Image by Sebastian Unrau

October

 

October 1

Day 274

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter VII: Helm’s Deep
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The War of the Ring: Foreword & Part One, I. The Destruction of Isengard (Chronology)


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Edoras, Rohan, White Mountains, Misty Mountains, River Isen, Isengard, Mordor, Dunland, Westfold, Helm’s Deep, Fords of Isen, Gondor, Mirkwood

    • White Mountains: Thrihyrne

    • Helm’s Deep: The Burg (Hornburg), Deeping Stream, Hornrock, Main Gate (Helm’s Gate), Helm’s Dike, Deeping Wall

  • Timeline: Third Age March 2 - 3, 3019

  • Other: Look up illustrations of Helm’s Deep.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Gandalf leave?
    2. What happened to Erkenbrand?
    3. What are the challenges of a night battle?

 
 

October 2

Day 275

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter VII: Helm’s Deep
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, II. Helm’s Deep


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why do the Dunlandings hate the Rohirrim?
    2. What is the “fire of Orthanc”?
    3. What caused the battle to turn at dawn?

 

October 3

Day 276

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter VIII: The Road to Isengard
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Three, I. Addendum to ‘The Treason of Isengard’


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Westfold, Isengard, Edoras, Dunland, Helm’s Deep, Mirkwood, Moria (Khazad-dûm), Fangorn Forest, Fords of Isen, River Isen, Minas Tirith, Gap of Rohan

    • Helm’s Deep: Deeping Stream, Helm’s Dike, Hornburg

    • Misty Mountains: Mirrormere (Kheled-zâram), 

  • Timeline: Third Age March 4, 3019

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Huorns


Discussion Questions:

    1. What do you think of Erkenbrand’s offer of mercy to the Dunlandings?
    2. How old might Legolas be?
    3. What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?

 
 

October 4

Day 277

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter VIII: The Road to Isengard
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, III. The Road to Isengard


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

  • Timeline: Third Age March 5, 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. What was the dark mist that passed by in the night?
    2. Why had no one from Rohan visited Orthanc in recent times?
    3. What could be the source of Rohan’s legends about Hobbits?

 

October 5

Day 278

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter IX: Flotsam and Jetsam
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, IV. Flotsam and Jetsam

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Which item from Saruman’s stores would you have been most excited to discover?
    2. Is there any treasure you own which you would not cast away at need?
    3. How would you describe Ents to someone who had not seen them?

 
 

October 6

Day 279

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter IX: Flotsam and Jetsam
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, IV. Flotsam and Jetsam

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why was Treebeard the leader of the Ents?
    2. What do you learn about Wormtongue’s character in this chapter?
    3. Why did Saruman have pipeweed from the Shire?

 

October 7

Day 280

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter X: The Voice of Saruman
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, V. The Voice of Saruman

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Should Merry and Pippin have stayed behind in the guardroom?
    2. In what ways is Saruman like and unlike Gandalf?
    3. Why did Théoden’s response anger Saruman ?

 
 

October 8

Day 281

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter X: The Voice of Saruman
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, V. The Voice of Saruman

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Was there any real chance that Saruman would come down?
    2. Why did Gandalf have authority to break Saruman’s staff?
    3. Are the Ents a good choice for guarding Saruman?

 

October 9

Day 282

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter XI: The Palantír
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, VI. The Palantír

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why was Pippin so obsessed with having a look at the palantír?
    2. When have you been overtaken by an irresistible desire?
    3. Why was Gandalf so quick to forgive Pippin?

 
 

October 10

Day 283

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Three, Chapter XI: The Palantír
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part One, VI. The Palantír

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Isengard, Mordor, Helm’s Deep, River Isen, White Mountains, Minas Tirith (Minas Anor), Minas Morgul (Minas Ithil), Osgiliath, Barad-dûr, Arnor, Rohan, Westfold, Edoras

    • White Mountains: Thrihyrne, Mount Mindolluin

    • Valinor: Bay of Eldamar, Tirion

    • Arda: Númenor (Westernesse)

    • Eriador: Annúminas, Amon Sûl, Tower Hills, Mithlond, Gulf of Lune 

    • Rohan: Helm’s Deep (Deeping-coomb), Aglarond

  • Timeline: Third Age March 5, 3019

  • Other: Watch the video, “The Palantíri: Seeing Stones of Middle-earth” on the YouTube channel Nerd of the Rings.


Discussion Questions:

    1. What lessons have you learned through a “burned hand”?
    2. What might Sauron do about Saruman’s rebellion?
    3. How fast is Shadowfax? (Hint: The average speed of a galloping horse is about 27 mph. It is about 125 miles from the Fords of Isen to Edoras, and 350 from Edoras to Minas Tirith.)

