[personal profile] siderea on mead

Apr. 30th, 2017 05:51 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
We never did figure out what was in our mead. An upperclasswoman who – perhaps crucially – was a biologist who liked to party hard, counseled us that if it didn't taste like something we wanted to drink, maybe we shouldn't be worrying so hard about whether it was something we could drink. Thus we resigned ourselves to the obvious and sadly fed it to the kitchen sink. Some weeks or months later, she actually found exactly the phase-state diagram we had needed and made me a photocopy; I may still have that piece of paper somewhere in my stuff.

Context had an annoyingly hard time figuring out which part to quote....

Never knew a boy so mean

Apr. 30th, 2017 05:03 pm
moetushie: (irrepressible bad boy bucky)
[personal profile] moetushie
I did four solid things this weekend:

1.) I bought a pair of eyeglasses and some knockoff prescription Wayfarers (Wayfarers! The sunglasses that makes everyone look good!* Maybe!) -- in preparation for the agony of summer. I've had real Ray-Bans and they were amazing -- but also soul-crushing when they were destroyed after few years of use. I just can't handle the idea of spending $200+ on something that's going to be destroyed eventually. My heart can't handle it. $62 is much more reasonable.

Prescription sunglasses are really the worst part of having glasses altogether. I want to waltz into H&M and buy some cute shades but I can't -- because I'm blind as a bat and my optometrist says my prescription isn't ideal for contacts. (Not that I would -- I have a real horror for touching my eyeballs. Also, while I'm not particularly squeamish, eye horror in films is my number # 1 and # 2 squick.)

2.) I finished up series two of Kurobasu, and am three deep into series three. My ship preferences have solidified into a combination of Aomine/Kagami/Koroko, although I'm a pain in the ass in that I want Aomine/Kagami or Aomine/Kuroko, but I'm satisfied with canon levels of Kuroko/Kagami. Other ships: the Seirin coaching/captaining/acing(?) trio of Riko/Hyuuga/Kiyoshi, Himuro/Marusakibara (possibly because writing Murasakibara is fun) and of course Kise/His Senpai, Goddamn It.

Also, I continue my streak of stanning for characters who have career ending injuries, shoutout to Yamazaki Sousuke and Kiyoshi Teppei! (And yes, I would definitely would write that fic, if anyone would read it.) Yuri!!! On Ice hasn't given me that character (yet), but it's probably one of the reasons I like Chris so much. I mean, in the end when, crowned with roses, he looks down? Devastating. It's not a career-ending injury, but he's never going to win gold.

I don't know I gravitate towards these kind of characters, except, maybe it's because while I'm not sure I always understand sports!protagonist's mindset -- but a side character who desperately wants something they can never have? That's me. That's mine.

It's not just sports animes, of course. Let's have a moment of silence for Jason Street and Tim Riggins.

3. I wrote almost 9K of fic for a rarepair in a dead fandom. And it's still growing. It's like I don't even want feedback. It's like I don't even need it. (It's Sousuke/Kisumi, and while, yeah, the Free! fandom isn't totally dead, my fic just can't seem to find an audience there.)

Why can't I just write mainstream Victuuri content and be done with it?

4. With that, hello to all my new subscribers from the Yuri!!! On Ice friending meme! I wish I could say this is not a typical sort of post, but. I'm not going to lie to you. I am pretty terrible. I understand if you unsubscribe. But if you stick around, we might have a good time, you and I. Anything is possible.

(no subject)

May. 1st, 2017 07:22 am
pipibluestockin: (Default)
[personal profile] pipibluestockin
So I got as far as halfway through book four of my murder mystery series (of 9 books), before giving up and going online to see if it was worth finishing. I rarely do this.

The reviews on Goodreads were harsh, but accurate.

The only thing they didn't cover was the lack of character development. Opportunities have been missed.

Main character discovers she is pregnant at end of book one. The rest of the world discovers that single woman is pregnant and reacts between books one and two. She gives birth between books two and three. The wife of the father of the child works out her hubby has been unfaithful and hits the roof between books three and four.

In other news, after three years I have almost reached the bottom of the bottle of apple flavoured vodka. It smells vile and tastes even worse. It is on par with 42 Below (the likelihood of you ever being faced with this New Zealand vodka is low - but consider this a public service announcement).

