What whispered anguished words passed between them as they witnessed day after day their uncle, Theodred's father  becoming increasingly weaker and unsteadier in mind by the poisonous words of Grima which were directed by Saraman and by the spell that turncoat wizard had over the King. To see such a horror and not be able to do anything to recall his mind to sanity and reality once more must have been a true nightmare. And then for brother and sister, tired out , lonely, worried and feeling near hopeless, for them to see their cousin cut down in the prime of his youth never to have seen his father's glorious recovery and the defeat of Sauron , the peace in his land, that must have all but crushed their dear good hearts. It makes me feel numb with emotional pain sometimes, it is hard to think on.

I was considering Eowyn a few minutes ago and her young cousin Theodred and I wondered, along with Eomer, I never remember how to spell the names; I was wondering what sad conversations they would have in the night when many were sleeping including their uncle. What whispered anguished words passed between them as they witnessed day after day their uncle, Theodred's father becoming increasingly weaker and unsteadier in mind by the poisonous words of Grima which were directed by Saraman and by the spell that turncoat wizard had over the King. To see such a horror and not be able to do anything to recall his mind to sanity and reality once more must have been a true nightmare. And then for brother and sister, tired out , lonely, worried and feeling near hopeless, for them to see their cousin cut down in the prime of his youth never to have seen his father's glorious recovery and the defeat of Sauron , the peace in his land, that must have all but crushed their dear good hearts. It makes me feel numb with emotional pain sometimes, it is hard to think on.
Tolkien's words ("who knows what she spoke to the darkness... alone, in the bitter watches of the night...") imply that ’owyn spoke with no one about what she felt, most likely because of the fact that Gr’ma had poisonous words of his own for her. Her unwillingness (or inability) of sharing this anguish with anyone is what greatly contributed to her later actions.

Well spoken Vir. It seems it was a time when sharing grief and sorrow really had to take a back seat to the worries at hand. One seemed to receive blow after blow and simply push it to the back of the mind and heart in order to accomplish what was needed in violent and uncertain times.

And Vir, speaking of pain of heart, I would like to say how sorry I am for the grief in Belgium at the moment. Senseless things such as happened can by me at least never ever be understood. Your beautiful country and the people and families harmed are in my prayers.

It was just after I posted on another thread that a thought came to me, what about Illuvatar's heart. Perhaps when we think of the Creator of that world and the elves and men and dwarves and hobbits and all the creatures, perhaps we think of him as distant and far away and without much emotion. But I would have to disagree, for any artist can only put into his creation that which comes from within his or herself, any man and woman can only produce a baby in the natural manner from that which comes from the joining of his and herself and the dna and all that goes into the beginning of life in the womb. Therefore because He loved, they loved, because He hated evil, they could hate evil or pervert that and hate good, because he experienced brokeness of heart in some way we cannot understand , so too could those who came from him so to speak.

With that in mind I am thinking that the first act of violence and treachery, the first hating and slaying of kin against kin must have broken his heart. The whole of his achingly beautiful world smeared and broken and full of dark and blood and woundedness. Surely his heart was broken all the while he was working toward the ending of evil dominating all that once was pure beauty and love and hope and peace.

Too true Virumer. Eowen truly is one of the most doomed character in the whole LOTR series. What a horrible life, yet of all the heroes I believe that she is one of the bravest. True of heart, hauntingly cold, naive in a way, and histories first Feminist. Where in Tolkiens brain did she come from?

Other than Frodo, Aeowyn is the person I most idenify with, and  Iagree that her life was one of such grief and loss and hopes dashed against the rocks for far too long. The loss of her uncle was really the last straw

and  it was fortuitous that the King came along straight away and began to heal her or surely she would have died of grief never mind the wounds from the Witch King.

Yes Lee lee the powers of the true king with the mingled blood lines of the Maia, the Eldar and the Men of the West. I often wonder what Ethelas, the blessing healing herb, would actually look and smell like. I love the aromatherapy aspect that Tolkien uses with Kingsfoil, he does seem to have some knowledge in herb law. Also the almost Angelic like qualities given to King Ellasar are quite heart warming, even for a non believer Elf like me. If anyone (probably Galin the scholastic) knows if there is a modern day contemporary variety of Ethelas I would be greatly interested.

