Main Character

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Mithrandír 30/Dec/2006 at 02:52 PM
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i have been wondering about this for a long while and decided to post it on the plaza:
Who do you think is the Main Character in the Books of Lord Of The Rings?I think that most of you will answer Frodo( the one i go with) but i say this reluctantly because he did not have to face the terrors of battle like Merry and Pippin, and neither did he have to face despair and anguish on the way to Mount Doom.
So who character in LOTR do you think is the Main Person?
Endril 30/Dec/2006 at 02:56 PM
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Well, let’s consider the title of the book and see. It is called The lord of the Rings so the main character would be Sauron, that held the ring and could controll all the others. Yet another posibility is that the ring itself is the main character, the one ring being as well as Sauron the lord of the other rings.
Mithrandír 30/Dec/2006 at 02:59 PM
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nice answer Legolas, that has given me some questions to answer in my head now.
Endril 30/Dec/2006 at 03:03 PM
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This would awfully look like a chat and I apologise on that to the admins. Ask them here. That’s why you opened it.
KingODuckingham 30/Dec/2006 at 06:05 PM
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neither did he have to face despair and anguish on the way to Mount Doom. Um...yes he did. Who are you confusing him with? He suffered more than anyone on the way to Mt. Doom. And yes, I would say he is the main character in LOTR as well because he is the Ring-bearer, the protagonist of the story. Sauron is the antagonist, a main character, but not in a sense THE main character. Of course we don’t get a very clear distinction like we do in some other books about the main-ness of characters (perhaps because it’s too much like real life), but Frodo is the center of the Quest and this particular tale.
Tinúviël 31/Dec/2006 at 10:02 AM
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Sure Frodo is one of the main characters, but so are the others in the Fellowship of the Ring. For me Sam is probably the most important one. Without his help Frodo would have gotten nowhere. He was only a Ring bearer for a very short time, but all he did was very important and vital to the entire story. Sauron is also a main figure as well as Gandalf or Aragorn. I would say there isn’t really an answer to your question.
Jaz 31/Dec/2006 at 04:19 PM
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I personally would say that Gandalf was the main character. He was the one that seemed to move everything on. He also seemed to appear everywhere - in the Fellowship, with the Rohirrim, with Gondor etc. I accept the argument for Frodo, but I think Gandalf has a strong case as well.
Aragonia Dunami 31/Dec/2006 at 08:22 PM
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Without Frodo as the ringbearer, there would be no further story. Unless he succeeds in bringing the ring to destruction, the story is for naught. So I really do have to say that Frodo is the main character in the story. Yes, there are many secondary characters necessary to the story, but without Frodo and his quest to destroy the ring, there really is no story. 
Magradhaid 31/Dec/2006 at 08:46 PM
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Frodo starts out as the main character, with the Quest and the Ring, but slowly Sam Gamgee emerges as the hero for common folk. Tolkien calls him "the chief hero", saying "Frodo is not so interesting, because he has to be high-minded [...] The book will prob. end up with Sam. Frodo will naturally become too ennobled and rarified by the achievement of the great Quest, and will pass West with all the great figures ..." Some readers don’t like Sam, but though the story doesn’t begin with him, it ends with him because he represents the simple, ordinary "commoner" that many people can identify with, whereas Frodo has undergone physical and spiritual torment and sails from Middle-earth.
Oin 01/Jan/2007 at 01:08 AM
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I don’t know about main character - certainly Aragorn, Frodo, and Sam all have credible cases for the title - but the chief hero of the story was Sam (and here is the quote referenced by Tyrhael):

"I think the simple ’rustic’ love of Sam and Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential to the study of his (the chief hero’s) character, and to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the ’longing for the Elves’. and sheer beauty." (Letter #131)

Nenuphar 01/Jan/2007 at 01:17 AM
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I would have to go with the opinion of most of the others here and say Frodo. He was the one with whom the book begins, and although it doesn’t quite end with him, the bit with Sam could be seen as a little epilogue that ties things up so we’re not left with a miserable goodbye at the water. Furthermore, everything counts on him fulfilling his quest; if he and he alone had succeeded, while everyone else had failed, the war would still have been won (we would have lost many characters that we cared about, but the world would have been saved), whereas if he had failed, all would have been lost. Of course, he couldn’t have succeeded alone, but that’s always true, and doesn’t change the fact that he carried the greatest burden the longest.

If I were to pick a secondary hero I would go for Aragorn or Sam. Both of them, however, seemed secondary (as I said). Also, neither of them changed so much over the course of the book. They did develop and grow some, but not to the extent that Frodo did.

Turambar_77 01/Jan/2007 at 03:41 AM
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I think that there is no real main character in LotR, because all the important characters (Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Aragorn...) play an essential role and without one of them, all would have been lost...
If I had to choose one, I would agree to Legolas Fireblade about the ring itself being the main character- if a ring can be the main character  
Endril 01/Jan/2007 at 04:04 AM
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Turmabar:well, even if the ring is not a person it can represent the main character or motive of the story, and it does. All action in LOTR has links with the one ring. The war and adventures begin because of the main motive, the one ring of power. Thanks for agreeing with me.
Turambar_77 01/Jan/2007 at 04:20 AM
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I guess you’re right, Legolas... Normally, a ring can’t be a character, but in the books, as you said, everything is linked to it...  But who is the main character after the destruction of the ring? Normally, a tale would end after the death of the main character, wouldn’t it?
Nevertheless, I agree to you
KingODuckingham 01/Jan/2007 at 10:45 AM
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The Ring is not a character though, it is simply the motive for the story--destroy it. Frodo, the main character, is the one on whom the Quest (the plot of the story) revolves around.

Oin and Tyrhael: I can’t remember if you were in the last discussion I remember about this, but it was on the point of the story of LOTR...whether Sam’s rustic life (Which is what motivates characters like Sam, Frodo, etc.), or whether the means to that end (destroying the Ring) was the point of the story. I think this is related. If the point is the former, Sam should be considered the main character. If the latter, the honor goes to Frodo. But I would argue that the point of the tale of LOTR is to focus on the action of getting the Ring destroyed, and therefore Frodo is the main character.
Oin 01/Jan/2007 at 11:30 AM
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King: I don’t think I was in on the discussion - but as I said, I don’t think "main character" and "chief hero" are necessarily compatible. For example, Aragorn and reclaiming the throne of Gondor (as well as being the military enemy of Sauron) is the major theme of Books III and V, while Frodo is the main character in Books IV and VI. Sam, however, is the source of the heroics by carrying Frodo up Mt. Doom, killing/maiming Shelob, etc. I think it is clear that Frodo is the main character and his struggle the main focus of the books where he takes a leading role (I, II, IV, VI), while Sam’s heroism is a secondary plot of the main plot to destroy the Ring. Sam is the chief hero because of all that he sacrifices to aid the main character, i.e. Frodo.
Aslar Haechil 01/Jan/2007 at 12:31 PM
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There certainly isn’t only one main character in the books and it could be refered as an ensemble cast. A main character (protagonist) is one which evolves over the course of the story, and allows the story to move with him. I’d say both Aragorn and Frodo fit this mold, while we can certainly rule out Sauron and the One Ring. Also, each subplot will contain its own protagonist, and so in a story as extensive as the Lord of the Rings, it makes sense that we’d have several.