Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings and all related characters are the property of the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. The film is the property of New Line Cinema and Wingnut Films. Characters used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: I am assuming in this piece that although Frodo was fifty years old at this point in the book, that he was still only thirty-three in the film, and therefore only just out of childhood for a hobbit. For those who are unfamiliar with the story of Melkor and Feanor, it can be found in The Silmarillion. Also, I have done my best with the translations of Quenya and Sindarin, but I cannot guarantee their accuracy. Corrections on these and comments on the entire piece would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Amon Hen

Galadriel Gryffindor

'It is not the Eastern shore that worries me.'

Damn my eyes. I should have suspected something. Frodo has been strangely quiet since we left Lothlórien, and Boromir has been looking oddly at him since Caradhras. So busy have I been preparing for the threat ahead that I have ignored the one in our midst. If Legolas had not spoken his misgivings…

No time to think of that now. If Boromir should come on Frodo alone…

A thump, the sound of someone falling, and harsh, gasping breaths. I run into the clearing towards the sound.

Frodo is lying on the ground beside the Seat of Seeing. He looks shaken.


He jumps and gives a startled cry at my voice. The frightened look in his eyes as they fall on me stops me cold.

I can hear him struggling to keep his voice steady as he speaks. 'It has taken Boromir,' he says.

He did it. The poor, proud fool. He tried to take the Ring from Frodo

'Where is the Ring?' I demand. There is no telling what it will do to Boromir if he has taken it.

I take a step closer to help him up, but Frodo scrambles to his feet and backs away, crying out, 'Stay away!'

There is real fear in his voice, and I see in his eyes the most horrible thing I've seen in my years of fighting the Dark of Mordor.

I remember stories of the war against Melkor, the betrayal of Feanor. I can see the hurt of the Teleri reflected in Frodo's eyes.

Surely this can be no less horrible than what the Vala saw when the elves were first betrayed. Frodo is more like an elf than any other hobbit I've known, fairer, more delicately featured and softer of voice. Like the elf children I knew in my youth in Imladris[i].

The destruction of faith. The most terrible sight in a terrible war. I can't bear to see him like this. I must try to give some comfort to the lad.

'Frodo! I swore to protect you,' I try to reassure him.

'Can you protect me from yourself?'

The words are like a kick to the stomach. I am stung by the harshness of them, but I can see that speaking them has hurt Frodo more, partly because of remorse at paining me, partly because he is horrified at needing to ask. The pain I saw in those eyes when he fought the poison of the Morgul blade was nothing compared to this.

He looks down at his closed fist, opens it slowly to reveal the Ring. His eyes rise to meet mine.

'Would you destroy it?'

There is both challenge and plea in his tone. I hear again Boromir's voice on the icy mountain.

It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.

The cursed corrupter gleams on Frodo's palm.


It whispers to me. I move toward him, unwilling to get nearer the thing, but unable to stop myself.

Everything can be yours. The kingship, the safety of your people, the woman you desire, immortality…all this and more I will give you. Only put me on.

Frodo watches me, eyes wide with the fear that I will turn on him as well, the plea for me to prove that fear unfounded. He yearns for me to show him that he can still trust me.

My hand hovers over it…

Yess…Heir of Isildur…He was not strong enough to wield me, but you…

No. It destroyed my ancestors and too many others besides. It has taken a good man's desire to help and used it to exploit him. It has forced this innocent, barely more than a child, into battles and suffering that he should never have had to endure.

1 Take me for your own, and you can put an end to that suffering…

Frodo does not speak, but his eyes follow me. He tries hard to put on a brave face, but I can see everything in those eyes

'Please,' they say to me. 'Please, don't you turn on me too.'

Those eyes! Dusky blue, tears shining in them like stars. Evening stars.

You are Isildur's heir…not Isildur himself…

My beloved's voice in my mind, far away in Rivendell.

Your time will come…you will face the same evil…and you will defeat it.

Estel they called me there, Hope.

Hope that I must be to the little one before me. I will not betray Arwen's faith in me, nor Frodo's.

I kneel before him and close the small hand over the Ring again, gripping it with both of mine.

I pass the test.

But even that does not ease him. I see his shoulders relax, but his eyes are brimming with unshed tears. And I realize that mine are as well. Because I know now what he intends.

His fear was not of Boromir, but of the monstrous influence the Ring had on him, and Frodo will not risk the Ring doing to the rest of us what it did to him. He does not blame him for whatever passed between them, but he will not allow the Ring the chance to ensnare any of the Fellowship again.

He tested me because he had to know he would be leaving his friends in safe hands. He needed to make certain while he still had help nearby should I fail.

All that brooding silence as we travelled down the Anduin. He was trying to think of how to say goodbye.

He still does not speak, but I know he is asking me to let him go. He knows that I speak for the others, that if I give him my leave, they will not try to stop him. And though it hurts very much to let my friend go into such danger alone, I know that I must, or all will fail.

'I would have gone with you to the end,' I tell him. 'Into the very fires of Mordor.' Only a small consolation perhaps, but it is important for him to hear the words. Leaving is agony enough for him.

'I know,' he says softly. The fearful uncertainty in his eyes has been replaced with gratitude, but it does not hide the desolation beneath. 'Look after the others. Especially Sam. He will not understand.'

Poor Sam. It is breaking Frodo's heart to leave us, but that is the unkindest cut of all. I move to embrace him, to give him a last gentle memory to take to Mordor.

But my eyes flicker downward and I see the blue glow in the sheath at his side.


'Go, Frodo!' I get to my feet and draw my sword. His hand leaps to Sting's hilt, drawing it out slightly. The blade blazes.

I can hear the orcs pounding toward us. 'Run!'

He wavers. He has never been one to leave a friend to danger. But I cannot allow him to help me this time.


He hesitates a moment longer. His gaze asks for forgiveness for leaving this way, forgiveness that I hope he can see in my own eyes. Then he turns and runs down the hill towards the water.

Nai khilye Eruman Periainaráto, ar nailmet enomentielvo. Namárië.[iii]

I watch him go for a moment, then turn to face the onslaught. I will turn my heartache for my little friend into the strength to fight the evil that has brought us to this. I will not allow the Dark Lord to cause any other the pain he has caused Frodo. Not while I draw breath.

----------------------- [i] Rivendell

[ii] Orcs!

[iii] May the blessing of Eru follow you, Champion of the Halflings, and may we meet again. Farewell.