Áðàòñòâî Êîëüöà

Áðàòñòâî Êîëüöà
(ðàñøèðåííàÿ âåðñèÿ)

Äâå Êðåïîñòè

òðàíñêðèïòû ñ ñàéòà
The Council Of Elrond 

ðàñøèðåííàÿ âåðñèÿ

I amar prestar aen… 
The world is changed.
Han mathon ne nen… 
I feel it in the water.
Han mathon ne chae… 
I feel it in the Earth.
A han noston ned gwilith.
I smell it in the air. 

Much that once was is lost. For none now live who remember it.

<A female voice describes the development of the Rings of Power. Elves, Dwarves and Men are enthralled by the beauty of the rings upon their fingers.>

It began with the forging of the great rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf lords, 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 strength and will to govern each race. 
But they were all of them deceived, for another ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master ring, to control all others.

<Sauron is shown at the Crack of Doom, masked and clothed in metal armour, wearing the One Ring upon his right hand. It begins to glow and an inscription appears as if written in red flame.>

And into this Ring, he poured his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life. "One Ring to rule them all."

<Villagers flee in terror from their burning homes as the army of Sauron begins its relentless attack on the inhabitants of Middle-earth.>
One by one, the free lands 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 slopes of Mount Doom they fought for the freedom of Middle-earth.
<Vast armies of Men, Elves and Orcs assemble on the battlefield. The Elves and Humans regard their enemies as the Orcs snarl back, taunting them. Then the Orcs attack the Alliance, rushing across the field that separates the two armies. The Elven lieutenant gives the command to the Elven archers to engage.>

<<Elf: Tangado haid! Leithio i philinn! (Hold positions! Fire arrows!)>>

<The Elves raise their bows and release a slew of arrows at the oncoming Orcs, taking down the first line of Orc defense. As the wave of the Orc infantry reaches the first line of the Elven troops, the Elves swing their swords up, slicing the Orcs as they come, one after the other down the line. Soon the Eves and the Men are fully engaged in combat, taking down many of the Orc troops. The leader of Men raises his sword in triumph.> 

Victory was near. But the power of the Ring could not be undone. 

<Sauron strides onto the battlefield. The Elven lieutenant looks up in trepidation. The Dark Lord, towering over both Elves and Men, brandishes a mace and shows the Ring of Power glowing on his finger. In fear, some of the warriors back off. Sauron wields his mace, hitting a group of warriors and sends them flying across the field. He repeats it with another fell swoop. The leader of Men raises his sword to strike Sauron, but Sauron parries the blow and flings his adversary against the rock, crushing him to death. Horrified, one of the Men rushes to the fallen warrior.> 

It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Isildur, son of the King, took up his father's sword.

<Isildur grasps the hilt of the sword, but Sauron quickly stomps it down, shattering the blade. Sauron, with the Ring on his finger, reaches down towards Isildur. With a last desperate attempt, Isildur lets out a battle cry and strikes Sauron’s hand with the shards of the sword, slicing the finger that bears the One Ring. Sauron lets out a cry as the Ring is separated from him. He implodes, sending a shock wave throughout the battlefield, knocking the warring troops off their feet. His armor falls unto the ground, his body vaporised.> 

Sauron, the 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. 

<Isildur, proudly wearing the Ring of Power on a chain round his neck, returns from the battle. On the way, his troop, all but obliterated in the recent battle, is attacked by a band of Orcs. In the melee, Isildur grabs the chain and snaps it, putting the Ring on his finger, and immediately vanishes. He dives into the river. But the Ring slips treacherously off his finger and falls down to the river bottom. Isildur, visible again, is spotted by Orcs and killed by 3 arrows. His body floats down the river.> 

It betrayed Isildur to his death. And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.
History became legend, legend became myth, and for two and a half thousand years, the Ring passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer. 

<A small human-like hand, scrabbling on the river-bed, comes across a round metal object, and closes its fingers around it.> 

<<Gollum: My Precioussssss>> 

<The hand, now gnarled, twisted and filthy, opens its palm to reveal the Ring.>

The Ring came to the creature Gollum, who took it deep into the tunnels of the Misty Mountains. And there, it consumed him.
<The Misty Mountains come into view. The scene changes to reveal a midden of decayed fish flesh and bones. Beyond them, Gollum, twisted and deformed beyond recognition by his 'precious', crouches with his treasure.> 

<<Gollum: It came to me, my own, my love, my own, my prrrrreciousssss! Gollum!>> 

The Ring brought 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 forest of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the east, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of Power perceived its time had now come. It abandoned Gollum. 

<The Ring bounces slowly down a chasm in the rocks of Gollum's cave, and hides itself, unbeknownst to Gollum.> 

But something happened then the Ring did not intend. It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable. 

<A human-like creature, scrabbling amongst the bones and scree in the cave, comes across a round metal object. His fingers close upon it.> 

<<Creature: What’s this?>> 

A Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. 

<<Bilbo: A ring!>> 

<Bilbo gazes in delight and wonder at his new find.> 

<<Gollum (from afar): Losssst! My precious is lost!>> 

<Bilbo hears Gollum's shrieks of dismay, and gets to his feet in alarm. Something tells him to put the Ring in his pocket.> 

For the time will soon come when Hobbits will shape the fortunes of all. 

<The Misty Mountains fade from view as a map appears, moving slowly across the landscape to reveal the length and breadth of Middle-earth. A different voice takes up the tale.> 

<<(Voiceover): Ahrrmm . . . The 22nd day of September in the year 1400, by Shire-reckoning. Bag End, Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, Westfarthing, the Shire, Middle-earth. The Third Age of this world.>> 

<The interior of Bag End makes its appearance. Organic, rounded and compact in nature, it is revealed as the home of a well-to-do, settled but rather untidy person. Books and maps are piled up in every room, spilling over shelves, on the floor, anywhere they can find a spare space, alongside firewood and assorted homely utensils.> 


<Bilbo is seated at his desk in the study at Bag End. His clothes are well-made but carelessly worn, as of someone who has more important things on his mind than mundane matters such as appearance. He has his back to view and is apparently writing something in a large book. The title is revealed:> 

<<Bilbo: There and Back Again. A Hobbit's Tale, by Bilbo Baggins.>> 

<Bilbo turns the title page over to start afresh on a new page. He pauses and takes a puff from his pipe> 

<<Bilbo: Now . . . where to begin? Ah, yes.>>

<He dips his pen and resumes his writing.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): Concerning Hobbits.>>
<Images of the Shire and its quaint inhabitants appear as Bilbo begins to describe the life of Hobbits. In the market square Hobbits gather to look over the latest wares, present their stock, and share a drink. In the fields, cows are being milked, pathways swept clean, and animals grazed.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): Hobbits have been living and farming in the four Farthings of the Shire for many hundreds of years. Quite content to ignore and be ignored by the world of the Big Folk - Middle-earth being, after all, full of strange creatures beyond count. Hobbits must seem of little importance, being neither renowned as great warriors, nor counted among the very wise.>> 

<One of the more wisdom-challenged Hobbits seems intent on removing a parasite from his ear. Bilbo pauses in his writing and chuckles to himself at the image. A knock sounds at his door.> 

<<Bilbo: Frodo! Someone at the door!>> 

<He resumes writing.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): In fact, it has been remarked by some that the Hobbits' only real passion is for food.>> 

<A hobbit, making eyes at and preparing to kiss his lady love, is distracted by a tray of passing food and grabs a large cake, stuffing it into his mouth. The lady does not get her kiss.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): A rather unfair observation, as we have also developed a keen interest in the brewing of ales, and the smoking of pipe-weed. But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet, and good tilled earth. For all Hobbits share a love of things that grow.>> 

<A young hobbit, in a garden tending to his flowers, holds up a fine specimen, pleased by its beauty.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): And yes, no doubt, to others our ways seem quaint.>> 

<Images of party preparation in a field begin to emerge.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): But today, of all days, it is brought home to me, it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.>>

<A Party Banner is erected in the field, to much applause and cheers.> 

<More knocking at the door. Bilbo exclaims impatiently.> 

<<Bilbo: Frodo! The door!>> 

<The knocks become louder and more insistent.> 

<<Bilbo: Sticklebacks! Where is that boy? Frodo!>>
<A young hobbit is sitting beneath a tree in the woods, reading a book. He hears a male voice singing. 

<<Voice: <humming>, down from the door where it began. <humming>, and I must follow if I can.>> 

The hobbit closes his book and stands, listening. Recognising the voice, he smiles then runs to the road. An old man, wearing a gray cloak and a pointy hat, is driving a horse-drawn cart filled with fireworks and such.> 

<<Old Man (singing): 
The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began. 
Now far ahead the road has gone, 
And I must follow if I can…>> 

<<Hobbit: You're late!>> 

<The old man does not look at the hobbit at first, and then turns slowly, with an emphatic expression on his face that begins to twitch> 

<<Old Man: A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.>>

<Both he and Frodo slowly begin to grin and crack up into laughter> 

<<Frodo: <leaps onto cart and hugs the old man> It's wonderful to see you Gandalf!>> 

<<Gandalf: <laughs> Ooh! You didn’t think I’d miss your Uncle Bilbo's birthday?>> 

<Gandalf sets the cart in motion and resumes his drive towards Hobbiton.> 

<<Gandalf: So, how is the old rascal? I hear it's going to be a party of special magnificence.>> 

<<Frodo: You know Bilbo. He's got the whole place in an uproar.>> 

<<Gandalf: Well, that should please him! (chuckles)>> 

<<Frodo: Half the Shire's been invited. And the rest of them are turning up anyway.>> 

<They both laugh. Bilbo's voice takes up the narrative again as the cart makes its way past the fields of bright crops, over the bridge by an old mill, and past the market square.> 

<<Bilbo (v/over): And so, life in the Shire goes on, very much as it has this past Age . . . full of its own comings and goings, with change coming slowly, if it comes at all. 

<The cart begins to climb up a gradual slope towards Gandalf's destination. The hillside and the surrounds are lush and verdant - the Shire is a land of plenty.> 

For things are made to endure in the Shire, passing from one generation to the next. There's always been a Baggins, living here under the Hill . . . >> 

<Back in his study, Bilbo puts the finishing touches to his opening chapter.> 

<<Bilbo: . . . in Bag End. And there always will be.>> 

< In the cart, Frodo and Gandalf are nearing Bag End.> 

<<Frodo: To tell you the truth, Bilbo's been a bit odd lately. I mean, more than usual.>> 

<Gandalf looks thoughtful.> 

<<Frodo: He's taken to locking himself in his study. He spends hours and hours poring over old maps when he thinks I'm not looking.>> 

<Bilbo tosses aside the maps he's been studying and sighs. He puts his hands in his pockets. Suddenly an expression of alarm comes over his face, as he digs urgently into his pockets and turns them out, becoming more frantic.> 

<<Bilbo: Where's it gone??>> 

<He starts to turn the house over, desperately searching for the lost item. Finally he digs deeper into his waistcoat pocket, and with a huge sigh, pulls out the object and closes his palm over it, closing his eyes in acute relief.>
<<Frodo (back in the cart): He's up to something.>> 

<Frodo glances at Gandalf, but the wizard is non-committal and just stares deliberately at the scenery.> 

<<Frodo All right then keep your secrets.>> 

<<Gandalf: Hrrrmmph>> 

<<Frodo: But I know you have something to do with it.>> 

<<Gandalf: Good gracious me!>> 

<<Frodo: Before you came along we Bagginses were very well thought of.>> 

<<Gandalf: Indeed?>> 

<<Frodo: Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.>> 

<<Gandalf: If you’re referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door.>> 

<<Frodo: Whatever you did, you’ve been officially labeled a disturber of the peace.>> 

<<Gandalf: Oh really?>> <As the cart drives past, Hobbit children are drawn to the sight of the old wizard and his mysterious packages. They run behind the cart, shouting.> 

<<Hobbit children: Gandalf! Gandalf! Fireworks? Gandalf?>> 

<A grumpy old hobbit with a grim look is raking his yard. His wife comes out to see what the fuss is about. She looks very disapproving. Gandalf pretends to ignore the children. They come to a halt as the cart keeps on going away from them.> 

<<Hobbit children: <disappointed> Awwww.>> 

<Fireworks suddenly go off from the cart> 
<The hobbit children cheer> 
<Gandalf laughs> 
<The grumpy old hobbit chuckles> 
<The grumpy old hobbitwife gives a nagging look to the grumpy old hobbit> 
The grumpy old hobbit restores his grumpy look.> 

<<Frodo: Gandalf, I'm glad you're back.>> 

<<Gandalf: <as Frodo jumps off the cart> So am I, dear boy! . . . So am I.>>
<Outside Bag End, Gandalf pulls up his cart.>

<<Gandalf: Whoa, whoa.>>

He gets down and goes through the gate which bears a sign saying: "No admittance except on party business." Gandalf knocks on the door with his staff> 

<<Bilbo: <from within> No thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!>> 

<<Gandalf: And what about very old friends?>> 

<Bilbo opens the door> 

<<Bilbo (amazed): Gandalf?>> 

<<Gandalf: Bilbo Baggins!>> 

<<Bilbo: My dear Gandalf!>> <gives Gandalf a hug> 

<<Gandalf: Good to see you! One hundred and eleven years old --who would believe it? <looks at Bilbo in astonishment> You haven't aged a day.>> 

<Bilbo and Gandalf laugh as Bilbo bids Gandalf inside> 

<<Bilbo: Come on, come in! Welcome, welcome! <closes door and takes Gandalf's hat and staff> Oh, here we are. Tea? Or maybe something a little stronger? I've got a few bottles of the Old Winyard left. 1296 --very good year. Almost as old as I am! Hahaha!

<Bilbo hangs up Gandalf's hat and disappears down the corridor on his hunt for refreshments.>

<<Bilbo: It was laid down by my father. What say we open one, eh?>> 

<<Gandalf: Just tea, thank you.>>
<Gandalf, bent double, backs into the chandelier. He steadies it, but then bumps his head onto the beam and utters an "Ooooff ". Nursing the pain he enters Bilbo’s study and sees the map of the Lonely Mountain mounted on a frame. He picks it up to examine it. Meanwhile, Bilbo is pottering around in the kitchen.> 

<<Bilbo (out of sight): I was expecting you sometime last week! Not that it matters, you come and go as you please. Always have done and always will. You caught me a bit unprepared, I'm afraid. We've only got cold chicken and a bit of pickle ... Oh, there's some cheese here- oh no, that won't do. Err, we got raspberry jam and an apple tart ... Not much for afters, I'm afraid. Oh, no -we're all right! I've found some sponge-cake. <enters the study> I could make you some eggs if you like-- oh. Gandalf?>> 

<<Gandalf (appearing right behind Bilbo): Just tea, thank you.>> 

<<Bilbo: Oh, right! <with mouthful of sponge-cake> You don't mind if I eat, do you?>> 

<<Gandalf: Oh no, not at all.>> 

<Gandalf sits down on a chair just inside the kitchen entrance. There is a sudden, incessant knocking on the door and a woman shouting: "Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins!"> 

<<Bilbo: <whispers> I'm not at home!>> 

<He tiptoes up to the front window and peers out to identify the unwanted visitor.> 

<<Bilbo: It's the Sackville-Bagginses!>> 

<<Sackville-Baggins (outside): I know you're in there!>> 

<<Bilbo (in alarm): They're after the house. They've never forgiven me for living this long!>>
<Still armed with his sponge-cake, Bilbo disappears hurriedly into the kitchen.> 

<<Bilbo: I've got to get away from these confounded relatives hanging on the bell all day, never giving me a moment's peace!>>

<Bilbo puts down his cake and stares out his window while Gandalf tries to make himself comfortable at Bilbo's hobbit-sized table.> 

<<Bilbo: I want to see mountains again, mountains Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book. Oh, tea! (He hurries to prepare the tea.)>> 

<<Gandalf (still disposing his limbs): So, you mean to go through with your plan, then.>> 

<<Bilbo: Yes, yes. It's all in hand. All the arrangements are made. <Gandalf lifts up the lid of a tea pot, Bilbo starts to pour water into it> Oh, thank you.>> 

<<Gandalf: Frodo suspects something.>> 

<<Bilbo: ‘Course he does. He's a Baggins! Not some block-headed Bracegirdle from Hardbottle.>> 

<<Gandalf: You will tell him, won't you?>> 

<<Bilbo: Yes, yes.>> 

<<Gandalf: He's very fond of you.>> 

<<Bilbo: (a pause. Bilbo looks away. An expression of regret comes over his face.) I know. <Bilbo again wanders over to his window.> He'd probably come with me if I asked him. <chuckles> I think, in his heart, Frodo's still in love with the Shire: the woods, the fields … little rivers. I'm old, Gandalf. <Bilbo comes away from the window> I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart.>>

<Gandalf's gaze is drawn downwards to Bilbo's waistcoat pocket as the Hobbit's fingers begins to fidget with something inside it. Gandalf frowns.> 

<<Bilbo: I feel thin -- sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. <He sits down wearily at the table.> I need a holiday - a very long holiday - and I don't expect I shall return. In fact, I mean not to!>> 

<Evening falls on Hobbiton. Bilbo and Gandalf sit peacefully smoking pipe outside Bag End. Below them, in the party field, sounds of laughter and revelry float up from a growing crowd of Hobbits preparing for their evening's entertainment. Torches and candles light a festive scene and everywhere food is rapidly filling up the space on wooden trestles> 

<<Bilbo: Old Toby. The finest weed in the Southfarthing.>> 

<Gandalf is unimpressed. Bilbo blows a large ring of smoke which hangs gently in the still air. Gandalf regards it for a moment, and then, sucking his cheeks in and out, blows a majestic, full-rigged ship that sails right through the ring.> 

<<Bilbo: Ahh! Gandalf, my old friend. This will be a night to remember!>>
<The party is in full swing. The fireworks are going off and festivities are well underway. Some hobbits come in, staggering under the load of a huge birthday-cake, candles already lit. Some of the hobbits are already full of party spirit. Others, including Frodo, are dancing to music being played by the band.> 

<<Bilbo: <greeting his guests inside the marquee> Hello, hello, Fatty Bolger, lovely to see you! Welcome, welcome!>>

<Frodo finishes his dance. He sits down next to a friend who has been casting sidelong glances at a hobbit-lass dancing- the one seen gardening earlier.> 

<<Frodo: Go on Sam! Ask Rosie for a dance!>> 

<<Sam: <gets cold feet> I think I’ll just have another ale.>> 

<<Frodo: Oh no you don’t! Go on!>>

<He pushes Sam to the dance floor and into Rosie’s arms. Frodo laughs aloud> 

<<Gandalf: <setting off a firework> Whoa!>> 

<Fireworks explode over the party field, a huge glittering umbrella in the night sky which changes into spears and whizzes away into the distance. 

