Archive for the ‘2 – The Council of Elrond’ Category

Aww…Elrond compares Frodo to the great elf-friends of old. How sweet.

BUT WAIT. It’s Sam, bursting forth to volunteer to accompany Frodo. He can’t go alone!


Elrond is okay with this, and Sam is embarrassed. End of chapter!

First Mentions:

-Hador: Chieftan of men in the First Age. Noted elf-friend.

-Húrin: Grandson of Hador, and another noted elf-friend. One of the better-known side stories in Tolkien’s legendarium, The Children of Húrin, concerns him, and his son…

-Túrin: Húrin’s tragic son, and yet another noted elf-friend. He was the father of Eärendil. No, no he wasn’t.

So, Elrond compares Frodo to all these dudes, which is quite the compliment. Frodo’s hardly done half the things that these men accomplished, and simply volunteering to bear the ring apparently elevates his deeds to these heights.

On another note, Sam’s entrance into the council is sudden, and somewhat funny. However, how did he actually know about the meeting? It was made in secret, and I would think that Elrond and the elves would be pretty good at keeping secrets. Who leaked?

I’m looking at you, Julian.

I’m afraid there’s not much else to bring up, with this being the end of the chapter. From here on, things will move faster again. I do like the traveling times better than the talking times, although the amount of information we learned about Middle-earth is unfathomably interesting. Well, to me at least.

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Onwards tomorrow! Ride out and meet them!

“‘A nice pickle we have landed ourselves in, Mr. Frodo!’ he said, shaking his head.”

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This is a page of awkward silence.

Future awkward silence.

Well, at first, Gandalf advises Bilbo that he is too old to undertake the journey to destroy the ring. It would be better if he stayed in peace, and then his book wouldn’t have to have an altered ending! Bilbo remarks that the true purpose of this council should be to decide who it is that will take the ring. And…who is it?


Everyone looks around awkwardly. Frodo, feeling the tension, and for some reason drawing this conclusion after wanting to spend the rest of his days with Bilbo, volunteers to take the ring.


Elrond approves.

Into it.

He did it! Frodo is to take the ring! Huzzah!

But, like, really, that’s a thing. Big moment for the book, and the overall story arc. Now we can gear up for the journey, and I would assume that we’ll have the Fellowship formed relatively quickly.

There’s not too much else to say here, other than that Bilbo’s been a good source of comic relief over the last little bit. His main concern? The fact that they’re just blowing right through lunch here. Hobbit’s gotta eat! He says how elves love their speaking, and dwarves are into “weariness”. While I don’t know what exactly he means by that, he’s worried that they don’t care too much for things like rest and food. It’s nice to know that Bilbo’s looking out for the rest of us. I like food.

These are important discussions. We’ll have some lembas before too long.

Tomorrow is the last page of the chapter! Yippee!

“‘But if you take it freely, I will say that your choice is right; and though all the mighty Elf-friends of old,…'”

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I think we’ve finally arrived at the answer. The ring must be destroyed.

Putin, you know your way around important councils. Get with the program.

The talk turns back to destroying the ring, which clearly appears to be the only option left. Elrond discusses how folly of a quest it seems to be, yet most world-changing events are often so. Hopefully, Sauron will completely overlook this possibility, since it seems so unlikely to succeed. Bilbo believes that it is now his cue to stand up and volunteer to end what he started. Boromir finds it funny, probably because he’s an awful person, but everyone else handles the matter very seriously.

SERIOUSLY, BOROMIR?! YOU FIND THIS FUNNY?! It’s only the possible end of the world here. No biggie.

Yes Biggie.

Alright, so maybe Bilbo’s speech here is a little silly. He mentions that he’ll have to change the ending of his book, and add quite a few more chapters. Ha ha. Great. But, in actuality, he’s not kidding around. If he needs to be the one to take the ring, so be it. You see where Frodo gets it from. Well, not like Frodo’s volunteered yet, but…well that’s coming.

The strategy laid out so far by Elrond really makes a lot of sense. Sauron doesn’t believe that anyone, if in possession of the ring, would seek to destroy it. Its power to seduce people is too great. Since (most) everyone desires power, having the ring would give them all that they could dream of. Why would you throw that away? I guess that’s why we have smart people like Elrond hanging around.

