Free Study Guide for The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien
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FREE STUDY GUIDE FOR LORD OF THE RINGS
Three is Company
Frodo prepares to leave on his fiftieth birthday, following
the path that Bilbo took many years earlier. He sells Bag End to the Sackville
Bagginses. Rumor suggests that Frodo has run out of money and must go live with
relatives in Buckland. Some others insist that Frodo is only leaving because of
some dark plot perpetrated by Gandalf. In truth, Frodo plans to go to Rivendell,
as he has discussed with Gandalf. Meanwhile Gandalf has left, not even staying
behind to say good-bye to Frodo. Pippin and Merry are also going along on the
On the way, the band of travelers hears the sound of horses. They
think Gandalf is joining them, so they hide in order to surprise him. Instead
of Gandalf, the noise signals the arrival of a black rider on a black horse. He
sniffs the air as if sensing their presence and Frodo gets a sudden urge to put
his Ring on. But the rider moves on. Sam tells Frodo that this very Rider had
been asking questions about Frodo. The travelers become suspicious and move on,
more cautious than before.
Later, they meet a group of elves. The Lord
of the Elves, Gildor Inglorian, asks the travelers to join him and his group.
After they reach a safe place and have their fill of food and drink, Frodo asks
Gildor for news and advice. Gildor tells him of the gathering darkness, the wars
of men and the flight of the elves. He tells Frodo that the Black Riders are the
servants of his enemies and that he must be careful. He extends his friendship
and that of is people to Frodo and his group. Sam is delighted, since he has always
dreamed of being on an adventure with elves.
is no explanation for Gandalf’s disappearance. Readers of The Hobbit will
recall that he did the same when he sent Bilbo on his adventure.
adventures begin here, as he is followed by a menacing band of Black Riders. Fortunately
the Elflord arrives to fill him in on the potential threat presented by these
menacing riders. Frodo and his companions proceed more cautiously.
a side note, Sam is the only one whose fear is offset by his excitement and thrill
A Short Cut to Mushrooms
When the adventurous hobbits get up in the morning, they find that the elves have
already left, leaving breakfast for them. Frodo decides to take a short cut through
the woods, in order to avoid the Black Riders on the road. They hear strange and
frightening noises, and hurry along till they come to the farm of Farmer Maggot.
As a youngster Frodo was caught many a times stealing mushrooms from these
fields and he is afraid of Farmer Maggot and his dogs. His fear is abated, however,
when Maggot and the dogs greet them and offer assistance. Farmer Maggot tells
the travelers that a stranger resembling the Black Rider has been asking questions
about Frodo. Old Maggot advises Frodo not to get mixed up in these adventures,
but realizes that Frodo will not change his mind. He offers to drive them to the
After supper the travelers set off in the thick fog. Farmer Maggot
gives Frodo a basketful of mushrooms and bids them good-bye.
This chapter advances the suspense. It also adds some light-hearted fun
to the novel. Frodo is afraid of Farmer Maggot because of some childish pranks
from his past. He is afraid to go, but is relieved when Maggot appears not to
remember and even offers his help. The chapter ends with Farmer Maggot good-naturedly
supplying Frodo with a basketful of mushrooms for his journey.
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