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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
LOTR Lunar Readalong for the rest of Book 6, Chapter 5 (through S.R. 1419 Mid-year's Day)

Murlo
Rivendell


May 18, 2:27pm

Post #1 of 9 (1744 views)
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LOTR Lunar Readalong for the rest of Book 6, Chapter 5 (through S.R. 1419 Mid-year's Day) Can't Post

This post is a continuation of my last Lunar Readalong post.

What's the LOTR Lunar Readalong all about? See The Lord of the Rings Lunar Readalong project page for more info.

Today's Readalong for 1419 Thrimidge 25 has also been posted to Reddit.

When did Aragorn the King Elessar find the sapling of the White Tree?

According to The Tale of Years (Appendix B), King Elessar finds the sapling on 'June' 25 in T.A. 3019 (S.R. 1419).

I'm defying the date given in Appendix B for this Readalong, because I agree with the Reader's Companion assessment that it seems an impossibly short time for Aragorn to find the sapling on 'June' (Forelithe) 25, then it blossoms "when the month of June entered in", then Arwen arrives to the City less than a week later.

If the The Tale of Years is in error, then perhaps King Elessar found the sapling on 'May' (Thrimidge) 25? That would seem to fit the story better, and would fall between the events of Elrond and Arwen arriving to Lorien on 'May' 20, and the escort of Arwen leaving Lorien on 'May' 27.

Since there are 30 days from Thrimidge 25 to Forelithe 25, the moon would look almost exactly the same on both of these dates. So either way, there would have been a waxing crescent moon setting only a couple of hours after sunset on Thrimidge 24, probably before Gandalf took Aragorn out of the City by night, then rising on the 25th a couple of hours before noon, probably already after Aragorn finds the sapling.


Bracegirdle
Valinor


May 18, 11:56pm

Post #2 of 9 (1716 views)
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A tad OT Murlo, but [In reply to] Can't Post

I’ve always found it interesting that The Tale of Years states that Elessar found the sapling.
But the text reads (to me) that actually Gandalf found it and showed Aragorn the way.


Quote
But Gandalf took Aragorn out from the City by night, and he brought him to the southern feet of Mount Mindolluin; . . . And they went up by steep ways . . .
[Aragorn:] ‘The Tree in the Court of the Fountain is still withered and barren. When shall I see a sign that it will ever be otherwise?’
‘Turn your face from the green world, and look where all seems barren and cold!’ said Gandalf.
Then Aragorn turned . . . ‘Yé! utúvienyes! I have found it! Lo! Here is a scion of the Eldest of Trees!...’
-The Steward and the King


In Reply To
When did Aragorn the King Elessar find the sapling of the White Tree?

According to The Tale of Years (Appendix B), King Elessar finds the sapling on 'June' 25 in T.A. 3019 (S.R. 1419).


‘. . . the rule of no realm is mine . . .
But all worthy things that are in peril . . . those are my care.
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?'

Gandalf to Denethor




entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 19, 12:51am

Post #3 of 9 (1710 views)
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I always thought [In reply to] Can't Post

that Gandalf knew generally where it could be found, and took Aragorn in that direction. What I found interesting is that the sapling was several years old when they found it - when did it start growing? Is there a moment in Aragorn's life that corresponded with the sprouting of the sapling?


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 19, 2:04am

Post #4 of 9 (1699 views)
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Interesting question. [In reply to] Can't Post

I took at look to see what the Tale of Years gave for the period "several years" before Elessar's crowning in 3019. Two events seem possible:
1. 3007 Death of Gilraen.

She said she had given Hope to men and kept none for herself. But her death might be a fitting time for the hope of King Elessar's future to sprout.

2. 3009 Gandalf and Aragorn are hunting for Gollum (and continue for the next several years). Elrond sends for Arwen to come home to Imladris.
Aragorn and Arwen had plighted their troth in Lorien, but her homecoming may have some significance. When Halbarad brings the Rangers to meet Aragorn before he travels the Paths of the Dead, he brings his royal standard as well as a message from Arwen. "She wrought it in secret, and long was the making. But she also sends word to you: The days now are short. Either our hope cometh, or all hopes end. Therefore I send thee what I have made for thee. Fare well, Elfstone!" We do not have any indications of just how long it took her to make the standard, but we know it bears a White Tree, Seven Stars, and the crown which were the signs of Elendil. Perhaps the sapling which is the sign of the renewal of Gondor (and by implication, the hope of Elessar's marriage and founding of his line), may have sprouted at the same time that Arwen, prompted by Elvish foresight* began to make the standard that bore the signs of Aragorn's kingship.

* Either her own, or Elrond's, or Galadriel's. All the Three Ringbearers seem to be in on this. Legolas and Gimli conclude that it was Galadriel who summoned Aragorn's kin to his aid, Elladan and Elrohir bring not only the standard from Arwen, but word from Elrond to remember the words of the Seer about the Paths of the Dead, and Gandalf leads Aragorn to find the sapling.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Murlo
Rivendell


May 20, 2:53pm

Post #5 of 9 (1440 views)
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It was less than 7 years old [In reply to] Can't Post

Aragorn actually says "it is not itself yet seven years old".

So that would have to be T.A. 3012 or later, which would rule out the Death of Gilraen, and there is nothing else listed between 3009 and 3017.

That still doesn't rule out your idea that Arwen started to make her standard when the tree started sprouting. That could be an interesting connection!


Murlo
Rivendell


May 20, 3:08pm

Post #6 of 9 (1435 views)
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Appendix B tends to focus on Aragorn or Frodo, I noticed [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I’ve always found it interesting that The Tale of Years states that Elessar found the sapling.
But the text reads (to me) that actually Gandalf found it and showed Aragorn the way.


I've also noticed that for many events listed during the "Great Years" in Appendix B, the event will focus only on Aragorn or Frodo, even though other characters were involved.

For example, "Frodo comes to Tom Bombadil", "Glorfindel finds Frodo at dusk", "Frodo begins the passage of the Dead Marshes at dawn", or "Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening", "Aragorn reaches the west-cliff at sunrise", and "Éomer returning to Edoras meets Aragorn".

I agree, though, that the wording of this one really seems to imply that Aragorn was responsible for actually locating the sapling, when it was really Gandalf that led him to it. Even after Gandalf points it out to him, Aragorn announces "I have found it!" Laugh

Maybe this is another slight difference in archaic vocabulary versus modern usage? Ultimately I think it just means that Aragorn "found out" where it was, even if he wasn't personally responsible for locating it.


Bracegirdle
Valinor


May 21, 3:53pm

Post #7 of 9 (1406 views)
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Such trivia is always interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

and fun to calculate.


In Reply To
I've also noticed that for many events listed during the "Great Years" in Appendix B, the event will focus only on Aragorn or Frodo, even though other characters were involved.

Although the focus seems to be on Frodo & Aragorn we infer it’s Frodo with the Fellowship or with Sam and/or Gollum, and Aragorn with the Fellowship (or whatever part is left). So it’s not necessary for whoever wrote “The Great Years” to mention the names of Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Pippin, etc.

Interestingly a ‘name count’ of “The Great Years” gives me: Frodo - 28 mentions; Gandalf – 23 mentions; and Aragorn – 13 mentions.

‘. . . the rule of no realm is mine . . .
But all worthy things that are in peril . . . those are my care.
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?'

Gandalf to Denethor




Murlo
Rivendell


May 29, 2:31pm

Post #8 of 9 (1295 views)
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LOTR Lunar Readalong for 1419 Forelithe 6? The sapling of the White Tree becomes laden with blossom [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no specific date given for when the sapling of the White Tree becomes laden with blossom, which is the sign Aragorn the King Elessar apparently takes as the sign that Arwen is on her way to the City, which prompts him to set watchmen along the walls. The text only appears to state that it happened "when the month of June entered in". So I picked the full moon of 'June' (Forelithe) 6 for today's Readalong (also posted on Reddit).

According to The Tale of Years (Appendix B), King Elessar finds the sapling on 'June' 25 in T.A. 3019 (S.R. 1419), so according to Appendix B this part of the story occurs sometime within the next 6 days, before "the day before Midsummer" (a.k.a. 1 Lithe).

See the notes in the first post of this thread on why I'm defying this date of Forelithe 25 given in Appendix B for today's Readalong.

The next post, on Midsummer's eve, will return to the schedule as given in Appendix B.


Murlo
Rivendell


Jun 23, 6:24pm

Post #9 of 9 (808 views)
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Continued.... [In reply to] Can't Post

The 2017-18 Lunar Readalongs are continued in the following post: LOTR Lunar Readalong for the Lithedays (and Mid-year's Day) of S.R. 1419, and through Afterlithe (the rest of Book VI, Chapter 5 and the start of Chapter 6)

 
 

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