201) Many Meetings

Many Meetings

Frodo and Gandalf

Waking in Rivendell, Frodo half feels he might be home and woken from a bad dream.  But the room is not familiar, so he asks where he is.  And is answered by Gandalf, whose fate a first-time reader would have been unsure of.  And whom Frodo is naturally delighted to find at last, safe and well.

Note that we wake with Frodo, having mostly seen things from his viewpoint since Bilbo’s departure.  Much later, when Sam and Frodo are saved from Mount Doom, we wake with Sam.  The viewpoint had been shifting during their journey into Mordor.  It is wholly Sam’s when Frodo fails at the last.

I’d also misremembered details.  There is a chapter called Many Partings that has them leave Minas Tirith, but Sam wakes part-way through an earlier chapter called The Field of Cormallen.  This steps back to just before Sauron’s fall, the previous chapter having ended with Frodo and Sam content to have carried through their Quest and expecting to die.

A further parallel – Sam rescued from Mount Doom thinks at first he has awoken from a dream, before remembering and being told where he is.  It is as if Sam gradually takes over aspects of what Frodo might have been had his journey been less hard and had he not failed at the end.  Had his journey not been made much harder, first by the loss of Gandalf and then Boromir’s betrayal.  And I remember what Ursula Le Guin said about them: they are almost like two aspects of one person.

The first half of the chapter begins what The Council of Elrond completes: explaining all of the happenings of Book One, where we were confined mostly to Frodo’s own view of events.  Note that Tolkien wrote it as six books for one grand work, and it was his publishers who imposed the ‘trilogy’ format.  But while The Council of Elrond sets the frame for the rest of the adventure, this chapter mostly looks back.  It only subtly hints at things that are to come.

It is not a huge chapter, just under 9000 words as against more than 11,000 for The Shadow of the Past and over 16,000 for The Council of Elrond.  (And an average of 7500 words, by one estimate.[A])  But it has a lot of significant detail

Frodo having recovered from the first stage of his ordeal, Gandalf tells him “you are lucky to be here … after all the absurd things you have done since you left home.

Frodo then thinks of the other hobbits.  He is assured they are safe.  But he himself only just survived:

“’What happened at the Ford?’ said Frodo. ‘It all seemed so dim somehow; and it still does.’

“’Yes, it would. You were beginning to fade,’ answered Gandalf. ‘The wound was overcoming you at last. A few more hours and you would have been beyond our aid. But you have some strength in you, my dear hobbit! As you showed in the Barrow. That was touch and go: perhaps the most dangerous moment of all. I wish you could have held out at Weathertop’…

“Though I said ‘absurd’ just now, I did not mean it. I think well of you-and of the others. It is no small feat to have come so far, and through such dangers, still bearing the Ring.’”

He then makes a curious comment:

“’I was delayed,’ said Gandalf, ‘and that nearly proved our ruin. And yet I am not sure; it may have been better so.’”

Why better?  Possibly because the Nine were drawn in and suffered a major setback.  Or perhaps because his task is to teach others to fight evil rather than doing it for them, and risk being corrupted as Saruman has been corrupted.

He also wants Frodo to rest, but Frodo wants to know more.  Gandalf is secretive, not mentioning Saruman, whose treason he will not reveal until the Council of Elrond.  He is seeking a consensus among important people who are often at odds with each other.  Telling Frodo first might have caused offence.

He does say:

“’You will soon hear all you wish to know … We shall have a Council, as soon as you are well enough. At the moment I will only say that I was held captive.’

“’You?’ cried Frodo.

“’Yes, I, Gandalf the Grey,’ said the wizard solemnly. ‘There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming. The Morgul-lord and his Black Riders have come forth. War is preparing!’

“’Then you knew of the Riders already – before I met them?’

“’Yes, I knew of them. Indeed I spoke of them once to you; for the Black Riders are the Ringwraiths, the Nine Servants of the Lord of the Rings. But I did not know that they had arisen again or I should have fled with you at once.”

This is the final version of the story.  In an early draft, he had been held by Giant Treebeard.  In a later note, he decided that ‘Giant Treebeard’ would be a good giant.  I have no idea why, but he must have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which is extremist Puritan against moderate, but with ‘Giant Pope’ and ‘Giant Pagan’ as marginal foes.  Tolkien was of course a Roman Catholic who saw a lot of merits in pagan tradition, insisting that the poem Beowulf had harmonised them.

