GALADRIEL (V.O.) The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Rings of Power. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven were given to the Dwarves, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else desire power. For within these rings was bound the power and the will to rule each race. But they were all of them deceived, for deep in the land of Mordor, the Dark Lord Sauron forged another ring, a master ring, and into this ring he poured all his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate every living thing. One ring to rule them all. One by one, the free peoples of Middle Earth fell to the power of the Ring, but there were some who resisted. A last alliance of men and elves marched against the armies of Mordor, and on the very slopes of Mount Doom, they fought for the freedom of Middle-Earth. Victory was near, but the power of the ring could not be undone. SAURON appears, crushing a dozen MEN with each blow of his huge mace. GALADRIEL (V.O.) It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Isildur, son of the king, took up his father's sword. ISILDUR picks up sword, SAURON breaks it, but ISILDUR uses the broken blade to cut off SAURON'S fingers, and the RING. GALADRIEL (V.O.) And Sauron, enemy of the free peoples of Middle-Earth, was defeated. The Ring passed to Isildur, who had this one chance to destroy evil forever, but the hearts of men are easily corrupted. And the ring of power has a will of its own. It betrayed Isildur, to his death. ISILDUR attacked by goblins, dies in the river, and the RING is lost in the water. GALADRIEL (V.O.) And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. For two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, the ring ensnared another bearer. GOLLUM finds the RING in the riverbed. GOLLUM

My Precious, my own. GALADRIEL (V.O.) The ring came to the creature Gollum, who took it deep into the tunnels under the Misty Mountains, and there it consumed him. GOLLUM It came to me, my own, my love, my Precious. GALADRIEL (V.O.) The ring gave to Gollum unnatural long life. For five hundred years it poisoned his mind, and in the gloom of Gollum's cave it waited. Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of Power perceived that its time had come. It abandoned Gollum, but then something happened that the Ring did not intend. It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable. A hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire. What's this? A Ring! BILBO

GOLLUM Lost! My Precious is lost! GALADRIEL (V.O.) For the time will soon come when hobbits will shape the fortunes of all.

Shire 60 years later

FRODO reading a book under a tree, hears GANDALF approach singing. Runs to meet him. FRODO You're late. GANDALF A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. They both try to keep a straight face, and fail. FRODO throws himself into GANDALF'S arms for a hug. FRODO It's wonderful to see you again, Gandalf. GANDALF You didn't think I'd miss your Uncle Bilbo's birthday. FRODO What's new in the world? Tell me everything.

GANDALF Haven't we grown curious? Most unnatural for a hobbit. What can I tell you? Life in the wide world goes on, much as it has this past age, full of its own comings and goings, scarcely aware of the existence of hobbits. For which I am very grateful. They pass a field where tents and a banner are being set up. GANDALF Ah, the long-expected party. How is the old rascal? I understand this is to be a party of special magnificence. FRODO You know Bilbo. He has the whole place in an uproar. GANDALF Well, that should please him. FRODO Half the Shire's been invited. He's up to something. GANDALF Indeed? FRODO All right, keep your secrets. Before you came along, we Bagginses were very well thought of. Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected. GANDALF If you're referring to that incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. I only gave your uncle a little nudge out the door. FRODO Whatever you did, you have been officially labeled a disturber of the peace. A group of HOBBIT children see GANDALF and come running. CHILDREN Gandalf, Gandalf! Fireworks, Gandalf! GANDALF pretends he won't, but he sets off a butterfly firework for them. An old grandmother's smile at the children's delight turns to a more socially acceptable frown when an annoyed mother becomes witness. FRODO Gandalf, I'm glad you're back. FRODO jumps off the wagon. GANDALF

So am I, dear boy, so am I.

GANDALF stops his wagon in front of Bag End, passes a sign 'No Admittance Except on Party Business', knocks on the door with his staff. A disgruntled voice comes from within. BILBO No thank you! We don't want any more wellwishers, visitors, or distant relations! GANDALF How about very old friends? Gandalf? Bilbo Baggins! My dear Gandalf! BILBO BILBO GANDALF

GANDALF One hundred and eleven years old! Who would believe it? You haven't aged a day. BILBO Come in, come in, welcome, would you like some tea? Or perhaps something stronger. I still have some of the Old Winyards left. 1296, a very good year! Almost as old as I am! My Father put it down. What say we open one? BILBO puts GANDALF'S hat and staff away. Just tea, thank you. GANDALF

GANDALF knocks the chandelier, steadies it, and hits his head on the beam when he turns around. BILBO I was expecting you last week, but you come and go as you please... BILBO gathers food while GANDALF looks at the maps spread out on BILBO'S table. BILBO I can make you some eggs if you like... BILBO comes into the room, but GANDALF isn't there. GANDALF appears from behind him. GANDALF Just tea. BILBO Yes, right, you don't mind if I do?

BILBO has a mouthful of food already. GANDALF Oh, no, not at all. Someone knocks on the door. BILBO I'm not at home! I need to get away from these confounded relatives, hanging on the bell all day, never giving me a moment's rest. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains! And then find someplace quiet where I can finish my book. Oh, right, the tea. GANDALF You mean to go through with your plan, then? BILBO Yes, everything's in hand. The arrangements have all been made. GANDALF Frodo suspects. BILBO Of course he suspects, he's a Baggins, not some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle! GANDALF You will tell him, won't you? BILBO Yes, yes. GANDALF He's very fond of you, you know. BILBO I know. He'd probably come with me if I asked him to, but I think in his heart Frodo is still in love with the Shire. The woods, the fields, little rivers. I'm old, Gandalf. I know I don't look it, but I begin to feel it in my heart. I feel thin, stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday, a very long holiday, and I don't expect I shall return. In fact, I mean not to! BILBO and GANDALF sit outside Bag-End, smoking. BILBO Old Toby! Finest weed in Southfarthing. BILBO blows a smoke-ring, GANDALF blows a ship, which sails through the ring. BILBO Gandalf, my old friend, this will be a night to remember!

GANDALF sets off fireworks - a tree, fountain that turns into jet planes. FRODO sits down next to SAM. FRODO Go on, Sam, ask Rosie for a dance! SAM is too shy. SAM I think I'll just have another ale. FRODO Oh, no you don't! FRODO shoves SAM at ROSIE, they dance off BILBO is telling his story to the young HOBBIT children. BILBO So there I was, at the mercy of three monstrous trolls, and they were arguing about how to cook us! Whether it be turned on a spit, or if they should sit on us one by one and squash us into jelly! They spent so much time arguing the whithertos and whyfors that the first light of the sun crept up over the tops of the trees and turned them all to stone! GANDALF sets off a butterflies firework, which the children try to catch. GANDALF returns to his wagon for more fireworks, and when he leaves, MERRY and PIPPIN come out to steal one of their own. MERRY gives PIPPIN a boost into the wagon, where he roots around and comes up with one. MERRY Not that one! The big one, the big one! PIPPIN grabs the largest firework he can find, which is bright red and huge. They hurry into the tent, so they won't be caught with it. PIPPIN lights it. PIPPIN There! MERRY You're supposed to put it in the ground first! PIPPIN It is in the ground! Outside! This was your idea! The firework goes off, taking the roof of the tent with MERRY PIPPIN

it, and leaving MERRY and PIPPIN flat on the ground, covered in soot. The firework goes straight up, becomes a dragon's head, turns around, sprouts wings, and flies in low over the crowd. General panic. FRODO sees it coming and tries to warn BILBO. FRODO Bilbo, watch out for the dragon! BILBO Nonsense, there hasn't been a dragon in these parts for a thousand years! They duck to avoid the dragon, which, having given everyone a good scare, dissolves into a spectacular shower of sparks. MERRY and PIPPIN observe the results and are well pleased. PIPPIN That was good! Let's get another one! MERRY

GANDALF comes up behind and grabs MERRY and PIPPIN by their ears. GANDALF Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took. I might have known. MERRY and PIPPIN end up washing dishes in penance. Several HOBBITS go by carrying an enormous cake laden with candles, and BILBO stands up. Speech! Speech! BILBO My dear Bagginses and Boffins, Tooks and Brandybucks, Gubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots! Proudfeet! BILBO Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday! Alas, eleventy one years is much too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits! I don't know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve! I have things to do. I've put this off for far too long. I regret to announce this is the end! I'm going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell! Goodbye. BILBO puts on the ring and vanishes, to the astonishment of everyone except GANDALF. Footsteps up the path to Bag End. Door opens. BILBO appears, taking off the RING. Puts it in his pocket. Chooses a staff from beside the door. GANDALF has arrived before him.

