Today in Middle Earth

Tolkien alligned the events in Lord of the Rings with a calendar similar to the one we use today. This site tells you exactly what was happening in Middle Earth on any given day of the year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

TIME August 31st

Today in Middle-earth.

August 31, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)

......"They went on into northern Dunland, where no man now dwelt, though it was a green and pleasant country. September came in with golden days and silver nights, and they rode at ease until they reached the Swanfleet river, and found the old ford, east of the falls where it went down suddenly into the lowlands. Far to the west in a haze lay the meres and eyots through which it wound its way to the Greyflood: there countless swans housed in a land of reeds.
......So they passed into Eregion, and at last a fair morning dawned, shimmering above gleaming mists; and looking from their camp on a low hill the travellers saw away in the east the Sun catching three peaks that thrust up into the sky through floating clouds: Caradhras, Celebdil, and Fanuidhol. They were near to the Gates of Moria."

......"...Often long after the hobbits were wrapped in sleep [Elrond, Gandalf, Celeborn and Galadriel] would sit together under the stars, recalling the ages that were gone and all their joys and labours in the world, or holding council, concerning the days to come. If any wanderer had chanced to pass, little would he have seen or heard, and it would have seemed to him only that he saw grey figures, carved in stone, memorials of forgotten things now lost in unpeopled lands. For they did not move or speak with their mouth, looking from mind to mind and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro."

August 31, 3020 (S.R. 1420)

(not from the appendices)
......"...All the children born or begotten in that year, and there were many, were fair to see and strong, and most of them had a rich golden hair that had before been rare among hobbits. The fruit was so plentiful that young hobbits very nearly bathed in strawberries and cream; and later they sat on the lawns under the plum-trees and ate, until they had make piles of stones like small pyramids or the heaped skulls of a conqueror, and then they moved on. And no one was ill, and everyone was pleased, except those who had to mow the grass."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

TIME August 28th

August 28, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

1. They overtake Saruman & 2. Saruman turns towards the Shire.
(from the appendices)

......"...As they came out again into open country at sundown they overtook an old man leaning on a staff, and he was clothed in rags of grey or dirty white, and at his heels went another beggar, slouching and whining.
......'Well Saruman!' said Gandalf. 'Where are you going?'
......'What is that to you?' he answered. 'Will you still order my goings, and are you not content with my ruin?'
......'You know the answers,' said Gandalf: 'no and no. But in any case the time of my labours now draws to an end...' '...But will you scorn our help? For we offer it to you.'
......'To me?' said Saruman. 'Nay, pray do not smile at me! I prefer your frowns. And as for the Lady here, I do not trust her: she always hated me, and schemed for your part. I do not doubt that she has brought you this way to have the pleasure of gloating over my poverty. Had I been warned of your pursuit, I would have denied you the pleasure.'
......'Saruman,' said Galadriel, 'we have other errands and other cares that seem to us more urgent than hunting for you. Say rather that you are overtaken by good fortune; for now you have a last chance.'
......'If it be truly the last, I am glad.' said Saruman; 'for I shall be spared the trouble of refusing it again. All my hopes are ruined, but I would not share yours. If you have any.'
......For a moment his eyes kindled. 'Go!' he said. 'I did not spend long study on these matters for naught. You have doomed yourselves, and you know it. And it will afford me some comfort as I wander to think that you pulled down your own house when you destroyed mine. And now, what ship will bear you back across so wide a sea?' he mocked. 'It will be a grey ship, and full of ghosts.' He laughed, but his voice was cracked and hideous...

