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grammaboodawg
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Aug 7, 1:31pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 7, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo and the Dwarves are on Forest Trail in 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 and 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."


The Great Years
August 7, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo waited for Gandalf's return as he made plans to leave the Shire.
(not from the appendices—general time frame from book)

..."Gandalf had left the suddenly after hearing something that made him anxious and needed looking into. At first Frodo was a good deal disturbed, and wondered often what Gandalf could have heard; but this uneasiness wore off, and in the fine weather he forgot his troubles for a while. The Shire had seldom seen so fair a summer..."

2. All trace of Gollum is lost.
[It is thought that at about this time, being hunted both by the Elves and Sauron's servants, he took refuge in Moria; but when he had at last discovered the way to the West-gate he could not get out. There is no real account of this other than references from others. This excerpt is from the Council of Elrond as an explanation of how Gollum escaped and was thus lost]
(from the appendices--repeated from June 20th post)
..."It was that very night of summer, yet moonless and starless, that Orcs came on us [Mirkwood Elves] at unawares. We drove them off after some time; they were many and fierce... ...they came from over the mountains, and were unused to the woods. When the battle was over, we found that Gollum was gone, and his guards were slain or taken. It then seemed plain to us that the attack had been made for his rescue, and that he knew of it beforehand. How that was contrived we cannot guess; but Gollum is cunning... ...The dark things that were driven out in the year of the Dragon's fall have returned in greater numbers, and Mirkwood is again an evil place, save where our realm is maintained.
...'We have failed to recapture Gollum. We came on his trail among those of many Orcs, and it plunged deep into the Forest, going south. But... ...it escaped our skill, and we dared not continue the hunt; for we were drawing nigh to Dol Guldur, and that is still a very evil place; we do not go that way.'"


August 7, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The escort comes to Edoras.
(from the appendices)

..."At length after fifteen days of journey the wain of King Théoden passed through the green fields of Rohan and came to Edoras; and there they all rested. The Golden Hall was arrayed with fair hangings and it was filled with light, and there was held the highest feast that it had known since the days of its building. For after three days the Men of the Mark prepared the funeral of Théoden..."



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 7, 1:35pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 8, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Nights without lights.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they tried lighting watch-fires at night, but they soon gave that up... ...it brought thousands of dark-grey and black moths, some nearly as big as your hand, flapping and whirring round their ears. They could not stand that, nor the huge bats, black as a top-hat, either; so they gave up fires and sat at night and dozed in the enormous uncanny darkness.
...All this went on for what seemed to the hobbit ages upon ages; and he was always hungry, for they were extremely careful with their provisions... ...they began to get anxious. The food would not last for ever: it was in fact already beginning to get low. They tried shooting at the squirrels, and they wasted many arrows before they managed to bring one down on the path. But when they roasted it, it proved horrible to taste, and they shot no more squirrels."



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 9, 11:59am

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Today in Middle-earth

August 9, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company's suffering grows.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."They were thirsty... ...for they had none too much water, and in all the time they had seen neither spring nor stream. [Even if they found one stream in particular, they'd be out of luck.] It was well that Beorn had warned them against it..."

[From Queer Lodgings]""...I will provide you with skins for carrying water, and I will give you some bows and arrows. But I doubt very much whether anything you find in Mirkwood will be wholesome to eat or to drink. There is one stream there... ...black and strong which crosses the path. That you should neither drink of, nor bathe in; for I have heard that it carries enchantment and a great drowsiness and forgetfulness. And in the dim shadows of that place I don't think you will shoot anything, wholesome or unwholesome, without straying from the path. That you MUST NOT do, for any reason.""



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 10, 1:06pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 10, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Funeral of King Théoden [He passed on March 15].
(from the appendices)

..."...[Théoden] was laid in a house of stone with his arms and many other fair things that he had possessed, and over him was raised a great mound, covered with green turves of grass and of white evermind. And now there were eight mounds on the east-side of the Barrowfield.
...Then the Riders of the King's House upon white horses rode round... ...the barrow and sang together a song of Théoden... ...that Gléowine his minstrel made, and he made no other song after. The slow voices of the Riders stirred the hearts even of those who did not know the speech of that people; but the words of the song brought a light to the eyes of the folk of the Mark as they heard again afar the thunder of the hooves of the North and the voice of Eorl crying above the battle upon the Field of Celebrant... ...the tale of the kings rolled on, and the horn of Helm was loud in the mountains, until the Darkness came and King Théoden arose and rode through the Shadow to the fire, and died in splendour, even as the Sun, returning beyond hope, gleamed upon Mindolluin in the morning.

Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
He rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.

...But Merry stood at the foot of the green mound, and he wept, and when the song was ended he arose and cried; 'Théoden King, Théoden King! Farewell! As a father you were to me, for a little while. Farewell!'

......At the last when the feast drew to an end Éomer arose and said: 'Now this is the funeral feast of Théoden the King; but I will speak ere we go of tidings of joy, for he would not grudge that I should do so, since he was ever a father to Éowyn my sister. Hear then all my guests... ...Faramir, Steward of Gondor, and Prince of Ithilien, asks that Éowyn Lady of Rohan should be his wife, and who grants it full willing. Therefore they shall be trothplighted before you all.'
...And Faramir and Éowyn stood forth and set hand in hand; and all there drank to them and were glad. 'Thus,' said Éomer, 'is the friendship of the Mark and of Gondor bound with a new bond, and the more do I rejoice.'
...'No niggard are you, Éomer,' said Aragorn, 'to give thus to Gondor the fairest thing in your realm!'
...Then Éowyn looked in the eyes of Aragorn, and she said: 'Wish me joy, my liege-lord and healer!'
...And he answered: 'I have wished thee joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss.'"



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SirDennisC
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Aug 10, 1:16pm

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So much to weep for in this passage - [In reply to] Can't Post

… first mournfully, then in gladness.

I often wonder why Gléowine made no other song after Theoden: was it for sorrow, or did his employment end with Theoden’s passing?


grammaboodawg
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Aug 10, 3:01pm

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I think Gléowine made no other song because he was devoted to Théoden and was... in a sense... a voice of his rule. His last honour and devotion to his King was his last song and then his silence as Théoden was now silent.




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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Aug 10, 3:02pm)


SirDennisC
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Aug 10, 11:01pm

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Well said, and sweetly [In reply to] Can't Post

… such devotion cannot be coerced, nor insisted upon. It is born of love, not blindly, rather in response to purest nobility. To his minstrel after long acquaintance, and to Merry brief, he would be Theoden the Great! What more is there to be said, or to be sung, if ever they had the heart?


grammaboodawg
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Aug 11, 12:41pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 11, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo and the Dwarves are on Forest Trail in Mirkwood.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."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."


August 11, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo plans his departure
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Frodo continues with his plans to leave Hobbiton ever watchful for Gandalf's return as Sam secretly gathers clues and information for the Conspirators.


August 11, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. The Shire is being restored.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...The Shirelings have the restoration of their lands nearly completed. The Mallorn Party Tree thrives and grows at an accelerated speed along with the other saplings Sam had planted, each with a grain of Lórien dust from his gift of Galadriel.


August 11, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. The Red Book entries continue.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Frodo works steadily on the Red Book of Westmarch as he enjoys his summer with Sam, Rosie and baby Elanor.



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 12, 2:13pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 12, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Frodo continues secretly making plans to leave Hobbiton.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...The summer seemed to be slipping away, and Frodo was keenly aware of every moment. Most of the decisions had been made of what would be taken to Crickhollow to keep the illusion that his move was not just gossip. He was leaving, and he found himself mourning these last days at Bag End and his life in Hobbiton. Where was Gandalf?
...Frodo secretly began to wonder if he should wait for the Wizard's return on the chance his long absence meant a change in their plan. But things were in motion and could not be altered without raising questions, so he pressed on as he kept watch for his friend.
...Frodo also wondered what Sam was telling his gaffer about going away. Each time Frodo asked what he was doing to prepare for the move, Sam would just tip his head to one side and shrug his shoulders. "I'm going to make sure my gaffer understands my plans, Mr. Frodo. Don't you go worriting about me. You have enough to do. I'll be ready."



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 13, 1:05pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 13, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The guests take leave of King Éomer.
(from the appendices)

..."When the feast was over, those who were to go took leave of King Éomer. Aragorn and his knights, and the people of Lórien and of Rivendell, made ready to ride; but Faramir and Imrahil remained at Edoras; and Arwen Evenstar... ...and she said farewell to her brethren. None saw her last meeting with Elrond her father, for they went up into the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was their parting that should endure beyond the ends of the world."



