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TIME - June 26

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Jun 26, 1:26pm

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Today in Middle-earth

June 26, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo announces his plans to leave Hobbiton
(not from the appendices)

..."One summer's evening an astonishing piece of news reached the Ivy Bush and Green Dragon. Giants and other portents on the borders of the Shire were forgotten for more important matters: Mr. Frodo was selling Bag End, indeed he had already sold it—to the Sackville-Bagginses!
...'For a nice bit, too,' said some. 'At a bargain price,' said others, 'and that's more likely when Mistress Lobelia's the buyer….'
...…Just why Mr. Frodo was selling his beautiful hole was even more debatable than the price. A few held the theory—supported by the nods and hints of Mr. Baggins himself—that Frodo's money was running out: he was going to leave Hobbiton and live in a quiet way on the proceeds of the sale down in Buckland among his Brandybuck relations. 'As far from the Sackville-Bagginses as may be,' some added."



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Jun 27, 2:54pm

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Today in Middle-earth

June 27, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo has a shadow in Rivendell.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

...As he became familiar with Elrond’s House, Bilbo noticed things he missed before. He knew he was the first hobbit to visit, yet hadn’t drawn much attention as he was known by everybody… save one. He felt he was being watched. When he quickly turned to look, there was nothing but rustling of bushes or quick crunching on the path. Finally, one day he heard a woman’s soft voice behind the hedge as she led a young boy away. “Come, Estel. I know you’re curious about our new friend; but you mustn’t intrude. Perhaps Lord Elrond will introduce you someday.”


June 27, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The time has come for Gandalf to leave.
(not from the appendices)

..."Then one evening, at the end of June, soon after Frodo's plan had been finally arranged, he suddenly announced that he was going off again next morning. 'Only for a short while, I hope... ...But I am going down beyond the southern borders to get some news, if I can. I have been idle longer than I should.'
...He spoke lightly, but it seemed to Frodo that he looked rather worried. 'Has anything happened...?'
...'...Well no; but I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking into. If I think it necessary after all for you to get off at once, I shall come back immediately, or at least send word. In the meanwhile stick to your plan; but be more careful than ever, especially of the Ring. Let me impress on you once more: don't use it!''"



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Jun 28, 2:20pm

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Today in Middle-earth

June 28, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Expect me when you see me.
(not from the appendices)

..."He [Gandalf] went off at dawn. 'I may be back any day,' he said. 'At the very latest I shall come back for the farewell party. I think, after all, you may need my company on the Road.'
...At first Frodo was a good deal disturbed, and wondered often what Gandalf could have heard…"

2. What to expect.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

...Soon after Gandalf left, Sam came to work in the gardens. Frodo joined him, tilling around the potatoes and enjoying the summer's routine. They worked silently until Sam asked about Gandalf.
..."He left early this morning," said Frodo. Sam continued working deep in thought.
..."What d'you suppose he heard that made him go off all of a'sudden?" he asked. "I was thinking he'd be with us when…" he broke off, looking around before whispering, "…we're off into the wilds outside."
..."He said he'd be back by then, Sam. Don't worry," Frodo said reassuringly; but he couldn't shake his own concern.



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Jun 29, 12:31pm

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This is a Book Spoiler that tells more of the story of the white tree and of Gondor... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Council of Elrond: The Fellowship of the Ring


... "'In the South the realm of Gondor long endured; and for a while its splendour grew, recalling somewhat of the might of Númenor, ere it fell. High towers... ...and strong places, and havens of many ships; and the winged crown of the Kings of Men was held in awe by folk of many tongues. Their chief city was Osgiliath, Citadel of the Stars, through the midst of which the River flowed. And Minas Ithil they built, Tower of the Rising Moon, eastward upon a shoulder of the Mountain of Shadow; and westward at the feet of the White Mountains Minas Anor they made, Tower of the Setting Sun. There in the courts of the King grew a white tree, from the seed of that tree which Isildur brought over the deep waters, and the seed of that tree before came from Eressëa, and before that out of the Uttermost West in the Day before days when the world was young.
... 'But in the wearing of the swift years of Middle-earth the line of Meneldil son of Anárion failed, and the Tree withered, and the blood of the Númenóreans became mingled with that of lesser men... ...the watch upon the walls of Mordor slept, and dark things crept back to Gorgoroth... ...evil things came forth, and they took Minas Ithil and abode in it, and they made it into a place of dread; and it is called Minas Morgul, the Tower of Sorcery. Then Minas Anor was named anew Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard; and these two cities were even at war, but Osgiliath which lay between was deserted and in its ruins shadows walked.
... 'So it has been for many lives of men. But the Lords of Minas Tirith still fight on, defying our enemies, keeping the passage of the River from Argonath to the Sea.'"



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Jun 29, 2:35pm

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June 29, 1976 (Common Era)
1. Bret McKenzie born in Wellington, New Zealand.


Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie is forty-five years old today. Happy birthday FIGWIT/Lindir!

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Jun 30, 5:55pm

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Today in Middle-earth

1 Lithe, 2941 (S.R. 1341) Midsummer's Eve
1. Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarves reach the end of their stay in Rivendell.
(determined from text)

...""They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stopped there for ever and ever—even supposing a wish could have taken him right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble....
......The master of the house was an elf-friend... ...He comes into many tales, but his part in the story of Bilbo's great adventure is only a small one, though important... ...His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley....
......All of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong in a few days there. Their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers and their hopes. Their bags were filled with food and provisions light to carry but strong to bring them over the mountain passes. Their plans were improved with the best advice.""

2. Elrond examines the swords of Thorin and Gandalf, and Thorin's map.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."So the time came to midsummer eve, and they were to go on again with the early sun on midsummer morning.
...Elrond knew all about runes of every kind. That day he looked at the swords they had brought from the trolls' lair... "...These are not troll-make. They are old swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin. They were made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. They must have come from a dragon's hoard or goblin plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city many ages ago. This, Thorin, the runes name Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver in the ancient tongue of Gondolin… …This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foe-hammer that the king of Gondolin once wore. Keep them well!"
..."Whence did the trolls get them, I wonder?" said Thorin looking at his sword with new interest.
..."I could not say," said Elrond, "but one may guess that your trolls had plundered other plunderers, or come on the remnants of old robberies in some hold in the mountains of the North. I have heard that there are still forgotten treasures of old to be found in the deserted caverns of the mines of Moria, since the dwarf and goblin war...."
..."...I will keep this sword in honour," [Thorin] said. "May it soon cleave goblins once again!"
..."A wish that is likely to be granted soon enough in the mountains!" said Elrond. "But show me now your map!""
..."He took it and gazed long at it, and he shook his head for if he did not altogether approve of dwarves and their love of gold, he hated the dragons and their cruel wickedness… …he grieved to remember the ruin of the town of Dale and its merry bells, and the burned banks of the bright River Running. The moon was shining in a broad silver crescent. He held up the map and the white light shone through it. "What is this?" he said. "There are moon-letters here, beside the plain runes which say 'five feet high the door and three may walk abreast.'"
..."What are moon-letters?" asked the hobbit full of excitement. He loved maps... ...and he also liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting, though when he wrote himself it was a bit thin and spidery.
..."Moon-letters are rune-letters, but you cannot see them," said Elrond, "not when you look straight at them. They can only be seen when the moon shines behind them, and… …with the more cunning sort it must be a moon of the same shape and season as the day when they were written. The dwarves invented them and wrote them with silver pens... ...These must have been written on a midsummer's eve in a crescent moon, a long while ago."
..."What do they say?" asked Gandalf and Thorin together, a bit vexed perhaps that even Elrond should have found this out first, though really there had not been a chance before, and there would not have been another until goodness knows when.
..."Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks… …and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the key-hole."
..."Durin, Durin!" said Thorin. "He was the father of the fathers of the eldest race of Dwarves, the Longbeards, and my first ancestor: I am his heir."
..."Then what is Durin's Day?" asked Elrond.
..."The first day of the dwarves' New Year," said Thorin, "is as all should know the first day of the last moon of Autumn on the threshold of Winter. We still call it Durin's Day when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together. But this will not help us much... ...for it passes our skill in these days to guess when such a time will come again."
..."That remains to be seen," said Gandalf. "Is there any more writing?"
..."None to be seen by this moon," said Elrond, and he gave the map back to Thorin; and then they went down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve."


1 Lithe, 3019 (S.R. 1419) Midsummer's Eve
1. Arwen comes to the City.
(from the appendices)

..."Upon the very Eve of Midsummer, when the sky was blue as sapphire and white stars opened in the East, but the West was still golden, and the air was cool and fragrant, the riders came down the North-way to the gates of Minas Tirith. First rode Elrohir and Elladan with a banner of silver... ...then came Glorfindel and Erestor and all the household of Rivendell, and after them came the Lady Galadriel and Celeborn, Lord of Lothlórien… …and with them many fair folk of their land, grey-cloaked with white gems in their hair; and last came Master Elrond, mighty among Elves and Men, bearing the sceptre of Annúminas, and beside him upon a grey palfrey rode Arwen his daughter, Evenstar of her people.
...And Frodo when he saw her come glimmering in the evening, with stars on her brow and a sweet fragrance about her, was moved with great wonder… …he said to Gandalf: 'At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!'"





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Jun 30, 6:30pm

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Midsummer's Eve in T.A. 2941 -- Close enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

I strongly suspect that Tolkien originally intended Midsummer's Eve in The Hobbit to fall about a week earlier than where it occurs in the Shire calendar. This would be more consistent with the text where it seems that the company remains in Rivendell for about two to three weeks. And, of course, this was before he even devised the Shire Reckoning.

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Jul 1, 10:37am

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Today in Middle-earth

Midsummer's Day, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf, Thorin, the Dwarves and their Burglar leave Rivendell for the Lonely Mountain.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."The next morning was a midsummer's morning as fair and fresh as could be dreamed: blue sky and never a cloud, and the sun dancing on the water… …they rode away amid songs of farewell and good speed, with their hearts ready for more adventure, and with a knowledge of the road they must follow over the Misty Mountains to the land beyond."

Midsummer's Day, 2980 (S.R. 1380)
1. Aragorn and Arwen – A promise is born.
(from the appendices)

..."...for a season they wandered together in the glades of Lothlórien, until it was time for him to depart. And on the evening of Midsummer Aragorn, Arathorn's son, and Arwen daughter of Elrond went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth... ...and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, and they plighted their troth and were glad.
...'And Arwen said: "Dark is the Shadow, and yet my heart rejoices; for you, Estel, shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it."
...'But Aragorn answered: "Alas! I cannot foresee it... ...Yet with your hope I will hope. And the Shadow I utterly reject. But neither, lady, is the Twilight for me; for I am mortal, and if you will cleave to me, Evenstar, then the Twilight you must also renounce."
...'And she stood then as still as a white tree, looking into the West, and at last she said: "I will cleave to you, Dúnadan, and turn from the Twilight. Yet there lies the land of my people and the long home of all my kin."'"

