(Thank you so much for all who contributed to this! It is wonderful!)

Prologue by Galadriel:

I amar prestar aen…
The world is changed.

ihan 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 fire is seen, in which melted metal is being taken out by prongs. It is poured into a mold for casting. The three Elf rings are seen on their ownders hands; Narya, Nenya and Vilya. They look at them, admiring their beauty. Seven rings are spread in a circle on a table. Seven Dwarf Lords pick them up and raise them above their heads. Nine Kings of men lower their rings, holding them in front of themselves.)

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.

(Mount Doom spouts off lava and fire, the land surrounding it is dark and gloomy. Sauron stands inside Mount Doom creating his ring.)

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

(Sauron shows the Ring on his forefinger, the Elvish inscription carving itself into the Ring.)

“One Ring to rule them all.”

(Wild men attack villages, houses errupt in flames, the townspeople run away screaming in fear.)

One by one, the free lands of Middle-Earth fell to the power of the Ring. But there were some who resisted. (An army of Elves and Men are seen on the field of Dagorlad) 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.

(Orcs are seen grunting and ready for battle. Elves and Men let loose arrows into the hordes of Orcs. Armies of Orcs attack the Elves and Men, who fight back bravely. Lord Elrond is seen shouting out commands at the army.)

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

(Sauron steps onto the battlefield, carrying a mace and the Ring of Power on his finger. Everyone turns and looks at him with fear in their eyes. He swings his mace, sending a group of Elves flying through the air. Elendil raises his sword to strike, but Sauron flings him against a rock, crushing him to death. Shocked, Isidur runs over to his fallen father. Suddenly, he is aware of someone behind him, he roles over, seeing Sauron towering above him)

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

(Isildur grabs the hilt of Narsil, but Sauron stomps on it, shattering the blade. Sauron reaches down towards Isildur with the hand carrying the Ring. With a desperate attempt, Isildur let’s out a cry and strikes Sauron’s hand with the shards of Narsil, slicing off the finger bearing the One Ring. Sauron let’s out a cry. He implodes, sending a shockwave throughout the battlefield, knocking the warriors off their feet. His armour falls to the ground, his body gone. Smoke emerges from within the armour)

Sauron, the enemy of the free-peoples of Middle-Earth was defeated.

(Isildur slowly reaches for the remains of Sauron’s finger bearing the Ring. The finger turns to ash in his hands, but the Ring shimmers faintly)

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 is riding trough the forest with a group of warriors. The Ring is on a chain around Isildur’s neck. They are ambushed by a group of Orcs. Isildur is knocked off of his horse by an Orc and they tumble to the ground. His men fight bravely against the Orcs, but it doesn’t look hopeful. Isildur looks around desperatly and sees the Ring around his neck. He jerks the chain off and puts the Ring on and disappears from sight. Bushes spread as he runs through them, yet nothing is seen of him actually being there. He splashes into the lake and is swimming away under water when the Ring leaves his finger. He reaches for it vainly and Orcs on the surface spot his body and kill him.)

It betrayed Isildur to his death.

(Isildur floats down Anduin face down in the water, dead, with three arrows in his back. The Ring sinks into the depths of the river)

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.

(The Ring is half covered in dirt and a hand reaches down and picks it up out of the water. It glistens in that hand covered in mud.)

Gollum:(v.o.) My Precioussssssss

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 are shown, Gollum sits on a stone above a little pool inside the mountains)

Gollum: It came to me. My own. My love. My own. My prrrecioussssss! *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 falls down, bouncing off of the rocks, landing in a pile of dirt.)

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

(A young Bilbo appears. He is on the ground, his hand groping through the dirt until it stumbles upon the Ring. He picks it up looking at it.)

Bilbo: What’s this?

A Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.

Bilbo: A ring.

Gollum: (from far away) Lossssst! My precious is lost!

(Bilbo, alarmed, puts the Ring in his pocket)

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

(The scene cuts to a map of Middle-earth as it pans around it and finally zooms out to reveal that it is inside Bag End. The room is cluttered with books and papers strewn everywhere. Quill scratching can be heard in the distancs and turning the corner, Bilbo is seen hunched over his desk, writing his book.)

Bilbo:(v.o.)(clearing his voice) 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. There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale. By Bilbo Baggins.

(He is seen writing the title page and he then puts the quill down and picks up his pipe in thought, leaning back into the seat of his chair.)

Bilbo: Now where to begin? Ah, yes (he dips his quill into the ink and starts to write again) “Concerning Hobbits.”

(A farmer and his son is seen working the field and leading their cows that are pulling the plow. Another Hobbit tugs on the end of a rope tied to a hog. The village square is seen a bustling full of Hobbits at work. They look quite cheerful and happy. The scene than cuts back to the fields and meadows, showing other Hobbits hard at work milking cows and tending to their houses, such as gardening and raking. They look very peaceful and content, some of them even sleeping on the job.)

Bilbo:(v.o.) 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.

(Bilbo leans back in his chair chuckling at that thought. Knocking is heard at his door and he suddenly stops his laughing.)

Bilbo:(yelling over his shouldar) Frodo! Someone at the door.

(He turns back to his book and starts writing again, forgetting about the door.)

Bilbo:(v.o.) In fact, it has been remarked by some that Hobbit’s only real passion is for food.

(A Hobbit gives the girl he likes flowers and she leans in for a kiss when he spots some rolls being carried by and grabs one and stuffs it in his mouth. More Hobbits are seen carrying barrels from the orchards. Another Hobbit is carrying one on his shouldar with mug in hand, drinking as much ale as possible. A group of pipe-smokers are seen sitting around and enjoying each other’s company. More Hobbits are gardening and playing games.)

A rather unfair observation as we have also developed a keen 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.

(Sam is planting flowers outside of his home, taking pleasure in that hobby and the beautiful flowers. The Hobbits are also setting up for Bilbo’s big party, putting up banners and ribbons and tents.)

And, yes, no doubt to others, our ways seem quaint. But today of all days, it is brought home to me: It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.

(A big banner wishing Bilbo a Happy Birthday is set up.)

(There is another knock at the door and Bilbo sags in his chair, slightly annoyed.)

Bilbo: Frodo, the door! (Bilbo listens a moment and there is no noise, then there is more knocking at the door again) Sticklebacks. Where is that boy? (v.o.) Frodo!

(Frodo sits beneath a tree, reading a book. Suddenly, he hears someone singing and looks up. He smiles as he understands who it is. Gandalf drives his carriage through the fields while he sings.)

Gandalf: (humming and singing)(v.o.)
Down from the door where it began
And I must follow if I can
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

(Frodo runs towards the grassy rode and comes to a halt, crossing his arms.)

Frodo: You’re late.

(Gandalf stops the carriage. His face can barely be seen under his big, pointed floppy hat. He slowly turns to look at Frodo.)

Gandalf: A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.

(He looks at Frodo with a strict look that softens until they both laugh. Frodo jumps onto the carriage and into Gandalf’s arms)

Frodo: It’s wonderful to see you, Gandalf!

Gandalf: You didn’t think I’d miss your Uncle Bilbo’s birthday?

(Frodo sits besides Gandalf in the carriage as they drive through Hobbiton. Gandalf starts smoking his pipe.)

Gandalf: So, how is the old rascal? I hear its going to be a party of special magnificence.

Frodo: You know Bilbo. He’s got the whole place in an uproar.

Gandalf:(chuckling) Well, that should please him.

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

(They both laugh at this as they pass the Hobbits hard at work in the fields. They cross over a small stone bridge over a stream and into the little town square, making their way towards Bag End. They pass through the little town of Hobbiton and observe the other Hobbits while doing so.)

Bilbo:(v.o.) And so life in the Shire goes on very as it has this past Age full of its own comings and goings, with change coming slowly. If it comes at all. 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 in Bag End. (Bilbo pauses momentarily looking up and mutters to himself) And there always will be.

Frodo: To tell you the truth, Bilbo’s been a bit odd lately. I mean, more than usual. (Gandalf listens intentively, his face looking concerned and full of thought) He’s taken to locking himself in his study.

(Bilbo is seen holding up the map of Middle-earth.)

Frodo:(v.o.) He spends hours and hours pouring over old maps when he thinks I’m not looking.

(Bilbo sets the map down and sighs. He tenses all of the sudden and starts to check his pockets looking for something. His breathing starts to get shallow as he turns out empty pockets. His eyes search the room frantically.)

Bilbo: Where’s it gone?

(He starts to search everything in the room in a panic frenzy, picking things up to just through them down when he finds they are not holding what he is seeking. He starts to get angrier and angrier when his hand brushes his vest pocket. He feels them and places his hand in it and pulls something out. Sighing deeply, he opens his hand slightly and reveals that he is holding the Ring in his hand. He closes his eyes in relief and has a silent moment.)

Frodo: He’s up to something.

(Gandalf grunts and give Frodo a sideways glance. Frodo looks back at him, waiting for him to answer. Gandalf just looks away looking as if he didn’t know anything.)

Frodo: All right, then. Keep your secrets.

Gandalf: What?

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

Gandalf:(assuming a look of innoncence) 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?

(They drive past a hobbit hole with a grumpy hobbit working in the garden. He looks at Gandalf, turning even more grumpy. Hobbit children run after the carriage as soon as they spot it.)

Hobbit children: Gandalf! Gandalf!

(Some hobbit children run down the grassy hills towards the carriage)

Hobbit children: Fireworks, Gandalf! Gandalf! Fireworks, Gandalf!

(They look at him in disappointment as he drives along, pretending not to notice them.)

Hobbit children: Awwwww.

(Suddenly, a blast of fireworks goes off from the carriage. The hobbit children clap their hands and cheer. The grumpy hobbit man laughs, a grumpy hobbit woman comes out and gives him a disapproving look and he gets the sour look on his face again. Gandalf chuckles)

Frodo: Gandalf? I’m glad you’re back.

Gandalf: So am I, dear boy! (thoughtfully to himself) So am I.

(Frodo jumps of the carriage and waves at Gandalf. Gandalf drives up to Bag End and stops in front of the gate which has a sign that says ‘No Admittance. Exception Party Business’. He walks up to the door and knocks it with his staff. A voice is heard from inside)

Bilbo:(v.o.) No thank you! We don’t want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!

Gandalf: And what about very old friends?

(The door opens and Bilbo stares at Gandalf in disbelief)

Bilbo: Gandalf?

Gandalf: Bilbo Baggins!

Bilbo: My dear Gandalf!

(They give each other a big hug)

Gandalf: Good to see you. One hundred and eleven years old! Who would believe it? (Gandalf takes a closer look at Bilbo) You haven’t aged a day.

(Bilbo runs inside, beckoning Gandalf in and holding the door open for him.)

Bilbo: Come on, come in! Welcome, welcome! Oh, here we are.

(He closes the door behind Gandalf and takes his hat and staff.)

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

Gandalf: Just tea, thank you.

(Bilbo runs around the hobbit hole, Gandalf backs into a the chandelier, then turns and bumps his head onto the beam. He rubs his forehead and walks into Bilbo’s study. He looks at the papers on the desk, a map of The Lonely Mountain among them. Bilbo continues to talk to him about what there is to eat.)

Bilbo: 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 got cold chicken and a bit of pickle… there’s some cheese here. Oh no it won’t do. We’ve got raspberry jam, an apple tart… But not much for afters – Oh, no, we’re all right. I’ve just found some sponge cake. (enters the study, looking for Gandalf, who has left) I could make you some eggs if you’d like- Oh. Gandalf?

(Gandalf peers into the study from the kitchen behind Bilbo.)

Gandalf: Just tea, thank you.

Bilbo: Oh, right. You don’t mind if I eat, do you? (stuffing some food into his mouth)

Gandalf:(sitting down at the table) No, not at all.

(A sharp knock is heard on the door and a woman’s voice is heard)

Lobelia:(v.o.) Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins!

(Bilbo throws himself towards the wall, choking on his food, in a desperate attempt to hide. Then he turns to Gandalf, whispering)

Bilbo: I’m not at home!

(He tiptoes over to the window in the study, taking a peek at who is outside.)

Bilbo: It’s the Sackville-Bagginses.

Lobelia:(v.o.) I know you’re in there!

Bilbo: They’re after the house. (turning around and quietly entering the kitchen again, still whispering) They’ve never forgiven me for living this long.(goes over to the little round window in the kitchen and looks out) I’ve got to get away from these confounded relatives hanging on the bell all day. They never give me a moment’s peace! I want to see mountains again. Mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book. Oh, tea!

