Frodo puts on the One Ring at the Prancing Pony
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: September 29, 3018
An event in Frodo's Departure from the Shire; see that entry for an overview:
[Strider's] attention seemed suddenly to be fixed on Pippin. To his alarm Frodo became aware that the ridiculous young Took..., was now actually giving a comic account of Bilbo's farewell party. He was already giving an imitation of the Speech, and was drawing near to the astonishing Disappearance.
Frodo was annoyed. It was a harmless enough tale for most of the local hobbits...; but some... had probably heard rumours long ago about Bilbo's vanishing. It would bring the name of Baggins to their minds, especially if there had been inquiries in Bree after that name.
Frodo fidgeted.... Pippin was evidently much enjoying the attention he was getting, and had become quite forgetful of their danger....
'You had better do something quick!' whispered Strider....
Frodo jumped up and stood on a table, and began to talk.... Some of the hobbits looked at Frodo and laughed..., thinking that Mr. Underhill had taken as much ale as was good for him.
Frodo suddenly felt very foolish, and found himself... fingering the things in his pocket. He felt the Ring on its chain, and quite unaccountably the desire came over him to slip it on and vanish out of the silly situation. It seemed to him, somehow, as if the suggestion came to him... from someone or something in the room. He resisted the temptation firmly, and clasped the Ring in his hand, as if to keep a hold on it and prevent it from escaping or doing any mischief.... He spoke 'a few suitable words'...: We are all very much gratified by the kindness of your reception, and I venture to hope that my brief visit will help to renew the old ties of friendship between the Shire and Bree; and then he hesitated....
Everyone in the room was now looking at him. 'A song!' shouted one of the hobbits.... 'Come on now, master, sing us something that we haven't heard before!'
For a moment Frodo stood gaping. Then in desperation he began a ridiculous song that Bilbo had been rather fond of....
There was loud and long applause. Frodo had a good voice, and the song tickled their fancy.... They called for more ale, and began to shout: 'Let's have it again, master!'....
They made Frodo have another drink, and then begin his song again, while many of them joined in; for the tune was well known, and they were quick at picking up words. It was now Frodo's turn to feel pleased with himself. He capered about on the table; and when he came a second time to the cow jumped over the Moon, he leaped in the air. Much too vigorously; for he came down... into a tray full of mugs, and slipped, and rolled off the table with a crash...! The audience all opened their mouths wide for laughter, and stopped short in gaping silence; for the singer... vanished...!
The local hobbits stared in amazement.... All the company drew away from Pippin and Sam, who found themselves left alone in a corner.... It was plain that many people regarded them now as the companions of a travelling magician of unknown powers and purpose. But there was one swarthy Bree-lander, who stood looking at them with a knowing and half-mocking expression that made them feel very uncomfortable. Presently he slipped out of the door, followed by the squint-eyed southerner: the two had been whispering together a good deal during the evening. Harry the gatekeeper also went out just behind them. 1
Frodo felt a fool. Not knowing what else to do, he crawled away under the tables to the dark corner by Strider.... Frodo leaned back against the wall and took off the Ring. How it came to be on his finger he could not tell. He could only suppose that... somehow it had slipped on when he stuck out his hand with a jerk to save his fall. For a moment he wondered if the Ring itself had not played him a trick; perhaps it had tried to reveal itself in response to some wish or command that was felt in the room. He did not like the looks of the men that had gone out.
'Well?' said Strider, when he reappeared. 'Why did you do that? Worse than anything your friends could have said! You have put your foot in it! Or should I say your finger?'
'I don't know what you mean,' said Frodo, annoyed and alarmed.
'Oh yes, you do,' answered Strider; 'but we had better wait until the uproar has died down. Then, if you please, Mr. Baggins, I should like a quiet word with you.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
1 '[The Black Riders'] power is in terror, and already some in Bree are in their clutch. They will drive these wretches to some evil work: Ferny, and some of the strangers, and, maybe, the gatekeeper too. They had words with Harry at West-gate on Monday.... He was white and shaking when they left him.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 10, Strider
Elena Tiriel 20Apr08