Midsummer's Day, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf meets Radagast the Brown.
(from the appendices)

..."'At the end of June I was in the Shire, but a cloud of anxiety was on my mind, and I rode to the southern borders of the little land. I had a foreboding of some danger, still hidden from me but drawing near. There messages reached me telling me of war and defeat in Gondor, and when I heard of the Black Shadow a chill smote my heart. But I found nothing save a few fugitives from the South; yet it seemed to me that on them sat a fear of which they would not speak. I...journeyed along the Greenway; and not far from Bree I came upon a traveller sitting on a bank beside the road... ...It was Radagast the Brown... ...He is one of my order, but I had not seen him for many a year.
...'"Gandalf!" he cried. "I was seeking you. But I am a stranger in these parts. All I knew was that you might be found in a wild region with the uncouth name of Shire."
...'"Your information was correct... ...But do not put it that way, if you meet any of the inhabitants. You are near the borders of the Shire now. And what do you want with me? It must be pressing. You were never a traveller, unless driven by great need."
...'"I have an urgent errand... ...My news is evil." Then he looked about him, as if the hedges might have ears. "Nazgûl," he whispered. "The Nine are abroad again. They have crossed the River secretly and are moving westward. They have taken the guise of riders in black."
...'I knew then what I had dreaded without knowing it.
..."'The Enemy must have some great need or purpose," said Radagast; "but what it is that makes him look to these distant and desolate parts, I cannot guess."
..."'What do you mean?" said I.
...'"I have been told that wherever they go the Riders ask for news of a land called Shire."
...'"THE Shire," I said; but my heart sank. For even the Wise might fear to withstand the Nine, when they are gathered together under their fell chieftain. A great king and sorcerer... ...he wields a deadly fear. "Who told you, and who sent you...?"
...'"...Saruman the White," answered Radagast. "And he told me to say that if you feel the need, he will help; but you must seek his aid at once, or it will be too late."
...'And that message brought me hope. For Saruman the White is the greatest of my order... ...has long studied the arts of the Enemy himself... ...It was by the devices of Saruman that we drove him from Dol Guldur. It might be that he had found some weapons that would drive back the Nine.
...'"I will go to Saruman," I said.
...'"Then you must go now," said Radagast; "for I have wasted time in looking for you, and the days are running short. I was told to find you before Midsummer, and that is now here. Even if you set out from this spot, you will hardly reach him before the Nine discover the land that they seek. I myself shall turn back at once." And with that he mounted and would have ridden straight off.
...'"Stay a moment!" I said. "We shall need your help... ...Send out messages to all the beasts and birds that are your friends. Tell them to bring news of anything that bears on this matter to Saruman and Gandalf. Let messages be sent to Orthanc."
...'"I will do that," he said, and rode off as if the Nine were after him.'"

Midsummer's Day, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Wedding of Elessar and Arwen
(from the appendices)

..."...Then the King welcomed his guests, and they alighted; and Elrond surrendered the sceptre, and laid the hand of his daughter in the hand of the King, and together they went up into the High City... ...Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Undómiel in the City of the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting and labours was come to fulfillment."

Midsummer's Day, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. Frodo resigns office of mayor, and Will Whitfoot is restored.
(from the appendices)

..."If Sam thought himself lucky, Frodo knew that he was more lucky himself; for there was not a hobbit in the Shire that was looked after with such care. When the labours of repair had all been planned and set going he took to a quiet life, writing a great deal and going through all his notes. He resigned the office of Deputy Mayor at the Free Fair that midsummer, and dear old Will Whitfoot had another seven years of presiding at Banquets."

Midsummer's Day, 3082 (S.R. 1482)
1. The death of Mistress Rose, wife of Master Samwise, on Mid-year's Day.
(from the appendices-no text)

...And in the full tale of days, Sam is again parted from one he loves. With a deep sense of fulfillment and understanding beyond words, in his grief he finds comfort and waits for a day foretold.

**With homage to Rosie and Sam with our Kimi's wonderful Passing of Mistress Rose



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Jul 1, 11:19am

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Sounds possible; but for now, it's nested until (if) we get more details. I love how complex the timeline is... making it all so fascinating to dissect :D



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Jul 2, 11:35am

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Today in Middle-earth

2 Lithe, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf after Radagast departs and before leaving for Isengard.
(not from the appendices)

..."'I stayed the night in Bree, and decided that I had no time to return to the Shire. Never did I make a greater mistake! 'However, I wrote a message to Frodo, and trusted to my friend the innkeeper to send it to him.
...'I rode away at dawn...'"



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Jul 3, 1:38pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 3, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf and Company climb from the Valley up the Mountain.
(not from the appendices)
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."There were many paths that led up into those mountains... ...most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends... ...passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers. The dwarves and the hobbit... ...by the wise advice of Elrond and the knowledge and memory of Gandalf, took the right pass."



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Jul 4, 2:36pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 4, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Boromir sets out from Minas Tirith.
(from the appendices)

[Boromir speaking to the Council of Elrond] "'...a dream came to my brother in a troubled sleep; and afterwards a like dream came oft to him again, and once to me.
..."'In that dream I thought the eastern sky grew dark and there was a growing thunder, but in the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote but clear, crying:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsel taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.

...'Of these words we could understand little, and we spoke to our father, Denethor... ...wise in the lore of Gondor. This only would he say, that Imladris was of old the name among the Elves of a far northern dale, where Elrond the Halfelven dwelt, greatest of lore-masters. Therefore... ...I took the journey upon myself. Loth was my father to give me leave, and long have I wandered by roads forgotten, seeking the house of Elrond, of which many had heard, but few knew where it lay.'"


Gandalf lights the sky!




..."The fireworks were by Gandalf: they were not only brought by him, but designed and made by him; and the special effects, set pieces, and flights of rockets were let off by him. But there was also a generous distribution of squibs, crackers, backarappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps. They were all superb....
......There were rockets like a flight of scintillating birds singing with sweet voices. There were green trees with trunks of dark smoke: their leaves opened like a whole spring unfolding in a moment, and their shining branches dropped glowing flowers down upon the astonished hobbits, disappearing with a sweet scent just before they touched their upturned faces. There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain; there was a forest of silver spears that sprang suddenly into the air with a yell like an embattled army, and came down again into the Water with a hiss like a hundred hot snakes. And... ...in honour of Bilbo... ...A great smoke went up. It shaped itself like a fountain seen in the distance, and began to flow at the summit. It sprouted green and scarlet flames. Out flew a red-golden dragon—not life-size, but terribly life-like: fire came from his jaws, his eyes glared down; there was a roar, and he whizzed three times over the heads of the crowd. They all ducked, and many fell flat on their faces. The dragon passed like an express train, turned a somersault, and burst over Bywater with a deafening explosion."





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Jul 5, 1:45pm

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Here's a Book Spoiler of one of Frodo's more pleasant memories from the Quest...for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Lothlórien: The Fellowship of the Ring

..."...At the hill's foot Frodo found Aragorn, standing still and silent as a tree; but in his hand was a small golden bloom of elanor, and a light was in his eyes. He was wrapped in some fair memory: and as Frodo looked at him he knew that he beheld things as they once had been in this same place… …the grim years were removed from the face of Aragorn, and he seemed clothed in white, a young lord tall and fair; and he spoke words in the Elvish tongue to one whom Frodo could not see. "Arwen vanimelda, namarie!" ...then he drew a breath, and returning out of his thought he looked at Frodo and smiled.
...'Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth… …and here my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I. Come with me!' And taking Frodo's hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man."



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Jul 6, 2:08pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 6, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf continues his ride to Isengard.
(not from the appendices)

...[Gandalf still rides to] "the dwelling of Saruman... ...far south in Isengard, in the end of the Misty Mountains, not far from the Gap of Rohan... ...a great open vale that lies between the Misty Mountains and the northmost foothills of Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains... ...Isengard is a circle of sheer rocks that enclose a valley as with a wall, and in the midst of that valley is a tower of stone called Orthanc... ...not made by Saruman, but by the Men of Númenor long ago; and it is very tall and has many secrets; yet it looks not to be a work of craft. It cannot be reached save by passing the circle of Isengard; and in that circle there is only one gate.'"



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Jul 7, 12:42pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 7, 1999
(Official press release)
1. ELIJAH WOOD IS FIRST TO JOIN CAST OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S "THE LORD OF THE RINGS" FOR NEW LINE CINEMA AND DIRECTOR PETER JACKSON

..."(Los Angeles, July 7, 1999) - Elijah Wood has been cast in the lead role of New Line Cinema's live action, special effects-packed trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's internationally renowned fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, it was jointly announced today by director Peter Jackson, Michael De Luca, President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Productions, and Mark Ordesky, President of Fine Line Features.
...In joining the cast, Wood has committed to a project of unparalleled size and scope. Production on the highly anticipated serial is expected to begin by early October and principal photography will last more than a year, according to Jackson, who also serves as co-writer and co-producer of the fabled franchise.
...The three Lord of the Rings films, beginning with The Fellowship of the Rings, will be produced consecutively and shot on location in New Zealand. Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Stephen Sinclair have completed their script for Part One: The Fellowship of the Rings and additional casting is currently underway.
..."In casting this critical role, we knew we had to find an actor of great depth of range to take an audience on a journey through three movies," Jackson said. "While we looked at many good actors, it was clear from the moment that we met Elijah that we had found Frodo Baggins. He has an enormous natural ability to draw an audience into a story and the dramatic depth to hold them there."
...Set in a mythic pre-history, The Lord of the Rings tells the saga of a desperate battle against encroaching evil - a perilous quest to save humanity which falls upon the shoulders of young Frodo Baggins (Woods), who has inherited a seemingly innocent magic ring from his elderly cousin Bilbo.
...Frodo soon learns that the ring's original maker, the Dark Lord Sauron, is desperately seeking it - for it is a ring of great evil which will enable Sauron to enslave the people of this land known as Middle-earth. A hurriedly assembled fellowship of wizard, elf, dwarf and men accompany Frodo and his friends on a harrowing mission across Middle-earth in an attempt to destroy the ring by casting it into the volcanic fires in the Crack of Doom. Against them rages the monstrous power of Sauron, whose sinister emissaries ruthlessly pursue Frodo and his companions, while the omnipotent power of the ring attempts to corrupt the Fellowship from within.
...New Line picked-up the rights to Lord of the Rings from Miramax Films last August. Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein serve as executive producers of the films along with Saul Zaentz."

