You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Monday, February 02, 2004

BUT WHERE WAS BARD THE BOWMAN OF LAKETOWN WHEN THEY REALLY NEEDED HIM? Interesting discussion here from Crooked Timber of the logistics of Middle-Earthian (Middleterran? Medi-terranean?) aerial warfare:

Just went to see The Return of the King, which opened in Australia today. As the Nazgûl were dive-bombing the crap out of everything during the battle of the Pelennor Fields, I found myself wondering whether there was a deputy assistant undersecretary from Gondor's Defence of the Realm Department hiding under his kitchen table somewhere on the fifth level of Minas Tirith thinking, "I must have written dozens of memos about Mordor's air superiority, but would they listen, oh noooo! Just like every other year, the whole goddamn budget was blown on horses, silver filigree and whitewash".

From the comments:

I spent much of the movie, though I enjoyed it, thinking, "Archers! Damn it, where are the archers?" That, and wondering why nobody had the sense to shore up a gate that's being struck by a battering ram. I'd have backfilled them with rubble, myself, long before the ram arrived. And where was the burning pitch? What loon would try to defend a castle without burning pitch?

Saw a siege engine once in Scientific American, a treadmill-powered automatic crossbow, that would have done up the Nazgûl right and proper. Ironicly, I believe it actually predated the trebuchet mounted on the walls of Minas Tirith.