The Pursuit is Now Swift Behind Us – Only Remembering Tolkien’s First Rivendell

Still weary, the hobbits, along with Strider and Glorfindel, set off early in the morning.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p212, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
“There were many miles yet to go between them and the Ford, and they hobbled forward at the best pace they could manage.”

At this point, the “many miles,” was really only ten. But they had covered around 54 miles over the past two days. They were exhausted, but had to keep going.

“‘Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river,’ said Glorfindel; ‘for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger may be waiting by the Ford.”

Glorfindel’s heart was not wrong. He knew that five Nazgul, including both the Witch-king and Khamul, his second, were closing in on them from the west. He also knew that the other four Riders were out there somewhere. Though he couldn’t be certain, he figured that the Enemy would bar their way across the River Bruinen, blocking their only route to the safe haven of Rivendell.

If the Nazgul could block their passage to the front as well as fall up them from the rear, Frodo and the Ring were as good as lost.

But if the way was not blocked, and they kept a pace, there was still a chance. Once in Rivendell, the Nazgul would not enter, even if all nine of their number were together. Their power was in darkness and loneliness – two things which Rivendell was not.

When Lord of the Rings was first published, the only other account of Rivendell the readers had was from The Hobbit. There, it was merely “A Short Rest.” It was the “Last Homely House.” The place sounded to Bilbo as “nice and comforting.” It was nestled in a “secret valley,” and as the party from The Hobbit wound their way down, the air grew warmer and the trees changed to beeches and oaks.

Bilbo and company were welcomed to Rivendell by the Elves singing the ridiculous “O! What are you doing, and where are you going?” song. It was “pretty fair nonsense,” but “they were elves of course.” And that meant good people. Sure, they were kind of dicks (“Don’t dip your beard in the foam, father!”), but that’s just how Elves are. Take the good with the bad, okay?

The account from The Hobbit wasn’t just all the readers knew, it was also all Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry knew, as they had heard Bilbo’s tales for decades now. To them, Rivendell would be just like that.


“His [Elrond’s] house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.”

Of course, there was a bit more urgency now, what with the Nazgul chasing them and Frodo about to die. But in Bilbo’s story, “their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers and their hopes.” If only they could cross the Ford.

A Few Notes

  • In this reading, I’ve been trying to figure out just who believed that they would be stopping their journey at Rivendell (at this point in the story, I mean). Frodo mentioned once that he might have to go to Mordor and Sam (I think it was Sam) vowed to stay by his side. But did Merry and Pippin have any idea that they would be going beyond Rivendell? Did Frodo even know for sure?
  • Later this week, our proto-Fellowship will enter and leave Rivendell. Since this project only deals with the journey mile-by-mile, there’s technically no “time” for stopping. There are 60+ pages of the book that take place in Rivendell, not moving. There’s also about a paragraph that follows Rivendell where the Fellowship covers two weeks of travel. Because of this montage, I’ll be able to dip back into Rivendell and really take a look at the Many Meetings and Council of Elrond chapters.
Camera: Imperial Savoy Film: Kodak Portra 400NC (expired 01/2003)

Camera: Imperial Savoy
Film: Kodak Portra 400NC (expired 01/2003)

About the Photo
This photo represents a Rivendell of the mind. It’s just a short resting place, the last homely cocktail lounge west of the mountains. You digging me?


  • Day 90
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 445
  • 14 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,334 miles to Mt. Doom
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He Almost Welcomed the Coming of Night

Our heroes can go no farther on this day, and stop to sleep on a slope that runs down to the River Bruinen.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p212, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
After nearly a week of heavy-lifting, I think it’s time for a bit of a rest for me, too. But check out the last two sentences before the break:

“Frodo’s pain had redoubled, and during the day things about him faded to shadows of ghostly grey. He almost welcomed the coming of night, for then the world seemed less pale and empty.”

As will be explained later, Frodo was on his way to becoming a wraith. Hobbits, says Gandalf, “face very reluctantly,” even more slowly than “strong warriors of the Big People.” But still, this change was happening quickly.

The last time he felt this bad was the night before, just as they met Glorfindel. But it wasn’t nearly this bad: “Ever since the sun began to sink in the mist before his [Frodo’s] eyes had darkened, and he felt that a shadow was coming between him and the faces of his friends.”

It had been only about twenty-four hours and Frodo had gone from being uneasy with the night to welcoming it. The dark mist and shadow had came between him and his friend making the night a very lonely time. But on this night, the world seemed less empty than before. This wasn’t good at all.

Even with this, which Glorfindel must have been able to guess, they had to stop. The night before, Glorfindel performed some sort of healing on Frodo, which enabled him to see “his friends’ faces more clearly again,” but on this night, there seems as if there was nothing that could be done.

Let me just say that I absolutely love how Tolkien is relating everything back to Frodo being able or unable to see his friends. There was something so much larger at stake here aside from recognizing Sam, Pippin and Merry, but in a more obvious sense, there was nothing more important. Without them, especially Sam, he couldn’t go any farther.

This is not the last time we’ll see this idea. Hell, there’s only two and a half pages to go in this chapter and it’ll come up again.

Speaking of space, at this point, they are about ten miles from the Ford of Bruinen, which is itself eight miles from Rivendell.

A Few Notes

  • In the original printing of Lord of the Rings the road and topography were described in different terms. It was first published in 1954 as: “the Road turned right and ran steeply down towards the bottom of the valley, making once more for the river.” In the second edition, published in 1965, it read: “the Road bent right and ran down towards the bottom of the valley, now making straight for the Bruinen.”
  • We’re getting so ridiculously close to the end of Book One! So I’ve got a question – which editions of LotR do you use? I’ve got the big, one volume, 50th anniversary edition and would have no other! But how about you? Do you use a first edition? A paperback? Ebook? Details, friends!
Camera: Polaroid Minute Maker || Film: Fuji FP-100C (negative scan)

Camera: Polaroid Minute Maker || Film: Fuji FP-100C (negative scan)

About the Photo
A bit of a mishap occurred when pulling the exposed photo out of the camera. There’s a ghostly gray, no? There’s a haze between it and the camera. Also, it’s apparently an emo site. Who knew?


