full name: Frodo Baggins
date of birth: 22 September 2968 (TA) – (1368 Shire Reckoning)
Home: Bag End, Hobbiton, Shire. Age 51 when he first reached Mount Doom (in March 3019 TA), though seemed no older than about 35 due to the One Ring being in his possession for over 17 years, thus slowing his aging.
occupation: currently Ringbearer of the One Ring (In the Shire he does not have an occupation, being a gentleman Hobbit of comfortable means and Master of Bag End.)
general appearance: Frodo is almost 4 feet tall (which is fairly tall for a Hobbit, though not remarkably so). Very fair skin. Rather large, very blue eyes. Hair is curly, dark warm brown, spilling down just over his collar (very typical for male Hobbits). His chin has a dimple. No beard whatsoever of course, even if he wanted one to grow, which he wouldn’t.
Frodo wears the finer clothing typical of an upper-class Hobbit, though not the bright reds and yellows that his Uncle Bilbo favored. His favorite jacket, waistcoat, and breeches are of dark brown enriched with just a hint of burgundy. His shirts are fine quality and white (unless he is dressed very casually). With the help of his gardener/manservant/friend Samwise Gamgee, he always looks well groomed (in the Shire, anyway). His buttons are well-polished silver or brass. His traveling cloak is of deep green wool.
distinguishing features: Large, expressive, very blue eyes. Very fair skin. A well-modulated, mild, gentlemanly voice.
likes/ dislikes/ strengths/ weaknesses/ bad habits: Frodo is a Hobbit of good breeding, loving comfort, good food, good drink (though he rarely over-indulges), and the best pipeweed he can find (usually meaning the very best). He loves the Shire, and his friends (of whom he has many, largely the younger Hobbits descended from the Old Took or the Brandybuck lineage, though only four truly close ones plus his servant Sam Gamgee). He loves his Uncle Bilbo very much and misses him much after he removed to Rivendell. Frodo is fascinated by maps of all parts of Middle-earth, books of all sorts, music, poetry, and ballads. He loves to hike far and wide through the Shire, sometimes with several of his closest friends, but often alone, eventually usually alone after he’d been keeping the One Ring for many years. He hiked partly for exercise but mostly to explore, dream and wonder, and to meet and speak with in secret – he thought no one saw, anyway – Elves or Dwarves passing through or near the Shire on their journeys.
Frodo enjoys Hobbit-style parties, of which there are typically many since Hobbits are wont to invent reasons for gatherings even if nothing official (like a birthday) is handy. For his own birthday parties, however, he has always preferred to celebrate in a small way with his handful of closest friends, not the great lavish parties Uncle Bilbo loved to throw. This is partly humility, and partly because although he is very social, he prefers not to be the center of attention.
There is an innocence and decent resiliency in Shire folk, a sort of inbred racial quality which, on average, helps them avoid the worst sorts of evil corruption (there are exceptions, of course, to greater or lesser degrees – Lotho Sackville-Baggins being an example of the worst sort, and his mother Lobelia at least half as bad). Much as Hobbits love a comfortable life of plenty whenever they can get it, they are in general able to survive considerable deprivation or abuse and still rebound from it, or to work hard and long when they must. Frodo has all these good qualities, which some call collectively “bounce.”
Main weaknesses: One is his deep emotional sensitivity (which can be a liability when sheer toughness and hardening of will is needed). He is naturally very compassionate, though sometimes misplaces it or at least carries it dangerously too far (most notably when his praiseworthy pity for Gollum and attempt to redeem him led unwisely to a degree of trust). For his physical needs he relies too much on Samwise (and other traveling companions), though in terms of making decisions he might tend to keep his own counsel too much.
family: Frodo is the son of Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck. He was born in Brandy Hall in Buckland, and became an orphan at 12 when his parents were drowned in a boating mishap on the Brandywine River. He lived as an orphan in Brandy Hall, with other relations, until his Uncle Bilbo Baggins adopted him in 2989 at age 21, brought him to Bag End, and named him his heir, which was a horrible shock and disappointment to the Sackville-Bagginses (who coveted Bag End and would inherit it if Bilbo had no heir). Part, though not all, of the reason Bilbo made Frodo his heir was to keep Bag End away from Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and her son Lotho (Bilbo and Frodo shared the opinion that Lobelia could curdle milk just by glaring at it, and Lotho was a weasely, wicked sort).
other important people:
Samwise “Sam” Gamgee: His gardener, manservant, and friend (in that order, until at some point during the Quest to Mount Doom he came to regard Sam as first-and-foremost his dear friend).
Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck: His cousin and one of his closest friends lifelong
Peregrine “Pippin” Took: His cousin and one of his closest friends lifelong
Folco Boffin: one of his best friends since childhood
Fredegar “Freddy” or “Fatty” Bolger: one of his best friends since childhood (a descendent of the Old Took)
Gaffer Gamgee: Sam’s elderly father, who had still been Bilbo’s primary gardener when Frodo first lived at Bag End, and of whom Frodo remains very fond
Gandalf the Grey: Frodo had been introduced to him by Uncle Bilbo, of course, while Frodo was still a child (by Shire reckoning). Gandalf became a dear friend and most trusted counselor, and one of the most joyous moments for Frodo was the news that Gandalf was still alive (Frodo thought he had died in the Mines of Moria).
The other members of the Fellowship of the Ring: Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli. Boromir he has forgiven, and the others (most especially Aragorn) he considers great friends
Lord Faramir: despite his stern treatment of the Hobbits (and Gollum) in Ithilien, Frodo regards him as a good and decent man who aided them generously and offered what turned out to be solid advice
Lady Galadriel (and Lord Celeborn): Frodo holds the Lady especially in great esteem, and believed she had somehow aided himself and Sam in their first foray into Mordor
Lord Elrond: Frodo has great respect for him too, and gratitude for healing his Morgul wound in Rivendell
Frodo was born and raised in the sprawling ancestral smial of Brandy Hall as the only child of Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck. He got into the usual sorts of mischief common to young Hobbit lads, and since he had no siblings, he relied on cousins and friends, mostly from Buckland. When he was older, he became best friends with his younger and much more mischievous cousins, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took, and shared in the frequent rascal trouble they indulged in.
When Frodo was yet a youngster of 12, his parents drowned in a boating accident on the Brandywine River. There were a minority of Brandy Hall dwellers who enjoyed little outings on boats, unlike the vast majority of Hobbits who regarded boats of any size with great trepidation, but that did not mean they were good swimmers. Their death was a terrible shock to Frodo, though he was at heart spirited enough to recover and become happy again eventually, especially with his many friends and relatives with whom he still lived in Brandy Hall.
The next great shock in his life came when he was 21 years old. His 99-year-old relative Bilbo Baggins from Hobbiton adopted him and brought him to Bag End to live with him as his heir. Living alone with his “uncle” in Bag End felt a much different lifestyle than in the bustling Brandy Hall surrounded by dozens of relatives and friends. Bilbo never really told Frodo why he adopted him – rather vague on that point – though as time passed Frodo believed the biggest reason was because if Bilbo had no heir, his greatly-disliked relatives Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and her nasty son Lotho would inherit Bag End, and they were the last Hobbits whom Bilbo wanted setting foot in his ancestral home! Although, since Frodo felt that a close bond of genuine fondness developed and endured between him and Bilbo, he eventually stopped wondering much about why Bilbo had adopted him and simply accepted the circumstance.
Frodo soon discovered that being the heir of the sometimes curmudgeonly and oft-rumored-about Bilbo made for an interesting, sometimes awkward life, though rarely a dull one, especially when Bilbo had such fascinating stories and tales to tell. Frodo was a keen audience for all Bilbo’s tales, as was the youngest son of Gaffer Gamgee, Bilbo’s lifelong though by then elderly gardener. Young Samwise Gamgee had half-inherited the job at Bag End by the time Frodo moved in and was also very keen to hear Bilbo’s stories and tales. Bilbo had long since also taught Sam to read and write. Despite Sam being 12 years younger than Frodo and their servant, the two younger Hobbits became friends. Frodo also actively maintained all his other friendships, especially with Merry and Pippin.
During their 12 years together, Bilbo also taught Frodo the Sindarin language of the Elves, so Frodo could understand, speak, and read it fairly well. He was, on the whole, happy with Uncle Bilbo and tolerant of Bilbo’s eccentricities, of which there were some quite significant ones (at least by Hobbit standards). The one eccentricity that only Frodo was aware of was Bilbo’s great attachment to a particular gold ring, which he always kept securely in his waistcoat pocket and which Frodo was absolutely forbidden to mention. Sometimes Frodo spied Bilbo looking closely at the ring when he thought Frodo couldn’t see, with a different sort of intensity from when he pored over his maps. Bilbo discouraged Frodo from asking about the ring, though, and Frodo didn’t find that mystery very interesting. It was not unusual, after all, for Hobbits to form special attachments to certain possessions. Frodo was more curious about the maps, stories, and lore.
Frodo and Bilbo had the same birthday, September 22, which made birthday parties quite convenient indeed. Bilbo was famous for throwing lavish parties with mobs of Hobbits invited (and, to his credit, was also known for giving useful and generous gifts, especially to the poorer Hobbits). Frodo was aware as the years passed, however, that Bilbo was growing increasingly restless, mercurial, and mysterious. Frodo knew Bilbo spent much time poring over maps of distant places, especially places he’d been to on his famous Adventure decades ago, and he even sometimes murmured that he’d like to leave the Shire and stay with Elves. This worried Frodo, though he didn’t suppose Bilbo would actually do such an outlandish thing.
