Notes on The Fellowship of the Ring Themes

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The Fellowship of the Ring Topic Tracking: Courage

Book 1, Chapter 2

Courage 1: Frodo thinks very little before he makes the decision to bear the ring out into the world. This decision may be affected by some other factors besides bravery. His desire to keep the ring and see the outside world may influence this decision; he may also have the courage needed to face the unknown. Sam dauntlessly accepts the same challenge.

Book 1, Chapter 5

Courage 2: Merry and Pippin demand to be taken along on the perilous journey. They think they are making an expedition into the wilderness, which requires a great amount of courage for a hobbit. They want to be seen as brave and courageous because this is the material of tales. Little do they know, their journey will become the most dangerous of any kind, as they are up against evil incarnate.

Book 1, Chapter 8

Courage 3: The barrow in which the hobbits get trapped is dangerous, not because its prisoners are poisoned or chained, but because their mind is deceived to make them passive and think they are in a dream world. Frodo sees through this guise and wills himself to strike the ghostly enemy and call for help.

Book 1, Chapter 11

Courage 4: Despite the weather and the sightings of black riders, the hobbits push on with their new guide. They handle the lowered rations and the difficult terrain with few complaints. They all stand against the black riders when Frodo is wounded. Their fear does not make them less courageous. They never abandon their companions.

Book 1, Chapter 12

Courage 5: Even with Frodo wounded so badly, they trudge on through the forest and to the road. They know that they cannot turn back so they must bear the brunt of the wound. Frodo begrudgingly rides Glorfindel's horse and faces the prospect of being pursued alone by the black riders. When the danger has passed, he passes out, safe.

Book 2, Chapter 1

Courage 6: The dismal truth of what must be done to the ring is very sobering for everyone present at the council. Bilbo, perhaps a little motivated by a desire for the ring, tries to accept responsibility for the whole affair and offers to venture many months towards Mordor in his old age. Frodo takes the task without being asked and his friend Sam volunteers caring his help, caring only for Frodo, not the ring.

Book 2, Chapter 4

Courage 7: Each passing day of the journey requires more and more bravery from the group. They must face not only a barrage of terrible weather, but also wild packs of wargs and a lack beast. Suddenly, they are trapped below ground, with only Gandalf to guide them forty miles to the other side. The hobbits forge forward bravely, alongside Gimli, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir.

Book 2, Chapter 5

Courage 8: Their fear mounts as they read the log of the final days of the dwarves. Orcs, trolls, and the mysterious Balrog chase them out of the tunnels. Gandalf twice faces danger by himself. He holds the door, allowing others to escape, and faces the Balrog on the bridge. After destroying the bridge, he is dragged down into the darkness by the falling creature.

Book 2, Chapter 9

Courage 9: Frodo and Sam decide to bear the knowledge of Gollum alone; they do not want to frighten or alarm their companions. Aragorn already knows and he reaffirms their strength. Although Sam is frightened of the water, he faces his fear and they all row with great effort to avoid the arrows of the orcs.

Book 2, Chapter 10

Courage 10: Frodo does not really want to travel into Mordor alone but he knows that this is the only way that the mission will be possible. He can no longer trust Boromir and does not know if he can trust anyone else either. He leaves the Company and Sam tricks him into exposing himself. Sam instinctively decides to stay at Frodo's side, despite the danger. He goes with him selflessly.

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