Two Months in Rivendell

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Most of the time, we seem to ignore what was going on in Rivendell during the two months the scouts were out, except that in this episode there was some talk of Boromir hanging out rather than going back to Minas Tirith right away. But Corey also said that Legolas and Gimli were strangers to Frodo, as one example of what I mean. Legolas and Gimli have just spent two months in Rivendell with the hobbits. Especially given the relationship between Gloin and Bilbo, Gimli at least have gotten to know all the hobbits. Legolas also is likely to have known Bilbo, and Bilbo will want news from him too. So Frodo and the other hobbits would have had the chance to get to know both of them over two months. Also, Elrond must have had time to talk with everyone. The same goes for Gandalf, whom I think Elrond also consulted quite a bit. His choices were not random. Maybe it was getting to know them that led him to conclude that all the free peoples should be represented.

There is also the question of when the members of the Company were actually selected. I don't think these were last minute choices, except for Merry and Pippin. Elrond no doubt talked to both Gloin and Gimli about his idea that Gimli should go, and also to Legolas. I think. Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and Aragorn were pretty much a given. I think Gimli and Legolas were also chosen weeks before Elrond's announcement of the members.

Then there's Boromir. We might start with another question - how does Aragorn know that he is a valiant man? I was skeptical at first about Boromir going out with Aragorn's scouting party - thus incidentally meeting other Rangers. I had thought Aragorn must have returned early, since it was obviously important that he and Boromir get to know each other. But if Boromir had been out scouting with Aragorn, Aragorn would have some knowledge of Boromir's courage and strength (and vice versa). I actually like the thought of Boromir meeting some of the Dunadain. The scouting expedition might have been a kind of audition, and the final decision about his suitability for the Company would have been made with Aragorn when they returned. Aragorn was going to be part of the Company, after all, and he was going with Boromir to Minas Tirith.

What do people think?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Most of the time, we seem to ignore what was going on in Rivendell during the two months the scouts were out, except that in this episode there was some talk of Boromir hanging out rather than going back to Minas Tirith right away. But Corey also said that Legolas and Gimli were strangers to Frodo, as one example of what I mean. Legolas and Gimli have just spent two months in Rivendell with the hobbits. Especially given the relationship between Gloin and Bilbo, Gimli at least have gotten to know all the hobbits. Legolas also is likely to have known Bilbo, and Bilbo will want news from him too. So Frodo and the other hobbits would have had the chance to get to know both of them over two months. Also, Elrond must have had time to talk with everyone. The same goes for Gandalf, whom I think Elrond also consulted quite a bit. His choices were not random. Maybe it was getting to know them that led him to conclude that all the free peoples should be represented.

There is also the question of when the members of the Company were actually selected. I don't think these were last minute choices, except for Merry and Pippin. Elrond no doubt talked to both Gloin and Gimli about his idea that Gimli should go, and also to Legolas. I think. Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and Aragorn were pretty much a given. I think Gimli and Legolas were also chosen weeks before Elrond's announcement of the members.

Then there's Boromir. We might start with another question - how does Aragorn know that he is a valiant man? I was skeptical at first about Boromir going out with Aragorn's scouting party - thus incidentally meeting other Rangers. I had thought Aragorn must have returned early, since it was obviously important that he and Boromir get to know each other. But if Boromir had been out scouting with Aragorn, Aragorn would have some knowledge of Boromir's courage and strength (and vice versa). I actually like the thought of Boromir meeting some of the Dunadain. The scouting expedition might have been a kind of audition, and the final decision about his suitability for the Company would have been made with Aragorn when they returned. Aragorn was going to be part of the Company, after all, and he was going with Boromir to Minas Tirith.

What do people think?
convincing
 

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
I would add that if Boromir was convinced of Aragorn’s right to claim the kingship, he might see himself honour-bound to go with Aragorn unless ordered otherwise. Looking from Aragorn’s perspective this could also be an audition for Boromir for the role of counsellor should Aragorn restore the kingship. Aragorn would have to have good reasons not to appoint the current and future stewards to his privy council if he wished to avoid the mistrust of the people of Gondor.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Most of the time, we seem to ignore what was going on in Rivendell during the two months the scouts were out, except that in this episode there was some talk of Boromir hanging out rather than going back to Minas Tirith right away. But Corey also said that Legolas and Gimli were strangers to Frodo, as one example of what I mean. Legolas and Gimli have just spent two months in Rivendell with the hobbits. Especially given the relationship between Gloin and Bilbo, Gimli at least have gotten to know all the hobbits. Legolas also is likely to have known Bilbo, and Bilbo will want news from him too. So Frodo and the other hobbits would have had the chance to get to know both of them over two months. Also, Elrond must have had time to talk with everyone. The same goes for Gandalf, whom I think Elrond also consulted quite a bit. His choices were not random. Maybe it was getting to know them that led him to conclude that all the free peoples should be represented.

There is also the question of when the members of the Company were actually selected. I don't think these were last minute choices, except for Merry and Pippin. Elrond no doubt talked to both Gloin and Gimli about his idea that Gimli should go, and also to Legolas. I think. Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and Aragorn were pretty much a given. I think Gimli and Legolas were also chosen weeks before Elrond's announcement of the members.

Then there's Boromir. We might start with another question - how does Aragorn know that he is a valiant man? I was skeptical at first about Boromir going out with Aragorn's scouting party - thus incidentally meeting other Rangers. I had thought Aragorn must have returned early, since it was obviously important that he and Boromir get to know each other. But if Boromir had been out scouting with Aragorn, Aragorn would have some knowledge of Boromir's courage and strength (and vice versa). I actually like the thought of Boromir meeting some of the Dunadain. The scouting expedition might have been a kind of audition, and the final decision about his suitability for the Company would have been made with Aragorn when they returned. Aragorn was going to be part of the Company, after all, and he was going with Boromir to Minas Tirith.

