Night and Fog
2. Author's Notes
As I hope became clear as the narrative progressed, they were the Nazgûl. Seven of the Nine, to be precise, since at the time this piece refers to, Khamûl and one other Ringwraith were still based in Dol Guldur.
Night and Fog was inspired by a short passage in The Hunt for the Ring: Of the journey of the Black Riders, according to the account that Gandalf gave to Frodo in Unfinished Tales. This part of UT tells how Sauron responded in the summer of TA 3018 to hearing that Gollum had been captured (by Aragorn and Gandalf); specifically, how he sent out the Ringwraiths to hunt for the Ring and for the land called Shire.
The Witch-King and his six underlings took Osgiliath; then, says Tolkien,
"The Lord of Morgul therefore led his companions over Anduin, unclad and unmounted, and invisible to eyes, and yet a terror to all living things that they passed near...They passed slowly and in stealth, through Anórien, and over the Entwade, and so into the Wold, and rumour of darkness and a dread of men knew not what went before them. They reached the west-shores of Anduin a little north of Sarn Gebir, as they had trysted; and there received horses and raiment that were secretly ferried over the river. This was (it is thought) about the seventeenth of July. Then they passed northward seeking for the Shire, the land of the Halflings."
The image of invisible terrors being made visible, as the Ringwraiths receive their horses and cloaks, sank its teeth into my ankle and wouldn't let go, hence this short fic.
I have guessed that the ferrying might have happened at night because JRRT says it was secret; many thanks to Lisa and Una over on the H-A list who helped me calculate that on 17 July/Afterlithe 3018 a waning gibbous moon would have risen a couple of hours after sunset, so that if I wanted the Ringwraiths to receive their gear in darkness, it would have to be in the brief window before the moon rose.
The idea of wild creatures - but particularly the creeping things of the earth - fleeing from the Nazgûl is a mixture of bookverse and movieverse.
Yes, by the way, I know Legolas probably only actually shot down a Ringwraith's mount in "The Great River", but that's exactly the kind of detail that gets exaggerated in local myth... ;)
Finally: the title, "Night and Fog", describes accurately enough what the narrator saw; but is also the title of a famous documentary film from 1955 by Alain Resnais about the concentration camps of WW2. I have no intention of equating the two, but I hope it does not seem too presumptuous to have borrowed such an evocative description of one of the greatest evils of our world for a fic describing one of the great evils of Middle-earth...
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.