"I will take the Ring"

Josue Cofresi '07, English 65, Fantasy, Brown University, 2003

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, traces the path of a powerfully insidious ring and its new inheritor, a hobbit, Frodo Baggins. Tbe ring has once been the source of tremendous power for the evil Lord Sauron whose recently pervasive presence prompts the removal of the ring from the Shire to the less vulnerable Rivendell. Never losing possession of the ring, Frodo reaches the haven barely alive, but only after many weeks, many perils, and with the aid of some friends. Before long, the ultimate fate of the ring rests on the decisions of the Council of Elrond.

"And who [are the messengers who are sent with the Ring] to be? That seems to be what this Council has to decide, and all that it has to decide. Elves may thrive on speech alone, and Dwarves endure great weariness; but I am only an old hobbit, and I miss my meal at noon. Can't you think of some names now? Or put it off till after dinner?"

No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wander to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.

"I will take the Ring," he said, "though I do not know the way."

Questions

Considering the reasons for most of the dangers that the hobbits and the ranger face on their journey to Rivendell, why might Frodo feel impelled to make another attempt at transporting the ring?

Can any parallels be drawn between the outcomes of Frodo's first few adventures in The Fellowship and Anodos's in George MacDonald's Phantastes?

How does Tolkien make Frodo appear insignificant despite the fact that he, a hobbit, finally opts to transport the ring?

At this point in the book is it possible to know whether his decision is influenced by a harmful attachment to the ring?

References

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. Houghton Mifflin, Boston: 1966.


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Last modified 26 February 2004