Top 10 plot twists Tolkien rejected - Discarded Ideas
#9. In Moria, Gandalf breaks the bridge as usual, but his half falls instead of the Balrog's. The Balrog then jumps across the gap and kills Legolas, Merry, Boromir, and Pippin before the others get away.
#8. Frodo is killed by the Barrow-wight and the story is over before it begins.
#7. Instead of a co-humanoid Fellowship, Frodo sets out with eight Dwarves. Passing through the Mines of Moria, the Dwarves decide to retake it, and they are all sliced to pieces and eaten by the cave troll.
#6. Unbeknowst to the Fellowship, the Orcs greased the Bridge of Khazad-dum, so as they run across they all slip and plummet to their deaths.
#5. Aragorn takes a wrong turn in the Paths of the Dead and they all wander around until they starve to death in the endless catacombs.
#4. Frodo keeps the Ring at Bag End and uses it to escape unwelcome visitors, and Sauron never figures out where it is and is ultimately destroyed, with a little help from the Valar.
#3. Saruman was only pretending to be in league with Sauron. Near the end, he reveals that his spies have places explosives in Barad-dûr, and with a twitch of his staff, Sauron's Tower explodes.
#2. At the council of Elrond, they decide to give Elrond the Ring and let him destroy Sauron. Elrond then succumbs and kills every leader in Middle-earth, and sets himself up as lord.
#1. Bilbo misses the Ring in the passage, and is later strangled by Gollum. The Dwarves later get eaten by spiders, and Smaug survives. Later, in the War of the Ring, Smaug destroys Rivendell, Lothlorien, the Shire, Bree, and Laketown, which lets Sauron concentrate on Gondor and Rohan until he destroys them. Gandalf manages to escape back over the sea in a boat, and he tells the Valar it didn't work out because they weren't doing enough work with chance and fate.