Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In "The Council of Elrond" Boromir states that he has journeyed one hundred and ten days to reach Rivendell from Minas Tirith. Why did it take him so long? Gimli states that Mordor to the mountains above Moria is 300 leagues which is 900 miles (when they are contemplating the Redhorn pass). Minas Tirith is a bit nearer, but they've travelled south from Rivendell so I estimate his journey at 1000-1100 miles. So at best he's averaged 10 miles/day even though he's a strong determined man on horseback. I just can't reconcile that journey time with the known dimensions of Middle Earth.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

There were a couple of reasons. Firstly, as jwenting states, he simply didn't know where it was. As he said at the Council of Elrond:

Long have I wandered by roads forgotten, seeking the house of Elrond, of which many had heard, but few knew where it lay.

The second reason is that he lost his horse halfway through, as he tells Celeborn:

A long and wearisome journey. Four hundred leagues I reckoned it, and it took me many months, for I lost my horse at Tharbad, at the fording of the Greyflood.

(Note that the comparison to the distance from Moria is not very useful: Boromir did not go that way, but went via the Gap of Rohan, as Saruman had not yet revealed himself as a traitor. However, all things being equal, that would actually have shortened his journey, if not for the points above.)

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! I'm glad my estimate of the distance wasn't too far off. I hadn't factored in some wasted miles due to not knowing the way. Saruman - who at the time was still pretending to be Gondor's friend - could surely have given him directions though. –  TheMathemagician Apr 3 '13 at 9:37

The main reason as stated in the books is that he didn't know where it was. He had only an old riddle to go on, which told him to seek out Imladris, where Elrond Half Elven dwelt.
Not only was that name almost forgotten, the location was too. So he spent a lot of time wandering whither and thither looking for information about Imladris, until eventually arriving there.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! I'm surprised Denethor didn't give him more precise directions. With a palantir I'm sure he could have pin-pointed Rivendell's location very easily. Saruman could also have told him where it was as he came through the Gap of Rohan and the Rangers could have directed him as well once he reached the North. –  TheMathemagician Apr 3 '13 at 9:40
    
A Palantir can not see where the viewer does not know to look, so unless Denethor knew the location already, he could not see it. As the old riddle only mentioned the Elven name and Minas Tirith had grown weary of elves, I doubt Denethor or Boromir would have spoken to elves, let alone about an obscure riddle. He never afaik came near Saruman's stronghold, the gap is wide enough you can cross it without getting near. The Company avoided it because of Saruman's spies, not because it was to narrow to cross without going through Saruman's direct dominion. –  jwenting Apr 3 '13 at 9:52

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.