Tag Archives: Comparing Quotes

Mount Doom

I know, I should be posting The Sacrifice right now, but today is a big day in Middle Earth, and I need to post about it! Don’t worry, I’ll post Part 10 tomorrow.

Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin’s fire nigh at hand where it was made. . . Fruitless did I call the victory of the Last Alliance? Not wholly so, yet it did not achieve its end. Sauron was diminished, but not destroyed. His Ring was lost but not unmade. The Dark Tower was broken, but its foundations were not removed; for they were made with the power of the Ring, and while it remains they will enure.” -Elrond, The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, page 273)

On March 25th the Ring was at last destroyed, and not by Isildur or any great hero, but by a group of unlikely hobbits.

It was the strangest event in the whole history of the Ring so far: Bilbo’s arrival just at that time, and putting his on it, blindly, in the dark.” -Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring, page 61)

Strange indeed, but was it stranger than the events at Mount Doom? In the end, it was Sméagol—seeking only to regain ‘his precious’—that brought about the Ring’s final ending.

Yes,” said Frodo. “But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him!” -The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King, page 926)

Today, Sauron was defeated, the Ring unmade, and the Dark Tower completely destroyed, at last; by a poor greedy creature and two little hobbits. One of my favorite things about Middle Earth is the incredibly real battle between good and evil, and the way unlikely heroes can always do great things if they never give up!

Click here to read my friend’s great post about Middle Earth!

March Book Reviews: “The Princess and the Goblin”

I am going to try to post a book review every Thursday in March.  I’m not ready to get a real schedule going, but I thought I’d try it for a month.  It shouldn’t be too hard, as I love to read and I love to write, and book reviews are a combination of the two!  Once again, I’ll probably fudge a little if I miss a day… or I might skip, ’cause you guys won’t be on cliff-hangers! 🙂

I read this review of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald and thought it sounded interesting.  I told my mom about it and stated I would like to read it.  She had never read it, but she had heard of it, and said I could check it out from the library.

This book has good morals, but is also humorous and I really liked the beginning.  Somewhere in the middle of it I got pretty “weirded-out” and decided it was not my style.  By the end, though, I had decided I liked it again #inconsistency

To make a long story short: I liked it, but the fact that there was a pretty-much allegorical God-figure without it really being an allegory–And that that figure was a woman–and that she was biological related to Irene, but not to everyone in the story, was hard to get used to.

ANYWAY–This is a story about a princess who was sent to the country to be raised.  She lives in a house in the mountains, and is looked after by her nurse.

“Why, where can you have been, princess?” asked the nurse, taking her in her arms.  “It’s very unkind of you to hide away so long.  I began to be afraid–”  Here she checked herself.  “What were you afraid of, nursie?” asked the princess.  “Never mind,” she answered.  “Perhaps I will tell you another day.  Now tell me where you have been?” (24)

The people bringing her up are forbidden to tell the princess about the existence of the goblins that live in the caverns beneath the mountains.  These goblins only come out at night, when they love to make mischief.  So the people, naturally, stay inside after dark–except a few: some of the miners, who do not fear the goblins because they know what the goblins cannot stand–singing.

At all events, those who were most afraid of them were those who could neither make verses themselves, nor remember the verses that other people made for them; while those who were never afraid were those who could make verses for themselves; for although there were certain old rhymes which were very effectual, yet it was well known that a new rhyme. if of the right sort, was even more distasteful to them, and therefore more effectual in putting them to flight. (48)

Curdie Peterson happens to be one of those who can make up verses on the spot, and truly is never afraid, even when a strange turn of events places him in the kingdom of the goblins themselves (where his songs are less heeded) thanks to another goblin-weakness he discovers.

Princess Irene, in my first quote, happened to be up in the attic where she had gone exploring and gotten lost.  She meets someone who happens to be up there, but I am not going into all that right now… but I will tell you it is the beginning of the princess’s many, many trips to the attic.

