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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » Who is the real hero? (Page 2)
Author Topic: Who is the real hero?
The Flammifer
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The real hero of The Lord of the Rings would be he who kept The Ring out of the hands of Sauron. Deagol found The Ring in 2463 Third Age, thus thwarting Sauron who may have found it first and toasted Middle-earth.

Deagol is the real hero... []

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Gollum Gollum
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Flammifer, PLEASE!!! [] Even the Frodo-version is better. Being the victim of the Ring doesn't make you a hero right away. Finding the One by accident is not heroism IMHO...

quote:
you people bring quite one-sided arguments to prove your points
Well if we have different opinions, it's rather obvious that I defend my point of view, not yours, isn't it?
quote:
It was about who saved Middle-earth.
Indeed. Yet if I were to name ONE person who saved M-E, I'd say: Gandalf. But as you said, "Aragorn and Gandalf for all their sufferings and courageous acts do not go through as much as Frodo and Sam do". I agree and therefore definitely wouldn't call Gandalf the hero of LOTR. Neither Frodo nor Sam actually saved M-E, but I think we both agree on the fact that it's one of them the true hero, and not the wizard. So my conclusion is: even saving M-E doesn't make one the real hero of LOTR.
quote:
Sam would have killed Gollum had it not been for Frodo. [...] Even Sam wanted to turn away at times, it was his love for Frodo that kept him going on.
These are the very reasons why I think Sam's the hero.
I know that Frodo is the central character, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the true hero.

So, in conclusion: IMO you don't become the real hero of LOTR by finding the Ring by accident, nor by saving M-E when you're the only "good" Maia in the area, nor by being written as the main character of the story, but by SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS.

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The Flammifer
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[] Seriously? GG. 'Lor bless you! Cans't thou not sniff out sarcasm? []
"Gollum, gollum - snuffle." []

The "real hero" of LOTR is JRR Tolkien - or whomever you folks feel appropriate.

To me there are multiple "real heros", Bilbo (found the Ring); Frodo (suffered to destroy the Ring); Sam (ditto); Gandalf (the Prime Mover); Aragorn (think Corsairs); Theoden (the Charge of the Rohirrim); Even Merry & Pippin (aroused Treebeard wherein his Ents and Huorns came to the aid at Helm's Deep).

More? [] Gollum (obvious); Farmer Maggot (they could have been waylaid if not for Maggot's help); Gildor and his company (kept a Dark Rider(s) at bay); Elrond (gave the Ring Bearer temporary safe haven); Fatty Bolger (risked his life playing a part at Crickhollow); Glorfindel (if not for Asfaloth?); Faramir (could have taken The Ring); The Dead Men of Dunharrow (freed the Corsairs for Aragorn); The Balrog (if not for him no Gandalf the White); Shadowfax (allowed Gandalf to quickly do his "coordinating").
More? Naw, nuff . . .

The "real heros"? - are legion. The "real hero(s)"? - are no one, or pick your favorite, enjoy yourself, and stick with it. []
Cheers !!

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"Faithless Is He Who Says Farewell When The Road Darkens"
It's much more difficult to sneak off in daylight!

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Hamfast Gamgee
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You've forgotten Tom Bombadil. Wasn't he an important bolt-hole for the Hobbits as well?
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Gollum Gollum
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For me, there's a difference between a hero and the hero. There may be many heros, but only one of them is the hero.
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The Flammifer
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Gx2.... Actually I was trying to follow (out of order) a train of thought - If any one of these "people" hadn't done their "small" part would The Ring then be NOT destroyed - thus no "heroes"? Just a fun thing to contemplate.

Such as if The Army of the West hadn't marched then Sauron's Eye wouldn't be roaming beyond the mountains and he probably wouldn't have marshaled his forces to the Isenmouthe and Udun, and Gorgoroth would have been crawling with Orcs and Frodo probably would have been caught (for keeps)...

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"Faithless Is He Who Says Farewell When The Road Darkens"
It's much more difficult to sneak off in daylight!

