Chapter 1: The Departure of Boromir
Aragorn climbs up to Amon Hen after hearing Boromir's horn. When he arrives, he finds Boromir is mortally wounded. Before dying, he admits to Aragorn that he attempted to take the Ring and says that the hobbits have been taken. There's evidence that the orcs were from both Saruman and Sauron. Aragorn, Gimli and Leoglas bear Boromir's body down to the River and place him in a funeral boat. Aragorn decides to set out after Merry and Pippin.
Chapter 2: The Riders of Rohan
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas enter Rohan in pursuit of the orcs who have taken Merry and Pippin captive. They find several of Sauron's orcs dead and surmise that Saruman's orcs are now in control. They also find a broach from one of the Elven cloaks given to the Fellowship. On the fourth day, they encounter Éomer and the Riders of Rohan. Éomer is suspicious of them at first, but eventually relents. He tells them that the orcs are dead and no others were found. After Éomer sends his riders away, Aragorn tells him of Gandalf's fall in Moria and the death of Boromir. Éomer warns that Gandalf is in ill-favor with King Théoden. He then loans them two horses.
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas now ride on. They pass where some tracks head east into the woods. They reach the camp where Éomer's riders wiped out the orcs, but find no evidence of the Hobbits. They make camp nearby. Later that night, an old man dressed in white appears and they find that the horses are gone. They suspect that the old man was Saruman.
Chapter 3: The Uruk-Hai
Pippin awakens to find himself bound with Merry lying nearby. Near Amon Hen they had encountered orcs who wanted to capture them alive. They were attempting to fight off the orcs when Boromir arrived. He was overwhelmed and badly wounded when they were taken by the orcs. Pippin starts listening to the orcs and learns that some, led by Grishnakh, serve Sauron and some, led by Ugluk, serve Saruman. They argue over where to go - Sauron's orcs want to head for Mordor, although Ugluk is leading them to Isengard. To emphasize his point, Ugluk kills some of the Mordor orcs and Grishnakh disappears. The altercation gives Pippin a chance to cut his hand free and replace it with a loose bond.
Later, Pippin manages to escape long enough to deliberately drop his Elven broach. When they again stop, the orcs begin arguing again. Orcs from Moria depart to return home. Grishnakh also returns. The orcs now found themselves pursued by the horsed Men of Rohan. They finally halt that night and the Rohirrim surround the orcs. Grishnakh tries to search the hobbits. Pippin begins dropping hints about the Ring, but won't tell him where the prize is. Grishnakh grabs both hobbits and attempts to sneak past the surrounding Rohirrim. However, he is discovered and killed while the hobbits remain unharmed and undiscovered. Pippin frees himself and Merry. They eat lembas and enter Fangorn Forest.
Chapter 4: Treebeard
Merry and Pippin journey through Fangorn Forest and are discovered by a tree-like creature. He names himself Fangorn or Treebeard from the race of Ents. He describes Trolls as being fashioned after Ents, who are tree-herders. There are few Ents left because they have lost their Entwives. After Merry and Pippin talk of some of their journey, Treebeard is roused to anger and decides to call an Entmoot. They next day they head for the Entmoot. After a while, the hobbits go with a young Ent named Quickbeam and stay with him while the Entmoot continues. After three days, the Entmoot ends with the Ents deciding to go to Isengard.
Chapter 5: The White Rider
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas search the site of the raid on the orcs for signs of Merry and Pippin. They find signs that the hobbits escaped into the forest. They follow the hobbits trail into the forest. They encounter a cloaked old man, whom they don't recognize. They suspect that he is Saruman. Finally, they see that he is actually Gandalf, who is now clothed in white. He tells them that through a traitor, Saruman has distracted Sauron from finding Frodo. Gandalf says that it wasn't him that they had seen the night before near their camp. He also tells them that Merry and Pippin are safe with the Ents, while they must go to Edoras where Théoden, King of Rohan, lives.
Gandalf then finally tells of what happened to him after he fell at Moria. He fell into the Deep Water and then followed the Balrog up to the mountain top, where he finally smote the Balrog. He passed on, but was sent back to finish his task. Gwaihir, Lord of the Eagles, found him and bore him to Lothlorien. He interrupts his tale after leading them out of the forest and summons Shadowfax, a lordly horse. The horses that Éomer had loaned to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas turn out to be with Shadowfax. The four ride for Edoras.
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