GANDALF I suppose you thought that was terribly clever. BILBO Come on, Gandalf! Did you see their faces? GANDALF There are a good many magic rings in the world, Bilbo, and none of them should be used lightly! BILBO It was just a bit of fun. Oh, I suppose you're right, as usual. BILBO gathers some things to take with him. BILBO You will keep an eye on Frodo, won't you? GANDALF Two eyes, as often as I can spare them. BILBO I'm leaving everything to him. GANDALF And this ring of yours, is that staying, too? BILBO Yes, it's in an envelope, on the mantelpiece. GANDALF looks on the mantel. BILBO Wait, no, it's here in my pocket. Isn't that odd, now? Yet, why not? Why shouldn't I keep it? GANDALF I think you should leave the ring behind. Is that so hard? BILBO Well, no, and yes. Now it comes to it. I don't feel like parting with it! I found it! It came to me! GANDALF There's no need to get angry. BILBO And what if I'm angry! It's your fault! It's mine. My own, my precious... GANDALF Precious? It's been called that before, but not by you. BILBO What business is it of yours what I do with my

own things? GANDALF I think you've had that ring quite long enough. BILBO You want it for yourself! A shadow draws around GANDALF, revealing the power he usually keeps hidden. GANDALF Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap tricks! I am not trying to rob you! I'm trying to help you. The shadow retreats, and GANDALF is the kindly old man again. BILBO runs to him. GANDALF All your long years, we have been friends. Trust me now as you once did. Let it go. BILBO You're right. The ring must go to Frodo. It's late, and the road is long. Yes, it is time. BILBO gathers his pack and heads out the door. GANDALF stops him on the doorstep. GANDALF Bilbo, the ring is still in your pocket. BILBO Oh, yes. BILBO takes out the ring, holds it on his palm, and with a great effort, turns his hand until the ring slips off and drops on the floor. BILBO walks out, takes a deep breath. BILBO I've thought of an ending for my book. 'And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.' GANDALF And I'm sure you will, old friend. Good bye, Gandalf. BILBO

They shake hands, friends as always. GANDALF Goodbye, dear Bilbo. Exit BILBO, singing. GANDALF Until our next meeting.

GANDALF reaches down to pick up the RING, sees the EYE, and leaves it where it is. Sits in front of the fire, thinking about BILBO'S words, and the ring'S history. BILBO It's mine, my own, my precious. GANDALF Riddles in the dark... Precious... FRODO Bilbo! FRODO enters, sees the ring and picks it up. FRODO He's gone, hasn't he? He talked about it for so long, I never really believed he would do it. Gandalf? GANDALF looks over, sees FRODO has the RING. GANDALF Bilbo's Ring. He's gone to stay with the elves. He's left you Bag End, along with all his possessions. The Ring is yours now. GANDALF holds out an envelope, FRODO slips the RING inside. GANDALF seals it with wax. GANDALF Put it somewhere out of sight. Where are you going? GANDALF heads for the door. GANDALF There are things I need to see to. What things? FRODO FRODO

GANDALF Questions, questions that need answering. FRODO But you've only just arrived! I don't understand. GANDALF Neither do I. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. GANDALF rides to the White city, sees fire over the mountains. BARAD-DUR rebuilt, a voice screams 'Shire! Baggins!' The Nine ride out the gate. GANDALF looks through the library in the White City, finds the manuscript of ISILDUR'S tale. The year 3434 of the Second Age. Here follows the account of Isildur, High King of Gondor,

and the finding of the Ring. The Ring of power has come to me. It will become an heirloom of my kingdom. All those who follow in my bloodline will be bound to its fate, for I will risk no hurt to the Ring. It is precious to me, though I buy it with a great pain. The markings on the band fade, the writing that was once as bright as red flame has all but disappeared, a secret now only fire can tell. A HOBBIT cutting wood is startled by a DARK RIDER. His dog sensibly retreats into the house. Shire. Baggins. N

HOBBIT No Bagginses here. They're all up in Hobbitton. That way. He follows his dog as the RIDER turns toward HOBBITTON. FRODO returns home from the inn, the window is open and all is dark. GANDALF grabs his shoulder from behind. GANDALF Is it secret? Is it safe? FRODO gets out the envelope, GANDALF throws it in the fire. What are you doing? FRODO

Envelope burns away, revealing the RING. GANDALF retrieves it from the fire with tongs. GANDALF Hold out your hand, Frodo. It's quite cool. What can you see? Can you see anything? FRODO Nothing. There's nothing. Wait. There are markings. It's some form of Elvish, but I can't read it. GANDALF There are few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I shall not utter here. FRODO Mordor? GANDALF In the common tongue, it reads, One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. GANDALF This is the One Ring, forged by Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom. Isildur took it from the

hand of Sauron himself. FRODO Bilbo found it, in Gollum's cave. GANDALF For sixty years, it lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age. But no longer. There is evil stirring in Mordor. The Ring has awoken. It's heard its master's call. FRODO But he was destroyed. Sauron was destroyed. The RING whispers denial. GANDALF No, Frodo. His spirit endured. Sauron's lifeforce was bound to the Ring, and the Ring survived. Sauron has returned. His orcs have multiplied. His fortress of Barad-Dur is rebuilt in Mordor. He needs only this Ring to cover all the lands in a second darkness. He is seeking it, seeking it, all his thought is bent on it. The Ring yearns above all else to return to the hand of its master. They are one, the Ring and the Dark Lord. He must never find it. FRODO grabs the RING. FRODO All right, we keep it hidden. We put it away, we never speak of it again. Nobody knows its here, do they? GANDALF is silent. FRODO Do they, Gandalf? GANDALF There was one other who knew that Bilbo had the ring. I looked everywhere for the creature Gollum, but the Enemy found him first. GANDALF I don't know how long they tortured him, but amid the endless screams and inane babble, they heard two words. Shire. Baggins. FRODO Shire. Baggins. But that would lead them here! The RIDERS kill a night watchman. FRODO holds out the RING to GANDALF. FRODO Take it, Gandalf, you must take it! GANDALF You cannot offer me this Ring!

I am giving it to you!

