Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

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This article is about the chapter from The Two Towers. For the scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, see Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit (scene).
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Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Chapter of The Two Towers
EventFrodo and Samwise meet Faramir and witness a battle.
Date6-7 March 3019
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Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit is the fourth chapter of the second book in The Two Towers.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Sam, Frodo, and Gollum proceeded through the desolate landscape south of Emyn Muil. Gradually, they noticed that the land was becoming greener, more fragrant, and less barren, and they welcomed the change. As always, they travelled by night and rested by day. They did not travel on the open road, but near it. They worried about their dwindling food supply. After several days, they arrived in a country full of woods and streams. Gollum coughed and sputtered in the verdant setting, but the Hobbits rejoiced in the reappearance of greenery and water. They stopped at a stream to drink and bathe. Again, they were troubled by hunger. Sam sent Gollum off to hunt some food for them all, reminding him that Hobbit food was different from the food the creature was accustomed to eating. Sam watched the sleeping Frodo, observing the fine lines visible on Frodo’s face. Sam acknowledged that he felt deep love for Frodo.

Gollum returned with rabbits, which he did not want to cook, preferring to devour them raw. Sam proceeded to make a nice dinner for himself and Frodo, calling upon Gollum again to gather wild herbs for his rabbit stew. Frodo awoke and saw the cooking fire burning. Sam informed Frodo of the nice dinner being prepared, but Frodo warned Sam about the dangers of fire in the open field.

Suddenly Frodo and Sam heard voices nearby, and they saw four tall Men wielding spears. The warriors wondered whether the Hobbits were Elves or perhaps Orcs. One of the Men identified himself as Faramir, Captain of Gondor. The Hobbits identified themselves as Halflings. Faramir said that the hobbits could not be travellers, as uninvited travellers were not allowed in his land. Frodo explained the Hobbits’ separation from Aragorn and Boromir. At the mention of the name of Boromir, Faramir was startled and became stern.

Two men named Mablung and Damrod guarded Frodo and Sam, telling the Hobbits of their enemies, the Southrons, who threatened to attack. Sam wondered where Gollum was. Suddenly, they heard noises of battle and the name of Gondor called out. Damrod announced that the Southrons were attacking and that Faramir’s men were setting out to meet them. The Hobbits climbed into a position where they could see what was going on, and they witnessed their first battle among Men.

Suddenly, Damrod called out for help when a large elephant-like creature called the Mûmak charged out of from the forest and rampaged through both sides. Sam was pleased that he had seen his first Oliphaunt, as the creature was called. Damrod told the Hobbits to sleep, as the Gondor captain would soon return and they would have to flee the enemy. Sam replied that the troops of Gondor would not disturb him when they left. Mablung answered that it was not likely that the captain would allow Sam to stay, but would instead force him to travel with the troops.

Composition[edit | edit source]

The chapter was probably written around April 1944.[1]