After 12 years at Bag End, there approached Bilbo’s 111th birthday and Frodo’s 33rd, the age at which Frodo legally became fully an adult and could become Master of Bag End. That made it indeed a Special Day (including that Bilbo remained as vigorous and “well preserved” as if he were only about 75 years old!). Gandalf the Grey came to stay with them, and sat long hours in discussion with the by then constantly restless Bilbo, and the Sackville-Bagginses made as severe pests of themselves as possible out of angry resentment that Bilbo’s heir came of full legal age that day, bitterly dashing their hopes of taking over Bag End.
Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party was huge, lavish even by Bilbo’s standards, and a resounding success by all accounts. Except for its extremely odd and astonishing ending, when Bilbo announced to all that he was leaving the Shire for good, disappeared literally (the real mystery of which was fortunately concealed by a bit of magic trickery by Gandalf), and the next day everyone realized that Bilbo had indeed departed for Parts Unknown. Frodo was the new Master of Bag End.
Frodo had not been let in on Bilbo’s secret plan, and so was as shocked as everyone else. He’d known the significance of his 33rd birthday, of course, but had not expected to be abruptly left alone. He did not feel ready to carry all the responsibility it entailed, nor deal with the sudden daily loneliness, nor cope with the renewed mutterings and rumors (many of them unkind) about Bilbo and now, increasingly, about Frodo too. As fond as Frodo had been of Bilbo, he had not planned to carry the same reputation of eccentricity, but circumstances conspired against Frodo in that regard. All sorts of rumors swirled and buzzed (after all, Hobbits were generally fond of making up or embellishing stories just to make them more interesting), and one that never did cease was many Hobbits’ belief that Bag End held secret places stuffed with Dwarven treasure brought back by Bilbo from his Adventure.
Fortunately for Frodo, his closest friends remained true and helped him a great deal to cope with suddenly being Master of Bag End. His only enemies were Lobelia and Lotho Sackville-Baggins, though there was nothing they could do against Frodo except annoy him, which they did with steady determination. Frodo’s life became happy again, if quieter and less full of stories and legends. Merry, Pippin, Fatty, and Folco were very often at Bag End, and Sam was always about, having fully inherited the job of gardener from his father, and was also to some extent Frodo’s manservant.
Gandalf assured Frodo that Bilbo had gone to live out his remaining years with the Elves and would be quite safe and happy. He told Frodo, in a way that told Frodo “this is IMPORTANT!” to keep Bilbo’s gold ring – keep it SAFE and HIDDEN and NEVER put it on. Frodo didn’t understand why, but he trusted Gandalf implicitly and did as he was asked, not quite forgetting about the ring as the next 17 years passed though neither paying any attention to it. He never suspected that his “well preserved” appearance and health were not fully natural, but partly the effect of having that simple-looking gold band in his keeping. Other Hobbits noticed his lack of aging, however, which helped fuel the unwanted rumors. Frodo merely thought he’d inherited the same slow aging as Bilbo had enjoyed. After all, it was not unheard of for a few Hobbits to live to 130!
Frodo lived as bachelor, as his uncle had done, which was not a highly remarkable phenomenon and for Frodo was not a conscious choice. If the thought of marriage ever became appealing and he fell in love with a Hobbit lass, then he would marry, but he was not restless about it. In fact, he kept trying to encourage his very shy servant Samwise to confess his love to the pretty Hobbit lass Rosie Cotton, whom he knew Sam was dying to marry.
Frodo spent his time with friends, or studying on his own, and many times went hiking, sometimes with his friends and sometimes alone. As the years wore on since Bilbo left, he began feeling a restlessness which eventually worried his closest friends (though Frodo was not much aware of their worry). He took to hiking alone more often, far and wide in the Shire, restless to see places and things less familiar, and seized any opportunity to meet and talk with Elves or Dwarves who were passing through or near the Shire.
Gandalf returned for visits from time to time, though not often enough to satisfy Frodo’s pleasure in seeing his wizard friend. Suddenly and secretly, however, in the spring of 3018 Gandalf visited once again with a long, amazing, and very alarming tale to tell Frodo, for he had been researching Bilbo’s ring and had finally solved its riddle. It was the One Ring, Sauron’s Ruling Ring and his ultimate weapon if he ever retrieved it. Sauron was seeking feverishly for his Ring, and Gandalf feared greatly that it would not be much longer before Sauron traced it to “Baggins in Shire.” Gandalf urged Frodo to leave the Shire soon in secret and take the Ring to Rivendell for safekeeping until further plans could be made.
Frodo was shocked and badly frightened upon realizing how much danger his beloved Shire would be in if Sauron’s agents came there to take back the Ring. He was equally terrified of shouldering the responsibility of leaving everything he knew and making the long journey to Rivendell alone, possibly with deadly danger hunting him. He somehow summoned enough courage to agree to the task, and was smart enough to cover his tracks in leaving the Shire, though in the end he delayed so long that he still nearly got himself and some of his friends killed and the Ring in the hands of Sauron’s Ringwraiths, for he did not actually leave Bag End until September 23, 3018.
