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Curious
Half-elven


Apr 5 2008, 3:12pm


Views: 164
Thoughts.

A. If Frodo was prevented from going, who does Merry think should go instead? Why is Merry suddenly rethinking the decision of much older and wiser people than he when he agreed with it before?

Remember that Merry and Pippin were not present for the Council of Elrond, nor did they look into Galadriel's mirror or hear her counsel Frodo. And they are quite right that Frodo will suffer if he goes to Frodo, and that any logical, skeptical person would consider the whole idea to be madness -- as Denethor does, with fine reasoning. Sending Frodo to Mordor could be viewed as a form of human sacrifice, for no rational person expects him to return alive. Is this what the gods, er, the Valar, demand? Is this another version of the story of Abraham and Isaac?

Sam loves Frodo even more than Merry and Pippin do, but Sam loves him from a place of service. Therefore Sam will not question Frodo's decision as Merry and Pippin do. Sam would never dream of restraining Frodo from doing what he thinks is wise, especially if Gandalf and Elrond and Galadriel also think it is wise. But if Frodo is determined to go to Mordor, nothing will stop Sam from going with him.

B. Why didnít anyone else notice Boromir wasnít there? Wouldnít somebody have noticed an absence of hints suggesting Gondor?

Sam didn't notice that Boromir had disappeared either, until that moment. Everyone probably assumes that Boromir remains silent and outside the circle because he knows which way he is going, and no one notices that he remains silent because he has wandered out of sight.

C. If itís not their job to help Frodo decide, why were they about to try a vote a few minutes ago to help him decide?

Legolas suggested voting, not Aragorn, and Legolas only suggested it after waiting quite a while for Frodo to make his own decision. I think he wanted to help Frodo decide, and so do the others when they pick up on Legolas's decision, including Aragorn when he makes his own suggestion, but Aragorn is consistent; it is ultimately Frodo's decision whether or not to go to Mordor. No one can order Frodo to make such a sacrifice, even after he vowed to do so back in Rivendell. All the others can do is choose whether to go with him, for better or worse.

But there is another option, which no one considers; create a distraction so that Frodo may continue without being followed. Use Merry and Pippin as decoys for those searching for hobbits. This is what in fact happens, although not because anyone in the Fellowship plans it. It may seem a bit cold, but in the movie Jackson has Merry and Pippin choose this option, deliberately setting themselves up as decoys so that Frodo may escape. There it doesn't seem cold at all, but Jackson leaves out the possibility that the Fellowship is not in charge of what happens; i.e. the possibility that Divine Providence is at work.

I think Tolkien considered it important for the Breaking of the Fellowship to happen as it does, not because anyone in the Fellowship wills it but because of what most people would call chance. Thus Gandalf can comment later that through chance, if you want to call it that, Merry and Pippin were brought to Fangorn at just the right time, and Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli were brought to Gandalf at just the right time, and the Ring went off to Mordor at just the right time, beyond the reach of the warring forces on the west side of the Anduin. Gandalf consistently hints that chance is an inaccurate term, although he never explicitly invokes Divine Providence. (Except, perhaps, when he says that Someone selected Bilbo to find the Ring, and Frodo to inherit it, and calls that a comforting thought -- that's probably as close as Gandalf comes to renaming chance as Divine Providence.)

As I noted before, if anyone in the Fellowship had any part in planning the break-up, it would be Gandalf, who I think could have prevented it by rejoining the Fellowship, but chose to leave their fate to chance -- or to Divine Providence. However, Tolkien does everything he can to gloss over Gandalf's choice, perhaps because that might make the break-up of the Fellowship look like Gandalf's plan, which it wasn't. It was "chance" that it worked out as it did, even if Gandalf deliberately rolled the dice and left the outcome up to "chance." If he had been there, Gandalf might have deliberately chosen to break up the Fellowship, but instead he chose to be elsewhere, and simply to watch over Frodo from a distance, where Gandalf's ability to intervene was limited, and where he did not make his resurrection known to Frodo and Sam.

D. When was Boromir planning on telling them the full story, if not now? He knew he would have to eventually, so why doesnít he do it now?

He was ashamed.

E. Why does a sudden panic or madness fall on the Company? Merry has just pointed out that Frodo would have taken off the Ring anyway, but everyone runs off.

They seem to be in what the narrator elsewhere calls a "fey mood," don't they? Are Unseen Powers at work, benevolent or malevolent? Is Aragorn's lack of leadership responsible? Is it just chance? Tolkien does not say. But it does all work out in the end.


(This post was edited by Curious on Apr 5 2008, 3:18pm)


Edit Log:
Post edited by Curious (Half-elven) on Apr 5 2008, 3:16pm
Post edited by Curious (Half-elven) on Apr 5 2008, 3:18pm


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