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Last episode we had a very deep look at Glorfindel, the Elven Rider, who met Frodo and his companions on the road of the woods of the Trollshaws, relatively close to the petrified Trolls The story of this legendary Elf Lord we only find in the books and it mainly took place during the First Age, so 6500 years in the past and earlier But let us return to the Third Age, even though we will return to the First Age again in later episodes For those, who are new: in this series I will go through the film bit by bit and explain in detail all references and also differences to the books I can find, including what is missing and the lore behind everything Before we start (as always), I try to pronounce names Tolkien described it, shout outs to Kimberly80, Laura Tolton and BeneF for allowing me to use their amazing art works and ofc spoiler warning As mentioned at the end of Episode 19 and also last episode, there is a detail (a dialogue about Bilbo to be precise) from the books I forgot to talk about It happens shortly before the Hobbits and Strider hear the hoofs of Glorfindel’s horse Asfaloth So we need to jump back a bit Considering the sad news of the actor Ian Holm’s death just a few weeks ago from the perspective of making this video (he played old Bilbo in the Peter Jackson films and voiced Frodo in the BBC radio adaptation of the Lord of the Rings from 1981), it is actually quite fitting In this dialogue Frodo commented on the treasure found by Bilbo in the Trollshaws, because Merry asked, when they saw a somewhat unusual stone, that it must have marked the place where they hid the treasure in the Hobbit story Frodo answered, quote: “Bilbo gave it all away He told me he did not feel it was really his, as it came from robbers.” I like how this further characterizes Bilbo He is a character that looks deeper at things For some it might be great to find valuable treasures and amass wealth, but Bilbo saw the sorrow of those who got robbed and had pity with them, so he gave it away, maybe to people, who needed it I find that degree of kindness deeply inspiring, esp. in this difficult year that 2020 has become We already talked about some details of Bilbo and his character (also about how well Ian Holm portrayed him in the films) I think one of the most extraordinary scenes is the one, where Bilbo could have stabbed Gollum in the Misty Mountains, while wearing the One Ring Gandalf commented: It was Pity that stayed his hand Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need And he has been well rewarded, Frodo Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so With Pity.’ A powerful response of Gandalf and one of my favourite quotes from the book and we find another hint here in this dialogue in the Trollshaws that this was one of Bilbo’s core characteristics This ofc also portrays Bilbo as an instance for morality or ethics in the book He is maybe quite idealized, but he is also used as a guideline figure for Frodo and his friends His adventure inspired them and since Bilbo was also someone who enjoyed telling stories, they all knew it well They dreamed of going on an adventure themselves, but Bilbo seemed to not only have told them about his adventure with the dwarves, but also taught them some life lessons, that they can use as a guideline and he also taught them by example Esp. for Frodo Bilbo is a very import figure We will find more passages or references to Bilbo like this throughout The Lord of the Rings Let us now jump forward again to when the group meets Glorfindel Last episode we looked at the past of this character, but not what happened after he met Frodo and the others Let us look at the film first though There we ofc see Arwen instead of Glorfindel, her appearance on the horse with the glowing light is very similar to the description of Glorfindel’s first appearance in the book – we talked about that last episode However before that scene she ambushes Aragorn, while he is getting the Kingsfoil We see her Elven blade, which has some runes on it Together they immediately go to Frodo, who is still lying close to the petrified Trolls As explained, with Frodo slowly fading into the Unseen (the Wraithworld), he seems to be slowly able to see the Unseen too (at least this is my interpretation)

The film I think visualizes this idea too We see cuts between Frodo’s face, that is lit by a white light, and Arwen dismounting from her horse and coming closer to Frodo also talking to him, emitting the pale light Her dress is also different in that perspective – actually it’s even slightly different when she dismounts from the horse and when she talks to Frodo When the film cuts back to the other Hobbits and Strider, we see her normal appearance and the light is nowhere to be seen Her clothes are also different again So the idea that the white light only appears to Frodo is reflected by that For Frodo she appears as some kind of angel I think the film also tries to reflect the following sentence from the book: “His speech and clear ringing voice left no doubt in their hearts: the rider