(Bilbo takes the tea off the fire with a towel.)

Gandalf: So you mean to go through with your plan, then.

Bilbo: Yes, yes. It’s all in hand. All the arrangements are made. (Gandalf opens the lid on the pot) Oh, thank you.

Gandalf: Frodo suspects something.

Bilbo: Of 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: I know. He’d probably come with me if I asked him. I think in his heart, Frodo’s still in love with the Shire. The woods, the fields. Little rivers. I am old, Gandalf. I know I don’t look it, but I’m beginning to feel it in my heart. (he starts to finger the Ring in his pocket. Gandalf notices this but keeps silent. Bilbo sits down and joins Gandalf at the table) I feel thin. Sort of 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.

(Gandalf and Bilbo sit outside Bag End, each with a pipe in their mouth. They are looking at the field where the party is to be held, the tents are set up and lanterns are lighted as night approaches.)

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

(Bilbo blows a ring of smoke. Gandalf smiles and blows a ship of smoke, sailing trough the smoke ring that Bilbo made)

Bilbo: Gandalf, my old friend this will be a night to remember.

(A huge firework explodes ever the party field below, showering the crowd in sparks, which disappear right before they hit the Hobbits. A lot of Hobbits dance, eat, drink and talk with each other)

Bilbo: Hello, hello. Fatty Bolger.Llovely to see you! Welcome, welcome!

(Frodo is dancing, and so is Rosie. Sam is watching from his seat, looking at Rosie whistfully. Frodo sits down beside him.)

Frodo: Go on Sam! Ask Rosie for a dance.

Sam: I think I’ll just have another ale.

Frodo: Oh, no, you don’t. Go on!

(Frodo pushes Sam onto the dancefloor and into Rosie’s arms, as he gets up to get his ale. Frodo laughs at Sam’s attempt on dancing. Gandalf lets another set of fireworks off, which take the form of arrows flying through the air)

(Bilbo is sitting in front of a group of hobbit children, telling one of his stories of his adventures. The children listen in apprehension.)

Bilbo: So 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.

(Gandalf is seen dancing with the hobbits, sticking out like as sore thumb.)

Bilbo: They spent so much time arguing the withertos and the whyfors, that the sun’s first light cracked over the top of the trees. . . poof!

(The hobbit children gasp and jump a little)

Bilbo: And turned them all to stone!

(Gandalf get’s some more fireworks from his carriage, laughing and having a good time. Merry pokes out from the otherside of the carriage and watches Gandalf leave. He smacks the tent flap and Pippin comes out from behind a tent. They stop beside the carriage)

Merry: Quickly!

(Merry gives Pippin a boost onto the carriage. Pippen starts searching for a good firework. Merry looks over his shouldar to see what”Gandalf”was doilg.)

(Gandclf unaware of what Merr{ and Pirpen are”doing lgts off c firewopk that nooks like butterflies.)

Gandalf: Whoa! Up they go.

(He laughs as he watches the hobbit children run after the butterflies, trying to catch them.)

(Pippin shows a firework to Merry)

Merry: No, mm, the big one, big one.>br>

(Pippin finds one shaped as a large dragon. Merry gasps and nods. Pippin jumps down from the carriage, and into the tent beside it. Merry takes a bite from an apple trying to look inconspicious and follows Pippin into the tent.)

(Bilbo shakes more hands of Hobbits showing up at his party.)>bR>

Bilbo Mrs. Bracegirdle, how nice to see you. Welcome, welcome. Are all these children yours? Good gracious, you have been productive.

(Bilbo watches as the children pass and looks surprised. As they move on, Bilbo listens to the crowd. His ear twitches as he hears someone,)

Lobelia Bilbo?

(He whips around in fear, when he sees Frodo behind him. He points in the direction where he heard Lobelia and he and Frodo run away quickly to find a hiding place.

Bilbo:Sackville-Bagginses! Quickly, hide!

(Two sour and grumpy looking Hobbits push there way through thg crowd looking for Bilbo. Bilbo and Frodo stop beside a tent and Biblo covers his face with his jacket. Lobelia and Otho appear around the corner of the tent, yet do not see Frodo or Bilbo. They continue on, looking for Bilbo.
Bilbo:(sighing) Thank you, my boy, You’re a good lad, Frodo. 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 Baggins that showed real spirit.

Frodo: Bilbo, have you been at the Gaffer’s home brew?

Bilbo: (looking confused) No…well, yes, but that’s not the point. The point is, Frodo… you’ll be all right.

(Bilbo takes a sip of his ale and Frodo looks at him in confusion over what Bilbo just said to him.)

(Inside a tent, Merry and Pippin night up the firework that they took)

Pippin:(standing up after lighting the firework) Done!

Merry: You’re supposed to stick it in the ground!

(Merry pushes the firework onto Pippin)

It is in the ground,

(Pippin pushes it to Merry)

Merry: Outside!

(Merry pushes it back to Pippin)

Pippin: It was your idea!

(Pippin starts to push it back to Merry when the firework ignites and flies off. Everyone around turn towards the explosion and watch. Merry and Pippin are knocked back onto the ground, their faces black from the explosion. )

Hobbit:(pointing at the firework) Look at that!

(The firework gets high into the sky and explodes into an array of sparks. The crowd starts to clap and cheer as they watch. The firework then turns into a dragon, and it flies down towards the party field. The hobbits run away in fright, screaming)

Frodo: Bilbo? Bilbo, look out for the dragon!

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

(Frodo pulls Bilbo to the grownd, the dragon flies over them, barely making it over the field, before exploding into a mass of colors. The hobbits cheer and clap, Merry and Pippin watch with stunned but satisfied faces.)

Merry: That was good!

Pippin: Let’s get another one.

(Gandalf comes up behind them and grabs them each by their ear. Merry and Pippin look up, wincing.)

Gandalf: Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. I might’ve known.

(Gandalf sits with his pipe, watching Merry and Pippin doing the dishes)

Hobbits: Speech, Bilbo! Speech!

Frodo: Speech!

(Bilbo gets up and bows to the beckonings. He steps up on a barrel under the great tree and opens his arms welcomingly.)

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

Proudfoot Hobbit: Proudfeet!

(Bilbo shakes him off, everyone laughs)

Bilbo: Today is my 111th birthday!

Hobbits: Happy birthday!

Hobbit:(raising his mug to Bilbo) Happy birthday!

Bilbo: But alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable Hobbits. (the Hobbits cheer) 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.

(The hobbits seem to not know how to take what Bilbo just said. They look at each other in confusion. Bilbo pulls the ring out of his pocket and fingers it behind his back. Gandalf watches closely, suspecting something. Frodo watches, his smile slowly vanishing.)

Bilbo: I, uh, I have things to do. (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. (looking at Frodo) Goodbye.

(He puts on the Ring and disappears. The Hobbits gasp, not knowing what to think. They turn to each and start to whisper about Biblo disappearing. Frodo watches in shock and Gandalf takes his pipe from his mouth with surprise.)

(There is a big commotion among the hobbits as they look around and whisper to each other. The door at Bag End is opened, and once inside, Bilbo takes off the Ring, becoming visible. He walks into his study, laughing. He flips the Ring in the air, then puts it back in his pocket and pats it. Walks over and grabs his walking stick. Suddenly, Gandalf is seen in a corner)

Gandalf: I suppose you think that was terribly clever.

Bilbo: 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?

(Bilbo packs his stuff for the journey)

Gandalf: Two eyes. As often as I can spare them.

Bilbo: I’m leaving everything to him.

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 goes to the mantelpiece looking for the envelope.)

Bilbo: No. Wait, it’s here in my pocket. (pulls out the Ring and looks at it) Heh, isn’t that–? Isn’t that odd, now? 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! 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 turns towards Gandalf with a furious look on his face)

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

Gandalf: 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: You want it for yourself!

(Gandalf takes a step forward, and talks to Bilbo with a dark, scary voice. The room grows dark around them.)

Gandalf: Bilbo Baggins! (Bilbo flings himself towards the wall behind him) Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks. I am not trying to rob you.(the room gets light again and Gandalf softens his voice) I’m trying to help you.

(Bilbo runs into Gandalf’s arms, weeping)

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

Bilbo: You’re right, Gandalf. The Ring must go to Frodo. It’s late. The road is long. Yes, it is time.

(He walks towards the door, opens it and starts to walk out)

Gandalf: Bilbo, the ring is still in your pocket.

(Bilbo stops and looks at Gandalf)

Bilbo: Oh, yes..

(He takes the Ring out of his pocket and looks at it with a stern face. Slowly, he turn his hand, letting the Ring fall to the floor. It hits the floor with a heavy thud. Quickly, Bilbo walks out, stopping a few strides from the door, taking deep breaths. Gandalf comes out after him)

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, my dear friend.

Bilbo: Goodbye, Gandalf.

Gandalf: Goodbye, dear Bilbo.

(He walks out of the gate, down the road going east, singing)

Bilbo: The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began..

Gandalf: Until our next meeting.

(Gandalf goes back inside, he stares that the Ring on the floor, bends down and puts his hand over it as if to pick it up. Before he can even touch it, he sees a flash of the Eye of Sauron, surprised he leaves it. Gandalf sits in the study inside Bag End, smoking. He seems to be in deep thoughts)

(Voice over of Bilbo:) Its mine, my own, my precious!

Gandalf: (mutters) Riddles in the Dark.

(the door is flung open and Frodo arrives)

Frodo: Bilbo! Bilbo!

(Frodo sees the Ring on the floor and bends down to pick it up. He then notices Gandalf sitting by the fireplace)

Gandalf: My precious… Precious…

(Frodo walks over to Gandalf)

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

(he stops besides Gandalf, the Ring in his hand)

Frodo: Gandalf?

Gandalf: Hmm. (he sees the Ring in Frodo’s hand) Bilbo’s Ring. He’s gone to stay with the elves. He’s left you Bag End…
(he get’s out and envelope, holding it up to Frodo who puts the Ring in it. He seals it and gives the envelope to Frodo)
…along with all his possessions. The Ring is yours now. Put it somewhere out of sight.

(Gandalf gets his hat and staff and makes for the door)

Frodo: Where are you going?

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

Frodo: What things?

Gandalf: Questions. Questions that need answering!

Frodo: But you’ve only just arrived! I don’t understand.

(Gandalf turns and looks at Frodo)

Gandalf: Neither do I. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

(Scene cuts to an aerial view of Barad’dur and an erupting Mt. Doom in the distance. Among the sound of clanging blades, a shrill moan cries out.)

Gollum: (in severe pain) Shire! Baggins!

(Mt. Doom explodes and scene switches to Minas Morgul where the Nazgûl ride out. Gandalf rides over a hill near Minas Tirith and watches Mt. Doom over the Ash Mountains, rapidly turning toward the citadel. He walks hurriedly through the halls until he reaches an underground library, shifting through papers until he finds what he’s looking for)

Gandalf: (reading v.o.) 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. 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 markings on the band begin to fade. The writing, which was first as clear as red flame, has all but disappeared. A secret now that only fire can tell.

(Isildur is shown taking the Ring from Sauron’s finger, and holding it in between his fingers looking at it. Gandalf’s eyes widen upon realization. Scene switches to hobbit man chopping wood outside his home. His dog begins barking and slowly enters the house as the Black Riders approach.)

Nazgûl: (hissing) Shire. Baggins.

Hobbit: (worriedly) There’s no Bagginses around here. They’re all up in Hobbiton.

(Horse brays)

Hobbit: (pointing left) That way.

(He stumbles inside his house and shuts the door as the Five Nazgûl ride off in that direction. Scene flashes to Hobbiton, by the Green Dragon)

All hobbits: (drinking) Hey, ho, to the bottle I go to heal my heart and drown my woe. (Frodo is skipping around with ale mugs in hand while Pippin and Merry are dancing atop a table) 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 a rippling brook…

Pippin: Is a mug of beer inside this Took!

(All laugh, and it cuts to four hobbits smoking)

Hobbit 1: There’s been some strange folk crossing the Shire. Dwarves and others of a less than savory nature.

Gaffer: War is brewing. (Sam looks at Rosie over by the bar who smiles) The mountains are fair teeming with goblins.

Hobbit 2: 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.

Gaffer: (laughs) Young Mr. Frodo here, he’s cracking.

Frodo: (walking over to the table with four mugs) (indignantly) And proud of it. Cheers, Gaffer.

Gaffer: Cheers.

Hobbit 2: Aye. 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 smiles and drinks. Scene switches to all hobbits walking out of the bar.)