Contact:
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Jul 8, 11:38am

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Here's part 1 of a 4-part Book Spoiler run that looks at the Shire and how the leaders and followers played nice together... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Of the Ordering of the Shire: The Fellowship of the Ring


... "The Shire was divided into four quarters, as the Farthings already referred to, North, South, East, and West; and these again each into a number of folklands, which still bore the names of some of the old leading families... ...Nearly all Tooks still lived in the Tookland, but that was not true of many other families, such as the Bagginses or the Boffins. Outside the Farthings were the East and West Marches: the Buckland and the Westmarch added to the Shire in S.R. 1462.
... The Shire at this time had hardly any 'government'. Families for the most part managed their own affairs. Growing food and eating it occupied most of their time. In other matters they were... ...generous and not greedy, but contented and moderate, so that estates, farms, workshops, and small trades tended to remain unchanged for generations.
... There remained... ...the ancient tradition concerning the high king at Fornost, or Norbury as they called it, away north of the Shire. But there had been no king for nearly a thousand years, and even the ruins of Kings' Norbury were covered with grass.... ...they attributed to the king of old all their essential laws; and usually they kept the laws of free will, because they were The Rules (as they said), both ancient and just."



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Jul 9, 2:47pm

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This is part 2 of a 4-part Book Spoiler run that looks at the Shire and how the leaders and followers played nice together... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Of the Ordering of the Shire: The Fellowship of the Ring

... "It is true that the Took family had long been pre-eminent; for the office of Thain had passed to them (from the Oldbucks) some centuries before, and the chief Took had borne that title ever since. The Thain was the master of the Shire-moot, and captain of the Shire-muster and the Hobbitry-in-arms, but as muster and moot were only held in times of emergency, which no longer occurred, the Thain had eased to be more than a nominal dignity. The Took family was still… …accorded a special respect, for it remained both numerous and exceedingly wealthy, and was liable to produce in every generation strong characters of peculiar habits and even adventurous temperament. The latter qualities… …were now rather tolerated (in the rich) than generally approved. The custom endured, nonetheless, of referring to the head of the family as The Took, and of adding to his name, if required, a number: such as Isengrim the Second, for instance."


[[We're going to have a little TIME tomorrow, but pt 3 will continue on July 11]]



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Jul 10, 12:35pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 10, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf imprisoned in Orthanc
(from the appendices)

..."'Late one evening I came to the gate, like a great arch in the wall of rock; and it was strongly guarded. But the keepers of the gate were on the watch for me and told me that Saruman awaited me. I rode under the arch, and the gate closed silently behind me, and suddenly I was afraid, though I knew no reason for it. But I rode to the foot of Orthanc, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. He wore a ring on his finger.' '"So you have come, Gandalf,' he said to me gravely..."
...'"...Yes, I have come," I said. "I have come for your aid, Saruman the White." And that title seemed to anger him.
...'"Have you indeed, Gandalf the Grey!" he scoffed. "For aid? It has seldom been heard of that Gandalf the Grey sought for aid, one so cunning and so wise, wandering about the lands, and concerning himself in every business, whether it belongs to him or not..."

...'"...here you will stay, Gandalf the Grey, and rest from journeys. For I am Saruman, the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!" 'I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered.
...'"I liked white better,' I said.
...'"White!" he sneered. "It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."
...'"In which case it is no longer white," said I... '

...'...He came and laid his long hand on my arm... he whispered. "... I have many eyes in my service, and I believe that you know where this precious thing now lies. Is it not so? Or why do the Nine ask for the Shire, and what is your business there?" As he said this a lust which he could not conceal shone suddenly in his eyes.
...'"Saruman," I said, standing away from him, "only one hand at a time can wield the One, and you know that well, so do not trouble to say we! But I would not give it, nay, I would not give even news of it to you, now that I learn your mind. You were head of the Council, but you have unmasked yourself at last. Well, the choices are... ...to submit to Sauron, or to yourself. I will take neither. Have you others to offer?"
...'He was cold now and perilous. "Yes," he said. "I did not expect you to show wisdom, even in your own behalf; but I gave you the chance of aiding me willingly, and so saving yourself much trouble and pain. The third choice is to stay here, until the end."
...'"Until what end?"
...'"Until you reveal to me where the One may be found..."
...'They took me and they set me alone on the pinnacle of Orthanc, in the place where Saruman was accustomed to watch the stars. There is no descent save by a narrow stair of many thousand steps, and the valley below seems far away. I looked on it and saw that, whereas it had once been green and fair, it was now filled with pits and forges. Wolves and orcs were housed in Isengard, for Saruman was mustering a great force on his own account, in rivalry of Sauron and not in his service yet... ...I stood alone on an island in the clouds; and I had not chance of escape, and my days were bitter. I was pierced with cold, and I had but little room in which to pace to and fro, brooding on the coming of the Riders to the North.... ...I was in an evil plight. And those of you who know me will agree that I have seldom been in such need, and do not bear such misfortune well. Gandalf the Grey caught like a fly in a spider's treacherous web! Yet even the most subtle spiders may leave a weak thread.'"



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Jul 11, 3:57pm

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This is part 3 of a 4-part Book Spoiler run that looks at the Shire and how the leaders and followers played nice together... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Of the Ordering of the Shire: The Fellowship of the Ring

..."The only real official in the Shire at this date was the Mayor of Michel Delving… …who was elected every seven years at the Free Fair on the White Downs at the Lithe, that is at Mid-summer. As mayor almost his only duty was to preside at banquets, given on the Shire-holidays, which occurred at frequent intervals. But the offices of Postmaster and first Shirriff were attached to the mayoralty, so that he managed both the Messenger Service and the Watch. These were the only Shire-services, and the Messengers were the most numerous, and… …busier of the two. By no means all Hobbits were lettered, but those who were wrote constantly to all their friends (and a selection of their relations) who lived further off than an afternoon's walk.
... The Shirriffs was the name that the Hobbits gave to their police, or the nearest equivalent that they possessed. They had… …no uniforms (such things being quite unknown), only a feather in their caps; and they were in practice rather haywards than policemen, more concerned with the straying of beasts than of people. There were in all the Shire only twelve of them, three in each Farthing, for Inside Work. A rather large body, varying at need, was employed to 'beat the bounds', and to see that Outsiders of any kind… …did not make themselves a nuisance.
... At the time when this story begins the Bounders, as they were called, had been greatly increased."



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Jul 12, 11:00am

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Here's part 4 of a 4-part Book Spoiler run that looks at the Shire and how the leaders and followers played nice together... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Of the Ordering of the Shire: The Fellowship of the Ring

"…the Bounders, as they were called, had been greatly increased. There were many reports and complaints of strange persons and creatures prowling about the borders, or over them: the first sign that all was not quite as it should be, and always had been except in tales and legends of long ago. Few heeded the sign… …not even Bilbo yet had any notion of what it portended. Sixty years had passed since he set out on his memorable journey, and he was old even for Hobbits, who reached a hundred as often as not; but much evidently still remained of the considerable wealth that he had brought back. How much or how little he revealed to no one, not even to Frodo his favourite nephew. And he still kept secret the ring that he had found."



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Jul 13, 12:39pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 13, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company endures the Mountains.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Long days after they had climbed out of the valley and left the Last Homely House miles behind, they were still going up and up... ...It was a hard path and a dangerous path, a crooked way and a lonely and a long. Now they could look back over the lands they had left, laid out behind them far below. Far, far away in the West, where things were blue and faint, Bilbo knew there lay his own country of safe and comfortable things, and his little hobbit-hole. He shivered. It was getting bitter cold up here... ...Boulders... ...at times came galloping down the mountain-sides, let loose by mid-day sun upon the snow, and passed among them (which was lucky), or over their heads (which was alarming). The nights were comfortless and chill, and they did not dare to sing or talk too loud, for the echoes were uncanny, and the silence seemed to dislike being broken—except by the noise of water and the wail of wind and the crack of stone."



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Jul 14, 2:56pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 14, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The mood of the Company goes south.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

...""The summer is getting on down below," thought Bilbo, "and haymaking is going on and picnics. They will be harvesting and blackberrying, before we even begin to go down the other side at this rate." And the others were thinking equally gloomy thoughts, although when they had said good-bye to Elrond in the high hope of a midsummer morning, they had spoken gaily of the passage of the mountains... ...They had thought of coming to the secret door in the Lonely Mountain, perhaps that very next first moon of Autumn—"and perhaps it will be Durin's Day" they had said. Only Gandalf had shaken his head and said nothing. Dwarves had not passed that way for many years, but Gandalf had... ...knew how evil and danger had grown and thriven in the Wild, since the dragons had driven men from the lands, and the goblins had spread in secret after the battle of the Mines of Moria."



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Jul 15, 4:06pm

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Today in Middle-earth

July 15, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf is held prisoner atop Orthanc.
(not from the appendices)

..."...a dark smoke hung and wrapped itself about the sides of Orthanc. I stood alone on an island in the clouds; and I had no chance of escape, and my days were bitter. I was pierced with cold, and I had but little room in which to pace to and fro, brooding on the coming of the Riders to the North.'"

2. Frodo makes his plan to leave the Hobbiton while enjoying a splendid summer in the Shire.
(not from the appendices- no text)

...Frodo walked the paths and visited the valleys and hills he had travelled so often with Bilbo, and some of his own. He'd always found solace on his wanderings, but now he felt apprehensive as he rested in a grove of trees and enjoyed the soft breeze from the West.


