I am a Kansas farm boy who loves reading all kinds of books. I am always looking for good reads. Volunteering for Librivox has been fun.
Frodo Baggins is not my favorite hero. If you look at him in the right light, he is a weak and not very compelling hobbit. There are three big reasons I don’t feel for Frodo as the hero of The Lord of the Rings. First, he is always overshadowed by other characters. Second, his is given a struggle that is hard to depict. Lastly, he basically fails and the ring is destroyed by accident.
I know that some may argue that The Lord of the Rings doesn’t have a single hero. However, I still consider Frodo to be the hero, and the presence of other heroical figures in the books is one of the things that makes Frodo look weak. How can Frodo look like a warrior with Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas at his side? How can Frodo look wise with Gandalf in the world? And even the strong points of all hobbits such as simplicity, perseverance and loyalty are given to humble Sam in more abundance than to Frodo. As Frodo strives to fulfill his quest he gets saved and bailed out by his friends again and again. For example, Gandalf with the Balrog, Sam in Shelob’s lair and slimy Gollum has to lead him to Mordor. Even Gollum is very shrewd and capable compared to Frodo.
Another thing is that we hardly see Frodo fight anything, except the ring. I know the story is designed to show that Frodo is wrestling with his soul over the one ring, and that he is marred for life because of it. But how is his anguish and struggle shown. It is hard to show inner anguish by the very nature of the thing. Frodo’s anguish over being the ring's bearer is shown about like the symptoms of a mildly annoying flu. I mean how can you fight a ring and the urge to put it on except by mental exercise which is hard to put on paper.
The saddest part of Frodo as hero is that he fails. The ring takes him right down to Gollum’s level. He literally gives up the quest at the brink of the fires, with full knowledge that if he doesn’t destroy the ring Sauron will win. The ring is destroyed only by accident. When he refuses to the destroy to ring, he loses one of his main redeeming qualities which is his ability to resist the rings power. In the end it looks as if Sam had more resistance to the ring than Frodo
I still love to read The Lord of the Rings. My only problem is literally i'm just not compelled by Frodo. I have imagined myself as many other characters, but Frodo just doesn’t click. I know his role in the book is very important, and that he tries his best. I just think he should have thrown a little bigger shadow, struggled in a more material way and I think he should have destroyed the ring instead of grappling for control over it with Gollum.