I don't drink much. But when I do, I insist that the experience be enjoyable.

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 30

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:38 pm
trobadora: (mightier)
[personal profile] trobadora
Last day of the month! I'll post the final tally here tomorrow, and we'll continue over at [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland's journal. Hope to see you all there! :)

Today's writing:

I finally finished my NPT letter and sign-up - about time, since sign-ups close tonight. Then I continued with the fic I'd last worked on tonight, since that one was going reasonably well. 2,100 words today - I really think I've got it back now. :)

Tally:

Days 1 - 25 )

Day 26 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [personal profile] ofmonstrouswords, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme (7 out of 14)
Day 27 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [personal profile] shopfront, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme (8 out of 15)
Day 28 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [personal profile] shopfront, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 15)
Day 29 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [personal profile] shopfront, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (8 out of 15 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

Bahamas cruise, February 12-16, 2017

NSFW Apr. 30th, 2017 03:46 pm
talitha78: (bigmamag-clex)
[personal profile] talitha78
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

herro

Apr. 30th, 2017 04:15 pm
missangelique999: a photo of me taken by another (Default)
[personal profile] missangelique999 posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Name: angelique, and missangelique999 has been my handle for many, many moons
Age: thirty six years young
Location: floriderr, usa
Gender: specifically female

Describe yourself in five sentences or less: music is life. wannabe film buff. night beach lover. sarcasm, because it's legal to stab people with words.

Top 5 Fandoms: I don't have the fandoms down pat, yet.

I mostly post about: the fam. life. and lists. & I share art I appreciate.

I rarely post about: fandoms. teehehe

My last three posts were about:"speed dating(with friends)", a "delightful" smoothie recipe, & a 10 year personal health map.


How often do you post? several times a day.

How about commenting? I comment more than I receive. I love to give.

A GIF to describe how your day has been so far:
cleaning minion

Sunday floral report

Apr. 30th, 2017 04:12 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Dandelions and azaleas starting to bloom. Canada mayflower leaves up, but no blooms or even buds yet. Wild blueberry buds swelling.

No roadkill.

Temperature got up around 55 F and wind dropped to 10 mph or so, I declared bike ride. Did not die.

20.60 miles, 1:50:43

And Now Have All My Travels Ended

Apr. 30th, 2017 07:53 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Back at home. For good, this time. For a whole month and change. I hardly know what I will do with myself!

(What I will do with myself: 1. Catch up on sleep. 2. Pet the cats. 3. Write more on the next book.)

To everyone who came to see me on tour, all the booksellers who hosted me, and all the friends who kept me sane on the road: Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was a wonderful time. But I am glad to be home.

 


The Colony

Apr. 30th, 2017 03:54 pm
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Who knows? This might be the prequel to another setting.
To The Lit-awoo-erry =n.n='s prompt.


There were things they hadn’t planned for because they hadn’t known.

There had been people in space before; there had been people on the moon before. But when they built the first lunar colony, they were in a hurry, they had some serious issues to contend with, and they really, really needed to get a breeding population of humans and some core species of animals off the Earth, just in case.

Earth was, as far as the colonists could tell, still there. But the ship had been cannibalized for parts and there would be no going back.

And then there were the Dry Years.

Five years where the colony thrived, the animals thrived, the city grew and they figured out lunar agriculture - and not a single placental mammal carried an infant past the first trimester. None.

Five years of trying everything and nothing, nothing working.

Mira had grown up with this legend. She knew of Earth the way her grandparents had known of the moon: something hanging in the sky, something there were stories about. She knew of the Dry Period much better, because she had been the first child successfully born on Luna.

She stood at the row of incubators, looking at her first egg. The shell was soft, like a platypus’, and it had been platypus eggs that had cued the colonists into their solution.

Earth would probably be very fascinated with the genetic engineering they had come up with in five short years, and everything they had managed in the twenty-one since.

Earth, the lunar colonists said, could ask them about it when Earth sent a ship for them.

A Very Merry May!

Apr. 30th, 2017 02:03 pm
[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by The Wild Hunt

For many Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists, it is once a time of celebration. The days surrounding the first of May mark many traditional spring festivals and religious holidays recognized around the world. Of these, the most well known is Beltane or Bealtaine, which, in some traditions, honors the union of goddess and god, or marks the beginning of a Celtic summer. It is also considered the high point of Spring on some Wiccan calendars.

