Short summary - The Lord of the Rings - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The Lord of the Rings
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Sixty years have passed since the return of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to the Shire. He is one hundred and ten years old, but outwardly he does not change at all. This leads the wizard Gandalf to a frightening thought: the magic Ring stolen by Bilbo from Gollum is actually the Ring of Power. Millennia ago, he was forged by the evil sorcerer Sauron, the owner of the Dark Kingdom, forged, then lost and is now eager to get back. And this will result in the death of the world, for, having mastered the Ring, Sauron will become omnipotent. The ring cannot be destroyed by fire or iron; it subjugates to itself its temporary owner - under his influence Gollum and became a merciless killer; it is impossible to part with him of his own free will; if Bilbo was a man, not a hobbit, during the years of his possession of the Ring he would become an incorporeal ghost, like the nine vassals of Sauron, who were granted nine "junior" rings, subordinate to the Ring of Power. The Knights became the Ghosts of the Ring, the Nazguls. The hobbits are another matter, they are stronger than people, but still, under the pressure of Gandalf, Bilbo parted with the Ring, leaving to live out his days in Rivendell, a valley inhabited by elven wizards.


In the Shire, remains the heir to Bilbo, his nephew Frodo. He now has the ring, and Frodo sometimes uses it for jokes and practical jokes: the hobbits are a funny people. Another sixteen years pass. During this time, Gandalf is convinced that Gollum has visited the Dark Kingdom and that Sauron has obtained the truth from him under torture: The hobbit has the power ring by the name of Baggins. Gandalf convinces Frodo to leave the Shire and go to Rivendell after Bilbo. There, wise magicians will decide what to do next with the Ring of Power, so that Sauron does not get it.

Frodo is about to set off - alas, without hurry. And nine Ghosts of the Ring have already invaded the Shire. These are riders in black, on black horses; as they approach, horror covers all life. Sauron sent them for the Ring, and they begin to pursue Frodo as soon as he leaves his "hole". Frodo sets off with his servant Sam and his two friends, the merry fellow Pippin and Merry. The black riders pursue them, the hobbits almost die in the Old Forest, among the predatory trees, then on the burial mounds inhabited by ghosts. But immediately outside the Shire they are met by a brave warrior and sage Aragorn. The hobbits do not know that he is a descendant of the ancient king of the West, who took the Ring from Sauron millennia ago, that he is destined to return to the throne when the lord of the Dark Kingdom is defeated. Aragorn and his relatives have long guarded the Shire from the servants of Sauron, and now he must help Frodo carry the Ring to Rivendell. The hobbits set off again, again followed by the Black Riders and finally overtake. Aragorn manages to drive the Nazgul away, but Frodo is wounded by a poisoned witch's dagger. The company miraculously breaks into Rivendell, and on time: another hour or two, and Frodo would have died ... In Rivendell, he is healed, and then advice is gathered. There Gandalf for the first time announces publicly that Frodo has precisely the Ring of power, that the Ring cannot be destroyed or kept; it cannot be hidden, for it will find a carrier for itself. There is only one way: carry it to the Dark Kingdom and throw it into the mouth of a volcano, in the fire of which it was once forged. but Frodo is wounded by a poisoned witch's dagger. The company miraculously breaks into Rivendell, and on time: another hour or two, and Frodo would have died ... In Rivendell, he is healed, and then advice is gathered. There Gandalf for the first time announces publicly that Frodo has precisely the Ring of power, that the Ring cannot be destroyed or kept; it cannot be hidden, for it will find a carrier for itself. There is only one way: carry it to the Dark Kingdom and throw it into the mouth of a volcano, in the fire of which it was once forged. but Frodo is wounded by a poisoned witch's dagger. The company miraculously breaks into Rivendell, and on time: another hour or two, and Frodo would have died ... In Rivendell, he is healed, and then advice is gathered. There Gandalf for the first time announces publicly that Frodo has precisely the Ring of power, that the Ring cannot be destroyed or kept; it cannot be hidden, for it will find a carrier for itself. There is only one way: carry it to the Dark Kingdom and throw it into the mouth of a volcano, in the fire of which it was once forged.

«But you can't get out of the Dark Kingdom alive!» Frodo thinks. And yet he rises and says: «I will carry the Ring, only I do not know the road ...» He understands: this is his purpose.

Representatives of all the light forces come from Frodo. This is the magician Gandalf, the elf Legolas, the dwarf Gimli, from people - Aragorn and Boromir (the son of the ruler of the southern kingdom of Gondor, which is at the very borders of the Dark Kingdom). From the hobbits - Sam, Pippin and Merry. Nine, as many as the Nazgul, but Frodo is the chief among them, for the Ring is entrusted to him.