And you know what? We’re almost done with this chapter! Only two more pages until we move on. So, DAN, I made it, with minimal complaining.

It's like I have you in the palm of my hand...

See y’all tomorrow. In that sort of way where I “see” you, but in reality I don’t see you at all, because this is a blog on the internet. You know.

“‘If you had really started…'”

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More bad ideas! Bring Aragorn to fight for Gondor!

Wait…that’s actually not too bad an idea, but won’t win the war. Moving on!

Use another ring, perhaps the dwarven one that Balin went looking for in Moria! How about one of the Three?


Okay, let’s run these down. Boromir suggests Aragorn fighting with the armies of Gondor, which, as I said, actually is a good idea. However, it doesn’t solve what to do with the ring. On the topic of fighting, Glóin points out that the dwarves were searching for one of the lost Seven. Unfortunately, Gandalf knows what happened to it: Sauron took it. Oops. But wait! The Three are all accounted for! Let’s use one of them!

NO. The elves do not speak of the Three, for fear of their whereabouts being leaked to Sauron. He did not make those rings, and has never touched them. They were not forged for the purpose of war, and will remain in peace.

First Mentions:

-Thráin: Son of Thrór. Father of Thorin. Was imprisoned in Sauron’s fortress in Mirkwood. Gave up one of the Seven. However, he did give Gandalf the map to the Lonely Mountain, so he’s not wholly useless.

Yep, more ideas. And who would have guessed that Boromir’s would actually turn out to come to fruition? Of course, he won’t be there to see it. Oh, I’m sorry, did I spoil something for you?

Look, a knit Hellboy doll!

Smooth move by the elves, though. Actually. Those rings are for knowledge! They stick to their guns in that sense. No one’s going to sully the Three with war. It’s a good counterpoint to Sauron’s desire for total domination. And Elrond uses the opportunity to take a dig at men and dwarves for desiring power and wealth. Losers.

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So we still haven’t reached a consensus on what to do. Okay, it’s starting to feel like it’s taking too long.

“‘We know not for certain,’ answered Elrond sadly. ‘Some hope…'”

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Burn, Galdor, BURN!

Some men just want to watch the world burninate.

Of course, the jab comes at the expense of Boromir and Gondor. For how much he rails on about how awesome Gondor is, he forgets that his wonderful kingdom has lost the last few battles, and let through the notorious Nine. Whoops. Well, anyway, Elrond makes the statement that the ring cannot go west to the sea. That would be the easiest path, and thus the most likely to be watched. But wait! Boromir has a bright idea! Use the ring! Right? Right, guys?


Elrond shuts him down. Only powerful beings can wield the ring, and even then only for evil. Anyone who could defeat Sauron with his ring would then supplant him on the dark throne. That’s no good, and that’s why the ring must ultimately be destroyed: so that possibility can never come to pass.

However, it’s Elrond who brings up taking the ring to Mount Doom. He mentions it just before Boromir proposes his latest terrible idea.

"Wait...could one simply walk into Mordor?"

But actually, the options for what to do with the ring have been steadily narrowed down. Destroying it in the fires of Mount Doom is kind of the only thing left. It’s like picking Steve Buscemi to be your partner in an acting scene. All of your other choices are probably more attractive, but the one you’re left with will probably accomplish your goals more than the others could have ever hoped to. Does that make any sense?

Don't you facepalm me, Steve!

Okay, so that’s ultimately just another idea shot down. How much longer until we just stick with a plan here?

Note: I’m not getting tired of the Council…but at some point they’re going to exhaust all the other options. That can’t be too far away.

“‘Then in Gondor we must trust to such weapons as…'”

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Hey! That’s the name of the book!

Yeah, I know, I’ve used that joke before. But it hasn’t come up in the title of a post yet, and that truly is the best place to make the joke. Deal with it.

What’s today’s plan? Throw it into the sea!

Getting rid of the ring will be as easy as skipping a stone!