FRODO

GANDALF Don't tempt me! I dare not take this Ring, not even to keep it safe! Understand, I would use this Ring out of a desire to do good, but through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine. FRODO But it cannot stay in the Shire! GANDALF No. No, it can't. FRODO accepts his duty. What must I do? FRODO

GANDALF You must go, and go quickly. Where? FRODO

GANDALF Get out of the Shire. Make for the village of Bree. FRODO What about you? GANDALF I will wait for you at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. FRODO And the Ring will be safe there? GANDALF I don't know, Frodo. I don't have any answers. I must see the head of my order. He is both powerful and wise. Trust me, he will know what to do. You must leave the name of Baggins behind you, for that name is not safe outside the Shire. Travel only by day, and stay off the road. FRODO I can cut across country easily enough. GANDALF stops, looking at FRODO, who is within minutes packed, cloaked, and ready for a long and dangerous journey. GANDALF Dear Frodo. Hobbits are the most amazing creatures. You can learn everything there is to know about their ways in a month, and after a

hundred years they can still surprise you! Noise outside the window. GANDALF Get down! FRODO drops to the floor, GANDALF reaches out the window with his staff, hits something. Hauls SAM in by the scruff of his neck. GANDALF Confound it all, Samwise Gamgee, have you been eavesdropping? SAM I ain't been dropping no eaves, sir, honest, I was just cutting the grass outside the window, if you follow me. GANDALF A bit late for trimming the verge. I heard raised voices. SAM

GANDALF What did you hear? Speak! SAM Nothing important. That is, I heard a good deal about a ring, and a dark lord, and something about the end of the world. Please don't hurt me, sir, don't turn me into anything unnatural. GANDALF No? Perhaps not. I've thought of a better use for you. GANDALF and FRODO walking, GANDALF leading his horse. GANDALF Come along, Samwise, keep up! SAM runs to catch up. The three stop under the trees. GANDALF Be careful, both of you. The enemy has many spies in his service. Birds, beasts. Is it safe? FRODO pats his pocket, where the RING is hidden. GANDALF Never put it on! The servants of the Dark Lord will be drawn to its power. Remember, the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found. GANDALF leaves. FRODO and SAM cross fields, going towards BREE. SAM stops on the edge of a field of wheat.

This is it. This is what?

SAM FRODO

SAM If I take one more step, it will be the farthest from home I've ever been. FRODO Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say. It's a dangerous thing, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you'll be swept off to. GANDALF riding to Isengard. SARUMAN Smoke rises from the mountain of hour grows late, and Gandalf the Isengard seeking my council. For you have come, is it not, my old GANDALF Saruman. GANDALF and SARUMAN walking outside Isengard. You are sure of this? Beyond any doubt. SARUMAN So the One Ring has been found. GANDALF All these long years it was in the Shire, right under my nose. SARUMAN And you had not the wit to see it. Your love of the Halflings' leaf has clearly slowed your mind. GANDALF We still have time, time to counter Sauron, if we act quickly. SARUMAN Time? What time do you think we have? SARUMAN and GANDALF inside Isengard. SARUMAN Sauron has regained much of his former strength. He cannot yet take physical form, but his spirit has lost none of its potency. SARUMAN GANDALF Doom. The Grey rides to that is why friend?

Concealed in his fortress he sees all. His gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You know of what I speak. A great eye, lidless, wreathed in flame. The Eye of Sauron. GANDALF

SARUMAN He is gathering all evil to him. Very soon he will have assembled an army large enough to assault Middle-earth. You know this? How? I have seen it. They enter another room, where a stone sphere lies covered. GANDALF A Palantir is a dangerous tool. SARUMAN uncovers the stone. SARUMAN Why? Why should we fear to use it? GANDALF They are not all accounted for, the lost seeing stones. You do not know who else may be watching. As he re-covers the stone, GANDALF sees the EYE SARUMAN The hour is later than you think. Sauron's forces are already moving. The Nine have left Minas Mordor. GANDALF The Nine? SARUMAN They crossed the river Isen on midsummer's eve, disguised as riders in black. GANDALF They have reached the Shire! SARUMAN They will find the Ring, and kill the one who carries it. GANDALF Frodo! GANDALF tries to leave, but the doors slam, one by one. SARUMAN GANDALF SARUMAN

You did not truly think that a hobbit could contend with the will of Sauron? There are none who can. Against the power of Mordor there can be no victory. We must join him, Gandalf. Join with Sauron. It would be wise, old friend. GANDALF Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for madness? They fight, GANDALF loses his staff and is captured. SARUMAN I offered you the choice of aiding me willingly, but you have elected the way of pain! GANDALF rises toward the roof of Isengard. Darkness. SAM emerges from a corn patch, alone. Mister Frodo? Frodo! SAM

FRODO reappears from the path ahead. SAM I thought I'd lost you. FRODO What are you talking about, Sam? SAM It's just something Gandalf said. What did he say? FRODO

SAM Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee. And I don't mean to. FRODO We're still in the Shire, Sam, what could possibly happen? They get knocked over by MERRY and PIPPIN. PIPPIN Frodo! Look, Merry, it's Frodo! You get off him! SAM

SAM shakes off MERRY, picks PIPPIN off FRODO by the scruff of his neck. MERRY hands SAM an armful of vegetables. Hold these. MERRY

PIPPIN What's the meaning of this? SAM You've been into Farmer Maggott's crop! They start running through a cornfield. MERRY I don't know what he's so upset about, it's only a few carrots. PIPPIN And some cabbages. And the three bags of potatoes we lifted last week. And the mushrooms the week before that. MERRY Yes, Pippin! My point is, he's obviously overreacting! They all fall over a cliff, land in a heap. PIPPIN lands inches away from a pile of manure. PIPPIN Ooh! That was a close one. MERRY I think I've broken something. MERRY pulls out a broken carrot. SAM Trust a Brandybuck and a Took! MERRY Nonsense! That was just a detour! A shortcut! Shortcut to what? Mushrooms! Three start gathering mushrooms into a bag. FRODO looks down the road. FRODO I think we should get off the road. Something dark approaches. FRODO Get off the road, quick! They hide under the roots of a tree. The RINGWRAITH comes, on his horse. Gets off the horse, sniffing as though he can smell that the RING is close. A spider crawls out, and a centipede, and a lot of worms. For the first time, the RING tries to impose its will on FRODO, pushing him to put it on SAM PIPPIN

so they will be found. SAM distracts him. MERRY throws something to distract the WRAITH, and they run away. What was that? PIPPIN

It is dark, they have been running for some time, watching for the RIDER. Anything? Nothing. FRODO

MERRY That dark rider was looking for something, or someone. Frodo? RIDER appears, in the distance. Get down! They hide again. FRODO I have to leave the Shire. Sam and I have to get to Bree. MERRY Bucklebury ferry. Follow me. They run, but the horse is right behind them. FRODO gets separated from the rest, who get to the ferry ahead of him. MERRY Sam, get the ropes! They untie the raft. Run, Frodo! The RIDER is right behind FRODO. Go! FRODO

FRODO jumps off the dock, and just makes it onto the ferry. The RIDER stops at the water's edge. FRODO Where is the nearest crossing? MERRY Brandywine bridge. Twenty miles. They look back to see three RIDERS now, heading for the bridge. Four HOBBITS arrive at BREE, in the pouring rain, knock on the gate. Guard answers. Seeing no one at the window, he opens the lower window.

