Many Meetings Pt. 1, The Lord Of The Rings | SFP018

Four days after Frodo crossed the Ford of Bruinen he awoke in the Last Homely House cured of his wound by Elrond Half-elven. It is October 24th, informs a familiar voice. Gandalf! This is the first of many meetings in this house with many dwelling places. Join us for Book II, Chapter 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Many Meetings

Ever since the attack at Weathertop Strider has been encouraging the hobbits to have faith, persevere, and hope for the tables of Elrond’s house. As the danger rose help came in the Elf-lord, Glorfindel. Frodo lost consciousness after passing through the waters of the river Bruinen but awoke to a voice he had long desired to hear. Gandalf was here in the Last Homely House, and Frodo found the promised comfort. But more comfort will come with feasting and many meetings!

This image shows the Last Homely House east of the Sea. Home of Elrond Half-elven as depicted on the Lord of the Rings Online game.

Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness. – LotR, p. 224

Many Dwellings

Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. It was not only from Strider that he had heard about the rest afforded here; Bilbo had recounted his own experiences in that house on his adventure to Erebor.

That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all’.

The Lord of the Rings, Many Meetings, p. 224

And we see echoes of another house with many dwelling places. Consider these words of Jesus which he used to comfort the apostles in the upper room:

John 14:1-2 NRSV

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

These words and Strider’s own sound alike. But, then, they are both kings, after all.

What stood out to you in the chapter, MANY MEETINGS? 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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  • Hello again gentlemen. In response to your discussion of the wraith-world and the Blessed Realm, I wanted to offer my interpretation. I don’t think that the Blessed realm and the wraith-world are two worlds that are both present in Middle-Earth (not in the Third Age, and not in the same way), which seems to be what you guys were describing as your consensus. I think that the wraith-world is like a shadow cast by the living world, and because wraiths are creatures of Shadow, they are more present in that world than the world of the living. The Blessed Realm, on the other hand, is a distinct place. I don’t want to go into a lot of things you haven’t covered on the podcast yet, but it was originally an island far to the west where the Ainur and the Vanyar lived, and where the Noldor lived temporarily. And even when the world was changed (in response to events in the Silmarillion which I hope you guys will eventually get to reading for the podcast) it remained a distinct place. It isn’t present everywhere the way the wraith-world is. So I think that there is just the wraith-world, a shadow of the world of the living. Wraiths are more present there, and Elves who have been infused with the light of the Blessed Realm shine there and can see that world as well as that of the living. (It’s never clarified that I can remember, but I wonder what Gandalf sees – whether he sees as a high elf or more like a mortal. I assume, as a Maia, that he can see the wraith-world as well)

    That being said, I love the idea that the wraith-world is a reflection of Melkor’s original attempt to hijack the music of the Ainur for his own purposes. That accounts for the fact that it is similar to the living world, but shadowy and muted, and would explain why wraiths are more present there than they are in the living world – because they are twisted, hollowed out, corrupted versions of living beings. It accounts for why there would be a secondary world at all in the first place. It is Melkor’s aborted attempt at creation, lingering like an after-image.

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