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I think I see where it would have been worthwhile for Gimli to be on the mission if he forever changed the elves' minds about dwarves

I don't know if Gimli changed all of the elves minds about all dwarves, but he certainly made a beginning. He certainly made an impression on some very powerful people - Galadriel, Celeborn and probably Elrond, who chose him for the mission in the hopes that he and Legolas might forge some kind of truce. And of course, Legolas himself was the son of Thranduil of Mirkwood. Gimli's friendship with the prince may have begun to mend some bridges there.
I see what you are saying, but how far are you in the book? See, in the book, I feel Legolas and Gimli are on about the same level as members of the fellowship (the hobbits are the heros, for Tolkien, Merry and Pippin have much bigger roles to come than what they got in TT while Aragorn is THE KING and greatest man on earth, while Gandalf is, well, Gandalf). That is why I think they end up such good friends, as they are the two supporting members in a way. Now, in the movies, Legolas is made uber-cool, as everyone has been noting, while Gimli is made into comic relief. That's a bit unfair, I think. Legolas has a wide range of skills, because he's an elf, that he can use more often than Gimli can apply his dwarf skills (the fellowship never needs to forge weapons, armor or construct anything out of stone, wheras far-seeing eyes are always usefull in the open plains of Rohan). I know that Moria may be seen as "his turf" but he had never been there, and in fact dwarves hadn't been back there in hundreds of years, apart from Balin's expedition which they didn't have much contact with (didn't even know they were all dead!). I thought that, though I don't remember exactly, in the books he takes a more active role leading them through the caves, while Aragorn and Legolas are mostly silent. Gandalf is, of course, in charge, because he's been through before.

We mustn't overlook, however, his value to the fellowship as a plain and simple warrior. He's probably the second best fighter in there, at close range. Aragorn is, of course, matchless, but Legolas, in the books, is very arrow-dependent, and not quite the knife-wielding badass of the films. You'll see when you get to the competition part--it is in the books! Also, he saves Eomer's life at Helm's deep (not a big spoiler--though in the movies, Eomer isn't even at the battle... Shaking Head Smilie ). And, looking just at the films, Gimli does save Aragorn in the battle at the end of Fellowship (as does Legolas, I think). In the two towers film, even his fighting has to be comic, though, as he gets trapped under two wargs in the first battle...

Anyway, I think the point raised about Gimli as helping dwarf-elf relations is a good one. Basically, though, I feel that he and Legolas are there to do the fighting and support Aragorn and the hobbits in their quest, which they do admirably, and the quest couldn't have been completed without two such fighters. Does Legolas not deserve the "why is he there" question simply because he can see or miles, shoot a bow and help Aragorn with the tracking a little? If so, then Gimli is there because he can wield an axe and protect and serve his companions and represent the dwarves in the quest to save the world.
Very Sad Smilie To all who read this post yesterday:

What I wrote here yesterday was inconsiderate and even though I said it was not to taken as personal, it was. For this I am sorry and even though I know those words can't be put back into the bottle, I wish I had never said them. Very Sad Smilie

Please forgive me and continue on your journey for knowledge in fellowship here at Planet-Tolkien.com.


[Edited on 10/2/2003 by Grondmaster]
And don't forget, Gimli's Dwarfish knowledge of stone working came in pretty darn handy at Helm's Deep AND Minas Tirith.
I think Gimli's inclusion at the start was so that all of the Free Peoples would be represented in the Fellowship. This in itself was a very important point.

Okay, apart from his stout fighting, Gimli did very little that was unique to just himself. He did singlehandedly, however, mend a rift that had existed between Elves and Dwarves that had stretched right back to the First Age. Back then the Dwarves of Nogrod had slain King Thingol (a relation of Celeborn) through greed over a silmaril. That act had never been forgiven by Celeborn until Gimli entered Lothlorien.

