The Fellowship of the Ring Book Notes

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa on January 3rd 1892. With the next few years, his family moved back to England and his father died in South Africa. Eight years later, his mother died and he and his brother became the charges of a Catholic priest. He earned a scholarship to school and earned a degree in Classics before he enlisted for World War 1. He was married with a year to his childhood sweetheart and lost many friends in the war. He eventually became a professor of philology and English, focusing on the language and literature of Northern Europe in the early Middle Ages. During his tenure at Oxford University, he was a part of a group called the inklings, which also included the author C.S. Lewis. His first fantasy novel, The Hobbit, was published in 1937 and his trilogy The Lord of the Rings wasn't published for another twenty years. Tolkien had three sons with his wife Edith who died in 1971. Two years later, Tolkien died in Oxford.

Tolkien maintains what is still a shaky place in literature. Fantasy had little readership in the first half of the twentieth century. While he also published occasionally as a scholar (His edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is still in use), he was not as active or successful as his colleague Lewis. Together, however, they represent a new breed of scholar-writers. Both of them were deeply religious men who created visions of other fantastic worlds.

Tolkien's first book was The Hobbit, first published in 1937. It was originally dismissed as juvenile by many of his friends. It had evolved from stories he told his children into a full-length tale he shared with his discussion group. Former Oxford students encouraged the professor to complete his work with his own illustrations. As shown years later, Tolkien felt a certain kinship with his characters: "I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated)..." The Hobbit was a financial success, although it was panned by many critics.

Almost twenty years after the publishing of The Hobbit, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was published in the form of a hardback trilogy. It was well received but not as well as the initial sales of The Hobbit. Ten years later, however, an unauthorized edition was printed in paperback in the U.S. Within six months, Tolkien issued an authorized edition. Tolkien mania had hit the States. All over, Tolkien fan clubs sprouted up. His books had become a phenomenon. Before Tolkien died, his son promised that he would finish the editing of Tolkien's longest labored-over work The Silmarillion. In 1977, this collection of histories and legends became an international best seller.

The Lord of the Rings represented something completely different from The Hobbit. It was not exactly children's literature, but no critic deemed it exclusively for the adult. After World War 2, many readers found significant parallels in its stories. The Lord of the Dark, Sauron, could be seen as an allusion to the dictators of the War. The ultimate power of the ring represented atomic weapons. The Fellowships of the Ring represented the first of what was not originally intended to be a trilogy. The Lord of the Rings was a single story in six books. The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of the realization of the evil power and the first few steps taken to destroy it.

The effects of the Tolkien phenomenon are still felt in the modern era. The fantasy genre has grown exponentially since the publishing of The Hobbit, an occurrence that may have been all but impossible without Tolkien's work. While Tolkien's standing in the ranks of literature continues to be debated, his books continue to sell every year. As William Dowie said, "Other writers achieve popularity and admiration as well as critical acclaim; but the Tolkien books breed a kind of fierce discipleship that seeks to proselytize the unenlightened."


Dowie, William. The Gospel of Middle-Earth according to J.R.R. Tolkien. from J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller. Salu and Farrell, eds. London: Cornell University Press, 1979.

Pearce, Joseph, ed. Tolkien: A Celebration. Great Britain: HarperCollins, 1999.

Rogers, Deborah and Ivor. J.R.R. Tolkien. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. New York: Ballantine Books, 1937.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. New York: Ballantine Books, 1955.

Plot Summary

Bilbo Baggins has a splendid birthday party for his nephew, Frodo, and himself. He disappears without warning, using a magic ring he found many years ago. His friend, the wizard Gandalf, convinces him to leave the ring behind with his nephew before he leaves. Years later, Bilbo has not returned and Gandalf calls on Frodo to tell him what he has learned about the ring: the wielder is given ultimate power and Sauron, the harbinger of destruction, is searching for it endlessly. The ring is ancient and was ripped from Sauron many generations before, only to be lost by the victors. It was found by a wretched being named Gollum, from whom Bilbo acquired it. Frodo accepts the task of bearing the ring to a council in the east. His friend Sam, and his nephews, Merry and Pippin, elect to accompany him.

The group travels out of their homeland and into a dangerous forest. Here they are captured by a rogue willow tree and freed by a kind spirit, Tom Bombadil. They leave the house of Tom and enter the forest again. They fall into the trap of a ghostly creature and Tom helps them again. Their journey comes to a brief pause at the city of Bree. In an inn there, they meet with Gandalf's friend Strider, who is to help them on their way. Frodo makes a fool of himself in the common room of the inn and during the night their ponies are stolen. They head back on the road, on foot. The journey is hard and they must stick to the forest. Black riders, emissaries of Sauron, wound Frodo with a terrible sword and he must be carried. An elf joins their group and they come to a river where all nine of the black riders oppose them. Frodo is sent across the river on the elf's horse and a flood sweeps the riders away.

They arrive at Rivendell and hold a council on what is to be done with the ring. After much discussion, it is decided that the ring should be destroyed. To do this, it must be taken to a mountain in the evil land of Mordor, home of Sauron. Frodo volunteers to bear the ring there and a company is chosen to go with him. After two months, a company of nine (to match the nine black riders) is assembled. They toil through the winter weather for many days and try to ascend a mountain. It becomes apparent that their only recourse will be to travel forty miles underground. Giant wolves (wargs) pursue them until they find the entrance into ancient mines. Once inside, they travel for a couple days until creatures of Sauron pursue them. Gandalf falls into a pit of darkness while battling an evil creature; he succeeds in making the way safe for the others. They exit the mines.

Now without Gandalf, they wander into Lothlorien, an elf forest where its leader Galadriel helps them. She speaks to them and tells them how to get to Mordor. She also provides them with gifts and supplies. They continue down the river for many days. Eventually they are pushed into rapids as the armies of Sauron gather on one side of the river. They come to a point where they need to make a crucial decision: are they to travel straight into Mordor or go to Gondor, Boromir's home, first? Frodo is torn by the question and the burden of the decision falls on him. Boromir tries to convince him otherwise, but when he doesn't agree, he tries to take the ring by force. Frodo uses it to become invisible and he decides to go to Mordor alone. Sam finds him first and the two hobbits set off without the others.

Major Characters

Bilbo Baggins : The main character of The Hobbit, Bilbo is the person who rediscovered the lost Ring of Power. He kept it for many years and no one knew what it really was. All he knew was that it made him invisible when he slipped it on. It did have some sisde effects: Bilbo did not age and he did not want to be apart from it. He releases his claim to the ring and goes off into the world ending up at Rivendell where he finally begins to age. There he writes poetry and thinks about his memoirs.

Frodo Baggins : The young cousin of Bilbo. Frodo inherits the ring from his uncle. He has no idea what he is truly inheriting when he accepts it. He finds out from Gandalf how dangerous the ring is and must make the trip to distant Rivendell to decide the fate of the cursed item. He volunteers to bear it all the way into Mordor where it can finally be destroyed. This brave deed brings him many hardships:injuries, winter storms, and the loss of his companions. When it finally becomes apparent that he cannot make the journey with his present companions, he presses on alone with Sam Gamgee.

Sam Gamgee: Sam is the son of Bilbo’s gardener. He gets involved in the Quest to destroy the ring; he, Merry, and Pippin formed a conspiracy to see what was going on between Gandalf and Frodo. The three hobbits end up beginning on the path to far-away Mordor seeing more danger and action than they ever believed possible. Sam is, on many occasions, Frodo’s only strength. He is the only one who departs with Frodo on the final leg of his Quest.

Gandalf: Gandalf is a powerful wizard. His most potent power is his wisdom. Because of the rising threat of Sauron, a necromancer he tried to overthrow with others in The Hobbit, Gandalf tries to figure out the secret of Bilbo’s ring. When he does, he knows it must be destroyed. He introduces the hobbits to companion travelers and rejoins them after he escapes his own captivity. When the band leaves to journey towards Mordor, he leads them and sacrifices himself along the way.

Aragorn (Strider): Aragorn is part of a group called the Dunedain, a wide-ranging brotherhood of Rangers. They descend from the royal race of Numenor. The king of these men was Isildur, the man who lost the Ring of Power. Aragorn is his direct descendant. He is respected by elves greatly and has been groomed to return to the Kingship by Gandalf. His sword, Elendil, is broken and represents a dormant power that is re-forged. When Gandalf disappears, Aragorn becomes the leader and must guide the Company as far as he can. He is strong and wise.

Minor Characters

Saruman the White: Saruman is a wise master of lore and leader of a council of wizards. He begins to stray from the good, however, when he contemplates the true power of the ring. He thinks that he can rule like Sauron and lead in his place. He begins to raise his own armies. When Gandalf will not provide him with the clue to find the ring, he imprisons his fellow wizard.

Sauron: Sauron is the embodiment of evil throughout The Lord of the Rings. He was once a great leader of evil many generations before when he forged the Ring of Power to control the other rings of Middle Earth. He was overthrown by an alliance of Elves and Men. Years after, he reappeared in Mirkwood and then returned to Mordor to rebuild his kingdom. His lieutenants search endlessly for the ring so that Sauron may rule again. Without it, he cannot fight the good of the Earth and with it he cannot be defeated. His lust for it and hope it will be found pushes his campaign.

Pippin: One of Frodo’s nephews who conspires with Merry and Sam to find out what Frodo and Gandalf are up to so they can join the adventure.

Merry: Another of Frodo’s nephews who conspires to force Frodo to let him join the adventure.

Maggot, the farmer: The farmer who helps Frodo and the traveling band across his farm and to the ferry.

Fatty Bolger: The Hobbit that stays behind and watches Frodo’s home.

Tom Bombadil: He is the master of the forest. All things within it, plant and animal obey him. He has been there since men came to the earth. He helps Frodo and the others escape from the Willow and the Barrow-wight. In between the two dangers he gives them food and shelter in his home.

Goldberry: Tom Bombadil’s wife. She is a daughter of a river. She makes wonderful meals and sings beautiful songs to the hobbits.

Barliman: The innkeeper and owner of the Prancing Pony in the town of Bree. He is holding a letter for Frodo from Gandalf that the wizard gave to him almost three months before. When the hobbits’ ponies are stolen, he does his best to find them at least one new beast of burden.

Glorfindel: The elf who comes to help the company when Frodo is wounded. He puts Frodo on his horse and hurries them on the way toward Rivendell. He is one of the few elves who still knows how to fight the powers of evil.

Elrond: The keeper of Rivendell, Elrond is an ancient and wise elf who heads the Council of The Ring with Gandalf. He is friends with Bilbo and Aragorn and father of Arwen.

Arwen: The daughter of Elrond. She is a very beautiful woman with whom Aragorn is in love.

Gloin: An emissary from the dwarves on the other side of Mirkwood. He is one of the dwarves that went on the journey with Bilbo in The Hobbit.

