HomeLiterature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Fellowship Of The Ring Book 2 Chapter 10 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 10) : The Breaking of the Fellowship | Summary

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Summary

Aragorn calls the Company together and tells them they must now make a choice. He tells Frodo the choice of which way the Ring goes rests with him, as Ring-bearer. Frodo asks for time to consider what to do, and Aragorn agrees to give him an hour to think. Frodo walks off to ponder his options. As he does so, Boromir approaches him and asks him to come to Minas Tirith. Then, he asks to see the Ring. When Frodo refuses, he becomes agitated and asks Frodo to lend him the Ring to vanquish the power of Mordor. When Frodo again refuses, Boromir tries to take it by force, but Frodo slips on the Ring and disappears. Running to the top of Amon Hen still wearing the Ring, Frodo can see signs of war in every direction. Suddenly, he is aware of the Eye of Sauron searching for him. He quickly pulls the Ring off, and, realizing the Ring has begun to corrupt the Company, decides to go on toward Mordor alone.

Meanwhile, Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, and Sam discuss the situation and debate what Frodo is likely to do. Sam believes Frodo will decide to go off alone, and when Boromir reveals he had harsh words with Frodo, Sam realizes Frodo may already be leaving. He runs to where the boats are just in time to see Frodo taking one and leaving. Sam chases after him and the two hobbits leave the Fellowship and make for Mordor.

Analysis

As Aragorn says, this chapter marks "the day of choice which we have long delayed. What shall now become of our Company that has travelled so far in Fellowship? Shall we turn west with Boromir and go to the wars of Gondor; or turn east to the Fear and Shadow; or shall we break our Fellowship and go this way and that as each may choose?"

It also describes Boromir's corruption to the point where he betrays the trust among the Company and tries to take the Ring from Frodo by force. Boromir is held up as an example of the very qualities often deemed virtues—bravery, ambition, strength in battle—but which are subject to the corrupting influence of evil. In contrast, Gandalf and Galadriel have shown humility in resisting the temptation of the Ring.

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