Irene and Curdie meet quite by mistake, and that chance meeting is the beginning of several adventures they have together–not always on the best of terms: The princess’s nurse does not approve of Curdie; nor does Curdie approve of Irene’s stories of a thread that she follows that will always lead her to safety, which he himself cannot see or feel.

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I enjoyed this book, though all the ‘magic’ was handled very mysteriously, without the reader ever being given a clear explanation, which bothered me.  It was more of a quiet, innocent story than what I have been reading lately, and both main characters were younger than me.  But there were still some goblin parts that were downright nasty.

They had enough of affection left for each other, to preserve them from being absolutely cruel for cruelty’s sake… (12)

I believe this statement to be contradicted strongly by all goblin-appearances in the rest of the book!

Neither Irene or Curdie had siblings, but I loved their relationships with their parents: Irene did not live with her parents, but her father would come and visit her (I do not think her mother was still alive) and she would go running out and get on his horse with him before he even got off–it was so sweet!!!  Curdie did live with his parents, and their love for each other was amazing!  They were always working for each other and helping each other; and Curdie was very respectful, which is rather hard to find these days.

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In the review I linked to above, Miss Ruth said:

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien read George MacDonald’s books, and the Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit were both influenced by his writings. Thus, however indirectly, many of the fantasy books you read today are influenced by “the Princess and the Goblin”.

So I, of course, began looking for similarities.  I did not think they had a lot in common, but I found three things that reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work:

1) The goblins in Mr. MacDonald’s book have no toes (weird, weird, I know–bear with me) which might have something to do with the toeless troll in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

2) Shelob and the giant spiders in Mirkwood might have been inspired by this reference to extraordinary, if not large, spiders:

It is spider-webs–of a particular kind.  My pigeons bring it to me from over the great sea.  There is only one forest where the spiders live who make this particular kind–the finest and strongest of any. (78)

3) These quotes do not need much explanation!

“Then you’re leaving the story unfinished, Mr. Author!”  “Not more unfinished than it ought to be, I hope.  If you ever knew a story finished, all I can say is, I  never did.  Somehow, stories won’t finish. (203)

The Princess and the Goblin

‘Why, to think of it, we’re in the same tale still!  It’s going on.  Don’t the great tales never end?’  ‘No, they never end as tales.’ (697)

The Two Towers

There is still the whole those-were-good-but-these-were-bad problem, but that has little to do with inspiration.

The only that reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s books was the unexplained-magic (^see above^).

Over-all I liked this book, and it was fun to read–which I did in one day! 🙂

“But I must confess that I have sometimes been afraid about my children–sometimes about you, Irene.”  “Oh, I’m so sorry… To-night, I suppose you mean.”  “Yes, a little to-night; but a good deal when you had all but made up your mind that I was a dream. (105)

 

Do you think my book reports are too l-o-n-g???

Happy Thursday!

P.S. If you feel a little out-Middle-Earth-ed by my last two book reviews, so does everybody else whose ever talked to me.  Don’t read my blog if that bothers you.

“Into the Dragon’s Lair” #5

Tuesday again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I contemplated posting something else first, for cruelties sake alone, but I couldn’t bring myself!  Why in the world am in so much suspense when I WROTE the story?!

Like always, here’s the last post.  I’m doing this so if people find only one of my posts somehow, they can link back.  Problem is I have NO way to make sure they can find the posts that come after.  Ceste la vie [“this is life” for those of you who don’t speak French], I did what I could.

Okay, this (spoiler alert) is the climax.  You can’t imagine how fun it was to end on such a cliff-hanger last time!  (I know, I know: I’m downright cruel.  I have now lost all reputation of being a nice person, haven’t I?)

Oh!  And I feel inclined to mention that my reader Savannah absolutely nailed it in the comments on this post with her suggestion of another dragon–even though it goes against a quote from a certain book series a little birdie told me she’s read:

That is why you will seldom find more than one dragon in the same country. (94)

The Chronicles of NarniaThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis

I couldn’t it earlier because it would have given away too much.

