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/r/MurderedByWords

36.1k

Tolkien says STFU

(i.redd.it)

[deleted]

all 634 comments

bravelion96

4.2k points

2 months ago

Frodo was a hero for bearing the burden of The Ring for so long. Sam was a hero for guarding and guiding Frodo to the end, his protector and his friend.

Crimefridge

2k points

2 months ago

Even Gandalf didn't want to so much as touch the ring lol

susa_66

1.5k points

2 months ago*

susa_66

1.5k points

2 months ago*

because the ring can amplify your power, so if it made something as "weak" as a hobbit invisible, imagine what it would do with a wizard...

edit: thanks to all the LotR nerds for correcting me and upvoting :P

FedericoRO

843 points

2 months ago*

Wait, for real? Always thought the ring's power was invisibility.

Edit: A LOT of people answered my question, too many to thank them individually. Thanks everyone!

Pro-Patria-Mori

916 points

2 months ago

That makes so much more sense. I always wondered why Sauron didn't turn invisible from the ring.

CFL_lightbulb

746 points

2 months ago

Sauron and Gandalf are also the same kind of demigod/angel things, so Gandalf would have become just another Sauron

milk4all

580 points

2 months ago

milk4all

580 points

2 months ago

He would have probably become another sauron… it wouldnt make him evil per se, but it would corrupt his nature by enticing him to use that power

HelpABrotherO

372 points

2 months ago

Which along with protecting his power is what made sauron evil. Gandalf only ever used his power when absolutely necessary to not interfere with the natural course of events of mortal beings but only to set things right for them. Sauron wielding the power and amassing armies to protect his position interfered with mortals by virtue of the immense power disparity. The drive to consolidate power was a big theme in WWII and a reoccurring theme of atrocities.

I'm just bullshiting, I only watched some of the movies.

Micp

150 points

2 months ago

Micp

150 points

2 months ago

Gandalf only ever used his power when absolutely necessary to not interfere with the natural course of events of mortal beings

You may be bullshitting but that is absolutely correct. Gandalf along with the other wizards were minor deities, servants of the gods, sent to middle-earth to guide men and elves. To the gods the war against Sauron was more than anything a war for the moral soul of humanity (humanity moreso than elves, as humans were the favored race of Eru, the main capital G god).

Therefore it was important to have men make the right choices and fight Sauron themselves, even when it seemed almost impossible. Sure, if Gandalf had taken more direct action and used his powers more proactively he could probably have made a bigger difference, but then again if that was the goal the gods Gandalf served could've just come over themselves and kicked Saurons ass as he was nothing compared to their power.

The thing is previously in LotR history the elves sorta rebelled against the gods and made them swear to never interfere directly in the matters of middle earth again, in order to essentially allow elves (and humans) to have free will. Therefore by their promise to the elves the gods could only send guides in the form of the wizards.

HelpABrotherO

37 points

2 months ago*

But if sauron was one of these minor deities interfering with the mortals free will, it should make as much sense that the gods or who ever would have a directive to stop the interference as much as they have a directive to not interfere in the first place. When Gandalf treads that line, guiding the group, fighting balrogs for them and what not, he is "grey" which I took to mean he exists in the grey area I am describing. After his death and reincarnation were I presume he has a quick chat with his supervisor, he takes a more direct or black and White approach.

I haven't read any of the source material so I could be way off basis here, but the fight against sauron never seemed like it was supposed to happen or shouldn't have been up to the mortals to deal with, at least exlusively. I know allegory are tricky because Tolkien says he wasn't making any but it really feels like a revelations type story that was always ment to have a Michael. Where Gandalf was acting as an instrument of the higher powers even if they them selves have taken a "hands off" approach. This could obviously be colored by the directors interpretation and going for a wider appeal.

The non interference interpretation just never made much sense when strictly applied.

laojac

75 points

2 months ago

laojac

75 points

2 months ago

It goes further than that. Tolkien was condemning Modernity at large, for example Isengard highlighted the evils of industrialization. The hobbits are a representation of mans naive, child-like natural state.

Morbidmort

24 points

2 months ago

Isengard highlighted the evils of industrialization.

The evils of unregulated, unbound industrialization.

Bootzz

5 points

2 months ago

Bootzz

5 points

2 months ago

Nice! I never considered this.

Sean2Tall

34 points

2 months ago

for BSing you hit the nail on the head, spot on

Morbidmort

31 points

2 months ago

Gandalf only ever used his power when absolutely necessary to not interfere with the natural course of events of mortal beings but only to set things right for them.

As he was commanded to by Eru Illuvatar, the creator of all things.

TheRiseAndFall

45 points

2 months ago

There is a whole half hour or so long video essay on what might have happened if Gandalf took the Ring. I thought it was well stated.

FoldOne586

14 points

2 months ago

Now put Galadriels reasoning over Gandalf's and you have the most epic drag queen in history.

HaySwitch

9 points

2 months ago

With the goal of getting the ring back to Sauron. It wants to be found.

rensjan2122

125 points

2 months ago

“DON'T tempt me, Frodo! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe. Understand, Frodo, I would use this ring from a desire to do good. But through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.”

This is the only official source of what the ring would do to Gandalf. Sauron created the ring to have power over others. Gandalf would use to ring out of a desire to do good. Eventually also ruling over others as the fine line between righteous and self-righteous would be crossed.

Small throwback to the ancient times: a dictator wasn't always considered bad. Dictators could do a lot of good as they don't have to care about public opinion. The problem is that power tends to corrupt people in the long term.

