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Author Topic: No other blade?
Anorgil
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quote:
No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.
In the first place, there were in fact at least two other blades of the same make: Sam's and Pippin's, and possibly others that the hobbits had not taken from the Barrows. Shouldn't those weapons have been able to do equal harm to the Witch King, if one of them had wounded him instead?

In the second place, if the blade "broke the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will," what kept him "alive" long enough for Éowyn to stab him?

I'm inclined to believe that the above passage is using hyperbole, myself.

[ 10-04-2014, 08:18 PM: Message edited by: Anorgil ]

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Aiwrendel
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Ah. This reminds me of another thread where we took Tolkien's words literally forgetting his linguistic skills and the setting of Middle Earth being somewhat medieval in nature.

(See the thread How many steps to the top of Orthanc?) Galin got us on the right track. []

When I read that passage I thought he meant, "No other blade (other than one of the work of Westernesse) would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter..." Those blades were, after all, made specifically to be the bane of the Which King. The only exception I have with that statement is that he left out Elven (and other?) blades. But that would have been unnecessary and bordereing on rambling.

As for what kept him alive, I don't think the wound would have killed him. But it did weaken him and make him temporarily vulnerable to an "ordinary" blade like Éowyn's.

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Snöwdog
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quote:
"No other blade (other than one of the work of Westernesse) would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter..."
I have always considered it this way from my first reading.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gollum Gollum
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You really like it, Snöwdog, don't you? Saying "That was also my idea" after somebody comes up with something. []
From this thread:
quote:
I have always considered it this way from my first reading.
From How many steps to the top of Orthanc?
quote:
it's funny you bring that up Galin. Back when I first read that passage, that was what I thought.

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Snöwdog
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G² said:
quote:
You really like it, Snöwdog, don't you? Saying "That was also my idea" after somebody comes up with something.
From this thread:

quote:
I have always considered it this way from my first reading.
quote:
From How many steps to the top of Orthanc?
quote:
it's funny you bring that up Galin. Back when I first read that passage, that was what I thought.
Just saying what I thought when I first read the tale. Sometimes it's what other readers have thought as well apparently. Sometimes it causes me to remember a moment from decades ago. Sorry you don't like that G² []

[ 10-08-2014, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

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Aiwrendel
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[] um Gollum x 2? Why... Never mind.

Can we stay with the subject?

How did you interpret the sentence, "No other blade..." when you first read it or re-read it?

[ 10-07-2014, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Aiwrendel ]

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Anorgil
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When I first read it, I don't think I paid too much attention to it.

Now, I think that "No other blade..." is a hyperbolic way of saying "Very few other blades..." It's not like the book is completely, 100% consistent with itself in other respects, although since it's not third-person-omniscient, it doesn't have to be.

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