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grammaboodawg
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Jul 18, 12:51pm

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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


July 18, 2003
*lights beacon for Reverend*

Sadly, Reverend passed away on July 18, 2003



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grammaboodawg
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Jul 19, 10:09am

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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

2. Riddles in the Dark
(determined from text)

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

[Well into the Riddle Game…]

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

"Time! Time!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jul 19, 10:13am)


grammaboodawg
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Jul 20, 2:20pm

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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

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

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





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Today in Middle-earth

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

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

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



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Today in Middle-earth

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

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



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Jul 23, 3:10am

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


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

#FidelityToTolkien
#ChallengeExpectations

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

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



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Today in Middle-earth

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

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



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

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

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



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Jul 25, 12:28pm

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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

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



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Jul 25, 3:18pm

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

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Jul 26, 1:37am

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

*high five* Thanks!



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Jul 26, 1:38am

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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

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



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Jul 26, 1:42am

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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



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


Hamfast Gamgee
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Jul 28, 6:07am

Post #39 of 51 (845 views)
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Where they lucky to be in Mirkwood in summer? [In reply to] Can't Post

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


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Jul 28, 12:23pm

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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



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Jul 28, 12:27pm

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Good Points! [In reply to] Can't Post

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

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Jul 29, 11:27am

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Today in Middle-earth

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

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


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

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



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Jul 30, 10:39am

Post #43 of 51 (768 views)
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It's time for some BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

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

From Queer Lodgings: The Hobbit

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



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Jul 31, 1:01pm

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

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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



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Aug 1, 12:06pm

Post #45 of 51 (574 views)
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Here's the second of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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



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Aug 2, 12:07pm

Post #46 of 51 (521 views)
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Here's the third of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as they talk about the coming enemy... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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



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Aug 3, 12:03pm

Post #47 of 51 (506 views)
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Here's the fourth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as they talk about the coming enemy... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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



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Aug 3, 2:28pm

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


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



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Aug 4, 12:11pm

Post #49 of 51 (450 views)
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Here's the fifth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin in Minas Tirith... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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

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



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Aug 5, 11:21am

Post #50 of 51 (435 views)
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Here's the sixth of a 7 part Book Spoiler of Beregond's first meeting with Pippin as talk about the captain... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Minas Tirith: Book V: Return of the King

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



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