Tolkien Gateway

Wandering Companies

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[[Bilbo Baggins]], and later [[Frodo Baggins]] were often wandering far from home, in the hills and woods at night, and they were suspected meeting Elves who seldom walked in the Shire.<ref name=shadow/> Indeed some Elves like [[Gildor Inglorion]] had seen them many times while journeying, although the hobbits did not notice them.<ref name=three/> In the years leading to the [[War of the Ring]], some [[Elves of Lindon]] traversed the Shire in [[Spring]] and [[Autumn]],<ref name=three/> while others passed on their way to the [[Grey Havens]], leaving [[Middle-earth]].<ref name=shadow>{{FR|Shadow}}</ref>
 
[[Bilbo Baggins]], and later [[Frodo Baggins]] were often wandering far from home, in the hills and woods at night, and they were suspected meeting Elves who seldom walked in the Shire.<ref name=shadow/> Indeed some Elves like [[Gildor Inglorion]] had seen them many times while journeying, although the hobbits did not notice them.<ref name=three/> In the years leading to the [[War of the Ring]], some [[Elves of Lindon]] traversed the Shire in [[Spring]] and [[Autumn]],<ref name=three/> while others passed on their way to the [[Grey Havens]], leaving [[Middle-earth]].<ref name=shadow>{{FR|Shadow}}</ref>
  
One such Wandering Company, led by [[Gildor|Gildor Inglorion]], having gazed in the ''[[Elostirion-stone|Palantír]]'' of the [[White Towers]], seeking a glimpse of [[Varda|Elbereth]], were returning to [[Rivendell]]. On [[14 September]] {{TA|3018}} their chants drove away a [[Ringwraith]], and soon were encountered by Frodo, [[Samwise Gamgee]] and [[Peregrin Took]].<ref name=three>{{FR|Three}}</ref>
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One such Wandering Company, led by [[Gildor|Gildor Inglorion]], having gazed in the ''[[Elostirion-stone|Palantír]]'' of the [[White Towers]], seeking a glimpse of [[Varda|Elbereth]], were returning to [[Rivendell]]. On [[24 September]] {{TA|3018}} their chants drove away a [[Ringwraith]], and soon were encountered by Frodo, [[Samwise Gamgee]] and [[Peregrin Took]].
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Gildor promised to inform other Wandering Companies of Frodo's journey, so that those who could, should help him.<ref name=three>{{FR|Three}}</ref>
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==Customs==
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During their wandering the Elves were silent and could move unseen, and seldomly took other travelers with them.
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At nights they camped in places around Eriador. One such place was a hill in [[Woody End]], above [[Woodhall]]; a greensward and a natural opening like a "hall" formed by the trees as pillars. They sang watching the stars rising, especially [[Menelvagor]], which was a sign for merriment. Then they lit a wood-fire, and torches with lights of gold and silver set upon the trees, and feasted sitting on the grass or old sawn trunks. They shared cool golden-colored and fragrant draughts; and dishes heaped with food, more than a hobbit's birthday feast (although just a small fare compared to how they treated guests in their halls), and fruits sweeter and richer than those of the Shire gardens.<ref name=three/>
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
[[File:The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Elves leaving Middle-earth.jpg|thumb|Elves leaving Middle-earth in {{fotree}}]]
 
[[File:The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Elves leaving Middle-earth.jpg|thumb|Elves leaving Middle-earth in {{fotree}}]]

Revision as of 14:52, 23 October 2020

"For the Elves of the High Kindred had not yet forsaken Middle-earth, and they dwelt still at that time at the Grey Havens away to the west, and in other places within reach of the Shire."
Prologue, Concerning Hobbits
Stephen Hickman - Wandering Eldar

The Wandering Companies were traveling groups of High Elves in Eriador of the Third Age.

They set out from Rivendell to various destinations, of which only the Tower Hills are known.[1]

The Hobbits had contact with Elves around Eriador, and the Fallohides were friendlier to the Elves than other Hobbits. Along with Dwarves, they were a source of news from the outside world. It is possible that the Shire-hobbits learned the art of building directly from them. However as time passed in the Shire, they had less contact with the Elves, growing some fear about them, and distrust for those that had dealings with them, coupled with their fear for the Sea.[2]

Bilbo Baggins, and later Frodo Baggins were often wandering far from home, in the hills and woods at night, and they were suspected meeting Elves who seldom walked in the Shire.[3] Indeed some Elves like Gildor Inglorion had seen them many times while journeying, although the hobbits did not notice them.[4] In the years leading to the War of the Ring, some Elves of Lindon traversed the Shire in Spring and Autumn,[4] while others passed on their way to the Grey Havens, leaving Middle-earth.[3]

One such Wandering Company, led by Gildor Inglorion, having gazed in the Palantír of the White Towers, seeking a glimpse of Elbereth, were returning to Rivendell. On 24 September T.A. 3018 their chants drove away a Ringwraith, and soon were encountered by Frodo, Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin Took.

Gildor promised to inform other Wandering Companies of Frodo's journey, so that those who could, should help him.[4]

Customs

During their wandering the Elves were silent and could move unseen, and seldomly took other travelers with them.

At nights they camped in places around Eriador. One such place was a hill in Woody End, above Woodhall; a greensward and a natural opening like a "hall" formed by the trees as pillars. They sang watching the stars rising, especially Menelvagor, which was a sign for merriment. Then they lit a wood-fire, and torches with lights of gold and silver set upon the trees, and feasted sitting on the grass or old sawn trunks. They shared cool golden-colored and fragrant draughts; and dishes heaped with food, more than a hobbit's birthday feast (although just a small fare compared to how they treated guests in their halls), and fruits sweeter and richer than those of the Shire gardens.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

A scene that was shot on the third day of principal photography, "The Passing of the Elves", is a reference to this passage in the book although no interaction is made between the hobbits and the Elves. It was eventually cut from the theatrical release to postpone the introduction of Elves to Rivendell.[5] In the scene, Frodo and Sam have a meal when Frodo notices Elves in the distance, which according to Frodo are "Wood-elves" who travel to the Grey Havens and leave Middle-earth.[6] They overhear the Elves singing a sad song, which is in fact a translation into Sindarin of Tolkien's Elven Hymn to Elbereth.[7] Jackson meant for this scene to invoke the sadness of the Elves leaving Middle-earth.[5]

References

  1. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens (adaptors), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), "The Passing of the Elves", Directors' Commentary
  6. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens (adaptors), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), "The Passing of the Elves"
  7. Ryszard Derdzinski (ed.), "The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack Analysis", Gwaith i-Phethdain