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TIME - August 27
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Sep 17, 2:13pm

Post #51 of 60 (859 views)
Thank you for 2 intriguing bits [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The whole trilogy makes you fear Sauron and his growing, overwhelming power. Then Gandalf makes that point of:

and the power of Sauron is still less than fear makes it.

That's a nice, self-aware thing to say, especially in this council where they are all fretting about Sauron. It's like readjusting the focus on a camera or moving a painting on the wall: a little shift in perspective for the reader.

2. Frodo's dream. Dreams are usually considered prophetic. Certainly Frodo's dream of Tol Eressea is looking forward in time. I always wonder why he dreamed of Gandalf on Orthanc only after the fact, and not even simultaneously. I think the dream shows Frodo has an important, personal connection to Gandalf, and of course whenever the dream happened, it wasn't actionable: Frodo wasn't going to storm Isengard to save him. But it still seems odd that it happens after the fact.


Sep 18, 10:21am

Post #52 of 60 (826 views)
TIME - September 18 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

September 18, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company is still caught in Thranduil's caves.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

...Bilbo continues to ponder an escape plan as he listens, watches and waits.

September 18, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo prepares to leave Bag End for Crickhollow.
(not from the appendices)

..."Bag End began to be busy. Some of Frodo's friends came to stay and help him with the packing: there was Fredegar Bolger and Folco Boffin, and of course his special friends Pippin Took and Merry Brandybuck. Between them they turned the whole place upside-down."

2. Gandalf escapes from Orthanc in the early hours. The Black Riders cross the Fords of Isen.
(from the appendices)

..."'Those of you who know me will agree that I have seldom been in such need, and do not bear such misfortune well. Gandalf the Grey caught like a fly in a spider's treacherous web! Yet even the most subtle spiders may leave a weak thread.
...'At first I feared, as Saruman no doubt intended, that Radagast had also fallen. Yet I had caught no hint of anything wrong in his voice or in his eye at our meeting... ...He sought me in good faith, and so persuaded me.
...'That was the undoing of Saruman's plot. For Radagast knew no reason why he should not do as I asked; and he rode away towards Mirkwood where he had many friends of old. And the Eagles of the Mountains went far and wide, and they saw many things: the gathering of wolves and the mustering of Orcs; and the Nine Riders going hither and thither in the lands; and they heard news of the escape of Gollum. And they sent a messenger to bring these tidings to me.
...'So it was that when summer waned, there came a night of moon, and Gwaihir the Windlord... ...came unlooked-for to Orthanc; and he found me standing on the pinnacle. Then I spoke to him and he bore me away, before Saruman was aware. I was far from Isengard, ere the wolves and orcs issued from the gate to pursue me.
...'"How far can you bear me?" I said to Gwaihir.
...'"Many leagues," said he, "but not to the ends of the earth. I was sent to bear tidings not burdens."
...'"Then I must have a steed on land," I said, 'and a steed surpassingly swift, for I have never had such need of haste before."
...'"Then I will bear you to Edoras, where the Lord of Rohan sits in his halls..."'"

[league = 3 miles]

September 18, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
The Company rides to Rivendell
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Gandalf, the hobbits and Elrond with his company continue at their leisure on their journey to Rivendell as Saruman makes his way to the Shire.

September 18, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. The hobbits adjust.
(not from the appendices)

..."Frodo and Sam went back to ordinary attire, except that when there was need they both wore long grey cloaks, finely woven and clasped at the throat with beautiful brooches; and Mr. Frodo wore always a white jewel on a chain that he often would finger."

September 18, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. The family in Bag End.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Frodo found himself watching Sam as he moved about Bag End, often with little Elanor cradled in one of his strong, weathered arms. He suddenly became aware that he had contemplated a hope, a presumption, that would comfort himself in his decision; but would it be fair to Sam? The answer was clear to him. He looked over at Rosie as she set plates and cups on the table and she looked up at him and smiled. Frodo smiled in return. "I'll fetch Sam for you, Rosie. Then I'll come help you finish with the table."


We have been there and back again.

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Sep 18, 1:10pm

Post #53 of 60 (818 views)
It's not the only picture adjusted [In reply to] Can't Post

The whole trilogy makes you fear Sauron and his growing, overwhelming power.

