Course Hero. "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 20 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/>.
Course Hero. (2016, December 2). The Lord of the Rings Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide." December 2, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/.
Course Hero, "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide," December 2, 2016, accessed May 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/.
Frodo, Sam, and Pippin go back to the small parlor in which they had supper. Merry seems to have gone out, but Strider is waiting for them. The three hobbits are surprised and suspicious, but Strider seems to know more about their errand than they do. As they talk, Butterbur knocks, and apologizes for forgetting to give "Mr. Underhill" a letter Gandalf had left for him. Strider eventually convinces the hobbits he is trustworthy, despite his rough appearance, because he matches a description in Gandalf's letter. They agree to use him as their guide to Rivendell.
Suddenly Merry appears, breathless. He had been outside and had a frightening encounter with Black Riders. Realizing the Riders have found them, they decide to stay in the parlor rather than return to their rooms. Bolsters are placed in their beds to make it appear the hobbits are asleep.
Amid the unrest of Frodo's blunder and Merry's frightening experience, Strider tries to convince the hobbits to trust him enough to take him as their guide. As he rightly points out, they have become suspicious and secretive a bit too late—having already escalated the danger by revealing themselves to everyone at the inn. He first reveals that he overheard them talking with Tom Bombadil, and reveals (to the reader) he is the dark figure that slipped over the gate as they entered Bree. He seems to know more about the Black Riders than they do: "I know more about these pursuers than you do. You fear them, but you do not fear them enough, yet."
However, it is really Gandalf's letter that convinces them. The rhyme it contains offers a clue by which they can confirm his identity: "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost," is a reference to Strider's wandering ways and rough appearance, and the "blade that was broken" pertains to Strider's sword. Two other important points are made about Strider, also known now as Aragorn. First, the rhyme contains a prophecy that bears watching as events unfold: "Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." Second, Strider knows about the Ring and could easily take it from the defenseless hobbits, but he does not. Resisting the lure of the Ring places him in good company with Faramir, Gandalf, and Galadriel.