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 14, 12:44pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 14, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. More guests take leave of Edoras.
(not from the appendices)

..."At the last before the guests set out, Éomer and Éowyn came to Merry... '...Farewell now, Meriadoc of the Shire and Holdwine of the Mark! Ride to good fortune, and ride back soon to our welcome!'
...And Éomer said: 'Kings of old would have laden you with gifts that a wain could not bear for your deeds upon the fields of Mundburg; and yet you will take naught... ...but the arms that were given to you. This I suffer, for indeed I have no gift that is worthy; but my sister begs you to receive this small thing, as a memorial of Dernhelm and of the horns of the Mark at the coming of the morning.'
...Then Éowyn gave to Merry an ancient horn, small but cunningly wrought all of fair silver with a baldric of green; and wrights had engraven upon it swift horsemen riding in a line that wound about it from the tip to the mouth; and there were set runes of great virtue.
...'This is an heirloom of our house... ...made by the Dwarves, and came from the hoard of Scatha the Worm. Eorl the Young brought it from the North. He that blows it at need shall set fear in the hearts of his enemies and joy in the hearts of his friends, and they shall hear him and come to him.'
...Then Merry took the horn, for it could not be refused, and he kissed Éowyn's hand; and they embraced him, and so they parted for that time."



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Aug 14, 12:45pm)


dernwyn
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Aug 14, 1:42pm

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Don't you just love [In reply to] Can't Post

all these little hints that make us realize that a great deal of time and events have already passed in Middle-earth. Scatha the Worm, of course Merry and the others know the long history behind that story!

And we are left to speculate: who made the horn? Why? How did it end up in the dragon's hoard? Who found it there? What deed brought it into Eorl's possession?

And if it is silver...why has it not tarnished over the years? Or could it actually be made of mithril?


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Aug 14, 3:36pm

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And, [In reply to] Can't Post

Was the line of horses added by Erol’s wrights?

Eomer was a generous king in any event!


grammaboodawg
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Aug 15, 3:17pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 15, 2951 (S.R. 1351)
1. Aragorn goes out into the Wild [20 yo].
(from the appendices)

..."...Elrond saw many things and read many hearts. One day, therefore, before the fall of the year he called Aragorn to his chamber, and he said: "Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dúnedain, listen to me! A great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin. Many years of trial lie before you. You shall neither have wife, nor bind any women to you in troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it....' ...Aragorn took leave lovingly of Elrond; and the next day he said farewell to his mother, and to the house of Elrond, and to Arwen, and he went out into the wild."


August 15, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Treebeard releases Saruman and Gríma.
(not from the appendices)

..."'I let him go. There was little left of him when he crawled out, and as for that worm-creature of his, he was like a pale shadow. Now do not tell me… …that I promised to keep him safe; for I know it. But things have changed since then. And I kept him until he was... ...safe from doing any more harm. You should know that above all I hate the caging of live things, and I will not keep even such creatures as these caged beyond great need. A snake without fangs may crawl where he will.'
...'You may be right,' said Gandalf; 'but this snake had still one tooth left... ...the poison of his voice, and I guess that he persuaded you, even you Treebeard, knowing the soft spot in your heart. Well, he is gone, and there is no more to be said. But the Tower of Orthanc now goes back to the King… …Though maybe he will not need it.'
...'That will be seen later,' said Aragorn. 'But I will give to Ents all this valley to do with as they will, so long as they keep a watch upon Orthanc and see that none enter it without my leave.'
...'It is locked,' said Treebeard. 'I made Saruman lock it and give me the keys. Quickbeam has them.'
...Quickbeam bowed like a tree bending in the wind and handed to Aragorn two great black keys of intricate shape, joined by a ring of steel..."
...[Treebeard]"...Will you stay here and rest a while? And maybe there are some that would be pleased to pass through Fangorn Forest and so shorten their road home?' He looked at Celeborn and Galadriel.
... But all save Legolas said that they must now take their leave and depart either south or west. 'Come, Gimli!' said Legolas. 'Now by Fangorn's leave I will visit the deep places of the Entwood and see such trees as are nowhere else to be found in Middle-earth. You shall come with me and keep your word... ...we will journey on together to our own lands in Mirkwood and beyond.' To this Gimli agreed, though with no great delight, it seemed.
... 'Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring,' said Aragorn.... [[NOTE from dernwyn: this is the only place in the book where they are actually called the Fellowship of the Ring]]
... Then Treebeard said farewell to each of them in turn, and he bowed three times slowly and with great reverence to Celeborn and Galadriel. 'It is long, long since we met by stock or by stone, A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!' he said. 'It is sad that we should meet only thus at the ending. For the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air. I do not think we shall meet again...'
... ...Celeborn said: 'I do not know, Eldest.' But Galadriel said: 'Not in Middle-earth, or until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan we may meet in the Spring. Farewell..!'
... ...The travellers now rode with more speed, and they made their way towards the Gap of Rohan; and Aragorn took leave of them at last close to that very place where Pippin had looked into the Stone of Orthanc. The Hobbits were grieved at this parting; for Aragorn had never failed them and he had been their guide through many perils.
... 'I wish we could have a Stone that we could see all our friends in,' said Pippin...
... 'Only one now remains that you could use,' answered Aragorn... '...the Palantír of Orthanc the King will keep, to see what is passing in his realm, and what his servants are doing. For do not forget, Peregrin Took, that you are a knight of Gondor... ...I do not release you from your service... ...remember, dear friends of the Shire, that my realm lies also in the North, and I shall come there one day.'
... Then Aragorn took leave of Celeborn and Galadriel; and the Lady said to him: 'Elfstone, through darkness you have come to your hope, and have now all your desire. Use well the days..!'
... ...With that they parted, and it was then the time of sunset... ...they turned and looked back [and] they saw the King of the West sitting upon his horse with his knights about him; and the falling Sun shone upon them... ...the white mantle of Aragorn was turned to a flame. Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up, and there came a green fire from his hand.""



