The Fellowship of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkein

From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Fellowship of The Ring Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) | Written by: J. R. R. Tolkein | Published by: ‎George Allen & Unwin

The Fellowship of the Ring
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

Sup mah well read ballas? This week we rollin’ 9 deep with part 1 of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring.

The story start in the heart of The Shire, the chillest spot in all Middle Earth-where there be a buncha lil’ hairy homies called hobbits who jus’ like to kick back, eat, and get fucked up on the reg. But this day is special- cuz we finna celebrate the birthdays of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and his lil’ cousin and heir Frodo Baggins- Frodo turnin 33, and Bilbo’s crusty ass turning elevendy-one. Ugh. You just KNOW this party gonna be throwed as hell, cuz Bilbo’s wizard homeboy Gandalf from back in his adventurin days gonna drop in to rage wit’ a brutha. Dat dude LOVE to party.

Bilbo decide he gon’ be peacin out of da shire fo’ good, but my man wanna go out like a real gangsta, so at da party, Bilbo stand up to make a speech, talk a buncha shit, then puts on his magic ring he boosted from a nappy fiend named Gollum back in the day. All a sudden- ZAP- brutha disappear. Bilbo creep back to his crib where Gandalf there waitin fo his ass. He like “bruh you jonezin’ like a fiend fo’ dat ring. You gotta kick da habbit, mah hobbit. Leave it behind.” It ain’t easy fo’ him,- in fact, Bilbo actually step to Gandalf fo’ a second- but eventually Bilbo get his shit together and leave da ring, and most of his otha swag, to Frodo.

17 years later, Gandalf drop in on Frodo and be like: “Son! dat fine piece of bling you got right there is da RING OF POWER, aka the master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all.” See way back in the day, a buncha magical rings were made to serve da big dawgs of Middle Earth, but one was made on the downlow by the Dark Lord Sauron- and dis ring was so much swoler than the rest dat it made Sauron da baddest dude in all da land. But when an alliance of Elves and Men started warrin on his streets, Isildur, son of the king of men, sliced da ring from Saurom’s hand, defeated him, and kept da ring fo’ hisself instead of destroyin’ it. When some hoods come up tryna jack Isildur and his crew, the ring falls in a river, and gets scooped up years later by a lil hobbit-lookin dude named Smeagol. Smeagol slowly rots in to Gollum, and years later, Bilbo lifts it off dat boi.

Anyway, Gandalf tell Frodo dat Sauron’s gunnin’ fo’ him: cuz’ of Gollum, he know bout da ring, da shire, hobbits, and prolly da name Baggins too. And if he gets dat ring again, ain’t nobody gonna be able to stop him. At first, Frodo axe Gandalf why they can’t just bust the damn thing up; but turns out da only thing dat can destroy it now is da fires of Mount Doom. Frodo like “Shit man, then you take it.” But Gandalf like “Nuh-uh, man get dat shit outta here. If I take dat ring, it gonna corrupt my grey ass fo’ real. Frodo. You Gotta bust ass over to Rivendell before The Dark Lord tear The Shire up lookin’ fo you.” Apparently, Frodo’s gardener Sam been lurkin’ round da whole time listenin’ in on their convo, so Gandalf decide dat Sam gotta go too.

Eventually, Frodo, Sam, and some other hobbit homies named Merry and Pippin hit the road together, cuz real G’s roll 4 deep. On the way, they gotta duck the “Nazgul” -a crew of ghostly wraiths who tryna get they hands on dat ring for Sauron.

Later, Frodo’s posse hit up a village called Bree where they crew up with Aragorn, a Ranger who say he gonna act as da muscle on their way to Rivendell.

They just cruisin’ along when 5 of dem Nazgul haters come by and one of em shanks Frodo. Aragorn like “Yo. We gotta get Frodo’s white ass to Rivendell befo’ he turns in to one of deez assholes.” Then NINE of these fuckers come outta nowhere, but with some help of some elf homies, they shake em off and make it to Rivendell.

