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BOOK REPORT Title The Fellowship of the Ring Author J.R.R. Tolkein Setting The Fellowship of the Ring is set in Tolkein's fantasy of Middle Earth, a place beneath our surface and the planet's core. Its inhabitants are ancient elves, men, and dwarves with a history, life, and language. Time is in ages not years; the First and Second shows itself frequently in this tale that's present is at the end of the Third Age. In essence, the world of Middle Earth is a complicated mythology, out of which the story of Lord of the Rings grows and is deeply dependent.

Characters Hobbits are short, hairy creatures that have simple desires and lead simple lives.

Together they each add their own oddities, eccentrics, strengths and weaknesses as they battle against the forces of evil and search for their own redemption.

Frodo Baggins, the main protagonist, is a hobbit of exceptional character.

Heroic, courageous, crafty, wise, and strong willed, Frodo is an elf-friend, knowledgeable in their language and a lover of their songs.

Sauron, also known as the Dark Lord, is the main antagonist. A servant of Morgoth (the Great Enemy), he took his master's place after the First Age. At the time of The Fellowship of the Ring, he has reestablished himself in Mordor and is preparing to launch a war on the West.

Gandalf is one of the five great wizards in Middle Earth. Known to the hobbits only as a creator of fine fireworks, he is actually powerful beyond all their imagination and seeks everything for the better good.

Sam Gamgee is a stubborn and valuable companion and friend to Frodo. Although he is not the brightest of hobbits, he recognizes things that the truly wise overlook.

Summary The story follows heroic Frodo the Ringbearer. An unlikely sort who had been an outcast among fellow Hobbits do to the shenanigans of his cousin Bilbo in The Hobbit. His peers discouraged romping about the Shire and fighting for legendary treasures instead of lavishing in simple pleasures. They looked upon Bilbo and his descendants in disparagement.

Frodo is heir to Bilbo's treasures that include the One Ring, a ring of awesome power, that Bilbo begrudgingly passes down to the young Frodo. With the encouragement of Gandalf, the high wizard only second in line to Sauron, and a fellowship consisting of Sam, Frodo's good friend and gardener, and other friends Pippin, Merry, and Aragon, Frodo sets off for the Crack of Doom where the powerful ring must be destroyed once and for all to preserve true liberation, the liberation of spirit.

The Fellowship heads south and attempts to pass under the Misty Mountains through Moria, the ancient realm of the dwarves. There, Gandalf falls into the chasm of Khazad-dum while protecting the company from a terrible demon called a Balrog. The rest of the party continues on to Lorien, the forest of the Galadrim elves, where the Lady Galadriel tests their hearts and gives them gifts to help their quest. From there, they go down the Anduin River by boat. However, Frodo cannot bear to take his friends with him or to subject them to further temptation of the ring, and attempts to leave secretly to continue the quest alone. He does not, however, manage to elude his faithful servant Sam, and the two of them set out together for the realm of the Dark Lord.

Theme The similarities between the events of the real world and Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth are indisputable. In his trilogy, he artfully illustrates the truths of the evil that plagues the hearts of man: the inevitable fading of beautiful things and unspoiled nature; the evil results that come from using evil means, even with good intentions; and the saving power of courage, humility and simplicity of heart, as personified in the hobbits. This story motif is greed's destruction and how mortal men are enslaved by their delusions of grander to elevate their own egos.

Quote This quotation is Sauron's cast of power and control imbedded in the One Ring's creation.

"Three Rings for the Eleven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his Dark throne, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." This passage is the lifeblood of the Trilogy of the Rings. It captures the great power and importance the rings hold in Middle World's future. It describes the dark forces of control embodied in the One Ring. It accounts for the importance of its ruin.

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