CD No. 6 Episode VI: The Breaking of the Fellowship

t h e b r e a k i n g o f t h e f e l l o w s h i p

[Orcs scream and Boromir's horn rings out]

Aragorn: The horn of Boromir! He is in need!

[He cries out in frustration]

Aragorn: An ill fate is on me this day, and all that I do goes amiss. Where is Sam? Sam! Sam!

[The Orcs scream and yell. Boromir's horn again is blown]

Aragorn: Elendil! Elendil!

[The Orcs retreat. Boromir's breathing is strained]

Aragorn: Boromir!

Boromir: Aragorn, I - I tried to take the Ring from Frodo. I am sorry. These Orc-arrows have paid me for my folly. Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.

Aragorn: No! No, Boromir, you have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Minas Tirith shall not fall! Boromir, where are the halflings?

Boromir: The Orcs have them. I do not think they're dead. Orcs bound them.

Aragorn: Which way did the Orcs go? Did they have Frodo and Sam as well?

[Boromir gasps softly]

Aragorn: Boromir! Alas! Thus passes the heir of Denethor, Lord of the Tower of Guard! This is a bitter end. Now the Company is all in ruin. It is I that have failed. Vain was Gandalf's trust in me.

[Running footsteps approach]

Gimli: Boromir!

Legolas: Oh, Aragorn. Gimli and I have hunted and slain many Orcs in the woods, but we should have been of more use here.

Gimli: We came when we heard the horn - but too late, it seems.

Aragorn: Yes, Boromir is dead. He fell defending the hobbits.

Gimli: The hobbits! Where are they then? Where is Frodo?

Aragorn: I do not know, Gimli. I was not here. Before he died Boromir told me that the Orcs had bound the halflings; but I did not ask him until it was too late whether they took them all, or only Merry and Pippin. All that I have done today has gone amiss. What is to be done now?

Legolas: First we must tend the fallen. We cannot leave him lying like carrion among these foul Orcs.

Gimli: We have not the time or the tools to bury our comrade fitly.

Aragorn: Then let us lay him in a boat with his weapons, and send him to the Falls of Rauros and give him to the River Anduin.

Gimli: It is not a pleasant task, Legolas. But let us strip these Orcs of helm and shield, that we may lay around him the weapons of his vanquished foes.

Legolas: Yes.

[They begin to gather the Orcs' armour]

Aragorn: These are not folk of Mordor. I have not seen shields before that bear this strange device of the White Hand.

Gimli: The Orcs of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye.

Aragorn: I guess therefore that these Orcs were in the service of Saruman. There is evil afoot in Isengard, and the West is no longer safe.

Gimli: We must be swift. Let us carry Boromir to the shore, and then Legolas and I will go back and fetch the boats, while you stand vigil over our companion.

- - - - -

[Water flows]

Legolas: There's a strange tale to tell, Aragorn!

Aragorn: Why? What has happened?

Legolas: There were only two boats upon the bank. We could find no trace of the other one.

Aragorn: Have Orcs been there?

Gimli: We saw no sign of them. And Orcs would have taken or destroyed all the boats.

Aragorn: Then - then I think only Frodo could have taken the boat, and Sam must have gone with him.

Gimli: But why should he leave us behind, and without a word?

Legolas: Indeed. That was a strange deed.

Aragorn: And a brave deed. I do not think Frodo wished to lead any friend to death with him in Mordor. But he knew that he must go himself.

Gimli: We have no time to ponder riddles. Let us bear Boromir away.

Narrator: They laid Boromir in the middle of the boat that was to bear him away. The elven-cloak they folded and placed beneath his head. The golden belt of Lórien gleamed about his waist. His helm they set beside him, and across his lap they laid the cloven horn and the hilt and shards of his sword. Sorrowfully they cast loose the funeral boat: there Boromir lay, restful, peaceful, gliding upon the bosom of the flowing water. Slowly his boat departed, waning to a dark spot against the golden light; and then suddenly it vanished. The rush and thunder of the Falls shook the windless air.

Aragorn: They will look for him from the White Tower of Minas Tirith, but he will not return from mountain or from sea. Boromir has taken his road. And now we must make haste to choose our own.

Gimli: Our choice then, is either to take the remaining boat and follow Frodo, or else to follow the Orcs on foot. There is little hope either way. We have already lost precious hours.

Legolas: Indeed.

Aragorn: Let me think! And now may I make a right choice and change the evil fate of this unhappy day! I will follow the Orcs. I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end; but if I seek him now in the wilderness, I must abandon the captives to torment and death. My heart speaks clearly at last: the fate of the Bearer is in my hands no longer.

- - - - -

Narrator: Afternoon was fading when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli came back to the glade where Boromir had fallen. There, they picked up the trail of the Orcs. It needed little skill to find.

Legolas: No other folk make such a trampling. It seems that they delight in slashing and bearing down anything that grows, even if it is not in their way.

Aragorn: But they do go at great speed for all that, and they do not tire.

Gimli: Well, after them! Dwarves too can go swiftly, and they do not tire sooner than Orcs. But it will be a long chase: they have a long start.

Aragorn: We will make such a chase as shall be accounted a marvel among the Three Kindreds: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Forth the Three Hunters!

Legolas and Gimli: The Three Hunters!

- - - - -

Legolas: Ah! The green smell of the grasslands of Rohan! It is much better than sleep. Let us run!