Rosie: Good night, lads.

Sam: Good night.

Hobbit 2: Good night, sweet maiden of the Golden Ale.

Sam: (mumbling) Boy, mind who you’re sweet-talkin’.

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

Sam: (stopping short) Does she?

(Back in Bag End)

Frodo: (opening the gate) G’night, Sam.

Sam: Good night, Mr. Frodo.

(Frodo walks inside, looking into Bilbo’s study which shows evidence that someone has been inside. Frodo eyes it suspiciously as a hand appears over his shoulder. Frodo gasps as it spins him around)

Gandalf: (whispering frantically) Is it secret?! Is it safe?!

(Frodo opens a trunk and rummages through his things. Gandalf hears something and turns around nervously. Frodo grasps an envelope and gives it to the wizard. Gandalf snatches it and tosses it into the fireplace)

Frodo: What are you doing?!

(The envelope begins to burn, revealing the Ring within. Gandalf takes a pair of tongs and removes it)

Gandalf: Hold out your hand, Frodo. It’s quite cool.

(Frodo takes it and starts a little at the heat, staring at the gold band)

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

Frodo: (examining the ring) Nothing. There’s nothing.

(Gandalf sighs in relief)

Frodo: Wait. There are markings. 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: (bewildered) 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.’

(The Ring lays resting on the kitchen table)

Gandalf: (staring at it) 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 it’s master’s call.

Frodo: But he was destroyed. Sauron was destroyed.

(Gandalf eyes the Ring nervously and hushes Frodo)

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 of Barad-dur is rebuilt in the land of Mordor. Sauron 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 Rings 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: (grabbing the Ring off of the table and walking into the hallway) All right. We put it away. We keep it hidden. We never speak of it again. No one knows it’s here, do they? (realization slowly creeps over him as he turns around to look at Gandalf) 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. (voiceover- shows Gollum between orcs, raising his hands and screaming) I don’t know how long they tortured him. But amidst the endless screams and inane babble, they discerned two words.

Gollum: Shire! Ahh! Baggins!

Frodo: Shire? Baggins? But that would lead them here!

(scene cuts to Nazgûl riding through foggy woods)

Gate Keeper: Who goes there?

(The Nazgûl abruptly takes out his sword and beheads the perplexed hobbit. Scene cuts back to Bag End)

Frodo: (offering Gandalf the Ring, worriedly frantic) Take it, Gandalf! Take it!

Gandalf: (calmly) No, Frodo.

Frodo: (insistant) You must take it!

Gandalf: You cannot offer me this Ring!

Frodo: I’m giving it to you!

Gandalf: (yelling) Don’t tempt me Frodo! (calmly continuing as Frodo withdraws his hand) 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 to great nad terrible to imagine.

Frodo: But it cannot stay in the Shire!

Gandalf: No. No it can’t.

Frodo: (understanding, clutching the Ring in his palm) What must I do?

(Frodo throws open chest doors and begins grabbing clothes and stuffing them into a sack)

Gandalf: You must leave. And leave quickly.

Frodo: Where? Where do I go?

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

Frodo: Bree. (walks down the hall) What about you?

Gandalf: I’ll be waiting for you at the inn of the Prancing Pony.

Frodo: (stuffing apples in his sack) 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. Travel only by day.

Frodo: I can cut across country easily enough.

Gandalf: (endearingly) My dear Frodo. Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month. And yet, after a hundred years, they can still surprise you.

(Both here a noise outside the open window)

Gandalf: (whispering harshly) Get down.

(Frodo drops to the floor and Gandalf takes his staff, walking warily to the window. A flower moves and he stabs it with his staff. There is a squeal of pain from below the plants. Gandalf lowers his hand into the bushes and thrusts a body onto the table)

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

Sam: (nervously) I haven’t been droppin’ no eaves, sir, honest. I was just cutting the grass under the window there, if you follow me.

Gandalf: A little late to be trimming the verge, don’t you think?

Sam: I heard raised voices.

Gandalf: What did you hear? Speak!

Sam: N-n-nothin’ important! That is, I heard a good deal about a Ring, a Dark Lord and something about the end of the world, but please Mr. Gandalf, sir, don’t hurt me. Don’t turn me into anything unnatural.

Gandalf: No? (smirking at Frodo) Perhaps not. (whispering) I’ve thought of a better use for you.

(Scene cuts to Gandalf leading a horse with Frodo across some grass against the sunrise)

Gandalf: Come along, Samwise. Keep up.

(Sam waddles across the screen with a backpack of pots and pans. Gandalf leads the two through a field)

Gandalf: Be careful, both of you. The enemy has many spies in his service: birds, beasts. (looks suspiciously at Frodo) Is it safe?

(Frodo puts his hand over his chest pocket)

Gandalf: (warningly) 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 pats Frodo on his shoulder before mounting his horse and racing off in another direction. Frodo and Sam look around warily before walking on past cottages, waterfalls, meadows, until they reach a cornfield where Sam abruptly stops)

Sam: This is it.

Frodo: This is what?

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

Frodo: C’mon, Sam. (Sam hesitantly steps forward. Frodo puts his arm around him) Remember what Bilbo used to say? “It’s a dangerous business,

Bilbo: (v.o.) 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.”

(Sam is cooking some sausages in a pan, smoking, as Frodo reclines on a tree branch. Frodo looks up at a noise, and then down at Sam)

Frodo: Sam. (smiling) Wood-elves.

(They rush behind a log and hide as to not be seen as they watch the procession of Elves go down the path)

Frodo: They’re going to the Harbor beyond the White Towers. To the Grey Havens.

Sam: They’re leaving Middle-earth.

Frodo: Never to return.

Sam: (forlornly) I don’t know why it makes me sad.

(Screen now shows Frodo lying down with his eyes shut and Sam rolling over, trying to become comfortable)

Sam: Everywhere I lie there’s a dirty, great root stickin’ into my back.

Frodo: (dreamily) Just shut your eyes and imagine you’re back in your own bed with a soft mattress and a lovely feather pillow.

Sam: It’s not working, Mr. Frodo. I’m never going to be able to sleep out here.

Frodo: (smiling with his eyes still shut) Me neither, Sam.

(Shows foggy meadow where the nose of a Nazgûl horse comes into view. Gandalf rides hastily to Orthanc)

Saruman: (walking down the stairs of Orthanc to meet Gandalf) Smoke rises from the Mountain of Doom. The hour grows late and Gandalf the Grey rides to Isengard seeking my counsel. (Gandalf dismounts his horse) For that is why you have come, is it not? My old friend.

Gandalf: (bowing his head) Saruman.

(The wizards are shown walking through the forest next to the tower where Crebain are shown flying)

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?

(Scene cuts to inside Orthanc. Saruman is sitting down, talking to Gandalf who is pacing)

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’ll have summoned an army great enough for an assault upon Middle-earth.

Gandalf: You know this? How?

Saruman: (looking slyly to the left) I have seen it.

Gandalf: (walking ahead of Saruman into the next room where there is a piece of silk laid over a podium) A palantir is a dangerous tool, Saruman.

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

(Saruman removes the silk , revealing the palantir. Gandalf looks at Saruman fearfully)

Gandalf: They are not all accounted for, the lost Seeing-stones. We do not know who else may be watching.

(Gandalf takes the silk from Saruman and places it back over the palantir, and the Eye of Sauron flashes. Saruman goes to sit)

Saruman: The hour is later than you think. Sauron’s forces are already moving. The Nine have left Minas Morgul.

Gandalf: (whispering in disbelief) The Nine?

Saruman: They crossed the River Isen on Mid-summer’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: (worriedly anxious) Frodo.

(He turns to run out the door which quickly shuts in his face. He makes for the next exit which then shuts until he is locked together with Saruman in the room with no way out)

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?

(Saruman hollers and raises his staff, throwing Gandalf against the opposite wall. Saruman holds it towards him for a long time until the power breaks and Gandalf is released. He then raises his staff and sends Saruman’s feet out from beneath him. Both wizards send each other across the floor in pain, both bleeding. Gandalf gives Saruman one last blow and knocks him into the door which opens into the next room. Saruman quickly gets to his feet and swipes Gandalf’s staff, using both to spin him around)

Saruman: I gave you the chance of aiding me willingly, but you have elected the way of pain!

(Saruman points both staffs upwards and Gandalf flies into the air, still spinning around wildly. Scene cuts to a corn field where Sam is rustling through. He looks ahead and behind him, then around nervously)

Sam: (somewhat calm) Mr Frodo? (growing anxious) Frodo? Frodo!

(Frodo turns the corner and looks at Sam confusedly)

Sam: 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: Sam, we’re still in the Shire. What could possibly happen?

(Instantly they are bombarded by two other Hobbits)

Pippin: (getting up from atop Frodo) Frodo! Merry, it’s Frodo Baggins!

Merry: (getting off of Sam) Hello, Frodo!

Sam: (angrily at Pippin, tossing him off) Get off ‘im! Come on, Frodo.

Frodo: (watching the two quickly pick up the fallen vegetables) What’s the meaning of this?

Sam: (having his arms stuffed with cabbages) You’ve been into Farmer Maggot’s crop!

(Dogs begin to bark and a man yells angrily. Merry shoves Frodo into the stalks and Pippin follows. Sam stays there in nervous indecision before running right behind the others)

Farmer Maggot: You get back here! Get out of my field! You’ll know the devil if I catch up with you!

Merry: (running) I don’t know why he’s so upset! It’s only a couple of carrots!

Pippin: And some cabbages. And those three bags of potatoes we lifted last week. And then the mushrooms the week before!

Merry: Yes, Pippin! My point is, he’s clearly over-reacting!

(All the hobbits approach the cliff edge of a hill)

Merry: Run!

(They all instantly stop, staring at the rocky fall, but they all tumble down as Sam collides behind them. Pippin looks up from the groun beneath the hobbit pile, staring at the dung his face had almost gone into)

Pippin: Oh, that was close!

Merry: (sitting up) Oh, I think I’ve broken something.

(He pulls a broken carrot out from under his back. Sam brushes some dirt off his sleeves)

Sam: (sarcastically) Trust a Brandybuck and a Took.

Merry: What? That was just a detour- a shortcut.

Sam: A shortcut to what?

Pippin: Mushrooms!

(All the Hobbits attempt to get up at once, pushing Pippin back down in the process. As Sam, Pippin, and Merry pick the mushrooms, Frodo stares intently at the clearing down the path)

Merry: That’s mine.

Pippin: That’s nice, Merry.

Merry: Here’s a nice one, Sam.

Frodo: I think we should get off the road.

(The others stuff their findings in a cloth sack and don’t seem to take heed. He stares back and the path seems to draw closer. A hard wind picks up and a Nazgûl screech cries out)

Frodo: (anxiously) Get off the road! Quick!

(They all jump over the side of a tree and take cover in a small nook under a root. Sam, Merry, and Pippin examine their mushrooms and chat quietly while Frodo stays deathly still. Horseshoe clops approach.)

Pippin: Be quiet.

(One of the nine comes into view, clutching one of the roots above Frodo’s head. A spider crawls down Merry’s sleeve, a centepeide slithers from between the rider’s fingers, and worms wriggle by their feet. It sounds like the black rider is sniffing, but he calls out to the Ring and Frodo’s eyes roll back, entranced. He pulls the Ring out from his pocket and the Nazgûl senses its presence. Frodo is about to slip it on, but Sam grabs his wrist and the trance breaks. The rider stops but whirls around when Merry throws a backpack to the opposite side of the tree to distract him. They all rush out and run down a hill)

Merry: (panting) What was that?

(Frodo looks down and his eyes widen in fear, staring at the Ring clenched in his palm. Scene changes to night and a Rider comes into view, the horse braying wildly.The hobbits hide behind a tree)

Sam: Anything?

Frodo: Nothing.

Pippin: What is going on?

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

Pippin: Get down!

(They see a Nazgúl on top of a hill, leaving)

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

Merry: Right. Buckleberry Ferry. Follow me.

(They start to run for the Ferry, when a Nazgúl suddenly appears from behind some bushes. The hobbits are parted, Sam, Merry and Pippin run for the Ferry, with Frodo left behind. He manages to trick the Nazgúl and heads for the Ferry)

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

Merry: Get the rope Sam!

(Frodo nears the ferry, but the Nazgûl follows him as he runs towards the Ferry)

Sam: Frodo!

Hobbits: Run Frodo!

Frodo: Go!

Hobbits: Hurry!

Sam: Frodo!

