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Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

[ Edited ]
Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

This may seem a bit premature, but I thought I would open a thread as to who is the true hero of The Ring? Is it Frodo who carries the Ring throughout the whole series to Mount Doom? Is it Aragon the returning King? Is it stalwart Sam? Is it Gandalf the master planner? Is it Smeagle/Gollum who is the one actually responsible for the destruction of The Ring. Or [fill in your own choice].

I also think each book has its own focus and ultimate hero that may be the same or different than the Hero of The Ring. You can address each of the six books or the books published as three books.

The reason I'm opening it now is that I find my ideas change as I go along, especially as a result of these discussions and additional reading. So I thought it might be fun to post what you feel now and then see how or why you might change your mind as we go along and what your final take is when we finish the whole series.

So state your choices or champion your favorite hero(s) if you feel strongly about him (or possibly one of the three-and-a-half hers).

Message Edited by lorien on 03-07-2008 06:03 PM
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

toughfy

Frodo - great sacrifice
Aragorn - nobility, knighthood
Samwise - courage, strength, most loyal friend
Faramir - nobility, self sacrifice
Pipin and Eowyn - they did kill a Nazgul
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lorien
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)


TiggerBear wrote:
toughfy

Frodo - great sacrifice
Aragorn - nobility, knighthood
Samwise - courage, strength, most loyal friend
Faramir - nobility, self sacrifice
Pipin and Eowyn - they did kill a Nazgul




Very well put TiggerBear. It is hard to pick one and maybe there isn't just one. Each of those you stated did show their "true quality" and was a hero in their own right. I gave honorable mention to Pipin and Eowyn as well though they, along with Faramir, are easily overshadowed by the big events and more obvious choices.
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

[ Edited ]
My choices right now but I reserve the right to change my mind frequently. :smileyvery-happy:.

I've chosen to pick a hero per book as well as one for the whole series:

Book 1: The First Journey - Frodo is the focus and the ultimate hero of Book 1.

Book 2: The Journey of the Companions - Elrond, Galadrial, and Gandalf are the main focus heros but Gandalf is the hero of the Book 2. This one may be a bit unconventional but I thought I would explore this direction

Book 3: The Treason of Isengard - The main focus heros are Merry and Pippin but the ultimate hero of Book 3 is Treebeard. A bit unconventional as well.

Book 4: The Journey of the Ring Bearers - With Tolkien's tentative title I would have to say that Frodo, Sam and Gollum are the focus heros but the ultimate hero is Sam. Faramir gets an honorable mention.

Book 5: The War of the Ring - I'm vacillating between Gandalf and Aragorn with honorable mention to Merry and Eowyn.

Book 6: The End of the Third Age - This one is a toughy since there are two stories and endings here. I will have to think on this one a bit more.

The Ultimate Hero of LOTR (ta, ta! The envelope please) - I'm really not decided yet but I lean toward Sam.

Message Edited by lorien on 03-07-2008 08:51 PM
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

No thread on "heroes" would be complete without a discussion of Northrop Frye's theory:
 

"Anatomy of Criticism would not be so notable if it were a static taxonomy. It is more like a phase space, a model that describes every possible state of the system through time. The key to that is Frye's five “modes” of fiction, with each mode defined by the power of the hero. Here they are, in their proper order, which also happens to be a brief outline of the development of literary forms in the modern West since the Dark Ages, and of the ancient West in the previous cycle:

---In the mode of myth, the hero is superior in kind to other men and the environment of other men. These stories in which the hero is a divine being are important for literature, but generally fall outside the normal literary categories.

---In a romance, the hero is superior in degree to other men and to the environment, but is simply an extraordinary human being. The laws of nature in romances are often not those that we meet in the real world, but they are self-consistent once they are established.

---The high mimetic mode obtains when the hero is superior in degree to other men, but not to the environment. This is the kind of hero Aristotle principally had in mind: the leader whom we find in most epic and tragedy.

---The low mimetic mode treats of a hero who is no better than the rest of us, which we find in most comedy and realistic fiction. We respond to the hero's common humanity in this sort of fiction. The story must display the canons of probability that we use in ordinary experience.