But really, after deciding not to send the ring to Tom Bombadil, talk turns to either sending it across the sea or destroying it. Elrond believes that those across the sea will not take the ring, and in Rivendell they have not the power to destroy it. Well, isn’t that a pickle! Glorfindel argues that the only course left is to throw it into the deeps, where it will stay. Of course, it can’t be that easy. Not only would it eventually find a way to be discovered, but Sauron is probably expecting the ring to leave Rivendell on the western roads. He only needs to go through Gondor before he can march straight up the coastline.

Uh oh, team! Whatever can we do?

Everyone here does agree that the strength of arms does not exist between them to hold off the might of Sauron. They wouldn’t be able to hold out in Rivendell, nor in the Grey Havens. Times is bad.

Isn’t this the point where Gandalf needs to butt in and propose journeying all the way to Mount Doom? That happens to be the one option that nobody’s brought up yet. Well, I guess that might be because of the inherent and terrible danger associated with that plan, but it’s an option, right? And it is the one that wins out in the end. Are we just saving that for later so that we can dramatically bring it up in the middle of an argument?

Yeah, sailing over the sea sounds better.

Also, my apologies to Círdan, the elven shipwright, whose name I was misspelling. Those accented “í’s” are hard to see!

Here I am, apologizing to fictional characters, and minor fictional characters at that! I think my life is turning out great.

“‘But Gondor stands, and even the end of its strength is still very strong.'”

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And so it begins. The great argument of our time.

Stock photos, you slay me.

Elrond speaks next, as the council turns to trying to decide what to do with the ring. He finds Frodo’s tale very strange, and wonders if Tom Bombadil should have been included in those invited to the council. This sparks the argument of whether or not Tom should just take the ring. He isn’t affected by it, right? And he keeps to himself very well. In his lands, he is the master.

Well, maybe that’s not the best idea, Gandalf counters. Tom isn’t very concerned with the matters of the outside world. He would only take the ring after much begging, and would probably forget about it, or worse, throw it away. The ring would still wind up in enemy hands, just after a while longer. Of course, in all reality, Tom wouldn’t have come to the council if invited in the first place anyway.

First Mentions:

-Dunland: Region south of the Shire and west of Isengard. The Old Forest once stretched from its current location all the way south to here.

We learn slightly more about Tom Bombadil today. He has many names: Iarwain Ben-adar, Forn, and Orald among them. All races seem to find him curious, and one of the oldest known beings. Well, at least that’s consistent with what we already know. He’s still mysterious, though. And totally doesn’t care about this whole ring problem. Ignorance is bliss?

Like this.

Ultimately, we don’t learn a whole lot more about Tom Bombadil, other than that many other people are aware of him, like Elrond. He’s a withdrawn character, and most seem happy to leave him that way.

So, what next? Any bright ideas, team?

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Note that we’re approaching 30 pages in this chapter, which I think is already the longest we’ve had so far. Then, remember that 30 pages is a month at this pace. Woah.

“‘And even if we…'”

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Today was the closest I think I’ve ever come to not doing the daily blog. When I got home from work, I was craving a nap. I didn’t expect that nap to turn into a nearly four-hour full-on sleep. Thankfully, a certain special someone woke me up with a pocket-dialed call, thus saving us all from the weeping that would have ensued had I slept until tomorrow morning.

In my opinion, being woken up is a much better result than being traded to the Jets.

Gandalf left Bree the next morning, following the trail of the black riders. It appears that they left the road from time to time, probably to report in to the Witch-king somewhere away to the south. Riding like the wind, Gandalf arrives at Weathertop, where he already finds the riders lying in wait. They battle, and Gandalf draws four of them away. He makes his way slowly to Rivendell, having to let Shadowfax go. And there he ends his tale.

Trying to follow the movements of all the Nine is difficult, but let’s see if I can figure it out. Two riders were in Bree the night that Frodo stayed there. At least five rode through the town the following night, when Gandalf was asleep there. Of these five (or more than five), four had been searching the Shire, and one was the Witch-king himself. That makes for at least seven accounted for. It’s possible that one or two of the others were among this band that passed through Bree on the second night, or maybe they were already east, waiting at Weathertop.

This is all turning into an epic word problem.

Of course, with Gandalf being able to have four riders follow him away from Weathertop, only five stayed to attack Frodo a few nights later. I’m assuming that saved his life.