Bilbo is telling stories to the hobbit children gathered at his feet> 

<<Bilbo: There I was, at the mercy of three monstrous trolls! And they were all arguing amongst themselves about how they were going to cook us, whether it be turned on a spit or whether they should sit on us one by one and squash us into jelly.>> 

<A cute hobbit child gasps and shakes her head emphatically> 

<<Bilbo: They spent so much time arguing the wither-tos and why-fors, that the sun’s first light cracked over the top of the trees - poof!>> 

<Hobbit Children gasp> 

<<Bilbo: And turned them all to stone!>> 

<Gandalf, laughing, returns from his cart with more fireworks. A young hobbit appears from behind the tent, signaling his friend to get onto Gandalf’s cart> 

<<Young Hobbit #1: Quickly!>> 

<Gandalf releases a busy shower of firework butterflies, much to the amusement of the hobbit children, who try to catch them.> 

<<Gandalf: Whoa! Up they go.>> 

<<Young Hobbit #1: No, no the big one, big one>> 

<The second Hobbit grabs a huge red firework and disappears inside the tent. His friend nonchalantly chews an apple, and strolls after him.>

<Bilbo is still greeting guests. One of them seems to have an inexhaustible supply of children.> 

<<Bilbo: Mrs Bracegirdle, how nice to see you! Welcome, welcome. Are all these children yours?>> 

<Mrs. Bracegirdle laughs and nods.> 

<<Bilbo (somewhat at a loss): Good gracious. You have been productive!>> 

<Mrs Bracegirdle passes on. Bilbo's ears are assailed by a familiar strident voice.> 

<<Sackville-Baggins: Bilbo?>> 

<<Bilbo (panicked): S-S-Sackville-Bagginses!>>
<He grabs Frodo and they head into another corner of the tent.> 

<<Bilbo: Quickly! Hide!>> 

<Frodo and Bilbo hole up behind a tent fold as the Sackville-Bagginses search for him, and then retreat, baulked of their prey. Bilbo breathes a huge sigh of relief.> 

<<Bilbo: Thank you my boy.>> 

<He sighs again and Frodo chuckles quietly. Bilbo then becomes more serious.> 

<<Bilbo: You're a good lad, Frodo.>> 

<Frodo stares at his uncle, perturbed by the change of tone.> 

<<Bilbo: I'm very selfish, you know. Yes, I am. Very selfish . . . I don't know why I took you in after your mother and father died, but it wasn't out of charity. I think it was because, of all my numerous relations, you were the one that showed real . . . spirit.>> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo, have you been at the Gaffer's home brew?>> 

<<Bilbo: No. Well, yes. But that's - that's - not the point. The point is, Frodo (he pauses and seems uncertain what to say) - you'll be alright.>>
<The two hobbits inside the tent have managed to get their firework ready to light up.> 

<<Hobbit #2: Done.>> 

<He lights the fuse.> 

<<Hobbit #1 (pushing it away): You’re supposed to stick it in the ground!>> 

<<Hobbit #2 (pushing it back): It is in the ground.>> 

<They continue to pass it to and fro like a hot potato.> 

<<Hobbit #1: Outside!>> 

<<Hobbit #2: It was your idea!>> 

<Just then the firework explodes upwards, throwing them on to the ground and taking the tent up with it. High above the crowd, it bursts into the shape of a flaming dragon, turns and swoops slowly towards the merrymakers. The hobbits make a hurried attempt to get out of the way.> 

<<Hobbit: Look at that!>> 

<Frodo's face is lit momentarily by the dragon's flame. He shepherds Bilbo out of the way.> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo? Bilbo, watch out for the dragon!>> 

<<Bilbo: Dragon? Nonsense! There hasn’t been a dragon in these parts for a thousand years…>> 

<Frodo pushes Bilbo to the ground. The dragon swoops low over the hobbits’ heads, flies off and bursts into a beautiful finale over the lake. Hobbits clap and cheer in delight.>

<The two mischief-making Hobbits, covered in soot, gaze proudly at their accomplishment.> 

<<Hobbit #1: That was good!>> 

<<Hobbit #2: Let’s get another one!>> 

<Gandalf comes up behind them and grabs them each by their ear.> 

<<Hobbits : Aah!>> 

<<Gandalf: Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. I might have known.>>
<The serious business of eating and drinking is concluding. Merry and Pippin, under Gandalf's eagle eye, are washing the mountainous piles of plates. Under the party tree, the other Hobbits are gathered.> 

<<Hobbits: Speech, Bilbo! Speech!>> 

<<Frodo: Speech!>> 

<<Bilbo: My dear Bagginses and Boffins, <cheers> Tooks and Brandybucks, <cheers> Grubbs, <cheers> Chubbs, <cheers> Hornblowers, <cheers> Bolgers, <cheers> Bracegirdles <cheers> and Proudfoots.>> 

<<Proudfoot Hobbit: Proudfeet!>> 

<Hobbits laugh. Bilbo waves dismissively.> 

<<Bilbo (stumbling slightly over the words): Today is my 111-11th birthday!>> 

<<Hobbits: Happy birthday!>> <much raising of glasses> 

<<Hobbit: Happy birthday!>> 

<<Bilbo: Alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. <cheers and sentimental gazes abound.> 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.>> 

<There is a dead silence from the crowd. They gaze at each other blank-faced. Gandalf smiles.> 

<<Bilbo: I, uh, I h-have things to do. <fidgets with the Ring behind his back. Whispers to himself> I’ve put this off for far too long. <to the crowd> I regret to announce - this is The End. I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell. <whispers to Frodo> Goodbye.>> 

<Bilbo puts the Ring on and vanishes. There is a collective gasp.> 

<<Hobbits: <shocked> Ooh!>> 

<We follow the sound of footsteps as their invisible owner heads for home. At Bag End, the front door opens mysteriously and then shuts again, as if by magic. Inside the hall, Bilbo suddenly re-appears.> 

<<Bilbo: Hahahahaha!>> <flips the ring, catches it and puts it in his pocket> 

<<Gandalf (appearing suddenly in the parlour): I suppose you think that was terribly clever.>> 

<<Bilbo (startled at Gandalf's unexpected presence): Come on Gandalf! Did you see their faces?>> 

<<Gandalf: There are many magic rings in this world, Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly.>> 

<<Bilbo: It was just a bit of fun! Oh you’re probably right, as usual. 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.>> 

<He starts to pack various items into his travel pack.> 

<<Gandalf: What about this Ring of yours, is that staying too?>> 

<<Bilbo: Yes, yes. It’s in an envelope over there on the mantelpiece.>> <Gandalf turns to look> 

<<Bilbo: No, wait, it's --here in my pocket. Heh, isn’t that, isn’t that odd though? <looks at the Ring> Yet, after all why not? Why shouldn’t I keep it?>> 

<<Gandalf: I think you should leave the Ring behind, Bilbo. Is that so hard?>> 

<<Bilbo: Well no… and yes! <Bilbo starts to become agitated> Now it comes to it, I don’t feel like parting with it, its mine, I found it, it came to me!>> 

<<Gandalf: There’s no need to get angry.>> 

<<Bilbo: Well, if I’m angry, it’s your fault! <caresses Ring> It’s mine! My own, my precious.>> 

<<Gandalf (becoming perturbed): Precious? Its been called that before, but not by you.>> 

<<Bilbo: Argh! 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 (puts up his fists): You - want it for yourself!>> 

<<Gandalf: Bilbo Baggins!>> 

<The very air seems to shake as Gandalf draws himself up to full height. His voice thunders throughout Bag End.> 

<<Gandalf: Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks. I am not trying to rob you. I’m trying to help you.>>

Bilbo starts weeping. He stumbles towards Gandalf, who embraces him gently.> 

<<Gandalf: All your long years we’ve been friends. Trust me as you once did, hmm? Let it go.>> 

<<Bilbo: <collects himself> You’re right Gandalf, the Ring must go to Frodo. It’s late, the road is long.>> 

<Bilbo collects up his travel packs and assorted cooking utensils and hoicks them onto his back. He takes up a walking stick and prepares to go out the front door.> 

Bilbo: Yes, it is time.>> 

<Bilbo opens the door> 

<<Gandalf: Bilbo … >> 

<<Bilbo (pauses): Hmm?>> 

<<Gandalf: … the Ring is still in your pocket.>> 

<<Bilbo (sheepish): Oh, yes … >> 

<Bilbo pulls out the Ring from his pocket. He stares at it on his palm, then slowly and with a great effort turns his hand, allowing it to slip off his palm. It lands on the floor with a heavy thud.> 

<Bilbo runs out the door, goes a few paces, then stops and lifts his head. He looks relieved. An owl hoots in the night air.> 

<<Bilbo: I’ve thought up an ending for my book. <turns to Gandalf at the door> "And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.">> 

<<Gandalf: And I’m sure you will my dear friend.>> 

<<Bilbo: Good bye, Gandalf.>> 

<<Gandalf: Good bye, dear Bilbo.>> 

<Their hands clasp. Bilbo goes out by the gate, and starts down the road, singing> 

<<Bilbo: The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began … >> 

<<Gandalf: Until our next meeting.>>
<Gandalf re-enters Bag End. His hand hovers over the Ring, about to pick it up, but stops short when the Eye of Sauron flashes in his mind. He rises and proceeds to sit himself by the fireplace and light his pipe.>

<<Voice of Bilbo: Its mine, my own, my precious!>> 

<<Gandalf: <sotto voce> Riddles in the Dark.>> 

<The smoke from Gandalf's pipe drifts up, obscuring his face. Frodo is heard entering Bag End> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo! Bilbo!>> 

<Frodo opens the door and sees the Ring on the threshold. He stoops to pick it up> 

<<Gandalf: <mumbles> My precious.>> 

<Frodo notices Gandalf smoking by the fireplace, approaches him> 

<<Gandalf: <mumbles> Precious…>> 

<<Frodo: He's gone hasn't he? He talked for so long about leaving. I didn't think he'd really do it.>> 

<<Frodo: Gandalf?>> 

<<Gandalf: Hmm? <smiles at Frodo, noticing the Ring in Frodo's hand.> Bilbo's Ring. He's gone to stay with the Elves. He's left you Bag End…>> 

<He holds envelope open, Frodo slips in the Ring, and Gandalf seals the envelope> 

<<Gandalf: …along with all his possessions. The Ring is yours now. Put it somewhere out of sight.>> 

<Gandalf gets up to leave, collecting his hat and staff.> 

<<Frodo: Where are you going?>> 

<<Gandalf: There are some things that I must see to.>> 

<<Frodo (confused): What things?>> 

<<Gandalf: Questions. Questions that need answering!>> 

<<Frodo: But you've only just arrived! I don't understand.>> 

<Gandalf stops his hurried exit and looks back at Frodo. His face is full of sympathy. He goes back and drops a hand on Frodo's shoulder.> 

<<Gandalf: Neither do I. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.>>
<Gandalf leaves Bag End. Frodo looks at the envelope in his hand, containing the Ring.

A huge tower appears, rearing up against the night sky. Although still under construction, it dominates the landscape. Rivers of fire from a neighbouring volcano pour around its foundations as an army of minions scurry to build it even higher. A tortured scream breaks the air.> 

<<Voice: Shire!!! Baggins!!!>> 

<Huge gates at a different tower open slowly outward. On horseback, nine cloaked figures on horseback ride out.

Day has come. In the distance, a smoking volcano belches out ash and fire into a darkening sky. The air echoes with its thunder. Gandalf, on a white horse, comes to a halt on a slight hill and watches the distant activities. Closer to Gandalf's position is a white-towered city, sheltered against a mountain range. Gandalf heads towards it. He goes deep into its bowels and finds himself in a dark room, covered from floor to ceiling in books and ancient scrolls. He shuffles through them, trying to discover the secrets he is after. Eventually he settles on one, sits down with a glass of wine and begins to read by the flickering candlelight.> 

<<Voice of Gandalf: The Year 3434 of the Second Age. Here follows the account of Isildur, High King of Gondor and the finding of the Ring of Power.>> 

<Isildur, lying on the ground at the Battle of the Last Alliance, stares at the Ring as it encircles Sauron's dead finger. He reaches out to grab it, crushing the burnt finger to char.> 

<<Gandalf (reading Isildur‘s words): "It has come to me, the One Ring. It shall be an heirloom of my kingdom. All those who follow in my bloodline shall be bound to its fate for I will risk no hurt to the Ring. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain. <The Ring in Isildur's fingers seems to shrink> The markings upon the band begin to fade. The writing, which at first was as clear as red flame, has all but disappeared. A secret now that only fire can tell.">>

<Back in the Shire, a Hobbit is chopping wood in front of his home at nightfall. His dog, alerted to a stranger's presence, barks incessantly, then backs off, whimpering, as it retreats into the house. A huge shadow crosses the house as the stranger draws nearer. A horse neighs and stamps the ground. Its hoofs are nailed, its hair matted and bloody. Its eyes are blood-red. The black rider turns to look at the Hobbit. No eyes are visible inside its cowl.>

<<Black Rider: Shire. Baggins.>> 

<<Hobbit: <fearful> Baggins. There's no Bagginses ‘round here! They’re up in Hobbiton, that way!>> <points> 

<The Black Rider gallops off. 

At the Green Dragon, a party is evidently in full swing, with cries and shouts of laughter. Inside, the Hobbits are engaged in the important business of drinking and singing. Tankards in hand on the table-top, Merry and Pippin indulge in some entertainment> 

<<Merry and Pippin (singing): 
Hey ho, to the bottle I go! 
To heal my heart and drown my woe. 
Rain may fall and wind may blow. 
But there still be - 
many miles to go! 

Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain, 
and the stream that falls from hill to plain. 
Better than rain or rippling brook - 
(Pippin finishes off solo) is a mug of beer inside this Took!">>
<Huge laughter and clinking of mugs. At a nearby table, some Hobbits are not so amused. They are engaged in serious discussion.> 

<<First Hobbit: There's been some strange folk crossing the Shire. Dwarves, and others of a less than savoury nature.>> 

<<Second Hobbit: War is brewing. The mountains are fair teeming with goblins.>> 

<He continues to expound on his theme of doom to the others. Sam, opposite, takes a pull of his pipe and looks at Rosie behind the bar. She gives him a huge smile.> 

<<Third Hobbit: Far-off tales and children's stories, that's all that is. You're beginning to sound like that old Bilbo Baggins. Cracked, he was.>> 

<<Second Hobbit: Young Mr Frodo, here, he's cracking! (Laughs)>> 

<<Frodo (arriving with drinks): And proud of it! Cheers, Gaffer!>> 

<<Third Hobbit: Well, it's none of our concern what goes on beyond our borders. Keep your nose out of trouble, and no trouble'll come to you.>> 

<Frodo merely smiles and raises his tankard.>

<Frodo and Sam are preparing to leave. Rosie stands at the door, wiping a tankard.>

<<Rosie (smiles at them): Goodnight, lads.>> 

<<Sam: Goodnight.>> 

<Frodo and Sam continue on their way. Behind them, a slightly intoxicated Hobbit gives Rosie an exaggerated bow and tries to impress her.> 

<<Intoxicated Hobbit: Goodnight, sweet maiden of the Golden Ale!>> 

<Sam hears this and turns back, muttering.> 

<<Sam: Mind who you're sweet talking.>> 

<Frodo encourages Sam to keep walking.> 

Frodo: Don't worry, Sam. Rosie knows an idiot when she sees one.>>

<<Sam (doubtfully): Does she?>> 

<The idea seems to bother him. 

Frodo and Sam eventually stagger to Bag End and part ways.> 

<<Frodo: Goodnight Sam.>> 

<<Sam: Goodnight, Mister Frodo.>> 

<Frodo comes up the steps and opens his front door. Inside, Bag End is unlit, but papers and curtains are flapping in the breeze, indicating open windows. Frodo enters cautiously. There seems to be no sign of life, but suddenly a hand descends on his shoulder from behind. Frodo jumps, gasps and turns. It is Gandalf. He looks wild and dishevelled.> 

<<Gandalf: Is it secret?! Is it safe?!>> 

<Frodo opens a chest in the hallway and rummages through it, tossing out scrolls and other items in the process. He finally finds the sealed envelope he left there.> 

<<Frodo: Ah! >> <hands Gandalf the envelope>

<Gandalf snatches it and throws it on the fire in one swift motion.> 

<<Frodo (alarmed): What are you doing?!>> 

<The envelope is rapidly consumed by the flames, revealing the Ring inside. Gandalf gets a pair of tongs and carefully picks up the Ring as Frodo watches, bewildered.> 

<<Gandalf: Hold out your hand Frodo, it’s quite cool.>> 

<He drops the Ring on Frodo’s hand. It seems to weigh the Hobbit's hand down. Gandalf stands up and turns away from the fire.> 

<<Gandalf: What can you see? Can you see anything?>> 

<<Frodo: <turning the Ring over and over between his fingers> Nothing. There's nothing...>> 

<Gandalf sighs in relief, and then his eyes narrow suddenly as Frodo corrects himself.>

<<Frodo: Wait. There are markings.>>

<Faint glowing runes start to appear on the band. A voice whispers, as if the Ring is speaking to him. The runes are reflected on Frodo's face as he tries to puzzle them out.> 

<<Frodo: It's some form of Elvish. I can’t read it.>> 

<<Gandalf: There are few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here.>> 

<<Frodo: Mordor?>> 

<<Gandalf: In the common tongue it says, "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them. One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.">>
<Frodo and Gandalf sit down in the kitchen with tea. The Ring lies on the table between them.>

<<Gandalf: This is the One Ring. Forged by the Dark Lord Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom. Taken by Isildur from the hand of Sauron himself.>> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo found it. In Gollum's cave.>> 

<<Gandalf: Yes. For sixty years the Ring lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age. But no longer Frodo. Evil is 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 softly in the Black Speech. Alarmed, both Frodo and Gandalf stare at it.>

<<Gandalf: No, Frodo. The spirit of Sauron endured. His life force is bound to the Ring, and the Ring survived. Sauron has returned. His Orcs have multiplied. His fortress at Barad-D?r is rebuilt in the land of Mordor. Sauron needs only this Ring to cover all the lands of 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. Frodo, he must never find it.>> 

<Frodo stands up and grabs the Ring. He walks down the corridor as if looking for a safe hiding place.> 

<<Frodo: Alright, we put it away. We keep it hidden. We never speak of it again. No one knows it's here, do they? <He turns slowly and stares at the wizard intently.> Do they Gandalf?>> 

<<Gandalf: There is one other who knew that Bilbo had the Ring. I looked everywhere for the creature Gollum. But the enemy found him first.>> 

<In the chambers of Barad-D?r, Gollum's tortured body writhes again at the hands of Sauron's Orcs.>

<<Gandalf: I don’t know how long they tortured him. But amidst the endless screams and inane babble, they discerned two words . . .>> 

<<Gollum (shrieking): Shire!!! Baggins!!!>> 

<<Frodo: Shire. Baggins. But that would lead them here!>> 

<Two Black Riders thunder down a moonlit road. A Hobbit holds up his lantern at the sound of the approaching horses.> 

<<Hobbit: Who goes there?>> 

<One of the Riders brings down his sword and scythes it directly at the Hobbit's head.> 

<Back at Bag End, Frodo holds out the Ring urgently to Gandalf.> 

<<Frodo: Take it Gandalf! Take it!>> 

<<Gandalf: No, Frodo.>> 

<<Frodo (desperate): You must take it!>> 

<<Gandalf: You cannot offer me this Ring!>> 

<<Frodo: I'm giving it to you!>> 

<<Gandalf: Don't tempt me Frodo! I dare not take it. Not even to keep it safe. Understand Frodo, I would use this Ring from 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! (More softly) No, it can't.>> 

<Frodo seems to come to a decision. He closes the Ring inside his palm and looks up at Gandalf.> 

<<Frodo: What must I do?>> 

<Frodo starts to fling items hastily into his backpack to prepare for his journey.> 

<<Gandalf: You must leave, and leave quickly.>> 

<<Frodo: Where? Where do I go?>> 

<<Gandalf: Get out of the Shire. Make for the village Bree.>> 

<He throws a neatly-rolled up shirt to Frodo. Frodo grabs it, unrolling the bundle in the process, and stuffs it into his bag, along with some food.> 

<<Frodo: Bree. What about you?>> 

<<Gandalf: I'll be waiting 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 wise and powerful. Trust me Frodo, he’ll know what to do. You’ll have to leave the name of Baggins behind you, for that name is not safe outside the Shire.>>

<He helps Frodo into his cloak.>

<<Gandalf: Travel only by day. And stay off the road.>> 

<Frodo is finally ready, cloaked and victualled. He smiles at Gandalf.> 

<<Frodo: <slips the Ring into his waistcoat pocket> I can cut across country easily enough.>> 

<<Gandalf: My dear Frodo. Hobbits really are amazing creatures! You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years, they can still surprise you. <hears rustling of the leaves> Get down!>> 

<Frodo drops to the floor. Gandalf goes to the window, peers out cautiously then gives the bushes a whack with his staff. An "oofff!! " is heard as the object of the whack complains. Gandalf drags the offender up by his hair and plops him onto the table.> 

<<Gandalf: Confound it all Samwise Gamgee! Have you been eavesdropping?!>> 

<<Sam (breathless and afraid): I haven't dropped no eaves sir, honest. I was just cutting the grass under the window there, if you follow me.>> 

<<Gandalf: A little late for trimming the verge, don’t you think?>> 

<<Sam: I heard raised voices.>> 

<<Gandalf: What did you hear?! Speak!!!!>> 

<<Sam: N-n-n-nothing important. That is I heard a good deal about a Ring and a Dark Lord and something about the end of the world but… Please, Mister Gandalf sir, don’t hurt me. Don’t turn me into anythin’ --unnatural.>> 

<<Gandalf: Noooo? <He turns a conspiratorial gaze upon Frodo.> Perhaps not. I have thought of a better use for you…>>
<Early dawn on the following morning, Gandalf, Frodo and Sam make their way along the road. Sam, encumbered with pots and pans, puffs along behind Gandalf's horse.> 

<<Gandalf: Come along Samwise, keep up!>> 

<They enter a more heavily forested area and some dense undergrowth.> 

<<Gandalf: Be careful both of you. The enemy has many spies in his service: birds, beasts. <turns to Frodo> Is it safe? <Frodo pats his vest pocket> Never put it on, for the agents of the Dark Lord will be drawn to its power. Always remember, Frodo, the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found.>> 

<Gandalf rides off, leaving Frodo and Sam in the forest. They stare at each other. Eventually Frodo sighs, takes up his stick and continues on their journey. Sam follows.>

<Frodo and Sam trek along the countryside, making their way across streams, over hills and through meadows. Eventually they find themselves before a cornfield. Frodo walks through the corn. Sam following behind, suddenly stops besides a large scarecrow.> 

<<Sam: This is it.>> 

<<Frodo: <turns> This is what?>> 

<<Sam: If take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.>> 

<<Frodo: <reassuringly goes back to take Sam's arm> Come on Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say: "It's a dangerous business… <Bilbo’s voice> …Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.">> 

<Frodo and Sam set up camp for the night. Sam cooks their meal of bacon, tomatoes and sausages as Frodo parks in a tree limb, waiting for the meal. Suddenly they both stop and listen. Singing can be heard in the distance. The voices are sweet and high, singing in an strange language.> 

<<Frodo: <looks at Sam with a delighted smile> Sam! Wood-Elves!>>

<They hurry quickly up to the nearest ridge where they can lie and watch unseen. A group of Elves is passing slowly through the forest, some on horseback, some walking, some with banners. The group seems to shine of its own light, their white garments softly glowing against the purples and midnight blues of the woods. Their haunting song continues.> 

<<Elven song: 
a Galad ren i veniar 
hi' aladhremmin ennorath 
A Elbereth Gilthoniel 
ithil n? th?l, ithil l?n hen 

O Light to us that wander here 
Amid the world of woven trees! 
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! 
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!>>

<<Frodo: They're going to the harbour beyond the White Towers. To the Grey Havens.>> 

<<Sam: They're leaving Middle-earth.>> 

<<Frodo: Never to return.>> 

<<Sam: I don't know why - it makes me sad.>>
<Later, Sam and Frodo prepare for sleep. Sam is trying to find a comfortable spot on the ground.> 

<<Sam: Everywhere I lie there's a dirty great root sticking into my back.>> 

<<Frodo (already half asleep): Just shut your eyes, and imagine you're back in your own bed, with a soft mattress and a lovely feather pillow.>> 
<Sam gives him a skeptical look, and settles back. After a moment he sighs. and gives up, frustrated.> 

