A Note from Cirdan’s Apprentice: Dan Hollingshead is a Grey Havens Group artist whose work will be on display at our Real Myth and Mithril Symposium on April 25-26. Prints and cards of his work will be on sale at the symposium. If you are an artist interested in displaying your work, please register here.
I considered giving this post a subtitle of ‘Shelter from the Storm’ since the Elves gave Frodo and his traveling companions much needed protection, simply by allowing the hobbits to travel with them and stay with them at Woody End that night.
This theme carries on through the entire journey of Frodo and company, and to me is an important element in the story. Several times others provided much needed protection without doing much more than any friend (or kind person) would do for another. I think of it as important in Tolkien’s thought, that significant changes can be accomplished in peoples lives, simply by reaching out and helping in whatever way is available at the time, even if it’s only a kind word and company on the road.
Frodo and his companions had started their great journey. They were still in the Shire, in the woods under starlight, when they encountered a company of Elves, Gildor and several companions traveling at night.
Earlier that day the hobbits had seen and avoided Black Riders twice and were frightened by the experience. While they were still approaching, Frodo heard the Elves speak the name of Elbereth and by that knew that they were Noldor, the High Elves who had returned to Middle Earth from Valinor.
Frodo had learned some of the language of the Elves from Bilbo and greeted Gildor ‘Elen sila lumenn omentielvo’ – the high Elven speech meaning ‘A Star shines on the Hour of our Meeting’. Gildor responded, ‘Be careful friends, speak no secrets, for here is a scholar in the Ancient Tongue! Bilbo was a good Master, Hail Elf Friend!’
It is one of my favorite chapters in the entire book! Frodo and his companions were fortunate they met Gildor and his company on the road. Gildor led them to a safe place for that night at Woody End, and Frodo learned much from Gildor who, in addition to giving him what advise he could, sent out word among the Elves for their protection while they were traveling.