The Revised Tolkien Trivia

Grimward

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*GRATEFULLY puts away his scarcely-touched copy of "The Lord of the Rings: A Behavioral Study"*

Unless I'm supposed to take "decapitate" literally, here goes nothing...

Faramir, upon reporting the status of the defense at Osgiliath and Cair Andros, and his encounter with Frodo, Sam and The Ring to Lord Denethor

'Would that have availed to change your judgement?' said Denethor. You would still have done just so, I deem. I know you well. Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle. That may well befit one of high race, if he sites in power and peace. But in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death.'
'So be it,' said Faramir.
'So be it!' cried Denethor. 'But not with your death only, Lord Faramir: with the death also of your father, and of all your people, whom it is your part to protect now that Boromir is gone.'
'Do you wish then,' said Faramir, 'that our places had been exchanged?'
'Yes, I wish that indeed,' said Denethor. 'For Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard's pupil. He would have remembered his father's need, and would not have squandered what fortune gave. He would have brought me a mighty gift.'
The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter IV, The Seige of Gondor
 

Grimward

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Hmmm, I slightly misread. Same quote and scene, but the answer you're looking for is Denethor, NOT Faramir.
 

pyan

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Azog?

...there came a voice from within the gate: "Come on, beardling! We can see you. But there is no need to be afraid today. We need you as a messenger."
Then Nár came up, and found that it was indeed the body of Thrór, but the head was severed and lay face downward....
...Then Nár turned the head and saw branded on the brow in Dwarf-runes so he could read it the name AZOG.
RotK, Appendix A, section III, Durin's Folk
 

pyan

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Ok, try #2:

Uglúk?

'You have spoken more than enough, Uglúk,' sneered the evil voice. 'I wonder how they would like it in Lugbúrz. They might think that Uglúk's shoulders needed relieving of a swollen head. They might ask where his strange ideas came from. Did they come from Saruman, perhaps? Who does he think he is, setting up on his own with his filthy white badges? They might agree with me, with Grishnákh their trusted messenger; and I Grishnákh say this: Saruman is a fool. and a dirty treacherous fool. But the Great Eye is on him.
'Swine is it? How do you folk like being called swine by the muck-rakers of a dirty little wizard? It's orc-flesh they eat, I'll warrant.'
Many loud yells in orc-speech answered him, and the ringing clash of weapons being drawn. Cautiously Pippin rolled over, hoping to see what would happen. His guards had gone to join in the fray. In the twilight he saw a large black Orc, probably Uglúk, standing facing Grishnákh, a short crook-legged creature, very broad and with long arms that hung almost to the ground. Round them were many smaller goblins. Pippin supposed that these were the ones from the North. They had drawn their knives and swords, but hesitated to attack Uglúk.
Uglúk shouted, and a number of other Orcs of nearly his own size ran up. Then suddenly, without warning, Uglúk sprang forwards, and with two swift strokes swept the heads off two of his opponents.
TT, Bk3, Ch3, The Uruk-Hai
 

Grimward

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I thought about this one last night too, but decided against it because Grishnakh himself didn't actually lose his head (or even his life to Ugluk, since he was ridden down and speared by one of the Rohirrim). Some of the those with him did, so guilt by association? We are talking about Orcs, after all...;)
 

HareBrain

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Doing a separate post in case someone misses an ETA:

Sorry, my last one was misleading. We are talking about Orcs, or one of them, but not as the answer to the question.
 

HareBrain

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No thoughts, anyone?

All the suggested answers so far have been from the same book. You might need to widen your search a little.
 

Grimward

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Argh. This is a reach, as the elements from your hints are there, but with quite a bit of disassociation in my interpretation from how you delivered them, Good Hare.

Beorn doesn't hold with "Don't Decapitate the Messenger"...

From the burnt wolf glade he had soon found out that part of their story was true; but he had found more than that: he had caught a Warg and a goblin wandering in the woods. From these he had got news: the goblin patrols were still hunting with Wargs for the dwarves, and they were fiercely angry because of the death of the Great Goblin, and also because of the burning of the chief wolf's nose and the death from the wizard's fire of many of his chief servants..."It was a good story, that of yours," said Beorn, "but I like it still better now I am sure it is true....Killed the Great Goblin, killed the Great Goblin!" he chuckled fiercely to himself. "What did you do with the goblin and the Warg?" asked Bilbo suddenly. "Come and see!" said Beorn, and they followed round the house. A goblin's head was stuck outside the gate and a warg-skin was nailed to a tree just beyond.
The Hobbit or There And Back Again, Ch. VII, Queer Lodgings.
 

HareBrain

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Hurrah! Well done Grim.

with quite a bit of disassociation in my interpretation from how you delivered them, Good Hare
I didn't mean it to be particularly tricksy. Was there anything in the clue itself that led to your misinterpretation, do you think, or was it all your fault? ;o)

Anyway, well done again, and your question.
 

pyan

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Hurrah! Well done Grim.
I didn't mean it to be particularly tricksy. Was there anything in the clue itself that led to your misinterpretation, do you think, or was it all your fault? ;o)
Anyway, well done again, and your question.
To be fair, I'm with Grimmy here - I just didn't associate the goblin that Beorn caught as being a messenger, particularly, so I dismissed that beheading. Never mind, it'll just teach me to be a bit more oblique in future...:unsure::giggle: And if nothing else, I hadn't realised that so many of JRRT's individuals lost their heads...
 

HareBrain

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Ah, I see. I was careful to put "those you get news from", but it didn't occur to me that also mentioning the "messenger" maxim might mislead. (Or maybe it did, bwahahaha.)
 

Grimward

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So, here's the challenge and hints, with my befuddlement/leaps of interpretation appended as applicable.

A variation on "don't shoot the messenger" might be "don't decapitate those you get news from". Who doesn't hold with this?
In retrospect, this seems quite in keeping with the text, but while solving it the concept of being a "messenger" constantly misled me within
my deductions. You indeed never required a messenger, but led me on a merry chase after Hirgon (who possibly was beheaded by Orcs...cleared up later but not early on), the orcs Boromir beheaded in the Chamber of Mazarbul, Eowyn and the Witch King (okay, the orc references removed that one from the equation early on too, but still!), and and other shoaly harbors nevertheless.
"Unless I'm supposed to take decapitate literally" It might not hurt to do so.
Also in keeping with the scene.
"We are talking about Orcs, after all." Or one of them.
I am never comfortable in THIS particular thread equating the goblins with the orcs (or visa-versa), because as we all know the devil is in the details here. This, alas, is definitely also MY fault.
Sorry, my last one was misleading. We are talking about Orcs, or one of them, but not as the answer to the question.
As you can see above, this hint helped re-orient me, but...

The "news" itself involves damage to someone's head, this time with fire.
...just when I thought I was back on track, I now have to find some place where the victim's head was removed with fire?!!! It took a few hours for the possibility of fire simply being involved in the passage and not as the source of the decapitation to suggest itself. This one indeed is worthy of your bwahahaha, sirrah! ;-)

Nice challenge, Mr. Hare; I too shall think with my obliques instead of my singed head. *ducks anyway, just in case*

All right, I claim the decapitated bell, and toss a guileless chesnut: Who needed no ring to remind him of his doom? Quote or reference to the passage/scene preferred.
 
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