wood cat


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

It's also the first instance of what I consider a fairly major theme, namely 'Short cuts make long delays-- but that's not always a bad thing'. Every time that the travelers try to take the apparently straightforward way, it is blocked/impassable/a really really bad idea, from the untaken road they could have taken instead of the Old Forest (which the Riders turned out to have been patrolling), to Caradhras (snow snow snow), to the Front Gate of Mordor. The shortcut/twisty route/forgotten passage is weirder and dangerous and probably takes longer, but is also both actually passable and unexpectedly rewarding-- the Old Forest with Bombadil, Moria leading into Lorien (the pass over Caradhras would have dumped them out well north of Lorien), Minas Morgul being the way in that works. I agree with the previous commenter that this is the first taste of wilderness. It's also the first taste of not sticking to the road and where that can get you, good and bad: the book repeats its themes in microcosm as it works up to being epic.

Going through Caradhas would have brought them to about the same place as going through Moria. There ARE important things that happen in Moria that wouldn't have happened otherwise. The first being Gollum starting to shadow Frodo. The second being Gandalf's "death" which opens the way for his "resurrection".

Hmmmm. This makes me want to connect up your idea with destiny and fate somehow, but I'm not quite sure how at the moment.

Note to self: see if any of your scholarly material contains something more useful about Tolkien's theology in regard to this.


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