  • Day 89
  • Miles today: 4
  • Miles thus far: 440
  • 19 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,339 miles to Mt. Doom

Let the Houseless be Re-housed! (Part II) – Tolkien Deals with Glorfindel’s Reincarnation

In yesterday’s post, I covered how and why Tolkien introduced Elvish reincarnation into Middle-earth. Today, we’ll see how it pertains to Glorfindel.

As far as Glorfindel was concerned, his case would be handled by Manwë as he was remade rather than reborn. But this wouldn’t be addressed by Tolkien until late 1973/early 1973. This was one of the last things he wrote about before his death. Finally, he was ready to make the decision about whether the two Glorfindels were actually one. And of course, he couldn’t just write one thing about, but two.

In the first essay, it’s surmised that “an Elf who had once known Middle-earth and had fought in the long wars against Melkor would be an eminently suitable companion for Gandalf.” He then supposed that Glorfindel came to Middle-earth with Gandalf around year 1000 of the Third Age. This would, he went on, explain “how the Witch-king flies from him” during the Battle of Fornost (and thus at the Last Bridge).

Taking into account the “Converse of Manwë and Eru,” Tolkien supposed that after a bit of atonement, Glorfindel remained in the Blessed Realm, living among the Elves who had never rebelled. Through the Second Age and 1,000 years of the Third Age, it was “probable that he had in Valinor [the Blessed Realm] already become a friend and follower of Olorin [Gandalf prior to coming into Middle-earth].”

But in the second essay, he placed Glorfindel’s coming to Middle-earth in the Second Age, and possibly aboard a Numenorean ship. Tolkien deals with more of the material issues of the problem, such as linguistics and the possible fact that the use of Glorfindel’s named was “one of the cases of the somewhat random use of names found in the older legends, now referred to as The Silmarillion, which escaped reconsideration in the final published form of The Lord of the Rings. This is unfortunate, since the name is now difficult to fit into Sindarin, and cannot possibly be Quenyarin.”

Overlooking the idea that the name might have been used accidentally (or at least went accidentally unchanged), Tolkien writes not as a narrator of a story, but as himself trying to figure it all out.

First, he abandons “what at first sight may seem the simplest solution,” that it was just a accidental duplication of names. “This repetition of so striking a name, though possible, would not be credible.” Fair enough, though even at this late stage, nobody had any idea that Glorfindel existed outside of the Lord of the Rings. Tolkien could have made it a duplication and who might have been the wiser?

Dipping back into the narrative, Tolkien continued:

“Their death – by any injury to their bodies so severe that it could not be healed – and the disembodiment of their spirits was an ‘unnatural’ and grievous matter. It was therefore the duty of the Valar, by command of the One [Illuvatar], to restore them to incarnate life, if they desired it. But this ‘restoration’ could be delayed by Manew, if the fëa [soul] while alive had done evil deeds and refused to repent them, or still harbourred any malice against any other person among the living.”

Because Glorfindel had rebelled against the Valar, he was technically banned from the Blessed Realm (like Galadriel). Tolkien didn’t ignore this while writing Lord of the Rings as the formal Ban of the Valar did not exist until after the book was written. When Tolkien created the ban, he also created another obstacle over which he had to stumble to make both Glorfindels the same person.

But he reasoned that since Manwë enacted the ban, he could also make exceptions. Glorfindel would be one. Besides, Glorfindel wasn’t that bad of a guy the first time around. And didn’t he sacrifice his life saving the fugitives of Gondolin from the Balrog?

And so, after his death, Glorfindel went to Manwë in the Halls of Mandos and was purged of any wrong-doing from the rebellion. Now pure again, he was allowed to live in the Blessed Realm. There, he was “almost an equal” to the Maiar. Though he was incarnate, his self-sacrifice had “greatly enhanced” his spiritual power. There, as was stated in the other essay, Glorfindel befriended the Maia named Olorin (Gandalf).

Tolkien went on to say that actually, he didn’t think that Gandalf and Glorfindel came to Middle-earth together. Also, it had to be before the end of the Second Age, since after the Drowning of Numenor, the Blessed Realm was “removed from the circles of the World.” But he also conceded that Eru and Manwë could have made an exception. Either way, he figured it was around the years 1200 of the Second Age, over 3,200 years earlier than he pegged it in his first essay.

And so up to the time of his death, Tolkien was still working out the details of characters he created well over five decades before. If he had lived another fifty years, it’s hardly likely he would have come any closer to finishing them. That is, unless the Silmarillion was finally published.

In a 1938 letter to his publisher, written just as he was starting to write the first draft of what would become the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien says: “My mind on the ‘story’ side is really preoccupied with the ‘pure’ fairy stories or mythologies of the Silmarillion, into which even Mr. Baggins got dragged against my will, and I do not think I shall be able to move much outside it – unless it is finished (and perhaps published) – which has a releasing effect.”

If it had been published, the entire legendarium might have been something else entirely. But though it might have been different, it’s hard to believe that it would have been better.

A Few Notes

  • I wish I could just reprint the segments about Glorfindel. But if you want to read them, they’re contained in the last book of the History of Middle-Earth Series, called The Peoples of Middle-Earth. You need this.
  • Originally, I was going to have this be one long, 2,000 word post. But no thanks. Personally, when reading blog posts that go longer than 1,000 words, I start to mentally wander off (unless there’s a narrative of some kind).
Camera: Ansco Color Clipper Film: Kodak Portra 400NC (expired 01/2003)

Camera: Ansco Color Clipper
Film: Kodak Portra 400NC (expired 01/2003)

About the Photo
I’m not really sure. Any suggestions?


  • Day 88
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 436
  • 23 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,343 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Still cruising the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

Let the Houseless be Re-housed! (Part I) – Tolkien Deals with Glorfindel’s Reincarnation

Since Strider and the hobbits are in a bit of a rushy montage, let’s see what Tolkien had to say about whether the Glorfindel of the Silmarillion was the same Glorfindel from the Lord of the Rings.

