The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 1 Summary
Frodo wakes up in a bed.
He asks, "Where am I, and what is the time?" (2.1.2)
The voice of Gandalf answers: "In the House of Elrond, and it is ten o'clock in the morning" (2.1.3).
It is October 24th.
Frodo asks if all the others are all right – they are.
Gandalf explains that Frodo was beginning to fade at the Ford of Bruinen.
He reached Rivendell just in time for Elrond's medicine to save him.
Gandalf scolds Frodo a bit for some of his choices on the road.
But on the whole, he thinks Frodo did very well "to have come so far, and through such dangers, still bearing the Ring" (2.1.12).
Gandalf promises that Frodo will hear all the news of Gandalf's delay, but not until he is a bit better.
Frodo admits that, without Aragorn, they never would have made it to Rivendell.
Gandalf confirms that Aragorn is something special – in fact, he's one of the few who still has the blood of the old Kings from over the Sea.
Frodo is amazed that Strider is a descendant of the Men of Westernesse, but Gandalf confirms that that is what the Rangers are: "the last remnant in the North of the great people, the Men of the West" (2.1.28).
Gandalf also tells Frodo that he has been sleeping for four days; he arrived at Rivendell on October 20th.
Frodo wonders why they can see the Ringwraiths' horses when the Ringwraiths themselves only become visible when he is wearing the Ring.
Gandalf answers that the horses are real animals, bred and raised in Sauron's service. He has all kinds of servants – it's not just Ringwraiths and Orcs.
Frodo also mentions a white figure he saw across the river; Gandalf confirms that it was Glorfindel as he appears in the other world.
After all, Glorfindel is a prince among Elves.
To Gandalf's eyes, Frodo is quickly recovering.
But Gandalf also sees that Frodo has changed, with "just a hint as it were of transparency" (2.1.51).
Gandalf explains to Frodo that Glorfindel knew the River Bruinen would flood when the Ringwraiths tried to cross, so he lit a fire and prepared for battle on that side of the river.
Faced with Aragorn and an Elf-lord, the Ringwraiths lost courage and their horses went crazy with fear.
So three Ringwraiths were carried away in the first river flood and the rest followed when their horses plunged into the river out of madness.
Their horses drowned, but the Ringwraiths will be back as soon as they can find new steeds.
Sam, Pippin, Merry, Aragorn, and Glorfindel crossed the Bruinen after the Ringwraiths were swept away.
They found Frodo lying pale and cold on his face with a broken sword under him, so they brought him to Rivendell and Elrond's healing.
The plan is to have a feast tonight to celebrate the events of the Ford of Bruinen.
Frodo falls asleep content.
He wakes up in the evening and dresses for the feast.
Sam comes in and takes his left hand; he is relieved to feel that it is warm.
He leads Frodo to Elrond's garden, where the other Hobbits and Gandalf are waiting.
Merry and Pippin are delighted to see Frodo up and about.
They go to the hall of Elrond's house: there are lots of Elves, of course, but also other guests.
Frodo sees Arwen, Elrond's lovely daughter, for the first time.
A Dwarf of great importance sits next to Frodo: Glóin, one of the original thirteen Dwarves who hired Bilbo to help them fight the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit.
He tells Frodo all about what has become of Bilbo's original companions.
Most of them – Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Glóin himself – are fine, living with Dáin, the King Under the Mountain.
But three of them have met an unknown fate: Balin, Ori, and Óin. It's because of those three that Glóin has come to the Council of Elrond.
Frodo exclaims, "How surprised Bilbo would have been to see all the changes in the Desolation of Smaug" (2.1.105).
Glóin sees how fond Frodo is of Bilbo.
The feast ends, and Frodo walks a bit with Gandalf. They go to the Hall of Fire, where there will be singing late into the night.
There is a small dark figure leaning against a pillar; Elrond goes to him and wakes this figure and then beckons Frodo. The figure is Bilbo! Bilbo!
Frodo is amazed and delighted that Bilbo is in Rivendell.
Bilbo tells Frodo that he had been watching over him while he was unconscious.
Bilbo has thinking up a song, but he wants his friend "the Dúnadan" to help him with it. Frodo and Bilbo sit together, and Sam soon joins them.
It turns out that Bilbo never got much further than Rivendell once he left the Shire.
It's peaceful and happy in Rivendell: "Time doesn't seem to pass here: it just is. A remarkable place altogether" (2.1.121).
Bilbo has heard about the Ring, and is surprised that an old bauble of his has been such trouble. He asks if Frodo has the Ring here.
Frodo brings the Ring out reluctantly; it's hanging on a chain around his neck.
Bilbo puts out his hand to touch it, but Frodo pulls it away.
He sees Bilbo as "a little wrinkled creature with a hungry face and bony groping hands" (2.1.127).
Bilbo tells Frodo, "I understand now [...] Put it away! I am sorry: sorry you have come in for this burden: sorry about everything" (2.1.128).
While catching Bilbo up on all of the news of the Shire, Frodo is interrupted by the appearance of Aragorn.
Aragorn is the Dúnadan (from the Elvish dún-adan, Man of the West, Númenorean).
Bilbo wants Aragorn to help him polish the song he's working on for performance that night.
Frodo begins to doze as he listens to the music and Bilbo's verses.
Bilbo sings of Eärendil, the ancestor of the Men of Westernesse, who became the Morning and Evening Stars.
Frodo wakes up and sees that Bilbo is surrounded by a ring of listeners.
They ask Bilbo to sing the song a second time so they can answer his question: he had asked which verses were Bilbo's and which were Aragorn's.
Bilbo pretends to be offended that they can't tell the difference.
The Elves tease him: "To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different [...] But Mortals have not been our study" (2.1.149).
Bilbo is pleased; the verses were all Bilbo's, and he doesn't often get asked for an encore.
In fact, Aragorn seemed to think it was a bit cheeky of Bilbo to be singing about Eärendil at all.
Frodo is getting tired, and Bilbo says it's fine if they slip off to bed.
As they leave the Hall of Fire, Frodo hears the Elves singing, "A Elbereth Golthoniel,/ silivren penna miriel" (2.1.154).
Frodo looks over and sees Elrond and Arwen sitting near one another, with Aragorn standing next to Arwen.
The light of Arwen's eyes "[fall] on [Frodo] from afar and [pierce] his heart" (2.1.158).
But Bilbo pulls Frodo away; they will go on singing late into the night.
They chat more about "the small news of the Shire far away" (2.1.160).
Sam knocks on the door and asks if Frodo needs anything. What Sam really means is that it is time for Frodo to go to bed; there will be a Council early the next morning, and Frodo needs his rest.