Category Archives: Bilbo & Frodo

Secondary Character Saturday Aragorn

I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadain, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the sword that was broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!” [The Two Towers]
Viggio Morgenson as Aragorn in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Viggio Morgenson as Aragorn in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. [Image courtesy:]

Who: AragornFrom: The Lord of the RingsWritten by: JRR Tolkien

Date Published: July 21, 1954

Last week I profiled Samwise, this week it is Aragorn’s turn. Aragorn is the star of his story arc, but he’s not the main character of TLOTRs. That said, his story arc is a lovely one. Left to the protection of the Elves of Rivendell as a child when his father is killed by Orcs he lives a secret life. As an adult he goes from being a Ranger ( some one generally considered to be a dangerous and unsavory character) to King.

Pros:  Brave, skilled, humble, kind to those who are weaker than he is.  He’s good with horses. He’s handsome, and he can sing.

Cons: A reluctant hero he hesitates when it comes to taking on responsibility and the burden of leadership.

Shining moments:

  • Aragorn puts aside his fear and grief and finally takes control of the Fellowship after Gandalf’s fall in the mines of Moria. By the sheer force of his will he gets them out and to the safety of Lothlórien, It is a huge turning point for him. He’s spent his entire life avoiding leadership, and staying safely hidden among the elves or anonymously hidden in the trees.  But now he has takes the lead in a life and death situation.
  • He braved the paths of the dead in  Dwimerberg and took charge of the ghost army in Return of the King. He used the grim army to defeat the Orcs at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He had promised to release them from their curse at the end of the battle. He could have kept the ghost army under his power and forced them to fight for him at the gate of Mordor, but he honorably kept to his promise and let them go.
  • Of course Aragorn unites the Northern and Southern kingdoms and… gets the girl.

Least shining moment:  He spent much of his life shirking his duties as king. “He didn’t want to step into that position, which is understandable… but still, when the world is crumbling around you … you have step up”. — Dave

Coat of arms from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-ea...

Coat of arms from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Español: Escudo de Gondor, reino de la Tierra Media de J. R. R. Tolkien. Français : Blason du Gondor, royaume de la Terre du Milieu de J. R. R. Tolkien. Italiano: Stemma di Gondor, reame della Terra di Mezzo creata da J. R. R. Tolkien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Thanks to Bill, Maggie, Dave and John for contributing to their thoughts to this Blog Post.
On a lighter side Bill adds to Aragorn’s Cons that…He smoked and that he was too cheap to buy his own sword so he has to make the elves put a broken one together for him.
Strider, aka Aragorn

Strider, aka Aragorn (Photo credit: Dunechaser)


Secondary Character Saturday — Samwise Gamgee

Sean Astin [Image courtesy: New Line Cinema]

Sean Astin as Sam in the 2001 LOTR  [Image courtesy: New Line Cinema]

Samwise Gamgee

“I feel as if I was inside a song, if you take my meaning.” –Sam from The Fellowship of the Ring

“I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, or course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: “Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring!” And they’ll say: “Yes, that’s one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave. wasn’t he, dad?” “Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that’s saying a lot.“‘–Sam from the Two Towers

Who: Samwise “Sam” Gamgee

From: The Lord of the Rings

Written by: JRR Tolkien

Date Published: July 21, 1954

Why: Sam is the heart of the novel. The Lord of the Rings is essentially a quest/buddy story with a 9 member fellowship of adventurers trying to get the Ring to Mt. Doom. It is hard to stand out in a group of nine when you are small, socially unconnected and unskilled. Sam isn’t a wizard (Gandalf), he’s not a prince (BoromirAragorn), he’s not a warrior (Legolas, Gimli),  and he’s not even a well-born Hobbit (Frodo, Meriadoc and Pippin). He’s just Frodo’s servant. Yet his character arch from simple Shire gardener to determined hero is one of the 20th Century literature’s most endearing.

Pros: Loyal, Brave, Selfless, Kind, Modest, Inquisitive, Humble, Optimistic,

Cons: Occasionally slow-witted and jealous, Sam can also holds a grudge.

Frodo and Sam enter Mordor (Image courtesy]

Frodo and Sam enter Mordor, while Gollum looks on(Image courtesy]

Shining moment: Sam has several shining moments in the books ( saving the Frodo, Merry and Pippen from Old Man Willow, his fight with Shelob, keeping Frodo fed, sane and going thru Mordor, singlehandedly battling the orcs at Cirith Ungol to rescue Frodo among them) but I think his most shiny moment is when he carries Frodo up the side of Mount Doom…

“Come, Mr. Frodo!” he cried. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go.” [The Return of the King]

Least shining moment: Like all of us Sam has his doubts, and Gollum is a master manipulator who plays on those doubts. Sam doesn’t trust Gollum or his alter ego Sméagol, and he doesn’t treat the creature kindly.

