The Lord of the Rings Book Summary, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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1-Page Summary of The Lord of the Rings


The Fellowship of the Ring is a book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This story takes place in Middle Earth, which was created by J.R.R Tolkien. There’s an evil force lurking over Middle Earth—the Dark Lord Sauron wants to reclaim his lost power and enslave everyone with it through the One Ring that he has already lost once before. In this epic drama, Frodo Baggins ends up with the ring because Bilbo had stolen it from Gollum (a creature). He knows very little about this ring and how important it is for him to keep safe until he gets rid of it or someone else does.

The wizard, Gandalf, warns Frodo that he should leave the shire and keep the ring out of Sauron’s hands. They meet a fellow named Tom Bombadil who helps them get out of trouble when they are faced with the Nine Black Riders. Later, they meet Strider/Aragorn and they continue safely to the country of the elves. Frodo recuperates from a wound and he is healed by Elrond. At the Council of Elrond it is decided that the ring must be destroyed at Mount Doom in Mordor where it was forged many years ago. The fellowship is formed which includes nine individuals in all including Aragorn (Strider), Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry), Pippin Took (Pip), Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins himself.”

Gandalf meets his death while fighting the Balrog in Moria. The company heads south into Lorien, where they meet Lady Galadriel, who gives them comfort and security for a time. Frodo becomes more mature and determined to complete his mission. He is then tested when Boromir tries to take the ring from him. Before he leaves, Sam promises to follow Frodo wherever he goes but first wants Frodo’s permission.

Book I, Chapters 1-4

The story begins with the party of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is famous for his wealth and generosity. He has many admirers, including Frodo Baggins, whom he adopted as an heir. They share the same birthday (September 22) so they plan to have a joint party on that day. Wizards are known for their fireworks so Gandalf sends in advance carts full of his equipment and magic stuff to provide entertainment at the party which turns out to be quite successful.

Bilbo Baggins announces to the crowd that he’s leaving. This is because of a magic ring that he has obtained in an adventure (which is described in detail in Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit). Bilbo then reappears inside his home, away from the party. He leaves everything to his heir, Frodo. Gandalf convinces him to give up the magical ring that he had won from Gollum (a creature). By this time, however, Bilbo is already attached to it for its powers of invisibility. Throughout the novel we will find out how much power this ring holds over whoever wears it.

Bilbo offers the ring to Gandalf but in the end, he gives it to Frodo. Some of his other belongings are distributed among friends and relatives. Gandalf stays with Frodo while Bilbo heads off on a new adventure. They will be reunited soon enough.

Bilbo’s disregard for his guests, as well as the ring’s influence on Bilbo, foreshadows the evil that will overcome Frodo. The contrast between Bilbo and Frodo is shown in their attitudes toward each other. Gandalf represents wisdom and guidance through age.

One of the allusions to Christian traditional narratives is in Frodo’s age and his maturity. It’s ironic that he’s younger than Bilbo, who was also 33 years old when he left on his journey. Gandalf, being both wise and old, knows not to tempt temptation or fate by taking the ring for himself.

On a thematic level, The Hobbit is based on fate and chance details. It’s also heavy-handed in its use of fate to move the story along. In addition to that, readers will learn more about Frodo’s journey and the ring before he does. This builds up suspense for the audience as they read through each chapter.

The Lord of the Rings Book Summary, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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