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May 1–30, S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019)

The Tale of Years lets us assign events to four of the days in May:

May 1. Crowning of King Elessar; Elrond and Arwen set out from Rivendell.   8  Éomer and Éowyn depart for Rohan with the sons of Elrond.   20  Elrond and Arwen come to Lórien.   27  The escort of Arwen leaves Lórien.

Only the first two dates are part of The Lord of the Rings main narrative and can be described in detail. The crowning of Aragorn receives the most attention, as one of the high climaxes of the book.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 5:45 am

It’s the first of May. The bells in Minas Tirith all start tolling as the bright morning Sun rises into the clear skies that now stand above the mountains of Mordor on the eastern horizon. The argent standard of the Stewards of Gondor is raised over the Citadel for the last time.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 7:54 am

Crowds are thronging the gate of Minas Tirith as the army marches up from their pavilions and draws to a halt. Aragorn steps forward with his Dúnedain. He is met by Lord Faramir and the Warden of the Keys.

Faramir: ‘The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office.’

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 7:56 am

Aragorn hands the white rod back to Faramir: ‘That office is not ended, and it shall be thine and thy heirs’ as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!’

Faramir: ‘Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! one has come to claim the kingship again at last.’

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 8:04 am

The crown of King Eärnur is brought forth—who, without any heir, rode out to challenge the Nazgûl Lord 969 years ago and was never seen again. Faramir gives the crown to Aragorn.

Instead of crowning himself, Aragorn hands it to Frodo.

Frodo carries the crown to Gandalf.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 8:06 am

Aragorn kneels. Gandalf places the crown on Aragorn’s head, and proclaims: ‘Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!’

The streets are strewn with flowers as Aragorn enters the City and begins the climb up its seven levels.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 8:57 am

The return of the King: Aragorn son of Arathorn reaches the topmost level of Minas Tirith and enters the Citadel. His banner, of a white tree and seven stars upon sable, woven by Arwen and her maidens, is raised above Minas Tirith. At 88 years old, he begins his 122-year reign.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 1 · 1:15 pm

Elrond Halfelven—who decreed 39 years ago that his daughter Arwen ‘shall not be the bride of any Man less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor’—now departs Rivendell with Arwen for the two-month journey to Minas Tirith.

The Lord of the Rings describes the departure of the Rohirrim in somewhat less detail.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 8 · 8:44 am

Éomer and Éowyn ride out from Minas Tirith, leading the Rohirrim home to Rohan. Cheering crowds line the road from the city gates to the Rammas, where the Riders leave behind the fields of the Pelennor and take the road into Anórien.

The sons of Elrond ride north with them.

To the two events that the Tale of Years lists for late May, we can add a third: Aragorn’s finding of the White Tree. The main narrative places this event after the Riders of Rohan travel home on ‘the eighth day of May’, but before the beginning of June, since ‘when the month of June entered in it was laden with blossom’ and already standing in the courtyard of the Citadel.

Thus the Tale of Years date for the finding, June 25th, is an error.

Where to place it instead? Any date in mid or late May is possible, but we here merely amend June 25th to May 25th—changing the month, but not the day, given for the finding of the White Tree in the Tale of Years.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 20 · 4:40 pm

Elrond, Arwen, and the Elves of the household of Rivendell reach Lórien after twenty days of travel.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 25 · 7:30 am

Before dawn, Gandalf leads Aragorn up the mountain behind Minas Tirith to a high ancient hallow. The rising sun lights Gondor from Rauros to the Sea.

At the edge of the snow, they find a sapling of the White Tree. Aragorn gently carries it down to plant in the Citadel courtyard.

The Shire-Reckoning · May 27 · 11:30 am

Having tarried in Lórien for a week, Elrond and Arwen and the Elves of their household continue their journey south towards Minas Tirith. Both the Lady Galadriel and the Lord Celeborn join their riding, along with many of the folk of Lórien.

Because May is 30 days long in the Shire, but our modern calendar gives it 31 days, Elrond and Arwen’s journey from Lorien to Edoras over May 27th–June 14th seems a day longer in our modern calendar—18 days instead of 17.

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