At night, they move east to the mountains to cross through them and get to the Great River, behind which lies the Dark Kingdom. In the foothills they feel: the servants of Sauron - birds and animals - are already waiting for them. At the pass, the black forces make a blizzard, and the company has to retreat. At the bottom of it werewolves awaiting, from which it is difficult to escape. And Gandalf, contrary to the illusions of Aragorn, decides to lead the company under the mountains, through the caves of Moria. Once the dwarves owned the caves, now they were captivated by the army of Sauron nonhumans, orcs. At the very door to Moria, Frodo almost drags a monstrous octopus into the lake, and in the dungeon the company is attacked by ferocious orcs. Thanks to the courage of the company and the magic of Gandalf, nonhumans are repulsed, but just before the caves leave, an ancient powerful spirit appears, and in a fight with it Gandalf falls into a bottomless gorge.

Even in the caves, Frodo heard flapping steps behind him, and in the forest behind the mountains, near the border of the elven kingdom, Gollum appears for a second - the Ring irresistibly attracts him. It is not clear how he manages to follow the company everywhere, but when Frodo and his comrades, having rested from the hospitable elves, having received their magic boats, cloaks and supplies, set sail on the Great River, something like a log floating in the water flickers. The orcs are also chasing them: in narrow rapids they showered with arrows, and, even worse, one of the Nazguls appears in the air, now riding a giant winged creature; an elf hits her with an arrow from his mighty bow.

End of swimming; on the right extends the country of free riders, Rohan; on the left are the northern approaches to the Dark Kingdom. Aragorn must decide where to go next, but Boromir falls into madness here. The Ring of Power is the cause of insanity, with the help of the Ring Boromir wants to save Gondor from Sauron. He is trying to forcibly take the Ring from Frodo, he escapes and, having ceased to trust people, decides to go to the volcano alone. However, he does not manage to deceive the faithful Sam. Two small hobbits are heading to the borders of the Dark Kingdom.

Here ends the first book of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the second book, Two Fortresses, begins.

The comrades are looking for Frodo and Sam in the forest and stumble into an ambush of orcs. Boromir dies in the fray, Pippin and Merry are abducted by nonhumans, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli rush in pursuit of the orcs. However, it was not they who overtook the kidnappers, but the horsemen of the country of Rohan. During the night battle, the young hobbits escape from their tormentors and find themselves in an ancient forest, where for many centuries human-trees, ents have been hiding. The leader of the Ents picks up the hobbits and on his hands, like branches, carries to the fortress of Saruman. This is a powerful magician, a former companion of Gandalf, and now - a vile traitor; he, like many before him, seduced the Ring and sent the orcs to abduct Frodo. In the meantime, the Ents are crushing his stronghold, Aragorn and his friends get to the forest and meet not just anyone, but Gandalf! He is not human, he is one of the ancient demigods, and he defeated the formidable spirit of darkness. Four friends participate in the battle of Rohan's horsemen with the army of Saruman and reunite with Pippin and Merry on the ruins of his fortress. But there is no joy: there is a battle ahead with Sauron himself, and the winged Nazgul, which is awesome, flies over his head.

