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Thread: Poll: Fellowship Exclusion

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If the fellowship could have only eight members, who would you leave behind??

I decided to leave out Legolas, because when I was trying to who decide who I thought they could complete the story without, he was the only one who I couldn't find someone else to do his job. Aragorn could speak Elvish to Haldir on the edge of Lothlorien; he could also befriend Gimli; being a ranger he might have spotted the crebain in Hollin and got the party undercover without being spotted; and he also had a bow.

Still, now I'm try to remember Gimli's critical contributions: his axework helped Aragorn hold the gate at Helm's Deep while it was strengthened from the inside; Legolass's bow or knife wouldn't have been as much help there. Boromir's betrayal helped make up Frodo's mind to go on alone; Pippin saved Faramir's life; Merry helped Eruwen slay the Nazgul Witch King; Gandalf got them past the Balrog; Aragorn saved Gondor by disrupting the Pirates of Umbar with the oathbreakers; Frodo and Sam got the Ring to Mount Doom. What were Legolass's critical contribution? I don't know.

This is a good poll because it makes us think.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
Grondy and I seem to be having a competition as to who can start and delete the most threads about this poll.

Grondy - I'll wait a few mins then delete my thread. Leave this one. Step away from this one!

Difficult Poll because each had a contribution to make. I'm thinking Boromir's absence would have the least impact on the final outcome. Then I read Grondy's post and thought - Mmmm, yes, Legolas was dispensable...

Frodo - had the Ring
Sam - Frodo wouldn't have made it without him
Gandalf - absolute necessity
Aragorn - Paths of the Dead and all that
Merry - Witchking
Pippin - saved Faramir (OK, maybe not *that* important to the outcome but important to me)
Legolas - needed for fighting and elven stuff
Gimli - possibly could have been left behind but good fighter and better temperament than Boromir.

I haven't made my final decision. Any ideas anyone? Any support for Boromir?
I chose for Legolas, because he does diddly-squat, save perchance shoot the fell beast, and sing songs.

At least Gimli dragged Pippin from under a Troll/Olog-hai, and had this amusing argument with Éomer regarding which Elven bird was hottest.

As for Boromir, he butchered some Orcs in the chamber of Mazarbûl, and set Frodo on the right track by scaring the lil bugger a little. And he died a glorious death, as a pincushion for the Uruk-hai.

Grondy posted:
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Merry helped Eruwen slay the Nazgul Witch King

Freudian slip?! Confused by her avatar? Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
I remember several times where the fellowship relied heavily on Legolas's great sight. I think that Legolas was too instrumental to leave out. But the story would still be complete without Boromir. He died 1/3 of the way through the story anyways. So I pick him to be left out.
I also picked Boromir, not because he died at the very beginning of TTT, though. In the Fellowship, he played an important role in setting Frodo on the right track to Mt. Doom. But this, I think, might have occured even if Boromir wasn't there. Gandalf knew, after he was reborn, that he would have to raise the armies of Gondor and Rohan together to distract or defeat Mordor. Without Boromir, his plans would still have worked, since he was on good terms with Faramir and he could win the support of Theoden by getting rid of Saruman. Then, he would probably send Aragorn to go with Frodo to Mt. Doom (because Aragorn is not one to be seen by Denethor), and Sam, of course, would tag along. Merry and Pippin will be in Rohan and Gondor. And the two warriors Legolas and Gimli will be fighing alongside Gandalf. Then along the way, some messenger of Elrond's will find Aragorn and call him back to summon the oathbreakers, and Frodo and Sam will go on alone to Mt. Doom, where the story continues the way it had.

Thus, I do not think Boromir was that essential to the plot, except as an unpleasant pain to the other members (which might be good, but not essential).