Now, as I’m sure the rest of you are all saying, “Okay, good job, Savannah–now let’s get on with it”; I’ll get on with it.  Happy reading!

:-: INTO THE DRAGON'S LAIR :-:
:-: INTO THE DRAGON’S LAIR :-:

CHAPTER 4~FIRE AND FURY:

As Fogginess creeps up the tunnel, she becomes more and more puzzled.  She hasn’t see her husband since yesterday morning (she doesn’t know he’s dead), and as she climbs up the tunnel she hears the clinking of coins, the creak of old hinges, and voices sounding very loud and excited up there in the dark.  Human voices?  Impossible!  Not in the lair of a dragon like Grizzled.

But there are voices up there in the dark.  Finally Fogginess peeks out into the Big Cavern–and there are two of those annoying little human-creatures sitting in the biggest cave of the whole lair, fingering her husbands treasure and talking excitedly.  Fogginess can hold her anger in no longer.  She gives a howl of rage and leaps into the Big Cavern, giving a terrible roar.  There’s fire in her eyes and smoke in her mouth.

In a moment Spenser has his pistol drawn, but it’s no use: the bullet bounces off the dragon’s scales.  Sparks pour from Fogginess’ mouth as she leaps forward.  Not caring which one of the humans dies first, she leaps for Spenser.  He, in a last effort to protect himself and Hannah, draws his knife and stabs the dragon in the throat.  The two of them are saved by luck!*  The throat is Fogginess’ one weak point and the blade pushes through a crack where the Head Scales and the Neck Scales meet.  With a howl of pain and anger Fogginess flops back, lifeless, on the floor of the cave.

 

“I th-thought Grizzled was dead,” says Hannah, when she gets her breath back.  “It can’t be Grizzled, because we saw him.  He’s dead,” says Spenser.  “Then is this his mate or his child, sir?” wonders Hannah.  “I don’t know.  And we don’t know if there are any more, so do we take the treasure and get out of here, or do we try to find and kill the rest of them (if there are any)?” asks Spenser.  “I think we should go, sir,” replies Hannah.  “Yes, I think we should too, Navigator.  It’s obvious our guns aren’t any good!”

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P.S. Sorry I forgot to include the chapter name in my last post.  I just added it.  Next post is the last one!!!

 

*Totally borrowed that quote from The Hobbit.  *sigh*  I was such a copy-cat when I was little–still am! 🙂

Prudence

“Then you would have us retreat to Minas Tirith, or Dol Amroth, or to Dunharrow, and there sit like children on sand-castles when the tide is flowing?” said Imrahil.  “That would be no new counsel… But no!  I said this would be prudent.  I do not counsel prudence (860).

-“The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien

“To fly would only be to obey the dictates of vulgar prudence.  But we did not come here to be prudent (116).

-“Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne

(emphasis mine both times)

 

Note: “The Lord of the Rings” contains three of my favorite books ever written, but I would not necessarily recommend “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.  It was just alright, and there were a couple reference to evolution.  I honestly enjoyed the movie more, which is rare for me!

See you tomorrow!!!!! 🙂

Beowulf

I told you guys in this post that I was reading a couple of new books; and because I thought I’d tell you all about them–mostly because I need more in my “Book Reviews” tag than this, awesome as that book is.

I am starting with “Beowulf”, translated by J.R.R. Tolkien; who is the author of some of my absolute favorite books!

“Beowulf” is a story that was written in Old English, and has been translated by many people.  It was while I was reading about the Battle of Pelennor Fields in “The Return of the King” that I suddenly thought I want to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s version of “Beowulf”!

