Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:52 pm

For me, it was good that there was no romance for Frodo! Romantic love isn't everything one needs as motivation; Not to me, atleast. Also, his life had been such a big tragedy, another tragedy would have been hell for us. :)
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby MeadowForest » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:50 am

^ I'd agree with that.

It is nice to see a 'main character' who doesn't have that little preoccupation of love. It wasn't added because it wasn't needed! :D
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:58 am

MeadowForest wrote:^ I'd agree with that.

It is nice to see a 'main character' who doesn't have that little preoccupation of love. It wasn't added because it wasn't needed! :D

If it were added, we'd be glad, perhaps. But, no love-interest- thingy made him a deeper character, to me.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Chubb » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:56 am

Hm interesting question, I agree with a lot of the comments here. Also, in a way, I think a love interest would actually make Frodo more difficult for people to relate to. I've heard many already find him a bit too distant and unrealistic - it would be even harder to explain his character and motivation if he willingly sacrificed the love of a wife or someone he was betrothed to (which might also diminish the uniqueness of Aragorn's sacrifice and separation from Arwen).

It would also make Frodo a bit too perfect! When in the Shire we already know he is a wealthy hobbit, well respected, educated, and doesn't seem to age. Gandalf describes him as the best hobbit in the shire. If he had a girl to boot, he'd just have too many things going right for him to be someone we can sympathise with. Not having a love interest makes him more of an outsider, a bit unusual, and possibly adds to the sense of vulnerability in his character. As he goes further with the quest, the loneliness of his burden as the Ring-bearer becomes stronger. I think Frodo's increased melancholy and sense of doom is quite an important development of his character, and also adds an element of tragedy in the tale. I don't think that would have worked so well if there was a love interest.

Also, would Sam's devotion and loyalty have carried as much weight if Frodo was able to find equal motivation by remembering he has a sweetheart back home to return to? I reckon not - Frodo's vulnerability is also the making of Sam, how often does he depend on Sam to lift his spirits and renew his hope.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Morwenna » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:11 am

I agree. Frodo would not have been the same person if he had had a love interest before embarking on the quest. If one were to develop only after his return, well, that just wouldn't happen considering what he went through; see the posts above. Such a quest couldn't have been undertaken by anybody who had romantic or such close family ties. Consider Gandalf's atitude toward Bilbo: he was glad to see that Bilbo had no ties that way, so he was a good bet for the quest of Erebor. And Bilbo wouldn't have latched onto any other relative the way he did to Frodo, because there he sensed a kindred spirit.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Shadowman82 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:36 pm

Because despite what Hollywood thinks not every hero character needs a love interest . It would have added nothing to the books to include one .
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:15 pm

The book says that Bilbo is a bachelor, and Frodo after him.
Generally Bilbo and Frodo preferred a quiet, peaceful and comfortable life, being both fat despite frequent walks around the Shire-- and they both chose heirs to succeed them, rather than becoming fathers to actual sons.
Also note that in prior time-periods, marriage was largely an economic function, to provide basic labor and insurance (common law still allows parents to collect lost wages from a wrongful child-death); and since Bilbo and Frodo were comfortable landlords, they had no need for either one.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:48 pm

Shadowman82 wrote:Because despite what Hollywood thinks not every hero character needs a love interest . It would have added nothing to the books to include one .

But we're dealing with the books here. It has more to do with our mentality that every hero needs to fall in love. Tolkien gave us a different kind of character and it was his strength. Letting Frodo fall in love would have added more misery to his character. That would have more and more unfair.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Shadowman82 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:28 pm

Tolkien is also a good enough writer that he can keep his audience enganged without a love story . I liked the Harry Potter series as well but let's be honest did anyone reading those books really read them for the love interests ? I doubt it . In the case of the LOTR having a love story in there would have just been distracting .
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:56 pm

Shadowman82 wrote:Tolkien is also a good enough writer that he can keep his audience enganged without a love story .


I disagree that there was no love-story, but it simply wasn't central to the story like most writers feel the need to do-- and more than this, it was kept subordinate to the story's greater theme and purpose, rather than whiny "Romeo and Juliet" spoiled teenage-mentality where they kill themselves because they can't get what they want.
Rather, we learn most of the love-interests in the end, while it's only hinted at beforehand; and we find that Sam can't marry Rosie because he has a job to do, meanwhile Aragorn can't marry Arwen for the same reason, and he also can't return Eowyn's love-- but Faramir can.
Likewise, the hints are subtle but unmistakable.

I liked the Harry Potter series as well but let's be honest did anyone reading those books really read them for the love interests ? I doubt it .

Did you even read them? I couldn't stand another sentence about Harry's stomach flipping inside out around Ginny Weasley.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:51 am

BerenVonRictoffen wrote:
Shadowman82 wrote:Tolkien is also a good enough writer that he can keep his audience enganged without a love story .


