Note: I apologize that this may take some viewers for ever to download since there are twenty-nine caps, but I just couldn’t bear to split them up into two posts. They belong together.
From The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens":
Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin and last of all Sam and Frodo went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
~ Frodo’s smile; RotK, full-screen version of the theatrical release:
There is not a part of the three LotR films that makes me weep more than this moment. No matter how many times I have seen it, when Frodo turns and smiles, I blubber. In theatres, it took all my strength not to sob outloud -- huge, heaving sobs -- my hands clenched together against my chest as if I could keep my heart intact by sheer pressure.
The scene kills me because I love him and he is leaving. But the scene also kills me because Frodo will be healed where he is going. As great as is my feeling of loss, the joy that surges up inside me is just as great. I am killed by grief and joy together, delivered in one fell thrust to the heart -- by a smile.
In this sequence, Frodo's smile is so beautiful -- as if joy were spreading across his face like dawn until his cheeks are tinged with rose, the surface of his skin once again fresh and translucent -- just as they were before the Ring -- I cannot bear it without breaking down. In that smile it seems as though I see Frodo’s actual soul, so long shuttered and languishing in shadow, open and unfurl like new petals: revealing a heart of light.
Looking at him smile in this scene is like watching two doors just beginning to part in a dimly-lit room. The shafts of light that pierce the dark are only a sign of the blaze within. I am reminded of those pictures on old-fashioned prayer cards that show rays of light streaming from the emblem of the Sacred Heart -- or the rays of pure light that stream from Gandalf’s upraised palm as he rides to Faramir's rescue across the fields of the Pelennor (book version).
Anyway, I know I am not the only one who needs a towel when this scene concludes.
(But not all tears are an evil.)
Previous screencap entry, “At the Grey Havens” (Frodo farewells Merry and Pippin) HERE.
Next entry ("Sam Grieves By the Shore" ~ caps from FotR, "Not So Easily Mended" by jan-u-wine) HERE.
Listing of all Frodo Screencap entries HERE.