Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 10-29-2003, 09:32 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,621
So how old is Frodo Baggins supposed to be in the LOTR? (spoilers)

Quick time line question here for the series... First how old is Frodo Baggins supposed to be? And how much time passes from when Bilbo gives Frodo the Ring and when Frodo
SPOILER:
wrestles with Gollum on Mount Doom before Gollum goes over...
?
#2
Old 10-29-2003, 09:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 4,092
I think Frodo is supposed to be around 50 years old. He was 33, if memory serves, when Bilbo had his Birthday Party and left the Shire. Seems like around 17 years passed between the time Bilbo left and Frodo left.

Remember, though, that hobbits live quite a while. I think a 50-year-old hobbit would be roughly equivalent to a 20- or 25-year-old human.
#3
Old 10-29-2003, 09:43 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 6,381
I remember it to be about 50. Roughly the same age as Bilbo when he went on his adventure.
#4
Old 10-29-2003, 09:44 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 988
I don't have a copy of the books handy to give an exact chronology, but I'll give it a shot....

Bilbo and Frodo share a birthday, so when Bilbo has his 111th party, it is also Frodo's 33rd birthday (33 is when hobbits are considered to "come of age" and be considered full adults). In the movie, he sets off on his quest almost immediately, but in the books, he putters about for 17 years, making him 50 when he leaves the Shire (and the same age as Bilbo at the start of the Hobbit).

As for the journey to Mt. Doom, I'd say less than a year (there's a detailed timeline in the books and you can follow the seasons in both the books and the movie).
#5
Old 10-29-2003, 10:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middle Texas
Posts: 1,177
I'm late to this unexpected party, but I do have the books handy, so I'll confirm it. In the books, he sells his home at his 50th birthday, then sets off. This is in September. They reach Rivendell at the end of October. They leave there in the winter. They leave Lothlorien in March. It's less than a year from leaving the Shire to Mt. Doom.

The movie is different. Frodo still gets the ring from Bilbo on his 33rd/Bilbo's 111st birthday (I assume - I don't remember if the movies spell out Frodo's age). It doesn't appear to be that much later before he leaves. The time the trip takes, on the other hand, seems to be similar so far (in the first 2 movies), which makes him 33 instead of 50.

The books also say that the 20s for a hobbit are an irresponsible time, like the teenage years for a human. So we can suppose that Frodo is "middle aged" in the books, I guess, and a young adult in the movie (which fits with the portrayal of the character).
#6
Old 10-29-2003, 12:33 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,349
The fact that Frodo is 50 is utterly central to LOTR.

He is not a callow youth going off for a great adventure. He is a settled, prosperous middle-aged man. He lives a comfortable life in the only community he has ever know. He is well-thought-of by his friends and family, of which he has a large number. He has every expectation of another 50+ years of equal comfort.

He takes the ring with the full realization that he is leaving behind every single thing that makes his life valued and worth living, that he is likely going to his death, that even if not he has little expectation of picking up his comfortable existence again. And he can't even explain why. He takes up an impossible burden for people who would not understand his decision for a grim necessity that should not even be his responsibility.

Nothing in the book has meaning unless you face this square on.

For this reason, I found the movies - whatever their other virtues - to be disastrous due to the casting of callow youth Elijah Woods as Frodo. It makes an instant mockery of the gravitas of the book and turns the movie into just another adventure.
#7
Old 10-29-2003, 12:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 2,791
In the movie, I assume that a year passes between Bilbo's departure and Frodo leaving on the quest. The birthday party occurs on September 21, and Frodo wakes up in Rivendell on October 24; there's no way that everything between could have happened in a month! Also, when Gandalf meets with Saruman, Saruman says something about the Black Riders crossing the Isengard at midsummer, which must be between these two dates.

So, I put Frodo at 34 when he leaves home.

The thing I wonder about is if Sam and Merry, who are in their mid-to-late 30's in the book at the time of the quest, are supposed to be older than Frodo in the movies.
#8
Old 10-29-2003, 01:48 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 21,961
Miss Mapp, in the book Frodo leaves on his birthday (September 21), and arrives in Rivendell on October 24. Plus, there were several more adventures than were shown in the movie.
#9
Old 10-29-2003, 02:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 2,791
Quote:
Originally posted by Munch
Miss Mapp, in the book Frodo leaves on his birthday (September 21), and arrives in Rivendell on October 24. Plus, there were several more adventures than were shown in the movie.
I'm referring to the speculated time that passes in the movie, not the book. In the book, it's 17 years later. In the movie, he leaves on a date not specified, but at least a year later than Bilbo's last birthday party.
#10
Old 10-29-2003, 09:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 1,624
I can see your point, Exapno, but I'm not sure that Elijah Wood's relative youth is such a detriment.