As I’ve covered before, Glorfindel the Elf-lord played a prominent roll in the Fall of Gondolin story, which was written a few decades prior to Lord of the Rings. In it, Glorfindel dies. Yet, without explanation, here he is again in our narrative. But is this the same guy?

Something that’s incredibly important to keep in mind is the fact that though Tolkien wrote much of the Silmarillion martial early on, it was never finished. His son, Christopher, published it several years after his death. This means that when Fellowship of the Ring was first published in 1954, it was also the first time the character of Glorfindel was published.

It should also be remembered that Tolkien swapped names like bubble gum cards. So isn’t it possible that these are two different guys with the same name? Is it beyond the realm of reason that Tolkien simply plucked a name and a few attributes from his early drafts? Wouldn’t that be easier to believe than having to create a whole new mythology that somehow included reincarnation? Absolutely yes. It would have been so much more simple. But also keep in mind that Tolkien rarely took the easy way out.

Our first clue in this matter actually comes from a note that Tolkien jotted down in the margins of the first draft of his Council of Elrond Chapter. He was then considering sending Glorfindel with the Fellowship, and wrote: “Glorfindel tells of his ancestry in Gondolin.” This should seal it, though it really somehow doesn’t.

While it appears to have been clear to him from the start that both Glorfindels were actually the same fellow, what is less clear is how he planned on making that work. This margin note was written in 1938, before Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog and subsequent reincarnation. So was Tolkien willing to make that jump at so early a stage?

He was, it seems, but wasn’t (at least at first) very comfortable with the idea. In the situation with Gandalf and the Balrog, Tolkien admitted in a 1954 letter that it was “cheating” to have him return from the dead. Nevertheless, it allowed him to think more on the subject of Gandalf reappearance – something he could avoid in the case of Glorfindel.

Tolkien explained that Gandalf actually had a physical body in both incarnations, “capable of pain, and weariness, and of afflicting the spirit with physical fear, and of being ‘killed’, though supported by the angelic spirit they might endure long, and only show slowly the wearing of care and labour.” This is great for Gandalf, but it doesn’t really explain Glorfindel, an Elf.

Fortunately for Tolkien, he didn’t have to explain it. Nobody knew anything about the Silmarillion‘s Glorfindel because the Silmarillion didn’t exist in a published or even final form. Hell, if Tolkien had wanted to, he could have changed the ending of the Fall of Gondolin so that Glorfindel survived the bout with the Balrog. And though it might have been the easiest way, it ultimately was not the path he chose.

After he finished writing Lord of the Rings, Tolkien returned almost immediately to his beloved Silmarillion stories. In 1950, for example, he began rewriting the Lay of Lathien. A year later, he wrote portions of the Tale of Tuor and the Ainulindale. He would continue such writings until the time of his death in 1973.

But he didn’t just add to and change the stories. He also wrote essays and fictional conversations in attempts to suss out the details of his legendarium. In 1959, four years after the publication of Return of the King, Tolkien wrote Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, “The Debate of Finrod and Andreth.” As conceived, this was a conversation between Finrod the Elf-king and a mortal woman named Andreth. It’s pretty mind-blowing. In it, they talk about the differences between Elves and Men, especially focusing upon death, immortality, and spiritual matters. (This appears in Morgoth’s Ring.)

In this writing, Glorfindel is not mentioned, but the concept of Elvish reincarnation is. In “Note 3” Tolkien writes: “In Elvish tradition their re-incarnation was a special permission granted by Eru to Manwë….” And then, in “The Converse of Manwë and Eru,” which was a somewhat separate writing that appears to have been a note about Note 3 (goodness, Tollers!), he goes into still more detail.

Manwë was the King of the Valar and Eru was Illuvatar (“God”). Manwë complained that many of the souls (called fëar [soul, plural]) of the Elves were “houseless,” meaning without bodies (called hröar). “Is there no means by which their lives may be renewed, to follow the courses which Thou hast designed [meaning immortal]?” asked Manwë.

Eru answered: ‘Let the houseless be re-housed!’
Manwë asked: ‘How shall this be done?’
Eru answered: ‘Let the body that was destroyed be re-made. Or let the naked fëa [soul, singular] be re-born as a child.’

Manwë was a bit hesitant to dabble in such things, but Eru assured him it would be fine, but gave a stipulation. The Valar (like Manwë) could remake the body, but it had to be exactly like the old one. However,if the soul wished to be reborn, they would have to see Eru about that personally and he would deal with them on a case-by-case basis.

Tune in tomorrow for Part Two and see how this all pertains to Glorfindel!

A Few Notes

  • Much of Tolkien’s writings about reincarnation within Middle-earth were spurred on by the story of Miriel, which I didn’t really mention since her story was conceived after both versions of Glorfiendel were in existence. Since both Miriel and Glorfindel were Elves, it should all fit.
  • Tolkien took great pains to make sure readers understood that Gandalf’s reincarnation was not at all the same thing as the Christian resurrection. Middle-earth ≠ Bible.
  • With that, I really don’t like to refer to Gandalf as an angel or even say that Illuvatar is God. Tolkien seemed careful enough to avoid such references, and I go even further. But I’m super seriously not going to argue about this.
  • In the 1954 letter where Tolkien calls Gandalf “angelic,” he explains: “that he was an incarnate ‘angel’ – strictly an ἄγγελος: that is, with the other Istari, wizards, ‘those who know,’ an emissary from the Lords of the West, sent to Middle-earth as the great crisis of Sauron loomed on the horizon.” So, you know, an “angel” in that sense. I will also not be arguing about this.
Camera: Polaroid Automatic 100  Film: Fuji FP-100C (reclaimed negative)

Camera: Polaroid Automatic 100
Film: Fuji FP-100C (reclaimed negative)

About the Photo
Why did I pick the “Who stuffed that white owl” photo? I’m pretty sure that’s obvious. The answer is, of course Manwë and Eru. Or just Eru if it’s a baby white owl.


