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.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

TIME September 30th

Today in Middle-earth.

September 30, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices)
1. Crickhollow and the Inn at Bree are raided in the early hours.

......"...enemies were in Buckland, some strange invasion from the Old Forest. And they lost no more time.
......FEAR! FIRE! FOES!
......The Brandybucks were blowing the Horn-call of Buckland, that had not sounded for a hundred years, not since the white wolves came in the Fell Winter, when the Brandywine was frozen over.
......FEAR! FIRE! FOES!
......Far-away answering horns were heard. The alarm was spreading.
The black figures fled from the house. One of them let fall a hobbit-cloak on the step, as he ran. In the lane the noise of hoofs broke out, and gathering to a gallop, when hammering away into the darkness. All about Crickhollow there was the sound of horns blowing, and voices crying and feet running. But the Black Riders rode like a gale to the North Gate. Let the little people blow! Sauron would deal with them later...
.........In the early night Frodo woke from deep sleep, suddenly, as if some sound or presence had disturbed him. He saw that Strider was sitting alert in his chair: his eyes gleamed in the light of the fire... ...Frodo soon went to sleep again; but his dreams were again troubled with the noise of wind and of galloping hoofs...
.........As soon as Strider had roused them all, he led the way to their bedrooms. When they saw them they were glad that they had taken his advice: the windows had been forced open and were swinging, and the curtains were flapping; the beds were tossed about, and the bolsters slashed and flung upon the floor... '...We will leave at once,' said Strider. 'Never mind about breakfast: a drink and a bite standing will have to do. We shall be packed in a few minutes....'
.........The ponies had vanished! The stable-doors had all been opened in the night, and they were gone... ...Strider sat silent for a while, looking at the hobbits, as if he was weighing up their strength and courage. 'Ponies would not help us to escape horsemen,' he said at last, thoughtfully, as if he guessed what Frodo had in mind. 'We should not go much slower on foot, not on the roads that I mean to take. I was going to walk in any case. It is the food and stores that trouble me.... ...How much are you prepared to carry on your backs!' 'As much as we must,' said Pippin with a sinking heart, but trying to show that he was tougher than he looked (or felt). 'I can carry enough for two,' said Sam defiantly...'
.........No horse or pony was to be got for love or money in the neighbourhood—except one: Bill Ferny had one that he might possibly sell. 'A poor old half-starved creature it is,' said Bob; 'but he won't part with it for less than thrice its worth, seeing how you're placed, not if I knows Bill Ferny...'"

2. Frodo leaves Bree.
(from the appendices)

......"...They said goodbye to Nob and Bob, and took leave of Mr. Butterbur with many thanks... ...Sam was chewing an apple thoughtfully. He had a pocket full of them... '...Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting,' he said. 'But I reckon I'll miss them both before long...' ...Over the hedge another man was staring boldly... '...Morning, Longshanks!' he said. 'Off early? Found some friends at last?' Strider nodded, but did not answer.
......'Morning, my little friends!' he said to the others. 'I suppose you know who you've taken up with? That's Stick-at-nought Strider, that is! Though I've heard other names not so pretty. Watch out tonight! And you, Sammie, don't go ill-treating my poor old pony! Pah!' He spat again.
......Sam turned quickly. 'And you, Ferny,' he said, 'put your ugly face out of sight, or it will get hurt.' With a sudden flick, quick as lightning, an apple left his hand and hit Bill square on the nose. He ducked too late, and curses came from behind the hedge. 'Waste of a good apple,' said Sam regretfully, and strode on."

3. Gandalf comes to Crickhollow, and reaches Bree at night.
(from the appendices)

......" '...I came to Buckland and found it in uproar, as busy as a hive of ants that has been stirred with a stick. I came to the house at Crickhollow, and it was broken open and empty; but on the threshold there lay a cloak that had been Frodo's. Then for a while hope left me, and I did not wait to gather news, or I might have been comforted; but I rode on the trail of the Riders. It was hard to follow, for it went many ways and I was at a loss. But it seemed to me that one or two had ridden towards Bree; and that way I went, for I thought of words that might be said to the innkeeper.' "Butterbur they call him,' thought I. 'If this delay was his fault, I will melt all the butter in him. I will roast the old fool over a slow fire...'
...... 'So overjoyed was I by the news that I got out of him, when he stopped quaking, that I embraced the old fellow... ...I learned that you had gone off that morning with Strider....' '"Ass! Fool! Thrice worthy and beloved Barliman!" said I. "It's the best news I have had since midsummer: it's worth a gold piece at the least. May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!"'"

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

TIME September 29th

Today in Middle-earth. This is a long post, I'm afraid... but I didn't have the heart to hack it up any more than I did...

September 29, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices)
1. Frodo reaches Bree at night.

......"...Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes... ...Over the door was painted in white letters: The Prancing Pony by Barliman Butterbur.... ...Frodo went forward and nearly bumped into a short fat man with a bald head and a red face... '...Half a minute, if you please!' shouted the man over his shoulder, and vanished into a babel of voices and a cloud of smoke. In a moment he was out again, wiping his hands on his apron.
......'Good evening, little master!' he said, bending down. 'What may you be wanting?'
......'Beds for four, and stabling for five ponies, if that can be managed. Are you Mr. Butterbur?'
......'That's right! Barliman is my name! Barliman Butterbur at your service! You're from the Shire, eh...? ...Hobbits!' he cried. 'Now what does that remind me of...?'
.........The landlord hovered round for a little, and then proposed to leave them. 'I don't know whether you would care to join the company, when you have supped,' he said... '...We don't get Outsiders—travellers from the Shire, I should say, begging your pardon...' ...Frodo, Pippin and Sam decided to join the company. Merry said it would be too stuffy. 'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of the air. Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret...'
.........As soon as the Shire-hobbits entered, there was a chorus of welcome from the Bree-landers. The strangers, especially those that had come up the Greenway, stared at them curiously.... ...Sam and Pippin, where were now feeling quite at home, and were chatting gaily about events in the Shire....
.........Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits. [twitch!]
......'Who is that?' Frodo asked, when he got a chance to whisper to Mr. Butterbur... 'Him?' said the landlord in an answering whisper, cocking an eye without turning his head. 'I don't rightly know. He is one of the wandering folk—Rangers we call them. He seldom talks: not but what he can tell a rare tale when he has the mind. He disappears for a month, or a year, and then he pops up again. He was in and out pretty often last spring; but I haven't seen him about lately. What his right name is I've never heard: but he's known round here as Strider. Goes about at a great pace on his long shanks; But there's no accounting for East and West, as we say in Bree, meaning the Rangers and the Shire-folk, begging your pardon...' ...Frodo found that Strider was now looking at him..."

2. Gandalf visits the Gaffer.
(from the appendices)

......"But fear grew in me as I rode. Ever as I came north I heard tidings of the Riders, and though I gained on them day by day, they were ever before me. They had divided their forces, I learned: some remained on the eastern borders, not from the Greenway, and some invaded the Shire from the south. I came to Hobbiton and Frodo had gone; but I had words with old Gamgee. Many words and few to the point. He had much to say about the short-comings of the new owners of Bag End... ...I gathered at last that Frodo had left Hobbiton less than a week before, and that a black horseman had come to the Hill the same evening. Then I rode on in fear..."


September 29, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices-no text)
The hobbits rest in Rivendell.


September 29, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

(from the appendices)
1. They come to the Grey Havens.

......"...they came to the Far Downs, and to the Towers, and looked on the distant Sea; and so they rode down at last to Mithlond, to the Grey Havens in the long firth of Lune.
......As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said: 'All is now ready.'
......Then Cirdan led them to the Havens, and there was a white ship lying, and upon the quay stood a figure robed all in white awaiting them. As he turned and came towards them Frodo saw that it was Gandalf; and on his hand he wore the Third Ring, Narya the Great, and the stone upon it was red as fire. Then those who were to go were glad, for they knew that Gandalf also would take ship with them."

2. Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keepers.
(from the appendices)

......"But Sam was now sorrowful at heart, and it seemed to him that if the parting would be bitter, more grievous still would be the long road home alone. But even as they stood there, and the Elves were going aboard, and all was being made ready to depart, up rode Merry and Pippin in great haste. And amid his tears Pippin laughed.
......'You tried to give us the slip once before and failed, Frodo,' he said. 'This time you have nearly succeeded, but you have failed again. It was not Sam, though, that gave you away this time, but Gandalf himself!'
......'Yes,' said Gandalf; 'for it will be better to ride back three together than one alone. Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.'
......Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West...
.........to Sam the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart. Beside him stood Merry and Pippin, and they were silent."

