The Shadow of the Past

Frodo: Ah! [Gandalf throws the envelope into the fire] What are you doing?

Gandalf: Hold out your hand, Frodo. It's quite cool. What can you see? Can you see anything?

Frodo: Nothing. There's nothing. Wait...there are markings. It's some form of Elvish, I can't read it.

Gandalf: There are few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here.

Frodo: Mordor?

Gandalf: In the common tongue it says, "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

Gandalf: This is the one ring, forged by the dark lord Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom, taken by Isildur from the hand of Sauron himself.

Frodo: Bilbo found it. In Gollum's cave.

Gandalf: Yes. For sixty years the ring lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping. Prolonging his life, delaying old age. But no longer, Frodo. Evil is stirring in Mordor. The ring has awoken. It's heard its Master's call.

Frodo: But he was destroyed! Sauron was destroyed!

[Ring whispers]

Gandalf: No, Frodo. The spirit of Sauron endured. His life force is bound to the ring and the ring survived. Sauron has returned. His orcs have multiplied. His fortress of Barad-Dur is rebuilt in the land of Mordor. Sauron needs only the ring to cover all the lands of a second darkness. He is seeking it, seeking it, all his thought is bent on it. The ring yearns above all else to return to the hand of its master. They are one, the ring, and the dark lord. Frodo, he must never find it.

Frodo: Alright. We put it away. We keep it hidden. We never speak of it again. No one knows it's here, do they? Do they, Gandalf?

Gandalf: There is one other who knew that Bilbo had the ring. I looked everywhere for the creature Gollum, but the enemy found him first. I don't know how long they tortured him. But amidst the endless screams and inane babble, they discerned two words.

Gollum: Shire! Baggins!

Frodo: Shire! Baggins! But that will lead them here!

[The Ringwraiths enter Hobbiton]

Hobbit: Who goes there?

Frodo: Take it Gandalf! Take it!

Gandalf: No, Frodo!

Frodo: You must take it!

Gandalf: You cannot offer me this ring!

Frodo: I'm giving it to you!

Gandalf: Don't tempt me Frodo! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe. Understand, Frodo, I would use this ring from a desire to do good. But through me it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.

Frodo: But it cannot stay in the Shire!

Gandalf: No. No it can't.

Frodo: What must I do?

Gandalf: You must leave, and leave quickly.

Frodo: Where? Where do I go?

Gandalf: You must get out of the Shire and make for the village of Bree.

Frodo: Bree. What about you?

Gandalf: I'll be waiting for you at the Inn of the Prancing Pony.

Frodo: And the ring will be safe there?

Gandalf: I don't know, Frodo. I don't have any answers. I must see the head of my order, he is both wise and powerful. Trust me, Frodo. He'll know what to do.

Gandalf: You'll have to leave the name of Baggins behind you, for that name is not safe outside the Shire. Travel only by day, and stay off the road.

Frodo: I can cut across country easily enough.

Gandalf: My dear Frodo. Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in months, and yet after a hundred years, they can still surprise you. [there is a noise outside] Lay down!

[Gandalf hits something with his staff, then pulls Samwise across the table]

Gandalf: Confound it all Samwise Gamgee, have you been eavesdropping?

Sam: I haven't been dropping no eaves, sir, honest! I was cutting the grass under the window there, if you follow me!

Gandalf: A little late for trimming the verge, don't you think?

Sam: I heard raised voices!

Gandalf: What did you hear? Speak!

Sam: N-n-nothing important! That is, I heard a great deal about a ring, and a dark lord, and something about the end of the world, but please Mr. Gandalf, sir, don't hurt me. Don't turn me into anything unnatural.

Gandalf: No? Perhaps not. I've thought of a better use for you.

Gandalf: Come along, Samwise, keep up.