Nazgûl attack the Travellers' camp at Weathertop
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: October 6, 3018
An event in the Attack on the Camp at Weathertop; see that entry for an overview.
'Look!' said Merry. 'The Moon is rising: it must be getting late.'
The others looked up. Even as they did so, they saw on the top of the hill something small and dark against the glimmer of the moonrise. It was perhaps only a large stone or jutting rock shown up by the pale light.
Sam and Merry got up and walked away from the fire. Frodo and Pippin remained seated in silence. Strider was watching the moonlight on the hill intently. All seemed quiet and still, but Frodo felt a cold dread creeping over his heart, now that Strider was no longer speaking. He huddled closer to the fire. At that moment Sam came running back from the edge of the dell.
'I don't know what it is,' he said, 'but I suddenly felt afraid. I durstn't go outside this dell for any money; I felt that something was creeping up the slope.'
'Did you see anything?' asked Frodo, springing to his feet.
'No, sir. I saw nothing, but I didn't stop to look.'
'I saw something,' said Merry; 'or I thought I did — away westwards where the moonlight was falling on the flats beyond the shadow of the hill-tops, I thought there were two or three black shapes. They seemed to be moving this way.'
'Keep close to the fire, with your faces outward!' cried Strider. 'Get some of the longer sticks ready in your hands!'
For a breathless time they sat there, silent and alert, with their backs turned to the wood-fire, each gazing into the shadows that encircled them. Nothing happened. There was no sound or movement in the night. Frodo stirred, feeling that he must break the silence: he longed to shout out aloud.
'Hush!' whispered Strider.
'What's that?' gasped Pippin at the same moment.
Over the lip of the little dell, on the side away from the hill, they felt, rather than saw, a shadow rise, one shadow or more than one. They strained their eyes, and the shadows seemed to grow. Soon there could be no doubt: three or four tall black figures were standing there on the slope, looking down on them. So black were they that they seemed like black holes in the deep shade behind them. Frodo thought that he heard a faint hiss as of venomous breath and felt a thin piercing chill. Then the shapes slowly advanced.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 11, A Knife in the Dark
Elena Tiriel 9Jul06