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Film / The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
aka: The Fellowship Of The Ring

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Frodo: I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though — I do not know the way.
Gandalf: I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear.
Aragorn: If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will. You Have my Sword.
Legolas: And you have my Bow.
Gimli: And my Axe.
Boromir: You carry the fates of us all, little one.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 High Fantasy film. The first chapter of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy adapting J. R. R. Tolkien's seminal novel saga of the same name, it was directed by Peter Jackson and released in December 2001.

In the peaceful Middle-earth land of Shire, young hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the One Ring from his uncle Bilbo during the latter's 111th birthday and learns of its origins as the artifact of power crafted by (and last remnant of) Sauron, the Dark Lord who once set out to conquer Middle-earth during the Second Age with his armies of Orcs and seemingly died. Frodo and three other hobbits, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Peregrine "Pippin" Took and Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, are tasked by the wizard Gandalf the Grey to go to an inn. Once there, they meet a man named Aragorn, who was sent by Gandalf and helps them escape Sauron's dreaded heralds, the Nazgûls (or Ringwraiths). Gandalf meanwhile finds out that Sauron, while not having a physical presence, has returned and is rebuilding his forces in his kingdom of Mordor. Gandalf then gets betrayed by another wizard of his order, Saruman the White, who got corrupted by Sauron.

The group arrives at the elvish city of Rivendell, where they are reunited with Gandalf (who managed to escape from Saruman's custody) and meet Gimli the dwarf, Boromir (son of the Ruling Steward of the human kingdom of Gondor) and Legolas the elf. At the council held by the elf lord Elrond, they band together, forming the eponymous Fellowship of the Ring, and set out for a dangerous journey towards Mordor in order to destroy the One Ring in the fiery mountain where it was once forged, the only way to rid Middle-earth of Sauron once and for all.

It was followed by The Two Towers in 2002 and The Return of the King in 2003.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring provides examples of:

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    Tropes A – C 
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: The Nazgûl at the Fords of Bruinen. Instead of just riding back into the forest, they ride downstream where the wave is certain to catch them... because the water has distorted all sense of direction for them (hence why they were reluctant to cross in the first place).
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The heartwarming and peaceful scenes of The Shire (especially in the Director's Cut), filled with laughter, friendship and happy children (what a warrior lays down his life to protect) is what makes us actually care whether or not Frodo and the Fellowship defeat the Lord of the Rings or not.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • Tom Bombadil is cut from the film, along with the scene with where he rescues the hobbits from the Barrow-wights and takes their enchanted daggers which Merry uses to slay the Witch-king. Here, he uses an Elven dagger gifted by Galadriel which is never truly hinted or explained whether it's effective against the Witch-king of Angmar unless it's enchanted in a similar way with the books counterpart. Then again, it's a gift of Galadriel.
    • Gandalf stops at Rohan in the first book before going to Rivendell, attempting to warn Theoden about Saruman's Face–Heel Turn - but Grima Wormtongue has already started poisoning his mind. This is eliminated from the film, so it's not explained how Gandalf is so up-to-date on what's been happening in Rohan.
  • Adaptational Context Change:
    • Galadriel's iconic introductory voice-over was originally spoken by Treebeard in the book, where he laments to Gandalf about the past. The film has Galadriel reminiscing about the history of the Ring.
    • Sam says the exact same line to Frodo at the end of both the book and movie: "Of course you are, and I'm coming with you!" In the book, Frodo has just said, "But I am going to Mordor!", but in the movie the line is changed to "I'm going to Mordor alone!", which makes Sam's response a lot more humorous.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry, together with the Hobbits' entire "Old Forest" adventure.
    • Glorfindel's role of rescuing Frodo from the Nazgûl and bringing him to Rivendell is given to Arwen.
    • The Scouring of the Shire is absent from the films' canon, instead shown as a Bad Future.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Boromir in is described as having dark hair. For the movies they gave him light brown, bordering on blond.note 
    • The elves of Lothlórien are shown to be uniformly blonde, though only elves with particularly strong Vanyar ancestry, such as Galadriel, have blonde hair in the books.
  • Adaptational Timespan Change: In the book, it's about sixteen years from Bilbo's farewell party to Gandalf's visit where the Ring-inscription is revealed, and a few more months before Frodo sets out on the Ring-quest. The film seems to condense the first interval to exactly as long as it takes Gandalf to make the trip to Minas Tirith and back, a few weeks or months, and Frodo sets out the next day.
  • Age Cut: Averted when Elrond talks to Gandalf about an incident thousands of years in the past. We cut to a shot of Elrond in the past and he looks exactly the same, since elves are immortal.
  • Agony of the Feet: Averted when the other hobbits make a fire on Weathertop (inadvertently drawing the Nazgûl to them) and Frodo panics when he sees it and tries to put it out with his foot. Hobbits are stated to have tough soles in the book — basically their feet are their shoes, and they have a lot more fur on them than depicted in the film (the Rankin/Bass Productions animated adaptations do a much better job of what their feet are supposed to look like).
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The goblins have the party surrounded in the mines of Moria — until the Balrog makes its first appearance. They run for it. So does everyone else.
  • Animal Espionage: Saruman has crows that serve as spies, and one scene has The Fellowship take cover when a flock of crows fly overhead before we see them report in back at Isengard.
  • Arrow Cam: Features another "point of view" arrow shot.
  • Art Imitates Art: The designs for the Mines of Moria sets were inspired by the works of Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi and M.C. Escher.
  • Ash Face: Merry and Pippin, after setting off a firework at Bilbo's birthday party.
  • Award-Bait Song: The films gave us two stellar Tear Jerker examples: "May It Be" and "In Dreams". "May it Be" was nominated for an Oscar.
