Thread: The Houses of Healing
*** Channel #bilbos-study was created at Sun Apr 25 20:36:55 2004
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[20:50] *** V_away is now known as V
[21:12] [Rednell] I think it will be just you and me V.
[21:12] [V] is that OK with you?
[21:13] [Rednell] yep
[21:15] [Rednell] Anyway, we start out with Merry and company coming into Minas Tirith
[21:15] [V] the ruined gate
[21:16] [Rednell] and Merry loses the rest of the company as he is lost in his dream
[21:16] [V] but bumps into Pippin
[21:16] [V] luckily
[21:16] [V] interesting he was dreaming about a tomb.....
[21:17] [Rednell] Merry's response to Pippins statement "...that one poor hobbit coming in from the battle is easily overlooked" was a good one too.
[21:18] [V] yes especially as it was good for Merry to be overlooked
[21:18] [V] when the WK was there
[21:18] [Rednell] indeed
[21:18] [Rednell] yes, the dream of the tomb was rather symbolic of Merry's hopelessness.
[21:18] [V] Gandalf says he should have been borne in honour
[21:18] [Rednell] which was part of the "Black Shadow"
[21:19] [V] and if Elrond had not agreed - Merry wouldn not have been at the right place.....
[21:19] [V] Seems many people died from it
[21:19] [Rednell] yes, that was confirmation of the role "fate" or Eru played
[21:20] [V] Eowyn and Merry suffered differently from Faramir
[21:20] [Rednell] does the "black shadow" seem to remind or symbolize anything real in life?
[21:20] [V] he is described as having a fever
[21:21] [V] yet everyone else under the Black Shadow suffered that sleep and death thing
[21:21] [V] depression
[21:21] [Rednell] it brought to my mind the mental sufferings of soldiers who return from the horrors of war.
[21:21] [V] shell shocked
[21:22] [Rednell] yes, exactly, just as Tolkien himself had been affected
[21:22] [V] ah
[21:22] [V] not thought of that
[21:23] [Rednell] I think that is why it is described so well that the reader feels the pain and that is why this chapter is so emotional
[21:24] [V] I like Ioreth
[21:24] [V] she provides a light hearted relief
[21:24] [Rednell] Indeed, I love her character. She is my favorite minor character.
[21:25] [V] Why didn't Gandalf think of Aragorn as being ble to heal?
[21:25] [Rednell] I am not sure if he really knew that Aragorn could until he heard Ioreth's old folk rhyme
[21:25] [V] he knew Aragorn had the skills
[21:25] [Rednell] Not everything was revealed to Gandalf.
[21:25] [V] didn't he?
[21:26] [V] I am sure there was reference earlier
[21:26] [Rednell] indeed, but remember, it was Elrond who healed Frodo, not Aragorn
[21:26] [V] I may be wrong
[21:26] [V] yes, it was
[21:26] [V] ah
[21:26] [V] maybe I am just confused - don't ell Vir
[21:26] [Rednell] there was a reference to the coming of the king, but I don't think it mentioned that he was a healer.
[21:27] [V] I like the way Aragorn won't enter the city
[21:27] [Rednell] the time was not his
[21:28] [V] but he has to go in to heal the others......
[21:28] [Rednell] what I mean is that the time to rule Gondor was not his
[21:28] [V] Doesn't the description of Theoden sound like the Kings of Numenor when they chose to die
[21:29] [Rednell] the old folk rhyme, or prophesy if you will, had to be fulfilled
[21:29] [V] Yes about Aragorn - he was right but I found it amusing that he had to sneak in anyway
[21:29] [V] Ioreth's rhyme?
