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October 6, S.R. 1418 (T.A. 3018)

The arrival at Weathertop is well-dated: it’s specified as October 6th in the Tale of Years, which can be confirmed both by counting days of travel from Bree, and from the fact that the previous evening is explicitly described as ‘the night of the fifth of October’.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 7:30 am

After they break camp, Strider finds the ancient path that runs along the western feet of the Weather Hills—built for the ridge-top forts during the wars with Angmar and its Nazgûl-lord sixteen hundred years ago. They follow the path south towards Weathertop and the Road.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 9:50 am

Merry asks who made this path along the hills. Strider’s answer reminds Sam of one of Bilbo’s old songs, and he sings the first dozen lines:

‘Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea…’

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 1:35 pm

While Sam and Pippin watch the pony, Strider and the other two hobbits climb Weathertop. Frodo and Merry see the Misty Mountains for the first time, away on the eastern horizon.

They find the grass scorched in the old ruin of Amon Sûl. Strider finds a fresh “G”-rune on a stone.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 2:15 pm

On the Road far below, Frodo points out two specks approaching from the east and three from the west. Strider can see that they are Nazgûl. He leads Merry and Frodo back to the dell where Sam and Pippin are waiting, and starts building a fire while the sun is still up.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 7:40 pm

It’s dark. Sam asks for a tale. Strider tells of Tinúviel: ‘It is a fair tale, though it is sad, as are all the tales of Middle-earth.

‘The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering…’

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 10:35 pm

The five Nazgûl advance slowly on the camp. Their terror compels Frodo to put on the Ring—making him suddenly visible to them. Even as he calls upon Elbereth, a Nazgûl rushes forward and stabs him in the shoulder with a Morgul-knife. He removes the Ring and collapses.

The Shire-Reckoning · Oct 6 · 11:10 pm

The Nazgûl have withdrawn from the camp and its firelight. The other hobbits move Frodo near the warm fire, and he wakes back up.

Out of hearing of the others, Strider warns Sam that his master’s wound might be fatal—which would explain why the Nazgûl are now content to wait.

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