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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
LOTR Lunar Readalong 2017-18 Finale: The Battle of Bywater, and the years beyond to the end of the Third Age.

Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 22, 4:18pm

Post #1 of 4 (652 views)
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LOTR Lunar Readalong 2017-18 Finale: The Battle of Bywater, and the years beyond to the end of the Third Age. Can't Post

This is a continuation of my last Lunar Readalong post, and will be my final post for the Lunar Readalong for 2017-18.

Please see this week's Reddit post for a table of the remaining schedule for the 2017-18 Lunar Readalong.


This week we get to the Battle of Bywater and the end of the War of the Ring!

When the 'Travellers' come to the Brandywine Bridge at dark, there would have been a full moon that night. So 2 nights later, the waning gibbous moon would still be very round and rising not too much later in the evening after the Horn of the Mark was blown at sundown on the 2nd. Though I'm not sure if the weather permitted the moon to illuminate anything on those evenings (not until I read those passages again, anyway).


After this week the timeline becomes very sparse over the next 2 years until Frodo and Bilbo depart over Sea with the Three Keepers, marking the end of the Third Age in the final chapter of the story, so I'll use this week's post to wrap up the Lunar Readalong for 2017-18.


The Readalong after this week is pretty straightforward (though sparse), but I'll point out a couple of notes for it in this final post for this year:

* There is no date given for Sam replanting trees in The Shire, along with the mallorn seed in the Party Field, so I picked the next full moon as an approximate date for this Readalong.
* The story has been told in chronological order since Book VI Chapter 6, but it appears Tolkien added 1 more minor interleaving in Book VI Chapter 9 for the following spring, where he jumps ahead to describe the blossoming of the mallorn on 'April' 6, and the year of S.R. 1420 as the "Great Year of Plenty", then goes back to 'March' 13~25 to pick up with Frodo and Sam's story again.
* Finally, I'll point out the same "problematic" moon for the evening of S.R. 1421 Halimath 22 (T.A. 3021 'September' 22) that https://shire-reckoning.com/moon.html points out: Since the new moon was the next day, there wouldn’t have been a moon in the night sky on this evening, but there would be a waxing crescent before the party for a few evenings just before they arrived at the Grey Havens a week later, on Halimath 29.


I'm not sure how many followed along with this Readalong, but I sure had fun reading in "real-time" along with my brother, and observing the movements of the heavens along with the story!

We're planning to do it again for 2020-21 (and trying to rope-in more family members too), when the moon phases align better with the solar year, allowing Mid-year's Day to fall on the summer solstice! So we'll start Book I Chapter 1 next September (to allow the following 6 months to stand-in for the 17-year gap of the story from Bilbo's 111th birthday to the spring of S.R. 1418). That schedule is already presented on my Lunar Readalong project page, so I may not make these posts again for that Lunar Readalong, unless of course, by request Wink


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 23, 2:19pm

Post #2 of 4 (623 views)
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The full moon of S.R. 1419 Winterfilth 30 [In reply to] Can't Post


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When the 'Travellers' come to the Brandywine Bridge at dark, there would have been a full moon that night.


In Tolkien's 1942 timeline, the moon would have become full early in the morning of Winterfilth 30, but in this year's schedule it's coming about a day later; but either way I think the moon will look (mostly) full tonight when they reach the Bridge at dark :) At least for those west of the Atlantic. For those in Europe, the moon won't be full until tomorrow night.


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 24, 2:26pm

Post #3 of 4 (611 views)
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The weather of S.R. 1419 Winterfilth 30 [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems since the weather was still "wet" when they got to the Bridge, that probably means it was still rainy, so they wouldn't have been able to see the full moon after all, unless it chanced to peep out between the clouds at some point that night.


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 26, 2:29pm

Post #4 of 4 (571 views)
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The waning gibbous moon of S.R. 1419 Blotmath 2 [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the waning gibbous moon would still be very round and rising not too much later in the evening after the Horn of the Mark was blown at sundown on the 2nd.


It seems the weather did clear up on their way to Bywater, so the Hobbits probably did have a nice and round gibbous moon over their Bywater bonfire last night :)

Also for those that don't know: Tolkien noted in Appendix D that each year following this one, "in the Buckland the Horn of the Mark was blown at sundown every November 2 and bonfires and feastings followed." This was to commemorate this first blowing of the Horn by Merry and the rousing of the Shire-folk.

 
 

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