Further, grievances between the Dwarves and the Elves of Lothlorien had occurred when the Dwarves dug too deep and freed the Balrog from its prison. This act had indirectly cost Lothlorien their king (Amroth).

Gimli's great act, therefore, was simply to show Galadriel and Celeborn that as individuals Dwarves were not all bad, and thus gained forgiveness for his people. I believe it was for this act that he, alone of all the Dwarves, was granted permission to live out his final days in the Undying Lands.
So I guess that PR is pretty important, I hadn't really thought of it that way before. And yes, Gimli is a very good fighter, perhaps I haven't gotten to the parts where he really stands out.

Thanks for the insight!
Please see my new words in the post above. Thank you.
OH BOY. I got to the part where Gimli pulls his weight. He really kicked some butt in the battle at Helm's Deep, in a VERY DWARFY way...whoa. NO MORE questions about Gimli from me.

**HUGS grondy in renewed fellowship**

[Edited on 11/2/2003 by musicimprovedme]
Big Smile Smilie Yup, s'right. Wink Smilie

Here's a Gimli question: Why Gimli? What was so special about Gimli, Gloin's son, that made him the one to join the fellowship? I mean, why does Tolkien take Gloin's son along, and not Dain's, or Balin's or Dwalin's, or even Dori's? For example, Legolas is Thranduil's son (which I only realized when I heard it in the film), which makes him Prince of Mirkwood, basically. Gloin, however, while of Durin's line (2nd cousin of Balin, Dwalin) is not particularly special, and many other dwarves from the Hobbit play a bigger role. Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts...

[Edited on 11/2/2003 by Dain_II]
Gloin and Gimli were at the Council of Elrond on business of their own, and so it was that Gimli got roped into becoming part of the Fellowship. Had Dain's son been there, he probably would have gone instead of Gimli. They were hardly likely to send a messenger to Erebor, however, asking Dain's son to urgently accompany them on a secret mission in which he would most likely die.

The fellowship was chosen from people who just happened to be there, and none of them had been summoned to the meeting. They had all turned up for their own reasons.
The fellowship was chosen from people who just happened to be there, and none of them had been summoned to the meeting. They had all turned up for their own reasons.
Or Eru's. They were all there for different reasons, but each of those reasons had some ramification bearing on The Ring:

Gimli, because Sauron was looking for Bilbo and 'the least of rings;'

Legolas, because Gollum The Ring hunter was on the loose;

Boromir, because 'Isulfur's Bane shall waken, and the Halfling forth shall stand;'

Merry, Pippin, and Sam to protect said Hafling, the bearer of The Ring;

Frodo, to keep The Ring from Sauron and to save The Shire from destruction;

Aragorn, to protect The Ring and its bearer;

and Gandalf, because the downfall of Sauron, which was the task for which he had been sent to Middle-earth, could be accomplished via the destruction of The Ring.

That all these people just happened to meet in the fullness of time, can not be mere coincidence; a higher postAuthorIDity, Eru's hand had to be at work in all this.
I think that if Eru is the closest thing that Tolkien offers us for God, that he most definitely must have been involved to bring all the right people to Elrond at the right time.

SO....can I get an amen for Grondy??

I would also add that since all these seemingly random errands were part of the same problem, it made the fellowship's mission a reasonable thing to do, AND it showed us exactly how big of a menace the Ring was already proving to be. By forming the fellowship, each person who "happened" upon the Counsel of Elrond was taking care of their own business as well as each others', and hoping to head off future, larger disaster that was certain even if they didn't know exactly what was in store.

[Edited on 12/2/2003 by musicimprovedme]
Eru is God, the creator, right?

