A Journey in the Dark (scene)

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"We have a long way to go, and there is time ahead for thought." — Treebeard
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A Journey in the Dark
Scene from
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Scene number28 (theatrical)
34 (extended)
Duration 04:55 (theatrical)
06:30 (extended)
Event The Fellowship travel through Moria
Characters Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Sam, Merry, Pippin
Balin's Tomb

A Journey in the Dark is the twenty-eighth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and the thirty-fourth of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition). This scene was extended in the latter edition.


The Fellowship find themselves trapped in Moria after the Watcher in the Water destroyed the entrance. Gandalf gravely says they must journey through Moria, a journey that will take four days. He tells them to be wary as "there are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world".

As they travel past abandoned ladders, Gandalf notices silver veins in the rocks and tells the others that the wealth of Moria was not due to jewels or gold, but mithril. He tells them that Bilbo once had a mithril shirt which was given to him by Thorin as a gift. Gandalf tells them that he never told Bilbo that the value of the shirt was greater than that of the entirety of the Shire. Frodo listens on in silence. Unbeknownst to the others, the very same mithril shirt was given to him as a gift by Bilbo in Rivendell.

They arrive at a three-way fork in the road. Gandalf does not know which way they should go, and so the Fellowship all rest there and wait for the wizard. Pippin complains quietly to Merry that he is hungry; Sam tries to shush them but to no avail. Frodo turns around and sees a creature skulking in the darkness in the distance. Concernedly, he tells Gandalf something is down there. Unperturbed, the wizard tells him matter-of-factly that it is Gollum, and that he has been following them, or rather the Ring, for three days. Frodo learns from Gandalf that Gollum was called "Sméagol" before the Ring found him and that his life is a sad story. Frodo says that it is a pity that Bilbo did not kill the creature when he had the chance, however Gandalf quickly quashes this train of thought.

Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment ... even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

Frodo thinks on these words before saying he wished the Ring had never come to him and that none of this had happened.

So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you also were meant to have it ... and that is an encouraging thought.

With a sudden gasp, Gandalf realises which of the three paths they should take. He tells Merry that the air does not smell so foul from the chosen path, and that whenever in doubt, one should "always follow your nose".

As the Fellowship emerge from the pathway, Gandalf lights up the large cavernous hall to reveal the endless columns and pillars of Dwarrowdelf, much to the amazement of Sam.


The conversation between Gandalf and Frodo regarding Gollum is adapted from the discussion that occurs in The Shadow of the Past. In that chapter, Gandalf tells Frodo the history of the Ring and the role played by Sméagol in that history.[1] As in this scene, Gandalf is quick to point out that the pity shown by Bilbo towards Gollum should not be scorned. Gandalf goes further in the chapter and points out that the chief reason the Ring had such little effect on Bilbo, and the fact that he was able "to escape in the end", was due to his pity for Gollum during his first moments as the ring-bearer.[1]