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Was it Gollum?

Sting99

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I remember when the Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry first reached Bree, it said a shadow slipped in.

The man stared after the hobbits for a moment, and then he
went back into his house. As soon as his back was turned, a dark
figure climbed in over the gate and melted into the shad-
ows of the village street.
(The Fellowship of the Ring,Pg:191 para:5)

I was wondering if it was Gollum? or was it something else?
 
G

Gandalf 2058

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I do not believe it was gollum. I don't think he started following them until moria. I think it was probably strider. If not, then maybe a ringwraith.
 

Lantarion

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No, Gollum caught up with the Fellowship in Moria, when Frodo first sensed him. He had been to Mordor before that, and was presumably on some kind of orders from Sauron. But he had been locked up in Mirkwood, and he escaped.
Anyway, the 'shadow' was a Black Rider, one of the Nazgul. It is arguable whether it was the Lord of the Nazgul or just another of the eight 'regular' ones.
 

Gandalf714

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I do believe my other namesake is correct here. The shadow was Aragorn. If it was a nazgul he would have attacked. Strider does say he was watching the road for Frodo when he first meets him at the inn, and that he heard Frodo say the name of Baggins should not be used, if any name should be needed Underhill should be used.
 

Lantarion

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But in the book, when Frodo asks about 'that stranger sitting in the corner', Butterbur says, I believe, that he has been sitting there all evening. And Aragorn would have had no need for secrecy. He didn't want to show himself to the hobbits too quickly, of course, but he had no need to be so secretive. And Nazgul aren't some brainless fighting machines. They have minds, and they are intelligent. The only time they [try to] attack the Fellowship is in the deep of night, when everybody is sleeping. And then they attack the beds, and attmpt to kill them in their sleep. [A Knife in the Dark]
 

Sting99

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Thank you guys! Thats been bothering me & my brother all week!
 

Bill the Pony

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I agree with the Gandalfs here.

From chapter 10, when Strider is talking to the hobbits:

. That interested me so much that I followed them here. I slipped over the gate just behind them.
So it must have been Strider. He may have been sitting in the common room all evening, because the hobbits first had dinner before they went there.
The reason for climbing over instead of just entering may be that the gate keeper, and in general the people in Bree, did not quite trust the Rangers, so he may not have let Strider in after nightfall.
 

chrome_rocknave

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hmmm interesting thread..

While reading it I assumed it was a Nazgul. I figured it wasn't Strider because he had been sitting there before the Hobbits got to the Pony. However, now I'm beginning to think that maybe it wasn't a Nazgul.... I mean they can't see and a Nazgul wouldn't do too well out in a crowded street just sniffing...
 
S

sigo94

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I agree with the Gandalf's above.. And anyway, wouldn't a Nazgul have had a hard time 'sneaking' over the gate?

1) They wore all that armor to give them 'shape' and 'form'. Ever try to sneak anywhere wearing 100lb of metal plates, rings, etc, let alone climb over a gate?
2) The aura of fear they carried around marks them like a torch.. kinda hard to hide when everyone grows uneasy and gets scared when you're in the neighborhood..

just my $.02
 

gaffer

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for the record, if the aragorn theory doesn't fly (although it is true), gollum actually got trapped in moria from the east, so he couldn't have been in bree. just thought i'd throw that at you guys.
 

Anarchist

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I agree with Bill the Pony. It was Aragorn. I gave it a good thought when i firrst read it. I thought at first that it was a Dark Rider. But Dark Riders make other fear when they pass. I was Strider.
 

Legolam

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Yeah, it was Strider. he'd followed them from their parting with Bombadil and had heard Frodo say "The name of Baggins must not be mentioned. i am Underhill, if any name must be given" or words to that effect. The gatekeeper was very suspicious of the Rangers and if he had problems letting in the hobbits after nightfall, then he surely wouldn't have let Strider in.
 

Lantarion

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I was wrong?? How can this be?!

Heh, alright alright: the Gandalfs were correct. I had completely forgotten that nifty little quote. "...I slipped over the gate just behind them." Dang! :D
But it could have been one of the Ringwraiths, in theory. I don't think it is stated anywhere whether the Nazgûl were actually within the walls of Bree or just outside the gates before they got to the company at night. Ah well, shows over. Nothing to see here! :)
 

Snaga

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Ponifex posted:

And Nazgul aren't some brainless fighting machines. They have minds, and they are intelligent. The only time they [try to] attack the Fellowship is in the deep of night, when everybody is sleeping. And then they attack the beds, and attmpt to kill them in their sleep. [A Knife in the Dark]
Pontifex I too always thought it was the Nazgul that attacked the beds in the Inn, but another thread suggested that they had instead put someone up to it - perhaps Bill Ferny, or the southerner. This would fit the statement from Aragorn that the 9 wouldn't attack the inn, they would wait until the hobbits were alone in the wild. Small but interesting point, I thought.
 
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Smèagol_Gollum

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You're all mad. you're missing something pretty obvious. Why the hell would Aragorn go through the trouble of going over the fence!?! He could just as easily walked up to the door like the hobbits! I mean, my god, how did you all miss this? I would say it WAS Gollum, because he knew where that narsssty Bagginsss came from--the Shire. It certainly wasn't a Nazgul, who could merely have slain the doorman. Gollum wanted his Ring, yess, his Precious. No one in their right mind would have let him in if they saw him, pitiful as he was. And so, he jumped the fence.
 
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Smèagol_Gollum

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Aha, but Gandalf told Frodo that Gollum had been following them for three days, before or after they left Moria , I'm not sure. If you still think it was Aragorn, please explain why he climbed over the fence.
 

Bill the Pony

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Sméagol-Gollum
As stated in my reply about 13 posts above:
Aragorn himself says he slipped over the gate just behind them. (note this is literally copied from the book). So for sure, Aragorn climbed over. If Gollum did as well, I don't know. In the same post I gave a reason why Aragorn might prefer to climb over instead of knock on the gate. Somehow you seem to think that's not a good enough reason. Please tell me why.

Another one might be that Aragorn did not trust Harry the gatekeeper, as shown in this quote where A is talking about the ringwraiths:
But their power is in terror, and already some in Bree are in their clutch. They will drive these wretches to some evil work: Ferny, and some of the strangers, and, maybe, the gatekeeper too. They had words with Harry at West-gate on Monday. I was watching them. He was white and shaking when they left him.'
 

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