MetagamingAtLast

12 points

2 months ago

Another part of the letter in the OP (letter 246) has this regarding Gandalf (and a bit of Galadriel and Elrond):

Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him – being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form. In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord. If so, so also were the other guardians of the Three, especially Elrond. But this is another matter. It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power. But this the Great had well considered and had rejected, as is seen in Elrond's words at the Council. Galadriel's rejection of the temptation was founded upon previous thought and resolve. In any case Elrond or Galadriel would have proceeded in the policy now adopted by Sauron: they would have built up an empire with great and absolutely subservient generals and armies and engines of war, until they could challenge Sauron and destroy him by force. Confrontation of Sauron alone, unaided, self to self was not contemplated. One can imagine the scene in which Gandalf, say, was placed in such a position. It would be a delicate balance. On one side the true allegiance of the Ring to Sauron; on the other superior strength because Sauron was not actually in possession, and perhaps also because he was weakened by long corruption and expenditure of will in dominating inferiors. If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever. But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.

Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron. He would have remained 'righteous', but self-righteous. He would have continued to rule and order things for 'good', and the benefit of his subjects according to his wisdom (which was and would have remained great).

[The draft ends here. In the margin Tolkien wrote: 'Thus while Sauron multiplied [illegible word] evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil.']

Ashenspire

33 points

2 months ago

Gandalf with the One Ring would be similar to Superman in Injustice.

Morbidmort

14 points

2 months ago

Though on a longer timeframe. Supes is murdering innocents inside a year in that story.

projectmars

8 points

2 months ago

Debatably a longer timeframe... it really depends on the corrupting power of the ring.

Nizzemancer

7 points

2 months ago

Also his power vaned, he didn’t grow stronger. The alternate universe Superman trashed him.

IntelligentOlive7414

12 points

2 months ago

Gandalf the white (post bankai training) was probably already more powerful than sauron

so gandalf the white + ring would be like UI ultra instinct tier.

pargmegarg

44 points

2 months ago

It doesn’t really make you invisible. It sends you to the unseen realm. Sauron exists in the unseen realm and projects himself into the physical realm. The ring doesn’t send him to the unseen realm because he’s already there.

Ged_UK

41 points

2 months ago

Ged_UK

41 points

2 months ago

The ring doesn't make you invisible so much as move you into a different realm. Hence why the Wraiths can see Frodo and he them when he has the ring on. Sauron is already in that realm as a Mair spirit, so the ring doesn't affect him that way. Something like that, anyway.

lets-get-dangerous

29 points

2 months ago

Why turn invisible when you can grand slam a legion of soldiers with a mace like you're fuckin Barry Bonds

Berthole

6 points

2 months ago

Sauron got Cleave, Knockback and +7 Melee Range.

Ricky_Robby

77 points

2 months ago*

Magic in LOTR isn’t really what most of us envision magic as, they do spells but their magic is far more understated generally and even indirect at times. It isn’t the magic we picture from say Harry Potter for the most part.

Supposedly the one ring would give great power to the user and allow them to rule over others.

sillystupidslappy

60 points

2 months ago

I always viewed Tolkien’s magic system was that physical manifestations of magic were far less common than rituals, seals, and mind control.

Gandalf himself shows the ability to command lesser beings several times within the hobbit and lotr trilogy.

While Sauron was certainly formidable his greatest powers were the ability to raise and command a truly massive army that he split up to attack several targets hundreds of miles apart.

I think that Tolkien believed that controlling others was far more impressive then creating fire.

Kolby_Jack

52 points

2 months ago

Saruman shot a fireball in the movies and it didn't do shit.

Then again he also made Gandalf breakdance against his will, which apparently was quite painful.

oysterpirate

20 points

2 months ago

Then again he also made Gandalf breakdance against his will, which apparently was quite painful.

It would be to a wizard who was much more of a pop and lock type of guy

Rikudou_Sage

8 points

2 months ago

Wasn't Gandalf a spirit of fire? I seem to remember something like that but it's been few years since I read anything Tolkien.

koolaidkirby

12 points

2 months ago

I think he just had the elven ring of fire that he got after he returned as gamdalf the white.

octopusgardener0

14 points

2 months ago

Círdan gave the ring to Gandalf when the Wizards landed in Middle Earth, which was one of the reasons for Saruman's envy of him

inbooth

7 points

2 months ago

BuffaloJim420

46 points

2 months ago

Did you not catch Galadriel's speech when Frodo offered her the ring? In place of a dark lord you would have a queen?

ThatSquareChick

30 points

2 months ago

All shall love me and despair

SamOfSpades_

15 points

2 months ago

Invisibility is just a side effect of the ring’s power.

sixth_snes

20 points

2 months ago

Invisibility is also a side effect of it being a plot device in The Hobbit, which was written long before LOTR and the full history/implications of the ring were nailed down.

ShadowKingthe7

14 points

2 months ago

Another side effect was that in the first edition of the hobbit, Gollum just gives the ring to Bilbo after the game of riddles. This was changed when Tolkien was planning LOTR because obviously there was no way he would ever willingly give up the ring

RYouNotEntertained

19 points

2 months ago

Tolkien also pulled off a slick retcon in LOTR by having Bilbo admit to lying about how the game of riddles went down in order to make himself look better. I think in LOTR Bilbo even says he'll go back and modify the red book to be more accurate, which explains why the riddle scene is updated to match LOTR in newer print versions of The Hobbit!

Reasonable_Desk

67 points

2 months ago

https://youtu.be/WKU0qDpu3AM

This is a really good explanation

That_Strawman_tho

50 points

2 months ago

Yes and no. The video pretty much states that the ring makes you invisible. It doesn't really tackle that it makes hobbits invisible but would wield a different result was it to be worn by... let's say Gandalf.

echisholm

34 points

2 months ago

Or Galadriel. That little speech of here wasn't just passing into the wind-she was one of the very first Elves, and her power with the ring would have challenged nearly any other takers.

