Amount of lines between when the hobbits enter their room to go to bed and when they fall asleep: 3.
All four hobbits fall asleep nearly immediately, and we’re given a look into each one’s mind as they dream. Creepy? Nah…
Frodo sees a rock wall, and is lifted up over it to see a plain stretching behind it. In the center is a tower, though it doesn’t look like it was man-made. A grey-haired man stands on the top of the tower, and wailing cries, both human and animal, come from the ground below the tower around him. As the man lifts his arms, carrying a staff, an eagle swoops down and carries him away. Frodo awakes to what he thinks is the sound of hoofs, but realizes quickly that nothing is there, and falls back asleep.
Pippin’s dream is suddenly disturbed by noises which make him think that he is back in the body of the willow tree. Frightened, he wakes as well, but finds the pillow soft, and also falls back asleep.
Merry, whose dream we’re in the middle of when the page cuts off, hears water streaming down around the house, and believes that it will drown him as it finds its way inside.
Frodo’s dream is clearly the most notable. And of course it is, he’s Frodo.
Having the perspective of knowing the rest of the story, I think I can deduce that he’s dreaming of Gandalf. In fact, he’s probably seeing what is happening to Gandalf at this very moment, or otherwise recently. We don’t hear this yet in the narrative, but Gandalf has been imprisoned at the top of Orthanc, Saruman’s tower. He is eventually saved by the eagles. This certainly sounds like what Frodo sees. The only thing that seems odd is that the tower doesn’t seem to be man-made. That doesn’t sound like Orthanc, unless I totally just didn’t know that.
I looked it up! Orthanc was man-made, yes, but it was carved out from a single enormous block of stone. So, could it look as Frodo describes it here? Yes. Also, that’s awesome.
Merry’s and Pippin’s dreams are less important, but still interesting. They’re both afraid of dying, although from different causes. Pippin is afraid of Old Man Willow. Merry’s fear of drowning is harder to explain. He’s used to water! He’s a Brandybuck by golly! Where this is coming from, I’m not sure.
As Tom and Goldberry warned, “Heed no nightly noises!” Nightly noises, indeed!
We’ll hear about Sam’s slumber tomorrow, I would presume.
“He felt that he was lying in a soft slimy bog, and springing up he set his foot…”