Welcome, won’t you? Welcome to September 7, 3018 of the Third Age. Today we’ll look into a bit of a coincidence concerning the Dwarves and everything else.
Ding Dong, Sauron Calling
In the Autumn of 3017 (so a little less than a year ago), a messenger from Mordor rode up to the Lonely Mountain and spoke to Dáin Ironfoot, King Under the Mountain. It’s not made totally clear, but it seems likely that this was one of the Nazgûl.
The messenger told him that Sauron wanted their friendship. He promised rings (which was Sauron’s go-to line for basically everything) if they’d give it.
He also asked about hobbits. He asked about “what kind they were.” Dwarves? Men? Certainly not Elves. Sauron knew, said the messenger, “that one of these was known to you on a time.”
He spoke with a breath that “came like the hiss of a snake.” He wanted to know where this hobbit, this “thief” was. They were to “get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole.”
This ring was “but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will.” If they did, the three Dwarvish Rings would be returned to them.
But even if they only found a bit of news about this thief “whether he still lives and where,” they would have great rewards and Sauron’s undying friendship. If they refused to help “things will not seem so well.”
Shire and Baggins and… ?
Okay, so let’s put this in a bit of timely perspective. This happened in, say, October 3017. That would have probably been shortly after Gollum escaped from Sauron. As we all know, Gollum only said “Baggins” and “Shire” and nothing more, right?
But apparently Gollum did say more. In The Hobbit, the first thing Bilbo said to Gollum was: “I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don’t know where I am….”
Gollum obviously recalled this to Sauron – so it was “Shire,” “Baggins,” and “Dwarves,” I suppose. I wonder if Gollum mentioned “the wizard” to Sauron, too.
Through this, Sauron must have figured out that the closest Dwarves were at the Lonely Mountain. Gollum wouldn’t have known much, if anything, about all of that, so it would have fallen on Sauron’s wits to deduce it. He couldn’t have made any connection to the Dwarves from just “Shire” and “Baggins.”
And We’re Off
The Dark Lord’s messenger returned twice to the Dwarves for an answer, but none was forthcoming. He even visited other Dwarf communities in other outposts. At last, he promised to return again for a final time before the end of 3018.
With that warning, Dáin made a decision not to betray Bilbo. Why it took him so long is a bit of a wonder, but here we are.
It was on or around this day that Dáin sent Glóin to warn Bilbo “that he is sought by the Enemy, and to learn, if may be, why he desires this ring, this least of rings.” The Dwarves also wanted the advice of Elrond.
Glóin chose to take his son, Gimli, along with him and started off on the journey to Rivendell on this date. They’d arrive just in time – just like everyone else.
On September 10th we’ll meet back up and talk a bit about the Nazgûl! Chilling!