(Mama read a picture book version of it to us three “bigs” a long time ago, and I re-read it pretty recently and expressed my interest in reading a longer version.  I wanted to read the original before I found out it was not written in English–well, the English I know! 🙂 )

Well, if any of you who have read “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit” and are interested in reading this; I certainly won’t stop you, but be forewarned: it’s as bad as Shakespeare!  It was interesting, and I am glad I read it, but I was daunted at first!  Honestly, it was interesting until the action got over and the characters started telling each other stories about people I did not know (or care) much about.  I did get “into” it though, and I actually have a favorite character–which I do not usually when I read Shakespeare plays, as it is harder to grasp how people talk to others.  I would probably recommend reading an abridged version first, like I did–I also did this with “Ivanhoe” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

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If there was a main character in this book, it was (understandably) Beowulf.  I think of the book in three parts, though you could say it was more like two: Beowulf is incredibly strong, and there are three monsters that he kills over the course of the book–two ogres and one dragon.  I usually think of it as the three creatures he fought with; but the ogres were in the same place, so you could also think of it as 1) the fight with Grendel and his mother and then 2) fight with the dragon–or you could just think of it as a good book and not over-analyze anything (which is what I do best–have you noticed?) 🙂

Grendel is the first ogre, who (apparently) was descended from Cain, the first murderer.  I have NO idea what my opinion on that spiritual aspect is.  I might go into that more later.  We will see.

The book the story–there was a lot at the beginning that I considered unnecessary (though I’m not usually on the eliminate-needless-words train)– the story starts with King Hrothgar (please do not ask me how to pronounce any of the names–I have NO idea!) and his people being attacked by Grendel who came to the hall called Heorot at night (never during the day) and carried off people to… eat.  Sorry, it’s fierce.

Beowulf gets news of the monster, and sails to Hrothgar’s country and offers to fight Grendel.  The problem with fighting the ogre is that he has the ability to cast spells over men’s weapons, so they cannot hurt him.  Beowulf is unaffected by these spells, as his greatest weapon is the simple strength of his hands.

He stays in Heorot over night and kills Grendel (read the book if you want details, I am not giving everything away!), and then faces the task of Grendel’s vengeful mother.

Beowulf’s last battle takes place years later, after he has returned to his own country.  He becomes the ruler of that land, before the dragon comes.

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Something that I noticed reading this longer version, which I never thought of before (though it shouldn’t have surprised me) was how much the dragon sequence resembles that in “The Hobbit”… perhaps it served as inspiration!

But seriously, in both of the dragon steals this crazy amount of gold from someone, hides underground with it, hunkers down and sleeps on it for years.  Some innocent, unrelated person stumbles in and steals a golden cup (yes, it’s even a cup in both stories) and takes it to his master/leader.  Granted, in “The Hobbit” Bilbo was on a mission to steal treasure, even calling himself a “burglar”; while the poor man in “Beowulf” simply blundered in and took something to pay off his debts.  In Bilbo’s defense (because I’m biased 🙂 ) he was not in debt (the dragon was, if anyone), he was just doing what he was told, and he knew those whom the dragon had stolen from.  These quotes also reminded me of each other:

Treasure in the ground it is ever his wont to seize, and there wise with many years he guards the heathen gold–no whit doth it profit him ( 79).

-“Beowulf”

Thieves! Fire! Murder!  Such a thing had not happened since first he came to the Mountain!  His rage passes description–the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted (186).

-“The Hobbit”

“Sellic Spell” was also included in my hard-cover edition, which is something J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, and described:

It is only to a limited extent an attempt to reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon that lies behind the folk-tale element in “Beowulf” (355).

And the character Unfriend/Unpeace in it totally reminded me of Wormtongue from “The Lord of the Rings”–though he had a happier ending!  And Heorot reminded me of Edoras (also from “The Lord of the Rings”).

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I really enjoyed reading this, though it went a little slow sometimes!  It was also not as long as it looked at first, because the inch-thick book was mostly introductions and commentaries.

My favorite character is Hrothgar, who is generous and humble.  I also liked Beowulf; though he was very honest about everything, including his accomplishments, which (his accomplishments being impressive) made it sound a little like he was bragging.  I do not think that was his intention though.

…the light of his eyes lit the hall from floor to ceiling like scarlet lightning.  ‘Revenge! …I kill where I wish and none dare resist.  I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today.  Then I was but young and tender.  Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows!’ he gloated (193).

-“The Hobbit”