<<Sam: It's not working Mr. Frodo. I'm never going to be able to sleep out here.>> 

<<Frodo: Me neither, Sam.>> 

<Frodo smiles. Sam stares at the sky and finds something to nibble on.> 

<Mist descends over the landscape. On a ridge high up above the Hobbits, a horse neighs and stamps. Its Black Rider comes slowly to a halt and surveys the scene.>

<Gandalf rides swiftly and comes to a huge stone tower, set on a plain in the middle of a forest. He passes under a stone bridge and comes to the entrance of the tower. A tall figure cloaked in white descends the steps to meet his guest.>

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

<<Gandalf: Saruman. <bows> >> 
<Gandalf and Saruman are walking through the Gardens of Isengard.> 

<<Saruman: You are sure of this?>> 

<<Gandalf: Beyond any doubt.>> 

<<Saruman: So, the Ring of Power has been found.>> 

<<Gandalf: All these long years it was in the Shire, under my very nose.>> 

<<Saruman: Yet you did not have the wit to see it. Your love of the halfling’s leaf has clearly slowed your mind.>> 

<<Gandalf: But we still have time. Time enough to counter Sauron if we act quickly.>> 

<<Saruman: Time?! What time do you think we have?>> 

<Gandalf and Saruman take some wine and confer in Saruman's chamber, amidst ancient scrolls, books, numerous quills, and a few jars containing very strange creatures.> 

<<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 within his fortress, the Lord of Mordor sees all -- his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You know of what I speak, Gandalf -- a great Eye... lidless... wreathed in flame.>> 

<<Gandalf: The Eye of Sauron.>> 

<<Saruman: He is gathering all evil to him. Very soon he will summon an army great enough to launch an assault upon Middle Earth.>> 

<<Gandalf: You know this? How?>> 

<<Saruman: I have seen it.>> 

<Gandalf and Saruman enter another chamber. Upon a plinth sits an object covered in dark cloth. A large chair, like a throne, stands against a wall.> 

<<Gandalf: A Palant?r is a dangerous tool, Saruman.>> 

<<Saruman: Why? Why should we fear to use it?>> 

<Saruman unveils the Palant? r. It is a perfectly spherical ball, made of some sort of glass, with strange swirls in its depths.> 

<<Gandalf: They are not all accounted for, the lost Seeing Stones. We do not know who else may be watching!>> 

<He covers the Palant? r. The Eye of Sauron flashes briefly> 

<<Saruman: <seats himself upon his throne> The hour is later than you think. Sauron's forces are already moving. The Nine have left Minas Morgul.>> 

<<Gandalf (alarmed): The Nine!>> 

<<Saruman: They crossed the River Isen on Midsummer's Eve, disguised as riders in black.>> 

<<Gandalf: They've reached the Shire?!>> 

<<Saruman: They will find the Ring… and kill the one who carries it.>> 

<<Gandalf: Frodo!>> 

<Gandalf heads towards the door but Saruman closes it with his mind and the other doors in turn. Trapped, Gandalf looks at Saruman.> 

<<Saruman: You did not seriously 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 with him, Gandalf. We must join with Sauron. It would be wise, my friend.>> 

<<Gandalf: Tell me, "friend", when did Saruman the wise abandon reason for madness?!>> 

<With a shout, Saruman points his staff at Gandalf, throwing him up and pinning him against the far wall, then drops him heavily to the floor. Gandalf counters with his own staff, throwing Saruman onto his back. They battle back and forth. Finally, Saruman uses his power to yank Gandalf’s staff from his hands, and he advances on Gandalf with both staffs. Gandalf spins helplessly just above the floor.> 

<<Saruman: I gave you the chance of aiding me willingly. But you...have elected...the way of pain!>> 

<Saruman sends Gandalf rising to the pinnacle of Orthanc.> 
<Sam, in the middle of a field of corn, emerges onto a small path between the rows of tall vegetables. He looks back and forth, not seeing Frodo in either direction.> 

<<Sam: <starts to panic> Mister Frodo? Frodo! Frodo!>> 

<Frodo appears round the bend in the path, looking puzzled> 

<<Sam: <sigh> I thought I’d lost you.>> 

<<Frodo: What are you talking about?>> 

<<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: <amused> Sam, we're still in the Shire! What could possibly happen?>> 

<Suddenly, Pippin bursts from the cornfield and knocks over Frodo. Merry, close behind, barrels out, knocking over Sam. Both have an armful of vegetables> 

<<Pippin: Frodo? Merry! It's Frodo Baggins.>> 

<<Merry: Hello Frodo!>> 

<<Sam: Get off him! <hauls Pippin off Frodo> Frodo? Are you all right?>> 

<<Frodo: What's the meaning of this?>> 

<<Merry: Hold this. >> <hands vegetables to Sam.> 

<<Sam: You've been into Farmer Maggot's crop!>> 

<They hear a dog barking and an angry, yelling voice. Pippin grabs Frodo and runs, followed by Merry. Sam does a double take on the produce in his hands, drops them and runs after the others> 

<<Farmer Maggot: <brandishing a scythe> Hoi! You get back here! Wait till I get this through you! … Get out of my fields! You'll know the devil if I catch up with you!>>

<<Merry: ‘Dunno why he is so upset. It’s only a couple of carrots!>> 

<<Pippin: And some cabbages. And those few bags of potatoes that we lifted last week and, and the mushrooms the week before!>> 

<<Merry: Yes Pippin! My point is, he is clearly overreactin’. Run!>>

<Pippin, Frodo and Merry stop just before the edge of a gorge. Sam slams into them from behind and all four hobbits roll down the hill. At the bottom, they end up in a tangled heap, spitting various bits of forest from their mouths. Pippin has landed just in front of a pile of droppings.> 

<<Pippin: Ooh! That was close.>> 

<<Merry: Oowwww! I think I've broken something.<pulls out a broken carrot.>>> 

<<Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took!>> 

<<Merry: What?! That was just a detour, a shortcut.>> 

<<Sam: A shortcut to what?>> 

<<Pippin: Mushrooms!!!>> 

<Sam and Merry rush towards the mushrooms, followed by Pippin. Frodo, standing, looks down the road.> 

<<Pippin: That’s mine!>> 

<Collective 'mmmm's abound as they savour the mushrooms.> 

<<Merry: Here is a nice one Sam.>> 

<<Frodo: I think we should get off the road.>> 

<Sounds something can be heard, coming up the road.> 

<<Frodo: Get off the road! Quick!>>
<The hobbits grab their things and cross the road, hopping over and then crawling beneath a large overhanging tree root. Sound of hoof steps are heard.> 

<<Sam: Shhh! <to Merry and Pippin> Stop it! Be quiet!>> 

<Merry and Pippin stop jostling each other. Frodo looks up through a small gap and sees a great black horse, and a Rider, clothed and hooded in black. The Black Rider leaps from his horse. He approaches the tree root and rests his armored hand on it, hissing and sniffing. Insects and earthworms start coming out of their holes. Frodo enters a trance, tempted to wear the Ring as his finger strains towards it. Sam realises this and he reaches over and hits Frodo in the arm, startling him out of his the trance. Frodo jerks the Ring away from his finger. Merry throws a bag full of vegetables into the forest to distract the Rider, who whirls away and follows the sound. The hobbits make a break for it. They run a short distance and then stop, gasping.> 

<<Merry: What was that?>> 

<Frodo stares at the Ring on his palm but says nothing.> 

<Nightfall. A Black Rider is patrolling the area. The hobbits hide behind the trees.> 

<<Sam: Anything?>> 

<<Frodo: Nothing.>> 

<<Pippin: What is going on?>> 

<<Merry: That Black Rider was looking for something… or someone. Frodo?>> 

<<Sam: Get down!>> 

<The Black Rider feigns leaving the area.> 

<<Frodo: I have to leave the Shire. Sam and I must get to Bree.>> 

<<Merry: Right. Buckleberry Ferry. Follow me.>> 

<Hobbits make their way to Buckleberry ferry. A second Black Rider suddenly appears along their path. Frodo is delayed as the others run on. The hobbits jump over the fence and run towards the river. The Riders follows the chase, hot on Frodo’s heels.> 

<<Pippin: Run! This way, follow me! Run!>> 

<<Merry: Get the rope Sam!>> 

<Merry and Sam each uncoil a mooring rope while Pippin starts to push off.> 

<<Sam: Frodo!>> 

<<Hobbits: Run Frodo!>> 

<<Frodo: Go!>> 

<<Hobbits: Hurry!>> 

<<Sam: Frodo!>> 

<<Hobbits: Jump Frodo! Go on faster! Jump!>> 

<Frodo leaps onto the raft. The Rider stops short of the water and once again squeals in frustration. Looking back the hobbits see the Rider ride away, followed by two others.> 

<<Frodo: How far to the nearest crossing?>> 

<<Merry: Brandywine Bridge: Twenty miles.>>
<The Hobbits arrive at the gates of Bree, soaking wet due to the pouring rain. They pause, uncertain how to declare themselves.> 

<<Frodo: Come on.>> 

<He knocks on the gates. A small peep hole opens high above them, then slams shut. Another opens, nearer their eye level. A wizened face peers out against the downpour.> 

<<Gatekeeper (irascibly): What do you want?>> 

<<Frodo: We’re heading for the Prancing Pony.>> 

<<Gatekeeper: Hobbits! Four hobbits! What business brings you to Bree?>>

<He opens the gate and stoops down to throw his lantern light over them.> 

<<Frodo: We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is our own.>> 

<<Gatekeeper: Alright young sir, I meant no offence. ‘Tis my job to ask question after nightfall. There’s talk of strange folk abroad. Can’t be too careful.>> 

<He ushers them inside. The Hobbits make their way up the cobbled path, through the motley crowd which jostles and bumps them. One man, a particularly ugly customer holding a carrot, belches contemptuously over them.> 
<<Men of Bree: Out of the way! Watch where you’re walking, young masters!>> 
<Frodo looks up and spots the sign of the Prancing Pony. The four Hobbits enter the Inn. Inside, it is crowded, noisy and poorly-lit, but less so than the dark of the village outside. They pull back their hoods, glad to be out of the wet. Merry and Pippin breathe sighs of relief. Frodo steps up to the bar, which rises far above his head.> 

<<Frodo: Excuse me?>> 

<<Buffer (leaning down over the bar): Good evening, little masters! If you’re looking for accommodation we’ve got some nice, cozy, hobbit-sized rooms available. Mr. uh-->> 

<<Frodo: --Underhill, my name’s Underhill.>> 

<<Buffer: Underhill. Yes . . .>> 

<<Frodo: We’re friends of Gandalf the Grey. Can you tell him we’ve arrived?>> 

<<Buffer: Gandalf? Gandalf? Ohhh yes! I remember, elderly chap, big gray beard, pointy hat. . . (Pauses) . . . Not seen him for 6 months.>> 

<The hobbits are shocked. Worry crosses their faces.> 

<<Sam: What do we do now?>> 

<The hobbits are seated at a table in the tap room of the Prancing Pony. The air is dark and smoke-filled. Drunken men laugh raucously. Several glance suspiciously at the hobbits. Frodo looks worried, as does Sam.> 

<<Frodo: Sam. He’ll be here. He’ll come.>> 

<<Man: <to Merry coming from the bar> Get, get out of my way.>> 

<Merry sits down at the table. He is holding a huge stein of beer, which he sets down reverently.> 

<<Pippin: What’s that?>> 

<<Merry: <gazing at it in rapt admiration> This my friend, is a pint.>> 

<<Pippin: It comes in pints? I’m getting one.>> 

<Pippin rushes to the bar. The Men of Bree, amused, make way for him and he makes himself comfortable in their company.> 

<<Sam: You had a whole half already!>> 

<Sam turns back to his mug. After a moment, he nudges Frodo and gestures to the corner of the room. A dark cloaked figure sits alone regarding them. His face is invisible inside his hood.> 

<<Sam: That fellow’s done nothin’ but stare at you since we arrived.>> 

<<Frodo: <takes the buffer aside> Excuse me, that man in the corner, who is he?>> 

<<Buffer: He’s one of them rangers. Dangerous folk they are -- wandering the wilds. What his right name is I’ve never heard, but around here, he’s known as Strider.>> 

<<Frodo: Strider.. .>>
<Strider lights his pipe. Only the gleam of his eyes can be discerned above the glow of the burning tobacco. Frodo starts to play with the Ring. It starts to whisper, tempting him.> 

<<The Ring: Baggins. Baggins. Baggins. Baggins! Baggins!…>> 

<<Pippin: Baggins!>> 

<Frodo snaps out of his reverie> 

<<Pippin: <at the bar with his newfound friends> Sure I know a Baggins. He’s over there, Frodo Baggins. He's my second cousin once removed on his mother's side <listeners laugh, "It works for him!" yells one> and my third cousin twice removed on his father's side, if you follow me.>> 

<Strider sits up, his attention fairly caught. Frodo rushes towards the bar to stop Pippin from babbling further.> 

<<Frodo: Pippin!>> <grabs him> 

<<Pippin: Steady on, Frodo!>> 

<Frodo slips on someone’s boot and falls back, tossing the Ring into the air. As he catches it, the Ring slips onto Frodo’s finger. He disappears. Bree folks gasp in surprise. Strider is alarmed. Outside the village, the Black Riders are alerted and turn around, making for Bree. Frodo, now in the shadow world, looks around bewildered. He then sees an immense singular orb, a lidless eye, wreathed in flame. The Eye of Sauron stares down at him> 

<<Voice of Sauron: You cannot hide! I see you! There is no life in the void, only death!>> 

<Frodo backs away, terrified. He gropes for the Ring, unable to tear his gaze from the hideous Eye. Finally he wrenches the Ring off, reappearing with a relieved sigh, beside Strider’s table.> 

<<Frodo: Ah!>> 

<Strider grabs him from behind.> 

<<Strider: You draw far too much attention to yourself Mr. "Underhill"!>> 

<Strider tosses him up the stairs, flings open the door of his room, throws Frodo in and shuts the door behind them. Frodo stumbles, falls to his knees, and stands up quickly, putting his back to the wall.> 

<<Frodo: What do you want?>> 

<<Strider: A little more caution from you. That is no trinket you carry.>> 

<<Frodo: I carry nothing!>> 

<<Strider: Indeed.>> 

<He walks over to the window, puts out the candles.> 

<<Strider: 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 door bursts open. Strider draws his sword. Sam, Merry and Pippin rush in, Sam with fists clenched and ready to fight.> 

<<Sam: Let him go! Or I’ll have you Longshanks! >> 

<<Strider (sheaths his sword): You have a stout heart little hobbit, but that will not save you. You can no longer wait for the wizard Frodo. They’re coming.>> 

<Inside the gatehouse of Bree, the wizened gatekeeper hears a horse snorting. He gets up to investigate and opens the window in the gate. Suddenly the Black Riders crash through the gate, crushing the gatekeeper underneath it, and gallop to the Prancing Pony. Screeches are heard. The Riders enter the Inn, swords drawn. The innkeeper hides behind the door, terrified. Inside, the Hobbits are soundly asleep. The Riders make for the hobbits' room. Silently, they raise their swords high above them to plunge into the sleeping bodies. The swords descend, stabbing at the still forms as the Hobbits suddenly awake. The Riders pull back the covers and realise they have been attacking bedclothes and pillows. They scream in anguish and frustration. Strider watches from the window in his room as the Riders remount their dark horses. Frodo, gravely concerned at the attack, sits at the foot of the bed. The rest of the sleeping hobbits, awakened by the Riders' cries, lean wide-eyed against the headboard.> 

<<Frodo: What are they?>> 

<<Strider: They were once Men. Great kings of Men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine Rings of Power. 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 Nazg?l, 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 following morning, Strider leads the four hobbits and a newly acquired pony away from the village of Bree.> 

<<Frodo: Where are you taking us?>> 

<<Strider: Into the wild.>> 

<<Merry: <to Frodo> How do we know this Strider is a friend of Gandalf?>> 

<<Frodo: I think a servant of the Enemy would look fairer and feel fouler.>> 

<<Merry: He's foul enough!>> 

<<Frodo: We have no choice but to trust him.>> 

<<Sam: But where is he leading us?>> 

<<Strider: To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, to the House of Elrond.>> 

<<Sam: Did you hear that? Rivendell! We’re going to see the Elves!>> 

<Snow is starting to fall and cover the ground. After a while, the Hobbits pause, pulling cookware and food from their packs. Strider looks back at them.> 

<<Strider: Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.>> 

<<Pippin: What about breakfast?>> 

<<Strider: We’ve already had it.>> 

<<Pippin: We've had one, yes. What about second breakfast?>> <Strider walks away.> 

<<Merry: Don't think he knows about second breakfast Pip.>> 

<<Pippin: <alarmed> What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them doesn’t he?>> 

<<Merry: I wouldn't count on it.>> 

<From over the bushes, Strider tosses an apple and Merry catches it. He hands it to Pippin and pats him on the shoulder. Another apple flies through the air, hitting Pippin in the head. He looks up bewildered.> 

<<Merry: <impatiently> Pippin!>> 

<The party slowly make their way through increasingly rough country. It becomes darker and the forest gives way to flat marshland, which they eventually have to cross. All go up to their knees in the sludgy mire. The conditions are made worse by an army of midges which attack them all unmercifully. Merry slaps despairingly at the cloud of pests hovering around him.> 

<<Merry: What do they eat - when they can't get Hobbit?>> 

<Behind him, Pippin stumbles and falls into the mire, measuring his length. It is a miserable journey at this stage. Eventually they make camp for the night on the boggy ground. Strider manages to hunt and kill a deer which he brings back for their supper. The Moon rises as the hobbits fall asleep. Strider is keeping watch by the fire. He hums a tune softly to himself:> 

<<Strider (singing): 
Tin?viel elvanui, 
Elleth alfirin ethelhael 
O hon ring finnil fuinui 
A renc gelebrin thiliol. 

Tin?viel the elven-fair, 
Immortal maiden elven-wise, 
About him cast her night-dark hair,
And arms like silver glimmering.>> 

<Frodo wakes, hearing Aragorn's song. He lifts himself up and stares at the Ranger.> 

<<Frodo: Who is she? This woman you sing of?>> 

<<Strider (sadly): Tis the Lay of L?thien. The Elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal.>> 

<<Frodo: What happened to her?>> 

<<Strider: <looks way> She died.>> 

<He sighs. His face bears a hint of tears. He turns back to Frodo.> 

<<Strider: Get some sleep, Frodo.>>
<Saruman is in the Chamber of the Palantir at Isengard. His hand is suspended over the Stone, and a fiery light is in its depths. The eye of Sauron appears within the Palantir. Saruman, eyes closed, appears to be communicating with Sauron by pure thought.> 

<<Voice of Saruman: The power of Isengard is at your command, Sauron, Lord of the Earth.>> 

<<Voice of Sauron: Build me an army worthy of Mordor!>> 

<Saruman is sitting on a chair in one of his chambers, his arms wound about him. He looks haunted. Three Orcs file into the room.> 

<<First Orc: What orders from Mordor my Lord? What does the Eye command?>> 

<<Saruman: We have work to do!>> 

<Huge trees are being felled, their creaks and groans like cries of pain as they are brought crashing down by groups of Orcs under Saruman's orders. On the high pinnacle of Orthanc, Gandalf, dishevelled and scarred from his battle with Saruman, wakes painfully, the cold rain slashing down, the creaking of dozens of felled trees heard far below. He slowly pushes himself up and moves cautiously to the edge and peers down at the activity surrounding the tower.> 

<<Orcs: The trees are strong, my Lord. Their roots go deep.>> 

<<Saruman: Rip them all down!>> 

<Strider and the Hobbits have left the marshland behind and are now crossing rough rocky country. Strider stops and looks at the ruins atop a tall hill.> 

<<Strider: This was the great watchtower of Amon S?l. We shall rest here tonight.>> 

<The Hobbits, weary from the long travel, fling off their packs and settle down in an overhang near the hill's summit. Strider opens a bundle, revealing four short swords. He hands them to his companions.> 

<<Strider: These are for you. Keep them close. I’m going to have a look around. Stay here.>> 

<Frodo, asleep, wakes up with a start. Merry, Pippin and Sam gathered around a fire cooking.> 

<<Merry: My tomato's burst.>> 

<<Pippin: Can I have some bacon?>> 

<<Merry: Ok. Want some tomatoes Sam?>> 

<<Frodo (in alarm): What are you doing?!>> 

<<Merry: Tomatoes, sausages, nice crispy bacon.>> 

<<Sam: We saved some for you, Mr. Frodo.>> 

<<Frodo: Put it out, you fools! Put it out!>> 

<He stamps on the fire, trying to douse the flames.> 

<<Pippin: Oh, that’s nice! Ash on my tomatoes!>> 

<Suddenly, a Nazg?l's cry pierces the darkness. The hobbits jump up, startled, and look over the lip of the overhang. They see five Nazg?l closing in on Amon S?l. They unsheathe their small swords.> 

<<All: Uh?!>> 

<Frodo motions the others to run up the steps, towards the ruins.> 

<<Frodo: Go!>> 

<The dark night surrounds them as they climb to the top. They stand in the ring of broken pillars of the old ruin, eyes darting about; shadows rise out of the dark. The Nazg?l surround them, pulling out their long swords. Sam, Merry and Pippin prepare to defend Frodo.> 

<<Sam: <brandishing his sword> Back you devils!>> 

<Sam clashes swords with the Nazg?l, but is swiftly thrown aside. Merry and Pippin close the gap in front of Frodo, but they too are cast aside. Frodo backs across the hill, dropping his sword with a clatter. He stumbles, falls, and crawls backward until he is backed against a fallen column. Frodo brings out the Ring from his pocket. Immediately, the leader of the Wraiths feels its presence and approaches Frodo, drawing a long dagger. Frodo tries to scramble back, terrified, but has nowhere to go. Desperately, he slips on the Ring.>

<The world changes. The Nazg?ls’ true forms are revealed to him, shining like ghostly kings. The King reaches out for the Ring, and the Ring responds, lifting Frodo’s own hand towards the wraith. With desperate strength, Frodo yanks his hand back. The King stabs him through the left shoulder with his long dagger, pinning him to the ground, then reaches again for the Ring. Frodo cries out in pain.>

<At that moment, Strider leaps over Frodo and attacks the Nazg?l with both sword and flaming brand. The King withdraws his dagger and drops it. Frodo summons the strength to pull the Ring from his finger. He reappears in the middle of an anguished scream.> 

<<Frodo: Aaaahhhh!>> 

<<Sam: Frodo!>> <rushes to his side.>

<<Frodo: Oh Sam!>> 

<Strider continues to fight the Nazg?l, torch in one hand, sword in another. He sets them afire and finally drives them away.> 

<<Sam: Strider! Help him, Strider!>> 

<<Strider: He’s been stabbed by a Morgul blade. <The blade dissolves, its remnants dispersing in the wind.> This is beyond my skill to heal. He needs Elvish medicine.>> 

<Strider carries Frodo over his shoulder and proceeds to leave Amon S?l, the other hobbits following closely behind them. Nazg?l cries are still heard in the area.> 

<<Strider: Hurry!>> 

<<Sam: We're six days from Rivendell. He’ll never make it!>> 

<<Frodo (whispering): Gandalf…>> 

<<Strider: Hold on, Frodo.>> 

<<Frodo: <cries out> …Gandalf!!!!>>
<Back at Isengard, giant caverns have been opened up and a forge is seen at the base, where hundreds of Orcs are working. Sounds of metal clinking rise up into the air. High above, Gandalf is still imprisoned on the pinnacle of the tower. A tiny white moth struggles against the breeze and reaches the top of the tower. It flutters over to Gandalf, who captures it in his fingers. It appears to sit still in his hand and listen to his words as though spoken in moth language.> 

<<Gandalf: <whispering a final command> Gwaihir. Go, Gwaihir.>> 

<Gandalf sends it off and the moth flies away. Down in the Caverns of Isengard the forging of weapons and armor is well underway. Hundreds of helmets and swords are piling up. Saruman observes all the activity with pride. Deep in the pits, Orcs are tending strange moving formations in the mud. Groans issue from within the mounds. Something appears to be struggling to get out. Eventually a giant creature emerges, killing the Orc who has been helping it to be born. The creature is massive, towering above the smaller Orcs, with huge teeth, and covered in birthing slime. Saruman gazes at his creation in rapt admiration. 