What he had been doing in the meantime was planning out, with Sam’s help (whom Gandalf had caught eavesdropping on his conversation with Frodo, and so Sam had half-volunteered and half-been-ordered-to accompany Frodo to Rivendell) how to hide from everyone the fact that he’d left the Shire. Merry and Pippin helped him find and purchase a suitably remote little smial in Crickhollow (far from Hobbiton, near the eastern border of the Shire), and Frodo shocked everyone by selling Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses.
What Frodo had not realized was that Sam had secretly been coordinating with his closest friends (Merry, Pippin, and Fatty Bolger) after those three had figured out the true reason Frodo was giving up Bag End. The day after Frodo’s 50th birthday, he left Bag End behind with Sam and moved into Crickhollow where Merry, Pippin, and Fatty (who had very kindly helped Frodo move his books and things) kept him company that first evening – and also sprang it on Frodo that (with Sam’s “spying”) they’d known his secret for months! It was thus quickly settled that Merry and Pippin would travel with Frodo and Sam to Bree, while Fatty preferred to stay behind and maintain the illusion for at least a few weeks that Frodo was living at Crickhollow.
Frodo and his three friends set out for Rivendell that very night – just in the nick of time! For later that night, a Black Rider pounded on the door of his little Crickhollow smial demanding that Baggins answer. Poor Fatty was terrified nearly out of his wits, but escaped out the back door just as the Black Rider smashed in the front door. Fatty ran to the nearest neighbor, a mile’s distance, and raised the alarm! That got the Black Riders to leave the Shire, but now they were on the trail of the Ringbearer. Frodo and Company barely escaped the Shire without being caught.
After some harrowing mishaps in the Old Forest (though they did each acquire a barrow blade – a good-sized sword for a Hobbit to wield), Frodo and Company reached the town of Bree, where they expected to meet Gandalf at the Prancing Pony Inn. Its innkeeper, Barliman Butterbur, was familiar with both Gandalf and Hobbits and had some Hobbit-sized rooms with Hobbit-sized furniture on the ground level just to make his Little Folk guests comfortable.
Gandalf was not there to meet them, however (he was imprisoned by the traitor Saruman atop Orthanc Tower in Isengard, though they didn’t learn of that until they reached Rivendell). Instead, a Ranger of the North named Strider (a secret friend of Gandalf, but whom Butterbur mistrusted) was at the inn. When the Ring accidentally found its way onto Frodo’s finger (which was the first time), Strider recognized the danger (Ringwraiths, being in the area, would instantly home in on the Ring’s presence) and took charge of the Hobbits. He assured them that he was a friend of Gandalf and would guide them to Rivendell.
Strider saved their lives (for the first time) that very night by sheltering them in his own room at the inn, because in the dead of the night several Nazgul broke through the West Gate of Bree and destroyed the Hobbit-sized room they would have been sleeping in. Finding the beds empty, the Nazgul left Bree and continued their search in the surrounding wilds. Early the next morning, Strider led the Hobbits on the journey to Rivendell (along with a pack pony named Bill whom they had acquired from a wicked man in Bree).
One of their camps was at Weathertop, and there, while Strider was away scouting, five Nazgul spied their camp and attacked the four Hobbits. In a desperate effort to keep the Nazgul from taking the Ring, Frodo put it on to become invisible, but it was a terrible mistake, for although he was invisible to his friends, the Nazgul could see him even more clearly than before. When Frodo refused the Witch-King’s demand for the Ring, he stabbed Frodo with a Morgul blade. Frodo was pierced in the shoulder, and a tiny piece of the blade broke off and began moving toward his heart. Once it reached his heart, Frodo would have become a wraith like them, only much weaker and under the dominion of the Nine.
Strider managed to drive the Nazgul off with fire and sword, weakening them for a short time, and carried Frodo toward Rivendell in a hurry, knowing that without help he might not be able to get Frodo to Lord Elrond’s healing power in time to save his life. Fortunately, they were met on their way by Lord Glorfindel, an Elf whom Strider knew well. Glorfindel’s horse, Asfolath, was marvelously fast and brave. With Strider, Sam, Merry, and Pippin following on foot as fast as they could, Glorfindel raced Frodo to the sanctuary of Rivendell, chased by the Nine Nazgul, but Lord Elrond’s magic caused the River Bruinen to rage, sweep away the Nazgul and drown their horses.
Thus, all reached Rivendell alive, and Lord Elrond’s healing skills saved Frodo’s life. Frodo remembered little of what had happened after being stabbed by the Witch-King, haven fallen into a mostly senseless state, but he awakened on October 24 to find Gandalf sitting watchfully at his bedside, soon joined by an overjoyed Samwise.
