Our final instalment, as the epic fantasy reaches its exciting conclusion.
Sam and Frodo reach the rendezvous point on the Anduin river. Sam heads off to look for the others while Frodo meets Boromir for the first time. Boromir suggests Frodo takes the ring to Gondor but Frodo is all ‘been there, done that’ and insists the ring must be taken to its ultimate destination: his uncle in The Shire. Boromir heads off to tell the rest of the gang, while Frodo goes to check on Sauron by sitting on a rock.
Once everybody is together, they find a bunch of eleven boats lying around. Realising these boats must have come from the elven kingdom of Lothlorien they decide to take them back there. ‘Oh by the way,’ says Aragorn, ‘I think our gang should be called the Fellowship because we are bunch of fellas on some ships.’
After sailing up river, they are greeted warmly by the elves and their Queen, Galadriel, is delighted when each member of the Fellowship give her gifts, as well as a bunch of cloaks, some broaches and a pile of snacks. Later, Galadriel interviews Sam and Frodo but the meeting doesn’t go well. Afterward the elves are less friendly and eventually the elves escort the Fellowship out of Lothlorien at arrow point.
Dejected, the Fellowship decide to cross the Misty Mountains via the dwarf mines of Moria. They are welcomed by a huge crowd of orcs and other monsters. Unfortunately, once underground they discover the main route further in is impassable because a bridge across a chasm is broken.
Just then, with a mighty spell, a voice cries “Sloof uoy ylf!” and woooossshhhh! Up from the chasm comes Gandalf (dressed in grey) and a Balrog who combine their magic to rebuild the bridge. Everybody is glad to see that Gandalf is back alive but he explains he is Gandalf the Grey now.
The Fellowship chase the orcs into the mine. They bring some orcs back to life as well as some cave trolls. Eventually the excitement dies down and the assorted goblin forces of the mine go back to sleep.
The exit at the western end of the mine is blocked but a helpful tentacle monster outside, unblocks the door. Once outside, the Fellowship wait around until some ponies turn up and then head off north.
They get lost and attempt to climb back east over the mountains but turn around when they realise that is a bad idea. Eventually they make their way to Rivendell.
At a long meeting, the Fellowship decides to dissolve itself. Frodo talks to his uncle Bilbo, who is currently living in Rivendell. He is not looking well and Frodo offers to give him the ring but they decide they should wait until they are back in the Shire.
Later Frodo himself falls ill and eventually falls into a coma.
To help Frodo, Gandalf casts a spell on a river which flows backward and spawns a bunch of sinister looking black riders. Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Sam and Frodo head back over the river towards the Shire with the help of some elves. Frodo’s condition improves somewhat but he’s still very sick.
After trying various herbs, Aragorn takes the hobbits to Weathertop. There the black riders reveal that they are the Nazgul and their leader (who was brought back to life in the first book) cuts out some cursed metal from Frodo. This is what had been making Frodo ill and with it gone he feels a lot better (this process is all foreshadowed in the early chapters of the first book). The black riders run away.
Aragorn and the Hobbits walk on towards the town of Bree. For tax purposes they start calling Aragorn ‘Strider’. At Bree they stay at an inn but Strider becomes quickly less sociable. The next day the hobbits leave Bree without Strider and head back to the Shire.
On the way, a being called Tom Bombadil tempts them to hide out in some barrows. There the hobbits leave a few swords behind. They then go visit Bombadil’s house and stay the night. The next day they have some wild antics in the Old Forest.
They cross the river into the Shire proper and occasionally see that the black riders are still hanging around. Maybe they are checking that Frodo is feeling better after that nasty infection?
They go plant some mushrooms and eventually make it to Frodo’s home at Bag End.
You might thing that this is the end of the story but no. This books has a number of endings.
Weeks pass and Gandalf comes to visit Frodo. They have a discussion about his ring. Initially Gandalf is very worried but his concern abates a little as they talk.
Time passes and Frodo prepares a big party to welcome his uncle Bilbo back from Rivendell. When Bilbo arrives at Bag End he finds Frodo’s ring in an envelope for him. He uses the ring to make himself invisible (the ring can do that) and appears as if by magic at the party which is in full swing.
Bilbo gives some big speeches. There are fireworks and much festivity. Eventually everybody goes home. Frodo spends the day helping pack up.
Sorry, I forgot the twist at the end. The twist is that Bilbo plans to one day visit Gollum in the Misty Mountains and give him Frodo’s ring.