Frodo Baggins:  The Halfling from the Shire

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

Frodo Baggins as a character is no way near to perfect. But still I love this hobbit😊.  Here’s why…

A Reluctant Hero.  Well, if you read The Lord of the Rings, you know that Frodo Baggins did not set out to be the bearer of the Ring of Power.  He was just the unsuspecting heir of a secret kept and occasionally worn by his uncle Bilbo.  But the commendable thing really is what Frodo have decided to do upon learning of the great danger that the ring poses not only for himself but for his family and friends and his beloved Shire.  Of course, he felt great fear like any other person, but this he had to put aside in favor of ensuring the safety of all that is dear to him.

“I should like to save the Shire, if I could – though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don’t feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” – Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)


A Once Young Rascal. Some prefer the other hobbits because to them Frodo is the least fun of the lot.  But we have to remind ourselves that Frodo was so much older than Merry, Pippin and Sam. When he left the Shire he was already 50 years old whereas his three companions were still in their tweens or were just coming of age.  When Frodo was younger, he lived in Buckland where people were thought of as strange because they lived on the wrong side of the Brandywine River and right against the Old Forest, and they fooled about with boats. He was thought of as one of the worst for raiding mushrooms off old Maggots farm.  It’s safe to say, he’s just liked his younger cousins when he was their age.

“You have leave to walk over my land, if you have a mind, Mr. Peregrin. And you, Mr. Baggins – though I daresay you still like mushrooms.’ He laughed. ‘Ah yes, I recognized the name. I recollect the time when young Frodo Baggins was one of the worst young rascals of Buckland.” – Farmer Maggot, The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Slow to Evil.  There is a quiet strength in Frodo.  At the start of the hobbits’ journey from the Shire he had have in his possession the ring for many years.  But the only noticeable effect on him was that he doesn’t seemed to age. That’s why in the films, all four hobbits looked as if they were of the same age. Furthermore, when he was cut down by a Morgul blade wielded by one of the Ringwraiths, Gandalf the Grey had this to say…

“It seems that Hobbits fade very reluctantly.  I have known strong warriors of the Big People who would quickly have been overcome by that splinter, which you bore for seventeen days.” – The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

And maybe because of the goodness inherent in hobbits or just the kind of person that he was, Frodo – even through much hardships, torture and pain – was slow to succumb to the power of the ring. 

A Good and Kind Master.  Frodo treated people with kindness and respect and that was nowhere more evident than in his dealings with Samwise Gamgee.  Eventhough, they were technically master and servant, theirs is one of the most enduring friendships in literature. Frodo was kind even to Gollum, maybe because he empathized with what the creature had gone through wearing the One Ring and would like to think he is not beyond redemptiom. This was best seen through his willingness to offer his life to save Gollum from being shot by Faramir.

‘Shall we shoot?’ said Faramir, turning quickly to Frodo.

Frodo did not answer for a moment. Then ‘No!’ he said. ‘No! I beg you not to.’ If Sam had dared, he would have said ‘Yes,’ quicker and louder.

‘Let me go down quietly to him,’ said Frodo. ‘You may keep your bows bent, and shoot me at least, if I fail. I shall not run away.’  (The Lord of the Rings, p.669,671)

 

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7 thoughts on “Frodo Baggins:  The Halfling from the Shire

    1. He sure does. I’ve read one post that listed him as one of the most annoying characters. That tells me, whoever the writer is, he or she doesn’t really understand the character and what he stands for.

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      1. This just makes me think about how different books can be to different people! It’s crazy how the very same combination of words can take on different meanings depending on who’s reading.

        Liked by 1 person

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