.........As the wretched pair passed by the company, they came to the hobbits, and Saruman stopped and stared at them; but they looked at him with pity.
......'So you have come to gloat too, have you, my urchins?' he said. 'You don't care what a beggar lacks, do you! For you have all you want, food and fine clothes, and the best weed for your pipes. Oh yes, I know! I know where it comes from. You would not give a pipeful to a beggar, would you!'
......'I would, if I had any,' said Frodo.
......'You can have what I have got left,' said Merry... ...he handed to Saruman a leather pouch. 'Take what there is,' he said. 'You are welcome to it; it came from the flotsam of Isengard.'
......'Mine, mine, yes and dearly bought!' cried Saruman, clutching at the pouch. 'This is only a repayment in token; for you took more, I'll be bound. Still, a beggar must be grateful, if a thief returns him even a morsel of his own. Well, it will serve you right when you come home, if you find things less good in the Southfarthing than you would like. Long may your land be short of leaf!'
......'Thank you!' said Merry. 'In that case I will have my pouch back, which is not yours and has journeyed far with me. Wrap the weed in a rag of your own.'
......'One thief deserves another,' said Saruman, and turned his back on Merry, and kicked Wormtongue, and went away towards the wood.
......'Well, I like that!' said Pippin. 'Thief indeed! What of our claim for waylaying, wounding, and orc-dragging us through Rohan?' [[YOU TELL 'EM, PIPPIN!!!!]]
......'Ah!' said Sam. 'And "bought" he said. How, I wonder! And I didn't like the sound of what he said about the Southfarthing. It's time we got back.'
......'I'm sure it is,' said Frodo. 'But we can't go any quicker, if we are to see Bilbo. I am going to Rivendell first, whatever happens.'
......'Yes, I think you had better do that,' said Gandalf. 'But alas for Saruman! I fear nothing more can be made of him. He has withered altogether. All the same, I am not sure that Treebeard is right: I fancy he could do some mischief still in a small mean way.'"

Thursday, August 26, 2004

August 26th BS

From The Breaking of the Fellowship: The Fellowship of the Ring

......"At first he could see little. He seemed to be in a world of mist in which there were only shadows: the Ring was upon him. Then here and there the mist gave way and he saw many visions: small and clear as if they were under his eyes upon a table, and yet remote. There was no sound, only bright living images. The world seemed to have shrunk and fallen silent. He was sitting upon the Seat of Seeing, on Amon Hen, the Hill of the Eye of the Men of Númenor. Eastward he looked into wide uncharted lands, nameless plains, and forests unexplored. Northward he looked, and the Great River lay like a ribbon beneath him, and the Misty Mountains stood small and hard as broken teeth. Westward he looked and saw the broad pastures of Rohan; and Orthanc, the pinnacle of Isengard, like a black spike. Southward he looked, and below his very feet the Great River curled like a toppling wave and plunged over the falls of Rauros into a foaming pit; a glimmering rainbow played upon the fume. And Ethir Anduin he saw, the mighty delta of the River, and myriads of sea-birds whirling like a white dust in the sun, and beneath them a green and silver sea, rippling in endless lines.
......But everywhere he looked he saw the signs of war. The Misty Mountains were crawling like anthills: Orcs were issuing out of a thousand holes. Under the boughs of Mirkwood there was deadly strife of Elves and Men and fell beasts. The land of the Beornings was aflame; a cloud was over Moria; smoke rose on the borders of Lórien.
......Horsemen were galloping on the grass of Rohan; wolves poured from Isengard. From the havens of Harad ships of war put out to sea; and out of the East Men were moving endlessly: swordsmen, spearmen, bowmen upon horses; chariots of chieftains and laden wains. All the power of the Dark Lord was in motion. Then turning South again he beheld Minas Tirith. Far away it seemed, and beautiful: white-walled, many-towered, proud and fair upon its mountain-seat; its battlements glittered with steel, and its turrets were bright with many banners. Hope leaped in his heart. But against Minas Tirith was set another fortress, greater and more strong. Thither, eastwards, unwilling his eye was drawn. It passed the ruined bridges of Osgiliath, the grinning gates of Minas Morgul, and the haunted Mountains, and it looked upon Gorgoroth, the valley of terror in the Land of Mordor. Darkness lay there under the Sun. Fire glowed amid the smoke. Mount Doom was burning, and a great reek rising. Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.

......And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was, Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir—he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his grey hood.
......He heard himself crying out: Never, never! Or was it: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring!......The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger. He was kneeling in clear sunlight before the high seat. A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west, and faded. Then all the sky was clean and blue and birds sang in every tree.
......Frodo rose to his feet. A great weariness was on him, but his will was firm and his heart lighter. He spoke aloud to himself. 'I will do now what I must,' he said. 'This at least is plain: the evil of the Ring is already at work even in the Company, and the Ring must leave them before it does more harm. I will go alone. Some I cannot trust, and those I can trust are too dear to me: poor old Sam, and Merry and Pippin. Strider, too: his heart yearns for Minas Tirith, and he will be needed there, now Boromir has fallen into evil. I will go alone. At once.'"

