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GALADRIEL (V.O.

)
The world is changed. I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost, for none now live
who remember it.

It began with the forging of the Rings of


Power. Three were given to the Elves, immortal,
wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven were
given to the Dwarves, great miners and
craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine
rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above
all else desire power. For within these rings
was bound the power and the will to rule each
race. But they were all of them deceived, for
deep in the land of Mordor, the Dark Lord
Sauron forged another ring, a master ring, and
into this ring he poured all his cruelty, his
malice and his will to dominate every living
thing. One ring to rule them all. One by one,
the free peoples of Middle Earth fell to the
power of the Ring, but there were some who
resisted. A last alliance of men and elves
marched against the armies of Mordor, and on
the very slopes of Mount Doom, they fought for
the freedom of Middle-Earth. Victory was near,
but the power of the ring could not be undone.

SAURON appears, crushing a dozen MEN with each blow of his


huge mace.

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
It was in this moment, when all hope had
faded, that Isildur, son of the king, took up
his father's sword.

ISILDUR picks up sword, SAURON breaks it, but ISILDUR uses


the broken blade to cut off SAURON'S fingers, and the RING.

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
And Sauron, enemy of the free peoples of
Middle-Earth, was defeated. The Ring passed to
Isildur, who had this one chance to destroy
evil forever, but the hearts of men are easily
corrupted. And the ring of power has a will of
its own. It betrayed Isildur, to his death.

ISILDUR attacked by goblins, dies in the river, and the


RING is lost in the water.

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
And some things that should not have been
forgotten were lost. History became legend.
Legend became myth. For two and a half thousand
years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.
Until, when chance came, the ring ensnared
another bearer.

GOLLUM finds the RING in the riverbed.

GOLLUM
My Precious, my own.

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
The ring came to the creature Gollum, who took
it deep into the tunnels under the Misty
Mountains, and there it consumed him.

GOLLUM
It came to me, my own, my love, my Precious.

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
The ring gave to Gollum unnatural long life.
For five hundred years it poisoned his mind,
and in the gloom of Gollum's cave it waited.
Darkness crept back into the forests of the
world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East,
whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of
Power perceived that its time had come. It
abandoned Gollum, but then something happened
that the Ring did not intend. It was picked up
by the most unlikely creature imaginable. A
hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire.

BILBO
What's this? A Ring!

GOLLUM
Lost! My Precious is lost!

GALADRIEL (V.O.)
For the time will soon come when hobbits will
shape the fortunes of all.

Shire 60 years later

FRODO reading a book under a tree, hears GANDALF approach


singing. Runs to meet him.

FRODO
You're late.

GANDALF
A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is
he early. He arrives precisely when he means
to.

They both try to keep a straight face, and fail. FRODO


throws himself into GANDALF'S arms for a hug.

FRODO
It's wonderful to see you again, Gandalf.

GANDALF
You didn't think I'd miss your Uncle Bilbo's
birthday.

FRODO
What's new in the world? Tell me everything.
GANDALF
Haven't we grown curious? Most unnatural for a
hobbit. What can I tell you? Life in the wide
world goes on, much as it has this past age,
full of its own comings and goings, scarcely
aware of the existence of hobbits. For which I
am very grateful.

They pass a field where tents and a banner are being set
up.

GANDALF
Ah, the long-expected party. How is the old
rascal? I understand this is to be a party of
special magnificence.

FRODO
You know Bilbo. He has the whole place in an
uproar.

GANDALF
Well, that should please him.

FRODO
Half the Shire's been invited. He's up to
something.

GANDALF
Indeed?

FRODO
All right, keep your secrets. Before you came
along, we Bagginses were very well thought of.
Never had any adventures or did anything
unexpected.

GANDALF
If you're referring to that incident with the
dragon, I was barely involved. I only gave your
uncle a little nudge out the door.

FRODO
Whatever you did, you have been officially
labeled a disturber of the peace.

A group of HOBBIT children see GANDALF and come running.

CHILDREN
Gandalf, Gandalf! Fireworks, Gandalf!

GANDALF pretends he won't, but he sets off a butterfly


firework for them. An old grandmother's smile at the
children's delight turns to a more socially acceptable
frown when an annoyed mother becomes witness.

FRODO
Gandalf, I'm glad you're back.

FRODO jumps off the wagon.

GANDALF
So am I, dear boy, so am I.

GANDALF stops his wagon in front of Bag End, passes a sign


'No Admittance Except on Party Business', knocks on the
door with his staff. A disgruntled voice comes from within.

BILBO
No thank you! We don't want any more well-
wishers, visitors, or distant relations!

GANDALF
How about very old friends?

BILBO
Gandalf?

GANDALF
Bilbo Baggins!

BILBO
My dear Gandalf!

GANDALF
One hundred and eleven years old! Who would
believe it? You haven't aged a day.

BILBO
Come in, come in, welcome, would you like some
tea? Or perhaps something stronger. I still
have some of the Old Winyards left. 1296, a
very good year! Almost as old as I am! My
Father put it down. What say we open one?

BILBO puts GANDALF'S hat and staff away.

GANDALF
Just tea, thank you.

GANDALF knocks the chandelier, steadies it, and hits his


head on the beam when he turns around.

BILBO
I was expecting you last week, but you come
and go as you please...

BILBO gathers food while GANDALF looks at the maps spread


out on BILBO'S table.

BILBO
I can make you some eggs if you like...

BILBO comes into the room, but GANDALF isn't there.


GANDALF appears from behind him.

GANDALF
Just tea.

BILBO
Yes, right, you don't mind if I do?
BILBO has a mouthful of food already.

GANDALF
Oh, no, not at all.

Someone knocks on the door.

BILBO
I'm not at home! I need to get away from these
confounded relatives, hanging on the bell all
day, never giving me a moment's rest. I want to
see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains! And
then find someplace quiet where I can finish my
book. Oh, right, the tea.

GANDALF
You mean to go through with your plan, then?

BILBO
Yes, everything's in hand. The arrangements
have all been made.

GANDALF
Frodo suspects.

BILBO
Of course he suspects, he's a Baggins, not
some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle!

GANDALF
You will tell him, won't you?

BILBO
Yes, yes.

GANDALF
He's very fond of you, you know.

BILBO
I know. He'd probably come with me if I asked
him to, but I think in his heart Frodo is still
in love with the Shire. The woods, the fields,
little rivers. I'm old, Gandalf. I know I don't
look it, but I begin to feel it in my heart. I
feel thin, stretched, like butter scraped over
too much bread. I need a holiday, a very
long holiday, and I don't expect I shall
return. In fact, I mean not to!

BILBO and GANDALF sit outside Bag-End, smoking.

BILBO
Old Toby! Finest weed in Southfarthing.

BILBO blows a smoke-ring, GANDALF blows a ship, which


sails through the ring.

BILBO
Gandalf, my old friend, this will be a night
to remember!
GANDALF sets off fireworks - a tree, fountain that turns
into jet planes.

FRODO sits down next to SAM.

FRODO
Go on, Sam, ask Rosie for a dance!

SAM is too shy.

SAM
I think I'll just have another ale.

FRODO
Oh, no you don't!

FRODO shoves SAM at ROSIE, they dance off

BILBO is telling his story to the young HOBBIT children.

BILBO
So there I was, at the mercy of three
monstrous trolls, and they were arguing about
how to cook us! Whether it be turned on a spit,
or if they should sit on us one by one and
squash us into jelly! They spent so much time
arguing the whithertos and whyfors that the
first light of the sun crept up over the tops
of the trees and turned them all to stone!

GANDALF sets off a butterflies firework, which the


children try to catch.

GANDALF returns to his wagon for more fireworks, and when


he leaves, MERRY and PIPPIN come out to steal one of their
own. MERRY gives PIPPIN a boost into the wagon, where he
roots around and comes up with one.

MERRY
Not that one! The big one, the big one!

PIPPIN grabs the largest firework he can find, which is


bright red and huge. They hurry into the tent, so they
won't be caught with it. PIPPIN lights it.

PIPPIN
There!

MERRY
You're supposed to put it in the ground first!

PIPPIN
It is in the ground!

MERRY
Outside!

PIPPIN
This was your idea!

The firework goes off, taking the roof of the tent with
it, and leaving MERRY and PIPPIN flat on the ground,
covered in soot. The firework goes straight up, becomes a
dragon's head, turns around, sprouts wings, and flies in
low over the crowd. General panic. FRODO sees it coming and
tries to warn BILBO.

FRODO
Bilbo, watch out for the dragon!

BILBO
Nonsense, there hasn't been a dragon in these
parts for a thousand years!

They duck to avoid the dragon, which, having given


everyone a good scare, dissolves into a spectacular shower
of sparks. MERRY and PIPPIN observe the results and are
well pleased.

PIPPIN
That was good!

MERRY
Let's get another one!

GANDALF comes up behind and grabs MERRY and PIPPIN by


their ears.