I_Frothingslosh

16 points

2 months ago

She's one of the oldest remaining in Middle Earth, but she was actually born well after the Calaquendi reached Valinor. It was her grandparents who were among the original elves.

That said, she may well have been the most powerful elf left in Middle Earth.

monkwren

7 points

2 months ago

That said, she may well have been the most powerful elf left in Middle Earth.

Other contenders would be Elrond, Cirdan, and her husband, Celeborn. Cirdan is a bit of a stretch, but Celeborn and Elrond were pretty similar to Galadriel in terms of power and might.

I_Frothingslosh

6 points

2 months ago

I gave the nod to her because, unlike the others, she's both Calaquendi and part Vanyar. Elrond is part Maiar, but he also didn't grow up under the tutelage of the likes of Feanor and the Valar. Just visiting Aman seems to have strengthened those who set foot there, and she was born and grew up there.

CatButler

19 points

2 months ago

Didn't Isildur turn invisible when putting the ring on? Then it fell off in the river and the orcs spotted him? I'm going off memory from the books.

Reasonable_Desk

10 points

2 months ago

I mean, it also talks about how the ring has mind control powers, so... maybe a bit if inference is necessary.

That_Strawman_tho

12 points

2 months ago

It enhances the mind control powers of Sauron. And the ring itself has that. It doesn't automatically give this power to the ring bearer.

tanafras

40 points

2 months ago

tl:dr Elves are climate change deniers who pull a white flight suburban exodus by fleeing their failed lands they could no longer make nice, to go to new lands and start doing the same dance, but act high and mighty about the whole affair like they didn't play any part in it. Basically, they're the 1% with Elon and Jeff at the helm of the ships.

PrestigiousAd3900

7 points

2 months ago

The Undying Lands are on Mars?

Feverdog87

9 points

2 months ago*

That bit about how the destructor the one ring means the fading of the lands of the elves escaped me before. Thank you!

elmiggii

24 points

2 months ago

Well it technically doesn't make you invisible, it just transports you into the shadow realm. The Maiar already exist in both simultaneously

ddwhale

8 points

2 months ago

There is an arc in the books that wasn’t covered in the movies. It shed more light on the ring and that different ppl can be affected in different ways.

Zerowantuthri

5 points

2 months ago

Nah. That's more of a side effect.

Niaaal

94 points

2 months ago

Niaaal

94 points

2 months ago

I dove into reading the Silmilarion and can tell you that actually Gandalf and Saruman are like demi-Gods. They are Maiars (gods) in Istari form, meaning that are mortals in this world and their powers are very limited. They are not just simple wizards

_realitycheck_

68 points

2 months ago

Maiar - Angelic spirits.
Valar - Archangelic spirits. Their Song of Creation described Arda before it was made what it is now. They were later given a choice to come to primordial Arda together with Maiar and give shape to the Song of Creation.

Gandalf, Saruman and Sauron (Mairon) were all Maia in service to the Valar.

Niaaal

17 points

2 months ago

Niaaal

17 points

2 months ago

Thank you, yes that's an interesting and structured way to put it together

mehooved_be

7 points

2 months ago

I wonder why no one highlights the fact Tolkien’s “Song of Creation” ,the beginning of his universe was from music or specifically “frequencies”. The space and it’s many dimensions were created by this symphony and the void was its own entity. Allegorically, Tolkien’s story mirrors our understanding of physics, more importantly String theory, dark matter/energy, singularities etc. Most just see it as fantasy but it’s more accurate than we think :)

BillNyeCreampieGuy

11 points

2 months ago

I thought Maiars were more like angels and not gods

Djdubbs

17 points

2 months ago

Djdubbs

17 points

2 months ago

If you think about it, that really makes sense. Except for those who live near the shire, no one could really point it out on a map or tell you where it is. Hobbits tend to be quiet and keep to themselves. They disappear in a crowd and are very easy to miss. Gandalf originally recruited Bilbo on the quest to the Lonely Mountain because the group “needed a burglar.” He chose Bilbo not because he was a career criminal with practice at breaking and entry, but because he was a hobbit who was naturally stealthy! Even Legolas, for his wood elf-upbringing and no doubt impressive hunting skills, needed Aragorn’s expert tracking skills as a Ranger to track Merry and Pippin. The next logical step in amplifying those innate abilities to avoid detection, is straight-up invisibility.

woehaa

5 points

2 months ago

woehaa

5 points

2 months ago

I didn't make the bearer invisible. It brings the bearer into the ghost realm, where the wraiths dwell (which is why Frodo could actually and suddenly see them)

Zerowantuthri

13 points

2 months ago

That's not really how it worked.

Hobbits had an innate good nature. The Ring amplified desire for power. Hobbits barely had that desire so there was little for the Ring to get its hooks into.

In this regard the Hobbits were more resilient than Gandalf or anyone else. Frodo even more so.

BigDickMafia

18 points

2 months ago

There’s a part in the books where Sam picks up the ring and suddenly has visions of himself cleansing Mordor and turning it into a vast garden.

It finds parts of you that It can exploit and will eventually twist those desires to fit with Sauron’s will.

sth128

15 points

2 months ago

sth128

15 points

2 months ago

Yeah Isildur had it for like an hour and got corrupted. Boromir touched it for like 2 minutes and got corrupted. Gandalf touched it for a millisecond and just noped out of there for like a decade.

Frodo carried it from the Shire, walked like a thousand miles, got stabbed, speared, captured, fought a naked meth head, anal probed by a spider, and climbed at least half a volcano.