 

October 11

Day 284

Basic Reading: 

Unfinished Tales: Part Four, III. The Palantíri


Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Nature of Middle-Earth: This book was just released last month! I will incorporate it into the Supplementary Reading for next year; however, for now, see if you get a copy and read any entries that interest you.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why would Saruman have been interested in the Orthanc-stone?
    2. Do you think any of the palantíri could communicate with the stones lost by Arvedui in the Sea?
    3. Was it wise of Denethor to use the Anor-stone?

 
 

October 12

Day 285

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter I: The Taming of Sméagol
    *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about a third of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, I. The Taming of Sméagol

             *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about a third of it today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Emyn Muil, River Anduin, Gondor, Barad-dûr (Dark Tower), Battle Plain, Mordor

  • Timeline: Third Age February 28 - 29, 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. Should Frodo have left the Company earlier?
    2. What did Frodo mean when he said there was an Eye in the Shadow to the east?
    3. Which is more important, courage or wisdom?

 

October 13

Day 286

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter I: The Taming of Sméagol
    *Read the second third of this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, I. The Taming of Sméagol

             *Read the second third of this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Did Sam’s knot untie, or did the rope come when called?
    2. How has Gollum been able to follow the Hobbits without tracks?
    3. Where is the most uncomfortable place you’ve ever spent the night?

 
 

October 14

Day 287

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter I: The Taming of Sméagol
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, I. The Taming of Sméagol

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why does Frodo believe Gollum is “much more dangerous than he looks”?
    2. What is revealed by Frodo’s warning to Gollum about the Ring’s treachery?
    3. Is it wise of Frodo to trust Gollum?

 

October 15

Day 288

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter II: The Passage of the Marshes
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, II: The Passage of the Marshes

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Is Gollum sincere?
    2. Why can’t Gollum eat lembas?
    3. Why would Gollum have gone back to find a way through the marshes after being released from Mordor?

 
 

October 16

Day 289

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter II: The Passage of the Marshes
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:


Prior Versions:

  • The War of the Ring: Part Two, II: The Passage of the Marshes

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What are the candles in the marshes?
    2. Why was Gollum affected so strongly by the appearance of the wraiths?
    3. What is Gollum planning?

 

October 17

Day 290

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter III: The Black Gate is Closed
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, III: The Black Gate is Closed

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Mordor, Gondor, River Anduin (Great River), Osgiliath

    • Mordor: Ephel Dúath, Ered Lithui, Lithlad, Gorgoroth, Sea of Núrnen, Morannon, Barad-dûr, Minas Morgul (Minas Ithil)

    • Rohan: Amon Hen

  • Timeline: Third Age March 2 - 5, 3019

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Black Gate.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Gollum stop Frodo from approaching the Gate?
    2. How might Sauron have recruited men from the east?
    3. What do you think of Frodo’s threat to Gollum?

 
 

October 18

Day 291

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter III: The Black Gate is Closed
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, III: The Black Gate is Closed

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Mordor, Dead Marshes, Isengard, Moria, The Shire, Bree, Harad (Sunlands)

    • Mordor: Gorgoroth, Ephel Dúath (Shadowy Mountains), River Anduin, Minas Morgul (Moontower), Morannon (Black Gate), Barad-dûr (Dark Tower), Cirith Ungol, Orodruin (Mountain of Fire)

    • Rohan: Amon Hen

  • Timeline: Third Age March 5, 3019

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


Discussion Questions:

    1. Should Frodo keep following Gollum?
    2. Why are the Black Riders circling the area?
    3. Why doesn’t Gollum want oliphaunts to exist?

 

October 19

Day 292

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter IV: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, IV: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

             *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: River Anduin (Great River), Osgiliath, Ithilien, The Shire, Rivendell, Gondor, Emyn Muil

    • Mordor: Morannon (Black Gate), Ephel Dúath

    • The Shire: Bagshot Row

  • Timeline: Third Age March 5 - 7, 3019

  • Other: Listen to Tolkien’s reading of “Of herbs and stewed rabbit” on the YouTube channel, The Professor Tolkien Reads.


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why was Frodo able to sleep so soundly?
    2. What is your interpretation of the burnt area Sam found?
    3. Is Sam’s harsh attitude toward Gollum justified?

 
 

October 20

Day 293

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter IV: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, IV: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: The Shire, Gondor, Barad-dûr (Dark Tower), Minas Tirith (White Tower), Rivendell (Imladris), Moria, Ithilien, River Anduin, Ephel Dúath

    • Rohan: Parth Galen, Falls of Rauros 

    • Arda: Harad, Umbar

  • Timeline: Third Age March 7, 3019

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the oliphaunt.


