Today's Date in the Shire
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The Shadow of the Past
Bilbo and Gandalf have both left the Shire, and Frodo Baggins is the new master of Bag End. He settles down in his comfortable home, and life goes on as normal. He and his friends continue to gather each year to celebrate Bilbo's and Frodo's birthdays. At first Gandalf comes and goes at Bag End quite frequently, but there is no sign of him for nine years. Most folk in the area blame the wizard for poor Bilbo's disappearance, and they do not want to see him corrupt young Frodo as he did to the older hobbit.
Frodo is just about to give up on seeing the wizard again when suddenly he appears early in April of the year 3018. Gandalf sits with Frodo in the study of Bag End and asks him to bring out Bilbo's ring. He has come back to the Shire because he haa suspicions that the ring is more than just a magicl trinket.
He explains how in the last age of the world Sauron, the evil lord of Mordor, created many Rings of Power. He gave the Rings to Men and Dwarves and then used his own ruling ring to enslave them. Those he gave to lords of Men were nine in number. And those lords became Sauron's most powerful and wicked minions. They were possessed by their Rings and became wraiths, having no will but that of their master.
But finally Sauron was conquered by an alliance of Men and Elves, and his Ring was taken from him. It should have been destroyed, but instead Isildur, son of Elendil, took it as a prize. He was attacked by orcs on his way home to his Northern Kingdom, and the Ring was lost.
Many years later the Ring was found by a small creature named Sméagol. Sméagol used the Ring for wicked purposes. He went arounf muttering to himself and thus earned the nickname of Gollum. Eventually he was driven out of the small community he lived in. He hid himself deep under the Misty Mountains, and stayed there for a long time.
But Rings of Power, especially the One Ring, have minds of their own. At just the right moment the Ring slipped off of Gollum's hand only to be found by none other than Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. Bilbo's journey is described in The Hobbit.
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