3. The end of the Third age.
(from the appendices)

...... "...The Third Age was over, and the Days of the rings were passed, and an end was come of the story and song of those times. With them went many Elves of the High Kindred who would no longer stay in Middle-earth..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

TIME September 28th

Today in Middle-earth.

September 28, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices)
1. Gandalf reaches Sarn Ford.

......As Shadowfax goes through his paces, Gandalf races for Hobbiton from Rohan to intercept Frodo... fearing the worst.
"I reached the Shire when Frodo was on the Barrow-downs, though I set out from Rohan only when he set out from Hobbiton."

2. The Hobbits captured by a Barrow-wight.
(from the appendices)

......"...they woke suddenly and uncomfortably from a sleep they had never meant to take... ...The hobbits sprang to their feet in alarm, and ran to the western rim. They found that they were upon an island in the fog. Even as they looked out in dismay towards the setting sun, it sank before their eyes into a white sea, and a cold grey shadow sprang up in the East behind...
.........Their going was very slow. To prevent their getting separated and wandering in different directions they went in file, with Frodo leading. Sam was behind him, and after him came Pippin, and then Merry. The valley seemed to stretch on endlessly....
......'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.... ...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!' ...Then a cry that sounded like help, 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 now gone, and clinging night had closed about him...
.........To his right there loomed against the westward stars a dark black shape. A great barrow stood there.
......'Where are you?' he cried again, both angry and afraid.
......'Here!' said a voice, deep and cold, that seemed to come out of the ground. 'I am waiting for you!'
......'No!' said Frodo; but he did not run away. His knees gave, and he fell on the ground.... ...Then suddenly he knew that he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered tales spoke...."

......"...As he lay there, thinking and getting a hold on himself, he noticed all at once that the darkness was slowly giving way: a pale greenish light was growing round him. It did not at first show him what kind of a place he was in, for the light seemed to be coming out of himself, and from the floor beside him, and had not yet reached the roof or wall. He turned, and there in the cold glow he saw lying beside him, Sam, Pippin, and Merry. They were on their backs, and their faces looked deathly pale; and they were clad in white. About them lay many treasures, of gold maybe, though in that light they looked cold and unlovely. On their heads were circlets, gold chains were about their waists, and on their fingers were many rings. Swords lay by their sides, and shields were at their feet. But across their three necks lay one long naked sword...

......"...He heard behind his head a creaking and scraping sound. Raising himself on one arm he looked, and saw now in the pale light that they were in a kind of passage which behind them turned a corner. Round the corner a long arm was groping, walking on its fingers towards Sam, who was lying nearest, and towards the hilt of the sword that lay upon him.
......At first Frodo felt as if he had indeed been turned into stone by the incantation. Then a wild thought of escape came to him. He wondered if he put on the Ring, whether the Barrow-wight would miss him, and he might find some way out. He thought of himself running free over the grass, grieving for Merry, and Sam, and Pippin, but free and alive himself. Gandalf would admit that there had been nothing else he could do.
......But the courage that had been awakened in him was now too strong: he could not leave his friends so easily. He wavered, groping in his pocket, and then fought with himself again; and as he did so the arm crept nearer. Suddenly resolve hardened in him, and he seized a short sword that lay beside him, and kneeling he stooped low over the bodies of his companions. With what strength he had he hewed at the crawling arm near the wrist, and the hand broke off; but at the same moment the sword splintered up to the hilt...."

......"All at once back into his mind, from which it had disappeared with the first coming of the fog, came the memory of the house down under the Hill, and of Tom singing. He remembered the rhyme that Tom had taught them. In a small desperate voice he began: Ho! Tom Bombadil! and with that name his voice seemed to grow strong: it had a full and lively sound, and the dark chamber echoed as if to drum and trumpet.

......Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
......By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow,
......By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us!
......Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!


.........There was a loud rumbling sound, as of stones rolling and falling, and suddenly light streamed in, real light, the plain light of day. A low door-like opening appeared at the end of the chamber beyond Frodo's feet; and there was Tom's head (hat, feather, and all)... '...Come, friend Frodo!' said Tom. 'Let us get out on to the clean grass! You must help me bear them.' Together they carried out Merry, Pippin, and Sam... ...To Frodo's great joy the hobbits stirred, stretched their arms, rubbed their eyes, and then suddenly sprang up. They looked about in amazement, first at Frodo, and then at Tom standing large as life on the barrow-top above them...
.........For each of the hobbits he chose a dagger, long, leaf-shaped, and keen, of marvellous workmanship, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold. They gleamed as he drew them from their black sheaths, wrought of some strange metal, light and strong, and set with many firey stones... '...these blades were forged many long years ago by Men of Westernesse: they were foes of the Dark Lord, but they were overcome by the evil king of Carn Dum in the Land of Angmar. Few now remember them,' Tom murmured, 'yet still some go wandering, sons of forgotten kings walking in loneliness, guarding from evil things folk that are heedless.'
......The hobbits did not understand his words, but as he spoke they had a vision as it were of a great expanse of years behind them, like a vast shadowy plain over which there strode shapes of Men, tall and grim with bright swords, and last came one with a star on his brow. Then the vision faded..."


September 28, 3019 (S.R. 1419)
The hobbits rest in Rivendell


September 28, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

(not from the appendices-no text)
The Company rides to the Grey Havens.

......Sam was quiet as he rode beside Frodo who was also silent and reflective. The terrain was changing, and there was a scent of the sea in the air. Sam struggled with thoughts racing through his mind of what to say or do to change Frodo's purpose, but he knew his master well when his mind was set. And though he denied the signs over the months of Frodo's pain and discontent to mean no hope of healing for Frodo, in his heart he knew now their fates were sealed.

Monday, September 27, 2004

TIME September 27th

September 27, 3001 (S.R. 1401)

(not from the appendices-no text)
Bilbo makes his way to Rivendell as Frodo and Hobbiton recover from the Long-Expected Party...

......Bilbo's disappearance, followed by Gandalf's... became the frantic topic of conversation at the Green Dragon and every other pub and fence in the Shire.


September 27, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices)
1. Gandalf crosses Greyflood.

......"Ever as I came north I heard tidings of the Riders, and though I gained on them day by day, they were ever before me."

2. In the house of Tom Bombadil.
(not from the appendices)

......"'Good morning, merry friends!' cried Tom, opening the eastern window wide. A cool air flowed in; it had a rainy smell. 'Sun won't show her face much today, I'm thinking. I have been walking wide, leaping on the hill-tops, since the grey dawn began, nosing wind and weather, wet grass underfoot, wet sky above me. I wakened Goldberry singing under the window; but nought wakes hobbit-folk in the early morning. In the night little folk wake up in the darkness, and sleep after light has come! Ring a ding dillo! Wake now, my merry friends! Forget the nightly noises! Ringa ding dillo del! derry del, my hearties! If you come soon you'll find breakfast on the table. If you come late you'll get grass and rain-water!'
......Needless to say—not that Tom's threat sounded very serious—the hobbits came soon, and left the table late and only when it was beginning to look rather empty.
.........Frodo stood near the open door and watched the white chalky path turn into a little river of milk and go bubbling away down into the valley. Tom Bombadil came trotting round the corner of the house waving his arms as if he was warding off the rain—and indeed when he sprang over the threshold he seemed quite dry, except for his boots...
......'This is Goldberry's washing day,' he said, 'and her autumn-cleaning. Too wet for hobbit-folk—let them rest while they are able! It's a good day for long tales, for questions and for answers, so Tom will start the talking.
......He then told them many remarkable stories, sometimes half as if speaking to himself, sometimes looking at them suddenly with a bright blue eye under his deep brows... ...As they listened, they began to understand the lives of the Forest, apart from themselves, indeed to feel themselves as the strangers where all other things were at home...
.........Then suddenly he stopped, and they saw that he nodded as if he was falling asleep. The hobbits sat still before him, enchanted... ...Whether the morning and evening of one day or of many days had passed Frodo could not tell. He did not feel either hungry or tired, only filled with wonder... ...He spoke at last out of his wonder and a sudden fear of that silence:
......'Who are you, Master?' he asked.
......'Eh, what?' said Tom sitting up, and his eyes glinting in the gloom. 'Don't you know my name yet? That's the only answer. Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless? But you are young and I am old. Eldest, that's what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving. He was here before the Kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless—before the Dark Lord came from Outside...'
.........'Show me the precious Ring!' he said suddenly in the midst of the story: and Frodo, to his own astonishment, drew out the chain from his pocket, and unfastening the Ring handed it at once to Tom.
......It seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For a second the hobbits had a vision both comical and alarming, of his bright blue eyes gleaming through a circle of gold. Then Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger and held it up to the candlelight. For a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this. Then they gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing!
......Tom laughed again, and then he spun the Ring in the air—and it vanished with a flash. Frodo gave a cry—and Tom leaned forward and handed it back to him with a smile.
......Frodo looked at it closely, and rather suspiciously... ...He was perhaps a trifle annoyed with Tom for seeming to make so light of what even Gandalf thought so perilously important. He waited for an opportunity when the talk was going again... ...then he slipped the Ring on. Merry turned towards him to say something and gave a start, and checked an exclamation. Frodo was delighted (in a way)... ...He got up and crept quietly away from the fireside towards the outer door.
......'Hey there!' cried Tom, glancing towards him with a most seeing look in his shining eyes. 'Hey! come Frodo, there! Where be you a-going? Old Tom Bombadil's not as blind as that yet. Take off your golden ring! Your hand's more fair without it. Come back! Leave your game and sit down beside me! We must talk a while more, and think about the morning. Tom must teach the right road, and keep your feet from wandering.'
.........Then he taught them a rhyme to sing, if they should by ill-luck fall into any danger of difficulty the next day.
......Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
......By water, wood and hill, by reed and willow,
......by fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us!
......Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!"