GUARD What do you want? FRODO We are headed for the Prancing Pony. GUARD Hobbits. Four hobbits! What business brings you to Bree? FRODO We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is our own. GUARD Very well, young sir, didn't mean no offence by it. It's my job to ask questions after nightfall. There's been talk of some strange folk about. Can't be too careful. Arrival at the Prancing Pony. FRODO Excuse me? BARLIMAN Good evening, little Masters. If you're looking for accommodation, we have some cozy hobbit-sized rooms available, Mr...? FRODO Underhill. My name's Underhill. We're friends of Gandalf the Grey. Would you tell him we've arrived? BARLIMAN Gandalf? Elderly chap, big grey beard, pointy hat. Haven't seen him in six months. What do we do now? SAM

FRODO He'll come, Sam. He'll be here. MERRY sits down. What's that? PIPPIN

MERRY This, my friend, is a pint. PIPPIN It comes in pints? I'm going to get one. SAM Pippin, you've had a whole half already. PIPPIN goes to the bar for his pint. SAM

That man's done nothing but stare at you since we came in. FRODO stops the innkeeper. FRODO That man in the corner, who is he? BARLIMAN He's one of them Rangers. Dangerous folk, they are, wandering the wilds. What his right name is I've never heard, but round here he's known as Strider. FRODO Strider. RING tries again to get FRODO to put it on, whispering Baggins, Baggins. PIPPIN Baggins? Sure I know a Baggins - Frodo Baggins, over there. He's my second cousin, once removed on his Mother's side. FRODO runs toward PIPPIN, at the bar. Pippin! Steady on! FRODO trips, the ring falls on his finger. The Nine turn towards BREE. FRODO sees the EYE for the first time. FRODO takes off the ring and is dragged off by STRIDER. STRIDER You draw far too much attention to yourself, Mr. Underhill. What do you want? FRODO FRODO PIPPIN

STRIDER A little more caution from you, that is no trinket you carry. FRODO I carry nothing. STRIDER Indeed? I can avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely - that is a rare gift. Who are you? Are you frightened? FRODO FRODO STRIDER

Yes. STRIDER Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you. The three HOBBITS come in, threatening STRIDER if he has hurt FRODO. STRIDER You have a stout heart, little hobbit, but it will not save you. You can no longer wait for the wizard, Frodo. They are coming.

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

STRIDER They were once men. Great kings of men, but Sauron the Deceiver gave them nine rings of power, and, blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the ring, drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you. The party leaves BREE, avoiding the roads. FRODO Where are you taking us? STRIDER Into the wilds. They walk for a while. MERRY How do we know this Strider is a friend of Gandalf's? FRODO We have no choice but to trust him. SAM Where is he taking us? STRIDER To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, the home of Elrond. SAM

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

HOBBITS stop. STRIDER Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall. PIPPIN What about breakfast? You have had it. STRIDER

PIPPIN We've had one, yes, what about second breakfast? MERRY I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip. PIPPIN What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? Do you think he knows about them? MERRY I wouldn't count on it. STRIDER throws an apple to MERRY, who catches it, and PIPPIN, who gets hit in the head.

SARUMAN using Palantir. SARUMAN The power of Isengard is at your command, Sauron, Lord of the Earth. Build me an army worthy of Mordor. SARUMAN sits in his study, looking uncomfortable. ORCS enter, looking out of place. ORC What orders from Mordor, my lord? What does the High command? SARUMAN We have work to do. ORCS begin pulling down trees. GANDALF observes from his prison atop the tower. ORC The trees are strong, my lord. Their roots go deep.

SARUMAN Rip them all down.

FRODO and company cross harsh lands. STRIDER This was once the great watchtower of Amon Sul. We will rest here tonight. STRIDER unwraps four swords, passes them out to HOBBITS. STRIDER These are for you. Keep them close. I'm going to have a look around. Stay here.

FRODO is napping, wakes up to find the others have built a fire. FRODO What are you doing? MERRY Sausages, tomatoes, nice crispy bacon! SAM We saved some for you! FRODO Put it out, you fools, put it out! FRODO stamps out the fire. PIPPIN That's nice, ash on my tomatoes. They look over the edge to find RINGWRAITHS approaching. FRODO pulls out his sword. Go! FRODO

HOBBITS retreat to the center of the ruin, stand back to back, not knowing where the WRAITHS will come from. Five WRAITHS enter the ruin. SAM Back, you devils! SAM tries to fight them, gets tossed aside. MERRY and PIPPIN step in front, get pushed away. FRODO drops his sword, backs away. Falls down. The WRAITHS seem to know he has the RING. He pulls it out of his pocket, and they all focus on it. WRAITHS close in, and he puts on the ring. The RINGWRAITH leader tries to take the ring. It takes all FRODO'S strength to pull it away. The Wraith seems angry that FRODO has denied him and stabs him in the shoulder. STRIDER attacks WRAITHS, FRODO takes the ring off.

Frodo!

SAM

SAM runs to FRODO, now that he can see him. FRODO Oh, Sam! STRIDER stabs and sets fire to WRAITHS, they go away. Strider! Help him! SAM

STRIDER picks up the sword, but the blade dissolves into dust. STRIDER He's been stabbed with a Morgul blade. This is beyond my skill to heal, he needs elvish medicine. STRIDER picks up FRODO, who is in a lot of pain. STRIDER Hang on, Frodo. SAM It's six days to Rivendell! He'll never make it! Gandalf. Gandalf! FRODO

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

STRIDER carries FRODO, they stop at the three stone TROLLs. SAM Mr. Frodo? He's going cold! PIPPIN Is he going to die? STRIDER He is passing into the shadow world. Soon he will become a wraith like them. There is a cry, not far enough away. They're close! MERRY

STRIDER Sam, do you know the Athelas plant? Athelas? Kingsfoil. SAM Kingsfoil? Aye, it's a weed. STRIDER It may help to slow the poison. SAM and STRIDER search for plant, STRIDER finds it. ARWEN What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard? SAM STRIDER

FRODO sees ARWEN as she is from the shadow world- a beautiful, glowing elf-maiden in white robes. ARWEN Frodo, I am Arwen. I've come to help you. Hear my voice. Return to the light. A black stain is spreading across FRODO'S eyes as the poison takes over. Who is she? SAM She's an elf! ARWEN He's fading. He's not going to last. We have to get him to my father. STRIDER chews up some of the Kingsfoil and presses it into the wound. ARWEN I've been looking for you for two days. There are five wraiths behind you. Where the other four are I do not know. STRIDER lifts FRODO onto ARWEN'S horse. STRIDER Stay with the hobbits. I will send horses for you. ARWEN I am the faster rider. I will take him. STRIDER The road is too dangerous. ARWEN

If I can get across the river, the power of my people will protect him. I do not fear them. ARWEN gets on her horse, behind FRODO. STRIDER Arwen. Ride hard and don't look back. SAM What are you doing? Those wraiths are still out there! ARWEN and FRODO ride, chased by some RINGWRAITHS. WRAITHS try to influence FRODO, either to give in to the poison or to put the RING on. ARWEN No! Frodo, you must not! They get to the river, ARWEN stops partway across. RIDERS or their horses do not want to enter the river. N Give up the halfling, she-elf! ARWEN draws her sword. ARWEN If you want him, come and claim him! RIDERS start to cross the river. ARWEN speaks to the river in elvish, and it rises suddenly. A flood of water washes down the riverbed, led by white horse-shapes. WRAITHS are washed away. FRODO is losing his battle. ARWEN gets off her horse, lays him on the ground. ARWEN No, Frodo! Don't give in! Not now! ARWEN Let what grace is given me be passed to him. Let him be spared. Save him. FRODO'S world dissolves into light.

FRODO wakes up, in bed. Where am I? FRODO

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

GANDALF Yes, I'm here. And you're lucky to be here,

too. A few more hours and you would have been beyond our aid, but you have some strength in you, dear hobbit. FRODO What happened? Why didn't you meet us? GANDALF I am sorry. I was delayed.