  • Badass Boast: "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn! Go back to the shadow... YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
  • Bad Future: The Scouring of the Shire from the books is turned into this in the film. Frodo is invited to look into the Mirror of Galadriel. He is shown a vision of the Shire being destroyed, orcs slaughtering other hobbits, the four (Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam) chained and forced to walk, being whipped by orcs. Galadriel tells Frodo that this is what will happen should he fail in his quest to destroy the Ring.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Played for drama: the film shows Saurons tower looking over Mordor below near the start of the first act; the tower depicted, however, is only a guard tower. The camera then pans across to show the actual tower of Barad-dur; and it's much, much bigger.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Frodo is badly stabbed on Weathertop, Boromir catches several arrows in his chest.
  • Behind the Black: Gimli claims he has "eyes like a hawk" but doesn't notice the squadron of elves with their arrows pointed at him.
  • Being Watched: Celeborn warns the Fellowship that they're being hunted by Orcs before leaving Lothlorien.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor in the prologue certainly counts. The Battle at Amon Hen is much smaller in scale, pitting the Fellowship against a small army of Uruk-hai, but it's still an extremely impressive action sequence.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the Battle at Amon Hen, Merry and Pippin have lured the Uruk-hai away from Frodo but are surrounded on all sides when Boromir leaps in and intercepts the closest Mook with his bare hands.
  • Big "NO!": The film has two:
    • Gimli has one when he discovers the tomb of Balin, which dissolves into mournful blubbering.
    • Frodo also has one when Gandalf appears to die.
  • Black Knight: Sauron from the intro of the opening wears a huge suit of armour, roars monstrously, and swings a gigantic mace everywhere, sending scores of soldiers flying with each blow. He is modelled after his former master Morgoth from Silmarillion, and the books (or at least the appendix) did mention him taking part in this particular battle personally, so at least it's fairly justified.
  • Black Speech: Gandalf uses it to dramatic effect in Imladris/Rivendell, complete with Empathic Environment. It also appears to cause elves such as Elrond and Legolas physical pain, as both wince at its usage.
  • Blatant Lies: Gandalf offers up a couple of them early on:
    Gandalf: A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

    Gandalf: If you're referring to the incident with the Dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door.
  • Blood from the Mouth: When Aragorn is fighting Lurtz, the orc headbutts him in the face and his mouth is bleeding afterward.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Legolas shoots an Orc in the head while crossing the stairs in Khazad-Dum, with enough force that the arrow sticks in the pillar behind the Orc.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord:
    • Aragorn uses both bow and sword, but he usually uses the bow only to open battle, staying in melee once it opens.
    • The Uruk-hai captain (Lurtz) at the end also employs a bow/sword combo.
  • Bows and Errors: During the Moria sequence, a CGI shot of one of Legolas' arrows shows the arrowhead moving along a perfect arc to the target, while the shaft and fletching dangle and shake behind it at random.
  • Brutal Brawl: Gandalf discovers Saruman has joined forces with Sauron and a Wizard Duel erupts between the two of them. It's shown as a telekinetic staff fight, and without one laying a finger on the other the two wizards slam each other into stone walls and doors. The brutality is actually enhanced by the actors being elderly men.
    • Likewise, Aragorn's fight with the Uruk-Hai, Lurtz; a brief, nasty scuffle that features Aragorn getting his nose broken by a headbutt, Lurtz stabbed with a dagger, and finally Aragorn lopping off his arm and head.
  • Buffy Speak: Pippin during the creation of the Fellowship: "You need people of intelligence in this kind of mission... quest... thing."
  • Bugs Herald Evil: Insects and spiders come out of the woodwork in droves when the hobbits arrive to seek the ring, fleeing from the Nazgul.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: The white moth that brings giant eagles to the rescue when Gandalf is imprisoned at Orthanc.
  • Canon Foreigner: Lurtz, the Uruk-Hai leader, does not appear in the books; Boromir is killed by an anonymous Orc and his death goes unwitnessed, and Aragorn does not fight any of them. Lurtz was invented for the film to give the Uruk-Hai a face. His name is never spoken aloud in the theatrical release, and only appears in the end credits. However, in the Extended Edition, Lurtz's name is spoken by Saruman. Despite some initial fears that he was an entirely new character, he really wasn't much different from other "generic Uruk-hai leaders" already present in the book.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Watcher in the Water, which wasn't clearly described in the book, is shown as a giant squid-like monster when it attacks the Company.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Aragorn gets introduced this way in Bree, as a wilderness expert who can outrun the Nazgûl. More so in the film, since they set out that very morning after they outwit the Nazgûl ambush. In the film, Aragorn fits the trope to a T:
    Frodo: Where are you taking us?
    Aragorn: Into the wild.
    Merry: How do we know this Strider is a friend of Gandalf?
    Frodo: We have no choice but to trust him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: While on Weathertop, being chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo goes to sleep, only to wake up to the other hobbits cooking food.
    Frodo: What are you doing?! [meaning, Why are you lighting a fire when we have demonic ghosts chasing us?!]
    Merry: Tomatoes, sausages, and nice, crispy bacon.
  • Continuity Nod: In Elrond's council, there's the symbol of an eight-pointed star on the ground in front of his seat. In The Silmarillion, Elrond was reared by two Fëanorians, whose symbol was an eight-pointed star.
  • Courtly Love: Gimli, almost immediately after seeing Galadriel. When she is bestowing gifts on the fellowship prior to their departure, all he requests is a strand of her golden hair. She gives him three.