was of the Elven-folk No others that dwelt in the wide world had voices so fair to hear.” So it’s the voice that you recognize the rider being an Elf I think that is why she speaks to Frodo in her glowing form In addition Merry asks who she is and Sam answers, that she is an Elf This is ofc needed as little explanation or hint for the viewers, who don’t know Tolkien’s universe, but also could slightly reference that passage in the book Arwen says that Frodo is fading, maybe implying that she can see more, like Glorfindel did Ofc the Arwen from the book and film could not have seen the Two Tree of Valinor and thus probably can’t see the Unseen, but for the film she replaced Glorfindel and I assume they tried to still stay true to the scene in the book The decision makes sense from a film maker’s perspective, because it would have made no sense to introduce a new character here, that basically never appears again outside of the Council of Elrond Tolkien’s universe has tons of characters and introducing new characters in film takes time In Rivendell they would need to introduce Arwen anyway and they could not remove her, because she is needed for Aragorn’s character development We will see many more fusions of characters like this in the films In the book the situation is very different Frodo’s wound already closed and it is the powerful Elf Lord Glorfindel, who rode on his horse Asfaloth, which translates to “sunlit foam” We already talked about this meeting last episode As mentioned there: after his death and re-embodyment, he was empowered and for the Maiar (like Gandalf) he became almost an equal I usually describe the Maiar as “angels of lower rank”, which is in my opinion a fitting description and Peter Jackson and his team portrayed Arwen very angel like in this scene, to potentially reference this Arwen’s great-great grandmother was also a Maia (called Melian) We will talk about that in a later episode though After inspecting Frodo’s wound, Glorfindel urged to hurry Keep in mind that he has seen the Two Trees of Valinor, so he can see the Unseen and he likely saw how bad Frodo’s condition really was and how close he was of becoming a Wraith Making haste is also what Arwen does in the film She puts Frodo on her horse and rides with him in a tense horse chase scene with the Nazgûl to Rivendell Aragorn is against this decision at first and suggests, that he rides to Rivendell alone and brings help with him Arwen and Aragaorn also talk Sindarin You see that they put some effort into the Elvish dialogues here Glorfindel and Aragaorn also briefly talked in Sindarin in the book, as explained last episode There they were however still relatively far away from Rivendell at that point Glorfindel saw the necessity to put Frodo on his horse Asfaloth and commented that it can outrun the black riders’ steeds and won’t won’t let any rider fall that he commanded his horse to bear Frodo initially refused, because he would not let his friends behind and in danger We see how important his friends were to him and maybe this shows a bit of Bilbo in him But Glorfindel explained, that his friends would not be in danger, because the Riders were only after Frodo It is actually him and the One Ring that puts them in danger This is ofc true and a very twisted situation, if you think about it Frodo had no answer to this and mounted Asfaloth Bill the Pony was then laden with the supplies and luggage again, that the others had to carry themselves, after Frodo got wounded It was honourable of Glorfindel to give his horse to Frodo in this situation, even though

you would expect it – I guess He still was a high and noble Elf Lord, but he showed no sign of arrogance and helped Frodo and his Hobbit friends, who he did not know or have ever met before and they were also not Elves, so not even his own kin Makes him really likeable for the reader in my opinion They moved on together It’s described that the hobbits had trouble keeping up with the Elf Lord’s speed on foot though It did not help that they walked all night with no pause and already journeyed for a long time, where they had to carry all the supplied from Bill the Pony, so Frodo could ride At dawn they could finally pause and slept immediately It is here, after Glorfindel wakes them, where the Elf Lord gives the group something to drink out of “his silver-studded flask of leather” I mentioned it last episode and it seems to have a similar effect as the Elvish drink “Miruvor”, that was originally used by the Valar (the high angels) and also known to the Elves However taste and colour seems different It gave them back strength and vigour, same as Miruvor though It’s however not named and missing in the films completely They continued their way and managed to travel 20 miles until the end of day We can read how Glorfindel and Strider talked in the Elvish tongue and how sometimes the Elf Lord halted and listened for a moment, while waiting for the Hobbits to catch up But no sign of the enemy I like how Tolkien creates a lot of tension here The journey just keeps on forever and you know, that the riders will make