Top of the tower. SARUMAN The friendship of Saruman is not lightly cast aside. One ill turn deserves another. SARUMAN holding GANDALF out over the edge of the tower. SARUMAN It is over. Embrace the power of the Ring or embrace your own destruction. GANDALF The ring has but one master. Only one may bend it to his will, and he does not share power. GANDALF jumps off the edge of the tower, King of Eagles catches him and they fly away. SARUMAN So you have chosen death.

FRODO Gandalf, what is it? Nothing. SAM comes in, and ELROND. SAM Bless you, Frodo, you're awake! GANDALF Sam has hardly left your side. SAM We were that worried about you, weren't we, Mr. Gandalf? GANDALF Thanks to the skills of Master Elrond, you have begun to mend. ELROND Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins. GANDALF

FRODO meets MERRY and PIPPIN again, and BILBO, looking older. FRODO Bilbo! Hello, Frodo, my lad! FRODO looking at BILBO'S book. FRODO There and back again, a hobbit's tale, by Bilbo Baggins. This is wonderful! BILBO I meant to go back, wander the paths of the Mirkwood, visit Laketown, see the Lonely Mountain again, but age, it seems, has finally caught up with me. FRODO I miss the Shire. I spent all my childhood pretending I was somewhere else, off with you on one of your adventures, but my own adventure turned out to be quite different. I'm not like you, Bilbo. My dear boy. BILBO BILBO

SAM packing. SAM Now what have I forgotten? Packed already? FRODO

SAM Doesn't hurt to be prepared. FRODO I thought you wanted to see the elves, Sam. SAM I do. More than anything. FRODO

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

The Ring will be safe in Rivendell. I am ready to go home.

GANDALF and ELROND, watching FRODO and SAM. His strength returns. ELROND

GANDALF That wound will never fully heal. He will carry it for the rest of his life. ELROND Yet to have come so far still bearing the ring, the hobbit has shown remarkable resilience to its evil. GANDALF It is a burden he should never have had to bear. We can ask no more of Frodo. ELROND Gandalf, the Enemy is moving. Sauron's forces are massing in the East. The Eye is fixed on Rivendell. Now you tell me Saruman has betrayed us. The list of our allies grows thin. GANDALF His treachery goes deeper than you know. At Falcraft, Saruman has crossed orcs with goblin men. He is breeding an army in the caverns of Isengard. An army that can move in sunlight, and travel great distances at speed. Saruman is coming for the ring. ELROND This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the elves. We do not have the strength to stand against Mordor and Isengard both. The ring cannot stay here. BOROMIR arrives, and LEGOLAS, and a group of DWARVES. ELROND This peril belongs to all Middle-Earth, and they must decide now how to end it. The age of elves is over. My people are leaving these shores. Who will you turn to once we are gone? The dwarves hide in their mountains seeking riches and care not for the troubles of others. GANDALF We must place our hope in men. ELROND Men! The race of men is weak, failing. The blood of Numenor is all but spent, its pride and dignity forgotten. It is because of men that the Ring survives. I was there, three thousand years ago, when Isildur took the ring.

I was there when the strength of men failed. ISILDUR takes the RING. ELROND Follow me! ELROND I led Isildur into the heart of Mount Doom, where it was forged, the one place it could be destroyed. ELROND Throw it in the fire! Destroy it! No. Isildur! ELROND It should have ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure. Isildur kept the Ring. The line of Kings is broken. There is no strength left in the world of men. They are scattered, divided, leaderless. GANDALF There is one who could unite them. Who could reclaim the throne of Gondor. ELROND He turned from that path long ago. He has chosen exile. ISILDUR ELROND

STRIDER reading a book. BOROMIR The shards of Narsil. The blade that cut the ring from Sauron's hand. He cuts his finger on it. BOROMIR Still sharp. But no more than a broken hilt. The sword falls when BOROMIR tries to replace it on the statue. ARAGORN picks it up, and returns it to its place.

ARWEN Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur's heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate. STRIDER The same blood flows in my veins, the same weakness.

ARWEN Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it. The shadow does not yet hold sway. Not over you, not over me. Do you remember the first time we met? STRIDER I thought I had strayed into a dream. ARWEN Long years have passed since then. You did not have the cares you carry now. Do you remember what I told you? STRIDER You said you would bind yourself to me, and forsake the immortal life of your people. ARWEN And to that I hold. I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of the world alone. I choose a mortal life. ARWEN gives ARAGORN the flower necklace she wears. STRIDER You cannot give me this. ARWEN It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart.

A council is gathered of MEN and ELVES and DWARVES and FRODO. ELROND Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You are summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-Earth stands on the brink of destruction. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom. ELROND Bring forth the ring, Frodo. FRODO puts the RING on the stand in the center of the council, and seems much relieved to be rid of it. So it is true. The Ring of power. The doom of man. It is a Why not Steward bay. By BOROMIR gift, a gift to the foes of Mordor. use this Ring? Long has my father, the of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at the blood of my people are your lands

kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him. STRIDER You cannot wield it. None of us can. The ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master. BOROMIR What would a ranger know of this matter? LEGOLAS He is no mere ranger. This is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance. BOROMIR This is Isildur's heir? LEGOLAS And heir to the throne of Gondor. Sit down, Legolas. STRIDER

BOROMIR Gondor has no king, Gondor needs no king. GANDALF Aragorn is right. We cannot control it. ELROND We have but one choice. The ring must be destroyed. The RING murmurs its displeasure. GIMLI What are we waiting for? GIMLI picks up his axe and hits the RING. FRODO sees the eye, and the axe is shattered. GIMLI is knocked to the ground. ELROND The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. It was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor, and cast back into the fiery chasm from which it came. One of you must do this. Silence. BOROMIR One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the great eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. It is folly. Not with ten thousand men could you do this.

LEGOLAS Have you heard nothing that Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed! GIMLI And I suppose you think you're the one to do it? BOROMIR And what if we fail? What happens when Sauron takes back what is his? GIMLI I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf! Never trust an elf!

The RING chants, telling its name, and its terrible purpose, in the language of its master. The council dissolves into arguing, flames spread across the ring as it feeds their distrust and anger. FRODO I will take it. Arguing continues. I will take it! FRODO

GANDALF hears, and it pains him that FRODO must continue to carry the RING, but the rest of the council has just demonstrated how easily the RING can influence most people. Silence returns. FRODO I will take the ring to Mordor. Though I do not know the way. GANDALF I will help you bear this burden for as long as it is yours to bear. STRIDER If by my life or my death I can protect you, I will. ARAGORN kneels in front of FRODO. You have my sword. And my bow. And my axe. GIMLI STRIDER LEGOLAS

BOROMIR You carry the fate of us all, little one. But

if this is truly the will of the council, Gondor will see it done. SAM runs in. SAM Here! Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me. SAM takes his place beside FRODO. ELROND Indeed, it is hardly possible to separate the two of you, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not. Very well. MERRY and PIPPIN barge in. MERRY We're going, too! You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to keep us away. PIPPIN Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission. Quest. Thing. MERRY Well, that rules you out, Pip. ELROND Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring. PIPPIN Great. Now, where are we going?

