The Return of the King was on telly, and I chanced to watch the second half of it.
I had been a fan of The Lord of the Rings in my teens. I think I had crushes on most of the characters one after another. My favourite was Aragorn, but I also recall having a crush on Frodo, Faramir, Boromir and Sam. I was really quite a fan of Tolkien’s world. I even taught myself Elvish and dreamt of owning a sword.
I hadn’t seen the films or read the books for at least seven years, so when I saw the film again, my first impulse was to make fun of the fighting scenes. Aragorn’s portrayal as the classic Hollywood macho hero was also a little comical. But it managed to draw me in after a while, so the annoyingly snobbish attitude vanished. I very much liked the hobbits. I liked Sam. If I were to have a crush on any of the characters now, it’d definitely be Sam. Because he’s so sincere and simple and good. I’m glad the teenage me was able to see something in him too.
I felt Frodo’s departure from Middle Earth to be relatable. I know it is my personal interpretation, but it acquired a wider symbolical meaning for me: after having experienced too much and been corrupted by the ring, he could no longer live like Sam and Rosie. He couldn’t have been happy. It made me think of how things like that can happen to anyone, something so terrible, so life-altering that you can no longer have the life you want. You may want that life still, I’m sure Frodo did, but cannot have it or be happy in it. Your melancholy and awareness do not allow you to enjoy mushroom pies and the peacefulness of the Shire like you once did. Or they are just not enough.
I have moods when I feel the same emotions. I want to live like the Sam’s of this world, but I feel I understand too much, think too much to ever live that happily, to be as carefree. I want to, but there is that sense of separation, of being unable to. Cut off. My heart always seems to be somewhere else. Frodo’s choice to leave and give up life in the Shire was therefore quite relatable to me. I wonder about that sometimes myself, my unfitness for life. There are days when it descends on me like a thick fog. I don’t have a magic other world to sail away to, however, so I don’t even know what to do about that feeling. It just is there. The only source of strength I still have is that I’m relatively young. Maybe I’d grow out of it under better circumstances.