Boromir: The son of the Steward of Minas Tirith. He goes on the Quest to destroy the ring but is against destroying it. His desire for the ring makes Frodo decide that he must go to Mordor alone.

Isildur: The ancestor of Aragorn who took the ring and lost it.

Gollum (Smeagol): The Hobbit-creature who originally discovered the Ring after it was lost. Bilbo got the ring from him in The Hobbit. Aragorn captured him and Gandalf learned much about the ring from him. He escapes and begins to hunt for the ring again.

Legolas: The elf from Mirkwood who accompanies Frodo on his quest. He becomes friends with Gimli even though there is enmity between their races.

Gimli: The dwarf companion of the group that sets out to seek the destruction of the ring. He becomes fast friends with Legolas. In Lothlorien, he will not submit to being the only one blindfolded. He falls for Galadriel.

Balin: A dwarf from The Hobbit. He led a failed attempt to resettle Moria. They find his tomb.

Haldir: The elf in Lothlorien who first offers to help them and shows them the way to Galadriel.

Lady Galadriel: The bearer of an elfish ring and the rule of Lothlorien. She is the reason it stays young and lush. She gives gifts to all of the travelers and shows Frodo and Sam her mirror. She resists the temptation to take the ring.

Celeborn: Lady Galadriel’s husband. He advises the company on the safest way to make it to Mordor.


Shire: A land far to the north and west, inhabited primarily by the Hobbits. Few people in other parts of the world know anything of it and the Hobbits know little of the rest of the world.

Hobbits: Creatures half the size of men with round faces and bellies and hairy toes. They tend to live in homes that are partially underground and they very rarely go on adventures.

Sackville-Bagginses: A greedy section of Bilbo's family that has always been trying to get a hold of Bag End.

Ring of Power: The most important item in The Lord of the Rings. This ring was crafted by the evil lord Sauron and can over power all of the other rings of Middle Earth: The nine belonging to men, three to elves, and three to dwarves. Bilbo found it by accident in the deep caverns of the Misty Mountains in The Hobbit. It makes normal mortals invisible, but can give great power to those who know how to use it. Sauron, risen again, desires the ring so he can overcome the forces of good. The ring must be destroyed so that no one can wield it.

Bag End: Bilbo's home. It is a hole in a fashionable part of the Shire. Because of its size and location, many hobbits desire to live there.

Dwarves: Short stocky people who have beards. They are usually associated with mountains, mining, and metal-working. For some past transgression, they are the sworn enemies of elves.

Mordor: The land of evil and seat of Sauron's power. It is to Mordor that Frodo must go to destroy the ring.

Mirkwood: A wild forest to the due east of the Shire (many days march). It is where Gollum is held captive and where Sauron sought shelter until he was deposed.

Orcs: Goblin-like creatures who inhabit mountains and work for Sauron.

Trolls: Giant evil creatures who work for Sauron.

Elves: Graceful and thin people who live for an indefinite amount of time. Elves are associated with the forest and nature as well as magic. In these books there are the High Elves and the wood elves

Grey Havens : The ship building site where elves go to depart for the other side of the sea when they tire of Middle Earth.

Ringwraiths: The nine (once human) bearers of the nine human rings. They can sense the Ring of Power and search over the Earth for it in the shape of the black riders.

Rivendell: The home of Elrond and the Last Homely House. This is where the Council of the Ring meets and where Bilbo has been staying for many years.

Buckland: A land inhabited by hobbits right over the river to the East.

Big Folk: What the hobbits call men.

Old Forest: The forest on the other side of the hedge near Buckland that contains the Barrow-wights and Tom Bombadil.

Barrow-wights: These are terrible and dark creatures that live in barrows, hollow mist places beneath ruins of ancient cities in the Old Forest. With a subtle sort of magic, they lull travelers into a fatal sleep and they steal and hoard anything valuable. Frodo resists the powers of the Barrow-wight and calls for Tom Bombadil.

Bree: The town near the old forest where the north-south roads and the east-west roads intersect. Here hobbits and men live together.

Prancing Pony: The inn of Barliman in the town of Bree where the hobbits are directed to go for safety. Here they meet Gandalf's friend Strider and Frodo has an unfortunate moment with the ring. Their ponies are stolen during the night and after this point they must walk.

Rangers: The rangers, also called the Dunedain, are descendants of the men of the Westernesse of the kingdom of Numenor. They fought Sauron alongside the elves and men, and were lead by Isildur, the ancestor of Aragorn. There are very few of them left, and they live on their own, fighting evil throughout the northwest of Middle-earth.

Narsil: The sword of Aragorn's ancestor. It has broken a foot from the hilt, but when it is forged anew by the elves of Rivendell, it signals a first step in Aragorn's reclamation of his kingly title.

Weathertop: The hilltop where Strider hopes to meet Gandalf. Instead, he does not meet Gandalf and Frodo receives his grievous wound from the riders.

Minas Tirith: The capital of Gondor.

Gondor: The last great kingdom of men.

Moria: Mines below tall mountains where dwarves once mined for Mithril. A group of dwarves tried to return there and died. The Company gets trapped in the mines for some time and this is where Gandalf falls with the Balrog.

Rohan: An ally of Gondor.

Orthanc: The tower of stone where Saruman lives and Gandalf is imprisoned after he won’t reveal the location of the ring.

Wargs: A more intelligent, super-sized type of wolves. Wargs are fearful of flame, and are held at bay by Gandalf's fire and lightning bolts.

Mithril: The valuable silver-colored metal that the dwarves mined in Moria. It is valued by all races.

Balrog: The creature that came from the pits of Moria and ran the dwarves out of the mines. It arrives and Gandalf fights it off, falling into the dark pit, so that the others may survive.

Lothlorien: The enchanted forest on the eastern side of Moria. Here the Company is aided by helpful elves and they meet the Lady Galadriel.


Quote 1: "squibs, crackers, backarrapas, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunderclaps. They were all superb." Book 1, Chapter 1, pg. 48

Quote 2: "He found himself wondering at times, especially in the Autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams. He began to say to himself 'Perhaps I shall cross the river myself one day.' To which the other half of his mind always replied 'Not yet.'" Book 1, Chapter 2, pg. 66

Quote 3: "'Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity and Mercy: not to strike without need.'" Book 1, Chapter 2, pg. 85

Quote 4: "Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas
O light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!" Book 1, Chapter 3, pg. 108

Quote 5: "'I have something to do, before the end and it lies ahead not in the Shire'" Book 1, Chapter 4, pg. 118

Quote 6: "'Sing Hey! For the bath at the close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!'" Book 1, Chapter 5, pg. 134

Quote 7: "He spoke cheerfully and if he felt any great anxiety he did not show it." Book 1, Chapter 6, pg. 147

Quote 8: "'Have peace now...until the morning! Heed no nightly noises! For nothing passes door and window here save moonlight and starlight and the wind off the hill-top. Good night!'" Book 1, Chapter 7, pg. 162

Quote 9: "They felt as if a trap was closing about them; but they did not quite lose heart." Book 1, Chapter 8, pg. 175

Quote 10: "'The Bree folk used to be fair-spoken to travelers, or so I had heard.'" Book 1, Chapter 9, pg. 191

Quote 11: "'An account of your performance would be very interesting to certain people. After that they would hardly need to be told your real name. It seems to me only too likely that they will hear of it before this night is over.'" Book 1, Chapter 10, pg. 206

Quote 12: "There Brandybucks were blowing the horn-call of Buckland, that had not been sounded for a hundred years, not since the white wolves came in the fell winter, when the Brandywine was frozen over." Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 219

Quote 13: "'I cannot now be certain, but I think there were many hoofed feet.'" Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 233

Quote 14: "'I found it in the mud in the middle of the Bridge. ...It is a beryl, an elf-stone. Whether it was set there or let fall by chance, I cannot say; but it brings hope to me. I will take it as a sing that we may pass the bridge; but beyond that I dare not keep to the road without some clearer token.'" Book 1, Chapter 12, pg. 247

Quote 15: "'It is no small thing to have come so far, and through such dangers, still bearing the Ring.'" Book 2, Chapter 1, pg. 266

Quote 16: "Then the enchantment became more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him, too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air about him, and it drenched and drowned him. Swiftly he sank under its shining weight into a deep realm of sleep." Book 2, Chapter 1, pg. 281

Quote 17: "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

Quote 18: "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. 306

Quote 19: "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

Quote 20: "'I don't suppose you'll be able to keep a diary Frodo, my lad, but I shall expect a full account when you get back.'" Book 2, Chapter 3, pg. 336

Quote 21: "It was evening and the grey light was again waning fast, when they halted for the night. They were very weary. The mountains were veiled in deepening dusk, and the wind was cold. Gandalf spared them one more mouthful of the miruvor of Rivendell. When they had eaten some food he called a council." Book 2, Chapter 4, pg. 352

Quote 22: "'I have it, of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles, when you see the answer.'" Book 2, Chapter 4, pg. 367

Quote 23: "The Company of the Ring stood silent beside the tomb of Balin. Frodo thought of Bilbo and his long friendship with the dwarf, and of Balin's visit to the Shire long ago. In that dusty chamber in the mountains it seemed a thousand years ago and on the other side of the world." Book 2, Chapter 5, pg. 381

Quote 24: "'The orcs will not, maybe, come out till after dusk, but we must be far away before nightfall.'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 396

Quote 25: "'The agreement was made without my consent...I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. And I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy. Neither have we done harm to the elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any of my other companions'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 410

Quote 26: "'I don't miss Gandalf's fireworks, but his bushy eyebrows, and his quick temper, and his voice.'" Book 2, Chapter 7, pg. 426

Quote 27: "'As you go down the water.. You will find that the trees will fail, and you will come to a barren country. there the River flows in stony vales amid high moors, until at last after many leagues it comes to the tall island of the Tindrock, that we call Tol Brandir. There it casts its arms about the steep shores of the isle, and falls then with a great noise and smoke...'" Book 2, Chapter 8, pg. 440

Quote 28: "'We shall have to try going faster tomorrow, you lie down and I will keep watch for what is left of the night.'" Book 2, Chapter 9, pg. 453

Quote 29: "The chasm was long and dark, and filled with the noise of wind and rushing water and echoing stone. It bent somewhat towards the west so that at first all was dark ahead; but soon Frodo saw a tall gap of light before him, ever growing. Swiftly it drew near, and suddenly the boats shot through, out into a wide clear light." Book 2, Chapter 9, pg. 463

Quote 30: "'I grew angry and he left me. He vanished.'" Book 2, Chapter 10, pg. 475

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.

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.

Topic Tracking: Nature

Book 1, Chapter 3

Nature 1: The hobbits' expedition into the wilderness is a foray into the unknown. They see landscapes and creatures they have never before imagined. Elves are intelligent manifestations of nature. They care for the natural world and protect it from needless destruction. They are at once part of the forest and beyond it.