GANDALF
Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took. I
might have known.

MERRY and PIPPIN end up washing dishes in penance. Several


HOBBITS go by carrying an enormous cake laden with candles,
and BILBO stands up.

Speech! Speech!

BILBO
My dear Bagginses and Boffins, Tooks and
Brandybucks, Gubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers,
Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots!

Proudfeet!

BILBO
Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday!
Alas, eleventy one years is much too short a
time to live among such excellent and admirable
hobbits! I don't know half of you half as well
as I should like and I like less than half of
you half as well as you deserve! I have things
to do. I've put this off for far too long. I
regret to announce this is the end! I'm going
now. I bid you all a very fond farewell!
Goodbye.

BILBO puts on the ring and vanishes, to the astonishment


of everyone except GANDALF. Footsteps up the path to Bag
End. Door opens. BILBO appears, taking off the RING. Puts
it in his pocket. Chooses a staff from beside the door.
GANDALF has arrived before him.
GANDALF
I suppose you thought that was terribly
clever.

BILBO
Come on, Gandalf! Did you see their faces?

GANDALF
There are a good many magic rings in the
world, Bilbo, and none of them should be used
lightly!

BILBO
It was just a bit of fun. Oh, I suppose you're
right, as usual.

BILBO gathers some things to take with him.

BILBO
You will keep an eye on Frodo, won't you?

GANDALF
Two eyes, as often as I can spare them.

BILBO
I'm leaving everything to him.

GANDALF
And this ring of yours, is that staying, too?

BILBO
Yes, it's in an envelope, on the mantelpiece.

GANDALF looks on the mantel.

BILBO
Wait, no, it's here in my pocket. Isn't that
odd, now? Yet, why not? Why shouldn't I keep
it?

GANDALF
I think you should leave the ring behind. Is
that so hard?

BILBO
Well, no, and yes. Now it comes to it.
I don't feel like parting with it! I found it!
It came to me!

GANDALF
There's no need to get angry.

BILBO
And what if I'm angry! It's your fault! It's
mine. My own, my precious...

GANDALF
Precious? It's been called that before, but
not by you.

BILBO
What business is it of yours what I do with my
own things?

GANDALF
I think you've had that ring quite long
enough.

BILBO
You want it for yourself!

A shadow draws around GANDALF, revealing the power he


usually keeps hidden.

GANDALF
Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap
tricks! I am not trying to rob you! I'm trying
to help you.

The shadow retreats, and GANDALF is the kindly old man


again. BILBO runs to him.

GANDALF
All your long years, we have been friends.
Trust me now as you once did. Let it go.

BILBO
You're right. The ring must go to Frodo. It's
late, and the road is long. Yes, it is time.

BILBO gathers his pack and heads out the door. GANDALF
stops him on the doorstep.

GANDALF
Bilbo, the ring is still in your pocket.

BILBO
Oh, yes.

BILBO takes out the ring, holds it on his palm, and with a
great effort, turns his hand until the ring slips off and
drops on the floor. BILBO walks out, takes a deep breath.

BILBO
I've thought of an ending for my book. 'And he
lived happily ever after, to the end of his
days.'

GANDALF
And I'm sure you will, old friend.

BILBO
Good bye, Gandalf.

They shake hands, friends as always.

GANDALF
Goodbye, dear Bilbo.

Exit BILBO, singing.

GANDALF
Until our next meeting.
GANDALF reaches down to pick up the RING, sees the EYE,
and leaves it where it is. Sits in front of the fire,
thinking about BILBO'S words, and the ring'S history.

BILBO
It's mine, my own, my precious.

GANDALF
Riddles in the dark... Precious...

FRODO
Bilbo!

FRODO enters, sees the ring and picks it up.

FRODO
He's gone, hasn't he? He talked about it for
so long, I never really believed he would do
it. Gandalf?

GANDALF looks over, sees FRODO has the RING.

GANDALF
Bilbo's Ring. He's gone to stay with the
elves. He's left you Bag End, along with all
his possessions. The Ring is yours now.

GANDALF holds out an envelope, FRODO slips the RING


inside. GANDALF seals it with wax.

GANDALF
Put it somewhere out of sight.

FRODO
Where are you going?

GANDALF heads for the door.

GANDALF
There are things I need to see to.

FRODO
What things?

GANDALF
Questions, questions that need answering.

FRODO
But you've only just arrived! I don't
understand.

GANDALF
Neither do I. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

GANDALF rides to the White city, sees fire over the


mountains. BARAD-DUR rebuilt, a voice screams 'Shire!
Baggins!' The Nine ride out the gate. GANDALF looks through
the library in the White City, finds the manuscript of
ISILDUR'S tale.

The year 3434 of the Second Age. Here follows


the account of Isildur, High King of Gondor,
and the finding of the Ring. The Ring of power
has come to me. It will become an heirloom of
my kingdom. All those who follow in my
bloodline will be bound to its fate, for I will
risk no hurt to the Ring. It is precious to me,
though I buy it with a great pain. The markings
on the band fade, the writing that was once as
bright as red flame has all but disappeared, a
secret now only fire can tell.

A HOBBIT cutting wood is startled by a DARK RIDER. His dog


sensibly retreats into the house.

N
Shire. Baggins.

HOBBIT
No Bagginses here. They're all up in
Hobbitton. That way.

He follows his dog as the RIDER turns toward HOBBITTON.

FRODO returns home from the inn, the window is open and
all is dark. GANDALF grabs his shoulder from behind.

GANDALF
Is it secret? Is it safe?

FRODO gets out the envelope, GANDALF throws it in the


fire.

FRODO
What are you doing?

Envelope burns away, revealing the RING. GANDALF retrieves


it from the fire with tongs.

GANDALF
Hold out your hand, Frodo. It's quite cool.
What can you see? Can you see anything?

FRODO
Nothing. There's nothing. Wait. There are
markings. It's some form of Elvish, but I can't
read it.

GANDALF
There are few who can. The language is that of
Mordor, which I shall not utter here.

FRODO
Mordor?

GANDALF
In the common tongue, it reads, One ring to
rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring
to bring them all and in the darkness bind
them.

GANDALF
This is the One Ring, forged by Sauron in the
fires of Mount Doom. Isildur took it from the
hand of Sauron himself.

FRODO
Bilbo found it, in Gollum's cave.

GANDALF
For sixty years, it lay quiet in Bilbo's
keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age.
But no longer. There is evil stirring in
Mordor. The Ring has awoken. It's heard its
master's call.

FRODO
But he was destroyed. Sauron was destroyed.

The RING whispers denial.

GANDALF
No, Frodo. His spirit endured. Sauron's life-
force was bound to the Ring, and the Ring
survived. Sauron has returned. His orcs have
multiplied. His fortress of Barad-Dur is
rebuilt in Mordor. He needs only this Ring to
cover all the lands in a second darkness. He is
seeking it, seeking it, all his thought is bent
on it. The Ring yearns above all else to return
to the hand of its master. They are one, the
Ring and the Dark Lord. He must never find it.

FRODO grabs the RING.

FRODO
All right, we keep it hidden. We put it away,
we never speak of it again. Nobody knows its
here, do they?

GANDALF is silent.

FRODO
Do they, Gandalf?

GANDALF
There was one other who knew that Bilbo had
the ring. I looked everywhere for the creature
Gollum, but the Enemy found him first.

GANDALF
I don't know how long they tortured him, but
amid the endless screams and inane babble, they
heard two words. Shire. Baggins.

FRODO
Shire. Baggins. But that would lead them here!

The RIDERS kill a night watchman. FRODO holds out the RING
to GANDALF.

FRODO
Take it, Gandalf, you must take it!

GANDALF
You cannot offer me this Ring!
FRODO
I am giving it to you!

GANDALF
Don't tempt me! I dare not take this
Ring, not even to keep it safe! Understand, I
would use this Ring out of a desire to do good,
but through me, it would wield a power too
great and terrible to imagine.

FRODO
But it cannot stay in the Shire!

GANDALF
No. No, it can't.

FRODO accepts his duty.

FRODO
What must I do?

GANDALF
You must go, and go quickly.

FRODO
Where?

GANDALF
Get out of the Shire. Make for the village of
Bree.

FRODO
What about you?

GANDALF
I will wait for you at the Inn of the Prancing
Pony.

FRODO
And the Ring will be safe there?

GANDALF
I don't know, Frodo. I don't have any answers.
I must see the head of my order. He is both
powerful and wise. Trust me, he will know what
to do. You must leave the name of Baggins
behind you, for that name is not safe outside
the Shire. Travel only by day, and stay off the
road.

FRODO
I can cut across country easily enough.

GANDALF stops, looking at FRODO, who is within minutes


packed, cloaked, and ready for a long and dangerous
journey.

GANDALF
Dear Frodo. Hobbits are the most amazing
creatures. You can learn everything there is to
know about their ways in a month, and after a
hundred years they can still surprise you!