Frodo spent the next two months recuperating in the safety of Rivendell, while the great people held long counsels. Gandalf did not tell the Hobbits that Frodo’s Morgul wound would never completely heal. Each year, around the anniversary of the wound, Frodo would feel ill as much in spirit as in body. The only full cure was to leave Middle-earth and sail to the Undying Lands, but Gandalf did not tell Frodo that yet.
Frodo was joyfully reunited with his Uncle Bilbo, who had been living peacefully in Rivendell the past 17 years. He was struck immediately that Bilbo finally looked, felt, and sounded his full age. Bilbo was much gentler than he used to be, though Frodo discovered that he still craved his ring and so wisely didn’t allow Bilbo to see it, much less touch it. It was a beautiful reunion, and enlightening. Bilbo gave Frodo two gifts which were to save Frodo’s life more than once in the coming months: His fine Elven sword, Sting, which glowed blue when Orcs were nearby, and his mithril mail shirt which had been a gift from Thorin Oakenshield.
Other visitors gathered in Rivendell during those two months, each having come for their own reasons: Boromir, heir to the Stewardship of Gondor, Prince Legolas Thranduilion from the Elf kingdom of Mirkwood, and Gimli son of Gloin sent from the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor. Each had come for his own reason, but Lord Elrond used the opportunity to call a Council whereat everyone’s stories could be shared, questions asked and answered, and a mutual decision reached about what to do about the One Ring.
Lord Elrond insisted that Rivendell would not be able to protect the One Ring from attacks by both Mordor and Isengard (for Gandalf had reported about Saruman’s treason and the army he had created). The Ring could not remain in Rivendell. The difficulty was that the races distrusted each other, and Boromir argued that the Ring should come to Gondor to be wielded against Sauron. He was overruled, which he resented, and it was decided that the Ring must be taken to Mount Doom in Mordor and cast back into the fires where Sauron had created it. None of the available candidates, however, trusted each other to be Ringbearer. (Neither Gandalf nor Elrond could volunteer, since each already bore a Ring of Power, though Frodo didn’t know it.)
Frodo, who attended the Council of Elrond, was dismayed and disheartened by the arguing and accusations and realized that this task was still set to him to complete, so he volunteered to be Ringbearer again. Gandalf grieved at this, and so did Frodo, who by then very much wanted nothing more to do with the Ring, but there was no better candidate, and so Frodo made a heavy self-sacrifice by pledging himself to be Ringbearer again.
Lord Elrond and Gandalf knew Frodo would never even find his way to Mordor alone, though they argued much over who should accompany him. Finally it was decided that he would be helped and defended by Gandalf, Strider, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli, and Frodo’s three Hobbit companions absolutely refused to be left behind, so Frodo had eight companions. Lord Elrond named them the Fellowship of the Ring, reminded them that all were volunteers free to drop away from the Quest if they saw fit, and hence Gandalf led the Fellowship out of Rivendell on December 25, 3018.
It was a long, weary journey southeastward, fraught with many dangers. When the Fellowship neared Rohan, they could go no further due to spying birds sent by Saruman. Turning east, they next tried to cross the mountains by the Pass of Caradhras, but were stopped and nearly killed by a terrible blizzard. Then, at Gimli’s urging (though against Gandalf’s better judgment), they attempted to pass through under the mountain via the Mines of Moria ruled by Gimli’s great cousin Balin.
They succeeded, ultimately, in passing through Moria to the eastern side of the mountains, though at horrible cost. At the very front gate of Moria, Frodo was nearly killed by the Watcher in the Water, an evil creature attracted by the Ring. Once inside the Mines, they discovered that all the Dwarves had been killed by Orcs many years ago, and they found Balin’s tomb. When they were most of the way through Moria, Pippin accidentally alerted the infestation of Orcs to their presence and they were fiercely attacked. That was the first major battle the Fellowship fought as a unit, and the first major battle the Hobbits joined into. Frodo would have been killed by a cave troll but was saved by his mithril shirt (which until then no one knew he was wearing).
As they fled toward the Eastern Gate, Durin’s Bane, a Balrog, frightened the remaining Orcs away and pursued the Fellowship. Gandalf was the only one who might be able to stop the fire monster, so after the rest of the Fellowship had raced across the Bridge of Khazad Dum, Gandalf stood upon the bridge and faced down the Balrog. He succeeded, but was dragged down into the chasm in the process. Everyone thought he was dead. Gandalf had ordered Strider (Aragorn) to take charge should he fall, so it was Strider who led the grief-stricken group onward to Lothlorien.
In sorrow for Gandalf, the Fellowship was, after some argument, allowed to enter Lothlorien despite the Great Evil which Frodo carried. They met Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, and each was very startled by her insights into their characters and thoughts.
