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TIME - October 31 b'day :D
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grammaboodawg
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Oct 31, 1:41pm

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TIME - October 31 b'day :D Can't Post



Today in Middle-earth: Peter's Birthday!

There are only 30 days in the Shire Reckoning... but it's Peter's day... so we'll make some extra TIME just for him!

October 30, 3018 (S.R. 1418) EXPANDED FOR PETER'S BIRTHDAY!!!
1. The hobbits rest in Rivendell.
(not in the appendices – continuing October 30th posts)

..."Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song."


October 30, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. A Brandywine gate is barred.
(not in the appendices – continuing October 30th posts)

..."The hobbits at the gate still seemed ill at ease, evidently some rule or other was being broken; but there was no gainsaying four such masterful travellers, all armed, and two of the uncommonly large and strong-looking. Frodo ordered the gates to be locked again. There was some sense... ...in keeping a guard, while ruffians were still about. Then the four companions went into the hobbit guard-house and made themselves as comfortable as they could. It was a bare and ugly place, with a mean little grate that would not allow a good fire... ...on every wall there was a notice and a list of Rules. Pippin tore them down. There was no beer and very little food, but with what the travellers brought and shared out they all made a fair meal; and Pippin broke Rule 4 by putting most of the next day's allowance of wood on the fire.
...'Well now, what about a smoke, while you tell us what has been happening in the Shire?' he said.
...'There isn't no pipe-weed now,' said Hob; 'at least only for the Chief's men... ...We do hear that waggon-loads of it went away down the old road out of the Southfarthing, over Sarn Ford way. That would be the end o' last year, after you left. But it had been going away quietly before that... ...That Lotho----'
...'Now you shut up, Hob Hayward!' cried several of the others. 'You know talk o' that sort isn't allowed. The Chief will hear of it, and we'll all be in trouble.'
...'He wouldn't hear naught, if some of you where weren't sneaks,' rejoined Hob hotly.
...'All right, all right!' said Sam. 'That's quite enough. I don't want to hear no more. No welcome, no beer, no smoke, and a lot of rules and orc-talk instead. I hoped to have a rest, but I can see there's work and trouble ahead.'"


October 30, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
1. As the Shire recovers from its wounds.
(not in the appendices-no text–continuing October 30th posts)

...Rosie watches Sam as he caringly leads in the renewal of the Shire, tends to their gardens outside the windows of Bag End, and delights in play with baby Elanor; but she also sees him as he stands alone in the garden resting heavily against the hoe looking to the distant west beyond the mountains and across the sea.


October 31, 1961
1. Peter Jackson is born to Bill and Joan Jackson of Pukerua Bay.

...One person can make a difference. Vigilant, devoted, a passionate steward of the works of Tolkien and his beloved homeland. Happy Birthday, Peter!



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dernwyn
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Oct 31, 9:09pm

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Happy birthday, Sir Peter! [In reply to] Can't Post

And can we ever forget the special present that his Dwarves gave him, for his 50th?

http://middleearthnews.com/...ghty-dwarf-calendar/

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ElanorTX
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Oct 31, 10:32pm

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Some things are better left to the imagination // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



grammaboodawg
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Nov 1, 1:27pm

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TIME - November 1 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in Middle-earth

November 1, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The dwarves fortify the Front Gate while the ravens bring news.
(determined from text)

... "As they worked the ravens brought them constant tidings. In this way they learned that the Elvenking had turned aside to the Lake... ...they still had a breathing space. Better still, they heard that three of their ponies had escaped and were wandering wild far down the banks of the Running River, not far from where the rest of their stores had been left. So while the others went on with their work, Fili and Kili were sent, guided by a raven, to find the ponies and bring back all they could."


November 1, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The hobbits rest in Rivendell as scouts search the lands for news of the enemy.
(not in the appendices)

..."'How long do you think I shall have here?' said Frodo to Bilbo…
... '…Oh, I don't know. I can't count days in Rivendell,' said Bilbo. 'But quite long, I should think. We can have many a good talk. What about helping me with my book, and making a start on the next? Have you thought of an ending?'
... 'Yes, several… …all are dark and unpleasant,' said Frodo.
... 'Oh, that won't do!' said Bilbo. 'Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after'?
... 'It will do well, if it ever comes to that,' said Frodo.
... 'Ah!' said Sam. 'And where will they live? That's what I often wonder.'

... For a while the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell… …soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them… …they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song."


November 1, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They are arrested at Frogmorton.
(from the appendices)

..."As they came to the east end of the village they met a barrier with a large board saying NO ROAD; and behind it stood a large band of Shirriffs with staves in their hands and feathers in their caps, looking both important and rather scared.
...'What's all this?' said Frodo, feeling inclined to laugh.
...'This is what it is, Mr. Baggins,' said the leader of the Shirriffs, a two-feather hobbit: 'You're arrested for Gate-breaking, and Tearing up of Rules, and Assaulting Gate-keepers, and Trespassing, and Sleeping in Shire-buildings without Leave, and Bribing Guards with Food…'

...'…I can add some more, if you'd like it,' said Sam. 'Calling your Chief Names, Wishing to punch his Pimply Face, and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools.'
...'There now, Mister, that'll do. It's the Chief's orders that you're to come along quiet. We're going to take you to Bywater and hand you over to the Chief's Men… …To the discomfiture of the Shirriffs Frodo and his companions all roared with laughter. 'Don't be absurd!' said Frodo. 'I am going where I please, and in my own time. I happen to be going to Bag End on business, but if you insist on going too, well that is your affair.'
...'Very well, Mr. Baggins… …But don't forget I've arrested you.'
...'I won't,' said Frodo. 'Never. But I may forgive you. Now I am not going any further today, so if you'll kindly escort me to the Floating Log, I'll be obliged… …Go on and we'll follow.'
...Sam had been looking the Shirriffs up and down and had spotted one that he knew. 'Hey, come here Robin Smallburrow!' he called. 'I want a word with you....'
...'...You should be ashamed of yourself having anything to do with such nonsense,' said Sam. 'You used to like the inside of an inn better than the outside yourself. You were always poppin in, on duty or off.'
...'And so I would be still, Sam, if I could… …You know how I went for a Shirriff… …Gave me a chance of walking round the country and seeing folk, and hearing the news, and knowing where the good beer was. But now it's different.'
...'But you can give it up, stop Shirriffing, if it has stopped being a respectable job,' said Sam.
...'We're not allowed to,' said Robin.
...'If I hear NOT ALLOWED much oftener,' said Sam, 'I'm going to get angry....'"



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grammaboodawg
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Nov 2, 12:51pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 2, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. They come to Bywater and rouse the Shire-folk.
(from the appendices)

..."It was about eighteen miles to Bywater, and they set off at ten o'clock in the morning. They would have started earlier, only the delay so plainly annoyed the Shirriff-leader...
......It was rather a comic cavalcade that left the village, though the few folk that came out to stare at the 'get-up' of the travellers did not seem quite sure whether laughing was allowed. A dozen Shirriffs had been told off as escort to the 'prisoners'; but Merry made them march in front, while Frodo and his friends rode behind. Merry, Pippin, and Sam sat at their ease laughing and talking and singing, while the Shirriffs stumped along trying to look stern and important. Frodo, however, was silent and looked rather sad and thoughtful....

......At the Three-Farthing Stone they gave it up. They had done nearly fourteen miles with only one rest at noon. It was now three o'clock. They were hungry and very footsore and they could not stand the pace.
...'Well, come along in your own time!' said Merry. 'We are going on.'
...'Good-bye, Cock-robin!' said Sam. 'I'll wait for you outside The Green Dragon, if you haven't forgotten where that is. Don't dawdle on the way!'

