Frodo Baggins

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It was all about a bit of shiny piece of metal with evil intent.

“I have fought with Orcs and got to the heart of a volcano but I have never slept with a woman. What does they say about me or my creator?”

Frodo Baggins is the bland, virginal Hobbit at the centre of the story Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. This three door stopper trilogy is the ancestor of every subsequent fictional universe of magical creatures and weird clothes that has ever hit the bookshelves, film or television screens. Frodo is the Ur-Nerd figure.[1]

We learn very little about Frodo except he is an orphan and was given to his seedy uncle Bilbo Baggins to clothe and feed instead of being taken into care for The Shire Social Services.[2] What education Frodo had appears to be listening to Bilbo repeating his stories about all things he did on his one big trip outside of his homeland and why he was the richest Hobbit West of the Misty Mountains. Frodo appears to have had no interest having fun with the opposite sex or getting married. He was a confirmed bachelor like his uncle. When Bilbo decided to leave and head off to injest pixie dust with the Elves in Rivendell, he left Frodo his home, extra potent pipe weed and a plain gold ring. Everything else including Bilbo's gold bullion followed him to his new abode. Rivendell was an expensive retirement home and charged a fortune to anyone staying there, especially if you required anti-Orc Raid insurance.

Purpose[edit]

'Not another boring story about dragons and goblins.'

“No nookie for you Frodo 'till you kill Sauron.”

So Frodo gets this ring. Looks nothing special and except if you slip it on, you vanish from sight. Bilbo had used it to disappear from annoying Hobbit charities looking for donations to Save Hobbiton from Smelly Dwarves Appeal and such like. Frodo had seen his uncle use his ring and guessed at its properties. It would be excellent to sneaky spy on Hobbit maidens taking a shower.

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Bilbo had wanted to take the ring with him in case he needed to evade the Elves if their bills started to get too much but had been talked out of doing this by his old wizard friend Gandalf. The pointy hat magician may have dressed like a tramp and had a distinctive musty aroma that would hang around him like gnats on a summer's day but he seemed to know a lot. The ring wasn't just some novelty trinket but had a very angry owner who wanted it back. Well make that at least two if you count Sauron and Gollum. Gandalf showed the true message on the ring by throwing it in a fire. It listed all the horrible things (in evil poetry) that it could do and why that would be so much fun in the wrong claws or paws.

The Journey (Part 1)[edit]

Gang of Four.

Frodo's initial plan was to flee to South America and apply for asylum but he couldn't find it on any hand drawn map. The second plan was to hide in spare attic but then the Witch-king with his ghastly-ghostly goons turned up in The Shire asking a lot of personal questions about the Baggins' family and their jewellery. By then Frodo had left area with his goofball relatives Merry (as in drunk) and Pippin (as in pissed) and Sam, his uncle's former odd job Hobbit and ex-bodyguard. He received a message from Gandalf to meet them in the Elven hangout of Rivendell and to look out for a shabby man with a giant ego. That would be Aragorn the Arrogant.

The journey to meet Gandalf involved the usual run-in with strange locals and the Witch-king who got up close enough to Frodo to stab him with an enchanted kitchen knife. Frodo was saved from going to the Dark Side by elf enhanced paracetamol and a fast horse. In the Lord of the Rings books this is done by a male elf character who appears in a couple of paragraphs. In the film Frodo gets up close to Liv Tyler as Princess Pointy Ears Arwen. Shame Frodo was by this stage delirious and seeing pink elephants waltzing across the sky.

The Middle Earth A-Team?[edit]

The A-Team.

Instead of selecting the best, brightest, strongest and someone who has a grasp of basic strategy, the people you are supposed to cheer for select a right old team of expendables. Besides the hobbits, Gandalf and Aragorn, the team is rounded out with another beefy (but brainless) soldier called Boromir, a non-singing Dwarf called Gimli and an elf known as Legolas. Not exactly the A-Team of Middle Earth. The team leader should have been Elrond, the owner of Rivendell and an unexpired life insurance plan that stretched back about 6,000 years. But Elrond decided to stay home and catch up some box sets. There was a sort of half hearted idea to relieve Frodo of his 'burden' but the hobbit said only he could trust himself.

The Journey (Part 2)[edit]

First Sex scene.

So the Middle Earth A-Team or 'Fellowship' as it is called (as if they were university dons on an extended jolly) blunder their way south. They stumble through an old abandoned amusement arcade for Dwarves only to get attacked by Orcs and a giant fire spewing monster called a Balrog. Gandalf disappears down a chasm with the Balrog and that seems to be the end of the old wizard. The party eventually escape to another Elven hangout called Lothlorian. Frodo meets Galadriel, an elven high snooty nose even older than Elrond. Frodo offers her the ring in exchange for...well we never know as Galadriel declines the offer on the grounds the ring is too big for her slender fingers. She is Frodo's second and last experience of a woman.

The group..sorry Fellowship...leave the Elves and carry on south. Boromir who is from Gondor (the kingdom that stands directly in the line of Sauron's expansion plans) goes off into the woods with Frodo. Apparently Boromir went for the ring but faster than a musk rat, Frodo fled the group and headed for a river. Just then a party of Orcs ran into the Z-Team. Boromir was killed, Merry and Pippin got grabbed as teddy bear accessories for the little Orclings and Sam disappeared. In the confusion no one knows what to do. There is no 'bye-bye losers' note left behind but eventually our supposed heroes work it out. They have to follow the Orcs and let Frodo (and they presume Sam) go off on their own. That ends the Fellowship book. Two more to go.

