The Grey Havens - Hobbits: Why did Gandalf choose Bilbo Baggins to acompany Thorin?
When Gandalf tells the story of Sméagol to Frodo and reveals that . Frodo only has very limited trust in Gollum, and that is mostly a trust in how. Gandalf, Frodo's friend and advisor and one of the most powerful figures in .. he is afraid to trust himself with any kind of power from then on. J.R.R. Tolkien — 'You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. tags: faithfulness, friendship, frodo, lord-of-the-rings, merry, middle-earth, tolkien, true-love . success (); knowledge (); relationships (); motivational (); education.
Critics Joseph Pearce and Bradley J. Birzer take the analysis a step further: Although Tolkien always insisted that his work was no allegory, it makes sense that, with the Christian myth at the center of his thinking, he would have chosen a task for his hero that paralleled the task given to the hero of the gospel story.
A group has been chosen to go with Frodo, but he slips away from them and goes off accompanied only by Sam, for fear of endangering the rest of the company or seeing them corrupted by the Ring, as one of them already has been. The first half of The Two Towers follows the other members of the group as they prepare for war against the enemy, while the second half is devoted to the journey of Frodo, Sam, and their deceitful guide, Gollum.
Much the same thing happens in The Return of the King, the final book, except that there the two groups come together again in the end. Tolkien uses this structure to communicate a major point: While the first half of each book is full of mighty deeds performed by kings, knights, and wizards, we know all along that at best they can only distract the enemy from interfering with the essential task: If he should fail and Sauron recover the Ring, all they have done is for nothing.
On the one hand, the whole world is going to the war; the story rings with galloping hoofs, trumpets, steel on steel. On the other, very far away, miserable figures creep like mice on a slag heap through the twilight of Mordor. And all the time we know the fate of the world depends far more on the small movement than on the great. Lewis88 Roger Schlobin puts it even more strongly: Several critics have picked up on this theme and its connection to the Christian teaching of the exaltation of the humble.
The high-mindedness of classical platonism was anathema to Augustine: He, on the other hand, took the suffering Christ as a model for true wisdom. This emphasis on the wisdom of suffering and humility is reflected in the kind of hero Tolkien chose in The Lord of the Rings—not one of the highest creatures in his imagined world.
This point was made by Tolkien himself, before The Lord of the Rings was published: The Will of the Hero Jane Chance Nitzsche, for one, believes that they make Frodo into a different kind of hero entirely. After briefly describing an article Tolkien wrote examining a similar conflict of values in Beowulf, Chance writes quoting Patricia Meyer Spacks: Aragorn may represent the Christian hero as Frodo and Sam represent the more Germanic hero of the subordinate warrior, yet all three remain epic heroes.
Bearing the Ring means that Frodo must fight constantly the temptation to claim it for his own and gain its power for himself. Two examples demonstrate this pattern. Near the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, for example, he barely avoids discovery by Sauron, who can see him when he puts it on: He heard himself crying out: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Fool, take it off! Take off the ring!
The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again.
Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: He took the Ring off his finger. He felt, more urgent than ever before, the command that he should put on the Ring. There was no longer any answer to that command in his own will, dismayed by terror though it was, and he felt only the beating upon him of a great power from outside. It took his hand, and as Frodo watched with his mind, not willing it but in suspense as if he looked on some old story far awayit moved the hand inch by inch towards the chain upon his neck.
Then his own will stirred; slowly it forced the hand back. But again, as Tolkien mentioned in the letter quoted above, this power plays a strictly behind-the-scenes role in the story.
Divine guidance as the Christian reader would understand it is in short supply. More than fighting the enemy, he is fighting himself. This is another theme that critics have recognized as crucial. In tracing the development of Frodo as hero, Nitzsche marks the passage quoted earlier from Fellowship as the point where she believes he truly becomes a hero: If we accept this premise, it fits in with the idea of Frodo as Christian hero, but it still leaves us with the problem of the role of the will.
