Well, I now have a hundred entries in Moments in Time, and I will be now officially closing it down so as to start a new collection for my Frodo-centric tales. I even have the first one written and ready to post--almost, at least!
I have chosen to close this with Sam’s song of Frodo, entitled “Shall I Sing?” I imagine Sam having written this after having met with folks who are disagreeing with the idea of ratifying the ennoblement of Frodo Baggins as the Lord Iorhael, an idea I proposed in “Stricken from the Book,” my second entry in this collection. The story of this confrontation is described in the tale that will open my new collection.
I’ve had a few questions asked, such as, will I ever expand on some of the stories in this collection? Well, some have been expanded upon, or are themselves expansions of hints of tales told elsewhere. I may one day go further, but I couldn’t tell you when, particularly as I have so much to work on right now just getting my longer tales up to date.
Another question asked is, Why does Frodo communicate in italics in those stories set on Tol Eressëa? In my-verse, part of the reason Frodo chose to leave Middle Earth was because he sensed he was changing irrevocably, and he was afraid of this change and what it might mean.
Tolkien had Gandalf comment that Sauron could not create anything in and of himself--he could only take what was already there and twist and corrupt it until it was vastly changed from its original nature. If this is true, then it is logical to think that the actions of the Morgul knives and the plane on which the wraiths know their existence are themselves corruptions of already existent processes and states that Sauron has sought to preempt, probably following the example of his own Master and mentor, Melkor/Morgoth.
So, in my-verse, the plane of existence for the Nazgûl has been twisted from much the same plane that the Elven Rings of Power allow their wearers to enter--a realm of possibilities in which those who are able to access this realm or plane can envision what they would wish to create and therein hear the portion of the Music that would bring their desired creation into being. Then, as they return to our plane they can bring the memory of that portion of the Music back with them and put it into play, giving unique spirit or power to what they do or create. Those taught by the Valar do not necessarily need tokens of power to enter this state, but even they find it easier to enter this plane through the use of such a token.
Through his rebellion, therefore, Melkor and after him the Maiar who followed him can no longer hear the great harmony of the Music, but increasingly only Melkor’s discord. The discord keeps them from accessing the Music, and causes them to lose track of who and what they were before they took on the shapes they chose, eventually trapping them in one state. In the case of the Mortal Men who accepted Sauron/Annatar’s rings, they unwittingly entered the wraith state and eventually became trapped in it.
In my-verse some mortals are able to enter this blessed state of creativity or imagination, but at the cost of changing to becoming Beings of Light, approaching the level of demigods such as Eärendil becomes, having been brought to it by the use of the Silmaril in seeking Aman, when he finds himself serving among the Maiar who guide the stars, planets, comets, Moon, and Sun of Arda. As time passes on Eressëa, Frodo comes to appreciate he is slowly approaching this state, although in his case, having nowhere the amount of divine blood borne by Eärendil, he knows that when or perhaps before he quite reaches that full estate his body will totally lose its cohesion and he will either join with the Beings of Light that dwell in the Blessed Lands, or he will leave beyond the Bounds of Arda, a death he no longer longs for as release from pain, or fears as most mortals do, but that he now accepts as the normal, desirable ending of mortal life. Thus he, and with him Sam, are able to follow the ancient Dúnedain custom of recognizing the time is come, and gratefully laying aside this life to take up the next.
As the Becoming progresses, Frodo slowly finds it harder and harder to speak aloud, and relies increasingly on what Tolkien has named osanwë, or what we refer to as telepathy. He can still sing, but not precisely as he did when he lived in Middle Earth. He is himself becoming increasingly attuned to the Music, and is also becoming increasingly an emanation of it.
The inspiration for this lies in Gandalf’s observation of Frodo as he lies recovering in Rivendell told in “Many Meetings,” when he finds himself believing that Frodo may well become increasingly like a vessel filled with light for eyes to see that can. How could one in such a state remain within the Mortal Lands, and would they be able to remain properly alive? The process was started by the presence of the Morgul shard within Frodo’s shoulder; like the use of the Silmaril by Eärendil it initiates the process of transformation. The healing of Frodo doesn’t truly halt the process--it merely turns it from trapping Frodo in the twisted state of the Nazgûl to the same Becoming that the Peredhel before him knew.
Most of this is discussed in my longer story, Filled with Light as with Water. This was my second story written, following my initial story, For Eyes to See as Can. (You ought to see the theme building here!) Both are novellas, and can be found on the archives where I usually post.
I do intertwine my tales, so you will find recurring original characters and themes, often from one tale to the next. And you will sometimes find themes or ideas others have written. As we all are playing in Tolkien’s world that is perhaps to be expected, as great minds do sometimes think alike; but I openly admit to borrowing or preempting some ideas I particularly like. Usually I’ll give proper attribution, but now and then I can’t remember precisely what tale or author a particular theme might have started with so can only say, “I borrowed this--thanks, whoever you are!”
So, thank all of you who have read these, and particularly those who have commented on them. And may the next compilation continue to amuse and spark thought. And if you have any other questions, shoot them my way and I’ll seek to answer them here.
B.L. Sherrell, January 18, 2010