But seriously, if five Ringwraiths ride eastward at a speed of 30mph, four Ringwraiths weave through the country at a speed of 15mph, four hobbits and one man walk through hills at a speed of 10 miles per day, and one Shadowfax-riding wizard races down the road at 50mph, when will each group meet up with one another?

You better figure out the answer, or else…


And…that’s all I got.

“‘Here we all are, and…'”

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This journey so far has been full of way too many close calls. Sure, luck is nice, but at some point you have to realize that maybe fate just wants things to go a certain way. I like fate, for some reason or another. If you’re Frodo, you have to be practically on your knees worshiping fate at this point.

Psh, fate. Whatever.

You see, when Gandalf arrived in Hobbiton, he talked to the Gaffer. Among many grumbles about the Sackville-Bagginses, the old Gaffer relays that a black rider visited Bag End the very night that Frodo set out. Riding with haste, Gandalf finds that the black horsemen also knocked down the door of Frodo’s new residence in Crickhollow. A cloak, belonging to Frodo, lies on the floor. Fearing the worst, Gandalf tracks the riders to Bree, where he’s just about ready to kill Butterbur.


Butterbur comes out alive! He tells Gandalf that the four hobbits wound up in the company of Aragorn. Oh joyous news! Butterbur thinks he’s done wrong, but Gandalf hugs the living fear right out of him.

Yes, hugs, because Gandalf is a nice wizard. I’m not kidding. Gandalf is so happy that Frodo isn’t dead that he hugs Butterbur.

It’s handy too that Aragorn is the one to have picked the hobbits up. Butterbur’s all worried because he finds Aragorn to be a little…unsavory. In reality, he’s the most knowledgeable, battle-ready man that the hobbits could have wandered into. It’s like being lost in the jungles of India and running into Bagheera.

At some point, my analogies are going to be so ridiculous that they'll stop making sense.

In fact, Gandalf is so happy that he is finally able to rest, if only just for a night. Because, you know, even though Frodo has found Aragorn, he’s not being chased by undead terrors or anything.

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WHAT? Possessive problems? And I am a little confused why “wilful” only has one “l” in the middle.

Anyway, seriously, I would still be worried if I were Gandalf. Everything clearly still didn’t wind up totally 100% a-okay. Frodo got STABBED.

“‘”Now I can take a night’s rest, the first since I have forgotten when.”‘”

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Alliterative title we’ve got today!

This. It exists.

Anywho, today, Gwaihir tells Gandalf that the men of Rohan can be trusted. They give horses in tribute to Sauron to keep their lands safe. This is a hotly debated topic! Boromir flat out denies that any people of Rohan would ever give up horses. They love them too much. Aragorn argues otherwise, and I’m keen on agreeing with him. Either way, Gandalf ends up with a horse, the fastest, most awesome one in the land. He travels from Rohan to the Shire in the same time it took Frodo to get from Hobbiton to the Barrow-downs.

First Mentions:

-the Riddermark: Literally just another name for Rohan. I think of it as the actual lands. Like, you can be in Rohan, riding across the Riddermark. If that makes any sense.

-the Rohirrim: The people of Rohan, horse-lords. They look rather Nordic, as we would say. And rustic. Yay rustic!

-Shadowfax: King of all horses! So, you know, like Gwaihir, but with horses. Super fast. Super awesome. I named my flash drive after him.

Let’s be honest, Shadowfax is also the coolest name ever. Wouldn’t you love to have it as a middle name or something? “Shadowfax”: it’s dark, yet electric, or something of the sort.

Behold, Shadowfax!

I’m hazy on the distances from place to place in Middle-earth, but if you recall, it took Frodo something like 6 days to reach the Barrow-downs. The distance from Rohan to the Shire is considerably longer, even if traveled on horseback. This horse can FLY.

Well, not literally, just in terms of speed. Just checking.

Please, leave Pegasus out of this.

And let’s stop arguing about whether or not the men of Rohan are giving horses to Sauron. Because they must be, or else they’d be destroyed. Dude has power.

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I fully support Aragorn in any argument against Boromir. Always and forever.

“‘They had divided their forces, I learned: some…'”

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