Human-like, save for their diminutive stature (no more than 3 ½ feet tall), large
hairy feet and pointed ears, hobbits live a peaceful, agrarian existence. They enjoy good
food, good company, and good humor. Content with their self-sufficiency, hobbits rarely
interact with those outside their bucolic ancestral homeland, the Shire. With one notable
Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen )
Gandalf is the only wizard to have ever shown any interest in hobbits. It is said
that he and his kind were sent by a higher power to guide and protect the varied races of
Middle-earth. As their protector, Gandalf is quite fond of hobbits, perceiving within
these simple folk surprising reserves of courage and character. Of all the hobbits,
Gandalf is closest with:
Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm)
The story opens with Gandalf's attendance at Bilbo's 111th birthday celebration.
Bilbo, mysteriously youthful for his advanced years, has decided to leave the Shire and
hand down all of his worldly possessions to his cousin Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). There
is one item, however, that Bilbo is understandably reluctant to part with: a magical
goldring that bestows upon the wearer the power of invisibility. Bilbo claims that the
simple band is nothing more than a trinket but Gandalf suspects otherwise and convinces
Bilbo to give the ring to Frodo.
Intrigued by the mysterious ring, Gandalf researches its history and his fears are
confirmed. Gandalf shares his findings about the origin of the ring with Frodo: Thousands
of years ago, the Dark Lord Sauron created the Great Rings of Power: Three were made for
the Elven Kings, seven for the Dwarf Lords, and nine for Mortal Men. Secretly, Sauron also
forged a master ring, the One Ring, which contains the power to enslave all of
For more than an Age, a great darkness covered the lands. The Last Alliance of Elves
and Menwent to war against Sauron and his legions of orcs ( monstros storm troopers ).
Despite heavy Losses, the Alliance managed to drive Sauron’s forces back into Mordor,
to the very slopes of Mount Doom.
Cornered there, Sauron himself took to the battlefield, slayed the Great King of Men,
Elendil,and shattered hid legendary sword, Narsil. In revenge, Elendil’s son,
Isildur, attacked Sauron with a shard of Narsil and managed to cut the One Ring from
Sauron’s hand. Sauron’s form crumbled; his forced scattered. The elf Lord,
Elrond (Hugo Weaving), implored Isildur to throw the Ring back into the fires of Mount
Doom, where it was forged. But Isildur became enthralled by the Ring’s power and
decided instead to keep it.
Isildur soon discovered that wearing the Ring made him invisible. But he lost this
power when the Ring slipped from hid finger: Roving orcs spotted him and attacked. Isildur
was killed. The Ring fell to the bottom of the River Anduin, where it would remain for
thousands of years until found by. …
Like others who had pssessed the Ring before him, Gollum became enthralled by its
enchanting powers. Gollum was once a hobbit-like creature himself, but the corrupting
influence of the Ring warped hid mind and deformed hid body. He ultimately vanished into
the Goblin tunnels of the Misty Mountains, where Bilbo Baggins found him and found the
Little did he know that the fate of Middle-earth would now rest in hid hands.
After Bilbo's birthday party, Gandalf tells Frodo that the Dark Lord Sauron knows thata
hobbit is in possession of the Ring. Sauron is rebuilding his fortress, Barad-dur, and
amassing a new army of orcs in preparation for an all-out war to reclaim the Ring and
conquer all the races of Middle-earth. Gandalf informs Frodo that the Ring corrupts and
eventually dooms its wearer - it must be cast back into the fires of Mount Doom, where it
was originally forged.
Accompanied by his loyal friends Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan), and Pippin
(Billy Boyd), Frodo travels to Rivendell, to consult with Elrond regarding the fate of the
Ring. En route, they are attacked by the fearsome "Black Riders" (also known as
Ring Wraiths), Sauron's indestructible and relentless minions. Frodo's appreciation for
the powers of the Ring and the gravity of their quest grows. Stopping at The Inn of the
Prancing Pony in Bree to rendezvous with Gandalf, Frodo succumbs to temptation and tries
on the Ring. Doing so makes him instantly invisible, but also betrays his location to
Sauron. Black Riders descend upon them, but the hobbits are whisked to safety by . . .
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen)
The mysterious Aragorn tells Frodo that the hobbits are in terrible danger. They
can no longer wait for Gandalf. Having no other choice, they follow Aragorn into the wild.