Book 1, Chapter 6

Nature 2: The hobbits enter into a foreign realm in which they become quickly disoriented. They are not really afraid, but apprehensive. They think nothing of their sudden sleepiness near the willow tree. When the tree throws some of them into the water and traps Pippin, their first thought is to strike back, but the tree is stronger. Only Tom Bombadil can help. Tom Bombadil is at once a part of nature and beyond it. He is capable of controlling everything in the forest.

Book 1, Chapter 8

Nature 3: The hobbits fear the forest. Even though Goldberry and Tom make it easier for them, everything about it makes them uneasy. They travel safely until they encounter the barrow-wight, a creature that makes its home in ruins left behind by an ancient civilization.

Book 1, Chapter 11

Nature 4: The natural world is the expedition's greatest opposition next to the black riders. It frosts them with cold in the morning and slathers them with heat as they struggle to make their way through the swamps. The world of men (the road) is not safe because they can easily be seen. The natural world, on the other hand, makes them move more slowly and offers obstacles of its own.

Book 1, Chapter 12

Nature 5: With the magic of Elrond, the flow of the river washes away the black riders' horses and slows their pursuit of Frodo.

Book 2, Chapter 3

Nature 6: Nature becomes the expedition's greatest adversary. It is the middle of winter when they leave. They must travel through the mountains and the cold with their backs laden with food. Beyond the usual difficulty, the land itself has fallen under the influence of evil. Aragorn can feel it and sense it all around them. The snow prevents them from crossing over the mountain and forces them into Moria.

Book 2, Chapter 4

Nature 7: Nature continues to oppose them. The wargs force them to hasten and surround them. With such an onslaught, they can barely sleep or eat. The beast in the lake frightens Frodo and traps them in the mine. Below the earth, they are isolated from the natural world and at the whim of the shadows and turning caverns.

Book 2, Chapter 6

Nature 8: The elves live in harmony with nature and foster the natural world. The trees are stronger and the flowers more beautiful where they tend them. Lothlorien is a sacred sanctuary to them, and a place of mystery for others. Boromir, a man, fears the elf sanctuary. A nearby forest was once inhabited by Sauron and made evil. The forest reflects the nature and character of those who inhabit it.

Book 2, Chapter 9

Nature 9: As they get closer to Mordor and their journey becomes more dangerous, the landscape reflects this feeling. The beautiful trees of Lothlorien give way to desolate plains, dark mountains, and dangerous swamps. Nothing about their quest will be easy.

Topic Tracking: Power

Book 1, Chapter 1

Power 1: Bilbo is about to leave the Shire for an indefinite amount of time. For a reason unknown to him, the ring makes him very anxious. When Gandalf wants him to leave it behind, he gets very angry with his old friend and draws his sword. His desire for the ring is so strong, he considers attacking Gandalf.

Book 1, Chapter 2

Power 2: The ring is powerful. Before one who holds it knows what it can do, he desires it. Gollum is an example of this desire. He has only eyes to see it - the rest of his body has deteriorated. The ring is so powerful that Sauron's success in taking over Middle Earth rests on its retrieval. With the ring, one can conquer and control all things. This power, becomes the ultimate evil. Eventually, the bearer is consumed by the need for power and control.

Book 1, Chapter 3

Power 3: Tom Bombadil is intrigues by the power of the ring, yet he cannot be swayed by it. He makes a joke of it and Frodo becomes very intense. He must test the ring because he fears that Tom stole it from him and replaced it with a replica. He is under the influence of the ring and does not realize it.

Book 1, Chapter 10

Power 4: The ring puts them in danger at all times. Everywhere they go the servants of Sauron search for some clue that will lead them to the ring. Sam thinks that Strider is only after the ring and does not trust him, even after Strider insists he could have taken the ring from them already, with very little trouble.

Book 1, Chapter 11

Power 5: The power of the ring extends beyond its bearer. It draws the riders like a beacon on a foggy night. They can sense it; they can feel it. It is the only reason that they can keep following the group. Frodo puts it on when they are near and can see them clearly from a distance. This may or may not be the reason he survived their attack.

Book 1, Chapter 12

Power 6: When the black riders wound Frodo, it is no simple wound. Their steel bears an evil power. When it strikes, it does not heal. Unless magically altered, the wound gets worse with each passing day. Frodo must bear this pain, amplified by the burden of the ring he wears around his neck.

Book 2, Chapter 1

Power 7: The power of the ring brought a terrible wound upon Frodo that could only be healed by the extraordinary abilities of Elrond. The elves have other powers besides this. Their song takes away Frodo's worries and puts him in a dream world where he can rest.

Book 2, Chapter 2

Power 8: The ring has far-reaching effects. It has had an impact on men from all regions of the known world. So great is its power, that Gollum still seeks it even after losing it eighty years earlier. Saruman falls to a desire for evil without ever even seeing the ring; he has only read of it. This is the true power of the ring; those who have only heard of it desire it. The Council feels that the ring is too dangerous to exist (except for Boromir, who suggests that they use the ring to attack and defeat Saruman). Gandalf and Elrond are the wisest: allowing such an evil power to exist can only have dire consequences. The ring must be destroyed.

Book 2, Chapter 4

Power 9: the ring forces them below ground. Wargs are creatures of evil, out in numbers only because the lord of darkness, Sauron, wills it to be so. The dwarves' downfall in Moria came from a lust for wealth, a different type of power. Frodo wishes in earnest that he could have led a simple life, having heard nothing of the ring or Moria.

Book 2, Chapter 7

Power 10: The power of the ring is so great that when Frodo looks into the mirror, Sauron can sense him. The evil leader looks for him and reaches through the inconceivable distance for the power. Galadriel bears the elf ring that makes Lothlorien lush and green. At first, she is enticed by Frodo's offer to give up the ring. She reconsiders; her will is too strong to give in to the sudden lust for power. Frodo's spirit trusted her so much that he was willing to lay the fate of the world in her hands.

Book 2, Chapter 10

Power 11: In the end, Boromir cannot fathom the destruction of so mighty a power as the ring. He is blinded by a lust for it and thinks that he would be able to wield it even though stronger men have been denied that ability. He tries to convince Frodo that he is right and when Frodo does not agree with him, he tries to forcibly take the ring. Frodo uses the ring to become invisible and escape from Boromir.

Book 1, Chapter 1

In the Shire, Bilbo Baggins's 111th birthday party is a big deal. Because of the rich and peculiar life he leads, all of the other Hobbits are extremely interested in him. The party is also going to be thrown for his young cousin, Frodo, who is turning 33, the hobbit age of adulthood. Frodo grew up in a distant place. His father and mother died in a boat accident. Bilbo adopted him and made him his heir. Members of Bilbo's family called the Sackville-Bagginses; they were very upset when Bilbo cut them out of his will by adopting Frodo. Sam, a gardener for the Bagginses, reflects on the day Bilbo came back from his journey so many years ago to find his relatives auctioning off his stuff.

They prepare for the big party. Dawn rises the next day and Gandalf arrives with it. The wizard unloads fireworks from his lot and compliments Bilbo's garden. He asks him if he still means to carry out his plan and the aging hobbit does. Many carts roll into the field where the party is to be held. Hobbits from all over send in their acceptance to Bilbo's invitations. On the day of the party it is clear and sunny. Almost the entire town comes to hear the music and eat the amazing food. Gandalf sets off his astounding fireworks: "squibs, crackers, backarrapas, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunderclaps. They were all superb." Book 1, Chapter 1, pg. 48. The party splits up to different tables for the banquet. All the guests enjoy the plentiful food but they begin to dread Bilbo's speech. The hobbit was known for inflicting his poetry on captive ears. He stands to welcome them and tells them that he invited 144 of them to equal the sum of Bilbo and Frodo's ages. Then he simply says that he is done with the party and he disappears. There is some silence, as they expect him to return, but he does not. Everyone thinks that the joke is in bad taste. They go on eating, regardless.

Bilbo disappeared by the use of his magic ring. He returns to his house at Bag End and begins to pack his stuff. He leaves a packet of stuff for Frodo. Gandalf approaches him and says that he thinks the joke should end. Bilbo feels old and wants to go to the mountains one last time. Gandalf asks if he is leaving the Ring and Bilbo hesitates. He begins to get angry at Gandalf and calls the ring his precious. The pair exchange harsh words but Bilbo refuses to leave the ring behind. He becomes more lucid and Gandalf suggests he leave the ring for Frodo. As he leaves, Bilbo almost forgets to take the ring out of his pocket, but Gandalf reminds him. The pair bid each other good bye and Bilbo leaves for good.

Frodo realizes that his uncle is really gone as Gandalf tells him to watch the ring but never use it. The next day, Frodo gives away many of Bilbo's possessions according to the instructions he left behind. Bilbo gives graciously to many of them and soon Bag End is mobbed by hobbits looking for a handout. The Sackville-Bagginses come and harass Frodo. One of them tries to steal things from the house. Sam and Frodo must wrestle away intruders looking for Bilbo's gold. They lock the door but then there is a knock. It is Gandalf. The wizard warns them again not to touch the ring. He says it has one power they all know of, but it might have more.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 1
Topic Tracking: Power 1

Book 1, Chapter 2

The disappearance of Bilbo is talked about for a very long time in the Shire. Every passing year, Frodo throws a party for Bilbo even though others assume that he is dead. Frodo lives by himself in Bag End and seems, to his countrymen, to stop aging.

"He found himself wondering at times, especially in the Autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams. He began to say to himself 'Perhaps I shall cross the river myself one day.' To which the other half of his mind always replied 'Not yet.'" Book 1, Chapter 2, pg. 66

With age, he gets more restless. There are rumors of strange things about in the world. Many dwarves move over the earth. Some people speak of Mordor. An evil power had been driven from Mirkwood and founded a new home there. Orcs and Trolls are multiplying. Elves have been seen leaving through the Grey Havens in the west. It is early April and Gandalf appears for the first time in nine years. He looks older. He sits near Frodo and thinks of the 80 years before when he dropped in on Bilbo. Gandalf tells Frodo that his Ring has great powers; it was one of the great Rings of power. It makes its bearer invisible and gives him a longer life but eventually devours him. Bilbo's health and youth came from it and Frodo still looks so young for the same reason. Bilbo hadn't understood it but Gandalf had suspected the ring for a long time. He had tried to consult Saruman the White to no avail. Gandalf feels bad for Frodo because he was responsible for him being given the burden of the ring. He who keeps it desires it more with each passing day. The only reason someone has not come for the ring is that the powers of evil have overlooked hobbits and the Shire.

