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TIME - February 15
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grammaboodawg
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Mar 5, 4:29am

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TIME - March 5 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

March 5, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Théoden reaches Isengard at noon.
(from the appendices)

..."The king and all his company sat silent on their horses, marvelling, perceiving that the power of Saruman was overthrown; but how they could not guess. And now they turned their eyes towards the archway and the ruined gates. There they saw... ...a great rubble-heap; and suddenly they were aware of two small figures lying on it at their ease, grey-clad, hardly to be seen among the stones. There were bottles and bowls and platters laid beside them, as if they had just eaten well, and now rested from their labour. One seemed asleep, the other, with crossed legs and arms behind his head, leaned back against a broken rock and sent from his mouth long wisps and little rings of thin blue smoke.

...For a moment Théoden and Éomer and all his men stared at them in wonder. Amid all the wreck of Isengard this seemed to them the strangest sight. But before the king could speak, the small smoke-breathing figure became suddenly aware of them... ...He sprang to his feet. A young man he looked... ...though not much more than half a man in height... ...he was clad in a travel-stained cloak of the same hue and shape as the companions of Gandalf had worn when they rode to Edoras. He bowed very low, putting his hand upon his breast. Then, seeming not to observe the wizard and his friends, he turned to Éomer and the king.
...'Welcome, my lords, to Isengard... ...We are the door-wardens. Meriadoc, son of Saradoc is my name; and my companion, who, alas! is overcome with weariness'—here he gave the other a dig with his foot—'is Peregrin, son of Paladin, of the house of Took. Far in the North is our home. The Lord Saruman is within; but at the moment he is closeted with one Wormtongue, or, doubtless he would be here to welcome such honourable guests.'"

2. Parley with Saruman in Orthanc.
(from the appendices)

..."'Saruman, Saruman!' said Gandalf still laughing. 'Saruman, you missed your path in life. You should have been the king's jester and earned your bread, and stripes too, by mimicking his counsellors. Ah me!' he paused, getting the better of his mirth. 'Understand one another? I fear I am beyond your comprehension. But you, Saruman, I understand now too well...'"

..."'Saruman!' he cried... ...his voice grew in power and authority. 'Behold, I am not Gandalf the Grey, whom you betrayed. I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death. You have no colour now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.'
...He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice. 'Saruman, your staff is broken.' There was a crack, and the staff split asunder in Saruman's hand... 'Go!' said Gandalf. With a cry Saruman fell back and crawled away."

3. Pippin steals the palantír.
(not in the appendices)

..."'You idiotic fool!' Pippin muttered to himself. 'You're going to get yourself into frightful trouble. Put it back quick!' But he found now that his knees quaked, and he did not dare to go near enough to the wizard to reach the bundle. 'I'll never get it back now without waking him... ...not till I'm a bit calmer. So I may as well have a look first….'

...At first the globe was dark, black as jet... ...moonlight gleaming on its surface... ...there came a faint glow and stir in the heart of it, and it held his eyes, so that now he could not look away. Soon all the inside seemed on fire; the ball was spinning, or the lights within were revolving. Suddenly the lights went out. He gave a gasp and struggled; but he remained bent, clasping the ball with both hands. Closer and closer he bent, and then became rigid; his lips moved soundlessly for a while... ...with a strangled cry he fell back and lay still.
...The cry was piercing. The guards lept down from the banks. All the camp was soon astir.
...'So this is the thief!' said Gandalf. Hastily he cast his cloak over the globe... '...But you, Pippin! This is a grievous turn to things!' He knelt by Pippin's body: the hobbit was lying on his back, rigid, with unseeing eyes staring up at the sky. 'The devilry! What mischief has he done--to himself, and to all of us?' The wizard's face was drawn and haggard…."

4. Winged Nazgûl passes over the camp at Dol Baran; Gandalf sets out with Peregrin for Minas Tirith.
(from the appendices)

..."At that moment a shadow fell over them. The bright moonlight seemed to be suddenly cut off. Several of the Riders cried out, and crouched, holding their arms above their heads, as if to ward off a blow from above: a blind fear and a deadly cold fell on them….

...…Gandalf was gazing up, his arms out and downwards, stiff, his hands clenched. 'Nazgûl!' he cried. 'The messenger of Mordor. The storm is coming. The Nazgûl have crossed the River! Ride, ride! Wait not for the dawn! Let not the swift wait for the slow! Ride!'
...He sprang away, calling Shadowfax as he ran. Aragorn followed him. Going to Pippin, Gandalf picked him up in his arms. 'You shall come with me this time... ...Shadowfax shall show you his paces.' Then he ran to the place where he had slept. Shadowfax stood there already. Slinging the small bag which was all his luggage across his shoulders, the wizard leapt upon the horse's back. Aragorn lifted Pippin and set him in Gandalf's arms, wrapped in cloak and blanket.
...'Farewell! Follow fast..! ...Away, Shadowfax!'
...The great horse tossed his head. His flowing tail flicked in the moonlight. Then he leapt forward, spurning the earth, and was gone like the north wind from the mountains...."

..."'...Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of you inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?'
...'The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-earth and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas,' laughed Pippin. 'Of course! What less?'"

5. Frodo hides in sight of the Morannon, and leaves at dusk.
(from the appendices)

..."'More Men going to Mordor,' Gollum said in a low voice. 'Dark faces. We have not seen Men like these before, no, Sméagol has not. They are fierce. They have black eyes, and long black hair, and gold rings in their ears; yes, lots of beautiful gold… …Not nice; very cruel wicked Men they look. Almost as bad as Orcs, and much bigger. Sméagol thinks they have come out of the South beyond the Great River's end... ...They have passed on to the Black Gate; but more may follow. Always more people coming to Mordor. One day all the peoples will be inside.'
...'Were there any oliphaunts?' asked Sam, forgetting his fear in his eagerness for news of strange places.
...'No, no oliphaunts. What are oliphaunts?' said Gollum.
...Sam stood up, putting his hands behind his back (as he always did when 'speaking poetry'), and began: 'Grey as a mouse, Big as a house, Nose like a snake, I make the earth shake...'"




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We have been there and back again.


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grammaboodawg
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Mar 6, 3:02pm

Post #27 of 37 (1991 views)
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TIME - March 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

March 6, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Aragorn overtaken by the Dúnedain in the early hours.
(from the appendices)

..."When they were some fifty paces off, Éomer cried in a loud voice: 'Halt! Halt! Who rides in Rohan?'
...The pursuers brought their steeds to a sudden stand. A silence followed... ...in the moonlight, a horseman could be seen dismounting and walking slowly forward. His hand showed white as he held it up, palm outward, in token of peace; but the king's men gripped their weapons. At ten paces the man stopped. He was tall, a dark standing shadow. Then his clear voice rang out.
...'Rohan! Rohan did you say? This is a glad word. We seek that land in haste from long afar.'
...'You have found it,' said Éomer... '...But it is the realm of Théoden the King. None ride here save by his leave. Who are you? And what is your haste?'
...'Halbarad Dúnadan, Ranger of the North I am... ...We seek one Aragorn son of Arathorn, and we heard that he was in Rohan.'
...'And you have found him also!' cried Aragorn. Giving his reins to Merry, he ran forward and embraced the newcomer. 'Halbarad!' he said. 'Of all joys this is the least expected!'"

2. Merry at Helm's Deep.
(not from the appendices)

..."Merry slept until he was roused by Legolas and Gimli. 'The Sun is high,' said Legolas. 'All others are up and doing. Come, Master Sluggard, and look at this place while you may!'
...'There was a battle here three nights ago... ...and here Legolas and I played a game that I won only by a single orc. Come and see how it was! And there are caves, Merry, caves of wonder! Shall we visit them, Legolas, do you think?'
...'Nay! There is not time,' said the Elf. 'Do not spoil the wonder with haste! I have given you my word to return hither with you, if a day of peace and freedom comes again.'"

3. Merry's moved to honour the King.
(not from the appendices)

..."'I have a sword,' said Merry, climbing from his seat, and drawing from its black sheath his small bright blade. Filled suddenly with love for this old man, he knelt on one knee and took his hand and kissed it. 'May I lay the sword of Meriadoc of the Shire on your lap, Théoden King...? ...Receive my service, if you will!'
...'Gladly will I take it,' said the king; and laying his long old hands upon the brown hair of the hobbit, he blessed him. 'Rise now, Meriadoc, esquire of Rohan of the household of Meduseld...! ...Take your sword and bear it unto good fortune!'
...'As a father you shall be to me,' said Merry.
...'For a little while,' said Théoden."

4. Théoden sets out from the Hornburg for Harrowdale. Aragorn sets out later.
(from the appendices)

..."A little apart the Rangers sat, silent, in an ordered company, armed with spear and bow and sword. They were clad in cloaks of dark grey, and their hoods were cast now over helm and head. Their horses were strong and of proud bearing, but rough-haired; and one stood there without a rider, Aragorn's own horse that they had brought from the North; Roheryn was his name…."