Sean Astin embodied Sam for the Peter Jackson trilogy [Image courtesy: New Line Cinema]

Sean Astin [Image courtesy: New Line Cinema]

Conclusion: Sam manages to stay true to himself while evolving into a wonderful hero. He has just as much chance to take the Ring as bigger, more powerful characters, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t need the Ring (or its power) to make him happy. It tempts him with visions of greatness, but he knows himself.  “The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.” [The Return of the King] So he carries it but never puts it on his finger.

In “The Lord of the Rings” it is difficult to find a more honest character. During the journey Sam was to Frodo what Sancho was to Don Quixote – confident, conscious and supportive…Sam is a pledge for the prosperity of Hobbiton both in the literal and figurative sense of the word. When in Lyrien, he received a box with the blessed soil, which would fertilize the land in every corner of Middle-earth. This is what Galadriel said: “Well, Master Samwise. I hear and see that you have used my gift well. The Shire shall now be more than ever blessed and beloved.” [Lord of the]

For more on Sam, The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien go to Tolkien Gateway HERE

Lego Sam

Don’t mess with Lego Sam

Thought of the Day 9/22/12 Bilbo and Frodo Baggins

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you, half as well as you deserve.”

— Bilbo Baggins

“I will take the Ring…though I do not know the way.”

–Frodo Baggins

Bilbo and Frodo (from the Peter Jackson LotR movie) [Image courtesy: Mechtild’s]

Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were both born on this day  in The Shire, Middle Earth. Bilbo was born in 2890 T.A., Frodo was born in 2968 T.A..

[Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are fictional characters in JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The T.A. after the date stands for Third Age]

As a child Bilbo…

“loved to listen to Gandalf‘s stories about dragons, goblins and princesses and was impressed by the Wizard’s fireworks. After the death of his parents… he inherited Bag End. In the eyes of his neighbors, he originally seemed just like his father – a solid, sensible, unadventurous and respectable hobbit. But when becoming older he started to become “strange”… [Tolkien Gateway]

Cover art for The Hobbit, revised edition [Image courtesy:]

But, when we meet him, at the beginning of The Hobbit, he is middle-aged and living a comfortable life, in his comfortable Hobbit hole (Bag End). Then in walks Gandalf and a bunch of dwarfs and all sorts of adventure, danger and even a little fun ensue. By the end of the book he has  out smarted  trolls, escaped dragons and found a magic ring that will change the destiny of Middle Earth.

Original cover design for The Hobbit. [ Image courtesy:]

His nephew Frodo was born to respectable parents, Drogo and Primula Baggins. Sadly they died in a boating accident and Frodo was sent to live with Primula’s relatives the Brandybucks. Frodo earned a reputation as a mischief-maker and eventually was taken in by his uncle Bilbo.

Bilbo taught Frodo to read both Hobbit (English?) and Elvish and filled his head with tales of adventure.

At the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring Bilbo and Frodo celebrate their birthdays with a lavish party. For Bilbo it is his eleventy-first (111th). Frodo is 33. The year is 3001 T.A.. Bilbo surprises Frodo and the guest by disappearing at the end of the party. He had used his magic ring to do so. He leaves the Shire and travels to Rivendell to write his memoir, There and Back Again (aka The Hobbit) and Translations from the Elvish (which became the basis of The Silmarillion).

The Fellowship of the Ring, 1st Edition 1st Impression, 1954, with original dust jacket and original cloth bindings. Offered at the Tolkien Library Store for $6,500. [Image courtesy: Tolkien Library Store]

Frodo inherited Bag End and the Ring. Gandalf advised Frodo not to use the ring but to keep it secret. The wizard then went off to discover more about the ring. The young Hobbit heeded his advice and lived respectably for 17 years. Until one night Gandalf returned to tell him the ring is the ONE RING, a thousand year old, evil ring of power that belonged to the dark lord Sauron. Sauron is now looking for the Ring and it must be destroyed.

So Frodo, along with his relatives Merry and Pippin and his faithful gardener Sam  head east. Later a human Ranger named Strider (aka Aragorn) joins the group. And, after some terrible encounters with Sauron’s nine Black Riders the little group makes it to Rivendell, a stronghold of Elves.

Council of Elrond (from the Peter Jackson LotR movie)[Image courtesy New Line Cinema]

There they meet up with Bilbo. The Council of Elrond is called  to discuss what should be done with the ring. After Frodo bravely volunteers to throw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom a fellowship of nine  is formed. Frodo, Sam, Merry , Pippin, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas (an Elf) and Gimli (a Dwarf) set out to fight The War of the Ring.

Artist Jenny Dolfen’s vision for Frodo. Go see more of Jenny’s beautiful art work at [This work is copyrighted and owned by Jenny Dolfen. However, permission has kindly been granted, by the copyright holder, to use this file on this blog post.]

[I won’t ruin it by telling you the ending. Go read the books == or see the Peter Jackson trilogy  and then re-read the books. Then come back here and discuss who is better hero: Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn or Sam — or Gollum!]

Bilbo’s Last Song:
Day is ended, dim my eyes,

but journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the Sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I’ll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the Star above my mast!

[Bilbo’s Last Song; Tolkien Gateway]

JRR Tolkien [Image courtesy:]

%d bloggers like this: