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Timeline Event

Orc-raid at Parth Galen: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: February 26, 3019


An event in the Quest of the Ring and Invasion of Westfold by Saruman; see those entries for an overview:

Table of Contents:
The Summary
The Enemy
The Timeline
The Prelude
The Battle
The Aftermath

The Summary
A skirmish between the Fellowship and Orcs of various origins, led by those of Isengard, in which Boromir dies and Merry and Pippin are abducted.

The Enemy
Aragorn looked on the slain, and he said: 'Here lie many that are not folk of Mordor. Some are from the North, from the Misty Mountains, if I know anything of Orcs.... And here are others strange to me.'....

There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands. They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs: and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men. Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of some white metal....

'S is for Saruman....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir

The Timeline
February 3019
The Company pass the Argonath and camp at Parth Galen....

[See: Fellowship passes the Argonath and camps at Parth Galen]

Breaking of the Fellowship. Death of Boromir; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith. Meriadoc and Peregrin captured. Frodo and Samwise enter the eastern Emyn Muil. Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening. Éomer hears of the descent of the Orc-band from the Emyn Muil.

[See: Breaking of the Fellowship: Overview]
[See: Boromir attempts to take the Ring from Frodo]
[See: Frodo and Sam set off for Mordor]
[See: Fellowship scatters to search for Frodo]

[See: Orcs from Isengard raid the Fellowship at Parth Galen]
[See: Boromir, Denethor II's heir, slain]
[See: Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli launch the funeral boat of Boromir]

[See: Merry and Pippin captured]
[See: Three Hunters pursue the Orc-raiders]

[See: Orc-raiders dispute the fate of Merry and Pippin]
[See: Pippin leaves a clue after their capture]

Aragorn reaches the west-cliff at sunrise. Éomer against Théoden's orders sets out from Eastfold about midnight to pursue the Orcs.

[See: Éomer pursues the Orc-raiders]
[See: Orc reinforcements from Mordor join the Orc-raiders]
[See: Gwaihir informs Gandalf of Merry and Pippin's capture]

Éomer overtakes the Orcs just outside Fangorn Forest.

[See: Éomer besieges the Orc-raiders at Fangorn]

Meriadoc and Pippin escape and meet Treebeard. The Rohirrim attack at sunrise and destroy the Orcs.... Faramir sees the funeral boat of Boromir.

[See: Merry and Pippin escape and flee into Fangorn]
[See: Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn: Overview]

[See: Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard]
[See: Merry and Pippin rouse Treebeard to action]

[See: Faramir sees the funeral boat of Boromir]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The Prelude
Then [after his failed bid to imprison Gandalf] Saruman... perceived the peril of standing between enemies, a known traitor to both. His dread was great, for his hope of deceiving Sauron, or at the least of receiving his favour in victory, was utterly lost. Now either he himself must gain the Ring or come to ruin and torment.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 4, The Hunt for the Ring: Of the Journey of the Black Riders

[Aragorn said,] 'Regiments of black crows... have passed over Hollin. They are not natives here; they are crebain out of Fangorn and Dunland.... I think they are spying out the land.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 3, The Ring Goes South

'There is evil afoot in Isengard.... It is as Gandalf feared: by some means the traitor Saruman has had news of our journey. It is likely too that he knows of Gandalf's fall. Pursuers from Moria may have escaped the vigilance of Lórien, or they may have avoided that land and come to Isengard by other paths. Orcs travel fast. But Saruman has many ways of learning news. Do you remember the birds?'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir

The Battle
[Said Aragorn,] '... we came... down the leagues of the Great River to the falls of Rauros. There Boromir was slain by the same Orcs whom you destroyed.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan

[Said Pippin] 'It seems a year since we were caught. ... I reckon that three very horrible days followed.... I am not going into details: the whips and the filth and stench and all that; it does not bear remembering.' With that he plunged into an account of Boromir's last fight and the orc-march from Emyn Muil to the Forest.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

The Aftermath
'[Our enemies] have filled themselves with new doubts that disturb their plans. No tidings of the battle will come to Mordor, thanks to the horsemen of Rohan; but the Dark Lord knows that two hobbits were taken in the Emyn Muil and borne away towards Isengard against the will of his own servants. He now has Isengard to fear as well as Minas Tirith. If Minas Tirith falls, it will go ill with Saruman.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

'All this about the Orcs of Barad-dûr, Lugbúrz as they call it, makes me uneasy,' said Aragorn. 'The Dark Lord already knew too much and his servants also; and Grishnákh evidently sent some message across the River after the quarrel. The Red Eye will be looking towards Isengard. But Saruman at any rate is in a cleft stick of his own cutting.'

'Yes, whichever side wins, his outlook is poor,' said Merry. 'Things began to go all wrong for him from the moment his Orcs set foot in Rohan.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

'... Saruman certainly looked in the Stone since the orc-raid, and more of his secret thought, I do not doubt, has been read than he intended. A messenger has been sent to find out what he is doing.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 11, The Palantír

It needed the demonstration on Dol Baran of the effects of the Orthanc-stone on Peregrin to reveal suddenly that the "link" between Isengard and Barad-dûr (seen to exist after it was discovered that forces of Isengard had been joined with others directed by Sauron in the attack on the Fellowship at Parth Galen) was in fact the Orthanc-stone — and one other palantír [from Minas Ithil].

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

The dates are set to encompass the events Fellowship camps at Parth Galen through Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn; the actual end date is 29 February 3019, but modern date software cannot handle such a date.

Elena Tiriel 26Dec04, 1Jan05, 9May05, 22May05, 19Oct05, 20Oct05

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