June of S.R. 1418

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Midyear's Day

moon 66.2% full June 20.

The forces of Sauron make a sudden attack upon the ruins of the ancient city of Osgiliath that straddle the River Anduin. Not only are allied Easterlings and Haradrim present for the battle, but Sauron for the first time deploys openly the Nazgûl, who exert their terror to drive back the soldiers of Gondor and take the eastern half of the ruins.

They fail to push across the river, however, for Boromir and Faramir — the sons of the Ruling Steward — hold the eastern end of the bridge with a few remaining soldiers until the rest of their forces are able to destroy the bridge behind them. Of the soldiers then trapped on the eastern bank, only the two brothers and two other others are able to swim the river and return alive.

But the main objective of Sauron is accomplished: to make it appear as for the sake of the attack that the Nine had been sent forth from Mordor and Dol Guldur, so that their appearance in the West will be thought an act of war rather than the beginnings of his hunt for the Ruling Ring.

At around the same time as the Nazgûl assault Osgiliath, Orcs move over the mountains into northern Mirkwood and attack the Wood-elves who hold Gollum hostage. Though they are successful in freeing Gollum, the Orcs themselves are apparently unable to apprehend him, and Gollum disappears into the woods and travels southeast.

moon 97.0% full June 29.

[In some editions, the Tale of Years gives this as the date on which Gandalf meets Radagast. The main text, however, twice places their meeting on Midyear's Day: (a) Gandalf at the Council of Elrond quotes Radagast as saying “I was told to find you before Midsummer, and that is now here.” (b) The letter Gandalf leaves at Bree that evening is dated “Midyear's Day.”]

moon 6.8% full Midyear.

Having learned from fugitives on the southern borders of the Shire that Gondor suffered a defeat nearly two weeks ago, Gandalf rides the Greenway north from Sarn Ford toward Bree. On the road he meets his fellow wizard Radagast, who comes from their peer Saruman the White with the news that the Nazgûl have come forth from Mordor to war, but that Saruman offers aid if Gandalf can reach him in time. Gandalf is too weary to set off at once, and spends the night at the Prancing Pony in Bree. He leaves with the proprietor a letter that urges Frodo to leave the Shire at once.

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