‘Gandalf. Some Explanations.’ – Tolkien’s Early Rivendell Drafts

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sweating to Mordor

When Tolkien first jotted down his notes for what would eventually become the three Rivendell chapters, he had only the vaguest of ideas what they would be about.

“Gandalf. Some explanations.” was really all it said, apart from a few items that probably made sense only to him. As far as the Council of Elrond was concerned, all that existed then was “Consultation of hobbits with Elrond and Gandalf,” which is true in only the most basic sense. But then, the rest of the book was described as: “The Quest of the Fiery Mountain.”

When he got around to actually writing the first draft of the chapter that would become “Many Meetings,” he allowed his ideas to flow more freely, and much of the text remained true through the published version. As in that version, Bingo (proto-Frodo) awoke, he noticed the ceiling and heard a waterfall. He asked where he…

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