---When the hero has less power or intelligence than ourselves, so that the scene is one of bondage, absurdity, or frustration, the mode is ironic.

Frye tells us that irony, pushed to extremes, returns to the mode of myth. Characters who are so constrained by circumstances that they fall below the level of common humanity become hard to distinguish from the superhumans of myth: both kinds of stories enact archetypal patterns that do not turn on ordinary questions of personality or motivation. Frye's chief example of this return to myth is Finnegan's Wake, but we also see it in the low mimetic mode, particularly in science fiction."

http://www.johnreilly.info/aoc.htm

If I could only choose one hero (and that would be under duress) I'd choose Sam.

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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Who is the Hero of LOTR? ***SPOILER THREAD***
 
This really is such a difficult choice and a tricky question, I won't even hazard an opinion yet ---
The overall impression I used to recieve from my readings is that it always all boiled down to Frodo in the end ---- Although nowadays Sam seems to emerge from behind Frodo's shadow
 ( perhaps as the True Hero Behind The Hero? ) ---- In my earliest readings of LOTR, I was actually often a little embarrassed by Sam's character ---the way he always seemed to be blubbering and fawning all over his "Master" --- some of these  scenes even made me squirm a little with discomfort --- but I don't feel that way anymore ---
 
There are so many "Heroes" who pop up along the way ( even from chapter to chapter, practically ) that it does almost seem like the only way to choose is tentatively, like that - a section at a time ---
 
I have a picture in my mind of this all being almost like one of those classic TV episodes of "Perry Mason"
( with Raymond Burr ) --- where the suspense keeps building towards the end --- and the camera keeps shifting from face to face in the courtroom ( who will turn out to be the guilty party? ) until the true murderer is exposed at the last --- ( only, instead of a murderer --- we are waiting to see who will be revealed as "The True Hero"  ) ---
 
Good Night, One And All,
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Copied from Re: FOTR: Book 1: The Shadow of the Past. TiggerBear wrote :
lorien
(chuckle) Not to quibble, but I'm female.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Sorry about that TiggerBear but it is hard to see if you are wearing a pink or blue bonnet on the Internet! :smileyvery-happy: I'm female as well.

Actually, I think I set up a male bias toward LOTR readers due to something I read somewhere (don't remember where now) that boys often read LOTR but girls did not so that males tended to be long-time fans whereas females were more late-comers to the books. It was probably attributed to the fact that there are few female role-models.

Actually, my full count is now up to four-and-one-half females in LOTR and none in TH. I don't think either Mrs. Maggot and Rosie even have speaking roles and are only referenced in the third person but they do appear briefly in the books while the Entwives and Dwarf women are so non-existent that they do not show up at all. My total list of female characters in LOTR:

Mrs. Maggot
Goldberry
Arwen
Galadriel
Eowyn
Rosie

I'm not sure right now (I haven't really gotten that far in my second reading of the books), that the only strong female characters are Galadriel and Eowyn. I think Arwen was developed into a strong character only in the Movie but I really don't remember. Eowyn had potential for being a heroine but her character, if I remember correctly, was somewhat diminished after her heroic battle and slaying of the Witch-King.
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Hero, ah, this is a more interesting topic than it might at first appear.

Our answers here, perhaps, reveal a good deal about who WE are, and how well integrated we are within a particular society. From the list of potential heroes offered so far, I think I see a common thread of thought -- all of the names are nice, "safe types," embedded in the "socially useful" mode of heroics, characters to be upheld as examples of "correct behavior," characters that are to be emulated. School book heroes, and school book heroics where our conception of "the heroic" has been culturally pre-defined for us. How well we seem to have internalized this single system of values, this prescriptive definition of heroism.

1. a hero should be self-effacing, no hint of egotism in her/ his actions and motivations. But, of course, this is one of our modern prejudices, is it not? The classical hero, mythical or real, Gilgamesh, Achilles, Alexander the Great, Beowulf, Thor, Gunnar (Njal Saga), and the not so time-lost heroes like Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), or "The Man With No Name" (Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns) are all highly motivated by a quest for personal glory, personal gain. Today, we might tend to downgrade their heroisms as self-serving, perhaps in the mode of Boromir?

