Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

Keisha Castle Hughes would have made such a great 'young Frodo'...

The weekend before last, I took our daughter to go visit an old friend of mine. What would we do, we wondered, after my daughter had vanquished us at Crazy Eights and Monopoly?

Why, we would rent a film of course. But, horrors! -- her player was broken!

We flipped through the TV listings. Lo, there was listed on public television a showing of Whale Rider! Had she ever seen it? No. Wonderful! We all watched it (only she had never seen it before).

On this second viewing, I thought Whale Rider was even better than I had the first time around. And Keisha Castle Hughe's performance seemed even more exquisite, too. What I most thought about during the viewing, was what a GREAT "young Frodo" she would have made! (Except that she's a girl, of course.)

I was thinking of Frodo at about the time he moved to Bilbo's. That would have been in 1389 S.R. That would make him a hobbity 21. If a hobbit's 33 (coming of age) equals a human's 21, then, let's see.... I am guessing Frodo, at the time he went to live at Bag End, would have been about a human's 14 years -- which would be close to Hughes as she appeared in Whale Rider. (She looks more like 12 to 13 to me than 14.)

I scrounged up some shots off Google images, to better contemplate her in the role of "Thirteen Year-old Frodo Baggins"....

Looking at the shot below, I pictured a Frodo about to leave Brandy Hall: although I think he would be anticipating the move to his colourful's cousin's positively, I imagine him as wistful to leave the place where he grew up. (I suppose I should note that in my imagined life of Frodo, although he would have missed his parents, Frodo actually had enjoyed his life at the Hall; it wasn't the hell it is in some fanfics; if it had been, where would such a lovely, well-adjusted hobbit as Merry have come from?)

I think this must be a publicity still, but it shows the wistful mood I am talking about:

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Here's what looks like the same shot, reversed, and differently coloured (the camera person must have loved this pose of KCH). The colours are so warm and rich. It's gorgeous in its original image, just HUGE, with very high resolution.

I think of this as thirteen-year old Frodo, dreaming by the light of Bag End's hearth:

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Here's one from a poster, obviously digitally altered from the previous shots, which gives a feeling of the "blue Frodo" many of us so cherish from his LothLorien scenes in FotR. I think it's immensely evocative. What mood! What nuance! What a great sense of foreshadowing of the Grey Havens:

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And just look at this one, too. As it demonstrates, not only Elijah Wood as Frodo had mastered the "broken-hearted-but-enduring-trembling-lower-lip" look:

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Here are two more shots, screencaps from the film, which I think offer glimpses into the sorts of faces and moods I imagine for such a Frodo, on the cusp, just entering his 'tweens:

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What a face she had...! Or "has" -- does anyone know what Hughes has been doing since? I haven't kept up at all.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share this chance to pore over this face and dream of "pre-quels" that might have been.

~ Mechtild
Tags: films, frodo as character

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