For me, the single most heart-wrenching moment ( and there are so, so
many) of this last film is the final transformation of Frodo. To see
the dessicated, near-death, defeated Frodo on the slopes of Mount Doom
- to see the last pulse of energy that enabled him to stagger into the
chamber of fire - to see his eyes widen, the last innocence fade away
and his face take on the cruel, power-hungry look of Isildur - to see
his utter helplessness as Sam frantically grabs for his hands to save
him from the flames....is beyond heartbreaking. Its devastating. Even
though you have watched the progression, even though you know what has
happened to him, it doesn't matter. You feel the rawness of his very
soul, what is left of it and it grates against yours until your eyes
burn with tears that feel like they would scorch your cheeks if you let
them come. It is pain and loss personified.
But when all is lost...Frodo remembers the Shire. He remembers the good
of the world. He holds his dearest friend and companion to him and
cries with him, though you are sure there must be no tears left in him.
He is picked up and carried away, and he is floating, soaring like the
bird that holds his life in its grasp. The wonder of the moment is
nearly out of body; time, thought and memory is still.
Cold and pale, he lies, white upon white sheets. But then his eyes open
and he smiles. And, oh, what a smile it is. He remembers how to laugh,
how to feel joy...how to love.
When the last ship comes to bear the last ringbearer away to a land
where the pain can finally recede and he can once again be whole, his
tenderness is an ache in itself. It is redemption, acceptance, sadness.
That last smile as he turns for one last look at Middle Earth and those
whom he loves...Frodo is finally going home.
For the actor to accomplish all of this, with his heart glowing through
those eyes....for us, the fans.
A response from Lothithil:
I think that if Frodo had stayed, he would have become a greater burden
to his friends, who would not for a moment regret having to care for
him, but he would feel guilty for not letting them get on with their
Frodo was more than scarred, poisoned and maimed. Even as we saw the
attachment that Bilbo still had to the Ring after its destruction,
(excellently shown in the film, heartbreaking image in the wagon) Frodo
felt that attachment even stronger, tho the Ring owned him for a
shorter period of time, it had a stronger claim on him. When he failed
to reject it, after all he had been through, the Ring claimed him
wholly. And when the Ring was undone and he was free, he realized that
a hole had been torn inside him, and it would never be filled again.
Part of Frodo was destroyed with the Ring in that fiery place.
A great deed and a great sacrifice cannot be easily mended. If Frodo
had been able to shrug it off and get on with life as if the Ring had
never been, the Quest would have been reduced to a mere errand with a
few inconvienient stops. I cannot rob this tale of that poignancy.
Happy I would be to see the Shire running with little Bagginses with
Frodo's eyes, but happily-ever-afters only happen for the survivors.
Frodo was a casualty, even though he walked away from the battlefield.