<Back in the forest, the Hobbits and Strider rest beneath a gathering of huge stone trolls. Sam tries to keep Frodo conscious.> 

<<Sam: Look, Mr Frodo! It's Mr. Bilbo's trolls!>>

<Frodo is becoming more delirious and weak. Strange sounds come from him, like the faint screeches of Wraiths. Sam feels Frodo's forehead.> 

<<Sam: Mr. Frodo? <to Strider> He’s going cold!>> 

<<Pippin: Is he going to die?>> 

<<Strider: He’s passing into the shadow world. He will soon become a wraith like them.>> 

<Frodo gasps. The Nazg?l cry is heard from a distance. Frodo cries out as if in answer to them.> 

<<Merry: They’re close.>> 

<<Strider: Sam, do you know Athelas plant?>> 

<<Sam: Athelas?>> 

<<Strider: Kingsfoil.>> 

<<Sam: Kingsfoil - aye, it's a weed.>> 

<<Strider: It may help to slow the poison. Hurry!>> 

<They search for the plant in the nearby undergrowth. Strider finds a small patch and proceeds to collect it. Suddenly a sword is at his throat.> 

<<Female voice: What’s this? A ranger caught off his guard?>> 

<Frodo, lying on the ground, senses a white light nearing him. He turns towards it, and like a vision, sees a beautiful Elf-lady approaching on a white horse. She dismounts and comes close to him.> 

<<Female: Frodo.... Im Arwen. Telin le thaed (I am Arwen. I have come to help you.)>> 

Lasto beth n?n. Tolo dan na ngalad (Hear my voice. Come back to the light.)>> 

<<Merry (in awe): Who is she?>> 

<<Arwen: <kneels> Frodo!>> 

<<Sam: She's an Elf.>> 

<Strider chews a portion of the athelas and applies it to Frodo's wound. The Hobbit is sinking fast.> 

<<Arwen (to Strider): He's fading!>> 

<Frodo gasps.> 

<<Arwen: He's not going to last. We must get him to my father. I’ve been looking for you for 2 days.>> 

<<Merry: Where are you taking him?>> 

<<Arwen: <gets up as Strider lifts Frodo up in his arms> There are 5 wraiths behind you. Where the other 4 are, I do not know.>> 

<Strider mounts Frodo onto Arwen's horse.> 

<<Strider: Dartho guin perian. Rych le ad tolthathon. (Stay with the Hobbits. I will send horses back for you.)>> 

<<Arwen: Hon mabathon. Rochon ellint im. (I’m the faster rider. I’ll take him.)>> 

<<Strider: Andelu i ven. (The road is too dangerous.)>> 

<<Pippin: What are they saying?>> 

<<Arwen: Frodo f?r. Ae athradon i hir, tur gwaith nin beriatha hon. (Frodo's dying. If I can get across the river, the power of my people will protect him.)>> 

<<Arwen (reassuringly): I do not fear them.>> 

<<Strider: Be iest l?n. (As you wish.)>> 

<Their hands clasp tenderly. Arwen mounts her horse. Frodo is seated in front of her.> 

<<Strider: Arwen, ride hard. Don’t look back!>> 

<<Arwen (to horse): Noro lim, Asfaloth, noro lim! (Ride fast, Asfaloth, ride fast!)>> 

<Asfaloth gallops away> 

Sam (to Strider): What are you doing?! Those wraiths are still out there!>> 

<Strider stares after Arwen, well aware of the dangers she faces.>
<Arwen rides on as the Nazg?l give chase. Night gives way to day as they pursue her, from forest to open plain, sometimes closing, sometimes falling behind. Frodo, half-unconscious, senses their presence. One of the Wraiths closes on him, reaching out as if to snatch the Ring from him. Arwen spurs Asfaloth on to an even greater effort.> 

<<Arwen: Noro lim, Asfaloth!!! (Ride faster, Asfaloth!)>> 

<Arwen reaches the river, and splashes across the ford. She pauses and looks back. The Nazg?l have stopped at the edge of the water. Their mounts rear up, screaming, seemingly terrified of entering the river.> 

<<Nazg?l: Give up the halfling, she-Elf!>> 

<<Arwen: <draws her sword in challenge> If you want him, come and claim him!>> 

<The Nazg?l draw their swords and urge their reluctant horses across the ford. Arwen begins to chant to the river.> 

Nin o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer, 
Rimmo nin Bruinen, dan in Ulair! 
Nin o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer, 
Rimmo nin Bruinen, dan in Ulair! 

(Waters of the Misty Mountains 
listen to the great word; 
flow waters of Loudwater 
against the Ringwraiths!)>> 

<Gradually, the water level rises. A great flood comes around the bend, with peaks like white horses. The Nazg?l are cast from their mounts and washed away down the river as Arwen watches.>

<Frodo starts to slip from the horse. Arwen lays him on the ground.> 

<<Arwen: No! Frodo...No! Frodo, don’t give in! Not now!>> 

<Arwen cries and embraces Frodo.> 

<<Arwen (voice over): What grace is given me, let it pass to him, let him be spared - save him.>> 

<The surrounds fade to white. Elrond appears, recognisable as the Elf who was a lieutenant in the Last Alliance.> 

<<Elf: Lasto beth n?n. Tolo dan na ngalad. (Hear my voice, come back to the light)>> 

<Frodo is lying in a vast bed.> 

<<Frodo (half-asleep): Where am I?>> 

<<Gandalf's voice: You are in the house of Elrond. And it is 10 o’clock in the morning, on October the 24th, if you want to know.>>

<Frodo wakes up.> 

<<Frodo: Gandalf!>> 

<Gandalf is seated on Frodo's bed, smoking his pipe. The bedroom opens on to a stunningly beautiful garden. The noise of falling water is mixed with bird song. Leaves are gently falling.> 

<<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, my dear hobbit!>> 

<<Frodo: What happened, Gandalf? Why didn't you meet us?>> 

<<Gandalf: Oh I'm sorry Frodo . . . (long pause) . . . I was delayed.>> 

<Flashback to Isengard. On the tower top, Saruman is using his powers to flip Gandalf about. He then dangles him dangerously over the edge of Orthanc.> 

<<Saruman: Friendship with Saruman is not lightly thrown aside. One ill turn deserves another. It is over! Embrace the power of the Ring . . . or embrace your own destruction!>> 

<Gandalf lies at full stretch, completely at Saruman's mercy. A tiny white moth flutters across between them. Gandalf observes it as Saruman continues to taunt him. Saruman hurls Gandalf back towards the platform.> 

<<Gandalf: <slowly raises himself as the shadowy form of an eagle appears in the background.> There is only one Lord of the Ring! Only one who can bend it to his will. And he. does. not. share. power!>> 

<The eagle screeches. Gandalf leaps off the Tower of Orthanc and lands on the eagle's back.> 

<<Saruman: So you have chosen - death .>> 

<Gwaihir flies over the mountains, bearing Gandalf to safety.> 

<<Frodo: Gandalf? What is it?>> 

<<Gandalf: Nothing, Frodo.>> 

<Sam enters the room and rushes to Frodo's side, clasping his hand in joy.> 

<<Sam: Frodo! Frodo!>> 

<<Frodo: Sam!>> 

<<Sam: Bless you, you're awake!>> 

<Frodo laughs> 

<<Gandalf: Sam has hardly left your side.>> 

<<Sam: We were that worried about you, weren't we Mr. Gandalf?>> 

<<Gandalf: By the skills of Lord Elrond, you're beginning to mend.>> 
<<Elrond: <entering the room and smiles down at Frodo> Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins.>>
<Rivendell sits high above a gorge which is thick with pines and deciduous shrubs. Delicate, lacy waterfalls trace their way down to the river below. A stone bridge spans the chasm as a cloaked rider upon a white horse plods towards the house. In the gardens, Frodo is reunited with his friends. Multiple hugs and backslaps all round. Eventually, Frodo spots a familiar figure sitting on a stone seat, reading from a large Red Book.> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo!>> 

<Bilbo seems to have aged and looks white and frail. He leans heavily upon a staff as he gets up to greet Frodo.> 

<<Bilbo: Hello, Frodo my lad!>> 

<<Frodo: Bilbo! <hugs him>>> 

<<Bilbo: Oh!>>

<Frodo reads aloud from Bilbo's book.> 

<<Frodo: "There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins." <leafs through the book> This is wonderful!>> 

<<Bilbo: I meant to go back ... wander the paths of Mirkwood ... visit Laketown ... see the Lonely Mountain again. But age it seems, has finally caught up with me.>> 

<He gives Frodo a sad smile. Frodo stops to look at the map of the Shire.> 

<<Frodo: I miss the Shire. I spent all my childhood pretending I was off somewhere else … off with you on one of your adventures! <realises sadly> My own adventure turned out to be quite different.>> 

<<Frodo: I’m not like you, Bilbo.>> 

<<Bilbo: <pats Frodo's cheek> My dear boy.>> 

<On the balcony, Sam is trying to pack his bags.> 

<<Sam (to himself): Now what have I forgotten?>> 

<<Frodo: Packed already?>> 

<<Sam: No harm in being prepared.>> 

<<Frodo: I thought you wanted to see the Elves, Sam.>> 

<<Sam: I do!>> 

<<Frodo: More than anything.>> 

<<Sam: I did! It's just ... we did what Gandalf wanted didn't we? We got the Ring this far to Rivendell and then I thought, seein’ as how you’re on the mend, we'd be off soon. Off home.>> 

<<Frodo: You're right Sam. We did what we set out to do. <shows the Ring on his palm> The Ring will be safe in Rivendell.>> 

<<Frodo: I am ready to go home.>> 

<Gandalf and Elrond watch Frodo and Sam from the balcony in Elrond's study.> 

<<Elrond: His strength returns.>> 

<<Gandalf: That wound will never fully heal. He will carry it the rest of his life.>> 

<<Elrond: And yet to have come so far, still bearing the Ring, the hobbit has shown extraordinary resilience to its evil.>> 

<Elrond walks over to his desk and pours wine.> 

<<Gandalf: It is a burden he should never have had to bear. We can ask no more of Frodo.>> 

<<Elrond: <turns to confront Gandalf> Gandalf, the enemy is moving. Sauron's forces are massing in the east-- his eye is fixed on Rivendell. And Saruman you tell me has betrayed us. Our list of allies grows thin.>> 

<<Gandalf: His treachery runs deeper than you know. By foul craft Saruman has crossed Orcs with goblin-men, he's breeding an army in the caverns of Isengard. An army that can move in sunlight and cover great distance 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 fight both Mordor and Isengard!>> 

<Gandalf moves away, deep in thought.> 

<<Elrond: Gandalf, the Ring cannot stay here.>> 

<Gandalf stands at Elrond's window, looks out and sees a group of new arrivals in the garden. A man, an Elf and companions, and a party of Dwarves all dismount and stare around them in wonder.> 

<<Elrond: This peril belongs to all Middle-earth. They must decide now how to end it. The time of the Elves is over-- my people are leaving these shores. Who will you look to when we've gone? The Dwarves? They hide in their mountains seeking riches-- they care nothing for the troubles of others .>> 

<<Gandalf: It is in Men that we must place our hope.>> 

<<Elrond (scathing): Men? Men are weak .>> 

<Elrond takes his glass and wanders through his house as Gandalf follows. It is a beautiful house, full of wooden paneling and ancient statues and artefacts.> 

<<Elrond: The race of Men is failing. The blood of Numenor is all but spent, its pride and dignity forgotten. It is because of Men the Ring survives. I was there Gandalf. I was there three thousand years ago … >> 

<Flashback to Isildur slicing the Ring off Sauron’s hand and holding up the Ring.> 

<<Elrond: . . . when Isildur took the Ring. I was there the day the strength of Men failed.>> 

<Elrond and Isildur stand on the slopes of Mount Doom. The volcano roars and gushes fire above them.> 

<<Elrond: Isildur - hurry. Follow me.>> 

<<Elrond (v/over): I led Isildur into the heart of Mount Doom, where the Ring was forged, the one place it could be destroyed.>>

<Elrond stands near the cracks of Doom, on the same spot where Sauron first held up the One Ring in triumph.> 

<<Elrond: Cast it into the fire!>> 

<Isildur looks at the Ring in his hand. The Ring whispers to him.> 

<<Elrond: Destroy it!>> 

<<Isildur (smiles in sly triumph): No.>> 

<Isildur walks away.> 

<<Elrond: Isildur!!!>> 

<<Elrond: (v/over): It should’ve ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure.>>

<<Elrond: Isildur kept the Ring. The line of kings is broken. There is no strength left in the world of Men. They’re scattered, divided, leaderless.>> 

<<Gandalf: There is one who could unite them, one who could reclaim the throne of Gondor.>> 

<<Elrond: He turned from that path long time ago. He has chosen exile.>>
<Evening has fallen. Strider is seated on the terrace reading a book. Footsteps echo on the stone floor. The man who arrived earlier enters and pauses in front of a battle-piece of Isildur, with broken sword raised against Sauron. He regards the painting intently, then, conscious of another presence, turns and sees Strider.> 

<<Man: You are no Elf!>> 

<<Strider: The Men of the South are welcome here.>> 

<<Man: Who are you?>> 

<<Strider: I am a friend to Gandalf the Grey.>> 

<<Man: Then we are here on a common purpose . . . (he smiles) . . . friend .>> 

<The Man seems puzzled by Strider's reluctance to reveal his identity, but smiles again good-naturedly and turns to the Lady's shrine opposite the wall painting. He sees the broken sword lying there. He picks up the haft, shifting it in his hand, testing its weight and feel as a warrior would, and stares at the blade.> 

<<Man: The shards of Narsil! The blade that cut the ring from Sauron's hand!>> 

<He runs his finger up the blade and cuts himself.> 

<<Man (in amazement): It's still sharp!>> 

<Turns to look at Strider who is watching him.> 

<<Man (in disdain): But no more than a broken heirloom!>> 

<He returns the sword carelessly and it clatters to the ground. He hesitates, then walks away. Strider gets up and walks to the shrine. He picks up the dropped haft and carefully sets it in place with the other shards. He takes a step back and touches his right hand to his heart, as he looks at the statue of the Lady. Arwen walks in behind him.> 

<<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. <turns to Arwen> Same weakness.>> 

<<Arwen: Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it.

A si i-Dh?ath ?-orthor, Aragorn. ? or le a ? or nin. 
(The Shadow does not hold sway yet, Aragorn. Not over you and not over me.)>> 

<In the twilit gardens of Rivendell, Arwen and Aragorn stand atop of a bridge. A love song plays softly in the background: 

O m?r henion i dh?: 
Ely siriar, ?l s?la. 
Ai! An?ron Und?miel. 
Tiro! ?l eria e m?r.
I 'l?r en ?l luitha '?ren. 
Ai! An?ron... 

From darkness I understand the night: 
dreams flow, a star shines. 
Ah! I desire Evenstar.
Look! A star rises out of the darkness. 
The song of the star enchants my heart. 
Ah! I desire…>

<<Arwen: Renech i lu i erui govannen? (Do you remember when we first met?)>> 

<<Aragorn: Nauthannem i ned ol reniannen. (I thought I had strayed into a dream.)>> 

<<Arwen: <tenderly touches Aragorn’s cheek> Gwenwin in enninath...U-arnech in naeth i si celich. (Long years have passed…You did not have the cares you carry now.)>> 

<<Arwen: Renech i beth i pennen? (Do you remember what I told you?)>> 

<<Aragorn: <his fingers run across the pendant on her breast> You said you'd bind yourself to me. Forsaking 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 this world alone.>> <Arwen gives Aragorn the pendant.> 

<<Arwen: I choose a mortal life.>> 

<<Aragorn: You cannot give me this!>> 

<<Arwen: It is mine to give to whom I will...like my heart.>> 

<They kiss>
<The following morning, at the Council of Elrond. Gandalf and Frodo along with a congregation of Men, Elves and Dwarves sit in a semi-circle around a stone pedestal.> 

<<Elrond: Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-Earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate--this one doom. <gestures to the pedestal> Bring forth the Ring, Frodo.>> 

<Frodo rises and lays the Ring on the pedestal.> 

<<Man of the South: So it is true.. .>> 

<Frodo returns to his seat beside Gandalf. He seems relieved. The members of the Council stare at the Ring, mesmerised by it. It appears to start whispering to each of them in turn. Each person hears it differently.> 

<<Unidentified Man : The Doom of Men>> 

<<Man of the South: <rises to address the Council> In a dream, I saw the eastern sky grow dark. But in the West a pale light lingered. A voice was crying: Your doom is near at hand. (He approaches the Ring on the plinth.) Isildur's Bane is found.>> 

<The Man reaches out towards the Ring. Gandalf and Elrond exchange concerned looks. The Man's fingers hover above the Ring.> 

<<Man: Isildur's Bane.>> 

<Elrond leaps up.> 

<<Elrond (loudly): Boromir!>> 

<The Ring utters a harsh chant. Gandalf suddenly stands up and also begins the chant in Black Speech. Thunder crackles as the sky darkens. The Council stare around them in fear and confusion.>

Ash nazg durbatul?k, ash nazg gimbatul, 
ash nazg thrakatul?k agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, 
One Ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them. >> 

<The voice of the Ring dies away. People resume their seats, horrified, Boromir amongst them. Elrond rebukes Gandalf strongly.> 

<<Elrond: Never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here in Imladris!>> 

<<Gandalf: (voice raspy from the force of the words and the language): I do not ask your pardon, Master Elrond, for the Black Speech of Mordor may yet be heard in every corner of the West! The Ring is altogether Evil!>> 

<He gives Boromir a final scathing glance and resumes his seat. Boromir is unperturbed.> 

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

<<Aragorn: You cannot wield it! None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.>> 

<<Boromir: And what would a ranger know of this matter?>> 

<An Elf stands suddenly. He is recognizable as the Elf Gandalf saw from Elrond's window.> 

<<Elf: This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.>> 

<<Boromir: Aragorn? This... is Isildur's heir?>> 

<<Elf: And heir to the throne of Gondor.>> 

<Frodo looks wide-eyed at Aragorn.> 

<<Aragorn: Havo dad, Legolas (Sit down, Legolas.)>> 

<<Boromir: Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king.>> 

<returns to his seat>

<<Gandalf: Aragorn is right. We cannot use it.>> 

<<Elrond: You have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed.>> 

<<Dwarf: Then what are we waiting for?>> 

<The Dwarf grabs an axe and approaches the pedestal.> 

<<Dwarf: ARGH!!!!>> 

<He strikes the Ring with full force but is repelled back, throwing him to the ground. Concurrently, Frodo sees the Eye of Sauron in his mind and winces in pain. The Ring remains intact with the shards of the axe all around it. Whispers in the black tongue issue forth from the Ring.> 

<<Elrond: The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gl?in, by any craft that we here possess. The Ring 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 whence it came.>> 

<<Ring (whispers): Ash Nazg>> 

<<Elrond: One of you must do this.>> 

<Dead silence from the council> 
<<Boromir: One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. And the great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland. Riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!>> 

<<Legolas: <stands indignantly> Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!>> 

<<Gimli: <leaps to his feet> And I suppose you think you're the one to do it?!>> 

<<Boromir: <rises> And if we fail, what then?! 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!>> 

<Commotion starts as arguments erupt amongst the council members.> 

<<Gimli: Never trust an Elf!>> 

<<Gandalf: Do you not understand that while we bicker amongst ourselves, Sauron's power grows?! None can escape it! You'll all be destroyed!>> 

<Frodo remains seated, watching the Ring uneasily, the angry figures of the council reflected on its surface. Suddenly, flames flare up, engulfing the surface of the Ring.> 

<<Ring: Ash Nazg Durbatul?k! Ash Nazg Gimbatul! Ash Nazg Gimbatul! Ash Nazg Gimbatul!>> 

<The intensity of the arguments increase. Slowly, determination dawns on Frodo’s face. He stands and takes a few steps toward the arguing council, trying to make his voice heard above the din.> 

<<Frodo: I will take it! I will take it!>> 

<The argument dies down. Gandalf closes his eyes as he hears Frodo’s statement. The members of the council slowly turn towards Frodo, astonished.> 

<<Frodo: I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though-- I do not know the way.>> 

<<Gandalf: <walks towards Frodo> I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear <places his hands reassuringly on Frodo’s shoulders.>>> 

<<Aragorn: <rises> If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will.>> 

<He approaches Frodo and keels before him.> 

<<Aragorn: You have my sword.>> 

<<Legolas: And you have my bow <walks to join them.>>> 

<<Gimli: And my axe! <looks grimly at Legolas as he joins the group.>>> 

<<Boromir: <walks over to them> You carry the fate of us all little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done.>> 

<<Sam: Heh! <jumps from behind the bushes and joins them> Mr. Frodo is not goin’ anywhere without me!>> 

<<Elrond (amused): No indeed, it is hardly possible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.>> 

<<Pippin and Merry: <emerges from behind the pillars to join them> Wait! We are coming too!>> 

<<Merry: You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!>> 

<<Pippin: Anyway you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission, quest... thing.>> 

<<Merry: Well that rules you out Pip.>> 

<<Elrond (musing): Nine companions... So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!>> 

<<Pippin: Great! Where are we going?>> 
<A hand traces runes on a pale slab of stone, nestled in the deep forests of Rivendell. 