July 15, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Frodo speaks with Aragorn and Arwen.
(not from the appendices)

..."...Frodo went to the King as he was sitting with the Queen Arwen by the fountain, and she sang a song of Valinor, while the Tree grew and blossomed. They welcomed Frodo and rose to greet him; and Aragorn said:
...'I know what you have come to say... ...you wish to return to your own home. Well, dearest friend, the tree grows best in the land of its sires; but for you in all the lands of the West there will ever be a welcome. And though your people have had little fame in the legends of the great, they will now have more renown than many wide realms that are no more.'
...'It is true that I wish to go back to the Shire,' said Frodo, 'but first I must go to Rivendell. For if there could be anything wanting in a time so blessed, I missed Bilbo; and I was grieved when among all the household of Elrond I saw that he was not come.'
...'Do you wonder at that, Ring-bearer?' said Arwen. 'For you know the power of that thing which is now destroyed; and all that was done by that power is now passing away. But your kinsman possessed this thing longer than you. He is ancient in years now... ...and he awaits you, for he will not again make any long journey save one.'
...'Then I beg leave to depart soon,' said Frodo.
...'In seven days we will go,' said Aragorn. 'For we shall ride with you far on the road, even as far as the country of Rohan. In three days now Éomer will return hither to bear Théoden back to rest in the Mark, and we shall ride with him to honour the fallen. But now before you go I will confirm the words that Faramir spoke to you… …you are made free forever of the realm of Gondor; and all your companions likewise. And if there were any gifts that I could give to match with your deeds you should have them; but whatever you desire you shall take with you, and you shall ride in honour and arrayed as princes of the land.'
......Queen Arwen said: 'A gift I will give you. For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him now when he departs to the Havens; for mine is the choice of Lúthien... ...I have chosen, both the sweet and the bitter. But in my stead you shall go, Ring-bearer, when the time comes, and if you desire it. If your hurts grieve you still and the memory of your burden is heavy, then you may pass into the West, until all your wounds and weariness are healed. But wear this now in memory of Elfstone and Evenstar with whom your life has been woven!'
...And she took a white gem like a star that lay upon her breast hanging upon a silver chain, and she set the chain about Frodo's neck. 'When the memory of the fear and the darkness troubles you, this will bring you aid.'"

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jul 15, 4:10pm)


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Jul 16, 11:13am

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Today in Middle-earth

July 16, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Tremendous Thunder-battle in afternoon. Shelter in a cave. Goblins capture them.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they were sheltering under a hanging rock for the night, and Bilbo lay beneath a blanket and shook from head to toe. When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang... ...and the wind whipped the rain and the hail about in every direction, so that an overhanging rock was no protection at all. Soon they were getting drenched and their ponies were standing with their heads down and their tails between their legs... ...They could hear the giants guffawing and shouting all over the mountain-sides.
..."This won't do at all!" said Thorin. "If we don't get blown off or drowned, or struck by lightning, we shall be picked up by some giant and kicked sky-high for a football."
..."Well, if you know of anywhere better, take us there!" said Gandalf....
......they sent Fili and Kili to look for a better shelter... ...Soon Fili and Kili came crawling back, holding on to the rocks in the wind. "We have found a dry cave," they said, "not far round the next corner; and ponies and all could get inside."
..."Have you thoroughly explored it?" said the wizard, who knew that caves up in the mountains were seldom un-occupied.
..."Yes, yes!" they said, though everybody knew they could not have been long about it; they had come back too quick. "It isn't all that big, and it does not go far back..."
......As they passed under the arch, it was good to hear the wind and the rain outside instead of all about them, and to feel safe from the giants and their rocks. But the wizard was taking no risks. He lit up his wand—as he did that day in Bilbo's dining-room that seemed so long ago... ...and by its light they explored the cave from end to end.
...It seemed quite a fair size, but not too large and mysterious... ...They got out their pipes and blew smoke rings, which Gandalf turned into different colours and set dancing up by the roof to amuse them."

2. They are captured by the Goblins during the night.
(determined from text)

..."It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them... ...he could not go to sleep for a long while; and when he did sleep, he had very nasty dreams. He dreamed that a crack in the wall at the back of the cave got bigger and bigger, and opened wider and wider... ...Then he dreamed that the floor of the cave was giving way, and he was slipping—beginning to fall down, down....
......At that he woke up with a horrible start, and found that part of his dream was true. A crack had opened at the back of the cave, and was already a wide passage. He was just in time to see the last of the ponies' tails disappearing into it. Of course he gave a very loud yell, as loud a yell as a hobbit can give, which is surprising for their size.
...Out jumped the goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins... ...and they were all grabbed and carried through the crack, before you could say tinder and flint. But not Gandalf. Bilbo's yell had done that much good. It had wakened him up wide in a splintered second, and when goblins came to grab him, there was a terrible flash like lightning in the cave, and smell like gunpowder, and several of them fell dead.
...The crack closed with a snap, and Bilbo and the dwarves were on the wrong side of it! Where was Gandalf? Of that neither they nor the goblins had any idea, and the goblins did not wait to find out...
......said one of the drivers... "...Several of our people were struck by lightning in the cave, when we invited these creatures to come below; and they are as dead as stones... ...[and they had] this!" He held out the sword which Thorin had worn, the sword which came from the Trolls' lair.
...The Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he looked at it, and all his soldiers gnashed their teeth, clashed their shields, and stamped. They knew the sword at once. It had killed hundreds of goblins in its time... ...They had called it Orcrist, Goblin-cleaver, but the goblins called it simply Biter. They hated it and hated worse any one that carried it.
..."Murderers and elf-friends!" the Great Goblin shouted. "Slash them! Beat them! Bite them! Gnash them! Take them away to dark holes full of snakes, and never let them see the light again!..."
......Just at that moment all the lights in the cavern went out, and the great fire went off poof! into a tower of blue glowing smoke, right up the roof, that scattered piercing white sparks all among the goblins... ...Suddenly a sword flashed in its own light. Bilbo saw it go right through the Great Goblin as he stood dumbfounded in the middle of his rage. He fell dead, and the goblin soldiers fled before the sword shrieking into the darkness.
...The sword went back into its sheath. "Follow me quick!" said a voice fierce and quiet; and before Bilbo understood what had happened he was trotting along again, as fast as he could trot, at the end of the line, down more dark passages with the yells of the goblin-hall growing fainter behind him. A pale light was leading them on.... ...they began to hear goblin noises and horrible cries far behind in the passages they had come through. That sent them on faster than ever, and as poor Bilbo could not possibly go half as fast—for dwarves can roll along at a tremendous pace... ...they took it in turn to carry him on their backs... ...Quite suddenly Dori, now at the back again carrying Bilbo, was grabbed from behind in the dark. He shouted and fell; and the hobbit rolled off his shoulders into the blackness, bumped his head on hard rock, and remembered nothing more."



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Jul 17, 1:57pm

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July 17, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo's lost in the caves
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."When Bilbo opened his eyes, he wondered if he had; for it was just as dark as with them shut. No one was anywhere near him. Just imagine his fright! He could hear nothing, see nothing, and he could feel nothing except the stone of the floor.
...Very slowly he got up and groped about on all fours... ...but neither up nor down it could he find anything: nothing at all, no sign of goblins, no sign of dwarves. His head was swimming, and he was far from certain even of the direction they had been going in when he had his fall. He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel.... ...He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking... ...He did not go much further, but sat down on the cold floor and gave himself up to complete miserableness... ...He could not think what to do; nor could he think what had happened; or why he had been left behind; or why, if he had been left behind, the goblins had not caught him; or even why his head was so sore. The truth was he had been lying quiet, out of sight and out of mind, in a very dark corner for a long while....
......in slapping all his pockets and feeling all round himself for matches his hand came on the hilt of his little sword---the little dagger that he got from the trolls, and that he had quite forgotten; nor do the goblins seem to have noticed it, as he wore it inside his breeches.
...Now he drew it out. It shone pale and dim before his eyes. "So it is an elvish blade, too... ...and goblins are not very near, and yet not far enough."
...But somehow he was comforted. It was rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of which so many songs had sung; and... ...that such weapons made a great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly.
..."Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter."



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Jul 18, 12:51pm

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July 18, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo still lost in the caves
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Now certainly Bilbo was in what is called a tight place. But... ...Hobbits are not quite like ordinary people; and after all if their holes are nice cheery places and properly aired, quite different from the tunnels of the goblins, still they are more used to tunnelling than we are, and they do not easily lose their sense of direction underground... ...The tunnel seemed to have no end. All he knew was that it was still going down pretty steadily and keeping in the same direction in spite of a twist and a turn or two. There were passages leading off to the side every now and then, as he knew by the glimmer of his sword, or could feel with his hand on the wall. Of these he took no notice, except to hurry past for fear of goblins or half-imagined dark things coming out of them. On and on he went, and down and down; and still he heard no sound of anything except the occasional whirr of a bat by his ears... ...he kept on like this, hating to go on, not daring to stop, on, on, until he was tireder than tired."


July 18, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf is still held prisoner in Isengard.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Gandalf bent his mind and reached out, hoping to find others who could aid in freeing him from his high prison, but it was in vain as Saruman's web prevented even his thoughts from escaping. Unbeknownst to both, there was one who saw him a vision or a dream, but he was new to such things and so did not understand its meaning.

2. Frodo continues to prepare to leave the Shire for Rivendell.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Frodo began to sort through piles of paper and shelves of knick knacks. "What should I take and what should I leave behind?" Each consideration brought back memories and stories of his life with Bilbo. He had to make careful choices to support his ruse; but in his heart he felt a mounting sadness as he bid farewell to all he knew and loved represented by each trinket, every book, and the piles of precious papers written in Bilbo's hand.


July 18, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Éomer returns to Minas Tirith.
(from the appendices)

..."Éomer of Rohan came riding to the City, and with him came an éored of the fairest knights of the Mark. He was welcomed; and when they sat all at table in... ...the Great Hall of Feasts, he beheld the beauty of the ladies that he saw and was filled with great wonder. And before he went to his rest he sent for Gimli the Dwarf, and he said to him: 'Gimli Glóin's son, have you your axe ready?'
...'Nay, lord... ...but I can speedily fetch it, if there be need.'
...'You shall judge,' said Éomer. 'For there are certain rash words concerning the Lady of the Golden Wood that lie still between us. And now I have seen her with my eyes.'
...'Well, lord... ...and what say you now?'
...'Alas! ...I will not say that she is the fairest lady that lives.'
...'Then I must go for my axe,' said Gimli.
...'But first I will plead this excuse... ...Had I seen her in other company, I would have said all that you could wish. But now I will put Queen Arwen Evenstar first, and I am ready to do battle on my own part with any who deny me. Shall I call for my sword?'
...Then Gimli bowed low. 'Nay, you are excused for my part, lord... ...You have chosen the Evening; but my love is given to the Morning. And my heart forebodes that soon it will pass away forever.'"


July 18, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. The Shire and all the realm of King Elessar enjoy the peace and healing of the Great Year of Plenty.
(not from the appendices-no text)



July 18, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo prepares his mathoms.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

... Frodo was quietly making plans to leave the Shire. He recalls making these same preparations three years earlier as he contemplated the choices and the fate of his possessions when he believed there was little hope of coming home. Now, he was finding them new homes with his friends. Most of the items would stay with Sam and Rosie here at Bag End, and that gave him comfort. This time he smiled as he considered each item. He imagined that this is what Bilbo must have felt as he tagged an umbrella, a mirror and a case of silver spoons.


