Sam's Thoughts

by Silivren Ithildin

2  3

8. The Mines of Moria

Part 1. The Watcher in the water.

Upon our arrival at the Walls of Moria, it was obvious this was going to be very interesting. There was no sign of a door that I could see. Gandalf said that they were so well made that even the Dwarves who made them sometimes had trouble finding them. I would have to say this door was exceptionally well made as all I saw was a rock wall that seemed to be never ending. Finally Gandalf managed to find the door. When the moon came out we could see the moonlight reflected on the door. It was quite beautiful! Gandalf read the elvish inscription on the door and began trying to find the right magic words to open it.

Strider pointed out to me that the Mines were no place for a pony and I had to agree that even though Bill is the best, he didn't need to go into the Mines with us, so after telling Bill good-bye, we set him loose. Strider said Bill would know the way home and I am very hopeful that I will one day get to see him again.

Gandalf finally gave up trying to figure out the password and sat down kind of mumbling to himself. Mister Frodo figured out the puzzle of the password and with just one elvish word, the doors opened wide. It was so dark in the Mines, even more that I thought it would be. I figured there would be torches lit along the way and maybe a guard watching the door, but, this I found out was not how it was. Many corspses littered the way and I was more than ready to leave the Mines. Legolas warned us that goblins had been involved in whatever battle had gone on there. The four of us Hobbits were ready to leave the Mines when the shouted warning came telling us to get out. At that moment unexpectedly something came out of the water and grabbed Mister Frodo with a long arm-like thing. I was able to sever one of the arms that had ahold of Frodo while Merry and Pippin pulled him away from the water. I yelled for Strider at the same time. The next thing I knew, Merry, Pip and I were on our backs. The thing had more arms that came up and pushed us down while picking Frodo up by the leg at the same time. We yelled for help and Boromir and Strider came running out. Seeing the situation they started hacking at the arms until the monster finally dropped Frodo. Legolas distracted the monster while Strider and Boromir got Frodo into the Mines. We all ran back into the Mines with the monster following right behind us. It pulled down the doors and the mine tunnel on itself.

We were left alone in the dark. Gandalf's staff somehow, thankfully, had a light coming out of it to help guide us. He told us that we needed to be as quiet as possible as we have a 4 day journey to get to the other side of the Mines and it would be best to not alert anything to our presence. One by one we started up the stairs on our way to the far side of the Mines.

Along a very steep pathway Mister Gandalf showed us that the thing that was mined in this mine was Mithril. It is very beautiful and when light hits it it glows with a bright silvery-white light. Gandalf said it is very valuable. Evidently Mister Bilbo got a shirt made out of Mithril rings from Thorin and this was very impressive to Gimli. I wonder if Frodo knows about this.

We came to a turn in the stairs where we were faced with three possible ways to go. This wouldn't have been a problem except Gandalf said he didn't remember this place. We tried to get comfortable while Gandalf pondered which was the correct way to go. I found myself silently agreeing with Pippin who told Merry that he was hungry. I enjoy my pipe but, I could really have used something to eat. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait for something to point us in the right direction. In the meantime, we sit.

Samwise Gamgee

Part 2:Balin's Tomb

While we were sitting around waiting for Gandalf to make up his mind on which way to go, Mister Frodo went to talk with him. I sense they are able to help and comfort each other when things are in doubt. I am glad they have this ability! After talking together for a little while, Gandalf finally decided which tunnel to take. He told Merry that if you were ever in doubt over which way to go, follow your nose. The way he chose he said didn't smell quite so foul. So, off we went.

All of a sudden we seemed to step out of the tunnel into a cavernous, empty place. Gandalf told us it was once the great realm of the Dwarf City of Dwarrowdelf. His staff somehow lit up even more and we could see an amazing stonework city that seemed to go on forever and ever. Definitely an eye-opener! Sadly though, this city is now empty except for some sad skeletons.

Gandalf started leading us on again when suddenly Gimli yelled out and started running for a room that was strangely lit up. Since Gandalf started after him, we all followed along. This room turned out to have a tomb in it that upset Gimli greatly. I think it is the tomb of his cousin. This is so sad. It is so hard to see Gimli cry!

