Archive for the ‘12 – Flight to the Ford’ Category

Today’s gonna be short, because, well…there’s not much to say.

Ready? Synopsis!

The remaining black riders are thrown into the raging river by their spooked horses and are carried away. Frodo passes out.


Many things are happening. Frodo is hurt. Do you blame him? If he wasn’t hurt, I wouldn’t even doubt that he could pass out from exhaustion at this point. He’s been marching for what, two weeks and change? With the constant worry of pursuit? Dude is tired.

Anyway, that’s it. That’s the end of Chapter 12, and, also, the end of Book One!

Woah! We’re a sixth of the way there!

Woah. Living on a prayer.

What adventures await in Book Two? Who’s excited for the Council of Elrond?!

YOU ARE…maybe.

“He heard and saw no more.”

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“If you want him, come and claim him!”

If that person on the horse was Frodo, this would be an accurate shot.

Yeah, that line doesn’t happen.

Frodo reaches the other side of the river, and stops. The black riders again command him to wait, and he tries to stay strong, willing them to go back to Mordor. They laugh at him. They call for the ring, and three begin crossing the river. The leader magically stuns Frodo. Just as they make it to the other side, the river surges, and what seems like a wave of white horses wipes them out. The remaining black riders back up, and Frodo can see Glorfindel and his friends approaching.

The scene is the same, just without that one character. She who must not be named!

Here…anyway. Later.

It’s worth noting that the same magic that numbs Frodo breaks his sword. That’s important because it’s part of the reason that he ends up with a different sword in a little bit.

Did you know Sting shines blue when orcs are near?

One thing that I think the movie did get right was the river. You know that part where the river swells with galloping horses of water? Totally upheld in the text. “There came a plumed cavalry of waves.” It’s said more clearly a few lines later, but that image conjures up exactly what the movie did in my mind. Half accurate is better than nothing, right?

At least the action of the scene is pretty close, more or less.

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We haven’t blamed the English enough lately. We get to do that today!

In other news, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Who are you rooting for? I’m hoping the Giants win. Not only because I’ve arbitrarily decided that I like them more, but also because giants exist in Middle-earth. Patriots? Not in the sense that the football team portrays them as.

Who am I kidding? I’m rooting for football. As long as it’s a good game, we all win. Unlike the Ringwraiths today.

“With his last failing senses Frodo heard cries, and it seemed to him that he saw, beyond the Riders that hesitated on the shore, a shining figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the world.”

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Ride like the wind, Bullseye!

Our horse is so much cooler right now.

A black rider bursts from the trees behind everyone, followed by four more. Frodo halts, looking back, and feels that he is being commanded to do so. Filled with fear, he grabs his sword, and Glorfindel orders the horse to ride away with all haste. Frodo is bound away quickly, with the five black riders in pursuit. They call out, and four more black riders come out of the trees ahead. Two head for Frodo, and the other two head for the ford. Terrified, Frodo shuts his eyes. With a surge of power, the white horse just barely breaks past the oncoming riders, and Frodo feels water splash up around him.

First Mentions:

Asfaloth: Glorfindel’s horse. We finally hear his name here. Strong white horse, one of the fastest in the land. But not the fastest white horse in all the land. We meet him later.

You know what’s awesome? Part of this page feels like it’s in slow motion. Here’s Frodo, being borne away with all speed, and he shuts his eyes in fear. The horse barrels past the black riders, and Frodo feels a cold breath hit him. Is this the breath of the Ringwraith he just nearly missed? If it is, this feels like a moment straight out of a Zack Snyder movie or something.


So, all nine are here. Not only that, but it’s daytime. It’s not the smartest move on their part, but the Ringwraiths have thrown all their effort into this ambush. They’re not their most powerful during the day, yet all nine are attacking at once, doing all that they can to stop Frodo from crossing the river into Rivendell. Can you imagine if they succeeded? End of book.