Monday, August 23, 2004

August 23rd BS

It's a Book Spoiler! SURPRISE!!! ...for a moment of Tolkien-zen

From A Short Cut to Mushrooms: The Fellowship of the Ring

......"'"Be off!" I said. "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," I said. "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. What do you think of that?'
......Frodo sat for a moment looking at the fire, but his only thought was how on earth would they reach the Ferry. 'I don't know what to think' he said at last.
......'Then I'll tell you what to think,' said Maggot. 'You should never have gone mixing yourself up with Hobbiton folk, Mr. Frodo. Folk are queer up there.' Sam stirred in his chair, and looked at the farmer with an unfriendly eye. 'But you were always a reckless lad. When I heard you had left the Brandybucks and gone off to that old Mr. Bilbo, I said that you were going to find trouble. Mark my words, this all comes of those strange doings of Mr. Bilbo's. His money was got in some strange fashion in foreign parts, they say. Maybe there is some that want to know what has become of the gold and jewels that he buried in the hill of Hobbiton, as I hear?'
......Frodo said nothing: the shrewd guesses of the farmer were rather disconcerting.
......'Well, Mr. Frodo,' Maggot went on, 'I'm glad that you've had the sense to come back to Buckland. My advice is: stay there! And don't get mixed up with these outlandish folk. You'll have friends in these parts. If any of these black fellows come after you again I'll deal with them. I'll say you're dead, or have left the Shire, or anything you like. And might be true enough; for as like as not in is old Mr. Bilbo they want news of.'
......'Maybe you're right,' said Frodo, avoiding the farmer's eye and staring at the fire.
Maggot looked at him thoughtfully. 'Well, I see you have ideas of your own,' he said. 'It is as plain as my nose that no accident brought you and that rider here on the same afternoon; and maybe my news was no great news to you, after all. I am not asking you to tell me anything you have a mind to keep to yourself; but I can see you are in some kind of trouble. Perhaps you are thinking it won't be too easy to get to the Ferry without being caught?'
......'I was thinking so,' said Frodo. 'But we have got to try and get there; and it won't be done by sitting and thinking. So I am afraid we must be going. Thank you very much indeed for your kindness! I've been in terror of you and your dogs for over thirty years, Farmer Maggot, though you may laugh to hear it. It's a pity: for I've missed a good friend. And now I'm sorry to leave so soon. But I'll come back, perhaps, one day---if I get a chance.'"

Sunday, August 22, 2004

TIME August 22nd

Today in Middle-earth

August 22, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(from the appendices)
[The Company] come to Isengard.

......“From the Deeping-coomb they rode to Isengard, and saw how the Ents has 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, and its black rock was mirrored in the pool.
......For a while the travellers sat where once the old gates of Isengard had stood, and there were now two tall trees like sentinels at the beginning of a green-bordered path that ran towards Orthanc; and they looked in wonder at the work that had been done, but no living thing could they see far or near. But presently they heard a voice calling hoom-hom, hoom-hom; and there came Tree-beard striding down the path to greet them with Quickbeam at his side.
......‘Welcome to the Treegarth of Isengard!’ he said. ‘I knew that you were coming, but I was at work up the valley; there is much still to be done. But you have not been idle either away in the south and the east, I hear; and all that I hear is good, very good.’ Then Treebeard praised all their deeds, of which he seemed to have full knowledge; and at last he stopped and looked long at Gandalf.
......‘Well, come now!’ he said. ‘You have proved mightiest, and all your labours have gone well. Where now would you be going? And why do you come here?’
......'Too see how your work goes, my friend,’ said Gandalf, ‘and to thank you for your aid in all that has been achieved.’”

August 22, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)
Legolas and Gimli depart for Fangorn.

......“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, though with no great delight, it seemed.
......‘Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring,’ said Aragorn. ‘Yet I hope that ere long 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 meet at times; but I fear that we shall not all be gathered together ever again.’”

August 22, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(from the appendices)
They take leave of the King of the West at sunset.

......“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; ‘for you would not now wish to see what the Stone of Minas Tirith would show you. 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. You are going now on leave, but I may recall you. And 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 all your desire. Use well the days!’
......But Celeborn said: ‘Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!’
......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 down 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.”

