The history of the One Ring has been told. The conflict has been defined and Frodo Baggins has been appointed to carry the burden of Middle-earth to the fires of Mount Doom. Samwise Gamgee will go with his master. Join us as we begin reading through The Lord of the Rings, book II, chapter 3, The Ring Goes South.
The Ring Goes South
Later after the council the hobbits held their own meeting in Bilbo’s room. Pippin is indignant that Sam’s “cheek” in hiding in the wings, only to jump out and insist on accompanying Frodo on the perilous journey, was not met with severe punishment. He should be allowed to go too. After all, they’ll certainly need someone with intelligence in the party. Merry declares that it would indeed be punishment if any of them were prevented from going. Suddenly Gandalf appears at the window to assure the hobbits that they are worrying without cause. Nothing regarding who else will accompany Frodo and Sam has been decided yet. But Gandalf thinks that he will go with them.
The Ring Goes South With The Least Of These
Though Frodo’s delight at Gandalf’s announcement was great, Pippin couldn’t believe that nothing had been decided. “What were you doing for all those hours you were shut up in council, then?” he cried.
‘Talking,’ said Bilbo. ‘There was a deal of talk, and everyone had an eye-opener. Even old Gandalf. I think Legolas’s bit of news about Gollum caught even him on the hop, though he passed it off.’ ‘You were wrong,’ said Gandalf. ‘You were inattentive. I had already heard of it from Gwaihir. If you want to know, the only real eye-openers, as you put it, were you and Frodo; and I was the only one that was not surprised.’
Gandalf was the only one who was not caught off-guard by the revelations about Bilbo and Frodo. As a prophet, Gandalf knows much of how events may play out in this drama. That is not to say that he sees the whole picture. But he knows that these two halflings – the least of all the peoples of Middle-earth – have a major role in the War of the Ring as the Ring goes south. It is often the small, foolish, and weak things that shame the wise. Just like the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NET
But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something
This passage is played out in The Lord of the Rings. Sometimes the smallest, lowliest, and least regarded person can change the course of the future. That is exactly what Jesus and His disciples did in a small corner of the world nearly two-thousand years ago.
Christmas In The Shire
At the time of recording this episode Yulefest was in effect. We celebrate the Christmas season with the song Christmas in the Shire by Marc Gunn. This beautiful elegiac lament may have been going through our hobbits’ minds as they longed for home and hearth back in the Shire. We spend a few minutes with Marc as he tells us what this song means to him.
- The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, by Robert Foster
- Christianity in Lord of the Rings, by Peter Kreeft
- The Fellowship of the Ring Audiobook read by Rob Inglis
- The Lord of the Rings 1981 Radio Dramatization by BBC
What stood out to you in The Ring Goes South Pt. 1? 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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