Noise outside the window.

GANDALF
Get down!

FRODO drops to the floor, GANDALF reaches out the window


with his staff, hits something. Hauls SAM in by the scruff
of his neck.

GANDALF
Confound it all, Samwise Gamgee, have you been
eavesdropping?

SAM
I ain't been dropping no eaves, sir, honest, I
was just cutting the grass outside the window,
if you follow me.

GANDALF
A bit late for trimming the verge.

SAM
I heard raised voices.

GANDALF
What did you hear? Speak!

SAM
Nothing important. That is, I heard a good
deal about a ring, and a dark lord, and
something about the end of the world. Please
don't hurt me, sir, don't turn me into anything
unnatural.

GANDALF
No? Perhaps not. I've thought of a better use
for you.

GANDALF and FRODO walking, GANDALF leading his horse.

GANDALF
Come along, Samwise, keep up!

SAM runs to catch up. The three stop under the trees.

GANDALF
Be careful, both of you. The enemy has many
spies in his service. Birds, beasts. Is it
safe?

FRODO pats his pocket, where the RING is hidden.

GANDALF
Never put it on! The servants of the Dark Lord
will be drawn to its power. Remember, the Ring
is trying to get back to its master. It
wants to be found.

GANDALF leaves. FRODO and SAM cross fields, going towards


BREE. SAM stops on the edge of a field of wheat.
SAM
This is it.

FRODO
This is what?

SAM
If I take one more step, it will be the
farthest from home I've ever been.

FRODO
Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say.
It's a dangerous thing, Frodo, going out your
door. You step onto the road, and if you don't
keep your feet, there's no knowing where you'll
be swept off to.

GANDALF riding to Isengard.

SARUMAN
Smoke rises from the mountain of Doom. The
hour grows late, and Gandalf the Grey rides to
Isengard seeking my council. For that is why
you have come, is it not, my old friend?

GANDALF
Saruman.

GANDALF and SARUMAN walking outside Isengard.

SARUMAN
You are sure of this?

GANDALF
Beyond any doubt.

SARUMAN
So the One Ring has been found.

GANDALF
All these long years it was in the Shire,
right under my nose.

SARUMAN
And you had not the wit to see it. Your love
of the Halflings' leaf has clearly slowed your
mind.

GANDALF
We still have time, time to counter Sauron, if
we act quickly.

SARUMAN
Time? What time do you think we have?

SARUMAN and GANDALF inside Isengard.

SARUMAN
Sauron has regained much of his former
strength. He cannot yet take physical form, but
his spirit has lost none of its potency.
Concealed in his fortress he sees all. His gaze
pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You
know of what I speak. A great eye, lidless,
wreathed in flame.

GANDALF
The Eye of Sauron.

SARUMAN
He is gathering all evil to him. Very soon he
will have assembled an army large enough to
assault Middle-earth.

GANDALF
You know this? How?

SARUMAN
I have seen it.

They enter another room, where a stone sphere lies


covered.

GANDALF
A Palantir is a dangerous tool.

SARUMAN uncovers the stone.

SARUMAN
Why? Why should we fear to use it?

GANDALF
They are not all accounted for, the lost
seeing stones. You do not know who else may be
watching.

As he re-covers the stone, GANDALF sees the EYE

SARUMAN
The hour is later than you think. Sauron's
forces are already moving. The Nine have left
Minas Mordor.

GANDALF
The Nine?

SARUMAN
They crossed the river Isen on midsummer's
eve, disguised as riders in black.

GANDALF
They have reached the Shire!

SARUMAN
They will find the Ring, and kill the one who
carries it.

GANDALF
Frodo!

GANDALF tries to leave, but the doors slam, one by one.

SARUMAN
You did not truly think that a hobbit could
contend with the will of Sauron? There are none
who can. Against the power of Mordor there can
be no victory. We must join him, Gandalf. Join
with Sauron. It would be wise, old friend.

GANDALF
Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the
Wise abandon reason for madness?

They fight, GANDALF loses his staff and is captured.

SARUMAN
I offered you the choice of aiding me
willingly, but you have elected the way of
pain!

GANDALF rises toward the roof of Isengard. Darkness.

SAM emerges from a corn patch, alone.

SAM
Mister Frodo? Frodo!

FRODO reappears from the path ahead.

SAM
I thought I'd lost you.

FRODO
What are you talking about, Sam?

SAM
It's just something Gandalf said.

FRODO
What did he say?

SAM
Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee. And I
don't mean to.

FRODO
We're still in the Shire, Sam, what could
possibly happen?

They get knocked over by MERRY and PIPPIN.

PIPPIN
Frodo! Look, Merry, it's Frodo!

SAM
You get off him!

SAM shakes off MERRY, picks PIPPIN off FRODO by the scruff
of his neck.

MERRY hands SAM an armful of vegetables.

MERRY
Hold these.
PIPPIN
What's the meaning of this?

SAM
You've been into Farmer Maggott's crop!

They start running through a cornfield.

MERRY
I don't know what he's so upset about, it's
only a few carrots.

PIPPIN
And some cabbages. And the three bags of
potatoes we lifted last week. And the mushrooms
the week before that.

MERRY
Yes, Pippin! My point is, he's obviously
overreacting!

They all fall over a cliff, land in a heap.

PIPPIN lands inches away from a pile of manure.

PIPPIN
Ooh! That was a close one.

MERRY
I think I've broken something.

MERRY pulls out a broken carrot.

SAM
Trust a Brandybuck and a Took!

MERRY
Nonsense! That was just a detour! A shortcut!

SAM
Shortcut to what?

PIPPIN
Mushrooms!

Three start gathering mushrooms into a bag.

FRODO looks down the road.

FRODO
I think we should get off the road.

Something dark approaches.

FRODO
Get off the road, quick!

They hide under the roots of a tree. The RINGWRAITH comes,


on his horse. Gets off the horse, sniffing as though he can
smell that the RING is close. A spider crawls out, and a
centipede, and a lot of worms. For the first time, the RING
tries to impose its will on FRODO, pushing him to put it on
so they will be found. SAM distracts him. MERRY throws
something to distract the WRAITH, and they run away.

PIPPIN
What was that?

It is dark, they have been running for some time, watching


for the RIDER.

Anything?

FRODO
Nothing.

MERRY
That dark rider was looking for something, or
someone. Frodo?

RIDER appears, in the distance.

Get down!

They hide again.

FRODO
I have to leave the Shire. Sam and I have to
get to Bree.

MERRY
Bucklebury ferry. Follow me.

They run, but the horse is right behind them. FRODO gets
separated from the rest, who get to the ferry ahead of him.

MERRY
Sam, get the ropes!

They untie the raft.

Run, Frodo!

The RIDER is right behind FRODO.

FRODO
Go!

FRODO jumps off the dock, and just makes it onto the
ferry. The RIDER stops at the water's edge.

FRODO
Where is the nearest crossing?

MERRY
Brandywine bridge. Twenty miles.

They look back to see three RIDERS now, heading for the
bridge.

Four HOBBITS arrive at BREE, in the pouring rain, knock on


the gate. Guard answers. Seeing no one at the window, he
opens the lower window.
GUARD
What do you want?

FRODO
We are headed for the Prancing Pony.

GUARD
Hobbits. Four hobbits! What business brings
you to Bree?

FRODO
We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is
our own.

GUARD
Very well, young sir, didn't mean no offence
by it. It's my job to ask questions after
nightfall. There's been talk of some strange
folk about. Can't be too careful.

Arrival at the Prancing Pony.

FRODO
Excuse me?

BARLIMAN
Good evening, little Masters. If you're
looking for accommodation, we have some cozy
hobbit-sized rooms available, Mr...?

FRODO
Underhill. My name's Underhill. We're friends
of Gandalf the Grey. Would you tell him we've
arrived?

BARLIMAN
Gandalf? Elderly chap, big grey beard, pointy
hat. Haven't seen him in six months.

SAM
What do we do now?

FRODO
He'll come, Sam. He'll be here.

MERRY sits down.

PIPPIN
What's that?

MERRY
This, my friend, is a pint.

PIPPIN
It comes in pints? I'm going to get one.

SAM
Pippin, you've had a whole half already.

PIPPIN goes to the bar for his pint.

SAM
That man's done nothing but stare at you since
we came in.

FRODO stops the innkeeper.

FRODO
That man in the corner, who is he?

BARLIMAN
He's one of them Rangers. Dangerous folk, they
are, wandering the wilds. What his right name
is I've never heard, but round here he's known
as Strider.

FRODO
Strider.

RING tries again to get FRODO to put it on, whispering


Baggins, Baggins.

PIPPIN
Baggins? Sure I know a Baggins - Frodo
Baggins, over there. He's my second cousin,
once removed on his Mother's side.

FRODO runs toward PIPPIN, at the bar.

FRODO
Pippin!

PIPPIN
Steady on!