More than that, we come right up against the problem that has faced so many Tolkien critics studying Christian elements in the story: An Incomplete Christ Figure At this point, it is essential to look at this climactic scene in full—first noting two things.
First, the scene occurs after both Frodo and Sam, meeting with Gollum again after a long separation, have spared his life even though he had betrayed them and left them for dead.
The scene unfolds as follows: He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-Earth; all other powers were here subdued.
Lord of the Rings Film Changes : The Fellowship of the Ring
Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine! Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside. He groped forward, and then he saw a strange and terrible thing.
Frodo, Sam, Gollum, Pity, and Doubt
Gollum on the edge of the abyss was fighting like a mad thing with an unseen foe. But Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring, a finger still thrust within its circle. It shone now as if verily it was made from living fire. Out of the depths came his last wail precious, and he was gone. Return of the King —9 Sam carries Frodo from the cave, and they see the land around them being destroyed by storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear.
His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free. It is also the consensus of the characters in the story; when Frodo and Sam are rescued, both of them are honored, not blamed.
Tolkien suggested later that Frodo blamed himself—that this was why he could find no real peace of mind until his departure from Middle-Earth at the end of the story—but if he did, he was the only one who did so—8.
Another paradox central to Christianity makes itself evident here: In theology this is called grace. The self cannot unmake the self. Paul says Romans 7: He could not then accomplish the task—because no one could. It was quite literally an impossible one. Aragorn and Gandalf have qualities that are both Christ-like and heroic.
Gandalf is killed and resurrected; Aragorn is a healer and, as Nitzsche observes, shows many of the qualities of a Christian king. Nevertheless, one other candidate exists. Several Tolkien critics, including Pearce, Birzer, Caldecott, Clark, and to some extent Lewis, have identified Sam as the primary heroic figure, based mainly on three criteria: As Frodo departs from Middle-earth, Sam, though mourning his loss, is nonetheless happily installed as mayor of the Shire, their homeland, and the father of a growing family.
Tolkien himself wrote to his son before finishing the work, The Book will prob.
Frodo will naturally become too ennobled and rarified by the achievement of the great Quest, and will pass West with all the great figures; but S. C[harles] Williams who is reading it all says the great thing is that its centre is not in strife and war and heroism though they are understood and depicted but in freedom, peace, ordinary life and good liking.
But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: If the Christian myth is indeed central to the story, as has been demonstrated, the answer is clear. It is his willingness to sacrifice himself completely for the good of the world out of love that makes Frodo similar to Christ.
Frodo knew taking the Ring to Mordor was almost certain to lead to his own death. More than that, Frodo knew that the quest could very well lead to the destruction of his mind and soul—with the pathetic and repulsive figure of Gollum, hopelessly enslaved to the Ring, constantly before him, he could hardly help knowing it. When Sam offered to help him bear its growing weight, Frodo reacted with uncharacteristic anger: I am almost in its power now.
Unlike Christ, Frodo fails, and yet the impossible task is accomplished, both in spite of him and because of him—because of the Christ-like love and pity he had shown toward others. His mercy toward Gollum, sparing his life on more than one occasion, ensured his own salvation and the success of his quest.
This is a reference to the scene in The Two Towers where Gollum, watching Frodo asleep, almost repents and changes until angered by some harsh words from Sam, who thinks Gollum is trying to hurt Frodo.
This is where we see the problem of the will resolved. Gandalf did suggest that Frodo stop at The Prancing Pony if he meant to head that way, but he did not tell the hobbits that he would actually meet them there.
A pre-arranged meeting with Gandalf gives Frodo are more pressing for leaving Hobbiton, as well as a more definitive direction to set out in, especially with the Crickhollow sequences eliminated. This change is an invention of the scriptwriters and does not represent Tolkien's work. A Glimpse of Gildor "Sam! As Frodo and Sam journey to Bree, they briefly spy a group of departing elves, who appear as a shimmer through the trees. The two hobbits spend the evening with Gildor and his company of elves.
