Thursday, December 23, 2004

December 25: The Ring Goes South

Fans of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings might not remember (or might never have known) that, in the chronology of the story, the Fellowship of the Ring leaves Elrond and Rivendell on December 25, and the fall of Sauron occurs on March 25. A professor of English, Mike Foster, who was studying the Tolkien papers
found a hand-written note by Tolkien at the bottom of one manuscript that said Frodo and the other eight members of the fellowship must set off on their quest from the elvish forest of Rivendell on Dec. 25, Christmas Day. In Tolkien's calendar, the quest ends on March 25, a date that English medieval tradition held was the original Good Friday, and which the Catholic Church celebrates as the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary that she will conceive the savior, Foster said.
Well, Rivendell is not a forest, but a dwelling; but never mind. The point stands.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: See also Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-Earth, rev. ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), pp. 200-201.

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