  • Day 87
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 431
  • 28 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,348 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Still cruising the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

The Reincarnation of Glorfindel – Tolkien’s Very Own Lazareth

Following a brief encampment at dawn, our heroes, now accompanied by Glorfindel the Elf-lord, hold a steady pace on the East Road, hoping to outrun the Nazgul.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p212, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
Since we looked at Glorfindel’s happenings in the Silmarillion, let’s look at how and why Tolkien chose to use him in Lord of the Rings, especially seeing as how he was dead.

The first version of the Fall of Gondolin was written in 1916 or 1917. Though this early version was told from the point of view of Littleheart the Gong-warden of Mar Vanwa Tyalieva, the basic story (for our concerns, anyway) was the same. Glorfindel of the golden hair slew Gothmog the Balrog, son of Melko [Morgoth] and in doing so died himself.

We’re not going to get into whether or not Glorfindel from the Silmarillion was the same Glorfindel from Lord of the Rings just yet. First, I’d like to take a look at the first time Tolkien used his name when writing his sequel to The Hobbit.

Unfortunately, in Return of the Shadow, Christopher Tolkien doesn’t give us any more than a summary of this part of the draft. He explains that it was basically the same as the published version, except that Frodo was named Bingo and Strider was Trotter the wooden shoed-hobbit.

“Ai Padathir, Padathir! Mai govannen!” was how Glorfindel greeted Trotter. It means “Hail Trotter, Trotter! Well met!” So Trotter’s other name is Padathir. He also gives them a cram-cake and some water that reminded them of the same water they had at Bombadil’s house.

At this point in the writing, Tolkien wasn’t sure how many Nazgul were where and so Glorfindel was fairly vague on this point. Unlike the published version, Gandalf had made it to Rivendell prior to Glorfindel’s leaving. Also, the elf-stone had not yet come to the story. Neither had the Last Bridge or the River Hoarwell.

We’re given a small glimpse into how the Nazgul are searching: “A day’s swift riding back westward there is a company of evil horsemen, and they are travelling this way with all haste that frequent search of the land upon either side of the Road allows them. […] For when they find your trail, where it rejoined the road, they will search no longer but ride after you like the wind. I do not think they will miss your footsteps where the path runs down from Trolls-wood; for they have a dreadful skill in hunting by scent, and darkness helps and does not hinder them.”

In this version, Glorfindel thought there would be no peril ahead “but the pursuit is hard behind.” He never mentioned that there could be some at the Ford of Bruinin ahead. It’s Merry and not Sam (here named Frodo) who objects to moving the wounded Bingo. The wording of Glorfindel’s reply when he’s handed the Morgul-weapon is identical, except for the names.

This was all from the first draft, written in early 1938. By the end of that year, Tolkien had rewritten the opening chapter for a sixth time and had continued on through to Rivendell for a second. Since the published version so closely resembled the first draft, it makes sense that the second draft is even closer. Still, there are some interesting changes.

When meeting Trotter (who was now a man and not a hobbit), Glorfindel greeted him: “Ai, Du-finnion! Mai govannen!” Like Padathir, Du-finnion also apparently meant “one who trots”. Maybe Padathir was just too obvious.

The story of this draft is weirdly different than either the first or final. Odo the hobbit, a prototype of Pippin, had been traveling with Gandalf. When the Black Riders attacked them (Gandalf and Odo) on Weathertop, Odo went missing. Gandalf left a message to Trotter and Bingo telling them of Odo’s disappearance. After the Riders attacked Trotter and company on Weathertop, they concluded that the enemy must have known where they were from Odo.

Thinking that their friend was missing, Merry asked Glorfindel if Gandalf had arrived in Rivendell and if he had found Odo.


‘Certainly there is a hobbit of that name with him,’ said Glorfindel; ‘but I did not hear that he had been lost. He rode behind Gandalf from the north out of Dimrildale.’

He once more tried to hurry the wounded hobbit along, telling them “Hardly a day’s ride back westward there are horsemen, searching for your trail along the Road and in the lands on their side…” (Notice that Tolkien dropped the word “evil.”) He continues: “But they are not all: there are others, who may be before us now, or upon either hand. Unless we go with all speed and good fortune, we shall find the Ford guarded against us by the enemy.”

In the next phase of writing, circa 1944ish, Tolkien briefly revised to Books I and II (which later made up the volume Fellowship of the Ring). Here, he made some changes, both large and small. Finally, everyone but Trotter received their proper names.

Glorfindel now greets him with: “Ai, dennad Tofir!” I have no real idea what that means, though it’s probably safe to assume that Tofir = Trotter. Since Pippin was never with Gandalf (the wizard was actually traveling with a hobbit named Ham Bolger), Frodo asks whether or not Gandalf had made it to Rivendell. “‘More than five days ago,’ answered Glorfindel. ‘He rode out of the Entish Dales over the Hoarwell springs.'”

Tolkien paused in his writing to reconsider the timeline. With that, he turned mostly to the final draft.

A Few Notes

  • That Tolkien came to believe that Gandalf needed a traveling partner is just really strange to me. First Odo and then Hamfast Bolger went with the wizard.
  • While the River Hoarwell did not exist in the first or second drafts, the River Bruinin did, though it was called the Riven River (named after Rivendell). The Ford was called the Rivendell Ford.
  • Since the Last Bridge did not exist until the third draft, the elf-stone did not come into existence until the third draft from 1944ish.
  • And yes, I realize that Lazareth wasn’t technically reincarnated. But would anyone get it if I said “Tolkien’s very own Elijah”?
Camera: Imperial Savoy Film: FujiChrome 400D (RHP) expired in 08/94

Camera: Imperial Savoy
Film: FujiChrome 400D (RHP) expired in 08/94

About the Photo
This is the second time that I’ve used a photo of a steel through-truss bridge from Missouri to depict the Last Bridge. Hell, both were from 1923. I realize that the Last Bridge was a stone bridge, but finding a stone bridge out in this part of the country is rare. I had no idea that I’d miss stone bridges as much as I do. If you’re ever in northern Maryland, be sure to check them out. Especially over Antietam Creek.


  • Day 86
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 426
  • 33 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,353 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Still cruising the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

Wait… What Do You Mean Glorfindel’s DEAD?!