While crossing the deadly marshlands, Ring Wraiths once again descend upon them. Aragorn
and the hobbits bravely defend themselves and drive away the wraiths, but Frodo is
wounded. The hobbits must hurry to Rivendell. If Frodo is not healed quickly, he will face
a fate worse than death: He will become a Ring Wraith himself. Their journey is hastened
by . . .
Arwen (Liv Tyler)
She is elf royalty and Aragorn's unrequited love. With her superior horsemanship,
Arwen barely outruns the Ring Wraiths in a dangerous, mad dash to get Frodo to safety. In
Rivendell, the immortal elf lord, Elrond, removes a shard of the wraith dagger from Frodo
before it can make its way to his heart. When Frodo awakens, he is distressed to find the
Ring still in his possession, on a chain around his neck. Why is he not yet free of it?
Gandalf arrives in Rivendell
Gandalf explains why he failed to meet the hobbits in Bree: He was betrayed by
Saruman the White and taken captive. Conjuring evil magic and razing sacred trees to fuel
furnaces that will hatch a new race, Saruman is breeding his own army beneath Orthanc
tower, the formidable . . .
The Uruks are stronger and taller than orcs, more cunning and loyal. Saruman plans
to dispatch this private army to find the Ring so that he can replace Sauron as "The
Lord of the Rings." To complicate matters, Gollum has escaped from Mordor (or been
released) and he also seeks the Ring.
The Council of Elrond
Elrond knows well the evil and danger of the Ring. He recalls watching Isildur come
under its spell thousands of years ago. While Elrond insists that the Ring be cast back
into the fires of Mount Doom, there is dissention among the free peoples of Middle-earth
attending the Council. In particular, there is . . .
Boromir (Sean Bean)
A brave human warrior of Gondor, Boromir believes the power of the Ring can be used
as a weapon to thwart Sauron's evil-doing. Aragorn opposes Boromir's plan, arguing that
the Ring is purely evil and can serve no good purpose. The obvious tension between Aragorn
and Boromir stems from Aragorn's rightful claim to Gondor's throne. Raised by the elves,
Aragorn has always resisted his destiny as the future King of Men for fear that he might
one day fail his kingdom in the same manner as his ancestor Isildur or the Ring Wraiths
(once also great kings of men).
The Council of Elrond is divided on how exactly to deal with the Ring. Frodo bravely
takes the initiative: "I will take the Ring to Mordor, though I do not know the
way." Stunned by Frodo's bravery and selflessness, Boromir and Aragorn put their
differences aside and vow to accompany and defend him on his journey. Likewise Gandalf,
Legolas the elf (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli the dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) swear their
loyalty to Frodo. With the hobbits Sam, Merry, and Pippin, that brings the number in their
party to nine. Elrond is pleased. Nine travelers to oppose the nine Ring Wraiths that will
no doubt besiege them at every turn as they make their way to Mordor. Frodo's party is
dubbed . . .
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship sets out from Rivendell on their trek to Mount Doom. Elrond makes it
clear that only Frodo, "the Ring Bearer," carries the full burden of the mission
to destroy the Ring. The others accompany him by their own choice.
What follows is the Fellowship's harrowing journey to Mordor: The forces of darkness
besiege them at every turn. Saruman the White tracks their progress with his Seeing Stone
and employs potent magic to impede the Fellowship with blinding snow and avalanches as
they cross the dizzying mountain Pass of Caradhras and go into the dark and labyrinthine
Mines of Moria. There, the Watcher (an octopus-like colossus) seals the doors of the mine.
Trapped inside, the Fellowship is pursued by Gollum and attacked by goblins. Frodo is
nearly killed by a giant cave troll, but his friends save him.
After fleeing the goblins, dodging arrows, and leaping across the collapsing stone
stairs of Khazad-Dum, the Fellowship is cornered by the Balrog, a forty-foot-tall winged
demon whose skin crackles with fire and smoke. Gandalf heroically holds the monster at bay
long enough for the Fellowship to escape, using the last of his strength to collapse the
bridge from beneath the Balrog's feet, but perishes when the demon pulls Gandalf down with
it. The Fellowship, grief-stricken over Gandalf's death, arrives battered and broken at
Lothlorien, an elven city in the trees. There, they are attended to by . . .
Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchett)
Possessor of great magic and the power to see the future, Galadriel is effectively
queen of all elves. She reassures Frodo, who is despairing and on the verge of abandoning
the quest to destroy the Ring. He is overwhelmed with grief, and by the increasing burden
of the Ring itself. Galadriel shows Frodo visions of what may happen if he does not finish
the quest. She tells him that even the smallest person can change the course of the
future. Frodo takes her encouragement to heart.
Refreshed and re-armed by the elves, the Fellowship leaves Lothlorien. Almost
immediately the Uruk-Hai descend upon the weary travelers. With every league they travel,
Frodo can see the Ring's corrupting influence affecting his companions, tempting
them-especially Boromir. It all culminates at . . .
It is a mountainous region just across the water from Mordor's western-most edge.
Boromir finds Frodo alone in the woods and pleads for the Ring. Frodo realizes that
Boromir's judgment has been impaired by his lust for the Ring, and he resolves himself to
destroy it at Mount Doom. Boromir forcefully tries to take the Ring from Frodo, but he is
thwarted when fast-thinking Frodo puts it on his finger and vanishes. While invisible,
Frodo learns more about the Ring's special powers; he sees with telescopic clarity all the
forces of Sauron arrayed throughout Middle-earth, preparing for war and domination. He
sees Sauron's giant eye, sweeping like a searchlight in all directions . . . seeking the
Frodo's deeper understanding of the powers of Sauron and the Ring lead him to mistrust
even his companions. Aragorn reaffirms his commitment to Frodo: "I swore to protect
you." "Can you protect me from yourself?" Frodo asks. Aragorn sees that
Frodo is right, that the Ring inevitably corrupts all who are near it. Remarkably, only
Frodo seems to be able to resist its corruptive influence. Frodo realizes that he must
continue the journey to Mordor alone. Frodo's bravery once again astounds Aragorn. He
considers his own destiny. Is he as brave as this young hobbit?
With the Fellowship seemingly on the verge of collapse, Saruman the White makes his
final move. His Uruks ambush the scattered members of the Fellowship. Boromir, now free
from the Ring's grip, hears the cries of Merry and Pippin and rushes to help them.
Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, battling Uruks themselves, fight madly to join Boromir, who
is hugely outnumbered. Meanwhile, Frodo, intent on going the rest of the way to Mordor
alone, slips away by boat.
By the time Aragorn reaches Boromir, he sees that his friend is mortally wounded. Merry
and Pippin have been captured by the fleeing Uruks (believing them to be the Ring
Bearers). As he ies dying, Boromir laments humanity's imminent fall. Without a king, and
with the Ring so nearly in Sauron's grasp, surely there is no hope . . .
Aragorn can no longer deny his own destiny. Inspired by the courage of Frodo and
Boromir, Aragorn vows to protect the people of Middle-earth-starting first with Merry and
Pippin. They must be rescued.
Meanwhile, Sam tries to rejoin Frodo, but Frodo is committed to going alone. As Frodo
paddles away from shore, Sam stubbornly jumps into the river in pursuit - even though he
cannot swim. Frodo pulls his spluttering best friend from the river. "I am glad you
are with me," Frodo says. "I hope the others find a safer road."
Thus begins the LoRd Of The Rings Trilogy . . .
Frodo and Sam entering Mordor, shadowed by Gollum (and later teamed with him),
hunted by the Ring Wraiths (who have been reconstituted and now ride winged steeds known
as fell beasts), trying to evade the eye of Sauron in his own land, resisting the Ring's
growing influence as each step brings Frodo closer to Mount Doom.
Merry and Pippin kidnapped by the Uruk-Hai, but soon to be liberated by the most
unlikely of saviors: a living, walking tree called Treebeard.
Saruman the White, enraged that the Ring has eluded his grasp, sending forth his entire
army of Uruk-Hai to crush the humans at the fortress of Helm's Deep ~ where Aragorn,
Legolas, and Gimli rally the troops.
Arwen refusing to depart Middle-earth with the rest of the elves, choosing instead to
follow Aragorn ~ a choice that will cost her her immortality, and perhaps her life.
Courtesy New Line Cinema
Published December 20, 2001