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Passages that drive you crazy.
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High Lord Tolkien
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject: Passages that drive you crazy. Reply with quote

This passage always drives me nuts.
I read it and reread it....but it never makes sense.
I just pronounce the word "close" wrong.

****************************************
'As for Bilbo,' said Gandalf, 'he is waiting for the same day, and he knows what keeps you. And as
for the passing of the days, it is now only May and high summer is not yet in; and though all things
may seem changed, as if an age of the world had gone by, yet to the trees and the grass it is less than a
year since you set out.'
'Pippin,' said Frodo, 'didn't you say that Gandalf was less close than of old? He was weary of his
labours then, I think. Now he is recovering.'
And Gandalf said: 'Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who
have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise
louder. And Aragorn himself waits for a sign.'

*******************************************

What is "less close" in that sentence?
Verb: "close the gate"
Adj: "close relatives"
It's an verb right?

So it reads: Gandalf is less "closed off" meaning more open than before but now he's being secretive again.
Because if it's an adj it makes no sense. If he was less close (meaning more distant than before) Frodo saying that he's getting better (because he's being more secretive makes no sense.

This passage drives me freaking nuts every time.
Is it a verb?
Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, IMO "less close" in this sense means he is more open about things, he speaks more freely. So it's "close" rhyming with "dose", not with "doze". An adjective.

Frodo is joshing Gandalf for being secretive about the special day that Aragorn keeps alluding to but not being clear about. And Gandalf admits that he is indeed.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything Bombadil [sp?] drives me nuts...but not the kind of nuts you're talking about.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Everything Bombadil [sp?] drives me nuts...but not the kind of nuts you're talking about.


Thanks WF.

Vraith, Tolkien wrote Bombadil intentionally as a character to make you go "What the heck?"
He actually had a term for it that I can't remember, sorry.
I hated the Bombadil chapters for a long time. But for the past few years now though I love them.
Same thing with the Farmer Maggot parts. Very Happy

How does he drive you nuts?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate it when people say that Bombadil has wings.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Jot and tittle concerning the Unbeliever Reply with quote

I'm aware this is the Tolkien thread, but there's a passage from the chapter Forth to War that's a bit odd. Maybe you can clarify this for me 'cos its drivin me nuts'.

This is when Hile Troy has left Furl Falls to join the assembled Warward.


Quote:
Yet Covenant appeared insensitive to her, immune to her. He wore and aura of weary bitterness. His beard darkened his whole face, as if to assert that he had not one jot or tittle of belief to his name. He looked like an Unbeliever, an infidel. And his presence seemed to demean the High Lord, sully her Landlike beauty.


I'm always infuriated when Stephen Donaldson plays around with a word here and a word there, considering they're surrounded by thousands and thousands of other words. But this is also Stephen Donaldson at his most calculating foxiness [in my opinion]; a supreme author at work.

My way of thinking is that the word tittle close to the word aura is proof that maybe the word turtle is being cunningly exposed to scrutiny. And at a second glance there is almost the complimentary word tortoise. Also, with Elena close by...well I've gone far enough for that.

I once tried to put forward something similair a while back and Wayfriend you rightly pointed out that books can be notorious for missprints. This time I'm sure this lead somewhere - although looking for tildes, cedillas, etc...mmm, now that would really drive me nuts!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Jot and tittle concerning the Unbeliever Reply with quote

Krazy Kat wrote:
I'm aware this is the Tolkien thread, but there's a passage from the chapter Forth to War that's a bit odd. Maybe you can clarify this for me 'cos its drivin me nuts'.

This is when Hile Troy has left Furl Falls to join the assembled Warward.


Quote:
Yet Covenant appeared insensitive to her, immune to her. He wore and aura of weary bitterness. His beard darkened his whole face, as if to assert that he had not one jot or tittle of belief to his name. He looked like an Unbeliever, an infidel. And his presence seemed to demean the High Lord, sully her Landlike beauty.