Sauron the Great, once ruler of evil and once deposed, is rebuilding his forces in Mordor. He has the nine Ringwraiths already enlisted working for him. In the beginning there were nine rings of power for men, three for elves and dwarves. Sauron learned how to craft the ring to rule it all. He lost it and now wants it back. It was cut from his hand by a leader of men who lost it in a river. Years later, a hobbit-like creature found the ring. His friend, Smeagol asked for it and when he didn't give it, Smeagol took it by force. This creature began to fish, hunt and steal, always wearing the ring. Eventually, he descended below mountains to avoid the harsh light of the sun. His body and mind were warped by extended use of the ring. This creature became the Gollum from whom Bilbo took the ring. Frodo balks at the idea of such a creature being related to hobbits. Gollum was never truly happy with the ring but became wretchedly unhappy without it. Gandalf thinks that the Ring left Gollum on purpose to be carried by Bilbo. He thinks it was trying to get closer to its maker. Frodo doesn't believe the tale, but Gandalf says he met Gollum in Mirkwood. The creature was searching for Bilbo so that he could get his ring back.

Gandalf's friend Aragorn found Gollum coming back from Mordor. He had told Sauron the name of the Hobbit who took the ring and where to find him. Frodo says it is a pity that Bilbo did not kill Gollum. Gandalf says "'Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity and Mercy: not to strike without need.'" Book 1, Chapter 2, pg. 85. The Elves of Mirkwood have Gollum in prison. The only place to destroy the ring is where it was forged in Mordor. He tells the Hobbit that for better or worse he was chosen to bear the ring. Gandalf will not take the ring himself because the temptation to wield its power would be too great. He asks Frodo to make a decision. Frodo thinks he should leave the Shire so that nothing bad happens to it. He wants to follow Bilbo and Gandalf is impressed with the lucidity of his decision. Frodo takes a new last name, Underhill. Gandalf tells him to choose a companion carefully and looks out the window to find Sam eavesdropping. Frodo tells him that he must keep it secret and Gandalf tells him that he is to go on the journey.

Topic Tracking: Power 2
Topic Tracking: Courage 1
Topic Tracking: Friendship 2

Book 1, Chapter 3

Gandalf tells Frodo that he can delay his departure until autumn. Frodo plans to leave on his upcoming 50th birthday. Gandalf warns him to keep Sam quiet and not to let anyone know where he is going. He advises him to head east until he reaches Rivendell. Frodo sells Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses. Rumors run wild. People think he is heading back to Buckland his original home. Gandalf stays in the Shire for two months and when he leaves, he warns Frodo never to use the Ring.

When Gandalf has not returned the day before his birthday, Frodo begins to get very worried. The next morning, Sam and Frodo get up and prepare to move. Pippin and Merry, Bilbo's nephews, help them. They depart and decide not to walk through the village because there are too many people about. They walk through fields and near the forest. Frodo watches the lights of farms fade away and wonders if he will ever return home. Sam is sleepy so they build a fire and rest. In the morning, Pippin asks Sam why he hasn't made breakfast and Frodo rolls him out of his sleeping bag. They march for the day and Frodo recites a poem his uncle wrote about the unending road. They hear a horse coming and it is black. Frodo considers using the ring, but the rider disappears and Elves appear singing:

"Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas
O light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
" Book 1, Chapter 3, pg. 108

These elves are high elves and they speak to Frodo. They laugh and poke fun at the other hobbits. The hobbits ask about the black rider and the elves tell them one has passed. They tell the hobbits to follow them into the forest. It gets thicker but then opens suddenly. They sit in a beautiful clearing. The elves bring them into a hall where they are fed. Pippin falls asleep. The elves recognize Frodo from his outings with Bilbo. They love him. He asks them about Bilbo and their leader says little. They don't know where he went. He asks Frodo about his journey and tells hin that it is safe to tell him. The Elves don't want to speak about the black riders. They tell him to continue on and consult Gandalf when they find him. Frodo is worried that Gandalf is late. He cannot decide whether he should wait for the wizard or go on without him. The leader of the elves tells him to move on and avoid the black riders at all costs. He names him an Elf -friend and Frodo falls asleep.

Topic Tracking: Nature 1

Book 1, Chapter 4

Frodo feels refreshed in the morning and admits to Pippin that he did not learn much from the elves. He asks Sam if he still wants to go with him. The elves had warned Sam before he went to sleep that he had better stay with Frodo no mater what. Sam still wants to go with him "'I have something to do, before the end and it lies ahead not in the Shire.'" Book 1, Chapter 4, pg. 118. They argue about whether they should travel on the road or in the woods to avoid the riders. Pippin wants to take the road but they end up taking the woods. When they come to a river, they must go to a bridge and a black rider nears them. Pippin is worried that they have strayed too far south. Frodo decides that they should keep going in the same direction. When they stop for the night they find that their flasks were filled with elfish mead. Their merriment is broken by a shriek in the darkness. They get up and keep marching through the night. After daybreak, they find themselves at the farm of an old Hobbit. The farmer, Maggot, comes out with his dogs and recognizes Pippin. He has just turned black riders from his field. He invites them in for dinner and a beer. When they enter, he recognizes Frodo from his youth and tells him that Big Folk have been straying into the shire looking for someone by the name of Baggins. These people promise gold in exchange for any information they can give. The farmer told them nothing except to get off his land. He blames Frodo's trouble on associating with eccentric people. He suspects that Frodo is in some serious trouble and offers his help after they eat. Maggot puts them in his wagon and carries them to another river that they must take a ferry across. Maggot says he must return to his wife but presents them with a bag of mushrooms before he leaves.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 3

Book 1, Chapter 5

They step onto the ferry and are taken across to Buckland. Many years ago, an original hobbit family crossed over the river and made their own settlement apart from the Shire. In front of the Old Forest, they planted a great hedge many years ago. The hobbits get out of the ferry and have a feeling that they are being followed. Merry makes plans for another supper. After some time they come to Frodo's new house. Frodo knocks on the door and goes inside. It has been furnished with much of his property from Bag End. Pippin wants a bath and they debate who is going to bathe first but see that three baths can be drawn at once. They sing while they bathe:

"'Sing Hey! For the bath at the close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!'"
Book 1, Chapter 5, pg. 134

After they eat supper, they argue over the remnants of the basket of mushrooms. They talk about the black riders and Pippin wants to know more about them. Frodo tells him that they are searching for either him or Bilbo. Pippin and Merry tell Frodo that they know he means to leave the Shire for a long time. Merry had expected this eventually. He tells Frodo that they plan to accompany him. Frodo tries to convince them otherwise, but to no avail. They know the journey has something to do with the ring. Sam told them everything he had heard from Gandalf. Frodo is worried that he cannot trust them. He gives in and says that they can come with him. He wants to wait another day before they depart but isn't sure if it is safe. Frodo thinks for a while and decides that they must leave in secret the next day. Sam is worried about entering the old forest, but the others are not. Their helper, Fatty Bolger wants to stay behind and keep the house looking like it is inhabited. Frodo tells him to keep a look out for Gandalf. He has trouble sleeping that night and dreams of hearing the far off sea.

Topic Tracking: Courage 2

Book 1, Chapter 6

Frodo wakes suddenly and Merry gets everyone ready to leave. By six a.m. they are on the road. When they get to the hedge, they go through a secret hollow and enter the old forest. Frodo bids Fatty Bolger goodbye and reminds him to look for Gandalf. The forest is thick and dim. Many hobbits believe that the trees can move of their own accord. They make their way slowly through the thick groves and feel an air of enmity about them. They come to a bonfire glade where a group of hobbits entered the forest, chopped down a mass of trees and burned them because they feared the forest. There is a path on the other side and they enter it with Frodo singing. "He spoke cheerfully and if he felt any great anxiety he did not show it." Book 1, Chapter 6, pg. 147. They hurry toward a bald hill, and at the top Merry points back to the west. It is getting very hot, and through the evaporating mist they seem to make out the east road. They linger there for a while and when they leave they realize that they are lost. Striking a northward path, they get deeper and deeper in the forest until they come to a stream that they follow to a river. Merry investigates and they find a path along the river. They follow this path despite Pippin's considerable worry. After some time in the heat they feel tired and Frodo passes out on the roots of a great willow tree. They wash in the river and are overcome by sleepiness.

It is getting late and Sam wakes uneasy. Two of the others are in the river and Frodo alleges that the tree threw him in the water. Merry gets caught between the roots of the tree and cannot move. They build a little fire around his foot but the tree just grips him tighter. Merry screams. He says that the willow is speaking to him. Frodo goes running into the forest in a panic screaming for help. He hears someone singing and he runs into a man named Tom Bombadil. He is grey and bearded. He follows Frodo back to the tree and sings to it. The hobbits are released. He tells the hobbits to follow him but soon his pace has left them behind. They think they are lost, but they suddenly come upon the yellow door of Tom's house.

Topic Tracking: Nature 2

Book 1, Chapter 7

They step into a long room and see a woman with flowing hair. She is happy to see them and introduces herself as Goldberry. She tells them not to fear and recognizes Frodo as an Elf-friend. Tom is out finding their ponies that were frightened off by the willow. Tom Bombadil is the Master of the Wood. He does not own it, but everything in it obeys him. He has been there longer than anything else. He enters the room and takes them to pots of cold and warm water where they can clean up. After this, they eat a delightful meal and Goldberry speaks:

"'Have peace now...until the morning! Heed no nightly noises! For nothing passes door and window here save moonlight and starlight and the wind off the hill-top. Good night!'" Book 1, Chapter 7, pg. 162

Frodo asks Tom if he came to their aid because he heard his calls for help but Tom says that he was singing and cam by them by chance. Frodo asks about the willow tree and Tom says that it can wait until morning. During the night, Frodo has a dark dream where he hears the screams of men amid howling wolves. Pippin lies in bed quietly next to him. He wakes and thinks he hears noises. Merry dreams of being drowned by the willow.

When they wake in the morning there is a thick fog in the forest and it will probably rain. Tom tells them to stay for the day. He tells them all about the forest. The willow tree has a rotten heart but its limbs are still very strong. He speaks of ancient kingdoms and their fall in terrible battles. The hobbits become lost in the tales and are enchanted by his speech. Tom tells them that he is older than the forest and remembers when the dark powers came to earth. He brings them more food and drink. His somber mood changes back to a boisterous one. The meal is great and Goldberry sings to them. Tom asks a myriad of questions but he already knows most of the answers. He asks to see the ring and takes it from Frodo for a moment. He gives it back. Frodo slips it on his finger while they are talking to test it, because he suspects that Tom may have tried to switch rings. He disappears and Tom asks him to stop being invisible. They go to sleep meaning to leave early the next day.

Topic Tracking: Power 3

Book 1, Chapter 8

Frodo and the hobbits hear noises during the night and when they wake in the morning there is no sign of Tom or Goldberry, so they eat breakfast alone. They leave and start making their way up a steep slope. At the top, Frodo sees Goldberry and he runs to hear. Together, they look over the wide expanse of the horizon to the east and west. She tells him to hasten on his way and she watches them leave.