  • Creative Closing Credits: They contain the names of every single member of the Tolkien fan club in the special edition.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The prologue has cameos by:
      • Senior prosthetics supervisor Gino Acevedo and prosthetics technicians Rich Mayberry and Xander Forterie as three of the seven Dwarf Lords who receive Rings of Power;
      • Concept artists John Howe and Alan Lee play two of the Nine Kings; and
      • Weta production worker Ben Britton and pre-viz storyboard shader Jason Secto play elves fighting in the Last Alliance.
    • Peter Jackson in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance as "Albert Dreary" (a man eating a carrot) when the hobbits arrive in Bree.
    • The hellish screeching noises made by the Ringwraiths were delivered by Fran Walsh, co-writer, producer and Peter Jackson's partner.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: After their narrow escape from the Mines of Moria, most of the Fellowship is extremely distraught at the loss of Gandalf and stop just outside the exit to mourn. However, Aragorn orders Boromir to get them on their feet and continue the journey, answering protests of not giving them a moment by noting that by nightfall, the whole area will be crawling with Orcs fully intent on killing them or worse, and the Fellowship must get to safety before dusk.
  • Cut Apart: The movie has closeups of sleeping hobbits mixed with Ringwraiths surrounding the beds. When the stabbing begins, we discover the beds are empty and the hobbits in another room.

    Tropes D – I 
  • Death Is Such an Odd Thing: Orlando Bloom said in the commentaries for the extended edition that this is what he was trying for, when the camera had its closeup on his face in the One-Woman Wail montage after Gandalf fell: he was coming to grips with what death was, as an elf whose only experience with it previously had been seeing enemies die in battle.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: How the Fellowship kills the cave troll in Moria.
  • Deathly Dies Irae:
    • "Dies irae" appears in the score as Bilbo's ring tempts him one last time before he leaves the Shire. It weighs heavily on him as he slowly tips his hand to let it fall to the floor, right after it has been made clear that there is something dangerous about it and it is likely the One Ring.
    • Heard again as the Ringwraiths corner the hobbits at Weathertop.
    • Also reoccurs as part of the motif for the forces of Isengard.
  • Depth of Field: A faked long depth-of-field is accomplished by putting a prop ring the size of a plate in the foreground. That way, the One Ring lying in the snow appears in as much sharpness as the stuff in the background.
  • Digital Head Swap: One of the techniques used to create the proper scale for the Hobbits.
  • Doing Research: After Bilbo leaves the Shire, Gandalf already has suspicions about the magical ring transmitted to Frodo. The Wizard is next seen doing historical research to learn more about the One Ring, notably the story of Isildur, to confirm those suspicions.
  • Downer Ending: The Fellowship breaks in the end. Gandalf falls to his apparent doom, Boromir is killed, and Frodo and Sam have to journey into Mordor alone while Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas have to save Merry and Pippin from Saruman's Uruk-Hai.
  • Dug Too Deep: According to Saruman, the Dwarves of Moria did this, unleashing the Balrog.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Gimli goes from describing Galadriel as a wicked sorceress to pledging himself as her Knight In Shining Armour within days of meeting her.
  • Ear Ache: After Merry and Pippin set off one of Gandalf's fireworks without his permission, he lifts them up by the pointy tips of their ears and glares down at them like they are misbehaving children.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Inverted. Rohan appears briefly in the first book, establishing that the nation will enter the plot in the second.
    • Played straight with Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, making brief appearances in this film before becoming much more important in The Return of the King. Also applies to their respective Leitmotifs.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Downplayed. The designs of Gollum and the Eye of Sauron aren't quite as polished as in the next two films.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Quite a few.
    • Sam telling Frodo the promise he made to Gandalf in the beginning. ("Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee!")
    • Merry and Pippin's mischief at Bilbo's birthday party.
    • Boromir instantly suggesting the Ring be turned over to Gondor to use against Sauron.
    • Legolas defending Aragorn against Boromir.
    • Gimli grabbing an axe and attempting to destroy the Ring right at the council.
    • Saruman chastising Gandalf for consorting with Hobbits.
    • Lurtz chokes the first orc he sees within seconds of his birth.
    • Gandalf arriving in Hobbiton for Bilbo's birthday party. All the children are excited to see him, while the adults look on disapprovingly (for the most part, one Hobbit laughs at a miniature fireworks display only to frown when his wife appears.)
    • The first glimpse of the Lady Galadriel (other than the flash of her eyes that Frodo sees when he hears her voice in his mind) is her descending the stairs in Caras Galadhon with Celeborn in a blinding, majestic aura of white light. 'The Lady of Light', indeed!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Uruk-Hai captain Lurtz has a very deep voice, as do other orcs, when they're not given shrill, raspy voices.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The (original) Dark Tower, Barad-dûr. It's actually depicted as under construction; the completed tower itself is first seen at the end of the film, from the Seat of Amon Hen.
  • Extreme Close-Up: Galadriel's intro scene frequently cuts right up to Galadriel's eyes and then cuts back to the eyes of a member of the Fellowship. This is a visual adaptation of the narration from the book which makes clear everyone in the Fellowship felt Galadriel's eyes piercing into their soul.
  • Fake Shemp: When Bilbo finds the Ring at the start of the movie, Gollum cries out, "My precious!". However, Andy Serkis was not on set that day, so Dominic Monaghan stood in for him.
  • Fanfare: The fellowship theme.
  • Fatal Fireworks: There's a comedic, non-fatal example: at Bilbo's birthday party, Pippin and Merry steal and launch one of Gandalf's firework rockets, ending up with an Ash Face.
  • Final Speech: While Boromir had some last dying words in the book, they really spice it up in the film, especially with Boromir's last line to Aragorn: "My brother, my captain, my king".
