The trilogy begins when a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins inherits his uncle Bilbo's ring, which he took from Gollum on a previous adventure.After Bilbo leaves to live with the Elven in Rivendell, Gandalf the Grey explains that the ring is actually the One Ring, the most powerful ring of all the Rings of Power made, belonging to the Dark Lord Sauron, and used to dominate all the people of Middle-Earth. Now that Sauron is attempting to take Middle-Earth once again, it must be destroyed to prevent him from using its great power. Frodo left his home of the Shire with Sam Gamgee, his gardener, upon a quest to reach Rivendell, and seek the elves' advice in the matter. The two were shortly joined by Merry and Pippin, two young friends of theirs. The four were then pursued out of the Shire by nine black riders, and only escaped from them after crossing the Brandywine river. The travelers sheltered at an inn called The Prancing Pony, where they met Aragorn, revealed to be Gandalf's friend and ally. With his help, they narrowly escape the riders again, and continue to Rivendell. They are attacked once more by the riders at Weathertop, and Aragorn battled them off with flaming torches, but not before the leader of the group stabbed Frodo.
With Frodo mortally wounded by the rider's blade, the five fled to Rivendell, and, before they reached there, they encounter the elf Arwen, who speeds Frodo ahead to Rivendell, attempting to outrace the riders. Arwen and Frodo finally escaped from the riders when she summoned a flood of water, and swept their pursuers away.
After waking up in Rivendell, re-encountering Gandalf, and realizing that Bilbo is still living there, Frodo, along with his comrades, attended the council of Elrond. There they meet Boromir the man, Legolas the elf, and Gimli the dwarf. The council discussed the ring, and, Gandalf and Elrond reveal that it can only that the Ring can only be destroyed by the fires at the heart of the volcano Mount Doom, where it was forged.
The council decides that a fellowship shall go out together in an attempt to reach Mount doom and destroy the Ring. The full Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Gandalf the Grey, Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir, set off. They are stopped by the magic of the wizard Saruman, and are forced to journey through the dwarven Mines of Moria. Unbeknownst to the Fellowship, the Dwarven company led by Gimli's cousin Balin were no longer living in the mines and the dwarves were long since dead as accounted by the last page in the book of Mazarbul. Pippin , being careless knocked a skeleton into a well which was attached to a shackle of chains that made a huge rattling throughout the mines, alerting the inhabitants to the Fellowship's presence. Enraged by the sad tale, Gimli, along with the rest of the fellowship took a stand against the now approaching goblins and did combat with them and a Cave Troll. After being chased by a gigantic creature known as the Balrog, the party attempted to escape the mines. Gandalf seemingly defeated the Balrog by forcing it into an extremely deep crevasse, but was pulled in with it.