..."The king mounted his horse, Snowmane, and Merry sat beside him on his pony: Stybba... ...Presently Éomer came out from the gate, and with him was Aragorn and Halbarad bearing the great staff close-furled in black, and two tall men, neither young nor old... ...the sons of Elrond, that few could tell them apart: dark-haired, grey-eyed, and their faces elven-fair, clad alike in bright mail beneath cloaks of silver-grey. Behind them walked Legolas and Gimli. But Merry had eyes only for Aragorn, so startling was the change that he saw in him, as if in one night many years had fallen on his head. Grim was his face, grey-hued and weary.
...'I am troubled in mind, lord,' he said, standing by the king's horse. 'I have heard strange words, and I see new perils far off. I have laboured long in thought, and now I fear that I must change my purpose….' …He looked up, and it seemed that he had made some decision; his face was less troubled.... '...by your leave, lord, I must take new counsel for myself and my kindred. We must ride our own road, and no longer in secret. For me the time of stealth has passed. I will ride east by the swiftest way, and I will take the Paths of the Dead.'
...'The Paths of the Dead!' said Théoden, and trembled. 'Why do you speak of them?' Éomer turned and gazed at Aragorn, and it seemed to Merry that the faces of the Riders that sat within hearing turned pale at the words. 'If there be in truth such paths,' said Théoden, 'their gate is in Dunharrow; but no living man may pass it.'
...'Alas! Aragorn my friend!' said Éomer. 'I had hoped that we should ride to war together; but if you seek the Paths of the Dead... ...it is little likely that we shall ever meet again under the Sun.'
...'That road, I will take, nonetheless,' said Aragorn. 'But I say to you, Éomer, that in battle we may yet meet again, though all the hosts of Mordor should stand between.'"

5. The Fellowship breaks again.
(not from the appendices)

... 'Farewell, lord!' said Aragorn. 'Ride unto great renown! Farewell, Merry! I leave you in good hands, better than we hoped when we hunted the orcs to Fangorn. Legolas and Gimli will still hunt with me... ...but we shall not forget you.'
... 'Good-bye!' said Merry. He could find no more to say. He felt very small... ...he was puzzled and depressed by all these gloomy words. More than ever he missed the unquenchable cheerfulness of Pippin... ...the Riders set forth. They rode over the Dike and down the Coomb... ...Aragorn rode to the Dike and watched till the king's men were far down the Coomb. Then he turned to Halbarad.
... 'There go three that I love, and the smallest not the least... ...He knows not to what end he rides; yet if he knew, he still would go on.'
... 'A little people, but of great worth are the Shirefolk,' said Halbarad. 'Little do they know of our long labour for the safekeeping of their borders... ...yet I grudge it not.'
... 'And now our fates are woven together,' said Aragorn. 'And yet, alas! here we must part. Well, I must eat a little, and then we also must hasten away. Come, Legolas and Gimli! I must speak with you as I eat.'"

6. Aragorn claims his own.
(not from the appendices)

... "[Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn] went back into the Burg; yet for some time Aragorn sat silent at the table in the hall... '...Come!' said Legolas at last. 'Speak and be comforted, and shake off the shadow! What has happened since we came back to this grim place...?'
... 'A struggle somewhat grimmer for my part than the Battle of the Hornburg... ...I have looked in the Stone of Orthanc, my friends.'
... 'You have looked in that accursed stone of wizardry!' exclaimed Gimli with fear and astonishment in his face. Did you say aught to--him?' Even Gandalf feared that encounter.'
... 'You forgot to whom you speak,' said Aragorn sternly, and his eyes glinted. 'Did I not openly proclaim my title before the doors of Edoras? What do you fear that I should say to him? Nay, Gimli,' he said in a softer voice... ...the grimness left his face, and he looked like one who has laboured in sleepless pain for many nights. 'Nay, my friends, I am the lawful master of the Stone... ...I had both the right and the strength to use it... ...The right cannot be doubted. The strength was enough--barely.'
... He drew a deep breath. 'It was a bitter struggle, and the weariness is slow to pass. I spoke no word to him, and in the end I wrenched the Stone to my own will. That alone he will find hard to endure.'"

7. Pippin rides with Gandalf and comes to Edoras.
(not from the appendices)

..."…in the dawn he had seen a pale gleam of gold, and they had come to the silent town and the great empty house on the hill. And hardly had they reached its shelter when the winged shadow had passed over once again, and men wilted with fear. But Gandalf had spoken soft words to him, and he had slept in a corner... ...dimly aware of comings and goings and of men talking and Gandalf giving orders. And then again riding, riding in the night."

8. Frodo, Sam and Gollum approach the northern border of Ithilien.
(not from the appendices)

..."Frodo slept at times, deeply and peacefully, either trusting Gollum or too tired to trouble about him; but Sam found it difficult to do more than doze, even when Gollum was plainly fast asleep, whiffling and twitching in his secret dreams. Hunger, perhaps, more than mistrust kept him wakeful; he had begun to long for a good homely meal, 'something hot out of the pot.'"



There's room for a little more:

Remember our TORnsib White Gull? Here's her great response to today's TIME on March 6, 2010 looking at guidance during the Quest.
... "Merry, who, I think was portrayed as the cleverest and most intuitive of the hobbits other than Frodo, has the gentlest guidance. Pippin, probably the most clueless, has the most strict. And Frodo, who, it would seem, is the wisest, but most in need, has the least guidance. Sam has Frodo and that is all he wants, which for him, is enough. Save, perhaps, for his gaffer's instilled wisdom, which comes in very handy when needed. But, overall, there is the whole, subtle scheme of divine guidance, that uses all and empowers all."




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Mar 6, 3:05pm)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 6, 3:16pm

Post #28 of 37 (1988 views)
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Just a bit of fun [In reply to] Can't Post



March 6, 2015
1. The Contest.

... There was a contest at the academic library where I (gramma) worked. The entrants could display one of the new books added to the collection either in character or as a display. I grabbed Gandalf's hat and chose The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley. Out of 27 entries, Gandalf won first place!




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 6, 4:42pm

Post #29 of 37 (1981 views)
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LOL, that's perfect! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 7, 2:18pm

Post #30 of 37 (1937 views)
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TIME - March 7 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

March 7, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The hobbits pass into the fair land of Ithilien.
(not from the appendices)

..."The early daylight was only just creeping down into the shadows under the trees, but he saw his master's face very clearly, and his hands... ...lying at rest on the ground beside him. He was reminded suddenly of Frodo as he had lain, asleep in the house of Elrond, after his deadly wound... ...Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked... ...old and beautiful, as if the chiselling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: 'I love him. He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no....'

...'...Sméagol always helps,' he said. 'He has brought rabbits, nice rabbits. But master has gone to sleep, and perhaps Sam wants to sleep. Doesn't want rabbits now? Sméagol tries to help, but he can't catch things all in a minute.'
...Sam, however, had no objection to rabbit at all, and said so....

......Gollum set the pans down, and then suddenly saw what Sam was doing. He gave a thin hissing shriek, and seemed to be both frightened and angry. 'Ach! Sss—no!' he cried. 'No! Silly hobbits, foolish, yes foolish! They mustn't do it!'
...'Mustn't do what?' asked Sam in surprise.
...'Not make the nassty red tongues... ...Fire, fire! It's dangerous, yes it is. It burns, it kills. And it will bring enemies, yes it will.'
...'I don't think so,' said Sam. 'Don't see why it should, if you don't put wet stuff on it and make a smother. But if it does, it does. I'm going to risk it... ...I'm going to stew these coneys.'
...'Stew the rabbits!' squealed Gollum in dismay. 'Spoil beautiful meat Sméagol saved for you, poor hungry Sméagol. What for! What for, silly hobbit? They are young , they are tender, they are nice. Eat them, eat them!' He clawed at the nearest rabbit, already skinned and lying by the fire.
...'Now, now!' said Sam. 'Each to his own fashion. Our bread chokes you, and raw coney chokes me. If you give me a coney, the coney's mine... ...to cook, if I have a mind. And I have. You needn't watch me. Go and catch another and eat it as you fancy---somewhere private and out o' my sight. Then you won't see the fire, and I shan't see you, and we'll both be the happier.'"

2. One of Sam's dreams comes true!
(not from the appendices)

..."To his astonishment and terror, and lasting delight, Sam saw a vast shape crash out of the trees and come careering down the slope. Big as a house, much bigger than a house, it looked to him... ...Fear and wonder maybe, enlarged him in the hobbit's eyes, but the Mûmak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-earth... ...On he came, straight towards the watchers, and then swerved aside in the nick of time, passing only a few yards away, rocking the ground beneath their feet: his great legs like trees, enormous sail-like ears spread out, long snout upraised like a huge serpent about to strike, his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks were bound with bands of gold and dripped with blood....
......On the great beast thundered, blundering in blind wrath through pool and thicket. Arrows skipped and snapped harmlessly about the triple hide of his flanks. Men of both sides fled before him, but many he overtook and crushed to the ground. Soon he was lost to view, still trumpeting and stamping far away....
......Sam drew a deep breath. 'An Oliphaunt it was!' he said. 'So there are Oliphaunts, and I have seen one. What a life! But no one at home will ever believe me.'"

