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Old 10-29-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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Gimli's Route to Rivendell

I may have missed this in my searches here in the forum, and I can't recall if it was addressed in FotR. Apologies in advance if I've overlooked it.

Does anyone know what Gimli's route to Rivendell was?

Of the possibilities:
1) Going north, through Ered Mithrin and rounding the tip of the Misty Mountains. Out of the question, due to dragons and Mount Gundaband's goblins. Even if he'd been that foolhardy, he would then have been faced with either going through the Ettenmoors or taking a long detour around them. It's also a long, long route.

2) Going south, around Fangorn and Rohan and then north through Eriador. Wouldn't he have been familiar with what was going on in Rohan and mentioned it at least once or twice in the story? He would also have come within striking distance of Isengard.

3) Perhaps further south into Gondor before rounding north through Eriador. Again, Gimli never mentions having been to Gondor that I can recall. I would think he would have mentioned something about it. This would also be a long, long route (unless he took a ship north. Again, nothing about ever having been on a ship).

4) West, through the Misty Mountains. The Old Ford and its road leads directly to Rivendell, but Moria isn't that far away, and I can't see how he would have taken this route without trying to go through Moria from the east. Would he then not have discovered that it was infested with goblins? Even if he didn't actually make it inside, it would seem odd that the dwarves there had no sentries, or outposts (perhaps to trade with the Beornings).
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:10 PM   #2
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I would think Glóin and Gimli made their way from Erebor through Mirkwood, then to the Carrock and the Pass of Imladris. That was the "High Pass" referred to by Glóin in his conversation to Frodo in Rivendell.

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'Indeed,' said Glóin. 'if not for the Beornings, the passage from Dale to Rivendell would long ago have become impossable. They are valiant men, and keep open the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock.'
Many Meetings

Since that route was known to be safe, it seems logical that's the way the Dwarves would have taken.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I would think Glóin and Gimli made their way from Erebor through Mirkwood, then to the Carrock and the Pass of Imladris. That was the "High Pass" referred to by Glóin in his conversation to Frodo in Rivendell.

Many Meetings

Since that route was known to be safe, it seems logical that's the way the Dwarves would have taken.
Doesn't it seem strange that he never bothered to stop at nearby Moria while enroute to Rivendell?
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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Doesn't it seem strange that he never bothered to stop at nearby Moria while enroute to Rivendell?
Well, Moria wasn't exactly "nearby" the route they were taking. Keep in mind that it took the Fellowship more than two weeks to reach the West-gate from Rivendell.

Also, concern about the state of Balin and his dwarf-colony in Moria was one of the things that drove Dáin to send emissaries to see Elrond. That, and the ominous messenger from Mordor. Glóin and Gimli were to seek the advice of Elrond, not to check on things in Moria themselves.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:40 AM   #5
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Yeah High Pass I think it has to be-

after all

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it is better than the honey-cakes of the Beornings, and that is great praise, for the Beornings are the best bakers that I know of; and they are none too willing to deal out their cakes to travellers in these days
Not conclusive of course but I think with the "Many Meetings" quote this strengthens the argument that Gimli had recently visited the Beornings and travelled via the ford of Carrock and the High Pass.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:24 AM   #6
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Not conclusive of course but I think with the "Many Meetings" quote this strengthens the argument that Gimli had recently visited the Beornings and travelled via the ford of Carrock and the High Pass.
Doesn't Gloin also grumble over the high tolls the Beorings charge for passage though their lands while maintaining that they still should be commended for keeping the High Pass accessible?

Yup, it must be the High Pass...
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Well, Moria wasn't exactly "nearby" the route they were taking. Keep in mind that it took the Fellowship more than two weeks to reach the West-gate from Rivendell.

Also, concern about the state of Balin and his dwarf-colony in Moria was one of the things that drove Dáin to send emissaries to see Elrond. That, and the ominous messenger from Mordor. Glóin and Gimli were to seek the advice of Elrond, not to check on things in Moria themselves.
Inzil,

I don't mean to belabor the point, but I still believe a diversion to Moria would seem logical, given:
-that Gimli was keen to know the fate of his kin in Moria
-Dain was, as well
-the time that the dwarves took between Sauron's emissaries
-the resulting decision to (finally) send Gimli abroad
-and the time it takes to travel from Erebor to Rivendell