Stepping back to Gandalf and Frodo, he explains how much Aragorn impressed him:

“I have become very fond of Strider. Well, fond is not the right word. I mean he is dear to me; though he is strange, and grim at times. In fact, he reminds me often of you. I didn’t know that any of the Big People were like that. I thought, well, that they were just big, and rather stupid: kind and stupid like Butterbur; or stupid and wicked like Bill Ferny. But then we don’t know much about Men in the Shire, except perhaps the Breelanders.’”

Gandalf corrects him on this:

`You don’t know much even about them, if you think old Barliman is stupid…  ‘e is wise enough on his own ground. He thinks less than he talks, and slower; yet he can see through a brick wall in time (as they say in Bree). But there are few left in Middle-earth like Aragorn son of Arathorn.

He then explains who Aragorn really is:

“But there are few left in Middle-earth like Aragorn son of Arathorn. The race of the Kings from over the Sea is nearly at an end. It may be that this War of the Ring will be their last adventure.’

“’Do you really mean that Strider is one of the people of the old Kings?’ said Frodo in wonder. ‘I thought they had all vanished long ago. I thought he was only a Ranger.’

“’Only a Ranger!’ cried Gandalf. ‘My dear Frodo, that is just what the Rangers are: the last remnant in the North of the great people, the Men of the West. They have helped me before; and I shall need their help in the days to come.”

He then explains again what a narrow escape Frodo had:

“Elrond is a master of healing, but the weapons of our Enemy are deadly. To tell you the truth, I had very little hope; for I suspected that there was some fragment of the blade still in the closed wound. But it could not be found until last night. Then Elrond removed a splinter. It was deeply buried, and it was working inwards.’

“Frodo shuddered, remembering the cruel knife with notched blade that had vanished in Strider’s hands. ‘Don’t be alarmed!’ said Gandalf. ‘It is gone now. It has been melted. And it seems that Hobbits fade very reluctantly. I have known strong warriors of the Big People who would quickly have been overcome by that splinter, which you bore for seventeen days.’

“’What would they have done to me?’ asked Frodo. ‘What were the Riders trying to do?’

“’They tried to pierce your heart with a Morgul-knife which remains in the wound. If they had succeeded, you would have become like they are, only weaker and under their command. You would have become a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord; and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his Ring, if any greater torment were possible than being robbed of it and seeing it on his hand.’

“’Thank goodness I did not realize the horrible danger!’ said Frodo faintly. ‘I was mortally afraid, of course; but if I had known more, I should not have dared even to move. It is a marvel that I escaped!’

“’Yes, fortune or fate have helped you,’ said Gandalf, ‘not to mention courage. For your heart was not touched, and only your shoulder was pierced; and that was because you resisted to the last. But it was a terribly narrow shave, so to speak. You were in gravest peril while you wore the Ring, for then you were half in the wraith-world yourself, and they might have seized you. You could see them, and they could see you.’”

He also explains that the horses are real, which puzzles Frodo:

“’Then why do these black horses endure such riders? All other animals are terrified when they draw near, even the elf-horse of Glorfindel. The dogs howl and the geese scream at them.’

“’Because these horses are born and bred to the service of the Dark Lord in Mordor. Not all his servants and chattels are wraiths! There are ores and trolls, there are wargs and werewolves; and there have been and still are many Men, warriors and kings, that walk alive under the Sun, and yet are under his sway. And their number is growing daily.’

“’What about Rivendell and the Elves? Is Rivendell safe?’

“’Yes, at present, until all else is conquered. The Elves may fear the Dark Lord, and they may fly before him, but never again will they listen to him or serve him. And here in Rivendell there live still some of [Sauron’s] chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.’

“‘I thought that I saw a white figure that shone and did not grow dim like the others. Was that Glorfindel then?’

“‘Yes, you saw him for a moment as he is upon the other side: one of the mighty of the Firstborn. He is an Elf-lord of a house of princes. Indeed there is a power in Rivendell to withstand the might of Mordor, for a while: and elsewhere other powers still dwell. There is power, too, of another kind in the Shire. But all such places will soon become islands under siege, if things go on as they are going. The Dark Lord is putting forth all his strength.’”