2. a hero must be self-sacrificing. Again, this seems to be a late addition to the concept of heroics. I'm trying to figure out just when this criterion crept into the picture, probably a Victorian ideal that bled over into a common European, USA value system, very useful in times of war?

I think today, I'd rather use a broader, less Madison Avenue derived definition of hero, one where heroes are not restricted to those culture models deemed useful as standards of behavior that we the public should emulate, serving a set of goals established to preserve and further the societal status quo.

In Milton's "Paradise Lost" (read by, and in some ways imitated by JRRT) Lucifer is "heroic" in his rebellion. By extention, Morgoth/ Melko, playing a Luciferan role in JRRT's version, partakes in that particular sort of heroism as well. It is egotistic, it is self-enhancing, but it is still "heroic" in the original sense of the word: extraordinary actions done by figures larger than life. But I see that in the list of potential heroes offered so far, this entire side of heroism has been, thus far, left out?

Here, as heroic in his deeds, I would offer the miserable Gollum. For those of you who engage the wilderness in cross country pursuits -- scrambling among the rocky tors, or sweating your way through a jungle, or just treading the endless miles of a ten day back-packing tour -- could you survive what Gollum survived in the Wild? Could you face the terror of your age, be tortured by a Sauron, and still keep even a spark of your own will? Gollum did. Would your water skills allow YOU to baffle an acknowledged expert in tracking like Aragorn? If nothing else, and I argue there is a good deal "else," Gollum's persistance toward the only goal that has any meaning for him, regaining the Ring, is truly heroic in its proportions, whatever we may say regarding his motivations.

Maybe Samwise was being fully wise -- even IF accidentally -- when he had the intuition to realize that Gollum might in some ways, be regarded as heroic?

Another example of Gollum's heroics may hark back to Gilgamesh as well, the struggle of the self. Confronting the mortality of Enkidu, watching the worm of corruption drop from his friend's nose, Gilgamesh, 2/3rds divine, realizes that even HE must die. From this point on Gilgamesh struggles with his own sense of mortalilty, becoming heroically self-engaged, trying to find a way to compromise with the inevitable fact of his own death. Gollum is similarly "self-engaged," his mind half eaten by the Ring, he struggles heroically to remain himself, to become once more, simply Smeagol. He nearly wins. Temporarily he banishes the Gollum side, and in the Letters even Tolkien mentions that this heroic struggle nearly produced a victory, nearly. But, in the end, the overwhelming power of the Ring overcomes the hero Smeagol, just as it overcame a supposedly more noble-heroic mind, Frodo Baggins.
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Dagor WRote:

2. a hero must be self-sacrificing. Again, this seems to be a late addition to the concept of heroics. I'm trying to figure out just when this criterion crept into the picture, probably a Victorian ideal that bled over into a common European, USA value system, very useful in times of war?
---------------------

I think this might be a Christian ideal. Even the Hebrew Bible "heroes" are far from self-sacrificing types. And as you pointed out the European based mythologies, including the Greek and Roman as well as the Nordic and others, did not hold self-sacrifice in high esteem. Loyalty to clan, though, seem to be a strong cultural norm.

But I don't think it is unique to Christianity but it was Christianity that had the strongest influence on our Western cultural norms. I think there was a world-wide change of emphasis to "self sacrifice for common good" in the Axiel Age from 800-200 B.C.E.
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Dagor wrote:
In Milton's "Paradise Lost" (read by, and in some ways imitated by JRRT) Lucifer is "heroic" in his rebellion. By extention, Morgoth/ Melko, playing a Luciferan role in JRRT's version, partakes in that particular sort of heroism as well. It is egotistic, it is self-enhancing, but it is still "heroic" in the original sense of the word: extraordinary actions done by figures larger than life. But I see that in the list of potential heroes offered so far, this entire side of heroism has been, thus far, left out?
--------------------------------------------------------

