This is such a sad chapter. Boromir falls under the ring's power entirely, and Frodo spends most of the chapter being afraid to do what he must. Gloom and doom, doom and gloom.
I was rather surprised that, when everyone is giving Frodo some thinking time, Legolas not only announces he wants the decision to go to a vote, but declares that he would vote for going to Minas Tirith! I had completely forgotten that, and it just... I don't know. It feels somehow out of character, to me. Legolas is usually sort of aloof from the whole affair, just going along to help however he can, and now he's calling for votes and getting almost bossy. Maybe this another instance of "the evil of the Ring [being] already at work even in the Company" (p. 392), as Frodo put it? Changing people's behavior, even an elf's?
But I love Sam at the end of the chapter, when he explains to everyone just what Frodo's struggle really is, and then figures out Frodo's plan to leave alone and thwarts it. Dear, dogged Sam. I especially love this part: "I'm coming too, or neither of us isn't going. I'll knock holes in all the boats first" (p. 397). I so want to hug him there.
The authors of Finding God in the Lord of the Rings, Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware, point out that people "were not made to bear the burden and experience the joys of life's journey alone. That's why God has given us the gift of companionship. The Scriptures talk of a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Such was Sam to Frodo" (p. 48). God gives us all companions to help us through life -- people obviously think about husbands and wives when they hear the whole "it is not good for man to be alone" thing in the Bible, but I don't think that refers only to finding a spouse. Into our lives come many companions. Parents, siblings, friends, spouses, co-workers, teachers, and so on. Yes, God gave Adam a wife, but he also gave Moses a brother. He gave David a best friend. He gave Elisha a mentor. He gave Naomi a daughter-in-law. All of those were companions who helped them on life's journey.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." We'll see many instances of this verse's wisdom in the coming books, and not just relating to Frodo and Sam, but regarding other companionships too. Something to keep your eye out for.
And hey, check it out! We finished The Fellowship of the Ring!
"Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing?" (p. 388)
"It would be faithless now to say farewell" (p. 393).
Which two towers do you think the title of the next book refers to? There's this whole section in this chapter, where Frodo is seeing the world from Amon Hen, and he sees Minas Tirith, "beautiful: white-walled, many-towered, proud and fair upon its mountain seat" (p. 391). And then it says that "against Minas Tirith was set another fortress, greater and more strong" (p. 391), which turns out to be Barad-dur, Fortress of Sauron. And I kind of feel like those are the two towers. What do you think?
This book doesn't end in the same place that the movie ends. Why do you think Peter Jackson and the other writers chose to go a bit farther with their story?