Aragorn: Light feet may run swiftly here. More swiftly, maybe, than the iron-shod Orcs. Now we may have a chance to lessen their lead! Wh - stay!

Gimli: What is it?

Aragorn: Look - there, quite plain: a hobbit's footprint. Pippin's I think. He is smaller than Merry. And - look at this!

Legolas: A leaf-brooch from an elven-cloak!

Aragorn: Not idly to the leaves of Lórien fall. This did not drop by chance: it was cast away as a token to any that might follow. I think Pippin must have run away from that trail on purpose.

Gimli: Then at least he was alive. And he had the use of his wits, and of his legs too. That is heartening. We do not pursue in vain.

Legolas: Let us hope he did not pay too dearly for his boldness. Come! Let us go on!

- - - - -

Narrator: On then they ran all that day, now striding, now running, as if no weariness could quench the fire that burned them. But that night, they rested. With the dawn they set forth again. Still they drew no closer to the foe.

Legolas: Now do I most grudge a time of rest or any halt in our chase. The Orcs have run before us, as if the very whips of Sauron were behind them. I fear that they have already reached the forest of Fangorn and the dark hills, and are now passing into the shadows of the trees.

Gimli: Is this an end to our hope and to all our toil?

Aragorn: To hope, maybe, but not to toil. We shall not turn back here.

- - - - -

[Orcs groan. A whip cracks]

Uglúk: On! On! Come on, you maggots! Faster!

Orc: Oh, it's all right for you, Uglúk! You're not carrying these nasty little hobbit-things.

Uglúk: They must be carried or they'll try and escape again. And we don't want them loosing themselves in that their forest. Now, come on!

Orc: What's that?

Uglúk: What's what?

Orc: Horses!

Uglúk: Where?

Orc: Yes! Look over there, to the east. White-skins on horses!

[The Orcs talk in fear]

Pippin: White-skins? Who are they?

Merry: I don't know. I don't know if they're friends or foe.

Uglúk: Silence! Silence! Now listen, you maggots. It seems that those cursed horse-boys have got wind of us. But we are the fighters and we'll feast on horse-flesh yet, or something better. So stand and prepare to defend yourselves and the prisoners.

Orc: Why worry about the prisoners? They're a cursed nuisance anyway. Why don't we kill them now?

Uglúk: Orders! Kill all but not the halflings. They're to be brought back alive as quickly as possible. That's my orders.

Merry: Let's hope he sticks to them.

Uglúk: Now stop arguing and get ready to fight!

Orc: Look, look! They're not coming any nearer.

Orc: They will.

Uglúk: Right, now! Put those halflings down and stand guard over them. They're not to be killed unless the filthy white-skins break through. Understand? As long as I'm alive, I want 'em.

Pippin: Oh, Merry!

Merry: Don't lose hope, Pippin!

Uglúk: But they're not to cry out and they're not to be rescued. Bind their legs.

Orc: Bind their legs?

Uglúk: Well! Bind 'em!

[Pippin cries out in pain]

Pippin: Get off me!

Orc: Why don't those riders attack, if they're going to? Why don't we charge through them?

Uglúk: You're apes and maggots, the lot of you! No good trying to charge them.

Orc: Why?

Uglúk: You'll just squeal and bolt. Enough of them then to mop up our lot on the flat.

[The Orc argue loudly in the background]

Merry: I don't think much of this, Pippin.

Pippin: I suppose we ought to be glad that these beastly Orcs look like being destroyed. How will the horsemen know we're not Orcs?

Merry: I don't suppose they've ever heard of Hobbits down here.

Pippin: No. I wonder if anyone will ever pick up my trail and find that brooch?

Merry: Oh, I doubt it, Pippin. Still you will get almost a chapter in old Bilbo's book, if I ever get a chance to report to him.

Uglúk: Now then! None of that! Hold your tongues. Don't talk to one-another. Any trouble, and He'll here about it. And He'll know how to pay you.

[The Orcs scream]

Orc: The white-skins!

Orc: Their attacking!

[Hooves pound on the ground and Orcs scream in fear]

Uglúk: ... Maggots! Stand and fight! Stand and f -

[He screams as he is killed]

Merry: If only we had our legs and hands free, we might get away. Perhaps we can bite through the knots?

Pippin: No need to try, Merry! I've managed to free my hands on the march. These loops are only left for show.

Merry: Oh, well-done, Pippin!

Pippin: If I can just reach that Orc's sword, then we could cut the rest of the ropes. Right! Now, give me your wrists. There! Now, get your legs free. We must get under cover. It would not be any comfort to us if these riders only discover we're not Orcs after we're dead. Right. Can you manage?

Merry: Yes, I think so, though those cords have cut me like wires.

Pippin: Right, come on, run!

[They pant as they run]

Merry: We must get into the forest.

Pippin: But surely that's Fangorn, and we were warned against going there.

Merry: Yes, I have not forgotten. But the forest seems better to me than turning back into the middle of that battle!

- - - - -

Narrator: Fearful for their young companions, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli still pursued the Orc-trail. They were going slowly, now. But at length, they came to the summit of a smooth, round hill, and saw ahead and eastward the windy uplands of the Wold of Rohan.

Aragorn: Look!

Gimli: What is it? What do you see, Aragorn?

Aragorn: I don't know, Gimli. A shadow on the distant green, a dark, swift-moving blur. Legolas, what do your elven-eyes see?

Legolas: I see small figures of horsemen. Many horsemen.