Gandalf found an old beat-up book that told of the last days of the people whose skeletons litter the room. Their story really made me want to leave the room and immediately continue on our journey towards the bridge. How horrible to get caught in this room with no way out!

Unfortunately, Pippin chose that moment to mess with an arrow that was sticking out of a corpse's head. This caused the head to fall in which pulled the rest of the skeleton and then a bell down into the well it had been sitting on. Boy, did it ever make a lot of noise on the way down. Mister Gandalf got after Pippin something terrible. I think Pip just knocked on the door and yelled out quite loudly that we are in the house! So much for being quiet!

Down deep in the well we could hear drums beating which then began to echo around. I happened to notice that Mister Frodo's sword, Sting, was glowing a bright blue and I called out to Frodo to make sure he saw it too. After this we heard what sounded like hundreds of footsteps with orc screeching heard. They all sounded like they were coming straight at us. Boromir looked out the door and barely avoided getting shot with a couple of arrows. A cave troll! Boromir said they are coming with a cave troll. Oh, my! Strider and Boromir barred the door with some weapons that were lying around and we all gathered close to Gandalf. Legolas and Strider were waiting with arrows put to their bows. Man, did the orc screeching ever get loud. Suddenly the door started to splinter apart. As soon as there was a hole big enough for an arrow to go through, Legolas and Strider began shooting. We could hear that they hit some of the orcs, but, the door was finally brought down and in streamed the orcs. Legolas and Strider continued to bring down orcs with arrows but, then switched to swords like the rest of us. We all spread out to fight while the three of us Hobbits tried to shield Frodo as best we could.

Somehow I found myself faced with the cave troll. I had to duck between it's legs to avoid getting slammed with it's mace. Trust me, I never want to have to do that again, ew! The next thing I know, I'm backed into a corner and would have been stepped on if Strider hadn't pulled the troll's attention away from me.

The orcs seemed to be never ending even though we were fighting for what seemed like forever. At one point I had to start using one of our cooking skillets and whacking upside the head any of them I could reach with it. I really was starting to get the hang of it when I noticed the troll was trying to find Frodo who was hiding from it. He finally found Frodo and was trying to pick him up when Strider skewered it with a long spear, but, even that didn't kill it. The troll back-handed Strider and sent him flying. Frodo ran over to Strider to see if he was okay but Strider was out. Before any of the rest of us could get to them, the troll pulled the spear out of his side and caught Frodo against a wall and rammed the spear into him. We all thought Frodo was dead! This infuriated Merry and Pippin who leapt onto the troll's back and started slashing at it with their swords. Gandalf, Legolas, Boromir and Gimli were also spurred on to greater ferver and they dispatched the rest of the orcs. Legolas finally brought the troll down with an arrow shot through the roof of the troll's mouth.

By this time, Strider woke up and got to Frodo and I had made my way as close to them as I dared. I was so afraid that Frodo was gone. When Strider turned him over, to our great surprise, Mister Frodo was alive!! How, I couldn't begin to guess. I was just overjoyed he was still alive! Gandalf guessed there was something going on that no one else knew about. Mister Frodo showed us he had on an incredibly beautiful shirt of Mithril rings. I guess Mister Frodo did know about Mister Bilbo's Mithril shirt after all. Thankfully, it stopped the spear from killing Frodo.

We could hear more orcs coming so we all started to run towards the bridge as fast as we could. Man, will I ever be glad to get out of these mines!!

Samwise Gamgee

Part 3: Gandalf's Fall

Running for the bridge, we were completely surrounded by orcs. They were everywhere I looked. We couldn't go forward or back. And were they ever noisy. How are we going to make it out of this? I hope Mister Gandalf has some sort of Wizard magic to help us out!