"Gilraen," it reads. "Onen i-Estel Edain, ?-chebin estel anim. I gave Hope to the D?nedain, I have kept no hope for myself." 

The hand reaches out, pulling a clump of moss from the grove of a letter, wiping leaf-litter and mud from an edge of the stone, pulling free entwining branches gathering over the smooth, stony hands of a statue. Aragorn, kneeling, lifts his head. He gazes into the solemn eyes of the statue, a woman in a cloak and hood. Aragorn touches her face. A voice speaks.> 

<<Voice: Anirne hene beriad i ch?n ?n. Ned Imladris nauthant e le beriathar aen. (She wanted to protect her child. She thought that in Rivendell you would be safe.)>>

<Elrond appears, walking towards Aragorn through the trees.> 

<<Elrond: In her heart, your mother knew you'd be hunted all your life. That you'd never escape your fate.>>

<<Elrond: The skill of the Elves can reforge the sword of Kings, but only you have the power to wield it.>>

<Aragorn looks up uncertainly.>

<< Aragorn: I do not want that power. I have never wanted it.>>

<<Elrond: You are the last of that bloodline. There is no other.>> 
<On a bedside table, a hand folds back a homespun cloth to reveal a short sword in a scabbard. Bilbo Baggins picks it up and hands it to Frodo.> 

<<Bilbo: My old sword, Sting! Here! Take it, take it!>> 

<Frodo unsheathes the sword and examines it. It rings as Frodo draws it, glinting.>

<<Frodo: It’s so light!>> 

<<Bilbo: Yes...yea--made by the Elves, you know. The blade glows blue when Orcs are close. And it's times like that, my lad, when you have to be extra careful!

<Bilbo brings out a mail shirt. It shines- simple, yet beautifully adorned with intricate patterns in the mail.>

<<Bilbo: Here’s a pretty thing --Mithril! As light as a feather…and as hard as dragon scales! Let me see you put it on. Come on.>>

<Frodo begins to unbutton his shirt. As he does, the Ring is revealed. Bilbo sees it.>

<<Bilbo: Oh...M-my old Ring! Oh, I sh-sh-should very much like…to hold it again, one last time.>>

<Bilbo’s eyes light up and he wrings his hands, his eyes focused on the Ring. Frodo begins to cover it up.>

<Bilbo smiles faintly in an almost grandfatherly manner. Suddenly, transformed by the power of the Ring, he lashes out. His eyes grow round, ringed in purple shadows, his teeth are like yellowed fangs in his mouth, stretched open wide as he utters a strangled cry. Frodo, startled, backs away, clutching his hand over the Ring. But as quickly as the shadow comes, it is gone. Bilbo’s eye show surprise at his transformation. He cowers back, his voice strained.>

<<Bilbo: I’m sorry I brought this upon you, my boy...I’m sorry that you must carry this burden.>> 

<He sits down on the bed, weeping.>

<<Bilbo: I’m sorry for everything!>>

<Frodo places a reassuring hand on Bilbo’s shoulder. Bilbo reaches back and puts his own hand on Frodo’s. He continues to weep in sorrow.>
<In a glade beneath an old stone arch, the Fellowship gathers to bid farewell to Rivendell. Elrond speaks to them, gazing sternly at the faces before him. Frodo stands, listening, slightly apart from the others; leaves flutter to the earth.> 

<<Elrond: The Ring-bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. On you who travel with him no oath nor bond is laid, to go further than you will.>> 

<<Elrond: Farewell. Hold to your purpose. May the blessings of Elves and Men and all free folk go with you.>>

<Elrond spreads his arms, and Legolas and Aragorn bow their heads, hands upon hearts.>

<<Gandalf: The Fellowship awaits the Ring-bearer.>>

<Frodo, turns and walks forward, uncertainly. Before him, the path winds away to either side.>

<<Frodo (whispering softly to Gandalf): Mordor, Gandalf, is it left or right?>>

<<Gandalf: Left.>>

<The Fellowship departs beneath an old arch of lichen-encrusted stone. Yet Aragorn remains where he stands, and turns to Arwen. Across the path between them they gaze into one another’s eyes. Arwen‘s face is sorrowful; Aragorn smiles faintly, and nods a farewell. He walks out. Arwen breaks off her gaze, looking down; solemn, alone.>

<The Fellowship departs from Rivendell as the sun‘s rays pierce the valley. They travel through the woods, over open plains and hillsides. They pause on a hill in the wild.>
<<Gandalf (v/over): We must hold this course west of the Misty Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds, the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us. From there our road turns east to Mordor.>>

<Sam cooks sausage and other food over a fire, climbing up onto a rock besides Frodo. The Fellowship is resting on an outstretched arm of the mountains.>

<Boromir spars with Merry and Pippin, tutoring them on sword fighting. He battles with Pippin.>

<<Boromir (to each move of the sword): Two, one, five. Good. Very good.>>

<Aragorn sits nearby, smoking a pipe. He speaks encouragement.> 

<<Aragorn: Move your feet!>>

<<Merry: You look good, Pippin.>>

<<Pippin: Thanks.>> 

<<Boromir: Faster!>> 

<As the Hobbits spar with Boromir, Gimli approaches Gandalf.>

<<Gimli: If anyone was to ask for my opinion, which I note they’re not, I’d say we were taking the long way round. Gandalf, we could pass through the Mines of Moria. My cousin, Balin, would give us a royal welcome.>> 

<Gandalf takes a pipe he was smoking from his mouth. Faint surprise registers in the old wizard’s eyes.>

<<Gandalf: No Gimli, I would not take the road through Moria unless I had no other choice.>>

<Legolas notices something amiss and looks intently towards the South. Meanwhile, Boromir continues to fight Pippin.>

<<Boromir: Come on. Good.>> 

<Boromir accidentally nicks Pippin’s hand>

<<Pippin (in pain): Aaaah!>> 

<<Boromir: Sorry!>> 

<Pippin kicks Boromir on the shin> 

<<Boromir: Ahh!>>

<<Merry: Get Him!>> 

<Boromir goes down in a mock battle. Boromir and Aragorn laugh with the Hobbits.>

<<Pippin: For the Shire! Hold him! Hold him down! Merry!>>

<Aragorn walks over to them.>

<<Aragorn: Gentlemen, that's enough.>>

<He lays a hand on either Hobbit's shoulder. Pippin and Merry grab his legs, pulling him down on his back.>

<<Pippin: <off screen, still in a mock battle> You’ve got my arm…you’ve got my arm!>>

<Legolas continues to look to the South, where a strange cloud has appeared. Sam takes notice of Legolas’s observation.>

<<Sam: What is that?>> 

<<Gimli: Nothing, it’s just a whiff of cloud.>> 

<<Boromir: <getting up from the ground, a hand on either Hobbit‘s shoulder> It’s moving fast…against the wind.>> 

<<Legolas: Crebain from Dunland!>> 

<<Aragorn: Hide!>> 

<<Boromir: Hurry!>> 

<Aragorn rushes around, getting the Fellowship out of sight.>

<<Aragorn: Frodo! Hurry! Take cover!>>

<The Fellowship scrambles to gather their things, and Sam puts out the fire. They hide behind rock outcroppings and under bushes. They wait. In a burst of darkness against the light of day, a flock of black birds rushes overhead, cawing loudly. They circle the hill, then turn and fly back Southward.>

<The Fellowship comes out from the rocks.>

<<Gandalf: Spies of Saruman! The passage South is being watched. We must take the Pass of Caradhras.>> 

<He turns, looking up at a great, snowy mountain on high.>
<The Fellowship climbs the snowy slopes of Caradhras. As they climb through the glistening, fresh snow beneath the great blue sky, Frodo looses his footing and falls, rolling down the slope towards Aragorn.>

<<Frodo: Ungh!>> 

<<Aragorn: Frodo!>> <He helps him to his feet.>

<Frodo regains his footing and puts a hand instinctively to his neck for the Ring. Finding it missing, he looks back up the slope. The Ring lies in the snow, its gold glistening. Boromir sees the Ring in the snow and picks it up by its chain.>

<<Aragorn (quietly): Boromir.>>

<But Boromir is oblivious, riveted by the Ring. His face seems sad.>

<<Boromir (speaking softly): It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear and doubt…over so small a thing. Such a little thing.>>

<He reaches out a gloved hand to touch it.>

<<Aragorn: Boromir!>> 

<Boromir looks up, pulled from his trance.>

<<Aragorn: Give the Ring to Frodo.>> 

<Boromir walks slowly down the slope to the Ranger and the Hobbit. Aragorn’s hand is on the hilt of his sword.>

<<Boromir: <holds out the Ring> As you wish…>> 

<Frodo does not wait, and grabs the Ring sharply, a tormented expression on his face.> 

<<Boromir: …I care not.>>

<Boromir jokingly tousles Frodo’s hair, turning to resume climbing. Frodo looks on suspiciously; Aragorn releases his grip from his sword.>
<Over Isengard there is a veiling shadow. The crows fly down through a maze of underground workings, past Orcs laboring. They circle around, cawing. Saruman stands by, hearing the news they have to tell him.> 

<<Saruman: So, Gandalf, you try to lead them over Caradhras. And if that fails, where then will you go?>> 

<Gandalf’s staff drives into the snow, forging a way through a growing blizzard as Gandalf guides the Fellowship along a narrow ledge on the Pass.>

<<Saruman (v/over): If the mountain defeats you, will you risk a more dangerous road?>> 

<As the Fellowship labors onwards through the high snow banks, Legolas runs out ahead. His step is light and he moves with ease across the top of the snow, staring into the blinding storm. A cruel voice rises on the wind.>

<<Voice: (chanting) Cuiva nwalca Carnirasse; nai yarvaxea rasselya! (Wake up cruel Redhorn! May your horn be bloodstained!)>>

<<Legolas: There is a fell voice on the air!>>

<<Gandalf: It’s Saruman!>>

<With a rending echo, a horde of rock slabs and boulders falls from the mountain‘s arms. The Fellowship shove themselves flat against the sheer cliff wall to avoid the onslaught of stone.>

<<Aragorn (yelling through the storm): He’s trying to bring down the mountain! Gandalf, we must turn back!>> 

<<Gandalf: No!>> 

<With determination against all odds, Gandalf steps out onto the ledge, rising on the snow, chanting out a counter command to Caradhras. The old wizard’s voice bellows into the air, attempting to calm the rage of the mountain.>

<<Gandalf: Losto Caradhras, sedho, hodo, nuitho i 'ruith! (Sleep, Caradhras, be still, lie still, hold your wrath!)>>

<The wizard’s voice is drowned out by a more terrible cry in the maelstrom. Saruman stands on the Pinnacle of Orthanc and continues to command Caradhras, eliciting the mountain‘s anger. Away above him where he stands, a great black wall-cloud towers over Redhorn.> 

<<Saruman: Cuiva nwalca Carnirasse; Nai yarvaxea rasselya; taltuva notto-carinnar! (Wake up cruel Redhorn! May your bloodstained horn fall upon enemy heads!)>>

<Lightning strikes the tip of Caradhras, sending a second avalanche of sheer white ice onto the Fellowship below. As the storm of snow falls, Gandalf continues to command the mountain, to no avail. Legolas snatches Gandalf from the edge, pulling him against the cliff just before the ice-fall hits. The avalanche cascades over the Fellowship, and snow buries them completely. After a moment, they emerge.>

<<Boromir: We must get off the mountain! Make for the Gap of Rohan and take the west road to my city!>>

<<Aragorn: The Gap of Rohan takes us too close to Isengard!>>

<<Gimli: If we cannot pass over the mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the mines of Moria.>> 

<In Gandalf’s eyes there is a shadow of doubt, of fear that lies unsaid. He is conflicted.>

<<Saruman (v/over): Moria… You fear to go into those mines.>> 

<Saruman sits in his study in Orthanc, reading a page in a book of lore written in a strange tongue.>

<<Saruman (cont’d): The Dwarves delved too greedily and too deep.>> 

<On Caradhras, Gandalf‘s eyes glint, fearful.>

<<Saruman: You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-d?m:>> 

<Saruman turns to another page, revealing a mysterious form drawn as blackness and deep fire, with two sparks in the midst of the flame and dark, like eyes.>

<<Saruman: Shadow and Flame!>> 

<On the mountain, Gandalf speaks.>

<<Gandalf (grimly): Let the Ring bearer decide.>> 

<Boromir shouts through the snowstorm, holding Merry and Pippin to him. Both are cold and extremely pale.>

<<Boromir: We cannot stay here! This will be the death of the Hobbits!>> 

<<Gandalf: Frodo?>> 

<<Frodo: We will go through the mines.>> 

<<Gandalf: So be it.>>
<The Fellowship passes south. In the shadow of the ruins of a great aqueduct in the mist and ice of the mountains, Gandalf beckons to Frodo.> 

<<Gandalf: Frodo, come and help an old man.>>

<<Gandalf: How is your shoulder?>>

<<Frodo: Better than it was.>>

<<Gandalf: And the Ring?>> 

<They look at each other.>

<<Gandalf: You feel its power growing, don't you? I've felt it too. You must be careful now. Evil will be drawn to you from outside the Fellowship. And, I fear, from within.>>

<The shadowy shape of a Fellowship member passes by as the two converse. Gandalf looks up with suspicion, Frodo with fear.>

<<Frodo: Who then do I trust?>>

<<Gandalf: You must trust yourself. Trust your own strengths.>>

<<Frodo (despairingly): What do you mean?>>

<<Gandalf: There are many powers in this world, for Good or for Evil. Some are greater than I am. And against some I have not yet been tested.>>

<They are interrupted by a gasp from Gimli.>

<<Gimli (in awe): The Walls…of Moria!>> 

<The Fellowship stands and looks upon a vast cliff face, sheer and brooding, rising above them and before them, away into the mists.>
<<Gimli: Dwarf doors are invisible when closed.>> 

<He knocks his axe against a rock.>

<The Fellowship moves along the rock wall, taping and prying, searching hither and thither for a door.>

<<Gandalf: Yes, Gimli, their own masters cannot find them, if their secrets are forgotten.>>

<<Legolas: Why doesn't that surprise me?>>

<Gimli grumbles, but says nothing.>

<A foot splashes into shallow water. Frodo gasps, pulling his leg back, looking up at his surroundings. It’s a great pool beside the rock face, with dead branches bearded with moss hanging damp above the water.>

<Gandalf approaches the rock between two twisted, gnarled trees. The wizard runs his hand over the cliff face.> 

<<Gandalf: Now…let’s see. Ithildin -

<Beneath his hand run spidery silver lines, faint beneath the dirt of ages.>

It mirrors only starlight…and moonlight.>> 

<He looks up at the black night sky; the moon appears. Framed by the sharp shadows of the two trees, the silvery lines grow bright, shining with sheer white light. They outline a door formed of two columns beneath an arch with a star in the center. Writing in a strange tongue appears in the arch. Gimli stares in awe at the gate of his forefathers. Gandalf explains, pointing with his gnarled staff.>

<<Gandalf: It reads "The Doors of Durin - Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter.">>

<<Merry: What do you suppose that means?>> 

<<Gandalf: Oh, it’s quite simple. If you are a friend, you speak the password, and the doors will open.>>

<Gandalf sets his staff’s end upon the glimmering star.>

<<Gandalf: Annon Edhellen, edro hi ammen! (Gate of the Elves, open now for me!)>>

<The Doors remain closed.>

<<Gandalf: <raising his hands> Fennas Nogothrim, lasto beth lammen. (Doorway of the Dwarf-folk, listen to the word of my tongue.)>>

<<Pippin: Nothing's happening.>>

<Gandalf glances at him at him, looking slightly annoyed. He begins to push on the doors, but they remain fast.>

<<Gandalf: I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves...Men...and Orcs.>>

<<Pippin (piping up): What are you going to do, then?>>

<<Gandalf (angrily): Knock your head against these doors, Peregrin Took! And if that does not shatter them, and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will try to find the opening words.>>

<Time passes. The rest of the Fellowship is seated around the doors near the lake, waiting for Gandalf to open them. Night is deepening.> 

<<Gandalf (sounding weary): Ando Eldarinwa…a lasta quettanya, Fenda Casarinwa… (Gate of Elves…listen to my word, Threshold of Dwarves…)

<<Aragorn: <unhitching the pony’s bridle> The Mines are no place for a pony, even one so brave as Bill.>>

<<Sam (sadly): Buh-bye Bill.>> 

<<Aragorn: Go on, Bill, go on. Don’t worry Sam, he knows the way home.>> 

<Bill clip-clops down the shore through the night.>

<Merry begins to throw stones into the water. Pippin follows suit but Aragorn stops him.>

<<Aragorn: Do not disturb the water.>> 

<<Gandalf (exasperated): Oh, it’s useless!>> 

<He drop his staff and sits down beside Frodo, pulling off his hat. Meanwhile, Aragorn and Boromir watch as a ripple runs through the water.>

<Frodo stands up and looks at the writings of the glimmering gateway intently.>

<<Frodo: It’s a riddle.>> 

<The water continues to ripple ominously. The rest of the Fellowship watches.>

<<Frodo: Speak "friend" and enter. What’s the Elvish word for friend?>> 

<The water shivers again.>

<<Gandalf: Mellon…>> 

<The stone doors slowly swing open, rumbling deeply and the Fellowship enters Moria. The wizard places a rough-hewn crystal into the gnarled roots topping his staff; Aragorn follows last, casting a last suspicious glance at the waters.>
<Moonlight floods into a shadowy rock chamber. Led by Gandalf, hat and staff in hand, they more towards the inky blackness at the far end of the chamber.>

<<Gimli: Soon, Master Elf, you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the Dwarves! Roaring fires, malt beer, ripe meat off the bone. This, my friend, is the home of my cousin, Balin.>> 

<Gandalf brings his hand around his staff, blowing upon the crystal as though to kindled the rock into light. It glows, as though from some inner strength. With its light glimmering like stars in his eyes, Gandalf leans the staff towards the dark halls ahead, throwing into relief dirty, broken stairs and columns, upon which are tumbled many dark forms...>

<<Gimli: And they call it a mine. A mine!>> 

<<Boromir: This is no mine, it’s a tomb!>>

<The wizard’s light reveals rotted, broken and battered forms strewn about, casting long shadows across the room. A strangled cry is heard.>

<<Gimli: Oh! No! Noooo!!!>> 

<The forms are now clearly corpses.>

<Legolas pulls out an arrow from the body of a fallen Dwarf, examines it and casts it away in disgust.>

<<Legolas: Goblins!>>

<Aragorn and Boromir draw out their swords. Legolas fits an arrow to his bow.>

<<Boromir: We make for the Gap of Rohan. We should never have come here.>>

<The four Hobbits are backing toward the door. Something stirs in the water behind them.>

<<Boromir (echoing through the hollow, dead hall): Now get out of here, get out!>> 

<The company starts for the door. Suddenly, Frodo is grabbed from behind and pulled off his feet. A long, snaking tentacle pulls him down.>

<<Sam, Merry, and Pippin: Frodo!>>

<<Sam: <turning> Strider!>>

<<Frodo: Help!>>

<<Sam:: <hacks at tentacle> Get off him! Strider!>>

<<Merry: Aragorn!>>

<The Hobbits clutch at Frodo, attempting to keep him away from the water as the tentacles wrap around him. The watching creature at the gate releases Frodo for a split-second, and feigns disappearance under the waters. Suddenly, many tentacles come boiling out of the water, slapping the other Hobbits aside and grabbing Frodo around the leg. He is pulled out over the water and into the air.>

<<Merry: Frodo!>>

<Legolas runs out onto the shore and shoots. His arrow pierces a three-pronged tentacle wrapping itself over Frodo’s face.>

<<Frodo: Strider!>>

<<Strider: Yaghh!>>

<Boromir and Aragorn rush to the water with their swords, and attack the beast. It flings Frodo wildly in the air. Despite the Fellowship‘s efforts, the Hobbit is lowered towards a gapping maw in the water, ringed by fangs, set in a gilled face akin to some ancient kraken with wild, old eyes glistening fish-like from its head. Aragorn slices through the tentacle holding Frodo, who falls into Boromir‘s arms.>

<<Gandalf: Into the Mines!>>

<<Boromir: Legolas!>>

<Aragorn and Boromir retreat. Boromir runs for the gates with Frodo as a huge tentacle uncoils a hand-like appendage, snaking after them. Legolas takes aim.>

<<Aragorn: Into the cave!>>

<Legolas shoots. His arrow runs deep into the beast‘s right eye, and it recoils for a moment with a roar.>

<<Aragorn: Run!>>

<As the Fellowship race into Moria, the sea creature reaches out and slams the gates shut. Slabs of rocks drop and the roof of the passageway collapses, crumbling. The Fellowship stares back in fear as the last rays of moonlight are obliterated. Total darkness falls.>

<Gasps and heavy breathing echo in the inky blackness.>

<<Gandalf: We now have but one choice.>>

<Light appears from Gandalf’s staff. He knocks it on the floor and the light brightens, showing the startled and frightened faces of the Fellowship.>

<<Gandalf: 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.>> 

<The Fellowship carefully picks its way over the floor and up the broad steps. The silhouettes of skeletal remains and black-fletched arrows frame them as they move away by the light of Gandalf’s staff.>

<<Gandalf: Quietly now. It’s a four-day journey to the other side. Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed.>>
<Time passes. The Fellowship enters a great cavern with a serpentine walkway running down through the middle. The path is rough-hewn and narrow, and rocky arches and boulder-like lumps appear in the half-light of the caverns.>

<Frodo’s eyes dart about him. A ladder hangs on his right. Crossing the path past a dark stony doorway, the Fellowship comes to a narrow, curving stair. Ladders and iron chains rise from a dark pit to their right. On their left, rock walls rise sheer. A chain swings slowly, clinking. The noise reverberates. The light of the wizard‘s staff moves beyond the chains, glinting like some pale will-o‘-the-wisp.>

<Gandalf rests his hand upon a rock with a dark, silvery veins running through it.>

<<Gandalf: The wealth of Moria was not in gold...or jewels...