What do people think?
Hi Rachel,

I think the whole two month scouting delay in Rivendell is curious. (I suspect that one cause of it is JRRT's desire to have the Company leave Rivendell on Christmas Day.)

However, I wonder whether the Hobbits got to know Gimli and Legolas during this delay? It is quite possible that they (as well as Boromir) went out with the scouts.

My supposition would be that Elrond asked them early (right after the Council) whether they would be prepared to go with the Company. Then they both joined scouting (or messaging) expeditions. Legolas might have gone back to Mirkwood to speak with his father personally? Gimli might have joined the scouts going up to the Ettenmoors? (Gloin might have headed back to Erebor?).

There is no real evidence in the text as to what Legolas, Gimli and Boromir did during the two months stay in Rivendell. But, there is some abscence of evidence. First, there is no mention of interaction between the Hobbits and any of these three during the stay in Rivendell. Had they been there, I imagine they would all have wanted to learn more of the Hobbits, and spend time with them. The lack of mention of any such contacts or conversations leads me to speculate that they were not there. Second, during the early part of the hike south, from the text, I don't get the impression that the Hobbits know much about Legolas, Gimli, or Boromir. They seem to be getting to know them as they travel. Again, this makes me think that they were not present in Rivendell while the Hobbits spent two months there.

Certainly, we, the readers, don't learn anything about Gimli, Legolas, or Boromir during the two months spent in Rivendell. If the Hobbit authors of the Red Book had gotten to know them during this time, one would have thought that they would have recounted it?

So, based on abscence of evidence (rather than evidence), I surmise that none of the three were much in Rivendell during the two months the Hobbits spent there?
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
That doesn't work, Flammifer. First, Elrond could not have asked Merry and Pippin right away if they wanted to be part of the Company - if he had, why would he have been against their going on the page we just spent two weeks looking at? Why would Gandalf have had to intervene on their behalf? Secondly, the hobbits have just spent a month on a long and dangerous journey - why would they go out right away? The one thing we do learn is that they were able, by being there, to heal and to experience the peace so necessary for what was to come, healing so the future lost its power over the present. There is no distinction made in that passage between those who know they are going on and those who don't. This seems to show that all of them remained together. Frodo's need to stay is clear - he is still recovering from his wound - and Sam would stay with him. We learn that the hobbits heard many songs and tales including the rest of the story of Beren and Luthien.

We don't get anything at all about what anybody was doing in Rivendell during those two months. We learn where the scouts went, and the last of them returned in about two months, but nothing at all about what was passing in Rivendell at the time. That clearly doesn't mean that nothing happened. As for Gimli and Gloin, something was said in one of these classes about how in those times people did not make long trips and stay just a few days - travel was harder and more uncertain, and took a lot of time and effort. Corey said at the time that Gloin would have been more likely to spend at least a month, and possibly the whole winter, and that would not have been unusual. I was using that in my speculation.

The Company is getting to know each other on the journey, but we don't get much detail even of that - all we learn of those first weeks traveling to the mountains is that it was cold and dull, with each day much like the last. So if they were just getting acquainted, we don't see it there any more than we see it happening in Rivendell. Later, we won't see any details of what was happening in Minas Tirith after Aragorn's coronation. And we will see in the Unfinished Tales that quite a bit happened - that much was talked about among the Company including all those questions for Gandalf about how much he had known of what was to come when he first decided Bilbo should go with Thorin and that other Company. For me that is evidence that people keep talking to each other even when it's not in the books.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Rachel,

I am confused about what in my post you think 'doesn't work'?

If you think that JRRT making the delay in Rivendell two months so that they leave on Christmas Day doesn't work, I refer you to JRRT himself.

In ‘Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings’ (often called ‘Nomenclatura’), JRRT wrote:

“The Fellowship, however, left on Dec. 25, which had then no significance, sine the Yule, or its equivalent, was then the last day of the year and the first of the next year…. Though Dec.25 (setting out) and March 25 (accomplishment of the quest) were intentionally chosen by me.

I never suggested that Elrond asked Merry and Pippin to be part of the Company right after the Council. He obviously did not. I suggested that Elrond might have asked Legolas and Gimli if they would be part of the Company immediately after the Council, and that they might have volunteered and then been sent off scouting.

We do not get nothing at all about what anybody was doing in Rivendell for two months. We get a clear description of what those two months felt like to the Hobbits. "Soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song. So the days slipped away, as each morning dawned bright and fair, and each evening followed cool and clear." Conspicuously absent is any report of conversations with other prospective members of the Company.

You are correct that we don't get much detail on the members of the Company in the first few weeks of travel. It is not until Hollin, the Redhorn Pass, and Moria, that they begin to become characters. (They have had almost no presence heretofore). I view this as suggestive that the Hobbits had not really gotten to know them until then and probably did not get to know them in Rivendell.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Sometime between the Council and Caradhras the members of the Company must have begun to get to know each other, and that's pretty much all we know. I don't think we're going to agree on this. As for Legolas and Gimli, some of those scouting trips would have taken them most or all of the way home - I doubt they would have come back.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Sometime between the Council and Caradhras the members of the Company must have begun to get to know each other, and that's pretty much all we know. I don't think we're going to agree on this. As for Legolas and Gimli, some of those scouting trips would have taken them most or all of the way home - I doubt they would have come back.
Legolas for sure had an incentive to return. He had to make up for the failure (in which he seems to have been personally involved) of the Mirkwood elves to keep Gollum captive - in place of all his people. So he was honour-duty-bound to return, even if he has been to Mirkwood in the meantime.
 
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