......When they reached the Green Dragon, the last house on the Hobbiton side, now lifeless and with broken windows, they were disturbed to see half a dozen large ill-favoured Men lounging against the inn-wall...
......The ruffians had clubs in their hands and horns by their belts, but they had no other weapons, as far as could be seen. As the travellers rode up they left the wall and walked into the road, blocking the way.
...'Where d'you think you're going?' said one, the largest and most evil-looking of the crew... '...You little folk are getting too uppish. Don't you trust too much in the Boss's kind heart. Sharkey's come now, and he'll do what Sharkey says.'
...'And what may that be?' said Frodo quietly.
...'This country wants waking up and setting to rights,' said the ruffian, 'and Sharkey's going to do it; and make it hard, if you drive him to it...'
...'...You are behind the times...' [said Frodo] 'The Dark Tower has fallen, and there is a King in Gondor. And Isengard has been destroyed and your precious master is a beggar in the wilderness. I passed him on the road. The King's messengers will ride up the Greenway now, not bullies from Isengard.'
...'The man stared at him and smiled. 'A beggar in the wilderness!' he mocked. 'Oh, is he indeed? Swagger it, swagger it, my little cock-a-whoop....'
......This was too much for Pippin. His thoughts went back to the Field of Cormallen, and here was a squint-eyed rascal calling the Ring-bearer 'little cock-a-whoop'. He cast back his cloak, flashed out his sword, and the silver and sable of Gondor gleamed on him as he rode forward.
...'I am a messenger of the King,' he said. 'You are speaking to the King's friend, and one of the most renowned in all the lands of the West. You are a ruffian and a fool. Down on your knees in the road and ask pardon, or I will set this troll's bane in you!'
...The sword glinted in the westering sun. Merry and Sam drew their swords also and rode up to support Pippin; but Frodo did not move. The ruffians gave back... ...Fearless hobbits with bright swords and grim faces were a great surprise. And there was a note in the voices of these newcomers that they had not heard before. It chilled them with fear.
...'Go!' said Merry. 'If you trouble this village again, you will regret it.' The three hobbits came on, and then the ruffians turned and fled, running away up the Hobbiton Road; but they blew their horns as they ran...

...'...I've an idea,' said Sam. 'Let's go to old Tom Cotton's down South Lane! He always was a stout fellow. And he has a lot of lads that were all friends of mine.'
...'No!' said Merry. 'It's no good "getting under cover". That is just what people have been doing, and just what these ruffians like. They will simply come down on us in force... ...No, we have got to do something at once.'
...'Do what?' said Pippin.
...'Raise the Shire!' said Merry. 'Now! Wake all our people... ...Shire-folk have been so comfortable so long they don't know what to do. They just want a match... ...and they'll go up in fire. The Chief's Men must know that. They'll try to stamp on us and put us out quick. We've only got a very short time.
...'Sam, you can make a dash for Cotton's farm, if you like. He's the chief person round here, and the sturdiest.... ...I am going to blow the horn of Rohan, and give them all some music they have never heard before.'
...They rode back to the middle of the village. There Sam turned aside and galloped off down the lane that led south to Cotton's. He had not gone far when he heard a sudden clear horn-call go up ringing into the sky. Far over hill and field it echoed; and so compelling was that call that Sam himself almost turned and dashed back. His pony reared and neighed.
...'On, lad! On..! ...We'll be going back soon.'
...Then he heard Merry change the note, and up went the Horn-cry of Buckland, shaking the air.

Awake! Awake! Fear, Fire, Foes! Awake!
Fire, Foes! Awake!"



November 2, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
1. Buckland and the Horn of the Mark.
(from APPENDIX D: THE CALENDARS)

..."...In the Buckland the Horn of the Mark was blown at sundown every November 2 and bonfires and feastings followed... ...[This is the ]Anniversary of its first blowing in the Shire in 3019."



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grammaboodawg
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Nov 3, 12:13pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 3, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. Battle of Bywater, and Passing of Saruman. End of the War of the Ring.
(from the appendices)

..."...a messenger from the Tookland rode in. He was in high spirits. 'The Thain has raised all our country,' he said, 'and the news is going like fire all ways. The ruffians that were watching our land have fled off south... ...The Thain has gone after them, to hold off the big gang down that way; but he's sent Mr. Peregrin back with all the other folk he can spare.'
...The next news was less good. Merry, who had been out all night, came riding in about ten o'clock. 'There's a big band about four miles away... ...They're coming along the road from Waymeet, but a good many stray ruffians have joined up with them. There must be close on a hundred of them; and they're fire-raising as they come. Curse them...!'
......The ruffians came tramping along the East Road, and without halting turned up the Bywater Road... ...they met a stout barrier of old farm-carts upturned. That halted them. At the same moment they became aware that the hedges on both sides, just above their heads, were all lined with hobbits. Behind them other hobbits now pushed out some more waggons that had been hidden in a field, and so blocked the way back. A voice spoke to them from above.
...'Well, you have walked into a trap,' said Merry. 'Your fellows from Hobbiton did the same, and one is dead and the rest are prisoners. Lay down your weapons! Then go back twenty paces and sit down. Any who try to break out will be shot.'
...But the ruffians could not now be cowed so easily.... ...A score or more broke back and charged the waggons. Six were shot, but the remainder burst out, killing two hobbits, and then scattering across country in the direction of the Woody End. Two more fell as they ran. Merry blew a loud horn-call, and there were answering calls from a distance.

......At last all was over. Nearly seventy of the ruffians lay dead on the field, and a dozen were prisoners. Nineteen hobbits were killed, and some thirty were wounded.... ...The fallen hobbits were laid together in a grave on the hill-side, where later a great stone was set up with a garden about it. So ended the Battle of Bywater, 1419, the last battle fought in the Shire, and the only battle since the Greenfields, 1147, away up in the Northfarthing....
......When the fighting was over, and the later labours were ordered, Merry, Pippin, and Sam joined him [Frodo], and they rode back with the Cottons. They at a late midday meal, and then Frodo said with a sigh: 'Well, I suppose it is time now that we dealt with the "Chief"...'
......At the top of the lane the party halted, and Frodo and his friends went on; and they came at last to the once beloved place. The garden was full of huts and sheds, some so near the old westward windows that they cut off all their light. There were piles of refuse everywhere. [Bag End's] door was scarred; the bell-chain was dangling loose... ...At length they pushed and the door yielded. They went in. The place stank and was full of filth and disorder: it did not appear to have been used for some time....

...'...This is worse than Mordor!' said Sam. 'Much worse in a way. It comes home to you, as they say; because it is home, and you remember it before it was all ruined.'
...'Yes, this is Mordor,' said Frodo. 'Just one of its works. Saruman was doing its work all the time...'
......Merry looked round in dismay and disgust.... '...If I had known all the mischief he had caused, I should have stuffed my pouch down Saruman's throat.'
...'No doubt, no doubt! But you did not, and so I am able to welcome you home.' There standing at the door was Saruman himself, looking well-fed and well-pleased; his eyes gleamed with malice and amusement.
...A sudden light broke on Frodo. 'Sharkey!' he cried.
...Saruman laughed. 'So you have heard the name, have you? All my people used to call me that in Isengard... ...But evidently you did not expect to see me here.'
...'I did not,' said Frodo. 'But I might have guessed. A little mischief in a mean way: Gandalf warned me that you were still capable of it.'
...'Quite capable... ...and more than a little. You made me laugh, you hobbit-lordlings, riding along with all those great people, so secure and so pleased with your little selves.... ...you must go dangling after [Gandalf], dawdling and talking, and riding round twice as far as you needed. "Well," thought I, "if they're such fools, I will get ahead of them and teach them a lesson. One ill turn deserves another." It would have been a sharper lesson, if only you had given me a little more time and more Men. Still I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo in your lives. And it will be pleasant to think of that and set it against my injuries.'
...'Well, if that is what you find pleasure in,' said Frodo. 'I pity you. It will be a pleasure of memory only, I fear. Go at once and never return!'
...The hobbits of the villages... ...heard Frodo's command, they murmured angrily:
...'Don't let him go! Kill him! He's a villain and a murderer. Kill him!'
...Saruman looked round at their hostile faces and smiled. 'Kill him!' he mocked. 'Kill him, if you think there are enough of you, my brave hobbits!' He drew himself up... '... Whoever strikes me shall be accursed. And if my blood stains the Shire, it shall wither and never again be healed.'
...The hobbits recoiled. But Frodo said: 'Do not believe him! He has lost all power, save his voice that can still daunt you and deceive you, if you let it. But I will not have him slain. It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. Go, Saruman, by the speediest way!'
...'Worm! Worm!' Saruman called; and out of a nearby hut came Wormtongue, crawling, almost like a dog. 'To the road again, Worm!' said Saruman.... ...But even as Saruman passed close to Frodo a knife flashed in his hand, and he stabbed swiftly. The blade turned on the mail-coat and snapped. A dozen hobbits, led by Sam, leaped forward with a cry and flung the villain to the ground. Sam drew his sword.
...'No, Sam!' said Frodo. 'Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.'
...Saruman rose to his feet, and stared at Frodo. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. 'You have grown, Halfling... ...Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more. But do not expect me to wish you health and long life. You will have neither. But that is not my doing. I merely foretell....'

