30 Days of LotR: best use of magic
Gandalf + light
‘A shadow passed over Saruman’s face; then it went deathly white. Before he could conceal it, they saw through the mask the anguish of a mind in doubt, loathing to stay and dreading to leave its refuge. For a second, he hesitated, and no one breathed. Then he spoke, and his voice was shrill and cold. Pride and hate were conquering him.’
Meet Gandalf, the Nick Fury of Middle Earth.
“Do you not know death when you see it, old man? This is MY hour! You have failed. The world of Men will fall.”
A Lord of the Rings blessing for the new year.
Actual picture of me trying to write a research paper.
Sting was an elvish sword used by Bilbo Baggins and his heir Frodo Baggins, Forged in the First Age in Gondolin, it’s purpose in battle was a dagger, but to a small hobbit it made an excellent short sword. It glows silver, blue on the edges, when goblins and orcs are nearby, which is a quality of First Age Elvish swords. It’s use during the Fall of Gondolin is unknown, but it was found by Thorin’s Company on their Quest to Erebor. Following the encounter and defeat of the trolls the Company found their hoard which held numerous treasures. Bilbo took the sword as he was unarmed at the time, and clearly underestimated the danger of the quest. Throughout his quest he kept it in his breeches, it is described as a plain sword with a leather sheath. It was used to intimidate Gollum for escape from the Misty Mountains, but it wasn’t until the dwarves were captured by the Giant Spiders of Mirkwood that Bilbo baptized the blade in blood. The “sting” of his sword upon the spiders is what prompted it’s name. The sword served Bilbo throughout his quest, and he brought it home to the Shire and ultimately Rivendell. There it was passed unto his heir Frodo Baggins, for his Quest of the Ring. Frodo used it extensively in the Mines of Moria and the Taming of Smeagol. It was able to cut the webs of Shelob, which is significant as they were immune to the barrow blade of Samwise. When Frodo was captured by the orcs of the Tower of Cirith Ungol, the sword passed to Samwise Gamgee, who took it from the “dead” Frodo. Wielded by Sam, Sting helped Samwise storm the Tower, save Frodo, and they finished the quest. Sting was given to Samwise as Frodo went to the Undying Lands, It became an heirloom of Sam’s family.
“Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’” – Bilbo showing his Tookish side, The Hobbit, Spiders and Flies.
Rivendell was an Elven stronghold founded by Elrond during the War of Elves and Sauron. It was not built as a fortified castle but rather an outpost with a garrison, using the surrounding of the treacherous steep rocks and rivers as a natural defense. Located at the base of the Misty Mountains in Eastern Eriador along the river Bruinen, hidden within the valley. It’s location, decided during a war, became a sanctuary for those engaged or fleeing from future wars, Notably survivors from the Destruction of Eregion.
It would face a siege from the forces of Angmar but prevailed from Gil-Galad’s reinforcements.
It’s second major military engagement was it’s service as a staging point for Gil-Galad’s army during the War of the Last Alliance. During the 2nd Age it was deemed one of the safest places for the Free People’s and became the home of both artifacts (Shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir), the remaining Dúnedain, and many of the Noldor before they passed to the Undying Lands. The 2nd and 3rd age would see Rivendell grow in importance as a center of learning and refuge, notable people including Aragorn and Arwen (falling in love (Aw)), and home of notable Elves such as Glorfindel, Elladin, Elrohir, and Gildor. By the Third Age Imladris (as it was called in Sindarin) was a notable stopping point for anyone affiliated with the elves. Gandalf and his dwarven company stopped there on their Quest for Erebor. Bilbo Baggins fled there upon his 111th birthday. Upon the discovery of the One Ring it was decided that the Ring should be brought to Rivendell and a Council was held on it’s fate. Here the Fellowship of the Ring was formed and set out for it’s ultimate quest. During the War of the Ring it remained a base of operations for the Commanders of the West, but never fell to siege or war. The Destruction of the One Ring was followed by a mass exodus of the Elves of Rivendell as they all went West. It’s legacy remained as a place of history and culture rather than a military position, and it was invaluable in preserving the history and alliance of the Free Peoples.
“’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 his chief foes: The Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar 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’“.
– Gandalf reassuring Frodo of the safety of Rivendell, Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings.