On This Day in Middle-earth

September 26th

The Old Forest.

Frodo comes to Bombadil.

Yesterday, Frodo finally made it safely to Crickhollow, along the way he, Pippin, and Sam had run into Elves, foxes, Black Riders, and one Farmer Maggot.  Farmer Maggot is such a pleasant character in the books it’s a shame we don’t get to see him in the movies.

At Crickhollow, the Hobbits were able to relax after an unpleasantly long journey and prepare for tomorrow.  Merry admitted that he, Pippin, Sam, and Fatty had been secretly learning about the Ring behind Frodo’s back and they had no intention of letting Frodo go on his journey alone.  Fatty would stay behind at Crickhollow, posing as Frodo incase other people became too curious.  We’ve mentioned Fatty before, but we should bring this Hobbit to the forefront for a second.  Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger was a great friend of Frodo’s, he helped often with Frodo’s move and knew of Frodo’s perilous journey.  If you’d like to read a little bit more about this Hobbit you can read our Character of the Week post HERE.

Merry, Pippin, and Sam would follow Frodo to the end.  Frodo tried to talk them out of it but Merry was having none of this.  They were his friends and he could try to leave without them but nothing would stop them following.  Seeing it was hopeless to argue and feeling relieved he wouldn’t have to leave alone Frodo obliged to let his friends join him.  The next morning, today, they set off for the Old Forest.  Merry, having grown up in the Buckland area, led the way to the Old Forest and through it, unfortunately for this group of Hobbits the magic of the forest was making it too hard to pass through. 

They came to an odd place in the wood and the Hobbits were put into a trance by Old Man Willow, an ancient tree in the Old Forest.  When Frodo woke up, Merry and Pippin had been swallowed up by the tree’s roots and it wasn’t until Frodo ran into Tom Bombadil that they were able to rescue the Hobbits.  Tom came up to Old Man Willow, sang him a song, and the tree fell back to sleep.  Merry and Pippin were now free from the tree’s roots and the Hobbits had Tom to provide safe passage through the Old Forest.

Thank you for your time and remember, the old that is strong does not wither.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 24th

Gandalf crosses the Isen.

Gandalf, astride Shadowfax, is passing through Rohan on his way to the Shire.  Time is not on this great wizard’s side, Frodo is on his way to Crickhollow and the Black Riders have already reached Hobbiton.  It’s only a matter of time before these dark beings catch up to the Hobbit and Gandalf knows this.  He urges the horse on, Shadowfax’s feet fly across the plains barely making a sound, bearing this wizard on his journey.

Gandalf is doing everything he can to make up for lost time.  We can’t even imagine the range of emotions running through his head, he’s still so far away.  In a couple of days time Frodo’s journey will get more and more perilous, and Gandalf will be doing what he can to reach him.

Thank you for your time and remember, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 23rd

Four Riders enter the Shire before dawn.  The others pursue the Rangers eastward, and then return to watch the Greenway.

A Black Rider comes to Hobbiton at nightfall.

Frodo leaves Bag End.

Gandalf having tamed Shadowfax rides from Rohan.

There’s no jumping the timeline of The Lord of the Rings today, we’re focused solely on the events in The Fellowship of the Ring.  As we discussed, yesterday, the Black Riders broke through the Rangers of the North’s defenses at Sarn Ford.  It only took that night for four Riders to reach the Shire and begin their search for “Baggins.” 

One Rider actually makes it all the way to Hobbiton, just down the road from Bag End actually.  Frodo overheard Gaffer Gamgee, speaking to a stranger about a “Baggins'” whereabouts.  Frodo was going to step in and relieve Gaffer from his conversation, but something in Gaffer’s tone stopped him.  Frodo thought it would be best to get on the road before more trouble could be caused, so he, Pippin, and Sam set on foot towards Crickhollow that evening.  There, Merry and Fatty would be waiting for them at the house, they had ridden ahead and began moving Frodo’s possessions earlier that day.  If it seems a little late for Frodo to begin his journey leaving the Shire, you’re not wrong, but he was delaying as much as he could to wait for Gandalf.

If only Gandalf hadn’t been delayed by Sauron, the story might’ve turned out much different.  Today he tamed Shadowfax and left Rohan, but with the Black Riders already in Hobbiton, he’s way behind.

Thank you for your time and remember, the old that is strong does not wither.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 22nd

Bilbo Baggins’ Birthday

Frodo Baggins’ Birthday

Bilbo hosts a farewell feast for his 111th birthday.  He leaves the Shire and sets off for Rivendell that night.

The Black Riders reach Sarn Ford at evening; they drive off the guard of Rangers.

Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax.

The hundred and twenty-ninth birthday of Bilbo.

Saruman comes to the Shire.

