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