July 18, 2003
*lights beacon for Reverend*

Sadly, Reverend passed away on July 18, 2003



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Jul 19, 10:09am

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July 19, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo's still lost in the caves. Meets Gollum
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Suddenly without any warning he trotted splash into water! Ugh! it was icy cold. That pulled him up sharp and short…. "…So it is a pool or a lake, and not an underground river," he thought… …Some of these caves, too, go back in their beginnings to ages before the goblins, who only widened them and joined them up with passages and the original owners are still there in odd corners, slinking and nosing about…"
..."Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum... ...on a slimy island of rock in the middle of the lake. He was watching Bilbo now from the distance with his pale eyes like telescopes... ...he was wondering a lot about Bilbo, for he could see that he was no goblin at all.
...Gollum got into his boat and shot off from the island… …Suddenly up came Gollum and whispered and hissed:
...'Bless us and splash us, my precioussss! I guess it's a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it'd make us, gollum..!'
...The hobbit jumped nearly out of his skin when the hiss came in his ears, and he suddenly saw the pale eyes sticking out at him.
...'Who are you?' he said, thrusting his dagger in front of him.
...'What iss he, my preciouss?' whispered Gollum....
...'...I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don't know where I am...'

2. Riddles in the Dark
(determined from text)

..."Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum, a small slimy creature… …as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face.... ...Gollum lived on a slimy island of rock in the middle of the lake. He was watching Bilbo now from the distance with his pale eyes like telescopes... ...he was wondering a lot about Bilbo, for he could see that he was no goblin at all.
...Gollum got into his boat and shot off from the island… …Suddenly up came Gollum and whispered and hissed:
...'Bless us and splash us, my precioussss! I guess it's a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it'd make us, gollum!' And when he said gollum he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat. That is how he got his name, though he always called himself 'my precious.'
...The hobbit jumped nearly out of his skin when the hiss came in his ears, and he suddenly saw the pale eyes sticking out at him.
...'Who are you?' he said, thrusting his dagger in front of him.
...'What iss he, my preciouss?' whispered Gollum (who always spoke to himself through never having anyone else to speak to). This is what he had come to find out, for he was not really very hungry… …only curious; otherwise he would have grabbed first and whispered afterwards.
...'I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don't know where I am...'
...'What's he got in his handses?' said Gollum, looking at the sword, which he did not quite like.
...'A sword, a blade which came out of Gondolin!'
...'Sssss,' said Gollum, and became quite polite. 'Praps ye sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my preciousss. It like riddles, praps it does, does it?' He was anxious to appear friendly… …until he found out more about the sword and the hobbit, whether he was quite alone really, whether he was good to eat, and whether Gollum was really hungry. Riddles were all he could think of. Asking them, and sometimes guessing them, had been the only game he had ever played with other funny creatures....
..."...Very well," said Bilbo, who was anxious to agree, until he found out more about the creature... "...You ask first," he said, because he had not had time to think of a riddle..."

[Well into the Riddle Game…]

..."...Poor Bilbo... ...He began to get frightened, and that is bad for thinking, Gollum began to get out of his boat. He flapped into the water and paddled to the bank; Bilbo could see his eyes coming towards him... ...he wanted to shout out: "Give me more time! Give me time!" But all that came out with a sudden squeal was:

"Time! Time!"

...Bilbo was saved by pure luck. For that of course was the answer.
...Gollum was… …getting angry, and also tired of the game. It had made him very hungry indeed. This time he did not go back to the boat. He sat down in the dark by Bilbo. That made the hobbit most dreadfully uncomfortable and scattered his wits.
..."It's got to ask uss a quesstion, my preciouss, yes, yess, yesss. Jusst one more quesstion to guess, yes, yess," said Gollum.
...But Bilbo simply could not think of any question with that nasty wet cold thing sitting next to him, and pawing and poking him... ...he could not think of anything.
..."Ask us! ask us!" said Gollum.
...Bilbo … …gripped on his little sword; he even felt in his pocket with his other hand. There he found the ring he had picked up in the passage and forgotten about.
..."What have I got in my pocket?" he said aloud. He was talking to himself, but Gollum thought it was a riddle, and he was frightfully upset."
..."Not fair! not fair!' he hissed. 'It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in its nassty little pocketses?"
...Bilbo... ...stuck to his question. "What have I got in my pocket?" he said louder.
..."S-s-s-s-s," hissed Gollum. "It must give us three guesseses, my precious, three guesseses."
..."Very well! Guess away!" said Bilbo.
..."Handses!" said Gollum.
..."Wrong," said Bilbo, who had luckily just taken his hand out again. "Guess again!"
..."S-s-s-s-s," said Gollum more upset than ever. He thought of all the things he kept in his own pockets... ...He tried to think what other people kept in their pockets.
..."Knife!" he said at last.
..."Wrong!" said Bilbo… "…Last guess!"
...Now Gollum was in a much worse state than when Bilbo had asked him the egg-question. He hissed and spluttered and rocked himself backwards and forward...
..."...Come on!" said Bilbo. "I am waiting!" He tried to sound bold and cheerful, but he did not feel at all sure how the game was going to end, whether Gollum guessed right or not.
..."Time's up!" he said.
..."String, or nothing!" shrieked Gollum, which was not quite fair—working in two guesses at once.
..."Both wrong," cried Bilbo very much relieved; and he jumped at once to his feet, put his back to the nearest wall, and held out his little sword... ...the riddle-game was sacred and of immense antiquity, and even wicked creatures were afraid to cheat when they played at it. But he felt he could not trust this slimy thing to keep any promise at a pinch. Any excuse would do for him to slide out of it. And after all that last question had not been a genuine riddle according to the ancient laws.
...But at any rate Gollum did not at once attack him. He could see the sword in Bilbo's hand. He sat still, shivering and whispering. At last Bilbo could wait no longer.
..."Well?" he said. "What about your promise? …You must show me the way."
..."Did we say so, precious? Show the nassty little Baggins the way out, yes, yes. But what has it got in its pocketses, eh? Not string, precious, but not nothing. Oh no! gollum!"
..."Never you mind," said Bilbo. "A promise is a promise."
..."Cross it is, impatient, precious," hissed Gollum. "But it must wait, yet it must. We can't go up the tunnels so hasty. We must go and get some things first..."

......as he slipped suddenly from Bilbo's side, and flapped back to his boat, and went off into the dark. Bilbo thought he had heard the last of him. Still he waited for a while... ...Suddenly he heard a screech. It sent a shiver down his back. Gollum was cursing and wailing away in the gloom... "...Losst it is, my precious, lost, lost! Curse us and crush us, my precious is lost…!"

..."...What has it got in its pocketses?" The sound came hissing louder and sharper, and as he looked towards it, to his alarm Bilbo now saw two small points of light peering at him. As suspicion grew in Gollum's mind, the light of his eyes burned with a pale flame.
..."What have you lost?" Bilbo persisted.
...But now the light in Gollum's eyes had become a green fire, and it was coming swiftly nearer. Gollum was in his boat again, paddling wildly back to the dark shore; and such a rage of loss and suspicion was in his heart that no sword had any more terror for him.
...Bilbo could not guess what had maddened the wretched creature, but he saw that all was up, and that Gollum meant to murder him at any rate. Just in time he turned and ran blindly back up the dark passage down which he had come...."
..."...What has it got in its pocketses?" he heard the hiss loud behind him, and the splash as Gollum leapt from his boat.
..."What have I, I wonder?" he said to himself, as he panted and stumbled along. He put his left hand in his pocket. The ring felt very cold as it quietly slipped on to his groping forefinger.
...The hiss was close behind him. He turned now and saw Gollum's eyes like small green lamps coming up the slope. Terrified he tried to run faster, but suddenly he struck his toes on a snag in the floor, and fell flat with his little sword under him.
...In a moment Gollum was on him. But before Bilbo could do anything, recover his breath, pick himself up, or wave his sword, Gollum passed by, taking no notice of him, cursing and whispering as he ran...""

3. Bilbo finds the dwarves and the wizard.
(determined from text)

... "And here's the burglar!" said Bilbo stepping down into the middle of them, and slipping off the ring.
... Bless me, how they jumped! Then they shouted with surprise and delight. Gandalf was as astonished as any of them, but probably more pleased than all the others... ...Bilbo's reputation went up a very great deal with the dwarves after this. If they had still doubted that he was really a first-class burglar, in spite of Gandalf's words, they doubted no longer....
... ...they wanted to know all about his adventures after they had lost him, and he sat down and told them everything—except about the finding of the ring ("not just now" he thought). They were particularly interested in the riddle-competition, and shuddered most appreciatively at his description of Gollum....
... ...The dwarves looked at him with quite a new respect, when he talked about dodging guards, jumping over Gollum, and squeezing through, as if it was not very difficult or very alarming.
... "What did I tell you?" said Gandalf laughing. "Mr. Baggins has more about him than you guess." He gave Bilbo a queer look from under his bushy eyebrows... ...and the hobbit wondered if he guessed at the part of his tale that he had left out...."

4. The Company is trapped in the trees.
(determined from text)

...""Must we go any further?" asked Bilbo... "...A bit further," said Gandalf.
...After what seemed ages further they came suddenly to an opening where no trees grew. The moon was up and was shining into the clearing. Somehow it struck all of them as not at all a nice place, although there was nothing wrong to see.
...All of a sudden they heard a howl away down hill, a long shuddering howl. It was answered by another away to the right... ...It was wolves howling at the moon, wolves gathering together!

..."...What shall we do, what shall we do!" [Bilbo] cried. "Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!" he said, and it became a proverb....
..."Up the trees quick!" cried Gandalf...

...…Just at that moment the wolves trotted howling into the clearing. All of a sudden there were hundreds of eyes looking at them… …In a minute there was a whole pack of them yelping all round the tree and leaping up at the trunk, with eyes blazing and tongues hanging out....

......Gandalf, listening to their growling and yelping, began to be dreadfully afraid... ...All the same he was not going to let them have it all their own way, though he could not do very much stuck up in a tall tree with wolves all round on the ground below. He gathered the huge pinecones from the branches of his tree. Then he set one alight with bright blue fire, and threw it whizzing down among the circle of the wolves. It struck one on the back, and immediately his shaggy coat caught fire... ...Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground in the middle of the circle and went off in coloured sparks and smoke.… …Very soon all about the glade wolves were rolling over and over to put out the sparks on their backs, while those that were burning were running about howling and setting others alight….

