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Timeline Event

Orcs return to surround Isildur's Guard in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Kings

Date: October 4, 0002


An event in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields; see that entry for an overview.
The Dúnedain had gone scarcely a mile when the Orcs moved again. This time they did not charge, but used all their forces. They came down on a wide front, which bent into a crescent and soon closed into an unbroken ring about the Dúnedain. They were silent now, and kept at a distance out of the range of the dreaded steel-bows of Númenor, though the light was fast failing, and Isildur had all too few archers for his need. He halted.

There was a pause, though the most keen-eyed among the Dúnedain said that the Orcs were moving inwards, stealthily.... Elendur went to his father, who was standing... as if lost in thought. 'Atarinya,' he said, 'what of the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of no avail?'

'Alas, it is not, senya. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it.1 And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen. It should go to the Keepers of the Three.'

At that moment there came a sudden blast of horns, and the Orcs closed in on all sides, flinging themselves against the Dúnedain with reckless ferocity. Night had come, and hope faded. Men were falling....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields

1   Compare the words of the scroll which Isildur wrote concerning the Ring before he departed from Gondor on his last journey, and which Gandalf reported to the Council of Elrond in Rivendell: 'It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede,2 and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled and seemeth to shrink...' (The Fellowship of the Ring II 2).

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Notes, Note 23

2   glede — An archaic word meaning 'live coal', commonly spelt gleed.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond

Elena Tiriel 11Nov07

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