(Posted by Aragorn_Elessar in Gramma's absence)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Faces of Denethor

Happy Birthday to John Noble and a big THANK YOU for your portrayal of Denethor. The relationship of your character, Faramir and Boromir is one of the biggest intrigues in Peter's films. Many happy returns of the day :) - Grammaboodawg


......"Then the old man looked up. Pippin saw his carven face with its proud bones and skin like ivory, and the long curved nose between the dark deep eyes; and he was reminded not so much of Boromir as of Aragorn. 'Dark indeed is the hour,' said the old man,' and at such times you are wont to come, Mithrandir. But though all the signs forebode that the doom of Gondor is drawing nigh, less now to me is that darkness than my own darkness. It has been told to me that you bring with you one who saw my son die. Is this he?'
......'It is,' said Gandalf. 'One of the twain. The other is with Théoden of Rohan and may come hereafter. Halflings they are, as you see, yet this is not he of whom the omens spoke.'
......'Yet a Halfling still,' said Denethor grimly, 'and little love do I bear the name, since those accursed words came to trouble our counsels and drew away my son on the wild errand to his death. My Boromir! Now we have need of you. Faramir should have gone in his stead.'"

......"Before long he was walking with Gandalf once more down the cold corridor to the door of the Tower Hall. There Denethor sat in a grey gloom, like an old patient spider, Pippin thought; he did not seem to have moved since the day before. He beckoned Gandalf to a seat, but Pippin was left for a while standing unheeded. Presently the old man turned to him:
......'Well, Master Peregrin, I hope that you used yesterday to your profit, and to your liking? Though I fear that the board is barer in this city than you could wish.'
Pippin had an uncomfortable feeling that most of what he had said or done was somehow known to the Lord of the City, and much was guessed of what he thought as well. He did not answer.
......'What would you do in my service?'
......'I thought, sir, that you would tell me my duties.
......'I will, when I learn what you are fit for,' said Denethor. 'But that I shall learn soonest, maybe, if I keep you beside me. The esquire of my chamber has begged leave to go to the out-garrison, so you shall take his place for a while. You shall wait on me, bear errands, and talk to me, if war and council leave me any leisure. Can you sing?'
......'Yes,' said Pippin. 'Well, yes, well enough for my own people. But we have no songs fit for great halls and evil times, lord. We seldom sing of anything more terrible than wind or rain. And most of my songs are about things that make us laugh; or about food and drink, of course.'
......'And why should such songs be unfit for my halls, or for such hours as these? We who have lived long under the Shadow may surely listen to echoes from a land untroubled by it? Then we may feel that our vigil was not fruitless, though it may have been thankless.'"

......"Then suddenly Faramir looked at Pippin. 'But now we come to strange matter,' he said. 'For this is not the first halfling that I have seen walking out of northern legends into the Southlands.'
......At that Gandalf sat up and gripped the arms of his chair; but he said nothing, and with a look stopped the exclamation on Pippin's lips. Denethor looked at their faces and nodded his head, as though in sign that he had read much there before it was spoken."

......"'Ill?' cried Denethor, and his eyes flashed suddenly. 'Why do you ask? The men were under your command. Or do you ask for my judgement on all your deeds? Your bearing is lowly in my presence, yet it is long now since you turned from your own way at my counsel. See, since you have spoken skilfully, as ever; but I, have I not seen your eye fixed on Mithrandir, seeking whether you said well or too much? He has long had your heart in his keeping.
......'My son, your father is old but not yet dotard. I can see and hear, as well my wont; and little of what you have half said or left unsaid is now hidden from me. I know the answer to many riddles. Alas, alas for Boromir!'
......'If what I have done displeases you, my father,' said Faramir quietly, 'I wish I had known your counsel before the burden of so weighty a judgement was thrust on me.'
'Would that have availed to change your judgement?' said Denethor. 'You would still have done just so, I deem. I know you well. Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle. That may well befit one of the high race, if he sits in power and peace. But in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death.'
......'So be it,' said Faramir.
......'So be it!' cried Denethor. 'But not with your death only, Lord Faramir: with the death also of your father, and of all your people, whom it is your part to protect now that Boromir is gone.'"

......"'Stir not the bitterness in the cup that I mixed for myself,' said Denethor. 'Have I not tasted it now many nights upon my tongue, foreboding that worse yet lay in the dregs? As now indeed I find. Would it were not so! Would that this thing had come to me!'"

......"'...Yet now under the Lord of Barad-dûr the most fell of all his captains is already master of your outer walls,' said Gandalf. 'King of Angmar long ago, Sorcerer, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgûl, a spear of terror in the hand of Sauron, shadow of despair.'
......'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?'"

