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New Member
I intend to catch up with you around the middle of July, so my comments will be concurrent with the episodes by then. In the meantime, I wanted to give my impression of what the Last Homely House east of the sea means.

Corey mentioned that the term "east of the sea" implies there are other Homely Houses west of the sea but I disagree. I think the phrase suggests that there were other Homely Houses in Middle Earth but that this is the last one, perhaps due to the fact that the elves are leaving and there are fewer of them to take advantage of a Homely House. (Also, maybe there aren't enough elves left to staff these houses?) The complete phrase might be, "There were once 10 Homely Houses east of the sea, but Rivendell is the last one. "


Rachel Port

Active Member
I've always seen it geographically, though also in latter years (or centuries) probably also last in time. Like road stops, perhaps - maybe there used to be more that were scattered further east, and Rivendell was the last before you reached the sea.
I read it in a geographic sense during the first go but since then, in light of Frodo’s ultimate journey to Valinor for the healing he couldn’t find in Middle-Earth, I have attached a more metaphoric sense to it. The addition of “east of the sea” sounds to me like a late addition to the text of somebody who knows that Frodo would never again find comfort or peace anywhere, not even Bag End, until the final healing he received across the sea.

Rachel Port

Active Member
I decided to Google it, asking first if it was called that in The Hobbit, and found this:

Rivendell, or Imladris, was an Elven outpost in the Misty Mountains on the eastern edge of Eriador. Because of its location, it was called "The Last Homely House East of the Sea" from the point of view of a traveller going to the Misty Mountains and Wilderland; and also the First Homely House from the point of view of someone coming from these lands to the civilised lands of Eriador to the west. -----

That explanation was also used in several other places. This would mean that there were other "homely houses" in civilized places west of the mountains, and it was last or first depending on which way you were travelling - and I had the direction wrong in what I said above.

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
Probably best to check the original text of the Hobbit:
That sounded nice and comforting, but they had not got there yet, and it was
not so easy as it sounds to find the Last Homely House west of the Mountains.
And so at last they all came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors
flung wide.
There they had a supper, or a dinner, such as they had not had since they left
the Last Homely House in the West and said good-bye to Elrond.
While in The Fellowship of the Ring:
Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea.
Then with one glance at the Last Homely House twinkling below them they strode away far into the night.
Seems to me there might be some retconning going on, but I haven't found a reference to Tolkien's works that gives this TolkienGateway explanation.