<The wizard tilts his staff down towards the pit.>

…but Mithril.>>

<The lights illuminates the Fellowship’s faces, and they stare in awe at what is below them.>

<A vast, seemingly endless rock wall drops into the depths below. Row upon row of ladders and scaffolding, old and disused, disappear into the mining shafts below. Merry leans forward slightly to look closer. Pippin puts a warning hand in front of him. Frodo stares down until the light fades, the vision of a forgotten realm gone.>

<<Gandalf: Bilbo had a shirt of Mithril rings that Thorin gave him.>>

<<Gimli: Oh, that was a kingly gift.>>

<<Gandalf: Yes! I never told him, but its worth was greater than the value of the Shire.>>

<Frodo looks faintly surprised.> 

<They then climb up steep steps on the side of a cavern with many rows of tombs, all silent, all quiet now. A vast graveyard. Pippin loses his footing and slips onto Merry.>

<<Merry: Pippin!>>

<The Fellowship climbs another flight of stairs to a crossroads in the mine: three portals loom before them. Gandalf holds out his staff. He glances from one to the other and back. His eyes slowly turn towards the left hand passage. He whispers.>

<<Gandalf: I have no memory of this place.>>

<The Fellowship rests beneath a peak of rough stone, while Gandalf tries to decide their course, sitting alone at the top. Aragorn sits beside Boromir.>

<<Aragorn: Hmm.>>

<The Hobbits whisper amongst themselves.>

<<Pippin: Are we lost?>>

<<Merry: No.>>

<<Pippin: I think we are.>>

<<Sam: Shhh! Gandalf’s thinking.>>

<<Pippin: Merry?>>

<<Merry: What?>> 

<<Pippin: I’m hungry.>>

<Frodo looks down into the cavern and sees a small figure leaping from stone to stone. Startled, he walks over to where Gandalf is sitting.>

<<Frodo: There’s something down there!>>

<<Gandalf (without surprise): It’s Gollum.>>

<<Frodo: Gollum?>> 

<<Gandalf: He’s been following us for three days.>>

<<Frodo: He escaped the dungeons of Barad-D?r!>>

<<Gandalf: Escaped? <turns to Frodo> Or was set loose?>>

<<Gandalf (off screen): And now the Ring had drawn him here. He will never be rid of his need for it. He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself.>>

<Dark, dirty fingers clasp a stone implement. From the distance below, Gollum looks up, his large, wet eyes piercing the darkness, observing the company.> 

<<Gandalf: Sm?agol's life is a sad story. Yes, Sm?agol he was once called. Before the Ring found him...before it drove him mad.>>

<<Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance!>> 

<<Gandalf: <glancing sharply at Frodo> Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo?>>

<Frodo looks down, silently.>

<<Gandalf: Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise can not see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill…>>

<Gollum pulls back into the darkness, wrinkling his nose.>

<<Gollum: Golllllluum…>>

<<Gandalf: …before this is over.>> 

<Gollum slinks off.>

<<Gandalf: The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.>> 

<Frodo sits down next to Gandalf.>

<<Frodo (sorrowfully): I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.>>

<The old wizard leans near in a grandfatherly manner.>

<<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 that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.>>

<<Gandalf: <looks suddenly towards one of the doorways> Oh! It’s that way.>>

<<Merry: <getting up> He’s remembered!>>

<The Fellowship starts down a dark stairway. Gandalf puts on his hat.>

<<Gandalf: No, but the air doesn’t smell so foul down here.>> 

<The wizard rests a hand on Merry’s shoulder.>

<<Gandalf: If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose.>>

<The old wizard leans upon his walking stick, breathing heavily.> 
<Before long the Fellowship comes to a more open space. Broken ornate columns lie tumbled across the floor. Gandalf uplifts his staff.>

<<Gandalf: Let me risk a little more light.>>

<His staff illuminates a grandiose hall of stone lined with tall pillars and arched ceilings as far as the eye can see. The Fellowship reacts in awe. Gimli gasps at the halls of his sires.>

<<Gandalf: Behold: the great realm and Dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf.>> 

<The dark halls are edged with silver light from the wizard’s staff, shivering in a light not seen for years to grace their stones.>

<<Sam: Now there’s an eye opener and no mistake.>> 

<Fellowship walks forward through the hall, peering around a column. Gimli sees a ray of sunlight shining through a chamber where corpses lay scattered about.>

<<Gimli: Haugh!>> 

<<Gandalf: Gimli!>>

<Gimli pays no heed to Gandalf, but runs into the chamber. Its walls and recesses are scarred and broken, as are the bodies and weapons scattered about. The Dwarf stops and kneels by a crypt in the center of the room where a single shaft of light spills down, illumining it. Gandalf walks forward and peers at the tomb‘s surface.>

<<Gimli: No! No! <sob> No! <sob>>> 

<Boromir moves forward and places his hand on Gimli’s shoulder.>

<<Gandalf: <translating the runes on the tomb > "Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria." He is dead then. It’s as I feared.>> 

<<Gimli: <wails>>>

<A great sorrow has fallen on the Dwarf. Gandalf gives his staff and hat to Pippin, bends down, and takes from the grasp of a corpse a large and battered book. He opens it and clears the dirt from its pages.>

<<Gimli: <chanting softly, sobbing> Kilmin malur ni zaram kalil ra narag. Kheled-z?ram ... Balin tazlifi.>>

<<Legolas: <to Aragorn> We must move on, we cannot linger!>>

<<Gandalf: <reading> "They have taken the bridge…and the second hall.">> 

<Gimli stops sobbing, and looks up blankly.>

<<Gandalf: "We have barred the gates…but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes.">> 

<Pippin, still holding hat and staff, backs away.>

<<Gandalf: "Drums...drums…in the deep.">> 
<He looks up slowly, and turns the smudged, bloodstained page. The Fellowship begins to glance around uncomfortably.> 

<<Gandalf: "We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark.">> 

<Pippin stumbles back slightly and sees a corpse sitting by a stone well with an arrow in its chest. He turns towards it.>

<<Gandalf: "We cannot get out…" <He glances at the last, single line, a scrawl fading out at the bottom of the page. Gandalf looks up in the uncomfortable silence.> "They are coming!">>

<The silence is broken by Pippin. Curious, he reaches out and lightly twists the arrow in the corpse. The skull slips off, falling into the well with a resounding crash.>

<Gandalf whips around, spooked.>

<Pippin turns to face him, looking guilty. As he does, the corpse slips into the well, dragging with it a chain and bucket, its noise echoing from hall to hall far below. Where once was only silence, a ricocheting noise now fills every cranny. Pippin winces at each new wave of noise. Then, silence. The Fellowship begins to relax.>

<<Boromir: <exhales>>>

<<Gandalf: <slams the book shut> Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!>> 

<He pulls his hat and staff from the Hobbit’s hands.>

<Gandalf turns away. Pippin stands still, awkwardly.>


<Gandalf slowly turns back, and Pippin turns as well, staring down into the well.>
<Almost as though seen from eyes darting upwards, the caverns below appear from the dark.>


<Boom-boom-boom. The beat pauses.>

<Like a heartbeat, it begins again. Boom-boom-boom-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM…>

<Terror creeps into the faces of the Fellowship.>

<<Sam: Frodo!>> <Sting glows blue.>

<<Legolas: Orcs!>> 

<Boromir rushes to the doors to have a look. Arrows hiss into the door near his face. Aragorn drops his torch and runs to Boromir.>

<<Aragorn (to the Hobbits): Get back! You stay close to Gandalf!>>

<They work the doors shut. A bellow can be heard just outside.>

<<Boromir: They have a cave troll.>>

<Legolas tosses weapons to Boromir and Aragorn to help blockade the door. The Fellowship draw out their weapons. Gandalf throws away his hat and pulls forth his sword.>

<<Gandalf: Yaggghhh!>>

<The Hobbits follow his example and brandish their short-swords. Sting quivers, glowing blue.>

<Gimli leaps atop Balin's tomb and brandishes his axe.>

<<Gimli: Aarrgghhh! Let them come! There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath!>>

<These is pounding outside and many creatures beyond begin breaking the doors down. Weapons crash through splintering spaces.>

<Legolas and Aragorn stand poised, ready to shoot; the Hobbits are also ready, though fear clouds their eyes. The first clear gap is gashed in the door and Legolas shoots - a shrill cry rings out. The Elf notches an arrow to his bow as Aragorn shoots another.>
<Suddenly, the beasts break through and the battle begins. A wave of armour-clad Orcs charge towards the Fellowship, who engage the Orcs. Aragorn and Legolas pierce Orcs with their arrows while Boromir smashes another with his sword; Gimli catches one in the stomach. With a roar, Gandalf launches himself into the fray, and the Hobbits follow.>

<Aragorn beheads an Orc and black blood spews forth. Sam pauses in the heat of battle, his attention drawn upwards. Aragorn also looks up. A cave troll smashes through the doorway, chains leading from his wrists to an Orc‘s hand. Legolas shoots the cave troll in the shoulder; the beast growls and claps a hand to the wound. Sam continues to stare, frozen, as the troll swings his mace down at the Hobbit - he dives under the troll's legs and crawls away as the troll turns, and sights him again.> 

<Cornered, Sam cringes.> 

<The beast raises his arm to strike when, suddenly, he falls back. Aragorn and Boromir are behind the troll, pulling on its chains. The troll twists its arm and whips Boromir across the room. He lands in a recess of the wall, dazed. An Orc stands above him, ready to strike. Across the room, Aragorn slings his blade into the Orc’s neck, and, still dazed, Boromir gets up. Aragorn nods to him.>

<Standing upon the tomb of Balin, Gimli the Dwarf slings an axes, piercing the troll’s shoulder near Legolas’s arrow. The troll swings his mace into the tomb, shattering it and knocking the Dwarf off.> 

<Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin push Frodo to safety behind a pillar. Gimli hacks at an Orc as the troll swings its mace at him. Gimli ducks, and the monster strikes an Orc instead, and then another. Gimli falls. From a corner among more of the vile goblins, Legolas shoots two arrows into the mountain-creature, causing it to reel back with a cry.>

<Gandalf knocks an Orc out with his staff.>

<The troll is now swinging his chain in circles above his head. He swings at the Elf, and Legolas dodges it. Again he swings, and his chain whips around a pillar and catches. Legolas darts towards it and stamps the chain tight; he runs along it onto the trolls shoulders and shoots it in the back of the head and jumps off. The troll cringes, whimpering shrilly in pain. It stumbles, snapping itself free from the pillar.>

<<Sam: <hits an Orc with skillet> I think I’m getting the hang of this.>> <He turns and hits another.>

<The troll raises his mace and brings it down at the other Hobbits, causing them to jump aside. Frodo is separated from Merry and Pippin. The troll seeks Frodo, who tries to evade its searches by hiding behind a pillar.>

<<Aragorn: <seeing the eminent danger> Frodo!>>

<He tries to fight his way over to the Ring-bearer.>

<Frodo dodges around the pillar. The troll peers around it. Not being able to see him, it peers around the other side, causing Frodo to dodge out of its vision. It disappears back. Frodo carefully looks around the pillar - the troll has gone. He draws a deep breath.>

<Out of nowhere, the troll blasts around the pillar, bellowing in Frodo’s face. The Hobbit stumbles and falls back behind the pillar in a corner. The troll finds him nevertheless and grabs him. The troll lifts and drags Frodo off of the edge of a recess.> 

<<Frodo: Aragorn? Aragorn!>> 

<Aragorn breathes heavily, exhausted. Still, he continues on.> 

<<Aragorn: Frodo!>> 

<Frodo slashes the troll's hand with Sting. The troll drops Frodo to the ground, twisting his injured hand and staring at it. Frodo lies on the floor. It raises its mace and begins to swing, but Aragorn leaps down into the recess.>

<<Aragorn: Yaaahh!>> 

<He grabs a spear from the floor and stabs the troll with it. It does not penetrate its flesh, but holds the beast at bay. Pippin and Merry begin throwing stones at the troll’s head. The troll, infuriated, swings his arm down and hits Aragorn, sending him flying across the room. He collapses onto the floor. Frodo races after him and tries to rouse him, but Aragorn is too stunned to move.>

<Frodo begins to run but the troll blocks Frodo’s path with its spear, throwing him back. The troll takes aim and stabs Frodo in the chest. Gandalf turns instinctively. Merry and Pippin stare in shock.>

<<Frodo: Ungh…uhh!>>

<The cave troll gapes at what it has done in surprise. Merry and Pippin glance at each other and their faces appear resolved. They leap onto the beast, stabbing him mercilessly.>

<<Merry and Pippin: Yaaahh!>> 

<<Sam: <from a distance away> Frodo?>>

<Gandalf stares silently across the room, stunned.>

<<Sam: Frodo!>>

<He rushes bravely towards his friend. Broken from their shocked trance, Aragorn, Boromir, and Gandalf fight madly to reach the Hobbit.>

<Frodo slumps to the floor, the spear sticking into his chest.>

<The troll flails at its head and finally grabs Merry, swinging him around and throwing him to the ground. The Fellowship redoubles its efforts against Orcs and troll. Gandalf and Gimli take turns stabbing at the troll and dodging out of range. Legolas takes aim. With Pippin stabbing the troll one more time in the head, the troll opens its mouth. Legolas delivers a deathblow, shooting his arrow up into the brain through the mouth of the troll.>

<The troll stops fighting and its hand fumbles towards its mouth where the arrow is. It stares upward, shocked, and with a long, pained moan, it collapses to the ground. Pippin is thrown against the floor. There is a moment of silence. All Orcs are dead or have fled.>

<Gandalf rushes to Frodo, as does Aragorn. Sam walks slowly over.>

<<Aragorn: Oh no!>> 

<Aragorn rolls him over. Frodo groans, gasping for breath.>

<<Sam: <looking up at the wizard> He’s alive!>> 

<Gandalf sighs in relief.>

<<Frodo: I’m all right, I’m not hurt.>> 

<<Aragorn: You should be dead! That spear would have skewered a wild boar.>> 

<<Gandalf: <with a twinkle in his eye> I think there’s more to this Hobbit than meets the eye.>>

<Frodo reveals his Mithril shirt. It glimmers.> 

<<Gimli (in awe): Mithril! You are full of surprises, Master Baggins.>>
<Orcs are once again heard down the hall.>

<<Gandalf: <looking weary> To the Bridge of Khazad-d?m!>>

<The Fellowship runs out the rear door of the chamber into a high, ornate hall of pillars with a ray of light breaking through from some high shaft. The Fellowship is closely pursued by an army of Orcs. Other Orcs spring out from the floor or crawl from the ceiling and down the pillars, like spiders. They surround the Fellowship, who have drawn their weapons outward in a circle. The Orcs snarl and leer at the frightened faces. Just then, a fiery light appears at the end of a hall followed by a thunderous rumble. The Orcs, dismayed, flee, panicking, in all directions.>

<Gandalf and the Fellowship are left alone. The old wizard stares down the hall.>

<<Boromir: What is this new devilry?>> 

<Gandalf does not respond for a moment. He closes his eyes, concentrating. The rumble is heard again. Gandalf opens his eyes, and they look grim and solemn.>

<<Gandalf: A Balrog- a demon of the ancient world.>>

<The thing growls, still hidden around a corner of the vast hall, throwing fiery light on the pillars. Legolas’s eye show only fear- he clearly knows what the beast is.>

<<Gandalf: This foe is beyond any of you. <he turns> Run!>>

<The Fellowship runs between the rows of pillars and comes to a small doorway in the wall. Gandalf shepherds them through.>

<<Gandalf: Quickly!>>

<He takes a last glance behind him, and follows.>

<The Fellowship enters a passageway and goes down a flight of steps. The flight ends in a missing segment, and Boromir nearly falls into fires below but Legolas pulls him back. His torch whirls away into the vast underworld beneath; the Hobbits too stop short of falling in. Last of all comes weary Gandalf, who leans upon a wall.>

<<Aragorn: Gandalf!>>

<<Gandalf: Lead them on, Aragorn! The bridge is near!>>

<They look across a wide space to a long bridge spanning the gap between a hall and a cliff face. Away behind them, the Balrog roars again.>

<Aragorn moves towards Gandalf, but Gandalf pushes Aragorn roughly away from him.>

<<Gandalf: Do as I say!>>

<Hurt and confusion register on Aragorn’s face.>

<<Gandalf: Swords are no more use here!>>

<The Balrog roars again. The Fellowship descend a flight of stairs twisting into the fiery depths, rising from the ground far below. The Fellowship encounters a gap in the stairs. Legolas leaps forward and lands on the other side.>

<The Balrog’s rumbles tear through the fiery light. Foundations splinter and crumble, sending huge rocks tumbling into the depths.>

<<Legolas: <beckoning> Gandalf.>>

<Gandalf leaps after him.>

<Arrows whistle into the air from a far ledge, striking the stone steps at their feet, where Gandalf had stood but a moment ago. Legolas shoots back. His arrow rises through the air and pierces the skull of an Orc. The Orc tumbles down from his ledge.>

<<Boromir: Merry! Pippin! Hoo-aah!>>

<He leaps across the gap. A fierce exchange of arrows follow from the stairs to the ledge.>

<<Aragorn: Sam.>> 

<He pitches Sam to the other side where the Hobbit is caught by Boromir.>

<Aragorn reaches to pick up Gimli.>

<<Gimli: <holds up his hand> Nobody tosses a dwarf.>>

<He leaps forward but nearly falls back into the chasm. Legolas grabs his beard and pulls him up.>

<<Gimli: Not the beard!>>

<Some of the stone steps crumble and fall into the abyss. Aragorn pushes Frodo back up the steps and clambers after him, struggling up. They climb to their feet and look at the widened gap that separates them from the rest of the fellowship.> 

<<Aragorn: <laying a hand on Frodo’s shoulder> Steady. <yelling> Hold on!>> 

<The Balrog can be heard approaching from the other hall, its the fiery light getting closer. Stone structures around the mine collapse as it draws near. A huge rock falls from the ceiling and smashes through the steps behind Aragorn and Frodo, creating another gap behind them and weakening the stairs’ foundation. The stairs begin to wobble. Aragorn encourages the Hobbit, holding fast to his arm.>

<<Aragorn: Hang on! Lean forward!>>

<<Legolas: Come on!>>

<They shift their weight forward, tipping the stairs across the divide and slamming them onto the steps where their companions are. They leap across to safety, and many arms reach out to pull them over. Turning, they run down the stairs as the stone structures collapse behind them, crumbling and falling into the abyss.>
<Around a great pillar in a fiery hall comes Gandalf, leading the Fellowship. A wall of flame whirls behind them.>

<<Gandalf: Over the bridge! Fly!>>

<The Fellowship flee. Gandalf does not follow, but turns, looking into the wall of fire. A great form of black shadow leaps through the flames, its eyes of white fire, great ash-black horns curling around a bull-like head. It opens its maw, rippling heat pouring out with a rumble. Gandalf turns, running after the Fellowship. A great, black, cloven foot stomps down into the hall, bursting into flame. A narrow bridge of stone appears in the fiery light, and the Fellowship crosses the bridge. Gandalf turns to face the Balrog.>

