The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 2
Gandalf comes upon Frodo and Sam talking and he bids them to come to the Council of Elrond. Gloin, Strider, and Glorfindel are present at this Council. There are also other elves and a man named Boromir from Minas Tirith in Gondor. Gloin tells the Council that some of the dwarves had wanted to return to the mines of Moria. They went on an expedition but never returned. The reason he came to Elrond was that messengers from Mordor were coming to his mountain demanding information that would lead them to Bilbo Baggins and the ring. Elrond announces that they have gathered to decide what to do with the ring. He tells the story of the ring. Sauron manipulated dwarves into making it, and was eventually defeated by and alliance of Elves and Men. Elrond remembers those days. He was a herald at the last battle. Isildur chopped off Sauron's ring finger and took it for himself. He lost it. The last battle was fruitless because it only delayed the inevitable. Since then, all the great kingdoms that fought the dark power have crumbled. Boromir tells him that the people of Gondor are still strong. Mordor has aligned with men of distant kingdoms to the east. Gondor cannot hold out too long. Rohan is the only ally that might come to their aid. Boromir recites a dream that he had in which a voice spoke:
"'Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken.
And the Halfling forth shall stand.'" Book 2, Chapter 2, pg. 296
His father, the steward of Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor, did not understand this. Aragorn shows him his broken sword. Isildur's Bane is the ring. Frodo is the halfling. Frodo thinks that Aragorn should be given the ring because it was the property of his ancestor. Frodo exposes the ring and a hush comes over the room. Aragorn asks if he wishes the House of Elendil to return to Minas Tirith. Boromir doubts the way he looks; Strider understands this and tells him that all of the Dunedain, the descendants of the race of kings, are rangers. They are mistrusted by townspeople all over but they are the one reason that the regions of the north have not fallen to evil. Bilbo tells Boromir and the others how he found the ring. Frodo speaks of his dealings with it and says that he wants to know more. An elf asks Gandalf what Saruman had to say about the ring.
Years ago, at the time of Bilbo's journey with the dwarves, Saruman led the council that fought against Sauron in Mirkwood. Saruman denied that the ring would ever be found and Gandalf regrets that he once believed him. He found the truth about the ring from Gollum, whose real name is Smeagol. When he heard that the scouts of the dark lord were out, he sent the Dunedain looking for Gollum. Gandalf went to Minas Tirith and read about Isildur losing the ring in historical records. Aragorn found Gollum near the gates to Mordor and brought him all the way to Mirkwood where he was imprisoned. The final test for the ring was when Gandalf threw it into the fire the words appeared "one ring to rule them all/ one ring to find them/ one ring to bring them/ and in the darkness find them." Book 2, Chapter 2, pg. 206. These are the words that Sauron had put on the ring. Gollum was put into a prison in the care of the wood elves. Legolas, the delegate from the wood-elves, speaks up and says that Gollum escaped.
Gandalf turns back to Saruman. When Gandalf was in the Shire, he met another wizard who told him that Saruman sent him to warn him that black riders are about searching for the Shire. Gandalf immediately went to Saruman's tower of stone, called the Orthanc. Sauron was insulting and demanded to know what he knew about the Shire. Sauron's cloaks were no longer white; they were of many colors. He thought he could take the Ring of Power and overcome Mordor. Gandalf was stunned and would not tell him the location of the ring. As a result, he was imprisoned on the pinnacle of the Orthanc. Saruman was gathering his own army of Orcs and trolls. Gandalf was there for some time until a Giant Eagle saw him and carried him away. He ended up in the land of Rohan and found evil afoot. They gave him a horse that was magnificent even though Gandalf was concerned that they were falling under the power of Mordor. Everywhere he went, Gandalf heard tidings of the black riders. He went to the Shire and found only bad news. From Barliman, he learned that Frodo had met up with Strider and was relieved to a certain extent. At Weathertop he fought off some of the riders and then rushed away to draw half of them away from Frodo.
Frodo speaks of Tom Bombadil and whether or not he could help hide the ring. Gandalf doesn't think that Tom would understand. He asks Elrond if they have the strength to withstand Sauron and gets a negative answer. He suggests tossing it in the sea but Gandalf says it would eventually resurface. Elrond says that the only answer is to walk into Mordor and throw the ring into the pit where it was forged, the only fire hot enough to destroy it.
"Silence fell again. Frodo, even in that fair house, looking out upon a sunlit valley filled with the noise of the clear waters, felt a dead darkness in his heart. Boromir stirred, and Frodo looked at him. He was fingering his great horn and frowning." Book 2, Chapter 2, pg. 320
Boromir thinks they should use the ring as a weapon against Sauron. Elrond tells him that it is not possible; whoever uses the ring will turn evil and take Sauron's place. Gloin speaks and asks if the elves still have their rings. Elrond tells him that the elves' rings cannot be used for war. Their rings may perish with the destruction of the ring. One of the elves says that the destruction of the ring in Mordor is folly. Gandalf says that this assumption will protect them from Sauron. Bilbo offers to go but Gandalf tells him that he is not strong enough. There is silence. Frodo volunteers and Elrond says that he thinks the task was destined for him. Sam asks if Frodo will be made to go alone. Elrond says that Sam will accompany him.