There’s something about the departure of Tom Bombadil that just exudes forward motion. I think he was beginning to get on my nerves, with all his nonsense.
He leaves with one last word of advice: make for The Prancing Pony in Bree. Even with the hobbits begging him to continue along with them, he refuses, and hops off. Sam admits that he’ll miss Tom, but hopes that the tavern in Bree will be just as good as those back in the Shire. Merry offers his relatives’ approval. Frodo reminds everyone that they are not to call him by the name of Baggins, as it is unsafe, and instead use Underhill. With that, they ride off into the dusk, and come to Bree a short while thereafter.
-Bree: Town of hobbits and men along the East Road. An outlying town more or less in the middle of nowhere. Totally safe, right?
-Bree-hill: The hill by which Bree sits. Bree is on the western side.
-The Prancing Pony: Inn in Bree known to the Brandybucks and other hobbits that travel there occasionally. Has a good reputation.
-Barliman Butterbur: Innkeeper at The Prancing Pony. Is there are better first name for a bartender/innkeeper than Barliman? No, no there isn’t.
Keep a note that it’s Tom Bombadil who refers the hobbits to The Prancing Pony. That’s one of the details they had to switch up when it was decided that Tom wouldn’t appear in the movie. I’m pretty sure it’s Gandalf who makes that recommendation in the film.
Speaking of which, we’re back on to the same track as the movie! If we were watching it, what would have been the last place we saw our heroes?
In movie time, that night and the night the hobbits arrive in Bree is the same night. In book time, that was four days ago. In blog time, that was 50 pages/days ago! We were there a month and a half ago, on October 12th. That was the beginning of Chapter 5, and the post featured a baby facepalming.
Nevertheless, the hobbits have made it to Bree, which is isolated and a bit of a melting pot of cultures. It is one of the few places that hobbits and men live together, and isn’t under any sort of government, being totally independent of all kingdoms at the time. It seems to me like a crossroads-type town, located in a place on the main road to attract many travelers, like an oasis on the tollway where you have to stop because there isn’t anywhere else to go for a big, greasy burger.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
And so ends Chapter 8. I have to admit, I never realized this before, but the chapters in Lord of the Rings are pretty much the perfect length. Right as I’m thinking that I’d like to move on to another place or focus, we do. In general, each chapter is somewhere between 10 and 20 pages. That’s good.
“Towards it they now hurried desiring only to find a fire, and a door between them and the night.”