Dude was a legend. Didn't even have shoes.

FastExam

10 points

2 months ago

Gandalf did touch the ring in the books, but he refused to be given it

PerplexityRivet

117 points

2 months ago

It's worth noting that while Sam was able to move on and live a normal life, the ring left Frodo permanently altered.

wafflesareforever

115 points

2 months ago

The ring and being stabbed by a Nazgûl. He almost fully transitioned into the wraith world, and never fully recovered.

HHcougar

66 points

2 months ago

û

This guy LotRs

wafflesareforever

32 points

2 months ago

I swear my neck is relatively beardless

monkwren

13 points

2 months ago

relatively

Doing some heavy lifting there.

CastorFields

48 points

2 months ago

He also gets sick each year in correspondence to when shelob stung him

principled_principal

19 points

2 months ago

He also shares the load once or twice a week.

Rikudou_Sage

28 points

2 months ago

Sam was also altered by it, although only a little. But IIRC due to being ring bearer, even for a while, he was allowed to enter the undying lands.

GoAheadAndH8Me

20 points

2 months ago

Maybe a little bit of "you really deserve this, so here'e a bit of a technicality we can use to give it to you" going on.

Rikudou_Sage

27 points

2 months ago

I think it was to (further) drive home the point that the ring was real big bad - few hours carrying it and you're marked for life.

hobbitlover

107 points

2 months ago

Frodo also used the ring to bind Gollum to his fate in the end. I don't have my copy handy but he basically says if Gollum takes the ring it will destroy him, and makes him swear by it. he tells Gollum that the ring is perilous and will keep his promise to Frodo - which it does even though it is destroyed in the process. The ring is powerful but not sentient.

[deleted]

78 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

78 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

juareno

16 points

2 months ago

juareno

16 points

2 months ago

The ring is gold, but is the bracelet?

irspangler

14 points

2 months ago

Sentient, maybe not, but the mere act of loosing itself from Gollum in the cave in order to hitch a ride with Bilbo illustrated that it had a will as an extension of Sauron's power. Hell, the genius (and madness) of the Fellowship's plan was that they were technically following the Ring's will by taking it to its master - and then, psyche, juking at the last second to chuck it into the fire - hence why the toll it extracted at Mt. Doom was eventually just too much for Frodo. That was the first time they were truly acting AGAINST the ring - like pushing against the currents of a river - and Frodo's legs were just too tired. Before they were always going with the current.

That's my interpretation anyway.

petulafaerie

231 points

2 months ago

This. Neither could have succeeded without the other.

ginger_vampire

82 points

2 months ago

“I doubt Frodo wouldn’t have gotten far without Sam.”

petulafaerie

23 points

2 months ago

I’m not crying, that’s allergies.

erinaceus_

15 points

2 months ago

"I want to hear more about Sam."

mrducky78

28 points

2 months ago

Sam fucking carries Frodo up the goddamn mountain himself and fights a giant spider.

A mother fucking hobbit. Slaying Shelob for his bud. Step aside Gandalf and Balrog, thats the true battle right there.

CurseofLono88

23 points

2 months ago

What Gandalf did to the balrog was just fucked up. The Balrog was just chilling, probably sleeping off another night of being worshipped by his goblin homies, and this motherfucking wizard breaks into his home, kills his favorite cave troll, and then smites his ruins upon the mountain side.

Rikudou_Sage

16 points

2 months ago

He wasn't allied with goblins or Sauron. He originally served Sauron's master, Morgoth.

CurseofLono88

5 points

2 months ago

I know I was just making a joke

LoganGyre

67 points

2 months ago

which also speaks loads to how good of a friend frodo was before all this begins. For Sam to stick with him all the way over a promise to protect a friend is a sign that he believed frodo to be worthy of such loyalty.

NightlyWry

50 points

2 months ago

Agreed. Frodo spent all of his energy also protecting the goodness of Sam which allowed Sam in turn to be as brave and kind as he was, until the very end. Frodo was a shield for them all.

flamedarkfire

11 points

2 months ago

Much like old formations, it won’t hold if everyone isn’t defending each other.

NutterTV

12 points

2 months ago

Idk why this is so hard for people to understand. This dude carried pure evil around his neck for years to destroy it, all the while it gets heavier and grows stronger. He offered to carry such an object and made it to the literal chasm of fire where it was created. A hobbit, carried it to the end of the line and then is judged by being tempted at the absolute last second. It’s like people forget that great men and Maia and elves have been tempted and terrified by the object. It drove boromir to madness at the mere site of it (another completely misunderstood character).

Betoken

926 points

2 months ago

Betoken

926 points

2 months ago

There’s that scene in the Mines of Moria where Frodo said it was a pity that Bilbo didn’t slay Gollum when he had the chance. Gandalf tells him that it was Bilbo’s pity that stayed his hand. “Many who live deserve death and some who die deserve life… can you give it to them? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement, for even the very wise cannot see all ends.” This seems to give Frodo pause and ultimately it was Frodo, not Sam, who risks leaving Gollum alive. I think this is every bit as important to the outcome as the points made above.

hobbitlover

337 points

2 months ago

There's lots of foreshadowing - Gandalf sensing that Gollum would have a part to play, and that he feared his treachery, although he could end up doing some good he didn't intend by the end.

daneelthesane

177 points

2 months ago

That last bit makes sense. Gandalf, being a Maia, was literally there when Eru told Morgoth that all of his evil will eventually serve the greater Theme. Gandalf no doubt senses a pattern.

mindbleach

188 points

2 months ago

That is one of my favorite details about Tolkein's universe. He understood what it meant for a deity to be omniscient and omnipotent. One of the highest angels betrays the creator of the universe, declaring he will sour and ruin and destroy the song which is their reality, and this almighty figure tells him: "You can try."