Sunday, September 26, 2004

TIME September 26th

Today in Middle-earth.

Hang on Scout B! Here comes TOM!

September 26, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices)
1. The Old Forest.

......"It was dark and damp. At the far end it was closed by a gate of thick-set iron bars. Merry got down and unlocked the gate, and when they had all passed through he pushed it to again. It shut with a clang, and the lock clicked. The sound was ominous.
......'There!' said Merry. 'You have left the Shire, and am now outside, and on the edge of the Old Forest.'"

2. Frodo comes to Bombadil.
(from the appendices)

......"But Frodo, without any clear idea of why he did so, or what he hoped for, ran along the path crying help! help! help! It seemed to him that he could hardly hear the sound of his own shrill voice.... ...He felt desperate: lost and witless.
......Suddenly he stopped. There was an answer, or so he thought; but it seemed to come from behind him, away down the path further back in the Forest. He turned round and listened, and soon there could be no doubt: someone was singing a song; a deep glad voice was singing carelessly and happily, but it was singing nonsense:

......Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
......Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
......Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!


......Half hopeful and half afraid of some new danger, Frodo and Sam now both stood still. Suddenly out of a long string of nonsense-words (or so they seemed) the voice rose up loud and clear and burst into this song...

......Hey! come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!
......Light goes the weather-wind and the feathered starling.
......Down along under Hill, singing in the sunlight,
......Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight,
......There my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughters.
......Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water,
......Old Tom Bombadil water-lilies bringing
......Comes hopping home again. Can you hear him singing.
......Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! and merry-o,
......Goldberry, Goldberry, merry yellow berry-o!
......Poor old Willow-man, you tuck your roots away!
......Tom's in a hurry now. Evening will follow day.
......Tom's going home again water-lilies bringing.
......Hey! come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?


.........Frodo and Sam stood as if enchanted. The wind puffed out. The leaves hung silently again on stiff branches. There was another burst of song, and then suddenly, hopping and dancing along the path, there appeared above the reeds an old battered hat with a tall crown and a long blue feather stuck in the band. With another hop and a bound there came into view a man, or so it seemed. At any rate, he was too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People, though he made noise enough for one, stumping along with great yellow boots on his thick legs, and charging through grass and rushes like a cow going down to drink. He had a blue coat and a long brown beard; his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter. In his hands he carried on a large leaf as on a tray a small pile of white water-lilies.
......'Help!' cried Frodo and Sam running towards him with their hand stretched out.
......'Whoa! Whoa! Steady there!' cried the old man, holding up one hand, and they stopped short, as if they had been struck stiff. 'Now, my little fellows, where be you a-going to, puffing like bellows? What's the matter here then? Do you know who I am? I'm Tom Bombadil.'"

......"Frodo as last, feeling his heart moved with a joy that he did not understand. He stood as he had at times stood enchanted by fair elven-voices; but the spell that was now laid upon him was different: less keen and lofty was the delight, but deeper and nearer to mortal heart; marvellous and yet not strange. 'Fair lady Goldberry!' he said again. 'Now the joy that was hidden in the songs we heard is made plain to me.

......'O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
......O reed by the living pool! Fair river-daughter!
......O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
......O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves' laughter!'


......Suddenly he stopped and stammered, overcome with surprise to hear himself saying such things. But Goldberry laughed.
......'Welcome!' she said. 'I had not heard that folk of the Shire were so sweet-tongued. But I see you are an elf-friend; the light in your eyes and the ring in your voice tells it. This is a merry meeting! Sit now, and wait for the Master of the house!'"

September 26, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)
The hobbits rest in Rivendell

......"...The four hobbits stayed in Rivendell for some days, and they sat much with their old friend, who spent most of his time now in his room, except at meals. For these he was still very punctual as a rule, and he seldom failed to wake up in time for them."

September 26, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

(not from the appendices-no text)
The Company rides to the Grey Havens.

......Dread lay on Sam' heart. Despite the enchanting songs of the Elven-company as they made their way, the endless miles weighed heavier on him with each step.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

TIME September 25th

Today in Middle-earth

September 25, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(not from the appendices)
The Conspiracy Unmasked