Discussion Questions:

    1. What were the Rangers expecting to find when they investigated the fire?
    2. Was it wise of Frodo to speak so forthrightly with the Rangers?
    3. Where is Gollum?

 

October 21

Day 294

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter V: The Window on the West
    *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about a third of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, V: Faramir

             *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about a third of it today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Did Frodo tell Faramir too much, or not enough?
    2. How do you account for Faramir’s vision of Boromir?
    3. Is Faramir correct in his assessment of the power of Lothlórien?

 
 

October 22

Day 295

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter V: The Window on the West
    *Read the second third of this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, V: Faramir

             *Read the second third of this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Emyn Muil, Minas Tirith (Minas Anor), Moria, Dagorlad, Ithilien, River Anduin, Rohan, Lothlórien, Mirkwood

    • Arda: Númenor

    • Ithilien: Henneth Annûn

  • Timeline: Third Age March 7, 3019

  • Other: Watch the video “Blowing Horns” on the YouTube channel KateCorwen.


Discussion Questions:

    1. How does Faramir demonstrate wisdom in this chapter?
    2. How does Frodo demonstrate wisdom in this chapter?
    3. How does Sam demonstrate wisdom in this chapter?

 

October 23

Day 296

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter V: The Window on the West
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, V: Faramir

                *Finish this chapter today.


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What question would you want to ask Faramir?
    2. Do the Men of Gondor live too much in the past?
    3. What is the unique quality about Faramir which Sam compared to wizards?

 
 

October 24

Day 297

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VI: The Forbidden Pool
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Three, XIV: The Second Map


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Faramir bring Frodo to see Gollum?
    2. Was it wise of Frodo to spare Gollum?
    3. Can you think of a better way to convince Gollum to surrender?

 

October 25

Day 298

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VI: The Forbidden Pool
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, VI: The Forbidden Pool


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Gondor, Minas Tirith, Morannon (Black Gate), Mordor (Nameless Land), Minas Morgul, Ephel Dúath (Mountains of Shadow)

    • Mordor: Cirith Ungol

    • Arda: Númenor

  • Timeline: Third Age March 8, 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. How does Gollum view the circumstances of his capture?
    2. Why does Faramir decide to release Gollum to Frodo?
    3. Should Frodo follow Gollum through Cirith Ungol?

 
 

October 26

Day 299

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VII: Journey to the Cross-Roads
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Expanded Story:

    • Sauron Defeated: Part Two: The Notion Club Papers, Introduction


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

    • Middle-earth: Morannon, Mordor (Nameless Land), White Mountains, Gondor, Ithilien, River Anduin

    • Ithilien: Henneth Annûn, Morgulduin

  • Timeline: Third Age March 8 - 9, 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. Why does Gollum seem “better pleased with himself”?
    2. Why is this land currently free from evil?
    3. Why is Gollum in a hurry?

 

October 27

Day 300

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VII: Journey to the Cross-Roads
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The War of the Ring: Part Two, VII: Journey to the Cross-Roads


Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:

  • Timeline: Third Age March 9 - 10, 3019


Discussion Questions:

    1. Where did Gollum go?
    2. What is the rumbling sound the Hobbits hear?
    3. Why was Frodo dreaming about Gandalf?

 
 

October 28

Day 301

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VIII: The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Expanded Story:

    • Sauron Defeated: Part Two: The Notion Club Papers, Foreword and List of Members


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What was the red flame that shot up in Gorgoroth?
    2. Where is the army going?
    3. How does the phial help Frodo?

 

October 29

Day 302

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter VIII: The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Expanded Story:

    • Sauron Defeated: Part Two: The Notion Club Papers, Part One, Nights 54 and 60


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What do Orcs drink?
    2. How does Sam know so much ancient lore?
    3. Where did Gollum go?

 
 

October 30

Day 303

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter IX: Shelob’s Lair
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Expanded Story:

    • Sauron Defeated: Part Two: The Notion Club Papers, Part One, Night 61


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. Is this tunnel the only way for Frodo to enter Mordor?
    2. What is Gollum hoping will happen?
    3. Why did the Phial drive Shelob away?

 

October 31

Day 304

Basic Reading: 

    The Two Towers: Book Four, Chapter IX: Shelob’s Lair
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Expanded Story:

    • Sauron Defeated: Part Two: The Notion Club Papers, Part Two, Nights 62 - 66


Enrichment Activities:


Discussion Questions:

    1. What attracted Shelob to the Ephel Dúath?
    2. What does Gollum want to pay Shelob back for, and how might he do so?
    3. Would Sam really have killed Gollum?