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Curious_mind
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I'd disagree with you, G. Here I'm not talking about if yours and mine "opinions" differ, I'm talking about the "facts". Facts that Professor Tolkien created- and not even he himself can go against it.

Gandalf plays a crucial role in the destruction of the One, but there's no evidence in the text of LotR, TH, UT or The Silm or The Letters that he ever had to suffer as much Frodo. If there is please let me know.
I didn't get your point when you said saving ME doesn't make the true hero? We're talking about "The Lord of the Rings" and his fall. So, the character who is the most important in these terms, why he cannot be considered the hero of his own story? That is beyond my understanding.
"So, in conclusion: IMO you don't become the real hero of LOTR by finding the Ring by accident, nor by saving M-E when you're the only "good" Maia in the area, nor by being written as the main character of the story, but by SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS."
What about Frodo's selflessness, and sacrifice then?
"I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them."
The quote itself is the ultimate proof of Frodo's "sacrifices and sufferings". What makes you say only only Sam possess these qualities?

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The Flammifer
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Greetings Curious Mind,

(Quote) “Gandalf plays a crucial role in the destruction of the One, but there's no evidence in the text of LotR, TH, UT or The Silm or The Letters that he ever had to suffer as much Frodo. If there is please let me know.”

Here’s my thoughts to let you know:
Olorin (soon to be Gandalf) was afraid he would not be up to the task he was being sent on by Manwe. He really didn’t want to go to Middle-earth but was commanded to do so. Sounds a long way from a hero, eh?

But once there (Middle-earth) he spent over 2,000 years attempting to organize and advise the “Free Peoples”. He never took up any abode and traveled unceasingly, mostly afoot, in his efforts. Seems there’s some long-term suffering here?

(quote) "So, in conclusion: IMO you don't become the real hero of LOTR by finding the Ring by accident, nor by saving M-E when you're the only "good" Maia in the area, nor by being written as the main character of the story, but by SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS."

Gandalf gave his life in Khazad-dum in defense of his fellows (and the Ring). An act of pure “SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS”.

So if it’s a question of who suffered the most, Frodo or Gandalf – you choose: Frodo who suffered severely for, at the most – weeks (a short term suffering); or Gandalf who suffered (less severely) for 2,000 years and then gave up his life.
“Fly you fools! This is a power beyond any of you!”

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Curious_mind
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I do not doubt the struggles of Gandalf, Aragorn and Sam. They are great heroes. The Flammifer, I'm afraid not even this quote proves your point. Tolkien for Frodo writes: "No taste of food....I'M NAKED IN THE DARK, SAM. THERE IS NO VEIL BETWEEN ME AND THE WHEEL OF FIRE." When Frodo says he's naked in dark he does not mean his cloths are taken away. He hardly has any "body" left anymore. Sam lifts Frodo and is suprised to see that Frodo hardly weighs more than a hobbit-child. It's not his "body" that's stripped but his soul. He's laid bare infront of the purest evil. Tolkien in one of his letters writes something about Frodo's experiences being the worst. When the same thing is given in the text too-"It is gone forever, and now all is dark and empty"- the fact cannot be denied that no one suffered more than Frodo. Professor Tolkien in The Sil writes about Frodo going to destroy the Ring in the darkness etc. etc. if his sufferings were less than Gandalf(or what Tolkien himself wrote in his letters and I mentioned here) why would Professor bother to write that in the book, The Silmarillion?
Thanks for the correction. I wanted to write about Gandalf too, but couldn't because of the lack of time. [] Gandalf gave up his life for something greater than himself

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The Flammifer
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Hi again Curious Mind and greetings,
Interesting conversation. I think we can (hopefully) agree that there were many heroes in LOTR; and agree there were several “top heroes”, but perhaps the three main heroes were Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf? The main hero? Possibly just a personal preference?

As you’ve made a decent point showing the pain and suffering of Frodo, a few quotes about Gandalf are in order from the text.