  • Finger Extinguisher: Aragorn puts out a flame with his bare hand at the Prancing Pony when taking Frodo away for a private discussion.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Gimli and Legolas probably count as Trope Codifiers. They openly hate each other at their first meeting (Gimli: "Never trust an elf!"), but by the end of the film, they are inseparable.
    Gimli: Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an Elf.
    Legolas: What about side by side with a friend?
    Gimli: ...aye. I could do that.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Sauron during the prologue, to get to Isildur.
  • Forced Perspective:
    • Used to great effect to help the average-height actors playing hobbits and dwarves seem to-scale with their man and elf co-stars.
    • Used in reverse in one shot: While climbing Caradhras, Frodo falls and drops the Ring. There is a shot of the Ring lying in the snow in the foreground. The filmmakers used a larger model of the Ring, 6 inches in diameter, in this shot to make it seem closer while still being in-focus.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In an Extended-Version-only scene, Frodo and Sam see a group of Wood-Elves on their way to the Grey Havens while they're leaving the Shire. The final film ends with Frodo going to the Grey Havens and leaving Middle-Earth with the rest of the elves.
    • As Gandalf tries to lead the Fellowship through the Pass of Caradhras, Boromir picks up the One Ring after Frodo stumbles down hill and "drops" it. Boromir returns it after some hesitation and obsessing over it. Later, Boromir tries to take the Ring forcefully, having gotten a taste of its influence before.
    • Boromir narrowly avoids being hit by arrows in Moria.
    • Aragorn realizes that they're being followed by Gollum, but says that he's "too good a waterman" to catch. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King we see a flashback of Smeagol and Deagol pole-fishing from a boat, and Deagol proves to be a good swimmer.
  • Forgot to Mind Their Head: This was a hazard both in and out of universe:
    • During the scene where Gandalf visits Bilbo in his hobbit hole, Gandalf, stooping, accidentally backs into a chandelier (as part of the script). His actor Ian McKellen then promptly turns and accidentally smacks his head on the roof, an (unscripted) accident so funny that they left it in.
    • In the gag reel, this happens also to the crew. Everyone's sitting inside the hobbit hole listening to directions, then when the meeting ends they all stand up and hit their heads on the roof. Then everyone falls to the floor.
  • Friends All Along: Aragorn is hurrying to find a herb to heal Frodo when someone sneaks up behind him and holds a blade to his throat. Said person turns out to be Arwen, teasing him.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Sam uses his cooking gear to whack some goblins in Moria.
    Sam: I think I'm getting the hang of this.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: When Arwen conjures up the Bruinen river against the Black Riders (invoking a Mass "Oh, Crap!" out of them, but they can't outrun it). For added awesomeness, the waves are horse-shaped.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: "In place of a Dark Lord you would have a QUEEN! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me, and despair!"
  • Hammer Hilt: When Aragorn faces down the entire horde of Uruk-Hai, he starts off the fight by following his first sword swing by smashing the crossguard of his sword into one Uruk's face.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The axe-wielding Uruk-hai takes his own axe in his back from Boromir.
  • Hollywood Drowning: Averted. Sam's near-drowning occurs without much flailing or noise. Frodo knows he's drowning because he knows Sam can't swim.
  • Homage Shot:
    • Peter Jackson shot one bit at Bilbo's birthday party ("Proudfeet!") as an exact copy of a shot in Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings. Jackson even helpfully points this out in the commentary. A circle-round shot of the four hobbits at Weathertop is also lifted from the original, although the camera moves much faster and Aragorn is absent. Same goes for the four hobbits hiding under a root by the wayside with the Nazgûl leaning in above them.
    • Not exactly an homage shot, but the Nazgûl attacking the Hobbits' room at the Prancing Pony was drawn from Bakshi's film. In the books, it's explicitly stated by Aragorn that they would not have openly attacked the inn in this manner, and that their assailants were instead Men of Bree under their influence.
  • Hope Spot:
    • The film begins with one. During the battle between the Last Alliance of Elves and Man against Sauron's forces, the Alliance nearly succeeds in driving back the forces of Mordor... only for Sauron himself to join the battle and singlehandedly turn the tide back in his favor. But ironically, this also counts as a Hope Spot for Sauron too. Right as he's crushing the Alliance and on the cusp of total victory, Isildur severs the ring from his hand, separating him from his source of power and destroying his physical body.
    • Gandalf gets one In-Universe when he uses the information he obtained in Minas Tirith to test the One Ring. The Ring doesn't react to fire and for a moment, Gandalf's quietly relieved he was wrong and this isn't the evil artifact he'd feared it was... and then Frodo spots the emerging Black Speech...
    • Probably the cruelest one in film history is when Gandalf sends the Balrog off the bridge and begins turning back... only for the tips of its whip to catch Gandalf by the foot and leave him dangling off the side of the bridge.
  • Horns of Villainy: The Balrog wasn't clearly described in the novels, but it's given large ram-like horns, giving it a beast-like appearance.
  • Hostile Weather: The snowstorm on Caradhras. The movie clearly shows that Saruman is behind it too, while in the book it's left vague.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In addition to Legolas, who, as an elf, naturally demonstrates absurd skill, there's the opening battle of Mount Doom, where human archers shoot down orcs on the mountainside a good quarter mile away (long range for a modern infantry rifle, much less a bow). Perhaps justified if one accepts that it's Galadriel's recounting of events she didn't actually see but was simply told of.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: As the fellowship is travelling through forbidden Elven woods, Gimli starts bragging.
    Gimli: Here's one dwarf they won't ensnare so easily! I've got the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox.
