Barliman's Chat We began reading through Fellowship of the Ring chapter-by-chapter in Hall of Fire last March. Now, almost a year after we began with A Long-Expected Party, our discussions of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings conclude as we delve into the final chapter of Book II.

When they had eaten, Aragorn called the Company together. “The day has come at last,” he said: “the day of choice which we have long delayed. What shall now become of our Company that has travelled so far in fellowship? Shall we turn west with Boromir and go to the wars of Gondor; or turn east to the Fear and Shadow; or shall we break our fellowship and go this way and that as each may choose?”

FOTR: Book II, Chapter X – The Breaking of the Fellowship

Camped under the shadow of Tol Brandir, and with orcs seemingly lurking on the other shore, the Fellowship must decide where to go next. The group debates its options, but in the end the decision falls on Frodo. Confused and indecisive, the Ringbearer begs for some time alone to think.

Frodo’s musings are interrupted as Boromir joins him, feigning concern for his safety. However, Boromir’s motives soon become apparent, as he tries to sway Frodo with words, then to take the Ring by force. Frodo uses the Ring to escape and Boromir is overcome with remorse as he realises the madness that possessed him.

But it is too late.

Frodo decides he must carry on alone, leaving his friends behind. As the group searches for him, they are ambushed by Uruks, and only Samwise has the sense to divine Frodo’s plan. The pair set out toward Mordor on their own, not knowing the dangers that lie ahead, and what dangers assail their friends behind.

Join us later today in Hall of Fire at 5pm EST (New York time) for the final Fellowship of the Ring chapter discussion, The Breaking of the Fellowship!

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