Sunday, August 3, 2014

In Defense of Frodo

So recently I was at a summer camp, and while there I was talking with a group of girls, and we got into the subject of The Lord of the Rings, one of my favorite subjects.  While on this subject, one of the girls started gushing about Sam in a manner such as the following: 

I'd like to suggest that he does, at least in the fan world
"Sam is sooooo awesome!  I love Sam so much, he is so cool, he is the best character in LotR!"  etc.  Then she moves on to Sam's counterpart, Frodo: "Frodo on the other hand is soooooo annoying, he's all greedy, and mean to Sam, and an educated snob!!  He's always acting above Sam!!

Now hold on.  I like Sam and Frodo, they are both really cool.  For different reasons.  Which is as it should be.  Now I am not going to point out Sam's character flaws in this post, I shall devote a small post to that later.  But for now:

In Defense of Frodo:
First things first:  Frodo is NOT greedy.  If by 'greedy' you are referring to his being possessive of the Ring, possessive is not the same as greedy.  This possessiveness is also not part of Frodo, it comes as a side effect of The Ring.  Anyone can become affected in this way by it, including but not limited to Boromir, Gollum/Smeagol, Bilbo, oh, and Sam was definitely hesitant before he gave the Ring back to Frodo after he rescued him from the Orc tower.

Second:  Frodo is NOT mean to Sam.  He may be a bit snappish towards the end of the quest, but again, that's a side effect of The Ring.

When does Frodo act like a snob?  Is this part of the whole 'he's mean and greedy' thing?  Because we already debunked that.  He also doesn't act above Sam.  Sam is Frodo's closest friend!  It's also not Frodo's fault that he has an opportunity to be more educated than Sam.  Also, Sam isn't as not educated as some might think.  In the books it mentions Sam spending lots of time with Bilbo and listening to him.  Don't you think he might've learned something from him?

Now that I have done my best at justifying Frodo, I'm now going to justify all those fanpeople who love Sam and strongly dislike Frodo.

In Defense of All Those Who Love Sam and Dislike Frodo:
This is perfectly normal for people to love Sam.  That's kind of the way that Tolkien set it up.  Sam is the character whom Tolkien made to be most similar to the average Joe.  He has regular person characteristics, and reacts to most situations in the same ways that a regular person would.  The real thing is, that despite the fact that Sam is similar to a regular person, he does do many quite heroic things, including, but not limited to, carrying Frodo (literally and mentally), providing for the material needs of himself and Frodo, going off with Frodo when Frodo was going to go alone, saving the Shire, helping to defend Frodo from Gollum, rescuing Frodo from an orc tower, taking on a gigantic spider that I have nightmares about (sorry diehard Sam fans, he didn't ever actually kill it), and etc.  This heroicness while still being ordinary is what appeals to so many people who read The Lord of the Rings. 

Frodo is not like this, because he had to be one of the higher characters.  It was a consequence of his choosing to carry the Ring.  Frodo had to become more than an ordinary person, because of his more than ordinary burden.  Frodo says to Sam, "We set out to save the Shire, and it has been saved.  But not for me."  That reflects the fact that Frodo has grown since his quest, and he has been hurt.  The Shire can no longer hold Frodo, he is not at peace there, so he has to go across the sea into the Undying Lands.  He will eventually die there, by the way, just because the Undying Lands are undying doesn't mean that Frodo won't die.

I think that Frodo is a tragic character, who had the right to be honored, and should have been mourned.  I honestly feel sorry for Frodo.  I still like Sam, I think he's great example of courage in the ordinary person, but just because you like Sam doesn't mean you should bash on Frodo.  In fact, you should probably love Frodo just as much as Sam did.  After all, if it wasn't for his love for Frodo, Sam wouldn't have become the hero that he is.


    Oh, all caps does not become me, I am afraid. XD
    I like Frodo, though I relate a lot more to Sam because like you said. He's ordinary, but he's able to be strong and heroic despite that normal-ness. Though so far as relating to characters go, I probably relate to Boromir the most because I'd probably give into the ring. :P
    Gandalf is my super-most-favorite character, though.
    Sorry for the rant! It seems that the mere mention of LOTR is enough to send me sputtering off! O_o
    Do you mind if I link to this post on my blog? I think it'd do a lot of LOTR fans some good.

    1. XD The same thing happens to me as well, so don't feel alone.
      Sure, and if you have anything to add, please go ahead!

  2. Hi! I'm here because I followed the link on Monica's blog :-) I am firmly pro-Sam -- he's my second-favorite character (my heart belongs to Boromir). The first time I read the books, I was astonished over and over by how consistently wonderful Sam was, and how humble. He never said, "Hey, you know, if it wasn't for me, you'd totally have starved by now." He never asked for thanks or even thought he needed them. As he saw it, he was just doing his job. Amazing.

    I do find Frodo a bit whiny, even before the ring starts to take hold of him. But I just did a read-along of the whole trilogy on my blog, and during it, another blogger pointed out that Frodo is basically a picture of an ordinary, sinful human being. He struggles. He wishes he didn't have to do the job he's chosen/been assigned. He stumbles. He needs help. In the end, he can't actually do what he set out to do himself. And that really opened my eyes and made me like him a lot better. Maybe the reason I find Frodo whiny and don't like him much is because I recognize a lot of myself in him? Whereas Sam is what I aspire to be like.

    1. Hiya! Thanks for visiting, and for the additional insight on Frodo :) I think you're right, we all come across characters who we find are more like ourselves in a bad way, and yeah, we do tend to dislike those characters.


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