......"'Cousin Frodo has been very close,' said Pippin. 'But the time has come for him to open out. So far we have been given nothing more to go on that Farmer Maggot's guess that it has something to do with old Bilbo's treasure.
......'That was only a guess,' said Frodo hastily. 'Maggot does not know anything.'
......'Old Maggot is a shrewd fellow,' said Merry. 'A lot goes on behind his round face that does not come out in his talk. I've heard that he used to go into the Old Forest at one time, and he has the reputation of knowing a good many strange things. But you can at least tell us, Frodo, whether you think his guess good or bad.'
......'I think,' answered Frodo slowly, 'that it was a good guess, as far as it goes. There is a connexion with Bilbo's old adventures, and the Riders are looking, or perhaps one ought to say searching, for him or for me. I also fear, if you want to know, that it is no joke at all; and that I am not safe here or anywhere else.' He looked round at the windows and walls, as if he was afraid they would suddenly give way. The others looked at him in silence, and exchanged meaning glances among themselves.
......'It's coming out in a minute,' whispered Pippin to Merry. Merry nodded.
......'Well!' said Frodo at last, sitting up and straightening his back, as if he had made a decision. 'I can't keep it dark any longer. I have got something to tell you all. But I don't know quite how to begin.'
......'I think I could help you,' said Merry quietly, 'by telling you some of it myself.'
......'What do you mean?' said Frodo, looking at him anxiously.
......'Just this, my dear old Frodo: you are miserable, because you don't know how to say good-bye. You meant to leave the Shire, of course. But danger has come on you sooner than you expected, and now you are making up your mind to go at once. And you don't want to. We are very sorry for you.'
......Frodo opened his mouth and shut it again. His look of surprise was so comical that they laughed. 'Dear old Frodo!' said Pippin. 'Did you really think you had thrown dust in all our eyes? You have not been nearly careful or clever enough for that! You have obviously been planning to go and saying farewell to all your haunts all this year since April. We have constantly heard you muttering: "Shall I ever look down into that valley again, I wonder", and things like that. And pretending that you had come to the end of your money, and actually selling your beloved Bag End to those Sackville-Bagginses! And all those close talks with Gandalf.
......'Good heavens!' said Frodo. 'I thought I had been both careful and clever. I don't know what Gandalf would say. Is all the Shire discussing my departure then?'
......'Oh no!' said Merry. 'Don't worry about that! The secret won't keep for long, of course; but at present it is, I think, only known to us conspirators. After all, you must remember that we know you well, and are often with you. We can usually guess what you are thinking. I knew Bilbo, too. To tell you the truth, I had been watching you rather closely ever since he left. I though you would go after him sooner or later; indeed I expected you to go sooner, and lately we have been very anxious. We have been terrified that you might give us the slip, and go off suddenly, all on your own like he did. Ever since this spring we have kept our eyes open, and done a good deal of planning on our own account. You are not going to escape so easily!'
......'But I must go,' said Frodo. 'It cannot be helped, dear friends. It is wretched for us all, but it is no use your trying to keep me. Since you have guessed so much, please help me and do not hinder me!'
......'You do not understand!' said Pippin. 'You must go—and therefore we must, too. Merry and I are coming with you. Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragon's throat to save you, if he did not trip over his own feet; but you will need more than one companion in your dangerous adventure.'
......'My dear and most beloved hobbits!' said Frodo deeply moved. 'But I could not allow it. I decided that long ago, too. You speak of danger, but you do not understand. This is no treasure-hunt, no there-and-back journey. I am flying from deadly peril into deadly peril.'
......'Of course we understand,' said Merry firmly. 'That is why we have decided to come. We know the Ring is no laughing matter; but we are going to do our best to help you against the Enemy.'
......'The Ring!' said Frodo, now completely amazed.
......'Yes, the Ring,' said Merry. 'My dear old hobbit, you don't allow for the inquisitiveness of friends. I have known about the existence of the Ring for years—before Bilbo went away, in fact; but since he obviously regarded it as secret, I kept the knowledge in my head, until we formed our own conspiracy. I did not know Bilbo, of course, as well as I know you; I was too young, and he was also more careful—but he was not careful enough. If you want to know how I first found out, I will tell you.'
......'Go on!' said Frodo faintly.
......'It was the Sackville-Bagginses that were his downfall, as you might expect. One day, a year before the Party, I happened to be walking along the road, when I saw Bilbo ahead. Suddenly in the distance, the S.-Bs. appeared, coming towards us. Bilbo slowed down, and then hey presto! he vanished. I was so startled that I hardly had the wits to hide myself in a more ordinary fashion; but I got through the hedge and walked along the field inside. I was peeping through into the road, after the S.-Bs. had passed, and was looking straight at Bilbo when he suddenly reappeared. I caught a glint of gold as he put something back into his trouser-pocket.
......'After that I kept my eyes open. In fact, I confess that I spied. But you must admit that it was very intriguing, and I was only in my teens. I must be the only one in the Shire, besides you Frodo, that has ever seen the old fellow's secret book.'
......'You have read his book!' cried Frodo. 'Good heavens above! Is nothing safe?'
......'Not too safe, I should say,' said Merry. 'But I have only had one rapid glance, and that was difficult to get. He never left the book about. I wonder what became of it. I should like another look. Have you got it, Frodo?'
......'No. It was not at Bag End. He must have taken it away.'
......'Well, as I was saying,' Merry proceeded, 'I kept my knowledge to myself, till this Spring when things got serious. Then we formed our conspiracy; and as we were serious, too, and meant business, we have not been too scrupulous. You are not a very easy nut to crack, and Gandalf is worse. But if you want to be introduced to our chief investigator, I can produce him.'
......'Where is he?' said Frodo, looking round, as if he expected a masked and sinister figure to come out of a cupboard.
......'Step forward, Sam!' said Merry; and Sam stood up with a face scarlet up to the ears. 'Here's our collector of information! And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught. After which, I may say, he seemed to regard himself as on parole, and dried up.'
......'Sam!' cried Frodo, feeling that amazement could go no further, and quite unable to decided whether he felt angry, amused, relieved, or merely foolish.
......'Yes, sir!' said Sam. 'Begging your pardon, sir! But I meant no wrong to you, Mr. Frodo, nor to Mr. Gandalf for that matter. He has some sense, mind you; and when you said go alone, he said no! take someone as you can trust.'
......'But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,' said Frodo.
......Sam looked at him unhappily. 'It all depends on what you want,' put in Merry. 'You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin—to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours—closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway: there it is. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. We know a good deal about the Ring. We are horribly afraid—but we are coming with you; or following you like hounds.'
......'And after all, sir,' added Sam, 'you did ought to take the Elves' advice. Gildor said you should take them as was willing, and you can't deny it.
......'I don't deny it,' said Frodo, looking at Sam, who was now grinning. 'I don't deny it, but I'll never believe you are sleeping again, whether you snore or not. I shall kick you hard to make sure.
......'You are a set of deceitful scoundrels!' said Frodo, turning to the others. 'But bless you!' he laughed, getting up and waving his arms, 'I give in. I will take Gildor's advice. If the danger were not so dark, I should dance for joy. Even so, I cannot help feeling happy; happier than I have felt for a long time. I had dreaded this evening.'
......'Good! That's settled. Three cheers for Captain Frodo and company!' they shouted; and they danced round him. Merry and Pippin began a song, which they had apparently got ready for the occasion.
......It was made on the model of the dwarf-song that started Bilbo on his adventure long ago, and went to the same tune:

Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away ere break of day
Far over wood and mountain tall.

To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
In glades beneath the misty fell,
Through moor and waste we ride in haste,
And whither then we cannot tell.

With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.

We must away! We must away!
We ride before the break of day!


......'Very good!' said Frodo. 'But in that case there are a lot of things to do before we go to bed---under a roof, for tonight at any rate.
......'Oh! That was poetry!' said Pippin. 'Do you really mean to start before the break of day?'
......'I don't know,' answered Frodo. 'I fear those Black Riders, and I am sure it is unsafe to stay in one place long, especially in a place to which it is known I was going. Also Gildor advised me not to wait. But I should very much like to see Gandalf. I could see that even Gildor was disturbed when he heard that Gandalf had never appeared. It really depends on two things. How soon could the Riders get to Bucklebury? And how soon could we get off? It will take a good deal of preparation.'
......'The answer to the second question,' said Merry, 'is that we could get off in a hour. I have prepared practically everything. There are six ponies in a stable across the fields; stores and tackle are all packed, except for a few extra clothes, and the perishable food.'
......'It seems to have been a very efficient conspiracy,' said Frodo."

Friday, September 24, 2004

TIME September 24th

Today in Middle-earth.

September 24, 3001 (S.R. 1401)

(not from the appendices)

......Frodo began to recover from the excitement and fury of the Party and distribution of gifts. Gandalf had once again come and gone the night before in his usual rush.

......"'Good-bye now! Take care of yourself! Look out for me, especially at unlikely times! Good-bye!'
......Frodo saw him to the door. He gave a final wave of his hand, and walked off at a surprising pace; but Frodo thought the old wizard looked unusually bent, almost as if he was carrying a great weight. The evening was closing in, and his cloaked figure quickly vanished into the twilight. Frodo did not see him again for a long time."

September 24, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices-no text)
1. Gandalf crosses the Isen.

......As Shadowfax raced across the vast leagues between the land of the Rohirrim and the Northern Realm, Gandalf reached the River Isen as the hobbits leisurely made their way across the Shire.

2. Hobbits on the move.
(not from the appendices)

......"Frodo woke up first, and found that a tree-root had made a hole in his back, and that his neck was stiff. 'Walking for pleasure! Why didn't I drive?' he thought, as he usually did at the beginning of an expedition. 'And all my beautiful feather beds are sold to the Sackville-Bagginses! These tree-roots would do them good.' He stretched. 'Wake up, hobbits!' he cried. 'It's a beautiful morning!'
......'What's beautiful about it?' said Pippin, peering over the edge of his blanket with one eye. 'Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine! Have you got the bath-water hot?'
......Sam jumped up, looking rather bleary. 'No, sir, I haven't, sir!' he said.
......Frodo stripped the blankets from Pippin and rolled him over, and then walked off to the edge of the wood."

[Later that day]
......"...They had been jogging along again for an hour or more when Sam stopped a moment as if listening. They were now on level ground, and the road after much winding lay straight ahead through grassland sprinkled with tall trees, outliers of the approaching woods.
......'I can hear a pony or a horse coming along the road behind,' said Sam.
......They looked back, but the turn of the road prevented them from seeing far. 'I wonder if that is Gandalf coming after us,' said Frodo; but even as he said it, he had a feeling that it was not so, and a sudden desire to hide from the view of the rider came over him.
......'It may not matter much,' he said apologetically, 'but I would rather not be seen on the road—by anyone... ...let's get out of sight!'
.........Frodo hesitated for a second; curiosity or some other feeling was struggling with his desire to hide. The sound of the hoofs drew nearer. Just in time he threw himself down in a patch of long grass behind a tree that over-shadowed the road. Then he lifted his head and peered cautiously above one of the great roots.
......Round the corner came a black horse, no hobbit-pony but a full-sized horse; and on it sat a large man, who seemed to crouch in the saddle, wrapped in a great black cloak and hood, so that only his boots in the high stirrups showed below; his face was shadowed and invisible.
......When it reached the tree and was level with Frodo the horse stopped. The riding figure sat quite still with its head bowed, as if listening. From inside the hood came a noise of someone sniffing to catch an elusive scent; the head turned from side to side of the road.
......A sudden unreasoning fear of discovery laid hold of Frodo, and he thought of his Ring. He hardly dared to breathe, and yet the desire to get it out of his pocket became so strong that he began slowly to move his hand..."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

TIME September 23rd

Today in Middle-earth.

Whew... what a great day we had! But as for Frodo, it's back to the old grind...

September 23, 3001 (S.R. 1401)

(not from the appendices)
After a long expected party!!