3. Frodo taken by Faramir to Henneth Annûn.
(from the appendices)

..."'Are the riddling words known to you that Boromir brought to Rivendell?' Frodo replied. 'Seek for the Sword that was Broken, in Imladris it Dwells.'
...'The words are known indeed,' said Faramir in astonishment. 'It is some token of your truth that you also know them.'
...'Aragorn whom I have named is the bearer of the Sword that was Broken,' said Frodo. 'And we are the Halflings that the rhyme spoke of….'"

..."Frodo had felt himself trembling as the first shock of fear passed. Now a great weariness came down on him like a cloud. He could dissemble and resist no longer.
...'I was going to find a way into Mordor,' he said faintly. 'I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there.'
...Faramir stared at him... ...in grave astonishment. Then suddenly he caught him as he swayed, and lifting him gently, carried him to the bed and laid him there, and covered him warmly. At once he fell into a deep sleep.
...Another bed was set beside him for his servant. Sam hesitated for a moment, then bowing very low: 'Good night, Captain, my lord... ...You took the chance, sir.'
...'Did I so?' said Faramir.
...'Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest.'
...Faramir smiled. 'A pert servant, master Samwise. But nay: the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards. Yet there was naught in this to praise. I had no lure or desire to do other than I have done.'
...'Ah well, sir... ...you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. But I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of--well, Gandalf, of wizards.'
...'Maybe,' said Faramir. 'Maybe you discern from far away the air of Númenor. Good night!'"

4. The Forbidden Pool
(not from the appendices)

... "Frodo woke to find Faramir bending over him. For a second old fears seized him and he sat up and shrank away.
...'There is nothing to fear,' said Faramir.
... 'Is it morning already?' said Frodo yawning.
... 'Not yet, but night is drawing to an end, and the full moon is setting. Will you come and see it..?'
... 'I will,' said Frodo, rising and shivering a little... ...He put on his cloak and followed Faramir.
... Sam, waking suddenly by some instinct of watchfulness, saw first his master's empty bed and leapt to his feet. Then he saw two dark figures, Frodo and a man, framed against the archway... ...He hurried after them...

......At last they came out of the stony darkness and looked about. They were on a wide flat rock without rail or parapet... ...the torrent fell... ...curling and rushing almost at their feet it plunged sheer over the edge that yawned upon their left. A man stood there, near the brink, silent, gazing down.
... Frodo... ...lifted his eyes and gazed far away. The world was quiet and cold... ...Far off in the West the full moon was sinking, round and white... ...A black darkness loomed beyond, and in it glinted, here and there... ...white as the teeth of ghosts... ...the White Mountains of the Realm of Gondor, tipped with everlasting snow.
... For a while Frodo stood there on the high stone, and a shiver ran through him, wondering if anywhere in the vastness of the nightlands his old companions walked or slept, or lay dead shrouded in mist. Why was he brought here out of forgetful sleep?
... Sam was eager for an answer to the same question... ...'It's a fine view, no doubt, Mr. Frodo, but chilly to the heart, not to mention the bones! What's going on?'
... Faramir heard and answered. 'Moonset over Gondor. Fair Ithil, as he goes from Middle-earth, glances upon the white locks of old Mindolluin. It is worth a few shivers... ...A draught of wine shall amend it. Come, look now!'

...Faramir and Frodo looked down... ...Presently Frodo was aware of a small dark thing on the near bank, but even as he looked at it, it dived and vanished just beyond the boil and bubble of the fall, cleaving the black water as neatly as an arrow or an edgewise stone.
...Faramir turned to the man at his side. 'Now what would you say that it is, Anborn? A squirrel, or a kingfisher? Are there black kingfishers in the night-pools of Mirkwood?'
...'Tis not a bird, whatever else it be,' answered Anborn... ...What is it at? Seeking a way up behind the Curtain to our hidings? It seems we are discovered at last. I have my bow here, and I have posted other archers... ...We wait only for your command to shoot, Captain.'
...'Shall we shoot?' said Faramir, turning quickly to Frodo.
...Frodo did not answer for a moment. Then 'No!' he said. 'No! I beg you not to.' If Sam had dared, he would have said 'Yes," quicker and louder. He could not see, but he guessed well enough from their words what they were looking at.
...'You know, then, what this thing is?' said Faramir... '...tell me why it should be spared. In all our words together you have not once spoken of your gangrel companion, and I let him be for the time.... ...But now he has done worse trespass... ...he has dared to come to Henneth Annûn, and his life is forfeit.... ...Does he think that men sleep without watch all night? Why does he so?'
...'There are two answers, I think,' said Frodo. 'For one thing, he knows little of Men, and sly though he is, your refuge is so hidden that perhaps he does not know that Men are concealed here. For another, I think he is allured here by a mastering desire, stronger than his caution.'
...'He is lured here, you say?' said Faramir in a low voice. 'Can he, does he then know of your burden?'
...'Indeed yes. He bore it himself for many years.'
...'He bore it?' said Faramir, breathing sharply in his wonder.... '...What then does the creature seek?'
...'Fish,' said Frodo. 'Look!'

...They peered down at the dark pool. A little black head appeared at the far end of the basin, just out of the deep shadow of the rocks. There was a brief silver glint... ...then with marvellous agility a froglike figure climbed out of the water and up the bank. At once it sat down and began to gnaw at the small silver thing that glittered as it turned..."

5. Aragorn comes to Dunharrow at nightfall.
(from the appendices)

..."The Lady Éowyn greeted them and was glad of their coming; for no mightier men had she seen than the Dúnedain and the fair sons of Elrond; but on Aragorn most of all her eyes rested…."

..."...She smiled on him and said: '...it was kindly done, lord, to ride so many miles out of your way to bring tidings to Éowyn, and to speak with her in her exile.'
...'Indeed no man would count such a journey wasted... ...and yet, Lady, I could not have come hither, if it were not that the road which I must take leads me to Dunharrow.'
...And she answered as one that likes not what is said: 'Then, lord, you are astray; for out of Harrowdale no road runs east or south; and you had best return as you came.'
...'Nay, lady... ...I am not astray; for I walked in this land ere you were born to grace it. There is a road out of this valley, and that road I shall take. Tomorrow I shall ride by the Paths of the Dead.'"

6. Shadowfax carries Pippin and Gandalf to the next realm.
(not from the appendices)

..."'…On Shadowfax! We must hasten. Time is short. See! The beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled….'"

...'...Sleep again, and do not be afraid!' said Gandalf. 'For you are not going like Frodo to Mordor, but to Minas Tirith, and there you will be as safe as you can be anywhere in these days. If Gondor falls, or the Ring is taken, then the Shire will be no refuge.'
...'You do not comfort me,' said Pippin, but... ...sleep crept over him. The last thing that he remembered before he fell into deep dream was a glimpse of high white peaks, glimmering like floating isles above the clouds as they caught the light of the westering moon. He wondered where Frodo was, and if he was already in Mordor, or if he was dead; and he did not know that Frodo from far away looked on that same moon as it set beyond Gondor ere the coming of the day."


[gramma's question: Do you think Gandalf kept slipping Pippin into sleep by some spell to keep him quiet? I mean, he'd been through quite an ordeal, fersher… but nearly two full days of sleep while Merry was up and about! Seems sort of fissssssshy to me…. "Sleep again, and do not be afraid!"]




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Mar 8, 1:20pm

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March 8, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Aragorn takes the 'Paths of the Dead' at daybreak.
(from the appendices)

..."...Arod, the horse of Rohan, refused the way, and he stood sweating and trembling in a fear that was grievous to see... ...Legolas laid his hands on his eyes and sang some words that went soft in the gloom, until he suffered himself to be led, and Legolas passed in. And there stood Gimli the Dwarf left all alone. His knees shook, and he was wroth with himself. 'Here is a thing unheard of...! ...An Elf will go underground and a Dwarf dare not!' With that he plunged in. But it seemed to him that he dragged his feet like lead over the threshold; and at once a blindness came upon him, even upon Gimli Glóin's son who had walked unafraid in many deep places of the world.

...Aragorn had brought torches from Dunharrow... ...he went ahead bearing one aloft; and Elladan with another went at the rear, and Gimli, stumbling behind, strove to overtake him. He could see nothing but the dim flame of the torches... ...if the company halted, there seemed an endless whisper of voices all about him, a murmur of words in no tongue that he had ever heard before.
...Nothing assailed the company nor withstood their passage, and yet steadily fear grew on the Dwarf as he went on... ...he knew now that there could be no turning back; all the paths behind were thronged by an unseen host that followed in the dark.
...So time unreckoned passed...

......turning back and speaking to the whispering darkness behind ...[Aragorn] cried... 'Keep your hoards and your secrets hidden in the Accursed Years! Speed only we ask. Let us pass, and then come! I summon you to the Stone of Erech!'

