Friday, February 7, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: The King of the Golden Hall (TTT Ch. 6)

Here we are at last!  Edoras!  It doesn't really look in the movie the way Tolkien describes it (there's not really a fence that I can see, for one thing), but it's so awesome in both that I totally don't care. 

Is anyone else reminded of Obi-Wan Kenobi when Gandalf and company first arrive at Edoras?  Gandalf tells the guard to go announce their arrival, and then he stares hard at the guard until he slowly says he will go announce them.  It always reminds me of Obi-Wan saying, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

Theoden joins the ranks of those that lament Boromir's passing, you'll notice.  Warms my heart.

A line that struck me this time through was a bit of Gandalf's advice to Theoden.  He tells the king "[t]o do the deed at hand" (p. 507).  I love that advice.  When I'm super busy and starting to stress out, I make myself slow down and just do the next useful thing.  For instance, when I'm packing for a trip, I often spend a day gathering everything that we need and gradually packing them in various suitcases and bags, and that can be a stressful and overwhelming day if I focus on all the stuff I need to do all at once.  But if I just keep finishing one task and then starting the next, it all gets done.  Maybe I should make a sign that says, "Do the deed at hand" for my kitchen or something.

And I want to particularly mention one line, which I think is the coolest description of a horse ever:  "Were the breath of the West Wind to take a body visible, even so would it appear" (p. 513).  Why, Eomer!  How poetic you are!

Favorite Lines:

"A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom" (p. 499).

" doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdom" (p. 500).

"The wise speak only of what they know" (p. 503).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Tolkien describes Grima Wormtongue as having "a pale wise face" (p. 501).  I never caught the word "wise" before -- do you think this means Grima does have some wisdom in him somewhere?  Or does he only appear to be wise?  


  1. Isn't Grima a man who has been corrupted? So perhaps he WAS wise and the echoes of his past wisdom shows on his face.

    On the other hand, wise could have a different meaning here. It can also mean:

    Hence, prudent; calculating; shrewd; wary; subtle; crafty.


    Way of being or acting; manner; mode; fashion.

    Those are my guesses but I don't have a definite answer.

    I really like your point about "Do the deed at hand." I need to remember that!

    BTW, Eomer is my favourite character!

    1. Yes, Grima is a man, and so it's conceivable that Saruman corrupted him, and he wasn't always so conniving and awful.

      I can't recall Tolkien ever using "wise" to mean anything but "possessing wisdom," but I suppose he could have meant an alternate thing.

      I've also realized that maybe Tolkien is pointing out that wisdom does not equal goodness. Grima might be fairly wise in the ways of evil and duplicity, etc.

      Isn't Eomer lovely? He's definitely tied with Gandalf as my third-favorite.


What do you think?

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