Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Where did Elladan and Elrohir go just before the Ring set out from Rivendell?

redkite
Registered User

Sep 27 2009, 2:13pm

Post #1 of 6 (220 views)
Shortcut
Where did Elladan and Elrohir go just before the Ring set out from Rivendell? Can't Post

 
Hi
I hope I'm not breaking any rules by jumping in with this in the middle of a discussion of another book, but it's something that's been puzzling me for over 35 years and having just been ill and rereading TLotR for the umpteenth time it started puzzling me all over again. I've done a lot of internet searches but the only answer is always - wrongly - that they went to visit Lorien. Originally Gandalf states that Aragorn has set out with the sons of Elrond, but it's then stated that Aragorn and the Rangers had searched the lands far down the Greyflood as far as Tharbad, and that 'the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Ellrohir, were the last to return, they had made a great journey, passing down the Slverlode into a strange country, but of their errand they'd speak to none save Elrond'.
Everything I've come across on the net says it's obvious that their journey was to Lorien, but aside from the fact they returned last and it was definitely implied they went a straight route, not to search widely as the other scouts did, Lorien is hardly further than some of the other routes taken which involved much wider sweeping of the land, theirs is referred to as a 'great journey'.

Then when the company reach Lorien and climb up onto the flet for the night they are greeted by an elf who says he has heard rumours of their coming 'for the messengers of Elrond passed by Lorien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair'.

The messengers seem almost certain to be Elladan and Elrohir, they were obviously known and allowed access, which given Arwen's long sojourns there would make sense, plus it would account for them arriving back last if Lorien was only on the way home, rather than the destination, but where did they go and why? There's no hint it was Minas Tirith, or for that matter Minas Morgul. Does anyone have any answer to this?


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2009, 11:48pm

Post #2 of 6 (134 views)
Shortcut
I don't think there is an answer to this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't believe Tolkien made anything explicit about their journey, so any answers are pure speculation. It does leave this part of the story open for fan fiction!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


SilentLion
Rivendell

Sep 29 2009, 10:00pm

Post #3 of 6 (98 views)
Shortcut
Really interesting question that I haven't heard before [In reply to] Can't Post

From a plot standpoint, I think Tolkien needed messengers from Elrond to visit Lothlorien, without destroying the wonder of discovering Lothlorien. It's possible that 'strange country' was originally just intended to be a vague description of Lorien that kept the reader in the dark.

However, when the party got to Lorien, Tolkien probably reached the same conclusion that you did - that a trip from Rivendell to Lorien is the Elven equivalent of going next door to borrow a cup of sugar. It hardly qualifies as a 'great journey' worthy of the sons of Elrond, so he needed to add that they came back through Lorien and up the the Dimril Stair, implying that they journeyed much further.

Now to be fair, the trip from Rivendell to Lorien did involved crossing the Misty Mountains, so it might be on a similar time scale to the Rangers fanning out along the way to Tharbad. Just a few months later, the same journey became an epic adventure for the Fellowship, but Elladan and Elrohir didn't have the misfortune of a winter crossing and also didn't have all the forces of evil hunting them.

The text says that they passed through Lorien on the way back, so clearly they went somewhere further. Since there's no firm answer, I'll speculate that they were looking for a possible eastern alternate route for the Ring. What's my supporting evidence? Well first, the Wise seemed to have had at least some alternate routes in mind. Even Frodo, Sam and Gollum figured out that walking in the Black Gate wasn't such a great option, and when Gandalf reaches Minas Tirith and hears Frodo picked the Minas Morgul/Cirith Ungol option, he openly wishes that Frodo had picked another path. Looking at the map of Mordor, there just aren't a lot of other options. There doesn't appear to be another pass on the western side between the Black Gate and Minas Morgul, and Sauron built the Dark Tower along the Northern Mountains so even if there were any good passes in those mountains, it doesn't seem like a very safe route. However, there is a route to Mount Doom that doesn't pass through any major fortifications or require scaling any mountains. This circuitous 'eastern route' would involve going east across the Brown Lands toward Rhun, south to Khand, back west to Nurnen, and then north through a pass to Mt. Doom.

Now heading off in that direction would certainly make for a 'great journey'. Furthermore, Tolkien elsewhere describes these eastern lands as "strange". So exploring an eastern route would match some of the language used to describe Elladan and Elrohir's journey.

