Frodo and Sam escape the Orc-troops near Udûn
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 19, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Destruction of the One Ring; see that entry for an overview:
They had gone some miles, and the road was at last running down a long slope into the plain, when Frodo's strength began to give out.... He lurched and stumbled. Desperately Sam tried to... hold him up, though he felt that he could himself hardly stay the pace much longer. At any moment now he knew that... his master would faint or fall, and all would be discovered, and their bitter efforts be in vain....
Then just as he was putting his hand to... his sword, there came an unexpected relief. They were... drawing near the entrance to Udûn. Some way in front of it, before the gate at the bridge-end, the road from the west converged with others.... Along all the roads troops were moving; for the Captains of the West were advancing and the Dark Lord was speeding his forces north. So it chanced that several companies came together at the road-meeting, in the dark beyond the light of the watch-fires on the wall. At once there was great jostling and cursing as each troop tried to get first to the gate and the ending of their march. Though the drivers yelled and plied their whips, scuffles broke out.... A troop of heavy-armed uruks from Barad-dûr charged into the Durthang line and threw them into confusion.
Dazed as he was with pain and weariness, Sam woke up, grasped quickly at his chance, and threw himself to the ground, dragging Frodo down with him. Orcs fell over them, snarling and cursing. Slowly on hand and knee the hobbits crawled away out of the turmoil, until at last unnoticed they dropped over the further edge of the road. It had a high kerb by which troop-leaders could guide themselves in black night or fog, and it was banked up some feet above the level of the open land.
They lay still for a while. It was too dark to seek for cover, if indeed there was any to find; but Sam felt that they ought at least to get further away from the highways and out of the range of torch-light.
'Come on, Mr. Frodo!' he whispered. 'One more crawl, and then you can lie still.'
With a last despairing effort Frodo raised himself on his hands, and struggled on for maybe twenty yards. Then he pitched down into a shallow pit..., and there he lay like a dead thing.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 2, The Land of Shadow
Sam put his ragged orc-cloak under his master's head, and covered them both with the grey robe of Lórien;... he hoped that the cloth... might have some virtue to keep them hidden beyond all hope in this wilderness of fear. He heard the scuffling and cries die down as the troops passed on through the Isenmouthe. It seemed that in the confusion and the mingling of many companies... they had not been missed, not yet at any rate.
Sam took a sip of water, but pressed Frodo to drink, and when his master had recovered a little he gave him a whole wafer of their precious waybread.... Then, too worn out even to feel much fear, they stretched themselves out. They slept a little in uneasy fits; for their sweat grew chill on them..., and they shivered. Out of the north... through Cirith Gorgor there flowed whispering along the ground a thin cold air.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 3, Mount Doom
Elena Tiriel 22Aug06