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March 6, S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019)

The Tale of Years entry for this date is not only brief, but seems to miss many of the most interesting of the day’s developments:

  1. Aragorn overtaken by the Dúnedain in the early hours. Théoden sets out from the Hornburg for Harrowdale. Aragorn sets out later.

Note that for the first time The Lord of the Rings is now following four different stories among the members of the Fellowship. Besides Sam and Frodo away to the east, Pippin and Gandalf are riding for Minas Tirith; Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are racing to reach the Paths of the Dead; and Merry is left behind to jog slowly along with Théoden on the mountain paths towards Dunharrow.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 1:25 am

In the dark, just past the Fords of Isen, Théoden and Aragorn’s company is overtaken by another group of horsemen—thirty of Aragorn’s Rangers from the north, and Elrond’s sons Elladan and Elrohir! They ride swiftly south together to reach Helm’s Deep before daylight.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 5:35 am

Daybreak finds Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in northern Ithilien after a long overnight hike from the Black Gate. They fall asleep, hidden in the heather.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 5:55 am

Gandalf and Pippin reach Edoras just as a Nazgûl passes overhead on its way to Isengard. The hobbit spends the day asleep while Gandalf gives orders for the Rohirrim to muster sooner than King Théoden had asked, and to assemble secretly at Dunharrow instead of openly at Edoras.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 12:30 pm

Closeted in Helm’s Deep, Aragorn looks in the palantír. Sauron sees him for the first time—and the sword of Elendil reforged. Aragorn then wrests the stone to his own control.

Looking abroad, he sees fleets near the coast, stopping southern Gondor from reinforcing Minas Tirith.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 1:25 pm

King Théoden surprises Merry with a hill-pony, so the hobbit can ride alongside the king. Merry kneels, offers his sword, and the king proclaims him an esquire of Rohan. They ride from Helm’s Deep with five hundred men on the secret mountain paths towards Dunharrow.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 2:55 pm

To reach the coast of Gondor in time, Aragorn rides straight across the plain from Helm’s Deep towards Edoras. With him ride only Legolas, Gimli, his Rangers, and the Sons of Elrond.

The Shire-Reckoning · Mar 6 · 6:25 pm

At dusk, Gandalf and Pippin set out from Edoras upon Shadowfax in a desperate race to reach Minas Tirith before it is surrounded by the armies of Mordor and cut off.

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