Many years ago – about the time of the radio dramatization – there was a debate in the Tolkien Society about whether this was the same Glorfindel killed in the Fall of Gondolin in The Silmarillion.  It is unlikely there should be a second elf of the same name who was also a Noldor returned from Valinor.

I also made a little limerick about the matter:

Glorfindel, we know him quite well
He copped it when Gondolin fell
But Frodo has told
He was there to behold
Ring-side-seated in fair Rivendell.

The evidence is confusing:

“In The Return of the Shadow, Christopher Tolkien states that some time after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, his father ‘gave a great deal of thought to the matter of Glorfindel’ in the book, and decided that it was a ‘somewhat random use’ of a name from The Silmarillion that would probably have been changed, had it been noticed sooner.”[B]  But against that,  there is also a note made during the writing of Lord of the Rings to have Glorfindel tell of his ancestry in Gondolin.  And near the end of his life, Tolkien was considering an account that would have had Glorfindel had arrived from Valinor along with Gandalf and the other wizards.[C]

Frodo touched by Nazgul magic was able to see Glorfindel as a figure of hope.  He is being enhanced – but also undermined.  This foreshadows his later failure to destroy the ring, though he has been weakened by losses of those close to him, including Gandalf’s death in the fight with the Balrog.  Gandalf back then takes a more hopeful view:

“Gandalf moved his chair to the bedside, and took a good look at Frodo. The colour had come back to his face, and his eyes were clear, and fully awake and aware. He was smiling, and there seemed to be little wrong with him. But to the wizard’s eye there was a faint change just a hint as it were of transparency, about him, and especially about the left hand that lay outside upon the coverlet.

“’Still that must be expected,’ said Gandalf to himself. ‘He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can.’”

Whether he becomes that, despite his failure at Mount Doom, we are not told.  It may have been Boromir’s failure that caused the worse outcome for Frodo.  Including Boromir’s first insistence of going instead of Faramir, to whom the dream to seek Imladris was sent first.  If indeed it was sent to him at all: it would make more sense if Boromir’s pride caused him to copy his younger brother’s dream.

Gandalf explains what happened at the ford:

“The Riders made straight for you, as soon as you fled. They did not need the guidance of their horses any longer: you had become visible to them, being already on the threshold of their world. And also the Ring drew them. Your friends sprang aside, off the road, or they would have been ridden down. They knew that nothing could save you, if the white horse could not. The Riders were too swift to overtake, and too many to oppose. On foot even Glorfindel and Aragorn together could not with stand all the Nine at once.

“’When the Ring wraiths swept by, your friends ran up behind. Close to the Ford there is a small hollow beside the road masked by a few stunted trees. There they hastily kindled fire; for Glorfindel knew that a flood would come down, if the Riders tried to cross, and then he would have to deal with any that were left on his side of the river. The moment the flood appeared, he rushed out, followed by Aragorn and the others with flaming brands. Caught between fire and water, and seeing an Elf-lord revealed in his wrath, they were dismayed, and their horses were stricken with madness. Three were carried away by the first assault of the flood; the others were now hurled into the water by their horses and overwhelmed.’

“’And is that the end of the Black Riders?’ asked Frodo.

“’No,’ said Gandalf. ‘Their horses must have perished, and without them they are crippled. But the Ringwraiths themselves cannot be so easily destroyed. However, there is nothing more to fear from them at present…

“’Who made the flood?’ asked Frodo.

“’Elrond commanded it,’ answered Gandalf. ‘The river of this valley is under his power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford. As soon as the captain of the Ringwraiths rode into the water the flood was released. If I may say so, I added a few touches of my own: you may not have noticed, but some of the waves took the form of great white horses with shining white riders; and there were many rolling and grinding boulders. For a moment I was afraid that we had let loose too fierce a wrath, and the flood would get out of hand and wash you all away. There is great vigour in the waters that come down from the snows of the Misty Mountains.’”

The white horses and white rider also foreshadow Gandalf’s own future, but presumably this is just a feeling without definite knowledge.