Hobbits: Jump Frodo! Go on faster! Jump!

(Frodo jumps onto the ferry, and the Nazgúl’s horse slides just on the edge, nearly falling into the water. The hobbits sits on the ferry, seeing the Nazgúl turn around and riding off)

Frodo: How far to the nearest crossing?

Merry: Brandywine Bridge: Twenty miles.

(The Nazgúl rides towards Bree, and they see two other Nazgúl joining him)

Frodo: Come on.

Gatekeeper: What do you want?

Frodo: We’re heading for the Prancing Pony.

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

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

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

(they walk up the road towards the Prancing Pony)

Men of Bree: Out of the Way! Watch where you’re going!

(They see the sign of the Prancing Pony and enter)

Frodo: Excuse me?

Butterbur: Good evening, little masters! If you’re seeking accommodations, we’ve got some nice, cozy, hobbit-sized rooms available. Mr. Uh….

Frodo: …Underhill, my name’s Underhill.

Butterbur: Underhill. Yes.

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

Butterbur: Gandalf? Gandalf? Ohh yes! I remember, elderly chap, big gray beard, pointy hat. (Frodo nods) Not seen him for 6 months.

Sam: What do we do now?

(the hobbits are sitting in the pub, each with their ale.)

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

Man: (to Merry coming back from the bar) Get out of my way.

(Merry sits down, staring at his pint)

Pippin: What’s that?

Merry: This my friend, is a pint.

Pippin: It comes in pints? (Merry murmurs in agreement) I’m getting one.

(Pippin gets up and heads for the bar)

Sam: You had a whole half already!

(Sam nudges Frodo in the side and nods towards the corner of the room)

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

Frodo: (stops Barliman as he walks by) Excuse me, that man in the corner, who is he?

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

Frodo: Strider…

(Frodo starts playing with the Ring, slowly falling into a trance again)

The Ring: Baggins. Baggins. Baggins. Baggins! Baggins!

Pippin: Baggins!

(Frodo snaps out of his reverie)

Pippin: (sitting by the bar) Sure I know a Baggins. He’s over there, Frodo Baggins. He’s my second cousin once removed on his mother’s side and my third cousin twice removed on his father’s side, if you follow me.

(Frodo panics and runs towards Pippin)

Frodo: Pippin!

Pippin: Steady on!

(Frodo slips on the wet floor, the Ring flies trough the air, but when he grabs it, it accidentally slips onto his finger, and Frodo disappears. He is in a whirling world of fire and darkness, and suddenly the eye of Sauron appear. The Nazgûl are seen as they suddenly hear the call of the Ring.)

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

(Frodo tries to back away, taking off the Ring at the same time. He appears back in the Prancing Pony)

Frodo: Ah!

(Strider grabs him by the collar)

Strider: You draw far too much attention to yourself Mr. “Underhill”!

(Strider opens the door to the hobbit’s bedroom and thrusts Frodo onto the floor. Then he walks around the room, putting out thecandle flames with his fingers)

Frodo: What do you want?

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

Frodo: I carry nothing.

Strider: Indeed.

Strider: I can avoid being seen if I wish. But to disappear entirely, that is a rare gift.

(Strider removes his hood and Frodo stares at him, scared)

Frodo: Who are you?

Strider: Are you frightened?

Frodo: Yes.

Strider: Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you.

(Door opens suddenly, Strider draws his sword, and in comes Merry, Pippin and Sam, armed with a candelabra and a three-legged stoll)

Sam: Let him go, or I’ll have you, Longshanks!

Strider: 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.

(The sentry gets up at the sound of a horse grunt, walks to the door, and widens his eyes in horror as he is trampled by Ringwraiths. They ride through the muddy streets until they reach the Prancing Pony. Barliman Butterbur stays still behind the counter, nervously waiting as they pass by, swords drawn. Merry and Pippin are shown contentedly sleeping in their beds. Four occupied beds are shown and the four Nazgûl step to them, pointing swords at their centers. Sam nudges over and the wraiths all plunge their swords into the mattresses. He opens his eyes in fear as they continue to stab the beds. Their horses neigh ceaslessly outside while Strider watches them from a window across the road. One rider removes the planket and feathers whirl around. Pillows had been there. One kicks a bed over in frustration. Pippin and Merry suddenly awake, sitting up in the bed that they and Sam occupy in Strider’s room. Frodo sits down and looks at Strider confusedly)

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.

(Strider looks back out the window, observing the four mount their horses and ride off in the other direction. Then he turns back to the half-lings)

Strider: They are the Nazgûl, 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.

(Scene cuts to the hobbits, Bill the Pony, and Strider walking over the hills. The four ride down a path, and then we cut back to Strider leading Bill and the others lagging behind)

Frodo: (anxiously) Where are you taking us?

Strider: (gruffly) Into the wild.

(Strider turns around a tree, observing the moss and smelling the air, leading the rest on)

Merry: (walking up to Frodo, whispering) How do we know this Strider is a friend of Gandalf?

Frodo: (also whispering) I think a servant of the enemy would look fairer and feel fouler.

Merry: (angrily muttering) He’s foul enough.

Frodo: We have no choice but to trust him.

Sam: (whispering as well) But where is he leading us?

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

Sam: (breathlessly excited) Did you hear that? Rivendell! We’re going to see the Elves.

(The five travelers are shown trying to keep dry from the snow, walking through a clearing atop a hill, then into a snowy wooded area. Strider is looking around as the hobbits are congregated around Bill, unloading pots and pans. Strider turns around)

Strider: Gentlemen, we do not stop until nightfall.

Pippin: What about breakfast?!

Strider: You’ve already had it.

Pippin: (matter-of-factly) We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?

(Strider turns back around and walks past some trees)

Merry: (to Pippin) Don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.

Pippin: (nervously) What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?

Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.

(An apple flies from over a treetop into Merry’s hands. Merry pats Pippin on the shoulder as another apple flies over and hits Pippin in the head.)

Merry: (annoyed) Pippin!

(They walk through to the edge of the snowy forest, and are then shown sloshing through a messy bog, brushing bugs away from their faces)

Merry: What do they eat when they can’t get hobbit?

(Strider is shown carrying a deer over his shoulder, laying it before the half-lings after nightfall. He is humming indistinctly, smoking, as the hobbits sleep)

Frodo: Who is she?

(Strider whirls his head around)

Frodo: This woman you sing of.

Strider: ‘Tis the lady of Luthien- the Elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal.

Frodo: What happened to her?

Strider: (solemnly) She died. (turning back around) Get some sleep, Frodo.

(In Isengard, Saruman is in the Chamber of the Palantír, standing over the Palantír. Being in a trance, he is getting contact with Sauron)

Saruman: (telepathically) The power of Isengard is at your command, Sauron, Lord of the Earth.

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

(Saruman sits in another chamber, when two orcs appear)

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

Saruman: We have work to do!

(The pinnacle of Orthanc. Gandalf wakes up, and realizes where he is. The scene then moves to the gardens of Isengard)

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

Saruman: Rip them all down.

(The Hobbits and Strider stands below Amon Sûl)

Strider: This was the great watchtower of Amon Sûl. We shall rest here tonight.

(The hobbits sits down, weary, when Strider tosses them each a sword)

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

(Frodo is asleep, then he wakes up at the sound of Merry, Pippin and Sam cooking food)

Pippin: Can I have some more?

Merry: Ok. Want some tomatoes Sam? Great tomatoes

Frodo: 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!

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

(A Nazgúl screech is heard trough the darkness, and the hobbits are alarmed. Frodo signals to the others to run up the steps to the top of Amon Sûl)

Frodo: Go!

(At the top, they whirl around, waiting, when 5 Nazgúl appear and surrounds them.)

Sam: Back you devils!

(The Nazgúl hits Sam’s sword, then throws him aside. He hits a stone hard, and lies in a huddle on the ground. Merry and Pippin realize that the Nazgúl are after Frodo and the Ring, and stand in front of him, trying to guard him. Two Nazgúl grab them and throw them in each direction. Frodo backs off, drops his sword, and then falls backwards. He hears the Ring whisper, and takes it out of his pocket. The Witch King “sees” this, draws his dagger and walks towards him. Frodo tries to crawl backwards, but the wall stops him. Trapped in a corner, the Witch King comes closer, and almost stabs him, when Frodo puts on the Ring. His world changes to a whirling mist, and he sees the Nazgúl for what they are. The Witch King reaches for Frodo’s hand, but Frodo draws it back, and so the Witch King stabs him in his left shoulder with his dagger. Frodo screams, then the Witch King drags out the dagger and reaches for the Ring again. Suddenly, a shadow from the left is seen and the Witch King backs off. Frodo manages to take of the Ring and appears back in the “real” world)

Frodo: Aaaahhhh!

Sam: Frodo! (runs over to Frodo)

Frodo: Oh Sam!

(Strider fights the Nazgúl, with sword and fire, and at last, he manages to chase them off)

Sam: Strider! Help him Strider.

Strider: He’s been stabbed by a Morgul blade. (the blade vanishes as they look at it) This is beyond my skill to heal. He needs elvish medicine.

(Strider carries Frodo, on the way away from Weathertop)

Strider: Hurry!

Sam: We are six days from Rivendell. He’ll never make it!

Frodo: Gandalf…

Strider: Hold on Frodo.

Frodo: (Yells)…Gandalf!

(The camera flies over Isengard, and up to the Pinnacle of Orthanc, where Gandalf sits. A moth flies into view. Gandalf catches it, and whispers to it)

Gandalf: (whispering) Gwaihir. Go, Gwaihir.

(Gandalf lifts his hand and the moth flies away. Camera flies down into the Caverns of Isengard as forging of weapons and armor is done. Saruman walks around, observing all the activity with pride and witnesses the birth of Lurtz and the Uruk Hai. Strider and the Hobbits are in the Trollshaws. Troll faces are in every direction. Frodo is sweating horrifically, his eyes going pale, wheezing and gasping. Sam appears of above him)

Sam: Look , Frodo. It’s Mr. Bilbo’s trolls. (He feels Frodo’s cheek.) Mr Frodo? (to Strider) He’s goin’ 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 and the Nazgûl cry is heard from a distance)

Merry: They’re close.

Strider: Sam, do you know Athelas plant?

Sam: Athelas?

Strider: Kingsfoil.

Sam: Kingsfoil? Ah, that’s a weed.

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

(They both search for the plant. Strider finds a small patch and cuts it off with a knife. Suddenly a sword is at his throat)

Arwen: What’s this? A ranger caught off his guard?

(Frodo is lying on the ground, when he sees a white light approaching. He turns towards it, and like a vision, sees Arwen)

Arwen: Frodo… Im Arwen. Telin le thaed. Lasto beth nin. Tolo dan na galad *I am Arwen. I have come to help you. Hear my voice. Come back to the light*

Merry: Who is she?

Arwen: (kneels) Frodo!

Sam: She’s an elf.

Arwen: (whispering anxiously) He’s fading!

(Frodo gasps as Strider places the Kingsfoil on the wound)

Arwen: (to Strider) He’s not going to last. We must get him to my father. I’ve been looking for you for two days.

Merry: Where are you taking him?

(no one seems to pay attention to his question)

Arwen: There are five wraiths behind you. Where the other four are, I do not know.

(Strider lifts Frodo onto Arwens horse Asfaloth)

Strider: Dartho guin Perian. Rych le ad tolthathon. *Stay with the Hobbits. I will send horses again 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 fir. Ae athradon i hir, tur gwaith nin beriatha hon. *Frodo dies. If I can get across the river, the power of my people will protect him.*

Arwen: I do not fear them.

Strider: Be iest lin. *According to your wish*

(Arwen mounts Asfaloth with Frodo seated in front of her)

Strider: Arwen! Ride hard. Don’t look back!

Arwen: Noro lim, Asfaloth, noro lim! *Ride fast Asfaloth, ride fast!*

(Asfaloth gallops away)

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

(Arwen rides through a forest when the Nazgúl appear, one by one. Amongst the trees and over open spaces they ride. One rides close to Arwen, reaches for Frodo, but is too far away to get him)

Arwen: Noro lim Asfaloth! *Ride faster Asfaloth!*

(Arwen reaches the Ford, and stops on the other side. The Nazgúl steeds stop before touching the water, clearly not wanting to enter the River. Some prances around, and cries out in fear. One of the Nazgúl turn towards Arwen)

Nazgûl: Give up the halfling, she-elf!

Arwen: (draws her sword) If you want him, come and claim him!