......"'Do not weep, lord,' he stammered. 'Perhaps Faramir will get well. Have you asked Gandalf?' 'Comfort me not with wizards!' said Denethor. 'The fool's hope has failed. The Enemy has found it, and now his power waxes; he sees our very thoughts, and all we do is ruinous.
......'I sent my son forth, unthanked, unblessed, out into needless peril, and here he lies with poison in his veins. Nay, nay, whatever may now betide in war, my line too is ending, even the House of the Stewards has failed. Mean folk shall rule the last remnant of the Kings of Men, lurking in the hills until all are hounded out.'"

......"'But I say to thee, Gandalf Mithrandir, I will not be thy tool! I am Steward of the House of Anárion. I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. Even were his claim proved to me, still he comes but of the line of Isildur. I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.'
......'What then would you have,' said Gandalf, 'if your will could have its way?'
......'I would have things as they were in all the days of my life,' answered Denethor, 'and in the days of my long-fathers before me: to be the Lord of this City in peace, and leave my chair to a son after me, who would be his own master and no wizard's pupil. But if doom denies this to me, then I will have naught: neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated.'"

Friday, August 20, 2004

TIME August 20th


August 20, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. All of Hobbiton whispered and wondered at Frodo's announcement to move to Buckland.
(not from the appendices)
......"...But so firmly fixed had the notion of the immeasurable wealth of the Bagginses of Bag End become that most found this hard to believe, harder than any other reason or unreason that their fancy could suggest: to most it suggest a dark and yet unrevealed plot by Gandalf. Though he kept himself very quiet and did not go about by day, it was well known that he was 'hiding up in the Bag End'. But however a removal might fit in with the designs of his wizardry, there was no doubt about the fact: Frodo Baggins was going back to Buckland.
......'Yes, I shall be moving this autumn,' he said. 'Merry Brandybuck is looking out for a nice little hole for me, or perhaps a small house.'
......As a matter of fact with Merry's help he had already chosen and bought a little house at Crickhollow in the country beyond Bucklebury. To all but Sam he pretended he was going to settle down there permanently. The decision to set out eastwards had suggested the idea to him; for Buckland was on the eastern borders of the Shire, he had lived there in childhood his going back would at least seem credible."

August 20, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
(not from the appendices)
1. They set out from Helm's Deep for Isengard

"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.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

TIME August 18th

August 18, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. Frodo announces his plans to leave Hobbiton
(not from the appendices)
......"One summer's evening an astonishing piece of news reached the Ivy Bush and Green Dragon. Giants and other portents on the borders of the Shire were forgotten for more important matters: Mr. Frodo was selling Bag End, indeed he had already sold it—to the Sackville-Bagginses!
......'For a nice bit, too,' said some. 'At a bargain price,' said others, 'and that's more likely when Mistress Lobelia's the buyer.' (Otho had died some years before, at the ripe but disappointed age of 102.)
......Just why Mr. Frodo was selling his beautiful hole was even more debatable than the price. A few held the theory—supported by the nods and hints of Mr. Baggins himself—-that Frodo's money was running out: he was going to leave Hobbiton and live in a quiet way on the proceeds of the sale down in Buckland among his Brandybuck relations. "As far from the Sackville-Bagginses as may be," some added."

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, and there they rested two days. 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!'"

Sunday, August 15, 2004

TIME August 15th

August 15, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)
1. Treebeard releases Saruman and Gríma.
"'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, Gandalf, 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, 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, I think. He had 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, to whom it belongs. 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.
'Now I thank you once more,' said Aragorn, 'and I bid you farewell. May your forest grow in peace. When this valley is filled there is room and to spare west of the mountains, where once you walked long ago.'
Treebeard's face became sad. 'Forests may grow old,' he said. 'Woods may spread. But not Ents. There are no Entings.'
'Yet maybe there is now more hope in your search,' said Aragorn. 'Lands will lie open to you eastward that have long been closed.'
But Treebeard shook his head and said: 'It is far to go. And there are too many Men there in these days. But I am forgetting my manners! 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, though with no great delight, it seemed.
'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 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.'
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!'"

Saturday, August 14, 2004

TIME August 14th

August 14, 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 remained also, 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.
......At the last before the guests set out Éomer and Éowyn came to Merry, and they said: '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, you say, 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,' said Éowyn. 'It was 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."

