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Old 12-10-2017, 10:55 AM   #25
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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The same unpublished time-scheme referenced above also has this entry, for March 15:

News of escape of prisoners of Tower reaches Barad-dr almost as soon as news of their capture.
So there were three separate messages: one announcing the capture, a second announcing the escape, and the third being Shagrat. Note that March 15 is the day of the escape, and two days before Shagrat's arrival with the mithril-coat etc. I think therefore we can assume 2 days' journey (as the Orc runs) between Cirith Ungol and Barad-dur; this is consonant with the news of the capture (on March 13th) arriving on the 15th. Whereas the news of the escape was brought by some mode much, much faster, almost certainly a Nazgul. I don't think it much of a stretch that the Nazgul that arrived just as F&S were escaping had been dispatched expressly because of the news that a "spy" had been captured, and its (original) assignment was to return the prisoner for interrogation; and that instead it returned to Lugburz to report on the clusterfark it found.

(I think we can disregard Tolkien's use of a plural here as a slip, in a note jotted in haste. No version of the story ever had Sam taken prisoner).

Why did Sauron take no more decisive action when the first message arrived? Because he had other things on his mind-- like his main army assaulting the principal stronghold of his enemies, and unexpectedly being annihilated. That pretty much had the Eye's undivided attention on March 15.

(Nazgul and Osanwe? An argument against is that another Nazgul was dispatched to B-D to carry the news that the Witch-King had been destroyed; not something which would justify pulling a major combat asset out of the battle if it weren't the only mode of communication. Note also that Sauron dispatched a second Nazgul in response to Pippin's looking into the Palantir, rather than re-tasking the one which was already en route to Rohan. And, finally, other writings incl. the time-schemes make it clear that Sauron was unaware of the events at the Bruinen until the Witch-king arrived in Mordor weeks later. All this suggests strongly that the Ringwraiths did not have radio comms with HQ.)
It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli

Last edited by William Cloud Hicklin; 12-10-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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