the Council of Elrond

meeting in the Lord of the Rings

"The Council of Elrond" is the second chapter of Book 2 of J. R. R. Tolkien's bestselling fantasy work, The Lord of the Rings, which was published in 1954–1955. It is the longest chapter in that book at some 15,000 words, and critical for explaining the power and threat of the One Ring, for introducing the final members of the Fellowship of the Ring, and for defining the planned quest to destroy it. Contrary to the maxim "Show, don't tell", the chapter consists mainly of people talking; the action is, as in an earlier chapter "The Shadow of the Past", narrated, largely by the Wizard Gandalf, in flashback. The chapter parallels the far simpler Beorn chapter in The Hobbit, which similarly presents a culture-clash of modern (mediated by the hobbit) with ancient (the heroic Beorn). The Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey calls the chapter "a largely unappreciated tour de force". The Episcopal priest Fleming Rutledge writes that the chapter brings the hidden narrative of Christianity in The Lord of the Rings close to the surface. Peter Jackson, in his Lord of the Rings film trilogy, shortens the Council scene by moving the history of the Ring to a voiced-over prologue. Scholars have noted that he then transforms the calmly reflective meeting into one that breaks up into a heated argument, and makes Aragorn the focus, not Frodo; but that all the same, Jackson portrays the moment when Frodo chooses to undertake the quest in a vivid and effective way.
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