Sauron's not the only one using fear against his enemies. Aragorn brought fear TO Sauron when he exposed himself via the palantir at Helm's Deep causing Sauron to react sooner than he had planned.

'I did so ere I rode from the Hornburg,' answered Aragorn. 'I deemed that the time was ripe, and that the Stone had come to me for just such a purpose. It was then ten days since the Ring-bearer went east from Rauros, and the Eye of Sauron, I thought, should be drawn out from his own land. Too seldom has he been challenged since he returned to his Tower. Though if I had foreseen how swift would be his onset in answer, maybe I should not have dared to show myself. Bare time was given me to come to your aid.' [Pelennor Field]

Gandalf and Aragorn compounded Sauron's fear when they joined in council to move on Mordor with the Captains of the West... giving Frodo a chance.
Fear is a mighty weapon when used well. These Captains/Gandalf were able to control their fear and turn it on Sauron.

2. Frodo's dream at Bombadil's is when he saw Gandalf atop Orthanc and being rescued. Late in coming, p'raps being at Tom's and wearing the Ring around his neck for so long began to stir this ability of foresight but not yet accurate... that and the Ring beginning to strengthen with Sauron's rise. Once he wears the Ring after his Morgul blade injury, his dreams/foresight becomes stronger, too... imho. ;) Strong enough to see and challenge Galadriel in her own land when he saw her Ring and offered her his.


We have been there and back again.

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Sep 19, 11:27am

Post #54 of 60 (749 views)
TIME - September 19 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

September 19, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf comes to Edoras as a beggar, and is refused admittance.
(from the appendices)

..."'...[Gwaihir] set me down in the land of Rohan ere dawn... ...In Rohan I found evil already at work: the lies of Saruman...'"
...Éomer recounts:] "'Indeed since his last coming in the summer all things have gone amiss. At that time our trouble with Saruman began. Until then we counted Saruman our friend, but Gandalf came... ...and warned us that sudden war was preparing in Isengard. He said that he himself had been a prisoner in Orthanc and had hardly escaped, and he begged for help. But Théoden would not listen to him, and he went away.'"

September 19, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Company continues to ride toward home.
(not from the appendices-no text)
...Elrond and his people, Gandalf and the hobbits continue at their leisure on their journey to Rivendell as Saruman makes his way to the Shire.

September 19, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. Life seems to return to normal in the Shire.
(not from the appendices)

..."All thing now went well, with hope always of becoming still better; and Sam was as busy and as full of delight as even a hobbit could wish. Nothing for him marred that whole year, except for some vague anxiety about his master. Frodo dropped quietly out of all the doings of the Shire, and Sam was pained to notice how little honour he had in his own country. Few people knew... ...about his deeds and adventures; their admiration and respect were given mostly to Mr. Meriadoc and Mr. Peregrin and (if Sam had known it) to himself. Also in the autumn there appeared a shadow of old troubles."

September 19, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo quietly makes plans.
(not from the appendices)

...'"Little Elanor was nearly six months old, and 1421 had passed to its autumn, when Frodo called Sam into the study.
...'It will be Bilbo's Birthday on Thursday, Sam,' he said. 'And he will pass the Old Took. He will be a hundred and thirty-one!'
...'So he will!' said Sam. 'He's a marvel!'
...'Well, Sam... ...I want you to see Rose and find out if she can spare you, so that you and I can go off together. You can't go far or for a long time now, of course,' he said a little wistfully.
...'Well, not very well, Mr. Frodo.'
...'Of course not. But never mind. You can see me on my way. Tell Rose that you won't be away very long, not more than a fortnight; and you'll come back quite safe.'
...'I wish I could go all the way with you to Rivendell... ...see Mr. Bilbo,' said Sam. 'And yet the only place I really want to be in is here. I am that torn in two.'
...'Poor Sam! It will feel like that, I am afraid,' said Frodo. 'But you will be healed. You were meant to be solid and whole, and you will be.'"


We have been there and back again.

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Sep 19, 4:49pm

Post #55 of 60 (736 views)
Good point about fear [In reply to] Can't Post

There was plenty to go around. And as fear-inspiring as Sauron was, he could be scared too.

And I like your idea about Frodo's intuition growing in an organic way: a few youthful bumps and jerks in the beginning before becoming more powerful later on. If bearing the One Ring and surviving a Morgul blade made him more insightful, then their effects were not all bad, even if unintended.


