The LOTR Movie Site
June 23, 2000

The Movies Could Answer Some Riddles
John R.

While Jackson is probably doing what he must, in cutting characters and scenes and adding new composites, I wonder whether he will use the opportunity to surprise the loyal followers by answering some of the riddles?

Face it, if you are reading this, then you've re-read the trilogy more times than you can remember. The movies will be exceptionally tedious for us if then only aspire to be a documentary of all details in the book. Jackson can add some surprises for the purists and jaded readers, by answering some of the riddles left in the story by Tolkien. A few suggestions:

(1) Boromir and the Ring. I've previously postulated that Boromir came under the Black Breath while unsuccessfully attempting to hold back the unseen Ringwraith(s) at the Bridges of Osgiliath. Shortly thereafter, he unaccountably abandons his generalship of the Gondor army in order to wander in the wilderness in search of Imladris. It is shocking that a general officer would abandon his command in this fashion, so the influence of the Black Breath could have something to do with it. Faramir was by far the most logical choice for the journey. Denethor and Faramir thought so too, and they did not agree on much of anything.

So the movie could show Boromir unknowingly coming under the Black Breath, then mumbling something about a ring in his sleep, then Denethor and Faramir wondering what's wrong with Boromir after he leaves Minas Tirith. This also helps show that Boromir is not a bad guy from the start, which some might infer from the book.

And, it explains why mighty Boromir, among all the good elves and men, is the only one to succumb to the lure of the Ring.

(2) Boromir "loses" his horse at the Tharbad crossings. Boromir remarks that he "lost" his horse in the crossings at Tharbad, and walked the rest of the way to Imladris. I'd naturally assumed that the horse drowned. But wait. Eomer says the horse they loaned to Boromir came back. And, Tolkien had a little fun with the word "lost" when Treebeard told the hobbits that the Ents had lost the Entwives. The hobbits assumed, as did I, that the Entwives had died. No, says Treebeard, we lost them.

So how does Boromir, as physically capable as Aragorn, "lose" his horse crossing the river?

Well, about the same time, the Black Riders were coming north. Although they are deathly afraid of water, they managed not to lose their horses in the river.

A logical explanation is that while Boromir slept by the riverbank, the Black Riders passed close nearby, spooking his horse who ran home. (Typical horse trick.) Maybe he even comes under the Black Breath again.

(3) Gimli and Frodo look into the Mirrormere. Gimli tells how Durin first looked into the pond and saw a crown. Gimli and Frodo look into the water, and see the encircling mountains. Gimli leaves, and Frodo follows, deep in thought. What is Frodo thinking?

Probably, Frodo is thinking that Gimli may be the incarnation of Durin: the encircling mountains resemble a crown!  We also know from the family tree that Gimli can claim some degree of direct descent from Durin. And, Gimli seems to accomplish more than any other dwarf in middle-earth, even though he never had a ring.

So perhaps a suggestion that Gimli is the incarnation of Durin. And maybe Gimli is allowed to find Durin's Axe?

(4) The Entwives in the Shire: Sam and Ted argue in the pub about a walking tree seen on the north moors. Later Treebeard observes that the Entwives would like the Shire, and asks Pippin and Merry to send word. But Treebeard does not talk to Sam, and we don't know if Sam, Pippin and Merry made this connection.

So perhaps, when Sam replants the Shire at the end of the last movie, he will be assisted by the Entwives.

Little nuggets like these are consistent with the book, and would provide a welcome surprise, at least for me.