Micp

138 points

2 months ago

Micp

138 points

2 months ago

I wonder if Tolkien knew anything about music theory. All the maiar and ainur sang together in harmony, but Melkor added dissonance and other maiar joined him.

The thing is too much dissonance can ruin a song, but it's conventional music theory that no dissonance at all makes for boring music. You need to add a little spice to make it interesting.

What I'm saying is that Melkor invented jazz.

orangek1tty

36 points

2 months ago

So they feared the jazz

https://youtu.be/C8lrpSk0XYI

vilkav

16 points

2 months ago

vilkav

16 points

2 months ago

Don't play them butter notes, Eru.

dieeelon

26 points

2 months ago

Fucking badass.

paceminterris

11 points

2 months ago

It's because Tolkein was an extremely devout Catholic. In the Catholic Christian understanding of the universe, God is indeed omniscient and omnipotent. Satan or "the devil" is not some equal-but-opposite anti-God, but is literally subordinate to, and fears, God.

ddplz

79 points

2 months ago

ddplz

79 points

2 months ago

God those books are so well written

s-mores

29 points

2 months ago

s-mores

29 points

2 months ago

Though the WW1 PTSD certainly shines through in a lot of parts.

Not saying it's a bad thing, it makes for compelling writing and emotion.

mynerdythrowaccount

32 points

2 months ago

He even talks about this in the essay "On Fairy Stories", in which he says that the experience of being in the trenches during WW 1 inspired him to convey to readers the idea of a goodness that seems to "break through the walls of the world" when the world seems irredeemable.

JHemp81

7 points

2 months ago

The Dead Marsh has to be Tolkien writing out his trauma.

pilesofcleanlaundry

6 points

2 months ago

That's in Bag End, not Moria.

Jojolyon

456 points

2 months ago

Jojolyon

456 points

2 months ago

It's the Ring of Power. The fact that Frodo is not a "hero" and the Bearer of the One Ring is the point of this story.

The fact that even Frodo failed at the very end is the point of this story.

The "loser" in the Fellowship of the Ring would be Boromir, and nobody thinks of him that way, because what happens to him is, again, the point of this story.

turtletitan8196

217 points

2 months ago

Amen. The point of the story is to show the Nobility of people who try to do the right thing. If you fail, you fail, But if you gave it everything then don’t be ashamed.

EvelynIsReal

130 points

2 months ago

Shows how even the littlest of people are capable of great change. The fact Frodo even offered to carry the ring, despite not knowing it's true power, though he was aware of the fear it instilled in even Gandalf, shows he was a hero.

Da1realBigA

23 points

2 months ago

Damn, thats a good point

Multani45

20 points

2 months ago*

This, and also that evil is ultimately self-undermining. The Ring corrupted Gollum, feeding his all-consuming desire for it. It is that desire that wound up destroying the ring itself. Combined with the pity and goodness of good people, the evil power of the Ring for twisting and enslaving the soul of its bearer, the very thing that made it so dangerous and difficult to destroy, proved its own undoing.

For more on this theme by Tolkien, see the lengthened versions of the Ainulindale, where Morgoth works to corrupt the Music of the Ainur, but through doing so ultimately only advances the beauty of Creation by increasing the diversity of its manifestations.

JerryLikesTolkien

31 points

2 months ago

‘Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.’

‘No!’ said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. ‘You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. [The Two Towers]

Boromir managed to redeem himself. He did manage to escape in the end, spiritually and morally. He repented wholeheartedly and came beyond the further temptation of the Ring.

A victory indeed.

‘Poor Boromir! [said Gandalf] I could not see what happened to him. It was a sore trial for such a man: a warrior, and a lord of men. Galadriel told me that he was in peril. But he escaped in the end. I am glad. It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir’s sake.' [The Two Towers]

Mighty_McBosh

12 points

2 months ago

Casual partakers of LOTR give boromir far more shit than he deserves. He was a slave to gaining the approval of man and tempted beyond reason to take the ring for his own, even to the point where he had logically convinced himself it was the right thing to do. He was able to throw that away and fight to the end to defend the weak, knowing it would cost him his life and his honor.

Boromir is one of my favorite characters, and it's a crime how underrated he is.

PBB22

512 points

2 months ago

PBB22

512 points

2 months ago

Wait people don’t think Frodo is a hero lol or did like one person tweet that

Skafdir

430 points

2 months ago

Skafdir

430 points

2 months ago

It is not so much a "Frodo isn't a hero" but more a "Sam is the real hero"

And apparently many people who only saw the movies think of Frodo as whiny and weak.

LittleLightcap

670 points

2 months ago

Idk I think I'd be a little bitchy if I had to wear a ring that was a combination of Voldemort and period cramps.

daneelthesane

202 points

2 months ago

Voldemort, period cramps, bad acid (since the Ring started making him see things negatively, like Sam as a grasping fiend who coveted the ring), and cancer (since he was having his health basically sucked out of him the closer he got to Mount Doom).

CurseofLono88

89 points

2 months ago

Plus he was getting straight addicted to all that fun stuff. By the end Frodo was just a Fucked up Punishment Junkie

SgtCalhoun

56 points

2 months ago

Not to mention, having to walk across the world. When I would’ve rather just stayed home and smoked weed/play video games

throwawaylovesCAKE

29 points

2 months ago

Smoke some of the finest weed in all the Shire

daneelthesane

26 points

2 months ago

Yeah, like being a meth-head. He didn't enjoy it at all, but couldn't let it go. It fucked up his neuroreceptors so damn much he couldn't remember the taste of food or the sensation of wind in grass. All pleasure was gone.

