May 1

Day 121

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Two, IV. The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, The Elessar


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • Unfinished Tales: Part Two, IV. The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, Appendices


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Aman 

    • Middle-earth: Greenwood, Eregion, Lórien, River Anduin, Dol Guldur, Lindon

    • Beleriand: Gondolin, Havens of Sirion, Doriath

  • Timeline: First Age through Third Age 

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Elessar. Compare it to the Silmarils.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Which version of the Elessar do you prefer - the one returned to Middle-earth by Mithrandir, or the one remade by Celebrimbor?
    2. How does Galadriel’s attitude in the second version compare with what we know of her character?
    3. Why is the Elessar not mentioned in The Silmarillion?

 
 

May 2

Day 122

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Four, II. The Istari
    *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about one third of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • Unfinished Tales: Introduction, Part Four, II. The Istari

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part Two, Section XIII. Last Writings

  • Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Aman 

    • Middle-earth: Grey Havens, Gondor, Angmar, Lindon, Lórien, Greenwood

  • Character Cards: Saruman, Radagast

  • Timeline: Third Age 1000


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did the Valar send the Istari, rather than coming to Middle-earth themselves to defeat Sauron, as they had Morgoth?
    2. How could Círdan tell the grey wizard was the greatest and wisest of the five?
    3. Where have you seen evidence of people “forgetting the good in the search for power to effect it”?

 
 

May 3

Day 123

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Four, II. The Istari
    *Read the second third of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix E, Writing and Spelling


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

  • Timeline: Third Age 1000


Discussion Questions:

    1. What is meant by Olórin not being the third?
    2. Why did Yavanna want to send Radagast?
    3. What do you make of the comparison between Galadriel and Manwë?

 

May 4

Day 124

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Four, II. The Istari
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix F, I. The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section II. The Appendix on Languages, through Paragraph 28


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Aman, Valinor, Númenor

    • Middle-earth: Henneth Annnûn, River Carnen, River Celduin, Núrnen, South Gondor, Mordor, Gulf of Lune, Carn Dûm, Near Harad, Rhûn, Umbar, Gondor, Lindon, Eriador, River Anduin, Rohan

  • Timeline: Third Age 


Discussion Questions:

    1. What determined the limits of Gandalf’s travels?
    2. What inherent worth did Gandalf perceive in the Halflings?
    3. How did Gandalf interpret his own purpose?

 

May 5

Day 125

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part I. The Númenorean Kings, (ii) The Realms in Exile, and (iii) Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section IX., (I) The Realms in Exile


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Aman, Beleriand, Eressëa, Númenor

    • Middle-earth: Arnor, Gondor, Rivendell, Fornost, Eriador, Misty Mountains, Blue Mountains, Lórien, Wilderland, Barad-dûr 

    • Eriador: River Greyflood, River Glanduin, Tharbad, River Lune, River Loudwater, Hollin, Gulf of Lune, Great Road, Shire, Grey Havens, Lindon, Arthedain, Rhudaur, Cardolan, River Brandywine, Weather Hills, Ettenmoors, Misty Mountains, River Hoarwell, Bree, Amon Sûl, Angmar, North Downs, Barrow Downs, Old Forest, Minhiriath, Forochel, Emyn Beraid, Redhorn Pass, Annúminas, Lake Evendim, Brandywine Bridge

    • Rhovanion: Gladden Fields, River Gladden

    • Gondor: Emyn Arnen 

  • Character Cards: Witch-king of Angmar, Aragorn

  • Timeline: Third Age 

  • Other: Keep track of the locations of each of the nine Palantíri. 


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did the northern kingdoms fight over the Palantíri?
    2. How did the Witch-king gain power?
    3. How might Celebrían’s departure have affected Elrond?

 
 

May 6

Day 126

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part I. The Númenorean Kings, (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
    *This section will be read over the course of four days, so read about one fourth of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix F, II. On Translation

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section II. The Appendix on Languages, On Translation


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Barad-dûr, Mouths of Anduin, Umbar, Haradwaith, Harad, Mirkwood, River Greyflood, Sea of Rhûn, River Anduin, Mordor, Ered Lithui, Rhovanion, Emyn Muil, River Running, Calenardhon 

    • Rhovanion: River Celebrant, River Limlight

    • Gondor: Minas Anor, Osgiliath, Pelargir, River Harnen, Nen Hithoel, Osgiliath, Ithilien, Anórien,Lebennin, Crossings of Erui 

  • Timeline: Third Age 1 - 1447 

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Argonath.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why are late marriage and few children signs of decay in Gondor?
    2. Why was Mordor desolate at the height of Gondor’s power? Where was Sauron, and what was he doing?
    3. What caused the Kin-strife?

