Much like Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli want a breath of fresh air and a look about the surrounding area. Let’s climb up on that ledge! Sadly, no Treebeard this time.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Aragorn puts the hobbit-tracks at two days old. That means that Merry and Pippin are already at the Entmoot by now.
There isn’t much to see looking around. The hill faces south and east, and just looks back over the land they’ve come from. Legolas peers around with his superior vision and sees…uh-oh…the mysterious old man! He’s walking slowly this way, dodging between the trees. The three hunters tense, and Gimli shouts at Legolas to loose an arrow. No one moves. Everything is still.
Who cares about Merry and Pippin anymore? We know where they are. They’re okay. So…what’s up with this old dude? He’s coming, and he means business. Gimli wants to just shoot him, which is clearly the wrong decision. Then we can’t learn anything! And fantasy is so much more about learning than it is about shooting first. This ain’t no FPS.
Can you imagine what would happen if Gimli has Legolas shoot the old man on the spot? This story gets very different. And I think our friends probably die.
But hey, morals! Don’t shoot a helpless old man. That’s generally frowned upon. Even in creepy forests.
“‘We may not shoot an old…'”