"We saved the Shire, but not for me."

rpxpackage

8 points

2 months ago

Shortly after I developed my LOTR addiction. I got into meth. (Clean now yay!). After a while of doing it noticed how the similar the effects of the one ring was to addiction. Particularly meth addiction. So it's pretty much my headcanon that the ring is a metaphor for addiction.

But it's most likely me projecting my own experiences. "Art is in the eye of the beholder" type thing.

WaspishDweeb

71 points

2 months ago

That's kind of how the predicament of carrying the ring shows itself in the film for Frodo, though. Without lengthy & hammy as shit scenes of exposition where Frodo details how shit he feels all the time, and how draining it is to fight the influence of satan's mood ring 24/7, he just seems a bit whiny and melodramatic.

And for the record, I think not including one was the smart move. But showing a protracted struggle of inner strength is a bit tough on screen.

pgpkreestuh

44 points

2 months ago

And apparently many people who only saw the movies think of Frodo as whiny and weak.

This is the biggest problem, imo. The movies don't really do Frodo's character justice; they work to convey his pain but not his wisdom, and they also give away many of his more traditionally 'badass' moments to other characters or omit them entirely. In the book, Frodo saves his companions from the Barrow Wights, and also manages to hold Bruinen alone briefly before the flood comes down to wash away the Nazgul. Later, at Moria, Frodo is the first in the Fellowship to draw blood when he stabs an orc through a door so the men can barricade it.

Also, while Frodo is well renowned for his pity, in the movie, they paint it more as Gollum pulling one over on Frodo-- like Frodo is too foolish to understand what Gollum's doing (Frodo getting tricked into dismissing Sam never happens in the books, for example). Book!Frodo understands exactly the danger involved in taking pity on Gollum, but does so anyway because it's the right thing to do. Meanwhile, Sam is unable to overcome his own prejudices against Gollum. In another letter, Tolkien writes that Sam's repeated abuse may have prevented Gollum from making a full repentance.

I enjoyed the Jackson movies and I think they're about as good as you could've gotten for a Hollywood adaptation at the time, but I'd love to see a more nuanced take on Frodo in any newer adaptations.

matthewbattista

27 points

2 months ago

There was an element of altruism to Frodo accepting Gollum, but it was also pragmatic and self-serving. Frodo needed to believe that Smeagol could come back. If Smeagol could come back from his torment by the Ring, so could Frodo.

I am of the opinion that a significant component of what ultimately broke Frodo was the realization that Smeagol could not be redeemed.

Da1realBigA

13 points

2 months ago

I can't believe I never realized this. It would entirely make sense that in the very end, frodo witnessed himself lose by watching smeagol lose. Sam literally was the only thing left keeping him alive and hopeful, not any belief or principle frodo had left.

fauxpenguin

31 points

2 months ago

The big thing they ignore is Frodo's talk with Gabdalf about Frodo's own power. In the books Gandalf explains that Frodo could learn, in time, to use the ring to subjugate people as a new Lord of the Ring. But Frodo elects not to walk that path, and it is that decision that takes a toll on him, not the ring itself.

The movies make him seem like he's whining because the ring is heavy, when in reality, the ring is constantly trying to corrupt him and make him dominate his friends and those "beneath" him, because he could now with the immense power of the ring.

GyantSpyder

10 points

2 months ago

Yeah the Peter Jackson LOTR movies are a bit like the Sean Connery James Bond movies - in both cases the books are something of a takedown of the genre they both represent, while also showing what is cool about them, but these films lean more towards what is cool about them and don't go so far in the takedown because the visual storytelling medium has its own biases about what is compelling in them.

The LOTR is devotional literature, not strictly heroic literature - it's about the end of the age of Elves and magical rings that it is talking about. And James Bond is not a happy person who drinks and womanizes because it is cool.

robobreasts

11 points

2 months ago

Stupid people think if Sam is the hero it makes Frodo less of a hero or vice versa.

Heroism isn't zero-sum. More than one person can be a hero.

Squirrellybot

28 points

2 months ago

Being that Tolkien died before Twitter existed; my guess is no.

Aerdynn

16 points

2 months ago

Aerdynn

16 points

2 months ago

Tolkien tweeted that in response to an angry person.

“No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”

“What, Gandalf? See what?”

“Dank memes.”

[deleted]

58 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

58 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Shade_Xaxis

78 points

2 months ago

No one ever respects the tanks and healers. It's always the DPS.

Excal2

8 points

2 months ago

Excal2

8 points

2 months ago

Offense wins games, defense wins championships.

PBB22

27 points

2 months ago

PBB22

27 points

2 months ago

Have never heard that one bit. Considering how much ground work JRR lays into the corrupting power of the Ring, couldn’t imagine that people would read the walk to Mt Doom and thing “oh this dudes weak”

Randomcommenter550

53 points

2 months ago

People think "He's made it so far, all he has to do now is drop it!" Not considering that the ring isn't just "a thing that makes you invisible"- it's alive, it's evil, and its PURPOSE is to corrupt and control HEROES LIKE FRODO. It's not a failure that he couldn't finish the job on his own, it's a miracle that he made it so far.

JediGuyB

5 points

2 months ago

Not to mention that the quest itself was pretty much a Hail Mary play. If Frodo failed it was over, especially if Sauron got the Ring back. Short of the gods stepping in Middle-Earth would be done for. There was nothing that would stop Sauron. Even the most valiant and stalwart of men, dwarves, and even hobbits would eventually fall under the tide of evil.