In the meantime, Frodo and his faithful servant Sam in hard work overcome the rocks on the outskirts of the Dark Kingdom; here, already on the descent from a height, Sam manages to catch Gollum chasing them. Frodo by the power of the Ring makes Gollum swear that he will serve the hobbits, show them the way to the land of darkness. And Gollum leads them through the Swamp of the Dead, where witching lights roam, and in the water you can see the faces of the once dead soldiers, then along the mountain wall to the south, through a flowering country recently captured by Sauron. They meet with a detachment of warriors of Gondor (later they will bring news of the meeting to Gandalf, which will do good service). They pass one of the fortresses of Sauron and, trembling with horror, see how the leader of the Nazgul leads the army of orcs to war with Gondor. Gollum then leads the hobbits up an endless staircase to the tunnel that goes into the Dark Kingdom and disappears. This is a betrayal: in the tunnel, the giant spider Shelob awaits the hobbits. She bites Frodo, entangles him with her web, like ropes. Seeing this, Sam rushes to the rescue. The little hobbit gives battle to the monster, and it, wounded, retreats, but Sam’s beloved master is dead ... A faithful servant removes the chain with the Ring from Frodo’s neck, leaves the body and weaves further in desperation to fulfill the duty instead of Frodo. But as soon as he leaves, the orcs come upon Frodo; Sam overhears their conversation and finds out that Frodo is not dead: Shelob paralyzed him to devour him later. The orcs must deliver him alive to Sauron, but for now they’ll carry him to the fortress, and Sam will be left alone with his despair. The little hobbit gives battle to the monster, and it, wounded, retreats, but Sam’s beloved master is dead ... A faithful servant removes the chain with the Ring from Frodo’s neck, leaves the body and weaves further in desperation to fulfill the duty instead of Frodo. But as soon as he leaves, the orcs come upon Frodo; Sam overhears their conversation and finds out that Frodo is not dead: Shelob paralyzed him to devour him later. The orcs must deliver him alive to Sauron, but for now they’ll carry him to the fortress, and Sam will be left alone with his despair. The little hobbit gives battle to the monster, and it, wounded, retreats, but Sam’s beloved master is dead ... A faithful servant removes the chain with the Ring from Frodo’s neck, leaves the body and weaves further in desperation to fulfill the duty instead of Frodo. But as soon as he leaves, the orcs come upon Frodo; Sam overhears their conversation and finds out that Frodo is not dead: Shelob paralyzed him to devour him later. The orcs must deliver him alive to Sauron, but for now they’ll carry him to the fortress, and Sam will be left alone with his despair.

Here the second book of the trilogy, «Two Fortresses,» ends, and the third book, «The Return of the King,» begins.

Meanwhile, the young hobbits were divided. Pippin took Gandalf with him - he rushes to the aid of Gondor, to whom the army of Sauron is approaching, Merry remains a page under King Rohan; soon he will come out with the army of this country to help the besieged Gondor. Aragorn with Legolas, Gimli and a small detachment also goes to Gondor, but in a roundabout way through the terrifying Road of the Dead, a tunnel under the mountains, from where no one has ever returned alive. Aragorn knows what he is doing: he, the returning king of Gondor, induces an army of ghosts languishing here (they once retreated from the oath given to his ancestors).

Gondor was besieged, his White Fortress was on fire, the fortress gates collapsed from the spells of King Nazgul. At this moment, Rohan's horsemen burst into the field; the black army is retreating. When King Nazgul descends from heaven on horsemen, Merry wounds him, and the niece of King Rohan kills. But the victory is about to turn into a defeat - there are too many enemies - and then the battle fleet of Sauron appears, captured by Aragorn with the help of an army of ghosts. After the victory, the defenders of Gondor decide to send a small army to the very heart of the Dark Kingdom. This suicidal decision was made to divert Sauron's attention from Frodo carrying the Ring.

An unequal battle begins at the walls of the Black Fortress. Orcs and giants trolls smash the army of Aragorn and Gandalf; Pippin strikes one last blow and faints under a mountain of corpses ...

But back to Sam and his misfortune. He sneaks into the tower where Frodo lies, and sees that the orcs have fought and killed each other. Sam again shows miracles of courage and saves the owner. Suffering from hunger, thirst and eternal darkness, the hobbits sneak into the depths of the Dark Kingdom. Here, the Ring hanging around Frodo's neck becomes unbearably heavy. Finally they get to the volcano, and here, on a slope, they are again overtaken by Gollum. It is not possible to drive him out; Together with Frodo and Sam, he rises to the vent of the volcano. It's time to give the Ring to the fire that generated it, but the power of the ominous talisman over Frodo is too great. The hobbit in madness shouts: «It is mine!», Puts the Ring on his finger; Gollum rushes at him, invisible, bites his finger along with the Ring and, stumbling, falls into a fiery vent.


The ring of power is destroyed, the Lord of the Rings perishes - the world is finally free. Giant eagles, flying to the aid of Gandalf, carry Frodo and Sam out of the sea of spilled lava. Aragorn returns to the throne of his ancestors and, with great honor, escorts the hobbits to the Shire.

There, at home, a new misfortune awaits them: the traitor Saruman entered the country of meek hobbits and mercilessly destroys it. Pippin and Merry, now experienced warriors, raise their people against the people of Saruman. The traitor-wizard perishes at the hands of his own slander. So the last point in the War of the Ring is put, the country comes back to life, but here's the oddity: Sam, Pippin and Merry are held in high esteem, and the main character, Frodo, seems to remain in the shadows. He often gets sick - the obsession of the Ring remains in his heart and body. And the humble savior of the world sits along with Gandalf and the kings of the elves on the ship - their road lies beyond the sea, into the land of blissful immortality.