Autumn is a time of change, and transition. For many cultures, bringing in the first sheaves of grain is a time for celebration. The autumnal solstice is a time for reflection in others. Many of these celebrations and transitions are incorporated into the culture's religious beliefs, and are observed in a ceremonial way. Because of this tradition, the theme for September and October is Rituals.
Sometimes a ritual can be steeped in tradition, such as when Eowyn offered the parting cup before the riders left for Helm's Deep, or when the rangers of Ithilien stood facing to face the West before eating their evening meal. Sometimes they may be new, such a Frodo hosting a party to observe Bilbo's birthday each year after Bilbo disappeared from the Long Expected Party. Sometimes they involve an entire community coming together, perhaps in a ceremonial celebration of a successful hunt, or they can be an intimate as a wife assisting her husband in donning his armor before he rides to battle, in the hope of ensuring his safe return.
What other rituals do you think might have been observed in Middle Earth? Would a new member of the citadel guard get their new armor and helms from the Steward himself in a long practiced ceremony? How would Elvish fear be joined in marriage? Might a newborn Eoarlingas be formally welcomed to their community in a ceremonial way?
Here are the stories for this month:
A New Tradition
The Incident at the Red Heron
And the authors:
The voting will take place until November 15. Please, vote here, and if you would like your vote to be as objective as possible, refer to our voting guide.
If you would like to illustrate any of these stories, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge!
Mirach, Carawyn, Sian22 and Lotrfan