Destiny?

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
If Thorin and Gandalf were fated to meet so Bilbo would find the Ring, then, if they had made different choices that day and hadn't met in the inn at Bree, would the other choices they made have led to the same result? In other words, was the fated event their meeting, or was it the finding of the Ring, so that other paths to that end would have led to that result?
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
was the fated event their meeting, or was it the finding of the Ring, so that other paths to that end would have led to that result?
That makes me think of Bujold's The Curse of Chalion. The five gods have fated the removal of the curse - but another generation goes by before their fate is accomplished. The protagonist at one point wonders how many others might have been sent out before him on his hard, hard road by the gods, but either refused the call or gave up or failed in some other way. We eventually learn all about one of them, in the next book in the series.

The end is what is fated and cannot fail to come to pass. The means are weaker, being only human (well, mostly).

Gandalf and Thorin may theoretically fail to meet at an inn in Bree for many possible reasons; the most telling of those is their free will. But I imagine they'd have met somewhere else, or some other event would have led to a similar end. That's just the way it works, in both the authors' fictional universes.
 
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