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THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Being the First Part of the Lord of the Rings




THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Being the First Part of the Lord of the Rings

BOOK ONE

Chapter I - A Long-expected Party

            Bilbo Baggins, owner of Bag End, decided to left his home on his 111 birthday. He celebrated a big birthday party which included his birthday and the birthday of his cousin and heir Frodo Baggins, who became 33 years old. Bilbo was a very old guy, even for a Hobbit, and, despite of his 111 years, he was in a very good shape. He had a secret which he kept very well and the only two persons which knew of it were Frodo and Bilbo's old friend, the wizard Gandalf. This great secret was a magical ring, which Bilbo found on a journey long ago. This ring had the power to make its bearer invisible. It was very useful to Bilbo many times and so he ever had it in his pocket.




            But Bilbo decided, also on Gandalf's advise, to left his ring to his heir Frodo and disappear from the shire, how the Hobbits call their land, forever. At his birthday-party Bilbo held a speech and in the end disappeared in a flash (with aid by Gandalf). He left his ring and all his money to Frodo and left Bag End, and he never returned. Because of the powers of the ring (which are not only to make its bearer invisible, but unlike mightier) Bilbo had problems to leave his ring, but Gandalf helped him to do so.

            Now Frodo was the owner of Bag End, and he was also the bearer of the ring, which would become a hard burden, but he knew nothing of it right now.

Chapter II - The Shadow of the Past

            Frodo lived long as the Master of Bag End and he was very lucky. On the advise of Gandalf he used the ring never but he held it as a secret like Bilbo before. One day, years after Bilbo's party, Gandalf visited Frodo and he had bad new. He had found out that the ring was even mightier than they had ever believed and he thought of it as the long lost master ring of the evil Dark Lord. He tested the ring and threw it into fire and after this last test they could read signs on the clear gold of the ring. And this was it, they read:

            One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

            One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

This was the last test and after it Gandalf knew that his thought was right: this was the Masterring, the one ring of  Sauron, the Dark Lord, who dwellt in Mordor, in the land of darkness. Gandalf told Frodo that the ring was a great danger for him and all people around and he had to bring it away. He told him to bring the ring to Rivendell, where the wise Elrond lived, the half-elf, wisest of all living beings, master in old lore. His counsel should be taken in this business. As they talked this dark things, Gandalf caught Sam, Frodos gardener who watched them and he told him to speak to no one of their speech. He also told him to follow Frodo on his journey because it would be dangerous and Frodo could have great need to a good and loyal follower.

Chapter III - Three is Company

            Frodo decided to leave the Shire, but he would not leave it like Bilbo, and disappear, because this would be to conspicuous. Frodo therefore bought a small house in Crickhollow and he let everybody think he was short of money and therefore left Bag End. He gave Bag End to his relatives, the Sackville-Bagginses. Gandalf left Frodo long before because of his own business. Frodo left Bag End with his closest friends Sam and Peregrin (who was called Pippin) at the night of his 50 birthday, September the 20th. In the same night a stranger asked for Baggins at the door of old Hamfast Gamgee, Sam's father. Because of his strange and terrible shape, the little company used the meadows for their way, to avoid being seen.

            They went through the woods and met the stranger again, but hid before him. He was a strange person, tall but hunchbacked, with a black cloak and a hood to hide his face. The stranger nearly caught them, as suddenly some elves appeared and helped them. The leader of the elves was Gildor. He knew them very well and he told his company to give them food and a hiding place.

Chapter IV - A Short Cut to Mushrooms

            As they woke up the next morning, the elves were gone but had left them a good breakfast. They decided to go cross-country through the woods, to avoid meeting the dark stranger again. The elves does not want to tell them of their persistent hunter, but they warned them to be careful. They also told them that it won't be the only hunter, so there are more than one. As they fled through the woods, they heard an unnatural cry and thought of their hunters but they had no sign of anyone a long time. As they came out of the woods, they went cross the fields of a farmer Pippin knew and had a good dinner at his home. They heard that even here a dark clothed stranger had asked after Baggins and they were frightened of this news. At the evening they made for the ferry across the river Brandywein, which split the Shire into two parts. After they had set on the other side, they saw a dark shadow look after them from the other river bank. Here they met their good friend Meriadoc Brandybuck, simply called Merry, who had prepared Frodo's house in Crickhollow for their arrival.



Chapter V - A Conspiracy Unmasked

            In the safety of their house, they talked together and Frodo became aware, that his secret of his ring was not held good enough. All his friends knew of his magic ring and wanted to go with him, if he left the Shire. Frodo don't wanted to bring his friends endangered but he was very happy about their decision. Frodo wanted to wait for Gandalf, which had met them already in Bag End, but as he don't comes, the little Company went out alone.