Sep 20, 11:07am

Post #56 of 60 (666 views)
TIME - September 20 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

September 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Gandalf at the White Council.
(not from the appendices-determined from LotR Appendix B text)

... "In the late summer... ...Gandalf had at last prevailed upon Saruman and the White Council to attack Dol Guldur, and Sauron retreated and went to Mordor, there to be secure, as he thought, from all his enemies. So it was that when the War came at last the main assault was turned southwards..."

2. The White Council assaults Dol Guldur.
(not from the appendices-determined from The Silmarillion text)

..."... they put forth their strength; and they assailed Dol Guldur, and drove Sauron from his hold, and Mirkwood for a brief while was made wholesome again."
..."But their stroke was too late. For the Dark Lord had foreseen it, and he had long prepared all his movements; and... ...his Nine Servants, had gone before him to make ready for his coming. Therefore his flight was but a feint, and he soon returned, and ere the Wise could prevent him he re-entered his kingdom in Mordor and reared once again the dark towers of Barad-dûr. And in that year the White Council met for the last time, and Curunír withdrew to Isengard, and took counsel with none save himself."

September 20, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf gains entrance to Edoras.
(from the appendices)

...Théoden commands him to go: 'Take any horse, only be gone ere tomorrow is old!'
..."'...the king of the land would not listen to my warnings. He bade me take a horse and be gone; and I chose one much to my liking, but little to his. I took the best horse in his land, and I have never seen the like of him.'"

2. It's busy at Bag End.
(not from the appendices)

..."On September 20th two covered carts went off laden to Buckland, conveying the furniture and goods that Frodo had not sold to his new home, by way of the Brandywine Bridge."

September 20, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The Travellers are still on the road.
(not from the appendices)

...The Travellers approach the moors leading to the Valley of Rivendell as Saruman passes the borders of the Shire.

September 20, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo finishes his arrangements.
(not from the appendices)

..."In the next day or two Frodo went through his papers and his writings with Sam, and he handed over his keys. There was a big book with plain red leather covers... ...pages were now almost filled. At the beginning there were many leaves covered with Bilbo's thin wandering hand; but most of it was written in Frodo's firm flowing script. It was divided into chapters but Chapter 80 was unfinished, and after that were some blank leaves. The title page had many titles on it, crossed out one after another, so:

...My diary. My Unexpected Journey. There and Back Again. And What Happened After.
...Adventures of Five Hobbits. The Tale of the Great Ring, compiled by Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the accounts of his friends. What we did in the War of the Ring.

Here Bilbo's hand ended and Frodo had written:


(as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs
of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire, supplemented
by the accounts of their friends and the learning
of the Wise.)

Together with extracts from Books of Lore
translated by Bilbo in Rivendell.

...'Why, you have nearly finished it, Mr. Frodo!' Sam exclaimed. 'Well, you have kept at it, I must say.'
...'I have quite finished, Sam,' said Frodo. 'The last pages are for you.'"


We have been there and back again.

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Sep 20, 2:45pm

Post #57 of 60 (644 views)
I'm partial to Frodo's title [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose Tolkien biased us that way, slapping something similar on the cover of the book. But it also sounds more serious and authoritative than Bilbo's attempts at titles.


Sep 21, 11:48am

Post #58 of 60 (597 views)
TIME - September 21 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

September 21, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo makes a discovery.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."One day, nosing and wandering about, Bilbo discovered a very interesting thing: the great gates were not the only entrance to the caves. A stream flowed under part of the lowest regions of the palace, and joined the Forest River some way further to the east, beyond the steep slope out of which the main mouth opened....
......When the barrels were empty the elves cast them through the trapdoors, opened the water-gate, and out the barrels floated on the stream…"
...For some time Bilbo sat and thought about this water-gate, and wondered if it could be used for the escape of his friends, and at last he had the desperate beginnings of a plan…."

2. Bilbo and the Dwarves escape in the afternoon.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."…Bilbo heard the king's butler bidding the chief of the guards good-night.
..."Now come with me," he said, "and taste the new wine that has just come in. I shall be hard at work tonight clearing the cellars of the empty wood, so let us have a drink first to help the labour."

