Rangers double the guard on the Shire (estimated date)
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Date: October 1, 3001
An event in the aftermath of Bilbo's Farewell Party; see that entry for an overview:
[Said Gandalf,] 'Time passed with many cares, until my doubts were awakened again to sudden fear. Whence came the hobbit's ring? What, if my fear was true, should be done with it? Those things I must decide. But I spoke yet of my dread to none, knowing the peril of an untimely whisper, if it went astray. In all the long wars with the Dark Tower treason has ever been our greatest foe.
'That was seventeen years ago. Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, were gathered round the Shire, and my fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn, the heir of Isildur.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond
'Of course, my dear Frodo, it was dangerous for you [to keep Bilbo's ring]; and that has troubled me deeply. But there was so much at stake that I had to take some risk — though even when I was far away there has never been a day when the Shire has not been guarded by watchful eyes.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past
Strider looked grave. ... 'I have often kept watch on the borders of the Shire in the last few years, when [Gandalf] was busy elsewhere. He seldom left it unguarded.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 10, Strider
The year is canon, but the day is an estimate, selected to follow the event Gandalf begins to suspect Bilbo has the One Ring.
Elena Tiriel 8May05, 14May05