......"Then a number of other people came (without orders): Bagginses, and Boffins, and Bolgers, and Tooks, and other guests that lived or were staying near. By mid-day, when even the best-fed were out and about again, there was a large crowd at Bag End, uninvited but not unexpected.
......Frodo was waiting on the step, smiling, but looking rather tired and worried. He welcomed all the callers, but he had not much more to say than before. His reply to the inquiries was simply this: 'Mr. Bilbo Baggins has gone away; as far as I know, for good.' some of the visitors he invited to come inside, as Bilbo had left 'messages' for them.
......Inside in the hall there was piled a large assortment of packages and parcels and small articles of furniture. On every item thee was a label tied....
.........Frodo had a very trying time that afternoon. A false rumour that the whole household was being distributed free spread like wildfire; and before long the place was packed with people who had no business there, but could not be kept out...
......'...It's time to close the shop, Merry,' Frodo sad. 'Lock the door, and don't open it to any one today, not even if they bring a battering-ram.' Then he went to revive himself with a belated cup of tea.
......He had hardly sat down, when there came a soft knock at the front-door. 'Lobelia again most likely,' he thought. 'She must have thought of something really nasty, and have come back again to say it. It can wait.'
......He went on with his tea. The knock was repeated, much louder, but he took no notice. Suddenly the wizard's head appeared at the window.
......'If you don't let me in, Frodo, I shall blow your door right down your hole and out through the hill.'"


September 23, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(from the appendices-no text)
1. Four Riders enter the Shire before dawn. The others pursue the Rangers eastward, and then return to watch the Greenway.

2. A Black Rider comes to Hobbiton at nightfall, Frodo leaves Bag End.
(from the appendices)

......"...Frodo was going on foot. His plan—for pleasure and a last look at the Shire as much as any other reason—was to walk from Hobbiton to Bucklebury Ferry, taking it fairly easy.
......'I shall get myself a bit into training, too,' he said, looking at himself in a dusty mirror in the half-empty hall. He had not done any strenuous walking for a long time, and the reflection looked rather flabby, he thought.
......'...It's going to be a fine night,' he said aloud. 'That's good for a beginning. I feel like walking. I can't bear any more hanging about. I am going to start, and Gandalf must follow me.' He turned to go back, and then stopped, for he heard voices, just round the corner by the end of Bagshot Row. One voice was certainly the old Gaffer's; the other was strange, and somehow unpleasant. He could not make out what it said, but he heard the Gaffer's answers, which were rather shrill. The old man seemed put out...
......'...I am sick of questions and curiosity about my doings...' (Frodo thought). He had half a mind to go and ask the Gaffer who the inquirer was; but he thought better (or worse) of it, and turned and walked quickly back to Bag End...
......'...'Sam!' he called. 'Sam! Time!'
......'Coming, sir!' came the answer from far within, followed soon by Sam himself, wiping his mouth. He had been saying farewell to the beer-barrel in the cellar...
.........Frodo shut and locked the round door, and gave the key to Sam. 'Run down with this to your home, Sam!' he said... '...Well, now we're off at last!' said Frodo. They shouldered their packs and took up their sticks, and walked round the corner to the west side of Bag End. 'Good-bye!' said Frodo, looking at the dark blank windows. He waved his hand, and then turned and (following Bilbo, if he had known it) hurried after Peregrin down the garden-path..."

3. Gandalf having tamed Shadowfax rides from Rohan.
(from the appendices)

......[Gandalf addressed the Council] "'Never before had any man mounted [Shadowfax], but I took him and I tamed him, and so speedily he bore me that I reached the Shire when Frodo was on the Barrow-downs, though I set out from Rohan only when he set out from Hobbiton.'"


September 23, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices-no text)
The hobbits enjoy their time with Bilbo in the comfort of Imladris.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Favourite Frodo Quotes - for Baggins' birthday.

Posted by White Gull for Frodo & Bilbo's birthday party. (22nd Sept 2004)

What's your favorite Frodo quote?

Of all the things Frodo has said, books, movie, fanfics, or all three, what's your favorite?

Here's mine:

From FOTR - I will take the ring, though I do not know the way.

From TTT - I was going to find a way into Mordor. I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the mountain of fire and cast the thing into the Gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there.

From ROTK - I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I begin to see it even with my waking eyes, and all else fades.

And resistance is futile, from fanfic (Autumn's Requiem, by Ariel & Aralithiel ) - Come with me.

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A'amel's choices:

From FOTR: "Yes, you have seen a thing or two since you last peeped out of a looking glass,.'

From TTT: 'Yes', said Frodo. 'At least, you must either accept this promise or carry out your law. You will get no more. But I promised that if he came to me, he should not be harmed. And I would not be proved faithless.'

From ROTK: 'I can manage it.' said Frodo. 'I must.' (all time favorite, this one)

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Slayer of Orc's choice:

The one that stands out for me is from ROTK:

"I am glad that you are here with me ... here at the end of all things, Sam"

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Shuya's choices:

From the movies...

I don't have my books in front of me, and I have a bad memory for that sort of thing, so mine are from the movies...

FotR - "What must I do?" I also love "Mordor, Gandalf - is it left or right?"

TT - "You're forgetting one of the chief characters - Samwise the Brave. Frodo wouldn't have gotten very far without him."

RotK - "I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee. Here at the end of all things."

Feeling a necessary book rereading coming on... :)

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Grammaboodawg's choices:

"You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that one of his spies would—well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand."

"I was going to find a way into Mordor,' he said faintly. 'I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there."

"Looking in a mirror he was startled to see a much thinner reflection of himself than he remembered: it looked remarkably like the young nephew of Bilbo who used to go tramping with his uncle in the Shire; but the eyes looked out at him thoughtfully.
'Yes, you have seen a thing or two since you last peeped out of a looking-glass,' he said to his reflection."

"‘There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?’"

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Modtheow's choices:

My current favourite from the books is from RotK, the Grey Havens chapter. After Frodo finally explains to Sam where he is really going, he says to Sam, "Come now, ride with me!" There's something about that moment that I find very moving: Sam is in his first moments of grief at discovering Frodo is leaving, Frodo has said everything he needs to say to Sam about his future, and then he asks his friend to stay with him right up to his last moments in Middle-earth.

In the movies, I like the Wheel of Fire speech and "The Ring is mine!"

In fanfic, anything that goes "Oh...Sam...please" is usually fine with me.

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asclepias54's choices:


You were meant to be one and whole, and you will have to be for a good many years. -ROTK

I don't think you quite understand things, Pippin. Lotho never meant for things to come to this pass. -ROTK

Oh, and the one from Frodo to Faramir about Elrond having said he would find friendship unlooked for along the road, but I can't remember the exact quote.

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Melian of Doriath's choice:

I'll have to paraphrase it because I don't have the book in front of me, but I find it's a strangely beautiful quote from FOTR:

"This is no holiday, no there and back again journey. I am flying from deadly peril into deadly peril." (from "A Conspiracy Unmasked")

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Alassea Eruvande's choice:

"What must I do?"

He asks of Gandalf in Bag End after hearing the story of the Ring. We are just beginning to see what this hobbit is made of. He's just heard a horrific story of doom and doesn't try to get out of doing his duty. He has realized that it must be taken care of and he is the one to do it.

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Scout B's choice:

By Elbereth and Luthien the fair you shall have neither the Ring nor me!"

He shows his elvishness (elvocity?), his bravery, his all....

Not sure this is actually my favorite, but I'll say it is for today. :-)

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Golfimbul's choice:

One of mine:

(Along with lots of others.)

This is from "The Scouring of the Shire" and is about Saruman.

"No Sam! 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."

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Chip of Dale's choice:

"I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them."

Actually, that whole speech, and its reflection in the movie.

And of course, "I will take it." Every time he says it, even when he doesn't speak it.

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Eowyn Rohan's choices:

Threads of an old life and saving the Shire

FOTR: 'What must I do?'
TTT : [Can't think of anything from the movie now. Perhaps its time I watch it again!]
ROTK: 'How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back?'

'We set out to save the Shire Sam, and it has been saved but not for me.'

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Elvendala's choice:

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....

this isnt as easy as it looks.

FOTR: What are they? (To Strider)
TTT: This is Sting. You've seen it before, havent you, Gollum?
ROTK: I'm glad to be here with you...at the end of all things.

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Djdeathskiss's choice:

The quote in my footer:



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Meliana's choice:

'I don't know how long we shall take to - to finish. We were miserably delayed in the hills. But Samwise Gamgee, my dear hobbit - indeed, Sam my dearest hobbit, friend of friends - I do not think we need give thought to what comes after that. To do the job as you put it - what hope is there that we ever shall? And if we do, who knows what will come of that? If the One goes into the Fire, and we are at hand? I ask you, Sam, are we ever likely to need bread again? I think not. If we can nurse our limbs to bring us to Mount Doom, that is all we can do. More than I can, I begin to feel.'

Such a shame none of this make it into the films. But it is lovely.

