Set in a mythic pre-history, The Lord of the Rings tells of the struggles against evil of a young hobbit, Frodo Baggins, who has inherited a magic ring from his cousin, Bilbo. The ring is a source of evil power wanted by the Dark Lord Sauron. Sauron seeks it to add to other magical rings in his possession, knowing that their combined power will enable him to enslave the people of Middle-earth.

After inheriting the ring from Bilbo, Frodo was fated to undertake a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the ring by casting it into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the monumental quest undertaken by Frodo and a hastily assembled band who help him, known as the Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship consists of: Gandalf the Wizard, Merry, Pippin, and Sam (Hobbits), Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir of Gondor, and a princely ranger called Strider.

Against them is the evil power of Sauron, whose ruthless emissaries pursue Frodo and his companions. All the while, the power of the ring attempts to corrupt the fellowship from within.