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8889RotK Theory

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  • SusanPal@aol.com
    Mar 12, 1945
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      When I taught my Tolkien course this past fall, we speculated about why the
      sun comes out so fortuitously at the end of the "Ride of the Rohirrim"
      chapter in RotK, thereby conveniently scattering the hosts of Mordor. Even
      for Tolkien, the providential coincidence seems a bit thick. But then one of
      my students -- very impressively, I thought -- connected this event to Sam's
      prayer to Galadriel for "clean water and plain daylight" in "The Land of
      Shadow" chapter. She points out that the Tale of Years' entry for March 15
      suggests that the two things happen at the same time; in other words, because
      Sam prays for sunlight in Mordor, the sun comes out for the Rohirrim, too.

      (Another student, before this particular theory was raised, had come up with
      a jaw-droppingly complex explanation having to do with weather and
      thermoclines and what the winds would have been doing based on some
      description of weather *before* "The Ride of the Rohirrim." This earned him
      the designation "The Meteorologist of Middle Earth," a nickname he may never
      live down.)

      Anyway, I love her theory, and comparing the two passages, it looks as if the
      timing could fit. Has anyone else noticed this or commented upon it? Is
      this something that every other Tolkien expert knows?

      Thanks,
      Susan
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