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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Barron's Booknotes
Table of Contents

THE NOVEL

THE PLOT

Long after the events in The Hobbit, Bilbo again leaves the
Shire, but not before reluctantly passing on his magic ring
to his heir, Frodo Baggins.

Many years later, Frodo learns from Gandalf, the wizard,
that his ring is the Ring, which belonged to the evil ruler
Sauron. Sauron was thought to have been destroyed ages
ago. But now he has reappeared in his ancient stronghold of
Mordor. His Ring was presumed lost, but Sauron has
discovered that it's presently in the hands of a hobbit named
Baggins, who lives in the Shire.

To protect the inhabitants of the Shire from Sauron's wrath,
Frodo decides to take the Ring and leave Bag End for
Rivendell with three friends-Merry, Pippin, and Sam.
Gandalf was supposed to accompany them, but no word has
been heard from him. On the way, the four hobbits are
closely pursued by menacing Black Riders, servants of
Sauron. The hobbits are unprepared for the dangers that
face them, and several times they're almost killed because
of their foolishness. Fortunately, they are joined by a
strange, secretive man called Strider, who offers to lead
them to Rivendell.



One night, Frodo is wounded in an attack by the Black
Riders. His friends bring him to Rivendell, where he is
cured by Elrond, the leader of the Half-elven (a race of
people who are half elf and half human).

A council meets in Rivendell to decide what to do about the
Ring. It's agreed the Ring must be destroyed, for the
temptation to use it is too strong, and anyone who does use
it will be corrupted by its power. Frodo takes on the task of
bringing the Ring to Mordor and casting it into the volcano
where it was forged.

Strider takes this opportunity to reveal his true name:
Aragorn. He is rightful heir to the throne of Gondor, which
has been ruled by stewards for many years in the absence
of a king. He plans to return to Gondor, to aid in its fight
against Sauron and to claim his crown.

When Frodo departs from Rivendell, he is accompanied by
representatives of all the free races of Middle-earth:
Gandalf the wizard, Legolas the elf, Gimli the dwarf,
Aragorn and Boromir of the race of men, and Frodo's
hobbit friends, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. While passing
through the mines of Moria, the company is threatened by a
Balrog, a terrifying creature of flame and shadow. While
fighting the Balrog, Gandalf and the creature plunge into a
deep abyss and are both thought killed.

The rest of the company splits up further south. Boromir
has fallen under the influence of the Ring and tries to take it
from Frodo. Frodo runs away and decides to travel on to
Mordor alone, but his faithful servant, Sam, insists on
going with him.

Meanwhile, the others are attacked by orcs, an evil race
created by Sauron. (Goblins and orcs are the same thing-
Tolkien changed the name in The Lord of the Rings.)
Merry and Pippin are captured, and Boromir dies defending
the hobbits. After giving Boromir a hero's funeral, Aragorn,
Legolas, and Gimli follow the trail of the orcs, hoping to
rescue their friends. Instead, they find Gandalf, who has
survived his fight with the Balrog and has emerged with
renewed power. Gandalf tells the others that Merry and
Pippin are safe: they escaped the orcs and are now with the
Ents of Fangorn Forest. The Ents, who are shepherds of the
trees, have been roused by the hobbits' story to attack
Saruman, an evil wizard in league with Sauron.

Table of Contents


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