And btw, I wouldn't kick Gimli out, since he had to represent the Dwarves. I mean, can you imagine the political conflict it would bring if there was no Dwarf in the Fellowship?
I decided to leave Boromir out because he might have been a very good warior but besides that he was real trouble mainly for Frodo(he also tried to take the ring).Legolas bow and sight in combination with gimlis ax helped a lot.Gandalf and Aragorn were the leaders that helped the others cope up.Pipin and Merry helped the Ents go to war and served important leaders Theoden,Denethor).Last but not least,Frodo's resistanse of the ring's power and Sam's endless devotion to his friend fulfiled the quest.Theese are the reasons Ithink Boromir's presence was not vital for the Fellowship.
The answer is obvious, or at least it should be:

"Legolas probably achieved least of the Nine Walkers."
(Unfinished Tales)

Boromir, although achieving the highest votes in the poll, most definately not the least of the Nine Walkers.
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"Legolas probably achieved least of the Nine Walkers."


I remember reading that quote somewhere, but couldn't remember where. Isn't it part of a passage talking about the decline of the elves towards the end of the Third Age and their passage into the West? The bit about Legolas was kind of tacked onto the end of it as way of an example. At the time I always thought that was not fair, as in my opinion Legolas achieved as much as Gimli. I always used to see Pippin as expendable, but he was intrumental in making Sauron believe Saruman had betrayed him....

... there again, so what? What did that actually achieve? It was Aragorn who eventually drew him out by looking into the Palantir himself. Pippin maybe helped Merry survive long enough to eventually kill the witchking. He helped convince Treebeard to join the war, but Gandalf had already got that in hand as he had spoken to Treebeard before the hobbits even met him.

What did Gimli do that no one else could have? One of the Rohirrim could have helped Aragorn hold the gate if Gimli had not been there. He killed, what 40-some uruks in the battle of Helm's Deep. Not a huge amount considering there were 10,000 of them.

To me it would be either Pippin or Gimli.... I'm going for Pippin.
Were there 10 000 at the battle for Helm's deep? I thought that was just a movie thing, 10 000 Uruk - hai.
I thought it was just meant to be a large army of Orcs and Dunland men?
I think 10,000 is probably a fair estimate. The Rohirrim fielded several thousand horse, all told, IIRC, and foot, even Uruk-hai foot, can't stand against an equal number of heavy cavalry. If anyone doubts that, look what happened to the running Uruk-hai who were ridden over by Eomers command. Had there been as few as 7500 Uruk-hai I would expect any competent commander to use his superior mobility to out flank them on the march from the Isen and nip at their rear, bleeding them of several thousand orcs (and making any attempt at supply trains either hopeless or a severe drain on manpower for defense in their own right) before they ever reached Helms Deep, at which point there would have been a pitched battle with the Rohirrim literally riding circles around the Orcs while firing arrows at a large stationary target as it slipped and stumbled in the rapidly forming mud made from their own blood until the numbers dwindled to the point they could simply be swept from the field with little loss. Theoden tells the messenger of Gondor that he could have sent 10,000 spears of his own to Gondor, but will only spare six (The Muster of Rohan, V) with the rest to defend Rohan from the Easterlings and Dunlendings. There were a thousand men in Helms Deep already when Theoden arrived (Helms Deep, III) plus whatever horse Theoden brought from Edoras. No, the Professor knew enough of war firsthand that simply by reason of Saruman laying siege to Helms Deep the Uruk-hai probably had about a 3:1 edge (or more) on the defenders for one reason: any siege and assualt would have been unthinkable with less. And I doubt Theoden rode to battle with less than a thousand men in the saddle. That makes the beseigers at least 6000, and likely more; it was not a chance encounter or a roll of the dice but, in intent, a killing blow.

