© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Return of the King

The Return of the King


by J.R.R. Tolkien

Frodo Baggins Timeline and Summary

  • Sam rescues Frodo from the orcs at Cirith Ungol.
  • Frodo exposes how much he has been affected by the Ring by almost attacking Sam to get it back. 
  • As the Ring continues to torture Frodo, he begins to lose his memories of the Shire.
  • Frodo and Sam put on orc clothing to try and blend in a bit more with their surroundings.
  • A passing slave driver mistakes the two of them for small orcs and forces them to march with his company.
  • Eventually, the orc company gets into a squabble with a second orc company and Frodo and Sam escape in the commotion.
  • But Frodo is now completely spent: he no longer has the strength to wear orc armor or anything so heavy.
  • Frodo and Sam crawl together up the sides of Mount Doom.
  • When Frodo can go no further, Sam carries him.
  • Suddenly, Gollum attacks Frodo and Sam in a last, desperate effort to get the Ring.
  • Frodo fights back with renewed strength to protect the Ring.
  • Sam takes over the battle with Gollum, leaving Frodo free to reach Sammath Naur (the cavern at the center of Mount Doom).
  • After Sam defeats Gollum, he goes into Sammath Naur to find Frodo standing at the edge of a precipice.
  • Frodo claims the Ring for himself. 
  • Gollum leaps on Frodo a second time and bites his finger off.
  • Gollum falls with the Ring into the volcano, and Frodo's soul is saved.
  • Frodo and Sam are rescued from Mount Doom by Gandalf and the Eagles.
  • Frodo recovers at the Fields of Cormallen and in Minas Tirith.
  • Arwen offers Frodo her place on the elf ship sailing to the West in the next year. 
  • Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin return to the Shire.
  • Frodo finds Saruman living at Bag End. 
  • Even though Saruman tries to stab Frodo, Frodo does not want him to be killed. Frodo's strong sense of mercy persists. 
  • Frodo takes back Bag End and helps to reconstruct the Shire.
  • But his heart is clearly not in it: he suffers from illness and he can't get over the Ring quest.
  • So when the time comes for that ship to sail into the West with Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, and even Bilbo, Frodo decides to join them.
  • He makes Sam his official heir and leaves Middle-earth.