Just now entering the Old Forest, our hobbits search for a path which seems to have moved. The trees are clearly playing tricks on them, but soon they find their way to the Bonfire Glade. There, they find a path, which holds more or less true for them as they continue up a slope.
Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 6 (p110-112, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
At this point, it might seem that the tales of the Old Forest have frightened Frodo, Sam and Pippin. It would be understandable that hearing the stories from Merry put them on edge, so that the path seemed to move and even trees had will.
“Oi! Oi!” he [Pippin] cried. “I am not going to do anything. Just let me pass through, will you!”
The trees had not touched them, but seemed to crowd them in the absence of a path. This all changed when they reached the Bonfire Glade. As the name implies, this clearing has everything to do with the great burning that took place after the trees crowded the Hedge protecting Buckleberry from the Old Forest.
As explained yesterday,the hobbits of Buckland chopped down the trees and burned them, which in turn caused the trees of the Old Forest to act out in spite toward any two-legged thing who entered. This Glade is where the trees were burned.
Everything in the Bonfire Glade was green, where as the Forest was dark. For a reason not explicitly given, the Old Forest kept this space clear. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a pleasant place, covered in rough grass and tall weeds. “A dreary place: but it seemed a charming and cheerful garden after the close Forest.”
It gave the hobbits the hope needed to continue. Frodo had been considering turning back, and chastised Merry, who was leading them. But in the Glade they found the path. Frodo turned to song to cheer them on.
Unfortunately, the song ended with “For east or west all woods must fail…” This, the Forest did not like, and Merry chastised Frodo, though continued on in a cheerful mood.
Merry is a rock through this passage. He’s not outwardly shaken even an ounce. While Frodo nearly had the party turn around, Merry seemed as if it was just a casual stroll through the woods.
This being such a short passage, there’s not much more I can say about it. But here we are, four more miles closer to Rivendell.
“The air seemed heavy and the making of words wearisome.”
Thoughts on the Exercising
There’s this wonderful vegan donut shop in Seattle called Mighty-O. We’re there maybe once a week – seriously amazing. We were there today, as well. This is easily one of the top five reasons why I’m doing this project. Sure, I could lose some weight, I certainly want to get in better shape, and of course there’s the Tolkien angle, but being able to work off a couple of donuts is just so satisfying. And so today’s workout was dedicated to Mighty O Donuts! Huzzah for them!
- Miles today: 5
- Miles thus far: 82
- 53 miles to Bree
- 132 miles to Weathertop
- 376 miles to Rivendell
- 1,697 miles to Mt. Doom
Today’s stopping place: Moving up a rise in the Old Forest(Map)