The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien (Harper Collins 1991) pp. 395-398
Even though all the Fellowship recognise the wisdom of Sam’s words when he spoke of how Frodo was determined to go alone to Mordor, and that the time that he was taking was not to make up his mind about the right course of action but to find the courage to begin, the debate is not at an end. Merry and Pippin, at least, are still certain that they all should all go to Minas Tirith. It is only when Boromir arrives that the story is able to move on.
‘”Where have you been, Boromir?” asked Aragorn. “Have you seen Frodo?”‘
Boromir is not ready yet to tell his story, to admit his failure, but he says enough to throw the rest of the Company into panic and despite Aragorn’s efforts to prevent them Merry and Pippin run off in one direction, Legolas and Gimli in another and Sam in another yet.
“Boromir! I do not know what part you have played in this mischief, but help now! Go after those two young hobbits, and guard them at the least, even if you cannot find Frodo.”
And so Aragorn runs after Sam while Boromir makes his final journey in search of redemption. For he will fall in battle while doing as Aragorn had commanded, willingly laying down his life for the hobbits, willingly paying with his life for his attempt to seize the Ring from Frodo by force.
Once again it is Sam, who is closest to the mind and heart of Frodo, who works out what is really going on. After Aragorn catches and passes him, making his way up to Amon Hen, Sam realises that Frodo is making his way to the boats using the invisibility that the Ring gives him, and that it is Frodo’s intention to escape them all. Desperately, Sam makes his way towards the place to where the boats are moored, caring nothing now for anything, not even for his own life, as long as he can find Frodo. Even his fear of water will not stop him until the moment comes when he fears that he will drown.
“Save me, Mr. Frodo!” gasped Sam. “I’m drownded. I can’t see your hand.”
At last Frodo gets them all safe back to shore but he is furious, convinced that Sam has come to do what he feared the most, to prevent him from going to Mordor. It is only when he realises that Sam wants to help him do what he planned that he relaxes at last and is actually pleased that Sam has caught him.
“So all my plan is spoilt!” said Frodo. “It’s no good trying to escape you. But I’m glad, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad. Come along! It is plain that we were meant to go together. We will go, and may the others find a safe road! Strider will look after them. I don’t suppose we shall see them again.”
So it is Boromir who sends each member of the Fellowship towards the place that they must go. Merry and Pippin will be carried by the Uruk-hai of Isengard just in time to meet Treebeard who has made a rare visit to a hill on the eastern border of Fangorn Forest. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, while in the process of a vain pursuit of the young hobbits, will arrive in Fangorn just in time to meet Gandalf and so rouse Rohan and their king from deadly slumber to great deeds. And Frodo and Sam will go step by step towards Mordor and the destruction of the Ring.
Frodo is sure that he is going to his death but he is at peace with his choice. All that he has to do is to do his duty. But Sam is not so sure that they are going to die. Nothing will keep him from staying with Frodo right to the very end but he has not forgotten the Shire and his heart lies there. Will he see the others again?
“We may, Mr. Frodo. We may. ”
6 thoughts on ““It’s No Good Trying to Escape You.” Frodo and Sam Set Off For Mordor Together.”
thank you Stephen. I had always felt such a sorrow for Boromir. And i had never realised until you said it, that his death and action is very much redeemed and given – the catalyst as you say for everyone ending up where they need to be.
I also feel great sorrow for Boromir. I intend to write about how he wins his inner battle against evil before the end. He is one of the catalysts (the other being the attack by the orcs of Isengard) that sends everyone in the right direction. But of equal, if not greater, importance is the choice of the good by every member of the Fellowship. That includes Boromir of course when he chooses to defend the young hobbits at the cost of his own life. He could have given way to his desire for the Ring but did not.
Out of the realisation of how evil was getting a grip on him came Boromir’s choice. The Choice for Good, wrought from facing into darkness… either their own or that of the world (or both). Thank you Stephen. More to ponder
Many thanks, Victoria. You put that beautifully.
Good points. A friend and I had a rather long dispute about whether Frodo’s choice was really a good one. I suppose Boromir shows that out of great evil can come great good.
“And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.”—Eru Ilúvatar
What a fascinating discussion that must have been! What was your friend’s argument against Frodo’s choice? And thank you for sharing that wonderful quotation from The Silmarillion.