Friday, August 13, 2004

August 13th BS

A pre-Fiesta trip to a Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From A Knife in the Dark: The Fellowship of the Ring

......"'I wonder who made this path, and what for,' said Merry, as they walked along one of these avenues, where the stones were unusually large and closely set. 'I am not sure that I like it: it has a ---well, rather a barrow-wightish look. Is there any barrow on Weathertop?'
......'No. There is no barrow on Weathertop, nor on any of these hills,' answered Strider. 'The Men of the West did not live here; though in their latter days they defended the hills for a while against the evil that came out of Angmar. This path was made to serve the forts along the walls. But long before, in the first days of the North Kingdom, they built a great watch-tower on Weathertop. Amon Sûl they called it. It was burned and broken, and nothing remains of it now but a tumbled ring, like a rough crown on the old hill's head. Yet once it was tall and fair. It is told that Elendil stood there watching for the coming of Gil-galad out of the West, in the days of the Last Alliance.'
......The hobbits gazed at Strider. It seemed that he was learned in old lore, as well as in the ways of the wild. 'Who was Gil-galad?' asked Merry; but Strider did not answer, and seemed to be lost in thought. Suddenly a low voice murmured:

Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven's field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.


......The others turned in amazement, for the voice was Sam's.
......'Don't stop!' said Merry.
......'That's all I know,' stammered Sam, blushing. 'I learned it from Mr. Bilbo when I was a lad. He used to tell me tales like that, knowing how I was always one for hearing about Elves. It was Mr. Bilbo as taught me my letters. He was mighty book-learned was dear old Mr. Bilbo. And he wrote poetry. He wrote what I have just said.'
......He did not make it up,' said Strider. 'It is part of the lay that is called The Fall of Gil-galad, which is in an ancient tongue. Bilbo must have translated it. I never knew that.'
'There was a lot more,' said Sam, 'all about Mordor. I didn't learn that part, it gave me the shivers. I never thought I should be going that way myself.'
......'Going to Mordor!' cried Pippin. 'I hope it won't come to that!'
......'Do not speak that name so loudly!' said Strider."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

August 12th BS

How about a Book Spoiler? ...for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Land of Shadow and Mt. Doom: The Return of the King

......"They lay still for a while. It was too dark to seek for cover, if indeed there was any to find; but Sam felt that they ought at least to get further away from the highways and out of the range of torchlight.
......'Come on, Mr. Frodo!' he whispered. 'One more crawl, and then you can lie still.'
With a despairing effort Frodo raised himself on his hands, and struggled on for maybe twenty yards. Then he pitched into a shallow pit that opened unexpectedly before them, and there he lay like a dead thing.

......Sam put his ragged orc-cloak under his master's head, and covered them both with the grey robe of Lórien; and as he did so his thoughts went out to that fair land, and to the Elves, and he hoped that the cloth woven by their hands might have some virtue to keep them hidden beyond all hope in this wilderness of fear. He heard the scuffling and cries die down as the troops passed on through the Isenmouthe. It seemed that in the confusion and the mingling of many companies of various kinds they had not been missed, not yet at any rate.
......Sam took a sip of water, but pressed Frodo to drink, and when his master had recovered a little he gave him a whole wafer of their precious waybread and made him eat it. Then, too worn out even to feel much fear, they stretched themselves out. They slept a little in uneasy fits; for their sweat grew chill on them, and the hard stones bit them, and they shivered."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

August 11th BS

It's a Book Spoiler, don'tchaknow... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Fog on the Barrow Downs: The Fellowship of the Ring

......"'Come on! Follow me!' Frodo called back over his shoulder, and he hurried forward. But his hope soon changed to bewilderment and alarm. The dark patches grew darker but they shrank; and suddenly he saw, towering ominous before him and leaning slightly towards one another like the pillars of a headless door, two huge standing stones. He could not remember having seen any sign of these in the valley, when he looked out from the hill in the morning. He had passed between them almost before he was aware: and even as he did so darkness seemed to fall round him. His pony reared and snorted, and he fell off. When he looked back he found that he was alone: the others had not followed him.
......'Sam!' he called. 'Pippin! Merry! Come along! Why don't you keep up?' There was no answer. Fear took him, and he ran back past the stones shouting wildly: 'Sam! Sam! Merry! Pippin!' The pony bolted into the mist and vanished. From some way off, or so it seemed, he thought he heard a cry: 'Hoy! Frodo! Hoy!' It was away eastward, on his left as he stood under the great stones, staring and straining into the gloom. He plunged off in the direction of the call, and found himself going steeply uphill.
......As he struggled on he called again, and kept on calling more and more frantically; but he heard no answer for some time, and then it seemed faint and far ahead and high above him. 'Frodo! Hoy!' came the thin voices out of the mist: and then a cry that sounded like help, help! often repeated, ending with a last help! that trailed off into a long wail suddenly cut short. He stumbled forward with all the speed he could towards the cries; but the light was not gone, and clinging night had closed about him, so that it was impossible to be sure of any direction."