BILBO gives FRODO his old sword and armor. BILBO My old sword, Sting. Take it, take it! It's so light! FRODO

BILBO Yes. Made by the elves, you know. The blade glows blue when orcs are close. And it's times like those, dear boy, you have to be extra careful. Here's a pretty thing. BILBO holds up a chainmail vest, sized for a HOBBIT. BILBO As light as a feather, and as hard as dragon scales. Let me see you put it on. FRODO starts to take off his shirt. BILBO Oh, my old ring. I should very much like to

hold it again, one last time. FRODO knows better, and buttons up his shirt again. BILBO has an evil moment, then recovers. BILBO I'm sorry I brought this upon you, my boy. I'm sorry you must carry this burden. I'm sorry for everything! FRODO comforts him. The company leaves Rivendell, wanders past ruins, over mountains, through fields. GANDALF We must hold to this course west of the Misty Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds, the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us, and from there our road turns east toward Mordor. They stop for lunch, MERRY and PIPPIN practice swordfighting with BOROMIR. BOROMIR Very good. Again! GIMLI If anyone were to ask my opinion, which I note they have not, I would say we're taking the long way around! Gandalf, we could go through the Mines of Moria. My cousin Balin would give us a royal welcome! GANDALF No, Gimli, I would not take the road through Moria unless I had no other choice. ARAGORN adds comments. STRIDER Move your feet! BOROMIR accidentally hurts PIPPIN. Ow! Sorry! PIPPIN drops his sword, kicks BOROMIR in the shins and tackles him. MERRY joins in, and the two of them wrestle BOROMIR to the ground. LEGOLAS notices something on the horizon. SAM What's that? GIMLI It's nothing, just a wisp of cloud. PIPPIN BOROMIR

Everyone looks. BOROMIR It's moving fast, against the wind. LEGOLAS Crebain from Dunland! Hide! Everyone gathers possessions, they put out the fire and take cover. When crows leave, they come out again. GANDALF Spies for Saruman. The passage south is being watched. We will have to go over the pass of Caradhras. Climbing a snowy mountain, FRODO falls and rolls down. STRIDER catches him, but the ring is missing. BOROMIR picks it up. STRIDER Boromir. BOROMIR It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing. STRIDER Boromir! Give the ring to Frodo. BOROMIR As you wish. I care not. But he too obviously does care, and when BOROMIR turns away, STRIDER takes his hand off his sword. The crows return to Isengard, report to SARUMAN. SARUMAN So, you tried to lead them over Caradhras. And if that fails? Where will you go? If the mountain defeats you, will you risk a more dangerous road? LEGOLAS runs atop the snow while the others struggle through it. Stands at the edge of a cliff, listening. LEGOLAS There is a fell voice on the air! Saruman! GANDALF

Rocks fall from the side of the mountain, followed by snow. STRIDER He's trying to bring down the mountain! We must turn back! GANDALF

No! GANDALF tries to stop the storm, but SARUMAN is reinforcing it from Isengard. Lightning strikes the mountain, and LEGOLAS pulls GANDALF back from the edge just before snow falls and buries them all. One by one, they dig out or shake the snow off. STRIDER We must get off the mountain! BOROMIR We must take the Pass of Rohan, or take the road west to my city! STRIDER Rohan takes us too close to Isengard! GIMLI If we cannot go over the mountain, I say let us go under it! SARUMAN Moria. You fear to go into those mines. The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of KhazadDum. Shadow and flame. GANDALF Let the Ringbearer decide! FRODO We will go through the mines! GANDALF So be it.

The walls of Moria.

GIMLI

They walk next to a dark lake. FRODO'S foot slips in the water, and he scrambles back. They reach a wall framed by two great trees. GANDALF scrubs away dirt to find a pattern on the wall. GANDALF Isildin. It mirrors only starlight and moonlight. Moon comes out, showing the shape of a door, with writing above in elvish. GANDALF It reads, The Gates of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak Friend and enter. PIPPIN What do you suppose it means? GANDALF

Simple. If you are a friend, you speak the password, and the doors open. GANDALF tries a number of passwords, but none of them work. ARAGORN and SAM unload the pony and let him go. STRIDER The mines are no place for a pony, even one so brave as Bill. Go on. SAM Bye bye, Bill. STRIDER Don't worry, Sam, he knows the way home. MERRY or PIPPIN is throwing rocks in the water, ARAGORN stops him. STRIDER Don't disturb the water! BOROMIR shares his suspicion. GANDALF This is useless! Having tried any number of passwords, GANDALF sits down in disgust. FRODO It's a riddle. What's the Elvish word for friend? GANDALF Mellon. The gates open. They go in. GIMLI Soon, mister elf, you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the dwarves! Roaring fires, malt beer, red meat off the bone! This is the home of my cousin Balin. And they call it a mine. A mine! BOROMIR This is no mine, it's a tomb. Light reveals skeletons all over No! GIMLI

LEGOLAS pulls an arrow out of one of the skeletons. LEGOLAS Goblins! BOROMIR We make for the Gap of Rohan! We should never have come here! Get out! Get out!

FRODO is grabbed by a tentacle from the water. Strider! SAM

SAM cuts off the tentacle, then a dozen more push the HOBBITS away while one grabs FRODO. Tentacles dangle FRODO far above the water. ARAGORN and BOROMIR chop off tentacles. When a head shows, and a giant mouth, LEGOLAS puts arrows in it. ARAGORN chops off the tentacle holding FRODO, BOROMIR catches him when he falls. LEGOLAS puts an arrow in one of the KRAKEN'S eyes, giving ARAGORN and BOROMIR time to get out of the water. GANDALF Into the mines! They retreat to the mine. KRAKEN crumbles the gate behind them. GANDALF Now we have but one choice. We must face the long dark of Moria. Be on your guard! There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world. It is a four day journey to the other side. Let us hope our presence may go unnoticed. PIPPIN almost falls down the stairs, which are steep and cluttered with debris. Pippin! MERRY

They come to the top of the stairs. GANDALF I have no memory of this place. Are we lost? No, we're not lost. I think we're lost. PIPPIN PIPPIN MERRY

MERRY Quiet, Gandalf's thinking. Merry? I'm hungry. PIPPIN

FRODO sees something behind them. FRODO There's something down there. GANDALF

It's Gollum. He's been following us for three days. FRODO He escaped from the dungeons of Barad-dur! GANDALF Escaped, or was set loose. Gollum hates and loves the ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be free of his need for it. FRODO Pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance. GANDALF Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many who live deserve death, and some who die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends, but my heart tells me that Gollum still has a part to play, for good or ill. Before this is over, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many. FRODO I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened. GANDALF So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given. There are other forces at work in the world than the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the ring, which means that you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought. Ah! It's this way. He's remembered! MERRY

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

GANDALF Let me risk a little more light. They see a huge cavern, held up with immense pillars. GANDALF Behold! The great realm of the dwarven city of Dwarrowdelf. SAM Well, that's an eye-opener and no mistake! GIMLI sees a door, runs through it.

Gimli!

GANDALF

The others follow, find GIMLI grieving over a tomb. GANDALF reads the dwarven runes on the top of the tomb. GANDALF Here lies Balin, son of Hrundin, Lord of Moria. He is dead then. It is as I feared. GANDALF finds a book held by a skeleton leaning against the tomb. LEGOLAS We must move on. We cannot linger here. GANDALF They have taken the bridge, and the second hall. The ground shakes. We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. A shadow moves in the dark. Drums, drums in the deep. We cannot get out. We cannot get out. They are coming. PIPPIN knocks a skeleton into the well, which makes a little more than enough noise to wake the dead. GANDALF Fool of a Took! Next time, throw yourself in, and rid us of your stupidity! There is a pause where it seems they might not have been heard, then drums start pounding. FRODO'S sword is glowing blue. LEGOLAS Orcs! BOROMIR checks out the door, almost gets hit by two arrows, shuts the door. BOROMIR They have a cave troll. STRIDER Stay back, close to Gandalf! They bar the door with the weapons of the dead. GIMLI Let them come! There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath! ORCS break holes in the door. LEGOLAS and ARAGORN shoot arrows through the holes and kill the ORCS on the other side. Finally, the doors break open and ORCS flood in. All the companions join in the fighting, even the HOBBITS. Then the TROLL comes through the door and part of the wall. SAM slips under him. Many ORCS killed. The TROLL smashes the tomb GIMLI is standing on top of, but misses GIMLI, then kills several of the ORCS in its attempt to get the dwarf.

