Today's Date in the Shire
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The Ring Goes South
With the Council over and the decision to make the fateful journey to Mordor to destroy the Ring out of the way, the hobbits have a meeting of their own in Bilbo's room. Merry and Pippin are indignant that they have not been included in the journey that has been laid on Frodo to make.
Gandalf, listening through the window to the hobbits' talk, updates the hobbits on the status of the Elven scouts that have been sent out in search of news or signs of the Black Riders. He informs Frodo and company that they will most likely make a long stay in Rivendell until that news is gathered. To Frodo's great delight, Gandalf also announces that he thinks he shall come on the journey as well.
The days spent in Rivendell have a renewing effect on the hobbits. It is nearly two months before the scouts start returning with news. No sign of the Riders or other servants of the Enemy had been found anywhere and neither could their presence be felt. The bodies of all of the black horses save one were found along the river, and Gandalf feels confident that the Riders were obliged to return to their Master in Mordor empty and shapeless.
The Company of the Ring is then decided. The Nine Walkers include the four hobbits and Gandalf, Aragorn and Boromir to represent Men, Legolas for the Elves and Gimli son of Glóin for the Dwarves. Within the seven days that follow, the shards of Narsil are reforged and Aragorn names it anew Andúril, Flame of the West. On the last day before the Company sets out, Bilbo gives Frodo his sword, Sting, and his mithril mail-coat.
The next day the Walkers make their solemn start. They head back toward the Ford of Bruinen then turn south. Staying west of the mountains they journey in a rugged, bleak land for many leagues. The first few weeks are uneventful until the Company reaches the land of Hollin. There they encounter hoards of crows surveying the land and Aragorn fears they are spies for the Enemy.
Soon the Company begins their laborious climb into the mountains that begin to bend west across the path of the Walkers. Frodo overhears Aragorn and Gandalf continue a debate about the course the Fellowship is to follow. Aragorn's choice of braving the high pass through the Redhorn Gate wins over the other 'dark and secret way'. Frodo is relieved.
Not long after the climb becomes steep and difficult and the weather turns evil. Snow starts to fall while they are still far down where the paths are usually clear all winter. The Company is forced to halt when the storm becomes a blinding blizzard. The next day it becomes evident that they cannot move forward. But the path behind them is also blocked by deep drifts well over the heads of the hobbits in places. Aragorn and Boromir struggle to force a path through the snow and succeed. The Company then retreats down the mountain defeated.