On This Day in Middle-earth

March 17th

Battle of Dale.

King Brand and King Dáin Ironfoot fall.

Many Dwarves and Men take refuge in Erebor and are besieged.

Shagrat brings Frodo’s cloak, mail-shirt, and sword to Barad-dûr.


Shagrat was captain of Cirith Ungol and part of the Orc group that captured Frodo. He found Frodo’s fancy cloak, Mithril shirt, and elven blade. With this discovery, he wanted to take these items to Sauron, but, there was a debate about who received credit for it. Fights broke out and he was the one of the few left. Sam tried to fight him but Shagrat got away and fled. Now we learn Shagrat made it all the way to Barad-dûr to report to Sauron.

One of my favorite things about the Appendix, in The Return of the King, is the insight we receive about events around Middle-earth.

Reading the books and watching the movies you would never know that Sauron was launching full scale attacks on Lórien, Mirkwood, Dale, and Erebor. Luckily Tolkien was gracious enough to embellish his story for us.

Sadly, the Men and Dwarves fighting in the Battle of Dale suffered heavy losses as their kings, Brand (Bard the Bowman’s grandson) and Dáin Ironfoot (Thorin’s cousin from The Hobbit) died fighting before the Gates of Erebor. Brand fell first and Dáin stood over his body, protecting it as he fiercely wielded his axe. Dáin stood for as long as he could, but he too was slain.

There lied two kings fighting to defend each other and their people. Truly the friendships that were cultivated during The Hobbit were longstanding and devout.

Be at peace great kings.

Thank you for your time and remember, all that is gold does not glitter.

– The Wandering One

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