In many secular and non-Pagan religious communities, the day is celebrated as May Day, complete with the iconic Maypole, music, and dancing.

[Photo Credit: Jengod via Wikimedia]

However, that is just one of the many holidays appearing at this time. Walpurgisnacht, celebrated the night of April 30, is closely associated with Witches and also called Hexennacht. The eve of May Day was consider the night when witches gather and meet.

In ancient Greece, the holiday of Anthesteria was celebrated. Today it is more commonly called ProtomagiaIt is a day that recognizes the rebirth of nature and is associated with the well-known story of Persephone’s ascent from the Underworld. While some modern Hellenic polytheists celebrate this day in February, many celebrate it on the first of May. And, not long after, as spring continues its dance, some modern Pagans celebrate Thargelia, which is a birthday celebration for Apollon and Artemis.

These festivals and others herald the coming of summer or the apex of spring – a time of merriment, awakening and bounty; a liminal time when the barriers between our world and the other world are thinned. In many traditions and cultures, it is also a time of divine union and fertility.

But that does not apply to Pagans everywhere. Our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are readying for winter. The first of May marks the height of autumn and the end of the harvest season. The celebration of Samhain and other similar holidays that honor the dead or the Ancestors are now upon them.

Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air.
– William Shakespeare, from Love’s Labour’s Lost,
Act IV, Scene III



Here are some quotes for this season:

Twenty years ago on a Beltane Eve, I did my first ritual after moving to a rural home. In a secluded spot, surrounded by seven acres of undomesticated forest with only the stars and a single candle for illumination, I cast a circle and then called to the Green Man to come be with me in my Beltane magic. There was just me and my overpowering yearning to connect with the wild God energy of Nature. Sitting cross-legged with the moss-covered earth beneath me, I rocked back and forth, putting every ounce of my longings and love into my prayer and invocation, speaking out loud to the listening wilderness.  – Karen Clark, from “An Encounter with the Green Man: Three Lessons to Inspire Your Beltane Magic

“In ancient times Beltane was the beginning of summer, the year being divided into two seasons. That makes it a good time to celebrate beginnings of all sorts. […] This is the coming of the Tuatha De Danann to Ireland. How – or if – They left Ireland is a matter of speculation. Some say They went into the Otherworld, some say They went underhill and became the Fae, and some say They never left – people just stopped seeing Them. I think the answer varies from deity to deity. What’s most relevant to contemporary polytheists is that They are once again active in our world.” – John Beckett, from “Beltane – The Coming of the Gods

“One challenge I have accepted for the upcoming season of Beltane is to think about three things that went well over the course of my day each evening just before I go to sleep. This is a small seed I can plant in my life, and I have been assured that the activity will become addictive. Research has shown that doing this simple act for six months causes people to have more life satisfaction and markedly less depression and anxiety.” – Allison Ehrman, from “The Well-being of Gardening

[Pixabay]

“In parts of Scotland, the Beltane bannock is a popular custom. It’s said that if you eat one on Beltane morning, you’ll be guaranteed abundance for your crops and livestock. Traditionally, the bannock is made with animal fat (such as bacon grease), and it is placed in a pile of embers, on top of a stone, to cook in the fire. Once it’s blackened on both sides, it can be removed, and eaten with a blend of eggs and milk.” – Patti Wigington, from “Beltane Bannocks – Scottish Oatcakes

“A bottle of Grouse was cracked open and poems were read aloud, voices raised against the wind. Under thick dark skies they drummed and danced through to a watery dawn, hurling themselves through the Beltane Fire. The season was changing and they intended to mark it, with an ancient Iron Age Celtic ritual of renewal, celebrating the end of darkness and the hope of summer to come.” – Laura Piper, from the BBC’s “Burning bright: Beltane festival celebrates 30 years of fire” (including photo gallery from the Edinburgh festival)

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
– William Shakespeare, from As You Like It,
Act V, Scene III






A Very Merry May from The Wild Hunt!

This is important

Apr. 30th, 2017 03:02 pm
supergee: (rocket coyote)
[personal profile] supergee
Also, listen up: gender is a spectrum. The closer you look at ANYTHING the blurrier the lines get. INCLUDING GENDER. LIFE is complicated
--Adam Savage

Read the whole thing.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

First of my "Hugo due diligence" reading, this being one of the six finalists for the 2017 Novel Hugo. It's... odd. Eminently readable, but odd. In that sort of "yes, I can totally see why it's there", but I can also see people bouncing off this massively.