...There was no answer, unless it were an utter silence more dreadful than the whispers before; and then a chill blast came in which the torches flickered and went out, and could not be rekindled. Of the time that followed, one hour or many, Gimli remembered little... ...he was ever hindmost, pursued by a groping horror that seemed always just about to seize him; and a rumour came after him like the shadow-sound of many feet. He stumbled on until he was crawling like a beast on the ground and felt that he could endure no more: he must either find an ending and escape or run back in madness to meet the following fear...

...'The Dead are following,' said Legolas. 'I see shapes of Men and of horses, and pale banners like shreds of cloud, and spears like winter-thickets on a misty night. The Dead are following.'"

2. Aragorn reaches Erech at midnight.
(from the appendices)

..."To that Stone the Company came and halted in the dead of night. Then Elrohir gave to Aragorn a silver horn, and he blew upon it; and it seemed to those that stood near that they heard a sound of answering horns... ...No other sound they heard, and yet they were aware of a great host gathered all about the hill on which they stood; and a chill wind like the breath of ghosts came down from the mountains. But Aragorn dismounted, and standing by the Stone he cried in a great voice:
...'Oathbreakers, why have ye come?'
...And a voice was heard out of the night that answered him, as if from far away:
...'To fulfil our oath and have peace.'"

3. Frodo leaves Henneth Annûn.
(from the appendices)

..."The hobbits' packs were brought to them (a little heavier than they had been), and also two stout staves of polished wood, shod with iron, and with carven heads through which ran plaited leathern thongs.
...'I have no fitting gifts to give you at our parting,' said Faramir; 'but take these staves. They may be of service to those who walk or climb in the wild... ...though these have been cut down to your height and newly shod. They are made of the fair tree lebethron, beloved of the woodwrights of Gondor, and a virtue has been set upon them of finding and returning. May that virtue not wholly fall under the Shadow into which you go!'
...The hobbits bowed low. 'Most gracious host,' said Frodo, 'it was said to me by Elrond Halfelven that I should find friendship upon the way, secret and unlooked for. Certainly I looked for no such friendship as you have shown. To have found it turns evil to great good...'
......He embraced the hobbits then, after the manner of his people, stooping, and placing his hands upon their shoulders, and kissing their foreheads. 'Go with the good will of all good men!' he said.
...They bowed to the ground. Then he turned and without looking back he left them and went to his two guards that stood at a little distance away. They marvelled to see with what speed these greenclad men now moved, vanishing almost in the twinkling of an eye. The forest where Faramir had stood seemed empty and drear, as if a dream had passed."

4. Merry and the Rohirrim make their way to Dunharrow.
(not from the appendices)

..."He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth. He longed to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire.
...He was very tired... ...they had ridden with very little rest. Hour after hour for nearly three weary days... ...Sometimes where the way was broader he had ridden at the king's side, not noticing that many of the Riders smiled to see the two together: the hobbit on his little shaggy grey pony, and the Lord of Rohan on his great white horse. Then he had talked to Théoden, telling him about his home and the doings of the Shire-folk, or listening in turn to tales of the Mark and its mighty men of old. But most of the time... ...Merry had ridden by himself just behind the king, saying nothing, and trying to understand the slow sonorous speech of Rohan that he heard the men behind him using. It was a language in which there seemed to be many words that he knew, though spoken more richly and strongly than in the Shire, yet he could not piece the words together. At times some Rider would lift up his clear voice in stirring song, and Merry felt his heart leap, though he did not know what it was about."

5. Shadowfax flies across the fields of Gondor fast approaching Minas Tirith.
(not from the appendices)

... "Pippin had a strange feeling: he and Gandalf were still as stone, seated upon the statue of a running horse, while the world rolled away beneath his feet with a great noise of wind."




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Mar 9, 1:08pm

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Today in Middle-earth

March 9, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Gandalf reaches Minas Tirith.
(from the appendices)

..."...and suddenly the sun climbed over the eastern shadow and sent forth a shaft that smote the face of the City. Then Pippin cried aloud, for the Tower of Ecthelion, standing high within the topmost wall, shone out against the sky, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver... ...white banners broke and fluttered from the battlements in the morning breeze, and high and far he heard a clear ringing as of silver trumpets.

...So Gandalf and Peregrin rode to the Great Gate of the Men of Gondor at the rising of the sun, and its iron doors rolled back before them.
...'Mithrandir! Mithrandir!' men cried. 'Now we know that the storm is indeed nigh!'
...'It is upon you... ...I have ridden on its wings. Let me pass! I must come to your Lord Denethor while his stewardship lasts. Whatever betide, you have come to the end of the Gondor that you have known. Let me pass!'
...The men fell back before the command of his voice and questioned him no further, though they gazed in wonder at the hobbit that sat before him and at the horse that bore him. For the people of the City used horses very little... ...And they said: 'Surely that is one of the great steeds of the King of Rohan? Maybe the Rohirrim will come soon to strengthen us.' But Shadowfax walked proudly up the long winding road."

2. Faramir leaves Henneth Annûn.
(from the appendices)

..."…I could not come more swiftly. Yestereve I lay at Cair Andros, the long isle in the River northward which we hold in defence; and horses are kept on the hither bank. As the dark drew on I knew that haste was needed, so I rode thence with three others that could also be horsed. The rest of my company I sent south to strengthen the garrison at the fords of Osgiliath.'"

3. Aragorn sets out from Erech and comes to Calembel.
(from the appendices)

..."But when the dawn came, cold and pale, Aragorn rose in haste, and he led the Company forth upon the journey of greatest haste and weariness that any among them had known, save he alone, and only his will held them to go on. No other mortal Men could have endured it, none but the Dúnedain of the North, and with them Gimli the Dwarf and Legolas of the Elves."

4. At dusk Frodo reaches the Morgul-road.
(from the appendices)

..."There it seemed to Frodo that he descried far off, floating as it were on a shadowy sea, the high dim tops and broken pinnacles of old towers forlorn and dark.
...He turned to Gollum. 'Do you know where we are?' he said.
...'Yes, Master. Dangerous places. This is the road from the Tower of the Moon, Master, down to the ruined city by the shores of the River. The ruined city, yes, very nasty place, full of enemies.... ...Hobbits have come a long way out of the path. Must go east now, away up there.' He waved his skinny arm towards the darkling mountains. 'And we can't use this road. Oh no! Cruel peoples come this way, down from the Tower.'"

5. Théoden comes to Dunharrow.
(from the appendices)

..."All the same he had been lonely, and never more so than now at the day's end. Merry wondered where in all this strange world Pippin had got to; and what would become of Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli. Then suddenly like a cold touch on his heart he thought of Frodo and Sam. 'I am forgetting them...! ...And yet they are more important than all the rest of us. And I came to help them; but now they must be hundreds of miles away if they are still alive.' He shivered...."
..."'...The Paths of the Dead,' Merry muttered to himself. 'The Paths of the Dead? What does all this mean? They have all left me now. They have all gone to some doom; Gandalf and Pippin to war in the East; and Sam and Frodo to Mordor; and Strider and Legolas and Gimli to the Paths of the Dead. But my turn will come soon enough, I suppose.'"

6. Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor.
(from the appendices)

..."There they lay for a while, too tired yet to eat; and peering out through the holes in the covert they watched for the slow growth of day.
...But no day came, only a dead brown twilight. In the East there was a dull red glare under the lowering cloud; it was not the red of dawn."

...[Faramir to Gandalf:] "'Cirith Ungol? Morgul Vale?' [Gandalf] said. 'The time, Faramir, the time? When did you part with them? When would they reach that accursed valley?
...'I parted with them in the morning two days ago,' said Faramir. 'It is fifteen leagues thence to the vale of the Morgulduin... ...then they would be still five leagues westward of the accursed Tower. At swiftest they could not come there before today... ...Indeed I see what you fear. But the darkness is not due to their venture. It began yestereve, and all Ithilien was under shadow last night. It is clear to me that the Enemy has long planned an assault on us, and its hour had already been determined before ever the travellers left my keeping.'"

[league = 3 miles]


March 9, 2000


The first picture of cast members in costume is published in Vanity Fair. The shot shows the four hobbits on set in Hobbiton.



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Mar 10, 1:39pm

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March 10, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Dawnless Day.
(from the appendices)

...[Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli:] "The township and the fords of Ciril they found deserted, for many men had gone away to war, and all that were left fled to the hills at the rumour of the coming of the King of the Dead. But the next day there came no dawn, and the Grey Company passed on into the darkness of the Storm of Mordor and were lost to mortal sight; but the Dead followed them."

2. The muster of Rohan: the Rohirrim ride from Harrowdale.
(from the appendices)

..."'Wake up, wake up, Master Holbytla...!' ...Merry came out of deep dreams and sat up with a start. It still seemed very dark, he thought.
...'What is the matter?' he asked.
...'The king calls for you.'
...'But the Sun has not risen, yet,' said Merry.
...'No, and will not rise today, Master Holbytla. Nor ever again, one would think under this cloud. But time does not stand still, though the Sun be lost. Make haste...!'
......Merry looked outside. The world was darkling. The very air seemed brown, and all things about were black and grey and shadowless; there was a great stillness...."

