Elementary, My Dear Gandalf: 3. Recognized

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3. Recognized

I may be the only one who has noticed Samwise hiding in the bushes --- observing, and watching everything from the shadows, as did I at that innocent party that seems a lifetime ago. No, wait --- Gandalf sees him too, I can tell. He winks at me and says nothing.

Why is Sam here? Surely he cannot imagine that any harm can come to Frodo at this Council. Perhaps he fears that Frodo is not yet fully recovered from his ordeal --- and who can blame him? Frodo survived by mere hours, Elrond tells me, and may never be fully healed. Here in Rivendell he can take his ease, at last able to rest and relinquish his burden. Elrond will nurture him until he is well enough to return to the Shire. Best of all, he is reunited with his beloved and long-absent relative. This little one has done well --- no one can ask more of him.

Wait… somehow an argument has broken out. Frodo seems to be unaware of the raised voices and commotion that now surrounds him; the Ring has him mesmerized, but whatever he sees or hears, it is for him alone.

What is this dissention? Why does Elrond allow it to continue?

“I will take the Ring.”

Silence. No one can believe their ears.

I have felt awe but seldom in my life --- when Bilbo Baggins vanished before my eyes, I felt it --- and now, Frodo Baggins volunteers to bear the One Ring into Mordor.

Gandalf steps forward --- to gently dissuade Frodo from an impossible task? No --- to stand with him. Stars above, this little one will need an army to stand with him. Does he know how far it is to Mordor? Does he realize that the Nazgûl are not dead, but will continue to hunt him? After all he has been through… I shake my head. Who, better than he, knows what he has been through? And yet his resolve appears firm, although he is trembling. I am humbled by such courage. Gandalf’s hand goes to his small shoulder, squeezes gently.

And so, what began as a game between Gandalf and myself --- to identify one hobbit at a party of hundreds --- is a game no longer. He asked me to pick Frodo out of a crowd --- to recognize him. At last, I do. We all do.

So much has befallen this young hobbit I watched having fun at what now may turn out to be the last party he ever attends. Now it is the Enemy that observes him from the Shadows, and the Dark Lord seeks to draw all that is good into the Shadows as well. But we who watch --- Samwise, myself, and others too, I suspect --- we will die before allowing Frodo to be lost. Such courage, such spirit. The Shadow will never take this one while we draw breath.

If a Man pledges his word, and his life, to another, let death alone keep him from his duty. You do not ask it of me, Frodo Baggins, but I pledge you my word. Perhaps the skills I have spent a lifetime learning will aid you in some way. If you will have me, I, too, will stand with you.

And yet I cannot stand. I am drawn forward, and drop to my knees before him.

If by my life or death I can save you, I will.

** END **

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: shirebound

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/27/03

Original Post: 07/18/03

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Playlists Featuring the Story

Favourite Hobbit Stories - 3 stories - Owner: Hobbit Haven
Just trying out this format with some stories I've enjoyed. Patti Baggins
Members of the workshop are encouraged to add links to their favorite stories – if the author is not a member of the workshop, please contact the HAWorkshop Admin to request authors be added to the workshop - or to add one story of their own to this playlist. To add a story to the playlist, join the workshop and from the shop main page, click the ‘Stories’ link next to the playlist name, then click the “Add Story to Playlist” link. Select the story you wish to add from the drop down list. Type the reason you are adding this story to the playlist in the box and click ‘add’. To create a new playlist - shops can have many Playlists - join a shop, or create your own shop, click the “Add Playlist to Shop” link, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Included because: Nice treatment of Strider's attitudes towards hobbits.

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