- Here's a question I'm struggling to answer...Did any of the Free Peoples know about Shelob before Sam and Frodo encountered her? Gandalf, perhaps, or Faramir since he spent much time in Ithilien?In the PJ films, if memory serves, Faramir seems to know that Gollum is taking them a dangerous way into Mordor. But is there any evidence in Tolkien's writing that anyone actually knew about Shelob?John
- Thanks everyone!John----- Original Message -----From: Darrell A. MartinSent: Friday, March 25, 2011 10:45 PMSubject: Re: [mythsoc] Shelob
On 3/25/2011 9:25 AM, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> On 25 March 2011 14:51, <aveeris523@... <mailto:aveeris523@...>>
> In a message dated 3/25/11 6:09:24 AM, john@...
> <mailto:john@...> writes:
> Did any of the Free Peoples know about Shelob before Sam and
> Frodo encountered her? Gandalf, perhaps, or Faramir since he
> spent much time in Ithilien?
> That's an interesting question John; the orcs certainly did! I'll
> check _LOTR: A Reader's Companion_, Hammond & Scull.
> My impression is that people had certainly known /about/ Shelob (hence
> the name of the pass, the Pass of the Spider) but the specifics had been
> forgotten, leaving it to simply 'have a bad name'. Unless I misremember,
> there is somewhere a hint that Gandalf might have told Frodo more about
> the pass and its name.
Faramir told Frodo that when the name Cirith Ungol was brought up to the
old loremasters, they were frightened by it and refused to discuss it.
In the same conversation he mentioned that the young men of Gondor no
longer ventured east of the Ithilien road.
Clearly, among the old and learned the meaning of Cirith Ungol was still
known, at the time of the War of the Ring. But the details were not
discussed, and none of Faramir's generation had any experience of the pass.
I think it is a bit of a stretch to think Frodo would have automatically
translated "Cirith Ungol" to "mountain pass where one or more giant
spiders currently live". Yes, he *could* have thought that, or suspected
it (and perhaps he did). Regardless, however, Gollum was right when he
said that if Master wanted to enter Mordor, he had to go some way, and
that no way was safe; and Frodo was right when he rejected the idea of
going back to the Black Gate and surrendering on the spot. Damn the
spiders, full speed ahead.