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On the battlefield, Sauron's forces fall into panic and desperation. The Black Gate and the Towers of the Teeth start falling to pieces. There is general chaos.

"A hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny," says Faramir, and kisses Éowyn.

Then the Eagles fly in, and Gandalf is like, "…Can you do me one last little favour?" They fly to Mount Doom and rescue Sam and Frodo, who were stuck on a little island amid the lava on the now-erupting volcano. Fade to black!

From now on, March 25 is celebrated as the New Year in Gondor.

In real life, this is Annunciation Day or "Lady Day", and when the new year started in much of medieval Europe until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

And now I see it is time for the annual "why couldn't the Eagles take them there in the first place" debate

March 27, 3019: Bard II and Thorin III drive away the allies of Sauron that had besieged Dale. (As you recall, their respective predecessors, Brand and Dáin Ironfoot, died in the Battle of Dale 10 days ago.)

Today in LotR: Celeborn and Galadriel lead a host over Anduin to Dol Guldur in the southern end of Mirkwood (directly east of Lórien), and the stronghold is destroyed and the site cleansed.

Today in LoTR: it's the New Year of the Elves. Thranduil and Celeborn rename Mirkwood to Eryn Lasgalen, the Wood of Greenleaves. Thranduil claims the north of the forest, Celeborn the south, and the middle goes to the Beornings and Woodmen.

April 8, 3019: Sam and Frodo awake in North Ithilien and on the field of Cormallen are hailed as heroes. Gandalf is alive! Strider is the King! They are also reunited with Merry, Pippin, and the rest of the Company.

The host will remain at Cormallen until late April. Not just celebrating—also healing the wounded and so on, and waiting for parties to come back from further abroad.

Around this time in LotR: Éomer invites Éowyn to the Field of Cormallen, but she doesn't go. Faramir thinks it's either bc she wants to stay near him, or bc she's still hung up on Aragorn. He shoots his shot. Éowyn accepts, and they kiss on the walls of the city.

There's uhhh a lot of ways to read and feel about this, that I'm sure I don't need to summarize.

Some things that come to mind for me: the Ents = forests, the Entwives = farms, gardens. OTOH, Sam the gardener, and LotR's "soft" manliness (affection, homoeroticism).

Another thread is White Womanhood as an institution, which historically places prime importance on white women Carrying On the Race by settling down & having kids. And the very raced-ness of LotR and, like, fetishization of pale-skinned beauty.

Another is that Éowyn is the _only_ female character whose eyes we ever get to see through, so to speak; we briefly see her impressions of Aragorn and Faramir.

Aaaanyway, everyone chills in Minas Tirith/on the Field of Cormallen for the rest of the month.

April 13, 3019: IT'S BEEN

one year since that afternoon at Bag End when Gandalf told Frodo about the Ring (1.2, "The Shadow of the Past").

Today in LotR: the host of the West arrives at the Pelennor Fields outside Minas Tirith, having sailed down Anduin from the field of Cormallen. Because IT'S GONNA BE MAY and tomorrow Aragorn will be crowned.

May 1, 3019. Amid rejoicing crowds, Aragorn enters Minas Tirith and claims the kingship. He is crowned by Frodo and Gandalf, for "by the labour and valour of many I have come into my inheritance."

I sure hope the Folk of the Mountain and the Folk of the Wood got those contracts through a fair and transparent municipal procurement process and not through their personal friendships with the King ಠ_ಠ

Around now in LotR:

Diplomatic Relations, Foreign Policy Key Priorities for Gondor's New Administration
Last Easterling POWs Freed
Gondor, Harad Sign "Historic" Peace Accord
Slaves No More, Mordor Residents Settle at Lake Núrnen
Minas Tirith's Top 10 Wine Bars

Inquiry Into Steward's Death Begins
Shocking Testimony About Denethor II's Last Hours
Under a Cloud, Disgraced Guardsman Questioned By King
Death Penalty Waived In Beregond Verdict
Beregond Appointed Prince Faramir's Chief of Staff
Ithilien Real Estate Boom?

(Note: I can think of a few fantasy-esque settings with mass media/pop culture; C. S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy comes to mind, Pern might be another. Yes, these are both sf-dressed-up-as-fantasy. I don't really read fantasy, what can I say)

May 8, 3019: Accompanied by the sons of Elrond, Éomer and Éowyn lead the Riders of Rohan back home to set Rohan back in order and make preparations for Théoden's funeral.

May 20, 3019: Elrond and Arwen, who set out from Rivendell when Aragorn was crowned (May 1), arrive at Lothlórien. They will stay there for a week before heading on to Gondor.

Today in LotR (June 14, 3019): Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond's sons (who, as you recall, were helping Aragorn out in Gondor), meet Elrond and Arwen's entourage and accompany them to Minas Tirith. They are taking their sweet time though, it'll take a few weeks to get there.

I do wonder what route Elrond and Arwen have been taking. Is there a better way to get from Lórien to Gondor than down the River? At some point do they go westward and take the Road (that Gandalf and Pippin took)? How freaking slow are they going

Of course, unlike the Company of the Ring, they have no need of secrecy and can take main routes, and there are no enemies to worry about. But the region is severely lacking in transportation infrastructure.

