‘This is my last word,’ said Elrond. ‘The Ring-Bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. On him alone is any charge laid… The others go with him as free companions, to help him on his way. You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows. The further you go, the less easy will it be to withdraw; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.’
‘Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,’ said Gimli.
‘Maybe,’ said Elrond, ‘but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.
‘Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,’ said Gimli.
‘Or break it,’ said Elrond. ‘Look not too far ahead! But go now with good hearts!’