Later, the Lady invited Frodo and Sam to look into her Mirror. Reluctantly, after Sam looked in it first and saw horrifying visions of the Shire being destroyed and the Hobbits enslaved, Frodo in turn looked into Galadriel’s Mirror. The visions it showed him were of a more puzzling nature, except the last which was of the fiery Eye of Sauron looking at him and seeking the One Ring. Had Galadriel not been there, watchful, seeing everything Frodo saw, he probably would have made the fatal mistake of slipping forward and touching the water, which would have fully revealed them to Sauron’s sight.
Galadriel explained that if Frodo succeeded in destroying the Ring, the Elves would have to diminish until they forgot their own former greatness and the rest of Middle-earth forgot them, unless they left Middle-earth to sail to the Undying Lands. Although truly that was the fate Galadriel believed should happen and therefore was what she wanted, part of her desired to possess the One Ring herself, to unite it with the Ring of Power she already wore and become even more powerful than Sauron. But Galadriel, before their eyes, found the strength and wisdom to refuse the Ring even when Frodo offered to give it to her.
Frodo remained Ringbearer, and Galadriel’s wisdom showed him that soon he must leave the Fellowship and go on to Mordor alone, before the Ring destroyed his remaining seven companions. Utterly dreading the thought of striking out alone, Frodo nonetheless believed Lady Galadriel’s advice was the wisest, and so he resolved to watch for the best time to slip away from the Fellowship. He told no one of his intention, not even Sam, certain that all would try to talk him out of it or stop him by force.
Thus, on the day the Fellowship sailed away from Lothlorien in three Elven boats loaded with fresh supplies, and each of them had received fine and useful gifts from Lady Galadriel, Frodo’s heart was sore heavy, for he knew what he must do but dreaded doing it.
Each of them had been given cloaks that would help conceal them from enemy eyes, fastened by a broach in the form of a mallorn leaf. Sam was also given a coil of Elven rope, lightweight but very strong. Frodo was given a Phial of Light to use in dark places when all other light failed. Frodo was deeply grateful, even though it would be some while before he discovered how much the Phial of Light could do, yet his heart remained somber and heavy. Sam noticed and worried, but still Frodo did not reveal his intention of leaving the Fellowship.
Lord Celeborn had warned Aragorn that Orcs, or Orcish creatures, were prowling the borders of Lorien, but the Fellowship hoped to outrun the hunters by sailing downriver until the Falls or Rauros on the Anduin stopped them. The unseen threat made their sailing uneasy. They became aware that the creature Gollum was still following them, also. Frodo also became acutely wary of Boromir, whose aspect had turned darker since leaving Lothlorien. Frodo had known since Caradhras that the Ring was working especially hard to corrupt Boromir.
They camped at Amon Hen, where Aragorn and Boromir argued more heatedly than ever. Boromir wanted to continue south to his home of Minas Tirith, but Aragorn refused, knowing the Ring’s temptation would become completely ruinous once there. Aragorn insisted the time had come that the Fellowship choose together to either accompany Boromir to Minas Tirith, or cross to the eastern shore and make directly for Mordor, or break apart and each go where he thought was best, even if that meant going home. Aragorn refused to impose his own choice. Frodo, in an agony of indecision, asked for an hour or so alone to think and walked away from camp alone.
Boromir slipped away from camp unnoticed, confronted Frodo alone, and tried to talk him into either bearing the Ring to Minas Tirith or lending it to Boromir, but Frodo looked in Boromir’s eyes as they spoke and saw the gleam of madness. Finally Boromir attacked him, trying to steal the Ring by force, and Frodo only escaped by putting the Ring on.
Invisible to Boromir, though now much more visible to Sauron, Frodo fled to what seemed a good hiding place. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an old watchplace call the Seat of Seeing, and there Frodo got the clearest vision yet of Sauron, which terrified him nearly witless. He pulled off the Ring before Sauron could locate him, and shook helplessly for some time. His resolve became steel, though. He would leave the Fellowship immediately, alone, before anyone else became corrupted. He slipped past camp to take one of the boats while his companions searched for him in the woods.
Sam figured out what Frodo would be doing and reached the boat just as Frodo was paddling it away from shore. Frodo saved Sam from possibly drowning in his determination to follow him, and could not help but be glad that Sam would still be with him, while at the same time sorry that his dear friend would have to face all the dangers and miseries that he expected must lie ahead.
Frodo and Sam were not aware that as they were escaping to the eastern bank of the Anduin, the rest of the Fellowship was attacked by dozens of Saruman’s fierce Uruk-hai, Boromir was killed, and Merry and Pippin were captured (mistaken for the Halflings who carried the Ring).
