Chapter 2

The Shadows of the Past


This Chapter has been considered on of the most important chapter of the book by the author himself, Mr. JRR Tolkien. The chapter opens with ugly rumors about Bilbo due to his sudden disappearance. Frodo continues to live at Bag End and spend most of his time with his cousins Merry and Pippin. By the time he turns fifty, he has begun to grow restless. And the town is abuzz with the news of Orcs and Trolls and mysterious lands beyond the Shire.

About this time Gandalf the wizard visits Frodo. They have a long talk concerning the ring that Frodo had inherited from Bilbo. Gandalf tells Frodo about the nature and the history of the ring, which is actually the greatest of the Rings of Power, and was made long ago by Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor. He explains that the bearer of the ring never ages; for this reason Bilbo lived such a long life and Frodo himself has not shown signs of aging since he got the ring. Also, the ring exerts a mental power on its wearer. The ring was forged in the volcano at Mt. Doom(or Orodruin) by the evil Sauron who wants to rule the world. The ring belonged to Gollum, a Hobbit who owned the ring for a very long time until Bilbo tricked him out of it. The power made Gollum evil; since Bilbo is a good man, and he took it with pity and mercy the power of the ring could not make him evil.

Gandalf tells Frodo that if Sauron gains the ring he will be all- powerful. When Frodo hears this, he is shocked and doesn’t want anything to do with the ring. Gandalf tells Frodo that it is not a simple matter of wanting or not wanting the ring; the ring chose him (Frodo). Gandalf tells Frodo that he must destroy the ring, and the only way this can be done is by throwing the ring back in the Crack of Doom in the depths of Orodruin.

Frodo decides to leave the Shire in order to protect the people of his village. Just then Gandalf catches Sam Gamgee, the gardener, eavesdropping on their conversation. Gandalf thinks Sam has ulterior motives, but it turns out he only wants to go on this adventure with Frodo, whom he admires.

As Tolkien himself admired this chapter as the only most important part of the book. The chapter unfolds the secret of the Ring to everyone, that how it was made, why, and by whom, and thus it survived such a long time choosing different care-takers.


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