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Timeline Event

Muster of the Combatants for the Battle of Five Armies

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Dates: November 3, 2941 ~ November 23, 2941

This is an event in the prelude to the Battle of the Five Armies; see that entry for more detail:

Upon one side were the Goblins and the wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

Table of Contents:

The Goblins of the Misty Mountains & the Wild Wolves
The Elves of Mirkwood & Men of Laketown
The Dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield's Company
The Dwarves of the Iron Hills
The Eagles of the Misty Mountains

The Goblins of the Misty Mountains & the Wild Wolves
... around and beneath the great mountain Gundabad ... a vast host [of Goblins] was assembled ready to sweep down in time of storm unawares upon the South. Then they learned of the death of Smaug, and joy was in their hearts: and they hastened night after night through the mountains, and came thus at last on a sudden from the North hard on the heels of Dain. Not even the ravens knew of their coming until they came out in the broken lands which divided the Lonely Mountain from the hills behind. How much Gandalf knew cannot be said, but it is plain that he had not expected this sudden assault.

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

[Gandalf] called in a voice like thunder.... 'The Goblins are upon you! Bolg of the North is coming. O Dain! whose father you slew in Moria. Behold! the bats are above his army like a sea of locusts. They ride upon wolves and Wargs are in their train!'

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

Ere long the vanguard swirled round the spur's end and came rushing into Dale. These were the swiftest wolf-riders, and already their cries and howls rent the air afar.

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

The Elves of Mirkwood & Men of Laketown
It was some time before Thorin could bring the dwarves to be silent and listen to the raven's news. At length when he had told all the tale of the battle he went on:

'So much for joy, Thorin Oakenshield. You may go back to your halls in safety; all the treasure is yours -- for the moment. But many are gathering hither beside the birds. The news of the death of the guardian has already gone far and wide, and the legend of the wealth of Thror has not lost in the telling during many years; many are eager for a share of the spoil. Already a host of the elves is on the way, and carrion birds are with them hoping for battle and slaughter. By the lake men murmur that their sorrows are due to the dwarves; for they are homeless and many have died, and Smaug has destroyed their town. They too think to find amends from your treasure, whether you are alive or dead.

The Hobbit, Ch 15, The Gathering of Clouds

'Fools!' said Bard. 'Why waste words and wrath on those unhappy creatures? Doubtless they perished first in fire, before Smaug came to us.' Then even as he was speaking, the thought came into his heart of the fabled treasure of the Mountain lying without guard or owner, and he fell suddenly silent. He thought ... of Dale rebuilt, and filled with golden bells, if he could but find the men. ...

Men spoke of the recompense for all their harm that they would soon get from it, and wealth over and to spare with which to buy rich things from the South; and it cheered them greatly in their plight. That was as well, for the night was bitter and miserable. ...

Meanwhile Bard took the lead ... [and directed] the preparations for their protection and housing. Probably most of them would have perished in the winter that now hurried after autumn, if help had not been to hand. But help came swiftly; for Bard at once had speedy messengers sent up the river to the Forest to ask the aid of the King of the Elves of the Wood, and these messengers had found a host already on the move, although it was then only the third day after the fall of Smaug.

The Elvenking had received news from his own messengers and from the birds that loved his folk, and already knew much of what had happened. ...

'That will be the last we shall hear of Thorin Oakenshield, I fear,' said the king.

'He would have done better to have remained my guest. It is an ill wind, all the same,' he added, 'that blows no one any good.' For he too had not forgotten the legend of the wealth of Thror. So it was that Bard's messengers found him now marching with many spearmen and bowmen; and crows were gathered thick, above him, for they thought that war was awakening again.... But the king, when he received the prayers of Bard, had pity ... so turning his march ... he hastened now down the river to the Long Lake. ... Only five days after the death of the Dragon they came upon the shores and looked on the ruins of the town. Their welcome was good, as may be expected, and the men and their Master were ready to make any bargain for the future in return for the Elvenking's aid.

Their plans were soon made. With the women and the children, the old and the unfit, the Master remained behind....

But all the men of arms who were still able, and the most of the Elvenking's array, got ready to march north to the Mountain. It was thus that in eleven days from the ruin of the town the head of their host passed the rock-gates at the end of the lake and came into the desolate lands.

The Hobbit, Ch 14, Fire and Water

The Dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield's Company
'If you will listen to my counsel, you will not trust the Master of the Lake-men, but rather him that shot the dragon with his bow. Bard is he, of the race of Dale, of the line of Girion; he is a grim man but true. We would see peace once more among dwarves and men and elves after the long desolation; but it may cost you dear in gold. I have spoken.'