On Their Own[edit]

Let's form a band.

In all this running, jumping, trolling...Frodo's character seems quite unchanged. He's on a mission to get rid of this thing and that's about it. Sam is good for making fry ups and toasting marshmellows but is obviously not an intellectual Hobbit. So it's no wonder than when Gollum finally catches up with Frodo and Sam after following them since the Balrog incident, it's with the slimy creature with eyes like car headlights that our 'hero' gravitates to. It is his only true relationship in the book. One confirmed bachelor with another as Gollum equally has no interest in women or sex. Sam becomes the gooseberry.

What makes Frodo so dull is that he has no interests except dumping his ring. We hear no philosophical musings on evil, though it has to be admitted, he comes from a country where culture is a dirty word and most hobbits read the Hobbiton Daily Mail to read about the things 'foreigners' do outside the borders of The Shire. Gollum, on the other had is interesting. He is also a sort of hobbit, if of any earlier vintage. He gave up everything to own the ring of power. And what did he do with it? Conquer the world?? Nope. He was quite content to use it to sneak up on people and scare them shitless before he was driven away and disappeared up into the Misty Mountains to live off unwary Orcs and any other creatures who came too close. He did this for 1,000 years, making him by far the ring's longest owner. Then the ring had slipped his hand and had ended up in the furry hands of Bilbo Baggins.

Meeting a Spider[edit]

'She's behind you!'.

So the trio get closer to Mordor. Gollum offers Frodo and Sam a tradesman entrance into the evil realm to get rid of the ring but instead lures them the webs spun by Shelob the Spider. She is our third female in the story. No pretty like an elf but a big black hairy giant spider. Much like Gollum she has been dining out on Orcs for years so this is how they must have met. The Orcs know he has been lurking around their area and had one stage captured him and delivered the skinny creature to Sauron and the Witch King. It was from Gollum that they had got to understand it was Frodo's uncle who had the ring and there set the whole ball rolling earlier on. Gollum was allowed out again (not really explained why) which is how he meets Frodo.

Sam who had been left behind when Frodo and Gollum had given him the slip catches up and finds his friend tied up like a trapped fly. It is he who has been penetrated by a spider's stinger. Gollum had hoped Shelob would suck the hobbit dry and donate Frodo's clothes and artifacts to him but Sam gets the ring before a troop of Orcs on patrolling duties come upon the scene. They take Frodo to their tower where the young Hobbit is merely stripped of all his clothing. He would have gone in the pot there and then but word from Sauron demands the prisoner is kept alive for enchanced interrogation methods.

The new ring bearer has in the meantime stabbed Shelob and tries to do the same to Gollum but he gets away again. Eventually Sam rescues Frodo from the tower and on the hobbits march across the volcanic plains of Mordor until they reach Mount Doom. A belching, active volcano and not a place to send holiday postcards from.

Death and Destruction[edit]

Welcome to hell.

Frodo and Sam again quarrel ('the ring's evil influence'). Frodo goes inside alone and puts on the ring. Invisible, he walks to the end up a hand rock jetty that goes straight to the middle of volcano it seems. Frodo's last words to Sam are 'I am having second thoughts about disposing of this' when he is jumped on by Gollum. Frodo loses his finger as Gollum uses his mouth to bit it off and hold the ring again. He then dances too far and drops down into the molten lava. This is the signal for the Mordor empire to collapse. With the Witch King has already gone, dead for good in an earlier battle. Now it is Sauron who vanishes into tax exile. Never to come back. The Orcs collapse into sad heaps and Frodo and Sam are rescued by eagles.

Epilogue[edit]

Second sex scene.

In the books Frodo rejoins his old team (minus Boromir) and they celebrate the coronation of Aragorn as King of Arnor and Gondor and ex-Mordor with the regnal name Elessar. Frodo is pleased to see Gandalf again, admiring that the scruffy wizard now has some decent attire. The Hobbits return home, only to find Gandalf's formed wizard colleague Saruman has taken over The Shire in a hostile bid to industrialise the hickster Hobbit backwater. This bit of course doesn't appear in the film. Frodo doesn't do a lot in the war against Saruman except to smoke pipe weed and let his friends take on the responsibility. They become the heroes of the moment and Saruman is killed. Sam marries his girlfriend and it is likely Merry and Pippin sow their wild Hobbit oats as well before entering a civil partnership. Tolkien is opaque on the subject.

Only Frodo remains the virgin. And soon he receives a message. He is going on a long journey so pack a change of underpants. And off Frodo goes into the sunlight with old Bilbo, High Elves, Extremely High Elves ('this is good stuff to ingest') and Low Elves who do all the rowing. Frodo still hasn't had sex and he is going to a place called the Undying Lands, a land of 24 hour poetry and walking around in the woods. Frodo will go there a virgin, and remain one. For that he lost a ring and his finger.

References[edit]

  1. For the classically-trained, an Ur-Nerd is someone who is so far ahead of the curve that he/she has become Ancient history.
  2. A fate worse than death for any respectable Hobbit according to Tolkien
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