The Fellowship of the Ring: Novel Summary: Book I Chapter 11

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Book I, Chapter 11: "A Knife in the Dark" That evening, Black Riders find only Fatty Bolger at Frodo's house in Crickhollow. Bolger raises the alarm, and the Black Riders leave Buckland to head for Bree.

At daybreak, the Hobbits find that the rooms in which they were supposed to have stayed have been ransacked. The Hobbits and Strider leave Bree, taunted by Bill Ferny-from whom they buy a sickly pony-as they go. Several days later they arrive at Weathertop, on which was a great watch-tower from ancient days, now in ruins. Gandalf is not waiting for the company there, but they do discover runes which suggest the wizard was there three days earlier. Strider believes they indicate Gandalf was in haste and in danger.

At night, Black Riders attack the travelers. This time, Frodo yields to the temptation to use the Ring. When he does, he sees the Riders beneath their cloaks, including their "merciless eyes." A Rider who wears a crown wounds Frodo in his left shoulder. With great effort, Frodo removes the Ring.

This chapter also includes Aragorn's telling of the tale of Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elven princess who chose mortality over immortality because she loved the mortal Beren. The tale is significant because it mirrors the romance between Aragorn and Arwen, daughter of Elrond, which is never a major part of The Lord of the Rings' plot, but does appear in The Return of the King as well as in that volume's Appendix A.

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