The Fellowship of the Ring

Book: By J.R.R. Tolkien.

Inciting Event: Bilbo Baggins uses a magic ring to vanish while giving a speech at his birthday party. He heads for Rivendell, the last Homely House, leaving his possessions to his heir Frodo.

First Plot Point: Gandalf the Grey reveals to Frodo that the ring is, in fact, the One Ring of Power, which was forged by the Dark Lord Sauron thousands of years ago. Sauron needs the Ring in order to cover all Middle-earth in second darkness. Frodo flees the Shire, accompanied by his friends Sam, Merry and Pippin. They head towards the village of Bree, where Gandalf said he would meet them, and are pursued by the dark, fearsome ringwraiths.

First Pinch Point: The hobbits arrive in Bree and go to the inn of the Prancing Pony. However, Gandalf is not there, and they encounter the mysterious ranger Strider. Strider reveals that he is really Aragorn, a friend of Gandalf, and travels to Rivendell with the hobbits. However, the ringwraiths follow close behind, and catch up with the party at the abandoned outpost of Weathertop. Frodo puts on the ring and is stabbed in the shoulder by the chief of the ringwraiths. Aragorn leads the hobbits as they race towards Rivendell, the only place where Frodo can be healed of the mortal wound inflicted on him by the ringwraith’s blade.

Midpoint: The elf-lord Glorfindel carries Frodo the remaining distance to Rivendell. As they cross the ford, Elrond causes a flood that disables the pursuing ringwraiths. Frodo awakens a few days later in Rivendell, having been healed of his injury. He meets Gandalf, who had been betrayed and imprisoned by the wizard Saruman. Elrond calls a council to determine what should be done with the Ring. Frodo agrees to carry it to the one place it can be destroyed—Mount Doom, in the heart of Mordor. Eight companions travel with him: the hobbits Sam, Merry and Pippin; Gandalf; Aragorn; the elf Legolas; the dwarf Gimli; and Boromir of Gondor.

Second Pinch Point: The Fellowship of the Ring heads south from Rivendell and tries to cross the icy Pass of Caradhras. However, the freezing mountain defeats them, and they are forced to try another route: passing underneath the mountain through the Mines of Moria. As they travel through the mines, they are hunted by orcs and a Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow. Gandalf fights the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dun, allowing the rest of the Fellowship to escape. Gandalf breaks the bridge beneath him, and both he and the Balrog fall into an abyss.

Third Plot Point: The remainder of the Fellowship flees Moria, weeping over the death of Gandalf. They arrive in the woods of Lothlorien, home of the elf Lady Galadriel. Frodo looks into the Mirror of Galadriel and sees the Eye of Sauron and the dark road that lies before him. He offers the One Ring to Galadriel. Galadriel reveals what would happen if she were to accept the offer: Although it would start out well, the Ring would soon corrupt her, as it would anybody, and she would become a terrible dark queen. She refuses Frodo’s offer and passes the test.

Climax: The Fellowship travels down a river in boats supplied by the elves of Lothlorien. After they pull ashore, Frodo wanders off into the woods, seeking solitude for a time.

Climactic Moment: Boromir encounters Frodo in the woods and tries to take the Ring from him. Frodo escapes by putting on the Ring and disappearing.

Resolution: Frodo decides he needs to finish the journey alone, worried the Ring will corrupt the rest of the Fellowship. He attempts to leave secretly in one of the boats, but is followed by his loyal friend Sam. Frodo and Sam reach the rocky crags of Emyn Muil and set off towards the Land of Shadow.

Comments: With a few small changes, this could also reflect the story structure of the Fellowship of the Ring movie.

(Submitted by Zachary Holbrook)

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