16

In the Fellowship of the Rings movie, the Middle Earth Council('Elrond's Council') were arguing about who was to bear the Ring. The scene was fierce because of the differences between races (conflicts between Dwarves and Elves, Human's desire, etc.) and they couldn't get to a consensus. But then when Frodo spoke, suddenly all of them agreed to let Frodo be the Ring-bearer.

I knew that there was record for a Hobbit not being tempted by The One Ring (Bilbo), but why did all of them agree, all of a sudden?

20

Here's Elrond's answer when Frodo volunteers:

'If I understand aright all I have heard,' he said, 'I think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will. This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great.'

It's clear from this and other conversations that Elrond and Gandalf believe there is a great deal pre-destined about this whole thing: Bilbo finding the Ring first of all, then passing it to Frodo. Here's Gandalf, when he first tells Frodo about the Ring:

'Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.'

It's tempting to tie this into Tolkien's Catholicism, which has a strong belief in providence: that is, seemingly chance events being pre-ordained by God.

  • 1
    I'm pretty sure this answer is about the book; I think parts of Elrond's speech here were moved to Galadriel later in the movie. – KutuluMike Mar 11 '13 at 15:11
15

There isn't any one reason why everyone agreed to let Frodo carry the ring; each person has their own reasons. None of the council members ever explicitly say why they agreed to go with Frodo, but we can infer some of their individual reasons by their reactions:

For starters, I should point out that Frodo had a lot of qualifications that made him logically the best candidate to carry the ring, In particular:

  • Gandalf and Elrond had already commented how Frodo, and Bilbo before him, seemed unusually resistant to the ring's influence.
  • Frodo was already a ring bearer, and it was certainly a good idea to limit the number of people that had direct contact with it.
  • Frodo was "just a hobbit"; even if he did succumb to the ring's influence, his capacity to cause real harm would be limited.

Beyond that, Gandalf certainly seemed to believe that Frodo was destined to be the one to carry the ring; when Frodo finally did volunteer, Gandalf's face was not surprised, but resigned. Gandalf's opinion would also have likely swayed Aragorn, on top of the fact that Aragorn had already traveled with Frodo, and "knew his heart".

Gimli and Legolas likely agreed to let Frodo carry it primarily because it meant keeping it away from the other. Legolas (who agreed first) was also likely swayed, at least a bit, by Gandalf and Aragorn's confidence, since he held both of them in high respect. Gimli would have then had to agree just to avoid being seen as cowardly in the face of the Elf.

It's interesting to note that Boromir doesn't actually seem to agree with the decision to let Frodo carry the ring, but he is resigned to accept "the word of the council". From subsequent events, we know his only motivation is to get the ring back to Gondor. He probably saw Frodo as an easy mark, and decided that the best way to get the ring for himself was to follow along with everyone else and wait for an opportunity to steal it.

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    Good answer, but I think that "not wanting one or more of the other parties to carry it" is a factor beyond just Gimli and Legolas. The races of dwarves, elves, and men, even in their friendlier times, are still wary of each other. I think they all recognize the hobbits as a mutually-agreed non-threatening "neutral" party to their long standoff for control of Middle Earth. If the hobbits, as a people, had expanded to conquer the North, I'll bet they wouldn't have so readily agreed. – BradC May 8 '17 at 20:49
11

I think the movie is a bit illogical here: In the book, everyone is quiet, contemplating whether they have the strength to bear the Ring. When Frodo volunteers, everyone is relieved because they don't have to, and they happily accept Frodo as the Ring-bearer. (cf. FOTR, The Council of Elrond):

No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.
'I will take the Ring,' he said, 'though I do not know the way.'

  • This is a job that no-one wanted, even though they all recognised its importance. To ask someone to take the Ring of Power into Mordor is basically asking someone to die, as that was the overwhelmingly likely outcome of this quest. The Council accepted Frodo as ringbearer as they recognised at once the bravery it took to volunteer, as well as many other logical arguments in his favour. – maguirenumber6 Jan 8 '16 at 10:53
-2

They all go quiet primarily so they can physically hear who it is saying he will take the ring. They are then in a mutual state quiet agreement because to try to find a point that makes a hobbit a threat is beyond them. A hobbit has no qualities once so ever that they could state they fear or have doubts of as to do so would be admitting to the other races that they are scared of hobbits. Its like three bullies who trash talk eachother on the playground until a first grader steps up and says he will be the pitcher for the kickball game... to beat him up makes one look weak, like all they could handle was a first grader.. to argue against him pitching makes one look whiny, not strong... so the hobbit is the logical choice and easily overpowered if need be to take the ring. Only Gandalf understands its BECAUSE of a Hobbits disinterest in vanity, pride, or coveting that makes them almost immune to the Ring. Even at the end, its not the ring that influences Frodo to turn, its Gollum. Frodo doesn't turn to be a King or Warlord, he turns because he feels he must, the ring is his, his responsibilty, he is the one who volunteered to carry it when other grandstanded so as to avoid having to choose... Also, the secret that is carried by Sam and Frodo is like a parting shot of the Ring.. the fact that they failed.. that the ring in truth was destroyed by accident when Smeagle lost his footing... that is what the "heros" must keep from everyone, Sam feels guilty for leaving Frodo, and Frodo feels he's a fraud for being called a hero when he fought to keep the ring from being taken from him. Great story, on so many levels.

  • This answer could be improved by making it clearer why you think they agreed that Frodo should take the ring. Use paragraphs and avoid long run-on sentences to make your reasoning clearer. However - I don't think they allowed Frodo to take it because they are bullies, as you seem to suggest. – EleventhDoctor May 9 '17 at 13:12

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