However, the splash of water seems to indicate that Frodo has made it to the river safely. And because I actually know how this all turns out, yes, he’s going to be okay. Although, what is everyone else doing, watching all this? No doubt they got left far behind. If Frodo crosses the river, leaving the black riders on the other side, wouldn’t they be smart to use the other three hobbits, Aragorn, and Glorfindel as captives to entice him back across? If I were evil, that’s what I would do.

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We’ve had so much excitement here lately. Two exciting moments between two chapters? I’d say that things were picking up a bit.

But don’t get too ahead of yourself. We’re going to have a long chat in Rivendell. Just when things are getting interesting.

“He felt the quick heave and surge as the horse left the river and struggled…”

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It’s time to fly.

Tonight the sky's alive with the turpentine lounging in their suits and ties.

Quoting obscurely bad songs aside, this is the “flight” portion of the title of this chapter, “Flight to the Ford”. Glorfindel pushes the hobbits and Aragorn to leave again in the morning after only five hours’ rest, and they cover twenty miles the next day. They are exhausted by nightfall, and Frodo is in more pain, but they set out early the next morning as the road runs downhill. They enter into a cutting, with walls of stone on either side of them, and emerge after a time in view of the Ford of Bruinen. They can hear the echoes of something coming up behind them, and Glorfindel orders them to flee. His horse, bearing Frodo, breaks into a gallop, and they all run down the valley towards the river.

Excitement! Apparently we’re about a mile from the river-crossing, but it’s in view and a straight shot from here to there. Can you say home stretch? The action should pick up here. This is a natural point for a chase.

You know what isn’t a natural point for a chase? The movie version! Think about it: Arwen (not Glorfindel) meets Aragorn not long after the attack on Weathertop, which, remember, is something like a fortnight’s distance away. In the book, it’s been about two weeks since that attack happened. The movie then takes you on a journey where Arwen is carrying Frodo, and Frodo alone, on her horse, riding directly to Rivendell. They are pursued seemingly instantly. Taking the distance we know from the book (because they sure don’t mention that distance in the movie), she’s being chased for two weeks? What? Her horse would keel over and die of exhaustion before that would happen.

More realistic? Traveling by map.

And all this brings us to our official flight to the ford. However, I couldn’t resist reading lines like “‘other danger may be waiting by the Ford,'” without chuckling about Abraham Lincoln. If only he had thought the same…

Too soon? Abe Lincoln. RIP.

“Glorfindel and Strider followed as rear-guard. They were only half…”

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Okay, this is a problem. Glorfindel just shows up and is suddenly the best thing since sliced lembas.

It comes in slices?

Glorfindel examines Frodo’s wound, somehow giving him some relief from the pain. Frodo is to ride on Glorfindel’s swift horse, which will bear him away quickly in any event of danger. Frodo disagrees with this plan, not wanting to leave his friends behind in danger. However, it’s Frodo carrying the ring that the enemies want, so the danger would follow him. There is no way to argue against that. They continue through the night, only stopping at dawn. Everyone but Glorfindel, even Aragorn, is dead tired, and they fall asleep in the bushes immediately. Glorfindel rouses them after a short time, and gives them a drink that magically turns their stale bread and fruit into a gloriously filling meal.

See? He’s a boss. Quick and easy healing? Check. Guide through the night? Check. Food and liquor pairing chef? Check plus.

Mom! My art teacher loved my project!

I really want to know what this magical liquor is. I don’t know if it’s inducing appetite or enriching the food, but it sounds awesome. Imagine that: you could drink some water-like liquid, and eat anything for a filling, delicious meal. Too lazy to cook? Have a Pop Tart! Never been better! Blog-friend Dan knows what I’m talking about.

Add in that Glorfindel drives them all to walk through the night. They’ve been traveling all day, and still he’s able to get them to march for a few extra hours. That usually doesn’t work very well, especially with a wounded member of the party. This guy should be a motivational speaker!

Glorfindel does, in fact, live down by the river.

So, spirits are raised thanks to this sudden friend. Dare I say it? HE’S JUST THAT GOOD.