Then Thorin burst forth in anger: 'Our thanks, Roäc Carc's son. You and your people shall not be forgotten. But none of our gold shall thieves take or the violent carry off while we are alive. If you would earn our thanks still more, bring us news of any that draw near. Also I would beg of you, if any of you are still young and strong of wing, that you would send messengers to our kin in the mountains of the North, both west from here and east, and tell them of our plight. But go specially to my cousin Dain in the Iron Hills, for he has many people well-armed, and dwells nearest to this place. Bid him hasten!' ...

'Back now to the Mountain!' cried Thorin. 'We have little time to lose.' ...

They explored the caverns once more, and found, as they expected, that only the Front Gate remained open; all the other gates ... had long ago been broken and blocked by Smaug.... So now they began to labour hard in fortifying the main entrance, and in remaking the road that led from it. Tools were to be found in plenty that the miners and quarriers and builders of old had used; and at such work the dwarves were still very skilled.

As they worked the ravens brought them constant tidings. In this way they learned that the Elvenking had turned aside to the Lake, and they still had a breathing space. Better still, they heard that three of their ponies had escaped and were wandering wild far down the banks of the Running River, not far from where the rest of their stores had been left. So while the others went on with their work, Fili and Kili were sent, guided by a raven, to find the ponies and bring back all they could.

They were four days gone, and by that time they knew that the joined armies of the Lake-men and the Elves were hurrying towards the Mountain. But now their hopes were higher; for they had food for some weeks with care -- chiefly cram, of course, and they were very tired of it; but cram is much better than nothing -- and already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and high across the opening. There were holes in the wall through which they could see (or shoot) but no entrance. They climbed in or out with ladders, and hauled stuff up with ropes. For the issuing of the stream they had contrived a small low arch under the new wall; but near the entrance they had so altered the narrow bed that a wide pool stretched from the mountain-wall to the head of the fall over which the stream went towards Dale. Approach to the Gate was now only possible, without swimming, along a narrow ledge of the cliff, to the right as one looked outwards from the wall.

The Hobbit, Ch 15, The Gathering of Clouds

The Dwarves of the Iron Hills
[Said Bilbo to Bard and the Elvenking,] 'You have not heard of Dain and the dwarves of the Iron Hills?'

'We have, a long time ago; but what has he got to do with us?' asked the king.

'I thought as much. I see I have some information you have not got. Dain, I may tell you, is now less than two days' march off, and has at least five hundred grim dwarves with him -- a good many of them have had experience in the dreadful dwarf and goblin wars, of which you have no doubt heard. When they arrive there may be serious trouble.'

The Hobbit, Ch 16, A Thief in the Night

... Thorin sent messengers by Roäc telling Dain of what had passed, and bidding him come with wary speed. ...

Runners came in to report that a host of dwarves had appeared round the eastern spur of the Mountain and was now hastening to Dale. Dain had come. He had hurried on through the night, and so had come upon them sooner than they had expected. Each one of his folk was clad in a hauberk of steel mail that hung to his knees, and his legs were covered with hose of a fine and flexible metal mesh, the secret of whose making was possessed by Dain's people.

The dwarves are exceedingly strong for their height, but most of these were strong even for dwarves. In battle they wielded heavy two-handed mattocks; but each of them had also a short broad sword at his side and a round shield slung at his back. Their beards were forked and plaited and thrust into their belts. Their caps were of iron and they were shod with iron, and their faces were grim. ... Before long the dwarves could be seen coming up the valley at a great pace.

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

The Eagles of the Misty Mountains
The Eagles had long had suspicion of the goblins' mustering; from their watchfulness the movements in the mountains could not be altogether hid. So they too had gathered in great numbers, under the great Eagle of the Misty Mountains; and at length smelling battle from afar they had come speeding down the gale in the nick of time.

The Hobbit, Ch 18, The Return Journey

The eagles were coming down the wind, line after line, in such a host as must have gathered from all the eyries of the North.

The Hobbit, Ch 17, The Clouds Burst

Even before the Elvenking rode forth the news had passed west right to the pinewoods of the Misty Mountains; Beorn had heard it in his wooden house, and the goblins were at council in their caves.

The Hobbit, Ch 14, Fire and Water

In that last hour Beorn himself had appeared -- no one knew how or from where. He came alone, and in bear's shape; and he seemed to have grown almost to giant-size in his wrath. The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers.

The Hobbit, Ch 18, The Return Journey

[Note: the date is set to span the time between when Smaug is slain by Bard in the Destruction of Laketown and the beginning of the Battle of the Five Armies.]

Elena Tiriel 8.1.04

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