October 12, 2017 (October 11, 3018)

Day 5 from Weathertop

Shire Reckoning: October 11, 3018 (Winterfilth 11, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “At the end of the fifth day the ground began once more to rise slowly out of the wide shallow valley into which they had descended. Strider now turned their course again north-eastwards” (~p.4)

Links to Other Content:
Fifth Day after Weathertop, by Ted Nasmith. Painting for today by the illustrious Ted Nasmith.

Notes: Getting closer to the mountains. Hopefully Frodo is holding up okay… ~Tom


October 11, 2017 (October 10, 3018)

Day 4 from Weatherop

Shire Reckoning: October 10, 3018 (Winterfilth 10, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “Not once did they feel the sense of present evil that had assailed them before the attack in the dell. It seemed too much to hope that the Riders had already lost their trail again. Perhaps they were waiting to make some ambush in a narrow place?” (~p.4)

Links to Other Content:
Strider, by s-u-w-i. One of my absolute favorite artists; great portrait of the man leading the hobbits towards the mountains.

Notes: It’s quiet… too quiet. ~Tom

October 10, 2017 (October 9, 3018)

Day 3 from Weathertop

Shire Reckoning: October 9, 3018 (Winterfilth 9, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “They dreaded the dark hours, and kept watch in pairs by night, expecting at any time to see black shapes stalking in the grey night, dimly lit by the cloud-veiled moon; but they saw nothing, and heard no sound but the sigh of withered leaves and grass.” (~p.4)

Links to Other Content:
Nazgul, by Joe Gilronan. Amazingly trippy painting of the Black Riders. Thanks to Becky for reminding me of the artist!

Notes: As Team Frodo continues west, they see no sign of Black Riders. ~Tom

October 9, 2017 (October 8, 3018)

Day 2 from Weathertop

Shire Reckoning: October 8, 3018 (Winterfilth 8, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “Four days passed, without the ground or the scene changing much, except that behind them Weathertop slowly sank, and before them the distant mountains loomed a little nearer. Yet since that far cry they had seen and heard no sign that the enemy had marked their flight or followed them.” (~p.4)

Links to Other Content:
Of Beren and Luthien, by Caprice. A really lovely version of the song from the other day. This one’s a bit easier to listen to than the Tolkien Ensemble version, and a bit shorter due to skipping some verses.

Notes: Not much to say. The song for today is a bit melancholy, probably a reflection of the mood among our hobbits. ~Tom

October 8, 2017 (October 7, 3018)

Team Frodo leave Weathertop

Shire Reckoning: October 7, 3018 (Winterfilth 7, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Flight “Dawn was growing in the sky” (~p.2) – “he did not speak of it for a long time” (~p.4)

– The next day, Strider finds the blade that pierced Frodo’s shoulder, but it vanishes in the morning sun.
– He tries to treat Frodo’s wound with a special healing plant Athelas, but the pain only partially eases. Frodo realizes the foolishness of putting the Ring on, and wonders if he will be crippled for life by the wound.
– The Team hurry south, and cross the Road nervously. They hear the screech of the Riders in the distance, but make it to the woods safely. As they continue to march, Frodo’s wound hurts more and more, but he doesn’t draw attention to it.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– Athelas will serve a surprisingly important role later, so remember it.
– Fans of Bill Ferny’s pony will be happy to know it is doing well, and getting stronger and fatter by the day.

Links to Other Content:
Fonstad Map: Journey through October 20. Here is a regional map showing details of the next leg of the journey. Kind of interesting in that there are two options shown, because Tolkien left a bit of ambiguity in the various rewrites of this chapter as to the geography of the Trollshaws. Use it to follow along, major spoilers contained though.
Plodding, by Smokygouda. Sketch of the four hobbits walking today.
Wound in Weathertop, by breath-art. Awesome mural summarizing the attack.

Notes: And so begins the slog to get to Rivendell. ~Tom

October 7, 2017 (October 6, 3018)


Shire Reckoning: October 6, 3018 (Winterfilth 6, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Knife “In the morning they found” (~p.10) – FR.FlightToTheFord “The night passed slowly and wearily” (~p.2)

Lay of Gil-Galad by Anois. This song is short and really sad. Great cover by Anois.
Song of Beren and Luthien, by Tolkien Ensemble. This song is really long and but also pretty sad. We’ll see more covers of this in the future, for now, here’s the Tolkien Ensemble.