“Name him not!” said Gandalf. . . [the Balrog] -”it seemed that a cloud of pain passed over his face…”
“Long I fell . . .”, “His fire was about me. I was burned.”
As they fell into the deep water, “Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.”
“…naked I lay upon the mountain-top.” “…and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth.” (He lay on Zirak-Zigal for 19 days.)

Gwaihir: “A burden you have been . . but not so now.” Light as a swan’s feather in my claw you are. The Sun shines through you.” (His mortal body was ravaged.)

A final point (for now): In “The Last Debate” Aragorn says, “Let none now reject the counsels of Gandalf . . .” “But for him all would long ago have been lost.”

So the question might be, does suffering make a hero? No! But was Frodo a hero? Yes! Was Gandalf a hero? Yes!

Cheers, for now

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Curious_mind
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Hi! Thanks for your words. []
To be honest, I spent months thinking Frodo being hero was just my opinion, as everyone was too sure their remarks about other characters being the hero of the story. But, in the end I realized I was right all along. [] You're right in saying that *just suffering* doesn't make someone a hero. Gollum suffered the most, but he is not a hero. The two characters I see as the most selfless people are Gandalf and Frodo. I'd read somewhere that Frodo is the one who follows Gandalf most closely. And that's true. Aragorn and Sam, no matter how selflessly they loved Arwen and Frodo, were motivated by a "personal interest".

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Curious_mind
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Gandalf and Frodo come as utterly selfless characters. Frodo, when decides to take Ring out of the Shire, he did so for the people who would never care if he died or would never thank him if he survived. Gandalf was a Maia-- a God who was given the powers that'd help him fight his enemies. Later When Frodo arrives Rivendell, Gandalf tells him what would have happened if he were attacked by the Witchking- and that's a horrifying thought. Frodo's decision to go to destroy the Ring is as heroic as the earlier one. This time he's done so for ME. ME doesn't know if there is a Frodo Baggins, it does not know what he's going to do for it, it knows nothing of the little hobbit. It isn't going to thank him either. For it knows nothing of Frodo!
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Curious_mind
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Frodo's decision to take the Ring to Mordor isn't inspired from any kind of personal interest. He isn't going to Mordor to save his sweetheart, or to take revenge, or to seek glory, or to seek answers and prove himself, to gain anything personal. He is going to save ME. He is going to "save the world he knows from disaster at his own expense if he can, in complete humility. Also acknowledging that he is wholly inadequate to the task." I said earlier both Gandalf and Frodo give up their lives for something greater than themselves. And Frodo gives up his life that took courage, strengths, power and will of Gods, warriors and soldiers.
P.S. Sorry for the mess. I couldn't see my posts, so though I should shorten them.

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The Flammifer
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I guess we could hash and re-hash till the Kine come home; but just a few more thoughts on your thoughts:

(Quote) . Frodo, when decides to take Ring out of the Shire, he did so for the people who would never care if he died or would never thank him if he survived.

In reading “The Shadow of the Past” and learning of the One Ring and the Black Riders – from Gandalf, Frodo decides his only option is to leave the Shire with the Ring. This seems a logical, yes brave action that most anyone of reason and good judgment would do – as to stay in the Shire would (according to Gandalf) be even more perilous (to himself (Frodo) as well as the Shire). I wouldn’t give him any “hero” points on this decision.

(Quote) Gandalf tells him what would have happened if he were attacked by the Witchking- and that's a horrifying thought.

Frodo WAS attacked (and stabbed) by the Witch-king at Weathertop.

(quote) Frodo's decision to take the Ring to Mordor isn't inspired from any kind of personal interest.

If we read closely (and somewhat between the lines) at “The Council of Elrond” - “No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him.” (“..not turned to him” is a clever way of saying they WERE all waiting for him.) It seems (to me) Frodo was almost pushed to accept The Quest: But, yes, the final decision WAS his (although “inspired” by all the Great Ones at the Council). “I will take the Ring…. though I do not know the way.” Some “hero points” here.

(quote) I said earlier both Gandalf and Frodo give up their lives for something greater than themselves. And Frodo gives up his life that took courage, strengths, power and will of Gods, warriors and soldiers.

