Who do You think was the greatest hobbit?

Gandalf thought Frodo was the best hobbit in the Shire. He was the Ring Bearer
But - Merry helped kill the Witch-King. Pippin stood up to Denethor & saved Faramir’s life & stabbed a troll. Bilbo did all that cool stuff with Smaug, and gave up the ring (after a nudge). Sam was, well, Sam who fought a giant spider & was there to the bitter end.
They bow to no one (yeah, I liked that in the movie). But who was the greatest? Who accomplished the most?

I’ll go with “Bullroarer” Took, partly just to be contrarian. Still, he was so great that even the diluted part of his blood in Bilbo pushed him into his adventures with the dwarves. He could ride a horse, and knocked the head clean off a goblin (and down a rabbit hole, accidentally creating the game of golf). He was revered for bravery and general kickassery by a culture that didn’t normally value those traits.

I think Sam accomplished the most. The Quest would have failed without him, which would have led to the downfall of all Middle Earth to darkness and evil. Also, his work as Mayor ensured prosperity and peace for the Shire for many, many generations.

But he didn’t have the burden that Frodo did.

But he didn’t have the burden that Frodo did. Having to carry the Ring to Mount Doom rather than just being the strong sidekick, makes me vote for Frodo. His job was much, much more difficult than Sam’s was.

Lotho Pimple did all right. Expanded trade from the Shire, deposed the Mayor, named himself Chief Shirriff and Big Boss. Brought the Industrial Era to the Shire, even got a few of Bilbo’s spoons!

Who knows what else he might have accomplished if Gríma hadn’t eaten him?

(and yes, I’m joking!)

Bilbo. His adventure started it all. Had Bilbo not found the ring and kept it hidden in the Shire for so long who knows what would have happened? It may have fallen into Sauron’s hands. Also Bilbo had the ring for a long time and was not corrupted by it.

But Pippin was always my favorite.

Freddie Patek

Frodo may have had to carry the ring but Sam had to carry Frodo. If Sam had been the ring bearer in the first place it would have been over all the more sooner. He would have trotted up to Mount Doom and tossed it in without whining once.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read them, but I seem to remember that Sam carried the ring for a short amount of time. But once he finds Frodo again, he immediately turns the ring over, knowing that he (Sam) couldn’t do what Frodo had done. Sam was only Sam because he didn’t have to carry the ring.

Sam might have gotten a little farther, being younger, stronger, and more attuned to the physical world. He’s a gardener, and thus (pardon the pun) well grounded.

But the Ring is defined by the author is impossible to resist. It would have worn him down in time. He would have failed, maybe not in the same way as Frodo, but as inevitably.

Another vote for Sam.

Frodo had the backing of the Fellowship, but Sam did it all on his own (including handing over the Ring voluntarily.)


I got the impression that Sam could have taken on Frodo’s role considerably more easily, with the right motivation. I also got the impression, unfortunately, that this is because Sam was more simple, and his place was to do as instructed by his master. Whether this would make him greater or lesser, I don’t know.


Real answer: Frodo. To doubt Gandalf’s judgment is to question everything Middle Earth rests upon.

Sam was simple, but it’s a mistake to think this means he was stupid or lowly. Simplicity can be a virtue.

I agree, though, that he couldn’t have completed the quest on his own.

Presumably a Hobbit was necessary as Ring-bearer due to uniquely Hobbit traits such as unparalleled devotion to home and hearth, a love of the simple life, and surprising fortitude in a tough spot. This unexpected combination makes them less susceptible to the evil influence, while allowing them to endure quite a bit of hardship. Bilbo and Frodo are Hobbits and did well enough, but they aren’t nearly as Hobbit-y as Sam, who never yearned for adventure, and went along out of duty and love.

Sam for the win.

Sam would’ve ditched gollum, and thus failed.

AFAIK, and with the exception of Tom Bombadil, who Tolkien freely admits is a carryover from another mythos, Sam is the only person in the LotR universe to willingly hand the One Ring over after having carried it.

That’s something. That means the road from the Shire to Orodruin is more or less paved with sparks from Sam’s brass balls dragging on the ground.

Frodo by a mile. Whereas Sam can overcome the ring’s allure better (an inverse relation to mental intelligence and complexity), Frodo was wiser and more talented and that served him well in things other than the curse of the ring. Remember the escape from the barrow wight, the confrontation with Boromir, the scouring of the Shire, many others. And to top it all, from out of the blue:

“I will take the ring, though I do not know the way.”

No other hobbit besides Bilbo had the balls for that.