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GreenhillFox
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Post Frodo’s meeting with Gildor Inglorion
on: August 06, 2016 12:06
I have another reflection which I wish to share, if so permitted.

Chapter 3 “Three Is Company” of the first book of LotR gives an account of Frodo’s meeting with Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod and his companions in the Shire.

It was clear to Gildor at that meeting that the hobbits were in great peril and pursued by the enemy:

‘I do not know for what reason the Enemy is pursuing you,’ answered Gildor; ‘but I perceive that he is – strange indeed though that seems to me. And I warn you that peril is now both before you and behind you, and upon either side.’

Gildor provided help with food and a safe shelter for one night, yet he decided nonetheless to leave them on their own the next morning, and he continued with his own journey.

With such understanding of the dangers, one may doubt if Gildor’s decision was truly honorable, since indeed it lead to great foreseeable danger soon after.

Any thoughts on this are appreciated!
'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
Nordor
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on: August 06, 2016 10:21
I don't think there was any lack of concern on Gildor's part. He and his band of trooping elves were among the few remaining Noldor exiles and probably making their way to The Havens to leave Middle Earth. He probably accepted that the time of the elves was over and whatever mysterious mission Frodo was on was beyond his responsibility. Frodo didn't ask him to become his escort and most likely would've been suspicious and uncomfortable if he had volunteered to. Gildor appears to have been perceptive and recognized that Frodo was on his own in this matter.
GreenhillFox
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on: August 06, 2016 07:36
Good point. But I am not sure if that can explain it completely. As a matter of fact, Gildor was nog going to the Havens; he was going eastward (like Frodo). This was observed by Frodo when he said:

‘ […] we seem to be going the same way as you are. I like walking under the stars. But I would welcome your company.’

Also, Gildor confirmed this a bit later:

‘For tonight we go to the woods on the hills above Woodhall. It is some miles, but you shall have rest at the end of it, and it will shorten your journey tomorrow.’

Maybe he had things to do but there is no indication what he left Frodo for.
'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
Elthir
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on: August 07, 2016 03:10
As already raised, Frodo doesn't ask for protection, nor does he divulge all to the Elves. Frodo relates that his plan was to leave the Shire secretly, and Gildor first supposes that Frodo will see Gandalf before leaving the Shire...

... Frodo says, I hope so, and asks Gildor if he [Frodo] should wait, since at this point Gandalf is later than expected. It's then that Gildor notes the saying about meddling in the affairs of wizards... and basically adds: what can he advise, since Frodo will not tell him all, how can he (Gildor) choose better than Frodo.

Yet if advice is demanded, Gildor says that if Gandalf should not come before Frodo sets out, Frodo should take such friends as are trusty and willing, and he ends by saying that as Frodo's purpose is unclear to him, he fears to say too much. Nevertheless Gildor sends messages through the lands, so that the Wandering Companies shall know of Frodo's journey, and that those who have power for good shall be on the watch.

Again, despite the danger, Frodo does not ask for an escort, and while it's true that the Elves have their own concerns, these Elves alerted others to watchfulness and spread the word -- I assume without making themselves obviously part of Frodo's plan, or drawing attention to him.

Gildor and Frodo worried that Gandalf was late... but at this point no one knew for certain how late he would be, and Frodo hadn't left the Shire yet.

[Edited on 08/07/2016 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: August 17, 2016 04:21
All very valid points, from within the story. Frodo is not overly worried yet, still being within the Shire. But there is one point external to the story: so to speak, JRRT himself was not overly worried about Frodo at this point of writing. He was probably still quite in a "Hobbit sequel" mode when writing these events, as can be seen in HoME volume 6 "The Return Of The Shadow." JRRT had an awful time of it just getting Frodo moving, never mind to Rivendell. Tom Shippey comments that the Ringwraiths could have saved themselves and Sauron a lot of trouble had they pushed home their attacks in a manner consistent with their appearances in the later books. But at this point they simply were not thought of by JRRT himself as being as threatening as in their later "incarnation." I believe even the One Ring had not taken on it's overwhelming menace, at least not in earlier variants of book 1 (of six in this case, as JRRT numbered them himself, two per volume). Though he very likely, after having finally reached the end, went over earlier sections to weed out (gross) inconsistencies, he did not re-write the earlier, relatively light-hearted parts to become consistent with the later, much darker atmosphere. And not a few have commented that this gradual darkening from (almost) "The Hobbit" tone to (almost) "The Silmarillion" tone is one of the strengths of LoTR. Here, I emphatically concur.

[Edited on 08/17/2016 by Gandolorin]
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GreenhillFox
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on: August 18, 2016 01:52
Thanks all for the thoughts you are sharing. Gandolorin, in particular: you are a tower of insight! With this explanation of yours I can certainly live (and read) with great pleasure.

Indeed, the full danger and power of the Ringwraiths is unclear to a first-time reader who enjoys a gradual crescendo of threat as (s)he continues reading. The perception that the author must have gone through similar feelings while writing the LotR looks very credible to me.

Thanks a lot!

PS – Just a tip, but a truly great story on how the Nazgûl were slow in attacking the Shire is in the “Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth”, Part 3,III “The Hunt for the Ring”.
'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
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