<<Gandalf: You cannot pass!>> 

<<Frodo: <watching from the other side> Gandalf!>> 

<Great shadows like wings of ash whirl around the demon, which spreads its arms and bursts into cracking, bursting, thundering flame. Gandalf stands beneath it, staff and sword raised.>

<<Gandalf: I am the servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor…>> 

<He begins to lift his staff. A blazing light radiates from it, illuminating the entire bridge, encircling the wizard in a globe of endless light.> 

<<Gandalf: The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Ud?n!>>

<The Balrog heaves its arm upward, a sword of fire forming in its hand.>

<The Balrog strikes down on Gandalf, who parries the blow with his blade, shattering the Balrog’s sword. Glowing embers run off the circle of light around the wizard. The enraged monster bellows at the wizard. Frodo gasps. Aragorn runs forward.> 

<<Gandalf: <clenching his teeth> Go back to the Shadow!>>

<A thread of flame issues from the Balrog’s maw, and it steps forward onto the bridge. The beats brandishes a flaming whip, lashing it about menacingly. Gandalf summons the last of his energy, and raises his sword and staff together into the air.>

<<Gandalf: YOU...SHALL NOT...PASS!!!>> 

<Gandalf drives his staff into the bridge, causing a bright flash of blue light to appear. Flaring its nostrils, the Balrog steps forward onto the bridge. The bridge collapses from under it as it moves towards Gandalf, and breaks before the wizard’s staff. The demon plunges backward into the chasm, still wielding its glowing whip. Gandalf, exhausted, leans on his staff and watches the Balrog fall; he turns to follow the others. At the last second, the flaming whip lashes up from the depths of the abyss and winds about Gandalf’s ankle, dragging him over the edge. He clings onto the bridge but strains to keep his grip.>

<Frodo rushes forward but Boromir restrains him.>

<<Boromir: No, no!>> 

<<Frodo: Gandaaaaalf!>> 

<The wizard grasps vainly at the stone, looking into Frodo‘s eyes. He stops struggling.>

<<Gandalf: Fly, you fools!>> 

<Gandalf lets go of the stone and falls into the chasm, spreading his arms, the light of the Balrog glimmering far below.> 

<<Frodo: Noooooooooooooooo!!!!>> 

<Boromir grabs hold of Frodo and starts to leave up a flight of stairs.>

<<Boromir: Aragorn!>> 

<<Frodo: Noooooooooooo!!!>>

<Aragorn is stunned. He stares at the distant bridge in disbelief. For a moment he does not move, but then Orc arrows start whistling by once again, shooting at the companions. Dodging them, he turns and follows the others up the stairs.> 

<The Fellowship comes streaming out into the stark brightness of the day, contrasting the blackness of Moria. Everyone is distraught. Sam sits on the ground, bows his head onto his hands, and begins to weep. Merry consoles Pippin, who lies crying. Boromir tries to restrain Gimli as the Dwarf vents out his rage and sorrow. Legolas wears a look of shock and disbelief. His eyes seem puzzled, unsure.>

<Aragorn wipes his sword clean, re-sheathes it, and turns to the others.>

<<Aragorn: Legolas, get them up.>>

<<Boromir (pleading): Give them a moment, for pity's sake!>>

<<Aragorn: By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothl?rien. Come, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, get them up.>> 

<<Aragorn: <he reaches down and lifts Sam up> On your feet Sam. <looks around> Frodo? Frodo!>>

<Frodo, grieving, stands alone upon the stark hillside. Weeping silently, he turns towards Aragorn, a single tear running down his chin.>

<Chortling, icy blue water gurgles across the dale. Aragorn runs up onto a rock. Framed against a deep blue sky, he looks past the mountains to the greengold woods beyond.>
<The Fellowship jogs across a grassy field, halting under the eaves of a forest of tall and shapely trees: lichen and moss cover them. Leaves twirl down to the earth.>

<<Gimli: Stay close, young Hobbits! They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods, an Elf-witch, of terrible power. All who look upon her, fall under her spell…>> 

<<A Whispering, echoing voice: Frodo.…>> 

<Frodo, startled, looks around.> 

<<Gimli: ...and are never seen again.>> 

<<Voice: …Your coming to us…<Frodo halts in his tracks: a pair of eyes flash through his head> …is as the footsteps of doom. You bring great evil here, Ring-bearer!>>

<<Sam: Mr. Frodo?>>

<<Gimli: Well, here is one Dwarf she won't ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!>>

<An arrow, notched, appears before his face.>

<<Gimli: Oh…>> 

<Other bows at the ready appear around the Fellowship. Legolas has his own bow out, pointing it at the owners of the other weapons. The Fellowship looks around, alarmed. A tall, golden-haired Elf appears.>

<<Elf: The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark.>> 

<<Gimli: Grrr…>> 

<Night is deepening amongst the windy trees. The Fellowship stands on a platform in the rustling foliage. The golden-haired Elf greets them.>

<<Elf: Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduilion. (Welcome Legolas, son of Thranduil.)>>

<<Legolas: Govannas v?n gwennen le, Haldir o L?rien. (Our Fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of L?rien.)>>

<Haldir glances at Aragorn.>

<<Haldir: A, Aragorn in D?nedain istannen le ammen. (Oh, Aragorn of the D?nedain, you are known to us.)>>

<<Aragorn: Haldir.>>

<<Gimli: So much for the legendary courtesy of the Elves! Speak words we can also understand!>>

<<Haldir: We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days.>>

<<Gimli: And you know what this Dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul!>>

<<Aragorn: That was not so courteous.>>

<Haldir glances at Frodo.>

<<Haldir: You bring great evil with you. <looking at Aragorn> You can go no further.>>

<He walks away. Sam and Pippin turn to look at Frodo. He looks slightly uncomfortable.>

<Aragorn argues with Haldir, angrily.> 

<<Aragorn: Boe ammen veriad l?n. Andelu i ven! (We need your protection. The road is fell!)>>

<Haldir whispers back inaudibly.>

<<Aragorn: Merin le telim. (I wish we may come with you.)>>

<Haldir answers quietly, again so that only Aragorn can hear his words.>

<<Aragorn: Henio, an?ron boe ammen i dulu l?n! (Please, understand, we need your support!)>> 

<Legolas turns to look at Frodo, who looks uncomfortably away, and his eyes fall on Sam. Sam looks away, a hurt expression in his eyes. Merry and Pippin do likewise. Gimli glances at Frodo. Aragorn continues to argue loudly with Haldir. Frodo, looking at his friends, sees blame that does not truly exist anywhere but in his mind. He is alone, it seems. Aragorn is now pleading.>

<<Aragorn: Andelu i ven. (The road is very dangerous.)>>

<Frodo appears downcast. But through all of his worried, his loneliness, a voice of reason speaks.>

<<Boromir: Gandalf's death was not in vain...nor would he have you give up hope. You carry a heavy burden, Frodo...don't carry the weight of the dead.>>

<Frodo ponders this, but looks up suddenly. Haldir appears, looking less than happy.>

<<Haldir: You will follow me.>>
<A caravan of Elves leads the Fellowship along a ridge, through the golden woods. Boromir glances at Frodo behind him, as though concerned for the Hobbit. The group comes to the end of the high ridge and looks out. Below them, behind the mists, under sunset, a great glade of trees rises above the world, green and gold, rays of light drifting from the branches of trees.>

<<Haldir: Caras Galadhon...the heart of Elvendom on earth. Realm of the Lord Celeborn and of Galadriel, Lady of Light.>>

<The Fellowship arrive at Caras Galadhon, climbing a winding way among the great trees as the last rays of evening sun stream through their trunks. They ascend the path until night falls. In the blue glow of a moonlit night, the Fellowship climbs a twisting stair about the trunk of a tree, past glimmering lights of silver and blue. Far above, the silhouetted shapes of the shadowy tree-branches loom. Passing numerous platforms, they come to a great palace in the trees, lit with silvery lights. A curving walkway lies before them, leading up a low stair to an archway. Three-pronged, golden leaves are scattered about. Slowly, they gather before the arch as Haldir steps to one side, and look up. With a glow issuing forth from them, a Lord and Lady, descend to meet the Fellowship, hand in hand. The Fellowship stares in awe. Aragorn touches his head reverently in greeting.>

<The light dims, and before the Fellowship the Lord and Lady, Galadriel and Celeborn, halt. The Lady’s eyes focus on Frodo, but Celeborn speaks.>

<<Lord Celeborn: The Enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Eight there are here, yet nine there were, set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf?>>

<As he speaks, Lady Galadriel’s eyes flicker to Aragorn’s, who looks up.>

<<Celeborn: For I much desire to speak with him...I can no longer see him from afar.>>

<<Galadriel: <reading the answer in Aragorn’s eyes> Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land. <in sorrow> He has fallen into shadow.>>

<Aragorn nods slightly. Celeborn turns to Galadriel.>

<<Legolas: He was taken by both Shadow and Flame: a Balrog of Morgoth.>> 

<Celeborn’s sorrow and surprise is evident.>

<<Legolas: For we went needlessly into the net of Moria.>>

<Gimli bows his head, sadly.>

<<Galadriel: Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his whole purpose. Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-d?m fill your heart, Gimli, son of Gl?in.>> 

<The Dwarf looks up as her words.>

<<Galadriel: For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands, love is now mingled with grief.>>

<Boromir turns his pained face to the Lady, blinking and swallowing hard. The Lady stares back, starlight glimmering in her eyes. Boromir looks away, weeping.>

<<Celeborn: What now becomes of this Fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost.>>

<A moment passes. Aragorn seeks in his head for an answer.>

<<Galadriel: The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all.>> 

<Boromir looks back up at her, unsure.>

<<Galadriel: Yet hope remains while the company is true.>> 

<Galadriel looks at Sam and smiles. Sam continues to gaze at her, unlike Boromir.>

<<Galadriel: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight you will sleep in peace.>> 

<She whispers to Frodo in his mind, casting her eyes sideways at him.> 

<<Galadriel: Welcome, Frodo of the Shire…one who has seen the Eye!>>

<Galadriel‘s eyes, the same ones that Frodo saw upon entering Lothl?rien, flash through his mind again.>
<Later, back on the ground, an area is provided for the Fellowship to rest in. The Hobbits are settling down to rest. In the trees, the Elves’ singing can be heard, and one female voice rising above the others, who sing softly in the background.>

<<Female Elf:

A Ol?rin i yaresse… (Ol?rin who once was…)
Mentaner i Numeherui (Sent by the Lords of the West)
T?rien i R?men?ri… (To guard the Lands of the East…)

<<Other Elves:

Melme n?ren sina (Our love for this land)
n?ra ala (Is deeper than the deeps)
E?ro… (Of the sea…)

<<Legolas (pensive): A lament for Gandalf.>> 

<Aragorn sharpens his sword as Gimli sleeps beside him, beneath a lily-shaped lamp glowing in the dark.>

<<Merry: <setting up his bed> What do they say about him?>>

<<Legolas: I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near.>> 

…Maiaron i Oiosaila, (Wisest of all Maiar,)
Manan elye etevanne (What drove you to leave) 
N?rie i malanelye? (That which you loved?)>>

…Ilfirin nairelma (Yet we will cast all away)
ullume nucuvalme. (Rather that submit.)
Nauva i nauva... (What should be shall be...)

<Sam crouches down to make his bed.>

<<Sam (to Merry): I bet they don't mention his fireworks. There should be a verse about them.>>

<Frodo watches them from a distance in the shadows. After a moment, Sam stands up.>

<<Sam: The finest rockets ever seen,
They burst in stars of blue and green…

<Gimli snores loudly>

Or after thunder...silver showers…>>

<Aragorn turns, annoyed, and swats the Dwarf’s pillow, eliciting a grunt from Gimli.>

<<Sam: Came falling like a...rain of flowers…>> 

<He squats down again.>

<<Sam (muttering): Oh, that doesn't do they justice by a long road.>>

<Aragorn looks out from his resting place beside Gimli’s bed. He gets up, moving past a small table with silver chalices glinting upon it. He walks over to Boromir, who is seated alone on a great tree root. A fountain gurgles, statues dance in solemn stone, and lights twinkle beyond, invitingly. The lament continues.> 

…?-reniathach (No more will you wander)
i amar galen (The green fields of this earth)
I reniad l?n ne m?r, nuithannen. (Your journey has ended in darkness.)>> 

<<Aragorn: Take some rest. These borders are well protected.>>

<<Boromir: I will find no rest here. I heard her 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.>>

<Aragorn comes and sits beside Boromir.>

<<Boromir: My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing. And now our…our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right and I- I would do it. I would see the glory of Gondor restored. <sigh> Have you ever 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?>> 

<<Aragorn: I have seen the White City, long ago.>> 

<<Boromir: One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guard shall take up the call: "The Lords of Gondor have returned!">>

<Aragorn smiles slightly, then looks away, in deep thought.>
<The Fellowship is asleep. Shining with soft white light, a figure in a flowing dress walks by them. Frodo wakes up with a start as though by some invisible sign. Galadriel is there, gliding past Elven statues among the trees, frozen amid their merriment in the dark night; she looks neither to the right or left nor makes any apparent sign. Frodo proceeds to follow her as though beckoned.>

<Galadriel descends to her garden in a glade and fills a silver ewer with water from a trickling stream. She stands before an ornate stand with a shallow silver basin upon it. The Lady turns towards Frodo.>

<<Galadriel: Will you look into the mirror?>> 

<<Frodo: What will I see?>> 

<<Galadriel: <stepping up to the basin> Even the wisest cannot tell. For the mirror…shows many things…>> 

<She begins to pour the water into the silver mirror.>

<<Galadriel: …things that were…things that are….and some things… <She empties the ewer and steps back> …that have not yet come to pass.>>

<Frodo steps up onto a low platform below the mirror to take a look. He peers down and sees nothing but his reflection. Then, suddenly, the mirror clears and shows a vision of Legolas, Merry and Pippin and Sam from the platform in the woods, recalling his feeling of guilt. Then, the vision changes. The Green Dragon Inn appears in the ripples, green and cheery as it ever had been. Suddenly, fires belch up, flaming from windows and doors. Orcs lash whips.>

<Frodo gasps, his eyes wide.> 

<Beneath grey skies and dark hills shouldered with machinery and industry, a line of Hobbits is driven into a mill to work by slave-masterly Orcs. Then, the Eye of Sauron fills the mirror. The Ring hanging from Frodo’s neck pulls him closer to the water. Steam begins to curl up from the basin as Sauron speaks to Frodo in a dark tongue. The Ring hangs in the pit of blackness within the fires of the Eye. Terrified, Frodo grabs the Ring and jerks back, throwing himself off the step and landing on his back on the grass.>

<<Galadriel: I know what it is you saw, for it is also in my mind. <Her voice echoes in Frodo‘s head> It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking: it is already begun. He will try to take the Ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one, it will destroy them all.>> 

<<Frodo (silently): If you ask it of me, I will give you the One Ring.>>

<Opening his palm, he offers the Ring to her.>

<<Galadriel: You offer it to me freely. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this.>> 

<She approaches Frodo and places her hand over the Ring, her hand quivering. Her image begins to change. Suddenly, she towers over Frodo, her cloak running ragged in a sudden wind, her eyes like dark hollows, arms flung high. She wears a breastplate; her hair billows around her. As though underwater, the glade becomes murky and green.>


<Frodo backs away in fright>


<The great murky light fades abruptly and Galadriel lets her arms slowly fall, the pitilessness of her image disappearing. Breathing heavily, she speaks to a windblown Frodo.>

<<Galadriel: I pass the test! <with joy> I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.>>

<She begins to turn away>

<<Frodo: <troubled> I cannot do this alone.>> 

<Galadriel turns back>

<<Galadriel: You are a Ring bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of power is to be alone.>> 

<Galadriel lifts her hand up. A ring adorns her finger.>

<<Galadriel: This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its Keeper. <Frodo stares into her eyes> 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'm afraid to do it.>>

<Galadriel bends down to meet him at eye level>

<<Galadriel: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.>>
<Orthanc rises through plumes of black smoke. Saruman and a great Orc stand in the rising sun in the inner chambers of Orthanc.>

<<Saruman: Do you know how the Orcs first came into being? They were Elves once, taken by the dark powers. Tortured and mutilated…

<The Orc growls.>

…a ruined and terrible form of life. And now...perfected: my fighting Uruk-Hai. Whom do you serve?>>

<<Orc: Saruman!>>

<The Uruk-Hai are fitted with armour and are given weapons. They receive white handprints on their heads and faces, signifying Saruman’s army. They then assemble before him in a great cavern beneath a high balcony.>

<<Saruman: <to the troops> Hunt them down! Do not stop until they are found. You do not know pain, you do not know fear. You will taste man-flesh!>>

<The Uruk-Hai raise their weapons, shaking them, with a roar. Saruman speaks to the Uruk-hai leader whom he spoke with in his chamber, as they stand on the balcony.>

<<Saruman: One of the Halflings carries something of great value. Bring them to me alive and unspoiled. Kill the others!>>

<An Uruk-Hai troop leaves Isengard in a long column.>
<The mists of morning lay heavily along the river. Bare-branched trees arch through the fogs, stray beams of light falling on the cold, blue waters. An elegant ship is out on the river, carved in the likeness of a swan, and Galadriel stands silently in it, clothed all in white. On shore, cloaks are fastened around the Fellowship members with green, silver-veined leaf-brooches.>

<<Celeborn: Never before have we clad strangers in the garb of our own people. May these cloaks help shield you from unfriendly eyes.>>

<Elves prepare for the departure of the Fellowship. Legolas is among them, shifting parcels into a set of boats provided by the Galadhrim. He holds up a thin wafer for Merry and Pippin to see, as they sit in a boat.>

<<Legolas: Lembas! Elvish Way-bread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man.>>

<He walks up onto shore, leaving the Hobbits by themselves.>

<<Merry: <turning to Pippin> How many did you eat?>>

<<Pippin: Four.>>

<He burps.>

<The light of early morning sets the leaves of the trees along the shore on fire with a blazing yellow. The sunlight streams through the trees, but beneath their great trunks the land is yet dark, cast in blue. The swan-ship of Galadriel sails by.> 

<<Celeborn: Every league you travel south, the danger will increase. Mordor Orcs now hold the eastern shore of the Anduin.>>

<As the Elf Lord speaks, the Fellowship climb into the boats. Sam tries to steady himself, as though he is unused to boats. Legolas helps Gimli onboard. Meanwhile, Aragorn and Celeborn wander through the heavy mist and sunlight, in deep conversation.>

<<Celeborn: Nor will you find safety on the western bank. Strange creatures bearing the mark of the White Hand have been seen on our borders. <He speaks urgently> Seldom do Orcs journey in the open, under the sun, yet these have done so!>>

<The two pause, and Aragorn looks down. Celeborn holds a dagger before him. Aragorn takes it, and unsheathes it; its blade glints.>

<<Celeborn (warningly): Le aphadar aen. (You are being followed.)>>

<Aragorn sheathes the dagger.>

<<Celeborn: By river you have the chance of outrunning the enemy to the Falls of Rauros.>>

<A paddle splashes into the water. The Fellowship rows through the river, past the Elves onshore. The sun is reaching its rosy fingers over the hills; Caras Galadhon rises far away, in the mists. Voices sing with the rising dawn:

Ai! lauri? lantar lassi s?rien,
Y?ni ?ntim? ve r?mar aldaron!
y?ni ve lint? yuldar av?nier
mi oromardi lisse-miruv?reva
And?n? pella Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni…

(Alas! Like gold fall the leaves in the wind, 
long years numberless as the wings of the trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts 
of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West,
beneath the vaults of Varda wherein the stars
tremble in the song of her voice…)

<The voices continue. A song of the sorrow of the Elves, of Lothl? rien. As the boats move further downstream, Legolas‘s eyes stare distantly. He smiles, remembering.>

<<Galadriel: My gift for you, Legolas, is a bow of the Galadhrim, worthy of the skill of our woodland kin.>> 

<The Elf stretches the bow, testing it. There is awe in his eyes.>

<Galadriel smiles, and turns to Merry and Pippin.>

<<Galadriel: These are the daggers of the Noldorin. They have already seen service in war. Do not fear, young Peregrin Took. You will find your courage.>>

<The Hobbits remember the meeting as they sail downriver. Sam also recalls the Lady‘s gift to him.>

<<Galadriel: And for you, Samwise Gamgee: Elven rope, made of hithlain.>>

<<Sam: Thank you, my lady. <He looks sidelong at the blades held by Merry and Pippin, then looks up hopefully.> Have you run out of those nice, shiny daggers?>>

<The Lady of the Galadhrim smiles, and turns to the next Fellowship member in line. It is Gimli, who diverts his eyes downwards. Galadriel speaks, her golden hair shining beneath the poignant blues and whites and greens of the forest.> 

<<Galadriel: And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?>>

<<Gimli (grunting): Nothing. <a change comes over him; he looks up> Except to look upon the Lady of the Galadhrim one last time, for she is more fair than all the jewels beneath the earth.>>

<Galadriel giggles, smiling at the Dwarf. He turns to walk away, then halts and turns back.>

<<Gimli: Actually, there was one thing -- ah, agh, that's quite impossible. Stupid to ask.>>

<Gimli sits in his boat with Legolas, a far away look in his eyes, a faint smile upon his face. From another boat, Aragorn glances towards them, then away. He too is remembering the farewell on the shores of Lothlorien.>

