Question: Can you tell me why Frodo is so important in lotr? Why can't someone else, anyone else, carry the ring to mordor?
but someone else could.
that’s the whole point of frodo—there is nothing special about him, he’s a hobbit, he’s short and likes stories, smokes pipeweed and makes mischief, he’s a young man like other young men, except for the singularly important fact that he is the one who volunteers. there is this terrible thing that must be done, the magnitude of which no one fully understands and can never understand before it is done, but frodo says me and frodo says I will.
(when boromir is thinking of how he can use the ring to defend gondor, when aragorn is thinking of how it brought down proud isildur, when elrond is holding council and gandalf is thinking of how twisted he would become, if he ever dared—)
but then there’s frodo, who desires nothing except what he has already left behind him, and says, I will take the Ring.
it is an offer made out of absolute innocence, utter sincerity. It is made without knowing what it will make of him—and frodo loses everything to the ring, he loses peace and himself and the shire, he loses the ability to be in the world. It’s cruel, the ring is cruel, it searches out every weakness you have and feeds on it, drinks you dry and fills you with its poison instead, the ring is so cruel.
and frodo picks it up willingly. for no other reason except that it has to be done.
(the ring warps boromir into a hopeless grasping dead thing, the power of the palantir turns denethor into an old man, jealous and suspicious, it bends even saruman, once the proudest of the istari, into a mechanised warlord, sitting in his fortress and bent over his perverse creations—all the best of intentions, laid waste)
but there’s a reason gollum exists in the narrative, which is to show—well, to show what frodo might have been. because even as frodo grows mistrustful and wearied, as the burden of this ring grows heavier and heavier, he is never gollum. he is gentle to gollum. he is afraid—god frodo is so afraid for 2/3 of these books he is so tired and afraid, but he keeps moving, he walks though it would pull him into the ground, because he asked for this, he said he would.
someone else could have carried the ring to mordor, I suppose. the idea of a martyr is not dependent on the particular flesh and blood person dying for some greater purpose. but such a thing has to be chosen, lifted onto your shoulders for the right reason, the truest reasons, and followed into the dark, though it would see you burnt through and bled out.
I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.