There was a moment where cinemagoers around the world decided to embark on a 9+ hour voyage through Middle-Earth. And it was magic But there are some moments throughout the series that would make anyone raise an eyebrow. Yes, we're of course about to discuss The Lord of the Rings' Frodo Baggins in all his glory.
Frodo Baggins is one of the most endearing yet frustrating characters around — what are we supposed to do with this boy? He definitely a loveable character, but there are some glaring problems with him (and the choices he makes). For as many brave choices as he makes, there's a note of his fallible nature.
Here will be exploring the details that make the character tick, and all the reasons Frodo isn't as perfect as he appears in fans' memories. He may have saved Middle-Earth, but there are definitely a lot of things people ignore about Frodo Baggins' personality and character. From his relationship with the Fellowship, all the way to his poor decisions throughout the epic adventure, Frodo definitely gets a pass on far too many occasions.
25 He Ignored Gandalf's Warnings
What was the first thing Gandalf said in regard to the Ring? Okay, maybe not the first thing but the most important thing said was do not put that forsaken piece of jewelry on your little fingers. And what does this gosh darn numbskull do, not five minutes later, at the literal first sign of danger? He attempts to put the ring on his nail-bitten finger. The literal second the Ringwraiths show up and the Hobbits hide beneath that tree root, Frodo’s first instinct is to slide the ring on. Seriously? Sliding it on activates its powers!
24 Frodo Was Often Quite Rude
To be frank here, Frodo is often quite rude. Even before the effects of the ring really had started to get to him. Take the Prancing Pony for example. When they reach the Inn, Frodo kind of goes full-on “can I speak to the manager” to the poor doorman. The man’s literal job is to ask people what their business inside his establishment is. And Frodo loses it on him for asking. Sorry Frodes, but he was just doing his job. No need to bite his head off.
23 Does Anyone Know What Happened to His Parents?
At 33, it is perfectly reasonable for your parents to have passed away. A little early but sometimes things don't go as planned. However, Hobbits have a bit of a longer life expectancy, so the fact that his parents were absent was a bit interesting, to say the least. The first chapter of Fellowship of the Ring spends a small portion of its pages dedicated to the Hobbits trying to figure out what exactly happened to Frodo’s parents. But no conclusion is ever reached, though many sources claim that they passed away during a boating accident.
22 The Prosthetics Were A Nightmare
Hearts goes out to Elijah Wood for the amount of time spent in the makeup and prosthetics trailer each and every day. To transform Elijah from civilian into Hobbit, a total of ninety minutes was needed each and every single day in order to apply all of the necessary prosthetics and makeup. Though it is important to note that he did accidentally get a bit of revenge due to the fact that his nail bitten fingers caused several continuity issues throughout the film that have irritated dedicated fans of the series.
21 The Name "Frodo" Was The Best Case Scenario
You may scoff at some of the names within The Lord of the Rings series; however, “Frodo” was truly the best case scenario. Turns out, Tolkien had something else in mind for Frodo. And it was much less than ideal. Originally, his name was going to be Bingo Bolger-Baggins. Seriously. Yep, you read that correctly. Bingo Bolger-Baggins. Let that sink in Lord of the Rings fans, just for a minute.
20 The Ring Was Too Powerful
Frodo decided, for some reason, that the ring was his cross to bear and that the burden was his alone. But that was —frankly— a very daft decision. The fact that Frodo refused any sort of help whatsoever truly not only endangered him and his comrades but the fate of Middle Earth in its entirety. One sole man does not an army defeat. And it was foolish and selfish of Frodo to bear that burden alone for he could have doomed all of Middle Earth had he failed (which he nearly did).
19 He Ignored Smeagol's Warnings
When they arrive at the Dead Marshes within the film/book, Smeagol instructs Sam and Frodo to avoid looking into the white lights for, if they do, tragedy will strike. And what is the literal first thing that Frodo “I don't believe instructions and rules do not apply to me” Baggins does when they reach the bog? He looks right at those little white lights and nearly pays the ultimate price for it. Obviously, they are alluring but come on, man. Would it really be so hard to just listen to someone’s advice for once?
18 Frodo Is Much Older Than You Think
Though Elijah sports a youthful and innocent glow, it is important to note that Frodo was approximately 33 when Gandalf came knocking on his door with a special mission for him. Which makes his utter selfish and ignorant mistakes completely absurd and unforgivable. If he was a fresh-faced child or even a lad of twenty, one could have excused his mistakes as being the result of inexperience. However, this man was full grown and should have known better. Honestly. The ring is powerful but so is common sense.
17 He Was Useless Without Sam
Goodness. Middle Earth would have been doomed to eternal Orc fueled darkness had it not been for Samwise. This amazing lad literally spent the better part of three movies carrying Frodo’s ungrateful pattote across Middle Earth. He stopped him from putting on the ring thousands of times. He protected him from Gollum. He saved him from the spiders. He carried him up Mount Doom. And he kept him from losing everything moments before the ring was destroyed. Praise be Samwise for without him, things would have fallen apart before they even left the Shire.
16 The Hobbits Are Related
Have you ever wondered why The Hobbits of middle Earth look so similar… especially Merry, Pippin, and Frodo? The same curly hair, the same short and stubby stature, the same big and hairy feet..? Okay, well, all of those traits are a product of their race. However, the point still stands. It turns out that Merry, Pippin, and Frodo are all related. Merry is Pippin’s first cousin. And Pippin is Frodo’s second cousin once removed through the old Took. It’s a small shire after all.
15 The Ring Needs To Be Taken Away From Frodo
That ring seriously needs to be taken away from Frodo. Seriously. Rip it out of his little mitts. You know why? Because that boy did not follow a single rule given to him regarding how to care for, transport, and protect the thing. As well as the fact that he was not even able to destroy the thing in the end. Couple with the fact that continued exposure corrupts even the strongest willed Hobbit and that all adds up to the fact that the ring should have been passed around the circle of hobbits in order to limit continued exposure to its effects.
14 He Should Not Have Been The Sole Protector
That's not to say that any non-Hobbit should have held it — as that would have gone horribly wrong. After all, we’ve seen what even looking at the thing for too long will do to any other race. However, they could have pulled a Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter) with the ring and passed it between the Hobbits every few hours to prevent the full effects from corrupting them. It would not have worked perfectly but the effects on Frodo would have been split four ways.
13 Why Did Samwise Address Him So Formally
Some may have wondered why Samwise addresses Frodo in such a formal manner. Especially after Frodo begins to treat him with nothing but contempt and outright cruelty. But the answer to this question is rather simple. Samwise was employed by the Baggins family as a gardener. Originally, his father was hired for the job, but as tradition follows, Samwise later took on the family business and continued in his father’s footsteps. This may explain the fact that Frodo (in his deteriorating state) shifts the dynamic between them from comrades to boss/employee.
12 Frodo Spent His Life Sulking
This is a controversial point, but it's not a far cry that Frodo could have had a much better and more fulfilling life had he learned to forgive himself, let go, and let live. Merry did it. Pippin did it. Samwise not only did it but also got to live out each and every single one of his dreams. Whereas Frodo kept his deepest shames and traumas in a locket right next to his heart and let it weigh him down far more than the ring ever did. Had he learn to forgive himself, he would not have had to exile himself.
11 He Put Himself First
Did it ever really hit Frodo that he held the fate of Middle Earth around his neck? While he was trying to destroy the ring, he put his need to carry the burden and later the need to own the ring, above all else. After peace had been found, he spent the rest of his life putting his own misery above all else. He spent his life (post ring) putting himself first, whether that be in regards to the burden of the ring itself or of his own guilt.
10 Frodo Needed To Share The Burdens
Frodo, no one expects you to carry the ring and live through its pain alone. You are allowed to share the burden when it becomes too much for you. Placing the world on top of your own shoulders does not make you a hero, it makes you vulnerable and risks the entire operation. Pass the buck and share the burden or we will all perish. Of course, it would be a very different movie if he had figured this one out.