...'...Worm killed your Chief, poor little fellow, your nice little Boss. Didn't you, Worm? Stabbed him in his sleep, I believe. Buried him, I hope; though Worm has been very hungry lately. No, Worm is not really nice. You had better leave him to me.'
...A look of wild hatred came into Wormtongue's red eyes. 'You told me to; you made me do it,' he hissed.
...Saruman laughed. 'You do what Sharkey says, always, don't you, Worm? Well, now he says: follow!' He kicked Wormtongue in the face as he grovelled, and turned and made off... ...suddenly Wormtongue rose up, drawing a hidden knife, and then with a snarl like a dog he sprang on Saruman's back, jerked his head back, cut his throat, and with a yell ran off down the lane. Before Frodo could recover or speak a word, three hobbit-bows twanged and Wormtongue fell dead.
...To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill. For a moment it wavered, looking to the West; but out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing....
...'And that's the end of that,' said Sam. 'A nasty end, and I wish I needn't have seen it; but it's a good riddance.'
...'And the very last end of the War, I hope,' said Merry.
...'I hope so,' said Frodo and sighed. 'The very last stroke. But to think that is should fall here, at the very door of Bag End! Among all my hopes and fears at least I never expected that....'"



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grammaboodawg
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Nov 4, 12:15pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 4, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Elves and Lake-men depart Lake-town.
(determined from text)

..."But all the men of arms who were still able, and the most of the Elvenking's array, got ready to march north to the Mountain. It was thus that in eleven days from the ruin of the town the head of their host passed the rock-gates at the end of the lake and came into the desolate lands."

2. Thorin and Company were busy preparing.
(determined from text)

..."...the dwarves still had some days before them. They explored the caverns once more, and found, as they expected, that only the Front Gate remained open; all the other gates (except, of course, the small secret door) had long ago been broken and blocked by Smaug, and no sign of them remained."


November 4, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The Hobbits enjoy Rivendell.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

...The partially formed Fellowship rested in Rivendell and prepared for their journey while waiting for the scouts to return. Frodo grew stronger through the grace of Rivendell. He would walk with his friends and explore the rich culture and craft of their refuge and spend time visiting with the Elves to Sam's sheer delight; but much of his time he spent with Bilbo in his room. They spoke of many things from years gone by and their adventure on the road, yet always careful to avoid mention of the Black Riders, the Ring, and the darkness that followed after Weathertop.


November 4, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. The healing of the Shire begins.
(not from the appendices)

..."The clearing up certainly needed a lot of work, but it took less time than Sam had feared. The day after the battle Frodo rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings up in the Brockenbores....
...'...You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!' said Pippin, as they carried him out too weak to walk.
...He opened an eye and tried gallantly to smile. 'Who's this young giant with the loud voice?' he whispered. 'Not little Pippin! What's your size in hats now?'
...Then there was Lobelia. Poor thing, she looked very old and thin when they rescued her from a dark and narrow cell. She insisted on hobbling out on her own feet; and she had such a welcome, and there was such clapping and cheering when she appeared, leaning on Frodo's arm but still clutching her umbrella, that she was quite touched and drove away in tears. She had never in her life been popular... ...But she was crushed by the news of Lotho's murder, and she would not return to Bag End. She gave it back to Frodo, and went to her own people, the Bracegirdles of Hardbottle.
...When the poor creature died next Spring... ...Frodo was surprised and much moved: she had left all that remained of her money and of Lotho's for him to use in helping hobbits made homeless by the troubles. So that feud was ended.
...Old Will Whitfoot had been in the Lockholes longer than any, and... ...he needed a lot of feeding up before he could look the part of Mayor; so Frodo agreed to act as his Deputy, until Mr. Whitfoot was in shape again. The only thing that he did as Deputy Mayor was to reduce the Shirriffs to their proper functions and numbers."



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Nov 5, 12:51pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 5, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Fili and Kili return with the ponies and supplies
(determined from text)

..."They were four days gone, and by that time they knew that the joined armies of the Lake-men and the Elves were hurrying towards the Mountain. But now their hopes were higher; for they had food for some weeks... ...chiefly cram... ...and they were very tired of it... ...already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and high across the opening. There were holes in the wall through which they could see (or shoot) but no entrance. They climbed in or out with ladders, and hauled stuff up with ropes. For... ...the stream they had contrived a small low arch under the new wall... ...Approach to the Gate was now only possible, without swimming, along a narrow ledge of the cliff... ...The ponies they had brought only to the head of the steps above the old bridge, and unloading them there had bidden them return to the masters and sent them back riderless to the South."



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Nov 6, 1:37pm

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

Here's a Book Spoiler that looks at how Black Riders interact with Shire-folk… for a moment to Tolkien-zen.

From Three Is Company: The Fellowship of the Ring

"'There are some Men about,' said Frodo. 'Down in the Southfarthing they have had trouble with Big people, I believe. But I have never heard of anything like this rider. I wonder where he comes from.'
'Begging your pardon,' put in Sam suddenly, 'I know where he comes from. It's from Hobbiton that this here black rider comes, unless there's more than one. And I know where he's going to.'
'What do you mean?' said Frodo sharply, looking at him in astonishment. 'Why didn't you speak up before?'
'I have only just remembered, sir. It was like this: when I got back to our hole yesterday evening with the key, my dad, he says to me: Hallo, Sam! he says. I thought you were away with Mr. Frodo this morning. There's been a strange customer asking for Mr. Baggins of Bag End, and he's only just gone. I've sent him on to Bucklebury. Not that I liked the sound of him. He seemed mighty put out, when I told him Mr. Baggins had left his old home for good. Hissed at me, he did. It gave me quite a shudder… … he wasn't' a hobbit. He was tall and black-like, and he stooped over me. I reckon it was one of the Big Folk from foreign parts. He spoke funny.
'I couldn't stay to hear more, sir, since you were waiting; and I didn't give much heed to it myself. The Gaffer is getting old, and more than a bit blind, and it must have been near dark when this fellow come up the Hill and found him taking the air at the end of our Row…'"

AND THEN

From A Shortcut to Mushrooms: The Fellowship of the Ring

"'There are some funny things going on today. Of course, we do get queer folk wandering in these parts at times… …[Farmer Maggot] said, shaking his head. 'But this fellow was the most outlandish I have ever set eyes on. He won't cross my land without leave a second time, not if I can stop it...
…He went up the lane towards the causeway not a long while back. He was a funny customer and asking funny questions… …What do you think that funny customer asked me…?'
'…Well,' the farmer continued, approaching his point with slow relish, 'he came riding on a big black horse in at the gate, which happened to be open, and right up to my door. All black he was himself, too, and cloaked and hooded up, as if he did not want to be known. "Now what in the Shire can he want?" I thought to myself. We don't see many of the Big Folk over the border; and anyway I had never heard of any like this black fellow.
'"Good-day to you!" I says, going out to him. "This lane don't lead anywhere, and wherever you may be going, your quickest way will be back to the road." I didn't like the looks of him; and when Grip came out, he took one sniff and let out a yelp as if he had been stung: he put down his tail and bolted off howling. The black fellow sat quite still.
'"I come from yonder," he said, slow and stiff-like, pointing back west, over my fields, if you please. "Have you seen Baggins?" he asked in a queer voice, and bent down towards me. I could not see any face, for his hood fell down so low; and I felt a sort of shiver down my back. But I did not see why he should come riding over my land so bold.
'"Be off… … There are no Bagginses here. You're in the wrong part of the Shire. You had better go back west to Hobbiton--but you can go by road this time."
'"Baggins has left," he answered in a whisper. "He is coming. He is not far away. I wish to find him. If he passes will you tell me? I will come back with gold."
'"No you won't… …You'll go back where you belong, double quick. I give you one minute before I call all my dogs."
'He gave a short hiss. It might have been laughing, and it might not. Then he spurred his great horse right at me, and I jumped out of the way only just in time. I called the dogs, but he swung off, and rode through the gate and up the lane towards the causeway like a bolt of thunder….'"



