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"The Council of Elrond"

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Xanados, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Anyone who read this chapter in one sitting I give unto thee the status of a god amongst men.

    That is not to say that I hate the information dumps that Tolkien gives for a straight fifty or so pages. No, I am thoroughly enjoying it. I got teary-eyed a few times, too. What can I say, I'm extremley sentimental when the names of old are mentioned ;)

    I am only half way through it because, well, who can read that, as I say, in one sitting?

    I have reached the point where Gandalf is going to recount his entire journey and dealings with Saruman. One question, though it may sound foolish: Should I read it all in Gandalf's voice since it's all said by him? I figured that's what one should do... since I've never came across quotes inside quotes like that. At the start of the chapter when Gloin is retelling what the Mordor messenger said I read it in Gloin's voice, not the messenger's. Correct?

    Anyway, apart from that, I'd like to know what people thought of that chapter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  2. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Would you mind explaining this again, differently? I am sure it will make sense to other people, but I'm just not understanding it.

    As for the chapter, the Council of Elrond is one of those chapters where I remember the over-arching plot but the meat of the chapter is a blur. Which makes sense when I remember I haven't read the novel in several years. Something I hope to rectify sometime this year, probably this summer.

    Something I'm thinking about doing is writing something for each chapter for my blog. Not a review per se, more of a commentary, talking about the chapter in terms of plot and worldbuilding and stuff... I've been doing something similar with episodes of Once Upon a Time and I know its helped me better understand the show so maybe it will help me better understand tLotR.
     
  3. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    What I mean is that Gandalf, in the chapter, will recall his doings with Saruman.

    It will be like this: " 'Blablabla," he said, ' "

    Atleast I think that's how it's set out. It's simple really. I belive in this format one would say "he said" in Gandalf's voice as he is the one saying the story, not the narrator. You see what I mean?

    At the start of the chapter there is several things like this. Gloin retells what the Mordor messenger says to Dain in a similar format. My thinking is supported by the fact that I doubt Gloin could do the Mordor messenger's voice. This has to mean that, again, one is to speak in Gloin's voice throughout the dialogue tags.

    In fact, now that I think about it, I think there was something similar at the start of the fellowship. The Gaffer retells what a Black Rider said to him with inside quotes.

    The thing that troubles me is that it's a little akward to have, as I am looking through the next few pages I am to read, Gandalf doing voices for both this Radagast and Saruman.

    I'm just looking for reassurance because I don't want to ruin the experience when I go back to that bit tommorow.

    I'm actually writing something similar in a word document. It's essentially a small paragraph summarizing each chapter. It's from my memory as soon as I finish the chapter so I can prove to myself that I know what's going on. I like to have everything neatly ordered like that...
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    In all honesty... I never read more than six pages at a time the whole way through.... That was my limit before I fell asleep.
     
  5. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Heh heh, yes, I remember the conversation with you.
    I'm managing to read a chapter a day. But not in the case of this chapter.

    I'm so OCD that I'm going to have to do a sort of extensive ritual to acclimitize myself with what I read yesterday.
     
  6. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    So if I'm understanding you correctly your talking about when people are quoting other people while they are talking? If so, I would read everything in the "" in the voice of whoever is talking... That probably doesn't help. It isn't something I've thought about before, mostly because I don't read in voices.
     
  7. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    No, I guess you've answered it pretty well... That's what I was thinking.

    Wait-- you don't read in voices? I give every one of the character svoices. I even frown when I read to allow myself to appropriatley do the voice. I'm a decent voice actor, actually, and have recorded a few lines here and there for flash animations.

    Edit: I guess it just doesn't make sense for Gandalf to try and impersonate Radagast and Saruman's voices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I don't have voices.... :( my voice in my head doesn't change unless the character is said to do so..... oh wait... I just read something and it does. I'm dumb.
     
  9. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Although I have trouble reading and have a severe case of sub vocalization, I can, for some reason, do a decent impression in my head. They are of course subtle, but it's better than just using my normal "voice."

    It's all very abstract. I guess I can just sort of remember the voice of the film characters in my head. Yes, I use the film characters' voices.
     
  10. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Glad I could be of service.

    As for the reading in voices thing. Doing different voices is definitely not something I would count among my talents, one of the main reasons why I always did tech crew, not acting during high school drama. Also when I read, I'm not really imagining a movie so much as a series of photographs. Does that make sense?
     