Aragorn: Riders?

Legolas: Yes. There are one-hundred and five of them. Their hair is yellow and their leader is very tall, and the glint of morning on the tips of their spears is like the twinkle of minute stars beyond the edge of mortal sight. Behind them, a dark smoke rises in curling threads.

Aragorn: Keen are the eyes of the Elves.

[Legolas laughs]

Gimli: Shall we wait for them here or go on our way?

Aragorn: We shall wait. For these riders must be men of Rohan and they are riding back down the Orc-trail. We may get news from them.

Gimli: Or spears.

Legolas: I see no hobbits with them.

Aragorn: I did not say that we should hear good news. But evil or good, we will await it here.

- - - - -

[Many horse-hooves pound the earth]

Aragorn: What news from the North, Riders of Rohan?

Éomer: Who are you, and what are you doing in this land?

Aragorn: I am called Strider. I come out of the North. I am hunting Orcs.

Éomer: Indeed! You know little of Orcs if you go hunting them in this fashion. Are you elvish folk?

Aragorn: No. One only of us is an Elf, Legolas from the Woodland Realm in distant Mirkwood. But we have passed through Lothlórien, and the gifts and favour of the Lady go with us.

[The horsemen speak amongst themselves in wonder]

Éomer: Then there is a Lady in the Golden Wood, as old tales tell!

Éothain: Beware, Lord! Few escape her nets, they say.

Éomer: Aye. And if you have her favour, then maybe you are also net-weavers and sorcerers. Why do your companions not speak?

Gimli: Give me your name, horse-master, and I will give you mine, and more besides.

Éomer: I am named Éomer son of Éomund, and am called the Third Marshal of Riddermark.

Gimli: Then Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of Riddermark, let Gimli the Dwarf, Glóin's son, warn you against foolish words. You speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you.

Éomer: I would cut off your head, beard and all, Master Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.

[The horsemen laugh]

Legolas: He stands not alone. I can string and loose an arrow quicker than sight. You would die before your stroke fell.

[Éomer draws his sword]

Éomer: Would I?

Aragorn: Your pardon, Éomer! When you know more you will understand why you have angered my companions. Will you not hear our tale before you strike?

Éomer: I will.

[His sword is sheathed]

Éomer: But first tell me your right name.

Aragorn: First tell me whom you serve. Are you friend or foe of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor?

Éomer: I serve only the Lord of the Mark, Théoden King son of Thengel. We do not serve the Power of the Black Land, but neither are we yet at open war with him. Come! Who are you? Whom do you serve?

Aragorn: I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor.

[He draws his sword]

Aragorn: Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!

[Men murmur in the background]

Éomer: These are strange days. Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass. Tell me, lord, what brings you here?

Aragorn: I am in great need. The Orcs whom we pursue took captive two of my friends. What can you tell us?

Éomer: That you need not pursue them further. The Orcs are destroyed.

Legolas: And our friends?

Éomer: We found none but Orcs.

Aragorn: But that is strange indeed. Did you search the slain? Were there no bodies other than those of Orc-kind? They would be small. Only children to your eyes.

Éomer: There were no children. We counted all the slain and despoiled them, and then we piled the carcases and burned them, as is our custom. The ashes are smoking still.

Gimli: We do not speak of children. Our friends were hobbits.

Éomer: Hobbits? And what may they be? It's a strange name.

Gimli: A strange name for a strange folk. But these were very dear to us. You may have heard them called Halflings.

[The horsemen laugh]

Éothain: Haflings! My lord Éomer, let us leave these wild folk to their fancies. Halflings are only a little people in old childrens' tales out of the North. Time is pressing. We must hasten south.

Éomer: Peace, Éothain! Leave me a while. Assemble our people on the path and make ready to ride.

Éothain: My lord. Riders! Fall up, on the path. Ready to ride!

[Horses gallop away]

Éomer: I spoke warily before my men. I am abroad without King Théoden's leave. It's true that we are not yet at open war with the Black Land and there are some close to the King's ear that speak craven counsels. But war is coming. We shall not forsake our old alliance with Gondor, and while they fight, we shall aid them. So say I and all who hold with me.

Aragorn: My errand was to go with Boromir to the aid of Gondor. But Boromir has fallen.

Éomer: Boromir, slain?

Aragorn: Slain by the Orcs of Saruman, defending the halflings we have told you of.

Éomer: These are heavy tidings. Boromir was a worthy man. But why journeyed Aragorn and Boromir with Elf and Dwarf and Halfling? You have not told all. Will you not now speak more fully of your errand?

Aragorn: The Company I journeyed with had other business, but I cannot speak of that now. Gandalf the Grey was our leader.

Éomer: Gandalf is known in the Mark: but I warn you, his name is no longer a password to the king's favour. Since he last came all things have gone amiss. It was at that time that our trouble with Saruman began.

Gimli: Are you now at war with him?

Éomer: Yes, for many months, and it is ill dealing with such a foe: he is a wizard both cunning and dwimmer-crafty, having many guises. He walks here and there, they say, hooded and cloaked, very like to Gandalf.

Aragorn: That is a poor disguise, since Gandalf walks no more. He fell into the darkness in the Mines of Moria.

Éomer: Your news is all of woe! But do I hope in vain that now you have been sent to me for help in doubt and need?

Aragorn: I will come when I may.

Éomer: Come now! The Heir of Elendil would be a strength indeed to the sons of Eorl in this evil tide.