So many events happened on Bilbo’s Birthday, in fact many people do not even know that it is also Frodo’s Birthday.  Frodo was never really one to make a big deal about his birthday, so he was happy letting Bilbo get most of the attention.  We’re going back in time, at the beginning of the book in the first chapter A Long-Expected Party for Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday.

Let’s highlight the big events, today the Black Riders reached Sarn Ford and drove off the Rangers of the North who were defending that area.  Before he left Gandalf made sure they increased their guard around the Shire, sadly it didn’t work.  Unfortunately, for Frodo and his friends, that meant the Black Riders were now a days ride away from the Shire.

It took Gandalf around two days, but finally, he was able to ride Shadowfax and prove his worth to the great horse.  Now, speed is his only ally, he must reach the Shire before the Black Riders, but luck is not on his side. 

We’re now on another time jump, after the Ring was destroyed in Rivendell, Gandalf, Elrond, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Bilbo, and the rest of the Elves were able to celebrate Bilbo’s 129th birthday, a large accomplishment for any being.  See again, no mention of this day being Frodo’s Birthday, we know that Bilbo and Frodo both wrote in the Red Book of Westmarch, so it must be Frodo writing with great respect to Bilbo.  Of course, Frodo would want to honor his uncle before he wrote about himself.

As we mentioned earlier Saruman’s plans were not yet completely ruined, as long as he had strength to walk and talk Saruman can still be a threat, especially to the innocent nature of the Hobbits.

Thank you for your time and remember, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

– The Wandering One

Let’s Celebrate Two Great Hobbits

Today is a great day for fans of The Lord of the Rings.  Today is the birthday of Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins, two great Hobbits who forever changed the course of history. 

Without Bilbo, Smaug would’ve easily been swayed by Sauron with the promise of all the death, destruction, and riches Middle-earth could offer, Goblins and Wargs would’ve torn through Rhovanion, and the Ring would’ve slipped from Gollum’s grasp into more nefarious hands. 

Without Frodo, well, the Ring would have never been destroyed, Sauron would’ve destroyed the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, and the world would’ve been covered in a second darkness. 

Was their journey easy?  No.  Was it tough along the way, did they face many hardships and bruises, were they afraid, did they lose companions, were they pushed further than they thought was possible?  Absolutely, but these Hobbits never gave up, they fought on, by tooth and nail if they had to.  When we think of these great Hobbits, we think of the quote from Gandalf.

“Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.”

We can take these words and apply them to our lives like Bilbo and Frodo did.  No matter how bad things get we can shift our thinking, follow Gandalf’s words, and understand that we are meant to be in those moments.  That can be an encouraging thought.

We hope you join us today as we celebrate Bilbo’s and Frodo’s Birthday, bust out The Fellowship of the Ring or The Hobbit and follow along as they overcome the hardships of their journey.

Thank you for your time and remember, the crownless again shall be king.

– The Wandering One

Behind the Trend, but Full of Promise

Warner Brothers, just dropped a potential game of the year bomb on the world last week.  If you haven’t seen any news on it, here’s the trailer.

Kudos to Warner Brothers for finally working on/creating an RPG game in the Wizarding World.  They’re a little behind if you think about the last Harry Potter moving coming out ten years ago, but then again, better late than never.  We must also give credit to the previous Harry Potter games that have come before this one.  From Sorcerer’s Stone to Half-blood Prince we’ve been able to run around Hogwarts as Harry Potter exploring hidden secrets, learning new spells, and following the stories we know and love.

However, never before have we been given the chance to create our own character, grow their skills, get sorted, join a Quidditch team, or explore an open world outside of Hogwarts.  These are all new features the Hogwarts Legacy game is touting.  The graphics, spell casting, and environments all look exciting, as the main character you’ll be going up against complicated wizard puzzles, feirce magical beasts, and dangerous dark wizards.  But, you have the chance to control your destiny, like most RPG games you will have the opportunity to make “good” or “bad” decisions that will affect your character and the story. 

All-in-all, this game looks like it has incredible potential, could it be the game of the year?  Absolutely, however, that will depend on the gameplay and story.  So far, the story is shaping up to be a little so-so.  You’re a new student at Hogwarts, you’ve received your acceptance letter “late,” (How late? No clue), and you go on to discover you have the ability to unlock “ancient magic” that will, undoubtedly, help you over come obstacles throughout the game and unlock more abilities.  How, or what this “ancient magic” is, hasn’t been revealed at this time.  If we were to guess, we think we’re looking at an Harry Potter version of Star Wars:  The Force Unleashed, or Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, but with character creation features.  We imagine this “ancient magic” will allow your character to be this incredibly talented, possibly over-powered, individual.  This will bode well for the entertainment factor of the game, but as for the story we’re not 100% sold on it.  Regardless, it’s too early in the process to make any bold statements about the quality of the story or the game in general. 

