Let me share with you what I wrote two years ago about this epic tale. I actually posted this in my old blog. I am rewriting this with the same point of view and enthusiasm.
JR Tolkien’s epic story about the hobbits, elves, dwarves, mortal men and the middle earth was by far the grandest of stories I’ve ever watched (not read, I am still not decided whether to buy the books or not).
The Fellowship of the Ring was a simple tale of good versus evil. It was a tale about man’s struggle within himself. The way Tolkien described man’s weakness and folly about power was classic. He was able to show the demons a man battles with when he is faced with ambitions of power and greed. Aside from showing the dark side of a man’s heart he was able to show the humility and honour he holds on to, from which he draws strength to do the right thing – to always choose goodness over evil. Along with telling the tale of conquering evil was the story of love and friendship and how easy it is to give someone your trust and your heart no matter what the circumstances are.
In my opinion, Elijah Wood’s character, Frodo, depicted a boy coming of age. The task of holding the ring and bringing it to the land of Mordor, to the eternal fires of Oroduin, symbolized that phase in a young man’s life. It was a huge responsibility for such a small being and so young a soul.
On the other hand, Sauron’s ring represents anything and everything in a man’s life. In the story, power is emphasized as the ultimate reason the ring symbolized. But for the young Frodo Baggins, it was not just about power. He was as curious as any young man could be. He knew that the ring was an evil ring. He was told many times of the danger it would bring should he use it. His curiosity, his naivety and recklessness as a young man used the ring as a tool to explore things he knew nothing of inside the Shire. It was like a drug. Every time he got in trouble, every time he was near death, Frodo realized that the ring no matter how much height or thrill it brought to his young hobbit life was not the best recreation.
Then there was Aragorn, the prince in the hiding, the reluctant heir to the kingdom of Gondor. Due to his father’s madness, Aragorn vanished himself from the eyes of his people. He was ashamed of his father’s greediness. He believed that he would commit the same mistakes because his father’s blood ran through his vein – the blood of the king who failed to destroy the One Ring and save humanity and other beings from the monstrosity of Sauron and his minions.
For me, Aragorn symbolizes the man who had to avenge the pride of his kin. He was the rebellious son but in the end was the one to bring back honour to his family. There are so many of him today. Princes who are unwilling to take the throne – may there be reasons or not. He was the disinclined hero, the one who knew what to do and how to do it but do not want to take responsibility until it is almost too late. Grandiose? A bit, I think. Most of the time heroes of this kind get the loudest of cheers. Although unintentional, the way they take responsibilities always comes at the nick of time; always at the brink of despair. Thus, when they prevail the outcome looks as if they had planned it all along, a grand victory that demands respect and awe.
Arwen Evenstar. This character had me gasping for breath. Liv Tyler was enigmatic and the way she spoke was indeed mesmerizing. Her character was the perfect example of a princess falling in love with someone who is below her social standing – she was an elf royalty falling in love with a human (even if Aragorn was a royalty himself). Her love was so human that she was willing to give up immortality. When translated to modern day princess’ life, Arwen is giving up the royal life. So foolishly human.
Samwise Gamgee was Frodo’s best friend cum sidekick. A story without a sidekick isn’t a story worth reading, or in this case watching, right? Hehe, that’s just my opinion. But nevertheless Sam was a pertinent character in Tolkien’s epic tale. He was both an asset and a liability to Frodo’s quest. In many ways, Sam represents the one friend in our lives that would be there in times of trouble and good times. He was the asset in the quest coz every time Frodo’s in peril, he was there to help or save him. He was the conscience, the voice who would speak of the frail goodness in Frodo’s heart. In this regard, he is the one true friend in our lives who would hold us, keep us sane and save us from our own demons.
So, what’s the liability am I talking about? Well, at times I feel that Sam was holding Frodo too tight that his character seemed to be needy. He was like a possessive girl friend. He knew that Gollum was leading them to their deaths but he was too adamant that he and Frodo should not follow Gollum anymore. It was like he was jealous because at some point Frodo became attached to Gollum – trusting too much on the insane and deformed hobbit than trusting him. His faith to Frodo thinned due to jealousy. There were also spiels in the story where Sam seemed to be an extra baggage for Frodo to carry. He was a stout young man, he was not built to walk and climb mountains. He was slowing the quest, I think. But other than that, Sam was good enough to be part of the quest. His heart was pure enough and his loyalty to his friend was incredible.
There were other characters like Boromir. He was the perfect example of a man easily crumbling to desires. Frodo’s cousins, Merry and Pippin. They were the mischievous kind – pranksters numero uno. They’d be teacher’s enemy numbers one and two. Grimli, the dwarf, is the example of a man with irrational thinking. He’s proud and thought of himself as better than everyone. His kin was his pride and though kindness was rooted deep in his heart, he preferred to show otherwise. Gandalf, the wise gray wizard who turned white, was the epitome of a mentor, a teacher in life. He was both a friend and a guardian to Frodo Baggins. Elron, the king of the elves, father of Arwen, was rational and helpful. He could be the other mentor, the one would help you steer your life to the right direction but would never get too personal with you.
And then there was Legolas, the Elven prince. He was both fair in form and personality. He was the perfect example of a prince charming. He was a skilled archer and a fine swordsman. His sight was as sharp as that of the eagles of the sky. His loyalty to friends and his dedication to the quest were great. He was one of the characters I had truly liked. Well, other than the reason I liked him because of Orlando Bloom. That of course is an exception. His character was truly a great one and the actor who played him was the right one.
Anyways, in conclusion The Fellowship of the Ring is a good start for an epic journey. The characters were well described. Each one had rooted themselves firmly in the minds of the readers/watchers. Each one of them had great parts in the story, even if they seemed small and unimportant. Over all, I believe the story would make one see himself as Frodo, a person in need of guidance and company for a journey about to start. The fellowship represents the people we choose to take in the journey. The ring represents the goal we need to reach.
My opinion about the characters may be different from yours. But hey, that’s how I viewed them to be. They were characters in a story that reflected real lives. Each one of them echoes our souls. I once felt like Frodo. I met my Gandalf, my Aragorn, my Arwen and my Legolas. I met my Sam and my Merry and Pippin. I had a ring and a journey. Like Frodo in book one, I am yet to reach my goal. But I am happy because like him, I still have the fellowship. 🙂