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 15, 3:31pm

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Excellent observations and questions! [In reply to] Can't Post

That all of that history and focus for countless years on that little horn makes its purpose all the more curious and profound. And for all of that, to come to the hands of Meriadoc of the Shire is incredible. The power of that gift was not lost on him, and its power in his hands helped defend the Shire and defeat the enemy.

This passage always stirs me... knowing how the sounding of the horns affected both Merry and Pippin in the hour of battle and for the rest of their lives.

I absolutely agree it must be made of mithril!!



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 15, 3:39pm

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It would make sense [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems that each time the horn passed ownership, maybe something meaningful was added (given) to it.

Eomer was absolutely a generous king. Especially when he acknowledged Dernhelm and supported Eowyn to be the one to present the horn to Merry... after everything they'd been through.



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Aug 16, 5:02pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 16, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company reaches the Enchanted River.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they found their path blocked by a running water. It flowed fast and strong but not very wide right across the way, and it was black, or looked it in the gloom. It was well that Beorn had warned them against it, or they would have drunk from it... ...and filled some of their emptied skins at its bank. As it was they only thought of how to cross it without wetting themselves in its water. There had been a bridge of wood across, but it had rotted and fallen leaving only the broken posts near the bank.
...Bilbo kneeling on the brink and peering forward cried: "There is a boat against the far bank! Now why couldn't it have been this side!"

..."...Fili picked up the hook when he had drawn it back, rather doubtfully all the same. This time he threw it with greater strength.
..."Steady!" said Bilbo, "you have thrown it right into the wood on the other side now. Draw it back gently." Fili hauled the rope back slowly, and after a while Bilbo said: "Carefully! It is lying on the boat; let's hope the hook will catch."
...It did. The rope went taut, and Fili pulled in vain. Kili came to his help, and then Óin and Glóin. They tugged and tugged, and suddenly they all fell over on their backs. Bilbo was on the lookout... ...caught the rope, and with a piece of stick fended off the little black boat as it came rushing across the stream. "Help!" he shouted, and Balin was just in time to seize the boat before it floated off down the current.
..."It was tied after all," said he… …"That was a good pull, my lads; and a good job that our rope was the stronger..."
......they were all soon on the far bank safe across the enchanted stream. Dwalin had just scrambled out with the coiled rope on his arm, and Bombur (still grumbling) was getting ready to follow, when something bad did happen. There was a flying sound of hooves on the path ahead. Out of the gloom came suddenly the shape of a flying deer. It charged into the dwarves and bowled them over… …High it sprang and cleared the water with a mighty jump. But it did not reach the other side in safety. Thorin was the only one who had kept his feet and his wits. As soon as they had landed he had bent his bow and fitted an arrow in case any hidden guardian of the boat appeared. Now he sent a swift and sure shot into the leaping beast. As it reached the further bank it stumbled. The shadows swallowed it up, but they heard the sound of hooves quickly falter and then go still.
...Before they could shout in praise of the shot... ...a dreadful wail from Bilbo put all thoughts of venison out of their minds. "Bombur has fallen in! Bombur is drowning!" he cried. It was only too true. Bombur had only one foot on the land when the hart bore down on him, and sprang over him. He had stumbled, thrusting the boat away from the bank, and then toppled back into the dark water….
......They could still see his hood above the water when they ran to the bank. Quickly they flung a rope with a hook towards him. His hand caught it, and they pulled him to the shore. He was drenched from hair to boots... ...When they laid him on the bank he was already fast asleep, with one hand clutching the rope so tight that they could not get it from his grasp; and fast asleep he remained in spite of all they could do."