They make their way back into the Old Forest and hear the sounds of strange birds. Around midday they see a line of trees in the distance that they think denotes the eastern road. They stop to eat and let the ponies run free. The day is sunny but a fog rolls in and puts a chill into their bones. "They felt as if a trap was closing about them; but they did not quite lose heart." Book 1, Chapter 8, pg. 175. A stone standing on end, as if part of a long gone building, frightens them. They begin to move through the fog and they see more pillars. Frodo gets separated from the rest of the group. He is in darkness. He panics and thinks that a voice is coming from the ground. He falls to his knees and is unconscious. A Barrow-wight has taken him. He lies silently in the barrow and thinks of all the stories he has heard in his life. To his right is Pippin, Merry, and Sam. A sword lies across all four of them. The others are partially covered in treasure. A song pushes through the air. Frodo considers using the ring. He sees a limb that does not belong to a Hobbit and cuts it off with one great heave. He begins to chant Tom Bombadil's rhyme and Tom appears. The chamber begins to disintegrate. The hobbits stumble out and Tom follows with arms full of treasure. The swords are ancient and Tom gives a short one to each of the hobbits. Their clothing has been changed with strange rags. They take them off and run in the grass until they feel clean. Tom brings the ponies back to them and promises to take them all the way to the road safely.

They march on through the day, relieved when they finally reach the road. Frodo hopes that the delay may have lost the black riders. Tom sends them to the Prancing Pony in the town of Bree where he knows the innkeeper. They ride toward the city walls under rising stars.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 4
Topic Tracking: Nature 3
Topic Tracking: Courage 3

Book 1, Chapter 9

Bree is the chief city of a group of wilderness towns located near the intersection of the east and the north roads. It is inhabited by men and hobbits. There are wanderers called Rangers who patrol the woods of this region. The hobbits of Bree are successful and often associate with the hobbits of Buckland. When the travelers get to the gate, it is shut. The guard asks their names and business. Merry responds "'The Bree fold used to be fair-spoken to travelers, or so I had heard.'" Book 1, Chapter 9, pg. 191. The guard tells them that there have been strange people about and there are many other guests at the Prancing Pony. When they see the inn, Sam wants to find somewhere else to stay. They hesitate outside while they listen to the singing coming from within. The innkeeper, Barliman, comes around from the stable and welcomes them. He is surprised to see a party from the Shire. He tells them there are special rooms available designed just for hobbits. A hobbit brings food and beer to them. Barliman encourages them to come downstairs and join the other guests who are anxious to talk to people from the Shire.

Downstairs, there is a large gathering in the main room of the inn. There are many men but there are also dwarves and hobbits. They welcome the new hobbits and introduce themselves. Frodo tells him they are traveling because he is interested in writing a book. The other guests talk of all the men who have been moving to the area looking for peace. In the corner is a weather beaten figure who beckons for Frodo to come to him. His name is Strider and he is a ranger. He warns Frodo not to let his friends talk too much. Pippin is busy telling the tale of Bilbo's birthday party so many years ago. Frodo is worried that he will mention the ring. Frodo jumps up on a table and starts talking. They ask him for a song and he makes up a long one about an Inn. They love the song and make Frodo drink a couple beers and then sing it again. He falls to the floor and slips the ring on his finger to disappear. He crawls over and reappears near Strider who calls him 'Baggins' instead of the name he gave, 'Underhill'. He says that they must meet later. Frodo stays in the shadow and listens to the others argue about where he went. He shows himself and apologizes. As he goes to his room, Barliman says he wants to speak to Frodo alone.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 5

Book 1, Chapter 10

Strider comes to Frodo's room and tells him that he has advice for them. He tells them that they must take him with them. Frodo says that he would have to learn a lot more about him before he is willing to take him along. Strider heard Frodo beg the others not to use his real name outside the city gates. He has been looking for them and warns Frodo to avoid displays like the recent one downstairs. He has also seen the black riders.

"'An account of your performance would be very interesting to certain people. After that they would hardly need to be told your real name. It seems to me only too likely that they will hear of it before this night is over.'" Book 1, Chapter 10, pg. 206.

Strider again asks them to let him accompany them as their guide so that their journey can be made without running into any more black riders. Sam doesn't trust him but Frodo disagrees. Strider is happy that they are being more cautious than they were downstairs. There is a knock on the door and it is Barliman. He tells him that months ago Gandalf gave him a letter to be delivered to a Frodo Baggins from the Shire. He tells them to be wary of rangers and Strider shows himself from the corner. Strider snaps at the innkeeper and tells Frodo that the black riders come from Mordor. The mere mention of Mordor shakes Barliman. Strider warns him to forget he ever heard the name Baggins and let them be on their way. They decide to leave early in the morning and Strider tells Frodo to open the letter once Barliman has left. The letter, in Gandalf's hand, tells them that they may meet Strider, whose real name is Aragorn and they should trust him. Frodo asks Strider why he didn't mention his relationship with Gandalf to begin with and Strider says it wouldn't have mattered. Sam doesn't believe that Strider is the same man mentioned in the letter. Strider gets frustrated and tells them that if he had wanted to kill them and take the ring he could have done it already. Aragorn's sword Elendil is broken a foot from the hilt. He says it will be re-forged in due time and then that they should make their way to a half way point between Bree and Rivendell, called Weathertop, the next day. He is troubled by Gandalf's prolonged absence and thinks it may have something to do with the black riders. Merry rushes in with another Hobbit and tells them that they saw black riders outside and followed one. Strider worries that the riders are bold but is sure that they will not attack that night. Regardless, the hobbits sleep on the floor in the common room and Strider watches over them.

Topic Tracking: Power 4
Topic Tracking: Friendship 6

Book 1, Chapter 11

Back in Buckland, Fatty Bolger watches a black shadow move around Frodo's house. The sound of horses frightens him. A voice demands that he open the door for Mordor. He runs through the back door and sounds the alarm. "There Brandybucks were blowing the horn-call of Buckland, that had not been sounded for a hundred years, not since the white wolves came in the fell winter, when the Brandywine was frozen over." Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 219. The black shadows soon disappear and leave Buckland.

Frodo wakes from a deep sleep to see Strider alertly watching. He falls back to sleep. Strider wakes all of them later and they discover that their ponies were stolen. Strider tells them that they are going to have to carry their food on their backs. Barliman finds an underfed pony for them that they can use for a pack animal. He pays for it because he feels that it is his duty since the ponies were stolen from his stable. The town is abuzz when they leave too late in the morning. They take the main road and many people watch them leave. A man in a dark house stares at them. Sam throws an apple at him and hits. Not too far out of town, they leave the road and start to travel through the forest. It is a nice day and the walking is not too unpleasant. Strider is sure that they will be followed. The ground gets damper and a swampy region slows their advance. The day becomes hot and miserable. When they make their campsite and night falls, it becomes cold and wet. Far away, to the east, they see light flashing on top of a large hill. On the fifth day, they finally make it to a place where they can see Weathertop and they move out of the swamp. Strider still hopes to meet Gandalf at this halfway point. He thinks that they should approach it from the north side to avoid any possible ambush

They camp that night and there is a frost in the air in the morning. The walking gets more difficult and the hobbits are losing weight. Near the hills they can see ruins of stone. This used to be the border of an Elf kingdom. The next day they arrive at Weathertop and Strider finds a stone with Gandalf's mark on it. He had been there three days before. It is another twelve days to Rivendell. Frodo cries out and they see black shapes of riders coming toward them in the distance. When Strider descends from the peak, Merry and Pippin point out strange footprints to him. "'I cannot now be certain, but I think there were many hoofed feet.'" Book 1, Chapter 11, pg. 233. Strider decides that they will stay to the north of the road and keep traveling. He tells them that it was foolish that he exposed himself on top of the hill. Then he says that the dark riders can follow the feel of the ring. They light a fire and wait. Frodo is worried that they are going to run out of food, but Strider assures them that they will find more. Strider chants a story of an Elf woman who gave up her immortality to be with a man she loved. The Kings of his line came from their marriage. The moon rises and they look up. Merry thinks he sees shapes moving towards them. They gather around the fire and in the shadows they can see five riders. Frodo panics and slips on the ring. He sees them more clearly. They rush forward at him. He tries to defend himself but is wounded in the shoulder.

Topic Tracking: Power 5
Topic Tracking: Nature 4
Topic Tracking: Courage 4

Book 1, Chapter 12

Frodo wakes up and finds himself clutching the ring. When he disappeared, the rest of the company panicked, and found him later, some distance away. Strider is concerned about Frodo's wound. He tells Merry to keep him warm. Frodo was wounded with a dark sword of Mordor. His wound is magically cursed. Strider finds the knife he was wounded with and keeps it. He selects some forest herb and boils it. It relieves a little of Frodo's great pain. They pack the pony's burden into their bags and put Frodo on the back of the beast. They begin to travel again, as quickly as possible. Frodo's pain slowly increases. They all worry about the return of the black riders. On the sixth day, they come back to the road and cross over a bridge They are still a great distance from Rivendell. When they come to the river, Strider finds an Elf-enchanted stone:

"'I found it in the mud in the middle of the Bridge. ...It is a beryl, an elf-stone. Whether it was set there or let fall by chance, I cannot say; but it brings hope to me. I will take it as a sing that we may pass the bridge; but beyond that I dare not keep to the road without some clearer token.'" Book 1, Chapter 12, pg. 247

They move off the road and into a dark forest. The land is uninhabited and Strider has passed through it on his way to Rivendell on many occasions. The hills close around them and it begins to rain. The provisions run low and Frodo's pain increases. After a day or two, Strider realizes that they have gone too far north. They have to go south by climbing over a steep ridge. Sam worries about Frodo's wound. The next day, they get over the mountain and begin to pick their way back to the road. In front of them, Merry and Pippin see three trolls sitting. They are made of stone. These are the trolls that Bilbo encountered in his journey. They break to eat and Merry sings a song about Trolls. When they get back to the road, they search for a place to rest for the night. The sound of horses' hooves echoes through the dusk and they panic. The rider is an elf who knows Strider. His name is Glorfindel and he has been looking for them. Elrond sent many warrior-elves out to search for Frodo and help him with his journey to Rivendell. He tells them that they cannot rest and must leave for Rivendell immediately; five of the riders are behind them. Glorfindel puts Frodo on his horse and they begin to move into the night. After a long march, Glorfindel lets them rest and when it is time to leave, he gives them an elfish liquor that reinvigorates them. They leave early the next day and come over the ridge they have been seeking. There is a ford over a river. Glorfindel hears the enemy coming and tells everyone to go forward. Frodo hesitates, but Glorfindel commands his horse and he runs into the river. The riders appear in the river. They cannot cross. Glorfindel tells the Riders to return to Mordor. Water rushes from upstream. Frodo panics and passes out.