The TROLL uses its chain like a whip, trying to hit LEGOLAS, who dodges. The chain becomes momentarily caught around a pillar, and LEGOLAS runs up it to stand on top of the TROLL and gets a shot at its head, but jumps off when the TROLL grabs for his ankles. SAM hits several ORCS over the head with his frying pan. SAM I think I'm getting the hang of this! TROLL catches sight of the three HOBBITS. They all dodge, but FRODO goes one way and MERRY and PIPPIN the other. The TROLL follows FRODO, who manages to stay on the opposite side of the pillar from the TROLL for a while, but then he is surprised, falls down, and the TROLL grabs his foot. FRODO Aragorn! Help! FRODO cuts the TROLL'S hand with Sting, and it lets go. TROLL reaches for FRODO again, but ARAGORN runs over and stabs it with a spear, prompting the TROLL to smash him into the wall. FRODO shakes ARAGORN, but he doesn't get up. TROLL stabs at ARAGORN, but renews its interest in FRODO when he moves. FRODO dodges the spear, then runs into it and gets thrown against the wall. Before he can move, the TROLL stabs him with the spear. FRODO falls, with the spear in his side. MERRY and PIPPIN jump on the TROLL'S back and stab it wildly. TROLL grabs MERRY and throws him off, PIPPIN stabs it again, when it rears up, LEGOLAS kills the TROLL with an arrow through the brain. PIPPIN has a hard landing, still being on top of the TROLL when it falls. Oh, no. STRIDER

Thinking he's dead, STRIDER rolls FRODO over, but he sits up. He's alive! SAM

FRODO I'm all right, I'm not hurt. STRIDER You should be dead! That spear would have skewered a wild boar! GANDALF I think there is more to this hobbit than meets the eye. FRODO pulls open his shirt to reveal a Mithril vest. GIMLI Mithril! You are full of surprises, Mr. Baggins! More ORCS approach. GANDALF

To the bridge of Khazad-Dum! They run through the cavern, but become surrounded by ORCS. There is a roar in the distance. The ORCS all run away. BOROMIR What is this new devilry? GANDALF A balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run! They run. BOROMIR abruptly comes to the edge of the path, drops his torch and teeters on the edge of a very long drop. LEGOLAS pulls him back from the edge. GANDALF Lead them on, Aragorn! The bridge is near. Do as I say! Swords are no more use here! They come to a gap in the apparently endless staircase, which LEGOLAS jumps across easily. GANDALF follows after a moment's hesitation. BOROMIR grabs MERRY and PIPPIN, jumps across as the edge crumbles. STRIDER throws SAM across, but GIMLI holds up a hand. Nobody tosses a dwarf! GIMLI

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

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

They do, and the section falls forward into the rest of the stair, allowing FRODO and STRIDER to rejoin the party. They keep running as the enormous section of stair falls into the abyss. They manage to get down the stairs to level ground without more trouble. As they run toward the bridge, the BALROG emerges from the chasm behind them. GANDALF makes sure everyone is across the bridge before he makes his stand. In the center of the bridge, he turns to face the demon, staff and sword in hand. GANDALF You cannot pass. Gandalf! FRODO

A wave of flame spreads across the BALROG. GANDALF I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor! Dark fire shall not avail you, flame of Udun! BALROG draws a flaming sword and swings at GANDALF, but he blocks it. GANDALF Go back to the shadow! You shall not pass! GANDALF slams his staff on the ground, and a flash of white light drives the BALROG back. The demon draws a whip of fire, steps onto the bridge, and the bridge gives way, dropping the BALROG into the chasm. It seems they have won, but as he turns away, the tail of the whip catches GANDALF'S ankle and pulls him down. He gets a brief grasp on the edge of the bridge. GANDALF Fly, you fools! And GANDALF follows his enemy into the abyss. No! FRODO

FRODO tries to return to the bridge, but BOROMIR holds him back. Aragorn! BOROMIR

BOROMIR carries FRODO away. ARAGORN pauses, looking back until ORC arrows drive him away. The diminished group escapes into the sunlight before most collapse with grief, weeping for the loss of their friend. LEGOLAS seems stunned. ARAGORN becomes their leader. STRIDER Legolas, get them up! BOROMIR Give them a moment, for pity's sake! STRIDER By nightfall these hills will be crawling with orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothlorien. Gimli, Legolas, get them up! On your feet, Sam. Frodo? FRODO has drawn away from the rest. Tears spill down his face.

ARAGORN jogs across a very cold stream to see LOTHLORIEN in the distance. After some travel, they enter LOTHLORIEN, a wood of silver trees.

GIMLI Stay close, young hobbits. They say a great sorceress lives here, an elf-witch of terrible power. All those who look upon her fall under her spell, and are never seen again. GALADRIEL Frodo. Your coming is as the footsteps of doom. You bring a great evil here, Ringbearer. GIMLI Well, this is one dwarf she won't ensnare so easily! I have the eyes of a hawk, and the ears of a fox! Suddenly, they are all surrounded by ELVES with drawn bows. HALDIR The dwarf breathes so loudly we could have shot him in the dark. STRIDER Haldir of Lorien. We have come for help. We need your protection. GIMLI Aragorn, these woods are perilous! We should go back! HALDIR You have entered the realm of the Lady of the Wood. You cannot go back. Come. She is waiting. They enter the elf city in the trees, are brought before Celeborn and GALADRIEL.

CELEBORN Eight there are here, but nine there were set out from Rivendell. Where is Gandalf, for I much desire to speak with him. GALADRIEL He is fallen into shadow. The quest stands on the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains as long as the company is true. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now, and rest, for you are weary with toil and much sorrow. Tonight you shall sleep in peace. GALADRIEL Welcome, Frodo of the Shire, one who has seen the Eye. There is singing in the background while they camp, more comfortable on the ground than in the trees. LEGOLAS

A lament for Gandalf. What do they say about him? LEGOLAS I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near. STRIDER Take some rest, Boromir. These borders are well protected. BOROMIR I shall find no rest here. I heard a voice inside my head. She spoke of my father and the fall of Gondor. She said to me, even now, there is hope left, but I cannot see it. It is long since we had any hope. My father is a noble man, but Izual is failing, and the people lose faith. My father looks to me to set it right, and I would do it, I would see the glory of Gondor restored. Have you seen it, Aragorn? The white tower of Ecthelion glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets? STRIDER I have seen the White City, long ago. BOROMIR One day, our paths will lead us there, and the tower guard will take up the call, 'the lords of Gondor have returned!' ARAGORN makes no promises.

The company sleeps, and when GALADRIEL passes, only FRODO wakes. He follows her to a basin set in stone, which she fills with water from a silver urn. GALADRIEL Will you look into the mirror? What will I see? FRODO

GALADRIEL Not even the wisest can say, for the mirror shows many things. Things that are, things that were, and some things that have not yet come to pass. FRODO looks into the mirror, and sees LEGOLAS, MERRY and PIPPIN, then SAM. The Shire as it was, then the Shire ravaged, overrun with ORCS, and SAM in chains. Then the EYE appears, and the RING grows heavier, trying to pull itself down into the mirror. FRODO snatches it away, falls backward onto the ground.