John Ronald's mother taught her sons a great deal about flowers and herbs, and he came to love such. You might want to pop over to a site called Ashbrooke and under the title Kingship, the hands of a healer' written by Lauren Calco, who wrote a Thesis on Tolkien in response to heavy criticism of Tolkien's works by the literary world, and find out just how deeply Tolkien delved into healing and the need for a whole and good king in order for his subjects to find healing of mind, body, and also of the land. I detected one error upon quick examination and that was of the writer calling Hilary John's sister instead of brother, but it was still very well done in my opinion.

Sounds interesting Lee Lee I'll take a look.

I have to agree that Eowyn was a tortured soul.  And i think it is a testament to Master Tolkien's notion of helpmate that he had her find Faramir.  He is another tortured soul, son of a father who never loved him and brother of one who did not share glory.

I have been pondering Leelee's thoughts on Illuvator having a broken heart and I agree.  Although He heard the Song and gave it life, I wonder if He knew just how much misery would come from Melkor's dischord.  Since He is the Creator, I suppose He must have known.  And on that note, I can't help but wonder how many times He put forth His will and aided His children.  Was it His hand that guided the Mariner to the shores of the West?  Maybe its the optimist in me, but I like to think that there were times when He lended aid, be it only miniscule, to the Elves and later on Men and other races.




I think, for the most part Illuvatar had a master plan, much like an architect you makes the grand plans for the beautiful home. But within that the residents of the home make it theirs, they do great things to enhance and some do stupid or mean things to wreck the beauty for a myriad of reasons Only when appealed to the architect comes and aids the owners in ideas to restore or make better in a different way , but restoration at the key. Remember during the one war when the elves laid down their weapons and appealed to the gods to intervene, that of course had to be approved by Illuvatar, a pot cannot ascend beyond The Potter. But unless those created appealed to Illuvatar either directly or to those just under Him, his adminstrators I think things were left alone, for good or evil, only moving ahead at the will of Illvatar to complete his grand plan at the end and restore all things.

I think Galadriel has one of the most broken hearts.

First of course what happened to her daughter, that must have been terrible, not knowing if she´s alive or not and then she sails to Valinor and Galadriel was not allowed to come with her and if she would ever be allowed to follow, obviously she thought that the ban would be permanent, as long as arda will be, so for her it was the last time she would see he daughter. And with all this grieve still be able to save Lorien, that is true greatness, many other persons would probably be lost in depressions but of course not for nothing she is said to be among the three greatest of all the eldar.

The only way to see her maybe again is to die and go to mandos and not knowing if he would let her out. In her lament her sadness and fear is clearly to see, to be imprisoned in a grey world with no way out and to see everyone she loves leaving.

Then of course Arwen, maybe the pain of loosing a grandchild is not as terrible as loosing the own child, but I´m sure it must have affected her.

Then the mental stress not knowing how the ring war would end, I mean in the worst case all the elves could leave, for her the way was closed. That´s like standing on a tightrope with only abyss. And the mental stress to see her family in valinor again and more important the valar, how would they react? Would she be accepted like back then? Is there regardless of the pardon some sort of punishment? Maybe this were her thoughts when returning to valinor.

IMHO this must have been troubling and the person I think Galadriel is keeps that all to herself and talks about that to no one.

That was my pity party for Galadriel angry

Too true Nerwen regarding Galadrial.  As well as the personal grief which you mention She also would have seen the death of thousands of Elves throughout the Ages.  Some Kin, most followers and acquaintances.  "The Long Defeat" as she puts it would have been incredibly depressing for the Noldorian Elves stuck in Middle Earth, especially for Galadrial the ever loved...