    [cue elvish arrows drawn at Gimli's head at point-blank range]
  • Inverse Dialogue/Death Rule: Boromir takes forever to be killed (arrow after arrow, and overcranked as well), complete with a speech to Aragorn after the latter just had a big duel with the chief Uruk-Hai.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Gandalf finds a record of Isildur's journal, accounting the finding of the One Ring.
      Isildur: I will risk no harm to the Ring. It is precious to me.
    • Averted in some dubs where they change Gollum's my precious but miss this echo.
  • It Has Been an Honour: Boromir's last words to Aragorn.
    Boromir: I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Galadriel's gifts. All of them. Even moreso in the book, where she gives Sam a box of dirt with a mallorn nut in it. It helps.

    Tropes J – P 
  • Jump Scare: Gandalf knows something's wrong with the Ring that he had to pressure Bilbo into finally discarding, but he isn't entirely sure just what it's capable of as he reaches for it. The instant his fingers grace its metal, a hellish eye of fire appears with a screaming sound and a boom more akin to primordial thunder not even a quarter of a second. It's no wonder the next scene cuts to him watching the nearby fireplace in a stupor to separate his mind from the horror he witnessed and not even realizing Frodo has entered for half a minute.
  • Kill It with Fire: Strider uses this method to drive off the Nazgûl at Weathertop, with a Throwing Your Torch Always Works finisher.
  • Kill the Lights:
    • When Gandalf intimidates Bilbo to convince him to leave the Ring behind, the room darkens and his voice gains a menacing reverberation. He also seems to grow, though he may simply be standing up from a slouch.
      Gandalf: Bilbo Baggins, do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!
    • A similar effect happens during the Council of Elrond when Gandalf breaks up the squabble by reciting the ring couplet in Black Speech, though as this scene is outside, the darkening is less noticeable.
  • Killed Offscreen: The Hobbit who has a run-in with the Ringwraiths on the road. We see the lead wraith swing his sword, and the Hobbit's surprised face, but then it cuts back to Frodo and Gandalf talking in a Discretion Shot.
  • Kubrick Stare: Foreshadowed when Isildur (in flashback) gave Elrond exactly the same stare, in exactly the same circumstances. One of the powers of the One Ring is to cause Kubrick Stares.
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: Though Aragorn isn't the main hero and Lurtz isn't the main villain, their intense fight is the climax of the film.
  • Last Day of Normalcy: Bilbo's birthday party introduces us to all the characters of Hobbiton prior to their being thrust into their adventure, from gentle and thoughtful Frodo to loyal and simple Samwise, to the mischievous pair of Merry and Pippin (their role changed somewhat from the books, where they were more savvy to Bilbo's magic ring). This is a downplayed example, though, as while it does serve the purpose of showing the tranquility of Hobbiton, it isn't until Gandalf returns with confirmation of the nature of Bilbo's ring that Frodo is thrust out the door on an adventure.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: According to Galadriel's prologue, this is why things came to be as they were at the end of the Third Age: people forgot about past threats, and grew complacent. Sauron exploited that.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Subverted. After Gandalf says that Sauron must never find the Ring, Frodo says they'll put it away and never speak of it again... except that Sauron has already found Gollum, who also knew that Bilbo had the Ring, knows of the Shire, and has sent the Nazgûl to claim it.
  • Literal Disarming: Aragorn does this to Lurtz, followed by stabbing him through the chest and finally decapitating him. Lurtz didn't die until that last one.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Boromir's Final Speech:
      Boromir: I would have gone with you to the end, my brother... my captain... my king.
    • Galadriel's intense gaze reduces Boromir to tears, most likely because he knows that she knows that he will eventually betray the Fellowship.
  • Meaningful Echo: The tune from "Concerning Hobbits" (the piece that plays as the Shire is introduced) appears at the end of the movie in "The Breaking of the Fellowship".
  • Miracle Food: Elven lembas bread (which got more emphasis in the original book) is featured in a scene from the Extended Edition DVD. Legolas explains to the hobbits Merry and Pippin that a single bite of lembas can fill a grown man's stomach for a day. As soon as Legolas leaves:
    Merry: How many did you eat?
    Pippin: Four. [groans]
  • Mythology Gag: The scene angle when the Nazgûl are looking for the Hobbits hiding in a root is directly taken from the Ralph Bakshi animated version.
  • Myth Prologue: The film opens with the story of how the rings of power were forged (effectively introducing the races of Middle Earth in the process), how Sauron used the One Ring of Power to take over Middle Earth, how Isildur failed to destroy the ring once Sauron was defeated, and how millennia would pass before it was fished out of the water once again. Galadriel, narrating, mourns that there are so few still alive who were there to witness it. This is a deviation from the book, which opened on Bilbo's birthday in the Shire, and makes the mythic scope of the film more immediately obvious to audiences.
  • Nightmare Face: When Bilbo wants to take a look at the One Ring. Holy crap!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pippin's curiosity leading him to mess with a skeleton by a well in Moria, leading to the whole thing, chains and bucket and all, toppling in. Not only does this lead to them being attacked by a horde of goblins, it awakens the Balrog, and ultimately results in Gandalf's death.
  • Noodle Incident: The "incident with the dragon" is this to anyone who hasn't read the books.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Council of Elrond dissolves into a lot of vicious arguing, causing Frodo to make his heroic choice.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Gandalf manages to move from Bilbo's party to Bag End before Bilbo himself gets there, even though he is seen sitting in the audience while Bilbo is running home, made invisible by the Ring. All without crossing paths with him, either. He is a wizard, but not even the most powerful beings in Middle-Earth can manage actual teleportation.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • One of the Ringwraiths cuts a hapless Hobbit's head off when they're riding into the Shire, although it happens offscreen.
