Let’s read the letter! Let’s read the letter!
Considering we haven’t seen or heard from Gandalf in over 100 pages, this is kind of a big deal. But, we have a few things to get through first.
Butterbur agrees to let Frodo stay the night in The Prancing Pony, and keep a close guard on the door. You see, stories of Bilbo’s strange disappearance reached Bree, and people can put two and two together to start to suspect something about this “Mr. Underhill”. News will reach the black riders, and soon. Frodo asks for breakfast to be ready at 6:30am, and they’ll be off early. Suddenly, everyone notices that Merry is still missing. Butterbur sends Nob to look for him and bring him back. Butterbur leaves, and Aragorn prompts Frodo to read Gandalf’s letter.
The letter, written in The Prancing Pony, begins with Gandalf saying that he has heard bad news, and must leave. He urges Frodo to leave the Shire as soon as possible, which at that time was by the end of July. He tells him he can trust Butterbur, and to look out for a friend, called Strider, on the road.
See, Gandalf says we can trust Aragorn! What more can Frodo ask for?
What can Frodo ask for? Merry to stop being hypocritical. He was the one warning Frodo, Sam, and Pippin not to do anything stupid, which, of course, they failed at, but what’s he up to? Wandering the streets of Bree late into the night? Sure, that’s safe!
"Ah, the night air is nice! Look, a cozy alleyway! This looks safe!"
And how much can we actually trust Butterbur to lock the doors tight? I’m not putting a lot of faith there. You know what? The people of Bree need to get better at security. Our friend Harry at the gate let Aragorn just jump right over, and Butterbur, the only other man we truly get to know, seems totally ineffectual.
Note this: Gandalf wanted Frodo to get out of the Shire by the end of JULY. Frodo left Bag End on September 22nd, and finally left the Shire through Buckland early on September 25th. Oops. Two months late is better than never, right? For reference, it’s now the night of the 28th. Yes, Frodo’s almost been traveling for a week!
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
What, Gandalf can’t be possessive? You exhaust me, spellcheck.
“You may meet a friend of mine on the Road: a Man, lean, dark, tall, by some called Strider. He knows our...”
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