by Silivren Ithildin
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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
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.
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
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.