 

May 7

Day 127

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part I. The Númenorean Kings, (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
    *Read the second fourth of this section today, so that you have finished about half.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section II. The Appendix on Languages, Note on an unpublished letter


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Númenor

    • Middle-earth: Umbar, Gondor, Harad, Rhovanion, Pelargir, Osgiliath, Greenwood, River Anduin, Emyn Muil, Mordor, Dagorlad, Angmar, Arthedain, Khand, Near Harad, Morannon, Ithilien, Dead Marshes, Arnor 

    • Gondor: Minas Anor, Anfalas, River Poros

  • Timeline: Third Age 1447 - 1945

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Wainriders and the Easterlings


Discussion Questions:

    1. To what extent did the three evils which came upon Gondor result from choices made by the kings?
    2. To what extent was Sauron involved in the three evils?
    3. Is Sauron still loyal to Morgoth? Why or why not?

 

May 8

Day 128

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part I. The Númenorean Kings, (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
    *Read the third fourth of this section today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix D

    
Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Arnor, Angmar, Gondor, Arthedain, Lindon, River Anduin, Rhovanion, Mordor, Pass of Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, Ithilien, Minas Tirith, Umbar, Mirkwood, River Running, Calenardhon 

    • Eriador: Grey Havens, River Harlond, River Forlond, River Lune, Fornost, Hills of Evendim, Nenuial, North Downs, Angmar, Carn Dûm, Rivendell, Misty Mountains

    • Rhovanion: Dol Guldur, Gladden

    • Gondor: Emyn Arnen, Morgul Vale, Osgiliath 

  • Timeline: Third Age 1945 - 2510

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the banners of Gondor.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Was Glorfindel’s counsel wise, to let the Witch-king go without pursuit? Why or why not?
    2. Why didn’t Eänur inherit the wisdom of his father?
    3. Were the Stewards less capable than the kings?

 
 

May 9

Day 129

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part I. The Númenorean Kings, (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
    *Finish this section today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section IV. The Calendars


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: River Anduin, River Limlight, Gondor, Calenardhon, Umbar, Harad, River Isen, White Mountains, Eriador, Rohan, Isengard, Misty Mountains, Minas Tirith, Ithilien, Mordor, South Gondor, Barad-dûr, Mount Doom 

    • Rhovanion: Nanduhirion

    • Gondor: Henneth Annûn, Cair Andros, Anórien, River Poros, Haudh in Gwanur, Pelargir, Mountains of Shadow, Dol Amroth, Minas Morgul

  • Character Cards: Denethor II, Boromir, Faramir

  • Timeline: Third Age 2758 - 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Saruman claim and fortify Isengard?
    2. Who was Thorongil? What other tasks called him?
    3. Why did Denethor dislike Gandalf?

 
 

May 10

Day 130

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, I. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • Unfinished Tales: Part Three, I. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields, Appendix


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Arnor, Fords of Isen, Fornost, Rivendell, Osgiliath, River Anduin, High Pass, Dagorlad, Greenwood, Sea of Rhûn, Lórien, Dol Guldur, Barad-dûr, Isengard, Edoras 

    • Rhovanion: Gladden Fields, Moria, River Anduin

  • Character Cards: Wormtongue, King Théoden, Gimli, Arwen

  • Timeline: Third Age 2

  • Other:  


Discussion Questions:

    1. What did Isildur intend for the Ring?
    2. Did the Ring slip off Isildur’s finger on purpose? If so, why, when it would have come sooner to Sauron if captured?
    3. What do you think happened to Isildur?

 
 

May 11

Day 131

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, (i) The Northmen and the Wainriders

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix B, “The Third Age” through year 2939


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Rohan, Rhovanion, Dagorlad, Ithilien, Calenardhon, Sea of Rhûn, Mordor, Khand, Ered Lithui, Morannon, Dead Marshes, Ephel Dúath, Harad 

    • Rhovanion: Field of Celebrant, River Anduin, Carrock, Gladden Fields, Mirkwood, River Running, East Bight, Dale, Erebor, Undeeps

    • Gondor: Pelennor, Pelargir, Fords of Poros, South Ithilien, Sarn Gebir, Dol Amroth, Minas Tirith, River Poros, Minas Morgul     

  • Timeline: Third Age 1936 - 1944


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why would the healers of Gondor not have taught medicine to the Northmen?
    2. Why did Sauron hate Gondor more than the other people of Middle-earth?
    3. Why were there no Orcs involved in this war?