..."What's all this uproar in the forest tonight?" said the Lord of the Eagles. He was sitting, black in the moonlight, on the top of a lonely pinnacle of rock.... "I hear wolves' voices! Are the goblins at mischief in the woods?"
...He swept up into the air and immediately two of his guards from the rocks at either hand leaped up to follow him. They circled up in the sky and looked down upon the ring of the Wargs, a tiny spot far far below. But eagles have keen eyes and can see small things at a great distance. The lord of the eagles of the Misty Mountains had eyes that could look at the sun unblinking, and could see … …the tiny flashes of fire, and hear the howling and yelping come up faint from far beneath him....

......the flames were under Gandalf's tree. In a moment it spread to the others. The bark caught fire, the lower branches cracked.
...Then Gandalf climbed to the top of his tree. The sudden splendour flashed from his wand like lightning, as he got ready to spring down from on high right among the spears of the goblins. That would have been the end of him, though he would probably have killed many of them as he came hurtling down like a thunderbolt. But he never leaped.
...Just at that moment the Lord of the Eagles swept down from above, seized him in his talons, and was gone....

......Other birds flew to the tree-tops and seized the dwarves, who were scrambling up now as far as ever they dared to go.
...Poor little Bilbo was very nearly left behind again! He just managed to catch hold of Dori's legs, as Dori was borne off last of all; and they went together above the tumult and the burning, Bilbo swinging in the air with his arms nearly breaking....""


July 19, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The funeral escort of King Théoden sets out.
(from the appendices)

..."At last the day of departure came, and a great and fair company made ready to ride north from the City. Then the kings of Gondor and Rohan went to the Hallows and they came to the tombs in Rath Dinen, and they bore away King Théoden upon a golden bier... ...and Merry being Théoden's esquire rode upon the wain and kept the arms of the king.
...For the other Companions steeds were furnished… …and Frodo and Samwise rode at Aragorn's side, and Gandalf rode upon Shadowfax, and Pippin rode with the knights of Gondor; and Legolas and Gimli as ever rode together upon Arod.
...In that riding went also Queen Arwen, and Celeborn and Galadriel with their folk, and Elrond and his sons; and the princes of Dol Amroth and of Ithilien, and many captains and knights. Never had any king of the Mark such company upon the road as went with Théoden… ...to the land of his home."



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Today in Middle-earth

July 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. They fly to the Carrock and reach Beorn's in early afternoon.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

...[Gandalf]"...there is somebody that I know of, who lives not far away. That somebody made the steps on the Great rock—the Carrock I believe he calls it... ...it is no good waiting for him. In fact it would be very dangerous. We must go and find him; and if all goes well at our meeting, I think I shall be off and wish you like the eagles 'farewell wherever you fare!'"

..."...Why is it called the Carrock?" asked Bilbo as he went along at the wizard's side.
..."He called it the Carrock, because carrock is his word for it. He calls things like that carrocks, and this one is the Carrock because it is the only one near his home and he knows it well."
..."Who calls it? Who knows it?"
..."The Somebody I spoke of--a very great person. You must all be very polite when I introduce you. I shall introduce you slowly, two by two, I think; and you must be careful not to annoy him... ...He can be appalling when he is angry, though he is kind enough if humoured. Still I warn you he gets angry easily... ...his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer."
..."What! A furrier, a man that calls rabbits conies, when he doesn't turn their skins into squirrels?" asked Bilbo.
..."Good gracious heavens, no, no, no, NO!" said Gandalf. "Don't be a fool Mr. Baggins if you can help it... ...He is a skin-changer. He changes his skin; sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard... ...Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came. Others say that he is a man descended from the first men who lived before Smaug or the other dragons came into this part of the world, and before the goblins came into the hills out of the North. I cannot say, though I fancy the last is the true tale. He is not the sort of person to ask questions of.
..."At any rate he is under no enchantment but his own.... ...We're getting near," said Gandalf. "We are on the edge of his bee-pastures."

...After a while they came to a belt of tall and very ancient oaks, and beyond these to a high thorn-hedge through which you could neither see nor scramble.
..."You had better wait here," said the wizard to the dwarves; "and when I call or whistle begin to come after me--you will see the way I go--but only in pairs... ...about five minutes between each pair of you. Bombur is the fattest and will do for two, he had better come alone and last. Come on Mr. Baggins! There is a gate somewhere round this way." And with that he went off along the hedge taking the frightened hobbit with him."





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Today in Middle-earth

July 21, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf and company remain at Beorn's.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."'Get up lazybones or there will be no breakfast left for you.'
...'Up jumped Bilbo. 'Breakfast!' he cried. 'Where is breakfast?'
...'Mostly inside us,' answered the other dwarves who were moving around the hall; 'but what is left is out on the veranda. We have been about looking for Beorn ever since the sun got up; but there is no sign of him anywhere...'
...'Where is Gandalf?' asked Bilbo, moving off to find something to eat as quick as he could.
...'O! out and about somewhere...' ...he saw no sign of the wizard all that day until the evening. Just before sunset he walked into the hall, where the hobbit and the dwarves were having supper, waited on by Beorn's wonderful animals, as they had been all day. Of Beorn they had seen and heard nothing since the night before, and they were getting puzzled.
...'Where is our host, and where have you been all day yourself?' they all cried.
...'One question at a time—and none till after supper! I haven't had a bite since breakfast.'
...At last Gandalf pushed away his plate and jug... ...and he took out his pipe. 'I will answer the second question first,' he said, '—but bless me! this is a splendid place for smoke rings...!'

..."...I have been picking out bear-tracks," he said at last. "There must have been a regular bears' meeting outside here last night. I soon saw that Beorn could not have made them all: there were far too many of them, and they were of various sizes too... ...all dancing outside from dark to nearly dawn. They came from almost every direction, except from the west over the river, from the Mountains. In that direction only one set of footprints led—none coming, only ones going away from here. I followed these as far as the Carrock... ...They went straight off in the direction of the pine-woods on the east side of the Misty Mountains, where we had our pleasant little party with the Wargs the night before last. And now I think I have answered your first question, too," ended Gandalf, and he sat a long while silent.
...Bilbo thought he knew what the wizard meant. "What shall we do... ...if he leads all the Wargs and the goblins down here? We shall all be caught and killed! I thought you said he was not a friend of theirs."
..."So I did. And don't be silly! You had better go to bed, your wits are sleepy."
...The hobbit felt quite crushed... ...he did go to bed; and while the dwarves were still singing songs he dropped asleep, still puzzling his little head about Beorn, till he dreamed a dream of hundreds of black bears dancing slow heavy dances round and round in the moonlight in the courtyard. Then he woke up when everyone else was asleep, and he heard the same scraping, scuffling, snuffling, and growling as before."



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Today in Middle-earth

July 22, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. They ride out from Beorn's in early afternoon.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."Next morning they were all wakened by Beorn himself. "So here you all are still!" he said. He picked up the hobbit and laughed: "Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I see"; and he poked Mr. Baggins' waistcoat most disrespectfully. "Little bunny is getting nice and fat again on bread and honey... ...Come and have some more!"
...So they all went to breakfast with him. Beorn was most jolly for a change... ...and set them all laughing with his funny stories; nor did they have to wonder long where he had been or why he was so nice to them, for he told them himself. He had been over the river and right back up into the mountains---from which you can guess that he could travel quickly, in bear's
shape at any rate. From the burnt wolf-glade he had soon found out that part of their story was true...
..."...It was a good story, that of yours," said Beorn, "but I like it still better now I am sure it is true. You must forgive my not taking your word. If you lived near the edge of Mirkwood, you would take the word of no one that you did not know... ...I can only say that I have hurried home as fast as I could to see that you were safe, and to offer you any help that I can. I shall think more kindly of dwarves after this. Killed the Great Goblin, killed the Great Goblin!" he chuckled fiercely to himself...
......All that morning they were busy with preparations. Soon after midday they ate with Beorn for the last time, and after the meal they mounted the steeds he was lending them, and bidding them many farewells they rode off through his gate at a good pace."



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Jul 23, 3:10am

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July 22, 1928 (Common Era)
1. Orson Bean born today.


Orson Bean (1928-2020) voiced Bilbo Baggins in Filmation's 1997 animated television special based on The Hobbit and their 1980 adaptation of The Return of the King.

#FidelityToTolkien
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July 23, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company rides through grasslands west of Mirkwood.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."... morning dawned bright and fair again. There was an autumn-like mist white upon the ground and the air was chill, but soon the sun rose red in the East and the mists vanished, and while the shadows were still long they were off again... ...all the while they saw nothing save grass and flowers and birds and scattered trees, and occasionally small herds of red deer browsing or sitting at noon in the shade."



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Today in Middle-earth

July 24, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bright, fair, chill fall-like mist. Bilbo sees Beorn.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they were eager to press on, for Beorn had said that they should reach the forest-gate early on the fourth day, that they rode still forward after dusk and into the night beneath the moon. As the light faded Bilbo thought he saw away to the right, or to the left, the shadowy form of a great bear prowling along in the same direction. But if he dared to mention it to Gandalf, the wizard only said: "Hush! Take no notice!""



July 24th 1999: AICN announces that Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Ian Holm (Bilbo) have joined the cast, though this is not officially confirmed.

July 24th 2000: The cast and crew reconvene for the final stretch of shooting.

July 24th 2000: Soundtrack.net breaks the news that Howard Shore will be scoring all three Rings movies.



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Today in Middle-earth

July 25, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf and Company approach the west edge of Mirkwood.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

...Next day they started before dawn, though their night had been short. As soon as it was light they could see the forest coming as it were to meet them, or waiting for them like a black and frowning wall before them....
..."...Well, here is Mirkwood!" said Gandalf. "The greatest of the forests of the Northern world. I hope you like the look of it. Now you must send back these excellent ponies you have borrowed."
...The dwarves were inclined to grumble at this... ..."Beorn is not as far off as you seem to think, and you have better keep your promises anyway, for he is a bad enemy. Mr. Baggins' eyes are sharper than yours, if you have not seen each night after dark a great bear going along with us or... ...watching our camps. Not only to guard you and guide you, but to keep an eye on the ponies too. Beorn may be your friend, but he loves his animals as his children. You do not guess what kindness he has shown you in letting dwarves ride them so far and so fast, nor what would happen to you, if you tried to take them into the forest."
..."What about the horse, then?" said Thorin. "You don't mention sending that back."
..."I don't, because I am not sending it."
..."What about your promise then?"
..."I will look after that. I am not sending the horse back, I am riding it!"
...Then they knew that Gandalf was going to leave them... ...and they were in despair. But nothing they could say would change his mind.
..."Now we had this all out before, when we landed on the Carrock" he said. "It is no use arguing. I have, as I told you, some pressing business away south; and I am already late through bothering with you people. We may meet again before all is over, and then again of course we may not. That depends on your luck and on your courage and sense; and I am sending Mr. Baggins with you. I have told you before that he has more about him than you guess... ...So cheer up Bilbo and don't look so glum. Cheer up Thorin and Company! This is your expedition after all. Think of the treasure at the end, and forget the forest and the dragon, at any rate until tomorrow morning!""

