Gandalf put his hand on Pippin’s hand. “There never was much hope,” he answered. “Just a fool’s hope, as I have been told.”
I think I was looking forward to that little exchange between Gandalf and Pippin all throughout when I was rereading the chapter. I was looking forward also to it when I read it first because I knew that Faramir would bring news of Frodo and Sam—(and I would be very excited by then… ;)
But yes, the revelation of news that Faramir brought to Denethor, Gandalf and Pippin about the whereabouts of where Frodo and Sam are is very important and for me, very interesting to get the reactions from everyone because it’s very telling of their characters. Also important for Gandalf and Pippin to know where Frodo is, if hope indeed should be maintained still. I could quote the whole section but yeah, I love Gandalf and Pippin exchanges in the whole Book 5. :) =)
Character dynamics are especially interesting between Faramir and Denethor for we see here how estranged their relationship is.
If what I have done displeases you, my father,” said Faramir quietly, “I wish I had known your counsel before the burden of so weighty a judgment was thrust on me.”
“Do you wish then, that our places had been exchanged”
“Yes, I wish that indeed, said Denethor. “For Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard’s pupil. He would have remembered his father’s need, and would not have squandered what fortune gave.”
These lines are so heart breaking to hear and is very telling of what kind of man Denethor is. Even though he is portrayed to be wise and royal and proud, he has not the wisdom that Faramir did to not take the Ring.
Gandalf and Denethor’s relationship is also described very well as Gandalf tries to comfort Denethor of the rightness of Faramir’s action and says that Boromir had died well…
Their stirring of their wills against each other is once again described here (the first time, it was mentioned in the chapter "Minas Tirith")
For a moment the eyes of Denethor glowed again as he faced Gandalf, and Pippin felt once more the strain between their wills; but now almost it seemed as if their glances were like blades from eye to eye, flickering as they fenced.
The relationships between Denethor and Gandalf is indeed an interesting topic to talk about for they’re both powerful people, leaders, proud and strong yet the difference lies in their beliefs of what should be done with the Ring. Like Boromir, Denethor wishes that the Ring had been brought to Minas Tirith to be hidden but Gandalf believes otherwise. Tolkien mentions strife between them right from the beginning and it is interesting to talk about the ways in which they are similar and different.
Also, Denethor’s relationship with Faramir is described in this chapter through the exchanges that they have here and also when Faramir is brought back from his quest to retake Cair Andros and Osgiliath…
Further thoughts on this?
Now to one of my favorite passages that I’ve mentioned in the reading guide:
"Already it seemed years to Pippin since he had sat there before, in some half-forgotten time when he had still been a hobbit, a light-hearted wanderer touched by little by the perils he had passed through. Now he was one small soldier in a city preparing for a great assault, clad in the proud but somber manner of the Tower of the Guard.
I can write a whole essay on hobbits losing innocence from overcoming the Quest but I think that I can’t afford to do that here. :P
But yes, this is I think the second time in which we hear about the “smallness”, “hobbitness” of our heroes undergoing this adventure to learn about new people, experience and adventure that would forever change their lives. For Frodo, I remember that it was mentioned in “The Black Gate is Closed” that he was “only a simple hobbit of the quiet countryside, a little halfing of the Shire”…
And now little Pippin, not even of age, is experiencing war, a great siege right before his eyes. His swearing fealty to such a great Lord as Denethor is quite praise-worthy itself. And we continue to see character development in Pippin and really see how mature he has become.
More thoughts on this is welcome… ahem… Took lovers out there... ;)
Other Tookish moments I so adored from this chapter is his resolve to save Faramir from Denethor’s madness and his instruction to Beregond to not let Faramir die. He’s so brave and in desperate times, he really knew how to quickly react… and go find Gandalf.
Characterization of Faramir. We see that he is very much respected by the people of Gondor. As evidenced by how Beregond regards him, Pippin’s first view of him, and how anxious the people of Gondor reacted to him going off to battle and being injured.
I really love Faramir. I feel bad for his father’s poor judgment of him but he’s one of my favorite Men characters because he has such a noble and wise yet gentle spirit and David Wendham was awesome as him in the RotK movie. :)
His resolve to carry through with his “suicide mission” is quite admirable and I just wish Denethor had appreciated him more than he had…
More Faramir thoughts, please comment
Hope is lost in this chapter for the Gondorians.
”So now at last the City was besieged, enclosed in a ring of foes.”
Their hope has dimmed even more so with the fear that the Rohirrim will not come in time.
The Witch-king and Gandalf moment was awesome in the last page of the chapter.
You cannot enter here. Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and yoru Master. Go!”
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! He had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
“Old fool!” he said “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames rand down the blade.
Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last
It’s an awesome close to a very detail, event-packed chapter.
Tolkien couldn’t have ended the chapter any better.
And I have no words to describe that but:
Beautiful imager, description, and…
This chapter was wonderful. In every way. ♥ ♥
Discussion is now OPEN!!!!!!!!!!