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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The Dead Marshes, Pt. 1: “So Bright, So Beautiful…” plus poem by jan-u-wine….

Posted on 2007.04.23 at 11:25


ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-24 09:59 (UTC) (Link)

Part 3 of - - - 4 !

So here I am now, right in the middle of the Dead Marshes ( *imaginary squelching sounds* ;o) )

And we are are witnessing a rather intimate moment : Frodo caressing the Ring.

Jan wrote : Frodo, caught making "love" to the Ring

You wrote : He holds it delicately on his palm and looks at it with tender regard, touching it softly, tentatively — as if he were courting it, wooing it. I think Frodo’s sudden zeal for secrecy is not prompted by what he has been doing, precisely, but by what he has been feeling.

Yes, I agree with both descriptions : he's drawn to it, he's attracted by it. He strokes it in reverence. He's in awe, he almost doesn't dare to touch it. It's like he's put it on a pedestal, like it's so high above him, that he counts himself lucky to be chosen as the ring-bearer, to have the privilege of caring for it. It's the most desirable thing in the world.

I seem to remember either Peter Jackson or Elijah Wood likening it to a heroin addiction, and stroking the ring is a real high for Frodo. At the same time, in the same way like the heroin addict, Frodo knows what he's doing is wrong. That he should resist the lure of the ring. That's why he resolves to secrecy, to give in to his craving only when he thinks he can't be observed doing it.

So he's not only shocked to find he has been observed, but especially by whom he has been observed !

He's come to see Gollum as a kind of mirror image to himself.

That film-Frodo is aware of and uneasy about his feelings for the Ring (heightened in the film) is implied in the TTT scene in Ithilien, when Gollum is frolicking in the icy stream. Frodo has been telling Sam he wants to think Gollum can “come back”, that he can be saved. “You can’t save him, Mr. Frodo,” Sam replies flatly. Frodo, stung, jumps all over Sam.

Yes, he sees Gollum as a warning, as an example of what might become of himself, the more he should give in to the Ring. I will probably comment more on this aspect in other parts of your "Dead Marshes" essay.

I feel a bit uneasy explaining Frodo's behaviour, his moral background, which makes him see that what he's immersing himself in is wrongful, despicable, simply by him being a gentle-hobbit. I think though Tolkien wrote the story drawing on existing class distinctions, he made it clear, that Frodo and Sam overcome these distinctions in many aspects, and that, in the end, Sam proves to be essential for the success of the quest, and doesn't act any less heroic or moral than the gentle-hobbit in this story.

Frodo is what he is because he's Frodo, not because he is one class above the others. Frodo had been orphaned at the age of 12 and lived the difficult life of an outsider who depended on the Brandybucks for support. Before Bilbo "adopted" him, he never had the typical upbringing of a gentle-hobbit. Bilbo's education led to a world-open, tolerant, compassionate hobbit, who drew as much on Elvish ethical values as on typical Hobbit values. - I digress, but I strongly feel, that Frodo isn't the sort of person he is, just because he is "one of our betters", as Sam's gaffer would say.


[to be continued]
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