(The Nazgûl raise their swords and ride into the water. Arwen begins to chant)

Arwen: 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!*

(Slowly, the water level rises. A great sound is heard, and everyone turns towards it. A great flood comes around a bend, with peaks like horses galopping. The Nazgúl tries to get away, some tries to get back to the bank and some flee down the river, but in vain. The flood get’s them all and washes them away. Arwen looks after them, when Frodo starts to fall from Asfaloth. Arwen lays him on the ground)

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

(Arwen starts to weep and embraces Frodo)

Arwen: (v.o.) What grace is given me, let it pass to him… Let him be spared… Save him.

(Scene whites out, Elrond appears)

Elrond: Lasto beth nin. Tolo dan nan galad. *Hear my voice, come back to the light*

(Frodo is lying in a bed at The House of Elrond in Rivendell)

Frodo: (half-asleep) Where am I?

Gandalf: 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: 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 am sorry Frodo…. I was delayed.

(Flashback to Isengard. Saruman, using his staff, flips Gandalf around, then dangles him dangerously over the edge of Orthanc)

Saruman: A 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!

(flips Gandalf back towards the platform. Gandalf slowly raises himself, and it looks like he’s staring at Saruman, but what he realy sees is Gwaihir appearing in the distance)

Gandalf: There is only one Lord of the Ring! Only one can bend it to his will. And he does not share power!

(Gandalf jumps off the Tower of Orthanc and onto Gwaihir’s back)

Saruman: So you have chosen….death?

(Gwaihir flies over the mountains, bearing Gandalf to safety. Back to Rivendell)

Frodo: Gandalf? What is it?

Gandalf: Nothing Frodo.

(Sam enters the room)

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 appears behind Gandalf)

Elrond: Welcome to Rivendell, Frodo Baggins.

(Frodo walks in the gardens with Sam, then he sees Merry and Pippin and runs over to them, hugging them one by one. Then he turns and sees Bilbo sitting on a bench)

Frodo: Bilbo!

Bilbo: Hello Frodo my lad!

Frodo: Bilbo! (hugs)

(Frodo and Bilbo on a balcony porch and Frodo reads 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 powers of Mirkwood… visit Laketown…see the Lonely Mountain again. But age it seems has finally caught up with me.

(Frodo stops leafing through the book to look at a 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! My own adventure turned out to be quite different. (reflectively I’m not like you, Bilbo.

Bilbo: My dear boy.

(Sam is packing his bag on one of the balconies)

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

(Frodo appears behind him)

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 I thought, seeing 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. I am ready to go home.

(Gandalf and Elrond watches 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 it’s 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– 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 goblinmen, 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 walks slowly away, in deep thought. Stopping on another balcony, he gazes out over Rivendell)

Elrond: Gandalf, the Ring cannot stay here.

(Gandalf sees Boromir, Legolas and Gimli arrive)

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.

(turns to Elrond)

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

Elrond: Men? Men are weak. (they walk into Elrond’s library as he speak) The race of men is failing. The blood of Numenor is all but spent. It’s 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)

Elrond: Isildur took the Ring. I was there the day the strength of men failed.

(Flashback. Isildur lies on the ground after destroying Sauron, and looks at the Ring, when Elrond comes over.)

Elrond: Isildur hurry. Follow me…

(they head for the heart of Mount Doom)

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

(At Sammath Naur, Elrond stands near the edge)

Elrond: Cast it into the fire!

(Isildur looks at the Ring in his hand. The Ring whispers to him)

Elrond: Destroy it!

Isildur: (whispers) No…

(Isildur turns and walks away)

Elrond: Isildur!!!

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

(Scene returns to Rivendell)

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.

(Aragorn is reading a book. Boromir enters and pauses to look at the painting of Isildur and Sauron. He then notices Aragorn and faces him)

Boromir: You are no Elf.

Aragorn: The Men of the South are welcome here.

Boromir: Who are you?

Aragorn: I am a friend to Gandalf the Grey.

Boromir: Then we are here on common purpose… friend.

(Then he turns and sees the broken sword. He picks up the haft and stares at the blade)

Boromir: The shards of Narsil! The blade that cut the ring from Sauron’s hand!

(Boromir runs his finger up the blade and cuts himself)

Boromir: (surprised) It’s still sharp!

(He sees Aragorn, who is watching him)

Boromir: But no more than a broken heirloom!

(He puts back the sword carelessly and it falls to the ground. Boromir stops for a second, but then walks away. Aragorn gets up and picks up the dropped shaft and carefully sets it in place with the other shards. He takes a step back, looking at shards. Arwen walks up behind him)

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

Aragorn: The same blood flows in my veins. (he turns to Arwen) The same weakness.

Arwen: Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it. A si i-Dhúath ú-orthor, Aragorn. Ú or le a ú or nin. *The Shadow does not hold sway yet, Aragorn, not over you and not over me.*

(Arwen and Aragorn are standing atop of a bridge in the Garden of Twilight)

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. Renech i beth i pennen? *Long years have passed…You did not have the cares you carry now. Do you remember what I told you?*

Aragorn: (his fingers run across the Evenstar pendant) 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.

(she gives him the Evenstar)

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)

(Following morning, the Council of Elrond. Gandalf and Frodo along with a group of Men, Elves and Dwarves sit in a 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 slowly and places the Ring on the pedestal. He returns to his seat with a sigh. The council members start to whisper among themselves)

Boromir: So it is true…

Man: (whispers) The Doom of Men

Boromir: (standing up slowly, with each word stepping closer to the Ring) In a dream, I saw the Eastern side grow dark but in the West a pale light lingered. A voice was crying: ‘Your doom is near at hand. Isildur’s Bane is found.

(Boromir reaches for the Ring. Gandalf and Elrond exchange nervous glances)

Elrond: (warningly, jumping up) Boromir!

Gandalf: (rising, shouting) Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatuluk 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*

(As he shouts, the sky grows dark and those present at the Council wince as if in pain. Boromir has sat down, the sky has lost the darkness, and Elrond has taken his head from out of his hands)

Elrond: Never before has any voice uttered the words of the tongue here in Imladris.

Gandalf: (gruffly) 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.

Boromir: (insistently) 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?

(Suddenly, Legolas stands up with an angry look on his face)

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

Boromir: Aragorn? (turns towards Aragorn with disbelief in his eyes) This… is Isildur’s heir?

Legolas: 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.

(he returns to his seat with a sigh)

Gandalf: Aragorn is right. We cannot use it.

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

Gimli: What are we waiting for?

(Gimli grabs his axe and approaches the pedestal)

Gimli: ARGH!!

(Gimli strikes the Ring as hard as he can, but is thrown back, falling to the ground. Concurrently, Frodo sees the Eye of Sauron in his mind and winces in pain. The Ring remains intact on the pedestal with the shards of the axe around it, whispers in the Black tongue is heard)

Elrond: The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin 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)

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 up) 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!

(the other Elves rises and starts shouting at Gimli and the other Dwarves. Legolas holds out his hand to stop them from starting a fight)

Gimli: Never trust an elf!

Gandalf: (rises) Do you not understand that while we bicker among ourselves, Sauron’s power grows?! None can escape it!

Man: You’ll all be destroyed!

(Frodo watches the Ring, the angry figures of the council reflected on its surface. Suddenly, flames flare up, engulfing the surface of the Ring)

Ring: Ash Nazg Durbatuluk! Ash Nazg Gimbatul! Ash Nazg Gimbatul! Ash Nazg Gimbatul!

(The intensity of the arguments increase. Slowly, Frodo understands what he must do. He rises and takes a step toward the arguing council, trying to make his voice heard above theirs)

Frodo: I will take it! I will take it!

(Everyone stops arguing. Gandalf closes is eyes as he hears Frodo’s statement. Everyone slowly turns toward Frodo, surprised)

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, so long as it is yours to bear. (puts his hand on Frodo’s shoulder)

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

(kneels before Frodo)

Aragorn: You have my sword.

Legolas: And you have my bow. (walks over and stands beside Frodo)

Gimli: And my axe! (he and Legolas exchange dark looks)

Boromir: (approaches slowly) You carry the fates of us all little one. If this is indeed the will of the council, then Gondor will see it done.

Sam: Heh! (suddenly emerges from behind some bushes and stands beside Frodo) Mr. Frodo is not goin’ anywhere without me!

Elrond: (slightly 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: (sees Sam in the middle of all the important people. They emerge from behind the pillars and runs down) 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: Nine companions… So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!

Pippin: Great! Where are we going?

(Later that evening, Aragorn is at Gilraen’s memorial, clearing ivy and leaves away from it.)

Elrond: Anirne hene beriad i chên lîn. Ned Imladris nauthant e le beriathar aen. *She wanted to protect her child. She thought in Rivendell you would be safe* But in her heart, your mother knew you’d be hunted all your life. That you’d never escape your fate. The skill of the Elves can reforge the sword of kings, but only you have the power to wield it.

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

Elrond: You are the last of that bloodline. There is no other

(Frodo and Bilbo are in Bilbo’s room)

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

(Frodo unsheathes the sword and looks at it)

Frodo: It’s so light!

Bilbo: Yes…yes.. made by the elves you know. The blade glows blue when orcs are close. And its times like that my lad, when you’ll have to be extra careful!

(Bilbo holds up a mail shirt)

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. Go on.

(Frodo starts to unbutton his shirt, when Bilbo sees the Ring hanging on a chain around Frodo’s neck)

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

(Frodo starts to button up the shirt again to cover the Ring. Bilbo, lashes out for it. Frodo startles and backs away. Bilbo turns back to old self and sits down on the bed, weeping)

Bilbo: I’m sorry I brought this upon you my boy…I’m sorry that you must carry this burden. I’m sorry for everything!

(The Fellowship is preparing to leave Rivendell, and the Elves have gathered to bid them farewell)

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. Farewell. Hold to your purpose. May the blessings of Elves and Men and all Free Folk go with you.

Gandalf: The Fellowship awaits the Ringbearer

(Frodo turns and starts to walk out of the gates of Rivendell)

Frodo: (whispers) Mordor, Gandalf, is it left or right?

Gandalf: Left.

(Aragorn and Arwen exchange a last look before he follows the rest of The Fellowship. After traveling over open plains, up and down hillsides, they take a rest on a hill)

Gandalf: We must hold this course west of the Misty Mountains for 40 days. If our luck holds the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us. From there our road turns east to Mordor.

(Boromir is training Merry and Pippin how to sword fighting, with Aragorn watching)

Boromir: Two, One, Five. Good, very good.

Aragorn: Move your feet.

Merry: You look good, Pippin.

Pippin: Thanks.

Boromir: Faster!

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

(Legolas jumps from one stone to another, noticing something far away in the South
Boromir accidentally hurts Pippin’s hand)

Boromir: Sorry!

Pippin: Aaah!

(Pippin kicks Boromir’s leg)

Boromir: Ah!

Merry: Get him!

(Boromir battles with the two hobbits and Boromir and Aragorn laughs)

Pippin: For the Shire!

Pippin: Hold him! Hold him Merry!

Aragorn: Gentlemen, that’s enough!

(Aragorn tries to intervene but gets thrown back)

Merry: He got my arm! He got my arm!

(Sam notices that Legolas have seen something)

Sam: What is that?

Gimli: Nothing, it’s just a wisp of cloud.

Boromir: It’s moving fast.. Against the wind.

Legolas: Crebain from Dunland!

Aragorn: Hide!

Boromir: Hurry!

Aragorn: Take cover!

(The Fellowship hurries to get their stuff and get into hiding. Sam puts out the fire. They hide behind rocks and in bushes. A huge amount of black birds flies over them, cawing loudly. They circle the hill twice, then turn and fly back towards Isengard. The Fellowship comes out from their hidingplaces)

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

(The Fellowship walks in the deep snow on Caradhras. Frodo stumbles and falls, rolling down the slope towards Aragorn)

Frodo: Ahh!

Aragorn: Frodo!

(Aragorn helps him to his feet, and Frodo searches around his neck for the Ring. Finding that it’s gone, he looks back up to where he fell and sees it lying in the snow. Boromir sees it too and picks it up by its chain)

Aragorn: Boromir.

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

Aragorn: Boromir! Give the Ring to Frodo.

Boromir: (startles out of his thoughts, but walks down and hands it to Frodo) As you wish. I care not.

(Quickly, Frodo grabs the Ring from him. Boromir turns and resumes climbing. Aragorn releases the grip he had on his sword. The Crebain returns to the Caverns of Isengard. Saruman gets their message)

Saruman: So, Gandalf, you try to lead them over Caradhras. And if that fails, where then will you go? If the mountain defeats you will you risk a more dangerous road?