<Galadriel stands before Aragorn and places her hand on Arwen‘s Evenstar pendant.>

<<Galadriel: I have nothing greater to give, than the gift you already bear. Am meleth d?n. I ant e-guil Arwen Und?miel…pelitha. (For her love, I fear the grace of Arwen Evenstar…will diminish.)>>

<The two share a sorrow in their eyes.>

<<Aragorn: An?ron i e broniatha ar periatham amar hen. An?ron e ciratha a Valannor. (I would have her leave these shores, and be with her people…I would have her…take the ship to Valinor.)>>

<<Galadriel: That choice is yet before her. You have your own choice to make, Aragorn…to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, <her voice deepens ominously> or to fall into darkness…with all that is left of your kin.>>

<There is silence for a moment. Branches shake, a spider web’s glimmering strands sway in the wind. Galadriel glances at the pendant, and smiles.>

<<Galadriel: Nam?ri?. (Farewell.) Neravanyar i gerich. (There is much you have yet to do.) >>

<<Galadriel: <she looks into Aragorn’s eyes, with both sorrow and joy dancing in her own> Dan…?-'eveditham, Elessar. (We shall not meet again, Elessar.)>>

<Frodo sits in his boat with Sam and Aragorn. He hears the echo of her voice in his mind. Galadriel hands him a crystalline vessel shaped like a teardrop, filling with a clear water and a shining light.>

<<Galadriel: Farewell, Frodo Baggins. I give you the light of Earendil, our most beloved star.>>

<She kisses him on the forehead.>

<Back in the boat, Frodo looks at the glass in his hand, and glances up at the shore. The Lady stands there, her right arm upraised, her hand adorned with Nenya. A golden band is upon her forehead and a white cloak is over her head and about her shoulders. She speaks to him, silently, as he passes by.>

<<Galadriel: May it be a light for you, in dark places, when all other lights go out.>>

<Frodo looks away finally.>

<The Fellowship sails out onto the river and leaves L?rien behind. White mountains rise starkly beneath blue skies and green trees. In the boats, Gimli talks to Legolas.>

<<Gimli: I have taken my worst wound at this parting, having looked my last upon that which is fairest. Haugh, henceforth I will call nothing fair unless it be her gift to me.>>

<<Legolas: What was it?>>

<<Gimli: I asked her for one hair from her golden head. She gave me three.>>

<Legolas smiles.>
<The Fellowship passes out onto a larger branch of the Anduin beneath sheer cliffs. The Uruk-Hai march along through the forest as the three boats carrying the Fellowship float along.>

<It is getting dark. The Fellowship rests on a small island. Boromir looks out from behind a large rock, silvery webs of lights reverberating from the water. He looks worriedly at a log floating in the river. Small hands clutch it, and the top of a head is barely visible over the log‘s edge, where eyes glint softly.>

<<Aragorn: Gollum. He has tracked us since Moria.>> 

<<Voice: Golllllluum…>>

<<Aragorn: I had hoped we would lose him on the river. But he's too clever a waterman.>>

<<Boromir: And if he alerts the enemy to our whereabouts it will make the crossing even more dangerous.>>

<Frodo hears them. He looks worried.>

<<Sam: <sitting beside him> Have some food, Mr. Frodo.>>

<<Frodo: No, Sam.>>

<<Sam: You haven't eaten anything all day. You're not sleeping, either. Don't think I haven't noticed. Mr. Frodo…>>

<<Frodo: I'm all right.>>

<<Sam: But you're not! I'm here to help you. I promised Gandalf that I would.>> 

<Frodo pauses a moment.>

<<Frodo: You can't help me, Sam... Not this time... Get some sleep.>> 

<Sam leaves. Now it is not Samwise who cannot sleep in the night, but Frodo, the Ring-bearer.>

<<Boromir: <walks from the rock to Aragorn> Minas Tirith is the safer road. You know it. From there we can regroup…strike out for Mordor from a place of strength.>> 

<<Aragorn: There is no strength in Gondor that can avail us.>>

<<Boromir: You were quick enough to trust the Elves. Have you so little faith in your own people? Yes, there is weakness. There is frailty. But there is courage also, and honor to be found in Men. But you will not see that. <Aragorn turns away, but Boromir grabs his arm and turns him.> You are afraid! All your life, you have hidden in the shadows!>> 

<Frodo looks out, suffering, from his resting place, hearing Boromir‘s words.>

<<Boromir: Scared of who you are, of what you are.>> <Boromir releases Aragorn, who turns away.>

<<Aragorn: <turns back suddenly> I will not lead the Ring within a hundred leagues of your city.>>
<The Fellowship’s boats pass through a canyon. Boromir glances at Aragorn’s boat across the water.>

<Aragorn, meanwhile, lifts his head, half-smiles and taps Frodo on the shoulder.>

<<Aragorn: Frodo, the Argonath! Long have I desired to look upon the kings of old. My kin.>>

<The Fellowship looks up in awe at the towering splendor of the Argonath. Two majestic statues, carved right out of the rock, proudly stand on each side of the Anduin. Two vast quarries line the cliffs to either side of them, where once their stones may have been hewn for their building. Their left arms are held aloft, their palms facing outwards in gesture of warning. Solemn and stern are their faces, the silent wardens of a long vanished kingdom. Voices sing out in the light.>

<<Voices: Et E?rello Endorenna ut?lien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!’ 

('Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world!')>>

<The Fellowship sail past the statues towards a great, roaring waterfall. On either side of the falls, the land rises in two hilltops crowned by distant ruins. In the center of the rushing water a pinnacle of rock rises sheer from the cascade. As they disembark on a gravel beach, Boromir looks troubled and appears to be fighting a conflict within him, and Frodo glances at him, looking perturbed. The Fellowship starts to make camp.>
<<Aragorn: We cross the lake at nightfall. Hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north.>>

<<Gimli: Oh, yes?! It's just a simple matter of finding our way through Emyn Muil? An impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks! And after that, it gets even better!>> 

<Pippin looks up, alarmed.> 

<<Gimli: Festering, stinking marshlands, far as the eye can see!>>

<<Aragorn: That is our road. I suggest you take some rest and recover your strength, Master Dwarf.>>

<<Gimli: Recover my…?! Phrrrrr…>>

<<Legolas (to Aragorn): We should leave now.>>

<<Aragorn: No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for 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!>>

<Legolas’s gaze wanders over the dark pine woods, with a dark, brooding statue nestled amongst their needles.>

<<Gimli: No dwarf need recover strength! <to Pippin> Pay no heed to that, young Hobbit.>>

<Merry, returning with some wood for the campfire, looks around.> 

<<Merry: Where's Frodo?>>

<Sam, who was half-dozing, rouses with a start. Aragorn looks over the camp. His gaze stops on Boromir’s shield, lying with his baggage.>
<Frodo wanders into the forest. He stands by an immense stone head, long aged and lost from its body, lying with its side in the ground. Boromir, gathering wood, sees Frodo and approaches him across the leaf-littered earth.>

<<Boromir: None of us should wander alone, you least of all. So much depends on you. Frodo?>>

<<Boromir: I know why you seek solitude. You suffer; I see it day by day. You sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways, Frodo, other paths that we might take.>>

<<Frodo: I know what you would say. And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.>>

<<Boromir: Warning? Against what? We're all afraid, Frodo. But to let that fear drive us to destroy what hope we have…don’t you see, that is madness?>>

<<Frodo: There is no other way!>>

<<Boromir: I ask only for the strength to defend my people! <throws the gathered wood to the ground> If you would but lend me the Ring…>>

<<Frodo: No.>> <steps back>

<<Boromir: Why do you recoil? I am no thief.>>

<<Frodo: You are not yourself.>>

<<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! >>

<Frodo begins to walk away from Boromir.>

<<Boromir: You Fool!>>

<Boromir starts after him. They begin to run, Boromir closing in on the Hobbit.>

<<Boromir: It is not yours, save by unhappy chance. It could have been mine! <tackles Frodo> It should be mine! Give it to me!>>

<The two struggle, Frodo wrestles the Ring into his hand, clutching it.>

<<Boromir: Give it to me!>>

<<Frodo: No!>>

<<Boromir: Give me… Give me the Ring!>>

<<Frodo: Nurgh…ugh!>>

<Frodo slips the Ring on and disappears. He kicks Boromir and runs away.>

<<Boromir: <looks around desperately> I see your mind. You will take the Ring to Sauron! You will betray us! You’ll go to your death and the death of us all! Curse you! Curse you! And all the halflings!>>

<Boromir slips and falls to the ground. The madness of the Ring leaves him and he comes to his senses.>

<<Boromir: Frodo?...Frodo?...what have I done?...please...Frodo!>>

<Frodo dashes up a set of dark steps, the world of the Ring blurring away around the Hobbit.>

<<Boromir: <far away> Frodo, I'm sorry! Frodo!>>
<Frodo, in the "shadow world," climbs up onto a seat of stone framed by two stone eagles. A great shape looms before him from afar. The image rushes towards him and his vision rise to a pinnacle- the dark tower of Barad-d?r, where the burning Eye of Sauron stares back menacingly. Frodo, rushing to remove the Ring, falls off of the seat and lands on his back. He sits up, trying to catch his breath. Before him is a high structure on the cliff edge, surrounded by the pines. A stairway runs up through its center, to a seat dwarfed by stone eagles on top.>

<Aragorn approaches.>

<<Aragorn: Frodo?>>

<<Frodo: <startled> Huh?! It has taken Boromir.>>

<<Aragorn: <intensely> Where is the Ring?>>

<<Frodo: Stay away!>> <scrambles up and retreats from Aragorn. Aragorn comes after him.>

<<Aragorn: Frodo!>> 

<Frodo stops>

<<Aragorn: I swore to protect you!>>

<<Frodo: Can you protect me from yourself?!>>

<He holds the Ring upon his palm.>

<<Frodo: Would you destroy it?>>

<Aragorn, looking at the Ring, slowly approaches Frodo. The Ring begins to whisper.>

<<The Ring: Aragorn...Aragorn…Elessar…>>

<He reaches out, towards the Ring.>

<With both hands, Aragorn closes Frodo’s hand over the Ring and pushes it to the Hobbit’s chest, refusing the temptation.>

<<Aragorn: I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor.>>

<<Frodo: I know. Look after the others, especially Sam. He will not understand.>>

<Aragorn nods but then sees Sting’s blue glow. He stands suddenly.>

<<Aragorn: Go, Frodo. <drawing out his sword> Run. Run!>>

<Frodo runs from the hilltop. Aragorn walks out from beneath the ruin and finds a troop of Uruk-Hai advancing towards him. He gives a half-smile, and half-swaggers towards them, touching his sword to his forehead in a gesture of acceptance to the challenge. They attack. He cuts several down, but they force him up the stairs of the seat.> 

<Sam is searching frantically for Frodo in the woods.>

<<Sam: Mr. Frodo!!!>> 

<He hears the clash of sword on sword. His eyes widen. Battle!> 

<<The Uruk-hai leader: <to his troops> Find the Halfling! Yaggh! Find the Halfling!>> 

<<Aragorn: <jumping onto the Uruk-Hai massing below him> Elendil!>> 

<Legolas and Gimli run forward from behind the the ruin. Legolas shoots several Uruk-Hai with quick bow-work; Gimli lands blow after blow with his axe.> 

<<Legolas: Aragorn! Go!>>
<Frodo runs and hides behind a tree. Across the way, Merry and Pippin hide in a space under some fallen tree trunks.>

<<Merry: Frodo!>>

<<Pippin: <beckoning> Hide here! Quick! Come on!>>

<Frodo looks at them, anguished, then shakes his head.>

<<Pippin (to Merry): What’s he doin'?>> 

<<Merry (in realization): He's leavin’.>> 

<<Pippin: No!>> <runs out towards Frodo>

<<Merry: Pippin!>> <goes after him>

<Merry and Pippin are out in the open. Several Uruk-Hai are coming down the hill, towards them.>

<<Merry (quietly): Run, Frodo! Go!>>

<Merry cups his hands and calls out to the Uruk-Hai.>

<<Merry: Hey! Hey you! Over here!>> 

<<Pippin: Hey!>> 

<<Merry: Over here!>>

<<Pippin: <waving his arms> This way!>>

<Both Hobbits run away from Frodo. The Uruk-Hai troop follows them. Frodo makes a break for it, running in the opposite direction.>

<<Pippin: Its working!>> 

<<Merry: I know its working! Run!>>
<Back at the hilltop, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli continue to fight the Uruk-Hai. In one smooth move, Legolas stabs one Uruk with an arrow then shoots it out at another. Gimli wields his axe. Aragorn stabs one behind his back.>

<Merry and Pippin run across an old stone bridge. At its far end, they stop and see Uruk-hai running towards them. The Uruks are closing in, both in front and behind. An Uruk runs up to them, raising his battleaxe. But Boromir comes charging in, knocks the Uruk back, and kills him with his own axe. He throws a knife at another. More close in.> 

<Legolas kills Orc after Orc. He shoots down an Uruk who has closed in on Aragorn.>

<Three loud ox-horn blasts are heard.> 

<<Legolas: The Horn of Gondor!>> 

<<Aragorn: Boromir!>>

<He runs down the slope towards the sound, but Uruks are between him and Boromir. The forest sweeps by as he goes.> 

<Boromir sounds the Horn of Gondor again. The Uruks attack Boromir.>

<Aragorn battles madly towards Boromir.>

<Boromir kills two more. Merry and Pippin take out some Orcs.>

<<Boromir (to the Hobbits): Run! Run!>>

<The Uruk-hai leader walks into view on the misty hilltop beneath the dark trees.>

<Boromir fights on, oblivious.>

<Merry and Pippin continue to throw rocks. The captain aims his black-fletched bow at the battling warrior. He shoots.>

<Boromir jerks backwards at the blow to his left shoulder. Merry stops in mid-throw as Boromir falls before a solemn statue as the sunlight streams by. The Hobbits look at him in shock. Boromir begins to breathe hard. Uruks come closer, and Boromir gives a battle cry, rises, and swings his sword at one, who falls. The Uruk chieftain growls and walks further down the slope. He lifts his bow, and shoots again, as Boromir turns to look at him. A black arrow flies into Boromir’s stomach. He drops to his knees again, gasping. Merry and Pippin still stand in shock, rocks in hand. Boromir stares into their eyes, but against death, they can do nothing. Summoning his will to fight for them, the warrior swings his sword at another Uruk and gets back up. The captain shoots him one more time, in the chest. Boromir falls on his knees and stays there, swaying a little and blinking. The ox-horn is cloven in two.> 

<Merry and Pippin look at him, aghast. With all the courage they can muster, they take up their swords and attack the Uruk-Hai.> 

<<Merry and Pippin: Ahhhhgggh!!!>> 

<They never have the chance to strike. The Uruk-Hai lift them up and carry them off. Merry and Pippin wave their arms frantically. The Uruk-Hai troop walks away from Boromir. Boromir looks on helplessly. The troop passes by Boromir where he kneels, suffering, as though he does not exist.>

<The captain, now left alone, stops before his foe. Boromir swallows and stares back at him. The chieftain snarls and pulls his bow back, ready to deliver the final blow. Just then, Aragorn crashes into him, and his arrow flies off harmlessly.>

<The captain and Aragorn fight. Aragorn loses his sword and is thrown to the ground; when he gets up, the Uruk-hai warrior throws his two-prong shield at Aragorn and pins him by the neck against a tree. The Uruk raises his sword and strikes, but Aragorn slips beneath the shield and dodges the blow. Aragorn pulls out a knife and stabs the captain on the leg. He roars and pulls out the knife, licking the blood from it, and throws it at Aragorn, who has found his sword and uses it to bat the knife away. Aragorn closes in on the Orc and in a flurry of swordplay, slices his arm off and then stabs him in the chest. The resilient captain pulls himself up on the sword, closer to Aragorn, snarling, defiant. Aragorn grimaces, pulls his sword out of the injured warrior, swings it wide, and hacks off the Uruk-hai's head. The rest of him falls to the ground.> 
<Aragorn pauses a moment, panting. He then races to Boromir.>

<<Aragorn: No!>>

<Boromir, pale and bloodied, is now lying on his back, his head close to a tree.> 

<Aragorn kneels near Boromir, who grabs Aragorn's shoulder.>

<<Boromir: They took the little ones.>>

<<Aragorn: Be still.>>

<<Boromir: Frodo! Where is Frodo? >>

<<Aragorn: I let Frodo go.>> 

<<Boromir: Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the Ring from him.>> 

<<Aragorn: The Ring is beyond our reach now.>> 

<<Boromir: Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all.>> 

<<Aragorn: No, Boromir, you fought bravely! You have kept your honor.>> <reaches out to pull the arrows from Boromir.>

<<Boromir: Leave it! It is over. The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness… and my city to ruin.>> 

<<Aragorn: I do not know what strength is 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.>> 

<He reaches for his sword. Aragorn places the hilt in his hand, and helps Boromir clasp it to his chest.>

<<Boromir: I would have followed you my Brother…my Captain…My King!>>

<Boromir passes away. Aragorn touches his hand to his forehead, then to his lips in respect.>

<<Aragorn: Be at peace, son of Gondor.>> <bends and kisses Boromir on the brow.>

<Legolas and Gimli arrive at the scene. Legolas looks sadly at Aragorn and Boromir. Gimli bows his head and turns away.> 

<Aragorn stands up. Boromir lies among the earth: pale and gone, the black arrows sticking from his broken body. The fallen warrior has gone to his last home. The trees, encrusted in lichen and moss, tower around the two warriors, one fallen, the other risen. Mist and light shine through the wood like a vision, in a tapestry of long ago.> 

<<Aragorn: They will look for his coming from the White Tower. But he will not return.>>

<He lifts his head and the sunlight plays like the glimmer of water across his features. A tear glints, falling down his cheek. His eyes seem to stare distantly. For a moment, it seems as though he has the dignity of a King.>
<Frodo stands upon the pale grey shore, staring into the distance, with the Ring on his palm, seemingly merely an unadorned gold band.>

<Sam runs through the woods.>

<<Sam: Frodo!>>

<Weeping silently, Frodo hears his voice speaking from his conversation with Gandalf in Moria.>

<<Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.>> 

<He hears a voice rise in answer, to his surprise. Standing in the orange light of evening, Gandalf the Grey speaks to the troubled Hobbit in a vision.>

<<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 to you.>>

<Determined to proceed with the quest alone, Frodo closes his hand over the Ring, and puts it into his vest pocket. He pushes a boat into the river and jumps in. Just then, Sam emerges from the woods. He sees Frodo paddling away and runs after him.> 

<<Sam: Frodo, no! Frodo! Mr. Frodo!>> 

<<Frodo (quietly): No, Sam.>> <continues to paddle away>

<Sam runs into the river after Frodo. Frodo, hearing the splashes, looks back.>

<<Frodo: Go back, Sam! I’m going to Mordor alone.>> 

<<Sam: Of course you are, and I’m coming with you!>> 

<<Frodo: You can’t swim! Sam!>>

<Sam struggles to swim then sinks into the water.>

<<Frodo: Sam!!!>>

<Sam sinks deeper and deeper. He sees the sun shimmering up on the surface. His arm floats limply as he descends into the water. Suddenly Frodo’s hand reaches down and grabs Sam’s wrist. Sam tightens his hand around Frodo’s. Frodo pulls him out of the water and up into the boat and Sam tumbles in.>

<<Sam: <dripping wet> 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! <they hug> Come on. >>

<Frodo and Sam paddle towards the eastern shore.>
<Boromir is laid to rest in one of the boats. His sword rests with him, his shield is above his head and his cloven horn at his side. The boat slips over the falls of Rauros and then drops into the mists below. Gimli watches the boat disappear. Aragorn wears Boromir’s vambraces in his honor. Legolas shoves the third boat into the water.>

<<Legolas: Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore.>>

<Aragorn stand still and says nothing.>

<<Legolas: You mean not to follow them?>> 

<<Aragorn: Frodo’s fate is no longer in our hands.>> 

<<Gimli: Then it has all been in vain! The Fellowship has failed.>> 

<<Aragorn: <putting his hands on their shoulders> Not if we hold 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!>>

<Legolas and Gimli look at each other, grinning.>

<<Gimli: Yes!!! Haha!>> 

<Aragorn runs into the woods, followed by Gimli and Legolas.>

<Frodo and Sam stand upon a high hill beside a reflecting pool of water. A dark sky is before them, though light wings beneath it.>

<<Frodo: Mordor. I hope the others find a safer route. >>

<<Sam: Strider will look after them.>>

<<Frodo: I don’t suppose we’ll ever see them again.>> 

<<Sam: We may yet, Mr. Frodo. We may.>>

<<Frodo: <turns, smiling> Sam, I’m glad you’re with me.>> 

<Frodo walks onwards. Sam stands for a moment, and then follows. They go down the rocky slope into a light mist beneath high, sunlit mountains, towards their destination. They have a long way to go, and a lonely road. So far from home.>

Special Extended Edition and Added Material Credits:
BrionnEquus, Eowyn unquendor, Ozwitch, Tethra.

Transcript Credits:
Accela, Amarea, Angleet, BaD_BURN, Bebbie, Beren Erchamion, Boromir's Chick, Catz, Chrysalia, Collierette, Cuthalion, Eldarionztg, Elf Princess, Elven_chica, Finafyr, ForceFive, Forn, Ghyste, HobbitLass, Kalyx, Kingslayer, LadyEowynKenobi, Lamia, Lochrann, LoneWolf5050, Loriendur, Lorienelf, Loving Legolas, Maatkare, Mdjasrie, Merp, Radwind, Rosie Cotton, Sun-kissed, Telchar, Teldor, The Red Avenger, Theodwyn, Zeke.

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