Aragorn: My heart desires to come with you; but I cannot desert my friends while hope remains. If, as you will say, they were not slain and burned among the Orcs, then we must search in Fangorn for them.

Éomer: Very well. You may go. And what is more, I will lend you horses. This only I ask: when your quest is achieved, or is proved vain, return the horses to Edoras where Théoden sits. Thus shall you prove to him that I have not misjudged. Do not fail.

Aragorn: I will not fail you, Éomer. I will not fail you.

- - - - -

Narrator: As Aragorn and his companions set out in search of Merry and Pippin, the two young hobbits were struggling through the dark and tangled forest, fighting a queer, stifling feeling that was coming over them.

Merry: The air. It's getting too thin to breathe.

Pippin: Yes. It's all very dim and stuffy in here. Look at all those weeping, trailing beards and whiskers of lichen. And most of the trees seem to be half-covered with ragged dry leaves that have never fallen.

Merry: I can't imagine any animals living here.

Pippin: No, nor Hobbits. And I don't like the thought of trying to get through it, Merry. I don't like the thought of it at all.

Merry: No! It's so frightfully, uh - treeish.

Pippin: Hm. Well, we'd better decide on the way now. The morning must be getting on.

Merry: Look, Pippin! Light - yellow sunlight, up there, through the forest roof.

Pippin: It isn't far. Let's go and investigate.

[They struggle through the forest]

Merry: The wind's changed; it's turned east again.

Pippin: Yes. I'm afraid this is only a passing gleam. It will all be grey again in a moment. What a pity! This shaggy old forest looks so different in the sunlight. I almost felt I liked the place.

Treebeard: Hoom!

[Pippin and Merry gasp]

Treebeard: Almost felt you liked the Forest! That's good! That's uncommonly kind of you. Turn round and let me have a look at your faces. I almost feel that I dislike you. But do not let us be hasty. Turn round! Hoom... very odd indeed! Do not be hasty, that is my motto. But if I had seen you, before I heard your voices - I liked them: they reminded me of something I cannot remember. If I had seen you before I heard you, I should have just trodden on you, taking you for little Orcs, and found out my mistake afterwords. Very odd you are, indeed. Root and twig, very odd!

Pippin: Please, who are you?

Treebeard: Hm, now. Well, I am an Ent, or that's what they call me.

Merry: An Ent? What's that?

Treebeard: We are tree-herds, though there are few enough of us left now. Sheep get like shepherd, and shepherds get like sheep, it is said. But it is quicker and closer with trees and Ents.

Pippin: Do you have a name, sir?

Treebeard: I am the Ent, you might say. Fangorn is my name according to some, Treebeard others make it. Treebeard will do. What are you, I wonder? I cannot place you. You do not seem to come in the old lists that I learned when I was young. Let me see! Let me see! How did it go?

Learn now the lore of Living Creatures!
First name the four, the free peoples:
Eldest of all, the elf-children;
Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses;
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains;
Hrum, de tum tum
Man the mortal, master of horses:
Hrum, de tum tum. Oh, how did it go?
Hrum, de tum tum. Hrum, de du tum.
Du tadum...

It was a long list. But anyway you do not seem to fit in anywhere!

Merry: We always seem to have got left out of all the old lists and the old stories. Yet we've been about for quite a long time. We are hobbits.

Treebeard: Hoom, hobbits. Hobb-its.

Pippin: Why not make a new line?

Half-grown hobbits, the hole-dwellers.

Treebeard: That would do. So you live in holes, eh? That sounds very right and proper. But who calls you hobbits? That does not sound elvish to me.

Pippin: Nobody else calls us hobbits; we call ourselves that.

Treebeard: Oh, come now! Not so hasty! You call yourselves hobbits? But you should not go telling just anybody. You'll be letting out your own right names if you're not careful.

Merry: Oh, we aren't careful about that. As a - as a matter of fact I'm a Brandybuck, Meriadoc Brandybuck, though most people just call me Merry.

Pippin: And I'm a Took, Peregrin Took, but I'm generally called Pippin.

Treebeard: Hm, but you are hasty folk, I see. I'll call you Merry and Pippin if you please - nice names. But now, what is going on? And what are you doing in it all? What is Gandalf up to? And these - burárum, these Orcs, and young Saruman down at Isengard? I like news. But not too quick now.

Merry: But you told us not to be too hasty, Treebeard. Um, ought we to tell you anything so soon? Would you think it rude, if we asked you what you are going to do with us, and - and which side you're on? And did you know Gandalf?

Treebeard: The only wizard that really cares about trees. Do you know him?

Pippin: Yes, we did. He was a great friend, and he was our guide.

Treebeard: Then I can answer your other questions. I am not going to do anything with you: not if you mean by that doing something to you. But we might do some things together. As to which side I am on, I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me. Nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even the Elves nowadays. But you speak of Master Gandalf, as if he was in a story that has come to an end.

Pippin: Yes, we do. The story seems to be going on, but I am afraid Gandalf has fallen out of it.

Treebeard: Come now! Well, I do not know what to say.

Merry: If you would like to hear more, we will tell you. But it will take some time. Wouldn't you like to sit down?

Treebeard: I do not sit down. I am not very, hm, bendable. Ah, but there, the sun is going in. Let us leave this a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme - oh, excuse me. That is part of my name for the thing we are now standing on, where I look out on fine mornings and think about the unfolding of the world. What would you call it?

