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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Is it possible that Tom, Bert, and William were the trolls that slew Arador?


Jul 5 2012, 12:55pm

Post #1 of 8 (570 views)
Is it possible that Tom, Bert, and William were the trolls that slew Arador? Can't Post

I have only rather vague memories of the appendices but I seem to remember aragorn's grandfather (and father?) being killed by trolls (though I'm not sure if they were stone trolls or hill trolls) in 2930 just 11 years before the events of the hobbit-in a location north of rivendell near where bilbo and co encounter them. Trolls are presumeably long lived and Bert and co have lots of treasure and weapons stored in their cave (including a sword of Gondolin- if they robbed elves or found their old dwellings an attack on rangers dosen't seem to unlikely), and if they found a ready food source of humans I don't think they would have strayed too far.

crazy coincedence?, unrelated? or possible?


(On a side note as PJ and co are drawing from the appencices for the Hobbit a very small part of me wouldn't be surprised to, and wants to see Aragorn's father being slain by William and Co-it would be a cool way to link the films and give more weight to the trolls-we know that Dunedain could be featuring in the film, or at least be mentioned, and there is that rumour of A young Aragorn being in the films)


‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’


Jul 5 2012, 1:13pm

Post #2 of 8 (246 views)
We can't know for sure [In reply to] Can't Post

We can't say with any certainty that the Hill-trolls that slayed Arador where Tom, Bert and Bill.

You are right in saying that Arador was killed by hill-trolls in the Coldfells (north of Rivendell):


And it happened that when Arathorn and Gilraen had been married only one year, Arador was taken by hill-trolls in the Coldfells north of Rivendell and was slain; and Arathorn became Chieftain of the Dúnedain.

In The Hobbit, Bill says they came down from the mountains. To reach Trollshaws, they probably passed Rivendell (?). It also sounds like it was a while since they had left the mountains.


William choked. "Shut yer mouth!" he said as soon as he could. "Yer can't expect folk to stop here for ever just to be et by you and Bert. You've et a village and a half between yer, since we come down from the mountains.

Aragorn, from the chapter "Flight to the Ford", was also well aware of the danger of trolls.


Strider walked forward unconcernedly. 'Get up, old stone!' he said, and broke his stick upon the stooping troll.
Nothing happened. There was a gasp of astonishment from the hobbits, and then even Frodo laughed. 'Well!' he said. 'We are forgetting our family history! These must be the very three that were caught by Gandalf, quarrelling over the right way to cook thirteen dwarves and one hobbit.'

Who knows what Tolkien had in mind. Did he deliberately have Aragorn break a stick on the very same trolls that killed his grandfather? Or are they completely unrelated? The entire area, from the Coldfells north of Rivendell to Trollshaws, was probably infested with trolls. They may, or may not, have been the ones that killed Arador. Maybe Frodo's comment has 2 meanings:


'We are forgetting our family history!'

The family history of Bilbo and Aragorn!

One flaw is when Gandalf, Bilbo and the Dwarves search the trolls hoard. You would expect to find some of the Dúnedain belongings (unless they never took any?) Gandalf was probably well aware of the fate of Arador - did he know that it was these trolls in The Hobbit and so kept them arguing because of the real danger? They seem like clumsy trolls - could they really kill anyone?

This is a great discussion! I'm sure looking forward to other people's thoughts!


Jul 5 2012, 1:49pm

Post #3 of 8 (250 views)
This makes me think no [In reply to] Can't Post

You both make excellent points about the possibility here. I think, however, from this passage in "Roast Mutton" of The Hobbit, that the trolls had come down very recently from the mountains, recently enough to be news to Gandalf and to be a specific warning about these three trolls, not trolls in general. Even stretching the idea of "recently" into a few years and assuming that Gandalf didn't show up in Rivendell annually, it still doesn't seem like they'd be the same ones.

As I was saying I met two of Elrond's people. They were hurrying along for fear of the trolls. It was they who told me that three of them had come down from the mountains and settled in the woods not far from the road: they had frightened everyone away from the district, and they waylaid strangers.


Jul 5 2012, 1:59pm

Post #4 of 8 (245 views)
A point I had missed [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks CuriousG, I had missed that quote.

I too think it's a long stretch to say that the hill-trolls that killed Arador were Tom, Bert and Bill. Not everything that Tolkien wrote is connected in some way or another. Certainly is an interesting concept though.


Jul 5 2012, 2:38pm

Post #5 of 8 (242 views)
Kin, at least? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom, Bert and William might have at least been kin to the Trolls who slew Arador. I have a feeling that it normally would have taken more than three Hill-trolls to kill a Dunadan chieftain.

"Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn


Jul 5 2012, 3:16pm

Post #6 of 8 (223 views)
More than likely "related" / [In reply to] Can't Post



Jul 5 2012, 9:26pm

Post #7 of 8 (201 views)
I think theres a very good chance they are the ones who slew Arador [In reply to] Can't Post

As a Ranger, it was his job to protect the borders. Killing so many people he may have sought them out or tracked them and was waylaid by them.

The Trolls themselves attest to how prolific they were in eating/killin people ie "a village and a half". They appear at ease/relaxed, inept even, because they are at their camp and when the Dwarves stumble upon them, they are half drunk.

BUT, Frodo's our families history comment pertained only to his lineage and not Striders, because he didn't know Striders true heritage as of that point.

Take this Brother May it Serve you Well
Vote for Pedro!


Jul 5 2012, 9:40pm

Post #8 of 8 (296 views)
If there was more "obvious evidence" I'd have to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

But there isn't.

It's not too disimilar to the Entwives living in the Shire debate.


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