The Great River

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Great River refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Great River (disambiguation).
The Great River
Chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring
EventThe Company journeys down the River Anduin.
Date17-25 February 3019
LocationThe River Anduin
Preceded byFarewell to Lórien
Followed byThe Breaking of the Fellowship

The Great River is the ninth and penultimate chapter of the second book in The Fellowship of the Ring.


The journey by boat down the Anduin was uneventful for some days. The Company passed through barren lands laid by Sauron and came across no living things except black swans flying overhead. The company decided for the most part to follow Aragorn along the path to Mordor that he had recommended. Boromir disagreed, wanting to return to his home with the Ring, because of the dream he had had. Aragorn and Legolas went on ahead to find a safe route past the Falls of Rauros. They returned to tell the company that they must leave the river and go by road for a while.


Perhaps Tolkien wrote this narration at the end of 1941, being part of a larger chapter titled "The Scattering of the Company" before dividing it in two. The passage of time spent by the Company in Lothlórien fluctuated in Tolkien's mind (unsure whether the Time proceeded at different pace in the Golden Wood, or had stopped altogether) and considered several time-schemes, reflected to different versions of the conversation among the Fellowship about it.[1]:p. xxiv

It was while writing this portion when Tolkien decided to consult a 1942 calendar to describe the lunar phases accurately.[1]:p. xlvi