97 pages 3 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1955

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Book 2, Chapters 4-5

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary: “A Journey in the Dark”

Blockaded from the Redhorn Pass, the fellowship decides to take the dangerous detour through the Dwarven Mines of Moria. Only Gimli is eager to see his ancient homeland. Boromir dissents, believing the Mines to be a trap, and proposes taking the southern route. Gandalf retorts, “You speak of what you do not know” (288); he explains that Saruman’s spies have spread over the southern realm and that he would not lead the group to the Mines unwittingly. They plan to vote on the decision, but an attack by wolves forces them to enter Moria, the ancient homeland from where the Dwarves are exiled. As they climb through the cliffs, Gandalf tells Sam that Bill the pony must remain behind once they enter the Mines, and Sam bursts into tears, having bonded with the loyal creature since Bree.

Gandalf discovers the Gates of Moria but is unable to open the hidden doors. The inscription “Speak, friend, and enter” (297) is engraved in Elven letters, a monument to when Dwarves and Elves were friends, yet Gandalf cannot recall what words will open the doors. Gimli and Legolas exchange blame on why their peoples are no longer allies.

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