You have mentioned a time or two that Gandalf “gave up his life”. I see it more that his life was “taken” from him. Do we really know the mind of Gandalf as he broke the Bridge of Khazad-dum? Was he in fear of his mortal life? Certainly. Did he KNOW he would be sent back to Valinor in his Spirit Form after his bodily death. This is unknown.
Some “hero points” here.

A long and arduous subject matter. And I have decided to just follow your lead.. sorry
Take care….

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Curious_mind
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I think you're giving Frodo far too little credit in both your instances. His decision to save the Shire comes from his love. Even "good judgement" wouldn't have worked if Frodo were not willing to do what he did. He was not given any kind of magical powers, or he was not a warrior. He was a hobbit like they all(SHire folks) were. I'd give him the title of the hero from there. That's when his first "ennoblement of ignoble" takes place when Frodo puts others before him despite being as ignoble as they all were. "I will take Ring..." statement is inspired from the sufferings of ME.
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Curious_mind
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He had nothing to gain personally from the quest. Sam had Frodo and Aragorn had Arwen. These characters' motivation was their love for their friend and wife. Frodo knew what he was doing-- in the process he was going to gain it for others but sacrifice it for himself.
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The Flammifer
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I suppose we must take these “who did what, and why” one simple point at a time, and analyze as best we can.
You have mentioned a time or two that Frodo left the Shire to hopefully save it. True! But there is another reason he left: Sauron knew that the Ring was found and was searching for it. Sauron had heard of The Shire and was searching for it. Sauron also had heard the name “Baggins”. Frodo personally was in mortal danger and he knew it. He had no choice but to leave for his own protection as well as the Shire’s (as would ANY person of good will and common sense have done). He had no choice! What were his options but to leave? Still no “hero points” here.

“He had nothing to gain personally from the quest.”
Who had anything “personal” to gain from the quest? Well, the Quest was to destroy the Ring. We could say that everyone (including Frodo) had something to gain personally – freedom from evil.
Cheers []

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Gollum Gollum
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I really like your posts, Flammifer. []

Yes, it's true that Frodo had no choice but to leave the Shire. He was doomed to do so from the moment when Bilbo found the Ring.
Sam, on the contrary, didn't have to leave. I know he left because of his love for Frodo and not in order to save anything or anyone (apart from Frodo), but he also gained nothing personal, risked loosing Rosie and Gaffer, not to mention his own life.

---
Technical aspect: Flammifer, if you want to quote someone, why not use the "quote" option (under the "add reply" & "preview post" buttons)?
quote:
[]
Like this
[] [] [] Cheers

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The Flammifer
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Thanks Gollumx2. Enjoy your comments too. []
Agreed: Sam left for his love of Frodo even though he was (mostly) aware of the dangers involved (from his eavesdropping at Bag End). And Hey,
quote:
I might get to see an Elf – Yahoo!
Ok! Faux quote. []

Believe it or not I just never paid attention to the “Quote”, “Bold”, ”Italics” etc. buttons before. ***Slapping Forehead***

Thanks for the heads-up!!

quote:
Still round the corner there may wait
a new road or secret gate.
And though I oft have passed them by
a day will come at last when I
Shall take the Hidden Paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun

Hey, it works, and make things easier to read for sure. Thanks Again! []
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Curious_mind
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I'm so suprised that an intelligent person like you is not getting what I've been trying to say for so long. "Frodo was in mortal danger" yes, he was. But he did not leave because he wanted to save himself. He did so to save the Shire knowing he's not coming back. Who had to gain personally? Aragorn had Arwen, Sam had Frodo, others had their freedom and peace like you mentioned, what did Frodo have to gain? Nothing personal, for sure. No peace, no love, no glory and nothing.
quote:
Frodo raised his head, and then stood up. Despair had not left him, but the weakness had passed. He even smiled grimly, feeling now as clearly as a moment before he had felt the opposite, that what he had to do, he had to do, if he could, and that whether Faramir or Aragorn or Elrond or Galadriel or Gandalf or anyone else knew about it was beside the purpose.