[21:30] [V] I thought it was a prophecy
[21:30] [Rednell] true, the reader is left to wonder how he will fulfil the prophesy if he stays outside the walls
[21:30] [V] more than a ryhme
[21:30] [Rednell] yes, it is a prophesy, but that is usually how prophesies are perceived, just as folklore
[21:31] [Rednell] it is evident when Aragorn asked for athelas
[21:31] [V] there is a little light relief between Aragorn and Ioreth and her chatting
[21:32] [V] I love it when Ioreth says the hands of the king are the hands of a healer
[21:33] [Rednell] yes, indeed. I think the "bantering" is there to give the reader the sense of Ioreth's knowledge of the old tales which have probably been lost on the young
[21:33] [V] how did Pippin guess it was Aragorn in the ships?
[21:33] [Rednell] Was it discussed before Aragorn went through the Paths of the Dead?
[21:34] [V] I don't think so
[21:35] [V] I shall look out for any reference to that if I remember
[21:35] [Rednell] It would seem that is to remain a mystery
[21:35] [V] Also interesting that Aragorn's name is also Envinyatar, The Renewer
[21:35] [V] as he is renewing lives
[21:36] [V] and Gandalf makes another reference to see many things far off
[21:36] [Rednell] and renewing Gondor
[21:36] [V] ye sof course
[21:36] [V] and the race of men in a way
[21:36] [V] and Aragorn makes reference to Elrond as being the eldest of all our race - not races
[21:36] [Rednell] yes, the Numoreans in particular
[21:37] [Rednell] yes, because Aragorn is a descendant of Elrond
[21:37] [Rednell] 's brother, Eros
[21:37] [V] true they are kin but not of the same race really
[21:38] [Rednell] Elros, sorroy
[21:38] [V] almost as though Aragorn was thinking of the elves as his race or adopted race
[21:38] [V] he was rather involved with them
[21:38] [V] Eros is a different mythology
[21:38] [Rednell] Aragorn has Elvish blookd
[21:38] [Rednell] blood
[21:39] [Rednell] and Arwen has Elvish, human and Maiar blood
[21:39] [Rednell] I find it wonderful the way Tolkien brings the 3 bloodlines together in the union between Arwen and Aragorn.
[21:39] [Rednell] but that is for later.
[21:41] [Rednell] What indescribable joy Eomer must have felt when he learned that Eowyn was not dead.
[21:41] [V] I can't believe he didn't know
[21:41] [V] he was with Imrahil earlier
[21:41] [V] why didn't he say something then
[21:41] [Rednell] well, probably didn't come up in conversation.'
[21:42] [Rednell] they were somewhat occupied.
[21:42] [V] I suppose so.......
[21:42] [V] and Aragorn gives control to Imrahil
[21:42] [Rednell] made sense actually. That is what the people of Gondor would have expected.
[21:43] [V] true
[21:43] [V] as you said, not his time
[21:44] [Rednell] Did you get a sense that Aragorn felt pity for Eowyn?
[21:44] [V] yes
[21:44] [V] are we going ahead to that bit
[21:45] [Rednell] well before that we have the name that Aragorn choses for his House.
[21:45] [V] Strider
[21:45] [Rednell] Telcontar does sound much classier than Strider.
[21:45] [V] yes indeed
[21:46] [V] they didn't know that Faramir was struck by the Black Shadow
[21:46] [V] they thought he had been hit by an arrow from the #WK
[21:47] [V] more examples of Faramir's bravery when Aragorn says that slowly the dark must have crept on him even as he fought and strove to hold his outpost.
[21:47] [Rednell] on the battlefield they had thought he had been hit by a Southron arrow and didn't expect the wound to be life threatening. It was later that Imrahil remembered that the arrow came from above.
[21:48] [Rednell] which would have the WK
[21:48] [V] but it didn't
[21:48] [V] they just thought that because he was so sick
[21:48] [V] Interesting that the smell of Kingsfoil is different for each one of them
[21:49] [V] roses, fresh air and orchards I think
[21:49] [Rednell] yes, that was very interesting.
[21:49] [Rednell] an indication of it's "magical" qualities.