Quote:
As time went on, people began to notice that Frodo also showed signs of good 'preservation': outwardly he retained the appearance of a robust and energetic hobbit just out of his tweens.

The Lord of the Rings, p 42

It doesn't seem to me that Elijah Wood plays the part as being particularly youthful. Any attempt at gravitas on his part is a little hampered by his baby face, I'll grant you that, but he brings a seriousness and a kindliness to the part that keeps it pretty grounded. For me, anyway. Your results may vary.
#11
Old 10-29-2003, 10:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suburbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 9,859
Good point, look!ninjas. Because he posesses the ring, Frodo doesn't age normally. He's a 50-year-old with the body of a 33-year-old.
#12
Old 10-29-2003, 10:46 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,349
I do remember the line about Frodo's looks. That would work better for me if Elijah Wood didn't resemble a slapped puppy.

Or, more seriously, if the movie gave even two lines of concern to the psychological point.

Of course, I was 50 when I first read LOTR so the thought of Frodo doing what he does hit home a lot harder than for the great majority who read it when young.
#13
Old 10-29-2003, 10:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 13,386
You think middle age when he leaves home? I always thought slightly younger, early adulthood, like if he were a human he'd be in his early to mid thirties. I mean, he and his friends all seem to be comfortable members of the community, but still are all youngish seeming bachelors. If he were the only unmarried one I'd be more inclined to see it, but they're all apparently unmarried.
#14
Old 10-30-2003, 12:04 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,349
50 is also when Tolkien was doing his serious writing on the book. I don't think that is much of a coincidence. He knew what he felt, and he knew what the country was going through in 1942, and it comes through in a big way.
#15
Old 10-30-2003, 03:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Nevada
Posts: 448
In the book, Frodo was clearly 50 years old when he left the Shire and Merry and Pippin were much younger (probably 30-33). Samwise was probably 50 as well since he'd been Frodo's best friend for years.

Frodo wouldn't look anywhere near 30 because he had the One Ring, though since Elijah Wood was only 17 when the movies started filming, it's harder to believe Frodo's age. It would've been more practical to cast an actor in his early thirties (or at least late twenties) for the role, but Wood has done a fine job, and I never even liked him before the LotR movies.
#16
Old 10-30-2003, 06:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,631
I seen to recall the impression that hobbits don't age at the same rate as humans. After all, people are generaly considered adults in their early 20's, not 33 like hobbits.

Therefore it always seemed to me that comparatively, Sam was a guy in his mid-30s, as was Frodo (but he still looked younger), and Merry and Pippin were both around 21. Even on this scale, though, they made Frodo younger in the films. I must say I don't think it's any great detriment to the story. He's still leaving behind everything he knows and loves to go on a suicide mission.

But then, at 22, I am but a callow youth myself, and I first read LOTR 10 years ago, at an even more tender age. Perhaps that facet will become more apparent to me when I'm middle aged and reading it for the 250th time.
#17
Old 10-30-2003, 09:07 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,490
some good points, Rainbowthief, but I have to nitpick and point out that in the book Sam has been Frodo's servant, not his best friend. Merry, and to some degree Pippin, are closer friends to Frodo, at least in the beginning.

(PS - Since I have tried very hard to separate the movie & book experiences, the casting of Elijah Wood has not bothered me. Yes, he seems a little too young, but he also seems like a hobbit, and has done a good job as an actor of expressing his emotions.)
#18
Old 10-30-2003, 09:27 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Hobbiton, Middle-Oklahoma
Posts: 605
In the book, Frodo was 50, Sam was 38, Merry was 36, and Pippin was only 28. Frodo quit aging physically at 33 though, so he looked like he was in the same age group as the others. With how hobbits age, I think Pippin would have still been considered an adolescent (not even 33 yet), while Sam and Merry were just young adults.

I believe there were a few lines in the text that say Frodo liked hanging out with his younger cousins and that Sam had taken over the gardening for the Old Gaffer.
#19
Old 10-30-2003, 09:32 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 47
I seem to recall Bilbo saying something about beating the Old Took. I think (I only glanced at one website) that the Old Took died 130 so presumably Bilbo was 131 at the end.

