And so the four hobbits set off…again.
They awake refreshed on a beautiful fall morning. After breakfast, Tom sees them off, dancing as usual as they ride away north up a hill. Near the top, Frodo has the sudden (and apparently important) realization that they never said goodbye to Goldberry, and is about to march back down to do so when they see her atop the hill, waving to them. Once they reach her, she turns them around to gaze at the lands behind them. The horizon is clear, and they can see across the vast Old Forest to the hilltop where they rested and ate lunch a few days previously. They can even see the glimmer of the Brandywine River.
How obsessed with Goldberry is Frodo? It’s not like forgetting to say goodbye to her would have been a vitally drastic misstep on their journey. Besides, Tom’s a more important character anyway. I guess that the way she’s been described is just so utterly beautiful that the hobbits are dumbstruck by her appearance. Even with that said, I would expect Sam to be the one yearning for her, not so much Frodo.
I also wonder if Tom and Goldberry have any sort of control over the weather. I mean, he joked about it earlier, saying: “I am no weather-master,” but wouldn’t that be exactly the kind of thing Tom Bombadil would lie about? When a guy is as strange as Tom is, you never really know what is truth and what is flat-out mystery. It’s a gorgeous day today, clearer than our heroes have seen, especially after coming out of the Old Forest, constantly enveloped in mist. Who’s to say that Tom didn’t make it so? And yesterday’s rain? Maybe he wanted to have a storytelling day…
Notice how much this clear day contrasts with the title of the chapter: “Fog on the Barrow-downs”? Yep, it looks like things are going to get darker from here. Onward, hobbits!
“To the South, over the line of the Withywindle, there was a distant glint like pale glass where the Brandywine River made a great loop in…”