|Chapter of The Return of the King
|Frodo returns to Rivendell.
|15 July-22 September 3019
|< The Steward and the King
|Homeward Bound >
Many Partings is the sixth chapter of the second book in The Return of the King.
Summary[edit | edit source]
After many days, when the festivities were over, the Company set out for Rivendell. Aragorn told Frodo that he knew the Hobbit wished for nothing more than to return home. Frodo answered that he wished first to stop off at Rivendell to visit Bilbo Baggins one last time, as the older Hobbit would likely die soon. Arwen gave Frodo a white jewel and told him that he might have the privilege of sailing to the Blessed Realm in her place.
When the hobbits left Minas Tirith, they were accompanied by many members of the Gondorian court. They stopped at Rohan and bade farewell to Éomer, honouring the memory of Théoden. At this feast, Faramir and Éowyn became betrothed. After a brief stay in Rohan, they set off again.
Arriving in Isengard, they met Treebeard, the Ent leader who orchestrated the march on Saruman in The Two Towers. The Ents had promised to guard Saruman’s old stronghold of Orthanc, ensuring that the corrupt wizard would never escape. Treebeard told them of the flight of many Orcs and the doom the Orcs met in the forest. He related that he reported news regularly to Saruman, who would come to the window of Orthanc to listen. But then the wizard withered away. Treebeard, to Gandalf’s dismay, had released Saruman, for he did not wish to keep such a miserable creature caged. Gandalf warned Treebeard that Saruman still had the power of his voice—a power he had used to his advantage in the past.
Proceeding onward, the group came upon an old, ragged man leaning on a staff. They recognize him as Saruman. Another beggar in his company was Wormtongue, his former servant. The deposed Saruman was bitter but powerless. Galadriel and Gandalf offered Saruman mercy and reprieve. Their kindness irritated Saruman, who claimed that with his demise, theirs would soon follow. After a few more days of slow and pleasant travel, Galadriel and Celeborn turned eastward and returned home.
The remaining travellers reached Rivendell and the House of Elrond, and they found Bilbo. The old hobbit sat quietly in a small room, surrounded by bits of paper and pencils. The next day, all of Rivendell celebrated Bilbo’s 129th birthday. After a fortnight, Frodo realized that he must return to the Shire. Bilbo chose to remain in Rivendell, for he was far too old for any more travel. Bilbo gave Frodo three books of collected lore entitled Translations from the Elvish, asking Frodo to finish editing them. Before Frodo left, Elrond took the hobbit quietly aside, assuring him that in time he himself would visit the Shire, and he would bring Bilbo with him.