Pippin: Hill?

Treebeard: Hill. Yes, that was it. But it is a hasty word for a thing that has stood here ever since this part of the world was shaped. Nevermind. Let us leave it, and go.

Merry: Where shall we go?

Treebeard: To my home, or one of my homes.

Merry: I - is it far? You see, we have lost all our belongings, and we have only a little food.

Treebeard: Oh! You need not trouble about that. I can give you a drink that will keep you green and growing for a long, long while. And I will carry you so that you do not tire yourselves. Come now. Let us go!

- - - - -

[Water is heard in the background]

Pippin: What is this place, Treebeard?

Treebeard: This, Pippin, is an ent-house, near the roots of the Last Mountain. Part of the name of this place might be Wellinghall, if it was turned into your language. I like it. We will stay here tonight. There are no seats, I fear, but you may sit on my stone table.

[He sets them down]

Treebeard: There. You are thirsty, I expect. I will fetch you a drink.

Merry: Pippin, did you see those two great trees as we came into the clearing, like living gateposts?

Pippin: Yes.

Merry: I'm sure they lifted their branches and quivered their leaves when we approached.

Treebeard: Ah. Hrum! Drink this.

[Treebeard takes a long drink and sighs contently]

Treebeard: Now we can talk easier.

[Leaves rustle]

Treebeard: I will lie down and that will prevent this drink from rising to my head and sending me to sleep. Now then, tell me your story.

Merry: Well, you see, uh - Pippin and I are friends of Frodo Baggins, whose uncle was Bilbo Baggins...

[His voice begins to fade into the background]

Merry: ...who was a friend of Gandalf the Wizard...

- - - - -

Treebeard: Hoom! Well, well! That is a bundle of news and no mistake. Up sprout a little folk that are not in the old lists, and behold, they're caught up in a great storm. I hope they can weather it!

Merry: And what about yourself?

Treebeard: There is naught an old Ent can do to hold back a storm: he must also weather it or crack. But Saruman, now! Saruman is a neighbour: I cannot overlook that. Now it is clear that he is a black traitor. He is plotting to become a Power. He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things. Down on the borders, his Orcs are felling trees! Good trees! Which they carry off to feed the fires of Orthanc in Isengard.

[He slams his hand on the table]

Treebeard: Curse him, root and branch! But I will stop it. And you shall come with me.

Pippin: Us?

Treebeard: Yes. You may be able to help us. You will be helping your own friends that way, too. Our roads go together - to Isengard!

Merry: We will come with you!

Pippin: We will do what we can.

Treebeard: Good! But I spoke hastily. We must not be hasty. For it is easier to shout stop! than to do it. Hm, I must think.

- - - - -

[Treebeard's singing voice approaches]


When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough;
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow;

[Merry and Pippin yawn]


When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain-air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!

Hm. Good morning, Merry and Pippin!

Merry: Good morning, Treebeard. What's happening?

Treebeard: We're off to the Entmoot.

Pippin: What's an Entmoot, Treebeard?

Treebeard: Entmoot is a gathering of Ents, Pippin - which does not happen very often nowadays.

Merry: But why are the Ents gathering?

Treebeard: Why? To decide what to do, of course! Though it will take several days.

Pippin: What will they decide, do you think?

Treebeard: Well, now, we shall have to see, shan't we? But come! Up you get onto my arms. We must away if we're to be there before noon.

[His voice slowly fades into the distance]


When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
I'll look for thee, and call to thee; I'll come to thee again!

Narrator: Carrying the hobbits in his arms, Treebeard strode away southwards into deep groves, where the trees were larger, taller, and thicker than any the hobbits had ever seen before. And as they went, it seemed to Merry and Pippin that they alone were now left of the whole Fellowship of the Ring.

- - - - -

Narrator: But away in the East, Frodo and Sam were struggling on towards perils of their own.

[A harsh wind blows loudly]

Frodo: You know, Sam, I'm sure we've been here before.

Sam: You're right, Mr. Frodo. We must have gone round in a circle again.

Frodo: Oh, we'll never get off this cliff!

Sam: What a fix! That's the one place in all the lands we've ever heard of that we don't want to see any closer; and that's the one place we're trying to get to! And that's just where we can't get, nohow. We've come the wrong way altogether. We can't get down; and if we did get down, we'd find all that green land a nasty bog, I'll warrant.

[Frodo shivers]

Sam: Phew! Can you smell it?

Frodo: Yes, I can.

Sam: And what's that flickering red, way over there?

Frodo: Mordor! And I must go there. I wish I could get there quickly and make an end of all this! Well, Sam, we - we can't stay here, fix or no fix. We must find a more sheltered spot, and camp; perhaps another day will show us another path.

Sam: Or another and another and another. Or maybe no day. We... we've come the wrong way.

Frodo: I wonder. It's my doom, I think, to go to that Shadow yonder, so that a way will be found. But will good or evil show it to me?

- - - - -

[The wind blows in fast gusts]

Frodo: I wish we could get away from these hills, Sam. I hate them! I feel all naked with nothing but the dead flats between me and that Shadow yonder. There's an Eye in it. Come on, Sam!

Sam: Sir.

Frodo: We've got to get down today somehow.

Sam: I don't see how, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: There's nothing for it but to scramble down this gully, Sam. L - uh, let's see where it leads to.

Sam: A nasty drop, I'll bet.

Frodo: Look! It - it's much lower here than it was, and it looks easier too.