The arithmetic would then imply that Frodo was 33 + (131-111) = 53 at the end of it all.

I'm not sure if I want to be right though. Can we say "get a life"?
#20
Old 10-30-2003, 09:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 6,381
Well Frodo and Bilbo leave middle earth once Bilbo reaches 131. That winds up being a few years after the final fate of the ring.
#21
Old 10-30-2003, 09:52 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Toadspittle Hill
Posts: 6,118
Here's the facts:

http://lotrplaza.com/hobbits/datestolk.asp

2968 III, (S.R. 1368) Frodo* born (22nd September: S.R. 1st Winterfilth).
2982 III, (S.R. 1382) Meriadoc Brandybuck* born.
2983 III, (1383) Samwise Gamgee* born (6th April; S.R. 15th Astron).
2990 III, (S.R. 1390) Peregrin Took* born.
3001 III, (S.R. 1401) Bilbo leaves the Shire. Bilbo 111, Frodo 33 (coming of age).
3018 III, (S.R. 1418) Frodo ‘moved to Buckland’/ leaves the Shire, with his cousins Merry and Pippin and his gardener Sam. The four Hobbits meet ‘Strider’ and journey to Rivendell (23rd September – 20th October; S.R. 2nd Winterfilth – 29th Winterfilth).
#22
Old 10-30-2003, 11:40 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,349
Quote:
Originally posted by Orual
But then, at 22, I am but a callow youth myself, and I first read LOTR 10 years ago, at an even more tender age. Perhaps that facet will become more apparent to me when I'm middle aged and reading it for the 250th time.
Some things really do come around only with age. I'll wager large sums of fake money that people who read the book at 50 will see a very different story than those who read it in their teens. It's just impossible to imagine the effect of a lifetime of experience and experiences.

(You'll see your parents a whole lot differently then too, but that's another thread.)

But I still can't understand why Tolkien made Aragorn 80.
#23
Old 10-30-2003, 11:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Iowa
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Exapno Mapcase
...But I still can't understand why Tolkien made Aragorn 80.
Aragorn is the last of the High Humans. Therefore he lives significantly longer and ages slower than normal men. Also, this is whay he is the only one who can lead the armies of men against Sauron.
#24
Old 10-30-2003, 12:36 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suburbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 9,859
IIRC, some of the Numenorians (High Humans) in The Silmarillion lived to be over 200 years old. This one guy who tried to take over the throne of Numenor died at age 99 -- and it was considered a premature death!
#25
Old 10-30-2003, 04:25 PM
sjc sjc is offline
Guest
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 1,250
Quote:
Originally posted by Exapno Mapcase
Some things really do come around only with age. I'll wager large sums of fake money that people who read the book at 50 will see a very different story than those who read it in their teens. It's just impossible to imagine the effect of a lifetime of experience and experiences.

(You'll see your parents a whole lot differently then too, but that's another thread.)

But I still can't understand why Tolkien made Aragorn 80.
In fact, I was young yet when I first read LotR and I think I got that message pretty well. Perhaps not as well as a 50 year old, but leaving a beloved and established home resonates with me.

Another thing, it is also established in the book that he liked to have adventures and had not entirely settled down (though of course he had gotten comfortable in the Shire too). He tended to hang out with a younger crowd, a classic Peter Pan complex. So I think Frodo's feelings on leaving are rather complicated.
#26
Old 10-30-2003, 08:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 1,624
Hmm. I can see your point, Exapno. I first read LOTR at 12 or 13, which has probably led me to see things differently from you. Of course, my opinion of the story has changed in the decade since I first read it - perhaps when I'm a bit older, I'll see things from your perspective.
#27
Old 10-30-2003, 09:23 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Banks of the Assabet
Posts: 3,906
With respect to Frodo being 50 when he leaves on his adventure, yes he would be middle aged if he were human, but as a hobbit he is only half way through his expected life span (we are told hobbits live to be 100 as often as not). So he is roughly equivalent to a regular human in their mid thirties. And we are clearly told that Frodo hasn't visibly aged past 33, which is a third of his normal life span, or roughly 25 years old for a human. So if Frodo were a (non-Numenorean) human he would be 35 and look closer to 25.

Merry is "young adult" by hobbit standards and Pippin is simply a kid, which I think is the main reason Elrond is especially reluctant to let him join the Fellowship.

