In defence of Galdor

Starfriend

New Member
I don’t think that the analysis of Galdors words during the last two classes hit the mark. It is true that Elrond could send the Ring to the Havens faster than Sauron could react, but in my mind that is only the easy part of plan Sea. The hard part is setting sail with the Ring on board and finding the Straight Road. I would be very surprised if that wouldn’t require a special ship long built just for this task. Building that ship would probably take a long time even for an elf (and certainly take lot of tra-la-la-lallying on the shores). As the council is certainly the first time this plan is conceived, there is no way that Círdan could have started the building. So discovery by the spies of the Enemy is a grave threat, as the Ring would be a sitting duck in the Havens.

What would Sauron do in the case of the Council opting for the plan Sea? He probably would do everything in his power to slow down the building the ship or its setting sail. Could he bring storms and make rough seas in Lindon? I don’t know, but I would at least consider the option.

I have always thought that the swifter steeds of the Nazgul Galdor talks about are the flying beasts they get after the incident in the Ford, and the only reason that they were on horseback was a compromise between speed and secrecy. Gandalf only learns that the Nine are on the move long after they have crossed the Anduin. If they were on flying mounts, there is no way that the Wise would have not been aware of them immediately.

But if Sauron learns that his enemies are taking the Ring to the Valinor and panics, what could he do? If he launches hasty campaigns against Gondor, Lorien, Mirkwood, Dale and Erebor just to tie them down and send all Nine literally on wings of haste over Anduin could he be stopped? If the Ringwraiths gather together a warband or multiple warbands of the orcs of The Misty Mountains, emptying every fortress in the area if necessary, and marches them west, there is nothing that can stop them, as Elrond can’t raise an army like he did in 1974 T.A. I’m not sure Galdor is aware of the situation in The Misty Mountains, but this could be the march he is worried about.

And now we get to Galdors comment about Gondors vigilance. In the session 179 it was thought that the comment about keeping back the Nine was unfair and that Galdor was moving the goalposts. I disagree, mainly because of the first speech of Boromir about 20 pages ago (in my Finnish translation). He opens it by claiming that Gondor has long kept the armies of the East and the horrors of Morgul, like the Nazgul, at bay (again, I only have my Finnish translation at hand and don’t remember the full quote in English). To be fair, Galdor implicitly agrees that Gondor has been successful until now, and Boromir did not know the whereabouts of the Nine when he made the boast.

So in the end, I don’t think Galdor is having a panic attack but that his comments are reasonable and insightful, like one would expect from the emissary of Círdan.
 
Hi Starfriend,

Could you expand on why a special ship would be needed?

I agree with you about Galdor. My reading is that he is setting forth the situation, not reacting or baiting to Boromir. This is a council of war, not a touchy feely gossip session.
 

Starfriend

New Member
It is mostly a gut reaction on my part. If I read a story where the Council decided to send the Ring to the capital W West on a normal ship, it just wouldn’t feel sufficiently mythic, however elvish the "normal ship" might be.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I put it in a different post, but "send it to the West" sounds like a straightforward solution, but fails to capture a couple other practical matters.

1) Do they send Frodo? If a Mortal is on board, will the ship even be able to reach the Western Shore?

2) Do they violently strip the Ring from Frodo and send it without him? That sure sets things off on a friendly footing.

2b) Who among the crew carries the Ring? Who among the crew knows what they carry and where it is kept? Can an entire crew of Elves be trusted to carry the Ring all the way across the Sea without anyone attempting to claim it? Even the Wise do not trust themselves to keep it...
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Somehow i fail to see the problem... they should have built sufficient ships already, i also don't see a mortal as a problem for finding the straight path.

The Problem i see is that they won't find the straight path because it is not their fate and that the valar will reject them because they don't want the ring in aman plus that not destroying the ring means not destroying sauron, essentially conservating him for eternity. That is, i believe, what Gandalf is about...
 