(The Fellowship with the exception of Legolas struggles through the deep snow. The voice of Saruman is heard)

Saruman: 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!

(The first avalanche falls. The Fellowship barely manages to throw themselves towards the mountainside, avoiding it)

Aragorn: He’s trying to bring down the mountain! Gandalf, we must turn back!

Gandalf: No!

(Gandalf takes a step forward, out of the snow, and chants out a spell)

Gandalf: Losto Caradhras, sedho, hodo, nuitho i ‘ruith! *Sleep Caradhras, be still, lie still, hold your wrath!*

(Saruman stands on the Pinnacle of Orthanc and continues to cast spells)

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

(A lightning strikes the top of Caradhras, sending a second avalanche onto the Fellowship. Legolas pulls Gandalf away from the edge, and against the cliff just before the snow buries them completely. After a moment, they emerge from the snow)

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 a mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the Mines of Moria.

(Gandalf looks at Gimli with a worried face. Flashback to Saruman in his chamber in Orthanc, reading in the book of lore)

Saruman: Moria. You fear to go into those mines. The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dûm: shadow and flame.

(Flashback ends)

Gandalf: Let the Ring bearer decide.

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 walks along the walls towards the West Gate of Moria)

Gandalf: Frodo, come and help an old man.

(Frodo walks up and supports Gandalf under his arm)

Gandalf: How is your shoulder?

Frodo: Better than it was.

Gandalf: And the Ring? 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.

Frodo: Who then do I trust?

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

Frodo: 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.

Gimli: (in awe) The walls of Moria!

(Everyone continues to walk along the walls)

Gimli: Dwarf doors are invisible when closed.

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

Legolas: Why doesn’t that surprise me?

(The Fellowship walks by the side of the lake. Frodo’s foot slips into the water. Gandalf stops in front of the doors and makes out an outline of them)

Gandalf: Well, let’s see. Ithildin. It mirrors only starlight and moonlight.

(The Moon appears from behind the clouds and the doors illuminate)

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: Annon Edhellen edro hi ammen! *Gate of the Elves open now for me!* Fennas Nogothrim lasto beth lammen! *Doorway of the Dwarf-folk listen to the word of my tongue!*

Pippin: Nothing’s happening.

(Doors remain closed. Gandalf begins to push it. Time goes. The rest of the Fellowship sits around the doors, waiting for Gandalf to open it)

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

Pippin: What are you going to do, then?

Gandalf: 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.

Gandalf: Ando Eldarinwa a lasta quettanya, Fenda Casarinwa! *Gate of Elves listen to my word, Threshold of Dwarves!*

(The doors stay shut. Aragorn takes of Bill’s bridle as Sam pets Bill good bye)

Aragorn: The mines are no place for a pony, even one so brave as Bill.

Sam: Bye-bye Bill

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

(Merry throws a stone into the water. Pippin is about to as well, but Aragorn stops him)

Aragorn: Do not disturb the water.

(In the meantime, Gandalf gives up and throws his staff on the ground)

Gandalf: Oh, it’s useless!

(Boromir and Aragorn watch the water as they see something move in it. Frodo looks at the doors, and then as if something popped into his head, he get’s up)

Frodo: It’s a riddle. Speak “friend” and enter. What’s the Elvish word for friend?

Gandalf: Mellon

(The stone doors opens slowly. Everyone turn in surprise and they enter Moria)

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. And they call it a mine. A mine!

Boromir: This is no mine. It’s a tomb!

(Dead Dwarves lie everywhere on the floor)

Gimli: Oh! No! Nooo!!!

(Legolas picks up an arrow from the body of a fallen dwarf, looks at it carefully and throws it away in disgust)

Legolas: Goblins!

(Legolas puts and arrow to his bow, Aragorn and Boromir draw out their swords)

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

(The panic starts to grow, the Hobbits back towards the door. What they don’t notice is that something is stirring in the water outside)

Boromir: Now get out of here! Get out!

(Everyone heads for the exit. Suddenly Frodo is grabbed from behind and pulled out of the cave Watcher in the water)

Sam, Merry, and Pippin: Frodo!

Sam: Strider!

Frodo: Help!

Sam: Get off him!

(Sam cuts off a tentacle. The Watcher releases Frodo for a second, and moves back under the water. Suddenly many tentacles comes out of the water, it hits the other hobbits aside and grabs Frodo again. He is pulled into the air)

Frodo: Aah!

Merry: Aragorn!

(Legolas shoots the tentacle holding Frodo. Boromir and Aragorn rush to the water with their swords, and attack the Watcher. It flings Frodo around in the air. Boromir slices the tentacle holding Frodo, who falls, and Boromir catches him. Aragorn and Boromir retreat towards the cave)

Gandalf: Into the Mines!

Boromir: Legolas!

Aragorn: Into the cave! Run!

(Legolas shoots an arrow into the Watcher’s eye. It pulls back and as the Fellowship race into Moria, it reaches out and slams the gates shut. Rocks drop and the roof of the passage collapses. Total darkness falls. Then a faint beam of light emits from Gandalf’s staff, showing the startled faces of the Fellowship)

Gandalf: We now 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.

(The Fellowship carefully makes its way over the floor and up the steps)

Gandalf: Quietly now. It’s a four-day journey to the other side. Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed.

(The Fellowship walks down the halls of Moria. As they walk, Gandalf runs his hand over the walls)

Gandalf: The wealth of Moria was not in gold or jewels – but mithril.

(Gandalf shines his light down into a vast mine below. Everyone stares in wonder at it. Pippin holds Merry back from getting too close to the edge)

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.

(The Fellowship enters a great cavern with a walkway down through the middle. They then climb slowly up steep steps on the side of a cavern. For a second, Pippin looses his footing and slips onto Merry)

Merry: Pippin!

(On the fourth day of their journey, the Fellowship climbs another flight of stairs to a crossroad in the mine: three portals loom before them)

Gandalf: I have no memory of this place.

(The Fellowship sits around the portals, resting while Gandalf tries to decide which portal to enter)

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 over his shoulder, back the way they came, and sees a small figure leaping from one stone to another. Scared, he walks over Gandalf)

Frodo: There’s something down there.

Gandalf: It’s Gollum.

(Frodo looks even more scared)

Frodo: Gollum?

Gandalf: He’s been following us for three days.

Frodo: He escaped the dungeons of Barad-Dûr?

Gandalf: Escaped…or was set loose.

(From the distance below, Gollum looks up, his large eyes observe the company)

Gandalf: Now the Ring has brought him here. He will never be rid of his need for it. He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. Sméagol’s life is a sad story.

(Frodo looks at Gandalf in surprise)

Gandalf: Yes, Sméagol he was once called. Before the Ring found him. Before it drove him mad.

(Frodo looks at Gollum in disgust)

Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf: 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? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

(Gollum backs off. Frodo sits down next to Gandalf with a sigh)

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had 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 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 towards one of the portals)

Gandalf: Ah! It’s that way.

Merry: He’s remembered!

Gandalf: No, but the air doesn’t smell so foul down here. If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose.

(The Fellowship heads down the left-hand passage, and soon they come to an open space)

Gandalf: Let me risk a little more light.

(His staff illuminates a huge hall of stone lined with tall pillars and arched ceilings as far as the eye can see. All members of the Fellowship, including Gimli, look around in awe)

Gandalf: Behold! The great realm and Dwarf-city of Dwarrowdelf.

Sam: Now there’s an eye opener, and no mistake.

(The Fellowship walks through the hall. Gimli sees a ray of sunlight shining through the Chamber of Mazarbul.)

Gimli: Oh!

Gandalf: Gimli!

(Gimli pays no heed to Gandalf, but runs into the chamber. He stops and kneels by a crypt and starts to sob)

Gimli: No! Oh, no. Noooo!

(Boromir moves forward and places his hand on Gimli’s shoulder. Gandalf stops next to Gimli and translates the runes on the tomb)

Gandalf: “Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria.” He is dead, then. It’s as I feared.

(Gandalf hands his staff and hat to Pippin, bends down, and takes from the grasp of a dead dwarf a large, battered and very old book. He opens it and clears the dirt from its pages. Legolas looks around the chamber and turns to Aragorn)

Legolas: We must move on, we cannot linger!

(Gandalf starts to read)

Gandalf: “They have taken the bridge, and the second hall. We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums, drums in the deep. (turns the page slowly and with caution) We cannot get out. A Shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out..They are coming.”

(Pippin sees a corpse sitting by a stone well. Curiously, he reaches out and carefully touches the arrow. The arrowhead breaks off from the rest, causing first the skull to fall. Gandalf turns to see what happens and so does the others. Then the body, the chain and bucket to go over the side of the well fall down into it, its noise echo from hall to hall. He winces at each new wave of noise. Then silence. The Fellowship begins to relax. Gandalf slams the book shut)

Gandalf: Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!

(He grabs the staff and hat from Pippin, but just then, drums echo up from deep below. Terror creeps into their faces. Sam sees Sting glowing blue)

Sam: Frodo!

(Foul sounds are heard from the distance outside the chamber)

Legolas: Orcs!

(Boromir runs to lock the door. Arrows are shot and he is almost hit in the face. Aragorn drops his torch and yells to the Hobbits)

Aragorn: Get back! Stay close to Gandalf!

(Aragorn runs to Boromir and closes the doors. A troll can be heard from outside)

Boromir: They have a cave-troll.

(Legolas tosses spears and axes to Boromir and Aragorn to help blockade the door. The Fellowship draws out their weapons and Gimli leaps atop Balin’s tomb and brandishes his axe)

Gimli: Aarghhh!! Let them come! There is one dwarf yet in Moria that still draws breath!

(Orcs begin breaking the door down. Legolas and Aragorn shoot at them through the holes in the door. The orcs finally manage through the doors and the battle begins. Suddenly, a cave troll smashes trough the rest of the doors. Legolas shoots an arrow at him, but he just growls. Sam looks up just to see the troll swinging his mace down at him and he throws himself under the troll’s legs just in time. Legolas kills orcs on a ledge on one wall. The troll swings his chain at Legolas, who avoids it several times until the troll wraps it around a pillar by accident. Legolas stamps the chain tight and then runs along it onto the troll’s head. He shoots the troll in the back of it’s head and then jumps off. The battle goes on and Sam hits an orc with his frying pan)

Sam: I think I’m getting the hang of this.

Aragorn: Frodo!

(The troll continues to seek Frodo who tries to hide behind a pillar. After some hide-and-seek, the troll finds him and grabs him. Frodo falls on his back into a corner. The troll lifts him, and he hangs dangling from the troll’s hand.)

Frodo: Aragorn! Aragorn!

(Frodo cuts the troll’s hand with Sting. The troll drops Frodo to the ground and growls)

Aragorn: Frodo!

(Aragorn grabs a spear from the floor and stabs the troll in the chest. The troll hits Aragorn and sends him flying across the room. He collapses onto the floor. Frodo crawls after him and tries to rouse him, but Aragorn is too stunned to move. Merry and Pippin throw rocks at the troll to no avail. Frodo begins to run, but the troll blocks his way with a spear, throwing him back into the corner. The troll stabs Frodo in the chest. Frodo falls to the floor. Merry and Pippin yell.)

Sam: Frodo? Frodo!

(Merry and Pippin leap onto the troll’s head and start stabbing him. The troll finally grabs Merry, swinging him around and throws him to the ground. The Fellowship redoubles its efforts against Orcs and troll in furry. 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 on the head, the troll opens its mouth. Legolas shoots and arrow into it’s neck. The troll moans then collapses to the ground. Pippin is thrown against the floor and is knocked out. There is a moment of silence. All Orcs are dead or has fled. Aragorn awakens and crawls over to Frodo.)

Aragorn: Oh no!

(He turns Frodo over. Frodo gasps for breath. Sam startles and runs over to them)

Sam: He’s alive!

Frodo: I’m all right. I’m not hurt.

Aragorn: You should be dead! That spear would have skewered a wild boar.

Gandalf: I think there’s more to this hobbit than meets the eye.

(Frodo reveals his Mithril shirt. Sam touches it in wonder.)

Gimli: Mithril! You are full of surprises Master Baggins.

(Orcs are once again heard down the hall)

Gandalf: To the bridge of Khazad-Dûm!