I'm not saying you're wrong- your explanation is sound; it's the dwarves' reasoning that seems, well... strange. After all of that time spent treating with Sauron, and the long journey, Gimli dashed right to Rivendell, and no other dwarves of renown were sent to check on Moria.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andsigil View Post
I'm not saying you're wrong- your explanation is sound; it's the dwarves' reasoning that seems, well... strange. After all of that time spent treating with Sauron, and the long journey, Gimli dashed right to Rivendell, and no other dwarves of renown were sent to check on Moria.
From what Glóin said to the Council, it had been approximately thirty years since Balin and his group had set out for Moria. "For a while" they were in contact with with Erebor, then they went silent. According to Gandalf's reading of the Book of Mazarbul, the colony endured for five years.
Naturally, King Dáin was well-versed in the dangers of Moria: he'd been present at the Battle of Nanduhirion and may have actually gotten a glimpse of the Balrog. When Thráin talked then of taking back Moria, Dáin tried talking sense to him, just as he tried to dissuade Balin later.

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But we will not enter Khazad-dûm. You will not enter Khazad-dûm. Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate. Beyond the shadow it waits for you still: Durin's Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin's folk walk again in Moria.
Appendix A

When news from Balin's colony ceased, Dáin would have guessed that nothing in the power of his kingdom could rescue them if they'd run into trouble in Moria.
When the messenger from Mordor came, Dáin then could have seen a chance to kill two birds with one stone, getting advice on two matters that greatly worried him.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Doesn't it seem strange that he never bothered to stop at nearby Moria while enroute to Rivendell?
I don't want to seem rude but what map are you looking at that makes Moria nearby? Erebor lies North East of the High Pass and is a good 250 miles as the crow flies, rather longer even if the woodelves help or at least do not hinder your journey through Mirkwood. Moria is about 200 miles further South by a straight line route you can't take since you have to cope with the river, the marshes and the nasties which are gaining strength in the mountains. Also you have to pass pretty close to Dol Guldur, whence the emissary of Sauron - on whose demands you are urgently seeking advice before the end of the year (and this is now November)-probably came. Even if you took this route the Dimrill Dale would have been clear.

All in all would have been eccentric if not irresponsible to take this substantial detour.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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I don't want to seem rude but what map are you looking at that makes Moria nearby? Erebor lies North East of the High Pass and is a good 250 miles as the crow flies, rather longer even if the woodelves help or at least do not hinder your journey through Mirkwood. Moria is about 200 miles further South by a straight line route you can't take since you have to cope with the river, the marshes and the nasties which are gaining strength in the mountains. Also you have to pass pretty close to Dol Guldur, whence the emissary of Sauron - on whose demands you are urgently seeking advice before the end of the year (and this is now November)-probably came. Even if you took this route the Dimrill Dale would have been clear.

All in all would have been eccentric if not irresponsible to take this substantial detour.
As I explained in my previous message, I meant that in relative terms, given the distance traveled already and all of the time spent treating with Sauron's emissaries and making a decision.

It also seemed strange that no other dwarves of renown (Gimli can't be the only fit and hardy warrior in Erebor, after all) were sent to check on Moria.

Inzil has covered a lot of the answers already.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:58 AM   #11
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But it doesn't make sense relative to the journey they have already made...It doubles it. Yes they are interested in Balin but it isn't their top priority. Dain took 500 warriors to the Battle of the five armies. There were probably more left in the Iron Hills but some would have been killed in the Bo5A . We know that some had decamped to Moria and Dwarves are slow breeders so Dain doesn't have that much manpower to spare on a non vital errand especially through such dangerous territory.

I don't see what the Moria colony could have brought to the table to use albeit appropriate management speak. It would just have been a complete waste of time and resources merely to satisfy curiosity. Dain surely knew Bilbo was at Rivendell. In fact Gloin says he was sent to warn Bilbo. If you go to warn someone you do not take a detour for a fact finding mission especially if it will take you twice as long... and we are talking extra weeks not another hour or day. We don't know that Gimli and Gloin travelled alone, in fact they probably didn't since otherwise Gimli might not have left his father to travel alone . Dain would have had to send a larger party to Moria since the route was more dangerous and he must expect danger at its end.. I don't believe it was a logical option to waste warriors on what he must have guessed would be a wild goose chase, especially when they could not return in time. Even if he had sent them after the first messenger visit I don't think it would be a sensible use of slender resources.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:59 PM   #12
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But it doesn't make sense relative to the journey they have already made...It doubles it.
Again, as I said before, from the time the dwarves saw that things were worrisome (the arrival of Sauron's first emissary) to the time Gimli arrived in Rivendell, there was plenty of time to check on the status of Moria. Especially since they hadn't heard from Balin already for years; Balin, himself, was killed in TA 2994- 24 years before the Council of Elrond.

