Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is certainly one of the most important – if not the most important – fantasy work of the modern age. The franchise has defined modern fantasy and thanks to Peter Jackson’s amazing films, it has become popular around the world. And while Jackson was true to the original works of Tolkien for the majority of the time, there were some changes and additions that just look better in the movie, which explains that they were changed or added. Some of these scenes continue to confuse fans and that is why we have decided to explain one of these scenes to you. In An Unexpected Journey, when Thorin and his crew first meet Lord Elrond, he says something in Elvish to them. Initially, they do not understand what he said and they want to fight, but Gandalf soon clears everything up. So, what did Eldond say to them? Keep reading to find out.
Elrond spoke in Elvish, telling his men to prepare food and wine for Thorin and the others. The Dwarves did not understand Elvish, which is why they thought Elrond had insulted them but Gandalf soon cleared everything up by translating Elrond’s words.
In one of the most funny and iconic scenes of the first Hobbit movie, Elrond speaks to the Dwaves in Elvish and confuses them, and also us. We are going to tell you what Elrond said and we are going to explain the full context of that whole situation, so stick with us to the end.
What did Elrond say to Thorin and the others in Elvish?
As Thowin, Bilbo, Gandalf and the other Dwarves were on their way, they made a brief stop at Rivendell, where they met Elrond, who offered them food, drinks and a place to stay. Although initially hostile towards Elrond, the Dwarves calmed down once they observed that he had no malicious intentions; Gandalf also helped resolve the issues. After resolving all the problems, the Dwarves attended a feast and after a conversation with Elrond, they continued on their journey. This is how Peter Jackson shot the meeting scene:
Now, if you observed carefully, there is a short sentence that Elrond utters just before the end of the scene. Elrond speaks to his men in Elvish, a language the Dwarves do not understand and this is how it looked like in the screenplay (we have not been able to find the original screenplay, so we are using a relatively precise transcription):
EXT. COURTYARD – RIVENDELL – DAY 68– The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (screenplay)
ANGLE ON: The Company enters the main courtyard of
Rivendell. The entire place seems to be suspended in an
eternal state of tranquility. Bilbo looks around him, awed
by Rivendell’s majesty.
A dark-haired elf, LINDIR, walks down a flight of stairs
nearby. He gives Gandalf a courteous smile.
As the two greet one another, the dwarves MURMUR IN
(in Elvish; subtitled)
We heard you had crossed into the
I must speak with Lord Elrond.
My lord Elrond is not here.
Not here? Where is he?
Suddenly, ELVISH HORNS RING OUT across the courtyard. The
Company turns. ARMED HORSEMAN approach the Company at a
rapid rate. The dwarves raise their weapons, defensive.
Elves ride into courtyard, looking down at the dwarves in
confusion. They circle around the Company, banners caught
high in the breeze. Slowly the elves come to a halt.
CLOSE ON: Their leader, ELROND, separates himself from the
The wizard bows gracefully.
(in Elvish; subtitled)
My friend! Where have you been.
(in Elvish; subtitled)
We’ve been hunting a pack of orcs
that came up from the south. We
slew a number near the hidden pass.
ANGLE ON: Elrond dismounts from his horse, where he and
Gandalf embrace. After they part, Elrond begins to tend to
Strange for Orcs to come so close
to our borders. Something, or
someone has drawn them near.
That may have been us.
CLOSE ON: Thorin steps forward. Elrond looks upon him with
Welcome Thorin, son of Thrain.
I do not believe we have met.
You have your grandfather’s
bearing. I knew Thror when he ruled
under the Mountain.
Indeed; he made no mention of you.
Ignoring this insult, Elrond looks to all the dwarves. He
begins to SPEAK IN ELVISH.
Light the fires, bring forth the
wine. We must feed our guests.
The dwarves grow bellicose and GRIP THEIR WEAPONS UNEASILY.
Gloin jumps forward, raising up his AXE.
What is he saying? Does he offer us
Gandalf steps forward, stern.
No, master Gloin, he’s offering you
The dwarves circle up, discussing with one another in LOW
WHISPERS. Gloin turns back to Elrond, disgruntled.
Well, in that case, lead on.
ANGLE ON: The elf gives a curt nod and strides up the
stairs. The dwarves follow behind him, uneasy
The scene actually turned out to be quite a funny one. The Dwarves became angry as they though that Elrond had insulted them; Thorin had insulted Elrond moment ago and in the context of their exchange and the general relationship between the Dwarves and the Elves, Gloin wasn’t all that hasty to think that an Elf would insult a Dwarf in Elvish. Yet, as Gandalf soon explained, Elrond was a very hospitable host and he offered his guests a feast, instead of insult. The Dwarves, of course, accepted and went with Elrond into his home.
Why did the Dwarves think that he offered them insult?
Now, this is a simple misunderstanding, this whole scene, and although such things could potentially be fatal for some, it turned out quite well in the end for all parties involved. The main reason why Gloin and the other Dwarves thought Elrond had insulted them is because they did not understand Elvish. They heard Elrond speak but they had absolutely no clue what he said; luckily for them, Gandalf was there to translate properly and the Dwarves trusted Gandalf. This mistrust is not shat strange, since the Dwarves and the Elves are perceived to be historical enemies in Tolkien’s Legendarium, which explains why the Dwarves’ first thought was that the unknown words were an insult and not something benevolent.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!