In the same way Aragorn at 80 is less than halfway through his expected life span, so he should look middle aged but with a lot of miles on him, which is more or less how the book describes him (and how the movie portrays him as well).
#28
Old 10-30-2003, 11:32 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Beyond Varallan
Posts: 1,868
[nitpick]

Aragorn is 86 years old during the events in the trilogy.

Date of Birth: 1 March III 2931
Date of Death: IV 120

He was 210 years old when he died.
#29
Old 10-31-2003, 12:15 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Hobbiton, Middle-Oklahoma
Posts: 605
toadspittle, your cite is incorrect. According to Appendix C of the book, Sam is two years older than Merry, not one year younger.

Also, to nitpick a nitpick, Aragorn was 87 years old during the events of the trilogy. He was born in 2931, and the fellowship's journey began in 3018.
#30
Old 10-31-2003, 07:44 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 24,917
Quote:
Originally posted by Laughing Lagomorph
With respect to Frodo being 50 when he leaves on his adventure, yes he would be middle aged if he were human, but as a hobbit he is only half way through his expected life span
Bolding mine.
#31
Old 10-31-2003, 12:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Toadspittle Hill
Posts: 6,118
Well, that'll teach me not to carry a copy of RotK everywhere I go.

And I mean it! I've needed those Appendices on more than one occasion.
#32
Old 10-31-2003, 02:27 PM
Charter Member
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,032
Quote:
With how hobbits age, I think Pippin would have still been considered an adolescent (not even 33 yet), while Sam and Merry were just young adults.
Indeed, in Minas Tirith when he's talking with what's-his-name's son, I seem to recall him saying that he's "almost adult", or words to that effect. As in, not quite a full adult yet, in Hobbit reckoning.

As for Elijah Wood as Frodo, Frodo in the books appears to stay at 33, due to the Ring, which for a Hobbit means just out of adolescence. So the actor playing Frodo should be a human just out of adolescence. So maybe Wood was a bit young, but not by much.
__________________
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
Check out my dice in the Marketplace
#33
Old 11-01-2003, 09:07 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Banks of the Assabet
Posts: 3,906
Yes, Captain Amazing Frodo is middle aged, halfway through his expected (non Ring of Power modified) lifespan.

Unlike, say, a non-Numenorean human who is 50 years old or more, who has already lived some 2/3rds of their expected lifespan.
#34
Old 11-01-2003, 02:22 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,962
From the Encyclopedia of Arda:
<<The year of Sam's birth is not absolutely certain. The date of III 2983 shown here follows the Tale of Years in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, but the family trees in Appendix C date Sam's birth as SR 1380 (that is III 2980, three years earlier than the Tale of Years date). Tolkien seems to have added the reference in the Tale of Years at a comparatively late stage - it may represent a correction to the original date (which then remained in the family trees by mistake) or it may be an error in itself.>>

Quote:
Originally posted by lilbtagna
toadspittle, your cite is incorrect. According to Appendix C of the book, Sam is two years older than Merry, not one year younger.

Also, to nitpick a nitpick, Aragorn was 87 years old during the events of the trilogy. He was born in 2931, and the fellowship's journey began in 3018.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:04 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: removing concrete sidewalk arab headgear flashing oil light size of iraq bacon number 6 70's teens attached earlobes water faucet sputtering centrifuging urine wf surepay fees omi breaking bad english stop signs youngest cock graphite tattoos homosexual coprophage medical dye pumping loss fifty quid barbados continent batman papa spank accurate lyrics goofballs drug overdose on acid yard work hat most strategic sport wilco military meaning keepcalling phone number heisman definition hebrew swear words invisible chair mat plunger walmart detective ranks hansen's natural soda petsmart mice patton oswalt german sense of humor at what proof does alcohol freeze funny responses to how are you gellin like a felon charlie richardson that 70's show can anyone sit in on a court case buying a car with bill of sale only how to write a check with zero cents the blues brothers rubber biscuit what to substitute for milk in hamburger helper what happens if you take 4 benadryl how do they make hot dog buns pull the other one it has bells on civ 6 a unit needs orders how to reheat breaded fish how to spin the ball in bowling dog gagging no vomit can employers find out your work history me hace falta en ingles what does a long island iced tea taste like do women like balls 60 caliber machine gun sunglass hut prescription sunglasses straight vs curly pubic hair how to have a package held at usps skywalker ranch fire dept can pizza be left out overnight how much does a 5.56 round weight how long does it take to become a skeleton how to peel a grape cut tip of finger off will it grow back how far is schaumburg il from chicago il driving without your license on you