We're basically swapping viewpoint between Patricia and Laurence. The former has an affinity for magic, he latter for science. And this, as it happens, becomes extremely relevant later on.

Not eevn sure what I would compare this to. I guess there's something of some of Cherie Priest's style to the book, to some extent.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

At least I am pretty sure this is a reread. Last time I was reading this series was, um, quite a while ago. We're pretty ,uch continuing o from where we were, also continuing the "swap between viewpoint characters", meaning that we see more of the world, but perhaps miss some things, as we're following another character. Not that I think there's any earth-shattering happening outside our view, but, you know...

All in all, pretty epic milfantasy.

Changing Faces

Apr. 30th, 2017 02:47 pm
aldersprig: (me-lyn-kitty)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Over on Mastodon, I did a little prompt call on the theme of moons.
🌒
She slipped out into the night and let the moonlight brush over her.

It was a clear night; good. She could use the change tonight. There was an angry man in the party, and when he figured out she’d left, he was going to be angrier.

He had reason to be angry with her, yes. On the other hand, he was an asshole. The two didn’t exactly balance out, but they did make her feel not at all bad about sneaking out when he was looking for her - probably hollering about her - very likely quite irked.

She closed her eyes and felt the moonlight on her skin. It was a chilly night, and the moon was full, swollen.

She didn’t like the full-moon faces as much, but this one would do. The Mother came out with the gibbous moon, the Crone with the darkness of the new moon… every moon had its moods.
Read more... )

Want More?

Moving images?

Apr. 30th, 2017 02:41 pm
redcirce: One True Pastry (only OTP that matters)
[personal profile] redcirce posting in [community profile] lj_refugees
Hey there,

I've got a question I'm hoping someone might have some insight into! I previously hosted my fandom manips on LJ and hotlinked them on DW, but now I'd like to get them off LJ entirely. However, I also use the LJ images to post into Archive of Our Own.

When I try to link to dreamwidth hosted images on Ao3, they only show up intermittently or not at all. I've heard some talk that DW hosted images can only be used on DW, does anyone know if that's true?

If that's the case, what is everyone else using for their non-LJ fandom image hosting needs?

Hello!

Apr. 30th, 2017 01:35 pm
whisper_in_rage: (Default)
[personal profile] whisper_in_rage posting in [community profile] addme
NAME: Logan
AGE: 24
INTERESTS & HOBBIES: Music, art (specifically colored pencil and photography), poetry, reading, goth culture, goth music, LGBT things, animals, gender identity. I mostly post about my life more than fandom things, so there's probably going to be some variation in topics posted about, but expect some goth related, some mental health related, some gender identity related. I guess I'm not entirely certain how things will be going forward, I left LJ a while ago so I've been out of the blogging world for a bit!
LOOKING FOR: I guess some shared interests. I'd like people who I can interact with who also are interested in interacting with me. While I don't really post about fandom things, I don't mind if you do! I still enjoy reading about fandom things.
ANYTHING ELSE?: I sometimes, when highly anxious, won't be as active. I also probably will not comment on literally every entry you post. I'm more the type of person to comment when I actually have something to say or a genuine reaction, versus commenting just for the sake of commenting. I do try to comment regularly, though.
ALSO KNOWN AS: n/a

LOTR: Book III, ch 5, The White Rider

Apr. 30th, 2017 06:37 pm
[syndicated profile] sherwood_smith_feed
There is not much action in this chapter, but it is so deeply satisfying in so many ways that at least in my mind it stands alone.

There is one biggie, but I discovered on later readings a whole lot of other zing moments.


It opens with Aragorn showing off his badass Ranger snooping skills as he and Legolas and Gimli examine the battleground by light of day. Also, Legolas mentions that the horses that ran away sounded as if they were greeting a friend. So that was a strike against the mysterious old man being Saruman.

But no sooner are they on the trail than they spy an old, bent man wearing tattered gray rags, and Gimli yells at Legolas to shoot first. Aragorn, as usual says wait, and they do, noting that the oldster wears a hood and a hat. All they can see is his gray beard.

