Frodo, Sam and Gollum’s journey to Mount Doom was definitely one of the most courageous expeditions taken, even more so since it was completed by two hobbits and a hobbit-like creature. In class we discussed why it was so important that two hobbits complete this journey and save all of Middle Earth from this evil force, and we came to the conclusion that the hobbits were much too independent from Middle Earth, that their decisions to stay in the Shire put them in a bad place with the rest of the creatures of Middle Earth. Rather than trying to communicate with other species, they chose comfort and safety in the Shire. Although it can be argued that hobbits could definitely used more adventure in their lives, I disagree that it is their fault they are so isolated. Their characteristic nature should not be chastised, “for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt. They do not and did not understand or like machines more complicated than a forge-bellows, a water-mill, or a hand-loom, though they were skillful with tools. Even in ancient days they were, as a rule, shy of 'the Big Folk', as they call us, and now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find,” (The Lord of the Rings, 1). In fact, the only character who is not a hobbit that we see befriend hobbits, or try to interact with hobbits, in The Lord of the Rings is Gandalf the Grey. He may not be trusted by some, but the hobbit-children love him, and when he arrives in the Shire for Bilbo’s party they shouted “G for grand!” and followed along as he rode in his cart (The Lord of the Rings, 25). Obviously, the children sense no danger in Gandalf and are not trying to hide from him. So why is Frodo the one to bring the ring to Mount Doom if the argument is that he is to create a community between the species of Middle Earth? I think it is important to remember that until this point, Hobbits had no part in Sauron’s rise to power. It is no fault of theirs that Middle Earth was under siege. I think that the hobbits’ innocence in all this is what led Frodo to be chose to carry the ring making his heroic actions all the more sacrificial.
In Splintered Light, Flieger makes the observation that change is necessary for growth and production and change is also tied with language; one cannot exist without the other. She states, “Without communication there can be no community. Without community there can be no sense of communion,” (Flieger, 168). In class we discussed all the similarities between prayers and psalms with Tolkien’s writings. As someone who did attend Church growing up, I thought back to the prayers said before Communion during a church service, and noted that the prayers are in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice to atone fro the sins of others. I’m not saying that Frodo is a parallel for Jesus, but I do want to acknowledge the similar sacrifice they underwent. In fact, the only strong point for an argument connecting Frodo and Jesus is the sacrifice they endured. However, Jesus knowingly and willingly was crucified for others sins whereas Frodo was reluctant to carry the ring and the only part of him that was “crucified” was his finger. I think what’s important about Frodo is his innocence prior to his journey. Just as Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God, come to take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29), I do not think it would be so implausible to think of Frodo as a lamb as well, in the sense of an innocent creature being sacrificed. As I mentioned earlier, hobbits are extremely innocent creatures that find love in peace and earth, they are hardly warriors or assailants. Their faults lie in gluttonous behavior, such as eating too much and smoking great amounts of pipe weed. Frodo was no different before his journey. He was completely innocent and unaware of what was going on in Middle Earth, yet it is he who bears the ring and all its malice. This is where we find parallels between Frodo and Jesus. Jesus too was innocent at the time of his crucifixion, hence why he is referred to as a lamb. Although lambs are innocent of any terrible deeds, they are often what are sacrificed to the gods, and similarly Frodo and Jesus suffer their own sacrifices to answer for the sins of others. Flieger concludes that to partake in Communion is to be part of a community, “to be in community with God,” (Flieger, 169). So just as Jesus’ sacrifice brought together a community, Frodo’s reluctant sacrifice helped to united Middle Earth.
Although the hobbits can be described as lazy and gluttonous, I think that’s about as far as their faults go. Their antisocial characteristics can hardly be the cause of a disconnected Middle Earth community. Even though the men, elves, dwarves, and other creatures of Middle Earth have not done anything to cause Sauron’s rise to power, it is they who Sauron attempts to dominate Middle Earth. The hobbits are left to themselves. However, the fact that hobbits are so innocent of anything malicious is important to Frodo’s role as ring bearer. His guiltlessness in the apparent downward spiral of Middle Earth during Sauron’s conquers makes his journey to Mount Doom much more sacrificial than if it was a man or elf bringing the ring to Mount Doom.