Montag, 7. Mai 2018

Sunday, 7 May 2942 T.A.: Farewell to Rivendell, one day to come back

Tolkien’s way to Rivendell (Hinteres Lauterbrunnental,
Switzerland, by Gustav Hausmann, 1827-1899) 

On this day, in 2942 T.A., Bilbo and Gandalf leave Elrond and head west. The weather is rainy and dreary and no moon is seen.
Note that the voyage back takes as long as the way there: about six weeks, though it is true that progress is slow because they have to walk all the way from the Trollshaws as the ponies are laden. Still, this is no less hard to reconcile with travel times given in LR than the voyage out. The dates given in this final chapter would have been modified if the 1960 revision had been further pursued.

Tolkien never disclosed how Bilbo and Gandalf overcame the spells by which the dwarves had secured the troll-hoard. But then, Gandalf is an experienced hacker, he probably had a back-door left.

Mittwoch, 2. Mai 2018

Tuesday, 2 May 2942 T. A.: The final moon of The Hobbit

The moon of 2 May 2018 and of 2942 T. A.
On this day, in 2942 T. A., Bilbo wakes up in the early morning hours and finds the ‘moon shining through an open window’ of Rivendell. After a brief talk to the Elves, he sleeps on almost till noon.

This is the final observation of the moon given in "The Hobbit". Like almost all the other statements on the lunar phases, this one as well matches the actual phase of the respective day in 2017 and 2018. And this, despite the fact that Tolkien had not actively considered the phases before his 1960 revisions.

The moon that Bilbo observes is two days after full and illuminated by 94%. It rose some time after sunset and was high in the sky when Bilbo woke, even above the southern rock walls of the valley of Rivendell.

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2018

Monday, 1 May 2942 T. A.: Back to Rivendell at last

Descent to Rivendell from the east
(rear Lauterbrunnen Valley, ca. 1885, artist unknown)

Oh, yes, Gandalf and Bilbo are on the road again! They must have left Beorn at some day between 15 and 20 April and cross the same pass that they had taken on the way east, just that this time there were neither stone giants nor orcs outdoors. 

On this day, in 2942 T. A., the two of them safely arrived in Rivendell. Bilbo in his tiredness lost track of time and fell asleep right after sunset.

About six weeks to go till Bag-end. John Rateliff notes that the draft of the final chapter dated the arrival sooner, on 2 June, but this date was amended probably to make the travel time back agree with the travel time there. Meaning, of course, that Gandalf and Bilbo spent three times as much time on the road (or in the Prancing Pony ...) than Frodo and the other hobbits did - even including Strider's detour during the Trollshaws!