Chapter VI - The Old Forest

            To avoid being caught by the "black riders", as they called their hunters, they decided to use the way through the Old Forest, to get out of the Shire. This was an old, ugly and enchanted place, which anybody avoided. The Old Forest was called evil and somehow alive. Everybody who dares to enter it, won't come out. But as there was no other way, the four Hobbits took their way through the Old Forest. As they are nearly through, the forest won't let them through and he drove them south instead of east, which was their direction. So the reached a small brook called Withywindle, which flew into the Brandywine after the forest. There they are caught by an old, evil tree, and in greatest danger a strange small person appeared along the way. He called himself Tom Bombadil, the master of the forest. He had a very powerful song of spellkind, which intimidated the old tree (which he called Old Willow-man) and so the willow let the Hobbits free. They followed Tom to his home, where they met his wife Goldberry and left the Old Forest with more luck than mind.

Chapter VII - In the House of Tom Bombadil

            The Hobbits dwelt in Tom's House some days and they were very lucky there. His house was a place to forget every evil thing, and they almost forgot the black riders. They had good meals and talked long with Tom about their journey. He told them of his life and they found out that Tom was almost the eldest living being on earth. He had walked through the eldest forests long before the elves. He had seen the world in every shape and he had lived to see all the great battles between the elves and the great fiend Morgoth, which was even greater than Sauron, in the old times of the world. Tom tried the ring, but he had no power over him, so he doesn't disappear.

            The Hobbits had a lucky time on their two days, which they lived at Bombadil's house. But after this they knew that they had to go. So they prepared for their journey with a hard hearth.

Chapter VIII - Fog on the Barrow-Downs

            The next day they went on and left Tom's house by the eastern side. They made for the Barrow-Downs, which had almost the same fame as the Old Forest. Everyone avoided them if he could, because there are evil spirits at night and it was very dangerous then. But the way across the Barrow-Downs saved much time, so the Hobbits tried it and thought of crossing them by one day. They had no intention of spending a night on this foul place, so they made for speed. But with bad fortune they made a rest and fell asleep, and as they woke up, a thick fog has been built and they are on a small hill like on an island in the fog. They tried to make their way to the street in the north, but in the supernatural fog they lost the right way and came only deeper into the territory of the Barrow-Wights, the evil spirits of the Barrow-Downs. They lost each other and the only survivor was Frodo. But he was also caught and as he woke up a second time, he was in a Barrow-Down. With aid of Tom Bombadil (which had learned them a song to call him in danger) the Hobbits left the foul place and made their way for Bree, a small city on the foot of the Bree-land.




Chapter IX - At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

            The Hobbits reached Bree at nightfall and went in on the search of a inn, called the Prancing Pony, which was recommended by Tom Bombadil. As they reached it, they got a room and the landlord Barliman Butterbur served them at best he could. In the common-room they were received very friendly, but Frodo hide his real name of Baggin and called himself Underhill. As everyone wanted a song of a Hobbit, Frodo sang for them but as a great mishap he used his ring unintentional and everyone retired from him and his friends. There Frodo met a strange tall man, which called himself Strider. The stranger offered Frodo to guide him to Rivendell, but Frodo was very suspicious. As he discussed the guidance of Strider with his friends, Butterbur brought a letter of Gandalf to him. Gandalf wanted Butterbur to send the letter to Bag End, but the busy landlord had forgotten it, and so Frodo got it only now. In the letter Gandalf mentioned an old friend called Strider and so Frodo took Strider as their guide to Rivendell.

Chapter X - Strider

            Strider, whose real name was Aragorn, was a ranger of the northern lands and knew Gandalf a really long time. He gave an advise to let their rooms untouched and sleep in the common room to avoid an attack by the black riders, which were seen in Bree some time before. And really, in the night the black riders broke in the inn and destroyed the rooms of the Hobbits completely. They also let all horses and ponies free, so the Hobbits, which had decided to leave Bree early in the morning, had no riding animals any more. They bought the only pony in whole Bree, which had not driven away - small animal, death nearer than life - but they had no choice. So they left Bree guided by Strider in the direction of Rivendell.      

Chapter XI - A Knife in the Dark

            On their way to Rivendell they made for the Weathertop-mountain, on Strider's advice, because of looking around and checking the surrounding country. As they had nearly reached it, they saw a strange fire burning on its top. As they reached it, they found it totally charred and Strider found a note, which perhaps was of Gandalf. By watching the country from the high mountain-top they discovered their hunters down on the road. For protecting themselves, they made their camp in a small dell on the foot of the mountain. In the night the black riders attacked and now there were five of them. According to a mighty mental command, Frodo used his ring, and now appeared more clearly to the ghostly enemies. Their leader attacked him with a magical dagger and Frodo fell down with a heavy wound. With his last strength he put of the ring, so his friends were able to find him.

Chapter XII - Flight to the Ford

            Frodo's wound was very badly, but Strider knew some healing herbs and so he eased Frodo's pain. The company made their way straight to Rivendell, using the woods to avoid being caught. As they were near the valley of Rivendell, they met an elf, called Glorfindel, who was a friend of Strider's. He helped them to get closer to Elrond's home, but on the last few hundred meters, their hunters caught them nearly and Frodo escaped only with luck and the fast horse of Glorfindel. He crossed the last river between Rivendell and the surrounding lands, called Mitheitel, by the only ford and the following black riders were washed away by a great wave, summoned by Elrond and Gandalf, who has reached Rivendell some time before. The company was now save after the horrible events of the last weeks and could rest in Rivendell to get the counsel of Elrond.










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