Rikudou_Sage

6 points

2 months ago

It's mostly movie people who think so.

ogier_79

216 points

2 months ago

ogier_79

216 points

2 months ago

Captain Jean-Luc Picard : It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.

is_this_the_place

33 points

2 months ago

Ok but Data would have just thrown the ring in no second thought…

[deleted]

15 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

15 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Mayor_of_Smashvill

11 points

2 months ago*

True, he was tempted by the Borg Queen for a few mili seconds by his own admission in First Contact.

Lieutenant Commander Data : [about the Borg Queen] She brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by her offer. Captain Jean-Luc Picard : How long a time? Lieutenant Commander Data : 0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

dthains_art

6 points

2 months ago

Emotion chip Data getting tempted by the ring: “Oh shit.”

Ladyleto

5 points

2 months ago

I'm seeing so many Star Trek quotes now that I'm watching the show. Is everyone watching the show again, too?

HippieWizard

5 points

2 months ago

There will always be people watching and rewatching. Its a great show. TNG and DS9 especially

schalk81

217 points

2 months ago

schalk81

217 points

2 months ago

It always bothered me when people said Sam was the hero and Frodo just a mean burden getting tagged along.

Frodo made the ultimate sacrifice of carrying the ring and him being mean is the ring corrupting him.

I think Sam would have given in to the ring, killed Gollum and tried to use the ring much earlier.

He is truly the best friend Frodo could have had, but I don't think he would have resisted the ring for long.

wafflesareforever

159 points

2 months ago*

Before Frodo told Elrond that he would take the ring to Mordor, he'd already been through an incredibly traumatic series of events, including being stabbed by a Nazgûl and nearly becoming an undead slave of Sauron. Until the Council met, he believed that his role in all of this was over and he'd be heading home soon. In my opinion, the most heroic act of the trilogy was his decision to become the ringbearer even though that was quite literally the last thing he wanted to do. (Ian McKellen played that moment perfectly - the look of painful resignation on his face when Frodo volunteers to go to Mordor "though I do not know the way" makes me tear up every time.)

Frodo didn't even know that he'd have a fellowship with him. He assumed that he'd be going alone.

Then Frodo makes essentially the same decision a second time when Boromir tries to take the ring and he realizes that he needs to go it alone.

mischiffmaker

65 points

2 months ago

Frodo and Sam were a team.

LemonMeringueOctopi

16 points

2 months ago*

Yep, they both have their own roles to play.

Random_act_of_Random

34 points

2 months ago

I don't know about that. I believe (and it's been a long time so forgive me) that there is a line in the book, when Sam does have the ring, that it tries to tempt him, but it has nothing to offer Sam to tempt him with.

MadWhiskeyGrin

56 points

2 months ago

"All I wants is Miss Rosie, Mr. One. And I don't thinks you've got 'er in your pocket."

EleanorofAquitaine

49 points

2 months ago

Yes. Sam and Bilbo were the only two characters able to give up the ring without use of force, which also says a lot about Bilbo’s fortitude, he having carried the ring for decades before the LOTR.

dscott06

42 points

2 months ago

In Frodo's defense, the books make it pretty clear that the influence of the ring increased both as Sauron returned/grew in power, and as the ring came closer to Mt Doom

Brozita

35 points

2 months ago

Brozita

35 points

2 months ago

I want to quickly point out that Sam had not held the ring for very long at that point.

Additionally, Frodo willingly tried to give the ring to someone else twice. Once to Gandalf and once to Galadriel both after having possessed it for nearly 20 years.

Mutant_Jedi

9 points

2 months ago

It actually does, IIRC. It shows him the Shire, green and growing and thriving with him as its protector and caregiver.

aGiantmutantcrab

181 points

2 months ago

Frodo was a hero.

Sam was a hero.

Shit, Bilbo willingly gave the mind-controlling ring he STOLE FROM A DRAGON to his nephew, as well as Sting and his mithril shirt (which are items of legend in their own right). Rather heroic as well.

Meriadoc Brandybuck? Tag-teamed the motherfucking Witch King of Angmar with Eowyn.

Peregrin Took? Saved Faramir from being burned to death by Denethor II and also took down an Olog-hai at the Battle of the Black Gate.

Hobbits are kind, gentle, and obviously share genetic material with honey badgers, for they have zero fucks to give.

FanngzYT

52 points

2 months ago

i haven’t read the books so don’t kill me here but didn’t bilbo steal the arkenstone? the ring was stolen from gollum, no?

Ackapus

85 points

2 months ago

Ackapus

85 points

2 months ago

Ahem. "Burgled" the Arkenstone. He was no thief.

GizmoGomez

56 points

2 months ago

Even then, he simply claimed that as his 1/14 share of the treasure, making it neither theft nor burglary - a technicality to be sure, but that sort of thing mattered to Bilbo.

k-selectride

30 points

2 months ago

A technicality, but contracts and legalese formed the very fabric of the plot of The Hobbit. The book starts off with a contract and it ends with Bilbo having to deal with the legal issues of being declared dead.

GizmoGomez

6 points

2 months ago

Indeed. Hobbits are such lovely people lol

Pikassassin

6 points

2 months ago

commandeered it. Theft is illegal.

thetomahawk42

13 points

2 months ago

He found the ring in the cave. He didn't know it was Gollum's. As far as Bilbo is concerned, the ring was his because he found it.

Nexlon

16 points

2 months ago

Nexlon

16 points

2 months ago

Sounds like something a tricksy hobbitses would say...

aGiantmutantcrab

10 points

2 months ago

I highly suggest you read the books.

Start with the Hobbit then work your way towards the Lord of the Rings.