[[The Enchanted Stream is never called a “river” in the text. Only on CJRT’s map is it labeled “Enchanted R.”.
from Bracegirdle 2014]]




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grammaboodawg
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Aug 17, 12:13pm

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It's time for some BS! [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a Book Spoiler where Gandalf tells about what he was up to when he left Bilbo and the Dwarves… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Last Stage: The Hobbit

... "…the elves… … led them across the water to the house of Elrond. There [was] a warm welcome… …and there were many eager ears that evening to hear the tale of their adventures. Gandalf it was who spoke, for Bilbo was fallen quiet and drowsy. Most of the tale he knew, for he had been in it, and had himself told much of it to the wizard on their homeward way or in the house of Beorn… …every now and again he would open one eye, and listen, when a part of the story which he did not yet know came in. ... It was in this way that he learned where Gandalf had been to… …he overheard the words of the wizard to Elrond. It appeared that Gandalf had been to a great council of the white wizards, masters of lore and good magic; and that they had at last driven the Necromancer from his dark hold in the south of Mirkwood.
... "Ere long now," [said Gandalf], "The Forest will grow somewhat more wholesome. The North will be freed from that horror for many long years, I hope. Yet I wish he were banished from the world!"
... "It would be well indeed," said Elrond; "but I fear that will not come about in this age of the world, or for many afterward.""



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Aug 18, 12:46pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 18, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. On the Mirkwood Forest Trail (day 23).
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they were burdened with the heavy body of Bombur, which they had to carry along with them as best they could, taking the wearisome task in turns of four each while the others shared their packs. If these had not become all too light in the last few days, they would never have managed it; but a slumbering and smiling Bombur was a poor exchange for packs filled with food however heavy… …time came when there was practically nothing left to eat or to drink. Nothing wholesome could they see growing in the woods, only funguses and herbs with pale leaves and unpleasant smell."


August 18, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They come to Helms Deep.
(from the appendices)

..."Now the guests were ready, and they drank the stirrup-cup, and with great praise and friendship they departed (from Edoras), and came at length to Helm's Deep… …Then Legolas repaid his promise to Gimli and went with him to the Glittering Caves; and when they returned he was silent, and would say only that Gimli alone could find fit words to speak of them. 'And never before has a Dwarf claimed a victory over an Elf in a contest of words,' said he. 'Now therefore, let us to go Fangorn and set the score right!'"



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Aug 19, 12:12pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 19, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Walk through open beech-woods much of the day.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."...they came to a part where most of the trees were beeches. They were at first inclined to be cheered by the change, for here there was no undergrowth and the shadow was not so deep. There was a greenish light about them, and in places they could see some distance to either side of the path. Yet the light only showed them endless lines of straight grey trunks like the pillars of some huge twilight hall. There was a breath of air and a noise of wind, but it had a sad sound…. …Their feet ruffled among the dead leaves of countless other autumns that drifted over the banks of the path from the deep red carpets of the forest.
...Still Bombur slept and they grew very weary. At times they heard disquieting laughter. Sometimes there was singing in the distance too. The laughter was the laughter of voices not of goblins, and the singing was beautiful, but it sounded eerie and strange, and they were not comforted, rather they hurried on from those parts with what strength they had left."



