Council of Elrond

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Council of Elrond refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Council of Elrond (disambiguation).
"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
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Council of Elrond
Event Information
Date25 October, T.A. 3018
ResultFormation of the Fellowship of the Ring
Part ofQuest of the Ring
ParticipantsElrond, counselors of Elrond and other Elves, Gandalf, Men, two Hobbits, Dwarves from Erebor
GalleryImages of the Council of Elrond

The Council of Elrond was a council led by Elrond, held on 25 October of T.A. 3018[1] in Rivendell. The attendees were called together at the essential moment by fate, each thinking they were guided only by circumstance.[2] The main purpose of the council was to discuss what should be done with the One Ring, which was brought there by the Ring-bearer Frodo Baggins.[2]


The following people are known to have attended the Council:


At the Council, Gandalf, Elrond and Bilbo told the history of the Ring to all. At hearing the potential of "Isildur's Bane", Boromir proposed to use the Ring to defend his native Gondor, and overthrow Sauron, its creator. Gandalf and Elrond were against it, and stated that the Ring was the essence of Sauron, and thus would corrupt and ultimately destroy whoever tried to use it. To dissolve Galdor's doubts, Gandalf spoke about the Ring Verse that appeared on the Ring, and recited it in Black Speech, angering Elrond in the process.

The Lord of Rivendell by Peter Xavier Price

The fate of the Ring was considered. The Ring was indestructible as it could be unmade only where it was created, in the Crack of Doom in Mount Doom, and several solutions were proposed. It was suggested to give it to Tom Bombadil who could not be corrupted, or to send it to Valinor under the guardianship of the Valar and the High Elves. But it was deemed that the Ring could not be hidden or disposed, as it would remain dangerous for the generations to come.

Eventually it was decided that the only way to be free of Sauron and the Ring was to cast the Ring where it was made.

It then became necessary to decide who should take responsibility for such a perilous undertaking. Bilbo offered to finish the job he had started, but Gandalf told him he could not take back the Ring due to having possessed it for some time. Eventually Frodo surprised everyone including himself by telling them he would take the Ring. After some thought Elrond agreed. At this point Sam emerged from hiding and demanded to accompany Frodo, and since it was hardly possible to separate them Elrond agreed.[2]

Who would further accompany the "Company of the Ring" was the subject of some debate for the following two months, although it was clear that Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Gimli and Legolas would join them. Elrond opted for two more; "Nine walkers" would counter the "Nine Riders". He originally intended to send two of his household, such as Glorfindel, but Gandalf opted to include Merry and Pippin instead, as he deemed friendship and loyalty more important than strength.[3]

Portrayal in adaptations

1955: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Rings:

Not much is known, as information only runs up to the chapter Many Meetings, but it can at least be deduced that Glóin was present.

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

Not all of the mentioned people were present. Glorfindel, Glóin, Erestor, Galdor were omitted.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

The Council of Elrond begins without introduction in the sixth episode. Glóin, Galdor and Erestor are omitted.
The Council of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The attendants are described as being "summoned", and in the extended edition of The Two Towers, it is explicitly stated that the Council was called because the Ring was found; Boromir was ordered by his father to claim it. This is in contrast to the original text, where fate seems to bring them together.
The process of the council is significantly shortened. There are no or minimal references to the history of the Second Age, the Rings of Power, the current War, the politics of the races and the characters' backgrounds. The only characters who speak are the protagonists who will later form the Company of the Ring. Unrelated characters (such as Bilbo, Erestor or Glóin) are absent or don't speak at all. According to Decipher cards, some of the non-speaking participants are tradesmen from Dale and Lake-town. Figwit is also present.
The brief council is shadowed by sudden chaos and arguing over who would take the responsibility of the Ring. It is seen that the fight is inflamed by the Ring's evil influence as it sits in the middle of the court. Gandalf puts an end by reciting the Ring Verse, darkening the area and quieting everyone shouting.
The composition of the Company of the Ring was decided at the council. Sam was not the only one eavesdropping; Merry and Pippin were with him doing the same.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Only Elrond, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Aragorn, Gandalf and Frodo are mentioned, though the other three Hobbits are also present. The first seven are quickly chosen, but as Elrond tells of two great warriors, Merry and Pippin barge in.


Attendees of the Council of Elrond
Aragorn · Bilbo Baggins · Frodo Baggins · Boromir · Elrond · Erestor · Galdor · (Samwise Gamgee) · Gandalf · Gimli · Glóin · Glorfindel · Legolas