Today in Tolkien - October 24th
Frodo wakes up in Rivendell, feels all better, and goes to a party!
Seriously, it’s amazing how fast Frodo’s recovery is. Within a day from when he was hovering on the edge of wraith-dom, he’s basically fully recovered. And everyone around him agrees that he’s fully recovered; there’s no thought of him needing a few days to recuperate, no, the celebration’s on the same day he wakes up, and the Council’s first thing the next morning!
He wakes up at 10 in the morning, has a nice long talk with Gandalf (much of which was covered in the previous days’ recaps), and then sleeps until the evening; when he wakes up in the evening his arm feels pretty much normal. He finds ‘clean garments of green cloth that fitted him excellently’ laid out for him, which is really rather sweet; given that Bilbo and Frodo probably aren’t the same size, Bilbo is the only hobbit who lives at Rivendell, and others rarely come, either the Elves keep a range of hobbit-sized clothes available just in case, or they were tailored while he was sleeping.
At the feast Frodo has a long and enjoyable conversation with Glóin, who tells him of events at the Lonely Mountain and Dale and Wilderland. One interesting thing that Glóin mentions is that knowledge in Middle-earth is not in decline in all respects, despite that being a recurring theme in Tolkien: metalwork, the making of swords and armour (activities for war), has declined since Thrain’s time, but mining and building - roads, passageways in the mountain, terraces, carvings (activities of peace) - have surpassed the earlier days. We can take that as an indicator for what the early centuries of the Fourth Age may have been like: the time of the passing of the Elves, yes, but a golden age for men and dwarves.
After the feast there is singing in the Hall of Fire, and Frodo is delighted to see Bilbo again. Bilbo tells that he did visit Dale and Erebor again when he left Hobbiton after the Long-expected Party, before coming to live in Rivendell permanently. Though Bilbo claims his songs ‘aren’t really good enough fir Rivendell’ and the elves just sing them sometimes to please him, when he sings the Lay of Eärendil it blends, for Frodo, into the other elven-music, so I think he’s understating his abilities. For a long time I tended to skim that poem (I think partly because it was so long and partly because the vocabulary was a bit beyond me - I had to look up what kind of stone was chalcedony, and I still can’t seem to remember what a habergeon is, beyond ‘presumably some type of armour’), but @everywindintheriver brought it alive for me, and now it’s among my favourites. Referring to Taniquetil as the timeless halls is theologically incorrect and probably raises a couple eyebrows among Valinorean Eldar, but other than that it really is good.
Frodo and Bilbo leave a littlr after Bilbo’s song to chat for a while by themselves, and then Sam comes to fetch Frodo and make sure he gets some sleep; Sam has kept himself informed and already knows about the Council the next morning.
In the night, Boromir arrives at Rivendell. His arrival just in time for it is like another instance - like Frodo happening to meet to Gildor, and Aragorn, and later Faramir, and Merry and Pippin running into Treebeard - of what we might call serendipity, but is more accurately Providence.
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