GALADRIEL I know what it is you have seen, for it is also in my mind. It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking. Already it has begun. He will try to take the ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one, it will destroy them all. FRODO If you ask it of me, I will give you the One Ring. GALADRIEL You offer it to me freely. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this. A dark light comes over her as she touches the power of the One RING. GALADRIEL Instead of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen, not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Tempestuous as the sea, and stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me and despair! GALADRIEL backs away from the RING, but for a moment, she looks old, and it seems to bring her no joy to have done the right thing. GALADRIEL I passed the test. I will diminish, and go into the west, and remain Galadriel. FRODO I cannot do this alone. GALADRIEL You are a Ringbearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of power is to be alone. This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will. FRODO Then, I know what I must do. It's just I am afraid to do it. GALADRIEL Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

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

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

The company departs in three small boats. GALADRIEL Farewell, Frodo Baggins. I give you the light of Earendil, our most beloved star. Numarii. May it be a light for you in dark places, where all other lights go out. They paddle down the river a long ways. URUK-HAI on the march. The company comes to a bend in the river and ARAGORN taps FRODO'S shoulder. STRIDER Frodo. The Aragornath. Long have I desired to look upon the kings of old, my kin. There are two enormous statues of MEN in armor flanking the river, their left hands outstretched in a gesture of warding. The company goes past them, into a lake, where they find an old moorage and beach their boats. STRIDER We cross at nightfall, hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north. GIMLI Oh? Just a simple matter of finding our way across Emyn Muil, an impassable labyrinth of razor-sharp rocks! And then it gets even better! Festering, stinking marshlands as far as the eye can see! STRIDER That is our road, sir dwarf. Perhaps you should take some rest, and recover your strength. GIMLI Recover my...! We should leave now. LEGOLAS

STRIDER No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for the cover of darkness. LEGOLAS It is not the eastern shore that worries me. A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Something draws near, I can feel it. GIMLI Recover my strength! Pay no heed to that, young hobbits. MERRY returns from gathering firewood. Where is Frodo? MERRY

ARAGORN looks around and realizes BOROMIR is also missing.

FRODO walks in the forest, BOROMIR finds him. BOROMIR None of us should wander alone, you least of all. So much depends on you. Frodo? I know why you seek solitude. You suffer, I see it day by day. Be sure you do not suffer needlessly. There are other ways, Frodo, other paths we might take. FRODO I know what you would say, and it would sound like wisdom, but for the warning in my heart. BOROMIR Warning? Against what? They are all afraid, but to let that fear drive us to destroy what hope we have... Don't you see? It's madness. There is no other way. FRODO

BOROMIR Why do you recoil? I am no thief. You are not yourself! FRODO

BOROMIR I ask only for the strength to defend my people! If you would but lend me the ring. No! FRODO

BOROMIR What chance do you think you have? They will find you, they will take the ring, and you will beg for death before the end! It is not yours

save by a happenstance. It could have been mine. It should have been mine! Give it to me! No! FRODO

They struggle, FRODO puts on the ring and disappears. BOROMIR I see your mind! You would take the ring to Sauron! You will betray us! You go to your death, and the death of us all! Curse you! Curse all you halflings! BOROMIR falls, and seems to recover himself. BOROMIR Frodo? Frodo? What have I done? Frodo, I'm sorry! FRODO runs away, with the ring on. He hides atop a stone platform in the woods, looks east and sees BARAD-DUR, and army of ORCS, and the EYE. He falls off the platform and takes off the ring. ARAGORN arrives. Frodo? It has taken Boromir. Where is the ring? FRODO backs away. FRODO Stay away! STRIDER Frodo? I swore to protect you. FRODO Can you protect me from yourself? Would you destroy it? ARAGORN resists the ring, but leaves it with FRODO. STRIDER I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor. FRODO I know. Take care of the others. Especially Sam, he will not understand. STRIDER Go, Frodo! Sting is glowing. STRIDER STRIDER STRIDER FRODO

Run! Run! URUK Find the Halflings! Find the Halflings! ARAGORN fights a lot of ORCS. When the ORCS return to hunting halflings, he jumps off the platform onto them. LEGOLAS and GIMLI join him. When one ORC gets too close to shoot, LEGOLAS stabs him in the eye with the arrow he is holding, then puts it in his bow to kill the next one, too. FRODO runs away, sees MERRY and PIPPIN hiding. PIPPIN Here, Frodo, hide here! FRODO shakes his head. What's he doing? He's leaving. No, Frodo! PIPPIN PIPPIN MERRY

PIPPIN bolts from his hiding place, only to realize that he has been seen by ORCS. MERRY determines that they must provide a distraction so that FRODO can get away. MERRY Run, Frodo. Go. MERRY waves his arms at the approaching ORCS. MERRY Hey, you, over here, this way! MERRY and PIPPIN run, leading a pack of ORCS. FRODO runs the other way. It's working! PIPPIN

MERRY I know it's working, run! BOROMIR kills a bunch of ORCS defending MERRY and PIPPIN. His horn brings friends and enemies alike. BOROMIR gets shot three times before he stops killing ORCS. MERRY and PIPPIN get kidnapped, and the ORCS leave BOROMIR alive since he can no longer fight. The URUK-HAI is going to finish him off, but ARAGORN arrives, and manages to kill him after extended fighting. Returns to BOROMIR after. BOROMIR They took the little ones. STRIDER Stay still. BOROMIR

Frodo. Where is Frodo? STRIDER I let Frodo go. BOROMIR Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the ring from him. STRIDER The ring is beyond our reach now. BOROMIR Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all. STRIDER No, Boromir. You fought bravely. You have kept your honor. ARAGORN reaches to pull out one of the arrows, but BOROMIR stops him. BOROMIR Leave it. It's over. The world of men will fail. All will fall into darkness, and my city to ruin. STRIDER I know not what strength lies in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail. BOROMIR Our people. Our people. ARAGORN gives BOROMIR back his sword. BOROMIR I would have followed you, my brother, my captain, my king. BOROMIR dies. STRIDER Be at peace, son of Gondor. FRODO at the boats, holding the RING in his hand. SAM searching for him. Frodo! Mr. Frodo! SAM

FRODO I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened. GANDALF So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is

given you. FRODO regains his resolution, tucks the RING in his pocket and jumps in boat. SAM arrives on shore. Frodo! Mr. Frodo! No, Sam. SAM starts wading in. FRODO Go back, Sam. I'm going to Mordor alone! SAM Of course you are, and I'm coming with you! SAM keeps going, well into the lake. You can't swim! Sam! FRODO SAM FRODO

SAM gets in over his head, FRODO turns around and pulls him into the boat. SAM I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee, and I don't mean to. I don't mean to. FRODO Oh, Sam. Come on. They hug, then start paddling across the lake. BOROMIR'S body, in one of the boats, floats over the waterfall. LEGOLAS pushes the last boat to the water. LEGOLAS Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore! ARAGORN buckles on BOROMIR'S bracers, with the white tree of Gondor. LEGOLAS realizes that ARAGORN isn't coming. LEGOLAS You mean not to follow them. STRIDER Frodo's fate no longer rests in our hands. GIMLI Then it was all in vain. The Fellowship has failed. STRIDER Not as long as we remain true to each other. We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left. Leave all that can be spared behind, we travel

light. Let us hunt some orc. GIMLI and LEGOLAS agree, and the three set off in pursuit.

FRODO and SAM reach a height from which they can see the path ahead. FRODO Mordor. I hope the others find a safer road. SAM Strider will take care of them. FRODO I don't suppose we'll ever see them again. SAM We may yet, Mr. Frodo. We may. FRODO Sam, I'm glad you're with me. THE END