Sam: Easier? Well, I suppose it's always easier getting down than up. Those as can't fly can jump!

Frodo: It will still be a big jump. No, there's nothing we can do without rope.

Sam: Rope! Well, if I don't deserve to be hung on the end of one as a warning to numbskulls.

Frodo: What?

Sam: You're naught but a ninnyhammer, Sam Gamgee. I carried it all the way from Lothlórien, and I clean forgotten it!

Frodo: Then get busy and make it fast to that stump, Sam!

Sam: Sir!

Frodo: If we're going to try and get down we'd better try at once. It's getting dark early. I think there's a storm coming.

[Sam grunts as he tightens his knot]

Sam: Right! I'm going first, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: You? But I thought you didn't like heights!

Sam: Well, I don't. But it's only sense to put the one lowest as is most likely to slip. I don't want to come down atop of you. There's no sense in killing two with one fall.

Frodo: All right, Sam.

[Thunder shakes the air]

Frodo: I'll lower you, and you need do no more than put your weight on some of the ledges.

Sam: Very well! If it must be, let's get it over with.

Frodo: Yeah.

- - - - -

[Sam coughs. Thunder rolls throughout the conversation]

Frodo: There. Well, we've done it! We escaped from the Emyn Muil! And now what next, I wonder? Maybe we shall soon be sighing for good hard rock under our feet again.

Sam: Oh, ninnyhammers!

Frodo: What...?

Sam: Noodles!

Frodo: What - what is it now, Sam?

Sam: My beautiful rope!

Frodo: Huh?

Sam: Well, there it is up there tied to a stump, and we're at the bottom. Just as nice a stair for that slinking Gollum as we could leave. I thought it seemed a bit too easy.

Frodo: Sam, well - how could we have both used the rope and yet brought it down with us, hm?

Sam: Well, well... I can't think of any way.

Frodo: No.

Sam: But I don't like leaving it, and that's a fact. It goes hard parting with anything brought out of Elf-country. Made by Galadriel herself, too, maybe. Oh well! Farewell, rope. Namárië!

[The rope falls to the ground. Sam gasps in surprise]

Frodo: Sam! It's come undone. Who tied that knot?

[He laughs]

Frodo: It's a good thing it held as long as it did!

Sam: I put as fast a hitch over that stump as any one could have done, in the Shire or out of it.

Frodo: Then the rope must have broken - frayed on the rock-edge, I expect.

Sam: I bet it didn't! Nor it hasn't neither. See - not a strand!

Frodo: Then I'm afraid it must have been the knot.

[He laughs again]

Sam: Well, have it your own way, Mr. Frodo, but I think the rope come off itself - when I called. You see, I may not be much good at climbing, but I do know something about ropes and knots...

[A Nazgûl screams overhead]

Frodo: Sam! What was that?

Sam: It sounded like a Black Rider, but one up in the air, if they can fly.

- - - - -

Narrator: Frodo and Sam huddled mournfully together in the cold, stony night, while down the face of a precipice, sheer and almost smooth it seemed in the moonlight, a black shape was moving with its thin limbs splayed out. It was coming down head first, as if it was smelling its way.

[The wind blows coldly]

Frodo: What's that?

[Sam starts from his sleep]

Frodo: Look, Sam. Over there on the cliff!

[Sam gasps]

Sam: Ssss! It's that Gollum. That's what it is. Snakes and adders! Look at him! He's like a nasty crawling spider on a wall. Do you think he can see us, Mr. Frodo?

Frodo: I don't know. But I think not. But perhaps he can smell us.

[Gollum hisses in the distant background]

Sam: Well, I'm sick of him sneaking about after us. He's come once too often for me! And I'm going to have a word with him, if I can. I don't suppose we can give him the slip now, anyway.

Frodo: Careful! Don't alarm him! He's much more dangerous than he looks.

[Gollum hisses and sniffs]

Gollum: Cautious, my precious! More haste, less speed. We mustn't risk our neck, must we, precious? No, precious - gollum! Where isss it? Where isss it: My Precious, my Precious? It's ours, it is, and we wants it. The thieves, the - the little thieves, where are they my Precious? Curse them! We hateses them!

Sam: It doesn't sound as if he knows we're here, does it? But what's this my Precious? Does he mean the R...

Frodo: Shh! He's getting near now.

[Gollum slides and yells to himself]

Gollum: Careful, precious, or you'll slip!

[He screams and falls to the ground]

Frodo: He's fallen.

Sam: I'll have him!

[Sam screams out as he pounces on Gollum. Gollum hisses, grabbing Sam, who yells in pain]

Sam: Master!

Frodo: Let go, Gollum! This is Sting. You saw this blade once before when Bilbo carried it. Now I carried it. And if you don't let go of Sam, you will feel it! Do you hear me, Gollum? Let go or I'll cut your throat!

[Gollum begins to cry. Sam gasps for breath as he is released]

Gollum: Don't hurt us! Don't let them hurt us, precious! They won't hurt us, will they, nice little hobbitses? We didn't mean no harm, but they jumps us, jumps on us! Like cats on poor mices, they did, precious. And we're so lonely, gollum. We'll be nice to them, very nice, if they'll be nice to us, won't we, won't we? Yes, yes! Yes, yes, yes! Yes!

Sam: Well, what's to be done with it? Tie it up, so as it can't come sneaking after us no more, I say.

