What if Frodo had died at Weathertop?

I suppose Sam would have taken the ring the rest of the way to Rivendell…but what about after?

Do they still form The Fellowship? Is Sam really expected to carry the ring to Mordor? Who replaces Frodos spot?

And certainly Sam doesn’t get it in his head to wander off with the ring alone like Frodo did? I also assume the Fellowship is eventually discovered sneaking around in Mordor. It’s one thing for a couple of hobbits and another for three hobbits, an elf, a human and whatever replacements they picked up.

Not to mention, Orthanc never falls, and Rohan and Gondor both fall too.

Good question. I’ll have to mull this over. Perhaps Bilbo would take it? In any case, prob nothing close to a happy ending would occur.

They could hand it off to the eagles. Then LOTR would be a novella.

Despite all that, Peter Jackson would still complete his trilogy.

Critics generally feel that the middle movie, covering the period from Tuesday to mid-Thursday, seemed ‘padded out’ and ‘somewhat over-complicated’. Fans were divided whether the inclusion of the entire ‘One hundred bottles of mead on the wall’ was needed, but all agreed that the filmed guided tour of Bree was a hilarious home-movie within a movie that showed his mastery of a contract where you get paid by minutes on screen.

If Frodo had died, it wouldn’t have been his book in the first place. He would have been some minor character in somebody else’s story.

If Frodo had died, the Nazgul would have the ring, surely? Or do you mean died after Weathertop, when the Morgul poison was in him?

Gone And Back Again: How Sauron Lost And Regained The Ring

The entire Quest’s down the tubes. Bilbo’s not up to the task any more - he gave the Ring up once but it’s clear from his behaviour at Rivendell that he dare not even see it again let alone carry it into Mordor, even if he were physically capable of such a journey. Merry, Pippin and Sam were only in the Quest out of loyalty to Frodo and Elrond was not in favour of sending the younger two at all. Anyone with enough power to force their way into Mordor is too conspicuous to get there without being spotted.

The Ring stays at Rivendell where Elrond, summoning all the help he can, tries to keep it first hidden and then protected. But even if no-one there succumbs, Sauron turns up in person in the end. Game over.

I think Sam could have served as ringbearer as well as Frodo did.

Either that, or he would conquer Middle Earth and turn Mordor into a a hedge maze. :slight_smile:

If they had the Ring, perhaps they would have attempted a Fellowship without a Hobbit. We can’t know if it would fail or not, but it likely would.

Possibly. Tolkein presumably could have written a novel on how Sauron originally created and Ring and used it. But he chose the focus on a more optimistic portion of the story. That’s something you have to remember - the Ring’s entire story covered centuries. Some parts were downbeat and some parts were boring. Tolkein chose to tell his readers about the best part.

And the other thing to remember is it’s just a story. If Frodo had died, Tolkein could have just invented a younger brother for him and retroactively inserted him into the story. Frodo would have died in his brother’s arms and his brother would have vowed to complete his mission.

Maybe we would’ve been treated to the single volume The Witch-King of Angmar vs. Sauron

The options at the councile would have remained the same:

Send it over the sea
Hide it
Use it
Destroy it

The first wont work and the third leaves the world in the same state as a loss to Sauron.

So we’re down to hiding the ring and hoping at some point in the future the ability to temporarily cast down Sauron occurs. At that point the “destroy it” portion kicks in otherwise Sauron simply marshals his strength and returns. The problem however is that the will and ability to resist Sauron is already diminished and there’s no indication that greater strength will occur in the future.

Destroy it would remain the plan but in my view, lacking Frodo’s choice to shoulder the burden, the quest would fail. I suppose you could argue that given the eventual triumph of the 3rd theme a new opportunity would appear but I doubt it.

I agree that the remaining members of the party could have gotten the ring to Rivendell and into Elrond’s custody. But what then? No single member of the Fellowship could have been trusted to do the task. It was Frodo’s relative naivety, combined with his inherent common sense and a decent amount of intelligence that made him the only one for the task. The other three hobbits each had some of the necessary qualities, but not all of them together. The remainder of the Fellowship were worldly beings and, like Boromir, the temptation to use the ring would eventually have become too much for them.

Without Frodo, the only other option that makes sense is to hide it. It would be a short-term solution at best. The ring has proven that it can manage to be found, no matter how unlikely finding it might be. And what would you do with the person who hid it? Wouldn’t you have to slay them, or run the risk that knowing its location would eventually eat away at him, tempting him to go and get it and use it for his own use?

Interesting question.

It’s worth asking if the question is about the world of middle earth divorced from its author, or how Tolkien would have proceeded given such a decree. As I understand it, Tolkien had a pretty pro-aristocracy bent to his writing, and Sam was more or less meant to be the ideal, loyal servant. If you took a time travel machine and told Tolkien “Frodo dies here, or I use future technology to make your life awful” during the writing process, well, he probably would have had a hard time envisioning Sam taking on the quest on his own. Applying out own modern understanding, however, we’d probably give Sam a lot more credit in the role of hero.

Garula - actually Tolkien said once that indeed Sam was the hero. I don’t have the cite handy; can try to find it.

It’s going to depend on how Frodo dies on/after Weathertop. If he succumbs to the Morgul blade, he’s a wraith who has the Ring, and is under control of a Nazgûl who has no free will either – he therefore immediately hands the Ring over to Sauron; game over.

He once wrote:

Had Frodo died, Gollum would surely have not lasted as long as he did. Sam would have killed him at their first encounter.

The line “Sam will kill him if he tries anything” would be rendered meaningless.