Afta’ some rest n’ grub, da top dog Elf-daddy Elrond calls together a council including Aragorn, Frodo an elf named Legolas, a human named Boromir, a lil dwarf homie named Gimli and some otha’ folk we don’t give a shit about. A buncha peeps rock da mic gettin’ all crunk bout the ring of power and stoppin the Dark Lord, but instead of doin a damn thing, afta’ the meeting erryone just sits on they ass for a few months.

Finally, Elrond throws together 8 peoples to join Frodo on his journey to Mordor, but they can bounce whenever they want. They’ll be known all throughout da hood as Da Fellowship of the Ring. As da one who gotta carry da ring, Frodo got the most dangerous job of all- the dark powers dat bling got lurkin inside have broken even da hardest o’ thugs.

Afta’ dealin with a buncha bullshit, the fellowship realize they gotta take a detour through da mines of Moria when -AW DAMN- a whole buncha orcs start swarmin erryone. Then Gandalf go toe to toe with dis big blazin thang called a Balrog. They brawl so hard dat both of em fall down a big dark hole, and da rest of the fellowship gotta keep truckin’.

After gettin some choice words and swag gifts from da uptown elves of Lothlorien, Boromir gets all insane in the membrane and tries to gank the ring from Frodo. Boy gotta put on the ring just to get away from dat hater. Afta’ dat, Frodo realize he gotta roll solo to Mordor to make sure none of the other homies in the fellowship get seduced by the ring’s power. But Sam figgers out what Frodo tryn’a do, joins him, and they start truckin. The Fellowship of the Ring is broken.

Man sho ain’t easy bein Frodo. I mean this lil’ homie was smokin trees takin it easy one second, and the next a wizard roll up on him and tell him he gotta save da whole damn world! What are the chances? Like Gandalf say, it can’t just be chance that make somethin’ like this happen. It’s GOTTA be fate:
Gandalf: “there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. ” (56)

Sometimes fate just rolls up and takes a big ol shit right in yo lap and you ain’t got no choice but to deal with it. And as much as Frodo wish he wasn’t comin’ up in a time where dey gotta fight da ultimate evil, Gandalf drop some real talk on him: we may not be able to change WHAT happens to us, but we can sho as hell decide HOW we gonna handle it.
‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'” (51)

Man, when life deal you such a raw hand, brutha gotta be glad dat he got friends to get his back. Merry, Pippin, and Sam are the realest boys a hobbit coulda eva’ want. Like Merry say on page 105, they gonna help Frodo carry dat burden like it was their own. Get high with my hobbits; die with my hobbits.

Now even though Frodo leavin’ da hood to get his adventure on just like Bilbo did, it’s way mo’ serious than jus’ goin there and back again. Fo’ him it’s not bout getting back to da shire. Shit, he may not even live long enough to go back. But dat don’t matter. What’s important is but makin’ damn sho da shire is still there fo’ otha’ homies to enjoy like he did.
“I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable. I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” (62)

Even though errybody always raggin on Frodo fo’ bein a lil bitch, that’s some gangsta shit right thurr.

And it’s a good thing dat Frodo packin Watermelon nuts, cuz he gonna need em to resist the power of the ring: after all, da book’s main jam is how power can turn a brutha in to crooked-ass gangsta. Turns out, Sauron and dem Nazgul playas used to be a regular dudes befo’ they got a sweet taste of dat joose.

Even Bilbo- the chillest dude ever- get tainted by da ring. Fool cain’t help but call it his “precious’- and he’s NOT talkin’ bout the Thug Notes book. And afta’ Boromir try to cross Frodo in order to get his hands on dat bling, da message is clear: Power corrupts even the realest homies.

It gonna take a damn hero to get dat ring on lock. In fact, Fellowship gives us two pretty different kinda heros. We got Aragorn, the badass superhero type. He born from royalty, he know how to boot up like a G, gets all da bitches, and errybody expectin’ epic things from him. Frodo, on da other hand, is just a reggular ass dude- or at least, that’s how it seem at first. Frodo get greatness thrust upon him, and cuz o dat, he able to reveal the courage he got inside. Like Gandalf say:
“Hobbits really are amazing creatures…You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.” (62)

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