Cite This Page
 
To Go
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship of the Ring
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Advertisement
group rates for schools and districts
ADVERTISEMENT

The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 5 Summary

The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

  • The Company searches the room for more clues to Balin's fate.
  • Gandalf finds a chronicle of Balin's expedition, but it's tattered and difficult to make out.
  • It definitely contains the nasty news that Balin, Óin, and Ori died in battle in the mines.
  • Worst of all are the last words of Ori: "<em>We cannot get out. We cannot get out</em> [...] <em>The end comes</em> [...] <em>drums, drums in the deep</em> [...] <em>they are coming</em>" (2.5.11).
  • Once Gandalf has finished his reading, they hear a loud booming noise echoing through the Mines.
  • It is the drums in the deep: the Enemy is coming.
  • Gandalf insists that they not block the eastern door – they cannot risk getting trapped like Ori and his friends.
  • Coming toward the Company, Gandalf sees huge numbers of Orcs, including some Uruks from Mordor, and at least one cave troll.
  • Boromir tries to barricade the door shut, but it opens slowly under the force of a "great, flat, toeless foot" (2.5.31).
  • To everyone's surprise, Frodo leaps forward and stabs the foot.
  • It jerks back, and Boromir gets the door shut.
  • Still, the Orcs outside break it down, and the battle begins.
  • A "huge Orc-chieftain, almost man-high" (2.5.38) stabs at Frodo with a spear that leaves him pinned to the wall.
  • Aragorn picks Frodo up and they run for the eastern door.
  • Frodo tells Aragorn to put him down; he can walk. Aragorn is stunned: he thought Frodo was dead.
  • They find a dark passage where they crouch in wait for Gandalf.
  • Gandalf stays behind to guard the door; they can hear him muttering something.
  • Soon, Gandalf rejoins them to say that he has done all he can, but he has met his match.
  • They have to run as fast as they can, seven flights of stairs down into the Mines.
  • Gandalf thinks they have reached the level of the Gates. Now, they must head east.
  • Still confused, Gandalf asks how Frodo survived the spear stabbing.
  • Frodo says he's fine – just bruised.
  • They press on.
  • But Gandalf notices something wrong: there is a mysterious glow ahead, and it's not daylight. It's fire.
  • Fortunately for the Company, they are on the right side of the fire: they are facing the way out, and the Orcs trying to kill them are on the other side of whatever is burning.
  • They reach a narrow bridge across a fifty-foot-wide chasm. They begin to cross.
  • Legolas turns back to fire his arrows at the Orcs when he sees something that frightens him: a Balrog.
  • Gandalf sends the Company ahead and stands in the middle of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm to face the Balrog.
  • He breaks the bridge with a sheet of flame, sending the Balrog into a deep pit, but the Balrog catches Gandalf's foot with his whip and Gandalf falls, too.
  • His last words are: "Fly, you fools!" (2.5.95). And just like that, he's gone.
  • Aragorn shouts, "I will lead you now! [...] We must obey his last command" (2.5.96).
  • The Company follows Aragorn in a daze. They emerge under the sky, looking out over Dimrill Dale. It is 1:00 in the afternoon, and the sun is high.
  • The drum-beats fade and the Company falls into grief.
Next Page: Book 2, Chapter 6
Previous Page: Book 2, Chapter 4

Need help with College?