Fellowship of the Ring

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The Fellowship of the Ring is the group comprised Frodo Baggins and the eight companions chosen by the Council of Elrond to help him destroy the One Ring in J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings.[1] The nine are set against the nine evil riders of Mordor who are pursuing the ring. Members include Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin (Pippin) Took, Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck, Gandalf, Aragorn the Ranger, Boromir of Gondor, Legolas the Elf, and Gimli the Dwarf.

Spoiler warning
This article contains important plot information

Gathering of the Fellowship

The four hobbits of the Shire (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin) had lived peaceful, comfortable and sheltered lives. Gimli, the dwarf, lived in wealth in the Lonely Mountain. Legolas, the elf, had lived as a prince in Mirkwood. Boromir, of Gondor, lived as a soldier prince in his sieged land. Gandalf the Wizard was often busy with adventures, wars and quests. Aragorn lived a wanderer's life in the wild.

It all changed when Sauron began to hunt for the ring of power and prepared for war. Dwarves, Elves and Men found themselves all alike at war. Frodo had received the ring from his uncle, Bilbo. When Gandalf told him of Sauron's use of it he left with Sam for Rivendell. (Gandalf meanwhile was captured by the traitorous Saruman.) Pippin accompanied Frodo and Sam out of the Shire, meeting Merry who went on ahead to prepare a house. They had many adventures across plain and through forest chased by mysterious black riders. In a hamlet called Bree, they met Strider who revealed as Aragorn led them to Rivendell (with much trouble from the black riders).[2]

The Council of Elrond

It was at the Council of Elrond that the Fellowship was formed. Frodo agreed to take the ring to Mordor and Sam insisted on accompanying him. Legolas, Boromir, Gimli, and Aragorn were all chosen to represent the "Free Folk" of the world. Gandalf was chosen because it was to be "his last task." Pippin and Merry were reluctantly accepted by Elrond (at Gandalf's advice).[3]

The Journeys of the Fellowship

The fellowship travelled south to pass through the Misty Mountains. They attempted the Pass of Cahadras but failed to succeed. They chose, reluctantly, to take the road through the Mines of Moria. They fought wolves and goblins along the way. Gandalf was taken by an evil creature of fire and flame called a Balrog. They rested for a time in Lothlorien. They then rowed in boats down the river, Anduin, pursued by evil orcs. The journey down the river ended at a hill called Amon Hen.

The Breaking of the Fellowship

Boromir, thinking the Ring could be used in defense of his city, tried to get it from Frodo, finally resorting to force when persuasion failed. Frodo ran away determined to go alone to Mordor. Orcs attacked the Fellowship on Amon Hen, mortally wounding Boromir and abducting Pippin and Merry whom their masters secretly hoped might have the Ring. Before Boromir died he told the Fellowship of the hobbits' disappearance. Sam alone found Frodo and went on with him to Mordor. Aragorn recognized that the Fellowship's usefulness to the Ringbearer had ended, and led its remains to find the captured hobbits.

The Fellowship in the War of the Ring

The orcs who had captured Merry and Pippin where actually found and killed by riders of Rohan in a fierce battle. The hobbits escaped into Fangorn Forest during the battle. There they met Treebeard, an Ent, with whom they stayed for a time. The pursuers met the riders of Rohan and learned of the battle. They went into Fangorn where they met Gandalf, returned from death in White. They then realized that Rohan was about to be invaded by orcs and headed for its capital, Edoras. Gandalf roused the King of Rohan to bring up an army against the invaders. While Gandalf headed for more support, the others battled at the fortress of Helm's Deep. The battle was won by the heroes and they went to Isengard, where the army's leader, Saruman, lived. They found the place flooded by the Ents with Merry and Pipin enjoying themselves. Then Gandalf left with Pippin for Gondor to give them aide against the dark Lord, Sauron. He and Pippin endured the siege of Gondor for many a day. Meanwhile, the others brought up armies to give aide to Gondor. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was won with great cost. They finally made a march on Mordor.[4]

The Journeys of the Ring

Frodo and Sam instead went for Mordor. Shortly afterwards they met Gollum, who led them across the wilds into Mordor. In the end though he betrayed them causing Frodo to be captured by evil orcs. Sam rescued Frodo from the orcs and they then traveled with their last strength to Mount Doom. At the end the Ring and Gollum were destroyed.

The Passing of the Fellowship

The Fellowship rejoiced in reunion at the field of Cormallen for a time. Aragorn was then crowned King of Gondor and wedded to Arwen, daughter of Elrond. The hobbits met one last fight in their homeland. They defeated their old enemy Saruman in the battle of Bywater. A few years afterwards Frodo and Gandalf left by the Grey Havens. The rest of the Fellowship lived out it's days in offices and wanderings; some died in Middle-earth, but tradition holds that Sam, Legolas, and Gimli followed Frodo and Gandalf into the West.[5]


  1. For the published volume, containing the first two parts of The Lord of the Rings, see The Fellowship of the Ring.
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  3. The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  4. The Two Towers and The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  5. The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company.