Sorry, Aragorn. You lost it for the time being.

“Eaten after that draught the stale bread and dried fruit (which was now all that they had left) seemed to satisfy their hunger better than many a good breakfast in the Shire had done.”

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Holes in the story. Getting patched up. Like a boss.

Elves really like being helpful!

Glorfindel explains that he was sent out from Rivendell a week ago in hopes of finding Frodo and getting him away from any pursuing Ringwraiths. He crossed the Last Bridge, leaving the green stone, and chased off three black riders. He found two more later and did the same. Doubling back, he found the trail of Frodo, his friends, and Aragorn, and has tracked them for two days. Knowing that five Ringwraiths will be following, and four more possibly wait at the Ford of Bruinen, Glorfindel urges them to leave now, even in the failing light. Frodo collapses, weakened as the sun goes down. Sam argues against Frodo going anywhere, and Aragorn explains the mishap at Weathertop. Glorfindel examines the hilt of the dagger that stabbed Frodo. He cannot heal it, and only argues more for haste.

Aha! So Glorfindel left the stone on the bridge, and it’s by his doing that our heroes haven’t run into any black riders in quite some time! Way to go.

I still love this.

And we thought Aragorn was handy. Well, he is more so in the long run, but he’s suddenly been supplanted as most-best-awesomest in the group by Glorfindel, if only for a short time. He even knows more about the dagger that hurt Frodo than Aragorn does. That’s actually surprising. Add in that these guys are both from the same place (don’t forget that Aragorn was raised in Rivendell), and you wonder how Aragorn doesn’t know as much about the evil powers of these blades.

Nevertheless, there’s clearly going to be dissension over when to continue moving. The hobbits are the conservative types, wanting to give Frodo due time and rest, but Glorfindel clearly better understands the danger at hand. Maybe we should listen to this guy and get going?

On second thought, remember how long it took the hobbits to trust Aragorn? This might take a while.

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Don’t get excited, it’s just a more fancy name for the Brandywine River. Like calling wine “vino” to sound classier.

“He searched the wound on Frodo’s shoulder with his fingers, and…”

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Something not-so-wicked this way comes.


A horse’s hooves are bearing down on the hobbits and Aragorn. They climb off the road up to a point where they can hide and see a ways back. There is a distant ringing associated with the rider’s approach. Like bells. A white horse comes into view, with a shining rider whose golden hair flows in the wind. That’s no Ringwraith, son. Aragorn joyfully leaps down to meet him, and the rider sees him coming. He dismounts and cries to Aragorn in Elvish. Yes, we have a savior elf. Aragorn introduces Glorfindel to the hobbits. He’s from Rivendell, and he’s been out looking for them. Has Gandalf sent word from Rivendell?


Okay, it’s good news, but don’t get ahead of yourself.

First Mentions:

-Glorfindel: Elf of Rivendell. Totally cooler than Arwen. That’s all you need to care about.

Yes, remember that romantic moment in the movie where Arwen catches Aragorn off guard? Doesn’t happen. They totally give Glorfindel the shaft, in addition to making this meeting like a week and a half earlier than it happens in the book.

Glorfindel has been riding in search of Frodo for nine days. For those of you scoring at home, that’s after Weathertop happened. Yeah, Weathertop was our last main event, but it happened a long time ago, relatively. Deal with it. Glorfindel admits that Gandalf may have arrived in Rivendell in the meantime, but he doesn’t know about it. Elves are cool, but they aren’t psychic.

Well, sometimes they see the future, but foresight is different.

Ultimately, this scene is better because it’s not some sappy romance. It’s really just two bros meeting up. Aragorn and Glorfindel are all chummy. They totally hang out and play Mead Pong when they don’t have anything else to do. Right?

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Yeah, there’s Elvish spoken here. Surprisingly, some of the words aren’t caught up in spellcheck. “Ai“, probably because it works in Scrabble, and “Mae“, which is totally just a name, but apparently not in Elvish.

“‘He had not when I departed; but that was nine days ago,’…”

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