The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Course Hero. "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 25 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/>.

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Course Hero. "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide." December 2, 2016. Accessed September 25, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/.

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Course Hero, "The Lord of the Rings Study Guide," December 2, 2016, accessed September 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lord-of-the-Rings/.

The Lord of the Rings | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Foreword to the Second Edition Tolkien describes the process by which he wrote The Lord of the Rings. Even though he began it soon after The Hobbit was... Read More
Prologue (Concerning Hobbits) "Concerning Hobbits" offers some background on hobbits, especially for people who have not read The Hobbit, but also for... Read More
Prologue (Concerning Pipe-weed) Hobbits of the Shire developed the "astonishing" habit of imbibing or inhaling pipe-weed (also known simply as leaf) and... Read More
Prologue (Of the Ordering of the Shire) The Shire was divided into North, South, East, and West "Farthings" as well as East March (Buckland) and Westmarch. The ... Read More
Prologue (Of the Finding of the Ring) In The Hobbit, Gandalf the wizard and 13 Dwarves visit the hobbit Bilbo, and Bilbo embarks on an adventure with the Dwar... Read More
Prologue (Note on the Shire Records) For a long time, most of the hobbits' traditions and history were passed down orally, but finally, at the end of the Thi... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 1) Eccentric hobbit Bilbo Baggins has announced his 111st birthday party will be a very special one, and the town of Hobbit... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 2) After the initial shock of Bilbo's disappearance wears off, life in Hobbiton generally returns to normal, and Frodo live... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 3) Weeks pass, and Gandalf becomes impatient with Frodo's lack of preparation for leaving. Although Frodo has good reasons ... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 4) When the hobbits wake up the next morning, the Elves are gone, having left food for the hobbits' breakfast. Frodo tells ... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 5) Merry, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin board the Bucklebury Ferry and cross the Brandywine River. They can see Brandy Hall, ances... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 6) The hobbits rise before dawn the next morning. Leaving a message for Gandalf with Fatty, they set out, riding sturdy pon... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 7) Entering the house of Tom Bombadil, the hobbits find themselves in a well-lit room where, seated among water lilies, is ... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 8) The next morning, the hobbits breakfast alone and are seen off by Tom and Goldberry. They make their way across the coun... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 9) The hobbits arrive in Bree, a village in which both humans (Big Folk) and hobbits (Little Folk) make their homes. At the... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 10) Frodo, Sam, and Pippin go back to the small parlor in which they had supper. Merry seems to have gone out, but Strider i... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 11) Back in the Shire, Fatty Bolger has been staying in Frodo's Buckland home to make it appear Frodo is there. One night, B... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 12) Strider assesses the situation. He believes the Black Riders were more easily chased away because there were only five o... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 1) When Frodo wakes, he finds himself in the house of Elrond in Rivendell. Gandalf is present and tells Frodo everyone is s... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 2) The next morning, Frodo wakes up early and meets Gandalf and Bilbo as he walks about the grounds of Elrond's house. They... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 3) After the Council, the hobbits gather to talk about the situation. Merry and Pippin insist that if Sam is going to accom... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 4) Unable to pass over the mountain, they must try going through Moria. The Mines of Moria, located under the mountains, is... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 5) The Fellowship stands in silence at Balin's tomb, and then Gandalf finds a record book describing a terrible battle endi... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 6) Shocked and grieving, the Fellowship is at a loss for what to do next. Aragorn takes control, leading the Company toward... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 7) As night falls, they arrive at Caras Galadhon, the city of the Galadhrim—the Elves who live in Lothlórien. Entering the ... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 8) Celeborn gives members of the Fellowship the choice to stay in Lothlórien or continue the quest, and they all choose the... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 9) Led by Aragorn, who sets a brisk pace, the Fellowship paddles down the Anduin River. As the days go by, an uneasy feelin... Read More
The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 10) Aragorn calls the Company together and tells them they must now make a choice. He tells Frodo the choice of which way th... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 1) Aragorn searches for Frodo, but while he does, he hears Orcs nearby, and then Boromir's horn blowing. He runs quickly to... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 2) Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas keep up a fast pace in pursuit of Merry and Pippin. They follow their course into Rohan wher... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 3) Pippin and Merry endure rough treatment at the hands of the Orcs. Bound and forced to run beyond the point of exhaustion... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 4) The two hobbits, entering Fangorn Forest, find themselves soon lost. They try to figure out where they are, and come to ... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 5) Returning to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, the story finds them hunting for clues to the mysterious old man's identity. A... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 6) Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas arrive at Edoras, but the guards outside Théoden's Golden Hall are strangely suspic... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 7) Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli, and Legolas accompany the Riders of Rohan as they travel toward Helm's Deep and the fortress ca... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 8) No one seems to be sure where the strange trees came from, but all are joyful the battle was won. Gandalf convinces Théo... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 9) Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli, and Legolas spend time with Merry and Pippin, catching up on what has been going on during thei... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 10) Gandalf needs to speak to Saruman. He lets the others come along, and they go together to Orthanc. Saruman, whose voice ... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 11) Later that night, Pippin becomes restless, thinking about the round object he had briefly held. Letting his curiosity ge... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 1) While Aragorn and Company have been chasing Orcs and fighting Saruman's army, Frodo and Sam have been making their way t... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 2) Walking by night, and hiding by day, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum brave the Dead Marshes. Frodo and Sam are able to eat the le... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 3) Frodo, Sam, and Gollum arrive at the Black Gate of Mordor, the main entrance to Mordor, which is heavily guarded. They s... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 4) As they get nearer to the River Anduin, the hobbits feel a little better as the landscape becomes greener and a little l... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 5) Faramir returns from battle and questions Frodo more, especially about Isildur's Bane. Frodo tells him that Isildur's Ba... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 6) In the middle of the night, Faramir wakes Frodo up and takes him to look at a pool of water nearby. There seems to be so... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 7) The next morning, Faramir, Frodo, and Sam join in a farewell breakfast. He gives them some advice and some gifts, includ... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 8) Gollum urges Frodo and Sam on toward Cirith Ungol, and soon they can see Minas Morgul glowing with an eerie light. Frodo... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 9) Gollum leads Frodo and Sam deeper into the maze of tunnels of Cirith Ungol. It is dark, and on either side of the tunnel... Read More
The Two Towers (Book 4, Chapter 10) Sam, seeing Shelob has Frodo, attacks her. Shelob is fierce, but Sam holds up the phial of Galadriel and cries out the w... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 1) Gandalf and Pippin have ridden to Gondor and can now see the beacons of Gondor (large fires lit at intervals across the ... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 2) Back in Isengard, Théoden prepares to return to Edoras to gather soldiers, then march to Gondor to join in the fight aga... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 3) Théoden, Merry, Éomer, and the Riders of Rohan ride quickly. When they find out that Aragorn has gone by the Paths of th... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 4) In Minas Tirith, Pippin is summoned to Denethor who tells him his duties will include being Denethor's personal esquire.... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 5) Théoden learns enemies are blocking their way to Gondor. He recruits the Wild Men of the Woods who know hidden ways to M... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 6) The Rohirrim fight well, but they are having a hard time overcoming the sheer number of Sauron's forces who are laying s... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 7) While all this has been happening, Gandalf has been diverted to dealing with Denethor who is trying to burn himself and ... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 8) Pippin finds Merry and, seeing he is injured, helps get him to the Houses of Healing where Faramir and Éowyn have also b... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 9) Imrahil, Gandalf, Éomer, and Aragorn meet to decide what to do next. Gandalf suggests that, because Sauron's eye is busy... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 5, Chapter 10) About 6,500 soldiers are mustered to make the march against Sauron. As they march, Aragorn pauses at points and has hera... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 1) Sam finds he needs to use the Ring's power of invisibility to sneak up to the Orcs' guard tower. He uses the phial of Ga... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 2) The two hobbits run until Frodo is exhausted. The Ring has become unbearably heavy, and its influence on his mind is gro... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 3) Beyond exhausted, Frodo has fallen asleep, and when he wakes, Sam gives him water and lembas. They walk, crawl, and stru... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 4) As Aragorn and his forces are nearly overcome, Gandalf calls out, "The Eagles are coming!" The Eagles engage the Nazgûl ... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 5) As Aragorn and his army set out for their march on Mordor, uncertainty reigns in Minas Tirith. Faramir, now the Steward ... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 6) Frodo eventually feels the need to return to the Shire and visits with Bilbo in Rivendell along the way. Aragorn says he... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 7) The four hobbits, accompanied by Gandalf, travel to Bree. They notice things don't seem quite right in Bree, and when th... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 8) Indeed, upon arriving at the borders of the Shire, the hobbits find out evil has come there, too. The "Chief" at Bag End... Read More
The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 9) Frodo frees the hobbits who were imprisoned, then moves back into Bag End, while Merry and Pippin deal with the ruffians... Read More
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