Frodo's Endurance

by FanForever
My take on Frodo's endurance ....
I have said it and I will say it again, Frodo is not a victim. He set out to save the Shire, reluctantly at first, then with great courage and in total awareness. First he counted on the wise to tell him what to do, then when it became clear they (Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Faramir, etc.), each in their own way, would only emphasize how much he was on his own (with a fellowship to support him though), he had to decide whether he would go on or not. And he did. But what was that he had set to do? He was to try to get into the core of the enemy’s realm to destroy the source of his power. He did not ‘fight’ using his enemy’s means, but with arms that the enemy would have never guessed or imagined, with a clear conscience that what he was doing was for the good of the many. Frodo’s grace, selflessness, and great understanding and love for the living gave him the strength to endure (yes!) the effects of an overpowering, destructive, annihilating mind and will, long enough anyway to get to Mordor. But in the end it had the best of him, at least seen from the perspective of the world he was living. What he sets out to find in the Undying Land is another matter.

I believe that endurance is only a quality when you equate it with perseverance and some conscience and vision of what you are doing. Otherwise it becomes more like what we too often glorify, poor victimized innocent folks who can do nothing but endure without saying a word what the mighty ‘enemy’ does to crush them down. That was the whole point of the Scouring of the Shire : Frodo returns to tell his fellow hobbits that they don’t have to keep being victims and that together they can make things differently. It is his state of mind, his look on things that makes the difference.

What Frodo (and the very important notion of fellowship) tells us is that they. together, had to find another way, something else than armies, to get to Sauron and destroy what made him powerful beyond measure. That alone is telling that Frodo was not a victim but the sole artisan of his own destiny. He chose the other path, he chose to risk the other way, for the sake of something that he personally valued and knew was worth fighting for. In fact he had no choice, if he followed his heart and conscience. Yet on the way Sam came to take over hoping and keeping on the faith at times, true, but Frodo’s endurance was unequalled, indeed beyond hope, and only because he was convinced, for himself and for the world, that what he was doing was the right thing, the only thing he could do. He took it on himself to do it and just did it.

Of course Frodo on the way was afraid most of the time, and felt lost and small and unimportant, and could not have done it without Sam, that was what the fellowship was about, but he was certainly not a victim or a martyr enduring his enemy’s hold on him without a word, even if he could not escape it, in the end. He was the determined and conscious friend of the Elves, who was carrying a light within, on which he could draw to go on (as that wondeful scene in Mordor, where in a vision Galadriel offered her hand, showed). People he met on his quest could not dissuade him, or make him go back, and a great part, if not all of his resolve came from the fact that he knew that what mattered above all was life and love, for themselves, and nothing else.