Gimli could have left earlier and checked it himself, enroute- maybe not the best plan. Or Dain could have sent another party- a better plan. It just seems odd that Gimli went all the way to Rivendell and, only because Caradhras was impassible, was finally the first dwarf to scout Moria after Balin's colonists.

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Yes they are interested in Balin but it isn't their top priority.
I've always thought family was a priority.

Quote:
Dain took 500 warriors to the Battle of the five armies. There were probably more left in the Iron Hills but some would have been killed in the Bo5A . We know that some had decamped to Moria and Dwarves are slow breeders so Dain doesn't have that much manpower to spare on a non vital errand especially through such dangerous territory.
All the more reason to check on them, I say. Slow breeders, few in number, and family members. Think about how some people now fret if they can't get an answer on someone's cell phone, and they hadn't heard from Moria for years. It doesn't seem sensible.

Quote:
I don't see what the Moria colony could have brought to the table to use albeit appropriate management speak. It would just have been a complete waste of time and resources merely to satisfy curiosity.
Dain couldn't have known that. You do because you have metaknowledge as a reader. And I'm only talking about a small party of dwarves. I'll bet for the right price, some Beornings or Dalemen could have accompanied them. The dwarves certainly had wealth to spare. I know they're a bit xenophobic, but really... Besides, Erebor and Dale had good relations.

Quote:
Dain surely knew Bilbo was at Rivendell. In fact Gloin says he was sent to warn Bilbo. If you go to warn someone you do not take a detour for a fact finding mission especially if it will take you twice as long... and we are talking extra weeks not another hour or day.
Once again (hopefully the last time), sending Gimli enroute was one possibility. Others could have been sent and/or earlier.

Quote:
We don't know that Gimli and Gloin travelled alone, in fact they probably didn't since otherwise Gimli might not have left his father to travel alone . Dain would have had to send a larger party to Moria since the route was more dangerous and he must expect danger at its end.. I don't believe it was a logical option to waste warriors on what he must have guessed would be a wild goose chase, especially when they could not return in time. Even if he had sent them after the first messenger visit I don't think it would be a sensible use of slender resources.
I think you're only guessing about how slender Dain's resources may have been. He brought 500 warriors ("skilled veterans" as described here) to the Bo5A. Skilled veterans would make up a minority percentage of any army, and a small percentage of any race/nation's population. Somewhere there were also dwarf children (growing and born) and women, even with their slow reproduction rate, and nonwarrior men.

The Bo5A was in TA 2941, and the Council of Elrond was in 3018. 77 years is a lot of time to harness a peoples' strength, even among long-lived races like dwarves.

Anyway, this seems to be descending into a debate I didn't intend to spend this much time on.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:22 PM   #13
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It is still rather a mystery as to why no conatct was kept up between Dain and Balin. I see two or three possibilities

1- Politically maybe it was against Dain's interest to be in contact - Balin had defied his authority after all and we know that the Dwarves held serious grudges

2- Messengers were sent but never returned (either direction) probably caught by the orcs somewhere in the Carrock-Dul Guldur area, or on the approaches to Moria itself. Perhaps Dwarven captives still languished in the dungeons of Moria and/or Dol Guldur?

3. Messengers were sent but ran into orcish forces as above but escaped, returned and Dain or Balin concluded it was pointless to try and get through again.

Possibly a combination?

I agree that Gimli had different fish to fry.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rumil View Post
It is still rather a mystery as to why no conatct was kept up between Dain and Balin. I see two or three possibilities

1- Politically maybe it was against Dain's interest to be in contact - Balin had defied his authority after all and we know that the Dwarves held serious grudges
We know that wasn't the case, because Dáin had actually given permission for Balin to go.

Quote:
'At last, however, Balin listened to the whispers, and resolved to go: and though Dáin did not give leave willingly, he took with him Ori and Óin and many of our folk....'
Glóin at the Council of Elrond

I see that as Dáin doing everything in his power to talk Balin out of going, then giving in when he saw Balin wasn't going to let the matter rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumil View Post
2- Messengers were sent but never returned (either direction) probably caught by the orcs somewhere in the Carrock-Dul Guldur area, or on the approaches to Moria itself. Perhaps Dwarven captives still languished in the dungeons of Moria and/or Dol Guldur?