 

May 12

Day 132

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, (ii) The Ride of Eorl

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part Two, Late Writings, opening section and X. Of Dwarves and Men


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Mirkwood, Misty Mountains, Forest River, Ered Mithrin, River Anduin, Minas Tirith, Mordor, Umbar, Emyn Muil, Dagorlad, Calenardhon, Rhovanion 

    • Rhovanion: River Greylin, River Langwell, River Limlight, Field of Celebrant, Brown Lands, Sea of Rhûn, Undeeps, River Running, Dol Guldur, Gladden Fields, East Bight, Dwimordene, The Wold

  • Character Cards: Cirion

  • Timeline: Third Age 2489 - 2510

  • Other: Listen to Tolkien’s reading of “In Dwimordene, In Lorien” on the YouTube channel, The Professor Tolkien Reads.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Who were the Balchoth?
    2. Why did Eorl decide to help Gondor?
    3. What might have prevented the Balchoth from hindering Eorl’s company?

 

May 13

Day 133

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, (iii) Cirion and Eorl
    *This section will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Return of the King: Appendix C

    
Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Calenardhon, River Anduin, Dol Guldur, Mirkwood

    • Gondor: Halifirien, Ered Nimrais, Eilenach, Mering Stream, River Entwash, West Road, Firien Wood, Osgiliath, Minas Tirith, Cair Andros, Amon Dîn, Min-Rimmon, Amon Anwar, The Wold, Whispering Wood, Dol Amroth

  • Timeline: Third Age 2510

  • Other: Look at a diagram of the locations of the beacons. Consider how long it might take to send a signal from one end to the other.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Would you like to be a Beacon-warden?
    2. What kind of reward might Eorl and his men have anticipated?
    3. Was Cirion’s gift overly generous?

 

May 14

Day 134

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, (iii) Cirion and Eorl
    *Finish this section today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section III. The Family Trees


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Calenardhon, Gondor, Misty Mountains, Great Road, Mirkwood, Brown Lands, River Anduin, Dol Guldur 

    • Rhovanion: Dwimordene, River Celebrant

    • Gondor: Amon Anwar, Dol Amroth, Whispering Wood, Mering Stream, Anórien, Fords of Isen

    • Rohan: River Angren, River Adorn, Agrenost, Fangorn Forest, River Limlight, River Anduin, Emyn Muil, Mouths of Onodló, River Glanhír, Wood of Anwar, Ered Nimrais, Hithaeglir, Angrenost

  • Timeline: Third Age 2510

  • Other: Look up illustrations of Cirion and Eorl on Amon Anwar.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Is Elendil buried on Amon Anwar?
    2. What impact will Eorl’s vow have on his people and their descendants?
    3. Does the location of a solemn oath matter?

 

May 15

Day 135

Basic Reading: 

    Unfinished Tales: Part Three, II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, (iv) The Tradition of Isildur

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Hobbit: “Note on the Text”/ Preface/ Any introductory material published in your version


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Arnor, Anórien, White Mountains, Calenardhon

    • Gondor: Amon Anwar, Minas Morgul, Ithilien, Minas Tirith

  • Timeline: Third Age 2510


Discussion Questions:

    1. What was in the casket Isildur buried on Amon Anwar?
    2. Do you believe the Stewards had the right to visit the hallow?
    3. Was it right of Cirion to remove the casket? Why or why not?