Since we’re walking with and talking about Glorfindel this week, I thought it might be a good idea to touch upon his previous antics as written about in the Silmarillion. And for that, I turn to SJ from the Snobbery blog. She wrote an informative guide to the Silm (called Don’t Read the Silmarillion). But how I stumbled upon her was the Middle-earth is My BFF series. Anyway, let’s learn a bit about Glorfindel, won’t we?

As a nrrrd grrrl, I didn’t have the greatest social life growing up.  That was okay, though, cos I totally had book boyfriends…what, you guys did that too, right?  

Anyway, we meet Glorfindel for the first time in Fellowship of the Ring (which Eric has kindly been talking about for you all) and even though I’m not typically a fan of blonds, the description of him made me all squirmy (in a good, adolescent sort of way).

Glorfindel was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand was strength.

Um…yes.  I’d like some of that, please (and btw, I totally read that last bit as a euphemism).  Glorfindel was an incidental character to me the first five or six times I read Lord of the Rings, but for whatever reason (hormones), this description of him, paired with his daring rescue of Frodo and all that Ford of Bruinen ish made me all weak-kneed.  I was probably 14 or 15 at the time, and still hadn’t managed to make my way all the way through The Silmarillion, but I knew how to use an index, and frequently used the Silm as a sort of reference guide to Middle-earth.

I looked up Glorfindel, and luckily there were several mentions of his name.

Well, I mean, there was the entry explaining that his name meant “golden haired” but that was almost yawn-worthy (before I realized how rare golden hair actually was in Tolkien’s elves), cos it wasn’t what I was looking for, you know?  No, but I did find some interesting stuff.

The Glorfindel we read about in The Silmarillion was born in Valinor during the Years of the Poo Trees, and made his way to Middle-earth with the rest of the Noldor (but thank goodness, he didn’t take part in the Kinslaying; I don’t think I could have loved him if he had).  He became a captain of Turgon’s armies, and was well-placed as the head of the House of the Golden Flower in Gondolin (I don’t think Eric has talked about the hidden elf city yet, but I’m sure he’ll get there eventually).

Anyway, there were adventures of many sorts, all of the stuff I mostly just skimmed cos it was TOO DENSE AND NOT FUN when I was a kid.  I know, I sucked.  But I’ve made up for it since then, promise.

So, fun times in the hidden city, except when it’s being besieged by Morgoth’s minions and evacuation is necessary.

Being a generally standup sort of dude, Glorfindel stays to help the people attempting to escape, and is part of a group that is set upon by orcs…and a balrog.  A BALROG.

Which doesn’t have wings, damnit.

Many are the songs that have been sung of the duel of Glorfindel with the Balrog upon a pinnacle of rock in that high place [Cirith Thoronath]

Because he’s my boyfriend, so of course his battle has songs sung about it right?  But then I get to the SECOND HALF of the above sentence and see:

and both fell to ruin in the abyss.

Wait, what?

So I read it again.

…and then kept reading, thinking maybe it was all a bad joke of some kind.  You know, like when Fred Savage’s grandpa is reading to him in the movie version of Princess Bride and he’s all “she doesn’t get eaten by the eels at this time”?  I wanted someone to be standing there that I could look up to who would be all “Glorfindel does not fall to his death at this time.”

But there wasn’t.

Because the next thing I read was that Thorondor (king of the great eagles, y’know) “bore his body up out of the abyss” and then buried him there on the side of the pass (and yellow flowers grew over his grave, which was totally appropriate given his house, BUT STILL).

Like, what?  This is all just too much for me to process.  Cos this is GLORFINDEL.  He’s IN Lord of the Rings.  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Was Tolkien punking me?  What in Ilúvatar’s name is GOING ON?

Well, that involves Mandos and the Halls of Awaiting, and I will let Eric talk to you about that tomorrow.

A Few Notes – (By Eric)

  • Yes! Tomorrow we’ll start by looking at how Tolkien decided to (re)use Glorfindel when writing Lord of the Rings. Then the next two days will be devoted to the metaphysics and the great lengths of retconning that it took to make it so.
  • Maybe I’ll get around to that hidden Elf city. Never know. It doesn’t really come up much in LotR. But we’ll see. It’s pretty important.
  • In over a decade of blogging, this is the first time I’ve ever had a guest blogger. Weird. It’s pretty awesome. Thanks!

About the Photo
I thought I wrote something in this. But I guess not. Oh well. SJ picked the photo, ask her!


  • Day 85
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 421
  • 38 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,358 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Quickly walking the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

‘They Withdrew and I Pursued Them’ – Tracing Glorfindel from Rivendell to Frodo

With Tolkien once again in montage-mode, let’s take a gander at the past week and a half in the life of Glorfindel.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p211, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
In yesterday’s post, we met Glorfindel, an Elf-lord sent from Rivendell to find Frodo. He had been on the road for nine days and even confronted the Nazgul. Let’s see how this all relates to the narrative we’ve been following. Remember – in the story, it is now the night of October 18.

September 23 – Frodo left the Shire with Sam and Pippin.

September 24 – Frodo, Sam and Pippin encounter their first Black Rider, but they also meet Gildor and some other Elves who were kind of dicks to them. Gildor advices Frodo to push on steadily for Rivendell, and promises to send messages through the lands so that they might help him in some way.

September 29 – Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry meet Strider in Bree. It’s possible that Gildor’s message might have gotten through to him.

October 3 – Gandalf attacked on Weathertop by the Nazgul. Frodo and Strider see the lights from miles away, but do not know what’s going on, and know nothing of Gandalf’s whereabouts.

October 4 – Gandalf flees Weathertop at sunrise, but is pursued by four Nazgul (neither the Witch-king nor Khamul are among them). Though the Witch-king knows that Gandalf doesn’t have the Ring, he figures that he might know who and where the Ringbearer is.

October 5 – The Witch-king and Khamul, with three other Nazgul, remain near Weathertop and soon sense the Ring coming toward them.

October 6 – Strider and the Hobbits are attacked on Weathertop by five of the Nazgul.