Actually, I find Satan in "Paradise Lost" far more interesting and heroic than any of the other characters, but then I'm partial to heroes that take on forces that are stronger than they are and opposes them in spite of overwhelming odds. I also found myself siding with Lord Astiel of His Dark Materials and might have even pinned the hero medal on Mrs. Coulter if I could ever have figured her out. I don't know anything about Morgoth yet so I can't say anything about him, but Sauron doesn't even make my long list.
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Dagor wrote:
Here, as heroic in his deeds, I would offer the miserable Gollum. For those of you who engage the wilderness in cross country pursuits -- scrambling among the rocky tors, or sweating your way through a jungle, or just treading the endless miles of a ten day back-packing tour -- could you survive what Gollum survived in the Wild? Could you face the terror of your age, be tortured by a Sauron, and still keep even a spark of your own will? Gollum did. Would your water skills allow YOU to baffle an acknowledged expert in tracking like Aragorn? If nothing else, and I argue there is a good deal "else," Gollum's persistance toward the only goal that has any meaning for him, regaining the Ring, is truly heroic in its proportions, whatever we may say regarding his motivations.
---------------------------------------

You know, when I first read LOTR Gollum was just a despicable character. It was actually the movie that changed my mind about him. I do agree with what you say above and Smeagle/Gollum is on my short list. That is why I included him as a "focus hero" of Book 4. But he didn't get the final nod because the Smeagle side caved into the Gollum side and to me he became a failed hero. Right now Sam has my nod because he took on Shelob at the end and became the "dragon slayer" and then took up the "call to Adventure".
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

I think these are, for the most part, pretty good definitions. Mainly because I see a common thread that makes the "hero" for me--the "hero" must be superior in some way to his identity group. He must rise above his circumstances and take on forces superior to himself and be willing to oppose them in spite of the fact he may fail.



Fanuidhol wrote:
No thread on "heroes" would be complete without a discussion of Northrop Frye's theory:

"Anatomy of Criticism would not be so notable if it were a static taxonomy. It is more like a phase space, a model that describes every possible state of the system through time. The key to that is Frye's five “modes” of fiction, with each mode defined by the power of the hero. Here they are, in their proper order, which also happens to be a brief outline of the development of literary forms in the modern West since the Dark Ages, and of the ancient West in the previous cycle:

---In the mode of myth, the hero is superior in kind to other men and the environment of other men. These stories in which the hero is a divine being are important for literature, but generally fall outside the normal literary categories.

---In a romance, the hero is superior in degree to other men and to the environment, but is simply an extraordinary human being. The laws of nature in romances are often not those that we meet in the real world, but they are self-consistent once they are established.

---The high mimetic mode obtains when the hero is superior in degree to other men, but not to the environment. This is the kind of hero Aristotle principally had in mind: the leader whom we find in most epic and tragedy.

---The low mimetic mode treats of a hero who is no better than the rest of us, which we find in most comedy and realistic fiction. We respond to the hero's common humanity in this sort of fiction. The story must display the canons of probability that we use in ordinary experience.

---When the hero has less power or intelligence than ourselves, so that the scene is one of bondage, absurdity, or frustration, the mode is ironic.

Frye tells us that irony, pushed to extremes, returns to the mode of myth. Characters who are so constrained by circumstances that they fall below the level of common humanity become hard to distinguish from the superhumans of myth: both kinds of stories enact archetypal patterns that do not turn on ordinary questions of personality or motivation. Frye's chief example of this return to myth is Finnegan's Wake, but we also see it in the low mimetic mode, particularly in science fiction."

http://www.johnreilly.info/aoc.htm

If I could only choose one hero (and that would be under duress) I'd choose Sam.

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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

To Lorien ---
 
Ah, but you forgot Lobelia Sackville- Baggins ----
 
"The Hobbit" and LOTR  certainly do seem to be a very male-oriented, male-dominated set of stories ---
The Arwen character was definately "beefed-up" for the movie version --- it seemed like they tried to turn her into more of a "Woman Warrior" than her original character was ( perhaps as to not let the young girls in the audience feel so "left out"? ) ---
 
There was already a "Woman Warrior" character in the original story --- that was Eowyn, of course ---
but perhaps the movie makers decided only one was not enough.
 
