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[personal profile] curiosity_jigyasa
Frodo, supposedly, is the least famous character of the epic saga of JRR Tolkien.He is often accused of being “whiney”, “wimp”, and “loser”. To be honest, he doesn’t deserve any of these “honorable” titles. His life, story and sacrifices are beyond most of the people’s comfort. Haters claim him to be a “loser” (as I already mentioned above)—pretty cool word, right? Most people find pleasure in bashing this wonderful Hobbit. Some claim that his creator, i.e. Professor Tolkien, meant his friend to be the “true hero” of his story. When you say, “Sam Gamgee is the true hero of the quest,” you not only [in a sense; and CONCIOUSLY] exaggerate* Sam’s role, but devalue Frodo’s too. Sam’s motivation was his love for his master—had it not been for Frodo, Sam would never have set out on the quest. It was his devotion for Frodo that kept him going, and it was his master’s sufferings that inspired him to do the work for Frodo. “The quest would claim his life,” is what Lady Galadriel had said [in the movie]; the quest DID claim his life! He came back home, what you’d say ‘alive’, but he did not survive the war—he died more than once. His decision to spare poor Sméagol’s life became the reason of his salvation, and that of Middle-Earth too. What makes me say that he is the hero of the LOTR saga is not the fact that the story is about him, rather he, despite being and acknowledging [that he was] “wholly inadequate to the task” decides to take the task upon him that he could easily turn away from. Professor says so as well:
“Frodo undertook his quest out of love- to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense if he could; and also in complete humility, acknowledging that he was wholly inadequate to the task. His real contract was only to do what he could, to try to find a way, and to go as far as his strength of mind and body allowed. He did that.”
Why we, as readers, have problems in acknowledging that he DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE IGNORED AND JUDGED TOO HARSHLY? There was no one who could have done this much. “Possibly no other of his time would have got this far,” is what professor says. Is there anyone else you can imagine going as far as Frodo did? Sam? He became reluctant in giving back the Ring in a couple of hours. Was that his love for his Master? Indeed it was—and he wanted to rid his master from that torment; and The Ring tried to control him from that. What Sam does out of his love for his friend, he, if appointed for the task of being the main person [i.e. Frodo’s], would never have taken upon him. Not saying that he was bad or something, but it was his character that in fact was like that, and it helped him through his journey to Mordor. Sam’s strength came from Frodo’s sacrifices. Imagine him [Sam] this way:
Frodo is asleep and Sam wakes him up.
Frodo (getting angry): You, idiot!!! You know I need more sleep than you do. Why don’t you let me sleep? It won’t take much if I sleep little more—I’m already tired.
Sam: Yes, Mr. Frodo, I’m sorry.
Frodo is starving. He wants Sam to give him some food, while Sam is busy in taking care of other things. Frodo would scold Sam for not taking care of him “properly” while Sam does everything he can do for his dear friend. What if Frodo acted rudely with Sam, acknowledging NOTHING that Sam does for him?
In this case, what does Frodo do?
Behaves with Sam rudely?
Or hides his problems so that Sam should not worry about him much? If you read the 1st book, you’d see Frodo already goes through so much. His Morgul-blade wound, Gandalf’s death, Galadriel’s words to him [of Elves’ fading] and Boromir’s betrayal—how much of it Sam truly knew? He did not understand the deep meaning of his Master’s physical and emotional wounds. Frodo wasn’t a failure, as is suggested by most. Events at Sammath Naur cannot be defined by words like “failure” or “success”. Things are much more complicated than a careless reader realizes. His life and its ending are a mystery—

*Exaggeration MUST not be taken as ‘over-rating’. I understand Sam’s importance and his true value.
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August 2016


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