Frodo and Sam’s Relationship in the Light of Aristotle’s Philia – Fellowship & Fairydust
Gandalf urges Frodo to "take such friends as are willing" and so Pippin and Merry , out of loyalty Even so, Gandalf does not blame Pippin for their difficulties. Gandalf, Frodo's friend and advisor and one of the most powerful . the idea of Frodo as Christian hero, but it still leaves us with the problem of. But Frodo and his hobbit compatriots sign up for this journey with one .. 1) No issue – the goal of Gandalf and the Dwarves was the same, and.
By the third movie, abrasions have appeared on Frodo's neck where the chain holding the Ring rests. His lips are constantly dry, his weight decreases dramatically, and his energy levels are at an all-time low. Sam is definitely the hero of the story, but Frodo had a huge burden to bear by himself, and I actually don't think Frodo gets enough credit for his part in bearing the Ring.
Sure, to us, we think carrying a ring around is nothing to be proud of. But this is the One Ring we're talking about here, a tool to bring a second darkness over all of Middle-earth. That is no small thing. Mithril is a fantastic metal forged by the Dwarves of Middle-earth. It is supremely lightweight which is handy if a Hobbit is going to wear armorbut extremely strong.
When Frodo nearly got skewered by a spear, it was the Mithril that saved him. It prevented the tip of the spear from even touching the skin of his chest. What I, and many others, wish to know is why Frodo's Mithril armor did not stop Shelob's stinger from stabbing him.
He manages to run away from her for most of his time through her tunnels, but she catches up to him right at the end and pokes him in the chest with her stinger. Ignoring for the moment that Shelob the spider uses a stinger instead of fangs to paralyze her prey, let's focus on the fact that her stinger penetrated the Mithril in the first place.
In the book, Frodo gets stung by Shelob on his unprotected neck, thus negating the need for this debate at all. In the movie, it's fairly clear that he was stung in the chest. Fans have been quick to point out that the wound Shelob made from her sting was just above the Mithril's neckline, meaning Frodo was vulnerable in that area. If that's the case, Frodo should definitely have worn his Mithril shirt just a tad higher.
When it is doing its job well, you barely realize it is there. That's the climax of the story and it just shows three men having a conversation. But thanks to that dramatic tension that has been slowly and sneakily building up, that climax feels like a darned good climax.
An example of dramatic tension showing its ugly face is when Aragorn yells at Legolas to shoot down an Uruk that is about to blow up a wall at Helm's Deep. If the Uruk manages to bring a lit torch to some explosives at the base of the wall, catastrophic damage would occur for the defenses of Helm's Deep.
Up until that moment, Legolas has had perfect aim with his bow and arrow. Legolas has been shooting Uruks left and right and felling them with a single shot. He and the rest of the Elves at Helm's Deep can do magic with a bow.
But when Aragorn shouts for Legolas to bring down that single Uruk, Legolas fails multiple times. He gets three shots at the guy, and yet the guy manages to run all the way to the explosives without skipping a beat. He may have flinched as an arrow took him in the shoulder, but he did not go down. Clearly the battle had to go south in order to ramp up the dramatic tension, but it's a shame Legolas' aim had to be sacrificed in order for that to happen.
You have a fun time ahead of you when you do decide to give them a look. I'm talking more comedic moments, more dramatic moments, more lore moments. The Mouth of Sauron is this creepy-looking dude who has a mouth full of the grossest teeth I've ever seen. He speaks in a gargly cackle, and if that is what Sauron sounds like, yeesh, no wonder he's a Dark Lord. Aragorn and the rest of the Fellowship ride up to the Mouth in order to "treat" with the forces of Mordor.
At this point, Frodo was already temporarily held prisoner by Sauron, so the Mouth has with him Frodo's Mithril shirt. Merry and Pippin, who are nearby, are horrified.
- Frodo and Sam’s Relationship in the Light of Aristotle’s Philia
In fact, everyone in the Fellowship is distraught. In answer to the Mouth's disrespect, Aragorn nudges his horse closer and slices the Mouth's head off with one quick motion.
There are some people who find it dishonorable for Aragorn to have dealt with a negotiator, even one so evil, in such a manner. That guy was a jerk. For example, if I had a weak ankle, an Achilles' heel, if you will, I would make sure to wear super thick boots with special metal plating right above my weak spot.
Did you see any guards posted around? Did you see a gateway with a troublesome lock to get through? Yeah, neither did I. You practically laid out the welcome mat for Frodo and Sam.