October 7 – After being driven off, the Nazgul patrol the East Road to the Last Bridge, “knowing that it was practically impossible to cross the Greyflood” anywhere else. The remaining four are still to the north searching for Gandalf.

October 8 – Gildor’s messages reach Elrond in Rivendell. “They said that the Nine [Nazgul] were abroad, and that you [Frodo] were astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned.” Also, they did not know that Strider was with Frodo.

October 9 – Though only a few in Rivendell could stand up against the Nazgul, Elrond dispatched those he could to the north, south and west, as he figured that Frodo would have left the road and ended up Illuvatar-knows-where in the Wilderness. Glorfindel was ordered to take the East Road. (This was Strider and the Hobbit’s third day from Weathertop.)

October 11 – After riding 100 miles east, Glorfindel reached the Last Bridge, also known as the Bridge of Mitheithel. There, he found three Nazgul, including Khamul, the Witch-king’s second. Glorfindel “left a token” on the bridge.

According to the rather humble accounting of Glorfindel: “Three of the servants of Sauron were upon the Bridge, but they withdrew and I pursued them westward.” He drove them down the East Road until they left it and dispersed.

Still on the East Road, Glorfindel comes upon the Witch-king himself, “but they turned away southward.” It was daytime, and the Nazgul were mostly powerless, especially against Glorfindel.

We saw something like this when one of the Nazgul fled as Gildor’s party arrived on September 24. But that was only one Rider and a whole flock of Elves. On the bridge, there were three Riders and only one Elf. But it was that Elf who caused them to withdraw from the bridge. And it was that Elf who pursued them in their retreat. Not only that, but when they met up with two others, they also fled!

This was, as we’ll find out, not the first meeting of these two. The Witch-king “flees into the pathless lands.” These were the same lands recently traversed by Strider and the hobbits on the way to the Last Bridge.”

October 13 – Seeing the bridge clear and the mysterious “pale-green jewel” dropped by Glorfindel, Strider identified it as an elf-stone, a beryl. It brought him a bit of hope. They crossed the bridge and turn north off the East Road. More than likely, Glorfindel remains west of the Last Bridge.

October 14 – The five Nazgul, including the Witch-king and Khamul, regroup (remember, the other four had not yet returned from their chase of Gandalf). They sense that the Ring has crossed the Last Bridge and their chance of cutting off the proto-fellowship was wasted. But they lose its trail and waste time hunting around for it.

October 15 – 17 – Not much is recorded for these dates. Our heroes were bopping around the Trollshaws, while Glorfindel was probably on the Road west of them. The Witch-king, Khamul and three other Nazguls were probably even farther west and on the Road. The four remaining Riders who followed Gandalf break off the search and return south toward the Ford of Bruinin.

October 18 – Glorfindel finds Frodo! Gandalf finally arrives in Rivendell. We have arrived at today!

A Few Notes

  • Today is Tolkien Reading Day. For me, that’s pretty much every day. But welcome, won’t you?
  • While much of this information comes from The Lord of the Rings, the nitty grity details are from the Hunt for the Ring manuscript as parcelled out in Hammon & Scull’s Reader’s Companion.
  • It was from this manuscript that Christopher Tolkien picked and chose which morsels to drop into Unfinished Tales, but there was a lot he left out. Much (all?) of it in contained here and there in the RC.
  • I’m a big fan of time lines, as was Tolkien. In his notes, he actually gave identification letters (A, B, C, etc) to the Nazgul and specifically tracked each one as they made their way toward the Shire at the beginning of the story. He didn’t do that for their post-Bree antics.
  • When Glorfindel says that “they withdrew and I pursued them,” I’m taking it as humility, but it could also be just technically true. For my Civil War Blog, I read a lot of “after action reports” written by officers following a battle. In many cases they say much the same thing. Though when you read other accounts (diaries, etc), you find that it was actually much more dramatic.
Camera: Tru-View (vintage Diana clone) || Film: Kodak Ektachrome 200 (EPD) (expired 09/1995 - xpro)

Camera: Tru-View (vintage Diana clone) || Film: Kodak Ektachrome 200 (EPD) (expired 09/1995 – xpro)

About the Photo
I imagine this as the land to the south of the East Road, where Glorfindel chased the Riders. Really, it’s a grassy hill along the Columbia River in central Washington.


  • Day 84
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 416
  • 43 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,363 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Quickly walking the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

Ai Na Vendui Dunadan! Mae Govannen! – Hail and Well Met!

Our proto-fellowship meets Glorfindel, an elf with a possibly interesting past. He cannot promise safe passage to Rivendell, but seems friendly enough.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p209-11, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
We’re now entering into one of the more unassumingly strange parts of the book. This isn’t a Bombadill sort of wackiness or anything, but there’s something more going on here. Over the next week or so, we’ll take a closer look at this Glorfindel fellow across the legendarium. But first, let’s see what he’s up to in the “Flight to the Ford” chapter.

The hobbits hear Glorfindel’s horse, and become understandably worried that it was one of the Black Riders’. But the way Tolkien describes the hoof beats was so dissimilar to those of the Nazgul, that it’s clear from the start that this is something different. There’s nothing at all harsh about it: “They were going fast, with a light clippety-clippety-clip.” There were jingling bells and “trotting feet.” I don’t believe he ever described the Ringwraiths’ horses as trotting (and certainly not as a “clippety-clip”).

As soon as he saw the rider, Strider smiled and ran over to him. They exchanged an Elfish greeting (meaning “Hail at last, Dunadan! Well met!” This was hardly a social call, and the two had a quick and urgent conversation.

We discover that Glorfindel was sent from Rivendell to find Frodo. While Strider says simply that he “dwells in the house of Elrond,” the narrator tells us that he is an Elf-lord, though we have no real idea what that might mean. Clearly, however, he’s an important Elf with a serious mission.

The Elves we’ve met thus far have, for the most part, been either silly (like the “O! tra-la-la-lally” Elves from The Hobbit) or dickish (like the Elf King from The Hobbit or Gildor’s bunch). There’s also Elrond, whom we’ve met in The Hobbit, but he seemed more like a gentleman than anything else. And while he was certainly helpful, it was almost flippantly so.