3. Messengers were sent but ran into orcish forces as above but escaped, returned and Dain or Balin concluded it was pointless to try and get through again.
I don't think the second and third options are likely either. Glóin indicated that they simply stopped receiving messages from Moria, with no mention of any more of Dáin's people going missing after being sent to check on Balin and Co.

I still think the likely reason Erebor did not try to re-establish contact was Dáin. He alone had looked into Moria and seen Durin's Bane. He had to the wisdom to recognise after the great Battle of Nanduhirion that not even all the forces they had there at their disposal, after the Orcs had been destroyed, were enough to drive out or destroy Durin's Bane. I imagine him thinking, after not hearing from the colony for a long time, "Well, I was afraid something like that would happen. I tried to tell him going there was a mistake. If Balin and the others are dead, there's nothing I can do."
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:44 PM   #15
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Related. What would be the way messagesmight be passed between
Moria and Erebor? By bird or dwarf? Perhaps passing men,
or, given the length of such a journey, dwarves taking messages to the Beornings
and then having them give it to a passing traveler to get to
Dale? And would it be a one- or two-way message sysem?

Or perhaps the best, surest way would be to use rangers
(both rangers and dwarves could be of service to the other
and want to keep on good terms).
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #16
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Whether there were any specific attempts to see why messages from Moria had stopped we don't know (as has been observed). As far as Golin's embassy, however, consider:
  • Dwarves are very proud and don't tend to like to ask anyone else for help (especially Elves - even ones they are friendly with). That Dain was finally driven to seek Elrond's ADVICE (as in, "we dwarves are NOT wise enough to figure this out ourselves") is a big clue as to how IMPORTANT this trip was.
  • While Dain didn't know what had happened in Moria, he had to suspect foul play. It's hard to imagine any other likely reason for Balin's new realm to go silent. PLUS, Dain knew that Durin's Bane had been there for hundreds of years (it was actually much longer, but Dain may not have known that) and had been single-handedly responsible for driving out a much stronger Dwarvish people than Balin had.
  • "Checking On" Moria would have meant more than just waling into Dimrill Dale and gazing at the gates for a while. It would have meant walking INTO Moria through the Front Gate - where they are most likely to be seen if there ARE any Orcs there. IE, if you want to reconnoiter, it'd better be a reconnoiter IN STRENGTH - and even that is chancy.
  • Remember, the Fellowship got in from the back door - where the Orcs were less vigilant. Also, they had a Wizard along who was able to take the Balrog out of the mix. Coming in through the Front Door just could not be done secretly.
  • And if you DO try to reconnoiter and Durin's Bane (or Orcs) do get you, then you can kiss your embassy to Elrond Bye-Bye.
And that last point is why I think using Gloin's embassy for a scouting trip to Moria would have been foolish. Send another group, maybe - but if asking Elrond's advice is so important (how often to DWARVES ask for advice) then don't risk the Embassy on such a perilous side-trip.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tuor in Gondolin View Post
Related. What would be the way messagesmight be passed between
Moria and Erebor? By bird or dwarf? Perhaps passing men,
or, given the length of such a journey, dwarves taking messages to the Beornings
and then having them give it to a passing traveler to get to
Dale? And would it be a one- or two-way message sysem?
I can't see Dwarves passing important messages meant for other Dwarves in the hands of one of an alien race.

The ravens, such as Roäc son of Carc could have been an option. In The Hobbit, Roäc said his "people were few", but the ravens lived for more than 100 years, it was said, and under the protection of the new Kingdom Under the Mountain their numbers might have increased.

Then again, if that was the case, I'd wonder why Balin and Co. wouldn't have had a raven or two with them at Moria. If they had, the fate of the colony should have been brought back to Dáin by them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor in Gondolin View Post
Or perhaps the best, surest way would be to use rangers(both rangers and dwarves could be of service to the other
and want to keep on good terms).
I wouldn't think that likely due to the fact the Rangers seem to have mostly confined their activities west of the Mountains. Crossing the Mountains to act as errand boys for Dwarves also seems a bit below their pay grade, and would further have reduced the number of Rangers able to guard Bree and the Westlands.

