Thread: Frodo- a Hero?
In the books, as we know, it was gollum that fell into Mt. Doom. Tolkien did this to incorporate his themes and statements on chance and fate, I think. But Frodo gave into the powersaying,"No, Sam. The ring is mine." (sorry, Ijust remeber the movie line off the top of my head. Yes- shame on me )
Many cite Tolkien as a master of the Hero's Journey- and the hobbit epitomises the steps, but the LOTR doesnt seem to fit.
Comments and conclusions?
A struggle for the ring was necessary because no-one is actually strong enough to overcome the Power of the Ring's Will to "live". So the necessary elements and the right people were in place at the right time to fulfill the Quest.
The Quest was a [u:3mch19xe][b:3mch19xe]Huge Success[/b:3mch19xe][/u:3mch19xe], so Frodo gets his Hero Badge . Gollum gets a Posthumous Redemption as his prize . And Sam gets a Wife and Kids .
For all intents and purposes the story is about an ensemble, it's about what can be achieved when people pull together. But Frodo gets the Gold because he was the ring-bearer .
[b:3mch19xe]P.S.[/b:3mch19xe] And by the way....I loved the question . It's very thought provoking.
If we had to chose the single action that most allowed Frodo to destroy the ring, it would be his taking pity on Smeagol. Frodo's pity on the wretched creature got them across the dead marshes, through Ithillen, Into Mordor, and ultimatley, Smeagol's presense in Mount Doom directly lead to the destruction of the ring.
Is Frodo a hero? Yes. Is he a tradional hero? No.
Aragorn is a traditional hero. Strong and wise. Helpful and compassionate, able to handle everything Sauron sent at him. But ultimatley, if not for the pity of Frodo to stay his hand with every betrayal by Smeagol, all of Aragorn's heroics would have done nothing more than pile the corpses at Sauron's front door.
What's more, Frodo's pity on Smeagol inspired Sam to take pity on him as well, just before he entered Mount Doom.
At least that's my two cents on the subject.
Im thinking Tolkien just decided he didnt need the very basic archetypal finish to his jourmey in the lotr.. Now Im really thinking about it, it seems he made it far more complex b adding his themes and other forces to shape the outcome.
Just to throw in another old debate- was Jackson's method of finishing (frodo pushes gollum in) howd you like it?
And to be honest, I thought Frodo sucked the first time I read the books. It was later after a reread or two and talking with other readers that I came to appreciate his strength.
But for a traditional hero, think on this. If Aragorn (and everyone else, Rohirrum included) hadn't won at Helm's Deep, the Pelenor fields, and every other signifigant battle of "traditional heros", Frodo would have failed. Without the "distraction" at the Gate, Frodo and Sam never would have been able to pass the encamped armies of Souron. Not to mention that without Aragorn, Frodo and co. never would have gotten out of Bree. I think (my applicability) tells me that LotR represents the need of all forms of heroism, not just one or the other.
They went on to explain more, I can't remember it all. But after all they said, I could understand why they did it. But I still didn't like it.
The movie seems to play up more and more of Frodo's "hidden" strength. But they forfiet all his visable strength. Like his rebukes of Gollum's schemes and machinations. Like his revelation that he knew what Gollum wanted when he said he would swear on the precious.
The book was, is, and always will be better than the films. But the films were still really, really, really good. At least as far as I'm concerned.
Also think on the individuals reasons for taking the ring. Boromir wanted to use it as a weapon. Frodo wanted to prevent it being used as one. Purpose means alot. Even Gandalf commented on it. He would have used to power to try and make the world better. But it would have corrupted him.
Tolkien seems to be saying (to my interpretation) that overwhelming power, used for good, is still overwhelmingly bad.
He even has Sam show it with his visions of righting the world and growing beautiful gardens as far as can be seen. Then forcing others to help maintain the beauty and perfection. Then his "hobbit sense" reminds him that a personal garden, to be worked and tended by his own hands is all that is really needed.
I had to jump in on this one as I had the same reaction to the movies regarding how Frodo was characterized. I felt that much of his development was removed in favor of the Ring. But, in watching the commentary they discussed just this somewhere and it made a lot of sense. There wasn't enough time in 3 movies to show The Ring as a full character without changing the arc of Frodo's character as well. The movie watcher had to be able to see The Ring as a nearly overwhelming force on it's own and that required showing a "darker" (for lack of a better term) Frodo. By the end of ROTK you had to believe that The Ring could overpower Frodo to create the tension needed. The books could spend more time showing the carefree Frodo and a strong, traditional hero Frodo before he descended into darkness
He was my favorite character in the books, less so in the movies, but I can understand the choices made by PJ, Fran and Filipa (sp?) and how difficult they must have been. While he does seem "wimpy" when comparing the two media, there was no other way to show the power of The Ring convincingly.
Now I need to go watch ROTK and see if I can find where this was discussed.
Great forum by the way!
How often in our own lives have we faced something similar: Where we take a step into the darkness/unsure with faith that somehow the way will be lighted for us or something/someone will help us finish the task. I don't doubt that some concepts of Chrisianity influenced Tolkein's mind...of doing all we can with faith that a higher power will make up the difference of our deficiencies.