October 21, 2017 (October 20, 3018)

Ford Of Bruinen

Shire Reckoning: October 20, 3018 (Winterfilth 20, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “The hobbits were still weary” (~p.16) – “saw no more” (end)

Tale of years:
Escape across the Ford of Bruinen.

– Glorfindel leads the Hobbits toward the Ford of Bruinen, listening all day for the sound of pursuit.
– Finally, when there is just a mile left, Glorfindel hears following feet and cries “‘Fly! The enemy is upon us!'”
– Team Frodo rushes toward the river, but before then can reach it, five Black Rides appear from the trees behind.
– Frodo is paralyzed in fear, but Glorfindel commands Asfaloth (his horse that Frodo is riding) to ride, and it carries Frodo speedily toward the Ford. (illustration by Miruna-Lavinia)
– The rest of the Black Riders come flying out of the trees on the left and make to cut off Frodo’s path.
– Asfaloth manages to get Frodo to the river just in time, passing directly through the grasp of the Riders. (illustration by smokygouda)
– The Nine Riders pause at the edge of the water while Frodo climbs up the opposite bank. They call to him “‘Come back! To Mordor we will take you!'”
– Frodo makes a final stand and calls down “‘By Elbereth and Lúthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!'”
– The Riders start to cross the Ford, but all of the sudden, a torrent of water comes crashing down the river.
– Frodo faints as the roaring flood sweeps the Black Riders away. (illustration by CG-Warrior)
– Book 1 ends, with the words “He heard and saw no more.”



October 19, 2017 (October 18, 3018)

The Hobbits see Bilbo’s trolls & Glorfindel finds them at dusk

Shire Reckoning: October 18, 3018 (Winterfilth 18, 1419)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Flight “The morning dawned bright and fair” (~p.8) – “good breakfast in the Shire had done” (~p.15)

Stone Troll (Troll Song), by The Hobbitons. A fun, rowdy rendition of Sam’s song about the troll from today. Highly recommend playing the song as you get to it in the book.

– In the morning, the sunlight makes everyone feel a little better, and Strider confirms that they are getting closer to the Ford (where they will cross to Rivendell).
– Realizing that they need to get back to the road to make good time, the team hastens down from the hills.
– Along the way, they see a Troll-hole full of old bones, empty jars and broken pots. Pippin’s a bit spooked, even more so when he finds three trolls in a clearing in the woods.
– When the rest of the team catches up and find that the trolls are stone, Frodo realizes it is the same trolls that Bilbo came across long ago.
– Sam agrees to provide some entertainment to lift everyone’s spirits, so he makes up a fun little song about a troll on the spot. (See above for link)
– After they’ve had their fun, Team Frodo makes it to the road and proceeds with caution.
– They hear hooves again, but this time they sound a bit less frightening. Indeed, a gorgeous white horse pulls up with a gorgeous elf named Glorfindel, who has been sent by Elrond to assist Frodo.
– Glorfindel briefly recounts his recent efforts to find Frodo and Strider updates him on Frodo’s wound. Glorfindel looks at the wound, confirms its seriousness, and puts Frodo on his horse. He leads the group toward Rivendell, and they walk literally all night.
– When the next morning finally comes, they get a bit of sleep on the side of the road.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– Frodo is so impressed with Sam’s song that he comments Sam might turn into a wizard or a warrior by the time the journey is over. We shall see whether or not that comes true…

Links to Other Content:
A Song in the Trollshaws, by Ted Nasmith (featured). Nasmith illustration of the scene at the troll glade.
Trollshaws, by ralphdamiani. Another great painting of the stone trolls.
Troll sat alone on his seat of stone, by MatejCadil. Illustration of the troll in Sam’s song holding the “bone he boned from its owner.”


– Two other versions of the Troll Song: Broceliande, and Tolkien Ensemble

The Tale of Years:
Glorfindel finds Frodo at dusk. Gandalf reaches Rivendell.

Notes: Glorfindel to the rescue!! Honestly gotta admit that it was nice to give this part in the movie to a character would actually be important later, but Glorfindel’s cool too. Another thing of note is that despite unbearable pain in his shoulder, Frodo manages to joke around in the woods with friends. Thank you for not being a wimp, Frodo. ~Tom

October 15, 2017 (October 14, 3018)

Team Frodo advance through the Trollshaws

Shire Reckoning: October 14, 3018 (Winterfilth 14, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “The hobbits grew very weary. They advanced slowly, for they had to pick their way through a pathless country, encumbered by fallen trees and tumbled rocks. As long as they could they avoided climbing for Frodo’s sake, and because it was in fact difficult to find any way up out of the narrow dales.” (~p.6)

Other Content:
I’ll Keep the Ring, by Sceith-A. Frodo looking a little under the weather (perhaps from a recently obtained stab wound…)


October 14, 2017 (October 13, 3018)

The Hobbits and Strider cross the Last Bridge

Shire Reckoning: October 13, 3018 (Winterfilth 13, 1419)

Pages To Read:
– FR.Flight “Next day, early” (~p.4) – “mounting slops of pine-wood” (~p.6)

– Team Frodo come at last to the Last Bridge, fearing that the Black Riders may be blocking it.
– However, instead of Black Riders, they only find a green jewel that Strider calls and ‘elf-stone.’ Taking it as a good sign, Strider leads the Hobbits across.
– Soon after, they leave the road again, this time going north into wooded country. As they wind their way through the hills, they see ruins of Arnor (specifically Rhudaur) from long ago.
– Strider reveals that he has been to Rivendell many times before, even going so far as to say “‘There my heart is’.”

Other Content:
The Last Bridge, by ralphdamiani. Gorgeous digital painting of the bridge that we cross today.

Notes: Very ominous area that we have entered. Also note Strider’s words about Rivendell which may or may not be foreshadowing. ~Tom

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 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