97 pages 3 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1955

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Character Analysis

Frodo Baggins

Orphaned as a child when his parents Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck drowned in a boating accident, Frodo Baggins was adopted by his cousin Bilbo and, as The Fellowship of the Ring opens, lives a peaceful and simple life like most hobbits in the Shire. Frodo is the unlikely and reluctant hero of the story when, at 50 years old (middle-age in Hobbit years), he sets off on a mission to destroy the One Ring.

Frodo represents innocence, courage, and the love for one’s home. When he first learns of the Ring’s power, he wishes it were never found, let alone sent to him. Yet, as the situation’s gravity sinks in, he willingly accepts the burden, telling Gandalf, “I should like to save the Shire, if I could […] I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable” (61). Love of his homeland motivates Frodo to leave with the full understanding that he may not return—a selfless act that also underscores an extraordinary courage that impresses even Gandalf, as Frodo knows he is no match for a power as great as Sauron. He declares, “But this would mean exile, a flight from danger into danger.