The two of them were able to just waltz okay, maybe they were stumbling inside, but still right into the mountain. Sauron did not account for the possibility that someone could resist the power of the Ring and decide to destroy it.
He also did not account for the fact that someone would actually attempt to make the journey into Mordor and to Mount Doom willingly. As Boromir once said, "One does not simply walk into Mordor. It serves as a handy warning device when the Fellowship is in the Mines of Moria. It also lets Sam know that Orcs were approaching Shelob's lair when he was grieving over Frodo's web-wrapped body.
However, one thing that not only fans noticed, but those who take pleasure in catching when movies slip up noticed as well, is that Sting does not always glow like it should. When in Moria, Sting lights up like there's no tomorrow, but occasionally, you will catch glimpses of it looking like a normal blade. Fight me on this. It's a mistake, for sure. Sting's glow, or lack thereof, does not break my immersion with the story at all. I'm able to enjoy every fight scene that Sting comes out in even without its signature glow.
Honestly, when I'm watching a fantasy sword fight, I'm not looking at the computer effects on the sword.
I'm looking for epic-ness! I'm looking for Orc guts and gore! It's pretty bad, actually. They're on horseback, and they travel all the way to Mordor in front of a small army. As soon as the Black Gates open, Aragorn gives the troops a courageous speech, still on horseback, and draws his sword to face the approaching army.
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His horse just disappeared. And when everyone else rushed forward to attack too, none of them were on horseback either! The horses just seemed to have vanished with no explanation. Did Aragorn send the horses away so that they would not be in danger from enemy spears? Did Aragorn and his friends pass their horses on to other people who were better suited for a cavalry charge?
Did Sauron blink and cause the horses to disappear? It's a mystery that remains unsolved, and I still get the giggles every time I watch that part of the battle. Don't get me wrong. Aragorn bum-rushing the Black Gate on foot looks cool.
Aside from the fighting, the third film also offered some pretty unique moments that were engaging to watch without any fake blood being shed.
One of these engaging moments did make me ponder what life is like for the smaller characters in the story.
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The Steward is an intractable and contemptible person though, so Gandalf and Pippin have to find a way to alert Rohan without the Steward's permission. Although Tolkien always insisted that his work was no allegory, it makes sense that, with the Christian myth at the center of his thinking, he would have chosen a task for his hero that paralleled the task given to the hero of the gospel story. A group has been chosen to go with Frodo, but he slips away from them and goes off accompanied only by Sam, for fear of endangering the rest of the company or seeing them corrupted by the Ring, as one of them already has been.
The first half of The Two Towers follows the other members of the group as they prepare for war against the enemy, while the second half is devoted to the journey of Frodo, Sam, and their deceitful guide, Gollum. Much the same thing happens in The Return of the King, the final book, except that there the two groups come together again in the end. Tolkien uses this structure to communicate a major point: While the first half of each book is full of mighty deeds performed by kings, knights, and wizards, we know all along that at best they can only distract the enemy from interfering with the essential task: If he should fail and Sauron recover the Ring, all they have done is for nothing.
On the one hand, the whole world is going to the war; the story rings with galloping hoofs, trumpets, steel on steel. On the other, very far away, miserable figures creep like mice on a slag heap through the twilight of Mordor. And all the time we know the fate of the world depends far more on the small movement than on the great.
Lewis88 Roger Schlobin puts it even more strongly: Several critics have picked up on this theme and its connection to the Christian teaching of the exaltation of the humble. The high-mindedness of classical platonism was anathema to Augustine: He, on the other hand, took the suffering Christ as a model for true wisdom.
This emphasis on the wisdom of suffering and humility is reflected in the kind of hero Tolkien chose in The Lord of the Rings—not one of the highest creatures in his imagined world. This point was made by Tolkien himself, before The Lord of the Rings was published: The Will of the Hero Jane Chance Nitzsche, for one, believes that they make Frodo into a different kind of hero entirely.
After briefly describing an article Tolkien wrote examining a similar conflict of values in Beowulf, Chance writes quoting Patricia Meyer Spacks: Aragorn may represent the Christian hero as Frodo and Sam represent the more Germanic hero of the subordinate warrior, yet all three remain epic heroes.
Bearing the Ring means that Frodo must fight constantly the temptation to claim it for his own and gain its power for himself. Two examples demonstrate this pattern. Near the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, for example, he barely avoids discovery by Sauron, who can see him when he puts it on: He heard himself crying out: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Fool, take it off!