The old man seems to lose his weariness, and Gimli and Legolas find themselves unable to raise their weapons as the man joins them, then asks who they are. A flash of white is seen among his tatters, and all the evidence points to it being Saruman.

But when they as for his name, we get this curious passage:

“ . .As for my name!” He broke off, laughing long and softly. Aragorn felt a shudder run through him at the sound, a strange cold thrill; and yet it was not fear or terror that he felt: rather it was like the sudden bite of a keen air, or the slap of a cold rain that wakes and an uneasy sleeper.

“My name!” said the old man again. “Have you not guessed it already? You have heard it before, I think. Yes, you have heard it before. But come now, what of your tale?”


He tells them who they were seeking, and invites them to talk, but when Gimli attacks, calling him Saruman, he throws off the tatters and stands there in white. Gimpli’s axe falls to the ground, Aragorn’s sword flares with light, and Legolas shoots an arrow into the air, which bursts into flame.

It’s Gandalf! Or, Mithrandir—Legolas greets him with his elven name, and Gandalf recognizes it, but when Aragorn calls him Gandalf, he says,

“Gandalf,” the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. “Yes, that was the name, I am Gandalf.”

He makes a kind gesture to Gimli, who is sorely abashed to have drawn on him, then he says he is now Gandalf the White. I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been. . . . I have passed through fire and deep water since we parted.

When I was a kid reader, I couldn’t figure out why he was so cagey about his name, and then that business about remembering it. But in later readings I wondered if he fell altogether out of the world, and was sent back in to finish the job. At any rate, he seems less human than he ever did, and his humanness becomes more in question with each reading. I mean, he clearly has human form, but that glimmer of white between the rags of lordship, as it were, represents a lot more than the tatters of old clothes.

Another really important point occurs to me as they begin catching up on each other’s news: Gandalf tells them that the eagles told him of Merry and Pippin’s captivity. I think every mention of the eagles is important: it demonstrates their independence, their alliance rather than their obedience, and so supports what happens at the very end.

And here is where I think he admits that he was helping Frodo to take off the ring in the nick of time, though the wording is vague, and it passed me by on countless readings:

“ . . .The Ring has now passed beyond my help, or the help of any of the Company that set out from Rivendell. Very nearly it was revealed to the Enemy, but it escaped. I had some part in that: for I sat in a high place, and I strove with the Dark Tower, and the Shadow passed. . .”

Another bit that always escaped me, but stands out now. I haven’t wanted to talk about the Peter Jackson films, as I don’t want to derail a reading of the books, but I will say this: when Gandalf says it was a pity about Boromir, but he was glad that he escaped his peril in the end (the peril of being enslaved by the ring, obviously, to which even death is preferable), “It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir’s sake.”

I think in the book that is fairly oblique, but Jackson took that single line and did an excellent job with it, filling out Boromir’s character admirably.

Gandalf catches them up on bigger events, and then tells Aragorn and company that the hobbits are with the Ents. And as they set out together, he fills them in on what happened after his fall in Moria, and his meeting up again with Gwahir—who came at the behest of Galadriel, who has some words in poetry to pass on to the three. The best, by far, was her warm message to Gimli, “wherever thou goest my thought goes with thee.”

The horses catch up with them, and when they see smoke on the horizon, “Battle and war,” said Gandalf. “Ride on!”

(no subject)

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:37 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
I tried, I really tried, but I couldn't get into the book I was asked to read. I'll have to send a report to the author, and I'm embarrassed about it.

Anyway, here's two weeks of reading other books that I actually finished. Let's start with Osprey Vanguard #33: German Light Panzers 1932 - 42, an older book on the subject which was reasonably good reading. Follow that with Osprey Vanguard #37: Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, modern for the date of publication, somehow it didn't quite gel for me.

Later I read Osprey Campaign #44: Pavia 1525: The Climax of the Italian Wars, not as interesting as I'd hoped for; then The Complete Tales from the Con, not really a graphic novel but a collection of funny drawings about typical events, heavily exaggerated, at comic conventions. If you're a fan, it's a fun read.

Then there was Osprey Elite #57: The Royal Marines 1939 – 93 which I found to be a solid read about the regiment's relatively recent activities. Follow that with The Hogwarts Collection Volumes 1 – 3, a bunch of quick writings which go into more details about the backgrounds of a number of characters as well as other bits of history from the Harry Potter series. Eh.

