Council of Elrond
Shire Reckoning: October 25, 3018 (Winterfilth 25, 1419)
Pages To Read:
-FR.CouncilOfElrond (start) – FR.TheRingGoesSouth “That’s what I often wonder” (~p.3)
note: feel free to skip the parts about Gandalf’s summer that we already read
Music (all by Tolkien Ensemble feat. Christopher Lee):
– Boromir’s Riddle
– The Riddle of Strider (II)
– Verse of the Rings (II) – Highly recommended to hear C. Lee reading the Black Speech!!
– Warning of Winter
Events (there’s just so much, and I’ve even left a lot out):
– Frodo attends the Council of Elrond first thing in the morning, and Sam tags along unnoticed.
– The full cast of characters are introduced, including a young dwarf Gimli (Glóin’s son), Legolas (son of the Elvenking from The Hobbit), and Boromir (the prince of Gondor in the South).
– Glóin updates the council on the situation of the Dwarves: the party that explored Moria had been lost and an ominous messenger from Sauron had asked about Hobbits.
– Elrond tells the story of the Ring. Long story short: Isildur takes it when Sauron is defeated and it leads to his death, at which time it is lost.
– Elrond then reminds everyone how the plight of men and elves took a dive during the third age and how dire the current situation is.
– Boromir tells how Gondor lost the important city of Osgiliath earlier this summer. He also states that he is at the Council because of a dream his brother and he had, in which they heard a riddle.
– Aragorn (Strider) stands and shows the Council the “Sword that was broken” mentioned in that riddle. He reveals himself to be the descendant of Isildur.
– Gandalf prompts Frodo to bring forth the Ring. Aragorn and Boromir bicker over the Ring and the Sword, and Bilbo speaks in defense of his friend Aragorn.
– The Council debates whether Frodo’s ring is indeed the One Ring. Gandalf recounts how he spent a long time (17 years) confirming this, including Aragorn’s shenanigans trying to capture Gollum, and his encounters with Saruman. Finally, a scroll written by Isildur gives the final piece of the puzzle: writing on the One Ring revealed by heat. He reads the Ring Verse for the Council, who are deeply unsettled.
– Legolas reveals that Gollum has escaped his imprisonment and his whereabouts are unknown.
– Gandalf delivers his story from the summer regarding Saruman. (We experienced this in real time, but to recap: he is captured by Saruman who reveals desire to use the One Ring for himself. Gandalf refuses to help, and eventually escapes with the help of Radagast and the Great Eagles.)
– Gandalf then recounts how he had attempted to track Frodo down with his super-fast horse Shadowfax from Rohan. Turns out it was indeed Gandalf at Weathertop which Team Frodo had seem in the distance.
– Elrond and his sons suggest using Bombadil as either an active ally or a hiding place for the Ring, but Gandalf shoots them down. Glorfindel agrees, saying “‘to send the Ring to him would only postpone the day of evil.’“
– After some discussion, Elrond gives a great speech and concludes the only option is to send the Ring into Mordor to destroy it.
– A long discussion ensues about possibilities going forward, ending with Bilbo tiredly offering his help. Gandalf lets Bilbo down easily, admitting that there is no possibility of Bilbo being any help.
– After a long awkward silence, Frodo offers to take the Ring to Mordor, with a great quote: “‘I will take the Ring,’ he said, ‘though I do not know the way.’“
– Elrond admits that it seems fate is pointing that way, and declares support for Frodo’s choice.
– Sam finally pipes up, voicing desire to go along with Frodo. Elrond is amused and agrees that Sam should go.
– Later that day, Merry and Pippin hear about the proceeding, and envy Sam’s spot alongside Frodo in the journey to come. Gandalf joins them and states that he was the only one not surprised by Frodo’s courageous decision.
– At this point, only Sam and Frodo are confirmed members of the expedition, although Gandalf expresses the likelihood of his joining in.
– Bilbo notes that Frodo will be in Rivendell for a long time while scouts gather news of the outside world and companions are chosen. He and Frodo agree to work together in finishing his book in the meantime.
Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– Bilbo reveals that he actually wrote the famous verse about Strider. (‘All that is gold does not glitter…’)
– The passage that Gandalf shares from Isildur’s “diary” is really great because of how it reads like a real-life historical primary source.
– The image of Butterbur being scared of Gandalf literally burning him to a crisp, only to have the old wizard give him a big hug is just too funny.
– Elrond’s speech: “‘… [I]t seems to me now clear which is the road that we must take. The westward road seems easiest. Therefore it must be shunned. It will be watched. Too often the Elves have fled that way. Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforeseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril – to Mordor. We must send the Ring to the Fire.’“
– Elrond also has some funny lines, particularly his line to Sam at the end of the chapter: “‘It is hardly possible to separate you from him, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.’“
Links to Other Content:
– The Sword that was Broken, kby kamiiyu (featured). Beautiful drawing of Boromir’s riddle, written in Dwarvish runes.
– Boromir, by Deevad. Really cool portrait of one of the new characters introduced today.
– Boromir arrives to Rivendell, by 10shuart. Depiction of Boromir arriving the other day.
– Gimli, by black3. Perfect drawing of another new character.
Tale of Years:
Council of Elrond.
Notes: Wow, there’s a lot of exposition today! Cool stuff all around, and since there is not much action for the next several weeks/months, there’s plenty of time to read this chapter at your leisure. As a side note, I keep hearing Sean Bean delivering all of Boromir’s lines in my head – he just really nailed the haughty tone that Boromir has in this chapter. Tons of art to follow in the coming days, then updates will be more scattered as preparations are made for the main journey. ~Tom