The phrase "jot or tittle" actually refers to small strokes of a pen in writing. Hence, when Jesus told the Pharisees "Not one jot or tittle will pass from the Law, but shall all fulfilled" He's saying that the Law will remain exactly the same, and that there will not be the slightest change.
In your passage, Donaldson is kinda doing a reverse: here, he is saying that Covenant is asserting that there isn't even a smidgen of belief "to his name", or in less poetic language, he doesn't believe a damn thing about what's happening then.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for throwing some light on that, Orlion. Glad to know both words are part of a proper phrase. Sometimes I'll read too much into sections of the chronicles and loss my thread on things. This helps loads.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My initial reaction is that "less close" means "far". He was distant. Distracted. Not easy to talk to.


And I've always loved every moment of Bombadil, both in person and when they talk about him.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Passages that drive you crazy. Reply with quote

What part of the story does the above passage take place?

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
What if Gandalf were less (near) close. Making Frodo ask Pippin the question almost like Gandalf were either a short distance away, or a great distance away.

In the above paragraph, May and may was used. This could be very significant.

hence

This piece really gets nuts as in this sentence [as if an age of the world had gone by] gives the anagrams: Gandalf spelled in reverse is FLAGNAG. IF AN AGE <- e GA N A F i - and to complete his name, the 'l' and the 'd' are borrowed from the word 'world'.

So the feeling of an age gone by could have contained a war, new technology, etc. if it weren't for the trees and the grass it would have seemed a lot more than a year.

If Tolkien was using World War II as an alternate reference to the events in Middle Earth then is it possible the hobbits had radio communication of sorts (or maybe something simialor)?

And if they did, this could cause an explosion of wonderful possibilities.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

* just wait to this thread gathers weight!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
My initial reaction is that "less close" means "far". He was distant. Distracted. Not easy to talk to.



I thought WF answered me but I'm not seeing it again.
As I look at this again I think I got it.

"less close" = less closed off or more open or more expressive or talks more freely than before
So the contradiction that Frodo is noticing is that Gandalf is being secretive again.

I'm betting that the next time I read the book it's going to mess me up again though.
Laughing



Fist and Faith wrote:
And I've always loved every moment of Bombadil, both in person and when they talk about him.



You know, for YEARS i paid very little attention to the Bombadil chapters. They just seemed so....meaningless to the story to me.
But now they are my favorite parts of the story.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/close

'Close' in this context means secretive or reticent (number 47 in the link above). (You keep your knowledge close to you, you don't tell other people)

So 'less close' means less secretive or less mysterious.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
You know, for YEARS i paid very little attention to the Bombadil chapters. They just seemed so....meaningless to the story to me.
But now they are my favorite parts of the story.


I've always been interested in Radagast the Brown. He only gets a brief mention from Gandalf who said that his skills are mainly concerned with the animals.

There's a passage in book 1, before Frodo and Co, reach the Inn of the Prancing pony, where Frodo sees a fox in the woods. I'm sure this has something to do with Radagast. Either the fox is keeping an eye on the Hobbits, or Radagast is a shape-shifter. But this has always been difficult to tell, for sure.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's

"There that Mount Doom! Mister Frodo.."

Kinda stuck with me..
Not really sure if it's a crazy passage or a favorite.

(When ever I pass by a town I really don't particularlly care for and it has a big watertower or just because it has one of those massive water towers, I say that phrase.)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This passage drives me crazy.

Away high in the East swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky, Menelvagor with his shining belt.

Remmirath
Borgil
Menelvagor

What are those things appearing in the sky? Are they just the Hobbits names for the moon, or the stars, or the planets? Or are they a part of Tolkein's Middle Earth, unrelated to our own World?

Remmirath, could that be the full moon - the Netted Stars. Borgil, could it be Mars. Menelvagor, could this be a constellation.

Does anyone know for sure what they are?



EDIT:
Found this -

Menelvagor, the Swordsman of the Sky, was the name given by the Elves of Middle-earth to the bright and prominent star-group that we know today as Orion.

