Heroes Series – Frodo Baggins

Well it’s been a while since I last made a blog post, but today I’m starting a brand new series, which examines what makes a hero a hero.  I’ll be looking at heroes both popular and less popular in fiction.

Our favorite hobbit is not really a traditional hero in his genre of epics.  He is not a warrior, nor is he particularly skilled or strong.  He is a small, decent person with a great deal of courage and some incredibly supportive friends.  Frodo possesses a powerful artifact that might be able to defeat the Dark Lord, but his goal is not to use it but to destroy it.  It would be as if King Arthur retrieved Excalibur only to find out it was an evil weapon and decide to destroy it.

Frodo isn’t traditional but he is a beloved hero by many readers.  The reason for this is quite simple, Frodo is a relatable hero.  Many heroes such as Aragorn, Superman, King Arthur, are larger than life figures.  They can be admired and praised but no one can truly be like them.  On the other hand, simple heroes like Frodo can be emulated.  There are two key traits of Mr. Frodo that can be imitated.

First is his determination that is bolstered by loyal friends such as Samwise.  We are capable of imitating Mr. Frodo’s determination to keep on moving forward even when the road is uncertain and rough.  However, Frodo does not have to travel this path alone, and neither do we if we have the right companions to guide us.

The second is Frodo’s willingness to take the right path, even when others do not.  We all want to be the Good Samaritan who stops to help the injured man even when no one else does.

However, a discussion of Frodo would not be complete without mentioning one key fact, Frodo fails.  At the very end of the journey, Frodo is unable to let the ring fall into the fire.   Oddly enough it is a twist of fate that grants Frodo victory.  Smeagol’s violent attack on Frodo leads to Smeagol tumbling into Mount Doom with the ring in his hand.  Many interpret this as being the direct handiwork of Eru(the god of the Tolkien universe).    This event teaches us an uncomfortable truth.  We are all corruptible, even the most decent of us.  Yet, our failures do not always define our legacy.  Frodo is remembered as a hero when all is said and done.

Mr Frodo gives us a simple but beautiful picture of a hero.  A hero is nothing but a simple, plain person who does the right thing when the right thing is neither easy nor simple.

Our next “hero” we shall discuss will not be so noble….stay tuned.

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