[Gollum screams]

Gollum: But that would kill us, kill us, kill us! Gollum.

Frodo: No. If we kill him, we must kill him outright.

[Gollum sobs]

[A flashback of Frodo and Gandalf is heard:

Frodo: What a pity Bilbo did not kill Gollum.

Gandalf: Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand.

Frodo: I am sorry, but I am frightened. And I do not feel any pity for Gollum.

Gandalf: You must understand that Gollum is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he may yet have some part to play, for good or ill. And when in comes, the Pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many, yours not least.]

Frodo: Very well. I am afraid. But I will not touch the creature. For now that I see him, I do pity him.

Gollum: Yess, wretched we are, precious. Hobbits won't kill us, nice hobbitses.

Frodo: No.

[Gollum laughs, relieved]

Frodo: We won't. But we won't let you go either.

[He hisses]

Frodo: You're full of wickedness and mischief, gollum.

Gollum: Gollum.

Frodo: You will have to come with us, so that we can keep an eye on you.

[Gollum begins to whine to himself]

Frodo: But you must help us if you can. One good turn deserves another.

Gollum: Yesss. Yes indeed! Nice hobbits. Yes, yes. We will come with them, find them safe paths in the dark, we will. Where are they going in these cold hard lands, we wonders? Yessss, we wonders.

Frodo: You know that, or guess well-enough, Sméagol.

[He hisses]

Frodo: We are going to Mordor, of course. And you know the way there, I believe.

Gollum: Ach! Yes! We guessed, yes we guesssed, didn't we? Yes. And we didn't want them to go, did we? No, no, precious. Not the nice hobbitseses! Ashes, ashes, and dust, and thirst there is; and pits, pits, pits, and Orcs, thousands of Orcsesss. Nice hobbits mustn't go to - ss - those placesss.

Frodo: So you have been there? And you're being drawn back there, aren't you?

Gollum: Yes! Yesss! No! Once, once, by accident it was, wasn't it, precious? Yes, by accident. But we won't go back, no, no! We won't! Not for you!

[He cries]

Frodo: He doesn't mean us, does he, Mr. Frodo?

Gollum: Gollum.

Frodo: No, Sam. I don't think he does.

Gollum: Don't look at us! Go away! Go to sleep!

Frodo: He will not go away or go to sleep at your command, Sméagol. But if you really wish to be free of him again, then you must help me. And that I fear means finding a path towards him. But you need not go all the way, not beyond the gates of his land.

Gollum: He's over there. Always there. Orcses will take you, take you all the way. Easy to find Orcses east of the River. Don't ask Sméagol. Poor, poor Sméagol, he went away long ago. They took his Precious, and he's lost now.

[He cries softly]

Frodo: Get up! Now.

Gollum: Sss...

Frodo: Can you find a path easier by day or by night? We're tired, but if you choose the night, we'll start now.

Gollum: The big lights in the sky hurts our eyes, they do. We don't go looking for paths under the White Face, do we, precious? No, no, not yet. It will go behind the hills soon, yessss, yes. Rest a bit first, nice hobbitssss!

Frodo: Then sit down, and don't move!

Gollum: Yes. Yesss, we won't move. Will we, precious? No. We won't move, we won't move. We won't.

- - - - -

Narrator: Slowly the moon went by. Shadows fell down from the hills and all grew dark before them. Suddenly, straight off the ground with a jump like a frog, Gollum bounded forward into the darkness.

Sam: Oh no, you don't!

[Gollum screams and hisses as he is caught]

Gollum: Let go of us! It's a nasty hobbitsss!

Frodo: I think your rope might prove useful again, Sam.

Sam: Right on, Mr. Frodo! You nasty, treacherous creature! It's around your neck this rope ought to go, and in a tight noose too.

Gollum: Oh, nasty!

Frodo: We want him to walk, so tie one end to his ankle, and keep a grip on the other end.

Gollum: No! No...

Sam: Right! Now, Mr. Gollum.

Gollum: No... no...

Sam: This will put pay to your sneaking.

Gollum: No...

[He cries in pain]

Sam: What's the matter with you? If you will try to run away, you must be tied.

[Gollum screams]

Sam: We don't wish to hurt you. The rope's not that tight!

Gollum: It hurts us! It hurts us! It freezes, it bites! Elves twisted it, curse them! Take it off us! It hurts us! It hurts us!

Frodo: No, I will not take it off you, not unless - not unless there's any promise that I can trust.

Gollum: Oh, we will swear to do what it wants, yes, we will swear anything, yes, yes, yes, it hurts us! It hurts us.

Frodo: Swear?

Gollum: Sméagol... Sméagol will swear on the Preciousss.

[The Ring verse is heard:

Ash nazg durbatulúk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.]

Frodo: On the Precious? How dare you? Think!

One Ring to rule them all and in the Darkness bind them

Would you commit your promise to that, Sméagol? It will hold you. But it is more treacherous than you are. It may twist your words. So beware!

Gollum: On the Preciousss... on the Precioussss.

Frodo: And what would you swear?

Gollum: Oh, to be very good. To be very good. Sméagol will swear... swear, swear never to let Him have it. Never! Sméagol will save it. But he must swear on the Precious.

Frodo: No!

Gollum: Yes.

Frodo: Not on it.

[Gollum hisses]

Frodo: All you wish is to see it and to touch it, if you can, though you know it would drive you mad. No, not on it! Swear by it, if you will. For you know where it is, don't you?