their move at some point The pain, suffering and exhaustion is highlighted a lot And you feel for the Hobbits At night the Hobbits could go no further and also Frodo’s wound started to hurt again, more intense than before They sleep and continue next morning Their path led through the shadows of tall pine-trees and “then plunged into a deep cutting with steep moist walls of red stone” They could also hear the echoes of their steps in it, it seems Some people dislike it, but I love how detailed Tolkien describes the landscape I can really immerse myself into it After they left that “deep cutting”, they could see the Ford of Rivendell in the river Bruinen (which is translated with Loudwater) But they still heard steps or hoofs echoing from behind Glorfindel cried that the enemy is upon them and that Frodo should ride to the ford immediately 5 Riders appeared from behind them We find some interesting details in the following text passages Frodo felt a weird reluctance to ride until he realized it was the Nazgûl, who secretly commanded him to wait So we see in this, that they already had some power over him, most likely through the wound and (as we discussed in earlier episodes) also by him being under the influence of the One Ring, which wanted to be found With fear and hatred Frodo drew his sword (a barrow blade as we learnt) with a red flash This is an interesting detail, because I would assume the sword only glows red in the Unseen E.g. on Weathertop, when Frodo was using the One Ring and drew his sword against the Ringwraith, its blade is described as glowing red in the Unseen too So in my opinion Frodo seems to able to the percept the Unseen at least in parts here already (without using the Ring) This blade is also a weapon that can actually hurt the Ringwraiths (and it’s ofc very fortunate to have it) Keep in mind, that the power of the Ringwraith lies in terror and fear If you can draw your weapon, you definitely have overcome at least a small part of terror and fear And if you have a weapon in your hand and are at least prepared for combat you overcame a bit more If the weapon itself can actually hurt your enemy and was designed and used against your enemy in the past (at least with some success), it also helps to increase your confidence further I assume this combination of Frodo’s own courage, doing the right thing here and having this powerful weapon, allowed him to free himself from the influence of the Black Riders Glorfindel cried again to “ride on” He also says “noro lim, noro lim, Asfaloth!” in a clear voice It’s Sindarin and means “run swift, run swift, Asfaloth!”, which also Arwen says in the film, when she starts riding with Frodo (only that the name Asfaloth was moved to the middle of the sentence here) In the book we can read that Glorfindel said it in a loud and clear voice We have to keep in mind, that he was very powerful and his word also had some authority

and so Asfaloth started galloping like the wind If his clear voice with Elvish words further disturbed the influence of the Nazgûl over Frodo for a moment is not mentioned, but I see it as at least as a possibility (words and songs can be powerful in Tolkien’s world) We find the hint, that even the noble Elf-horse Asfaloth was influenced by the terror of the Black Riders, even though to a lesser extend compared to other animals Maybe Glorfindel’s voice also had an effect here on his horse When Frodo on Asfaloth got some distance he heard the terrible cry of the Ringwraith, he knew from the Shire already, but this time it was answered by four more riders Two rode towards Frodo, the other two towards the ford to cut off his way and the remaining five chased him, but they could not keep up with the speed of the Elf-horse Frodo’s friends and Glorfindel needed to get out of their way, to not get trampled by the five (this is actually shown in the Bakshi animated film adaption) We can read in the next chapter: “on foot even Glorfindel and Aragorn together could not withstand all the Nine at once.” In Peter Jackons’ film we have now this amazing horse chase scene Some really amazing shots and it was all done by actual riders and some great horses It’s well filmed and I always saw it as another highlight in the film Peter Jackson’s vision was to make it like a car chase scene, just with horses and I think he succeeded Arwen’s actress Liv Tyler had a riding double (Jane Abbott) and Tyler was actually sitting on the back of a truck and pretended to be riding, when we see her in the close ups The actress was later a bit sad, that she had this amazing horse chase scene, but was not actually riding herself, but ofc she was also not able to do it when filming The scene where she appeared in that pale light was actually her though Also Viggo Mortensen bought the horse for riding double Jane Abbott as a gift An interesting detail in the chase sequence is, that Arwen gets a little scratch by a branch that hit her cheek I always liked that detail, because it gives the scene the feeling of it being at high stakes and her making some very risky manoeuvres to keep the Black Riders behind