Tolkien Calendar: The Great Years

Middle-earth Journeys > The Great Years Calendar
Top of this page

September 26, TA 3018

26 September 2005 16:59:59
Categories: Tolkien Calendar

The hobbits take their ponies into the Old Forest. They meet Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil, and spend the night at Bombadil's house.

Another day of contrasts: from a dark horror to warm light. Our hobbits struggle to find their way through the Great Forest toward the Withywindle, and decide to take a much-needed rest with their backs against a nice willow tree. We all know what happens next! Here we begin to see the extent of Tolkien's healthy respect for trees: he makes them sentient beings.

Sam begins to show his true colors: "'We might try to hurt or frighten this tree to begin with,' said Sam fiercely. 'If it don't let them go, I'll have it down, if I have to gnaw it.'"

But Sam's teeth are saved this ordeal by the emergence of one of the strangest and most mysterious characters in The Lord of the Rings:

Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle!
Tom's going on ahead candles for to kindle.
Down west sinks the Sun: soon you will be groping.
When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open,
Out of the window-panes light will twinkle yellow.
Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow!
Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you.
How now! merry dol! We'll be waiting for you!
Artwork: "Old Man Willow" by Alan Lee

Calendar entry by Merry