Today's Date in the Shire
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The Great River
Frodo wakes to find himself and the Fellowship resting on the western bank of the Anduin, but they are soon on the river again, drifting with the current and saving their strength. The miles go by, and the forested eastern shores give way to broken, desolate hills; the Brown Lands. To the west the land is also treeless, but healthy and fertile.
They continue southward for four more days, growing ever more wary of their vulnerable position on the water, and finally make came again on the western bank. There, Sam explains to Frodo of a dream he had:
He tells how, in his dream, he saw a log with two eyes floating along with them on the river but catching up. As it got closer he realized it wasn't a log at all, for it had paddle-feet dipping in and out of the water. It was just about to reach Gimli's boat when Sam had stood up, and it had dashed away toward the shore.
Frodo doesn't think it was a dream, and both hobbits come to the conclusion that Gollum is on their trail again.
They go back to bed, but Frodo can't sleep. He continues to keep an eye out for anything odd, and sure enough a dark shape comes up among the moored boats. Gollum is near, and his lamp-like eyes are visible in the darkness. Frodo stands and draws Sting, and the creature flees into the night.
Aragorn awakes and explains that Gollum first found them in Moria where he had been lurking. All the way through Lothlórien and down the Anduin he had followed them, and Aragorn had tried unsuccessfully to catch him. Aragorn is less worried about what Gollum might do than what unwanted attention he might attract.
The next morning the take to the river again and pass in a hilly, rocky land. They do not spot Gollum again, but they do see an Eagle flying high above and decide to wait until nightfall to continue. Once it is completely dark they start again, and come suddenly upon rapids that drive them eastward. With great effort they turn their boats and paddle hard for the western shore, for the rapids of Sarn Gebir are not passable. But as they are fighting the strong current, arrows fly out of the night, one hitting Frodo square between the shoulders. Figures can be seen running on the eastern shore and orc voices are heard. Finally, they escape the orcs and make their way to the river's edge.
Legolas pulls his bow back as a terrible dark flying figure appears overhead. A sense of terror and doom overcomes the Fellowship as the elf from Mirkwood lets loose an arrow. He hits his target and the flying beast swerves and falls toward the eastern shore. They don't know what the creature was, but its fall seems to dismay the enemy who retreat.
The Fellowship decides to stay put until daylight, which rises in a thick bank of fog. Boromir and Aragorn argue about the way to go, but Aragorn remains in charge and they decide to continue on the river. With great effort, they portage their boats around the rapids. This takes them most of the day, and they rest again until the next morning.
In the morning they begin again, and they paddle down the river between ever-growing cliffs of stone. At last they come to the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings: two great statues on either side of the river, each the image of a tall, standing king of Gondor. The Anduin rushes between them and out until a long oval lake. Far away at the distant end of the water they see the tall island of Tol Brandir and hear the roar of the Falls of Rauros.
Ten days out of Lothlórien, the Fellowship drifts along on the currents of the lake.