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cirdaneth
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Post Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 21, 2009 04:19
When the hobbits run into Gildor Inglorion at the beginning of their quest, he speaks of the Wandering Companies of elves and promises to send messages alerting them.

So what might these Wandering Companies have been?
Why were they wandering?
Were they nomadic, or were they regular patrols sent out from Rivendell?
Was Gildor's group one of them ... and where were they traveling from/to ...?

I'm intrigued.
NellasTaralom
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 21, 2009 07:34
So what might these Wandering Companies have been?


I suppose they were groups of elves who didn't exclusively belong to any particular elvish city....they were nomads, I think. Wait.....this raises a question...


Elves live forever. That's a LONG time in Middle earth. If I were an elf, I may be content to live in one city, such as Caras Galadhon, for many many years, but not for thousands. I would want to spend a number of years just traveling around, seeing the world. Then I would probably return to Lorien. That being said....do you think ALL elves spent time wandering, or were there specific groups who lived as nomads....or both? Any thoughts?

Why were they wandering?

I always assumed they just wandered around Eriador...and maybe farther, because they loved Middle earth and were content to explore it's many wonders. Plus, by the end of the third age when Frodo encounters Gildor, the elves knew that their time was almost over, wish made them cherish their time in the wild lands of Middle-earth all the more.

Were they nomadic, or were they regular patrols sent out from Rivendell?


Patrols from Rivendell?? That's an interesting thought. Patrols to keep an eye out for enemies??? Another thought....perhaps the elves who wandering cast a special grace on the land and the living things in it. I mean...just the presence of the high elves would probably make the land a fairer place. hm.

Was Gildor's group one of them ... and where were they traveling from/to ...?


I wonder...because Gildor and his folk seemed to know so much about Frodo and his errand, they seemed so protective. I initially thought that they were just another wandering company going through the land...but perhaps they left Rivendell with more purpose. But that couldn't be right, because their coming upon Frodo was a chance meeting.

This is sort of on-topic, but this is a question I've always had. Did some elf-families live off in the country in homes by themselves? Were their outlying farmers or woodsmen who may have lived near a major city, but not within it???
Iavas87
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 21, 2009 04:21
I can't really add anything to the original post at the moment, though I might do so later, but I do want to comment on the following:

This is sort of on-topic, but this is a question I've always had. Did some elf-families live off in the country in homes by themselves? Were their outlying farmers or woodsmen who may have lived near a major city, but not within it???


There are instances of Elves living outside of the larger cities, and I assume it was a more common practice than it seems. Take, for instance, the huts of the raft Elves to the east of Thranduil's caves in Mirkwood. Indeed, it was written somewhere (can't recall where exactly) that most of the Elves of Mirkwood lived in wooden huts throughout the more pleasant sections of the forest, and that Thranduil's halls were mainly used as a feasting hall in times of celebration and as a fortress in times of danger. It is likely that Lorien had a similar situation. I would also wager that there were many Elves living along the coasts of Lindon, far outside of Mithlond. A couple of more individual examples are the cases of Nellas of Doriath and Nimrodel of Lorien, both of which seemed to live in their own little homes outside of the hustle and bustle of the central areas.
Morwinyoniel
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 21, 2009 11:50
The elves in Gildor's company were High Elves, a.k.a. (at least mostly) Noldor. So, they were probably exiles who hadn't sailed into the West yet, for one reason or another, although they would have already been permitted to do so. (If I remember correctly, Gildor finally sailed with the Ringbearers, as probably did at least some of his companions.)

I'm not sure if they were actually nomadic, but rather I think that they shuttled between the different Elven settlements, especially Rivendell and the Havens. They certainly did visit the tower of Elostirion, where was set a palantír with which one could only look westward.
LadyBeruthiel
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 23, 2009 05:12
"I wonder...because Gildor and his folk seemed to know so much about Frodo and his errand, they seemed so protective. I initially thought that they were just another wandering company going through the land...but perhaps they left Rivendell with more purpose. But that couldn't be right, because their coming upon Frodo was a chance meeting."

I don't know about Wandering Companies, but I do know there are an awful lot of happenings in LOTR that look like chance, but some higher power is implied.
cirdaneth
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: June 24, 2009 11:24
I don't know about Wandering Companies, but I do know there are an awful lot of happenings in LOTR that look like chance, but some higher power is implied.
Ah, LadyBeruthiel! A kindred spirit!

It is in the same spot that Frodo and Sam finally meet with the other ring-bearers heading for the Grey Havens, and I’ve wondered if there is something particularly mystical about the area around Woody End. Anyway, I’ve been having a deeper look at Gildor’s group and what else happens around their meeting with Frodo.

The elves arrive just as Frodo is almost overcome by an urge to put on the ring. Not surprisingly, the Black Rider makes himself scarce, and the danger passes. Like LadyBeruthiel, I suspect divine intervention here, perhaps Frodo being led to choose the same route as the elves.

At first, Frodo thinks the elves are Sindar, saying that they wander into the Shire in Spring and Autumn from their homes beyond the Tower Hills. When their song invokes Elbereth, Lady of the Stars, Frodo realises they are High Elves, and is surprised that they are in the Shire at all. Gildor never says where they are going, nor where they live, although he says they have kin in Rivendell. He also says he has seen Bilbo "far from here", so he certainly visits there.

There is some evidence of their direction however, because the elves later meet Strider and tell him that Frodo has left Crickhollow, but they don’t know his route ... (so they've checked out Buckland too). When Glorfindel turns up to guide Strider and the hobbits to Rivendell, he explains that messages have reached Elrond from Gildor, saying the Nine are abroad and Gandalf is missing, so that's another Rivendell connection.

Anyway, the meeting near Woody End not only scares off the Rider, but ensures that both Strider, and Elrond are given vital information.

[Edited on 25/6/2009 by cirdaneth]
Celebrian
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: July 01, 2009 09:58
I always supposed that Elves liked to know what was going on and that many of them wandered about, individually and in groups, gathering and exchanging information. In their long history they had had enough surprises and they knew that security can only be purchased with vigilance. If some of the reconnaissance was blended with a little partying and camping out, why not? After a couple of thousand years, surely they'd learned ways of mixing business with pleasure.
cirdaneth
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: November 04, 2009 09:46
I'm sure you are right, Celebrian. The camping out will have been a necessity too, so why not enjoy it. After all, elves are chiefly concerned with the natural world.

As the influence of Sauron grew it will have been essential to build an information network, especially between Elves and Dunedain, and Rivendell would be the obvious choice for an HQ.
Elthir
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: November 05, 2009 07:46
Tolkien published this in the 1960s too:

'No doubt Gildor and his companions (Vol. I., Chap. 3), since they appear to have been going eastward, were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantír of the Tower Hills.'

JRRT, The Road Goes Ever On
cirdaneth
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Post RE: Gildor and the Wandering Companies
on: November 06, 2010 02:16
Ah! ... and on what matters might they have been using that palantir, I wonder? bearing in mind that it connects directly with the Undying Lands. Never thought of that.
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