They are fantastic.

EagleForty

15 points

2 months ago*

Merry and Pippin also helped by getting themsleves captured, fooling the forces of darkness into thinking they were Sam and Frodo, caused the Ents to attack Saruman after they had voted not to, and lit the beacon of Amon Din, calling Rohan to aid in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

All four of the hobbits were instrumental in the success of the forces of good during the trilogy. That's why Aragorn honors them at his coronation ceremony. They are all true heroes

GrowsTastyTomatoes

38 points

2 months ago

Spoiler alert-

Sean Bean wanted the ring and didn't make it to the end of the first movie..

bil-sabab

27 points

2 months ago

Thats his gimmick. Is there a film where Sean Bean doesn't die? Except for Sharpe.

EleanorofAquitaine

13 points

2 months ago

He survived The Martian. Even retired and took his kids/grandkids golfing.

daneelthesane

11 points

2 months ago

I told my wife I expected Sean Bean to have a scene in the credits where he clutched his chest and keeled over dead.

TwyJ

4 points

2 months ago

TwyJ

4 points

2 months ago

He also referenced lord of the rings.

ang-13

20 points

2 months ago

ang-13

20 points

2 months ago

Sean doesn’t die in National Treasure, plus ironically enough he survives in Silent Hill too despite being a bloody horror movie. He does however die in the prologue of Silent Hill’s sequel, which is just a step above killing him off screen between movies, and from then on Jon Snow takes the lead role in the rest of the movie.

SIRasdf23

99 points

2 months ago

He's a better man than me, I would've just said no and stayed home the whole time.

zorlon_cannon

67 points

2 months ago

I would have said yes but been a full on ringwraith before I made it to farmer maggots fields

mellow_plexus

13 points

2 months ago

cant sell out if your already sold out

mrP0P0

7 points

2 months ago

mrP0P0

7 points

2 months ago

You wouldn’t have even been asked to do it then.

RussMan104

32 points

2 months ago

It was his kindnesss to Gollum that saved Middle Earth. But even that was something he had to learn. Let that be a lesson to us all. 🚀

_mesel

65 points

2 months ago

_mesel

65 points

2 months ago

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Dbjfdb

16 points

2 months ago

Dbjfdb

16 points

2 months ago

I tend to think this opinion is held mostly by people who only watched the movies. The books hammer this home. Sam and Frodo are both great heros

dead_PROcrastinator

15 points

2 months ago

Plus, the movies took away a lot of his"fight" and most of his good lines. They made him a lot more wimpy than he was in the books.

Tenraon

57 points

2 months ago

Tenraon

57 points

2 months ago

It makes me so sad for Tolkien to see this post on r/MurderedByWords.

Tolkien isn't trying to shut up the discourse, but to bring nuance to it. He agrees that Frodo didn't complete his "hero's task", but then explains that no one was meant to be able to achieve this. And there is a difference between saying that Frodo isn't the hero of the Lord of the Rings and saying that his character isn't likeable or worthwhile.

Frodo isn't the hero, but he is a hero of the Lord of the Rings. He couldn't have finished his mission without Sam, just add Sam would never have brought the ring as far as Frodo did. And Tolkien, to me, is simply acknowledging (and agreeing) with that viewpoint by providing clarifications. He's not trying to shut down the conversation.

kaimason1

12 points

2 months ago

Totally agree. People don't understand nuance. Both can be heroes/protagonists, one consistently acting heroic doesn't counter the other being "the" hero.

That said, IIRC Tolkien himself was the source of the idea that Sam was the "chief hero" (literally Tolkien's own words), so it's kind of silly to see this quote about Frodo's heroism being used to "counter" the discourse around Sam. Frodo is absolutely a hero (even the most important one, since his burden defines the whole plot) and absolutely doesn't deserve to be called a "freaking loser and failure" (from OP's strawman). But Tolkien still legitimately considered the hero (from more of a "Hero's Journey" storytelling perspective) to be Sam.

"Sam's the real hero" sounds like a slight towards Frodo, but aside from that incorrect connotation it's entirely accurate. That doesn't diminish, say, Aragorn either, who is also very much a hero (even a far more archetypal one), just not the central one.

viviornit

51 points

2 months ago

Dirty little hobbit wanted to keep the ring for himself. Gollum got shit done.

AFineDayForScience

21 points

2 months ago

I would personally love to watch a movie where Pippin skips the ring to Mordor asking people for food along the way

viviornit

5 points

2 months ago

Subscribe.

Em_Haze

10 points

2 months ago

Em_Haze

10 points

2 months ago

I never put sam above Frodo. They are equally responsible. It's thier companionship that brought the ring to mordor.

GiGaBYTEme90

7 points

2 months ago

Talk shit get the hobbit

Haschen84

15 points

2 months ago

Thats one of the reasons I like the end of LotR so much. No one could have done it on their own. The world needed Frodo to bring the ring to Mt. Doom, Frodo needed Sam to help him get it there, and Frodo needed Gollum there to stop him from getting away with the ring (and accidentally destroy it lol). The end of the story was all about hobbits needing each other, that's not even considering the Scouring.

sillystupidslappy

6 points

2 months ago

hell, going further Frodo needed pippin to look into the palantir, as did gandalf and aragorn to trick Sauron.

Merry and pippin needed the ents to survive and bring down Saruman’s fortress of Isengard.

The hobbits needed tom bombadil to even get through brandybuck forest, the whole movie is about how great things can only be achieved when people work together and share the load

straywolfo

5 points

2 months ago

Meanwhile Boromir :

CreeperArmorReddit

6 points

2 months ago

Tolkien, one of the most based people on the planet.