Right before Frodo and company head into the Old Forest, Frodo has this dream.

Eventually he fell into a vague dream, in which he seemed to be looking out of a high window over a dark sea of tangled trees. Down below among the roots there was the sound of creatures crawling and snuffling. He felt sure they would smell him out sooner or later. Then he heard a noise in the distance. At first he thought it was a great wind coming over the leaves of the forest. Then he knew that it was not leaves, but the sound of the Sea far-off; a sound he had never heard in waking life, though it had often troubled his dreams. Suddenly he found he was out in the open. There were no trees after all. He was on a dark heath, and there was a strange salt smell in the air. Looking up he saw before him a tall white tower, standing alone on a high ridge. A great desire came over him to climb the tower and see the Sea. He started to struggle up the ridge towards the tower: but suddenly a light came in the sky, and there was a noise of thunder.

Was this dream supposed to be in some way prophetic, foretelling his future sailing to the Undying Lands? Or was there another reason/outcome for this dream?

2 Answers 2


He had several

There are numerous occasions where Frodo has dreams which come true (or nearly true).

The most obvious is in Tom Bombadil's house:

In this one he is standing before a circular wall of rock that has a great gate carved into it. Beyond this wall is a plain with a great stone tower rising from its center. On the tower stands a man, though Frodo can only just make out his figure and the whiteness of his hair. He can hear the crying and howling of “fell voices” surrounding the tower, and see a winged shape passing across the moon. Then, the man atop the tower produces a flash of light from his staff and leaps onto the back of an enormous eagle. There is the sound of galloping horses, coming from the East, and Frodo immediately thinks “Black Riders!” as he awakes.

This is obviously a prophetic dream of Gandalf escaping from Isengard.

The dream you mention is definitely a prophecy as well, it tells of his journey through the middle Earth to his sail to the Undying Lands.

As to why he is having prophetic dreams, I imagine the most likely answer is

the ring

It is noticeable that all his dreams come after he gets possession of the ring, and the ring being such a powerful source of magic, then one can assume that is the cause. It messes with your mind, as shown with Golum, so it must have messed with Frodo's unconscious mind.

We aren't directly told whether it is a prophecy and what causes it, but one can make assumptions.


There is something called the Path of Dreams in Tolkien's early versions of the legendarium. It is unclear but very probable that Elves used it in the beginning to travel to Valinor, because once the Valar got a hold of them, everything changed and the Path was taken out of the mythology. This is quite significant when taken as one big story, because Frodo's name in Adûnaic is actually linked with the Path of Dreams in Gnomish (Noldorian). Malmaurien vs. Maura Labingi (Frodo Baggins). Likewise, Gandalf's name is equally linked with the Dreams, hence Olórin vs. Olórë Mallë (Way of Dreams).

So yes, there was a different outcome to the dream, that of reconnecting Aman with Middle-earth, and also revealing the reason why it had been hidden. The event seen in the dream is obviously an asteroid impact, which tilted the Axis of the planet from its original position - this information is recorded in the layout of the Palantíri brought from Númenor (Atlantis) to Middle-earth. That's why there is something called "the True West" as opposed to the "crooked" way that no longer takes ships to Valinor. The Palantíri are aligned pointing to the True West as well as providing a current measurement of the tilt. AND, at the intersection of the two axis lines, is Bag End.

There is a very high number of asteroid references in Tolkien's stories, you just have to look for them (wheel of fire, etc). And as for the dreams, yes those are very significant as well. They don't just show something that will happen later, they are more like entering a parallel world where one's individuality is not separated from the whole of creation. As such, they provide different insight.

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