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March 4, S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019)

The Tale of Years mentions Frodo for the first time in several days:

  1. Théoden and Gandalf set out from Helm’s Deep for Isengard. Frodo reaches the slag-mounds on the edge of the Desolation of the Morannon.

But it fails to mention the Battle of Helm’s Deep, which as of midnight is really only getting started—and will not be resolved until just after dawn, by the desperate charge of Théoden and the arrival of Erkenbrand.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 12:55 am

It’s now past midnight. As a storm lashes the valley and thunder booms, the main assault on Helm’s Deep begins. Hundreds of Orcs move towards the Deeping Wall. Hundreds of other Orcs push up the ramp that leads to the gate of the Hornburg itself.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 4:50 am

Aragorn reaches the Hornburg and reports to Théoden that the Orcs have blasted the Deeping Wall and scattered its defenders. ‘I will not end here, taken like an old badger in a trap,’ the king resolves. Aragorn agrees to join the king in a final charge on horseback at dawn.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 6:39 am

As the Orcs breach the Hornburg’s gate, the Horn of Helm sounds in the bright clear air of dawn. Théoden cries ‘Forth Eorlingas!’ and charges on horseback down the causeway with the lords of Eorl’s house and with Aragorn. The sound of echoing horns grows ever louder.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 6:45 am

As Théoden reaches the Dike, Erkenbrand and a thousand soldiers of the Westfold pour over the western ridge, with Gandalf bright upon Shadowfax.

The Orcs waver then flee in the only direction left—into the dark Huorn-wood that, to their dismay and terror, now stands behind them.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 7:25 am

In the clear morning, no more Orcs remain alive at Helm’s Deep. Gimli’s count is the greater: ‘Forty-two, Master Legolas!’

Théoden and his men sleep, to prepare for a ride to Isengard with Gandalf. Erkenbrand pardons the surviving men of Dunland who fought on Saruman’s side.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 4:15 pm

In the golden light of late afternoon, Gandalf rides for Isengard with King Théoden, his guard, Éomer, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. They hear groaning boughs and distant cries as they ride through the Huorn-wood, and are relieved when they emerge again on to the open plain.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 6:04 pm

Sam wakes. Gollum is crouching over Frodo, muttering ‘Sméagol promised to help the master…but if we was master, then we could help ourselfs…not yet, eh? Perhaps not. She might help.’

Sam yawns to pretend he didn’t hear, and wakes Frodo. They hike south for the Black Gate.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 10:02 pm

The flooding of Isengard is complete. The Ents start removing their dams and returning the waters of the Isen to its course. In the darkness, the fortress is now silent—Merry and Pippin hear only the distant howling of wolves.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 4 · 11:45 pm

At nearly midnight, Gandalf and Théoden and the others riding with them halt for the night. They are now fifteen miles past the Fords of Isen. To their surprise, the river is dry and no longer flowing.

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