9 Frodo Was Influenced By The Old English Language
Frodo was actually inspired by the Old English language (like so many things in The Lord of the Rings). It turns out that this characters name actually means "wise," which frankly seems to a misnomer given his character. What about: “cannot move on from his past” or “makes self into a martyr and refuses to share the burdens he has been saddled with” or “stop putting that gosh darn ring on your finger.” Kidding, of course, but "wise" does seem like an odd fit for the character.
8 Stop Putting The Ring On
Frodo. Listen. Enough is enough — stop putting that gosh darn ring on your finger the second that trouble arises. That ring is to never be put on your finger under any circumstances. Did you not see how Gandalf split when you pushed that ring towards him? That ring is bad business and should not be mucked about with. If someone tells you to not touch something, you do not touch that thing. There's really nothing more to say about this: it is incredibly frustrating watching him repeat this mistake time and time again.
7 Samwise Deserved A Better Friend
Samwise deserved better. Of course, one of the toughest moments in the film is when Frodo sides with Smeagol over his friend. And Samwise did not let that keep him from saving Frodo’s behind across Middle Earth. Samwise was a gem and Frodo was lucky to have him. Still, that's not the only time Sam gets the short end of the stick with Frodo — it's hard not to sympathize with the poor fellow, he goes through a lot for the sake of someone who is repeatedly rude to him.
6 He Keeps The Ring Out In The Open
There has to be a happy medium between having the ring pressed firmly against one's own skin (thereby absorbing the full extent of its powers) and wearing it on the outside of one’s clothes so that the whole world can see it with ease. Even looking at the ring was enough to drive some men mad with the insatiable desire for its power. Maybe if it had been kept in a more secure fashion, it would have been easier to keep Frodo from being corrupted by its influence.
5 He Let Gollum Poison His Mind
Frodo has heard about Gollum, knows his tricks, and still gets manipulated by him? Absurd. He knows that Gollum is a sad creature who wants nothing more in life than the ring. So why, pray tell, would you believe anything that he says over Samwise? Your best friend for all intents and purposes, for the past thirty or so years? I know that the ring is a corrupting influence but wouldn’t the ring not want to be taken by Gollum? So why would it affect the trust between friends? That seems like a Frodo problem.
4 Frodo Needed to Move On
Look, it can be hard to shake a life-altering event. No one is denying that. But it’s not impossible, and there is nothing more tragic than allowing a single event rob you of the rest of your life. Frodo was stuck in the past and while his friends moved on with their lives and were able to live out their wildest dreams, Frodo was trapped in that mountain forever. Because he refused to let himself let go of the burden of his own guilt (because Mr. Frodo loves himself a good burden) and his entire future was consumed by it.
3 It Took Five Minutes For Him to Fail
Not even five minutes after they left the Shire, Frodo had already attempted to put on the ring. Had he been sent on this venture alone as was originally intended, he would have failed right then and there. The Ringwraiths would have found him hidden under those tree roots, ended him, and taken the ring back to Sauron. End of story. The ring had not even had the chance to corrupt him yet so that cannot be used as an excuse.
2 He Saw What Happened to Bilbo
Gandalf warned him what would happen if he put on the ring. He saw what happened to Bilbo when he heard mention of the ring decades after having even seen it. Literally, the mere mention of the ring was enough to turn Bilbo into scary Bilbo. How was that not enough to convince the boy that putting this ring on would be a bad idea. The corrupting influence that appeared later in the series as the ring began to infect him is clear, but there was no excuse for his behavior earlier on.
1 The Ring Was Destroyed By Accident
And after all of that, the ring was destroyed...by accident. Not by Frodo. By accident. They were standing inside Mount Doom, sweaty, parched, and burning, and that boy decided, last minute, to become the Ring Boy of Middle Earth. The only reason that that darn thing finally got destroyed was that Gollum went down with it and Samwise (once again) pulled Frodo back to safety. Obviously, the ring is evil and does not want to be destroyed, but it still wasn't a heroic moment for Frodo.