Thoughts: Gollum is more crafty than I though he was. Apparently Gollum actually worshiped and bowed before Shelob, bringing her food, so that he would not be eaten, and thus his plan to let Her kill the Hobbits. When he disappeared a while back, he was actually coming to Her to lay his trap for the Hobbits.
Outline: Sam is not ordered away by Frodo like in the movie and instead the three enter the darkness of the cave, Sam and Frodo feeling their way along the walls, passing smaller openings as they go. They also ‘felt things brush against their heads, or against their hands, long tentacles, or hanging growths perhaps…’, ugh, this creeped me out, knowing what they actually are. I hate spiders and spider webs…
They find a fork in the tunnel as they try escaping from a void they could sense evil coming from. They finally notice that Gollum has left them, and find they can only take one tunnel because the other is blocked. Then Sam says, “There’s something worse than Gollum about. I can feel something looking at us.” Makes me shudder thinking about this, especially when it’s followed by, ‘They had not gone more than a few yards when from behind them came a sound, startling and horrible in the heavy padded silence: a gurgling, bubbling sound, and a long venomous hiss.’
It is Sam that reminds Frodo about the Light of Eärendil. And apparently Frodo doesn’t even know what it is that he speaks to light it up, ‘it seemed that another voice spoke through his’. However, in the book it seems that Shelob isn’t as afraid of the light as the movie. ‘And She that walked in the darkness had heard the Elves cry that cry far back in the deeps of time, and she had not heeded it, and it did not daunt her now.’ Brave Frodo takes out his sword and holds it and the phial out and advances on Shelob, until She backs away, becoming afraid of this piercing light, and leaves them. So they turn and continue on their way. Sam falls behind Frodo as he runs ahead outside the tunnel, and of course that’s when Shelob comes out to get Frodo, Sam tries to warn him, but Gollum appears, covering his mouth to stop his shout. Sam fights with Gollum and gets the upper hand, thus Gollum turns and runs away (so you don’t get the assumption that he is defeated for good like in the movie). Then Sam takes off towards Frodo.
Learned: Only Sting, created by the elves, can cut through Shelob’s webs.
Known: Sam will find Frodo too late. Not sure if he still fights Shelob though; probably does.
Interesting: Confirmation that Shelob isn’t necessarily a spider always: ‘an evil thing in spider-form’, so I guess it was fine for the Shadow of War video game to make a humanoid Shelob thing. Also, apparently She’s been in those mountains for ages, longer than Sauron and his tower of Barad-dûr, she is the ‘last child of Ungoliant’ (whoever that is).
Evaluation: Creepy and unpredictable, just like Spiders. I liked the differences from the book to the movie, it kept this chapter fresh.
Notes: More affirmation to the dark sky, saying that they can’t tell the difference between day and night anymore, that the sky is black with smoke.