Notes on The Fellowship of the Ring Themes

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The Fellowship of the Ring Topic Tracking: Friendship

Book 1, Chapter 1

Friendship 1: Bilbo and Gandalf have been friends for almost fifty years. Gandalf visits the Hobbit frequently and they have always been on good terms. When it comes to the ring, however, there is a problem. Bilbo starts to draw his sword against his oldest friend and Gandalf threatens him. Their friendship is immeasurably shaken and perhaps damaged by this exchange.

Book 1, Chapter 2

Friendship 2: Gollum was so delighted by desire for the ring that he killed his own friend. He went friendless for many decades because of the ring, killing more people than he talked to. Sam's friendship with Frodo, as well as his desire for adventure, causes him to eavesdrop on the conversation with the wizard and he asks to accompany him on the journey.

Book 1, Chapter 4

Friendship 3: Sam is told by the eves to never leave Frodo's side. He does not understand this warning, and doesn't need to. He couldn't imagine leaving Frodo's side anyway. He is immensely loyal at all times. Maggot, the farmer, is not a close friend, yet he acts with utmost generosity to help them along their way.

Book 1, Chapter 8

Friendship 4: Not only do Goldberry and Tom take excellent care of the hobbits while they are at their house, they also help them once they've left. Goldberry sends them off in the right direction and Tom comes to their aid after the barrow-wights trap them. They understand the seriousness and importance of their journey, and take care of the personal needs and protect the brave hobbits.

Book 1, Chapter 9

Friendship 5: Both Strider and Barliman have loyalties to the hobbits, although neither knows of the other's obligation. Strider tries to get Frodo to keep the other hobbits quiet and Frodo just makes the situation worse. Barliman is worried about the welfare of the hobbits as guests.

Book 1, Chapter 10

Friendship 6: The competing loyalties of Barliman and Strider are exposed: Barliman has been given a charge by Gandalf and Strider has too. Barliman delivers a letter that names Strider as Gandalf's friend. Immediately, Frodo is willing to accept Strider, but Sam is more hesitant (out of loyalty to Frodo). Strider stays up all night to watch over his new companions.

Book 2, Chapter 1

Friendship 7: For Frodo, his stay in Rivendell is a renewal of old friendships and the beginning of new ones with Aragorn and Gloin. He is reunited with Gandalf and his uncle, Bilbo. Both of them were eager to see him recover from his wound and hear his story. In turn, he was eager to hear each of their stories.

Book 2, Chapter 3

Friendship 8: The journey has gone beyond a simple adventure. Frodo is now responsible for a quest that holds good and evil in a delicate balance. Nevertheless, Bilbo's nephew feels it incumbent upon himself, along with his companions, to continue on such a dangerous path. Gandalf would not have them go without him. When they need each other most, they are there. Sam never questions whether or not he should go: Frodo is going, so must he.

Book 2, Chapter 6

Friendship 9: Gimli is a companion with the other men and Legolas. This is not enough for Haldir to allow him to see the deep parts of Lothlorien. The enmity between elf and dwarf is strong; no matter what company Gimli keeps, he will not be trusted. Aragorn understands that Gimli's refusal to be blindfolded is a matter of pride. He insists that every member of the band be blindfolded as well.

Book 2, Chapter 7

Friendship 10: Although both Celeborn and Galadriel are old and wise, only Galadriel is wise enough to look past the prejudice between dwarves and elves. Legolas also sees past this. He and Gimli become loyal friends. Even though Legolas is with his own kind, he takes Gimli everywhere with him and they become better friends by the day.

Book 2, Chapter 8

Friendship 11: Through their common goal, the destruction of ring and the demise of Sauron, the elves of Lothlorien and the company of eight become very close. Galadriel not only provides them with food, clothing, and boats, she gives each of them a very valuable gift. Gimli's request for a strand of her hair is significant in many ways. She is beautiful to all races. He desires peace between elves and dwarves.

Book 2, Chapter 10

Friendship 12: Boromir's friendship with Frodo cannot stand the test of the ring. Frodo's friendship with Sam, on the other hand, is totally different. When Frodo decides to travel into the land of the shadow alone, Sam immediately decides to accompany him. Sam throws himself in the water to find Frodo. He is so loyal to his friend, he is willing to risk his own life to save Frodo from drowning.

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