I guess being a boy ( when I first read the stories ) made me more open to "recieving" the stories ---
My wife has inferred that books like Tolkien's were not the kind of books that girls ( generally
 speaking ) tended to gravitate towards ( based on her recollections ) ----
 
I really was not a very "macho" boy --- I was really more the quiet, reserved, well-behaved sort ( and always the bullied boy, never the bully -- never even a fighter  ) --- not very athletic, much more bookish --- I played "War" with my friends , though ---- I suppose that in some cases, it was easy for me to overcome my inadequacies ( or under-empowerment ) or my mundane life-style ( only in my imagination, of course ) by self-identifying with the heroes in these stories --- ( Like Bilbo ) ----And this would certainly have easier for me to do, being a male --- and, possibly, the stories even provided an outlet for suppressed violence and hostility ( look at all the orcs who get their heads chopped off ) ----
( Sorry to wax a little too psuedo- psychological there )
 
Anyway, I remember reading a review of the LOTR movies ( just after the first installment had been released ) where the critic criticized the movie-makers for not understanding where Tolkien was coming from when he wrote the stories --- mainly, his experiences in The First World War - where the loyalty and comaraderie of one's fellow soldiers was what was so important --  ( this was the reviewer's opinion ) ---
and, consequently, why there were very few female characters in the stories, very little romance, and positively no sex.
 
I think that the concept of that "loyalty and comraderie" does get emphasized more as the movie progresses, though - especially in the relationship between Frodo and Sam ( and even Gollum, perhaps? ) ---
 
Again, A Very Good Evening To All,
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

To lorien   --- A LITTLE BIT MORE CONCERNING FEMALE HEROES IN LOTR ---
 
I should hasten to add that  ( in the movie version ) the Arwen character's stint as a "Woman Warrior" was a very brief one ( and only in the first installment ) --- Later on, however, her part in the story is enlarged and integrated into the action ( more so than in the book ) -- by various devices, her character is brought to the forefront ( instead of remaining behind in the background ) ---
Also, the Romantic Love aspect of Aragorn and Arwen's relationship is emphasized more in the movie ---
with even the physical aspect of their love emphasized more, as well ---
I wouldn't say there is no romance at all between them in the original story, but - there, the romance seems be more one of an almost  ethereal nature ---
 
Good Day, Ardo Whortleberry
 
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

I'm going to go way out on a limb here, and return to my first impressions from my first readings of LOTR ---
and say that Frodo can still be considered to be "The Hero" of the story ---
I'm not even going to get involved here with different definitions of the term "hero" --- I'm just going by the initial overall feeling I got from reading the stories about this.
 
Sam I can see now was for a long time underated in his capacity as "hero" ( at least, I know I underated him  to a certain degree ) --but one can see that Frodo never could have finished his mission without Sam ---
Sam is there for Frodo to lean on throughout the harrowing journey, and Sam is even there to "carry" Frodo -
perhaps figratively speaking - and also in literal terms ---and even steps in and saves The Ring from falling into the hands of The Enemy when he believes Frodo to be dead ---
 
It sems like where the difference in the "quality" of heroism between Frodo and Sam becomes evident in the light of the sheer amount of suffering ( mental, physical, spirtual ) that Frodo must once he accepts the burden of carrying The Ring in the seemingly hopeless attempt to destroy it ---
Sam, at least, gets to return to a "normal" life when the Quest is accomplished - he gets to marry, have children, enjoy life -- Frodo has been so changed, so tortured by The Ring and its power ( and still suffering from his wounds inflicted during his trial ) that he truly has to give up everything - he has been so transformed by his sacrifice that he can never reclaim the same
"Peace Of Mind" that Sam can enjoy ( until, at last, Frodo is allowed to sail into The West ) ---
 