Neither Frodo nor Sam had any clear idea how to reach Mordor from there, except to head southeast. They blundered into the maze of sharp rocks called Emyn Muil and got lost. Gollum tried to ambush them and steal back his Precious, but they managed to capture Gollum and bind him with Sam’s Elven rope. Frodo, shocked at seeing and hearing Gollum face to face for the first time, feared him but also pitied him and would not let Sam kill him. They were lost, however, whereas Gollum knew the country well, so Frodo drove a hard bargain, demanding that Gollum swear on pain of death and on “The Precious” to guide them to the Black Gates of Mordor. Knowing Sam objected, Frodo believed they could trust Gollum that far on the strength of that oath.
Privately in his own heart Frodo felt a wrenching need to reform Smeagol, to redeem him from the Ring’s corruption, partly out of pity for Gollum’s wretchedness, but partly because Frodo feared that being Ringbearer could reduce him to a wretched twisted creature too, for he was feeling more and more its ill effects on his own heart and soul, but if he could redeem Gollum then surely there was hope for him, too. He couldn’t explain that to Sam, though, especially when Gollum was about. It pained his heart deeply when Gollum seemed to find every excuse to insult Sam, who refused to trust Gollum an inch, convinced that he couldn’t be trusted, that he’d betray them before long. Frodo could tell that Gollum hated Sam, which made him feel very guilty for forcing Sam to endure Gollum as guide.
Gollum did lead them out of the Emyn Muil, though, and got them through the perilous Dead Marshes, where he saved Frodo from falling under the evil trance and drowning. Frodo’s hope grew tentatively that Smeagol was coming around, beginning to act out of friendship and something like goodness, despite Sam’s repeated attempts to warn him not to really trust Gollum. Frodo felt exhausted by then from his cruel burden, the heavy weight of the Ring upon his body and soul, but did not realize he was no longer thinking clearly.
Gollum slyly continued to sow discord between Frodo and Sam. Sam’s temper grew very short, and at times Frodo found himself defending Smeagol. He was too exhausted and too miserable to understand what Gollum was really doing, especially when there were times when he truly thought the good and sane side of Smeagol was emerging. His thoughts were further clouded by lack of sleep, because when he managed to sleep now and then, it was always a troubled sleep disturbed by the Eye. They were also nearly out of food – even the lembas given to them in Lothlorien had become dry and crumbly – and drinkable water was scarce.
Gollum led them successfully to the Black Gates of Mordor, but once there the Hobbits realized they could not approach because it was too heavily patrolled. Sam was furious at Gollum for tricking them, certain that Gollum had known all along that they couldn’t enter Mordor there, but Frodo eventually defended Gollum, giving him another chance to keep his sworn oath. He knew Sam disagreed vehemently, but saw no better alternative and still clung to hope of redeeming Smeagol.
Gollum then told them he only knew of one other way into Mordor (which was one of his rare statements that both Hobbits believed). He told them they would have to pass under the shadow of Minas Morgul (a horrible place where lived things much more silent and dangerous than Orcs), then on to a steep pathway of stone stairs up the mountainside, into a dark tunnel, then out the other side into Mordor itself. (This tunnel was Shelob's lair, though Gollum withheld that fact.) Both Frodo and Sam asked Gollum many times whether this route was guarded, but Gollum's only answer (sullen and grudging) was that it was not guarded because Sauron never expected a threat to enter there, but whether guarded or not, the Hobbits either had to take that path into Mordor or turn back altogether.
Trying to sneak through Ithilien, the trio witnessed a skirmish between Gondorians and Haradrim. Frodo and Sam were captured by the Gondorians, who they learned were Rangers of Ithilien led by Captain Faramir. Though at first very frightened of Faramir and his soldiers, the two Hobbits were decently if sternly treated and eventually given a generous meal. Frodo, trying to prove that they were innocent travelers rather than agents of the Enemy, admitted that they had been part of a company originally led by Gandalf, and that a man named Boromir had also been with them. In the face of pressing and insightful questions from Faramir, Frodo admitted that they had set out from Rivendell, passed through Lothlorien, and sailed most of the way up the Anduin in Lorien boats.
Faramir revealed then that he was Boromir’s younger brother, and knew he had gone to Rivendell seeking answers to a riddle about Isildur’s Bane, some great weapon of old that might help Gondor defeat the Dark Lord. The Hobbits realized that Faramir did not know what Isildur’s Bane was (the One Ring), and resolved not to tell him. They kept trying to persuade him to let them resume their journey. Faramir, however, a man of duty, was resolved to bring them to Minas Tirith in obedience to Steward Denethor’s orders.
Faramir, once he learned that they had sailed the Anduin in Lorien boats, also told them that he knew Boromir had died near the banks of the Anduin, for not only had he and others thought about 11 days earlier (the day Frodo and Sam had left the company) they heard the Horn of Gondor blowing far up north, but Faramir had next had a vision of Boromir, dead from many battle wounds, floating down the Anduin in a graceful boat, and finally Boromir’s Horn washed ashore cloven in two pieces as by a swordstroke. Frodo and Sam were shocked and truly saddened to learn that Boromir had died shortly after they left the company, and feared then for the lives of all the rest of their friends too, though Faramir argued reasons for believing that at least some of them still lived. Frodo, at least, was not convinced.
