They Escaped in the End


It was fascinating to reread LOTR recently, and discover that Gandalf uses the same phrase -- "he escaped in the end" -- to refer to two very different people who experienced the lure of the Ring of Power. Though their responses to that Ring differed greatly, and they both needed help to overcome it -- Bilbo with the help of Gandalf's urging and his own good hobbit sense, and Boromir, with the help of Merry and Pippin's peril and his sorrow at what he had done to Frodo -- ultimately it was the same result for both of them: Bilbo and Boromir escaped in the end.


THEY ESCAPED IN THE END -- A Found Poem*

What a pity!

He had a chance, what a pity
Bilbo did not stab that vile creature!
Pity stayed his hand, and mercy
Not to strike without need.
He took little hurt, escaped in the end.

What a trial!

For such a man, a sore trial;
A warrior and a lord of men
In peril -- poor Boromir!
But he escaped in the end.
He died well, may he sleep in peace.


*Some liberties were taken to make the comparisons, but only tiny ones. The phrases were taken from the chapters Shadow of the Past, The White Rider, and The Seige of Gondor.