Why the symbolism of the nine walkers, representatives of the free peoples

Bruce N H

Active Member
Hi all,

I was just listening to Exploring from a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing the symbolism of the Company of the Ring:

"The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil. ... ‘For the rest, they shall represent the other Free Peoples of the World: Elves, Dwarves, and Men."

The question came up, who was this symbolism for? This was a secret mission, so the symbolism wasn't meant as a message to Sauron, or even for the wider world. I think I have a solution. The symbolism wasn't meant for people of the time, but for future generations. Elrond was looking ahead. In the short term, Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn/Boromir, and the four hobbits could each bear tidings of the quest to their respective peoples after it was all over so all will know. And in later generations, all of us free people can see ourselves represented in the sacrifice that was made, so we will all have a stake in maintaining the peace that is won in the destruction of Sauron.


On a related note, and I don't know if it's been discussed before, but the focus on choosing a symbolic number makes me think of Jesus choosing 12 disciples, echoing the 12 tribes of Israel.

Bruce / Bricktales