Friday, February 2, 2018
Another LOTR Read-Along: The White Rider (TTT 3, 5)
And so Gandalf returns, with Tolkien melding the scenes of Christ's Resurrection and Transfiguration into one when a returned-from-the-dead Gandalf appears to his followers in shining white robes with eyes "piercing as the rays of the sun." This is the only place where the book that is "neither allegorical nor topical" (p. xvi) strikes me as a bit heavy-handed with the religious imagery (even more so than in "In the House of Tom Bombadil")... and I don't mind it a bit! Huh.
So... Gandalf is back, we're all going to Edoras, hooray!
"That would not baffle a Ranger," said Gimli. "A bent blade is enough for Aragorn to read" (p. 477).
"Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end" (p. 481).
"It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir's sake" (p. 485).
"A thing is about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days: the Ents are going to wake up and find that they are strong" (p. 488).
"Go where you must go, and hope!" (p. 489).
Gandalf says of Sauron: "That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind" (p. 485-6). Does that ever seem a little convenient to you? That Sauron hasn't even considered that they might all want to be totally free?
Gandalf says that he has returned "at the turn of the tide. The great storm is coming, but the tide has turned" (p. 484). What do you think he speaks of, that has turned the tide? Is it himself returning, more powerful than before? Or Frodo making up his mind to take the ring into Mordor and not to Minas Tirith?