Today's Date in the Shire
29 Solmath
Rohirrim surround and slay orcs. Merry and Pippin escape. Sam and Frodo continue through the Emyn Muil.
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The Two Towers
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Book IV
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Book IV - Chapter 1
The Taming of Sméagol

After fleeing the Company, Frodo and Sam climb and labour for three days among the barren slopes and stones of the Emyn Muil, working eastward with great difficulty. They are aware that Gollum is following them. On the fourth day, they come finally to a point where they can attempt to make their way down a cliff to the bogs below, and then to Mordor.

Sam unwisely attempts to scrabble down the cliff face without a good look until Frodo pulls him back and takes a look. Then Frodo tries and falls to a ledge. At this point, Sam remembers that he has an elven rope from Lothlorien in his pack. They tie it to a stump and use it to climb down the slope. Sam is lamenting that they would have to leave the rope, when it comes undone and he is able to retrieve it. Frodo laughed at Sam's knot tying, but Sam is certain that he tied it correctly and that a little elvish magic is helping them along.

Now at the broken feet of the Emyn Muil, Frodo looks back and sees Gollum, sniffing and climbing down the face of the precipice. "Like a nasty crawling spider on a wall," says Sam. The hobbits decide to ambush the creature. When Gollum falls the last few feet to the ground, Sam is upon him, but Gollum proves more than he bargained for. Fortunately for Sam, Frodo draws Sting and with the tiny elven blade forces Gollum to submit. Frodo, seeing the miserable creature up close, finally understands the pity that Gandalf and Bilbo felt, and refuses to leave him tied up in the wilderness to die, as Sam proposes.

Frodo decides to force Gollum to guide them through the wilderness. The hobbits are ready for Gollum to try to flee them, and catch him in the attempt when they pretend to fall asleep. They tie him with the elvish rope, but the soft smooth rope causes Gollum great freezing biting pain. Gollum, using his real name Smeagol, swears by the Precious, the One Ring of Sauron, to serve Frodo, who startles Sam with his demeanor when Gollum mentions the Ring. They take the rope from his ankle and Gollum seems changed for sometime, and speaks now with with less hissing and whining and directly to the hobbits instead of to his precious self. In the deep of the night, Gollum leads the hobbits to the vast fens below the steep edge of the Emyn Muil.


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