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Nov 6, 2:17pm

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Today in (modern) Middle-earth

November 5, 1992 (Common Era)
1. Robert Aramayo born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England


Happy twenty-ninth birthday to Robert Aramayo who is playing the character code-named "Beldor" in Amazon Studios' Lord of the Rings series.

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Nov 7, 3:09pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 7, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The joint forces reach Dale at dusk.
(determined from text)

..."There came a night when suddenly there were many lights as of fires and torches away south in Dale before them.
... "They have come!" called Balin. "And their camp is very great. They must have come into the valley under the cover of dusk along both banks of the river."
... That night the dwarves slept little."



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Today in Middle-earth

November 8, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Lonely Mountain is approached by the men of Lake-town and Elves of Mirkwood.
(determined from text)

..."The morning was still pale when they saw a company approaching. From behind their wall they watched them come up to the valley's head and climb slowly up... ...men of the lake armed as if for war and elvish bowmen were among them. At length the foremost of these climbed the tumbled rocks and appeared at the top of the falls; and very great was their surprise to see the pool before them and the Gate blocked with a wall of new-hewn stone.
...As they stood pointing and speaking to one another Thorin hailed them: "Who are you... ...that come as if in war to the gates of Thorin son of Thráin, King under the Mountain, and what do you desire?"
...But they answered nothing. Some turned swiftly back, and the others after gazing for a while at the Gate and its defences soon followed them. That day the camp was moved... ...The rocks echoed then with voices and with song, as they had not done for many a day. There was the sound, too, of elven-harps and of sweet music; and as it echoed up towards them it seemed that the chill of the air was warmed, and they caught faintly the fragrance of woodland flowers blossoming in spring.
...Then Bilbo longed to escape from the dark fortress and to go down and join in the mirth and feasting by the fires. Some of the younger dwarves were moved in their hearts... ...and they muttered that they wished things had fallen out otherwise and that they might welcome such folk as friends; but Thorin scowled.
...Then the dwarves themselves brought forth harps and instruments regained from the hoard, and made music to soften his mood; but their song was not as elvish song, and was much like the song they had sung long before in Bilbo's little hobbit-hole."


November 8, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
1. News travels through the Shire.
(not from the appendices-no text)

...Word has reached the homes and farms in the far corners of the Shire that the ruffians have been driven out and that it was the wayward hobbits turned warriors that did it!



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Nov 9, 1:33pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 9, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Claims are made for Smaug's treasure.
(determined from text)

..."Again Thorin hailed them in a loud voice: "Who are you that come armed for war to the gates of Thorin son of Thráin, King under the Mountain?" This time he was answered.
...A tall man stood forward, dark of hair and grim of face... "...Hail Thorin! Why do you fence yourself like a robber in this hold? We are not yet foes, and we rejoice that you are alive beyond our hope. We came expecting to find none living here; yet now that we are met there is matter for a parley and a council."
..."Who are you, and of what would you parley?"
..."I am Bard, and by my hand was the dragon slain and your treasure delivered... ...Moreover I am by right descent the heir of Girion of Dale, and in your hoard is mingled much of the wealth of his halls and town, which of old Smaug stole... ...Further in his last battle Smaug destroyed the dwellings of the men of Esgaroth, and I am yet the servant of their Master. I would speak for him and ask whether you have no thought for the sorrow and misery of his people. They aided you in your distress, and in recompense you have thus far brought ruin only, though doubtless undesigned."
...Now these were fair words and true... ...and Bilbo thought that Thorin would at once admit what justice was in them... ...he did not reckon with the power that gold has upon which a dragon has long brooded, nor with dwarvish hearts. Long hours in the past days Thorin had spent in the treasury, and the lust of it was heavy on him. Though he had hunted chiefly for the Arkenstone...
..."...You put your worst cause last and in the chief place," Thorin answered. "To the treasure of my people no man has a claim, because Smaug who stole it from us also robbed him of life or home... ...The price of the goods and the assistance that we received of the Lake-men we will fairly pay—in due time. But nothing will we give, not even a loaf's worth, under threat of force. While an armed host lies before our doors, we look on you as foes and thieves...."
..."...we are not robbers. Moreover the wealthy may have pity beyond right on the needy that befriended them when they were in want. And still my other claims remain unanswered."
..."I will not parley... ...with armed men at my gate. Nor at all with the people of the Elvenking, whom I remember with small kindness. In this debate they have no place. Begone now ere our arrows fly! And if you would speak with me again, first dismiss the elvish host to the woods where it belongs, and then return laying down your arms before you approach the threshold."
..."The Elvenking is my friend, and he has succoured the people of the Lake in their need, though they had no claim but friendship on him... ...We will give you time to repent your words. Gather your wisdom ere we return!" Then he departed and went back to the camp.
...Ere many hours were past, the banner-bearers returned, and trumpeters stood forth and blew a blast:
..."In the name of Esgaroth and the Forest... ...we speak unto Thorin Thráin 's son Oakenshield, calling himself the King under the Mountains, and we bid him consider well the claims that have been urged, or be declared our foe. At the least he shall deliver one twelfth portion of the treasure unto Bard, as the dragon-slayer, and as the heir of Girion. From that portion Bard will himself contribute to the aid of Esgaroth; but if Thorin would have the friendship and honour of the lands about, as his sires had of old, then he will give also somewhat of his own for the comfort of the men of the Lake."
...Then Thorin seized a bow of horn and shot an arrow at the speaker. It smote into his shield and struck there quivering.
..."Since this is your answer... ...I declare the Mountain besieged. You shall not depart from it, until you call on your side for a truce and a parley. We will bear no weapons against you, but we leave you to your gold. You may eat that, if you will."
...With that the messengers departed swiftly, and the dwarves were left to consider their case. So grim had Thorin become, that even if they had wished, the others would not have dared to find fault with him; but indeed most of them seemed to share his mind—except perhaps old fat Bombur and Fili and Kili. Bilbo... ...disapproved of the whole turn of affairs. He had by now had more than enough of the Mountain, and being besieged inside it was not at all to his taste.
..."The whole place still stinks of dragon," he grumbled to himself, "and it makes me sick. And cram is beginning simply to stick in my throat.""



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Nov 10, 1:12pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 10, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Rivendell does its magic
(not from the appendices)

..."...such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds...
...So the days slipped away, as each morning dawned bright and fair, and each evening followed cool and clear. But autumn was waning fast... ...the lingering leaves fell from the naked trees. A wind began to blow chill from the Misty Mountains to the east. The Hunter's Moon waxed round in the night sky, and put to flight all the lesser stars. But low in the South one star shone red. Every night, as the Moon waned again, it shone brighter and brighter. Frodo could see it from his window, deep in the heavens, burning like a watchful eye that glared above the trees on the brink of the valley."


November 10, 2011
1. Half-way point for principle photography of The Hobbit

Day 127 of the 254 days of filming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), The Battle of Five Armies (2014).





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Nov 11, 1:23pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 11, 1954
1. The Two Towers is published.

...The second of 3 volumes of The Lord of the Rings was published in the United Kingdom. This volume contains the 3rd and 4th of Tolkien's 6 "books" of his epic tale. It also holds The Breaking of the Fellowship, Gandalf reborn, Saruman's war against men, and Frodo and Sam's journey to Mordor with Sméagol.