The stars of Menelvagor were originally given their shape in the sky by Varda, who in Middle-earth has the name Elbereth, 'Star-lady'. In an ancient time when Melkor still lurked in Utumno, she used the stars to fill the sky with symbols of watchfulness and guardianship. Together with the Valacirca, Menelvagor was one of the two most important of these.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd assume Borgil was Mars. I don't know what "the Net of Stars" would be, but I'll assume it's the Milky Way.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all you JRRT compulsive navel-gazers out there...

The Encyclopedia of Arda wrote:
The Netted Stars: The name given to a group of stars in the evening sky, a partial translation of Elvish Remmirath (which literally means 'host of netted jewels'). Given their description, and their placing in the sky near Menelvagor (Orion) the 'Netted Stars' are almost certainly the stars known in modern times as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters. These young blue stars are connected by trails of nebulous material, creating the 'net' from which they earned the name 'Netted Stars'.

and...
The Encyclopedia of Arda wrote:
Borgil: A bright red star in the constellation of Menelvagor (Orion), corresponding to the star we call Betelgeuse.

and...
The Encyclopedia of Arda wrote:
Radagast: One of the Five Wizards, Radagast was said to have been the fourth of the Wizards to appear in Middle-earth. Like all his Order, he carried a rod and had a distinctive colour (in Radagast's case this was Brown)... In the War of the Ring, Radagast played almost no part. His only action of any consequence was to send Gwaihir with news to Orthanc, thus unwittingly aiding Gandalf's escape from the Pinnacle.

The other four wizards (or Istari) who came to Middle Earth were Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey, plus Alatar and Pallando the Blue Wizards.

Find The Encyclopedia of Arda by clicking here. Knock yourselves out, you hairy-footed freaks!

Oh and Tom Bombadil drives me to distraction! I remember reading a parody of LOTR ages ago that had him cast as Tim Benzedrino, a tree-hugging magic mushroom-munching drug-dealing hippy - it made a whole heap more sense.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFallen wrote:

Find The Encyclopedia of Arda by clicking here. Knock yourselves out, you hairy-footed freaks!

Ta very much TF. The Encyclopedia will come in very useful.

I wouldn't have thought the Netted Stars were Plaides. There not bright enough. Although perhaps Plaides does fit into that particular passage.

Same with Borgil. Although,Gildor and Borgil use the same letters of the alphabet, more or less!
Gildor called Frodo a jewel among Hobbits.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFallen wrote:

Oh and Tom Bombadil drives me to distraction! I remember reading a parody of LOTR ages ago that had him cast as Tim Benzedrino, a tree-hugging magic mushroom-munching drug-dealing hippy - it made a whole heap more sense.
Ah, Bored of the Rings. I haven't read it in years, but do remember thinking it was funny when I was a teenager.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
I'd assume Borgil was Mars. I don't know what "the Net of Stars" would be, but I'll assume it's the Milky Way.


If Menelvagor is Orion, then Borgil is more likely to be Betelguese, or maybe Aldebaran. This makes sense, when you look at the Greek legends and how Orion the Hunter came to be in the night sky. His death by the scorpion's sting does have a familiar ring to it - Merry jabbing the Lord of the Nazgul in the ankle.

Plaides is also associated with Orion the Hunter, so the 'Netted Stars' could well be that.
Although, I prefer how my imagination first pictured Remmerith, as a dazzling, glittering, sparkling, full moon.

You may, or may not know this, but JRR Tolkien wasn't the first person to coin the phrase 'a fiery jewel' when associated with Betelgeux (Borgil). The phrase can be found in a poem by the American astronomer, Robert Burnham Jr. that predates the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring.
It's just possible that JR Tolkien had paid homage to Burnham by borrowing the phrase.


Zarathustra wrote:
Ah, Bored of the Rings. I haven't read it in years, but do remember thinking it was funny when I was a teenager.


The Lord of the Rings is way more funnier!
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