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Timeline Event

Breaking of the Fellowship: Overview

Event Type: General

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: February 26, 3019


An event in the Quest of the Ring; see that entry for an overview:

Table of Contents:
The Summary
The Timeline
The Prelude
The Split
The Aftermath

The Summary
After Boromir succumbs to temptation by the One Ring, the Fellowship breaks into smaller groups that head in different directions.

The Timeline
February 3019
Farewell to Lórien. Gollum in hiding on the west bank observes the departure.

[See: Fellowship debates their route from Lórien]
[See: Fellowship leaves Lórien]

Gwaihir bears Gandalf to Lórien....

[See: Gwaihir Bears Gandalf to Lórien]
[See: Gwaihir scouts the Anduin for Gandalf]

The Company pass the Argonath and camp at Parth Galen. First Battle of the Fords of Isen; Théodred son of Théoden slain.

[See: Fellowship passes the Argonath and camps at Parth Galen]

Breaking of the Fellowship. Death of Boromir; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith. Meriadoc and Peregrin captured. Frodo and Samwise enter the eastern Emyn Muil. Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening. Éomer hears of the descent of the Orc-band from the Emyn Muil.

[See: Fellowship debates their route from Parth Galen]

[See: Boromir attempts to take the Ring from Frodo]
[See: Frodo flees Boromir to Amon Hen]
[See: Gandalf shields Frodo from the Eye on Amon Hen]

[See: Fellowship scatters to search for Frodo]
[See: Frodo and Sam set off for Mordor]

[See: Orc-raid at Parth Galen: Overview]
[See: Boromir slain in the Orc-raid at Parth Galen]
[See: Merry and Pippin captured in the Orc-raid at Parth Galen]
[See: Three Hunters pursue the Orc-raiders from Parth Galen]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The Prelude

[Said Galadriel,] 'But this I will say to you: your Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while all the Company is true.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 7, The Mirror of Galadriel

[Said Aragorn,] 'It is as Gandalf feared: by some means the traitor Saruman has had news of our journey. It is likely too that he knows of Gandalf's fall. Pursuers from Moria may have escaped the vigilance of Lórien, or they may have... come to Isengard by other paths. Orcs travel fast. But Saruman has many ways of learning news. Do you remember the birds?'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir

'Saruman also had a mind to capture the Ring, for himself, or at least to snare some hobbits for his evil purposes.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

[Said Sam,] 'It strikes me that folk takes their peril with them into Lórien, and finds it there because they've brought it.... Now Boro —' He stopped....

'Yes? Now Boromir you would say?' said Faramir.... 'He took his peril with him?'

'Yes sir, begging your pardon, and a fine man as your brother was if I may say so.... Now I watched Boromir and listened to him, from Rivendell all down the road... and it's my opinion that in Lórien he first saw clearly... what he wanted. From the moment he first saw it he wanted the Enemy's Ring!'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 5, The Window on the West

The Split
A mile, maybe, from Parth Galen... he found Boromir... pierced with many black-feathered arrows....

Aragorn knelt beside him. Boromir opened his eyes and strove to speak.... 'I tried to take the Ring from Frodo,' he said. 'I am sorry. I have paid.' His glance strayed to his fallen enemies; twenty at least lay there. 'They have gone: the Halflings: the Orcs have taken them. I think they are not dead. Orcs bound them.' He paused...

'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.'

'No!' said Aragorn.... 'You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace!'....

Boromir did not speak again.

'Alas!' said Aragorn. 'Thus passes the heir of Denethor...!.... Now the Company is all in ruin.... What shall I do now? Boromir has laid it on me to go to Minas Tirith, and my heart desires it; but where are the Ring and the Bearer? How shall I find them and save the Quest from disaster?'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir

So Frodo and Sam set off on the last stage of the Quest together. Frodo paddled away from the shore, and the River bore them swiftly away....

At length they came to land again upon the southern slopes of Amon Lhaw.... Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of the Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of Shadow.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 10, The Breaking of the Fellowship

'Our choice then,' said Gimli, 'is either to take the remaining boat and follow Frodo, or else to follow the Orcs on foot. There is little hope either way.'....

'Let me think!' said Aragorn. 'And now may I make a right choice and change the evil fate of this unhappy day!' He stood silent for a moment. 'I will follow the Orcs,' he said at last. 'I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end; but if I seek him now in the wilderness, I must abandon the captives to torment and death. My heart speaks clearly at last: the fate of the Bearer is in my hands no longer. The Company has played its part. Yet we that remain cannot forsake our companions while we have strength left. Come!'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir

The Aftermath
[Said Aragorn,] 'Did you find [the hobbits], and are they safe?'

'No, I did not find them,' said Gandalf. 'There was a darkness over the valleys of the Emyn Muil, and I did not know of their captivity, until the eagle told me.'

'The eagle!' said Legolas. 'I have seen an eagle high and far off: the last time was three days ago, above the Emyn Muil.'

'Yes,' said Gandalf, 'that was Gwaihir the Windlord.... I sent him before me to watch the River and gather tidings. His sight is keen, but he cannot see all that passes under hill and tree. Some things he has seen, and others I have seen myself. The Ring now has passed beyond my help....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

At last when Aragorn spoke of the death of Boromir and of his last journey upon the Great River, the old man sighed.

'You have not said all that you know or guess, Aragorn my friend,' he said quietly. 'Poor Boromir!.... It was a sore trial for such a man: a warrior, and a lord of men. Galadriel told me that he was in peril. But he escaped in the end. I am glad. It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir's sake.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

[Gandalf] rose and gazed out eastward, shading his eyes, as if he saw things far away that none of them could see. Then he shook his head. 'No,' he said in a soft voice, 'it has gone beyond our reach.... We can no longer be tempted to use the Ring. We must go down to face a peril near despair, yet that deadly peril is removed.'

He turned. 'Come, Aragorn...!' he said. 'Do not regret your choice in the valley of the Emyn Muil, nor call it a vain pursuit. You chose amid doubts the path that seemed right: the choice was just, and it has been rewarded. For so we have met in time, who otherwise might have met too late.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

Elena Tiriel 5May05, 20Oct05

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