Thursday, January 30, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: Treebeard (TTT Ch. 4)

This is such a relaxing chapter after all the tense excitement of the last few.  I don't have a lot to say about it, really.  I think my favorite image is Treebeard standing under his waterfall shower as Merry and Pippin go to sleep.  
"The lights died down, and the glow of the trees faded; but outside under the arch they could see old Treebeard standing, motionless, with his arms raised above his head.  The bright stars peered out of the sky, and lit the falling water as it spilled on to his fingers and head, and dripped, dripped, in hundreds of silver drops on to his feet.  Listening to the tinkling of the drops the hobbits fell asleep" (p. 467).
The Ents are so original, aren't they?  Wizards, goblins, orcs, giant spiders -- you find them other places.  But Ents?  Totally just Tolkien.  However, with their non-hasty ways, they do frustrate me sometimes.  I want to jump up and down and yell, "Get on with it already!"  Which they would not appreciate, I'm sure.

I do find the story of the loss of the Entwives terribly sad.  I always want there to be some bit in the Appendices saying that they returned.  I think because I can identify with the Entwives, who "desired order, and plenty, and peace (by which they meant that things should remain where they had set them)" (p. 465).  I desire that too, especially the last bit.

And I totally forgot that Trolls are counterfeit Ents created by the Great Enemy, even as Orcs are mock versions of Elves.  How could I forget that?

Favorite Lines:

Treebeard rumbled for a moment, as if he were pronouncing some deep, subterranean Entish malediction" (p. 462).

"...it is easier to shout stop! than to do it" (p. 463).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Do you find the Ents sensible in their slow, cautions ponderings?  Or do you want them to get a move on?  Do you yourself often consider decisions for a long time?

2 comments:

  1. I think that the best decisions that I've made in my life have been totally split-second kind. Not that I usually act on my decisions right away, but I think that the faster I make up my mind, the more confident I can be that I chose right. :)

    As for this chapter, a funny thing happened when I read it. When it began, I was kind of "oh well, this is one of the less exciting parts, it's so so long and so so slow, because of all the ent stuff..." But then all of these really interesting thoughts (mainly triggered by Treebeard) came along and I found myself totally fascinated by, for example, how the Entish language works, how they think that a name grows over time. That is so awesome! And the way how the Ents and the Entwives could never quite see eye to eye is kind of like a sad metaphor for all the non-functional relationships that we humans face... I think it's also great how Merry and Pippin finally get to do their share in shaping the fortune of Middle-Earth, seeing as they originally joined the Company against Elrond's wishes and not really knowing what they were putting themselves into.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting! I'm kind of in the middle. I tend to trust my instincts, so I think something over and go with my gut feeling if it's not a clear "this makes sense and that is dumb" kind of thing. In fact, if I can't make a decision relatively quickly, I get annoyed with myself. But I rarely make snap decisions, and when I do, I usually regret them.

      And that's a cool experience you had! Isn't it amazing how something that left you cold before suddenly is awesome?

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What do you think?

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