Topic Tracking: Power 6
Topic Tracking: Courage 5
Topic Tracking: Nature 5

Book 2, Chapter 1

Frodo wakes in the house of Elrond in Rivendell. Gandalf is beside him and he tells the Hobbit that his friends are all safe. The wizard knows about most of their journey because the Hobbit has been talking in his sleep. He says "'It is no small thing to have come so far, and through such dangers, still bearing the Ring.'" Book 2, Chapter 1, pg. 266. Gandalf was delayed and could not guide them because he was held captive. Frodo thanks him for the help of Strider. Gandalf tells Frodo that Strider is of a race of kings; all rangers are of this race. Gandalf asks him how his shoulder feels and tells him that Elrond cured him of the cursed wound. A splinter of the dark blade had been in his flesh. The black riders had been trying to pierce his heart with their evil metal so he would turn into a zombie and follow them back to Mordor. When the river rushed forward at the call of Elrond, the riders' horses were swept away. Now that they have no horses, they will be slowed done for some time. Gandalf notices that Frodo has become lighter, almost translucent. He promises Frodo a feast when he is feeling up to it. He falls asleep thinking of Bilbo. When he wakes up, he looks at his thinner reflection in the mirror. Sam arrives and takes him to a banquet chattering on about what has been going on. Frodo is reunited with Pippin and Merry and they enter the banquet-hall of Elrond. The ageless elf is seated at the head of the table with Gandalf and Glorfindel at either side. Near the center of the table sits a beautiful female elf named Arwen, the daughter of Elrond. She is the loveliest creature Frodo has ever seen. The dwarf, Gloin, is sitting next to Frodo. He asks the hobbit why he has come to Rivendell and Frodo politely says that he doesn't think he is supposed to talk about it. Gloin speaks of dwarves and the situation under the mountain from where he comes. Seven of the thirteen dwarves who traveled with Bilbo are still living. Frodo says that he misses Bilbo greatly. After the feast he ends up talking to Gandalf. Elrond stands and speaks to a figure sleeping in the shadows. Bilbo stands up and looks at Frodo. He already knew that his nephew was present because he watched him while he was sleeping. Frodo sits with his uncle and they talk for a while. When Bilbo left the Shire, he traveled slowly towards Rivendell. After that, he went all the way to the other side of Mirkwood and came back again. He was surprised when he heard from Elrond how much trouble his Ring was causing and thought about going back to the Shire to retrieve it. Bilbo asks to see the ring and reaches when Frodo shows it to him. Frodo gets angry and thinks about striking Bilbo. Bilbo apologizes and asks to be told about the events of the Shire. Strider enters and Bilbo calls him over. Strider skipped the banquet to get news from Arwen's brothers. Bilbo sings him a song he has been working on. Frodo is left alone listening to the music.

"Then the enchantment became more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him, too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air about him, and it drenched and drowned him. Swiftly he sank under its shining weight into a deep realm of sleep." Book 2, Chapter 1, pg. 281

Bilbo chants a long song and an elf asks him to repeat it so they can listen more carefully. Strider helped him write part of it. Frodo apologizes for not listening because he fell to sleep. The two hobbits get up and Frodo sees Aragorn talking to Arwen. Bilbo and Frodo speak of things they saw in the world and after a while Frodo goes to sleep.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 7
Topic Tracking: Power 7

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.

Topic Tracking: Courage 6
Topic Tracking: Power 8

Book 2, Chapter 3

The hobbits hold a meeting of their own. Merry and Pippin wish they could go on the journey. Gandalf tells them that nothing has been decided yet. They have been talking for a while. Elrond is sending messengers out to discover who should go. Sam complains that they will be leaving when winter comes. Gandalf tells them to rest and says that he may go on the journey. This excites Frodo. Bilbo talks about the end of the book he has been writing and hopes it will be happy.

The days slip by and winter comes rolling in. Two months later all the messengers have returned with no sightings of riders in the region. It is decided that the expedition must begin soon. Elrond sets the number of the company at nine to match the nine black riders. He chooses the two hobbits, Gandalf, Legolas, Boromir, Aragorn, and Gimli, Gloin's son. He cannot decide who the other two will be until Gandalf supports the choice of Pippin and Merry. Aragorn's sword is re-forged and given a new name. Frodo spends his few remaining days in Rivendell with Bilbo. Bilbo gives him his sword and his coat of mail. Frodo accepts the gifts reluctantly and Bilbo tells him to take care of himself. On the seventh day after the council, they leave. They take few weapons. Gimli is well armed. Gandalf and Aragorn take swords. The hobbits have their swords from Tom Bombadil. Elrond gives them warm clothing and food. Sam apologizes to the pony for the journey on which they are about to embark. Elrond calls the group together and announces that they all go by choice and may stop whenever they choose. Bilbo wishes them luck, "I don't suppose you'll be able to keep a diary Frodo, my lad, but I shall expect a full account when you get back." Book 2, Chapter 3, pg. 336.

They cross the bridge and move off into the cold hills with Gandalf and Aragorn in the lead. For many days they march and the hobbits feel like they are making no progress. After two weeks the weather begins to change for the better. They approach Moria, the location of the dwarves' ancient home. Gimili is struck by the sight and happy to see it. Only Strider is anxious. He thinks that the region is terribly uneasy. Gandalf heeds his concern. They set watches for the night. Sam sees a patch of darkness in the wind. Soon immense flocks of crows sweep over them. Gandalf says that they are being watched and must keep moving. For the rest of the journey, they are to light no more fires. They hide during the day and travel at night. Aragorn guides them swiftly.

They march on for two more nights and come near the mountains. Because of Saruman, Aragorn is not sure whether or not they are safe, but they move forward nevertheless. They abandon the idea of taking a passage through the mountain. They climb up to a pass over it. As they labor to ascend the mountain, it begins to snow. Soon it is thick and all around them and Gandalf is surprised to have such weather so far south. The storm escalates into a blizzard and they must halt near some rocks where they can find shelter. Frodo feels very sleepy and Boromir worries that the hobbits are going to freeze. Gandalf passes around a vial of elfish brew that makes them feel stronger. They try to make a fire, but Gandalf is the only one who can manage it. It burns low through the night. Near dawn the snow seems to stop. They look for wood. Gandalf and Aragorn realize that they are not going to be able to make it over the mountain and they look for a way down through the snow. They find a large drift and cut their way through it. When they return, they pick up the hobbits and carry them down through the snow. The crows circle around as they march away from the peak of the mountain.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 8
Topic Tracking: Nature 6

Book 2, Chapter 4

"It was evening and the grey light was again waning fast, when they halted for the night. They were very weary. The mountains were veiled in deepening dusk, and the wind was cold. Gandalf spared them one more mouthful of the miruvor of Rivendell. When they had eaten some food he called a council." Book 2, Chapter 4, pg. 352

They discuss returning to Rivendell but this is not really an option. Gandalf says that there is another way under the mountain through Moria. Boromir thinks that they should go south to Rohan. Gandalf says that is not safe and decides they should go under the mountain. Gimili says that he will follow that path. Both Aragorn and Gandalf have entered there before. Boromir will only go if the vote favors it. Aragorn hears wargs howling in the wind. They decide to go under the mountain in the morning. Pippin regrets going on the journey and Sam tells him to be brave. They climb to a shelter and make a fire. The wargs gather near them. Legolas kills one with his bow and they run away. Later they return in greater numbers. Gandalf chants for them to be gone. They attack from all sides and everyone starts to fight them. Gandalf seems to grow in the firelight. He uses a burning branch and makes it explode in lightning-like fire. They beat the wolves away. At dawn there are no bodies lying near their camp. Gandalf urges the company to hasten. There is no snow and the sky is clear. Gandalf says that they must make the doors under the mountain before dusk. He cannot seem to find the right path to the mines because the landscape has changes since he was last here. Gimli finds a stream and then the old road to follow. They find the steps and go up a steep incline. At the top, they look down into what used to be a valley and see that it is filled with water. They must walk around the ridge to the northeast side. Gandalf finds the doorway between two great trees. It is engraved with elfish writing; Frodo cannot understand it. It bears symbols of elves and dwarves together. Elves and Dwarves used to be friends but are no longer (for an almost forgotten reason). Gimli and Legolas argue about which race was at fault. Gandalf tells Sam that the pony will have to be left behind. With the wargs about, Sam is unwilling to allow this. Gandalf whispers to it and assures Sam that it will find its way back to Rivendell.

The doors under the mountain will only open for a password. Gandalf cannot quite remember it. The group begins to mutter and Gandalf explains that the last time he went through Moria it was from the other direction. He tries many words in many languages but cannot seem to get the door open. The rest of the group begins to get more frustrated until suddenly Gandalf laughs, "'I have it, of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles, when you see the answer.'" Book 2, Chapter 4, pg. 367. He speaks the elf word for friend and the door opens. They step into the dimness and Sam weeps as the pony rushes away with Gandalf's bidding. The waters of the lake begin to seethe and a long dark tentacle strikes out and grabs Frodo's leg. The others rush into the caverns and Sam slashes at the limb, clutching Frodo. Gandalf says a word and the doors close. Outside rocks tumble and it is closed for good. The wizard makes a light with the end of his staff and they begin to march.

After a while they stop and eat. Gandalf thinks it is forty miles to the other side. He walks ahead with his glowing staff and they follow behind him. Gimli is amazed by the tall and intricate passages. When Gandalf is in doubt of which way to go, Aragorn tells them to be brave and trust their capable guide. The company is mostly silent as they move through the darkness. Heading east, they come to a three-way fork in the tunnel and Gandalf decides that they should stop for the night. There is an empty well in the middle of the chamber. One of the hobbits almost fell into it because they rushed into the open chamber. Gandalf lies awake while the rest of the crew grabs a little sleep. He considers whether they should take the passage up, down or straight on the same level. He wakes them six hours later and says they must be on their way. He tells them that they have been going down for most of their journey so it is time for them to start going up. They take the passage that angles upward and march for eight hours. When they are about to stop, the left wall disappears into a black void. Gandalf flashes light into what is an enormous empty hall with pillars all around it. Gandalf suspects that light will creep in there in the morning.

They stop to sleep and Sam wonders how many dwarves used to live there. Gimli chants a song of the great days in Moria. The dwarves want to return to it for the precious metal Mithril. This was the original source of the dwarves' wealth. Ironically, it was also the source of their downfall. They mined too deep and released something evil and hideous. When they were producing mithril everyone wanted it. Elves love it. Sauron covets it. Bilbo's mithril coverlet was worth more than all of the wealth in the Shire put together. No one knows that Frodo is wearing such an expensive item. He dreams of days when he had heard of none of this: not the ring, Mordor, or mithril. Most of the company falls to sleep. Gandalf expects it to be difficult for them to find their way to the door. In the morning they get up and the chamber is dimly lit by natural light. They enter another chamber and find the tomb of Balin, the dwarf who led an expedition trying to refound Moria.

