BBC Transcript - Lord of the Ring -

Fellowship of the Ring

1-1-4. One Ring To Rule Them All

Frodo: Has he gone?

Gandalf: Yes, he's gone at last.

Frodo: Oh dear, I wish...

[He closes the door]

Frodo: ...I mean, well I hoped until this evening that it was only a joke. But I knew in my heart that he really meant to go. He always used to joke about serious things. I wish I had come back sooner, just... just to see him off.

Gandalf: I really think he preferred slipping off quietly in the end.

Frodo: Yes...

Gandalf: Don't be too troubled. He'll be all right - now. He left a packet for you. There it is! You'll find his will and all the other documents in there. And I fancy you'll also find a golden ring.

Frodo: The ring! Has he left me that? I wonder why. Still, it may be useful.

Gandalf: It may, and it may not. You must be careful of that ring. I should not make use of it, if I were you. Keep it safe and keep it secret.

Frodo: Why?

Gandalf: What do you know already?

Frodo: Well, only what Bilbo told me.

Gandalf: But what did he tell you, I wonder.

Frodo: He told me the truth. Not that old story about it having been a present.

Gandalf: Yes, it was odd that he should have invented that. But, odd things happen to people who have such treasures, if they use them. Let it be a warning to you to be very careful with it. It may have other powers than just making you vanish when you wish to.

Frodo: I don't understand.

Gandalf: No, neither do I. I've merely begun to wonder about the ring.

Frodo: You're being very mysterious. What are you afraid of?

Gandalf: I'm not certain, so I'll say no more. I may be able to tell you something when I come back.

Frodo: Come back? You're going away too?

Gandalf: Yes, and I must go at once.

Frodo: At once! But, but, why? I thought you were staying on for at least a week.

Gandalf: I intended to, but I've had to change my mind.

Frodo: Well, how long will you be gone?

Gandalf: It may be for some while, Frodo, but I'll come and see you again as soon as I can. Look out for me, especially at unlikely times. So take care of yourself. And remember what I said about the ring. Keep it safe and keep it secret. Good-bye.

[The door opens. A bird chirps]

Frodo: Good-bye, Gandalf!

[He murmers to himself]

Frodo: Keep it safe and keep it secret...

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Narrator: Seventeen years passed, and Frodo all but forgot the ring. But the Dark Lord Sauron had not forgotten it, and learning from Gollum that a Ring of Power had been found by Baggins of the Shire, bent his mind to find it again.

Mouth of Sauron: Riders of Mordor, the Lord Sauron commands: seek for the Shire. Find Baggins.

[The Riders' voices fill the air and gallop away]

Narrator: The nine Black Riders galloped out of Mordor to begin their quest.

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Narrator: While in the Shire, Frodo was oblivious to the interest being shown in the name of Baggins.

[The fireplace crackles]

Frodo: Ho, ho, ho, to the bottle I go...

[The clinking of glass is heard as he pours a drink]

Frodo: heal my heart and drown my woe. Good health, Bilbo, where-ever you are.

[Someone knocks at the door. Frodo chokes on his drink and opens the door. A cold wind rushes outside]

Frodo: Gandalf!

Gandalf: Hello, Frodo. All well, eh?

Frodo: All well, though I've missed seeing my friend Gandalf. Come in, come in.

[He closes the door]

Gandalf: Thank you, Frodo. Well, you look the same as ever!

Frodo: So do you, or as far as I can remember.

Gandalf: Yes, yes... it's been too long.

Frodo: I thought you'd abandoned the Shire for ever, but I expect you've had more important people to visit than hobbits.

Gandalf: Important, yes, but not necessarily more important. In fact, my visit now is of the utmost importance.

Frodo: I'm sorry, Gandalf, I don't understand.

Gandalf: The ring, Frodo. Bilbo's ring. It's dangerous. Far more dangerous than even I had guessed. But, such matters are best left until daylight. We'll talk about it in the morning.

Frodo: All right.

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[Whistling is heard from outside the window, along with the sound of shears]

Gandalf: Mm...

[His breakfast dishes clank]

Gandalf: That was an excellent breakfast, Frodo.

Frodo: Good! Now, oh... eh, how about a pipe, before we talk, hm?

Gandalf: Ah, splendid.

[Frodo laughs]

Gandalf: I once told Bilbo: the one thing I miss about the Shire when I am not there, apart, of course, from having breakfast with an agreeable hobbit, is its pipe-weed.

Frodo: Well now, which would you like? Eh, let's see... Longbottom Leaf or Old Toby?

[They laugh]

Frodo: Or Southern Style?

Gandalf: Oh, I used to smoke Old Toby with Bilbo, so let it be that.

Frodo: Fine. Help yourself.

[They fill their pipes and puff on them throughout the conversation]

Gandalf: Thank you, Frodo. Sam's at work early, I see.

Frodo: Yes, a great fellow, Sam. He manages the garden by himself now; the Gaffer's getting on. Now, Gandalf, last night you began to tell me that you thought the ring was dangerous. If it is, then I must know in what way.

