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Words of Explanation  by Larner 29 Review(s)
TallisReviewed Chapter: 8 on 10/3/2016
Hello my dear Larner :)
I want to thank you warmly for your new essay and for another (was it the 3d?) dedication - I'm so honored. :) I did not find it earlier so I'll read it now. Its q. interesting for my tastes as Tolkien fan couse I'm interested mostly in the questions of power, politics and law - esp in Tolkien writings but also in any kind of fan's writings.
Greetings from your fan :)
Tallis Keeton

FreyalynReviewed Chapter: 8 on 9/2/2016
Another excellent essay - thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you, Freyalyn!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 10/11/2015
That was very interesting and insightful! Thank you very much.

And I just wanted to add that the Christian meaning of "caritas" is "charity". Like in the commandment "Love your neighbour as yourself!".

Think of Frodo's reaction to Saruman at the steps of Bag End. That is pure Christian "caritas"!

Author Reply: And I thank you, Andrea. Oh, yes, Frodo Baggins has indeed learned empathy and caring beyond the norm. He could put himself in Saruman's place and wished that the Wizard could know similar healing.

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 7 on 10/8/2015
I love this and the points made so poignantly about Frodo being both autumn and winter and caritas, which would fit Sam as well. Pippin could be spring's celebration of a return to life and energy after winter, or he could be the joy of summer with its long and warm days that are so wonderful and full of light and cheer. He is great for the virtue of hope as is Sam.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: Both Frodo and Sam embody hope, each in his own manner, as does Aragorn as well, not to mention Gandalf, of course.

Pippin could indeed be the Hobbit for All Seasons, but I love to think of him as the one who is simply growing into his role, more so than the others do.

Thanks so for the comments--you know how much I appreciate them!

PeriantariReviewed Chapter: 7 on 10/2/2015
What an insightful and wonderful essay! To compare the hobbits to the four seasons is intriguing and very well thought of. I think both you and Tallis have good points about which hobbit represents what season with both reasoning pretty well on point.
Several great lines from the essay:
He is the hope and endurance seen in evergreens, the courage of new life stirring personified by the first snowdrops pushing through the melting snow.
Winter def has too meanings and with your reasoning, i think it does make sense. I do think that PIppin is fire for he is the most inquisitive, energetic one and Tolkien did nto write too much that he was ever really down unless it was in the Pyre of Denethor chapter which we see that is the lowlight of the Quest along with the orc capture in "The Urukhai".
I like Sam to be Autumn as well ...he can also be Spring for he does represent harvest as well as springing back from a horrible ordeal in Mordor.
Sam, who’s suppressed his education under Bilbo and Frodo so as to remain the rather rustic individual expected of his birth, parentage, and social status, now finds himself realizing that those stories of Elves he so loved as a child are not just stories but history, and that he and his Master are involved in the extensions of that very history of which he’d read and heard throughout his life. I liked this line a lot and find it true that he keeps himself down to earth and that now he's also part of history as well and it's probably boggles his humble mind but he is. (Also, you meant 13 children right? for you only put 12)

Frodo does lose the most and that is why i am so attached to him and his sorrow. The Quest took away innocence, took away his happiness forever. And i think there is some Tolkien in there too for he's never the same after WWI which he fought and suffered from. PTSD is very real and it's unfortunate that the "Shire is saved but not for him." IN that way, i think he is winter season for i do feel like winter is more of a slow, dead season even though the major holidays are also there. That is a matter of perspective i guess.

Interesting thoughts about when their birthdays lie for you do not get a particular date for Merry and Pippin so it's interesting to think that their personalities and perceived seasons can give a hint to when their birthdays are.

I agree with the perceived values for the hobbits. They all represent something good and i'm so glad for this essay to have a new appreciation for all of them. <3

Thank you.

Author Reply: Tallis has read many of the comments on this essay, and is honored others think as she does. Thank you from both of us! We do love our Hobbits!

KathyGReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/2/2015
Well, Aragorn wasn't exactly ignored, although Rankin and Bass did ignore his relationship to the hobbits. Legolas and Gimli, on the other hand, were left completely out!

Author Reply: Like I said, I do tend to shudder at the Rankin-Bass animated version. Their adaptation of The Hobbit was better, although I found their depictions of Bilbo and Gandalf rather unattractive. It's too bad that the artists who did the Bakshi version were all so unequal in their depictions and the manner in which they animated the film. Plus that the financial support was pulled after the first film was done but before the whole project could be completed was a distinct disappointment at the time.

KathyGReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/1/2015
Bilbo Baggins, apparently following in the footsteps of his remarkable maternal grandfather, old Gerontius Took [1, 24], had developed an appreciation for the history of the greater world, an appreciation that was undoubtedly increased by his adventure to the Lonely Mountain and back. It is most likely that on his return he wanted to learn more, and that he looked to both Gandalf and Elrond to satisfy his curiosity and thirst for more information. [1, 2] That part of the reason he wished to take Frodo as his ward and protégé was so as to foster similar interests in the younger Hobbit is very likely. So it is also likely that Frodo was also interested in all things Elvish when young, and had this appetite both encouraged and filled by his new guardian. In this way it is likely that Bilbo had given Frodo as thorough an education in the history both of the Shire and of the world Outside as it was possible to give a Hobbit of the Shire, preparing him for his own journey in a unique manner.