It's hard to pick someone who's "expendable" though, at least if we want the story to be anything like it is. We COULD drop Pippin, but if we do we have to blow off Faramir, because it was only due to him that Gandalf ever discovered Denethors desparate and grief stricken plan to die with his son on the Rath Dinen. And if Boromir is still the heir any relationship between Faramir and Gandalf is irrelevant (indeed, I'm still not certain it IS relevant, even as things stand.) Gimli is needed to stop the breach of Deeping Coomb, and Legolas to stop the shadowing of the Ring by the Nazgul; any crossing of the Emyn Muil can have but one object, well known to the Nine. Obviously Gandalf and Aragorn are indispensable; without the latter the Ring never reaches Imladris, and without the former Sauron might well be challenged by a Balrog. Merry is needed for the defeat of the Witch-king and Sam for the rescue and sustenance of Frodo. It's a difficult call, but in the end Boromir contributes little, IMHO, and the one case where his efforts are most noted they availed naught save to tell the remaining Fellowship whom was taken.
I have found some estimates from 'The Atlas of Tolkiens Middle-earth' by Karen Wynn Fonstad:

Host of Saruman -
Uruk-hai, lessar Orcs, Wolves, Dunlendings, Dunlendings via isengard - 10,000 total or more.

Rohan and aillies -
Theoden/Eomer from Edors - 1000
Gambling from Helm's deep - 1000
Erkenbrand from Fords of Isen - 1000
Ents/Huorns from Fangorn via Isengard - "Hundreds and Hundreds"
This is very difficult - it's not 'cut and dried' for me. The Fellowship was supposed to have a representative of each race so for me Legolas was needed as the only Elf. Boromir had evil thoughts from the start - what would have happened if he had got the ring - would he have killed Frodo - would that have been the end of the story!

The Hobbits were over-represented but I think they were needed. I'm heading for Boromir....
Boromir did not have evil thoughts. He was a victim of the Ring's corruption, nothing less, nothing more. If he did have evil notions there were becuase of the Rings making.
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Boromir had evil thoughts from the start - what would have happened if he had got the ring - would he have killed Frodo - would that have been the end of the story!

He desired the Ring from the beginning, that's all.
Elk Grinning Smilie
Had Legolas not been included in the Fellowship, LOTR: The Return of the King would never have been completed, because Orlando Bloom wouldn't have been included in PJ's movie LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, causing at least a million screaming teenie-boppers to skip seeing it even once, let alone ten times, resulting in it being a major box office flop and New Line pulling the plug, probably even on LOTR: The Two Towers.
Elk Grinning Smilie
My, you do have cheerful thoughts, Grondy! ;-p Meanwhile, I have to chime in my agreement with LoA; Boromirs motives were not, initially at least, evil, but desperate, though his desperation made him vulnerable to the Rings seductive allure. We see an echo of it in Denethors far sightedness via the Palantir, castigating Faramir for not bringing his father the great prize that could have stemmed the tide (unlikely, I think, though it is worth noting that Denethor was made of too stern a stuff to be cowed by Sauron and, like Hurin Thalion of old, went to his death defiantly even when convinced it was inevitable.) Boromirs thoughts were ever of Gondor, his father and the impossible odds faced by both, which it was his sworn and born duty to overcome by any means necessary. And, in the same sense as the original, "aye, there's the rub" for when you become the enemy he's already won. Thus Boromirs ultimate motives were pure, and it was these motives of loyalty, honor and duty that redeemed him at the end. If Boromir was evil then Isildur was evil, but I can't really fault either for more than being merely all too mortal.

That said, I don't think the Fellowship would have felt the lack of that particular instance of clay feet, and not only the Atani, but the Edain and Gondor were far better represented by Aragorn, who must have felt the temptation far more keenly for having known its truth, but with the lesson of his forefather he withstood the test.
Points taken Wink Smilie Maybe 'evil' was far to strong a word, I didn't mean it to come across that way -i.e. that he was not a nice person but at the council meeting how could the ring work that quick on Boromir. Had Denathor anything to do with this?

At the council meeting there were 'several' people who would have wanted the ring (for one reason or another) but only Boromir attempted to take the ring, even if it had meant killing Frodo (possessed or not)!

I'm still heading for Boromir though (but only at a push) Animated Wink Smilie

....and the fact that Orlando er I mean Legolas was cute has nothing to do with it Shocked Smilie Very Big Grin Smilie In Love Smilie

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Maybe 'evil' was far to strong a word, I didn't mean it to come across that way -i.e. that he was not a nice person but at the council meeting how could the ring work that quick on Boromir. Had Denathor anything to do with this?