I disagree that there was no love-story, but it simply wasn't central to the story like most writers feel the need to do-- and more than this, it was kept subordinate to the story's greater theme and purpose, rather than whiny "Romeo and Juliet" spoiled teenage-mentality where they kill themselves because they can't get what they want.
Rather, we learn most of the love-interests in the end, while it's only hinted at beforehand; and we find that Sam can't marry Rosie because he has a job to do, meanwhile Aragorn can't marry Arwen for the same reason, and he also can't return Eowyn's love-- but Faramir can.
Likewise, the hints are subtle but unmistakable.

That's what he meant. For Tolkien it wasn't necessary to focus his story on romance (in the current sense of the word). But, it had to be the the hero without any love interest. This is what made Frodo an interesting character: not having any personal reason to go on the quest, but he still did and that made him a much more selfless character than he would have been with a love interset. There was Sam- Rose and Aragorn-Arwen's love stories are there, and very subtle, I agree. But story's focus are not their stories. This is what he meant.
I liked the Harry Potter series as well but let's be honest did anyone reading those books really read them for the love interests ? I doubt it .

Did you even read them? I couldn't stand another sentence about Harry's stomach flipping inside out around Ginny Weasley.

Um..actually the focus was not just Harry and Ginny's love story. It was more about Voldemort and his destruction. Without the love angle story would have sounded sorta weak. Snape's love story is revealed in the end, though. ;)
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby siddharth » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:49 am

Oooh. But he had one.

Goldberry.

:D
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Ihearthee » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:16 am

siddharth wrote:Oooh. But he had one.

Goldberry.

:D

haha I agree with you siddharth
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:12 pm

siddharth wrote:Oooh. But he had one.

Goldberry.

:D

I don't know why but this Goldberry idea never convinced me as it did to others. There are other two ladies too: Arwen and Galadriel. Frodo, seeing the beauty of these ladies was taken aback. But it most certainly wasn't romantic. When it comes to Goldberry, her name is nowhere mentioned in the text at Frodo or anyone in this context (if there was something like "this"). What Tolkien writes about "Frodo's heart moved with a joy he did not understand" is more about natural instead of romantic. Goldberry is daughter of River, and seeing ANY natural beauty it is obvious for our hearts "to move with a joy" we don't understand. That happened to Frodo as well. It is rather strange to me why Sam didn't act that way while he was a gardner and had closer connection to the natural things than Frodo. Probably Frodo understood these things on a deeper level and this is why his heart "moved with a joy he did not understand." It seems far from romantic, to me. If there'd been any mention of her name after hobbits left Tom Bombadil's house this Frodo having Goldberry theory would have seemed valid. But this way it lacks textual evidence; and opinions are subjective that are hardly the same. Without any kind of textual support it is absurd to jump on the conclusion.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby siddharth » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:22 pm

Relax, I wasn't being serious. ;)

But it is true that if someone objecctively tries to find a love interest for Frodo in the book, the Goldberry passages would seem like one to them.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:26 am

Frodo being smitten by Goldberry is cute. :P But I too have always seen it as more of a courtly love/admiring from afar kind of thing, akin to Gimli's feelings for Galadriel (which are more intense).

(I'm not greatly into interspecies pairings. :rofl: Just kidding! :) )

Chubb wrote:Hm interesting question, I agree with a lot of the comments here. Also, in a way, I think a love interest would actually make Frodo more difficult for people to relate to. I've heard many already find him a bit too distant and unrealistic - it would be even harder to explain his character and motivation if he willingly sacrificed the love of a wife or someone he was betrothed to (which might also diminish the uniqueness of Aragorn's sacrifice and separation from Arwen).

It would also make Frodo a bit too perfect! When in the Shire we already know he is a wealthy hobbit, well respected, educated, and doesn't seem to age. Gandalf describes him as the best hobbit in the shire. If he had a girl to boot, he'd just have too many things going right for him to be someone we can sympathise with. Not having a love interest makes him more of an outsider, a bit unusual, and possibly adds to the sense of vulnerability in his character. As he goes further with the quest, the loneliness of his burden as the Ring-bearer becomes stronger. I think Frodo's increased melancholy and sense of doom is quite an important development of his character, and also adds an element of tragedy in the tale. I don't think that would have worked so well if there was a love interest.

Also, would Sam's devotion and loyalty have carried as much weight if Frodo was able to find equal motivation by remembering he has a sweetheart back home to return to? I reckon not - Frodo's vulnerability is also the making of Sam, how often does he depend on Sam to lift his spirits and renew his hope.