..."...The King turned to Merry. 'I am going to war, Master Meriadoc... ...In a little while I shall take the road.. I release you from my service, but not from my friendship...'
...'...But, but, lord,' Merry stammered, 'I offered you my sword. I do not want to be parted from you like this, Théoden King. And as all my friends have gone to the battle, I should be ashamed to stay behind.'
...'But we ride on horses tall and swift... ...and great though your heart be you cannot ride on such beasts.'
...'Then tie me onto the back of one, or let me hang on a stirrup, or something,' said Merry. 'It is a long way to run; but run I shall, if I cannot ride, even if I wear my feet off and arrive weeks too late.'
...Théoden smiled. 'Rather than that I would bear you with me on Snowmane... ...But at the least you shall ride with me to Edoras and look on Meduseld; for that way I shall go. So far Stybba can bear you: the great race will not begin till we reach the plains...'

......They passed down the long ranks of waiting men with stern and unmoved faces... ...one looked up glancing keenly at the hobbit. A young man, Merry thought as he returned the glance, less in height and girth than most. He caught the glint of clear grey eyes; and then he shivered, for it came suddenly to him that it was the face of one without hope who goes in search of death....

......Unnoticed a Rider came up and spoke softly in the hobbit's ear.
...'Where will wants not, a way opens, so we say, ' he whispered; 'and so I have found myself.' Merry looked up and saw that it was the young Rider whom he had noticed in the morning. 'You wish to go whither the Lord of the Mark goes: I see it in your face.'
...'I do,' said Merry.
...'Then you shall go with me,' said the Rider."

3. Faramir rescued by Gandalf outside the gates of the City.
(from the appendices)

...[Beregond:] "'Look! The men are thrown; they are running on foot. No, one is still up, but he rides back to the others. That will be the Captain: he can master both beasts and men. Ah! there one of the foul things is stooping on him. Help! help! Will no one go out to him? Faramir!'
...With that Beregond sprang away and ran off into the gloom. Ashamed of his terror, while Beregond of the Guard thought first of the captain whom he loved, Pippin got up and peered out... ...he caught a flash of white and silver coming from the North, like a small star down on the dusky fields. It moved with the speed of an arrow and grew as it came, converging swiftly with the flight of the four men towards the Gate. It seemed to Pippin that a pale light was spread about it and the heavy shadows gave way before it; and then as it drew near... ...he heard, like an echo in the walls, a great voice calling.
...'Gandalf!' he cried. 'Gandalf! He always turns up when things are darkest. Go on! Go on, White Rider! Gandalf, Gandalf!' he shouted wildly, like an onlooker at a great race urging on a runner who is far beyond encouragement.
...But now the dark swooping shadows were aware of the newcomer. One wheeled towards him... ...he raised his hand, and from it a shaft of white light stabbed upwards. The Nazgûl gave a long wailing cry and swerved away; and with that the four others wavered... ...in swift spirals they passed away eastward vanishing into the lowering cloud above; and down on the Pelennor it seemed for a while less dark."

4. Aragorn crosses Ringlo.
(from the appendices)

...[A brief reference by Legolas talking to Merry & Pippin:] "'In the Uplands of Lamedon they overtook our horses, and swept round us, and would have passed us by, if Aragorn had not forbidden them. At his command they fell back. "Even the shades of Men are obedient to his will... ...They may serve his needs yet!" One day of light we rode, and then came the day without dawn, and still we rode on, and Ciril and Ringlo we crossed...'"

5. An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anórien.
(from the appendices)

...[A brief reference by Faramir to Denethor and Gandalf:] "'But the darkness is not due to their venture. It began yestereve, and all Ithilien was under shadow last night... ...As the dark drew on I knew that haste was needed, so I rode thence with three others that could also be horsed. The rest of my company I sent south to strengthen the garrison at the fords of Osgiliath.'"

6. Frodo passes the Cross-roads, and sees the Morgul-host set forth.
(from the appendices)

..."Standing there for a moment filled with dread Frodo became aware that a light was shining; he saw it glowing on Sam's face beside him... ...There, far away, beyond sad Gondor now overwhelmed in shade, the Sun was sinking, finding at last the hem of the great slow-rolling pall of cloud, and falling in an ominous fire towards the yet unsullied Sea. The brief glow fell upon a huge sitting figure, still and solemn as the great stone kings of Argonath... ...Suddenly, caught by the level beams, Frodo saw the old king's head: it was lying rolled away by the roadside. 'Look, Sam!' he cried, startled into speech. 'Look! The king has got a crown again...!' ...about the high stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like small white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king... '...They cannot conquer forever!' said Frodo..."

..."A Rider, all black, save that on his hooded head he had a helm like a crown that flickered with a perilous light... ...Frodo's staring eyes followed him, unable to wink or to withdraw. Surely there was the Lord of the Nine Riders... ...the haggard king whose cold hand had smitten down the Ring-bearer with his deadly knife. The old wound throbbed with pain and a great chill spread towards Frodo's heart. Even as these thoughts pierced him with dread and held him bound as with a spell, the Rider halted suddenly... ...and behind him all the host stood still. There was a pause, a dead silence. Maybe it was the Ring that called to the Wraith-lord, and for a moment he was troubled, sensing some other power within his valley. This way and that turned the dark head helmed and crowned with fear, sweeping the shadows with its unseen eyes. Frodo waited, like a bird at the approach of a snake, unable to move...."

..."...Frodo stirred. And suddenly his heart went out to Faramir. 'The storm has burst at last,' he thought. 'This great array of spears and swords is going to Osgiliath. Will Faramir get across in time...? ...And who can now hold the fords when the King of the Nine Riders comes? And other armies will come. I am too late. All is lost. I tarried on the way... ...Even if my errand is performed, no one will ever know. There will be no one I can tell. It will be in vain.' Overcome with weakness he wept. And still the host of Morgul crossed the bridge."


March 10, 2007


...Last day of Old Boards activity/accessibility (April 26, 1999 – March 10, 2007) *sigh* So many stories. So many pies, flames and mods of the up and down kind :)



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Mar 11, 1:08pm

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March 11, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Gollum visits Shelob, but seeing Frodo asleep nearly repents.
(from the appendices)

..."And so Gollum found them hours later, when he returned, crawling and creeping down the path out of the gloom ahead. Sam sat propped... ...his head dropping sideways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo's head, drowned deep in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam's brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his master's breast. Peace was in both their faces.
...Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim... ...A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee—but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him... ...would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
...But at that touch Frodo stirred and cried out softly in his sleep, and immediately Sam was wide awake."

2. Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath.
(from the appendices)

..."'Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead—if you command it.'
...'I do so,' said Denethor.
...'Then farewell...! ...'But if I should return, think better of me!'
...'That depends on the manner of your return,' said Denethor.
...Gandalf it was that last spoke to Faramir ere he rode east. 'Do not throw your life away rashly or in bitterness,' he said. 'You will be needed here, for other things than war. Your father loves you, Faramir, and will remember it ere the end. Farewell!'"

3. Aragorn reaches Linhir and crosses into Lebennin.
(from the appendices)

...[Legolas speaking later with Merry & Pippin:] "'Thus we crossed over Gilrain, driving the allies of Mordor to rout before us; and then we rested a while. But soon Aragorn rose, saying: "Lo! already Minas Tirith is assailed. I fear that it will fall ere we come to its aid." So we mounted again before night and passed and went on with all the speed that our horses could endure over the plains of Lebennin.'"

4. Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north.
(from the appendices)

..."Lone men, riding wild, brought word of foes assailing their east-borders, of orc-hosts marching in the Wold of Rohan. 'Ride on! Ride on!' cried Éomer. 'Too late now to turn aside. The fens of Entwash must guard our flank. Haste now we need. Ride on!'"

5. First assault on Lórien
(from the appendices)

...[Gimli to Legolas:] "'The Lady of the Wood! She read many hearts and desires. Now why did not we wish for some of our own kinsfolk, Legolas?'
...Legolas stood before the gate and turned his bright eyes away north and east, and his fair face was troubled. 'I do not think that any would come... ...They have no need to ride to war; war already marches on their own lands.'"

..."Three times Lórien had been assailed from Dol Guldur, but besides the valour of the elven people of that land, the power that dwelt there was too great for any to overcome, unless Sauron had come there himself. Though grievous harm was done to the fair woods on the borders, the assaults were driven back… "

6. Merry sets out for Minas Tirith.
(not from the appendices)

..."Thus it came to pass that when the king set out, before Dernhelm sat Meriadoc the hobbit, and the great grey steed Windfola made little of the burden; for Dernhelm was less in weight than many men, though lithe and well-knit in frame."