Note: Karen Wynn Fonstad has July 25th as the day Gandalf leaves the Company at Mirkwood; but following each day's progress in the book, I determine Gandalf departs on the 26th. So my date is one day different than Ms Fonstad's. This will move this part of the Quest off by one day.



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Jul 25, 3:18pm

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Assuming Fonstad was correct about the company setting out from Beorn's home on July 22, they reached the Eaves of Mirkwood in the afternoon of July 25, and Gandalf departed the next morning, July 26. Fonstad must have forgotten that Gandalf did not leave right way upon reaching the Forest.

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Jul 26, 1:37am

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Cool!! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

*high five* Thanks!



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 26, 1:38am

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TIME - July 26 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

July 26, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf departs at the west edge of Mirkwood.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."When tomorrow morning came... ...there was nothing left to do but to fill their water-skins at a clear spring they found close to the forest-gate, and unpack the ponies. They distributed the packages as fairly as they could, though Bilbo thought his lot was wearisomely heavy, and did not at all like the idea of trudging for miles and miles with all that on his back.
..."Don't you worry!" said Thorin. "It will get lighter all too soon. Before long I expect we shall all wish our packs heavier, when the food begins to run short."
...Then at last they said good-bye to their ponies and turned their heads for home... ...As they went away Bilbo could have sworn that a thing like a bear left the shadow of the trees and shambled off quickly after them.
...Now Gandalf too said farewell. Bilbo sat on the ground feeling very unhappy and wishing he was beside the wizard on his tall horse. He had gone just inside the forest... ...and it had seemed as dark in there in the morning as at night, and very secret; "a sort of watching and waiting feeling," he said to himself.

..."Good-bye!" said Gandalf to Thorin. "And good-bye to you all, good-bye! Straight through the forest is your way now. Don't stray off the track!---if you do, it is a thousand to one you will never find it again and never get out of Mirkwood...."
..."...Do we really have to go through?" groaned the hobbit.
..."Yes, you do!" said the wizard, "if you want to get to the other side. You must either go through or give up your quest. And I am not going to allow you to back out now, Mr. Baggins. I am ashamed of you for thinking of it. You have got to look after all these dwarves for me," he laughed....
......growled Thorin. "Good-bye! If you won't come with us, you had better get off without any more talk!"
..."Good-bye then, and really good-bye!" said Gandalf, and he turned his horse and rode down into the West. But he could not resist the temptation to have the last word. Before he had passed quite out of hearing he turned and put his hands to his mouth and called to them. They heard his voice come faintly: "Good-bye! Be good, take care of yourself—and DON'T LEAVE THE PATH!"
...Then he galloped away and was soon lost to sight. "O good-bye and go away!" grunted the dwarves... ...they were really filled with dismay at losing him. Now began the most dangerous part of all the journey. They each shouldered the heavy pack and the water-skin which was their share, and turned from the light that lay on the lands outside and plunged into the forest."



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 26, 1:42am

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TIME - July 27 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

July 27, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Welcome to Mirkwood!
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."They walked in single file. The entrance to the path was like a sort of arch leading into a gloomy tunnel made by two great trees that leant together, too old and strangled with ivy... ...The path itself was narrow and wound in and out among the trunks. Soon the light at the gate was like a little bright hole far behind and the quiet was so deep that their feet seemed to thump along while all the trees leaned over them and listened.
...As their eyes became used to the dimness they could see a little way to either side in a sort of darkened green glimmer. Occasionally a slender beam of sun that the luck to slip in through some opening in the leaves far above, and still more luck in not being caught in the tangled boughs and matted twigs beneath... ...But this was seldom, and it soon ceased altogether.
...There were black squirrels in the wood. As Bilbo's sharp inquisitive eyes got used to seeing things he could catch glimpses of them whisking off the path and scuttling behind tree-trunks. There were queer noises too, grunts, scufflings, and hurryings in the undergrowth... ...but what made the noises he could not see. The nastiest things they saw were the cobwebs: dark dense cobwebs with threads extraordinarily thick, often stretched from tree to tree, or tangled in the lower branches on either side of them. There were none stretched across the path, but whether because some magic kept it clear, or for what other reason they could not guess."



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jul 26, 1:42am)


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jul 28, 6:07am

Post #39 of 51 (851 views)
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Where they lucky to be in Mirkwood in summer? [In reply to] Can't Post

As in spring or autumn the dangerous flora might well have been greater as creatures tend to be more greater in those seasons. All of the spiders and pests may have been a bit hot in the summer. Assuming that the seasons of Mirkwood where the same as those in the Shire!


grammaboodawg
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Jul 28, 12:23pm

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TIME - July 28 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

July 28, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Mirkwood.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."It was not long before they grew to hate the forest as heartily as they had hated the tunnels of the goblins, and it seemed to offer even less hope of any ending. But they had to go on... ...long after they were sick for a sight of the sun and of the sky, and longed for the feel of wind on their faces. There was no movement of air down under the forest-roof, and it was everlastingly still and dark and stuffy. Even the dwarves felt it, who were used to tunnelling, and lived at times for long whiles without the sight of the sun; but the hobbit, who liked holes to make a house in but not to spend summer days in, felt he was being slowly suffocated."



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 28, 12:27pm

Post #41 of 51 (833 views)
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Good Points! [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as the stifling heat and air was bothering them, it would stand to reason the critters would be just as miserable. Good point on the flora, too! I hadn't even factored that into it!

*high five*

I WILL NOW! :D Thanks!



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 29, 11:27am

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Today in Middle-earth

July 29-August 15, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Mirkwood watches the newcomers.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth

..."The nights were the worst. It then became pitch-dark... ...so black that you really could see nothing. Bilbo tried flapping his hand in front of his nose, but he could not see it at all.... ...They slept all closely huddled together, and took it in turns to watch; and when it was Bilbo's turn he would see gleams in the darkness round them, and sometimes pairs of yellow or red or green eyes would stare at him from a little distance, and then slowly fade and disappear and slowly shine out again in another place... ...sometimes they would gleam down from the branches just above him; and that was most terrifying. But the eyes that he liked the least were horrible pale bulbous sort of eyes. "Insect eyes" he thought, "not animal eyes, only they are much too big."
...Although it was not yet very cold, they tried lighting watch-fires at night, but they soon gave that up. It seemed to bring hundreds and hundreds of eyes all round them, though the creatures... ...were careful never to let their bodies show in the little flicker of the flames."


July 29, 1954
1. The Fellowship of the Ring is published.

...The first of 3 volumes of The Lord of the Rings was published in the United Kingdom. This volume contains the first 2 of Tolkien's 6 "books" of his epic tale. It also introduces us to a history of Middle-earth, the main characters, the tale of the Ring of Sauron, the creation of the Fellowship, and the launch of the Quest to destroy the Ring.



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 30, 10:39am

Post #43 of 51 (774 views)
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It's time for some BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a Book Spoiler of how it could have been worse before they even reached Mirkwood! Bilbo, I'm sure, recalled another warning that Beorn had given them before they left (see if you notice something familiar in his strategy)... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Queer Lodgings: The Hobbit

..."The goblins," Beorn had said, "will not dare to cross the Great River for a hundred miles north of the Carrock nor to come near my house... ...but I should ride fast; for if they make their raid soon they will cross the river to the south and scour all the edge of the forest so as to cut you off, and Wargs run swifter than ponies. Still you are safer going north, even though you seem to be going back nearer to their strongholds; for that is what they will least expect, and they will have the longer ride to catch you...!"
......That is why they were now riding in silence, galloping wherever the ground was grassy and smooth, with the mountains dark on their left, and in the distance the line of the river with its trees drawing ever closer. The sun had only just turned west when they started, and till evening it lay golden on the land... ...It was difficult to think of pursuing goblins behind, and when they had put many miles between them and Beorn's house they began to talk and to sing again and to forget the dark forest-path that lay in front. But in the evening when the dusk came on and the peaks of the mountains glowered against the sunset they made a camp and set a guard... ...most of them slept uneasily with dreams in which there came the howl of hunting wolves and the cries of goblins."



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 31, 1:01pm

Post #44 of 51 (672 views)
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It's time for some more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the first of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin in Minas Tirith... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"[Pippin] noticed a man, clad in black and white, coming along the narrow street from the centre of the citadel towards him. Pippin felt lonely and made up his mind to speak as the man passed; but he had no need. The man came straight up to him.
'You are Peregrin the Halfling?' he said. 'I am told that you have been sworn to the service of the Lord and of the City. Welcome!' He held out his hand and Pippin took it.
'I am named Beregond son of Baranor… …I have been sent to you to teach you the pass-words, and to tell you some of the many things that no doubt you will wish to know. And for my part, I would learn of you also. For never before have we seen a halfling in this land… …though we have heard rumour of them, little is said of them in any tale that we know… …But I am forgetting my errand, which was first to answer what you would ask. What would you know, Master Peregrin?'
'Er well… …rather a burning question in my mind at present is, well, what about breakfast and all that? I mean, what are the mealtimes… …where is the dining-room, if there is one? And the inns… …I had been borne up by the hope of a draught of ale as soon as we came to the homes of wise and courtly men.'
Beregond looked at him gravely. 'An old campaigner, I see… …They say that men who go warring afield look ever to the next hope of food and of drink… …you have not yet eaten today?'
'Well, yes, to speak in courtesy… …But no more than a cup of wine and a white cake or two by the kindness of your lord; but he racked me for it with an hour of questions, and that is hungry work.'
Beregond laughed. 'At the table small men may do the greater deeds, we say. But you have broken your fast as well as any man in the Citadel… …This is a fortress and a tower of guard and is now in posture of war. We rise ere the Sun and take a morsel in the grey light… …But do not despair!' He laughed again, seeing the dismay in Pippin's face. 'Those who have had heavy duty take somewhat to refresh their strength in the mid-morning. Then there is the nuncheon, at noon or after as duties allow; and men gather for the daymeal… …about the hour of sunset.
'Come! We will walk a little and then go find us some refreshment, and eat and drink on the battlement, and survey the fair morning….'"