TIME September 22nd

*toots horn* Woohoo! Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!! It is TIME-September 22



*tossessss confetti* HAPPY DAY!!

September 22, 2890

(from the appendices-no text)
Birth of Bilbo in the Shire.

......Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took celebrate the birth of their only child, "Bilbo of Bag End."


September 22, 2941


(not from the appendices)
Bilbo and the Dwarves reach Lake-town and enjoy feast and song.

......"...a barrel was cut loose by Bilbo and pushed to the shore and opened. Groans came from inside, and out crept a most unhappy dwarf. Wet straw was in his draggled beard; he was so sore and stiff, so bruised and buffeted he could hardly stand or stumble through the shallow water to lie groaning on the shore....
......"Well, are you alive or are you dead?" asked Bilbo quite crossly... "...Are you still in prison, or are you free? If you want food, and if you want to go on with this silly adventure---it's yours after all and not mine---you had better slap your arms and rub your legs and try and help me get the others out while there is a chance!"

......"Well! Here we are!" said Thorin. "And I suppose we ought to thank our stars and Mr. Baggins. I am sure he has a right to expect it, though I wish he could have arranged a more comfortable journey. Still---all very much at your service once more, Mr. Baggins. No doubt we shall feel properly grateful, when we are fed and recovered. In the meanwhile what next?"
......"I suggest Lake-town," said Bilbo. "What else is there?"

......"Even Bilbo was given a seat at the high table, and no explanation of where he came in—no songs had alluded to him even in the obscurest way—was asked for in the general bustle....
......... the dwarves' good feeling towards the little hobbit grew stronger every day. There were no more groans or grumbles. They drank his health, and they patted him on the back, and they made a great fuss of him; which was just as well, for he was not feeling particularly cheerful. He had not forgotten the look of the Mountain, nor the thought of the dragon, and he had besides a shocking cold... ...his speeches at banquets were limited to "Thag you very buch.""


September 22, 2968

(from the appendices-no text)
Birth of Frodo.

......Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck celebrate the birth of their only child, Frodo.


September 22, 3001 (S.R. 1401)

(not from the appendices)
[Bilbo is eleventy-one and Frodo has come of age at thirty-three]
A long expected party!!


......"The sun got up, the clouds vanished, flags were unfurled and the fun began.
......Bilbo met the guests (and additions) at the new white gate in person. He gave away presents to all and sundry—the latter were those who went out again by the back way and came in again by the gate. Hobbits give presents to other people on their own birthdays....
.........There were three official meals: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper). But lunch and tea were marked chiefly by the fact that at those times all the guests were sitting down and eating together. At other times there were merely lots of people eating and drinking—continuously from elevenses until six-thirty, when the fireworks started.
......The fireworks were by Gandalf: they were not only brought by him, but designed and made by him; and the special effects, set pieces, and flights of rockets were let off by him. But there was also a generous distribution of squibs, crackers, backarappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps. They were all superb. The art of Gandalf improved with age.
......There were rockets like a flight of scintillating birds singing with sweet voices. There were green trees with trunks of dark smoke: their leaves opened like a whole spring unfolding in a moment, and their shining branches dropped glowing flowers down upon the astonished hobbits, disappearing with a sweet scent just before they touched their upturned faces. There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain; there was a forest of silver spears that sprang suddenly into the air with a yell like an embattled army, and came down again into the Water with a hiss like a hundred hot snakes. And there was also one last surprise, in honour of Bilbo, and it startled the hobbits exceedingly, as Gandalf intended. The lights were out. A great smoke went up. It shaped itself like a fountain seen in the distance, and began to flow at the summit. It sprouted green and scarlet flames. Out flew a red-golden dragon—not life-size, but terribly life-like: fire came from his jaws, his eyes glared down; there was a roar, and he whizzed three times over the heads of the crowd. They all ducked, and many fell flat on their faces. The dragon passed like an express train, turned a somersault, and burst over Bywater with a deafening explosion.
......'That is the signal for supper!' said Bilbo. The pain and alarm vanished at once, and the prostrate hobbits leaped to their feet..."

......After the feast (more or less) came the Speech. Most of the company were, however, now in a tolerant mood, at that delightful stage which they called 'filling up the corners'. They were sipping their favourite drinks, and nibbling at their favourite dainties, and their fears were forgotten. They were prepared to listen to anything, and to cheer at every full stop.
......'My dear People,' began Bilbo, rising in his place.
......'Hear! Hear! Hear!' they shouted, and kept on repeating it in chorus, seeming reluctant to follow their own advice. Bilbo left his place and went and stood on a chair under the illuminated tree. The light of the lanterns fell on his beaming face; the golden buttons shone on his embroidered silk waistcoat. They could all see him standing, waving one hand in the air, and the other was in his trouser-pocket.
......'My dear Bagginses and Boffins, he began again; and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots.'
......'ProudFEET!' shouted an elderly hobbit from the back of the pavilion. His name, of course, was Proudfoot, and well merited; his feet were large, exceptionally furry, and both were on the table.
......'Proudfoots,' repeated Bilbo. 'Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End. Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!'
......'Hurray! Hurray! Many Happy Returns!' they shouted, and they hammered joyously on the tables. Bilbo was doing splendidly. This was the sort of stuff they like: short and obvious.
......'I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am' Deafening cheers. Cries of YES (and NO). Noises of trumpets and horns, pipes and flutes, and other musical instruments. There were, as has been said, many young hobbits present. Hundreds of musical crackers had been pulled. Most of them bore the mark DALE on them; which did not convey much to most of the hobbits, but they all agreed they were marvellous crackers. They contained instruments, small, but of perfect make and enchanting tones. In deed, in one corner some of the young Tooks and Brandybucks, supposing Uncle Bilbo to have finished (since he had plainly said all that was necessary), now got up an impromptu orchestra, and began a merry dance-tune. Master Everard Took and Miss Melilot Brandybuck got on a table and with bells in their hands began to dance the Springle-ring: a pretty dance, but rather vigorous.
......But Bilbo had not finished. Seizing a horn from a youngster near by, he blew three loud hoots. The noise subsided. 'I shall not keep you long,' he cried. Cheers from all the assembly. 'I have called you all together for a Purpose.' Something in the way that he said this made an impression. There was almost silence, and one or two of the Tooks pricked up their ears.
......'Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits.' Tremendous outburst of approval.
......'I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.' This was unexpected and rather difficult. There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.

......'Secondly, to celebrate my birthday.' Cheers again. 'I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today.' Some perfunctory clapping by the elders; and some loud shouts of 'Frodo! Frodo! Jolly old Frodo,' from the juniors. The Sackville-Bagginses scowled and wondered what was meant by 'coming into his inheritance'.
......'Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression.' No cheers. This was ridiculous. Many of the guests, and especially the Sackville-Bagginses, were insulted, feeling sure they had only been asked to fill up the required number, like goods in a package. 'One Gross, indeed! Vulgar expression!'
......'It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say "thag you very buch". I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party.' ......Obstinate silence. They all feared that a song or some poetry was now imminent; and they were getting bored. Why couldn't he stop talking and let them drink his health? But Bilbo did not sing or recite. He paused for a moment.
......'Thirdly and finally, he said, 'I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT.' He spoke this last word so loudly and suddenly that everyone sat up who still could. 'I regret to announce that—though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you—this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!'
......He stepped down and vanished. There was a blinding flash of light, and the guests all blinked. When they opened their eyes Bilbo was nowhere to be seen. One hundred and forty-four flabbergasted hobbits sat back speechless. Old Odo Proudfoot removed his feet from the table and stamped. Then there was a dead silence, until suddenly, after several deep breath, every Baggins, Boffin, Took, Brandybuck, Grubb, Chubb, Burrows, Bolger, Bracegirdle, Brockhouse, Goodbody, Hornblower, and Proudfoot began to talk at once."

[A toast to Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Unnatural hobbits, elf-friends, ring-bearers, cherished companions and saviors unlooked for. Love them forever and so glad to know them. Salute.]


September 22, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

(not from the appendices)
1. Bilbo and Frodo's birthdays. Frodo leaves the Shire.

......"Thursday, his birthday morning, dawned as fair and clear as it had long ago for Bilbo's great Party. Still Gandalf did not appear. In the evening Frodo gave his farewell feast: it was quite small, just a dinner for himself and his four helpers; but he was troubled and felt in no mood for it. The thought that he would so soon have to part with his young friends weighed on his heart. He wondered how he would break it to them.
......The four younger hobbits were, however, in high spirits and the party soon became very cheerful in spite of Gandalf's absence. The dining-room was bare except for a table and chairs, but the food was good, and there was good wine: Frodo's wine had not been included in the sale of the Sackville-Bagginses.
......'Whatever happens to the rest of my stuff, when the S-Bs get their claws on it, at any rate I have found a good home for this!' said Frodo as he drained his glass. It was the last drop of Old Winyards.
......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. Then they went out for a sniff of air, and glimpse of the stars, and then they went to bed. Frodo's party was over, and Gandalf had not come."

