Once again, I'm astonished at the amount of time that elapses in this section of the book compared to the movie. I've seen the movie more often than I've read the book (though I've read the other two books more often than I've seen the other two movies), so I'm used to all this going much more quickly and Frodo's wound being more quick-acting. It's the end of their twelfth day out from Weathertop that they meet up with Glorfindel, and they travel with him for another day before Frodo crosses the ford to reach Rivendell.
Speaking of Glorfindel, I so wish he was in the movies. I understand the cinematic need to reduce the staggering number of characters, and the modern need to give the women more to do. But Glorfindel gets totally excluded, while Haldir's role got expanded a lot. And Haldir's only in the Lothlorien part of the books, while Glorfindel is one of the few who can ride openly against the Nazgul. And not just ride against them, but actually drive them away from a bridge and chase them! So unfair.
Okay, enough grousing. The movies can't be perfect. I love them anyway.
The little section with the trolls makes me laugh. With Merry and Pippin terrified, and Strider just walking up to one and hitting it with a stick -- I like this little light-hearted interlude to lessen the oppressing doom of Frodo's wound.
Speaking of Frodo, I suddenly like him a whole lot more when he refuses to ride Glorfindel's horse to Rivendell and leave his friends behind in danger. Of course, Glorfindel rightly points out that if Frodo isn't with them, his friends won't be in much danger, but still, it was very noble of Frodo.
"I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard -- or a warrior!"
"I hope not," said Sam. "I don't want to be neither!" (p. 203)
He almost welcomed the coming of night, for then the world seemed less pale and empty (p. 207).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Strider says, "it is not my fate to sit in peace" (p. 197). And yet, isn't his reign after the war peaceful?
Frodo has "an uneasy dream, in which he walked on the grass in his garden in the Shire, but it seemed faint and dim" (p. 197). Do you think this is just because he's wounded, or has the ring already changed him so much that, even if he gave it up at Rivendell and went home like he expected to do, he would no longer belong in the Shire?
SPOILAGE ALERT concerning stuff in The Hobbit! In the next chapter, "Many Meetings," there's a list of which dwarves survived the end of The Hobbit. If you don't want to be spoiled about that, then when you get to the conversation between Gloin and Frodo in "Many Meetings," watch for the paragraph that begins, "And with that Gloin embarked on a long account of the doings of the Dwarf-kingdom." Don't read the rest of that paragraph or the next two. Start reading again where it says, "Gloin began then to talk of the works of his people, telling Frodo about their great labours in Dale and under the Mountain." (All page 223 in my copy.)