FRODO trips, the ring falls on his finger. The Nine turn
towards BREE. FRODO sees the EYE for the first time. FRODO
takes off the ring and is dragged off by STRIDER.

STRIDER
You draw far too much attention to yourself,
Mr. Underhill.

FRODO
What do you want?

STRIDER
A little more caution from you, that is no
trinket you carry.

FRODO
I carry nothing.

STRIDER
Indeed? I can avoid being seen if I wish, but
to disappear entirely - that is a rare gift.

FRODO
Who are you?

STRIDER
Are you frightened?

FRODO
Yes.

STRIDER
Not nearly frightened enough. I know what
hunts you.

The three HOBBITS come in, threatening STRIDER if he has


hurt FRODO.

STRIDER
You have a stout heart, little hobbit, but it
will not save you. You can no longer wait for
the wizard, Frodo. They are coming.

Four of the Nine arrive at BREE, break down the gate and
squash the doorkeeper. They find the room where HOBBITS
appear to be sleeping and stab them, become angry when they
find they have been tricked. FRODO is awake already,
watching STRIDER watching out the window. The others wake
at the noise.

FRODO
What are they?

STRIDER
They were once men. Great kings of men, but
Sauron the Deceiver gave them nine rings of
power, and, blinded by their greed, they took
them without question, one by one falling into
darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They
are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor
dead. At all times they feel the presence of
the ring, drawn to the power of the One. They
will never stop hunting you.

The party leaves BREE, avoiding the roads.

FRODO
Where are you taking us?

STRIDER
Into the wilds.

They walk for a while.

MERRY
How do we know this Strider is a friend of
Gandalf's?

FRODO
We have no choice but to trust him.

SAM
Where is he taking us?

STRIDER
To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, the home of
Elrond.

SAM
Did you hear that? Rivendell! We're going to
see the elves!

HOBBITS stop.

STRIDER
Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.

PIPPIN
What about breakfast?

STRIDER
You have had it.

PIPPIN
We've had one, yes, what about second
breakfast?

MERRY
I don't think he knows about second breakfast,
Pip.

PIPPIN
What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea?
Dinner? Supper? Do you think he knows about
them?

MERRY
I wouldn't count on it.

STRIDER throws an apple to MERRY, who catches it, and


PIPPIN, who gets hit in the head.

SARUMAN using Palantir.

SARUMAN
The power of Isengard is at your command,
Sauron, Lord of the Earth.

Build me an army worthy of Mordor.

SARUMAN sits in his study, looking uncomfortable. ORCS


enter, looking out of place.

ORC
What orders from Mordor, my lord? What does
the High command?

SARUMAN
We have work to do.

ORCS begin pulling down trees. GANDALF observes from his


prison atop the tower.

ORC
The trees are strong, my lord. Their roots go
deep.
SARUMAN
Rip them all down.

FRODO and company cross harsh lands.

STRIDER
This was once the great watchtower of Amon
Sul. We will rest here tonight.

STRIDER unwraps four swords, passes them out to HOBBITS.

STRIDER
These are for you. Keep them close. I'm going
to have a look around. Stay here.

FRODO is napping, wakes up to find the others have built a


fire.

FRODO
What are you doing?

MERRY
Sausages, tomatoes, nice crispy bacon!

SAM
We saved some for you!

FRODO
Put it out, you fools, put it out!

FRODO stamps out the fire.

PIPPIN
That's nice, ash on my tomatoes.

They look over the edge to find RINGWRAITHS approaching.

FRODO pulls out his sword.

FRODO
Go!

HOBBITS retreat to the center of the ruin, stand back to


back, not knowing where the WRAITHS will come from. Five
WRAITHS enter the ruin.

SAM
Back, you devils!

SAM tries to fight them, gets tossed aside. MERRY and


PIPPIN step in front, get pushed away. FRODO drops his
sword, backs away. Falls down. The WRAITHS seem to know he
has the RING. He pulls it out of his pocket, and they all
focus on it. WRAITHS close in, and he puts on the ring. The
RINGWRAITH leader tries to take the ring. It takes all
FRODO'S strength to pull it away. The Wraith seems angry
that FRODO has denied him and stabs him in the shoulder.
STRIDER attacks WRAITHS, FRODO takes the ring off.
SAM
Frodo!

SAM runs to FRODO, now that he can see him.

FRODO
Oh, Sam!

STRIDER stabs and sets fire to WRAITHS, they go away.

SAM
Strider! Help him!

STRIDER picks up the sword, but the blade dissolves into


dust.

STRIDER
He's been stabbed with a Morgul blade. This is
beyond my skill to heal, he needs elvish
medicine.

STRIDER picks up FRODO, who is in a lot of pain.

STRIDER
Hang on, Frodo.

SAM
It's six days to Rivendell! He'll never make
it!

FRODO
Gandalf. Gandalf!

GANDALF is still imprisoned on top of Isengard, which is


now barren, with deep holes in the ground where ORCS mine
and forge weapons and armor. A moth flutters by, and
GANDALF catches it, speaks to it, and lets it go. SARUMAN
oversees his latest project - a new type of creature is
being bred in pits of mud. One awakens, and immediately
kills the ORC tending it. SARUMAN seems pleased.

STRIDER carries FRODO, they stop at the three stone


TROLLs.

SAM
Mr. Frodo? He's going cold!

PIPPIN
Is he going to die?

STRIDER
He is passing into the shadow world. Soon he
will become a wraith like them.

There is a cry, not far enough away.

MERRY
They're close!
STRIDER
Sam, do you know the Athelas plant?

SAM
Athelas?

STRIDER
Kingsfoil.

SAM
Kingsfoil? Aye, it's a weed.

STRIDER
It may help to slow the poison.

SAM and STRIDER search for plant, STRIDER finds it.

ARWEN
What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?

FRODO sees ARWEN as she is from the shadow world- a


beautiful, glowing elf-maiden in white robes.

ARWEN
Frodo, I am Arwen. I've come to help you. Hear
my voice. Return to the light.

A black stain is spreading across FRODO'S eyes as the


poison takes over.

Who is she?

SAM
She's an elf!

ARWEN
He's fading. He's not going to last. We have
to get him to my father.

STRIDER chews up some of the Kingsfoil and presses it into


the wound.

ARWEN
I've been looking for you for two days. There
are five wraiths behind you. Where the other
four are I do not know.

STRIDER lifts FRODO onto ARWEN'S horse.

STRIDER
Stay with the hobbits. I will send horses for
you.

ARWEN
I am the faster rider. I will take him.

STRIDER
The road is too dangerous.

ARWEN
If I can get across the river, the power of my
people will protect him. I do not fear them.

ARWEN gets on her horse, behind FRODO.

STRIDER
Arwen. Ride hard and don't look back.

SAM
What are you doing? Those wraiths are still
out there!

ARWEN and FRODO ride, chased by some RINGWRAITHS. WRAITHS


try to influence FRODO, either to give in to the poison or
to put the RING on.

ARWEN
No! Frodo, you must not!

They get to the river, ARWEN stops partway across. RIDERS


or their horses do not want to enter the river.

N
Give up the halfling, she-elf!

ARWEN draws her sword.

ARWEN
If you want him, come and claim him!

RIDERS start to cross the river. ARWEN speaks to the river


in elvish, and it rises suddenly. A flood of water washes
down the riverbed, led by white horse-shapes. WRAITHS are
washed away. FRODO is losing his battle. ARWEN gets off her
horse, lays him on the ground.

ARWEN
No, Frodo! Don't give in! Not now!

ARWEN
Let what grace is given me be passed to him.
Let him be spared. Save him.

FRODO'S world dissolves into light.

FRODO wakes up, in bed.

FRODO
Where am I?

GANDALF
You are in the House of Elrond, and it is ten
in the morning, on October the 24th, if you
want to know.

FRODO
Gandalf?

GANDALF
Yes, I'm here. And you're lucky to be here,
too. A few more hours and you would have been
beyond our aid, but you have some strength in
you, dear hobbit.

FRODO
What happened? Why didn't you meet us?

GANDALF
I am sorry. I was delayed.

Top of the tower.

SARUMAN
The friendship of Saruman is not lightly cast
aside. One ill turn deserves another.

SARUMAN holding GANDALF out over the edge of the tower.

SARUMAN
It is over. Embrace the power of the Ring or
embrace your own destruction.

GANDALF
The ring has but one master. Only one may bend
it to his will, and he does not share power.

GANDALF jumps off the edge of the tower, King of Eagles


catches him and they fly away.

SARUMAN
So you have chosen death.

FRODO
Gandalf, what is it?

GANDALF
Nothing.

SAM comes in, and ELROND.

SAM
Bless you, Frodo, you're awake!

GANDALF
Sam has hardly left your side.

SAM
We were that worried about you, weren't we,
Mr. Gandalf?

GANDALF
Thanks to the skills of Master Elrond, you
have begun to mend.