November 11 - A special BS collection in honour of our Veterans
Here are some Book Spoilers in salute to our Veterans on this Remembrance / Poppy / Armistice / Veteran's Day and in honour of those who fought for the good of all... for a moment of Tolkien-zen. Thank you to all Vets and to your families!

From The Field of Cormallen: The Return of the King

..."'The King of Gondor and the Lord of the Western Lands,' said Gandalf; '… has taken back all his ancient realm. He will ride soon to his crowning, but he waits for you.'
...'What shall we wear?' said Sam; for all he could see was the old and tattered clothes that they had journeyed in, lying folded on the ground beside their beds.
...'The clothes that you wore on your way to Mordor,' said Gandalf. 'Even the orc-rags that you bore in the black land, Frodo, shall be preserved. No silks or linens, nor any armour or heraldry could be more honourable. But later I will find some other clothes, perhaps....

......As they came to the opening in the wood, they were surprised to see knights in bright mail and tall guards in silver and black standing there, who greeted them with honour and bowed before them. And then one blew a long trumpet, and they went on through the aisle of trees beside the singing stream. So they came to a wide green land... ...But on the field where they now stood a great host was drawn up, in ranks and companies glittering in the sun. And as the Hobbits approached swords were unsheathed, and spears were shaken, and horns and trumpets sang, and men cried with many voices and in many tongues.

'Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!
Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!
Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!
Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annûn! Eglerio!
Praise them!
Eglerio!
A laita te, laita te! Andave laituvalmet!
Praise them!
Cormacolindor, a laita tárienna!
Praise them! The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!'


...And so the red blood blushing in their faces and their eyes shining with wonder, Frodo and Sam went forward and saw... ...three high-seats built of green turves. Behind the seat upon the right floated, white on green, a great horse running free; upon the left was a banner, silver upon blue, a ship swan-prowed faring on the sea... ...behind the highest throne in the midst of all a great standard was spread in the breeze, and there a white tree flowered upon a sable field beneath a shining crown and seven glittering stars. On the throne sat a mail-clad man, a great sword was laid across his knees, but he wore no helm. As they drew near he rose. And then they knew him, changed as he was, so high and glad of face, kingly, lord of Men, dark-haired with eyes of grey.
...Frodo ran to meet him, and Sam followed close behind. 'Well, if it this isn't the crown of all... ...Strider, or I'm still asleep!'
...'Yes, Sam, Strider,' said Aragorn. 'It is a long way, is it not, from Bree, where you did not like the look of me? A long way for us all, but yours has been the darkest road.'
...And then to Sam's surprise and utter confusion he bowed his knee before them; and taking them by the hand, Frodo upon his right and Sam upon his left, he led them to the throne, and setting them upon it, he turned to the men and captains who stood by... ...crying:
...'Praise them with great praise!'
...And when the glad shout had swelled up and died away again, to Sam's final and complete satisfaction and pure joy, a minstrel of Gondor stood forth, and knelt, and begged leave to sing...
...'...Lo! lord and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dúnedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and greathearts of the Shire, and all free folk of the West, now listen to my lay. For I will sing to you of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom.'
......when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for shear delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept.
...And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness..."

And Bilbo also had recovery after Battle in "The Return Journey: The Hobbit"
..."Bilbo turned away, and he went by himself, and sat alone wrapped in a blanket, and, whether you believe it or not, he wept until his eyes were red and his voice was hoarse. He was a kindly little soul. Indeed it was long before he had the heart to make a joke again. "A mercy it is... ...that I woke up when I did. I wish Thorin were living, but I am glad that we parted in kindness. You are a fool, Bilbo Baggins... ...there was a battle, in spite of all your efforts to buy peace and quiet, but I suppose you can hardly be blamed for that.""

Faramir's wish for peace.
..."'For myself,' said Faramir, 'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves... ...not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend...'"



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Nov 12, 2:01pm

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Meeting Fatty Bolger [Fredegar Bolger]

Here are some Book Spoilers that focus on Fatty Bolger... the 4th Conspirator. This got long, but Fatty has earned a place of honour by playing his part in saving the Shire (imho)... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From: The Shadow of the Past

..."[Frodo] lived alone, as Bilbo had done; but he had a good many friends, especially among the younger hobbits... ...who had as children been fond of Bilbo and often in and out of Bag End. Folco Boffin and Fredegar Bolger were two of these; but his closest friends were Peregrine Took (usually called Pippin), and Merry Brandybuck (his real name was Meriadoc, but that was seldom remembered)."

From: Three Is Company

September 13, 3018
..."...Frodo began to worry about Gandalf... ...The Birthday, and the removal, drew nearer, and still he did not come, or send word. Bag End began to be busy. Some of Frodo's friends came to stay and help him with the packing... ...Fredegar Bolger and Folco Boffin, and of course his special friends Pippin Took and Merry Brandybuck. Between them they turned the whole place upside-down."

September 20, 3018
..."On September 20th two covered carts went off laden to Buckland, conveying the furniture and goods that Frodo had not sold to his new home... ...The thought that he would so soon have to part with his young friends weighed on his heart....
......The four younger hobbits were... ...in high spirits and the party soon became very cheerful... ...When they had sung many songs, and talked of many things they had done together, they toasted Bilbo's birthday, and they drank to his health and Frodo's together according to Frodo's custom....
......The next morning they were busy packing another cart with the remainder of the luggage. Merry took charge of this, and drove off with Fatty.... '...Someone must be there and warm the house before you arrive,' said Merry. 'Well, see you later--the day after tomorrow, if you don't go to sleep on the way!'"

From: A Conspiracy Unmasked

September 25, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. Fatty learns about the Black Riders

..."The ferry-boat moved slowly across the water. The Buckland shore drew nearer...
......The four hobbits stepped off the ferry. Merry was tying it up, and Pippin was already leading the pony up the path, when Sam... ...said in a hoarse whisper:
...'Look back, Mr. Frodo! Do you see anything..?'
......they could just make out a figure... ...it seemed to move and sway this way and that, as if searching the ground. It then crawled... ...back into the gloom beyond the lamps.
...'What in the Shire is that?' exclaimed Merry.
...'Something that is following us,' said Frodo. 'But don't ask any more now! Let's get away at once... ...Let's get indoors and then we can talk.'
...'All right! You and Pippin know your way; so I'll just ride on and tell Fatty Bolger that you are coming. We'll see about supper and things... ...Give me that basket!' said Merry, and rode ahead into the darkness.

...It was some distance from the Brandywine to Frodo's new house at Crickhollow... ...As they walked up the green path from the gate no light was visible; the windows were dark and shuttered. Frodo knocked on the door, and Fatty Bolger opened it. A friendly light streamed out. They slipped in quickly and shut themselves and the light inside...
......Merry and Fatty went into the kitchen on the other side of the passage, and busied themselves with the final preparations for a late supper...
......They had supper in the kitchen on a table near the fire. 'I suppose you three won't want mushrooms again?' said Fredegar without much hope.
...'Yes we shall!' cried Pippin.
...'They're mine!' said Frodo. 'Given to me by Mrs. Maggot, a queen among farmers' wives. Take your greedy hands away, and I'll serve them...'
......when they had finished even Fatty Bolger heaved a sigh of content. They pushed back the table, and drew chairs round the fire.
...'We'll clear up later,' said Merry. 'Now tell me all about it... ...I want to know what was the matter with old Maggot, and why he spoke to me like that. He sounded almost as if he was scared, if that is possible.'
...'We have all been scared,' said Pippin ... '...You would been, too, if you had been chased for two days by Black Riders...'
......He then gave a full account of their journey from the time when they left Hobbiton. Sam gave various supporting nods and exclamations. Frodo remained silent."