Faramir kept them so long in conversation that eventually Frodo dozed off. He awoke in alarm when Sam accidentally blundered by saying Boromir had finally tried to take “the Enemy’s Ring.” There was no un-saying Sam’s words, and Faramir’s quick mind swiftly realized that Isildur’s Bane was the Dark Lord’s Ring and that Frodo carried it. Frodo and Sam were both terrified then that Faramir would take the Ring, and for a moment Faramir seemed fearfully menacing, but that moment was brief, and then Faramir showed by word and deed that he understood the Evil of the Ring in a way that Boromir had not. He agreed not only to let the Hobbits go free, but help them if he could.
Faramir’s men finally spied Gollum following them, captured the vile creature, and would have killed Gollum as the law required for having trespassed on their most secret stronghold in Ithilien, but Frodo pleaded for Gollum’s life, that he was their sworn guide into Mordor and in exchange Frodo had promised to protect Gollum from harm. Faramir, like Sam, didn’t trust Gollum, but he spared Gollum’s life. Frodo, for his part, felt wretched at having to coax Smeagol to him with the promise of safety, when really he was coaxing Smeagol into Faramir’s trap, but it was the only way to save Smeagol’s life. Frodo felt very wretched about lying to Smeagol, even though he knew Faramir had had no other option.
Upon hearing which path they meant to take into Mordor, Faramir advised them against it because an unknown terror was said to dwell there. Frodo, however, believed Gollum’s claim that there was no other path. Therefore, Faramir let the three of them go with new food and water in their packs (which by then were nearly empty).
Thus, Gollum led the Hobbits on to Mordor, though he was more sullen than ever, seeming convinced that “Master” Frodo had betrayed his trust by letting the Men capture him, even though the Men had not abused Gollum. Sam even joined in trying to explain that Frodo had saved Gollum’s life, but Gollum was unforgiving. Frodo, worried more than ever, was almost completely unable to sleep anymore, but didn’t realize that Sam barely slept either in his anxiety to guard Frodo from Gollum.
Gollum led them past Minas Morgul (the lair of the Witch-King), and it was thanks to the concealing effect of the Lorien cloaks that they were able to sneak past unseen. The Witch-King was there and surely would have seen them otherwise. They watched as the Wraith-King led a great host out, and knew they were going to attack Gondor, and felt sorely sorry that Lord Faramir would have to fight them.
Next came the very long, very treacherous climb up the “secret” stairs to the Morgul Vale and eventually to the tunnel entrance into Mordor (the path against which Faramir had warned them). The stairs were nearly as steep as a ladder, and snaked many hundreds of feet up the mountain, sometimes with a cliff rising on their left and a terrible sheer chasm on their right, and always with a bitter cold wind blowing against their faces as if trying to force them back or punishing them for pressing onward. Even Gollum was genuinely frightened. By the time they reached the tunnel at the top, both Hobbits were exhausted to the bone.
However, when they reached the dark tunnel entrance, they realized Gollum had abandoned them.
role play sample:
Frodo accepted Sam’s kindness gratefully and settled down for a talk as his dear friend asked, quickly losing track of how many times he thanked Sam, since although he felt suddenly very restless indeed to somehow retrieve the Ring and finish their quest to Mount Doom, he was also exhausted. Neither was he delirious to imagine that they could set out that very night.
He felt reluctant to talk about his nightmare, as he always did, even though he had long since admitted enough about them for Sam to know more or less what they were about. But talking about one still felt somehow – embarrassing wasn’t quite the word, but… He felt weak for being so vulnerable to the nightmares, and he didn’t want to upset dear Sam. But gradually he was beginning to realize that Sam might be worrying all the more because Frodo would not confide his real mind.
“Dear Sam, I think I have been rather selfish toward you lately,” he finally said, half leaning against Sam where they sat side by side. “You have more right than anyone to know my mind when it comes to the Ring. It is just this: I hate the Ring, but I know in my bones that I am not free of it, will never be free of it until it is destroyed forever. So we must go back into Mordor and find it, so we can destroy it. But I’m terrified to go back there, and… terrified that in the... end... I’ll fail... and keep the Ring… and doom myself and everyone I love. That’s the fear that fills my nightmares – not death, but failure. Sauron winning. I feel in my heart that I might not be strong enough to destroy the Ring when I get the chance.”
The player (will be removed once the application is approved or denied)
your name/nickname: Rowy
other characters you play on this board: Samwise Gamgee, Gandalf, Dwalin, Rory Pinewhistle, Lenerath, Berard Burrwen, Elanor Dellbrook
how you found us: by Admin