ELROND
Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins.
FRODO meets MERRY and PIPPIN again, and BILBO, looking
older.

FRODO
Bilbo!

BILBO
Hello, Frodo, my lad!

FRODO looking at BILBO'S book.

FRODO
There and back again, a hobbit's tale, by
Bilbo Baggins. This is wonderful!

BILBO
I meant to go back, wander the paths of the
Mirkwood, visit Laketown, see the Lonely
Mountain again, but age, it seems, has finally
caught up with me.

FRODO
I miss the Shire. I spent all my childhood
pretending I was somewhere else, off with you
on one of your adventures, but my own adventure
turned out to be quite different. I'm not like
you, Bilbo.

BILBO
My dear boy.

SAM packing.

SAM
Now what have I forgotten?

FRODO
Packed already?

SAM
Doesn't hurt to be prepared.

FRODO
I thought you wanted to see the elves, Sam.

SAM
I do.

FRODO
More than anything.

SAM
I did, but... we did what we set off to do,
didn't we? We got the ring this far, to
Rivendell, and seeing as how you're on the
mend, I thought we'd be off soon. Off home.

FRODO
You're right, Sam. We did what Gandalf wanted.
The Ring will be safe in Rivendell. I am ready
to go home.

GANDALF and ELROND, watching FRODO and SAM.

ELROND
His strength returns.

GANDALF
That wound will never fully heal. He will
carry it for the rest of his life.

ELROND
Yet to have come so far still bearing the
ring, the hobbit has shown remarkable
resilience to its evil.

GANDALF
It is a burden he should never have had to
bear. We can ask no more of Frodo.

ELROND
Gandalf, the Enemy is moving. Sauron's forces
are massing in the East. The Eye is fixed on
Rivendell. Now you tell me Saruman has betrayed
us. The list of our allies grows thin.

GANDALF
His treachery goes deeper than you know. At
Falcraft, Saruman has crossed orcs with goblin
men. He is breeding an army in the caverns of
Isengard. An army that can move in sunlight,
and travel great distances at speed. Saruman is
coming for the ring.

ELROND
This evil cannot be concealed by the power of
the elves. We do not have the strength to stand
against Mordor and Isengard both. The ring
cannot stay here.

BOROMIR arrives, and LEGOLAS, and a group of DWARVES.

ELROND
This peril belongs to all Middle-Earth, and
they must decide now how to end it. The age of
elves is over. My people are leaving these
shores. Who will you turn to once we are gone?
The dwarves hide in their mountains seeking
riches and care not for the troubles of others.

GANDALF
We must place our hope in men.

ELROND
Men! The race of men is weak, failing. The
blood of Numenor is all but spent, its pride
and dignity forgotten. It is because of men
that the Ring survives. I was there, three
thousand years ago, when Isildur took the ring.
I was there when the strength of men failed.

ISILDUR takes the RING.

ELROND
Follow me!

ELROND
I led Isildur into the heart of Mount Doom,
where it was forged, the one place it could be
destroyed.

ELROND
Throw it in the fire! Destroy it!

ISILDUR
No.

ELROND
Isildur!

ELROND
It should have ended that day, but evil was
allowed to endure. Isildur kept the Ring. The
line of Kings is broken. There is no strength
left in the world of men. They are scattered,
divided, leaderless.

GANDALF
There is one who could unite them. Who could
reclaim the throne of Gondor.

ELROND
He turned from that path long ago. He has
chosen exile.

STRIDER reading a book.

BOROMIR
The shards of Narsil. The blade that cut the
ring from Sauron's hand.

He cuts his finger on it.

BOROMIR
Still sharp. But no more than a broken hilt.

The sword falls when BOROMIR tries to replace it on the


statue. ARAGORN picks it up, and returns it to its place.

ARWEN
Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur's
heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to
his fate.

STRIDER
The same blood flows in my veins, the same
weakness.
ARWEN
Your time will come. You will face the same
evil, and you will defeat it. The shadow does
not yet hold sway. Not over you, not over me.
Do you remember the first time we met?

STRIDER
I thought I had strayed into a dream.

ARWEN
Long years have passed since then. You did not
have the cares you carry now. Do you remember
what I told you?

STRIDER
You said you would bind yourself to me, and
forsake the immortal life of your people.

ARWEN
And to that I hold. I would rather share one
lifetime with you than face all the ages of the
world alone. I choose a mortal life.

ARWEN gives ARAGORN the flower necklace she wears.

STRIDER
You cannot give me this.

ARWEN
It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my
heart.

A council is gathered of MEN and ELVES and DWARVES and


FRODO.

ELROND
Strangers from distant lands, friends of old.
You are summoned here to answer the threat of
Mordor. Middle-Earth stands on the brink of
destruction. You will unite or you will fall.
Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom.

ELROND
Bring forth the ring, Frodo.

FRODO puts the RING on the stand in the center of the


council, and seems much relieved to be rid of it.

So it is true.

The Ring of power.

The doom of man.

BOROMIR
It is a gift, a gift to the foes of Mordor.
Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the
Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at
bay. By the blood of my people are your lands
kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy.
Let us use it against him.

STRIDER
You cannot wield it. None of us can. The ring
answers to Sauron alone. It has no other
master.

BOROMIR
What would a ranger know of this matter?

LEGOLAS
He is no mere ranger. This is Aragorn, son of
Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.

BOROMIR
This is Isildur's heir?

LEGOLAS
And heir to the throne of Gondor.

STRIDER
Sit down, Legolas.

BOROMIR
Gondor has no king, Gondor needs no king.

GANDALF
Aragorn is right. We cannot control it.

ELROND
We have but one choice. The ring must be
destroyed.

The RING murmurs its displeasure.

GIMLI
What are we waiting for?

GIMLI picks up his axe and hits the RING. FRODO sees the
eye, and the axe is shattered. GIMLI is knocked to the
ground.

ELROND
The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of
Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. It
was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there
can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into
Mordor, and cast back into the fiery chasm from
which it came. One of you must do this.

Silence.

BOROMIR
One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its
black gates are guarded by more than orcs.
There is evil there that does not sleep, and
the great eye is ever watchful. It is a barren
wasteland, riddled with fire, ash and dust. The
very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. It is
folly. Not with ten thousand men could you do
this.
LEGOLAS
Have you heard nothing that Lord Elrond has
said? The Ring must be destroyed!

GIMLI
And I suppose you think you're the one to do
it?

BOROMIR
And what if we fail? What happens when Sauron
takes back what is his?

GIMLI
I will be dead before I see the Ring in the
hands of an elf! Never trust an elf!

The RING chants, telling its name, and its terrible


purpose, in the language of its master. The council
dissolves into arguing, flames spread across the ring as it
feeds their distrust and anger.

FRODO
I will take it.

Arguing continues.

FRODO
I will take it!

GANDALF hears, and it pains him that FRODO must continue


to carry the RING, but the rest of the council has just
demonstrated how easily the RING can influence most people.
Silence returns.

FRODO
I will take the ring to Mordor. Though I do
not know the way.

GANDALF
I will help you bear this burden for as long
as it is yours to bear.

STRIDER
If by my life or my death I can protect you, I
will.

ARAGORN kneels in front of FRODO.

STRIDER
You have my sword.

LEGOLAS
And my bow.

GIMLI
And my axe.

BOROMIR
You carry the fate of us all, little one. But
if this is truly the will of the council,
Gondor will see it done.

SAM runs in.

SAM
Here! Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without
me.

SAM takes his place beside FRODO.

ELROND
Indeed, it is hardly possible to separate the
two of you, even when he is summoned to a
secret council and you are not. Very well.

MERRY and PIPPIN barge in.

MERRY
We're going, too! You'd have to send us home
tied up in a sack to keep us away.

PIPPIN
Anyway, you need people of intelligence on
this sort of mission. Quest. Thing.

MERRY
Well, that rules you out, Pip.

ELROND
Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the
Fellowship of the Ring.

PIPPIN
Great. Now, where are we going?

BILBO gives FRODO his old sword and armor.

BILBO
My old sword, Sting. Take it, take it!

FRODO
It's so light!

BILBO
Yes. Made by the elves, you know. The blade
glows blue when orcs are close. And it's times
like those, dear boy, you have to be extra
careful. Here's a pretty thing.

BILBO holds up a chainmail vest, sized for a HOBBIT.

BILBO
As light as a feather, and as hard as dragon
scales. Let me see you put it on.

FRODO starts to take off his shirt.

BILBO
Oh, my old ring. I should very much like to
hold it again, one last time.

FRODO knows better, and buttons up his shirt again. BILBO


has an evil moment, then recovers.

BILBO
I'm sorry I brought this upon you, my boy. I'm
sorry you must carry this burden. I'm sorry for
everything!

FRODO comforts him.

The company leaves Rivendell, wanders past ruins, over


mountains, through fields.

GANDALF
We must hold to this course west of the Misty
Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds,
the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us, and
from there our road turns east toward Mordor.