After the Conspiracy is unmasked
..."Frodo sat for a while in thought. 'I have made up my mind,' he said finally. 'I am starting tomorrow, as soon as it is light... ...The only thing to do is to go off in a quite unexpected direction.'
...'But that can only mean going into the Old Forest!' said Fredegar horrified. 'You can't be thinking of doing that. It is quite as dangerous as Black Riders.'
...'Not quite,' said Merry. 'It sounds very desperate, but... ...It is the only way of getting off without being followed at once. With luck we might get a considerable start.'
...'But you won't have any luck in the Old Forest,' objected Fredegar. 'No one ever has luck in there. You'll get lost. People don't go in there.'
...'Oh yes they do!' said Merry. 'The Brandybucks go in--occasionally when the fit take them...'
...'...Well, do as you think best!' said Fredegar. 'I am more afraid of the Old Forest than of anything I know about: the stories about it are a nightmare; but my vote hardly counts... ...I am not going on the journey. Still, I am very glad someone is stopping behind, who can tell Gandalf what you have done, when he turns up, as I am sure he will before long.'
...Fond as he was of Frodo, Fatty Bolger had no desire to leave the Shire, nor to see what lay outside it... ... he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge. His task, according to the original plans of the Conspirators, was to stay behind and deal with inquisitive folk... ...to keep up as long as possible the pretence that Mr. Baggins was still living at Crickhollow. He had even brought along some old clothes of Frodo's to help him in playing the part. They little thought how dangerous that part might prove.
...'Excellent!' said Frodo, when he understood the plan... '...if Fatty is willing to hold the fort, and I can be sure of Gandalf knowing the way we have gone, that decides me. I am going into the Old Forest first thing tomorrow.'
...'Well, that's that,' said Pippin. 'On the whole I would rather have our job than Fatty's--waiting here till Black Riders come.'
...'You wait till you are well inside the Forest,' said Fredegar. 'You'll wish you were back here with me before this time tomorrow...'"

From: The Old Forest

September 26, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
..."...Soon after six o'clock the five hobbits were ready to start. Fatty Bolger was still yawning...
... ...soon they were riding off into the mist... ...After riding for about an hour, slowly and without talking, they saw the Hedge looming suddenly ahead...
...'...How are you going to get through this?' asked Fredegar.
...'Follow me!' said Merry, 'and you will see.' He turned to the left along the Hedge... ...A cutting had been made, at some distance from the Hedge, and went sloping gently down into the ground. It had walls of brick at the sides, which rose steadily, until suddenly they arched over and formed a tunnel that dived deep under the Hedge and came out in the hollow on the other side.
...Here Fatty Bolger halted. 'Good-bye, Frodo... ...I wish you were not going into the Forest. I only hope you will not need rescuing before the day is out. But good luck to you--today and every day!'"

From: A Knife in the Dark

September 30, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
..."Fatty Bolger opened the door cautiously and peered out... ...As he stared out into the gloom, a black shadow moved under the trees... ...Terror seized him. He shrank back, and for a moment he stood trembling in the hall. Then he shut and locked the door...
......Outside the gate... ...three black figures entered, like shades of night creeping across the ground. One went to the door, one to the corner of the house on either side...
...'...Open, in the name of Mordor!' said a voice thin and menacing...
......the door yielded and fell back, with timbers burst and lock broken. The black figures passed swiftly in.
...At that moment, among the trees nearby, a horn rang out. It rent the night like fire on a hill-top.

AWAKE! FEAR! FIRE! FOES! AWAKE!

...Fatty Bolger had not been idle... ...he knew that he must run for it, or perish. And run he did... ...[when] he reached the nearest house, more than a mile away, he collapsed on the doorstep. 'No, no, no!' he was crying. 'No, not me! I haven't got it!' It was some time before anyone could make out what he was babbling about. At last they got the idea that enemies were in Buckland, some strange invasion from the Old Forest. And then they lost no more time."

From: The Grey Havens

November 4, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
..."The day after the battle [of Bywater] Frodo rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings... ...by the hills of Scary.
...'You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!' said Pippin, as they carried him out too weak to walk.
...He opened an eye and tried gallantly to smile. 'Who's this young giant with the loud voice?' he whispered. 'Not little Pippin! What's your size in hats now?'"



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Nov 13, 4:45pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 13, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Dwarves take time for study.
(not from the appendices - no text - a drabble)

...Surrounded by gold, silver, and gems glittering from torches hanging on the cave walls, Bilbo listened to the Dwarves' excited discoveries. They seemed to have instinctively split into small territories of treasure throughout the room until all the piles and corners were claimed. He didn't think they noticed this phenomenon. They didn't seem inclined to examine the pieces together, but shouted out or stood quietly while turning a trinket over and over in their fingers. All Bilbo knew was that his feet were cold, and it spread to his nose. His thoughts, again, turned to his fireplace in Bag End.



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Today in Middle-earth

November 14, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
1. The Fellowship rests in Rivendell.
(not from the appendices)

..."Aragorn and Gandalf walked together or sat speaking of their road and the perils they would meet. They pondered the figured maps and books of lore in the library off the great hall. Sometimes Frodo was with them; but he was content to lean on their guidance while he spent as much time as he could with Bilbo."



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Nov 15, 3:05pm

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The Battle of 5 Armies is coming up very soon, so we're going to set it up with a bunch of Book Spoilers.... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

Book Spoiler Part 1 of 4: While the 5 armies are maneuvering and the pieces on the board are moving, let's look at what has brought them all to this point through the lives and eyes of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk.

From APPENDIX A: ANNALS OF THE KINGS AND RULERS: III DURIN'S FOLK

..."Durin is the name that the Dwarves used for the eldest of the Seven Fathers of their race, and the ancestor of all the kings of the Long-beards... ...and in the caves above Kheled-zâram in the east of the Misty Mountains he made his dwelling, where afterwards were the Mines of Moria renowned in song.
... There he lived so long that he was known far and wide as Durin the Deathless... ...[though] he died before the Elder Days had passed, and his tomb was in Khazad-dûm; but his line never failed, and five times an heir was born in his House so like to his Forefather that he received the name of Durin... ...held by the Dwarves to be the Deathless that returned...
... ...After the end of the First Age the power and wealth of Khazad-dûm was much increased; for it was enriched by many people and much lore and craft... ...The power of Moria endured throughout the Dark Years and the dominion of Sauron, for though Eregion was destroyed and the gates of Moria were shut, the halls of Khazad-dûm were too deep and strong and filled with a people too numerous and valiant for Sauron to conquer from without. Thus its wealth remained long unravished, though its people began to dwindle.
... It came to pass that in the middle of the Third Age Durin was again its king, being the sixth of that name. The power of Sauron... ...was then again growing in the world... ...All evil things were stirring. The Dwarves delved deep at that time, seeking beneath Barazinbar for mithril, the metal beyond price that was becoming yearly ever harder to win. Thus they roused from sleep a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had lain hidden at the foundations of the earth since the coming of the Host of the West: a Balrog of Morgoth. Durin was slain by it, and the year after Náin I, his son; and then the glory of Moria passed, and its people were destroyed or fled far away.

... Most of these that escaped made their way into the North, and Thráin I, Náin's son, came to Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, near the eastern eaves of Mirkwood, and there he began new works, and became King under the Mountain. In Erebor he found the great jewel, the Arkenstone, Heart of the Mountain. But Thorin I his son removed and went into the far North to the Grey Mountains, where most of Durin's folk were now gathering... ...Not long after most of Durin's Folk abandoned the Grey Mountains... ...[ and] returned to Erebor... ...and he and his folk prospered and became rich, and they had the friendship of all Men that dwelt near. For they made not only things of wonder and beauty but weapons and armour of great worth; and there was great traffic of ore between them and their kin in the Iron Hills. Thus the Northmen... ...became strong and drove back all enemies from the East; and the Dwarves lived in plenty, and there was feasting and song in the Halls of Erebor."



