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March 11, S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019)

For the second day in a row, the Tale of Years includes details which are not included in the main narrative itself:

  1. Gollum visits Shelob, but seeing Frodo asleep nearly repents. Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath. Aragorn reaches Linhir and crosses into Lebennin. Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north. First assault on Lórien.

The assault on Lórien in particular seems worth mentioning, though of course it can only be described in broad unspecific terms.

But this entry from the Tale of Years, alas, seems to be in error when it dates Gollum’s near-repentance to the 11th; see the page for March 12th to read a full discussion of the issue.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 7:15 am

There is again no dawn in Minas Tirith. Denethor summons his council. He insists that both Osgiliath and the Rammas be defended, despite how dangerous the retreat will be from those positions. When Osgiliath was attacked last June, Boromir led the defence; now Faramir is sent.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 9:37 am

Orcs from the old fortress of Dol Guldur, having crossed the Anduin, assault the realm of Lórien. They are unable to push very far into the wood thanks to fierce resistance by the Elves, but many trees on the borders of the forest are damaged and burned.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 2:30 pm

Théoden leads his six thousand riders for a second day along the road. They meet fugitives who report that Orcs have invaded the Wold. Théoden refuses to split his force, leaving Rohan open to invasion behind him so he can bring as many spears as possible to Minas Tirith.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 7:00 pm

A messenger reaches Minas Tirith: the army of the Witch-king that marched out from Minas Morgul yesterday is already closing on Osgiliath, and has been joined by an army of Haradrim.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 9:10 pm

Frodo and Sam can’t count the hours they’ve been climbing with Gollum.

The Straight Stair. A rest. A sloping passage. A rough trail. A rest. The Winding Stair.

Now they can finally see the pass ahead of them—and a red light glowing from a fortress Gollum hadn’t told them about.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 11 · 9:20 pm

Frodo and Sam hide in a crevice and eat a last meal before entering Mordor. Sam realizes that Galadriel’s Phial links them with the stories of the Elder Days—‘We’re in the same tale still! It’s going on. Don’t the great tales never end?’

They notice Gollum has disappeared again.

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