Topic Tracking: Nature 7
Topic Tracking: Courage 7
Topic Tracking: Power 9

Book 2, Chapter 5

"The Company of the Ring stood silent beside the tomb of Balin. Frodo thought of Bilbo and his long friendship with the dwarf, and of Balin's visit to the Shire long ago. In that dusty chamber in the mountains it seemed a thousand years ago and on the other side of the world." Book 2, Chapter 5, pg. 381

They search around to find a hint of Balin's fate. There are weapons lying around and some bones. They find orc weapons. They also find a dusty book: a sort of journal of the settlement. It tells of the dwarves' ongoing struggle with orcs. The death of Balin is described. He died fighting orcs. The last page says that they are trapped and cannot get out. From the book, Gandalf discerns how to get to the main gate and exit the mines. There is a great noise and then the sound of orc drums. Gandalf peers into the tunnels and sees oncoming orcs and trolls. They shut and bar the western door. The door is broken down after repeated beating. They make a brief stand and fight bravely, but Gandalf yells for them to retreat and exit through the eastern door. Once they get out, he yells for them to keep going and let him hold the door alone. They pause, but he continues to yell. They rush on into the narrow tunnel. The sound of pursuit stops. They ask Gandalf what he did. He heard something enter the chamber and the walls within collapsed. He feared the sound. Frodo was hit with a spear and carried out of the chamber by Aragorn. He speaks and says that he is fine, relieving their fears. They continue into the tunnel and see a light forming ahead. It begins to get hot in the tunnel and Gandalf thinks that the lower levels of Moria are on fire. They come to the final bridge and his fears are realized. It is narrow and has no rail. It must be crossed in single file. Arrows fall around them as they begin to cross. The orcs are nearing them again. A creature appears ahead of them with a sword of fire. It is the Balrog, the evil creature that the dwarves released when they mined too deeply. They fly over the bridge and Gandalf turns to face the Balrog. He speaks to it and tells it that it cannot pass. He breaks his staff on the bridge and the bridge begins to crack. The creature slips and begins to fall into the burning depths, but it grabs Gandalf with one of its limbs. Gandalf's strength holds out for a moment and he urges his companions to flee as quickly as possible. The others were around a corner and could not see this, but Boromir and Aragorn watched Gandalf slip away. They turned and ran yelling for the others to move more quickly. They hasten down the corridors and make their way out the eastern gates. Once out, the drum beats fade away until there is silence. It is the middle of the day. The sun is shining. They collapse to the ground and weep.

Topic Tracking: Courage 8

Book 2, Chapter 6

Aragorn warns them that it would be perilous for them to remain too long outside the gates of Moria. He laments the loss of Gandalf. Mountains dominate the landscape. They follow the broken roadway and Aragorn thinks, "'The orcs will not, maybe, come out till after dusk, but we must be far away before nightfall.'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 396. Gimli shows them the beautiful lake that graces the eastern entrance to Moria. It reflects all of the mountains around it. They turn and begin to travel quickly. They follow a river that runs into a valley where the woods of Lothlorien lie. This is where they might find safety. They travel too quickly and the hobbits begin to fall behind. Aragorn notices this and encourages the hobbits to hurry. After a while, they stop. Sam is wounded, but his wound is not poisoned and it will heal. Aragorn wants to look at Frodo's wounds and he makes him take off his shirt; this is the first time that anyone in the company sees that Frodo is wearing Bilbo's mithril mail. Aragorn laughs when he sees that Frodo is only bruised. He encourages the Hobbit to put the mail back on and never take it off.

The night falls and there are many stars but no moon. Frodo thinks he sees light and hears feet as they keep moving. Soon they come to the edge of Lothlorien. Legolas does not know whether elves still inhabit the fair forest. Aragorn thinks that they should keep going until they find a safe place to stop. Boromir does not want to enter Lothlorien because the men tell tales of dangerous and wicked things happening in the forest. Aragorn tells him that it is less perilous than going around it, and it is likely that the orcs will hesitate to enter it. After a mile, they come to a stream and wade across it. They rest and Legolas tells them stories of the region. There was a maiden who used to live there. When the dwarves awakened evil in the nearby mountains, the elves were filled with sorrow. The maiden had a house in the trees. Aragorn decides that they should rest for the night in the trees to avoid anything on the ground. Legolas swings up on a branch and a voice hails him from the top. There are elves in the tree who want Legolas to climb up and speak with them. They also want him to bring Frodo up with them. A ladder is let down and the Hobbit climbs up. The elves tell him that they rarely speak to outsiders. They did not know that hobbits still existed on the earth. Frodo tells them that there are others below; the elves are not happy that there is a dwarf among the crowd. Frodo convinces them to let them all up no matter what race they are.

They climb up and the elves decide to give them shelter for the night. The hobbits are to stay in the first tree and the others are to stay in one that is very near. The name of the elf that speaks to them and is most helpful is Haldir. The elves feed them but the hobbits, who are naturally afraid of heights and avoid them at all costs, have much trouble sleeping. Frodo lies awake and looks at the stars. Later, he wakes from a brief sleep to gaze at the sickle moon. He hears a rustle below and then the sounds of many orcs. An elf tells him to lie still and be quiet. They hear something scurry up the tree and Haldir cannot recognize it. It flees as soon as the branches shake, sensing hostile elves. The elves have warned their countrymen and they are setting an ambush that will hopefully stop the orcs.

In the morning they leave early and walk over the beautiful landscape of the enchanted forest. They come to a stream without a bridge and when they ask how they are to cross it the elves set up three ropes across the river to stand on and guide yourself across. Sam has the most trouble balancing. They enter a sacred area of the forest and the elves want to blindfold Gimli because he is a dwarf and this region is not to be seen by hostile outsiders. He does not like this at all:

"The agreement was made without my consent...I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. And I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy. Neither have we done harm to the elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any of my other companions'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 410

The elf tells him that it is the law and Gimli puts his hand on his ax hilt. Aragorn speaks up and demands that they all be blindfolded if one of them must be. Legolas speaks up and says it is not right for him to be blindfolded, but he agrees to avoid any further trouble. Haldir speaks of the dangers surrounding Lothlorien on all sides. The influence of Sauron is everywhere and the new evil from Saruman is affecting regions that were once free from the dark lord's power. Merry speaks of the Grey Havens to the west of the Shire. Haldir asks if he has ever seen them and Merry admits that he has not. Haldir does not think that the shadow of Mordor will ever recede.

They walk slowly at first as they hear and smell Lothlorien. They march all day and rest at night. In the morning, they run into a band of elves who were at the ambush of the orcs. Many were killed. One strange creature escaped through their ranks. A messenger also tells them that all blindfolds on their guests are to be removed, including Gimli. They rest at a holy place, a hill with crowns of trees and golden star-shaped flowers. Frodo stares in wonder, taking in the sight. He tells Sam that he feels as if he were inside the most beautiful song ever. Haldir asks him if he wants to climb the hill and look from its top. They ascend into the circle of trees. Near the top, they step onto a platform and see a hill of mighty trees off in the distance. This is the green city, the capital of Lothlorien. From this vantage point, they can see into southern Mirkwood. Haldir speaks of the evil that once dwelled there, Sauron.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 9
Topic Tracking: Nature 8

Book 2, Chapter 7

The sun sinks behind the mountain range and sheds a shadow over the forest. The party moves closer to the hill covered with giant trees. This is the city of Lady Galadriel. They go around to the southern end of the city and come to a white bridge. The gates of the city open to them and they enter. Once inside, they see no elves moving around anywhere. They can only hear voices. On the south side of a wide lawn there is the largest tree, where Lady Galadriel dwells with Celeborn. They climb the ladder into this tree loft and find a platform bigger than a large house. There is a royal hall and the chamber is walled with silver and roofed with gold. Celeborn and Galadriel sit next to each other dressed in white. Celeborn asks Frodo to sit next to him and welcomes Aragorn back to the palace. He names each member of the party and welcomes them personally. Galadriel asks after Gandalf the Grey. Aragorn tells them the story of the wizard's demise and the elves all lament. He recounts the entire tale. Celeborn calls the Balrog one of the greatest evils in the world. He blames the dwarves for releasing it from its slumber and allowing it to terrorize their part of the world. Galadriel says that Gandalf's death was for a purpose and chastises her husband for being so quick to blame the evil on the dwarves. They did not create the Balrog. She says she understands the dwarves' need to see their homeland and Gimli bows to her. Celeborn apologizes for his speech.

Galadriel recalls when she first summoned the council to expel Sauron from Mirkwood. She had wanted Gandalf to be in charge, not Saruman. She tells the company not ever to waver from their quest because it is supremely important. She does say that they should sleep easy for the night because they are safe in Lothlorien. The company sleeps on the ground below the trees in a place prepared by the elves. Seeing the beautiful Lady made the hobbits want to return to the Shire and lead a peaceful life with families of their own. The Lady looks at Frodo for awhile with an inquisitive face, but Frodo refuses to share the content of his mind. Boromir says that he does not trust Galadriel and Aragorn warns him not to speak ill of the Lady. He assures him that if anything in the entire world can be trusted, her word can be. One by one they slip off to sleep. For many days they linger in the beauty of Lothlorien. Legolas is not frequently with the group. He is very interested in speaking and meeting with his elf brothers. He takes Gimli with him almost all the time and the two become unlikely friends. The companions speak remorsefully of Gandalf and the Elves sing a sorrowful song in his honor. Frodo is inspired by this and thinks of writing a song to commemorate Gandalf's heroic fall in Moria.

Frodo realizes that they must soon leave the city and forest if they are ever to accomplish their task. Sam has a better opinion of elves than he used to. Frodo says, "'I don't miss Gandalf's fireworks, but his bushy eyebrows, and his quick temper, and his voice.'" Book 2, Chapter 7, pg. 426. As they speak, Galadriel appears and beckons for them. They follow her into a green grove and find a basin of silver water. She tells them that this is her mirror and when someone peers into it they see some truth of the past, present, or future. Everyone sees something different. Frodo is hesitant to look, but Sam wants to look right away. When he first looks in he sees only stars, but it begins to change. The next image is of the Shire. Someone is cutting down trees and overturning houses. He sees his grandfather struggling with someone. Sam immediately wants to go home, but Galadriel tells him that he must stay with Frodo.