her It’s fascinating how a little detail like this adds so much tension to the following scenes It also makes her somewhat heroic, because she risks her own live and safety to rescue Frodo (just like Glorfindel in the book), pushing her skills as a rider to the limit There are some great shots and sequences in that chase We also see the power of the Nazgûl over Frodo referenced in these scenes At one point a rider stretches his hand out to grab Frodo, who reacts to this in his delirious state, but Arwen brings Asfaloth to move faster Ofc in the book Frodo is the rider and and has to make it to the ford alone At some point the Ringwraiths cast away their black hoods In this form they should be invisible to the eye of most Even though the noon sun reveals them too (as we learnt in an earlier episode), but as mentioned before: I interpret it, that Frodo was able to see the Unseen a bit at this point We again find a description of them, quote: “they were robed in white and grey Swords were naked in their pale hands; helms were on their heads Their cold eyes glittered, and they called to him with fell voices.” So Frodo in addition could hear their fell voices too He saw no hope and also felt his wound again “A breath of deadly cold pierced him like a spear”, but the speed of the white horse was so great, that they passed the last riders and reached the ford before them A ford is a shallow place in a river to cross it We can also read that the bells upon the horse’s harness rang “wild and shrill” Bells in the harness of a horse are not unusual In old believes, they were charms to protect against evil or bring good luck But ofc they also had the practical purpose of letting people know that you are riding on the street In the case of Glorfindel he wanted to be heard and found by Frodo and his friends and did not fear the Nazgûl, while the Black Riders wanted to surprise the group, so they ofc did not have bells I also like the aspect of them protecting against evil Tolkien’s world is a mythological one This brings us to the scene where Asfaloth and Frodo cross the ford and stop on the other side The Nazgûl are slowly following to the edge of the water, but it seems they are hesitant We come to this again in a moment Frodo did not know any reason why they would not be able to pass the water as easy as he

did But he was again under control of the Ringwraiths He felt that escaping further made no sense – in case you wonder why he is not continuing to ride after crossing the ford, while the Black Rider struggle to cross the river It’s actually them who manage to stop Frodo there and Frodo again knew that he was commanded, but he had not the strength to refuse anymore In the book the Witchking and two others entered the water, I would assume Khamûl (who was second in command after the Witchking of Angmar) was one of those two But the Witchking’s horse reared up So the film portrays this potential fear of water correctly In that moment Frodo drew his sword again and urged them to go back to Mordor In my opinion it had to do with the Witchking entering the water Again a little disruption and maybe losing power over Frodo for a moment again But Frodo’s words had no power – he felt The Nazgûl laughed and answered “Come back, to Mordor we will take you!” Quite interesting, that they ask him to come to them and not just get there They also cried “The Ring, the Ring” and now the Witchking and the two others moved slowly forward through the water, like the Ring gave them power to move on again It’s also impressive how Frodo again has the strength to withstand them Frodo does now again, what he did on Weathertop, shortly before he was wounded He lifts his sword and calls for Elbereth and also Lúthien We will talk about Lúthien in a later episode again; we already talked about her in episode 11 The Witchking stood up in his stirrups, raised his hand and Frodo’s sword broke and fell out of his shaking hand Now the three Black Riders almost set foot on the shore, but then the river rose and a flood came with shapes of horses and riders in the flood and washed the three riders away With Frodo’s failing senses and slowly losing his consciousness, he saw beyond the remaining six Black Riders “a shining figure of white light; and behind it ran small shadowy forms waving flames, that flared red in the grey mist that was falling over the world.” The remaining Ringwraiths were now trapped between the water before them and the white light figure and the shadowy forms (which was ofc Glorfindel with Frodo’s friends wielding flaming branches and maybe even their barrow blades) In terror their horses jumped into the flood taking the riders with them And so all nine Ringwraiths got washed away In the film it is Arwen who seems to call for the flood with the Sindarin words: Nîn o Chithaeglir lasto beth daer; Rimmo nîn Bruinen dan in Ulaer! Which means: Waters of the Misty Mountains listen to the great word; flow waters of Loudwater against the Ringwraiths! Bruinen is (as mentioned) the the river Loudwater, which has its source in the Misty Mountains Gandalf later explains “There is great vigour in the waters that come down from the snows of the Misty Mountains.” I also link you some sites in the description, that had the transcript and translation, I red here In the book it is ofc Lord Elrond, who summoned the flood and Gandalf added the horse and rider shapes to it as he later explains There are no particular words of Elrond mentioned, but he ofc has authority and wields the most powerful of the three Elven Rings, Vilya, the Ring of Air I like that they created this little Sindarin text for the film But why did the Nazgûl fear water? The answer is quite complex Sauron’s master Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, once marred Arda (the world itself) with his immense evil power We talked about that in the past Basically the world itself in this state called “Arda marred” is somewhat like the One Ring of Morgoth – Christopher Tolkien called it Morgoth’s Ring Even after banishing the first Dark Lord into the void, his power remains in the world and even his most powerful servant Sauron still uses this evil power to do what he does Quote from the book Morgoth’s Ring: “It was this Morgoth-element in matter, indeed, which was a prerequisite for such ‘magic’ and other evils as Sauron practised with it and upon it.” This marred state is strong in Midde-earth and part of the reason why Elves must leave Middle-earth with their ships at some point to go to the West continent, which is e.g less marred, due to the presence of the Valar, the high angles However Morgoth’s power is not equally strong everywhere E.g. it was stronger in gold and weaker in silver

There is another part of the world, where Morgoth’s power did not really spread The oceans The water of the world Quote: “For example, all gold (in Middle-earth) seems to have had a specially ‘evil’ trend – but not silver Water is represented as being almost entirely free of Morgoth.” And that is why Sauron and his servants (even Morgoth) avoid water In religion, mythology and so on in our world water is also attributed to have the ability to cleanse E.g. think about baptism (which was also done in the River Jordan or holy water and so on) Even in science water is a solvent So in Tolkien’s world water cleanses evil and evil avoids it This is a quite complex topic, but a big part of it is, that Morgoth could not spread his power in it and that is also why there are a lot of very important stories of mariners in Tolkien’s lore, why the powerful Vala Ulmo (King of the Sea) was often present in the rivers of Middle-earth and helped, the sound of water was also the first thing Elves heard when they awoke and so on It has a special meaning in Tolkien’s world! Still the flood did not destroy the Nazgûl, but weakened them, killed their horses and they had to retreat We discuss some parts of this maybe next episode The scene is done in way, that it’s not clear if Frodo survives after he collapses or not Arwen now cries over Frodo and says, that her grace shall pass over to him This does ofc not happen here, but references a scene at the end of Return of the King in the book, quote: “But the Queen Arwen said: ‘A gift I will give you For I am the daughter of Elrond I shall not go with him now when he departs to the Havens; for mine is the choice of Lúthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter But in my stead you shall go, Ring-bearer, when the time comes, and if you then desire it.” So the film references that Frodo gets her place on the ship, because only in the Undying Lands can what he endured be healed or maybe only eased We again also see the mentioned Lúthien referenced Then the screen fades to white we hear the voice of Elrond (saying: “lasto beth nîn, tolo dan nan galad”, which is Sindarin and means “hear my voice, come back to the light”) and we see Elrond the first time in this white screen Frodo then awakes in his bed And with this we reached book two of The Fellowship of the Ring and finally reached Rivendell – just after 21 episodes There’s a ton of explanations and references coming in the next chapters, esp. in the Council of Elrond, but these are topics for the next few episodes Thank you for watching! I feel like I forgot something, so we maybe have to come back to a few details next episode too This episode was quite packed and I hope you enjoyed it If so, feel free to press the like button, leave a comment, recommend me further and maybe check some of my other videos, playlists are in the description In case you want to subscribe, consider pressing the annoying bell Not sure what the next video will be Maybe something gaming related But don’t worry, there will be more Tolkien related videos coming too I took a bit of a vacation, which is the reason why my upload frequency is not where it was, but I want to slowly increase it again In case you are into games, I also stream on Twitch at times Right now we play through the first Nioh Beyond that you can check my Discord server or follow me on Twitter – if you want Again thank you for watching, stay safe and healthy and good bye

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