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Nov 16, 2:00pm

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Here is Book Spoiler Part 2 of 4: Still looking at what has brought them all to this point through the lives and eyes of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From APPENDIX A: ANNALS OF THE KINGS AND RULERS: III DURIN'S FOLK

..."So the rumour of the wealth of Erebor spread abroad and reached the ears of the dragons, and at last Smaug the Golden, greatest of the dragons of his day, arose and without warning came against King Thrór and descended on the Mountain in flames. It was not long before all that realm was destroyed… …the town of Dale near by was ruined and deserted; but Smaug entered into the Great Hall and lay there upon a bed of gold.
...From the sack and the burning many of Thrór's kin escaped… …last of all from the halls by a secret door came Thrór himself and his son Thráin II. They went away south with their family into long and homeless wandering. With them went also a small company of their kinsmen and faithful followers.
... Thrór, now old, poor, and desperate, gave to his son Thráin the one great treasure he still possessed, the last of the Seven Rings… …then he went awaywith one old companion only, called Nár. Of the Ring he said to Thráin at their parting:
......'This may prove the foundation of new fortune for you yet, though that seems unlikely. But it needs gold to breed gold... ...Our vengeance on Smaug I bequeath to you and your sons. But I am tired of poverty and the scorn of Men. I go to see what I can find.' He did not say where.
... He was a little crazed perhaps with age and misfortune and long brooding on the splendour of Moria in his forefathers' days; or the Ring, it may be, was turning to evil now that its master was awake, driving him to folly and destruction. From Dunland… …he went north with Nár, and they crossed the Redhorn Pass and came down into Azanulbizar.
... When Thrór came to Moria the Gate was open. Nár begged him to beware, but he took no heed of him, and walked proudly in as an heir that returns... ...Nár stayed near by for many days in hiding. One day he heard a loud shout and the blare of a horn, and a body was flung out on the steps... ...Nár came up, and found that it was indeed the body of Thrór.... ...Weeping, Nár fled down the Silverlode...
... ...Such was the tale that Nár brought back to Thráin [who cried]... '...This cannot be borne!' That was the beginning of the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs, which was long and deadly, and fought for the most part in deep places beneath the earth....

......Thráin at once sent messengers bearing the tale... ...Durin's Folk gathered all their host, and they were joined by great forces sent from the Houses of other Fathers; for this dishonour to the heir of the Eldest of their race filled them with wrath. When all was ready they assailed and sacked one by one all the strongholds of the Orcs that they could... ...the Dwarves had the victory through their strength, and their matchless weapons, and the fire of their anger, as they hunted for Azog in every den under the mountain.
...At last all the Orcs that fled before them were gathered in Moria, and the Dwarf-host in pursuit came to Azanulbizar... ...When the Dwarves saw the gate of their ancient mansions upon the hill-side they sent up a great shout like thunder in the valley. But a great host of foes was arrayed on the slopes above them, and out of the gates poured a multitude of Orcs that had been held back by Azog for the last need.

...At first fortune was against the Dwarves; for it was a dark day of winter without sun, and the Orcs did not waver, and they outnumbered their enemies, and had the higher ground. So began the Battle of Azanulbizar... ...the memory of which the Orcs still shudder and the Dwarves weep."



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Nov 17, 2:41pm

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Here is Book Spoiler Part 3 of 4: Still looking at what has brought them all to this point through the lives and eyes of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From APPENDIX A: ANNALS OF THE KINGS AND RULERS: III DURIN'S FOLK

... "The first assault of the vanguard led by Thráin was thrown back with loss, and Thráin was driven into a wood of great trees that then still grew not far from Kheled-zâram. There Frerin his son fell, and Fundin his kinsman, and many others, and both Thráin and Thorin were wounded... ...Coming late and fresh to the field the mailed warriors of Náin, Grór's son, drove through the Orcs to the very threshold of Moria, crying 'Azog! Azog!' as they hewed down with their mattocks all who stood in their way.
...Then Náin stood before the Gate and cried with a great voice: 'Azog! If you are in come out! Or is the play in the valley too rough?'
...Thereupon Azog came forth, and he was a great Orc... ...agile and strong. With him came many like him, the fighters of his guard... ...as they engaged Náin's company he turned to Náin, and said:
...'What? Yet another beggar at my doors? Must I brand you too?' With that he rushed at Náin and they fought. But Náin was half blind with rage, and... ...very weary with battle... ...Azog was fresh and fell... ...Soon Náin made a great stroke with all his strength that remained, but Azog darted aside... ...Then Azog with a swift swing hewed his neck... ...and he fell.
...Then Azog laughed, and he lifted up his head to let forth a great yell of triumph; but the cry died in his throat... ...he saw that all his host in the valley was in a rout, and the Dwarves went this way and that slaying as they would... ...those that could escape from them were flying south, shrieking as they ran... ...all the soldiers of his guard lay dead. He turned and fled back towards the Gate.
...Up the steps after him leaped a Dwarf with a red axe. It was Dáin Ironfoot, Náin's son. Right before the doors he caught Azog, and there he slew him...

......When at last the battle was won the Dwarves that were left gathered in Azanulbizar... ...But no feast nor song was there that night; for their dead were beyond the count of grief. Barely half of their number... ...could still stand or had hope of healing.
...None the less in the morning Thráin stood before them. He had one eye blinded beyond cure, and he was halt with a leg-wound; but he said: 'Good! We have the victory. Khazad-dûm is ours! '
...But they answered: 'Durin's Heir you may be, but.. ...We fought this war for vengeance, and vengeance we have taken. But it is not sweet. If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it.'
...And those... ...not of Durin's Folk said also: 'Khazad-dûm was not our Fathers' house. What is it to us, unless a hope of treasure? But now, if we must go without the rewards... ...the sooner we return to our own lands the better pleased we shall be.'
...Then Thráin turned to Dáin, and said: 'But surely my own kin will not desert me?'
...'No… …You are the father of our Folk, and we have bled for you, and will again. But we will not enter Khazad-dûm... ...Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate. Beyond the shadow it waits for you still: Durin's Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin's Folk walk again in Moria.'
...So it was that after Azanulbizar the Dwarves dispersed again.
..."Thráin said to Thorin Oakenshield: '...Will you come with me back to the anvil? Or will you beg your bread at proud doors?'
...'To the anvil,' answered Thorin. 'The hammer will at least keep the arms strong, until they can wield sharper tools again.'"



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Nov 18, 2:02pm

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Here is Book Spoiler Part 4 of 4: Still looking at what has brought them all to this point through the lives and eyes of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From APPENDIX A: ANNALS OF THE KINGS AND RULERS: III DURIN'S FOLK

... "So Thráin and Thorin with what remained of the following (among whom were Balin and Glóin) returned to Dunland, and soon afterwards they removed and wandered in Eriador, until at last they made a home in exile in the east of the Ered Luin... ...Of iron were most of the things that they forged in those days, but they prospered after a fashion, and their number slowly increased...
... ...Of [the] Ring... ...It was believed by the dwarves of Durin's folk to be the first of the Seven that was forged; and they say that it was given to the King of Khazad-dûm, Durin III, by the Elvensmiths themselves and not by Sauron, though doubtless his evil power was on it....
... ...as the Dwarves now believe... ...Sauron by his arts had discovered who had this Ring, the last to remain free, and that the singular misfortunes of the heirs of Durin were largely due to his malice. For the Dwarves had proved untameable by this means. The only power... ...that the Rings wielded was to inflame their hearts with a greed of gold and precious things, so that if they lacked them all other good things seemed profitless, and they were filled with wrath and desire for vengeance on all who deprived them...
......It was therefore perhaps partly by the malice of the Ring that Thráin after some years became restless and discontented. The lust for gold was ever in his mind... ...when he could endure it no longer, he turned his thoughts to Erebor, and resolved to go back there. He said nothing to Thorin of what was in his heart; but with Balin and Dwalin and a few others, he arose and said farewell and departed.
... Little is known of what happened to him… …It would now seem that as soon as he was abroad with few companions he was hunted by the emissaries of Sauron... ...There came a dark night when he and his companions were wandering in the land beyond Anduin, and they were driven by a black rain to take shelter under the eaves of Mirkwood. In the morning he was gone from the camp, and his companions... ...searched for him many days, until at last giving up hope they departed and came at length back to Thorin. Only long after was it learned that Thráin had been taken alive and brought to the pits of Dol Guldur… …was tormented and the Ring taken from him, and then at last he died.
... So Thorin Oakenshield became the Heir of Durin, but an heir without hope... ...The years lengthened. The embers in the heart of Thorin grew hot again, and he brooded on the wrongs of his House and the vengeance upon the Dragon that he had inherited... ...and a great anger without hope burned him as he smote the red iron on the anvil.
... But at last there came about by chance a meeting between Gandalf and Thorin... ...[who] returning west from a journey, stayed at Bree for the night. There Gandalf was also. He was on his way to the Shire, which he had not visited for some twenty years. He was weary, and thought to rest there for a while.
... Among many cares he was troubled in mind... ...he knew then already that Sauron was plotting war... ...But to resist any attempt from the East to regain the lands of Angmar and the northern passes in the mountains there were now only the Dwarves of the Iron hills. And beyond them lay the desolation of the Dragon. The Dragon Sauron might use with terrible effect. How then could the end of Smaug be achieved?
... It was even as Gandalf sat and pondered this that Thorin stood before him, and said: 'Master Gandalf... ...you have often come into my thoughts of late, as if I were bidden to seek you. Indeed I should have done so, if I had known where to find you.'
... Gandalf looked at him with wonder. 'That is strange, Thorin Oakenshield… …For I have thought of you also; and though I am on my way to the Shire, it was in my mind that is the way also to your halls.
... 'Call them so if you will,' said Thorin. 'They are only poor lodgings in exile. But you would be welcome there, if you would come...'
... 'I will come,' said Gandalf; 'for I guess that we share one trouble at least. The Dragon of Erebor is on my mind, and I do not think that he will be forgotten by the grandson of Thrór.'"



