In his answer to another question I asked here, Jason Baker included the following image, taken from a page of Tolkien's "Synoptic Time Scheme for The Lord of the Rings". We had some difficulty deciphering Tolkien's scrawling handwriting, and I was wondering if a transcription exists.
enter image description here

A slightly higher resolution image is available in this PDF, on page 37.

Edit: A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the transcription- you guys are awesome. And a special debt of gratitude is owed to BMWurm. None of this would have happened without him.

Note: I can't ask you to transcribe it for me, but if you choose to do so yourself, I will be forever in your debt, and give you a bounty of 1000 points

Note 2: It appears that I am not allowed to offer more than 500 points in a single bounty - I apologize for my error. I didn't intend to mislead anyone.

2 Answers 2


Edit2: Following Richard's suggestion I opened this GoogleSpreadsheet.

I have tried to decipher the good professor's scrawl, but it is tough. Christopher Tolkien ran into similar troubles apparently :P

I am fairly certain I made a huge number of mistakes, and probably those words I couldn't decipher are those that you couldn't either, but hopefully it is a start and others can give more ideas in the comments and we maybe can finish it :D

enter image description here

Edit6: Updated to Picture Version 5 6 (with formatting updated manually)

  • 4
    If you want others to help, could you post it in an editable form (such as a shared document or an excel spreadsheet)?
    – Valorum
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 19:56
  • 3
    "Denethor . . . looses his reason"? I'm not going to strain my eyes trying to read Tolkien's handwriting, but I find it hard to believe that he misspelled loses. Even if he did famously misspell the word dwarfs.
    – user14111
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 1:04
  • 1
    I guess "in seight of haven" is an error?
    – user14111
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 8:12
  • 1
    @user14111 Corrected, although in looking at the scribble... it could be both... could even be seght, sight does make the most sense though :P
    – BMWurm
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 8:20
  • 2
    @BMWurm - I'm almost tempted to send this to Christopher Tolkien to see what he says about it. At the very least, he could confirm what we think, correct any mistakes, and tell us what the bits we couldn't figure out say; maybe he would even glean some new information from our efforts.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 22:59

A full official transcription of this page can be found on pages 72 and 74 of The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings, published in 2022.

This page is the tenth page in a fourteen page time scheme that Tolkien made while writing and revising The Lord of the Rings. A full transcription of this time scheme with notes and commentary was published in 2022 as "The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings".

Here is the transcription given for the page you showed.

enter image description here
enter image description here
"The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings", Tolkien Studies Volume 19, 2022 Supplement, pages 72 and 74

Prior to the publication of The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings, a few transcribed excerpts of this page had appeared in other publications, namely The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (2005), on pages 542, 546, 589, 593, 607, and 608.

[March 13:]
Théoden camps beyond Eilenach in Drúadan Forest and interviews Wild Men at night.
Orcs and Easterlings from Cair Andros camp near Amon Din [sic] to bar way of Rohirrim.
[Aragorn] reaches Pelargir and destroys enemy. Captures large part of the fleet, and prepares to embark. Musters men of Lamedon & Lebennin and sends those marching north that he does not put on board.

[March 14:]
In morning Aragorn sets sail in black fleet up Anduin, but as wind is still east makes at first slow progress mainly by rowing. By midnight fleet is about 60 miles above Pelargir’ (i.e. still 66 miles from Minas Tirith).

[March 15:]
news of escape of prisoners [sic] of Tower reaches Baraddûr almost at same time as news of their capture
SW [south wind] springs up in early hours and fleet hoists sail and begins to go at speed. They come into sight of haven at Harlond about noon.
sleep under brambles

[March 17:]
Rohirrim destroy the Easterlings on the North Road.
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, from excerpts quoted on pages 542, 546, 589, 593, 607, and 608

And another brief transcription excerpt from this page could be found in a 2017 published paper by the Marquette archivist.

For those of you wondering about the fate of Shagrat, Orc Captain of the Tower of Cirith Ungol, the scheme states that on Saturday March 17th, “Shagrat brings the mithril coat and other spoils to Barad-dȗr; but is slain by Sauron” (Tolkien MS. Mss-4/2/18).
Fliss, William M. (2017) "“Things That Were, and Things That Are, and Things That Yet May Be”: The J.R.R. Tolkien Manuscript Collection at Marquette University," Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature: Vol. 36 : No. 1 , Article 3., page 31

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