Several days later, Frodo wakes and finds himself in Rivendell. Resting in bed to gain his bearings, he sits up sharply in amazement when he realizes that none other than Gandalf the Grey is sitting beside him. The wizard explains that Elrond, Lord of Rivendell, has healed Frodo’s wound by removing a splinter of the cursed knife that was buried deeply in Frodo’s torso. Gandalf also fills in many other details for Frodo, including the nature of the Black Riders, their vanquishing at the Ford of Bruinen through Gandalf and Elrond’s combined magic, and Strider’s true identity as a descendant of ancient kings.
The mighty wizard has returned to the story in his original role as a guide and a communicator of knowledge. He fills in gaps in recent history that Frodo has missed while unconscious. Elrond’s skill in healing is presumed to be great due to his removal of the evil knife shard from Frodo’s body.
Frodo reunites with the ever-loyal Sam, and they accompany their friends to a feast-like dinner in the House of Elrond. Frodo looks in wonder upon the particularly noble figures of Glorfindel, Elrond, and Elrond’s daughter Arwen, all of whom sit near one another at a great table.
Rivendell is a haven of light and goodness that is clearly linked to morally good forces. It acts as a refuge for the protagonists, offering them the chance to heal and make plans. Arwen appears only briefly here, but she is actually a major figure in Aragorn’s story.
After attending to the business of food, Frodo is also delighted to meet the person sitting beside him, for it is Bilbo’s old acquaintance Glóin (one of the thirteen dwarves who journeyed to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo and Gandalf long ago). Glóin has many stories to share with Frodo, who is happy to simply listen. For example, the paths between the mountains and Mirkwood forest are still clear for travel due to Grimbeorn the Old and his warriors, and the men of Dale have become a strong ally to the dwarves. Frodo is particularly interested to learn that some of Bilbo’s previous companions in the journey to the Lonely Mountain, three of the dwarves (Balin, Ori, and Óin) are currently unaccounted for. Glóin has come to seek Elrond’s advice on the matter.
Frodo can once again indulge in his love of good food as per life in the Shire. He meets a dwarf of legendary feats beside him, for Glóin is one of Bilbo’s companions in The Hobbit. The dwarf shares knowledge of happenings of the world through the many stories he tells Frodo.
After their meal, the company of diners follows Elrond and Arwen through to a great hall to enjoy singing and storytelling. Frodo is astonished to reconnect with Bilbo in the hall. They sit together happily as Bilbo relates his travels since leaving the Shire on his eleventy-first birthday. However, Frodo’s delight disappears when Bilbo asks to see the Ring. As he asks, Bilbo suddenly seems to transform into an unrecognizable, obsessive creature, and Frodo feels a sudden desire to hit his uncle. The moment is brief, with Bilbo lapsing back to his usual self as he takes back his request and recognizes the corruptive power of the Ring.
Frodo’s joy in reuniting with Bilbo is interrupted by the Ring’s evil, which tempts Bilbo into asking for it and makes him seem temporarily almost Gollum-like. Frodo is similarly influenced by its corruption when he feels a sudden desire toward violence, very unlike his usual character.
Next, Frodo and Sam tell Bilbo of all the eventful Shire news he has missed. For several minutes they do not notice that Strider has joined them. Bilbo greets the Ranger fondly, and man and hobbit step away to complete a song they have been working on together. Frodo dozes in the warmth of the hall and then, as if still in a dream, wakes and listens as Bilbo recites the song of ancient heroes to a small audience of elves. Uncle and nephew retire to Bilbo’s room to talk further, and finally Sam comes to insist that the still-recovering Frodo heads to bed so he can rest.
Alongside the renewal of dear relationships, Rivendell is a haven for stories and song. Even Bilbo the hobbit partakes in this tradition, as he and Strider have crafted a song that memorializes ancient heroes.