Events: (Major Spoilers, as always!!)
– Team Frodo makes their way along an old path toward Weathertop. Strider tells them of Amon Súl, the old watchtower that stood atop it.
– Sam sings a song about Gil-Galad that Bilbo had taught him as a child.
– At Weathertop, they find some markings from Gandalf that suggest he was there three days ago. Strider pieces together the evidence and decides the lights they had seen were Gandalf being attacked.
– Strider explains that it is almost a two-week journey left to Rivendell, and Frodo begins to think of the Shire and gets homesick.
– He is interrupted by the sight of black dots on the distant road. Doesn’t take too long to figure out they are bLaCk RiDeRs!
– Back down below the hilltop, the hobbits confer with Strider about the plan for the night. They decide to stay at Weathertop and cross the road tomorrow.
– Keeping a fire going as a back-up defense, they prepare for the worst. As they sit around being hungry and miserable, Sam begs for a story of Elves from the past. Strider obliges and sings the Tale of Tinúviel, an elven maiden who fell in love with (and gave up her immortality for) a Man.
– The moon rises over Amon Súl and Sam sees black figures at the edge of the dell.
– Soon five black shapes surround them, and Frodo is gripped with an irresistible urge to slip on the ring. He does so, and suddenly the Riders are made clear to him. He can see the crowns of silver they wear and the swords of steel they carry. He pulls his own sword, but is quickly overwhelmed. He cries out as a blade pierces his shoulder.
– As Frodo passes out, he pulls the Ring from his finger and sees Strider leaping at the Riders with a flaming branch.
– When Frodo comes to, he tells the rest what he saw. Sam grows suspicious (again) of Strider, but the Ranger eases their fears and tells them that the Riders, not expecting a fight, had left for the night.
– Knowing that they will return, Strider sets out to plan the next day’s journey, entrusting Frodo to Sam’s care. The night passes as the hobbits bathe Frodo’s wounds and try to keep him warm by the fire.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– The story of Gil-Galad goes back to the end of the Second Age. He was the captain of the Elves that helped Elendil and Isildur defeat the forces of Mordor, but he died along with Elendil in the final showdown with Sauron.
– The explanation of how the Riders see is pretty unsettling: they use their horses and other animals during the day as ‘eyes’ but then at night they can see ‘shadows’ cast by people and “smell the blood of living things.”

Three great depictions of the attack tonight:
Nazgul at Weathertop by David Findlay (featured). Spooky black and white drawing of the Black Riders.
Against the Shadow, by John Howe. I’m not always the biggest fan of John Howe’s famous Tolkien art, but this is a pretty good one.
Three Dark Kings, by lawksie. Really like the colors and mood in this one.

Links to Other Content:
Map through October 7. Fonstad map of the journey so far, with nightly campsite markers, mileages, and detailed geography. Great for reviewing.
Gil-Galad was an Elven king, by Adele McAllister. Can’t list her songs as the featured version every time, but here is her version of the first song today. Ps if you couldn’t tell I really like Adele McAllister.

The Tale of Years:
The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo wounded.

Notes: Would recommend reading this chapter at night for maximum spook effect. I’m also a big fan of the Lay of Gil-Galad, so definitely check out at least that song. Long journey ahead to Rivendell, so there will be plenty of time to catch up with reading if you have fallen behind! ~Tom

October 6, 2017 (October 5, 3018)

Strider leads the Hobbits east towards Weatherop

Shire Reckoning: October 5, 3018 (Winterfilth 5, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Knife “Next morning they set out again” (~p.9) – “They were six days out from Bree” (~p.10)

– Team Frodo walk all day and make it to the feet of the Weather Hills. 

Links to Other Content:
Mist in that night on Weathertop, by Miruna Lavinia. View of Weathertop from afar.
Weathertop on the Horizon, by John Howe. Strider leads the Hobbit through Eriador. 

Notes: In case the foreshadowing today wasn't enough, some serious action is going to go down tomorrow at Weathertop. Prepare for a super long update. ~Tom PS sorry for the super super late update today!!

October 5, 2017 (October 4, 3018)

Frodo & Co. clear the Marshes

Shire Reckoning: October 4, 3018 (Winterfilth 4, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Knife “They had not gone far” (~p.8) – “In the early night-hours a cold grey light lay on the land” (~p.9)

– Team Frodo finally make it out of the marshes. They see Weathertop more clearly in the distance now.
– Hoping to find Gandalf there, Strider confirms the plan to make a beeline for the old fort at Weathertop.
– Night falls as they near the hills, and the moon is waxing.

Links to Other Content:
Midgewater Marshes to the Weather Hills, by BohemianWeasel. Great art for today, with an added detail of Pippin almost falling in the stream that they cross near the hills. Pretty fitting for his character I think!

Notes: Finally out of the darn Marshes. Weathertop approaches. I think it’s kind of funny how Strider thinks they might just HAPPEN to cross paths with Gandalf there. Like, man, he is some kind of serious optimist. ~Tom

October 4, 2017 (October 3, 3018)

The Hobbits and Strider continue to make their way through the Marshes

Shire Reckoning: October 3, 3018 (Winterfilth 3, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Knife “The next day, the fourth” (~p.8) – “he passed into uneasy sleep” (~p.8)

– The midges continue to bother the hobbits as Strider leads them through the Marshes.
– At night, Frodo sees flashes of light in the east. Strides has no clue what it might be. He dutifully keeps watch while the hobbits try to sleep.

Links to Other Content:
Frodo, by ullakko. Gif of Frodo considering the ring, perhaps in the Marshes during the restless night tonight.