    • Aragorn decapitates an Orc in Moria, with a big spurt of Black Blood right before the Cave Troll shows up.
    • Aragorn finishes Lurtz off by cutting off his head.
  • Oh, Crap!: The film features many examples.
    • A great one in the prologue battle when Sauron makes his appearance on the battlefield. These mighty Dúnedain have just mopped the floor with the Orcs and are about to declare their victory... then all of a sudden a black-armoured giant with a very big mace strides into their midst...
    • Frodo in the first film, when he realizes that the two words Sauron's forces got from Gollum (Shire and Baggins) means that they know where the One Ring is and are coming to take it.
    • Gandalf when Saruman informs him that now in knowledge of the One Ring's location, Sauron has dispatched some of his most lethal agents to get it back.
      Saruman: Sauron's forces are already moving. The Nine have left Minas Morgul.
      Gandalf: [horrified] The Nine?!
    • Also Gandalf's reaction when Saruman reveals he is in league with Sauron and bars the former's escape from Orthanc.
    • During the Skirmish at Weathertop, Frodo hears Sauron's voice emanating from the Ring and is tempted to pull it out of his pocket. He immediately panics as he realizes he just confirmed to Sauron's forces that he has the Ring on him.note 
    • When Arwen summons a tidal wave to beat the Nazgûl. Granted, they don't have faces, but their behaviour is enough to convey it.
    • In Moria:
      • Gandalf's reaction to hear Goblin drums beating, as the denizens of Moria have realised there are intruders in their home.
      • Boromir's deadpan "They have a cave troll." Spoken in an almost Graham Chapman voice.
      • Legolas gets a pretty good Oh Crap look when he realizes there's a Balrog down there. The Moria Goblins are also similarly terrified.
    • Elrond has an Oh Crap reaction to the fact that Saruman is breeding an Orc army of his own. An army that can move in sunlight.
    • Aragorn and Legolas are busy fighting the Uruk-Hai on Amon Hen, when suddenly they hear the Horn of Gondor being blown frantically. "Boromir!!!"
  • Opening Monologue: Galadriel's now iconic opening monologue of the film, describing the forging of the Rings Of Power, the Battle of the Last Alliance, Sauron's downfall and the One Ring being lost and forgotten, basically laying the groundwork for the beginning of the main story. The page quote at the top is just part of it. She speaks some Elvish (Sindarin) at the beginning of the monologue.
    "(I amar prestar aen.) The world is changed. (Han matho ne nen.) I feel it in the water. (Han mathon ned cae.) I feel it in the earth. (A han noston ned gwilith.) I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it."
  • Phosphor-Essence: Galadriel glows with a bluish-white light when she explains how powerful and terrible she would become were she to accept the Ring.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The removal of Tom Bombadil.
  • The Precarious Ledge: The Fellowships must traverse a narrow ledge at The Pass of Caradhras through the snow, even as Saruman tries to bring them down with his foul chanting.
  • Precision F-Strike: Implied when Gimli gets irritated with Haldir speaking Elvish with Aragorn and feeling left out of the convesation. Gimli shoots off an insult in Elvish and whatever he said leaves Haldir fuming and Aragon both embarassed and pissed that the Dwarve's making his already-delicate negotiations even more difficult.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: In the prologue, when his finger gets cut off, Sauron starts glowing from the inside before blowing up.
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: When Gandalf the Grey meets up with Frodo Baggins on the way to attend the birthday party being thrown for Frodo's uncle Bilbo Baggins, Frodo accuses the wizard of being late, to which Gandalf retorts that he arrived when he planned to. Subverted and Played for Laughs, as Gandalf, who is a close friend of the Baggins, actually arrived just as the party was being set up, and both Frodo and Gandalf quickly break into laughter at the quip.
    Frodo: You're late!
    Gandalf: A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to!
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You! Shall Not! Pass!". Then the bridge practically broke in half.
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: When Aragorn stabs Lurtz in the stomach, the Uruk-hai responds by pulling the sword inwards, snarling at Aragorn, possibly to get close enough to hurt him. Aragorn pulls the sword out and chops off Lurtz's head.

    Tropes Q – Z 
  • Radial Ass Kicking: The Balrog chases them off before the fight actually happens but in the Mines of Moria, the Fellowship finds itself completely surrounded by a really absurd number of goblins.
  • Rasputinian Death: Even after being shot with 3 arrows, Boromir puts up a fight before dying.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Depending on the circumstances, non-Common dialogue may or may not be subtitled. A notable example is Elrond shouting orders to his troops at the battle on Mount Doom.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Boromir's famous death scene in happened right after he attacked Frodo, tried to take the ring from him, and cursed him along with "all the halflings". What was he doing during his death scene? Defending two of these "Halflings" with his life.
  • Reluctant Gift: The One Ring has this effect on its bearers. Bilbo Baggins has to be prompted into giving it up when Gandalf tells him, "The Ring is still in your pocket."
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Sauron is Not Really Dead.
  • Ridiculously Difficult Route: Whether passing over (Caradhras) or under (Moria), the Misty Mountains is this trope for the Fellowship.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Merry and Pippin do this twice. When the cave-troll seems to have killed Frodo, they share a look and then leap onto its back, stabbing it repeatedly. (Their small blades affect it little, but Pippin is able to time one final strike so that it rears its head back and allow Legolas to deliver the fatal shot through the throat). The second comes after Boromir falls to his knees for the last time—Merry raises his sword and screams, followed by Pippin, and they rush the Uruk-hai—only to be effortlessly grabbed and carried away.
