I have seen some references to this quote, but can't confirm if it was a real line, in either the books or movies. Is it perhaps a Mandela effect, or a reference from something else?

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    It does sound a bit like 'The circle is now complete' said by Darth Vader in A New Hope :)
    – Richyt
    Apr 16 at 5:07
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    For the book, check out search.digitaltolkien.com/?terms=fellowship+ (and to figure out in your own copy what the paragraph references point to, see digitaltolkien.com/data/lotr-citation-system.txt) Though Jiminy points out "complete appears once, I disagree: search.digitaltolkien.com/?terms=complete+ Apr 16 at 13:51
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    The entirety of the Fellowship membership was decided upon during a single meeting, and the title of 'Fellowship' only came up at the end of it. I can't think of a point that 'the fellowship is now complete" would fit the narrative. Apr 16 at 14:31
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    @DavidRoberts I don't know where I have put my books. It's my recollection that Elrond sighs and says something like, "Very well, the Fellowship is complete" or "That completes the Fellowship" after Gandalf tells him that Merry and Pippin must be included for arbitrary reasons. Or, perhaps Elrond says that two more are needed to "complete" the Fellowship to make the number of members nine. Tolkien may not have known it, but the Nine against Nine suggests baseball. It has inspired jokes.
    – Wastrel
    Apr 16 at 14:34
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    @Wastrel see the answer by Nullius. Apr 16 at 22:50

3 Answers 3


Not that phrase, no.

The movie (extended version):

MERRY: Wait! we're coming too! They run and join the others. [Elrond looks astounded]

MERRY: You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us

PIPPIN: Anyway you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission ...........quest ..........thing

MERRY: Well that rules you out Pip

ELROND: (looks at the nine stood together) Nine companions... So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!

PIPPIN: Great! Where are we going?

Indeed, in the Harper Collins 50th anniversary edition, the word "complete" appears a few times but never in a sentence referring to the fellowship. I didn't search the sequels as the fellowship is broken by the end of the first of the three books/films.

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    search.digitaltolkien.com/?terms=complete+ finds 13 occurrences. Apr 16 at 13:54
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    Correct, if you zoom into the detail, you find that many of those are in the foreword and all in the text are the adverbial forms (completely) or one of "incomplete". @DavidRoberts There's just a single instance of "complete". If you find a single other I'll eat my pointy hat. Apr 16 at 18:02
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    To be completely precise, there are two instances of complete as an adjective: "A shudder ran through the tree from root to tip, and complete silence fell. " and "well over twenty miles from end to end. But, of course, it was not a complete protection." Apr 16 at 21:20
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    @Greenonline Damn, must have skimmed those without counting them. Oh, well, there goes another hat. Apr 16 at 21:54
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    Hang on @DavidRoberts, I only have the one hat to eat here! Perhaps I should edit. Apr 16 at 22:56

In the book, the words are a little different.

'Let it be so, then. You shall go,' said Elrond, and he sighed. 'Now the tale of Nine is filled. In seven days the Company must depart.'

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    Is it on the same page that he says “Against nine riders we shall set nine walkers”? Apr 16 at 18:02
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    @AntonSherwood - one page before (359 vs 360), and the quote is reversed: ‘... and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders... Apr 16 at 21:25
  • I suspected it was "tale of", but don't have an copy to the text to hand. Apr 16 at 22:49
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    This quote seems the closest in spirit. +1 Apr 17 at 23:34

Just prior to the quote in Nullius's answer (one page before, i.e. page 359 vs page 360, to be precise) is yet another similar sounding line that states the requirement for the fellowship to be complete (emphasis is mine):

The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil. With you and your faithful servant, Gandalf will go; for this shall be his great task, and maybe the end of his labours.*

In other words, it is the quote in the answer from Nullius which implies that it is complete. The quote above merely states what it needs to be in order to be complete.

  • If I remember correctly (it has been a few years since I read the books) there is also paragraph around there were Elrond states that if Merry and Pippin hadn't invited themselves to the Nine he would have selected some Elves from his household to arrive at 9 members.
    – Tonny
    Apr 17 at 14:09
  • @Tonny - ‘There remain two more to be found,’ said Elrond. ‘These I will consider. Of my household I may find some that it seems good to me to send.’ - 6 paragraphs later, still on page 359 (check the link). Apr 17 at 14:26
  • I wasn't that far off then. Amazing what details you can sometimes remember. Must have been late 90's when I last read the books.
    – Tonny
    Apr 17 at 18:35
  • @Tonny - I read it just after that weird cartoon version (that ends at Helm's Deep) came out - whenever that was. I had the edition that had a photo (of the dark riders leaving Hobbiton?) from the film on the cover. Apr 17 at 19:23
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    You mean the Ralph Bakshi movie from 1978? I've still got a copy of that lying around somewhere on the harddisk. It was originally supposed to be 2 movies, but part 2 was never released. As far as I recall it was 99% done, but never released due to some legal dispute between the United Artists film-studio having the publication rights and the Bakshi production studio doing the actual work.
    – Tonny
    Apr 17 at 19:55

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