Nine are chosen to undertake this quest, they comprise the Fellowship of the Ring. The War of the Ring ends in March, The deeds of the Fellowship and the history of the War of the Ring, as told in the Lord of the Rings , are too great and numerous to be recounted here. The Fourth Age begins. Those that remain, along with the Hobbits and Dwarves, dwindle in number and hide from humans, to whom they are lost.
Breadcrumb Home Cite Middle-earth Timeline. See also:. Middle-earth Timeline. War of the Ring. The White Tree of Gondor dies and is left standing. No seedling can be found. The Shire Bilbo Baggins is born. Sauron returns to Mordor. Middle-earth The War of the Ring Top. Rivendell Elrond reveals to his ward "Estel" his true name and heritage and presents him with the greatest heirloom of Arnor, the shards of the ancient sword Narsil.
Middle-earth Last meeting of the White Council. Saruman fortifies Isengard and sets spies on Gandalf. Gandalf and Aragorn meet and become friends.
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The Shire Frodo Baggins is born. Middle-earth Aragorn enters Lorien and meets Arwen again. Theoden becomes King of Rohan. The Shire Saruman risks using one of the seeing stones and is unknowingly enslaved to the will of Sauron. The Shire Bilbo hosts his farewell feast on his th birthday, and gives Frodo the Ring. Middle-earth Gandalf and Aragorn sporadically hunt for Gollum. Rivendell Bilbo becomes a guest of Elrond and settles in Rivendell.
Middle-earth The Fourth Age begins. Return to the beginning. Strider fights them off and leads the hobbits towards the Elven refuge of Rivendell. Frodo falls deathly ill from the wound. The Black Riders nearly capture him at the Ford of Bruinen , but flood waters summoned by Elrond , master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them.
Frodo recovers in Rivendell under Elrond's care. The Council of Elrond discusses the history of Sauron and the Ring. Strider is revealed to be Aragorn , Isildur's heir. Gandalf reports that the chief wizard Saruman has betrayed them and is now working to become a power in his own right.
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The Council decides that the Ring must be destroyed, but that can only be done by sending it to the Fire of Mount Doom in Mordor, where it was forged. Frodo takes this task upon himself. Elrond, with the advice of Gandalf, chooses companions for him. After a failed attempt to cross the Misty Mountains over the Redhorn Pass, the Company take the perilous path through the Mines of Moria. They learn of the fate of Balin and his colony of Dwarves. After surviving an attack, they are pursued by Orcs and by a Balrog , an ancient fire demon.
Gandalf faces the Balrog, and both of them fall into the abyss. There, Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo, but Frodo puts it on and disappears. Frodo chooses to go alone to Mordor, but Sam guesses what he intends and goes with him.
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas debate which pair of hobbits to follow. They decide to pursue the Orcs taking Merry and Pippin to Saruman.
In the kingdom of Rohan , the Orcs are slain by a company of Rohirrim. Merry and Pippin escape into Fangorn Forest, where they are befriended by Treebeard , the oldest of the tree-like Ents. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas track the hobbits to Fangorn. There they unexpectedly meet Gandalf. Gandalf explains that he slew the Balrog. Darkness took him, but he was sent back to Middle-earth to complete his mission. He is clothed in white and is now Gandalf the White, for he has taken Saruman's place as the chief of the wizards.
Gandalf assures his friends that Merry and Pippin are safe.
Together they ride to Edoras , capital of Rohan. Meanwhile, the Ents, roused by Merry and Pippin from their peaceful ways, attack Isengard , Saruman's stronghold, and trap the wizard in the tower of Orthanc. Gandalf brings an army of Rohirrim to Helm's Deep, and they defeat the Orcs, who flee into the forest of Huorns, never to be seen again.
Gandalf offers Saruman a chance to turn away from evil. When Saruman refuses to listen, Gandalf strips him of his rank and most of his powers. After Saruman crawls back to his prison, Wormtongue drops a sphere to try to kill Gandalf. Pippin picks it up. Pippin is seen by Sauron.
Gandalf rides for Minas Tirith , chief city of Gondor, taking Pippin with him. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, who has followed them from Moria. They force him to guide them to Mordor.
They find that the Black Gate of Mordor is too well guarded, so instead they travel to a secret way Gollum knows. On the way, they encounter Faramir , who, unlike his brother Boromir, resists the temptation to seize the Ring. Gollum — who is torn between his loyalty to Frodo and his desire for the Ring — betrays Frodo by leading him to the great spider Shelob in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol. Frodo falls to Shelob's sting.
But with the help of Galadriel's gifts, Sam fights off the spider. Believing Frodo to be dead, Sam takes the Ring to continue the quest alone. Orcs find Frodo; Sam overhears them and learns that Frodo is still alive. Sauron sends a great army against Gondor.
Minas Tirith is besieged. Denethor is deceived by Sauron and falls into despair. He burns himself alive on a pyre, nearly taking his son Faramir with him. Aragorn, accompanied by Legolas, Gimli and the Rangers of the North, takes the Paths of the Dead to recruit the Dead Men of Dunharrow, who are bound by a curse which denies them rest until they fulfil their ancient forsworn oath to fight for the King of Gondor.
Aragorn defeats the Corsairs and uses their ships to transport the men of southern Gondor up the Anduin , reaching Minas Tirith just in time to turn the tide of battle. Meanwhile, Sam rescues Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol. They set out across Mordor. Aragorn leads an army of men from Gondor and Rohan to march on the Black Gate to distract Sauron from his true danger. His army is vastly outnumbered by the great might of Sauron.
He claims it for himself and puts it on his finger. Gollum suddenly reappears. He struggles with Frodo and bites off Frodo's finger with the Ring still on it. Celebrating wildly, Gollum loses his footing and falls into the Fire, taking the Ring with him. When the Ring is destroyed, Sauron loses his power forever. The four hobbits make their way back to the Shire, only to find that it has been taken over by men directed by one "Sharkey" whom they later discover to be Saruman. The hobbits raise a rebellion and liberate the Shire, though 19 hobbits are killed and 30 wounded. He is slain in turn by hobbit archers, and the War of the Ring comes to its true end on Frodo's very doorstep.
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Merry and Pippin are celebrated as heroes. Sam marries Rosie Cotton and uses his gifts from Galadriel to help heal the Shire. But Frodo is still wounded in body and spirit, having borne the Ring for so long. In the appendices, Sam gives his daughter Elanor the Red Book of Westmarch , which contains the story of Bilbo's adventures and the War of the Ring as witnessed by the hobbits. Sam is then said to have crossed west over the Sea himself, the last of the Ring-bearers. Some characters in The Lord of the Rings are unequivocal protagonists , and others are absolute antagonists.