Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Fellowship Of The Ring Book 1 Chapter 12 Summary

The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings | The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1, Chapter 12) : Flight to the Ford | Summary



Strider assesses the situation. He believes the Black Riders were more easily chased away because there were only five of them, not nine—their full number. He also thinks the Riders believe Frodo is fatally injured and will soon be in their power. Strider tends the wound with a healing herb called athelas, but notes they must make haste to Rivendell where Elrond can use his healing abilities to help Frodo.

For several days, the journey is uneventful but difficult, and Frodo's wound grows steadily more painful. As they travel, an Elf named Glorfindel appears and speaks urgently to Strider. Glorfindel has come from Elrond to help the hobbits reach Rivendell safely. He places Frodo on his horse and they continue on toward Rivendell. As they near Rivendell, the nine Black Riders catch up to them and pursue Frodo. Suddenly, the river forming a border of Rivendell rises up and scatters the Riders and their horses. The Company enters Rivendell; Frodo is unconscious.


Important aspects of Strider's character are developed in this chapter. Frodo has become gravely injured, and Strider expertly tends the wound. Strider is a healer, not just a competent tracker, woodsman, and guide, nor simply a teller of old tales. He is also a reader of portents and omens, and relies on these as well as on more conventional signs such as footprints or broken twigs. When he finds a beryl (elf-stone), he takes it "as a sign [from Rivendell] that we may pass the Bridge." He is also one of the "heirs of Elendil." This is significant because Elendil was the heir of Isildur, who first took the Ring from Sauron, so the connections between the story of Aragorn and Frodo's story are becoming more evident.

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