When trees attack, no hobbit is safe.
It is the tree. Frodo wanders over to the river, dipping his feet in by dangling them from an outstretched tree root. Sam, sensing something fishy, goes off to find the ponies. (Someone cares!) Two of them had wandered off down the path, and as he brings them back he hears a click and a splash. Rushing to the river, he finds Frodo floating face down, under the root. Sam hauls him out of the water, and Frodo wakes up, blaming the tree for his fall. Coming back to the path, the tree trunk has closed completely around Pippin, and Merry’s waist is trapped. Only his legs are visible. Frodo and Sam beat on the trunk, to no avail.
So, in a strange turn of events, our hobbits are directly attacked for the first time! I guess you can say we’re easing into things when our first assailant is a willow tree.
Does the tree know anything about the ring? Now that’s a thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if the willow could sense the ring’s evil. Perhaps that’s even the reason why the trees in the Old Forest are so begrudging to let the hobbits pass through. However, I would say that the trees probably aren’t aware of the ring, even if they can feel its evil. Also likely is that the willow draws some sort of power from the Withywindle. It grows right on the bank, and something about the brown water feels magical. Combination of the two? Also possible.
This is one of those moments where you realize how inept these hobbits really are. There’s this whole quest to destroy the ring. Heck, right now it’s just to get it to Rivendell, and the hobbits can’t get past a willow tree. Call it a good story arc, but it sure doesn’t look like any of these guys would have the strength to fight off everything that comes at them later. That’s called character development.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
This makes a whole lot more sense than it seems to, really. “Riverward” is like “northward” or “southward”. As opposed to meaning in a northerly or southerly direction, it means in a river-ly direction. Yes, it’s not a word, but it’s a non-word that makes a ton of sense. You have to have one of those every once in a while.
“‘I wish we were all back at…'”