It’s really quite simple, folks. Frodo and Sam are gone! They took the boat after doubling back while everyone else was running around chasing orcs. Aragorn remains silent as to Boromir’s last words, concerning his aggression towards Frodo. Gimli lays out the choice: they can either take their boat across the river, or track the orcs that have captured Merry and Pippin.
Aragorn makes the decision: they will follow the orcs. He hopes that will be a better course of action than what he’s already tried to do today.
They quickly find the orcs’ trail, with all their trampling. I don’t think orcs care much about the environment.
I congratulate Aragorn both on his deduction and his decision. Both were…well, easy.
I guess that’s easy for me to say, what with having been privy to the scene where Frodo and Sam pack up and shove off for the eastern bank of Anduin. Perhaps omniscience breeds arrogance. Is it that easy to figure out where the third boat disappeared to? I’m thinking of cutting Aragorn a little more slack from now on.
Or at least for today. It’s been a bad day for him.
In this choice, Aragorn realizes that the
Fellowship Company has failed. Frodo is beyond help. In fact, following him would only draw more attention and bring the forces of Mordor down upon him sooner. Thus, counter-intuitive. Chasing after Merry and Pippin will draw the attention that way.
It’s all turning into a wild goose chase. Coming up soon will be the section where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli run around over hills and fields day after day after day. It’s a cross-country runner’s favorite part.
Believe it or not, tomorrow is the LAST page of this chapter! Super short.
“‘But they go with a great speed for all that,’ said Aragorn, ‘and…'”