Maybe after all it was just physically journeying Dwarves passing back and forth, possibly not even going all the way to Erebor or Moria, but meeting at pre-arranged places and times.
When the Moria lot didn't make a rendezvous 2 or 3 times in a row, that could have given Dáin a hint that they'd run into Durin's Bane and were beyond help or hope.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:56 PM   #18
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The likliest way for Gilmi to take was the High Pass. It is the shortest route and not as dangerous as it was in TH.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:22 PM   #19
Alcuin
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In FotR, “The Ring Goes South”, Gimli tells the Company of the Ring that he has never before been to Moria.
Quote:
“I need no map,” said Gimli… “There is the land where our fathers worked of old, and we have wrought the image of those mountains into many works …, and into many songs and tales. …

“Only once before have I seen them from afar in waking life, but … under them lies Khazad-dûm…”
At “The Council of Elrond”, Glóin described that
Quote:
...For a while we had news [from Balin], and it seemed good: messages reported that Moria had been entered and a great work begun there. Then there was silence, and no word has ever come from Moria since.

Then about a year ago a messenger came…, but not from Moria – from Mordor...
It does not sound as if there was successful traffic between Erebor and Moria during these 30 years: no messengers arrived from Balin’s colony, and no messengers sent to Balin returned. Where they failed is unclear, but it is quite possible that they were permitted to enter the Gates and then seized: on their way out, the Company of the Ring found guards at the alert just inside the doors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
When the Moria lot didn't make a rendezvous 2 or 3 times in a row, that could have given Dáin a hint that they'd run into Durin's Bane and were beyond help or hope.
I think that Erebor probably sent messengers who did not return, but it’s basically the same idea.


Inziladun, Rumil, and skip spence have all noted Glóin’s complaints about the high tolls of the Beornings, indicating that they had regular traffic together.

But the most compelling evidence is that the Great East Road ran from the Blue Mountains through the Shire (whose inhabitants Thorin & Co held in such contempt) across the High Pass (Cirith Forn en Andrath), thence across the Dwarf-bridge south of the Carrock that Isildur planned to use on his return to Imladris (it was ruined by Bilbo’s day, leaving behind a “deep ford” (TH, “Queer Lodgings”)), through Mirkwood south of the Woodelves’ path that Thorin & Co used (remember that “Beorn … warned them that … the forest-road … was overgrown and disused at the eastern end…” (ibid.)), and from there north and northeast to Erebor and the Iron Hills. This ancient way had formerly extended into Beleriand: it was the Men-i-Naugrim, the Road of the Dwarves, and had been in use since the First Age. Tolkien makes several references in TH and in FotR to Dwarves travelling along the road in Eriador, staying in Bree, and passing through the Shire going back and forth to their old mines in the Blue Mountains.

A better question might be whether Glóin and Gimli passed through Mirkwood or went around, as did Beorn, Gandalf and Bilbo on their homeward journey, or if they passed through the forest itself? And if they passed through Mirkwood, did they use the Old Forest Road that had been the old Dwarf Road, or did they use the Woodelves path that would bring them closer to the land of the Beornings and so subject them to the presumably outrageous tolls?

Sauron was probably interested in disrupting traffic along the old Forest Road, which was part of the Men-i-Naugrim: it frightened people, injured commerce, and denied his enemies use of an important transportation route that might have been used against Dol Guldur in time of war.

With that in mind, I think they passed through Esgaroth, traversed the Woodelves road, crossed Anduin at The Carrock, and then passed over the Misty Mountains at the High Pass.


I do not believe it was common knowledge that the Rangers were the remnants of the Northern Dúnedain. Certainly Wizards, the Elves, and the Rangers knew it; the Stewards of Gondor seem to have been aware of it; and it is possible that Sauron was aware of them. But Bree-folk did not know, and Hobbits had no clue. Dwarves must have encountered them from time to time (in the Inn at Bree, for instance, and along the Road), but they do not seem to have been aware of their identity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I can't see Dwarves passing important messages meant for other Dwarves in the hands of one of an alien race.
I concur.

Last edited by Alcuin; 11-15-2010 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:27 AM   #20
Galadriel55
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I think that Gimli took the Elf road through Mirkwood and didn't go around. After the war on Erebor the Elves seemed to be a little friendlier with the Dwarves. Moreover, Elrond said that all the members of the counsil came at aproximately thin same time, so it's very possible that Legolas and Gimli traveled together. It is also possible that Gloin took the same way back and brought the news about Legolas' choice to Thranduil.
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