6. The Secret Council

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We were sitting at the beautiful courtyard of Rivendell, where a secret council regarding the One ring was being held. Basically everybody who I knew meant to attend it was there–well, except me. But Lord Elrond insisted that I came too, which wasn’t a surprise for me. I was co templating on where I should take a seat, until I saw Legolas waved at me and motioned for me to sit between him and Aragorn.

Once everybody settled in, Lord Elrond as the host addressed us all and opened the council.

“Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle earth stands upon the brink of destruction," said the wise elf ominously, his eyes flickering intently to all of us. "None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall.”

Every word was the exact word as the one I remembered from the movie. Yet sitting here, listening to it directly just made it even more realistic and eminent. I knew this was going to happen and soon I would be forced to decide whether or not I will join the Fellowship.

“Each race is bound to this fate– this one doom.” The tension in the air was thick and tangible. I could feel the intense emotion, anxiety from those in the courtyard swept through me.

The feeling was so intense that it got me wondering whether I just imagined that I could really feel their collective emotions. Lord Elrond gestured to the pedestal in the middle of the courtyard.

“Bring forth the ring, Frodo.”

Frodo nervously fumbled with his pocket and approached the pedestal and set the ring on it before retreated back to his seat. The moment my eyes landed on the ring, I felt a wave of nausea and cold rolling through me.

Just gazing at the ring affected me physically. It felt strangely similar to the first day I got the vision about the eye. I felt weak and sickly cold. It was as if there was an invisible hand trailing its icy fingers down my spine. It was dreadful.

Suddenly, a warm hand pressed on my shoulder and I looked up to my side and saw Legolas’ piercing blue orbs stared at my brown ones with concern and worry. I mustered a smile at him and he brought his hand down from my shoulder to take my hand in his.

Normally this kind of gesture would be just too intimate for me. But at that moment, I knew I needed it. Desperately. I focused myself on the warmth of his hand, willing it to chase away the chill that ran down my spine.

I was starting to adapt to the ring's presence when Gandalf stood up and began chanting the Black Speech which in result drawing out a shadow from the back of my mind, striking fear into the hearts of everyone, darkening my sight and dragging me down almost to unconsciousness.

Almost, but I held on.

Legolas’ grip on my hand tightened, but I knew it was not just an attempt to comfort me, but also to comfort himself. I felt his distress emanated off of him somehow at the sound of the speech. If anything, the fact that our hands were connected to each other just doubled the emotion.

The rest of the meeting went blurry to me as the presence of the ring made it hard for me to focus while I fought on just to stay alert. I tried hard to keep my eyes open and glanced around just not to alarm anyone about my physical distress. I noticed Legolas sent me several glances, delivering me his worried looks. Words were spoken in the courtyard, but my mind was just too jumbled by the ring and all the waves of emotions around me to listen or even understand what they were bickering about.

At one moment Legolas let go of my hand to stand on his feet and shouted angrily at someone. At Boromir. Then not long after that he settled back to his seat and took my hand again. Not long after that Legolas let go of my hand again and everyone else started to stand up and chaos ensued. The crowd shouted at each other as I sat there limply, feeling like a blubbering mess of short-circuited brain.

A wave of anger that wasn’t mine crashed over me and it gave me a strength to pull my hands into fists. I growled.

“Listen to yourselves!” I spat, “The ring is affecting you and tearing you apart from the inside and you don’t even know it!” I barked angrily.

Some people such as Lord Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn and Legolas went quiet at my words but the rest still bickered at each other, ignoring me. After that sudden outburst, I sulked and slumped back to my seat, not bothering to look at them but instead I focused at Frodo, waiting for him to say what he was destined to say after all.

The timid little hobbit looked around nervously until his eyes met mine. I nodded at him encouragingly. With a new determination in his eyes, and he stood up and announced to the crowd, “I will take it!" he exclaimed, gaining attention from the people. "I will take it!”

By now everybody had quieted down and looked at the source of the voice.

“I will take the ring to Mordor!” he said with resolve. He then continued softly this time, looking down to his feet. “Though... I do not know the way.”

I gazed at Frodo and marveled at the strength that the delicate and innocent hobbit bear. A sense of awe and protectiveness towards him rolled unto me.

At his resolve, I found mine.

One by one, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir stood up and pledged their lives and service to this quest. I looked at Frodo, our eyes met and I smiled fondly at him. I stood up, finding my strength and determination and approached him. I crouched once I got in front of the hobbit to get to the same eye level with him.

“I will follow you, Frodo Baggins, and see that you destroy the ring.” I kissed his forehead at which he blushed and I got up to stand next to Gandalf who smiled at me knowingly and put his wrinkly hand on my shoulder.

Knowing what will happen next, I looked out at the bushes near us expectantly, from where not long after the three hobbits came out and scrambled to stand next to Frodo claiming that they won’t let Frodo go anywhere without them. I chuckled at their antics. Lord Elrond expressed his amusement with a comment about their sudden arrival in the secret council to which they were not invited to.

But of course, the hobbits were too stubborn to heed it, let alone feel ashamed about their silly deed.

My eyes met Legolas’ and I was startled at the sadness that emanated from his brilliant blue eyes. It was just too out of character for him and I couldn’t understand why he would feel such sadness.

I would have to interrogate him later.

“Ten companions,” concluded Lord Elrond as he gazed at us, “You shall be known as the Fellowship of the Ring.”

Quoting that wise line from Forest Whitaker, I said inwardly to myself:

Shit just got real.

Despite that, I smiled anyway, knowing that this was what I was supposed to do.

“Great!” Pippin exclaimed before looking around to his friends with a sudden look of confusion on his adorable face, “Where are we going?”

Gandalf and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Nobody cared to answer his question.

***
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