Donnerstag, 3. August 2017

Wednesday, 2 August 2941 T.A.: Bombur drops

Out of the gloom came suddenly
the shape of a flying deer.
Eugen Krüger (1832-1876), “Stag”.
On this day, in 2941 T. A., after a toilsome and seemingly endless wandering, Bilbo and the Company reached the Enchanted River. They crossed it almost successfully, were it not for the Wood-elves and their dogs hunting a hart that caused Bombur to fall into the water, casting him into a magic sleep.

(Strangely, illustrations of this scene often show a white stag, though its colour is not stated in the book, save for that it is dark. The white deer, a hind with fawns, is seen soon after in the forest.)

According to Karen Fonstad's "Atlas of Middle-earth", there are 143 miles to cross between the entry of Mirkwood and the Enchanted River. The Company has managed to traverse this distance within 14 days, averaging a little more than 10 miles a day - a better value than Fonstad's 6.5 miles. The difference is due to the fact that Fonstad dated the crossing on 16 August. There are reasons to believe it happened two weeks sooner. For the curious, they are indicated in "The Moon in 'The Hobbit'", but we will examine them closer in eight days from now.