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

TIME August 10th

August 10, 3018 (S.R. 1418)
(not from the appendices)

......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 10, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

1. Funeral of King Théoden.
(from the appendices)
......"...and he was laid in a house of stone with is 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 about the barrow and sang together a song of Théoden Thengel's son 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; and 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, fair folk of many realms, such as have never before been gathered in this hall! 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.'"


August 10, 3020 (S.R. 1420)
(not from the appendices)
......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 has planted with a grain of Lórien dust from his gift of Galadriel.


August 10, 3021 (S.R. 1421)
(not from the appendices)
......Frodo works steadily on the Red Book of Westmarch as he enjoys his summer with Sam, Rosie and baby Elanor.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

August 8th BS

It's a Book Spoiler... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From the Bridge of Khazad-dûm: The Fellowship of the Ring

......“...The ranks of the orcs had opened, and they crowded away, as if they themselves were afraid. Something was coming up behind them. What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it....
......'Ai, ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
......Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
......'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'

......'Over the bridge!' cried Gandalf, recalling his strength. 'Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you. I must hold the narrow way. Fly!' Aragorn and Boromir did not heed the command, but still held their ground, side by side, behind Gandalf at the far end of the bridge. The others halted just within the doorway at the hall's end, and turned, unable to leave their leader to face the enemy alone.
......The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.
......'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.' The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly on to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm. ......From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.
......Glamdring glittered white in answer.
......There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still.
......'You cannot pass!' he said. With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed.
......'He cannot stand alone!' cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge. 'Elendil!' he shouted. 'I am with you, Gandalf!'
......'Gondor!' cried Boromir and leaped after him.
......At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.
......With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered, and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone."

Saturday, August 07, 2004

TIME August 7th

Today in Middle-earth.

The Great Years
August 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.
(from the appendices)

[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 thus lost]

...... "'Alas! alas!' cried Legolas, and in his fair elvish face there was great distress. 'The tidings that I was sent to bring must now be told. They are not good, but only here have I learned how evil they may seem to this company. Sméagol, who is now called Gollum, has escaped.'
......'Escaped?' cried Aragorn. 'That is ill news indeed. We shall all rue it bitterly, I fear. How came the folk of Thranduil to fail in their trust?'
......'Not through lack of watchfulness,' said Legolas; 'but perhaps through over-kindliness. And we fear that the prisoner had aid from others, and that more is known of our doings than we could wish. We guarded this creature day and night, at Gandalf's bidding, much though we wearied of the task. But Gandalf bade us hope still for his cure, and we had not the heart to keep him ever in dungeons under the earth, where he would fall back into his old black thoughts.'
......'You were less tender to me,' said Glóin with a flash of his eyes, as old memories were stirred of his imprisonment in the deep places of the Elven-king's halls.
...... 'Now come!' said Gandalf. 'Pray do not interrupt, my good Glóin. That was a regrettable misunderstanding, long set right. If all the grievances that stand between Elves and Dwarves are to be brought up here, we may as well abandon this council.'
Glóin rose and bowed, and Legolas continued. 'In the days of fair weather we led Gollum through the woods; and there was a high tree standing alone far from the others which he liked to climb. Often we let him mount up to the highest branches, until he felt the free wind; but we set a guard at the tree's foot. One day, he refused to come down, and the guards had no mind to climb after him: he had learned the trick of clinging to boughs with his feet as well as with hands; so they sat by the tree far into the night.
......It was that very night of summer, yet moonless and starless, that Orcs came on us at unawares. We drove them off after some time; they were many and fierce, but 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, and the spies of the Enemy are many. 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 ere long 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)

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..."

