In The Lord of the Rings, the Council of Elrond is convened by Elrond to discuss the matter of the One Ring. It ends with the decision to form the Fellowship of the Ring and to take the Ring to Mordor and destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom. It is considered a pivotal moment in the history of Middle-earth. Therefore, it is frequently crashed by Mary Sues.
In Canon Edit
The Book Edit
Elrond calls for a council early on 25 October, the day after Frodo recovers and awakens after his ordeal crossing the Bruinen. Other messengers with tidings concerning the matter of the One Ring of Power are also present and are called to attend the council, but it was not arranged ahead of time.
In order of appearance, those attending the council are:
- Frodo Baggins
- Samwise Gamgee, who tags along uninvited
- Gandalf the Grey
- Bilbo Baggins
- Glorfindel, a powerful Elf-lord
- Glóin of the Dwarves, representative of Dáin, King under the Mountain
- Gimli son of Glóin
- Erestor, chief of Elrond's household counsellors
- Several unnamed counsellors
- Galdor of the Grey Havens, on errand from Círdan the Shipwright
- Legolas, Elf of Mirkwood and son of Thranduil, King of the Wood-Elves.
- Boromir son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor
Many things are discussed, and not all of them are told explicitly. Glóin speaks of evil messengers that came to the Lonely Mountain and Dale, promising a great reward for the capture of the hobbit who stole 'a little ring, the least of rings' from Sauron. Elrond, Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf relate the full story of the One Ring from the forging of the first Rings of Power to the One's arrival in Rivendell. Boromir speaks of the plight of Gondor and relates the dream he and his brother shared. Legolas speaks of the sad news that Gollum escaped captivity (after Aragorn had gone to great lengths to capture the creature), and by putting the pieces together, they all figure out that Gollum must have spilled his information to the Dark Lord. Gandalf talks about the betrayal of Saruman and his imprisonment in Orthanc. Finally, when all has been thoroughly discussed, the decision to cast the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom is made – and with the ringing of the noon-bell, Frodo volunteers to do it.
The final decision of how many and exactly who should accompany Frodo as the titular Fellowship of the Ring is not made until nearly two months later, when all of Elrond's scouts return from their errand of determining the fate of the Black Riders.
The Movie Edit
- Elrond: Nine companions. So be it. *music crescendo* You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring.
- Pippin: Great! Where are we going?
In the movie, this is an important scene that occurs right after we learn that Frodo has healed from the wounds he sustained at Weathertop. In it, the audience is introduced to Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli, Aragorn's true identity is revealed, and the Fellowship is formed. The tone and spirit of the book are well kept in this scene, though the content of the council's discussion is, of necessity, truncated for time. Much of the information we learn here in the book is given elsewhere or not at all in the movie, and some changes are made to increase the scene's impact in a visual medium.
Elrond begins by stating that the attendees were 'summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor', indicating that the Council was planned ahead of time in this version. At his request, Frodo brings out the Ring and sets it on a pedestal in the center of the circle of chairs, making it the literal focus of the meeting.
We quickly see the Ring's draw on Boromir: in fascination, he stands up, speaks of his dream, and reaches out for it, but he is stopped when Gandalf rises and recites the Ring's inscription in the Black Speech. The sky darkens, and all who hear him cringe away, particularly the Elves, showing the evil power of the words and, by extension, the Ring itself. Even so, Boromir pleads for the Ring to go to Gondor, to be used as a weapon against the forces of Mordor, but Aragorn states that none of them can wield the Ring – it answers only to Sauron.
Boromir questions what 'a Ranger' could know about it, and Legolas protests that he is 'no mere Ranger', but Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur and heir to the throne of Gondor. (This line was originally responsible for the fanon notion that Aragorn and Legolas were friends before the Council.) Boromir does not take kindly to this news, stating that 'Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king.'
The council get back to the matter at hand, and Elrond decrees that there is only one choice: to destroy the Ring. Gimli jumps up and attempts to smash it with his ax, but the ax itself shatters and Gimli is thrown back, again establishing the power of the Ring. Elrond explains that the Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was made. Boromir argues that 'one does not simply walk into Mordor' and describes its evil defenses and toxic landscape. Legolas, clearly annoyed, reiterates that the Ring must be destroyed. Gimli accuses him of thinking he's the one to do it, and everyone in the council save Elrond and Frodo descend into a shouting match, in demonstration of the Ring's more insidious influence.
Finally, Frodo can't take it anymore and declares that he will take the Ring to Mordor. In admiration, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and finally Boromir pledge themselves to him and the quest. Sam, Merry, and Pippin (who have all snuck in) burst from their hiding places, insisting that they're going with their friend. Elrond is bemused, but notes that they amount to nine companions, and declares them the Fellowship of the Ring then and there.
There are several extras present at the Council set, and most of them are not mentioned by name nor bear any importance other than as background characters. One of them, Figwit, is named and actually maintains cult status as a real, fleshed-out character. Possibly because an Israeli fangirl saw his face in the background and was enraptured by his beauty, much to the amusement of the film staff – who actually gave him a line in a later movie.
Because many Mary Sues (especially Tenth Walker Mary Sues) are inserted in Rivendell so as to join the Fellowship, it is not uncommon to see a Mary Sue attending this meeting. This is very peculiar because Frodo's own friend Sam Gamgee was not allowed to attend, yet bears far more importance in the world than some random teenager. Sometimes, in the case of an Elf Mary Sue, she is 'qualified' to sit in due to her renowned deeds in whatever-she-picked-as-an-excuse.
Badfic usually follows the movie version. The part where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli pledge themselves to follow Frodo is often shamelessly copied, followed by original (and terrible) lines inserted for the Mary Sue:
- Aragorn: You have my sword.
- Legolas: And you have my bow.
- Gimli: And my ax!
- Mary Sue: And my magic wand/knives/spear/rapier/gun/vuvuzela!
- Boromir: *has just been cut off*