Take off the ring! The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: He took the Ring off his finger. He felt, more urgent than ever before, the command that he should put on the Ring. There was no longer any answer to that command in his own will, dismayed by terror though it was, and he felt only the beating upon him of a great power from outside.
It took his hand, and as Frodo watched with his mind, not willing it but in suspense as if he looked on some old story far awayit moved the hand inch by inch towards the chain upon his neck. Then his own will stirred; slowly it forced the hand back. But again, as Tolkien mentioned in the letter quoted above, this power plays a strictly behind-the-scenes role in the story.
Divine guidance as the Christian reader would understand it is in short supply. More than fighting the enemy, he is fighting himself. This is another theme that critics have recognized as crucial. In tracing the development of Frodo as hero, Nitzsche marks the passage quoted earlier from Fellowship as the point where she believes he truly becomes a hero: If we accept this premise, it fits in with the idea of Frodo as Christian hero, but it still leaves us with the problem of the role of the will.
More than that, we come right up against the problem that has faced so many Tolkien critics studying Christian elements in the story: An Incomplete Christ Figure At this point, it is essential to look at this climactic scene in full—first noting two things.
First, the scene occurs after both Frodo and Sam, meeting with Gollum again after a long separation, have spared his life even though he had betrayed them and left them for dead. The scene unfolds as follows: He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-Earth; all other powers were here subdued. Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!
Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside. He groped forward, and then he saw a strange and terrible thing. Gollum on the edge of the abyss was fighting like a mad thing with an unseen foe. But Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring, a finger still thrust within its circle.
It shone now as if verily it was made from living fire. Out of the depths came his last wail precious, and he was gone. Return of the King —9 Sam carries Frodo from the cave, and they see the land around them being destroyed by storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free. It is also the consensus of the characters in the story; when Frodo and Sam are rescued, both of them are honored, not blamed. Tolkien suggested later that Frodo blamed himself—that this was why he could find no real peace of mind until his departure from Middle-Earth at the end of the story—but if he did, he was the only one who did so—8.
Another paradox central to Christianity makes itself evident here: In theology this is called grace. The self cannot unmake the self. Paul says Romans 7: He could not then accomplish the task—because no one could. It was quite literally an impossible one. Aragorn and Gandalf have qualities that are both Christ-like and heroic. Gandalf is killed and resurrected; Aragorn is a healer and, as Nitzsche observes, shows many of the qualities of a Christian king.
Nevertheless, one other candidate exists. Several Tolkien critics, including Pearce, Birzer, Caldecott, Clark, and to some extent Lewis, have identified Sam as the primary heroic figure, based mainly on three criteria: As Frodo departs from Middle-earth, Sam, though mourning his loss, is nonetheless happily installed as mayor of the Shire, their homeland, and the father of a growing family. Tolkien himself wrote to his son before finishing the work, The Book will prob.
Frodo will naturally become too ennobled and rarified by the achievement of the great Quest, and will pass West with all the great figures; but S. C[harles] Williams who is reading it all says the great thing is that its centre is not in strife and war and heroism though they are understood and depicted but in freedom, peace, ordinary life and good liking.
But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: If the Christian myth is indeed central to the story, as has been demonstrated, the answer is clear. It is his willingness to sacrifice himself completely for the good of the world out of love that makes Frodo similar to Christ. Frodo knew taking the Ring to Mordor was almost certain to lead to his own death.
More than that, Frodo knew that the quest could very well lead to the destruction of his mind and soul—with the pathetic and repulsive figure of Gollum, hopelessly enslaved to the Ring, constantly before him, he could hardly help knowing it.
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When Sam offered to help him bear its growing weight, Frodo reacted with uncharacteristic anger: I am almost in its power now. Unlike Christ, Frodo fails, and yet the impossible task is accomplished, both in spite of him and because of him—because of the Christ-like love and pity he had shown toward others.
His mercy toward Gollum, sparing his life on more than one occasion, ensured his own salvation and the success of his quest. This is a reference to the scene in The Two Towers where Gollum, watching Frodo asleep, almost repents and changes until angered by some harsh words from Sam, who thinks Gollum is trying to hurt Frodo.
This is where we see the problem of the will resolved. It is noteworthy that after the Ring is destroyed, Frodo refuses to fight any more, even when fighting is called for. One might speculate that, having given in however briefly to the overwhelming temptation for power, he is afraid to trust himself with any kind of power from then on.