Well said Nerwen, very well said. Somewhere in this thread I think I mentioned Lord Elrond having thesame grief because of the family dynamics and his grief at holding his girl one last time, the very last time. I cry thinking about it. I know what it is to lose all one's family and it is a kind of grief that cannot really be compared to other griefs, not that it is worse, but that it is unique. It is the tearing as it were of a picture into fragments that was once a family photo and no matter how you would try to piece it together it could never look or feel the same again. And it is the sundering of a clan, it's strength and beauty for all time , it's noise and vibrance now still and totally horrifyingly silent. And even someone going away and never coming back is a worse death, for there is never any closure is there unless one can somehow achieve a detachment in the mind and then move on.

Thank you, and then I wonder how she felt about the Valar, if she was disappointed or bitter on them, cause she was kinda banished for no reason, IMHO of course she did small mistakes, in one version being the leader of the rebellion, in the other version replying proudly that she doesn´t wish to return, nothing really dramatic IMHO, there are elves who did much worse things then her.  If I were her I would  maybe be even a little bit hurt.

Nerwen that is a very good point. I am not certain, I will have to return to The Letters once more, but perhaps our Professor Tolkien settled on the point that she had indeed not led the rebellion but did reject pardon , which one would do iif she felt she did no wrong that needed pardon. And although she did wish to be in Middle Earth that she might rule over a people and bow to no one as it were, still to understand that the doors were shut to her in that she could never return to the beginning would certainly be a grief, a heartache for certain.

It would have been an ease if she knew for certain that she could escape to Valinor if things were getting rough, but they let her in this uncertainty. IMHO the Valar should be proud of her, at least the valar who teached her, Yavanna and Aule for example, for she was able to create to beautiful Lorien, that was surely something Yavanna teached her and she ended the long lasting enmity between Elves and Dwarfs, I think that made Aule happy.

In my mind Galadrial had a noble cause to follow. The doom of Mandos was basically a catilyst to move her and others to the East. Galadrial was Instumental in the down fall of Sauron. Like Mithrandir, Tree Beard or Elrond take any one out of the sinario and all would fail. I believe that Eru had a plan and he wanted Galadrial to go.

As we make our way through The Hobbit I remember a while back when my family read the whole thing together over a month and I recall weeping as if my heart would break when Fili and Kili died in the battle and also Thorin, the great noble and brave Thorin. All for jewels it would seem, but really it was so much more than that. And I wondered how broken their hearts must have been, particularly Thorin before they died. Already so much sorrow and harm and to die , never having finished their quest or having been the ones that avenged their family against Smaug, the whole thing is such a terrible waste and tragedy,

Samwise Ghamgee often stands before me , in my mind of course, at the least opportune times, as if to say 'pay attention to me and I will teach you a great deal about my creator, Creator, JRR Tplkien , what he truly believed, how he viewed the world in which he lived and what he longed to see the average person do with his or her life to prevent the world, Middle or no from being covered with a final darkness. So I contemplate him and thoughts come to my mind.

Today though I thought about Sam himself, how amazing a character he truly was. He was stubborn in certain ways, but there was a streak of Elven in him somehow that was lofty and longed for useful information, and even more, true beauty. He bathed in the true beauty of nature and was a most skilled gardener after his father though with more imagination I think. And he longed for the knowledge and the fine and kingly ways of the Elves. This he obtained through learning to read from his master Frodo Baggins of the Shire. And then further as he met and interchanged  words and thought with many Elves on his journey.

Sam was very passionate in his way and feelings ran deep in his loyal and gentle heart. So I thought how much pain, terrible pain , broken heartedness Sam went through at losing Frodo to the West, and then leaving all his family once Rosie died to go the West to be with his master. He truly was always being torn apart at one time or another. Such pain he endured. I admire Sam.

Ah, Sam, dear Sam. I am surprised he has not been mentioned here before. Though I don't think the book , or movie, comes out and states it, I always think of the way Sam must have felt throughout the latter portion of the quest, when it was just him, Frodo, and for some time Gollum. How painful it must have been, to go day after day, seeing Frodo grapple with evil, and slowly succumb to the power of the Ring. I think that Sam, with his loyal, gentle heart, would have truly felt pain and brokenness at seeing his friend in such a state, and being unable to save him.
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