Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Fellowship Of The Ring Book 2 Chapter 1 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 2, Chapter 1) : Many Meetings | Summary

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Summary

When Frodo wakes, he finds himself in the house of Elrond in Rivendell. Gandalf is present and tells Frodo everyone is safe, fills in some of the details of the narrow escape at the Ford of Bruinen, and explains he had been delayed because he was held captive. Gandalf also tells Frodo, as soon as he is well enough, there is to be a Council, at which Frodo will learn the answers to many questions.

Gandalf explains that the "Black Riders are the Ringwraiths, the Nine servants of the Lord of the Rings," and that Aragorn is of the "race of the Kings from over the Sea," as are all Rangers. Frodo is astounded.

Soon, Frodo feels well enough to socialize with his friends and the others in Elrond's house. Sam, who has been anxiously waiting for Frodo to recover, shows him around the big house. A great feast takes place in the hall of Elrond's house. After the feast, they retire to the Hall of Fire for singing and storytelling, and Frodo is surprised and delighted to find Bilbo there. After passing the evening together, they head off to bed to get a night's rest before the Council.

Analysis

Living up to its title, this chapter includes both reunions (Gandalf, Bilbo) and first meetings (Glóin). The first "meeting" Frodo has is with Gandalf, who is by his bedside when he wakes up. Gandalf provides a view of Frodo's experience at the Ford of Bruinen, and explains his delay. He notes his delay "nearly proved our ruin," but "it may have been better so." Part of Gandalf's wisdom is that he can see how even setbacks and obstacles can become advantages. This perspective will be crucial time and time again. Gandalf also reveals that he will play an important role in the events to come in the war with Sauron: "But my time is coming. The Morgul-lord and his Black Riders have come forth. War is preparing!"

Frodo is relieved to have reached Rivendell, and he seems to indicate he is ready for his part in the quest to end. The dramatic irony in his relief is that readers already suspect he is not done, and this suspicion is confirmed by Gandalf, who says to himself, "He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell."

This chapter introduces Arwen, Elrond's daughter, whom "few mortals had yet seen" and "in whom it was said that the likeness of Lúthien had come on earth again." The "yet" and the likeness to Lúthien are important details here, because Arwen will become famous among mortals and will follow in Lúthien's footsteps.

Bilbo brings up the theme of storymaking as he says, "Don't adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story." Bilbo, as Ring-finder, was a major character in a previous part of the story of the Ring, but his part is now ended. Frodo must carry on the story.

More about the character of Elrond can be found in Appendix A.

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