Finally I finished reading another Osprey, this one being Osprey Fortress #62: Soviet Field Fortifications 1941 – 45. The detail in this one was pretty fascinating.

Whew...

LOTR: Book III, ch 5, The White Rider

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:35 am
sartorias: (JRRT)
[personal profile] sartorias
There is not much action in this chapter, but it is so deeply satisfying in so many ways that at least in my mind it stands alone.

There is one biggie, but I discovered on later readings a whole lot of other zing moments.


It opens with Aragorn showing off his badass Ranger snooping skills as he and Legolas and Gimli examine the battleground by light of day. Also, Legolas mentions that the horses that ran away sounded as if they were greeting a friend. So that was a strike against the mysterious old man being Saruman.

But no sooner are they on the trail than they spy an old, bent man wearing tattered gray rags, and Gimli yells at Legolas to shoot first. Aragorn, as usual says wait, and they do, noting that the oldster wears a hood and a hat. All they can see is his gray beard.

The old man seems to lose his weariness, and Gimli and Legolas find themselves unable to raise their weapons as the man joins them, then asks who they are. A flash of white is seen among his tatters, and all the evidence points to it being Saruman.

But when they as for his name, we get this curious passage:

“ . .As for my name!” He broke off, laughing long and softly. Aragorn felt a shudder run through him at the sound, a strange cold thrill; and yet it was not fear or terror that he felt: rather it was like the sudden bite of a keen air, or the slap of a cold rain that wakes and an uneasy sleeper.

“My name!” said the old man again. “Have you not guessed it already? You have heard it before, I think. Yes, you have heard it before. But come now, what of your tale?”


He tells them who they were seeking, and invites them to talk, but when Gimli attacks, calling him Saruman, he throws off the tatters and stands there in white. Gimpli’s axe falls to the ground, Aragorn’s sword flares with light, and Legolas shoots an arrow into the air, which bursts into flame.

It’s Gandalf! Or, Mithrandir—Legolas greets him with his elven name, and Gandalf recognizes it, but when Aragorn calls him Gandalf, he says,

“Gandalf,” the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. “Yes, that was the name, I am Gandalf.”

He makes a kind gesture to Gimli, who is sorely abashed to have drawn on him, then he says he is now Gandalf the White. I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been. . . . I have passed through fire and deep water since we parted.

When I was a kid reader, I couldn’t figure out why he was so cagey about his name, and then that business about remembering it. But in later readings I wondered if he fell altogether out of the world, and was sent back in to finish the job. At any rate, he seems less human than he ever did, and his humanness becomes more in question with each reading. I mean, he clearly has human form, but that glimmer of white between the rags of lordship, as it were, represents a lot more than the tatters of old clothes.

Another really important point occurs to me as they begin catching up on each other’s news: Gandalf tells them that the eagles told him of Merry and Pippin’s captivity. I think every mention of the eagles is important: it demonstrates their independence, their alliance rather than their obedience, and so supports what happens at the very end.

And here is where I think he admits that he was helping Frodo to take off the ring in the nick of time, though the wording is vague, and it passed me by on countless readings:

“ . . .The Ring has now passed beyond my help, or the help of any of the Company that set out from Rivendell. Very nearly it was revealed to the Enemy, but it escaped. I had some part in that: for I sat in a high place, and I strove with the Dark Tower, and the Shadow passed. . .”

Another bit that always escaped me, but stands out now. I haven’t wanted to talk about the Peter Jackson films, as I don’t want to derail a reading of the books, but I will say this: when Gandalf says it was a pity about Boromir, but he was glad that he escaped his peril in the end (the peril of being enslaved by the ring, obviously, to which even death is preferable), “It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir’s sake.”

I think in the book that is fairly oblique, but Jackson took that single line and did an excellent job with it, filling out Boromir’s character admirably.

Gandalf catches them up on bigger events, and then tells Aragorn and company that the hobbits are with the Ents. And as they set out together, he fills them in on what happened after his fall in Moria, and his meeting up again with Gwahir—who came at the behest of Galadriel, who has some words in poetry to pass on to the three. The best, by far, was her warm message to Gimli, “wherever thou goest my thought goes with thee.”

The horses catch up with them, and when they see smoke on the horizon, “Battle and war,” said Gandalf. “Ride on!”
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