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15328Re: [mythsoc] O.W.L.'s in Harry Potter (spoiler at end)

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  • David Bratman
    Aug 2, 2005
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      Grace -

      I really think you'd better read it again.

      Sam leaves Frodo because he thinks Frodo is dead. There's no point in
      taking a dead body, nowhere in Mordor to take it to. If he'd realized
      Frodo were alive, he would have moved him. Sam is perfectly capable of
      carrying a near-comatose Frodo later on, and if he'd carried him in the
      manner that Sean Astin carries Elijah Wood (though he didn't), he could
      have carried him completely comatose too. Staying there and not moving,
      mutely waiting for the Orcs to come, is not the only other option. So the
      quote in which Sam points out he'd saved the Ring is pointless as a
      rebuttal. In fact it shows the problem up even more seriously, because in
      going back for Frodo he was risking the Ring further.

      And since you're so eager to point out that waiting by Frodo's body would
      have been the wrong decision, let me point out, again, that Sam makes that
      decision also. Two wrong decisions, not just one! Thank you for reminding
      me of that. This is when he still thinks Frodo is dead:

      "I can't help it. My place is by Mr. Frodo. They must understand that --
      Elrond and the Council and the great Lords and Ladies with all their
      wisdom. Their plans have gone wrong. I can't be their Ring-bearer. Not
      without Mr. Frodo."

      And let me add further what Sam means when he says that he can't help it:

      "I wonder if any song will ever mention it: How Samwise fell in the High
      Pass and made a wall of bodies round his master. No, no song. Of course
      not, for the Ring'll be found, and there'll be no more songs."

      That is his intention at the moment he says it.

      The point of the part of this story is not that Sam makes the right or wise
      decision. He doesn't, he's as fallible as anyone. The point is that
      divine mercy saves him because he approaches his task with the right
      intent, same as it does for Frodo later.


      >I still think my example of a good book making one want to read other books
      >holds.

      Ah, but what other books? The desire to read specifically a direct sequel
      - what happens to these characters next? - is the one I was querying. The
      best sequels are oblique. LOTR is not about what happens to Bilbo next
      (though it tells you that).


      >And since we don't know the final outcome of what happens at the birdbath, it
      >isn't futile according to your dictionary.

      They went to the birdbath to destroy the thingie. There was no thingie to
      destroy. Instead, Dumbledore suffers. That's called "futile". If
      something good comes out of it later, that's called "authorial
      plot-pushing." It's also called "it happens, if at all, in book 7, and you
      don't know any more than I do, so if I can't say it's futile, you can't say
      it's not futile."


      >I don't think the *action* is the only thing that matters here. As I posted
      >before, what happens with Harry is extremely important.

      Oh, it's interesting and revealing, but that doesn't make the trip any less
      futile.

      DB
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