The Transformation

by NorthStar

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 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 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 lives.

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.