 

May 16

Day 136

Basic Reading: 

    The Return of the King: Appendix A, Part II. The House of Eorl


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age, up to 2940

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part One, Section IX., (III) The House of Eorl


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: River Anduin, Misty Mountains, Mirkwood, Gondor, Rhovanion, Brown Lands, Calenardhon, River Isen, Rohan, White Mountains, Ered Mithrin, Dunland, Barad-dûr, Ithilien, Mordor, Emyn Muil, Sea of Rhûn

    • Rhovanion: River Anduin, Carrock, Gladden, Mirkwood, Dol Guldur, Angmar, Field of Celebrant, River Silverlode, River Limlight, The Wold

    • Gondor: River Lefnui, River Isen, Lossarnach, Fields of Pelennor, Dol Amroth

    • Rohan: River Adorn, Edoras, Crossings of Isen, Helm’s Deep, Dunharrow, River Entwash, Isengard, Paths of the Dead, Harrowdale, Firien Wood, Eastfold

  • Character Cards: Helm Hammerhand, Éomer, Éowyn

  • Timeline: Third Age 2510 - 2953

  • Other: Look up illustrations of Scatha the dragon. Consider how the breed has developed since the time of Glaurung.


Discussion Questions:

    1. What was Saruman’s motive in occupying Orthanc?
    2. How is the culture of Rohan different from that of Gondor?
    3. Why did Aragorn and Éomer find it necessary to renew the vows of Cirion and Eorl?

 

May 17

Day 137

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
    *This chapter will be read over the course of four days, so read about one fourth of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Introduction

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter I(a): The Pryftan Fragment


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What kind of person is Bilbo Baggins?
    2. How does the tone of this story compare to the stories you have read so far?
    3. How would you respond to an uninvited guest arriving at your home for tea?

 

May 18

Day 138

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
    *Read the second fourth of this chapter today, so that you have finished about half.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter I(b): The Bladorthin Typescript, up to section (i)


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Gandalf send the Dwarves to Bilbo’s door in smaller groups?
    2. What do you think of the Dwarves’ manners?
    3. Why do the Dwarves travel with large musical instruments?

 

May 19

Day 139

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
    *Read the third fourth of this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter I(b): The Bladorthin Typescript, (i) through (iv)


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Misty Mountains, Erebor, Mirkwood, Withered Heath, Dale 

    • The Shire: The Water, The Hill, Bag-End   

  • Character Cards: Smaug

  • Timeline: Third Age April 2941


Discussion Questions:

    1. Have you ever agreed to do something you were afraid to do? Did you regret it later?
    2. What motivated Bilbo to join the Dwarves on their adventure?
    3. Why is Gandalf so sure of Bilbo?

 

May 20

Day 140

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter I(c): The Adventure Continues

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part Two: The 1960 Hobbit, opening section and New Chapter I: A Well-Planned Party

             *Note: This is not actually a prior version of the story, but rather a set of proposed revisions to the published story which were never incorporated.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Middle-earth: Long Lake, River Running, Dale, The Lonely Mountain, Moria

  • Character Cards: Azog

  • Timeline: Third Age April 2941

  • Other: Listen to “Song of Durin” by Eurielle, a lament for the sad fate of the Dwarves.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why is Thorin suspicious of Gandalf?
    2. Why is the Necromancer too powerful for the Dwarves to take on?
    3. What do you think of Bilbo’s decision not to get up early and prepare the Dwarves’ breakfasts?

 

May 21

Day 141

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 2: Roast Mutton
    *This chapter will be read over the course of four days, so read about one fourth of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter II: Trolls - Read half of the opening section


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

  • Timeline: Third Age April - May 2941

  • Other: Enjoy a nice, leisurely second breakfast by an open window. 


Discussion Questions:

    1. Are the terms offered by Thorin fair?
    2. What are the evil old castles visible from the Lone-lands?
    3. Why does bad weather make people feel grumpy?

 

May 22

Day 142

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 2: Roast Mutton
    *Read the second fourth of this chapter today, so that you have finished about half.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter II: Trolls - Finish the opening section, stopping at section (i)


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Was it a good idea to investigate the light?
    2. What would you have done in Bilbo’s position?
    3. What did Bilbo hope to achieve by picking William’s pocket?

 

May 23

Day 143

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 2: Roast Mutton
    *Read the third fourth of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter II: Trolls, (i) The Trolls


Enrichment Activities:

  • Timeline: Third Age May 2941


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why do you suppose trolls hate Dwarves?
    2. Where might Gandalf have been during this scene?
    3. How could Thorin have handled the situation better?

 

May 24

Day 144

Basic Reading: 

    The Hobbit: Chapter 2: Roast Mutton
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part One: Chapter II: Trolls, (ii) Bilbo’s Contract

    • The History of The Hobbit, Part Two: The 1960 Hobbit, New Chapter II: The Broken Bridge


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

  • Timeline: Third Age May 2941