Anyway, I guess I was asking more about why Tolkien chose Gimli than why Eru chose Gimli. But, yes, I remember now that they were there to tell about the Nazgul's visit to Erebor, and a messenger wouldn't be Dain himself, of course, or his son. But Gloin is still a strange choice. Tolkien just has a thing for pyromaniacs, I guess... Wink Smilie
I'm not sure at all...but if I was asking that question, I would consult the Hobbit. I'm a nanny and between jobs at the moment so most of my books are in boxes right now, and I haven't read the Hobbit in over a year, but if I had my copy of Hobbit, I would be looking for something about Gloin, Gimli's dad, in there. Maybe he is spunkier or braver or more honorable, OR maybe a better friend to Bilbo or something and based on his father's reputation, Gimli was Tolkien's natural choice as the "heir" for this job.

On the other hand, if that pans out not to be true, and Gimli is just an ordinary guy, then maybe Tolkien used him to pose the question of exactly HOW honorable dwarfs are as a race. As if to say..."well here's Gimli, Joe Schmo who represented the dwarves, and look at what he did. Now, what do you suppose the Dwarf Royalty (or whatever) is like?"

It's just a hunch.

[Edited on 12/2/2003 by musicimprovedme]
But Gloin is still a strange choice.
I think I may have partially found the reason: Gloin may have been the closest in linage to Dain of the surviving members of Thorin Oakenshields company. Kili and Fili were killed at the battle of Five Armies; Balin, Ori, and Oin were killed in Moria, Dwalin died a six years before the Council of Elrond. Bifur, Bofor and Bombur were descended from the Dwarves of Moria, but were not of Durin's line. Which only leaves unaccounted, Nori and Dori who though they were also of Durin's line, may have been deceased, out of favor, or merely indisposed.
That's exactly the reasoning I was looking for! I didn't realise Dwalin had died before the council. Gloin is then the closest living dwarf of Durin's line who isn't Dain. Perfect! (Dori and Nori are of Durin's line, but not as close to the royal line, as noted on the family tree.) Thanks!
From the perspective of a story-writer, Gimli is included in the story for several reasons, most of which have been mentioned:

1) Gimli represented the Dwarves, on of the free peoples of Middle Earth
2) He would bridge the rift between the Elves and the Dwarves
3) He was a good fighter and was thus valuable to the survival of the fellowship
4) He was of the son of Gloin, one of the dwarves that was on the journey with Bilbo in the Hobbit, thus providing a sense of continuity since LOTR was meant to be a sequel to The Hobbit

This last point should be noted as good storytellers are able to provide strong links between various key characters in the plot. Gimli was also the nephew of Balin, and the trip to Khazad-Dum gave Tolkien an opportunity to describe the culture of the dwarves through the descriptions of Gimli, that would otherwise have been a neglected area of Middle Earth.

Gimli also served as a character that would challenge the biasness of the Elves towards the Dwarves, for even Galadriel stated that he was polite. The careful crafting of the Fellowship displays Tolkien's meticulous details towards the crafting of his masterpiece.
Wait a moment! Dwalin did NOT die before the council of Elrond! He died in 3112, 4th Age! I thought I would have remembered if he had. And it took looking at an old encylclopedia article that I wrote years ago to find out! http://www.barrowdowns.com/Description.asp?Size=&Param=EntryID&Data=305&Thumb=

Speaking of Gimli being polite, does anyone know what he says to Haldir in one of the added scenes in Lorien (extended FotR DVD)? Aragorn obviously understands him, and sys "that was not curteous", but what does he say? I don't know much khuzdul...

[Edited on 14/2/2003 by Dain_II]
Wait a moment! Dwalin did NOT die before the council of Elrond! He died in 3112, 4th Age!
Oops, 3112 isn't 3012 which is what I took it for, when I read their family tree on the next to the last page of Appendix A of RotK. I think my mis-read was because it didn't have the "(F.A. 91)" like the death dates for Gloin and Gimli did.

Anyway Dain II is absolutely right. So maybe Dwalin was making new axe and couldn't be bothered carrying the postBody to Rivendell and maybe he didn't have a son that needed to see the world. Or Maybe Gimli's mother just wanted her son and husband out of her hair for a while and volunteered them for the job. I don't know, but at least I tried.
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