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 1, 12:06pm

Post #45 of 51 (580 views)
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It's time for even more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the second of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"'…This is the storehouse and buttery of my company of the Guard,' said Beregond...
...They got there bread, and butter, and cheese and apples... ...and a leather flagon of new-drawn ale, and wooden platters and cups. They put all into a wicker basket and climbed back into the sun; and Beregond brought Pippin to a place at the east end of the great out-thrust battlement where there was an embrasure in the walls with a stone seat beneath the sill. From there they could look out on the morning over the world.
They ate and drank… … they talked now of Gondor and its ways and customs, now of the Shire and the strange countries that Pippin had seen. And ever as they talked Beregond was more amazed, and looked with greater wonder at the hobbit, swinging his short legs as he sat on the seat, or standing tiptoe upon it to peer over the sill at the lands below.
'I will not hide from you, Master Peregrin… …that to us you look almost as one of our children, a lad of nine summers or so; and yet you have endured perils and seen marvels that few of our greybeards could boast of. I thought it was the whim of our Lord to take him a noble page, after the manner of the kings of old… …But I see that it is not so, and you must pardon my foolishness.'
'I do,' said Pippin. 'Though you are not far wrong. I am still little more than a boy in the reckoning of my own people, and it will be four years yet before I "come of age", as we say in the Shire….'
"...They fell silent for a while. Pippin gazed anxiously eastward, as if at any moment he might see thousands of orcs pouring over the fields."



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 2, 12:07pm

Post #46 of 51 (527 views)
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It's time for yet more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the third of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as they talk about the coming enemy... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"'What can I see there?' [Pippin] asked, pointing down to the middle of the great curve of the Anduin. 'Is that another city, or what is it?'
'It was a city,' said Beregond, 'the chief city of Gondor, of which this was only a fortress. For that is the ruin of Osgiliath on either side of Anduin, which our enemies took and burned long ago. Yet we won it back in the days of the youth of Denethor: not to dwell in… …as an outpost, and to rebuild the bridge…. …And then came the Fell Riders out of Minas Morgul…'
'The Black Riders?' said Pippin, opening his eyes, and they were wide and dark with an old fear re-awakened.
'Yes, they were black… …and I see that you know something of them, though you have not spoken of them in any of your tales.'
'I know of them,' said Pippin softly, 'but I will not speak of them now, so near, so near.' He broke off and lifted his eyes above the River, and it seemed to him that all he could see was a vast and threatening shadow...
'...So near to Mordor?' said Beregond quietly. 'Yes, there it lies. We seldom name it; but we have dwelt ever in sight of that shadow: sometimes it seems fainter and more distant; sometimes nearer and darker. It is growing and darkening now; and therefore our fear and disquiet grow too. And the Fell Riders, less than a year ago they won back the crossings… …many of our best men were slain. Boromir it was that drove the enemy at last back from this western shore, and we hold still the near half of Osgiliath… …But we await now a new onslaught there. Maybe the chief onslaught of the war that comes.'
'When?' said Pippin. 'Have you a guess? For I saw the beacons last night and the errand-riders… …Gandalf said that it was a sign that war had begun. He seemed in a desperate hurry. But now everything seems to have slowed up again.'
'Only because everything is now ready,' said Beregond. 'It is but the deep breath before the plunge.'
'But why were the beacons lit last night?'
'It is over-late to send for aid when you are already besieged… …But I do not know the counsel of the Lord and his captains. They have many ways of gathering news….'"



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 3, 12:03pm

Post #47 of 51 (512 views)
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Here's the fourth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as they talk about the coming enemy... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"'…the Lord Denethor is unlike other men: he sees far. Some say that as he sits alone in his high chamber in the Tower at night, and bends his thought this way and that, he can read somewhat of the future… …that he will at times search even the mind of the Enemy, wrestling with him. And so it is that he is old, worn before his time. But… …my lord Faramir is abroad, beyond the River on some perilous errand, and he may have sent tidings.
'But if you would know what I think set the beacons ablaze, it was the news that came yestereve out of Lebennin. There is a great fleet drawing near the mouth of Anduin, manned by the corsairs of Umbar in the South… …and they have filled them with the Enemy and now make a heavy stroke in his cause. For this attack will draw much of the help that we looked to have from Lebennin and Belfalas… …All the more do our thoughts go north to Rohan; and the more glad are we for these tidings of victory that you bring.
And yet… …the doings at Isengard should warn us that we are caught now in a great net and strategy. This is no longer a bickering at the fords, raiding from Ithilien and from Anórien, ambushing and pillaging. This is a great war long-planned, and we are but one piece in it, whatever pride may say....
'...Yet, Master Peregrin, we have this honour: ever we bear the brunt of the chief hatred of the Dark Lord, for that hatred comes down out of the depths of time and over the deeps of the Sea….
…Here will the hammer-stroke fall hardest. And for that reason Mithrandir came hither in such haste. For if we fall, who shall stand...? And, Master Peregrin, do you see any hope that we shall stand?'
Pippin did not answer."



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Otaku-sempai
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Aug 3, 2:28pm

Post #48 of 51 (506 views)
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TIME - August 3 [In reply to] Can't Post

August 3, 1979 (Common Era)
1. Nicole Evangeline Lilly born in Fort Saskatchewan, Canada.


Happy forty-second birthday to Evangeline "Tauriel" Lilly who starred in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.



#FidelityToTolkien
#ChallengeExpectations


grammaboodawg
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Aug 4, 12:11pm

Post #49 of 51 (456 views)
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It's time for some more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the fifth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin in Minas Tirith... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"[Pippin] looked at the great walls, and the towers and brave banners, and the sun in the high sky, and then at the gathering gloom in the East; and he thought of the long fingers of that Shadow… …the orcs in the woods and the mountains, the treason of Isengard… …and the Black Riders even in the lanes of the Shire—and of the winged terror, the Nazgûl. He shuddered, and hope seemed to wither. And even at that moment the sun for a second faltered and was obscured, as though a dark wing had passed across it. Almost beyond hearing he thought he caught, high and far up in the heavens, a cry: faint, but heart-quelling… …He blanched and cowered against the wall.
'What was that?' asked Beregond. 'You also felt something?'
'Yes,' muttered Pippin. 'It is the sign of our fall… …the shadow of doom, a Fell Rider of the air.'
'Yes, the shadow of doom,' said Beregond. 'I fear that Minas Tirith shall fall… …The very warmth of my blood seems stolen away....'

...For a time they sat together with bowed heads and did not speak. Then suddenly Pippin looked up and saw that the sun was still shining and the banners still streaming in the breeze.... ...'No, my heart will not yet despair. Gandalf fell and has returned… …We may stand, if only on one leg, or at least be left still upon our knees.'
'Rightly said!' cried Beregond, rising and striding to and fro. 'Nay, though all things must come utterly to an end in time, Gondor shall not perish yet. Not though the walls be taken by a reckless foe that will build a hill of carrion before them... ...Hope and memory shall live still in some hidden valley where the grass is green.'"



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 5, 11:21am

Post #50 of 51 (441 views)
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It's time for yet more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the sixth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as talk about the captain... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"'All the same, I wish it was over for good or ill,' said Pippin. 'I am no warrior… …and dislike any thought of battle; but waiting on the edge of one that I can't escape is worst of all…. …I should be happier, if we were not obliged to stand and watch, making no move…. …No stroke would have been struck in Rohan, I think, but for Gandalf.'
'Ah, there you lay your finger on the sore that many feel!' said Beregond. 'But things may change when Faramir returns. He is bold, more bold than many deem….
"…in these days men are slow to believe that a captain can be wise and learned in the scrolls of lore and song, as he is, and yet a man of hardihood and swift judgement in the field. But such is Faramir. Less reckless and eager than Boromir, but not less resolute. Yet what indeed can he do? We cannot assault… …yonder realm. Our reach is shortened and we cannot strike till some foe comes within it. Then our hand must be heavy!' He smote the hilts of his sword.
Pippin looked at him: tall and proud and noble, as all the men that he had yet seen in that land… …with a glitter in his eye as he thought of the battle. 'Alas! my own hand feels as light as a feather,' he thought, but he said nothing. 'A pawn did Gandalf say? Perhaps; but on the wrong chessboard.'"



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Aug 6, 12:55pm

Post #51 of 51 (422 views)
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It's time for a bit more BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the last of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin in Minas Tirith... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

"So they talked until the sun reached its height, and suddenly the noon-bells were rung, and there was a stir in the citadel; for all save the watchmen were going to their meal.
'Will you come with me?' said Beregond. 'You may join my mess for this day. I do not know to what company you will be assigned… …But you will be welcome. And it will be well to meet as many men as you may, while there is yet time.'
'I shall be glad to come,' said Pippin. 'I am lonely, to tell you the truth. I left my best friend behind in Rohan, and I have had no one to talk to or jest with. Perhaps I could really join your company? Are you the captain? If so, you could take me on, or speak for me?'
'Nay, nay,' Beregond laughed, 'I am no captain… …but a plain man of arms of the Third Company of the Citadel….'
…so Pippin went with Beregond and was made known to the men of the Third Company…
…it seemed that Beregond got as much honour from it as his guest, for Pippin was very welcome.
There had already been much talk in the citadel about Mithrandir's companion and his long closeting with the Lord; and rumour declared that a Prince of the Halflings had come out of the North to offer allegiance to Gondor and five thousand swords… …some said that when the Riders came from Rohan each would bring behind him a halfling warrior, small maybe, but doughty.
Though Pippin had regretfully to destroy this hopeful tale, he could not be rid of this new rank… …fitting, men thought, to one befriended by Boromir and honoured by the Lord Denethor… …they thanked him for coming among them, and hung on his words and stories of the outlands, and gave him as much food and ale as he could wish. Indeed his only trouble was to be 'wary' according to the counsel of Gandalf, and not to let his tongue wag freely after the manner of a hobbit among friends.
At length Beregond rose. 'Farewell for this time..! …I have duty now till sundown, as have all the others here, I think. But if you are lonely, as you say, maybe you would like a merry guide about the City. My son would go with you gladly… …You will find him there with other lads that are remaining in the City. There may be things worth seeing down at the Great Gate ere the closing.'"



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Aug 6, 12:56pm)

 
 

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