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  • Updated 24 October 2016
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The Voice

Frodo’s advisor on Amon Hen

"Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring!"
Words of the Voice to Frodo on Amon Hen
From The Two Towers II 10
The Breaking of the Fellowship

When Boromir tried to take the One Ring from Frodo, the Hobbit escaped by using the Ring and vanishing. Invisible, he went to the Seat on the summit of Amon Hen and looked out across Middle-earth. From there he saw the Dark Tower of Barad-dûr, and perceived the Eye in that tower searching for him. Its gaze turned toward Frodo and came close to finding him, but for a Voice within his mind that demanded he take off the Ring. After a struggle, he obeyed, and thus escaped detection by the Eye of Sauron.

The Voice was later revealed to have come from Gandalf, who explained that the Ring had nearly been revealed, but that he had struggled with the power of Mordor and succeeded in keeping it concealed.1 This was a significant challenge for Gandalf, who had returned from death only days beforehand, and it took him some time to recover.2


Notes

1

An interesting element of Gandalf's account of these events is that fact that he 'sat in a high place' while he strove with Sauron (The Two Towers III 5, The White Rider). It's not exactly clear what the significance of the 'high place' might be, but it seems to suggest that Gandalf was actually on Amon Hen at the time of the breaking of the Fellowship.

It seems strange to imagine Gandalf concealing himself nearby while the momentous events of that day unfolded, but it's difficult to see what other 'high place' he might have intended. We know that he was travelling south from Lórien at this point, and Amon Hen was the only significant high ground on the western banks of Anduin. After challenging the Dark Lord, Gandalf states that he was utterly drained, which perhaps explains why he failed to take part in any of the events that followed.

2

After diverting the Eye of Sauron, Gandalf says: 'Then I was weary, very weary; and I walked long in dark thought.' (ibid). He doesn't actually say how long this took, but five days later he met with the Three Hunters in Fangorn Forest, so the 'long' here probably accounts for no more than a day, or perhaps two.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 24 October 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

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