But here was Glorfindel, already seeming a breed apart. He told a small bit of his back story over the past nine days, and we learn why the Last Bridge was unheld by the Nazgul. He came to the bridge, but “they withdrew and I pursued them.”

Now this is something! Maybe he was just being humble, but was it only because of Glorfindel’s arrival that the Nazgul fled?

Anyway, Glorfindel was fairly certain that the Road Frodo must travel, and specifically the Ford of Bruinin that he must cross to get to Rivendell, would be barred by the Nazgul. To make matters worse, he was just as certain that some of their number were behind them.

While Glorfindel was explaining all of this, dusk was falling. With this dimming, Frodo’s wound worsened and he felt cold. The Nazgul’s power is heighten not only at night, but by fear. And now he was getting a heave dose of both.

Sam demanded that Frodo rest for the night, but that couldn’t happen. And once Strider explained the nature of the wound and showed Glorfindel the hilt of the Morgul-weapon, the Elf said that “there are evil things written on this hilt,” though they could probably not be seen with the eyes of Men. “Keep it, Aragorn, till we reach the house of Elrond! But be wary, and handle it as little as you may!”

Aragorn? Dunadan? We’re getting quite a few names for this Strider character. Didn’t he hint before that he was an heir of Elendil? What did that even mean? Anyway…

For Frodo’s wound, Glorfindel could do only a little. He took a close look at it and pressed upon it with his fingers. Though he gave it a “grave” look, the cold in Frodo’s side and arm lessened and the pain was easier to take. Even the dusk seemed to be less dark. “He saw his friends’ faces more clearly again, and a measure of new hope and strength returned.”

This was great and all, but Glorfindel now insisted that Frodo ride his horse – he’d even adjust the stirrups for him. “He will bear you away with a speed that even the black steeds of the enemy cannot rival!”

“‘No, he will not!’ said Frodo. ‘I shall not ride him, if I am to be carried off to Rivendell or anywhere else, leaving my friends behind in danger.'”

This was certainly sweet and noble of Frodo, but Glorfindel assured him that his friends, Strider and even Glorfindel himself would be perfectly safe once Frodo was away from them. “The pursuit would follow you and leave us in peace, I think.” And though true, we can see that even Glorfindel could be kind of dickish.

Frodo acquiesced, though he stuck with the group. They would walk another fifteen miles before they’d make camp for the night. All told, Strider and the hobbits tramped thirty-four miles that day, their 12th from Weathertop and 25th from Hobbiton.

A Few Notes

  • There is a whole lot of back story to Glorfindel, but when Fellowship of the Ring was first published, this was all readers knew about him. Once Return of the King was released, they knew (if they read “Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion” in Appendix A) that he won the Battle of Fornost in 1975 of the Third Age (it’s now 3018).
  • Oh but there’s even more, and we’ll delve into that soon enough.
  • Tomorrow, however, we’ll catch you up on what Glorfindel’s been doing for the past nine days and how it related to the Strider and the hobbits.
Camera: Imperial Savoy Film: FujiChrome Provia 400D  expired 10/1994 x-pro

Camera: Imperial Savoy
Film: FujiChrome Provia 400D
expired 10/1994
x-pro

About the Photo
Oh I have no real idea why I chose this photo to accompany the introduction of Glorfindel. Maybe he electrified them? He certainly brightened Strider’s eyes.


  • Day 83
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 411
  • 48 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,368 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Ohh, just walking the East Road with Glorfindel. (map)

‘Bilbo Gave it All Away’ – What Happened to All that Troll Gold?

Back on the Road, Strider and the hobbits come across the spot where Bilbo’s gold was hidden. Not long after, there hear hoof beats behind them!

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p208-9, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
In The Hobbit, after Gandalf defeated the Trolls, the party gathered some of the weapons found in the Troll-hole (ugh) and stashed the pots of gold in a hole in the ground not far off the East Road. They put “many spells over them, just in case they ever had a chance to come back and recover them.”

When the proto-fellowship in Lord of the Rings wandered by, “not far down the bank Strider pointed out a stone in the grass. On it roughly cut and now much weathered could still be seen dwarf-runes and secret marks.”

These apparently had something to do with the “many spells.” While the published version of Lord of the Rings is fairly vague about the markings, in his first draft, Tolkien was a bit more specific:

“Not far from the borders of the Road Trotter [proto-Strider] point out a stone in the grass’ on it roughly cut and much weathered could still be seen two runic letters G • B in a circle.” An illustration was even given:

runes

This depiction lasted through three drafts, being nixed right before the final. These were written in Old English, so maybe it’s possible that they were cut because he developed another alphabet or at least decided not to use an existing one. No idea for sure, though.

After looking over the stone, Frodo wished, possibly out loud, “that Bilbo had brought home no treasure more perilous, nor less easy to part with.” Also, Merry asked him how much of Bilbo’s gold was left. “‘None at all,’ he said, ‘Bilbo gave it all away. He told me he did not feel it was really his, as it came from robbers.'”

This sentiment was a later addition. Originally, Frodo admitted “Bilbo and he himself had long ago spent all that gold.” In the next draft, Frodo “wished that Bilbo had brought home no treasure more perilous than stolen money rescued from trolls.” But there’s no mention (at least not in Christopher Tolkien’s paraphrasing) of how the money was spent. Whatever exactly happened in this second draft, seems to have been carried onto the third.

But when it came to the final draft for publication, Tolkien painted Bilbo in a much better light and let Frodo off the hook completely.

In the final part of this scene, the hobbits and Strider are walking down the East Road, looking for a place to camp. It was getting near dark “when they heard a sound that brought sudden fear back into their hearts: the noise of hoofs behind them.” This echoed their first night out of Hobbiton, when they encountered their first Black Rider.

Just as they did then, they scrambled off the road. They took to higher ground, and they could hear “a light clippety-clippety-clip” and soon after the sound of “small bells tinkling.” They did not know what it was, but it certainly didn’t sound like one of the Ringwraiths.

