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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Watching FOTR and musings/questions

Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Jan 6, 3:05am

Post #1 of 5 (2758 views)
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Watching FOTR and musings/questions Can't Post

To start (as I'm watching it as we speak), why didn't the Fellowship take any horses to ride? If it were concern about tracks, then Bill couldn't have been utilized.

It just seemed odd to me that they'd walk instead of ride, which would no doubt be much faster.

(Possibly more to come as I continue watching)...

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Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Jan 6, 3:05am)


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 6, 3:25am

Post #2 of 5 (2751 views)
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`But in any case we cannot take the poor beast into the Mines,' said Gandalf. `The road under the mountains is a dark road, and there are places narrow and steep which he cannot tread, even if we can.'
`Poor old Bill! ' said Frodo. `I had not thought of that. And poor Sam! I wonder what he will say? '
`I am sorry,' said Gandalf. `Poor Bill has been a useful companion and it goes to my heart to turn him adrift now. I would have travelled lighter and brought no animal, least of all this one that Sam is fond of, if I had had my way. I feared all along that we should be obliged to take this road.'

-A Journey in the Dark

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 6, 4:06am

Post #3 of 5 (2742 views)
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There is that... [In reply to] Can't Post

...however there was no intention to include the Mines of Moria in the Fellowship's original route. It does seem reasonable to wonder why they didn't begin the journey from Rivendell with mounts. Perhaps they knew that the beasts might have to be abandoned once they reached the passes over the Misty Mountains (it was winter after all)? There was the Gap of Rohan, but that would have brought the company too near to Isengard.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 6, 4:20am)


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 6, 5:23am

Post #4 of 5 (2737 views)
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Also [In reply to] Can't Post

 At the Ford of Bruinen they left the Road and turning southwards went on by narrow paths among the folded lands. Their purpose was to hold this course west of the Mountains for many miles and days. The country was much rougher and more barren than in the green vale of the Great River in Wilderland on the other side of the range, and their going would be slow; but they hoped in this way to escape the notice of unfriendly eyes.
-The Ring Goes South

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jan 6, 5:34am)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jan 6, 12:00pm

Post #5 of 5 (2727 views)
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Good question. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's exactly as it is in the book (just Bill), although in the book the hobbits ride ponies when they leave the Shire (but lose them before they get to Bree).

As the Fellowship discuss their coming journey in the book, nobody seems to mention whether or not they should ride from Rivendell, it just seems to be assumed they will travel light with just a pack-pony, just as Aragorn and the hobbits were doing when they arrived in Rivendell.

There are a couple of mentions of the need for secrecy and travelling light, but the clearest thinking seems to be this:
“Elrond counselled them to journey under cover of night as often as they could, until they were far from Rivendell.

‘You should fear the many eyes of the servants of Sauron,’ he said. ‘I do not doubt that news of the discomfiture of the Riders has already reached him, and he will be filled with wrath. Soon now his spies on foot and wing will be abroad in the northern lands. Even of the sky above you must beware as you go on your way.” [The Ring Goes South]
So I'm guessing the reason for no horses is to do with this - horses would be easier to spot, and riding would (I'm guessing) be hard to do safely at night on the rough paths they will be taking. Since Bill isn't a full-size horse, just a hobbit-sized pony, he's probably less visible and, being low to the ground, perhaps easier to lead over the difficult terrain. Darkstone's quote in his "Also" post makes the same points about the rough country and the need to pass unnoticed. The option of riding is just never mentioned, so I'm guessing that Tolkien, who thanks to his WWI experience knew about horses and what they can and can't do, maybe just took it for granted that he didn't have to explain!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings


 
 

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