“One of you must take the Ring to Mordor. To the very fires of Mount Doom, for only there can it be destroyed.” The Elven Lord did not smile as he looked around at them all: hobbits, men, elves, dwarves… and of course, Gandalf the Grey.
One of the men stood. “But -!”
Gandalf abruptly interrupted him. “It must be destroyed!”
The man turned from Elrond to Gandalf. “Let me take it to my father. We can use it for good.”
Aragorn, washed (everyone was much happier for this fact) and clean shaven, stood now, and faced Boromir, an eyebrow raised quizically. “Good? No good can come of it. It has only the power to destroy.”
Elrond nodded. “Now, who will take the Ring to Mordor?”
An argument then arose between the elves and the dwarves, and of course all the men had to get in on it too.
Frodo rolled his eyes, watching this, then looked at the Ring. Stared at the Ring. Slowly, so slowly, he stood up. Then he spoke. “I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor!” Everyone fell silent (crickets were heard in the background). Frodo looked around the chamber, watching the faces of them all. “I will take it, though I do not know the way.”
Gandalf moved to stand next to him. “I will help you bear this burden, Frodo.”
Aragorn moved to his other side. As Frodo turned to him, Aragorn knelt. “I will protect you, Frodo, until your task is done or my life is spent.”
Slowly, one by one, they pledged their support. Legolas the elf, Gimli the dwarf, and Boromir of Gondor. There was a moments silence (more crickets were heard), then there was a shout. Sam came running, followed by Merry and Pippin.
Lord Elrond looked absolutely outraged that his SECRET council was being invaded by hobbits (making the problem of hobbits in Rivendell as bad as that of Starbucks in London)! The three hobbits ran to Frodo. Sam spoke first. “Mr. Frodo’s not going anywhere without me!”
Gandalf smiled. “Far be it for me to separate the two of you.”
Elrond nodded. “Aye, that is not for us to do.”
Merry spoke now. “And as for us, you’ll have to tie us up in sacks to stop us!”
Anger flashed in Elrond’s eyes. “That can be arranged!”
Elrond nodded to a few guards at the doors, and they moved in, sacks and rope in hand. Pippin ran forward and kicked one of them in the shins, shouting “For the shire!”
Elrond shook his head and walked away, as Aragorn picked Pippin up, kicking and screaming, and carted him away from the guard.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.