A Few Notes

  • Sort of cliffhangery, no? Sorry about that.
  • At one time, I was actually going to write a whole post about the Nazguls’ horses. But now I can’t remember what I wanted to say. I even wrote it down. But I lost it.
 Camera: Ansco Color Clipper Film: Fujichrome Provia 400 (RHP) (expired 8/94)

Camera: Ansco Color Clipper
Film: Fujichrome Provia 400 (RHP) (expired 8/94)

About the Photo
This is from the “Chinese” cemetery in Havre, Montana. I really wanted to get a good shot of these with the sunrise, but I got this instead. I really like the town of Havre, so I’m sure we’ll be back.


  • Day 82
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 406
  • 53 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,373 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Just off the Road, east of the Trollshaws, but west of the Bruinin. (map)

The Ancient Origins of Tolkien’s Trolls

As our heroes make their way to the East Road after stumbling upon the Stone-trolls, let’s take a look at the first time Tolkien used trolls in his stories.

Thoughts on the Passage – Book I, Chapter 12 (p208, 50th Anniv. Ed.)
The scene from The Hobbit might have been the first time Tolkien ever used trolls in print, but it wasn’t his first foray into this strange species.

This takes us back to the Book of Lost Tales, the earliest writings that would eventually evolve into the Silmarillion. He began writing these tales in 1916, though several poems and ideas came from a few years before. Trolls play absolutely no part at all in the work, and it’s only in a series of, as Christopher Tolkien referred to them, “scribbled plot-outlines, endlessly varying, written on separate slips of paper or in pages of the little notebook ‘C’.”

Trolls play almost not part in this, as well. The story swings all over the place, but mainly concerns itself with Tol Eressea, where the Elves live. They appear in an outline describing, well… let’s just let it speak for itself:

The Battle of Ros: the Island-elves and the Lost Evles against Nautar, Gongs, Orcs, and a few evil Men. Defeat of the Elves. The fading Elves retire to Tol Eressea and hide in the woods.

Men come to Tol Eressea and also Orcs, Dwarves, Gongs, Trolls, etc. After the Battle of Ros the Elves faded with sorrow. They cannot live in the air breathed by a number of Men equal to their own or greater; and ever as Men wax more powerful and numerous so the fairies fade and grow small and tenuous, filmy and transparent, but Men larger and more dense and gross. At last Men, or almost all, can no longer see the fairies.

Okay, so there’s clearly a whole hell of a lot going on here. But quickly, Tolkien disliked the idea of elves/fairies being those small Tinkerbell sort of things, and wanted to explain how they came to be that way. This was the earliest fading of the elves.

Anyway, getting back to trolls… Yeah, this is really all he says about them. They’re mentioned in passing, and from all I can tell, not mentioned again by him until he wrote the Troll chapter in The Hobbit. But our search can’t really end there! Oh no.

During much of the Book of Lost Tales writing, Tolkien was seriously trying to tie in his work to specific places in England and Europe. Tol Eressea, where the Elves lived, was England. Even certain personalities matched up with historical figures.

Historically speaking, Rome invaded the island in 55BC, ruling until 380ishAD. Then, in 449AD, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded. They were led by Germanic brothers Hengest and Horsa. In Tolkien’s early mythology, Hengest and Horsa’s father was Eriol the Mariner. The Battle of Ros was their invasion, and the Trolls (along with the Orcs, Gongs, etc.) came right after.

Tolkien wrote these notes in 1925ish, but that wasn’t the only mention of Trolls. Sometime around then, he wrote a poem called “Pero & Podex,” which wasn’t published until 1936. It would later go on to be included in the Lord of the Rings, though after a few rewrites: “A troll sat alone on his seat of stone….”

And speaking of stone, while Tolkien’s account of Trolls turning to stone seems unique, he wasn’t the first to use it. In the 1200s, it appeared in the Icelandic Poetic Edda, about Germanic and Norse legends. Tolkien would definitely have been familiar with them. And though they weren’t specifically trolls in the old Icelandic stories, it seems as if trolls, dwarves, giants, etc could be swapped almost at random from tale to tale. Many tales used dwarves. Tolkien decided upon trolls.

In Grettis saga, another Icelandic epic from a century later, a She-troll was turned to stone when the sun rose – “and she still stand there on the cliff, turned into stone.”

It was also around this time, in the Summer(ish) of 1926, when Tolkien jotted upon a piece of paper: “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.” It would be another four years until he would set to writing the story in earnest, and then he would return to the Trolls.

When writing the Lord of the Rings, from almost the start, Tolkien had the idea that the hobbits would see the place where Bilbo met the Trolls. In an outline written during the Barrow-wight scene, Tolkien attempted to pace out the rest of the story (with Gandalf being the only one with fire enough to destroy the ring). “Pass rapidly over rest of journey to Rivendell. Any riders on the Road? Make them foolishly turn aside to visit Troll Stones. This delays them.”

The story would expand, taking on new geography and depth, but the Trolls would remain until the end.

A Few Notes

  • This post is not simply to take up space until we get to your boyfriend, Glorfindel.
  • Gongs are “evil beings obscurely related to Orcs. It’s not really known was Nautar were (was?). They had been related to the Dwarves in an earlier manuscript, but in this one, who the hell knows.
  • Part of the reworking of the Eriol story had Eriol renamed Ælfwine, or “Elf-friend.”
  • All glories to John Rateliff, author of The History of the Hobbit. It’s ridiculously wonderful. The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide by Scull & Hammond was also wildly useful (though my used copy sort of smells like barf and/or microwave popcorn).
Camera: Polaroid EE100BSL | Film: Fuji FP-100C

Camera: Polaroid EE100BSL | Film: Fuji FP-100C

About the Photo
Just like yesterday, this is the Fremont Troll in Seattle. You can see that even though he’s under a bridge, sunlight can still get him. I assume this is how he turned to stone.


  • Day 81
  • Miles today: 5
  • Miles thus far: 401
  • 58 miles to Rivendell
  • 1,378 miles to Mt. Doom

Today’s stopping place: Book I, Chapter 12. Back on the East Road, just past the old stone trolls. (map)