2. The Black Riders reach Sarn Ford at evening; they drive off the guard of Rangers.
(from the appendices-no text)

......A presence of old crept through the forest which the Ranger felt long before he heard the sound of galloping hoofs. With a rush, five Black Riders swept over him as he stood in the defence. Yet in the end he yielded to their force, feeling it prudent to alert his brethren and prepare for the battle they long sensed would come.

3. Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax.
(from the appendices)

......"I took the best horse in his land, and I have never seen the like of him.... ...Never had any man mounted him, but I took him and I tamed him..."


September 22, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

(not from the appendices)
The hundred and twenty-ninth birthday of Bilbo. Frodo's fifty-first birthday. Saruman comes to the Shire.

......"After the celebration of Bilbo's birthday the four hobbits stayed in Rivendell for some days, and they sat much with their old friend, who spent most of his time now in his room, except at meals. For these he was still very punctual as a rule, and he seldom failed to wake up in time for them. Sitting round the fire they told him in turn all that they could remember of their journeys and adventures...
.........The only part that seemed really to rouse him and hold his attention was the account of the crowning and marriage of Aragorn. 'I was invited to the wedding, of course,' he said. 'And I have waited for it long enough. But somehow, when it came to it, I found I had so much to do here; and packing is such a bother.'"


September 22, 3020 (S.R. 1420)

(from the appendices-no text)

Bilbo's hundred and thirtieth birthday. Frodo's fifty-second birthday.
......
There was a quiet gathering of friends and family at Bag End. Merry, Pippin, Rosie, Sam and Frodo enjoyed food, drink and song in front of the fire. At the end of the evening, as is Frodo's custom, they drank to Bilbo and Frodo's health: then he fell silent as he gazed into the flames.



September 22, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

(from the appendices)
They meet the Last Riding of the Keepers of the Rings in Woody End.

......"They camped in the Green Hills, and on September the twenty-second they rode gently down into the beginning of the trees as afternoon was wearing away.
......'If that isn't the very tree you hid behind when the Black Rider first showed up, Mr. Frodo!' said Sam pointing to the left. 'It seems like a dream now.'
......It was evening, and the stars were glimmering in the eastern sky as they passed the ruined oak and turned and went on down the hill between the hazel-thickets. Sam was silent, deep in his memories. Presently he became aware that Frodo was singing softly to himself, singing the old walking-song, but the words were not quite the same.


Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.


......And as if in answer, from down below, coming up the road out of the valley, voices sang:


A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath,
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees
The starlight on the Western Seas.


......Frodo and Sam halted and sat silent in the soft shadows, until they saw a shimmer as the travellers came towards them.
......There was Gildor and many fair Elven folk; and there to Sam's wonder rode Elrond and Galadriel. Elrond wore a mantle of grey and had a star upon his forehead, and a silver harp was in his hand, and upon his finger was a ring of gold with a great blue stone, Vilya, mightiest of the Three. But Galadriel sat upon a white palfrey and was roped all in glimmering white, like clouds about the Moon; for she herself seemed to shine with a soft light. On her finger was Nenya, the ring wrought of mithril, that bore a single white stone flickering like a frosty star. Riding slowly behind on a small grey pony, and seeming to nod in his sleep, was Bilbo himself.
.........Bilbo woke up and opened his eyes. 'Hullo, Frodo!' he said. 'Well, I have passed the Old Took today! So that's settled. And now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey. Are you coming?'
......'Yes, I am coming.' said Frodo. 'The Ring-bearers should go together.'"


September 22, 3082 (S.R. 1482)
(from the appendices)

......[at ninety-nine years of age] "...Master Samwise rides out from Bag End. He comes to the Tower Hills, and is last seen by Elanor, to whom he gives the Red Book afterwards kept by the Fairbairns. Among them the tradition is handed down from Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers, and went to the Grey Havens, and passed over Sea, last of the Ring-bearers."


Cheers to Frodo and Bilbo!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Faces of Faramir

Happy Birthday David Wenham!

A tribute to David Wenham and his wonderful portrayal of Faramir, son of Gondor. His look and tone have brought Faramir to life... a worthy caretaker :) Thank you, Mr. Wenham.


......"Frodo's tone was proud, whatever he felt, and Sam approved of it; but it did not appease Faramir.
......'So!' he said. 'You bid me mind my own affairs, and get me back home, and let you be. Boromir will tell all, when he comes. When he come, say you! Were you a friend of Boromir?'
......Vividly before Frodo's mind came the memory of Boromir's assault upon him, and for a moment he hesitated. Faramir's eyes watching him grew harder. 'Boromir was a valiant member of our Company,' said Frodo at length. 'Yes, I was his friend, for my part.'
......Faramir smiled grimly. 'Then you would grieve to learn that Boromir is dead?'
......'I would grieve indeed,' said Frodo. Then catching the look in Faramir's eyes, he faltered. 'Dead?' he said. 'Do you mean that he is dead, and that you knew it? You have been trying to trap me in words, playing with me? Or are you now trying to snare me with a falsehood?'
......'I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood,' said Faramir.
......'How then did he die, and how do you know of it? Since you say that none of the Company had reached the city when you left.'
......'As to the manner of his death, I had hoped that his friend and companion would tell me how it was.'
......'But he was alive and strong when we parted. And he lives still for all that I know. Though surely there are many perils in the world.'
......'Many indeed,' said Faramir, 'and treachery not the least....'
...There was some murmuring, but also some grins on the faces of the men looking on: the sight of their Captain sitting on the ground and eye to eye with a young hobbit, legs well apart, bristling with wrath, was one beyond their experience. 'See here!' he said. 'What are you driving at? Let's come to the point before all the Orcs of Mordor come down on us...!
......'...Patience!' said Faramir, but without anger. 'Do not speak before your master whose wit is greater than yours. And I do not need any to teach me of our peril. Even so, I spare a brief time, in order to judge justly in a hard matter. Were I as hasty as you, I might have slain you long ago. For I am commanded to slay all whom I find in this land without the leave of the Lord of Gondor. But I do not slay man or beast needlessly, and not gladly even when it is needed. Neither do I talk in vain. So be comforted. Sit by your master, and be silent!'

......"...I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat floating on the water, glimmering grey, a small boat of a strange fashion with a high prow, and there was none to row or steer it.
......'An awe fell on me, for a pale light was round it. But I rose and went to the bank, and began to walk out into the stream, for I was drawn towards it. Then the boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by within my hand's reach, yet I durst not handle it. It waded deep, as if it were heavily burdened, and it seemed to me as it passed under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water, from which came the light; and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep.... "...Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir!" But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was, and yet no dream, for there was no waking. And I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.'

......'Go back, Faramir, valiant Captain of Gondor, and defend your city while you may, and let me go where my doom takes me.'
......'For me there is no comfort in our speech together,' said Faramir; 'but you surely draw from it more dread than need be. Unless the people of Lórien themselves came to him, who arrayed Boromir as for a funeral? Not Orcs or servants of the Nameless. Some of your Company, I guess, live still.
......'But whatever befell on the North March, you, Frodo, I doubt no longer. If hard days have made me any judge of Men's words and faces, then I may make a guess of Halflings! Though,' and now he smiled, 'there is something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe. But more lies upon our words together than I thought at first. I should now take you back to Minas Tirith to answer there to Denethor, and my life will justly be forfeit, if I now choose a course that proves ill for my city.'

......'Mithrandir was lost!' said Faramir. 'An evil fate seems to have pursued your fellowship. It is hard indeed to believe that one of so great wisdom, and of power—for many wonderful things he did among us—could perish, and so much lore be taken from the world. Are you sure of this, and that he did not just leave you and depart where he would?'
......'Alas! yes,' said Frodo. 'I saw him fall into the abyss.'
......'I see that there is some great tale of dread in this,' said Faramir, 'which perhaps you may tell me in the evening-time. This Mithrandir was, I now guess, more than a lore-master: a great mover of the deeds that are done in our time.'

......'But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.'
......'Neither did the Council,' said Frodo. 'Nor do I. I would have nothing to do with such matters.'
......'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... ...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: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.
......'So fear me not! I do not ask you to tell me more. I do not even ask you to tell me whether I now speak nearer the mark. But if you will trust me, it may be that I can advise you in your present quest, whatever that be—yes, and even aid you.'

