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The Ring goes South

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The Ring goes South is the third chapter of the second book in The Fellowship of the Ring.


After the council meeting, the Hobbits hold a meeting of their own. Merry and Pippin are angry that Sam has been chosen to accompany Frodo and not them. Gandalf tells them that scouts have been sent out to gather information about the Black Riders and that Frodo cannot leave unless they come back with news. Gandalf tells Frodo that he might accompany him, but for now Frodo must remain at Rivendell and help Bilbo with a book of records he is completing.

The Hobbits remain a Rivendell for two months, by which time the scouts begin to return. No news is to be had of the Black Riders from any direction. It is decided that Frodo must leave at once, accompanied by Sam and Gandalf. Elrond also decides that they should increase their numbers to nine, in order to match the Black Riders. Legolas will represent the Elves; Gimli, son of Gloin, will represent Dwarves and Aragorn (the Strider) will represent Men. Boromir will go to represent the Gondorians. And Pippin and Merry are allowed to go.

The broken sword is re-forged and named Anduril, the Flame of the West. Bilbo gives Frodo a small knife and a shirt of chain-mail armor to be worn under his clothes. Each traveler is given a personal weapon and Sam takes the pony, Bill. They set out with the understanding that, except for Frodo, each man is free to leave the party whenever he chooses.

They reach Hollin and the first stage of their journey is complete. Strider feels like they are being observed by someone and notices the black crows flying low over the land. The group decides to leave, and at one point even see a dark shadow pass over the land.