All of a sudden, the orcs fell quiet and still. I even noticed quite a few of them acting like they were scared. At the far end of the city I noticed a red glow in the air and a loud growl. This stirred the orcs up something terrible and they disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Boromir asked Gandalf what this was. A Balrog. I've never heard of such a thing, but, as Mister Gandalf called it a demon, I'm not thinking it's something I want to see! Suddenly Gandalf yelled at us to RUN! Run, we did.

I can't wait to get out of these mines! It seems like we get out of one bad situation just to get into a worse one the next time!

It felt like we were running forever and from behind us I could hear this thing was still after us. We were running down a staircase when everyone just stopped. The staircase was gone and it looked like Legolas had had to pull Boromir back from falling off the edge. That would have been a terrible fall, it was a long way down. From here I could see the bridge in the distance. Hurray!

We continued down a different staircase. Only problem was, we ran into a stretch of the staircase where there were no stairs. Legolas jumped the distance pretty easily. The Balrog chose that moment to try to come through the little doorway after us. Gandalf jumped across next. Then orcs started shooting arrows at us to make it even more interesting. Legolas returned fire and the orcs started falling into the abyss. Boromir grabbed Merry and Pippin and jumped across. A little chunk of the staircase fell off at that point. Strider threw me across and Boromir caught me (that was a bit scary). I almost laughed when Gimli told Strider that nobody tosses a Dwarf. He jumped over and almost made it by himself, but, he ended up needing Legolas to help him. To do so, Legolas had to grab ahold of his beard to keep him from falling into the abyss. While Gimli was yelling "not the beard", I was thinking-"hey, pull the beard all you want if it will save him"! Well, Gimli has a very strong beard and Legolas was able to pull him over to our side with it. This left Strider and Frodo to get across. But, wouldn't you know it, a large chunk of the staircase on the side they were on chose that moment to fall off into the abyss. Strider had to throw Frodo back up the stairs and scramble up the stairs himself to keep them both from falling with the chunk. Now it is so far across I can't see them being able to get over. The Balrog chose that moment to try getting through the doorway again and some stonework from the ceiling came crashing down onto the stairs behind Strider and Frodo and broke the part they were on free. After some crazy wobbling here and there it finally came to meet the part we were on with a jarring thud and we were all able to continue down the stairs towards the bridge.

Still running we finally made it to the bridge. It was so narrow and so high up I had to really concentrate on just looking straight ahead as I ran across, not down. We all made it across. Looking back, I saw Mister Gandalf had stopped in the middle of the bridge and faced the Balrog. Standing there, he looked tiny next to the Balrog. But, he stood up to him and wasn't letting him across. All of a sudden Gandalf had this white light surrounding him and when the Balrog tried to strike him with a flaming sword of fire the light stopped it in it's tracks. Way to go, Gandalf. Well, as you can imagine, the Balrog didn't seem to like that very much. The next thing we knew, he was cracking a whip of fire and stepping out onto the bridge. Mister Gandalf just yelled out to him "You shall not pass!" and then he struck the bridge with the end of his staff which made a loud cracking sound. With the next step out onto the bridge, the Balrog showed us just exactly what Gandalf had done with his staff. The bridge broke away under the weight of the Balrog and it fell into the abyss. Gandalf turned to get off the bridge when unexpectedly a rope of fire wound itself around his ankle and he was pulled down. Boromir had to stop Frodo from following after Gandalf. Gandalf caught himself on the very edge of the bridge, but unable to get himself up he just told us to go on and let go. I couldn't believe it!

In disbelief and great grief we all stumbled out the doors of Moria. All I could do was sit down and cry. Gandalf's gone. I never thought it could happen. Strider picked me up and told me we had to be moving on as more orcs would be swarming all over the place we are now. Everyone was getting up when we found that Frodo wasn't near. In the distance we saw him kind of stumbling around. When Strider called out to him, Frodo turned around. I NEVER want to see that look on Frodo's face again as long as I live. I don't remember being that scared for anyone else's well-being, ever. I knew that Gandalf and Frodo shared a very special friendship, but, until that moment I hadn't come close to guessing just how special it was. I wish we had some time to allow Frodo to rest and grieve, but, we had to move on.

So, once again, we were off running.

Samwise Gamgee