They stop for lunch, MERRY and PIPPIN practice


swordfighting with BOROMIR.

BOROMIR
Very good. Again!

GIMLI
If anyone were to ask my opinion, which I note
they have not, I would say we're taking the
long way around! Gandalf, we could go through
the Mines of Moria. My cousin Balin would give
us a royal welcome!

GANDALF
No, Gimli, I would not take the road through
Moria unless I had no other choice.

ARAGORN adds comments.

STRIDER
Move your feet!

BOROMIR accidentally hurts PIPPIN.

PIPPIN
Ow!

BOROMIR
Sorry!

PIPPIN drops his sword, kicks BOROMIR in the shins and


tackles him. MERRY joins in, and the two of them wrestle
BOROMIR to the ground. LEGOLAS notices something on the
horizon.

SAM
What's that?

GIMLI
It's nothing, just a wisp of cloud.
Everyone looks.

BOROMIR
It's moving fast, against the wind.

LEGOLAS
Crebain from Dunland! Hide!

Everyone gathers possessions, they put out the fire and


take cover. When crows leave, they come out again.

GANDALF
Spies for Saruman. The passage south is being
watched. We will have to go over the pass of
Caradhras.

Climbing a snowy mountain, FRODO falls and rolls down.


STRIDER catches him, but the ring is missing. BOROMIR picks
it up.

STRIDER
Boromir.

BOROMIR
It is a strange fate that we should suffer so
much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such
a little thing.

STRIDER
Boromir! Give the ring to Frodo.

BOROMIR
As you wish. I care not.

But he too obviously does care, and when BOROMIR turns


away, STRIDER takes his hand off his sword.

The crows return to Isengard, report to SARUMAN.

SARUMAN
So, you tried to lead them over Caradhras. And
if that fails? Where will you go? If the
mountain defeats you, will you risk a more
dangerous road?

LEGOLAS runs atop the snow while the others struggle


through it. Stands at the edge of a cliff, listening.

LEGOLAS
There is a fell voice on the air!

GANDALF
Saruman!

Rocks fall from the side of the mountain, followed by


snow.

STRIDER
He's trying to bring down the mountain! We
must turn back!

GANDALF
No!

GANDALF tries to stop the storm, but SARUMAN is


reinforcing it from Isengard. Lightning strikes the
mountain, and LEGOLAS pulls GANDALF back from the edge just
before snow falls and buries them all. One by one, they dig
out or shake the snow off.

STRIDER
We must get off the mountain!

BOROMIR
We must take the Pass of Rohan, or take the
road west to my city!

STRIDER
Rohan takes us too close to Isengard!

GIMLI
If we cannot go over the mountain, I say let
us go under it!

SARUMAN
Moria. You fear to go into those mines. The
dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You
know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-
Dum. Shadow and flame.

GANDALF
Let the Ringbearer decide!

FRODO
We will go through the mines!

GANDALF
So be it.

GIMLI
The walls of Moria.

They walk next to a dark lake. FRODO'S foot slips in the


water, and he scrambles back. They reach a wall framed by
two great trees. GANDALF scrubs away dirt to find a pattern
on the wall.

GANDALF
Isildin. It mirrors only starlight and
moonlight.

Moon comes out, showing the shape of a door, with writing


above in elvish.

GANDALF
It reads, The Gates of Durin, Lord of Moria.
Speak Friend and enter.

PIPPIN
What do you suppose it means?

GANDALF
Simple. If you are a friend, you speak the
password, and the doors open.

GANDALF tries a number of passwords, but none of them


work. ARAGORN and SAM unload the pony and let him go.

STRIDER
The mines are no place for a pony, even one so
brave as Bill. Go on.

SAM
Bye bye, Bill.

STRIDER
Don't worry, Sam, he knows the way home.

MERRY or PIPPIN is throwing rocks in the water, ARAGORN


stops him.

STRIDER
Don't disturb the water!

BOROMIR shares his suspicion.

GANDALF
This is useless!

Having tried any number of passwords, GANDALF sits down in


disgust.

FRODO
It's a riddle. What's the Elvish word for
friend?

GANDALF
Mellon.

The gates open. They go in.

GIMLI
Soon, mister elf, you will enjoy the fabled
hospitality of the dwarves! Roaring fires, malt
beer, red meat off the bone! This is the home
of my cousin Balin. And they call it a mine. A
mine!

BOROMIR
This is no mine, it's a tomb.

Light reveals skeletons all over

GIMLI
No!

LEGOLAS pulls an arrow out of one of the skeletons.

LEGOLAS
Goblins!

BOROMIR
We make for the Gap of Rohan! We should never
have come here! Get out! Get out!
FRODO is grabbed by a tentacle from the water.

SAM
Strider!

SAM cuts off the tentacle, then a dozen more push the
HOBBITS away while one grabs FRODO.

Tentacles dangle FRODO far above the water. ARAGORN and


BOROMIR chop off tentacles. When a head shows, and a giant
mouth, LEGOLAS puts arrows in it. ARAGORN chops off the
tentacle holding FRODO, BOROMIR catches him when he falls.
LEGOLAS puts an arrow in one of the KRAKEN'S eyes, giving
ARAGORN and BOROMIR time to get out of the water.

GANDALF
Into the mines!

They retreat to the mine. KRAKEN crumbles the gate behind


them.

GANDALF
Now we have but one choice. We must face the
long dark of Moria. Be on your guard! There are
older and fouler things than orcs in the deep
places of the world. It is a four day journey
to the other side. Let us hope our presence may
go unnoticed.

PIPPIN almost falls down the stairs, which are steep and
cluttered with debris.

MERRY
Pippin!

They come to the top of the stairs.

GANDALF
I have no memory of this place.

PIPPIN
Are we lost?

MERRY
No, we're not lost.

PIPPIN
I think we're lost.

MERRY
Quiet, Gandalf's thinking.

PIPPIN
Merry? I'm hungry.

FRODO sees something behind them.

FRODO
There's something down there.

GANDALF
It's Gollum. He's been following us for three
days.

FRODO
He escaped from the dungeons of Barad-dur!

GANDALF
Escaped, or was set loose. Gollum hates and
loves the ring, as he hates and loves himself.
He will never be free of his need for it.

FRODO
Pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the
chance.

GANDALF
Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand.
Many who live deserve death, and some who die
deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not
be too eager to deal out death in judgment.
Even the very wise cannot see all ends, but my
heart tells me that Gollum still has a part to
play, for good or ill. Before this is over, the
pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

FRODO
I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish
none of this had ever happened.

GANDALF
So do all who live to see such times, but that
is not for them to decide. All we have to
decide is what to do with the time we are
given. There are other forces at work in the
world than the will of evil. Bilbo was
meant to find the ring, which means that
you also were meant to have it. And that
is an encouraging thought. Ah! It's this way.

MERRY
He's remembered!

GANDALF
No, but the air smells less foul down here.
When in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your
nose.

GANDALF
Let me risk a little more light.

They see a huge cavern, held up with immense pillars.

GANDALF
Behold! The great realm of the dwarven city of
Dwarrowdelf.

SAM
Well, that's an eye-opener and no mistake!

GIMLI sees a door, runs through it.


GANDALF
Gimli!

The others follow, find GIMLI grieving over a tomb.


GANDALF reads the dwarven runes on the top of the tomb.

GANDALF
Here lies Balin, son of Hrundin, Lord of
Moria. He is dead then. It is as I feared.

GANDALF finds a book held by a skeleton leaning against


the tomb.

LEGOLAS
We must move on. We cannot linger here.

GANDALF
They have taken the bridge, and the second
hall. The ground shakes. We have barred the
gates, but cannot hold them for long. A shadow
moves in the dark. Drums, drums in the deep. We
cannot get out. We cannot get out. They are
coming.

PIPPIN knocks a skeleton into the well, which makes a


little more than enough noise to wake the dead.

GANDALF
Fool of a Took! Next time, throw yourself in,
and rid us of your stupidity!

There is a pause where it seems they might not have been


heard, then drums start pounding. FRODO'S sword is glowing
blue.

LEGOLAS
Orcs!

BOROMIR checks out the door, almost gets hit by two


arrows, shuts the door.

BOROMIR
They have a cave troll.

STRIDER
Stay back, close to Gandalf!

They bar the door with the weapons of the dead.

GIMLI
Let them come! There is one dwarf yet in Moria
who still draws breath!

ORCS break holes in the door. LEGOLAS and ARAGORN shoot


arrows through the holes and kill the ORCS on the other
side. Finally, the doors break open and ORCS flood in. All
the companions join in the fighting, even the HOBBITS. Then
the TROLL comes through the door and part of the wall. SAM
slips under him. Many ORCS killed. The TROLL smashes the
tomb GIMLI is standing on top of, but misses GIMLI, then
kills several of the ORCS in its attempt to get the dwarf.
The TROLL uses its chain like a whip, trying to hit
LEGOLAS, who dodges. The chain becomes momentarily caught
around a pillar, and LEGOLAS runs up it to stand on top of
the TROLL and gets a shot at its head, but jumps off when
the TROLL grabs for his ankles. SAM hits several ORCS over
the head with his frying pan.

