Frodo regains consciousness, safe in Rivendell, and Gandalf tells him what
He meets Elrond and his daughter Arwen Evenstar plus a Dwarf called Gl'in.
He also learns that their guide, Strider, is one of the D'nedane, called Aragorn, the last surviving heir of Isildur, and therefore the rightful King of Gondor and Arnor, kingdoms in the south.
Unknown to the Hobbits, he and his fellow Rangers have protected them over
the years. Elrond calls a Council to decide the fate of the Ring of Power, and all the races of Middle Earth are represented, including Boromir, heir to the High Steward of Gondor, who has come in response to
dreams he and his brother Faramir have had concerning a broken sword, Isildur’s Bane, and a Halfling.
Isildur’s Bane refers to a broken sword that Aragorn bears and is the proof of his rightful claim to the Throne of Gondor, which has been unoccupied for centuries, but cared for by the Stewards of Gondor. Frodo is, of course, the Halfling.
At the Council, it is revealed that Gandalf had captured Gollum and turned
him over to the Elves, but he subsequently escaped.
He has also had dealings with the Chief Wizard, Saruman the White, who has yielded to the Ring’s power, and desires it, and who tried to persuade Gandalf to reveal its location. As well as Sauron’s search for the Ring, there is now Saruman’s part in this intrigue, and Gollum too, will have a part to play.
Gandalf had been imprisoned by Saruman, but was rescued by Gwaihir, the
It is clear that the Ring must be destroyed.
It cannot be hidden indefinitely. It cannot be wielded by anyone else, as it will corrupt the bearer. The only way to destroy the Ring is for it to be consumed in the Mountain of Fire in Mordor. Frodo agrees to take on this task, and the Council appoints Sam his servant; Gandalf; Legolas the Elf; Gimli, Gloin’s son; Aragorn; Boromir; Merry and Pippin to accompany Frodo and be the counterforce to the Nine Ringwraiths.
Frodo has a brief meeting with Bilbo and he updates the old Hobbit
concerning events in the Shire. Bilbo gives Frodo a gift.
The Elves reforge Aragorn’s sword, and Gandalf leads the Fellowship of the
Ring south, towards Gondor and Mordor. Their journey will be perilous and they must first cross over the mountain range, and join up with the River Anduin.
On the mountains they are faced with supernatural storms and they are forced
back, and must therefore go underground through the Mines of Moria.
In these tunnels, Balin and a company of Dwarves had disappeared years earlier. Gimli hopes to discover their fate. The entrance into the mines is through a magic doorway, which only opens in response to a secret password. There is great drama at this point and we will explore this in detail later, but the party eventually gains entrance to the tunnels. These were constructed ages ago by the Dwarves who are great miners, and who searched for a precious metal called mithril. As they travel deeper into the tunnels, they realize that they are not deserted and they can hear distant drumming. They must carry on, as they cannot pass back through the entrance, which is closed to them.
It transpires that the tunnels are occupied by Orcs, Cave Trolls, and a
malevolent creature called a Balrog - a thing of shadow and fire.
The Fellowship escape from the Mines of Moria at the cost of Gandalf’s life,
who faces the creature and hurls it into a chasm, being, dragged himself down with it.
The Company is shattered at the loss of their leader, but they must proceed,
and do so under Aragorn’s guidance. He has discussed fully with Gandalf the plans for their journey.
They come across another haven of the Elves, Lothl'rien, where they can rest
for a few days. Celeborn and Galadriel rule this beautiful and mysterious forest refuge. She wears one of the three magical rings.
Frodo is embarrassed by the respect she shows him, but it is because, like
her, he is elite and is a ring bearer. She confides in Frodo that she has used her ring in order to probe Sauron’s mind, and hide from him their plans.
She tells Frodo that whether he is successful or not in his quest, the age of the Elves will be over. Instinctively Frodo offers her the Ring of Power, but like Gandalf, she is immediately repelled at this offer.
Galadriel also possesses a magical ‘mirror’, which is a basin filled with
water, which can reveal what is to happen, and what has happened. She invites Frodo and Sam to look.
Sam sees himself and Frodo on a high cliff, and then he sees the Shire, torn up, trees uprooted. He turns away, distressed. When Frodo looks, he sees a variety of changing scenes. He sees someone like Gandalf (Saruman), but his vision ends with a single eye fiercely searching, and he knows the eye is searching for him.
The Elves provide the Company with boats to sail down the Anduin River, and
they finally reach the Falls of Rauros, where they must decide whether to go to Gondor or Mordor.
Not realizing the true nature of the Ring, Boromir urges that the Ring must go to Gondor, and aid them in their fight against Sauron’s army.
Frodo is mindful of what Gandalf had told him, that the Ring must be
destroyed without delay.
He goes off on his own to consider the options. Boromir follows him and comes under the corrupting power of the Ring and tries to take it by force from Frodo. In order to escape, Frodo slips the Ring on and vanishes. Boromir comes to his senses and cries out in grief, but Frodo has already gone.
Just then, a band of Orcs attacks the Hobbits.
These are in the service of Saruman, and have been ordered to capture the Hobbits alive and bring them back to him. Boromir valiantly comes to their aid and loses his life. By the time Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas return to the scene, Merry and Pippin have been captured, and Boromir is dead. They place his body on one of the boats and send it down the River.
Sam, in the meantime, is never too far from his master, and he is able to
prevent him escaping on his own. The two depart, not realizing what has happened to the rest of their Company.
Aragorn realizes that they cannot help Frodo any more.
The task of destroying the Ring was always going to be for a small party. They decide to try and rescue Merry and Pippin.
Since their departure from Lothl'rien, Gollum has trailed them.