Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

[A huge tower appears, rearing up against the night sky. Rivers of fire from a neighbouring volcano pour around its foundations as an army scurries to build it even higher.]

[A tortured scream breaks the air.]

Gollum: "Shire! Baggins!"

[Huge gates at a different tower open slowly outward. On horseback, nine cloaked figures ride out.]

[Day has come. In the distance, a smoking volcano belches out ash and fire into a dark sky. Gandalf, on a white horse, comes to a halt on a hill and watches.]

[Closer to Gandalf's position is a white-towered city, set against a mountain range. Gandalf heads towards it.]

[With the help of a librarian, Gandalf goes deep into the city and finds himself in a dark room, covered from floor to ceiling in books and ancient scrolls.]

[He shuffles through them. Eventually he sits down with a glass of wine and begins to read by the flickering candlelight.]

Gandalf: "'The Year thirty-four thirty-four of the Second Age. Here follows the account of Isildur, High King of Gondor and the finding of the Ring of Power.'"

[Isildur, lying on the ground, stares at the Ring on Sauron's severed finger. He reaches out to grab it, crushing the burnt finger to char.]

Gandalf: "'It has come to me, the One Ring. It shall be an heirloom of my kingdom. All those who follow in my bloodline shall be bound to its fate for I will risk no hurt to the Ring. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain.'" [The Ring in Isildur's fingers seems to shrink] "'The markings upon the band begin to fade. The writing, which at first was as clear as red flame, has all but disappeared. A secret now that only fire can tell.'"

[Back in the Shire, a Hobbit is chopping wood in front of his home at nightfall. His dog, alerted to a stranger's presence, barks incessantly, then backs off, whimpering, and retreats into the house. A huge shadow crosses the house as the stranger draws nearer. A horse neighs and stamps the ground. Its hoofs are nailed, its hair matted and bloody. Its eyes are blood-red. The black rider turns to look at the Hobbit. No eyes are visible inside its cowl.]

Black Rider: "Shire. Baggins."

Hobbit: "Baggins. There's no Bagginses 'round here! They're up in Hobbiton, that way!" [points]

[The Black Rider gallops off.]

[Inside the Green Dragon, Hobbits are engaged in drinking and singing. Tankards in hand on the table-top, Merry and Pippin are dancing.]

Merry and Pippin (singing):

"Hey ho, to the bottle I go!
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall and wind may blow.
But there still be -
many miles to go!

Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
and the stream that falls from hill to plain.
Better than rain or rippling brook —
(Pippin finishes off solo) is a mug of beer inside this Took!"

[At a nearby table, some Hobbits are engaged in serious discussion.]

First Hobbit: "There's been some strange folk crossing the Shire. Dwarves, and others of a less than savoury nature."

Gaffer: "War is brewing. The mountains are fair teeming with goblins."

[He continues to expound on his theme of doom to the others. Sam, opposite, takes a pull of his pipe and looks at Rosie behind the bar. She gives him a huge smile.]

Second Hobbit: "Far-off tales and children's stories, that's all that is. You're beginning to sound like that old Bilbo Baggins. Cracked, he was."

Gaffer: "Young Mister Frodo, here, he's cracking!" (Laughs)

Frodo: "And proud of it! Cheers, Gaffer!"

Second Hobbit: "Well, it's none of our concern what goes on beyond our borders. Keep your nose out of trouble, and no trouble'll come to you."

[Frodo merely smiles and raises his tankard.]

[Frodo and Sam are preparing to leave. Rosie stands at the door, wiping a tankard.]

Rosie: "Goodnight, lads."

Sam: "Goodnight."

[Frodo and Sam continue on their way. Behind them, an intoxicated Hobbit gives Rosie an exaggerated bow.]

Intoxicated Hobbit: "Goodnight, sweet maiden of the Golden Ale!"

Sam: "Mind who you're sweet talking."

Frodo: "Don't worry, Sam. Rosie knows an idiot when she sees one."

Sam: "Does she?"

[Frodo and Sam stagger to Bag End and part ways.]

Frodo: "Goodnight Sam."

Sam: "Goodnight, Mister Frodo."

[Frodo comes up the steps and opens his front door. Inside, Bag End is unlit, but papers and curtains are flapping in the breeze, indicating open windows. Frodo enters cautiously.]

[There seems to be no sign of life, but a hand descends on his shoulder from behind. Frodo jumps, gasps and turns. It is Gandalf. He looks wild and dishevelled.]

Gandalf: "Is it secret?! Is it safe?!"

[Frodo opens a chest in the hallway and rummages through it, tossing out scrolls and other items in the process. He finds the sealed envelope he left there.]

Frodo: "Ah!" [hands Gandalf the envelope]

[Gandalf snatches it and throws it on the fire.]

Frodo: "What are you doing?!"

[The envelope is rapidly consumed by the flames, revealing the Ring inside. Gandalf gets a pair of tongs and picks up the Ring as Frodo watches.]

Gandalf: "Hold out your hand Frodo, it's quite cool."

[He drops the Ring on Frodo's hand. It seems to weigh the Hobbit's hand down. Gandalf stands up and turns away from the fire.]

Gandalf: "What can you see? Can you see anything?"

Frodo: [turning the Ring over and over between his fingers] "Nothing. There's nothing…"

[Gandalf sighs in relief, and then his eyes narrow as Frodo corrects himself.]

Frodo: "Wait. There are markings."

[Faint glowing runes start to appear on the band. A voice whispers, as if the Ring is speaking to him.]

[The runes are reflected on Frodo's face as he tries to puzzle them out.]

Frodo: "It's some form of Elvish. I can't read it."

Gandalf: "There are few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here."

Frodo: "Mordor?"

Gandalf: "In the common tongue it says, 'One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them. One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.'"