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Curious_mind
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Saying Frodo had no "choice" is completly absurd. Having a good judgement, and heart is another thing and willing to sacrifice oneself for those who don't love him is another. Frodo did the what I mentioned. Frodo had choice like everyone did. It's just he chose otherwise.
quote:
"Lo! Lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dúnedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and all greathearts of the shire, and all free folk of the West, listen now to my lay. For I will sing to you of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom!"
This was said for Frodo. As I already said (I think it did not get posted) none of this was said out of pity or generousity for "poor hobbit". Also, when the Wise's judgement is kept in the highest regard when it comes to other characters, why people have to doubt it in Frodo's case? Also Prof. Tolkien says, "Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body..." Textual evidence? When Sam lifts Frodo he finds no difficulty at all in carrying Frodo: Frodo weighs no more than a hobbit child.
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Gollum Gollum
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At your service, Flammifer.

quote:
Saying Frodo had no "choice" is completly absurd.
That's your opinion.
quote:
others had their freedom and peace like you mentioned, what did Frodo have to gain?
Yeah, but Frodo had the Ring. Of course he had a choice: he could either leave or stay at home and get killed/enslaved by the Nazgul. Great choice indeed!
What did he have to gain? Probably his peace&quiet back, as he lost them anyway, no matter what choice he made.

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The Flammifer
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quote:
Saying Frodo had no "choice" is completly absurd.
Talking about leaving the Shire: What were his choices then? You tell me. He couldn’t stay for reasons already given. Other choices? Hmmm, give the Ring to a friend and hide his head in Bag End and wait for the end to come? Bury the Ring in his Garden? Maybe give the Ring to Sam and tell him to boogie down the road to Rivendell for help? Of course not. No person of good will had a choice. HE had to leave the Shire!
quote:
Also Prof. Tolkien says, "Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body..." [Ah, Gandalf was killed] Textual evidence? When Sam lifts Frodo he finds no difficulty at all in carrying Frodo: Frodo weighs no more than a hobbit child..
Of course he deserves “all honor” – he IS a hero after all.
quote:
Yeah, but Frodo had the Ring. Of course he had a choice: he could either leave or stay at home and get killed/enslaved by the Nazgul. Great choice indeed!
Well put, thank you for making my point.

As we have different perspectives on this subject we are becoming redundant (I could quote this and that, and you could quote that and this), and on it goes as we attempt to convince one another of our point of view. But it’s apparent “the convincing” is not going to happen. Yes, I love both Frodo and Gandalf. If I HAVE to choose a singular greatest hero I would choose Gandalf, whereas you choose Frodo. I think that’s fair enough. But as Gandalf Greyhame (poster) said earlier “I do not believe this can be answered. There is no one hero.”
I suppose there must be polls out there somewhere that have been taken on this subject and I would guess the results would be 45/45 Frodo/Gandalf with a 10% sprinkling of Aragorn, Samwise, even Theoden or Faramir, or (forbid) Gollum.
Perhaps we should agree to disagree, remain friends, and move on to greener pastures?

In kindness, may the wind be at your back… []

Flammifer

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The Flammifer
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Excuse me! I got a little "posters" mixed up.
Anyway my comments above can apply to both Gollum2 and Curious Mind, ok? Good....

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Tolkien seems to have viewed Sam as the central hero. [] It is his coming-of-age story, after all. OTOH, Aragorn was the most heroic hero, if you gather my meaning. And Frodo was the central figure of the Quest, in a story the revolves around a quest.

In another sense, Eru is the real hero of the story. [] He times every lucky turn and places every lucky find in front of our heroes. He brings Tom Bombadil to Old Man Willow just in the nick of time. He places Frodo and Sam in the path of the Rangers of the South. He sends the orcs to scare off Shelob at just the right time. He brings the Riders of Rohan on the flanks of the army of Mordor at the perfect time. He rescues them all, protects them all, brings the Quest to completion, and brings them all home. Some, he brings Home.

In one sense. []

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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