Great post. :) Frodo is a favourite of mine, and this sums it up brilliantly. Totally agree that a love interest for him would not have worked in canon, for all these reasons.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Frodome » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:07 am

Sorry, Siddharth, I think I was too rude, even though I didn't mean it.
But those thinking about Goldberry as Frodo's love interest should remember if it had been so Tom Bombadil would have thrown the hobbits out of his house without letting them in. :D
On a serious note, he'd not have been as friendly as he was with them. It's actually the mentality of our society where most think love of that kind is necessary for survival. Man, this is love, not oxygen. :p
Frodo was best without any kind of love interest. In my opinion it made him a very selfless character (uh! I think I said that already :o).
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Billobob » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:32 am

Personally I don't think Frodo could have had a romance while he was journeying since most of the the time he was either in pain, almost dying, or along with Sam. As for in the Shire I think most hobbits saw Frodoas kind of a crank.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby heliona » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:56 am

Billobob wrote:Personally I don't think Frodo could have had a romance while he was journeying since most of the the time he was either in pain, almost dying, or along with Sam. As for in the Shire I think most hobbits saw Frodoas kind of a crank.


That doesn't really follow since Sam had a "romance" whilst journeying - with Rosie Cotton.

Frodo was a confirmed bachelor, just like his uncle, Bilbo. Plenty of characters in LotR don't have a love interest. There's more to life than love, and this story shows that. Frodo was happy on his own - some people are. I didn't miss it.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Billobob » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:03 pm

heliona wrote:
Billobob wrote:Personally I don't think Frodo could have had a romance while he was journeying since most of the the time he was either in pain, almost dying, or along with Sam. As for in the Shire I think most hobbits saw Frodoas kind of a crank.


That doesn't really follow since Sam had a "romance" whilst journeying - with Rosie Cotton.

Frodo was a confirmed bachelor, just like his uncle, Bilbo. Plenty of characters in LotR don't have a love interest. There's more to life than love, and this story shows that. Frodo was happy on his own - some people are. I didn't miss it.


I did explain why I thought Frodo didn't have a romance in the shire which was because most hobbits saw him as a crank. But I do agree with you in that there is more to life and fiction than romance and that a romance for Frodo was not needed.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby heliona » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:17 pm

Sorry, it wasn't clear to me that you meant no romance on the journey because of how he was viewed in the Shire. I thought you were talking about two separate things/events.

I wouldn't say he was seen as a "crank". That implies that he was looked down upon as someone that was annoying, whereas he and Bilbo were more seen as eccentric (ie: people didn't look down upon them, but just thought they were a bit strange and unusual). Of course, people were probably more used to Frodo after all of Bilbo's antics. :) I would imagine that if he wanted, Frodo could have found romance, probably with an adventurous Took. :D But he was distracted after his return from Mordor and just wasn't interested beforehand; he probably thought he had plenty of time as he was quite young for a hobbit. (He was 33 when Bilbo left the Shire after his 111th birthday, and then of course Frodo had a bit more on his mind. He was only 50 when he left Middle-earth.)
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Billobob » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:15 pm

heliona wrote:Sorry, it wasn't clear to me that you meant no romance on the journey because of how he was viewed in the Shire. I thought you were talking about two separate things/events.

I wouldn't say he was seen as a "crank". That implies that he was looked down upon as someone that was annoying, whereas he and Bilbo were more seen as eccentric (ie: people didn't look down upon them, but just thought they were a bit strange and unusual). Of course, people were probably more used to Frodo after all of Bilbo's antics. :) I would imagine that if he wanted, Frodo could have found romance, probably with an adventurous Took. :D But he was distracted after his return from Mordor and just wasn't interested beforehand; he probably thought he had plenty of time as he was quite young for a hobbit. (He was 33 when Bilbo left the Shire after his 111th birthday, and then of course Frodo had a bit more on his mind. He was only 50 when he left Middle-earth.)

Good points. Thanks for clarifying what I was trying to say and adding your own opinions. :)
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:10 pm

Unpopular Opinion Alert! He was in love with Sam.

I am completely serious about that. I don't think that Tolkien probably wrote it that way, consciously, but the strength of his love for Sam shines through between the lines. It was true love, pure and intense and deeper than the Sundering Sea that ultimately separated them. And yes, it was romantic, in a way.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Morwenna » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:19 pm

Well, he may have been, but only after they had been on the road for some time and shared those hardships. Though it was obvious that Sam hero-worshipped Frodo from the beginning, even while being his employee. But their circumstances on the road were very different from anything they would have experienced at home.

Romantic, though? I doubt it. Their circumstances were not what anyone would call romantic! Not unless someone were speaking in a purely literary sense, i.e. idealized as opposed to realistic.
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Re: Why doesn't Frodo have a Love Interest?

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:33 pm

Yeah, maybe I shouldn't have said romantic. I don't think it was romantic. Idealized, perhaps, might be more like what I meant - that makes more sense.
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