[21:49] [V] it was dewy mornings for Faramir but Ioreth smelt roses
[21:49] [V] and then Faramir awakes..............
[21:49] [Rednell] each scent would be personal
[21:50] [V] and says that lovely piece
[21:50] [V] and I start crying........ again
[21:51] [Rednell] I think that part that got me was his unquestioning recognition of Aragorn as the King
[21:51] [V] had they met before?
[21:52] [Rednell] I don't think so.
[21:52] [Rednell] Faramir had been injured before Aragorn arrived on the ships.
[21:52] [V] no, I didn't think so either which makes it more poignant that Faramir instantly recognises him as the King
[21:52] [V] And Ioreth tells everyone
[21:52] [V] so that's his secret out
[21:52] [Rednell] Aragorn spoke to him while he was in the coma
[21:53] [V] yes, he did some serious stuff there
[21:53] [Rednell] just think how excited someone like Ioreth would be to see a prophesy fulfilled
[21:53] [Rednell] I just love that woman.
[21:53] [V] as if removed from them, and walked afar in some dark vale, calling for one that was lost
[21:54] [V] and she was the one who set it in motion
[21:54] [V] if she hadn't said that the three of them may have died
[21:55] [V] said about the king being a healer...
[21:55] [Rednell] true but I don't think she really believed in it anymore than just an old folktale
[21:55] [V] no but she was proud of herself after the event
[21:56] [Rednell] hmmm, so you think that Gandalf realized that Aragorn would be needed to heal them and summoned him?
[21:56] [Rednell] yes, she certainly was, I could read "I told you so" between the lines.
[21:56] [V] I think Gandalf was prepared to try anything
[21:57] [V] and maybe some folklore was recalled by him when Ioreth said her piece
[21:57] [V] he certainly dashed off to get Aragorn
[21:57] [Rednell] yes, I am surprised at how much was not revealed to him being that he was a maiar
[21:58] [V] yet he shows perception when he talks of Eowyn
[21:58] [V] whereas the other two blokes don't have a clue
[21:58] [Rednell] indeed he does.
[21:59] [Rednell] Aragorn certainly didn't read her right.
[21:59] [V] Eomer had no idea
[21:59] [V] he says until she looked on Aragorn........
[21:59] [V] men!
[22:00] [Rednell] "white flower standing straight and proud, hard as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel"
[22:00] [V] The best speech in the book - But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in th bitter watches of the night........
[22:00] [V] Aragorn says "I know not how I should speak of her"
[22:00] [Rednell] indeed, Saruman's evil had touched more than Theoden
[22:01] [V] Eomer referrs to the king's 'bewitchment' which is probably why we think of Theoden as having been under a spell
[22:02] [V] Gandalf hits on the bit about them getting all the fun and she has to stay home......
[22:02] [Rednell] I really love Gandalf's perception:"born in the body of a maid had a spirit and courage at least the match of yours yet she was doomed to wait upon an old man, whom she loved as a father, and watch him falling into a mean dishonoured dotage and her part seemed to her more ignoble than that of the staff he leaned on"
[22:02] [V] Aragorn is right about her not loving him rather loving the image of him
[22:03] [V] Gandalf's description reminds me of Elizabeth the First
[22:03] [V] more ignoble than the staff he leaned on is so descriptive
[22:03] [Rednell] now that you mention it, it does.
[22:03] [Rednell] she was very hard on herself
[22:04] [V] I am always amazed at how much Tolkien gets into so few words
[22:04] [Rednell] me too.
[22:04] [V] thatched barn! The Golden hall
[22:04] [Rednell] Tolkien is making a commentary on the role of women in society here, don't you think?
