EN238 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Fairy, Finrod Felagund, Gildor Inglorion
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Horror, Enchantment, Narration and the Old Forest
●pg. 74 The first black rider introduces the theme of the horror of the
unknown. The sniffing … creepy, the sound … creepy.
○The chapter builds up the sense of horror.
●pg. 76. very suspenseful, the crawling, snuffling black rider
○Almost gothic horror, a slow burn.
●Horror causes fear, the opposite of which is not courage, courage does not
negate fear, but it helps us confront it. Frodo must find courage so he can
●Pg. 90 singing and then screeching - juxtaposition of horror and joy.
○Unsettling, jolting, etc.,
○Black riders have lost their gift from Iluvatar, they cannot die. They are
bound to the ring in a similar way that the elves are bound to the
earth. They are possessed, soulless and sad.
●Merry mistaken for a black rider. The horror is in the unknown, there is no
physical manifestation in this scene, it is inside of them.
●Sharp juxtaposition between light, beauty and music of the elves and the dark
shadow just before.
●Elves are unknown/uncanny like the black riders but lighter and full of good
rather than evil.
○Old & young … gay & sad. A true dichotomy/binary, so full yet so
●When the hobbits see the elves they are fully enchanted by the magical
nature of the Elves.
○“They bore no lights, yet as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the
moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about
their feet” (80)
○“Pippin felt as if he was in a waking dream” (82)
○Gildor and Glorien are of the house of Finrod.
●Tolkien puts a lot of effort into the first few chapters to create a secondary
world in the Shire, it’s an anomaly in Middle Earth and it doesn’t quite fit. To
the rest of Middle Earth it is a sacred space.
○As Pippin, Frodo and Sam begin their trek out of the shire there is a
progressive level of enchantment that goes on, leading them into a land
of ‘faerie’ … even though they are stepping for the first time into the
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