Frodo Baggins, born on September 22, 2968 T.A., is the key figure
of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". Like the other hobbits from
the Fellowship of the Ring, he dwells in the Shire. Frodo is the only son of Drogo Baggins
and Primula Brandybuck. Not much is known about his father, who is characterized by
Gamgee as "a decent hobbit; there was never much to tell of him, till he drownded".
As to his mother – the youngest daughter of the Brandybuck’s – it is known that she was
Bilbo Baggins’ cousin. Bilbo, a respectable hobbit, is undoubtedly well-known not only from
"The Lord of the Rings", but also from "The Hobbit".
In 2980, after the tragic death of his parents, Frodo was adopted by his
uncle Bilbo and, became like a son to him. The Baggins’ house was enormous and luxurious,
therefore Bilbo didn’t find himself deprived of anything there. Legends existed about Frodo’s treasures
in the Shire; that probably explains why many hobbits treated him and his uncle with envy and
contempt. Bilbo’s considerable fortune, which emerged after his adventures described in "The Hobbit",
added fuel to the fire. In 3001, Frodo inherited Bilbo’s property, including the Ring.
While living in the Shire Frodo wasn’t talkative, quite the opposite. Probably it was
caused by his parents’ death and the envy of his neighbours. After Bilbo’s departure to the elves,
Frodo stood aloof from the other hobbits. His only friends were Meriadoc Brandybuck a.k.a. Merry,
Peregrin Took a.k.a. Pippin and Samwise Gamgee a.k.a. Sam whom he greatly adored. Frodo
loved to spend his free time with them tramping all over the Shire; but more often he wandered by
himself, and to the amazement of sensible folk he was sometimes seen far from home walking in
the hills and woods under the starlight.. Also, Frodo couldn’t resist the temptation of tossing off a glass of good wine.
In general, Frodo should be characterized as a hobbit who prefers to act alone.
It is true that he is one of the Nine Walkers in the Company of the Ring but, nevertheless, all the main
job falls upon his shoulders. Baggins, like Jesus, bears his cross throughout all the three parts of the
fantasy adventure, not trusting anyone with his heavy and, at times, dangerous burden. Despite
knowing that his true friend Sam is always ready to help, Frodo knows – he is the one responsible
for the outcome of the journey.
Deep inside the main hero of "the Lord of the Rings" is a big dreamer. He is
among the first, who read the beginning of a notorious Red Book of Westmarch. The young hobbit
was always fascinated by marvelous stories by his uncle Bilbo about mythical beings like elves and
trolls. No wonder Frodo longs to experience similar adventures himself. Strength and zeal for
a 50-year-old hobbit – he sets out for his journey at this very age – is given by the Ring, powerful and mighty.
For a hobbit, Frodo is broad-minded and smart. When encountering elves,
he tries to speak in their ancient tongue; he recalls the words from a song about Elbereth,
Queen beyond the Western Seas.
Different skills acquired by Frodo during his journey help him to accomplish Bilbo’s
great cause – creation of the Red Book of Westmarch to "keep alive the memory of the age that is
gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger and so love their beloved". It is here, in this very
book, where our hero’s poetical and writing talent is revealed.
As to Frodo’s clothes, back in the Shire like any other affluent hobbit he was
usually clad in "green velvet trousers, a red or yellow waistcoat, a shirt, a brown or green jacket
with golden buttons or a dark green hooded coat," – writes Tolkien in his letter to the editor of the
"Houghton Mifflin". But soon after some of his adventures, it wears out. Awakened in Rivendell,
the hobbit sees a new outfit specially made by the elves. Frodo’s most precious possession was
his mithril corslet given by Bilbo. More than once it saved his life from arrows and swords of dark
and evil forces.
Frodo’s appearance isn’t that much different from his kind. He is about
3 ft tall, 3’’6 to be precise. He has furry feet which are believed to be the pride of every hobbit.
The features of his face are more delicate than rough (although, rough ones were natural for
other hobbits). Frodo is not plump at all. During his journey he grows considerably thinner.
He has brown hair with a natural slight wave. Frodo’s distinctive mark is the scar on his left hand,
acquired by having been wounded by King Nazgul’s blade. Also, he was short of one of his fingers,
which was bitten off by Gollum together with the Ring on the slopes of Orodruin.
Frodo is a strong character. He bore the One Ring longer than anyone
else (except for Sauron, of course). Yes, it prolonged his life but, undermined his health at the
same time. Probably because of this, Frodo decides to leave Middle-earth at the end of the trilogy.
He is entirely changed during his long and weary journey. If at the beginning, Frodo is "a little shy rabbit",
who hasn’t seen anything but the Shire, at the end he is a completely formed and sophisticated
personality. No doubt, Frodo is a great hobbit who managed to save the world, despite his giving
in at the last crucial moment – the Ring took final possession of him. And if it were not for Gollum
everything could have ended differently. But it would have been another story …