October 7–18HomeOctober 25

October 19–24, S.R. 1418 (T.A. 3018)

The Tale of Years provides only two dates for this five-day period:

20. Escape across the Ford of Bruinen.
24. Frodo recovers and wakes. Boromir arrives in Rivendell at night.

But as with the previous week of October, far more detail can be provided by closely following the narrative and counting sunsets and sunrises.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 19 · 6:15 am

Only when it’s nearly dawn does Glorfindel finally let the hobbits and Strider rest. They find some heather beside the Road and fall asleep, leaving Glorfindel on watch.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 19 · 11:00 am

After letting them sleep through more than four hours of daylight, Glorfindel wakes Strider and the hobbits and offers them a drink from his flask. After a quick breakfast of bread and dried fruit, they press on east along the Road.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 19 · 5:55 pm

By nightfall the hobbits have covered almost twenty miles with Strider and Glorfindel. They are soon asleep.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 6:35 am

The hobbits are awake and walking at dawn. The Road bends downhill toward the Bruinen. Glorfindel counsels that ‘Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river; for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger may be waiting by the Ford.’

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 4:11 pm

The afternoon is waning as the Road enters a grove of dark pines, cuts steeply down through red stone, and emerges on to the river’s wide floodplain. They see the Ford of Bruinen a mile ahead.

Glorfindel hears hooves behind them. ‘Fly! The enemy is upon us!’

We can guess that crossing a half-mile of the mile-wide floodplain might take at least six minutes for the hobbits, even assuming that after their long march they can now move at their top speed.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 4:19 pm

They are halfway to the Ford. Behind them, five Nazgûl gallop into view, who compel Frodo rein in his horse and stop.

Glorfindel yells: ‘Noro lim, noro lim, Asfaloth!’ Asfaloth ignores the reins and gallops for the Ford. Four more Nazgûl spur from hiding and race to cut him off.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 4:21 pm

Just ahead of the nearest Rider, Asfaloth splashes into the Ford and carries Frodo across. The Nine pause at the water’s edge. Then, the Nazgûl-Lord rides forward into the river.

Frodo lifts his sword. ‘By Elbereth and Lúthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!’

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 4:23 pm

Elrond and Gandalf release the flood. The three Riders in the river are swept away. Glorfindel, Strider, and the other hobbits charge the remaining Riders from behind with burning torches. Their steeds panic and dash forward into the thundering water.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 20 · 6:30 pm

Elves carry Frodo into the warmth and light of Rivendell—27 days after he stepped out of the front door of Bag End and locked it behind him. He is pale and cold, and doesn’t wake.

Elrond begins working to heal him. Gandalf fears that Frodo may be fading beyond recall.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 21 · 6:00 pm

Frodo has not yet awakened. Sam remains by his side—often joined by Bilbo—as his condition worsens. Gandalf suspects that a fragment of the Morgul-knife is still inside, but none can be found.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 23 · 8:30 pm

With the hobbit’s condition growing ever more dire, Elrond again opens and searches Frodo’s 17-day-old wound. He succeeds: he finds and removes a splinter of the Morgul-knife that was still inside his shoulder. It was moving towards his heart.

October 24th is the first time that the narrative has told us the date since Strider and the hobbits reached the Weather Hills on October 5th. Readers will not hear another explicit mention of the date until January 12th during the snowstorm on Caradhras:

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 24 · 9:58 am

Frodo wakes. ‘Where am I?’

‘In the House of Elrond. It is ten o’clock in the morning. The morning of October the twenty-fourth, if you want to know.’

‘Gandalf!’

‘Yes, I am here. And you are lucky to be here, too, after all the absurd things you have done since you left home.’

The feast takes place close to sunset, for ‘Shadows had fallen in the valley below, but there was still a light on the faces of the mountains far above.’

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 24 · 5:50 pm

After Sam leads Frodo to the porch where Merry and Pippin are waiting, all four of them are seated at a feast celebrating Frodo’s recovery. Next to Frodo is the white-bearded dwarf Glóin, one of the twelve companions of Thorin Oakenshield on Bilbo’s adventure 77 years ago.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 24 · 8:55 pm

Elrond leads Frodo into Rivendell’s Hall of Fire. ‘Now at last the hour has come that you have wished for, Frodo. Here is a friend that you have long missed.’

Frodo and Bilbo meet again for the first time since Bilbo’s birthday departure from the Shire 17 years ago.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 24 · 10:30 pm

Bilbo sings for the Elves.

‘Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arvernien;
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in;
her sails he wove of silver fair,
of silver were her lanterns made,
her prow was fashioned like a swan,
and light upon her banners laid…’

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