Gandalf: In many ways. It's far more powerful than I ever dared to suppose. So powerful, that in the end, it would utterly overcome anyone of mortal race who possessed it. It would possess him.

Frodo: How do you mean, "possess him?

Gandalf: A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Rings of Power, does not die.

Frodo: Hm?

Gandalf: He doesn't grow, or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end permanently invisible, and walks in twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.

Frodo: How terrifying! And Bilbo? How much did Bilbo know about all this?

Gandalf: Very little, I'm sure. It seemed to him that something was wrong or odd, but he thought it was himself. He said he felt stretched, but he didn't suspect that the Ring was to blame for the fact that he showed no signs of age. But it was an indication that the Ring was getting control.

Frodo: But there wasn't any permanent harm done, was there? He would get all right in time, wouldn't he?

Gandalf: I don't think you need worry about Bilbo. Of course, he possessed the Ring for many years, and used it, and lied to others about how he came by it. So it may take a long while for the influence to wear off, but the important thing is he gave it up in the end of his own accord. No, no... once he'd let the thing go, I wasn't troubled about dear Bilbo anymore. No, its... its for you that I feel responsible.

Frodo: Me?

Gandalf: Yes. You, and all these charming, absurd, helpless hobbits. It would be a grievous blow if all the jolly, stupid Bolgers, Boffins, and Bagginses became enslaved.

Frodo: B - but - what?

Gandalf: You don't know the real peril yet; but you shall. Give me the Ring for a moment.

Frodo: There.

Gandalf: I spoke of there being Rings of Power, for there were many: some more potent and some less. They were forged by the Elven-smiths long ago. The lesser rings were only essays in the craft. But the Great Rings, they were perilous.

Frodo: Is this one of them?

Gandalf: No. The Great Rings had each a gemstone. This Ring, you see? Is quite plain and unadorned.

Frodo: But, then, is it one of what you call the lesser rings?

Gandalf: No, I think not. Frodo, can you see any markings on it at all?

Frodo: Em, no...

Gandalf: Well, then, let's see what a little fire will reveal.

Frodo: But, G - Gandalf, my ring! It will be damaged!

[The fire roars]

Gandalf: Wait.

Frodo: But Gandalf, the fire!

Gandalf: Wait... Now let's look at the Ring. Take it, Frodo.

Frodo: But, I can't -

Gandalf: Go on, go on. Go on - it's quite cool. Take it. Now, hold it up and look closely. Well, what do you see?

Frodo: There, there are fiery letters, outside and inside, but I cannot read them.

Gandalf: No, but I can. The letters are elvish, but the language is that of Mordor.

[The Black Speech is heard:

     Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
     ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul


     One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
     One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Frodo: What does it mean, Gandalf?

[The quiet chanting of the Black Speech continues: "Ash nazg. Ash nazg. Ash nazg."]

Gandalf: It's only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore.

     Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
     Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
     Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
     One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
     In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
     One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
     One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
     In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

This is the Master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all. This is the One Ring lost many years ago to the great weakening of its maker's power. Now, he greatly desires to have it again - but he must not get it.

Frodo: What I don't understand, Gandalf, is whose ring this is, if it is not one of the Elven-rings?

Gandalf: This Ring was made to rule the Elven-rings. It was made, Frodo, by Sauron the Great, the Dark Lord of Mordor. It's he who is seeking it.

Frodo: But stories are told of Sauron's fall long, long ago!

Gandalf: That is so, but always after a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again. He's fast becoming very strong, and he lacks but one thing to give him strength and knowledge to beat down all resistance, break the last defences, and cover all the lands in darkness. He lacks the One Ring.

Frodo: Hm... but what of the other rings which that verse spoke of?

Gandalf: Three of them, the fairest of all, the Elf-lords hid from him. The others Sauron took and gave seven to the Dwarf-kings, who used them for getting great wealth. Nine he gave to Mortal Men, proud and great, and so ensnared them. The wearers of the Nine are now fell servants of the Dark Lord, Ringwraiths in his power. It's many years since they walked abroad. Yet who knows? As the shadow grows once more, they too may walk again. And the One Ring was his. He made it and wore it.

Frodo: But how did he come to lose it if he was so strong?

Gandalf: It's ancient history and a long story. It was Gil-galad, the Elven-king, and Elendil of Westernesse who overthrew Sauron, though they themselves perished in the deed. But Isildur Elendil's son cut the Ring from Sauron's hand and took it for his own. Thus was Sauron vanquished, for a while at least.

Frodo: But the Ring? What happened to the Ring?

Gandalf: The Ring was lost. Isildur was marching north when he was waylaid by Orcs, and almost all his followers were slain. He leapt into the waters of the Great River, Anduin. But the Ring slipped from his finger as he swam, and then the Orcs saw him and killed him with arrows. And there in the River, the Ring passed out of knowledge and legend. But, I think I can now carry on the story.

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