Gollum: Yes, yes, yes, master...

Frodo: Yes, you know, Sméagol!

Gollum: Yes, yes, yes, master, yes.

Frodo: It is before you.

Gollum: Yes.

Frodo: Now...

[Gollum is crying]

Frodo: ...speak your promise!

Gollum: We promises, yes, I promise! I will save the master of the Precious. Good master, good Sméagol, gollum!

Frodo: Take the rope off, Sam.

Sam: If you say so, Mr. Frodo.

Gollum: Ah, good hobbits, kind hobbits!

[He laughs]

Gollum: So kind to poor Sméagol. Yes, yes, yes. Off we go! Off we go! There's only one way across between the North-end and the South-end, and I found it, I did, I did. Orcses don't use it, Orcses don't know it, Orcses don't cross the Marshes. They go round for miles and miles. Very lucky you came this way. Very lucky you found Sméagol! Yes. Follow Sméagol! Follow Sméagol!

- - - - -

Narrator: As Frodo and Sam followed their dangerous guide, Aragorn and his companions came at last to the dark eaves of Fangorn forest, and began their search for Merry and Pippin.

Gimli: I do not like the look of this forest, Legolas. I wish the search had led anywhere else!

Legolas: I don't think the wood feels evil, Gimli. There is no malice near us; but there is watchfulness, and anger. There is something happening inside, or going to happen. Don't you feel the tenseness? It takes my breath.

Gimli: I feel the air is stuffy. It feels musty and shabby.

Legolas: Look!

Gimli: Look at what?

[Legolas hushes him]

Legolas: There - in the trees. An old man.

Gimli: Yes! Yes, I see him.

Aragorn: Who can it be?

Gimli: It is Saruman. Remember the words of Éomer? He walks here and there, as an old man, hooded and cloaked. Your bow, Legolas! Get it ready! It is Saruman.

[Gandalf's voice is distant and veiled]

Gandalf: Well met indeed, my friends.

Gimli: Now! Stop him, Legolas! Or he will put a spell on us!

Gandalf: Put away that bow, Master Elf. And you, Master Dwarf, pray take your hand from your axe-haft.

Aragorn: Might we know your name?

Gandalf: As for my name...

[He laughs]

Gandalf: Have you not guess it already? You have heard it before, I think. Yes, you have heard it before.

Gimli: Aye! Saruman!

Gandalf: No!

[As Gandalf is unveiled, his voice becomes more distinct]

Gandalf: You need not raise sword or bow or axe against me.

Legolas: Mithrandir! Mithrandir!

Gandalf: Well met, I say to you again.

Aragorn: Gandalf! Beyond all hope you return to us in our need! What veil was over my site?

Gimli: Gandalf, you are all in white!

Gandalf: Yes, Gimli. I am no longer Gandalf the Grey. I am Gandalf the White now.

Legolas: But what befell you in Moria?

Gimli: Yes! Tell us how you fared with the Balrog.

Gandalf: Name him not!

[He sighs]

Gandalf: Long time I fell. Long I fell, and he fell with me. We fought far under the living earth, where time is not counted. Ever he clutched me, and ever I hewed him, till at last we came to the Endless Stair. Then from lowest dungeon to highest peak we climbed, ascending in unbroken spiral in many thousand steps until on Durin's Tower, I threw down my enemy and he fell from the high place, and broke the mountain-side where he smoted in his ruin. Then darkness took me; and naked I lay upon the hard horn of the world, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. And so at last, Gwaihir the Windlord found me again, and he took me up and bore me to Caras Galadhon, where I found you but lately gone. Healing I found there. And there, I was clothed in white. But come now! Time is short. War is upon us. A war in which only the use of the Ring could give us surety of victory, and the Ring has gone beyond our reach. We can no longer be tempted to use it. But neither can we hope to help the one that bears it.

Gimli: Then you have news of Frodo! How goes things with him?

Gandalf: I cannot say. Many perils lie still before him. But now, Aragorn son of Arathorn, you must go to Edoras and seek out Théoden in his Hall, for you are needed there.

Gimli: But the hobbits!

Legolas: Yes, we've come far to seek them. What of them?

Gandalf: They are safe with Treebeard and the Ents.

Aragorn: The Ents! Then there is truth in the old legends about the giant shepherds of the trees.

Gandalf: Yes, and Merry and Pippin's coming to Fangorn was like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains. Even as we talk I hear the first rumblings. Saruman had best not be caught away from home when the dam bursts.

Aragorn: In one thing you have not changed. You still speak in riddles.

[Aragorn laughs]

Gandalf: In riddles? No, for I was talking aloud to myself. It's a habit of the old.

[Legolas and Aragorn laugh]

Gandalf: And now to Edoras! We have spent all the time that is allowed to a meeting of parted friends. Now there is need of haste!

- - - - -

Narrator: Quickly they made their way back through the forest, and they spoke no more until they stood again upon the grass beyond the eaves of Fangorn.

Aragorn: I have never seen a horse the like of this before.

Gandalf: Nor will you again. That is Shadowfax. Does he not shine like silver and run as smoothly as a swift stream? He has come for me.

Gimli: The Dark Lord has Nine Riders, but we have one mightier than they! The White Rider!

Gandalf: Gandalf the White I am. But Black is mightier still. You are wise and swift, Shadowfax. Far let us ride now together and part not in this world again. Come, my companions! We ride. We ride to battle and war. Ride on!