A more extensive encounter with Gildor would not reveal enough new story information to justify the film time. The Gildor encounter is important because it introduces the audience to Elves. Radagast The Absent "I don't have any answers. I must see the head of my order. He is both wise and powerful. Trust me Frodo, he'll know what to do. An unnecessary scene and character is eliminated.
Gandalf's capture by Saruman is shown in "real-time. Gandalf merely discusses it afterwards at the Council of Elrond. According to screenwriter Philippa Boyens, "Film allows us to be a fly on the wall and to observe these two powerful wizards.
The script would require additional dialog written by the scriptwriters rather than by Tolkien. Wizard Duel "You… have elected… the way of… pain! Saruman captures Gandalf by fighting a "wizard duel" involving telekinesis, lightning, and Gandalf being slammed against the wall. No such battle is mentioned prior to Saruman imprisoning Gandalf. Presumably this to add more action to the first half of the film, as well as to let the audience see for themselves what a formidable threat Saruman represents.
A "wizard duel" smacks of cheesy fantasy films and misrepresents Tolkien's work. As Frodo and Sam leave the Shire, they run into Merry and Pippin, who have stolen carrots and vegetables and are being chased by Farmer Maggot. The two vegetable thieves decide to join up with Frodo and Sam as a way of escaping Maggot's wrath.
Frodo, Sam and Pippin leave the Shire together, while Merry rides off in a wagon to set up Frodo's home in Crickhollow. The three hobbits who are walking to Hobbiton do stop at Farmer Maggot's farm along the way, who welcomes them and treats them to a meal. Farmer Maggot is known for growing mushrooms, which Frodo, while a young boy, stole from him.
No mention is made of other hobbits stealing any of Maggot's crops. Merry does not rejoin with the other three hobbits until Farmer Maggot drives them to the ferry, after their encounter with a Black Rider.
Perhaps this is to better acquaint the audience with their characters early on in the films. But Pippin's like, Hi, how are ya? That intrigues me about the Hobbits--their ability to just let the world wash over them. This change is an invention of the scriptwriters and misrepresents Merry and Pippin's characters.
Hobbits Fall Off Cliff "What?! That was just a detour, a shortcut. The hobbits tumble from a cliff, laughing, during their walk to Bree. After landing, one hobbit says, "I think I've broken something" -- and the pulls out a broken carrot.
The hobbits stop to admire some mushrooms when Frodo notices something on the path ahead and tells them to go into hiding. A Black Rider then makes an appearance. The hobbits are simply walking down the road when they hear a rider approaching and decide to hide. A scary scene can be more effective when it is preceded by a humorous moment. This is an invention of the scriptwriters and does not represent Tolkien's work.
The Black Riders chase the hobbits to Buckleberry Ferry. Frodo jumps onto the ferry just before the Black Riders overtake them, and the Black Riders travel many miles to the next bridge to catch up with the hobbits. Frodo, Sam and Pippin see a single Black Rider standing next to his horse high up on a bank of the Brandywine River before reaching Maggot's farm.
Farmer Maggot drives the three hobbits to the ferry, and along the way meet up with Merry. When they cross the ferry, they do see a dark figure on the shore, but it does not pursue them. Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow! The hobbits journey to Crickhollow, the Old Forest including the meeting with Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and the Barrow Downs including the encounter with the Barrow-wights is eliminated.
Several chapters are devoted to these encounters. According to Peter Jackson, "The main reason is not just time or pace, but one of simple narrative focus It simply doesn't give us any vital new information. A very simplest rule of thumb that I use in movie storytelling is to try and further the story with each new scene.
The adventures in the Old Forest demonstrate how dangerous the world outside the Shire is for the hobbits. Tom Bombadil demonstrates that the Ring has its limitations, provides a lot of historical background information and, and, according to Tolkien himself, is a necessary enigmatic element. The Barrow-wight chapter is one of the story's scariest and provides Merry with the sword he later uses to kill the Witch-King. However, Michael Martinez informs me that Bombadil was included in the first BBC radio adaptation and was added to the tape distribution of the second adaptation.