...…When he heard this Bilbo was all in a flutter, for he saw that luck was with him and he had a chance at once to try his desperate plan. He followed the two elves, until they entered a small cellar and sat down at a table on which two large flagons were set. Soon they began to drink and laugh merrily…. …Then in crept the hobbit. Very soon the chief guard had no keys…
...First he unlocked Balin's door… "You must follow me! We must all keep together and not risk getting separated. All of us must escape or none, and this is our last chance. If this is found out, goodness knows where the king will put you next, with chains on your hands and feet too, I expect. Don't argue, there's a good fellow!"
...Then off he went from door to door, until his following had grown to twelve… … At last after much blundering they came to Thorin's dungeon, far down in a deep place and fortunately not far from the cellars.
..."Upon my word!" said Thorin, when Bilbo whispered to him to come out and join his friends, "Gandalf spoke true, as usual. A pretty fine burglar you make, it seems, when the time comes. I am sure we are all for ever at your service, whatever happens after this. But what comes next?"
...Bilbo saw that the time had come to explain his idea, as far as he could...
..."...We shall be bruised and battered to pieces, and drowned too, for certain!" they muttered. "We thought you had got some sensible notion, when you managed to get hold of the keys. This is a mad idea!"
..."Very well!" said Bilbo very downcast, and also rather annoyed. "Come along back to your nice cells, and I will lock you all in again, and you can sit there comfortably and think of a better plan—but I don't suppose I shall ever get hold of the keys again, even if I feel inclined to try."
...That was too much for them, and they calmed down. In the end, of course, they had to do just what Bilbo suggested…
...…They soon found thirteen [casks] with room enough for a dwarf in each. In fact some were too roomy, and as they climbed in the dwarves thought anxiously of the shaking and the bumping they would get inside, though Bilbo did his best to find straw and other stuff to pack them in as cosily as could be managed in a short time....
.......Bilbo suddenly discovered the weak point in his plan... ...he was not in a barrel himself...
......Now the very last barrel was being rolled to the doors! In despair and not knowing what else to do, poor little Bilbo caught hold of it and was pushed over the edge with it. Down into the water he fell, splash! into the cold dark water with the barrel on top of him.
...He came up again spluttering and clinging to the wood like a rat, and lay on the top spread out to keep the balance as best he could."

3. At dusk Bilbo the barrel-packed dwarves reach the huts of the Raft-men.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

... "...the hurrying water of the Forest River swept all the company of casks and tubs away to the north bank... ...On the shallow shore most of the barrels ran aground, though a few went on to bump against the stony pier.
...There were people on the look-out on the banks. They quickly poled and pushed all the barrels together into the shallows… …counted them… …roped them together and left them till the morning. Poor dwarves! Bilbo… …slipped from his barrel and waded ashore, and then sneaked along to some huts that he could see near the water's edge. He no longer thought twice about picking up a supper uninvited if he got the chance… …and he knew only too well what it was to be really hungry… …Also he had caught a glimpse of a fire through the trees, and that appealed to him with his dripping and ragged clothes clinging to him cold and clammy."

September 21, 3001 (S.R. 1401)
1. Party preparations are in full swing.
(not from the appendices)

..."The tents began to go up. There was a specially large pavilion, so big that the tree that grew in the field was right inside it, and stood proudly near one end, at the head of the chief table. Lanterns were hung on all its branches. More promising still (to the hobbits' mind): an enormous open-air kitchen was erected in the north corner of the field. A draught of cooks, from every inn and eating-house for miles around, arrived to supplement the dwarves and other odd folk that were quartered at Bag End. Excitement rose to its height.
...Then the weather clouded over. That was on Wednesday the eve of the Party. Anxiety was intense..."

September 21, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Gandalf meets Shadowfax.
(from the appendices)

..." 'There is one among them that might have been foaled in the morning of the world. The horses of the Nine cannot vie with him... ...swift as the flowing wind. Shadowfax they called him. By day his coat glistened like silver; and by night it is like a shade, and he passes unseen. Light is his footfall! Never before had any man mounted him...'"

2. Frodo continues to anticipate Gandalf's return.
(not from the appendices)

..."Frodo became really anxious, and kept a constant look-out for Gandalf."