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Mar 12, 1:16pm

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March 12, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Gollum leads Frodo into Shelob's lair.
(from the appendices)

..."'Wake up, Mr. Frodo! Wake up!'
...Frodo stirred and opened his eyes, and smiled, seeing Sam's face bending over him. 'Calling me early aren't you, Sam?' he said. 'It's dark still!'
...'Yes it's always dark here... ...But Gollum's come back, Mr. Frodo, and he says it's tomorrow. So we must be walking on. The last lap.'
...Frodo drew a deep breath and sat up. 'The last lap! he said. 'Hullo, Sméagol! Found any food? Have you had any rest?'
...'No food, no rest, nothing for Sméagol,' said Gollum. 'He's a sneak.'
...Sam clicked his tongue, but restrained himself.
...'Don't take names to yourself, Sméagol,' said Frodo. 'It's unwise, whether they are true or false….'"

..."...Presently they were under the shadow, and there in the midst of it they saw the opening of a cave...
...'...Is this the only way, Sméagol?' said Frodo.
...'Yes, yes,' he answered. 'Yes, we must go this way now.'
...'D'you mean to say you've been through this hole?' said Sam. 'Phew! But perhaps you don't mind bad smells.'
...Gollum's eyes glinted. 'He doesn't know what we minds, does he, precious? No, he doesn't....'"

..."...Drawing a deep breath they passed inside. In a few steps they were in utter and impenetrable dark... ...They walked... ...in a black vapour wrought of veritable darkness itself that, as it was breathed, brought blindness not only to the eyes but to the mind, so that even the memory of colours and of forms and of any light faded out of thought. Night always had been, and always would be, and night was all.
...But for a while they could still feel, and indeed the senses of their feet and fingers at first seemed sharpened almost painfully. The walls felt... ...smooth, and the floor, save for a step now and again, was straight and even, going ever up at the same stiff slope. The tunnel was high and wide, so wide that, though the hobbits walked abreast, only touching the side-walls with their outstretched hands, they were separated, cut off alone in the darkness.
...Gollum had gone in first and seemed to be only a few steps ahead. While they were still able to give heed to such things, they could hear his breath hissing and gasping just in front of them.... ...their senses became duller, both touch and hearing seemed to grow numb, and they kept on, groping... ...mainly by the force of the will with which they had entered, will to go through and desire to come at last to the high gate beyond....
......but time and distance soon passed out of his reckoning, Sam on the right, feeling the wall, was aware that there was an opening at the side: for a moment he caught a faint breath of some air less heavy, and then they passed it by... ...and then Frodo on the left, passed three or four such openings, some wider, some smaller...

......As they thrust forward they felt things brush against their heads, or against their hands, long tentacles, or hanging growths perhaps: they could not tell what they were. And still the stench grew. It grew, until almost is seemed to them that smell was the only clear sense left to them, and that was for their torment.... ...Sam left the tunnel-side and shrank towards Frodo, and their hands met and clasped, and so together they still went on.
...At length Frodo, groping along the left-hand wall, came suddenly to a void. Almost he fell sideways into the emptiness. Here was some opening... ...and out of it came a reek so foul, and a sense of lurking malice so intense, that Frodo reeled. And at that moment Sam too lurched and fell forwards.
...Fighting off both the sickness and the fear, Frodo gripped Sam's hand. 'Up!' he said in a hoarse breath without voice. 'It all comes from here, the stench and the peril. Now for it! Quick!'
...Calling up his remaining strength and resolution, he dragged Sam to his feet, and forced his own limbs to move. Sam stumbled beside him. One step, two steps, three steps—at last six steps. Maybe they had passed the dreadful unseen opening... ...suddenly it was easier to move, as if some hostile will for the moment had released them. They struggled on, still hand in hand.

...'Which way has Gollum gone?' panted Sam. 'And why didn't he wait?'
...'Sméagol!' said Frodo, trying to call. 'Sméagol!' But his voice croaked, and the name fell dead almost as it left his lips. There was no answer, not an echo, not even a tremor of the air.
...'He's really gone this time, I fancy,' muttered Sam. 'I guess this is just exactly where he meant to bring us....'
...'...There's something worse than Gollum about. I can feel something looking at us.'
...They had not gone more than a few yards when from behind them came a sound, startling and horrible in the heavy padded silence: a gurgling, bubbling noise, and a long venomous hiss.... ...nothing could be seen.....
...'...It's a trap!' said Sam, and he laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword; and as he did so, he thought of the darkness of the barrow whence it came. 'I wish old Tom was near us now!' he thought. Then, as he stood, darkness about him and blackness of despair and anger in his heart, it seemed to him that he saw a light... ...in his mind, almost unbearably bright at first, as a sun-ray to the eyes of one long hidden in a windowless pit. Then the light became colour: green, gold, silver, white... ...he saw the Lady Galadriel standing on the grass in Lórien, and gifts were in her hands. 'And you, Ring-bearer,' he heard her say, remote but clear, 'for you I have prepared this.'
...The bubbling hiss drew nearer, and there was a creaking as of some great jointed thing that moved with slow purpose in the dark. A reek came on before it. 'Master, master!' cried Sam, and life and urgency came back into his voice. 'The Lady's gift! The star-glass! A light to you in dark places, she said it was to be. The star-glass!'
...'The star-glass?' muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. 'Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? 'A light when all other lights go out...!'

......slowly he held aloft the Phial of Galadriel. For a moment it glimmered, faint as a rising star struggling in heavy earthward mists, and then as its power waxed, and hope grew in Frodo's mind, it began to burn, and kindled to a silver flame... '...Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!' he cried, and he knew not what he had spoken; for it seemed that another voice spoke through his, clear, untroubled by the foul air of the pit.
...But other potencies there are in Middle-earth. And She that walked in the darkness had heard the Elves cry that… …far in the deeps of time… …she had not heeded it… …it did not daunt her now. Even as Frodo spoke he felt a great malice bent upon him, and a deadly regard considering him... ...Monstrous and abominable eyes they were, bestial and yet filled with purpose and with hideous delight, gloating over their prey trapped beyond all hope of escape.

...Frodo and Sam, horror-stricken, began slowly to back away... ...the eyes advanced. Frodo's hand wavered, and slowly the Phial drooped.... ...they both turned and fled together; but even as they ran Frodo looked back and saw with terror that at once the eyes came leaping up behind. The stench of death was like a cloud about him.
...'Stand! stand!' he cried desperately. 'Running is no use.'
...Slowly the eyes crept nearer.
...'Galadriel!' he called, and gathering his courage he lifted up the Phial once more. The eyes halted. For a moment their regard relaxed, as if some hint of doubt troubled them. Then Frodo's heart flamed within him, and without thinking what he did, whether it was folly or despair or courage, he took the Phial in his left hand, and with is right hand drew his sword. Sting flashed out, and the sharp elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at its edges a blue fire flicked. Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes...."

2. Faramir retreats to the Causeway Forts.
(from the appendices)

..."The next day, though the darkness had reached its full and grew no deeper, it weighed heavier on men's hearts, and a great dread was on them. Ill news came soon again. The passage of Anduin was won by the Enemy. Faramir was retreating to the wall of the Pelennor, rallying men to the Causeway Forts; but he was ten times outnumbered... '...Then I am needed there more than here,' said Gandalf, and rode off at once, and the glimmer of him faded soon from sight. And all that night Pippin alone and sleepless stood upon the wall and gazed eastward."

3. Théoden camps under Min-Rimmon.
(from the appendices)

..."It was dark and Merry could see nothing as he lay on the ground rolled in a blanket; yet though the night was airless and windless, all about him hidden trees were sighing softly."

4. Aragorn drives the enemy towards Pelargir.
(from the appendices)

...[Legolas speaking to Merry & Pippin:] "'We hunted our foes through a day and a night, until we came at the bitter end to the Great River at last. Then I thought in my heart that we drew near to the Sea; for wide was the water in the darkness, and sea-birds innumerable cried on its shores. Alas for the wailing of the gulls! Did not the Lady tell me to beware of them? And now I cannot forget them.'"

5. The Ents defeat the invaders of Rohan.
(from the appendices)

...[Treebeard:] "'…since you are hasty folk and their full name is as long as years of torment, those vermin of orcs; and they came over the River and down from the North and all round the wood of Laurelindórinan, which they could not get into…
... '…And these same foul creatures were more than surprised to meet us out on the Wold, for they had not heard of us before... ...And not many will remember us, for not many escaped us alive, and the River had most of those. But it was well for you, for if they had not met us, then the king of the grassland would not have ridden far, and if he had there would have been no home to return to.'"



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Today in Middle-earth

March 13, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Frodo captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol.
(from the appendices)

..."Sam had fallen to his knees by Frodo's head, his senses reeling in the foul stench, his two hands still gripping the hilt of the sword... ...out of the swoon that was upon him. Slowly he raised is head and saw her, only a few paces away, eyeing him, her beak drabbling a spittle of venom, and a green ooze trickling from below her wounded eye. There she crouched, her shuddering belly splayed upon the ground, the great bows of her legs quivering, as she gathered herself for another spring--this time to crush and sting to death...
......Even as Sam himself crouched, looking at her, seeing his death in her eyes, a thought came to him, as if some remote voice had spoken, and he fumbled in his breast with his left hand, and found... ...the Phial of Galadriel.
...'Galadriel!' he said faintly, and then he heard voices far off but clear: the crying of the Elves as they walked under the stars in the beloved shadows of the Shire, and the music of the Elves as it came through his sleep in the hall of Fire in the house of Elrond.

