Tolkien Tuesday #42

~ 15 November 2022 ~

Hello from a dull and wet corner of the Shire (Bedfordshire, for those who are wondering)!

I’ve done my best to try and condense my thoughts for this week’s post into a more manageable length, and I freely admit it’s been hard, mainly because of all things I want to write about Boromir. As a character, I find him fascinating.

And so, we begin the final chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring. Are you ready? Let’s go!

The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts

This week we started Book 2, Chapter 10: The Breaking of the Fellowship.

Aragorn’s leads them to a grassy bank at the foot of Amon Hen. Nothing is seen or heard of their enemies. Frodo is on watch when Aragorn wakes in the night; Sting suggests orcs are closer than they would like but not near enough to be a problem at present.

Come morning, the decision on who is staying and who is going, and which direction Frodo as the ring-bearer wants to head in, must be made. Aragorn admits he cannot advise Frodo in this matter. Frodo begs an hour alone to make his choice.

Photo by Vittorio Staffolani on Pexels.com

He wanders into the woodland that cover the slopes of Amon Hen and begins to climb. He finds a place to rest and think, recalling all that has happened since Bilbo’s birthday party. He is pulled out of these thoughts by a strange feeling, realising he is not alone. Boromir has sought him out, claiming he was worried about him.

Boromir wants this time to explain to Frodo the merits of heading to Gondor without argument from anyone else. At first, their conversation is pleasant, but quickly it becomes heated as talk turns to the Ring. It then dawns on Frodo the danger he – and the Ring – are in. Boromir gets carried away as he is talking and announces what he would do if he had the Ring, how it’s silly for a mere hobbit to be given custody of it.

Things become perilous when Boromir thinks he has persuaded Frodo to go to Minas Tirith, but Frodo corrects him. Boromir makes to take the Ring from Frodo, and Frodo puts the ring on and flees. Only then does the episode pass and Boromir realises what he has done.

When Frodo and Boromir are having their conversation, I couldn’t help but think Frodo was being a bit careless, given the situation. Some of the things he said, which while true, were not going to make Boromir see things differently or calm the tension down. In fact, on this re-read, I heard myself saying, ‘Oh Frodo, why did you have to say that?!’ Now, this is the first time I have perceived it as such, and I wonder if being aware of what is to come and being fully present in this scene because of this slow re-read, has influenced my perception here. Obviously, Frodo’s mind is on other things and so perhaps he isn’t aware of the danger he’s in until it’s too late.

Next week we will finish the final chapter of Book 2, Chapter 10: The Breaking of the Fellowship, which will conclude our reading of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Middle Earth Musings and Meditations

My musings this week, unsurprisingly, centred on location, and where landscape meets history.

We again find ourselves in a Middle Earth landscape where the echoes of the past are not only distinctly heard but seen. We have already come across perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring examples of this: the Argonath, which means “King-stones” (ref: The Silmarillion).

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Now, as Frodo walks the wooded slopes of Amon Hen, the Hill of Sight, he comes across a ruined road, steep, stone-hewn stairs that have fallen into disrepair, and a wide flat stone surrounded by grass and rowan trees.

This combined with the geography-rich nature of the area (hills, woodlands, waterfall, the river, the isle) makes for an enchanting, intriguing landscape, one that fires up the imagination. I can easily imagine walking and exploring here, meditating and musing on things…pretty much what Frodo has been doing.

Elsewhere

Nothing to add here this week…

The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week

If you were Frodo, what would you have said to Boromir? Would you have engaged with him? Or would you have tried to leave when he turned up because you had asked to be alone? Let me know how you would have handled this situation.

The first point to make is, I don’t personally think anything could have changed Boromir’s part in this. At best, it would have happened at a different time, in a different place, and perhaps with different company. At this point though, the situation is perfect for him to make his move. And, for me, his role in the story is to showcase how Men have fallen, and no matter how honourable, they can be influenced by the power of the Ring.

Personally, I would have tried to get back to the others, I think. If I wanted time alone to think by myself, I would resent someone trying to alter that, especially if they have an ulterior motive, which everyone knows Boromir does. He hasn’t exactly been quiet about what he intends to do, and what he thinks the company should do. Yet I also know that doesn’t really help Frodo get to the decision he eventually makes.

I don’t think in Frodo’s stead, I would have told Boromir outright what I thought of his plans, or that his ideas are wrong, but perhaps tried to appease him without making any firm commitments. Would this have calmed Boromir? Would it have been enough for him? Of course not. The Ring wants to make its way into more easily corruptible hands, and Boromir is unfortunately susceptible to its power.

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4 thoughts on “Tolkien Tuesday #42

  1. You bring up so good points; however, I think this section shows both the influence the ring has on both Boromir and Frodo. Frodo’s known all along what he will do. It’s the ring pulling on his attachments to the others that hinders him now. Boromir is fascinating. He’s the traditional “noble warrior,” the one we want to protect us. I don’t think the scene shows us how easily men fall. I think it shows us how powerful the evil (the ring) is.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a pleasure to read your summaries Sammi! I like L.K. wonder about how influenced Frodo is by the Ring, even to the extent of his increasing lack of patience with Boromir, saying things that a more level-headed Frodo, would never say with such a lack of restraint. That and his increasing possessiveness of the Ring. He sees Boromir’s threat and reacts virulently against it, without considering how that might provoke B. further. Anyway, the episode as you have related it certainly gives rise to more speculation on the Ring’s malevolent influence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I’d been Frodo, I’d have told Boromir that what is, is, and I saw no use in speaking further of it. I would then have rejoined the others. But that’s me, not Frodo.
    BTW, I love all the ancient monuments encountered along the way, it makes the landscape more real. Cos we do have the remains of previous cultures all around us: henges, barrows, forts…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even if Frodo had told Boromir outright that he wished to be alone, I don’t think Boromir would have respected him. I think I’m with Crispina on this one in telling Boromir that he has one mission and that is what he must do. He cannot waver from it. Though, I also agree with Dora and L.K. that the power of the ring is being felt more and more. Like Gollum and then Bilbo, the attachment to the ring becomes more and more powerful, the longer the keeper has it.
    Boromir is a good man. And any good man can be led astray, so to speak.

    Like

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