Now confident and feeling safe, Frodo goes back to sleep.


Frodo At Large

Frodo wakes refreshed and feeling hungry.  He gets up and encounters Sam, who has met a variety of elves, telling Frodo:

“’It’s a big house this, and very peculiar. Always a bit more to discover, and no knowing what you’ll find round a corner. And Elves, sir! Elves here, and Elves there! Some like kings, terrible and splendid; and some as merry as children. And the music and the singing-not that I have had the time or the heart for much listening since we got here. But I’m getting to know some of the ways of the place.’”

He then meets Pippin, who is foolish just as he was earlier, when he began talking about their secrets in the inn at Bree.  He will be foolish many times more before being vindicated by being cunning enough to trick an orc into taking him away from the other orcs near Fangorn.  Unlike the film, he does nothing to intentionally rouse the Ents against Saruman.  The hobbits need to be told that Ents are stronger than trolls and stand a chance.

The four hobbits each develop aspects of Bilbo – logical, since three are relatives and Bilbo had helped shape Sam’s mind.  Pippin has the trickster aspect, which is also close to foolishness, a departure from safe conventional thinking.

Here, his foolishness is to jest about matters that should not be jested about:

‘Hurray!’ cried Pippin, springing up. ‘Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!’

“’Hush!’ said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. ‘Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world! We are sitting in a fortress. Outside it is getting dark.’

“’Gandalf has been saying many cheerful things like that,’ said Pippin. ‘He thinks I need keeping in order. But it seems impossible, somehow, to feel gloomy or depressed in this place. I feel I could sing, if I knew the right song for the occasion.’”

But Gandalf rightly fears that the One Ring is getting a grip on Frodo’s mind.

It’s worth mentioning Wanger in this context.  The evil Alberich – whose name means ‘elf-lord’, though his people are closer to Tolkien’s dwarves or orcs – conceitedly praised himself in a phrase that could be translated as either ‘the ring’s dread lord’ or ‘the Lord of the Ring’.  When robbed of it, his curse on future owners includes lines translatable as:

“The ring’s proud lord / And its poorest slave”.

Or alternatively

“The lord of the ring as the slave of the ring.” [D]

Tolkien took more from Wagner than he would admit.  But he also has a more definite moral.  Exercising power through the ring enslaves one.  All power can do this, starting perhaps with a desire for Good Order.  Sauron had earlier done that to himself.  He had a decent existence as Annatar in the Second Age, a respected gift-giver.  But after having perhaps briefly repented, he became determined to rule and enslave.

The hobbits don’t see it yet.  Having had their merry meetings, they continue to a very welcome feast:

“The hall of Elrond’s house was filled with folk: Elves for the most part, though there were a few guests of other sorts. Elrond, as was his custom, sat in a great chair at the end of the long table upon the dais; and next to him on the one side sat Glorfindel, on the other side sat Gandalf.

“Frodo looked at them in wonder, for he had never before seen Elrond, of whom so many tales spoke; and as they sat upon his right hand and his left, Glorfindel, and even Gandalf, whom he thought he knew so well, were revealed as lords of dignity and power. Gandalf was shorter in stature than the other two; but his long white hair, his sweeping silver beard, and his broad shoulders, made him look like some wise king of ancient legend. In his aged face under great snowy brows his dark eyes were set like coals that could leap suddenly into fire.

“Glorfindel was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand was strength.

“The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadows of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of stars. Venerable he seemed as a king crowned with many winters, and yet hale as a tried warrior in the fulness of his strength. He was the Lord of Rivendell and mighty among both Elves and Men.

“In the middle of the table, against the woven cloths upon the wall, there was a chair under a canopy, and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in form of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred. Young she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost, her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth, and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night; yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring. Above her brow her head was covered with a cap of silver lace netted with small gems, glittering white; but her soft grey raiment had no ornament save a girdle of leaves wrought in silver.

“So it was that Frodo saw her whom few mortals had yet seen; Arwen, daughter of Elrond, in whom it was said that the likeness of Luthien had come on earth again; and she was called Undomiel, for she was the Evenstar of her people. Long she had been in the land of her mother’s kin, in Lorien beyond the mountains, and was but lately returned to Rivendell to her father’s house. But her brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, were out upon errantry: for they rode often far afield with the Rangers of the North, forgetting never their mother’s torment in the dens of the ores.

