Tolkien Calendar: The Great Years

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October 6, TA 3018

6 October 2005 14:23:01
Categories: Tolkien Calendar

The camp under Weathertop is attacked at night. Frodo is wounded.

"Blackriders" by Alan Lee
On this night, the Black Riders who have skulked in the shadows around Frodo make their move on him. Night has followed the long day in which Strider and the hobbits climbed Weathertop and saw five riders in the distance, and they have camped in a sheltered spot on the side of the hill, where Strider cheers them, and heartens himself as well, by telling tales from his store of elven lore. But when the stories are done, a feeling of dread closes in around the group, expressed best by Sam, who cries "I don't know what it is, but suddenly I felt afraid. I dursn't go outside this dell for any money; I felt that something was creeping up the slope."

Something was. Five riders came out of the night, closing in on hobbits, focusing on Frodo. He cannot resist the pressure to put on the Ring, and when he does, he enters their terrible world, seeing for the first time their true form. The Witch King of Angmar stabs him in the left shoulder, claiming him for Mordor's own with a cursed blade that will make a wraith of him if the would cannot be healed. The wraiths scatter when Strider accosts them with flaming brands, and Frodo collapses.

Frodo's wound will never really heal, and its pain and residual terror are no small part of the reason he cannot remain in Middle Earth, even after the Quest is done. But one good result comes of this encounter--after the Weathertop battle, the hobbits finally realize they can trust Strider. In a moment displaying his inherent tenderness, Aragorn kneels by Sam's side and gently tells him, "I am not a Black Rider, Sam, nor in league with them. And finally Sam believes him--marking the true beginning of one of the most unique relationships in fantasy literature.

Calendar entry by librislove