Message Board | Rules

Thread: Frodo- a Hero?

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Lord of the Rings > Frodo- a Hero?   
Perhaps this had been discussed here without me, but I still havent reached a conclusive answer on this conundrum: Is Frodo a failed 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 :oops: )

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?

Frodo is the only one who could have carried the ring all the way to Mt. Doom. Gollum and Sam were necessary too. But that doesn't mean Frodo was a "failed" hero. He made it to Mt Doom, and Providence favoured Frodo.

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 :lol: . Gollum gets a Posthumous Redemption as his prize <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . And Sam gets a Wife and Kids :lol: .

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 :mrgreen: .

[b:3mch19xe]Gandalf's Beard[/b:3mch19xe]

[b:3mch19xe]P.S.[/b:3mch19xe] And by the way....I loved the question <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> . It's very thought provoking.
A hero must have pity.
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.
You guys hit it on the head. I have noticed that many people think of Frodo as a weakling and a wimp. If you just watch the movie without really watching it, then it can come across that way. But few people understand the power and the will of the Ring. The Ring was a character, just like anyone else, and it had a lot to say. Like GB said, Frodo was the only one in Middle-Earth that could have taken the ring to Mount Doom. Aragorn was a man, and was more susceptible to the Ring's power (look what it did to Boromir). Gandalf was a Wizard, the risk of the ring overtaking him was too great. Bilbo was too old and weak. Plus, he had already had the Ring in his possession for decades. The Dwarves were very weak, much like men, and the elves would not take it, because they were too smart (they knew better, lol). And finally, the other hobbits were weaker than Frodo in that respect. So Frodo was the only one. And he made it. That is really something. Like GB said, it was impossible for anyone to willingly just destroy the ring. If Frodo couldn't do it, no one could. So there was another plan in store.
Oh, Show- I think youre right about the pity thing.

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?
I'll move that debate to another topic.
I liked Jackson's ending, especially with Frodo having to make the choice to hang on to Sam. Showing that Frodo still chose to live, and not end himself with the destruction of the ring.
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.
I simply think frodo is a hero in all aspects. People tend to underestimate the power of the Ring (like Boromir), and think that any "strong" person could control it however they want, thus making Frodo a wimp for yielding. I would like to remind everyone that thinks that way that Boromir was WRONG! The Ring is the most powerfully evil object in Middle-Earth, and has almost a personality ( I agree with whoever said the Ring is a character). It very much wants to live, and so hinders Frodo however it can, physically and mentally, to stop him from getting to Mount Doom. Anyone else would have failed much, much sooner than Frodo. The fact that he only failed at the very end is very commendable and extraordinary. The only thing I didn't like was that in the movie they made him get mad at Sam, and Sam left! Sorry, that's a little off-subject, but Sam is Frodo's true-blue companion, and would NEVER desert him! It also makes Frodo look evil, which he is NOT. Frodo is a true hero through and through.
On the subject of the Frodo/Sam split. I watched the director commentary and Jackson and Co commented on it. They wanted some pay off for Gollum. He has been working at destroying the Frodo/Sam relationship through the film 2 and 3. After all that work, they felt he should get some pay off, even if it didn't give them fully the results he wanted.
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 think Frodo is a good example for reality. He shows that being a hero doesnt always mean doing everythin right. It means get in a lot of trouble, screw things up, but in the end, have the courage and ability do make the rigt decision. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
HI everyone. Long time reader, first time caller...

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!
Frodo took upon himself a practically impossible task...and carried it all the way to the last step. When he got there he found that he just couldn't make himself take that last step alone. That's when "providence" stepped in and helped take the last step for Frodo.

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.
Where are you hairytoes? Why did I never met you? Oh how sad! Frodo is a hero by accident - but one we all could be. His weakness is part of his strength.