Bilbo ended up doing the very same things for Samwise Gamgee. Sam was taught to read and write (as well as math, most likely); he was also interested in all things Elvish; and his own appetite was both encouraged and filled by his father's employer. He ended up receiving his own thorough education of the Shire and of the world Outside.

Author Reply: I so agree, Kathy. And I suspect that Frodo also had a hand in Sam's education.

In the end Sam became as singular a Hobbit as Frodo, although in his own way.

KathyGReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/1/2015
Frodo was also illustrated in the 1980 Rankin-Bass TV movie, The Return of the King. Apparently, his looks in that film are not as familiar to Tolkien fans as they are in the Bakshi film (more's the pity).

Author Reply: I fear I tend to suppress Rankin-Bass's version of The Return of the King, as so much of it makes me shudder. Even Sam's monologue of the images the Ring tries to plant in his mind, although almost straight from the book, feels contrived and lacks immediacy. And Pippin and Merry are ridiculous! Aargh! And to basically ignore Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas--that was flatly criminal.

As for the reason given for Frodo to be granted the right to go to the Undying Lands--even louder Aargh!

Only the song "Where there's a whip there's a way" does stick with one, doesn't it?

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 6 on 10/14/2014
Heartbreaking essay on our dearest hobbit - branded as the Ring's slave - whoa. One of the interesting pictures from the Fellowship movie is the reflection of the fiery letters on Frodo's cheek - as though he is indeed branded, the Ring burned into his soul. I've recently finished an essay on Frodo's PTSD and relating it to The Sea-Bell, my favorite poem and a devastating one, that I hope to get published. I've thought recently whether there is any truth to one of his Took ancestors taking a 'fairy' wife - it could explain his 'elvish air' and the Second Sight that gifted him. I can't remember if it was only in a fic or from the Professor that some Tooks had the Sight. I know I've read it somewhere. Of course, these could be direct gifts from Iluvatar also without the intervention of a strain of Elvish blood. I thought also that maybe his March 13 illnesses are not tied to Shelob's sting but to the loss of the Ring - it is gone forever and now all is dark and empty - no mention of the sting still bothering him. Is he truly still mourning the loss even then or just having a vivid flashback to the time he woke in the Tower and it was gone? I always thought the former but wonder now if it was latter. I would love to know your thoughts!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: I don't know how I managed to fail to respond to this comment, Antane. Certainly several writers have explored the possible nature of that hinted at "fairy wife," although so far I've not played with the idea.

Shelob's bite marked the entrance of Frodo to Mordor itself, as the loss of the Ring heralded the return to the living lands. Just as Frodo's distress during his return home appears to have begun on the anniversary of the blow at Weathertop and does not appeared to have fully resolved itself until the anniverary of the encounter with the Nine at the Ford, followed by the entrance to Rivendell and the beginning of his recovery under Elrond's care, so it appears that the entire period of their exposure to Mordor itself appears to have been replayed in Frodo's mind as being part of the loss of the Ring. I suspect that throughout the whole of that anniversary period from the attack by Shelob to the bite from Gollum he would have felt distress, with Tolkien himself indicating that he was especially vulnerable on the anniversary of the spider bite and probably with a second crisis on the anniversary of the loss of the Ring. And I suspect that Frodo both knew flashback memories of the great distress endured in Torech Ungol as well as mourning the Ring.

Thanks so for your patience with me.

MlleGigiReviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/16/2014
It's interesting that you believe the trauma (both physical and psychological) which Frodo suffered on his way to and through Mordor potentially could have tempted him to consider suicide -- as you may already know, you're not the first writer of Tolkien fan fiction to suggest this. Perhaps you're already acquainted with the stories of JoDancingTree which are hosted on this site (especially "Another Way Of Leaving" in which she portrays Frodo not only contemplating suicide but actually coming up with a plan to do so, only to be mercifully interrupted in the midst of carrying it out). If you have not read her stories, I cannot recommend them highly enough. I particularly like "The Queen's Orc" which is a sequel to "Another Way Of Leaving" even though it focuses on an original character -- even though Frodo does not appear in that story, he's nevertheless still very much a part of it because the main character was profoundly affected and influenced by his friendship with Frodo.

Author Reply: Yes, I've read "The Queen's Orc" and several others of JoDancingTree's stories, and I credit her influence in several of my works. I especially like her works where Frodo follows Radagast. I know several of us have considered that at times Frodo might have felt suicidal, although I suspect that a good deal of it was due to inability to sleep properly as a result of migraines, nightmares, and so on. As I have him explaining to Galadriel, there were simply times when the pain and tension were so great he was so tempted just to see it ended as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Thanks so!

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