'Gilthoniel A Elbereth!

And then his tongue was loosed and his voice cried in a language which he did not know:

'A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-díriel,
le nallan sí di' nguruthos!
A tíro nin, Fanuilos!'

...And with that he staggered to his feet and was Samwise the hobbit, Hamfast's son, again.
...'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master, you brute, and you'll pay for it... ...Come on, and taste it again!'
...As if his indomitable spirit had set its potency in motion, the glass blazed suddenly like a white torch in his hand. It... ...sears the dark air with intolerable light. No such terror out of heaven had ever burned in Shelob's face before. The beams of it entered into her wounded head and scored it with unbearable pain... ...She fell back beating the air with her forelegs, her sight blasted by inner lightnings, her mind in agony. Then turning her maimed head away, she rolled aside and began to crawl, claw by claw, towards the opening in the dark cliff behind.
...Sam came on. He was reeling like a drunken man, but he came on. And Shelob, cowed at last... ...jerked and quivered as she tried to hasten from him. She reached the hole, and squeezing down, leaving a trail of green-yellow slime, she slipped in, even as Sam hewed a last stroke at her dragging legs. Then he fell to the ground.

...Sam was left alone.... ...he crawled back to his master.
...'Master, dear Master!' said Sam, and through a long silence waited, listening in vain... ...no stir of life could he find, nor feel the faintest flutter of the heart. Often he chafed his master's hands and feet, and touched his brow, but all were cold. 'Frodo, Mr. Frodo!' he called. 'Don't leave me here alone! It's your Sam calling. Don't go where I can't follow!'"

..."...suddenly he saw that he was in the picture that was revealed to him in the mirror of Galadriel in Lórien: Frodo with a pale face lying fast asleep under a great dark cliff... '...He's dead!' he said. 'Not asleep, dead!' And... ...then black despair came down on him, and Sam bowed to the ground, and drew his grey hood over his head, and night came into his heart, and he knew no more."

..."'...What shall I do, what shall I do?' he said. 'Did I come all this way with him for nothing?' And then he remembered his own voice speaking words that at the time he did not understand himself, at the beginning of their journey: 'I have something to do before the end. I must see it through....'
...'...But what can I do? Not leave Mr. Frodo dead, unburied on the top of the mountains, and go home? Or go on? Go on?' he repeated, and for a moment doubt and fear shook him. 'Go on? Is that what I've got to do? And leave him?'
...Then at last he began to weep...'"

..."...'What am I to do then?' he cried again, and now he seemed plainly to know the hard answer: 'see it through.' Another lonely journey, and the worst.
...'What? Me, alone, go to the Crack of Doom and all?' He quailed still, but the resolve grew. 'What? Me take the Ring from him? The council gave it to him.'
...But the answer came at once: 'And the Council gave him companions, so that the errand should not fail. And you are the last of all the Company....'"

..."'...I must make up my own mind. I will make it up. But I'll be sure to go wrong: that'd be Sam Gamgee all over... ...No chance to go back with It and get advice or permission. No, it's sit here till they come and kill me over master's body, and gets It; or take It and go.' He drew a deep breath. 'Then take It, it is!'

...He stooped. Very gently he undid the clasp at the neck and slipped his hand inside Frodo's tunic; then with his other hand raising the head, he kissed the cold forehead, and softly drew the chain over it... ...then the head lay quietly back again in rest. No change came over the still face, and by that more than by all other tokens Sam was convinced at last that Frodo had died and laid aside the Quest.
...'Good-bye, master, my dear!' he murmured. 'Forgive your Sam. He'll come back to this spot when the job's done---if he manages it. And then he'll not leave you again. Rest you quiet till I come; and may no foul creature come anigh you! And if the Lady could hear me and give me one wish, I would wish to come back and find you again. Good-bye!'"

..."'...Hai! Hola! Here's something! Lying right in the road. A spy, a spy!' There was a hoot of snarling horns and a babel of baying voices.
...With a dreadful stroke Sam was wakened from his cowering mood. They had seen his master... ...He sprang up. He flung the Quest and all his decisions away, and fear and doubt with them. He knew now where his place was and had been: at his master's side, though what he could do there was not clear. Back he ran down the steps, down the path towards Frodo...."

..."There was a wild clamour, hooting and laughing, as something was lifted from the ground... ...The whole band of orc-figures began to move. Four in the middle were carrying a body high on their shoulders. 'Ya hoi!' ...Sam came on. He drew the sword, a flicker of blue in his wavering hand, but they did not see it. Even as he came panting up, the last of them vanished into the black hole. For a moment he stood, gasping, clutching his breast. Then he drew his sleeve across his face, wiping away the grime, and sweat, and tears. 'Curse the filth!' he said, and sprang after them into the darkness."

[Sam's translation of poem Letter #211, to Rhona Beare: "O Elbereth Starkindler from heaven gazing-afar, to thee I cry now in the shadow of (the fear of) death. O look towards me, Everwhite."]

2. The Pelennor is overrun.
(from the appendices)

...[Gandalf speaks to Denethor] " '...under the Lord of Barad-dûr the most fell of all his captains is already master of your outer walls,' said Gandalf. 'King of Angmar long ago...'
...'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?'
...Pippin trembled, fearing that Gandalf would be stung to sudden wrath, but his fear was needless. 'It might be so,' Gandalf answered softly. 'But our trial of strength is not yet come. And if words spoken of old be true, not by the hand of man shall he fall, and hidden from the Wise is the doom that awaits him...'"

..."Now the main retreat was scarcely two furlongs distant. Out of the gloom behind a small company of horsemen galloped, all that was left of the rearguard. Once again they turned at bay, facing the oncoming lines of fire….
...…then a trumpet rang from the Citadel, and Denethor at last released the sortie… …And from the walls an answering shout went up; for foremost on the field rode the swan-knights of Dol Amroth with their Prince and his blue banner at their head.
...'Amroth for Gondor!' they cried. 'Amroth to Faramir!'
...Like thunder they broke upon the enemy on either flank of the retreat; but one rider outran them all, swift as the wind in the grass: Shadowfax bore him, shining, unveiled once more, a light starting from his upraised hand.
...The Nazgûl screeched and swept away, for their Captain was not yet come to challenge the white fire of his foe...."

..."...Faramir had lost a third of his men. And where was he?
...Last of all he came. His men passed in. The mounted knights returned, and at their rear the banner of Dol Amroth, and the Prince. And in his arms before him on his horse he bore the body of his kinsman, Faramir son of Denethor, found upon the stricken field..."

..."...So now at last the City was besieged, enclosed in a ring of foes. The Rammas was broken, and all the Pelennor abandoned to the Enemy."

[furlong = .125 miles or 220 yards]

3. Faramir is wounded.
(from the appendices)

..."...Even as the Nazgûl had swerved aside from the onset of the White Rider, there came flying a deadly dart, and Faramir, as he held at bay a mounted champion of Harad, had fallen to the earth. Only the charge of Dol Amroth had saved him as he lay.
...The Prince Imrahil brought Faramir to the White Tower, and he said: 'Your son has returned, lord, after great deeds,' and he told all that he had seen. But Denethor rose and looked on the face of his son and was silent."

4. Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet.
(from the appendices)

...[Legolas speaking to Merry & Pippin:]"'Aragorn halted and cried with a great voice; "Now come! By the Black Stone I call you!" And suddenly the Shadow Host that had hung back at the last came up like a grey tide, sweeping all away before it...
......To every ship they came that was drawn up, and then they passed over the water to those that were anchored; and all the mariners were filled with a madness of terror and leaped overboard, save the slaves chained to the oars. Reckless we rode among our fleeing foes... ...until we came to the shore. And then to each of the great ships that remained Aragorn sent one of the Dúnedain, and they comforted the captives that were aboard, and bade them put aside fear and be free...
......Strange and wonderful I thought it that the designs of Mordor should be overthrown by such wraiths of fear and darkness... ...In that hour I looked on Aragorn and thought how great and terrible a Lord he might have become in the strength of his will, had he taken the Ring to himself. Not for naught does Mordor fear him. But nobler is his spirit than the understanding of Sauron; for is he not of the children of Lúthien? Never shall that line fail...'"