Today in LotR (June 25, 3019): Gandalf takes Aragorn into the mountains for an 'everything the light touches is our kingdom' moment. They find a miraculously surviving sapling descended from the Eldest of Trees, which Aragorn takes as a sign Arwen is on her way.

Today in LotR (June 30, 3019): on Midsummer's Eve, Arwen, Elrond and co. arrive at Minas Tirith. Aragorn and Arwen will be married tomorrow.

Today in LotR (Midsummer's Day, technically outside of the calendar): Aragorn and Arwen marry, "and the tale of their long waiting and labours was come to fulfillment."

Today in LotR (~July 15, 3019): "When the days of rejoicing were over the Companions thought of returning to their own homes."

Frodo tells Aragorn he wishes to go to Rivendell to see Bilbo, then home. Arwen tells Frodo that, as she has chosen to stay in Middle-Earth, he can take her place and go across the Sea, if that brings him healing.

In a few days they will all set out together, as Aragorn & co. are going to Rohan for Théoden's funeral. I don't know why Éomer didn't take Théoden's body when he left the first time, like, get that thing in the ground it's gross

Oh! I forgot to mention it, but a few days ago in LotR (July 19, 3019) Éomer returned to Minas Tirith, and everyone sets out for Rohan to bury Théoden.

On the way, Aragorn decrees that the Forest of Drúadan shall be the territory of the Wild Men of the Woods.

Today in LotR (August 10, 3019): Théoden's funeral is held in Edoras. Faramir and Éowyn plight their troth (haggardhawks.com/post/troth-pl) at the feast.

(While mutual consent was a key element of marriage customs for a surprising volume of medieval English spacetime, this scene misses an equally important feature: FINANCES. Bride-price, morgengifu, etc.)

August 14, 3019: Aragorn, the hobbits, Legolas and Gimli, and the Elves from Lórien and Rivendell leave Edoras. Arwen, who is staying in Edoras for now, must say farewell forever to her father Elrond, "and bitter was their parting that should endure beyond the ends of the world."

Éowyn gives Merry an ancient horn: "He that blows it at need shall set fear in the hearts of his enemies and joy in the hearts of his friends, and they shall hear him and come to him." GEE I WONDER IF THIS WILL COME IN HANDY LATER.

Today in LotR (August 18, 3019): the company reaches Helm's Deep and stays there two days. As promised, Legolas lets Gimli show him around the Glittering Caves, and is speechless with wonder.

Today in LotR (August 22, 3019): they reach Isengard, where Treebeard reluctantly informs Gandalf that Saruman talked the Ents into letting him go. He bids farewell to Galadriel and Celeborn. (One of his lines, "For the world is changing: I feel int in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air", makes it into the movies, but not said by him.)

Aragorn and his men part here to return the way they came, back to Gondor—the Fellowship parted at last.

Today in LotR (August 28, 3019): the company, now west of the Misty Mountains, head northward to Rivendell. On the road they pass a raggedy pair of beggars: Saruman and Gríma Wormtongue. Gandalf and Galadriel offer him one last chance, but he insults everyone, begs some tobacco from the hobbits, and makes ominous noises about how the Shire is doing.

Gandalf: "He has withered altogether. All the same…I fancy he could do some mischief still in a small mean way."

(Yes, we'll come back to this.)

Today in LotR (1 Tishrei, 5782): the company arrives within sight of the Mountains of Moria. From here, the Lórien contingent will return east over the Redhorn Pass and the rest will go west to Rivendell.

They stay here for a week, as this is the last time the bearers of the Three Elven-rings will see each other before it's time to leave Middle-Earth. They have long talks i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶v̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶D̶i̶s̶c̶o̶r̶d̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶n̶e̶l̶ telepathically.

Today in LotR (Sept. 21, 3019): the remaining company arrives in Rivendell. Just in time for Bilbo's birthday!

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Today in LotR (Sept. 22, 3019): it's Bilbo and Frodo's birthdays! Bilbo is 129, Frodo is 51. Also, a year since I started this thread.

Today in LotR: the first frost, and the cobwebs are "like white nets". Frodo and Sam both suddenly feel it is time to return to the Shire. Gandalf, too, will go with them, as far as Bree.

They say good-bye to Bilbo. He gives to Frodo his red-bound lore-books, and asks him to put his writing and journal and such in order; to Sam, the last of Smaug's gold; and to Merry and Pippin, two pipes.

"What's become of my ring, Frodo, that you took away?"
"I have lost it, Bilbo dear," said Frodo. "I got rid of it, you know."
"What a pity!" said Bilbo. "I should have liked to see it again. But no, how silly of me! That's what you went for, wasn't it: to get rid of it? But it is all so confusing, for such a lot of other things seem to have got mixed up with it…"

Today in LotR (October 5, 3019 [shut up it's still today in BC]): the hobbits and Gandalf leave Rivendell. Elrond privately tells Frodo to look for him and Bilbo in the woods of the Shire this time next year.

Oh shit, I forgot to do yesterday! Yesterday (Oct. 6, 3019), the hobbits and Gandalf cross the Ford of Bruinen. It's exactly a year since Frodo was stabbed by the Nazgûl on Weathertop. He is in pain and distant all day, and says to Gandalf: "I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?"

Today (Oct. 7), he is back to normal, and the journey goes well—though days later, when they reach Weathertop, Frodo begs them to hurry past.

They will reach Bree by the end of the month.

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