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Nov 19, 1:42pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 19, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Thorin becomes obsessed.
(determined from text)

..."Now the days passed slowly and warily. Many of the dwarves spent their time piling and ordering the treasure; and now Thorin spoke of the Arkenstone of Thráin, and bade them eagerly to look for it in every corner.
..."For the Arkenstone of my father... ...is worth more than a river of gold in itself, and to me it is beyond price. That stone of all the treasure I name unto myself, and I will be avenged on anyone who finds it and withholds it."
...Bilbo heard these words and he grew afraid, wondering what would happen, if the stone was found—wrapped in an old bundle of tattered oddments that he used as a pillow. All the same he did not speak of it, for as the weariness of the days grew heavier, the beginnings of a plan had come into his little head."


November 19, 2006
Peter gave TORn a letter stating that he was not directing The Hobbit (a challenge to New Line): Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh Talk THE HOBBIT



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Nov 20, 2:11pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. The Dwarves of Dain hasten to Erebor.
(determined from text)

..."Each one of his folk was clad in a hauberk of steel mail that hung to his knees, and his legs were covered with hose of a fine and flexible metal mesh, the secret of whose making was possessed by Dain's people. The dwarves are exceedingly strong for their height, but most of these were strong even for dwarves... ...they wielded heavy two-handed mattocks; but each of them had also a short broad sword at his side and a roundshield slung at his back. Their beards were forked and plaited and thrust into their belts. Their caps were of iron and they were shod with iron, and their faces were grim."



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Nov 21, 3:28pm

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Today in Middle-earth

November 21, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Roäc brings news to Thorin.
(determined from text)

..."...the ravens brought news that Dain and more than five hundred dwarves, hurrying from the Iron Hills, were now within about two days' march of Dale....
..."But they cannot reach the Mountain unmarked," said Roäc, "and I fear lest there be battle in the valley. I do not call this counsel good. Though they are a grim folk, they are not likely to overcome the host that besets you; and even if they did so, what will you gain? Winter and snow is hastening behind them. How shall you be fed without the friendship and goodwill of the lands about you? The treasure is likely to be your death, though the dragon is no more!"
...But Thorin was not moved. "Winter and snow will bite both men and elves... ...and they may find their dwelling in the waste grievous to bear. With my friends behind them and winter upon them, they will perhaps be in softer mood to parley with.""

2. Bilbo puts his plan into action.
(determined from text)

..."As soon as Bombur had gone, Bilbo put on his ring, fastened his rope, slipped down over the wall, and was gone. He had about five hours before him...
......He had barely scrambled out on the far bank, shivering and spluttering, when up came elves in the gloom with bright lanterns and searched for the cause of the noise.
..."That was no fish!... ...There is a spy about. Hide your lights! They will help him more than us, if it is that queer little creature that is said to be their servant."
..."Servant, indeed!" snorted Bilbo; and in the middle of his snort he sneezed loudly, and the elves immediately gathered towards the sound.
..."Let's have a light!" he said. "I am here, if you want me!" and he slipped off his ring, and popped from behind a rock.
...They seized him quickly, in spite of their surprise. "Who are you? Are you the dwarves' hobbit? What are you doing? How did you get so far past our sentinels?" they asked one after another.
..."I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins... ...companion of Thorin, if you want to know. I know your king well by sight, though perhaps he doesn't know me to look at. But Bard will remember me, and it is Bard I particularly want to see."
..."Indeed!... ...and what may be your business?"
..."Whatever it is, it's my own, my good elves. But if you wish ever to get back to your own woods from this cold cheerless place," he answered shivering, "you will take me along quick to a fire, where I can dry..." ...some two hours after his escape from the Gate, Bilbo was sitting beside a warm fire in front of a large tent, and there sat too, gazing curiously at him, both the Elvenking and Bard. A hobbit in elvish armour, partly wrapped in an old blanket, was something new to them.
..."Really you know," Bilbo was saying in his best business manner, "things are impossible. Personally I am tired of the whole affair. I wish I was back in the West in my own home, where folk are more reasonable...." ..."My dear Bard!" squeaked Bilbo. "Don't be so hasty! I never met such suspicious folk! I am merely trying to avoid trouble for all concerned. Now I will make you an offer!!"
..."Let us hear it!" they said.
..."You may see it!" said he. "It is this!" and he drew forth the Arkenstone...
......The Elvenking himself, whose eyes were used to things of wonder and beauty, stood up in amazement. Even Bard gazed marvelling at it in silence. It was as if a globe had been filled with moonlight and hung before them in a net woven of the glint of frosty stars.
..."This is the Arkenstone of Thráin... ...the Heart of the Mountain; and it is also the heart of Thorin. He values it above a river of gold. I give it to you. It will aid you in your bargaining." Then Bilbo, not without a shudder, not without a glance of longing, handed the marvellous stone to Bard, and he held it in his hand, as though dazed.
..."But how is it yours to give?" he asked at last with an effort.
..."O well!" said the hobbit uncomfortably. "It isn't exactly; but, well, I am willing to let it stand against all my claim... ...I may be a burglar—or so they say: personally I never really felt like one—but I am an honest one... ...Anyway I am going back now, and the dwarves can do what they like to me. I hope you will find it useful."
...The Elvenking looked at Bilbo with a new wonder. "Bilbo Baggins... ...You are more worthy to wear the armour of elf-princes than many that have looked more comely in it. But I wonder if Thorin Oakenshield will see it so. I have more knowledge of dwarves in general than you have perhaps. I advise you to remain with us, and here you shall be honoured and thrice welcome."
..."Thank you very much I am sure... ...But I don't think I ought to leave my friends like this, after all we have gone through together. And I promised to wake old Bombur at midnight, too! Really I must be going, and quickly."
...Nothing they could say would stop him; so an escort was provided for him, and as he went both the king and Bard saluted him with honour. As they passed through the camp an old man wrapped in a dark cloak, rose from a tent door where he was sitting and came towards them.
..."Well done! Mr. Baggins!" he said, clapping Bilbo on the back. "There is always more about you than anyone expects!" It was Gandalf.
...For the first time for many a day Bilbo was really delighted."


November 21, 1924
1. Celebrating the birthday of Christopher Tolkien!

Christopher John Reuel Tolkien was born the third child of four and is the youngest son of J.R.R. and Edith Tolkien. Thank you for continuing and sharing your Father's wonderful work and expanding the world of Middle-earth!


Christopher Tolkien b.11-21-24 d.1-16-20



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