More to come of the conversation with Butterbur, which is really just catching us up on the goings on of the northern lands.
It would seem that Bree is safe from marauders for the time being. They must be afraid of the five companions who rode into town in armor and heraldry, and, more importantly, the rangers who have been returning north. I had forgotten about this, but I finally realized why it made sense for Aragorn to continue riding north for a while: the rangers were leaving Gondor. They traveled north with the four hobbits and numerous elves, and have now returned to the lands that they were long protecting.
And yes, the people of Bree have finally noticed that the rangers were actually doing something good for them.
Gandalf makes sure to tell Butterbur that times will improve. Aragorn will be sending more men north to the old kingdom of Arnor to rebuild it. He will come himself, sometime, and there will be many folk passing by Bree. Good for business!
Strangely enough, I can actually reconcile some of the changes made in the film adaptation. Bear with me here…
So, in the films, no rangers ride to meet Aragorn in Rohan. Halbarad and his Dúnedain do not feature in the events of the story. Let’s think logically from that point. If no rangers ride south, then they must all still be in the North. If they remain in the North, they continue to protect the lands around Bree and the Shire. With the rangers still about, wayward bandits cannot come unchecked into the area and terrorize its inhabitants. Thus, the events of the Scouring of the Shire cannot happen. The rangers would not allow it. That’s why it doesn’t happen.
Of course, some would argue that the films kill off Saruman, thus further negating any possibility of his occupation of the Shire. However, Saruman’s death only appears in a deleted scene added to the Extended Edition of Return of the King. So, it’s not necessarily a part of the films!
Okay, okay, I’m stretching here. But why not try and make sense of the cuts? I have little else left to do.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
Both added/different names for Fornost, old capital of Arnor. Because more is better!
No one dies today.
“‘And the King will come there again one day; and then you’ll have some fair folk riding through.'”