How far did they get? Certainly not all the way, but maybe far enough to have some perilous adventures and judge the prospects of success by that route. A pair of Elves traveling without mortal companions and not being the subject of an organized pursuit might have covered at lot of ground before heading back through Lorien.

Would the eastern route have been a good choice for the Ringbearers? Probably not. Since nobody suggested that route to Frodo as a possibility, that's a good indication that if Elladan and Elrohir did explore that route, they decided it wasn't suitable. It might not involve going through major enemy strongholds, but it would certainly have required stealth the whole way and put Frodo out of the reach of any of the kind of help he received from Faramir or from Aragorn's diversionary millitary tactics. Most crucially, even if Frodo had been successful by an eastern route, it probably would have taken so long that Orcs would have been feasting in Minas Tirith by the time the Dark Tower finally fell.

So I'm going to offer the UUT that Elladan and Elrohir were scoping out a possible eastern route for the ring, on their long strange trip.


(This post was edited by SilentLion on Sep 29 2009, 10:06pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 29 2009, 10:34pm

Post #4 of 6 (66 views)
Shortcut
It's good to see you here again! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Silmarillion in the Reading Room, Aug. 9 - Mar 7. Please join the conversation!

This week: "Of the Sindar".
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


sador
Half-elven

Sep 30 2009, 9:10am

Post #5 of 6 (73 views)
Shortcut
I second NEB [In reply to] Can't Post

As to your suggestion...


In Reply To

It's possible that 'strange country' was originally just intended to be a vague description of Lorien that kept the reader in the dark.

That was how I always understood this; but wasn't it mentioned that they looked for Radagast?


In Reply To

Elladan and Elrohir didn't have the misfortune of a winter crossing and also didn't have all the forces of evil hunting them.

But they were apparantly looking for Gollum; and it seems that some of the Nine were permanently staying in Dol Guldur.


In Reply To
However, there is a route to Mount Doom that doesn't pass through any major fortifications or require scaling any mountains. This circuitous 'eastern route' would involve going east across the Brown Lands toward Rhun, south to Khand, back west to Nurnen, and then north through a pass to Mt. Doom.


I have discussed this option here (question no. 6). But I mentioned the length and lack of water, and pointed out that even the Last Alliance, coming from the north, didn't chose that way. And there are internal mountain ranges in Mordor, which would require crossing.
But it might well be that Elladan and Elrohir checked out just this.


In Reply To

Furthermore, Tolkien elsewhere describes these eastern lands as "strange".

I suppose you refer to Aragorn's words in the Council about the far lands of Rhun and Harad, where even the stars are strange. But I can't see Elrond's sons going that far.


In Reply To

So I'm going to offer the UUT that Elladan and Elrohir were scoping out a possible eastern route for the ring, on their long strange trip.

An interesting alternative would be scouting the way of Erech, crossing the White Mountains on the way back and approaching Lorien from the Field of Celebrant (note how they are familiar with that land, even recognising the spring of Morthond). But the visit to Rhosgobel proves your UUT is better.

One really wierd question, is why they did not gather any information about Balin's colony in Moria, seeing that they were on its doorstep - this was after the Council, and they knew of his attempt! Even checking the lie of the land around the West-gate might have been a good idea, seeing that this might be needed in case the Redhorn Pass fails.
Any ideas about this?


But once again, it's lovely to see you here! I hope you came back to stay.

"There are fell beasts in the lands east of the mountains" - the Dwarves.


SilentLion
Rivendell

Oct 1 2009, 8:47pm

Post #6 of 6 (168 views)
Shortcut
Thanks for the kind words [In reply to] Can't Post

I do visit frequently to read but my work schedule has been limiting how much time I have to think and post.

Actually, you listed a bunch of fairly logical things that the sons of Elrond could have been doing off east of Lorien: searching for Gollum, searching for Radagast, evaluating how much of a threat Dol Guldor represented to passage of the Ringbearer. All of those could be consistent with scoping out the feasibility of an eastern route, depending on how fast they moved.

Was there really no water in the East or are the maps just lacking enough detail to show streams? Perhaps the elves of Rivendell and Lorien should have gone into business selling bottled water.


(This post was edited by SilentLion on Oct 1 2009, 8:48pm)

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.