5. Théoden in Druadan Forest.
(from the appendices)

..."There seemed to be some understanding between Dernhelm and Elfhelm, the marshal who commanded the éored in which the were riding. He and all his men ignored Merry and pretended not to hear if he spoke. He might have been just another bag that Dernhelm was carrying. Dernhelm was in comfort; he never spoke to anyone. Merry felt small, unwanted, and lonely... ...They were less than a day's ride from the out-walls of Minas Tirith that encircled the townlands. Scouts had been sent ahead...
......Merry wanted somebody to talk to, and he thought of Pippin. But that only increased his restless. Poor Pippin, shut up in the great city of stone, lonely and afraid. Merry wished he was a tall rider like Éomer and could blow a horn or something and go galloping to his rescue. He sat up, listening to the drums that were beating again, now nearer at hand. Presently he heard voices speaking low, and he saw dim half-shrouded lanterns passing through the trees. Men nearby began to move uncertainly in the dark.
...A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him, cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of the marshal, Elfhelm.
...'I am not a tree-root, Sir... ...nor a bag, but a bruised hobbit. The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot….'
...'...the enemy is on the road, not in the hills,' said Elfhelm. 'You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods: thus they talk together from afar. They still haunt Druadan Forest, it is said.'"


March 13, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. Frodo is taken ill (on the anniversary of his poisoning by Shelob).
(from the appendices)

..."Sam stayed at first at the Cottons' with Frodo; but when the New Row was ready he went with the Gaffer. In addition to all his other labours he was busy directing the cleaning up and restoring of Bag End; but he was often away in the Shire on his forestry work... ...he was not at home in early March and did not know that Frodo had been ill. On the thirteenth of that month Farmer Cotton found Frodo lying on his bed; he was clutching a white gem that hung on a chain about his neck and he seemed half in a dream.
...'It is gone forever,' he said, 'and now all is dark and empty.'"


March 13, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo visits Maggot's Farm.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Frodo was grateful for the early Spring weather. He had spoken to Sam and Rosie for several days about his plans to visit Farmer Maggot when the weather softened. He yearned for long walks and to visit the paths Bilbo and he had travelled together; but his true intent was to spare Sam if there was a relapse of his malady from the year before. So it was that Maggot, seeming to understand Frodo's need, gave him refuge and a quiet room for several days. It was during this time of solitude that Frodo realized these bouts of illness in the Spring and Fall were taking their toll and he worried how it would affect his friends. There would be only one way to protect them from that burden and for him to endure what he could not escape. With Maggot's help, he sent word to Rivendell.

.



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Today in Middle-earth

March 14, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Thorin and Gandalf travel to Bree on separate journeys.
(not from the appendices-no text/text)

..."On a time Thorin, returning west from a journey..." decides to go to Bree for a night's stay at the Prancing Pony. At the same time, Gandalf approached Bree "on his way to the Shire, which he had not visited for some twenty years. He was weary, and thought to rest there for a while."


March 14, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Samwise finds Frodo in the Tower.
(from the appendices)

..."At last, weary and feeling finally defeated, he sat on a step below the level of the passage-floor and bowed his head into his hands. It was quiet, horribly quiet. The torch, that was already burning low when he arrived, sputtered and went out; and he felt the darkness cover him like a tide. And then softly... ...there at the vain end of his long journey and his grief, moved by what thought in his heart he could not tell, Sam began to sing.
...His voice sounded thin and quavering in the cold dark tower: the voice of a forlorn and weary hobbit... ...He murmured old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo's rhymes that came into his mind like fleeting glimpses of the country of his home. And suddenly new strength rose in him, and his voice rang out, while words of his own came unbidden to fit the simple tune.

'In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there may be 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars like jewels white
amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep
above all shadows rides the Sun
and stars forever dwell:
I will not say the day is done,
nor bid the stars farewell.'


[Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 226-227 TT: Lord of the Rings]

...'Beyond all towers strong and high...' ...he stopped short. He thought that he had heard a faint voice answering him. But now he could hear nothing. Yes, he could hear something... ...Footsteps were approaching. Now a door was being opened quietly in the passage above... ...The door closed with a dull thud; and then a snarling orc-voice rang out.
...'Ho la! You up there, you dunghill rat! Stop your squeaking, or I'll come and deal with you. D'you hear?'
...There was no answer.
...'All right,' growled Snaga. 'But I'll come and have a look at you all the same....'
......The hinges creaked again, and Sam, now peering over the corner of the passage-threshold, saw a flicker of light in an open doorway, and the dim shape of an orc coming out. He seemed to be carrying a ladder. Suddenly the answer dawned on Sam: the topmost chamber was reached by a trap-door in the roof of the passage...

...'...You lie quiet, or you'll pay for it...! ...There's a reminder for you!' There was a sound like the crack of a whip.
...At that, rage blazed in Sam's heart to a sudden fury. He sprang up, ran, and went up the ladder like a cat. His head came out in the middle of the floor of a large round chamber. A red lamp hung from its roof; the westward window-slit was high and dark. Something was lying on the floor by the wall under the window, but over it a black orc-shape was straddled. It raised a whip a second time, but the blow never fell. With a cry Sam leapt across the floor, Sting in his hand. The orc wheeled round, but before it could make a move Sam slashed its whip-hand from its arm... ...The orc in its wild haste had tripped on the ladder-head and fallen through the open trap-door. Sam gave no more thought to it. He ran to the figure huddled on the floor. It was Frodo. He was naked, lying as if in a swoon on a heap of filthy rags: his arm was flung up, shielding his head, and across his side there ran an ugly whip-weal.
...'Frodo! Mr. Frodo, my dear!' cried Sam, tears almost blinding him. 'It's Sam, I've come!' He half lifted his master and hugged him to his breast. Frodo opened his eyes.
...'Am I still dreaming?' he muttered. 'But the other dreams were horrible.'
...'You're not dreaming at all, Master... ...It's real. It's me. I've come.'
...'I can hardly believe it,' said Frodo, clutching him. 'There was an orc with a whip, and then it turns into Sam! Then I wasn't dreaming after all when I heard that singing down below, and I tried to answer? Was it you?'
...'It was indeed, Mr. Frodo. I'd given up hope, almost. I couldn't find you.'
...'Well, you have now, Sam, dear Sam,' said Frodo, and he lay back in Sam's gentle arms, closing his eyes, like a child at rest when night-fears are driven away by some loved voice or hand. Sam felt that he could sit like that in endless happiness..."

2. Minas Tirith is besieged.
(from the appendices)

..."No hours so dark had Pippin known, not even in the clutches of the Uruk-hai. It was his duty to wait upon the Lord, and wait he did... ...mastering his own fears as best he could... '...Do not weep, lord,' he stammered. 'Perhaps Faramir will get well. Have you asked Gandalf?'
...'Comfort me not with wizards!' said Denethor. 'The fool's hope has failed...' ...Men came to the door crying for the Lord of the City. 'Nay, I will not come down,' he said. 'I must stay beside my son. He might still speak before the end. But that is near. Follow whom you will, even the Grey Fool, though his hope has failed. Here I stay.'
......So it was that Gandalf took command of the last defence of the City of Gondor. Wherever he came men's hearts would lift again, and the winged shadows pass from memory. Tirelessly he strode from Citadel to Gate, from north to south about the wall; and with him went the Prince of Dol Amroth in his shining mail... ...Fires now raged unchecked in the first circle of the City, and the garrison upon the outer wall was already in many places cut off from retreat. But the faithful who remained there at their posts were few; most had fled beyond the second gate."

3. The Rohirrim led by the Wild Men come to the Grey Wood.
(from the appendices)

..."Presently Ghân turned to the king. 'Wild Men say many things,' he said. 'First, be wary! Still many men in camp beyond Dîn, an hour's walk yonder,' he waved his arm west towards the black beacon. 'But none to see between here and the Stone-folk's new walls. Many busy there. Walls stand up no longer: gorgún knock them down with earth-thunder... ...They are unwary and do not look about them. They think their friends watch all roads!' At that old Ghân made a curious gurgling noise, and it seemed that he was laughing.
...'Good tidings!' cried Éomer. 'Even in this gloom hope gleams again. Our Enemy's devices oft serve us in his despite. The accursed darkness itself has been a cloak to us...'

......Ghân-buri-Ghân squatted down and touched the earth with his horny brow in token of farewell. Then he got up as if to depart. But suddenly he stood looking up like some startled woodland animal snuffling a strange air. A light came in his eyes. 'Wind is changing!' he cried, and with that, in a twinkling as it seemed, he and his fellows had vanished in the gloom, never to be seen by any Rider of Rohan again."

4. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli sail from Pelargir with the captured fleet.
(not from the appendices)

...[Gimli speaking to Merry & Pippin:] "'And that is near the end of our tale. For during that evening and night many ships were made ready and manned; and in the morning the fleet set forth.... ...But still Aragorn was driven by fear that time was too short. "It is forty leagues and two from Pelargir to the landings at the Harlond," he said. "Yet to the Harlond we must come tomorrow or fail utterly." The oars were now wielded by free men, and manfully they laboured; yet slowly we passed up the Great River, for we strove against its stream... ...Heavy would my heart have been, for all our victory at the havens, if Legolas had not laughed suddenly. "Up with your beard, Durin's son!" he said. "For thus is it spoken: Oft hope is born, when all is forlorn..." ...away in the north we saw a red glow under the cloud, and Aragorn said: "Minas Tirith is burning." But at midnight hope was indeed born anew. Seacrafty men of the Ethir gazing southward spoke of a change coming with a fresh wind from the Sea...'"

[league = 3 miles]



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