Posts Tagged ‘Władca Pierścieni’

The story starts with Frodo: a young hobbit, quite bright, a bit dissatisfied with what he’s learnt so far and with his mates back home who just want to get jobs and settle down and drink beer. He is also very much in awe of his tutor and mentor, the very Senior professor Gandalf, so when Gandalf suggests he take a short project from him (carrying the Ring to Rivendell) he agrees. Frodo very quickly encounters the shadowy forces of fear and despair which will haunt the rest of his journey and leave permanent scars on his psyche, but he also makes some useful friends. In particular he spends an evening down at the pub with Aragorn, who has been wandering the world for many years as Gandalf’s postdoc and becomes his advisor when Gandalf isn’t around. After Frodo has completed his first project Gandalf (along with head of department, Elrond) proposes that the work should be extended. He assembles the large research group, including visiting students Legolas and Gimli, the foreign post-doc Boromir and several of Frodo’s own friends from his undergraduate days. Frodo agrees to tackle this larger project, though he has mixed feelings about it („I will take the Ring, he said although I don’t know why”).
Very rapidly, things go wrong. First Gandalf disappears and has no more interaction with Frodo until everything is over (Frodo assumes his supervisor is dead, in fact he has simply found a more interesting topic and is working on that instead). At his first international conference in Lorien, Frodo is cross – examined terrifyingly by Galadriel, and betrayed by Boromir, who is anxious to get the credit for the work himself. Frodo cuts himself off from the rest of his team: from now on he will only discuss his work with Sam, an old friend who doesn’t really understand what it’s all about, but in any case is prepared to give Frodo credit for being rather cleverer than he is. Than he sets out towards Mordor.
The last and darkest period of Frodo’s journey clearly represents the writing-up stage, as he struggles towards Mount Doom (submission) finding his burden growing heavier and heavier yet more and more a part of himself, more and more terrified of failure; plagued by the figure of Gollum, the student who carried the Ring before him, but never wrote-up and still hangs around as a burnt-out jealous shadow; talking less and less even to Sam. When he submits the Ring to the fire, is in desperate confusion rather than with confidence, and for a while the world seems empty.
Eventually it is over: the Ring is gone, everyone congratulates him, and for a few days he can convince himself that his troubles are over. But there is one more obstacle to overcome months later, back in the Shire, he must confront the external examiner Saruman, an old enemy of Gandalf, who seeks to humiliate and destroy he’s rival’s protege. With the help of his friends and colleagues Frodo passes through this ordeal, but discovers at the end that victory has no value left for him. While his friends return to settling down and finding jobs and starting families, Frodo remains in limbo; finally along with Gandalf, Elrond and many others he joins the brain drain across the Western Ocean to the new land beyond.
David Pritchard


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