About the Book

Book Protagonist: Frodo Baggins
Publication Date: 1954
Genre: Classic, Fantasy, Teen and Young Adult

Plot Summary

The Fellowship of the Ring

By J.R.R. Tolkien

'The Fellowship of the Ring' by J.R.R. Tolkien chronicles the journey of a disparate group of companions as they journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring and break the power of the Dark Lord Sauron.

The Fellowship of the Ring‘ by J.R.R. Tolkien is considered one of the most well-written books in fantasy fiction. The events of this book begin in The Shire when the Wizard Gandalf discovered that Bilbo’s Ring, now passed to his cousin Frodo, was Sauron’s One Ring, which had been lost for centuries. Frodo must journey to the house of the Elven lord Elrond in Rivendell to present the Ring. In the Council of Elrond, Frodo volunteers to take the One Ring to Mordor to destroy it, and the eight representatives of the races of Middle-earth, and of the Wise, volunteer to aid him in his quest.

‘Spoiler-free’ Summary of The Fellowship of the Ring

After realizing the identity and history of Bilbo’s Ring and the grave danger it poses to the free peoples of Middle-earth, Gandalf sends Frodo to Rivendell. Dark creatures seek the Ring, and the road is perilous, but Frodo is joined by his loyal friends Sam, Merry, and Pippin.

The Ring must be destroyed to prevent Sauron from regaining his former power, and Frodo volunteers to take on the burden of the Ring till it is thrown into the fires of Mount Doom, and a noble group of companions rose to support him, including the Elf prince Legolas, the Dwarf warrior Gimli, the Northern Ranger Aragorn, Boromir the captain of Gondor, and Gandalf the Grey. Together, they form the Fellowship of the Ring, united in their mission to protect Frodo and ensure the destruction of the One Ring.

As the Fellowship faces numerous challenges and encounters dangerous creatures, they must overcome personal trials, forge alliances, and confront the forces of evil that seek to claim the Ring. Their journey becomes a test of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice, setting the stage for the epic battle between good and evil that will determine the fate of Middle-earth.

Full Plot Summary of The Fellowship of the Ring

Warning – This article contains important details and spoilers

When the eccentric Hobbit Bilbo Baggins leaves his home in the Shire, he gives his greatest treasure to his heir Frodo: a magic ring that makes its wearer invisible. Because of the difficulty Bilbo has in giving the ring away, his friend the wizard Gandalf the Grey suspects that the ring is more than it appears. Some years later, Gandalf reveals to Frodo that the ring is, in fact, the One Ring, forged by Sauron the Dark Lord thousands of years before to enable him to dominate and enslave all of Middle-earth. Gandalf tells Frodo that the Ring must be destroyed to defeat Sauron’s evil, but he also warns him that the Enemy has learned of the Ring’s whereabouts from the creature Gollum and will seek to find it and kill its bearer. Despite the danger and hopelessness of the quest, Frodo accepts the burden and resolves to take the Ring to the safety of the Elven stronghold of Rivendell.

Frodo sets off with three companions, fellow Hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam. After a series of close calls and misadventures, where they are saved only by the timely intervention of the mysterious Tom Bombadil, they reach the town of Bree. The innkeeper delivers a letter from Gandalf recommending a weather-beaten Ranger known as Strider as their guide to the Elves. Strider leads them cross-country, hoping to avoid the Black Riders who are watching the Road, but they are attacked near the ancient watchtower of Weathertop. Frodo puts on the Ring, revealing himself to the Black Riders. Their leader, the Witch King of Angmar, stabs him with a morgul blade, and he nearly dies as they race for Rivendell. The Nine Riders try to force Frodo’s surrender, but the High Elf Glorfindel calls up a flood that swept them away, destroying their horses even as Frodo collapses into unconsciousness.