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Aug 20, 12:34pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Company eats the last of their food at supper, and Bilbo climbs a tree.
(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

...""Is there no end to this accursed forest?" said Thorin. "Somebody must climb a tree and see if he can get his head above the roof and have a look around. The only way is to choose the tallest tree that overhangs the path."
...Of course, "somebody" meant Bilbo. They chose him because... ...the climber must get his head above the topmost leaves, and so he must be light enough for the highest and slenderest branches to bear him. Poor Mr. Baggins had never had much practice in climbing trees, but they hoisted him up into the lowest branches of an enormous oak... ...and up he had to go as best he could. He pushed his way through the tangled twigs with many a slap in the eye… …more than once he slipped and caught himself just in time; and at last, after a dreadful struggle in a difficult place where there seemed to be no convenient branches at all, he got near the top. All the time he was wondering whether there were spiders in the tree, and how he was going to get down again (except by falling).
...In the end he poked his head above the roof of leaves... ...Bilbo's eyes were nearly blinded by the light. He could hear the dwarves shouting up at him from far below, but he could not answer, only hold on and blink. The sun was shining brilliantly, and it was a long while before he could bear it … …he saw all round him a sea of dark green, ruffled here and there by the breeze; and there were everywhere hundreds of butterflies. I expect they were a kind of 'purple emperor,' a butterfly that loves the tops of oak-woods, but these were not purple at all, they were a dark dark velvety black without any markings to be seen.
...He looked at the 'black emperors' for a long time, and enjoyed the feel of the breeze in his hair and on his face; but at length the cries of the dwarves, who were now simply stamping with impatience down below, reminded him of his real business. It was no good... ...he could see no end to the trees and the leaves in any direction. His heart, that had been lightened by the sight of the sun and the feel of the wind, sank back into his toes: there was no food to go back to down below.
...Actually... ...they were not far off the edge of the forest; and if Bilbo had had the sense to see it, the tree that he had climbed... ...was standing near the bottom of a wide valley, so that from its top the trees seemed to swell up all round like the edges of a great bowl, and he could not expect to see how far the forest lasted. Still he did not see this, and he climbed down full of despair…. …His report soon made the others as miserable as he was.
..."The forest goes on for ever and ever and ever in all directions…!"
...…That night they ate their very last scraps and crumbs of food...”


August 20, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They set out from Helm's Deep for Isengard
(not from the appendices-no text)

..."From Deeping Comb they rode to Isengard."
It was a two-day journey at a leisurely pace, and the grand party of travellers enjoyed the peaceful journey. There would never again be such a company; Wizard, Elven Lords and Lady, Dwarf, Hobbits and Man riding together in Fellowship through the lands of Middle-earth.



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Aug 20, 2:50pm

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August 20, 1943 (Common Era)
1. Sylvester McCoy born today in Dunoon, U.K.


Happy 78th birthday to Sylvester McCoy, Radagast and Seventh Doctor!

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Aug 21, 1:20pm

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Today in Middle-earth

August 21, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bombur awakes in morning and the Company leaves the path when they see the Elves' fire.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."…when they woke the first thing they noticed was that they were still gnawingly hungry, and the next thing was that it was raining and that here and there the drip of it was dropping heavily on the forest floor. That only reminded them that they were also parchingly thirsty… …The only scrap of comfort there was, came unexpectedly from Bombur.
...He woke up suddenly and sat up scratching his head. He could not make out where he was at all, nor why he felt so hungry; for he had forgotten everything that had happened since they started their journey that May morning long ago... ...There was nothing now to be done but to tighten the belts round their empty stomachs, and hoist their empty sacks and packs, and trudge along the track without any great hope of ever getting to the end before they lay down and died of starvation....

......Balin, who was a little way ahead, called out: "What was that? I thought I saw a twinkle of light in the forest..."
......they saw a red twinkle in the dark; then another and another sprang out beside it. Even Bombur got up, and they hurried along then, not caring if it was trolls or goblins… …when at last they had drawn level with it, it seemed plain that torches and fires were burning under the trees, but a good way off their track.
..."It looks as if my dreams were coming true," gasped Bombur puffing up behind. He wanted to rush straight off into the wood after the lights. But the others remembered only too well the warnings of the wizard and of Beorn.
..."A feast would be no good, if we never got back alive from it," said Thorin.
..."But without a feast we shan't remain alive much longer anyway," said Bombur… …They argued about it backwards and forwards for a long while, until they agreed at length to send out a couple of spies, to creep near the lights and find out more about them. But then they could not agree on who was to be sent… …In the end, in spite of warnings, hunger decided them, because Bombur kept on describing all the good things that were being eaten, according to his dream, in the woodland feast; so they all left the path and plunged into the forest together.
...After a good deal of creeping and crawling they peered round the trunks and looked into a clearing where some trees had been felled and the ground levelled. There were many people there, elvish-looking folk… …sitting on sawn rings of the felled trees in a great circle. There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but the most splendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily.
...The smell of the roast meats was so enchanting that… …every one of them got up and scrambled forwards into the ring with the one idea of begging for some food. No sooner had the first stepped into the clearing than all the lights went out as if by magic. Somebody kicked the fire and it went up in rockets of glittering sparks and vanished. They were lost in a completely lightless dark and they could not even find one another, not for a long time at any rate. After blundering frantically in the gloom… …and shouting and calling till they must have waked everything in the forest for miles, at last they managed to gather themselves in a bundle and count themselves by touch. By that time they had, of course, quite forgotten in what direction the path lay, and they were all hopelessly lost...