Starfriend

New Member
I'm not aware of any writings of Tolkien which goes into the details of the Straight road. In the end of Silmarillion it is said that building of the ship seen in the last chapter of the Return of the King took a long time, and that it was ready long before Círdan set sail on it. But again, I think only a ship built just for the task is sufficiently mythic.

It is also stated multiple times that after the fall of Númenor ability of finding the Straight road is a special grace of Valar, and therefore a mortal on board might be a problem. In any case, it would be a suicide mission for any mortal chosen, and I do agree that Valar would reject them as Elrond and Gandalf seem to believe.

Even though, more I think about this, the more I would like to read the story about the mightiest mariners of Third Age trying to take the Ring to Valinor. It would be like an echo of the untold journeys of Eärendil.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Eärendil's quasi-untold stories are quite a project... but i think silmfilm is going for it!

Theres that one famous traveller, Razanur, after whom Peregrin Took is named... AND we only get that one DAMN name! The Journeys of Raznur the Traveller... it would be EPIC! If i would write Tolkien fanfic... that's what i would totally do!
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Starfriend,

According to Sam, the Elves are, "sailing, sailing, sailing over the Sea, they are going into the West and leaving us." If the Elves are regularly sailing, and Cirdan operates the Grey Havens expressly to facilitate that sailing, it stands to reason that he probably has a collection of ships capable of reaching Elvenhome in the harbor at all times, and is regularly building more.

I don't think any expedition to take the Ring to the West would have to wait around for a ship to be built?

Amysrevenge,

If they did decide to try to send the Ring over the Sea, Tom Bombadil would be the best candidate to carry it. (If he agreed to go, which he might well not.) He would presumably have no problem with being allowed in to Valinor. The Ring has no power over him. If anyone else on the ship had the notion to take the Ring and use it, well, Tom is the Master, and they wouldn't get very far!.
 

Rachel Port

Active Member
Tom is the Master of his forest, of wood and mountain and stream. Of the sea? I can't imagine him without his being on solid ground. He would not leave Goldberry, and I don't think she could leave; isn't she tied to her river? I think the only way is to have Frodo take it, but he hasn't earned that yet, or been given Arwen's gift. For the Ringbearer to go over the sea he must fulfill his quest, which brings us back to why they can't send it West.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Yes, I think that Tom might well not agree to take the Ring over the Sea. Though, he would be a great candidate, if he would agree.

However, I don't think that finding a suitable candidate would be a terrible obstacle. Just find some young and gormless Elf, who will not be able to learn enough about the Ring in the time to be able to successfully wield it, and send it with him. Legolas might work. But probably not totally safe. A younger, more gormless, and less royal Elf would be better. Grab one of those Elves who rolled the barrels down into the river in the Hobbit, or, an equivalent from Rivendell, and send them.

Finding someone to carry the Ring over the Sea is not the main obstacle in my opinion. The main obstacle is Elrond's statement that 'They who dwell beyond the Sea would not receive it.' If so, it does not matter that someone could be found to safely carry it!
 

Doc Staples

New Member
I came here to make a post with this exact title and many of the same arguments. One other thing I'd like to add:

Not only does Galdor's speech interface with Boromir's earlier discussion of how Gondor has long held the evils of Mordor at bay, he's interacting with the very reason Boromir has come to Rivendell in the first place: When the Witch King showed up on the battlefield, Boromir and Gondor realized that they could no longer stand on the battlefield opposed to this "power there that we have never felt before."

So when Galdor says "And yet its vigilance can no longer keep back the Nine," he's not referring to their inability to keep the Nine from sneaking through in their quest to find the ring. He's referring to something Boromir has already admitted: they can't oppose the Nine on the battlefield, which is why he has come seeking something "stronger than Morgul-spells."

In conclusion, Galdor isn't being a jerk here at all. He's pointing out that Boromir himself has already effectively admitted that Gondor can no longer hold back Mordor for any significant length of time once Sauron decides to push forward in strength.
 

Odola

Active Member
I do think so. If he is the Galdor of the Tree from Gondolin - and if Glorfindel is the one from Gondolin, there no reason to suppose otherwise - he is neither a wuss nor a simpleton.
 
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