It's just because Boromir was a proud, rather rash and spirited person, who'd act immediately rather than think think it through. He had the same character that King Eärnur, the last King of Gondor had, and it should be very telling that King Eärnur was never heard of again after he entered Minas Morgul when he accepted a challenge of the Witch-King of Angmar.
The Ring can begin to corrupt instantly. Look at Smeagol. He only had to look at the ring once and that was enough for Gollum to begin to be kindeled and then throttle Deagol. I doubt Smeagol would have killed Deagol completely of his own will, though he was a fairly 'nasty' (not evil) being to begin with.
Thus Boromir could have been partly corrupted with a few seconds of looking at the ring.

The Ring I would imagine would make Boromir believe that he could control it, and thus Boromir also added the thought that he could use the ring to strengthen Gondor. But had he got the Ring, the thought of Gondor would soon perish and his devotion would be given to the ring itself, and thus over time he would be but another Gollum.
ok, i think i missed the point, i voted for frodo
he annoyed me
i wanted sam to have the ring
so really, if frodo had given sam the ring and told him to go to rivendell, i would have been happy enough
bout the 10,000 orc thingy, urakhi, wotever
anyway, it says somewhere that a scout reported seeing no less than 10,000 marching from isengaurd and there was a big thing bout him exagerating but they decided that the scout wasnt exagerating when they saw the orcs come to helms deep.
the scout may have been aragorn.
i really dont no
Elrose, i vote your last post for the place of "The Most Vague" post of the year . Smile Smilie

I didnt vote for anything in this Poll... You could call it a protest. Smile Smilie
I belive that ther's no point in chosing one member from the fellowship who would have been dispensable, because without just one person, the fellowship is no more. And the "breaking" of the fellowship did begin as soon as they lost their first member, Gandalf, and it was doomed when they lost Boromir. The fellowship truly only exsisted up to Moria, after that, they were never really complete. So i choose not to vote..
For me it's like asking...Choose one of the Valar you think the world can do without? You cant anwser that. Every Valar has a role in the exsistence of Middle Earth, each has a special place to fill. As do the members of the fellowship...
As soon as you choose to leave one of the members of the fellowship behind, you start writing a new story...
Grondy posted:
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Merry helped Eruwen slay the Nazgul Witch King

Vir posted:
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Freudian slip?! Confused by her avatar?


Haha, that's hilarious! Cool...I am the Witch King Slayer! I love it!

Oh man, I have so much to say in this thread, but only have four minutes in which to write this at the moment. (My parents are in town for my graduation.)

Funny enough, I picked Merry, for although he helped Eowyn, I couldn't help but think she could have done it on her own, and other than that, he was fairly useless. It was a toss up for me between him and Pippin, but ultimately, I thought Pippin looking into the Palantir had more overall influence. Legolas had to be there to represent the Elves (as did Gimli with the Dwarves). And I felt that Boromir had to be there to influence Frodo, and besides I couldn't imagine leaving the Stewardship to Boromir rather than Faramir. Eek!

Okay, must run...miss you all!
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Funny enough, I picked Merry, for although he helped Eowyn, I couldn't help but think she could have done it on her own, and other than that, he was fairly useless.

It seems, though, that Merry's Westernesse blade broke the spell that bound the WK's unseen sinews to his will, so that Éowyn could kill him.
Though obviously this is a matter for personal opinion, I very much doubt that Eowyn could slay the Lord of the Nazgul without Merry crippling him first.

Glorfindel I beleive said that'The Lord of the Nazgul will be slain but not by the hand of man'. To most that means that he would be slain by a women. To me however I class it as the the 'Race' of Men, so in theory he could have meant that he would be slain by the hand of a Hobbit.
If Frodo is gone, does Bilbo get to go on this quest in his place?
How could he? He is rapidly gaining age now since his release of the Ring. I would be surprised if he got past Moria.
True, but with Frodo gone he'd never have released the Ring. Now, what else transpires, such as when (and if) he reaches Orodruin, I can only guess. And I do agree Eowyn dies without Merry, though I still don't hold with the "he was invulnerable until struck by Merrys magic dagger. " It was a special weapon that struck a special foe, but it didn't fundamentally change the Witch-King.
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I still don't hold with the "he was invulnerable until struck by Merrys magic dagger. " It was a special weapon that struck a special foe, but it didn't fundamentally change the Witch-King.