......But that was not the last of the lights in the forest. Later when the night must have been getting old, Kili who was watching then, came and roused them all again, saying:
..."There's a regular blaze of light begun not far away—hundreds of torches and many fires must have been lit suddenly and by magic. And hark to the singing and the harps!"
...After lying and listening for a while, they found that could not resist the desire to go nearer and try once more to get help... ...and out stepped Thorin into their midst.
...Dead silence fell in the middle of a word. Out went all the light. The fires leaped up in black smokes. Ashes and cinders were in the eyes of the dwarves, and the wood was filled again with their clamour and their cries.
...Bilbo found himself running round and round (as he thought) and calling and calling... ...the cries of the others got steadily further and fainter, and though after a while it seemed to him they changed to yells and cries for help in the far distance, all noise at last died right away, and he was left alone in complete silence and darkness...
......So he sat himself down with his back to a tree, and not for the last time fell to thinking of his far-distant hobbit-hole with its beautiful pantries."



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Today in Middle-earth

August 22, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo fights off spiders; Thorin captured by the Woodland Elves.
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

..."[Bilbo] sat himself down with his back to a tree, and not for the last time fell to thinking of his far-distant hobbit-hole with its beautiful pantries. He was deep in thoughts of bacon and eggs and toast and butter when... ...he felt something touch him. Something like a strong sticky string was against his left hand, and when he tried to move he found that his legs were already wrapped in the same stuff, so that when he got up he fell over.
...Then the great spider, who had been busy tying him up while he dozed, came from behind him and came at him.... ...He beat the creature off with his hands—it was trying to poison him to keep him quiet... ...until he remembered his sword and drew it out. Then the spider jumped back, and he had time to cut his legs loose. After that it was his turn to attack. The spider evidently was not used to things that carried such stings at their sides... ...Bilbo came at it... ...and struck it with his sword right in the eyes. Then it went mad and leaped and danced and flung out its legs in horrible jerks, until he killed it with another stroke; and then he fell down and remembered nothing more for a long time.
...There was the usual dim grey light of the forest-day about him when he came to his senses. The spider lay dead beside him, and his sword-blade was stained black. Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder... ...he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath.
..."I will give you a name," he said to it, "and I shall call you Sting."

......he made as good a guess as he could at the direction from which the cries for help had come in the night... ...He had picked his way stealthily for some distance, when he noticed a place of dense black shadow ahead of him black even for that forest, like a patch of midnight that had never been cleared away. As he drew nearer, he saw that it was made by spider-webs one behind and over and tangled with another... ...Bilbo was horrified, now that he noticed them for the first time dangling in the shadows, to see a dwarvish foot sticking out of the bottoms of some of the bundles, or here and there the tip of a nose, or a bit of beard or of a hood.

......The idea came to him to lead the furious spiders further and further away from the dwarves... ...to make them curious, excited and angry all at once. When about fifty had gone off to the place where he had stood before, he threw some more stones at these, and at others that had stopped behind; then dancing among the trees he began to sing a song to infuriate them and bring them all after him, and also to let the dwarves hear his voice. This is what he sang:

Old fat spider spinning in a tree!
Old fat spider can't see me!
Attercop! Attercop!
Won't you stop,
Stop your spinning and look for me!

Old Tomnoddy, all big body,
Old Tomnoddy can't spy me!
Attercop! Attercop!
Down you drop!
You'll never catch me up your tree!

......As he sang he threw some more stones and stamped. Practically all the spiders in the place came after him: some dropped to the ground, others raced along the branches... ...Out came his little sword. He slashed the threads to pieces and went off singing.... ...They followed him into the forest until Bilbo had gone as far as he dared. Then quieter than a mouse he stole back...