September 21, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They return to Rivendell.
(from the appendices)

..."At last one evening they came over the high moors, suddenly as to the travellers it always seemed, to the brink of the deep valley of Rivendell and saw far below the lamps shining in Elrond's [home]... ...filled with light and song for joy at Elrond's homecoming.
...First of all, before they had eaten or washed or even shed their cloaks, the hobbits went in search of Bilbo. They found him all alone in his little room. It was littered with papers and pens and pencils; but Bilbo was sitting in a chair before a small bright fire. He looked very old, but peaceful, and sleepy.
...He opened his eyes and looked up as they came in. 'Hullo, hullo! ...So you've come back? And tomorrow's my birthday, too. How clever of you! Do you know, I shall be one hundred and twenty-nine? And in one year more, if I am spared, I shall equal the Old Took. I should like to beat him; but we shall see.'"

2. Saruman comes to the Shire.
(from the appendices)

..."You made me laugh, you hobbit-lordlings, riding along with all those great people, so secure and so pleased with your little selves. You thought you had done very well out of it all, and could now just amble back and have a nice quiet time in the country.... ...but you must go dangling after him, dawdling and talking, and riding round twice as far as you needed. "Well," thought I, "if they're such fools, I will get ahead of them and teach them a lesson. One ill turn deserves another."

September 21, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. Frodo and Samwise set out from Hobbiton.
(from the appendices)

..."...they set out together, Frodo on the pony that had borne him all the way from Minas Tirith, and was now called Strider: and Sam on his beloved Bill. It was a fair golden morning, and Sam did not ask where they were going: he thought he could guess."

September 21, 1937
1. The Hobbit is published.

..."In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

...In the early 1930's, J.R.R. Tolkien found a blank page on one of his students' school papers he was correcting and wrote this first line of what would become one of the greatest fantasy stories written. Once a bedtime story for his young children, the Professor eventually penned his tale of the adventures of a Hobbit, Dwarves, Elves and a Dragon into a book.
...The first edition of The Hobbit was published by George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London in 1937 with 1,500 prints. To date, it has been published in 40 different languages. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth eventually expanded into The Lord of the Rings.


We have been there and back again.

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Sep 21, 12:34pm

Post #59 of 60 (597 views)
Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Nothing about adventures... just a clear title on the outcome of the "adventures".

...supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise.)

Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell.

It's fascinating that he includes what "the Wise" learned from (I'm assuming) not only the history of Middle-earth, but during the Quest: History of the Ring; corruption and influence of the Ring & palantirs; how to unite the kindred of Middle-earth; the responsibility of each kindred to be vigilant and keep peace in their own lands; etc. It's also notable most of that era's "Wise" left... shifting the wisdom to those who learned on the job and/or evolved into the new Wise in this new world. And I love how Frodo acknowledges Bilbo's long years of work on his translations of lore... bringing even more history through tales... often the only historic accounts of many kindreds and lands.


We have been there and back again.

TIME Google Calendar


Sep 22, 3:43pm

Post #60 of 60 (545 views)
Thanks for pointing that out [In reply to] Can't Post

because I had never thought about that part before. I think my mind mushed it together with Bilbo's translations. But if I slow down and stop mushing, then you're certainly right, and Frodo means his supplements come from Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf, principally. So when we read on the Pelennor Fields about Merry's sword, for example, of course Merry didn't know its history and couldn't have told Frodo about it, so Gandalf (or maybe Aragorn or Elrond) presumably filled it in for him. I guess that's for sticklers about the LOTR being written by hobbits. For me, it was written by a man in England, and I appreciate these "supplements from the Wise" however he cares to fit them in.

And still Meriadoc the hobbit stood there blinking through his tears, and no one spoke to him, indeed none seemed to heed him. He brushed away the tears, and stooped to pick up the green shield that Éowyn had given him, and he slung it at his back. Then he looked for his sword that he had let fall; for even as he struck his blow his arm was numbed, and now he could only use his left hand. And behold! there lay his weapon, but the blade was smoking like a dry branch that has been thrust in a fire; and as he watched it, it writhed and withered and was consumed.

So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Lord of the Rings: One Volume (p. 844). HMH Books. Kindle Edition.

And yes, I like the aspect too that Frodo credits Bilbo's translations after crossing out all his titles, showing that he wasn't dismissive of Bilbo's work, just didn't think he got the title epic enough (which he hadn't).

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