Of course, there are many figures in LOTR who play very important roles -- and who are Heroes in their own right --- and Frodo could never have accomplished his task without almost any of them --
But Frodo still seems like the central character, around which the rest of the story revolves ---
 
Once Again, The Opinions Expressed Are Solely Those Of The Letter Writer's ---
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

This is a continuation of my thoughts from the last post ---
I know some of you might be thinking: "Well, if it's only the amount of suffering the character must endure that qualifies him as a hero, then what about Gollum - who had suffered by bearing The Ring for all those many long years and whose soul was also tortured by it? 
And you probably have already read Dagor's excellent comments --- the proposal of Gollum's inate heroism, considering his amazing strength of will to simply survive and the struggle to retain his soul, inspite of having been already almost completely consumed by The Ring for centuries ---
 
I think perhaps there are still some fundemental differences here between Frodo's situation and that of Gollum's --- I don't know if they make Gollum any less "heroic" in his nature --- but I think they might point towards Frodo still winding up as "The Hero" of the story ---
 
When my wife was watching the movie versions of LOTR with me, I thought she made a very interesting comment towards the very end ( or perhaps even after we had finished the last movie ) which was:
( referring back to that "flashback" scene where The Ring is discovered in the River Banks by Deagol -- and whereupon Smeagol immediately murders Deagol in order to posess The Ring ) " Well - It sure didn't
take Gollum all that long to be corrupted by that Ring, did it?" ( as opposed to Frodo, who didn't lose his will completely until he was standing at the very Crack Of Doom ) ----
I'm still working out some more thoughts on this matter, but I will return with those in a little bit ...
I appreciate everyone's patience, Ardo Whortleberry 
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Anyway, I guess the idea I'm fumbling around here for has something to do with how Frodo has a
 "Good Heart" ( to be tested by The Ring ) whereas Gollum/Smeagol may never have had that same
 "Good Heart" to begin with ---One could say that it was more a matter of Smeagol not being as "advanced" or as "civilized"as a hobbit like Frodo ( and that is why Smeagol was more susceptable to the lure of The Ring ) --- But I still think there's something about this "Purity of Heart" issue involved in all of this -- even if I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly what it is yet ----
 
One of the main reasons Gandalf and the other Wise People allow Frodo to become The Ringbearer in the first place is because they know he is so basically innocent ( that his heart is basically "pure" to begin with )
and that Frodo might be less likely to fall victim to its power ---
Unlike someone like Boromir, who is physically strong, and very brave, and has a strong will ---
 but, is still overcome with lust for The Ring, almost as soon as his eyes set sight on it ---
 
I think there is something, too, in the way the burden of carrying The Ring for Frodo becomes more unbearable the closer he gets to the goal of its destruction ( how it becomes heavier, and drags him down ) 
 --- Of course, the lure of The Ring, and Gollum's desire to repossess it, also becomes stronger for Gollum the closer it gets to its destination --- but the suffering for Gollum is in bearing the separation from his "precious"---Frodo suffering is in desiring to rid himself of The Ring --- but being charged with bearing it to its final destination ( but of course, the Quest could not have reached its conclusion, without the presence of Gollum )           My Thanks For Your Patience Once More, Ardo 
 
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Ardo Whortleberry
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TiggerBear
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

hmm this might be a little off the side, but that last post made me remember it so...

Does it not seam to anyone else that the more a holder uses the ring, and the more selfish that use of the ring is; that the faster the ring corrupts that holder?
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

Well, let's examine that thought for a little bit ---
Throughout the whole Third Age of Middle-earth, it looks like there are only seven actual Ring-bearers of
The One Ring altogether for that entire time ---
( seven -another one of those "magical" numbers ) ---
 
[ Sauron ] --- [ Isildur  ] --- [ ( momentarily ) Deagol ] --- [ Smeagol/Gollum ] --- [ Bilbo Baggins ]
 --- [ Frodo Baggins ] --- [ ( and for only a brief time )  Sam Gamgee ] --- 
 
Sauron --- well, there can be little doubt his use of The One Ring was selfish in its nature --- he even created The Ring to further his own selfish ends --- But it doesn't  seem like The Ring could have corrupted him anymore than he was corrupted already --- ( it could even be more the other way round ) ---
 
