Glorfindel finds the Travellers on the Road
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: October 18, 3018
An event in Frodo's Departure from the Shire and in the prelude to the Ambush at the Ford of Bruinen; see either entry for an overview.
They were beginning to look out for a place off the Road, where they could camp for the night, when they heard a sound that brought sudden fear back into their hearts: the noise of hoofs behind them. They looked back, but they could not see far.... As quickly as they could they scrambled... up into the deep heather and bilberry brushwood on the slopes above, until they came to a small patch of thick-growing hazels. As they peered out from among the bushes, they could see the Road, faint and grey in the failing light.... The sound of hoofs drew nearer. They were going fast.... Then faintly..., they seemed to catch a dim ringing, as of small bells tinkling.
'That does not sound like a Black Rider's horse!' said Frodo.... The other hobbits agreed hopefully..., but they all remained full of suspicion. They had been in fear of pursuit for so long that any sound from behind seemed ominous.... But Strider was now... stooped to the ground, with a hand to his ear, and a look of joy on his face.
The light faded.... Clearer and nearer now the bells jingled, and clippety-clip came the quick trotting feet. Suddenly into view below came a white horse, gleaming in the shadows, running swiftly. In the dusk its headstall flickered and flashed, as if it were studded with gems like living stars. The rider's cloak streamed behind him, and his hood was thrown back; his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed. To Frodo it appeared that a white light was shining through the form and raiment of the rider, as if through a thin veil.
Strider sprang from hiding and dashed down towards the Road...; but even before he had moved..., the rider had reined in his horse and halted, looking up towards the thicket where they stood. When he saw Strider, he dismounted and ran to meet him calling out: Ai na vedui Dúnadan! Mae govannen! 1 His speech and clear ringing voice left no doubt in their hearts: the rider was of the Elven-folk.... But there seemed to be a note of haste or fear in his call, and they saw that he was now speaking quickly and urgently to Strider.
Soon Strider beckoned to them, and the hobbits... hurried down to the Road. 'This is Glorfindel, who dwells in the house of Elrond,' said Strider.
'Hail, and well met at last!' said the Elf-lord to Frodo. 'I was sent from Rivendell to look for you. We feared that you were in danger upon the road.'
'Then Gandalf has reached Rivendell?' cried Frodo joyfully.
'No. He had not when I departed; but that was nine days ago,' answered Glorfindel. 'Elrond received news that troubled him. Some of my kindred, journeying in your land beyond the Baranduin, learned that things were amiss, and sent messages as swiftly as they could. They said that the Nine were abroad, and that you were astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned. There are few even in Rivendell that can ride openly against the Nine; but such as there were, Elrond sent out north, west, and south. It was thought that you might turn far aside to avoid pursuit, and become lost in the Wilderness.
'It was my lot to take the Road, and I came to the Bridge of Mitheithel, and left a token there, nigh on seven days ago. Three of the servants of Sauron were upon the Bridge, but they withdrew and I pursued them westward. I came also upon two others, but they turned away southward. Since then I have searched for your trail. Two days ago I found it, and followed it over the Bridge; and today I marked where you descended from the hills again. But come! There is no time for further news. Since you are here we must risk the peril of the Road and go. There are five behind us, and when they find your trail upon the Road they will ride after us like the wind. And they are not all. Where the other four may be, I do not know. I fear that we may find the Ford is already held against us.'
While Glorfindel was speaking... pain assailed [Frodo]....
Briefly Strider told of the attack on their camp under Weathertop, and of the deadly knife.
'Alas!.... I will do what I can — but all the more do I urge you now to go on....'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford
1 Ai na vedui Dúnadan! Mae govannen! — Sindarin 'Hail at last, Dúnadan! Well met!' Glorfindel uses nearly the same greeting for Frodo, but in English (representing the Common Speech): 'Hail and well met at last'.
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford
Elena Tiriel 18Jul06, 21Oct11