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse: An Unbuilt Trope. The book series itself predates role-playing games like D&D and in fact codified many High Fantasy tropes. However, after the Fellowship is formed and before it is disbanded, the plot and characters would fit right into an RPG verse: a party that includes a wizard, an elf, a dwarf, a knight, and a ranger set out on a dangerous journey to destroy an Artifact of Doom, facing many typical genre perils like monsters, bands of orcs, and evil sorcerers trying to thwart their progress. The second and third films avert this, being closer to epic war movies.
  • Romantic Ribbing: Downplayed example. In a Film-only scene, Aragorn finds a blade to his throat while looking for althelas, aka, kingsfoil. Then he hears a familiar feminine voice playfully ask:
    Arwen: What's this; a Ranger caught off his guard?
  • Rule of Symbolism: Christian symbolism is carried over from the books, although in a very discreet manner:
    • When the Fellowship parts from Lothlorien, a white-clad Galadriel makes a blessing gesture, looking much like Catholic statues of Virgin Mary.
    • They even used a statue of Mary as a stand-in at the tomb of Aragorn's mother.
    • Jackson bows to Tolkien with subtle grace: the film opens in total darkness, and the voice of Cate Blanchett begins to speak... in Elvish. Because with Tolkien the languages came first, and then the people who spoke them, and their stories. In the beginning was the word...
  • Run or Die: The goblin horde in Moria, but especially the Balrog.
  • Scare Chord:
    • When Gandalf almost touches the One Ring and senses Sauron in it.
    • When Bilbo sees the Ring around Frodo's neck in Rivendell.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: In Moria, Gimli thinks that the Fellowship is scaring off the orcs, naturally it's the Balrog that they're really reacting to.
  • Scary Impractical Armour: Sauron, and a few other bad guys, wear some pretty intense armour.
  • Scary Symbolic Shapeshifting: Bilbo Baggins is normally a genial old hobbit, and even his many decades of subtle corruption by the One Ring seems to be little more than a blip on the radar by the time he turns up at Rivendell. However, while the Fellowship is preparing to leave Rivendell, he happens to catch sight of the Ring on Frodo - and suddenly lunges wildly at him, sporting sharp teeth and enormous, frenzied-looking eyes. Bilbo demonstrates no shapeshifting at any other point in the story, so this is just an indication that the Ring still has its hooks in him and could one day drag him down to the same level as Gollum.
  • Scenery Gorn: The film is made of Scenery Porn during the "good times" parts, and Scenery Gorn during the "struggling times" parts. The best example is probably the view of the ruination of the Shire in the Mirror of Galadrielnote . As Sam and Frodo say in the books, seeing your own home devastated when you remember it being pleasant is far more horrifying than some anonymous landscape that you never knew before it was ruined.
  • Sequel Hook: A particularly nasty yet uplifting one. Immediately following Boromir's fall, Frodo and Sam trudge off on their own path while Merry and Pippin were plucked away by the Uruk-hai in the final battle, leaving Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli to start the hunt to save the latter pair of Hobbits while the former head into Mordor all by themselves. As the establishing part of the trilogy, cue the credits and, at the time of release, waiting until next year or reading the book to see what happened next.
  • Shot/Reverse Shot: The movie gets across Galadriel's ability to see into the Fellowship's mind by cutting between an Extreme Close-Up of her eyes and then a member of the Fellowship. This goes on for each of them until we cut back to her from Frodo's face, when we hear her speaking telepathically into her mind.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To the Ralph Bakshi animated Lord Of The Rings (Mr. Proudfoot the Hobbit with his feet up on the table, and the Nazgûl emerging from the tree as the four Hobbits hide in the roots); to The Wizard of Oz (Frodo, Sam and Gollum, on the cliff above the Black Gate, watch the Easterlings march in with their weird chantnote ); Shaka Zulu (the pre-Battle Of Helms Deep build-up), Gladiator (Aragorn's dazed horse ride to Helm's Deep; Frodo being carried by the Eagles), and possibly The Wheel of Time; "History became legend. Legend became myth"
    • During the duel between Aragorn and Lurtz, Aragorn stabs Lurtz through the leg with his dagger, and it gets stuck there until Lurtz pulls it out and tosses it back at him. A similar scene happens in Friday the 13th Part III, when Chris attacks Jason with a knife.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: During the Council of Elrond, after the impossibility of the task before them is laid out, the council jumps to to their feet all yelling and shouting at each other, with the exception of Frodo, who sits to the side staring at the One Ring until he gets up and offers to take it to Mordor himself.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work:
    • When Elrond and Frodo reveal the One Ring to the attendees of the Council of Rivendell, Boromir suggests using the Ring against Sauron. Aragorn immediately shoots that down: "The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master."
    • Elrond subsequently says that the Ring must be destroyed. Gimli promptly takes a swing at it with his battleaxe — and is Blown Across the Room and his axe's blade shattered.
      Elrond: [bemused] The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Glóin, by any craft that we here possess.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: "May It Be".
  • Stealth Pun:
    • At the Prancing Pony, Merry comes back to the Hobbits' table looking pleased with himself, carrying a mug of ale that dwarfs (*ahem*) the others'. "This, my friend," he tells Pippin, "is a pint." "They come in pints?" asks a bewildered Pippin, before adding, "I'm getting one." What were the Hobbits drinking up to that point? Half-pints.
    • Gimli's cousin, Balin, calls Moria, a dwarven mine and his (Balin's) own kingdom, a mine. A mine, get it?
  • Steel Mill: Saruman runs one at the basement of Isengard. The scene was filmed in a real foundry, using real steelworkers using Orc costumes.
  • Stern Chase: The Nazgûl. "They will never stop hunting you."
