by Neesae with responses. The companion thread, The Least, is here.
What character do you think learned the most about themselves after
making their journey through Middle-Earth?
It would have to be one of
the hobbits, as they
are the ones who made the complete journey, there and back again. And
from them all I'd go for Sam. Frodo, Merry and Pippin already came from
the important families of the Shire and were probably expecting to do
their bit of travelling and learning at some point. But Sam was
destined to spend his life among flowers and ropes. And then, adventure
came and even when he already knew that he was being part of something
big like the Fellowship, he could never have imagined that he would
have to pass the ultimate test of anybody's quality: deal with the
power of the Ring. A long way from the Gaffer's garden. And that wasn't
all. Then you trek back home to find Sharkey and his lot poisoning the
places you love, a crime he felt more deeply than the others and that
he did more than anyone to put right.
And he only wanted to 'see the elves'...
I would say Frodo, personally, for as
says, he expected, or at least longed for a journey such as Bilbo's in
his youth. But he did not expect such a dramatic and heavy burden as
the quest for the destruction of the Ring (an the destruction of Evil).
During the first part of the quest, he believes that his role will end
at Rivendell, and wishes it to be so. Frodo is an adventurer before the
journey, and becomes a "hero" through it. But more generally, all those
who were confronted to the attraction of the Ring and resisted are
heroes and were submitted to irreversible changes in the deep of their
being. So, maybe, it is not really the journey through Middle Earth
which makes the characters learn more about themselves, or at least not
only; it is the constant struggle against themselves and despair
through the dark times they live, wheither they are part of the
Fellowship, as Frodo, Sam... or not (as Galadriel, who most reveals her
inner struggle and what it implies).
It is quite significant, I think, that all the ring-bearers eventually
leave Middle Earth, as though they did not fit their world anymore; or
the world did not fit them...
I have always believed that Gimli was
changed. The love for the Lady Galadriel and his friendship with
Legolas changed him forever. He willingly tramped the forests with an
elf and eventually went to Valinor - not so much to heal as the three
hobbits did, but because Legolas wouldn't be separated from him.
Like in the Wizard of Oz when the companions found out they were
seeking what was already within them, the hobbits merely strengthened
and acknowledged what already existed. To a certain extent what Gimli
learned was also a discovery of what was within him, but it was such a
great departure from his expected life's course (with or without the
ring quest) that I feel he deserves this distinction.
Perhaps we, the readers?
Don't we all feel as though we are on the Quest with The Nine?
Lady of Light:
I think they all did in there own way.
But I think Sam did the most.
I agree with Elfriend- that Gimli learned
most about himself. Here is a
character indignantly entrenched in his own beliefs about the world,
the races that inhabited it and their places in that world. He never
would have imagined himself enamoured by an Elf Queen, fast friends
with an Elf Prince, or planning 'vacations' to the forest with said elf
I really like the comparison w/ The Wizard of Oz~ he had it in him all
the time, yet never knew it.
What about Arwen? She changed from
mortal and that was very hard for her, because she would be parted from
I also think Gimli and all the hobbits. Especially Pippin who grew
up to a very brave and wise young man and Frodo, he might have changed
the most. It was a journey which has made him change forever. The wound
of carrying the ring was so deep, he had to leave ME forever.
Vison wrote: Perhaps we, the readers?
Don't we all feel as though we are on the Quest with The Nine?
Ooo... good answer! I would have to agree largely with that (I
mean look at where I am today!)
But to a more traditional answer (but still with a twist), I think
Eowyn. She started out longing for the death of a warrior (er... life?
;-)) and dreaming for the ultimate warrior-king. Yet though she made
the biggest kill of the story (short of Frodo, of course), she ended up
coming through it and finding the healer in herself and the love of a
I definitely don't disagree with anyone's assessment... a solid
argument could be made for pretty much any of the characters (even
Lurtz... started off the story as an egg and ended it dead ) and I
initially thought Sam and then was quite swayed by the Gimli argument.
Oh wait... I've got it! Sam
changed the most out of any of the characters in the course of the
adventure. And I can prove it (almost) inarguably... (drum roll,
please)... Sam is the only character as an integral part of the story
to get married AND have a child. And fatherhood is most definitely the
biggest change a man (or Hobbit, or Elf, or Dwarf can ever go through.
Yes, the whole fellowship changed, but
the Gimli argument swayed me, too.
And regarding having children -
Considering the members of the Fellowship to be the integral characters
in the story, you are incorrect.
Sorry... I meant their marriage and children
were an integral part, not
the characters themselves. Yes, most of the main characters married and
had children (either stated or easily assumed), but none of that
happened before the breaking of the Fellowship at the Grey Havens (at
least I don't think it did)... and I'm not talking about marriages,
since obviously Aragorn and Arwen were married, but the children.
I would have to agree with Lady of Light
say Sam. From simple gardener, young of age and innocence to warrior,
brothers keeper (in a sense) and finally to be a great Hobbit of
political stature, to husband and father as time went on. He could
barely get the nerve to ask Rosie to dance before the quest. Every
aspect of his character was tested and evolved during the
journey. Now this happened pretty much everyone but Sam, I think,
changed the most from start to finish.
Frodo soon realized what his part would be.
Gandalf knew from the start what was to play out.
Boromir cut short so wasn't able to grow much.
Aragorn always knew what his destiny was.
Merry and Pippen were changed greatly but stayed within their
characters a lot, although a little taller.
Legolas always the cool Elf, not a lot of change.
And Gimili while effected by Galadrial stayed a rock hound to the end.