Episode 131 Summary

Tony Meade

Active Member

The wearing of the swift years of Middle-earth:
  • Why does Elrond bring everyone up to date on the Third Age history of Gondor? This is relevant to the story of the Ring up to the fall of Isildur, but he continues up through the present.
  • One reason for this focus is make sure that those particular people in the room need to know this because Elrond already knows that he will later propose sending the Ring to the fire.
  • However, though the planning for that trip will happen later, none of this is relevant to their conversation at present. Elrond needs, in part, to establish the urgency of the threat to them all.
  • Gondor is the strongest of the foes of Mordor, and while it stands, it is in danger of falling. While there is much more to Gondor than Minas Tirith, the main attack will come there, its stronghold.
  • One of the primary audiences for these current events is the Elves who live far from Gondor, such as in Mirkwood and the Grey Havens, as well as the Dwarves in Erebor.
  • Many of the Elves are focused westward and thinking about their imminent departure.
  • It also seems that Gondor has little to no contact with those in the North, according to Boromir.
  • This also is part of the larger context of the reveal of Aragorn as the heir to the kingship, as Elrond connects the destruction of the Ring and the defeat of Sauron with that as one thing.
  • Elrond has tied the marriage of Aragorn and Arwen to that victory as the capstone since their defeat would mean their destruction and any promises would be meaningless.
The deemer of dooms:
  • He also needs everyone to understand that none of the crises described so far are merely local, but part of a global crisis, and it’s for this reason he brings up the time of the Last Alliance.
  • Note: Many of the immortal characters often use “lives of men” as a measure of time, which seems human-centric. The terms “centuries” and “millennia” are rarely used in The Silmarillion, and never in The Lord of the Rings, except among and about the hobbits. It’s possible that Elrond uses it here because he is speaking specifically of the human kingdoms.
  • It seems as though Elrond’s primary role as lore master is to see the bigger patterns and to use that to foresee the direction in which events are moving. This allows him to act as a counselor.
  • Elrond has also seen enough of history to see the echoes of past events, and therefore can recognize an hour of doom, as he will pronounce this moment to be during the Council.
  • The heirs of Isildur could have revealed themselves any time in the last thousand years, but Elrond sees the confluence of the war with Sauron and the finding of the Ring as the sign.
  • Elrond is speaking primarily to the Elvish audience when he mentions the Three Rings as being in peril. Sauron can still win the war without the Ring, unless and only if it destroyed.
  • He implies that he is holding one of the Elven Rings by possessing so much lore about them, though the location of two of the Three Rings seem to be an open secret, or at least obvious.
  • It seems as though Elrond intends to hand off to Gandalf or Bilbo before Boromir interrupts.
Boromir, tall and proud before them:
  • Though Boromir asks for leave to speak, he doesn’t wait for it to be given before speaking.
  • It would seem that it is Elrond’s description of the fading of Gondor that prompts him to speak.
  • Is this a rehearsed speech, or is this spontaneous? Boromir has probably expected a private audience with Elrond, not a council, especially since this council was unplanned before this.
  • Boromir’s speech is in direct response to Elrond’s description, answering each point in turn.
  • Elrond’s description has been of one long retreat, but he has acknowledged their holding of the river. Boromir doesn’t seem angry about this impression but finds it to be incomplete.
  • Since Elrond was not expecting Boromir to be at the Council, he has had to make amendments to his original comments to the Council, and any additions were for Boromir’s benefit.
  • Boromir needs to set the record straight about the most recent events in Gondor, of which Elrond and the others would not have had any word yet.
  • Is Boromir echoing Elendil with “I am come”? He is not making the same kind of rhetorical point but keeps the style since he is speaking in Elendil’s idiom as one of the high born of Gondor.
  • Boromir is on his dignity in this speech, so he is infusing the speech with a high tone and style. He is slightly nettled, but he doesn’t simply have an emotional outburst, and makes an appeal.
  • He is a lordly person and is assuming a lordly role here in the Council, among the other lords.
  • The use of the word “first” seems to be dual. Boromir wants to speak first about Gondor before moving on to other subjects, but also to say that this is preamble to his real business there.
  • Boromir may feel that the telling of the history of Gondor serves as his introduction. He may have been told by Elrond that his arrival just before the Council seems providential.
  • He may also assume that this introduction of Gondor has set it up as the Council’s primary focus, and that he is the second most important person in the room, in spite of the presence of others.
  • He may think that his errand is the most urgent and the most relevant to the big picture, having heard everyone else speak, during which he has not heard anything to dissuade him of that.
  • Boromir may or may not have understood that the Ring was present, but he feels the need to share his news to set the context of the finding of the Ring with the importance of Gondor.
  • Boromir’s Gondor-centric perspective makes sense, seen from his point of view and within the scope of his knowledge of the situation, and Elrond has been fixated on Gondor before this.
  • Is Boromir’s interruption a derailment of the Council? Elrond must have known this was coming, given his focus on Gondor before this, and Boromir would have taken his ending as a cue.
  • He is mostly right in his assessment of Gondor’s importance, except for saying that it is they alone who stand against Mordor and protect the rest of Middle-earth.
  • The Elves, along with Aragorn, would be well aware of others’ valor in opposing the Enemy.
  • If Boromir’s arrival is providential, what purpose does it serve? It would seem that Boromir has already told Elrond the dream but did not receive the answer to his riddle before the Council.
  • The purpose of Boromir’s arrival with the dream may serve as the confirmation that the hour of doom has come. Elrond can also use Boromir’s dream to help him set up the reveals coming up.
  • Note: There is a parallel between Boromir’s arrival and the arrival of Eärendil in Valinor.
  • Though Elrond is not thrown by Boromir’s interruption, it’s clear that he is speaking out of turn, however Aragorn’s reveal of himself and the sword will follow closely behind Boromir’s speech.
  • Boromir is the only one who arrives with any external verification that Elrond and Gandalf’s interpretations of the movement of destiny and does so in the form of this prophetic dream.


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