  11. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I would too. They were really good, the elves and Gandalf... I just was thinking about my in my head voice, and I can't recall consciously deciding to give people voices... I guess I just did it without thinking.... and didn't realize it until I tried reading and really paid attention.
     
  12. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Still, even though I can do a fair bit of, well, "voice acting" in my head, when it comes to the imagery I pretty much fail. I usually think of the wrong thing. I barely have an image in my head. Oh well.
     
  13. Ivan

    Ivan Minstrel

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    In some cases I would imagine the character speaking as if another character; if Bilbo, for instance, were recounting something Gollum said, he would have imitated Gollum in a rather despicable voice I would think, just for effect. But at the council it is different; Gandalf is not telling a story, he is providing information that they will have to use to make this huge decision, the biggest one in thousands of years. Not much room for theatrics.
     
  14. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Indeed, and I doubt that Gandalf would try to imitate Saruman's voice. That'd have a rather comical effect.
    It's probably just common sense that if a there is a quote within speechmarks it is supposed to all be said by the person, well, saying it. I'm just stupid.
     
  15. Ivan

    Ivan Minstrel

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    If you ever program, you will see just how evil are quotes within quotes. (Don't get me started on parentheses.)

    Another note that you may or may not have, er, noticed, is that when long speech is broken into multiple paragraphs, the beginning of a paragraph always has an opening quotation mark, but the end of paragraphs do not have a mark unless it is the end of the whole speech. Likely this is the editor's convention if not the general rule in the UK, rather than the author's specific concern (he had enough trouble getting the editors to stop changing 'elven' to 'elfin'.)
     
  16. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    That is actually a convention used in most books I have read.

    On the subject of Gandalf's dealings with Radagast and Saruman: I wonder how in the world Gandalf could memorize all of that. That's the problem I have with Tolkien trying to have a character retell something. How can Gandalf really remember that he was standing away from Saruman as he spoke at a certain point. Little things like that. He IS Gandalf, but still. I think it would have been better if it was told in real-time instead of Gandalf retelling the conversation.
     
  17. Yes I often think the confrontation between Gandalf and Saruman would have been better as a separate, real time chapter, say just before the council of Elrond. That would have cut down the length of the the description of the council, and been a bit more dynamic. But at the end of the day that's not how Tolkien decided to do it. Remember, he was inspired by the Norse saga's which do tend to ramble on just like this.
     
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  18. Ivan

    Ivan Minstrel

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    Gandalf had absolutely nothing to do but ruminate over his speech with Saruman and speculate what might have taken place while he was imprisoned. He probably analyzed every moment to see if he could discern anything of his enemies' plans, and would have the encounter pretty well memorized by the time he ended up in Rivendell. Likewise, he probably thought a lot about his brief encounter with Radagast to see if he had any signs of being turned to the dark side so to speak. And he is Gandalf.

    As for how this part was told, I think Tolkien could have maintained the suspense factor and still mention just why Gandalf was being held up; but, to me, it seems more in the style of the books to tell it second-hand. Many things are told this way, maybe to illustrate that the truth is how it is told, or because it is supposed to be the work of Bilbo and Frodo, who only relay "real-time" the events that happened to or around themselves and their immediate (hobbit) friends.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
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  19. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Always wanted to be a god. ;)

    That's my favorite chapter in the whole story. Though part of that may have to do with me being an inveterate world-builder, and we learn more about the world in that chapter than in pretty much the entire rest of the book combined. (Which is a good hint for all who are tempted to include lengthy expositions in their own stories: don't start the book with them. Save them for Act II.)

    One of Gandalf's less well known skills is his ability to do impressions. Saruman's words should sound exactly as though they were spoken by Christopher Lee. ( ;) again.)

    As a more serious answer to your question: yes, I always "hear" the character who's speaking, no matter whose speech he's reporting. As long as the author doesn't mention otherwise, at least.
     
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  20. Argentum

    Argentum Troubadour

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    Ravana, I take my hat off to you. *does so* Because having the Council of Elrond as your favorite chapter deserves respect. :p

    I skimmed over the whole chapter the first time I read LOTR. I really should muster my bravery and give that chapter a go. I made it all the way through Tom Bombadill, but this particular chapter frightens me.
     

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