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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Reading Group meeting 30/4/05

On this day.....

".....from the walls the pavillions could be seen upon the field, and all night lights were burning as men watched for the dawn."

The Return of the King, The Steward and the King


Blogger Rymenhild said...

Our meeting last week was very informative as we exchanged views about the echoes we recognised in LotR from The Silmarillion and considered their significance.
* WE began with music and discussed its thematic use from the Creation songs of the Valar to the songs made in the age of the War of the Ring. Although the songs of the Valar are not themselves transmitted, the act of singing connects back to the original importance of song and creating a sense of belonging and sharing.
* We went on to talk about the White Tree and to discuss its genealogy from the beginning in Numenor to the seedling that validates Aragorn's kingship. This led us on to think about other trees and characters and we remembered Sam planting his Mallorn seed to replace the Party Tree - an echo on a small or more domestic scale of the transmission of the White Tree, and both given by the High Elves. This linking of trees, characters, Elves, and renewal poses some interesting questions.
*Trees, of course, raised the matter of the Two Trees and their light, and this, we found, had a complex and fascinating reverberation in LotR. The light of the Two Trees, captured and saved in the Silmarils, eventually comes down to Frodo and Sam. As the silmarils preserved the light of the trees in spite of Ungoliant and Melkor, so the Star glass preserves Sam and Frodo from Shelob and other dangers. There is a marvellous circularity about the preserved light of Earendil's star which is a silmaril!
*We found too that the exploits of Beren and Luthien are reflected in the story of Frodo and Sam although they go into extreme danger to take something back rather than to reclaim something.
* We remarked to that unlike many of Tolkien's other stories, there are no dragons in LotR. We considered whether one could have been substituted for the balrog but it was felt that this would reduce the episode to a fairytale or a distant myth and destroy its immediacy and impact.
* The topics for the next meeting (14.05.05) are to be hidden realms, secret places, and woses

11:12 AM  

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