SAM
I think I'm getting the hang of this!

TROLL catches sight of the three HOBBITS. They all dodge,


but FRODO goes one way and MERRY and PIPPIN the other. The
TROLL follows FRODO, who manages to stay on the opposite
side of the pillar from the TROLL for a while, but then he
is surprised, falls down, and the TROLL grabs his foot.

FRODO
Aragorn! Help!

FRODO cuts the TROLL'S hand with Sting, and it lets go.
TROLL reaches for FRODO again, but ARAGORN runs over and
stabs it with a spear, prompting the TROLL to smash him
into the wall. FRODO shakes ARAGORN, but he doesn't get up.
TROLL stabs at ARAGORN, but renews its interest in FRODO
when he moves. FRODO dodges the spear, then runs into it
and gets thrown against the wall. Before he can move, the
TROLL stabs him with the spear. FRODO falls, with the spear
in his side. MERRY and PIPPIN jump on the TROLL'S back and
stab it wildly. TROLL grabs MERRY and throws him off,
PIPPIN stabs it again, when it rears up, LEGOLAS kills the
TROLL with an arrow through the brain. PIPPIN has a hard
landing, still being on top of the TROLL when it falls.

STRIDER
Oh, no.

Thinking he's dead, STRIDER rolls FRODO over, but he sits


up.

SAM
He's alive!

FRODO
I'm all right, I'm not hurt.

STRIDER
You should be dead! That spear would have
skewered a wild boar!

GANDALF
I think there is more to this hobbit than
meets the eye.

FRODO pulls open his shirt to reveal a Mithril vest.

GIMLI
Mithril! You are full of surprises, Mr.
Baggins!

More ORCS approach.

GANDALF
To the bridge of Khazad-Dum!

They run through the cavern, but become surrounded by


ORCS. There is a roar in the distance. The ORCS all run
away.

BOROMIR
What is this new devilry?

GANDALF
A balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This
foe is beyond any of you. Run!

They run. BOROMIR abruptly comes to the edge of the path,


drops his torch and teeters on the edge of a very long
drop. LEGOLAS pulls him back from the edge.

GANDALF
Lead them on, Aragorn! The bridge is near. Do
as I say! Swords are no more use here!

They come to a gap in the apparently endless staircase,


which LEGOLAS jumps across easily. GANDALF follows after a
moment's hesitation. BOROMIR grabs MERRY and PIPPIN, jumps
across as the edge crumbles. STRIDER throws SAM across, but
GIMLI holds up a hand.

GIMLI
Nobody tosses a dwarf!

GIMLI jumps, but doesn't quite make it, and LEGOLAS grabs
his beard to keep him from falling.

GIMLI
Not the beard!

More breaks off the edge, FRODO and STRIDER scramble back.
The gap is now too far to jump. Part of roof breaks off,
breaks the section FRODO and STRIDER are on loose from the
rest of the stair. It starts to tilt. Trying to keep his
balance, STRIDER finds he can influence the direction the
stair falls.

STRIDER
Lean forward!

They do, and the section falls forward into the rest of
the stair, allowing FRODO and STRIDER to rejoin the party.
They keep running as the enormous section of stair falls
into the abyss. They manage to get down the stairs to level
ground without more trouble. As they run toward the bridge,
the BALROG emerges from the chasm behind them. GANDALF
makes sure everyone is across the bridge before he makes
his stand. In the center of the bridge, he turns to face
the demon, staff and sword in hand.

GANDALF
You cannot pass.

FRODO
Gandalf!
A wave of flame spreads across the BALROG.

GANDALF
I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of
the flame of Anor! Dark fire shall not avail
you, flame of Udun!

BALROG draws a flaming sword and swings at GANDALF, but he


blocks it.

GANDALF
Go back to the shadow! You shall not
pass!

GANDALF slams his staff on the ground, and a flash of


white light drives the BALROG back. The demon draws a whip
of fire, steps onto the bridge, and the bridge gives way,
dropping the BALROG into the chasm. It seems they have won,
but as he turns away, the tail of the whip catches
GANDALF'S ankle and pulls him down. He gets a brief grasp
on the edge of the bridge.

GANDALF
Fly, you fools!

And GANDALF follows his enemy into the abyss.

FRODO
No!

FRODO tries to return to the bridge, but BOROMIR holds him


back.

BOROMIR
Aragorn!

BOROMIR carries FRODO away. ARAGORN pauses, looking back


until ORC arrows drive him away. The diminished group
escapes into the sunlight before most collapse with grief,
weeping for the loss of their friend. LEGOLAS seems
stunned. ARAGORN becomes their leader.

STRIDER
Legolas, get them up!

BOROMIR
Give them a moment, for pity's sake!

STRIDER
By nightfall these hills will be crawling with
orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothlorien.
Gimli, Legolas, get them up! On your feet, Sam.
Frodo?

FRODO has drawn away from the rest. Tears spill down his
face.

ARAGORN jogs across a very cold stream to see LOTHLORIEN


in the distance. After some travel, they enter LOTHLORIEN,
a wood of silver trees.
GIMLI
Stay close, young hobbits. They say a great
sorceress lives here, an elf-witch of terrible
power. All those who look upon her fall under
her spell, and are never seen again.

GALADRIEL
Frodo. Your coming is as the footsteps of
doom. You bring a great evil here, Ringbearer.

GIMLI
Well, this is one dwarf she won't ensnare so
easily! I have the eyes of a hawk, and the ears
of a fox!

Suddenly, they are all surrounded by ELVES with drawn


bows.

HALDIR
The dwarf breathes so loudly we could have
shot him in the dark.

STRIDER
Haldir of Lorien. We have come for help. We
need your protection.

GIMLI
Aragorn, these woods are perilous! We should
go back!

HALDIR
You have entered the realm of the Lady of the
Wood. You cannot go back. Come. She is waiting.

They enter the elf city in the trees, are brought before
Celeborn and GALADRIEL.

CELEBORN
Eight there are here, but nine there were set
out from Rivendell. Where is Gandalf, for I
much desire to speak with him.

GALADRIEL
He is fallen into shadow. The quest stands on
the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it
will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains
as long as the company is true. Do not let your
hearts be troubled. Go now, and rest, for you
are weary with toil and much sorrow. Tonight
you shall sleep in peace.

GALADRIEL
Welcome, Frodo of the Shire, one who has seen
the Eye.

There is singing in the background while they camp, more


comfortable on the ground than in the trees.

LEGOLAS
A lament for Gandalf.

What do they say about him?

LEGOLAS
I have not the heart to tell you. For me the
grief is still too near.

STRIDER
Take some rest, Boromir. These borders are
well protected.

BOROMIR
I shall find no rest here. I heard a voice
inside my head. She spoke of my father and the
fall of Gondor. She said to me, even now, there
is hope left, but I cannot see it. It is long
since we had any hope. My father is a noble
man, but Izual is failing, and the people lose
faith. My father looks to me to set it right,
and I would do it, I would see the glory of
Gondor restored. Have you seen it, Aragorn? The
white tower of Ecthelion glimmering like a
spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught
high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been
called home by the clear ringing of silver
trumpets?

STRIDER
I have seen the White City, long ago.

BOROMIR
One day, our paths will lead us there, and the
tower guard will take up the call, 'the lords
of Gondor have returned!'

ARAGORN makes no promises.

The company sleeps, and when GALADRIEL passes, only FRODO


wakes. He follows her to a basin set in stone, which she
fills with water from a silver urn.

GALADRIEL
Will you look into the mirror?

FRODO
What will I see?

GALADRIEL
Not even the wisest can say, for the mirror
shows many things. Things that are, things that
were, and some things that have not yet come to
pass.

FRODO looks into the mirror, and sees LEGOLAS, MERRY and
PIPPIN, then SAM. The Shire as it was, then the Shire
ravaged, overrun with ORCS, and SAM in chains. Then the EYE
appears, and the RING grows heavier, trying to pull itself
down into the mirror. FRODO snatches it away, falls
backward onto the ground.
GALADRIEL
I know what it is you have seen, for it is
also in my mind. It is what will come to pass
if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking.
Already it has begun. He will try to take the
ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one, it
will destroy them all.

FRODO
If you ask it of me, I will give you the One
Ring.

GALADRIEL
You offer it to me freely. I do not deny that
my heart has greatly desired this.

A dark light comes over her as she touches the power of


the One RING.

GALADRIEL
Instead of a Dark Lord, you would have a
queen, not dark but beautiful and terrible as
the dawn! Tempestuous as the sea, and stronger
than the foundations of the earth! All shall
love me and despair!

