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Old May 31st, 2004, 06:12 PM   #1
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LOTR: Return of the King

First of all I have to say that the LOTR trilogy has got to be some of the greatest movies I have seen. But there is one thing that I don't understand about the end. Why does Frodo leave and where does he go? Or is this supposed to just be something that nobody will know the answer too?
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Old May 31st, 2004, 06:30 PM   #2
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He is rewarded with immortality by being given the chance to leave with the elves to the lands to the west (where the Elves also will live in immortality). This should have been made clear in the Two Towers and earlier in the Return of the King in the subplot where Arwen is told by her father (over and over again) that she is giving up her immortality to remain with Aragorn.

This isn't so much covered in the movie but Aragorn himself is long-lived. And Arwen, even though she gives up her immortality, will still live longer than even Aragorn.

Anyway, I enjoyed the trilogy immensely (or the entire huge mega movie, if you want to call it that) but I didn't really think it rates as one of the greatest movies of all time. It may be one of the greatest PRODUCTIONS of all time but as a complete movie? Ehhhhh, nah.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 09:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for clearing that up. I have never read any of the LOTR books. Read the Hobbit though. Never have time to read books anymore really. I knew about the Elves leaving to the lands to the west but wasn't sure if thats where Frodo was going also. But thanks for letting me know.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 10:01 PM   #4
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I haven't read it since high school but since the movies came out, I couldn't avoid learning all sorts of trivia and nonsense.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 12:00 AM   #5
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Besides being awarded with mortality; isn't it also in part to the Toll it pysically took on the little guy?
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Old June 1st, 2004, 01:20 AM   #6
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Well yeah, and I think that's the bigger deal. The entire experience of the ring trilogy pretty much ruined Frodo; it left him too jaded to live among other hobbits, and he had suffered heavy physical and spiritual damage. The Elves took him because he couldn't fit in anywhere else anymore. The immortality thing is a fortunate by-product of his final destiny, but it wasn't the primary reason for his leaving with them.

I really appreciate how Tolkein concludes this mammoth epic. It would've been too easy for some other author to have Frodo come back as the new mayor of the Shire or whatever or some similar kind of simplistic pumped-up hero's ending. But instead Tolkein says you know what, this trip nearly killed Frodo, several times over, and he's not okay in the end, how about that. It's an uncommon fate for a main character in literature and a compelling one that makes you think. Frodo sacrificed everything to save the world, and what did he get out of it... some permanent emotional and physical injuries and little else. It's the dark touch of Tolkein and a damn good one in my opinion.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 01:56 AM   #7
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Tolkien served in WWI. There was a strong sense that some of England's best literary talents died in that war, something that would certainly have added to the experience of battle for someone like Tolkien, who was himself, I believe, a professor of literature at Oxford. If you've ever read the English poets of that period, the same theme running through LOTR is prevalent: the price that is paid for battling, even in a just cause against an evil enemy, is almost more than decent people can bear; certainly none can walk away unscarred.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 04:37 PM   #8
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>>This isn't so much covered in the movie but Aragorn himself is long-lived. And Arwen, even though she gives up her immortality, will still live longer than even Aragorn.
<<
IF I remember either in the epilogue or the Silmarillion, Arwen does finally go to the west after Aragorn dies (he takes his own life instead of becoming a dottering old fool, at around 256 years of age if I remember). She finally understands the price humans pay for not having immortality. And it forever scars her.
As far as Immortality, really they are going west to sort of fade away, the book never really elaborates on just what happens.

As far as WWI, England lost so much of its youth, I think they still haven't recovered from it, even nearly a century later. Possibly the worst led war in the history of human kind. Some argue as much as 70 percent of the casualties could have been prevented.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 08:27 PM   #9
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I understand that a lot of literary critics tried to draw a parallel between LOTR and World War Two, and that Tolkein firmly denied that. It would seem however that World War One was indeed an enormous influence on him (that, and some ancient Finnish legends).
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Old June 1st, 2004, 10:54 PM   #10
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Joe, I had a good talk with my roomie who is quite the fan of the Silmarillion and it's as you said.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 10:38 AM   #11
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In the appendix of LOTR it says that after Aragorn dies Arwen lives till the death of thier children then walks to the top of (I forget its name but its where the final fight of the first movie takes place, where the Rauros splits) and wills herself to die atop the watch hill.

Tolkien himself said he wrote so many pages of unpublished manuscripts that he often forgot what he had previously written and contridicted himself.
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