The Two Swords

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
In class we discussed possible parallels between the reforging and renaming of Anduril and Bilbo giving Sting to Frodo. We talked a lot about the significance of each sword, but left out the way in which they are most similar, namely, that they are both heirlooms with significant histories to them. Both Aragorn and Frodo are setting out to save the world or die in the attempt - Frodo with the Ring, of course, but also Aragorn to restore the Kingship and unite the lands. And they are intrinsically bound together, both the stories and the people.

And there is the importance of Bilbo and Frodo being alone together this time. They are saying what could be a final goodbye, and I think Sam isn't there, not just because of his taking care of the practicalities, but also out of tact, realizing how important this parting is for the two of them. But there is another way that these two are alone - they are connected to each other by the Ring, something that Bilbo only recently began to understand, and that Frodo doesn't understand yet (he will, I think, realize it in Cirith Ungol, when Sam is giving back the Ring, and he suddenly sees him as he saw Bilbo in the Hall of Fire). So giving Sting and the mithril coat to Frodo also is a reminder of the most important thing Bilbo brought back from his adventure and passed on to Frodo: the Ring. Neither of them mentions the Ring in this scene, but it looms over the whole thing, and is a part of the deep emotion felt by both. They are alone together because they both are and will be damaged by the Ring.