Frodo wakes in Rivendell, where the wise Elrond has worked his healing magic to save him. Frodo discovers that Bilbo, now grown very old, lives with the Elves, and they reunite happily. Soon Elrond calls a council of the representatives of Elves, Men, and Dwarves to respond to the growing darkness in the world. The council reviews the history of the Ring, from its forging to the recent discovery that Frodo’s ring is the One. Although Boromir, the representative of Gondor, the greatest kingdom of Men, argues that the Ring should be used as a weapon against the Enemy, the Council resolves to destroy it. Someone must throw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was first created, deep in Mordor, Sauron’s country. Frodo accepts the task of carrying the Ring to Mordor, and a company is selected to help him on the quest: the wizard Gandalf; the Men Boromir and Aragorn (known to Frodo as Strider but revealed during the Council as the true king of Gondor); Legolas the Elf; Gimli the Dwarf; and Frodo’s own Hobbit kin, Merry, Pippin, and Sam. They are called the Fellowship of the Ring.

The company considers several paths through the mountains, but the roads are all watched by agents of the enemy. A new threat also arose in the form of since Saruman the White, once the wisest of the wizards, has allied himself with the Enemy and seeks the Ring for himself. When they attempt to cross the pass of Caradhras, an unnatural snowstorm nearly buries them, and they are forced to turn back. Finally, they resolve to brave the perilous Dwarven Mines of Moria, now overrun by goblins and even darker creatures. When Pippin mistakenly alerts the goblins of their presence, they are attacked by orcs and a Balrog, a terrible demon of fire. Gandalf holds it back so that the party can escape, but then he falls with it into a chasm.

Devastated by the loss of Gandalf, the Fellowship flees to the Elven wood of Lothlórien. Lady Galadriel shelters them for a while and offers wise counsel. Frodo offers the Ring to Galadriel, but she resists the temptation. When the Fellowship leaves, she gives them boats to continue their journey down the river Anduin, as well as more powerful gifts. Orcs attack them while traveling downriver, and they feel the presence of a winged Black Rider overhead, but they make it to the lawn of Parth Galen unharmed. There, they must decide whether to turn for Mordor and Mount Doom or to go to Minas Tirith, Boromir’s home in Gondor. Boromir tries to force the issue by seizing the Ring from Frodo, but the Hobbit escapes. Frodo resolves to set out alone for Mordor, reluctantly accepting Sam’s steadfast refusal to stay behind.


How did Gandalf discover that Bilbo’s ring was the One Ring?

Gandalf had initially had suspicious of Bilbo’s ring because of the negative influence it had on the Hobbit, but he became alarmed after Bilbo called it his ‘precious.’ After he left the Shire, Gandalf traveled far and wide to find out all he could about Sauron’s One Ring. When he came back to the Shire, he asked Frodo to place the ring in his fireplace, which revealed the Elven script on the ring, confirming Gandalf’s suspicions.

Why was Sauron unable to influence the three Elven Rings?

While Sauron, who took on a fair guise to deceive the Elves, and the High Elf Cerebrimbor worked together to create the Great Rings, the Elf never fully trusted him. So unknown to Sauron, Celebrimbor created the Three Elven Rings and then hid them from him. Since Sauron never touched the Three Rings or took part in their making, he could never influence or corrupt them.

What is a morgul blade?

A morgul blade is a bladed weapon used by the servants of Sauron upon which lies an evil enchantment. Morgul weapons are very powerful weapons that tend to poison and kill their targets, even from non-fatal wounds. Some of them, like the Witch King’s knife, could turn a victim into a wraith.

Why did Frodo leave the Fellowship?

After Boromir fell to the tempting influences of the Ring at Amon Hen, Frodo realized the danger the Ring posed to other members of the Fellowship. He knew he had to go on the rest of the journey alone or risk breaking up the Fellowship.

About Michael Chude
Michael Chude graduated with a BSc in Parasitology and Entomology. He has years of experience writing flash fiction and dissecting books with his book club members. He is also an avid reader who loves great stories and breathtaking world-building.
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