GALADRIEL backs away from the RING, but for a moment, she
looks old, and it seems to bring her no joy to have done
the right thing.

GALADRIEL
I passed the test. I will diminish, and go
into the west, and remain Galadriel.

FRODO
I cannot do this alone.

GALADRIEL
You are a Ringbearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of
power is to be alone. This task was appointed
to you, and if you do not find a way, no one
will.

FRODO
Then, I know what I must do. It's just I am
afraid to do it.

GALADRIEL
Even the smallest person can change the course
of the future.

SARUMAN talking to the first URUK-HAI.

SARUMAN
Do you know how orcs first came into being?
They were elves once, taken by the dark powers,
tortured, mutilated. A ruined and terrible fall
of life. And now perfected, my fighting Uruk-
Hai. Whom do you serve?
Saruman.

Now SARUMAN addresses the army of URUK-HAI.

SARUMAN
Hunt them down. Do not stop until you have
found them. You do not know pain, you do not
know fear, you will taste man-flesh! One of the
halflings carries something of great value.
Bring them to me alive, and unspoiled! Kill the
others.

The company departs in three small boats.

GALADRIEL
Farewell, Frodo Baggins. I give you the light
of Earendil, our most beloved star. Numarii.
May it be a light for you in dark places, where
all other lights go out.

They paddle down the river a long ways.

URUK-HAI on the march.

The company comes to a bend in the river and ARAGORN taps


FRODO'S shoulder.

STRIDER
Frodo. The Aragornath. Long have I desired to
look upon the kings of old, my kin.

There are two enormous statues of MEN in armor flanking


the river, their left hands outstretched in a gesture of
warding. The company goes past them, into a lake, where
they find an old moorage and beach their boats.

STRIDER
We cross at nightfall, hide the boats and
continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the
north.

GIMLI
Oh? Just a simple matter of finding our way
across Emyn Muil, an impassable labyrinth of
razor-sharp rocks! And then it gets even
better! Festering, stinking marshlands as far
as the eye can see!

STRIDER
That is our road, sir dwarf. Perhaps you
should take some rest, and recover your
strength.

GIMLI
Recover my...!

LEGOLAS
We should leave now.
STRIDER
No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must
wait for the cover of darkness.

LEGOLAS
It is not the eastern shore that worries me. A
shadow and a threat has been growing in my
mind. Something draws near, I can feel it.

GIMLI
Recover my strength! Pay no heed to that,
young hobbits.

MERRY returns from gathering firewood.

MERRY
Where is Frodo?

ARAGORN looks around and realizes BOROMIR is also missing.

FRODO walks in the forest, BOROMIR finds him.

BOROMIR
None of us should wander alone, you least of
all. So much depends on you. Frodo? I know why
you seek solitude. You suffer, I see it day by
day. Be sure you do not suffer needlessly.
There are other ways, Frodo, other paths we
might take.

FRODO
I know what you would say, and it would sound
like wisdom, but for the warning in my heart.

BOROMIR
Warning? Against what? They are all afraid,
but to let that fear drive us to destroy what
hope we have... Don't you see? It's madness.

FRODO
There is no other way.

BOROMIR
Why do you recoil? I am no thief.

FRODO
You are not yourself!

BOROMIR
I ask only for the strength to defend my
people! If you would but lend me the
ring.

FRODO
No!

BOROMIR
What chance do you think you have? They will
find you, they will take the ring, and you will
beg for death before the end! It is not yours
save by a happenstance. It could have been
mine. It should have been mine! Give it to me!

FRODO
No!

They struggle, FRODO puts on the ring and disappears.

BOROMIR
I see your mind! You would take the ring to
Sauron! You will betray us! You go to your
death, and the death of us all! Curse you!
Curse all you halflings!

BOROMIR falls, and seems to recover himself.

BOROMIR
Frodo? Frodo? What have I done? Frodo, I'm
sorry!

FRODO runs away, with the ring on. He hides atop a stone
platform in the woods, looks east and sees BARAD-DUR, and
army of ORCS, and the EYE. He falls off the platform and
takes off the ring. ARAGORN arrives.

STRIDER
Frodo?

FRODO
It has taken Boromir.

STRIDER
Where is the ring?

FRODO backs away.

FRODO
Stay away!

STRIDER
Frodo? I swore to protect you.

FRODO
Can you protect me from yourself? Would
you destroy it?

ARAGORN resists the ring, but leaves it with FRODO.

STRIDER
I would have gone with you to the end, into
the very fires of Mordor.

FRODO
I know. Take care of the others. Especially
Sam, he will not understand.

STRIDER
Go, Frodo!

Sting is glowing.

STRIDER
Run! Run!

URUK
Find the Halflings! Find the Halflings!

ARAGORN fights a lot of ORCS. When the ORCS return to


hunting halflings, he jumps off the platform onto them.
LEGOLAS and GIMLI join him. When one ORC gets too close to
shoot, LEGOLAS stabs him in the eye with the arrow he is
holding, then puts it in his bow to kill the next one, too.
FRODO runs away, sees MERRY and PIPPIN hiding.

PIPPIN
Here, Frodo, hide here!

FRODO shakes his head.

PIPPIN
What's he doing?

MERRY
He's leaving.

PIPPIN
No, Frodo!

PIPPIN bolts from his hiding place, only to realize that


he has been seen by ORCS. MERRY determines that they must
provide a distraction so that FRODO can get away.

MERRY
Run, Frodo. Go.

MERRY waves his arms at the approaching ORCS.

MERRY
Hey, you, over here, this way!

MERRY and PIPPIN run, leading a pack of ORCS. FRODO runs


the other way.

PIPPIN
It's working!

MERRY
I know it's working, run!

BOROMIR kills a bunch of ORCS defending MERRY and PIPPIN.


His horn brings friends and enemies alike. BOROMIR gets
shot three times before he stops killing ORCS. MERRY and
PIPPIN get kidnapped, and the ORCS leave BOROMIR alive
since he can no longer fight. The URUK-HAI is going to
finish him off, but ARAGORN arrives, and manages to kill
him after extended fighting. Returns to BOROMIR after.

BOROMIR
They took the little ones.

STRIDER
Stay still.

BOROMIR
Frodo. Where is Frodo?

STRIDER
I let Frodo go.

BOROMIR
Then you did what I could not. I tried to take
the ring from him.

STRIDER
The ring is beyond our reach now.

BOROMIR
Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed
you all.

STRIDER
No, Boromir. You fought bravely. You have kept
your honor.

ARAGORN reaches to pull out one of the arrows, but BOROMIR


stops him.

BOROMIR
Leave it. It's over. The world of men will
fail. All will fall into darkness, and my city
to ruin.

STRIDER
I know not what strength lies in my blood, but
I swear to you I will not let the White City
fall, nor our people fail.

BOROMIR
Our people. Our people.

ARAGORN gives BOROMIR back his sword.

BOROMIR
I would have followed you, my brother, my
captain, my king.

BOROMIR dies.

STRIDER
Be at peace, son of Gondor.

FRODO at the boats, holding the RING in his hand.

SAM searching for him.

SAM
Frodo! Mr. Frodo!

FRODO
I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish
none of this had ever happened.

GANDALF
So do all who live to see such times, but that
is not for them to decide. All you have to
decide is what to do with the time that is
given you.

FRODO regains his resolution, tucks the RING in his pocket


and jumps in boat. SAM arrives on shore.

SAM
Frodo! Mr. Frodo!

FRODO
No, Sam.

SAM starts wading in.

FRODO
Go back, Sam. I'm going to Mordor alone!

SAM
Of course you are, and I'm coming with you!

SAM keeps going, well into the lake.

FRODO
You can't swim! Sam!

SAM gets in over his head, FRODO turns around and pulls
him into the boat.

SAM
I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. Don't
you leave him, Samwise Gamgee, and I don't mean
to. I don't mean to.

FRODO
Oh, Sam. Come on.

They hug, then start paddling across the lake.

BOROMIR'S body, in one of the boats, floats over the


waterfall. LEGOLAS pushes the last boat to the water.

LEGOLAS
Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern
shore!

ARAGORN buckles on BOROMIR'S bracers, with the white tree


of Gondor. LEGOLAS realizes that ARAGORN isn't coming.

LEGOLAS
You mean not to follow them.

STRIDER
Frodo's fate no longer rests in our hands.

GIMLI
Then it was all in vain. The Fellowship has
failed.

STRIDER
Not as long as we remain true to each other.
We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment
and death. Not while we have strength left.
Leave all that can be spared behind, we travel
light. Let us hunt some orc.

GIMLI and LEGOLAS agree, and the three set off in pursuit.

FRODO and SAM reach a height from which they can see the
path ahead.

FRODO
Mordor. I hope the others find a safer road.

SAM
Strider will take care of them.

FRODO
I don't suppose we'll ever see them again.

SAM
We may yet, Mr. Frodo. We may.

FRODO
Sam, I'm glad you're with me.

THE END