“Such loveliness in living thing Frodo had never seen before nor imagined in his mind; and he was both surprised and abashed to find that he had a seat at Elrond’ s table among all these folk so high and fair. Though he had a suitable chair, and was raised upon several cushions, he felt very small, and rather out of place; but that feeling quickly passed. The feast was merry and the food all that his hunger could desire. It was some time before he looked about him again or even turned to his neighbours.”

Unlike the film, Tolkien shows little more of Arwen until her wedding to Aragorn.  And unlike the film, she accepts her father’s decision that Aragorn must be king of both Arnor and Gondor before he could be counted worthy of her.

Note that this is an old theme: the Unobtainable Bride whom the hero somehow wins.  Done distinctly and interestingly by Lord Dunsany in The King of Elfland’s Daughter.  And by Tolkien himself in Beren and Luthien, which merits being available in a version longer than the Silmarillion version and more connected and coherent than the recent book.

Tolkien was the best and most famous of long series of writers who were reworking myths and legends into the values of their time. You find similar things well before him in William Morris, and probably many other writers whose work wasn’t good enough to have been reprinted.  More recently, Poul Anderson reworked a rather different myth rather well in The Broken Sword, and less well in other works.  I find it regrettable that he got over-impressed by commercial values, when he might have written fewer but better works.

Back to Many Meetings.  Having been dazzled by Arwen, Frodo eventually notices the dwarf next to him, who is Gloin from Bilbo’s adventures.  He, at least, was not among dwarves whom he’d have seen departed with Bilbo.  Probably all of them were younger and less important dwarves.

Gloin gives some news from the Lonely Mountain, and he later mentions his fears for Balin and others in Moria.  But neither tell the other all they know.  Only at the Council of Elrond will Gloin speak of Sauron’s messenger demanding information about Bilbo and his ring.

He does say that things were not as they once were:

“Gloin began then to talk of the works of his people, telling Frodo about their great labours in Dale and under the Mountain. ‘We have done well,’ he said. ‘But in metalwork we cannot rival our fathers, many of whose secrets are lost. We make good armour and keen swords, but we cannot again make mail or blade to match those that were made before the dragon came. Only in mining and building have we surpassed the old days. You should see the waterways of Dale, Frodo, and the fountains, and the pools! You should see the stone-paved roads of many colours! And the halls and cavernous streets under the earth with arches carved like trees; and the terraces and towers upon the Mountain’s sides! Then you would see that we have not been idle.’”

The feast over, they proceed to the Hall of Fire, a place for poems and tales.  Bilbo is there, having not been at the feast, and Elrond introduces Frodo to him.  They greet warmly, but then Bilbo remembers the ring:

“I heard about the Ring, of course. Gandalf has been here often. Not that he has told me a great deal, he has become closer than ever these last few years. The Dunadan has told me more. Fancy that ring of mine causing such a disturbance! It is a pity that Gandalf did not find out more sooner. I could have brought the thing here myself long ago without so much trouble. I have thought several times of going back to Hobbiton for it; but I am getting old, and they would not let me: Gandalf and Elrond, I mean. They seemed to think that the Enemy was looking high and low for me, and would make mincemeat of me, if he caught me tottering about in the Wild.

“’And Gandalf said: “The Ring has passed on, Bilbo. It would do no good to you or to others, if you tried to meddle with it again.” Odd sort of remark, just like Gandalf. But he said he was looking after you, so I let things be. I am frightfully glad to see you safe and sound.’ He paused and looked at Frodo doubtfully.

“’Have you got it here?’ he asked in a whisper. ‘I can’t help feeling curious, you know, after all I’ve heard. I should very much like just to peep at it again.’

“’Yes, I’ve got it,’ answered Frodo, feeling a strange reluctance. ‘It looks just the same as ever it did.’

“’Well, I should just like to see it for a moment,’ said Bilbo.

“When he had dressed, Frodo found that while he slept the Ring had been hung about his neck on a new chain, light but strong. Slowly he drew it out. Bilbo put out his hand. But Frodo quickly drew back the Ring. To his distress and amazement he found that he was no longer looking at Bilbo; a shadow seemed to have fallen between them, and through it he found himself eyeing a little wrinkled creature with a hungry face and bony groping hands. He felt a desire to strike him.

