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Today in the Shire is:
In the year S.R. 1419
Lórien now lies four days behind the Company. They feel exposed as they float between banks devoid of almost any vegitation. As dusk closes over their boats, Sam glimpses eyes atop a log in the current behind them; and after the company makes camp for the evening — again on the west bank, since Orcs control the eastern shore — he reveals to Frodo his guess that Gollum is following them, and learns that his master had sighted the creature weeks ago when they slept upon the flet after entering Lórien. Fearing that they may be strangled in their sleep, the two agree to keep watch overnight; Sam takes the first shift.
The Company spend another long day on the river, borne south upon the current of the Anduin.
The lands through which the Anduin flows as the Company ride its current south begin to change. Since their departure from Lórien two days ago, they have been floating between wooded banks; but as they continue south today the trees become sparse. When in the evening they make camp upon the west bank, the green plains of the north Riddermark are visible to the west and the rough and blasted Brown Lands lie to their east — which continue east toward Rhûn, and south toward Mordor.
The great Eagle Gwaihir the Windlord, who almost exactly five months ago rescued Gandalf from the pinnacle of the fortress of Orthanc, now discovers the wizard stranded upon the peak of Zirak-zigil. He carries the wizard to Lórien where he will rest briefly before returning to the labors interrupted by his struggle with the Balrog and death.
The Company wake early in their camp on the west bank of the Anduin — their first morning back in the Wild since reaching the safety of Lórien four weeks ago. They spend both day and evening moving south on the river in their Elven-boats before making camp again.
Gandalf lies for a third day alone upon the peak of Zirak-zigil.
[The Tale of Years incorrectly states
that the Fellowship left Lórien on this date;
but the text clearly states that they departed
the morning after Frodo and Sam looked in the Mirror of Galadriel.
One can also count backward from
The Company spends the morning preparing to depart from Lórien and continue their quest, which now enters its final forty days. The Elves provide them with the Elven waybread that will often sustain them, the cloaks and broaches that will clad them to their journey's end, and the rope that will bear Sam and Frodo off the Emyn Muil. Galadriel herself gives them gifts — sheath, bow, box, and phial — and gives Aragorn the Elfstone for which his people will name him. Gimli requests, and receives, a strand of her hair. They hear her singing of the fading years as their boats enter the Great River and are borne south.
Gollum has been hiding along the west bank for a month, waiting for the Ring to emerge from the terrible Wood. He begins to trail the Company down the Anduin upon bank and driftwood.
Having revived yesterday following his death three weeks ago, Gandalf lies for a second day in a trance upon the peak of Zirak-zigil.
In the dusk of evening, Sam finally gets his wish: to see Elven-magic! He and Frodo are invited to look in the Mirror of Galadriel: a basin of water she pours, across which images pass. But Sam finds the experience bitter, as all three are torn by difficult choices. Sam sees the Shire ravaged, and his father homeless, and only on the verge of tears can he choose to continue following his master. Frodo himself sees the Eye of Sauron searching for him, and perceives the Elven-ring on Galadriel's finger whose power will be ended if his quest succeeds; he responds with the vast gesture of offering her the Ruling Ring. Galadriel refuses to take the Dark Lord's place, and announces that, their choices having been made, the time has come for them to depart.
Later the entire Company are called before the Lord and Lady, and Celeborn offers them boats on which they can ride the Anduin south for many miles before having to choose whether to turn west toward Minas Tirith or east towards Mordor. The Company returns to their pavilion for one last evening of rest, and debate long into the night which direction they should choose.
Gandalf returns to life, now with the color White: the head of the order of Wizards. His body has lain atop Zirak-zigil for almost three weeks since the conclusion of his battle with the Balrog of Moria. Disoriented by his return, he lies in a trance upon the peak.
Death of Gandalf the Grey. Ten days after falling from the bridge of Khazad-dûm, and after two days of combat upon the peak of Zirak-zigil, Gandalf finally concludes his struggle with the Balrog of Moria. His opponent falls and is destroyed against the mountainside; Gandalf himself collapses and dies.