On This Day in Middle-earth

February 17th

Gwaihir bears Gandalf to Lórien.

One day! One day! The Fellowship missed Gandalf by one day! If you’ve been following along with us, on February 16th, the Fellowship departed Lórien and continued their journey.

Can you imagine how different things would have turned out if they waited one more day?

Gandalf would’ve been around during Frodo’s decision to leave the company, he would’ve been around when Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo, he would’ve been around when the Fellowship was frantically searching for Frodo, he would’ve been around when The Breaking of the Fellowship began. Who knows what his presence could’ve prevented.

But, does that mean they would’ve been better?

If you think about how this story plays out, many terrible things happen, but in the end everything seems to have a way of working out. Throwing Gandalf back into the mix this early might not have given Sauron the distraction of his presence, Gandalf might not have been around to prepare Gondor for battle, he certainly wouldn’t have been present during the Battle of Helm’s Deep and neither would Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli. At Of Blades and Kings, we lamented the fact that the company missed out on an opportunity for hope, but I think the story would’ve turned out for worse had the Fellowship waited one more day.

There would be no Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, or Pippin to with stand against Isengard and lead the Ents to attack. Without these characters’ influence, Rohan would’ve surely been wiped out and Gondor would’ve been left alone to fight Mordor and Isengard. I know if we look back on a lot of moments in our lives we can see how hindsight would’ve “helped,” but if we really think about it, everything tends to happen for a reason. Sometimes it happens so you can grow stronger as a person, sometimes things happen to reshape your perspective, and sometimes things happen to show us that we really can’t control anything. The hardest part is figuring out what that reason is. It helps me to remember the words of the Grey Pilgrim himself.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Let us know your thoughts about today’s event!

Thank you for your time, and remember, a light from the shadows shall spring.

– The Wandering One

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