  • Symbolic Serene Submersion: At the end of the movie, Sam follows Frodo's boat into the water despite being unable to swim, desperate to remain by his side. When he inevitably goes underwater, he flails at first, but then he goes limp and his face assumes a serene expression, demonstrating his willingness to die for Frodo (who saves him, of course).
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: After he watches the Balrog fall through the pit of Khazad-dûm, Gandalf turns away from the lip of the broken bridge. Unfortunately, the Balrog manages to lasso Gandalf's foot as it falls, pulling Gandalf until he is dangling from the lip by his weak grasp. Certain that any attempt to recover would hinder the Fellowship, he bids them to escape the mine and lets go.
  • Taking You with Me: There are quite a few examples of this trope in the film:
    • In the prologue, we see Sauron explode once the Ring is severed from his hand. Though this may be subverted as the affected scores of Men and Elves were more likely blown off of their feet than killed.
    • The Balrog pulls Gandalf down the dark chasm with its fiery whip as it falls.
    • Boromir takes down many Uruk-Hai as he is being pierced by Lurtz' arrows.
  • The Team: The Fellowship of the Ring, which was formed for the purpose of destroying the One Ring by going into the deepest parts of Mordor and casting it into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, where it was originally forged.
  • Technicolor Death: Although it's right in the prologue rather than the end of the movie, death for Sauron basically means becoming the exploding man.
  • Telepathy: Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf are shown communicating telepathically with each other. Galadriel also speaks to Frodo in his mind in Lothlórien and at various points in his journey to Mordor.
  • Tempting Fate: Played for Laughs. When Sam panics after losing sight of him for a moment, Frodo asks in amusement what could happen while they're still in the Shire. A second later, Merry and Pippin bowl them over.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: "They have a cave troll."
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Lurtz throws his shield at Aragorn during the skirmish at Amon Hen, pinning him to a tree. Aragorn gets free of the shield just in time to dodge another attack.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • Aragorn throws his sword into an Orc during the battle in Balin's tomb.
    • Gimli carries at least a couple throwing axes, which he uses to kill an Uruk-hai when he joins the fight at Amon Hen.
    • Boromir kills an Uruk-hai with a thrown knife to the throat at the beginning of his Last Stand.
  • Tightrope Walking: Legolas goes running along a chain to attack the cave troll.
  • Title Drop:
    • "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring."
    • The names of chapters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are brought up on occasion.
      • On entering Hobbiton, Gandalf is delighted to see preparations underway for A Long-Expected Party.
      • When Lobelia Sackville-Baggins comes knocking on the front door of Bag End, Bilbo whispers to Gandalf "I am not at home!".
      • Gandalf whispers Riddles in the Dark, as he wonders if that chapter of The Hobbit might not be entirely true.
      • "There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power!"
      • When the hobbits fall on each other after being pursued by Farmer Maggot "A shortcut to what ?" "Mushrooms!"
  • Tragic Hero: Boromir, whose desire to protect his people at all costs makes him easy prey for the power of the Ring.
  • Untouchable Until Tagged: Boromir was on a rip-roaring Orc-slaying binge until a single arrow hits him, which was enough to get him mobbed and killed, although it took another couple of arrows to fully incapacitate him.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used by Peter Jackson when Frodo senses the arrival of the Black Rider in the Shire.
  • Voice of the Legion: Galadriel gets a bit of this when she goes off on a tangent while being tempted by the Ring.
  • Wait Here: At Weathertop, Aragorn says he's going to have a look around and for the hobbits to "stay here." Naturally it doesn't work out exactly as planned.
  • War Comes Home: Discussed Trope. Near the end of the movie, the Elf queen Galadriel has Frodo stare into a mirror in which he sees his homeland, the Shire invaded by orcs and the hobbits carried off in chains. Galadriel informs him that this is a prophetic vision of what will come to pass if Frodo fails in his mission to destroy the ring.
  • Warts and All: Invoked in Boromir's nighttime argument with Aragorn in the Extended Edition, berating Aragorn for his lack of faith in Men.
    Boromir: Have you so little faith in your own people? Yes, there is weakness. There is frailty. But there is courage also, and honor to be found in Men. But you will not see that. You are afraid! All your life, you have hidden in the shadows! Scared of who you are, of what you are.
  • Weapon Twirling: Boromir twirls his sword a few times while waiting for the goblin horde to break into Balin's Tomb in Moria.
  • We Can Rule Together: Saruman tries this on Gandalf. It doesn't work.
  • We Need a Distraction: When Merry and Pippin realize that Frodo's leaving the Fellowship at Amon Hen, they create a distraction so he can escape.
  • Wham Line: After informing Gandalf that Sauron's forces are on the move and that the Ring-Bearer is in danger, Saruman reveals his true allegiance:
    Saruman: You did not seriously believe a Hobbit could contest with the will of Sauron? There are none who can.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Legolas and Boromir to Aragorn when he tells everyone to get up and moving after Gandalf's death. Legolas gives Aragorn a look that basically says "Seriously, dude!?!" while Boromir says "Give them a moment, for pity's sake!"
  • Wrongfully Attributed: The now famous line, "A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to," was first uttered here. Somehow, however, the line keeps being referenced as a genuine quote from the books by casual fans of the 'verse.
  • You Shall Not Pass!:
    • The Trope Namer, since Gandalf actually says "You cannot pass" in the book. He says both in the film, but the long, more meme-inducing one was "shall not."
    • The entire final battle between the Fellowship and the Uruk-hai is another example, as the Fellowship attempts to buy time so Frodo can escape.

Alternative Title(s): The Fellowship Of The Ring


Escaping Moria

A female solo accompanies this tragic moment when the Fellowship loses Gandalf amidst their escape from Moria

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

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