[22:05] [V] yes
[22:05] [V] our place is in the kitchen etc
[22:05] [V] or society perceived it as being so
[22:05] [Rednell] yes, that is definitely the message that I get and it was the opinion in Tolkien's time
[22:07] [V] Aragorn refers to her needing 'other healing' which he cannot bring......... hmmmm could that be Faramir
[22:08] [Rednell] I don't think the tales of Amazon Women were particuarly embraced by men and I think that Tolkien went to great lengths to avoid Eowyn, shieldmaiden, coming across as an Amazon
[22:08] [Rednell] I think it is Faramir and I have thoughts on that too which I plan to discuss when we reach that part of the story
[22:09] [Rednell] That will be interesting with Virumor as he and I touched on it a bit last week and couldn't quite come to an agreement
[22:09] [V] ah
[22:10] [Rednell] When Gandalf predicts that she will have health and hope she only sees health if she returns to the saddle as a shieldmaiden. Almost as if she has a deathwish.
[22:11] [V] She says that there is no hope for her.... a few times I think
[22:11] [V] bit depressive is our Eowyn
[22:11] [Rednell] indeed.
[22:11] [V] She mentions that Theoden forsaw his death
[22:12] [Rednell] yes, and we had mentioned that too in previous chapters.
[22:12] [V] Maybe the Rohirrim are all depressives
[22:12] [Rednell] well, the times were pretty foreboding
[22:12] [V] Tolkien slips in little notes to reinforce things
[22:13] [V] It seems that to her Theoden has reclaimed the honour for Rohan - she refers to the dark days
[22:13] [Rednell] And yet another prediction from Gandalf about Merry: "His grief he will not forget, but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom"
[22:13] [V] he grew up
[22:14] [V] not so much the impish boy
[22:14] [Rednell] that is exactly how I saw it too.
[22:14] [V] and he was hungry bless him
[22:14] [V] first words I am hungry
[22:14] [V] he really loved Theoden
[22:15] [Rednell] question is, was it his boyish naivity that saved him from being ever reminded of the dark shadows?
[22:16] [Rednell] yes, it brought tears to my eyes when he said that smoking would not be the same for him ever again.
[22:16] [V] probably, that and being a hobbit - lots of fibre
[22:16] [V] tough folk are hobbits
[22:16] [Rednell] indeed, more than what meets the eye
[22:17] [V] they all had a part to play
[22:17] [V] it was a good job they all went on the quest
[22:17] [V] even though they ended up in different places ?
[22:18] [Rednell] yes
[18:19] [Rednell] yes
[18:21] [Rednell] anyway, we are at another great passage in the chapter.
[18:22] [Rednell] When Aragorn gives Merry the "lecture" about losing his
backpack on the battlefield.
[18:23] [V] he's having a laugh
[18:23] [V] Aragorn sounds like Gandalf and his I have not passed through
[18:23] [V] did Gandalf actually say that in the book?
[18:24] [Rednell] Gandalf?
[18:25] [V] I remember in the film Gandalf says to Wormtongue "I have not
passed through fire and death....." or something
[18:25] [V] just wondered if he did say that or whether they took the
words from Aragorn
[18:26] [V] Aragorn is also having a laugh at the herbmasters
[18:27] [Rednell] He really is. I just love it. I can't remember if Ioreth
[18:28] [V] I don't think so
[18:28] [V] she isn't mentioned
[18:28] [Rednell] It almost sounded as if it were for her benefit. I think
the humour is lost on Merry and Pippin
[18:29] [Rednell] That is until Pippin notices the backpack at the foot of
[18:32] [V] Then poor Aragorn had to go and heal everyone else........
[18:33] [Rednell] yes, that was indeed very interesting.
[18:33] [V] it says that Elfstone was chosen by his own people........ but
I thought he was called that before then
[18:33] [V] it was a bit Jesus like..... going out and healing........
[18:33] [Rednell] In fact, it has very religious undertones, but I won't
[18:33] [Rednell] lol, well, you did.
[18:34] [Rednell] well, next week we discuss The Last Debate
[18:34] [V] oooooh
[18:34] [V] yes
[18:34] [V] good chapterEnd of #bilbos-study buffer Sun Apr 25 18:35:12 2004