On the fourth day out from Bree, while in the Midgewater Marshes, Frodo lay uncomfortable and unable to close his eyes. Far away in the eastern sky flashes of lightning leaping from the hill-tops kept Strider standing silent and watchful. It was coming from Weathertop, Amon Sûl. Join us as we continue our journey through chapter 11 of the Lord of the Rings, A Knife In The Dark.
A Knife In The Dark
It was not on Weathertop that Ring Wraiths finally caught up to the company, but in a small dell at the foot of the hill below the old watchtower of Amon Sûl. It was on Weathertop, it is told, that Elendil stood watching for the coming of Gil-Galad in the days of the Last Alliance. Yet it was in that little dell – on the side away from the hill – that Frodo would see the coming of the shadows, and feel the sting of a knife in the dark!
Hope Of The Tables Of Elrond’s House
Strider does not mislead the hobbits with false hopes; he is quick to chastise unprofitable words. Twice he rebukes them: when Frodo laments that his tightening belt may soon render him a wraith, and when Pippin cries out from the very thought of going to Mordor. Yet, hope is on his lips. The hope found in Imladris:
[T]ighten your belts, and think with hope of the tables of Elrond’s house!
– The Lord of the Rings, A Knife In The Dark, p.190
This is not the same kind of hope that Frodo expressed in a flippant comment about hoping he does not lose so much of his hobbity mid-section as to resemble a wraith. The hope of Strider is a biblical hope: that if they persevere in the face of persecution there is comfort awaiting them. Much as what Paul wrote to the first century christians in Rome:
Romans 8:24-25 NASB
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
If we make it to Elrond’s house, Strider is saying, you can be confident that his tables will be full and that comfort is there. Persevere. Don’t look back. Persevere.
What stood out to you in A KNIFE IN THE DARK? Let us know in the comments below.
On The Secret Fire Podcast we travel chapter-by-chapter and book-by-book through J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth viewing it through Christian lenses. We invite you to join us each week as we continue the adventure on the Arkenstone server in Lord Of The Rings Online.
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