(The Fellowship runs out the back door of the chamber, pursued by a large army of orcs. Other orcs spring out from the floor or crawl down from the ceiling and down the pillars like spiders. They surround the Fellowship, who have drawn their weapons. Just then a fiery light appears at the end of a hall followed by a thunderous growl. The orcs, scared, flee panicking in all directions. The Fellowships stares towards the light.)

Boromir: What is this new devilry?

Gandalf: A Balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run! Quickly!

(The Fellowship runs trough the Hall, and enters a passageway, then down a flight of steps. Parts of the steps end into a chasm and Boromir nearly falls into it. Legolas pulls him back just before he is about to fall in. The Hobbits too stop short of falling in. They take another flight of stairs down. Aragorn and Gandalf bring up the rear)

Aragorn: Gandalf.

Gandalf: Lead them on Aragorn. The bridge is near. (Aragorn resists, but Gandalf pushes him away) Do as I say! Swords are no more use here.

(The Fellowship runs down the steep staircase. Half way down, they encounter a gap on the stairs. Legolas leaps forward and lands on the other side. He waves to Gandalf.)

Legolas: Gandalf!

(Gandalf looks back up towards the Hall as they hear a loud growl and stones fall around them. Then he leaps after Legolas. Suddenly, arrows whistle in the air, striking the steps they stand on. Legolas and Aragorn shoot back, killing many orcs)

Boromir: Merry! Pippin!

(He takes Merry and Pippin, one on each side, and leaps forward, landing on the other side)

Aragorn: Sam!

(He throws Sam to the other side and is caught by Boromir. Aragorn reaches to pick up Gimli, but Gimli holds up his hand)

Gimli: Nobody tosses a Dwarf.

(Before Aragorn manages to do anything, Gimli leaps forward but nearly falls back into the chasm. Legolas grabs his beard)

Gimli: Not the beard!

(Some of the stone steps crumble and fall into the fires below. Aragorn pushes Frodo back up the steps and climbs after him. They struggle to their feet and look at the widened gap that separates them from the rest of the Fellowship. The Balrog is heard from the other hall, its fiery light is seen. Stone structures around the mine collapse as it draws near. A huge rock falls from the ceiling and smashes down the steps behind Aragorn and Frodo, creating another gap behind them and weakening the stairs’ foundation. The stairs begin to wobble)

Aragorn: Steady! Hold on. Hang on! Lean forward! Steady!

Legolas: Come on! Now!

(Frodo and Aragorn shift their weight forward, tipping the stairs across the divide and slamming onto the steps where their companions are. They leap across to safety, catched by Legolas and Boromir. They continue to run down the stairs as the stone structures collapse behind them)

Gandalf: Over the bridge! Fly!

(The Fellowship crosses the bridge. Gandalf stops halfway over and turns to face the Balrog, who appears out of the fires, growling)

Gandalf: You cannot pass!

Frodo: Gandalf!

(A blazing light radiate from Gandalf’s staff, illuminating the entire bridge and it’s surroundings)

Gandalf: I am the servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you! Flame of Udûn!

(The Balrog strikes down on Gandalf with a flaming sword. Gandalf parries the blow with Glamdring, shattering the Balrog’s sword)

Gandalf: Go back to the Shadow!

(The Balrog brandishes a flaming whip, lashing it about menacingly)


(Gandalf strikes his staff and sword onto the bridge. The Balrog stops, not knowing what to do. As it steps forward, the bridge collapses under it and the demon falls backward into the chasm, growling. Gandalf, exhausted, leans on his staff and watches the Balrog fall then turns to follow the others. At the last minute, the flaming whip lashes up from the depths and wounds about Gandalf’s ankle, dragging him over the edge. He clings onto the bridge but is straining to keep his grip. Frodo rushes forward, but Boromir restrains him.)

Boromir: No! No!

Frodo: Gandaalf!

Gandalf: Fly, you fools!

(Gandalf loses his grip and falls into the abyss)

Frodo: Nooooooo!!!

(Boromir grabs Frodo and runs, heading for the stairs leading to the East Gate)

Boromir: Aragorn!

Frodo: Nooooooo!!!

(Aragorn is shocked. He stares at the bridge in disbelief, unable to move for a few moments. But then Orc arrows start whistling by once again. Dodging, he turns and follows the others up the stairs and out in the light.
The Fellowship comes running out of the East Gate 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.
Aragorn stands on a distance from the others, cleaning his sword and re-sheathes it. Then he turns to the others)

Aragorn: Legolas, get them up.

Boromir: Give them a moment for pity’s sake!

Aragorn: By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs! We must reach the Woods of Lothlórien. Come Boromir. Legolas. Gimli, get them up.

(Aragorn reaches down to pick up Sam.)

Aragorn: On your feet Sam. (Aragorn looks around for Frodo) Frodo? Frodo!

(Frodo, a few paces away, grieves alone. Weeping silently, he turns towards Aragorn. They continue the journey, Aragorn running in front of them. They cross Dimrill Dale and entes the Woods of Lothlorien. Slowly, the walk under the huge trees)

Gimli: Stay close young Hobbits! They say there’s a great sorceress lives in these woods. An Elf-witch of terrible power. All who look upon her fall under her spell…

Galadriel:(v.o.)(whisper) Frodo…

(Frodo, startled, looks around)

Gimli: …and are never seen again.

Galadriel:(v.o.) Your coming to us… (Frodo stops)..is as the footsteps of doom. You bring great evil here Ring-bearer!

Sam: Mr. Frodo?

(Frodo starts walking again)

Gimli: Well, here’s one Dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!

(Suddenly, Gimli has an arrow pointed towards him. Lorien elves appear from behind the trees, aiming at the others as well. The Fellowship stops and look around, alarmed)

Gimli: Oh..

Haldir: The dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark.

Gimli: (mumbles)

(As evening sets in, Haldir stands with the Fellowship in one of the great trees)

Haldir: Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduilion. *Welcome Legolas, son of Thranduil.*

Legolas: Govannas vîn gwennen le, Haldir o Lórien. *Our Fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of Lórien.*

Haldir: A Aragorn in Dúnedain istannen le ammen. *And Aragorn of the Dúnedain, you are known to us.*

Aragorn: Haldir.

Gimli: So much for the legendary courtesy of the Elves! Speak words we can all understand!

Haldir: We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days.

Gimli: And do you know what this Dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul! *I spit upon your grave!*

Aragorn: That was not so courteous.

(Haldir walks up to and stops in front of Frodo)

Haldir: (to Frodo) You bring great evil with you. (To the Fellowship) You can go no furthur.

(Sam and Pippin look accusingly at Frodo. Aragorn quietly argues with Haldir, attempting to get him to let the Fellowship into Lothlórien.)

Boromir: (to Frodo) 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.

(Haldir and Aragorn have stopped arguing)

Haldir: You will follow me.

(Haldir leads them through a set of paths in the woods until they are all on a hill overlooking Caras Galadhon.)

Haldir: Caras Galadhon. The heart of Elvendom on earth. Realm of the Lord Celeborn and of Galadriel, Lady of Light.

(The Fellowship arrives at Caras Galadhon. They walk up a winding stairway amongst the trees, towards the grand court of Galadriel and Celeborn. With a glow issuing forth from them, the Lord and Lady of Lothlórien descend to meet the Fellowship, hand in hand. Aragorn touches his head reverently in greeting. The rest of the Fellowship stares in awe)

Celeborn: The Enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Eight that are here yet nine there were set out from Rivendell. Tell me where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him. I can no longer see him from afar.

(Galadriel looks at Aragorn, reading the answer in his eyes)

Galadriel: Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land. He has fallen into Shadow. (Celeborn looks at her in wonder)

Legolas: He was taken by both Shadow and flame. A Balrog of Morgoth. For we went needlessly into the net of Moria.

Galadriel: Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose. (She turns her gaze to Gimli) Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-dûm fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glóin. For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands love is now mingled with grief.

(Galadriel looks at Boromir with a piercing gaze that he can’t stand. He starts shaking and casts his eyes downwards)

Celeborn: What now becomes of this Fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost.
Galadriel: The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true.

(She looks at Sam and smiles. Sam continues to gaze at her)

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… (speaks to Frodo in his mind) Welcome Frodo of the Shire. One who has seen the Eye!

(Later, back on the ground, an area has been provided for them to rest in. The hobbits are settling down. In the trees, the Elves singing can be heard)

Legolas: A lament for Gandalf.

(Merry looks up towards the trees)

Merry: What do they say about him?

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

Sam: I bet they don’t mention his fireworks. There should be a verse about them.

“The finest rockets ever seen
They burst in stars of blue and green
Or after thunder, silver showers…

(Aragorn shoves Gimli, who is pretending to snore)

Sam:…Came falling like a…rain of flowers”

Oh, that doesn’t do them justice by a long road.

(Aragorn walks over to Boromir, who is seated alone on a great tree root)

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. My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing. And now our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right and I would do it. I would see the glory of Gondor restored. 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? (he turns towards Aragorn)

Aragorn: I have seen the White City, long ago.

Boromir: One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guards shall take up the call: “The Lords of Gondor have returned!”

(The Fellowship is asleep. Galadriel walks by in silence. Frodo wakes up with a start and proceeds to follow her. Galadriel walks down to her garden and fills the ewer with water. She turns towards Frodo, not surprised to see him there)

Galadriel: Will you look into the mirror?

Frodo: What will I see?

Galadriel: Even the wisest cannot tell. For the mirror shows many things.

(She begins to pour the water into the silver basin)

Galadriel: Things that were, things that are and some things… (empties the ewer) that have not yet come to pass.

(Frodo steps up to 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, then Sam. He sees Bag End, then the burning of Hobbiton, the enslavement of the Hobbits and the destruction of the Shire. Then suddenly the Eye of Sauron fills the entire 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 Black Speech. Terrified, he 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. (speaks to Frodo telepathically) It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking. It has already begun. He will try to take the Ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one it will destroy them all.

Frodo: (telepathically) If you ask it of me, I will give you the One Ring.

(Opening his palm, Frodo 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, her hand open. Her image begins to change)

Galadriel: In place of a dark lord, you will have a queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!

(She returns to normal with a scared look on her face)

Galadriel: I pass the test! I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.

Frodo: I cannot do this alone.

(She turns to him)

Galadriel: You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone. (She holds out her hand with the ring Nenya on her finger) This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant. And I am its keeper. 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.

(In Orthanc in Isengard, Saruman and Lurtz are standing in the central chamber)

Saruman: Do you know how the Orcs first came into being? (he begins to walk in circle around Lurtz) They were elves once, taken by the dark powers. Tortured and mutilated.. A ruined and terrible form of life. Now…perfected.. my fighting Uruk-Hai. Whom do you serve?

Lurtz: Saruman!

(The Uruk-Hai wear their armor and are given their weapons. They receive a white handprint on their heads and faces, signifying Saruman’s army. They then assemble before him)

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 troops growl. Saruman turns to Lurtz)

Saruman: One of the halflings carries something of great value. Bring them to me alive and unspoiled. Kill the others!

(The Uruk-Hai leave Isengard and the scene returns to Lothlórien. Each member of the Fellowship is given an Elven cloak.)

Celeborn: Never before have we clad strangers in the garb of our own people. May these cloaks help shield you from unfriendly eyes.

(Legolas is putting supplies into a boat that Merry and Pippin are sitting in. He takes a piece of lembas out of a pack.)

Legolas: Lembas. Elvish waybread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man. (Merry and Pippin nod in agreement. Legolas leaves)

Merry: How many did you eat?

Pippin: Four.

(Celeborn walks with Aragorn among the trees)

Celeborn: Every league you travel south, the danger will increase. Mordor Orcs now hold the eastern shore of the Anduin. Nor will you find safety on the western bank. Strange creatures bearing the white hand have been seen on our borders. Seldom do Orcs journey in the open under the sun, yet these have done so. (He hand Aragorn a dagger) Le aphadar aen. *You are being tracked* By river you have the chance of outrunning the enemy to the Falls of Rauros.

(The Fellowship sets out in boats. Through a series of flashbacks, Galadriel is shown giving each member of the Fellowship a gift)

Galadriel: My gift for you, Legolas, is a bow of the Galadhrim. Worthy of the skill of our woodland kin. (Legolas looks at the bow in wonder. Merry and Pippin unsheathe the daggers she has given them.) 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. And for you, Samwise Gamgee, Elven rope made of hithlain.

Sam: Thank you, my lady. Have you run out of those nice, shiny daggers?

(Galadriel just smiles at Sam without responding.)

Galadriel: And what gift would a dwarf ask of the Elves?