It was a Dark and Stormy Bree "Belch. The hobbits arrive in Bree on a rainy night and find the town to have a frighteningly gothic feel. It was not raining when the hobbits arrive; in fact, Merry goes out for a walk later in the evening. While Sam is intimidated by the two- and three-storied buildings, the Prancing Pony is described in the text as being a pleasant-looking house, with Merry saying that he suspects its home-like enough inside.
The rain makes Bree a more frightening place for the Hobbits and helps Strider to come across as suspicious and "foul" as he is described in the text.
Butterbur and Gandalf are friends. Once the hobbits go into their rooms, Butterbur gives them a letter from Gandalf that he forgot to mail.
In the letter, Gandalf tells the hobbits to meet him in Bree, and if he's not there, they can trust a friend of his named Aragorn aka Strider. The letter would have involved too much exposition and business. Without the letter, it is unclear why the hobbits so easily trusted Strider. When Pippin reveals to the other patrons at the Prancing Pony's bar that Frodo's real last name is "Baggins," Frodo rushes across the room to stop Pippin from saying more, but he trips and falls backward. The Ring flies up into the air, and as he tries to catch it, it slips onto his finger.
As Pippin is relating the story of Bilbo's birthday party to the other patrons, Frodo interrupts him by jumping atop a table and singing a song. During one enthusiastic leap as he sings "The Cow Jumped Over The Moon," he falls to the floor, and the Ring slips onto the finger that he had in his pocket. This change is a much quicker way of relating Frodo's mishap.
Strider drags Frodo into the hobbits' room at The Prancing Pony to chastise him for putting on the Ring in the common-room. Strider chastises him in a quiet corner of the common-room first before they go to the hobbit's room.
At no point does Strider grab Frodo. It also serves add more dramatic tension to the scene. Strider Carries a Common Sword "Are you frightened?
Strider is armed with an ordinary sword, which he uses for swordfighting. Strider carried the shards of Narsil with him at all times. He pulls out his broken sword at The Prancing Pony to demonstrate to Sam that he is not a threat, and it is evidence that he is the real Aragorn. Since the film's version of Aragorn does not wish to be king, he has no motivation for carrying the heirloom with him. And it makes the Ranger that would be king truly undergo a transformation into his regal incarnation.
Narsil was an important symbol of both Aragorn's past and destiny, and he would have kept it with him at all times. Also, the original scene of Strider unsheathing the broken Narsil at The Prancing Pony as Tolkien wrote it was suspenseful, epic and poignant.
Or I'll have you, Longshanks! When the other three hobbits burst into Strider's room, Sam raises his fists to Strider.
Merry was outside taking a walk and having an encounter with a Black Rider when Strider first appeared in the hobbits' room. Sam was never described as raising his firsts to Strider. Sam's "dukes" are a visual way to increase the dramatic tension of the scene, while Merry's encounter with the Ringwraith did not merit the screen time necessary to support it.
Looking through the window of Strider's room at The Prancing Pony, he and the hobbits witness the Black Riders entering their vacated room during the night. Our heroes see only the aftermath of the attempted attack after waking up the next morning.
Strider points out that the Black Riders would not attack the inn, so the would-be attacker may have actually been Bill Ferny and his accomplices. The trick of making the audience think that the Black Riders are about to murder the hobbits will make them seem more frightening. Strider gives the hobbits Elvish swords at Bree. Merry later uses his blade to stab the Witch-King at the Battle of the Pelennor fields.
With the Barrow wight sequence eliminated, the hobbits need another way to get their weapons. Where did Strider get the Elvish swords from? Did he carry four swords all the way from Rivendell?
The Dunedain kingdom of Arnor was threatened by the Witch-king. Why would the spell be on an Elvish blade? The hobbits stand close together and hold up their own swords in defense. The attack came at a down further down the hill. Presumably, all the action is kept at Weathertop in the interests of time compression. Similarly, if Merry and Pippin threw themselves down in fear, they would come across as too cowardly.
The fight stops when Frodo puts on the Ring and the Witch-King stabs him.