Our best compliment, at this time, is this game’s potential…there sure is a lot of it. 

While there are so many questions about this game right now we have one major one?  Is this game Harry Potter Wizarding World cannon?  Warner Brothers has always created Harry Potter games that were similar to the movies/books, but they have also added their own additions to their games.  Looking at you Flipendo. There’s been no news of the canonical aspects of this game, but we’ll be waiting to hear whether this story actually happened in Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, or if it was just inspired by it. 

Lots to talk about this game and we can’t wait till we learn more about it.  Let us know what you think about this news.  Are you excited about this game?  Where you expecting more?  What type of Harry Potter video would you like to play?  Let us know in the comments below!

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

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 21st

Gandalf meets Shadowfax, but the horse will not allow him to come near.

He follows Shadowfax far over the fields.

They return to Rivendell.

An incredibly big moment for the remaining memebers of the company that left Gondor, today they finally reached Rivendell.  Here Frodo is able to see Bilbo again and Elrond, and his sons, return home.  It was possibly on purpose that that group arrived a day before Biblo and Frodo’s Birthday.  Tomorrow they will be able to celebrate the life of these two great Hobbits together. 

We’re jumping timelines today, Gandalf the Grey reached Edoras yesterday and was given leave to pick any horse he deemed fit.  Gandalf finally found a horse that caught his eye, Shadowfax, a descendant of the Mearas, the greatest horses in Middle-earth.  Shadowfax, of course, wasn’t just going to let anyone ride him, they had to be worthy enough of that honor.  So, Gandalf bides his time, a companion like Shadowfax is worth the effort, even if this causes a delay Shadowfax has the skill to make up the time lost.

Thank you for your time and remember, not all those who wander are lost.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 20th

Gandalf gains entrance to Edoras.

Théoden commands him to go: ‘ Take any horse, only be gone ere tomorrow is old!’

Ganalf journeyed to Edoras to borrow a horse from the land of Rohan, here the horses were the strongest and fastest of any breeds in the world.  Gandalf had one goal on his mind, to get to Frodo as fast as he could. 

At this point of time Théoden was being influenced by Saruman but he wasn’t fully under the wizard’s “spell.”  Théoden figured Gandalf would be far more trouble than he was actually worth, so in an effort to spare himself difficulties, he sent Gandalf away.  Théoden had no idea what horse Gandalf was going to take he just wanted this wizard gone.  His words, however, gave Gandalf free reign to seek out the greatest horse in Rohan.   We won’t meet this horse today but he’s coming soon.

Thank you for your time and remember, the old that is strong does not wither.

– The Wandering One

Character of the Week

King Théoden

Son of Thengel and Lord of the Riddermark, another great king graces our presence with the Character of the Week title.

Théoden certainly wasn’t at his best when we first met his character in The Two Towers.  Old, worn down, tired, and corrupted by the lies and powers of Saruman, this once great king was a shell of his former self.  But then, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli made their way to Edoras, confronted Saruman’s servant Grima, and showed Théoden the truth.  In that moment, Théoden regained his true strength and fought back against the powers of Isengard and Mordor.  He went on to lead his men against the evils and lies of Saruman, he did not allow himself to be persuaded by Saruman’s lies when they met face to face after the Battle of Helm’s Deep, he answered Gondor’s call for aid, and rode to save the Free Peoples of Middle-earth from Sauron’s destruction.  This king cast aside his former mistakes, rose from the darkness, and fought to save Middle-earth. 

We should take heart in Théoden’s story, even when we are at our lowest there is still a light shining in us, begging to catch fire and blaze forth. 

In life and death Théoden inspires those around him to be better, we hope you join us this week as we celebrate this great king with the Character of the Week title.

Thank you for your time and remember, from the ashes a fire shall be woken.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

September 19th

Gandalf comes to Edoras as a beggar, and is refused admittance.

Yesterday Gandalf escaped Isengard, with the help of Gwaihir.  Today Gandalf reaches Edoras.  When Gwaihir helped Gandalf escape he found Gandalf on top of Orthanc by accident, he could not bear Gandalf far.  Gandalf made the decision the to be dropped off near Edoras.  Here, he would receive a mighty steed to bear him quickly on his journey.

Gandalf decided to approach Edoras as a beggar because he was unsure of their loyalty.  Gwaihir had heard rumors that the men of Rohan were giving Modor horses as tribute, and Saruman’s betrayals had left him wary.  Approaching as a beggar allowed him to see how the men of Rohan would react and learn more about their allegiance.  The Rohan of old wouldn’t have turned away a beggar, things aren’t the same.

The next few days of September will be very busy for people in Middle-earth.

Thank you for your time and remember, a light from the shadows shall spring.

– The Wandering One