Breaking of the Fellowship

From Tolkien Gateway
Breaking of the Fellowship
Event Information
LocationParth Galen
Date26 February, T.A. 3019
ResultDisbanding of the Fellowship of the Ring
Part ofQuest of the Ring
War of the Ring
Osgiliath (1) · Moria · Isen (1) · Rauros · Isen (2) · Fangorn · Isengard · Hornburg · Osgiliath (2) · Siege of Gondor · Mirkwood · Dale · Pelennor Fields · Black Gate · Dol Guldur · Bywater

The Breaking of the Fellowship was an event that occurred on 26 February T.A. 3019. It involved the death of Boromir at the hands of the Uruk-hai and the splitting of the Fellowship of the Ring.


While the Fellowship camped at Parth Galen, a bank on the western side of the Anduin near the Falls of Rauros, they realised that the time had come to choose whether to go to Mordor and destroy the Ring or to Minas Tirith in Gondor so that the Fellowship could aid the defence of the city. Taking the ring to Mordor would likely result in the breaking of the Fellowship and some members going their own way. The choice was left to Frodo who feeling overwhelmed by the decision and asked to leave in order to think more on the choice. While he was thinking, Boromir came to him, unseen by the Fellowship, and talked of great battles and victories, to which Frodo did not listen much. Then, Boromir asked for a sight of the ring before asking Frodo to lend him the Ring. Upon Frodo's refusal, Boromir attacked Frodo. Frodo slipped on the Ring and disappeared, fleeing to the summit of Amon Hen. There he felt the great Eye searching for him, and after a moment of struggle, he took off the Ring, and was not discovered. After a minute Boromir realised what he had done and cried out for Frodo to come back, apologising for the madness that had overtaken him but it was too late.[1]

"Waiting for Frodo" by Anke Eißmann

Half an hour later, the other members of the Fellowship had discovered Boromir was no longer among them, and that the time had long passed for Frodo to return. Boromir then returned to them, and would say little, except that he had spoken angrily to Frodo, who after returning to where Boromir had attempted to attack him, had heard shouts and deducing that they were looking for him had put the Ring on and disappeared. Before Aragorn could devise a plan to search, Merry and Pippin went running off in one direction (with Boromir sent after them by Aragorn), Legolas and Gimli in another, and Sam in another. Sam, having guessed that his master was planning to leave by himself, ran to the shore, there he found Frodo, still invisible, dragging one of the boats into the water. He attempted to jump onto the boat from the shore but missed and not being able to swim had to be saved by Frodo. With some reluctance Frodo allowed Sam to accompany him but deep down he was glad to have Sam with him. Sam quickly grabbed his stuff and they left.[1]

Aragorn, still searching for Frodo, heard the sounds of a clash and the horn of Boromir from where he stood upon Amon Hen but the horn-calls ceased before he could reach Boromir. He found Boromir around a mile away from Parth Galen. Boromir was sitting with his back against a tree, pierced with many arrows, sword still in hand. At least 20 Orcs and Uruk-hai lay dead nearby. Boromir, in his final moments, confessed to Aragorn that he had tried to take the Ring from Frodo, and that the Orcs had carried off Merry and Pippin and asked Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith and save his people. Aragorn assured him that Minas Tirith would not fall and tried to get more information from him regarding the hobbits but Boromir spoke no more. Legolas and Gimli found Aragorn there mourning Boromir's death and at first feared that he too had suffered mortal wounds. Aragorn informed them of the fates of the rest of the fellowship and they debated how to continue. They searched the bodies of the fallen orcs for arrows for Legolas and discovered objects belonging to Merry and Pippin and shields bearing the white hand and S-rune of Saruman. Together they placed Boromir in a boat with his cloven horn, and sent it off the Falls of Rauros saying their final goodbye to Boromir of the House of Húrin, Captain of the White Tower. While gathering the boats they noticed that there were only two boats left and looking closer saw that hobbit footprints led into the water. They realised that Sam and Frodo had not been captured by orcs and had instead went off on their own and were left with the decision of whether to follow the orcs and rescue Merry and Pippin or follow Frodo and Sam. Aragorn decided that the fate of the Ring was now out of their hands and that they should not forsake their companions so they set out to rescue Merry and Pippin.[2]