Frodo hesitates before he looks. He peers within and sees what seems to be the shape of Gandalf. The wizard is wearing a white cloak instead of his usual grey. He also holds a new white staff in his hand. After this, he sees a white fortress with seven towers. The fortress in consumed in a battle with evil forces. The mirror goes black and a red giant eye appears within. It begins to grow larger and Frodo thinks it is watching him. He begins to panic, but the vision fades. Galadriel assures him that the dark lord cannot reach him through the mirror. She knows what he has seen and she bids him to look at her hand. She bears one of the elf rings of power. She knows that her power to protect Lothlorien, even Lothlorien's power to be a lush and beautiful city, may disappear if the ring of power is destroyed. She has resigned herself to this because Sauron must be defeated. Frodo offers her the great ring to wield. She laughs and says she has longed for the ring for a great time and wished to take it. As she speaks, she seems taller and more intimidating, but the change suddenly stops. She says that she will not succumb to her desire to have the ring. She tells Frodo that his senses have become sharper because of the long time he has been bearing the ring. Sam cannot see the ring on her finger. It has become part of her. Even though it is a good power, she is now one with the ring.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 10
Topic Tracking: Power 10

Book 2, Chapter 8

Celeborn tells them that they must decide what course of action to take next. The group is at a loss without Gandalf to lead them. Boromir thinks that they should head directly for Minas Tirith and that the entire group should go to Gondor and gather their thoughts before striking into the heart of Mordor. Aragorn does not agree and they are at a stalemate. Celeborn says that wherever they go they must pass down the river before they need to make a decision. He furnishes them with the boats to do so. Sam is not happy about having to travel by boat because he fears the water as much as he fears heights. They are to leave the next day.

The company leaves and holds their own council. Aragorn had planned to travel with Boromir until Gandalf fell in the mines of Moria. Boromir still thinks that they should all go to Minas Tirith and approach Mordor with stronger arms and men. Frodo doesn't trust Boromir and Aragorn thinks it is folly to approach Mordor with arms. The point of their expedition was to enter Mordor in relative secrecy. Frodo thinks that Boromir has too great an interest in the ring. The elves supply them with a great amount of bread like food that is very filling. They warn them that they need to only eat a little at a time to keep up their strength. They also provide them with new hoods and cloaks. Their color is indiscernible and it changes with the light and the surroundings. Galadriel's maidens made the garments.

An elf returns with news from the mountains. The passes there have become impassable because of the weather and the orcs that are everywhere. Sam could not return to the Shire even if he wanted to. They walk silently out of the city and make their way slowly to the river. Near the river, the forest and its giant trees end. There are small boats in the water that have been outfitted with thin and resilient rope. The elves tell them that these are boats that will not founder no matter how much they fill them. Legolas and Gimli share one boat, Aragorn, Frodo, and Sam another, and the last is filled by Boromir, Merry, and Pippin. Sam is clearly the least comfortable of the entire group. They begin to move down the river and through the last remnants of the forest. A large boat, shaped like a swan, comes down the river and pulls up near the shore. They stop to see Celeborn and Galadriel. Galadriel sings of calm waters and beautiful forests. They bid the group to have a final farewell meal at a small portion of land. Celeborn advises them of the landscape that they will encounter as they move down river:

"'As you go down the water.. You will find that the trees will fail, and you will come to a barren country. there the River flows in stony vales amid high moors, until at last after many leagues it comes to the tall island of the Tindrock, that we call Tol Brandir. There it casts its arms about the steep shores of the isle, and falls then with a great noise and smoke...'" Book 2, Chapter 8, pg. 440

Boromir and any who go to Gondor should split in the west after the river turns to marshes. Galadriel fills one cup with white mead and they all pass it around. She presents everyone in the company with a gift. To Aragorn she gives a magnificent jeweled sheath for his sword. It is enchanted and will not let anything drawn from it break. She asks him if there is anything else he would like, and he answers cryptically that what he wants he cannot have. She also gives him a stone on a brooch to keep around his chest and lighten his heart. Boromir receives a belt of gold, and silver belts are given to Pippin and Merry. Legolas receives a fine bow with arrows. Sam is given a wooden box. It is filled with magic seeds that, when planted, will grow into a beautiful garden. She asks Gimli what he would like. Gimli speaks eloquently and says that he wants only a strand of her hair to stand as a pledge for peace between the elves and the dwarves. Many are shocked that he would think of such a request, but she smiles and gives him three strands of hair. To Frodo, she gives a crystal vial filled with magic light. He bows to her. All the boats are readied to depart again and the two parties set off in their separate ways. They pass into the currents of the river and move quickly downstream as the elves sing; the song rings in Frodo's head as he translates it for himself. Gimli tells Legolas that he has just seen the most beautiful thing on the planet. He laments that such a land may be destroyed with the ring. Legolas tells him it will grow on in his memory. Gimli thinks that memory is too cold and flat. The river current flows rapidly through the day. There are no sounds of birds in the breezeless sky. They pull onto land to sleep for the night.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 11

Book 2, Chapter 9

Sam awakes Frodo. They start pretty quickly in the morning. They follow the current of the stream and do not row to conserve their strength. They continue in this fashion and leave early every day. There is no sign of the enemy for many days. The banks are treeless and they can see for miles on either side. A phalanx of black swans flies over them. They look over the fields of Rohan where horses are raised. The absence of trees makes Sam nervous. This insecurity spreads throughout the band over the next few days. The members of the company are silent. The notion of boats still makes Sam very uncomfortable, although it does not bother Pippin or Merry who grew up near rivers. He keeps thinking that he sees a log with eyes tagging along in the current with them. It seems to have the shape of a creature rather than a tree trunk. Frodo is worried that it is the same creature that was in Lothlorien. Sam suggests that it might be Gollum. Frodo tells him that this is exactly what he feared. He expected the creature to come after its lost ring since he heard that it had escaped the prisons in Mirkwood. Sam thinks that they should watch themselves much more carefully. They decide not to worry the others with this fear.

Sam wakes Frodo in the night; they see two pale eyes in the darkness and then hear splashing. Aragorn wakes when Frodo draws his sword. Frodo tells Aragorn what has been going on, but Aragorn already knew that the creature was following them. "'We shall have to try going faster tomorrow, you lie down and I will keep watch for what is left of the night.'" Book 2, Chapter 9, pg. 453. For the rest of the voyage, they see no sign of Gollum.

They travel for another seven days under an overcast sky. The next day, the landscape begins to change drastically. It becomes rocky and barren. They are beginning to enter the hill country. Legolas spots an eagle hunting in the sky far from his normal terrain and they worry more. Aragorn thinks they should start traveling by night. They keep a sharp watch while floating and resting. Sam sees the dark shape of rocks up ahead and they struggle to take the boats out of the water. Everyone must work at the oars to pull the ships to the land and avoid the crushing rapids. As they paddle, they hear the twang of bowstrings and arrows begin to fall around them. They look to the shore and see orcs. They must turn back into the water. Amid the shower of arrows, they paddle furiously against the current and make the other side of the river. Dread falls over the company and a black shape flies over them. Legolas shoots into the sky and it falls into the gloom on the other side of the river. They find a place to stay until dawn and huddle together in the boats. Aragorn warns them to keep their weapons at hand. Sam mentions that the moon is still a sickle, but Frodo says that he can remember no moon in the elf city.

The night passes silently and there is a fog over the river when morning comes. Boromir thinks that they should head over land and go straight to Minas Tirith instead of going down river. Aragorn tells him that going down river is the only way to get to Minas Tirith. He relents because he knows that Frodo will do what Aragorn says. They prepare to go and Aragorn and Legolas go ahead to look at the rapids. They tell the group that if they do not return in one day, they should choose a new leader and proceed without them. Aragorn thinks there might be a portage on the shore that will make passing the rapids easier. Boromir says that the rapids are perilous; Aragorn repeats that every way is perilous.

The pair returns by midday and announces that they will have to carry the boats and their contents for a half-mile around a difficult portion of the river. They labor doing this and come slowly to the portage way. For some time they follow it and come to a place where the river passes between two cliffs and can no longer be navigated. They decide to rest for one more night. Nothing happens during the evening except for a light rain. It stops by the time they wake. Once they get further down river, Frodo sees two great rocks on either side. They pass through these pillars and Sam voices his fear. Aragorn speaks proudly that he should not fear because these pillars bear the signs of his ancestors. He thinks of Gandalf and wishes that he were with them. They go further down the river and soon come to a dark section:

"The chasm was long and dark, and filled with the noise of wind and rushing water and echoing stone. It bent somewhat towards the west so that at first all was dark ahead; but soon Frodo saw a tall gap of light before him, ever growing. Swiftly it drew near, and suddenly the boats shot through, out into a wide clear light." Book 2, Chapter 9, pg. 463

The sun is low in the sky, and when they see a mountain in the distance where Aragorn's line used to sit, they stop. They have come to a place where they must decide whether to go eats or west: Mordor or Gondor.

Topic Tracking: Nature 9
Topic Tracking: Courage 10

Book 2, Chapter 10

They rest for the night and Aragorn sits awake with the watch, worried that the enemy is near. Frodo draws his sword and its faint glow tells him that orcs are somewhere about. This disheartens Aragorn. They eat breakfast and then have a council to decide what to do next. The burden of the decision falls on Frodo, the bearer of the ring. He asks the group for an hour longer to make his decision. Sam thinks that it is an easy answer. Frodo walks away from the rest.

Boromir follows him. He comes up to the hobbit and asks if he can talk to him alone. He thinks that whenever they talk as a group they can never come to any sort of an agreement because there is always an argument. He is sure that together they can find wisdom. He tells Frodo that they should not fear the ring so much. He thinks it can be used for good as well as evil. He tells Frodo that the ring can corrupt elves and dwarves and wizards, but men are stronger, and will be able to resist it. If he had the ring, he could command a great army and drive away the hosts of Mordor. His mannerisms become more eager as he speaks more loudly and says that it is folly to destroy something as powerful as the ring. He tells Frodo that he should go to Gondor and puts his hand on the Hobbit's shoulder. Frodo says he will not give him the ring and Boromir demands it. He tells him that he could take it if he wanted to. Frodo slips on the ring and disappears. Boromir screams. Frodo runs away and the ring makes him see the land around him much more clearly. For a great distance he can see all round. He looks upon Minas Tirith and knows that the dark lord is stronger than Gondor. He feels the eye of Sauron looking for him. A power struggles within to control him and he slips off the ring. There is silence. The way he must go is clear. He decides he must travel alone into Mordor. He puts the ring back on.

Aragorn is addressing the others and debating where they should go when Boromir returns. They hadn't noticed that he had followed the Hobbit. Sam knows that Frodo isn't all right when Boromir returns. Aragorn calls out for the Hobbit and asks Boromir what happened. He says "'I grew angry and he left me. He vanished.'" Book 2, Chapter 10, pg. 475. He omits that he reached for the ring. Aragorn doubts his story but is more concerned about Frodo. They decide to split up and search for him. Sam thinks of where he will find Frodo and looks near the boats. He falls in the water on purpose and Frodo pulls him out. He tells Sam that he is going into Mordor and warns him not to be a hindrance. Sam tells him that he is going with him and Frodo relents. He is happy not to enter alone. They poke holes in the other boats and take theirs downstream. They come to land after a great amount of time and start on a path that will take them into the land of the shadow.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 12
Topic Tracking: Power 11
Topic Tracking: Courage 10