True, but Merry's blade of Westerness was such that the Nazgul Lord felt a sharp pain in his knee. When he looked for its source, his concentration was broken, allowing crippled Eowyn a small interval of time for an unhindered swordthrust between his crown and mantle, into the area where his head should have been. And had Aragorn been there, he might have said, "Thus passes a terror of Mordor."
In my opion it was Merry that slayed the Witchking but Eowyn who killed him (seperated Hroa from Fea, Body fro spirit).

Yes I suppose Bilbo would not have given the Ring up so would have stayed healthy. But do you think that he would have given the Ring up at Mt Doom. Even Frodo had to rely on Iluvatar once he failed to drop the Ring into the abyss, I doubt Bilbo would have entered the Volcano at all. And remember Bilbo would not have a companion like Frodo did with Sam (the only reason Frodo got so far), unless Frodo would to go with him.
I chose Pippin and I agree with Val.

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Pippin saved Faramir's life


I wonder how much of a difference Faramir's death would have made. He was rendered useless by the time anyway. I mean, yeah, the world would have lost a great soul and blah blah blah, but seriously, it wouldn't have affected the story in any way (I do not count his marriage with Eowyn as an important event that would have altered the outcome of the war.. duh!).

Oh, and all you Faramir fans, think practically and logically if you choose to reply to this...
Well if Faramir had died Denethor might not have died also which could cause big issues with Aragorn becoming King.
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Oh, and all you Faramir fans, think practically and logically if you choose to reply to this...

Well, Éowyn would still be unhappy about the fact that she didn't die in battle + the fact that Aragorn scorned her; so without Faramir being around to lighten her up a bit, she could do some stupid things, like jumping off the highest wall of the City.

And if Faramir had died and didn't become Steward for a short while, I think it wouldn't have been so easy for Aragorn to take up his Kingship... I think Faramir prepared the ppl of the City for the return of the King, as he himself believed that Aragorn was the rightful King - after all, Aragorn had recalled him from the valley of the shadow of death. Faramir's channeled his trust and belief in Aragorn on the ppl of the City, which wouldn't have happened if he wasn't around.

There wouldn't be any high official authority of Minas Tirith left to prove Aragorn's claim to the ppl.
Good point Vir. Though, what about Gandalf?
If, as suggested, Faramir died and Denethor didn't then Minis Tirith may well have fallen to the enemy. Denethor's death was important because it allowed Gandalf to take charge. However, without Pippin I think both Denethor and Faramir would have died so Gandalf would still have been able to take charge. Pippin, being a curious hobbit, did look into the Palantir and drew Sauron's attention which, in the end, was a good thing.

Anyway, Faramir was important to me so no way would I vote to leave behind the one who saved him.
If Faramir would've died, then Denethor would've died too. For both would be burning in Rath Dínen, without Pippin warning Gandalf, who was busy elsewhere.
I would kick Boromir out because he dies anyway. If he wasn't there it would save everyone the trouble and his life would be spared. He didn't do much anyway.
He did alot more than you think. He it was who allowed Frodo to choose to go to Mordor alone. It doesn't sound important perhaps but it has more importance than any of the deeds of Legolas in the whole story.

If even the least character was taken away the Fellowship would have VERY VERY likely failed.
Well I will answer based on what dear JRR said when his Hobbit book was being translated into one of the languages across the ocean.
He was dismayed, disheartened and actually angered that they dared to change one word,one name, one meaning of his work, HIS BABY, HIS CREATION.
So based on that and my love of and devotion to him I vote:

No one should be excluded no matter what. Smile Smilie