Happy Hobbit Day! (And Why Frodo Baggins is My Fav)
If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm sorry to say you don't know me very well.
Here's a hint...
|that is the face of an angel if i ever saw one|
It's September 22nd, the day LotR fans the world over celebrate the birthdays of the MC's in two of the most pivotal books of the 20th century: Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings respectively). If you're not a crazy LotR lunatic like myself, you probably weren't aware. That's okay, I forgive you.
But I mean, come on guys, it's an excuse to re-watch LotR for the 10003030300222777th time and eat cake and defend Frodo from the haters because he is a precious cinnamon roll, too good, too pure for this world.*
Now, as much as I enjoy and appreciate Bilbo Baggins - he is the greatest eccentric uncle ever - I have a very special place in my heart for his nephew, Frodo.** I was first sucked into the beautiful black hole of fandom back when I was about 13. I watched The Fellowship of the Ring with some fellow nerd friends and, like a crack addict, I was hooked. I read the books, finished the movies. Read the books again. Watched the movies again. Basically I became a LotR-psycho.
*That's probably not still a relevant meme but whatevs.
**And no, it's NOT just because Elijah Wood has the window to the universe trapped in his gorgeous eyeballs, good grief.
Frodo pretty much immediately became my Ultimate Favorite Character Ever upon first viewing, almost like love at first sight except not actually because DESPITE the beauty of Elijah Wood's ethereal face, my love for Frodo is very very far from romantic. Frodo is not a romantic character, at least, not in that sense of the word. He is brave, selfless, honorable and kind, but he is far from the contemporary view of a romantic. Frodo is one of few characters I could never peg in a romantic relationship. It's just...not part of him, y'know? He's a person who exists more than that, it's a piece that could just never rest easily in him. I think that's some of what sets him apart for me.
Another thing I have always been drawn to about Frodo is how Tolkien describes him throughout the series. There's just something about him that is so different than other hobbits, he's often said to be "more elvish" than the others. Just take a look at some of the things Tolkien said about him:
“And here he was, a little halfling from the Shire, a simple hobbit of the quiet countryside, expected to find a way where the great ones could not go, or dared not go. It was an evil fate.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
“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.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
“Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiseling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: "I love him. He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
“He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
That last one is my favorite. I think it describes Frodo absolutely perfectly. Honestly, I have a hard time describing what exactly I see in this character. I think maybe there's a lot of myself reflected in him, the sense of feeling like there's more I should be striving for than just what's right in front of me perhaps? It's hard to pinpoint. All I know is that Frodo represents a part of my soul in a tangible, personable way that I have not experienced with any other character. This is what I believe really attracts me to him.
A lot of people like to hate on Frodo. This, as you can probably imagine, rankles me a bit.* I've heard various different stupid things said about him: "whiny, useless, not special, etc." The absolute worst is when people put him down to lift up his companion, Sam. Now, don't get me wrong, Sam is a fantastic character, who was totally a hero and Frodo definitely needed and relied on him, but do I think that takes away from Frodo as a character, or makes Sam the hero in his place? DEFINITELY not. They were both heroes, they both needed the other. But it was Frodo that bore the burden of the Ring, and Frodo alone.
*Or like, a heck ton of a lot. Fight me, Frodo-haters.
I've never personally been able to convey a proper defense of Frodo's characterization, but I have read plenty from other Frodo-lovers like myself. Below I have included a screenshot of what I think is one of the best ones I've come across. Please read it, enjoy it, and maybe it will help you understand just what I see in this beautiful character, Frodo Baggins.
Well, now that I've spammed you with my Frodo-love and wished you a Happy Hobbit Day! you should probably be logging off to make yourself a cake and go re-watch/re-read your favorite parts of the LotR trilogy. That's just the proper thing to do on a celebratory day like today, amirite? Run along, young hobbit, enjoy this momentous occasion!
And don't forget to leave a comment! Are you a LotR junkie like me? Who's your favorite character from the trilogy? Or do you have an entirely different fictional character who inspires you like Frodo does me? Let's talk!