“The Company now gathered together as close to the cliff as they could… But eddying blasts swirled round them from every side, and the snow flowed down in ever denser clouds.”
Chapter 3

The Ring Goes South

I like that the party is 9 people, Nine Walkers opposed to the Nine Riders, and that the different races are represented. The format of their “fellowship” seems really important. But I don’t know what to think of Pippin and Merry’s inclusion. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I want Pippin and Merry to come along, but since Elrond was hesitant, it makes me wonder if trouble will come of it. Then again, I suppose if Gandalf is for it, then that’s best.

I also like how Tolkien ties the Lord of the Rings to it’s greater history, by including Gimli and Legolas; Gimli, the son of Gloin, one of the Dwarves from Bilbo’s adventure, and, Legolas, the son of the King of the Mirkwood Elves from the Hobbit. Back when the Elf King held Gloin and the other Dwarves captive, I think he and Gloin would have been surprised to learn that their sons would be going on such an important journey together.

Reflecting on this chapter, I have to say it felt pretty slow. But then, I think it has to do with the peril and adventure of the first “Book.” At the end there, the threat of the Black Riders was constant and danger was always around them. As Frodo’s quest continues in expanded company, the crows were definitely ominous, and Caradhras certainly treacherous, but neither equaled the sinisterness of the Black Riders or impressed the same urgency.

It seemed natural that somehow the fellowship would be forced to take Gandalf’s “dark and secret way” from the time it was mentioned and Aragorn replied, “not until it is plain that there is no other way.” Their defeat by Caradhras simply showed that there was indeed no other way. Even though Caradhras’ came across with it’s own malicous personality, I didn’t fear for any of our protagonists like I did last book.

Something new to me was the lightfooted-ness of Legolas. I guess I should’ve known Elves were capable of walking on soft snow, it just didn’t occur to me. It’s a good thing the Elven race was represented in the company, eh? I wonder what other difficulties will be aided by the fact that all the races were represented as the ring went south.

till next time, keep thinking,

Mark-Edmond Howell

Kanazawa, Japan