“The music and singing round them seemed to falter and a silence fell. Bilbo looked quickly at Frodo’s face and passed his hand across his eyes. ‘I understand now,’ he said. ‘Put it away! I am sorry: sorry you have come in for this burden: sorry about everything. Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story. Well, it can’t be helped. I wonder if it’s any good trying to finish my book? But don’t let’s worry about it now-let’s have some real News! Tell me all about the Shire!’

“Frodo hid the Ring away, and the shadow passed leaving hardly a shred of memory.”

He and Sam tell Bilbo all of the small news of the Shire, which interests him greatly.  Then Aragorn arrives, and he and Bilbo go off to finish the Earendil poem, which he later recites to an audience of elves, who evidently like it.

What’s also interesting is the comments of an elf called Lindir:

“’What!’ cried Bilbo. ‘You can’t tell which parts were mine, and which were the Dunadan’s?’

“’It is not easy for us to tell the difference between two mortals’ said the Elf.

“’Nonsense, Lindir,’ snorted Bilbo. ‘If you can’t distinguish between a Man and a Hobbit, your judgement is poorer than I imagined. They’re as different as peas and apples.’

“’Maybe. To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different,’ laughed Lindir. ‘Or to shepherds. But Mortals have not been our study. We have other business.’

“’I won’t argue with you,’ said Bilbo. ‘I am sleepy after so much music and singing. I’ll leave you to guess, if you want to.’

“He got up and came towards Frodo. ‘Well, that’s over,’ he said in a low voice. ‘It went off better than I expected. I don’t often get asked for a second hearing. What did you think of it?’

“’I am not going to try and guess,’ said Frodo smiling.

“’You needn’t,’ said Bilbo. ‘As a matter of fact it was all mine. Except that Aragorn insisted on my putting in a green stone. He seemed to think it important. I don’t know why. Otherwise he obviously thought the whole thing rather above my head, and he said that if I had the cheek to make verses about Earendil in the house of Elrond, it was my affair. I suppose he was right.’

“’I don’t know,’ said Frodo. ‘It seemed to me to fit somehow, though I can’t explain.”

Is Frodo somehow anticipating that the elven part of Earendil’s mission is almost over, but he will remain as an inspiration to the new beginning that Aragorn and Arwen will make?  Bilbo will depart with the last of that old world.  So too will Frodo, having failed in his whole task, but with others including Sam carrying it on.

The reference to the ‘green stone’ is the line “upon his breast an emerald”.  In Lorien, Aragorn will be given by Galadriel an ancient broach with a green stone, and hailed as ‘Elfstone of the house of Elendil’.  Elendil was the first High King of Arnor and Gondor, and father of Isildur who doomed himself when he kept Sauron’s ring.

This is followed by a further connection.  Frodo hears someone singing to Elbereth in Elvish.  He then sees Aragorn and Arwen:

“Elrond was in his chair and the fire was on his face like summer-light upon the trees. Near him sat the Lady Arwen. To his surprise Frodo saw that Aragorn stood beside her; his dark cloak was thrown back, and he seemed to be clad in elven-mail, and a star shone on his breast. They spoke together, and then suddenly it seemed to Frodo that Arwen turned towards him, and the light of her eyes fell on him from afar and pierced his heart.”

Finally, he turns in, but first tells Sam that there will be a council the next day, with Bilbo and Frodo to attend.  (And Sam sneaks in, we learn later.)

We have indications of how things will work out.  But he has not yet met the three members of the Fellowship he had not known before Rivendell.  This will happen at the Council of Elrond, along with further explanations of the Black Riders and other matters

Copyright © Gwydion M. Williams.

[A] http://creativityhacker.ca/2013/07/18/analyzing-chapter-lengths-in-fantasy-fiction/

[B] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorfindel#The_special_%22matter_of_Glorfindel%22

[C] The Peoples of Middle-earth: Last Writings.  This is the12th and last book of Christopher Tolkien’s The History of Middle-earth.

[D] https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/12/22/the-ring-and-the-rings