When Frodo is negotiating with Boromir the fate of the Ring, he says he will not take the easy way, which is what Boromir, he claims, is offering. But if he did anything other than trudge the dreary long way to Mordor, incur a long travail of suffering, then Gandalf would think less of him, Galadriel would think less of him, Glimi would think less of him, Legolas would think less of him, and Aragorn would think less of him. It would mean feeling immediately ashamed and cast out, by all the people he most admired. This would have been the truly harder way, the way that incurred what he most feared most -- shame -- as he admits earlier:
"We still have our journey and our brand before us," answered Gandalf. "We have no choice but to go on, or to return to Rivendell." Pippin's face brightened visibly at the mere mention of return to Rivendell; Merry and Sam looked up hopefully. But Aragorn and Boromir made no sign. Frodo looked troubled.
"I wish I was back there," he said. "But how can I return without shame -- unless there is indeed no other way, and we are already defeated?"
"You are right, Frodo," said Gandalf: "to go back is to admit defeat..."
I would have challenged him harder than Boromir did.
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Description of Galadriel, pg. 480: "She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad."
Description of Gandalf, pg. 392: "In the wavering firelight Gandalf seemed suddenly to grow: he rose up, a great menacing shape like the monument of some ancient king of stone set upon a hill. They gave back before him. High in the air he tossed the blazing brand. It flared with a sudden white radiance like lightning; and his voice rolled like thunder"
Note, one of these is about a great person's being tempted; the other is about a great person just properly strutting his stuff. The one involving the personage being restored to true greatness once shrunken, slender and gentle, is a woman; the one involving the personage being revealed in best form when blazing and enlarged, is a man.
Tres interesant, n'est pas?
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Chieftain's must be plentiful in Middle Earth: it is the only thing the "Fellows" tend to hit.
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Peter Jackson: "Can you promise that I will come back." " No... and if you do you will not be the same."
Tolkien (at the finish of Lord of the Rings): and if they [referring to Merry and Pippen] were large and magnificent, they were unchanged otherwise, unless they were indeed more fair spoken ad more jovial"
Jackson is clearly FOR personal development, whereas Tolkien's the kind of guy who in response to your request for more responsibilities, puts a gold star on your chest, gets the crowd to cheer you, and lets you think you've accomplished something whilst keeping things exactly as ordered before.
Saruman may not have actually died at the end of Lord of the Rings. He turns into some kind of grey mist, which dismays the Hobbits, who were expecting him to be more actually dead-dead. My hope is that by now he's formed enough of his corporeal form back to inscribe his take on what happened in the Rings... the more you read LOTR, the more you realize that he, like Jackson, actually said things that could prompt you towards introspection, if you could get past his sneering tone, not keep you chastened in place, ostensibly happy because your charm cheers up others.