While all of this is happening in the West, Frodo and Sam are heading for Morder making their way through first razorlike rocks and then vile swamps. On their way they encounter Gollum, the creature from whom Bilbo had gotten the Ring in the Hobbit. Evidently the lure of the Ring had brought him to follow Frodo. Sam and Frodo capture Gollum and make him lead them to Morder. When he brings them to the main gates of Morder, they realize that there is no way for them to enter. Gollum tells them of another way and they start off on their long journey. They have some adventures on the way: seeing an Oliphant which amazes Sam, and meeting with a party from Gondor led by Faramir, the brother of Boromir. Sam slips telling Faramir about the Ring, but unlike his brother, Faramir is not tempted by the ring as he sees its dangers clearly. He gives Frodo and Sam supplies and allows them to leave.
Gollum leads Frodo and Sam to a long dark tunnel. After they have traveled some way in the darkness, Gollum disappears. He has betrayed them making an agreement with the evil spiderlike creature Shelob. He brought her the hobbits to eat and she will give him anything she finds on their bodies. However things do not go as Gollum planned. Shelob stings and poisons Frodo, but is killed herself, by Sam. Sam thinking Frodo is dead, takes the ring intending on completing the quest himself. Then orcs come to claim Frodo, and Sam, in hiding, realizes that Frodo is not dead, only poisoned. The book ends with Sam trying to figure out how to rescue Frodo. Middle Earth is in graver peril than ever before.