......He had precious little time, he knew, before the spiders were disgusted and came back to their trees where the dwarves were hung....
......the other dwarves were working at the rest of the captives, and cutting at the threads with their knives. Soon all would be free...
......Down the dwarves scrambled or jumped or dropped, eleven all in a heap, most of them very shaky and little use on their legs. There they were at last, twelve of them counting poor old Bombur, who was being propped up on either side by his cousin Bifur, and his brother Bofur; and Bilbo was dancing about and waving his Sting; and hundreds of angry spiders were goggling at them all round and about and above. It looked pretty hopeless...
......Then the battle began. Some of the dwarves had knives, and some had sticks, and all of them could get at stones; and Bilbo had his elvish dagger. Again and again the spiders were beaten off, and many of them were killed. But it could not go on for long.... ...In the end Bilbo could think of no plan except to let the dwarves into the secret of his ring... ...He suddenly slipped on his ring, and to the great astonishment of the dwarves he vanished."


August 22, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They come to Isengard; they take leave of the King of the West at Sunset.
(from the appendices)

..."From Deeping Coomb they rode to Isengard, and saw how the Ents had busied themselves. All the stone-circle had been thrown down and removed, and the land within was made into a garden filled with orchards and trees, and a stream ran through it; but in the midst of all there was a lake of clear water, and out of it the Tower of Orthanc rose still, tall and impregnable...
......For a while the travellers sat where once the old gates of Isengard had stood... ...But presently they heard a voice calling hoom-hom, hoom-hom; and there came Treebeard striding down the path to greet them with Quickbeam at his side.
...'Welcome to the Treegarth of Orthanc!.... ...Will you stay here and rest a while? And maybe there are some that would be pleased to pass through Fangorn Forest and so shorten their road home?' He looked at Celeborn and Galadriel.
...But all save Legolas said that they must now take their leave and depart either south or west. 'Come, Gimli!' said Legolas. 'Now by Fangorn's leave I will visit the deep places of the Entwood and see such trees as are nowhere else to be found in Middle-earth. You shall come with me and keep your word; and thus we will journey on together to our own lands in Mirkwood and beyond.' To this Gimli agreed....
...'...Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring,' said Aragorn. 'Yet I hope that ere long you will return to my land with the help that you promised.'
...'We will come, if our own lords allow it,' said Gimli. 'Well, farewell, my hobbits! You should come safe to your own homes now, and I shall not be kept awake for fear of your peril. We will send word when we may, and some of us may yet meet at times; but I fear that we shall not all be gathered together ever again.'
...Then Treebeard said farewell... ...and he bowed three times slowly and with great reverence to Celeborn and Galadriel. 'It is long, long since we met by stock or by stone, A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!' he said. 'It is sad that we should meet only thus at the ending. For the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air. I do not think we shall meet again.'
...And Celeborn said: 'I do not know, Eldest.' But Galadriel said: 'Not in Middle-earth, or until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan we may meet in the Spring. Farewell!'
...Last of all Merry and Pippin said good-bye to the old Ent, and he grew gayer as he looked at them. 'Well, my merry folk... ...will you drink another draught with me before you go?'
...'Indeed we will,' they said, and he took them aside into the shade of one of the trees...
.
......The travellers now rode with more speed, and they made their way towards the Gap of Rohan; and Aragorn took leave of them at last close to that very place where Pippin had looked into the Stone of Orthanc. The Hobbits were grieved at this parting; for Aragorn had never failed them and he had been their guide through many perils.
...'I wish we could have a Stone that we could see all our friends in,' said Pippin, 'and that we could speak to them from far away!'
...'Only one now remains that you could use,' answered Aragorn... '...But the Palantír of Orthanc the King will keep, to see what is passing in his realm, and what his servants are doing. For do not forget, Peregrin Took, that you are a knight of Gondor, and I do not release you from your service.... ...And remember, dear friends of the Shire, that my realm lies also in the North, and I shall come there one day...'
......With that they parted, and it was then the time of sunset; and when after a while they turned and looked back, they saw the King of the West sitting upon his horse with his knights about him; and the falling Sun shone upon them and made all their harness to gleam like red gold, and the white mantle of Aragorn was turned to a flame. Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up, and there came a green fire from his hand."



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Aug 22, 2:21pm

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August 22, 1971 (Common Era)
1. Richard Crispin Armitage born in Huncote, U.K.


A happy 50th birthday to Richard Armitage, Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy!

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