Gimli: Nothing. 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 laughs and Gimli starts to turn away, before turning around again.) Actually, there was one thing. (to himself) No, no, I couldn’t. It’s quite impossible. Stupid to ask…

Galadriel: (to Aragorn) I have nothing greater to give than the gift you already bear. (She touches the Evenstar around his neck.) Am meleth dîn, i ant e guil Arwen Undómiel pígatha. *For her love, I fear the grace of Arwen Evenstar will diminish.*

Aragorn: Aníron i e broniatha, ad ae periatham athar i methid en-amar hen. Aníron i e círatha na 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, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin. Namárië. *Farewell.* Nadath nâ i moe cerich. Dan, ú-‘eveditham, Elessar. *There is much you have left to do. We will not meet again, Elessar.*

Galadriel: (v.o.) Farewell, Frodo Baggins. I give you the light of Eärendil, our most beloved star.

(Galadriel hands Frodo a crystal phial. She kisses his forehead)

Galadriel: (v.o.) May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.

(Galadriel raises her hand in farewell as the Fellowship canoes down the river. They reach the great river.)

Gimli: I have taken my worst wound at this parting, having looked my last upon that which is fairest. Henceforth I will call nothing fair unless it be her gift to me.

Legolas: What was her gift?

Gimli: I asked her for one hair from her golden head. She gave me three.

(Fellowship float along the Anduin. The Uruk-Hai are seen running through the woods towards the river. The boats pass through a canyon. The Fellowship stops for the night on the banks of the river. Boromir sees something moving in the water.)

Aragorn: Gollum. He has tracked us since Moria. 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.

Sam: Have some food, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: No, Sam.

Sam: You haven’t eaten anything all day. You’re not sleeping neither. 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: You can’t help me Sam. Not this time. Get some sleep.

Boromir: Minas Tirith is the safer road. You know that. 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 starts to turn away, but Boromir yanks him back) You are afraid! All your life, you have hidden in the shadows. Scared of who you are, of what you are.

Aragorn: I will not lead the Ring within a hundred leagues of your city.

(The next morning, everyone is in the boats again, rowing down the Anduin. Aragorn 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 out of the mountain, proudly stand on each side of the Anduin. Their left arms are held aloft, their palms facing outwards in gesture of warning. Stern were their faces. The Fellowship reaches the foot of Amon Hen, the Hill of Sight. As they reach the beach of Parth Galen, Boromir looks troubled and appears to be fighting a conflict within him. 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) 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…?! Grrrrrr.

(Legolas looks into the forest around them, then turns to Aragorn)

Legolas: 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.

Gimli: Recover strength? (turns to Pippin) Pay no heed to that, young Hobbit.

(Merry, returning with some wood for the campfire, looks around, alarmed)

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 the baggage and he understand that also Boromir is gone. In the forest, Frodo wanders around. He stands by an immense stone head, lying with its side on the ground. Boromir, gathering wood, sees Frodo and approaches him. Frodo starts backing away, Boromir continutes to follow them)

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. You sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways, Frodo. Other paths that we might take.

(Frodo starts backing away from Boromir, who continues to walk towards him)

Frodo: I know what you would say. 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! (in anger, he 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 turns and begins to run from Boromir)

Boromir: You fool!

(Boromir gives chase)

Boromir: It is not yours save by unhappy chance! It could have been mine! (he catches Frodo and tackles him) It should be mine! Give it to me!

(Frodo struggles to keep him away from the Ring)

Boromir: Give it to me!

Frodo: No!

Boromir: Give it to me!

Frodo: No!

(Frodo slips the Ring on and disappears. He kicks Boromir and runs away. Boromir looks around desperately)

Boromir: I see your mind. You will take the Ring to Sauron! You will betray us! You go to your death, and to 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.

Boromir: (from far away) Frodo, I’m sorry!

(Frodo is in the “shadow world,” climbing up onto the Seat of Seeing atop Amon Hen. He looks over the stone seat and sees the Dark Tower from afar. The image rushes towards him and his vision rise to its pinnacle where the burning Eye of Sauron stares back menacingly, the Dark Lord speaking to him in black speech. Frodo, rushing to remove the Ring, falls off the Seat of Seeing and lands on his back beneath it. He sits up, trying to catch his breath. Aragorn approaches)

Aragorn: Frodo?

(Frodo starts and turns around and sees Aragorn)

Frodo: It has taken Boromir.

(Aragorn takes a step towards Frodo)

Aragorn: Where is the Ring?

Frodo: Stay away!

(He scrambles up and retreats from Aragorn under the Seat of Seeing. Aragorn comes after him)

Aragorn: Frodo!

(Frodo stops)

Aragorn: I swore to protect you.

Frodo: Can you protect me from yourself?

(Aragorn suddenly understands why Frodo reacted like he did. Frodo shows the Ring on 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, with both hands, Aragorn closes Frodo’s hand over the Ring and pushes it to the hobbit’s chest)

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 with tears in his eyes, but then sees Sting glowing blue. He stands suddenly)

Aragorn: Go, Frodo.

(He draws out his sword)

Aragorn: Run.

(Frodo hesitates)

Aragorn: Run!

(Frodo turns around and leaves. Aragorn walks out from beneath the Seat of Seeing and finds a troop of Uruk-Hai advancing towards him. He gives a half-smile, holding his sword up to his face as an acceptance to the challenge. They attack. He cuts several down, but they force him up the stairs of the Seat. Further down in the forest, everyone is around looking for Frodo. Sam searches frantically)

Sam: Mr.Frodo!

(Suddenly, he hears the clash of sword on sword. His eyes widen)

Lurtz: (to his troops) Find the Halfling! Find the Halfling!

(Aragorn jumps from the top of the Seat of Seeing and onto the Uruk-Hai)

Aragorn: Elendil!

(Legolas and Gimli run forward from behind the Seat. Legolas shoots three Uruk-Hai; Gimli lands blow after blow with his axe)

Legolas: Aragorn, go!

(Frodo runs and hides behind a tree. Some Uruk-Hais run past, not seeing him. Across the way, Merry and Pippin hide in a space under some fallen tree trunks and bushes)

Merry: Frodo!

Pippin: Hide here. Quick! Come on!

(Frodo looks at them, anguished, then shakes his head.)

Pippin: (to Merry) What’s he doing?

(Merry suddenly understands what’s going on)

Merry: He’s leaving.

Pippin: No!

(Pippin runs out from the hiding place, towards Frodo)

Merry: Pippin!

(Merry comes after him, and they are out in the open. Several Uruk-Hai are coming down the hill, towards where they stand. They stare at them, then Merry turns to Frodo.)

Merry: (in a low voice) Run, Frodo! Go on!

(Merry cups his hands and calls out to the Uruk-Hai)

Merry: Hey! Hey, you! Over here!

(Pippin and Frodo look at him in surprise, then Pippin understands the deal)

Pippin: Hey!

Merry: Over here!

Pippin: (waving his arms hysterically) This way!

(Both hobbits run away from Frodo. The Uruk-Hai troop follows them. Frodo stares after them, unsure of what to do, then he makes a decision and runs in the opposite direction)

Pippin: It’s working!

Merry: I know its working! Run!

(Merry and Pippin run across an old stone bridge. At its far end, they stop and see Uruk-hai running towards them from another direction. The Uruks are closing in, both in front and behind. An Uruk runs up to them, raising his axe. But Boromir comes charging in, knocks the Uruk back, and kills him with his sword. He throws a knife at another. Back at the Seat of Seeing, 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. Aragorn stabs one behind his back. Legolas shoots first 3 Uruks in a row, then one who has closed in on Aragorn. Three loud ox-horn blasts are heard)

Legolas: The Horn of Gondor.

(Aragorn runs forward)

Aragorn: Boromir.

(They run down the hills of Amon Hen towards the sound, but Uruks are between them and Boromir. A visual sweep shows some running towards Boromir, down the stone steps; the others attack Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli as they struggle to follow. Boromir sounds the horn of Gondor again)

Boromir: (to the hobbits) Run! Run!

(The Uruks attack Boromir. He kills two more. Lurtz walks slowly into view, lifts his bow, aims a big black arrow, and shoots it into Boromir’s left shoulder. He gasps for breath and the hobbits look at him in shock. Boromir drops to his knees, begins to breath hard, and looks at the hobbits. Uruks come closer, but he gives a battle cry, rises, and swings his sword at one, who falls. Lurtz growls, lifts his bow, and shoots again. A black arrow flies into Boromir’s stomach. He drops to his knees again, gasping. But he swings his sword at another Uruk and gets back up. Lurtz shoots him one more time, in the chest. Boromir falls on his knees and stays there, swaying a little and blinking. Merry and Pippin look at him in shock. With all the courage they can find, they take up their swords and attack the Uruk-Hai with a cry)

Merry and Pippin: Shire!

(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 past Boromir. Boromir stares after the hobbits, helpless. Lurtz, now left alone, stops ten feet from Boromir and takes aim with his bow again. Boromir swallows and stares back at him. Just as Lurtz is about to let go of the arrow, Aragorn crashes into him, and the arrow flies off harmlessly. They start a fight. Aragorn loses his sword and is thrown to the ground. When he gets up, Lurtz throws his shield at Aragorn and pins him by the neck against a tree. Lurtz raises his sword and strikes, but Aragorn slips beneath the shield and dodges. Aragorn pulls out a knife and stabs Lurtz in the leg. Lurtz roars and knocks Aragorn to the ground, making him roll a few feet away. Lurtz then pulls out the knife of his leg and throws it at Aragorn, who has found his sword and uses it to bat the knife away. Aragorn closes in on Lurtz and in a flurry of swordplay, slices his arm off and then stabs him in the chest. Lurtz grabs Aragorns sword and pulls himself up on the it, closer to Aragorn, snarling. Aragorn grimaces, pulls his sword out of Lurtz, swings it wide, and hacks off Lurtz’s head. The rest of Lurtz falls to the ground. Aragorn pauses a moment, panting. He then notices Boromir. Boromir, pale and bloodied, is now lying on his back, his head close to a tree)

Aragorn: No.

(he runs up and kneels near Boromir)

Boromir: They took the little ones.

Aragorn: Hold 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.

(he reaches out to pull the arrows from Boromir, but Boromir grabs his arm to stop him)

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, but can’t get it. Aragorn places the hilt in his hand, and Boromir clasps it to his chest. Legolas finally comes running up, but stops and watches sadly from a distance.)

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.

(He bends and kisses Boromir on the brow. Gimli bows his head and turns away. Aragorn stands up, looking into the forest with a tear running down his face.)

Aragorn: They will look for his coming from the White Tower. But he will not return.

( Sam is running through the woods, towards the beach where they left the boats)

Sam: Frodo!

(Frodo stands upon Parth Galen, staring towards the opposite shore, with the Ring on his palm. Weeping silently, he recalls his conversation with Gandalf.)

Frodo: (v.o.) I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

(as he hears Gandalf’s voice, Frodo’s expression changes)

Gandalf: (v.o.) 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.

(Frodo decides to leave. Determined to proceed with the quest alone, he closes his hand over the Ring, and puts it into his vest pocket. He pushes the 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!

(Sam stops on the edge of the shore, the water reaching his ankles)

Frodo: (in a low voice to himself) No Sam.

(Frodo 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 arms floats lifeless in the water. Suddenly Frodo’s hand reaches down and grabs Sam’s wrist. Sam tightens his hand around Frodo’s and is pulled out of the water and up into the boat. Sam tumbles in. Frodo looks at him with tears in his eyes. Sam, dripping wet, looks back)

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.

(Sam begins to weep)

Frodo: Oh Sam!

(He embraces Sam and they give each other a great hug)

Frodo: Come on.

(Sam grabs an oar and they paddle towards the eastern shore. Boromir is laid to rest in one of the other 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 stands still, looking towards the shore on the other side, seeing the two Hobbits running into the forest. He says nothing but sighs. Legolas stares at him, suddenly understanding)

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.

(Legolas and Gimli walks up to Aragorn, who puts his hands on their shoulders)

Aragorn: 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’s hunt some Orc.

(Aragorn turns and picks up a dagger from the ground. Then he runs of into the forest. Legolas and Gimli look at each other, grinning)

Gimli: Yes! Haha!

(They run after Aragorn. Frodo and Sam stand upon Emyn Muil, seeing the Dead Marshes and Mordor in the distance)

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 to Sam, smiling)

Frodo: Sam, I’m glad you’re with me.

(Frodo and Sam descend the rocky slope. Scene fades out)


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