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 9-10

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Book 2, Chapter 9 Summary: “The Great River”

As the Company travels southward down the Great River Anduin, the mood is uneasy, and they know the Enemy searches for them. For stealth, they travel at night. Sam is perturbed to see eyes in the water and wonders whether he’s dreaming. Meanwhile, Frodo shares that he’s detected Gollum following them since Moria—and Aragorn, also having tracked the creature, fears Gollum may reveal them to the Enemy. The boats nearly crash against rocks in the rapids, and Aragorn acknowledges he is out of his element and has led them too far down the Anduin. Arrows launch at them from the shore, but the crew’s Elven cloaks and boats help them camouflage and evade the attack. Spying a large, black, winged creature, Legolas shoots it out of the sky with his bow. Sam regards the moon and cannot reckon how long they have stayed in Lórien. Legolas explains that time moves both swiftly and slowly for the Elves, which brings them sadness. Aragorn determines their stay was a month long, as winter has passed and they are now entering “a spring of little hope” (379).

Wishing to bypass the rapids, Boromir insists on abandoning the boats and traveling by foot to Minas Tirith in Gondor, but Aragorn argues they should keep to the river a bit longer and then dock to take “the ancient way” (380) through Amon Hen, the hill once seated by kings; the crew can then bear their boats on foot to a landing past the rapids.

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