Friday, August 06, 2004

August 6th BS

It's a Book Spoiler, don'tchaknow... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Mt. Doom: The Return of the King

......"Sam tried to guess the distances and to decide what way they ought to take. 'It looks every step of fifty miles,' he muttered gloomily, staring at the threatening mountain, 'and that'll take a week, if it takes a day, with Mr. Frodo as he is.' He shook his head, and as he worked things out, slowly a new dark thought grew in his mind. Never for long had hope died in his staunch heart, and always until now he had taken some thought for their return. But the bitter truth came home to him at last: at best their provision would take them to their goal; and when the task was done, there they would come to an end, alone, houseless, foodless in the midst of a terrible desert. There could be no return.
......'So that was the job I felt I had to do when I started,' thought Sam: 'To help Mr. Frodo to the last step and then die with him? Well, if that is the job then I must do it. But I would dearly like to see Bywater again, and Rosie Cotton and her brothers, and the Gaffer and Marigold and all. I can't think somehow that Gandalf would have sent Mr. Frodo on this errand, if there hadn't a' been any hope of his ever coming back at all. Things all went wrong when he went down in Moria. I wish he hadn't. He would have done something.'
......But even if hope died in Sam, or seemed to die, it was turned to a new strength. Sam's plain hobbit-face grew stern, almost grim, as the will hardened in him, and he felt through all his limbs a thrill, as if he was turning into some creature of stone and steel

Thursday, August 05, 2004

August 5th BS

Let's peruse a Book Spoiler, shall we? ...for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From The Pyre of Denethor: The Return of the King

......But even as Gandalf and his companions came carrying the bier to the main door of the Houses, they heard a great cry that went up from the field before the Gate and rising shrill and piercing into the sky passed, and died away on the wind. So terrible was the cry that for a moment all stood still, and yet when it had passed, suddenly their hearts were lifted up in such a hope as they had not known since the darkness came out of the East; and it seemed to them that the light grew clear and the sun broke through the clouds.
......But Gandalf's face was grave and sad, and bidding Beregond and Pippin to take Faramir into the Houses of Healing, he went up onto the walls nearby; and there like a figure carven in white he stood in the new sun and looked out. And he beheld with the sight that was given to him all that had befallen; and when Éomer rode out from the forefront of his battle and stood beside those who lay upon the field, he sighed, and he cast his cloak about him again, and went from the walls. And Beregond and Pippin found him standing in thought before the door of the Houses when they came out. They looked at him, and for a while he was silent. At last he spoke.
......'My friends,' he said, 'and all you people of this city and the Western lands! Things of great sorrow and renown have come to pass. Shall we weep or be glad? Beyond hope the Captain of our foes has been destroyed, and you have heard the echo of his last despair. But he has not gone without woe and bitter loss. And that I might have averted but for the madness of Denethor. So long has the reach of our Enemy become! Alas! but now I perceive how his will was able to enter into the very heart of the City."


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

August 4th BS

It's time for some Book Spoilers... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.

From Strider: The Fellowship of the Ring

......"Frodo turned and looked at him thoughtfully, wondering about Gandalf's second postscript. 'Why didn't you tell me you were Gandalf's friend at once?' he asked. 'It would have saved time.'
......'Would it? Would any of you have believed me till now?' said Strider. 'I knew nothing of this letter. For all I know I had to persuade you to trust me without proofs, if I was to help you. In any case, I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps for me before now. As soon as I had made up my mind, I was ready to tell you whatever you asked. But I must admit,' he added with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship. But there, I believe my looks are against me.'
......'They are---at first sight at any rate,' laughed Pippin with sudden relief after reading Gandalf's letter. 'But handsome is as handsome does, as we say in the Shire; and I daresay we shall all look much the same after lying for days in hedges and ditches.'"

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

August 3rd BS.


It's time for some BS!

Book Spoiler, that is... for a moment of Tolkien-zen.


From The Muster of Rohan: The Return of the King


......"'Harrowdale at last!' said Éomer. 'Our journey is almost at an end.' They halted. The paths out of the narrow gorge fell steeply. Only a glimpse, as though a tall window, could be seen of the great valley in the gloaming below. A single small light could be seen twinkling by the river.
......'This journey is over, maybe,' said Théoden, 'but I have far yet to go. Last night the moon was full, and in the morning I shall ride to Edoras to the gathering of the Mark.'
......'But if you would take my counsel,' said Éomer in a low voice, 'you would then return hither, until the war is over, lost or won.'
......Théoden smiled. 'Nay, my son, for so I will call you, speak not the words of Wormtongue in my old ears!' He drew himself up and looked back at the long line of his men fading into the dusk behind. 'Long years in the space of days it seems since I rode west; but never will I lean on a staff again. If the war is lost, what good will be my hiding in the hills? And if it is won, what grief will it be even if I fall, spending my last strength? But we will leave this now. Tonight I will lie in the Hold of Dunharrow. One evening of peace at least is left us. Let us ride on!'"