Isildur --- was warned by The Wise to destroy The Ring, but could not bring himself to do it ( could not bear to do it ) --- it betrays him to his death ---
 
Deagol ---  poor kid never had much of a chance to become corrupted by The Ring --- murdered as soon as he had found it ---
 
Gollum --- seemed to be corrupted immediately upon seeing The Ring --- murders Deagol --- and goes on to commit many more murders, subsequently ---
 
Bilbo --- seems to resist corruption by The Ring, in spite of many uses --- apparently T.O.R. is beginning to try and "take him over" over sixty years of "ownership" ---  
 
Frodo --- using T.O.R. on several instances --- but it never seems to corrupt him until he is actually standing at the very Cracks Of Doom themselves --- when it has come time to destroy it ---
 
Sam --- I can't see how T.O.R. corrupts good- hearted Sam in any way --- although he did only carry and use it for a short time ---
 
Finally --- there is a case like Boromir, who never even gets to touch T.O.R. --- but gets corrupted practically the very moment he sees it for the first time --- and winds up trying to kill Frodo for it --- in a state of madness ---                      Ardo 
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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Dagor
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Re: Who is the Hero of LOTR? (SPOILER THREAD)

[ Edited ]
Potential Spoilers?

RE Ardo's: "Frodo --- using T.O.R. on several instances --- but it never seems to corrupt him until he is actually standing at the very Cracks Of Doom themselves --- when it has come time to destroy it ---"

And "Sam --- I can't see how T.O.R. corrupts good- hearted Sam in any way --- although he did only carry and use it for a short time ---"

Good points, Ardo, but, just for the sake of argument, I think there are several occasions before the final scene in Sammanth Naur, where we see that the Ring has corrupted Frodo, significantly altering his personality and behaviour. He surprises both Sam and Gollum with his forceful reaction to Smeagol's hint that he (Gollum) would like to have the Ring again. "Don't take the Precious to Him! [Sauron] He'll eat us all, if He gets it, eat all the world. Keep it nice master, and be kind to Smeagol. Don't let Him have it! Or go away, go to nice places, and give it back to little Smeagol. Yes, yes, master: give it back, eh? Smeagol will keep it safe..." (The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed," hb version, pp. 245-6).

In reply, Frodo actually makes a bald death threat to Gollum: "You revealed yourself to me just now, foolishly. Give it back to Smeagol, you said. Do not say that again! Do not let that thought grow in you! You will never get it back. ... In the last need, Smeagol, I should put on the Precious; and the Precious mastered you long ago. If I, wearing it, were to command you, you would obey, even if it were to leap from a precipice or to cast yourself into the fire.* And such would be my command." (The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed," hb version, p.248)

Frodo, by this point in his journey, has already become sufficiently attached to the Ring that the mere suggestion of his giving it up, reveals that he is willing to commit murder rather than lose his Precious. Would the pre-Ring Frodo ever be THAT attached to power?

Partially tongue-in-cheek here, and partially quite seriously meant -- does the wielding of the great power of the Ring leave a mark on Sam? Before the quest journey, he is content with his place in life, a good gardener, a good servant. But his ability and taste for shaping events has been enhanced by the experiences he has lived through, and he returns to Hobbiton, a potential leader, a potential politician. In fact, he soon becomes a force to be reckoned with in The Shire. Did even his brief possession of the Ring awaken in Sam, even mildly, the ambition to become a politician, to directly guide the fate of his fellow hobbits. Luckily, his acquaintance with the Ring was so brief, that it did not, I suppose, lead him to become an overbearing, dominating, self-serving sort of politician; and I think most if not all of his measures would be pointed toward securing the public well-being, but still -- he has become a long-lived, local power figure as 7 times Mayor, 1427 Shire Reckoning - 1476.

____________
* For those keeping track of "presentments," or prophesies, Frodo correctly forecasts Gollum's end at this point in the narrative.

Message Edited by Dagor on 03-13-2008 10:21 AM
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