With the help of Tom Bombadil Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin have made it to Bree – the chief village of Bree-land. At the recommendation of Tom the hobbits head for the inn of the Prancing Pony. What adventures await them inside? Join us for a discussion of chapter nine of The Lord Of The Rings.
At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony
The inn at Bree had been built long ago when traffic on the road had been far greater. This “city on a hill” (in fact, the word Bree means “hill” in Brythonic – a Celtic language) was a melting pot of peoples and cultures even to this day*. For Sam, seeing the large, three story building reminded him that he had expected to encounter giants as tall as trees as well as other terrible creatures on this adventure. But that he was not ready for that now.
‘We surely aren’t going to stay here for the night, are we, sir?’ he exclaimed. ‘If there are hobbit-folk in these parts, why don’t we look for some that would be willing to take us in? It would be more homelike.’
The Lord Of The Rings, At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony, p. 152
Frodo reminds him that it was Tom Bombadil who recommended the inn. And that is good enough for Frodo. He trusts the Master. For more on that refer back to the previous four episodes of the Secret Fire Podcast.
Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue
After being refreshed by a private supper Frodo, Sam, and Pippin accepted the invitation of their host, Barliman Butterbur, to join the company of travelers in the big common-room of the inn for a “bit of news, or any story or song you may have in mind.” Pippin, who was feeling right at home was the first to steer toward danger. He was receiving a good deal of audience laughter as he was sharing an amusing story of the Mayor of Michel Delving, and then, encouraged by the response, began to recount Bilbo’s infamous party trick: namely vanishing without a trace! This would certainly bring to attention the name of Baggins as well as the Ring. Both disastrous in this situation.
Proverbs 10:19 NASB
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 18:21 NASB
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
The Tongue Is A Fire
We are reminded of the words of James 3:1-12 wherein he points out that the tongue, though a small member of the body, is a fire that can metaphorically set a great forest ablaze. Pippin is on the verge of bringing ruin upon our hobbits and their quest because he is letting his tongue get away from him.
Oh, how we as followers of Christ Jesus need to be reminded of this. To repeat the proverb: The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
James 3:9-10 NASB
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
- Prancing Pony, from the album Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits, by Marc Gunn
- Merry Old Inn, from the album The Starlit Jewel, by Broceliande
What stood out to you in AT THE SIGN OF THE PRANCING PONY? 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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