......'No indeed, Master Samwise,' said Faramir, 'for I am not learned in Elven-lore. But there you touch upon another point in which we have changed, declining from Númenor to Middle-earth. For as you may know, if Mithrandir was your companion and you have spoken with Elrond, the Edain, the Fathers of the Númenóreans, fought beside the Elves in the first wars, and were rewarded by the gift of the kingdom in the midst of the Sea, within sight of Elvenhome. But in Middle-earth Men and Elves became estranged in the days of darkness, by the arts of the Enemy, and by the slow changes of time in which each kind walked further down their sundered roads. Men now fear and misdoubt the Elves, and yet know little of them. And we of Gondor grow like other Men, like the men of Rohan; for even they, who are foes of the Dark Lord, shun the Elves and speak of the Golden Wood with dread.
......'Yet there are among us still some who have dealings with the Elves when they may, and ever and anon one will go in secret to Lórien, seldom to return. Not I. For I deem it perilous now for mortal man wilfully to seek out the Elder People. Yet I envy you that have spoken with the White Lady.'

......'So it seems,' said Faramir, slowly and very softly, with a strange smile. 'So that is the answer to all the riddles! The One Ring that was thought to have perished from the world. And Boromir tried to take it by force? And you escaped? And ran all the way—to me! And here in the wild I have you: two halflings, and a host of men at my call, and the Ring of Rings. A pretty stroke of fortune! A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!' he stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eye glinting.
......Frodo and Sam sprang from their stools and set themselves side by side with their backs to the wall, fumbling for their sword-hilts. There was a silence. All the men in the cave stopped talking and looked towards them in wonder. But Faramir sat down again in his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly became grave again.
......'Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!' he said. 'How you have increased my sorrow, you two strange wanderers from a far country, bearing the peril of Men! But you are less judges of Men than I of Halflings. We are truth-speakers, we men of Gondor. We boast seldom, and then perform, or die in the attempt. "Not if I found it on the highway would I take It" I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them.
......'But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee. Sit at peace! And be comforted, Samwise. If you seem to have stumbled, think that it was fated to be so. Your heart is shrewd as well as faithful, and saw clearer than your eyes. For strange though it may seem, it was safe to declare this to me. It may even help the master that you love. It shall turn to his good, if it is in my power. So be comforted. But do not even name this thing again aloud. Once in enough.'
......The hobbits came back to their seats and sat very quiet. Men turned back to their drink and their talk, perceiving that their captain had had some jest or other with the little guests, and that it was over.
......'Well, Frodo, now at last we understand one another,' said Faramir. 'If you took this thing on yourself, unwilling, at others' asking, then you have pity and honour from me. And I marvel at you: to keep it hid and not to use it. You are a new people and a new world to me. Are all your kin of like sort? Your land must be a realm of peace and content, and there must gardeners be in high honour.'
......'Not all is well there,' said Frodo, 'but certainly gardeners are honoured.'
......'But folk must grow weary there, even in their gardens, as do all things under the Sun of this world. And you are far from home and wayworn. No more tonight. Sleep, both of you—in peace, if you can. Fear not! I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it than I know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo. Go now to rest—but first tell me only, if you will, whither you wish to go, and what to do. For I must watch, and wait, and think. Time passes. In the morning we must each go swiftly on the ways appointed to us.'
......Frodo had felt himself trembling as the first shock of fear passed. Now a great weariness came down on him like a cloud. He could dissemble and resist no longer.
......'I was going to find a way into Mordor,' he said faintly. 'I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of Doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there.'
......Faramir stared at him for a moment in grave astonishment. Then suddenly he caught him as he swayed, and lifting him gently, carried him to the bed and laid him there, and covered him warmly. At once he fell into a deep sleep.
......Another bed was set beside him for his servant. Sam hesitated for a moment, then bowing very low: 'Good night, Captain, my lord,' he said. 'You took the chance, sir.'
......'Did I so?' said Faramir.
......'Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest.'
......Faramir smiled. 'A pert servant, master Samwise. But nay: the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards. Yet there was naught in this to praise. I had no lure or desire to do other than I have done.'
......'Ah well, sir,' said Sam, 'you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. But I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of—well, Gandalf, of wizards.'
......'Maybe,' said Faramir. 'Maybe you discern from far away the air of Númenor. Good night!'

......'I have no fitting gifts to give you at our parting,' said Faramir; 'but take these staves. They may be of service to those who walk or climb in the wild. The men of the White Mountains use them; though these have been cut down to your height and newly shod. They are made of the fair tree lebethron, beloved of the woodwrights of Gondor, and a virtue has been set upon them of finding and returning. May that virtue not wholly fall under the Shadow into which you go!'
......The hobbits bowed low. 'Most gracious host,' said Frodo, 'it was said to me by Elrond Halfelven that I should find friendship upon the way, secret and unlooked for. Certainly I looked for no such friendship as you have shown. To have found it turns evil to great good.'

......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....' ...Faramir told his tale, with his eyes for the most part on Gandalf, though now and again his glance strayed to Pippin, as if to refresh his memory of others that he had seen.... ...At last when Faramir spoke of his parting with the travellers, and of their resolve to go to Cirith Ungol, his voice fell, and he shook his head and sighed....
...I hope that I have not done ill!' He looked at his father.
......'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....
.........'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.'
......'...Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead—if you command it.'
......'I do so,' said Denethor.
......'Then farewell!' said Faramir. 'But if I should return, think better of me!'
......'That depends on the manner of your return,' said Denethor.

......'...What do you look for, Éowyn?' said Faramir.
......'Does not the Black Gate lie yonder?' said she. 'And must he not now be come thither? It is seven days since he rode away.'
......'Seven day,' said Faramir. 'But think not ill of me, if I say to you: they have brought me both a joy and a pain that I never though to know. Joy to see you; but pain, because now the fear and doubt of this evil time are grown dark indeed. Éowyn, I would not have this world end now, or lose so soon what I have found.'
......'Lose what you have found, lord?' she answered; but she looked at him gravely and her eyes were kind. 'I know not what in these days you have found that you could lose. But come, my friend, let us not speak of it! Let us not speak at all! I stand upon some dreadful brink, and it is utterly dark in the abyss before my feet, but whether there is any light behind me I cannot tell. For I cannot turn yet. I wait for some stroke of doom.'
......'Yes, we wait for the stroke of doom,' said Faramir. And they said no more...
.........And as they stood so, their hands met and clasped, though they did not know it. And still they waited for they knew not what. Then presently it seemed to them that above the ridges of the distant mountains another vast mountain of darkness rose, towering up like a wave that should engulf the world, and about it lightnings flickered; and then a tremor ran through the earth, and they felt the walls of the City quiver. A sound like a sigh went up from all the lands about them; and their hearts beat suddenly again.
......'It reminds me of Númenor,' said Faramir, and wondered to hear himself speak.
......'Of Númenor? said Éowyn.
......'Yes,' said Faramir, 'of the land of Westernesse that foundered, and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness inescapable. I often dream of it.'
......'Then you think that the Darkness is coming?' said Éowyn. 'Darkness Unescapable?' And suddenly she drew close to him.
......'No,' said Faramir, looking into her face. 'It was but a picture in the mind. I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. Éowyn, Éowyn, White Lady of Rohan, in this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!' And he stooped and kissed her brow...
........And before the Sun had fallen far from the noon out of the East there came a great Eagle flying, and he bore tidings beyond hope from the Lords of the West, crying: 'Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor, for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever, and the Dark Tower is thrown down.'

......'Éowyn, why do you tarry here, and do not go to the rejoicing in Cormallen beyond Cair Andros, where your brother awaits you?'
......And she said: 'Do you not know?'
......But he answered: 'Two reasons there may be, but which is true, I do not know.'
......And she said, 'I do not wish to play at riddles. Speak plainer!'
......'Then if you will have it so, lady,' he said: 'you do not go, because only your brother called for you, and to look on the Lord Aragorn, Elendil's heir, in his triumph would now bring you no joy. Or because I do not go, and you desire still to be near me. And maybe for both these reasons, and you yourself cannot choose between them. Éowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?'
......'I wished to be loved by another,' she answered. 'But I desire no man's pity.'
......'That I know,' he said. 'You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Éowyn!'
......And Éowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Éowyn, do you not love me?'
......Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.
......'I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,' she said; 'and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren. And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,' she said.
......Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,' he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.'

......Faramir the younger was like him in looks but otherwise in mind. He read the hearts of men as shrewdly as his father, but what he read moved him sooner to pity than scorn. He was gentle in bearing, and a lover of lore and of music, and therefore by many in those days his courage was judged less than his brother's. But it was not so, except that he did not seek glory in danger without a purpose. He welcomed Gandalf at such times as he came to the City, and he learned what he could from his wisdom; and in this as in many other matters he displeased his father."