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June 1–30, S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019)

After narrating Aragorn’s late-May discovery of the sapling of the White Tree, The Lord of the Rings asserts that ‘when the month of June entered in it was laden with blossom’, providing an event with which we can begin the month.

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 1 · 10:10 am

The sapling planted in the Citadel courtyard a few days ago is already heavy with blossoms—assuring Aragorn that be will be fruitful and produce a line of kings. ‘The sign has been given, and the day is not far off.’

Expecting his bride, he sets watchmen on the city walls.

Three further dates in June are assigned events in the Tale of Years.

June 14. The sons of Elrond meet the escort and bring Arwen to Edoras.   16  They set out for Gondor.   25  King Elessar finds the sapling of the White Tree.

We have placed the finding of the White Tree in May instead of June, to agree with the main narrative of The Lord of the Rings. But the other two events from the Tale of Years can be reported without any complication.

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 14 · 9:50 am

Elladan and Elrohir ride out from Edoras into the green fields to greet their father Elrond, their sister Arwen, and the Elves riding with them—all of whom are welcomed to Edoras for two nights of rest before continuing their journey to Minas Tirith.

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 16 · 9:10 am

Arwen sets out from Edoras on the last stage of her journey to Minas Tirith with her father, brothers, and the large escort of Elves and High Elves who have ridden south with her from Rivendell and Lórien.

The next two events after June in the Tale of Years present a difficulty—they don’t correspond to any modern date:

1 Lithe. Arwen comes to the City.
Mid-year’s Day. Wedding of Elessar and Arwen.

The days ‘1 Lithe’ and ‘Mid-year’s Day’ were special days on the Hobbit calendar that belonged neither to the preceding month of June nor to the following month of July. They were two of the five special days that the Hobbits added to their calendar of 12 months × 30 days = 360 days to bring the length of the year to a full 365 days:

When should we celebrate these days on our own calendar? Moving them back into June artificially shortens Arwen’s journey from Edoras to Minas Tirith; pushing them forward into July shortens Gandalf’s journey from Bree to Orthanc. We have to choose. Since Gandalf’s journey is part of the main narrative—he relates it (briefly) at the Council of Elrond—but Arwen’s journey happens off-stage, the choice is made here to move both dates back into June:

1 Lithe → modern June 29
Mid-year’s Day → modern June 30

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 29 · 10:15 am

Watchmen from Amon Dîn reach Minas Tirith: Elves are riding toward the city, and are already approaching the walls of the Pelennor. ‘At last they have come,’ replies Aragorn. ‘Let all the City be made ready!’

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 29 · 8:40 pm

Gazing out as the Elves draw close to Minas Tirith, Frodo sees Arwen riding on a grey palfrey in their midst. ‘At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!’

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 29 · 8:59 pm

The Elves reach the gate of Minas Tirith and alight. Elrond surrenders to Aragorn the Sceptre of Annúminas—the heirloom of the North Kingdom that Bilbo suspected ‘is now perhaps the most ancient work of Men’s hands preserved in Middle-earth’—and places Arwen’s hand in Aragorn’s.

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 30 · 11:59 am

Midyear’s Day, Shire Year 1419:

Aragorn son of Arathorn—the crowned King of Gondor and sceptred King of Arnor—weds Lady Arwen Undómiel in Minas Tirith. It’s 39 years since they plighted troth in Lórien; 88 since he was born; and 2,778 years since her own birth in Rivendell.

And with that, our long tale comes to its end. We wind back the clock, arrive at a Midyear’s Day when Middle-earth was one year younger, and watch as Radagast finds Gandalf on the road south of Bree.

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 30 · 5:31 pm

Midyear’s Day, Shire Year 1418:

On the Greenway south of Bree, Gandalf the Grey meets Radagast the Brown, who brings news: ‘The Nine are abroad again. They have crossed the River secretly and are moving westward… wherever they go the Riders ask for news of a land called Shire.’

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 30 · 5:35 pm

As Radagast turns to ride away, Gandalf makes a request: ‘Send out messages to all the beasts and birds that are your friends. Tell them to bring news of anything that bears on this matter to Saruman and Gandalf. Let messages be sent to Orthanc.’

The Shire-Reckoning · Jun 30 · 8:51 pm

Gandalf stops for the night.

Midyear’s Day, Shire Year, 1418.
Dear Frodo,
Bad news has reached me here. I must go off at once. You had better leave Bag End soon, and get out of the Shire before the end of July at latest. I will return as soon as I can.’

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